Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Running Stats for 2009

Yup, I know there is one full day left of 2009, but tomorrow is not a running day for me, and I didn't plan early on to have an exact number of miles to run before the clocked stopped ticking for 2009 and started for 2010. (Wow. 2010. That sounds futuristic, eh? Can you believe that it's here?) So, here are my running and walking stats nice and simple for the year of 2009:

Running: 552.2 miles
Walking: 66 miles

Grand total: 618.2 miles

Last year I made it a goal (at the beginning of December 2008) to run an even 600 miles. That meant I needed to run 46.2 miles in that last month, which equaled about 2 miles a day (I ran 4 every other day though). I accomplished my goal and ran just over 600 miles. I had high hopes of meeting and even exceeding that goal for 2009. Alas, it was not meant to be. I threw out my back. Twice. Once in February and again in June. I fainted for the first time in my life. (It's not glamorous like they tell it in the storybooks, folks.) But after a summer of physical therapy with a close friend and physical therapist, I was back on my feet with a safe new approach and trying my best to play catch up with the lost miles. I have a lot more walking miles than last year, that's for sure! I am today where I was at the beginning of December last year. About 50 running miles short. HOWEVER! I finished my masters degree! I am now an "official" librarian. I was before, but now I am + the degree. :) I would like to run a marathon next year, so long as my back, knee and body let me train for it. We'll see how it goes. I did all my homework at night and running in the morning, so I don't actually have that much more time to train, except for the weekends which won't be spent closeted in my office doing homework. Maybe that will be the time for longer runs and some more serious weight training.

Again, as I said at the end of last year, we'll see how it goes. I don't want to set an impossible (or very high reaching) goal for myself and then never get there. I'll try my best though! But as of now, I am happy with my mileage for 2009.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have been listening to a lot of audio books and podcasts lately. This is not one that I chose to listen to however- I needed the print copy to hold in my hands and carry with me everywhere I went. Not (only) because it is a terrific novel, but because of the nature of the story and the need to flip back and forth between years and dates. Henry is "time-challenged" just as some people are height or weight challenged, to put it in PC terms. Not everyone, just Henry, and he has no control over the when, where or for how long he stays. Because his life is so non-linear, the author follows his wife, Claire's life more closely as Henry pops in and out her life as she grows up. I don't want to give away what they experience, but instead reflect on time. Thinking about my own life and how time passes always makes me nostalgic. I don't know what it is that makes me sad at times- maybe that I can't go back? Watching (my) children grow and change does this to me too. To read about time passing forward and back, the tribulations, and the constant and unconditional love shared by Henry and Claire really made me ache. But most of all, it was Claire's waiting for Henry that did me in~ she is a much stronger woman than I...

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Moonlight Madness 5K

Team Library Dork gathered for a 5K run around Rancho San Rafel on Friday night last week, one of our favorite team training warm-up, jog, warm-down places. The Moonlight Madness 5K is sponsored by Castle Rock Multisports, and this particular race was put on in an effort to raise money and help local residents with eating disorders. I think it is a worthy cause- a healthy running event to help others take care of their bodies. There seemed to be a lot of people who showed up despite the cold temperatures for a stealthy dark run, so hopefully they were able to raise a healthy amount funds.

The race started at 7:00 p.m., so Chris and I met at Turi's house since he lives so close to Rancho. We jogged over for a warm-up, and met Dave at packet pick-up (he had to work until 6). Here I am picking up my packet. (Notice the sign? :)
We got there about a half hour early and our warm up mile quickly turned cold again as we waited for the start. We hopped around, picked up our sweatshirts, found Dave, stashed our sweatshirts, and then gathered for the start. It was a slow cautious start, and I stuck with Dave while Turi and Chris took off at the very front. I brought an LED headlamp that I strapped over my Nike skullcap hat (which I LOVE because it is warm, covers my ears, and has a slot in the back for my ponytail), and I am SOOO glad I had it! Some people were running out there in complete darkness with no light whatsoever. Dave and I ran nice and easy for the first half. He slowed at the half-way point, but I pushed ahead after a quick sip of water. I passed as many people in the second half as passed me in the first half, steadily climbing small hills that dropped many others to a walk. I raced faster on the downhill sections than I probably should have in the dark, and the guy who was keeping pace with me (with NO headlamp) totally ate it. I turned my head so he could see where he was falling, but I kept going. I hope he was okay... I had a nice strong finish, thanks to my easy start, and had a good sprint (on sidewalk) to the finish. They clocked me about a minute slower than I clocked myself, but my official time was 31:18. I could easily have dropped several minutes if it was daylight. Chris remarked that probably everyone could have dropped 10% of their time if the sun was shining (or the just-past full moon had graced us from behind the clouds). Chris, of course, won the 5k with a time of 19 minutes something, and Turi and I both placed 4th in our age groups. But since I have moved up into the most competitive age bracket (yes, I'm old now- it's the 30-39 group that is stinkin' fast!), the first 2 men in Turi's age group came in 1st and 2nd and received plaques, so Turi got a 2nd place medal. The 1st woman in my age group came in 3rd overall and also received a plaque, so I got the 3rd place medal! They are really nice ones- clean and heavy with a silky neck strap. Here is my bib, sweatshirt and medal:

And the team, together again!

After the race, we carpooled back to Turi's house for Chris's annual Winter Beer Tasting, and some fantastic pizza from Brugos Pizza Bistro. It had a nice thick crust and high quality toppings. (Thanks for hosting Turi and Mich!) It's almost as good as the pizza-from-scratch we make... But back to the beer- here is the line-up:

(Isn't it pretty how the lights are reflected off the table top?) I've turned into a little bit of a wine snob this past year (thank you Abby and Chris for my first wine tasting event!), but have never been a huge afficionado for beer. However, there were 4 beers I really enjoyed! Although don't ask me the names of any of them. :) My favorite was a peach and toasted pecan beer. And then there was that heavy-hitting chocolate stout that we saved for last...

A fun event. A wonderful evening with friends~ I feel like the holidays have officially started! Thanks everyone, runners and beer-tasters alike!

Baby Snow Leopard 1st Birthday in Melbourne!

Hey, check out this blog courtesy of Saving Snow Leopards~ the snow leopard kittens at the Melbourne Zoo in Australia just turned one! They are so sweet~

(Yes, I did copy this picture from Sibylle's blog, but I couldn't resist sharing these babies with you! [They are 3 months old in this photo.] This photo looks to be shared from just want to give proper credit here! See? I did learn something in school. :)