Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Priceless....

I have discovered that having a hobby isn't cheap. Race entries are usually $25 a pop, my shoes are $100 to $115 every few months, special sweat-wicking clothes (even from Tar-jhay they add up!), bamboo socks, and now, my new personal favorite---a trainer!!!

I figure I've come as far as I can on my own and I really want to run stronger, longer, and smarter. And less pain would be nice. So, I joined a local running store's Intermediate 5K to 10K running team. It is a nine-week program. There will be eight of us. We'll have training logs, group runs, and most importantly, feedback from someone in-the-know. Did I mention the matching shirts? All of this for the low, low price of $75.

Here's my trainer's bio from the ad for the program: (it scares me a little)

Mike is the coach for the Intermediate Group. He is active duty military with 14 years of service. He was formerly an Army Medic and has been trained as an Army Master Fitness Trainer and loves all aspects of physical fitness. He has been active in sports his whole life and finds his real interest in Triathlons. Mike has competed in triathlons ranging from sprint distance to the full Ironman distance. His coaching philosophy is all about getting people to become active, having fun and enjoying what they are doing.

Ok, that part about having fun is not too scary. I start on Saturday!

Honestly, all the things running has brought to me---

HEALTH
HAPPINESS
CONFIDENCE
ATHLETICISM
JOY

those things are PRICELESS.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Inspiration

I was reading the August 2007 copy of Runner's World and came across an essay entitled "Pretty Strong: Feeling comfortable in our skin isn't always easy. Running helps."

The author, Kristin Armstrong, really summed up my own reasons for running. Here are my favorite quotes (praying I'm not breaking any laws here....):

Referring to the fact that she's given up dieting to lose weight---
"Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less." Coolness.

The final paragraph really got me. She says, "My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along." So I am.

Read the entire article at http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-369-374--11979-0,00.html

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

She's got HEART

I saw this yesterday---- A cross country runner broke her leg in her last cross country meet (she was a senior), and CRAWLED ACROSS THE FINISH LINE. The next time I'm struggling at mile 3, I'm gonna think of her!

See story at this link:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312339,00.html

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Personal Trainer, at your service

A neighbor called me today because she is starting on a running program and wants my help. Another neighbor did the same thing two weeks ago. If you knew me "back in the day" (and by that I mean last year or 6 months ago), it will strike you as funny (funny-strange, not funny-chuckle) that people would call me for athletic advice. Because I'm so not athletic. I never played an organized sport as a child. I didn't even have physical education class until 7th grade. At that point, I think it was too late. P.E. was total torture. I couldn't hit, I couldn't catch. Whiffle ball was a nightmare. Don't even ask me about dodge ball. I'd be THAT KID----always the last picked for teams. It was humiliating.

So, since I finally took up exercise at age 32 and running right before turning 37, people seem to have a misperception of me. Just because I run, doesn't mean I run well! I'll never be the fastest, the one with the most endurance, or even the one with the most heart (if I get tired, I stop and walk a while).

I participate in races almost every month, but I'm not "in it to win it." It's just a new life experience that I kind of enjoy. Sometimes. Plus, it's a neat little community. We're runners (ok, I'm mostly a jogger). We wear cool little numbers pinned on our shirts. We drink cups of water while in motion, then throw them on the ground. We get to cross a finish line. In life, how many finish lines do we really have the opportunity to cross? I think it's worth it to seek them out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Finishing Strong!

Well, 85th out of 118 isn't that bad for me! I ran a 51:14 8K averaging 10:19 per mile. My goal was under 52 minutes, so I met that. I got fourth in my age group, out of 9. Of course, only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd got awards.

I'm going to train hard the next month to get faster for the Jingle Bell Jog 5K. I want to come in at a 9 minute pace, even if it's 9:59.

I think the half-marathon is off the table now. I don't really enjoy distance running all that much. Don't know, I'm still thinking.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Psyching myself out

Ok, I'm getting nervous about Saturday's 8K. Five miles is a long flippin' way. And my run today was awful. And my ankle still hurts. I've run 5 miles and 6 miles once each, but never going in with a sore ankle. I'm starting to panic a little. What if I start hurting out in the middle of nowhere? I'd hate to be the one someone has to come pick up and drive back to the start. I'm probably just freaking myself out. I ran 1.5 today and my ankle's only a little sore. I just took ibuprofen. I guess if I wind up walking it part of the way, that'll be ok. I just don't want to limp in pain for like four miles!! I'll update after the race.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ouch

I'm in pain today. I ran 6 miles yesterday and my right ankle and left knee are really bothering me. It was my longest run ever, and it's the worst I've felt the day after a run. So, I'm wondering: Is my body trying to tell me something?

Perhaps long-distance running isn't for me. Maybe my bones and joints are too old. Maybe I should stick to 3- to 5-milers.

Running makes me feel strong. I don't want to give it up. I also don't want an injury to take it away.

I've been so obsessed with running these last few weeks, I've given up weights and crosstraining. I feel flabbier. My arms and abs are less toned. I don't know, maybe moderation is the key.

Up until a few weeks ago, I never even considered running a 1/2 marathon. But, as my runs have gotten a little longer, I see it is in the realm of possibility. I think I'm just going to train slowly----not up the mileage so fast again, and just see how I feel in the new year.

Part of the appeal of the 1/2 is that I know so many people---normal, average people---who are running them or training for one. It's the whole "If SHE can do it, so can I." I don't know if that's the best motivation.

Later.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Date night

Well, date night didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned, but it was still pretty good. It started with Chris leaving work early to drive me to the walk-in clinic. I have fluid behind my right ear (explains why I keep hearing "whooooooo" in that ear) and was experiencing dizziness to the point I wasn't comfortable driving. So he and the kids drove me to the docs, dropped me off, and ran back home to meet the babysitter. Then he picked me up and we headed out to dinner (Outback---niiiiice) and shopping for him some jeans that don't make his butt look nonexistent and that are a little more, shall we say.... modern. I made him try on 10 different pairs (welcome to MY world!) before we settled on two.

Then we made a run through Toys-R-Us for Christmas ideas. We got Annabeth's birthday presents, as well.

All in all a successful night. I'm ready for my Nyquil now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Running Fool

I think I'm a running fool. I ran for 57 minutes today without stopping. I'm thinking I *might* even do the half-marathon in April. I'm still training for an 8 K in 10 days, then a 5 K in December, then a 10K in February. But those 5+ miles today were the most I've ever run. Now, if I could just get faster!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Candy and Joy

We got LOADS of candy last night. So now, the issue is---Let them eat it all at once and make themselves sick or divvy it out day by day? I think I'd really just like it out of my house. One night of tooth decay is better than months of it, am I right??



Oh, did I mention, I can't stop eating it? Let's see, what did I have today? One Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Several Smarties. Gum. Ok, that's not as bad as I thought. And I ran 3.5 miles.



On a different note, yesterday a gal I've known for 2 or 3 years said something I want to remember. She said that having my 3rd child has made me younger, that I just seem so much more full of life. Wow! At 37, seeming younger is a great thing. I told her that Julia brought joy back into my life. She said that it exudes from me.



This really meant the world to me. A couple of years ago, my pastor gave me a book on discovering joy in my life. I think he sensed I'd lost mine. It's different now. He said to me at church the other day, "Julia has brought life back into your house." She sure has.