Monday, August 31, 2009

All By Myself

This post is dedicated to two people:

The hubs and AN the RB.
Click here for a corny song, and it is meant in the corniest of ways. But it will set the mood for the first part of this post.

So the hubs is not returning today because of a typhoon and a missed connection. But not to worry, he should be home Wed night. That just gives me three more days to make it to my 30 mile challenge (always looking for the bright side).

Second, AN the RB lost her trusty cell phone! So that left me no choice but to do my 10 mile run ALL BY MYSELF this morning (honestly, how did we function before cell phones?). I don't think I have ever done this many miles on my own. It wasn't as bad as I had feared.

Starting out!

This morning’s run was pretty entertaining, to say the least. Here are some of the random things that went on:

-In my first mile I punted a dead bird, on accident.
-I revisited the scene of the face plant, yes there is quite a dip in the road and I can see how a normal functioning person would trip there.
-People were staring at me. I noticed looks of pity, wonder, amusement, confusion, jealousy, and one woman I swear was trying to shoot me with mind bullets.
-I nearly got run over by a 16 year old hauling A down a side street. Seriously, if only I knew your parents!
-I found myself in the ghetto for the last 1.25 miles and wished I had been in the ghetto on the FIRST 1.25 miles instead, when I had fresh legs to outrun bad guys.
-I ran up 36th street! Which is practically a mountain! Normally this kills the run and I walk home, but not today. Nope, today I continued to finish 5 more miles.
-While running 36th street Mountain I cursed myself for officially signing up for Seattle Half this morning.

And here is the four bags of ice I decided to use in my ice bath! It was so cold and felt to horribly good! I was feeling some strange aches and pains in my left leg and decided around mile 8 I would do an ice bath. That kept me going to the end...

Man, my toes were numb and my legs frozen but SO worth it!

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So today I am thankful:
-that I hit up 10 miles and felt pretty good. I only walked to hydrate.
-I have an extra couple of days to clean my house and fold laundry.
-for all my new FOLLOWERS!!! Awesome! Thanks!!!!

Run Happy!

This weeks 30 mile challenge!

No, I am not going to run 30 miles...all at once. :)

I have decided to challenge myself in the upcoming week. My goal is 30 miles. I am not quite sure what happened to my mileage last week, maybe it was the face plant into the pavement almost 2 miles into my long run? Either way my mileage did a severe face plant too. So I am picking up the miles to ensure I have my base solid to begin my official half training on the 7th.

I should be able to do this without a problem. The only thing I can see interfering hub? Yep, sometimes I just want to hang out instead of run. But what do you expect? Yipeeeee!!!

Today I am grateful:
-that my hub will hopefully be home tomorrow (yes, it is military so "hopefully" is inserted there...something about a typhoon?)
-that I had a good run on the dreadmill and could have gone longer but didn't. I saved myself for tomorrows long run (and yes, I am blogging at 12:15 AM so I guess it is this mornings long run).
-that I had a good evening with good friends who make it a tradition to spend my last night as a bachelorette together doing girly things.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

COMMANDO: That’s How I Roll

Oh yes, this may come as a shocker to some but I do not wear underwear when I run, or work out for that matter…IF I am wearing the fabulous shorts with underwear built in. I have heard some clatter about this topic on some comments to Tall Mom on the Run and some questioning the reasoning over at Caution:Redhead Running and thought I would throw my $.2 in.

Here is the deal. Last year I was wearing my nice cotton underwear (what they say women should wear because of sweat and gross things that can happen if you chose to wear nice little satin panties or other fabric when you work out) with my Nike Dri-Fit running shorts (LOVE them!) They are my go-to running shorts. If I run in shorts they are the only style I wear. And they come in at least 50 different color combinations! It is pretty hard to chose which ones to buy, so I usually pick up 2 or three at a time. You can NEVER have too many (this is why I need a job!)!

Oh, anyway...I was wearing underwear with the fabulous shorts and I was going out of my mind because of the friction and honestly the dreaded shorts-up-the thigh-and-bunching-in-my-crotch issue (anyone else know what I am talking about?!). This would cause serious chaffing. Part of this I am convinced was due to my larger thighs that I am proud to say have slimmed up a bit since then. But the major factor was the the UNDERWEAR and built-in undies combo! The liner is polyester, which is good for allowing our special space to breath. There really is no reason to wear underwear, unless you are super opposed to going COMMANDO! I found that when I don't wear underwear with these shorts there is less friction and less shorts up the thighs. You should give it a try and let me know how it goes!!

Here are some pictures of the shorts that I wear and do not wear underwear with and check out the liner and awesome little pocket that fits a driver's licence, an iPod, and a car key or door beeper. :

The Addidas shorts (the pink ones) are my least favorite. They just are not flattering on me. They are a little longer and straight where the Nike Dri-Fit flair out a bit in all the right places and make your legs look a little skinnier. The Brooks are AWESOME spandex! And frankly there is no room for underwear when it comes to spandex. I never wear underwear with my spandex shorts or my tights. But be careful if you are stretching in the spandex with no undies! Sometimes the crotch has a bit of a meshy material for breathability (if you are confused as to WHY your crotch needs to breath just leave me a comment, I bet Amber can explain it to us! HA!). And check out the sweet little pocket on the Brooks shorts too! It has a zipper so you can be certain your key, money, ID, whatever wont fall out. It is also on the outside of the back of the shorts.

Well, yesterdays workout was a bear! Rarrrrrrr! I had an easy three miles on the dreadmill and then strength training. I love lifting weights! I destroyed my legs though with squats, dead lifts, and lunges. So today will be another light day, maybe three miles or maybe I will swim since I have my eye on the Kirkland Traithlon in September.

Today I am grateful:
-that the hub will be home in 2 nights!
-for a lazy Saturday!
-for some sweet things I "won" (i.e. got to buy) at my son's Montessori Silent Auction last night!
-that Oh-So-Sore feeling that means I have been workn' it!

Have a GREAT WEEKEND and Run Happy!


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Friday, August 28, 2009

I think therefore I am...

getting FASTER!

Man, it seems like track and speed work is all that I am doing these days. For starters when my little man is not in preschool it is just easier to go to the track or use the dreadmill at the YMCA. I have officially retired the jogging stroller. Ugh! That reminds me of the couple I saw when I was running my 10 miles of hills. This couple must have been smoking crack or something (which I absolutely DO NOT CONDONE even if it does enable one to do things this couple was doing). Each one was pushing a ridiculous running stroller with a half grown person in it! These kids were at least 6 and 8. WHAT? Are you kidding me? These kids could have been on bicycles riding beside their parents but no, this couple clearly wanted a challenge. And then, as we were driving away I saw them racing each other across a hilly grass patch…PUSHING their grade-schoolers in strollers. I will not be that parent. Ever.

Anywho…today I hit the track for my 400m sprints, six of them with a slow recovery jog between each. I was pretty happy with my times:

1. 1.31
2. 1.33
3. 1.39
4. 1.45
5. 1.44
6. 1.49

Total distance: 3.17 miles
Total Calories: 317 (that is bogus, I worked my a#$ off today for what? To burn half a cookie?!)
Max Heart rate: 184

Here is a question for you, my bloggie buddies, do any of you know anything about heart rate training? Or even a link to a blog about heart rate training would be awesome!

Here are a couple of pictures of my little running buddy helping me stretch today. Unfortunately I was not able to hit up yoga today. Something about having no skin on my palms does not make for a good yoga day

Today I am grateful for:
4 Days until the hubs comes home!
An awesome day on the track with fast times!
My NEW vacuum cleaner!
An awesome giveaway over at Tall Mom on The Run! Head on over there, become a follower and leave a comment telling her that I sent you for your chance to win some sweet iZumi running shorts! And they are smokin'!
Run Happy!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pavement Tastes Like Pavement

Today I Tasted the Pavement…

And it was everything I imagined it would be. I had no idea that so many thoughts could run across ones mind in such a short instant. Here are the things I thought about as I was falling for what felt like an eternity:

-Wow, I think I am going to eat the pavement.
-Yep. I am definitely falling.
-I literally just tripped over thin air. Is this what I get for my Ode to Feet?
-Ooo…AN the RB had a bad fall like this about 6 weeks ago, poor thing.
-I need to somehow turn my body, yeah, like this, so my face doesn’t end up looking like hamburger.
-What’s that? A car full of college kids back in town for the year? Great. Call me Grace.
-This is going to hurt.
-Yep, I am going to have to mention this to Caution: Redhead Running. I know she will appreciate this.
-Tuck and roll. That's right, I guess my miltary days of jumping out of dueces with an M4 will come in handy afterall...
-Yep, pavement is hard.
-I am not sliding, that is good.
-I guess I will just lay here and maybe nobody noticed.

Well, in true World Champion fashion I got up and ran another 1.5 miles. We didn’t finish our planned 5 miles but managed 3.5 instead. I am ok with that.

Today I am grateful:
-that I seem to be un-seriously-scathed. My fall could have been much worse!
-that I have 5 days home with my little buddy, i.e. daycare closed Thur and Fri, and I am keeping him home Monday for daddy's homecoming! My weekend begins now.
-for an AWESOME new haircut by Paige at Angelo Mendi. So if you are in the area and need a good cut, let her know Amanda sent you!

Here are a few pictures for your viewing enjoyment, thanks AN the RB for everything. Today I would have stayed on the pavement, waiting to be ran over if it weren't for you.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ode to my Feet

Dear Feet,

I know you work so hard to keep me going every day. You run countless miles for me with rarely a complaint. You walk all over the world in a simple pair of black $2 Old Navy flip flops. You spread your toes wide to keep me on balance and most of all you allow me to be fit.

I try to pamper you...paint your nails a pretty blue with flowers:

I try to rub your high arches and relax your tense muscles. And I know that there are days when all you want to do is feel the warm sand underneath you:

Trust me when I say I would love that too. But for now we must keep running. I need you to be strong and pound the pavement along the familiar roads and trails. I need you to be quick and brisk. I need you to hold on and remain the foundation of me and my fitness. This is my ode to you, my feet. I know I don't say it enough but Thank You for being YOU.

Today I am grateful:
-that I am injury free and able to run.
-for all my new blog followers! 18 and counting!!!
-a possible job lead that I will be following up on tomorrow!
-that the hubs will be home in 6 days!

Run Happy!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Am I BRAVE Enough?

Seattle half is 14 weeks away. My training officially begins on September 7. I have been considering taking on the Advanced plan instead of the Intermediate plan. The main difference I can see in the Advanced plan is:
  • added hill work
  • longer tempo runs
  • not only 400m sprints but 800m sprints
  • and instead of a distance long run it is a long run for a set amount of time.
Wow. Now that I put that down it seems pretty ADVANCED. But I think I can do it. I am going to continue my Intermediate training for the next two weeks until the official training start date and then I will decide if I am brave enough to to follow the Advanced plan .

I have been practicing my tempo runs on the treadmill lately so that I can get a feel for them. Today I went an easy 3.5 miles. Mile one-9:14, mile 2- 8:36, mile 3-8:14, last half mile 9:45 pace. I would like to get the fastest time down to at least in the seven minute range.

Today I am grateful for:
-my friends who love my little buddy.
-a nice dinner with my friends.
-all the time I have available for training, even though I would really LOVE to find a job.
-a hair appointment to fix the AWFUL haircut I got last week.
-plans way in advanced to CA and OK over the holidays!

Run Happy Y'all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Get Knocked Down

Is anyone else watching the Track and Field World Championships? Talk about WoW! China won the women marathon in 2:25.15! That is only about 3 minutes(ish) slower than my worst HALF marathon!

And did you see the women’s 1500 m? The leader from Ethiopia got tripped up around 120 m from the finish! She bit it hard. It was so sad. Heartbreaking. She fell and was left behind BUT do you know what she did? She got up! She got up and ran to the finish. She did not win, she won’t be standing on the podium receiving her GOLD medal for being the World Champion in the 1500 m. All her hard work, blood, sweat, tears, soreness…was it for nothing? I think not. But how do you recover from that? I even teared up just watching her after she crossed the finish line. The woman from Spain, who ran a 4:03.36 1500m went to her, knelt down, grabbed the runners hand and kissed it. You could tell there was genuine empathy there. Aren’t runners amazing? Rodriguez from Spain would not have won if the leader had not fallen, a bitter sweet gold medal I reckon.

And then in the men’s 800 m three of them fell! And guess what! THEY GOT BACK UP! Since they got up and finished their teams contended the falls and two of them, the ones that were tripped by the one who fell first, were reinstated in the finals! So for the first time there were 10 men in the 800m finals.

So, the lesson that I have learned, or at least that was reaffirmed, today is that you have to pick yourself up and finish the race. No matter what, it doesn’t have to be an actual race, it could be in life in general. But we work too hard to quit, at least give it your all and make it to the finish line.

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna to keep me down

Today I am grateful:
-that I have finally got some organizing done!
-I had a good rest day and now my legs are ready to run this week!
-that I got a lot of laundry not only done but folded and put away!
-for a good weekend and time spent with good friends.

Oh and those women in the 400m relay!? WHAT? Talk about fast! They make me want to run faster and do better!

Run Happy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bad Moods Make for Good Runs!

Today was one of those days where everything was annoying, I was a in a bad mood, it was raining and


I was a negative ninny. And this is one of those days that I really NEEDED to run.

I had all but decided I was not going to run until I got a text from my girl MD. *SIGH* I headed to the YMCA to do a dreadmill run, 20 minutes later than the agreed upon time. Hey, I told you I was in a bad mood!

After .66 miles of me gabbing and telling MD how AWFUL (insert drama queen facial expressions, arm flailing, and high pitched whining) my previous evening and day had been she told me to run and reminded me I would feel better afterwards. She was right. I put on my headphone and turned up my iPod with my recently added Black Eyed Peas CD The End with my new favorite song(check it out here).This is a great running mix by the way. I couldn’t run as fast as I wanted too with this music!

Warm up-.66 mile
Mile 1- 9:13
Mile 2- 8:43
Mile 3- 8:14
Half mile cool down

I feel strange only doing 3 miles runs but I think it will be helpful. I am trying to focus on increasing speed and like I have mentioned I have a hard time following a training plan. I am determined to stick to the plan this time and see where it leads me (Sub 2:00 Half marathon time is my goal)!

Today I am grateful:
-that MD called me to drag me out of my pessimistic funk, make me run, THEN treat me to lunch (YES, I must have been that pitiful).
-Mr. 5 Miles will be home in 10 days (but who is counting).
-that I got my trash can out before the trash truck came ridiculously early.
-to have more time to spend with my little buddy because he is just so awesome and amazing and teaches me something new every singe day.

Run Happy!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yoga and Water Aerobics

My plan said that today was supposed to be stretch and strength. It turned out to be water aerobics and yoga. The H2Ox was non-negotiable since I teach it on Thursdays BUT...

Whose idea was it to do YOGA today?

Well, whose ever it was it was a GOOD one (thanks AN the RB). Today for 1 hour and 15 min it was downward dog, eagle pose, half moon balancing pose, forward fold, uttanasana, tree pose, and so so many more that I cannot pronounce. I am going to try to add this to my weekly training. Last year around this time I was going about twice a week and felt like I was doing pretty well, until some crazy yoga chicks (no offense if you are a crazy yoga chick) came in and were wrapping themselves up like noodles and standing on their hands all sorts of craziness. THAT was not me. I was doing the easy modification and they were like talking to Buddha or something. It was amazing.

Here are a few things I considered during yoga today:

-Hmm, maybe I could try to like really get into yoga and be an instructor or something.

-That might be really hard to do

-How in THE WORLD is that woman doing that?

-Did I shave my pits, because this poor instructor is adjusting my shoulders and it can’t be pretty (sorry way bendy yoga dude).

-I really REALLY need to bring my own yoga mat because putting my face on this thing is really grossing me out.

-Um…this move might make me need to toot !

-How embarrassing and who can I blame it on?

-Yeah, so those 5 chicks over there must be gymnasts because, well it is obvious.

-I can’t wait to run tomorrow.

So tomorrow it is back to running!

Today I am grateful:
-that my little running buddy is doing so great in swimming lessons!
-that yoga was awesome and I actually like the mental and meditation part of it too.
-that some people in this world are creative and artistic.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

9.35 is not 10

…but better than 4.66 or 6.66. Confused?

Today I set out with my running buddy for 10 miles. After my little lesson on hill running from Amber (check the comments for her breakdown of running stairs) we decided to run some real hills. We hit 5 Mile Drive which is, well…5 miles of hills on a scenic route. The plan was to run in forward (the super hilly way) and get a drink at the car and then turn around and run it backwards (the mostly long down hills way). MAN! Talk about hills! This is what I need though to prepare me for Seattle! Any who…we skipped a small little turn that ended up making our first lap 4.66. No biggie.

I love running with my Running Buddy (who needs a name so she shall be called AN the RB). After our first loop we were hydrating and she was trying to convince me we didn’t REALLY NEED to do the second lap. I convinced her, actually I may have forced her, not sure, to head out again. We were off on our second lap. We were both pretty tired and complaining about our calves and various other body parts. We agreed to turn around at the one mile mark. That would give us about 6.66 miles give or take a bit. When my Garmin beeped for that one mile mark I was practically turning around…but AN the RB was not. What! We had a deal! We decided! Wait…where…?? Ah. Fine. 10 miles it is.

We are so good for each other. If she would have had it her way first we would have done 4.66. If I would have had it my way we would have only done 6.66. Instead we did 9.35. Somehow we cut off over half a mile but still I am happy with that.

Today I am grateful for:
-a cool project I am working on for you-my blog readers!
-social networking sites.
-my cozy and fun back yard where I love to spend hours with my little buddy.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Heart, for the world to see:

So I was tagged by Tall Mom on the Run last night. I love being tagged but WHOA! This one was tough. But, after 24 hours of thought I think I have it figured out. Here is what the tag said:

"with as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess".

In a Picture:

Something about a father and a son...

In a Poem:


The military wife is a special individual. When she was a girl, her dreams were bold, as bold as her fine, free gaze; And every gift of grace and mind was hers in her younger days. When she was a girl, a golden girl, with a soul as fine as fire. She could outshine the brightest jewel that a rich man's love might buy her. Yes hers could have been the glittering path through a careless,carefree life. But she fell in love with a soldier, so she became a military wife.

Away from the home of her childhood she marched at her husband's side,for she chose a wide and winding road when she became a bride. And sometimes the road was a hard one, so different from what she had planned; And sometimes she wept for the home she had left as she lay in a foreign land; And sometimes her steps would grow weary as she followed the drum and the fife; But she set about making the world her home because she was a military wife.

She learned to build a hearth for them wherever her man was sent; and she knelt to plant a garden every time he pitched their tent. Yes, she always planted a garden though she never saw it grow, for she knew before the flowers came that she would have to go. But she left each garden gladly though it cut her like a knife, for she hoped it might bring some comfort to another military wife.

To the hardships in her married life she brought one simple truth, a promise that once was spoken in the ancient words of Ruth: "Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Thy people shall be my people and thy God shall be my God." She shared his joys and sorrows as they made their way through life, for she was proud to love a soldier and to be a military wife.

She bore the weight of worrying what fate might hold in store; and the wordless fear of waiting when her soldier went to war; And the nights that she spent fearing that her waiting was in vain; And the pain of wanting someone she might never hold again. But she bore his children gladly through uncertainty and strife, And they never heard her crying for she was a military wife.

She raised a military family with the faith her love had taught her; and she gave the pride she had inside to her son and to her daughter; And she taught them to love freedom and to know what it was worth, As they helped her plant her gardens in the corners of the earth. And she never wished for better than the road they marched through life, because she was as much a soldier as she was a military wife.

--Author Unknown

In a Song:

A Place:
The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA where I learned so much about life and myself. where I learned to love myself and be independent. And where I met my husband. This place holds a special place in my heart.

An Article of clothing:

Now, this was really hard for me BUT...i LOVE my snowboard pants! They are sexy! They are hot (I mean I was literally sweating tonight as I was taking MY OWN picture of myself). But really, these pants signify a lot: for starters can you believe I am giving you a peek at my stomach!? WHAT?! WOW! Since when is that even an option? So these pants make me feel good about myself! Too bad I could never wear them out dancing, unless...Nah. These represent yet another sport and a challenge! I want to OWN the slope about as much as I want to OWN Seattle in Nov. I am ready to ROCK my pants again this winter!

A Phrase:

"I love you mommy." I can never get tired of hearing my son say this. Melts my heart.

A Disney Princess:

Well, this one was hard too since i dont especially like Disney movies or princesses, I know. GASP. But hey, for now I have a boy! But to make life easier for me I found a little quiz and this is what it said of me:

Disney Princess Belle.

Belle is as lovely as her name implies but her natural unaffected beauty is far more than skin deep. An intelligent and avid reader Belle yearns for faraway places and exciting adventures. She is a loyal, loving daughter and when the beast finally wins her trust she gives him all her kindness and patience and then realizes she has also given him her heart. With her inner strength and outward beauty, Belle is a young woman who can and does make things happen.

Today I am grateful for:
-the beautiful weather.
-the opportunity to see a Bald Eagle on my way to work this morning (they are so beautiful).
-a renewed motivation and dedication.

And now I tag my sister over at the Davis Family
Robin over at Running Circles Arund the Turtles
Jen over at No One Said it was Easy

Monday, August 17, 2009

That which does not kill you

…makes you wish you were dead?

Well, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit. But I was thinking that today. I know that if I am going to PR in the Seattle Half I need some serious hill training. Today’s running schedule called for 3 miles. Too easy. I decided to do it on the track and each time I came to the straight away on the stadium side I did the stairs, up/down, up/down, up/down, up/down…run a lap, stairs X12. Ugh! Talk about burning thighs and bootylicious booty! But, since I have you all here I was wondering: do stairs translate to hills? Not sure but I would think so.

When that was all said and done the total was 3.72. I thought it must have been more but my Garmin was having a hard time understanding just why I was running up and down the stairs like that. But all together with warm up, 3 miles + stairs, cool down, and an easy two mile jog/walk with my girl Jess (holla!) I totaled 6.22 miles on my 3 mile day. Not too shabby! We will see how those legs feel tomorrow!

Tomorrow is stretch and strength then Wed 10 miles. I guess I am all over the place with this plan already and it hasn’t even officially started yet! Arg!

Today I am grateful:
-for my friends who are keeping on track!
-that Jessica watched my little running buddy for a few hours this evening!
-that I got a sweet sidewalk chalk art surprise when I got home!
-that I am back on track, for REAL.
-that I got TAGGED my Tall Mom on the Run and will be putting my HEART out there for the world to see!!! Check back tomorrow!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We run in the SUN!

Today is such a beautiful day! The sun is shining but it is not too hot. 70's maybe? I LOVE IT!!!

So I called up a couple of friends, packed up my little running buddy and headed to the track. Running at the track on days like today really takes me back to my track and field days. The smell of the air, the grass, the sunshine, and well the actual track all bring back such fun memories. I think it was about this time last year when I was trying to be slick and went to show off my old hurdle jumping skills to my friends and ended up jacking up my hip, which led to my IT problems (not certain about that cause and effect but it's just my theory). Geeze!

So my little running buddy ran three full laps! He is going to be ready for his 1K in no time! Then he messed around and ran to and fro. I am certain all of his running around and playing equaled no less than a mile.


I did my 1/2 mile warm up then 5 quarter sprints at a 1:30 to 1:45 pace. Each one had a slow recovery jog between it and I ended with a half mile jog. Hal's Intermediate Plan has you doing quarter sprints (5K pace) every other week, adding one more 400 every other week to reach 10 x 400 meters the week before your half marathon. So I am ahead of the game by starting this 2 weeks before the official 12 week plan start date. I plan to do the first week twice and the second week twice and continue on from there.

I feel like I really have a sense of direction now and a goal: to PR at Seattle!

Today I am grateful for:
-the sunshine!
-my active little running buddy!
-friends who want to get healthy and work out with me (HALLA Jess and Mic!!)!
-my little running buddy is ACTUALLY taking a nap (I guess running a mile when you are 4 will do that)!
-only 16 more days until Mr.5 Miles 2 Empty comes home!

I owe an old friend a visit...

I owe an old friend a visit: Seattle Half Marathon, you may have defeated me last year but I have a message for you...

Ok, 14 weeks until the Seattle Amica Half Marathon. I am going to attempt to TOTALLY redeem myself. Last year this was a terrible experience. As I mentioned yesterday I am terrible at sticking to a training plan. My life does not fit neatly into a daily schedule. Period. But last year I tried to stick to Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan and I did a darn good job, despite a pretty painful IT band injury that set me back about 4 weeks. But nonetheless I had a good base and was doing all the required runs, tempo runs, speed work, and long runs. I even did the cross training and weight training too, which I love! I am finally seeing muscles in my arms!



But, but…about 2 weeks before the race I did something to my neck. My therapistS (yes, multiple therapists: Physical Therapist and my, well…REAL therapist*) were in agreement. They were certain it was tension, stress, and anxiety.


Husband in Iraq, mommy with no family support, full-time Master’s student, working, and training for a race = serious tension and stress. So I was out for two weeks leading up to the race and doped up on some pretty heavy pain meds and muscle relaxers. But I was determined to do the race. Before the injury I was on track to have a PR, which at that time would have been below 2.03.56. But the hills, oh those darned hills put there by God himself to challenge me, smacked me in the face and to state the obvious my neck hurt and I was mentally defeated. I wasn’t kidding when I said this was my worst half. I finished in like 2.22 or something like that. I prefer not to think about it. SO, this year I am going to pay this Seattle Half course a little visit. We are going to have a little chat. I am going to show this course who is boss!

Watch me!

I WILL STICK TO THIS PLAN and attempt a new PR (oh boy, those are fighting words).

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But like I said, I have a hard time sticking to the plan…so I am going to add the Super Jock n Jill Half Marathon and Kirkland Triathlon to this plan. My problem is that I always want to do the races in between, making it super hard to stick to the plan.

Gratitude Journal:
1. I am grateful for an evening of peace and quiet.
2. I am grateful for all my new blog followers! I have 11 now! Thanks!
3. I am grateful for my bike and sweet bike trailer that my little buddy will be riding in tomorrow!
4. I am grateful that a small tweaking pain in my foot and shin seems to have come and gone without consequence.

*I will have to do a post on the benefits of therapy for athletes! I am a mental health provider and a huge advocate for mental health! I am not ashamed to say I have a therapist and he has helped me in my running journey! Next week I will post about Sports Psychology! Ooo! Fun!

P.S. I think this means I am not doing Portland. Sigh. I HAVE to get my marathon done.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A swift kick in the bootilicious BOOTY.

Nothing like a drastic change in the weather to cause you to get a swift kick in the booty. Let me explain. Here in the Pacific Northwest we don't get much of a summer. It is short and it is sweet. I have lived a lot of places and NEVER experienced anything like here. Anyway, it has been feeling ridiculously like fall this past week (50's and 60's, although next week should be 90's I hear! Thank goodness). So when I went to put on my jeans they were feeling a bit on the snugger-than-I-would-care-to-wear side.


I was doing so well too, before...before WHAT?! I HAVE NO IDEA. Before I finished school? How is that possible? Before my husband left, AGAIN? Before my trip to Italy? Man, I have no idea but I had lost about 9 pounds that finally put that plateau behind me. And now...NOW I am back where I was. So, as I was saying, nothing like putting on your favorite pair of expensive jeans that fit too tight to get you back out there to pound the pavement. Oh and did I mention that I have a photo shoot coming up? YEAH. I have scheduled a photo shoot, tasteful pin-up style, as a birthday present for my husband (it's a surprise and luckily he doesn't read this)! So I have a couple of weeks to get my rear in gear!

This morning I met with my amazing running partner to go 8.5 miles. We decided to run across this beautiful bridge (some of you will recognize it!).

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The Tacoma Narrows bridge is a grueling bridge to run across. The cross winds can be dangerous for trucks and other vehicles, you can imagine what it is like to run in a serious cross wind. It is not as flat as it seems either. But the view...oh that gorgeous view will keep you going. It truly is beautiful!

We did a nice out and back that put us at 8.78 miles. Not too bad! We were really happy with our run and felt great afterwards! Unfortunately though it still is not where I need to be as far as Portland Marathon. I am still not sure if that will happen. I am not good at training for things, more on that tomorrow! I am more of a get out there and just do it because I don't know any better kind of girl. So far that has worked but I fear a marathon is WAY beyond that approach. ;)

Gratitude Journal:
1. I am grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me that reminds everyday that God exists and is greater than me.
2. I am grateful for such an awesome run today!
3. I am grateful for extra hours at the YMCA so I can make some extra $$$.
4. I am grateful for the weekend.
5. I am grateful for the chance to win $100 giftcard to Dick's Sporting Goods from I RUN LIKE A GIRL in her “Coolest Giveaway E-V-E-R”! Head on over there and check it out for your chance to win too!
6. I am grateful for Tall Mom on The Run! She is giving away some super cool Nuun products that I think I will have to try out! Head over there and enter for your chance to win!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Track Work With my Little Buddy

Man, I am bummed I didn't think to take my camera to the track tonight. I decided to do my 4 miles on the track by way of quarters, run one full speed which is a 1:30 to 1:45 pace, and one recovery jog around 2:15-2:30, 16 times. My son was in rare form, he opted out of his swim lessons so I jumped at the chance to drag him to the track instead. He actually really enjoys going to the track. As soon as we got there he took off running. He made it half way around before I started trying to catch him. He has such a great stride! I was so proud watching him run like that, so full of self-confidence and energy...oh that 4 year old energy! A man stretching even commented on the "little guy". Actually, a while back I posted a blog on Marathon Mommies about running mommies and the examples they set for their kids. I love that my son will grow up active and healthy and whether or not he picks up running isn't the point. I just want him to have a love for fitness and health. And I truly believe we are off to a good start.

Gratitude Journal:
1. I am grateful that I have been blessed in so many ways.
2. I am grateful that I have such funny friends who make me laugh.
3. I am grateful that my little buddy is so sweet and kind natured.
4. I am grateful that my hubby will be home in a few short weeks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reassessment of Goals: To Marathon or Not To Marathon

So today my running buddy "busted" on our Portland or Bust campaign. I have no hard feelings toward her (seriously, I could NEVER have hard feelings toward you Andria), she made a decision that is right for her. I must say it has caused me to second guess my own ability, stamina, fitness level, and frankly sanity. My running buddy is in every bit as good of shape as me, actually better I am sure! She is the one who drags me to the finish. So here I am, fighting THE MIND GAME.

So much of distance running is mental. How much though? I would dare say 50 percent of distance running is mental. Anyone else have any facts on this? I know I can do it. I also know that I am not ready, yet... What are my other Marathon options? I can't afford to travel so that leaves me with the Seattle Marathon in November. Ugh! The half last year was my personal worst as far as time and performance and a killer! So, for now I press on and continue training for Portland.

And don't worry, while my partner has decided not to run the actual marathon she has assured me she will still train with me! I will test her loyalty a few long runs at a time! :)

This weeks mileage goal: 40
Monday 6
Tuesday 4
Wednesday 8
Thursday 6
Friday 4
Sunday 12

I wasn't kidding when I said this 12 week training plan was a doozie! 6 days a week is a lot.

Gratitude Journal:
1. I am grateful that a new week is beginning.
2. I am grateful that I survived my son's kid birthday party!
3. I am grateful that my son is feeling much better and seems to be over his icky
4. I am grateful for fresh starts and new beginnings.
5. I am grateful for girl talk.

Happy Running!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I am BACK!

Ok. So my hiatus is over. I think. Today I headed to the YMCA to do my short run on the treadmill and follow that up with weights and abs. I hit the treadmill hard. I decided I wanted to see how fast I could run a mile. I usually just stick with my 9 min pace, regardless of race distance. I somehow have it in my head that I have to SAVE myself for the end. Like that last ditch effort to the finish will do any good. I have to learn how to give a little bit more through out because as my old X-Country coach used to say, if I have that much kick at the end then I wasn't running hard enough the entire time. Anyway, I wanted to see if I could run a mile in 8 min. And I did! I was dripping sweat but I did it in 7:34! How fun is that! And it was my third and final mile too! So I am motivated to get back out there and do my speed work on the track and push myself a little bit harder.

Then I was off to the weights, dripping with sweat. Nothing like cruising into the free-weight room all sweaty. I don't dare assume the looks i get from all the dudes in there is due to me looking hot. But who knows. ;) Either way, I did my squats, lunges, calf raises, dead lifts, upward rows, decline, bench, and a crazy shoulder workout that my husband gave me (OUCH!), abs, and obliques.

It felt good! i really like doing weights and I like how I feel so sore afterward. It hurts so good!

Well I am back on track and have renewed my commitment!

Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful that my son is feeling better.
2. I am grateful that my hubby has requested time off to go to our friend's
wedding in Vegas! yippee!
3. I am grateful that I have a sweet camera and a good friend who loves to go and
practice taking pictures with me!
4. I am grateful for my Garmin 405.
5. I am grateful that I love living here in Tacoma!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On a Brighter Note!

Well first of all I have no running to report.
Someone smack me please!
No really.
What is up?
I cannot get motivated!
I am failing miserably in my sugar challenge AND I have had a lousy running week! Today my son got sick again so there was no time for running, although I did get in my hour of water aerobics. I had planned on jumping out of the pool and heading to the treadmill for an easy 5 but when I got to the locker room I realized I had forgotten my shoes! UGH! I had even reminded myself before I left the house..."Get your running shoes!" And well, I forgot. Some days it is all I can do to get out the door in time to get to class on time (I am the instructor so I kinda need to be there).

On a brighter note, I ordered a sweet Bibkeeper last Friday and it arrived!!

I am so mad because I cannot for the life of me find the blog I read that pointed me toward this cool keepsake for our race bibs. It is lost in cyber space! So if you have seen it, or if it was your blog, let me know so I can head back over there and thank her! It is really cool and I just need to add some pictures of each race ans spice it up a little. I think I will keep this one for my half marathon bibs only, I can't fit all of them in there! The site says that we will be able to order additional pages though.

And new running song! (Check it out here!) I am putting it on my iPod so I will get off that couch and get out there!!!!!

Happy running!

Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful that I at least did H2oX this morning.
2. I am grateful that this Blackeyed Peas song makes me want to run!
3. I am grateful for friends and family.
4. I am grateful for less stress in my life!
5. I am grateful that tomorrow is FRIDAY!


***found the website that led me to the Bib keeper! Check out I run Because I can!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For the Love...or what?

I can't tell you how many times I have had friends tell me, "I wish I loved running so I could get out there and run." This got me to thinking; do I really love to run? Have I always loved to run? I don’t think so. In my family it was my sister who loved to run. She was the one out there on the dirt roads running. I have no idea what I was doing while she was running, stealing clothes out of her closet maybe. Either way, I love to run now and it hasn’t always been that way. I think for some it is love at first stride. For others, like me, it is a slow growing love that kind of sneaks up on you. You may not even realize it until you are injured and have to take a few weeks off, or the ground is covered in ice and you find yourself getting cranky and moody. One day it hits you, you have become a runner! And it feels good!

So to all my friends out there who wish they loved to run…it will grow on you if you give it a chance!

Sugar Challenge update: I am struggling.

Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful for my dog.
2. I am grateful for DVR.
3. I am grateful for second chances on my Sugar Challenge.
4. I am grateful for my new Bibkeeper (more on that tomorrow!)
5. I am grateful for today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A year Ago...

Wow! So it hit me Monday that it was one year ago that I ran my first half marathon! How life-changing that was for me! It really showed me my inner strength at a time when I truly felt my weakest.

I had wanted to run the Tacoma City Mother's Day half marathon. I hadn't really trained for it but felt confident I could do it. I was coming off of two really sweet relay runs (Mt. Si ultra and Rainier to Ruston ultra) where I had logged about 12 miles each, but broken up. I really wanted my husband to run the half with me but it just so happened it was the day before he was deploying to Iraq. He said no. I know he could have done it, easily. But we compromised and did the 10K instead. I rocked it with a time of 56 something. Then the next day: Happy Mother's Day to me, bye bye husband. See you when I see you (note the severe sarcasm in that sentence). But this all leads to me feeling weak; emotionally and physically. Having a husband deployed is a whole other post but you, or rather I, have two options: sit around and worry and eat chocolate all day and night and welcome my husband home to all 400 pounds of me, or get off my butt and get out there and work this anxiety off in a health way. I chose the later.

I decided to train for Portland and it worked out that the Tacoma Narrows Half was good timing for one of my long run weekends and a good measure of where I was at. The weekend before that race I ran 10 miles, the farthest I had ever run at one time. So race day came and I was all smiles and excited! My friend Andria, who I do most of my running with, was a bandit on the course, which I don't generally condone but hey I NEEDED my running partner. We were doing great despite four miles into the run my Garmin 405 went wacky on me. So I didn't know my pace or distance. Oh well, that is how I used to train all the time. Geeze! Then I had to stop for a potty break around mile 7. I had a hard time recovering from that. All I could think when I sat down was that my legs were going fall off, my muscles were so tight and I was shaking! But I pressed onward, through Cheney Stadium! At mile 9.5 I saw a bunch of people I knew from the YMCA and they cheered me and Andria on. Then the Mile 10 sign came up. Uh oh. What would happen after mile 10? I had never gone more than 10 miles at one time! Oh what? 3.1 more miles? Can I really run that much more? 10 miles is SO far! Where did this HUGE brick wall come from? How the heck do I get OVER it? THROUGH it? AROUND IT?

I kid you not Andria willed me on, her words of encouragement were priceless! "Only 3 more miles, you are AWESOME!" "Look how great you are doing!" And on and on...I don't remember much of the last 3 miles, I was silent and hiding in my head to ignore the pain. But I do know when I saw that Mile 13 marker I wanted to die! How could I possibly do.1 more miles? They HAD to have marked this course wrong! I MUST have just ran 30 miles! Where IS that finish line? What? There it is? Look at all those people? I am doing it! I can go a little faster... Then they handed me a glass. Ha. Why on earth would you hand someone a glass when they are covered in sweat, shaking with goose bumps when it is 85 degree outside? My friend had ducked off the course so she wouldn't cross the line and met me at the finish and grabbed my glass as it was falling to its demise on the pavement. Then she and I both stared at my blood stained sock and shoe where my timing chip had just been. "Nice!" We both said in unison and smiled. WE DID IT! I DID IT! I may have grumbled for about 10minutes but by the time we got to the car we had already decided to do Super Jock n Jill on Labor Day barely a month later (that is where I did a terrible thing to my IT band and was off my feet for a bit over a month and why Portland did not happen last year).

I still have my battle scar on my right ankle from my timing chip, two lines that circle my ankle. I am quite proud of that scar.

Happy Running all!!

Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful for the past 4 years with my awesome, silly, sweet, smart little boy who makes me laugh every single day.
2. I am grateful I found solice in running.
3. I am grateful for fresh pineapple.
4. I am grateful that my nieces called today to sing to Levi, it was the sweetest thing I have ever heard.
5. I am grateful for my awesome bike that I need to ride.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 1 of NO SUGAR. A bust.

Wow. So cutting sugar from my diet is way harder than I ever imagined. I cannot believe how much sugar is in nearly everything! I was surprised to see it was in my plain yogurt that I love to eat with granola. While I did do a lot better today than I would normally have done I have decided to cut back on sugar. I think if I cut back on the seriously sugary things like cake, cookies, and my newest love Nutella I will do better. Seriously, I have no idea where my sweet tooth came from but I have been living with it for years. As long as I can remember anyway. So I guess I will have a hard time quitting cold turkey, I need to ween myself. I am ok with that! After all I made a Spiderman birthday cake for my son's small party tomorrow night. So I have revised my plan, cut sugar by 90%. How is that? Hard to measure accurately but still a good start!

On a running note I got my 10 miles in this morning! YIPEE! My running partner has been out of town for the last two weeks and I was in Italy for three weeks leading to her vacation so needless to say we had a LOT of catching up to do! So much catching up that the first 6 miles were easy breezy. Then we hit The Hill and our talking slowed and we ran in silence, urging each other up that ridiculous hill with sheer will power. I felt pretty good; hot, thirsty, but good. I ran with my fuel belt for the second time ever. I am just not a fan of it. It is the one with four small bottles but I took two off for today. I paid 40 bucks for that thing and honestly it is the most annoying thing to run with. It slips, it slides, it moves around and my shirt gets stuck under it or over it. It is all over the place. The only good thing is that I was able to hydrate. So if anyone has any alternative fuel belts that they use fill me in. I am up to try and review anything!

Oh and I almost forgot! How exciting is this: This weekend marks one year since my first half marathon!! Last year I ran the Tacoma Narrow Half and it was rough! I had never ran 13.1 miles before in my life! The farthest I had trained was 10. I think I will blog about that tomorrow! So check back if you want to hear about me running into a brick wall at 10 miles one year ago! Man, I can't believe how far i have come (as I pat my own back because the only one here to do it for me is my son and I just put him in bed)! I am going to celebrate a year of running! A huge cup of ice water and blue berries! Yummmm....

My Gratitude Journal:
1. I am grateful that I had a good run today.
2. I am SO grateful that I have found such great friends here in the last 2 years, friends like these usually takes years to foster and I have them now. :)
3. I am grateful for my job even though my hours are measly, it could be worse.
4. I am grateful for my son's 4th birthday tomorrow!
5. I am grateful that it is almost time to go to sleeeeep!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Hardest Decision of my Life, kind of.

When I was in high school I was the poster child for bad nutrition. I ate Swiss Cake rolls for breakfast, Zebra Cakes for an after school snack, pizza, Big Macs, you name it I disposed of it. But I was also burning at least 2000 calories a day. I played basketball, it was my sport. I was known for my endurance and speed. I was a legend because I NEVER had to sit down because of being tired. I was in shape. I ran cross country to stay in shape for basketball. I would go from cross country practice straight to basketball practice with only a hint of whining when we were instructed to jog our one mile warm up or 5 suicides. I would run anywhere from 5 to 13 miles a day on top of basketball. I was grossly underweight at 120 pounds and 5'10. I don't say this to brag but to get the point across. I was in shape and starved of proper nutrition.

When I went to college I walked on the basketball team my freshman year. It wasn't the same, the team comradery was gone. It was more of a hot-shot-look-at-me show and I didn't enjoy it. So I quit, walked off. It wasn't paying the tuition so no real loss really. Except I didn't really know how to work out without a coach yelling at me FASTER! HARDER! AGAIN! PUSH-UPS! So I slowly put on the weight. My eating habits didn't change and to be honest I added beer, wine coolers, captain and get the point. So by my Junior year of college I realized something had to change. I cut out soda. That was a good choice. A few months later I had lost 20 pounds!

So as I was sitting in my back yard this afternoon, in my bikini (big shocker) I realized that I have been afraid to give up what it is that is REALLY keeping the pounds on. Sugar. I have always known it was the reason I can't lose these last 10 pounds. It is the reason I run 30 miles a week, lift weights three times a week, teach water aerobics once a week, do yoga on an irregular basis, and boot camp twice a week when I can and I STILL remain a size 32 jeans, or a size 10. It is the reason I look at my waist and cringe. So today, my friends, I pledge to you that I am going to cut out sugar for one month. The month of August I will only eat necessary sugar such as in my morning coffee and one, just one piece of my son's 4th birthday cake. Can I do it? I don't know. But if I do and I lose even 5 pounds I believe I will be motivated to cut sugar for an extended length of time. After all who likes running ridiculously long races only to squash it's benefits with a giant piece of cheese cake?

Here goes nothing! Wish me luck! And feel free to leave me a comment if you care to join me in my August Sugar Free Month!!!

Today's 10 miler

So this week has been an awful training week. I may be in trouble for October's marathon. No, I AM in trouble for October's marathon! I think my total mileage this week is 11 miles. My plan is a very rigorous 12 week plan that has me running every single day but one. I have a mid-week long run and a weekend long run. Ugh! But I can do anything for 12 weeks, right? That is what I told myself when I was in the Air Force and I had to do ridiculous schools and training. But this is different. Add hotter than usually temperatures, a unpredictable work schedule, a 4 year old son, and a husband in the military who seems to be gone way more than he is home and I have a recipe for a marathon training disaster!

Friday my son started complaining of a headache. It kept me home from my shorter treadmill run Saturday and now I don't think I will make my 10 miles for today! So that is a total of 14 miles lost! I guess I will shoot for my 10 on Monday, which throws off the schedule for the rest of the week. But hey, it is all about being flexible right? I may be down but I am not out!

Portland or Bust!

Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful that the gas station two blocks down sells milk at 6 AM on a Sunday morning.
2. I am grateful for good friends.
3. I am grateful that my hubby called and is doing well.
4. I am oh so grateful for my comfy bed.
5. I am grateful for nutella.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Free Giveaway!

Who doesn't like a free giveaway?! Tall Mom on the Run is giving away an awesome sprotsbra! So all you moms out there, or women with boobs, head on over to her blog and enter for a chance to win!

Tall Mom on the Run

Hello World!

5 miles to empty. Story of my life. Have you ever felt like you are just almost out of gas, not in your car but in life? At that sputtering stage where you are urging your car along by lunging your body forward...just a few more feet to the station. Must. Get. There. That is how I feel most of the time. I am not complaing, really. More just wondering if I am the only one?

I have been dreaming of running a marathon for a couple of years now. I only in the last year began being kind of serious about it. Last year I decided to run an offical race every month. I did it all but December when my race was cancelled due to major ice. Most of those races were half marathons! So if I can run a half I can run a full! Right? I seriously doubt it. But one can hope! I am planning on running my first marathon October 4 in Portland. We will see how it goes.

Share your running stories and your training tips! I am desperate!

On another note, i was poking around at the blogs of some other mom's who run and I found Run to the Finish. She posted a gratitude journal. I think this is a great idea and to be honest I have read studies that show people who keep a daily gratitude journal are happier than those who don't. So I am going to follow suit and keep a daily gratitude journal here for everyone to see.

Daily Gratitude Journal
1. I am thankful for my sweet little boy who is now almost 4!
2. I am grateful that I am able bodied and have the ability to run.
3. I am grateful for the beautiful weather and sunshine we have had here lately.
4. I am grateful that I finally made it through grad school!
5. I am grateful that my husband was able to call me today from somewhere in the world!


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