Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Donut Run 5k (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

This past Saturday, as part of my at least one race a month, I participated in the Donut Run 5k.  There was a short window to pick up packets on Friday night, but since I worked till 8 PM, I missed the window.  Thankfully we could pick up our bibs before the race. 

There was a kids race at 8 AM and then the 5k started at 9.  I got there right before the kids race started and picked up my bib and shirt.  I was able to see the kids run.  I swear, they are all so cute!

I walked around some and checked out some of the booths.  They had Belle from Beauty and the Beast and the local baseball mascot, Nutzy, as well as the VCU mascot.  I have to admit I did stalk the VCU mascot some, as that is my alumni and I wanted a picture with him.  I actually was wearing my VCU jacket and he got all excited.

I headed back to my car to put the shirt away and get myself ready for the race.  I headed back and realized the bathrooms were inside, so of course I had to try and go.  Once I made it through the bathroom line I stretched a little and headed out to the start.

There were tons of people lined up.  There were no waves, so I just stepped in where there was room.  The MC mentioned that there were 1000 people signed up.  Wow, that was a lot of people.  Though as I looked at the results and only 600 finished the race.

The race started out of the track area and on to the streets.  I realized that some of these same streets are the ones that I have run over and over with my 10 mile route.  Since I hadn't trained for a half or longer in a long while, I haven't been on those roads in awhile.  It was nice to be on the same roads, but not be the same route.

I had only run twice since my last race, the Ashland Harvest 5k, where my knee really started hurting.  By that race, I had worked my way up to a 30/30 run/walk.  Since I seemed to have a set back, I went back to 30s run and 1m walk.  My knee wasn't bad, but it was bothering me for the last couple of miles.  The course was rolling hills, and my knee really did not like the uphills.

The best part of this race was that there were munchkins at both of the water stops.  Yum!!

During the last mile we came close to the finish line.  I even passed my car on the street.  While I wasn't tired and my knee was holding up, I didn't like getting so close to the finish line without finishing.  It was just a mental thing I guess.

I did finally get to the finish line and was happy to be done.  I went over to one of the younger girls and asked if she could put the medal around my neck.

I grabbed some water and a donut and headed out.  I had some errands to run and an appointment to get my hair cut.  Then I went home and took a 2 hour nap.  After working 60 hours this week, that was the treat of the weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Diwali Celebrations (Friday Five Edition)

In my area at work, most of the people I work with are from India.  Because of this, there was a huge Diwali celebration this week.  I've learned a lot about the holiday and was welcomed into the celebration.

Diwali is a five day celebration, also refereed to as the festival of lights.  This is because Diwali coincides with the darkest night in the Hindu calendar.  During this celebration temples, homes, and offices are brightly lit with candles, lanterns, and other festive lights.  It lasts for five days, which includes cleaning, decorating, eating, fireworks, and visiting loved ones.  It's like 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled up in one.

While Diwali was last week, we celebrated in the office on Monday.  Most people came dressed up in their best Saris and Kurtas.  I even bought myself a Kurta to join in on the fun.  Sadly, I never got a picture of me in it.  Next time I'll make sure I get one.

Last week everyone decorated their area.  There was even a contest for the best decorated area - and we won!

There was also dancing, games, and music.  Unfortunately, I was too busy with work to join in on the games, so I don't know what was played.

And then there was the food.  I think everyone that is from India brought in some sort of homemade dish.  I admit, I did go back one or two times to try more.  Everything was so good.

Everyone that has been here for a few years kept saying that this year's celebration was the best by far.  I cannot wait till next year's celebration.

Have you ever celebrated Diwali?  What is your favorite holiday celebration?

I'm linking up for Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness


Friday, November 9, 2018

Short Update (Friday Five Edition)

So I have been MIA the last couple of weeks.  I got added to another team at work and man have I been busy.  They have been trying to get a release out for the past few months and are now up against a very tight deadline.  It's been crazy, but so far a good crazy.  Here are a few things that have been going on beyond work.

After my Ashland Harvest 5k, I have been giving my knee a rest.  I shouldn't have pushed it the way I did, but I think I'm glad I did.  But it defiantly relapsed a little with my knee rehab.  I am OK with taking it easy right now. :)

I have my November 5k next weekend.  I'm excited about that one.  It's doughnut themed and who doesn't like a doughnut? :)

I took a training class for work this week.  It wasn't too bad, just have to get through the exam to get my certificate.  I am so bad at taking exams....bleck.

In the past few weeks I saw a couple of plays.  One was a local small theater play called "Gutenberg! The Musical!".  It was put on by two men who was trying to sell their play so they "acted" it out for a bunch of to-be producers.  The way they distinguished the different characters was that they had a table full of baseball caps with character names on it.  It was just a very creative play.

Then we saw Les Misérables.  I have seen it a couple times before and I still loved it like the first time when I saw it.  Though I wasn't sure if I remembered the stage having a round movable part.  I may have dreamed that, who knows.

I do have a funny story and cute picture to share.  I was doing laundry the other weekend and I placed a load on the couch to fold and before I knew it, Aiden decided to crawl underneath it.  Not on top, under.  Totally under.  So weird.

Well that's all for now.  I hope things calm down a little after next week's release.  Hope all is well with everyone else.

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ashland Harvest 5k (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Many years ago, when I was training for my first half marathon, I heard about the Ashland Harvest 10k.  I had always wanted to do it as we do not have many 10ks around here and I have always liked that distance.  I was happy to hear that they also had a 5k option.  To my surprise, they have always had the 5k option and I never realized it.

I signed up for this race a few weeks ago before one of the price bumps.  This would be the race I did for October.  I had been looking forward to it, as Ashland is such a nice little quaint town.  Most of my bike rides are from my house up through Ashland and back.

They had packet pickup for a couple hours the evening before as well as an hour before the race started.  I decided that I would get up early and get my bib before the race.  That would give me time to get parked and situated and not worry about anything last minute.

That morning it had been raining, but radar showed that by the time the race started, it would be sprinkles if not gone.  I got my bib and shirt and two tickets for door prizes.

The door prizes ranged from $25 off oil, to a gift certificate for Creative Memories, to jewelry.  The drawing was at 8:30, so everyone would just need to check back after they were done with their race.  I put my tickets in and headed back to my car.

On the way back I saw that they were setting up a pin for two horses.  I made a bee line over there to say hi to the two beauties.  It turned out that they were from Wings of Hope Ranch which rescues and rehabilitates horses.  There are free programs for children who are in need, no matter what type of need.  It's mutual help between the horses and children.

I went back to my car to shed the jacket and sweats and get ready.  As I headed back to the main area I heard someone call my name.  It was a lady that I see from time to time at the gym.  She actually volunteers with Wings of Hope Ranch and was only running to support them.

It was time for the race to start so we headed to the start.  The 10k start was at 8 and 5k at 8:10.  The 10k had a separate start line and they did their thing.  I stretched some and just kinda tried to enjoy the moment.  It was in the mid-50's and the rain had stopped.  It would be a nice morning to run.  There were some announcements and then the National Anthem and then we were off.

The race started on a unpaved path that went from the road we were on to the road next to the railroad.  I hate running on unpaved paths cause I'm such a clitz.  But I made it to the other road without issue.

My knee had been bothering me a lot more then usual the last few weeks, so I tried to keep an eye on it.  So far so good as I continued my 30sec/30sec run/walk.  We ran parallel to the rail road for about a mile.  I was bummed that no train came while we were running next to it.  The 10k course was a bit different so there were runners coming towards us for a little bit of that part.

About mile in, we turned off the road next to the train tracks.  We were now running through a neighborhood.  Even though I bike a lot through Ashland, I have never been to this part of the town.  It was nice to see a different part while running.  A lot of the houses had their Halloween decoration out, and I enjoyed seeing all sorts of scary items on the lawn.

We had our first an only water stop.  I actually didn't grab water as I really wasn't too thirsty and I knew I would get a bottle at the end, so I kept on trucking.  Around mile 2 you could see we were near the finish line.  I knew we had a turn off soon, to get the extra mile in, but I don't like when races get you so close to the finish line when you are not close to being done.

After the turn away from the finish line, we ran through another cute neighborhood.  At this point the 5k and 10k were on the same course and would finish together.  There were a handful of runners around me at any point of the race.  I knew the ones that zoomed past me were the 10k runners and the rest I was playing leap frog with.

At this point my knee started to bother me.  I tried to slow it down and made sure that I took all of my walk breaks.  But after I did my second mile well under 13 minutes, I knew why my knee was hurting.  But at the same time, I knew that if I kept it up, I would do my fastest 5k in a long time.  I really tried to talk myself into slowing down, but as usual, I got caught up in the fun of the race.

We came around and the finish line was behind me.  There were two ladies in front of me that I knew I could pass.  I knew that going full out at the end would not help my knee, but it felt great to just run as fast as I could.  As I came close to the end, I saw my friend from the gym call my name.  My knee hurt, but after stretching at home, it felt better.

I got my bottle of water and headed to see if I won any of the door prizes.  I did not win anything, but that was OK.  I love door prizes and it's just fun to see what could be won.  I realized at that point that we didn't get a medal.  I think their logo would make a super cute medal, but if that meant more money for the charities, I was OK with that.  I noticed that if I left at that time, I could make it to Costco as they opened, so I headed to my car.

I would defiantly do this race again, either the 5k or 10k.  Even though the courses were a bit different, it was very well organized.  Even when there were only a couple people around me, I never felt like I would get lost, or end up on the 10k course.  There were different colored arrows plus a ton of volunteers everywhere.  Plus there was a door prize with tons of options to put your tickets in.

I just looked at my official time, and shockingly, I was 3rd out of 4 in my age group.  I didn't see anywhere that said that they did age group awards, so it was OK that I didn't stay.  And I looked and one of the ladies I passed at the very end was in my age group, so the knee pain was totally worth it. :)

I haven't chosen my races for November or December yet.  But I have a couple in mind, so stay tuned.

What has been your favorite attraction at a race while you waited for it to start?  Do you like door prizes as much as I do?  Do you get swept up in a race and push it more than you should?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Random Five (Friday Five Edition)

It's been quite awhile since I have posted.  It's been a very busy couple of weeks for me which included training all week last week, which meant catching up on everything this week.  So I thought I would post some random things that have been happening.

1 - Since about May I have had a sore throat on and off.  Never with a fever and never anything that was a big deal.  When I had my yearly physical last month, I mentioned it to her.  She wanted me to go see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor.  Again, since I didn't think it was a huge deal it took me awhile to get around to make an appointment.  The funny thing about the practice she referred me to was I called and expected that it would be 3-4 weeks at a minimum to get an appointment, and they had one for the next day.  That never happens.  I saw one of the ENTs on Monday and he put an optical fiber endoscopy down my nose to look at the back of my throat.  It turns out that I have Adenoiditis.  It just means that my adenoids are infected and he gave me these HUGE antibiotic pills to take.  If it doesn't clear up, I'm to go back in a couple of weeks.

2 - Just these past few days, it is now starting to feel like fall.  I've never really like fall as this time of year is when I get most of my anxiety due to darker and colder days.  Even though it's the same 24 hours, because it's darker early, I feel like I have less time to get things done, which causes most of my anxiety.  Once I get used to it, the anxiety tends to alleviate for the most part.  But I am very thankful to have the few extra weeks this year.

3 - I only play the Mega Millions and Powerball when the jackpot gets really high like it is now.  I know I will never win, but I enjoy thinking of what I would do if I did.  Paying off my house and car and paying off any debts that my parents have and then traveling.  I've only won a dollar a couple of times, but I played the Mega Millions last Wednesday and I matched 3 numbers and won $10!  I know that's not a huge deal, but it was exciting for me.  And I'll be reinvesting that money into my dreams for tonight's drawing. :)

4 - I'm a bit embarrassed on how long I have owned my couch, but I've had it forever.  It is a loveseat that rocks and reclines.  I've had it forever because it's very comfortable and it fits perfectly in my awkwardly long and narrow living room.  I always sit on the right hand side because it's closest to the end table and the past month I have noticed that the cushioning (or lack of) on that side is probably causing me issues with my glutes (and therefore my knee).  So I have moved the couch around so that the end table is on the left side.  I have to say it is awkward.  I am right handed and it's weird to have everything on the left side.  But I either have to get used to it or go shopping for a new couch, which fills me with anxiety.  For big purchases that will be daily use, I have to know everything about every option and I have to analyze it all to make sure I am making the right choice.  I swear as the item for purchase gets bigger, the time I analyze it goes up 100 times.  It's ridiculous.  So for now we will see how this works.

5 - I never hum.  I never whistle (while I work).  I never sing.  But I noticed over the last few months that I have started humming.  It's so weird, I don't know why I all of the sudden started.  And the weirder part, it's always the same song.  Not only that, it's always the same Christmas song.  I might understand it some if I started it now, but it's been happening all summer long.  In June out of nowhere I'll realize that I'm humming a Christmas song.

And a bonus - I had to share this as it's probably one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen.  It was on a sunrise ride I did last weekend.

I'm hoping to get a few posts prepped, so when I do have a busy couple weeks, I'll still have something to post when I don't have time to sit down and write something out.  Till next time. :)

How have you been?  Anything random happen to you this week?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Friday, September 28, 2018

Tools for my Journal (Friday Five Edition)

There are several tools I use in my journal to personalize it and make it fun. 

As I stated in my post about my journal, I used a discbound notebook.  This allows me to add pages when needed, sort of like a three-ring binder.  But within this, there are several different types of paper you can use, ruled, grid, and dot are the ones most used.  I like to use the dot paper.  It gives me options I need to create my trackers as well as write with a rough strait line to follow.

I like to use colored pens when I create my pages and write my thoughts.  But I have found, not all pens work well for journaling.  I love the gel pens that I use when I color, but they do not dry quickly and smudge easily.  What I have found online is to create a pen test page.  I keep it at the back of my journal and test out new pens to make sure they do not smudge or bleed through the page.

I have a lot of stencils from when I did a lot of scrapbooking.  I have found them useful for when I create my mood tracker as well as when I want to make titles formal.

I had never heard of washi tape before I started journaling.  I use it to mark the beginnings of months at the top with the theme of the month and my race recaps on the side with the theme of the race.  I find it makes finding those pages a lot easier.  I really enjoy looking for washi tape that matches the themes. 

I have no artistic ability, so I rely on stickers to decorate my pages.  I also like to use punch-outs.  Like the stencils, I have a lot of cut outs from my scrapbooking time.  I usually use them that match the month – snowflakes or winter things for January, heart or Valentine’s for February, shamrocks or St. Patrick’s for March, etc.  For the punch-outs, I use double tape that rolls on easily.

While creating things in my journal, mistakes happen more then I like.  The OCD in me likes to have everything perfect, but I know that won't happen.  For the most part, I use stickers and punch-outs to   But when I do make mistakes that I need to fix, I use Wite-Out tape.  It's easy to use and covers very well.

I had found that my checklists rarely get done throughout the week.  So instead of copying them from week to week, I find these inserts much easier to keep track of my tasks.  With the discbound notebook it's easy to move it from week to week without re-writing everything.

To easily find the current week I use tab pages.  I have even found some that I can color when I find the urge.

Do you use anything to personalize your journal and make it fun?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My Journal and Running (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Last week I went into some basics of the journal I have been keeping.  A big part of it revolves around my running.  Here are a few items that are specific to that.

I have my 2018 Race Calendar.  I list all of the races that I have done or plan to do throughout the year.  If there is a race I'm thinking about, I list it with it's date in pencil.  For next year (2019), I want to add an extra row at the bottom for the 2020 race dates that I'm interested in.  That way I'm not always looking up a specific race/date online.

My plan in the next couple weeks is to create a list of races that I want to do again, or interest me and the month that they are usually run in.  That way I can do a quick glance of races and the time of year.  And the great thing with the discbound journal is that I can slip that right in after my 2018 Race Calendar as well as put it into my 2019 journal.

Right now I am just running 2-3 times a week with nothing specific to train for.  Before, when I am training for a race, I would use different things to track my schedule.  Mostly, I would print out calendar months and put the mileage on them.  I do like having it in my journal better because I always know where it is and it's not all crumpled up cause I put it in my work bag or something like that.  I had put what I planned to do in pencil (since that seems to change every so often depending on my schedule or injury) and then came back and put the mileage in pen.  I don't think I really want to change much to it, except, maybe making it neater. :)

On a weekly basis I track two things that have to do with my running.  The first is my mileage.  When I was in training, I would put how many miles I planned for the week, but now it's just a plan to run that day.  I also list my Functional Training class that I take at the gym.  The R/S to the right is if I rolled and stretched.  I like to keep track of that because when I am sore, I can look back and see if I did my stretching and if not, that's probably why.  And it's a good reminder to do it every day.

The other thing I track on a weekly basis is my water intake.  While I'm usually really good about drinking water, there are days that I just don't get enough in.  Tracking it helps me remember to keep drinking as well as looking back from a bad run to see if I had enough.

On a weekly basis, I don't really comment on my runs.  I use a separate log for that.  I've used this log for the last few years and like the format that tracks my stats.

I have thought of just doing the list of stats somewhere in my daily journal to see if I can see fluctuations between heart rate, spm, average pace, etc.  I created a page, but never got very far with it as I'm not sure if I like the format I set up. 

The last thing that I do keep in this journal is my race recap.  A race recap is too long to keep in my running journal.  They are also too long to include on my weekly pages, so I have separate pages for them.  I like to hand write my recaps before I post them here on the blog.  Mainly because I can put all the boring facts and feelings in there that would bore most of my audience.  I want to keep my race recaps for the blog to be the fun and interesting things.  The fun part of my handwritten recaps is that I try to find fun washi tape that matches the theme of the race to mark the pages so that they can be found easily.  For the Run and Ride, I found amusement park washi tape.

For my runDisney Star Wars, I found a ton of cool Star Wars washi tape.  I also like to use themed or running stickers as well as cutouts from handouts that might be passed out during the expo/packet pickup.

If you keep a hand written journal, what do you keep track of for your running?