Saturday, December 31, 2011

Will run for Eggplant Parm!

I went out this morning to get in my "long" run. 

At mile 2 I didn't want to run anymore.

Then I remembered that tonight's festivities will involve Eggplant Parm. 

I ran my 7. 

What are you running for today?

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Five - Things that really bother me when I'm running

I decided to jump on the Friday Five band wagon.  While I was out getting in my 3+ miles  this morning - the following was running through my mind.  Things that really PISS ME OFF  bother me when I'm trying to get my run on.

1.  First and foremost - the drivers that don't slow down when they pass me.  Seriously....for a good part of my run there's a path -but for about 1 mile (of my 2.5 loop) I'm on the road.  NOT a busy "yellow lined" street - but a back road that is very commonly used by  runners.  It bugs the heck out of me that people fly by me.

2.  As I mentioned - a good portion of my run is on a path.  I will glady share "my" running path with fellow runners and walkers.  What I don't want to share is their dog's crap all over the path.  Courtesy goes a long way  - pick it up people!

3.  Chafing.  Need I say more?  Not the first time I've mentioned this and I've been really working hard to deal with this problem.  Just when I think I've come up with a solution - it rears its ugly head!

4.  The fact that several times -when I'm out there panting away - my "former" (former because she's too busy to find the time) running partner will drive by me - slow down - make some catty remark and then keep going.  (probably on her way to the diner for her next meal)  Ok -that wasn't very nice of me - but I would like the company.  It's a lot easier to push yourself for that next mile when you've got somebody pushing with you!

5.  The fact that my kids think nothing of expecting me to pause my treadmill to get them a snack.  I don't know about you- but running inside with my kids home NEVER goes as I expect it to.  I am constantly jumping on and off the TM. 

This post is what I would put into the "why running is therapeutic" category.  So much time with your own mind to go over what "ails" you.  What do you think about when you run?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I WON, I WON....

Just a quick post to brag about  say that I won a prize in the Home for the Holiday Virtual 10K.  Yay me!  As soon as I get it I'll post pictures.  This running, blogging thing is super cool!  Thanks again Robin, Stephanie and Ashley for hosting this!

Have you won anything "online"?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Running doesn't make you skinny....and other things I've learned this year....

 2011 was a great year for me.  I became a runner in 2011.  Hell - I've even been called an athlete recently by my doctor (when he was discussing how incredibly low my heartrate is :-).  I still think that's a stretch - but who am I to question my doc?

I did learn a LOT about running and myself  along the way.

1.  Let's get real here people - Running does NOT make you skinny.  I, like most other people who aren't natural born runners, put on those running shoes for the first time thinking that I was going to instantly drop weight.  HECK - that's WHY I started running.   I didn't lose a pound for the first two months.  You'd think you would - after all - when you first start running it feels like one of the hardest things you can do.  (some days - it is still the hardest thing I do!)

2.  Running is good for the SOUL but not necessarily the "SOLE". Running has changed who I am as a person.  My mental health, clarity and outlook on life have improved ten fold.  Along with this new found "ME" comes new worries about hammies, PF, footstrike and other stresses on my joints and bones.  Wouldn't change a thing....just sayin.

3.  It's all about the T-shirt.  I don't know about you - but I am one of those - 1st to register people just to be sure I get the "free to the first" registrants t-shirt.  Exactly WHEN am I supposed to wear these shirts?  Most of them are men's shirts so they aren't exactly flattering to wear around town.

4.  Running clothes can be worn anywhere.  Now that I'm a runner - I wear my seriously unflattering running clothes anywhere and everywhere.  My "identity" as a runner supercedes my concern of how big my arse looks in my running pants.  I no longer get "dressed" to go places - I throw on my gear and assume I'll get a run in while I'm there. 

5.  I'd rather run than drink.  Ok - this one I had to think about.  I do love a good "social" hour. 

6.  I feel better when I run than I look.  I guess it really is mind over matter - but when I see pictures - I cringe.  Where's that grace I'm sure I have? 

What has running taught you?  Have you changed because of it?

Jingle Bell Hell or Holiday Fun Run? My two day 10K!

So....on Saturday, Christmas Eve morning I went out to get in my 6.2 miles for the Virtual 10K, Holiday Fun Run that I had signed up for with Stef over at Run for Fun. 
Quickly my "Fun Run" turned into Jingle Bell Hell.  Since I've been sick now for 2+ weeks, my running time has been down.  I ALSO haven't run outside at all since the first weekend in December.  That combination had me instantly struggling as my feet were pounding on the pavement.

I couldn't find my stride.  I neglected to charge my I-Pod so I decided to run with my Blackberry and use Pandora.  About 1 mile into the run Pandora stopped streaming.  Then, mother nature called and I was done for.  Traffic on my route was insane and I realized - as I was panting, cramping and fighting off shin splints that I wasn't destined to get in the full run. 

I chalked it up to a learning experience.  I had convinced myself that I could make it through the winter using my treadmill and then just jump back into things outside when the weather was better.  CLEARLY that won't work for me.  Three weeks inside and I was sucking wind (literally!). 

I called it a day and ended my run after 3 miles and marked my calendar for first thing Monday morning.

This was me on Saturday - I wanted to wear my Ho Ho Homer Boxers but my kids wouldn't let me leave the house looking so spectacular!

Fast forward through Christmas - which was an awesome day filled with family, friends and a ton of food - and the next thing it's 7:15am on Monday morning and my alarm is going off.

Time to start the "Fun Run" over again!  This time I was better prepared.  The I-Pod was charged, I had compression shorts on under my running pants (to ensure there were no chafing issues) and mentally I was ready.  So....aside from a pitstop at my local grocery store to use their restroom (which was scary - I've seen cleaner porta potties!!!) the run was uneventful.

I did forget my sunglasses and luckily my husband drove by so I borrowed his. A little big, a little heavy, but they did the trick.

Honest truth - it was no cakewalk.  But I am proud - I finished strong and even though it was not a fantastic time -(1:11:18) I did it.  I actually got in more miles in the past 3 days because of my "do over" than if I had finished the first time out - so I'll call that an added bonus!

I hope everyone had a great holiday ~

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Virtual Home for the Holidays 10K Fun Run!!

Stef over at RUN ON! posted about a virtual Home for the Holidays run that she had signed up for and I am all over it. Perfect motivation to get a good run in on Christmas Eve morning before the chaos (and eating) begins.

Not certain I can get my "holiday" running outfit together in time (that may be pushing it as I still have Christmas shopping to do) but I'm definately in for the 6.2 miles. Where do you get these candy cane socks anyways? LOVE THEM!!

The run is being hosted by Run for Fun so click here to sign up and join me!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CHAFING%!*#!!! - this isn't something a bandaid can fix!

Doesn't the title of this post say enough?

Now that I'm starting to feel human better and I was off from work today - I decided to get in my "long" run. (again for me - that's between 6 - 7 miles) I wore the same pants I've been wearing on runs - let me just say something went very wrong today with these pants and my "where the butt meets the thigh" parts.

I've got welts. Big time. I can barely walk and putting pants on is punishment. Is there something to put me out of my misery? Any fast, miracle cures?

(I guess I need to break down and get a pair of compression pants. With the holidays I've been procrastinating about this and I didn't realize - until now - how much of a difference they can make!!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yay! My Secret Santa Gift Arrived!!!!!

Let's face it - we all love getting presents. Even if you are one of those people (like me) that doesn't like to open gifts in front of people - you still gotta love getting a gift!

My secret santa gift (hosted by Run with Jill) arrived last week. Unfortunately last week was a blur for me so I am now taking the time to tell you all about it.

I got (from Lisa at And We're Off! the book Run Like a Mother. I've just started reading it so I will need to post a complete review sometime in the future - but the gift is perfect!! Thanks Lisa!

I'm so glad I participated in this Holiday Gift Exchange - thanks Jill for handling all of this. As a new blogger - it's a great way to jump into the community and make new friends!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It finally caught me....

While I'm happy to say that I don't have pneumonia - all that nonsense with my daughter last week caught up to me (AND my husband). I've been sick since Monday and it has been a rough week!

I only saw the treadmill twice this week and it was a struggle (especially when I ran early in the week) - but thankfully today was a little better. I am VERY worried about how much ground I'm losing by not being able to run as much as I need to.

You would think that running inside would be easier than outside - (after all - it's not weather dependant) - but I am finding this "overwintering" thing to be very difficult. The nice weather is what pushed me outside to run. I find the treadmill tedious. Hopefully this week I'll find the balance I need to get in a decent number of miles.

Got my secret santa gift (Run with Jill) and will devote a special post to that tomorrow!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's talk about form....and my tanking EGO....

As most of us are ....I'm always disappointed, mortified, shocked when I see pictures of myself. I am convinced that I don't really look "that" way. As we all know - pics don't lie.

If you knew me you'd be impressed that I'm actually posting this picture. I do recognize how bad it is. In my defense- it's the end of the race and I'm tired. But let's get real - I'm certainly not built like a runner. I keep thinking I'm getting there and then I see one of "these" pictures.

Here's what I see in this: (be assured I am actually RUNNING in this picture - I know it's hard to tell!)

1. My arms look like they are twisting around my torso. Perfect example of bad form.
2. That I still have some extra pounds to lose and should really switch to black pants! (yikes, yikes and OMG!!)
3. My legs don't seem to bend when I run. This isn't the first time I've noticed that. Is this just how I run? Is this ok, not ok? Am I supposed to run lower (as in squat down lower)? (don't laugh at that question - I'm being
genuine here people :-).

Any tips on how to fix points 1 and 3 are greatly appreciated. Point number 2 is all me. Just another reason to keep pounding the pavement.

Finally Friday!!

What a week! Still doing quite a bit of "running" back and forth to the pediatrician - but I am happy to report that I have also done a little running on the treadmill. I got in 2 - 3 miles on Wednesday and 4 yesterday. Absolutely no cross training but I'll take what I can get this week.

My treadmill experience lately has not been enjoyable. I used to love my treadmill compared to running outside. I found the treadmill so much easier. Now that I can't (or selectively can't) run outside due to the rapidly declining temperature, I find the treadmill more difficult than hitting the pavement.

Tomorrow is my scheduled "long" run. 6 miles and I am hoping to do brave the elements and get OUT OF THIS SICK HOUSE!

I plan on training on the treadmill during the week and for my long run on weekends - doing my best to get outside. How much outdoor training do you do during the winter months? Do you think it matters? (indoors / outdoors?)

I personally think there is a big difference and worry that I will lose ground over the next few months. Tips are appreciated!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

STILL not moving....

Turns out my daughter has pneumonia. (UGH!) My husband and I have been rotating shifts since we both work. (do you feel my pain here? the battle of who's job comes first is always a joy!). We are extremely grateful to finally have a diagnosis and know that she is on the mend.

I ended up leaving my business trip early so that I can come back and stay with her today.

As you can imagine - all of this juggling hasn't helped my butt make it to the treadmill. (it's raining and cold so outside just isn't an option!) I'm have HOPE that today I can put on Polar Express (again!) for her and get in a few miles!!

My legs are still a little tight since my race on Saturday. I can't seem to figure out what type of recovery time my body needs. To me - it seems like I need more than I should. HELP! I ran on Saturday and my legs are still achy today (Wednesday). The first few runs after a race for me leave my legs feeling like lead. Is this normal? How much of a difference would compression pants make? (keep in mind - we're talking a 5 mile race, not a marathon!)

On another note - I got my Secret Santa name from Run with Jill and I am so excited. I love this idea and can't wait to get shopping (and shipping!).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trouble getting motivated

So... my little devil child is still sick. I love her dearly and want more than anything for her to get better....AND I seriously need to get out of this house. Actually - I need to get out of my LIVING room. You know how it is when your kids are sick - you can't really go that far from them. They need you. Well - I am officially sucked dry. Please, please, please dear husband - hurry home! roll on with the eating habits have fallen apart (sorry HBBC), my new half marathon training schedule is already off track and now I'm supposed to be out of town for the next 2.5 days. How am I supposed to get motivated? I seriously want to run out, grab a donut or two and then lounge around (alone in a quiet room) for the rest of the night.

What I will end up doing is trying to figure out what we will have for dinner (especially since my sick one is refusing to come with me to the store), finish the laundry, straighten up this "sick house", pack for my business trip (even though we haven't thoroughly worked out plan "b" if this fever doesn't break and I will have tremendous guilt leaving the house) and climb into bed tonight praying that my husband and I will have the bed to ourselves for the WHOLE night.

Getting back on track isn't going to be easy. I will pack my running clothes and hope that I can press the reset button on Wednesday. (Tuesday is already fully booked and accounted for!)

How do you manage to find time for yourself (and the motivation) when it doesn't seem that there's a minute to spare?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hope Endures.....

Many of you have heard about the Hope Endures Virtual 5K and I hope even more choose to participate.

As I've mentioned in previous posts - I ran yesterday. I ran for Courtney, her daughter Ashyln shining down on us and for hope.

Running means different things to different people. I like the sense of community that I feel when I am on the road, yet the total awareness of how much this is an individual sport. Running for me is about reflection, almost a form of meditation. In a sense, it completes me and keeps me sane - which is why running the Hope Endures Virtual 5k was something I knew I wanted to do.

I am grateful that Courtney shares this journey with all of us. For giving us this opportunity to run in her daughter's honor and make sure we remember that each day, life is about putting one foot in front of the other and being the most complete person we can be. For reminding us that it's not always easy - and that what we think may be hard is nothing in comparison to what others may be dealing with.

Courtney - you are a wonderful mother and an example of incredible strength. I am humbled...


I finished my 5 mile Holiday run in 49:13. That's 2 1/2 minutes less than my Turkey Trot! I will admit that the terrain didn't seem as tough. I also managed to make it through the whole thing without needing to stop and rest my lungs or my legs. Yay me :-). My 5k time (logging it for my Hope Endures Virtual 5K which I will write about seperately) was 29:30. Both of these times are PBs for me!

My youngest is still sporting a fever, so we've been spending a lot of quality time lounging around. She needs to be the priority so...with luck, she'll be better by tomorrow and I'll be back to eating right and being vertical. My legs are little sore today but not too bad. Hopefully I'll be able to get out and stretch them this afternoon for a mile or two.

I've been thinking a lot about joining the local running club. The thing is - I'm not sure when I get to define myself as a runner. I'm afraid I'm going to be joining a club of people that are running 6 minute miles - and that will NEVER be me (nor will a 7 or 8 minute mile!). When is the right time to do this? Are you a member or a running club?

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's a no WINE or WHINE Friday!

I'm running a 5 mile Holiday Run tomorrow so no wine for me tonight - which, of course, I could / would "whine" about, but when my daughter is laying on the couch with a fever, that just doesn't feel right. Let's hope the little cherub feels better soon!

This run will also double as my Hope Endures Virtual 5k. I need to go print out my number - I still haven't figure out what I want it to be. Suggestions??

This running thing certainly keeps me in check when it comes to my 'social drinking'. (I'll need a little more time to assess whether or not that's a good thing.)

Truth be told - a few weeks ago on a ladies night out we over induldged and that feeling of being hung over (for two days since now that I'm older with more responsibilities is how long it takes to recover) was just awful. I will take the way I feel after a long run any day compared to that!

Cheers to the weekend! Enjoy.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weight for it..... was my "weigh in" day. Down a half a pound. So frustrating...but it was Thanksgiving and I didn't exactly hold myself back (stuffing might be one of my all time favorite foods). I need to determine if weight loss or weight maintenance is my plan for the month of December. It is such a difficult time to try and lose those extra pounds!

Based on all of the different challenges I've seen - it seems I'm not the only one struggling with this. There are so many good ones I want to join all of them - I just don't want to over commit.

So far I'm doing the HBBC that Amanda at Run to the Finish has. I'm doing the 12 days of a Fit Christmas Run with Jess and Stef over at RUN ON has a Making the Cut Challenge she's starting up in a few days. I need to go dig out, dust off and skim thru that Jillian Michael's book I purchased quite some time ago and see if I'm up for that one!

Technically today and tomorrow are days I have blocked off as rest days so that my legs are fresh for the 5 mile run I'm doing on Saturday. I'm not gonna lie - I look forward to these days - there's no guilt about taking it easy on these days! HOWEVER, with all of these challenges popping up - it is making it very difficult for my lazy butt to appreciate just how good it's got it.

That said - after weigh in I went home - finished up my 6th serving of fruits and veggies (just one more to go for the day!) and did 20 minutes of power yoga.

Thank you Run to the Finish and Run with Jess for keeping me moving.