Monday, January 30, 2012

Case of the Mondays

One of my hubby's favorite movies is Office Space. It was one of the first movies I watched with him when we started dating. The older I get, the more that movie applies to my daily life. Especially (now) my running life. Mondays are my hardest run. Why? I only run for 30 minutes. It is not even my longest run of the week. But Mondays kick my butt. I have a Case of the (running) Mondays. I'd love to kick this run to the curb, but I never do. It kicks me every.single.time.

Today's run was especially hard after our "Adventure" hike yesterday. We didn't set out thinking it would be an adventure hike, but it turned out that way. It was the hardest 5 miles I have ever hiked as a family. I am so proud of my boys, especially five year old N. N is our whiny child. He whines over every.single.thing. He only mentioned twice in these five miles that his legs were tired. My legs were tired by then! The hike is rated as "moderate to strenuous". They weren't kidding. We traversed log "bridges" (aka two logs thrown over a wide stream to act as a bridge), narrow paths with zero shoulder dangerously close to the lake, and my favorite, the ropes so thoughtfully tied on two trees to help you rappel down the cliff! Adventure hiking! Not what I was expecting, but oh so much fun. The boys slept like babies last night!

Sore quads from adventure hiking lead to a Dory Run today or even a BBTN run. Here's to hoping the legs recover before Thursday's 11 miler!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Liquid Awesome

Yesterday I ran 5k in just under 31 minutes. It was hard. (That's What She Said!). I blame the humidity, yes we have humidity in the ATL in January! I blame the headwind. I blame the hills. I blame my legs; they just aren't cooperating with me this week! I debated all day: to run or not to run. I thought of what SUAR would say, "Shut Up and Run!" so I did. I am so glad that I did. Even though yesterday's run kicked my butt, I am so glad that I did. It may hurt during the workout, but the pain feels so good after! Here's me, post 5k sweating like a man! (That's what the humidity does to me!)

This weekend I will go for a quick 30 minute run on Saturday, followed with a 2 mile hike with the boys (gotta get L up to 50 miles as soon as possible!). Then Sunday, hubby has the day off so we will go for a family hike. We're hoping to get 4 miles in if N can handle it! Of course, I have to bribe the boys with "coffee" to get them out there, but I want to set a fabulous example for them--get out and move!

Happy weekend and Happy Running y'all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

L getting his trophy at Kid Chess. He was Rookie Bughouse Champion (don't ask me what that means)!!!N (middle) was awarded student of the month for demonstrating Compassion!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Rest. It is good for the body, mind and soul. Rest is what I need. Rest is what I will take today. I was scheduled for a quick 30 minute run this morning before heading into the kindergarten class for learning centers. But it was raining. Still raining. It rained all weekend. No hiking on Saturday. Barely a peep of sunshine yesterday. Rain this morning. I am thankful for the rain today. My body has been telling me that it is tired. I am not sleeping well; it is hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep. I have constant headaches. I am constantly tired. I feel like a giant elephant and his best friend is sitting on my chest. I suspect that this is all due to overcommitments, stress and allergies. I have been taking the last week and a half to look over the commitments in my life to see if they are work keeping up or if they need to be cut out. I am starting back up on my allergy meds, especially the benadryl before bedtime.

Normally, the rain really starts my Seattleite SAD and my mood matches the clouds until I go for a run. Running does my body good, it clears my mind and refreshes my soul. Today I have found this rain cleansing and restful. My body is tired. Today I will sleep. Today I will rest. Tomorrow I am looking forward to sunshine and the possibility of a walk with hubby on his day off.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Things Friday

  1. Ran 9.5 miles today in 1:44:05. That is nine minutes faster than the last time I ran it. I was a little down that I wasn’t faster. But it was 48 degrees out (feels like temp was a bit cooler), overcast and trying to rain. The cold air combined with diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke from passing drivers and the hills wreaked havoc on my asthma. I am not sure if I’ll ever have an 8 minute pace for 13.1 miles, I’d like to, but I am glad that I can get out there and move today!
  2. Hubby has been absolutely amazing this week. He works LONG, crazy hours and averages around a 70-80 hour work week. The other day when I was at kindergarten learning centers and he was home he unloaded the dishwasher for me. I told him thank you and that it had made my day (truth)!! Then I woke up this morning and read the following on my FB wall:
    I read your whole blog just now. I had no idea you had written so much. Your writing has improved just in the couple of months you've been blogging. It's personal, genuine, and often quite funny. Nice job and keep up the good work. I love you!”
    That comment just made my week!!!
  3. N broke down at school on Wednesday while I was there (for the aforementioned learning centers). He broke down when the teacher asked each person in his group what made them special. Once again, I felt like the worst mom in the world since my kindergartener doesn’t think he’s special. I am making extra effort to constantly tell him how special and important he is to me.
  4. TMB over at Racing With Babes is doing a series of posts each Friday to help develop confidence and self-worth. (Something that N and I need to learn to live by). She is titling this series: Live Like the Honey Badger. Today is the first post, I highly recommend you hop over there and read it.
  5. Tomorrow is the Pinewood Derby for L. He is beyond ecstatic to race his car. I am excited that J has the WHOLE day off and we get to spend it as a family! Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can take a family hike in the morning and then race cars in the afternoon. L is just twenty miles short of his 50 miles hiking for cub scouts. Go L!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I run...

I run to be strong.

I run for my sanity.

I run to be a better mom.

I run to be a healthy example for my kids.

I run to be a better wife.

I run for my family.

I run for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My loving, compassionate, creative, strong-willed number two child, N left me a present in his bed this morning. Thank you N for this fabulous tower of puppies, I love you more than you will ever know and I wish you know how special you are just for being you!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Still Here, Still Running

As you can tell from my Daily Mile, I'm out and moving. My boys had yesterday off for MLK, coincidentally, hubby also had the day off. I was able to go for a quick 5k to clear my head and de-stress.

Lately, I have been really creeped out and borderline scared to go running since SUAR's cousin Sherry Arnold was abducted and murdered while out on her run. I have been obsessively checking Sherry's story by the hour to see if there are any new updates. I am not sure why. I think of her as I run. I think of her family. I worry, hope, wish that won't happen to me and my family. It so easily could be me, or you. That angers me. That scares me.

The blogosphere is buzzing with Sherry's story and tips on how to stay safe while running. You can check out Run Like A Mother's tips from this mornings post. Be sure to check out Skinny Runner's post today, after reading it I am even more creeped out. I am wishing for a running buddy, a dog or a treadmill. Maybe then I won't feel so vulnerable? I have been running with pepper spray, but after reading SR's post, I don't know what to do. I do know that I am going to change up my runs regularly. I don't want anyone targeting me. I'll admit it, I'm scared to run right now but I am not going to let it stop me. I am not going to let the bad guys win. I am just going to be a smarter runner than I have been.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Things Friday

1. Last week N told me that he wished he had food allergies like L so he would be special too. That just broke my heart. I have tried so hard to make life as normal for L that I have inadvertently neglected N's feelings. That has broken my heart. I try to make both of my boys feel special in their own way and I am now crushed that I have failed with N. I am going to make more of an effort to do special N only things for him.

2. Yesterday I decided to split the difference between a run and rest and go for a walk. We were in the mid sixties and the sun was out. I had a lovely 4.5 miles. It is shocking to see how sore I feel after a walk. It really does use different muscles!

3. Today in the ATL our temps dropped significantly. It is currently 29 degrees, feels like 17. I wish I had found a running gator before today. Instead, I'll head out to the doctor for my annual exam and hope that it warms up a tad this afternoon. Otherwise, I'll take a rest day and let my muscles breathe.

4. I ordered a foam roller for my sciatica, hip and it band. I have been a foam rolling fool since it arrived on Tuesday. I am shocked at how good it hurts on my sciatica. It is WAY better than a tennis ball-- what I have been using for a year.

5. I have been following the case of missing Montana runner, Sherry Arnold since I read about it on SUAR's blog. I hoped that Sherry was just injured or missing and feared that she had been murdered. I just read that she has been reported dead. They have one man in custody and are questioning another. This is our biggest fear as women runners. Please take extra measures to keep yourself safe out there.

Happy Running and be safe!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Am I Addicted?

After that less than cheery post yesterday, I went for a run. I needed to shake off the gray and dreary mood that mirrored the weather we had in the ATL. I needed to clear my head and my mood. As I finished up the second mile, the sun began to poke its way out of the clouds. Coincidence? I think not. Running always kicks my bad mood and stresses to the curb and I love it.

Today I ponder a quick three miler. It won't take me that long. I love the high, it clears my head. But my hip is starting to ache. I want the high. I crave the high. Should I sacrifice my aches and pains for that high? Only time will tell.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Semi Wordless Wednesday

After G's amazing post here she challenged us to post a photo of ourselves when we felt beautiful, epic or Galactically Bad A** (GBA) here. [If you don't follow G over at Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner of 3 (Kids), you really should.] I'm trying to think of a time when I feel GBA. I do regularly when I'm out running, but I run by myself and don't snap photos. Then I think of times when I'm not running and I might feel beautiful. The thing is, I don't feel beautiful and I don't think of myself as beautiful. I'm normal, run of the mill normal. There are times when I do feel pretty but let's face it, that's rare. I have struggled with self-esteem my whole life. I have three brothers and five male cousins. I've always been a tom boy. Tom boys are not pretty. Tom boys don't get dates to the prom. Tom boys scare the boys away in high school and college. That has been my life. I can honestly say that age 32, I am the most feminine I have ever been. Shocking since I live in a house full of testosterone!

I guess you could say that I fail this challenge G, I'm sorry. I am posting a picture of me when I felt ugly, fat and worthless. St. Patty's Day 2009. Before I started running. Both boys were in preschool (aka home most of the day making messes). My husband worked a lot (still does). I colored my hair trying to look pretty but the colors were too light and unflattering. When I posted this picture on FB in '09, I had to crop out the massive gut that was protruding in the picture. I have hated this picture since the day it was taken because it was so unflattering. As I look at it now, I still see those unflattering traits that I saw before. But I also see a happy mom with two beautiful little boys. I love how N is looking at me with admiring and loving eyes. I love L's goofy four year old smile. Someday I'll be able to look at this picture and find beauty in myself. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll remember how unhappy I was and how I turned that unhappiness around. Only time will tell.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eight IS Great!

As I was waking up this morning prepping for my 6.5 run, I had a revelation. Why not run 8??!!?? I am training for the Publix Georgia Half Marathon (that I might or might not be able to run in=CRAZY). Getting my double infection and being placed on antibiotics really screwed up my training schedule. I decided to skip the 6.5 and go for the 8 that I was originally planning to run late next week even though the training schedule has it set for tomorrow. I logged on to map my run to map out an 8 mile route close to home since it is supposed to rain today. Yes, I am from Seattle. No, I don't think that I'm going to melt in the rain. BUT have you ever experienced East coast rain? It is NOT like a Seattle drizzle. It pours buckets; porcupines and penguins. You can step outside for less than two minutes and come back inside looking like you took a shower fully clothed. So, mapping a run close to home would make it easy to bail if it started pouring. Thankfully it didn't.

As I started my run, I reflected on the last time I ran 8 miles. I was prepping for my half. I was scared of 8 miles, I had never ran that far before. I kept saying all week, "Eight is great!" just to pump myself up. I don't remember much about that run. I know that when I was done, I felt fabulous, like I had conquered the world! I wish that I had started this blog at the beginning of my training so I could remember exactly what I was feeling. I do know that I ran those 8 miles in 1:36:26. I remember that they were hard, but not impossible.

Today's run was fabulous! My legs were sore; I don't normally run three days in a row. I like to have a rest day before a long run, but that's how my schedule has worked out this week. My compression socks did the trick for my calves. I tried a Power Bar Energy Gel for the first time around mile 4 (I don't have a Garmin-someday!!). I really liked it. It was much easier to get down than the Cliff Shotblocks I used for my half. I had one bottle of water and one of Nuun in my fuel belt. Perfect combo of hydration and fuel. I kicked it. Today, I ran 8.33 miles in 1:26:02. I shaved ten minutes off my time! Not to mention that I ran farther. I felt on top of the world! I love that running makes me feel that way: strong, invincible and badass! When I got home, I looked at my time, checked it against the last time. I then had to re-check my route to make sure I didn't accidentally run 7 miles instead of 8 (boy a Garmin would be nice!). I couldn't believe that I had shaved 10 minutes, but I did! And it was epic.

Happy running y'all!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Compression Socks and Self Loathing

Ran a quick 3.1 this morning before J headed to work. It felt good. It wasn't epic like yesterday's run, but it felt good. I intentionally ran slower because I'm running 6.5 tomorrow and my calves are really sore. I'm not sure if they're sore from running yesterday or doing wii fit the day before. Either way, they're stiff. I threw on a pair of compression socks today (haute pink Run Love compression socks from Running Skirts), my purple C9 skort, long sleeved, black, C9 technical shirt underneath my bright pink C9 technical tee. I topped it off with my purple Washington Huskies visor. I looked cute. I needed to look cute because my body hurt. Those socks really worked. I'm not sure why I'm so shocked to find that they work, but they really do. I only own two pairs (pink and blue), I want every color of the rainbow and some! I LOVE my compression socks.

Now that you've endured my pointless ramblings about my love for compression socks. Go read this post here. G, of Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner is able to eloquently state how I feel about myself. Her post is life changing and every woman needs to read it, take a good look at herself and realize just how beautiful she really is. Something that I'm working on. Thanks for this post G!!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back In The Saddle

I went for a short 3 mile run today. It felt good. It felt better than good. It was epic! I haven't run since that whiny post. I finished up my meds and slept like there was no tomorrow. I felt normal yesterday and plugged in the wii fit. I haven't used it for over two years. The good news is I lost over 17 pounds since the last time I stepped on. The bad news is that it took me over 1,100 days to achieve it-- according to the fit. I was able to do some step aerobics, running (in place) and yoga. I then passed over the controls to the boys and let them have at it.

Today I was sure to eat a bowl of oatmeal before heading out the door. I used to be able to run with only water and coffee in my system. My body got used to having food before running (even short distances) during my training. I headed out the door with plenty of time for a run, stretching and shower before J had to leave for work. I had zero expectations. It had been a week since my last run. My lungs and legs to do not cooperate after more than a few days off. I cranked up some Led and hit the pavement. I felt great! My lungs were cooperating and my legs felt as light as air! It was epic! My body needed that week's rest.

I'm planning to head back out tomorrow for another short 3.1 before J heads to work. He closes the restaurant on Saturday so I'm shooting for 6.5 early that morning. He has Sunday off (miracle of miracles!) so if the weather cooperates, we're going to go on a family hike. Not sure if I will be able to squeeze in a run Monday, I'll try for 3.1. The boys go back to school on Tuesday and I can return to a normal schedule.

I hope you all are getting out there and enjoying those endorphins! Happy running!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Race Recap and Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I know you're asking yourself, how did the New Year's 5k go? As it turns out, I was a DNS. After that excessive whining in my last post, I marched my butt down to the doctor and found out I had a double infection (hence the whining) and was put on antibiotics. These are some strong meds and the side affects do not go with running, even just a 5k. So I decided to listen to my body, and skip the virtual race. J also got called into work early so it would have been tight (that's what she said!) squeezing in a run before he left. I have been sleeping the days away and it feels good! The lesson of 2011 was listen to my body. I'm glad to say that I did.

2012 started with sleeping in. How am I going to get going early enough to get the boys to school? I'm glad that I have nine more days to figure it out! I am excited for my New Years' meal tonight: Hoppin' John, Greens and Cornbread. No, I am not a Southerner. BUT I have lived here for four years and I now cook my greens almost as good as a true Southerner--or so a Southern friend has told me!!! Maybe she was just being nice? It is tradition to eat black eyed peas, greens and cornbread on New Years' Day. They represent happiness, health and prosperity and it tastes good!

My 2012 Goals:
Run 1,000 miles this year. I ran 507.42 last year. I struggled with injuries due to switching my shoes around and trying to figure out this whole "running" thing. My runiversary is January, and I am two years in! I think that 1,000 miles is attainable this year. That's only 20.84 miles a week.
Run another race. Unfortunately, my hubby's crazy work schedule (the restaurant industry is not family friendly) is unpredictable and my family is over 3,000 miles away so I can't count on childcare. Ideally, I'd like to run the Atlanta Half again on Thanksgiving Day. The restaurant is closed that day so I know that J will be off, but the training took a lot of time away from the family. I'd like to crush a 10k. I'm leaning towards that distance and we'll see how it goes. I do dream of meeting the ATL Half again and crushing it. Maybe I'll be able to hit a 5k, 10k and 1/2 this year? I know that I will hit these distances on my own, but the whole race day logistics are hard for me to figure out considering our "situation".
Pay off our next debt on our snowball. Since I'm new to blogging, you don't know how BIG of Dave Ramsey fans J and I are. We have been working our debt snowball since July 2009. It took us six months to figure out what we were doing and stop hemorrhaging money. In that time frame, we had two surgeries in the family and one car accident. In January 2010 it all clicked, we took FPU and became true gazelles! We have paid off five of the seven debts on our snowball. We have two more to go. I know we will pay one off in 2012 and the last one will go in early 2013. Culinary school was very expensive!

Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2012 bring you health, happiness and prosperity!