Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Helping of Mommy Guilt... but 2 Points for Me!

I noticed on the local running club's newsletter the other day that they are starting a training group run on Monday nights at a downtown run/walk event.  I've been to the run/walk event a few times.  It's kind of fun to run through downtown and see all the things you normally only see at jury duty or some other equally boring reason to go downtown.  The whole idea of this group is to revitalize the downtown here.  Really, it was just a bunch of government buildings and a couple of sandwich shops.  It's getting better.  Restaurants are moving in.  Theaters and events are beginning to happen. 

But, you know how it is.  Monday nights aren't really made for doing stuff like that if you have children and a job.  So, I've skipped it for, um, about a year?  Probably longer.

It was the half marathon training group that got me back.  It helps you not only train, but train on the actual course that the half will be happening on.  Double yay!

Last night's run was supposed to be 6 miles.  Run through downtown and up "A" mountain.  All towns have to have a place to put the letter that represents their schools... we have "A" mountain for the University of Arizona.  Then run back to the start.

I almost didn't go.  Heaping helpings of mommy guilt were headed my way.  I had already run my 4 miles for the day.  And it was 104 degrees out.  Yes, really.  At 6pm. 

From the parking lot at the top of "A" mountain.  See downtown? 
It's where I started!

I did it anyway.  While I didn't have a close friend with me, I felt a lot of camaraderie seeing all the people I was running near and passing or going the other direction on the mountain.  When I was going back, the leader of the training group was running up... probably to make sure no one died!... and giving out high fives to everyone. 

Now I'm really glad I went.  I ran over 10 miles yesterday - my phone GPS said "6.35 mi"  for the evening run- so I was going with it.  I am not in pain today - bonus!   I also have bragging rights that it was still 100 degrees out when I finished, though by then the sun had gone down.  (I want summer to end!!!)

"A" mountain from the running route... not beautiful...
but it's hard to take great photos when you are trying to beat the stop light!
And you know what?  The kids survived without me.  Homework was still being done.  No one had a meltdown.  Maybe I should take a lesson from all of this?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rest day!

Unintentional rest day.  I hate it when I do that.  The alarm went off this morning and it was all I could do not to cry.  Some mornings are like that.  I don't profess to be superwoman or anything like her.  There were these giant magnets holding me tight to the bed.  I just know there were.  And so I pressed snooze every ten minutes for a half hour and then got up and started making kid breakfasts.  And folding laundry.  And the hundred other little jobs we do everyday that are just easier to do than list them all out.

I know I'm in the thick of training for two different races.  I know I would feel much better if I had gone. 

I'll run tomorrow.  Promise.

Now that I've washed the sleep out of my eyes and sent the kids off to school... I realize I should have had this quote taped to my alarm clock this morning. 

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.

Sarah Condor

Do you ever skip runs?  Intentionally or unintentionally?  Or are you much more disciplined than me?  If you are, how do you do it?

If you're visiting here from Fitness Friday - welcome!  I can't wait to go and visit your blog as well!

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In the thick of things...

We are all back to school and work.  I looked at the calendar the other day and realized I'd been back to work for a month.  Schedules for kid's stuff is flying into the house at a breakneck speed.  We have dance concerts, cross country meets, and orchestra festivals all on the fall line up.  Gone are the days when I would stay up until midnight reading some page turner.  Now I'm lucky if I see 9:30pm.  Twice as lucky if our underwear is clean.

I think those percentages are road grades... 17.9% - I knew it was steep - I just knew it!
Not only that, but my extremely hilly Labor Day run is coming up (yes folks, you have a long weekend coming up in another week - hang in there!).  I had to go do my weekly hill run (are you getting sick of hearing me talk about this hill?).  I had plenty of time to think about why I keep coming back here as I ran.

Why I Hate the Hill:

1. It's steep. 740 tough feet up.
2. I get sweaty.  OK, so maybe I would get sweaty anyway.
3. It's early.  You have to be off by 7:30.  But I have to be at work at 7:30 so what does it matter?
4. It's hard.  Once you get past that half way point, it just gets harder.  And your body won't let you forget.
5. Did I mention that it's hard?  I don't think I have ever felt gravity working so well!

Why I Love the Hill:

1. People are friendly.  They actually wave and say hi. 
2. Cool scenery.  The city view looks great at sunrise.  And even before sunrise.
3. My hilly race is going to be better because of it.  Believe it or not, I went a bit faster today.
4. When you get to the bottom, you know you've accomplished more before 6am than most people do all day.
5. The feeling that you can do it.  And have done it.  And will do it again.  The challenge of it never dies.  And this is sure sculpting my legs!

Hope you're having a wonderful week working on some great challenge of yours!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fitness Friday and Happy 100th Post!

Poking my head in to wish everyone a Happy Fitness Friday!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]
Thanks http://jillconyers.typepad.com/ for hosting!  I can't wait until this evening so I can go visit your blogs (darn work - getting in the way and expecting me to spend 8 hours there and actually work!!).
I just realized this was my 100th post at this blog - so - Happy 100th Post to me.
I am on the training train now.  I got up and ran 6 miles this morning.  Since it was dark when I started and I knew it would be light when I finished, I was really looking forward to a beautiful sunrise as a reward.  I was getting worried because it was getting lighter and lighter out and there was no sunrise in sight due to clouds on the horizon.  The street lights clicked off and nothing.  Nada.  I rounded the corner to finish my miles and suddenly as I was slowing down to stop, I looked up and there was this beautiful picture:

Excuse the "For Sale" signs.  I live in AZ - the nations capital for foreclosures.  Of course there are some in my neighborhood as well.

It was like I was being cheered on for finishing something I knew I could do, but needed the mental toughness to accomplish this morning - after all - I still had kids to get out the door and work to arrive at looking fresh and relaxed!  I enjoyed the scene.  Five minutes later I looked out to show my kids, and the clouds had moved back and the sky was gray.  I told you.  The heavens were clapping for me.  It totally made getting up worth it!
What about you?  What makes your runs worth it?  Is it something big, something little, or something someone else would think was insignificant?  Does it have to be something you can share?  Or do you keep it to yourself?  I'd love to hear what keeps you going!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Have a Half Marathon in October.

What?  October?  And it's mid August....



It's been 3.5 years since I ran a half marathon (really?  Feb '08 was that long ago??).

Must. Get. Going.

No more thinking it's too hot.  Or humid.  Or muggy.  Even if it really is.

I'm not too tired.  Or busy.  Or lazy.  Even though I know I am.

It's time to get the commitment going and the plan down.

I *can* do this.  It *will* be fun. 

And I'm off.  How many miles to start with?? Hmmmmmm.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Looking For Balance

Really cute, fun and easy to create.  I want to have a party myself now!
Because somehow I missed out on blogging a bit this week. Probably because I was making ruffled party streamers for a friend.  Very fun.  But, somehow I can't get blogging it all done.

I was still out there running... in fact I did the "Not Over the Hill 5K".... at 4:30am on my favorite hill...

Don't look too closely.  This is a pretty awful photo.
Turns out I can't take a picture of myself AT ALL.  Yup. This was the best of it.  The next best just got my shoulder.  Really.  At least there is this really nice picture of the city lights from the top of the hill as the sun is starting to break over the horizon.  And I had a great time doing it.  As much as I whine as I am going up the Hill, I am elated at the bottom of the hill and the feeling carries me though the rest of the day.

Thanks Carrie for having a birthday and a reason to run this virtual race!

Moments before a drop dead beautiful sunrise.
I'll be trying to keep my life more in balance this week.  It seems to be the theme everywhere lately.  It's even painted on a rock on my desk at work.  At our staff retreat a couple of weeks ago, we were given rocks to decorate so we could be reminded of what really is important in life. 

In today's Sunday paper (one of my life's very guilty pleasures!) carried the column "Checks and Balances" by Kathleen Rosman.  I really liked her sentiments... "It rains, it pours, too much of a good thing is too much.  Balance is almost an impossible ideal.  That's important to realize, even as we still aspire to it... There is no way to balance it all, and if I tried it would mean turning my back on things that round out my life and make me whole."

I don't want to have to shut out things that make my life more complete.  I want to live life to its fullest.  Do you think having balance is "an impossible deal?"  What do you do to fit everything that must be done (dishes/laundry/job) in with the things that you want to do (family/running/anything else).  I'm hearing listening and taking notes!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Let the (personal) training begin!

I finally am getting to start with my new personal training plan.  I had to fill out a health/fitness questionnaire and get some (unflattering) photos taken of me.  I'm not sure why it took me all of last week to get them done and sent, but now the truth is out there and I must start.  I would show you these photos, but I deleted them.  Mostly because they look like the before photo in the _____ commercial.  You fill in the blank.  It could be weight loss, plastic surgery, whatever, that's what it looks like.  And I'm sure it doesn't help that the bra and running shorts I'm wearing don't match.  I'm sure you can imagine exactly what they look like.  Totally what I do not strive to have photos of me look like!  I could barely look at them as I was trying to attach them to an email!  I'll keep you posted as to how this goes.

The other realization of the day came this morning when I realized that I had only *4* weeks left to my 8 mile race on Labor Day.  Um, can you cram for a race?  The sad thing is, this is one of my most favorite races ever.  And every summer I swear that by this race I will be fit and ready, and every summer I get to this point and realize that I have to cram for the thing.  You would think I would learn.  This is the 5th year in a row this has happened.

It might have something to do with school starting again.  My job is crazy busy right now (good), but, it's also crazy busy right now (bad) and I'm trying to find a little balance between work and home.  My cute husband and kids are being awfully patient with me.  It will calm down.  I know it will.  (She repeats over and over to herself.)

I'm going out to my favorite hill in the morning to do my "Not Over the Hill" 5K.... I think there is still time to sign up and join in if you are interested.  I've got my bib printed out and ready... now just to think of what to wear... or better yet, how to get my picture taken since it will be dark.  Or better yet, how NOT to look like my "before" personal training photos!  What I won't do for a chance at prizes!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fitness Friday and my family's 15 seconds of fame...

Welcome to another Fitness Friday.  Thanks to Jill over at Life.. As I See It for hosting.  Leave a comment and let me know who you are so I can go visit you as well!

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

My good friend, Ann, has been writing for the local fitness magazine the past few months.  Those magazines that you can pick up for free at your gym or library.  You know - the kind that offer a few tidbits about a lot of things, give you the rundown on local events, and are a quick read.  She recommended my family to be featured in this month's Fit Family Feature.  I haven't actually found this yet in print, but a PDF version is just as good - right?? 
This photo is getting lots of mileage... first our Christmas card photo and now our magazine photo.

The Brenton family

Meet Tucson’s Brenton Family

Rik, 40 • Amy, 38 • Caitlin, 16 • Philip, 14

When they’re active: The Brentons enjoy backpacking, rock climbing, running and cycling as a family. Rik is an avid trail and road runner and mountain biker. Amy enjoys swimming and Pilates. Daughter Caitlin is a dancer who focuses on ballet, and Philip plays soccer in addition to taking part in the other activities listed above.

Favorite Arizona destination: Aravipia Canyon

Favorite family meal: Homemade pizza

Favorite family snacks: Popcorn and smoothies

Screen time: yes or no? “No to TV (Olympics & elections are the only times the TV comes on). Kids earn computer and video game time. The kids get one hour per day if chores and homework are done.” The family watches a movie together a few times a week.

How they find the time to fit it all in: “We take turns making sure everyone is where they need to be so that we can all get in everything we want to do. We have to plan ahead to make it all to work. We make sure the other person gets their workouts in.”

Best tip for families that want to be more active: “Turn off the TV and stop making excuses.”

To see the whole thing with more photos visit the pdf version HERE.

And, FYI, in our email "interview" I focused more on my running and not as much on my cute husband's running.  I focused on his rock climbing.  But, here we have it in print that he's the runner.  Um, who has the running blog here???  Who enters races and makes yearly mileage goals? 

Hint... not the guy mentioned as the "runner" of our family. *sigh*

Hey, but it is my 15 seconds of fame... I suppose I should just go with it and enjoy it!