Monday, April 30, 2012

Illnois marathon & 5k recap

My racing last weekend could not have been any better.  Was everything perfect?  No, but it certainly was wonderful in just about every way possible.  I did make a special edition vlog to talk about and recap my weekend.  I will still give you the specifics here in writing.  If you are so inclined, because I know some people love when I vlog, you can watch me talking in the video.

Friday night was the Provena 5k Run/Walk.  There was about 5,000 runners/walkers.  I had a little cheering section of Jim (my husband), Susan, Caleb & David, friends who came all the way from Alabama to see me run.  Ok, not really.  David & Caleb were running on Saturday as well, that is why they were really there.  I had never met either of these people in person (just lots of internet interaction and phone conversations over the last 7 years), so it was so great to see & hug them in person and have them there to cheer me on.  I ran good & strong, but not all out.  My finish time was 21:44.  That time earned these rankings:  140th overall out of 5043 finishers, 14th out of 3089 women & NUMERO UNO (1st) out of 403 women in my age group of 35 - 39.  My prize will be mailed to me at a later date.  I gave my medal to my friend Susan, whom I love so much and she so earned it, just not in a running way on this particular day.  My camera had been left in my car (oops) so I had Susan take a picture of me with my medal.  So I can't post a picture of that.  No pressure Susan....just my whole blogging fan base waiting to see that picture.  Ha - ha, I'm teasing you : )  I did take get this picture taken later in the evening with my super awesome rockin' outfit.
I know you are all oh so jealous!

Saturday was the Christine Clinic Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k.  When I woke up at 4:30 a.m. I could hear the howling wind (rut roh) and later when we went to load our bags in the car it was pouring down rain (double rut roh).  Luckily that was the worse of it and by time we parked for the race it had stopped.  Not that it was sunshine & perfect conditions.  It was still cold, cloudy and dreary.  Trying to find Susan, Caleb & David proved to be a fun distraction before waiting to line up.  Before we knew it the gun was off and we were on our way.

Due to lack of training I really held back during the whole race.  I felt good, actually really great 99% of the time.  Only during the last few miles did I have to be very purposeful about keeping good form.  Knowing that my little fan club was awaiting me at the finish line helped keep me on track to finishing sooner rather than later.  Susan & helped me more than you realized, even though you were not there by my side!!

My goal was to finish under 4 hours.  Last year I finished in 5:18.  However, before you think I'm coo coo for cocoa puffs I have to explain that last year was completely different.  Last year my goal was to pace and complete the race with Jim who is very new to the long distance scene.  Where as long distances comes VERY naturally to me, Jim has to really work at it.  Last years time is not a measure of the norm for me.  It was still the bar set though and I knew I could lower the bar drastically.  Even though I held back a lot and took more of a running vs. racing aspect I finished with no problem at 3:54:41.  That placed me 619th overall out of 1890 marathoners, 152nd out of 744 females & 25th out of 106 women in my age group of 35 - 39.  I had taken 1:25 off of last years time.  My BQ (time to qualify for Boston) is 3:40 and now I'm on a quest to actually train & race to take off another 14 minutes off my time to be able to say I qualified.  Maybe this fall?  I don't know.  We'll see.

I love this race so much.  It is very, very fun.  Jim says he will not run another marathon.  I'll believe it when I see it.  He finished in 4:30, taking 45 minutes off his previous time.  Awesome, I bet he could easily lower that again.  My man is amazing!!!!!  Either way, I will likely run this race again next year.  The course is fun, the fans & support along the way is amazing.  It's a winner in my book!

AGAIN....I did not have my camera handy.  Susan took a bunch for me on her camera (seriously....NO PRESSURE Susan....ha-ha).  I did get a few later on.  Here is one of my favorites with Jim after we had finished:

I'm sure I'll have more little tidbits to tell you about as the week goes on.  For now, that is my recap.  If you want to hear me gibber jabber about other race details you can watch my vlogs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I should have vlogged yesterday.  I've wanted to talk about the same subject for the last two weeks.  First week, I was in a funky mood and just used that as a scapegoat to not get it done.  I vowed to get it done yesterday, but just didn't have time.  It has been an extra busy week and not a lot of time for the computer.  What is it that I want to vlog about?  Guess, you'll have to stay tuned and find out next wednesday : p

2.  I am running a 5k (friday night) & marathon (saturday morning) this weekend.  I know I say that oh so casually and kind of out of the blue.  I have mentioned it before, or at least I think I have, but I haven't specifically pointed it out.  Even though I've had a lot of weird, I can't figure it out, but on going foot problems for the last 6 weeks or so, I have never thought about not running.  Am I in top shape for this race?  No.  Have I trained extensively for this race?  Uh, not even close.  Will I run no matter what?  You bet.

3.  Do you know I'm hosting my first giveaway?  I'm wondering if people really understand what they are suppose to do.  I don't mean to treat you all like you're stupid.  Perhaps unknowing.  Nothing wrong with that.  I do realize that my giveaway is very specific and that more than likely you have to be within a few hours of where I live to make it worth signing up & taking the prize.  However I find it interesting that I have almost 100 views on my giveaway post and only one comment.  I have also seen a spike in my fb page likes (one of the requirements for an entry) and yet nobody has come back to comment.  YOU MUST COMMENT ON THE ORIGINAL POST for EACH REQUIREMENT to have an entry (or entries) in my giveaway.  At this point Rob you had better be ready to run 13.1 because you are the ONLY person who has left a comment and did any of the requirements.  (Although you are suppose to leave a seperate comment for each requirement and I know you've done at least 3 of them.)  If, for example, you already subscribe to my blog or already like my fb page (or any of the other pages I listed) you still get an entry.  However you must comment & tell me you did or have done that.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

100th POST!


Yes!  That is my drum roll for my 100th post on She Runs Everywhere!

I'm rolling out the big carpet and having my first ever GIVEAWAY!   Oooooooo, that's right ladies and gentlemen.  Sit up straight and pay attention!

On Sunday, June 3, Galesburg will hold it's inaugural half marathon.  That's right....13.1 miles winding through town and it's outlying area and not once will you cross over a set of railroad tracks.  That right there is a miracle in this town that has on average 7 trains PER HOUR pass through it's tracks!!!!  Many people have been hard at work for the last several months to make The Galesburg Half Marathon Express  a great success.  I want to do my part in helping ensure that.

 Thanks to the most generous & wonderful owner of Go Outside & Play Running Co.  I have one half marathon registration to GIVE AWAY FOR FREE!  I'm going to make this simple and easy to have many chances to enter.  Listen up, take notes & ask questions if you have any.

How do I get entered into the drawing?
You may have a total of 10 entries for this giveaway.  For each one of the items listed below leave me a comment and let me know that you have done what I asked.

What do I need to do for each entry?
*Like Go Outside and Play Running Co. on facebook - 1 entry
*Like The Galesburg Half Marathon Express on facebook - 1 entry
*Like She Runs Everywhere on facebook - 1 entry
*Subscribe to my blog, see side of blog for this sign up - 1 entry
*Sign up for email delivery of my blog, see side of my blog for this sign up - 1 entry

*For a bonus 5....FIVE entries, you can blog or facebook about this giveaway.  Make sure you link this blog or She Runs Everywhere facebook page in the give away.

If you don't want to enter the drawing I'd still be awfully excited if you did the above mentioned anyway.  I'm at a point that I want to up my blog readership and take it to the next level.  Who's with me?

Go and check your calender.  See if you can make it to what I'm sure is going to be a fun and amazing race.  Please note that this giveaway is only available to adults age 18 or older.  Give away if for race entry only.  All other expenses needed to complete the race (ie transportation, gas, hotel, food, etc.) is at your own expense.  Give away is non transferable so please double check and make sure you can come run before you sign up and possibly win.

You have until Thursday, May 3 to sign up for the giveaway.  Winner will be announced on Friday, May 4th.  You have plenty of time peeps, but don't wait until the last minute and get left out.  Spread the word and spread the love : )

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Motivation

ETA:  It's late on Monday evening.  I should be putting the kids to bed, but they are being good and I'm determined to get this posted.  So here I go....I started this earlier this afternoon. 

I am SO EXCITED!  I just got off the phone with our fantabalous running store Go Outside & Play Running Co.  Little did you know or realize that my next post will be post 100!!!!  It kind of snuck up on me too and now I'm all excited about it and have something super fun planned for that post.  Should be tomorrow, but I make no promises as this is one busy week for me : )

STILL working through details on my Backyard 100 mile Challenge.  Yes, I'm afraid that once I set everything up that I will fall & break my leg or something crazy that will prohibit me from doing this.  Yes, I'm afraid of failing.  Yes, I'm afraid of looking/sounding like a big idiot trying to pull of such a feat.  Although none of that matters because, yes....I will still try and accomplish this.  It reminds me of this:

For the last several months I've been wondering.  Can I do this?  100 miles?  In 24 hours?  Well, I'm tired of wondering!!  I can't literally start this very moment.  Mentally I have started.  I've stopped wondering and am determined to get out there & try no matter what!  Word is getting around too.  At least in my little neck of the woods.  People are beginning to ask me about it.  Old.  Young.  Men.  Women.  Those interested in running with me, even if for just part of it and those who just want to hear about it.

Onto other news, today I signed up for Howl at the Moon.  It's the 8 hour Ultra that I have done the last 2 years.  I don't like registering for races so far in advance, but this race has a limited field and it always sells out within a couple of weeks, maybe a month tops.  I didn't think twice though.  I love this race.  The first year I ran 34 miles.  Last year I ran 38 miles.  I am shooting for 40 miles this year.  We'll see how I do. 

More...other news, then I'm calling it a night!  I got a package in the mail from a fellow blogger and Team Tough Chik member Jess.  I had participated in her Jelly Bean Virtual Run.  It was loads of fun on my end and I had the funnest time running around part of town in a full bunny costume.  Since I took part of the fun and Jess & her sponsors were VERY generous with prizes I won a package full of goodies for having the BEST COSTUME!  Look at all the swag I got:

I was so excited when the package was delivered.  I was like a kid on Christmas morning ripping open the box.  Thank you so much Jess!  Not only for the prizes, but for putting such an awesome race together.

Ok, peeps....don't forget to check back tomorrow for my 100th POST!  I have a big announcement you don't want to miss!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Mojo, Backyard 100 miler & photo finish

1.  Little Ms. Mojo came knocking at my door this morning.  She was no where to be found at 3:45 a.m. when my alarm went off.  Since it took almost a minute for me to even hear my alarm and shuffle out of bed, I took that as a "sign" that I should sleep in & run this afternoon.  Fast forward to 4:40 (20 minutes before I like to get out the door, if I'm going to make a run happen.) I was awoken.  Almost as if someone had softly nudged me.  It took me a second to lay there before I realized..."do I hear birds chirping?"  Thus I was summoned and and out the door in record time to get my run done.  It was absolutely AWESOME!

2.  I am constantly thinking about my quest to run 100 miles in 24 hours.  It's going to happen my friends!!!!  Since I plan to run from my house and have even decided to set up camp in my backyard for when I loop back for rest, support, fuel & the likes.....I've decided the name shall be Backyard 100 miler.  Still working on other details.  I'll be looking to you all for love & support.  Both figuratively and literally.  Who's with me?!?!?!

3.   Initially, I was a little disappointed in the picture that ran in the paper last week for the Charger Challenge 2 & 4 mile Run.  I know the photographer, he's really REALLY awesome!  I don't blame him at all.  The conditions were hazy, he was trying to get that awesome photo finish.  When I first saw the picture in the paper and felt that disappointment, I thought perhaps the print on the paper was smugged or off.  When I saw the actual picture it looked just the same.  After pondering, I realized two things, a) the picture was taken about 10 feet from the actual finish line and 2) that in my mind that race, undoubtedly the hardest I have raced in a loooong time, was epic.  Perhaps even of Olympic proportion.  At least in my mind it was, which in case you haven't notice, I'm missing a fry or two from my Happy Meal.  Yeah, that explains a lot!  Anywho....I guess I was thinking I was going to look like Kara Goucher crossing the finish line.  But it was just me and the woman that I beat (who certainly gave me a push & run for my money....hats off to her!).  A fantastic me though.  I won't beat myself up too much.  Can you see the look of sheer determination on my face?  Can you see my legs of steel?  Pretty good foot/landing form if I may say so.  I'm rocking the socks & matching arm warmers like no other mother.  While the picture may not have been what I was imagining it's awesome none the less.  A moment I won't forget : )

Photo credit: Steve Davis for the Register Mail

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes: Road Closed

I've completely lost my mojo for 5 a.m. runs.  Here's what I think happened.  It got really REALLY nice outside.  A month ago, or so, I ran at 5 a.m. and wore nothing, but a shirt & skirt and even that felt a little too muggy.  At 5 a.m.  I'm not saying I'm a fan of the warmer temps, but it feels nice to walk out the door when it's still dark and feel the warmth of the day.  Then it went back to being cold.  Obviously not freezing cold, but cold that makes you want to stay snuggled in your bed.  Especially when I know I can run later in the day and feel that warmth & sunshine on my face.  I'm not complaining, I'm thankful I have the flexibility to change my work around.  I'm just noting my loss of mojo.  I hope it comes back when the weather warms again.  Although the earlier rising of the sun is encouraging as well.  Seeing the sky begin to wake up at 6 a.m. is EXCITING!!!!  Yes, I am a dork.  Whatever.

So I skipped the 5 a.m. run today.  So glad I did.  The weather is PERFECT right now.  Warm, but not hot.  Not cold, just a slight cool breeze from time to time.  When I run I try to pre-think of what I will write about on le blog.  Yes, you are often on my mind.  I was listening to a podcast and not music so my mind was more focused on that & not other things.  A few ideas came to mind a long the way.  They were titled:  Cheater and Cutting Corners.  Neither was about me, but someone else I observed while running.

I came across an under pass that was being worked on (Losey & Lincoln for my local peeps) and they had it barricaded off and a ROAD CLOSED sign posted.  Now, I'm not sure what work they are actually doing there.  Something to do with the overpass.  It's been a work in progress for several months.  As I driver I knew that it was closed for awhile, but then opened.  I don't know if they temporally closed it during the day or what not.  My run was planned to go directly through that underpass.  As I approached the area I could see that the road was perfectly intact, there appeared to be no danger in my path if I had cut through there.  I was thinking the whole time, that they just had it open & not it's closed.  Maybe they do this only during the day to get certain work done.  I don't know.  I decided I would just run through the area.  I did see a group of men workers standing (not working) there and proceeded through.  Even though I had headphones on I saw one guy give me a dirty look then yell "HEY!  IT'S CLOSED!"  I threw my hands up to signal ok....ok and I did a complete 180 and headed down another street running away from the area.  It didn't mess up my route too much since the direction I headed runs parallel with where I needed to go anyway.

So for the next mile or so I mulled over this situation.  I don't know what the guy intended, but I perceived him to be a JERK!  I realized I felt no respect for him.  Maybe it's because he obviously was 100+ pounds overweight and I was guessing he didn't ever run.  Or appreciate running.  I know, that's awfully judgemental of me.  I'm not saying I'm right or wrong with my thoughts & assumptions.  Just telling you what went through my mind.  On the flip side, maybe it was dangerous for me to pass through the area & I didn't know it.  Maybe he was just looking out for me.  Honestly, it didn't feel that way.  While I don't know the extent of the work they are doing, I do know the road was intact and I could have passed through no problem.  It made me wonder....are the Road Closed signs just for drivers & vehicles or should I as a runner always abide by them too?

Since I listened to a podcast I don't have many tunes to report:  Here is a link to part of the podcast that I listened to.  It's Mark Driscoll, a pastor of Mars Hills Church in Seattle.  Otherwise, I only had time to listen to two songs:  Once in Love with Amy sung by Barry Manilow (I could not find a youtube video of Barry singing it).  Love in the Right Place - Bryan White.  Me and hubby used to listen to this song ALL the time.  One of our favorites : )

Let me know your thoughts on rules of the road for drivers/vehicles vs. runners.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday's Motivation

I get asked a lot if I ever have run the Boston Marathon.  Of course, you have to understand that in my little section of the world people think I'm a world class runner.  Long before I ever even thought about half marathons or marathons, there were little old ladies at church who would see my name in the paper and start singing praises about my great accomplishments.  More than once they gave me the title of marathon winner when in fact I had ran  and won a 2 mile race.  You know, what's an extra 24.2 miles tacked onto that?!?!?

For anyone wondering, I have not ran the Boston Marathon.  Technically I have only ran one marathon (I've ran a lot of ultras and thus running further than 26.2) and that was a far cry for qualifying for Boston.  I should back up for my non running readers and point out that you must run a qualifying time to be eligible to run the famed Boston race.  It doesn't guarantee your spot, it only allows you to register, if you can beat the 20,000 other people vying for the same right.  There are ways around this standard of entry, but I guarantee it will cost you A LOT of money.  Meaning there are spots to run with charity teams and such.  Either way I've not been eligible to run this race.  I'm ok with that.  I'm not in a spot in my life where traveling away from home would work well with my family.  Not that they wouldn't be supportive or make it happen.  I don't know, I just know this is not the time in my life for such an accomplishment.  I have no doubt that it will someday happen.  I also know that when it does happen it will be simply just to run.  While I may compete in a local 2 mile or 5k race, I in no way, plan to compete on a bigger level.  I know my abilities.  It doesn't make me any less awesome that I won't be a real world class runner.  I know that at the end of the day, regardless of my abilities, I really just love to run.

There is the famed pictures of Katherine Switzer that inspires many.  Even those not associated with running.  Here is it below:

 Here is the story behind it:
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon.  She had gained entry be registering as K.V. Switzer.   After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners created a human shield during the entire marathon.

The photograph taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29.

The whole thing is such an inspiration.  It makes me want to go out and push down barriers.  It may be slow and steady.  It may be only be one mile at at time.  It may only be on the streets of Galesburg and nothing big and world famous as Boston, but I can do it.  What about you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Charger Challenge 2 mile Run

I ran a 2 mile race today.  I have run this race several times before.  10 times to be exact.  At least according to my records.  Which, when I went to go look it up, I was wondering if they were accurate.  Not that it will change anything.  Before looking up the info I was thinking I had run this race every year since 1996, except the years I was pregnant.  Which I was pregnant a lot and many years back to back so there were some gaps and one or two unexplained absent years.  Still, it's fair to say I've ran this race a lot.

This race includes a 2 & 4 mile run.  My records show that I ran the 4 miler back in my inaugural year of '96.  Which I don't remember running 4 miles.  I remember being at the race and not much else.  Otherwise I have always completed the 2 mile race.  I got some teasing for this since I often run much longer distances.  On any training run I'd never "just run" 2 miles, my bare minimum is 3 to make it worth while.  I mean, 2 miles for me is a walk in the park.  Can I even call it a race?  Well, I do and this one really did turn into just that: a race.

I really like the 2 mile distance for a few reasons.  While it hasn't always been the case I now only compete in a small handful of 5k's and otherwise I mostly run half marathons, marathons and ultras.  While I am used to having it take hours for me to complete a race I can get this done & over in less than 15 minutes.  How nice to say I raced and have it all said & done in less time it takes me to write this post.  Plus, for me, the 2 mile takes me back to not only my high school years, but my Army days where that was the standard distance.  I see very few (actually this is the only one that comes to mind) 2 mile races so I enjoy running them when I can (which at this point is only once a year).

I had one year that I am showing no record of my time.  Only that I was first female overall.  Aside from that possible unknown year, I set a pr today of 13:49.  (Well, not counting my high school/Army/pre baby years where I know I ran sub 13 minute times.)  I doubt that unknown year was any fantastical time since baby Carmen was only 4 months old.  Anyway, it's always interesting how my time has fluctuated yet my place is usually close to the same.  I show 2 years where I was 2nd female overall and the other 7 years I was the 1st female overall.  Yet my time span on this race has varied from an a slower 14:56 (Andrew was 5 months old that year) to my 13:49 this year.  I always know that it's really just a matter of who shows up at what race that will determine the outcome.  While I'm not putting down my time in any way, I know that it's not world class.  I'm no Kara Goucher (although I would love to have her body!!).  And at the same time, I know there are plenty of people who would say the same thing about me.  Well, I doubt they want a I've-had-6-kids body, but they'd love to have my ability to race what I did today.  It all works out in the grand universe of everything.  You are what you are when you are what you are.  (I have no clue if that just made ANY sense).

So, the race!  Well, the weather this morning was I-C-K-Y!  Pouring down rain at some points.  As I sat in my jammies sipping my coffee I had no motivation to actually get outside and get moving.  My son was also planning to run and we had soccer games later in the morning so either way I had to get out there.  Plus, I know myself, if I didn't go run I will kick myself in the end.  No worse feeling than I should have run!!!!  We had a little bit of hope when the rain stopped, but a few minutes before the start it started up again.  Not too bad though, just a light sprinkle.  Due to the weather I was not in the mood to mess with my ipod+, which tracks my running, or my ipod that I love to listen to music on.  I decided to go al natural, something that is good to do from time to time.

As previously stated we had soccer games also this morning.  My older son's (the one running) game was at 10 (race started at 9) and my other son's game was at 11.  I am the coach of that team so it wasn't as simple of just strolling over to the game to sit and watch. With the icky weather I had parents calling & texting about us playing or not and had to keep my ear out in case we did get the call to cancel.  Fair to say I had A LOT on my mind.  Mix that in with all my usual race chatter with my running friends and with little to no notice the siren went off and we were running.

I took off and felt pretty good.  Better than I was expecting.  I have to force myself to go out good and strong but not too good and strong.  Very guilty in the past of starting out too fast then dying at the end.  Since the 2 & 4 mile start out at the same time I don't know who is running 2 or 4 until the 2 mile turn around.  My 1 mile split was in the neighborhood of 6:45 (or was it :55??).  I still felt good and saw that I had 2 other females ahead of me.  I decided to start to push, but again not go all out.  When we turned into the last 600 or so of the course I kept pushing & pushing.  Normally I just do my own thing and if I win, I win.  I don't normally push myself so hard, but there were a few times that I felt like I was going to puke.  I was closing the gap as we inched toward the finish.  I don't know what made the difference today.  I honestly don't.  I just kept pushing and pushing.  I was not going to be satisfied, I was not going to let up until I crossed the finish line.  Yes, it helped that I had 2 people in front of me to chase down.  But I honestly was not set on beating them.  I just have so many races that I finish and I think "I could have ran harder".  Not today.  Well, I maybe could have pushed harder in the beginning, but for the sake of not burning out I did good with starting out at a good pace.  I passed one person with about 10 steps to go and then I gave a final big surge and with 1 step to spare I got past her & across the finish line.  They said at the award ceremony that it was a photo finish.

The local newspaper photographer was on site to capture the finish.  I can't wait to see the picture!  This will definitely be a race to remember.

Here is my son & I after our soccer games with our awards.  He did great himself and finished in 16:01.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday's Findings's Friday! It's later in the evening. A rare evening with nowhere specific to go or do. So I'm home relaxing in my jammies and trying to not let my headache get too out of control. As promised, I am FINALLY posting on a Friday which as planned I will show you what I've been out collecting on my runs. Only one thing is not shown. I found a GHS student id one day and my daughter so kindly turned it into the office before I could get a picture of it. So let me post my pics and see if you see some kind of theme here.

Blue Rubbermaid tote lid.  My second one to find this year.  It's in my basement.  Black running shorts, they fit my husband.  Assortment of liquor bottles.  Humana insurance card.
 Vodka bottle.  Justin Bieber pajama pants.  Found those going through Lincoln Park on one of my Jelly Bean Virtual Run 5ks.  A knife.  Found during a 5 a.m. run.  I picked it up and then ran while laughing hysterically.  I have a HUGE joke that runs between a few certain friends about me chasing them to get them to run.  I was also greatly amused with my shadow that looked a little freakish of my running with knife held high & ready to attack.  I did attempt to hide the knife while other cars passed by.  I didn't want anyone calling the cops to report me.  Later in the run I DID see a police car so I tucked the knife up my sleeve.  I felt like a fugitive.

This is an up close shot of the first picture.  The little Jim Beam is what started it all.  Will expand on that in a minute.
 I don't know why Blogger turned this picture on it's side.  I even tried to reload it, but this is how it keeps coming up.  Anyway.  More liquor bottles.  A recordable cd.  A tube of mascara.  Little blue flashlight that works!  Mascara was easy to spot, I used to wear that brand.  Flashlight was on top of the big hill in Rotary Park (for those local peeps who know my area).
 And, of course, this I just posted the other day.  Thank you Jess for letting me know it was a golf towel.  Although I loved taking golf as a p.e. class in h.s. (talk about an easy A, hit the ball hard enough and you spend more time walking to get the ball than actually playing golf) I'm not a golfer in any other way.  I couldn't figure out why there was only one little hole on the side.

So, if you didn't notice....I have a lot of liquor bottles in my collection.  Which is funny because I'm not much of a drinker.  I can't say never, but it's rarity for me.  It started one day while I was coming home from a run, I was just around the corner from my house and the bottle (the Jim Beam) caught my eye.  I picked it up not even realizing it was the tip of the iceberg.  Before I knew it I was seeing those little liquor bottles EVERYWHERE.  Seriously, our town has a problem!  To some that may not be a news flash, but in my little world it was.  I soon realized that a lot of the bottles I was seeing were all the same.  So I started only picking them up if they were different in style or brand.  I also decided that if it was a big bottle I would only pick it up if it was a glass bottle.  One big bottle (E&J Brandy) I found toward the end of my block just lying perfectly intact in the middle of the street. 

Hopefully when people see me running with a big bottle in my hands they think it's just a water bottle.  Of course, my husband and a few friends have raised eyebrows when they walk in and see an empty Vodka bottle sitting on my dining room table.  Again, funny, because we are a dry house yet there it sits out in the open like an everyday object.  Haha, my husband keeps teasing me about my little problem and my using my running as a cover up.

I will probably continue with the bottles, but I am getting very picky and specific of what I will pick up.  I'm always on the look out for anything as long as it's interesting.  I'm sure I'll have more items & stories to tell in the future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vloggin' Wednesday - It's a SIGN!!!!

To give you a summary of what my vlog is about.   I was out running yesterday and I came across something that I thought was a "sign" from whatever in response to my good friend Rob's picture & question he posted yesterday on facebook.  If you don't want to watch the vlog (I know for some people that is not your "thing") you can scroll down and at least see what I end up talking about.  NO CHEATING!  If you watch the video do that first THEN scroll down to see the picture.  Be nice & play along.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes

I was lazy not feeling my best this morning so I "slept in" and did not get out for a 5 a.m. run.    Since school is back in session I figured I could get out this afternoon for a run.  I only wanted to do 3 miles or so.  Nothing big, just a few easy miles.  I also had big hopes to get back on track with my housekeeping and normal stay at home mom duties.  I kept on track with my housekeeping and getting things done so I was mighty happy with that.  Before I knew it though I was running out of time to get a run in at all.  I literally had a 5 minute window where I either got ready to go and get it done or I didn't.  I wanted this so I made it happen.

I did my usual drop the van off at the high school so my eldest could get home and then ran to the elementry school.  The weather was a little funky.  If you stood in the sun it was quite warm, which made me nervous because I wore long sleeves and a vest.  Once I got out there though there was a strong cold wind that I had to battle.  Not fun, but I kept running anyway.  No turning back now.  I didn't get a full 3 miles in.  It was just a little over 2 miles to the school, but then I walked/jogged the boys home.  I still got something done so I was happy with that.

Here is my playlist for this run:
Electric Company - TV theme song
The Stand - Hillsong United
 Day In Day Out - David Kersh
Next Time I Fall in Love - Peter Cetera with Amy Grant
Wings As Eagles - Ron Hamilton
Glory to God Eleven22Worship
He Lives - Shelly Hamilton (this is not Shelly playing in the video, but it's her version/arrangement)
One Voice - Straight No Chaser feat. Barry Manilow

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday's Motivation & Lincoln Presidential half marathon recap

I raced on Saturday in Springfield, Il. I will get to that race recap in a moment. First wanted to throw some motivation your way.  I use these motivations for myself just as much as I hope it does something to inspire you.  I try not to always make them specifically about running.  A lot of mine can be applied to anything in your life.

When I was knee deep in my streaking challenge I was deeply motivated and started to mentally organize my 100/24 challenge. At the rate I was going I could easily do what I had in mind and blow myself away.  Then my foot problem began to start and I began to doubt wonder if I could still do this.  Actually, no that's not what happened.  I KNOW I can do this.  I don't doubt. I don't wonder.  I KNOW I can do this!!!!  I have it in me!!

I didn't tell you all, but I already had a date in my mind.  Mentally I had a plan.  IF I was going to have foot problems or any physical/running problems that persisted then it was going to be tough to do what I wanted when I wanted.  I don't know why I worry so much about it though.  Tough is my middle name.  I guess there is that fine line between being tough and being stupid.  Maybe it's not so fine, but it is to me.  I admit I like to push my limits and boundaries.

So I guess I was worried that if I set a date, tell you all about it, recruit you in the process to support me, even have you come out and run with me that it would just all fall apart and I would not even be able to do it.  Yes, I'm afraid of FAILING!  So I backed off of my thoughts, ideas, plans for this 100/24.

Yet there is constantly that pull.  That tug at my heart, my emotions, my motivation, my everything.  I recently overheard someone talking and without even thinking I said "I'm going to do that, I'm going to run 100 miles!!!!!"   So I'm tired of doubting, tired of wondering, thinking it won't happen no matter how well I plan, tired of dreaming.


Who's with me?!?!?!?!? (figuratively or not) 

What do you dream about doing?  What do you think you can't do?  I know that not everyone who reads my blog runs, but this can apply to anything.  What is holding you back?  What can you do?  What plans do you need to make?

On Saturday my husband, Jim, and I ran the Lincoln Presidential half marathon.  We ran this race last year & really enjoy it.  It was, in fact, also Jim's 42nd birthday.  What a way to celebrate!

I was worried about the weather, the coolness of the temperatures.  It turned out to be quite perfect.  Not hot at all, but not too cold.  Perfect for what I was wearing.

Here we are at the start of the race.  Yes, my husband IS smiling ; )
Showing off my outfit.  My friend Becca helped me make my arm warmers.  It's just a pair of socks that we cut & sewed.  I wanted mine to have thumb holes in them.  They turned out super cute!

As previously stated another Team Tough Chik and fellow blogger Jess was running the same race.  We had connected before via facebook and our blogs, but I had never met her before in person.  I didn't see her before or during the race (actually I think I did see her, but didn't know it was her at the time).  When I saw her running toward the finish line I KNEW it was her.  I found her afterwards and we connected right away.  She has such a fun spunk about her I LOVE IT!

Here we are after our finish.  Yes, he's still smiling ; )  It was a great race for both of us!

Here are my race stats:
Clock time: 1:50:00
Chip time:  1:49:19
Pace: 8:21
Female place: 75/764
Age place: 15/126
Overall place:  307/1434

My time is not a personal record for me, but I was still very happy with how I ran.  I purposely hung back for the first 3 miles or so.  I am so guilty of going out too fast so I did not take off.  Once I did get going I felt pretty good the rest of the race.  Had a few lulls here and there.  The course had some good hills in it.  Where I live I don't get much hill training.  The hills were neither good or bad for me, just hills.  Overall I felt good and I felt like I was pushing myself.  Best of foot hasn't bothered me at all!  Yay!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Jelly Bean Virtual Run

Thanks to Team Tough Chik I came across this awesome blogger Jess.  Extra bonus, for me, she lives just 40 minutes away.  Yeah!  Not only a team mate but fellow blogger right in my neighborhood.  I follow other awesome team mates & bloggers, but they live so far away and I can only dream of some day meeting them in real life.  I plan to meet Jess for the first time this weekend.  We just happen to be running the same race on Saturday, the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon.  So excited!

Thanks to Jess' blog I came across the Jelly Bean Virtual Run.  I had never heard of such a race before.  What does it mean virtual run?  Well, according to her blog a virtual race is running a specified distance (timed) without being present in the actual race location. This is super awesome for me because I LOVE to race, but so often than not I can't run the list of races that I drool over want to do.  You know, this life with a husband an 6 kids, kind of rules my priorities.  That can actually be a good thing. As addicted dedicated as I am to my running and it being my obsession passion I would probably race every weekend, all the time!  So this helps reign me in to reality.  Besides my husband and kids are great is supporting of when I do race.  They are wonderful!!!!  As an extra added bonus said run is FREE (yeah, speaking my language peeps) and is full of  prizes to potentially earn.  I am all over that like salsa with a bag of chips!!!!

I sent out a message to a few local peeps (sorry if I over looked anyone) to see if I could get a crew to go run with me.  Signing up for the Jelly Bean Run was optional.  So was dressing up, getting all festive, etc. etc.  Most know that I like to add flair to my fashion, but they had no idea what I had in mind & planned for this run.  As it turns out to help accommodate my group of friends I had to plan two runs.  Fine with me, the more the merrier!  We ran a 5k on Tuesday night (32:58) and a 5k on Wednesday morning (29:48).   Not everyone signed up for the Jelly Bean Run.  Thanks to those who did (Connie, Samantha & me) and thanks to those who just came out for some fun and running (Elizabeth, Marcy & Julia).

On Tuesday we had (from L to R) Elizabeth, me, Marcy & Connie!  Only Connie about died of laughter when we saw me in my "get up".  Once we got rolling no one batted at eye at what I was running in.

On Wednesday morning we had Samantha (who gets the actual credit for the costume, it's hers, she let me borrow it since it was my crazy fun idea to run in it), me and Julia.  Another great group of friends who didn't bat an eye at my costume and was such good sport about being seen with me.

We ran the same course both time.  On Wednesday morning we also had Jo, perhaps the youngest person to participate in the Jelly Bean Run. I give her mom, Julia the credit though since she did all the work.  All Jo did was ride along, sleep and drool most of the time.  We got her started young though!

Of course there were jelly beans for all of us to enjoy:

You can't see them really good, but I even wore some super cute socks that had chicks on them in honor of and to go along with my Team Tough Chik singlet.  Yep, sometimes this IS what TOUGH looks like!

My half marathon that I am running on Saturday is also being run as part of the Jelly Bean Virtual Run.  As tempting as it is to run in the bunny costume, the day before Easter, I am wearing a completely different "get up" for that race.  It's super cute and freakishly awesome.  Here is a sneak peek at that:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vloggin Wednesday: Thankfulness & a sneek peek

I made a vlog for today's post.  It's only about 6 minutes long.  I ramble some about yesterday's post.  You will see below the video my list that I said I would make.

Things I am thankful for: in no particular order and without any explanations (which is really, really hard!)

*my family *my body *my health *my friends *cheese *the internet/computer *pizza *my beast of a van *my church *my ability to think *love *God *God's unending forgiveness & love *socks *color *elephants *books *music *my past *having been a runner since I was 10 years old *Galesburg *I.R.B.C. *emotions *my husband *my kids *children awaiting me in heaven *blogs *food *SEX!!!! *cocoa butter lotion *the sun *the moon *iPods *Muscatine

Oh, I think I could go on forever and ever!  I have so much to be thankful for!!!!  In addition to stepping back to be thankful, I've been in a good mood.  I think due to running 2 5ks in the last 24 hours.  I KNOW I just whined yesterday about my foot.  I KNOWINGLY doped myself up and ran anyway (to hear a little bit of how that went you gotta watch the video).  I think it really helped my spirits to do so in a costume.  I will give you a sneak peek picture, but won't give you a full report until tomorrow.  THIS, surely though, helped put me in a good mood : )

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Warning: Vent

I know I've been awol for 2 weeks.  And I'm going to slip on in here like it was just yesterday that I last posted.  I didn't plan for that to happen, it just did.  I won't bore you with long excuses and stories, although many of them good & understandable.

I'm very aware that I'm ready to just break down and cry.  Bawl like a great big baby.  Mostly brought on by a big wad of frustration.  It should really just be simple.  I want to run.  Yes, I know that aches & pains are normal & expected.  I'm not asking for it to be easy.  I'm tired of the foot pain.  I took a week off and eased back into running.  Things went well for 2 runs and then all of a sudden the pain re-emerges.  I back off again, things seem to be fine and wham, pain again.  Although this time in a slightly different area of my foot.  It is the kind of pain that makes me think I should not be running.  At all.  Like take a long break from the activity completely.  Well, that is easier said than done!  Running for me is one of the top things that make my world go around.  It falls in right behind God/my faith & my family.

This couldn't be worse timing either.  I have a half marathon planned (and paid for) this Saturday, April 7 and a full marathon on April 28.  Not to mention I had declared that I WOULD run 100 miles in 24 hours.  I just don't get why....WHHHHY NOW?!?!?  Why when I finally get my rear in gear.  I declare this to be a good year of disciplined running and not just a few big runs here and there.  I know I have awesome, amazing God given talent to run.  I decided to stop taking that for granted and really have to work at it and have the miles to show for what I can do.  I had an almost 100 mile month in February and had not had that good of a month since July of 2010!!!!  I want this.  I thrive on it.  I get up at 4 and 5 a.m. or wait until the afternoons when everyone is at school to get my running done so I don't take away from my family.  With the great help of God, I own my passion of running.  It's my thing!

I'm trying so hard to see the silver lining or God's perfect hand in all of this.  It keeps me on my knees in prayer, that is for sure.  I'm cross training more.  More weights, more biking, more swimming.  I am running some.  Admittedly at times I am  loaded up on ibuprofen just so I can get through the run without such pain.  I know.  I'm sick.  It's a disease. An addiction.  I don't know what else to do about it.

WELL!  Now that I got that all out (and that is the condensed version) and vented I feel a little better.  A little.  I did manage to not cry.  For now.  Maybe I need a big smack in the face and told to SHUT UP! Maybe I'm not seeing something that you all can.  I need to be talked down off my ledge from time to time.  So if need be, by all means, say something to me.  Now, I don't want fluff.  I don't want the sympathetic pat on the back and "it's going to be ok".  No....well compared to me or for everything there is a season.  I don't even know if I understand myself sometimes, so it's ok if you don't understand me.  Just smile and wave.

Allllllrighty, folks, off to the rest of my life.  It's spring break.  Kids are home all week.  I'm bent on being quite intentional with them and my time.  We have a picnic planned in Galva where the hubby works.  Let's see what the rest of my day brings me.