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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dilemmas solved before the race.

  So tomorrow July 4th is the day.  This is what it all boils down to.  All the training.  Moving and shifting the schedule around so I could stay on the most important schedule.  All the sweat, pain, worry.  All the PR's triumphs and realizations comes down to tomorrow.

  I was slightly worried that I would taper off after the race and eventually stop running, but with so many inspiring runners out there who run race after race, and with how much I truly love the sport, I don't see myself quitting.

  I cannot wait to be able to come back and tell you all about how the race went, but first I want to tell you about some things I am excited about.

  My music dilemma was unfortunately not all the way solved with hanging my phone around my neck.  On the two mile test run I ended up having to stuff my phone into the center of my cleavage.  It was fine for 18 minutes, but 2+ hours may be a different story.

  I sat on my couch yesterday and sewed a pouch to the front strap of my hydration pack, when I put it on an jogged around my kitchen I could tell it wasn't going to work (too much chafing).  I cut that off and decided I was going to have to go between wearing it in my bra, and shoving it in my pack.

  Last night I was re-familiarizing myself with my over the ear headphones (which appear to be working!!!) and one of the buttons is voice control, I do not have Siri.  I found that with this VC button I can toggle between playlists!  This was what my dilemma was!  So now if while huffing and puffing I can use the VC clearly enough, I should be able to make it work.

  My next small handicap is my monthly cycle.  Yesterday I seen an ad for something called Soft cup.
Here is a picture...

I am the person who can't stand tampons, and doesn't like the mess of pads, but deals better with that then having something I can feel, and that little string is my nemesis.  This product claims to be "something for the rest of us".  I am here to tell you that YES it IS.  I looked at it's reviews, and watched the how to videos.  The best video is the clinical animated one by the company itself, because It shows how you get it to a certain point then push up on the rim and it slides into place.

Here is a link to the video

  I had a bunch of TMI stuff written, but decided instead that I just want to say that I am so extremely happy and impressed with this product.  This product has a learning curve, just like when you learned how to deal with tampons or pads, but oh is it worth it!!!!!!  And the better you know your body, the easier it will be to use.  If you decide to try it and have any questions you can FB or email me, or just watch the tutorial, but make sure you educate yourself so that you can have success with this freeing product! There are so many perks to using this that I can't list them all, but my favorite would have to be night time :)

  So there are two dilemmas solved!  Woohoo!  

My email is

Monday, July 2, 2012

Caution: running causes cute outfits to jump out of nowhere because you can NOW fit into them!

  So I have a little bit of a success story.  I am not going to lie.  The reason I ever discovered I liked running in the first place was birthed from my desire to lose excess pounds and be into that body I had soon after my second child was born. Notice I didn't say high school, because let's face it...some things just won't happen till heaven.

  Not so long ago I got on the scale and it gave me the number I have been wanting to see for about 4 years.  It's only been in the last 2 years that I got serious to do anything about it.  My weight stayed at that number for 3 whole days!  I decided I could safely say that I was there.  Though 5 more pounds might be cool, I will be happy here for a while.  Of course I still have insecurities social issues...but I am glad I have hang ups...keeps me humble.

  So the other day my kids and I were in the Good Will (some of you have heard this story) and my Daughter pulled a pair of jeans off the rack and said here mom, try these on.  I got one leg in and said "oh no...these are skinny jeans"  I was half way in, so I decided to go the rest of the way, and boy am I glad I did!!!  Skinny jeans be darned!  They fit nicely!  I have no idea if they are still in style, but if they aren't I DON'T CARE!!  Why??  Because I am making up for lost time when I couldn't wear them!  Honestly you would think I have been sleeping in them every since I got them.  Here's why I like them.

I cannot believe that is me in the mirror.   

Maybe this is not the place to express the shear excitement of my achievement, but I figure I have brought you through all the struggles and trials, that I should share the accomplishment of my physical appearance, as well as physical endurance.  I am so thankful to Jesus who goes with me on all my runs, and for the support system of my friends reading my blog, and being there for me when I am feeling blue, angry, or happy and excited!  Sheesh, it sounds like I am accepting an award, I am not going to delete though.  I am just going to say even though there is no award, there is reward.  

The photo all the way to the right is the one that catapulted my journey the one on the left was taken just a few days before.

This time frame was December 2009, only 2 months after we moved into our new house and about a month after I had completely quit smoking.  I had to take a look at my lifestyle to realize how sedentary I had become.  I wasn't moving at all.  Most of my time was being taken up by knitting.  Sure I was keeping my house clean and doing all that stuff, but for the most part I was sitting a LOT.  And eating large portions, and probably going back for seconds.  I was only about 14 pounds away from the heaviest I had ever been.  So I got a membership to the YMCA and lost 10 pounds in 4 months.  I kept it off for about a year, but fell off of working out and was eating more portions again.  But keeping the weight off and my body being the same as when I was working out were two different things.  Exercise makes a world of difference.  The word "toned" is not a figment of fitness minded peoples imagination!  

  November of 2011, we decided it was time for our family to attend the Disney Cruise we had been dreaming of for so long.  That was IT!  I had dreamed of walking along a tropical beach in a flowing summer dress and being thin, and dar gone it, it had to happen!!  I had to train myself to ignore the signal to eat "just because I had eaten at this time every other day", I had to drink lots of water, and decrease portion size.  I had take 20 minutes to eat my food so that the chemical that tells my brain I was full could kick in.  I had to wrap my food half way through the meal and save it so that If I needed it I could go back.  I had to fight with the disappointment of the numbers.  I had emotional, and weather related eating struggles.  I had binges, I had bad weeks, but I always got back on.  I also had to find what worked for me exercise wise.  You all know what I found, but after my big half marathon I am going to get into strength training as well as running, take it up a notch, get those muscles working in my favor!  I am so glad I did this.  My family is glad I did this.  I was having a conversation with my daughter the other day and she had said she didn't like it when I was crabby and I said "since I have been running, have I been crabby?"  she said "No, actually you haven't".  I love my runners high, and I hope I never stop signing up for races so I never stop running!