Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Baking in 2014...

This has been a big year for me when it comes to baking. Back in January I was thinking that I would be done with baking, but then February rolled around and after an order for 100 Valentine sugar cookies it has just taken off from there. We have also learned what happens to Penny when she eats a dozen sugar cookies. She is okay for the first 24 hours, but after that it's gas and discomfort for Crazy Penny.

There was a little re-branding, with my new name and logo. It was not easy coming up with my new name, Sugar Shenanigans, I really feel like I have grown into my new name. (Plus I LOVE the word shenanigans.)

We have slowly turned out breakfast nook into my baking area.

I now own two Kitchen aid mixers.

I am the proud owner of a bun rack. Really, it makes me laugh every time I say it. I wonder if that will wear off.

These are just a few the Shenanigans of 2014...

  1. Olaf/Frozen cookies for Avery
  2. Sock Monkey cookies, I am sad I didn't make these for Carson when she was younger.
  3. Love and Dragon Flies for Dan & Judy's anniversary
  4. Ice Cream and Cupcakes
  5. Flowers, and the first cookies I sent in the mail.
  6. Ladybugs, Cows and love.
  7. Pokemon for my girls' birthday.
  8. Dr. Seuss cookies, I can't wait to make more of these.
  9. Peeps! Way better than actual Peeps, in my opinion.

  1. Superhero cookies for a 3-year-old's birthday
  2. More love cookies for an engagement party.
  3. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
  4. Angels and gold starts. I really love these angels.
  5. Arkansas cookies, I love the hog cookies. I made OU, OSU and WVU cookies too.
  6. Elf on a Shelf. My kids missed the whole elf on the shelf craze, and I was nervous about these cookies, but they turned out great.
  7. Thanksgiving. Love the turkeys made with flower cookie cutters.
  8. Music theme cookies.
  9. Pigeon cookies, my kids are too old for this character, but I hear the books are very popular. These cookies were a big hit with the kindergarten class.
There have also been a few cakes and cupcakes sprinkled in here and there.

German chocolate cake for my father-in-law's birthday. Seriously, I think I used up every dish in my kitchen with this one.

Dark chocolate nutella cake for my mother-in-law's birthday. (I see a theme developing here.)

I have tried out some new things this year. I aspire to make macaroons. I did make one batch and I think they turned out good.

I think the theme is chocolate and not in-laws.

It's been a year full of baking, and I hope that 2015 brings even more.

Goodbye 2014...

 There are just a few hours left of 2014, so what better time to be nostalgic about the year that has passed then now? No big plans for the evening, except a few extra teenagers, a little take out, and a midnight run planned for later.

There has been a lot of baking this year, but how about everything else?

There has been some running...

  1. Chicago Marathon, definitely a bucket list race, I got stung by a bee, and I'd like to do it again and run stronger.
  2. OKC Marathon, the last time I ever run the full in OKC, it was brutal.
  3. National Running Day, that day that I didn't actually do any running.
  4. Route 66 half marathon, the horrible half that turned into an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia
  5. Sooner State Games trail run, the day I seriously thought I was going to be last.
  6. Strides of March half marathon, my second fasted half ever, and the reason I decided to run the full at OKC. What was I thinking?
  7. Birthday running, I love birthday running with the girls.
  8. Walking the Turkey Day 5k, got Josh out of bed to walk that with me.
  9. Scorcher half marathon, the wettest race I've ever ran, and my last race in the 35-39 age group.

 And some other fun stuff...

  1. My 40th birthday, when my aunts and great aunt flew in to surprise us.
  2. Joshs's 41st birthday and one of those times he did a shot of tequila on his birthday.
  3. Rochelle's birthday celebrating at Blu.
  4. The girls' birthday at the Melting Pot in Dallas
  5. Food basket deliveries for the Elks Lodge before Christmas.
  6. The tailgate after the crappy OU game Josh and I went to.
  7. The Daddy Daughter dance, only one year left...
  8. Spring break in Branson, or that time we tried to go to Silver Dollar City and it freaking snowed.
  9. Birthday celebrating for Sarah and Rochelle.
By the numbers:
  • 1,047 total miles
  • 7 100+ mile months
  • 2 marathons
  • 3 half marathons
I think I ran my most miles in a month in October with 147 total miles, and my least amount of miles this December when I logged only 9 miles. That is quite a drastic change. Two marathons in one year is a lot. 

I am looking forward to a fresh start that the new year brings. Time to get back on track, set some new goals and decide what comes next. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Not So Much Running…

By the time I got home from the Tulsa half marathon three weeks ago I was completely worn out. I took a nap, which I try to never do on Sundays, and I was still tired. When The Walking Dead was on later that night I had a cough and could barely stay awake long enough to see one of my favorite shows.

Monday rolled around and I called my doctor and got in to see him Monday afternoon. The diagnosis? Upper respiratory infection. Armed with a z-pak, prednisone and cough medicine with codeine I was on my way. Thinking I would be feeling better in a day or two.

I knew that I was in no mood for running. I had decided during the half marathon that I was going to take a little break. I was worn out and not having fun and really needed a little break.

Thanksgiving was a couple of days later, which meant the Turkey Day 5k. I had so much fun at this race last year. I was bummed that I was not going to feel up to running, so I talked Josh into signing up and going for a 3 mile walk with me.

The weather was wonderful!
He’s smiling even though I made him get up early.
Rochelle stopped by after her 8+ mile run to walk a few blocks with us.
There was a Tim sighting at the OK Runner water stop!

It was a great day, I just love seeing friends out at local races. While I was sad to not run that day I still wasn’t really missing running, my motivation was about zero. That’s fine though, with my hacking cough I thought it best to take it easy.

The following Thursday, I met Rochelle and Patti for a nice easy 4.5 mile run from my house. I was fine when we were moving but whenever we stopped I would again start hacking. It had been a week and a half since I had been to the doctor and I still had a cough, felt tired, and just didn’t feel like myself. I stuck to other non-running workouts and lots of baking until last Tuesday.

I called my doctor and told him I still wasn’t feeling better. He called in another antibiotic for me, which was filled by my pharmacy about the exact time Josh got home from work and swinging by Target to pick up more cough drops and Mucinex. Nothing better than a husband that will turn right around and drive across town again to pick up your meds.

The antibiotic was one I had never heard of and I could tell after just a few minutes that it wasn’t going to work for me. My tongue, ears and face started getting very itchy and while I tried to convince myself that maybe I was imagining it after a little bit of it not going away I had to take two Benadryl and turn myself into a walking zombie for the rest of the evening.

I again called my doctor and went to see him last Wednesday. Turns out my upper respiratory infection had turned into Bronchial Pneumonia. No wonder I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I left armed with another antibiotic and an inhaler. I even took a sick day last Thursday. I spend the day catching up with The Newsroom on HBO just in time to see the last episode of the series air last night.
It’s been three weeks since I started to not feel well, and how do I feel now? Not fabulous. I have gone through more tissues than I can count. (I actually ran out at work today.) I am completely sick of coughing until I feel like I might throw up, I am tired of feeling like I can’t take a deep breath, and

I am so tired of feeling tired.

And I am starting to be bummed about my lack of running. After three weeks off I am going to have to get back into shape before I can run with any of my group. It’s so frustrating.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Route 66 Half Marathon…

It has been crazy busy the last three weeks! That paired with the fact that I feel like I have had the plague the entire time it has been hard to keep up with everything.

I ran the half marathon in Tulsa again this year. I love this race, it’s the fifth time for me to run it, and even though I was didn’t feel prepared to run a strong half this year I still registered for it. I have been less trained in the past and it’s been fine. Spoiler alert! It was a very hard day for me. Probably the hardest of all the previous years.

We got lucky and it was not 19 degrees this time, there was no ice storm two days before the race, and it was not raining. My luck pretty much ran out.

There were pictures before the race, but they seem to have happened on someone else’s camera and I have not managed to get them.

My goal was the same as last year, just run by how I feel and go with it. No goal times or pace. I’m really not sure what happened but it was just so hard to keep running. There were many walk breaks and there was a side stitch that nagged me in the second half. I just felt tired. I had done an almost 11 mile run the week before the race and felt fine, not great, but almost good, so I had been confident I could go run 13.1.

I was again plagued by guilt at knowing everyone else was waiting for me at the finish line. I really need to get over that, but it’s hard when you feel like your forward progress is slower than a snail’s pace. I did keep moving forward, and if there is one positive from the day it is that I didn’t quit.
They changed the route AGAIN this year. This is one of my favorite races, but seriously they need to pick a route and stick with it. I enjoy the six miles of hills at the start of the race, but in the past you always know that it’s going to level out when you get by the river. Not this year. It was like they wanted to have as many hills as possible, and they managed to get in a lot.

I must say that the little out and back on the bridge once after running by the river before you headed into downtown was probably my least favorite part of the whole race. It seemed so pointless and stupid and I am not a big fan of turning completely around like that in the middle of a race unless it’s an out and back and you know it’s half way and you get to go back the same way you came. Might just be me, but it’s hard on my legs/knees/feet.

Anyway, the finish was the same place it was last year, and while I like that you don’t have to worry about taking a bus back to the start to get in your car, I kind of miss the finish in Veteran’s Park. It just seems so crowded when we finish downtown.

I finished up, running my slowest half marathon to date and found my super speedy friends for finish line pictures.
Tiffany, me Sarah, Lauren, Rochelle, Lauren and Kara.

Aside from the actual running it was a great weekend. We got to hang out with the in-laws and celebrate Josh’s birthday with Mexican food on Friday night.
Some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten, and the guacamole was amazing.

And they gave Josh a shot of tequila for his birthday.

We drove home after the race and by Sunday evening I knew that I was getting sick, I just didn’t know that I would still be sick three weeks later. But more on that later.