Sunday, January 19, 2014

Josie's Gymnastics Debut!

I'm a very proud mama right now! Josie had her first meet today for gymnastics! We've been taking her to classes for a few years and then she decided this year she wanted to compete. Today was her first chance to give it a try!

The last two weeks, she has really been practicing non-stop between gym practice three days a week and basement practice the other days. (Completely self-imposed!) Honestly, she just seems to be having so much fun!

I, being the nervous mom, was concerned that she wouldn't know her routines and may be embarrassed in front of the crowd and the judges. I was sorely mistaken! She remembered all of them and didn't have one ounce of stage fright and really did a great job! While she didn't make it on the podium, she got a medal, and probably more important to her, a free t-shirt. :)

I'm so glad she has decided to compete. The benefits are so huge for her character development, not to mention the physical exercise. Being on a team yet having an individual experience is one of the reasons I've really enjoyed running. I'll never win a race (never say never right?), but I can always improve. Same goes for gymnastics. I think she's going to make some great friends along the way!

Can't say enough how proud I am of this little one. Sweet girl and growing up so fast! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Running Update - Next Race & GOALS!!!

Blogging has taken a major backseat lately. One of these days, the mood will strike again. It seems like we get into such a routine that nothing seems interesting and then, when something exciting happens, like the holidays, I don't have time to sit down and document it. Oh well.

In about two weeks, I get to head south! Woo Hoo! Our book club decided this past summer to take a girls' trip to Savannah this winter. This month, we picked a book set there (Savannah Breeze - Mary Kay Andrews) and we will spend three nights in a house on Tybee Island!

After the sub zero temperatures, the foot of snow and general gray skies, I am more than ready. Although the temps don't look "hot" by any stretch, I think 50 will feel downright balmy. In fact, one of the girls said tonight, that 20 felt warm after -15 and we all walked around without coats that day. I'm considering just wear flip flops all weekend, just because.

We had a little planning session tonight and I'm getting really excited. I love trips in general and traveling without kids makes me feel as free as a bird. And, it gives me strange bursts of energy. Somehow, I can get by on 6 hours of sleep each day with plenty of energy left over! I wish I had that energy before I had kids - I didn't know a good thing until it was gone!

{Don't get me wrong, I love taking the kids places and watching them see new things. But, there's something about being alone where no one depends on you that is just super appealing.}

On Saturday, I will be running in the Critz Tybee Run Fest Half Marathon. This will be my second "destination" race with my friend, Claudia. The first was the Steamboat Half. This race will knock Georgia off of her 50-state list. It will also mark my first race of 2014. :) I'm looking forward to another race with a few familiar faces at the finish line!

I have some lofty running goals this year. They're a little dependent on one another so bear with me.

There is a pattern to my races that I noticed sometime last year...

2010 - 30 years old - 0 Half Marathons
2011 - 31 years old - 1 Half Marathon - 2011 Indy Mini
2012 - 32 years old - 2 Half Marathons - 2012 Indy Mini & 2012 Indianapolis Half
2013 - 33 years old - 2 Half Marathons + 1 Marathon = 3 Half or better races - 2013 Indy Mini (PR), 2013 Steamboat Half, 2013 Indianapolis Full

See the pattern? (Also, do you see where I will be when I'm 40? I think that's a great goal to run 10 Half or better races that year!)

So, this year, I am 34 and I will run 4 Half Marathons. {Or, 4 Half or better races.}

Here are the races that I've already entered for the year.

Critz Tybee Run Fest Half Marathon - Tybee Island
Indy-Mini Half Marathon - Indianapolis

The second part of my goal for 2014?

I will beat 1:50. I'll take a 1:49:59 on either of those two races.

This is the lofty part. My PR is 1:54:51 and shaving almost five minutes off will not be easy, but I do think it is attainable. I've shaved 10 minutes off since my first half so this is only half that right? :)

Now, for the interdependence part, if I beat 1:50, I will train for a full marathon in the fall with a 3rd Half as part of my training plan. With that goal, of course, to be a PR at the full.

Back to the upcoming half, I'm not shooting for a 1:49:59. My training hasn't been awesome but I did have a pretty stellar 9 mile run last weekend. I've mostly run on the treadmill which causes me to go much slower. I am, however, shooting for a PR. I think a PR is within reach. The course is super flat and will be very interesting since it runs all around the island. It's doable.

PR or no PR, the trip will be awesome and I can't wait!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book List 2013

I am dreadfully behind. Really. In fact, I'm not even sure I'll get this post finished. I just don't have blogging in me these days, so it's fallen by the wayside.

I do want to list the books I read last year just like I did last year. My goal was to read two per month. I didn't hit it. In fact, I didn't even read as many as last year. I'm pretty sure that was due to my addiction to Candy Crush. On December 31st, I decided to delete it from my phone and read instead of playing. I've since read two books. We've also been home a lot so I'm sure that rate won't continue, but I should be able to take on a few more this year.

Again, I won't be extensively reviewing the individual books, but here is the down and dirty. (* = book club book)

1. Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin - This is one that I found on the library's online site. It was an OK book but I'm not sure I would recommend it. 
2. The Rocky Road to Romance - Janet Evanovich - This is the first of her's I've read. I read it on the beach, so I'm not sure if it was good, or if I was just happy to be on the beach. :) 
3. The Second Time Around - Mary Higgins Clark - See #2 - typical Mary Higgins Clark
4. Sacre Bleu - Christopher Moore - I really liked this one. A friend suggested it and I'm glad I read it. It was pretty bizarre but an interesting mix of fiction and non-fiction based in Paris during the Post-Impressionist Art Movement (had to Google that - think Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec).
*5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon - I have to say, I wasn't a fan. Too deep maybe?
6. Sail - James Patterson - Typical James Patterson
7. 1st to Die - James Patterson - See #6 - I can only read two of his in a row before I get bored. I think I started another one in this series but didn't finish it. Or, maybe I did. I can never keep his straight either.
8. Lean In - Sandra Sandberg - READ THIS BOOK! All women (especially mothers of daughters), fathers of daughters, teachers and business people should read this book. In fact, all women and men should read this book. Period. Excellent. 
*9. Kisses From Katie - Katie J. Davis - Good, easy read about an amazing girl who is making a real difference in Uganda. 
10. Big Trouble - Dave Barry - Don't bother. He attempted a novel and, in my opinion, he should stick to comedy. (Sorry if that sounds harsh.)
*11. The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown - This was a book club book and good. I liked it and it was really different than the types of books I would usually read. 
12. The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio - Terry "Tuff" Ryan - This was a good one. It's a memoir written about a mother who entered all kinds of contests to provide for her family during the 1950's. 
*13. Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier - Think the Nicole Kidman movie. I have to say I liked the book more than the movie. It was a little long in the flowery language describing random landscapes and such, but I have a knack for skipping right over that. 
*14. Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls - Yet another book I would have never picked up but glad I did. Another memoir (read more of these than usual this year) written by a woman about her crazy childhood. 
15. Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers - I had this book recommended by a few people a few different times and just couldn't get excited about it. I put it off for a long time. Then, when I started it, I finished it in two days by staying up until 2 and 3AM. It is a western loosely based on Hosea in the Bible. Great book. 

*16. See You in 100 Years - Logan Ward - Another memoir! A New Yorker and his wife move to the mountains and live like they would have 100 years ago. It was a great book for a lot of reasons. Mainly because it made me realize I'm glad I live in 2014 and not 1914. 
17. Marathoning for Mortals - John Bingham - OK for what it was. In the midst of my heavy training, it was fun to read about other people running and training. 

Also, right at the end of last year, I finished another book - "Killing Lincoln" - loved it and highly recommend it! Forget about Bill O'Reilly's politics. It was a good book and highly entertaining and educational. 

Can I hit 24 this year? Hope so!