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On the injured list?

I have been training for the Rock Canyon Half Marathon for awhile now... I knew I needed another goal to get me through the past couple of months. So, a half marathon it was.

I am not sure if I voiced this at all, but I injured my hamstring in August. I spent the 3 weeks leading up to Harvest Moon swimming, biking and elipticalling. It was torture. Then I raced on an owy of a hamstring, but it was my last race of the season, so I plugged through it and did what I could. It was nowhere near the race I wanted it to be, but it was what it was.

After HM, I rested and stretched and eased back into running and I thought my hamstring issues were over. 

HOWEVER, this past weekend my hammy flared up again while running. Great. But, we did 11 miles, and I could have done 2 more, so I figured all was good for the race this weekend. I would just fight through it when it started to ache.

Fast forward to this morning and my track workout. Straight up pain when I tried to run fast. So much that I cut my workout down by more than half (and that is SOOOO not like me).

Now I have a decision to make. To race or not to race. I still have to talk to Charley about it. And I am seeing my dr. in the morning tomorrow. But, all I can say is.... This. Really. Stinks.

Trotting with the Waltons!

Like many others, we have adopted doing a Turkey Trot as part of our Thanksgiving family tradition. When we moved to Colorado we chose the Highlands Ranch Turkey Day 5k over various others because it (a) had a kid's race and - probably more importantly at the time - (b) was early enough for us to trot and get home to watch the Packers. Over the past years, the kids have come to grow and love their "turkey race" and we have come to realize how good it is to have that tradition for them.

This year, we signed up before realizing they cut the kids race. Entirely. I emailed the race director who told me that the kids were welcome to walk the 5k. Hmmm... don't think that will fly with my 5 & 6 year olds. Since we had paid, we decided we (the adults) would do the race regardless but I was dreading, absolutely DREADING, telling the kids that there was no race for them. Side note: Countless times this past year Linc has asked me to "wear our turkey shirts" together. Just so proud of doing the race last year.

Fast forward to last weekend and my friend, Tyler, emailed asking if we wanted to be a part of their family trot. Score! It was a sure-fire way to include the kids and get our traditional trot in. (And I wouldn't have to tell Lincoln he couldn't do a 'turkey race' this year.) So we bit our race fees for the first race and opted for fun! And so glad we did.
Tyler = rock star race director (with Josh)
Ross, my dad and the kids ready to run and roll.
Tyler did an awesome job at running the race. He set up a "run Rabbit run" format, so everyone predicted their time and started accordingly so that (in theory) we would all be racing to the finish/finishing together. Ie, if you thought you would run a 40 minute 5k, you would start at 10:10. If you thought you would run a 30 min 5k, you would start at 10:20.
This was a really cool format not only because it allowed for wave starts,
One of the first wave starts
Ross, Dad, Jackson and Hunter!
And they're off!
Probably my favorite wave start picture - I think this is awesome!
The format and the way the course was set up also allowed for great speactating and seeing everyone on the course multiple times.
Getting/giving the love on the course!

Beth and Margaret rocking the race!
Hunter coming around on his first lap.
Ross and Dad coming around!
Run, Jewels, Run!
 I ended up going off in a wave a bit later and running the whole thing with Anne - until she caught me towards the end! She gave me a little "you're coming with me", but my legs did not have it in them. :)
Anne = sweet, innocent and FAST!
We had a lot of great endings as well! From intense to joyous -
Go, Parker, GO!
Nothing like a little competition amongst family...

Margaret and Dave coming into the end
Tyler's dad finishing strong!
This race was PERFECT and gave each participant whatever they wanted. I know this post is filled with pictures, but here my FAVORITE snapshot of the day:

Thanks Tyler and Walton Family for letting the Strand and Phelps family join your celebration. On a day when family means so much, I appreciate you letting us join in on yours.

Santa Came Early!

Since having kids, we have started a rule - NO CHRISTMAS BEFORE THANKSGIVING! Basically, because between November 25th and December 25th ALL we hear about it Santa, toys, Christmas, etc. I know the average person can be overwhelmed with all of the holiday hubbub -- imagine that being repeated over and over (and over) in your household by two little voices continuously for a month. That's my life. And that's where the rule has evolved from.

So, this year, it appears I broke my rule... twice. (And I am kind of excited about it.)

The first time was with the kids, Ross and the Atwells. We enjoyed dinner along with a {gulp} Christmas parade (complete with Santa), a tree lighting, carolers, carriage riding and hot chocolate. It was the perfect night to "get into the season" - it was just a week earlier than I wanted it.
Waiting for the parade - so EXCITED to see Santa!

 Thankfully, there has not been too much collateral damage. With the arrival of my parents for Thanksgiving, the kids have been focused on them and not the jolly, old fat man. Whew! 
They even made a list for Thanksgiving

With that out of the way, I thought I was well on my way to celebrating Thanksgiving with the family, when... Santa stopped by with a gift for me!
A brand, spanking new tri bike! With everyone focused on the holidays coming, their season being over, etc, etc. it appears to be an opportune time to shop for new bikes and great deals. So, with the help of Charley, I sought out a prelim fit to see what bikes might be a good fit for me, did some shopping around and ended up with a smokin' deal from Josh at TriBella and a fit to match! To justify the cost, it will be my Christmas present (and then some), so I thought it was again worth "breaking my rule" and letting Santa visit a little early. ;)

I am so excited about the bike and think it will be the perfect thing to motivate me to get through the winter season and training for IMCDA.  Ross has even made a special spot for it in the basement.
It already feels at home. ;)
So... I guess it is OK for Santa to come once or twice before the gobble, gobbler.

My OFF season

So... it seems appropriate that pretty much my last blog was Harvest Moon - a whopping 7 weeks ago.

I told myself after Harvest Moon, I was taking some time off... and I did. It is the first time in close to 3 years that I haven't been thinking and training for the "next" race. It's not that I don't have some races on my schedule - I do - it's just that I was allowing myself some time to recover, not do too much and take life day by day, not workout by workout.

Planning my workouts went like this: Me: Jane, do you wanna run in the morning? Jane: Sure, how 'bout Cherry Creek? Me: ok. OR Me: Patty, do you wanna bike? Patty: Yes, Wednesday looks like good weather. Me: See you Wednesday. OR Me: AH, I hate this computer. Ross: Go for a run. Me: OK, see you in an hour. You get the drift. And, while I was worried about losing some of my level of fitness, it was quite refreshing at the same time not to have to concentrate on anything other than enjoying it.

And boy did I enjoy it.

Here are some highlights. Well, the tri/running-related ones.
Kicking off my planning for the next year with an IMCDA BBQ.

Yep, I signed up for another Ironman with these characters... and a few others not pictured here.
(They were probably off training.)

Running in the rain at the "Running of the Buffalo".
Me and Charley (coach and race director)
Even won me a Buffalo.
 Coolest. Award. Ever.

Pacing Todd in his 100-miler. YES! 100 miles. I was responsible for keeping him happy/running miles 57-71ish. A very cool experience and I was glad I got to share it with him.
What better way to distract/occupy a runner than by taking pictures. Even if it was pitch black
as we ran through the night.
So, here I sit. I've got one more weekend, till my life returns to a schedule. Well, a workout schedule... I've actually learned a lot by taking some time off. Mostly about time management. By not having a schedule set out for me, I made some choices of my own and learned a lot... In particular, I have learned that I have my father's over-working tendencies. If given the time, I will work, work, work, non-stop! (And be happy about it.) I run my own murder mystery party business - with plenty of work that "can" be done - so it is easy to do. Plus, I love what I do! Having a workout schedule does (and will) balance me out more. A schedule "forces" (for lack of a better word) me to stop working and pay attention to my health and my athletic ambition. So while I enjoyed my time off, I am certainly looking forward to getting back to training on Monday.

A month ago, I don't think I would have thought this... Enjoying my time "off" too much. But now, now it is time to get back to business - and I don't mean the murder mystery kind. :)