Friday, December 30, 2011

What? 2011 is almost over?

But I'm just getting started!!

Even though this year whizzed by me soooo fast... and plenty of things didn't get done, I did get a few things accomplished fitness-wise.

* Improved my 5K time to under 24 minutes.  In June at the Meet Me Downtown 5K, I did just that.  23:47.  I course, I thought I would die during it... but it showed me that you can do anything for 24 minutes, including run as fast as you can in 100 degree weather.

* Ran a half marathon.  I hadn't done one in 3.5 years... and I'd only done that one.  This one was more challenging because it had that mountain in the middle.  And I still finished in less than 2 hours.  This just proved to me that training works.  I did the work and the mountain wasn't a problem. It also showed me that with a little planning, I can get more running in.  It also reminded me how much I love running long distances.

* I ran a lot.  Not the 1000 miles I envisioned.  But, when I tell my friends that I ran 760 miles this year (I'm estimating here for the runs I will do today and tomorrow), they seem pretty darn impressed.  (And think I'm crazy as a loon, but what am I going to do about that?)  That is the same number miles from my house to my friend in Salt Lake City's house.  And, I did run much more than last year.  I will be setting myself up to do a 1000 miles in 2012.  I think I can learn from my mistakes of 2011 in order to accomplish this goal.  Like not to think I can make up miles that I missed the month before.  Tracking it all month by month gave me a pretty accurate picture of where I messed up.  I'm not complaining.  Just saying.

* I ran in six events this year.  Three 5ks, a 10K, an 8 miler, and a half marathon.  I think that is the most events I've ever done in one year.  And though two events were pretty small, I did win my age group for them.  Note to self, continue to enter small, local events so I can take home things like t-shirts and Christmas ornaments that the general entrants didn't get.

* I'm eating a lot less processed junk.  It's a process and like anything, it takes some time.  I know I can't rip the ice cream out from My Cute Husband's hands without major complaint.  And the kids think cold cereal is just the cat's pajamas.  But we are working on it.  It also helps that a Penzey's spice store opened here in the spring and I am cooking like mad so I can justify another trip to that store.  My kids are quite sure they sell some sort of "mom heroin" there!

How did 2011 end up for you? 

Next up... goals for 2012!

Fitness Friday bloggers - welcome!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Long overdue Christmas update

Funny how when I am off from work, not having to get up and get going everyday, it's OK to stay in my pjs until 10am and very hard to get motivated to do much more than sit on the couch with a good book.  Of course, it could be because my house seems colder on the inside this time of year than the outside (thank you 1959 construction!). Or, that I haven't read a book cover to cover since, well, the summer which was the last time I was off for more than just a couple of days.  It also could be that I have been adding to my winter fat storage by consuming as many holiday goodies as possible (coughTraderJoesdarkchocolatepeppermint JoJoscough), thus not able to move further than the couch or fit into anything other than my pjs.

I'm not beating myself up.  Really.

Today I managed to waddle over to the computer to give you all the blog updates you have been waiting for...

I entered a blog contest over with Beth at Running Around My Kitchen.  I won this really cool pair of socks.  Not only was she nice enough to give me a few choices of socks to pick from, she also let me pick white ones, which wasn't in the original rules.  I like white socks much more than black.  Not sure why seeing as they don't stay that way long if I wear them at all.  I guess I just like the look of fresh socks.

Yes, there is a wire tree under that, just too many awesome cards came to hang on it!
I also did the runner Christmas card exchange over at Just Trying is for Little Girls.  I signed up on a whim, and then was wondering if I was crazy or what since I barely had enough time to do things for people in my real life, but once I sent my cards and got some really cool cards back from people with awesome blogs as well, it was totally worth it.  Did I mention the fact that I love Christmas cards more than anything else at Christmas time anyway?  Take away all the presents, goodies, lights, and trees, but don't take away my Christmas cards!  It doesn't look great, but I love this wire tree I have to display them on as well.    Go read their fun blogs...

Hit the Road Jane
Running to Health
All At Sea
S Club 4
Carpenter's Corner

LOVED them all!

A few running related goodies did hit my stocking this year...

Arm sleeves from Running Skirts!  I wanted to wear them so badly the day after Christmas for my run, and it seemed cool enough to, but, a mile in, I was carrying them.  Moral of the story, you don't need to wear these on a 55ºF sunny day.  I honestly knew better.  At least I didn't wear the Running Skirts compression socks I received.  I had just slightly more self control than the six year old that wants to wear all her new clothes at once.

My mom must be channeling me somehow.  I never have mentioned to her my fascination and admiration for Nuun, but somehow a tube ended up in one of my gift boxes from her.  I asked her how she knew and she said she was in REI and saw it, thought it looked like something I might like, so she bought it.  Now I need to plan a long run so I will have a reason to use it!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!  (Details!  I want Details of the runs you did or the running related goodies you got!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jingle Bell 5K Race Report

This is one of those races that's fun to do - think jingle bells and Santa hats -  but about 40 minutes on the freeway from my house, so I am always on the fence as to whether or not to do it.  My son said he wanted to... so that was what pushed me over the edge and we signed up!

It was windy.  Not just a little breezy, but what felt like gale force winds.  The weather was forecast as rainy in the afternoon, so I'm sure this wind was just bringing in the clouds, but it sure made for a yucky day.  They also handed out jingle bells to tie to your shoes.  I did.  Son was way too cool to.

We did this race for the first time last year.  It's at a high school and run on their cross country course.  I almost got lost last year.  It sounds dumb, but it's true.  I heard other people have the same complaint.  This year, the course was so well marked that you would have had to run with your eyes closed to have gotten off course.  What was odd this year is that the mile markers were missing.  Finally at one point I thought to myself that surely I had gone more than a mile!  I had.  I was almost to the finish line!  That will teach me to forget my watch at home.

Hey - when did he get so tall?
In the end, Son did great - he came in 4th in his age group and 13th overall.  I came in 30th overall and 1st in my age group.  My time wasn't stellar, but, considering I haven't run much in the last couple of weeks (dumb cough), I was fairly pleased.

I took home an ornament made by a class at the school.  I now have two.  Maybe I should get a tree and dedicate it to running ornaments?

Do you do any Holiday related races - just for the fun of it?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Taking Time to Slow Down

I could be really frustrated with myself right now. 

I've been sick on and off for two weeks.  Thankfully, I'm on the mend - I finally went to CVS Minute Clinic the other night to find out I had an ear infection AND a sinus infection.  Ahhh - the joys of sitting right by the nurse's office at an elementary school!

My job is super crazy right now.  There is an open position in my office right now... and kind of has been all year... interviews are being conducted, but it still boils down to me doing the work of two.  I come home and just want to sit there and stare at the wall.  Not kidding either because sometimes that's what I do.

Which in turn means my house is not the neatest it's ever been.  The kids are wondering why Christmas decorations haven't made it out of the boxes.  I'm wondering if Christmas will happen since shopping isn't going on!

And, poor Cute Husband.  He works at UPS, which, as you can imagine is all he is doing right now.  Working or sleeping.

It's no wonder why I've only run 3.1 miles in the last week!

I'm trying to look at the broader picture.

I won't be sick forever.  They will hire someone else to work with me.  The house will get cleaned up.  And, Christmas will happen. 

I may not be earning my points to winning the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, but I have decided to try and enjoy what's going on anyway.

I am looking forward to this:

And I'm really super enjoying watching my kids in various concerts and shows they are doing for the school holiday season.  Last night was a JV Soccer game followed by a orchestra concert.  Even though I really really really really really really really wanted to go home and I had no idea what dinner was going to be, I enjoyed hearing all the Christmas music they were playing.  I hadn't heard much up until last night.  I am so blessed!
Blond kid in the front of the second row.  Yes, I will claim him for now!

Are there seasons of your life that you'd love to be running but it just isn't possible?  How do you deal with it?

Thanks to Jill for hosting Fitness Friday!  I can't wait to go read your blog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hope Endures Virtual 5K

I finally started feeling better from my horrible cold.  Yay.  Perfect timing for Courtney's Hope Endures Virtual 5K.  A 5K was the perfect distance for me since I wasn't quite perfect from being sick.  I took a picture of me while I was doing this, but, for whatever reason, my phone deleted all of my photos.  Yes all of them.  Even the non running ones of my kiddos and odd objects I thought were cool.  I have no idea why.  Yes I am upset.  So, you'll just have to imagine me shivering in front of my house trying to take a picture of myself at about 4:40am.  I think it was about 32 degrees that morning.  Your mental photo of me is probably lots better than what I really looked like anyway!

As I ran that morning, I thought a lot about Courtney and her daughter Ashlyn.  She is a great example of how people can make it through the hard times in life and come out stronger.  I am thankful that she gave me this opportunity to "run" for her.  It really was a great way to start the week.  Thanks Courtney for sharing!

Race Invitation

In my previous post I announced a race my cute husband and I put on every year that I thought my blog readers might enjoy. A good friend pointed out that maybe I shouldn't have posted about how sick I've been in the same post about the race.  OK - hopefully this is the redeeming post with all the pertinent info!

The details:

* Race 2.5K on Dec 31st and 2.5K on Jan 1.  You don't have to run... any non motorized form of transport is OK.  If skiing is your thing, feel free.

* We plan on doing our races consecutively.  Like as in 11:45pm Dec31 to 12:15am Jan 1.  You don't have to.  Anytime on either day is fine.

* We have chosen to donate money in the form of Payless Shoes gift cards to the Family Resource Center at the school where I work at.  We picked it because it's something I know will be used in a honest manner.  Unfortunately, in the past not all of the charities we have picked have been winners (yes, I am talking about how disappointed I am in the 3 Cups of Tea guy.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it).  If you would like to contribute, please send gift cards to:
Walter Douglas Elementary
attn: Tamara McAllister
3302 N Flowing Wells Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705
I know that the kids that go here have a huge need.  I also know that the gift cards will be used wisely and shoes given to those kids who truly need it... like those kids that have shoes that are falling off of their feet and their parents have no means of getting them a new pair.  I see stuff like this.  All the time.

* We are working on finishing prizes for all.  Lara at Rainbow Signs (a local business) has generously offered to donate time and materials.  I am still working on some other sponsors.

* If you feel so inclined, blog about it or send me a photo.  I'd love to feature you as a finisher.

* If you live here locally, feel free to join us as we do it.  I can't promise how awake I will be when we start, but I am thinking of hot chocolate when we are done.  Mostly because I remember how cold I've been in the past.  And, yes, I'm the lame one who has had to set an alarm to get up to do this race.  I'm guessing this means I'm officially old.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Thrilled and Two 2.5K Race Invitations...

I am not thrilled because I have had a cold since Wednesday and have run a total for 8 miles this week, eaten a few extra veggies, and, that's about it.  My HBBC points this week are pitiful.  And that's being nice.  I honestly have felt like taking a nap every five minutes this week.  My house and family definitely look like it.  Christmas has not started.  Crossing my fingers that this next week is better.  I've got to NOT sit on the couch watching romantic comedies off of Netflix all week.  That probably counts towards negative HBBC points I'm quite sure!

Anyway.... moving on!

My cute husband and I sponsor a race among friends every year.  It's something anyone can do and do at any time.  The whole point is to do the 1st half of the 5K on New Year's Eve and the 2nd half of the 5K on New Year's Day.  So 2.5K on New Year's Eve and 2.5K on New Year's Day.  We just like to do ours back to back from about 11:45pm to 12:15am through our neighborhood.  You don't have to run it.  You can snowshoe, skate, crawl... I don't care!  This year I wanted to open it up to my blog readers as well.

We try to pick a good cause every year to donate to.  After a couple of charities in the past have done some questionable things with donations (aka the Three Cups of Tea guy), we decided to pick something that we know.  That's why this year we picked getting shoes for needy kids at the school I work at.  This school has a very high rate of poverty.  Ninety to ninety five percent of the kids who go here are on federal free & reduced lunch status.  I see kids all the time who have old, barely usable shoes or kids that have shoes three sizes too small.  The lady who is in charge of coordinating the needy kids with resources has a great relationship with Payless Shoes and is always able to get more for the money involved.  If you would like to make a donation of a Payless Shoes gift card,  please send it to:
Walter Douglas Elementary
attn: Tamara McAllister
3302 N Flowing Wells Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705

The great thing is that we will have finishing prizes for all.  We are also working on some other prizes that I will be announcing as soon as the details are ready to go.  I just wanted you to have time to plan ahead for your New Year's  Eve and New Year's Day!

If you are local, we would love to have you join us.  Contact me for details as to where we are going to meet and get ready for a great time!

Make sure to blog about this and come back and share the link when you are done so I can post photos at the end. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trader Joes has gotten out their holiday items.  This could be very very good.  Or very very bad.  If you have eaten most of a box of these since last night at 5pm when you arrived home from Trader Joes... it probably is bad.
Coupled with having a bad cold and not running because of it, I haven't racked up too many HBBC points in the last 24 hours. 

On the good side, I have found a super yummy recipe to counteract all of this!  (*Can* you counteract millions of dark chocolate minty calories??)  I think this is one of the best winter squash recipes I've found.  And I was thrilled to figure out that it made enough for me to have for lunch for several days.  Lots of servings of veggies here.  I might rack up a HBBC point or two more after all.

Hopefully I'll quit coughing soon.  Or at least lose the headache and be back to not lying on the couch surfing the internet. 

And stay out of Trader Joes until the holidays are over!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Trot recap and HBBC week #1

There's nothing like a four day weekend... to make you wish for more! 

My family had a wonderful weekend... it's so nice to take a break and relax!

First up, my sister and her family were visiting from Chicago, IL this week so - of course I had to invite them to run the Mesa Turkey Trot with me.  It was a 10K - a little different than my "normal" 5K Thanksgiving Turkey trot... it was a beautiful, slightly overcast morning and truly perfect running weather.  I finished in 50:18 - and was pretty happy with the results!  And, if you were wondering, my sister and BIL came in a couple of minutes behind me.  I was pretty surprised actually!  I was under the impression that they were much speedier than me.

There were almost 3,000 people in the 10K and the race was mostly through neighborhoods.  It was pretty fun to see all of these people bring chairs out of their homes and watch the racers go by their house.  And oddly enough - someone I hadn't seen in years recognized me and yelled (Hi Leslie!) as I ran by. Such a small world!

As for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge this week - I didn't get a ton of exercise in just because of the travel, visiting, and shopping I ended up doing, but did get 3 runs in (aka 16 points) and pretty good eating in - no candy binging or pie overeating.  Fruits and veggies abounded!  My goal for this next week is to make sure exercise is right up there as a priority - and not having time off from work will probably keep me going... why is it when I have a more relaxed schedule I, well, relax?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving...

It's about time I put my November wall hanging up.  It's almost over!
And I'm excited for my 10K Turkey Trot tomorrow.  (New to me course!)

And being off of work for four whole days.  (I will not answer the phone once during this time!)

And dinner tomorrow.  That said, while I love the food at Thanksgiving, I have never felt the need to eat so much I feel sick.  After all, there are always leftovers!

If you're already thinking past Thursday, Friday, and the weekend... consider doing this virtural race....
Courtney is doing this to honor her daughter who passed away.  It is an awesome way to pay tribute to her.

Stay tuned for details on a race that my cute husband and I put on every year.  Just hammering out the last few details....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Have you Hugged a Runner Today?

I was cruising the internet today and discovered yet another little celebrated holiday... Hug A Runner Day - Nov 20, 2011.  Sorry if this info is getting to you late, but I just found out myself.  You can read all about it here - there is even a Facebook page for this.  Too funny.  And, should you be wondering, I have hugged a runner today - my cute husband was quite huggable and he was quite patient while I celebrated with him (though honestly, he didn't seem to mind all that much!)... and it's probably not too late to go hug my son either.  And while I'm at it, though my daughter doesn't run, I should hug her for good measure! 

How are you doing on the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge?  I ran 6 miles yesterday and ate fairly well.  Except for the Dairy Queen, but it was date night.  Today it seemed like all I did was cook veggies - which were really good, but it is an effort to eat well.  Hopefully the leftovers will get me to Thursday and Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm thankful for....

*Being able to run pretty much anytime I want to.  I have no physical limitations other than the ones I set for myself.  My body is healthy and I work to make it strong.

*Being a wife and a mom.  My cute husband and kids make my life complete.  Yes, having two teenagers in the house can be a test for any sane person, but I still kind of like having them around.

*A job, a home, and food to eat.  My job is pretty stressful right now.  Most days I come home and just want to sit and stare at a wall I'm so exahusted.  But I am truly grateful that I have a job to go to.  I am also thankful for my home, though not grand, is warm and safe and having lots of food too eat - probably too much so sometimes! 

*My "bloggy" friends and the challenges, advice, motivation, and inspiration they give me.  It's so nice to know there are other women in similar situations trying to make it all work.  I don't have very many "real life" friends that run, so I really appreciate knowing that you all are out there!

If you haven't signed up, there is still time... the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge - lots of prizes and you may come out of the holidays looking and feeling better than when you started!  This starts Nov 19th - so get going!

Don't forget Fitness Friday!  Thanks Jill!
Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trail Run

It's been a long time since I've been trail running.  I had a bit of  a trail running accident last year...(you can read all about it here)... and I've been a little bit scared out of my mind apprehensive about going again.  The funny thing is, it hasn't been as long as I thought.  I posted on Facebook that it was February 2009.  Nope.  It was February 2010.  Still, I haven't been on a trail run since then.  Lame I know.

My cute husband loves to trail run.  I love to do stuff with him.  He wanted to go trail running yesterday morning and invited me along.  I said yes.  Really more for him than me.  But, it was a yes nonetheless.

It was a great morning in Tucson.  We just don't see clouds that often - and to be able to run under them - heaven!  It wasn't too hot or too cold.  A dog in the parking lot tagged along with us the whole way.  I thought we would lose him, but we never did.  I should have taken a picture.  I was busier concentrating on not falling down.  Or tripping.  Or the million other things I was worried that would land me in the ER again.  None of them happened.  Did I really think that lightning would strike in the same place twice?  Maybe.  But then, I'm that person that always goes to worst case scenario first.  I managed to pick my feet up and put them down again for 5.33 miles without stumbling, skidding, or sliding along the trail.  Not an easy feat in some places where the dirt is really just loose rocks of all shapes going down a slope into a dry wash.

The best part?  OK - the best part besides the fact that I didn't have blood running down my legs at the end?  There is a hill in the middle of this that kills.  I have never made it up this hill without feeling like I am going to throw up.  Yesterday was different.  I'm not sure if it was because I was so worried about where I was placing my feet or the fact that my kids were busy texting me and I couldn't respond, but *I barely noticed this hill at all*.  Though I have been training on hills, I really hadn't run any in the last month since my half marathon.  This info made me practically giddy when I realized it.

Back in the parking lot, the dog hobbled home.  We got in the truck to go home.  A totally uneventful ending to a really nice run.  Worst case scenarios don't always happen.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I don't have a lot of tolerance for excuses.  Maybe it's because I've heard all of them in the school office where I work.  Um, yes, sir, I really do believe your wife works fifteen hour days six days a week and that's why she can't come in to sign the papers.  Sorry.  I think I'm more likely to believe that world peace is happening tomorrow than believe most of the excuses I hear.

And then there's me.  And my mental excuses for why I can't get out to run or eat the wayI should.  And the amazing thing is... I believe myself most of the time!  I'm as bad as the mom who told me she would be there in five minutes to get her kid, when in reality, I entertained him for the next hour and five minutes. 

That's why I was excited hear about yet another made up, but very important internet holiday of No Excuses November.  Read a motivating article here.  Do you ever find yourself saying something like this....

Slow Metabolism * Genetically Cursed * Addicted to Almonds * I Buy Cookies for My Kids * I Just Can’t * It’s So Hard * It’s Too Hard * My Husband Is Skinny & Eats A Lot & I Have to Eat with Him * I Don’t Want to Insult the Host * I Am Stressed * Tired * My Illness Made Me Eat * The Rain Made Me Eat * I’m Depressed * I’m Bored * I’m Anxious * I’m Sad * I’m Happy * I’ll Start On Monday * Start Tomorrow * I Love Food * Food Equals Love * Addicted * Can’t Quit * Can’t Give Up Chocolate * Food Is My Friend * Simply Not Inspired * Food Calms Me * Guilt * Member of the Clean-Plate Club * Quit Smoking * I’m Hungry * I Can’t Exercise * It’s the Drugs I’m Taking * I’m Peri-Menopausal * I’m Post Menopausal * I’m Pre-Pubescent * College Food * My Lifestyle Is Not Conducive * It’s Winter * It’s Summer * No Time for Exercise * No Time to Food Shop *Not Motivated * I Can’t Afford to Eat Healthy * Can’t Afford a Trainer * Can’t Afford to Join a Program * I Just Can’t Afford it * I’m Healthy for a Few Days But … * I’ve Tried Before * I Always Fail * I Eat Out a Lot * It’s My Birthday * Lots to Celebrate * Travel Makes It Impossible * I’m Trying * I’m Too Busy to Focus * Not a Good Time * I’m Injured * I Always Fall Off the Wagon * I’m Doomed * I’m Overwhelmed * Too Old * Too Young * I‘ve Been This Way My Whole Life * I don’t just fall off the wagon; I lose track of the entire trail ride. Well, everything but the chow wagon. * Being a Mom (triplets no less) * I failed so many times, I am afraid to try again * sugar addiction * it’s too hot to go out and exercise * it’s too cold to go out and exercise * my TIVO isn’t working and I’ll miss my favorite show * just don’t care anymore * I’m 60 and don’t think it matters anymore if I am 50 pounds overweight…. BUT, really I do * I don’t get enough sleep * I don’t want to * My mother didn’t praise me as a child. * My mother was an over-eater. * All the women in my family are fat. * Quality Control – I’m a Catering Director of a Hotel, constantly around food, talking about food, trying new menu items, etc. My excuse is “it’s my job to taste the food” * The devil made me do it! * I’m big boned! * Most of the above! * All of the above!

(list credited to

It's only November 4th and I've been *extremely* lazy so far... "it's too cold and early to go out and exercise"... how will I fix this?  Clothes out the night before and alarm set.  And being accountable to you, my readers.

What's your excuse? And how are you going to fix it?

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

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!