Thursday, December 30, 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, it's time to take a step back and look at where I've been this year, how far I've come, and where I want to go for 2011. 
2010 brought:

* 619.2 miles run.  While this is 210 miles less than 2009, I also am trying to remind myself that I didn't run for six weeks while hurt and then also spent a couple of weeks out of town, one being a backpacking trip where I was (hopefully) getting a lot of exercise in and the other a church girls camp where I was in charge of a bunch of teenage girls and couldn't seem to get away to run at all.  I did try to run up the hills near my campsite when I was out and about though! 

* A trail running injury.  Eight stitches later I have a great scar in the shape of an "L" on my left knee.  I will never forget which knee is Left again.  Unfortunately, I also didn't get to run for over a month because of it.  Mostly because it hurt to walk!

* A race a month for September, October, November, and December.  I've never done a race a month before.  It was fun and kept up my motivation when the going got tough to get out of bed as the sun rose later and later this winter.

Son, Myself, and Niece warm up for the Jingle Bell 5K
* A PR for the 5K for my Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving!  Yay! I know lots of people go MUCH faster than 24:07, but, for me it was an accomplishment.  And, what if I actually put effort into speedwork?  What would happen then??


* An age group win.  No, not just in the small church sponsored race, but in the Jingle Bell 5K that happened on Dec 18th.  Somehow in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I didn't get the photos posted about it.  My 15 year old niece wanted to run a Christmas 5K, so we found this one.  Niece, Son, and I ran while Husband and Daughter cheered us on.  I was a lot slower than the Thanksgiving 5K, but I guess everyone else was as well, and I ended up with a cool handmade Christmas ornament to take home!  What was even cooler was that Niece finished her first 5K ever!  She totally earned her t-shirt!


Handmade ornament as an age group prize!

* A nice running blog surprise today.  Husband cued up this podcast and played it for me.  It's Husband giving the intro and promoting this blog.  I listen to Chris Russell's podcast while early morning running regularly, and love listening to his interviews and perspective.  How cool that Husband did this!  And if you've arrived here via Run Run Live, welcome!

What a year it's been!  And I didn't even mention any job, family, or kid related stuff!

Stay tuned... I'll be posting my goals for 2011 soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas week motivations?

Christmas vacation is always a hard time for me in keeping up my running and fitness goals.  First, I'm off work for two weeks and not obligated to run at 4:30am.  I tell myself that I will run as soon as the sun comes up and it gets warm, but, then the kids get up and daily chores rear their ugly heads.  Before I know it, the sun is going down and it's getting cold again!  Second, sweet treats keep showing up at my doorstep and are taunting me at every turn.  I haven't even baked anything this year and I have cookies and candy coming out my ears!  I'm sure I can't be the only one in this situation.  I know that's why the theme on every women's magazine in the grocery store checkout line is how to "Lose the holiday pounds and keep them off."  And while driving today, in the space of 2 miles, I heard 3 radio commercials for various gym promotions to start my new year off right. 

So far, though, kuddos to me, I ran 4.5 miles yesterday and went to Pilates class today.  Not too many kuddos for me though.  I had a bad attitude.  The Pilates teacher was out of town and left us with a awful substitute.  I do mean awful.  I wanted to stay at first because Husband got me a really cool yoga mat for Christmas that I wanted to try out.  (Is my gym the only one where it looks like they have pet sharks that eat the corners off of all the mats?)  Then fifteen minutes into class I really wanted to leave.  I did stick it out the entire hour.  I suppose moving through his class was better than sitting at home eating the half full bag of Christmas M&M's though.  


Maybe the new socks I got for Christmas will help.  My sister sent me these great running socks!  I had never told her that Balega is one of my favorite running sock brands, but great minds think a like and they were gifted from her to me!  There's nothing like a run in a new pair of socks!  Someday when I inherit millions from a long lost relative, I will only run in brand new socks.  I think I'm looking forward to my next run now!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 3rd and 4th Biannual Team Brenton 2.5K Fun Run

Last year, Husband had a great idea for a New Year's Fun Run.  We had great time doing it, so we are "hosting" the 3rd and 4th Biannual Run this year!  I am running a little behind this year on getting the information out on this event, but it is still on. The rules are simple, and the same as last year. They are listed below...

1. Sign up by making a small donation at: 100 Friends.  This is a great non-profit run by a guy named Mark Gold. He lives out of various hotel rooms. He gives small amounts of money to people who are trying to make a living, but have great needs. It might be 50 cents, or 15 dollars, but it will be enough to help them be self sufficient. Husband and I liked the charity and felt it was worthy. Please research it for yourself so you can feel good about your donation. Read the Sunday Parade magazine story and more of what he does at the link to his Facebook page.

2. Run 2.5K on December 31st 2010, and then run the second 2.5K on January 1st 2011. Running can be substituted for walking, skiing, cycling, skipping, crawling, any non motorized human powered activity you choose. (2.5K is 1.55 miles)

3. Have fun, and feel good that we are helping someone we don't even know because that's what good people do.

4. All finishers will receive a finishers prize after providing photographic evidence of their accomplishment that will be posted on Running Around on Empty and quite possibly Husband's blog, Broken, Beat and Scarred (lots of cool info about his rock climbing and other (mis)adventures written from his unedited viewpoint!).

Husband and I will be running from 11:45pm on December 31, 2010 to 12:15am January 1, 2011 (approx). If you are in town and want to join us we'd love to have you... otherwise, we can't wait to see your photos!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The "Official" Turkey Trot

The church 5K was just a warm up.  The real action was at the Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic... aka the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  In our 5th year of running it, there were still lots of haybales to hop over and a mud puddle to leap - or run through as I always do.  I think it's the fear of slipping and falling that makes me not even try to leap the mud puddles!  Son wanted to make sure he beat husband.  Daughter came along for moral support. 

First Son came up the hill...
And then my amazing Husband!
It's a race where they run men and women separately.  Men went first and Daughter and I spent the time looking at jogglers, guys in elf suits, and boys wearing turkey hats all run by while we tried to see Husband and Son.  Pretty soon Son came along and not too far behind him was Husband.  The unfortunate part about this whole thing was that there were so many people at the finish that the numbers and times could not be collected quickly enough and there was quite a backup of men.  Which, of course, didn't work out so good for husband, his time was quite skewed from what he thought it should be.  Son didn't care.  All that mattered to him was that he had beat his dad and his grandpa promised him $20 for the feat!  If only I could earn money that easily!

Here I am avoiding the puddles!
Then, the women were off.  There were lots of them running as well and I did manage to start near the front, so it helped me gain position from the start.  I managed to set a PR and come in at 24:07.  Amazing really since I didn't feel like I was in great 5K shape.  Maybe all the extra pilates is showing that it is worth something??  I would LOVE to get a 5K time under 24 minutes, but I am quite happy that I did as well as I did!

No prizes... except for maybe Son who was collecting cash, but I was happy and felt at least a little justified in being able to have a big turkey dinner and a little bit of pie!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

November 5K #1

Our church sponsored a Turkey Trot 5K the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Son and I decided that we were going to do it as a warm up to our official Turkey Trot that we would later be doing on Thanksgiving day. 

It was a beautiful day for a run.  It was at a small park and the participants got to run along the running/bike path.  It was a small run as well.  There were a variety of events taking place in town that weekend, inlcuding the end of many soccer seasons and a very large bicycle event in which people from all over the world come to see and participate in.  So, there were only about 35 people total who participated in the run.  Which might be why I came in first overall in the womens and first in my age group!  Son came in first in his as well, though he was quite disappointed in the results since he had been a lot faster at the run in October.  That's what will happen when you don't run for a month Son.  Some lessons are harder to learn than others! 

It was the first, and probably the only time ever, that I was told by someone that I was fast.  And the person had a straight face as well!  For the record, I did PR with a time of 24:12.


We didn't have anyone to take pictures for us and I didn't want to explain the quirky phone on my cell phone to anyone, so here were are in our self portrait to document the moment!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life happens.

Work.

Cook.

Laundry.

Dishes.

Drive kids places.

Clean bathrooms.

Balance checkbook.

Grocery shop.

Cut coupons.

Youth church activities.

Vaccum

Repeat.

I shouldn't complain, but these are the main reasons that I didn't get the 83 mile challenge completed during the month of October.  I had GREAT intentions, but, as we see, intentions aren't everything.  I need to make more time in my life to run and not feel guilty that the laundry isn't done or that dinner will be late.  Easier said than done.  Add to the mix a weekend in the mountains, a sore throat, and a morning that I slept through my alarm by one whole hour (!), and my grand total was 61.01 miles run. 

November will be better.  Either a new challenge will be issued by Tall Mom, or, I'll continue on and try again for the 83 mile challenge on my own.  I'm off to a good start with November 1st happening and I'm up one 4 mile run! 

And, November brings a couple of fun events... my church is sponsoring a 5K on November 20th - (free!) and then my family always runs in the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot... not free but always lots of fun (think straw bales to leap over and mud puddles to either jump or leap over!)

Our mountain weekend proves that there is fall happening somewhere...
But, also contributed to my not finishing my 83 miles for October!
Here's to a more balanced November!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

As the day began, my family found ourselves standing at the start line of the annual Get Moving Tucson 5K and 10 mile run.  The weather was crisp, fall weather, still shorts and t-shirts, but this is the desert we live in.  Any temperature below 80º is crisp and fall!  I was very thankful that it was a good twenty degrees cooler than at the same time last week when I was doing my final long training run. 

Son wasn't too happy to have his picture taken, but I know he was pretty excited to be there.  How?  He got out of bed *willingly*... which is a feat and a half if you take into account the attitude of a 13 year old boy!  He was also pretty excited that it wasn't 100º out, which seemed to be the case for almost every cross country race he was in this fall. 

My friend Ann was also in town visiting this weekend, so, even though she wasn't sure about doing this event, she signed up at the last minute after her kids decided to get up at an insane, predawn time.  I'm even more impressed since she is pregnant, due in April, running on very little sleep, and still turned out to do the 5K.  I'm not sure I would have done the same.


All runners started at the same time, but split off in different directions about a quarter mile into the race.  Philip was out like a bunny and finished in under 20 minutes.  He was 17th overall.  Pretty good for a field of about 400 people!  He was disappointed that they divided winning age groups into five year increments, except for the under 20 crowd, so, his time wasn't all that fast when you're running against college kids, but, if he had been in a normal under 14 age group, prizes would have been going his way!  As you can see from the picture, he and Ann finished in plenty of time to take advantage of the yummy treats at the finish line.  I was still out running.

My goal was to finish in under 1:30.  I did 1:29:11.  Yay for me!  I was exact middle of the pact, eleventh in my age group, nothing special.  It was lots of fun being on a new run though.  We went through lots of warehouse type districts just south of downtown.  I saw some funky brick walls that it would be fun to take photos of my kids in front of someday.  I figured out what the Basket Bridge is after having heard about it for years.  Not only did I run under it, I ran over it as well!  Then, I looked up at one point when I got to the part of the run that was at the turn around of an out and back, and downtown looked SO far away.  It didn't help that my left butt cheek was sore.  Not horribly, but I could feel it with every step I took.  That and I drank too much water before the race and needed a porta potty.  By about mile 7, I had succumbed to the fact that porta pottys were not going to materialize at any point in the last 3 miles, my bum was going to be sore no matter what I did, so I just sucked it up and enjoyed the view and running in the middle of a normally busy street.  Would I do it all again?  Yes... just hopefully this next time I would be smart enough to empty my bladder before I began.  I'll let you know about the bottom soreness... it still is today. 
Finished!
Special thanks to Daughter who came and took pictures and watched Ann's kids while we were off running to fame and glory... or at least some well deserved pastries!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Race day is almost upon us!

I'm excited for tomorrow to happen.  Mostly.

I'm excited because this race is part of a much larger festival that is huge for this city.  I'm excited to be racing in an event with Son.  I'm excited that it's going to be a beautiful morning weather-wise here.  I'm excited that I get to run on streets that will be closed to traffic.  I'm excited to go try some yummy ethnic food after the race. 

I will soon be able to wear my newest t-shirt!
I'm not excited that I have had a sore throat this week.  I'm not excited that I only ran on Thursday morning because that was the first day I actually felt like getting out of bed.  I'm really not excited that my voice sounds like someone who's smoked a pack or two a day for the last 50 years.

Cool socks, but could his bedroom be any messier??
I did take Son to go pick up our bib numbers and shirts today.  Son decided that he would buy some new running socks while we were at the Running Shop today.  I think they look like a fun thing to wear in a race.  I hope he does well! (I hope I finish! GULP!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My next hot run...

Will have someone running along next to me carrying this.  And if it happens to be next to a beach, all the better!  I got started later than I planned yesterday and it was hot.  Summer hot.  It wasn't so bad when there was shade, but that full force sun was killing me.  Did I mention it was only 8am?  I did manage to get in 9.7 miles (the 10 miler is in a week!), but those last few miles were laced with hallucinations of popcicles, ice cold sodas, and Icees.  I got home to none of that (not even any cold water in the fridge!), so I found some frozen cherries in the freezer.  Heaven.  It was better for me in the long run than the items in my dreams!

My new October total is 13.7 miles. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

I need to quit finding cute shirts.


I hope someone is getting all of these cute shirts this week!

This has certainly been the week of me seeing cute shirts I want.  My bank account would really be suffering if I had ordered all of them at this point!  So, yes, I am back to tell you about *more* cute shirts.  If you have been getting them all, know that I am really jealous and want to come raid your closet.  I came across Running Chics today... and I really think this belongs in my fall wardrobe.  I would love to have one so much that I even found a blog giveaway for one.  Crossing my fingers that I win!

And, October is off to a great start with 4 sluggish miles run this morning.  Yes, they were horribly sluggish.  I won't even tell you what my pace was.  I prefer to call it "slogging". I then went off and found an 83 mile challenge to do for October.  Only 79 miles left! (It had better cool down LOTS soon!  It was 103ºF yesterday!).  Happy Friday and have a happy running weekend as well!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Running... a family thing!

Son just finished up his junior high cross country season on Tuesday.  He went out thinking he was going to do really well.... and, well, I was scared to watch!  So many scenarios went through my mind... nothing horribly bad, just him not doing as well as he wanted to for one reason or another.  In short, the mom in me didn't want him to be disappointed.  He ended up coming in 7th.  It was a pretty exciting eleven plus minutes (If I could only run 1.9 miles even CLOSE to that time!).  I watched with my eyes half shut.  Maybe scared if I watched I would jinx him?  I don't know.  He got a medal though.  The team came in second in the division... one point separated them and the champions!
Not a photo from this week's race, but I love the determination in his face!
Meanwhile, Husband is trying to decide whether or not to run a December marathon.  He's never done one before.  Neither have I, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer on the subject, other than spousal support.  It sounds intriguing.  Running a marathon is on my list of things I would like to do by age 40.  It will take a lot of planning to get one to work.  Getting the mileage in at this point would kill me.  Well, not kill me, but the laundry would pile up (not that it doesn't already!) and we would end up subsisting on processed food (have I mentioned my obsession lately with trying to eat more food that is less processed??).  Only 2.5 years to work it into my schedule.  Maybe we will come into some sort of inheritance during that time in which I can hire a maid and a cook.

I love this shirt.  I'd buy them for the whole family if Daughter was a runner!  I saw them on Mel's blog with her cute kids wearing them.  Too bad dancing is Daughter's thing or they would make for a great Christmas picture!

What is it about me finding cute t-shirts this week?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Five things...

That made my Sat morning 9 mile run worth it...

5. Feeling strong the whole time I was out.  While running along, I did my mental body check and realized that I felt great!

4. Knowing that this was a much better run than the ones that had happened all week long.  Monday's run was hot (85º @ 4:30am) and Wednesday's run was taken over by being followed by a dog.  Once I found out that it was not going to savagely attack me, it ran 2 miles with me.  But then I spent a half hour trying to figure out where it lived.  Friday, well, I was looking forward to the weekend and was not being as focused as I should have been!

3. I ate a whole bunch of York Mints when I got home.  The kind that are really bad for you.  These were probably especially bad since they were pumpkin shaped and artificial orange color for Halloween.  I earned the calories though!  Later my husband brought me home some mint chocolate fudge from his Saturday adventures.  I guess one day of bad nutrition won't kill me!

2. It was day light.  As much as I like running when the world is quiet, it is nice to see the sun and realize that there are other people out doing their morning runs as well.  I'm now normally getting home from mine now quite a while before the sun breaks over the ridge in the east, so it was nice to enjoy other people being around.

1. Nine miles.  I hadn't run that in quite some time and I have hope that this weekend's run will be even better.  I did it at my normal race pace without even trying that hard... it makes me want to think that if everything is as good as it was this past weekend on race day, that ten miles will just fly by!

And, I just came across this website in my inbox... it looks like they have lots of fun shirts... and the company was started by some running moms.  If anyone is interested in sending me one, well, I wouldn't complain! ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Worldwide Festival of Races

I've been hearing more and more about the Worldwide Festival of Races event that is going on the weekend of Oct 9-10, 2010.  In short, it's a way for runners around the world to get out and run a distance of their choosing in their local, but feel connected to runner's everywhere.  You can do it by yourself, with friends, or sign up for a formal event.  The point is to have fun!  I finally went and checked the website out and was excited to realize that I am running in an event that weekend... my 10 mile race... so I thought I might as well hop of the WWFoR bandwagon since it's free to enter and you get a virtual goody bag as well!  This is the way to do it - make one events count for two!  If you're interested, the link is here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A couple of fun things...

I've found while web surfing the past couple of days...

Nike ad You pretended the snooze button didn’t exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate their pancakes you had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you.


You ran 5Ks, 10Ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior.


You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer’s tan.


You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be man about it. You decided to be woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your interval odometer. For 25 years, you ran. And we ran with you. How much farther will we go? As far as you willl. 

(Thanks Life as I See It!)  While I'm not running in Nike products, you've got to admitt their ad execs did a pretty good job of hitting the nail on the head!

I loved this video... not because I'm planning on getting remarried (once was enough!), but just that they lady saw a need for a product and went out there and was able to make it a reality.  That and you have to say it's a pretty fun option if you have to get married while running a marathon!



(Thanks RLAM!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Growing up...

One of the best parts of being a mom is seeing your kids grow and develop.  Sometimes it seems like they don't do it fast enough - like when they want the cereal box down early in the morning and all you want to do is sleep.  There are times that it seems like it's going way too fast as well.  Take Son for instance.  He's been running cross country as part of his school team for the past couple of years.  He loves his Saucony shoes as well and was a little green with envy when I was trying on my new pair just as he was getting home from practice the other day.  To show how "worn out" his were, he wanted to compare his feet to mine.  I was a little shocked when he put his foot next to mine and it looked so grown up.  I knew his foot was much bigger than mine, but, I wasn't prepared for the "grown up-ness" of it!  I guess I needed a physical reminder to remember he's really not as little as I want him to be anymore!  The quote "The days are long but the years are short" certainly is how I'm feeling looking at this photo.  Now if I could just get him to get out of bed and run with ME in the mornings!  Gone are the days of him dragging me out of bed for cereal.

Can you believe he's only 13?


Friday, September 17, 2010

To believe or not to believe...

That is the question.  I have a Nike Plus attachment for my iPod Nano.  It wasn't anything I really planned on purchasing, but I ended up with a $50 gift card for the Nike store, and since I don't run in Nike, this is what I came up with to buy (that and a sports watch).  I started using it in April.  I read some reviews about it and people were pretty happy except for a few thought the mileage was a little off.  I was on the fence.  I run about 4 miles around my little neighborhood (one small loop = 1/2mi, one large loop = 3/4 mi).  I think I start and stop at the same place everyday and it tells me something different everyday... one day with be 4.09 miles and the next day will be 4.15 miles.  One day it was even 3.99 miles.  I thought I had finally decided to believe it at the Labor Day race when I wore it and it measured the 8 mile course as 8.08 miles.  I thought that was pretty accurate and decided to believe what it was telling me. 

Until this morning.

Remember, I have a 10 mile race coming up in less than a month?  It's still 103ºF out here with no relief in sight.  I have a volunteer commitment in the morning for which I have to get up at 4:30am and it won't be over until 7:30am.  I really don't want to run in the heat after that.  My choice today was to squeeze in 5 miles instead of getting through my normal 4.  I thought tacking on 2 more small neighborhood loops to my 4 mile course would easily make 5 miles.  When I finished it told me that I had run 4.85 miles.  This did not make my day.

So do I believe this gadget or not?  Is it one of those things you believe when it is convenient to do so and ignore it when it isn't?  Do I believe I ran 5 miles this morning?  Or did I need to run by a few more houses to make sure of it?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nothing like the intoxicating smell of...

New shoe rubber!  I'm going to be completely honest here and admit that I ignore when to replace running shoes.  At $100+ a pop, I see no reason to replace them every 300-500 miles unless they are really bothering you.  I have not as of yet had knee/ankle/foot related issues.  Would I like to replace them sooner?  Yes!  Who wouldn't want that new shoe smell wafting out of a beautiful cardboard box at them?  But, until I find a long lost uncle who has died and left his Gates-eque inheritance to me, I will be buying them on a "as needed" basis.  My current shoes have close to 800 miles on them.  They are high end shoes, so I guess you get what you pay for.  I suppose that $40 Kohls shoes wouldn't have fared so well (though wouldn't it be nice to wish for that?!?).

Without further ado, here are the shoes I've been wanting for a while.  They are Saucony Triumphs.  I've been wearing the style for a while, but never in such a cute color.  I think this is acutally the first pair of running shoes I've had that I actually *want* to wear.  I wonder if I will want to wear them more at 4:30am?


Long awaited new shoes!
 And, the other thing this picture tells me?  I need new socks now.  Ick.  I think these socks have been around a really long time and are not as white as I believed!  Now off to run faster, longer, and stronger!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I did what?

Went and signed up for another race.  I must have been out of my mind, but on the euphoria that follows having fun at one race, I thought I might as well.  This time though, it's 10 miles.  And I don't remember the last time I ran 10 miles.  What have I gotten myself into?  It sounds fun... runs through downtown the morning of a huge weekend festival... but all of a sudden, after I have dropped the check in the mail, I am a bit overwhelmed thinking about it.  Well, not the race per se, just the having time to train for it.  I was thinking long run tomorrow.  Probably not going to happen since Son has a cross country race in the morning and has to be at school at 6:45 am, and me watching him at his race at 8am.  Too bad it's still in the 90s here or I'd go afterwards.

The plus to this race?  There is a 5K that is offered as well and Son agreed to do it.  It should be fun with the both of us involved!

Anyone else is welcome to join us - but the early registration deadline has passed... click here for details!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Race results!

The Saguaro race came along sooner than I thought it would - and before I knew it, Labor Day weekend was here and I had only run the 8 mile length once in the last month.  Really, the last few months if we are being completely honest!  I knew I had been doing the hill run every Monday, but it's only a 4.5 mi jaunt, and half of it is downhill!  Yes, I know, the Saguaro course starts and ends in the same place, but that hill... it seems like it just won't stop!

So, out of bed early on Labor Day and out across town.  My husband decided to do it with me, after all, it's more fun with a friend.  The lazy kids didn't want anything to do with being at a race at 6:30 on a day off from school, so, home they stayed!  We made it with only 10 minutes to spare before race time - which is really off for us.  Usually we are there with plenty of time to spare.  At least we didn't have to wait around a long time for the start!

Still standing after the race!
(And notice my cute running skirt?)
And, then the gun went off and out we went.  Because we had gotten there so late, we were pretty far back in the pack.  It just made for a lot of dodging and dashing in and out of groups of people the first mile or so.  It's kind of hard to enjoy that first mile when you are trying not to run into anyone.  It was hotter than I remember past years being at the start.  Maybe because in past years there was a little cloud cover right at sunrise (that would quickly disappear), but there wasn't any to speak of this year.  Then three miles in, the dreaded hill came.  But, I noticed a difference.  This was not the unspeakable hill of Monday mornings.  This didn't seem as bad as I had remembered it and I kept wondering when the pain would start, after all, I was bracing for it as this was my fourth year to do this course.  It never happened.  And the hill ended and I ran on.  Maybe there was something to gettng up and doing the Hill on Monday mornings?  Too bad after the big hill was conquered, I got a side stitch that never really left.

Final results.  Me: 1:12:38.  I lost two minutes somewhere between last year and this year, but, I'm just going to chalk it up to experience... and resolve to do better for my fifth Saguaro run!  After all, there is a year to train for it!  And, thirteenth in my age group doesn't seem so bad, really.  Though, the kids aren't really impressed when I tell them I was 244th overall.  Hubby: Well, he beat me by about 20 seconds or so.  Darn him.  I could see him the entire time, I just couldn't catch him. 

The even better news?  I was not sore on Tuesday.  After the first year of doing this race, I couldn't walk very well for days afterwards.  The next couple of years I could definately feel that I had done something strenuous.  This year, I couldn't tell a thing!  Yay!  I think the Hill is working!

Stay tuned for my next racing decision coming soon.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The end is near!

Not the end of the world - the end of summer!  At least that's what I hear is happening in other parts of the country.  I was very skeptical to hear this until this morning when I got up and while it was still muggy, it was slightly cooler than it has been in the past few blistering weeks.  Trust me, I'm an expert on this.  I've had sweat running down my elbows in the past few weeks while standing completely still in the shade, not to mention the sweat that's run all over me while actually *running*!  There is a change in the air, and while it may not be completely obvious to the average human, because really it's still a good month until the thermometer will be under 100ºF for the year, I am quite confident that fall is on it's way!

Too bad my run this morning was completely me in survival mode.  I was thinking what a great run it would be since it was slightly cooler, but, suddenly, my stomach was hurting.  And not just a little bit.  A lot.  The top, the bottom, and everywhere in between.  It was like having a side stitch and stomach cramps all at the same time.  If I didn't have this race in a week that I've bought and paid for, I would have turned tail and gone home... but, since I haven't run more than 6 miles in quite a while, and my Labor Day race is an 8 miler, I felt the need to prove it to myself that it can be done.  I went into what I fondly call "slog" mode - a slow jog... in which little old ladies and their petite dogs were passing me.  I probably looked as horrible as I felt.  When I was at 8.5 miles, I decided to walk the rest of the way home not needing to feel like I should prove anything else to anyone, even though I was still 3/4 mi away from my house.  I had "slogged" 8.5mi already, so really I had proved it to myself that it could be done.  Hopefully on Labor Day my stomach will cooperate!  And, of course, once I got home, showered, and breakfast in me, I've felt fine ever since.  Figures.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kicking and screaming!

That's how I dragged myself out the door and up the hill this morning - kicking and screaming all the way.  I thought I was too tired.  I thought I had stayed up too late and gotten up too early this whole weekend.  It was hot.  It was humid.  There were many undone chores at home.  My iPod was dead.  And the sun wasn't up.  My lazy self begged to stay in bed, but my practical self, the one who spent $25 to sign up for a hilly race in 2 weeks and also looks to see how tight or loose my clothes are, made me get up and go.  Like a mean mother, I had to shame myself into doing it this morning.  I bribed myself with the cold car a/c on full blast all the way home.  Thankfully my practical self was stronger than my lazy self this morning!  And that a/c was just perfect!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back in the swing of things!

After being in and out of town for most of July, I am back to reality... which really means that I have had to spend the last couple of weeks getting caught up on all those things that pile up while you're gone.  That and it's been back to school for the kids and back to work for me.  And it's about a million degrees outside (only slightly exaggerated!) and at least 99% humidity (it really has to be no matter what the weather guy says!), thus making any running I'm doing right now a true and complete joy (she says with sarcasm dripping off her voice and running on to the floor).  This year is a little tougher as far as morning runs go because schedules have changed, mine and the kids, so, in order to get out the door in the morning on time, I have had to cancel the 5am run.  Yes, you heard right.  But, I did instate the 4:30am run instead, which so far, isn't really as bad as it sounds mostly because I am making myself be in bed at 9:30pm.  Honestly, by that time in the evening, it's not hurting my feelings one little bit to do it either.  I am a bit worried about winter and the motivation factor on this, but I guess I'll jump off that bridge when I get there!

Next up?  I have signed up for the annual local Labor Day run (8mi) I have done for the past 3 years.  I am hoping to get a couple of long runs in soon because that's been the part of my training that has been lacking the most.  But, I have sent the check in, so I'm completely and totally committed!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do Not Follow My Example

I've been out of town for the past week.  My family went to Channel Islands National Park for some backpacking/camping adventures.  We then spent a couple of days in Ventura, CA before heading home.  Those two mornings we woke up in a hotel room instead of a tent, I had great intentions of getting up and running in the cool sea air.  Laziness set it and it didn't happen.  Now here I am back home and I just got home from my first run in over a week.  It was horribly hot and humid.  I take back all of my favorite reasons to run it summer and claim they are only true in June before the humidity kicks in.  It was 90 degrees when I was out this morning (6am) and really felt like I was stiffer than a board.  It wasn't a great run... but at least it was a run, especially since I am now off to church girl's camp for a week as a leader, and I don't see a lot of running going on there.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Something new...

For me at least!  I joined a gym.  I had been wanting a place to swim since last summer.  I learned how to swim "for reals" last summer and now have delusions of someday doing a tri.  Right after my marathon I suppose! ;)  But, as for swimming, I'm not fast at all... it takes me about an hour to do 20 laps.. seriously, it's embarrasing!  But, I do enjoy it and think it would be great cross training in addition to running.  My only problem was finding a pool that was open year round and didn't have high school swim team practice right when I actually could go as seemed to be the case with every pool near here.  My supportive husband finally decided enough was enough and called around and even took me around for the Local Tour of the Gyms.  Actually, I think he just has his own delusions of me looking like Kelly Ripa or someone!  No one told him besides a gym, she also has a nanny, a cook, and a driver, not to mention a maid and a laundress!

I decided that I need to get my money's worth out of this membership and went on Monday afternoon.  Only to find out that Aqua Fitness class was going on.  OK.  Note to self, check class schedule before you leave the house.  I was wearing flip flops (I'm seeing a trend of not enough planning here!) and so I rode the stationary bike and did a few of the machines for my abs.  It made me tired enough!

Today I was out to try to swim again.  Look at class schedule (which is now hanging on my fridge).  Hey, there's a spin class in 20 minutes, maybe I should go?  Throw stuff in bag, including bike shoes, towels, goggles, socks, water... I feel like I'm packing for an expedition!  Go to gym with 10 min to spare before the spin class.  Only to look inside and every single bike is taken.  Hello people.  It's 9:15 on a Wednesday morning.  Don't you guys have to be at work or something?  And how come when I was over here on Monday and saw a class going on only half of the bikes are filled?  Plan B.  Go ride stationary bike again.  This time, I programmed a hill workout.  Yes, it was difficult, but good.  I finished and decided to do a couple of the ab machines again... ouch!  I had no idea how much my middle section hurt until I tried to do a crunch type move.  I guess I did do something on Monday!  I did make my way to the pool after all of this as well.  The water felt divine after the sweat I had worked off on the bike.  Maybe I should have stayed and ran on the treadmill to give me my own mini tri feeling?  Nah.  I really don't love treadmills and would much rather be outside to run.

I think this gym thing could work out.  I just need to figure out a schedule for it and get a plan together.  I feel guilty about it for serveral reasons already.  One, it costs money.  Two, my husband doesn't get to go and I know he would enjoy it. Three, time away from home/kids/stuff I should be doing. 

I'm sure once I've been there a few times I'll have all the bugs worked out and not have a sore middle anymore as well.  I'm hoping all this extra work makes me a stronger runner as well. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

The funniest thing I've seen all month!

I had great plans to go back to the "hill" and run this morning.  Somehow it didn't happen.  I guess I turned off my alarm and rolled over, and by the time I realized it, it really was too late to get up and over there before it got horribly hot.  So, instead I went for a run along my favorite "river" walk, but making myself go a longer distance than I had planned because I didn't go to the "hill". 

I was running along, cursing the fact that I ever came up with a "Why I Love Summer" list since it was so humid and hot that even at this early time in the day I was about to become a grease spot on the asphalt.  Really, I kept wondering what was touching my arm only to realize it was sweat pouring off myself and running down my arms.  Yuck.  I think I really should have come up with the "Why I Need to Move Someplace Else in the Summer" list!  This might also explain the fact that the riverwalk was almost empty today.  People were smart enough to stay inside!

Then I saw this sign.  I had to stop and take a picture of it.  Some poor county worker must have never got around to covering it up for the summer.  Acutally, this sign has not been needed since February I think.  We really only get a handful of days per year that this sign is even useful.  Certainly not today!  I had to giggle.

At least there was a cool plus to my run today though - a coyote ran across the walk down into the riverbed... followed by a baby coyote!  I see coyotes on occasion, but never their babies!  I hope they were looking for cooler places to spend the day!

I know I am!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Run Like a Mother winner...

From the random drawing... pulled from the hat by my daughter... Amanda!  I've emailed you Amanda!  Congrats and happy reading!

Hope you all are running someplace great this weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer running adventure!

Well, maybe adventure isn't quite the right word for this, but, I did run someplace new.  There is a hill here in town where the tv/radio stations have their transmitters, the local university has research stations, and there is even a large telescope.  Wildlife is all around.  There is a paved path up to the top.  It's not long, only 3.1 miles roundtrip - but - it's a great hill workout!  It has an elevation gain of 730 ft... which means you get that gain in about a mile and a half as you zig zag your way to the top.  Yes, my lungs were burning.  Yes, I walked a few feet when I got near the top.  But, the view when you get to the top is beautiful, especially at sunrise, and going down is a breeze!  I made the trip in 33 minutes total, and better yet, I lived to tell about it!  I don't get to do hill workouts that often.  My neighborhood is about as flat as it gets.  Surprisingly, I am not really sore this morning!  I can tell that I did something different than normal, but I don't have that horrid "I don't want to stand up much less move" pain that you get when you've truly overdone it.

I knew about this hill for years but never made the effort to go check it out.  Maybe because from a distance it's ugly?  Or maybe because it reached out of my comfort zone?  I shouldn't have put it off because now I've found a great place to do hills.  Lesson learned!

*Photo - not the acutal hill but the view of the path from the bottom.  I'm kicking myself now for not getting a picture of the actual (ugly) hill or the view from the top!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Run Like a Mother Review and Book Giveaway!



Have you ever seen a book and just knew that it was a book you HAD to read just from the title? That’s what I thought when I was reading Runner’s World and noticed that Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea were coming out with a new book called Run Like a Mother. It sounded like a book that was meant for me! I have followed Dimity and Sarah for a few years, back when they ran a blog called Marathon Mom’s through the Runner’s World website. Though they decided to move on to bigger and better projects, I still miss their commentary so I was thrilled to hear about their new book!


Their publisher, Andrews McMeel, was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review. I have had this book for over two months now. I have been trying to read it. But, like any book I seem to pick up lately, I get through about five minutes of it before I am waking up two hours, and one stiff neck later! If I was reading this book in my young and single years, I would have probably blazed through it in an evening because it was so fun to read, but, then, if I was young and single, I probably wouldn’t have been reading this book!

Dimity and Sarah tell it like it is. You can tell they have walked these Running Mom trenches for a few years and know exactly what they are writing about.  They know and share how challenging it is to be a runner and a mom.  I found myself nodding my head in agreement throughout the book because what they said was so familiar.  They talk about everything from running while pregnant to sports bras and everything in between. They take turns writing different chapters and have also included quotes from running moms around the world on topics ranging from “What’s your ideal racing distance?” to “How do you cope with time away from running?” Even if you are a seasoned mom runner, just knowing there are hundreds (if not thousands!) of other moms out there trying to balance running and motherhood is a great reason to read this book!

You can follow Dimity and Sarah through the RLAM website, Run Like a Mother

Want to win my copy? While I love this book, since it was a gift from the publisher, I have decided to give it away to one lucky reader. The corner’s aren’t even that bent from me falling asleep on it so often!

How to enter – leave a comment below and tell me why you would like this book. Earn an additional entry by becoming a Running Around on Empty follower and leaving another comment to let me know (or if you already are a follower, let me know that too!).  Contest closes Thursday, June 24, 2010 at midnight MST. Winner will be randomly drawn from the posted comments at that time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I love running in summer!

Yes, you heard me right - sometimes I really love running in the summer... even though I live in a climate that June, July, August, and even September can melt the rubber right off of your shoes midstride. As I was running along this morning, I was thinking of all the reasons I really like summer running...

* The sun comes up early. OK - maybe I have to get up and run early as well, but this gives me a couple of uninterrupted, kid free hours to myself that I wouldn't have if I slept in. You know I love the darlings, but quiet is nice too!

* I get to run something other than my little neighborhood. I get to go places and see other people run, walk, and bike. While I am not a huge social runner (perhaps because of my crazy times to run and having to work around family schedules), it is nice to see other people out and know that I'm not the only person out there.

* My everyday runs are now as long as my winter "long" runs. I don't have to be at work by a specific time. I don't have to make sure that the kids have gotten out of bed. I have time to actually spend running, instead of dashing through a run to speed home and make breakfast and haul kids out of bed.

* Sweat. Well, maybe it's not my favorite part of summer, but it sure makes me feel like I've actually done something... and really deserve a shower. Truthfully, I don't just deserve a shower, I need one - I can't even stand myself! Today was one of those days!

* Weight loss. Ha! It's not true weight loss, but have you ever weighed yourself before a run and then gone on the just talked about sweaty summer run? You've never lost weight as fast as you do this way. So, may it's not so permanent... but a girl can dream - right?

Yes, there are probably a lot more reasons out there than this as to why I hate running in the summer, but why worry about it? Summer's here and I have to opportunity to get out there and go! If I could only figure out how to embrace why sunscreen running in your eyes is good as well!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Still running...

Yes, I'm still around. The end of the school year with all the kid activities kind of put a limit on my posting, but now that's all done with and I'm back! The best part is that I can run everyday on a local river trail here... well, mostly trail because it is just a big ditch 99% of the time. This makes me happy because it gets old running 9 months out of the year around and around and around my neighborhood. Good to know that Shirtless Man with Weights is still walking the trail and so are Lady with Knee Braces and Dog. And how could I forget Man Who Sounds Like He's Having an Asthma Attack? I wonder if they've missed me?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

No Sugar month is up!

We've been so good around here avoiding sugar... walking past cake and doughnut covered tables at work, avoiding the jelly bean bags at my mother in law's house, even subbing a fruit smoothie for an ice cream on our date night. My one cheat day for my birthday was great - Cheesecake Factory and really yummy ice cream cake w/peanut butter crunchies in it! Other than my birthday, self control has been queen!

Today, it being May 2nd, my friend Ann called to tell me that a package was out on my car... and I went out thinking that it was just a plain old FedEx box... only to get back in and open it to discover... well, I'll just say that six hours ago this was a whole cake. Complete with cherries and chocolate shavings. She's been in with us on the whole no sugar experiment and told me that she's dropped 1.5lbs, me, about 2 lbs, and my husband, he's told me he's been dropping about 2lbs a week! It just goes to show what complete sugar addicts we are!
And it came at a perfect time... we've had bad colds here this week - mine getting worse this weekend - I now sound like a frog - but - I spent the day lounging around napping and reading a book I got for my birthday - quite a guilty pleasure actually - I usually at least pretend to be busy - today I let it all go and had no excuse except for my headache and croaky voice.
Thus, I haven't run since Tuesday... since Wednesday was my "off" day and by Thursday I was starting to feel cruddy. I'm hoping for better this next week since it's great weather for running right now - especially at 5am and the sun is just barely peeking over the mountains and the air is just cool enough to feel great once you get warmed up!
So, lesson learned... I really shouldn't eat as much sugar as I do, so, I am going to try and do better - not only because of the weight lost, but because I really do know deep down it's not that great for me and that in the month off from it, I've eaten a lot more fruits and veggies to a)get my mind off of dessert and b)because I could ingest the extra calories since I wasn't having to avoid them because of too much dessert!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Johnson & Johnson,

I am writing to tell you how much I like your bandaids, especially the large, knee sized ones. I have used your product on my children for years. Your bandaids have covered their cuts and scrapes, both real and imagined. They even loved to wear them as badges of honor even when they really didn't have a cut, but it made them feel better anyway. In the past couple months though, I have come to appreciate them myself. For instance, the month of February saw me using a very large amount of them due to the knee injury I incurred while trail running. They covered my wounds and kept other infections out.

Unfortunately for me (I guess not so much for you), I had to get the large knee sized bandaids out again as I tripped and fell in the last two steps of my run while trying to hit the "walk" button at the intersection so I could cross and go home (yes, no one stopped as this did happen in front of a bar and I'm sure the passing drivers thought I had just had one too many!). This was not nearly as serious and my last fall, and only resulted in a skinned knee and elbow, but it was very embarrassing to have to tell my friends and colleagues, so it was nice to be able to hide the scrape under one of your bandaids. I even went and ran the next day with one of your bandaids attached to my knee just to prove I am not a complete klutz. The good news is that it stayed on for the whole 4.7 miles. Maybe you should start advertising in issues of Trail Runner magazine?


Thanks again for a great product!


Amy


P.S. I have since run six times and not fallen once.!


P.P.S. I have enclosed the picture of my shoe with two large drops of blood on it as I didn't think you probably wanted to see what my knee looks like!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Four point fives miles

Out for my 5am run. I'm on a schedule you know! I need to get back by 6am so that I can make sure Daughter is out the door at 6:30am with a full stomach and knowing her mom cares. And all the other morning things that have to do with getting yourself ready for wor and another kid up. I am out running.... it's getting lighter out every morning the last couple of weeks. I am having a hard time knowing what time it is. Clock? Watch? Nah. I have a phone with me, but who wants make the effort to look? It's already hard enough being out here.

My neighborhood can be run in two kinds of circles. A big one and a small one. I feel like a mouse on a wheel some mornings. Four miles equals 5 little laps and 2 big laps. I keep count on my fingers. This morning, it's a little warmer as well. I ran for a bit with my jacket on, but left it in my driveway on lap 2... or was it 3? I didn't move my fingers for the count on that lap? Or did I? Oh well... I'm sure I have only run 2 laps - there's no way I would have kept the jacket on for 3 laps.

Back home. Done. Clock says 6:07 and Daughter is wondering why I am late. It must have been 3 laps after all when I ditched the jacket.

Unknowingly I have added a 1/2 mile to my weekly log without trying! Too bad I'm a bit behind now in the rat race this morning!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Challenge month!

One of the things I do when I run is listen to podcasts. I don't do it any other time, just when I run... just for that extra motivation! One of my favorite podcasts is the Nutrition Diva - she always gives you food for thought (haha!) and sometimes a challenge or two. A few podcasts ago, she was talking diet. Somehow the challenge of skipping sugar for a month came up. It seemed like a novel idea. I didn't think too much about it until my husband (who is a listener as well) brought it up. So, we decided to go for it. I'm not talking reading every label out there, but just avoiding those things that are obvious sugar sources... like the cinnamon rolls and jelly beans from Easter that have invaded my house.

And, I get one cheat day. Only because my birthday is this month and I am asking for a trip to the new Cheesecake Factory that has opened near my house. Other than that, I can just skip it all! I want to see if avoiding the sugar helps me a) lose any extra weight (mostly belly fat) and b) makes me feel any better or go any faster while running.

Day one was today and I've just about made it through. I need to give my son this bag of jelly beans that has been taunting me all afternoon as I've been working in the kitchen. I'm sure he will make quick work of it! What kind of mom am I? Giving my son a half full bag of jelly beans to gorge on???!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break?

Well, here I am. At the tail end of the week I had been looking forward to. The week that everyone who works in the school system looks forward to starting the day we return from Winter Vacation. Spring Break. I had planned to run everyday. After all, here in the desert, it is spring! Warm days, cool nights, the smell of citrus flowers in the breeze. This is one of the reasons I stay here (she says as she is trying to block the images of 110 degree July days where it's a race to get the milk home before it curdles and your lungs protest at the thought of running in such horrid conditions.). I had visions of popping up every morning as soon as the sun rose and going out to do a few miles, coming home refreshed and off to conquer all of my other spring break projects like carpet cleaning, closet organizing, and small craft project finishing.

What really happened?

Not the running adventures I had planned, that's for sure! It is Thursday evening and I have run a total of ONE time since Sunday. Once. Really. Once!!! Yes, I have excuses plenty... Monday I went on a hike (do you like the picture I took while on it?)... Wednesday I thought I had too much to do (like the emergency dog food excursion, taking Son to track practice, and house vacumming)... today it was supposed to rain (but it didn't - it was just cooler weather and looked nasty). I have even managed to ignore this blog for longer than I had planned.

So, I have really two days left of my spring break (Sunday doesn't count - it's Easter)... I am resolving to make the best of it and run both days. It's not that I don't want to... I'm just lazy. I guess I had Spring Fever during Spring Break.

Oh yeah. And the carpet isn't clean either.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My body hates me.

Or is it just out to get me? I give it this really nice five week break from running and how does it repay me? With pain. Soreness. And exhaustion.

Yes, I'm back, but just barely! I decided that I should start out slow... no nine milers the first week and all. There I am, Monday morning, 5am I'm up and out to run, um, two miles. I know, for most people two miles is a huge accomplishment. I know this and hate telling people that my short, morning runs are four miles. I guess I figure that if I'm going to make the effort to get out and run, especially when whether you run two, four, or nine miles, you have to take a shower, I might as well make the most of it. The two miles felt a little different, but I think it was mostly due to having an inactive knee for so long. That night my family had many things to celebrate in addition to my running again, so I managed to make up any calories I might have burned off at Olive Garden (but *YUM* it was worth it!!).

Tuesday morning. Five AM I'm up and out again. Should I try doing 2.5 miles? 3 miles? Yeah. After my first few steps into it, I quickly realize that whatever that place on your body is called... where your legs attach on is quite, well, stretched and sore feeling. I was doing really good to slog 2 miles out again. Slog was really the perfect word in that situation. I was quite glad it was still dark and there weren't any witnesses except for the stray cat or two.

Wednesday morning. Leg attaching place still feels weirdly stretched, so I decide to take a rest day. Thursday and Friday and were great, though very slow with 2.5 and 3 miles respectively.

Saturday morning comes along and it's a beautiful day. Perfect spring weather for a run. It doesn't get much better than this. My husband had been out running and felt the need to tell me that I should go for a nice long run... until he remembered the events of the last five weeks. I did go out. And, I did go for a long run. Compared to the rest of the week. A whopping 4.64mi. Too bad I was too tired to care when I got back. It felt like I had just run at least nine. I wanted a nap. Or at least a sympathetic ear. I got neither.

It upsets me that I have worked so hard to get my body to the point of being able to run when/how/where I want and then take a few weeks off and it rebels to the point of silliness. It must hate me.

But, then again, I was the one that tripped on that rock and did this to it in the first place. Maybe this is my just reward?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weigh in!

Am I the only person out there that feels like if I'm not up and moving around, the pounds just waiting to pack on? I imagine them crouched around a corner, ready to leap on my hips with a death grip at the first sign of my slowing down. Really, I know that this isn't the truth. My diet hasn't changed any. Yes, my exercise level is down, but when you do the math, sadly, I am only burning about 90 calories per mile anyway. Sidenote... how unfair is that - my husband is burning well over 100 calories per mile. The perks of being a man and 60lbs heavier than I am! Ugh!

I had not weighed myself since my knee accident happened. Excluding the scale at my doctor's office, and I don't put much stock in what it says. In the space of three months, it had me weighing 105lbs and 135lbs. Trust me, neither one was true. More like an average of the two. I knew I should see how much my weight had really changed in the last 5 weeks. Even though my pants still fit, it was something I didn't really want to find out, but felt obligated to do. I gathered the courage to stand on the scale this past Friday morning. Dumm-da-da-dum..... and the same number appeared there that had shown up 5 weeks ago. Down to the decimal point. Wait a minute. I had been banking on having a mini meltdown. Ready to drown myself in tears and chocolate. Now I had to just stare at the digtial display in disbelief. How very anti-climatic.

It must be a mental thing. Not much movement=obesity in my brain. It's not like anybody had commented on my weight gain. In fact, when I asked on Friday if I could sign up for the Biggest Loser challenge at my work, I was laughed at. As so many things in my running and fitness life, here is another mental challenge. And I'm really quite thankful that in reality it's all in my head!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 24

I was reading this month's issue of Runner's World this past week and came upon an article that struck a chord... Hell Week ... which seemed appropriately named since, if you read it is about a mom sidelined from running for a week because of an ankle injury. Well folks, we're going on almost 25 days here without a run logged by yours truly, and while I really empathize with this woman and her plight, I would like to see her on Day 14. Or Day 17. Or Day 22. It's going to take more than a bandaid from her son to make it all better. At this point, all the bandaids in the world aren't bringing running back quickly enough for me, so, unfortunately it is my family that is paying the price. My poor husband has been so sympathetic and good to me. Especially when my emotions are running from complacent to wildly tearful in the matter of a couple of minutes. He even felt bad enough to buy dinner twice last week. And offer me a new outfit. Or a new ring. It's a good thing I wasn't having a prosthetic leg put on because who knows what he would have been offering... and our budget can't afford much more than the dinners out last week! I'm sure at this point he's wondering why he didn't leave me a broken and bloody heap out on the trail.

So, long story short. Another trip to the doctor's office to find out why I wasn't magically healed. Another x-ray to make sure that there aren't hidden fractures. Nope. All good. But, the bone is bruised, no running/hiking/lower impact sports until it feels better plus two weeks for good measure. I was told this could take up to six weeks. Thank goodness that by Saturday I felt like I wasn't needing the handicapped placard anymore. In fact, today at work, lots of people noticed that I am walking at a pretty normal gait.

So, instead of counting how many days it's been since I ran, I think my new tactic will be counting down the days left until I can run. Right now we are at 12 days and counting. That sounds lots better than the 35 days it will ultimately be when I can run again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Holding it all together!

Here they are - what was holding my knee together* for the last 2 weeks. I was supposed to go to the doctor and have them taken out today, but by yesterday they were pulling so much that I couldn't stand the thought of even another 12 hours with them, much less 24, that my sweet husband volunteered to take them out for me. Actually, he really wanted to all along and this was the opportunity that he had been waiting for! So, a few snips and tugs later, there they were... out. It's amazing to me how our bodies just can regrow skin back together. And while the scab is still there, the skin is one! My daughter calls it the Miracle of Mitosis. I agree. A miracle indeed!

OK, so new problem. I am still walking funny. Like really funny. Like as in people are starting to wonder if this is permanent and I need to apply for a handicapped plate. It's stiff. It's a bit sore. It was raining this afternoon and I didn't have my umbrella with me at work. I tried to run from one awning to another. HA! I'm not even going to try to describe what this looked like, but I can assure you it was not a sight that you would like to see. It's a sight I'm trying very hard to forget. After two steps of this I could tell it was pointless and just resigned myself to walking in the rain. It's looking like it could be a battle to train myself to walk properly again, muchless run.

I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.
*There really should be one more, but somewhere in the 10 feet between the couch and the table, one was lost forever. I'm sorry that I must leave it to your imagination. Also, apologies for the terrible camera phone photo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things I Miss...

I've had a whole week now to contemplate not running... heck - I've had a whole week to miss WALKING, I've been in a state of hobbling, and most of the time, not doing a very good job of it. This whole experience has been different since I'm used to things like this happening to OTHER people, not me, in which I give them the appropriate amount of sympathy and then move on. It's a lot different when you are the one waking up every morning and remembering that the injury is STILL there. *sigh*

So, in honor of my lacking running... the things I miss and will never take for granted again...

1. Jumping out of a car and running "real quick" into a store to get one thing.

2. Getting in and out of a car without pushing the seat back.

3. Curling up in bed.

4. Climbing steps.

5. Wearing high heels.

6. Sitting on bleachers.

7. Parking at the far end of the parking lot.

8. Somebody or something brushing against my leg/knee (and me not screaming in pain!).

9. Walking with a normal gait. I'm not sure I remember how.

10. My 5am runs. If this ever gets better, you'd better believe there won't be a chance that I will ever miss one again!

One more week....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The last post title...

I'm thinking I was overly optimistic. Why? Yesterday I went on my second trail run of 2010. Unfortunately, it will be my last trail run - or any run for the next two weeks.

My husband and I decided to start our Saturday out right and get a run in before all the Saturday chores and activites got in the way. We went to one of our favorite places to run, not too far from our house and decided that we would again run about 5 miles. I was really happy about this, because somehow I had only run twice during the week. Mostly because I stupidly had commited to making a baby blanket for a shower Friday night. I should have started on the day that I found out the lady was pregnant! So, long story short, blanket making took over running. I hate it when that happens. Towards the end of the run, in a place that obviously I should have been paying more attention, my toe caught on a rock, I tumbled forward, and weirdly, my knee caught another rock which stopped my fall. I looked down to see a lot of open flesh. That was the last time I looked at my knee. I lay on the ground for a few minutes until I got myself together, got up, and found that I hadn't even scratched my hands up. Seriously, it is just my knee! But, there was a 3/4 mi walk back to the truck. At the trailhead parking lot I got a few strange looks from some mountain bikers who were looking at the blood running down my leg. I smiled and assured them we were going to get it stitched up. I also found out that when you hobble into an ER with a paper towel covering a gaping wound and a bloody leg, they take you right in. Yes, we spent two hours there getting taken care of, but, I never had to wait very long. It must have been because it was such a nice day out. No one wants to go to the ER unless they REALLY have to on a gorgeous day like Saturday was! So, here I am, eight stitches and one tetnus shot later (yes, I sheepishly admitted that the last shot I can remember getting was when I was 16 years old!). This morning the pain meds have worn off and my knee is stiff and sore. Getting around is a chore. I can't wait to try to get in the car! The worst part of this all is that I have a mandatory 2 week vacation from running. What will I do with myself???

My husband was thrilled though. He not only got to see my patella which he and the doctor oohed and aahed over, but he also got out of working on our bathroom remodel. I still have dishes, laundry, and vacuuming staring me in the face. Time to get the kids recruited... that's why I had them - isn't it?

First Trail Run of 2010!

I know, I should have done it earlier in the year, but it was January 30th before I got my first trail run in. I love running trails, but somehow getting there when there aren't kids to drive around or work to go to seems near impossible. So, my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Silver City, NM. While there were a few nice things about this town, what impressed me was that they have a trail system built into some open space near downtown. You basically get to hike/run around lots of old mines... after all, Silver City is an old mining town! The day before had been really snowy and foggy, which I am told that is unusal, but, it made for some snowy spots in the trail, and some icy patches to watch out for. Gone was the soft snow of the day before! There was a place along the trail we even took some time to go explore one of the old mines. We ran right at 5 miles, and while it wasn't a very technical trail, it was fun to get out and run somewhere new! If you ever get to travel anywhere, get up a little earlier so you can go run! With the advantages of the internet, it's not hard to find out where the locals go! If you ever find yourself in Silver City with some time to run, head for their Boston Hill Trail System .