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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dimples

I have several posts in the works but decided to start a whole new topic instead of finishing one of the others because I have been obsessing about it a little lately. The topic? Yep, dimples. Each of my girls has a single tiny, darling dimple on her right cheek. My little brother has the best dimples I have ever seen. Tall Mom Mel and her boys have awesome indentations. Dimples are stinkin' cute on cheeks. More specifically, the cheeks on your face.

The other cheeks, not so much.

Last night I was laying on my bed, talking to my husband on the phone, rubbing my puppy's belly with my foot. At one point, I became so distracted by the dimples (we're going with dimples here because it just sounds so much better than cellulite or cottage cheese) that came and went on my thigh as my leg moved with each rub that I had stopped talking and my husband asked what I was doing.

There are two things that make my own dimples more bearable. First, I sadly feel better when other people have the same problem. I love when those tabloidy magazines have pictures of celebrities with their dimples showing. I never buy the things, but I always take a minute to check out all the photos. And the other night while watching Cougar Town, I caught a glimpse of Courtney Cox's not so smooth thigh and watched that part over in slow motion, frame by frame, several times, just to make sure it was real (I said I have been obsessing). It made me feel a little better because she has a killer body, and dimples.

The other thing that makes me feel better about my dimples is running. When I am running (more than 1 mile a day obviously), I just don't seem to notice as much. Either I feel good enough about myself that I don't spend extra time at night studying my flaws or I notice the definition in my legs instead of the dimples.

At least I am not the only one obsessing about it. Weight Loss Mama Staci has a post on her blog about dimples today too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

If It Makes You Happy

I just finished another 1 mile run. While it is nice to be able to do something, it is almost painful to feel myself getting close but never quite making it to "that place" where I feel like I could just keep going. Runner's high, endorphins, whatever name you call it, I miss it.

So Jamoosh tagged me to share 10 Things That Make Me Happy. I guess he figures I have extra time on my hands with all the running I am not doing. So here goes (in no particular order).
  1. The two amazing little people I get to hang out with every day. It's incredible how much personality comes packed in those tiny little bodies, and I get to spend every day discovering a little more about my two little girls.
  2. How quiet the world gets when it is snowing.
  3. The man my girls call "daddy." There is nothing I can say that will truly do him justice.
  4. Layers. When running and in everyday life.
  5. Rocking my sleepy baby. It is the most peaceful part of my day.
  6. Crossing off runs on a training plan. In general, I like crossing things off any kind of list, but there's an extra sense of accomplishment when it's a run.
  7. Talking to my mom.
  8. Baked goods. I'm not so much of a candy person, but I love warm chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, cake with cream cheese frosting, sugar cookies with gobs of frosting.
  9. Getting comments on my blog. I sort of stole this from Jamoosh, but it is true. I love hearing what you all have to say and knowing I am not always talking to myself.
  10. The people in my life who are genuinely encouraging. My sister is one of these people. She was the first person to make a comment after I posted about my marathon and the first fan on my Facebook page. Even though she isn't a runner and probably has better things to do most of the time, I am pretty sure she is one person who reads every post on here.

Now I want to know what makes Jesse and Amanda happy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Goldfish


While I'm emptying the dishwasher, a little person brings me the bag of Goldfish crackers. A moment later, she brings me a snack bowl. I pour about a dozen crackers into the bowl and return it to the little person. She looks in the bowl, turns it upside down, steps on the crackers scattered around the floor, and wanders back to the pantry for something else.

I get to run one mile tomorrow. I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free Pass

What am I doing to fill all the time I would normally be running? Well I just finished hauling my Christmas decorations upstairs: 13 bins, the Christmas tree box, and five garbage bags containing wreaths and garland. I tallied up the time I spent over the past three days getting it into the bins, box and bags: just over FIVE hours. That's a lot of running.

So I set up an I Have Run Facebook page. You can click on the badge on my sidebar to become a fan. Yes, I am a copycat. The idea came from Morgan, Aron, Beth and Heather, who also have Facebook pages that I highly recommend becoming a fan of too! (I'm sure there are others, so be sure to let me know if you have a Facebook page.)

And I must say you guys rock!! Your comments on yesterday's post made me smile so much my cheeks hurt, and I literally laughed out loud at several of them. Then I thought of all your comments again when I read today's Runnersworld.com Daily Kick in the Butt quote:

At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple,
like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.
-Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hot N Cold

I couldn't think of a title for this post, so I just went with the name of the Katy Perry song I am listening to, which is actually a great running tune. I have real work I should be doing right now, so I'm just here for a quick update on all things Candice:
  1. PT went great. And my girls were awesome. It may have been at least partly due to the little "I have a surprise for you if you are good and don't make your sister scream" chat (bribe) we had in the car. But really, my girls are typically pretty good considering they are 3 (almost 4) and 16 months. They were entertained watching what was going on around them, playing catch with my PT, and jumping on the mini-trampoline. As far as my progress, I will be running 1 mile each day next week if I remain pain free!
  2. I am putting together a "I Have Run" Facebook page because there are so many times I have a running related thought I want to share, but most of my Facebook friends couldn't care less and I can't bring myself to posting a one or two sentence entry on here.
  3. I finished reading my first book of 2010 (last week actually). I'm on to book number two. Since there is little happening in the way of running, I will be posting more about my reading interests later this week.
  4. I am trying not to take it personally that I actually lost a follower this week. (This is where you tell me how wonderful I am and that you would never think of unfollowing me. Just kidding. Kind of.)

Happy humpday! Run happy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marathon Memories, Core and More

Compared to most marathon race reports in Bloggyland, mine was short and sweet. While running those 26.2, I wrote paragraph after paragraph in my head, just as I have composed dozens of brilliant and clever blog posts in the shower and while driving my little midge to preschool. But something happens to my brain when I actually sit down at the computer. It's like I get stage fright or something, and I can't remember more than one or two things I was planning on writing, usually the less interesting (boring) things. So four months post-marathon, here are a few things (and keep in mind that I am claiming they are not boring) I remembered I wanted to share about my first marathon experience:

  • The night before my race, I ate a chicken salad from Cafe Rio. I ate this salad the night before almost all of my long runs. I never really planned on eating it pre-run; it just always happened that way. I didn't dare change things up the night before the race, so when I made my hotel reservation I also researched Cafe Rio locations.

  • I ate a banana and about half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich on the way to my marathon. I had to force myself to eat because I didn't have an appetite that early in the morning.

  • The race was very organized, from the two minutes it took to pick up my packet to the aid stations that were never out of anything.

  • The expo was small and didn't have anything worth waiting in line to see with two tired little girls.

  • I loved the first half of the race, which had very few spectators but beautiful scenery. I may change my mind once I have other experiences to compare it with, but I enjoyed the quiet of the first half of the race and didn't mind the lack of spectator support.

  • I did cry. Around mile 25. I just wanted it to be over. By this point, there were a lot of spectators and I felt pretty stupid crying and walking, but I was emotionally exhausted and frustrated that I wasn't as physically exhausted as I had planned on being at this point in the race.

  • The sense of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line made me want to sign up for another marathon then and there. But I also have to admit that feeling was also the result of wanting to see what I can do when I don't have an injury slowing me down the final seven miles.

  • I wish I had taken more pictures at the end. And I will work on my post-race pose for future photo ops.

I'm sure there are more, but I'll quit before too many people stop reading. As far as future running goes, I had physical therapy again yesterday. We did some stretching and worked my legs and core. My abs are feeling it today.

We are really focusing on my core because my PT said it is common for runners to have leg and knee pain if they don't have a strong core because the legs have to compensate for pelvic instability. There is a core workout in the February issue of Runner's World, and it says strong abs can help improve form, reduce injuries and make you faster. It has been interesting to learn more specifically how this is true.

My PT didn't have me do the running test on the treadmill, and I forgot to ask him about it. I don't know if he plans on doing it tomorrow. Whatever he has planned, it will be interesting because my girls will be tagging along. Every time my PT asks about my schedule, I tell him it is pretty open and I just have to work around finding a babysitter. And every time I say that, he tells me over and over just to bring my kids. He can't be totally oblivious to the reality of what that means because he has two boys, ages 4 and 2. But I still think it will be interesting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goose Bumps

The good news: I'll have more time to read next week.
The bad news: I won't be running.

I have mentioned off and on my struggle with knee pain since my marathon in September. In the fall, I went to the doctor, took some time off from running, and found some temporary relief. Yet I have only had one or two totally pain free runs in the past several months. I could usually get through one or two miles without any discomfort, but once the pain came I spent the rest of the miles alternating between walking until the pain subsided and running until it was unbearable.

I finally went back to the doctor this week because 1) my left knee was actually getting worse and 2) I finally admitted to myself my knees weren't going to get better on their own. After x-rays of both knees that came back normal (did you hear my sigh of relief from where you are sitting?), I started physical therapy today. One of my PT's first instructions was to stop running. He knows I just started my marathon training schedule and promised I would be good to go at the starting line on May 15. So I am following his instructions and giving my all to getting my knees back to their happy place.

Today was pretty basic: electrical stimulation & heat, some laser light thing that he said helps muscles heal, some stretching, and huge ice packs wrapped around both knees that had me shivering from head to toe by the end of an eternal eight minutes.

I have physical therapy again Monday, and the goal will be to determine what is causing the pain: my feet, instablility in my pelvis causing my legs to overcompensate, a combination of the two, or something else completely. The part I am really looking forward to is not the incredibly large and unsightly goose bumps on my legs following the icing but the video he is going to take of me running to evaluate if my feet are the problem. This might possibly be the only running I get to do for at least the next 10 days, but I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Loot

So maybe it is not actually loot, since I did not steal it. But I am in possession of some sweet new running gear thanks to my girls, their daddy and that big jolly guy in the red suit.

One of my favorite new acquisitions is The Complete Runner's Day-By-Day Log: 2010 Desk Calendar. I finally have somewhere to keep track of all of my miles, especially since the G-man doesn't join me on my treadmill runs. The calendar also has a place for comments about each run and has some great motivation and tips.

My biggest little midge gave me The Stick for Christmas. She was so excited although she had no idea what it was. It has been great to help keep my legs happy and will get more and more use as my marathon training progresses and the miles increase.


The other running gear I got for Christmas is still brand spankin' new, but I love it just the same. I can't wait to use my new black SPIbelt and my awesome arm warmers: black ThermaFleece Pearl iZumis for those really cold days and thinner, soft white Asics that are perfect for layering or for days when I need more than short sleeves but don't want to hassle with a long sleeve shirt that might be too hot mid-run.

I'll try to remember to let you know how I like the SPIbelt and arm warmers in action. Which reminds me, looking back I realized I am so very bad at updating you on the ongoing excitement that is my life. So here is what I am sure is a much anticipated update on some of my past posts:

  • I did run last night. All 8 miles. They were slower than I would have liked, but I had to slow down several times to keep my knees from getting too angry. I'm working on keeping them happy permanently; more details to come.

  • My littlest midge's surgery to get tubes went great. She is happy and healthy for what seems like the first time in months (she had seven ear infections in less than 60 days).

  • I talked about my weight loss goals back here. I am happy to report those three pounds (+1) are gone, even with the holidays just behind me. I have six pounds to reach my goal weight. If I ever get there, I might have the courage to admit what that number is.

  • I no longer hate Mondays because my biggest little midge no longer goes to gymnastics. It was her decision to quit because she changed coaches and didn't like the new one. Now, after a few months off, she is asking to go back. I'll probably sign her back up in the summer or fall.

Now I am off to read. Happy running (or reading or whatever you are doing)!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Long Run Monday

You know your marathon training has officially begun when you start turning down activities because you need to get a run in that night.

If I am being completely honest, there were other factors in my decision to pass up a night of birthday bowling (not my birthday). But in the back of my mind, I also knew the 8 miles waiting for me on the treadmill would be more likely to happen tonight if I stick to my normal routine: dinner by 6, girls in the bath and to bed by 7, running my heart out by 8.

I am keeping my training schedule flexible as far as which days I do my runs. This means I am scheduling my long runs early in the week when possible so they are less likely to get shortened or skipped. This week's long run is tonight's 8 miles.

My other two runs this week are a 6 mile (2 easy, 2 tempo, 2 easy) and speedwork (10 min warm, 6 x 1 min fast + 3 min recovery, 10 min cool).

This marathon training is helping me keep two of my 2010 goals: to run more and to write more. I also plan to read more this year. In one of my favorite books about writing, Stephen King's On Writing, he says a good writer is always reading. I'm not claiming to be a good writer, but I am a dang good reader. And normally I start a new book within a day or two of finishing the last one. Somehow that stopped happening in 2009. I'm not even sure I read one book per month last year, which is pathetic for me. So I have renewed my commitment to reading and cracked open a new book last night. And I picked up two more today after my biggest little midge requested a trip to library the moment she got out of bed.

To summarize, this year will be about reading more, writing more, and running more. Apparently I have tricked myself into believing there are more hours in the day in 2010.

And while I am on the subjects of reading, writing, and running, I must thank Felice, my holiday gift exchange partner. She sent me a journal, which I have already put to good use making notes for future blog topics, and an awesome bookmark, which is currently hanging out in my latest read.

Happy Monday and happy running!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mixing It Up

I have been mixing it up a little when I run lately. I'm not talking about my actual running though. Here's a peek at what I have been doing differently:

  • Wearing my hair in a braid. I am enjoying the fact that my ponytail isn't constantly hitting my back or sides of my head. I might even get adventurous and try two braids.
  • Using the foam roller before and after each run (and sometimes during). In the past I just used it after. Since my knees still bother me off and on, this is part of my effort to stay injury free.
  • Covering the display on the treadmill when I run (except during speedwork). The time and distance seem to go much faster now.
Today I did speedwork:

1/2 mile warm-up
4 x 400m @ 2:09 with 400m recovery
1 x 400m @ 2:00
1/2 mile cool down

Speedwork is another reason the treadmill isn't so bad. I can actually run my last 400m faster than the others because the treadmill doesn't let me slack off.

I normally like to take a day off or crosstrain between runnning days (another effort to stay injury free), but my littlest midge is getting tubes in her ears tomorrow so I didn't want to have to think about or plan on doing anything else. I know getting tubes is supposedly "not a big deal," but it is surgery and when it's your baby it becomes a big deal.

Happy Wednesday and happy running!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What do Bono, Glee and Hannah Montana have in common?

I just finished a nice, easy 4-mile treadmill run. Now I am eating an almond butter and honey sandwich and washing it down with a glass of chocolate milk. Running while my girls take their naps is one of the great things about having a treadmill, but this also means running in the middle of the day. Which means I drop off and pick up my oldest midge at preschool looking a little scary, and I don't "get ready for the day" until mid-afternoon. But it's all worth it for the run.

After my first mile today, I was bored of the mid-day television options (Let's Make a Deal, the leftovers on the second round of The Today Show, soap operas, Desperate Housewife reruns) so I turned on my iPod. As my tunes kicked my energy level up a notch, I remembered posting (around marathon time last year) that I would share some of my favorite running music with you. Better late than never, here is a tiny sample of the songs that keep me moving.

Viva La Vida - Coldplay
Run - Collective Soul
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Buttons - The Pussycat Dolls
Eleanor - Low Millions
Feel - Robbie Williams
Down With Love - Michael Buble
Fast Cars - U2
Don't Stop Believin' - Glee Cast Version
Life's What You Make It - Hannah Montana

I have a lot of U2 and Coldplay on my playlist. I will also admit I have several Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus songs that keep me running at a good pace and make me smile because I think about my little girl. I was going to include a longer list, but my marathon playlist was nowhere to be found when I pulled up my iTunes. I guess that just gives me an excuse for another post about my running music later. And it gives me a reason to put together a new marathon playlist, which I will need in May.

Yep, May. That means marathon training starts Monday!! I am excited but a little nervous. The nervous part comes from the fact that 5 miles has been considered a long run since my little 26.2 in September. I am excited because I plan on sharing my progress on here and can't wait for your feedback, encouragement and advice. I chose a FIRST training plan because running three days a week works best with my schedule and because I hope it gets me to do more cross training and keeps me injury free. Only time will tell.


And last but not least, since I am playing catch up, here are some of the family pictures I promised I would share way back here.





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