Friday, December 31, 2010

Last run of the year

I don't know why, but this morning's run felt especially good. Not so much in the physcial sense either. It was my last run of 2010. It was only 2.5 miles. It was outside. It was cold (but not too cold: long sleeves, fleece vest, hat, thin gloves). It was clear and sunny. It felt great.

I found myself, once I realized it was my last run of the year, thinking about all this year has held, both in my running life and real life. Some highlights?
-2 10K races (one kicked my butt...the other, I kicked its butt)
-a handful of 5K races, some good, some not so good
-a marathon relay with my family
-a full year of running with only a short break after 10K #1
-few injuries
-tons of training knowledge gained
-new habits formed

-maintained the majority of my weight loss from 2009
-learned to like healthy foods like homemade yogurt, oatmeal, steamed broccoli, etc.

-daughter went to preschool in the first part of the year and started kindergarten in the fall
-son got glasses and is quickly growing out of the toddler stage
-walked 60 miles and raised $3000 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure
-Life is good!

I didn't focus on the New Year or new resolutions this morning. There will be time for that later today and into tomorrow. Today is about being thankful for all the blessings in my life. When I got in from my run, there were my two kids happy to see me (for once) and my hubby in the kitchen cooking up some yummy bacon and eggs. Partner those with some toast (Texas Rangers design, no less!) and some plum jam and it reminded me of my grandmother, whose birthday would have been yesterday. And instead of being sad, it just made me grateful for all the good things I've had and all the blessings I have in my life now.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

World Run Day Virtual Run

I'll be participating in this year's World Run Day, which is actually November 6, 2011. However, I'll be kicking off the New Year with a run Saturday, January 1, 2011 as part of the World Run Day Virtual Runs. It's a pretty cool deal. You register for a virtual run and just run where you are, at whatever distance you are comfortable. You get a t-shirt for the World Run Day (so you can promote it all year long) and can print a personalized e-bib. I'm excited to bring in the New Year running. Check it out at for more information or register on

I'd love to organize some runners to do that all together here, but I didn't think about it until a little too late. As of right now, there are only two runners registered in my town. I know so many more'd think there'd be tons of us doing this.

On another note, I didn't do my strength training this week. That will definitely have to be a priority starting this coming week. I've been ruminating on my goals/resolutions for this year...more on that later.

I am planning on getting to the grocery store tomorrow. It's time to restock the healthy foods for home and school. I'm ready to put all the health aspects together into one rockin' package so I can be the best me I can be.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let the training begin!

Today marks Day 1 in my half marathon training...and it's an easy day, which is good, since I haven't run but once a week since the White Rock Marathon Relay at the beginning of the month. I'm debating on whether to run outside (where it's really cold) or on the treadmill (where the garage isn't quite as cold). I do have some new running gear from Christmas gifts: a SpiBelt, a long sleeve compression shirt (with thumbholes!), a fleece vest, two new BondiBands, and The Stick. I ordered myself some running sleeves last night as a Christmas present to myself (because I obviously didn't get myself enough before Christmas...heehee...a 3-in-1 jacket, a running hat, iPod I do get to order myself some Phiten gear as well thanks to a sweet hubby's gift. I'm planning on the blue Air necklace and a 2nd generation bracelet and the stickers. Can't wait!

But back to the training...I am really going to try and stick to my training plan so that I'm ready to go when March 27 rolls around. That means that I HAVE to fit in strength training...I just know that it's going to make a big difference in my running.

It is so hard on Christmas break to fit in my running. It should be easier, especially this week when my husband's home as well, but it just isn't. Probably because I let myself sleep in (you know, all the way to 7:30). But by then, the kids are up and I haven't run. It's just too easy to get busy with them, the house, chores, being lazy, having fun, eating, etc.

But I AM going to run today...oh, yes, I am...even if I have to do it after Christmas #5 tonight!

***Update: I did manage to fit in my run after making a quick run to the store for ingredients for the dishes I took to tonight's Christmas. I was scheduled for an easy 2 miles, but the Garmin died at 9/10 of a mile. I had to guess the rest. According to MapMyRun, I ran 2.5 miles, so not too bad. I have a feeling I'll be a little sore tomorrow (but a good sore) just because it's been so long. It felt great to be outside. I wore my new long sleeve shirt (with thumbholes!), new fleece vest, long tights and my new BondiBand over my ears. It was just about right. I did get a little warm and figured out a way to cool off without too much trouble. I unzipped my fleece vest most of the way and pulled my arms out, leaving the top part flapping across my rear. It worked though. The run put me in a little bit of a rush to get everything ready to go tonight, but that's ok...totally worth it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gift ideas

I have to say, I really like being crafty at the holidays. I really wish I thought of these things, oh, say November, instead of the week before Christmas. Here's what I've made so far:

The first 2 recipes come from Woman's Day.
Lemon Sugar Scrub
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sugar
zest of 2-4 lemons
1 tsp. lemon juice
6-10 Tbsp. oil
Mix together and store in tight lidded jar or bottle. I used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles and was able to get four jars out of double recipe.

Oatmeal Cookie Soak
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Blend together (I used a Magic Bullet) until a soft powder forms. This smells fabulous. The instructions are to put a spoonful under warm running water as you are drawing a bath. Then relax and enjoy the cookie-scented water.

Then, on tap for tomorrow is to make Cinnamon Toasted Almonds from Taste of Home, a basic spice rub from Tasty Kitchen, and some BBQ roasted nuts from Better Homes and Garden.

Another gift I've made this year are domino necklaces. So easy. I bought a tin of dominoes for $2.95 at Walmart. I think there were 28 of them. Then I cut scrapbook paper to 1"x2" to fit the domino. I tried to use a corner rounder, but it cut too much off. Instead, I just used my scissors to round the corners. For some, I put initial stickers on the paper. For some, the latest, I used glue and glitter to accent parts of the design on the paper. I used ModPodge to glue the paper on the dominoes. Once dry, I used some glossy clear paint (not sure on the name, but it's made to add a glossy effect) to coat the entire surface. While it was still wet, I dropped rhinestones in strategic places. After that dried, I superglued bails to the back of some and large beads to the top of others. I used ribbon on some of them and those steel ball necklaces on others. They really turned out nice.

On the run again...

At least I'm trying. I ran yesterday for the first time in a week. I got to run outside, but man, it was a lot colder than I thought it would be! And I only ran 2 miles. It was too cold and the lungs were burning. I'm going to run again tomorrow. Here's hoping it goes a little better.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oh, this has got to end soon...

Well, I gave in and went to Urgent Care today. After a week and a half of one thing after the other, I had to do something. Actually, I was fine with the fever, and even the cough, but when it went to my head and lodged itself in my sinus cavities...that was it. Eviction notice served. Z-Pack started. Please, oh, please, let this be over soon!

I can not wait for a run! And a real one...outside...and long. Oh, how I need one! I'm hoping my Monday I will be up for it. My hubby will be home, so I should be able to make a naptime getaway.

I'm terrified that this is going to set me back. I'd originally said that my half marathon training would begin Dec. 27. But then I used Smart Coach on and got one to start Dec. 20. However, I'm thinking waiting until after Christmas might be a good idea.

I haven't met my December goals though. I've only made 1 run a week after the relay. I haven't even started the strength training thing...again. Why is this such a big deal for me? Argh. I guess that will be my New Year's resolution...

Friday, December 17, 2010


Since I'm on this oddly-out-of place 12 days of Christmas thing that started well before it should have but has managed to almost work out, I'll make today 7 reasons I run.

1. For sanity.
2. For weight-management.
3. For long-term health.
4. For my kids, so I can be a good role model.
5. For stress relief.
6. Because I can.
7. For charity.

On that last one, I'll start training for the Dallas Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon next week as part of the Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure program. I'm required to raise $250 for this particular event, which sounds so small compared to the $3000 I raised for the SGK 3-Day for the Cure this past year. I'd like to raise at least $500 though (or maybe more!).

I've got more about my journey here:

But I've found another charity that I think I'd like to work with...TeamFox, a part of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which raises funds for Parkinson's. I've long looked for an event to run in that benefitted Parkinson's research as a way of honoring my grandmother's memory, but I've never been able to find one. And then, by chance, I read about one runner's experience with TeamFox in the NYC Marathon after clicking on her comment on the website.

It's amazing how things happen somedays. I didn't go out looking for this information...and actually had never found it when I did look. And here it is.

My grandmother was an amazing woman. She raised three kids on her own. Held the position of County Treasurer for many years. Supported her grandkids in everything we did. But those things do not tell her whole story.

She was my Gomie, a name I gave her when I was very little that just happened to stick. And she meant the world to me...and still does. She was this fantastic example of Christian love. Her battle with Parkinson's (which, for her, was actually a similar disease called Shy-Drager) was so difficult on her and her family. She had always been so independent, and this disease slowly took that away.

I could go on and on about my memories of her, but I won't. At least not now. I will say, however, that I would love to honor her memory by participating on TeamFox for a marathon. Someday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I ran this morning...not far, but it was my first run in a week. And it felt great! I walked a quarter of a mile, ran a mile, and then walked another three-quarters. I would have liked to have done more but a) I didn't get up quite as quickly as I should have after the alarm went off and b) my chest started feeling a bit tight and I didn't want to push it. Still, I'm amazed at the benefits of even a short run. I definitely had a spring in my step as I left for work this morning...of course, that could have to something to do with the fact that we have just two days left this week...and Friday is a short day at that!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Tomorrow morning will mark one week since my last run. This stinks. I woke up Monday morning and this morning with the idea that I might...but then sleep won out. And with the way I'm feeling, it's probably a good thing I didn't. I'm still going to give it a try again in the morning, at least a couple of miles. I'm afraid that the chest congestion and cough won't be a good running accessory, but I need the run. On a positive note, all this coughing might be a better ab workout than anything else I'm doing.

We're watching The Biggest Loser finale right now. What an inspiration! Makes me want to workout now. I won't though. For one, I'm tired and had a long meeting followed by a choir concert at school. For two (is that a saying at all?), I'm coughing my head off and can't breathe.

You know, watching the show does show me and all of America just what kind of situation we're putting ourselves in on a daily basis. We have so many easy, unhealthy choices available so readily...and the healthy choices aren't the easy, popular, least expensive choices, so we don't make them.

This is one thing I really feel strongly about. We have to teach the next generation how to make healthy choices in all aspects of their lives...from food, exercise, relationships, education, occupation, all fits together.

That's one reason I really want to start a group for girls (at least for now) to teach them these skills. So many families are so busy today that the healthy choices go by the wayside for the easy, fast ones...and I can totally relate. Whether it's a working mom and dad or a single mom trying to make ends meet (or one of a hundred other difficult situations), we're busy people trying to do the best we can with what we've got.

I know I can't change that part. But I can change the habits we teach our young women and girls. The need to know that they choices they make related to their health, whether physical, mental or spiritual, have lasting impact.

I'm working on a plan to implement this type of program in my junior high school...and maybe it will work...and even catch on. It all connects to my running. I'd love for girls to love to run, but I also want it to be more than that...for them to learn to love themselves and the choices they make.

Ok...enough of the deep thoughts for tonight. I'll end with 8 healthy choices I can make tomorrow, whether I'm able to run or not:
1. Drink enough water.
2. Stretch.
3. Take my vitamins...that's a topic for another day.
4. Eat fruit.
5. Eat vegetables.
6. Reduce my sugar intake.
7. Get to bed on time.
8. Smile.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nine Websites I Like

In the trend of the 12 Days of Christmas, here are 9 websites I tend to frequent:

1. Run Like a Mother Book, This site is based off the book of the same title and is a great community of women runners. Funny, insightful, helpful.

2. Runner's World, Of course, Runners World is a magazine for runners, and the website has a little bit of everything. There are great training plans, strength training ideas, forums, etc. It is my go-to resource. I especially love the Smart Coach feature to create my own training plans.

3. Jeff Galloway, I've used this for some of my race training plans. If nothing else, I use it as a basis.

4. Hal Higdon, Same as above. I use it as a reference point when making my training plans.

5. Running Planet, Again, lots of information here, from training to gear to form.

6. Fitness Magazine, This one also has a lot of information. I really like their picture-by-picture core workouts.

7. Motion Traxx, I actually found this one through Fitness Magazine. I downloaded a 5K track and love it. It is based on bpm of the music, has few words, and keeps me going. I like that the track I have is continuous so I don't notice how long I've gone.

8., This is where I go to find a race.

9. Run On!, I use it to find Texas races, but there's more to the site than just race dates and locations.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Got the fever

And in this case, I don't mean running's the real deal. This all started Wednesday afternoon. I came home, curled up in my chair and slept for an hour. I could tell I had a fever, but it wasn't bad. Then yesterday morning, I went to school and could feel when the ibuprofen kicked in. Unfortunately, the afternoon dose of Tylenol didn't do the trick and I felt awful by the time I got home. I made plans with our secretary for a sub for today, which I hate to do...I really thought it would be a "just in case" deal where I'd stay home and regret missing a day. Wrong. I've felt awful all day. My fever hit 101 this afternoon when I felt the worst. It finally broke an hour or so ago. I just wish I knew what was wrong. I don't feel awful other than the fever (and the aches that come with it). However, I am starting to feel some congestion in my chest, so that must be it.

I really had it in my head that I'd be fine today and could even squeeze in a run outside this afternoon...boy, was that a misguided idea. I'm doing good to stay upright today. At least I'm not in the middle of training yet and can afford the time off.

But, in the spirit that I'd really rather be running, here are 10 things that would make great stocking stuffers for the runners you know. I'm sure I could have figured out a better way of organizing these lists...but you did see the part about me running a fever, right? Not the best for brain power.

1. Ear buds. I've yet to find the perfect pair. Ones that look good, stay in good, and sound good.

2. iTunes gift cards. Music. A treadmill-bound girl's best friend.

3. PowerBar Energy Chews. I love these things. I use them even on short runs starting at the first mile. No weird side effects. No gagging.

4. Mini Clif Bars. And these. Perfect size. About 100 calories. Great before a not-too-long run.

5. Chapstick. This one has SPF in it. Smart move.

6. Body Glide. To be honest, I don't have to use this a lot. It does work on some of my blister-prone areas of my feet.

7. Tylenol Precise or Icy Hot. I actually use Icy Hot more, but this new cream is good. Very strong warming effect.

8. Hair things. Yeah, I'm big on the technical terms.

9. Foot stuff...not just this set...any thing. Have you ever seen a runner's feet? Not pretty. Not at all.

10. Mary Kay's Energizing Lotion. This feels so good on tired legs and feet.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More items to add to the runner's wish list

I didn't think about these things yesterday, so I'll add a few more to the list. I have some of these, so maybe these are more of a general "runner's wish list." Maybe today will be 11 things since yesterday was 12?

1. A Phiten bracelet.

2. A Phiten necklace. And in my favorite color.

3. Phiten discs. I really want to try these! I'm wondering if there's a limit on how many you should put on at once. I can just see me with a row down my IT band, down my shin, behind my calves....LOL!

4. A Firefly. For those dark runs. Which don't happen often. I'm a chicken.

5. A Road ID. Ok, I have this one in pink already. But I think I'd like a black one too. Everyone should have one of these. Safety first, people!

6. Calf compression sleeves. I have these. And love them. Best recovery ever. And I've used them at the first hint of a shin splint, and lo and behold, no shin splint!

7. Thigh compression sleeves. I don't have these and would love to try them!

8. Water bottle. I have a larger one with the pocket/strap. And I love it. It's perfect for my chews. But I think I'd like to try the smaller size of this one.

9. Bondi band. Or at least I'm pretty sure that's what I had. Yes, had. I had a black headband and was actually wearing it around my neck for warmth at this past weekend's marathon relay. I got warm. Took it off and looped it on my arm. And promptly forgot it was there when I switched my water bottle to my other hand. And there it went. Granted, I'm loving my hat with the ponytail hole. And that makes the headband a little unnecessary right now.

10. And check out these gators. I guess that would have saved me the trouble of wearing a headband around my neck, huh?

11. And The Stick. I have a foam roller, which I highly recommend as well. But I want to try The Stick, especially for my IT band.

Ok. That's 11. We'll aim on 10 must-have food and nutrition items for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My running wish list

I'm making a list, checking it twice...

So, here's my running wish list. These are in no particular order and do not convey any brand loyalty or preference...they just happened to be the easiest pictures to find.

1. Running gloves. This weekend's marathon relay showed me how much I need warm gloves for running!

2. A running hat. Just because.

3. A running jacket. Once again, it's cold.

4. A pullover. Wow, a recurring theme. Yes. It's cold. I like the thumbholes on this one!

5. Running sleeves. And I want a crazy print (but maybe not this one).

6. A running...hmmm, what would this be called? But isn't it cool?!

7. Running tights. Especially some with the extra support and compression. I tried on my mom's Stabilix tights, but I'm too short for where the support panels fall.

8. Running capris/skirt combo. The best of both worlds. I've yet to find a skirt with long enough shorts underneath, so why not combine my beloved capris with the too-chic and fun skirt?

9. So while we're at it...a running skirt that does have a long liner.

10. A running vest. With pockets. And warmth.

11. A Spibelt. It would just make races easier.

12. Women's Running magazine. Because I like to read. And I like to run.

An even dozen things I'd love to have to make my running just a little easier. Will I get these things now? No. But I can dream :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

White Rock Marathon Relay: Done

Team Because We Can survived our White Rock Marathon Relay this weekend!

Once we got Fair Park, we had to get situated and figure out where to be. I had to be in the corrals by the starting time of 8. Everyone else headed to the buses for the exchange points, except for my sister, who waited with me until about time to start.

I had the first leg of 5 miles. I couldn't feel my feet until mile 3. Then I started warming up and couldn't really shed many layers. I just unzipped the fleece jacket and kept going. I did lose my Bondi band though. I had it around my neck and when I warmed up, I took it off and looped my arm through it...but didn't think about it when I shifted my water bottle from one hand to the other. Off it went. :( I did ok with my leg...52 minutes for right at 5.2 miles once I hit the exchange point. That was crazy. I had no idea how I'd find my brother. Luckily, he's tall so I spotted himi over the crowd. I yanked the chip timer off my ankle and passed it to him as he handed me my bag. Off he went.

I don't have an exact time on him, but he did a great 5 miles! He was planning on running a mile and walking a quarter, but he ended up running 2.5, walking a bit, and finishing running.

He passed off to Mom for the longest leg. From what I can tell, they had a rough exchange point...all chaos. She ran 6.73 in under an hour, an amazing 8:48 pace! She's a rock star!

She passed off to Dad, who had to battle the wind and hills the most, but he did very well! 44 minutes for a little under 5 miles. Awesome!

He passed off to my sister for the last leg. She did her five miles in 45 minutes...I'm jealous! I got to see her finish, as did my brother and mom, as we'd all made it back from our exchange points.

The things we learned?
We figured out a way to have the things we wanted after our run without dealing with bag check. It was also a way to pass off any layers we didn't need while running. Each person waiting at the exchange point had a bag and would pass it off to the runner coming in. That way, the runner could have water, Gatorade, snacks, an extra jacket, etc. after they had finished, and the new runner could leave behind clothes they didn't want to wear running.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't choose a relay again. You miss out on everyone else running because of the exchanges. I only saw my brother take off (since I handed off to him) and my sister finish.

Being a part of a large race, like the White Rock, was amazing. I really liked watching the finish line as the half-marathoners and marathoners finished. Amazing!

It does scare me a little. I did see one lady throwing up as she ran to the finish. I saw another break down just feet from the finish line. I saw lots of tears.

But what motivates me is that I saw many runners finishing strong, with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. One was even singing into her iPod as a makeshift microphone :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Goals

After reading this post from Run Like a Mother Book (, I decided to make some December goals of my own.

We have the marathon relay this weekend, so goal #1 is to take care of myself afterwards by stretching and icing as needed.

Then goal #2 is to stretch daily after that.

Goal #3 is to run 2x a week until half marathon training kicks in Dec. 27, and then to follow my training plan after that.

Goal #4 is to start strength training 2x a week. At 20 minutes each time, that really isn't a major time commitment...and one I know I need!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here's hoping...

I'm hoping that old idea that bad dress rehearsal equals a good first performance holds true this weekend. I never got around to my long run this weekend...for the second weekend in a row. I made up for it the last one by running 5 on Monday. I skipped a bunch of runs due to that IUD and Thanksgiving. I thought I'd hit at least 3 today or maybe more...but I was lucky to get 2.5 in. It just wasn't a good run. Nothing was painful...just not quite right. My right foot still hurts some, as does my left knee. I just couldn't quite get in the rhythm. And now I'm worried.

It seems sometimes that life just has other plans.

Christmas has apparently snuck up on me, and I'm panicky about gifts and cards and decorations and all that goes with the holidays. I'm ready to have this race over so I can have a couple of slow weeks before hitting half marathon training after Christmas. I wish I'd done more to get ready for this one though... strength training would have been nice as would have been sticking to my training plan.

I'm really working, though, on quality time with my kids. But just when I think we're having a good day, one of them melts down. Or I do.

And I'm working on giving myself a break. Tonight will be a cup of hot cocoa with Starbucks liquer and some gingerbread marshmallows. And yes, they look like they're wailing "I'm melting" but they sure are delicious.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I learned something new today!

You can make microwave popcorn using a brown paper sack! Oh, yes, you can! Talk about saving some money...and you know exactly what goes into it. No chemicals or preservatives or artificial flavors!

It's easy too...and the kids enjoyed helping. You just add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (which I got in a big bag for $1.48 at WM) into a brown paper sack ($1.00 for 50) with 1 tsp. oil and a little salt (or 2 tsp. sugar if you'd rather have kettle corn). I figure it's about $0.15 per bag, which is a savings of about 85% (if I have any clue how to do the math here). Plus, again, you've got the added benefit of no chemicals, flavorings, etc. It was really good too!

I'm really into this idea of making things at home now. Next up is those seasoning and dip mixes.


I didn't get my run in today like I'd planned...but I got to sleep in til 8 and see some friends of ours that I hadn't planned on seeing. They weren't too far away taking care of moving stuff, and when we suggested they come this way, they agreed! It was so good to see them today that I totally didn't mind missing my run.

But...I am planning on it tomorrow. It will be my first run in almost a week. Too long, I know. Especially with a race in a week. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Plans derailed

Ok, I know Thanksgiving is no excuse not to work out. If anything, it's more of a reason to hit the road. But I haven't. But Thanksgiving really isn't my excuse. And maybe it's too much info, but I had an IUD placed Wednesday and have been a little nervous to run again. I know it's silly, but that's the truth. But I'm planning on getting out there tomorrow for a good run. I'd love to be outside, but it's cold! I may have to treadmill it instead.

We have friends coming in tomorrow too, so that complicates things a little. I'm sure she wouldn't mind watching the kids for me to run, but I haven't seen her since the summer and want to catch up with her. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

The marathon relay is just a little over a week away. I know I can handle my 5-mile leg. I did that on Monday before school. I'm not going to cut too much time off my run at this point, so it's just a matter of keeping on keeping on, right?

To be honest, after some things this week, I need a run. A good, brain-clearing, soul-cleansing, muscle-challenging run. And that, I think, will be the plan for tomorrow morning.

Good day

Today has been a good day. Not all of it. But most of it.

This morning we weren't able to sleep in thanks to DS waking us up at 7 demanding food. But we were lazy and fixed a big breakfast and enjoyed it. Then we all crawled back into bed :) It was fun to spend some lazy, silly time with the kids.

Then we finally got up and going and got some Christmas decorating done. Tree 1 is up and the living room is mostly decorated. We'll get to the rest later. It was really cute watching the kids help decorate the tree this year. This was really the first year they've been able to do this, so it was neat.

I got to catch up with one of my best friends on the phone and somehow managed to wrangle a visit from her and her family tomorrow! Can't wait to see them!

Then we went to River Bend's ElectriCritters with the kids and my parents. It was cold, but not miserable. We enjoyed seeing Santa, hearing a story, seeing all the lights, having some cider and hot chocolate on the trail, and then having popcorn and s'mores at the end. Then we drove to a house that designs a lights and music show before heading to the house for snacks, cider, hot chocolate and more s'mores (made with French vanilla snowman marshmallows and mini choclate chips because that's what we had).

It was a really enjoyable day. There were parts I'd rather not have had, but that's ok. That's the way it is sometimes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where did they go?

I realized that I hadn't filled out my training log for the past couple of weeks, but when I tried to add the missing information, I can't remember what I did. I thought I had blogged most of my runs, or at least commented on them on Facebook, but apparently, I didn't. Now what? I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but I'd like to have a mileage total in that log. Hmmm....and what's bad is that I can remember at least one run, a long one that had to end a little short due to some, um, GI issues. The problem is, I have no idea when that one was. Was it before the 3-Day? Was it the week after? How could I forget that?

And what am I supposed to be doing in the morning? Apparently, I made two different training plans for the marathon relay in less than two weeks. And what's worse? I didn't realize it until I went through some files on my computer! One plan is in my bag out in the car, and one plan is on my do I go with convenience and go with the handy plan or go look and see what the other, the one I've probably followed more, says.

Either way, tomorrow is supposed to be speedwork of some sort. I did 4x800s last week, so I'm thinking a tempo or interval run is in the works. I'm off tomorrow, so that's good, but I also have a doctor's appointment in the I'm not really looking forward to, and one I'm afraid will mess up my running possibilities on Thursday.

But, on a positive note, I think my brother and I are going to try and fit a long run in together this weekend. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thinking about gifts

I've recently found some recipes for soup, dip, drink or seasoning mixes and I'm thinking about using them as gift ideas. I've found these in a couple of places. One is Julie Garro on Facebook. The other is the Tasty Kitchen website, a spinoff of The Pioneer Woman's.

I like them for myself as well. I like knowing what the ingredients are and having control over what goes into the mix. I also like the idea of having these things already premixed to use.

I think others would like them as well. I was thinking of doing little gift baskets/bags of the dip mixes for small gifts (coworkers, etc.) and doing some larger ones, maybe in jars, for couples I know.

Now it's a matter of deciding which recipes to use and what ingredients I'll need. I'm thinking Sam's is my best choice here so that I get larger quantities of the ingredients.

Let's see. I have recipes for the following things:
Dill Dip
Onion Dip
Ranch Dip
Hot chocolate
Homemade popcorn
BBQ seasoning
Taco seasoning
Seasoned Salt
Cream of Anything Mix

I was thinking the dip mixes or the hot chocolate and popcorn idea for small gifts and the ohter mixes for a gift basket for a bigger gift. Hmmm...lots of planning to do, but the work itself should be easy...measure, mix and package.

Gotta love that treadmill

I know that most people hate the treadmill, and I will readily agree that running outside is so much better...but the alternative is not running, so I'll gladly take that running contraption in my garage.

I wasn't able to run my long run this weekend due to the Mission Hope Craft Show that my mom organized again this year on Saturday and a killer headache on Sunday. But with the White Rock Marathon Relay just two weeks away, I know I need to log some miles. So I did. I got up at 4:30 this morning and logged 5 miles in 50 minutes! I'm thrilled with that. I did learn a couple of things though: 1. The garage is not cold enough yet for long tights, but I did like the compression feeling of the tights themselves. 2. Running without the iPod is great for shorter distances, but the longer distances? Not so much. Lucky for me that even though my iPod wasn't charged, we have Dish on the TV out there and I can get the Sirius/XM stations on it.

This morning's run was helpful in more ways than just logging miles. I went to bed really feeling uneasy and restless. Nothing's really wrong. I just couldn't sleep because I've got a lot on my mind. Money. The holidays. Cooking. Doctor's appointments. Possible injuries. The kids. Parenting in general. The house. I just felt like a jumbled mess. I can't say that 5 miles was a miracle worker, but I definitely feel a little more capable of handling these things.

And with that being said, I must head home and get some of those things under control.

I'm at it again

I'm at it again...fundraising for Susan G. Komen, this time through the Marathon for the Cure program. In addition to running the Dallas Rock 'N' Roll Half, I'll be raising $250 for this worthy cause. You can find me here: I hope you'll check it out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As I posted as my Facebook status this morning, I conquered my nemesis speedwork for the week this morning! I actually followed my training plan for once...I ran my 4x800 with 400 recovery. I think I ran it faster than I was "supposed" to though, but I have a hard enough time figuring out my speed on the treadmill as it is. I hit 7mph and hoped it was close to the 4:24 half-mile I was scheduled to try. I think, if my math is anywhere close to right, I actually ran my halves in about 4:15...and I survived! Feeling stronger already...

I'm a little worried about a couple of injury-like issues after the 3-Day. My left knee is still unhappy, walking during the day or running. It's not painful, so to speak, but it's definitely talking to me.

And then there's my right foot. I'm not entirely sure I don't have a stress fracture on the inside top bones. It doesn't hurt all the time. Certain movements hurt worse than others, but not consistently. I was able to run just fine. And I'm being stubborn. I'm not having it checked out until after the relay marathon Dec. 5. If it still hurts then, I'll have it checked out. That should still leave me time to train for the half marathon even if it does turn out to be something. Smart? Probably not. Nobody claimed I was.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's been a while...

Oops. I just haven't gotten around to this blog in a while.

Let's Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure was this past weekend. I think I'm just now recovering. It was an amazing weekend. Quick rundown:

Thursday: SB wakes up in the wee morning hours throwing up. That means little sleep for me. Not a good way to start this adventure. DH takes the morning shift with her; I take off the afternoon. She seemed ok, so I left as planned that evening for the hotel with DH and the team. I knew her grandparents could handle it, but she was ok. Got a decent night's sleep in the hotel and got up super early to get ready.

Friday: We head to the Opening Ceremonies. I lose a glove before we even start as I try to put my credential on my lanyard. Opening Ceremonies were emotional, but exciting. We head out walking. The cheering stations were amazing, and I loved seeing my hubby and parents at them. My hubby covered the beginning stuff for our local news station where he works. My parents met us at all the cheering stations Friday...very cool! Half the teams walks fast...the rest, my half, walks quite slowly. We finally make it back to camp, find our gear, shower. I visit the medical tent and get my feet taped up to try and keep the blisters at bay and get my hip worked out...thank goodness for those sports medicine folks. Her name was Linda and she was awesome! Sleeping in a tent in sub-40 weather was chilly to say the least. My sleeping bag/fleece liner combo proves quite warm, although the porta-potty trip is cold. Waking up in cold weather isn't good for sore muscles (which is why two team members headed to a hotel).

Saturday: We head out for Day 2, our longest. Once again, half the team is speedy...finishing by 3:30. The rest of us are almost last and come in at 6:30. Jessica and I battle blisters all day, hers much worse than mine. But we make it! And we promptly eat dinner and head to the hotel. Ahhhhh...a warm shower, carepted floors and a soft bed.

Sunday: Day 3. A short one, but ouch. I hurt so much worse. I self-cared my feet after the bandages came off in the shower. It worked. I learned a lot of tricks. I did visit one medical tent at lunch. Our team tried to stay together. I could tell the rest of the team struggled to go so slow. We loved seeing our kids and families in West End. The sight of those black team shirts was wonderful! Closing Ceremonies were good, but nothing beats connecting with our families again. The Favers and our family headed to Razoo's for dinner. Poor Jessica and I could barely walk. The best sign ever? "Limping is still walking"!!!

I took Monday off, and to be honest, a good night's sleep did wonders. I ended up weith a couple small blisters that healed very quickly and two sore spots, my left knee and my right Achilles. By Tuesday when I went back to school, I was pretty good. My left knee's still talking to me some, but it's not bad.

I actually ran 2 miles yesterday. It went ok. Nothing hurt too bad. It took a sec to get into a good form, but it worked. I need to get a long run in tomorrow...five miles maybe? I just have 24 days until my family's marathon relay. It turns out I am running a 10K leg. I thought I had a 5-miler. Oh, well.

And...the big news? I signed up for the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon through the Susan G. Komen Pledge Program. I have another $250 to raise. My idea? I need to find a coroporate sponsor to pay the money...and I'll gladly airbrush tattoo their logo on my shoulder for my run! It's either that or I sell my miles...I'll run each mile for someone for $20 a mile. Hmmm....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A little more ways than one

Ok, so things have gotten crazy busy around here and I haven't blogged. I'm still running, but even there, I'm not sure I'm keeping up. I haven't looked at my training plan in over a week...just hopping on the treadmill logging some miles.

I've switched the past two weeks to a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday pattern. I was supposed to have an 18-mile training walk but we got rained out. I overslept, met the girls at the local college and started walking, only to get a little ways around a walking trail and spent a while under a gazebo watching the amazing lightning. We realized it wasn't letting up so we took off for my car. We all piled in and I drove them back to their I guess oversleeping wasn't such a bad thing after all. If I hadn't, we would have had a very long wait or a very wet walk.

But that did mess up my running. I didn't get the long walk in or a run. I'm planning on hitting the streets Saturday morning before our church women's coffee. Five miles, I'm hoping. My mother ran an incredible 7 this past weekend! She amazes me.

Right now, I'm focused in a thousand maybe that means I'm not focused at all :) Here's what's occupying my thoughts:
1. Rangers World Series! Yeah, I think we have plans for every game now.
2. to finish that Josh Hamilton costume (tattoo sleeves...LOL)
3. 3-Day walk...still need a bunch of stuff for that one...and then have to pack it all!
4. School...the kids are finishing up a novel, thank goodness
5. My's a certifiable wreck, and we have people coming over three nights between now and Sunday. Guess that's going to make for a long night for me soon.

Ok, maybe that's not all, but those are the biggies. Running has taken a back burner til after the walk. Then it will be recovery time so I can get ready for the marathon relay. I'm hoping recovery time is short and I can be ready.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tempo Run, or my version of it

Today is Wednesday. Wednesday is speedwork day...reminds me of a song my grandmother used to sing. Today, I attempted a tempo run. But I didn't like the definition of tempo run...race distance at race pace...why not just run the race? So, I ran at 6.0 mph on the treadmill to start, and bumped it up by .2 every 1/2 mile until 6.6 and then backed it back down. So it looked something like this:
.5 mile walking (8:30)
.5 at 6.0
.5 at 6.2
.5 at 6.4
.5 at 6.6
.5 at 6.4
.5 at 6.2
.5 at 6.0
(total 3.5 in 34:00)
.5 mile walking (8:30)

I'm pretty thrilled...I actually felt like I could have gone farther and faster. I'm so glad I made myself get up and on that treadmill this morning!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strength Training

It's still a battle. I just have not figured out how to make strength training a habit. I know I should just get up at the same time all week and make Tuesday/Thursday my strenth training days, but I just can't get out of bed early on those days. So I had this idea that I could do it Tuesday/Thursday evenings. As dumb as it is, one of my reasons is I have to wash my hair anyways on Wednesdays and Fridays after my runs anyway, so it'd save me that time. And of course, while I was dreaming, I could imagine my hubby walking on the treadmill while I did my circuit. Yeah, right. Part of the problem is all we do in the evenings is watch TV. I'd love to shoot that thing. Really, I would. I know I like some shows we watch and I enjoy a good comedy or cooking show...but I really wouldn't miss it. I know I'd be so much more productive, both in the fitness world and in my homemaking. Why is it so hard to do the things we know we need to do...and even want to do?! And why am I here typing when I could be getting this done? Oh, wait...the two munchkins in the other room...that's why. I can't do anything until they are snuggly in bed. We're working on it.

I am working on my next training plan. My family will be doing the White Rock Marathon Relay in December. I'll have one of the 10K legs (or something close to it). I'm going to stick with something pretty close to what I did for my last 10K since it went well. I do want to amp up the speedwork and get that strength training going. The biggest obstacle is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day smack-dab in the middle of my training. I'm just not sure how long that will sideline me, if at all. I don't want it to, but I have a feeling it will to some degree. Blisters? Pain? Exhaustion? All of the above? The unknown is the hardest.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Race for the Cure

Just one year after my mother-in-law's diagnosis of breast cancer, we walked as Patsy's Posse at this year's Race for the Cure. Amazing. Awesome. The whole family was in on the walk, 1-mile of family support. Grammy's two sisters, one niece, two grandkids (with one more cheering us on), husband, sons, my parents, and I all participated in RFC for her.

After the 1-mile walk, we stretched and warmed up for the 5K. With a 10K just two weeks ago, I just wanted to run strong. And I did. I finished in 31:30, which is actually my fastest yet. I wasn't in it for speed...but I was still a little disappointed that I didn't hit the 30 mark. My parents, on the other hand, rocked! My mom finished in 25 something and my dad was less than 30 seconds behind her! He tends to be faster, but I don't think he was feeling good today. She turned 50 in March...and I hope that when I'm 50, I can run a sub-30 5K! Heck, I hope I can do that by 40!

Even though I'm a little disappointed with my time, I realize that I ran a strong race, passed people, and did just fine. So much better than last year. And progress is progress.

The only drawback is that after the race I came way too close to passing out. I was on my way to grab an orange or banana and ran into someone I knew who I stopped to talk to...and I could barely focus on her face or words. Dad was with me though, so I knew if I hit the ground, I'd be fine :) I didn't though...but I did find the closest curb and took lots of deep breaths. The best I can figure out is I stopped too soon and my breathing became more "normal" before my body was ready for it to.

I did try some Power Bar Engery Gel Blasts in rasberry...two at the half-mile point because I just wasn't feeling strong. About a mile later, I felt them kick in. It wasn't anything magical or crazy, just a little kick of energy, enough to boost my confidence and move my legs.

I also carried a new water bottle. I've been carrying a water bottle for a while now and really like it. This one by Nathan has a strap with a pocket, perfect for those chews. It worked well.

I guess there was more than one drawback, I found that I had blisters again. I never had any blisters with my old shoes, even if they did remove two toenails. And now, with both my new pairs, I am getting them just about every run. Well, actually, that's not true. I didn't get any until the 18-mile training walk 3 weeks ago where I got many blisters at mile 2. Since then, I've gotten them after most runs. I let the fluid out on Tuesday, and babied them with some antibiotic ointment and band-aids, but they're back like a bad alien movie. They are coming up in the exact same spot every time...inside heels right where the bottom and side of my feet meet. I can feel the hot spot in the Asics, but I don't feel anything coming up in the Saucony shoes. I'm baffled but need to get this figured out before the 3-Day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My, how things have changed

It's the night before Race for the Cure, and it's got me thinking about several things (although how my kids can behave so badly and be so cute is not really connected to this's on my mind too).

1. Just a year ago, we were waiting for results on tests for my mother-in-law...and of course, just the week after Race for the Cure, we found out that she did indeed have breast cancer. She's had a mastectomy and is doing very radiation or chemo was needed, luckily. We will all be walking in her honor as Patsy's Posse for the 1-mile hubby, kids and extended family included...before I run the 5K with my parents, sister (if she's not sick), sister-in-law and a few others.

2. Last year at the Race for the Cure, I was recovering from hip issues and couldn't run the entire thing. And now, 3 miles is a basic run for me. I'm not in tomorrow for speed though since I did a 10K just two weeks ago. But I'm looking forward to the run!

3. I'm not as nervous as I usually am before a race. Maybe it's because I really haven't had time this week to think about it. Maybe it's because it's "just" a 5K (and I know that not that long ago, that was a huge deal to me!). Maybe it's because I'm considering this a recovery after the 10K. I don't know why, but I'm ok with just heading out for a run tomorrow. I love being outside hitting the pavement and am looking forward to it!

Isn't it amazing how fast we forget where we were not that long ago?! Change may be slow, but it's happening. I'm stronger and, even though I'm still slow, faster. I'm more confident and comfortable.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feeling strong

I am so excited! It's not much, but it means a lot to me...I've been able to run this week. I ran 1.5 Monday (with a .5 warmup and .5 cooldown) and 2 miles this morning (with quarter mile warmup and cooldown). I would have gone longer this morning, but I hit the snooze too many times this morning and finally convinced myself a run would be better for me than tossing and turning for a little longer. If I'd known I was going to call in so I could take R to the doctor, I probably would have. It felt great to be able to run since after my first 10K, I couldn't run at all the week after!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Observations from a third party

I forgot to mention this yesterday. While we were eating at Rosa's post-race, my parents offered some observations about my running that I found interesting. Now, most people would question observations about running from their parents, but not me...nope. My parents both run faster than me. They've got this training thing down a lot better than I do. I realize that they are in a different stage of life and have a little more time to devote to strength training and such, but they have valuable insights because they are still working and fitting in the workouts. I trust what they see. So, here's what they had to say:
1. I'm not "bouncing" as a I run as much as I used to. Mom said she had no pictures of me with a foot on the ground from previous races.
2. I'm not wasting side-to-side energy as much either. Dad said he used to watch for my ponytail swinging from side to side to recognize me coming.
3. I am still having an issue with my left leg. Dad's noticed this for a while now...I remember him asking about it after one of my first races (back before they were even running, I think). He said my left leg goes back, out and then foward, so it's making a loop. That could explain my ITB issues. But they haven't been bothering me for a while, so I'm wondering if it's some sort of compensation.

I would love to have a pro watch my form and give me some pointers, but I don't have a clue how I'd go about finding this pro. I can't afford a personal trainer, and even if I could, I'd want one that specialized in running. Hmm...something to think about.

And I didn't run with my iPod yesterday. It was pouring out before the race, and I wasn't sure how waterproof it would be. And I loved it! I seem to focus more without the music and am less distracted. It was great!

I got to think about a lot of things out on the course. I kept telling myself something I heard on The Biggest Loser this week..."Your feet will move if your mind tells them to." I loved this and used it many, many times yesterday. Of course, I also had to laugh when one of my favorite phrases took on a new meaning..."Just keep swimming, swimming." Some of the puddles were big enough to swim in, I'm pretty sure.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yeah, baby!

The weather definitely didn't cooperate this weekend. We headed to Abilene yesterday afternoon for the Balloon Fest 10K today. I signed up for this one for a couple of reasons...1. it was a 10K, 2. it wasn't too far away, 3. they had a kids 1K, 4. they had hot air balloons. Well, we never got to see a balloon! It rained yesterday evening/night so we couldn't see the night glow, which I really wanted to see. However, the hotel had an indoor saltwater pool, so we did get to swim with the kids.

And it was definitely raining this morning! We headed over to Red Bud Park. Hubby was sweet enough to go get my packet so I wouldn't start off wet. Nana and Poppy took the kids to McDonalds while we got all this done. Then Hubby drove me as close as possible to get my chip. But then we had to go park...and then hike to the start line. We huddled under tents. The start was delayed a little, but the rain cleared off for a little bit...just enough for Hubby, Nana, Poppy and the kids to come cheer me off the start with signs and all!

I took two sports beans at the start line with about 2 minutes to go.

And we were off!

Luckily, it wasn't raining for most of the race. There were some huge puddles to maneuver, but it wasn't anything like the CASA 5K in the rain. In fact, I kept my feet relatively dry until about mile 3.

The greatest thing was having a cheering squad at several points in the race! The kids had signs and my mom and husband had the cameras. Dad took my visor at one point when it had stopped raining and had just gotten too hot...then Mom gave it back to me when the rain started up again.

I had two more sports beans at the 2.5 mile mark. I think I've finally figured out water stations, or at least the drinking out of the cup part. They did throw me by having a left-handed water station though.

I hit the 5K mark at about 33...a little slower than I wanted, but I just kept on trucking.

I hit 5 miles at about 52 minutes, I think. I was pumped! My last long run I hit 5 miles at 1 hour and that was after hoofing it to get the last mile in in 10 minutes.

I finished in 1:07:08, about 6 minutes less than my last (and first) 10K! And I felt good. A little shaky for a few minutes, but I was able to head over to the kids' 1K without any problem. They did so good too. SB wanted to walk some, but Ryan just kept on trucking! And it was really neat to see my parents with my kids!

Post-race, we headed to the hotel for a nice warm shower and a little fuel. Then we headed to Rosa's, which was cool because that's what we had after my last 10K. Something about warm tortillas and butter works for a recharging! I wore my compression sleeves on my calves on the way home. They sure felt tight, but they feel better if I just had some compression sleeves for my quads.

Overall, it was a great experience! If it hadn't been for the weather taking away the balloon-watching, it would have been perfect. There was a race here in town, but it was a 15K...I probably would have done it if it hadn't been for the balloons...and since that didn't happen, I was a little disappointed. was fun and I felt great. That's all I could ask for!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting nervous

So when I walk in my classroom tomorrow, I'll walk up to the board and change my race countdown to "1 day until Mrs. J's next 10K." And then I'll have a panic attack. I don't know why I get so nervous about races...and continue to race. It's not like I'm really that competitive, as in I never place. I just want to be there. And do well. For me.

I am trying to remember a couple of things: 1. Trust the training. I've done what I can to prepare for this. 2. Face the fear. If all I'm afraid of is not doing well, then what do I have to lose if I go all out? That I might do well. That I might fail. Either way, it's not life-ending. Or even life-altering. I'll hit the treadmill next week just like I always do. 3. It's supposed to be fun. Besides, I'll be outside running! And my family will be there. :)

I wish I'd had enough time to figure out a couple of things about what I prefer and what I handle in the form of nutrition. I'm going to carry a water bottle and take my beans at each water station. I'll leave Gu to figure out later. I am going to have a mini Clif bar before I run, and maybe a banana if I can grab one. I'll drink my G2 post-run and have some fruit. I'm hoping that will work.

And I'm going to wear my iPod, but I'm not going to start with it on. I really think I get distracted by the music and quit listening to my body. I know that I can go on long runs without it and end up enjoying my run so much more (and I'm faster, to boot).

Our local Y is starting a running class. I wish it was at a time I could attend. Even though I've been running a while now, I'd love to see what they have to say about how to run. I wish they'd had something like this a year or so ago. I'm sure there's so much I should have learned early on.

I'm falling asleep as I type. I have had to get up at 4:40 to run this morning because of early morning duty at school. It's killing me. Just one more day though! But I'm still going to hit the sack.

When the moon hits your eye....

Like a big pizza pie, that's when the kids go CRAZY! I don't care who says what about the moon and its cycles, but a full moon coupled with a weather change has turned all the kids into little own two included! They have been completely off their rockers this week with a huge meltdown tonight. And my kids at school haven't been much better. It's been like I'm speaking Swahili or Martian or wah-wah-wah of Charlie Brown's teacher. They haven't heard a word I've spoken or read a word I've written on the board. I'm hoping it's better tomorrow, but I'm guessing with possible thunderstorms tomorrow, we'll be doing it all over again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

3 days to go

I'm getting nervous about Saturday's 10K. My goal is to run the whole thing, but with a couple of crazy weeks, and a very long/hard 18-mile walk, I'm not so sure. I know I didn't hit my training plan these past two weeks like I'd hoped, so I'm just hoping it was enough. I wanted to have another long run under my belt before the race.

I am really excited though because my kids will be running their first race, a 1K. They are really excited too. My parents will be running with them. I can't wait to see that! How cool that there will be 3 generations of my family running Saturday!

I still need to decide on my race gear for the weekend. I guess I need to get my daughter a long sleeve top or jacket since I'm not sure the weather will be warm enough for her skort and tank. I think my son will be fine in anything he wears, so I'm not worried there. I'm leaning toward my capris and my standard tank...all my race pictures from this summer have me in that same top. I really should find a new one. Maybe I'll get a chance tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting there

After Saturday's walk, I was very, very sore. As in, it hurt to move sore. I should have taken an ice bath, but I didn't. And I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated. But, I'm getting better. I went to bed with a heat pack on my back last night and it's a little looser today. I rolled every possible part of my body as well last night. I got some compression sleeves yeseterday and wore them for a few hours yesterday and taught in them most of today. And I have to say, I'm a believer. My calves are much better this evening. I'm going to use the foam roller again tonight.

My plan is to stay hydrated, get and stay loose, and get two easy runs in this week. That's it. That's not what I had planned originally for this week, but it's all about adjusting to what happens.

I still have no idea what I'm going to run in this weekend. I wanted to find a longer running skirt, but it looks like my capris may win out again. I'm hoping a 7:30 run is cool enough for that.

I didn't get to experiment as much as I wanted with Gu, sport beans, and other fuels. I think I'll stick with the beans for now. And I'm considering a couple of things: 1. running without an iPod and 2. running with a water bottle. And now, I've got my compression sleeves to consider. Wow...I just have not gotten this down yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I go walking...

My Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure team had a long training walk yesterday...a scheduled 18 miles that may have been closer to 20...still up for debate. I can't believe how hard it was! I thought my being able to run 6 miles at a time would make walking 18 not so bad. And I was wrong!

It uses a completely different set of muscles. My back is so sore. So are my calves. My quads were killing me yesterday after one rest stop. I really felt like I had cords in my legs. They aren't so bad this morning, but my calves are making up for it. It feels like I have tennis balls back there.

And I felt them coming at about the 2-mile mark yesterday and covered them one set at the 3-mile mark. Then I covered another set at the half-way point while swtiching socks. I think they'll heal ok without lancing them, but I'm watching them closely.

My biggest fear is that I won't be able to run my 10K Saturday well. I'm going to take tomorrow off of running for sure. I'm hoping to do an easy run Tuesday and Thursday though. We'll see. I'm going to foam roll my legs and back, use Biofreeze and/or Icy Hot, take ibuprofen, and hopefully go get some compression sleeves for my calves.

I have no idea how I'll walk 20 miles three days in a row in November. I know that after this 10K, I'll work on more long walks. It's just that different than running.

It really was a lot of fun though. There were 6 members of the team there yesteray and it was funny watching us all walk around town, fanny packs on, hands in the air...silly stuff!

God is Good!

God has been so good to me this week...and not with the typical "things are going great" idea. This week has been trying. But God has been faithful. There were so many times I wanted to say something, held back, let go, and was rewarded, whether with a resolved situation, a phone call or message, or just plain peace. Wow. What a lesson to learn. And it's overflowed into all the areas of my life. Dealing with SB's meltdown this morning over a broken Silly Band was easier and calmer. I'm very happy right now. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


After sleeping in yesterday, I knew I needed a run this morning. However, the kids both ended up in bed with me by 3:30 this morning. Hubby was sleeping on the couch (and no, he wasn't in trouble) because he's got a cold, so I didn't mind. At least it wasn't too crowded. However, it took me until 4:15 or so to get back to sleep...and that darn alarm clock went off at 4:50 as planned. I hit the off button...sat there...and finally climbed out of bed. I hit the treadmill for a "hill" workout...or at least an attempt.

I warmed up for a few minutes (which is really when I wake up, get a drink and get the iPod situated). Then I rotated 3 minutes on an incline with 2 minutes at 0% through a 2%, 4%, 6% and back to 4% before finishing up. I should have gone longer. But I did it.

My only problem right now is I'm having some pain in my shin/calves. Most of the pain is on the inside top of my shin, to the inside of the bone before the actual "calf" muscle starts. I'm a little worried about it because I can't identify the source. It even hurt when I kneeled down in my son's floor to pick up a jillion cars. It hurt at the beginning of the run but seemed to handle the "hills" ok, but then they hurt again at the end with the calf tightening up pretty quickly.

With my 10K a little over a week away, I'm getting nervous. I'm just not sure I've done enough. I never did get that core training habit down. And I know my abs need to be stronger. Seriously stronger.

I have decided to walk the 18 miles on Saturday and see how I feel. If I'm up for it, I'll run a long run Sunday morning and then run Tuesday/Thursday before the race. If I can't run Sunday, I'll run Monday/Tuesday/Thursday before the race. Can't believe it's this close!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I goofed. I didn't want to get up at 4:50 this morning for a speedwork workout on the treadmill. So I hit this nifty "nap" button on my alarm clock for a 40-minute nap. I don't know if I missed the button, alarm, or what, but I woke up at 6:15 with my husband's alarm. No speedwork. No run at all. And yes, I realize I should have found time later in the day to run...but I didn't. So I'm getting up to run in the morning. Now, the question is, do I do the speedwork tomorrow and my normal run on Friday with no day of rest in between? Or do I just run tomorrow and Friday? I have a long walk (18 miles) planned with my SGK 3-Day team for Saturday. So, I don't get my long run, but I'm thinking 18 miles makes up for it. Please? I hope. Or I'll run long on Sunday. Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

And I still have not managed to get a routine of core training down. Argh. I know the benefits of it far outweigh the difficulties in getting around to it. So why can't I get it down?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two things I forgot

1. I tried Gu for the first time today. I had the Espresso My Love with the 2x caffeine. I didn't feel any effects of the Gu, to be honest, except that I was jittery when I finished the race. I didn't take it til 1.5 miles of the 5K, although I had already run 1.5 before the race. Maybe I should have taken it earlier? I don't know. I may try the uncaffeinated version during my long run next weekend to see...and maybe start off taking it. If it doesn't go well, I'll just stick with my 6 beans, even though I just about suffocate trying to chew those things!

2. I also found that I really prefer to run without the iPod. I do run with the iPod on the treadmill during the weeks, but I don't wear it for my long runs on Saturdays. I found it really distracting today. And I think that some of my songs had too slow of a beat which actually kept me from running as fast as I might have on my own. I pulled the earphones out with about a half mile to go...wish I would have sooner.

Besides, I really need to update my playlist. I just don't listen to music enough to know what to pick...and there are tons of playlists out there, but I get so overwhelmed trying to pick a few new songs to buy...goodness knows I can't afford to completely revamp those playlists.

Shortgrass Scamper

This morning was the Shortgrass Scamper in Archer City benefitting their Salvation Army and ultimately, their residents. Mom was one of the organizers, and it was definitely a family affair. Sister and Dad rode bikes to lead the race and bring up the rear. Brother took care of lots of odds ands ends...logo, goodie bags, sound system, walkies, etc. I, however, got to run.

Because I'm training for a 10K in two weeks, I needed more mileage than the 5K would I ran 1.5 miles before the race and another 1.5 after. Granted, the breaks in between probably weren't the same as running 6 in a row...but the heat made up for it. The race was at 9:30, and I'm definitely used to that 6:30 a.m. run on Saturdays.

I ran it in 32:30 or something close to it...definitely not what I wanted for today, but it will work. I did get 2nd in my age division (out of 4...LOL)...but it's my first medal!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looking back

It dawned on me that I've never written about my personal journey into running, and I thought it might be good to have a record of this.

May '09 My family participates in our church's Run for the Son. We aren't even able to finish a 5K walking and cut off part of the course. Ok, maybe I should back up farther.

I ran cross country and track in high school. I was never a star athlete, but I enjoyed running...mainly because it wasn't a team sport and not everyone did it. I've always like doing something everyone else isn't. But...I didn't keep up with my running after high school (some 13 years ago!).

Alright, back to May '09...knowing I could run those distances before and at one time in my life had been in great shape made not being able to complete 3 miles for a charity event an embarrassment to me. Plus, I was turning the big 3-0 in just a few short months. And on top of that, I'd kept and gained some 30 pounds after baby #2 in '07. It was time for a change.

That next week, I started a walk/run routine 3 days a week at 5 in the morning (or maybe it was 5:30...see, I won't remember these things if I don't write them down...but then again, does it really matter?). I'd walk the short sides of the sidewalk around the park/school across from our house. It's about .75 miles all together. I'd jog the longer sides. I'd make only one lap each day that first week.

I slowly bumped it up to two laps, then three, then more running. I was really enjoying being outside (even if it was seriously dark).

July '09 I did something I probably shouldn't have. I ran two 5K races in two weeks time...and remember, I'd only started running in May. I ran a July 4 run with my sister. I had to walk some of it, but I finished. It was a small race for an area town church. Then I ran what I called 3 miles at 30 in the same small town, and unfortunately, the race was the same straight out and back course...and it was HOT! It was a tiny in maybe a dozen people. Not great for pushing yourself, but my sister pushed me. I walked as little as possible. And I finished.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure these back-to-back races when I probably wasn't ready caused some ITB issues to flare up. Well, that and the fact that I did my running on a sidewalk. I was sidelined for a while, off and on throughout the fall.

October 09 I completed the Race for the Cure 5K, but I had to walk a lot of it too...and not happily. My whole family participated in that, dad, brother, sister-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law. Very cool!

Fall 09 Due to ongoing hip/ITB issues and the fact that it is seriously dark when I needed to run, my running was limited. I had one morning where I passed a guy wearing a dark trench coat at 5 a.m...and was too freaked out to run again outside that early. Still am.

Winter 09 I inherited a treadmill...which promptly broke the day after I ran on it for the first time. But not too much later, and I was able to swap around and get another. And I ran on it a couple of times a week at dark thirty. It's not my favorite, but it's running.

March 09 The family runs a 5K in Ardmore (the A2A) for my Mom's 50th birthday...her 5K at 50! It was cold! I ran a good race...30:35!

April 17 The family was signed up to run the Casa 5K in town. However, it was POURING rain that day! My dear hubby, my daddy, and I ran the race while my mom, sister and kids hung out in the car. It was sopping wet on the course, and of course, I had on a hoodie...which absorbed water like a sponge. Still, I managed to finish is 32:03. I had wanted to beat my A2A time, but the rain prevented that.

May 31 Mom, Carrie and I completed a 10K at the America Heroes race in Arlington, right in front of the Ballpark, while Dad did a 5K. We stayed the night before and my kids and hubby were there to cheer us on. I finished in 1:12:59. It was a really HOT day and a wild course, starting and ending with an overpass. It was awesome to complete this new distance!

Summer 10 I didn't get back on track running as much as I wanted to over the summer, but I was able to run outside which is such a lift in my spirits. I actually didn't do any races over the summer. We did, however, ride a 10K in the HHH with the family...pulling the kids in trailers. It turned out to be a beautiful day and ride!

And that's how I got to where I am today. I have three races planned in the next month...crazy I know.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Getting stronger

I love that I actually feel stronger with each run. I couldn't run yesterday due to a sick kid, so I ran today...3 miles in 30:46. I mostly kept a 10 minute mile pace, but I had to take two quick walk I made up for them by amping up the last mile. Every quarter mile, I upped the treadmill by .2 (so 6.2, 6.4, 6.6) to finish up. I was absolutely pouring sweat!

I couldn't seem to cool down though. I felt awfully faint and sat down in the shower for a bit (passing out would not be a good thing). Even after my shower, I was still sweating. However, once I got to school and finally cooled down, it's like my motor went into turbodrive in reverse...I was freezing! I don't know if that's a normal thing or not.

Another weird thing, I'm wondering if anyone else who runs experiences some sort of wrist pain/numbness. It seems to happen mainly when I run on the treadmill, although I've felt it after regular road runs as well. It goes away fairly quickly, but it almost feels like my wrists swell.

I also developed a blister...maybe my first. And it's in the weirdest spot. It's on the edge of my heel on the side. I felt the hotspot toward the end of my run. It's between the insole and upper of my shoe. I know, cotton socks aren't good. But I've just gotten used to them. Plus, I bought my shoes a half size larger to try and save my toenails. If I switch to synthetic socks, I'm afraid the fit will be off. Hmm...things to think about.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Slogans and such

On a different note, one of my t-shirt slogan ideas made it in to the Run Like a Mother The Book list :) Granted, it didn't win the $100 Asics gift certificate, but I'm still pretty happy! Check it out:

There were a lot of really great ideas...I'd love to have about half of them on a shirt myself! I can't wait for them to roll out these shirts, and I hope they'll keep adding to the list!

The best laid plans...

It's one of those days. I woke up at 6 to run, hoping for outdoors since I'm off today. However, it was too dark up until 7 and by that time, it was too late because DH had to work an MDA telethon today. So, I made some brown rice pudding, which was delicious and talked the kids into a run in the stroller. Hoewever, DS's stomach had other ideas as he is sick instead of a much-needed run this morning, I got to clean strawberry milk puke off of a shelf of books, one-by-one. I thought about hitting the treadmill, but so far, every time I think I can get out there, he throws up again. That means I'll have to add a run tomorrow morning before hills on Wednesday. I should be able to do some strength training today and just swap today's and tomorrow's plans. I hate having to adjust and modify!

That hit the spot!

The rice pudding was yummy! Here's what I did (after looking at tons of recipes):

I made brown rice last night.

Then, this morning, I peeled and chopped some apples and cooked them in a couple tablespoons of butter with a dash of cinnamon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Once they were tender, I added 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of milk, a large box of raisins (as opposed to the mini boxes) and 2 cups of the cooked brown rice. I brought this to a boil, reduced it to a simmer and let it cook for 15 minutes. I loved it! Ryan was sick this morning so he didn't even try it. Sarah Beth ate some of hers, but not as much as I'd hoped.

The only thing I'd do differently is add a little vanilla when I add the milk. I wish I'd thought of that sooner.

Estimated nutritional value- For 1/6 of the recipe: 190 calories, 5g of fat, 2g of fiber, 4g of protein.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Comfort food

I have never had rice pudding. However, a coworker had some this week at lunch, and it sounded good. So...I'm making it for breakfast in the morning. I've already made the rice, so I just have to add a few things after my run. I started looking for crockpot recipes, but got overwhelmed in the hunt. I figured an easy recipe was better for the first try. Of course, oatmeal...the real stuff...sounds good too. I wonder what that is saying about me. Rice, oatmeal...carbs in general. I've been snacking entirely too much here lately. I'm sure I need to ditch the sugar for a while. Anyway, we'll see how the rice pudding turns out in the morning...if I can wait that long :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Walkin' on Sunshine

And doesn't it feel good?! Ok, so I was actually running, but getting to break out of the treadmill routine in the hot garage this morning felt fabulous. We had a late night last night, so I hit the road a little later than in the sun was actually all the way up. However, running outside during daylight has its pros and cons:

1. Couldn't decide whether to wear the sunglasses or not (ok, not really a con...a good decision to have. I went sans glasses to soak up the vitamin D)
2. The dogs of the neighborhood are awake.
3. They can see me.
4. They don't like me.

Granted, these are pretty poor cons, especially since all the dogs do is bark. unnerves me!

1. Sunlight!
2. Vitamin D
3. Fresh air
4. Distance...I just can't seem to go far enough of the treadmill.
5. Neighborhood and neighbors...Lots more people out and I could watch the houses go by a lot easier with light. Ok, I can see how the people thing and traffic could be a con, but it wasn't.
6. Pure happiness

I made 5 miles in under an hour (barely) and actually ran the last mile in 9:08! I pushed it hard on that last one to make it in under an hour, but it felt so good! At my slow pace, I could have made more miles too...which feels really good!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Intervals, ugh

I figured out a way to do my intervals without losing momentum...the treadmill. Yes, it's that dreaded contraption in the steamy garage, but it worked better than my own motivation on the least for this particular day. I just set the treadmill to one of its preset workouts. Why I didn't think of that earlier, I have no idea. Just like I didn't think to use those workouts and the incline on regular workouts to simulate the road a little more. Duh. Well, you'd think, huh?

But, yesterday, I finally thought of it and set it to one in the "weight loss" category, mainly because I didn't have time to go through all of them to figure it all out at 5 a.m.

I set it to one with a max speed of 7.7 and max incline of 2.0. Wow. I normally do my easy runs at 5.5, maybe a 6 if I'm feeling tough. But I found the more I did the 7.7, the happier I was at 7.0. Crazy. In a good way. I may up tomorrow's speed on my regular run to see if I'm still comfortable there.

But, I realized after the fact, I was supposed to run hills this week. I don't know if that's possible on the treadmill, but I'm going to find out next week. I'm sure I'd be happier outdoors, but I just can't run in the dark that early, and it's still too hot after school.

Still, it was a good workout. I was pouring sweat...literally. And I had a second fan in there, albeit a small one. I'm looking at getting a big one to mount on the wall. Not that it would help. I did cut the workout a little short by about one interval. I guess I'm going to have to resort to getting up at 4:45. That was always my getting up when a 4 starts the time. But it's one of those rules I may have to break in order to get it all done.

Tomorrow is an easy run, 3 miles if I have enough time. I'm looking forward to my weekend long run outside, but even that may get shuffled around. My 3-Day team is walking 12 miles Saturday morning and I hate missing out on the team walk.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Ok, let's just play pretend for a little while...if I really could do anything, what would I do? What would you do?

For starters, I'd finish my 10K Sept. 25 in less time than the last one, preferably under an hour ten.

I'd run a 5K, either Shortgrass Scamper or Race for the Cure (bookending the 10K), in under 30. Yeah, right.

I'd run a marathon relay with my family and not be the weakest link.

I'd run a half marathon in February.

I'd run a marathon the year after. 2012. Hmmmmm....isn't that when the world's supposed to end? Coincidence?

I'd do my core training twice a week without fail and come away with abs I could rock out in a belly-baring tank in a race.

Ok, so these are realistic goals instead:

I'll run my 10K without walking.

I'll run my 5Ks in 33 minutes, without walking, and have a blast doing it.

I'll run the marathon relay and not worry about my turtle pace.

I'll run the half change there, except maybe the date.

And the marathon? For now, it's still a dream. But it's my dream.

And those abs? I doubt they come without some surgery involved, but while we're dreaming, I might as well dream big.