March 2017 Wrap-Up

How is the first quarter of the year gone already? I swear, the older I get, the faster time goes by. Slow down, dang it!

What can I say, I just love it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go as much as I would have liked this month. I was gone the first week of March, and also had a minor back muscle tweak that kept me away from a couple of classes.

I am DEFINITELY seeing increased definition in my arms and legs, which is awesome. I have already noticed some increases in my one rep maxes on a few moves as well, so it’s working. I’m getting stronger each week. I wish I could say that the number on the scale was moving, but that unfortunately hasn’t been the case yet. I need to retake my measurements to see if those have changed at all, but I’m confident that if I just keep going, good stuff will happen. I also need to really dial in my nutrition, but progress is progress. I’ll take it.

I had my triumphant return to running this month! I kicked it off with a baby two miler on the treadmill at Planet Fitness and didn’t want to die in spite of four months off. A week later, I ran another baby run on the treadmill and still felt ok.

I need to get back into a somewhat regular running routine because of all the races I have in May, but since they are all short races, the pressure is quite low. I can just run a few miles a couple of times a week and be perfectly safe racing.

Shoes are still an issue. I have not yet managed to get to a point where I can run in the Hoka Claytons without getting painful blisters, so I have switched back to my old Saucony Mirage 4s. They won’t last forever, but they’re not totally wasted yet. I can’t afford to buy any more running shoes right now, so I’m just trying to sit tight and use what I’ve got.

9 to 5 the musical opens tomorrow night! I’m currently in the middle of “Hell Week” and just doing my best to get through in one piece. Needless to say, I’m exhausted, and I’m also fighting a swollen, sore throat. I’m taking all the medicine and using all of my various intervention products, and thankfully, I’m stable. And I’m very, very excited to finally put this show in front of an audience.

Having a nice date night out with Ben and getting a chance to connect before I basically didn’t see him for a week due to crazy rehearsals.

Getting sick during show week. Booooooo.

As a refresher, my goals for February were:

  • Go to CF 12 times–nope
  • Go to yoga at least once–yup!
  • Run at least twice–yup!
  • Start (and hopefully complete) the process of my 401(k) rollover–yup!

Well, three out of four ain’t bad, right? As noted above, I only made it to 9 CF classes due to vacation and a minor injury. But, I DID go to yoga, I DID run twice, and I DID complete my 401(k) rollover. BOOM!

What’s on the docket for April? More of the same. Several fitness goals plus one important life goal. I’ve got a lot of stuff I really want to get done before we start trying to get pregnant, and chipping off one or two a month really seems to be working for me.

  • Go to CF 9 times (prorated membership due to being busy with the show)
  • Go to yoga at least twice
  • Run at least three times
  • Schedule either wisdom teeth removal or gum surgery (yuck!)

How did your March shape up?


February 2017 Wrap-Up

Another month gone by! Crazypants! This wrap-up is coming at you a little late because of our Bahamas vacation (stay tuned for a recap!), so here we go.

At the end of January, I did a little retrospective, and I’ve decided to keep that up even though I’m not really running or training for anything. It’s always nice to look back and see what you’ve accomplished, and I think I actually did pretty well this month.

CF continues to be awesome. I’m making friends and definitely getting stronger. I went 10 times in February, which is pretty great considering all the snow we got and how busy I’ve been. My current membership level gets me 12 total classes per month, so the fact that I only skipped twice is pretty impressive.

Fitting CF in three times a week will get more challenging as the show approaches, and I’m considering prorating my April membership because I really don’t think I’ll have the time or energy to go at all the week of 9 to 5 shows. We’ll see, though.

Rehearsals for 9 to 5 are getting longer and more frequent, and this will continue through March and early April. I love, love, love getting to do theatre, but it is incredibly demanding of my time and energy. It’s always worth it in the end, but I also always reach a point in every rehearsal process where I think “What the hell have I done to myself?” I haven’t hit it yet, but it’s coming. Having had this past week off from both work and rehearsal has been a great recharge, though, and I’m hopeful that it will help stave off any feelings of panic.

Right before we left for the Bahamas, I had my audition for Dogfight the musical. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I got the part that I wanted. As I recently discussed, this is something of a double-edged sword. It means two back-to-back rehearsal processes without much downtime between and less flexibility to do fun things this summer, but I get to play I role I really want and sing beautiful music and work with my friend Scott again. I’m choosing to focus on the positive and know that it will be great.

Still no running around here. I’m planning to bring it back this month, though. The days are getting longer and slightly warmer, and Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, so it’s time to get back to at least two runs a week, on my off days from CF.

Our Bahamas trip, hands down. Lots of rest, reading, good food, great company, and delicious beer. Heaven.

Sitting in the North Eleuthera airport and realizing I had to go back to reality. I actually cried. While my work environment is pretty awesome, the job itself is soul-crushingly boring, and knowing that I had to return to that monotony was quite depressing.

In my January wrap-up post, I also set out a couple of goals for February. Since you probably don’t remember what they were, here’s a refresher:

  • Go to CrossFit 12 times.
  • Go to yoga at least once.
  • Make an eye doctor appointment.

Sadly, I only accomplished one of these goals: I had an eye doctor appointment on the 23rd. Getting my eye doctor appointment was relatively painless because the office I chose (where Ben has been going since he was a teen) allows you to request an appointment online! #introvertwin. I didn’t end up needing a new prescription (yay!), but I got new lenses with fancy anti-glare coating, because I have a hard time with night driving sometimes.

I have some goals for March as well:

  • Go to CF 12 times
  • Go to yoga at least once
  • Run at least twice
  • Start (and hopefully complete) the process of my 401(k) rollover. I left my previous employer almost 4 years ago and still haven’t rolled my old plan into my current one. The power of compound interest is more powerful the more money you have, so having all my dollars in one plan is the best way to make my money work. I tried to do this once already, and the jackass I got on the phone never actually sent me the necessary paperwork. Time to put my adulting pants on and get this done.

Have you ever had to rollover a retirement plan? Was it relatively painless?


Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

This post is a sort of follow up to my mantra post from a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to just drop that post into the blogosphere and then never touch on it again, because the whole point is that there needs to be action. I need to constantly check in with my goals and create steps to get there, and then follow those steps. I’ve got a few things coming up over the next year or so that are really important to me, and I need to put some things into motion to make them happen.

Lyric Theatre Company is doing 9 to 5 the Musical in the spring, and there’s a lead role I really, really want. I’ve never had a lead role with Lyric before, and I know competition for this show is going to be fierce. This means I need to take preparing for auditions seriously, instead of half-assing it as I have so many times in the past. I’m already taking steps toward this goal:

  1. I have contacted a few new voice teachers in the area, and I am dedicated to a) finding a new, good voice teacher (or, if I can’t find someone better, getting back on the schedule with my old teacher), and b) going to lessons at least every other week.
  2. I’m planning to suck up the cost and take a dance class or two in the fall, because that’s my weak spot in the musical theatre world,so I need to work on this.

I’ve already had one intro voice lesson with a new teacher, who, while she was very nice and skilled, was not the right fit for me. I’ve started researching dance classes and crunching numbers to see what I can afford as well.

My fall half Marathon PR goal. I feel like I have been doing a pretty good job of prioritizing my running workouts these last few weeks, but I still need to make sure that I’m doing some cross-training as well. I don’t think a PR is out of reach for me, but I have a plan to help me get there.

  1. Complete 3-4 runs a week with a long run on the weekends, yoga once a week, and spin when I can afford it.
  2. Commit to a short, at-home strength training session once a week
  3. Re-join my running club, and maybe seek out others to help keep me motivated and accountable.

Running club is a challenge, because the Tuesday runs all happen at a local trail center that costs money to access (most of the club members are also members of the trail center so it doesn’t cost them anything), and Saturday runs now start at 7:30 am, which as I’ve stated, is way too early for me to get up on a weekend. But I do have my strength sessions planned (rotating, arms, legs, and core), and come hell or high water, I’m getting back to yoga next week.

Ben and I are planning to buy a house next year. We have a very concrete timeline we’re trying to hit because we’re tired of renting and we’re hoping to start a family soon. Unfortunately, we are pretty cash poor, and with what we’re currently able to save, there’s just no way we could achieve this goal without taking the following steps:

  1. For the last several years, I’ve been paying a LOT more on my student loans than I need to. The goal was always to get them gone as soon as possible, but now we’re realizing that the extra cash would be better used to build up a down payment. So, at least until we get a house, I will go back to paying the minimum on my loans, and socking the rest away into savings.
  2. We are moving back in with my in-laws at the end of the summer. Yup. You read that right. Ben and I have had many long conversations, and we are both completely on the same page. We are planning to put all of our current living expenses into our house fund while we live with his parents.

By taking these two steps, we should be able to save enough for a decent down payment, with some left over for any necessary renovations. It’s exciting and scary, and I am absolutely dreading moving all of our shit YET AGAIN (Ben and I have moved 7 times in the 8 years we’ve been together, so this will make number 8). But I know it will be worth it if by Christmas time next year, we can have our own house.

So there you have it. Just a few of the goals I’ll be working towards in the next year. Of course there will be lots of other things that come up along the way, but these are the three biggies that I need to DO THE WORK to achieve.


Looking Back, and Looking Ahead

Waaaay back this past January, I made a 2015 Goals post, like you do when you’re a running blogger. And now, it’s time to look back on that post and see how abysmally awesomely I did, like you do when you’re a running blogger.

So what were my goals for 2015? Honestly, other than run 15 races and run 500 miles, I couldn’t remember without going back and looking at my original post. Oh, right! Here they are:

  1. Volunteer at a race.
  2. Run at least 500 miles.
  3. Run 15 races in 2014.
  4. Run a sub-29 5k race.
  5. Run an actual 10k race.
  6. Don’t have any non-running months.
  7. Participate in the RW Holiday Run Streak.

So, how did I do?

I DID NOT volunteer at a race. I had great intentions. Truly I did. But when it really comes down to it, I’d rather be running a race than watching a race, and if I’m gonna get up early and plan a day around a race, I want to be running. I’d still really like to do this someday because I’ve heard such wonderful things, but alas, 2015 was not the year.

I DID NOT run 500 miles. It just wasn’t in the cards. This year was ridiculously busy, and I only trained for one half marathon this year, unlike last year when I trained for two. My final total ended up being about 356 which is almost exactly what I ran last year. Weird.

I DID NOT run 15 races. The biggest obstacle for me truly was time. I was SO BUSY this year that cramming in more races would have been stressful. And of course, racing ain’t cheap either, so affordability was another obstacle. But I ended up running 12 anyway, which isn’t bad.

I DID run a sub-29 5k race! And on my birthday, no less! Truly the best present I could have gotten, and at one of my favorite races. What’s not to love?

I DID run an actual 10k race. It was not my best race, but I finally did it. 

I succeeded in not having any non-running months. I remained mostly healthy and totally uninjured this year, so even though my total mileage some months was lower than I would have liked, I ran at least a little every month.

I DID participate in the #RWRunStreak… But I quit after two weeks. I’m glad I tried, especially because it was one of my goals for the year, but I learned that streaking is not for me, and that’s A-OK.

And now, for 2016…  My only real goal is to complete the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon. It’s my first 26.2, and to me, it’s a big freakin’ deal. I plan to post more about this soon, but I’m taking this goal very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I’ve hired a coach. Many of you probably know her: Coach Susie, of SuzLyfe. Training will begin in January, and I’m VERY excited.

Fallon over at Slacker Runner did a great post earlier this week about how she’s not setting goals for 2016, and that’s about where I am too. I understand that for some people, goals are very motivating, and help them get out and achieve great things. For me, goals can go either way. Sometimes, they really do help me keep up with running or push outside my comfort zone, but often, they just stress me out. Like, oh no, I have to confess to the world that I didn’t complete XYZ goal and now I’m a failure! And that’s dumb. Especially because this year is going to be crazypants busy anyway, what with marathon training and rehearsing a show at the same time. I think that’s quite enough to worry about.

Did you set any goals for 2016? Why or why not?

Mid-Year Goal Check-In

I’m a few days late, but we just passed the halfway mark for 2015, so I thought it would be a good idea to check in on the running goals I set for 2015 and see how I’m doing.

2015 Goals:

Volunteer at a race  

Not yet. There are a couple I’m looking at, but my schedule is bananas right now, so I’m being commitment phobic.

Run at least 500 miles

Right now I’m at 136 for the year. Not quite where I want to be, but I’ve got time to get there, and I have half marathon training starting in August, which will help a lot.

Run 15 races in 2014

So far I’ve run six races, and I’m already registered for three more, which puts me at nine. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cram in 6 more races, but we’ll see.

Run a sub-29 5k race

CHECK! I ran a 28:55 on my birthday, which was an awesome present to myself. Time to start chasing a 27:xx 5k!

Run an actual 10k race

I’m registered for the Jaxson’s Dog Days of Summer 10k hosted by RaceVermont on July 25. Barring injuries or illness between now and then, I’ll be able to check this one off the list.

Don’t have any non-running months

So far, so good. Most of my months have been pretty low-mileage, but I haven’t had any non-running months, so I’ll take it!

Participate in the RW Holiday Run Streak

Still on the docket, but if it’s a particularly wet or icy early winter, I’ll probably bag it, since I don’t want to get hurt.

Not bad for the first half of the year. I’m excited to see where the rest of the year takes me!

How are you doing on your 2015 running goals?

Goals for the VRH Jiggety Jog 5k

The number one goal for this race, as it was last year, is to have fun. This race is not competitive. It’s about the Respite House and raising money. I plan to enjoy every minute, and stay to cheer on every last runner, and watch the awards ceremony.

That being said, I do have some specific goals, mostly because this is a repeat race. I know the course, and I have an idea of what I’m capable of compared to where I was at in my training at this time last year. Last year, I was still something of a noob, and this race was only my 4th 5k race ever. Now, I’ve got several more 5ks and 2 half marathons under my belt, and I’ve had some pretty strong training runs since coming back from my Legally Blonde-induced hiatus, so I feel like a PR is within my reach.

  • A Goal: PR (under 29:17). Looking at my runs and paces from the last few weeks, this is TOTALLY doable. As long as I stay healthy, and nail my hydration and fueling, I should be able to PR.
  • B Goal: Age Group Award. I was 4th in my age group last year, and they give medals to the 1st and 2nd place in each age group. I want a medal, dammit! (Note, this is HIGHLY unlikely, but something to strive for anyway)
  • C Goal: Course PR (under 30:21). Last year, the course was totally new to me. I didn’t know what to expect, and ran a pretty conservative race. I also had to pee for the latter half, it was the hottest day of the year so far, and I was wearing shorts that chafed the crap out of my thighs. Knowing what I know now, I should be able to at least get a course PR.

Barring some crazy mishap, I see this as being a really strong race. I just hope that the weather cooperates. Last year was hot and humid, and it looks like this year might be the same, with a high of 86* and 40% chance of rain in the forecast.

Also, a last-minute plea for donations–I’m only $35 away from my goal of raising $1000. This amount provides care for a Respite House patient for three whole days, and grants me membership in the exclusive “Jiggety Jog Club.” I hit $1000 last year and I’m determined to get there again. If you’d like to help, click here to make a secure online donation.  Every little bit helps!

Who else is racing this weekend? What distance?

Goals for the Spring Fling 10k

I started writing this post last week, with high hopes for a strong race. Since then, I’ve come down with a nasty chest cold, complete with hacking, wet cough. Now, I’m not even sure I’ll be able to finish the race period, if I decide to start at all. The weather is looking pretty bad, and if it’s freezing cold and raining or snowing, I probably won’t risk getting more sick. As it is, vigorous movement (like jumping rope at rehearsal) is causing my throat to feel like it’s on fire. Needless to say, this is very disheartening, especially when I was feeling so good about things last week. The goals I set out below were goals for when I was healthy and not hacking up a lung. Now, it will be an accomplishment just to finish, so my edits are in italics.

1. Finish healthy and uninjured. After my half in November, I took 6 weeks off due to a mysterious foot injury, and I’d rather not repeat that any time soon. The most important thing is to finish the race without hurting myself. This now also applies to my illness–I need to remember that I have a show in 3 weeks and I need to get healthy ASAP. If I run really hard in the cold and wet, I’m risking prolonging my illness or making it worse. I really don’t need pneumonia right now.

2. Finish under 60 minutes. I know I am perfectly capable of running a sub-60 10k and it’s a fairly comfortable pace for me. If I have a strong recovery in the next 36 hours, I’d say this is still possible, but not likely.

3. Finish under 58:31 (PR).  Technically any 10k race would be a PR just because I’ve never run a true 10k race before, but my virtual 10k PR is 58:31. It would be nice to beat that, but I ran that while I was in the middle of a really strong half marathon training cycle, and this cycle has been all over the place. Unless I have a miraculous complete recovery, this goal has pretty much gone out the window.

Right now I’m feeling really conflicted about what to do. I know that it will likely come down to a last-minute decision on Saturday morning when I wake up and assess how I’m feeling. I just hate not knowing what’s going to happen. I also have a tendency to be overly cautious in situations like this, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a bummer to have paid for a race and then not do it. Only time will tell.

Would you run a race in the rain with a cough?

Goals for the Cupid 5k

I haven’t actually been running much lately. Between work, 13 hours of rehearsal every week, and trying new classes at the gym, I’ve been downright exhausted. I also tweaked my knee last week, so I haven’t been pushing it much. Obviously, now is not the time to try for a 5k PR. That being said, I’d like to have some concrete goals going in so that I’m not just paying $25 to run 3.1 miles.

  1. DON’T GET INJURED. I’ve had quite enough time off from running due to injury lately. A speedy finish time won’t be worth it if I have to take more time off.
  2. Have fun. Remember that I like running, and that I’m lucky to be running after so much time off this fall and early winter.
  3. Finish under 35 minutes. My slowest 5k last year was 36 and change minutes, while my fastest was just over 29 minutes. As long as I land somewhere in between the two extremes, I’ll be happy.

I’m very interested to see what will happen on Saturday. Honestly, though, as long as I finish healthy, I don’t think I’ll really care what else happens. I know I’m under-trained, and that I can’t expect miracles. I will have plenty of other 5k PR opportunities this year.

Now I just need to worry about the weather. This is supposed to be one of the coldest weekends so far this winter, with daytime temps in the negatives due to windchill! Yikes!

Have you run a race recently that you weren’t well trained for?

Is anyone else running a Valentine’s themed race this weekend?

A Break from the Norm

Yes, I know, this is not my usual Manic Monday post.  But between my foot issues, a mysteriously painful, possibly-strained muscle in my abdomen, and the Thanksgiving holiday, I didn’t really do much last week.  I made it to the gym exactly once and did some random strength stuff at home, but nothing really worth writing about.

Today is December first, and while for the last few months (September, October, November), I’ve done monthly goals and recaps, I’m gonna skip that today as well.  November was a bit of a wash.  I ran twice, got injured, and biked twice.  Again, not really much worth summing up.  And since I’m injured, I won’t be doing too much training, so there’s really no point in setting goals for December, other than “don’t gain 10 pounds because you’re not running anymore.”

I will hopefully be seeing my doctor this week and figuring out what’s up with my gimpy foot.  Until I’m running again, I’ll be spending a lot of time with the recumbent bike and focusing on strength training, which has definitely been lacking over the last year or so.  I’m hopeful that mixing it up a bit and getting myself stronger will mean that all this time off from running won’t necessarily mean a huge loss of fitness and speed once I’m back at it.

And now, to dispel the gloomy tone that has unintentionally crept in, I give you this:

Photo Dec 01, 8 39 48 AM


Do you have any goals for December?

Friday Free-For-All (Twenty-One)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

Blog giveaways are awesome–especially when you win!  A couple of weeks ago, I won a fuel sample pack from Danielle at Live Run Grow.  I’m still working my way through the goodies!  And then last week, I won a Strut Your Stuff Sign Co medal and bib holder from Jess Runs Happy!  It came in the mail on Monday and I cannot wait to hang it up in our bedroom and put my medal and bib from Sunday’s half on it 😀

medal rack

Every day for the rest of November, I’m gonna post something I’m grateful for on Twitter.  Two of my favorite blogs, Running Around the Bend, and Run Away With Me, are doing variations of Thankfulness posts throughout November, and it totally inspired me.  The holidays can be really busy, stressful times, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and “Oh my gosh only xx shopping days left!”  I want to remember that the real focus of the holiday season should be friends, family, and being thankful for all of our blessings.  I’ll be posting once per day, and I encourage you to join me.  I’m not using any special hashtags or anything, but feel free to tag me if you’d like to participate (@raeisadarlin).

I need a new goal.  My goal all spring was to finish a half marathon, and I did it.  My goal all summer was to hit a sub 2:30 half marathon, and I did it.  I’ve also accomplished a sub-30 5k, and a sub-hour 10k.  I’ve hit a bunch of great milestones this year, and now I need to figure out what’s next.  I’ve already talked about how I’ll be backing off on distance racing for a while and focusing on shorter distances, but I still want to have a concrete goal to keep me motivated.  I’ll be pondering this in the coming weeks, so that I can hopefully come up with something before Christmas.  I definitely need to have a goal or else training is just gonna go right out the window.

What’s your next big goal?

Do you have a medal/bib rack?