Sunday, December 1, 2013

Winter Storm, Turkey Day and the Challenge

So this week was going to be a challenge for sure. It's a holiday week!! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for reasons not shared by most. I am a very picky eater, so I do not eat Thanksgiving food. The holiday is special to me because of the traditions I grew up with. 

My hometown (Catasauqua, Pa) is also known as "Small Town USA". It is your stereotypical small town where your teachers taught your parents and most people stay for life. Even though I moved away about four years ago, my family and friends still live there and I try to go and visit a few times a year. 

Well, the Rough Riders are one of a handful of Pa. high school football teams that still play a Thanksgiving football game. Our rivals, the Northampton Konkrete Kids, are a school double our size and have pretty much dominated us for as long as I can remember. 

I remember being in the marching band in high school, freezing and exhausted, but loving every second of our Thanksgiving games. It was something I knew not everyone got to experience, and I felt lucky that I could. 

Last year I got the opportunity to go home for Thanksgiving and got to see a Rough Rider win on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2002! I also got to introduce my husband to the tradition, and it made me proud! 

It was awesome. I knew I wasn't going to get to go back this year, but thanks to social media, I felt like I was there! 

Let's start this week from the beginning, shall we?

On my run last Saturday I watched a cold front come in. I have been so busy I really didn't think much of it except a storm coming for a holiday. Well, by midday Monday, this storm had turned in to a full winter storm. A Winter Storm Warning was issued until Wednesday afternoon. Great. 

Tuesday I came home from work, after taking my famous rest day on Monday, and tackled a treadmill run. As I'm getting more comfortable with the treadmill, I have been upping my speed. I started "miracle" where I left off and started on my way. 

While I had some time, I figured I might as well work out my training for the rest of the week. With the storm in full swing and the holiday coming up, I knew four days of training would be best. 

I planned on doing four miles on Thanksgiving after we completed our travels. I didn't have to work early on Black Friday, so it shouldn't have been an issue. Alright, plan is set. 

Wake up Thanksgiving morning, make myself some coffee and instantly gravitate to twitter to get my football updates. Catty also had a state quarterfinal game on Saturday, but you knew the boys were going to give everything they had in this tradition. 

Let's just say, they won handedly! Thanksgiving has been saved once again from the grips of those stupid block heads! 

We went on our way to the double Thanksgivings and enjoyed the company. The only problem, I was exhausted. There was so much laughing and talking all I wanted to do when I got home was put on sweats and go to bed. 

New plan. Run some miles Friday before work. Great plan!

So Friday morning I work up around 7am and got my butt back on that treadmill. I made it two miles before I crawled back in bed. Ugh. This week is pretty awful. 

I had to return to work on Saturday morning, so I made sure I packed running clothes and went out afterwards. 

There were not a lot of people out running, and I wanted to just kinda - go. I tucked my watch inside one of my layers and didn't look at it. I was just going to let my body go. When I got back to my car I stopped my watch and looked at the average pace, 8:41. Holy crap! I thought I was going slow! 

I have reached the point in my training where my body pretty much thinks anything under 10 miles is a speed workout. Which is fine by me. 

With November ending, I always like to look at my totals compared to the month before. Even with being out of commission for a week, I still managed 84 miles. I'll take it! I feel great and motivated for the end of the year. 

I challenged my friends to a December Run Challenge. Pretty much, I wanted to be able to keep them motivated through a tough month and make a contest out of it. It's pretty easy. Post your mileage from the day. There will be two winners, one for overall distance covered in the month and the other for the best average distance throughout the month. 

I knew I was going to catch most of them off guard since it is close to marathon time! I was going to tackle 18 miles, which happens to be my longest run since my marathon in May. Worried, a little, but I was quite determined. 

The weather was perfect. Around 40 degrees and cloudy. I wanted a three-hour finish. Nice and manageable. I was one minute over! I'll take it! Started cramping a little in the last mile, but if that was the worst thing that happened, I am thrilled. 

Started December off great and pulled me closer to my year goal! I am now 64 miles away from 1,000!! I am so excited and so lucky to be able to be so close to this goal! 

I hope everyone has a great training week! Stay safe and stay healthy. Remember, stay noticeable in the dark and aware of your surrounding! 

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