Saturday, December 30, 2017

Number Crunching 2017 and Goals for 2018???

It's that time of year again!!!!  I love numbers and love seeing all the fun things I have done this year.  Let's dive in!

How many races in 2017?
I certainly scaled back this year thanks to running a spring and fall marathon and a spring and fall 50K.  This year I only did 9 races total:

2 x 26.2 Andrew Jackson and Chicago Marathon
2 x 50K Heartland 50 and The 6/12/24
2 x 13.1 The Bill Snyder Half and The Kansas City Half
3 x 5K Tails on the Trail, Run back to School, and The MHK Turkey Trot
0 10K as the only 10K i entered was downgraded to a 5K due to bad weather

Total miles?  Who ya asking?
I had some discrepancies in my Garmin data versus my Mapmyrun data. I do not run with Mapmyrun on, but my Garmin does download to it, which puzzles me slightly as to why it would be different. I do trust my Garmin connect data more, as I have not had near the issues with my Garmin 230 or my new Garmin 235 this year.  BONUS, just in time for treadmill season, my 235 logs treadmill miles on the watch.  BOOM.  If I take my Mapmyrun data, which would have all of my runs including my treadmill runs in it, I have 1341 miles.  If I take my Garmin data and add back the treadmill miles to it, I have 1323 miles.  Either way, I am officially under my goal of 1500 for the year, but over 1300 miles, which is more than I have ever run, so I will take it!!!!!

2017 Goals, Met or Not met?
In looking back in this post, I can see I really didn't have big goals for 2017.  I think the phrase I used was if you twisted my arm.......Here are the goals i had and how I graded myself:
  1. Get back to strength training on a regular basis:  I started out with an A+, but as I got closer to Chicago, I think my grade would fall to a D-.  I really, really wish I could fall in love with strength training like my coach and my running partner, but I just haven't and can't seem to.  I did like the shorter more concise work outs that my coach gave me this year, and I do a better job sticking to the plan when I am food journaling and trying to stick to a calorie level.  This will be a goal for 2018 for sure once again!
  2. Volunteer at more races.  I think I got this one met, so A++!!!!!  I volunteered for the Wicked Full, in which I stood in pouring rain for 8 straight hours at various spots directing runners.  I also volunteered for the Body First Speedy PD again, helping 10k runners go the right way.  I cheered at the top of the hill for the Konquer the Konza 10K and 25K, and I also became a Girls on the Run coach and helped with several practice 5Ks, as well as volunteered at the final 5K.  I also helped man an aid station at the Flint Hills 50/trail marathon, which inspired me to make this my goal race this spring!  This will always be a goal for me every year, to give back as much as i can to the community that gives me so much love!
  3. Enjoy Chicago.  Once again A++!!  While my hip kind of threw me for a loop and the heat of the day kind of kicked my ass, I was able to take in all of the sights and sounds of the wonderful city of Chicago on foot.  I am really glad we stayed an extra day and did more resting and more sight seeing than last time. I can't wait to go again in a few years.  Certainly will have to go for my 50th birthday, so we can celebrate 50 together!  Chicago is not my goal for 2018, as I didn't even enter the lottery this year, but it will always be a super special race to me and I will be back!
  4. Get back to trails.  Whelp, this one is a F for me.  I had all of these intentions of getting to Konza more and driving to new to me trails and even heading to KC for some group runs. Nope.  Pretty much none of that happened.  I was more focused on getting as many runs in with my dogs as possible, and since Konza doesn't allow dogs, that just didn't fit into my plans.  I found out after I had entered the 10 miler with the Trail Nerds that the GOTR 5K was the same day, so gave that entry to my good friend Lindsey.  My only real trail like run was Tails on the Trail.  I will probably run KTK 25K this year, so no excuses not to hit the trails again.
  5. Final goal was to get Stella back to health and back to running if at all possible.  I would say that I got an A++ on this one as well!  Not only is she back to training, we have had no lingering issues, and she is off of all medications period (knocking on every piece of wood out there)!!!!  I didn't think we would get to this point honestly, I thought maybe we would be healthy and still on some sort of drugs, but not running, but she has exceeded my expectations 100 fold!  We are blessed for sure!

2018 Goals, What are you thinking?
  1. Of course as always, consistent strength training and cross training is always top of the list.  I know that the year will start out good because I have incentive to do strength training because more training time = more calories I get to eat in a day:)
  2. Do a Trail Marathon.  I guess I have done enough road marathons that it is time to shake it up.  While this one is more like gravel roads and some trail like terrain and not true technical trail, I think it will be fun to try something new.  I am hoping this will be Stella's first marathon as well, if the weather allows her to be with me.  
  3. Pace more races.  I am so excited to be a pacer!  I already have been assigned two races for the spring, the Liberty Hospital Half in Kansas City as well as the Bill Snyder in Manhattan.  I really, really enjoyed my first gig, and can't wait to do more!  I had put my name in the hat for several this spring, so here is to hoping that maybe I get a few more if people need to drop out.
  4. To stay on top of my Prehab/rehab exercises.  I have had the pleasure of working with a top notch chiro/sports medicine doctor that has helped me really figure out why my body does the stupid stuff it does.  He has given me a laundry list of things to do, so along with the exercises I still do from the master of pain at Body First, I have quite a few exercises that I need to make my top priority to stay injury free.  That, and strength training on a regular basis need to be the most important things I stick with in 2018, especially if I do find a 50 miler to do in the fall.
  5. Do as many dog friendly races as I can, so Stella and possibly deuce get to run a race.  I had planned on hitting up the dog friendly race in Omaha, so that Stella and I could do our first trail half marathon, but it conflicts with the Bill Snyder race that I am pacing.  Bummer.  We try and always do Tails on the Trail in Topeka, and we usually enter Tails and Trails here in Manhattan, even if we don't run it, to lend support to our local shelters/rescue groups.  As always, Trail Nerds races are dog friendly, so maybe we will do a February race, if the weather allows us to drive to KC, and of course the trail marathon I am running, and the Run back to School in august if weather permits.  
  6. Try again for the big ambassador programs.  Bibrave and Another Mother Runner, I am looking at you!  Enough said!
  7. Run a fall ultra.  The distance is still up in the air.  Leaning towards 50 if I can find a late fall/early winter race.  

Okay, there you have it!  I finally got some goals on paper.  I may have to do mid year goals because honestly, I really don't know what i am doing this fall.  Notice I am not doing anything with speed.  I have enjoyed not really doing hardcore speed work this last year.  One day a week and not having it during my long runs is A-Okay with me.  My running partner is going after some speed goals and I know she is going to crush it this year!  I like PRs just being a surprise at this point, like the 5K I did in November LOL!  

Have a great 2018 and crush whatever goals you have in mind!!  I know you can do it!!!!  Let's keep each other accountable!

Friday, December 29, 2017

January Runfessions

This month has flow by!  I am trying to get better about my runfessions so here goes!  I started the month out with some Shiner Cheer but this year, all of the stores have sold out in Wamego, so I have been hitting up some Buffalo Sweat with Vanilla Beans.  Grab your favorite poison and cuddle up for some Michelle therapy time, but warning, lots of poop talk and emojis are headed your way :)

Not hitting my goal mileage:
I had set a goal to get 1500 miles for the year. I thought it was doable but once again, any time I set a hard and fast goal, my body goes F U lady! 

While my hip is much better, it still isn't 100 percent, even with the rest I have put in. FULL disclosure, I haven't been doing my PT like I should.  Bad me.  I have been in a recovery, lazy, eat all the things, and rest rest rest mode. Plus, several of the exercises require me to be down on my hands and knees and with my knee one big mess of scabs, thanks to my fall, doing anything in that position is a hell to the no.  I am happy with how far I got.  As of writing this, I should end up the year with about ~1290 miles.  Should I go for that extra 10 to make it an even 1300???  We shall see!  Honestly, there are probably some treadmill miles in there my watch didn't get so I am probably at 1300, it just isn't official :)

This doesn't have my 15 miles I need to run this weekend. Should I go for it???
Harley the eldest:
Harley will be 15 this year, and while he is mobile and seems to be happy eating and playing in the backyard, he has a weird and nasty pattern that he has started. 

I think he gets up around 4 am, which is about the time I got up in the summer to get ready to run, and poops and then paces in it till I get up which right now is around 4:30 till 6:30 depending on the run schedule.  I need to just get up at the same time every morning to feed and let the dogs out but once again, I am going through a lazy stage.  By the time he paces in it for a while, the poop basically turns to concrete and is impossible to get off of the hard wood.  Let's just say I go through lots of mop heads and Clorox wipes. 

I know he can't help it, but I would like to start one day off without gagging due to cleaning up poop first thing in the morning.  We have tried corralling him in a smaller area, but all that does is create a poop covered Harley because he has less area to pace. 

Andrew's tummy issues:
What a roller coaster we have been on with this issue.  Long story short, we couldn't tell if he was making himself sick to avoid something at school or truly had a problem.  It is still hard to have a serious conversation with a 5 year old about what is really hurting and what is going wrong.  We food journaled, we cut certain foods out (which is always fun when your kid is a picky eater anyway), and we tried some OTC stuff.  God bless Andrew's teachers for helping me work through this issue, and not just sending him home from school every time he complained of tummy issues. We visited the Dr and they were just as puzzled as we were, so we are going to try some probiotics, some liquid Zantac, and cutting out some foods.  Of course he just got yet another 12 hour stomach virus, but he has rebounded much quicker this time, probably thanks to the wonderful probiotics we are both taking (thanks SmartyPants probiotics).  While we are talking about Probiotics, I should say that "knock on wood", my tummy issues during the run and post running have been much better. 

Still having some problems and hoping that when my runs get longer that the runs don't come back, but with the help of the probiotics, I think we are ALL getting better!  Huge shout out to SmartyPants!!!!

Can't seem to think of some goals for 2018:
I am really stuck on this one. I can't think of any great wonderful amazing goals for 2018.  I like doing marathons and 50Ks and would like to do a 50 miler, but just can't seem to find a race that I really, really want to do.  I need a late fall or early winter race, since i can not do heat at all.  I do need to get back to my food journaling, as I have gained back all of the weight I previously lost, but I had planned on doing that post holidays anyway, so not really a goal.  I guess I will just keep thinking on it.  A half marathon PR is always in the back of my mind but when it gets hot and I am dying doing speedwork I swear off speed goals.  I looked back at my goals for last year and will probably do a more detailed post with some number crunching, but I guess the last two years have been really loose with regards to goals!

Okay I think that is enough talk about poop, both dog and human!  Hoping for you a great start to 2018 and stay warm this January! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Week 1 of 18: Flint Hill's Trail Marathon Training

Time to start training already?  WOW, this recovery time has flown by.  I had hoped all my aches and pains would be magically fixed by now.  I took time off, stretched (but not enough), rested, and took my mileage easy, but I guess I am just at that point where pains and niggles will be with me.  I know how to keep them at bay, so there is that.  That is one good thing about having almost every injury known to man.

Monday:  Rest day.  Whoa, after a day off that was unintentional (thanks low grade fever), I was seriously contemplating running.  Then the fact that I still wasn't over whatever this was hit me, and instead I took it easy for the rest of the night.

Tuesday:  3, 2, 1 ladder.  My coach gave me pace goals for each segment, but I decided to run by feel instead and see where I hit.  Other than the middle 3 and 2 being similar, I am pretty happy with this effort.  The goal of this run at least in my mind was to make the 3 minute segment comfortably hard, the 2 minute segment hard, and the 1 minute segment really hard.

Also, this was the last day of school for Andrew for Christmas break.  I had planned on taking the week from Christmas to New Years off, with the rest of this week being bring your kid to work week.  I so LOVE the Pintrest moms in andrew's class.  They bring their A game, and I am taking lots of pictures and asking lots of questions.  Too bad Mrs Hyvee makes the best sugar cookies with the prettiest designs.  They even had snowflakes that looked like the came from the movie Frozen, which the little girls LOVED.

Maybe one day I will be brave enough to make something for my kiddo's class.  OR I could just do something like these!


These were great ideas (NO COOKING) and the kids loved it!

Post parties we had to wrangle all of these kiddos into one big blob to take wrestling pictures.  Talk about herding cats.  Wow.  These three together crack me up.  I think they are going to be trouble for sure!

Wednesday:  Cross and Strength.  I did strength!  I may not be doing it after my hard work outs like my coach wants me to, but I am getting it done and that is all that matters.

Post working, our lab that is left headed over to the Christmas tree at the Blue Earth Plaza in Manhattan.  I so love my boss.  She may not have kids of her own, but she adopts Andrew and treats him like one of her own.  How many University Distinguished Professors do you see acting like Cindy Lou Who?
Okay I love these glasses that make the lights look different.  This one is reindeer glasses
Thursday:  4 easy.  Does anyone else love seeing all the Christmas lights on their runs?  Right now it is my favorite part of running.  We always end in the park and it really is like a winter wonderland, minus the snow.  I always put on Pandora rocking Christmas so that we get some Christmas cheer as well.  I am one of those weirdos that can't get enough Christmas music and have to really hold off till after Thanksgiving.

Thursday was the dreaded day of the root canal, possibly two. I think I was the most nervous because I have never had one and had no clue what to expect for my kiddo.  The pediatric dentist that we go to is AMAZING!  Unfortunately, we will have to go back for more, but at least the worst two teeth are fixed now and he ended up only needing one root canal total.  He calls the silver tooth his lightning mcqueen tooth and I have no clue why.  I think it is his inside joke with his dentist.  

103 degree fever.  No fun:(
Friday:  Unintentional rest day.  Oh boy.  So around 9 pm thursday night, little man started complaining that his tummy was hurting.  At first I thought it was a ruse to get more computer time, because he loves playing Roblox that much that he would play on my sympathies.  Anyway, shortly after everyone went to bed, the puking started. I had wisely decided we needed to stay downstairs so that any possible puke would be easy to clean up, and of course, just like any good dog or cat, he puked all over the floor and missed the garbage can and toilet.  Yeah for hardwood floor!  After that, he got pretty good at puking in the garbage can, but he just keep waking up and puking and waking up and puking.  I know we got some sleep, but nothing good and long, and I had to launder some blankets a few times and dig some new ones out to replace the pukey ones.  Then he started complaining of tummy pain and crying.  I have been told conflicting information on pepto, so was super reluctant to give him any, but he wanted some and I just wanted him to be out of pain.  He and I then got a chunk of sleep before his fever started kicking in and he woke up.  I finally started drinking coffee in hopes of being a human being for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, he spiked a high fever and kept it most of the day, which led to much resting that was good, but also just feeling horrible, which is bad.  

Lucky for us, Grandma was in town, so we got to slip away for a quick 12th anniversary date.  Our actual anniversary was on the 21st (and i put it on FB so it will remind me next year because i am forgetful classy like that).  We hit Bourbon and Baker for some small plate goodness and some exquisite dessert, and then hit up my favorite coffee joint for some after dinner coffee.  I figured it would be a long night again, so I hoped the late coffee would keep me going.    We also hit up the store for some Tylenol, so we could stack some Advil and Tylenol to help little man feel better.  I had planned that if he woke up not feeling well again Saturday, that we were headed to the walk in clinic in Wamego.  Even though I was pretty sure it was a stomach virus, I was a little concerned about him not staying hydrated enough, and then the fever compounding the issue with him sweating out anything he was gaining.  

Found this cute little paint it yourself ornament at the Dollar Store!
Saturday:  5 miles with strides.  With much hope for some sleep and also with not the best dinner for running on board, I had switched my easy run and long run days around.  I didn't know how much sleep I would be getting, since Andrew was still not feeling great.  Lucky for me, the stacking worked and he slept all night only waking up to ask for a water a couple of times.  His fever broke in the middle of the night, and I was so glad that he woke feeling much better.  I was really worried that the coffee I drank Friday night would keep me up, but I was asleep by 9:30, no problems.  Took both dogs on the run as they love strides.  

Then I brought them home and tortured them.  They got lots of cheese for me torturing them, don't worry:) 

Pretty sure Stella is going to murder me in my sleep for this!

Sunday:  Long run day and SNOW!  10 miles in the snow, which was probably only about 1 inch, but GORGEOUS!  The wind however was pretty brutal and was from the north/northwest, which meant pretty much my entire run home was in wind.  The only part of me that was really uncomfortably cold was my hands.  I guess I needed a second layer on my hands, even though I had hot hands in my gloves.  I was pretty worn out and ready for food when I got done.  Running in and on snow is hard work!  Especially in town where the sun had turned it to mushy slicky stuff.  

Post running, we got to celebrating!  Instead of a big Christmas lunch like normal, we decided to try a non traditional meal on Christmas Eve night.  My wonderful hubby took a nice big beef roast, stuffed it with spinach and cheese, tied it up, and grilled it to perfection.  We opened presents from the Colemans and tried to get little red to go to sleep so Santa could come.  We may or may not have had a few libations since Monday was a day off for all of us. 

Hope you have a great Christmas and Holiday week!  This will be the first year I take the entire week off like the rest of KSU, so I am going to enjoy it!!! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Guest Blogger: My year of running with da momma or How I became a runner dog

Hey Y'all, Deuce the aussie here!  Mom thought it would be fun if I Deuce (captain booberry) stepped in today and gave you a recap of running from my side.  This year has been one of ups and downs for my four legged family.

2016 was the year of Stella having IMPA and 2017 was the year of her coming back and me stepping up to the sport I now love, RUNNING!

We started off the year watching Stella become naked as the drug combination of Azathioprine and Prednisone made her loose all of her hair, just like a cancer patient.  I kind of made fun of her a few times, but I was secretly jealous as I have SO.MUCH.HAIR.

Mommy even had to start handling her drugs with gloves to protect her immune system.  It's a blessing that through my mom doing research and her Dr's at KSU relentlessly worrying about her that they found this magical combination of imunosuppressors to get her back on the mend.

In March, Stella started back with 30 minute walks.  Boy was I GLAD she was back doing something active!  She sure did give me a guilt trip every time I came home post running.  She would always remind me that that was HER mommy and HER running partner, but guess what, I was here first naughty girl!

Mom and I were training for yet another marathon. Stella trained mom to the 2015 Chicago marathon, so it was my turn to train her for the 2017 Andrew Jackson Marathon.  Mom also traveled to Tennessee without either of us, which made us sad, but I did enjoy an Andrew free week with my daddy.

In April,  Stella got to start adding mileage and running back to her schedule.  Mom had this 50K thing coming up, and while I wanted to go with her, they didn't allow dogs. Kind of glad she didn't take me with as it stormed and rained and was horrible the whole 32 miles (yes and it even was longer than a 50K).

We took some time off to let mom recover, but then got back to it.  Mom got into Chicago again, so we had to make sure she was ready to rock it!  While I still am not a huge fan of speed work, I have incorporated it into my running routine.  Mom thought about cutting me back on miles once stella got back up to her normal mileage, but she could tell I was enjoying running so much that she couldn't do it!

We even ran most of the summer thanks to getting up at 4 am or even earlier.  YAWN!

Mom also carried lots of water for us and got these nice new little pop up bowls for us to use for drinking.  

Mom also bought us Andrew a kiddy pool to play in and we he took full advantage of it post running.  Mom was not only doing the Chicago marathon, but also this thing called a timed run where she had to complete so many loops in a 6 hour time period.  Since loops are a little hard mentally on the momma, we all helped out by doing our long runs as loops instead of one big run.  This also gave us some one on one time with the momma.

Mommy took Stella to a 5K in august.  She said I couldn't go even though I wanted to.  Mommy said that I like peoples too much and that would be hard for me to race with the peoples and not kill the momma.  Whatever.  

Stella actually got to do 3 races with the momma.  Three 5 Ks and she even pulled momma to a PR on one of them. While I use to be the sprinter of the family, thanks to my super jets in agility, I prefer now to do LSD over fast.  Funny how I figured out the game and the goal.

 I did however get to show the little man how to do my old favorite sport, dog agility.  He has so much to learn to keep up with me!  Maybe Stella can be his agility partner, because I am just too fast for his little brain to learn with!

We love da momma we just don't love set up selfies :).  Probably why the momma takes pictures while we are running.

 I always look like I have been beaten in these pictures, but I swear da momma never does stuff like that!  Mommy not only completed her second Chicago marathon (3rd marathon overall) but also her timed event.  She didn't make her time goals for either, thanks to heat in Chicago and cold and rain in the Wichita, but she did get a huge PR for her 50K time!

I like to think I was a part of that and we all celebrated!

I do love the fact that Andrew is learning more about dog training and how to work with both me and Stella.  We appreciate him being gentle and not getting so excited about everything involving us.  I still need to learn how to not be a shark when taking treats from the kiddo.  

Running wears me out but in a good way.  Maybe some day I can learn not to love all the peoples and I could maybe do a race with the momma!  I have really enjoyed stepping up and keeping mom safe during her runs and have really learned to love running like my crazy sis.  I can't believe I did my first 20 miler this year and can't wait to see what all we do in 2018!!!!

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!  We at the Red Aussie Crew will still continue to #runyouraussoff!

Monday, December 18, 2017

A year in pictures: Andrew 2017

I loved doing this last year, so I thought I would do it again for 2017!  Big changes this year so enjoy!

Our favorite coffee shop Arrow.  Kid coffee here (hot chocolate) is the bomb here!

First wrestling tournament as a Wamego Red Raider.  Fourth place in our bracket due to all pins, but no tears!


Our first IMAX movie.  Lego Batman.  We all gave it two thumbs up!

Our first time with the Flu
Last wrestling tournament.  Finally got some points!  
A trip to the zoo to see a real baby giraffe after waiting and watching one be born on the computer

and a trip to TN to watch mommy run another marathon and help Grandaddy at the shop
Blue Icees are the bomb!

Pickachu at the Tulip Festival
Deep in thought

Preschool Graduation:  Bittersweet!
Fist time at Gooney Golf
Arrow Coffee for the win

Hanging out at the KSU gardens


First Mud run at the Children's Discovery Center, Topeka

Day at the Thomas 2017

Birthday Party at Catt's Gymnastics with friends

Cars 3 with daddy!

Summer Haircut time!
First Day camp!  Camp Invention 2017

First 4th of July Parade: Walking for the Wamego Wrestling Club

First time at Widgets in Manhattan

Met Pete the Cat at the Toy Store in Topeka KS

Riding the carousel at the Topeka Mall

Helping mommy at work
Kindergarten Round up

First day of kindergarten.  Tears but overall pretty good.

Racing at the Back to School 5K


Walking to school together


Huff and Puff Festival 2017 Topeka KS

LegoLand, KC

My little minion kindergartner
Another year of soccer.  Go Silver Sharks!

A little Varsity Donut Love

Cheering on the KSU Women's Soccer team.  GO lady Cats!

Pumpkin Patch Annual picture
Really enjoying having art classes at school!

Besties again

School pictures

Halloween!  Who are you going to call???


My little red head

My two reds
Annual cutting of the curls for wrestling
I love you tiny human!

My little Elf

Matching Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I would love a Thomas Super Station, please :)

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!