Saturday, December 27, 2008

milo in the mountains...

Needless to say, this dog loves him some snow!
A view on our walk.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

just like eight year olds...

Ed and I are nearly 30, yet when it comes to surprises, gifts, Christmas, birthdays, we are total children. I actually feel sorry for our future child because we will obviously steal any thunder and joy he might glean at any type of holiday or birthday. He will be all... seriously guys, I'm three, let me have my moment with Santa and the gifts, COME ON!!

Ed and I decided our household might be better suited to Hanukkah (mom, I don't want your head to explode here, don't worry I still love the Jesus and celebrate only Christmas!) Seriously, for the past week we have each been opening a gift a night from each other. I suppose this is the type of fun we can eek out of the holidays since we don't have have said child for the, "spaz out while hyperventilating and flying all around the living over his latest Apple gadget" (because we will surely be parents to an uber-nerd), kind of experience that comes with kids and Christmas. Instead, we settle for opening one gift a night the week leading up to Christmas, and chasing Milo around trying to put antler ears on him after eight glasses of eggnog.

As of tonight, after Christmas with my parents, we will officially be out of gifts to open. However, in our defense, and to appease those mature people who don't touch gifts until Christmas day, we don't want to lug all our presents (hellloooo a slalom ski in addition to everything else in our SUV just isn't logical) to Colorado with us. So really, it was the most logical choice. Besides, we'll be enjoying one of God's greatest gifts on Christmas morning, being full of (and loving) life while skiing on the mountain he made for us to enjoy. What more could we need? This is why I love Christmas, so what if you break the rules a little. Isn't Christmas a time of giving and joy? If it brings you joy to give a little early then so be it.

Merry Christmas! I hope it's as delightful and childlike as possible while being a mature, responsible adult. In fact I hope everyone can shed the mature, responsible adult-ness and experience the child like joy that was meant to fill our hearts!

best part of my day...

Rollin' Hard.

Monday, December 22, 2008

best part of my day...

Coming home the other night to find the gift on the far left under the tree. How cute and clever that Ed is! I wonder what it is.....

i really, really, really didn't wanna....

But I did. I ran my five miles over lunch. The thought of counting laps on the indoor track was too much for me to handle, so instead I opted for the dreadmill. This was my dreadmill entertainment (beside my iPod, which even today wasn't really all that helpful, maybe it's just my mood):
Layer 1 - Elliptical Machiners
Layer 2 - Soap Operas on the overhead T.V.s
Layer 3 - Old Ladies doing Water Aerobics (which was cute)
Layer 4 - The Sad Empty Outdoor Swimming Pool
Layer 5 - The Drab Gray Sky

That is the longest 46 minutes I've experienced in awhile. It wasn't so much having to run on the treadmill as it was that I just didn't hit my stride for three miles and even then didn't really ever settle into comfort. But I suppose that is all part of the training after being sidelined for months. It's all part of running really, doing it even when you don't want to and then wondering why you do it at all. I think that comes with the territory, especially after two bad runs in a row. I was feeling quite proud of myself last week, my runs were going great. But I think that's just running, at least I hope it is, and that I'm not alone here in thinking that sometimes, just like with life, runners have bad weeks.

The run today was also just plain long and boring, (pretty sure I actually referred to it as hideous to a certain someone) and combined with the frustration of not being on my game, it made me all the more frustrated. Not to mention the lady literally STANDING STILL on her treadmill next to me reading a magazine was driving me up a wall. I don't know what it was, but something made me want to take my iPod and throw it as hard as possible at her non-sweaty face. I think I'm grumpy, because today I'm giving running the BIG MIDDLE FINGER, and giving going home and laying on my couch a big cheesy thumbs up. Clearly I need to go on my vacation now.

a new level of stupid...

Okay FINE, I admit it. I totally wimped out and did not do my long run yesterday, which should have been five miles. When I woke up it was three degrees and windy. I assumed it would warm up and I could go for a balmy 12 degree run later in the day. However, as the day progressed, my hour long weight training session and two mile run post weight training on Saturday left me unable to walk or sit. Or stand, literally. Not to mention the other huge list of things I had to get done yesterday, all while feeling exhausted. I am admitting total fault and stupidity here. Lesson learned. Do not do hard-core-all-out leg weights the day before a long run. Or, try to accomplish in one day, what most people take three days to achieve.

I couldn't even bring myself to go to the gym and do the five miles on the dreadmill. So I am left with the obligation to go run my five miles over lunch at the Y, I'm still debating whether to dreadmill it or track it. Tough choice. Maybe I'll do a little of both. All I know is that I have to get this run in because I am leaving later this week to spend Christmas skiing in Colorado. I am absolutley stoked and can't believe I get to have such an amazing Christmas this year. Luckily we are having Christmas with my parents on Christmas Eve-Eve, so I don't have to feel lonely and left out of family activites, thanks mom and dad! They are the best. I am so blessed, more than I deserve.

But here is the thing, I'm really worried I'm going to fall off the wagon over the next week... so help keep me motivated fellow runners, because I know all I will want to do is ski, sleep, eat, watch movies, stare at the amazing scenery and revel in the snow. I will not want to go out in the -18 degree weather and run 3-6 miles in the mountain air (i.e. air in which I can't breathe) after a full day of hitting the slopes. I am trying to decide who has it better this Christmas though, my sister is spending it in Maui. What's funny is that she's jealous I'll be having a white Christmas on the slopes, and I'm jealous she'll be soaking up the balmy sunny air, I suppose the grass is always greener....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

i've been tagged...oooo sounds so scandalous!

Meaghan blog-tagged me, so here we go:

1. Choose the 4th picture folder on your computer
2. Choose the 4th picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Choose 4 people to do the same

This is from my work computer, but how appropriate for the season. This is Kris (my sister) and I bowling on Christmas Eve 2007 on our traditional every-other-year Gibson family Christmas Eve adventure! We bowl like we mean it!

I don't really know of anyone who is a full-on blogger that I could send this to except Kristen. So Kristen and Rachel (oh you have one, you just don't use it!!;) consider yourselves tagged! You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

best part of my day...

Running. In the snow. With Milo.

We have three inches of snow today, and running through the non-packed snow was the same as running on the beach. Only cold and wet! It was a peaceful, hard, glorious run!

Monday, December 15, 2008

best part of my day...

Getting bundled up and going for a run in 12 degree weather with my favorite furry running partner, Milo.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

against the wind...

I ran four miles on Saturday. This was a big day for me, a day full of firsts since my stress fracture: first long run, first run alone, first run with my orthotics, first run with my new and improved short run playlist (thanks ladies!), first run where I belted out tunes to myself at the top of my lungs....

The odds were against me, it had warmed back up Saturday to about 50 degrees when I went out in the late afternoon, but the wind was just ridunckulous! The four mile route I did is the hilliest in my neighborhood. The hills, combined with the straight-line, gale-force wind, proved for a challenging, yet fantastic, run. If I wasn't running up a hill, I was running into the wind, or was facing both straight on. Maybe it's the sick mind of a runner, but I enjoyed every single challenging moment of it.

Since I know myself so well, and since I was running alone and left my doorstep charging, I realized I needed something to help me reign it in for most of the run. I decided to sing to myself. Out loud. Please note I am a horrible singer, and am even worse with lyrics. Think of the worst imaginable person on American Idol try-outs, I am worse. Plus, you would think someone who knew a song well could repeat the lyrics, but no, not me. I throw in a few of the actual words to my mostly "mmmmm laaaa ffaa beeoo booo laa laa"-ing when I sing along. Unless of course, I'm at the Sound of Music sing-a-long at Hollywood Bowl (best time EVER) while consuming more guacamole, cheese and wine than humanly possible..... back me up here Meaghan! But did that stop me? Absolutely not. In fact, it really did help me keep an even pace. There is your tip for the day runners, if you need to keep a slower pace and are alone with no one to help pace you, sing to yourself.

With about a half mile left, I was running into the wind while going downhill and I decided to let myself have a treat and did a sprint until it leveled out. There I am, sprinting down the hill, straight into the hard wind, singing "Paper Planes" at full volume and wiping my runny nose on my sleeve, when I spot a guy walking his dog. I'm sure at this point he had noticed me, so it was either let him think I was embarrassed and stop singing and wiping nose, or just keep on going full force and smile at him to let him know I didn't care. So I smiled and sang, he smiled back. I'd like to think he danced to it, even if just for a few seconds.

This running route ends by going back up hill for about a quarter mile until I hit a one-block plateau right before my house. I try to end all my neighborhood runs going up that hill. I like to end my runs alone as hard as possible, again sick, I realize this. I was finally tired, my arches were screaming at me from the orthotics, but I charged up that hill in the wind like nobodys business. I stopped singing and let my legs go. I felt like I was back. There was something so satisfying about running my heart out this afternoon, knowing I could do it in brutal wind with feet aching.

It was a good run. The thing that I loved about it was running into that wind, belting out a song and going full force. It was the most freeing thing I had done in weeks. I needed that run. It made me feel like my months and months of hard work, long miles, and speedwork before my fracture weren't entirely lost. I ran those four miles in 36:40. I declared it a success. I'm praying my guts out that it wasn't a fluke, and I really am back...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

what's your song, version 1.0...

Having my iPod on a long run or during speed work is vital. I'm assuming that all runners who use an iPod have their running playlists. I have a playlist for short runs and one for long runs. The short play list is full of music that I do not listen to in "real" life, like at work or in my car. In real life I typically only listen to mellow, singer/songwriter and generally happy stuff.

However, while I run I need anything but my norm. I go for Kanye and Outkast to Beyonce and Britney, even a little country, and I'm not ashamed. With races coming up and playlists from last spring, I decided to do some updating, but still want to add more.

I wanted to wait to do this post until I knew at least six people read my blog since I want to share playlist ideas. But I'm curious right now, and not a patient girl, so I'll hope the three of you reading this will chime in with your favorite tunes, it's always good to refresh the playlist, especially when gearing up to train!

Some songs from my 'short run' list:
Live Your Life - T.I.
The One I Love - Greg Laswell
Love Lockdown - Kanye West
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
Every Day - Rascal Flats
Don't Cha - The Pussycat Dolls
Gold Digger - Kanye & Jamie Foxx
Up in Here - DMX
How Far We've Come - Matchbox Twenty
Gimme More - Britney Spears

The song I need when I feel like "I just don't wanna" (some call this a power song, I find that term stupid, I prefer my term which is obviously superior):
If You're Going Through Hell - Rodney Atkins

Ed's current favorite running song:
Hypnotize - Notorius B.I.G. (milo, milo, milo, can't you see, somehow you are so big and beefy.... ed made his own lyrics to the song. yes he is almost 30, yes he makes up songs and sings them to our dog and yes he is a lawyer. )

Your turn!
(meaghan i was tempted to write 'you're' just for you;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

best part of my day...

He is all... get over it people, I am not your human.

all the shiny things...

Every year on the same weekend, Ed and I go to Kansas City (he has a law conference, I tag along). The annual weekend marks our Christmas festiveness kick-off. We eat ridiculous amounts of amazing food and play to our hearts content! This year we added ice skating to our tradition.

Some friends from college live in KC now so they joined us for lunch at a micro-brewery in the Power and Light District and ice skating on Saturday. Indika is from Sri Lanka and has never been on ice before. She gets mad props for being brave enough to step 'skate' on ice. She is a runner as well, but that's as cold weather 'sport' as she'll get. I can't blame her, her DNA isn't wired for cold weather activities like my Irish/German blood!

After skating we headed into the Crown Center for hot cider and lots of chocolate goodies. I'm hoping I burned enough calories falling on my ass while ice skating to make up for all the dark chocolate peppermint bark I inhaled (and am inhaling still). Then we headed home, exhausted!

On Sunday we took Milo and went to Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm and cut down our Christmas tree, this is all part of our "Christmas Kickoff" weekend. Milo supposedly lived on a farm before we adopted him when he was 18 months old. He seemed pretty happy to be out there, running amuck and watching all the Clydesdale horses in excitement. He was as good as a herding dog could be on a horse drawn ride to the tree fields.

To end our weekend, we decided to be as festive as possible. We bought lumanaries, which our neighborhood strongly encourages, and house lights for the first time since being home owners (three years now). Ed was determined, despite the dark, to get everything put up before the work week started. I made some potato-cheese soup and started in on the tree and left Clark Griswold, Jr. outside to do his thing!

It was awesome. Griswold, Jr., his tool belt and gigantic ladder set off and created a sweet Christmas scene in the dark, all without getting hurt. Of course our neighbor across the street called to congratulate us on joining the outdoor Christmas decorations club and point out that it was dark and it's not the best idea to be on a sloping roof in the windy night. But the lights are up, look adorable and Griswold, Jr. is safe, what more can you ask for?

Why is it that during the holidays the weekends wear you out more than the work week does?! But it's all worth it. I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday, all the cheer, joy, cold noses and parties. To me, it really is the hap-hap-happiest time of the year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

best part of my day...

This dude. In this coat. At Houstons on the Plaza, in Kansas City Friday Night.

rocket fuel reserves and animals making hot totties...

Instead of going to spin class last night, Ed and I decided to go for a run. My recovery plan said to run for 25 minutes, so we didn't track mileage, just ran for time, which was a nice change. We weaved in and out of all of our neighborhood streets looking at Christmas lights. The reason we decided to go running instead of to spin class is simply, Kansas. Yesterday we headed out our door to run around 5:30p in 55 degree weather. This morning it is snowing and 30 degrees. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some snow. In my opinion, if it's going to be stupid cold, it may as well be snowing. But the snow combined with 30-40 mph winds is just retarded, I am a Fair Weather Runner after all. So we took advantage of the last of the nice weather for the week.

Ed is training for his first 5K (we are running a New Years Day 5K) and he is doing the stress fracture recovery training plan with me, which will build him up to run the 5K. We hooked Milo to a leash and took off in the warm evening air (it's all relative). In addition to an evening run, we are working with Milo, trying to get him off the leash while running with us. For those of you who run with your dogs, you will understand this! We had him off leash for a little less than 10 minutes total and despite a few stops to sniff the park trash cans, and occasional sprint into a yard, he was perfect. We are strict believers in the "Dog Whisperer" technique, so a little "csssssh" and Milo was back on track. Ceaser Milan is a genius!!

We held a pretty even pace around 10 minute miles, but I think Ed and I both had some rocket fuel reserves waiting to kick into gear. We had quite a few bursts of speed during our run, the kind where toward the end of the burst you start to laugh like a crazy person and the neighbors still putting out luminaries turn to look at the street scared out of their minds by the running lunatics. It always makes a run more enjoyable.

Toward the end of our run I was ahead of Ed, he let Milo off the leash again so he could catch me, I ran as fast as I could for a block and a half before Milo caught up. This is the dog who, when we first brought him home from the shelter, ran eight minute miles and I couldn't keep up. He's gotten a bit more chubby and spoiled in the past two years! In fact, today he is at home watching Animal Planet with his peanut butter filled Kong and the kitties (I'm positive they have all gotten into the liquor cabinet and are making hot totties at this instant), while I have to brave the cold wind and come to work... how is this fair?

We got home out of breath, with that clean, salty, tired feeling feeling of a good hard run. It was a rush of adrenaline as it was my first burst of speed since my injury. It was also the first run since recovery where my plan didn't have me walk. This morning, as I sit here watching the snow falling, I'm quite satisfied that we decided to run last night. Although I do love to run in the snow, it would be stupid to risk another injury today. Hopefully tomorrow, when the wind dies down, I can run to the satisfying sound of soft crunching snow under my shoes....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

best part of my day...

No more vodka tonics for Fred (my cat). Next time we leave town we're locking the liquor cabinet.

that'll wake a girl up...

It was 26 degrees this morning, a morning when I should be snuggled up all warm and cozy in my bed with my down comforter, my fluffy dog, and my warm Ed. Instead I dragged myself out of bed at 7:45a dropped my feet on the freezing cold wood floors, brushed my teeth, slapped on my warmest running gear and headed out the door. I was half asleep driving to the park to meet Jessica for three miles. But the instant I got out of the car my breath was taken away and I was undoubtedly awake.

We headed out and the Kansas wind wasn't shy at all this morning, at least the sun was shining and the sky was absolutely clear. For most of the run we were sheltered from the wind by the trees, but once we hit some open land I swear we almost fell over from the cold strong wind. We made it our three miles and walked less than we have since starting to run again. We hadn't seen each other in more than a week, which is much too long in my opinion, so our conversation was a good distraction to my burning lungs!

We finished up and headed straight to the bathroom to blow our runny noses. Note to self: buy travel kleenex today at Target. So our noses were bright red and runny, and our toes and fingers were freezing, but it was absolutely worth it. Plus I felt encouraged that our winter running will go well this year, since last year the cold weather combined with wind would have sent me straight to the gym treadmill. It's amazing what a little Nike cold running gear will do for a girls motivation.

I got home and proceeded to drag Ed out of bed and we went to get our morning mochas. A delightful way to start the day. Now I'm going to take a nap because I have some Christmas Tree chopping to do this afternoon!