Friday, October 28, 2011

Five for Fitness Friday

1. I went and looked at the results for the "Run the Hood Virtual 10K" I did last weekend.  I was second in my age group!  Woohoo!  Imagine what would have happened had I been feeling faster!  Honestly though, I didn't even realize that they were doing rankings of any sort, and it's cool that I did so well. (BTW, if you haven't visited any of the blogs of the participants of this race - do - they have some pretty inspiring stories over there!)

2. Unprocessed October.  We're almost to the end of October, and while I have not been perfect by any means, I have learned a lot and have also learned to prepare ahead of time so I won't be hungry and eat just anything.  It's really very easy to eat the Kit Kats sitting on the table at 4pm when you haven't had anything to eat since 12pm.  I know, I shouldn't have bought them if I didn't plan on eating them.  But I was buying them in the name of Halloween candy.  Now I have to go buy more. *sigh*

3. What I'm looking forward to... Thanksgiving!  More truthfully, my Thanksgiving race.  We've been running a 5K turkey trot every year, but this year we will be running a 10K with my sister and her husband.  I've never run with her before.  She did cross country in high school... I did not.  OK, I realize high school was 20 years ago, but still, she probably has some super secret racing strategy or something she will be using.

4. I need to quit clicking on emails I get from companies selling running gear.  I really want to try out some of these...
They are from the Brooks Pure Project and are a minimalist shoe.  While I do enjoy running with my pillows strapped to my feet Saucony Triumphs, I am interested in making my feet stronger.  And the reviews on this shoe are pretty good so far.  Another thing to add to my Christmas list.

5. I think there is a chance that it will cool off here eventually.  Yesterday morning when I got up to run, my phone told me it was 48ºF outside.  Yes, I was still in shorts and a short sleeved shirt, but it was perfect once I got warmed up.  Perfect running weather really.  I'm really tired of 90ºF days.  I guess I should just be happy it's not 100ºF anymore.

Woo Hoo!  It's Fitness Friday!  Thanks for joining me

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Virtual 10K

I mentioned on Friday that I had won an entry into the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Virtual 10K.  It was supposed to be run yesterday, so, what choice did I have but to do it?  I already had the shirt and all the goodies that go along with it... but I don't feel right about wearing race shirts until AFTER I have run the race.  Weird I know.  I really feel like I need to earn them or something.  I know lots of people show up to races wearing the shirt, but I just can't.

Here I am before I started.  I really wanted to get started earlier, but since it hasn't been over 100ºF lately (it was only (!) 94ºF yesterday) I decided to play with fate and start at the late hour of 8:45am.  It was fine.  Like 75ºF fine.  I just was feeling lazy through the whole darn thing.  I think there is a reason that I get up and run first thing in the morning.  I get lazier as the day goes on.  And slower.  Maybe I should have found someone to go with me, but I was SO slowwwww yesterday as well.  I couldn't make myself pick up the pace until over half way through (thank you Pink!), but by then how much time could I make up in the last two miles?  Not a lot.

Of course, I was supposed to be documenting what I saw on my run, but since my time was so turtle-like, I decided not to take pictures unless I had to stop....which was at this traffic light.  I have never eaten at this Sonoran hot dog place, but I know lots of people who have.  Rachel Ray even featured it in her magazine as the best hot dog stand in the southwest.  It's totally NOT on my current unprocessed October eating challenge right now, but every time I stop at this light, the smell is heavenly.  It must be the carne asada cooking on the grill.  It's a good thing I don't run with money or I would be over there buying something.  And what's even stranger, is that I get home and never give it another thought.  Which is probably the reason I've never eaten there.

I did make it back home... I accidentally ran 6.3 miles - better more than less right?  In 1:00:18.  Now I deserve the shirt... which I put on and wore the rest of the day... after I took a shower.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A little of this and a little of that...

Not a great photo, but you get the idea.
Cross country season is at a close.  My son is a freshman and didn't make it to any of the sectionals/state meets, so Wednesday was our last time standing out in a park cheering him on.  Kind of sad.  But happy as well in a selfish mom kind of way - as in I don't have to go straight from work to standing out in a park to madly throwing dinner together.  Soccer is up next.  Maybe I will get better at taking his picture there?

Just walking here.  How come I am the short one in the middle?
Beach Running.  After my Del Mar, CA getaway last week, I am trying to figure out how to move the beach closer to my house.  I went for 2 runs with my Cute Husband on the beach.  Who needs long, romantic walks on the beach when you can have a long beach run?  It was a great way to explore the area and also a fun place to run.  The beaches there are so long.  I also recommend running on vacations as a way to explore an area.  During our first run we figured out where downtown was and it was easy to find a couple of hours later when we had the kids with us.  I am also trying to figure out why lots of people running on the beach had their iPods with them.  Um, isn't the ocean a great enough sound that you would never get tired of listening to it?  A whole industry has been built around recording this sound and selling it to people who like to listen to it at home.  Maybe this is coming from the girl who has only been to the beach a handful of times in her life and hasn't gotten tired of it.

Virtual 10K.  I won an entry into the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans virtual 10K tomorrow.  (Thanks Jill!)  I got a cool tshirt, a Subway gift card, and coupons for a few free grocery items.  I'm excited to have an event to do!

Marathon training.  Is it a selfish thing to do when you have a full time job, 2 kids, 2 dogs, a cute husband, 10 chickens, a messy house, several volunteer responsibilities in both my church and community, and just a full calendar in general?  I saw one advertised at the end of January and am considering it.  I just don't know how selfish I would feel for doing it.  Thoughts?

Fitness Friday.  If you are visiting, welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by! 
Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What I did on my Fall Break

Don't have your family take your picture across the street from the store you are visiting.  You look like you are, well, across the street from the camera.

My family decided to go visit Del Mar, CA for our Fall Break.  Imagine how happy I was when I found out the Running Skirt store was only 9 minutes according to from where we were staying!  No longer did I have to stalk their Facebook page or drool over their website... I could do it all in real life!

The shopping bag is cute too - I didn't want to put my new outfit away since it would mean putting the bag away as well.
The store itself is one street off the main "drag" of Encinitas.  This is a huge plus to me since parking is a real bear on the main street.  It is a very cute store.  The walls are "pinked" up and there is a fun atmosphere to it - small, cozy, and full of every running skirt they make... and hairbands, socks, gloves, books... the list goes on.  I needed to have a rich relative leave me an inheritance at that very moment. 

How cute is this?  The hooks in the dressing room are even fancy!

I wanted a skirt with capris built in so that if it ever gets cold here, I could still run with a skirt.  My problem is picking out which one.  I was always the kid who picked the red item and then wished she had the green.  Or got the tall thing and got home and wanted the short.  I haven't grown out of it.  So just picking a skirt was going to be a chore.  Luckily (not!), I had my very impatient children with me who "helped" me quickly decide what skirt I wanted.  Instead of being stuck there for hours, my children only had to endure this store for maybe fifteen minutes.  And the nice salesperson was wearing this very outfit - which I didn't notice until I had already decided what to buy - but that just made it all that much better because I then was sure the top and the skirt would look really cute together!

I am pretty happy with my purchase... now I'm just waiting for it to get cold so I can actually *wear* this outfit.  Too bad it was still in the 90s today....

Friday, October 14, 2011

This is hard.

When I signed up for the Unprocessed October challenge - I really thought it was no big deal and I wouldn't have to work very hard at it.

Boy, I was wrong.  While I think I eat more unprocessed food like fruit and veggies than the average person, I had no idea how many other processed food darkened my door on a daily basis.  Especially when the school that I work at won a cheesecake party from the Cheesecake Factory this week and a giant... not just big, but the very biggest piece of cheesecake I've ever seen arrived on my desk this week. I'm not going to lie.  It was good.  Very very good.  These things are made from scratch, right?

The really bad part about this challenge is that I think my definition of "unprocessed" is pretty broad, but not broad enough I guess.

And I haven't even mentioned the package of Goldfish crackers from my half marathon and the soda I had.  I want to say none of this is MY fault, but look who's putting it all in my mouth!

No excuses this week.  I have a much better idea of what's coming... though it will help A LOT that there will not be a Cheesecake Factory visit ... or people handing out food when all I want to do after running 13.1 miles is eat.  The soda was my fault totally.

On the plus side, I did make a great chicken zucchini dish that had everyone at work wishing their lunch smelled as good! 

If you are visiting from Fitness Friday - welcome! I can't wait to go see what you are up to as well!

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Monday, October 10, 2011


As much as I would love to give you a mile by mile review of my half marathon, my memories of it are more of just the highlights...

First, it was 50 degrees to start... do you know how rare this is in Tucson, AZ in October?  For whatever reason, there was a mini "cool snap" on Thursday, and it carried over a couple of days.  Don't worry.  It's supposed to be 90s again this week.  Needless to say, I got downtown, found a great parking place, and stayed in my car until I had to get out because I didn't want to get cold waiting for the start.  Wimp.  Yes, I am.  That and I didn't have anyone with me to carry any jackets for me.  My cute husband decided to go off on his bi-annual rock climbing trip and my kids, well, what do you think a 14 year old and a 16 year old would do with 2 hours, give or take, to kill while being downtown,

a) whine a lot
b) drive everyone around them nuts by playing "ninja"
c) eat all the food off the refreshment table for the runners
d) all of the above

I was pretty sure it was "d", so I left them in bed.  It was better that way.  Really.

Just as the sun came over the horizon, we were off.  It was seriously the Most.Perfect.Running.Temperature. Ever.  Mile 3 was where the climb up A Mountain began.  I can't imagine doing this without ever having run it.  Or at least some other really long hills.  I don't know if it was the excitement of the moment, but I don't remember having any problem getting up this hill.  Before I knew it, I was at the top.  And waved at the photographer!  And, yes, I just ordered a photo of this moment.  Since no one else was there to document anything, I thought I needed a dorky photo of me arriving at the top of the mountain.

The rest of the run I spent trying to figure out what time I should be at.  I had no idea that doing math in my head would be so hard while I'm running.  It would take me almost the entire mile to figure out what pace I was at and calculate what time my watch should read by the next mile.  And it was only multiples of nine.  Something I'm normally pretty good at.  It made the miles go by really quickly though!  I was amazed that at each mile marker how fast (for me) I was going and realize how far ahead of my targeted time I was.  The first few miles I wondered if I was going too fast, but then I just decided that I felt good and to go with it.

I got to Mile 11 and got a horrible stitch in my side.  I know that there's a trick out there for getting rid of them, something about breathing, but since I can't remember the last time I got a stitch, I couldn't remember the trick either since I hadn't practiced it.  It seemed that this Monster Stitch kept moving across my abdomen.  I know my form fell to pieces at this point and I'm pretty sure I slowed down a lot because a whole bunch of people passed me.  Luckily, the sign for Mile 13 was right there.  As I rounded the corner and could see the timer and realized I might even make it under 1:50....  I ran under the timer at 1:50:01.  A twelve minute improvement off of my half marathon time 3.5 years ago.  A very happy camper. 

I stopped, the stitch left immediately, and I walked around a bit.  I talked to a few people that had been running near me.  I ate a bag of Goldfish (I know, it's not on the diet, but they didn't have a lot of other choices.. should I have picked the Oreos instead?  No, there weren't oranges and bagels.).  I picked up my prize for running all three races in the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.  Here's what I came home with:
I think the sandstone candle holder is kind of cool to commemorate the Triple Crown of races - and I really like the 13.1 decal, though I don't know where I will stick it at this point, if anywhere.

I went home and took a nap.  The kids were up by now, and I told them I was going to sleep for a couple of hours.  What did they do?  Made sure I woke up by burning making toast underneath the smoke detector.  Sometimes I think they are as bad as three year olds.

I feel pretty OK today.  I can tell I've run.  A lot.  But it's not horrible.  A little sore, but no real complaints.  I've certainly been a lot worse after a race (thinking back to the first 10K I ever ran and wondering if I had crippled myself for life - I really could not take a step for days without limping).

And imagine how good a half marathon would be for me without a giant hill in the middle of it.  I'm almost tempted to think about it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Race Weekend and Fitness Friday

It's here - soon I will be running this:
Excited?  Check.  Nervous?  Check.  Ready?  Um, maybe?  I know going up "A" Mountain won't be a problem.  I've run it enough to know what to expect.  I am even very excited about the race weather forecast - 55ºF to start!  Yay!  I haven't seen those temps since we were camping this past summer in the mountains of Utah!  So, I will put on my most positive attitude and just go do it and have fun (and really really work for that sub 2 hour thing too!). 

Oh, and I need to figure out what I'm wearing to this event as well.  It's the little details that make it so fun! 

Last weekend my local newspaper had an article called "What to do to get ready for a half marathon - not!" and my favorite quote from the article was "Don't get discouraged when the going gets tough.  Once you commit yourself to competing, you owe it to yourself to finish even if things don't go your way."  I thought this was a great thing for me to remember.  If you are interested in the full article, you can read it here.

I know the Chicago Marathon and other races are going on this weekend!  Are you racing?  Leave a comment and let me know where so I can be thinking of you this weekend too!  Happy running!

It's Fitness Friday - thanks to Jill for organizing again!  Leave a comment as well so I can come visit your blog and see what you are up to!

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yellow Spots and Other Tales of Woe

I put on one of my newer running shirts the other day - white with cool design on the front - and looked at the sleeves and saw small yellow spots all over them.  What the heck?  Am I allowed to have nothing that isn't destroyed by my kids or myself?  I just couldn't place what I had done to it.  Too high to be icky sweat marks.  Nothing had spilled on me.  I just couldn't think of anything.  Until Saturday.  I got back from my long run and my son says to me... Mom - why are you all yellowish?  I looked down and saw that, indeed I was yellowish.  And the reason why was....
Living in the southwest, I know I have a higher than normal chance for skin cancer, so I really try to be good about applying sunscreen.  I usually don't use this stuff, but, being in a hurry to get going and seeing my Cute Husband's can of it handy, I decided to spray some on.  I had no idea it stained clothing.  And gives you a eerie yellow glow that any Halloween monster would envy.  I had done the exact same thing when I had worn my white running shirt the time before.  Thanks Coppertone.  I appreciate the fact that your sunscreen won't sweat off, but not the fact that my shirt now has polka dots on it.  And not good ones.

Tale of Woe #2:  Saturday's last long run before my half this weekend=awful.  Through a Series of Unfortunate Events, I was about an hour later getting started than I should have been.  Add a hot day, 3 parks with broken water fountains, and you know why I barely made it back to the house.  I'm not sure if people were staring because I was "slogging" (not running!) or yellow.  If its true that a bad dress rehearsal ensures a great performance, I should set a world record this weekend!

Tale of Woe #3:  Unprocessed eating is hard.  Not all the time because I try to eat that way a lot of the time anyway.  But, at work this week there has been a steady parade of processed foods offered to me. And I've only been two days so far!  Nachos.  Halloween cookies.  Corn dogs.  All things I do like, and have been known to eat occasionally.  Normally it wouldn't even faze me.  But this week, I keep looking at things as how I'm "not allowed" to eat that.  I need to turn my thinking around and embrace the "I don't *want* to eat that.  I can do it.  I have a box of Utah peaches sitting in my kitchen that I've been eating like mad.  If you've never had a Utah peach, you must get your hands on one.  They are the best peaches in the world. 

On a lighter note, my chickens have finally started laying eggs.  Well, one chicken out of ten have started laying eggs.  I'm really excited since we have had these girls since the end of May.  A little closer to healthy eating... and I know that my chickens are being raised humanely (this all started when I read how awful the living conditions were for your standard egg layer).  Here's to many more eggs to come!

Feel free to add any Tales of Woe to mine.  I want to know I'm in good company!