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!