Friday, January 29, 2010

Who Knew I Could Always Be Busy and bondiband Headbands

When I took my new job there was a promise of down-time. I figured in my down-time I would be able to continue on with my normal blogging activities during that down-time. Well one more week into my job and I am exhausted and have barely had time to do anything on my computer. Honestly, this makes me happy as it makes time fly by while I am at work, but I am sad as I am soooooo behind on reading blogs and obviously posting.

I started training for the Vermont City Marathon this week. I decided to go with Hal Higdon's Advanced Marathon program. I chose his program as it was less miles but higher intensity. I proved to myself at Disney that I can maintain my fitness for the miles, but I know that there is a need for improvement for my speed. I ran Monday-Thursday this week so today is finally a day off. My week consisted of two recovery runs, one day of hill work, and one tempo run. Because I am in week 1, these were all short runs and while the hill work about killed me, it wasn't too bad. I also am continuing my strength training that I started while I was injured so I spend at least an hour at the gym every morning. Early mornings, I would say, have been the hardest adjustment to my new busy schedule.

Also, bondiband sent me a hat to review and some headbands for my girls to review. I look forward to trying out the hat this weekend and giving you a review. I currently wear bondiband headbands to the gym every morning and love them. I also wore my bondiband to the Disney Marathon as you saw in my pictures and it held my hair great without flying off my head and kept my ears so warm. Plus what better way to tell the people at the gym that you are a marathon runner than having a headband displaying it. Here is my favorite bondiband after the Disney Marathon.


And here are my peanuts wearing their Babes bondibands:

(Sorry the picture is not perfect, I was using my iPhone and Gabbie can never stand still for a picture so it is always blurry, I will take another one with a real camera when I review my hat.)

They love their headbands as they feel like their mommy when it goes on. They run non-stop around my house because they think they have to go running when they are wearing them. So far the headbands work great on their little heads. My girls have very thick hair and normal headbands never stay in place, plus they always complain about how uncomfortable headbands are. Their bondibands never fly off their head and keeps their hair out of their face which is nice for my 3 year old who is always complaining about hair in her face. I plan on ordering a few more for them as they are perfect for them.

Finally, here is a project I did with the little girl I work with. She loves baking and loves dogs so I brought my new cupcake book and we made chocolate lab cupcakes. She loved them as did my boss!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Welcome Weekend!

Week 1 of work is over and I am exhausted! :) It is a good exhaustion and I am not complaining. Unfortunately, I am not used to getting up so early to run, and then being constantly on the move the rest of the day. Because of this my blog suffered for the week, but I know this is only temporary. I do have down-time during the day, but this week was a lot of organizing so that my job will be easier in the future.

So far I enjoy being back at work. I miss my girls terribly, but I also enjoy the quiet time. My commute hasn't been fun, but it isn't terrible. After evaluating my wardrobe this week, I know that it was necessary I go back to work. Since I haven't been working, I put myself on the back burner as we could only afford so many things. Well, a lot of my necessities like socks and bras are well worn and need to be replaced. While I won't receive my first paycheck until next week, I will be shopping this weekend to replace those necessities and to obtain some shirts that don't have MARATHON written across the front. I am proud of my shirts, but am quite embarrassed that they make up my entire wardrobe. My poor husband really has put up with a wife who doesn't care what she wears for a little too long. :) But, I love shopping, so I am quite excited for my weekend ahead of me!

The kids I nanny for seem really great. The boy is 9 years old and is full of energy. He is very involved in sports and is a walking statistician. He is constantly rattling off scores to me about every sport. Yesterday I took him to hockey practice and oh my goodness smelly! They had multiple boy's locker rooms in the facility where the arena was and I thought I was going to throw up from the smell. I swear, I have run a marathon in hot weather and I never smelled that bad. But, I did tie his hockey skates like a pro, you would never know that I haven't been in arena in over 15 years. :)

I ran 3 times this week and did strength training. I am still doing recovery runs, so I really took it easy. My speed is coming back quite easily. I am hoping to do a 5k on Super Bowl Sunday and we will see how it goes. I have no plans of a PR, but I am hoping to get my time back down to where I was this time last year, which is about 50 seconds off my PR. We need to get rid of the slushy snow so I can safely run outside again. The town I am working in, there are tons of people running, so next week I will bring my stuff and hopefully can get a run in.

Finally, welcome to my new followers! I am so excited to see my follower number increase, especially when I have been too busy to even write posts. Thank you to my blogging friends for linking back to me these past few weeks! This week I absolutely plan on reading everyone's blogs and saying hi.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Day of Work

One of my New Year's resolutions was to take charge of my life and start a new beginning. This was more of a financial resolution and in order to do this, I needed to find a new job. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 18 months and loved it. Unfortunately, we could no longer afford for me to stay at home, so my job hunt began.

I really had no particular job in mind when setting out to find a job. One of my fears of starting a new job was the fear of giving up my running. I know a lot of you work and run, but my last job had a lot of hours, so it was an easy task. I think people who work long hours and keep up with their families and running are amazing, so way to go to you all!

I sent out resumes for about a week before I submitted my application to a nanny agency. My last job, I was a nanny for nearly 5 years, so I figured I would at least find work as a nanny. And I did. The nanny agency immediately called me back and within a few weeks I had an offer for a new job, making more money than I was making when I quit my last job, obviously good motivation to accept the position.

At this time I really only know the mom as I only interviewed with her, but I really got to know her and she seems great. She is an athlete at a professional level, so she obviously has a love for sports. (Her name is not one you would know, nor would I divulge information if I did happen to meet anyone through my job that you may have heard of.) Something she really emphasized during the interview process and with the nanny agency is that she wants me to maintain my love for running. She wants to allow for me to run while I am working if I have down time and allow for a flexible schedule so that I will always get my runs in. This was by far one of the motivating factors for immediately accepting a job with this family. I really wanted a job that understood my passion and I really think she does. I may also do some traveling with this family which is another bonus. I even applied for my passport finally so that I am ready to travel when they need me.

I will not be bringing my kids to work with me as I did on my last job. I don't feel it is fair for my kids to be in the car a lot or come to work so they will stay home with my mom who lives next door. For the most part, their lives, hopefully will not be too disrupted. I will miss staying home with my girls, but I do really look forward to saving some money this year.

I did finally run for the first time today since the marathon. I only did 3.5 miles and it was a pretty routine run. I still plan on taking an easy week this week as marathon training for Vermont starts next week. I haven't yet registered for Vermont, but plan on doing it once I get a few weeks into training and see that my achilles tendons are behaving. I don't want to again be forced to run a marathon because I paid the fees. At this point I also don't have a time goal for the race. I will see how training goes and then set goals once I know if I still have some speed left after my crazy winter of no running.

This week I plan on writing up a review on the gear I used during the marathon, so look for that. Finally, here is the cake that I made for my sister who turned 34 today....Happy Birthday Kelli!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

10 Things that Make Me Happy

So I am on day 7 of no running and I am feeling pretty good. I know I would be fine running, but I promised myself I could have a whole week off after my crazy races. Like I said earlier today, I got a new job so today has been spent running errands and cleaning my house so that I can leave my job as a stay at home mom without feeling like I left it a mess. Tuesday is my start day and I will probably write a post more about my job once I know more about it. All that I will say for now is that they are being really great about my running, so I think I found the best job for me.

Suzy at Running on My Time tagged me. To accept, I need to list 10 things that make me happy and then pass it along to 10 people. Ready, set, go!

1. Running, it is my main form of stress relief and something I can't do without a smile.
2. My husband....he is my best friend and the best father.
3. My girls....they are the reason I do anything.
4. My sister...I couldn't imagine a day without getting a phone call from her.
5. My mom...Living next door to her has been quite the experience but I am thankful for the relationship my girls have with her.
6. My cat, Miles.
7. Disney World.
8. Baking...I love seeing how people react to the things I make for them.
9. Facebook and Blogs. :) I am addicted
10. Having a clean house.

And who gets to go next?! I am only going to tag 6 people as a lot of people have already been tagged, but here is an excuse for me to list some more blogs for you all to visit if you aren't already.

Jenn @ Running Sane
Caroline @ Sole to Soul
Stephanie @ Running in Hawaii
Aron @ Runner's Rambles
Running Diva Mom
Bethany @ Our Love on the Run

You are all tagged and I look forward to reading about what makes you happy.

Guest Post on Running Injuries

So I am starting a new job on Tuesday and have been really busy getting myself and my home ready for my to return to work. I will obviously share more with you once I get going, but I thought I would share with you a guest post on running injuries. I obviously have recently had a bout with an injury and this is just an article that dips into some of the causes.

This article is written by Shannon Wills, who writes on the topic of Physical Therapy Assistant Schools. She welcomes your comments at her email id : shannonwills23@gmail.com.

5 Causes for Running Injuries

It’s one of the best cardiovascular exercises there is, and if you love running, there’s nothing like it to get your adrenaline flowing and your energy level high. Running helps you lose weight and keep it off because of its intensive nature, and brings you a host of other health benefits as well. But on the downside, if you’re not careful, you could sustain serious injuries in your lower limbs and joints when you run. There are various ways injuries can happen when you run, but five of the main causes are:
• Surface: The surface you choose to run on decides how healthy and strong your knees remain over a period of time. In general, the best surface is one that absorbs the impact of your pounding feet instead of reflecting it back to your knees. Most people prefer to avoid concrete, tar and cement surfaces and choose dirt tracks or synthetic tracks to run on. Besides, if you’re used to one surface and suddenly switch to one that’s harder, your knees are going to be affected adversely.
• Shoes: Wear shoes that are designed for running; most people usually wear shoes that they already have or that they’ve bought because they look good or are trendy. Every sport has special shoes, so choose one that fits your budget and is designed for jogging or running. Such shoes are usually cushioned to prevent wear and tear on your knees. Also, when you buy shoes, make sure that they’re neither too tight nor too loose because you don’t want them pinching your toes or causing a sprain when you run.
• Stretching: The majority of injuries take place because people fail to warm up adequately before running and cool down after they’re done. Before you start running, it’s important to stretch your cold muscles and warm them up so that they don’t tear when you suddenly start to sprint across the park. And once your workout is completed, you must cool down correctly to prevent stressing out your muscles.
• Surfeit: When people push themselves too hard and too fast, they’re bound to suffer an injury. In general, it’s best to take it slow and let your body rather than your mind dictate terms. If you’re new to the sport, start out slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance as you go along. When you push your body beyond what it is physically capable of, it results in an injury. So listen to your body and run accordingly.
• Stress: And finally, when you run regularly for a long period of time, your body is subject to wear and tear because of the constant stress that it is subject to. Your lower limbs bear your whole body weight when you run, so over a period of time, your bones may be subject to additional strain if you don’t listen to your body and slow down with age and your physical limitations.
It’s not just enough that you run; what’s important is running away from injury by listening to your body and exercising wisely.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goofy Challenge 2010 Race Report

Well I did it!! :) Last weekend was a very tiring but very fun weekend and I am so excited to share the pictures from my weekend with you all.

The weekend started with a 6am flight out of Boston. I live over an hour away from the airport so that was day 1 of a 3 am wake up. For the most part, I got to Orlando without much problem, I didn't have a repeat of my Twin Cities flights. I did have delays and I didn't arrive on time, but I did make it there.

We immediately went to the expo and I love the race gear you can buy and I know the Disney expo has history of selling out of their stuff. We picked up our packets very quickly and headed to the merchandise. I picked out a few shirts, with the idea in the back of mind that I could return it if I didn't complete the race. (A cool thing about Disney, the expo may be closed but you still purchased Disney merchandise and can return to their stores.)

I immediately hit up the Kinesio booth. I bought Kinesio tape online before I left, but didn't have any experience running with it, but I have read such good things about it. The people at the booth were AWESOME and taped up both of my achilles and I bought 2 more boxes of the tape.

Next I found a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. Previously I was wearing a neutral Brook's shoe but my Physical Therapist suggested a supportive shoe, so I decided to take a chance and wear a new pair of shoes for the half marathon. I have been wear testing a pair of New Balance support shoes and loving them, so I figured I would try a similar shoe from Brooks. I also bought a new Brooks Equilibrium long sleeved top to wear the next day. Obviously all my plans of what I was going to wear was going out the window. :)

After the expo, we got a light dinner and headed back to the hotel to sleep. BUT, I didn't sleep. I was so nervous for my upcoming weekend that I was up the entire night tossing and turning. There was no need for an alarm that morning as I was already wide awake at 2:30a.m.. We got dressed and headed down to the Pop food court to fill up water bottles. Here is a picture of my sister and I before we boarded the bus to the start line.



So we boarded the bus and headed over to Epcot. I was about 35 degrees that morning and the second we got off the bus, it started to rain. Yes, another race in the cold, cold rain. We checked our bags and pretty much headed to the corals where we huddled under a bridge behind some drop clothing boxes. When we finally attempted to hit the actual coral, we grabbed garbage sacks from the boxes and put those on over ourselves. (We already were wearing multiples layers of clothing, plus warm up clothes and a blanket.)



At this time my nerves were going crazy. I had not run more than 11 miles since October and my 10 mile run the week before, I had a little bit of achilles pain, so I was worried that this weekend wouldn't work. The fireworks went off and we were running. I was so cold, so it took 3 miles before I felt warmed up and my legs weren't as stiff. I had no foot pain so I took that as a good sign. We entered Magic Kingdom at around mile 5.2 and we were having so much fun. We stopped to take a few pictures for our kids:





After leaving the Magic Kingdom around mile 6, my nerves were still not calm and my stomach started acting up. I still wasn't feeling any pain in my feet but I couldn't get my stomach to calm down. Once we started stopping for pictures we pretty much threw out a goal time and were just trying to have fun. I was thankful for this, as I needed to stop a few times to use the porta-potties. I thought I was going to throw up or explode or both. I guess I forgot about my stomach problems that gets worse with long distances. So the last 5 or so miles were pretty painful and we really slowed it down until we had 1 mile to go. At that point, I picked up the pace to about an 8:00 mile. My stomach wasn't happy with me, but I wanted to finish strong. And we did. We finished in 2:14:24. I was pretty happy with that as I wanted no more than 2:15 for the half.

The rest of the day we tried to rest a little bit and went back to the expo. I did get an ice bath in as well. I was EXHAUSTED from the lack of sleep for 2 days and my stomach was still not digesting food very well. I went back to the Kinesio tape booth to get re-taped for the marathon. I don't know if that is why I felt no pain, or the combination of the healing and stretching, but I was going to do it again so that I would have the best chance of crossing that finish line the next day. We went to bed around 9 and I took 2 benadryll's and slept so good. This was the best thing as I woke up full of energy and not sore one bit.

The forecast for the marathon was colder but no rain. The starting temperature was around 25, so I decided to wear an extra layer of clothes in case I had to walk more than I wanted to. So, on top of my tights I wore a pair of sweatpants and I wore my Twin Cities Marathon Brook's Vapor Dry 3D Hoodie over my base layer. I also brought another throwaway blanket and sweatshirt. My friend and I both purchased Disney's Race Retreat for the full marathon which allowed us to sit for about 45 minutes in a heated tent and have private porta-potties and bag check. It is an expensive option, but it was so worth it at that point. I headed to the corals at 5a.m. My wave was set to take off at 5:40, so I barely had time to go to the bathroom and get to the corals before we started.

As the fireworks went off, I was extremely calm and excited. We started running and though I was in the first coral, I ignored everyone around me and was trying to hit a 10:00 pace. Yes, I know, don't start in the front when you are going that slow, but that was my coral and I went all the way to the back, and just went my pace. I had no idea what would happen after 13 miles so I knew that a 10:00 pace was my only option for finishing this race pain-free. My first few miles were around 9:40 pace but I kept slowing myself down, I was not trying for a fast time, I was going to finish. I was feeling great and enjoying myself those first 5 miles. We started up an overpass where we turn towards Magic Kingdom and I tripped and wiped out flat on my face. We are talking THOUSANDS of people running around me and I am on the ground. Amazingly, 2 runners behind me, swept me off my feet faster than I fell and many people were asking how I was doing. I was so thankful for all the runners as I was in pain, and surprisingly, I wasn't embarrassed. I got to the side of the road to calm myself down and assess my knee pain. I knew my knee was bruised, but figured I would try and run and see if I could push through the pain and I did and after about a mile, the immediate pain was gone. (Luckily with all the layers of clothes I had on, I only had tiny scrapes but big bruises after....If I would have just worn my running skirt like I wanted to, I would have been extremely cut up. My water bottles are both scuffed badly from the fall.)

After my fall, I kept moving at a sub-10:00 pace but trying to slow down. I was still feeling good. Magic Kingdom was around mile 10.5 and that is when I decided I would start taking pictures with the characters to slow me down, give my legs a temporary rest, and make the experience even more fun. Just before entering the castle was the Cinderella characters who were my first stop of the day. (I look like an idiot in this picture with my eyes closed, but I still love the picture.)



Next, I ran through the castle and then pulled over so the ASI photographer could take a photo of me and then I continued on. Next I saw the Princess and the Frog characters again and decided to stop for my solo picture with them.


Next you leave Magic Kingdom and just outside is a Pirate ship and I decide to stop for my picture with the pirates.


I am still feeling good at this point and it was at this point. I decided to take a gel around mile 12 and when I did I noticed my water bottle was iced over! The water stops were also iced over so you had to shuffle through them so you wouldn't slip and fall. So yes, it was that cold. Next I saw Goofy and Minnie dressed in golf clothes just outside of the Shades of Green military hotel.


I also finally saw my sister at this point. She came running on the other side of the road to snap a picture and ask how I was doing. I was doing GREAT! My legs felt fine and my stomach was fine. I was approaching the half marathon point and I was faster than the day before with all my stops and attempts to slow down.

Here is my halfway point:


Now, once you leave the Magic Kingdom resort area, the marathon gets really boring and mentally challenging. You are basically running highways with no one but other runners around you. At around mile 16 or so, my legs finally started to ache. I was getting tired and knew that my race had finally begun.

Here is a picture of Donald and Daisy just before entering Animal Kingdom at around mile 17.5.


Not surprising, it was no longer hard to maintain my 10:00 goal pace. :) I was getting really tired and just trying to knock off those remaining miles. There weren't many characters in Animal Kingdom but there was a lot of music and performers that made the short run through there entertaining. Upon exiting Animal Kingdom, we finally got to see Mickey Mouse.


At this point I was now surviving. I am 19 miles into the marathon and my legs are tired and I am hungry. I finally decided to take my first walk break just before mile 20. I pulled out my phone and updated my facebook status. I did this so that I could actually say I was doing something during this break even if it was totally pointless and stupid. I walked for just over a quarter of a mile and got moving again. Mile 20/21 are on an out-and-back. Last year, I loved it because I saw my husband, but this year I was just trying to get it over with. I made it to the end of the out-and-back and the next not-fun part came. It was a cambered incline. I didn't want to irritate my achilles so I decided to walk this as well. I took a gel at this point and I really was happy to have my last boost of energy. After the incline I got moving again. I was managing around a 10:15-10:30 pace at this point. I just wanted to finish under 4:45 so I knew I was probably going to be OK to slow down. At this point the water stops were coming every mile and I walked through those to avoid falling and to rehydrate myself.

Hollywood Studios finally was here and so was the dog from Up, Doug.


Notice I was still smiling at mile 23 even though my legs were super tight, I am surprised that I let myself stop. I made it through Hollywood Studios and saw Chip and Dale on the other end at around mile 24....I figured why not take one last picture.


After you leave Hollywood Studios, you follow a path to the Boardwalk and then it is the World Showcase at Epcot and the final stretch to the finish line. I was so tired but I knew I was almost done was just trying to fun in between every water stop where I would get my breaks. There were a lot of people telling you that you looked good on the Boardwalk which was such a nice thing to hear at that point.

I entered the World Showcase and knew I only had just over 1 mile to go so I picked up my pace to about 8:30. I started passing a ton of people and started to get teary. I couldn't believe that I was going to finish this race running. I gave mile 26 my kiss and I passed the gospel choir and rounded the corner to the finish line. I yelled my way down the final stretch and was jumping all around. I crossed the finish line in 4:33:54.



The Goofy Challenge was more of a challenge than I thought it would be when I signed up due to my injury, but I am so proud of myself for making it through both of the races. I am so thankful for my husband for allowing me to do such a crazy thing and for my sister to cheer me through it and slow down with me during my terrible half.

Here are a few more pictures we took after.

My sister and I with our medals. Thanks for being there for me Kelli!


My friend from college who finished her first full marathon that day. Congrats Jax!


Lilo & Stitch.



Pluto.


Daisy Duck.


If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading!!! I can't wait to review a lot of my products I used this weekend for you all.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weather/Flight Stalker

Yes, that is me. I am a weather and flight stalker. I leave on a 6am flight tomorrow morning for Orlando, and if you have watched the news at all today you will see snow across the nation. And my frequent flier first class ticket flies me through Chicago where the snow is currently settled on. So needless to say, I have been a bundle of nerves, worried I will never make it to Orlando. It doesn't help that Good Morning America said this morning that airlines are suggesting people postpone their trips because of all the flight delays. That comment made my eyeballs do a dance as I am not canceling this trip after all the hours in the pool and physical therapy I have put into getting to this race. There is still no guarantee I will finish this race, but I will toe that starting line.

I followed my flight for tomorrow today and the flight is on its way to Orlando right now from Chicago. THANK heavens! It was delayed for an hour, but it did leave. If you remember from my Twin Cities Marathon report, I have terrible luck flying. The weather should be better tomorrow so hopefully the airport doesn't get too backed up so that things go smoother tomorrow.

I haven't started packing yet, but I did make some cookies to bring with me. I am meeting a friend from college so wanted to bring something to get her excited about her first marathon. Good luck to Jax on her first marathon and my sister who will be running the half with me. I probably won't have an update until Tuesday because I am leaving the computer home, unless my application I downloaded for my iPhone works, then I will a small update. Otherwise, look for my results on Facebook.

Here are my Mickey medal cookies:


Monday, January 4, 2010

5 More Days Until Goofy, H1N1, & Marathon Clothing

Would you believe I leave in 4 days for Florida and will begin the Goofy Challenge on Saturday morning? I know you would believe it because my blog has been flooded with this information for the past 2 months.

BUT! Would you believe my mom, who lives in the house adjacent to mine was diagnosed with H1N1 yesterday? My mom, who is married to my dad, who travels for work, so guess who is in charge of taking care of her? Mmmmmhmmm, that is right, I will be exposed to the Swine Flu the entire week, just prior to the race that I have pushed my limits in order to get back on the road for. Today I stocked up on masks and antibacterial gel. I got her all her groceries and will be cooking her meals....I have put the gel at the entrances of our homes and will only be stopping by quickly with mask on the face. I tell you, when I cross that finish line on Sunday, it will be with the knowledge of all the obstacles I had to hurdle in order to get there.

My achilles tendonitis is doing great. I took 2 days off after my 10 mile run on Friday and ran again today and my foot felt great. I love that my speed is coming back. I would love to attempt a 5k in February to see if I can get a PR, but I will settle for finishing my races this weekend.

So the weather forecast for this weekend in Florida is cold. Like 30 degrees at the start cold. I would take that temperature in a minute for here, but for my destination marathon weekend, I was hoping for something slightly warmer. I am pretty set on what I am wearing to the marathon but not quite sure about the half marathon yet. But I probably will change my mind on the layering clothes once I get here. Here is what I was thinking, let me know what you think!

Marathon Outfit


Half Marathon Choices...so far...

and....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

So New Year's came quicker than expected and we are now in 2010. My husband took the week off to spend time with his family, but he spend New Year's Eve and most of New Year's Day working, not much family time.

New Year's Eve we did go over to my Mom's house and spent the evening with my sister's family and my parents. Both my sister and I are headed to Marathon Weekend next week so are pretty strict on our diets and we provided the food so we had a fairly healthy dinner. I made tortilla soup and homemade tortillas. Yum yum yum, I highly recommend making your own tortillas. My sister made taco salad and my mom bought an edible arrangement of fruit. So quite a delicious evening which I ended cleaning all night as my husband worked, fun fun.

My running this week went great but now my legs are about to kill me. Because of the weather, I attempted my long run twice therefore running 4 days in a row. I had no intention of running 4 days in a row, but I had to cut my run short on Thursday and I knew it was going to snow all weekend, so yesterday was the only chance I would have to get a run in. I ended up doing only 10 miles as my legs were tired from the long week of running but I felt pretty good. Today, my legs and feet are tired, but nothing unlike I felt last summer when I was building up mileage. So good sore, not bad sore and I plan on taking 2 days off and only running a few days next week.

And because it is 2010, I will list my New Year's Resolutions. First of all, I am so happy 2009 is finally over. My luck was not the greatest in 2009 from getting bit by a dog in February, wiping out on my run and nearly breaking my hand in July, missing my BQ at Twin Cities because of a random cramp, to my first DNF because of achilles tendonitis. I did have a lot of fun and a lot to be thankful for from my Disney Marathon in January, my first sub-4 marathon at Vermont City, plus many fun vacations and new PR's.

This is a new decade and I am now 30, so I am hoping to start many new things. Like a fellow blogger, Tricia, who's blog you HAVE to check out, I am thankful I don't have to say I want to lose weight this year. This year I want to be healthy. Yes, the scale sometimes creeps up on me, but that is always something that I can fix quickly, I need to make year-long goals and here they are.
1) Eat cleaner--Halfway through this past year I really focused on clean eating and it worked well with my body, but I let that go to the side, especially through the holidays. This year is going to be a year of healthy, aware eating.
2) Cross-train more--This is something I really made a habit of while I was injured so I am hoping to continue you this on now that I am running again. I feel stronger from swimming and weight training and can't wait to see what that can do for my running after I get a normal training cycle in.
3) Stick to a Budget--This is our big family resolution this year. We bought way too many big-ticket items this year and the holiday season was not too much fun because of it. We have now learned to buy less groceries and say no to things we want and hopefully this new knowledge will only be a beginning for 2010. This is also where me finding a job comes in. Financially, it is too expensive for me to stay home with my girls at this time. This is the hardest decision to make, but I am going back to work. I already have some leads with a nanny agency, so I am hoping the one I am really interested in pans out because it is good money and something different than my last job.

Happy New Year everyone!