Sunday, March 30, 2008

And the miles keep coming...

We did twelve miles today. I can't believe that it is such a simple statement that seemed nearly impossible not so long ago. The funny thing is... it didn't seem that big a deal. In fact, it was one of my best runs yet. Unfortunately, only half of us made it this week. Jen and Lisa were sick, so it was just Laura and I. I know the other two will bounce back and be just fine on next week's run.

Laura and I averaged 9:38 per mile, which is pretty good for any distance. The most encouraging thing for me was that our fastest two miles were mile 11 and mile 12. That was when I started getting tired so I stopped chatting, turned up my music and focused on running. We ran a 9:17 and 9:15 mile, respectively, for those last two. Holy cow!! I KNOW if I had that much left in the tank at the end of that run, I could easily go further. It was a HUGE confidence booster.

Now I am dangerously changing my mental goal from just finishing the marathon to finishing with a decent time. I need to remind myself of the ultimate goal: FINISH. I do not want to set myself up for disappointment if I don't hit a certain time goal.

We are on the downhill slope of this training program. So far, it has been GREAT. I just want to thank Jen again for putting it together. It has really fit our fitness levels and has been a nice gradual increase in mileage. I hope the second half goes as well as the first.....

Friday, March 28, 2008


My friend Hilly sent me this link today: Holy cow, this guy is going to run the London Marathon while JUGGLING. He does this while running more than a minute per mile faster than me. Wow, dude, way to make me feel inferior. Hilly asked the most important question though.... WHY. Why would anyone want to do that? But then again, why would anyone want to run 26.2 miles in the first place? ;-)

Check out these videos. I can't believe these guys. I can't even juggle, let alone juggle while running down the street. Heck, who am I kidding? Sometimes I feel like I can't even walk and chew gum at the same time ;-)

OK... just watching them makes me tired. How do they drink their water? How do they pay attention to the road etc.?? How do they juggle like that?

Well, this is one thing that won't make my list of things to do in my life....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Redemption (aka what the heck were we thinking??!!)

Not only did I bounce back, but we ran our six miles today at a 9-minute-mile pace! Holy cow, I was worked at the end and I am pretty tired now. However, overall I feel good. I never could have run that well two days ago. Janet, you were right... when you have a good run after a crappy run, the next good one is "SO MUCH BETTER." :-)

I am not sure what got into everyone today. None of us had really good runs on Tuesday. Maybe we all had something to prove. Lisa surprised me by getting out in front and staying there for most of the run. That is, until Laura zipped by her and smoked us all ;-) At one point Jen asked me how fast we were going and I told her sub-nine. She said she was slowing down. Remember, our comfortable pace as a group is much closer to 9:30 or 9:40. I was still feeling good, so I stayed at the faster pace. At around 3/4 of a mile to go, here comes Jen. She totally surprised me by sprinting and catching up. I blurted out, "holy %&@*!" as a reference to an exclamation made by one of our boys earlier. She pushed me by saying, "let's catch Lisa" who was a hundred yards or so ahead of us. As soon as I caught up to Lisa, SHE hit her second wind and decided to sprint the last 1/3 of a mile or so. Needless to say, I didn't catch her...

The best part of the run today was that my knees feel WAY better. I started taking some glucosamine and chondroitin for joints. Maybe it is working or maybe it is a placebo. Either way, they don't hurt today. I feel super tight and started feeling lactic acid pretty quick. I think I just need to keep hydrating and stretching.

We have Mom's Night Out tonight at a fondue restaurant. I believe that a good run deserves rewarding. I will be eating well tonight!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My whiny post of the week...

I am going to take this opportunity to whine about my run today. It was early and I was tired. More than anything, I just wanted to sleep instead of get up in the dark. But I got up. It was foggy. It was chilly. Did I mention that I was tired?

I never really loosened up. My knees felt (and still do) like an old person's knees. Hmmmm... I wonder why (as I am approaching the last days of my 41st year...) I don't think I have any knee injuries, they just hurt. It is the constant pounding on my cartilage, I think. At one point my left knee hurt and I felt like I was favoring my right and then a few hundred meters later the right one hurt more so I favored the left. I am going to start taking some joint supplements that I had bought for Kenny a while back. It can't hurt...

I didn't feel like I was going slow, but I averaged 10:07/mile. I don't think my body could have gone much faster if I tried. My music didn't help much, although I would have been completely bored without it. None of the songs really clicked with my mood today. I think I need to find a tired-and-grumpy-and-my-knees-hurt mix on iTunes.

BUT--- the one good thing about my run this morning? I DID IT. I know now that I am dedicated to this 100%. I knew that my midweek runs only help me be stronger on the long runs on the weekend. Missing one because I am tired and lazy will hurt me in the long run. My friend, Tara talked to me the other day about ON and OFF days. The key is pushing through the OFF days in order to get to the good ones....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Moon over Mission Bay...

It was BEAUTIFUL this morning. As I was driving up I-5, the full moon was over the city-- just gorgeous! As we started our run, just before 6:45 a.m. the moon was still over the bay. The bay was perfectly still so you could hear birds etc. Once the chill wore off a bit, it was a perfect morning for running. I am SO glad that we went so early. It would have been HOT if we had waited until 9 or so. We finished running 11 miles and walking one by 9 a.m. and had the rest of the day to enjoy. [note: I had thought we were doing 12 today, but misread the training schedule. Today was 11 and we do 12 next week]

I feel awfully lucky to live in a place like San Diego. I can't imagine running so early in a colder climate. I was uncomfortably cold for a good mile or two-- and it was probably around 50 degrees. LOL. As we made it to the boardwalk at Mission Beach, we saw the West Coast Roadrunners running club doing their training run. It was cool to see so many people running and training for a big race--the beach and bay were crowded with runners. I am glad that we have our little running club though. I honestly don't think we're missing out by not training with a big track club. We have a great training program and we are able to be flexible to support each other's schedules. We may not have fancy coaches, but we have each other. :-)

So far, I am feeling GREAT. My legs didn't tighten up nearly as much as they did last week. I am definitely getting stronger. In fact, my last mile was my fastest one today. I started listening to music and some of the songs pumped me up a bit. When the Nike+ lady said there was 300 meters to go, I told Lisa and suggested that we try to catch Laura and Jen who were a half a block ahead of us. We sprinted those last 300 meters and it felt great. We didn't quite catch them (I think they picked up their pace a bit, too *wink*) but we came close.

I am actually excited to run the twelve miles...can you believe it?? I think I am drinking too much of the runners' kool-aid (or is it gatorade?).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

O' dark-thirty....

That is what time I have been getting up this week and I'M TIRED. I have been getting up before 6 a.m. in order to get my runs in before Kenny goes to work. We switched things up this week because we're doing the long run on Saturday instead of Sunday. Also, Lindsay, the sitter on Thursdays, is on vacation this week. So...we ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday-- three days in a row.

I really feel dedicated now. The last time I woke up this early for exercising was when I was living in Topeka. That was the best shape I was ever in--right before I met Kenny in Brazil. This training program has really stuck. Yay me!

I am looking forward to sleeping until closer to 7 tomorrow. Please, please, please let the kids sleep in!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

One Hundred Miles logged...

Check this out!!!

ONE HUNDRED MILES!!! Who would have ever thought I would have logged that many miles in a couple of months??!! At the rate we're going, I'll log my second hundred in a few weeks. What a sense of accomplishment. I actually didn't use my Nike+ with a couple of runs because I forgot it, it was out of batteries etc. so I have actually run about fifteen or so miles more than the Nike+ registers.

While I'm talking about my Nike+, I just have to rave again about the Nike/Apple alliance. I know, I know...I sound like a commercial. I am definitely my mother's daughter in that regard :-) The partnership between Nike and Apple is awesome. Today I listened for the first time to an album I purchased on iTunes through the Nike section. It is an endurance interval training mix narrated by Lance Armstrong. The mix of music was great and the "coaching" was perfectly timed and just the right amount. At one point during one of the speed intervals he said, "push yourself... remember, pain is temporary, quitting is forever." He had a few other tidbits like that one. I really did push myself on those intervals. I ended up running 4.4 miles at a 9:15 pace and the first few minutes were slow because I was going up our hill to the trail. Usually when I am by myself I go much slower than that. In fact, Tiger Woods informed me during my Nike+ workout summary that I had logged my fastest mile yet! I ran one of the miles at an 8:39 pace. I know it isn't super fast, but it is a minute faster than my regular comfort pace, so I am thrilled!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Woo hoo!

We did 10.41 miles and are feeling great! Lisa, her husband Alex and I ran down at Mission Bay. We missed a couple of turns and went the wrong way, so we went a couple of miles out of our way. We stopped running at 10.41 miles, according to my Nike +, and then walked the rest of the way back to the car. I think the walk really helped to loosen up my legs after the run. Before the walk, I was tightening up pretty badly and my legs hurt. By the time we got back to the car, I felt a lot better.

I think I learned a bit about my nutrition needs. My breathing etc. was fine throughout the run. My legs felt like they were about to fall off around mile 9. They were heavy and tired and were starting to hurt. The rest of me felt fine. I think this may have been "the wall" that you hear so much about and my glycogen stores were probably gone. I think I need to do more carbo loading the day before. Last night we had steak, veggies and mashed potatoes. It was a nutritious meal, but I think next week I need to have a carb-heavy dinner. I'm also not sure if I ate enough lunch yesterday either. I also need to start carrying the sport beans, gu shots or Clif Shots-- something to give me some calories etc. I also bummed some gatorade from Lisa, who had a hydration belt. Our runs are long enough now that we definitely need water and nutrition during the run. They only go up from here.

I have to give my Nike + a bit of an endorsement. Not only does it tell me how long I have been running, how far and my current pace, it also records all the runs that I have done. Today was the first time I listened to it after I ended my workout. Lance Armstrong came on at the end of the workout summary and said, "Hi, this is Lance Armstrong. Congratulations on completing your longest workout." It was pretty cool.

Next week is 12 miles and I am actually looking forward to it.

Here is what we ran today:

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today's three mile run was NOT fun. It was sluggish and felt like it lasted forever. I was up last night with a bit of a stomach bug and didn't think I would run at all this morning. I was meeting the girls, so I thought I would head down to the park and the worst case scenario would be that the kids would play for a bit before class if I decided not to run. Ultimately, I decided to give it a try and just walk back if I didn't think I could do it.

I ate some cinnamon apple toast and a Luna bar earlier and drank quite a bit of water, but I was probably a bit dehydrated and under-nourished from the bug. My legs ached as I began running. They loosened up a bit as we ran, but never completely. I ran pretty slowly and didn't even try to keep up with Laura. The good news is that even running at my sluggish pace, I averaged 10:07 minute miles.

As crappy as I felt, Jen's morning was worse. She has not been sleeping well and it hit her this morning pretty hard. As busy as my life can get, Jen's is so much busier. She has so many balls in the air and juggles them all beautifully. Despite hitting a low in energy, she still managed to make it to class and run between the stations. Her commitment to her training, which she has done all her life, helps to inspire me to keep going. I am pretty lucky to be running with someone as dedicated as she is. Even as she pushes me to keep going, the other day she told us that if she wasn't running with us, she would have stopped and walked. It is nice to know that we help her the way she has helped us. We are a team. I know I have said this before, but I feel incredibly lucky to have these women to train with.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another good run today...

It feels SO good that five miles seems like an easy run. Six months ago, five miles was an accomplishment.

Tomorrow is our last three mile run until our taper weeks. While three is so much easier, I am not looking forward to pushing that double stroller. Once we jump to four miles next week, I think I'll have to run in the morning before Kenny goes to work. That is the one bad thing about Daylight Savings... it is so flippin' dark at 6 a.m., I do not relish going out that early in the morning. Tuesday, I didn't get out until closer to 6:45 and the sun was coming up. It is nice just after sunrise... at least it should get earlier and earlier every day. Isn't that the way the seasons work? ;-)

We start double digits on Sunday. Wow... THAT is a milestone! I am excited and nervous at the same time. This training schedule has really been right on. I know we are all strong enough to make the jump. The mileage is really going to start adding up over these next couple of weeks. I am so thrilled I have done so well so far. We have 80 days to go!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

We did it!!

Jen, Laura, Me, Lisa after the run!

We ran our 15K race yesterday and I felt AWESOME!!! I even made my time goal of under 10 minutes per mile. The official times aren't in, but my Nike+ recorded that I ran it in 1:29, which is an average of 9:30 per mile. I am actually pretty excited about that since I ran the 10K last summer with a 9:57 pace. I probably could have gone a bit faster, but I am glad I didn't. I finished strong and feel good. The bummer thing is that I somehow accidentally deleted the run from my iPod. I really wanted to look at my pace throughout the race. Plus, I wanted to document all my runs and to lose 9.3 miles is big. :-( *EDITED: Yeah for my Nike+. My run was recorded and uploaded to the website. If you look at the graph you can see my speed increasing at the end. Yeah!! At one point at the end of the race I was running well under a 9-minute-mile pace. That gives me so much confidence in my ability!!

Laura and Jen pulled ahead after a mile or two. My Nike+ confirmed that Lisa and I didn't slow down, so the other two just ran faster. Lisa and I chatted nearly the whole way. That made the run go so much more quickly for me. Maybe I could have run faster without talking, but it would have seemed to take FOREVER. With about a mile to go, I told Lisa that I wanted to pick up my pace. I stopped chatting and ran much harder. I would love to know how fast I did that last mile. At the stretch, I still had enough energy for a kick and finished super strong.

After the race, the four of us went for breakfast. We went to Perry's where the portions are insanely large. As hungry as I was, I left a ton. Even so, I was hungry for lunch a few hours later. My metabolism must have been kicked into high gear.

The last thing I wanted to do after all that was more exercise. However, Kenny really wanted to try out some Ellsworth Rides on the boardwalk. We hooked up the trailer for the kids and rode along Mission Beach. It was great. It was a nice way to avoid my muscles tightening up. We took it easy and enjoyed the ocean air. We rode to Fanuel Park on Sail Bay and the kids played a bit. They even went into the water! Man, I LOVE living in San Diego. Where else can you have a day like that in early March?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


My inspiration comes from various sources. Sometimes these sources are surprising. In terms of a marathon, I could look to someone like Deena Castor. But I know that she is in a league that I would not even want to dream of joining. My life is my family, NOT running. My friend, Vickie, was at Stroller Strides today. She has run several marathons and she is an incredible runner. Her PR is 3:25 and she was disappointed because she had been working towards 3:10. Vickie is a closer, more tangible inspiration. She is just a mom, like me... but she has achieved something that I am trying for. Will I ever run 26.2 miles in less than 3 1/2 hours? Highly doubtful. But knowing her, I know that it is possible (I think).

Another inspiration is a girl I saw on the internet. I am inspired how positive this she is. She is not a particularly good runner. However, if you watch her video, she is SMILING throughout her entire marathon. She approaches obstacles with a positive outlook. Instead of dreading a hill, she declares, "I love hills." I would love to be that girl, smiling while I'm running. In fact, I think I'll try it tomorrow. Here is the video:

Another inspiration I have is actually being an inspiration-- if that makes any sense. My friend, Janet, just e-mailed me a registration confirmation for the Nike Women's Marathon in October. I am SO happy for her. This is a huge leap for her. She is not a runner and has only recently started running short distances. I hope that in a small way I have helped her set such a great goal. I would actually love to do it with her, but I have to take this one race at a time :-) The marathon she registered for is a lottery and you have to register this month. I don't have that kind of confidence yet to do two marathons in four months. I haven't even run 10 miles yet.

Finally, I want to be an inspiration to my kids. I LOVE the fact that my children already know that exercise is just a part of life. They know that it is something Mommy enjoys doing and it is fun for them, too. Stroller Strides has really made a huge impact on them in this regard. But now, Jackson will see me getting my shoes on and ask, "Mommy, are you going for a run?" It is just a normal part of life. He has told me on several occasions that when he is bigger, he wants to run with me. I can't wait for that. Amelia loves to do the Stroller Strides exercises with me. It is fun for her. I hope that she grows up never worrying about ever going on a diet or feeling the need to go to the gym just to burn off calories. Admitedly, she does have genetics on her side. However, if I have my way, she will exercise because it is part of life, not because she feels she has to.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why do some runs seem so much harder than others?

I think I'll blame the stroller. Jackson weighs at least 45 pounds and Amelia another 25. I am pretty sure that stroller weighs 40 pounds or so with all the snacks, water, toys and blankets. That extra 100 or more pounds is TOUGH. Today and Friday I felt like I was running under water. I have to keep telling myself, "this is making me stronger, this is making me stronger." How does a three mile run feel harder than seven?!

I think a lot of it is mental, too. On those stroller-pushing days I have to get up, get breakfast for everyone, get the kids dressed, make Kenny lunch, make sure there are snacks for the kids and get out of the house in time to meet the girls. By 9 a.m. I feel exhausted, even though I have only been up for two to three hours. Luckily, I feel fine now. Maybe that coffee after class had something to do with it :-)

So far, my running-under-water days haven't discouraged me. One of these days it will get easier. For now, I'll keep plodding along....

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I think I am actually starting to like this!

It may seem crazy to commit to running a marathon when I don't particularly like running. It is hard to explain why I am doing this. Part of it is that I needed to do something that was just for me. I needed to set a goal and go for it. I am notorious for getting into something and then getting bored with it (crafting, writing etc.). I knew if I made a commitment with friends, it would keep me on task. I did not think that this year would be the year I would run a marathon. Heck, a marathon was only a vague concept of something that I might do someday. When Jen made the announcement at Stroller Strides that she and Laura were embarking on this journey, I knew that it was now or never. I figure what better time to do it.... with three other women doing their first one? I don't think I would ever take on a training program like this by myself. Heck, I couldn't even motivate myself to train over the holidays to do the Carlsbad half.

While I don't particularly like running, I don't hate it either. It is pretty easy in terms of preparation and the actual activity. I am not super good at it, but I feel like I could be. Today we ran seven miles. It wasn't a piece of cake, but I felt good afterwards (especially considering I had a few glasses of wine last night at dinner). I am enjoying getting to know my running partners. We have such nice, easy conversations while we run. It really makes the time go by fast. Today we ran in just under 70 minutes and it really didn't feel that long. I know that this entire experience will really bond us all as friends. And that makes me happy.


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