Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bit off more than I could chew

Well, it probably was not a good idea to try to start a new "challenge" and try and take as many classes at one time as I was taking. My challenge did not do so good, but I did keep on track with my running. The weight I thought I was up was actually due to a defective scale, kind of funny now. I mean I wasn't going crazy or anything, was just really puzzled as to why my weight was going up and not down. Happy to know that my scale was broken. I knew that my clothes all fit the same so I was just kind of puzzled with that. So with that I have no real weight goals really for the new years other than not gaining any weight.

I am trying to get back on track with some type of stretching and strength training. I need to figure out some way to include this into my routine that doesn't take a ton of time as my running takes so much of my time that I just find myself skipping stretching and strength. Not making any big goals until I figure out a way to squeeze more time into my day. I am really struggling with getting anything done during the day when me and Natalie are home. She doesn't like mama doing anything. Anyhow, just thought I'd make an update on here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 3 and 4 down

I got my run in yesterday. I did wind up moving the upper body strength training to today (Saturday) which was my scheduled rest day, but so far so good. I'm feeling much more on track. I am still very frustrated with how poorly my running has been lately (as far as speed, HR, and effort). I am running, but not getting the same results I was. I am hoping I start making improvements again soon and can get back to where I was in September. I was expecting to be faster now, not slower - very frustrating. It is what it is though and I will just keep plugging along. I know how much progress I made last training cycle so I am sure that I will make improvements again. I just need to stick with the program. I have tons to do as usual. Still trying to juggle doing it all. Trying to take all these classes at an accelerated pace is taking its toll on me. I'll update tomorrow after my long run.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 2 check

Yay! Done with day 2. No problems. I didn't do a whole lot for ab work, but I did something. I did 4 sets of different crunches and a 30 second plank. I am sure I will feel it tomorrow though as I haven't done any ab work in months. I may find some videos to do for ab work. We'll see. Just want to be doing something. Ran 5 miles on the treadmill too.

Also, been having problems with my heart rate being really high when I run as well as really bad orthostatic hypotension. The last couple days have been better, but it was getting to where every time I stood up I'd have a major head rush and have to just stand there. I've always had problems with it, but it's been worse lately. I have a few ideas for culprits. One being me burning the candle at both ends. This school and lack of sleep I think is doing me in. First thing I'm doing is trying to more sleep. 5 hours a sleep is just not cutting it and 6 is not much better. Second problem which sort of relates to the first one, my coffee intake. I have been drinking tons of coffee lately. Maybe 2 pots a day lately. I bought the 50/50 coffee and going to try to work my way down on the coffee. I'm not giving up coffee altogether, but I do not need this much. Finally, picked up a multi-vitamin and seeing if that will help. Since we are gluten free in the house I think I may be getting deficient with my vitamins. Oh and trying to drink more water too. We'll see if that helps. Will update tomorrow for day 3.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 1 of 30 day challenge

Well, day 1 is done! I am feeling much more accomplished (other than this stupid microbiology class that wants to put trivia pursuit questions on their test instead of the material that was covered in the book, but anyhoo back to my good day). I got up this morning and first thing did a 10 minute upper body workout. Since I have not been doing any strength training lately I didn't want to do too much and two, my arms hurt pretty quickly. I did 2 sets of everything including 2 sets of 10 push ups. Don't know the right names for all the exercises, but feel good about it.

I also did a real easy 3 mile TM run, but I have a ton to do today so don't have time to do much more including much of a real blog post. I still have an exam to do for microbiology and a lab report I need to finish up and get done before midnight. So with that I will end this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time for another 30 Day challenge!

I've been sucking big time! Well, I've been kicking serious butt with school and knocking out classes. I've taken 9 credits worth of CLEP tests in 5 weeks. Plus I am 4 weeks through an 8 week accelerated microbiology class and pulling an A, BUT in the process my running has gone into the crapper and I have gained 3-4 lbs. NOT COOL! I am not big on making excuses so time to get myself refocused. So my 30 day challenges have worked for me in the past so I figure I'll do it again. Be looking for a blog post from me EVERY single day for the next 30 days. They may be short and stupid, but I will be blogging something. (I have not been not exercising or running at all, but I've been missing runs entirely too often and strength training was tossed out the window a long while back.)

So onto what I've decided to do for my challenge.

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday - (Should only take 15 minutes)upper body pick 5 exercises 4 using chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and a set of push ups. Do at least 2 sets of each for the first week and increasing to 3 sets (and increasing weight or reps as needed after that).

Thursday, Friday, & Sunday - (Should only take 15 minutes) 5 ab exercises including a set of planks. Starting planks with 30 second hold and we'll see where I get at the end.

Saturday - Walk day. 30-60 minute walk, just to be doing something.

And of course RUNNING - Running goal is real simple stick to coach's schedule. No deviations. Determined to get that back on track as well.

Oops and food goals too - only goal is no binging. I am pretty good with everything else diet wise, but had a few bad binges in the past few weeks. One of my biggest downfalls is I binging when I am stressed. I do much better with it than I used to, but still have episodes now and then.

I will post my starting stats and will reweigh & remeasure at the end of 30 days. I am also posting before and after pics. I wasn't going to post them here as this blog is a little more public to real life friends and family, but decided to go ahead and hope nobody laughs too hard at my belly flab. Yes, I've had 7 kids and um, not been able to get rid of all of that. I'm okay with that. Not expecting perfection.

(And for the record NO I do not think I am fat. This is me fat (for those that have never seen my fat pics -
Me at 213lbs)

I would like to lose the 3 or 4 lbs I gained, but my main goal is getting my fitness back on track. I'm actually pretty happy with my weight. I do want to track weight and measurements though for this just to see how much adding back in strength training makes a difference.)

Now onto the measurements.

weight - 130 lbs

arm -9 3/4 inches
chest @ underarm - 33 inches
chest @ braline - 30 inches
true waist - 27 1/2 inches
@ belly button - 30 inches
hips - 35 1/2 inches
thigh - 20 1/2 inches
calf 12 3/4 inches

(Not stepping on scale or remeasuring until end of 30 days. This should be interesting.)

and finally for the starting picture for this challenge. I apologize for the horrible lighting. My 10 year old daughter is the only one I can get to take pics of me and she didn't do a perfect job, but I figure it gives me a reference point for starting.


I'll be back later today to post how I did with day 1.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

OMG! 58 minute PR, 3rd place women's, and 4:19:29 finish!

Holy cow! I am still grinning! I did NOT expect today to go like this. I couldn't have asked for a better race (well except maybe the jerko at the finish - story to follow.) I'll start with the drive to the packet pick up. We got lost. We missed the turn somehow for the casino and wound up driving a good portion of the course actually. We didn't realize it was the course until we started seeing mile marker signs. We kept driving thinking well maybe it's this way since there are signs. Finally after a while we turned around. Fast forward get the packet and now it's late and we're tired. Pick up dinner and head back to the campground.

Get to the campground and great it's raining! This should be fun. I knew my Garmin needed to be charged, but figured the rain would let up soon. It didn't. So finally we find a ziplock bag and put it in a ziplock bag and kind of run it from the electrical outlet. I figure it'll be charged by morning and hopefully the rain will let up and the ziplock will keep it safe. Go to bed. Have Natalie my darling 13 month old crawling all over me, but she finally falls asleep. Rain, rain, rain, rain, and more rain. I wake up at 12:30am. Still raining. I wake up at 2 am. Still raining. I have a dream, a very vivid one at that, and dream that it is 6:49 am and I'm looking at my phone and realizing the alarm didn't go off trying not to flip out on my husband. I wake up again, realize it's just a dream, but just the same look at my phone to check the time. It's 4:00am. Still raining. Go back to sleep and the alarm goes off at 5 am. Still raining. I get up and go check on my Garmin and damn it. The stupid thing is sitting at the bottom of the ziplock bag NOT attached to the charger. The charge now says 0%. Lovely. I put it back on the charger and I go take my shower. Come out from shower. 5:37 don't ask why I remember the time when I checked the Garmin again, but I did. It says 100% charge now which I thought was weird because I didn't think it was enough time to go from 0% to 100%, but figured at this point it really didn't matter I needed to get going.

We head to the race. I stop at 2 gas stations. Got coffee at one and looked for a banana or something I thought I could stomach before I decided breakfast just wasn't happening. (I had a gu gel right after my shower just in case I couldn't find breakfast.) Get to race start with a little bit of time to spare and have another gu gel right before the start for good measure. Hear the national anthem both the Canadian version and the American one since we were in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. I go to switch my Garmin to training and the screen flashes a line across it and goes blank. I try 3 times to fix it knowing that the start should be any second. I type a FB message on my phone because I knew I was going to be running this without my gadgets. No HR data, no pacing, no distance, nothing. I actually for whatever reason didn't even get that upset. I was a little concerned, but I worked too dang hard at training to let this stop me. I was here to run a race and figured I'd just wing it and hope for the best. I knew anyway you looked at it, it was going to be hard!

The race starts and we are going over the International Bridge for the first 4 miles. Two miles into Canada, although it was a topic of debate among the runners whether this actually counted as running into Canada or not. I choose team Canada as that just sounds cooler having run to Canada and back. I have mentioned before that I have a fear of bridges so I was happy to see this one was pretty easy and not too scary. I can usually walk over them, but driving over them makes me cuckoo. Miles 1-4 I am running with two people and was talking to this one gal and she heard me talking about my Garmin and we talked a little before the race. She said she was aiming for 10 min/miles so I thought cool I can just pace off of her. Well, as were running this obnoxious guy jumps into our conversation and does NOT shut up for the entire 4 miles with irritating things to say. Including after us mentioning our kids "I would be a horrible parent that's why I've never had kids. I believe a little too much that if you shake them hard enough they'll shut up." Uh, yah, mama of 7 wants to listen to that! Go away. You don't want kids fine. Did I ask you? Do I care? That was enough to make me run a little harder to get to the end of the bridge to get away from him. The thought of listening to that for another 22 miles was unbearable and if I ran too fast off my pace right now oh well. It was worth it. I told my husband other than the guy I wanted to push off the bridge it was great (and the other jerk at the end of the race.)

Cruising right along. After mile 4 I had no idea of my pace. I knew the first 4 I ran some under 10 min and some at 10 min because the gal I was running with was giving me times. From miles 5 to 10 no idea of my pace, just pushing as hard as I thought I could maintain without feeling like I was running too fast. I was running mostly with the half marathoners at this point and honestly did not see a single runner that was running the full. I'm sure they were there, but not sure where. At 10 miles I see some spectators cheering us on and ask one of them if they know what time it is. He says 9o'clock. When he said 9 on the dot like that I had a feeling he was rounding. Not like most non runners realize that I want exact time. Plus I wasn't 100% sure when the race actually started because I think it started a few minutes late. (Still not sure about that.) So with that I only had a rough idea that I wasn't too far off of the pace I was aiming for. Keep running.

Somewhere after that the half marathoners have their turn around. At that point it was kind of lonely, but I could now easily see how many marathoners were. I still had no idea what pace I was running. I just decided to try and keep up with whoever was in front of me. At some point around mile 12 I think I realize I hadn't seen any female runners. There was one gal in front of me and I thought she was a half marathoner. She turned out to be a full. I decided to use her for my pacing. I figured I was not going to lose site of her and keep at her pace. For whatever dumb reason I had convinced myself that everyone was running an even pace so that I could just keep her pace and be steady the whole time. By mile 14 though I kind of thought she was slowing down, but wasn't sure without a watch. I came up right behind her and passed her. I was really scared to leave her because she was who I was using to pace, but decided what the hell. I had been chanting my mantra in my head from mile 12 on "Make it count". I even named my playlist "Make it count." (I lied I wasn't totally running naked. I did have my music. The advice that I read most was not to do anything drastically different come race day so I figured music counted so it came with me.) Anyhow, passed the one gal at mile 14. I figured she'd be passing me back soon, but surprisingly she didn't.

I keep going and at mile 17 you start seeing people coming back from the turn around. There is the first place guy running awfully speedy, and right behind him Miss Speedy Gonzales. She won overall 2nd place (2:55 finish) and 1st place women's. Sadly for me she was in my age group. Anyhow, I am watching for the females at the turn around to see how many there are. I see another gal go by and she was pretty fast, and then a 3rd one go by and she wasn't too slow either. I saw 2 people ahead of me that I think are also females but can't be for sure at this point. So I'm thinking that puts me at 6. I figured I couldn't be running too slow if I was sixth place women's. Of course when I saw the two speedy people at the turn around I thought oh goody I don't have too much further to go.

Now keep in mind that was THEIR mile 17, not mine I was still at maybe 15 miles. Oh my gosh, from there to the turn around felt like an eternity! I still didn't know my pace, but my goal at that point was not to let another female get ahead of me. Still chanting in my head "Make it count." Keep running, honestly just putting one foot in front of the other trying to block out the fact that I have 11 miles to go. Instead I tell myself 5 miles to the 20 mile mark. You can run 5 miles and keep pushing along. From mile 18 to mile 20 my legs start really hurting, bad. I start thinking oh crud. I hope I don't hit the wall and wind up walking. It kind of freaked me out a little bit. I had a gel at mile 5, mile 10, mile 15, and was planning to go to mile 20 for the next one. When I started feeling my legs hurting I figured fuel. Fuel might help. I didn't know, but I figured it sure as hell couldn't hurt so had another gu gel at somewhere between mile 18 and before mile 19. It seemed like an eternity before mile marker 19 showed up. I was trying to convince myself that I missed it or that they didn't put up a mile marker there and that mile 20 would show up instead.

I am still keeping site of the two girls running together that were runners 4 and 5. They were maybe 1/4 mile ahead of me most of the last couple miles. Somewhere around mile 20 though I realize I'm gaining on these two. I thought they are running together and the one will slow down for the other and I pass them right about mile 20. I was totally surprised that I passed them at this point. From mile 20 to mile 21 I was trying to put as much distance between me and them as I could. I was number 4 now. That would be so cool to say I was number 4 and I was not letting them get ahead of me. At this point I didn't care about my PR or my time. I mean come on, I could say I came in 4th place women's in a marathon. How cool is that? So I run and mile 21 comes and I'm having a hard time keeping at the faster pace and honestly really tired. I look behind me and those 2 are no where to be seen so I figure I am okay and just keep telling my little legs that all they have to do is keeping moving now and I've got this.

Takes FOREVER to get to mile 22. At mile 22 I see another runner in front of me. I had my final gu gel there as well. I thought it was a male runner for quite a while and decided my new goal was just to try to keep him in my site. There was nobody else on the course and I didn't want to get lost so I was keeping an eye on "him". As I get a little closer I realize crap. That's not a guy, that's the 3rd place girl! I had no intentions of trying to pass her. She was ahead of me, not by a lot, but I was tired and did not have the energy to try to catch up to her. I just figured I'd just try and follow her all the way through. At mile 24 1/2 she stops! OH MY GOSH. Can you imagine? I felt kind of bad for her. She's rubbing her leg, but she's not running she's walking. Um, hell yah, I was going to pass her. I feel bad for her, but you know this is a race after all. Mile 25 I am pushing my little legs as hard as I can make them go. I am 3rd place women's now. No way, no how am I letting her get back ahead of me. I get to the sign that says 1 mile left to go and I am still chanting make it count in my head. I am also at this point begging my legs to cooperate and keep moving.

Now to the stupid @#&^% guy that I mentioned several times. They had to do some detours due to road construction at the end of the race. I am maybe 1/2 mile left to go and I know this from the sign. Well I get to the bridge and there are cones everywhere. Cones for the construction, cones for the detour. I can't make heads or tails of where the damn course is. I was really pissed at this point. I finally remember oh yes, there's the grass and cones there. That's where we ran through at the beginning. This has to be it and head down the grass. I get to the end of the grass knowing I have to be close, but can't find anybody, no signs and can't see a finish line. There's a bunch of guys standing outside. I thought they were with the race at fist. I asked them if they knew where the finish line was. The guy says I think it's a good mile away. I am honestly thinking he's screwing with me at first. I'm like it can't be a mile away. There was a 1 mile left to go sign a good 1/2 mile back. And he's like "Do you need somebody?" I'm like NO I NEED to find the darn finish. I finally walk away because he's wasting my time. He should have just said right from the start I don't know and I would have moved on. I finally see 3 other guys with college jerseys on that I knew were part of the race and they point me to the right direction. I see the finish line. I see my little boy Leo! My big sweetie was there to cheer me on. He was the only one of my kids that wanted to come to my race. He told me he wanted to cheer me on because if he did I might win. I saw him cheering. I saw the finish. I saw the timer and it said 4:19 something! HOLY COW! My goal time was 4:26:30. I couldn't believe I was that much faster than I was aiming for. I ran hard. I was getting in under 4:20. My final finish was 4:19:28. I came in 3rd women's overall. 2nd in my age group behind speedy gonzales, and 16th place overall (out of 43 total). Today was absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for reading this and thanks everyone that has encouraged me along the way.

EDITED: Time was 4:19:29 not 4:19:28. Close enough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feeling quite delusional tonight

When I first started running, my goal was to run a 5k and believe me that was a BIG deal to me then. Marathon, I will admit I don't even know if I knew exactly how far the distance was. I have always had enough sense to keep my mouth shut if I'm not sure on something (or ask and not assume) though and knew that a marathon was a specific distance and not just another name for a race. As I started running and working on my weight was when I stumbled on a blog from someone running marathons and that's what kind of started the itch. At that point in time I honestly had no idea what the buzz about Boston was. I knew it was a marathon and probably the only one I'd really ever heard of, but that's about it.

Fast forward a little bit as I get more serious about my running and get an idea of what the Boston Marathon is and how fast you have to be to run it. Up until probably the last month I didn't think I could ever be a Boston Marathoner and didn't have much of a desire to actually run it even if I could. I may not have mentioned this here before, but I have problems with anxiety, not huge any more, but still there. I have two things that will cause anxiety attacks for me any more, well maybe 3 or 4. One is driving over bridges and driving any place that has barricades on both sides or through tunnels. Not sure what causes that, but I hardly ever drive over bridges if I can avoid it and if I do I will have to have someone on the phone or in the car with me to do it. Second is heights which goes along with bridges. The third though and most annoying is crowds. I hate them. I don't like concerts, crowded sporting events, or large races. I can handle them if somebody is with me, but doing it by myself stresses me out. Not sure if you're following my train of thought here, but Boston is crowded so up until recently I really didn't know if I wanted to do it even if I could.

Today though, I am sure that I want to do it! I am pretty good at not letting fear hold me back from things (unless of course it's a rational fear like jumping out of an airplane - No thanks. I choose life :)) Anyhooo... back to my rambling for the night. Up until recently I hadn't wanted to run Boston nor did I think I was capable. I've always believed that if I put my mind to something I could do it. I'm kind of stubborn that way. I know that I have my work cut out for me, but I think I'm putting this goal in writing. I might have to wait until I move up another age group or two, but darn it I'm setting my eyes on it now. Haha, that would be one for a great blog title - 5:17 to BQ dream on.... Well, that's where I'm at for tonight. Dream big or go home!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Putting the Big S on my shirt!

Yep, that's it. Putting on my Supermom outfit and getting back to my day job. School is in session and you can sure tell because I am juggling everything to get things done. On top of marathon training I have decided to start classes online. I really wanted to go back to a traditional college, but the cost of daycare right now I just can't do it. Once Steven is driving and Natalie is in school that will be an option, but for now online is what's going to work. So far this week I have had to use the treadmill once, run in the complete dark twice without being able to see my Garmin because the backlight is now not working, and had to run with the jogging stroller once. BUT and the big but is, I got it done! Woohoo go me! I originally thought to title this post - Got kids, so what?, but you know I will acknowledge that kids sure can make running/exercising a little more challenging. However, even people without kids can have obstacles and sometimes theirs can be even bigger than mine. You see, if you want it, you really want it, then you can make it happen. And me, I want it! I have worked too darn hard this summer to throw in the towel now. I have realized though with the start of the school year I am going to have to make some adjustments to my running schedule.

1. Treadmill time again. BOOOOOO. If anyone has any amazing blog post on how to make the treadmill magically more exciting please let me know. I loathe the treadmill and am going to have to come up with some ideas on how to make it more entertaining.

2. Me and the jogging stroller. I never thought I'd be one of those moms that could push a stroller and jog for 10 miles, but dag gone it I think that's going to be me! I am up to 6 miles with the stroller and Natalie is an amazing companion. She keeps me company and gives me someone to talk to so I don't look like the lunatic talking to myself. I am going to be adding more stroller runs in. I will have to figure out how to keep her bundled up as it's getting cooler and probably keep it to shorter runs as the temperature drops.

3. I can't believe I am saying this, but I may even resort to GASP getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get my run in while hubby is still home. Unfortunately for me he leaves for work really early so not sure I can make that work even if I have the willpower to get up insanely early. Not firmly committing to this one.

4. Night time running - Yeppers, been doing this one a little already. Although honestly I hardly call 5pm night running, but I know real soon the sun is going to start setting crazy early. The great state of Michigan provides for wonderfully early nights. I am also going to have to figure out how to suck it up and run in the cold, but will save that for a later date as not up to tackling anything new today.

Okay, that's all I got right now for strategies to get my running in. Mostly right now it's a matter of just doing it and figuring out how to not the day slip out of my hands without getting it done. This week has been particularly challenging. I've had on top of all my kids going back to school I have also had 3 doctors appointments for my kids as well.

I see a lot of people, sometimes myself included, come up with 1000 reasons why they can't get things done. You know sometimes there really are obstacles that get in your way. Sometimes you just have a crappy week or even a crappy month and fitness just can't be your number 1 priority. However, I do believe the majority of people can work in the time to exercise if they WANT to. Yep, I said it. Take a look at your day. Have you watched TV today? Now don't cheat. Even 15 minutes of TV? If you stumbled across my blog on Facebook um yeah, that means you, then um yeah you had time to exercise today.

I will be completely honest, I have no real desire to motivate people that don't want to be motivated. I don't have the energy. It takes all I got motivating myself. However, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed trying to do it all then take a deep breath, make yourself a list, put your BIG S on your shirt and just do it!

That's all for tonight. Oh yes, 16 days until race!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sucky run yesterday, ready for a good one

Last week's 20 miler was almost perfect, up until the last 3 miles which went to crap. That kind of shook me a little, but honestly not too much. Yesterday's run however was just down right sucky. I had to drive Steven to school. Plus hubby and the kids were all heading up north for the bridge walk (Mackinac Bridge walk - It's a Labor Day tradition for us. Feel free to google it.) Anyhow, trying to get everyone out the door I knew I would not be able to do my run in the morning. By the time I get to look at the weather report I realize oh crud it's going to hit 90 today. Yesterday's run was supposed to include 8 miles at marathon pace - the new marathon pace. That's what I get for running a 5K PR. I knew at that point waiting until 7 or 8 pm was going to be the next best option, not a good one. We have no AC in our house so running on the treadmill only buys me some relief and I hate running on the treadmill. I've been able to handle the heat up to about 6 miles so I was still hopeful that I could do this one.

OH MY GOD was it hot! I was actually rocking and rolling thinking okay I can do this. I just kept trying to think positive even though I had been nervous all day about this run knowing the heat. I made it through the warm up and the first 2 miles at marathon pace. I was doing okay, but it was definitely hard. Fifth mile and I just couldn't do it. I started walking. I didn't care. For the first time in this entire training cycle I just didn't care. I just had this whole screw it attitude. I'm hot and I'm tired and I want to go home. I walked for maybe a minute, less than 2 because my pace for that mile wasn't awful. Then I pulled myself together. I decided to change my focus and keep on goal for getting those darn 11 miles in. I was mad that I couldn't do it at marathon pace, mad and frustrated. I got to 6 miles and felt a little better. At 6 miles I decided I was running to 7 miles and then going home and doing the last 4 at home on the treadmill. I got to 7 miles and decided no, I'm not a quitter push a long. I just kept thinking about this race coming up and I would not have the option to go to the treadmill to finish up. Come hell or high water I was going to finish this run.

The entire rest of the run sucked big time. I was hot. It was dark now. I couldn't see my watch. I was tired. I really wanted to quit. Not the type of run you want ending your training cycle really. I am still a little ticked off about it, but what can you do. I got home and looked up the weather and looked at my heart rate data. It was dark so I could barely see my watch and the backlight wouldn't turn on so I just was listening for the lap beeps mostly to see when I was done. Looking up the heat index it was 97! I like to type that out to make myself feel better about it. I did finish 11 miles in 97 degree heat. That's got to count for something. Anyhow, I got one more 20 mile run until taper.

I talked to coach about my paces for tomorrow's run. He made some adjustments. Now of course I feel like a big baby and like I should try to do the original harder paces, but going to just play things by ear. I figure I'll watch my heart rate and if it is being surprisingly good I will pick up the pace, but for right now it's more important for me to be able to run a consistent pace for the entire 20. I'm freaking out a tad bit about the actual race. Up until now my goal had been less than 4:40 so 4:30anything finish. With these new training paces though I was starting to think maybe just maybe I could do better than that. Now, I'm not sure what to think. I don't want to walk away thinking if I would have pushed a little harder I could have done better. That's been my whole goal this whole training cycle to always give 100% and do my very best. I've only had 2-3 runs where I haven't finished on target (even if they were bad runs most of them I've finished at the paces I was supposed to). I'm heading up north to the lake to run this 20 again. Hopefully the creepy old guy won't disrupt my run. I won't be able to update this blog until some time next week. (I won't have internet.) I need to nail this run tomorrow!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big time PR! Rocked this one! Mendon Hornet Hustle 5K!

I am so psyched! Awesome, awesome race. Best race I've ever run (so far). Anyhoooo, I had been having a tiny bit of anxiety over this race. Coach sent me some tips for running it. One of which was warm up by running the course slow. Warm up?!?!?! You mean real runners are supposed to do this right? I have never, ever really warmed up for a race. I admit it. I'm one of the typical 5K runners that just show up at the starting line with a smile and cross their fingers and hope for the best. This time however was different. I really, really wanted to do better. I have been very determined this whole training cycle to be putting my all into it. Doing the stuff I don't want to do including stretching and warming up, but still as of yet I've never warmed up for a 5K and was very nervous about being the sole runner running the entire route prerace. What if people stared at me? Then I thought about it? So what? I mean I've got 7 freaking kids. Have I ever cared about people staring at me before??? Uh, no.

So to the race I go. Start off by almost heading out the door with my running skirt on inside out. Smooth. Realized I was tired when I put it on when I couldn't find my pocket. Fixed that. Try again. Leave without my Garmin and HRM. Turn around and go get it. Could have ran without it, but didn't want to. Finally get to race. And while I am running the warm up the whole time I'm thinking this is so easy. What was my hang up about this. Nobody is staring at me and it was good for my confidence as well. Since I had to go back to get my Garmin I didn't get there early enough to run the entire course prerun, but I ran 2 miles of it. I was running really slow too and I look at my watch and it says 11 minutes for the first mile. (For some of you that probably means nothing, but 11 minutes isn't really all that slow or easy for me so I got a good feeling about this race when 11 minutes felt super easy.)

Get to starting line. Line up in the front. I've never lined up in the front - ever. I always line up in the back, but this time I wanted to be fast and not slow so did it anyways. Forgot to mention, my cousin drove me to the race. He's older than me and fast to me. He usually runs anywhere from 20ish to at his slowest 24ish 5Ks. My PR for the 5K distance was 28:28. So when the gun goes off my goal was to be able to keep an eye on him. Not to keep up with him, but at least to be able to see the back of his head and his shirt.

As we are running the first 1/4 of mile I was kind of disoriented as to how fast I was going. It didn't feel that fast, but I never start in the front with the fast runners so I wasn't sure. I look at my garmin and see 8 something. WOW! My goal pace was 9-9:10 min/mi. I see my cousin and we are running pretty close to each other. I decide if I am running at his pace I better back off a bit because I knew his pace and I knew that I still had a ways to go and I knew I needed to be able to keep this pace longer than a 1/2 mile. Backed off a little, but still was psyched about how fast I was running. Finished first mile in 8:25! (This may not be a big deal to some, but was HUGE to me. I don't think I've ever ran a full mile in under 9 minutes.)

Second mile I remember the whole time just thinking stay strong. Keep going and being completely amazed that my body was still moving this fast. I was tired, but not I'm going to throw up tired and was pretty confident I could keep my pace for the rest of the race. Finished second mile - time 8:52.

Get to third mile. The whole time I did not have my garmin set to show anything except my pace, my lap pace, and my distance. I didn't want to see my exact time, HR, or anything else. I didn't want to be distracted. I just was trying to focus on keeping my pace around 9 min/mi or better. About 3/4 mile from the finish I see my cousin's shirt. I realize holy cow. I must be doing pretty good if I can see him! He was still way faster than me, but still I could see him. Usually he finishes so far ahead of me he's nowhere to be seen or found. So that helped keep me going. I just kept focusing on being able to see his darn shirt.

1/2 mile from the finish I made an attempt at passing a couple runners. Didn't work so well. I did pass one gal, but then felt like I was going to puke, lol. My bad. Oh well, she wound up passing me at the end, but not by but a few seconds. To be honest at that point I didn't really care because I KNEW I was going to PR this and big time. I was so excited with that if she or a couple runners I couldn't pick off. Oh well. When I turned the corner to the finish I could see the clock. I couldn't believe it. I still had my garmin set to pace so honestly wasn't sure what that equated to in time. The clock said 26:20 something. That was enough to get me really booking it. I just kept turning over my legs and moving. No way in hell I was going to finish in over 27 minutes now. Crossed the line in 26:50. (I read it as 26:47, but it wasn't a chipped race and I'm not going to whine over 3 seconds.) Mile 3 - 8:53, and the last .1 pace was 7:39!

The only sucky thing was I finally run fast enough to win an age group award and those suckers have the age grouping in 10 year groups! Boo! I came in 4th for the 30-39 year old age group. The fastest gal was 30. I was withing 15 seconds of the other 2. Overall though, I am so excited! This was a 1:38 second PR!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2 1/2 weeks to taper

Like the little choo choo, I am plugging along. Just blocking everything out and doing the I think I can, I think I cans. Right now I don't even want to think about goal times. I have all kinds of anxiety bubbling up inside me and pushing that aside as well. I can't believe I'm almost there. I'm excited and ready to be done and do this race, but there's still a little part of me that wishes I had more time to make improvements. For the most part though I want to see what I've got and see where I am at. I honestly feel a little disoriented with my pacing lately. I feel stronger and faster, but not got a real good sense of how much stronger and faster I am. I know I have made good improvements from my race in Charlevoix 2 months ago, but not sure how much. I know what was hard is seeming way easier now, but not sure how much to hope for with this race. I am really glad I am running this 5K this weekend. Nervous about that as well, not a bad kind of nervous. More like anxious than nervous really. I am very curious how I will do. I don't like to put numbers in my head because then I might be disappointed. I'm just going to try and run as hard as I can and see what happens. I figure with this 5K it'll give me some kind of idea how much I've improved and hopefully that will give me a confidence boost going into Sault Ste. Marie. We'll see. I'll be sure to update how the 5K goes.

38 days to marathon, 2 1/2 weeks to taper!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The creepy old guy and my 20 miler

Saturday we headed up north for a fun filled weekend of painting at my mother in law's cabin. I was a little stressed out about squeezing in my 20 mile run without seeming like a nutcase to all of dh's family and more importantly trying to figure out how to get it done in a less familiar area without any disruptions or interuptions. Twenty mile runs are nerve wracking enough on their own without any added obstacles. I worried about everything from getting in and out of the bathroom without having one of my children, nieces, nephews, cousins, or other inlaws being in the bathroom. (Did I mention that oh about 20 people were probably there total?) That and they all like to sleep until 10 or 11 so trying to figure out how to get my morning coffee prerun as well.

Well, everything went off without a hitch. I got out got running and felt good. I got rained on, really rained on about third mile in. Rain was pouring for a good while and then it stopped and I dried up. Came back at mile 6, potty break. Things still going smooth. I'm thinking this isn't going to be so bad after all.

Around the lake is 3.75 miles so I decided the next time around to add in a stretch down this dirt road and back so that I'd be closer to 5 mile loops. I don't know the idea of running around the lake more than 4 times just was not appealing to me. I don't mind loops, but not that many of them 3 or 4 is my usual limit. So about mile 9 I'm honestly feeling a little tired and heading down this dirt road when Mr. Creepy Old guy pulls up alongside me. The guy has oxygen tubes in his nose and he rolls his window down and says something, but I didn't quite hear him. I then acknowledge him and try to figure out what he said and he says "Not wise". It through me off guard and I respond with "I have my cellphone on me" and he then says "Still not wise". At this point the guy is pissing me off and I seriously thought about saying "maybe if you ran a little more when you were younger you wouldn't have oxygen up your nose", but I'm not a mean spirited person so just responded with "Thanks for your opinion." With that he drove off.

I spent the next two miles fuming. I mean I was really pissed. I sat there grumbling with thoughts of "What am I supposed to run with a dog and 2 men by my side?", followed by "what does he expect me to lock myself in my house and run on the treadmill", followed by I could be killed in car accident tomorrow you can't predict life and I refuse to live in fear of it.

After being pissed off for a few miles, then it started to shake me up. It occurred to me that creepy old guy could have been creepy young guy that dragged me into his pick up truck, raped me, and murdered me. I got a big family to think about. I honestly never put much thought into personal safety while running. I assumed if I wasn't running in ghettoville and if I ran during daylight hours and had my cellphone on me I was relatively safe. The truth of the matter is we live in a crappy world. A world where people do bad things and whether I liked what creepy old guy had to say maybe he had a point. I still refuse to live in fear, but I am going to think a little harder about where I run and am considering purchasing a personal alarm to run with.

As for the 20 miles. I finished and that's all that matters! It definitely kicked my butt, but happy to say I've completed one of three of planned 20 mile runs for this training cycle.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tempo runs are scary

Hmm... now that I know what a tempo run is (although from what I gather there are various definitions on this, but they are all kind of the same thing - a faster pace). Today was a schedule tempo run and I won't lie I was nervous. I always get nervous when I pick up the pace for more than a short distance. Two hundred meters, 1/4 mile and of those I like doing because they aren't scary. Running tempo runs though I always worry if I'm going to feel as strong at the end as I did when I started. Today's run went remarkably well. I ran everything faster than I thought I could and was real excited about that. I am getting anxious about this upcoming marathon. Not scared that I can't complete it or anything. I'm sure I'll do fine there. I'm just more nervous about how fast I should try to run. I want to do well, but I always get scared when I pick up the pace that I'm going to regret it at some point further on in the race.

On another note, I ordered a new running skirt. Hubby is going to shoot me if I don't lay off the running gear. I got the shipping notice today. This one is from skirtsports. We'll see how they compare to runningskirts skirts.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bad, bad blogger!

Alright, here I go sucking again at blogging, but on a positive note I am doing good at running. I've been running a ton and therefore blogging has gone out the window. I keep meaning to get on here to blog and then blah, don't feel like it. Let's see... things going on with me.

1. Down to 129! Woohoo! Blew my goal weight out the water. I am happy with this weight, but won't complain if I lose a little more either. I'm short so I can go a little lower, but I don't feel like I have to either.

2. Been running a ton! I ran 18 miles on Saturday for my long run! Go me! Run went awesome. I'm still not fast yet, but dang it I am going to get there. I am a very determined girl! (Notice I said girl. Birthday was yesterday, turned 38 and holding on to my 30s as long as I can.)

3. Heart rate is improving as well. I feel real good about all my paces now. I'm getting them done at lower heart rates now so I know I'm making good progress. Feeling real good about that. Last week was awesome all around for running. A little nervous about this week, but taking things one run at a time.

4. Races - Signed up for the Kalamazoo Marathon next year. It's May 6th. I'm making a tentative goal of doing it under 4 hours which is a really, really, really big reach right now, but it's 9 months away and I totally plan to kick butt and work my a$$ off between now and then so hoping just maybe I can get there.

Goals for Chamber Chase International Marathon(Sept 24th marathon) = aiming for sub 4:40. I just want 4: thirty-anything. I'll be thrilled, jumping up and down if I can do that. Going to keep plugging along until taper. Hopefully will make good progress in the next month.

Finally signed up for a 5K in 2 weeks! Should be fun. There were only 39 people in it last year and NOBODY in my age group! I got a good shot at winning my very first age group award, lol! Going to go for it.

Ah, that's it for now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Feeling pretty defeated today

I met up with a couple RT friends today. I thought it'd be fun, and hadn't put a lot of thought into how much faster they were than me until a couple days ago. It was 92 degrees when I left for my run and to be honest I was pretty nervous. I knew that these two were first off both males so more than likely a heck of a lot faster than me just based on those pesky Y chromosomes! That and the fact that they are experienced marathoners I had a feeling this might be really tough. I kind of knew I was in trouble when one of them said he ran with his wife too and could slow it down to her slower pace of 9:30/10min miles. To be honest, I think they are both great guys and I hope if I ever get the chance to run with either of them again I can kick some butt and keep up.

Anyhow, off we ran. And for a little bit I was thinking okay I can do this. This will be a speed workout, but I can do this. I can keep up if I'm running with them at their slow pace I'll just drag along. And for a little bit I *was* keeping up. I wasn't feeling like a big fat loser. I wasn't feeling like a super slow poke. I was feeling like a real runner. First mile rocking and rolling in the heat. I was breathing, but I was keeping up. Mile 1 - 10:10! Rock on mama! Right? Second mile I was already thinking I can't keep up at this pace, but I don't want to be a big old baby and I'm trying to slow down. It was just hard slowing running next to them. They kind of throw off your slow pace because to be quite frank, not sure they are capable of running at my slow. I kept plugging along and thought okay they were only planning to go 4 or 5 miles I can do this. Let me just get to 2 miles and we'll turn around. Mile 2 - 10:17. Still a pretty good pace for me and um yah it was um 90 degrees!!! Keep plugging along. Starting to worry about how I'm going to finish and at this point was thinking we'll turn around at 2 1/2 miles, but somewhere along the way we got past that and I thought oh I can make it to 3 miles. I can't remember if I told them I needed to slow down or not, but I think I did because we were picking up a pretty good pace. I saw my HR creeping in the 180s so I told them I'm going to have to slow down and at some point we agreed that we'd take a walk break at 3 miles. Third mile was 9:50! That is just FAST for me. Not for them, but for me. I think when your fast like that it's hard not to naturally creep faster.

We walked a bit on the third mile and then ran some more, but honestly I felt like crud. I couldn't keep up. My heart rate kept hitting the 180s and I told them to go on without me several times. I didn't want to try to keep up any more. They were really cool about it, but I still felt like a big loser. We wound up having to take walk breaks about every 1/2 mile for the last 3 miles because I was just spent! I mean really spent. The last 3 miles times were not anything impressive, but considering I walked a lot they weren't that bad. I felt awful making them run at a 12 minute pace for one of the miles, but I just couldn't find any more energy in me.

I am determined I am going to become a faster runner! I have a plan and I am going to stick with it. I do not have a super ambitious goal for my September marathon as I don't have enough time to get to where I want to by then, but I have my eyes set on Kalamazoo! I have a plan and I am going to get there. September I've set a goal of 4:45 or better. I'd love to see 4:30 and that might be possible, but with little time as I have in front of me to get ready I am trying to be realistic.

However, I am probably out of my mind, but I am aiming for sub 4 for Kalamazoo in May 2012! I got a plan running through my brain. I ordered Phil Maffetone's The Maffetone Method. I am planning on doing some mega low heart rate training as soon as I'm done with my fall marathon. I know there are nay sayers on this, but I think these are the people that already have a good aerobic base and don't need it. I know I do not and I know that I need to improve this. I love working with my coach and he's been awesome, but probably going to take a break from coaching and just stick with low heart rate training from end of Sept - Jan. Come January I am going to decide whether to join the Borgess Run Camp or go back to using online coaching or do my own thing. Don't have to decide that quite yet. Anyhow, this is getting long, but feeling like I have a plan in place makes me feel a lot better about today's sucky run. I want to keep a mental note of this one so this time next year I can look at it and reference it and hopefully have a kick butt post to go with it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boston in July (marathon that is)

Stupid thought for today inspired by a question about google searches. Well, not entirely, but partially. I just googled this one "Boston in July", followed by "Boston Marathon in July", followed by "Boston Marathon summer". None of these resulted in anything, but it was my dumb idea for the day. I actually thought of this one while driving home from Charlevoix as well, but forgot about it until now. I didn't have access to a computer at the time and wanted to google if anyone else had actually thought of this idea before so I could see if I was the only lamo to think of it.

Anyhoooo (yes, I say that a lot, oh well, my blog, I can ramble)... I was thinking they should have a Boston in July. You know for the wannabe runners. The ones that aren't fast enough for Boston. The ones that may never be fast enough for Boston. The slow pokes, the turtles, the old farts, the young farts, the late bloomers, you know those of us average runners that really would love to run the course just to say they finished it. It could be done differently. By lotto or something. I am sure the Boston Marathon is a big money maker. Not sure that a "Boston in July" would be as big of a money maker, but surely somebody would be interested in running it. This was kind of inspired by all the Christmas in July sales. Yes, they are kind of stupid and lame, but you know I still shop them. It could be fun. The winner gets a free beer or the top 10 winners get a guaranteed entry into the real deal. I don't know. Of course the truly fast people might find the fake Boston winners a bit too much. There are plenty of stupid people out there that might not realize there is a difference between the two Boston's, but you know stupid people are everywhere and I've given up on controlling that.

Well, that's my stupid thought for the day. Oh, and I promise my next blog post is going to be all about my run for the day. I am actually running! I promise. I just haven't had anything exciting I wanted to share.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eureka, that's how they are faster than me

The past couple months have been really eye opening for me as a runner. People that have been running their whole lives have probably figured a lot of this out, but for me things are just clicking lately. I still have a lot to learn about running. Anyhow, as I was driving home from the Charlevoix Half Marathon is when it really hit me. I ran that race differently than my others. I actually really enjoyed the race! I didn't run it to the point I felt like I was going to keel over, but rather fast enough to keep the pace the whole time and enough energy to kick it up for the last 4 miles. The whole time I was thinking this is what running ought to feel like.

You see I have always hated running fast. You know running to the point you feel like you're going to puke fast. I just always assumed the fast runners just were tougher than me and got better tolerating that I want to die feeling. And yes, there probably is a little bit of that, but after my Charlevoix race I realized I don't think that's their secret trick. I mean who would keep running mile after mile after mile if running only made them feel like puking? Then I came home and was watching a video clip on my facebook page of a fast runner running her marathon. Things clicked a little more. She did not look like she wanted to keel over and die. She didn't look like she was gasping for air. She didn't look tired. She didn't look ill. In fact, she made it look easy. She looked like she was having fun! Wow! The thing is I think that's the trick. Not that it was easy for her. I'm sure that it wasn't, but this whole time I've had everything ass backwards.

I shouldn't be running harder and harder and harder trying to convince my body that feeling like death is easy. Their trick is that they are FASTER when it is EASY. I mean I don't know why I didn't see that sooner, but their easy is way faster than my easy. Their slow is my fast. So my new goal for the year is to get faster for my easy runs. I am still doing speedwork and working with my coach. I would still like to see my faster get faster and work on tolerating running faster better, but I even more than that I want to see is my easy pace to increase. I figure when running gets easier is when I will get faster. Anyhow, that's my brilliant insight for the day. Not even sure this totally made sense, but it made sense to me so that's what matters.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Running motivation

Feeling terribly unmotivated today. Of course, today is my rest day so I guess that's a good day to be unmotivated. However, I think I've taken the word rest a little too literally today and honestly have not even gotten out of my pajamas today. I was laughing as I got the pizza delivery guy at the door and realized I was still in my pjs. Quite sad, but heck we all have those days. (I think anyways.)

I am not one of those naturally motivated runners. I, mean yes, I go through spells where I am very motivated, and then I go through spells where I go through the motions. I also am not a whiner. (Ask my husband and he'll probably say otherwise. I do whine, and often, but let me explain this a little better.) I do not look for others to motivate me. I do not expect motivation to be external and realize that drive has to come within. When I don't have it I will try to fake it and roll with things until I find it again.

Today, is one of those unmotivated days. It's one of those days where I ask myself why exactly it is that I run. It's one of those days where I don't feel like working hard and want to be content with being mediocre.

Now what will drive me out there tomorrow morning for my long run. Where will my running mojo come from? I have a good feeling about tomorrow's run. With that I figured I'd make a list of reasons for me to run tomorrow. I figure it's good for other runners to read that sluggish days happen to the best of us and maybe my list will inspire someone else to get out the door tomorrow. Most importantly hopefully it will motivate me right out the door.

1. I don't want to have a bad race! It is so depressing reading a bad race report. You know where the runner did not finish or crashed and burned on their run. I don't want that to be me. I think about this often and feel guilty fueling my run off of other's bad news, but it does motivate me. I hate that feeling of not finishing strong. Not doing as well as you had hoped. I have felt that way before myself and come September I want that awesome feeling of finishing strong and knowing *I* did this.

2. Well, I generally don't use food intake to motivate my running. I'm not one of those that will run x amount of minutes to burn off x amount of calories I consumed, but today I am going to make an exception. I am having a Rolos McFlurry and I had another gluten free bread experiment today and consumed more than my share. I was kind of super hungry today so no guilt with this, but it might motivate me a little out the door.

3. The heat - Hopefully this will motivate me to get out early and "get er done".

4. Back to the strong finish, this one pops in my head often when I am struggling to get out the door. This is also why I have to have a race in front of me to keep me motivated. Whatever finish time I am aiming for I will put a mental picture of the race clock with that time on it. Sometimes, I will even make crazy ambitious time goals, but still that clock and picturing me finishing work a good portion of the time.

5. Music - Now this isn't a thing to think of for motivation, but when I'm in a rut I will get some new music to run with OR I will make a new playlist with power songs. I'm kind of goofy with what I listen to so Rocky music and other songs will find their way onto my play list.

6. Retail therapy! I admit it I love shopping for running stuff. When I get in a rut buying new toys, clothes, or gear helps. I love buying new clothes to run in, but am careful to keep things in check with that. Nothing like a new tank and shorts to run in to fire up my run.

7. Remind myself where I started. Remind myself how quickly I can turn right back into a slug. Kind of like Cinderella and her glass slipper. I like where I am at with my fitness level and I know that sticking with it is what counts. It doesn't matter if every run is a good run. It matters that I am doing it.

8. Run a new route! Oh must do for me. Sometimes I just need the safety of running the same streets over and over again, but when burn out is upon me anything to change things up helps.

9. Pick a mantra or keyword. I do this a lot. Shoot I am known to talk to myself outloud. I will pick a word or phrase and repeat it over and over and over to either get me out the door or get me through my run. A couple of my often repeated phrases "put one foot in front of the other", "stick with the plan", "slow..steady..slow..steady", and occasionally will use "you're not a quitter".

10. My final thought is to just get dressed and put your shoes on even if you aren't motivated. Step outside. Walk. And usually if I get that far my motivation will quickly follow.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Running skirts and big old booties don't work!

I really wanted a running skirt. You see I am a girly girl. I grew up in a house full of brothers. Except for my twin sister we were totally outnumbered. I then proceeded to have 3 boys before having any girls. Now our house is kind of 50/50, but pink and ruffles is me. Natalie's not all in pink, but poor Christina, my first girl, was overdosed in pink. So when I first started seeing running skirts popping up I really wanted one. I thought they were cute and feminine and just plain cool. I looked and looked and looked at I decided I wanted one to wear for my race. I read all the rave reviews on them and why people loved them. I had it my head that this would be just awesome. So I waited, but then as a mama to 7 I am more cost conscious than others and I just had a hard time justifying that kind of money for a skirt to run in.

Fast forward a little. I found a runningskirt skirt sold on one of the running forums I frequent selling for 1/2 the price it would cost me to buy it new so I seized on the opportunity to try one. I waited for it to come in the mail and was so excited to get it in my little hands. It was super cute and super short! I'm not old, but I am a mom of teenagers. I debated and debated on whether I felt comfortable wearing this as short as it is. I felt like a teenager way back in the late 80s early 90s trying to sneak out the house in my little skimpy mini skirt. I even went as far as to bend over in front of a mirror in this thing to see if my derriere would show. Well, thankfully it wasn't that short.

I finally decided to try this bad boy out on a run. I put it on and went outside to find my hubby and ask his thoughts as to whether it was too short. I married a very smart man, hahahaha. His answer "it's up to you hun". He never partakes in the "does this make me look fat?" or "do I look bad in this?" questions. He always cracks me up how well he does at dodging them. I made it as far as back into the house to get my waterpack before I am already adjusting the undies built into the skirt. Adjust once. Go to get my Body Glide and put that on. Adjust again. Walk to get my watch and there they go creeping. Walk outside about to take off on my run and creep four. Then I start thinking about this forum post I read about someone's sports bra where she said something to the effect of if your sports bra is bugging you before you walk out the door it will be bugging you more at mile 4. Getting that quote wrong and too lazy to look it up, but you get the idea. After yanking these undies down from crawling up my butt for the 4th time I decided you know it's really not that important for me to wear it. If I can't even get out the door with it I don't think I really want to run with it. I went inside and changed into my comfortable shorts and called it a day.

Now I also tried another running skirt. This one the cheaper Champion brand I found at Target. In runningskirt's defense Champion's brand did no better. They came with compression shorts built in that were even worse. I am not fat. I wear a size 6 in most clothes, but I am curvy. I have a small waist and bigger butt. Always have and probably always will. You can't spot reduce and that's just the way my body seems to be distributed. If I get one that fits in my butt then it's falling off my waist. I have had similar problems with jeans, but have a few brands I've found that fit me well now. I am a little sad as I really would love to find a running skirt that fits me right. Maybe one day I'll get back to learning to sew and make my own, but for now I think I'll just stick with my comfy running shorts and call it a day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hi ho Hi ho another run I go

Finally a good run! My heart rate was sucky, but honestly I didn't even look at it on this one. I just needed a good run under me and didn't need any distractions. I like heart rate training. I like the science of it, but some days you just need to run. Today was one of those days. I got a few personal stressors going on and I needed a good workout to blow off some steam.

Today I went right instead of left. I ran a hill instead of flat. I just needed something different. In the 3 years I've been running I have never ran towards downtown. I don't know, just didn't think that was a route I wanted to take. Today I just couldn't fathom running the same roads again and needed something different so I went left. Passed the cemetery on the left that has a very long hill. I knew when I was running it on the second mile that it was all downhill right now and that I might regret taking this path on the return. (This hill is one of the reasons I never run that way.) Anyhow, ran with the intentions of running out 2.5 miles and returning for an out and back of 5 miles, but my watch only hit 1.75 miles before I was right smack downtown. No real sidewalks at that point and too much traffic to keep heading that direction so headed back.

Heat and all - did I mention how HOT it was today. I was running at almost 8pm to keep from croaking in the heat, but even at that it was still hot. Anyhooo, headed back up the hill and dang it was long. I know with the hill training I've been doing it's been on a shorter hill where you could power all the way up it. This one not the case. I'd catch myself speeding up to power up the hill and then having to slow back down when still not done with it. I think I must have powered up and slowed down 4 or 5 times before being done with this hill. It's not super steep the whole way, just long.

After the hill I was kind of toast, but still had a couple more miles to go to finish the 5 I had planned. Managed to finish that out on the same old same old roads I've been running. That part was kind of sucky except for seeing a gal who I think was doing a couch to 5K program because she would run for a little bit and then walk. It kind of helped me keep my mojo up though seeing her out there trying.

I suppose that's it for today. Not a real enlighting bit of information for me to share today.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Run Charlevoix (half marathon) race report!

Well, due to my vacation this is getting up really late, but I really wanted to write this all down as it's always fun to look back at later.

The days before the race went pretty smooth. I had a few really good runs up north and with the cooler temperatures up there I was feeling pretty confident going in to this race. I was a little nervous as to how to pace myself. I would have loved to PR (personal record for my non running friends) this race, but I knew I wasn't in as good of shape as I was the last time and I've only been running again since March. That and thus far every race I've run since Natalie has been born has been considerably slower than where I was in 2009. I didn't want to run too slow that I didn't have a chance at PRing, but I didn't want to run too fast where I wore myself out and wound up walking. Last time I ran this race I knew that I wound up walking parts of it so going into this one I had set a goal to pace myself better so I didn't wind up walking and could finish strong.

I've been working with a running coach this time around (Thank you John for all your help! You've truly been awesome to work with.) I went back and forth on the coach thing, but knew that I didn't know what I was doing as far as tempo runs, speedwork, and all the other running workouts. Up until now I really have just run with no specific structure on how to do my running workouts. Since I was interested in heart rate training and knew that I have had a sucky heart rate during exercise for a while and had a pretty good idea that this is part of my problem with getting faster. Working with John, I realized my training paces were all wrong. I was running them all the same pace, a lot of them too fast, and some too slow. I felt going into Charlevoix though I had a much better idea of what I was doing. I knew that I needed to be realistic with my pacing as I've only been running consistently since March and shoot in March it was still taking me 40 minutes to run 3 miles and with a lot of effort at that. I figured I'd just go into it with an attitude of having fun with it and practicing my pacing with the goal not to walk and finish strong.

Now onto the race. Showed up at the race, talked to a few runners before the race, did my usual pre race potty break, and got ready to run. This time I didn't line up in the way back like I did the last time because I knew I wasn't super slow. I lined up more in the middle. I figured I'd just play it by ear on my pacing. I had my training paces in my head, but thought maybe I'd be able to run faster since it was cooler and Charlevoix is a relatively flat course. I also decided to wear my heart rate monitor this time as well. I wasn't sure at that point if I would use it to guide my pacing or if I'd just look at it afterward. The race starts and within the first mile I'm looking at my heart rate and realizing it's not super high like I was expecting and from my previous running logs I knew I could sustain that pace. It was actually pretty comfortable, but my speed on my watch was showing faster than I thought for that heart rate. At that point I decided what the hell I'm going to use my heart rate for a guide as to when to go faster and use my "perceived effort" on when to go slower. I decided I was going to aim for a HR of 165 and try and keep myself at that level throughout the first 9 miles and then step it up the last 4 miles.

This strategy worked pretty well for me and with the slight decline for the first few miles it helped me feel confident in going faster than the pace I had initially planned. At mile 3 I passed a band (like a school marching band kind of) and they were playing something. I can't remember, but it just made me smile. I thought how cool for these kids to come out and play music like that for the runners. Kept trucking along, felt really good. I passed a sign on the road that said "Run Faster" and of course that made me giggle because my 12 year old son always says that to me. Kept running still feeling really good. I watched my watch periodically to check my pace and heart rate, but at this point was in a pretty good groove and just tried to keep in a good rhythm.

Mile 5,6,7, all good. Around mile 8 there was a slight incline. I won't quite call it a hill, but it definitely took more effort. I was watching my heart rate and seeing it creeping up. I also remember that last time I ran this course I pushed hard at this point, but wound up walking around mile 10 so with that I decided instead of pushing hard right now to back off my pace a little. I slowed down a little and got my heart rate back down to 165 and just kept a nice even pace thinking hard about mile 9. I wasn't for sure if I wanted to step it up at mile 9 or mile 10. I knew I did NOT want to be walking through the finish this time. I kind of mentally decided to split the difference. I figured I'd increase speed a little at mile 9 and then push things harder once I hit the 10 mile mark.

I was quite proud of myself once I hit the 10 mile point. By mile 10 I was kind of sure I wasn't going to PR this, but it was still there in the back of my head and I set a new goal of 2:15 and figured whatever happens happens. By mile 10 I was giving it pretty good effort. I felt real good as I was watching people starting to walk at this point and reminded myself that these people weren't faster than me they had been running the same pace as me up until now and just maybe they had wore themselves out and I could finish strong and ahead. There was a hill on the 11th mile (the same one that was the decline on the beginning of the race that had me crusing faster). I powered right up the hill and just kept thinking about how that hill work I have been doing was paying off. Once I got past the hill I just tried to keep my pace as strong as I could and just kept looking for the finish line. I was still running all the way to the finish so I felt real good about meeting that goal. I didn't PR this, but I felt really good about my finish and had a lot of fun with this race. definitely want to run this one again as it's still one of my favorite races.

Now to the splits and finish time - Official time for this one 2:18:31. Not too shabby for me. I'm almost back to where I was pre-Natalie (my darling littlest one). HR info in parenthesis as I logged that too.

1- 10:21(157)
2- 10:03(164)
3- 10:39(164)
4- 10:48(164)
5- 10:55(164)
6- 10:18(164)
7- 10:39(165)
8- 11:15(166)
9- 10:56(164)
10- 10:21(168)
11- 10:31(171)
12- 10:07(174)
13- 10:05(174)

I wish I had photos, but my cheering crew has lost interest in my races and went out to breakfast instead.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I learned this new handy abbreviation the other day and that definitely fit the day for yesterday. GOTFD - Get Out the F'ng Door (excuse the profanity even semi disguised I do try not to swear, but there are exceptions.) Anyhooo, yesterday was particularly challenging. We had been driving all day on Friday and then a bunch more driving Saturday to get home from our vacation. I was tired. There was tons that needed to be done and it was HOT. I spent the last almost 2 weeks up in the upper peninsula of Michigan, better known as the UP here. It was the opposite of hot. It was cool. It was beautiful scenery. It was everything you wanted for a run, except maybe some pesky mosquitoes. I knew I was going to have to run late in the day because my hubby and kids weren't waiting 2 hours for me to get my run in to get out the door towards home and I wasn't getting up running at 5am in an unfamiliar area either. With that said that left my 10 mile long run for Saturday afternoon/early evening.

I am not sure how much time I spent ho-humming and procrastinating to get out the door. I looked up the temperature and the weather forecast umteen times trying to find some hour of the day that might possibly not be so dang hot. I thought about running on the treadmill. Then the thought of spending 2+ hours on the treadmill was just unfathomable for me so back to option A running outdoors. Come winter the treadmill and me may become friends again, but the heat I figured I could conquer it. With my 15th check of the weather I realized it just wasn't going to get any cooler so might as well head out the door and hope for the best.

Needless to say my run kind of sucked. There really was no getting past the heat, but I got the job done. It was one of those runs where you just kind of concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and don't really think about anything else. Most of the time I like running, but I am not insane. I don't love running in the heat, but keeping my eye on the prize and the goal in the end usually keeps me focused through the bad runs. I was thankful while I was running that I signed up for a fall marathon in Ste Saint Marie at that. No worries about heat for that one. Of course find me mid winter and I am sure I will be whining about the cold. If only every day could be 60 something degrees my running life would be bliss.

I guess this is getting rambly now, but wanted to get something up here. Charlevoix race report is coming next. I hope I can sit down and type that up later tonight or tomorrow (or the next day...)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting ready for Charlevoix

I have tons of ideas for this blog, but yah, not seeming to find the time to do them. I promise (to myself) anyhow that when I get back I am really going to put some effort into making this blog something motivational. I find motivating others often helps keep me motivated. Anyhow, for the moment this will just have to be boring. We leave for our vacation tomorrow (or maybe tonight if I can track down my husband). Charlevoix is next weekend! Wow! That just kind of snuck up on me. I really wish I had started running again sooner after Natalie was born, but not much point in dwelling on that. What's done is done. I still am undecided on pacing. I really would like to PR (personal record for my non running friends). Not feeling real confident that is going to happen, but I don't know. I'm feeling ready to kick some butt on this one so you just never know. Should be able to get in a few good runs over our vacation and then when I come back home hopefully can dedicate more time to blogging. Stay tuned for Charlevoix Half Marathon race report.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Slower than molasses

Well, as I launch my newest attempt at blogging I was sitting here thinking I should name this blog "Slower Than Molasses" instead of Wanna Be Running Mama. Hahaha... okay yes I do still know that I am slow, but I also know I am stubborn and I truly believe that you can do anything (within reason) that you put your mind to. No, I don't think I will be an Olympic medal winner, but I certainly believe I have lots of room to improve and I am 100% sure that I haven't found *my best* yet.

I ran today and my one and only goal was keeping my darn heart rate down. I am new to heart rate training and finding it a little tiny bit frustrating. I like to believe I'm not in horrible shape, but unfortunately my heart rate monitor is telling me otherwise. I keep running slower and slower to get my heart rate down. I accomplished my goal for today and kept it below 150. My husband is the awesome-est (made that word up). I was whining about how nobody's heart rate is as bad as mine and that I'm running 12 1/2 minute miles and still beating in the 150s (to 160s). Well, he says to me "No you're not and there are people who can't even run a mile at all." I think that's what I needed to hear at the moment. I forget that sometimes. Everybody has to start somewhere and the trick is to keep trying and not quit.