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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Final Countdown

Hello!! How are you?? I mean really, how are you? Unless we are Facebook or real world friends, I have no idea how most of you have been the past week or so. The new 550 items in my Google Reader are proof. However, my lack of attention does not mean I don't love you. I have just been busy making memories. Yet the holidays are winding down, so my mind has been zeroing in on the year ahead, especially when it comes to my running.

With 2010 just hours away, I decided to put my goals in writing. And what better place to solidify my running goals than here?

2010 Running Goals
  • Run 1,000 miles
  • Run a 4:30 marathon
  • Set new 5K and 10K PRs
  • Update my running blog at least twice a week

The key to checking each item off my list is smaller weekly goals; I also think success will be more likely if I make myself accountable on here. If I feel like I have someone (you) checking up on me, I am much more motivated.

My first weekly goal is to get a run in tomorrow. I can't think of a better way to start the new year and to start off on the right track to reaching my goals.

So what are your goals (running or otherwise) for 2010?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jingle Bells - The Half Marathon Version


Dashing through the snow,
On a thirteen (.1) mile run.
O'er the hills we go,
Racing is so fun.
As my iPod plays,
Helping miles pass,
Oh what fun it is to run,
I hope I'm not in last.

Running fast, running far,
Running all the way.
I can see the finish line,
Just half a mile away.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jack Frosting



I'm really not a slacker with the once a week posts. I am just thinking of you and how busy you must be this time of year wrapping presents, finishing up last minute work projects, spending hours working on your Christmas cards, spending time with friends, shopping for those impossible people, getting together with family to make gingerbread houses ...

Ummm, ok, maybe that is me. But I am going to pretend my once weekly posts are a favor to you anyway.

By the way, there has also been some running in there. Not a ton, but I think I might actually stick to my training plan this week. I had a short run yesterday and there is speedwork on the schedule tomorrow and a longer run later Friday or Saturday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one to be an outside run. How I love running in the cold!! Seriously.

And now, since I also need to update my family blog while my girls are sleeping, I will wrap with a bullet point list of some of the things that have made me smile lately. Hopefully at least one of them will do the same for you.

  • Getting my Christmas card from Tall Mom Mel. Even the envelope made me smile. Mel has given me a nickname, Runner Barbie, that makes me smile every time I see it. I don't think anyone has ever given me a nickname before (other than Candi when I was younger), and I love it! Even if I am not even close to being a Barbie.


  • Bundling up my girls to play in the snow and watching my little girl go sledding for the first time.


  • Hearing my 3-year-old talk about Jack Frosting.


  • Ordering a cute new hat and arm warmers for running. Pics to come.


And last but not least, you won't have to wait another week to get a new post from me. Due to the postive response the singing runner received, she will be back with a new song tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The 12 Days of Running


On my twelfth day of running, I realized this runner needs...


Fog free sunglasses
Body glide for chafing
Nice, ripe bananas
Smart wool for my toesies
The Stick for my ouchies
Garmin to keep me going
GU to fill my tummy
Perrrrr-fectttt new shoooooes
A great playlist
Gatorade
Recovery socks
And a marathon medal for me


I could do this every day until Christmas (but I promise I won't) and not run out of things for the list!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blogger's Block

Between the holidays and my recent blogger's block (aka writer's block), I haven't checked in via my blog in over a week! I have been wandering around all of your blogs though, in hopes of getting some writing and running motivation and inspiration. I think it is starting to work. Now I just need a few more hours in the day. Last week was crazy as far as finding time to run. I went to bed every night thinking, "I have to run tomorrow." So without much running to report, I will share my upcoming running plans instead.

As part of the runner series to get guaranteed entry into the St. George Marathon, I have to run two of nine designated races. I was originally going to run a half marathon and a 10k, but I decided to run a 5k on January 23 instead of one of the others. I haven't run a 5k in a long time, so I am going to really focus on speedwork and shorter runs until my marathon training starts on Janury 11. I am doing the FIRST training program for my marathon. More on that later...

So with a new week underway, the 5k training plan begins. Today's plan is a speedwork run on the treadmill. I'll let you know how it goes.

And I will leave you with a glimpse of two of the best things that have been keeping me so busy...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude

Tomorrow I will be savoring every moment of many of the things I am thankful for with my family, so today I will share some of my gratitude with you. While it is easier to think about all these things around Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmingly grateful for so many of my blessings and gifts every day.

Just some of that things I am thankful for...
  • two healthy beautiful daughters
  • a kind, generous, hard-working husband
  • a warm home and good food
  • amazing parents
  • my Rowdy boy
  • getting to spend Thanksgiving with my awesome little brother and his equally awesome wife
  • my health
  • strong legs
  • sleep
  • music
  • the seasons
  • good books
  • my talents
  • my friends and support system in the blogging world

And since this is a running blog, some of the more running-related things I am thankful for...

  • strong legs (some things are worth repeating)
  • bananas
  • Garmin
  • perfect weather
  • Runner's World
  • the perfect shoes
  • races
  • my friends (you) and support system in the blogging world (what did I say about repeating things???)

Good luck to all those racing tomorrow!

And have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweat Smell

I was snuggling my 3-year-old at bedtime last night (post-run, pre-shower) when she said,
"I like your sweat smell, Mom."
Maybe there is something wrong with me (or maybe it's because I am a runner), but it made me smile and totally made my day!

Yesterday's four miles turned into three because I got out the door a little later than planned; the sun was going down and it was getting cold ("Mom, my face is freezing"). I have been watching just my mileage lately, so I haven't had any idea what my pace or time has been on my last few runs. I plugged my Garmin into the computer last night and was happy to see that my pace is getting back to where it was pre-injury and pre-children-with-ongoing-sickness. And it was especially nice to see the numbers improve again yesterday in spite of pushing the double jogger.

However, you may have noticed my next scheduled race has disappeared from my upcoming races list. I ran a 4-mile race on Thanksgiving the past two years and was looking forward to seeing my improvement this year. The first year I ran it, four miles was still considered a "long run" and the second year I just had a baby and had only been back to running for about two months. Even with a full year of good running behind me, I have decided to skip it this year. I don't feel prepared to run it. I can run four miles next Thursday morning on my own and save myself the money, time and likely disappointment that would result. (They have race day sign-up so I can always change my mind...)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Weather

Three easy treadmill miles on Monday were the perfect start to my week. I have four planned for this afternoon when the girls get up from their naps. The weather is perfect to take the girls out in the double jogger!

I prefer to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays while my oldest is at preschool, but it just isn't working out this week. Yesterday she didn't go to school, and tomorrow I need to take Rowdy (even with Addison's disease he is the perfect dog) to the vet and finish some shopping for our family pictures on Saturday. For once I am hoping for good weather for a reason that has nothing to do with running. We really need a good picture of all of us, since this is the closest thing we have to "a family picture" since the birth of my second daughter:


(And yes, this is a huge step for me, putting a picture of my girls and hubby on here ... even if it is from a year ago!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movie stars, memories, mistakes and more

My oldest little girl is sick (again) with a scary fever (104.8 at its highest) and vomiting, so I am going to post something I finally finished last week but never got around to putting on here. I figure we are due for good health all around at our house, so hopefully I will be back to regular blogging (and running) soon!

So, better late than never, Katie (Miles of Kate) tagged me to share some fun things...

1. Who is the hottest movie star?
This is hard! I am really liking Gerard Butler right now. And Ryan Reynolds has grown on me lately (especially after The Proposal).

2. Apart from your house and car, what is the most expensive item you have ever purchased?
Probably our TV; or if you add it all up, running is probably the most expensive "item" in my life.

3. What is your most treasured memory?
Giving birth (so I guess that is two memories)

4. What is the best gift you ever received as a child?
I spent way too much time thinking about this without coming up with an answer. I have wonderful, generous parents who gave me many wonderful things while growing up. That in itself is a gift!

5. What is the biggest mistake you ever made?
I try not to look back. I just try to learn from my mistakes and look forward.

6. Four words to describe yourself.
Mom, wife, runner, writer

7. What was the highlight and lowlight of your 2008?
Highlight - the birth of my little girl
Lowlight - my other little girl's oral surgery

8. What is your favorite film?
My Fair Lady

9. Tell me one thing I don't know about you.
I have the perfect dog, a Boston Terrier named Rowdy.


10. If you were a comic book/strip cartoon character, who would you be?
I guess Phoenix in X-Men. My knowledge of comic book charaters is somewhat limited.

I haven't had much luck tagging people, and I took so long to respond that I will leave it up to you if you want to share these same things about yourself...

Friday, November 13, 2009

If you're happy and you know it...

Mel (Tall Mom on the Run) had a great post on happiness yesterday. It went along perfectly with some of my recent thoughts. On Wednesday night, I read an article on the happiest states in the U.S. When I found out I live in the "happiest state," I posted about it on Facebook. My post was straightforward and had absolutely no underlying sarcasm: "Candice just found out she lives in the happiest U.S. state!"

Maybe it was just my ongoing runner's high, but I thought it was pretty great and was proud to be one of the people adding to the state's happiness. However the responses I got on Facebook were surprisingly not as positive and included two people saying it is also the #1 state for antidepressants.

This was my response at the time:

Wow!!! Interesting reactions. I think the article has some great points: "In these places, residents enjoy their jobs, express deep optimism about future prospects and even manage to stay healthy. Utah earned the highest marks. Here residents reported a high level of satisfaction in several areas, including work environment, emotional health and their local communities."

I love my work environment, am as happy as I have ever been emotionally, and couldn't ask for a better community. But maybe it's just those natural antidepressants (aka runner's high) running through me...

I wish I would have also pointed out that maybe the state is #1 for antidepressants because people here WANT to be happy and will do something about it when they are not, instead of just being resigned to being unhappy.

Who knows how accurate the findings in the article are? I don't really care. It's like Mel said: You have a choice to be happy!

I choose to be happy.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All Good

I have one pair of jeans that I really love. I'm sure you all know what I am talking about. I am wearing them today. And although after three years of wear they are looking a little tired, I still love them. I think I love them a little extra today because I just feel good. That is what running does. It makes me feel good (and maybe a little skinnier than yesterday).

The perfect jeans in 2006, brand spankin' new

I didn't make it on my 3-miler Monday but got out there yesterday. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I set my Garmin to show only the miles, and then I just ran. I didn't worry about time or pace. I stopped when my little girl wanted to look at the horses. I walked part of the last mile just to enjoy being outside and to give my baby a little extra time to sleep in the stroller. I just enjoyed running. The legs felt strong and healthy, only a little sluggish after almost two weeks off. My shoes made my feet happy. The weather was perfect. And I felt great all day. It was good. All good.



Monday, November 9, 2009

Running Buddies

I have been neglecting many things in my life over the past few weeks. This blog is proof of that neglect; so are my dirty toilets, the piles of clothes waiting to be washed, and the bare state of my house as it awaits the transition from Halloween to Christmas (a several day process that is now in progress). The neglect is the result of two very sick little girls. My 3-year-old came down with the flu on the Thursday before Halloween. My baby followed on Sunday night. Two doctor visits, a positive influenza culture test, three ear infections, four prescriptions, one pre-pneumonia diagnosis, 11 nights (and counting) with an extra little person in my bed and lots of feverish snuggle time later, both my girls are on the mend and life is getting back to normal. Which means I am back to the blog (the toilets will just have to wait). However, there hasn't been much (any) running since my girls got sick. So instead I am here to introduce you to my new running buddies:


I tried on SO MANY different shoes, but ended up with Sauconys (again). They just feel right. My last (first, only) two pairs of running shoes were Sauconys as well. I love, love, loved my first pair: ProGrid Ride. Never really felt the love for my second pair: ProGrid Jazz. Saucony changed the Ride, and the Jazz were supposedly more like the original Ride than the new Ride 2. Ummm, not so much. At least as far as my feet are concerned. So the new kicks: Saucony ProGrid Ride 2. After waiting several weeks for them to arrive, they have only joined me for one short run. Our second run together is on the schedule for this afternoon. I am a little nervous about feeling totally out of running shape, but at least I have given my legs a little extra time to get totally healthy.

So for extra healthy legs, I am grateful. And for my recovering little girls!! Over the past few weeks, I was reminded how precious good health is and have renewed gratitude for my own strong, healthy body.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Talking to Myself

I'm usually pretty healthy, so I hate to get on here and moan about being sick after I already complained about my "injured" knees for the past month. But I have been sick, so what can I do? I've had some sinus problems and a headache for over a week so I went to the doctor (something I normally only do a few times a year but have now done twice in the past month) and found out I have fluid in my ears, which is causing the sinus problems and my terrible ear pain; and I have some ribs out of alignment, causing my the headache and stiff, sore neck. A few days, some ear numbing drops, some nasty nasal spray for the sinus pressure, and meds for my neck and head later, I am feeling pretty good. Good = I feel like I can safely go for a run and my head will not explode all over the sidewalk. So a run is on the tomorrow's agenda after I drop off my 3-year-old (still thinking of something to call my girls on here; suggestions welcome!) at preschool. I love running in the cold weather, but it is windy and really COLD today so I hope it warms up just a little or I might have to bury my little one under blankets and put the rain cover on the stroller to keep out the wind.

Now for the non-running stuff. I have been asked about my writing a few times so I decided to share a little more about what I do when I am not playing house. Before I was a mommy, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I started freelance writing while looking for a job writing or editing. I got a job and worked as a technical writer for a few years and then as an editor for McGraw-Hill. While working full-time, I continued my freelance work on the side. Since having kids, I have continued writing and now do a lot of freelance editing as well. I have written for local and national magazines, newspapers and Web sites and have contributed to two books (one on extreme sports and the other on dating). I have written about sports, fitness, pregnancy, entertainment and construction (no running yet, but I hope to change that sooner than later). I just finished editing a 100-page book but also edit things like press releases, other media tools, and a lot of Internet content. That is just a glimpse of my writing life. I could go on and on, but I'm sure some of you stopped reading already and now I am just talking to myself, so I'll stop.

Monday, October 26, 2009

LUNA Bar Winners

Since I am a little under the weather, I will just get right to the good stuff. The winners of the LUNA Bar Giveaway are:


and


Congrats!! Just email (ihaverun@hotmail.com) me your address, and I will get your bars in the mail!!


I will be back later in the week with a running update, answers to some questions, and a blog post I have been writing in my head for over a week! Happy Monday and happy running!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (No, not YOU, Running!)


I figure I'm due for a running update since I hit the two week post-doctor mark on Wednesday and since this happens to be a running blog. Tuesday night I tried out my legs on the treadmill. My goal was three easy miles. A little over a mile in, there was a little twinge in my right knee; it subsided quickly and the three miles felt really good! I stretched and iced after my run, and my legs felt great that night and the next day.

Today I dropped my 3-year-old (I need to come up with something else to call my kids on here...) off at preschool and loaded my other little one into the stroller and we were off.

My little running buddy

The goal was four miles. We ran on streets in the neighborhoods surrounding the preschool. My right knee felt great the entire time, but my left knee started to hurt at around three miles. It only hurt when I ran, not when I slowed to a walk. I am pretty sure it was my ITB since I was running on the slanted surface at the edge of the road most of the time. And my left leg was always on the slanted part since I was running against traffic. Also, it let up a little when I was on totally flat surfaces like the sidewalk, so I am even more sure it is an ITB issue.

So I'm going to take tomorrow off, focus on stretching and more icing, and shoot for another treadmill run on Saturday. Since my left knee was the one my doc was concerned about, I will reevaluate after Saturday's run.

Oh, and have I mentioned lately I Love Running?



Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

And help me get paid to be in a good mood and blog about it here!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let's Talk About...

You know what they say about how often men think about sex... I have decided that applies to me, only it's how often I think about running.

It is crazy how often I think about running during my waking hours each day! Before I started running, I thought about working out at least a few times a day. I honestly can't remember going a day without at least fleetingly thinking about going to the gym, popping in a workout video, or doing some strength training while watching a little television.

I'm not sure you get it though. I literally think about what my workout will be or that I need to workout EVERY DAY, multiple times a day. The only time it let up even a little was when I taught yoga and other group fitness classes. Those days I just obsessed about the workout routine instead.

Now that "working out" means running, there is even more to think about. When, where, how long, how far, speedwork, tempo run, pace, when I should eat, what I should eat, what to wear, do I need new shoes, training for my next race, what is my next race, and on and on and on.

I can't imagine it, but I am sure there are people who go through entire days without thinking about doing any type of physical activity. Their next workout isn't a constant thought hovering at the back of their brain, waiting for its next attack on their random train of thought process.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

And help me get paid to be in a good mood and blog about it here!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Love LUNA Bars - A Giveaway

A few years ago, I tried an energy bar. Since then, I have not had any desire to try another. It was THAT bad. Because tastes change and products change, the bar I tried shall remain nameless. If I ever get daring enough to try that brand again and change my mind about it, I will then reveal the bar's identity.

So in the checkout line at Target the other day, I was pretty hungry and there was a LUNA Bar sitting there. Normally it would go unnoticed, but my subconscious must have seen the words "chocolate" and "mint" in the same general area so I gave it a good look. Chocolate Peppermint Stick.

If any of you have been around since the beginning of I Have Run (not so long ago), I originally had some goals listed in the sidebar. One of those goals was to cut back on the Cool Mint Creme Oreos. I don't like regular Oreos, but there is just something about chocolate and mint together.

So I bought the LUNA Bar. And it was awesome!! So awesome that I wrote LUNA a letter telling them how much I enjoyed it. Now LUNA and I want you to try it (and some of their other yummy bars) too! I have tried a couple of the other flavors and have yet to be unhappy, but the Chocolate Peppermint Stick is still my favorite.

Two of my wonderful readers will each receive LUNA Bars in six different flavors (of course one of those for each winner will be Chocolate Peppermint Stick). All the bars are LUNA's "new recipe," which now includes Vitamin D. And just because they are designed with women in mind doesn't mean my male readers can't enter!

Here's how you can enter to win:

Required entry

  • Visit LUNA Bar here and leave a comment telling me what flavor looks yummiest; or if you already enjoy LUNA Bars, tell me which is your favorite.

Optional additional entries

  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment letting me know. Or let me know if you are already a follower.

  • Put a link to my giveaway on your blog. Leave another comment letting me know.

  • In another comment: ask me a question, tell me what you like about my blog, tell me what you want to see on my blog, or just wish me a happy birthday (pathetic, I know).

Winners will be announced Monday, October 26th.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am going to be a copycat and have a Thankful Thursday post like some of my fellow bloggers. I love reading why many of you are thankful, and it made me think about some of my own blessings. So here are a few things I am thankful for today:

  • Running, and not just because this blog is about running. Running less has made me love it more because it has made me appreciate it more.

  • I am also thankful for this view during many of my runs:

  • I am thankful for YOU, my fellow bloggers!! One of you, a little messed up Kelly, makes me either laugh or cry EVERY time I read your blog. Then you go and give me an award! Could I love you more right now??

From Kelly, I pass this award on to Run Faster Mommy Heather. She is another mommy-of-two, and reading her blog is so often like reading about my own life!

  • And last but not least, I am thankful for my hubby. And not just because he brings home the bacon that pays for my ever-expanding collection of running gear. I actually really like the guy!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Knickers

Woo-hoo!! I got my package from Running Warehouse today!! I ordered two pairs of running capris, hoping at least one would work. I bought a pair at Target last week but ended up taking them back out of fear of chafing (down there) because the seams weren't flat like they are in "real" running gear.

I tried on the two new pairs, one Pearl Izumi and one Moving Comfort, as soon as they came, and I love them both. The PIs are thinner and shorter (so obviously the MCs are thicker and longer), so I might just have to keep them both! I'll try to remember to snap a pic when I wear them running so you can see them in action. I thought about taking a pic when I was trying them on, but they looked a little odd with the shirt I am wearing today, so I figured I could at least show you what they look like on an invisible body:



Moving Comfort Endurance Capri


Pearl Izumi Aurora Splice Knicker
(As a side note: I think "knicker" is a great word!)


I also got a foam roller. It has been on my to-do list since I went to the doctor last week. Better late than never. I'm going to start putting it to good use today!!

In other news, I will be announcing a giveaway on Friday...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back Fat

I have gained three pounds since my marathon. It may not seem like that much, but it seems like a lot when it makes your weight loss goal jump from seven to 10 pounds.

So that is my weight loss goal as of today: 10 pounds.

Obviously, running is a key to accomplishing that goal. Once my legs are back to 100% (hopefully by next week), I can get back to running 20+ miles per week instead of the less than 10 miles that have resulted in those three pesky pounds.

Besides my legs, there are two things that will be key to reaching my goal. The first is what I put in my mouth. I am not a terrible eater, but I could be better. And I will. I am going to focus on eating six times a day. Right now, I rarely eat a snack between my three meals unless it's a handful of candy corn or something along those lines. I am going to try to eat a piece of fruit or yogurt or an energy bar a few hours after each meal and then eat a little less at each meal. This has worked for me in the past and will hopefully do the trick now as well. I'm headed to the grocery store to stock up as soon as my girls wake from their naps.

The second factor in my weight loss is the fact that I am still nursing my baby (my male readers are understandably welcome to skip to the last paragraph). When my weight seemed stuck a few months after I had my second baby, my doc told me it would be hard to get the scale to budge. Instead of being one of those lucky women who seem to lose a pound every time they sit down to nurse, my doc said my body was going to try to hold on to those last few pounds because of how much I weighed before I got pregnant. I was a healthy weight, but I didn't have much extra. I SLOOOOWLY lost several more pounds, but I am still 6 pounds heavier than I was the month I found out I was pregnant.

My weight the month that pregnancy test came up positive is like magic. With both my pregnancies, I acquired this awesomely annoying back fat. It's just this little extra roll above my waistband. When I finally hit that gloriously magic number on the scale in January 2008, the back fat was finally gone; within two months it was coming back. Yes, I finally hit my pre-pregnancy #1 weight the month I found out I was preggo with #2. (For those keeping track, my ultimate goal is 4 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy #1 weight.)

Anyhow, the point of the second weight loss factor is that I may not be able to fully reach my goal until I stop nursing. I actually started weaning my little one around her first birthday, but her pediatrician said it would be good to keep going until my baby's 18-month appointment if possible because she is such a little thing (8 lbs 6 oz at birth up to only 17 pounds at 1-year). She is healthy and happy (and my first little girl followed a similar weight gain pattern, so I just have little girls), but she is still an enthusiastic nurser so we'll keep going while we can.

With that in mind, I know the weight loss will be slow. I am fine with that. But making positive changes in the right direction is the first step. And putting it out there makes me more accountable. So I'll keep you posted with my progress (and will let you know when that back fat is finally gone again).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dixie Cups


I need to start by saying I really like my doctor (I would say "love" but my doc is a guy and I don't want to raise any eyebrows). I have been going to him for a loooong time; since long before I was a mommy. Possibly even before I was a wife, but I'm a little fuzzy on that. I even followed him from one practice to another (I'm not a stalker, just a person who isn't good with change, but that is a whole other blog post).

Although he is my family doc, I was pretty confident he would have the answers I needed or would send me in the right direction if he didn't. And since he is a runner (actually a triathlete), I knew he wouldn't just tell me to stop running to solve the problem.

Now for the problem. I have tendinitis in my right knee, minor IT band issues in both legs, and swelling in my left knee joint. So in addition to 800mg of ibuprofen twice a day for two weeks, I get to (not have to since I'm trying to be positive here) ice both upper legs and knees every day and stretch, stretch, stretch. And of course I asked that burning question: "Can I run?"

I can run. Short, easy runs. Followed by ice and more stretching.

If the pain isn't remarkably better in two weeks, I go back. Even though my right knee was the one that hurt during my marathon, my doc is actually more concerned about the swollen joint in my left knee. If it still hurts in two weeks, it will be time for an x-ray or MRI to make sure there isn't something more serious going on in there.

So the first 800mgs are down the hatch and the water is in the freezer in Dixie cups (actually leftover 1st birthday cups that I can finally use and get rid of!!). The doc said to freeze water in Dixie cups and then rub the big ice cube directly on my leg and knee. Can't wait!!

Let the healing begin...

Monday, October 5, 2009

2010 Runner Series


Thanks for letting me get a little off track yesterday. Speedwork was my cure after a long, grumpy day. Today I feel much better! My speedwork consisted of a 10-min. warm-up, 3 x 1000 at 8:34 pace, and a 10-min. cooldown. I was planning to do 4 x 1000, but my knees were both feeling really warm and there was a tingly sensation in my right leg so I cut it short to avoid making anything worse. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to find out if my IT band self-diagnosis is correct and to make sure I am doing everything I can do make things better. My knees never bother me when I am not running, and I was able to run through the discomfort (it's not actually PAIN) last night. So I am hoping the issues subside with continued stretching, strengthening and post-run icing.

Now for some racing news. This past Saturday was the St. George marathon. I was so excited for those I knew who were running it (Stacey and my 100+ marathon friend Becky), but I was also a little bummed I was not there. It is a lottery, and I was not selected to run. St. George is the reason I started my marathon training this year; I signed up for Top of Utah when I didn't get selected to run St.G. Anyhow,one way you can run the race without depending on the lottery is through the Runner Series. After registering and paying $10, I just have to select and run two (of nine) qualifying races. Then I'm in.

Registration opened yesterday at 9 am. By 9:15, I had registered myself and my husband (his idea). The series is limited to 750 runners and is now closed! Now it's just a matter of running those two races, and I will be at the St. George Marathon starting line on October 2, 2010.

Did you notice the above mention that my husband is also one of those 750 runners? He wants to run, and he has some brand spankin' new Mizunos waiting in his closet for their day in the sun. So maybe that day is here. I won't say anymore since he reads this blog and I don't want him to feel TOO much pressure. But I might have an occasional running buddy in the coming months.

Why I Hate Mondays


Every Monday, I spend an hour hating myself. While I watch my darling little 3-year-old try to master a cartwheel and cautiously tip-toe along the balance beam at gymnastics each week, I sit and feel bad about myself. I don't know why I do it; not all the other mothers are perfectly proportioned or dressed like they walked out of a magazine. Still, I manage to find something about each and every one of them to compare myself to (in a negative way of course). I walk out of gymnastics wanting to go home and run until I can't run anymore, to get out my frustrations and to burn off those last few pounds that bother me most on Monday mornings.

Thanks for letting me vent.

And speaking of those last few pounds...stay tuned to find out more about my weight loss and training goals later this week!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The "Sport" of Running



Is running a sport? I recently had a conversation about this question. At first I was adamant that it IS a sport, but as the conversation evolved I started to wonder. There were a lot of "if this, then this" points brought up, such as: "If running is a sport, then hunting is a sport." Badminton was also mentioned at one point. And there was some discussion about sport vs. exercise. In the course of the discussion, we even took the time to look it up online. The first definition I found didn't really clear it up for me:

sport [ spawrt ]
noun (plural sports)
Definition:
1. competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally (often used in the plural)

So runners and non-runners out there, what do you think?


Is running a sport???

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Next Please

I wish I had a cool nickname like Tall Mom on the Run so when I refer to myself in the third person it isn't quite so boring, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

What's next on Candice's running schedule?

First I should mention I am back to running. After my marathon, I took a week off. After lots of hip, butt and thigh stretching and strengthening exercises for my IT band, I was planning on getting back at it the Thursday after my marathon, but my achilles tendons (yes both of them) were bothering me. I don't know if it was extra-delayed-onset-muscle-soreness, but I spent the weekend icing both my my heels. So Monday morning I strapped my girls in the jogger and we were off. I walked the first five minutes because I read it could help warm up my muscles and possibly help prevent IT band issues. The first two miles were great; no soreness. And my legs felt pretty good. But at almost exactly two miles, my left knee started feeling warm. The most significant thing about this is that it was my LEFT knee!! It was my right leg that bothered me during my marathon. So I walked the last 3/4 mile home. The plan for the ITB issues is: lots of stretching, strengthening exercies, new shoes, invest in a foam roller, and short (3-6 mile) runs mostly on the treadmill (since it's easier on my legs).

As far as races go, the next one I have planned is on Thanksgiving. It is the 4-miler I mentioned in my last post that I have run the past two years. The plan as far as training is to focus on speedwork and tempo runs to see how much I can improve my time. I haven't started thinking about a specific time goal yet; my training (as well as how quickly my ITB issues subside) will help me determine that.

Last but not least, I signed up for my next marathon! I will be running the Ogden Marathon on May 15, 2010. I'm sure there will be some shorter races between now and then, but I am so excited to have a spring marathon on the calendar!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Memory Lane

The other night, I was talking to my hubby about my running. Mostly I was asking him if it drives him nuts. He admitted that it has been hard because training for my marathon was so time consuming (during his busiest time of year at work), but he said it is worth it if I really love it. And I do! I never, ever, ever, ever would have thought I would run, would WANT to run, would LOVE TO RUN! But I do.

This conversation reminded me of something I thought about while running my marathon. You have some time to think when you are running 26.2 miles, and one thing that really struck me was how far I have come in the past year. Before September of last year, my longest race was a 4-miler and my longest run was 5.5 miles. Here is a little timeline of the year's highlights:
  • September 2008 - The birth of my second child
  • November 2008 - 4-mile race (I ran the same race in 2007; beat my time by 32 seconds)
  • March 2009 - Foot surgery
  • May 2009 - My first 10K
  • June 2009 - My first 10-mile race
  • August 2009 - My first half marathon
  • September 2009 - My first marathon

There were a few other races mixed in there, but those are the things that really stood out. Now it's time to start looking forward to what's next...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank You

I have just a minute before my girls wake from their naps, but I have been thinking about my marathon (of course) and the keys to my success as a first timer. I could have spent hours researching marathons and how to train for them, but I never would have found the priceless, real-world advice and experiences I received from all of you, my friends in the blogging and running communities. I just want to say thank you! I know I would not have made it to the finish without your experiences, knowledge and inspiration pushing me along!!


(Don't mind the little person or boxes of
Halloween decorations in the background!)


In other news, I won Run DMT's giveaway for a shirt from Running Chics. I chose a cute long sleeve thermal shirt, and finally had a chance to wear it now that it finally feels like fall. I just wanted to share a picture of the shirt and tell you it is awesome! It's especially nice because I really feel like a Running Chic these days!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Race Report: Top of Utah Marathon


Speaking of lists... I made a list of things I want to remember to include in my race report, but that list is upstairs and my legs are currently not friends with the stairs. I am going to try to remember everything on the list, but I figure anything I forget will just make a good post topic later. So yes, this is my race report. I finished my first marathon on Saturday. And the first item to note is that I did indeed finish. That was my goal. To finish.

My second goal was to finish under the 5 hour mark. I made my second goal as well. My third goal was to finish feeling good enough that I want to do another one. Let's just say I am narrowing down the list of spring marathons.

Now for the details. I spent the night in a hotel about an hour from the race start; that took an hour off my drive, so it was worth it. (It was the closest one I could get by the time I decided to make a reservation.) After waking up about 10 times, I got out of bed two minutes before my 3:45 am alarm was set to go off. I made it to the bus about 5:30, got to the start, went potty, and spent the rest of the time moving to keep warm. I was happy that I remembered to bring a blanket to wrap around my legs! At 7 am on the dot, the gun went off. Several minutes later, I crossed the start.

My goal was to maintain around a 10:00 pace. Other than being cold, I felt pretty good the first few miles. At mile two, I could finally feel most of my hands. My thumbs stopped being numb at mile three. Mile three was also the first aid station. Because of my dehydration experience at the end of my half, I think I was a little too cautious and drank too much (2-3 cups of water or Gatorade at each stop). This resulted in three potty stops before the halfway point. There were port-a-potties every other mile, but I didn't want to wait in a line of even one or two people so my first two stops were in the bushes. Because the first half of the race is down a canyon, finding a quick, discreet place to go was easy. Although someone might want to tell that to the guy that I passed TWICE while he was peeing just a foot off the road. I didn't see anything, but I probably could have if I would have turned around after I passed him.

After potty stop three, I stopped gulping so much at every aid station. My legs were getting a little tired by the halfway point, but it wasn't anything that was slowing me down. I hit 13.1 miles at 2:13. At that point I was pretty confident I could finish in 4:40. I only needed one more potty stop during the second half, and my pace stayed pretty consistent until mile 19. Then my right leg started hurting on the outside, just above and next to my knee. Around mile 20, the pain was shooting up toward my hip and forced me to slow down. At mile 21, I stopped to have Icy Hot rubbed on my leg at the first aid station. By then my knee was also hurting, and I was walking off and on. After walking a few minutes, the pain would subside and I would run again. But then the pain would build up and almost completely stop me. When I could run, I was hitting a 9:30 pace, so I knew I had it in me to make that 4:40 mark. Unfortunately my leg wasn't cooperating. I ran as much as I could and walked when I had to. When I crossed the finish, the clock said 5:02. My Garmin, which I forgot to turn off the autopause feature, said 4:52. I figured my actual time was closer to the clock time with all my potty stops. My husband received a text with my chip time when I crossed the finish. 4:59:12. Goal!!

Now for some marathon miscellany:

  • I need to find a happy medium on the liquid intake. Less potty stops = faster time.
  • I never asked myself "Why am I doing this?"
  • I didn't have any tummy troubles during or after my run. I would like to thank Imodium and all those who advised sticking to what worked in the past.
  • I did not eat a banana at any of the aid stations where they were readily available. No heartburn this time!!
  • I GUed just before the start and at miles 5, 11 and 19.
  • This winter I am going to stock up on cheap mittens that I can just discard during future marathons.
  • I think Apple should sponsor marathons (maybe they do). This thought ran through my mind as I passed iPod after iPod.
  • I ran several miles with my new friend Jon, who was also running his first marathon. We became fast friends on the bus ride to the start. I am excited to follow his progress as he trains for and runs his second marathon next spring.
  • After a lot of computer research, I am pretty sure my leg pain was my IT band. Any thoughts on this are more than welcome!! I would love to be running again by then end of the week...
  • The only time I got emotional was when this version of "Don't Stop Believin" came on my iPod during mile 26.

That's it for now. Enjoy the picture of my lovely post-race glow. I will share more pics once they are posted from the race!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lists

I love running 10 miles. On the treadmill or outside, it has become on of my favorite distances. I feel tired when I am done, but a good tired. Not an I-want-to-die tired. And I am not sore after 10 miles. As we all learned a few weeks ago, I can't say the same after 20 miles. So yes, I ran my scheduled 10 miles last night. And it was great. I made sure they were easy miles (which is easy to do on the treadmill and also one its few benefits); and I am also happy to report a pain-free leg. So now the countdown really begins. (My tummy did a flop just typing that.)

My marathon is Saturday, THIS Saturday. Saturday, September 19th.

I spent the morning printing out driving directions and re-reading the race info. I have started lists of things to pack (for the entire family since we're staying at a hotel the night before so I don't have to drive over 2 hours the morning of), things to remember (wrap sore toe, Glide above boobs, etc.) and things to do (charge Garmin, iPod playlist, etc.). The marathon checklists are growing by the hour...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reassurance

WOW! Thanks for the your reassuring comments about running my marathon after missing some of my runs. I just might end up going into this thing a little over-confident thanks to all of you (ha-ha, wouldn't that be nice). But really, thanks!! I feel a lot better about things; and my leg is doing much better. It's not 100 percent yet, but it is getting there. I am running every other day to give it time to recover without stressing myself out because I am missing too many runs. The true test will be my last pre-marathon "long" run this weekend, 10 miles.

I wanted to include something about 9/11 since it has been on my mind all day, but I just couldn't come up with the right words to express my thoughts. So instead I will send you over to Beth who had the perfect thing to say today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 Days and Counting

Sorry I have been MIA. My blog neglect has been partly due to lack of running because of my mysterious leg pain and also due to the time I spent over the past week planning my baby's first birthday party. The party is over, and without that distraction my nerves are on overdrive!

I don't think I would be quite this nervous about my marathon NEXT SATURDAY (the 19th) if I had been able to continue with my training plan. My leg is finally getting back to normal, but I am going to head to the doctor tomorrow if it acts up during tonight's run. Because of my leg, I missed my long run this past weekend. Please, someone in bloggyland tell me I will be OK next week in spite of my missed runs?!?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Never Again


I ran 20 miles on the treadmill last night, and I have no plans to ever do it again. It was hard, really hard!

Actually, the first 10 weren't bad. They went pretty quickly as I switched back and forth from The Office to The Breakup on TV. One hour in, I was getting hungry, so I ran downstairs and ate a banana. That was my first mistake. By the half marathon mark, I had heartburn like you wouldn't believe. Running was painful. I walked when it was too much to stand. And took a quick break for some Tums. The heartburn NEVER went away. Then I got sleepy at mile 15. The only thing that kept me going was that I had grabbed a movie (17 Again) from Redbox and set up my laptop next to the treadmill. Unfortunately, the movie ended just after I hit that 15 mile mark. I watched late night talk shows the rest of the time, but they weren't enough to distract me from the massive blister that had formed on my little toe (mistake #2 - forgetting to Glide my toes). At mile 18, I met the wall. Yet I pushed on (barely), and eeked out the full 20. As I limped to bed, I decided 13.1 would be pushing it in the future as far as long runs on the treadmill. I think 10 will be my lucky treadmill number.

Misc. from my 20 treadmill miles:
  • The treadmill makes our bedroom really warm after about an hour!

  • I was really sick to my stomach when I finished. Not crampy but like I was going to puke. Is this normal?

  • The backs of my legs (especially the right one) really hurt, directly behind my knees. Any thoughts on this? (They still hurt today, but luckily that is really my only soreness.)

  • While a part of me is still debating doing the marathon at all, I am changing my goal to just finishing it. Under 5 hours would just be a bonus.

  • I was shivering as I crawled into bed. Is that why they give out those silver blanket things after marathons?

  • If 20 miles was this hard, can I really do 26.2?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

20 Miles or Bust!!

I figure if I put it on here, I might feel more pressure to make it happen. Tonight I am finally going to get my 20 mile run DONE! It was planned for Sunday night, but it wasn't going to happen after an ER visit for my baby and lots of much needed cuddle time (for both baby and Mommy) when we finally got home! Then yesterday I was tired from a late and long night and fought a headache all day, so I debated the run all afternoon. When the girls went to bed late, my decision was finally made. I really didn't want to finish running around midnight. So tonight it is!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Proof that I Have Run


I wish I had posted more pictures of the non-running me before I posted these of me in action, but you know what they say: "Wish in one hand, poop in the other, see which fills up faster." (This is a family-friendly blog so the quote was edited for language.) Anyhow, apparently the photographers at the Hobble Creek Half Marathon only wanted pictures of us looking our sweaty best so they waited until the last five miles to take these. The smiling one was taken as I started down a hill, right after an uphill and an aid station. Of course I would be smiling then. I am pretty sure the other was taken during the last mile. I can imagine that was the look on my face when I saw the "1/2 mile to go" sign.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Race Report: My First Half Marathon

Half Marathon = 13.1 miles. Just wanted to put that in words at some point in this post.

I don't know why I have such a hard time when it comes to my race reports, but I do. Anyhow, here is the story of my first half marathon, the Hobble Creek Half.

Thanks to my AWESOME cousin Stacey, who got out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to come watch my girls, I arrived promptly at 5:30 am to get on the bus. Because I didn't know anyone else running, I sat alone until the bus was almost full. Then Miss Runner herself sat down next to me. After pleasantries ("Have you run this before?" "No, it is my first half. You?" "No, it is my first half too."), I asked if she runs a lot of races because she looked familiar. She confirmed that she does. But she doesn't just run; she wins. She ran in high school and through college. She took a year off during college to have a baby (and now has three kids), but came back and continued to win and win and win. While waiting in the potty line, I asked what her goal time was. I already knew by this point that she wanted to place in the top three. Her goal time was 1 hour 15 minutes, but she was a little nervous because her longest run ever was 10 miles. HELLO! Her goal was almost an hour less than my 2 hour 5 minute goal (9:30/M). Long story short, she came in first OVERALL for the women. She finished in 1:12:13 (5:31/M).

So my race report so far is actually more a report of Miss Runner's (aka Lindsey's) race, but I seriously am still in awe. My time isn't nearly as awe inspiring, but I did beat my goal. My stats:
Chip Time: 2:00:42
Gun Time: 2:02:22
Pace: 9:12
Since the difference in time was clearly the amount of time it took to finally cross the start, I am going with my chip time. The first five miles were seriously downhill. It was great! The only bad thing was how seriously crowded it was; there were so many times I had to run on the gravel along the side of the road to pass a line of four or five people running shoulder to shoulder so they could chat.

On the steeper downhills, I told myself over and over: "Let the road do the work." It might be total nonsense, but it worked. On my 10 mile race a few months ago, I had a hard time taking advantage of the downhills because I was too afraid of feeling out of control or of falling. This time I trusted my legs to know what they were doing (since they've had some practice at this running thing).

Around mile seven there was an uphill that slowed my pace a little, but it was bearable. The last few miles were a little more difficult simply because it was starting to get hot. The race started almost 45 minutes late (putting the start at 8 am) and it got to 100 degrees that day so it was pretty warm by 9 am. There was a little bit of a breeze around miles 11-12, which helped. But I actually started to feel chilled as I neared the last mile and got a little worried because I remembered reading that it is a sign of dehydration. The last mile was TOUGH! I forced myself to not let my pace drop below 10:00/M, but I seriously wanted to cry when I saw the 1/2 mile to go sign. Around mile 11, I thought I might make it in less than 2 hours. And I was close. Next time!

Here is some other misc. info from my first half marathon:
  • I have spent some time since I crossed the finish line wondering if I can really run a marathon in four weeks. I am doing a 20 mile this weekend, and I think it is going to help me answer that question.
  • I think the half is going to be my favorite racing distance.
  • I am a mom first and a runner second. This was confirmed a few miles in when some kids (not my kids) were holding a "We Love You Mom" poster out the sunroof of their SUV. At the same time, one of my 3-year-old's favorite songs was playing on my iPod. I nearly started crying. In spite of almost crying twice during this race, I HARDLY EVER cry. I am not that kind of girl (not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just not).
  • I drank some water before the race, GU and water at mile 3, water at mile 6, water, GU and sports drink at mile 9, and water and sports drink at mile 11. I slowed at the aid stations to make sure I really drank something, so carrying my own water might be the only dehydration solution for me.
  • They should really have water for the finishers. It is ALL I wanted, and they were out by the time I finished. I couldn't gag down any of the food or the sports drink they had (it was all too sweet!!!) and just wanted water and something salty.
  • I lost my jacket. I spent almost 30 minutes digging through the piles of clothes. Hoping it turns up at the store where we picked up our packets; they said to check in a few days.

I will probably think of more things I wanted to include, so there might be a post race report report later this week. I will also let you know about my surprisingly motivational running music at some later date. And I will try to post a photo. Since I was a lone runner, I don't have any photo proof of my run; I'm waiting for the professional photogs to post the pics from the run. Hopefully I won't look too dorktastic (thanks Heather for introducing me to that word)!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Think, Think, Think

There are a few things I have been wanting to get written and could make pretty lengthy posts about each, but I am tired of thinking about them. So here are the things I have been thinking about lately:
  • My first half marathon. It is this Saturday. The Hobble Creek Half Marathon. I have already lost sleep over it (thinking things like don't forget to Glide your toes, update iPod tomorrow, etc.). Instead of running my planned 20 miler this past week, which is what my marathon training had scheduled, I decided I would rather have fresh, strong legs for my first half. That means my longest run will be 20 miles, the week after my half. But several beginner training plans I have looked at peaked at a 20 mile long run, so I am hoping that will be enough.
  • There is a reason the GU instructions say to eat one 15 minutes before. I have been using energy gels about 6 miles or more into my long runs and not noticing any spectacular difference in my energy. I was tired and hungry at the start of my last 10 mile, so I downed a GU two miles in. After than, I wasn't hungry and felt strong the rest of my run. I ended feeling like I could have kept going. Then last night, I downed a GU about 15 minutes before my run. I was so tired (not sleepy, just exhausted) and hoped it would give me the energy to at least get started. Again, there was a noticeable difference by the time I changed my clothes and jumped on the treadmill. And I stayed strong through my speedwork. I'm going to be GUing before or at least early in my runs from now on!
  • KT Tape works. I have struggled with pain in my left hip since starting my marathon training several months ago. I think it is because of loose joints from being pregnant and then (still) nursing combined with the fact that I have a baby sitting on that hip off and on all day. Add running and you get hip pain. I got a sample of KT Tape, and very skeptically applied it. I couldn't figure out how something on the outside of my hip that I could hardly tell was there could help deep inside my joint. Well somehow it does. I noticed a difference within a few hours. And since there are no instructions on the web site or on the insert that came with the sample, Jim at KT Tape emailed me personalized instructions based on my description of the pain.

So that's it. Now I'm off to take a nap in an attempt to "sleep load" (or in my case get caught up a little) before the big day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Showing My Heart

I was planning to write about my running last week and my plans for this week (first half marathon Saturday!!), but I was tagged by Mel (Tall Mom on the Run) to "Show My Heart." Since this is more fun than recapping my runs, I will have to get around to that later.

Here is my assignment: "With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess."
A Picture


"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." (Elizabeth Stone)

After I had my first baby, I found this quote. It is exactly how I feel about my girls.

A Poem

In spite of my degree in English, I am not a big poetry fan. I never really enjoyed reading or writing it, so this one is really tough. I am going with a book that is essentially a really long poem, because it is one of my favorites:

A Song

This one was hard because so many U2 songs have meant something significant in my life with my hubby, but I have to go with "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis because it is "our song."

A Phrase/Quote

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." (Spoken by Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

This is just one of the great quotes from the series, which I love!

An Item of Clothing

My first official running shoes, Saucony ProGrid Rides. Saucony changed their styles and now have the Ride 2s, which are sadly not the same.

A Place


New York City will always have my heart. My husband and I lived just outside the city for almost a year, and that time and the city will always be special to me.

A Disney Princess


No question on this one. Belle is my favorite, and not just because she loves to read. She is compassionate, smart, honest and loyal. I promise I haven't totally brainwashed my 3-year-old to claim Belle is her favorite.

Holy cow, that took longer than I expected!! Now I tag:
Heather at Run Faster Mommy
Stacey at Runner Girl's Blog Spot

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Want to Be Spanked

Those words ran through my head the last four miles of my six miler this week. But the words actually look more like this:

"I want to be spanked."

That is how they look in the book I tried to read on the treadmill. Magazine type is too small, but I thought I might be able to follow the print in a hardback book. I made it about two pages. After that, I spent the rest of my run reading the top line of the open page over and over and over . The rest of the page was bouncing too much to read, but for some reason that sentence, all alone at the top of the page, came through as clear as can be. I know I should have just shut the book, but I was afraid of becoming one of those "I flew off the back of my treadmill" stories. So I just want to thank Christopher Moore for spicing up my run a little.

By the way, I love Christopher Moore's books. Lamb is one of my favorite books ever. I have read all Moore's books and highly recommend them, but let me follow that by quoting from the "Warning" at the beginning of Fool (the source of the spanking episode):

"This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as non-traditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank. If that sort of thing bothers you, then gentle reader pass by, for we endeavor only to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story."

Much of that warning goes for his other books as well. I have been very careful in my personal life when recommending Moore's books because they aren't for everyone, so please don't blame me if you give them a try and they aren't for you.

I'm off to read; I already ran.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mental


In my last post, I mentioned Nike's "Just Do It" slogan. I find myself repeating that and other sports slogans to myself during my runs. On some of my more difficult runs, I often ask myself: "Is it in you?" (Gatorade) Apparently those marketing people know what they are doing. At least when it comes to motivation. I don't buy Gatorade because it will magically make the answer "yes, yes, yes" when I ask myself that question (although I do buy Gatorade, or G, or whatever they want us to call it). However, I'm sorry Nike, but I don't have any of your shoes. I think I might have a long sleeved shirt that is yours, but it is buried until blissfully cooler days are upon us.

The fact that telling myself these things actually motivates me means so much of succeeding at it really is mental.

So what words motivate you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tread 17

Yep, I ran 17 miles on the treadmill. It wasn't easy. It wasn't fun. But it's done.

Why, you might ask, would I choose to run 17 miles on a treadmill? Sometimes you do crazy things, like sign up for a marathon which puts the longest runs of your training schedule during your husband's busiest time of the year at work. When the signing up took place, your brain tricked you into thinking you could make it all work so smoothly and conveniently. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

In spite of reality hitting me in the face lately, I did what I had to do. In fact, somewhere around mile nine, I asked myself how I was going to make it the rest of the way. I told myself, "You just do it." (Thanks Nike!) After my pathetic previous week, I had to get my training back on track and just get 'er done.

Pathetic would be one tempo run and one speedwork run, followed by a weekend of scheduling and rescheduling my long run, 12 miles that never happened. So last Monday, I reminded myself that my half marathon was three weeks away, my marathon seven.

My total going into the weekend was 14 miles (all but two on the treadmill). I didn't schedule my long run, because rescheduling it over and over just causes frustration and makes me want to bag the whole thing, so I just told myself to make it happen. And I did. I stepped off the treadmill at 11 pm Sunday night. I don't like running on Sundays; it is the one day we have to spend as a family. But with the hubby working until 5 pm Saturday and a prior commitment from 5:30-8:00 that night, it wasn't going to happen on Saturday. (I forgot to mention the hubby sets the alarm for 1:05 am most mornings, so a morning run is out of the question.) So Sunday night it was, after everyone was in bed. Like I said, it wasn't easy or fun. Yet it wasn't totally worthless either (besides the obvious fact that I was running). My tread 17 taught me:
  • There isn't much on TV on summer Sunday nights. I learned more than I want to know about former playmate Kendra and her new football hubby.
  • The treadmill automatically pauses when it hits 100 minutes. Not great for your momentum.
  • I really like Vanilla Bean Gu.
  • The treadmill starts smelling funny after about 10 miles. I think it gets tired too.
  • There's something to be said for having quick, easy access to the bathroom.
  • Next time I do a long run, I am taking a picture of the treadmill before I turn it off since Garmin doesn't accompany me on my treadmill runs. There's something about having proof of running that far.

When my husband woke me just before 2 am to say goodbye, he asked if I finished my 17. I said yes, but I didn't know if I would ever make it 26.2. "You will," he said. Today, in spite of my sore legs (behind my knees, what's up with that??), tender hip and sleepy eyes, I think he might be right. I can do it. It won't be easy, but it won't be on the treadmill either. My 20 this weekend might though...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Giveaway Winner

To select the winner of my giveaway, I put the number of entries into the Random Sequence Generator on random.org. I matched the number that came out on top to the comment bearing the same number. And the winner is comment #32: Mel @ Achilles Me. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who entered. It was great to "get to know" more of you and find some great new running blogs. I look forward to getting to know you all better!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons from My Munchkins

For lunch today, my 11-month-old ate avocado, cheese, apples and whole wheat bread, with a banana yogurt drink on the side. My somewhat pickier 3-year-old ate cheese and a BIG carrot. I think I should start eating more like my girls. The funny thing is I am the one who feeds them, so why is it so hard to feed myself equally nutritious food? Just a thought...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Follow, Follow Me (Giveaway)

I run alone. Or with my two girls in the jogger. I don't have any running friends.

I actually don't have a lot of friends, runner or non-runner. I am a homebody and a pretty private person (although I am really trying to put it all out there in this blog); these two things do not help me make friends. The whole private person thing also means I am somewhat particular with who I call a real friend because I want to surround myself with people I can totally be myself with and trust. I am also not the type of person who needs a regularly scheduled "girl's night out" to stay sane; I love spending time with my husband and girls, which leaves precious little time for other people (emphasis on precious). And I spend enough time with other moms (mostly my awesome cousin Jen) to get a regular dose of adult conversation.

Now that you know those things, you should also know how much I am loving the runner's world I have found in Bloggyland. I love the honesty, the inspiration, and the encouragment. You have NO idea how excited I get to see a new comment on one of my posts (well maybe you do). So to say thanks, and to get to know more of you who have stumbled upon my blog, I am having a giveaway. It is not sponsored; it is not big. It is just a measley little $15 gift card to Sports Authority from me to one of you. I chose Sports Authority because you can use it online or in the store, so it doesn't matter where you live. Anyone can win.

To enter, all you have to do is:

  1. Leave me a comment. That will get you one entry.
  2. Become a follower of my blog. Leave me a separate comment to let me know you are a follower. That will get you another entry.
  3. Mention my giveaway on your blog. Let me know in separate comment for yet another entry.

That's it folks. You don't have to follow me on twitter or visit any Web site. Just say hello. I will announce the randomly selected winner next Friday, August 7th.

Note: Reading back over this, I realized I sound a little pathetic. I really am not. I just don't have time to make it sound less pathetic, so I'm going to post it and put it all out there, like I said I would.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quickie

Just dropping in for a quick update. Still working on lots of posts that should (hopefully) be more interesting than this, but there are not enough hours in the day and days in the week. Here are the highlights since my last post:

  • I won the MIX1 Giveaway at I Run Because I Can. After I get my prize, I will let you know what I think of it!
  • I ran 30 miles last week. It wasn't easy, but I did it. Did you know 15 miles is a long way to run?
  • I tried two new running products during last week's runs. See my sidebar for reviews.
  • I went shopping. My finds included: a handheld Amphipod (I am not a huge fan of my hydration belt); pepper spray for my husband's peace of mind (and mine!); energy gels; and NUUN.



I will now leave you with the words that have been going through my head all day:

"Life's what you make it, so let's make it rock!"


(Yes, those are the words to a Hannah Montana song; I have a 3-year-old little girl so that's what you get. And you have to admit, she's got a point!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music or Miles

I have several posts in progress but wanted to do a quick update on my progress before I forget. I was really trying to hit my first 30 mile week last week but ended at 27. My long run was 13 miles or 12.8 according to my car since my Garmin died at 6 1/2 miles so I had to drive my route to get a total. When I turned my Garmin on, it gave me a low battery warning. About two miles in, I was not yet loving my run and told myself I would go home to finish on the treadmill if my watch died. When the screen went blank, I just kept going. I knew if I went home, I would be done; there would be no treadmill miles. So I calulated a route that would bring me close to 13 miles and just ran. The funny thing is I plugged my iPod into the computer the night before thinking the battery might be getting low. I now know I would rather run without music than without mileage, so the Garmin will be fully charged the night before any future long runs.

My long run had two highlights:

  1. At the end of the run, I felt pretty good. It's nice to know I can make it to the finish of next month's half marathon feeling strong.
  2. I finally had the courage to give GU a try. I went with chocolate, since someone had compared the texture to chocolate syrup. It wasn't as bad as I expected, especially followed with a generous amount of water. The texture was very similar to Hershey's chocolate syrup, and the taste was bearable. I can't say I noticed a huge surge in energy or anything during my run, but I think I had more energy than normal after my run. My stomach had a few crampy moments about 10 minutes after I washed down the GU, but it didn't really seem to make much difference. My GU-phobia was primarily because of my history of tummy troubles. I used the GU five miles in, but I always seem to have some tummy rumbling around mile 5 or 6 so it is hard to say whether or not it was because of the GU.

So another running week begins. I'm aiming for 30 miles this week, with 15 for my long run.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"We all have our own FAST"

I was catching up on my motivation (aka favorite blogs) and found a perfect blog post. Check out The F-Word!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Corn Stalks

In spite of coming up with (what I consider at the time) great blogging topics every time my feet hit the pavement, I can't remember any of them now that I am sitting down to write. It doesn't help that I made the HUGE mistake of letting my girls miss their naps and now have two tired, whiny children. My nerves are shot and my brain is fried, so what better time to blog??

In a weak attempt to share something of some interest to someone, somewhere, I am resorting to bullet points. Here are some of the recent running thoughts that I can remember having:

  • Running an hour earlier (in the evening) adds ten degrees to the temperature, but only one bug (instead of dozens) has died by hitting me in the face today.

  • I love the wind! I love the wind! I love the wind! I love the wind! I love the wind!

  • I hate the wind! I hate the wind! I hate the wind! I hate the wind! I hate the wind!

  • I need to put more Coldplay on my iPod.

  • Those corn stalks are really blowing. No wonder my legs are tired. I think I'll stop and take a picture.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So-Duh

"Crystal Clean and No Caffeine!" That was the award I once earned at a family reunion. Lack of sleep due to two children, a soda-loving husband, and the wonderful sweetness of Dr. Pepper have stripped me of that title! It is too easy to find an excuse to drink DP - lack of sleep, a headache, or even that the caffeine will give me a little extra boost for my run (pathetic, I know). I have been thinking a lot about this lately, prompted by the fact that my three-year-old always wants a drink of my drink. Here is what my thoughts have amounted to:


  • I didn't drink caffeine while pregnant and the first several months I was nursing. I know it is not good for a developing fetus, and it isn't good for my baby now either. Since I am still nursing, I owe it to my baby to keep the caffeine out of her system.

  • My Dad drinks an incredible amount of caffeinated soda. I can't hope he will kick the habit and say it isn't good for him if I drink the stuff.

  • If it isn't around, my three-year-old won't want or be able to drink it.

  • My body is made mostly of water, not soda.

  • Think of the calories I will save!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Second on the Fourth

I ran my second 10K on the 4th of July, and it was great!! It was the perfect start to an All-American 4th of July. I debated running the race until Friday. My sister-in-law has started running and asked about a good race to run on the 4th. I ran the Freedom Run 5K a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The race is well-organized, and it follows the same route as the parade (which starts shortly after the run), so there are tons of people there to cheer on the runners and lots of kids with their hands out to give the runners five (which is one of my favorite things because you can hear them counting how many people take the time to slap their cute little hands). My sister-in-law signed up for the 5K, and Friday I decided running a good 10K would be an acceptable substitute for my long Saturday run.

After meeting my sister-in-law to make a potty stop and wish each other luck, we went to our starting lines. I stood between the 9 and 10 minute mile signs and waited what should have been about 10 minutes. There was no starting gun, but I was starting to need to go potty. I debated making a run for the port-a-potty, and 10 minutes later stood there wishing I had just gone when the gun finally sounded. After two miles, I knew I would have to stop. I usually just take a few swigs of water before a race, but drank 3/4 of a water bottle on my way to the race that day. Never again!

There were two or three port-a-potties set up every block or so, but they were all on the opposite side of the five lane street. I kept going, keeping an eye out for one on my side. Finally there was one lone potty. I dashed in, did my thing, and ran out to finish the remaining two and a half miles. In spite of a tough uphill first mile, the last 1/2 mile again uphill, and a potty stop that I figure added about 2 minutes to my time, I finished at a strong and steady pace. And my time was over two minutes faster than the 10K I ran on May 23.

My Stats
Chip time: 57:48
Pace: 9:19
(I figure it was really closer to 9:00 when you figure in the potty stop!)

My legs felt strong and didn't hurt much the day after, my tummy didn't bother me during or after the race, and my brother and sister-in-law were there to cheer me across the finish. It really was a perfect run, topped off by meeting my hubby and girls and lots of relatives to watch the parade, then off to a BBQ and watching the kids run around and blissfully enjoy the day until the fireworks finished off the day. Hope you all had an equally wonderful Independence Day!

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