Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Destination Races

When I signed up for the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half way back in the spring, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Well, obviously, I knew about the running and training and the race itself. I just didn't think this whole destination race thing through all the way.

I'm spending this week trying to figure out what to pack, what to wear for the race, what shoes to take so I don't kill my feet walking around Vegas for two days before the race, what to pack for my kids while we're gone...the list goes on and on. My main goal is to end up in Vegas with enough running gear to get me to the race.

The good news is that it's leaving me a lot less time to worry about the race itself. I know that before my first half, every time I'd even think about the race, my stomach would drop and I'd feel nervous. This time is different. I haven't had much time to think about the race itself at all.

So, the jury is still out on the destination race thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And the countdown begins!

Today was my last long run before the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas! It wasn't windy when I first got up, but it sure was by the time I headed out the door. It was odd because it was about 55, but it felt colder than that. It took two or three tries of standing out on the back porch to figure out what to wear. It turned out fine with a tank, light jacket, tights and my BondiBand beanie.

The first two miles were rough and I really questioned my ability to do 8 today, but things quickly got better. I don't know what happens between miles 7 and 8, but I absolutely love it! My body relaxes, my chest opens up, my mind focuses and my stride settles in. I ended up a little farther from home than expected and ran an extra mile because I felt so good.

Mile 1- 11:19
Mile 2- 11:23
Mile 3- 11:49
Mile 4- 11:04
Mile 5- 11:10
Mile 6- 10:31
Mile 7- 10:46
Mile 8- 10:07
Mile 9- 9:24
Total- 1:37:36

Mileage Report
Weekly: 24 miles
YTD: 744.05 miles

A couple of phrases that have been rattling around my brain for a couple of weeks are "no fear" and "no excuses." I tend to let the what-if's control my thoughts and actions. It's mot a conscious thing, but I'm afraid I wont live up to my own expectations. I have to work hard to focus on what I can do to keep this negativity at bay. Thinking "no excuses" and "no fear" (and yes, every time I think of that last one, I think of those 90's shirts) helps me just do what I can do. No excuses means I can't do less than I'm able while the no fear reminds me to push past what I think I am capable of. It seems to be working!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Putting some thought into it

Similar to yesterday's post about mind over matter when it comes to speed, I think eating healthy has a lot to do with my mind as well. When I plan ahead, both meals and snacks, I do better. When I make conscious choices, I'm happier with what I eat. Today is Thanksgiving and so much of this holiday has to do with food. It is all about being thankful, and I've chosen to focus on that.

When it comes to the food, though, I had some choices to make. We have had three Thanksgiving meals since Sunday (and one more of leftovers). Yes, I had a little of everything...but the key was just a little. I chose my favorites and ate small portions of those. I tried to make sure and have a regular portion of protein. I also made better choices in the meals around these big ones. I rook my little buddy to McDonalds in a rare mommy-son day yesterday, and even though a burger, Coke and fries sounded awesome, I stuck with the better choices of a grilled chicken snack wrap and a yogurt parfait, knowing I had a big dinner planned at my parents. I did have some cake balls there (so worth it!) and rolls. I didn't feel deprived, but I also didn't derail my eating.

I made some dill dip with Greek yogurt and snacked on it with pretzel sticks and pepper slices before dinner so I had a healthy start on dinner and wasn't famished when I got there.

Today, I had oatmeal for breakfast knowing we had a big lunch. I made sure to take a side of roasted veggies so I'd have a healthy option. I filled a third or more of my plate with those veggies and a fresh fruit salad with no sauce or drsssing. Ham took up another quarter of my plate. The last bit of my plate was filled with small samples of a few (not all) of the casseroles available. I had one piece of pumpkin roll for dessert and that left me full but not over stuffed.

And tonight for dinner we had sandwiches at the in-law's. It's amazing how our minds "eat" first. I piled my sandwich with spinach, cucumbers, tomato, peppers...and then a little ham and cheese. Completely satisfying...no mayo or chips needed.

Overall, it's all about wrapping my head around better choices and how I ultimately want to feel about the choices I make. I'm seeing improvement in my fitness, speed, and even my weight...which of course, leads to improvement in my confidence and happiness. Those are things I'm not willing to sacrifice for a plate of food.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mind Over Matter

I had it in my head before I went to bed last night that this morning's run would be a hard one, and I held to it. My training plan called for 3x1600. I did my repeats in 9:06, 8:35, and 8:05! I knew I hadn't been pushing myself as much as I could have, so I decided to see how much I could. I realized after my last mile repeat that I could easily finish a 10k in under an hour and meet that elusive sub-60 I've been after, but I didn't want to push too hard this close to the half.

It's amazing the power your mind has over your body. It makes me wonder how much more I can do. It also reinforces the idea that it's all connected...the mind, body and spirit. When my mind is in the right place, my body can do so much more.

Of course, there is some truth in the idea of "don't think, just run" idea I've seen touted on the Another Mother Runner blog. Sometimes, it's best to just shut off the never-ending thought train and let your body do what it can.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Mom

This is Mom at the Bolder Boulder this past May. That was a race she and Dad both did, one she really wanted to do. Today she crossed another race off her list...her first half marathon. She chose the Route 66 Half Marathon, partly because she and Dad have spent the last couple of summers road tripping on Route 66 to the east and west.

And she rocked that half Mary today, finishing in 1:58:28! She placed ninth in her division! I am so proud of her and completely amazed by her!

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another change-up

Last week's change-up was that I had to move my long run to Sunday. This week, I had a running buddy. My sister-in-law Kayla is running a half the same day I'm running Vegas, so we both had 10 miles on the radar for today. She runs much faster than me but was up for running together today. Who knew you could find 10 miles of things to talk about?! It was really nice because the miles seemed to fly by. My pace is slow, so talking and running isn't too difficult.

Our splits:
Mile 1. 11:07
Mike 2. 11:10
Mile 3. 11:23
Mile 4. 11:18
Mile 5. 11:23
Mile 6. 11:14
Mile 7. 11:16
Mile 8. 11:10
Mile 9. 11:07
Mile 10. 10:46
Total. 2:05:11

Yes, I realize I'm slow, and I've also learned that I could probably be going a lot faster. My speed work is improving. I know a lot of my battles are mental, but I'm ok with my progress for now. I'm pretty impressed with the consistency of my miles though.

Mileage Report
Weekly 20.2 miles
YTD 721.05 miles

Today begins the HBBC! It's a challenge to keep you moving and making healthy choices throughout the holidays. I'm looking forward to having some outside motivation, especially after Vegas and since I met my yearly mileage goal!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. Confirmation is up for the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon! I have a bib number and corral! It's hard to believe that two weeks from tomorrow, I'll be on my way to Vegas!!!

2. On a last-minute whim, I applied for a Refuel with Chocolate Milk grant. My application was accepted and voting continues until December 15. If I get one of the five $250 grants, I'll use it to enter a winter race (in January or February). Since I drink chocolate milk after every run, I'd love to be a part of Team Refuel! Be sure and vote for me as often as you can!
3. Thursdays are date night. It's nothing fancy, but it's our time together. This weekend we actually took a picture just the two of us. It's been a while since we've done that...and I love it. I'm really looking foward to Vegas. Chad and I are going to renew our vows Vegas style since our 10 year anniversary is right around the corner in March.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maybe it worked...

After moving my long run to Sunday instead of my usual Saturday, I was feeling pretty sore at school yesterday. It wasn't pain, just soreness. Last night, I was feeling wiped out! A hot bath sounded awesome, but I wasn't sure if that would help or hurt. After a couple quick texts to my mom and virtual running buddy, I decided it would be a good thing, especially with the addition of Epsom salts. I was amazed this morning to have considerably less soreness (as in almost none).

Another cool trick I learned (and I have absolutely no idea where I read it) is to make my own moldable ice packs. By mixing one part rubbing alcohol to three parts water in a ziploc, the ice pack won't freeze solid. Instead of a solid block of ice, you end up with a slushy mix that can easily fit around a knee or ankle. So far, I don't need to ice anything...although the ball of my left foot hurts. I'm just not sure I need to ice it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beautiful Run

I can not get over how beautiful this morning's run was! We are actually having a quasi-fall, which is as close as it gets in Texas. The leaves are changing colors and the temps are cooler (although I think it reached almost 80 outside this afternoon). I had to move my long run to Sunday this week due to family pictures yesterday morning, which turned out fabulously.

These are just the ones we took with my camera.
I ran 12 miles this morning. I wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but I have to say, I'm ok with that. It's hard to explain why. I was just continually reminded this morning how blessed I am to run at all, and to get to enjoy God's amazing creation while I'm doing it? Even better! On top of that, I fit in an ice bath and still made it to church, after eating the breakfast my awesome hubby had ready when I walked in the door...and a good thing, too...I was hungry!

For the first couple of miles, my right calf felt like it was going to cramp, but luckily, it never did. I only ended up with one "injury" today...a small spot on the underside of my right arm. I guess my arm warmers rubbed it. They never have before, so that was weird. It was kind of difficult to dress for today. I wore a tank and arm warmers; I had on gloves but ditched them before I started (smart move). I also wore my BondiBand hat, but I had to move it behind my ears just a few miles in. It was warmer than it initially felt, and it kept warming up as the sun moved higher in the sky. I ended up pushing the arm warmers down.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1- 11:15
Mile 2- 11:17
Mile 3- 11:47
Mile 4- 11:29
Mile 5- 11:40
Mile 6- 11:18
Mile 7- 11:05
Mile 8- 11:08
Mile 9- 10:53
Mile 10- 10:14
Mile 11- 10:34
Mile 12- 10:35
Total- 2:13:19

Mileage Report
Weekly: 24 miles
YTD: 700.85 miles

Wow! I'm over 700 miles for this year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It's time to celebrate! Today I met my goal of 1100km in 2011! With several weeks left in the year, including the last few weeks of half marathon training, I think I have another 100 in me still.

And more success...I've already lost a little weight! I hate to go into numbers because I know that will fluctuate on a regular basis. Still, it feels good to have my efforts pay off. All I've done is cut out sugar, watched my portions, and controlled the balance of foods (less carbs, more fruits/veggies, more protein). Amazing.

The power of setting and having goals is incredible. No, we don't always reach our goals (sub-60 10k, anyone?), but without some lofty hope or dream, our efforts fade. Sometimes the goals are less about numbers and more about the way we live. I re-read a little plaque in my classroom today, and it really resonated with me. It says, "Love fully. Live simply. Laugh often." I liked the "live simply" part, and while I was trying to find a pretty version of it, I came across this:

Even better. Time for a few new goals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cut the Crap

That's what I'm calling my latest trek back onto the healthy eating wagon...the "Cut the Crap" diet. Now if it could just make me millions (but unfortunately, after a quick Google search, the idea isn't completely new).

Here's the basic idea...I let a lot of crap into my body, both physically and mentally. I figure if I can cut the crap out of my diet and my mind, I'll make some progress.

So, for the mental aspect, I am going to try really REALLY hard to focus on the positive. For me that means guarding my thoughts and keeping these chronic offenders out:
1. Comparisons...of distance, speed, size, weight, style...all of the above.
2. Negative self-talk
3. Doubts

For the physical part, it's all about limiting the "crap" I put into this body of mine:
1. Sugar
2. Processed foods
3. Excess, well, anything

Food, and the preparing of it, should really be about nourishing our bodies, fueling our activities, and nurturing our souls. That's my goal...to cut the crap and get down to the basics.

I liked this quote and how it touches on the physical and mental...

I keep my mind focused on peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, I can’t be distracted by doubt, anxiety, or fear. –Edith Armstrong

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall back week

It's a "fall back" week in more ways than one. I will be thankful for the extra hour of sleep tonight, and I have to say that I am thankful for a "fall back" week in training this week. The plan said 4, my brain said 6...so my body compromised with 5. I really wanted to break that sub-60 10K, but it's just not there. That's ok. Right now is all about being ready for Vegas...in one month!

Today's splits:
Mile 1     9:40
Mile 2     10:05
Mile 3     10:05 (how's that for consistency?)
Mile 4     10:42 (oops)
Mile 5     10:20
Cooldown 18:12

I am using November to remember all that I am thankful for...and I have so many blessings to list. It's nice to have that focus and to think about all the good things in life. So, while I haven't done a great job on my Happiness Project, I think I'll use the next couple of weeks (until Nov. 18, so I can catch up) to focus on gratefulness.

Mileage Report
Weekly: 18 miles
YTD: 676.85 miles (so close!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

I've got a couple of challenges going right now.

1. The first is Pile on the Miles (POTM). The idea here is to pile on the miles (running or walking) instead of the pounds this November as holiday season gets started. There's a group spreadsheet to be updated before Friday each week, and there are weekly prizes. That's enough to keep me motivated to run (as if Vegas wasn't enough).

2. The second is the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge (HBBC). This one covers all the holidays, running from November 19 to January 6. It's based on points for the activities you do, as well as points for eating fruits/veggies, responding on Facebook or completing challenges. I'm all for a good challenge!

3. My very own 1100K in 2011! I'm almost there! I need to think of a reward for myself :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Can't pass up a deal

A couple of weeks ago I saw that Old Navy's compression gear was on sale, and as luck would have it on the day I checked it out online, it was on sale with an additional 20% if you ordered online. On top of that, there was free shipping for orders over $50, so of course, like any sane runner mother would do, I had to order at least that much :)

Here's what I found:

 I tried these out this morning and loved them. Very comfortable!
This jacket has thumbholes, but you can easily cuff the sleeves and not have them over your hands at all. There's a pocket on the sleeve as well.
Wore this for this morning's run too. I love that the straps are adjustable. The back is nice because it has a vented area down the middle and reflectives stripes all the way down the back. There's also a small zippered pocket over the left hip. It is definitely compression wear though and fits snug.
I haven't tried these in a run yet, but I did try them on. They fit well. I liked that they had reflective stripes on the legs. The bottoms are zippered (although I haven't yet figured out the need for that).

When I went to our Old Navy this weekend, I also found a pair of shorts for $2.25! They hit just above the knee and had the small pocket on the back. I saw a couple of tops like the one I got, but in a size too small...and too bad! They were cheap!

I love new running clothes. They made me smile this morning during my run :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun

We had three days of Halloween fun. SB dressed as Fancy Nancy, complete with a tutu I made Friday night. My lil buddy dressed as "Busby" aka Bumblebee the Transformer. For whatever reason, he couldn't get the name right. This is the first year he really "got" the whole Halloween deal, and it was so much fun!

Day 1: Truck or Treat at my in-law's church

This was a pretty cool deal. They had trick-or-treating out of trucks around their rodeo arena. Then inside the arena, they had fire pits for cooking hot dogs. Unfortunately, SB was not feeling well, so she and I spent most of the time in the car.

Day 2: Trunk or Treat at our church (and I even dressed up for this one...as a runner...what a stretch, huh?)

Yes, I had to do the karate move or he wouldn't take the picture :)
This was the first year for our church to do this...and it was huge! About 75 spots of games and trick-or-treating and tons of people...the kids had a great time!

Day 3: Our annual Halloween family soup supper and trick or treating
We've done this for several years now, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger...and I love it! We had potato soup, chili, tomato/pasta soup, and all the fixings. We actually ate first, which put us trick-or-treating in the dark, but the kids had a great time! We only had three trick-or-treaters with us, but we had 9 (leaving behind 3 adults and a baby) adults. The weather was great for the walk. Poor Ryan was so tired, he put himself to sleep.