Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Mileage

What a crazy year it's been!  2011 was the year I finally stuck to my goals & GOT ACTIVE.  Not just going to the gym 3/4 times a week (I actually gave up the gym completely & I do miss it some), but really getting out there & doing something.  I'm so glad I did too!  I had a great year!  I think, given the obstacles I was given this year (broken vertebrae & pregnancy), I had a great first year as a runner!  
My running mileage total for the year?  332.07 miles (over 71 hours!!).  I have no doubt that I could've hit (and likely surpassed!) 500 miles this year, had I not been sidelined twice.  I hope to be able to maintain a MINIMUM of 5 miles/week while pregnant (hopefully more), then I'll work at getting my mileage back up & aim for another half marathon some time in 2012.  One with better time!!
I only recorded 106.88 miles of biking.  It was a slow year for us, since I couldn't do off road stuff during the spring (thanks to the broken vertebrae) & the summer got so insanely hot!  I'd like to say I'll increase that next year, but since I'll be pregnant in the spring & have a fairly new baby in the fall, so I just don't see that being likely.  Sadly.  Biking is still my first love & I think it always will be.  (Is there a bi in my future?  Perhaps...)

It's time to clear out my "mileage" page for the new year, so here's what I recorded for 2011:
1/24/11 2.88 miles in 47 minutes (16:16 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
1/27/11 2.44 miles in 33 minutes (13.28 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
1/29/11 2.15 miles in 33 minutes (15:17 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
1/30/11 technical difficulties ~2 miles in ~30 minutes RUNNING + walking
1/31/11 2.93 miles in 40 minutes (13:48 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/6/11 2.4 miles in 42 minutes (17:00 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/8/11 3.6 miles in 54 minutes (14:53 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/13/11 7.1 miles in 1 hour 9 minutes (9:44 mile/min avg) BIKING
2/15/11 3.3 miles in 50 minutes (15:01 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/17/11 2.6 miles in 35 minutes (13:32 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/19/11 3.88 miles in 1 hour (15:34 min/mile avg) RUNNING + walking
2/28/11 2.26 miles in 30 minutes (13:11 min/mile avg) RUNNING *2 miles straight/no walking*
3/2/11 2.2 miles in 30 minutes (13:37 min/mile avg) RUNNING
3/7//11 1.88 miles in 27 minutes (14:27 min/mile avg) RUNNING
3/18/11 2.03 miles in 25 minutes (12:14 min/mile avg) RUNNING
3/20/11 2.71 miles in 47 minutes (17:08 min/mile avg) WALKING *carried 39# child first entire mile*
3/20/11 3.02 miles in 41 minutes (13:34 min/mile avg) RUNNING + some walking
3/20/11 10.7 miles in 1 hour 9 minutes (6:24 min/mile avg) BIKING
3/23/11 8.3 miles in 54 minutes (6:34 min/mile avg) BIKING
*3/23/11 3.45 miles in 51 minutes (14:47 min/mile avg) RUNNING *FIRST 5K/NO WALKING*
3/28/11 4.02 miles in 51 minutes (12:38 min/mile avg) RUNNING
3/30/11 4 miles in 51 minutes (12:40 min/mile avg) RUNNING
4/2/11 8 miles in 1 hour 59 minutes (14:53 min/mile avg) RUNNING w/~2 miles of walking
[[4/9 - Diagnosis (from wreck): Broken vertebrae, no running for a while.]]
4/17/11 15.79 miles in 2 hours (7:36 min/mile avg) BIKING
5/8/11 25.24 miles in 2 hours 43 minutes (6:29 min/mile avg) BIKING
5/12/11 2.07 miles in 22 minutes (10:53 min/mile avg) RUNNING
5/19/11 3.05 miles in 41 minutes (13:29 min/mile avg) RUNNING + some walking
5/23/11 1.44 miles in 17 minutes (11:25 min/mile avg) RUNNING
5/25/11 2.27 miles in 28 minutes (12:27 min/mile avg) RUNNING
5/27/11 9.85 miles in 1 hour 33 minutes (9:27 min/mile avg) BIKING
6/5/11 3 miles in 37 minutes (12:12 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/6/11 1.55 miles in 17 minutes (10:48 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/8/11 2.58 miles in 31 minutes (11:54 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/10/11 2.61 miles in 32 minutes (12:12 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/12/11 3.82 miles in 47 minutes (12:21 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/13/11 1.53 miles in 17 minutes (11:19 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/15/11 3.15 miles in 38 minutes (12:02 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/17/11 2.54 miles in 29 minutes (11:36 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/22 3.1 miles in 38 minutes (12:19 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/24 3.19 miles in 39 minutes (12:07 min/mile avg) RUNNING
6/26 4.01 miles in 47 minutes (11:38 min/mile avg) RUNNING  *PR on time/distance*
6/27 2.01 miles in 24 minutes (12:03 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/1 3.13 miles in 38 minutes (12:08 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/3 4.02 miles in 50 minutes (12:26 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/6 5.14 miles in 1 hour (11:40 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/8 3.35 miles in 40 minutes (12:03 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/10 6.26 miles in 1 hour 18 minutes (12:26 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/11 2.68 miles in 34 minutes (12:30 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/13 3.5 miles in 42 minutes (12:05 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/15 4.03 miles in 50 minutes (12:18 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/20 4.25 miles in 51 minutes (12:01 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/22 4.52 miles in 57 minutes (12:35 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/24 7.54 miles in 1 hour 37 minutes (12:54 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/27 5.6 miles in 1 hour 13 minutes (12:59 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/29 5.39 miles in 1 hour 12 minutes (13:25 min/mile avg) RUNNING
7/31 9.1 miles in 1 hour 55 minutes (12:40 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/4 4.01 miles in 51 minutes (12:46 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/5 5 miles in 1 hour 4 minutes (12:43 min/mil avg) RUNNING
8/7 8.01 miles in 1 hour 43 minutes (12:50 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/8 3.01 miles in 39 minutes (13:04 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/10 6 miles in 1 hour 18 minutes (12:58 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/14 30 miles in 3 hours 30 minutes (6:59 min/mile avg) BIKING
8/17 6 miles in 1 hour 17 minutes (12:54 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/21 7.61 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes (13:05 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/24 7 miles in 1 hour 28 minutes (12:33 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/26 6 miles in 1 hour 33 minutes (15:32 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/28 10 miles in 2 hours 5 minutes (12:28 min/mile avg) RUNNING
8/29 4.06 miles in 49 minutes (12:09 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/2 7.01 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes (12:06 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/4 11.01 miles in 2 hours 11 minutes (11:52 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/11 12.01 miles in 2 hours 30 minutes (12:30 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/12 4.01 miles in 49 minutes (12:11 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/19 8 miles in 1 hour 35 minutes (11:51 min/mile avg) RUNNING
*9/25 13.2 miles in 2 hours 41 minutes (12:23 min/mile avg) RUNNING
9/28 4.52 miles in 51 minutes (11:17 min/mile avg) RUNNING
10/5 5.03 miles in 1 hour (11:56 min/mile avg) RUNNING
10/10 4.4 miles in 55 minutes (12:30 min/mile avg) RUNNING
10/17 5.29 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes minutes (14:11 min/mile avg) RUNNING
10/19 4.12 miles in 53 minutes (12:52 min/mile avg) RUNNING
10/30 5.1 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes (13:20 min/mile avg) RUNNING
11/11 5.59 miles in 1 hour 14 minutes (13:14 min/mil avg) RUNNING
12/7 3.05 miles in 41 minutes (13:27 min/mile avg) RUNNING
12/28 3.56 miles in 48 minutes (13:29 min/mile avg) RUNNING

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Running in the first trimester!

Let's get a few things out of the way first, okay?
I am not a medical professional, or any other kind of professional.  This is my personal opinion.  Don't sue me if anything goes wrong, or tell your doctor *I* said it was okay - who am I anyway?

1 - Is it *gasp* safe?  
If you were a runner before you got pregnant, do not have any complications, and understand that you need to listen to your body, then it absolutely is.  You should probably go ahead & ask your midwife/OB first, but keep in mind that some of them are clueless.  Just 'cause you're a doctor doesn't make you...  Well, I'll leave that between you & your doctor of choice.  
For me, it is absolutely safe (and yes, I did speak to my midwife about it before I got pregnant).  In fact, it's something I need, to keep my blood pressure in check.  I'm not looking to create new distance or speed PRs (nor should any pregnant woman), but I can continue at or below the level I was comfortable with before getting pregnant.  I  just listen to my body, if it starts to feel like too much, I slow it down, walk, or call it a day.  It's hard to accept that you can't do all that you could pre-fetus, but it is what it is & growing that [healthy] fetus is way more important than any mileage/speed/race goals.  

2 - Can't you hurt the baby?
Yes, yes you can.  If you trip & fall, abdomen first, into a boulder that impacts your uterus, the baby could be hurt.  Yeah, not so likely is it?  Bouncing up & down as you run will. not. hurt your baby any more than having sex will poke them in the head.  I mean come on people, let's use a little common sense!

3 - Should I monitor my heart rate?
I read mixed opinions in researching this topic.  For some, it seems heart rate monitoring is a bit old school.  For others, it's something you absolutely should do.  I'd say ask your midwife/OB their opinion & do your own research, then decide for yourself.  (While I'm not going to endorse going against your doctor's wishes [in a normal, healthy pregnancy], may I remind you that you are the one in control of your body, not the doctor.  If you disagree with their opinion, take the chances you wish to take, but be educated before you take your chances.)  
For me, I have decided not to worry about heart rate monitoring, at least in the first trimester.  Honestly, my heart rate is more elevated some days at work than it is while I'm out running.  ;)

4 - What about core temp?
While increased core temps can cause problems, such as miscarriage, it's hard to really gauge your core temp without carrying a rectal thermometer around with you.  (Nice image, huh?  Especially if you imagine that thing in place while running.  Oh, that's not the image you had in your head already?  My bad.)  I think you should pay attention to how you're feeling & definitely don't overheat yourself, but...  I live in TX.  It gets well over 100 degrees for many days in the summer here.  Pregnant women are not advised to never step foot outside during that time & I can guarantee you that the core temp of a very-pregnant woman rises a lot in the heat.   The magic bad number I seemed to find was 101.  I don't own a rectal thermometer (nor do I intend to buy one :p), so I can't say how it feels to be that hot at your core.  I'd imagine it'd be pretty uncomfortable & remember, while pregnant, you need to attempt to be comfortable while running.
For me, I'm not going to overdo it, but not stress too much about it either.  It's easy to get miserably hot in pregnancy.  I listen to my body & stop long before it becomes unbearable.  I encourage you to do your own research & seek the advice of your midwife/OB on this subject also. No matter what you decide about the core temp issue, be sure to drink water & electrolytes.  Plenty of them.  Please.

Now, for the fun things I've learned about running in the first trimester...

1 - If you are keeping your pregnancy a secret & you run with friends...  Well, good luck with that.
Remember my mean strong-arm running partner, Denya?  Well, I told her the first run we did together after I knew.  For one, I wanted her to know in case, heaven forbid, something happened & I needed medical assistance.  Also, I knew that she would be yelling at me & wondering why I was sucking so much.  I knew I couldn't come up with enough believable excuses for the entire first trimester, so I told her.  Keeping it from my other running buddies was a challenge, but they aren't paying as much attention to me & what I can do vs what I am doing, so it's slightly easier to come up with excuses.

2 - First trimester + exhaustion + running...  huh???
Oh that wonderful exhaustion of the first trimester.  It makes you want to crawl in bed at 7.  Which is hard enough when you have another child to take care of, but even harder when you usually run around 8.  Ugh.  Some nights sleep beats running.  Some nights, running wins...  then I'm up all night with insomnia.  Curse nature!  Just do what you can, when you can & don't feel guilty about the days you miss!

3 - Didn't I just pee though?
Before becoming pregnant I felt like I needed to pee all the time while I was running (I guess it's all the jiggling).  Now, I actually DO need to pee all the time while I'm running.  I empty my bladder before I start, but, well, I'm pregnant.  There's really nothing you can do about it.  I suppose you could take to wearing an adult diaper (or maybe just a pad?), but that seems like a bad solution, unless you enjoy diaper rash.  I can make it 3-4 miles before I feel like my bladder will play evil tricks on me if I keep ignoring it.  That makes it quite difficult to get long runs in, but perhaps a nice break is good for me & baby.

4 - Oh the bloat!
This one is a problem if you are hiding the pregnancy (or attempting to) for the first trimester.  Not only do you look like you've been eating too many Twinkies & skipping too many runs, but those nice, close fitting running pants/shorts/skirts...  ouch!  Thankfully, for me, just as the bloat started getting bad, the weather got cooler.  That meant I could get away with wearing a stash of slightly bigger exercise pants, rather than my circulation-stopping running attire.  Whew.  I do forsee an expensive stash of pregnancy running clothes in my future though.  Good thing I already have a huge stash of non-running maternity clothes.  ;)

5 - Spotting?  Cramping?  Puking?
Spotting - on two different occasions, I had a little scare.  Luckily, it was not right after a run either time, or I would've probably called off the idea of running.  It's okay to be paranoid like that I think, I mean, you're carrying another life inside you!  Everything was just fine (whew!!), but the first time I took a few extra days off from running & the second I took a couple of weeks.  I mean you can never be too careful, right?  While running isn't gonna jar the baby loose or anything like that, IMHO, it's still better to take it easy any time your body gives you some signals that something is going on.
Cramping - anytime I've had some cramping, I've taken it easy.  Period.  Again, you can never be too careful.      Sometimes it's just a matter of needing to drink more - make sure you watch that!  Sometimes I think it's just your body telling you to relax a little.
Puking - anyone who knows me knows I AM NOT A PUKER.  Period.  Luckily [knock on lots & lots & lots of wood], pregnancy doesn't change that fact for me. There have been runs though, that I swear I actually would like to puke, just so I can feel better & move on.  That's saying a lot, if *I* want to puke.  If you do battle morning sickness that causes puking, be careful & remember to add in extra food (even if it's just a box of saltines!), 'cause your body really needs the calories.

Now that all that is out of the way...
It's only the first trimester, so I haven't had to buy any new running clothes.  Yay.  I mean, I do like shopping, but running attire for pregnant women is a bit spendy, especially considering how long you'll use it.
My hips, they are a-moving!  The day after a run, I feel like I did a lot more than run X miles up & down the street.  My body feels stretched, sore, & out of whack the next day.  Usually, as the day goes on I either become accustomed to it, or it actually feels better.

I feel left out.  (No, not throwing this in here for a pity party or new exceptions due to the "fragile emotional state of the pregnant woman".)  I just feel left out.  I run alone more now 'cause even if I am with other people, they're interested in running faster than I care to push it.  I'm not signing up for races, 'cause I don't want to waste the money.  Mostly though, I feel like all my friends' running plans are made with the exclusion of me, and maybe that's because I used to just put myself in the middle of it more & don't now, I'm not sure.  I highly doubt they mean to leave me out, or I at least hope that's not the case.  ;)  I'm just not in the same place that they are right now, so they are continuing down a path that I've had to veer off of.  It's life.  Plus, you know what?  Running isn't about my friends.  I'm glad I had them to get me on this track, but now running is about ME (well, plus the fetus for the next several months).  hmmmm, that just made me realize that I actually don't ever run alone.  Think passers-by would find it strange if I started trying to carry on a conversation with my uterus?  hehe!  All that matters is that I get out there & do it.  Running along honestly isn't so bad anyway, it's nice to drift off into thoughts of your own sometimes.

So, now that I have closed the door on the first trimester, I guess I can say my only complaint has been feeling a little left out.  It's possible part of that goes along with the crazy hormonal state I'm in, but part of it is just that my life is going in a different direction right now.  An amazing, exciting, joyful direction.
Now it's time to see what the second trimester brings for me as a runner!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My FIRST race, which happened to be a half marathon.

I'm a big fan of go big or go home, so it seemed appropriate to skip right over the whole 5K & 10K thing & go straight to running a half marathon as my first race.  
I'm now pretty sure a full marathon is not on my radar any time in the near (or distant :p) future.

Major lesson learned - don't ever say 13.1 is "just another Sunday run".  It'll laugh in your face!  
Today's run was, quite possibly, the hardest run I've ever had.  My disclaimer (excuse? :p) - I was sick for about a week leading up to the half.  I had a cold that started in & stayed in my chest.  It was awful.  While I felt better today than I have been feeling, it was still there & I think the drainage led to my stomach being very upset.  A few miles in, I started having trouble getting a good, deep breath.  Obstacle 1.  By the half way point I was battling the urge to puke.  Obstacle 2.  I never did puke, but there were a few extra troubling moments that led to me walking at probably a 22 minute/mile a few times.  I realized around mile 8 that I was working on a nasty toe blister.  Obstacle 3.  (See, 13.1 was laughing at me!)  It was hotter than I expected, it was a course I'd never run, we ran directly into the sun for several miles, yada, yada, yada...  but...  the entire time the super-awesome Denya stayed with me.  I know I told her several times to just leave me, but she wouldn't.  She's great like that.  She was dealing with her own pains, and yet found a way (as always) to not make it about her.  Holly (also her first half!) was with us until about mile 8 or 9, then she gained a little extra momentum, just as I was losing every ounce of mine, and took off.  She went on to finish about 10-15 minutes ahead of us.  Good job girl!
Disclaiming (ie complaining) aside, I FINISHED A HALF MARATHON!!!  It IS a big deal!  I really don't know *that* many people that have done it (well, not counting runner friends), and actually, most people I know haven't run a 5K...  I ran 10 miles more than a 5K!  I am proud.  Very proud.  I was hoping for a 2:30:00 finish, which was ambitious, but I hoped attainable.  I never did get the adrenaline rush you're suppose to get, which probably would've made a big difference.  :/ I averaged a 12:23 pace, which is really, really awesome considering how slow I walked several minutes, multiple times.  Pretty sure my average running pace had to be in the 11something min/mile range (we actually started in the 10s, which did kick my butt!).  I think, had I not been sick, I would've finished at, or possibly just under, 2:30:00.  So, I'll cut myself some slack!  :p
All that matters (to me) is - I FINISHED.  Complete with a toe blister, sore legs, upset tummy, and complete exhaustion.  I FINISHED.

Offical race time: 2:44:37 (this was gun time, I believe, so I was just under that from the actual line)
Official placing: 274 of 447 total, 51 of 80 in my age group

Now, enjoy some pics.  :)

My night-before prep:
(clothes, BIB #327, Bondi Band, CEP sleeves, Protein Bites (+peanut butter bread) for breakfast, 2 packs of GU for miles 4 & 8, (I also had 3 Shot Bloks 45 min before the race started), coconut water for electrolytes, water, my trusty Garmin 305, iPod, Throlos socks (THE best!), and my Brooks Ghost 4. It takes a lot of crap to run a half...  I can only imagine what I'd need for a full!)

The awesome Denya & I, pre-race:
 Christina (her first 10K!), me, & Denya pre-race:
 A big ol' group of Lesley's RIO girls & friends pre-race:
Coming in to the finish!  I was SO happy to see my sweet hubby & son waiting for me!! 
 My son loved the medal!
 Denya & I, post-race:
 Christina, me & Denya post-race:
 The hubby, kiddo, & me (I still had my iPod in my ear & going but didn't realize it, ha!):
 I almost didn't get up from this position, I was sooooo tired!
 The End.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Is a half marathon really a big deal???

When I started training for a half marathon, 13.1 miles sounded both amazing & pretty much impossible. Somewhere along my training path though, I lost the awe.  Granted, I also lost the impossible, but still!  Now, I feel like it's JUST 13.1 miles. How did that happen?! 
When I started my journey to 13.1, I wanted one of those stickers for my car. You know, the oval that says "13.1". I was once amazed by those stickers & thought that if I could ever accomplish a half, then surely I would have earned it!  Now, I feel a but silly to consider buying one... Maybe when I accomplish 26.2, one day, but for 13.1?  Eh.  
I am completely shocked at who I have become during this crazy running journey.  Once upon a time 6 miles (okay, honestly, 3 miles!) scared me & now, 13 feels like no big deal - just another Sunday long run day.
While feeling a lack of inspiration about my pending half marathon this weekend (remember, it's just 13.1!), I was watching the weather channel & the anchor was taking about a triathlon that was cut to a duathlon this weekend because the weather was too bad for the swimming. When he commented about the "5K run & 27 mile bike ride", he said something about that being more than enough & then that 27 miles was a long enough bike ride for his entire lifetime. As he was saying that, I was thinking of how I'd be annoyed by 27 miles & would need to go ahead & make it 30 miles. 30 miles is no big deal to me, yet it's enough (or more than enough!) for some people to accumulate in a lifetime.
I get it!
It's all perspective, eh?
As I train, things get easier & sound less & less crazy (like, for instance, how I'm toying with the idea of a full marathon. What?!  Who said that?), but, to others the things I'm doing still sound impossible. 
It IS an accomplishment to finish a half marathon. It IS kind of a big deal. 
A few months ago I was in awe of people who could accomplish a half (or, heck, a 10K!).  I need to slow down enough to remember that I have accomplished something. Something most people never even attempt. Something most people find amazing, not just "another Sunday long run". Actually, most people don't even have a Sunday long run.  (Really?  Most people DON'T wake up long before the sun, just to run?!)  I deserve that sticker & the pride that comes with it!  If I decide I want it that is.  I may go ahead & hold out for a 26.2.  ...maybe.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

232.11 MILES!

I have run 232.11 miles so far this year.  Besides that, I ran 10 miles this morning.  Ten miles, in one run.  TEN!  Wow.  I would've never thought...  I even managed to keep a 12:08 average pace for the first 6.5 miles (then I HAD to walk a bit & finish it up much slower).  One day I'm sure I'll look back & 10 miles will seem like nothing, but for now, it's pretty big!!  As are the 232.11 miles.  The rough start I had on this running journey, the stupid broken vertebrae that came into the picture just as I was finding a groove, the extreme heat...  it all has been against me it seems, but I finally feel like I'm accomplishing something!
I'm slowly meeting more & more crazies runners & it's fun to learn about when, how, & why they started running.  The amazing Denya seems to have a knack for encouraging more & more people to join the running craze too, and it'd fun to be the not-brand-new-runner, watching someone else take on this crazy journey of becoming a runner.  It mostly nice though, to be able to just enjoy the time outside, with no obligations/responsibilities to anyone else.  No kiddo to keep an eye on, no dishes to clean, no customers to help, just total personal freedom.  As much as it hurts & exhausts the body, it's so nice to have 100% of your mental capacity focused on yourself!
Crap...  it's starting to sound like I may be becoming a "real" runner, huh?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

9 miles. 9 miles? 9 miles!

I'll admit it, I wasn't too excited to meet up with a group to run today.  I was a bit intimidated & pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy myself.  I just knew I'd be slower than everyone & someone would feel obligated to run with me, which would make me feel awful 'cause I'd always rather run alone than have someone slow down for me.  I also knew most of the people were quite experienced & I'm still pretty new to all this running stuff, so it was just intimidating because when is it not intimidating to be the "newbie" in a group?
But, I went.  I was up at 4:45am, forcing myself to eat when all I really wanted to do was sleep some more.  I hydrated, loaded the car up, and picked up Denya (of course!  ;)).  We met up with everyone & we were all on the track around 6am.  I, of course, started off to strong & Lesley told me to pull back so I didn't poop out.  I remember telling her I'd poop out when I wanted.  That was my this-already-sucks-so-I'm-just-trying-to-get-through-this-alive response.  I did start losing steam around 2.25 though, and pulled back.  Of course, I was going for 7, so it wasn't a good thing that I already needed to pull back, but it was what it was.  Although it wasn't especially hot (yet) or humid, my chest was heavy, and I was having a hard time breathing. Luckily, I discovered that Holly was my perfect running companion (and I'm a bit sad she won't be around the next 2 long runs I have!).  We ran at the same pace, wanted to break for quick walks at the same time, and we both seem to have a hard time keeping a steady pace.  She was the perfect partner for my run!  We slowed from the rest of the group & walked a bit here & there.  Eventually :p we both hit 7 & Holly had to leave.  I knew Denya was going for 11, so I headed back up the track, since I had time to kill.  I walked a bit to regain my strength, then I started running.  It was a good run, I felt strong (and numb, which is such a nice feeling!) & I was hitting about an 11:15 min/mile pace without even realizing it.  I hit another mile (8?!), walked about .25, then ran just over another .5 before I walked in a final .25.  That made 9 miles.  NINE MILES.  2 over my plan for the day.  I have NO idea how I did, or how I was feeling so great after those 9, but it was a huge confidence boost.  I'd say I'm ready to register for the half now.  Well, once I get over the cost...  ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How far I've come so far.

Eight months ago, on November 14th, 2010, I started running.  I started with the Couch to 5K program, and I could hardly manage to make it through the 60 second of jogging.  It was so horrible & I just knew I was going to die.  Or puke up my dinner.  Or, possibly, both.  
Eventually, I gave up the C25K program because it just wasn't the right program for me.  I never could get in a good groove with it & it annoyed me more than it helped me.  Also, with the holidays all thrown in there, then a whole bunch of snow (well "whole bunch" for Texas), I get off the schedule.  So, I started just running as far as I could, for as long as I could, stopping when I felt like I couldn't move another inch.  Finally, on March 23rd, just over 4 months after I started the craziness, I ran 5K for the first time without walking.  It took me a while to make it to 5K, but I was happy that I finally had made it.  Of course, 2 weeks later I hit a horse (or, it hit me, whatever).  Left with a broken vertebrae, I was benched for about 6 weeks.  Once I was cleared to run again, it was like starting from nothing all over again.  Running SUCKED.  
As hard as it was to get back into the swing of running, I had a moment of insanity a couple of weeks later & I asked the fabulous Lesley at Racing it Off to write up a training schedule for me, so I'd be ready for a half marathon in September.  I'm still not completely sold on my ability to do 13.1 miles.  13.1 - ACK!  I'm sticking with the schedule though, and eventually I may even actually register for the half.  Maybe.  Possibly.  ...most likely.
Since that first full run of a 5K, I have run just shy of 110 miles.  I know that's nothing compared to well-seasoned runners (considering that was 4 months ago, even calling it 2.5 months ago when I take out my time off makes it not such a big deal), but when I stop & see how far I've come I consider it pretty amazing.  It hasn't gotten easier to run, and I'm not sure I can call it any more fun that it was to begin with, but my self confidence & pride continue to grow with every run.  The good feeling I feel after my runs continues to get more & more...  good!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why I never wanted to train...

I never wanted to "train" (ie - for a race).  I wanted to just run, to go out & have fun.  I thought that once I committed myself to training for a particular mileage/pace/race, I'd lose the fun aspect & lose my motivation to run.  Then, one day, I asked for a training schedule (thanks again, Lesley @ Racing It Off!).  I think I had a moment of insanity & actually thought it was a good idea to train for a half marathon.  ha!
When I got me schedule, I thought - no way, this is WAY too easy, I'm going to be bored right off the bat.
Well...  not so much.  My schedule did start me off at shorter distances than I was capable of at the time, but it had me running [consistently] 4 days a week, which was new to me.  So, my idea that it was too easy was totally off.  It was actually kinda hard.  I really did have to push myself.  (Plus, I had been used to running in the cold & it was just starting to get warm, which was a whole new running world for me.)  When I got to the point that the long run with a distance of 5 miles was a couple of weeks away, I was already saying NO. WAY.  Not gonna happen.  Uh-uh.
The 5 mile long run was scheduled for last Sunday.  I started later than I planned, so it was getting hot & it was especially humid that day anyway.  At 2 miles, I was questioning my ability to make it further.  At 3 miles, I knew my body was about done & I was barely keeping myself from falling over.  So, sure enough, 5 miles didn't happen.  I barely made it through 4 miles that day. Wednesday morning, I started super early.  I had 4 miles on my schedule, but by 2.5 I was already thinking I might be able to push through 5.  Maybe.  At 3.5 I decided there was no way I'd call it quits at 4, even if I only hit 4.5, I was going to go past 4.  By 4.5 I figured - what's another .5?  I hit my 5 miles, at a great pace [for me] I might add, and I felt SO great!!
What does all that have to do with me not ever wanting to have a training schedule?  Well, as I was out on my 3 mile run yesterday, I realized that by having a schedule I am actually pushing myself harder than I would've ever attempted if I were just out running for fun.  I AM still having fun (for the most part, wink, wink), but I'm pushing myself & gaining more confidence with every run.  Some of the runs are out-right hard - tomorrow I'm up for 6 & I am scared of it.  But!  Some of the runs are hard 'cause I have to prevent myself from pushing too hard.  Recovery runs seem too short or too slow or both, but I know they serve a purpose & I have to take it easy (I've even allowed myself to skip them if I've over-done it the day before, even when I really do want to get out & run).  
Having a schedule has made me get up & get out there on the days I REALLY don't feel like it.  Oddly, the days I am most hesitant to get out there are usually the days I enjoy it the most.  Weird!  Having a schedule has made me push myself harder & accomplish things I didn't know I could.  Having a schedule, a plan, a reason to run, has made me discover how much I actually enjoy running.  It IS still for fun, but it's for fun with a purpose.  If the schedule ever became truly un-fun, I'd walk away from it.  For now though, I am enjoying the challenges & the pride.  Thank you Lesley, you really do know what you're doing!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ohhhh the HEAT!

I'm trying to not be hard on myself, I really am.  I'm still pretty new to running, so it's hard enough as it is, but this heat is making it almost impossible.  I seem to get so very disappointed when I don't hit my goal distance for the day, but I know I have to listen to my body so I don't do damage.  Yesterday, I was aiming for 5.  At 2.5 I allowed a couple of minutes to stand still, get a good drink, add a little fuel, a spray myself down a little to cool off.  BIG, HUGE mistake.  I started to run again & my legs were numb & wobbly.  So, I stopped the Garmin & walked a couple of minutes before running.  I did get my groove back, but I could tell 5 miles wasn't going to happen.  It was just too hot & my body was fighting me.  (How do those crazy people run during the middle of the day?!)  I wasn't sure I'd make it past 3, but I intentionally ran far enough away from my house that I'd be obligated to at least walk in the last mile so I'd get 4.  I managed to surprise myself by running a full 4, but I was bummed about not hitting 5.  Next week I'm shooting for 6, so missing 5 this week will likely be a huge set-back in the mental game, no doubt.
I'm trying not to beat myself up for not achieving my goal.  After all, I DID get out & run 4, which is more than I could've said 6 months ago, BUT...  sigh

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why I love running... I hate running... Well, okay, I kinda like it. Maybe...

If you told me a year ago that I'd be running, I would've laughed in your face.  I have never been a runner, nor have I aspired to become one.  Ever.  Yet, here I am.  Not only am I out there 4 days a week, torturing my body, but I'm really, seriously, attempting to feel comfortable enough to sign up for a half marathon.  Again - if you told me a year ago that I'd be seriously considering a half marathon, I would've laughed in you face.  It would have been the most asinine thing I'd ever heard.  Me, attempting a half marathon?!  (Truth be told, I wouldn't have enough known how far that was.  For the record, it's 13.1 miles.)
Do I like running?  Eh, I'm still on the fence.  When I'm out there, I HATE RUNNING.  I mean I. HATE. IT.  The only good thing I get from it is that it's the only time of the day that I am just me.  I'm not someone's employee, I'm not someone's wife, I'm not someone's daughter, I'm not someone's mommy, I'm not someone's co-worker, I'm not someone's personal shopper/chef/maid/butt wiper... I am me.  Often, I get the pleasure of being a friend while I run, but even then - I am just me.  (Which, I must say, is a sign of a true friendship - that even with a friend running beside you there is no obligation to do or be anything other than yourself.)  There is no Facebook to distract me, no phone to answer, no child begging me for something, no traffic stressing me out, no dishes to clean, no lunches to pack, no burdens to bear.  It's me, my mind, (lately, my music), and the road.  It's better therapy than anything else I've ever tried.  Time alone really isn't so bad you know.  It's very freeing in today's fast-paced world.
After I'm done running, like immediately after, I REALLY hate it.  Some days it takes everything in me not to pass out.  As soon as I stop, things get a little fuzzy, my knees get a bit weak, the world starts to spin...  (This is why I do not stop when I'm running alone, unless I am very near a bench to plop down on, can you imagine the sight I'd be??  No, let's not imagine that!)  Then, time passes.  A shower, a drink, and a snack calm & cool me, and I start to feel good.  I mean really, really good.  It's a high.  It's a feeling of power & accomplishment; pride & happiness; adrenaline & hazy brain.  The more I run, the greater that high feels & the longer it lasts.  That feeling, and that feeling alone is what gets me out there even on days like today where I really just wanted to crawl in bed instead.  Okay, the truth is that it's that feeling AND the potential for hawt legs.  The only thing hotter than those are dancers' legs & I will not ever be graceful enough to be a dancer.

So, there you have it.  I love running 'cause I like to get high & I enjoy hawt legs.  Or something like that anyway.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm all wet, like a hamburger.

Yep, my darling child really told me that.  After my run Sunday, I got home & collapsed on the [cold] tile floor of the entryway.  He was quite concerned about me.  Really, I think he was just trying to get his hands on my Garmin.  He is ALL about that watch - only because I've told him not to touch it, no doubt.  Anyway, as I stood up to go get a drink, he told me "Mommy, you're all sweaty."  Followed by:  "You feel like a hamburger 'cause you're all wet".  For the record, I have NO idea what kind of burgers he's been eating!

I'm trying to love running, but the passion isn't coming easy.  I DO love how I feel after I recover from a run, and I guess that's all that most runners ever really love (right???).  The thoughts before a run - don't love 'em.  The process of actually running - don't love it.  The immediate after-effects of running - don't love 'em.  Later though, much later, I do appreciate how I feel & look forward to that feeling again.  If only I didn't have to run to acheive that feeling!!

The uber-wonderful Lesley at Racing It Off wrote me up a little schedule to get me to a half marathon by d-day (September 25th).  The thing is, I hate schedules 'cause my life is so hectic & I never know what's coming day-to-day.  However, having a schedule has forced me to get out there 4 days a week & run my X amount of miles, no excuses.  I ran all 4 of my runs last week & I've already conquered my long run this week.  So, yay me!  Also, I've been on a 1,200 calorie diet for just over a week now & I'm down 3#s already!  Double (or would that be triple??) yay me!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Random Motivation

"Tell me that I can't do it.  Tell me that I shouldn't even try.  Tell me that it's impossible.  Tell me the risk is to high, the challenge too much, or the feat too tough.  Tell me that I won't do it...  And I will!"
(via SAYiWON'T)

(via Run, Eat, Love)

(via Toned & Talented)

(via Passion over Consequences)

(via Losing It!)

(via Live HEALTHY! Eat clean, train mean, live lean.)

(via Be The Dream)

...and on that note, I'm going to download some new music & go to bed.  I need to run first thing tomorrow, before it's HOT!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I hope I don't regret this...

I'm no good at keeping secrets & I've got too many in my head right now...  So...  Here we go...
think I want to run a half marathon.  When I got into this running thing, I had NO intentions - I mean ZERO - of wanting to run a half or a full marathon (no, a full one still isn't even on my radar - ick!), and I still haven't even run a 5K at an actual race.  In fact, I've never run anything, not one step, at an actual race.  Yet, here I am, admitting that I think I want to attempt a half.  Yes, I certainly have lost my mind.  I'm gonna go ahead and blame it on my amazing running partner, Denya.  She's just too good & I really do want to be like her.  (If only!)  She ran her first AND second half in the same week this month.  AND, she's already training for her first full marathon  She's totally my idol.  Therefore, it's her fault.
The thing is, well, there are several things actually:
1)  I really don't think I can do it.  I realize I just started running again after nursing a broken vertebra for 6.5 weeks & I shouldn't be able to just get out there & gooooo.  Still, 2 miles kicked my butt the other day.  13.1?!  Are you kidding me?  I'm not sure I have that much in me at this point in my running abilities.
2)  Part of what I like about running is running with someone.  I realize there are lots of folks out there during a race, but I'd still feel/be alone & I don't do alone-ness well.  I don't need someone talking to me the whole 13.1 miles, but I need someone there to push me, I just don't think I can do it alone.  Yet, I wouldn't want to be in a pace group 'cause I really would want to just go as fast or slow as I want with each mile.  I don't want to feel "stuck" with a certain pace when I need to change it up, yet I wouldn't want to leave the group.  Yes, I know - grow up.  I'm admitting my faults here, okay?  So, hush.
3)  I really don't think I can do it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I can't.
4)  I really don't think I can do it.  Which pisses me off & kinda makes me want to do it more.  I enjoy proving people wrong, even myself.
Obviously, my biggest obstacle is a mental one.  Well, a mental one fueled by a physical inability.  13.1 miles?  No way.  Well, maybe.  No.  Yes?  Eh, I just don't know.  The thing about me is, I'm not willing to set out to RUN a half & end up walking any of it.  ANY of it.  It would make the whole process pointless to me 'cause I'm a freak like that.

So, if I told you I want to run a half & I want to run it in, oh, say, September...  what would you say to me?

Monday, May 9, 2011

The 28 Day Pre-Training Plan

The know-it-all (in a good way) Jacki posted this on FB the other day.  After reading it, I thought - well, there's something I need to try!  I have been *trying* to follow a 1200 calories diet for a while now, but I haven't been seeing a big difference really.  Hopefully this plan will push me over the plateau I'm on!

Since I know I can't possible be the only lazy person who hates to click on links, I'll summarize the plan (then you can click on it 'cause, really, you should read it!).  This is only good if you aren't currently training for a race of some sort.  There are 5 "steps" for losing weight before you start training for your next race.
1 - cut calories by 300-500.  My body requires a little over 1500, so 1200 is where I'm sticking.
2 - do 3 full-body strength training workouts a week.  I will do these M/W/F mornings, devoting around 1 hour to weights & finishing with 30 minutes of cardio.
3 - increase protein to 30% of your caloric intake.  Honestly, I'm not positive that's where I'll hit, but I'm definitely planning on adding more [lean] protein to my diet for the next 28 days.
4 - aerobic exercises need to be sprint intervals, not endurance.  For me, that means the 30 minutes of cardio on M/W/F mornings will be sprint intervals on the elliptical.
5 - do 1 long & easy fasting aerobic workout per week (no food intake before or during).  I'll be doing this one day during the weekend.  I did my first yesterday, 25 miles on the bike w/no fuel...  my butt was kicked!

After my workout yesterday, I sat down to figure out our menu so I could buy groceries.  That's when I stumbled upon this!  A [free] menu planning site with specific caloric needs?  Yes please!  I surely can't screw this up, huh?  ;)  I get sick of eating the same stuff & I get sick of using my app to count every morsel I put in my mouth.  With this, all the work is done for me!  I'm making a few changes, to fit my needs & taste.  (Okay, to be honest, it's to fit the fact that my birthday AND anniversary happen in the next 28 days & you better believe I plan on eating something sweet & fattening for at least one of those days!)

So, let's see how this 28 day plan goes.  Once it's over I want to start training...  for a race...

Monday, April 18, 2011

New doctor review (since I can't run anyway).

I went to a new doctor (Anne Coleman) on the 7th.  If first impressions are worth anything, this lady is the best doctor I've seen yet!  (Trust me here, she's my 4th in less than 4 years.  Not sure if that says something about the previous doctors, or abut myself...)  I was a bit put-off when I read through all the office policies & then had to fill out 8 pages of paperwork before they'd consider me for a new patient appointment.  Thinking about it though, it was best - I knew what they wanted & they knew what I wanted before we even said hi.  The first appointment was a bit lengthy, but the dr actually sat down with me & talked to me for about an hour.  She asked me all kinds of things about my current self & my past.  It was so strange to have a doctor ask things like what I ate as a child.  As far as I was concerned (health wise), I was already impressed with my oxygen level - 100%!  The nurse asked me if I ran or something.  Well, as a matter of fact...  hehe!  That was the first time I saw a true difference in my health from running.  Wow!  I might not be losing weight, but I am doing something.
They don't do blood work there in the office, so I went early Saturday morning & took care of that.  They ended up taking 8, yes, EIGHT, vials of blood.  Fun, fun.  I got the report back today...  You know how you usually get "your LDL is X, your HDL is X, etc"?  I got an 8 page report back (haha, 1 page per vial!).  I know more about myself now than ever before.  Interesting stuff too, like how many calories my body requires just to sit around all day.  Isn't that nice to know?  Now I can truly plan out a diet...  which I guess I need to do, since I was told my optimal weight is 25#s less than where I am.  Ugh!  I hate diets!  I also found out that I am "under-muscled", guess that means I need to hit the weights a bit harder once my back has healed.  The rest of the report was pretty boring, I do have "thick blood", I guess she'll get into that when I see her next month, and my Vitamin D is a little low (totally not shocking), but some of the results she has marked as "too good" so she wants to re-test them to be sure I'm really as overly healthy as the tests say.  Yay me, right?  Luckily, nothing involving blood work is necessary.
The most important result of the visit though...  my blood pressure.  I've been on pills to lower/regulate it since my son was about 3 months old.  She gave me an Rx for a new pill, but said to go w/out any pill for at least 2 days.  I took my liberties there & haven't taken a pill since the day she said that.  :p  I'm on 1.5 weeks of no meds & my blood pressure seems pretty good to me!!!  Another difference running has made!  I will have to keep watching it & (of course) check with her to be sure she's okay with the fluctuations (it does get a bit high at times, but it goes back down w/in 30 minutes, I'd think that's normal), but I am very hopeful that I can stay off the meds.  For now at least. 
Running was hard for me when I started.  I never, ever, ever wanted to be a runner.  I never dreamt I'd have the desire to run.  I never imagined I'd even get to a point of calling myself a runner.  BUT, I'm there now.  I actually enjoy running.  Sometimes it's hard, and I assume it always will be, but it's so...  I don't know...  freeing?  My mind & body seem to release everything when I run.  It lifts my mood, improves my health, & it has helped me gain more confidence in myself.  Now, if only I could figure out how to make it help me lose weight...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Out. :(

No running for 2 more weeks.  Heels to Hills is in 3.  How much does that suck?  A. LOT.  I'm sure I'll be able to do a 5K after a 3 week break, but not at the pace I would be able to do it if I didn't have to take this break.  Plus, I'm just assuming my back will be pain free in 2 weeks.  It's entirely possible that it won't be.  Then, what do I do???
Oh, did I mention...  I have a crack in a vertebra from the wreck I was in a couple of weeks ago.  I did run a few times that week, AND I ran 8 miles last week...  So, in theory, it should be no big deal to do the 5K after 2 weeks off.  Buuuuut, the pain started several days after that 8 miler.  Ugh!  Just when I was getting into the swing of things.  Just as I was learning to (shhhhhhh!) really enjoy running.  Suck.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh, my aching back.

I really, really, really was gonna run last night.  I promise.  My back was bothering me a bit, but not too bad, until...
Well, let's start at the beginning.  Let's take a trip back in time to Saturday, March 26th, around 6:30am.  I was on my way to my parents' house to help host a garage sale.  My car was packed down & I was ready to go make some money!  I was driving down a little country road that runs almost the full 30 miles between where I live & where my parents live.  It was dark, remember, it's the "country", so roads aren't lit up like in the big city.  There was a horse.  A dark brown horse.  A dark brown horse running up to a dark country road.  I saw it.  I swerved.  I seriously thought it would be like when you swerve to miss a dog - I'd swerve, miss the horse, and carry on with my day.  Boy, was I wrong!  I don't remember the impact, or the few seconds after it.  It was kinda surreal I suppose.  My car was still driving down the road, and I had no clue exactly where I was, what I needed to do, etc.  I found a gravel drive & pulled over.  Still not knowing exactly where I was, I knew I could call 911, so I called my parents to tell them what happened & that I obviously wouldn't be there any time soon.  Then, I called my husband - straight to voicemail.  GRRRRRR!  I then realized I was standing outside of my car, although I didn't recall ever getting out of my car.  I got back in, turned around, and drove past the horse, whose body was taking up almost the entire road, and pulled over at the first side road past the scene. 
I parked my car, got out, and called 911.  While on the phone with 911, I was trying to get the attention of the other drivers that came down the road, so they wouldn't hit the horse.  Not one - NOT ONE - of them stopped to ask what was going on, if I was okay, etc.  One of the stupid drivers didn't even slow down, just made a big scene of swerving around me & almost plowed into the horse.  Moron.
Once the 911 operator was sure I was okay & knew help was on the way, we hung up & I called our neighbors.  No answer.  I tried our neighbor's cell phone.  No answer.  I tried my husband again - straight to voicemail again.  I gave up, I knew eventually my husband would find out what happened & there was really nothing he could do for me.  In all honesty, having my 3.5 year old son at the scene would've been a bad idea anyway.  Maybe it's good that he never answered & the neighbors weren't home.
A fire truck showed up, followed by an ambulance.  The paramedics had to be assured that I was okay (I totally was!, just a scratch on my toe), then they left & the police arrived.  By this point I think the adrenaline surge had passed, but I was still really calm about the whole thing.  I was actually feeling a little broken hearted for the horse & the horse's owner.  The police found the owners of the horse & got their info, along with my info.  I got a copy of their accident report, was asked again if I was okay, then was sent on my way.  The owner hadn't even dragged the horse out of the road yet, but I was happy to leave.
I went ahead & drove to my parents', even though I was closer to my own house, 'cause I had so much junk piled in there & it was all covered in glass.  I just couldn't see taking it back home, you know?  I got there, sat through the sale, tried calling my husband a couple more times, and gave up.
Finally, a few hours after the accident, my husband pulled up.  I met him at his car & I'm pretty sure my exact words were "why the hell haven't you answered your phone?!", or something to that effect at least.  ;)  He was shocked (of course) when I told him what happened.  We walk over towards my car for him to see the damage and - I. KID. YOU. NOT. - a huge gust of wind blows through at the moment we get to my car, slamming a bookcase into the other side of it.  ~sigh~  Yes, that was my day.  Really.
After well over an hour on the phone w/the insurance company, things were falling into place for repairs.  Oh, and I was informed the horse's owner has already filed a claim - against me!  Seriously?  Seriously?  You have got to be kidding me?  Seriously?  Ugh.
A few days later, I was in a rental car, things were moving on, life was becoming normal...  and my back started to hurt.  It wasn't horrible, just uncomfortable & in places I had never had back pain before.  Bummer.  Oh well, I had a chiro appt for 4/6, & no free time to spare before then, so I figured I'd wait it out & get adjusted then.  By Wednesday night my back hurt enough that I could hardly walk.  I'm talking PAIN, worst ever.  I cancelled my running plans for the evening, and sat on my butt on the couch all night, making arrangements for a mini-vacation I have coming up.
Yesterday (the day of the oh-so-needed chiro appt), I got a call on the way to said chiro appt from the adjuster who was working the claim from the horse's owner.  Turns out, Texas is not an open-range area, so the horse's owner not only didn't have a leg to stand on...  he's not liable for the damages.  Thank goodness that's a problem for my insurance company to has out though; I'm kinda doubting we'll ever see a dime, but who knows, right?  Still, it was a relief that I wasn't liable for anything.  Yay!  The chapter has almost ended, I just need my car back, & we'll move on.  (Yep, it's still in the shop.  They had to repair/replace pretty much the whole passenger side due to the damage.)
I get to the chiro & tell her what happened.  Then it all became a bit of a whirlwind.  You can't just tell them about something like that & just get adjusted it seems, they have to fill out forms & blah, blah, blah.  I had no intention of using my PIP 'cause I really thought I was just sore & it was no big deal.  They tell me the have to do a re-eval though, and x-rays.  Oh, joy.  They get done & my dr looks at the film.  She calls in one of the other chiros to look at it.  They ask another round of questions, seeming a bit puzzled that my answers are what they are.  So, the other chiro pushes on a particular spot - OMGOSH, I thought I was gonna die.  I jumped & managed to not fly out of the chair.  That seemed to confirm their thoughts, so they ordered another x-ray.  Sure enough, there's a small crack in the winged part of one of my vertebra.
I was told that as long as whatever I'm doing doesn't hurt, I can keep doing it...  but if there's pain, I have to stop.  That means, while I'm feeling this pain, I can't go run.  I know all that jolting will make it worse.  I never in my life thought I'd say this, but...  I'm really, really bummed that I can't go run.  I haven't run since Saturday.  I'm hoping by the weekend I'll be ready to go again, but we'll see.  Meanwhile, I'm gonna sit around & feel sorry for myself.  That's okay to do, right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Man down! Man down!

Until this week, I didn't realize how much motivation my wonderful running partner provides for me.  When I'm out there, I don't need her to talk to me, although when we do talk, I enjoy it.  When I'm out there, I don't need her to be right beside me, although I also enjoy that (curse her for being faster & having a higher endurance level!).  Just having here there, knowing she's sucking wind & facing her own obstacles is enough to keep me going.  Even when running is a team sport, it's still completely "me" centered, it's you vs the concrete (or dirt, or asphalt, etc, etc)...  Buuuuuut, having someone out there with you is just somehow calming, motivating, & just plain nice.
My dear Denya hasn't been able to run with me this week, and guess what?  I haven't run once yet.  I got to run 8 of her 9 miles with her on Saturday (what?  ...yes, I did!  I probably only ran 6 of those when you factor in my walking breaks, but, yes I did!), and I haven't hit the ground since.  sigh
Tonight, I will put on my big girl panties & run alone.  Maybe I'll stick a picture of her in my pocket & pretend she's there.  This week, I have learned, SHE is the reason I have come so far.  No doubt she will be the reason I [one day] accomplish more than I can even imagine doing now...  Maybe I'll even join her in a half one day.  ...maybe.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I did it! Then, I did it again!!

On Wednesday I headed out for my run.  I decided to get a warm up in first though, so I rode my bike.  At 1.5 miles into the ride (same spot I was getting stuck every time I ran!), I felt that wall.  It was hard to push through it for some reason.  Then, the light bulb went off!  I KNOW I can ride a bike an insane amount of miles, so I can always push through that wall, no matter how hard it is on any given day.  But, I'd never run more than 2 miles, so I didn't KNOW I was capable of going futher.  I really don't know how to explain it better...  pretty much, it was a mental thing. 
So, after pushing throught that wall & finishing my warm up ride, I met Denya for our run.  She told me it was the day.  I was gonna run a 5K.  I doubted her, but decided I'd at least try.  (Besides, she was crackign that whip, so I had to keep moving.  :p)  I'd already decided beforehand that I wasn't going to pace Denya.  She runs way too fast for me at my current level.  I allowed myself to be okay with that, and to know that I simply had to slow down to make it the distance.  I started out too strong anyway, so I quickly slowed my pace.  Over the next 51 minutes I got slower & slower & slower...  but I didn't walk!  Not one step.  My phone lost its GPS signal, so I don't have an exact mileage count, but I'm pretty sure I was around 3.45 miles at 51 minutes.  Nothing amazing as far as speed, but it was a PR for me & a huge milestone.  I RAN a 5K!!!
Fast forward to today, 5 days later.  Denya had to do her 8 miles (she's training for a half), so she got out & got about half of that in before I joined her.  Once again, I warmed up with a bike ride beforehand.  I'm not sure if it's part of the difference or not, but why mess with a good thing?  Once I got running, I started too strong & I knew it, but I couldn't even blame Denya 'cause I started the run alone.  I just really aspire for speed I suppose.  All things in time, right?  My ankle was killing me, but I ran.  and ran.  and ran...  Finally, Denya hit her 8 miles & I was just short of 3.  So, we both kept going.  Soon enough, Denya hit 9!  (Have I mentioned how much she rocks?  She totally does.)  She slowed it down while I finished my run.  4 miles.  4 MILES!  Another PR!!  I ran 4 miles straight (at 50:51)!  Who is this person taking over my feet & making me run?  It felt so good...  and yet it hurt.  haha, the joys of running.  Once I stopped, my legs were like jell-o & I was afraid I was gonna fall out right there.  I somehow managed the 1/4 mile walk home without dying though.

I guess this is the start of something.  Finally.  It was 100% a mental block holding me back.  I'm so happy I rode my bike that first day & had the lightbulb go off 'cause now I know I can do it.  I'm not sure what I want to set as a goal now...  do I want more endurance/distance or do I want more speed?  I want both, but I suppose I need to pick one for the time being.  Speed seems the logical choice, so I can finish the 5K in May at a decent time, but it's not really all about that race for me, so more distance would be good too...  I'm sure I'll figure out what it is I want right now & now I feel pretty confident that I'll achieve whatever goal I do set.  Yay me!  ;) 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Will I EVER get there??

I know I should be proud that I've come as far as I have in this amount of time, but I'm really just frustrated that I haven't done better.  I thought by now I'd AT LEAST be running a 5K with no problem, but I can't even do 2 miles straight (well, other than ONCE).  I usually do around 2 miles when I'm out, but I always have to walk some of it.  I try to only let myself walk in 30 second - 1 minute increments for the most part, but some days it takes 5 or 6 of those to make it through the 2 miles.  I am so annoyed that I can't do it.  Usually, when I get annoyed at my inability to do something, I start rocking it.  It's not working that way for me & running though, which makes me even more annoyed/frustrated/pissed off/disappointed.  I truly can only run what I can run, there's this brick wall in my way.  How do I break it down?  Is it a mental thing or is my body just truly not accustomed to this whole running thing yet?  I am in awe of those of you that can get out & run 5 miles, 10 miles, or even more.  HOW do you do that?  Tell me a secret - do you have any walking stretched in there, or do you truly run it all?  sigh  I'm not giving up, but by-golly, I'm mad!  Work legs, work!  Work lungs, work!  Work heart, work!  Quit working brain, quit working!  :p
I've updated my other tabs at the top.  Eh on the mileage, I don't see where I'm improving.   Inspections...  HOW am I getting fatter?  I'm going back to the Progresso diet (yes, it DOES work!), back to 3 times a week (at least) at the gym, plus the running & hopefully I'll make some improvements.  I now have a full 20#s to lose.  :(

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Almost a month of anti-running.

I keep beating myself up on my inability to run for long periods w/out having to walk.
I keep feeling discouraged that some days I walk more of my mileage than I run.
I keep thinking I'll never be able to do this running thing well.
I remember that I just started this!
January 24th is what I'm calling my "first" day of running.  Yes, I did attempt the C25K back in November, but I failed miserably & accomplished nothing.  So, we'll just pretend I didn't do that.  ;)  On 1/24/11, I ran 2.88 miles in 47 minutes (16:16 mile/minute average).  That's not great for a runner...  but for me, the anti-runner, that was awesome!  It was awesome because I did it.  That was all that mattered that day - that I did it. 
Tomorrow will mark the 4th week of running for me.  Even though I may not be able to run even 1.5 miles straight yet, I need to stop beating myself up, feeling discouraged, & thinking I will never be able to do this.  It has ONLY been 1 month.  When I remind myself of that...  Well, I'm really not doing so bad, am I?
I've added a new tab: "mileage" to track my progress.  At one day short of 1 month into this, I've covered 28 miles.  That's 28 miles more than I ever thought I'd run.  That, my friends, is an accomplishment!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I completed 5K!  Well, just over 5K, at 3.61 miles.  (AFTER 3 miles on the elliptical!)
I did it despite my calves cramping, my ankles aching, & my knees fighting back.  In the moments it hurt the most, I used my stubborn attitude to refuse to let silly excuses end my goal for the day.
I've walked a few 5Ks before, but I've never run a single step in a 5K.  I am by no means ready to run a 5K race, but I met my goal today by getting through the distance.  It took me just shy of 54 minutes to do it (I'd guess I walked 15ish minutes of it total), but who cares - I did it!
The thing I'm learning about running is that it gives you the most amazing feeling of accomplishment.  It doesn't matter who motivates you before/during/after a run, who runs beside you, or what prize awaits you at the end.  Running is about YOU.  It's not a team sport, so when you accomplish a goal, it's 100% YOUR doing.  It's not something anyone can force you to do, no matter what they say to you, do for you, or bribe you with, it has to come from inside yourself.  When you're out there, it's all you.  Running is a mental thing.  I mean, obviously it's a physical thing, but it's mental.  When you tell yourself you can't do it, you can't.  But, when you tell yourself you can, YOU DO.   I'm learning to push myself harder [physically] than I've ever pushed myself before.  Running truly doesn't come easy for me, but I refuse to believe I'm not capable of doing it.  I mean, if I can bike 30 miles, why on earth couldn't I run??  My biggest obstacle is my brain.  I have always said I'm not a runner, dont' want to be a runner, can't run, won't run, don't like running...  So, guess what?  I've never been able to do it.  Well, now is the time for change!
I have GOT to figure out some way to occupy my brain when I run.  When I started & only ran about 1.5 minutes straight, I would sing the ABCs to get through it.  Now, I count in increments of 30, for 5 minutes & then start over.  I count to 30 once, count to 30 again, and then put my thumb between my index & middle fingers, to know I've passed 1 minute.  Then, I count to 30 once, count to 30 again, and put my thumb between my middle & ring fingers, etc.  It helps in some ways, I mean I'm not filling my mind with thoughts of "I can't" or "it hurts", but it starts to annoy me & then my brain is struggling to count & to tell itself to shutup.  Yep, I totally over-think it, I know.  I'm just not at a place where I can truly let my mind go & just enjoy running, it's a physical & mental struggle for me still so I have to keep something in my head.  Maybe I need to come up with a silly 5 minute long song.  ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Runners' secrets

There's lots I don't know, I know that much.  That's about all I know & what I don't know is bugging me.  I am an over-planner who likes to know what to expect before it happens.  (Just ask any doctor or nurse who has had the pleasure of my requests for all the possible scenarios/types of pain/extremes of pain before I let them touch me!) 
I've learned two things so far that have blown my mind & I know there's lots more - what?  What am I missing still?  Surely these are the two most mind boggling.  Surely.
1) I had no idea that people actually completely marathons with poo running down their legs - ewwww!  Sheesh, until recently I didn't even realize that running made you need to poo.  Why wouldn't you stop & handle that though?  I can almost get it for the person in first place, but outside of that - is a PR worth THAT???  While we're at it:  peeing yourself - unintentionally - I can get.  I've had a kid, I know what happens to the bladder walls (hmmm, are they wall?).  Peeing yourself on purpose though?  Ick.  It doesn't take that long to pee, people!
2) It's normal to not wear underwear when you run.  What?  Really?  hmmmm, perhaps that poo problem would be more contained if you did...  ~giggle~  I can get that kinda, I mean they do start falling or riding up or just generally bugging you, but I'm not sure I'm ready to give them up just yet.  I mean, doesn't that cause some chaffing?
So, if you're reading this [hello???  anyone out there???], please share more secrets I need to know. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What a beautiful weekend!

Not only was the weather amazing, but my child was (mostly) an angel! 
I ran Sat & Sun, but I didn't make it to the gym at all.  I suppose all the climbing & chasing my child around the park is about what the gym would've done for me anyway, right?  hehe  Today the pace of my run was really slow, BUT, I ran 10 minutes straight, which was a first for me!  I usually run about 5 minutes, then walk 2-3 minutes, then run 5 minutes, etc.  I somehow pushed myself to run 10 minutes straight, and I was pretty sure I would die at the end.  I was also pretty sure that the app had crashed on my phone & I was running way longer than 10 minutes.  :p  Funny how long 10 minutes can feel sometimes!
I keep wanting to say I suck at running, then I remember that for the past 30+ years I have done everything in my power to avoid running.  With that in mind, I'm doing great.  I can't expect to be marathon material after a few weeks, right?  ;)  Besides, I have no interest in a marathon.  Now, triathlons interest me...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I did it!

Okay, I can't say it's some huge accomplishment to most people [runners], BUT, I ran 1/2 mile straight w/out stopping.  The strong-arm, Denya, had to 1/2 mile straight as her "easy" day (man, that means I REALLY suck), and she told me I could do it...  I, of course, told her I couldn't.  I truly didn't buy the notion that I could run 1/2 mile straight 'cause I've never run more than 2 minutes straight (which probably equates to just under 1/4 mile). I was wrong though - I did it!  AND, after she left, I ran another 1/2 mile (or close to it, I'm not positive on the distance) straight by myself.  Woohoo!!  I may actually be able to do a 5K one day.  I really may.
I hoped to run a bit today too, but I'm not feeling so hot, so I decided to take the day off (and will be headed to bed very soon).  Tomorrow, assuming I feel at least 50% better, I will hit the gym for cardio & weights.  Yay.  :p

Monday, January 24, 2011

Running Out of Gas

I'm running out of gas in the mommy tank.  I love my child, he's super intelligent, he's very loving, he's HILARIOUS, he's full of life, he's handsome, he's an all-around, amazing child.  Buuuut (you saw that coming, right?) he's a handful.  I've started to feel absolutely awful because I've realized that all I ever seem to do is reflect on the negative.  When people ask about him, I don't say "he can count to 30, name all the continents, knows most of the states, can spell his name, etc, etc", I say "he doesn't every shut up, he never stops moving, he doesn't sleep, he yells at me & demands things from me, etc, etc".  Sometimes I break down in tears (generally when I'm by myself) because I feel like a failure as a mom.  I see my friends & how they boast about their kids, or, heck, I see their kids & want to boast about them myself.  Then I look across the room & see mine - running carelessly around, screaming at the top of his lungs, jumping off things, destroying toys...  It's not that I'm not proud of him, I AM!  It's not that I don't think he's going to grow up to be an amazing man, HE WILL!  It's just that right now, it's H.A.R.D.  (I imagine, with his personality it always will be.)  He already back-talks (yes, he's 3.5), he already gets notes home from school, he already tells us he's moving away (or, like yesterday, that he wants to live at Mimi's house, not ours).  I wasn't expecting this much intensity from a young child.  I knew these things would come up in my years of parenting, but I never thought they'd come up this early or happen EVERY day (no, I'm not exaggerating). 
I'm sick of yelling.  I'm sick of time outs & spanking & taking things away.  I'm tired of being yelled at.  I'm tired of him DEMANDING things from me.  I'm tired of spending the little bit of time I have with him disciplining him instead of having fun.  This is not what I thought parenting would be.  Truth be told, there are moments that I just want to hand him to someone else & walk away for, well, I have no idea how long.  Thank goodness for the amazing husband & father that Luke is.  He knows when to step in, but he's got to be exhausted too!  Thank goodness we've been together so long already, or our marriage might not have been able to survive the exhaustion that parenting this very special little boy brings.
I googled a little today & found some blogs written by moms of spirited children & it is so encouraging to know that other people are out there feeling exactly like I do.  We might be the minority, but there's more of us out there - I am not alone!  I've ordered some books about parenting a strong-willed/spirited child & I'm hoping they help.  Between seeing that other people really are going through this too (not the people that claim to understand life with a spirited child because ONE time little Timmie threw a fit), and reading up on how to handle a defiant, high-energy kid, I'm hoping to come out of this... well, to come out of it alive is good enough for me!
I want to work on putting a positive spin on the negative traits that are driving me batty, which is easier when he's not sitting next to me than it is when we're in the moment ('cause EVERY waking moment with him is "the moment").  I am writing this down though, as a goal for myself, to see the positive in the midst of the hard moments.

In other news, related in the sense that they bring me stress-relief, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things with my workouts.  I'm back in the gym, running a little, and now I'm trying to pay attention to what I eat (no more ice cream in our house on a regular basis!).  I need to be able to control something in my life, and I need a source for stress relief - exercise wins on both fronts.
So, how's your Monday going?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Ran Away

I ran away, but I didn't run far.  The fact that I ran at all was enough for me. 
I had a horribly stressful day yesterday, and all I could think - the whole day! - was how much I wanted...  NEEDED... to run.  So, I got home, changed my clothes, and raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.  At first, it was no help in clearing my mind.  I was running & thinking "man, this SUCKS", "I'm SO out of shape", "I can't do this", and about 200 hundred other negative thoughts.  I wondered how on earth running was suppose to bring a person clarity, when all it did for me was throw more misery on the plate.  Then, at the point that I thought "I cannot run a single step more", it all washed away.  I realized I wasn't concentrating on the stress, the pain, the hurt...  I was concentrating on making it to a certain point, then slightly past that point.  I was picturing myself, one day in the future, running without the hesitations I felt in that moment.  It felt so, so good.  (Even though it hurt so bad.  KWIM?)
Don't let me paint a graceful picture in your head.  I ran, I walked, I sucked air, I ran, my pants crawled up my waist, I ran, I walked, I sucked lots more air, my underwear crawled up my butt, I ran...  I'm saying I wasn't a pretty sight, but I needed it - to be out there, to run it all away.  It wasn't about what I looked like, or who was watching.  For once, I DIDN'T CARE.  I probably only ran 25 minutes, of course not all of that was actually running, but it was a huge deal for me.  It was me going out the door, all alone, to run.  For me.
The best part was learning that it DOES clear your head.  It did suck (again, I'm completely out of shape from my 2 month long laziness break), but it "hurt so good".  I walked back in my house, sweaty, tired, and de-stressed.  Now, if only I could find a way to avoid the sweat part so I could run my stresses away during my lunch break...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lullaby & Goodnight

I finally decided on a work out plan schedule!  Tues/Fri/Sat (& some Sun) nights at the gym.  Then, I'll run whatever 3 days my running partner & I can work out (not consecutively though, at least 1 day in between each run).  I sooooo miss my 3:30am workouts at the gym, but my non-sleeping child just won't allow them, so this is the plan I can work with.  Still not ideal, but you have to work with what you're given, right?
After deciding on my plan yesterday, I intended to put Kasen to sleep & then head to the gym.  I figured I'd be there by 9 & I'd be back home by 10:30, do my chores, then get some sleep myself.  Welllllll, that didn't happen.  None of it.  Well, other than "get some sleep myself" part.
You see, we finally figured out that if we lay down with Kasen, he will go to sleep & not get out of our bed 5,000,000 times.  Our bed?  Yes, our bed.  We also recently figured out that if he sleeps in our bed, he sleeps through the night.  I've got no beef with the family bed, none at all.  I figure once he starts school he'll want to be in his own bed, for fear of ridicule from his fellow classmates (insert eye roll).  He may be back in his bed before then even - who knows.  For now, him being in our bed = a full night of sleep for everyone, so who really cares?  I value my sleep more than I value a bed with no kid in it.  Besides, I was pretty sad when we had to kick him out of our bed before (he is a crazy restless sleeper, as am I, and it just didn't work anymore). 
Back to the story at hand though...  Around 8 last night, we all laid down to get Kasen to sleep.  ...around 11 I woke up.  doh!  I had no desire to drive to the gym at 11pm on a Saturday night (especially with the rain coming in).  So, my great plan has hit a bump before it even started.  Such is life.
I do have a plan now, and that's the biggest step I think.  I guess getting back to my workouts starts on Tuesday.  (I'm actually pretty excited about it too!)  Meanwhile, I'm gonna go run around in the snow & enjoy my 3 day weekend 'cause there's no way this momma is gonna be driving on ice to get to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Twenty Eleven!

It's a new year.  Yay.  2010 wasn't too bad for me really.  The only truly bad thing that comes to mind was the unexpected loss of my uncle.  Granted, that was horrible, but compared to some of the struggles others went through in 2010, that's not too bad. 
On to 2011 though!  This will be the year...  of something.  haha, seriously, this will be the year I run a 5K.  At least one, maybe two, or even three.  (Let's not get ahead of ourselves though!)  That was part one of my resolution.  Part two was TO GET OUT OF DEBT!  Enough already!  Back in 2009 we did The Year Without, we did really, really great that year & paid off a ton of debt.  Then we relaxed way too much in 2010 & didn't finish the goal of being debt free.  Curse us!  Oh well, 2011 is the year!  Hopefully this summer we will be able to say we're debt free [but the house]!  We have my car loan (yes, that un-did The Year Without, oops!), which will be paid off in the next couple of months.  (Might I add, I got my car at the end of May, so we didn't do that bad.)  We also still have my pesky college loans.  Those will follow right behind the car & that will make us debt free!!  Yay!  Hopefully we'll be able to celebrate by having a fun vacation in the fall.  I still have to work on the man for that one.  Kasen has been blessed by being able to take a cool vacation every year of his life so far though, so I hate to change that.  It's all about him you know!

Changes for 2011 include a monthly meal plan for us, to help reduce the grocery bill & to reduce my after work "what am I gonna fix for dinner" stress.  I hope to get a regular work out plan in place, including the elliptical & weights at the gym (maybe I'll take up swimming at some point too, we'll see), and then 3 days of running outside of the gym.  Hopefully we'll be able to get some good off-road bike rides in this spring/summer/fall.  We didn't ride much in 2010 & I missed it.  I also hope to get several weekend/long weekend camping trips in this year & try to be a little more nature/outdoors oriented in things we do with Kasen, since he's getting old enough to stay out of perilous danger (or so I hope).

Now that we've got all that "it's a new year" crap out of the way...  BRING ON TWENTY ELEVEN!  Happy New Year to all of you!