Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Running is my therapy.

I have no idea where this post is going, so, I apologize in advance. I'm just really frustrated. There are things going on in my family that are way beyond my control, and really there is nothing I can even do about it. In spite of any good intentions I may have of fixing anything, I know that any actions I take could seriously blow up in my face. So, it basically leaves me with my hands tied. I'm the type of person who has a "fix-it" mentality. When a conflict arises, I want to resolve it and move on appropriately. However, with this particular conflict, I can't do a darn thing because, as I just mentioned, it will blow up in my face, no matter how sincere my intentions are.

After learning some news this morning, it appeared very convenient that I was heading to the gym for a run this morning. I needed an outlet for the emotions and frustrations I was feeling at the time. I made it to the gym and was able to crank out 5 miles at an average 8:57 pace. I've found that I tend to get better paces when I'm venting my frustrations through running. Does running make my feelings over a particular situation go away? Heck no. I really wish it did though. It doesn't make the feelings go away, but it does calm that desire to throw something through the wall. Because of my "fix-it" mentality, when my hands are tied with a particular situation, it often makes me envision myself throwing something through the wall. And I really want to throw something through the wall. So, instead of exerting that energy by throwing something, I exert it by running. Running is how I'm able to release that anger and bitterness without harming anything (like said wall).

I've been working hard at trying to run or go to a spinning class most days of the week. I really think its partly due to all of the emotions I've been carrying over the last couple months related to everything going on. Running is my physical outlet for all the negative emotions I carry.

So, I want to know... how does running help you, besides the obvious physical benefits? How does it help you cope with life?

Also... several weeks ago, I had mentioned something that was potentially happening that would create a HUGE life change. Well, that potential change will not be taking place. Its disappointing and relieving all at once. It would have been an awesome opportunity, but on the other hand, its relieving to know we won't be going anywhere super-duper far away for awhile (although I DO still want to go somewhere semi-far from here).

Aaaaaaand... some of you are probably wondering where Ann is. She'll be back!! I'll let her divulge what she wants to divulge. But she will be back soon. :) I love you, sis!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fitness Friday?

Sure! Its Friday, and I ran this morning. So, we'll definitely file today under Fitness Friday! Its been rather crazy around here lately. Lots of things that always come up that I want to write about, but never get around to actually doing it. Just too much stuff going on. But, I won't bore you with all those details.

The Babe got his first ear infection this week. That has totally sucked... more so for him than me, I'm sure. He woke up around 11pm about 3 nights ago and screamed & cried unconsolably all night long. It was terribly rough, especially since we could not figure out what was wrong with him. No fever, not tugging on ears, not coughing... All he had was a runny nose, and he had had that for a few days by this point. So, what now? Well, thank GOD the Hubs had some paid time off (classified as "unforseen time"), so he stayed up with the Babe most of the night so I could make it to work the next day. He took him into the doctor and turned out he had a raging ear infection. The kid never once touched his ear all night long. Luckily, we got him on the appropriate meds, and he's been doing much better since then, although not taking more than a few ounces at a time from the bottle.

Other than that, I've been trying to run, but haven't been able to. This week has been so screwy that I haven't gotten in as many workouts as I'd like. BUT, I still made it in. I was able to do an hour on the 'mill yesterday, and did 4.5 miles this morning, in spite of the longer drive due to crappy roads from the snow we got last night. So, all in all, I'd call this week 'satisfactory'. I got some work in, although not quite as much as I'd like (only because its the holiday season).

I've decided that I'll be cutting myself a little bit of slack, diet-wise for this month. I want to enjoy the goodies that come in multitudes this time of year without feeling guilty. And so, I've decided that I'd much rather workout more so that I can enjoy those goodies, as opposed to avoiding the goodies. Hopefully I'll break even this month.

Have a wonderful weekend, All!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Three Things Thursday... IT'S THURSDAY!

All day yesterday, I walked around thinking it was Thursday... Or, forgetting that it was only Wednesday. So, now that Thursday is actually here today, well, I'm here. Its not Friday yet, but I'm slowly but surely plugging along. Oh, and I'm having fun with colors and such today.

1. I got in 83 miles during the month of November in a total time of 13 hrs and 22 min. That averages to a pace of 9:38 min/mile. That's pretty cool for me, considering I was running 12-13 minute miles back in the spring. I also got in a total of 27 workouts, between running, spinning, yoga, etc. Yay for not gaining holiday weight!

2. Tomorrow night is the Christmas Party for Hub's work. Should be fun, although it will be a challenge getting out of work at 5pm, get home, changed and dolled up, and to the party by 6:30, when it starts, all the way on the North side of Indy (we live on the farrrrr West side - about 45 min west of Indy). So, naturally, we'll be late.

3. I think we're getting our Christmas tree this weekend! I'm pretty excited about that... I love the Christmas season, and especially more so this year since its the Babe's first Christmas! I want so badly to just spoil him with gifts, but the Hubs is being more realistic and not wanting to buy as much, since, according to him, "he'd be happy with a box for Christmas".

Happy Thursday all! Its short and sweet, but to the point. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Proof that I don't function without a workout... And apparently, I'm a runner.

So, yesterday. It was baaad. My alarm went off at 4:30am and it was 50 degrees outside. A little windy, but 50 degrees. I.SHOULD.HAVE.RUN. But did I? That's a BIG, FAT Negative. I slept instead. I knew getting a workout in in the evening after work would be a challenge, due to the Hubs going to the gym right after work and me needing to pick up the Babe from daycare and feeding him. I knew that if I was going to get a workout in, I wouldn't make it to the gym until 6:30 at best, and probably would not make it home until 8:00. At best. This is normally the time when the Babe is either cranky or we're giving him his bath, so this meant that I would get to spend virtually no time with him in the evening, which I hate. I couldn't run outside, as the temp through the day had gone from 50+ degrees down to the lower 30's with a wicked wind chill in the lower 20's/upper teens. No thanks.

Me being the logical person that I am, I justified my lack of workout, knowing that I had worked out the past 12 consecutive days. I was due for a rest day, in all honesty. Well, something happened (did PMS hit a few days after the fact?) and my eating habits did not stay up to par for a non-workout day. They went right down the crapper. I busted out the bag of Boy Scouts popcorn (triple chocolate something-or-other...), and instead of stopping at just a few bites, I said "screw it" and ate way more than I should have. So, instead of trying to be extra good with my calories since I wasn't running, I was extra bad. And I was extra cranky last night too. The Hubs kept asking what was wrong, and I honestly couldn't tell him. I just felt cranky for no real reason... other than the fact that I didn't get my workout in.

I've read blogs from others who always say that they're better parents when they run. I've never really known how much truth there was to that statement, as I had never really experienced that mood shift that would come from not working out. But yesterday, I did. I am a better wife and a better mother when I get my workout in. That sacrifice of that last hour of sleep is well worth the mood I'm in for the rest of the day when I get up and workout. So, this morning, I was up at 4:30am on the dot. Except, instead of brave the 18 degree wind chill and the snow that was coming down this morning, I headed into the gym for a good run. It felt good. Really good. I even kept a good pace for myself. I managed to knock out 4.5 miles in just over 41 minutes! Pretty quick for me. I'm planning on going back to the gym for a few more miles today after work, since the Hubs is picking up the Babe from daycare.

On a separate, but related note... apparently I'm a runner. For as long as I can remember, I've walked on my toes. Well, not on my toes, but my heels don't hit the ground for very long. You all probably know what I'm talking about. I've always kind of felt self-conscious about it, ever since people started pointing it out to me. Well, today, I came across a patient who asked if I was a runner. Um, yes, why? He said I walked on my toes, and that was indicative of a runner, due to the strong calves. Let me say this: I have no idea how much truth there is to that statement. BUT, it made me feel a little better about my 'toe-walking', so to speak. For once, it was pointed out to me in such a way that didn't make me feel like it was a bad or weird thing. So, whether or not there's truth in that statement, I'll take it.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day!

As I sit here typing this, I am back in my pajamas, and I. Am. STUFFED. Its a rainy, dreary day, especially out of character for November, but not necessarily out of character for Indiana. We live in the state where we can get 3 inches of snow one day and be back in the 70's the next day.

This morning, I was able to go for a good run, 6.2 miles. It rained the entire time, but the temperature stayed in the 50's and there wasn't much wind. I made good time on my run too. The first 3.1 miles was for the Thankful Healthy Blogger Virtual 5k race - mentioned in my post HERE. The second half of my run was for the Virtual 5K Turkey Trot, through Daily Mile. All in all, despite the rain, it was a good run.

Will run for Chocolate - And all other holiday foods.

Today, I have reflected upon that which I'm thankful for. The first thing, my family. I have an amazing husband and son. Steve has been so supportive of me through thick and thin, any endeavors I attempt, my crazy moods, and my crazy situations that I seem to fall into. I couldn't have asked for a better husband and father of Ryder. I'm so thankful for my God, that I have the freedom to praise and worship Him. HE is actually the first and foremost thing that I am thankful for. I have been incredibly blessed in my life, in many ways, and I have only God to thank for that. I could really go on and on about everything which I'm thankful for, but I will leave it at that: a merciful, loving, grace-giving God, and my husband and beautiful baby boy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just sayin'... That's all.

Two random things on my mind today:

1. My run this morning SUCKED. I'm blaming it on the 1 hour and 20 minute spinning class I participated in yesterday. Both my brain and my legs wanted to be elsewhere.

2. I'm so excited for Thanksgiving... I'm considering starting a pre-Thanksgiving Day fast today. Sure! Lets drop a few extra L-B-S before the big T-Day feast. (If only I were that disciplined. I'm ready for my lunchtime sweet potato...)

Just sayin'.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Check it out!

Another Virtual 5k race for Thanksgiving, this one benefiting St. Jude Children's Hospital! You don't even have to have a DailyMile account to join...

7am and 65 degrees.

Wow, I look at my phone this morning when I hear my baby waking up, and it says 64 degrees... and that was at 6:15! Its now 7:10am and 65. If I had known it was going to be like this this morning, I would have planned on getting up and running before Hubs left for work today.

Its probably for the best though, that I don't run today. I'm planning on going to the 9:15 spinning class this morning for my workout. My knee is giving me fits, and I'm pretty sure I'll be going to see the sports med doc here soon. Granted, it probably won't be until next Monday, if not the Monday after that. It doesn't hurt while I run, so I can at least pretend that nothing is wrong during my runs. I'd been saying that I couldn't really feel any pain in any particular spot of my knee, just that it felt swollen (although didn't look swollen). Now, I'm starting to pin-point that pain to the back of my knee. At least I know where to ice it now. Its Thanksgiving week and I need to keep up my game, for my weight's sake. So, I'll just be running in the mornings and icing my knee through the day. How's that for stubborn?

Have a grand day everyone! I know its Monday - BUT its Monday of Thanksgiving day! Short week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Husband - All I want for Christmas is a treadmill.

It.Was.C-O-L-D. Holy moly, was it cold this morning! My alarm went off at 4:30am today. I checked the weather on my phone when I woke up and it said 25 degrees. Luckily, there wasn't really any wind. I briefly considered staying in my warm bed and using the weather as an excuse for not running, but decided against it. I remembered that we were having Chinese tonight for dinner. I remembered that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. And then I remembered that I ran in similar temperatures for my half marathon that was just 2 weeks ago. If I could run 13.1 miles in 20-degree temps, I could surely bust out a few miles in the same coldness today. Yup, I had no excuse. So, I crawled my booty out of bed, got dressed, and actually made it out the door in good time.

It was so cold that as I was just getting started and starting my gps app on my phone, the music I was listening to actually skipped a few times until I got it into my pocket, closer to some warmth. It then did the same thing at the end of my run when I pulled the phone out of my pocket to end the workout on my gps app. Yup, it was THAT cold. I checked the temperature when I got home... 26. At least now I know that I'm capable of running in weather that's so cold, which will hopefully keep me motivated to keep running through the winter.

During my run today, I did some thinking... I kept thinking, "I want a treadmill, I want a treadmill." So, my Christmas wish-list may be changing up a little. I doubt I'll get one, since we don't exactly have the room, but it is something that I'm willing to give up my car space in the garage to fit in.

On a separate, but semi-related note... I've been planning to go for a good run on Thanksgiving day. Our local Drumstick Dash is the only run of its kind going on on T-day, and its an hour each way to drive there. Unfortunately, the timing of this race as well as its location does not mesh well with our family's dinner plans. I've been hoping for a Virtual T-day race, and FINALLY found one, thanks to a fellow blogger, Tonia from Racing With Babes. Its a virtual 5k, from A Journey to Thin...

Blogger 5K

So, I've finally found something to motivate me that day, instead of just 'going for a run'. Yay! Feel free to check it out and participate yourself!

I'm also participating in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, at Run to the Finish. This will be fun too... I'm loving all these opportunities to keep myself accountable over the holiday season! The button for this challenge is over in the sidebar...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday has come upon us once again...

So glad its Thursday... that means tomorrow is Friday. And Friday means dinner with my brother and sis-in-law and nephew, all recently moved to Indy from Florida. Dinner will be consisting of either Chinese or Mexican food, but most likely Chinese. Yayy for cheat meals! Here are just a few things from my life lately...

1. I took a couple days off from running, not completely on purpose. It was more along the lines of my snooze button taking precedence over the morning routine. But I finally got my butt out of bed this morning and made it out for a 4.6 mile run. During this run, I decided that I am going to do my best to get a run in every day between now and next weekend. I'm hoping to offset the large quantities of calories that will be consumed on Thanksgiving day by really taking hard to my running and eating super clean for the next week. We'll see how well the eating part of that works out. My plan is to make my AM pre-work runs right around 4-5 miles (same route as this morning), or 2-3 miles if I do my 30-Day Shred DVD that morning. Saturday and Sunday, I'm hoping to get in closer to 6 miles. Keep tracking me on Daily Mile to see if I make it! (BTW, feel free to look me up on DM and 'friend' me... I like motivation.)

2. As far as that potentially HUGE change we may be looking at... we're still waiting. I'm starting to get antsy. We're still praying, and waiting for God to lead us in the right direction. And of course, all of this waiting and praying (and thinking and analyzing and critiquing) has mentally drained me. I.Am.Exhausted...Constantly.

3. I'm pretty excited about my cheat meal coming up tomorrow night with the brother and sis-in-law. I've been craving some Chinese lately, so it will be wonderful if that's what we decide on. I do my best to eat cleanly through the week, and then I cut myself some slack on the weekends. I'm trying to cut myself a little less slack this weekend with Thanksgiving coming up. But, as I read on Tonia with Racing With Babes' blog post HERE, I like to "Eat to run. Run to eat". This has always been my mentality, it only was just put into actual words when I read Tonia'saforementioned blog post about the fortune that she got in her fortune cookie.

Happy Three Things Thursday all!

The T-day countdown is on: 7 days!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I walked into daycare after work yesterday to find Ryder asleep... in his bouncer.

How could I have NOT taken a picture??

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Things...

1. In case you couldn't tell from my lack of enthusiasm over my awesome time from the half marathon this past weekend, I'm fairly unenthusiastic right now. I am mentally and emotionally drained. To put it in a nutshell, we have things going on here at home that could possibly turn into a HUGE change. Hubs and I have been praying over this non-stop over the past 9 days now, just waiting for God's direction. Because of all of this, I've also spent just about every other waking moment through the day (those moments where I'm not currently praying) mulling over this whole situation. Analyzing it, weighing pros and cons, coming up with solutions to possible ways this could affect those around us, etc. I have seriously become so overwhelmed at times that its made me sick to my stomach. And if this all pans out, and if it turns out to be God's will for us, I see myself literally vomiting from the life changes this will create. Don't get me wrong, its not because I don't want this to happen, its just because its such a huge life-changing thing, it creates that fear of the unknown in the back of my mind. Its an exciting opportunity!

2. I got up and went running this morning. It felt pretty darn good actually! I went almost 4.7 miles and kept a decent pace for being less than a week out from my race. Actually, the pace was better than I expected. We've been having another warm-up in our area, so the morning run today was in the 40's. Pretty warm for 5am in the middle of November in Indiana. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the run went for me this morning.

3. ????????? I'm having a hard time coming up with a 3rd thing. OH, I know. This Saturday night is our anniversary date! Our 4th anniversary was actually November 4th, but we're going out this Saturday. Fogo de Chao. From what I've heard, I guess its kind of like a Brazilian steakhouse. Its definitely going to be delicious... And I'm sure it'll be one of those meals where I will eat until the brink of explosion. :)

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope to be a little more "in it" next week. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Well, dang, its been awhile.

Yup, its been awhile... lots going on, lots of stuff possibly changing.

Since my last post...

I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon this past Saturday... the HALF Marathon. We'll just get that part straight now. Haha. Anyway, this race seemed to kick my butt a little harder than the one I did 3 weeks ago. I definitely felt a presence of THE WALL around mile 7 and pushed really hard to get through it. The course was flatter than my prior race, but still it seemed so much harder. I think the fact that it started out in the 20's that morning may have played into it. It was in the 20's when the race kicked off at 8am, and I'm pretty sure it was only in the mid to lower 30's by the time I finished. I froze my TOOKUS off. I remember looking at my shoulders and noticing frost forming on my top. Yup, it was THAT COLD.

The highlights of the race, besides having my wonderful husband, his parents and heavily bundled-up baby Ryder there with me, were the signs. Here are my faves that I saw...

"Run fast, we're cold!"
"U R A Running Freak!!"
"Chuck Norris never ran a marathon!" (I'd like to think that he never ran a half marathon either.)
"If Palin can run, so can you!"

Evidently there were at least a couple other Bethany's running the race too, because I saw some signs cheering Bethany on, and they weren't being held by people I knew. So, I just pretended they were for me.

Aside from it being FREEZING, the weather wasn't all that bad. No precipitation, and I don't remember the wind being especially tortuous. The post-race goodies were AWESOME... I was going through the line and there were doughnuts, bagels, etc from Panera Bread, cookies from some local cookie company, granola bars, bananas and peanut butter, chocolate Milk Chugs, and there was even a tent with Steak N Shake chili! After stuffing my face of the other yummy goodies, I chose to not have any SNS chili... Instead, we all went to Five Guys for lunch afterwards. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I consumed enough calories to more than compensate for the calories burned during the race (and that includes calories burned from shivering!). But it was all so yummy.

My only complaint about the race was with their timing. They used the IPICO chip timing, which was fine. But it turned out that there was a timing error in one of the mats, causing the time given to us in the results tents to be off by a minute (which was not known at the time). So, instead of my official time being 2:08:21 with a 9:48 pace, as was given to me in the tent, my real time was more like 2:09:19. Only a minute, but I was kind of bummed to see that my pace was 9:53 instead of 9:48. I know, I'm kind of neurotic like that.

Other than that timing snafu, it was an awesome race. I'll most likely do it again next year.

I'll be leaving this post at that, finishing up the race report, albeit brief. Happy Tuesday...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Still can't believe it...

I'd mentioned in my previous post that I was planning on starting out with the 2:15 pace group for my half this weekend. Having not done a race since 2004 (a very poorly trained race, too), which was my first race, I wasn't completely sure what to expect as far as pacing goes. I knew my 2-4 mile runs were finally reaching a sub-10 minute pace, for the most part, and I knew that my long runs were somewhere around a 10:30 - 10:48 pace. Both of those times had only been recently, over the last couple weeks. I also knew that adrenaline and the overall atmosphere of the race would carry me through, and would potentially give me a slightly quicker pace.

First off, let me say, the race course was great! Weather was completely ideal... Sunny, and I think the majority of the race was somewhere in the upper 50's to lower 60's. Being in the sun was so comfortable, being in the shade was slightly chilly. But I could handle the chill.

I started the race with the 2:15 pace group. In fact, I did my best to stay relatively close to the pace leader. Somewhere in the first few miles, I asked the guy what his strategy was for hills. Having never participated in a pace group, I was unsure of what to expect. He said he had planned to slow down to a fast walk for part of the uphill sections of the race, and then resume running on the downhills. I found this odd. I mean, I guess it makes sense, to conserve energy, especially since he was pacing all the way through for the full marathon... but it seemed odd to me that he, an experienced marathoner, would slow down to a walk. As for me, I know what my limits are, mentally. I was about 80% sure that if I slowed down to a walk with the pace group for the uphill, that resuming the run would be especially difficult for me, mentally. So, upon this first hill, I chose to continue running and just slowed my pace (maintain effort, not speed on an uphill, says Coach/Author Jenny Hadfield). I figured the pace group would soon catch up with me and I'd get back with them again. Well, they never really caught up. In fact, I would look back and notice more and more distance between myself and the pace leader. At one point, I didn't see them and actually thought maybe he had passed me and I didn't realize it. Evidently, that was NOT the case.

For one thing, let me just say a couple things I noticed... Early in the race, while I was with the pace group, we passed this woman who was speed walking. Let me tell you, this woman could have broken a tall man's nose with her elbows, with how high and hard she was swinging her arms. People were actually afraid to pass her. I just found that humorous. During one of the out-and-back segments, the faster runners were on the "back" part of the segment and I noticed one man running and talking on his cell phone. Really?!? I've seen people at the gym on the treadmills and such talking on their phones, but running in a race? Wow.

Anyway, I was running my race, and I noticed that I felt like I was going faster. I kept my outlook realistic and expected to possibly have to slow down at some point, or at least not be able to get negative splits. I used up my first GU at mile 6ish and felt re-energized. I probably could have finished the race without my 2nd GU, but knew if I wanted to finish strong, I'd be better off using it. So, it was shortly after passing the 10-mile marker that I used up my 2nd GU. I was feeling strong. I couldn't believe how good I was feeling as I was running. As I passed mile 11, I couldn't help but to think that I was about to go further than I had gone in any of my long runs (my longest was 11.25 miles). This part made me slightly nervous. But, I pushed ahead and bumped up my pace. During the very last mile, maybe more like the last 1/2 - 3/4 mile, I felt the slightest little twinge of a cramp trying to happen in my left calf muscle. I somehow managed to adjust my stride, drink water, or do something that kept it from turning into a full-fledged cramp. I saw the finish line and at that point, I booked it. I was pretty sure I was going to end up beating 2:15, and even thought I had a small chance at beating 2:10. The finish line clock said something like 2:14 when I crossed, and I knew it had taken my 2-3ish minutes to cross the start line at the beginning. When I finally finished, I started losing control of my breath. You know, that wheeze that you get where the only respite comes when you raise your arms up above your head. My calves felt like they were going to explode. But I did it!! I finished it, and I ran the whole thing!

Steve, Ryder and I walked over to the results tent, I gave them my bib number, and she printed off my preliminary results... 2:11:33!!! I couldn't believe it!! I still can't believe it! At the start of the race, I thought I'd be lucky just to keep up with the 2:15 pace group for the entire race, and here I was, blowing that 2:15 out of the water!

The highlight of the race for me was seeing Steve and Ryder right at the mile 5 marker. Steve was holding Ryder, and Ryder was wearing my black knit hat that I normally run in. The hat was so big on him, it practically covered his eyes. It was the most energizing moment in the entire race, to see them standing there, cheering me on. I loved knowing they were there for me.

Anyway, it was a wonderful race. I feel great right now, even if it is 5:20am. I managed to get the night shift tonight, so I've been here at work since 11pm, and I'll be here until close to 11am. I'm hoping to get out of here before then, though. Once race pictures are available, I post those, along with some of the pictures that Steve got.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, all! Its now time for another cup of coffee for me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some pre-race inspiration...

In exactly 24 hours and 10 minutes, I will be hearing the gunshot to start off the 15th Annual Indianapolis Marathon & Half Marathon. Yipee! I've made it this far... no turning back now! I even managed to get my last 20-minute run in this morning at a sub-10 minute pace. Good feelings, good feelings.

My husband gets daily emails from the K-Love radio station, and they're basically the Encouraging Word of the Day. A daily scripture. And today's scripture was especially fitting for tomorrow. I hope to memorize it today and repeat it tomorrow through the race. Have a great weekend all!

"...let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." ~Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. To start off... My dear sis hasn't been feeling super great lately. She's been a little sickly over the last couple days. So, leave her some love in a comment? I know she would love, love, LOVE the encouragement!

2. In less than 48 hours, I will be toeing the line at the 15th Annual Indianapolis Marathon & Half Marathon. Its getting a little scary, folks!

I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and attempt to run with the 2:15 pace group. I am allowing myself to drop out later in the race, if I feel the absolute need. Otherwise, I'm banking on the adrenaline rush and excitement of the race to get me through those 13.1 miles at that pace. Based on a few online race pace predictors, one of such being from McMillan Running, I would be capable of running a 2:15 - 2:20 half marathon. One calculator I stumbled upon yesterday even gave me a prediction of 2:10! I'm not counting on that one though.

I have had awesome support from my hubs with this race. He has been telling me that he thinks I'll be able to run with the 2:15 pace group without a problem. Oh, the faith he has in me! I love him to death, I really do!

3. With Halloween coming up, and us now having a baby to dress up, we're in the full Halloween spirit this year. I'm really excited for this year (I've NEVER been a big fan of Halloween, except for the candy). Ryder will be dressing up as a monkey, and Steve will have a banana costume. It'll be super cute! Its still up in the air as to whether I will also be wearing a banana costume, or going with something non-banana/monkey-themed, ie cheaper, like an M&M's Dark Chocolate Tank Dress that I found. I do love M&M's and I do love dark chocolate. This costume would be quite fitting.

There's my Thursday Three! Now, I wonder if maybe the Sis will chime in with her Three Things? (hint, hint, wink, wink, Ann... love you!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

T - 3 days and counting...

I've got just three days left until my race on Saturday. And I'm really starting to get kind of nervous. My pre-race jitters are literally giving me the jitters.

Today at work, I was getting my 2nd meal of the day ready. Scrambled egg whites with salsa and some raw red, orange and red pepper slices. I foolishly attempt to get out both containers of food, my spritzer dressing for the peppers, AND the *glass* jar of salsa out of the fridge at the same time. I stumble somewhere in this process and manage to get into this slow-motion dance with the salsa jar, trying desperately not to drop it (especially since it was a glass jar). In the end of this little 10-second dance, I drop it. IT. DOES. NOT. BREAK. Phew!! Catastrophe averted. So, I proceed to warm up my eggs, and while they are in the microwave, turn to put my tupperware container of peppers on the table. The container only makes it halfway onto the table and then proceeds to tip over onto the chair. CRAP. My co-worker: "well, the chair at least should be fairly clean, compared to the floor." My response: "Yeah, except for everyone's ASSES who have been sitting on it." So, the peppers are gone. No veggies (read: filling fiber) for me this afternoon, as I used the veggies that were for this afternoon's meal instead. I considered eating a cookie to make up for the veggies, but decided against it. I'll be good on my diet this week. Or today, at least.

This week, I suddenly realized that my last 10+ mile run was almost 3 weeks ago. And now I find myself wondering how I'll complete 13.1?? My brain knows the logic behind it and that I'll be fine for the race. But the rest of me is uneasy. Its the Taper Madness, I tell you. But that's just one extreme of what I'm thinking...

Here's the other extreme... (going totally in the opposite direction of uneasiness about completing 13.1 miles)

I've set a goal for myself of 2:20, give or take a few minutes. That gives me an average pace that I need to attain of just under 10:42 min/mile. Then, today as I was checking out the 15th Annual Indianapolis Marathon and Half Marathon's website for the third thousandth time, I saw that the half marathon will have a 2:15 pace group. That is just outside my goal. That margin of difference seems so small that I could potentially run with that group. That would put me at a pace of 10:20 min/mile instead of 10:42. Doable? I think so. Overly ambitious? Quite possibly.

Looking back at my longer runs on my RunKeeper App, I've noticed that my pace is very inconsistent at times. It'll jump between 9:00 and 12:00 min/mile from minute to minute (this app tracks your pace each minute, so you see how consistent your overall pace is). So, maybe a pace group would be good for me, and would help me with consistency. Logically thinking, it seems that a consistent pace would allow me to preserve the precious energy stores needed to complete this distance. But I have to look at it realistically also, knowing that I may not be able to maintain a 10:20 pace for 13.1 miles. Again, I wonder how much more possible it would be for me, should I run with a pace group, going at a consistent pace. Either way, I figure I could always start out with the pace group, and since my goal finish time is so close to the pace group time, I could always allow myself to fall away if I need to. The thing with the pace group is that they start out and stay at that pace time. They don't start slower, so they can finish stronger, so to speak. I would prefer the option to start out at a slower pace and then gradually increase my speed. So, in that scenario, I could start off near the pace group, know that I'll be going a bit slower, and then work my way to catching up to them. That seems like a very realistic possibility/option.

So, what are your thoughts on pace groups? Especially when one is just outside of your goal finish time? Give it a shot and give yourself permission to fall away if you need to? Start out slower with the intention of catching up with them? Or just go your own expected pace the whole way? Its especially tricky for me since I know, from looking at my long run stats, that I am capable of running a 9-10 minute pace for long stretches, but my overall pace jumps around from minute to minute. Tricky, tricky.

Anyone else racing this weekend? Good luck to all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Not much to say as an intro to this post, so I'll just dive right in...

1. Call it the Taper Madness. I've got just 9 days until my half marathon. I CANNOT WAIT!!! I am so excited for it! I'm sure that excitement will soon turn to dread as the day creeps closer. Just like what I read in Marathoning for Mortals (by Jenny Hadfield and John Bingham), I'm exhibiting all the classic signs... a need to shop, buy new running clothes, and I may be just a tid bit snippy. Yes, just a tid bit. Another thing that I'm sure will change as the day gets closer. I've been browsing online stores that offer running clothes... not the fitness, tech-tee type stuff, the "runner girl" and other cute, stylish running clothes. Okay, I lie. I've been checking it all out. I do know that I need to buy a better hat for those cool mornings, and possibly a new sports bra (same brand and style, just smaller size... darn you, nursing boobs!!).

2. Steve and I are taking Ryder to the apple orchard this weekend for its annual apple festival. I can't wait! We're going to pick out a few pumpkins (from all of which I'm going to collect and roast the seeds), take a hayride, possibly do the corn maze, and of course, get a pork burger and a carmel or candy apple, and any other fall yummies I can get my hands on. AND, my brother and soon-to-be sis-in-law moved up to us from Florida last weekend with my 3-year old nephew, so they will be joining us, along with our other brother and sis-in-law. Its going to be great fun!

3. Did I mention that I'm just slightly excited for my half marathon coming up? I went into my RunKeeper app on my iphone and wrote down all my long-run distances and average pace times, in hopes that I could figure out a goal race pace for each half of the race. Instead of coming up with a good formula to go by, I'm now just overwhelmed by numbers. Does anyone out there have any suggestions or advice as to how to plan for a goal race pace, based off of long run paces?

And a Freebie #4... I hope to get some pictures up here eventually! Its hard to find the time to blog at home, let alone add in pictures. I have this awesome one of me and my sister after our first run together, and her first run, that I'd like to use.

Oh, Freebie #5... I'm just full of them today, aren't I? Anyway, my sister mentioned in her last post something about possibly pushing her in a wheelchair during the Princess Half... Ann, I will do whatever I can to make sure you finish the race, not barring wheelchair-pushing! I know you'll be able to do this!!

Happy Thursday everyone... lets let the Friday Festivities commence already! This week has been long enough!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Anyone following our blog is certainly getting 2 completely different running experiences! I'm so proud of Bethany and the progress she is making. She told me that she will keep my pace at the Disney Marathon...I'm starting to wonder if she will be pushing me in a wheelchair!!! ;-) I will be very surprised if I'm able to do much more than a stroll at this point. I seem to be "running" into on roadblock after another.

So, on Bethany's advice I repeated week 8 last week and it went quite well. I felt like I was starting to get my groove back a little bit. I went out yesterday and did my run. It was the same as Saturday, 2 minutes run/2 minutes walk. It was about 54 degrees outside, so quite a bit cooler than I'm used to. My first run I felt like an elephant! Everything was stiff and heavy. As the run continued, I noticed that my shins were starting to hurt. Not good. By the time I was finished, they were so sore it was kind of hard to walk! I went to the chiropractor yesterday and they have this wonderful chair that has a calf massager...oh man that felt good. But, within an hour of leaving there, my shins were hurting again. (sigh) Fast forward to this morning...they were sore, but manageable. I went and did my crosstraining at 9 Round. They are hurting again. (big sigh) :-(

I was told at the gym I need to rest, but that once shin problems start, you can't really get rid of it. Seriously?!?

I'm wondering how much the hills I run up and down are affecting my shins. I think I might need to find a more level surface to run on. I have sent a message to Jenny for advice. I'm hoping that she will have some helpful words of wisdom for me. If she has some helpful hints for combating shin problems, I will post them.

When is this going to be a little easier???

Tapering down...

My half marathon is in exactly 11 days. I feel great and confident about running it. Sunday was my long run, in which I ran 8.28 miles, and I maintained a sub-10:30 pace. Yesterday was a little different. Technically, because I moved my long run to Sunday due to working a night shift, yesterday should have been a rest day. Or, if I went back to my normal training schedule, I would have been due for a 40-minute training run. I did neither of those.

Yesterday, my run was more for stress release than it was for training. Yesterday, I was dealing with the stress and fatigue associated with Ryder not sleeping so great the past few nights. Sunday night/Monday morning was the 2nd night in a row of him screaming any time we put him back in his crib and neither Steve nor myself sleeping well. At all. So, after going to the doctor with Ryder, and her telling me that he's fine (the nurse I spoke to on the phone suggested possibly the start of an ear infection), I was rather emotional. I decided to go for my run, and left not knowing how far I would go. When Steve asked how far/where I was running, I told him California.

I started with one route in mind, and ended up extending it by running to one county road farther and back, so an extra 2 miles. That was about as much as I knew about my run. When it was all said and done, I hit exactly 7 miles when I got home, and my pace was pleasantly surprising: 9:55! In spite of it being the day after a long run, I felt really good during the run. My legs felt great. It was one of those guarded feelings... I knew the run felt good, but it almost felt too good. You probably know what I'm talking about... It felt so good that I was questioning my pace, thinking that maybe I was going much slower than normal, and maybe that's why I was feeling so good. I restrained myself and managed to not look at the gps app until I got home.

So, the run kind of helped balance me out. Although I think I still would have enjoyed running to California. I needed that mental and emotional escape yesterday. In fact, due to unrelated circumstances, I could use that same escape today. And today, I probably would try for California. Or at least Illinois. Maybe Ohio. Just someplace away from here. The weekend was stressful and exhausting between working a night shift and then having a baby who refused to sleep at night. Now that its the week, I'm stressing for totally different reasons. If I weren't in taper mode, I'd totally go for a 7-10 mile run tonight.

Darn you, taper week!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A fun freebie!

As I sit here typing this, its currently 4:08am. I'm working the night shift, covering for the other x-ray technologist who just began her maternity leave this week.

While attempting to pass the time, I was perusing the blogs that I follow, since I haven't had a chance to do much of this over this past week. I came across Long Legs on the Loose, and she posted for a great freebie over at So, I thought I'd share it with you all.

Gu Energy has just come out with a Limited Time flavor for their Roctane, called Island Nectars. The website describes the flavor as the following:

"Celebrate the spirit of the islands with the limited edition Island Nectars Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel. A blend of different passion fruits and other tasty nectars, it evokes the island spirit - easy going, fun loving and prone to dreaming of palm trees and long stretches of open road, water, sand, trail or whatever else your playground includes."

Sounds interesting, right? So, since I'm in need of some Gu for my upcoming half marathons (Chocolate Outrage and Jet Blackberry), I figured I'd take advantage while the offer is still open. Simply add any Gu product to your cart, add the Island Nectars flavor to your cart, then enter the code, and voila! $15 off!

So there you have it. Go take advantage while the offer is up! And thanks to Long Legs on the Loose for sharing!

Friday, October 1, 2010

September re-cap, October preview, and a giveaway link

October (and Friday) is finally here. This week has seemed like the longest week ever... same goes for the month. Fall weather has finally hit, which has its good and bad points.

Good points:
  • We can finally justify big, fat pots of chili!
  • I love nothing more than wearing my favorite hooded sweatshirts and jeans in the cool, crisp weather.
  • The leaves are changing and its beautiful!
  • Halloween is this month... I've never been so excited as I am this year! Its mostly because we will get to dress Ryder up in a super-cute monkey outfit... and his Daddy wants to dress up as a giant banana too.
  • I've got a half marathon coming up on the 16th, and I think I have a good shot at getting under 2:30!
  • Pumpkins!! I've been on a major pumpkin kick lately. I've purchased many sugar pumpkins, roasted and pureed the pumpkin meat, and roasted the seeds. I've made most of the puree into baby food for Ryder, but last night, I also used it to make pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips!) as well as some pumpkin butter. The seeds are freaking delicious too... I roast them with a little bit of salt and a lot of pumpkin pie spice. Once they're out of the oven, I sprinkle them with splenda for a nice, sweet flavor.

Bad points:

  • The leaves are changing, which means they'll soon be falling off, giving that ugly sight of dead, naked trees everywhere.
  • The mornings will get super cold, making it difficult (or at least not as appealing) to get in a morning run.
  • Fall = Winter is next to come.

Here's a quick recap of the month...
Miles run: 80.0 miles

Average Pace: 10:54 min/mile

Fastest Pace: 10:01 min/mile on a 2-mile run

Farthest Run: 11.25 miles

Miles walked (at work): 13.04 miles

It was a pretty good month, I think. I've noticed considerable improvements in my pace overall, which I'm very happy with. My diet is coming to a close this weekend, which is awesome... I'll be able to relax some on food now. Now, I just have to adjust my eating to something similar to how I've been eating over the past 12 weeks, that will allow me to both maintain my current weight and still be able to enjoy the good stuff.

And a giveaway:

Running Diva Mom is hosting a giveaway of Yurbuds. Its something that I've been wanting to buy for awhile now. They're ear buds that claim to not fall out of your ears... something I've been battling over the past month or so since my last pair crapped out on me and I had to resort to my current not-very-secure pair. You can check out the giveaway and enter HERE.

Have a Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Three sports bras and one uni-boob later...

Yep, three sports bras and a uni-boob later, I've discovered that I can, in fact, run in the mornings before feeding my son. I'd been holding back on the early AM runs and other higher intensity workouts due to breastfeeding and having that fullness in the mornings before Ryder's first meal of the day. But, since my nice Under Armour sports bras have now become too big now that Ryder isn't eating as frequently, I resorted back to my Champion brand bras from Target and just tripled it up. I kept adding layers until I bounced and my boobs didn't. Except, as the title of this post implies, I now have a uni-boob hiding under these 3 bras. Oh well. Its all about give and take, I suppose.

So, since this discovery, I'm now able to get up early and get my runs done early. I was so happy about this revelation that I ended up running 4 mornings last week. On my XT days of Tuesday and Friday, I did my JM 30-Day Shred (Level 3) dvd, and followed it up with a 2-mile quicker-paced run. I even did this same two-phase workout on Wednesday, which was supposed to be a rest day. Then, Thursday, I did a 4.5 mile run in the morning. Granted, these morning workouts and runs require me getting up at 4:30-4:40am. BUT, its such a nice feeling to come home from work and know that I'm DONE with my workout for the day.

Something else happened last week too. That dvd workout that I did, Level 3 contains some plyometrics. So, I don't know if it was this small amount of plyo training, the extra 2-mile quick runs, or purely a fluke (or the quick pit stop back at my house to use the bathroom about 4.3 miles into the run.. yes, I paused my timer/GPS during this stop) that caused the following to happen.. My long run 2 Saturdays ago was 11.25 miles at an average 11:38 pace, but then THIS Saturday, my 11.19-mile long run was at a 10:38 average pace. How in THE WORLD did I manage to knock an entire minute off of my long-run pace?!?! Does anyone have ANY insight to this? I would like to think that I'll perform similarly during my long run on Sunday, but I'm not getting my hopes up. But, if this isn't just a fluke, that means that I could reasonably set a goal for myself of under 2:30 for the half marathon on October 16th, which would be AWESOME.

So, all that being said, I've officially entered into taper-mode for the next 3 weeks. We'll see how that works out, especially given my new-found freedom to run in the early morning. A co-worker of mine had her baby yesterday, and she works nights on the weekends, so I'm picking up a shift this Friday night. This means that I'll most likely rest (or do a quick JM workout) on Saturday and then do my long run of "just" 8 miles on Sunday.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's Get Real for a Moment

Would someone please explain to me why I'm doing this to myself? This running thing is what I'm referring to. I'm sorry that I haven't posted in awhile, but I didn't have much encouragement or anything positive to offer. I still don't. The last 2 weeks of training have been challenging to say the least. Today was the last day of week 8 of my program. It sucked. Things seem to be getting harder everytime I go out and I'm not sure why. I thought by now things would be getting easier. I had a small taste of "easy" and it was fleeting. Is this normal? Is this kind of struggle typical? I don't know, but it's getting old. It seems that every run has started out a bit stressful too. Most recently, before 2 of my last 3 runs I couldn't get my GPS program to find a satellite! Are you kidding me?!? There hasn't been a cloud in the sky and the flippin' thing can't find a must be floating over Australia or something. Good grief.

The one word that keeps floating through my mind is "perseverance". I just looked it up the definition on and this what it says:

1. Steady persistance in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Wow, that describes a lot of my life right now, not just running. So, I guess the answer for the running is to take each one, difficulties and all, one day at a time and to keep going.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not-So-Fitness Friday

Ughhhhhh. That's all I have to say about this morning. My training plan called for 30 minutes of cross training. I figured I'd get up early and do a pilates/yoga dvd that I have. I did manage to get up early. 4:30am to be exact. Got the dvd started. Well, I must have just woken up on the wrong side of the bed because the warm-up was irritating the crap out of me. I thought I remembered this dvd being a bit faster of a flow. The flow of it was just so stinking slow. I tried fast forwarding through some of the warm-up, thinking it would get faster. Then I skipped over to the main workout. It was all so slow that I just got mad and turned it off. CARDIO. I thought, I need cardio. If the slow workout was too slow, then maybe I need something faster. So, I'll do cardio!

Now, I know my workout dvd collection and so I have a good idea of which dvd's are good for what type of workout I'm needing that day. So, I decided to bust out my... wait for it... TAEBO dvd. You remember, taebo... from the 90's, led by Billy Blanks, who might as well be wearing MC Hammer pants, leading you through all these intense I-thought-these-were-more-intense kickboxing moves. So, yeah. Once again, I found myself highly irritated and shut it off.

What I really wanted to do was go for a run. But, alas, it was 5:15am. Steve had left early for work, and Ryder was still asleep. Theoretically, I could have woken Ryder up early to feed him, loaded him up into the jogging stroller, and headed out for a quick 20-minute run. I could have. But honestly, I didn't feel all that comfortable running outside with my baby in a stroller before the sun was even thinking about rising. Nor was I comfortable leaving Ryder asleep in the house by himself. Had Steve been home, I would have headed out before the sun by now. I thought I could always just go for a run after work tonight, but tomorrow is my long run in the morning, and I don't really like doing back-to-back runs, especially when that 2nd run is my long run.

Normally I wouldn't be so concerned about getting my workout in, especially on a cross-training day, the day before my long run, and considering the plan only calls for 30 minutes. BUT, I made some cookies last night for a friend/co-worker who just had her 2nd baby. I volunteered to provide her family's dinner for tonight, so I made the dessert last night. My wonderful hubby is coming home early from work (which is why he went in early today) to make the main dish. Well, instead of me conquering the cookies without cheating on my diet, it conquered me. After filling all the cookie sheets, I had some left over dough that would have made probably 2 cookies. I wasn't going to put just 2 cookies on a sheet by themselves. So, I did what any rational person seriously burnt-out dieter would do - I ate the leftover dough. This means that today is damage control. More exercise, fewer carbs, lower fat. What does this mean? This means protein shakes for 3 of my 4 meals at work today. And my 5th meal (last meal) may end up being a protein shake as well. And as for my exercise? I'll definitely be walking over my 30-minute lunch period today, which is usually around 2ish miles, more if I'm really bookin' it. And, depending on what I do tonight (hubs is gone for the evening), after I drop off the dinner, I may just load the babe up into the stroller and head out for another speedy walk.

Happy Friday everyone. Happy Friday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I'm really kind of irritated that today is Thursday. Only for the fact that Thursday is that little "teaser" to Friday. You wake up, knowing you're approaching the end of the week, but you're not quite there. I guess there's always these Three Things Thursdays to look forward to.

1. Where, oh where is my dear sissy-poo? She needs to get us all updated on how she's doing! I'm pretty sure she's got her first 5K coming up in a few weeks.

2. I ran my furthest distance last Saturday, 10.25 miles! And I managed to keep a pace of around 11:37 min/mile. The run felt pretty good and I had GU for the first time too. I had a good pre-run meal and felt like I kept myself properly fueled throughout the run. A yummy chocolate chip bagel (well, half of one, anyways) with some crunchy peanut butter and some scrambled egg whites. I ordered one of those sampler boxes of GU products awhile back, so I had a Jet Blackberry GU during my run, and then had a package of Strawberry Chomps with me as well. Both were really good! I really really liked the Jet Blackberry GU. I highly recommend it. I plan on ordering more of that flavor, along with the Strawberry Chomps too. They were like extra large strawberry gummy bears. I was also pleasantly surprised with the immediate change I noticed in how my legs felt as I ran, after consuming the GU. The stuff works great!

3. And, finally, a bigger deal... I have, against my better judgement, decided to run two half-marathons that are three weeks apart. I really think I can do it. October 16th and November 6th (2 days after my 4th wedding anniversary). In my training plan, my long run is 10 miles and its 3 weeks before the race. Soooo, it just so happens to work out that I can make my "long run" happen on the first half marathon, repeat the two cutback weeks in between the two HM's, and then run the 2nd race. Doable, right? I think I may shoot for 11 miles this Saturday... Partially because I want to, but also because I want to justify using up more GU's to try the different flavors.

That's it for today... I'm doing a 50 minute training run along with some stride drills tonight. We'll see how it goes... My Thursday evening training runs have seemed slower/harder here the last few weeks. Not gonna complain if it helps my Saturday run.

Have a great Thursday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 ... Never forget.

I'd like to start this post just by honoring 9/11 and those who were lost in this tragedy. It happened 9 years ago today, but I will NEVER forget sitting there before class at school, my senior year, turning on the tv just before the 2nd plane flew into the tower. I remember sitting there, thinking, "this can't possibly be happening. this can't be nearly as serious as it seems." But it was happening. And it was as serious as it seemed. Little did I know, that day would become a memory that seared itself into my brain for the rest of my life. And I wasn't even one who was directly affected. I was fortunate enough to not be in NY. I was fortunate enough to not have any friends or family in NY. I can't imagine the feelings that went through the minds of the people who had loved ones working in the twin towers and in the Pentagon building. I can't imagine the feelings that they experience every year on this anniversary.

I believe in God. I don't just believe in Him, I KNOW He's there. I know that He is there, next to those family members who lost someone on that day, and He is there comforting them every second. Throughout every day, I like to constantly be in conversation with God. I try to speak with Him all day long, letting Him walk me through the day. Today, every chance I get, I'm going to be praying for those families affected by 9/11. I ask you to do the same. Every time you are reminded of what today stands for, I ask that you just say a prayer, asking God to comfort those families today. How can we not? As believers, we have the option to pray anywhere and everywhere we want. We can pray out loud, or silently in our hearts. God hears our prayers no matter what. Its literally the simplest thing we can do for those who are feeling overcome by grief today. I take comfort in knowing that when I pray for those families, God WILL be there with them. I love my God and I love that He is a LOVING and MERCIFUL God. He loves each and every one of us, believers or not, and wants a relationship with all of us. I love knowing that, while I may not be able to send money or give a victim's family member an actual hug, I know that God is there with them, and that's the most important thing.

I was going to make this post partially about running, but I'll leave it at this. I hope today's post speaks to and opens hearts. Feel free to check out my other blog too, HERE. Its my somewhat-daily blog about finding God every day in my life.

Have a great day today... Good luck with any of you going out on their long runs today. I'll be dedicating my 9-11 mile run today to those affected by 9/11. God Bless...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bethany's Three Things Thursday

1. Excuse me while I get some cheese to go with my whine. Ever since having Ryder, almost 6 1/2 months ago, the thought of being a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) has been in the back of my mind. I'd love to do it, but the hubs says it just isn't possible right now. Even if I just worked a couple days a week and was home the rest of the week, I'd be happy. I have my days every once in awhile a lot where I wish I were at home with him. Today is one of those days. Its one of those days where I feel out of place at work and feel like I need to be home taking care of my baby. I mean, he's only a baby once. I wish I could find a good, legitimate work-from-home job that I could do, so that I could justify not working outside of the home.

2. Mark this one down for the books. Two "firsts" for him... 1. Ryder got stung by a been last night. Twice. On his fingers. Poor little baby... I felt so bad for him. The look he had on his face right after it happened was almost as bad as the look he gets when he gets his shots. His little thumb and middle finger swelled right up in no time. We ended up calling the doctor (yes, we called the on-call doctor for a bee sting), and she said we could give him some benadryl and ibuprofen to help with the swelling. He's doing much better today though, thankfully. 2. We went to get Ryder up this morning and found him in his crib lying on his tummy. This was the first time we've ever found him on his tummy in the mornings. He's usually on his side. This is especially significant considering that until this point, he's never rolled from his back to his tummy. He gets up to his side and he's perfectly content right there.

3. I've got a 50-minute training run today along with some stride drills, that I'm pretty excited about doing tonight. The weather is only getting up to the mid-70's, which will make a 6:15pm run PERFECT. Saturday is my long run day... I'm dealing with somewhat of a dilemma though. Last weekend was supposed to be a cutback week of 4 miles. I did 9.25. So, I'm wondering if I should do my cutback week this week, or just go for the full 10? If I go 10, it'll be a couple weeks ahead of schedule... but I figure I could run 10-12 miles over my last long runs of the training plan before the half marathon in October. What to do, what to do?

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The power within you is greater than the challenge before you.

While I don't live in South Carolina, like Ann does, and don't deal with hills as much during my runs, there are a couple killer hills that I deal with. One in particular being behind our local park. This hill is of a pretty decent grade, and is one of those hills that seems to go on forever. The grade even changes within the hill, sometimes going steeper and sometimes not as steep. I'm sure if Ann were to run this hill, it'd probably be a cake walk for her. But, I digress. My routes lately have taken me down this hill, through the park, and then back up the hill. I know its good training, but this hill just sucks.

Recently, a friend on facebook had her little "status shuffle" app thing going, and her status was something similar to the title of this post. I just adapted it to fit my needs. So, it has become my running mantra. When I'm about to tackle the aforementioned hill, I repeat it several times, even outloud. The power within you is greater than the challenge before you. The power within you is greater than the challenge before you... I just repeat it to my winded self several times as I get over this hill.

Not only does this phrase get me through said hill, its gotten me through my runs. Especially my long runs. Sometime during the first 25-50% of my long runs, I'm usually questioning myself, if I can even complete this run. Once I start repeating my mantra, I start forgetting about my self-doubting and focusing on the task in front of me. I remind myself that my legs feel good, my lungs feel good, and so I should just keep going.

What phrases do you use to get you through a run?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just another Manic Monday

Its the end of another 3-day weekend. Back to work tomorrow. Lots has happened this weekend...

First off, I did my long run on Saturday, and even though it was supposed to be a cutback week, it ended up being the complete opposite of that. I ended up going 9.25 miles! My legs felt great throughout the run. Its amazing how differently your body can react to a run on different days. My last run prior to Saturday was Thursday evening, and it was all I could do to get through that blasted 50 minute run + stride drills. But then Saturday rolled around, and halfway through my run, I felt like I could have gone on forever.

I've only had my heart rate monitor for a couple weeks now, but we're currently taking a break from each other. Yesterday, my rest day, I noticed some chaffing wounds from what I'm thinking is my monitor. I don't know if I'm wearing it wrong, but I don't think so. The way it sits, it sits right below the chest, so with our, ahem, anatomy, it seems like it ends up sitting underneath the sports bra. So, my theory is that the sensor that snaps on to the front of the strap rubbed me raw. I've got a couple wounds, and they're such that I feel like they should heal completely before I start slathering that area in Body Glide (which, by the way, I did buy today). Its frustrating, but oh well.

Even though it was supposed to be a cutback week, I'm glad I ended up going 9+ miles. It helped offset the cheat meal I had that evening. You remember that comment I made about rapidly approaching diet burn-out? Well, we ended up going out to Mellow Mushroom for pizza Saturday evening with our good friends. If you haven't tried Mellow Mushroom, I highly suggest you go there NOW. I personally recommend their pretzels (think big doughy, carbolicious breadsticks in the shape of a pretzel) and the Mighty Meaty pizza. Oh, and their spinach & artichoke dip was delicious too! So, I binged. I ate a ton of food. And I don't regret it either. It was the most delicious cheat meal I've ever had. My diet is paying for it now, but that's alright with me! In fact, I keep wondering when we'll get to go back.

I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend! Keep telling your friends/fellow bloggers about our blog... we want followers!

Oh, and lastly, I want to take this opportunity to just let my sister know how proud I am of her! As you read in her post from Saturday, she had a rough go of it, BUT she was able to point out exactly what was working against her during her run. I love that she didn't let one crappy run discourage her... She is one strong woman, and I know that she is capable of anything!! Love you, sis!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why does running make me want to swear like a sailor?

Today's run was one of the most frustrating yet! And yes, during and after I wanted to swear like a sailor! I'm following the 5k walk/run training plan from Running for Mortals and darn it all, today they changed things up! Just when I was starting to feel strong and increasing my time and mileage...I feel like a beginner again. I struggled, I huffed, I puffed, I almost swore out loud, and frankly didn't enjoy it at all. As I think back over the run, I realize I made a three significant mistakes:

FIRST MISTAKE: My daughter, Sarah, had a slumber party last night to celebrate her 10th birthday, which is Sunday. Instead of getting up and running early like I usually do, I waited until everyone left and THEN I went! BIG mistake...the temp was cool, about 75 degrees to begin with, but good grief that sun was still HOT. Lesson learned...even when I have company, I need to get my butt out of bed and do my run EARLY, in the coolness of the morning, without the blazing sun beating down on me.

SECOND MISTAKE: My darling, supportive hubby suggested that we do the neighborhood trail. Foolishly I agreed. I've been curious about running on a trail, but today was NOT the day to try it. As I said in my last post, I can twist my ankle over thin air ...and now, I'm running on a dirt and leaf covered trail, with tree roots everywhere! Can you say stupid?!? Oh, and yes, let's not forget that I'm running LONGER now! Again, can you say REALLY STUPID?!? Lesson learned...stick to the streets, ESPECIALLY when your program is changing! Duh!

THIRD MISTAKE: Thursday and Friday's are supposed to be crosstraining days. I have been going to a place called 9 Round since March and it's what I do on those days. 9 Round is a boxing/kickboxing 30 minute high-intensity workout. Thursday, I worked upper body. Friday, I worked on lower body. As a result, my quads and calfs were sore and tight, which of course, made running a little harder at the beginning. Lesson learned...Thursday is lower body, Friday is upper body and make sure I'm stretching after EVERY workout...running or crosstraining.

Needless to say, I felt awful after today's run. Scott told me he was proud of me for sticking it out and finishing. That helped, because there were MANY times I wanted to just quit and didn't. So, not only was today a physical battle, but a mental one and I WAS victorious and didn't quit. While I've been working on this post, I've been texting with Bethany. I have to tell you, that my little sister is one great encourager! Bethany, being an encourager like that is most definitely a gift from God. She told me that I did awesome today and that I gave myself some new challenges and learned some lessons along the way and especially learned how many new things I can throw in on any given run. So, I am feeling better about things thanks to Scott and Bethany. BUT, it's not a run that I want to repeat. This one will go down as a learning experience. I will enjoy my day of rest tomorrow and be back out there Monday morning. This time I will go early and stick to the streets!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Holy Crap! What have I gotten myself into?

Those were the first thoughts I had after Bethany and I officially signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'm committed. There is no backing out now! So, this forty-something Mom of 3, wife to an amazingly supportive man, has decided to run 13.1 miles. This from a person who has NEVER been athletic, has always hated running, and can twist her ankle on thin air, is going to now run a half-marathon. I think I've lost it. Maybe I'll attribute it to a mid-life crisis.

When my darling, sweet little sister approached me with the idea, I laughed at the idea. But secretly, I liked it. Maybe this was the push I needed to accomplish something I NEVER thought I could do. Over the last couple of years I have become a Biggest Loser fan. I have been totally amazed by the transformation the contestants make on the show and then to finish up by running a marathon. WOW! Forget Couch to 5k, try couch to marathon! How inspiring it is to see them fight for their health. Now, let me just say to my sweet sister Bethany, I have no desire sign up for a marathon! Anyway, I couldn't help but think that if these people who were over 250 pounds can lose weight and finish a marathon, why can't I do something like that? So, I looked at all the information that Bethany bombarded me with. Let me just say that she can be very persuasive when she wants something and painted a pretty picture of what it would be like. I have to confess, I too am a sap, and got teary eyed thinking of finishing the race with my sister and what a neat memory that would be for us to have. The question then became, can I actually do it? Can I run/walk a mile in under 15 minutes so I can just FINISH the race, because that is my goal at this point, to just finish.

Bethany told me about a great book called Running for Mortals by Jenny Hadfield and John Bingham. I had to start somewhere so I bought the book, friended Jenny on Facebook, and started reading. I love how approachable Jenny has been on Facebook. I have asked for help from her more than once and she is quick and willing to respond. I love that. Anyway, there was a quote from John Bingham on the first page of the first chapter of the book that described how I felt perfectly. He said, "The miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start." Isn't that statement so true? How many times do we give up before we even start? So, I started. I read the book and started training for a 5k. I'm in week 5 of my training and I can feel myself getting stronger and that my friends, is very motivating.

My first goal is to walk/run my neigborhoods 5k on Saturday, October 9th. Finishing that race/event will just be confirmation to me that I can tackle the bigger challenge of the half-marathon. I can be a runner, even in my forties!

Bethany's Three Things Thursday

Its Thursday... that means tomorrow is FRIDAY! I've never been one to say TGIF really, mostly because Fridays are not my favorite day. For me, its more like TGISaturday!! I'm off on Saturdays, rarely have a set schedule for the day, so its my TGI-Day.

So, here goes nothing... my three things! (Plus a random 4th thing that I wanna throw in there.)

1. I love, love, LOVE my sister! I love that she's taking on this journey with me and that she's courageous enough to commit to running a half marathon with me. I'm so excited for February to get here and to do this race with her. She's an awesome mom of 3 kids, an awesome sister, and an awesome friend... and I'm sure her hubs would say she's a pretty awesome wife too. :)

2. This week is a cut-back week in my training for October's half. Last Saturday, I ran 8.5 miles (was supposed to be 7), and this Saturday I'm only supposed to run 4. I may shoot for 6. Its a happy compromise.

3. I've been on this carb-cycling diet for almost 8 weeks now. It doesn't have a name, other than just "carb cycling". This means I've been eating meals that consist of tilapia & rice, lean steak & rice, scrambled egg whites & oatmeal, protein shakes with oats, lean hamburger, lean chicken, turkey breast, with some almonds thrown in there and lots of non-starchy, low-carb veggies (read: broccoli, cauliflower). Its been a great diet and I'm down 17 lbs as of this week (5 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight!), but I'm rapidly approaching burn-out mode. All I really want right now is a juicy, delicious bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions, mayo and lettuce from Five Guys, followed by a Gotta Have It ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery (Cookie Dough'nt Ya Want Some, made with Cake Batter ice cream, if you must know). I've only got about 4 weeks left on this diet, which is exciting and nerve-wracking for me all at once. I'm really nervous about going into maintenance mode. I'm sure I'll have a few days of indulgence (maybe just one meal each day), but beyond that, I hope to keep myself on track and keep this weight off.

4. I really hope a lot of people follow our blog! I'm so excited about doing this with my sister, and I hope we get a lot of followers. :) And, since we're both fairly new to the blogging world, we're happy to take any suggestions to post ideas (like Three Things Thursday, Wordless Wednesdays, and any other daily themes that bloggers use)...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Disney, Here We Come!

We are officially 5 months and 26 days away from the Disney Princess Half Marathon that we will be running together as the Warrior Princesses! I am Bethany, the little sis, and my big sis, Ann will be running it with me. And I know that she just CANNOT WAIT for the big event. Hahaha...

Anyway, we are, as mentioned, two sisters. She lives in South Carolina, I'm in Indiana, but we're training together for this. We are both also wives and mothers, living our own busy day-to-day lives, striving for balance amongst the chaos. You'll be seeing both of us posting on this blog. I am married to my awesome hubs, Steve, and we have a 6-month old son, Ryder. I couldn't have asked for a better husband, and Ryder, well, he's just flipping awesome.

I guess I'll get down to the nitty gritty of it all. Right now, I'm training for the 15th Annual Indianapolis Half Marathon in October. Why? Honestly, I don't know. I think I was so excited to train for the Disney Princess Half that I decided to jump in and get into a training schedule. I've been a runner for some years now, although I've only done one race, which was the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon, back in 2004. It was not a pleasant experience. Poor training schedule with poor training format made for IT band syndrome in my left knee. I blame it on running the same 1/2 mile loop, in the same direction for the entire duration of my training. And don't ask why I decided to run ultimately 10 miles on the same 1/2 mile loop anyway. But, I digress.

Out of a pure whim, I decided I wanted to train for the Disney Princess Half... I looked up the website and quickly noticed that you can run as part of a team. A TEAM! Immediately, my sister came to mind. Because I'm so cool lame, I almost teared up at the thought of running and finishing this race with my sister, both of us all decked out in our Princess gear. Since we live so far away, its hard for us to get together on a regular basis. At the time, she was a non-runner, so I knew I'd have my work cut out for me if I wanted to convince her. To make a long story short (I'll let her elaborate on that whole story if she wishes), she confessed that she was intrigued. The next thing we knew, thanks to my gift of persuasion, we were signed up! So now, she's working on the Couch to 5K plan, and I'm working on the half marathon in October. I asked her about creating a blog, so we could share our experiences with other runners, and also, so we could keep each other accountable and encouraged.

I know this isn't all that interesting right now (its always awkward for me starting these things out), but keep with us and we're sure to get into the blogging groove! So, keep in touch, and enjoy our sisterly chronicles!