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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Makes a Runner...?

That has pretty much been my philosophy lately. With everything else going on - work, softball practice for the Princess, graduations (preschool and kindergarten), last days of school, field day, piano recitals, a long weekend full of family fun time - running or working out is the one thing I have made a priority. Getting my sweat on helps everything else go more smoothly and helps me be patient when I need a little extra help in that department.

Facebook, the blog, blog reading, Twitter and even my email have been neglected lately. I finally sat down last night to make sure there were no emails that needed immediate attention. As we transition from the school year to summer, I anticipate there will be a lot of shuffling things around as I try to figure out how to make sure we all have a fun summer while I still manage to get my work done every day. The pressure of this has been another reason I've needed my daily runs or P90X or whatever it happens to be for that day.

Every workout helps put a little balance back into my day. I needed some balance yesterday, and my husband could see that when he told me to go for a run just before noon. I told him I was giving my hip an extra rest day, so he suggested I use the elliptical instead. As I slipped my shoes off 35 minutes later, I realized the balance of the day had been restored.

I also realized that for all it did give me, no matter what effort I put into an elliptical workout, a bike ride or P90X Synergystics, I never get the same thing I get from a run. There is no cycling or P90X "high." There's just an extra something that comes from a run. Maybe not everyone feels this way. Maybe some people feel better after going hard on the elliptical for an hour than they would after a 60 minute run.

Maybe that something is what makes a runner.    

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Post-Run Urine Color Swatch Table

This is just a friendly reminder since the weather is getting warmer and lots of us are racing and running in the heat...

In case you can't read the descriptions, here are a few a little closer up. (You might need to open them on your computer for an even better look.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Breakfast in a Bag (and other things that rock)

I got breakfast in a bag from the Bean. And the Princess gave me a personalized pen holder, which she was so excited to give me and told my neighbor/friend about several times because she had to tell someone! It was a very happy Mother's Day.

On Sunday I got to sleep in, didn't have to cook or prepare one meal, took a loooong nap and got extra love and attention from the little people in my life. The hubs also scored some serious points with an iTunes gift card (new running tunes!!) and an appointment for a massage. Being a mom on Mother's Day ROCKS! It's pretty awesome the rest of the time too though. Here are a few of the things I love about being a mom:
  • Hearing my girls singing songs from The Happiest Millionaire ("What's wrong with that" and "Bayump-pum-pum" are probably my favorites) while they are getting their hair done, when they are outside swinging, from the back seat of the car, while cleaning their room, etc.
  • Getting a little glimpse into The Princess' heart as she fills out her "About Me" book.

  • Getting awesome Mother's Day presents, and then having my 3-year old hand me the banana and instant oatmeal packet from inside and then watching her drink the juice box that was in it while laying claim to the bag. I did manage to reclaim the bag for myself later.
  • Eating school lunch pizza at 10:45 am with my kindergartner for her Mom & Me lunch.
  • Seeing my girl's smile when I pick her up from school every day.
  • Hearing their giggles when they are supposed to be going to sleep at night.

  • Running The Bean's first race with her while watching The Princess who was ahead of us put her little heart into running.
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day, whether you were celebrating being one or the one who made you. Otherwise, I hope you just had a wonderful weekend. And yes, I know it is Wednesday, but I'm still on my Mother's Day high, so it's all good.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Frenemies Hills and Wind

When I headed out for my 10-mile run yesterday, there was a perfect breeze blowing. By the time I hit the monster hill a few miles into my mapped out route, the breeze had turned into wind. And when I hit the hilly turn around point at five miles, I was running into (what I later found out were 29 mph) serious gusts of wind. The kind of wind that makes you look at your watch to make sure you are indeed still moving.

While I ran back down the monster hill with the wind trying to blow me over from the side, I started thinking about the things I love and hate don't love about hills and wind:

Love: When an uphill is followed by a downhill.
Don't Love: That not all uphills are followed by a downhill.

Love: That hills make me a stronger runner.
Don't Love: That I feel so ridiculously weak while being made stronger.

Love: A tailwind that pushes me forward.
Don't Love: A tailwind that makes my hair blow into my face. My hair touching my face is one of the most annoying things to me. I would rather run through the pain of chafing or blisters than have my hair blowing into and touching my face.

Love: Being cooled by the wind when I have to stop for a red light.
Don't Love: The gravel and dust that gathers at the street corner being blown into my face and sticking to my sweat when I stop for a red light.

Love: How flat my stomach looks after a very hilly and windy effort.
Don't Love: How thirsty the hilly and windy run makes me and how quickly my stomach stops looking flat because of all the liquid I ingest.

Love: How I feel when I reach the top of a hill.
Don't Love: How long it seems to take to get there.

Love: Seeing my pace dip into the 8:00s when I'm eight miles into a long run.
Don't Love: Seeing my pace climb into the 10:00s when I'm only a few miles into a long run.

Love: Knowing I can run a hilly race if I have to, although I would take wind over hills.
Don't Love: Knowing that a race is going to be hilly.

And those, my friends, are just a few of the thoughts that filled my head during my run yesterday. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bad Day Made Good

When I was picking up dinner Friday night (Cafe Rio to go!), I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while. She told me she follows my blog and is inspired by me. It was the highlight of my day. And it made me think, because standing in line to get our food, I didn't feel very inspiring.

On Friday, I skipped my run to vacuum and dust my house. I didn't really feel like running so just about any excuse would have worked for me. I ate pumpkin chocolate chips cookies for breakfast. And lunch. And I washed them down with Dr. Pepper. Before walking out the door to get dinner, I survived one of the Bean's almost daily temper tantrum meltdowns, the kind that used to suck the life out of me for the rest of whatever was left of the day but now just leave me slightly numb because they are such a common occurrence. (If you have a 3-year-old or remember what having one is like, you know what I'm talking about. Forget the terrible twos. We loved the twos around here.)

(Look closely and you'll see a 3-year old crying outside the front door because
she likes walking out of a room and slamming a door when she's mad.
The front door was the closest one this time.)

I felt far from inspiring Friday night. As I thought about all of this, I realized that one of the things that inspires ME the most and keeps me going back to the blogs I follow is that the person writing the blog is human. I can relate to him or her on some level beyond the fact that we both run. 

I sometimes have a hard time showing myself as more than just a runner or as a mom who runs because I don't like to admit my vulnerabilities, but I think it's important. And I want to be inspiring not only because I run but because I find the time and the passion for running while juggling a job, the busy life of being a wife and the awesome adventure of being a mom.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Take a Hike

Last Saturday, we hiked to the Y on the mountain not too far from where we live. It was the first hike to the Y for the girls, and an adventure for all of us.

We stopped several times on the way up to let the girls rest their little legs. The hike is just over 1 mile each way. About halfway up, I told Bean she was doing such a great job. She looked at me and replied, "I never want to do this again."

Both girls enjoyed sitting on the Y and eating snacks though. And they agreed on the way home that it was a lot more fun hiking down than hiking up. They have even both agreed to hike it again in the dark; the idea of getting to use flashlights is exciting enought that the Bean is willing to give it a try.

I saw several runners going up and coming down, some over and over again. As we all recently learned, I am not a trail runner. But it looked sort of fun and like a definite challenge. I might have to give it a try one of these days and just hope I don't end up rolling instead of running down.

PS - Just a little reminder to vote for me to be one of the Top 25 Outdoorsy Mom Bloggers. You can vote once a day. Only six more days to vote!


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