Thursday, August 8, 2013

Perfect running conditions

My run this morning wasn't long.  It was my usual weekday sneaking in a run while my husband gets ready for work run. I ran 3.69 miles, that's better than yesterday's 3.17 miles.  But the conditions were perfect and I really wished it was the weekend so I didn't have to hurry back so he could go to work.  It was overcast, in the 50s, slightly foggy, a cool mist in the air (seriously felt like I was running through misters like at restaurants and amusement parks), and a light breeze. It felt amazing!  This is August, right?  Feels like October and I freaking love it!

I'm getting a little nervous about our vacation later this month.  We'll be in Idaho and Utah and their temperatures lately are only slightly cooler than Hell.  I'm gonna die!  But, I am looking forward to the lower altitude and less hilly terrain.  Maybe I'll get a PR in the 5K my husband and I will be running while there.

I'm still contemplating another half-marathon next month.  It's one I've wanted to do for awhile, but the financial aspect of it freaks me out.  Sigh...I need a job.  And I plan on getting one around the end of September/beginning of October.  Just have to get through our vacation, my husband's half marathon (in less than a month), the beginning of school, figuring out our kids' extracurricular activity schedule, and the Red Sox/Rockies game first.  I'm so nervous about this, I haven't worked since January 2007 when I quit my job at a fiscal intermediary to become a stay-at-home mom.

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).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Panic Attack??? Am I ready for this?

I'm starting to panic.  My half marathon is less than 2 weeks away.  This has been a goal for so long!  For years I said I was going to run one.  And for years I failed to get to the point where I could.  Back in 2002 before marriage, before kids, before FAT I ran one in Las Vegas.  I met my husband while I was training.  I got distracted.  I pretty much quit training.  I wasn't ready for the race.  But I'd purchased the plane ticket and paid the registration fee (these races aren't cheap!), so I was going to finish one way or another.  I ended up hurting my hip about 8 miles in and spent the rest of the race half walking/half running.  So I don't really feel like I've run a half marathon.

My goal for this race is to run every. single. step.  I'm hoping to run at an 11-12 minute mile pace.  I'm not fast, I've come to terms with that.  When I'm lucky I average a little below an 11 minute mile.  Like today's run.  I averaged 10:57 per mile.  That run really sucked though!  I started over near the county fairgrounds.  It's a great place to run.  Lots of hills, but some shorter (much shorter) areas of flat ground.  But I can run up in the hills in the nice neighborhoods, or on a long stretch of street that's heavily driven on so I feel safe, I can run through the heart of town, which makes this place seem like a small town, and pass the fun little shops...although running past the French bakery as the smells of freshly baked goodness waft out into the air is a little torturous! But despite all those options, this run was HARD!  I had NO energy, not even an ounce.  If I didn't have this half coming up I probably would've convinced myself to stay in bed and workout later...which wouldn't be running because it's getting super hot here by about 10am every day...heck, I was feeling the heat around 7am when I finished.
I don't feel ready for this race.  I should, I ran 12 miles a week and a half ago, then six days later ran 10 miles.  I'm tapering down and my next long run will be 8 miles.  But my normal run a couple days a week, in addition to my once a week long run, is about 5-6 miles and I do interval training 3 days a week too.  I should totally be able to do this.  I've purchased my Shot Bloks for the race.  I have a new water bottle with an iPhone carrying case attached. Totally frivolous purchase, but my husband insisted.  I think he's still having flashbacks to me after my 11 mile run a few weeks ago where I came home, made my daughter's sack lunch for school then sunk down to the floor completely drained.  Hydration is important, I get it.  But races have drink zones.  Oh well.

My stupid inner voice keeps mocking me, telling me I can't do this.  My other inner voice is telling her to shut up.  I'm starting to think I'm crazy for hearing voices.

I have my compression capris from Old Navy, they may not be Lululemon, but they're friggin' awesome!  I can't believe I let myself be seen in public in them, I don't have skinny mini legs, but they're comfortable and way better for running long distances than my normal exercise pants which are not fitted and are all floor length.  And being a size 8 means I'm not exactly fat either...not to my goal, but I'm normal sized.  I'm just thicker in the legs...yay or being a pear shape.  :/  So my self-consciousness be damned, I will be rocking those pants!  And my "Colorado Runners for Boston" shirt that I got at Run Colorado.  

In the meantime, I'll be fighting with those crazy voices in my head and hoping I don't die running! ;)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Phone photo dump

Sorry a couple of these are sideways. No idea why, I thought I had that fixed and if I pull the pic up on my computer it's right side up. So, you'll have to deal with my complete lack of computer skills. Sorry! Also, these are in no particular order...but my posts here are pretty void of pictures and that's lame! So here's a big ol' dump (ew!) of pictures from my phone. ;)

These are my legs, well part of them. No biggie, right? For normal people yes, this would be no biggie. But I'm far from normal. I've hidden in my clothing for so dang long! I have hated my legs for as long as I can remember. Even now I don't like them that much. But they are super muscular (and a bit jiggly too) right now. I am proud of their strength. I am proud of how far I've come with running. And I also don't want to run in sweats all summer. Talk about torture! So I bought a pair of running capris. My legs are white, like really, really, really white. They never see the sun, they're blinding. But I've been wearing these off and on for a month now (I only have one pair...they need to be washed between wearings and all). I feel completely exposed between the blinding skin showing and being skin tight. But I'm branching out of my comfort zone and that's a pretty big deal for me!

This is me, droopy looking eye and all (I swear I don't really have a droopy eye...I don't think). This is my newish dress. Again, not a big deal for most. But a huge deal for me. Last summer I really wanted a maxi dress. I went to Old Navy and tried them on since they had about a million to choose from. I looked like a whale in a muumuu. It's was humiliating to say the least. And I did NOT get a maxi dress. Fast forward to now. I'm not at my goal weight. In fact, I'm stuck in a big ol' plateau, but I'm in MUCH better shape than a year ago and I got a maxi dress! And it's so comfortable! If I had money I'd probably buy all the maxis I could find...with sleeves, you know, because of my funky Mormon underwear and all. And that necklace...that's me breaking out of my comfort zone again. It's from Down East Basics, probably my favorite store ever! (I love their layering shirts!) Oh and the dress is a size MEDIUM!!! MEDIUM!!!!! Wahoo!

Welcome to my sideways pictures, I'll try to make your stay here short.

On Saturday I ran a 5K. Sort was supposed to be a 5K, the people running it called it that. But I tracked it...and have run parts of it again since then and it was NOT 3.1 miles. It was 2.72 miles. My time was just seconds over 26 minutes. I'd love that to be real. But my previous fastest 5K was in March and that was just seconds over 29 minutes. I haven't improved that much...or at all since this 5K was a bit hilly (again, people running it lied when they said it was a flat course, haha!) and at an elevation about 1000 feet higher than my last. But whatever, I was coming close to PRing and wish they hadn't screwed up the distance. But at least I got a cool (to me) shirt out of the deal! And it wasn't an expensive race and raised money for a good cause. And my goodie bag came with a $5 gift certificate to the outlet malls. Woot!  Oh and this is a pic of me AFTER the race...sans makeup and all sweaty.  Sexy, no? No!!!!  Haha!

After the above 5K we visited with my brother-in-law in Aurora to take him cookies and homemade cards for his birthday. And since we were in the area we decided to check out a local running store. They'd been one of the sponsors of my race and I was curious. I got this tee that I just love! It's so soft and I ran in it the next day and it was so comfy! Plus being a huge fan of the Boston area (having married a man from back there and all) I loved that all proceeds from it went to the One Fund (or whatever it's called...I know, I'm lame and don't know the official name).

What's a pie eating contest picture doing on my exercise/fitness/health/whatever-you-want-to-call-it blog? It's me keeping it real. My oldest won the privilege of being her class representative in the pie eating contest at their party a couple weeks ago. She didn't win, but she had a blast. And life is too short not to do this kind of stuff once in awhile.

I have so many emotions about what happened in Boston on April 15th. The Boston Bombings were horrific! These losers attacked my favorite city, my favorite sport, and truly innocent people. I was ticked! I want the remaining bomber to suffer...a lot! I want answers first. The victims deserve answers! But then I want him to suffer! Screw lethal injection! Screw a firing squad (any state still do those?)! Screw hanging (again, any state still do this?)! Put that effer in a big ol' field, tie him up, place a pressure cooker bomb full of crap next to him and set that bugger off! Then let him lay there and bleed out. And yet, that's still too compassionate. (I know, I'm a democrat, so I should be all for life in jail and whatnot, or so I'm told...but whatever, this guy needs to suffer and I am more than my political party of choice! Bet you're all glad now I'm not in charge of this stuff, huh?) Anyway, back to the picture. This was April 15th. It was 27 degrees here and snowing. I was angry. I was trying to process my emotions. I was glued to the news coverage. My husband came home and I went for a run. It was a super short run, but I got out there and ran for those who were hurt and couldn't run. I ran for those 3 who died. I ran for the runners who didn't get to finish the race. I ran because I could run!

And my final picture is a screen shot of Nike+ from Monday. I ran. It was bloody hot!!! Not kidding, mid 70s is bloody hot to me if I'm out in the sun and running. I hadn't done a long run in 3 weeks. This was shorter than my last long run, but it was all I could handle. I was dying! Never again will I go that long between long runs! But I still did it. I got out there and ran.

Why is running so important to me?  Because I can do it!  I'm an only child, so I don't have siblings to look to, to see how their health is.  I just have my parents.  And their health freaking SUCKS!!!!  Both are diabetic.  Totally lame!  My dad has been in and out of hospitals for the last six months with stuff eating his bones, infecting his legs, etc.  He's been semi-retired.  He's in surgery as I write this.  He's looking into a new idea what yet.  Because he'll likely have to be semi-retired for another six months and he just can't do that.  At 63 he's having to rethink his life.  And that sucks!  I'm terrified of getting like that.  I'm half made up of his DNA.  My mom's diabetes is super lame, she's insulin resistant.  Scary stuff! She also has been tracking her calories because she's gaining weight while eating an amount that most people would lose eating.  The doctor has been running tests and basically has concluded that she's genetically per-destined to be fat.  So not awesome!  So they're trying some drug on her to see if it will help.  All of that scares me!  That's my genetics.  That's what made me!  So I run.  I run often.  I push myself.  I go to the fitness center at our complex and I use the bike and the elliptical machine.  I do Jillian Michaels dvds almost daily.  I eat mostly good food.  I spent too many years not caring enough and I don't have the luxury of doing that.  I have a husband and three little girls that I want to live for.  Not just being here physically.  But being able to actually LIVE and be active and participate in life.  Every time I run I feel like I have diabetes chasing me, so I run more.  My average run is just over 5 miles.  On a bad day I run over 3 (unless it's snowing, then I don't last even that long...why do I live in a snowy state?!?!!).  My longest run is 11 miles.  I'm eying a half-marathon this summer and another in September.  I'm registered for a 5k in August and am looking for others in between now and then.  I will not succumb to what my genetics are.  I will fight!