Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Caleb and Adam enjoyed the boxes
almost as much as the gifts

Caleb and Adam helping us decorate
Jesus' birthday cake

A bumper sticker from my sister

Caleb trying to take the Cheerio from the onesie

Busy opening presents

Loading a stocking on Christmas Eve
 I ran a few times but not long, and I did a few 3-minutes-of-work workouts, but in general it was vacation. We went to a Christmas Eve service on Monday and then read the Christmas story as a family. On Christmas day, we started opening gifts a little after 9, broke for brunch around 11, resumed an hour later, took another break for family phone calls, and resumed until nearly 5pm! There were a ton of gifts under the tree! I got some things I'd been wanting -- a Nativity set (the kind you can add pieces to) and a jacket -- and loved watching the kids open their presents

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Treats and Trainers

There is a rainbow in there somewhere!

Monday's ride at T's on the CompuTrainer was AWFUL. I felt like I was at my max training watts (227), I couldn't do the 1-legged drills, and I got off at 60 minutes because I just couldn't fight to stay on any longer. But, 60 minutes was in the middle of an interval, so I also couldn't stay off the bike. Val asked if I was OK, and I said, "Yeah, I just have to decide whether I want to finish." I went into the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror, and told myself I could do it; it's only 5 more minutes, I'm strong, and I'd better get back out there and finish. I did. I got back on the bike and finished that interval, but I was DONE after that. Thankfully I got in a hard 65 minutes, though, considering today we have a kitchen full of treats at work:

Chocolate oatmeal cookie for breakfast, please

Then I dug into the far, so good!
My plan is that I can have 1 of everything I want but not more than 1 of anything. Except veggies, that is...unlimited of those! After work I went to the Opryland Hotel to check out the Christmas decorations. I parked at and walked through the mall, then I went through the Delta, Magnolia, and Cascades lobbies.




Tuesday's ride at T's was actually worse than Monday's. The first 20 minutes were OK, but then I went down 10% for the next 20min and another 10% for the final 20min. Then I was done. T said stay on for 60 minutes, and that's about all I had.

Wednesday I went to PW after work for a 5-mile hike. The first 3 miles were as the sun was setting; the last 2 were in the dark. I had a headlamp so I could see somewhat and I know the trails, but it was still a strange sensation, not being able to see much more than 10-15 feet ahead! Then I headed to the family's house to say a quick Merry Christmas and pick up a few presents my grandparents had sent to them for me.

Thursday's ride at T's was MUCH better than both Monday and Tuesday. A day off on Wednesday was obviously the right decision.

This is part of a white elephant gift; I had a
little trouble thinking of good ideas for a fun
gift for this group, but Aunt Renee, Lauren,
and Valerie came to my rescue!
We lost power right around lunch time at work, so I headed up the road for an 850 swim. Not super fast or slow, but pretty consistent after the first 100. Also I decided to alternate open turns and flip turns every hundred to make it even easier to count: 1:44 open, 1:49 flip, 1:53 open, 1:51 flip, 1:53 open, 1:55 flip (and pause because I thought I heard the lifeguard's whistle), 1:50 open, 1:51 flip, 2:01 kick on back/cool down.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Office Christmas Party

Pretzels, Hershey's Kisses, and M&Ms...perfect finger food!

Tuesday I rode at T's in the morning, worked, swam a quick 500 (better than nothing, I figure), had a GREAT 5-min ext. slow workout later, and then went to Sambuca in The Gulch for our office Christmas dinner. I was surprised that I actually liked the chicken I ordered, because it did not sound good from the menu but was the only thing on our pared-down menu that I thought maybe I had a chance at liking.

Wednesday I slept in and then trained and walked 30 minutes on the step mill. I always choose Random Play for a set amount of time, and I typically select the max level (9). The stronger I get on the bike, the easier this machine gets. I might have to move away from the step mill and to the TRUE elliptical machine soon. Or perhaps choose a different workout.

Thursday morning's workout was 6-6-6 EDI (another good one), Dalmuti at lunch during work, and T's class again for the afternoon. This week's workouts have seemed harder, but I'm also working at 1% higher watts than last week and a gear harder (first 20min on Tuesday and the entire class today). I have tons of room for improvement and am really liking the 1% increase per week thing, both mentally and physically. I'm thinking I might increase till the end of this session (6%) and then go down 5% and continue the 1% increase per week for the next session, repeating for the rest of the off-/pre-season. That is, unless I test way higher, then I'll re-evaluate. In this class, my mind was MUCH stronger than my legs--if my legs had their say, I'd have been off the bike, down a gear, or down 5% within the first 20 minutes. But I knew I could do it and do it well where I was, so I stayed there. Little victory!

Friday morning's workout was rough. Everything was tired. But I did the 3-min isos followed by 100 phasic reps. Then off to work. Then I went on a great 8-mile hike at Percy Warner. It was beautiful out and I wanted to take advantage of it. We are having a treat day at work on Monday, so I made some stuff. The pretzel/M&M treats pictured above were simple. The chocolate peanut butter bars, not so much.

Looks like it's ready to go...

I thought I was ready to move from the first steps (mixing the first 4 ingredients and spreading into the pan) before melting the chocolate, so I did. But then I looked back at the recipe and realized I forgot one of the four ingredients. I'd have made my mama proud with my baking skills :-)

I really thought I was ready...I even poured and spread!
Instead, I removed it from the pan, put it back in the mixing bowl, and added the missing powdered sugar. It turns out the consistency of butter/peanut butter/graham cracker crumbs is just not what is should be without the sugar. Once I added the sugar it was much better, so it went back in the pan before I melted the chocolate/peanut butter and spread that on top. It turned out much better and tastes pretty good.

Saturday morning, Cath and I rode for an hour on the trainer after I went tot he Y for an hour workout. Then Lee, Cath & Madi, Anna, and Shelly, Megan, & Jess went to lunch at Calypso Cafe before shopping at Lululemon. There is some great stuff in that store. I wished I had more discretionary money so I could spend it all on one running top and one pair of tights that would last forever! In the Giraffe class at church that night, Charlotte, Brooks, Susan and I had 17 4-year-olds to play with and tell about the angels telling the shepherds about Jesus being born. They were excited to act it out :-)

First set of barriers

Sunday I walked 2 miles before church and then went out to watch Anna do the 4s state CX race and race my P/1/2/3 race with teammates Kat, Shannon, and AJ and other competitors Andrea, Kim, Amy, Stephanie, Laureen, and Kathy. Our race was 45 minutes long, and I got lapped within 2 to go and rode 7.75 miles. My average speed was under 11mph. Crazy slow! But considering that this was a CX race, on grass, leaves, sand, and mud, that's pretty much normal, I guess. It was a super fun race, but not exciting for me to get last place. Lots of room for improvement! Will was there to watch - he's been training me for something like 3 or 4 years and never seen me race my bike, so it was great to have him see what it's all about and pray with me before the race. We went to lunch at Red Robin, and then I went home and, after cleaning, chilled on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.

Shannon's husband took tons of pictures during the race, and I'm hoping to get a few to share.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Publix Veggies

This was a quick shop, but it was a good one. Today and tomorrow are good days to buy veggies at Publix.

Item (Quantity)  
Regular Price 
Sale Price  
Final Price  
Green Giant
boxed vegs (10)
5 x $0.50/2 MQ
Green Giant
bagged vegs (3)
3 x $0.50/1 MQ
Publix milk1.49----$1.49
Totals: 14 items$30.36$15.83$8 in MQs+$0.89 tax
$8.81 total
(saved $21.55,
or 71%)

I obviously didn't need much, but I got what I needed for a pretty good price. And although frozen veggies aren't nearly as good as fresh ones, I got a lot of variety that I wouldn't get if I bought fresh ones.

Both of today's workouts were good. Lots of altitude drops mixed in with 3-minute isos. Getting stronger and faster!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rudolph 5K and Weekly Wrap-Up

Brentwood Christmas tree lighting

Monday: eight 30-second sprints on the elliptical at the CSY in the morning; work; walk on the River Park trails; 5 minutes of work in the afternoon; Brentwood tree lighting ceremony and Ravenwood concert

Tuesday: ride at T's in the AM (I increased my watts 1% for the whole workout and shifted into one harder gear for the first 21 minutes; results: just the workout I was looking for [not too hard but more challenging than last week]); work; Jacob's Ladder (500-ft time: 5:01; this is HARD!)/elliptical/step mill, then 5 minutes extreme slow in the afternoon.

Wednesday: altitude drop legs and front delt in the AM (the best workout I've had in a couple weeks); work; run in the afternoon. I probably should have mapped out my planned route before starting, but I didn't. I was thinking about doing maybe 6 and ended up with 13.1 in 1:47:28 with no water, gu, etc. And I'm pretty sure that's a half PR for me (at least it is from the races I've recorded). After I started, I knew it would be more than 8, and once I hit 8 I decided to tack on whatever necessary to make it to 13.1. And I did, even though it meant running past my apartment. Success.

Wednesday half

Thursday: tried to sleep in a failed, so I spent some time on the foam roller before work; at lunch at Panera with some coworkers; rode at T's. I stayed the whole class at 222W and in my normal gear. Surprisingly, it was not any more difficult that Tuesday, and in some ways it felt easier.

Friday sunrise

Friday: watched a beautiful sunrise. Sigh. Worked. Had lunch with some coworkers. Hiked with Kat. Did some Christmas shopping. Ran (terribly) the Nashville Rudolph 5K. Actually, it wasn't completely awful. Last year I didn't even finish the race, so this year was an improvement. Plus I ran the first 2 miles in 15 min. It was the last mile that was sad.

I found a friend and chatted with her, and then I stayed downtown for the Christmas parade.

Fireworks after the race before the parade

My favorite float - the Boy Scouts were carrying
this, and it looked like a mattress from a distance

Saturday I got to enjoy the morning Christmas shopping for the kids of a new friend Lenis with more new friends Daniel and Ashley. After wrapping the presents, I spent an hour on the trainer before a long lunch/dinner with Will. After church I decided it was time to wrap presents and put up a few Christmas decorations.

Christmas presents for my sister's family 

My little tree

Sunday I learned how to mount and dismount a cross bike. Now to race a cross race.... We had a team ride that the rain held off for, but because it had been raining there was a bunch of debris on the road - which meant lots of flat tires. AJ, Anna, Kat, Parri, Shannon, Valerie, and I rode about 35 miles in FOREVER because we had to stop 3 times to fix flats. But it was a beautiful day and a perfect ride otherwise.

Parri, Kat, and Anna working on Parri's tire

Parri and me on her tire again...the stem and hand pump
broke, so we had to use another tube and CO2 cartridges

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Franklin Jingle Bell 5K

Catherine, Madi, and me at the square before the race

Tuesday I went on a nice long hike with Kat.

Wednesday I rode my bike at Todd's, worked, and trained in the afternoon.

Thursday I worked, trained and went on the step mill, ran into Anna M and chatted, made some new friends at closing time at the bank, and went to Inversion.

Friday I met Anna S and Catherine at Pinkerton Park, where we walked a mile, ran 3, chatted while watching Madison play, and ran another 2.

Saturday I ran the Franklin Jingle Bell 5K with Catherine in 22:56. Not quite as fast as I was hoping for, but good enough for 3rd in my age group, 14th overall female, and 51st overall (396 finishers; 237 females). I ran a bunch of errands and cleaned, then after church I ran another 2 miles. It was an unpleasant run, and I stopped long before I'd planned to.

Kathy, Kat, and Shannon after their race

Today I got up and went for a walk, swam 1,000 at the MFY and then headed out to Gallatin to watch my teammates Anna, Kat, and Shannon (among others) race a cyclo-cross race. Val, Anna, and I also rode while we were out there, and it was a gorgeous day. Then I went home and went for a walk because I didn't want to stay inside!