Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Run Your Ice Off Hardcore 5k Race Recap

I ran my last race of 2013.  This is the 5th year that I've run this race.  It's fun & not far from home so I love running it.  I was able to have some company this year & 2 girlfriends rode along with me to the race.

Since I've been so focused on logging miles & not worrying about speed I wasn't sure what to expect.  I seem to have this base layer of speed that I can tap into when it's race day......somehow my body just knows I'm racing vs. going out for a regular run.  I can never seem to run these paces on my own, yet it never fails to show up come race day.  Earlier in the year I was focusing on speed training.  Something I am not fond of, but I was doing it and it showed when I pr'd in every distance I ran.  However all that speed training in any shape or form has been non existent for almost 8 months or so.

Besides, I know that while speed is always nice, going out & having a good run trumps it all so hindsight of every race is always focused on that.  (Not lying though the competitive part of me always wants to go faster).

It was REALLY bitterly cold today & I had on several layers leading up to race time.  I had to resist keeping those layers on and broke out this fantastic outfit at the last moment.  I'm telling ya....Rainbow Brite has nothing on me!!

It snowed yesterday & the road was a mushy mess.  I actually like to start at the back of the pack & work my way up once the gun goes off.  With all the mess on the road there was only a few choice paths of running of the actual asphalt so I went straight to the front of the pack.  It was all about strategy today!!  It worked though and I didn't get stuck running the the mush, which I needed more so since I wore the wrong shoes for those conditions.  It was still a mess no matter what and you could see everyone's back side was covered in filth.  I actually wore the right tights to cover to look of the mess, but you could still see how messy it was.

I'm really horrible at judging my own pace.  I went out at a good speed, but not too terribly hard.  I did not want to burn out & die at the end.  I held back some while still pushing myself.  At the 1 mile mark I heard them call my split of 6:59.  Not bad & I still felt ok.  From there though is where there are some slight rolling hills, nothing massive, but hills are not my strong suite at all.  I felt myself slow just a hair.  At the turn around point I was 3rd female.  Shortly after that 2 other ladies passed me.  I kept them close, but let them go at the time.  I kept it down a notch for just a little longer then felt myself push.  I was not going to let them get too far in front of me.  At this point my legs were slightly tire, but I still had plenty of fuel left in them.  The cold was a motivation to hurry up and finish.  I started to push more, but wasn't still going all out.  I eventually passed the 2 ladies that had passed me and I eventually gained on the #2 spot.  With about a 1/2 mile to go I pass that gal and kept a good solid pace that helped me secure my 2nd place finish.

I did not hear my 2 mile split.  I wasn't quite to the finish line & suddenly had the thought that it would be SO AWESOME if I finished in 20:13.....that would be completely epic if I could.  Not only a serious pr, but the perfect ending to this year.  When I finally saw the clock it was not even close.  I was still very satisfied to see 21:40 as I crossed the finish line.  Not too shabby.  And I was very happy that I was able to push myself & remain fairly consistent through the miles as my average pace was 6:59.  Not going to complain considering it all.

I was no where near the 1st overall winner.  She finished more than 2 minutes faster than me.  She's also 12 years younger than me.  The other gal I passed to get my 2nd place spot, she was 17.  I'm not trying to detract from the great run these girls had.  But I like to reflect on who I was racing against.  It always gives me good perspective on what I was able to accomplish.  It's not always about the clock or being the fastest, I get that.  But I am somehow naturally deeply competitive and maybe it's shallow, but it makes me feel better when I've raced & finished well against others who are not even in my league.  Kudos to them though, they did have a good run & I'm honored to compete against them!  It's a funny thing with competitive people, you hunt down and want to beat someone so bad, maybe even beat our chest a little, but once we all cross the finish line we're all hugs, smiles & friends.

I don't know my actual times from last previous running of this race, but I think this is my best time on this course.  While I've always placed in my age group for this race, I've never placed this high overall.  Here I am with my 2nd place trophy:
They had handmade & put these cute hats & scarves on the trophies.

Also making this a super great race was the RED sweatshirts.  Red in my favorite color!!  It's like the cherry on the top, along with my friends and race performance:

Have a great, happy & safe New Year's Eve.  I can't wait to give you a December & complete 2013 recap & get started on 2014.  Until then here are some great parting words:

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Of course.....when I finally publish my last post, what do you think comes in the mail the next day?!?!


It's official!  I'm legit!  A certified PERSONAL TRAINER!!  Woo Hoo!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013


ETA:  I started this post weeks ago.  It felt good to write things out, but I got distracted toward the end & never finished.  I was hoping that in the mean time I would get my results, but I still wait.  I've already told many of you this same info, so feel free to skim over.  In case you don't know, read on.

Last weekend I attended a Personal Trainer Fitness Certification through AFAA.  This is something that I've wanted to do for sometime.  Especially since I have no college education it does give me some credibility to be certified in my area of work.  Since coming on as Wellness Coordinator, I also took on being the head of Personal Training at my Y.  Even if I didn't take on clients myself it would be helpful if I was certified & knowledgeable in leading my team of personal trainers.

Truthfully before taking this course, I already knew most of the material.  In fact, I teach and certify the Y's version of similar information.  If I don't then I've taken the same course myself.  Honestly, though, the Y is a little behind the curve on being up to date with the latest information.  I don't speak this in a negative manner.  However being a non for profit organization, focusing more on member relations is more prominent that being on the cutting edge of fitness information.  As a result, the Y does not have specific certification courses to make one a Personal Trainer.  So we turn to other well known, credible organizations that do.

So fa-la-la-la-la, off I go to this training.  I skimmed over the ginormous book that I was sent, but didn't otherwise stress.  I had to travel 50 miles (each way) going to/from the training.  I could have gotten a hotel, but after realizing that Jim commutes 30 miles a day I figured I could handle it for just the weekend.  It was a very enjoyable training.  I did learn a few new things or had things presented/taught in ways that I had never heard before.  Very informative & refreshing.  The trainer was wonderful, did a really great job!

After 2 days of classroom learning we were armed & ready with all the info that we needed to study for the test.  I had been taking notes all along the way.  Once I got home I buckled down and re-wrote all my notes out in chronological order.  Look up more information & noted that.  Completed the study guide pages like the trainer recommended.  Of course I was balancing all of this with my family time.  After all they wanted to be fed supper once I walked in the door and I needed to go buy groceries since we were low on many things.  (Yes, Jim offered to do the shopping for me, but I had so much to get and.....well, just somethings are better done the normal way then delegating it out.)  So I guess it didn't happen as soon as I got home.  But I did at some point feel like an actual student & pulled out my info and got to work.  Before I knew it it was late so even though I wasn't done, I went to bed.

Annnnnd I was back up at 4:30 a.m.  My plan was to finish studying, go for a run, then review one last time before heading out for my last day of training & testing.  I fully admit I'm not good at time management.   I did however realized how much studying/reviewing I still needed to do so I gave up on the idea of running that morning (oh you know I got a run in at some point that day, but it wasn't in place of studying.  See, running isn't always put first before everything else).  Eventually the time came where I needed to hit the road.  I was slightly nervous, but also full of confidence.  

Specifically what I was nervous about wasn't about if I knew the information or not.  I know it, I've been working in this area for over 17 years.  I've learned a lot.  I've completed plenty of various training.  I train people myself on it.  I KNOW IT!  I'm not perfect or "know it all" & I fully realize I don't have a BS behind my name.  But all my years of experience and what I believe is a God given talent has given me what no college degree can, besides a bunch of factual information floating inside of my head.  What I was nervous about was could I pass THEIR test.  I'm not a good book learner or test taker.  I don't even think I'm a very smart person.  (And I don't mean that as a put down to myself, so don't lecture me.  I'm just being honest with my strengths & weaknesses).  Testing can be so tricky because it's a group of answers that they are looking for.  I could be a genius and still fail any given test.

Enough of that though I had to get there & just getting the testing over with.  On my 50 mile drive there I heard a noise that made me look in my rear view mirror & wonder what I ran over.  I saw nothing.  Odd, or maybe just a bump in the road.  I continued on.  About 10 miles later I started to hear a really weird, really loud noise.  Is that me?  Is that the radio?  What is that noise?  The car still seemed to be driving fine, but to err on the side of caution I pulled over.  And this is what I found:

I was actually closer to my training than I was home, but I called Jim to come help me out.  I'm sure I could have figured it out if I had to, but I've never actually changed a flat time.  Call me old fashion or whatever, but I just rely on my husband to take care of things like that for me.  Yeah, I'm a big girl, yeah I'm tough and strong.  In some ways I'm independent, but in many ways not....that is what my husband is for.  I lean on him, trust him to take care of me.,,,,and he always does!  So instead of trying to do it myself out on the interstate with cars & trucks zooming past me where it was really cold & windy and it started to snow, I called for help & waited to be rescued.

I knew that within reason my tardiness would not be held against me.  I did my best to remain calm & remember that God IS in control of things anyway.  I used the down time to study a little bit more, although honestly I was fairly distracted.  Once my knight in shining armor (Jim) got there he got to work to get the doughnut tire put on.  I was still under the assumption that it was "just a flat", but when he arrived & got the tire out, I had a better glimpse of what had happened:
It was a complete blow out of the tire.  God really was in control & gave me more protection than I realized at the moment!

Once we got things taken care of Jim took the car back home & I continued on with the van to my training.  My training continued on for the rest of the day, it contained a lot of review & prepping for the test.  Our trainer was very good at teaching to the test, meaning she was very specific with what we did/didn't need to know.  We had a practical portion of the test, in addition to a multi-choice 125 question test. The practical portion of the test seemed to be no problem.  I might have messed  up a little bit, but nothing drastic.  The written portion went well, this is what I was most nervous about.  I tried my best to remain calm & go with my natural instinct with what I knew to be right.  When I was done I still had an hour left & I began to go back over all my answers.  After the first few questions though I suddenly had a peace come over me & realized I had done to best that I could.  Going back over questions was pointless & I might even be over thinking or talking myself out of the right answers so it was best I just leave it alone.

Now for the really hard part:  I have to wait 4-6 weeks for my test results.  I'm sure I did fine on my practical exam.  It's the written portion I wait & see how things went.  Even if for some reason I don't pass, I don't feel it's a bad reflection of my skills.  It just means I didn't answer their questions they way they wanted me to.  From a trainer stand point myself I know that test questions can be very specific and worded rather difficult.  I'm trying my best to remain calm & collected, but it's really killing me to find out how I did.  I really want to pass & be able to say I'm a CERTIFIED personal trainer!  So I wait & I promise to let you all know one way or another how things come out.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Love/Hate & Sock Swap Details

I'm having a big love/hate thing with my running right now.  Ok, not so much the actually running, but the conditions that I'm out about in.  I do a large percentage of my running outdoors.  I just can't stand to be inside that much.  Since I live in the midwest we experience all 4 seasons to the max.  This year it seems more than usual the weather conditions we are having.  I'm used to all the cold, ice & snow in January or February.  And it's not even officially winter yet & I've had enough.  To add to the conditions it keeps changing in drastic ways.  10 days ago I was putting on 4 layers & running in sub 0 degrees.  Today I had on a light layer and that was almost too much.  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!

I'm not complaining.  Really!  It does keep things interesting.  And just when I think I can't take another sub 0 run it warms up to 29 and it feels like I'm lounging on a beach.  So I'm thankful for the variety, it's just so silly, crazy & unpredictable.

The one thing I really struggle with is the snow.  It comes in as a close #2 thing I hate about running outside, right behind wind.  I can handle all the heat and/or extreme cold in the world & still run happy as a clam.  But add some wind and I'm about to die.  And snow......UGH!  We are just not friends.  In theory I like the idea of snow, but there seems to be no happy medium with it.  It's either really soft & fluffy, which looks amazing & so pretty, but all I do is slip & slide around in it.  Or it's slushy & wet & all I do is slip & slide around in it.  The only kind of snow I seems to like to run in/on is the hard packed kind, but then that gets tricky because we can easily slip (ha, ha....get it) into icy conditions.  So no matter how I look at it snow & I are not getting along.  Yet what do I do most of the time.....I head out the door & run in it.

Running at 4:30 or 5:30 a.m. has it's many advantages.  Yes, I know some of you can't think of one, but for me it's rather delightful & ideal.  One of them being there is little to no traffic out at that time.  So while so many sidewalks or the side of roads are still filled with snow I can avoid them & run in the street & not worry about it.   But sometimes I get tired & want to "sleep in" (meaning I don't up until 5:30 - 6 a.m.) so I miss that opportunity to run.  On days like today I did just that, but on the positive side I get to head out in the daylight.  Some days, in addition to being tired, I just crave the sunlight.  My body just responds better & I'm just a hair more rested.  The downside is all the traffic I battle & being forced up on the sidewalks where I lament over my love/hate of the snow.  It's a never ending battle, one that I push through every single day.


I participated in Third Time's a Charm Runner sock swap.  I was super excited & ripped open my package from Andrea over at Age Groups Rock.  It came to me all the way from Vermont.  I don't think I've ever known anyone from Vermont.  How exciting!!!!  Here is what she sent me:
I love the socks, not only the Santa ones, but the Darn Tough one's are made in Vermont.  I love getting treats too and Luna is my maiden name so I love those bars as well!  Thank you so much Andrea for everything you sent me.  I loved it so much!!

Do you like running in the snow?

Did you participate in a secret santa or gift exchange of some kind?

Monday, December 16, 2013

My baby girl

6 years ago our family was completed with our 6th baby.  Ever since I was a child I had said I wanted 6 kids.  Although technically we have 8 children (2 babies in heaven, 1 of them a twin).  We love & still mourn the ones we lost, but it seems the norm to celebrate those who were given an earthly life to spend with us.

I will fully admit that I was crushed when I found out that baby #6 was going to be a girl.  Nothing against daughters, but I already had 3.  I thought I knew it would be best to have the perfect combo of 3 girls, then 3 boys.  Of course, silly me, thinking that I knew what was best.  Once she was born I totally, completely fell in love with her and am SO glad she is who she is.

Of course, time flies and here we are 6 years later.  In true She Runs Everywhere fashion I love to tell the story of when I was in labor & asked for a treadmill.  Walking those halls were just not enough action & I was anxious to get moving.  My midwife is actually a running friend of mine and was truly sympathetic, but I was denied.  Only because I had an IV in & was not allowed to leave the floor, plus long story short I had a history of a lot of birthing complications so it was best to keep me close & safe.

Big families can be frowned upon sometimes.  I'll never forget some of the comments I've heard along the way, even from well intended friends.  But, I can't help but have a peace that our family is perfectly & wonderfully made.  Today, we celebrate the birth of our baby girl, the perfect ending piece to our "large" family.

I was going through some pictures.  These were some of my favorites from that time.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November Recap

Ahhhhh, we are starting to slip deep into December (Christmas in only 20 days away!!).  For those in the Health, Wellness & Fitness Industry the end & beginning of the year are very busy times.  Add in the fact that I'm still new in my position (one that no one had before, so I'm blazing new trails myself) and I am working a lot.  Perhaps, things will never slow down in my job & it always keeps me on my toes.  That's a good thing.  In my job I want to be impacting lives & helping my YMCA reach members of our community in living healthier lives.

Anyway, I wanted to give a recap of the month of November.  It was another good month that inched me closer to my run 2,013 miles in 2013 goal.  Here are some stats:

Miles ran:  204.43
YTD total: 1,824.48
"Rest" days taken: 3
Races:  Wildcat 50k
Running Streak Continuation: 552 days & still going

Overall it was pretty awesome.  I had a few days where I really struggled.  I don't think I rested enough coming back from my 50k (and I don't I mentioned it in my race recap, but I had very little sleep going into that race (thanks to my long shopping day with my bestie) and then very little sleep right after (I spent the night in the hospital with my daughter)  and it caused my legs to flare up & really give me some problems.  I had to take some extra time to recoup my body.  Even though I still ran on those days I made myself take a weekend to sleep A LOT, like 10-12 hours for more than one night.  Each night I doped up with some good ibuprofen & my compression gear.  After a few nights my body felt so much better.  I just needed that extra rest.

Going into October I was pretty discouraged about meeting my Run This Year goal.  I was lagging behind & was going to have to average 7 miles a day to be able to meet my goal.  I'm not sure why, but I was pretty discouraged about that number & began to have serious doubts.  Although it was just the motivation I needed because October was a pretty epic month in what I turned out mile wise.  When I started November I had lowered the bar enough that I was only going to need 6.5 miles each day to meet my goal.  It doesn't sound like a lot of a difference, but it all adds up really quick.  Now at the beginning of December I'm down to only needing 6.09 miles every day to reach my 2013 goal.  Since I started this crunch I got used to running 6-8 miles almost every day.  And now, my rest days (2 miles only) and very rare and even running 4-5 miles seems like not enough.  Anytime I add on more miles than 6 it's an extra bonus that gets me closer to my goal sooner than December 31.  At the end of November I had 188.5 miles left to go.  I'm so close I can taste it!!!!

Do you have any end of the year goals you are trying to meet?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Half of my Life

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary.  Yep, I've been married to the same man (a rarity it seems like these days) for over half of my life.  I wrote this anniversary post last year.  Not a whole lot has changed since I wrote that, so click on it & read it.  We are still chugging through life together one day at a time.  Sometimes it's moment by moment as I take deep breaths and try  not to strangle him and enjoy all the ups and downs.  Regardless of how we may or may not appear in life or on facebook, or perhaps my instagram pictures, my marriage is hard & a lot of work!!  Yes, there is a lot of positive and worth it moments that far outweigh the other side of it all.  And I could easily throw in a bunch of what ifs or if onlys, but it doesn't make a difference because no matter what I'm going through this life with the most perfect man to put up with for me.

It doesn't matter where you go in life.....It's who you have beside you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Secret Santa Sock Swap

Wanted to pass along the info for Third Time's a Charm Runner's Secret Santa Sock Swap.  I participated last year & it was a lot of fun!  Plus, we all know I have an addiction love to buy socks and I LOVE to give people gifts, so this is right up my alley!  It's fun, simple & easy!!  Let me know if you sign up!  I just did!!

(I used a lot of exclamation points in this post, so you can tell I'm all giggly and excited about it!!!!)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wildcat 50k Race Recap

Going in this last weekend (ok, 2 weekends ago...yeah, it's taken me that long to get this finished) I kept thinking of Wildcat 50k as just a run and not really a race because my goal was to just finish the miles.  It's a great run, put on by a great person for a great cause, not to mention being surround by some really great people all day.  This was going to be my third year in running this course.  If you want to read my previous race reports you can do so 2012 and 2011.  Even though it's outdated, my slideshow is worth reposting to give you an idea of the trail that I ran on.

You can also see a bunch of pictures from the race director HERE or just check out the event facebook page:  Wildcat 50k for lots of other info on the race.  I tend to stress the type of course that this event is run on because it's not easy & very challenging.  I'm fairly certain that I could run a flat course in a much faster time.  However between my lack of training on trails (a gravel country road is about as trail-ish as I ever get) and trails with this type of elevation and incline, not to mention stairs thrown in there mid course, it really impacts my performance.  On one hand it's nice to challenge myself and change things up, even if for 1 or 2 races a year.

So going into this race time was not a goal or issue.  Mostly because I just wanted to run and also because I can't expect a good finishing time (at least not compared to my best known paces which are often completed on flat courses).  Run & have fun...I can do that.  The weather was absolutely wonderful that day.  It did start out chilly.  I was prepared with plenty of keep me warm layers.  In fact, even though I knew I'd warm up once I got running I had a hard time taking off those extra layers in the beginning.  In a effort to embrace comfort and not take myself too seriously I left the layers on to start with even though after 3ish miles I had the first one taken off.  As the weather warmed that morning so did I & I eventually ended in a tank top & my capri/skirt bottom.  Wonderful November weather!

Prior to the race I had told several people that I was hoping to complete the whole distance which includes 5 laps of the course.  I was actually pretty skeptical if I would run it all simply because my legs tend to have funky days and just don't cooperate like they should.  So should this be a funky leg day I knew that not finishing was going to be ok.  I'm all for pushing myself, but at some point I do stop & say ENOUGH.  However race day ended up NOT being one of the days and as I completed my loops my legs felt really good & strong.

I think having run my previous 2 - 20 milers had really helped my legs to prepare for this 50k.  Thankfully, unlike those long runs the weeks before, my legs held up the entire time.  Previously at about 15-18 miles my legs started to really give me problems & hurt.  While I certainly began to have some aches & pains they were more indicative of having run 20+ miles and yet the pain was never so bad that I wanted to stop or not finish or even walk.  I would think in all normalcy what I felt was completely expected.

When I came back from each loop I made a note of what time the clock said.  Here is what I had written down:

Loop 1:  1:09:30
Loop 2:  2:17:17 (1:07:49)
Loop 3:  3:26:50 (1:09:33)
Loop 4:  4:40      (1:14:10)
Loop 5:   5:52:50 (1:12:50)

The above times are not only reflective of my running time, but also the time I took a break in between each loop.  Kind of like my transition times.  I also made mental, yet vague notes of how long I had taken a break in between each loop.  Each break was a little longer than the previous.  At first, just grabbing some hydration, then hydration plus fuel.  The next loop I know my break was several minutes longer due to the needing all the previous stuff, plus to get some drugs Ibuprofen into my body.  I was seriously like a drug addict rummaging through my stuff trying to get my next fix.  Not a pretty sight.  But I was also trying to avoid coming to a complete stand still and loose the momentum I was flying high on.  While I desperately searched for my drugs it was suggested that I just stop if I needed said drugs so bad.  Uh, heck, no....that is just stupid talk.  Finally getting my fix I headed back out.  Normal aches & pains, yes, but not bad enough to stop me from finishing.  Mentally I was doing very, very well.

So to drag this post out even more analyze my times listed above I must say I'm very pleased.  No, I realize those are not blazing fast paces.  You do have to realize that this is a very challenging course.  Nobody runs their fastest times at Wild Cat Den.  Nobody.  What I'm even more pleased with is the fairly consistent pace that I kept.  In past races my times & my paces tended to slow waaaay down.  Almost to more of a shuffle.  However on this day I felt I had a good solid pace the whole day.  I did at times have to really slow down or walk, but only during times of a steep incline.   I do remember on my last loop though I was heading up a hill.  Another group of runners joked as I pass "make room for the real runner".  I actually hate when people label me like that so I tried to counter with "hey, we're all runners, just going at different speeds!"  They laughed then said "yes, but look at you tear up that hill" and that is when I realized that on my last loop going up a pretty steep incline I was still holding a fairly good & consistent pace.  There is a 5ish minute difference between my fastest & slowest loop.  But that could also be reflective of my transition time.  I know in the end your finish time is your finish time.  It doesn't matter if you were taking a break or running.  But when it comes to analyzing your pace it does make a difference.  My mental vague notes told me that my shortest break was 1 minute, my longest was 4 minutes.  That right there can make up the difference between my fastest & longest loop.

Ok, enough analyzing.  You can tell I don't get to talk running too much because here I just run my mouth non stop, even if you just don't care.  It's my blog, right.  Anyway, I know when I started my last loop I was super motivated to just get it done.  The faster I finish, the faster I can stop and take a break for good!  This was probably my shortest  break as I grabbed some fuel and hydration and consumed it on the go.  (I'm telling you I can eat & drink just about anything on the go!) 

I forgot to look at the clock when I headed out, but remember what the time said when I came in (4:40).  While I couldn't recall my Wildcat time from last year, I knew my 50k PR is 6:09.  Doing some quick math I knew if I ran this last lap in less than 1:29 that I'd have a new PR.  More motivation to not slow down and stay consistently on pace.  The thing about me & my pace is that I tend to run solely based on feel.  I run with the Nike+ GPS on my phone, but once it's on it's in my belt & I don't look at my stats.  The tricky thing about doing this on longer runs is that my sense of pace can be funky.  Sometimes I feel like my pace hasn't changed at all, but in fact it has.  While it's greatly improved, it's not perfected.  Mentally (a lot of it does seem to be this) I worked to stay focused, on task and keep moving at a good & manageable pace.  It was tempting to check my phone there toward the end to see if I needed to push myself harder, but I resisted.  I came out of the loop and when I saw the clock I let out a big whoop & hollered, adding in some leaping and jumping, taking note of my finished time: 5:52:50. 

I was on the verge of tears because I was so proud of myself.  Ok, a new PR is freaking awesome, but I pushed myself and kept focused and had such a great run.  Every bad run I've had recently (which is a lot mind you, for a lot of different reasons), every day that I have to work SO. HARD. to continue my streak, every mile I've had to push myself to keep working at my 2013 goal, it all paid off right then and there.  Such an awesome feeling!!

Ok, I know.....shut me up.  Let me share some pictures from that day.
The crowd that showed up to run.  Doesn't matter if they ran 1 loop or all 5 (actually there was a handful of people who ran 50 miles that day!) they are all one great group of runners!!

 Just getting started

 I was saying "I'm eating trail mix on the trail"!

 Apparently I like to show off my tough muscles.

A very special to Larry Sandhass for putting together one of the best 50ks in our area.  Special thanks as well  to Larry,  Mark Stegmaier Photography & Phil Pancrazio for taking pictures through out the day & posting them free of charge for our enjoyment.  Everything about this race is top notch and wonderful !  I could write a whole other post about the many other details & happenings of this day, but I'll spare you.  If you ever get the chance, come on out & run the Wildcat 50k!

Monday, November 18, 2013

6 Things

So there is this trendy little thing that has been happening on Facebook where you list some things about yourself & then if people "like" that status you assign them a number that they have to then do themselves.  I've seen some variations, like shocking things about me, fun things about me, things you never knew about me to just plain things about me.  Trust me, unless you haven't been on Facebook at all for the last few weeks you know what I'm talking about.

Sometimes I play these "games" on Facebook, other times I avoid them like a plague.  I actually enjoyed reading lots of fun, interesting, informative information about my facebook friends.  I think I enjoyed every single one, but I refused to "like" the status for fear that I would be caught in an endless trap of talking about myself.  I don't need any help in that department anyway, I'm fairly self centered without any prompting.

However, I finally caved into "liking" someone's status.  It was my best friend Mandy whom after our shopping trip last weekend in Chicago we realized it had been 30 years since we first met & became besties.  (Yeah, somethings you don't outgrow, especially things like your childhood bff).
(Don't we look like sisters.  People have always told us that.)

So, she assigned me the number 6, since I have 6 kids & here is what I posted:

6. I have a brother, he was born when I was 3, but only lived a few hours. I don't remember anything (shocking, I know) from that time.

5. I've always wanted 6 kids. Always.
4. Jim & I had our 1st date on May 15, he proposed to me on July 15, we were married on December 2, all in the year 1994.
3. I was very, VERY rebellious from 6th - 8th grade. I don't talk about it too much because my kids don't know all that I did (nor will they until the time is right, so if you do know, don't be blabbing!) But it's safe to say they can't do much that I haven't already done!
2. I still have my bottom retainer that has been cemented in place since 1992.
1. Always being active I date my running back to 5th grade when I participated in a community track meet. I was an pretty good runner who had talent & potential, but lacked confidence. Just when I started to really excel I had a teammate make fun of me & tell me "You will NEVER be a good runner" & I believed her & gave up trying. Once I was in the Army & had people believing in me & quite often yelling it at me my running took off & I realized the mass of potential that I had wasted. But, not really wasted because even though I can't turn back time I can certainly make every run & every mile count for all the awesomeness that I AM!
Anything fun, shocking, interesting or just plain normal you want to tell me about yourself?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1.  I'm working on a race recap for Wildcat 50k.  I promise it's coming.  It has made me realize that I never wrote one for Howl at the Moon.  I have little to no desire to recap that race for some reason.  For me it could be best summed up as an awful day, even though I ran 44 miles.  What's so awful about that?  I don't know.  And honestly it wasn't so much that it was awful, I just felt so down & defeated from that race that I just want it behind me.  Anyway...WC50k race recap is definitely coming!  I have the post started I just need to find more than a few minutes to sit & write it all out.  To give you a sneak peek I will let you know that it will include words like awesome, steady pace, much improvement, PR, breaking under a new hour marker, etc. etc.  You get the point....it was a gooooood race!  Here is me when I finished:
That's all you're getting for now.

2.  G.O.  H.A.R.D. is coming up next week on November 20th.  I had heard about it for the first time last year (<click to see my post about it) & participated.  This year it seems to be out there all over the internet.  If you are a runner, my guess is that you've heard about this.  But maybe not, so I'm doing my job & promoting it.  You can even join the Facebook event and join thousands of others who are participating.  In case you need any tips or further instructions on how to properly participate please watch this video for some very important information:

3.  Mommy Matters:  Haven't done one of these for awhile.  There is always something going on in the mommy department, I just don't always blog about it.  Anyway, as we were leaving the park after WC50k I received a phone call that my daughter was having an allergic reaction & was being taken to the emergency room.  Oh wonderful & we were over an hour away.  So we mad rush to get home to her & get more details about this reaction.   She just recently started having these reactions, but we have no idea what is causing them.  We had already been to her primary dr. who could find nothing wrong & advised to treat it with bendryl.  At that point her reactions were minor, nothing to be alarmed about.  Over the last 2 months each reaction has gotten worse & just last week I took her to a specialist to start a deeper process of finding out what is triggering this reaction.  They sent her blood off for testing, but in the mean time she had this reaction which was worse & cause her tongue & throat to swell.  Hence, the er visit and over night hospital stay she endured.   Ack!  This has turned from something minor to something very serious.  If each reaction is getting worse.....we don't want to know what's going to happen next time!  Unfortunately while we wait for the tests come back she's like a walking time bomb.  Who knows if or when she might go off.  Ack!!!!

~Ever have a race that you just wanted to forget about?

~Are you going to participate in G.O. H.A.R.D?

~Do you have any allergies?  Or in your family?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Fun

Just a quick stop in to say "Hello!"  I came across some fun quizzes this week & wanted to share.  Normally I'm not big on taking the time to do these things.  I'm sure there are thousands of quizzes out there to waste my time away.  For whatever reason I did do these this week.  I was pretty amused by the results so I thought I would share the fun.

First one is a fitness calculator.  I saw it listed in a story about how a 90 some year old woman just ran the NY Marathon. Or something like that.  I didn't save that article and now for the life of me searching the internet I can't find any article like it.  Ok, so the gest of the story is how someone so "old" can run such a race and then goes on to say how our bodily age can mean one thing, but our fitness age can mean something completely different.  Hence, the test/quiz is to see what your fitness age is via your VO2 Max.  I'll save you all the technical talk on what that is, but in a general sense it's how well your body uses oxygen, most especially in terms of exercise.  (Anyone with more knowledge or a better, yet keep it simple way, of explaining it is more than welcome to jump in & comment).  Here.....just take the quiz!

Fitness Calculator

I was surprised....ok, maybe not really, to find out this:

Later in the week my friend Sarah posted a life expectancy quiz.  No clue how she came across it, but for fun (and because she mentioned me in her post, making me feel all warm & special) I took the quiz.

Life Expectancy Calculator

My dear friends & readers, I am going to be around for a looooong time:

Hopefully I'll still be running & taking my She Runs Everywhere to whole new global levels AND with a fitness age of someone half my age!!

What is your fitness age?

What is your life expectancy?

I'm posting these mostly just for fun.  While you can do something about your fitness age & a to some extent your life expectancy I know that only the one true God has full control over how long you will be on this earth.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October Rewind

Gah!  Busy, busy, busy.  Go, go, go.  Work, work, work.  Yep, about sums up my lack of blogging.  However knowing that things are going good is more than satisfying & worth it.  And I still think of you all my faithful readers.  You are often on my mind.  Anyway.....


October!  Wow!!  Let's stick with the basics first.

Miles ran in October:  257.29.  That includes 2 - 20 mile runs & only 1 "rest" (only running 2 miles) days.  I don't actually recommend doing this, but I did it & survived.  It was tough, really tough in many ways.  However easy is never a motivation for me to get this done!

Year to date miles ran toward my 2013 goal:  1,620.05.  That leaves me with 392.95 miles left to run this year.  I'm not counting my chickens just yet, but I'm pretty darn close & am pretty sure that I WILL reach this goal.  This also gives me all the more reason to feel like this:

October was a month of all time highs & personal records in terms of miles ran.  I ran 0 races so all my running was just running.  I ran the most miles in a week, 71.70.  I ran the most miles ever in a month (my previous high was 190).  I ran the most miles ever in a year (up from 1,569.26 that I tracked during my 365 day streak).

I also realized I ran every single mile by myself.  That's neither good or bad.  I think it goes hand in hand with what I posted about not too long ago about being bored.  Sometimes I want & really like being alone.  It makes for great prayer time where I just talk with God the whole time (those runs are really awesome, I get so into the prayer I forget about the running & when it's all said & done I'm feeling much closer to God having spent that time with Him).  It has it's down side though, but what I can I do about it besides whine and complain?  Nothing!  Moving on.

Through out the month I kept general track of my miles.  Ok, lie.  I obsessed about it.  But quite often would loose track.  My mind doesn't do that great with numbers & I'd forget what I had just tallied the days/week right before.  Anyway, I knew when I had gone over my previous monthly high.  Yay!  And I knew that I was getting close to 250.  On Oct. 30 I did some calculations for the 100th time that month and realized I was not too far off that 250 marker.  So even though I wanted to slack off the last few days (these days slack off means anything less than 5 miles) I kicked it into gear & made sure I hit that golden 250 mark.  When I finished my run I made sure to note & celebrate with this picture:
 Funny though because when I went to do my official calculation I realized I missed filling in my mileage on a date so my numbers were just a little higher than I expected.  I didn't need to run as much as I did on Oct. 31, but since I did I was able to get a few extra miles in.  At this point regardless of why or how, any extra miles I can bank are good for me & less I have to run as I get closer to the end of 2013.

Well, even though we are well into November....how was October for you?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Being Careful

It's tempting to title my post rest and/or recovery, but if you don't know me very well then please note that I don't do either very well.  If you do know me, you're thinking....ya right, that girl can't rest if her life depended on it.  Besides, my definition of rest & recovery are extremely slightly different than your normal average person.

So to better sum things up, I am being very careful right now.  I mentioned yesterday that fine line of crossing over into an injured state.  I'm definitely guilty of getting as close as possible to that line with out actually going over.  Kind of like the kid who gets as close to touching their sibling with actually touching them.  And one kid is yelling "Moooooooom, they're touching me" and the other kid is saying "No, I'm noooooot" with that smug grin on their face and their finger one millionth of an inch from the other person.  So my body (certain parts in particular) and saying "Hey, I'm injured!" (said in it's best whiney, irritated voice) and I'm saying "No, you're not!" (said in my best matter of fact, quit being a drama queen about it voice"). 

I will agree that my body IS being pushed to it's limits and even when it's ready to be done I keep on going.  Mostly because I'm not done with said run yet.  When I need to get from point A to point B I have to keep going to get done.  Plain & simple.  Walking is an option, but that just prolongs my finishing so I usually keep going.  Is that not just common sense or am I just coo coo for Cocoa Puffs?

When I need to and my body insists on it I will run at a much slower pace than normal.  My base pace has slowed as it is, but sometimes I'm moving 2-3 minutes slower than that norm.  So I DO listen to my body.  And when need be I shorten my distances.  Running 4 miles after my second 20 was like a walk in the park.  Because I am pushing for a distance goal it weighs on my mind every time I go out for a shorter distance.  Shortening my distance now will only catch up & hurt me in the long run.  So that's been motivation to go out for no shorter than 5-6 miles.  I do shorten it when I "have" to, but I'm very aware of the deficit it creates against me.

Upon the very wise wisdom of a friend, I have been shortening my distance & going out more than once during the day.  It seems my body needs more time to warm up & handle the distance I want to complete so breaking it up has helped a lot.  My body is tolerating 6-7 miles daily, but it's not all being ran at one time.  For example, yesterday I ran 3 miles before class, 2 miles after class, then 2.5 miles after I took the kids to school.  7.5 miles over the course of 4 hours.  In between those runs I'm able to stretch and/or rest a little bit in there.  My hardest miles are actually my beginning miles.  I'm stressing what is already stressed, but about the time it rears it's ugly little head and  is about to revolt & refuse to keep going without a bunch of pain I stop & give it a break.  So, yeah, I'm toeing that line, but then backing off.

For me it's working.  In the big picture & over the course of the last week my body is recovering very nicely.  At first I had some consistent aches, pains, soreness, etc. that was bothering me even if I wasn't running.  My knees, my IT band....yeah they were awfully ticked off and not speaking to me pretty much non stop for a few days.  But now that I've been nicer to them & only subjecting them to 2-3 miles at a time (instead of 6-7) they are starting to come around and like me again.

How do you rest and/or recover?

Any tips or words of wisdom to pass along to help me out?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Double Trouble

Last week I started a post titled:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.  I was going to tell you all about my 20 mile run that I had completed on Sunday, October 20.  For me it wasn't that great of a run.  However I tend to stick with my plan once I mentally say that I'm going to do it.  So here's my route from that 20 miler.

When it was all said & done I was really glad I had gotten it done. It was just during the run I was having one issue after another that had me feeling defeated.  Some other time I'll have to lament about the bad & ugly.  I guarantee it's an issue that's not going away any time soon.

I do have a 50k coming up in 2 weeks so it's nice to have gotten a long run in before then, plus if I can, I want to be adding chunks of mileage to my 2013 Run This Year goal.

Fast forward 5, yes FIVE, days & I was ready to take on another long run.  Ok, wait.....ready may not be the right word, but I was willing to do it again.  I had reservations because my knee had began to bother me at the end of my last long run.  However it didn't bother me too much during the week (maybe a tweak here or there, nothing alarming).

On this particular day (Friday) I was missing out on a racing opportunity with my running partner & some friends.  It was my choice to miss this race, but I was bummed about it.  So I made myself a deal that if I was going to miss this race (and opportunity to be with my running partner that I miss so much) then I was going to give myself a memorable big run.

What I had chosen to do instead was go on our ladies retreat with our church.  It was being held out at Camp Summit, one of my favorite places to be.  It's about 20 miles from Galesburg (depending on which way you drive) so I decided to run out to our retreat spot.  Here was my route:
Looks pretty boring, huh?  It was far from it!  Most of my route took me up Hwy 150.  I was a little nervous about running up a 2 lane highway for that long of a distance.  I mean, it's a far cry from the Interstate (which is illegal to run down), but around here 150 is still a main highway that can have a lot of traffic.  Not to mention vehicles of all sizes (even semis) are flying along at 55 mph (at least, some maybe faster if they are speeding).  The route also had some hills along the way.  Nothing terribly steep, but good long inclines.  And the million dollar question:  would my body hold up on another (almost) 20 mile run?

For the most part it was very uneventful.  I had several lengths of time that I had no traffic at all.  The scenery was pretty with the fall colors in full bloom.  My body responded much better to any bad & ugly that was ready to rear it's head.  The last 5 miles or so were a lot more challenging, I was ready to be done!!  I walked a few times, but that just prolonged my finishing so I kept going.  Normally I'm ocd about uneven distances.  I wanted more than anything to get to 20 miles, but I was d.o.n.e!

I don't expect to normally be running to 20 mile runs in less than a week.  My body held up ok, but I realize it's a fine line that I don't want to cross over into injury-ville.  Happy I completed these runs?  Yes.  Ready to do it again soon?  No.

If you were thinking about joining Team Tough Chik & haven't done so yet.....GO DO IT!  Click HERE to register!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Rest x 2 & Fun Facts

1.  Rest.  So I'm all about pushing my body & doing amazing things, but I've had enough reality checks gained enough wisdom to know that I must equally counter act what I'm doing with plenty of rest.  How much rest is enough is the million dollar question that seems to change everyday with a lot of factors to that equation.  Lately I've been erring on the safe side.  I'm no spring chicken anymore & I'm trying to pull off something big in the next 69 days that will likely take just about every ounce that I have to get it done.  I need to always be on the safe side! 

2.  Rest?!?!?!  I'm sure to everyone else I'm just my usual mad crazy running woman who climbs Mt. Everest every single day while blind folded on no sleep.  Ok, sure I ran 20 miles on Sunday.  And I got up on Tuesday at 3:45 a.m. to run 8.5 miles before my 6 a.m. yogalates class.  Let's also please note that so far I've logged 190 miles for the month & I still have a week left (with another (almost) 20 miler planned for tomorrow).  So how exactly am I resting?  Oh, trust me, I am.  Yesterday I slept in until 6:30 a.m. and even though I planned a 3 hour workout (10 mile run & weight lifting) I "only" ran 7 miles.  Today I slept in until the last possible minute until I had to get up & teach my class.  Then after I got the kids all to school I crawled back into bed to watch 2 of my favorite shows that were DVR'd last night.  Let's also notice the half eaten bag of chocolate chips that are sitting next to me.

So, I think I might have issues with being extreme one way or another.  I might also be battling some emotional issues right now which is leading me to be extremeness.  Yep, that's going to remain vague.  I'm trying to be honest (never want to portray myself as this perfect happy little blogger), yet I firmly believe that some things don't need to be aired publicly.  So that's all you're getting.

3.  Fun facts.  My friend (how does that work when you've never met someone in person yet you feel so deeply connected to them) & fellow blogger Kim did something the other day in one of her posts that listed some fun facts about her.  So I thought, sure I'll throw some fun facts at you to give you some insight on me, especially things that don't come up in everyday conversation.  Here are 3:

*My favorite color is red.

*I play the french horn.  While most kids started in 5th grade, I didn't start until I was in 9th grade.  I didn't believe I could be an awesome player so I didn't try too terribly hard.  I have been trying to pick up the habit of playing again.  I'm sure I sound horrible, but it's the thought that counts.

*I was accepted at Faith Baptist Bible College, but never attended.  I was recruited to attend & run at Loras College, but never considered going there.  I've never attended college anywhere, with the exception that I once took french horn & vocal lessons through the community college so I was considered a student.

I should note that once I had said I would routinely blog about fun/interesting facts about me (I remember the post was titled 100 things about me.  Sorry, too lazy to look it up & link it for you).  I always have this intention, but don't follow through to well.  We'll see if I can't work more on this.

What are some fun facts about you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes: Wellness Coordinator

I've been extra busy the last 2 days for 1 specific reason:  I started my new position at the Y as the Wellness Coordinator.  I'm sure I've mentioned it somewhere along the line (but here's a brief recap), but I've worked at the Knox County YMCA for over 17 years.  With absolutely no experience I answered an ad looking for a fitness instructor.  At that point if you were breathing you were qualified to teach at the Y, so lucky me, I was hired.  I worked my way up through the years & eventually was the Fitness Coordinator.  I was in charge of the fitness classes & instructors.  I gave that position up when babies 5 & 6 were welcomed into our family.  While I wasn't head of the department I did take on being a trainer (and eventually faculty trainer) for Y of the USA which gave me a lot of flexibility around my family.  And it still has brief times where I'm really busy with training, followed by months of nothing.

For many reasons I began to feel the need to take on the Wellness Center at our Y.  We've never had anyone to be the head of this area, it just feel under the leadership of our associate director (who does a great job, but has many other things that fall under him).  I was seeing a great need for a coordinator in the department, as well as, a need for some programming.  I drew up a proposal, presented it to my boss & wha-la.....I'm the new wellness coordinator.

This job is going to take up about 20 hours a week.  So far, it's not real cut & dry with set in stone hours, but it will eventually lead to this to some degree.  What this means for me is that I have to be a lot more strict with my time.  I no longer have "all day" to do "whatever" I want.  I now have to manage my time to get home/family responsibilities taken care of & head into work & get things done there too.  If executed properly I will be able to handle this job with no problem.  I'm fully capable, I just need to exercise a lot of discipline.  (Gee, I wonder if I have ANY of that - ha ha).

I've already mentioned that blogging is not a priority, not when push comes to shove.  But I don't plan to abandon my blogging by any means.  We'll see where we go from here, although it will likely look like it has been for the last few months when I was busy with training.  One thing I won't be cutting back on is my running!  This morning I was extra motivated to run before my 6 a.m. yogalates class.  I'm so glad I did because it then rained & was really icky ALL.  DAY.  LONG.  These are the tunes I heard on my 8 mile run this morning:

Made to Worship - Chris Tomlin
What I Did for Love - A Chours Line Soundtrack
Sound of Music Overature
Foolish Beat - Debbie Gibson
His Strength is Perfect - Steven Curtis Chapman
White Flag - Passion
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
The Old Rugged Cross - 25 favorite hymns
O Happy Day - Shelly Hamilton
Feel This Moment - Pitbull Feat. Christina Alguilara
By Your Side - Tenth Ave. North
Quantum Leap - TV Tunes
There's Always Me - All Shook Up Soundtrack
Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone - Glass Tiger
Overature - Oliver Soundtrack
Live While We Were Young - One Direction
Our God - Chris Tomlin
There Is None Like You - Shane and Shane
Meet Me Half Way - Kenny Loggins
Now I Belong to Jesus - Instrumental
For the Sake of the Call - Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm bored

I know we all cringe & *hate* to hear our kids say "I'm bored!"  Usually it's accompanied with a long whiny huff of exasperation (from them) & it brings out the urge (for us) to want to lecture on the topic. 

Why...when I was a kid......  
Do you know there are children in this world who could only dream.....
Oh, you're bored....let me fix that......

If you need to lecture me on any of the following, please feel free to speak up.  However when I state that I'm bored, I am not using it in reference of being that there is "nothing" to do.  Ha, quite the opposite.  I have plenty & so much to do.  Especially in terms of running.  I have many many miles to crank out in the next 74 days.  I have been extremely fortunate that I'm getting a lot of them run too!  No complaints there!  But that's a lot of time to be out there running-again, not complaining-except that I'm a social person & I love to talk (no comments from the peanut gallery on that one!).

It can be challenging as it is to find the right person(s) to even hold a general running talk with.  To take that a step further & find an actual person to run with AND talk at the same time.  I'd likely have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack.  Now, I do actually have a running partner (RP).  2, kind of.  I haven't seen my RP in months!  Not even in a non running sense.  (Ok, I've seen her twice, maybe three times, since early May).  It's not unusual for our relationship to have it's ups and downs.  Give & takes, but this has been crazy long.  And I really, REALLY miss her.  It's for no bad reason, just how it's been.  My other RP is a young mom (as in she has young kids) & that has a whole other level of challenges in trying to get a run in.  Plus, we all have this thing called LIFE that just takes us on different paths at any given time for any given reason.  So I'm feeling a little RP deprived.  I love these ladies to pieces & just want some good runs with them!!

So I'm finding that all my running, while it's going great, has left me very bored.  Sure I listen to music to help pass the time.  Although lately I sometimes don't because as much as I love music it's become kind of stale feeling.  Which to me says a lot.  I have over 7,000 songs on my computer!  It's not from lack of variety!!  I do try to use my time in other ways.  Mostly in the form of praying, using that time to directly connect with God.  Not complaining about that either, it's very uplifting & I love it.  But after so long my mind just kind of wanders anyway.

None of this seems to be effecting my running or Run This Year goal, but I'm very aware of it.  Honestly, I'm a little unsure how to properly feel about it.  So, I think I need some perspective.  Maybe something I'm not seeing myself right now.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Team Tough Chik

I'm not running until later, but want to blog now.  So Tuesday's Tunes are on hold this week.  I'm taking a gamble on my run today.  When I went to bed I told myself that AS SOON as the kids were at school I was going to run & get it done & over with.  I was even planning a longer run.  Like, hopefully 10+ miles.  When I woke up it was raining & it continued to rain for the morning hours.  It's not really that heavy of a rain & I'm not exactly 100% sugar so I'm not sure why I decided to wait, but I did.  It's looking like this afternoon things will clear up a little so I'm planning to head out then.  Worse case scenario I can go to the Y & hit the treadmill.  But for 10+ miles......nooooooooooo!  Hence, my gamble.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the radar is being truthful & this ickines is on it's way out.

Last week I hit another all time high mileage week with 57.25 miles.  My shortest run was 3.25 miles.  It's taking a lot of time & my body is a little testy with the increase, but it's holding out & overall I'm handling it quite well.  As of today, the middle of the month, I've ran over 100 miles & I'm on track to have my highest mileage month ever.  I'm pretty motivated to really crank up the miles to meet my Run This Year goal.  I'd rather get ahead of the game now then wait to cram it all in in December.  So I continue to run, run, run

For the last 2 years I have been a part of a virtual racing team called Tough Chik.  This has been one of the best & fun things I have ever done!!  Registration is open RIGHT NOW for the 2014 season!  Click HERE to read all about joining the team & HERE to sign up/purchase a team package.  For as little as $30(ish) (smallest package, plus some shipping) you can be part of this amazing group of women!  If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me!  I will happily tell you all about Tough Chik & would love you to be a part of TEAM TOUGH CHIK 2014!  Sorry, guys, this is for my lady friends only!  You can tell your lady friends about it to, or maybe your wife, daughter, sister, etc.  Registration is only open 1 month of the year so don't hesitate, registration will close on November 1.

What makes you tough?  
(Anyone can answer this.  There is no right or wrong answer!)

We are half way through October.  How is your month going?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes

I was up early & had my run done before I had to teach my pilates class.  That meant being up early & running in the dark.  I love it!  And I love being done & showered by 7 a.m.  It also makes me feel more tired through out the day, but then again I've felt tired everyday since I became a mom 18+ years ago.  What's new?!?!

With a renewed sense of determination to complete Run This Year I've been running more.  My mileage has bumped up & last week I had my highest week without me running a race.  I've had another week or two where my mileage was up there, but it was more in part due to a particular race.  Last week was high (for me) at 52 miles & it was all just getting out there & running.  I'm feeling some slight resistance from my body as I push it to go, go, go.  My pace has also slowed & I'm ok with that.  I'm not in race mode, just get the miles run mode.  I find that if I give it some extra TLC is does much better with the running.  However I can still feel it giving me some attitude.

Here are my tunes I listened to on my 5 mile run this morning:
Blessed Be Your Name - Tree63
Heaven Came Down & Glory Filled My Soul - Instrumental Artist
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone - Glass Tiger
Kiss You - One Direction
Getting to Know You - The King & I Soundtrack
Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) - Casting Crowns
Prrrum - Cosculluela & Wisin y Yandel
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Molding a Masterpiece - Shelly Hamilton
We Are the World 25 for Haiti - Mixed Artists

What songs have you listened to lately while you run?  Or exercise?  Or whatever?  I'm always looking for good music.  Tell me about it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday's Motivation: Ryan Hall

My computer is in limbo right now.  We bought a new one & don't have it set up yet.  To prepare for the switch I am taking things off of this hard drive & storing it on our external hard drive.  I can still access all of my info, but it's an extra step I'd rather do without if possible.  So this makes it take more work to pull up all of my motivational pictures/signs/sayings that I keep on hand.  Instead I googled the topic to see what I'd come up with.

I came across this Runner's World article on Ryan Hall.  WHO IS RYAN HALL? Is what 99% of people I know ask when I excitingly squeal his name.  Yes, I get excited & squeal almost every single time I hear or speak his name!  He is, after all, my favorite runner EVER.  I don't know if I can even put a finger on the how or why I came to love this guy & his running.  I'm sure it has a lot with two main identities of Ryan: his running & his faith.  Both are near & dear to me as well.

I'll spare you my long & never ending ramble about Ryan & get to today's motivation.  I read most of the article I listed above.  After a point I started to skim the content, but since it's coming out in the next edition of Runner's World I'll be attacking it with full force, highlighter in hand & taking in every word.  In the meantime this quote stuck me on this wonderful Monday & was full of the motivation I needed.

Run up to your potential, 
not to beat the other racers.

I actually paraphrased the above from the article.  To give proper credit the actual quote was:  "Ryan seems to simply be looking to run up to his potential, not to beat the other racers."  by TV commentator Toni Reavis.

Right now, I'm not even race minded.  I have a very laid back 50k (it's more of a run than a race) planned for next month, but nothing is on my radar except to complete Run This Year.  However reading the quote is what I needed to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other & keep doing my own thing.

Do you have a favorite runner?  I do have many other favorites, some are famous & well known, some are not.

Any motivation you'd like to share on this Monday? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Rewind

September was an iffy month.  It started out slow and ended slow.  Not a ton of excitement in between.  You will probably laugh when I say that I was disappointed to realize that I *only* ran 150 miles.  I think that since the kids all got back in school that I'd really kick it up a notch and really pull in some miles.  I also thought that since pulling back at the end of August to fully recover that I'd come back nice & strong & kick the rest of my injury to the curb.

Even though I didn't mention it I've been having some lower back problems & it hurts to run.  It seems to stem from my pre-existing injury that apparently hasn't 100% healed.  So what do I do when something hurts??  Yep, I keep on running.  So perhaps someone needs to smack me upside the head & say "don't do that!"  Well, even if you did I'd likely roll my eyes & let it go in one ear & out the other.  Let me clarify that when something is bothering me & I run, I feel like I'm in complete control of said problem.  I take it easy or don't go as far.  I have been better about not pushing my body.  I've been sleeping in more often to be fully rested.  My pace is darn near pathetic (for me....my pace doesn't compare to your pace!).  I've really, REALLY gotten better about lifting weights & stretching.  Taking care of the whole package & not just run, run, run.

It all boils down to I haven't run injury or pain free since I fell in May.  It's wearing on my last nerve!!  I realize there are worse problems to have.  So far the injury & pain haven't completely sidelined me from doing anything.  I just feel so tried & tested in this area & some days I really struggle with just wanting to turn my back on running all together (now there is some REAL crazy talk!!).  It would be ideal to scale back & have running at least take the back seat for awhile, but I am STILL chasing down my Run This Year challenge.  Oh, no....I have NOT given up on this yet.  Yes, I do still believe I can do it!  As of the end of September I have logged 1,362 miles toward that 2013 goal.  I'm constantly doing that math.  Only 650 more miles which equals about 7 miles a day from now until the end of the year.  Yes, I can do that!  I'm already averaging 5 miles a day.  I just need to add in some more miles.  Maybe do an extra 2 in the evening.  It doesn't take much.  I don't care if I have to walk or crawl those miles they will get done.

As you can see I don't plan to be scaling back my miles.  My pace?  My intensity?  Yes!  I know, go ahead, roll your eyes....I'm that special kind of stupid!  I really just want to finish out this year & THEN take it easy.  I do plan to keep my streak alive (speaking of which my streak is now 491 days strong), but cut way down on my mileage for next year.  I don't even plan to have any kind of goal dealing with mileage.  Next year is going to look completely different!  For now, though, I need to focus on the remaining 92 days of the year! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Neon Vibe 5k (ha!) Race Recap

A few months ago my oldest daughter came to me & announced that she wanted to run a race.  I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  This particular daughter "hates" (with a passion) running.  Dance?  Oh, she can do that all the live long day.  But this running stuff.....yeah, pretty sure she was switched at birth or something because it's hard to believe any of my offspring would be so far removed from something that is vital to me.  Don't get me wrong, she'll all supportive & proud of what I do with my running.  But her having any part of it is just out of the question.

Once I realized I was in fact not dreaming I quickly agreed to her request to run a race.  I hurried up and signed us up so there was no backing out.  The race was set to happen the week of her 18th birthday.  What a perfect way to celebrate!  It was going to be her, Jim (my husband/her daddy) & I running the Neon Vibe.

Normally, I'm not into the craze of these types of races.  I'm not dissing anyone that is.  I hear & agree with all the arguments of it's getting people running & they are so much fun....yada, yada, yada.  Great!  Horrah!  It's just not of interest to me.  Not to mention that because it's a specialty type of race they want to justify charging you an arm & a leg ($40 for this race, times 3, plus internet sign up charges.....we paid a tad over $120 for us to race this!!).  I admit, I'm a cheapy when it comes to races.  If I'm going to plop down some moolah I better be getting something really great out of the deal.  Being splattered with paint or colored neon powder is not on my list of "now that's worth some good money".  But remember, this race is not about me, but doing something special with my daughter for her 18th birthday.  So I plopped down the money & just rolled with it.

When the day of the race came we ended up taking some of the other kids with us (against MY wishes), but hey we were going to have a good time no matter what & it actually worked out well to have them along.  Angel had sort of, kind of, not really completed the couch to 5K.  I was pleasantly surprised when she told me she could run 1 mile without stopping.  (Baby steps here people, it's make or break it with potentially steering her toward running).  So ready or not Neon Vibe.....here we come!

We arrived with plenty of time to grab out stuff & get ready.  You are given packets of your own neon powder stuff & douse yourself before the event even starts.
 Pre color

Adding some color

 Ready to go!

Well, then all we had to do for almost an hour was wait, wait, wait.  They were starting groups of people every 10 minutes or so, but there was so many people it took that long to get up to the start gate. By then it was completely dark.
The start line.

If you look closely you can see Angel & I taking off.

We entered a field of darkness that was lit with a mass of glow.  I stuck with Angel & she did a great job of pacing herself.  The course had some rock, unstable areas which made it more tricky especially for a newbie to not only running, but in the dark as well.  I had my gps going so I had an idea of where we were on distance.  Eventually the course went from winding through an open field to zig zagging through animal buildings (it was held at a fair ground).  With the exception of the color stations the course was not well lit, most especially at this point.  I'm amazed no one was hurt.  Even for a seasoned runner the course was tricky.  We hadn't even hit 2 miles yet, but came up upon a crowd of people.  Angel said "I think it's the finish line."  Impossible since we hadn't even ran that far.  Sure enough we were ushered right into the finishing gate.  I was MAD!  What kind of race is heavily promoted as a 5k and then falls short of 2 miles?  I thought maybe we had taken a wrong turn or something, but after hearing many others they confirmed that it was in fact short.  I still celebrated with Angel that we had finished the race (as well as many others who felt accomplished that they had ran a "5k").

An idea of what the course was like.

We looked over at the starting area and they were STILL releasing people.  I was reeling from disappointment when Jim had a great idea for me to run it again.  He gave his bib to John & Angel gave her bib to Mandy & the 3 of us took off to run the course.  Gosh darn it, I paid to run a 5k I was going to get my 5k & some!!  We took off.  This time it was every man for himself.  Since I had an idea of where the course was going I took off and ran full speed.  It felt good to release some frustration & have fun (not that the first time wasn't fun, it was just different sticking with someone else & their pace vs. my own).

If it was up to me I would never do a race like this again.  So not worth the money & now I have trust issues as to whether or not the distance is going to be accurate.  If it means doing a race with Angel again I might do it.  She's worth it to go & have some fun & sneak in some running as well.  At least I'll have an idea of what I'm getting myself into.  I shouldn't have put so much stock into this "race" to begin with.  Oh well, live & learn......

p.s.  I'm extremely aware that it's been 2 weeks since I posted & it took me that long to get this post done.  I'm not even going to give you the sob story.  It is what is it.  I'm just going to pick back up where I left off & continue on.