Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010: A Year to Look Forward To!

If you missed it, yesterday I posted my 2009 Year in Review...

Today, I would love to post a list of numerous races and events that I hope to participate in and accomplish in 2010, but I am thinking I need to try something different this year. After struggling with knee issues a couple times in 2009, I have a new perspective on running, racing, and everything else.

So, with that in mind here's a few ideas I have for 2010:

Personal Goals:

  • Travel more. I have a good friend that lives in MT and need to make it a priority of mine to get out there and visit her this year. It was a goal of mine to do so in 2009, and that didn't happen. This year, will be the year. Asside from that, I would love to do some camping and hiking this coming summer, as well as a trip to a place I haven't been before, either in the states or abroad.
  • Spend time with family and friends. I do this pretty well already, but want to note how important this is to me. I am very close with my immediate family as well as some extended family and look forward to the time spent together - everything from a short weekend to trips together.
  • Do more painting. This is something I truly enjoy and find to be quite relaxing. I have a couple projects in mind and hope to share it with you in the next month or so!
  • Read more! I absolutely LOVE to read, but have not done enough this year. It's rediculous! I probably have a dozen books on my bookshelf that haven't been read and am itching to do so.

Health Goals:

  • Find a healthy balance between work, training, rest, and nutrition. This was a goal of mine last year, and I think I have come a long way with my nutrition, especially. However, I still have more to learn and additional changes need to be made. Balancing these things is probably the hardest thing for me and I need to realize that a missed workout here and there due to long days at work or not enough sleep is better than piling on the junk miles.
  • Try new recipes. I want to get better about exploring better and healthier recipes. 'nuff said.
  • Keep up with the vitamins/supplements. I have done pretty well with taking my daily vitamins and supplements and hope to be a bit more consistent with this in 2010! I am currently taking a women's multi-vitamin, glucosamine, fish oil, and have recently added Vitamin D.


  • Enjoy running. This past year has been hard in regards to running, with the least amount of miles in 4 years. But, I have come to realize that it is important for me to be grateful for every painful-free mile ran, whether it was a 10 minute mile or 12 minute mile.
  • Include more Core/Strength/Stretch. This includes getting back into doing my TriPower routine on a regular basis as well as participating in yoga, pilates, and bodypump classes often.
  • Participate in races/events. This is pretty broad, I know. However, instead of listing off thousands races that I would like to do, I need to wait and see how the knee is going to hold up. I have a pretty good base built since my injury, so if I play things smart, I should be able to continue training and build some long runs. If that's the case, I have some longer distances in mind, in addition to different races/events from years past!
  • Get out on the bike more. Unfortunately, this past spring/summer/fall I didn't get on my bike as much as I would have liked. Between the months of May and October, it was very wet and colder than usual.
  • Join swim team, again. In June, I joined the Adult Gators swim team and met twice a week for 1 hour swim practice. It was the best thing I did and I look forward to doing it again.

BUT, if I were to list a handful of races, this is kind of what it would look like:

  • Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon - I have done one of these already, but my sister has started training for a triathlon and would like to do one of these this winter!
  • Fargo Marathon - No, I am not talking about doing the full marathon, but the GoFar Challenge - which will consist of running the 5K Friday night and then the Half Marathon Saturday morning. It would not only be fun, but I would get a medal for each race, plus an additional medal for doing the challenge! If I struggle with getting my half marathon training done due to my knee, I will lay low and try to do the 10K since that has been recently added to the list of races that weekend! I am still part of the Youth run committee for this and it should be pretty fun!
  • Detroit Lakes Younglife Olympic Triathlon - I did the Sprint distance of this race this past August and loved it. I am hoping I will be able to do the Olympic distance this time around!
  • Ride the Wind 2010 - This is a two day ride for MS that I have wanted to participate in since I heard about it 2 years ago, but haven't been able to train for it. I think it's a 100 mile ride across two days, but it could be 150 miles. I haven't figured that much out yet. However, I will need to raise at least $200 to participate.

What does your 2010 look like? Do you have any specific goals/races in mind?

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009, A Year in Review

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
~Bill Vaughan

2009 is coming to an end and it's time to reflect on the year behind me. Where do I begin?

I can compare the number of events I did in 2009 to the number of events in 2008 and they are the same: 5.

Just 5:

I had big goals and more events on my race schedule for 2009, but considering the on-and-off knee issues this year, I am pretty pleased with what I have completed even though it wasn’t everything I wanted to accomplish. You live and learn. I started to encorporate more strengthening exercises as well as taking more classes at the Y.

Asside from races and the distances, I have had a pretty busy year. Let’s take a look:

That's pretty much it in a nutshell! What a busy, but exciting year, it's been! Be prepared for some changes in the looks of this blog. I am ready for a change, how about you?

Check back tomorrow for my 2010 goals!

What did 2009 look like for you? Are you pleased with what the year consisted of, or ready to leave it in the dust?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish a quick Merry Christmas to all of my wonderful readers. Due to weather, we were unable to follow our original Christmas plans, but the family is together (minus my favorite soldier)!

Here's to hoping you are surrounded by those you love and cherish, creating wonderful memories! And, thanks to our wonderful Soldiers who are not able to join us this holiday season! B, you will be home before we know it!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome Winter!

I was so excited for this virtual "race", with my new Garmin 305 - a birthday gift from the 'rents (who needs to be named) and temps in the teens, but I just wasn't able to get outside. I had an after school meeting that went late, and by the time I was leaving it was getting dark and I wasn't ready to run in the dark.
So, I scurried off to the gym and kicked out a couple miles. My first mile, which I will count as my winter misery 1 mile was clocked at 10:27 at a 2% incline. I know that is a slow easy jog pace for most of you, but for me, coming off an injury and trying to take things easy, this was pretty darn fast.... and I was feelin' it!

So much fun! Thank you, RunningLaur, for putting this together!

Only 10.81 more miles to run to reach 45 plus miles this month and top out 2009 with 300 miles. And... I went through and re-added up my biking miles and noticed I made an error.... I had shorted myself some miles and am already at 1,000 miles for the year! done!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Misery... already

In attempt to make the most of this nasty weather, and I mean NASTY (with -29 windchill) I am looking forward to taking part in RunningLaur's virtual race...

I am plugging away at my miles...23.16 more to go this month.... and this will be another fun reason for me to get out (or on the treadmill), even if it's just one mile!

I will admit, I am not a regular follower of RunningLaur, but I saw a link to this race via another blog and look forward to reading more from her.

Look back next week for a full "race report"!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Making progress

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I got to hear a great local band Friday, spent a lot of time resting and relaxing (with a little cleaning) on Saturday, and a lot of baking and such on Sunday! I have a Special Ed staff/paraprofessional christmas party that I am hosting this Thursday and trying to get ready for it!

On the workout front, I have been kicking my ass this month! My swimming is lacking a bit, since I am trying to get 100 miles of biking and 45 miles of running accomplished. I will easily make my biking goal - 100 miles - and am more than halfway there. No worries with that!

I still have about 24 miles to go to make my goal of 45 miles for this months challenge. I am trying to figure out the best way to go about this. Since I have just started experiencing pain free runs, I don't want to push myself into injury again. I have thought of a couple different ways to achieve this distance: 1) do more shorter runs throughout the week, or 2) do a few runs but at longer distances throughout the week.

I think I am going to stick with the shorter runs, but listen to my body. For example, yesterday I got on the treadmill with 3 miles in mind, but ended up doing almost 5 miles again. I threw the towel over the distance and just enjoyed the run. I probably could have gone longer, but wanted to spend a good amount of time stretching and doing some yoga.

I think a lot of my knee issues in the past has stemmed from weak glutes/hamstrings. I also think it might have come from tight hip flexors. I have been doing my AM/PM yoga once and sometimes twice a day for the past week and it has helped immensely. I love yoga!

Do you do yoga? If so, how often and for how long?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was spoiled on my birthday by all my wonderful friends, family, co-workers, students, as well as my blogger/FB friends! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such a great group of friends and family!

On top of a handful of giftcards to Target and Scheels (local sporting good store), my sisters and brother-in-law got me tickets to Lorie Line in Bismarck on the 23rd! I have seen her twice before, and can't wait to see her at the Belle! They also got me the New Moon soundtrack and I absolutely love it! My parents got me a cookie press, for making spritz cookies, to keep me busy until my real gift comes... the anticipation is killing me!

My students, loaded me with hugs, smiles, and happy birthday wishes. A couple students who are of different ethnicity sang me a song in their native language, danced around, and tugged on my ears. Supposedly tugging on the ears are well wishes and helps you grow! Too funny.

Asside from being spoiled, I did a two-fer yesterday. I guess some would say I had something up my butt, but I guess I just felt really good and extra motivated on my 29th birthday! I pumped out 14 miles on the bike in the morning and 4.75 miles on the treadmill after work! You read that right... 4.75 miles... running. And it felt great!

I am so excited to be running again, pain free. I still think I have it in me to get 45 miles in this month to meet my goal... only 31 more miles to go in 21 days. I know it's definitely do-able, I am just going to play it day by day and see what the legs can handle!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's just a number

I can't believe I am 29. I had to stop and think a second when I punched in my age on the bike this morning. It's just a number to me. Life is great and I can't complain. I had an idea to post 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30, but I will just save it and post it as part of my goals and such for 2010!

Monday, December 7, 2009

the learning never ends

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. ~Henry L. Doherty

It was only two years ago that I completed my masters degree in special education, earning my Special Education Strategist title, which consists the following credentials: Learning Disabilities, Mental Retardation, and Emotional Disturbances (sometimes referred to as Emotional Behavioral Disturbances in other states). Two years ago I had just completed an intense year of residency, working as a full time teacher while taking enough classes to be a full time student.

Come graduation in May of 2007, I was ready to be done, for a long time, and looking forward to just teaching for a while. However, for the past 6 months, I have been toying with the idea to go back to school. I went back and forth over the pros and cons, realizing that there are far more pros than cons.

I am going back to school! I am ready to dive back into those books and earn my Autism Spectrum Disorders Credential.

I didn't want to say anything earlier because this has been a work in progress for the past 2 months! 2 MONTHS I tell ya! And a stressful 2 months at that! I started working on my grad school application in early October. Who knew it would be such a process considering I had just completed grad school two years ago. While applying for grad school, I was also applying for the ND Traineeship Scholarship program which offers money for part and full time students if you get accepted.

And, I got accepted! Each semester, I have to re-apply for this scholarship, but it will be well worth it! My plan is to do this slowly, taking only 1 class per semester (maybe 2 this summer) until I earn my 12 credits! I am in no hurry, but look forward to that lane change (MA +15) in a little over a year!

To top things off, I will be earning this credential all from the comfort of my own home! I am looking forward to taking all these classes online! My first class, Introduction to Autistic Specturm Disorders, begins the 2nd week of January and we meet Wednesdays at 4 or 5 for an hour chat session, with weekly assignments/projects to follow.

Can you tell I am pumped?!

Learning never ends and this is another reminder to myself that I have truly chosen a profession in which I love.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jingle Bell 5K

When I woke this morning, I was pretty pumped for this 5K. This was to be my first event since my last triathlon in August.
Many of you were/are running in 40-60 degree weather this weekend and were puzzled with what to wear for the race. I know that many of your races were starting with cooler temps and then increasing as much as 20 degrees, and some of you were worried about running in rain, which all situations can be quite challenging when figuring out what to wear. So is running in sub-freezing temps.

Last year, it was 4 degrees but with 12 mph winds. It was brutal. Any wind at sub-freezing temps is horrible. This year, the temperature was 5 degrees at the starting line and I didn't really notice any winds. It was a huge difference. Even though the temperature here wasn't expected to change during our short distance, it was hard to decide what to wear.

What did I wear? I had on full-leg running tights, my knee length running tights, long-sleeved wick-away shirt, long-sleeved cotton shirt, my adidas running jacket, headband, a pair of finger gloves with my North Face finger gloves over them, red fleece scarf, knee length holiday socks with my winter running ankle socks over them, and my grinch boxer shorts. Very similar to what I wore last year minus a fleece jacket.

I was running this one with my friend Jill, and another girl she knew joined us at the start. Our plan, since we both have been struggling with knee issues, was to run 4-5 minutes and then walk. But, neither one of us worn watches, so we just went with the "let's see how we feel" plan.

We started out really slow (slower than I usually run on the treadmill) and ended up running the entire race with only two short walk breaks after the 2nd mile marker. most importantly, it was pain free and I finished strong! I had a really good stride going into the finish shute and thought about what it would be like to have that kind of pace for 3.1 miles. It felt really, really, really good.

It wasn't too long after we got back indoors that I started to get the chills. I was pretty sweaty. Try going home and icing your knees after a run in the cold. I was not looking forward to it, but knew I had to do it!

The Results?
Rank: 400 out of 498
Bib: 376
Name: Stacy Smith
Fargo, ND
Time: 38:39
Pace: 12:27

Like I said, it was slow, but a great run. I shaved 37 seconds off from this race last year. And, I just realized that this will be my last race as a 28 year old. *sniff, sniff*

Next year if I do this race, I would like to get more creative with my outfit. I saw so many wonderful ideas today and I wish I would have taken a bunch of photos, but I have a hard time with the idea of taking photos of strangers! There were two guys dressed as presents with big boxes around them, there was a guy dressed as the grinch and another person dressed as a dog, there was a girl that made her own gingerbread man outfit, and so many more... it was so cool!

Have you ever done a race and dressed up for it? What race did you do, and what did you wear?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

HBBC & Christmas cards

I am seriously struggling with getting my 7 servings of fruits and veggies in every day for the HBBC. It definitely requires me to do a bit more planning when packing my lunch and making breakfast & dinner, but I guess that's the point right? In addition, I am finding myself snacking on more fruits and veggies throughout the day, rather than crackers or other not-so-healthy things. It's a good thing, but just a change in how I plan meals and grocery shop.

Yesterday I was so exhausted, I could bare stay awake around 7pm. I did some blogging, catching up on all your blogs, and was in bed and asleep by 830pm. I slept for 8 hours and was up and at the gym before work this morning. The plan was to do a short run and then get on the bike, but instead, I did a 3.3 mile run, and stretched for a good 15 minutes, thinking I would get in a ride on the trainer tonight. However, I don't have the motivation, or energy, to do that tonight.

My plan for tonight is to begin working on my christmas cards since I printed off my Christmas photo collage today. Once I get them all out in the mail, I will post that photo here on blogland for the rest of you to see!

Are you participating in the HBBC? How are you doing?

Are you doing Christmas cards and/or photos this year?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's snowing!

Driving to work this morning I was thinking about the fact that I haven't pulled out my Columbia winter jacket yet, and it's December 2nd! How exciting! The day was gloomy, and by the time I left work, there was a beautiful white blanket of snow on everything. Secretly, I was super excited to see this. I am a true North Dakotan at heart. (Remind me of this in January/February when it's brutally cold, windy, and I don't ever want to leave my bed)

In addition to the excitement of the snowfall, work was uber crazy today. Can I just say this full moon business definitely affects my job. The kids were different, and I am not saying crazy, just extremely different from their normal self, doing things they usually don't do. Plus, I had to deal with something I don't do on a regular basis, involving riding in a cop car with our resource officer to a child's home. Yeah, it's been a weird day.

Now, I am home and enjoying my new tv! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to myself! I will leave you with a a picture of my new pride and joy and a couple random Christmas decorations.

my knitted sock, a reminder of my Grandmother who passed away when I was five.

One of my knew favorite ornaments... PEACE. Makes me think of my brother-in-law in Iraq.

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Down to the last month of 2009

Where in the world did November go? I mean, for reals. I think I say this every month, but boy did this month fly by!

Month in Review: November
Here's a look at the stats for November, and comparing them to October's Stats.
Swim - 4,800M ................ 8,700M in October
Bike - 98.56 miles .......... 77.80 miles in October
Run - 20.15 miles .......... 12.74 miles in October

My swim numbers were pretty low, but considering I was gone most weekends, and I struggled getting up early to get to the pool this past month, I deserve the low numbers. I was hoping to get the biking well above the 100 mile mark, but will settle for coming close. As far as the running mileage goes, I am quite pleased considering my knee is doing much better. I'll take it!

What's in store for December? In the back of my mind I have a couple things I would lurve to accomplish before 2009 comes to an end. I want to see my bike miles get above 1,000 miles for the year, which should be pretty easy considering I only need a little over 100 miles to do so. I would also love to see my running mileage make the 300 mile mark. That would mean I would have to do 45 miles, and I don't know if I want to push it. I guess I will just have to see what the knee is able to handle!

How do you plan to close out 2009? Anyone out there thinking about their 2010 goals and races/events schedules?