Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December 2010 and who knew I had it in me?

*** This is the last post in a series of 5 posts meant to catch up on five months of blogging absence*** 

December was my last month of prep for the Egmond aan Zee half marathon. I managed to run 128.4 miles according to my Garmin, my highest monthly mileage EVER. Mostly injury free too :-) We spent early December recovering from our many wonderful visitors, getting used to the piles and piles of snow that came down, and to prepare for our trip to the US.

Race of the Month: Run Into The New Year 5K
I love US races so much more than European ones. People are much relaxed and out to have a good time. So what better way to enter 2011 than a midnight 5K? So that's what I did. My in-laws joined me and walked the 1 mile while I ran the 5K. The run was entitled R.I.T.N.Y (run into the new year) and started at 11:59PM on December 31st. It was to benefit the Miracle League of the Triangle and took place on a parking lot in Cary. I had just run my last two long-ish runs of the Egmond aan Zee half marathon (January 9th) the days before so my legs were total jello. I wasn't planning on racing it hard, but it was a good opportunity to get a speed workout. I finished in 25:20, 12 seconds slower than my PR, so a good race in all. I was 3rd in my AG (30 to 39) so not shabby at all.
Wearing my Amsterdam marathon shirt

I was wearing my Amsterdam Marathon shirt, my new running skirt, and my new pair of shoes. I know, nothing new on race day, but this was just a good speed workout. I had to laugh (a bit) at the other runners who were looking funny at me, thinking I was underdressed. Most of them were running in compression cold wear, with multiple layers, gloves and ear muffs (?!). Obviously, 8C in the south is really cold! In contrast, this was my warmest run in at least 6 weeks...

Training this Month
Training this month was very gnarly! I managed 128.4(!!!) miles, despite the fact that there were snow and ice and sub-zero (celcsius) conditions at every single run! I think what helped is that I knew there would be no better days. When the weather is only 50% bad, it is easy to skip a run and wait for the next good day. When days are 90% bad, might as well suck it up and go ;-) So, except for three weekends, I did all of my runs in the dark and cold. My long runs were therefore special treats, as I could run in daylight with music (no music when it's dark). Some memorable long runs included a Monday night 8 miler (the ice on Sunday was too thick), 10, 11, and 13 milers in sunny snow and my last 11-miler on the Outerbanks.
The bike path I usually run on

When the weather gets nicer, I'll run IN the woods

Since everything around home is flat, I do hill repeats on the overpass

My 11-mile run on the Outerbanks, in the sun, was wonderful!
My shoes got old....

... so I got new ones, and it makes such a difference!
Travel for the Month
We kept things easy for the first part of the month, and then flew to the US to spend our 2-week vacation with my in-laws. Since the weather was pretty bad and we did not trust the Dutch railways (they are usually very reliable, but have been failing a bit too much lately), we spent the night at a new airport hotel, called the CitizenM. So far, there are only three hotels, Amsterdam city center, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Glasgow. The concept is pretty neat: high tech, high design, for a low price. The room is pretty small with a huge bed. However, since the toilet and shower have sliding doors, it doesn't feel very small. I would, however, not recommend you share a room with someone you are not very intimate with...
Citizen M hotel room

We got to NC on the 25th, just a few hours of a mega snow storm... I was looking forward to some nice warm runs in NC, but alas, that was not to be...
Waking up on the 26th...

I did run 4 miles in this...

Instead, I had a few cold runs, and some huge amounts of good food.
Hibachi at the Crabtree Valley Mall

Ridiculous Steak Sandwich at City Beverage, Durham, NC
Then, we lived it up at the Sanderling Resort & Spa on the Outerbanks
Sunrise (jetlag after effects)

Breakfast: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Creme Cheese

Frozen Water (Sand Side)

Anyone up for a swim skate?

Jockeye's Ridge

Lunch after the 11-miler

Followed, soon after, by dinner...

And yes, I did get completely wasted on one cosmopolitan...
This concludes the August to December review. Next up, regular blogging...

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