Friday, September 30, 2011

Where did September go... and a food challenge...

How in the world it can be the end of September I'll never know, but I do know I've run more miles this September than I have any month this year (thank you half marathon training!)... there still could be a chance that I make it to 1000 miles this year.  We'll see how lazy motivated I continue to be.  What I want and what actually happen always seem to be paths that travel near each other but never converge.  I need to cancel work, church, kids, and sleep and I will for sure make the goal.  Though I probably would end up divorced, with my own CPS caseworker, and living in a box if I did.  Maybe I should just put in the work the old fashioned way?

I've been thinking a lot about how I eat lately and what exactly I'm putting in my body.  I always wondered why my mom never bought Hamburger Helper and we were the only kids I knew that ate whole wheat bread.  It turns out that my mom knew what was good for us, and while the cooking may have been really simple, it wasn't a bunch of processed crud.  I ended up getting married to someone who had eaten Hamburger Helper regularly and thought white bread was the only way to go.  My mother in law is a great cook - my family has voted her the best cook around - and they are probably right - but, my cute husband still picked up a lot of bad eating habits that I picked up when we got married and I was trying to figure out how to cook and what to make that he would like. 

In the past few years we have been making small changes... no more Hamburger Helper... it's just as easy to make your own goulash type dish.  More fresh fruits and veggies.  Not eating out of the freezer section (OK, ice cream is STILL my downfall). Really thinking about what you put in your mouth.  I've become an avid follower of food and nutrition news and my family is tired of all the food documentaries that Netflix offers. 

If I had it all to do over, I would be a registered dietitian or nutritionist.  My kids talk all time time about how "weird" they are to bring salads to school for lunch or muffins as snacks... made from scratch.  A lot of what I make, it really doesn't take much longer to make than making the "box" version, and I know exactly what went into it and can pronounce all the ingredients.

So, maybe I'm up for this cool challenge I found....making October a month of eating unprocessed foods. The rules are simple as to what you eat:  Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.  You can read more about this challenge and even join here.  I like his thinking that goes along with this... for example, if you don't smoke, there is never any question about smoking a cigarette or not.  Translate this theory to food.  It's much easier to pass up food you don't want to eat this way.  I'm going to try this... my biggest worry is Fall Break this month....  so I won't fail the first day it's a really good thing I found the first Honeycrisp apples of the season yesterday... I'm not going to admit to the house payment insane amount of money that I paid for them, but, they were so worth it! 

So, anybody want to join me in this unprocessed food challenge?

In running news, I was nearly attacked by two Chihuahuas this morning.  One's nose touched the back of my leg, and after I turned and yelled and kicked at them, my last lap around the block ended up 20 seconds faster than all the previous laps.  Maybe I shouldn't have called animal control after all?  I wonder if they are for hire to chase me at the half marathon next week?

If you're visiting from Fitness Friday - welcome! 

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Sixteen days...

I've been planning and running and even made plans to run and my half marathon is only 16 days away.  In one sense, that's over two weeks and a pretty long time.  In another, two weeks goes by in the blink of an eye.  After all, I just registered for this in April and now it's the end of September.  I haven't done a half marathon in three and a half years and I'm scared a little nervous, excited, and wanting to beat my 2:02 time from last time.  Someone needs to come and pace me.

I ran ten miles on Saturday and felt pretty good afterwards.  I really wanted to go home and sit on the couch and sip chocolate milk and read a magazine the rest of the day, but, I had to help host a youth church dance, so I ran around like a chicken with it's head cut off and gathered supplies, made cotton candy, and generally worried about it going off OK.  I didn't get to bed until after midnight and should have slept in on Sunday, but woke up early and was busy once more.  Not so much the day of rest I would have liked.  This made for a bad start to the week and I felt like I was walking in a haze until Wednesday when I finally woke up and felt recovered.  Note to self.  On my next long run, do not have a major event planned that same day.

On Monday, I still went and met up with the half marathon training group and ran up the mountain... and ended up in my "Where's Amy?" running photo of the week...
Newsletter star again?  Not so much.
How do I know it's me you might ask?  That guy in red followed me all the way up and all the way back down.  I thought it was kind of cool at the time since he looked a lot younger and I felt faster.  I was pretty happy with beating him up the mountain.  Now looking at this photo, he was a lot closer to me than I thought he was.  Kinda creepy.  Especially since he never said a word to me.  I also blew the photo up in Photoshop just to make sure.  Yep.  It's me.  How does this keep happening?  Certainly not because of my photo worthiness... after all, it's the cute girl and guy who rated the camera click!  I may have to make my own search and find book at this rate.

Just because it's only 18 seconds, here's the promo video for the half marathon....

If you're visiting from Life As I See It and the Fitness Friday blog hop... welcome!  I can't wait to go read your blog as well!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I love getting stuff in the mail...

You shouldn't ever say you never win anything.  I have said it a lot over my life, and I've found while I don't win millions of dollars, I do win a few cool things here and there to make my life more interesting.  I wasn't even the "real" winner of this prize - I was the 2nd person to be drawn for this prize after the 1st one didn't email her back... It was one of the prizes for the "Not Over the Hill 5K" that Carrie hosted last month.  I can tell that my family will have a fun dinner one night with these cute bicycle shaped pastas!  Too bad so sad for that 1st person missing out on this because it is pretty cool.

Then I also received this box of goodies... from the good folks at Bob's Red Mill who are sponsoring "Train With Grain."  I was really surprised to get this because I read about it on one of my favorite money saving websites, went to sign up for it, and after I had entered my name, address, etc, they wanted to know what I was training for and had a long list of events.  Nothing on the list was even in my state, so I closed the window and never thought about it again until I came home and saw this box on my table.  Bob's Red Mill was super generous with a bag of quinoa, a bag of pancake mix, a bag of granola, and a bag of 10 grain hot cereal.  I feel like I won the lottery because I love all of these products.  I might even wear the hat just because those Bob's people were so nice.  It also looks like this promo is still around if you're interested.

I'm sure by now my cute husband doesn't believe me when the UPS man drives up and I say that I can't remember ordering anything. 

If only I could get the folks at Saucony or to send me stuff.  Then my running addiction habit could almost be paid for!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is in the air?

After months of my shoes melting to the pavement, this week I think there is a slight chance that it may cool off here sometime before Christmas.  It has been raining a lot.  Well, for the desert a lot.  In fact, when I went for my Monday training run for my upcoming half marathon, it was sprinkling.  I rain the whole way in a slight drizzle.  It was beautiful having water dripping off of my arms not because it was my body weight in water melting away, but because water was falling from the sky and cooling me off.  It was one of the most enjoyable runs I'd had in a while.  Too bad the turnout was so low.  I guess most people just don't understand how fulfilling a run the in rain can be.  Or maybe they just forgot what rain was.

I earned my Meet Me at Maynards t-shirt - for showing up 8 times on a Monday night.  There was someone who had earned their "100 times" shirt - wow!  I was pretty happy with my dedication for 8 at this point.  Especially on Monday nights during dinnertime.

I think I should be starring in the next Where's Waldo book, running version.  I got the email newsletter for Meet Me At Maynards this week and I found me again... unlike the picture in my last post, I do have a face!  It was still funny to see me in all of these newsletters...

If you're joining me for Fitness Friday - welcome!  I can't wait to go & read your blog!
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I'm actually looking forward to my long run tomorrow because it was only 70º this morning when I was out running.  This is my favorite time of year to run because after months of running horribly because of the heat, I start to perk up a bit and have a little motivation in my step.  I know it will warm up to high 90s and that there may still be a few 100º days out there, but I'm thrilled that it is not 85º at 4:30am!

What is your favorite time of year to run?  Why?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photo Op

I just got this photo embedded in the newsletter from the local running club here highlighting the Labor Day race my cute husband and I ran last week.... we look like we are part of the Witness Protection Program.  There is now also proof that I can run better than I can write with a paintbrush is Photoshop.  But that really isn't saying much!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why I Run

Over at the Another Mother Runner blog they have been running (pun intended) a feature everyday of a really cool mother runner, and in their words, why they run.  While I will probably not be featured over there anytime soon (no, I've never met SBS or Dimity or have ever done anything noteworthy in the running community)... I decided to write my own " Why I Run" essay.

I didn't start running until I was 32 years old.  I was never known as the athletic kid by any stretch of the imagination.  Sure my parents kicked us out the door every night after dinner to go outside and play, but I was not the kid that ever got picked first for any team.  Freshman girls PE is one of my worst memories.  The teacher only had sympathy for those girls on the softball team she coached.  And since I had two left feet and couldn't throw a ball, I wasn't on the list.  At all.  Everyday we had to run around the track at the beginning of class.  Most girls walked.  I ran.  At the end of the year, a list went up of who had run the most laps that year.  My name was at the top of the list.  It really didn't mean anything to me at that point because I knew knew I was not athletic.  If there was anything I learned from that class, it was that athletic was something I couldn't be.  I was just happy my high school PE requirement was out of the way.  Looking back, I wonder why my teacher never encouraged me to run for the school.  Or told me that running so many laps was exceptional. 

Skip ahead a few years... one husband, two kids, 3 dogs, and a new job.  I still ate like I was a teenager.  Weight had never been a problem for me.  All of a sudden it was.  I was at the doctor one day and found myself only 8 pounds away from my delivery day weight.  I felt sick.  There was a reason that my husband had asked me to consider losing some weight.  I wasn't huge, but I wasn't the tiny girl I imagined myself as.

My husband had been running for a couple of years already.  He had lost weight.  I liked the idea of running because I knew I could walk out the door and do it.  No fancy equipment or driving anywhere.  So I started.  I ran around my block a couple of times.  It's interesting to me that I ever tried again since my regular (not sports) bra rubbed a hole under my arm and I came home with a large blister on my heel from the pair of cheap shoes I had.  The sweaty mess that finished the run that day wanted to go back and try again.  And after a few runs and a new bra and shoes, I found out that this was something I could do.  No one was judging me or telling me that I had no coordination.  The eyes of the world were not on me.  In fact, the people in my neighborhood that saw me didn't really seem to care that I was not even going fast.

My first race ever with my friend Debbie - a survivor who I ran the race in honor of.

I kept plodding on.  Not far.  Not fast.  But more than I believed I was ever capable of doing.  About a year later, I ran in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K.  I was scared.  I had run the 3 miles required just once.  I just didn't want to be last.  And I wasn't.  I came in at 28:47.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  The high that came from that race lasted for weeks. 

I was hooked.  I had found myself in my journey to run.  I wasn't the uncoordinated, dorky 15 year old that my PE teacher labeled me as.  I was beginning to find that I was a person capable of so much more.  And now I continue to run to find out how much.  I constantly surprise myself all the time.

If you're joining me for Fitness Friday - welcome!  Make sure to leave a comment so that I can go and visit your blog as well!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Day After...

Yes, another Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run is over.  Kinda sad.  It's my favorite race of the year. 
At the finish line.


*Overcast.  As much as I love seeing the sun come up in all of it's glory over the valley, the cooler temps of the overcast day made for a much more enjoyable run.  Dont' worry, I was still a sweaty mess when it was over.

* The hill didn't kill me.  One of the big draws of this race is the slow and steady hill that comes at mile 3, last for a mile and a half, and has a couple of false summits.  The first year I did it, I didn't know what I was in for.  I couldn't walk right for two days.  This year was the first year that I got done with that hill and felt like I could keep going.  I'm just going to say that 4:45am runs on Tumamoc helped.  Training works people!!
      (*side note - 1/2 mile in, I heard a woman ask her friend if the course was going to flatten out.  Her friend replied, "Well, kinda..."  I'm going to say that this woman was in for a long, hard, run!  I wonder how getting out of bed was for her this morning?)

* I was 22 seconds faster than my cute husband.  While this may not seem like much, or a huge deal to anyone else, he always beats me.  Always.  He has that ability to dig deep and push himself no matter what the circumstance.  Something I really admire.  A lot.  I really thought he must be someplace way ahead of me because I didn't see him after the first couple of miles.  Or hurt on the side of the road was my other thought.  In his defense, he doesn't have a lot of time that it isn't 3pm and 104º out to run.  I know he's looking forward to February like no one else!

For those of you who were asking, Nuun is a sports drink tab that you add to water and it fizzes and gives you back all of those things like sodium and potassium that you have been sweating off.  I like it.  The grape flavor reminds me of soda.  My cute husband does not.  It reminds him of Alka Seltzer.  To each his own.  It also comes in a variety of other flavors in case grape is not your thing.  I recommend strawberry lemonade.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Monday...

As most of the world will be sleeping in on Monday for Labor Day (ok, not the whole world, but most of the people I associate with), I will be running the Saguaro National Park 8 mile Labor Day race.  It's the 2nd  event in the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown race series. 

Saguaro is one of my favorite races to do.  This is my fifth year to do it (read about last year's race here).  Why?  Maybe because of the long hill (1.5 miles) you have to climb after 3 miles into the race.  Maybe because it's hot.  (It's at 6:30, it's not THAT hot yet!).  Or maybe because I never feel as prepared as I could but feel SO accomplished that I did it?  I'm never prepared as much as I would like to be.  The end of summer heat and the start of school always catch me and this race is always a super challenge.

I went and picked up my shirt and number yesterday... not the prettiest of shirts ever, but I will earn it!

I have food ready... since the grape Nuun worked so well last Monday, I'll have it with me tomorrow.  And, I won't have both packages of sport beans.... I just need to decide which flavor I like more...

And to decide on an outfit... if I'm not going to be super fast, I might as well look good doing it!  My Cute Husband is doing it with me again - he's a great running partner to have along with you at races.  Though, he never puts much thought into what he will wear... he has 2 of the exact same pairs of shorts and 2 of the same shirts, just different colors. 

Good luck to all those running in other events this weekend!  (Did I mention I'm a tad bit green with envy of those of you running in that small Anaheim race?  Of course if I was there, I wouldn't be doing Saguaro either.)

Friday, September 2, 2011


The bottom of the A.  It's painted red, white, & blue right now.
I left out a bit about my long run up "A" Mountain the other day....

From the title of this post, you must be thinking of something on me started hurting during the run.  Did I cramp up because of the heat?  What happened?

No, I didn't cramp up - I used some of my grape flavored Nuun from the prize pack I was sent last month.  It was really good and reminded me vaguely of grape soda.  Except not as sweet.  And warm.  Who can keep stuff cold in 100º weather anyway??  Dare I say that I liked grape even better than strawberry lemonade??  For me, that's saying something.  In fact, I am very tempted to buy more grape flavor.

What happened... I finished the run.  I got in line for more water.  I was out.  Note to self, bring more than one hand held bottle when on a run that is a hour long and in 100º weather.  I didn't take more at the water station they had set up either.  Dumb me.  There wasn't a lot of water left at the finish, so I decided that I should just get home and drink as much as I wanted.  I walked back to the car - still sweating, but it was OK.  Then, just minutes after getting in the car and blasting the a/c at myself, the fronts of my legs were ON FIRE.  Burning up.  If I hadn't been driving on the freeway in the dark I would have sworn that they were bright red and smoking.  I was pretty surprised there wasn't a glow from the flames that must surely be engulfing my legs.  There wasn't a thing I could do at 65mph.  Except keep going and hope that if there was blood running out of them, that it wasn't dripping all over my beige interior! 

What happened... I was still sweating profusely a lot when I got in the car.  Sitting down made it so the sweat wasn't running off my legs like it had been, and the a/c was drying out the sweat anyway.  What was left was the salt on my skin.  And since my pores were still very open from all that sweating, the salt just sank back in.  And stung.  I was definitely do something different next time!  Sure sweat has run into my eyes and stung before, but this was just crazy!

What about you?  Do you have any odd "injuries" happen to you?  Things that you didn't expect would happen to your body because of a run?

And just so you know, my legs were not red at all when I stopped.  Not even a little bit.  I did go get in the shower as soon as I got home.  Because apparenly I already had a natural salt scrub sitting on my skin.

If you're joining me for Fitness Friday, welcome!  Make sure you post so I can make sure I visit your blog as well!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]