Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm In

I did it. I registered. I'm committed. I put $80.95 on my Visa for the Country Music Half-Marathon. Now I HAVE to do it. I'll run it, walk it, FINISH IT one way or another. (God willing.)

Of course, an hour after I registered, I watch this You Tube clip:

It's a marathoner who keeps falling, and falling, and falling on her way to the finish line. She's clearly got nothing left. It's painful to watch.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shooting for a 70-mile month!

I'm at 67.2 miles as of today. Guess I'll do that last 2.8 miles tomorrow to make it even. Unbelievable. I'm shocked that this month

A. My legs didn't fall off.

B. Not one single pound fell off, either. That's a lot of cardio. I guess I've plateaued and my body is finally used to the running. I'm not trying to lose, just to maintain, but how MUCH did I eat to counteract 700+ minutes of cardio and not lose an ounce?? (I don't typically run a 10-minute mile unless something is chasing me, but that was the easiest way to do the math. I think.)

Pre-Garmin, it was harder to keep track of, but I think my December mileage was roughly 48 miles. I have to estimate because I was running for time on many of those runs and never measured the distance.

Nearly 70 miles....... and it's only going to get higher as I get closer to April 26. Yikes.

I still can't truly see myself as an "athlete." I'm just an ordinary person who couldn't even run ONE mile 9 months ago. I guess sometimes an ordinary person can surprise herself and do an extraordinary thing.

UPDATE: I hit the treadmill on the 31st (freezing rain and ice outside) for 2.9 for a total of 70.1 miles in January.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Scaredy Cat

I actually got out there and did a slow 4.5 miles yesterday even though I didn't want to. And I was better for it afterwards. My tiredness and mood lifted after the run, reminding me THAT'S why I like running.

My 19-mile week last week left me kind of achy in the usual spots---left knee and right ankle. I'm glad it's a taper week. I think my body is trying to tell me it needs one. My mind tells me to get out there and up that mileage as fast as possible to get ready for the half-marathon. But my body needs me to go about it in a smarter way---gradually, in small increments. My longest run yet is only 7 miles (only!), and it freaks me out a little that it's only about half the distance I will need. I've got about 11 weeks of training to go, though.

Unfortunately, yesterday I found out my running coach/trainer is moving at the end of March. The half-marathon is April 26, so I'm guessing he's not going to be able to coach the beginner's half-marathon training group I had hoped to join. I hope the running store people come up with SOMEONE to coach it.

Joining the training group for this 10K has made a huge difference in my running. I have new running buddies (who make me run faster in an attempt to keep up with them), I've had a weekly training plan of how far and how fast designed for me, and I've learned about the different types of training runs---intervals, hillwork, long-slow-distance, tempo, fartlek. I don't just hop on the treadmill or the road and run aimlessly--- each run has a purpose and a specific goal. I NEED that kind of structure and guidance in my workouts if I'm going to get ready for this half-marathon.

That's where the SCAREDY CAT part comes in. I still haven't registered for the Country Music Half-Marathon. It could technically fill up---there were over 19,000 half-marathon runners last year and I'm told it did get full. I don't have a hotel room in Nashville the night before, either. Many of them are already filled. I still tell people that I *might* be training for a half marathon.

Maybe I'm waiting until after this weekend's 10K.
Maybe I'm waiting to see if a beginner's training group materializes so I can have that needed guidance.
Maybe I'm hesitant to put down 90 non-refundable bucks on something I'm not sure I can even do.
Maybe I'm just plain scared.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Dislocated Elbow, Sleepless Night, and a Huge Blessing

Do you ever start off the new week more tired than you ended the last one? I'm supposed to be out running a 50-minute easy run (according to my training plan), but I'm not sure I have it in me.

Our wild (and wonderful: see Sunday) weekend started with my 19-month old having her right elbow dislocated at preschool. She was fine when I dropped her off, but when I picked her up they reported she had been fussy and they didn't know why. They'd checked her for fever---none. But she was crying and wanting to be held way more than usual. In the car I noticed she wasn't using her right arm. It was hanging limply at her side. We drove straight to the pediatrician's office. He was at lunch (it was 12:30), but came back early for us. A little twist, some serious crying, and it was back into place.

Unfortunately, I was all too familiar with this scenario. It happened THREE times in her 7th month, starting with ME dislocating it when taking off her snowsuit. Talk about Mommy Guilt. Apparently, some children are more prone to this and their elbow pops out of the socket very, very easily. And once it happens, they are more likely to have it recur in the 3-4 weeks afterwards when the ligaments are looser. It had been over a year since it happened, and I hoped we were done with this health issue. If only she had the words to tell us what was wrong. She suffered at preschool for somewhere between 1 and 3 hours. That breaks my heart. She knows "ouchie" and "boo boo," but she didn't know how to express, "Hey, my arm hurts." She was fine about 30 seconds after having it popped back in, thank goodness.

Then Saturday, I had a great 6.2 mile run (see below). Saturday night I had a date with my hubby. I didn't get in bed until 11:00 p.m., which is WAY late for me. About that time, Julia, the 19-month-old, decided that 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. was really more of a NAP for her than night-time sleep and she was now well-rested and ready to play. Chris and I both made trips up to her room, rocked her, read to her, but she was still wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Finally, we had to do the dreaded CIO (cry it out) until about 12:30 a.m. It was tough listening to that on the monitor. But, we couldn't set a precedent of letting her run the show at night. We're third timers here; we know how this stuff works. As usual, with less than six hours of sleep, she was up at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday ready to go.

Sunday was a huge day in the life of our family. Our seven-year-old Nathaniel was baptised. He had been saved for a while, but had just made the decision two weeks ago to follow with believer's baptism. We were so blessed to have friends and family from far and near join us on this special day. My sweetest memory is seeing his little red head (and nothing else) sticking up out of the baptismal pool. He looked so small and sweet and child-like, which he is. As the oldest, we forget that sometimes.

Afterwards, our party of 16 waited for what seemed like hours at a nearby restaurant to celebrate the special occasion. The toddler was being... well, terrible, but it wasn't her fault. Lack of sleep, late lunch, lots of excitement, being off schedule, new and interesting people..... those are tough on a toddler. At 6:00 p.m. we said goodbye to the last of the family members and let out a collective sigh. Whew. Long day. But so good and one we'll always remember, especially Nathaniel.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Race Tips for Beginners (i.e., Me)

I've completed a few 5Ks, one 8K, and next Saturday will be my 10K debut. I have compiled mounds o' advice from many experienced runners, books, and blogs. Here are the race week and race day tips I hope to follow :

1. Taper the week before the race. My longest run will be 4.5-5 miles at a slow pace on Monday, then a couple of very short runs on Wednesday and Thursday.

2. Don't run or weight train the day before a race so your legs (not to mention the rest of you) will be fresh.

3. Hydrate well the week before the race, especially the two days prior. On Friday, I'll be pounding the water.

4. Drive, or even better, run the course a week or at least several days before the race.

5. Try to get a good night's sleep two nights before and the night before the race. (That's what I'm told.)

6. No alcohol, extremely fatty foods, or high-sodium foods the night before the race. I once ate pork BBQ, baked beans, slaw (mayonnaise-style), and sour cream and onion potato chips the night before a race. Didn't work too well for me. But, don't skip dinner the night before. You need fuel!

7. The morning of the race, get up 1.5 to 2 hours before race time. (Not a problem with Super Baby who rises at the crack of dawn EVERY morning.) Have two glasses of water to hydrate. Within one hour of racing, I stop drinking just to make sure I don't get stuck on the course with a full bladder.

Then eat your normal breakfast--- for me, a bowl of Special K and a cup of coffee. Don't try anything new or exotic on race day! Then, in the car on the way to the race, eat a banana and a handful of Cheerios or peanut butter on toast so that your tank is topped off. In my last race, I had no energy and felt like my legs were made of lead. That was probably from eating a small bowl of cereal 2.5 hours before race time. I was running on empty by mile two, if not at the start. I might even substitute in oatmeal, since I tried that before today's run and it worked fine.

8. Get to the race 30 minutes before the start for last minute visits to the Port-o-Potties.

9. Jog in place, fast walk, skip, hop or whatever to get a little warm, then
S--T--R--E--T--C--H for a few minutes prior to running.

10. This one is important!! On a cold day, would you start your car and immediately peel out of your drive way at 70 MPH without warming it up just a little? It's the same on race day. Jog around a bit right before the start. Get your heart rate up a little. Let your body know what's up---that it's time to move, preferably semi-fast. It'll move better and faster than if you just start cold. I've seen these elite runners in the area full-on running before the race and thought they were crazy. Now I get it. They have to warm up prior to the start, so they can immediately go at full race pace. (Those guys also run after the race to get a longer workout in and/or to do some cooling down, while the rest of us are stumbling over to the snack table and gasping for breath. I want to be like those guys!)

11. At the start, I usually line up near the back so I'm not in any fast runners' way and so I'm not disheartened by lots and lots of people passing me. But, know that that may alter your finish time because you might not technically cross the start until 10 seconds or more into the race. (Chip-timing eliminates this problem, but most races around here don't use chips.)

12. Finally, don't go out too fast. If you run and give it all you've got immediately, you may hit a wall before you finish and be miserable. Trust me, I have been there! My coach says that first 1/2 mile should be your slowest one as you are still warming up, letting your body figure out what's going on, then you can kick it in. But not TOO slow. If you go out too slowly, you can't make up that time later. That's why the warm up is so important.

13. Water stops----during the race at a water stop, make eye contact with the person offering the water, get the cup and crush the top into a sort of spout, then pour it in. Or take this opportunity for a brief walk break so you'll be drinking more and wearing less water. Unless it's really hot, you probably don't need water in a 5K. It'll just slow you down.

That's all I can think of right now. If anyone reads this and I'm way off on something, please let me know.

Today, I ran the race course of 6.2 in 1:03:06. My goal for the 10K next week is under 1:05, so if I can do what I did today, I'll be fine. It helped to run with my speedy friend, K. She makes me go faster while I slow her down!

I didn't actually do the warm up jog (my bad) and I started out kind of fast for me. My pace would have been more like 10:20 average without that first fast mile. But, now I know that pace works, so maybe it wasn't too fast. Here are my splits:

mile 1 9:44

mile 2 10:08

mile 3 10:13 Took a GU at beginning of mile 3.

mile 4 10:23 This was a tough mile running against the wind.

mile 5 10:16 GU kicked in?

mile 6 10:21

.2 9:51 Coach dropped back and ran with me at the end; I didn't even notice I sped up.

I don't know that I'll be able to match or beat these times next week. I was having a good day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Forever Changed

I've been writing on here recently about changing to a sporty girl and a healthier girl and that got me to thinking about the most significant transformation that has taken place in my life over the last few years. Outside transformations are good, but the important ones take place on the inside.

Seven years ago, I was working 50 hours a week, having a romantic dinner alone with my husband every evening, and traveling every chance I got. My, how things have changed!

My transformation began in November of 2000. Nathaniel, a butterball of a baby, came bounding into the world three weeks early. Since then, I’ve added two more little blessings (three babies in six years). Becoming a mother didn’t just transform me on the outside— eighty-six pounds gained and lost, stretch marks, and not one, but two increases in shoe size— but it transformed my innermost being. I brought three new souls into the world, an amazing, life-changing accomplishment.

Now, I think differently. I feel differently. I look at the world through different eyes. I experience life hand-in-sticky-little-hand with my children, seeing everything as if for the first time. The fifty-hour work weeks are gone. As a stay-at-home mom, my hours are twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The romantic dinners are few and far between, and the vacations are no longer about me. But these are not missed. My days are dedicated to taking walks, stopping and (literally) smelling the flowers, and generally experiencing life at the relaxed pace of a child savoring every new experience.

My children have made me a better person. Before becoming a mother, I was selfish and impatient, easy to anger, long to hold a grudge. My children have taught me patience, kindness, forgiveness, and most of all, how to love. Like the Grinch whose heart "grew three sizes that day," my heart has expanded to the point that one more adorable gummy smile just might make it burst. My life is full, my heart is fuller, and I am forever changed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Adult Onset Athlete

This is one sporty girl, wouldn't you say? Tough as nails. I have no idea how I birthed her. I've never been what you'd call sporty. Until recently. I think I'm an adult onset athlete.

Since I started running my perception of many things has changed. A few examples of thoughts I've had that surprised me:

1. This morning as I was gearing up for my run, I checked the temperature. It was 28 degrees, and I found myself thinking, "But it's a warm 28." Isn't "warm 28" some kind of oxymoron unless you live in Antarctica? But, the sun was shining, there wasn't much wind, so it was better than, say, 28 degrees, sleeting, with a windchill of 13.

2. My knee started to hurt on one or two hills. I thought, "It hurts some, but I'll just run through it." Who is this person inhabiting my body?

3. Deciding how far to go, I caught myself thinking, "I'll just do an easy 3 or 4 miles." When did that happen? I remember hurting through the Jingle Bell Jog 5K, um, just last month!

4. I'm a little sore from my long run on Monday, then strengthening exercises from yesterday. But I think I like it.

On to Good Eats: Today, I had three baby carrots with my turkey and provolone sandwich on whole wheat. That should count for something. And I think I discovered a cure for my weekly Mexican food habit! I bought guacamole at the grocery store and have been munching on it with Baked Tostitos. It satisfies the craving without sending my fat grams and cholesterol through the roof.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Long, hilly, and hard!

That's how I'd describe my morning run---my long, slow distance of the week. I met up with two other training group members for a run in the country. It was in the twenties, but it was sunny, so it didn't feel too bad.

We ran a new route for me and it was hill after hill. It was really tough. When there weren't hills, there were dogs. We encountered no less than seven dogs who barked, ran at us, and acted like they wanted a bite of us. My friend K. and I, who are not dog people, started carrying big sticks as we ran for protection. We probably looked crazy, but we felt better!

Today, I felt like the seven-mile group run pushed me much more than my solo run last week. The hills were a factor----last week's route had some gentle hills, but not as extreme as these. Another factor was running with better runners than I am. Both gals are faster runners than me and stronger on hills. I was cruising along at a slightly faster pace than my usual long distance pace and huffing and puffing a bit on the hills. But, I was proud I kept up!

Having to work a little harder was a good thing.
Having someone to hold my stick while I choked down my gel and took off my coat--- also good.
Having someone to talk to the whole distance---- priceless!

I guess we've unofficially started our half-marathon training. We're technically a training group for the 10K race in two weeks, but since we've gone past 6.2, I guess we're already preparing for the half. I can't believe I'm even considering running for 13.1 miles. Today at the finish point, I may have had another half-mile in me. But that's about it. I've got a long way to go!

Good Eats: I had a peanut butter banana protein shake after my run and it was so good! Then I had a slice of thin crust veggie pizza. I think I'm off to a good start for the week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dress Hoodies and Other SAHM Fashion Tips

Every now and then I consider my wardrobe. Then, I cringe. As a newly jockish SAHM, my every day pant choices consist of plain black running pants, black running pants with red stripe, black running pants with three white stripes (Adidas), or black running pants with gray stripage (they're new!). If I'm feeling particularly sporty, I put on my black running tights. (You may be asking yourself why always black? Let's just say I've had three babies---the non-surgical route. And I run--- 'nuff said. You mommies out there KWIM.)

Choices on the top are old race t-shirts, tech shirts (that fancy wicking stuff called polyprolene---just found out that's just another word for polyester--who knew?), and fleece tops or hoodies.

On my non-running days, I find myself still falling into that Sporty Spice trap. Some thoughts:

1. I actually have dressy sweater hoodies a.k.a. church hoodies. Here's one now. I have it in black, too. Got 'em on sale at Old Navy. I don't know why I can't just wear a regular sweater. Does everything need a hood?

2. Do dark jeans count as dress pants? I'm thinking yes.

3. I now have dress athletic shoes. Have you see those dark brown Sketchers? Put 'em on with dark jeans and a church hoodie and that look will take you ANYWHERE.

4. I am in dire need of a visit from Stacie and Clinton.

p.s. The haircut is new. I'm attempting to channel Ms. Katie Holmes-Cruise. I mean, why shouldn't I look like her? We're both moms of three. We both run. We're both close friends with Posh. (Ok, that one may be more in my mind.) We're the same, really. Except for my lack of......... youth, fashion sense, beauty, money, personal chef, ability to run a full marathon, famous friends, scary husband........

Speaking of hair and the Holmes-Cruises, here's my Julia with her Suri hair cut. I hope the paparrazi don't start chasing us!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mangy Curs and Wild Dingos, or Highlights from My Morning Run

Just got back from my LONGEST. RUN. EVER. I did a 7-miler with no walk breaks in 1:15:40. Here are some highlights:

1. There's nothing like the smell of manure in the morning. Mmmm, country livin'.

2. Running on a new road beside some woods. Then hearing a strange noise over my loud music. Was it an involuntary grunt as I ran up the hill or something more sinister? I quickly scanned the woods for coyotes, wolves, and/or wild dingos. (We really do have coyotes around here. And probably wolves. Dingos, maybe not.)

3. Looking over my shoulder while running away from the aforementioned woods fully expecting to find something chasing me.

4. Playing chicken with several cars and trucks while trying to cross a major highway. "Here I go, no here comes a car. Jog in place. Ok, I'm going this time....... no, I'm not. More jogging in place. Wait, I can beat that one...... ok, I'll wait." Finally getting across. Alive.

5. Getting ready to turn down a side road, then seeing a mangy, mean-looking dog pacing back and forth behind a dinky chicken wire fence (I told you this was the country) looking at me menacingly. Turning back around and going the other way. I think it might have been a dingo.

6. Trying a gel for the first time: Hammer Gel Tropical fruit flavor. The flavor reminded me of that tropical fruit dessert baby food, but with more of a consistency of a mouthful of, well, snot. OR maybe snot mixed with syrup. I was left with sticky fingers and face. Not pleasant, but the 25 mg. of caffeine plus the sugar and carbs (is that redundant---sugar is a carb, I think, ah, who cares?) gave me a mental boost. I felt faster and more energetic, if nothing else.

7. Burning 841 calories according to my Garmin. That's insane!! (How cool is it to have a watch that tells me my mileage, pace, and even my calories burned? Very cool. Thanks again, Honey!)

8. Last, but not least, improving my 10K time from 1:13 to 1:06:26. Then feeling good enough to do .8 more.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Skillz (a.k.a. Shoes Are Over-Rated)

In my former life (not re-incarnation former, but BB---before babies), I was a teacher. I was in charge of a classroom of 35+ teenagers at any given moment. I had skills (nunchuck skills, computer-hacking skills, he he. I love Napoleon.)---- public speaking, lesson planning, multi-tasking. I was completely organized and always on time.

Now as a SAHM to three, all that's gone out the window. For example, my 19-month old arrived at the grocery store this morning sans shoes. Shoes--- kind of an essential part of the wardrobe. I was able to dig ONE shoe out from under the seat, but I figured no shoes was better than one shoe. I can hear all the helpful little-old-lady comments now, "Honey, (this IS the South) you know your baby has lost a shoe, don't you?"

Just getting all of us out the door is a challenge. Some days I actually forget to comb my hair, brush my teeth, or put on make up. Notice that's an "OR"--- I don't usually forget all three. That would be gross. I do, however, ALWAYS remember MY shoes.

I think I've become a victim of the "If you don't use it, you lose it" cliche.

So, lately I've tried to find activities to brush up my skill set. (After all, I will re-enter the workforce someday. No rush, but someday.) I've recently started helping with my son's Cub Scout troop. I plan their field trips, some of which have been really cool, others..... not so much. Tonight we're touring Kinko's. That would be Kinko's, the copy store. My son is actually excited about seeing the really fast copy machines. (It's not hard to entertain a group of first graders!)

I'm also co-planning a 5K race for charity through my church. I had no idea what it takes to plan a road race when I signed on for this, but let's just say, wow, it's a LOT. But, we've got a great committee and a wonderful cause---- We are going to raise money to help build wells in Africa so those folks can have clean water. The number of children who die every day from drinking contaminated water is astounding. Here in the U.S., having diarrhea is a nuisance, but in other countries, it is often deadly.

So, I've found two outlets for my SKILLZ. Running, unfortunately, doesn't utilize skills I actually possess. All that stuff about endurance, speed, sheer will and determination---- not really me. Maybe that's why I'm finding it more challenging than fulfilling lately. But, I'm so glad I have other outlets (outside these four walls, outside the role of wife and mommy) that give me purpose and take advantage of my mad skillz. (Do people still say "mad skillz?")

OTRF: (on the running front) Nada. It's my day off.

Good Eats: Today's good choices included grilled chicken, lean "minimally processed" turkey slices, cantaloupe, celery, a banana, green beans, carrots, pineapple salsa (salsa counts as a vegetable, right?), and baked apples. Oh, yes, and a multivitamin. My body may actually go into shock---nutrition overload!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Food Fight!

I had a food fight last week. Not a hurling-mashed-potatoes-in-your-face kind of fight, but a battle of wills. My affection for all things bad for me won. I had a meal out almost every day. I had Mexican, Chinese, pizza, Olive Garden, a deep-fried chicken breast smothered in buffalo sauce, tons of chocolate, and so much more. It was ugly.

I have got to be more conscious of what I put into my body. I'm not on a weight-loss kick. I just want to maintain my current weight. I just want to make better choices---- less deep-fried and more grilled, more fresh fruits and vegetables (or ANY kind of veggies), just healthier fare all around. We'll see how it goes....

OTRF (on the running front): Is it possible I'm getting SLOWER? Maybe it's the cold slowing me down. Maybe running against a pretty strong wind held me back. I ran a four-mile tempo run (supposedly race pace) at a 10:15 average pace. Not too good. And honestly, I wish I'd enjoyed it more instead of being so happy when it was over. From an earlier post----I think the ROAD WON this one.

UPDATE: I'm happy with my food choices today. It's 7:15 p.m and I'm done for the day, and I have to say I did ok! Just because I lightly breaded and pan fried some chicken breast tenders in canola oil for dinner doesn't mean I failed. It was still healthier than, say, McDonald's! I might add that the avocado quesadilla on a multigrain tortilla I made myself for lunch was not as yummy as I'd hoped. The one I had last week at Ruby Tuesday was much, much better.

Starting tomorrow, at the end of the day I'll post a Good Eats section to detail my successes and failures in the food fight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happiness Is Up to Me!

My friend Katie D. sent me this in e-mail form and I had to post it. I have no idea where it originated.

I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Those are some amazing life lessons to pass along. Thanks, Katie!

Is this Burnout?

I think I might be experiencing runner's burnout. Not going into this half-heartedly, I've been completely immersed into the world of running over the last few months. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on (The Competitive Runner's Handbook, Runner's World, running blogs), talking and writing about it, and even working with a trainer. I've been pushing really hard to run longer and faster, rarely missing a workout. Running has taken over my life.

But now, I think I'm ready to be sort of..... normal, again. I think I can run and even train for a half-marathon without going head-over-heels crazy about running. There IS more to life than running and definitely more to me than running. In trying to have something just for myself, I think the real me got a little lost in all this. My husband can't figure out who this "jock chick" is. (Not that he minds, it's just a new and unexpected side of me he'd never seen before. Nor had I, for that matter.)

What I need is BALANCE in order to fit running into my life. No more letting the laundry pile up and the house go so I can run or read/write about running. What happened to my meal planning? We've been winging it for the last few months. Today, I'm going back to volunteer in my son's classroom for the first time in two months.

I think my theme for 2008 will definitely be BALANCE. It sure beats burnout.

Speaking of burnout, my achy knee may have met its match. Here's what I'm planning to get ASAP:

Monday, January 7, 2008

Songs I Run To

Here's a list of my favorite running songs right now and a line from some of them that makes me smile or motivates me:

The Distance Cake--- From The Fast and the Furious movie. I never saw the movies, but this song in which "he's going the distance" while in the back of the pack is motivating on long runs.

Pump It Black Eyed Peas--- pure motivation in this song. Makes me actually run faster.

Pon De Replay Rihanna--- "Run, run, run, run, everybody run, run......"

Dancing With Myself Billy Idol--- because I'm usually running by myself

Groove Is in the Heart Dee Lite--- just for funsies

You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi--- takes me back to high school

Let's Get It Started Black Eyed Peas--- great at the beginning of a run or race

Should I stay or Should I Go Now? The Clash ---- Great, fast beat

Born to Run Bruce Springsteen--- 'cause I probably wasn't, but it's a nice thought

I Am Free Newsboys--- Contemporary Christian song "I am free to run. I am free to dance. I am free to live for You. I am free." Just a great song.

We Shine Steve Fee--- Steve Fee ROCKS. My favorite Contemporary Christian song of all time. Check it out on You Tube .

Yes, I have Black Eyed Peas and Newsboys on the same list. I have, um, diverse taste in music!

Running news:

Just finished my LSD (long, slow, distance) of 6.2 in 1:13:30. Pretty slow, huh? That's an average 11:51 pace. I had a major knee issue halfway though. At about 2.8 miles, my usual knee pain below the knee cap started. Then, going up a big hill and elongating my stride, the pain spread all around and above the kneecap. It was a burning pain then my knee seemed to tighten up or lock up or something. I stopped, did a quad stretch and hamstring stretch and ran some more. It still really hurt.

I was afraid of injuring myself more, so I walked for about 2 minutes (I turned off my timer during part of this). Then stretched again. Oddly, the knee went from burning to feeling kind of cold and it loosened back up. I started to run again and the usual mild knee pain was there, but the new one was gone. I have no idea what was going on there. Did I have a nerve issue or ligament cramp or something?

I took a short 30-second walking Gatorade break at 4.9 and ran the rest of the way. (Including a dog chasing me at the 5.9 mark.) I felt good at the end. Mostly relieved it was over!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


According to,

The Definition of Fartlek

Derived from the Swedish term that means ‘Speed Play’, fartlek can provide an excellent endurance and strength session, as well as help improve your speed and race awareness. Fart=speed and lek=play

Today, we ran fartleks at the park. You'd think the "play" part would mean fun, but I'd have to say it was anything but fun.

We ran med/hard for 30 seconds, then 30 seconds recovery. Then 60 seconds the same way. Then 90 seconds, 2 full minutes, etc. What I discovered is that if you run "all out" for say, 90 seconds, 90 seconds of recovery IS NOT ENOUGH! At the end of the 90 seconds, I was breathing like an asthmatic having an attack. I could not will my legs to go any faster. My trainer tried, but by round two of the 30, 60, 90, 2 min. circuit, I was kaput.

Here's the sad part. I was trying to run 1/4 mile in the 2-minute time frame and I didn't make it on the second circuit. That's only an 8-minute pace. It's not like I was trying for a 6 minute pace or something. In my defense, I ran it in about 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Still I HATE not meeting a goal, albeit an arbitrary one. But, I continuously remind myself these mantras:



Only three weeks until my next race day! I'll be running my big 10K (6.2 miles) on Feb. 2. I get to do a 6-miler on Monday to see how it feels. It'll be the longest distance of my life!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The fountain of youth

I think I discovered the fountain of youth in 2007 in two parts:

First, of course, is running. Running 10-15 miles a week the last part of 2007 made me healthier, happier, have more energy, look better, and feel more vibrant and young.

Second, keeping up with a toddler at the ripe old age of 37 has been incredibly fun and joyful. That'll keep you young. As I looked at her the other day sitting in a high chair, wearing a bib, eating a cracker and drinking from a sippy cup, I found myself thinking, "Wow, two years ago I thought I was done with sippies, bibs, and the like. But I'm so glad I wasn't." My little "bonus" baby has been such a blessing.