Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An emotional week

And it's only Wednesday.  I don't exactly have the time to be blogging right now so I will make this short.

  Algebra sucks.

Yesterday in class I had to turn off my camera because I couldn't grasp the concept and got lost right from the beginning.  The farther he went into the lesson, the more overwhelmed I became, which led to lots and lots of tears, and every time I raised my hand to ask a question, and he called on me, I choked up.  YEP in front of the whole class.  Embarrassment wasn't my biggest issue at this point.  All I could think about was how I missed the assignment, and quiz, and now I can't even think about grasping week 2's lesson, and there is no way I am going to pass this course...cue more tears.

    Now that I am crying uncontrollably and there is no possible way I can obtain any information, I want to end the session, i.e.; give up.  But I can't because if I do that, then I will lose precious class points.  So there must be a glimmer of hope in there somewhere so I keep listening.  Then I am getting worked up because I am so far behind I cannot possibly understand at this point.  I see all my other classmates get the concept, and feel even more like algebra is my enemy, and my brain simply cannot, will not there is truly a misfire there.

  Eventually I get the nerve to raise my hand again.  The words won't come, no voice without tears GRRR.  (This is like, but not worse than when the Admiral came to our ship and they chose me to take his dinner order because I was best suited for the job and I froze!  I'll leave it up to you to guess if there were tears in that situation. ) The instructor realizes I am having another moment and begins to move on, but WAIT!  The words come!  Halleleua I am able to ask a question!!  He realizes how far back I got lost and works with me through the break.  The reason I did not stop him in the beginning was that he stressed wanting to get through the first part quickly so we could spend more time on the word problems.  So he cleared up some of it for me, and I was able to move on...somewhat.

  I joined a tutoring session after class and got a little more help, then tried to do it totally on my own later and was lost.  Hmmm.

My house is a disaster.
I am doing horrible at algebra
The laundry is folded and in baskets
I need to know the workings of the heart and cardio respiratory system by the end of the week
The weight of my life is on me

I pray
I run
I feel better.

This has been a very emotional week.  I cannot let my emotions take control.  I am casting my eyes on things above, things not of this world.  I will get through this somehow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

As I am sitting here waiting for Apache to download since it seemingly crashed and this is a second install, I am thinking about the fact that it didn't crash until I was in a position to fix it.  A curious thought for sure.  I am going to say this is part of God helping me succeed.  I think if Oo.o ( would have  crashed right before I wanted to take my final exam, I probably wouldn't be in any position to blog right now due to hyperventilation.

  What have I been up to?

I have been taking it easy so to speak since my half marathon.  I have been trying to watch my diet since I haven't been getting as much exercise in.  Reason being that this was the end of a 5 week module.  I am still not clear on what that all means, but all the classes I take are in 5 week chunks.  The last week is the most crazy because instructors want assignments in early because they have to have grades by the end of the week.

Next week starts the craziest next 14 months of my life (I thought the last 5 weeks were something!). I am going into Anatomy and Physiology, and Algebra.  For those of you who know me, I hope you have dropped everything  and went directly to prayer.  All jokes aside, I do need prayer for this one as I struggle to learn, and when I have to focus on more than just learning, my struggle can become overwhelming, intimidating and stressful.  I just need to remain calm and peaceful.

I haven't run since the half on Sunday (today is Friday) because I wanted to give myself a break from running.  I have gone up the last two nights and done weight training and stair steps.  I do plan to run, but not as long of distances until maybe spring or summer...unless I can't wait that long :).

The half marathon went well.  I originally signed up for it because I did not want my exercising to lapse while I was busy being a student.  Things got pretty intense trying to incorporate running with school.  It seemed everything was spilling into what little family time I already had :(.  I was so excited to get to run with my new friend Christina.  She and I have such a similar running start story, and we go at the same pace.  About 2 weeks before the race her foot was giving her real trouble.  She called me to give me a heads up about it.  I told her to not feel guilty if she had to drop out because I originally signed up for the race by myself, then I told her with that being said, I really want to be able to run this with you.  When we first met we were both nervous about trying to run with anyone because we had both done our training alone.  After a few months of running and a half marathon under our belt we felt confident enough that we could run together and truly enjoy it.

 She called me 2 days before the race and regretfully informed me that she would not be able to run :(.  This made me sad, for Christina, and for myself.  I didn't want to be selfish, but I couldn't help feeling that way.  When I got to the race Christina was there for support!  She was sad she couldn't be a part of it...I could tell.  I was sad but was trying to act like I wasn't so she wouldn't have one more thing to feel bad about.  Never kick a person when they are down.

  Before I seen Christina I went over to the start sign to take my picture in front of it, there were groups of women taking photos of each other, a couple of them asked me to take their picture.  I didn't mind, but was really wishing I had someone to take a picture with.  See, as much as a runner enjoys a good race, and may spend the majority of the race not talking, if you have no one there to be with can be a lonely very big place.  I asked this lady to take my picture and she did.

This is about an hour before the race

I had everything I needed to start, I had my lucky socks, my lanyard Emily bought and I wore on my first half, and my water bag.  I will have you know that a long sleeve shirt was not an appropriate choice for this race.  It was very humid and got rather warm during the race.  I will say though that the weather was perfect for running conditions.

Some Uh Oh! moments:
When I had turned in my bag, and was strapping everything on, I realized I didn't have my arm band for my phone, NOR did I have my heart rate monitor that I was so curious about wearing.  I went back to the bag check, and got my HRM, but my arm band was no where to be seen.  I was rather dismayed.  Then I heard the lady yelling to me, she took the time to look around the area and seen that I had dropped it by the bench!  The volunteers at this race were so kind!

What I remember about the race:
Here is a view of the Columbia as I was running by, also we passed under the I-5 Washington/Oregon Bridge which was pretty cool.  There is a route around Portland where one can run the bridges, I would like to do that one day...when I get over my fear of Portland. 
This is the view of the river

I met these really cool people from "Team Joleen", apparently Joleen was a big inspiration for this race. (They said I could be on their team :))

I remember running through Fort Vancouver, and near Pearson Air Field.  There are some pretty sweet things to look at, and the fall scenery was incredible!  I was in a lot of pain to fully enjoy it though.  All I could do was look for the finish line...not what I wanted to be thinking/doing.

I remember running past the Fred Meyers that can be seen off Hwy 14 just before it hits I-5 and knowing I only had a couple more miles to go, wondering how I was going to make it.  Then getting behind these three very fit looking ladies, who seemed to run with such ease...they were pissing me off.

I remember running up this demanding hill and raising my hands in victory when I conquered it (hoping I didn't look like a jerk) It was a moment for really only me to see.  I do that a lot when I am running alone. don't judge.

I was trying to capture the look and the feeling (moment) of what it feels like to be in the midst of a half Marathon...I want to say this is a little more than half way.

I remember seeing sweat soaked bodies, and one lady having removable arm sleeves, thinking to myself how those would have been removed ages ago if I were wearing them!  And wishing I wouldn't be too embarrassed to run in my sports bra...but even if I wasn't, there were a lot of little kids on that route...wouldn't want to scare anyone ;)

I remember seeing the finish line and just going all out sprint to get the best possible time, and then seeing the man I love the most at the finish, just like he said he would be <3.

I remember putting my foot up to take off my timing chip and having to lean on the lady helping me so I wouldn't fall from exhaustion.

I remember the paramedic asking me if I was okay when I went to get up from the curb.

I remember the tough times, and I remember the feeling of accomplishment.

Thank you guys for reading my race recap, and life story.  Hopefully the next time I talk to you, I will know a little something about Anatomy and Physiology...and Algebra!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Assignment, offense, and running talk

  An assignment leads to an offense...

  I am going to start off with the thing that is bothering me most.  We had an assignment to observe a group fitness class.  I went to the gym and observed a circuit training class.  I told the instructor why I was there and what I was doing.  She was so kind, and told me she would like for me to take her class. I explained that I was not taking it that day because I had an 11 mile run the next day, and really needed my rest.  She cringed when I said 11 mile run, and looked repulsed at the thought (that should have been my first clue) but I just brushed it off as I realize a lot of people cringe at the thought of running that distance, heck even I used to.  I don't cringe anymore, but I will tell you it takes a certain amount of discipline and "psyching up" to get myself through it.  I sat and observed the class, then went on my merry way to do the rest of my reading and studying for school.

  While I was writing my paper from the observance it had occurred to me that I never asked what her certification was, and I knew that if I didn't include that information my paper would be incomplete.  I went back to the gym several hours later and none of the people from the morning were there.  I found the instructors business card labeled "Personal Trainer".  When I called her to ask about her certification, we were talking, and she was wanting me to take her class, and I informed her that once this half marathon was over I was going to back off of the running a bit so I could concentrate on strength and such and that I would love to take her class.  Then she says to me "you know...running makes your butt small"  I say, "well, I have had a big butt for all my life" and before I could get anymore words out she interrupts and says, "No, I mean flat, a flat butt that has no form."

  Now I know no woman wants a flat but, I get that, but I am of the firm belief that my backside is not now, nor has EVER been in danger of going "flat".   I am not so much upset about the fact that she told me my body was going to change in an undesirable way from running as I am that a "Personal Trainer" would condemn a healthy habit that I have worked so hard to establish.  She is supposed to be encouraging cardiovascular exercise, and human movement in general!  I will not hold a grudge and I especially know that being offended is a sin(1).  WHAT?? you say?  BELIEVE IT.  Why?  Because when we are offended we often get tripped up, and led to anger, resentment, and hate (that's sinning). I don't want to sin because I want to please God, and live my life as a light.  Rather than going through all that, I will just let it go, and know my boundaries with this woman.  I will also chose to focus on her positive attitude and good qualities.  I am almost certain that when she hung up the phone she soon realized the blunder she had made.

  An 11 mile run...

  Did  you know that it is only okay to type a numerical character if the number is 10 or higher?  How cool is it that I have run so far that I can use numerical characters?  ha ha, I am just full of information.  Oh just wait, now that I am fully enveloped in studying, cramming all sorts of information into my brain, I will probably be sighting more little known facts...bear with me :).

  Saturday morning (yesterday) while I was preparing for my run, my Haley asked me how far I was running, and I told her, then she said "But won't you run out of breath?".  I explained to her that I have learned to control my breathing, and that my body was conditioned to do this type of thing.  But friends, that little question she asked carried me through my run.  When my hips and back began to ache, and when I began to question my own endurance, and wondered where my energy had gone, I remembered that I was conditioned, and out of the depths of my imagination. "The body is stronger than the mind"(2),  there was a place that I could find the energy, the endurance.  I believe God gives me strength, and I also believe he gives me little nuggets of encouragement to reflect on for those moments of doubt.

More of my take on running in general

  When running long distances I really want to find the flattest run possible.  Sorry folks, I like to run, I never said I was into self torture.  You have read in the past of my dealings with hills, and if you haven't it won't take long to fill you in...I have tried them, I run them when I have to, and avoid them when I can.  Avoiding hills feels a slightly like sneaking a candy bar into the middle of a salad though.  I have been hearing about the dangers of running on cement.  Most of the time I don't run on cement as I run the roads around my house.
The pros of running by my house...I am out in the country so there are no lights.  I don't have to deal with lots of cars and their exhaust.

The cons...hills, and the danger of being alone while running.

 Which reminds me...I need to get hand held pepper spray.  While I was on my last 3 mile run I passed by a man on the other side of the road.  Of course every story I have ever heard about runners being taken over flashes through my head, and as I size this man up, a terrifying thought hits me "I couldn't take this guy if I needed to."  It is very unfortunate and angering to think that  just because I am weaker that it would be "okay" to do with me as you please.  I guess in a way it's like leaving a million dollars in your car and not bothering to lock the doors, so I guess I will be locking my doors with pepper spray.  These are real thoughts and fears I face when going out alone.

  Rest day...

So today I will enjoy a rest, take the kids to a birthday party, and then begin it all over again next week.  My Half Marathon is on October 14th.  I am supposed to run 12 miles next saturday.  I am still debating on weather I want to run that long the week before the Half.  I don't want to be burnt out and dread the Half.

  Forgive me...

for the long blog post, but it has been so long since I have written a quality post, and who knows how long it will be before I can write another...if this even is one ha ha.

I learned that if I am going to quote people, or insert things I have learned, I need to site where I got the here it is. Numbers are behind the quote or reference in the paragraphs above.

1. Strongs Concordance: Offend. Greek 4624: To entrap. i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):--(make to) offend.

2. Chris Powell on Extreme Makeover Weight loss edition.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Goings on

Okay, the last time I tried to blog when I was this burnt out was a mess.  But I have found a scrap of time, and darn it, I am going to use it.  I figured I would take you though a new typical week with me.

  Sunday: Church/family time
  Monday: Drop kids at school, come home and study, and attend a 2 hour live class
  Tuesday: Drop kids RUN 3 miles, head home (unless there is an urgent need for some type of grocery, then I will grab it) Study work on assignments
  Wednesday: Drop kids early RUN 5 miles, hurry home, attend 2 hour class then study and work on assignments
  Thursday: Drop kids, run 3 miles, hurry home, study, work on assignments
  Friday: I haven't totally figured Friday out, but the hope is that I will have my assignments completed and will be able to run errands, and help with my kids school related activities.
  Saturday, tie up any lose ends, and family time.

  That is a rough draft week, didn't want to bore you with too many details.  I have always appreciated the value of time, but now I do even more, because when I go get the kids then come home, tidy up the house, make dinner, and spend some minutes with my husband, I am eager to see if there is just one more thing I can do, but by then I am pretty spent.

My running has been going surprisingly well, especially for how tired I have been feeling.  I also have been trying different courses, which has really made a difference in my motivation to get out there.   As I may have mentioned in the past I want to specialize in weight loss.  I also want to specialize in encouraging children and youth to be fit and give them fun ways to move their bodies.  The great news is that I can!  There are specialty certifications I will be able to take to help me toward that goal.

  Saturday is an 11 mile run.  I have already mapped out a course as that will be the longest distance I have ever run while training.  My last Half marathon I ran only 10 miles for my longest run before the race.

  Well that is all I can squeeze in for now.  There really is so much more to say, I want to return to my usual musings about the things I see and find, and how I feel, but that will have to wait till a later date.  Thanks for reading, and take care my friends...I miss you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

An intro to my first few courses, and run talk

  I just want to say that this self improvement stuff is not easy!

  This was my thought as I was on my 5 mile run yesterday.  Lately I have been having trouble getting into the groove of running.  I think the reason I am having such a hard time is because of the new schedule.  In the summer I could get my run in the early morning hours, but now it isn't feasible with the girls having to be to school so early.

  What is feasible about that is that my online live class gives me plenty of time to get home after I drop the girls off.  This means NO before care.  Oh how you wouldn't believe the resistance I sometimes get to this.  I can't exactly blame them though...I made them this way.  I was always first to pick them up from any situation, it started with Sunday school.

  I have sort of concocted a plan in my head.  Each of the courses are 5 weeks, and I have three courses this 5 week term.  Fit-100 with a teacher that promises to deliver a great learning style!  The name of the course speaks for itself, it will be the introduction to the main reason I have begun this journey.  Tech-102 this course is assembled around  We will have to learn in my opinion extensively, how to use 3 aspects of this program.  I am thrilled that I will be learning word processing, but at the same time am nervouse because some of the language can be dry.  There are on Tuesday evenings "academic assistance" sessions that you can bet I will be logging onto!  Last but certainly not least is Enlish-111, this is a course that promises to teach me how to use my adult skills such as prioritizing, collaborating, and breaking up big tasks into smaller more manageable tasks, among other things.  The plan I have made up is to drop the kids off at school, then go over to the gym, get my run in by treadmill, or around my gym area.  There is actually a nice foot path that I have talked about in he past, but it goes a long a busy highway where there is a lot of exhaust so I don't like to do that too often.  Then after my scheduled work out I will either go home, or change clothes and head for the library.  I have this idea that being at the library for my non live teaching days would give me a responsiblitiy free place to study, and will keep away the it will feel like I am "going" to college :)

My long run days are on Saturdays so they won't conflict with school, and after my half marathon my running schedule won't be so stringent, that will be another worry for next know how fearful I am that I am going to quit running.  However I do think I will take a break after the half in October, and do crosstraining in between. 

  I am learning lots of college lingo that I never really knew what it meant, like Syllabus, and synchronous, and Ruberic.  I asked God to let me retain all that I learn, and so far He has really helped me!  And I just learned that blogging is going to help me in my writing assignments!  My first 5 week term starts tomorrow, but the instructors have already posted some of the assignments, so I have gotten a jump start.  My worst fear is falling behind.  I like the luxury of taking a lot of time to study and take notes. 

  Tomorrow is my 10 mile run.  I am looking forward to it, but also know that this is how I do.  I feel all big and bad like i know I can do it, being all relaxed, but then the morning of a long run comes and I have to remind myself constantly of the benefiits.  I will burn 1,000 calories, I will have the most awesome runners high, I will totally deserve the break I get over the next two days, and some bragging rights.  You would be surprised at the level of procrastination that goes just before a run LOL.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Feeling failure...maybe I need a change.

  Well, it seems that I promised myself at some point in this running journey that I would not compromise.  I was holding pretty good to that, even last Thursday I wasn't able to get a run in due to a busy schedule in the morning.  Then in the afternoon I was having stress pains so I put it off.  Finally that night I told myself "you have just long enough to get the three miles in before it gets dark.", so I put on my running gear and blasted the three miles!  I even set a personal record!  It was dark and I was out of breath considerably when I came rolling up the driveway. But I felt pretty darn good.

  Then it occurred to me.  That night run went so well because it was different, a change.  I don't think I have become bored with running, although I do think I have become bored with my route.  There are other courses I can take, but I get nervous about doing so because at least on my route I know when I am almost done, or to my half way point, or where the dog is that is going to bark at me any minute.  I know which side of the road to run on to avoid blackberry branches that stick out too far, or to stay in plain sight of drivers.  I know the air is safe and I won't be breathing in exhaust fumes....But sometimes I wonder if the fear of the unknown is part of the victory of trying something new.  Does that make sense? 

  I have noticed that on my cross train days (when I do actually cross train) after I am done lifting weights (okay, if you just pictured me on a weight bench with a bar across my chest pressing 100 lbs, you are welcome to keep that image, but I gotta tell you it's not correct, picture more like me standing with  a 12 lb weight in each hand with quivering arms on about the 10th rep pushing upwards) that I always feel most like running.  Sooooo....I am thinking about going to the gym, doing some weight training, then heading outside for a run around the nearby neighborhood, or the footpath.  The day I can program into my phone step by step spoken directions for a new neighborhood run, I will be so thankful!

  Saturdays are usually my long run days.  This Saturday I was scheduled to do a 5K race, that is 3.2 miles.  If I have no races in my area, or don't feel like shelling out the money to run in one, then I just do the mileage.  The reason Higdon puts races on the schedule is to see where one is speed wise.  Well, I had every excuse in the book to blow off that run.
1. my kids were both at sleepovers
2. my husband had the day off and wanted to spend it together 
3. I already know my pace from the awesome three I ran Thursday night...
and the list goes on.

  So I listened to my voices.  The scale reflects my failure. And I need to stop beating myself up and get back on the wagon.  Here is another crux.  Today is a scheduled rest day, and I really want to stick to the schedule.  I will not run or do weights today because I have a big week ahead of me with running, and will need my energy, but I won't be able to help feeling like a failure because I didn't run on Saturday when I truly could have found a way.  

  This is what I will tell myself.  Tomorrow is a run day.  You will run.  You will do great because of all that rest you had.  It will set a nice tone for the day and the week.

  Praying that I get all my runs in despite the voices and my new schedule.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I must have smoked a pack in my sleep

  I had the toughest run today that I have had in a long time.  I can't remember the last time I wanted to quit in the middle of a run...oh wait, yes I can, because I did.  I even wrote about it.  Chalked it up to being too hot and some other stuff.  I now realize that I should have just slowed the treadmill down.  Today was a 5 mile run.  First one in a while.  With this training program the mid week run jumps up a mile, sort of like the end of the week run.  Even after my chest was hurting like I had smoked a pack of cigarettes.

  I have really come to crave my long runs.  Yes I still stress a bit about them, and I do get tired while on them, and I am human, so I procrastinate in the morning before I run them.  Then "why?" you ask do I crave them?  It's the feeling after.  Every time I watch that show Extreme Makeover, I get encouragement from the people who are making an extraordinary move in their lives.  Today when I was watching, Chris looked at the guy after he had completed a work out, and said "now you can do anything".  That is exactly the way I feel after a long run.  I believe signing up for a race is birthed from  the high of a long run.  I think the more I run, the more it takes to experience the high.

  Todays run for instance was so difficult that I really was discouraged with it all day.  I made good time, and completed the task, and probably burned more calories than most good 5 mile runs, but it was a let down.  Tomorrow I am due for 3 miles.  I am not going to say that should be easy, I am just hoping I get a good nights rest for it.  I even ate salad today.  I noticed that if I eat anything that grew up from Gods green earth, that I get better results.

  At my kids school there are other runners, how do I know?  I know because I have seen two vans with running stickers!  I sure hope I figure out who they are and above all I hope they are nice!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Talk about my day and show you my new shoes!


I decided to go Vlog for tonight...what do you think?  My dear friend Wanda says I should make more, I kind of like it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Todays run, and an update with VA assistance

  This morning started out with a 4 mile race pace run.  I pushed really hard, my first mile came in at 9:16, this for me is fast!  I ran up the street and considered going down the private road that will give me the distance I need, and would be less dangerous.  As I was coming up to this road I seen a dog.  I decided not to run down that road because then the dog may follow me out onto the main road where the cars go 50+ mph.

   As I went by there was this little puppy, a cute cuddly yellow lab puppy who decided to follow me onto the main road.  Well I couldn't do that, so I figured I would run up the road and into the drive way and drop it off.  I thought it had worked, but upon looking behind me...there it was.  So I decided to run all the way to the end of the road and see if it would follow me out, sure enough, I had a new running buddy.  So I turned around and ran back toward the house...which btw is no small thing, this house is a big beautiful mansion about an acre off the road complete with pillars and an American flag waving from the flagpole!  The dog in tow the whole time.  I decided at this point I had to keep focused and get turned back toward home, I was hoping to tire my buddy out by the time I got to the end of the road, because if it followed me, it was going to have to follow me all the way home.  I even thought about tying my ribbon I use to secure my back pack to its neck for a leash just so it wouldn't get ran over!  Well lucky for the dog, once I got about half way down the road it stopped following me.  I wish I had a photo to show you guys, but there was so much going on, and with trying to maintain a race pace, I couldn't take those few extra seconds that i'm sure were lost anyway.

  Yesterday when I was running I passed by this skinny very green and looked like a little red small snake.  It was awfully still, but didn't appear to be dead.  Then on the way back it was still there.  This morning I passed it again.  I thought for sure it was dead, but then on my return I didn't see it...hmmm.  What do you suppose happened?  I have my theories, and wasn't curious enough to test them.  And in case you are wondering, yes I did take into consideration the rubber aspect of the thing.

  Haley and I went to the eye doctor and had our eyes dilated.  That is such a pain to deal with as we had to go grocery shopping afterward.  I couldn't do it before the appointment because of the perishable and frozen food.

 I am going to put the rest into a video and see if I can put it on here.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

I finally figured it out!

Picture it...Sicily...1936
No, but seriously folks, I have been waiting on some pretty big news and wanted to have it all together so I could give the the whole story.

  Back in may of this year (2012) I was a few pounds away from my weight loss goal, and was chatting with my dear friend Alethea.  We would speak often about health, fitness, and The word of God.  She taught me some stuff that I never knew before.

  I told Alethea that I wish I could help people as losing weight is so difficult and a lot of people simply don't know how to go about it.  She told me that would be a good thing for me.  I told her I would love to do it, but the only people I could help at this point would be people who were exactly like me, and lets face it...there aren't a lot of people like me.

  I am not sure at what point I decided it was feasible, but I began looking into it. At first I asked a friend what steps I should take, knowing she worked in a gym.  She mentioned a trainer at her gym who would help, but then talked about how he would require I try to sell to people. (that made me nervous) I found a place online called the NPTI National Personal Training Institute.  This is a 6th month course where a person can graduate with a diploma and qualify to take the test to certify with NASM National Acadamy Sports Medicine.  This course would teach me to be a personal trainer with limited nutrition training.

  I spoke with the woman about the school for about an hour and took some notes.  It seemed to be my only option, but then I decided to poke around even more and found a place called Bryan University online, they are an extention of Brayan College.  I sent my information then not too long after received a call.  I chatted with the woman about all this place offered.  It is an online classroom where I will be on my computer with a headset and can see the instructor there are buttons where I can raise my hand to ask a question, or request that the instructor slow down.   That's just the classroom!  This school offers free tutoring if I feel I need the extra help.  I would graduate with an associates degree in fitness and nutrition with the ability to menu plan and direct people nutritionally, even people with challenges like diabetes.  On the fitness side of things I would be equipped to help most people achieve thier fitness goals. I would qualify to take the NASM, and the ACSM tests.  I would be able to work anywhere in the United States as a personal trainer. There are other things I am not thinking of right now that made me choose them, but the financial advisor encouraged me to check into assistance from the VA since I was in the military.  So I did.

  Upon calling the VA I found out that I may be eligible for a new kind of assistance as I did not qualify for the Montgomery GI bill.  So I filled out my app online and sent it in.  I got an email from the VA saying they received it.  I went camping expecting thier call any minute!  I got back from camping and made a phone call.  There they told me that I would recieve a letter in the mail.  So I waited.  A week went by and I called.  My application was in line to be processed.  So I waited and went to Minnesota...meanwhile amongst all the waiting I was telling family and friends of my plan.  There was not one negative comment, I even asked the people who I knew wouldn't sugar coat it and they all thought this was a path that made sense for me and were genuinely happy for me.  Also among the waiting I prayed.  I prayed for Gods hand in this and for the doors to be opened if it was what was best for me in His eyes.  Kurt had mentioned just shooting for September and going for it student loans and all, at first I was excited, but not long after that had absolutely no peace because I knew that would be pushing to get what I wanted, and I have learned that when I am seeking Gods voice, Peace is the yes answer, weather it's what I want to hear or not.  As I began to lose hope here and there, I also felt like God was giving me way too much encouragement to not let this be.
  Today I made my third and final phone call.  I was actually calling to see if they needed me to send my DDform214 as I did not have it when I filled out the original application.  The lady took my information then said "You filled out an application for financial aid, and it looks  like your certificate of eligibility has been mailed, and when you receive your letter, you need to ...."  I interrupt "wait!  You mean my application got accepted?! and that they are going to grant me money for school???!!!"  She replies, "well, all I know is that it says here you will be receiving a certificate of eligiblity in the mail soon." 

  So folks, there you have it, with a lot of stuff I am sure I forgot to mention, I am going to school to be a personal trainer!!!  I am so excited to be doing something that not only I want to do, but something that I feel I am capeable of!  I have so many desires for this endeavour I have begun to write them down. 

  The birth of this idea comes from wanting to help people, and that is where my heart will remain.  My ultimate dream is to have a private gym at my residence for people to have private workout sessions, and to also hold group sessions to keep cost down.  I also wish to do charitable work, like speaking at schools, maybe showing students fun ways to exercise and speak about nutrition.  I want to give nutritional advice to my friends and family who ask me.  I want to encourage anyone who sets out to save thier own life by beginning to live a healthy lifestyle.  I want to plan a menu for people working around the things they like to eat.  I am not out to convince the world that they need to never touch fast food, or to stay away from BPA's and GMO's, I just want to help them be the healthiest they can be in the best way possible for them. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cedar lake trial, Orange Theory Fitness, and some other stuff

  It's hard to know where to start because I have so much to say, but I don't want to bore you with a ten page essay, so I will keep it short as possible.

  Friday August 10th my family departed on an airplane to Minneapolis Minnesota.  I was nervous to leave only because I had been gone so much this summer, and each time I left proved to be a challenge to keep some sort of running schedule.

  I have learned that running is a lot like matters of faith.  I love my Jesus so very much and when I have spent time in His presence I am renewed!  I feel rested and ready to face the day as I know everything He has for me is good and perfect.  So then why is it that going to Him and spending time in prayer proves to be a challenge as well?  It is a rhetorical question that I know the answer to.  Just like spending time in prayer and in the bible, getting out to run isn't always what I am being pulled to do.  When I go to read my bible, I can think of all the house work, or any sort of errand or task I should be doing.  When I am supposed to be running that day, I can think of all the reading and relaxing I want to be doing.  As I have mentioned in the past, there is very little that I will give myself as an excuse, and then there is the little thing I look forward to the most, ENDORPHINS!!!!  These babies are the best, and they are the #1 reason I keep going.  I am also quickly realizing the importance of a running schedule!  I am so glad I decided to train for another half marathon, weather I participate or not!

  Before we ever packed our first bag, my dear sister in-law Holly was making plans for all the sisters in-law to get together.  She had worked up a few ideas involving a work out then appetizers, and/or drinks.  These were creative ideas too!  One of them included having an evening session at a place called Orange Theory Fitness, this link opens in a new window.  Well with so many different schedules it was proving to be difficult to get the families together.

On the right is Orange Theory

  I realize the photo is hard to make out, but I thought it was interesting that the gym was all the way to the right, and there is a Subway on the left.  This is very similar to my gym close to home, of which I have no photo.

  So you have probably figured out by now that I made it to OT (Orange Theory Fitness).  Holly and I made plans when we were eating out at Dicks Last Resort (more about that later...maybe) on Wednesday evening.  We decided to meet Friday morning at 6:30 am for a class to begin at 6:45.  I was quite relieved to be doing this early in the morning as I am not an evening work out sort of a girl...UNLESS I already got something done in the morning.  If I have to wait till later in the day, or evening to do something intense, I will become a huge stress ball throughout the day!  

  I have no photos of my experience, but if you are curious about the appearance of the place and the machines, their website is great!  I won't bore you with too many details about the experience, but I will point out some of the highlights.  After I signed all the paperwork, it was time to put on a heart monitor.  I have no previous experience with one of these gadgets...but I think one may be on my list.  When I put the thing on, I wasn't sure what to do as the place I needed it to rest was just under the band of my sports bra.  They pointed out to me that it was a good idea to tuck it under there as it would be more likely to stay put anyway.  Also the lady who handed me the HRM took a guess at how long the strap should be and she was right on the money!  Which I am so glad because I did not have time to be adjusting.  There were three groups of people all starting at different points of the circuit.  
#1 Treadmill
This was the first point for me.  Of course I was stoked about this.  I won't go into detail, but this was all about speed work, and pushing yourself...this is where the HRM's come in.  There are two television monitors in the studio, and on these monitors each person receives a square.  In this square is a percentage and a color.  The color represents where you are with how your body is struggling to receive oxygen.  The instructor lets you know how hard to push and in what range you should be.  The only guessing I had to do was what speed to put my treadmill at.   
#2 Rowing
This was actually included with the weight circuit, so I guess there are technically only 2 groups.  We were to row 500 meters
#3 Weight lifting.
Some lifting with free weights, and a lot of body resistance moves.  This particular workout was using mostly arms.

Everything I do proves to be a "learn from your mistakes" sort of a deal.  
Treadmill goofs 
1. Going so fast I knocked the emergency cord out of the machine therefore having to reset.

2. pressing 9 incline for the all out push yourself speed instead of 9mph.  (and just incase you are thinking 9 is a weakling speed, I had to do this for a whole minute after running my base speed for 3 minutes, then a push speed for one or two minutes)

Rowing goofs: This was my first time ever using the rowing machine...
1. She told me I had to be between a 28 and 30, I was looking at the time, and it kept going up, so I thought I was rowing too fast and kept decreasing my speed.

Strength goofs:
I didn't realize she was showing us the moves and then all the moves she showed us were written on the white board exactly what we needed to do, so I was just doing whatever Holly was doing. (yea, trying to keep up with her was like trying to keep up with an Ironman contestant!)  By the second round I figured it out.

At the very end your statistics show up on the screen, and at what levels you were.  The instructor went over with me what it all meant.  This is the sort of place that you could really improve your workouts with out a lot of guesswork...if any :)

I give this place a good score because the people were super friendly, it was fast pace and NEVER boring, and everyone was so helpful!  Had I to do it all over again, I would have gotten there even earlier and asked for a quick overview of how it was all going to go down.  I am just glad they let me in.  It was free for my first time, and even though they knew I was from out of state, they offered me to come back again before I left for another free workout THAT is GOOD business!  If I could I would open one.   
I didn't really mean for that to be a review, but I guess it sort of was.

  About my runs while being in the city.
As many of you may already know, I ran something called Cedar Lake Trail 

 This is the makeshift path down to the trail
 This is where the path comes out
 This is one of the views while on the run
This is a view of what part of the path looks like

  The very first time I ran this, I ran for 3/4 of a mile next to the RR tracks on the gravel road.  I am not a fan of running on gravel, but I though "oh well" it was at this .75 mile that I realized it was probably never going to cross the trail, so I found a place I could duck in... there were a lot of bicyclists passing by.  I was very excited to see all these people out exercising because where I live I don't see many at all when I am running.  I was waving hello to everyone I passed.  Most of the time I got strange looks.  I think out of the 20 people I waved and said hi to...2 of them at least gave me a nod or smile back.  I am NOT exaggerating.  I got back to the house and was happy that I got a 6 mile run in, but frustrated at the whole path situation, and was griping that bikers think they own the road.  I decided to look at the map again to see what was the deal with the path.  As it turns out there was a makeshift path from the railroad tracks all the way to the third path which was meant for foot traffic...which brings me to another point. 

Path Goof
From MY point of entry there were no signs that designated it being a running or bicycling path.  The bikers were acting as though they owned the road because well...they sort of did.  It wasn't till my second run that I could see that there was a distinction between the foot traffic and bicycle traffic.  Let me be clear though, that there ARE points where the bikes, and feet meet up and MUST share the path.  

  It is in my opinion and upon my observance that Cedar Lake, and it's surrounding trails in the Minneapolis area are well sought after and for very good reason!  These are a beautiful place where fitness minded people can get a good run in without having to dodge traffic.   This trail has a pretty neat history, which the link above titled Cedar lake trail will go into detail. (I only wish I would have come across it before I started).

Not running in Monte
  For part of this vacation we drove out to a little wonderful town named Montevideo. Corn fields as far as the eye can see!  
We seen some more family, and my sister in-law Julie, who I have inspired to begin running!  Yay, I am so proud of her, and I hope to keep encouraging her!  (I still cannot believe I am an inspiration to people). 

  I had brought my running gear, but over the two and a half days we were there, I never even opened my gym bag because I couldn't find an opportunity to run.  Well it is a good thing because I NEVER brought my Sports bra!  I guess if I would have discovered that fact while I was there...a trip to Walmart would have cured that.  Yes BTW, a SB from Walmart would have worked perfectly fine.  Running shoes however...not so much.  I have yet to go somewhere and forget my shoes...I have come close, but got saved at the last minute.  I know it will happen someday, but until then I won't worry about it.  

  On Friday night Kurt and I went to Dicks sporting goods where I seen they had a Nike + GPS watch powered by TomTom for $169.  They weren't on sale, but these babies have come down in price!  I was between wanting the sport band, and this, and my husband said why don't you just get the watch because it has everything.  I have only run with it once and that was before I had hooked it up to a computer.  I still have some reading to do on it, and plan to use it again tomorrow.  

  I am going to close for now, but have so much more to tell you all concerning my future with fitness, and how this GPS watch works, and probably some points about my vacation I may have forgotten.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Watching the olympics as an athlete

  I am not sure I can consider myself an I looked it up in the dictionary.  This is what I found;
athlete |ˈaTHˌlēt|
nouna person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.• chiefly Brit.a person who is skilled in competitive track and field events (athletics).
  I guess you could say I was proficient in running...?  proficient |prəˈfiSHənt|adjectivecompetent or skilled in doing or using something: I was proficient at my job |she felt reasonably proficient in Italian.
       Competent yes, skilled?  I think I am close enough.  Olympians are elite athletes.  But as a person who has trained and conditioned my body to do something that takes hard work and dedication, I have a bigger understanding (than I did when I was not training) of what they have gone through and what they may be thinking as they are are completing a marathon.  Please don't miss understand me here, I am not saying I know what they are thinking by any stretch of the imagination, I am simply saying I may have a little more than a stab in the dark...or instead of missing the target completely, I may have hit on the very edge giving me no point value.  
      All that to say I have enjoyed watching this year more than ever!  I haven't become bored like in years past.  And somehow I stumbled on the womens marathon, and if you guessed that I was glued to the TV set on that one, well then you can give yourself 10 points and a hug from me because you are clearly a blog reader of mine!     Another race?  I am seriously considering running the girlfriends half marathon in October.  I have it marked on my calendar, and I have seeked out the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training program, all that's left is to register.  Why haven't I?  Because I have a lot on my plate right now.  I have something big that I have been praying about and if it comes through then my mornings and afternoons will be pretty full.  Days are getting shorter and runs in the morning will have to be short.  I don't know why I am just now thinking this...but maybe I should get some guidance from God?  YES not maybe YES!  Okay, so I will start praying about this now.  If no doors close then I am going to go for it!  I want that goodie bag, and another half under my last hooray before fall!!!  I do not like to run outside in the least I didn't last year when I first started, but after running outdoors all summer, it may be hard for me to bring it inside.  After all...they do make running gear for cold weather ;)
  My birthday is in 2 days, and as my sister says "It's your birthday, that means Christmas is right around the corner!"  It makes me a little nervous when she says that, but it's true, and this year once Christmas hits, it will be a year since I began this running journey!!!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Camping and running...can it be done?

I just got back from being out of town on a camping trip to Trinity Center KOA in California.  This is the best campground I have stayed at in my life.  We go annually with my bestie and her family.  This was my first year attending as a runner. You like that?  I totally refer to myself as a runner now...although after this last week, I am not so sure.

  Day one Aunt Flo came for a visit, I was expecting her, and was fully prepared, however I didn't know she was going to be THAT much of a pain in my keister!  I had a plan that I was going to run Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning.  Well, when we camp we like to stay up later than usual and have s'mores, and a little something called pudgy pies (I may go into detail about those later).  I tried to go to bed early enough, but with a rough nights sleep in a bed that is not what I am used to, combine with that hag Flo...running was not something I was up for.  I am of the mindset that there are no excuses.  I tell myself the minute I make excuses, that is the minute I will give up and quit running.  Well, I think the odds were just terribly stacked against me.

  The day I did actually run was on Thursday, and it was only 2 miles.  When I got finished with my warm up and hit the ground running I felt GOOD!  Then I realized I may be going a little fast as I was out of breath.  My legs wanted to GO, like a pack of Huskies waiting to start the Iditarod.  I had to slow them down so I could at least breath LOL.  I had a nice 2 miler and felt really good afterward, so I went up to the playground where I seen a man doing some strength training there (that's where I got the idea).  There was a basketball court where I was able to do some push ups, wall sits, and squats.  I felt SO good that day.  That afternoon at the pool this man was talking about how he was running for a fitness test and that he could run a mile and a half in 14:40, or something like that.  I asked my husband Kurt how many miles an hour that equated to.  He said about 8 mph.  I looked over at the guy and thought to myself i'll be a monkeys uncle if he's running an 8 minute mile!  I think my husbands math was off.  All that to say that this guy was talking about having to run in the altitude...ALTITUDE!  What?  I hadn't even taken that into consideration thank God, because if I had, that would have added to my arsenal of excuses, and believe me, that locker was full.  I may not have ever got a run in at all!

  Friday was our last full day of camping.  I got up early enough that morning to get a run in, but I really wasn't feeling good.  That day we went to the lake and my nose was running.  I was catching my daughters cold.  By Saturday and the trip home I was full blown sick, miserable.  Aunt Flo finally packs her bags, and this cold takes her place, and with a vengeance might I add.  We rolled into our driveway around 9:45 pm and I went in the house and took my temp.  So not only do I have a cold...I have a low grade fever 99.4 WHAT UP?  I took some cold meds and headed straight to bed.  I had the most glorious nights sleep thanks to Tylenol Cold night time medicine (liquid form) with "cool burst".  No they are not paying me LMBO, but it is so good I will give them some props anyway.

  I do want to interject though that among my worries about all the eating and not running, my biggest fear was not the weight that I might gain.  My biggest fear was that I would not be able to pick up running again, or would not want to.  Weight gain is something I can handle, I can control.  Well as I am typing this, I realize that I am a bit looney...why do I constantly do this to myself?  Of course I want to keep running.  In fact I can't wait to get back out on the road!  As I was separating laundry mountain (that is a term coined by my friend Gina Sanders) it occurred to me that every time I came across a pair of running shorts, or a dry-fit shirt...a little tinge of excitement would streak across my inner being.  And as I was driving in and out of my driveway, I was looking at the road longingly in anticipation for my feet to meet the pavement once again soon.  I do have to take tomorrow off though as I told myself to rest one more day because of this stupid cold.

  On the way home I did drive for about 3 hours (of a 9 hour drive), but through the mountains.  I drove a 7 mile 6 % downgrade.  I may have never known before what that was, but let me tell you what it was, it was white knuckle, that's what it was.  So I give myself some props, and demanded a few from Kurt, which he gave me.

  A pudgy pie is much like a grilled cheese sandwich, except with blueberry pie filling, and heated in cast iron over a campfire.  Very yummy.

  I do have to tell a quick story.  Last Saturday on my 7 mile run, I brought along my nice Adidas light jacket that I shed half way through my run.  I made sure to shed it on a corner so that I could come back with my car later and pick it up.  (these country roads don't have much for shoulders).  Well, when I came back it was gone.  In that short of a time someone seen it, got out of the car, decided they knew someone who could wear this practically brand new jacket and took it.  I am very bitter for so many reasons, but if you hear me mention the jacket, you will now know what I am talking about, and I am not looking forward to running by that spot agin, but it is a staple of my run to go that way.  After all that has happened good, and bad in the last couple of weeks, I am not going to let any of it take over because I am blessed by God in SO many ways (especially salvation) that I will not let the bad stuff win.

I may as well share some photos from our camping trip, especially after that downer story.
 This was taken in Weed, Ca on the way down
 This was at the Lake, the scenery is spectacular!
 This is Rick and Teresa
 This is me and my man being playful as I switched our hats.  shhh don't tell him I posted this pic 
This is my oldest with her new favorite pastime.
And this is my youngest...just enjoying herself :)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

No race, new season...

  So I guess this is a new season in my running deal.  I have a few reasons why I haven't been blogging.  It seems that I have been crazy busy, and also when I read other peoples blogs they have all sorts of tabs, and highlights, and links, I begin to think "why would anyone want to read MY blog?"  But I have to just get over that and realize that if I wanted all that stuff I would just have to take the time to learn how to do it.

  Not a race:
So now that I am not training for a race, what's next?  As I have already made very clear to myself, I refuse to quit running.  One of the post HM (half marathon) training ideas I had planned was to train my oldest daughter to run a 5K as she has taken an interest in running.

  Emily's 1st mile with me:
   I took her out one day about a week ago and she did so well!  We ran down the private road, which we call our driveway...we actually share it with about 7 other houses, but it is gravel mostly and has three good sized hills.  She kept a good pace, and only had to walk a few times.  Whenever I encouraged her to run she would pick it up again, and on the hardest hill (Deanna's hill) she pushed herself so hard.  I could see that she was struggling and I was encouraging her to get up it without stopping and promised her when she got to the top that she could walk.  The next day as I was finishing up a 5 mile run and was on that hill, I was tired and thought to myself how my daughter must have felt, I looked over to my right and could see that red faced little girl muscling up that hill, I could almost hear her breathing.  I was reminded of the smile she had when we reached the plateau :)  I was sure to tell her when I got home what I went through on that hill, and sure to tell her how hard I know she worked and how proud I was of her.  I was sure to tell her how much I enjoyed her running with me.  I really need to get out there with her would be good as it is a rest day for my schedule.

My new schedule:
 I went into the forums of Daily Mile and typed in training schedule.  The best one I seen I have modified a bit and this is what it will look like for me:
Day 1: Monday 2-3 mile
Day 2: Tuesday 4-5 mile
Day 3: Wednesday 2-3 mile
Day 4: Thursday rest or cross train
Day 5:  Friday rest or cross train
Day 6:  Saturday long run, generally a mile longer than I had done the week before.
Day 7 Sunday: Rest
 I will add strength to my cross training days and one of my run days.

Dealing with being tired:
  Adding strength to my running routine has helped me to be tired.  I know I will see results soon and rather than be tired I will be stronger, it's just tough waiting it out.  This is why I was not going heavy on the strength when I was training for my HM.
  Another additive to my tiredness is the new schedule I am committed to.  See, as much as I love to run, my husband is more important to me.  He faithfully gets up every morning very early and goes to work, he does not stop to have a beer, or gamble at the casinos, he comes home and loves on his wife and kids.  I feel like he deserves the world if he should ask it from me, so the least I can do is get up early with him.  This is proving to be a challenge, but I am seeing some adjustment.  We have been going to bed early as well...most nights, and the funny thing is that we tell the kids they can stay up a little later, but they choose to go to bed too.  In the fall this schedule will change as work will be closer to home.

  It seems as though things have been busy, some of it I bring on myself, but most of it is errands and everyday stuff that you can't get by without.  Sometimes at the end of the day when I give myself permission to stop and sit down I feel guilty because I already got to sit down in the morning, and I ask myself "what did you do all day?  Look at your house and the projects you have been saying you were going to take care of, you could do this now instead of sitting and wasting time".  Sometimes I get up and do it, but a lot of the time I don't.

Last few runs:
  I would be a liar if I said they were a breeze, but that is okay, I know my workouts are an ongoing science experiment.  Also one major thing I am forgetting to mention is my eating habits.  I have been doing so horrible!  It is no wonder my body does not want to cooperate with the strain I am putting on it!  Over the past three days I have been shifting back to having more produce in my diet, and man can I feel the difference already!  This morning when the alarm went off I was actually able to get up and going without a huge fight.  I have been eating so horrible because the weather had been cloudy most all last week, and I was craving sugar like nobodies business.  I ate two yeast doughnuts in one sitting...I have never done that in my life.  Even at my heaviest I never did that!  Apparently that is not as big of a deal as I thought though.  I was running through this all. My last run of 3 miles yesterday went well, today is a rest/cross train day, and the day before my 3 mile...

Monster Hill:
  A few months ago I wrote about trying monster hill, it was so hard, I couldn't make it to the top without walking, and have been teasing about trying it agin.  Well I did, but this time I had a plan.  I ran a mile out and then turned around so that by the time I hit that hill I would have a nice mile and a half warm up, that helped me half way up the hill.  The other half was getting hard, then the last 4/10ths of the way up was pure struggle.  Struggle to breath, to concentrate, but I talked my way up it.  This was biggest loser last chance workout pain, I told myself, this is only one hill, only a little farther, biggest loser contestants or anyone trying to transform their body has to do this for months on end, you are only asking for one hill, then I told myself I never have to do this again if I don't want to!  I made it to what looked like the top, but have you ever been up a hill that appeared to plateau, then had just one more hump to overcome?  That is this hill!  I did it!  I got to the top!  Then turned right back around.  I was out of breath and in a lot of pain, this was a five mile run, but decidedly I was cutting it short.  Just as I crested the hill, if I would have kept going I would have gone down a smaller hill that I would have had to run up again when I turned around...I guess I will just have to save something for next time.  Don't forget about those hills on my driveway that are nothing to sneeze at, I still had to crest those in order to get home.  I had given myself permission to walk those...but we all know how running and letting ourselves take the easy way out doesn't :)

Thank you for reading.



Monday, July 16, 2012

I have a lot more reasons to run, than to quit.

I have a confession to make...well I guess it's not too much of a confession considering that I would tell you, even if you didn't ask.  It has been very difficult for me to convince myself to run every since I finished my goal of the half marathon.  Admittedly my original goal once I got comfortable with running was the Columbia Crossing over the bridge in Astoria.  I know I have expressed this before, and do you know, I haven't even signed up for that race?  Oh I might have signed up before the half, but it didn't allow registration until July 1st!  And let me tell you that on July 1st the last thing on my mind was a 10K, not with 13.1 miles being three days away.  I was strongly considering doing the Color Run with some friends from church, but after spending the evening before my race in DT Portland, I decided I didn't want anything more to do with that part of the city for a while...the rest of my life would be just fine with me, but knowing that most races in this area come from there, I will be hard pressed to stay away.

  I left for California to visit my friend Teresa two days after the race.  I knew I needed a rest period, but I didn't want to take too long.  The first night we were there we went to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose.  This place is truly a tradition for my family, and a favorite of mine.  Kurt and I had been there in years past BC (before children), and I wanted to take my girls there.
Well with dinner like this, and previously informing you all of my weight loss success, I knew it wasn't going to be long before I needed to pound the pavement.

  I really hadn't much of an idea where I was going to run, so I decided on a two mile run to start off.  I ran around the neighbor hood.  There were a lot of turns to get my miles in.  I was worried I was going to get lost...I know with a GPS that is next to impossible, but I didn't want to worry about staring at a map to get back home, so I found myself weaving in and out of courts to get more miles with being less far away.  I really don't like to stray too far from my starting point (something I have learned about myself.)  That day I ran those two miles, My brother inlaw took the girls to his uncles house for a BBQ so Teresa and I could spend the afternoon together.  Teresa wanted to go on a hike.  She said it wasn't a hard hike, that is why I got the two miles in before hand.  But in the back of my mind I kept hearing "don't underestimate her" You see Teresa is one of those people who is not afraid to go head to head with a grueling work out if it provides enjoyment to her.  Trust me, over the years I have been led on an excursion or two.  
 This was at one of the plateaus overlooking the Santa Teresa Golf Course
 It was about 80 degrees
This is just a view of the beautiful golden hillside

So I did not infact underestimate, and I was correct not to do so.  This hike was beautiful, but also not for the lazy.  My feet hurt afterword.  I have walked in my running shoes on one other occasion and I really do think that my running shoes are NOT meant for walking, either that, or I just don't walk as well as I run.

  The next run was a couple days later.  It was a 4 miler on a totally different route.  I LOVE the fact that there are so many sidewalks to chose from!  Where I live it's all country roads and I have to practically throw myself in a ditch to give a car room to pass me without having to go into the oncoming lane of traffic.  With that being said, there are also stop lights.  That make you stop.  This run did not have too many of those because part of it was residential.  That day we took the kids to the pool, and that felt very refreshing.  

  The last and final run of that vacation was Thursday 5 miles, my second to last day there :(  I knew I had to do it because I was not going to be able to run for the next 3 days.  I ran up a busy road, and hit a nice incline over an overpass.  I was making very good time on my runs in California despite the heat because it was all flat.  The last run I did at 6:30 in the morning, the garbage truck woke me at 5:58 and I tried to go back to sleep, but my conscience got the best of me.  I hit a lot of lights, my GPS pause button got a good work out. 

   I noticed there were more bicyclers in that area than runners.  I never did see a 13.1 sticker...I did see ONE 26.2 though.  I couldn't believe it.  Around here in the PACNW I see those stickers every time I turn around!  The more I tried to schedule a run, it was easier to figure out why.  If you want to run in the summer there, you need to either take it to the treadmill, or plan your runs super early in the morning, or late in the evening, I usually run early in the morning anyway, but it is so different here.  

  Before I went to bed last night I got my running apparel prepared.  I knew I couldn't have one excuse to plague me.  I woke up with my love at 4:45 this morning, kissed him good bye and sat on my couch drank coffee and had time with my Jesus reading all about Him.  By the time 6:00 am rolled around I started getting dressed.  This is of course after getting the animals taken care of too.  I grabbed my lucky socks out of the dryer, donned my favorite running pants, and new shirt I got at the Columbia employee store (had to throw that in there :))  filled up my hydration pack, strapped on my phone/music/GPS...why am I saying all this?  because if it seems boring and slow, that is how it felt.  Not the boring part, but the slow part because you know what it was don't you?  Procrastination!  I know I had to do all these things, but I was being deliberately slow... why???  I do like/love running, I really really do!  Once I got on the road I was doing good, once I cleared a half mile I was feeling great!  The run was fabulous, and while I was on it, I was thinking.  I have been wanting to be a long distance runner as long as I can remember.  I keep having flashes of times in my life where I have started out walking, but then always challenged myself to try running a little.  EVERY TIME!  Why did I not keep it up and strive for the distance?  Because it hurt, and I never knew that if I would have kept going, the pain would have eventually lessened, and during certain parts of the run, gone away.  I never knew that the reward at the end was far worth the pain.  I think back to my sister in-law who has been a runner/athlete every since I knew her, and I was 100 kinds of impressed with how she could push herself like that.  There have been a lot of writings of why people run.  So many of them ring true for me.  I have a lot of reasons...a lot more reasons to run than to quit.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My first half marathon

Once I seen the 10 mile mark I knew that just a few steps after that would be the farthest I had ever run in my life...

  I stayed in one of the host hotels in order to get a good nights sleep and not have a bunch of driving time before the race.  I took very good care of myself for months before this race, and it showed on race day.  I sure hope I don't slack off when training for my next race.

  4:00am  Rise and shine!  I was awake and feeling good!  Running on pure excitement!  I had time so I decided to take a shower.  After my shower I got my running clothes on and headed down to the continental breakfast that started special at 4 am for the runners, which was a nice touch.  I debated getting dressed into my running clothes before heading down because I didn't want to have my sports bra on for a long time before the race.  Sometimes if I keep it on too long it will make me sore.  I decided that wasn't going to happen.  I was in my gear and ready to head down.  I was a little embarrassed that I had my bib number already on, but it's kind of a pain to pin that thing on, so I figured i'd just forget being embarrassed.
Kind of a goofy picture but it was early and I didn't have a lot of time to worry about a perfect shot.

When I got downstairs I seen a lady I had met at the pool the night before.  She was from Hawaii and here to qualify for Boston.  I should have asked her I'll never know if she made it.  I ended up having a bowl of cereal.  I wanted to stay light on my meal, especially since I ate so much at the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner the night before.  

This is all I brought.  Stuff on the left of the bag goes with me on the road.  And my lucky socks!!!
I decided last minute to snap a pic of the view from my window. 

Time to head out the door.  I am surprisingly calm.  I usually am a wreck by this point, but there was just a peace about the day that could have only come from God.  I got down to the buses, there were about 6 or 7 of them, checked in, and got on the bus.  It was a pleasant ride.  I sat next to a woman who was sitting alone, and the man I was talking to in line sat in front of us.  We had a great conversation the whole way there.  I learned a few new things too.  I can't tell you right off the bat what those things were.  

  Once on the island the sun was already shining it's early deep orange hue upon us.  Once I got off the bus I got in line to check my bag.  A lady whom I met on Daily Mile and had arranged to meet at the race met me in the bag check line.  I immediately liked her.  She had a warm smile and a friendly attitude.  I loved her hydration pack, she had two pockets on the straps!!!!  That is exactly what I had been needing!  

This is Me and Michelle.  We were really excited to start the race, but it was hard to find the perfect pose where the sun wasn't casting a shade. 

       The Race
The gun went off and we were running!  Not at a very fast pace at all.  We were passing by many cars waiting to get onto the island.  The reviews made it sound like this was going to be a huge problem, but it wasn't at all.  I knew I had to pic up my pace a bit if I was going to get a good time at all, because I have an idea of what my pace is, and this was NOT it.  So I began to weave in and out of people as much as I could.  Things didn't begin to thin out until about a half mile in.  As slow as my first mile started, I completed my first mile in just under 10 minutes.  

  After mile three I began counting down how many miles I had left.  They all seemed pretty easy to get to, it seemed to take a long time to get to the half way point, but once I did I was glad.  Just before that at mile 5 I decided it was time to have an energy chew.  I knew I would need at least 3 blocks for anything to take effect, so I crammed the first one in my mouth and began chewing as fast as I could, then the second one, I wanted to hold onto the third one, put my back pack on and finish chewing the other two, but could not finagle all that and keep good time, so I crammed the third one into my mouth. Oh goodness, I started to choke.  I was NOT about to let myself be distracted by choking!  I coughed and sputtered, and sipped some water, but I did not stop!  Of course I would have stopped if I really needed to...maybe...

  Around mile 4 I found a guy in a green shirt who seemed to be going at my pace, so I kept up with him for a few miles, then he fell back, and there was a girl who had been running in front of me at the same comfortable pace, so I stayed with her, I am not sure if she fell back or thrusted on, but I lost site of her too eventually.  

  Mile 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 people were passing me, but none of them looked familiar.  Some of them were marathoners, I just know it.  Out of all the miles the hardest to find was Mile 11.  As I passed mile ten I knew that once I passed it in just a few steps I will have set a new distance record for myself.  I also told myself that once I got to mile 10 I would have to take it one mile at a time.  No convincing myself that  it was only a few miles up the road.  One I found mile 11 things went a little faster.  After mile 12 I was able to see the finish, this was exciting.  

  One thing I failed to mention was the entertainment solution.  I had made a playlist of a book on CD, then inserted songs into strategic places so that close to the end I would have some great tunes to carry me over.  Well I switched to straight music at about mile 8, and I was glad I did.  I used the voice control feature, so I never had to dig into my backpack for tune changes, and my wireless headphones have forward and back controls so I could skip or repeat songs.  That worked like a charm!!!

I had .1 mile to go, and my family was nowhere in site I was searching vigorously.  

Here you can see me searching.  I am not sprinting in because I just know my family has to be here somewhere!Obviously you can tell by the photo that my husband was right there waiting for me to cross the finish line.  And that I did!  It seemed like everything slowed down to cross it because I was filled with so much emotion.  
I came around the corner to where I could meet my family and my Kurt caught me at the exact moment of pure joy.  I don't like my appearance in the photo, but that moment was filled with such joy and accomplishment that I will cherish this picture for the rest of my life.

My medal!!!

I bought the 13.1 sticker like a month before the race.  I would not put it on my car until I had completed it.  I had visions of how I wanted this day to go and it went pretty darn close to perfect.

We had so much time after the race that we decided to drive back home.  Perfect opportunity for me to take an ice bath...yes I have shorts on!

I can tell you that I have had long runs without an ice bath, and my longest run with and ice bath, and I SWEAR by them!!!  I did it right this time.  I got into a cold tub with shorts and my sweatshirt, and a cup of hot coffee.  Then I put the bag of ice in and sat for 15 minutes.  The only thing I would have done different was to put a bath pillow behind me.  I couldn't lean back because my jacket would have gotten wet.

Last but not splits.  The last one isn't accurate because I was done running long before I shut the app off.  

Thank you for reading and supporting me in my running.  I am hopefully nowhere near done.  Now it's time to figure out how to run without training for a race...or maybe just keep training.
God Bless you my friends.