Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have a Problem

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am a travelholic. Not kidding, I am obsessed with finding vacation for Josh and I to go on. I know he said that we should take a break from Europe but Espana is calling.  I can hear it loud and clear. Probably doesn't help that Josh's good friend Jeff is over in Madrid right now preparing for FOCUS to participate in World Youth Day.

I get emails all the time with the latest travel deals. I think my problem is that once we had fabulous vacations in Italy, Paris and London (yes I'm still working on those posts 2 months later), I just wanted to keep doing it. Here's what on my list for the next few years:

Costa Rica
Hawaii (Josh has never been)
Germany (Visit my uncle and meet all my cousins)

Now if only I had more vacation days. We're pretty good about figuring out how to time vacations with work holidays so that I get an extra day off. We don't have any real vacations planned at all right now. So I figure maybe I'll just start tenatively planning one in say May.  You never know maybe I can talk Josh into it.

Fingers crossed an unbeatable deal comes up for a last minute vacation over New Years. Might not be as great at it was ringing in 2010 but I could go for a vacay to ring in 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Then I Ate a Huge Burrito

My long run did not happen this weekend. My original plan was to do a two-a-day run on Saturday. After a quick 4 miles with Josh and Lucky we had errands to run and a house to clean before Josh's b-day party. Oh and Husker game to watch. So the second 6-8 miles I was going to do just didn't happen. Before I knew it I needed to get those bacon wrapped dates made, spinach dip going and that baked brie baking.

It turned out to be a bit of a drunk night for myself and our guests apparently. Just goes to show that even though we're on the down slope to 30 we still can get crazy from time to time...evidence of the vomit in the bathroom we found the next day.  I was a total waste of space on Sunday. I basically was hating life.  Note to can no longer drink like you did at 21. I think that is the last time I'm drinking for a little while. Beer isn't that fantastic that I cannot resist it and I'm just not really a big drinker anymore.

Monday was Josh's 29th b-day. I made him dinner, we went to the gym, but since it was his b-day I didn't want to spend hours running. Probably rude thing to do.

Last night was my night to get it in.  I left work and nearly got blown off the interstate. The winds were insane. Rather than do the running man I decided to run on the dreadmill. 

Time: 1:38   Distance: 10 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:49 min/miles

I stopped at 10 miles though I was planning on 12. My knees actually started hurting and swelling so I figured I better stop. Don't want to have to drop from the race in a week and a half.  (Bonus-I drunkenly talked Shanna into running the race with me! Yes!)  I couldn't really find a good elevation chart of the course so I used MapMyRun to make one myself.  It looks pretty flat to me, just how I like it!

After running Josh treated me to the Garden Fresco Burrito with Green Chili from Tres Margaritas...I ate the WHOLE thing. It was delicious. Oh and they made Josh wear a sombrero while they sang to him and gave him a weird red, white and green shot...yuck. Of course the one time I don't bring my phone or camera to take a picture. Drat!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ibogaine-The Way Out?

My Uncle Rick, is working a new film. This time he's working with my Uncle Justin to help him overcome his heroin addiction.  You may remember that he screened the film, Forgetting Dad, about my grandpa last year all of the world, including right here in Denver.  The new project is just in funding mode right now. I made a contribution this morning. I wish I could contribute more, but I figure every little bit helps. Hopefully they can raise enough to get it off the ground and see if Ibogaine will really help Justin. Check out the brief trailer Rick put together.

Monday, October 18, 2010

1/2 on a Whim

After the RNR Denver Half I am feeling even more determined to get the sub-2 hour half under my belt. So after searching all lunch I found one that I don't have to fly or drive for a gazillion hours to.  It's right up the road from me in Loveland. 

Yep, I just went ahead and registered myself for the Heart of the Rockies Half Marathon which is in three weeks!  That gives me a bit of time to get in some speed sessions and two more longer runs.  I'm not going to have the sea level advantage and I haven't seen what the course elevation is but Loveland is about the same elevation as Longmont (lower than Denver) and from what I remember from the two months we lived in Loveland, it's flat as a pancake. We're even going to run right by the condo we lived in. I'm sure there will be a few hills in there somewhere but I'm looking forward to it.  Maybe I'll even talk Josh into running the 10k while I do the half.  Hopefully we won't have snow or ice. That would just be crummy. I am all for temps in the 30s or 40s though. My best runs are in those cooler temperatures.

Never done two races this close together but hey, it's almost like training right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Did you say PR!?!

Today something totally unexpected happen...that's right I set a new 1/2 marathon PR. I honestly was shocked while I was running and realized that I was going to PR.  Especially since I hadn't trained. But let me back up.

Last night Josh and went down to our friend Russell's house.  Russell, Josh and our friend Jason and I enjoyed some of my delicious homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Mmmm. Totally hit the spot. I went to bed early like a good runner while the boys stayed up. Unfortunately for me I was a light sleeper because when Josh came to bed it woke me up and I was unable to fall back to sleep for any significant amount of time. 

I rolled out of bed about 4:30 am, did my normal morning routine and jumped in the car to head to the race.  Once I got downtown I made my way to Civic Center Park.  I am glad that I had done this race before because there was zero signage telling people where to go. I was really surprised since the Rock N' Roll races are usually better organized.  I held onto my warm clothes as long as possible before heading to the corral. 

By about five after 7 am I was on my way across the finish line.  I was feeling good, not worrying about my pace when my first walk break alarm went off. I thought about ignoring it but decided hey, this is my plan and I should stick to it.  When we hit the only really steep hill around mile 4 people were dropping. The hill was hard but I powered up it. I remembered passing a lot of people in that same spot last year. 

A lap past the zoo, around the Denver Nature and Science Museum and I was already more than half way...still feeling good! At that point I looked at my watch and realized that I could probably PR if I just kept moving at about the same pace.  I didn't want to get cocky just yet.

Next up was Cheeseman Park. I remembered that last year there was a fairly long incline.  Not a problem I was still feeling great.  By the time I was half way up that it was time for a walk break and a my last gel.  This is apparently right where I missed Josh and Russell who had been waiting there to see me.  Once we were out of the park there was only a little over a mile left.  Even better it was flat with a slight downhill about a half mile from the finish and I was still on track to PR.

When I saw the shoot to the finish I sped up.  I breezed past the 13 mile marker and sprinted.  I was proud of myself for having enough energy to speed up.  I crossed the finish line and knew I had PRed and it felt good!

Splits courtesy of my Garmin:

Mile 1-9:33
Mile 2-9:38
Mile 3-9:27
Mile 4-9:23
Mile 5-9:44
Mile 6-9:45
Mile 7-9:36
Mile 8-9:06
Mile 9-9:42
Mile 10-9:33
Mile 11-9:38
Mile 12-9:23
Mile 13-9:03
Mile .25-1:54

Time: 2:05:10   Distance: 13.25 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:27 min/mile

So really I hit the 13.1 distance at 2:03:53. Which is awesome and a huge PR.  That is nearly 10 minutes faster than I finished this race last year and 2 minutes faster than Moab (which was primarily downhill).  But of course that's not what my chip time was.  Not gonna lie I'm kinda bummed I had to take the marathon medal even though I only did the half. Oh well. A medal is a medal.

Chip Time Stats:

Time: 2:05:09   Avg. Pace: 9:32 min/mile

Still a PR, but only by about 50 seconds.  Hey I'll take it! Maybe I shouldn't train more often. That or this run/walk thing is an excellent idea.  I really need to run a sea level race and I definitely be under 2 hours.  Hmmm.

I met Josh and Russell back at the car and we met my dad and brother Ted at Toast in Cherry Creek North. I was so hungry I had a really hard time deciding what to eat. I finally settled on the breakfast burrito with a pancake on the side. Definitely satisfied my sweet and salt craving.  As we were driving back to Russell's house to pick up Josh's stuff we passed by Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Of course we had to stop for a celebatory cone. Mmmm.

My legs are a bit sore but I think that once I foam roll I'll be all good.  Woohoo for unexpected PRs!  As it turns out I may be faster than I give myself credit for. This is motivation to get my act together for my next race.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Walking is not giving up

This weekend I decided I wanted to get in one more long (using that word loosely here) run before the Rock N' Roll Denver Half Marathon this weekend. Being lazy and not wanting to experience the disasterous trying to run the Res (oh right the marathon is going on), that's ok I'll run from Roger's Grove (closed through October)-again (still ran 12 miles), Josh and I set out to do a few loops around the neighborhood.

Now I have not been training for this race.  I honestly haven't looked at the awesome training plan I created for myself in at least two months. Yeah I've been bad. But you know what? Life happens. Stuff comes up, plans change and it's not always possible to get in all your runs. With all of this going on I decided that I wanted to test out run/walking. Now I haven't purposely run/walked a race ever. Ok well I did walk when taking gels in Seattle and mid-race decided to run/walk Nashville (only because of the horrid conditions) but I hate walking during a race. It's always hard to motivate myself to start running again. Plus it's only 13 miles. I know I can run it without stopping, but at what speed this time?

So the test began. I set my Garmin to alarm every 11 minutes. That way I'd run for 11 the first time, walk for one minute then run for ten and so on.  Josh broke off and headed home after the first lap but I continued on.  Here are my stats:

Time: 1 hour 25 minutes    Distance: 9 miles    Avg. Pace: 9:29 min/miles

Pretty impressive pace for taking walk breaks isn't it? Now when I say walk, it's not leisurely it's a fast pace.  This helped me realize that walking isn't giving up and is actually a great option for finishing a race you're not really ready for.  We'll see how it goes this weekend.  If I can maintain the pace I did this weekend I'd be on track to beat my time from last year easily.  Then again, my neighborhood has like no hills.  Here's what the course looks like:

It doesn't really have rolling hills but from mile 2-5 it's a pretty steady incline. Then again from 8 to mile 11 before it heads downhill.  Eek. 

My bottom line for this race: Have fun. Enjoy the sights and don't worry about pace.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Years

Two years ago today I was just waking up on my wedding day.  I woke up sick and it was cold and rainy, but the best day of my life.  Illness, weather, none of it could have ruined our day.

I cannot believe how fast the past two years have flown by. It's been an amazing two years and we're ready for whatever the next 50 have to bring. I'm so lucky to have found the love of my life. I love him more every day. We spent the weekend celebrating and enjoying each other after Josh's work trip to England. I'm so glad he was home just in time to celebrate. Tonight we'll dance to our song, At Last by Etta James, just as we did two years ago. :-)

Happy Anniversary Lobster!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Working on It

I keep telling myself today is the day I give the trip updates, etc. but there are just not enough hours in the day lately.  Couple bullets before I get my butt in gear:

-Trip was great. Paris is awesome and super romantic. Would totally go back for a third time.  London eh, kind of like being in America. Didn't dislike it but didn't love it. High Tea was a big highlight.

-Training has gone down the drain. Still doing the Denver Half but it's going to be sloooooooow. That's ok I think I'll be running it for fun with Shanna and her friend from out of state. Ran 12 miles on Sunday...slow but then again I wasn't really trying.  Ankle currently hurting even with insoles.

-Saw awesome concert with Rache, Josh and her friend Amanda. Darius Ruckers and Brad Paisley put on an awesome show! Few tears when the Justin Moore sang a song called "Grandpa."

-Got a promotion at work. Yeay!

-PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!!!!  I can't believe it. Thanks to the sale of the Subaru and Josh's parents sending us a check for trip expenses I am now student loan free! Now we just have Josh's to contend with.

Little teasers for all of the update I need to do. I'm going to try to get them all done before Josh and I celebrate our 2nd anniversary this weekend (super excited for that!).