Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Photo Update

Well, we arrived safely and have been having a great time back in Florida for the holidays.

We've been super-busy since we've been here visiting with people, enjoying the warm weather and doing other Christmasy stuff. I've been reading over a lot of your posts but I will probably be a comment slacker until after the new year starts. It's hard to blog while on vacation. I have really just wanted to stay as far away from a computer as possible. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Since I know most of you are busy as well, I figured I would just post pics of the holiday festivities, to save you all a bit of time on reading one of my drawn out, long-ass posts :)

Road trip!

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Road side pit-stop.

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My parent's decorated Christmas wonderland.

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My parent's making their special Christmas morning breakfast.

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Present time!

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A Florida fireplace.

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Jeremy got some stuff to keep him warm in Philly.

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Someone is sleepy from all the excitement.

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Time to eat again! (Those are our famous Christmas potatoes)

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My best friend, Lisa from middle school stopped by to say hi. I hadn't seen her since my wedding over 5 years ago.

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The best beer store evah!

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Welcome to Florida.

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This is what it looked like when we started our 12 mile run on Saturday.

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Drinking pitchers at the Sports Page and watching the Eagles.

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Lunch today at the Hob Nob. Greasy burgers, fried mushrooms and onion rings. Yum!

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So, to summarize. We have basically been eating and drinking all week. Oh, with a hot, sweaty run thrown in. We're spending the day at the beach tomorrow (sorry Ted) including another 9 mile run to work off some of this beer and grub.

I hope you all have been having as much fun are we are.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the Road Again

Almost in Florida. Spending the night in Savanah, GA. We went from 17
degrees to 58. :)

Hope everyone has safe travels and good times.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'll be Home for Christmas

The gifts are wrapped, the house is clean, Zero had a bath, the suitcases are packed...we're ready to go.

Tuesday morning J and I pack up the car, with Zero in tow, and drive to my parent's house in sunny Sarasota, Florida for 10 days of 80 degree temperatures. Woo!


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And just in time too. It's been FREEZING here the past few days. Not the good kind of cold where there is a beautiful blanket of snow and an opportunity to go sledding and make snow angels. Just cold with freezing rain, ice, wind, grey and numbness.

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(iPhone takes pretty decent pictures.)

While I truly love wintertime, I have to say, it will be nice to be in warmer temperatures for a few days. It's good to have a break in the middle of winter so you don't go crazy. One of the reasons we were OK about moving back to the land of winter is because we knew we would be heading back to Florida for a few vacations a year, Christmas always being one of them. The idea of winter is a little more bearable when you know you will have a sunny vacation smack dab in the middle.

And, of course it will be nice to see my family and crazy-ass friends again too.

I am a little worried about running in the warmer weather though. I have taken a fondness to winter running and I have a feeling it will take a little getting used to running in the heat and humidity again. Funny how quickly the body forgets.

Speaking of running, yesterday I did my longest run since the marathon - 10 extremely chilly miles.

It just so happened to also be the first time I have run with J and the first time I have run along Kelly Drive since the marathon. It was good to be back running with my buddy in my favorite running spot.

Now that he's all healthy again, he sure runs a lot faster. It was hard to keep up with him, but the weather was decent (although very cold) so I decided to push it and see if I could keep up. Although I was pretty tired the entire time and really felt myself pushing it, I managed to keep up the pace to average an 8:40 pace for 10 miles. That is definitely the longest I have been able to keep up that pace, which made me feel pretty good about how my body is reacting to life post-marathon. I do know, however that if the weather had been warmer, I wouldn't have been able to keep up that pace. Running in colder weather makes me feel like I could run forever. Or at least with a little less effort.

The only bad thing about the run was the awful headwind the 5 miles back. The temps were in the 20's and the wind was freezing. When we were done my butt and the back of my legs were completely numb.It was a very odd sensation. When I went to shower, my body was covered in random red marks. Not sure where those came from. I love running in cold weather but I may have to think about investing in some better winter gear. My long sleeved tech shirts and capris may not be as effective in January.

Now that I think about it, maybe a couple of runs in Florida wont be as bad as I think...

I'm taking my laptop, iPhone and cameras with me so I'll be updating, probably mostly with pictures. 

I hope all of you have the most wonderful holiday season ever and enjoy the time with your friends and family. Or at least keep yourself from wanting to wring their necks :)

Stay safe, happy and warm. I know I will :)

Happy Holidays!!!

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Monday, 12/15 - lazy
Tuesday, 12/16 -lazy
Wednesday, 12/17 - 6.5/59:25 -9:08 pace
Thursday, 12/18 - lazy
Friday, 12/19 - weight lifting/elliptical - 35:00
Saturday, 12/20 - 10/1:27:15 - 8:40 pace
Sunday, 12/21 - lazy

Total Weekly Mileage: 16.5 (RUN) LOSER!
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who has time for blogging?

Not me. At least that's how I feel lately.

Or running for that matter.

December is always a lot of fun, but it always stresses me out too. There is just so much to do. Which reminds me, thanks to all of you for your kind words after my last post. I was sort of in a funk and didn't even realize it until I posted that. But I'm feeling better now.

I've been keeping busy this past week. No, not with running...silly people...but other fun stuff. Here is the lowdown.

• Busy, busy, busy at work...

• Moved into our new building at work. I now have my very own huge office with my name on the door- first time ever! Still no window, but I'll take what I can get.

• Picked up a fairly simple freelance job and made an extra, quick $150! Woo!

• Started making Christmas cookies last week. We are still debating on whether or not we want to make the rest since all we seem to do it eat them all

• Took care of some Drs appointments (follow ups and checkups) that I have been putting off forever. Glad to get those out of the way.

• I got some Christmas shopping done last week, mainly for J. He's pretty much the only person I am shopping for this year since we are scaling WAY back on the gift-giving. I just have to pick up a couple of small things for my parents and I'll be done.

• Santa came early for me. I got a new iPhone yesterday! My cell phone has been dead for a few weeks now and we decided to just upgrade now. It will come in very handy to sync with all my other mac stuff. I may even brave the mobile blogging like Jess.

• I got to see my brother! I haven't seen him in over two years (since before he went to Iraq last year). He was on a layover in Philly and I drove to the airport and had coffee with him for a few hours. It was so great to see him.

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• Drank a little too much this weekend as we had a function on Friday night, then went out with some friends on Saturday night. FYI, it is never a good thing to mix Margaritas, Mojitos and Vodka Tonics in one evening (notice all drinks are plural). I felt like I was doing a world drinking tour and paid for it dearly the next day.

Here we are at the function Friday night. Notice Jeremy's hair. It's his new thing, don't ask...

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• Managed to get in two runs this week. I really had hoped on getting in a few more miles, but I have been super-lazy. The runs felt great, but I'm just having trouble getting myself out the door. I'm just not feeling it right now. I was going to go run today, but had zero desire.

Anyone else feeling this funk now that marathon season is over?

To all you crazy folks dealing with all that snow, stay safe out there!

Monday, 12/8 - lazy
Tuesday, 12/9 - 6.5/59:04 - 9:05 pace
Wednesday, 12/10 - lazy
Thursday, 12/11 - lazy
Friday, 12/12 - lazy
Saturday, 12/13 - 7/1:01:14 - 8:44 pace
Sunday, 12/14 - lazy

Total Weekly Mileage: 13.5 (RUN) LOSER!
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Shelving the Bah-Humbugs

So far this year, the Christmas spirit had been eluding me.

I think a combination of post-marathon emotions mixed with strange feelings about everything that has happened in the past year (losing the pregnancy, moving away from almost everyone we know, me changing jobs, not working for three months, losing hours and thinning out our savings...) has made it difficult for me to feel too festive. I guess I had a different idea about what the holidays were going to be this year and I am just now realizing that's not going to happen.

A year ago we had so many plans for the direction of our lives and all the changes that were in store. If you had told me a year later I would be in Philly working part-time, with no new home, no new baby and away from almost everyone I love I would have thought you were nuts. But here we are. Not that I'm complaining (now). It's been one of the hardest years of my life but I can finally sit back and appreciate all that has happened and why.

While we did lose a lot last year (much more than I ever blogged about here), we also gained more than we ever thought. We are finally in a city we truly love, have made a lot of friends, have better jobs that we are much happier with and right now, our friends, family and pets are all healthy and happy. Thank goodness.

Realizing this and knowing that 2009 is a fresh start, I decided to buck up and get into the holiday groove (isn't that a Madonna song...or two...?)

I dragged my tree out of storage and decorated the house. That was a total mission which almost cost me my sanity. After I put all three strands of lights on, then the garland, ribbons and decorations, the TOP two strands of lights blew out. Not the bottom two, but the top two. Which meant I basically had the take everything off and redo the whole thing. Then after I restrung the lights,  two of the strands wouldn't plug into each other...let's just say I almost cancelled Christmas. It wasn't pretty. But I MacGyvered the tree with extension cords and all was right with the world again. Christmas was saved!

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Then I decorated the rest of the house as well. It came out pretty good.

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Zero even has her own ornament.

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After the house was all decorated and clean, I definitely felt much better.

Then Saturday morning, Jeremy and I took the train downtown to wander around and enjoy the festive, holiday spirit of the city. We strolled through the Christmas Village to pick up some new ornaments and walked through City Hall to see the big tree.

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Then we headed to the Wannamaker Building which is the country's very first department store. It's a beautiful, old building that is now a five-story Macy's. It also houses the world's largest working pipe organ which plays carols every holiday season. I had never been in the building and it was quite impressive.

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Afterwards, we walked up to Rittenhouse Square. The park was beautiful in a wintery-sort of way and it was just nice to be able to enjoy the city and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It made me appreciate where we were and how far we have come this year after everything we have been through.

That night, when we got home we made hot chocolate and watched through the windows as we got our very first snowfall of the year. Well, snow that stuck anyway.

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I woke up on Sunday morning to go for a run, surprised to still see a decent amount of snow on the ground. It was the very first time in my life I have ever run in the snow. While it was a far cry from a blizzard, the snow still covered the trails in the woods and the trees looked beautiful with a light dusting against the blue, sunny sky. I made sure that I ran through any patches of snow on the ground, even if there was dry land next to it, just to say I "ran in snow".

I had a great run too. 8.4 miles - 1:15:24/8:56 pace. It was the happiest I had felt all week. I felt rejuvenated, ready for a new start again.

Today I listened to Christmas carols as I designed, printed, wrote, addressed and mailed all our Christmas cards and tonight I may even make my first batch of cookies!

Looks like running in a winter wonderland can help to cure a Florida girl's holiday blues. Take that Scrooge!


I hope you all are enjoying the upcoming festivities and cherishing all the wonderful accomplishments and happiness in your lives as well. Here's to a wonderful holiday season and a brand new year filled with renewed hope (thank goodness!).

Monday, 12/1 - 3.81 miles/35.12 - 9:14 pace
Tuesday, 12/2 - off
Wednesday, 12/3 - 6.5/1:00:10 - 9:15 pace
Thursday, 12/4 - off
Friday, 12/5 - off
Saturday, 12/6 -off
Sunday, 12/7 - 8.4 miles/1:15:24 - 8:56 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 18.71 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Official Marathon Mumbo-Jumbo

Here it is. The official time from the Philadelphia Marathon, in all it's bright, shining, yellow glory.

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God, am I really 33? Sometimes I forget until I see it in print somewhere. Talk about a buzzkill.

We also got the race pictures back, courtesy of Island Photography. I wasn't overly impressed with any of the photos. They were all just O.K. Actually, I love the one of just Jeremy. He actually looks like he might be having a decent time. Ha, the paparazzi just happened to be there the fraction of a second he smiled in 4 hours and 20 minutes (and 25 seconds).

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Apparently I just wave in all my pictures. Like, I'm Miss America or something.

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Yeah, I'll buy this next one!

I have never seen my face look like that before, I look like I'm dying! The only thing that is weirder than my face is Mr. Red Shorts in the front of the picture. What's up with that guy?

Of course he is probably looking at his pictures going, "What's up with that chick in the purple shirt behind me? Is she losing control of her bowels or something?"

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Hi again.
"Thank you all for coming out to support ME!"

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The big finish.

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Maybe next time, instead of doing the "parade wave", I'll try to look like I'm actually running in a picture or two.

So right after the marathon, like a lot of you out there, I jumped onto marathonguide to find another race where I could redeem the 10 minutes or so I felt like we lost from Philly. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the euphoric runners high I was experiencing after the marathon. But a week later it hasn't worn off, so I'm still considering it.

I found two races that peaked my interest, mostly because of their close proximity and the fact that they are only four months away. The first is the Ocean Drive Marathon in New Jersey. It sounds like a beautiful course, but all the reviews I have heard say that it is insanely windy and desolate. Not sure how I feel about that.

The second one is the National Marathon in Washington DC. It seems like a pretty decent race, a nice course, got great reviews and is much smaller than Marine Corps.

You actually have to qualify to run The National Marathon. Wooo-fancy pants! Granted, you only have to have a 5 hour race, but still. It's almost like Boston. Ha, ha!

I thought Jeremy was going to think I was nuts when I mentioned these to him, but he is actually interested. He has to go to the doctor to get his foot looked at (it's been bothering him for a couple of months) but if all is well, he said he wants to train for a new PR. More than likely we will go with The National Marathon. I have never been to DC before, so it would be fun.

In other news, I finally got out for my first two post-marathon runs this week.

Monday, I ran about 3.5 and felt great. I thought, like always, I was running a bit slower, but clocked a 9:15 pace. No aches or pains whatsoever. I felt a little tired after my first hill around mile 2, but other than that, I was fine.

Tonight after work I ventured out onto Main Street for a longer run. As soon as I started running I was instantly grinning from ear to ear. I felt wonderful! It was nice and cold with a clear, dark sky full of stars. Main street was bustling with people and lined with leafless trees covered in twinkling white Christmas lights. My legs felt great and I even charged up a few Manayunk hills.

For some reason I thought this particular route I had mapped out was under 6 miles, but later when I logged it online, it was 6.5. I hadn't planned on running so far, but was glad I did. I felt like a new person when I was done.

I'm hoping this feeling lasts. I haven't had the best of luck in the past when it comes to not getting some sort of odd injury or sickness to keep me sidelined. If this keeps up, I'll be training again in no time.

Watch out Diddy! I'll be sure to wave as I pass you!

 
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