Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 Resolutions!

What an amazing year 2013 was!  I really had an amazing journey running and finding the limits of my distance running.  I loved running the half marathons last year, and I actually am looking forward to another half marathon (the Disney Princess Half Marathon) on Sunday!  I'm hoping to run a few more of them this year (maybe the Historic Half in Fredericksberg, VA?)

I wanted a cumulative goal this year.  Something that I could work on every week/day.  I enjoyed the 52 quilts project, and wanted to choose something that needed sustained effort.  I know how to motivate myself to run (sign up for races!!), so I decided that this year I will... drum roll..... Run 1 million meters!!  So excited for this one.  It's equivalent to something like 600-ish miles.  I think it's do-able, but also will require sustained effort!  Very excited.

As the year came to a close I also found that my conscience was speaking to me about another issue.  I have seen quite a few documentaries, and have read quite a lot of literature about the state of agriculture and animal testing in our corporate culture.  I will be honest:  I have felt absolutely crippled by the state of things.  It seemed impossible to help, or even to support the right things.  I don't want to give money to industries that harm animals.  I look into the eyes of an animal, and I know that they feel.  I would see my dog in the eyes of animals being harmed (seemingly for no purpose).  I want to be a better person and make conscientious decisions about what I eat, what beauty products I use, what I clean with, etc.

These are very complex issues, and I understand that many people feel that animals were put here to for us to eat.  I understand this point of view, but ever since childhood I've felt that there was something wrong with it.  I have felt the sting of my conscience since a very young age.  I have felt a kinship with animals since I can remember.  Dogs, cats, cows, goats...

I was actually a vegetarian for a while in High School through College and into my young adulthood.  I started eating meat again while I was in Alaska.  It was hard to get enough nutrients up there without meat.  (It's not like there was a natural foods store down the street... :)   )

I don't think that I want to go back to vegetarianism.  With the restricted diet that I'm on, it would be almost impossible. I do still eat meat, but I want to make informed decisions about that meat.  No factory farms.  No GMO.  No hormones or antibiotics.  

So, here it is.  I am going to try to be cruelty free in 2014.  Right now I am in the research phase.  Every new thing I buy, I am trying to buy conscientiously.  I search for cruelty free products as I need new stuff.  So far we have switched dog foods, hair colors, shampoos, and I've found a certified gluten free/ cruelty free cosmetic company.

I know this one might be tough, but if I can make a few small changes and try, this will be a step in the right direction.

Fall/Winter Races 2013

I ran a 5k and a a couple 10k's in preparation for the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

I picked the Crypt 5k through Rosehill Cemetery, The Run For Their Lives 10k in South Bend, IN, and the Spruce Scoot 10k in Bristol, IN.

Here's some pics!

Chicago Half Marathon 2013!

This was the big race this year!! I had the privilege of running this one with my cousins Shannon and Aaron, and I had an amazing race and felt great after.

Zooma Chicago 2013 Half Marathon!

Wow! 2013 was an incredible year.

I know that I lapsed in my blogging, but I didn't lapse in my resolutions!! :)

My 2013 New Year's Resolution was to run a half marathon.  Well, I am pleased to report that I not only completed one half marathon, but successfully completed TWO!

On August 10, 2013 I ran the Zooma Chicago Women's Half Marathon.  It was a great experience.

I did get a little bit exhausted there toward the end.  Mile 13 was a tough one.  It was a lot of direct sun light, and very few water stations toward the end.  Also, there were not very many course marshalls directing traffic.  There were so many runners around the course (on the Chicago Lakefront Trail) that weren't running the half marathon, that it got incredibly confusing.  Alos it was a bit embarassing to be a back of the pack runner and have no signs of a half marathon happening except the occaisional paper sign.  There were many training runners looking at me strangely because I was the only person around wearing a number.  Ah, the risks of being a back-of-the-packer.

 I ended the race feeling exhausted, and slightly sun-sapped.  The rest of the day was given over to rest, bath time, ibuproffen, and the worst headache I have ever had.

I felt great and accomplished to finish such a great endurance event and to achieve my resolution.  I did really want to finish and feel great... but I was EXHAUSTED and SORE.

I would definitely run this race again, and I think that any rough spots will be ironed out for next year's race.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quilt #5! Whew!

I've wanted to do another log cabin quilt for a long time, and I had this great fabric for the neutral... I LOVE the result of this attempt!  What a time saver the jelly roll is!!!

Quilt #4!

In addition to my crazy half marathon training, I'm making jelly roll quilts this year.  12 of them.  Here's quilt #4!!

I did another Jelly roll 1600 race.  I love this jelly roll, and wanted to highlight the fabrics and not cut them up.  I love it!  For the border I used a music notes fabric that I've been saving.  I love it!  So does Oxford!

Weeks 6 and 7 of 13.1 training!!

Wow.  Here we are!  I am amazed by the passage of time every single time I sit down to blog about my half marathon training.

Who's that pretty lady in the running Skirt?  It's me!!

I'm now in the thick of week 7 of my 13.1 training.  My long run this week is 10 miles.  TEN MILES!  I was amazed at 7, and I am STUNNED at the prospect of running 10. 

I love the Hal Higdon training program.  My week has changed a bit:  I have a bit more mid-week mileage now, but mileage only increases by 1 mile per week.  I do 2 three mile runs on Monday and Wednesday.  Tuesday is a five miler, and the long run is on Friday.  It's fun!  It's hard.  I love it!

We had a 3 miler to do on Monday, and when Oxford and I set out, it was just sunset, warm, humid.  Just after the half-way point it started to rain.  We've run this route in the rain before, so it was no biggie... Until it started raining so hard that I couldn't keep my eyes open, and there was this terrifying lightning/thunder clap combo that made Oxford's tail disappear.  We stopped and got under an awning to wait it out.  After about a half hour, I realized it wasn't going to stop, so when it died down a bit we hit the road again.  There were flooded intersections so bad that at one point Oxford lost his footing, and was actually swimming for a second.  He SPRINTED home, and was dragging me behind.  For a 14 pound dog, that is an accomplishment!

It was a good run, but my shoes are still wet!
My 9 mile training run was great on Friday!  It was tough, and the endurance thing is really the ticket to getting through.  My body was DONE at the end.  I did it, but wow.  I'm a little intimidated by the 10 miler coming up the day after tomorrow... We'll see how it goes!  I know I can do it... it's just a little daunting.  :)