Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekly Report

I don't have a lot to report in the way of running this week. I ran an easy, short run Monday and a normal run on Wednesday. That one felt really good, and I hit my groove earlier than usual. However, with my little guy's birthday party this morning, I wasn't able to run my long run. I'm ok with that. I don't skip runs often, and I may try to run or ride tomorrow. Even if I don't, it's ok. I stayed up late cleaning house for the party and couldn't sleep well after my daughter came into our room around 4:30 this morning. Sleep won this morning.

So, this week's mileage report is easy:
Weekly: 7.3 miles
YTD: 440.8 miles

I don't mind missing out on the run this morning. Ryan's party was a success! We had all of our family here along with a few sets of friends. We set up a water slide, two sprinklers and a bubble station. We purposefully planned it early in the day to avoid the heat. We had canopies set up for shade for the adults, so it wasn't horrible. I think the kids really enjoyed the party.

On a different note, I've been feeling kinda crafty this week. I pulled out my sewing machine, and after only minimal frustrations getting it set up, I sewed new valances and a matching pillow for my daughter's room and a pillow for my son. I also made my daughter a pillowcase dress. I have material for a few more of those and a different type of dress I'm going to attempt for her as well.

Something about being creative and using my hands to make something that didn't exist before is completely satisfying. I have a quilt that is in mid-process. It's been that way for years. Maybe I'll actually finish it this summer.

Monday, July 25, 2011

HHH, here we come!

It's official! My husband and I are registered for the 25-mile ride part of the Hotter 'N Hell 100! We have right at a month to train, which is good, because we need it!

We're not entering it competitively at all. We're in it to finish it!

Last year, we each pulled a trailer with a kid for the 10K ride of the HHH. We won't be pulling kids for this one :)

HHH 2010
The trick will be for us to both get our training in. Right now, he's riding a couple of days a week on the days I'm not running. The problem will be for me to get some rides in. I'm guessing I'll trade out a run or two a week for a ride. I'm hoping we can ride a few longer rides together on the weekends, but we'll have to drop the kids off with family for that to happen easily.

I'm really looking forward to it. I love doing stuff like this with my hubby.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia :)

Now that I've got that jingle stuck in your head, you're going to have to bear with's post is going to have to be two-fold. I tried to figure out a way to make them separate, but they kind of go together.

I completed the Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half Marathon put on by Fitness Collaborative. The good thing about this one is that you didn't have to complete the 13.1 miles in one shot. Since I need to be averaging 13.1 miles a week to make my goal of 1100km in 2011, I wanted to do it all in one week, starting with my birthday on Monday.

My runs for the week looked like this:

Monday, my birthday: 3.1 miles in 32. 55, counting as my Moms Run This Town Fuelbelts Hydration Hustle Virtual 5K. It was a neat run for me as I remembered my "3 Miles at 30" just two years ago.
Wednesday, my son's birthday: 4 miles in 46:08.

Saturday: 6 miles in 1:16:42, quite possibly my slowest 6 miles ever!
Who knew it took this much stuff to "gear up"? And I already had on my SpiBelt, Garmin and BondiBand!
And my RoadID was still MIA as of this morning!
 Today's run was hot and hard. I was dripping sweat by mile 1. I felt decent by the time I hit mile 3. And then I really struggled between miles 4 and 5, taking a couple of walk breaks. I had forgotten, until about 5.25 miles, that I had planned on using an idea sparked by something I read in Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong for today's run. I had to modify it...a make it work with what I had left in my run, but basically, what I did was thank God for and pray over each room in our house, one tenth of a mile at a time. I thought about the things I wanted each room to foster and develop, such as family fun in the living room and good conversation in the dining room. I also prayed for my kids, our relationships and my marriage using each room to keep me focused. I wish I had remembered this late night idea when I started the run.

Of course, just almost as soon as I walked in the door, I realized I should have worn my Super Mom BondiBand because I started cleaning up puke from my daughter just about that fast. That's the life of a mother runner, I suppose.

One thing I tried for today's run was chia seeds. 
And yes, I picked a turtle on purpose...because that's what I feel like these days.

Yes, like that kind of chia.

I think the idea of trying chia seeds first popped into my head when I read Born to Run by Chris McDougall. And then I would see bits and pieces of information...just enough to keep reminding me about them. Some highlights I've found...

From Raw Reform:
Chia seeds are said to have:
•2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
•5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
•2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
•3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
•3 times more iron than spinach
•copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids...

From The Natural Health Yellow Pages:
Some other benefits (especially for runners)
Providing energy
Boosting strength
Bolstering endurance
Leveling blood sugar
Inducing weight loss
Then I realized that a local grocery store has started carrying bulk items like granola, beans and flax seed...and yes, they had a bin for chia seeds! The first time I checked, the bin was empty, but they had them this past week. I bought a small bag of them and kept forgetting to do anything with them. I had read that you should soak them in water the night before a run...and I could never remember to do that.

Is it me or does this look like it should be illegal?
This morning, however, I quickly googled what to do with chia seeds before my run. One Runner's World forum person said you could mix them in water with a little honey and just drink before a run, which is what I did (using my Farmers' Market local honey...yum!). While these pictures are from tonight and not this morning, this is what it looked like at first.

By the time I had gotten my gear ready to go, they had "fuzzed" up a little bit, absorbing some of the water. I, surprisingly, didn't mind the texture or the little seeds in the water. The flavor was very mild, especially with the honey.
The fuzzier version

As for the run, it was so hot and sticky that I'm not sure how much good they actually did. And I went farther than normal, so it's hard to tell if it helped with endurance...I mean, I did finish the extra distance, so maybe that does say something.
I'm going to try them again. In fact, I had a glass tonight of the quick version while I was working on making a batch of the gel these little things make as they absorb water. You can use the gel like a Gu or other fuel or you can mix it into things like smoothies and yogurt. Here's tonight's work in progress:

If they look dramatically different in the morning, I'll post another picture.

What is about runners that make us what to try the newest, strangest, silliest things trying to gain some sort of edge? I'd understand if I was super competitive in races, but I know I will never win a race (or probably even my age division). Still, I am all for trying something that might help me run faster, last longer, or look better. First, it was getting a Garmin so I would know how far ago and just how slowly I'd gone. Then I started wearing Phiten necklaces because I hoped they'd give me a boost. Next I got blister-preventing socks (well worth it, by the way). I got fitted for shoes after running in a pair I'd picked out on my own for a very long time. The Stick and a foam roller have taken up residence in my living room. Now I wear compression sleeves and am drinking fuzzy little seeds.

I think there are a couple of things at play here. First, running takes us back to being a kid again...something I was reminded of as I was reading Mile Markers today. So it fits that we like to try out these new "toys" in our running. And second, I think these things give us some glimmer of hope that we will progress and improve and thrive. I'll hang on to that hope for now as I struggle through this hot, slow season.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 15.15 miles
YTD: 433.5 miles

Thursday, July 21, 2011


For my daughter's birthday, she got to pick out a new comforter. I did stipulate that it had to go with the purple walls even though she'd rather have them painted. I just wasn't up for a painting gig this summer. She picked this:

I did not, however, think through this little plan. The new bedding would require replacing the lamp, clock and artwork, removing the princess rug, repainting a huge bulletin board, changing out the curtains, and sewing valances. Oops. She got to use a birthday gift card to pick out a few matching accessories, and now her bed looks like this:

I did manage to sew a little fleece cover for her Ariel chair and make some artwork for the walls!

While I haven't gotten to the "sewing valances" part, the room is taking shape nicely...except for the clutter. Needless to say, it's about to get overhauled! I am reducing the clutter so that she can keep it clean (or mostly so) herself because I am seriously tired of having to pick up all the stuff in there. So, for tomorrow, my plan is to reduce the amount of "stuff" in her room to a manageable amount.

Isn't it amazing how one project leads to 400 others?

It's a little sad, though, to do all this. A lot of what's in there, the knickknacks and such, have been in her room since her nursery, or at the least, since she got her "big girl" room before she was 2 (before her little brother was born). I'm not sure I'm ready for her to be growing up so fast!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 does your body good

After my runs, long or short, I like to refuel with chocolate milk, which is said to be one of the best options out there. It's cold, has a little sugar and protein, and fills me up fast. Check out this website, Refuel with Chocolate Milk for more about how milk works as a recovery drink and why you should try it.

And to help Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, authors of one of my favorite books Run Like a Mother, win this competiton for a grant to help them travel to the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon in December, you can vote for them! Check out the voting page and search for "Shea" (one of the author's last names...yeah, took me a sec too)...then just click to vote! I'd love to meet these inspirational runner mothers and hear them speak while I'm in Vegas, so really, you'd be doing me a favor :)


One thing I noticed on my long run this weekend was how many thoughts my poor brain had rattling around in there. It is like a pinball machine! I'd start thinking about one thing and would zip, zip around to a jillion other ideas without ever finishing the first thought.

I decided that it's partly because it's summer and we don't have a routine. True to the Type A personality that I am, that doesn't always work out well. It's also partly because there's a lot of physical clutter in my house. Yes, I know that with two kids it's going to be that way. But it's not all necessary. So, I have taken on a decluttering project. I have checked out the FlyLady's website and even get her emails, but I've never really followed through with it. And now I'm reading The Happiness Project where the author tackles various parts of her life in order to be happier. Those two things combined got me kickstarted this past weekend, and the feeling I have in my now mostly uncluttered bedroom makes me want to tackle the whole house at once.

Now, I know me, and I know that if I try to tackle the whole house today, nothing will get done. Not one thing. Instead, I'm working on one project a day. I was going to clean out my hope chest, which has really become a place to just stash stuff without a home, but when I realized that I couldn't hang up the clean clothes because we were 1. out of hangers, and 2. out of room, I bumped the closet to the top of the list. I'm getting rid of anything I don't wear or don't love, including things I've tried to hold on for the "what ifs" and "maybes". I still have a few things I'm not ready to part with, but the pile of stuff leaving the space is huge.

I'm struggling with just wanting to do more and more and knowing I'll burn out if I try to do too much. So, for now, I'm going to bag up the "getting rid of" pile, hang up the clean clothes, and wait until tomorrow to tackle the next thing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Birthday Blog Post

Today is my birthday, and to celebrate, I ran the Fuelbelts Hydration Hustle Virtual 5K put on by Moms Run This Town. I ran it in 32:55, which is better than I have been doing. The heat is still killing me though. I'm ok with the slower pace...for now.

Here I am before my run, before the sun was even up, getting "geared up" on the porch. When I stepped outside, it was overcast, and my first thought was, "I could use a run in the rain." such luck!

And here's my proof, which I think I need for the Hotter than Hades Virtual Half Marathon. I used this morning's run to kick off those 13.1 miles. I plan on running 4 on Wednesday and another 6 on Saturday to finish it up. Now, I didn't think to take the picture until a little after the 5K, but at least it shows I completed the distance.

And here I am after the slow, hot run...yes, I know I need to zoom in, but this is as good as it gets when you're propping the camera up on the trashcan and using the timer:

I got to wear a couple new pieces of gear, thanks to some early birthday gifts. The Road Runner Sports visor, a gift from my sister, was really comfy, even if the sun never did actually come out to make it necessary. And I love that it's not white and shows up better. The CEP compression sleeves, a gift from my parents, were interesting. With the heat, they felt a little warm, but I like the way that my legs feel after my in no pain. I wore my One More Mile skirt this morning, mainly because it was clean, and I was definitely glad I remembered the Body definitely didn't stay in place (but I'm guessing that's also due to the heat).

I got a few other running related gifts as well. I can't wait to try out these Wildskins Armwarmers (also from my parents):

And I meant to stick these in the fridge to have ready for this morning's run, but I forgot:

And since I'm tired of spending my runs tugging on a zipper or using a safety pin each morning, I just bought a C9 high-impact sports bra (but I haven't been able to give it a test run yet).

The coolest thing about my run was that I got to spend it thinking about...
1. My birthday, and how thankful I am for my parents and the life they've given me
2. My birthday, and how two years ago I struggled through my "3 miles at 30" after starting to run just two months prior
3. My life now and how completely blessed I am by my husband, kids, family and friends

And I also thought about the year ahead. I'm working on some ideas I have about improving myself and my life (not that there's anything wrong with it, by any means). I've been reading The Happiness Project, and it's got me to thinking. I haven't gotten the plan quite figured out, but one thing we're working on is clearing out some clutter. I am amazed at how much the physical clutter affects my mental state. My husband and I worked on our room this weekend, and I went through my bookshelves...and our bedroom is just so peaceful and pleasant now. I'm planning on one small project a day to work my way through the house, hopefully before school starts. Today's project is my piles of magazines...which needs to be done now. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekly Mileage Report

This heat is just killing me. I've yet to figure out the secret to making it work. I get up early to run, even on weekends. I carry water or nuun with me. I've been wanting to try drinking a slushy before I run, but the blender would wake up at least one kid if I did that. I just don't know what else I can do, except slog through the runs and wait for cooler weather, which isn't likely soon. We've already had 50 days of 100+ temps this year, a milestone we've never reached in July before.

I did try out my new CEP calf compression sleeves this morning. I honestly don't know what I think of them yet. I had hoped to go farther this morning and thought they'd come in handy. However, they did keep my legs a little warm, and I'm not sure if that was good or bad. I'm going to try them again on Monday for a shorter, slightly-speedier run.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 13.5 miles
YTD: 418.2 miles

I know the runs have been hard here lately, so I've decided to give myself some motivation for this upcoming week. I'm participating in the Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half Marathon, running 13.1 miles between July 15 and August 15 (and it doesn't all have to be done at once).

I'm planning on running it all this week, hopefully in 3 runs. I'll start off on Monday, my birthday, by running the FuelBelts Hydration Hustle Virtual 5K hosted by Moms Run This Town.

It's kind of neat way to celebrate my birthday, considering 2 years ago, I ran my "3 miles at 30" race. My 30th birthday is what kickstarted my running in the first place. And while I won't have the race atmosphere, that's ok. It will be my own celebration of running. Besides, that race 2 years ago was so small, it won't feel much different :)

Before the race with my sister

And after...thrilled to have finished, but that race kicked my butt

 My running has definitely come a long way!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Time for Change

I've had this thought rolling around in my brain for quite some time, but I was never able to figure out how to make it work. And now I have.

For a while, I've had two blogs: Another Mile Down and One Scrap Away. The Another Mile Down blog was devoted to my fitness endeavors. The One Scrap Away blog was devoted to cooking and crafts and my family. And it made me feel like I had a split personality...which I don't. I don't think.

I thought about just changing the name of Another Mile Down to Half a Mile More in a nod to a mantra I tell myself a lot, referencing the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and its "half a league more." I didn't like that Another Mile Down seemed negative, like it was all about logging the miles and getting them done. And while there are days like that, that's not why I run. I liked that Half a Mile More seemed a little more positive...focusing on what was to come rather than what was done...and maybe encouraging me to always give that little bit more.

But instead, I decided to combine the two blogs into one, titled Home.Heart.Health. so that I can cover all of the things important to me. Yes, there will still be a lot of my running stuff on it, mainly because running fills my heart with joy, gives me time to myself, connects me with others, and is important to me. And of course, it definitely fits in to the "health" category.

I'm reading The Happiness Project right now, and it's gotten me to thinking. I have a feeling there are more changes on the way in my life. Writing these blogs makes me happy, though, and so I've found a way to make them work for me.

So, welcome to the new blog!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A rarity

Because the kids were staying at my parents' house last night, Chad and I were able to get up early this morning for a bike ride. I don't think I've been on my bike since the HHH last August. Oops. We rode between 5 and 6 miles. We aren't fast, but it was really nice to get out and ride, especially together. We don't get to do that often. It just takes a lot more to take the kids with us. We have trailers we can pull them in, but our daughter has decided she doesn't like that anymore. I'm tossing around the idea of getting her one of these:
 I can hear the complaining now. It's just going to be a question of whether she'll complain more in the trailer or on this thing.

Chad and I want to do the HHH again this year. We're debating on trying to do the 25 miles or just the 10K like we did last year. If we do the 10K, we can take the kids. If we do the 25 miles, we won't. The problem is that I can't find a training plan to get us up to 25 miles. Training plans are so abundant when it comes to running, but not so with biking.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday Mileage Report

Today's run was nothing fancy. It was over 80 degrees when I started a little after 6 a.m. I knew it would be a slow one, and that was ok with me. I ended up going 5.5 miles and walking another mile to get home.

The problem, though, started a little while after my run. I felt a headache coming and tried to cut it off at the pass with OTC meds, more water, and a bottle of nuun. It didn't work. After brunch and a little birthday gift shopping, I retreated to our nice, cool bedroom. While I did sleep a little bit, the headache stayed put. My mom got a headache after her run today too and neither one of us has found a solution. I'm thinking I probably need some Gatorade or some salt. I'm trying caffeine now with an iced coffee. It's not as bad as it was, but it's definitely set up camp up there.

I'm beginning to think the crunches are bothering my neck/back muscles and that's the cause of the increase in headaches this week. I hate to give them up though. I'm actually sticking with something for once.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 14.7 miles
YTD: 404.7 miles

This happens to be week 27 of the year, just over halfway, and I'm well over halfway to my goal of 1100km in 2011! And with half training beginning in a couple of months, I know I'll make it! Maybe I should adjust my goal?

The best part of this week was running with my little buddy on Monday. Still makes me smile :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick update

Tonight's core challenge:
Crunches: W6D1, 345 crunches (various kinds)
Pushups: W3D1, 73 pushups

Really didn't want to do these tonight, but man, 73 pushups? Wow! I never thought I would be able to do this. I know that just crunches and pushups alone don't count for strength training, but I'm hoping this will kickstart a real strength training plan for me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It was time for another exhaustion test today...and the results are...(drum roll, please)....

Crunches: 210
Pushups: 25

Oh, yes, I did it! I reached the goal of 200 crunches. I'll continue with the workouts, but I will start substituting different kinds of ab exercises for each set, so my workouts will look like this:
W6D1: 70/85/52/45/85+
W6D2: 33/33/45/45/36/36/32/32/90+
W6D3: 39/39/50/50/39/39/33/33/105+

And 25 pushups does bump me up to Week 3 this time...and not even the first column! I'll be moving to the second column (and I was almost in the third column!). My workouts will look like this:
W3D1: 12/17/13/13/17+
W3D2: 14/19/14/14/19+
W3D3: 16/21/15/15/21+
Exhaustion Test

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Virtual 5K

It's ironic that I got up to run my Independence Virtual 5K this morning, put on by Let's Move It Mommas, this morning and was greeted by my little buddy while I was getting ready. Normally, my runs are my "me" time, my time without a little dependent hanging on me...but not this morning. He woke up earlier than normal (although he is my usual early bird). I didn't want to make my husband get up on his day off, so I thought I'd just take my son with me. That entailed getting the jogging stroller down from its hooks and finding all the parts to turn it from a bike trailer into a jogger...not so easy. I finally found all the parts but I couldn't figure out how to get the front wheel on right. So, after a couple of tries on the computer, I found the instructions and it only took me running back in to look at them to get the wheel on right...or at least close enough to go.

And that was after I'd tried the other stroller as well. I didn't learn until after we got back that this one is only a bike trailer.

Of course, as soon as I got Ryan strapped in to the right stroller and started to push him down the driveway, I realized we had another problem...the tires were flat! That meant I had to find the air pump, another challenge in itself. I did find it and got the tires aired up. I threw the pump in the stroller, just in case, and off we went. We left the house about an hour later than I'd hoped, which wouldn't be a big deal, but the temps here are crazy hot as soon as the sun comes up.

I've never run with either of my kids in the jogger. We've used it mostly as a bike trailer. I had to take a couple more walk breaks than I normally take, mainly because I couldn't carry my water in my hand and still steer the stroller. Since it's the Fourth, there were flags out in the neighborhood I like to run, so I had to stop and take a picture. Unfortunately, the flags didn't show up well.

I had my son all set up with water, a granola bar and raisins, and he was pretty content for most of the run. The sun in his eyes bothered him, and he didn't like that I go around the north part of the neighborhood twice. He wanted to try new streets instead of seeing the same ones.

Overall, I really enjoyed the run. We played "I Spy" for a little while, looked at and listened to the birds, noticed the trees/flowers...the cutest thing? Right as we started, we saw a squirrel cross the street, and my son said, "Look, Momma, a beaver!" How funny!

We got back to the house and my husband and daughter were still asleep, so Ryan and I headed outside to enjoy the breeze. I had my iced coffee (which is another post, if you like that sort of thing) and he had a popsicle. Then he wanted to drag all the toys out of the garage. My hubby joined us after a while, and we just enjoyed being outside before it got too hot.

I love my Super Mom BondiBand...I definitely felt like it today pushing him around the neighborhood. Because we got started later than normal, there were a lot of people out today. I got to talk with Ryan about how it's nice to tell people "Good morning!" when we see them. Plus, I got to set a good example for him and just spend some time one-on-one with him.

So, maybe it wasn't my most "independent" run, but I loved it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meeting Parker

So yesterday morning, I got up at 6 as planned for a 5 or 6 mile run, but I had a text from my sister (sent about an hour earlier) saying to text her when I got up. I was already dressed and out on the porch putting on my shoes when I heard back from her...well, actually from her husband. They were at the hospital in labor! She'd been having contractions less than five minutes apart since about 4:30. I gave my mom a call and she was getting ready to head to the hospital but said for me to go ahead and run. I went ahead and figured I could get a few miles in...and did two miles faster than I have in a long time...18:30. I got a call at the end of two saying my sister was 5-6 cm dilated, so I figured I'd go ahead and get ready to go, especially since I realized I hadn't finished the diaper wreath for my sister's door, which I finished in the waiting room at the hospital. Nothing like a little motivation...

I spent most of the day at the hospital and got to spend some time visiting with my sister while she was in labor...she did fabulously (is that a word?)! Little Parker arrived at 2:06 p.m. weighing 8 lb 4 oz and measuring 22 inches long.

And I know she was super excited that Parker decided to make his arrival a little earlier than anticipated. They had actually scheduled an induction for Tuesday. Plus, she met her goal of walking 300 miles before he arrived toward the end of this week.

So, I may have come up short in the weekly mileage, but I don't mind at all. Meeting my nephew was worth it :)

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 11 miles
YTD: 390 miles