Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ginger & Ice Pearls

I'm sore lately. I decided I needed to ice more and saw these sweet ice pearls at the store. Basically, they are artificial frozen peas. But they look way cooler and stay cold longer, I think. I also decided that I wanted to try Trader Joe's chocolate covered ginger. Did you know that ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory? I read that in Runner's World once, and that's how I justified splurging on it. Cuz it's basically good for me when I'm sore. ;) 
Also, as I was looking at my dailymile stats (cause I love doing that), I saw today that I ran more miles in February than I did for any of the previous 12 months. I think running has been my therapy. And I've been stressed. I have still been doing better.. not as sad and depressed. But still stressed. And I think that's why this was a higher-mileage month. 
And this was an especially stressful week. I kind of got woken up, because I found out that something kind of dangerous happened with James. I can't know any of the specifics, of course. But it was enough that it scared me pretty bad. 

I'm looking forward to R&R, but afterwards, James will get his platoon (this is why the schedule was changed, actually). So he will be at a different location and we won't have daily communication anymore. And things will get even more dangerous. I guess I just gotta take it one day at a time. 

"Surely the righteous will never be shaken; 
   they will be remembered forever. 
 They will have no fear of bad news; 
   their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. "
Psalm 112:6-7

Trying to give it all the stress to God. It's pretty dang hard though. 

On the bright side, I bought some brand new shoes with my discount. 
Aren't they pretty? They are just for hanging out, working in the store, and looking sweet. I'm not actually going to run in them.. I might talk more about this later. But I'm not gonna risk the "barefoot" thing. And I haven't converted from my Asics yet..

Also, it's my "Happy Picture Wednesday." I picked this one out for today. This was a fortune that James had a little while ago... so appropriate! Notice his nail biting problem. :) Golly, I miss this man. 
Happy Hump Day!
<3 Amy

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Training, Planning, and Racing

Running is going really well for me right now. I think part of it is that I like my training plan better this time. It's the Hal Higdon Intermediate one. People from my old running club had been raving about it, so I decided to try it out. I'm in the middle of week 7 right now.
Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan
I had an 8-mile run last weekend. My average pace was a 9:08. I had run 8 miles the weekend before on the treadmill (I was actually supposed to race a 10k last weekend.. I decided to just run 8 miles again instead) and my average pace was a 9:35. And as I've looked back at my "long" runs, my pace has actually gotten better, even though I'm running a little longer each week. So that's encouraging! Half marathon PR on the way? Hopefully!

I also just had a really good workout last night! My 400 splits were 1:53, 1:54, 1:40, 1:54, 1:54, 1:56, 1:55, 2:13 (had to turn around in the middle of last one so it slowed me down). But man! I haven't run that fast in a while. Granted I wasn't on a track, so my Garmin could have been a little off sometimes. I'm suspicious of that 1:40 split but I may have had some downhill on that one.

So training is good. My goals for 2012 are for the most part on track. The part that I realized is gonna be the hardest is to do 6 half marathons for 2012. I decided on that goal because I wanted to make sure I carried my training through the year (instead of training for a half and then getting lazy afterwards). Doing one every other month didn't seem too hard. However, I got kind of a late start. First first half marathon is not until April 1st. I honestly don't think I could have done one sooner with the state I was in the beginning of the deployment.. but anyways I sat down to try to plan out my races..

Holy crap, it's gonna be hard. I am also signed up for a race at the end of April.. but that was before we knew when R&R was and the timing might not be good for when he is here. *Sigh* So I signed up for that one, but I might not be able to run it. Not that I'll care too much at the time, because James will be here. I also don't want to do one too close to the Marathon. And I don't know exactly when James is coming home, so I won't be able to commit to anything too late in the year. Dangit. I am starting to worry about fitting all these half marathons in. It's hard to plan races around the military.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

My man with a puppy. What more could I ask for in a picture?? 
PS: Fun fact: 6 years ago today, my husband asked me to be his girlfriend. On the way home from a rock climbing date. :) hehe. I have been with him almost exactly 1/4 of my life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phase 2 of Deployment

If deployments had phases, I think I'm on to Phase 2. It took about 2 months to get over the whole grieving period I think, for me. I'm not saying that I was crying for a whole 2 months and that I didn't have some good days in there, but at some point recently I realized I'm in a routine now, and I'm doing a lot better. There are still some bad days. They tend to sneak up on me. I wish I could predict them ahead of time. But they don't seems to happen as often now.

First of all, I finally scored a job. I had a job on Fridays helping to TA a class that's actually using my degree. But now I'm working at a running shoe store too! So I have something to do during the week now and a little extra spending money.

Second of all, I'm doing really well with my half-marathon training. Which just feels good. I've also been doing yoga on a fairly regular basis and I'm beginning to see an improvement in my flexibility (heck yeah!).

And lastly, James's R&R is definitely happening and it's happening soon. Less than 2 months away, actually! It was originally supposed to be in July, and I had mixed feelings about the change. We were going to be more than half-way when we got to R&R before.. now we will be about 1/3 of the way through I think. So it will be a little harder saying bye. On the other hand, I'm really excited to see him.

I had mentioned before that we were hearing some rumors about a shorter deployment, which would mean no R&R. I was really hoping that would happen at first. However, I'm really glad for those 2 weeks that he'll get off and that we'll get to see each other. I think it might be better for morale than it would have been to go a full 9 months without.. even if it means a full year deployment.

Omygoodness.. less than 2 months.. I can't wait!
<3 Amy

PS: Ranger School must be starting up again. I am getting a lot more hits to my blog from Ranger School searches. Hang in there Ranger ladies!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Things I Love Lately

1. This underwear. They are called rundies. How frickin' awesome. When I saw them, I was like..  I need these right now. But then I saw the price. Sad day. You can find them here

2. Doctor Who. Particularly Rose and Doctor #10, cause they are adorable. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's okay. If you like weird sci-fi love stories, I highly recommend it. I've been watching on netflix.

3. This video: 
4. This workout. I found it here on pinterest.
5. This beer. Specifically, this beer on Sunday afternoon after my long run. I'm not much of a drinker, but there's something after drinking it after my long run that I love. I feel like I've earned it. And also, I'm a bit paranoid that beer will make me run bad (even though Runner's World recently concluded this wasn't the case). But I usually take a rest day after my long run day. So I get to enjoy my beer worry-free. :)
<3 Amy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is.. Star Wars Cookies

My hubby and I both love Star Wars. For my birthday this year, my in-laws got me these sweet cookie cutters.

Sadly, I got them *just* after I sent James his Star Wars themed Valentine's Day box.
I found Star Wars valentines. My favorite is the one with C-3PO that says "Be my counterpart!"

Boxes take at least 6 days to get there if the weather is good.. so I haven't sent cookies because I figured they would be kind of old by the time they got there. I might make an exception for these star wars ones though.

This is our second Valentine's Day in a row apart. Last year, he was away at IBOLC. Oh well. I've decided to not be bitter about it. We normally weren't much into celebrating it anyway but we decided today online that next year (assuming that we are together!) we will.

Happy Valentine's Day and may the force be with you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

10 Things I Love About Running

Had to jump on this bandwagon! 
  1. Endorphins.
  2. Sunday afternoon after a long run, guiltlessly enjoying my berry-weis.
  3. Being off the grid. Whoever needs to call me can wait. 
  4. Sweet running clothes.
  5. Eating more food.
  6. Keeping a sexy runner body. 
  7. Running in sync with an awesome song.
  8. Running in the quiet.
  9. The feeling of accomplishment after making that goal.
  10. It makes my hubby proud of me. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

This is almost not Wednesday anymore, but I remembered in time. Another week has gone by, thank goodness. Last week was crazy, but I want to jump back in and stay consistent with these.

Alright, maybe it's not so much the picture that makes me happy, but these ridiculously awesome socks. I love socks. My hubby goes these for me. And they match my ranger shorts. Heck yes.

Took this out on the lake on the winter retreat this weekend. 

Gnite loves,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Comfort in the Midst of Discomfort

I get the Runner's World quote of the day. I used to read it every day. Now I occasionally read it and usually just delete it. Bad, I know.

I did read today's though.

"As runners we are pretty adept at changing our pace, alternating our route, and overcoming obstacles. We train ourselves, literally, to find some sort of comfort in the midst of our discomfort. Our training serves us well in every area of our lives. "

-Kristin Armstrong, Welcome, Mile Markers blog, Runner's 

I feel like that's a description of deployment. Trying to find comfort in the midst of a continuous discomfort. Maybe that's why running is so therapeutic for some of us with spouses overseas. 

I went on a winter retreat this weekend with our church's high schoolers. It was pretty fun. My birthday was over the weekend and I was kind of expecting a call from my hubby. However, we got there and my cell had no reception. I was kind of sad about that, but I figured I would probably get to talk to him when I got back. Then, while I was hanging out with some of the girls in the cabin, the camp director bursts in. "Are you Amy? Come with me to the office. We've got your husband on the phone. He wants to wish you a happy birthday." I jumped up to go with him and got to talk with James for a good 20 minutes. He had called my parents to get the name of the camp.. they accidently told him the wrong name. So he got on the church website to find out. He said it was fun tracking me down. :)

On top of that, my friend also brought a cookie cake to camp and several hundred high schoolers and leaders sung to me.. twice actually. I got comments from the high school girls about how cute it was that he called me. As much as deployments suck, there is definitely something romantic about having your soldier track you down and call you on your birthday. Comfort in the midst of discomfort. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Moccasins & Marathon Registration

I'll tell you a secret.. my birthday is coming up! My mom got me an early birthday present.
I also got a new camera from my hubby! I used it to take the photo above. If you look back at some of my most recent posts, you can see a line going through the pics. That means the sensor was starting to die. So now I have a working camera!

After a really hard start to the week, it's nice that things are starting to calm down. I'm just still praising God for what happened.  I feel a little behind in the week, because we kind of lost an entire two days, but of course we're so happy with the happy ending and that life can go on.

Also. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon yesterday. Omygoodness. I signed up pretty late at night and then woke up this morning with this feeling of.. "WHAT did I just do last night?" Oh yeah.. just signed up for my first marathon. Hitting the "submit" button was actually pretty scary. I'm committed now.

One of my goals for 2012 is to run a 1:50 half marathon. Coincidently, if I submit a half marathon time of 1:50:59 or below, I can qualify for the D corral of the Chicago Marathon (instead of having to weave through everyone in the open race). I just have to submit the time before August or before it fills up. Hmm. So now I have all new motivation to run a 1:50.

Good thing I have super comfy shoes for after all those long runs that are coming up.
My feet are in heaven.