Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Well folks I'll be completely honest: I have NOT been running since my half! I've drank a lot of Dr Pepper, eaten a lot of holiday cookies, and, let's be honest here, I've loved every minute of it. Don't get me wrong, I love to run, I really do. But after several months of doing it out of obligation it has been nice to sit back and only run whenever I felt like it (which has been twice in the last month, FYI).

I really do need to get back into it though. It's always that first initial run after a long dry streak that is the hardest. Partly because I dread how much it's going to suck, and partly because I forget how much I actually enjoy it. I'll admit, it's really hard to get into the groove this time of year! It's cold outside and ridiculously dark by the time I get home every day. And with the recent events here in my hometown I don't really feel comfortable (or safe) going by myself to the park for a run anymore. :(

BUT... Christmas break starts in TWO DAYS! The upside to that is I'll have two full weeks without any work! The downside is that I still won't get much time for running because I'll have the kids all day. Again though, with the recent shooting in Connecticut I'd rather spend every second with my kids anyway.

I guess over the next few weeks I'll just be wingin' it, running-wise.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gains and Losses

I thought it might be fun to reflect on all the things I've gained, and lost, throughout the past 9 weeks.

I gained:

-a greater confidence in my abilities as a runner.
-more respect for those committed to improving their health. It's not easy. And sometimes it tastes gross.
-7 lbs (last I checked, anyway!). I read somewhere that this is pretty common when you start training for longer distances but I thought it was a myth. It's not. So to all of you out there who keep telling me, "Stop running so much, you're getting too thin..." I've gained 7 lbs.
-knowledge of how my body functions. It needs at least 8 hours of sleep the night before a long run. It needs less sugar and a LOT more water. It needs more fruits and veggies and fewer cheeseburgers.
-a thirst for further distances! My next goal is a full marathon! I'm not sure how long it will be before I'm ready to start training for that, but I am convinced I can do it.
-a better relationship with Christ. I've tried to make running about Him and for Him. Running is a way to clear my mind and is a great time for prayer.
-a love for athletic gear. When I go shopping now I always want to buy new running shorts, shirts, tights... You can never have too many!!
-a fear of wild animals! Skunks don't look so scary when you're in your car and you drive by them fast and the smell doesn't last forever... but when you're on foot and you see a live skunk up ahead, you turn around and take a different route. No other options.
-an appreciation for wide roads and friendly drivers. I can't tell you how many times I had to jump in the ditch because the road was too narrow for a car to get over much or the driver was rude and/or not paying attention.
-the ability to breathe correctly. Who knew I'd been doing it wrong all these years!? I used to get side stitches ALL the time, even in short distances. But, after I learned the correct breathing technique, I could get rid of a side stitch in the middle of a run. YES!

I lost:

-3 toenails, two of which came from the same toe =(
-my good pair of gloves. Technically they weren't even mine to begin with. I borrowed them from my sister and had to buy her a new pair because of the first time I lost them. Hopefully they'll turn up again!!
-my fear of hills. I still dread them but I don't intentionally avoid them anymore.
-the belief that I can't do something due to lack of time. I have a full time job. I go to school full time. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister... and I can still be all of those things and be a runner too.
-money. Okay, so maybe I didn't lose it... but I can't be certain where it went. Maybe it was used for registration fees? Maybe some new running shoes? Maybe someone spent it on a new Nike running shirt? The world may never know.

So, as you can see, I gained quite a bit more than I lost!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Route 66 Half Marathon


I had several panic attacks the week before but I managed to push through. My husband and I left our house Saturday afternoon and headed to Tulsa. We are not city folk. We do not like traffic. We do not like one way streets or road blocks. We drove around the Expo center for about half an hour before we found a place to park and decided not to pay the meter since we couldn't find it... I told you we're not city folk!!!

After picking up my registration packet we drove around for about an hour looking for a movie theater that was playing Flight. It was a very intense movie! I ate too much popcorn.

Through Him alone!
Dinner was at Olive Garden where I loaded up on spaghetti. And I ate too many bread sticks.

On our way! SO SCARED!
We then headed to my cousin's house where we would be staying for the night. I threw back a couple of Benadryl before bed just to help me sleep. I was SO nervous, it's a miracle I was able to doze off at all. And then I realized I FORGOT MY EAR BUDS AT HOME. I can't run without them!! Luckily my super awesome cousin had a pair and let me borrow them. SHE SAVED MY LIFE! We went to bed and I hastily dozed off...
Shakin' in my  boots. 

My alarm went off at 6:00 and I shot out of bed with a racing heart as nervous as I could possibly be! I brushed my teeth. I put on my clothes. I woke up my husband. I ate a muffin, drank some water, and the we headed off to the race. EEEEK!!!!

Say my prayers!!!!!! 
We parked and paid the metal box that told us we owed it $5. My awesome husband told me he was so proud of me (and that I looked good in my tights..) and we walked to the starting line. People people everywhere!! And everywhere I looked I saw runners who looked 100% more legit than myself. They had these neat belts with water bottles and power bars and gel packs and I was like whaaaaaaat is all this? I don't have a neat waist pack, what am I gonna do?! I can't call myself a runner without a fancy running belt!!

And we're off!!! 
Intimidated by all the professional runners and wishing I had brought a pair of gloves, I joined the herd and headed to the start. My husband stayed with me until the very last minute so I could toss him my jacket. I love that man!! Had it not been for him I probably would've had a meltdown.

By the time the race started my fingers were already numb. I wish I would have taken a picture of them--they were solid white.Why didn't I wear gloves!?

The first 3 miles went by pretty fast. I spent most of that time with my hands up my shirt trying to warm them up! There were so many gloves lying on the ground from people tossing them after they got warmed up and I really considered picking a pair up and putting them on... but I didn't. Around mile 3 the feeling had returned in my hands and I finally stopped picturing my fingers falling off from frostbite.

I hit a wall around mile 6. That's a bad feeling considering I wasn't even halfway done! But the spectators cheering everyone on was an ENORMOUS encouragement! I LOVED IT! People were holding signs all over the place. Some were hilarious, like, "Worst. Parade. Ever." and "Kick some asphalt!" I was amazed at how many runners there were, too. The crowd never thinned out at all. There were several water/Gatorade stations throughout the course, and someone was handing out some gel energy packs around mile 8 which was much needed! I hit another wall around mile 10. I knew at that point though that I couldn't stop, not even to walk. My legs were getting stiff already.

When I started this journey I committed myself to giving God all the glory. I promised to trust Him to give me the strength to endure. I even bought a shirt with Philippians 4:13 on it to run in. With a little less than one mile to go I had forgotten all of that. But then, right when I thought I couldn't go any further, a spectator made eye contact with me and shouted, "You can do this! Way to run for the Lord!" I almost started crying right then. He was SO right! I was doing it for Christ and through Him I can do anything! I finished that last mile strong and full of energy. I even sprinted to the finish line :) My time was 2 hours, 16 minutes, 16 seconds. Not bad for a newby who doesn't own a running belt!

I received my medal beaming with pride.

Several hours later, we left Tulsa (after driving around lost for a LONG time... whole other story!) and the only thing I could think about was COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE! My husband took me to IHOP where I ate ALL of my food and drank almost the entire pot of coffee!

By the time we got home every part of my body ached. My poor feet took a beating--I ended up with 6 blisters and a bloody toe. :( My husband informed me, upon seeing my ugly feet, that I was in desperate need of a pedicure! HA! When we got home the heating pad became my best friend.

So there you have it. My half-marathon experience, from start to finish! And to think that when I first started running after my son was born, less than two years ago, I couldn't even go half a mile without stopping.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

142.5 Miles Later...

I started training for my half marathon on September 17, 2012. Since then, I have ran 142.5 miles and burned approximately 13,520 calories! That's equal to 45 slices of pepperoni pizza! Also: 61.5 blueberry muffins.270 cups of sliced strawberries. 451 servings of baby carrots. Or, my favorite, 78 cups of Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds!

I have not stuck to the schedule 100%, but I've come really close. I ran 10 miles this past Tuesday, the first time I have ever gone double digits in my whole life. It did not feel amazing during the 9th mile, but it did feel amazing after the 10th and I was staring into the sinking sun thinking, "Wow, I can not believe I just did that." Run while you can folks. Someday, when you're old and can't hardly get out of bed, you're going to wish you'd taken better care of your body!

During my 10 mile run I took a little detour from the route I usually run, just to add those last few miles onto my run. I tried to take some pictures... 

I took this one on accident, hehe
As much as I've enjoyed this journey, I am glad to be at the end of training. Next week I'll taper, only going a couple of miles each day and then the big 13.1! Over the past few weeks I feel like I've barely seen my family at all. I go to work, run, go to bed, repeat. My husband has been absolutely amazing through all of this and I'm sure he's ready for training to end, too!

Even my son knows what it means when Mommy puts on her running shoes. He starts crying as soon as I get them on because he knows I'm about to leave. Two hours later I get home and it's time to put him to bed. It has been tough on everyone! 

What am I going to do after my half? I have no intentions of giving up running, that's for sure. But I think I'm going to take it easy for a while--no more than 6 miles for a few months. My husband gets his cast taken off his arm today and I know he's going to want to have some basketball dates with his friends over the next few weeks. Perfect timing! 

One more thing before I go: I could not have done any of this without Christ. During some of my most difficult runs all I had to do was pray for strength and endurance, and it was always there. I really can do all things through Him who gives me strength!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Made Something Yummy

I found a recipe on Pinterest and it turned out to be pretty delish.

1 refrigerated pie crust.
Cinnamon sugar (made by mixing cinnamon into some sugar until you think it looks pretty).

I rolled out my pie crust, glopped some Nutella down on it and spread it out evenly. Then I cut my pie crust into 16 slices, pizza style. Rolled 'em up (like you would a crescent roll). Melted some butter (How much? IDK! Like... 2 tablespoons??) and brushed it on top of my little rolls. Sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top. Plopped the pan in the oven (preheated to 425) and cooked those bad boys for about 8 or 9 minutes.

This was the original picture:
I won't lie. I honestly went into this pessimistically and assumed my little Nutella mini pies would look NOTHING like this but they turned out kinda similar. Here's my version:

Photo credit goes to my iPhone that's had better days.
Not too shabby right? I mean no, they're really not as pretty as the original... mine look a little deflated and I didn't use as much cinnamon. They still turned out pretty yummy! I took them to work for our potluck lunch so that I wouldn't eat all 32 by myself (I made two batches... genius). They're a little over 100 calories each (what kind of health nut would I be if I didn't calculate calories!?). 

Good thing I run tonight considering I ate at least 4 of these things PLUS all the other homemade goodies that my coworkers brought to the potluck. Chilli, chips, enchiladas, guacamole, pie, chocolate chip cookie dough balls (dipped in chocolate, of course, what else!?!?)... I ate SO MUCH FOOD that, 3 hours later, I still feel stuffed. 

P.S. I TURN 25 IN TWO DAYS. My new birthday present came in yesterday... RUNNING SHOES! I haven't run in them yet--trying to break them in first. I know this shouldn't really be an important aspect of a good pair of running shoes, but they are soooooo pretty! 

I've now put over 330 miles on my other pair of running shoes and, I'm not going to lie, part of me is a little sad to retire them. They're the first pair of actual running shoes I've ever owned. :( Maybe I'll have a little ceremony or something... 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Colton's Run 5K

I ran my first 5K in months this past weekend! I wanted to do the 10K but since I was supposed to go 8 miles on Sunday I figured that might be overkill...

My goal for this race was to run it in under 25 minutes which I did NOT do. Waaahh! (That was me crying like a baby, FYI). I didn't do too bad though! I can't figure out why my last mile is ALWAYS my fastest... every. single. time.

My final time was 25:39, argh

Look, I even won a medal! First place in my age division... it's the last time I'll ever be in the 20-24 division. I'm turning 25 this week! YIKES. 

This year's time was slower than last year's time, I was so disappointed! Oh well... there's always next year! I have another 5K this upcoming weekend, maybe I'll be my PR then... we'll see.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Devil Got the Best of Me...

I wasn't quite as strong today as I was yesterday.

Well at least I was a lady about it and used a fork. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Devil's Real Name is "Hostess"

Yesterday: I forgot to bring my lunch to work so what else was I to do but raid the vending machine? You know what looked healthy? The jumbo sized Hostess honey bun. So I put in my 3 quarters and then watched as my lunch got jammed in the machine. WHY does this always happen to me!? It was hanging on for dear life by a thread. I tried wiggling the machine. I tried kicking it. I tried talking to the honey bun to let loose. It didn't. I couldn't just leave it there, right? What other options were there? I dug around for 3 more quarters and repeated the process. My precious honey bun finally let go! And then the other one I'd just paid for got stuck. What is it with these honey buns!?!?

The second honey bun didn't latch on quite like the first and I was able to wiggle the machine enough to make it let go. HA, you're mine now!! TWO HONEY BUNS ALL TO MYSELF.

I went back to my office and ate one of my jumbo honey buns for lunch. Afterwards I decided to dig the wrapper out of the trash to see how many calories I'd devoured. 550, ouch. I'm not going to lie, I really wanted to eat the other one too. But I didn't; I stuck it in my desk drawer for later.

TODAY IS LATER. That stupid jumbo honey bun has been taunting me alllllll day long. I honestly have no idea how I resisted but I did. It was pure torture. I even took it out and stared at it for a few minutes and then decided to have a coffee to try and curb my craving. Luckily it worked pretty well. 

I'll just have to go through all the taunting again tomorrow. THIS is why I try not to bring quarters to work.

Stop licking your computer screen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reality Check (I'm NOT 18 Anymore!)

A couple of weeks ago a friend from High School messaged me and asked me to play in a basketball tournament on Saturday, Oct 13th. I haven't played basketball since my last HS game over 6 years ago. Am I really that old? But to be honest I was a little excited--I text my husband and asked if it was okay with him. His exact words were, "This seems backward." Poor guy... he'd just broke his arm and here I was rubbing it in asking him if I could play his sport!

I agreed to play and then went back to my normal routine which, if you haven't noticed, has absolutely nothing to do with basketball. I'm still in training for my half marathon, remember!? I had to up my mileage quite a bit this past week and incorporate more (is that even possible?) speed training in. The tournament neared.

On Friday (the day before the tourney) I wanted to throw up. I have no idea why but I was so nervous! And I just knew I was going to roll my ankle. We won our first game by default because the other team didn't show up. Woohoo! We lost our second game to a team who obviously cross-trains or takes steroids or something. We saw them eating bananas in between games--they had to have been laced with something!

And I rolled my ankle, of course.

We won our third game and I don't know how any of us made it without passing out. We. were. exhausted. And then we had to play another. Our game plan was to just forfeit but the oldest player on our team, who turned out to be in WAY better shape than any of the rest of us, put her foot down and made us play! I don't think we could have made it without her, she was our coach, referee, and cheerleader (without the pom poms).

We lost our last game and won 2nd place in the tourney. We were quite satisfied with that! This all happened on Saturday. That night my hubby, son, and I stayed at my parents' house. My son is very particular to his own crib and therefore wouldn't sleep AT ALL. I got up 4 different times to get him milk (yes, 4). At one point I dug through all of my mom's medicine cabinets looking for children's Benadryl; I was desperate for anything to make him sleep, don't judge me! I didn't find any: DRATS.

Come Sunday morning we were so so so tired. And on top of that I felt like someone had run me through a meat grinder. I really truly thought all the training I'd been doing for my half meant I was in pretty good shape. WRONG. My legs hurt. My back hurt. My arms, feets, neck, butt, shoulders, abs, lungs... everything... HURT. I also have multiple bruises in the strangest places like my fingers. It looks like I got into a knitting war (and lost).

I decided to postpone my 8 mile run to Monday. Well, it's Monday and guess what? Everything. still. hurts! I'm ashamed to admit that I couldn't hang with my 18 year-old-self anymore! Maybe I should start doing squats? Or just eat more bananas?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Confessions of a Runner

So I feel like I don't really have a lot to talk about lately. I'm still training for my half marathon, everything's on schedule, but there's nothing really new to say. So... I'll just spill some confessions. Sounds fun.

1. When I run by a street drain I glance into expecting to see a clown staring up at me.
Is that not the scariest thing you've ever seen!?!? Picture credit here. 
2. I don't really have a warm up routine. I just kinda... stretch whatever feels tight. And most people recommend that you do like a 5 minute jog or something first, too, but yeah right. From the time I walk out my front door to when I start my actual run, probably less than 2 minutes passes. I just wanna get it all over with!!

3. I always run faster when a car passes by me. I don't want them to know how slow I really am.
Picture credit here
4. If I run in just a sports bra I always "suck it in" if I think someone is looking!
Picture Credit here

5. I sweat like no woman you've ever seen. My face, my legs, my arms, my neck... it's unnatural.

exhausted runner
Picture credit here
6. I like to look at my own shadow when I run to see if I look like a "real" runner or not. Usually I think, "Do I really slump that much?"

7. When it's really hot outside I listen to Christmas music.

Picture credit here. 
8. I don't drink enough water and I drink way too much coffee. BTW I was exactly 4 weeks off Dr Pepper when I caved and had one at a restaurant this past weekend. *ashamed* I haven't had another one since, though!

9. I'm too competitive. What's the point of signing up for a 5K (or any race for that matter!) if  you don't plan on winning a medal!?
Picture credit here

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

End of Week Three

Holy moly, it dawned on me last night that I'm already on week 4 of training! Time is flying by so quickly and November 18th is approaching FAST.

Week 3 recap: it was another week of "I don't wanna" and "I can't do it," but each time I got out and did it anyway. The speed work was a lot more intense but I didn't have to cover as many miles so I guess it evened out. Saturday I was supposed to run an actual 5K race which would have been perfect if I'd had the money to sign up, but I didn't. Instead I just woke up early and pretended I was in a race; it definitely wasn't the same! But I did manage to maintain a 9 min/mi pace. My phone died with only a half a mile to go and so I didn't get to see my final time but I know it was between 27-28 minutes. Nowhere close to my fastest time but, considering I was just pretend racing, I'll call it a success!

Sunday, which is always my "long run" day, I only had to do 5 miles. I couldn't believe how easy it was. After 3 miles I still wasn't out of breath at all, my legs still felt strong, and my pace was under 10 min/mi. This cooler weather is rockin' my world.

I'm already dreading this week's workouts, though. I won't run less than 5 miles during any run, and then Sunday I go 8. Bleh!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

End of Week Two

    There really isn't much to say other than I have officially survived the first two weeks of training! Even though I experienced some bumps along with way I am all caught up with the schedule now.

    Week 1 sucked. Bad. I really wanted to quit! Week 2 was so much easier. And when Sunday rolled around and I had to run 7 miles, I was actually excited about it! Crazy, right!? I knew this time I could actually do it, though, and I love being able to say, "I just ran 7 miles, no biggie," when really it's an enormous biggie!

    If I can go out and knock out 7 miles (without having to walk any of it this time!) then I know I will be able to do 13.1 miles in November. Last night an alarm went off on my phone reminding me that it was the last day to sign up before the price went up so I did it, I registered for my half. There is no backing down, now!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 2 of HM Training

Training wise, this week has been a flop. And it's only week two! Yikes. Sunday I was supposed to run 7 miles; I had already been scared out of my wits about it because I was sure I couldn't do it. Positive I couldn't, in fact. I went to bed Saturday night and immediately knew it was going to be a long night. My son wouldn't sleep at all. We were up at 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, and 3:00. My husband wasn't home--he was playing in an all night softball tournament. At 4 AM my phone rings. I can't believe I heard it, it was on vibrate. I answer. It's my husband.

Hubs: "Hi honey. I need you to have Mom come watch the kids for a bit."

Me: "What!? What happened??"

Hubs: "I need you to come to the hospital. I think I broke my arm."

Oh my word. So I called my mother-in-law (who, by the way, answered the phone like she had been up all along!) and told her what was going on. I hadn't even asked her yet to come stay with the kids before she said, "I'll be right over." She was there in less than 5 minutes. I'm not kidding when I say that a married into an amazingly wonderful unselfish giving family. My mother-in-law is an angel.

I went to the hospital and yes, his arm was most definitely broken. It looked like that scene from Harry Potter when  Professor Lockhart removes all Harry's bones from his arm.

Yes, that gross. Several hours later we were back home and hubs had a splint on his arm. I couldn't run, I was too tired. No way. I secretly celebrated getting out of it.

Monday rolled around. I still didn't get much sleep the night before but I went home after an already stressful day at work and needed to get OUT. I don't know why he agreed to it but hubs decided to watch the baby while I went for a run. I didn't tell him how far I was going or how long it would take, though... sneaky me.

I went 7 miles. Seven. Freaking. Miles. Did I really do that? I did, SEE!??

Okay, yes, I had to go really slow and I had to walk up the big hills and I may have even stopped to pet a couple of dogs who, by the way, weren't guarding their homes very well. But I did it and lived to tell the tale. This put me one day behind schedule but oh well. 

Just a little side story here: One time my mom bought my dad this new movie. He loved running and so she bought this movie for him that she assumed was about running called: 8 Mile. I saw it in the living room and said, "Mom, what are you doing with this? It's not really something I pictured you and Dad watching." She said, "Well I don't really know what it is I just know your dad likes to run so I got that for him." Oh Mom, no, this is not a movie about running... 

Picture credit here

Picture credit here

So anyway...

Last night I decided to do Tuesday's workout so that I would be back on schedule. My mother-in-law came over to watch the baby (remember me saying she was an angel?) and off I went. And then, less than a mile into it, I see lightning. I turned around and ran as fast as I could home. I've decided to just skip that workout and, if it stops raining, I'll just pick back up with today's workout. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 4 (and some "You know you're a runner when...")

A little humor before I get to the boring stuff (and btw, all of these apply to me...)
You know you're a runner when: 
  • you have more running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile. 
  • you've lost a toenail. And you tell people, "It's not that bad." (I have a black one about to fall off right now... it's really not that bad!) 
  • you have a line in your budget for "race entry fees/race travel". 
  • you get an invitation to a wedding and you automatically think about what race the date will conflict with.
  • you have dreams about showing up to a race late or not wearing any clothes. (I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!!!) 
  • you're not embarrassed to wear spandex. (it's hawt.)
  • you're always hungry. (technically I was always hungry before I started running too...)
  • you spend more time researching running routes than local restaurants when traveling to a new city. (I left work late yesterday trying to find the perfect route that would end right at the track!)
  • you know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
  • you have more fun shopping for running clothes than you do non-running clothes.
  • when you hear PR, you automatically think "personal record", not "public relations".
  • your holiday wish list can be fulfilled at any running or sporting goods store. (My birthday is coming up, too ;)
  • you have several drawers dedicated to running shirts.
  • your Facebook or Twitter updates frequently involve running. (Guilty.. apologies to my FB friends)
  • you always have your next race on the calendar. (including when the last day to register is)
  • your runs are sometimes longer than your commute to work or school.
  • you get jealous when you're driving in your car and pass runners.
  • you want to either cry or punch your doctor in the face when he tells you that you can't run for two weeks. (Which is why I won't go see one about my foot, doh!!)
  • you're excited for your next birthday because it means you'll be in a new age group at raoad races. (I run my last race as a 24 year old the week before my birthday and my first race as a 25 year old the week after my birthday! How cool is that!?)
  • you get excited when the race swag is a technical fabric (not cotton) T-shirt. (a rare occurrence, though)
  • when someone passes you during a training run, you assume they're running a shorter distance than you are. (Um, duh, there's no way that girl would pass me otherwise)
  • you spend more money on running clothes than work or casual clothes. (guilty...)
  • the only time major household projects get done is during tapering or race recovery. (Which is why only half our dining room has been painted so far!)
Find more here

Okay, on to the boring bit. Day 4 of HM training consisted of:

4 miles + 4 GP (gentle pickups)-"At the end of your run, walk for several minutes, then slowly increase your leg turnover on a flat stretch for 100 meters—the straightaway on a track—up to the point where you start to breathe hard. Hold it there for 10 to 20 meters, then gradually slow down. Walk to full recovery before you start the next one."

I seriously wanted to quit after the first mile. I couldn't breathe, my legs were dead, and I had side stitches like nobody's business. I ran around the park where I didn't think the hills would be too hard since I'm used to running hills anyway but they. were. brutal. I wasn't trying to go too fast either--I settled into a pace 30 seconds slower than my usual easy run pace. It was just a bad day all around. I hope these kinds of runs don't stick around. It was a little hotter yesterday than usual, and I didn't drink enough water throughout the day, and I may or may not have had two cookies and a slice of coconut cream pie along with the rest of my lunch... so maybe it was just a combination of all those things.

I'm so glad today is a rest day. Tomorrow I only have to run 4 miles and then Sunday: the big 7. I have never ever ever in my whole life went that far so I wouldn't be surprised if I have to walk a lot of it. Ah well...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day Two

Day two training consisted of:

2 miles, 5X1:00 AI, 2 miles. AI=Aerobic intervals; "You push the pace, but just a little. Find a tempo that feels somewhere between comfortable and, "Hey, I'm workin' a little here." Don't run this too hard. Adding too much intensity while you're also increasing mileage is a recipe for injury. When you finish the timed AI, jog slowly until your breathing returns to normal, then work back into your regular pace." (Runner's World) 

Picture credit here
I could tell within the first mile that I was going to die. I knew I had to go slow or I wasn't going to make it. If this had been just another day of running where I didn't really have a goal in mind I would have decided right then to go 3 miles and call it a good day. But I couldn't do that--I had a stupid goal!

I had been nervous about the intervals but they turned out to be really easy. I only had to do 5 and they only last a minute each so the time went by really fast. I would walk for 30 seconds, run hard for a minute, walk 30 seconds... I was finished with that part in under 8 minutes. Piece of cake--until I realized I still had to run 2 more miles.

The road I run on was pretty busy--I could have just jumped out in front of a car to end my misery but I figured that would hurt really bad. So I finished my run, stretched, and laid on the pavement wondering if I was really going to be able to pull this off or not. I ran less than 5 miles and it hurt. 13.1 miles? That seems so unattainable right now!

Once I got in the house I just sat in the floor and blindly stared at the TV for an hour. My sweet little baby sat on my lap the entire time which is a miracle in itself because he doesn't normally sit still for more than, oh, say... 3.5 seconds. He even went to bed easy. He pointed at his crib and smiled. What is wrong with my kid!? I said to him, "Give Mommy a kiss," and he shook his head no. So then I said, "I'm not letting you go to bed until you give Mommy a kiss." And then he kissed me and went right to sleep without any fuss. It was mind boggling.

After what seemed like hours later, I got up off the couch and mumbled something about going to bed. My husband looked at me and said, "Really? Now? Honey... it's 9 o'clock." Whatever... It felt more like 2 in the morning. So I went to bed. My awesome hubby came in and rubbed my back and before long (like 2 minutes later) I was asleep. Wanna hear the best part? My little baby slept all night long. That's the first time in about a week and a half! He must have known Mommy needed her sleep... or maybe he did wake up and I just couldn't hear him because I was in a coma? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day One

So it begins: Day one of half-marathon training. Lucky for me day 1 starts of with a rest day! Yay! I am so nervous about the next few weeks. Can I really stick to the schedule? Can I really wake up at 5 AM to workout during the week? I decided to wake up at 6 this morning to try and get myself ready for waking up at 5 tomorrow. Instead of getting up, I turned my alarm off, woke up at 7, and had to have the hubby take Mr J to daycare because I was running late. *sigh*

I was sick all last week and couldn't do much of anything, let alone run. By Saturday I felt 100% better but decided to wait until Sunday to do a 5-mile test run. I started out really, really slow and had a side-stitch by mile 2. But I didn't stop, not even when I reached this:

I have been avoiding this series of hills for months but I decided to just go for it. Going down the first big one I thought, "This really isn't so bad." Going back up it I thought, "Why, Destiny, why did you do this to yourself!?" I was just a little past the 3 mile mark at that point and had to walk up the last hill, but at least I survived. At the end of mile 4 I upped my pace and finished the last mile in under 10 minutes. 

Let me just do a little bragging at this point: I am on day 11 without any DP. It has been (knock on wood) surprisingly easy so far. I just have to make sure to have at least one coffee a day to avoid headaches. My husband told me last week that the reason I got so sick was because I quit the hard stuff and my body wasn't responding well. Ha! But no, really, he's probably right. 

Last night, after putting little man to bed, I sat in the backyard and really thought about the next 9 weeks. This whole process is a huge deal for me. I need to eat right. I need to stay on schedule. And I need to get enough sleep every night. That's probably going to be the hardest thing for me to do. Every night when I lay J down I wonder how long he'll sleep before waking up, how many times he'll wake up, whether he'll stay in his own bed or wind up in our's. Whether I get enough sleep or not solely relies on him. Some nights I get a full 8 hours while others I function on just 2 or 3. Some nights we're up every 30 minutes. How do you tell a toddler that he needs to cooperate with Mommy's training!? It should be interesting!

Can I really do this? 
Stick around... we'll see!

**Update from day 2: I did NOT wake up at 5 AM!! Well technically I did.... but the only thing I accomplished during that time was warming up some milk for Jordan and patting him for 30 minutes trying to get him to go back to sleep. Hmmm. I guess weekday training will in fact occur in the evenings and weekend training will occur in the mornings. HAHA I am such a slacker already!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Never "Easy"

Today I am obviously cranky and having Dr Pepper withdrawls. It's been like 48 hours since my last DP injection and so I apologize for anything stupid I may say/do over the next few minutes/days/weeks/months.

Let's get right to it: being "skinny" (or fit or small or healthy or whatever is socially acceptable to say right now) can sometimes be a pain in the behind. This morning I woke up and really wanted the donut but ate the banana and 20 ounces (yes, twenty) of coffee instead. Lunch time rolls around and I'd love a nice slice of pizza with a side of ranch dressing and cheese dippers. *Drool* Instead I had tuna on wheat and some baby carrots. I don't want to eat this apple for my afternoon snack; what I WANT is a king size Almond Joy.
Let's get one thing straight: I am nowhere near what most people consider a "health nut." I eat crap all the time. I'm only 48 hours off my DP, remember? But I try to eat at least half as much good foods as I do crap. So I do eat my vegetables and I try (and try and try) to avoid bad foods. This is what happens: Almost everyday at some point at least one person says to me, "You're so small... it wouldn't kill you to just eat the one donut." It's true, that one donut (like the one I had for breakfast yesterday morning, btw) won't ruin me. But if I ate a donut (or a cheeseburger or whatever) every single time someone said that to me... I wouldn't be where I am now.

My point is this: it's hard. I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day (or something like it because I can't find it now...): "Being overweight is hard. Being skinny is hard. Being healthy is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard." I love it because it's true. I've been maintaining now for over a year and it's still not easy. If I don't count my calories every. single. day. I eat way too much, it never fails. It's hard. But you know what else was hard? Looking at my body in the mirror after my son was born was hard. Trying on size 12 jeans (that were too small) was hard. Seeing tagged photos of myself on Facebook was hard. Stepping on the scale was hard. For me those things were emotionally hard whereas eating healthier and exercising are physically and mentally hard.

It's about what makes you the happiest... which kind of "hard" will be the most satisfying? That's the one you choose.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monster Goal(s)

Last month my running goal was to complete 30 miles for the month. I ended up with 49.3! My big big goal is coming up pretty soon: Route 66 Half Marathon, November 18, 2012. Training for that starts on September 17th: one week from this upcoming Monday! Holy cowzers!

Even bigger than running a half marathon is my decision to stop drinking Dr Pepper until after the race. Today is only day one... this should be pretty interesting. This is a horrible time to start--but is there really ever a great time to give up a bad habit? No time like the present... so they say.

I don't remember what the point of this post was supposed to be... sorry! I'm delirious from lack of DP? It hasn't even been 24 hours yet but hey, I'm blaming it anyway. Let me just be clear about one thing: I am not giving up coffee. Maybe I should but let's take this one addiction at a time, shall we?

So anyway, half marathon training is coming up pretty soon and I am so nervous I won't be able to stick with it. Baby J gets tubes in his ears on the 25th... My daughter's birthday party is this weekend, she turns 7 next Friday, my cousin is getting married the next weekend, my husband will be working several Saturdays between now and November, there's softball tournaments scheduled, and let's not forget that there will be plenty of nights that Mama won't get any sleep... oh dear, I'm dizzy. And the one thing that tops it ALL off is that I plan on doing all my training in the mornings which I already know is a mistake because I never get up early enough for that. I am a night runner. Don't get me wrong I am naturally a morning person, but that doesn't mean I want to go run 7 miles before breakfast.

I haven't signed up for the race yet. I should probably do it now so that I can't be a weenie after week one of training and back out of it altogether. My biggest worry is that my stupid right foot won't make it... It's been hurting and swollen for about 3 weeks now. I'm not going to the doctor... I'm so sick of bills. I had a plantar's wart that made it difficult to even walk for an entire year before I finally caved and had it removed. It took the guy 5 minutes and maybe $10 worth of acid treatment and one week later it was gone. $140 bill came in the mail a few weeks later, after my $40 co-pay and with insurance applied. Really, doc? Thanks a lot. So, even though I know I really need to go see someone about my foot, I'm not going to. Plus, they'll probably tell me I need to stay off of it for 4-6 weeks and let's face it... I can't train for a half marathon with only one foot. So I am just going to pretend there's nothing wrong and probably have to have it amputated later.

In a nutshell: I am going to need lots of support (and don't forget COFFEE) over the next few months. Maybe even a present here and there, massages are always appreciated.

Here is my training schedule:

*AI = Aerobic Intervals
*GP = Gentle Pickups

**This schedule is something I came up with all my own because I'm a genius found from Runner's World which is basically my go-to for any running questions I have. It is a training guide for beginning runners who run on average 15-20 miles per week, have been running for at least a year, and have finished at least one 5K race. That's me! Yay!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I've Learned

Last night I set a goal to do 4 miles. During that time I couldn't stop thinking about how tired I was! I kept thinking about how I could change my route and go this way instead of that way so that I could avoid the big hills and yada yada yada...

My foot hurt, my legs were sore, I needed to blow a snot rocket, my underwear were riding up... well, you get the picture. At the 2 mile mark I reached the place where I HAD to make a decision: If I turn right I can make the loop and I'll be running down the big hills instead of up them, or go straight and I'll be running UP the monster hills which is not only harder on my body but makes me run a lot slower. My legs were already tired. I had sweat in my eyes. And just at that moment my stupid iPod starts playing that stupid Kelly Clarkson song about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... and so I went straight. Up the big stupid hills. And that's when I started reflecting on my running career.

1. I started running constistantly 16 months ago. Love for running (for me, anyway) was an acquired taste. I used to HATE it, I'm not even kidding. It took me about 3 months of forcing myself to do it before I actually found joy in it!

2. The first time I attempted "going for a jog" after Jordan was born I broke down and started crying 5 minutes in. I hurt. I couldn't breath. I was jiggly. I felt so defeated. But I'd heard this quote and it kept me going: "Running slow is not a character trait. Quitting is." I did not want to be a quitter, and so I kept going.

3. I ran my first ever 5K (EVER) in October 2011. I ran it in 25:08 and haven't been able to run that fast since! Over time I've learned that even though I haven't beat my own PR doesn't mean I can't. Sometimes just telling myself "I'm capable of more" during a difficult run gets me through it and forces me to push harder.

4. At some point over the last year I decided I didn't care how gross my stomach is, if it's 95+ degress outside, I'm running in a sports bra, dangit! While, yeah, I am vain enough to want to be one of those hot tan girls showing off her bod, it isn't (always) about showing off to others--it's about proving to myself that I can do more. I have a beautiful collection of stretch marks and loose skin from pregnancy but I'm sorry, if it's hot outside, you're gonna see them.

5. The donut or the banana? That is the question. I won't lie, somedays I eat the donut. But the truth is I usually eat better on days I run. (Better, not perfect.) I love DP too much to eat perfect!

6. The shoes matter. My husband ran with me one day (and he never runs!) and his foot hurt for two weeks after. We only went three miles but he wasn't wearing the right kind of shoes for his feet and running style. I've only been able to con him into running with me one other time since: The Warrior Dash. Now he doesn't even acknowledge me when I mention "running together."

7. It took me a long time to get over my fear of hills. One of the most important things I've learned over the past 16 months (and you can quote me on this) is that the hills NEVER get smaller. They never get shorter. My legs and feet and lungs all hurt during the climb. But, even though the hills never get any easier to conquer physically, they do become less intimidating. That, my friends, gives me so much power as a runner.

8. I am 24 years old, almost 25. Someday I'll be old, right? Someday I'll be wrinkled and hunched and have to use a walker to get around. I never ever in my whole life want to look back and simply WISH I had taken advantage of my youth when I had the chance.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Much Needed Break

Earlier in the week I got a FB message from one of the sweetest ladies on the entire planet from my church. She was offering to keep the little tyke over the weekend. I'm not kidding when I say that I looked forward to having some time to myself so much that I was constantly forgetting what day of the week it was. Is it Thursday? No it's Tuesday. Today's Friday? No, it's Thursday. COME ON, SATURDAY, HURRY UP!

I dropped the little man off at noon (in the pouring rain, while he was screaming) and went, of all places, to Wall's where I found a pair of black heels for $5 and some painter's tape. I know, livin' wild and free, right? And then I went, of all places, to Goodwill. I was drenched by the time I got inside (Thank you Jesus for the rain, though!). There I bought a wooden wreath thingy, a picture frame, a random glass jar, and an umbrella, all for under $3. I went home. I made coffee (lot's of it). I made a hair bow, a fridge magnet, and a wreath for Jordan's door, all out of old blue jeans. I also mixed glue and food coloring and painted my new glass jar yellow. And I got a tattoo. Okay okay, it was just a stick-on.
Cute tat, right?
After the rain had stopped it felt amazing outside so I decided to go for a run: 5.1 miles! I hadn't planned on going that far. I took a different route than usual and got a little caught up in the scenery and the wonderful after-the-rain smells, and before I knew it I'd already gone 3 miles and didn't feel like stopping. I was drenched by mile 4--it had gotten really humid by then.
Yes, that's sweat dripping from my chin.
That's not rain, folks. That's my pool of sweat.
My shirt which was light purple before.
My hubby got home from work at around 8 and we hit the town: Rib Crib and then Walmart. We were going to rent a movie, too, but Redbox didn't haven't anything good and Hubs refuses to rent from Hastings because he owes $30 on his account ("I am NOT paying for that DVD! It was just a bonus CD and it wasn't even in the case when I got it!") from like 7 years ago. So we went home and watched The River instead and fell asleep after the first episode.

Sunday was just as awesome as Saturday. We went to church and picked up little man (I think he missed us just a teensy bit) and then spent the afternoon hanging out with our best buds at their new house. I haven't had such an unproductive lazy weekend in so long--I absolutely loved it! 

AND, and update on my April running goal: I already reached it!! I am at 35.3 miles for the month already (goal was 30) and I've averaged under 10 minute miles! Woot woot, go me ;) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Miles Run

I love to run, or so I thought. Maybe I just like buying the running gear, that's probably more likely! I went into Hibbett Sports the other day and found a gorgeous pair of Brook's running shoes that would look so stinkin' adorable on my feet. I imagined myself being the envy of all the other runners in my neighborhood. I didn't buy them because A) They were almost $200 and B) I don't really need a new pair yet. Darnit!

But when do I need new running shoes? I looked it up and discovered that runners need to replace their shoes after they've run anywhere from 300 to 500 miles. Surely I've gone that far since last October, right? I track all my workouts using MyFitnessPal so I was able to go back and see just how far I've run since then. 

171.01 miles. 

That's all? Really? That's only about 17 miles per month. I am so disappointed in myself. I call myself a runner!?!? Pshhhh, what a faker! Granted, some months I ran more than 30 and some less than 10, but STILL. 

So now I have decided to challenge myself. I would love to be able to run at least 15 miles a week but I don't think that's very... realistic, not at this point anyway. For the month of August, my challenge is to run at least 30 miles. That really doesn't sound like much, but considering I've been averaging only 17, I'm wondering if I can even do it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

If I Knew Then What I Know Now...

If I knew then what I know know, I would have been wearing skimpy shorts and belly shirts all through my teen years! HA!

My son is now almost 15 months old. *Tear* I can't believe how time has flown! I have lost about 55 lbs since my heaviest pregnancy weight (I stopped weighing after I hit 175 two weeks before he was born!). And I have been working my butt off (literally!) since my 6 week checkup on March 14, 2011. I reached my goal weight a few months ago an have been maintaining since.

I looked in the mirror this morning and thought to myself, "If it weren't for these stretch marks and loose skin, I'd actually be proud to wear a bikini!!" LOL I still haven't found a one piece swim suit that doesn't make me like like a 70 year old woman, but I'm on the prowl. Till then, I'll just be covering up with a tank top!

Had I known all those years ago how cute I was, I think I would have been flaunting it all a little more! I'm sure my dad is extremely grateful I was a modest girl, though.

However, I am really becoming much more satisfied with how I look. I've always struggled with self-image (hence the modesty!) and I know there will always be something about me that I don't like. Lots of somethings, actually. But I'm getting better. I don't want to be "ashamed" of my body forever. Eventually, I want to just say, "WHO CARES!?" and wear the two-piece bikini anyway, regardless of how gross my stretch marks look. I've even taken off my shirt a few times while running on (wait for it....) public streets!! I mean, yeah, I wait until I'm on that last half-mile stretch that doesn't see a lot of traffic, and I suck it all in when/if a car drives by, but still, I let people see my scarred stomach! I doubt people can really look at me directly anyway; I'm so pale. It probably hurts their eyes to see something so white.