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!