Friday Free-For-All – 10/20/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

We’re off to Toronto! Both Ben and I are off from work, and we’re headed to Toronto for a long weekend. This is our first “just us” trip pretty much since we’ve been together, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re driving there and back, which is a long trip, but with music and snacks, it should be great. We’re no strangers to long car rides together. We’ve got some ideas of what we’d like to do, but no firm itinerary. Mostly, our priority is just to spend time together. Stay tuned for a recap next week!

House hunting has stalled a bit. The combination of our realtor being out of town plus the market starting to slow down has meant that we didn’t see any houses this week. Booooo. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but unfortunately there’s not much we can do about it. Hopefully when Jill is back in town next week we’ll get back into the swing of things.

Halloween is coming and I haven’t a thing to wear. I feel like I’m in this predicament every year. Halloween always sneaks up on me and I end up wearing some really lame, thrown together thing. Of course, we haven’t even been invited to any parties yet, so it doesn’t really matter that much, but it’s the principal of the thing. I love Halloween, and aspire to be one of those people who always has a kickass costume. *sigh* Maybe someday…

I was reminded this week how freaking delicious chai tea is. My coworker gave me a tea bag and I added some honey and a bit of milk and OMG HEAVEN. Honestly, it was the best thing I’ve drank in ages. So you best believe I went out and bought myself some and it will be my afternoon drink of choice from now on.

TARGET IS COMING TO VERMONT. You guys, I don’t have enough words to express how exciting this is. For years, I have been living in a Target desert. Litereally, Vermont is the only state in the US that doesn’t have one. The closest one was an hour and a half plus a ferry ride away in upstate NY. Now there will be one within striking distance of my office. SQUEEEEEEEEEE.

Are you Target-obsessed like me?

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Weekend Update – Friends and Family

Hi friends! Since I’m no longer training for anything in particular, training logs are out, and Weekend Update is in!

Friday
Friday was a bit of a whirlwind. I ended up leaving work early to go look at a house with Ben (another big fat “no”), then met my friend Stacy at Burlington Bay Market for dinner before seeing the show. We ended up getting creemees and a bottle of whiskey (for after the show) as well 🙂

Ripcord was AWESOME. Laugh out loud funny and poignant too. The cast was phenomenal and the direction by our friend Abbie was spot-on. After the show, we headed to our accommodations for the evening: the Starlight Inn. It’s a delightful little motel that is Hollywood themed, and we stayed in the Elvis Presley room. So fun!

Photo Oct 14, 8 10 33 AM

Saturday
After a late night of laughing, talking, and drinking, we were up relatively early for breakfast at the Guilty Plate Diner right across the street. I had the most delicious breakfast burrito I’ve ever had, and then we parted ways.

I headed home to quickly re-pack my overnight bag for a trip to my parents’ house, and Ben and I were on the road by 10:30 am. We arrived in Quechee right around noon, and commenced a super lazy weekend. We had unseasonably warm weather this weekend, so we spent a lot of time lounging on the deck, talking and eating snacks.

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My dad made a heavenly dinner of pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, and a cheesy, spicy corn dish. We stuffed ourselves, then watched playoff baseball until I called it an early night around 9:30.

Sunday
I slept for almost 12 hours, which I needed after Friday night’s exertions. Dad whipped up a big breakfast, and then he and mom went off to a couple of yard sales, while Ben and I made a quick trip to the NH Liqour Outlet (no taxes!), then went for a long walk around the neighborhood.

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My folks were home by the time we got back, and we had another lazy afternoon of football watching and snack eating. Dad made an early dinner of grilled burgers with potato chips, and then Ben and I headed for home.

We unpacked all our stuff, watched one episode of a TV show, and were in bed by 10. Perfection.

Have you ever stayed at a themed hotel (other than Disney)?

Friday Free-For-All – 10/13/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I am officially on the #pumpkineverything bandwagon. Usually, I just stick to tried and true items like the PSL, but I’m branching out this year. So far, the clear winner is the Pumpkin Spice Rx Bar (so delicious!), and the loser is Burt’s Bees Pumpkin Spice lip balm. It smells more like chai and has a terrible aftertaste. I still want to try the pumpkin spice Cheerios too.

I’m having a sleepover tonight! My friend Stacy and I are going to see the show that our friend Abbie directed, and then we’re having a grown-up sleepover at a hotel. Whee! I’m excited to see my friends and have an all-night ladies night. This week at work has been pretty rough and I need to unwind a bit.

We’re going to see my folks this weekend. Once again, it’s been longer than I’d like to admit since we’ve headed down to see them. Unfortunately, mom has to work on Sunday, and we aren’t arriving until midday Saturday, so it’s a somewhat abbreviated visit. Still, it’s the first weekend we’ve had/will have free for a bit, so it was now or never. I’m looking forward to just relaxing and spending time with the fam.

Workout motivation is super low right now. I worked out once last week, and twice this week. I bring my gym bag with me to work every day, and when the time comes to go to class or go for a run, I just put my poor, neglected gym bag back in the car and go home. Blame it on what you will–the time of year, post-race blues, my insatiable desire to watch Netflix and knit–it’s a thing, and I’m not worried about it. Motivation ebbs and flows, and after finally hitting my half marathon PR goal, I don’t have anything driving me.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Weekend Update – Changing Things Up

Since I’m no longer training for anything specific, I figure that Manic Monday training recaps aren’t really relevant. This is especially true considering that last week the only workout I did was one 5k run. I was pretty freaking sedentary. Because I felt like it. And that’s A-OK.

With that in mind, I will likely return to posting a “Weekend Update” on Mondays instead. I enjoyed writing these little posts this spring while I was busy with 9 to 5 and not running much.

It will be safe for you to assume that I’m trying to hit CF 2-3 times a week, and probably not running very much. This time of year I always fall into a much more sedentary lifestyle. After a busy spring and summer of rehearsals, shows, and half marathon training, I’m ready to take a big old step back and just relax. With that said, here’s Weekend Update!

Friday
I skipped CrossFit and ran a couple of errands before going home. Ben had a broom ball game, but I was able to hang out with him a bit before he left. I had supper with my in-laws and then had a quiet evening watching Lost on Netflix and knitting.

Saturday
We were up relatively early to go look at another house. This was by far the best house we’ve seen, but not so great that we were ready to make moves. It’s already got two offers in, and needs a few significant (and costly) repairs, so we’re taking a “wait and see” approach. If the seller accepts one of the pending offers, no worries. If both offers expire, we might be ready to take next steps.

After that, I spend the rest of the morning getting caught up on laundry and cleaning/organizing around the house. Despite my best intentions, most cleaning stuff just gets pushed off onto the weekends.

I wrapped up my productivity around 1 pm and spent the rest of the day just binge-watching Lost and knitting. I have been a knitting MACHINE lately. It’s very relaxing to do while watching TV.

We had supper with my in-laws and hung out for a a few hours. While I went to bed at the responsible (and boring) hour of 10, Ben and his folks stayed up late, listening to music and talking.

Sunday
Sunday morning was MUCH more leisurely. We all had a nice sleep-in until the dogs starting whining around 9:30. My father in law made us heavenly omelets and biscuits from scratch. I inhaled my omelet before I could snap a photo, but here’s a biscuit shot:

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It was a gray, rainy morning, so I just loafed around for a while, trying to decide what to do with my day. It cleared up around noon and Ben left to go play Frisbee golf with friends, and I headed into Williston to buy more knitting supplies with some AC Moore coupons.

After a quick trip, I was home and once again knitting and Netflix-ing. For a while I felt guilty about not doing something more active or productive, but ultimately decided that I’m overdue on rest and relaxation so I just went with it.

When Ben got back from Frolf, we headed over to Cambridge for a quick visit with our friends Nick and Nikki. They’re our friends who evacuated from St. John after Hurricane Irma. While the circumstances suck, it’s been really nice having them so close again. We sat on Nick’s mom’s deck and chatted and had some snacks until their supper was ready, and we went home for our own supper, then more Netflix and bedtime.

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The view from the deck

All in all, it was a super lazy weekend, and I’m pretty happy about it. We’re traveling the next two weekends in a row, so it was great to just be home and relax.

Anybody else have a lazy weekend like me?

Friday Free-For-All – 10/06/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

We’ve been looking at houses. Yay! It’s still early times, but I figure, the more stuff we look at, the more it will help us zero in on what’s important to us, what we really want vs what we don’t want, and ultimately help us find “our” house. Unfortunately, due to the rapid pace of real estate turn-around here, cramming in viewings is messing with my schedule. Stuff keeps coming up last minute, or we can only see things on a weeknight, so I’ve been having trouble making it to CrossFit/running. It sucks, but since finding a house is really important to us, it is what it is.

I’m trying to break the “snooze” cycle. I’ve written about this before, but I have a huge problem with hitting the snooze button multiple times each morning, or resetting my alarm for a later time after it goes off. This leads to feeling drowsy all morning, and from everything I’ve read, is generally bad for one’s sleep cycle. To combat this, I’ve started leaving my phone on the desk across the room, so I HAVE to get up to turn it off. Not only that, but I turn the lights on immediately, which forces me to open my eyes and wake up. I started this on Wednesday morning, and so far, the results have been great. I wake up a lot faster in the mornings, and generally feel more energized. Fingers crossed the trend continues!

Work is gonna be CRAZY next week. Not only is it our quarterly reporting time, which is always my busiest two weeks each quarter, but my colleague is out and I’m covering all her work in addition to my own. Eek! I’ve written before about how this can be very challenging. She’s been with the company for 20 years and knows everything backwards and forwards, whereas I’ve only been with the company 3 years and only cover for her a couple of times a year. Inevitably, some weird and wonky thing comes up that has me scrambling. Fingers crossed that this week is relatively smooth.

Happy Friday!

 

Race Recap: Leaf Peepers Half Marathon 2017

What | Where |When: Leaf Peepers Half Marathon | Waterbury, VT | October 1, 2017

Weather: 50’s at the start, mid 60’s at the end. Breezy and sunny.

Pre-Race
I got up around 8, chugged some water, made eggs and toast, and got myself ready. The drive to Waterbury is about 35-40 minutes from my house, so I left around 9:30. I stopped for some iced coffee on the way, and continued to sip water as I drove.

Parking was well-marked and very easy. Also relatively close to the start/finish, which ended up being beneficial, as I went back and forth several times, forgetting stuff, fussing with my gear etc.

Getting my bib was super easy, and all runners also got a jar of Bove’s pasta sauce. I passed, as I didn’t feel like going back to my car again. As I was pinning my bib, I ran into my friend Jennifer, who was running the 5k. It was nice to see her, and she introduced me to a few women who were also running the half, who I ended up running near for quite a while during the middle miles of the race.

I used the potties a couple of times and did some dynamic stretching to warm up. The race started exactly on time at 11 am.

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Miles 1-3 (10:24, 11:15, 13:58)
These were without a doubt the hardest miles of the race. I had seen the elevation profile, and knew that the first three miles had a huge elevation gain, but knowing and seeing are two VERY different things. I ended up walking most of mile three because the hill was just.so.steep and LOOOOOONG. It was super demoralizing. When mile 3 beeped and I saw 13:48 on my Garmin, I pretty much figured my PR attempt was shot, but was determined to keep trying anyway.

Miles 4-8 (9:54, 9:27, 9:41, 10:32, 10:10)
These miles were largely downhill or flat, and I was able to significantly pick up the pace. Any time there was a downhill, I just opened up and let fly. I have long legs and strong quads, so downhills don’t really bother me at all. Around this time I passed Jennifer’s three friends, and we all shared a laugh at how freaking terrible the early hills had been.

I took my first package of sport beans at mile 4, and my second just after the turnaround at mile 8. I sipped water every mile, and felt very well hydrated and fueled the whole time. I wished fervently around mile 6 that I had paid more attention to the course map, because I kept getting faked out thinking “The turnaround MUST be soon,” but it was a lot later than I expected and I got a little frustrated with not knowing where I was.

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Miles 9-13.1 (9:36, 9:25, 9:31, 10:10, 9:12, 7:49)
After the turnaround, I knew that most of the remaining miles were downhill, so I just kept reminding myself that after the first three miles, anything else was easy. I started passing people at this point, which is unusual for me, but I just wanted to be done. I was fairly certain now that a PR was within reach, and I was determined not to somehow mess it up by getting hurt or blowing up.

Just after mile 11 beeped on my Garmin, I realized that I was about to head up another giant hill. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen this pop up on my stories:

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I think that pretty accurately sums up how I felt in that moment. Mile 12 took us out on to a dirt/grass trail that had a few very narrow sections. I got stuck briefly behind a girl, but managed to pass her when the trail opened up a bit.

Mile 13 connected back with our original “out” section, and was almost all downhill, which is likely why it was my fastest mile of the entire race. One of the things I really loved about this race is that they announce your name as you come into the finish. I sprinted across as they announced my name and knew that I had a PR in the bag.

Post-Race
My official time was 2:14:43, which is over three minutes under my old PR of 2:18:06, and I was ELATED. And also exhausted, sore, and hungry. I grabbed half a banana, some cheese, and a bagel, and hobbled over to some grass to stretch out.

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They started the awards ceremony shortly after I finished. They do a “King and Queen of the Hill” contest for the first man and woman to conquer the beastly hills at the beginning, as well as the usual age group and overall winners. As I was stretching on the grass, the most glorious thing happened. A woman approached me and asked if I wanted a gift certificate for a free pair of Saucony shoes. Apparently she had won it as part of an age group, but she wasn’t from the area and knew she wouldn’t use it. Score! The certificate is to a running/outdoor store that I’ve never been to, so I’m curious to see how their fitting process differs from Fleet Feet, and hopefully get some sweet new shoes.

Overall
This course was TOUGH, but beautiful, with great support.

Pros:
– 11 am start
– Cheap registration ($35 plus fees)
– Ample parking near start/finish
– Great on-course support, well marked route, plenty of food post-race

Cons:
– HILLS
– No bling! I somehow didn’t realize this prior to signing up. Maybe that’s why registration is so cheap?
– Shirts cost extra, are cotton

Would you run a half marathon that didn’t give out medals?

September 2017 Wrap Up

CrossFit
While I didn’t get to CrossFit as much as I could have liked in September, I still made it to class at least twice a week most weeks, which is my self-imposed bare minimum. Would I like to be going three times a week? Of course. But in trying to keep up with both running and CF, and still trying to have at least one full rest day a week, there’s only so much I can do.

I’m strongly considering upping my CF membership to an unlimited monthly membership, rather than just my 12 classes per month. This would allow me to hit CF every weekday (or even 6 days a week if I wanted), and would only cost me $30 more each month. I still have some goals I’d like to achieve, and getting to class more consistently seems like the best way to get there. However, considering I rarely make it even three times a week, I’m not sure that the unlimited membership is the solution. It’s easy to say that spending more money is a motivator to get to class, but it’s already not working with the 12 classes per month, so…

Running
This month was the best running month I’ve had in quite a while. I did two double-digit long runs, some speed work, AND registered for my first “for time” half marathon in ages. I completed 7 runs for a total of 44 miles.

After having such a great month, I wish I could say that the momentum will continue, but I honestly doubt it. Now that I’m no longer training for a half, and as the weather here in Vermont gets ever colder and darker, I will probably back off on running a bit. I recently cancelled my Planet Fitness membership because I hadn’t gone in over nine months, which means that I no longer have access to a treadmill. That said, I’ll try to cram in some lunchtime or after work runs while the weather allows, but I’m not holding out hope for anymore high mileage until spring.

Theatre
I am still thoroughly enjoying NOT being involved in a show. I’ve had a couple of temptations pop up recently, both of the onstage and behind-the-scenes variety, but I’ve managed to stay strong and remember that I truly need a break. Not having rehearsals three or four nights a week means that getting in my runs and CrossFit workouts is easier than ever, and I still get to come home for supper, or see my friends, or do fun stuff with Ben.

Instead of being onstage, I have been trying really hard to SEE more shows. Ben and I road-tripped to Massachusetts earlier this month to see Company at Barrington Stage, starring Aaron Tveit of much Broadway acclaim. It was an excellent show, and well worth the whirlwind trip. I also have tickets to see Lyric’s production of A Christmas Story, a play my friend is directing, a cabaret-style show starring a bunch of my Lyric friends, and I’m looking at tickets for several other upcoming productions as well. I figure, if I can’t be on stage, seeing theatre is a great way to still feed my passion. I subscribe to the idea that, much like if you want to be a writer, you must read, if you want to be an actor, you must see shows.

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Aaron Tveit signing autographs after Company

Highlight
We have officially kicked off house hunting! We have an application in to get pre-approved for a mortgage, and have secured the services of a buyer’s realtor, so now begins the real work–actually finding a house. EEEEEEEK!

Lowlight
United Way campaign week kicked my ass. I ate like a garbage can, slept poorly, and was generally super stressed out for an entire week. I am SO GLAD that it’s over. AND, I found out that I’ve been granted a reprieve, and will not have to be on the committee next year. I am intensely grateful to have a break after four straight years.

September Goals
As a refresher, my goals for September were:

  • Go to CF 12 times (the max allowed with my membership) – no excuses!–no
  • Complete a 10+ mile long run–yes!
  • Plan a long weekend trip with Ben–yes!

I was somewhat disappointed in my CrossFit showing this month, as stated above. Still, though, I hit all of my other goals, so I can’t be too upset about it.

October Goals

  • Make house-hunting a priority
  • Complete at least one item on my “long term” to-do list at work
  • Go to CrossFit at least 2x per week

Did you have any goals for September? How’d you do?

 

Manic Monday – 10/02/17

Manic Monday

Leaf Peepers Half Marathon Training
What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 09/25/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
We started with a strength WOD of 5 x 5 push presses, then did 5 rounds of 5 deadlifts, 5 front squats, 5 thrusters, and 5 push presses. I finished well under the time cap and promptly collapsed on the floor, haha. I hate to complain about the weather but it has been unseasonably hot lately!

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Tuesday 09/16/17: 5k Run | Rest
I had lunch plans and after work plans, so a run sadly wasn’t in the cards. I was secretly ok with it though, because it was still super hot.

Wednesday 09/27/17: CrossFit | 4.1 Mile Run
I was still VERY sore from Monday’s CF workout, so I headed out for a quick run. It was really hot, so I made a point of not checking my pace AT ALL and just running by feel. I surprised the hell out of myself with an average pace of just under 10 minute miles. Woohoo!

Thursday 09/28/17: 5k Run | CrossFit
I was feeling a bit less stiff, so I made up Wednesday’s CF class. We did a bunch of sprints, which I nailed, if I do say so myself, then a workout of deadlifts and muscle-ups (or ring dips in my case), with some double-unders sprinkled in every three minutes. It was tough, but good.

Friday 09/29/17: CrossFit | 5k Run
With the gorgeous fall weather, I just HAD to get out for a run. I took it to a hilly portion of the bike path to help prepare me for Sunday’s race.

Saturday 09/30/17: Rest | Rest
I did some productive stuff around the house and hydrated like a boss. We had some friends over for supper, but I made it to bed at a decent hour.

Sunday 10/01/17: Leaf Peepers Half | Leaf Peepers Half
If you follow me on social media, you know that I got a big fat PR! Full recap to come later this week 🙂

🎉🎉🎉

A post shared by Rachel Bruce Drew (@rbdinvt) on

Weekly Mileage:  20.3
Total 2017 Mileage: 183

Friday Free-For-All – 09/29/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Fall has finally arrived! Even though September 22nd was the equinox, we had a string of hot, dry days that were like a second summer until just yesterday. While it was nice to have some extra summery days to sort of make up for our cold, rainy spring, I’m definitely happy that fall weather is here. Fall is my favorite anyway, but ESPECIALLY when I’m about to run my first half marathon in a while! It will be much nicer to run with temps in the 60’s versus in the 80’s.

Race weekend! In case you missed it, I’m running the Leaf Peepers Half Marathon in Waterbury on Sunday. Check out my thoughts and goals here. On the whole, I’m very excited to run my first “for time” race in quite a while. I just want to do my best and have fun.

We had our first meeting with our buyer’s agent this week. She came highly recommended by some friends who recently bought a house using her services. It was a good meeting, and I really think having a realtor in our corner will help a lot, both from a “seeing more stuff more easily” perspective, and from a “navigating the home-buying process” perspective. Fingers crossed that she’ll have some places for us to look at soon!

IMG_4525I can’t stop eating candy corn and/or mellocreme pumpkins. I know I alluded to this in last week’s FFFA post, but it’s bad. I bought two bags yesterday (one of each) and have already gotten into both. I prefer the pumpkins, but I can’t forget the classic candy corn shape. I always eat them by biting off the colored sections, starting with the yellow at the bottom. #typea They’re my favorite seasonal candies so I feel like I have to get as much as I possibly can before they disappear for another 11 months. I may just go buy a bunch of bags and hoard them for a while. Of course, knowing me, I’ll finish them all within a month.

Has fall arrived in your neck of the woods?

 

 

Leaf Peepers Half Brain Dump

You guys, it’s finally happening. I’m FINALLY running a PR attempt half marathon. I haven’t run a half marathon for time since I set my current PR of 2:18:06 in November of 2014–almost three years ago!

In some ways, I feel like I’m super ready and prepared. I’m stronger then ever, both mentally and physically, thanks to CrossFit. I’m also pretty well trained, having completed two 10+ mile training runs, which is more than I’ve ever done for a half before. Yet in other ways, I’m full of doubt. I haven’t run that much this year. I haven’t really done any speed work. I’ve been wanting to attempt a PR in the half distance for two years, so I’m feeling a lot of pressure. Also, there’s this:

Elevation

That’s a whooooole lotta uphill right at the beginning. I haven’t exactly been working hills lately. In fact, most of my long runs have been on the flat-as-a-pancake rail trail. This does not bode well.

Still, though, I feel like the circumstances going into this race are good. For one thing, the race starts at 11 am, which means I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the race start. I can actually go to bed at a normal hour and get up at a normal hour and hopefully get a decent night’s sleep. Sunday’s weather is also looking pretty dang perfect.

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I mean, I guess a few degrees cooler and overcast would be perfect, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m lucky it will be cooler than 80 after the last couple of weeks we’ve had.

SO. My goal is to PR, which would be anything under 2:18:06. Running an average pace of 10:30 would get me there by just under a minute. Obviously, any PR would be great, but I can’t help but want to PR by a somewhat wider margin. An average pace of 10:25 would get me a PR of just under two minutes, which I’d be SUPER stoked about. So that’s what I will aim for.

HOWEVER. With that crazy elevation gain in the first three miles this will be challenging, no question. My plan is to be very conservative during the first three miles. I will walk if I have to. I just don’t want to shred myself right at the start and be too gassed to finish strong. I will also use the downhills to my advantage. I’m a strong downhill runner, so I plan to just open up my stride and let gravity help me out.

And if I don’t PR? No biggie. I’m just excited to try, after not having run a half marathon for time in so long. This will likely be my last big race for a while, so I just want to have a good time and make it count.

Anybody else racing this weekend? What are your goals?