Archive for December, 2012

Finisher!

December 22, 2012

We did it! We finished our first ever half marathon! It was a pretty chilly morning but our toes quickly thawed once we began running. Here we are at the start all the way in the back with the 12+ minute milers.

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Mark and I ran together for the first mile, mainly so I could help hold him back to prevent him from starting off at too quick of a pace. Eventually he broke away and said he’d meet me at the finish line, then it was time to go to work. The first couple miles flew by since the crowd was still rather thick but people slowly thinned out and I was able to focus more on getting into my interval rhythm.

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In the weeks prior to the race we had considered driving the race route to scope out the hill we knew we would have to climb but we decided to keep it a surprise. I’m kind of glad we did because otherwise I might have been a little nervous…I mean, this hill was pretty sizable. At about mile 5 we began our ascent and didn’t see much of a break for a good 2 miles. After one last steep stretch of road we reached the top and were greeted with a beautiful view of the foggy valley below. It was breathtaking. While running up above the fog we were warmed by the sun and as we descended again, into the fog, the temperature dropped back down at least 10 degrees {a much welcomed refresher after the climb}.

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My initial time goal was 2:45:00 but after crossing the half way point I knew I could make it in 2:40:00 as long as I stayed conscious of my pace. So with a new goal in mind I jogged the entire backside of the hill, skipping my intervals for a couple miles while I had the energy, and made an attempt to pass someone new on each run interval. It was kind of fun because I generally stayed with the same 10-15 people for most of the race; I passed them, then they passed me, and so on.

As I crossed the finish line the timer read 2:40:39 which made me sad since I was just over my goal but after looking up my official time according to the GPS chip in my bib I had finished in 2:39:09! Because we started so far back we didn’t cross the official start line for a full minute and a half after the gun.

Britney race results

Though my finish time, pace and overall placement isn’t anything too impressive, I am super proud of myself {and my hub} for accomplishing this. We worked really hard to train and there were plenty of times when neither Mark nor I wanted to go out and run but we encouraged each other and found a way to get it done.

Mark’s goal was to finish in under 2 hours but thanks to his knee pain flaring up again after mile 7 he came in at 2:12:27; not too shabby at all, he did awesome! Since he finished before me he was there cheering me on at the finish line :)

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After the race we hung out at our group’s tent for a little while chatting with our friends and taking advantage of some free Chick-fil-a sandwiches. Then we headed home to an ice bath and LOTS of stretching.

What a great experience, and I got to share it all with my hub :)

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Final Countdown

December 4, 2012

Race week is finally here! I haven’t begun to get nervous yet but I’m sure I will on Friday when I’m in Walnut Creek to pick up my race packet at the expo. I went with my mom to an expo for one of her Rock ‘n Roll half marathons in San Antonio and I remember the general feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air; I can’t wait to experience it all again but from a runner’s perspective this time.

We’ve got our pre-race dinner and race morning breakfast all planned out…the night before we’re going to have loaded baked potatoes with ground beef, broccoli and cheese and in the morning we’ll do bananas with peanut butter and a granola bar or toast.

Based on my training and my average pace during some longer runs my goal for race day is to maintain a 12:30 pace which would have me finishing with a total time of 2:43:52. The GPS on my phone (which assists the Nike+ app) has been a little off, it thinks I run anywhere from a 9:30 pace to a 13:00 pace and jumps around sporadically, so I’ll probably have to calculate my pace in my head during the race and figure out the exact times once I’m across the finish line. To be honest, I’ll be happy with anything under 3 hours but I know that I’m capable of finishing under 2:45:00 so that’s my goal!

In these last couple of days before the race we’re doing our best to eat well, drink lots of water, stretch and roll our legs each day, go on a couple relaxed runs and get lots of sleep. This will be the longest distance that either of us have ever run and we’re both super excited to cross the finish, tired and sweaty :) Did I mention that thanks to some very generous donations from family and friends Mark and I both met our donation goals?? Thanks to all of you we raised enough money for over 32 people to have fresh water for life! WOO HOO!!

DIY: Ruffled Tree Skirt

December 3, 2012

Ever since seeing this post via Pinterest about how to make a ruffled tree skirt with nothing but some fabric and a hot glue gun, I knew that I had to make it. My friend, Christine, and I wanted to craft them together so we bought our fabric with some 50% off coupons at Joann’s and got to work while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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For the base of our skirts we cut circles from a 5’x5′ canvas painter’s drop cloth, it’s wider, cheaper and more durable than anything we could have bought at a fabric store. We ripped our fabric into 3.5 inch strips, heated up our hot glue guns and started gluing the ruffles from the outside in.

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It was quite time consuming and since we were sitting on the floor we took plenty of stretching/cookie breaks to keep us going. Here are our skirts after just two rows of gluing. Christine went with red and white and mine is white and a gold glittery cream.

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And here is the final product beneath our beautiful tree. I absolutely love it and I look forward to using it for many Christmases to come!

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Lake Tahoe: Scenic Drive

December 2, 2012

Mark had another customer visit in north Lake Tahoe on a Friday a couple weeks back and I rode along to make the 3+ hour drive more bearable for him. He had a quick meeting in Truckee then we took the scenic route around the west side of the lake down to South Lake Tahoe. We were met with the first little bits of snow for this winter season and some incredible views.

It’s amazing how clean and blue the water looks, must be all of that freshly melted snow. I can’t wait until our first ski trip!

Rand Family Christmas Tree

December 2, 2012

For the first time ever Mark and I have a large, real tree for Christmas! The first two years we were married we had a tiny artificial tree and last year we had a 3 foot Douglas fir but we went for the real deal this year.

I’ve been searching for and collecting red, silver, gold and mercury glass ornaments since this time last year, it was so much fun to hang everything on the tree and see it all come together.

We splurged a little and went with LED lights which will not only last longer but also cost less to operate because let’s face it, I’m going to have the tree plugged in all. the. time. It took a few minutes to get used to the bright, white light but we love it!