Thursday, July 25, 2013

That first mile

Most of the time I love running.  But the first mile of any run, no matter my goal, is always awful.  I hate it.  Seriously.  I hate every single step of that mile.  I can't let my mind wander.  I don't notice the music playing.  I just want to quit.  I question why I'm doing it.  Usually soon after that mile mark I get into a groove, I can finally let my mind wander or enjoy the music playing through my ear buds.  The second mile isn't a breeze, but it's easier.  After the second mile I usually feel pretty good.  Sometimes I feel good enough that I push myself further than I planned.  Twice this week I've run a little over half a mile more than my planned run.  By the end of those runs I start getting crazy ideas in my head of these big future races. 

Then, there are days like today.  I was trying to squeeze a run in while my husband was getting ready for work.  I needed to get a bill to the post office (since our mail carrier doesn't arrive until around 4pm).  So I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.  But from the second I woke up I just didn't want to do it.  But I needed to get that bill out, so I laced up my shoes and got my lazy butt out the door.  I hit my first mile soon after dropping the bill off.  But that sense of freedom didn't hit.  I kept pushing, but I was miserable.  It was starting to rain.  Not a hard rain, just a little drizzle.  The kind that I'd usually love to run in.  But this morning I wasn't a happy camper about it.  I hit two miles and kept going, but at 2.14 miles I said, "forget it!" and I stopped running.  I walked around for about 15 minutes and worked my way home.  I tried to make up for it on the treadmill, but only made it 5 minutes before I quit...again.  No surprise there, I hate the treadmill.

Some days I just don't feel like a runner.  Today is one of those days.  But I know that tomorrow I'll get back out there.  I'll suffer through that first mile, then I'll push myself on.  It won't be a long run since I have to get cleaned up to go pick up my mom, she'll be in town for my middle little's birthday.  But I'll be out there (unless there's a downpour, we're supposed to have more rain...just sayin'!).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


There's a new fitness blogger and you have to check her out!  She's totally inspirational and the most "cut" mama I've ever seen!  I've followed her on instagram for awhile now and I'm totally excited that she's started a blog!  Seriously, all 2 or so of you who read this blog, go read Mom with Muscle, you won't regret it!  I'm so excited to learn from her! (Who knew I could be all "fan girl" about a blogger, lol!)

Update on me...because why not...I ran outside this morning, only 3.03 miles, but I averaged 9:53 per mile. And it was *HOT* too! Hey, lower to mid 70s is hot to me, give me 50 degrees and I'm in heaven! Then later I ran a mile inside on the dreadmill treadmill in 9:24.  I still enjoy slower, longer runs, but I'm happy I can bust out some sub 10 minute miles these days.  I've come a long way since last year when I was running 15 minute miles.  And I was, and rightfully so, proud of myself back then.  I love seeing my progress, even if it's only in speed and distance since the scale is stuck, stuck, stuck!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Survivor Mud Run 2013

I did it, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Heck, I did more than step out of it, I leaped about a million feet away from it! On Saturday I completed the Survivor Mud Run 2013 challenge in Berthoud, Colorado.  I've never in my life done something like this.  I don't like being dirty!  Being sweaty I don't mind.  But dirt, actual dirt, I hate that!  And trail running?  Yeah, I don't do that.  Give me asphalt, concrete, and maybe a some AstroTurf, but trails, nope.

So this challenge started with about a half mile run (I'm not sure on the exact amounts since both my phone - with my Nike+ app - and Fitbit were left with my husband so they wouldn't get destroyed.  This was on a dirt trail with lots of ups and downs (it's really a dirt bike track, so you get the idea).  That was no biggie other than the whole trail aspect and me watching my feet to make sure I wasn't about to twist my ankle on rocks or anything.  Then, the first obstacle.  Right into a lake of mud, going under wires.  I was drenched in mud from my neck to my toes.  Suddenly my shoes felt like they were made of wet cement.  But the run continued.  I went slower than I could have. But I was doing this with my sister-in-law, her step-mom, her step-mom's niece, and her step-mom's friend.  At the beginning it was decided that my sister-in-law wanted to go for it and be competitive.  The rest of us would stick together and help each other out.  Even though the woman I was running with (she was in her early 50s and doesn't run) said I could go ahead, I didn't want to leave her behind.  It seemed rude after we'd decided to stick together to help each other out if needed.  So I didn't run on all the parts that were just running.  The obstacles were still a challenge for me, I don't have a lot of balance, grace and all that other stuff.  But it was fun and I would love to do one with my husband.  He would definitely run all the running with me...and push me to run even faster since he's a fast runner.  And he would LOVE the obstacles!  In all it was 3.47 miles of trails and mud and obstacles and more mud...oh so much mud.

The worst part of the whole thing was near the end when I went head first out of a tunnel into a pool of mud!  I got mud in my eye and it hurt so dang bad!  I fell twice after that because I couldn't see where I was going. But I survived!  I have my medal.  And my shower when I got home was the best shower ever!  Although I think I'll be digging mud out of my ears for the next millennium!  And my only injury is a skinned knee...I was a little worried about getting all banged up.  Phew!

Now I'm back to my sidewalks and streets...heaven!  Today's run was a little over 7 1/2 miles up and down hills in neighborhoods, then down through the old downtown area of our city, past the police station and back into the neighborhoods before talking a (sidewalk) trail into the county fairgrounds where I finished it off.  Awesome!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Half Marathon update!

So I did it, I really did it!  After YEARS of saying I was going to run another half marathon (first and only other one was in 2002), I finally did it! Beat my old time by about 22 1/2 minutes too!  Not too shabby for this mid-30s former fatty, eh?

I'm not going to lie, I'm freaking proud of myself!  I didn't make my goal of finishing in under 2:30, but I only missed it by about a minute and a half...and if you look at the little Nike+ graphic above, the race was longer than really, I probably made my goal, right?  I had a friend from church who ran the same race, her goal was to run it in under 2 hours, she missed it by just over a minute.  So, we both really made our goals in my eyes. Heck, of all the friends who I ran with, my GPS was the closest to 13.1...theirs all said it was even longer than mine did.  (And I finished 2nd out of all 6 of us who started together, much to my surprise!)

After the race we hit up the Old Navy $1 flip flop sale...wahoo, new flip flops!  I threw all ours away when we moved earlier this year because flip flops can get pretty nasty and should be replaced anyway.  Then we went to Runner's Roost to get a "13.1" sticker for our car.  I was dead tired and asked my husband to go inside to get it while I stayed in the car with the girls.  I figured he'd get a small black and white one.  But nope, this one is pretty big and it's red (my favorite color) and white. Now it's on the back of all car, all loud and proud!  Anyway, I let myself have a cheat meal that night...because I could!  We got Tacos al Pastor from this place called Yolanda's.  My husband says they're pretty authentic...and he's so happy we found this place.  During his 2 years living in Mexico he fell in love with the tacos from the street vendors.

My husband must have been feeling all sorts of proud of me and sorry for me all at the same time.  By that night I was SORE!  Even after taking a dip in the hot tub at our complex, I was sore, sore, sore.  He made me 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies (cheat day, cheat day, cheat day) and watched a chick flick with me.  Yes, my husband who refuses to watch girl movies watched a total chick flick with me...while massaging my legs.  Makes me think I should run a half marathon every weekend! ;)

He must have been feeling really inspired too...he's now signed up for his own half marathon in September.  And the longest he's ever run is 5 miles.  But he's insanely fast (I think so anyway)!!!!!  So I think if he slows down a bit he'll find he can run farther.

My running has been...different, I guess that's the word for it...since the race.  Before I was always focused on distance.  My race pace was around 11:20/mile.  Not fast, but I did it.  Since then I've been working on speed.  And what's "speedy" for me, is slow for my husband who runs close to 7:00-7:30/mile every time he runs.  But I've been focusing on running under 10 minute miles every time I one run where I just let myself go and get lost in thought.  That was a just over 6 mile run where I averaged 10:59/mile. So far my monthly average (even with that slower run) is 9:53/mile.  I'm really not enjoying this kind of running though.  My favorite part of running is putting in my ear buds and getting lost in my thoughts while listening to music.  But working on speed has me constantly focusing on speeding up and checking my pace.  Plus I've been running on flatter courses (well, as flat as you can get in this super hilly town, there's no escaping some hills) when what I really love is running in the hilly neighborhoods near our apartment.  I even miss the quarter mile steep climb up a street full of beautiful new houses that will always and forever be out of our price range.  Usually I dread that hill for its steep incline, long distance, and the green eyed monster that comes out in me as I trudge up the hill.  But I miss it, and the next half mile of down hill and flatness that follows it before getting all hilly again.  I miss the feeling of freedom as I just run, unrestricted by time. 

My other problem husband is running a lot now.  Where he used to hate it, he now "fights" me over who gets to run in the morning.  By evening when he gets home it's too dang hot to run outside.  So it's morning runs or treadmill runs.  We both hate treadmill runs.  So I don't get to run as much outside as I'd like.  Most days I get 1.5 - 3 miles while he's home getting ready for work and watching the girls.  This is after he's already worked out. 

Basically, I'm feeling a little lost right now.  For the longest time, even when I was totally sucking at exercising, I had this goal to run a half.  Now that I've done that I don't know what to do.  My husband's answer to this was simply, "So run another one."  And I'm sure I will.  There are a few in September that look awesome.  One is a night run even.  How fun would that be?!?!  But while I'm working on speed I'm losing confidence in my distance abilities.  Sigh...

I'm registered for an upcoming mud run as well as a 5k while we're out of town.  I'm a little terrified about the mud run.  What was I thinking?  Obstacles?  WTHeck?!?!?  Eek!  The 5k is no biggie, except I'm running it with my husband and he'll kick my booty instead of staying with me while I run.  Haha!  There are other 5 and 10k's coming up in the next few months that I want to do.  Here's hoping it will work out. goal after we return from vacation next month is to find a job.  That will definitely throw a wrench into both training and the ability to sign up for races.  I need a job that has hours that I can work around my husband's schedule.  I still have a toddler that is home all day.  So, I can't work a day job just yet.  (Although can I say how excited I am for all that one on one time with just her?!?!?)  Nights and weekends it is.

So, that's the health/fitness/running update with me.  Haha!  I accomplished a long time goal, I'm making changes, feeling lost, anxious and apprehensive about the future.  And I admitted I have a green eyed monster inside me (one that kicks herself every time she runs up that hill because she didn't go to graduate school and now can't afford it even though it's what she wants to do more than almost anything else).