Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marathon Training

Here I sit, comfortably in Week 5 of 18 for my marathon training. If I were to grade myself up to this point I think I would give myself a B+. I've missed a few runs, ok almost all my runs last week, due to being sick, but I've hit my long runs. I need to get my weekly mileage up a bit more. Hence my Note to Self today......

Before I know it I will be having those 7, 8, 9 mile mid-week, mid-distance runs. Oh boy....logistically I have no clue how that is going to happen but I better figure it out. And soon....

And today I feel like a horse that hasn't been run for a while, you know? I ran Sunday but not Monday, and yet it feels like light-years have passed since I ran. Is today really only Tuesday? Here I sit at 9:00 PM waiting for the Hubs to get home so I can head out, but I also REALLY want to take a shower and crawl into bed. The weather around here has been annoyingly beautiful. It's annoying because it's freezing when I go to work at 7 AM and dang near dark when I get home at 6 PM. No time for me to enjoy this perfect, beautiful, running weather that happens during the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM. It's driving me crazy. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a high of 72! PERFECT RUNNING WEATHER. But I wont be able to enjoy it. Whoa is me....
Ready for my night run....
Oh yeah, it's a Dorky Sweat Pants kind of night....

I am not feeling exactly chatty tonight. I wish I had exciting things to blog about, other than running in dorky sweat pants and a headlamp... but I feel like Boring Beatrice (no offense if your name is Beatrice. Or Boring for that matter...).

I will be guest blogging for FitFluential.com in the near future...I am having severe writers block. Strange I know! Any suggestions for fitness/running/triathlon topics that you think others would be interested in? If you aren't familiar with FitFluential you should head over and check us out! I say "us" because I am an Ambassador for FitFluential, Inc.! Total coolness!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Progress Report...

....LB's not the only one around here to have an N and a U on his progress report. While I have no problem staying on task, I too struggle with completing assignments on time-as in running assignments. In LB's defense, even with the N and U for staying on task and completing assignments, the kid's above grade level in everything that counts (i.e. reading and math)....so there teacher-who-refuses-to-use-positive-reinforcement-and-redirection, we are working on it.

Back to me.

This past week's training stunk. Like skunk in your living room stunk. As in I didn't train, really. At all, stunk.

I think I may have run Monday night, an easy 3 miler after I spent all day thinking it was a rest day. Then Tuesday came and I had body aches, chills, a head ache, my throat hurt. I was dying. No drama here.

So Tuesday I went to bed at like 8 PM, struggled through work on Wednesday. Came home and again was in bed by 8 PM. Thursday came, I felt a little better. Probably could have hit an easy, easy 3 miler but family duties prevailed and The Hubs was headed to VA Beach for the funeral service of a good friend and a fallen comrade. I had no run in me and didn't really care.

I was flying solo Thursday through Saturday. Friday I just said, forget it and took LB to the Sweet Frog to celebrate TWO things:

My sweet froginess-delicious.

LB's sweet froginess--very kid-o-licious. I actually would not have eaten that....

Celebration Reason #1: Having only ONE incomplete all week long on his weekly progress report (seriously, overall he got a U for this?)
Check plus is like an A+. check is like an A. and check minus is like an A- . INC is incomplete.
Why is 1st grade so complicated? Sheesh....
Celebration Reason #2: His arm is all healed up! Yay!!
He's becoming a pro at x-rays.
We went to his doctors appointment to have his arm x-rayed to make sure everything was good. It was! No visible line on the bone and everything looked good-for him! I, on the other, did not look so good. The super awesome and amazing surgeon thought it was necessary to revisit the traumatic history of his break and his x-rays. He began with the first x-ray. I began to sweat, he had all of them visible on a huge screen right in front of me, I got a queasy feeling in my stomach. He pointed out the clear break, then pointed out the pins he put in, pointed out the break again when we came in for the hard cast, pointed out the tiny visible crack when the cast came off...I got clammy, hot, cold, everything was going black...and blacker, and blacker....I couldn't see......the pinhole of my vision was closing in fast. I had to get out of there. Why can't I handle this? Ridiculous. It is utterly embarrassing. I had to sit down and put my head down.

So we, ok ok...I needed a treat for surviving that ordeal. Sweet Frog it was and boy was it delicious! If yoru wondering, Sweet Frog is a place with like 30 different soft serve frozen yogurt flavors and a million different things you can put on top. Then you pay by the pound. When we checked out and our total was a bit over $10 LB said, "Look mom! It wasn't $100! Can I get more M&M's?" Kids.

Saturday came and LB had a basket ball game-he won 10-6! Go Bobcats!! Then it was off towards Raleigh to meet my brother for lunch! This may be his first appearance on 5 Miles Past Empty! He was only town for a little bit but it was great to see him.


And of course you can't have a visit from the Uncle without receiving a firearm....

We came home and The Hubs arrived shortly after and was fully engaged in a(nother) Nurf War.


An today, I got to meet Andrea for our long run of 11 miles! Oops, no picture of that, but I did get a picture of my Nathan Handheld water bottle because I thought it was cool how much stuff I could fit in there...
work on-call cell phone, GU, pocket knife, key fob.

So tomorrow starts anew! I am feeling better, kicked my cold or flu to the curb and am ready to get back to my plan!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

As good a time as any....

...for a good ole taggy taggerton post.

This comes in good timing since I have been sick as a dog and thus have ZERO training to report…I was tagged by two (and a third promised to me for Friday) awesome bloggers, Kepa at The Tri-n-Hawaiian, and the awesomely delicious Junk Food Runner!

Here are the rules:
1.Post these rules
2.You must post 11 random things about yourself
3.Answer the questions set for you in their post
4.Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5.Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.

So here are 11 Random Things About Myself...
  1. I’m not very assertive at all. I hate that about myself and am working on it. But it’s hard.

  2. I work with children and adolescents as a therapist. The thing I hate the most is when I meet the parents and they say, “Oh, I thought you would be a lot older.” Or “Oh, I didn’t think you would be so young.” I know I should be happy that I look young but they are labeling me as incompetent , often questioning my knowledge and competence, and accuse me of being wet-behind-the-ears based on the fact that I take care of my skin/health and loooook young. I’m 32 4/5’s. I gain some credibility when I tell them I am a mother and my son is 6. But, on the other hand I have been accused of being a 15 year old mother and scoffed at. I can't win....

  3. I am terrible with numbers. If I were ever to be given a sobriety test and asked to count by seven’s I would FAIL. If you spout out your phone number I will remember the first three numbers only. After three numbers they all sound like 87857837583567376627632389202402402928948274792472498724.

 4. I wish I could go back to school for three more things: Podiatry, Marine Biology, and Nutrition. When can I start?

 5. I dream of traveling the world to be a Crisis Therapist and work with children who have been traumatized like in Haiti, Japan, Thailand, and Afghanistan, using expressive Art Therapy and Play Therapy. Only roadblocks are money, language barriers, and my own responsibility to my LB.

6. I wish I could quit my 40+ hour a week job and try really, REALLY hard to run really fast, swim really fast, and bike really fast so that I could take my triathlon career (ok create a triathlon career) somewhere. I have no doubt that if it were my JOB and with a coach I could be a professional athlete.

7. I hate being tall. I get pretty grumpy looking at all the super cute shoes-with high heels-because I love them! I want them! But I feel like a huge giant when I wear heels. So I stick to flats.

8. I don’t watch TV. I may watch an episode of something on Hulu once and a while but we have no cable or local channels on TV in our house.

9. I require a lot of sleep. If I get sleepy I get angry and cranky. I could fall asleep any time, any where, if I am tired. You could put a flashlight in my face and a TV blaring and I will fall asleep, if I want to.

10. I used to hate pickles. Randomly, now I love them. It's bazaar.

11. I have no idea how formatting this posting is so difficult, but I get very frustrated when I have computer problems--and this post formatting mess is a PROBLEM.

      Here are the questions from Kepa:
1.     Do you keep a training log?
Yes, of sorts. I hand write my plans in a spiral notebook and each week is a page. I keep notes about each run and paces and distance and all that jazz.
2.     Do you think videos of guys getting hit in their privates are funny?
Kind of? Is that bad?
3.     Train/Race - socks or no socks?
Yes. I like socks. The one tri I went without socks it was pouring rain and I finished the race with half the arch of my foot rubbed off…I will now always wear socks.
4.     What is your favorite movie?
I’m not much of a TV head or movie person. I could go the rest of my life without watching a movie. I rarely ever watch a movie twice.
5.     Do you listen to music while you train?
Sometimes. Not anymore if I run at night, or when I run alone on secluded roads. I do on a treadmill and usually in races.
6.     Heel striker or mid/forefoot?
Midfoot strike mostly.
7.     How many pairs of running shoes do you own?
Functional ones? Three.
8.     What is your favorite color?
Pink, duh…..
9.     Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, Other... Don't Care?
These days I’m not sure. I’m completely disgusted but I am leaning toward Libertarian.
10. At what training distance do you decide to carry your own hydration?
When I lived in the PNW my rule was anything over 10 miles. Here in North Carolina it’s usually anything over 3. Or I might die.
11. Do you wear your workout clothes more than once before washing them?
EWE! Gross! Sick! I think I just threw up in my mouth!!! I feel gross just thinking about that. No I don’t but I SMELL people at races who obviously do…..

Questions from Junk Food Runner:
1. What is your favorite cheat food/meal?
Anything chocolate or a fat salmon burger with fries.

2. Where is the best place in America that you have travelled to/lived in?
Lived in Monterey CA, would love to live there again….and lived in Tacoma, WA…would love live there again too. But the best place in USA to visit, Maui Hawaii, hands down.

3. If you could change one thing you have done in the past what would it be and why?
Oh my goodness? Really? I cannot honestly answer this….But just for the sake of giving an answer I’d say turning down a cross country scholarship out of High School. I wonder how things would be different?

4.  What is your favorite thing you remember from your first race?
My first race (outside of track and cross-country) as an adult was a 10k. I remember it being super hard! It was on Mother’s day weekend and I pushed LB in the jogging stroller and as I crossed the finish line I was so proud and excited and they announced me and my name and my Little Buddy too! I ran a 9:06 min/mile pace. The next day The Hub’s deployed to Iraq-on Monther’s Day.

5. Would you prefer to run on a treadmill or in the pouring rain?
Ugh, treadmill without a doubt.

6.  What is your guilty pleasure television show? Mine is Teen Mom. Please don't judge me.
Well, I have said a number of times that I don’t watch a lot of TV but when I do I usually go to ABC.com for Grey’s Anatomy (makes me feel good to see glimpses of Seattle) or The Daily Show. Sometimes I am forced to watch American Dad with The Hub’s, which I can totally relate too…the alien cracks me up.

7. If you could have one super power what would it be?
Wow, this is tough. I think I’d like to have the power to turn invisible while flying.

8. Do you remember your dreams when you wake up? If so, what is the strangest dream you can remember?
Just this week I dreamed I was on the run in Holland. I had done something bad and the law was after me. I did a great job evading them by hiding in an apartment with a very sweet family. They took me in for a few months while I waited for the law to back off. I cut my hair, wore local attire, 
and fit right in walking around the community while the law was looking for me. They had my face plastered all over the place on fliers. It was very exciting to be a fugitive! I wonder what I did?

9. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would you choose?
Death? No, not an option? I need variety and anytime I eat a lot of something I end up hating it. But, with all that being said I could go with chocolate chip cookie or Safeway M&M sugar cookies.

10. What piece of advice would you give a new runner?
Don’t quit. It will get easier and more fun and you will never regret your decision to run. And first and foremost, run for YOU, not anyone else….the run is yours.

11.Biggest Loser - love it or hate it?

So now I have to ask 11 questions:
1.What is your earliest childhood memory?
2. What is your biggest fear?
3. What is something you dream of doing but you know it is just that, a dream?
4. If you had a million bucks to give to a charity or a person, who or what would you give it to?
5. If you knew, without a doubt, the world was ending on 12/12/12 what the heck would you do for the next 11 months?
6. If you could be someone else for one week, who would you be and why?
7. If someone offered you the car of your dreams (for me the BMW X5 3 series) to drive for free, gas and insurance paid as well, BUT you had to have one of those crazy advertisement car wraps for something completely stupid, all over it, would you do it?
8.What is your biggest pet peeve?
9. If you left the house in the morning without ________________, your day would be ruined.
10.True confession: How many days in a row have you gone without showering? And how many of those days involved a good, sweaty run/workout?
11. How much do you love ME for tagging you and asking you these ridiculous questions?

And now, dun dun dun…..I tag the following 11 people and I am super sorry if you have already been tagged.

I am Boring
Mission to Another Marathon
Livin’ a Little Life
Run Faster Mommy
Running to Sanity
Run ,Zoe, run!
Silly Kristal Runs a Marathon
Impossible is Nothing
I Have Run
It’s Just One Foot in Front of the Other

***And like I mentioned in Random Fact about me #9, I am tired and ready for bed. So i will link and tag you guys tomorrow.  You can find links to each of the tagged bloggers on my side bar if you can't wait for me to tag....And also, if you see your blog feel free to go ahead and join the fun! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rocking the Rest...

...That's right. At this point in my training (Week 4), you don't have to tell me twice or twist my arm to get Rest Day Compliance. I welcome it. I don't feel especially tired or in need of rest and/or recovery right now but logistically rest days are awesome. I mean I actually get to eat dinner, after I cook it of course, I get to help LB with homework, conduct bath, supervise evening book reading, then back-scratch duty. Then, I get to sit down. Ah....yes. My evening starts at about 8:30.

So rest/recovery days are awesome until I look at my plan and realize that today is actually NOT a rest day. Epic Fail.

So here I sit...full belly, chillaxing finally, on the couch. It's pitch black and cold outside. Do I run?

You bet your buns I do......

I guess it's time to go get dressed for my easy 3 miler. It's hard to get motivated for a three mile run but in my plan each run has a purpose. I try not to add in junk miles. Each one matters, each one is special and serves a purpose. It's all a part of the deal....after all, I have a marathon to run!

Speaking of marathons, I kind of got crazy today....Another race is officially added to the calendar.


This my friends, is a registration for the Chattooga River 50k in South Carolina. What got into me I can not say for sure, but I blame it entirely on J-Ninja.


As you can see from the text conversation above, she twisted my arm and practically forced me to register....

But what's done is done....only 5 months until I will experience my first ultra. It is scary and exciting! So tonights 3 mile run must happen. It is not only a matter of putting in the run but the discipline, the will, the determination to do what it takes....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Race Strategy....

How important is it, really?

Obviously I think it is good to have some racing experience under your belt but we all start somewhere, with out first race at a new distance. Recently I was reminiscing about my 70.3. I finished in 7 hours and 8 minutes. Could I have done better? Probably not. Not during that race. BUT, it was my first time racing that distance. It was unknown. I had no idea what I was getting into. With that race under my belt and some, ok A LOT of lessons learned my next 70.3 will not be so disasterous. And by disastrous I mean the run wont be so disastrous.

During my reminiscing I also fondly reflected on my first marathon. Oh my first....I will always cherish that 4 hours and 9 minutes. Everything about it was magical. Looking back now I know I could have gone sub 4 hours BUT it was new. My first! I was afraid of what was to come. I was scared of The Wall. Scared of mile 21, 22 and every mile after that. It was new, uncharted territory. I was conservative.

I've been thinking about my Race Strategy for Big Sur. It's not a new distance at all, but it is a tough course. The toughest marathon course I will have done to date. I think. Portland topped out at 150 feet elevation gain, OKC marathon had an overpass...Vegas full, I don't really remember a hill. Seattle AMICA 1/2 marathon had an elevation gain topping out at 200 feet. Mercer Island 13.1 might come the closest to being the hardest course but still that one only has a top gain of 250 feet. I know I have done some tough, tough courses while living in the PNW but....

I have been to Big Sur, actually lived in Monterey for a couple of years. I know Highway 1 well and the hills and the terrain of the course. It is hilly. I pulled up the elevation this morning so that I could see exactly what I am in for.

It actually doesn't look too terrible. Miles 1-5.5 are gravy...downhill. Mile 5.5 to 9 only slightly concerning with a bit of a climb. But then I see mile 10-12....

I think there must be a bus from miles 10 to 12. Right?
Um? Is this legal? A 600 foot climb in two miles? It looks like I might need a pulley of sorts to haul me up. I guess I thought, overall it would be straight up for 26.2 miles. As The Hubs so lovingly, supportively, and univitedly pointed out "That's not hard. You start at 300 feet and end at 100 feet. It's all downhill."

Yeah. Ok.

So miles 10-12 are just unmentionable. Then, the last half of the course just looks like chaos. The first 9 miles are all normal then it goes into some sort of desperate tailspin of craziness.....Clear Good vs. Evil going on here.

So it's technically not straight up for 26.2 miles but it is a "moderately difficult" course. I should be able to make the 6 hour race cut off. Right? Yes. I think so.

J-Ninja and I have been talking strategy for this race and, as of now, have decided it is a destination experience race. We'll take our time, enjoy the scenery, snap some pictures, enjoy the bands and shoot for a 5 hour finish, 5:30 tops.

But what about all our killer training? We don't want it to go to waist, now do we? Nope. So it only makes since to use Big Sur as a training run...yes, you read that right. A training run. But what in the world do you need to run 26.2 miles in training for?

Well, for a 50k of course.

We have been searching for a 50k to do a few weeks after Big Sur and found one in South Carolina. The idea is that we will be going fairly easy at Big Sur, leaving us able to continue training, or at least able to cover the distance, about a month later.

A 50k is 31.06 miles, so what is another 4.8 miles anyway? Truth is, I have no idea...this is new, unchartered territory. It's fun to do something new, to have a new challenge hanging in front of me!

What are your plans for a NEW race???

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Over the Place...

I really shouldn't skip days on the blog, especially when every day is SO exciting.

Let's start with Saturday morning, shall we? I woke up SO MAD at the Hubs. Do you ever do that? It was bad. You see, I had this dream or nightmare rather, and my bike was STOLEN! Can you imagine! I ran to my big, strong, tough, brave husband in hopes he would track down the thieving swine (been reading pirate books to LB) and beat him up and get my bike back! But he just looked at me and did nothing. It was like I was frantically yelling in Swahili to him. It was no big deal. He was not comprehending the catastrophic event that had just taken place. Instead he shrugged his shoulders and mumbled something to the effect of "Dang, that sucks."

So I woke up mad at him. I checked on my bike and she was fine....(no thanks to The Hubs, bitter? Who? Me? Nooooo.....). I needed my 30 minute fartlek run....I got it in and felt much better. That was my Saturday.

Sunday afternoon I planed to meet J-Ninja for our long run. I got everything ready and realized my Garmin was only a teeny tiny bit charged. I threw it on the charger while I continued to gather my stuff. I had it all piled up and ready to go....I had my PureFit bar to try (review coming soon) and ZipFizz (also review coming soon), my pocket knife and my pepper spray. I was ready.

What's missing?


I headed out the door to meet J-Ninja, 10 minutes behind schedule....as always. On my way out it struck me, the Hubs had no idea where I was going. I asked him, "Don't you care where I am going?" He knew I was going to meet J-Ninja but he didn't know where.....his defense was J-Ninja's husband will know...Insert annoying buzzer sound here! Wrong answer. I told him where I was going and hit the road. I later found out that J-Ninja's hubby had no idea either. Lesson learned, provide the info even if it isn't asked for. Period.

So anyway, there I was on the way to meet her. I had to stop for gas and realized my Garmin was no where to be be found. A panic ran through me like a lightening bolt. Where was it? Did I drop it in the driveway? Did I leave it on the counter?Would I ever see her again? In a frenzy I texted the Hubs to see if it was at home...

He found it. Plugged in on the bed. Sad and lonely. Missing all the excitement of our long 9 mile run....


But thankfully I had the iPhone and the awesome iMapMyRun app. It seriously has saved me twice now. It is a great backup!

J-Ninja and I knocked out our 9 miler at an easy, comfortable pace (she did the Goofy Challenge last weekend...crazy running partner!). Next weekend we will be hitting up some hills for 10 miles of hill training. Completely necessary as Big Sur is 26.2 miles UP.

Finally, Monday rolled around and it was a chillaxing day. Around 5 o'clock I decided to head out for my my easy three mile run. The Hubs, taking from the lesson on Sunday (or being condescending, not sure which), asked me where I was going, what route I was taking, how long I would be gone, and most importantly did I have my pocket knife. I answered all his questions and he mentioned I needed to practice with my pocket knife. I agree with him and with Kat, who left this comment on my last post:


She and The Hubs are right. If you aren't trained, familiar, comfortable, or savvy with a knife it may be best to leave it behind. Or at least think of it as useful for cutting yourself out of a bind rather than attacking a bad guy. Kat is exactly right, if you aren't careful the very knife you hope to protect you could be used to do you in. The Hubs has taught me this as well. While I am not truly trained in knife fighting I am completely confident in my ability to to use it if necessary.

So, there I was. The Hubs challenged me to a quick draw of the knife. Ready, set, draw! I whipped that knife out of my pocket so fast he wouldn't have known what hit him....until I yelped. As I drew it out of my pocket the blade flung open and it jabbed my hand just under my finger. FAIL.


So there you have it. I am clumsy with a knife and it's no joking matter. The Hubs lectured me about practicing and being trained with the knife. I know he is right. I tell you all this because Kat's comment and my husband's concern are right on. It may be best to stick with the Pepper Spray and enroll in some self-defense classes if you aren't 100% confident in your knife fighting skills.

My marathon training thus far is actually going well. I have hit most of my runs. I missed two runs last week, my speed intervals and a 4 mile fast run. Oh well. I'm not sweating it. This is a new week and already I hit last night's easy three and todays 6x400 intervals at a 6:40 to 6:54 min/mile pace. Tomorrow I rest....sweet sweet rest. Thursday is a 35 min tempo run or I prefer a fartlek. Friday is a 5 mile pace run and Sat 10 easy miles.

And to add a little flava-flav to my day I got this text from J-Ninja....it made me smile ear to ear:


Looks like we have a fun 10 miles ahead of us this weekend.....how about you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I've Got Something to Say....

And I don't care if you roll your eyes at me, which I know you wont, because I know that we ALL know how serious and scary this is. I am certain many of you read Beth's blog, Shut up + Run or also known as SUAR and many of you most likely have heard about her family member and fellow runner Sherry HERE.

Sherry headed out Saturday morning for her run, like many of us did. But she hasn't come home yet.

This breaks my heart and strikes a bit of panic within me. When I lived in Tacoma I was not usually afraid when I headed out for my runs. I was always aware of my routes and surroundings, but not afraid. I hate being afraid. Ever since moving here to my current home I have felt uneasy about running outside of my small neighborhood. It is no secret that I have been nervous to head out on runs and usually cover a lot of the mileage in the safety of my neighborhood. When I do venture out it is always a relief when I turn back into the safety of my neighborhood, off the road in the big, wide, world.

Saturday, when they may have just been discovering something was not right in Montana, I had this text exchange with RED:


I thought I was getting paranoid but this story reminds me I am not actually paranoid. Paranoia is a suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification.

I think we all have evidence AND justification.

People are jerks out there and they don't care, they have no regard for human-kind.  And unfortunately, we are not invincible.

I remember a similar incident happening in San Diego a few years ago. We, runners, get all worked up and ramp up our safety precautions, run with buddies, take the head phones off....then we get comfortable again. We let our guard down. We stop being aware of our surroungings. We put a target on our own backs.....

The tragic story about Sherry has me again reflecting on my own habits and safety precautions and my new routine of running at night. I don't use headphones while running at night, I stay in my neighborhood, and since Christmas I have been carrying pepper spray. Tonight I will add a pocket knife.

Scary, huh?

photo-5.jpg    photo-6.jpg

I think so. But I will not go down without a fight.

While running on Saturday, outside of the safety of my neighborhood, I kept playing it over and over in my head what I would do if a bad guy stopped to harass me, or tried to abduct me, or violate me. I had my pepper spray but aside from that I was helpless. I imagined grabbing sticks to hit or stab a bad guy with. I imagined pushing his eyeballs out with my thumbs. I imagined trying to outrun him....but to where? I am isolated out there on about a three mile stretch of my 7 mile loop. And what if I was too tired to outrun a bad guy? Running long distances makes us vulnerable.

I hate that I even have to think about these things. I should feel safe. We all should feel safe. The truth is, I don't. But I am not willing to let bad guys or fear prevent me from doing what I love.

I will run.

I will be safe and be aware of my surroundings.

I will not hesitate to use my pepper spray and pocket knife....

So please, if you haven't already, think about your running habits. Are you safe? Do you tell friends or loved ones when you are heading out? Which route you are taking? How far you are going? How long you expect to be gone? Do you carry a cell phone? Here is a short article by the Billings Gazette that speaks about running safety HERE. Give it a quick read and take a minute to evaluate your current habits. Let's be safe out there! After all, we run so we can lead long, healthy lives...

And if you haven't, head over to SUAR's blog HERE and give some support to a fellow runner.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Did I Just Say That?

No! Never....I would never say, "It seems these days, despite my grumbling and attempt to hate the night runs, they are growing on me. The darker, the colder, the wetter the better..."

LIES! All of it.....

Today, as I was sitting in a TWO HOUR meeting at Juvenile Justice I could not stop thinking about going for a run. In my daydream I pictured myself busting out of the office, the two glass doors flinging open behind me....It was sunny and warm, almost hot, but for some weird reason I was wearing my coat, scarf, hat, sweater and slacks and heels. I tore off running, heading for an open field with beautiful grass and flowers, flowing to and fro...my long hair whipping around me, flapping annoyingly in my face. I was slinging items of clothing left and right...I must have had on a lot of layers, coat, scarf, sweater to the left, short sleeve shirt to the right, camisole to the left (I don't even know WHAT a camisole is...its a daydream people). As I ran my heels flipped off and flew behind my head. My bare feet clinging to the earth momentarily as I somehow, with great skill and amazing finesse, flung off my slacks.....


There I was, running with the most satisfied grin across my face, running through the meadow-somehow in my favorite running attire-it just magically appeared.

I have no idea how long I ran but I do know for the rest of the day I was feigning for a run...big time. At (my 15 minute) lunch I tried to satisfy the need with a cup of coffee but there was none. FAIL. Then I eyeballed a piece of carrot cake. DON'T DO IT. I was trying to find anything to satisfy my craving....the need to sweat, to run, to get my heart rate up. It hit me, there was only one way to satisfy my craving. I needed a fix. Too bad I couldn't get a fix until I got home, and even then it would be later.

Finally at about 8:30 I was able to head out for my easy three mile run. It felt great. The rain was slushy and almost snow. My breath came out in a thick puff that hovered in front of my face for a few seconds. It was quite, except for the swish of my hair inside my hood and my feet hitting puddles. I ran sans headphones. It has become my best practice when I run at night, in the dark. I like to have all my senses available to me. But I like the silence, the peace and quite. So, yeah. I guess my evening runs are starting to grow on me. If I can't be a mid morning beauty runner then I'll be a bundled up evening runner...and like most of you said, I'll take my run when I can get it.

Have you ever totally feigned for a run? This has happened to me before and it is so hard to be stuck at work all day when all I want is a quick, sweaty fix that includes a few miles.

Have any of you helped your kiddos make New Year's goals? LB made a few for himself. He resolved to wake up every day and do his exercises, i.e. run through the house like a banshee, do his jumps (on the couch), then run back to his room. He also included play basketball every day and ride his bike everyday. Then yesterday as I was working on training plans for a couple of my readers he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was making training plans for a couple of friends and would soon be done. Our conversation went something like this:

ME: "I'll be done in a minute then I can play with you."

LB: "No. Then you have to make my training plan."

ME: "Oh? Really? Are you training for something?"

LB: "Yes. A kid race. And a tri."

ME: "Awesome! Let's do it!"

Hot-digity-dog!! Our active lifestyle and example is paying off!! It's going to be a fun ride when my LB can run along side me and train for tri's with me....not so fun when he beats me but hey, I have a few more years. I think.....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not Gonna Do It...

No way!

No how!

Ain't gonna be me.

No sir-ee I am not going to be a night-time runner!

Night-time runners are....weird.

They are weirder than early morning runners. But strangely they are almost the same really. What is the difference in running at 10 PM and 4 AM? Both times are times in which I should be ASLEEP, snug in my bed. If it's dark I should not be running. My ideal time is 10 AM, when I should be at work. I wanna be a 10 AM Beauty Runner. I wanna drop my kid off at school, go buy my groceries, come home and drink coffee. THEN go run. Then go to work.....

What a fantasy land.

For the third night this week I have been a weird night runner. It's the only way and to be honest I'd much rather run with my dinner threatening to come up than get up before I HAVE to in the morning. For some reason one of my favorite times of day is in the morning, when I wake up and slowly twitch my leg to the cold spot, to test it out, and quickly pull it back to the warmth, and I do the same with my arms. I love it. And to get up at 4 AM and miss this strange ritual I have would just be ridiculous.

So this week, the first week of 2012 and the first week of my Big Sur 26.2 training cycle, I have not missed a run. Monday was an easy 3 miler, Tuesday was 5x400 interval training, Wednesday was a rest day, and tonight was a 30 min fartlek. So far I am off to a great start (despite running in the dark, at night)!! It is a huge confidence boost to get these runs in even when I really REALLY didn't want to. I tried to convince myself tonight that I wasn't going to do it. I got home late and was starving after missing lunch. But RED texted me and gave a pep talk-love her!!


So I headed out when my dinner settled.....

Here is my first Signature Pose of 2012 taken after tonights fartlek run.


So what are you? A Weird Night Runner? A 10 Am Beauty Runner? An Early AM Runner? A Whenever Is Convenient Runner? Or a Who Cares As Long As I Run Runner? I am striving to be the Who Cares As Long As I Run runner....

Oh oh oh! I almost forgot!! Check out Marathon Training Schedule, I am ranked #20 on the Top 100 Running Blogs! Can you believe it? Thank you to all my readers and followers!! Without you I would be, uh....writing to no one but myself! So thank you all for supporting me and my blog! You Rock-even if you're a weird night-runner.....*

If you emailed me or mentioned wanting help with your training plan, fear not...I will be contacting you  this weekend! Be ready!!

**I don't REALLY think your weird if you run at night....or early in AM....I actually think you're awesome. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Making the Plans

Half the fun of racing is getting the plan ironed out....when will I run, how far, how fast? I like seeing the numbers go up and up each week, on paper. I like that little flip I get in my stomach when I pencil 18, 20 miles on a Saturday morning. I enjoy looking at the completed plan and closing my eyes and imagining the entire 18 weeks within the blink of an eye.

Yesterday I sat down to get the plan on paper. Something about actually putting the pencil to paper makes it real.


My Big Sur Marathon training began today with a three mile run. The rest of the plan covers speed work to prepare for a 5k on Feb.25 and a half marathon on Mar.18. It includes tempo runs, fartleks, pace runs, and slow/easy long runs. I think I know I am ready. I know, and expect, there will be challenges but what is a training cycle without challenges? That is part of the fun, or at least what we consider to be fun.

So have you made any plans yet? Do you do them on the computer? With a fancy excel spreadsheet? Am I the only crazy one who loves pencil and paper? Do you need help with your training plans? Let me know! I'm excited to put my new knowledge as an RRCA Running Coach to the test! 

Happy Twenty Twelve friends!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

TWENTY TWELVE- The Year of Dragon

Dragons have wings and breath fire. That's so cool…

2011 was the year of the Rabbit. Enough said.

I'm not too great with resolutions and frankly I like to look at them more as goals. For the most part I try to be healthy and fit year-round and resolutions imply a big or significant change. So with each New Year I like to set goals and try my best to accomplish them. Sometimes I fall short but I try to set realistic goals that are achievable, to set myself up for success. So here we go, Twenty Twelve Goals:


1) Do more of it.

Ok, no really. Since starting my full-time job in July I have really struggled with my fitness and maintaining a consistent workout routine. It has to get ironed out and quick because of goal #2…

2) Big Sur Marathon on April 29th.

26.2 miles of up, up, up and more UP. Today is the beginning of marathon training. In 18 weeks I'll be in Monterey, one of my favorite places in the US, to run one of the most scenic marathons in the states, with some great friends. I can't wait.

3) Tobacco Road 13.1

I did this one last year and it was a good race. It also happens to fall nicely in the full training plan on a 14 miler weekend. It will be a good test of endurance for the marathon training.

4) My summer tris...

All of the ones I did last season and then some…And then…my biggest goal of 2012…

5) Augusta Georgia Half Iron on Sept 30.

This year we have thought it out and this 70.3 is a bit more strategically placed in the year than last year. After a summer of triathlons and swim training I believe I will be better prepared to cover the 70.3. I am pumped!

6) Local Races

I want to do any and all local race that seem fun or fits my schedule.

7) BQ

I know, I know…so cliche'. But fact is this: I have no idea what I would even have to do to BQ as far as paces and qualifying time. All I do know is once upon a time I did know then they went and changed things up, I got disgusted and discouraged. Now I think I could do it but with proper, FOCUSED training. I'm thinking that upon wrapping up my Augusta 70.3 I can focus on training and paces that will lead to a BQ. So my goal is actually to set myself up to begin a BQ training cycle in 2012 and choose a marathon (probably spring of 2013) that will assist me in that goal (read flat and fast course).


1) Eat Healthy

I hope to continue on my journey of whole-food eating with minimal sugar intake. My goal is to eat less processed foods and more foods that ARE ingredients and not HAVE ingredients.

2) Reach and Maintain

Once I hit my goal weight my goal is to maintain it. Unfortunately I was just over my goal weight in October and then I slipped away, up a few pounds. So I have to really focus on Nutrition Goal #1……seriously.


I have accomplished a LOT in 2011 professionally but I have so much more to learn and do!

1) Work closer to home.

I need to find a way to eliminate my daily commute to and from work. Driving an hour one way really has been a hardship. It's time I evaluate my situation and make my fitness, workouts and family a priority again.

2) Never stop learning.

I like my job. I want to LOVE my job. I know that it will take time to get to where I want to be professionally but I can keep working towards it by choosing relevant continuing education courses and keeping my eye on my goal: to own my own practice where I am my own boss. The American Dream.

3) Create my Therapeutic Running Group for Women

This has been a dream of mine for a while now. This year I am making it a priority to create the program. I envision a program for women that focuses on them and their needs to increase self-awareness and self-esteem, a lot like Girls on the Run only for women who may be going through divorce, struggling with abuse, or depression, or body image issues....you name it.  Running has been so essential to my mental health over the last three years and I know I am not the only one. So it's time I make my dream a reality!

There you have it. My TWENTY TWELVE goals! Of course these goals can and probably will evolve over the course of the next year but at least I have them out there. HAve you come up with your goals yet?


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