Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Sleepless Night

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Somehow, children know when you have an agenda.  And then their inner radar kicks in somewhoe they aquire the ability to stay awake ALL NIGHT LONG to foil those plans.

Kelly had called me while we were in Austin to set up a running date.  We were to meet at my house at 7 am for a 3 to 4 mile run.  So I go to bed early.

Then the little one wakes up.  At 3 am.  I was going to take her back to her bed and snuggle with her until she fell back asleep.  But she didn't.  And she didn't.  And I'm getting irritated.  Finally around 4, I say goodnight and go back to bed.  But I can't sleep.  So I'm playing my Words With Friends game.  And my friend Terrie played back.  So I ask her, "What are you doing up?"  She replies, "My WWF went off!"  Oops!  My bad.  So then she told me about this ghostfinder app that she found that shows you were nearby ghosts are.  So I downloaded it, and I found out there was a ghost in my room that was saying things like, "William.  Dad.  Actually.  On."  What all this means I don't know, but I must not have taken it too seriously because I fell asleep. 

When I woke up, I found the little one where her father had left her - on the couch watching TV.  She had never even gone back to sleep when I left her, she had just gone to daddy's side.  Now I'm fuming.  So I take her back to her room and sit there with her until she actually falls asleep.  Which is when Kellly shows up.  Good timing!  So we snuck out after I opened my oldest's bedroom door...just in case.

The run was not so great.  I was tired, but the company was good and so was the conversation.  I am really glad that we were out, because I was so frustrated with the non-sleeping child that it would have made for a very cranky me.  I haven't been able to download the run yet, but I think we were very slow.  Like closer to a 16 or more minute mile.  We'll just chalk it up to a good, slow training run and be glad that we were out.  Even though we were slow, it seemed to go by pretty quickly.

After a much needed nap, Zumba was on the agenda for the evening.  I'm missed all the classes for at least three weeks, so I was determined to get to it.  It was fun as always, and the music was a little different.  Some old classics and some new and unfortunately there was that damn Ricky Martin song.  At one point, I looked over at Tiffany, and I just started cracking up at the moves to "La Vida Loca"  I was laughing so hard and bending over.  My friend Tammy thought I was going to throw up.  So, to sum up-an hour long workout and lots and lots of fun!

Last night, she slept like an angel...all night long.  Because I didn't have early morning running plans, I'm sure!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Not From Hell Hike

After celebrating a nice quiet Christmas at home, the fam and I took off to Austin to visit my sister and her brood.    We had a nice and relaxing time.  We ate well, but not crazy; and we indulged in good wine and a spicy margarita.

Today, we took the kids and hit the trail for a post-lunch hike.  It is the same start as the hike from  hell that I have come to love to hate, but it veers off in another direction.  I was hoping to get some great pictures and enjoy my little one, but the kids took off, and basically I never really caught up. 

We passed lots of water, which was really nice because apparently the creeks have been dry all summer.  Now they were full and flowing, and we were accompanied by the wonderful sounds of water gliding over the rocks downstream.  There was some elevation changes, a little less than 200 feet worth I think, but enough to get the heart rate up.  I did manage to get a picture with my little one, but she was already tired and, in her words, "not happy!"

We got back to the car, and my warrior princess sister said she was going to walk up the first hill.  I would drive and meet her at the top.  My brother-in-law offered to drive if I wanted to join her, but I really didn't.  I really should have!  But I really didn't want to.  And I didn't.  So much for my WP title.  My not-so-happy little one did though, and she made it about half way up before she opted to get into the van and ride the rest of the way up to meet them at the top.  I was very proud of her.  She may have been tired, but she kept going and I thought did a great job on the hike.  I wish we had more of those types of nature hikes in our area, but I'm glad that we got out today before we had to head home. 

I think she'll sleep well tonight.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas!  It's Christmas Eve, and most of our group got their run in yesterday.  Kelly and I had decided to keep to our Saturday routine, and we changed the location from the "schedule."  We figured it wouldn't matter since I didn't really think anyone would be looking for us.

I got to the meeting location first, which was a school with no lights on.  As I pulled in, there was a truck.  It was so dark, I couldn't tell if there was a person in there or not.  But why would someone be there?  I parked and positioned my mirrors to where I could see if someone got out of the truck.  But then I just got too bothered by it, so I moved my car.  I was waiting for Kelly to arrive, and then I started thinking about how dark it was and how I wouldn't see anyone if they were coming up to the car.  Then I thought of how Kelly and I would have to start our run, and no one really knows where we are.  In the end, the freakish side of me won out, and I ended up texting her to meet me at the rec center.  The well-lit, much less scarry parking lot of the rec center. 

We had 8 miles ahead of us.  Coach Ric had sent us a modified plan since our half marathon is two weeks after the Houston Marathon in which most of the group is running.  The temperature was 50 degrees, and I had a long sleeve shirt, although I had forgotten my ear coverings and gloves.  That's ok.  I was ready to go. I had mentioned to Kelly that I was kind of dissappinted that I wasn't feeling very sore this morning since I thought I had a pretty good work out the night before.  Maybe I should have stepped it up a notch.

We started off by going  through that dark school parking lot which I hate.  Its the one that reminds me of Monty Python where the knight is running and running and not getting any closer.  Eventually we got to Magnolia which is where most of our long-distance running takes place, although on most runs we are coming from the other direction.  There were no runners out.  We usually see quite a few people on our runs, but this morning, we saw only two other people.  Two!  Which means we are freaks.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  We are fine with being freaks.  To add to the freakishness, Kelly mentioned that she wished she had running gloves instead of the blue gloves that she had on.  They are very blue, and she worried that people would think she was crazy running with those.  I was all, "Kelly!  You are out at 6:30 in the morning.  In the cold.  On Christmas Eve.  And you are running!  I think people thinking you are crazy is going to come from many other sources!  Your blue gloves will have little to do with people thinking that you have lost your mind!"

Right about this time, it started to rain.  It was right at 6.5 miles.  It wasn't raining hard; it was just drizzling and cold.  Then it started running down my face, which would have been fine except that it started mixing with the sweat on my forehead and running into my eyes and burning!  At mile 7.25 we changed directions and then rain was running staight into my face.  I couldn't see.  My hands, which were cold before, were now freezing and moving them was difficult and painful.  To make matters worse, we were back on that dreadful Monty Python driveway.  Luckily, the rain didn't get much harder; and once we passed that driveway, we were almost home free!

We did make it.  8.02 miles at a 15 minute/mile pace.  We agreed that we had done a great job and that this early morning Christmas run was well worth it!  We went into the rec center to refill our water bottles and stretch.  When we were climbing the stairs, my legs were feeling so sore.  I had to stop and strech my calves while going up.  When we got to the mat, my frozen hands were still protesting any type of pressure, but I couldn't understand why everything else hurt so much more than normal.  Then it hit me!  I was sore from the workout the day before!  There was the soreness I was missing earlier!  Yea!

So...overall-Success!  It was a good run, although I didn't feel quite as strong as last week's, it was good.  I know there will be good runs and bad runs, but I'm hoping that the Galveston half day will be a good run.  Regardless, when I think of how far I've come, I consider it a Christmas miracle.  And I'm grateful.  I'm grateful for my family and friends who cheer me on.  I'm grateful that I have Kelly to run with.  I'm grateful that I have two coaches who are vested in my accomplishments.  And I'm grateful to God for giving me the strength and courage to continue and move forward.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shelly

I have a friend named Shelly.  In my last post, I asked for accountability; and Shelly gave it to me!  Yea, Shelly! 

At around 8:23, I got a message from Shelly asking if I had made it to the gym.  Well...I had not.  We had our neighbor Christmas party last night.  We had a really great night, wine was flowing, and a good time was had by all.  I had so much fun in fact that I slept the latest I have slept in I don't even know how many years.  I slept until 10:15.  Now with this being said, I should also mention that I was awoken at 7:30 in the morning by yappy dogs.  When this happened, I laid in bed for half an hour playing Words With Friends and checking Facebook and yada yada yada until I fell back asleep.  But still, 10:15 is crazy late for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

So no, Shelly, I had not made it to the gym yet.  And at 2:30, I could hear her message echoing in my head.  So off I went to the rec center.  It was a ghost town.  There were only four other people in the weight room.  I noticed they added a new machine that I stayed away from.  It was a stair machine, kind of like an escalator, and you just climb and climb and climb.  I did my best to not look at that machine because I know what I have to do to get better and ready for that Austin hike from hell.  But today it is Christmas Eve Eve, and I gave myself a present by allowing myself to ignore it.  Instead I jumped on an elliptical for a quick warm up before hitting the mat.

I grabbed some weights and started some circuit training.  It's been so long since I've done some of these exercises, but I immediately felt my muscles jumping for joy!  It felt so good to be working my arms and abs.  I had put my phone in a locker, and I couldn't remember all the exercises, so I improvised a bit; but I think it was still a good workout.  I used to Bosu ball to do some crunches and push ups.  The push ups, I felt, were much better than I remember.  I guess the few push ups I've been doing here at home are working. I did some arm exercises while sitting on the ball, and some squats while holding the weights.  I think I will be sore tomorrow, but I welcome it.

I couldn't make the fat cells cry for too long, though because we were going to church for our Christmas Eve Eve service.  I wanted to get some cardio in too, so I went back to the elliptical machine and watched Lethal Weapon for 20 minutes.  I ended up with a 1 1/4 mile and drops of sweat running down my face.  Success!

And I owe it to Shelly!  I was so comfy in my pajamas that I could have easily stayed in them until it was time for church.  I believe I would have if it wouldn't have been for her!

Thanks Shelly!  Love you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost, but not Quite

I resolved to get to the gym while I'm on break.  But that hasn't happened...yet.  So I am feeling like a slacker.  Yesterday, I didn't get out for a run, but I promised myself I would today.  Kelly called, and said she would join me, and we set a date for 7 am.

My plan was great.  I would let the little one stay up a little bit later, so she would sleep in a little bit.  She could watch a movie in her room if I was not back before she woke up.  If she needed anything or got scared, big sister would be in her room.  It was all set.  But of course, when you make plans like this, little stinkers have a way of foiling them. 

First, she had a hard time falling asleep. It was already later than usual, so this was frustrating.  Then my other daughter got me into Pinterest, and I stayed up way too late looking at things that I'll never have, places I'll never go, and things that I'll never make.  This put me to bed at a later time too.  Then little one woke up at 4 am from a bad dream, and once again, she had a hard time getting back to sleep again.  Finally I get back to sleep at 5:30 or so, and the alarm was set to go off at 6:15.  And it did.  And I snoozed it.  And it went off again.  And I snoozed it again.  It was so warm and cozy in my bed, and I could feel the cold air above the blankets.  I checked my phone, hoping against hope that Kelly was texting me that she couldn't make it.  But there was no message and I heard a voice say, "Enough already!  Get up!"

So, begrudgingly, I did.  Sure enough, Kelly showed up at 7:00 on the dot.  We decided on a short 3-mile run, and we took off out into the cold.  We started on the trail, and there were many ducks and other birds by the creek.  I thought there would be more people out, but we didn't see many other runners-only two actually.   It didn't take long at all before I was happy to be out of bed and running outside.  It felt really good, although I was a little bit worried about the little one being awake.  Before we knew it, we were on our last mile and heading back to the house.

Kelly had to get back home right away, and when I got back in the house, my kiddos were still asleep.  I curled up on the couch with a blanket and turned on the TV.  I don't know why but after a run on a cold morning, I have the hardest time getting warm.  I had an hour to myself before the little one was up and ready for the day to start.

So I feel really good, and I know I have to get to the gym.  Why is it so hard?  My mind is there, but I'm letting life get in the way.  I'm almost there, but not quite.  Action!  I need to put myself back into action!  I am always the one telling other people that you have to make the time.  There will always be something else to do and stop you from your fitness goals, and now I'm not taking my own advice.

I'll get there.  If you're reading this, please help hold me accountable!  =)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Come on!

The good news first.  The past two Saturdays have had great runs.  The bad news: that's the only exercise I have really gotten in the past two weeks.

Good intentions don't always outweigh the actions themselves.  I even signed up for this challenge on mapmyrun.com to run 50 miles this month, but for two weeks I have not logged any weekly runs.  Bad Candi.  Bad, bad Candi!

Last Saturday, we were to run 8 mile repeats for a total of 10 miles.  As we started out, it was so cold and the wind was brutal.  The worst thing was my feet hurt.  I'm not sure why, but we ran the first warm up mile and then the cold wasn't so bad.  But the wind was.  Once we turned off of that first street, the wind really hit.  It was howling and blowing so hard, we couldn't help but laugh at how absurd it was.  Luckily we only had four miles to go before we could turn around and head back.  The repeats weren't bad, but they weren't great either.  Some of that was because the wind was pushing so hard against us, but another part was because we had eight of them to do, and I guess we were pacing ourselves.  The other reason I think is because we both missed our weekly runs.

Once we got to our turnaround point, it was a world of difference.  The wind was behind us, it was quieter, and more importantly, we were on our way toward a gas station for a potty break.  The problem came in when we lost count of our repeats. We got to the station at about mile 8.  So were we on repeat 7 or 6?  Neither one of us are confident enough with the Garmin to be willing to start pushing buttons and risk losing the data of the run, so we guessed.  And we guessed wrong.  Of course we didn't know this exactly until we downloaded the run, but we did do 7 of the 8 repeat miles.  The last portion of the route was about half a mile, and we just ran it in.  After the repeats, it felt good to just run at an easy pace.  Total distance for the day was 10.11 miles. Yea!

So cut to Monday.  Leslie, my fellow warrior princess, called me at work and we quickly walked a mile (in small heels) in our building.  Later that evening, I drove my little one and our neighbor to gymnastics, and then things got crazy when i got home.  So no run.  Tuesday, it was time to try to get some Christmas shopping done.  So no run.  Wednesday-hubby plays softball and little one has gymnastics.  So no run.  Thursday was the office Christmas party followed by my daughter coming home to get her wisdom teeth pulled.  So there was wine with dinner followed by pre-surgery margaritas.  So no run.  Friday, I am supposed to be off because of the long runs of Saturday.  So no run.

Which brings us to today.  Coach Ric has modified Kelly and my routine since our half marathon is not until February.  So rather than 9 miles, we were assigned seven.  The catch is we were to run this seven miles at our half marathon pace.  For us that is about a 14:45 minute pace.  We decided we would do 5:1's since we haven't done them in quite a while.  It was cold, and it seemed like the Garmin took forever to load the GPS so we could take off.  Kelly would take care of the intervals and I would time the laps. 

Once again, my feet started hurting; but it stopped after the first mile and a half.  During that time, while my body was still waking up, I questioned if the 5:1 was too ambitious.  But Kelly said she felt fine, so we just kept going.  We stopped at the gas station at about mile two.  As I left, I thanked the clerk, and he gave me a thumbs up and wished me good luck.  I thought that was nice.

 The first three miles were not at our half pace.  But by the fourth, we had kicked it up a notch, and the fifth mile was our best with a time of 14:15.  That was the best mile, and the rest of them were right a 15:00 give or take a few seconds.  We had one that was a little bit worse, but it was because we took an extra minute and stopped to get a water refill.  At one point, Kelly asked if i wanted to change the intervals, but at this point we had two miles left.  I said, let's just do it; and my numb legs just kept going.

Once we go to the final stretch, we ignored the beeps of the Garmin and just ran it in.  The final distance was 7.25 and our average pace was 15:00 exactly.  Not quite our half marathon pace, but close enough.  I was proud.  It was a good run, and I felt strong.  We were able to stay for some of the other group members to come in, and I met a woman named Sonya who had missed much of the season due to an injury.  She is back in action and already ran the San Antonio half.  Amazing.

I haven't gained any weight back, but I've been saying for a while now that I have to step up my game.  But it's not happening.  I know the new year is coming and it's the time of the  year where everyone makes their resolutions.  But come on!  I don't want to lose this time.  I also have my Road Runner miler shirt.  It is snug, and I need to make sure it fits better by February.  So there is no time to lose.  I'm off this next two weeks, so I intend to get to the gym and get some work done.

It's a busy time of year, but I cannot slack off.  Must! stay! focused!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More and More Miles

Last night, I started feeling ill.  My husband had been sick earlier in the week, so I blamed him for giving me the "ick."  But I had my Saturday run, and I wasn't going to miss it unless I was on my death bed.  So I took some Sudafed and Advil, and the plan was to go to sleep a little bit early.  Come 8:30, I realize that my fuel belt is stuck in Houston, and I am without a place for my water or my Skittles.  I was in full fledged panic mode.  There was no way I could carry a watter bottle with me for 14 miles and God only knows how many hours.  I was freaking out.  Luckily, my husband is very sweet, and he took off to the store to buy me a inexpensive replacement.  =)

At 4:15, my alarm went off, and I was up and dressed in no time.  At 4:30 when I was driving down my street, I saw a woman running by herself.  I thought to myself, "She is crazy!!"  Ya.  She's the crazy one.  I'm leaving my warm bed at 4:30 in the morning  to drive across town to do the same thing.  Hello pot.  Meet kettle.

We have missed two Saturday runs, so I was really looking forward to conquering the distance.  We set our Garmins and took off.  It was not good.  I was tired and winded in no time.  I kind of worried and hoped I would find my groove soon.  If not, I would be in trouble.  The conversation kept me preoccupied and pretty soon we came to part of our route where we go past this pool.  But today, we were supposed to turn at the pool.  So we turned.  And we're running along happily until we pass a street where we see the back end of car dealership.  This means that we are going back in the direction where we came, and I have led us astray in my quest for following the route.  We took a minute to pow wow, and we decided (or rather Kelly bullied me ;) ) into just doing our normal route We would make adjustments later on. 

At about three miles, I started feeling good.  Eventually we come up to a park, and I told Kelly that we would need to stop and see if the bathrooms were open.  But they weren't.  And then we got to our water station, and there was no water!!!  OH!!!  NO!!!!  Then I remembered that they had moved it down a bit, and we wouldn't be getting a refill until mile 8; and even with my humongous new bottle, I wouldn't make it.  Luckily Kelly had $5 with her and she had to use the bathroom, so we detoured again (this time on purpose) so we would go past a convenience store with a very gross bathroom. 

Somehow both of us managed to mess up the Garmins.  Well, Kelly's wasn't her fault; her Garmin lost it's GPS signal for about half a mile.  I paused mine when Kelly went to tie her shoe and forgot to restart it.  We estimated that hers was off by .9 and mine was off by .8.  We calculated how much further we needed to go since we were so far off course.  Turns out we could have turned around about 1/10 of a mile earlier, but we needed the water station - for water and for a stretch break.  It's funny that all sense of decorum and embarrassment kind of disappear at mile 10.  I didn't care how I looked; I sat down at the corner of that intersection to comfort my legs with the butterfly stretch.  We took a couple of minutes, and then we were back on the run.

I was all too aware that this is where everything started to hurt last time.  But I just kept hearing my sister say, "Ain't nothin' but a thing!"  I don't even remember when or why she said that, but I just kept hearing it and thinking, "This is just what we do.  We just keep going."  The only thing that hurt now was my toes.  And it wasn't really that they hurt more than they were just sensitive.  But my back was okay, even with the 100 pound water bottle on my back. 

At about 11.5 miles, I was getting tired.  Kelly asked me if I was okay, and I was; I was just tired, and I found myself wishing the one minute breaks weren't going by so fast.  Her calves were on fire and in need of some relief.  We would get to the corner (about 12.5) and take another stretching break.  It helped, and we started off again; and I felt a little refreshed. 

We got to 13.1 and I announced it and asked, "Where's my medal?"  After that, it was quiet.  We were in the home stretch and focused and out of conversation.  We ran side by side in silence.  When we were getting close to the corner where we turn to get back to our cars, I heard Kelly whispering, "You can do this.  You can do this!"  I said to her that there was no fight going on here.  She was doing this.  She was going to finish this and there was no arguing over that.  If there was a fight going on in her head, she was definitely going to win.  As we approached the corner the marathoners were passing the street on the way to finish their 26 mile run. 

Usually we run the distance in, but today we took our intervals.  When we got to 14 miles, you should have seen the look on Kelly's face! It was great, and I'm sure the joy on mine matched hers.  We saw the group by the driveway, and knowing we may get hugged at the end, Kelly said, "I am so gross."   I said, "Kelly!  You just ran 14  miles.  You are not gross.  You are AWESOME!!!"  In all actuality we were both gross, but it didn't really matter.  The Garmin beeped, and we ran it in with Coach Dan waiting to high five us at the finish!

This was a first for both of us.  Kelly had never run 14 miles either; and at 14.25, we both had a new record under our belt. It was an incredible feeling.  I just felt very confident today, after the first three miles, that is.  I wasn't doubting that I could do it.  I was tired, but not defeated.  It may be time to go ahead and put that 13.1 sticker on my car.  =)

Countdown to Mardi Gras half - 64 days!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Terrie

Earlier this week, my friend Terrie said she would go running with me.  Today was the day.  And she is so awesome, she rode her bike the two miles to my house before the run.  We walked to the trail head, and decided to do 1:1 intervals since it has been a long time since she has run.  The weather was nice and cool, and we started out with a good pace.  I think I may have been a little slow for her, but we stayed together.  We ran the trail into the park and made the loop back to the house.  On the way back, she asked me if I liked running.  I do.  I like the after feeling.  I love when you have those runs where you find your groove and you just feel like you could just keep running. I love the feeling of accomplishment. 

While I was telling her this, I remembered that first 5K I did on the treadmill.  I would have never hit that button if Terrie hadn't mentioned using it for her walk the night before.  That night at the rec center is when something switched in me.  It was the night I met my goal and then realized I could keep going.  Suddenly, the desire to push past the fatigue paled in comparison to the desire to achieve more.  Everything changed in that moment for me.  And I know that if Terrie hadn't told me she did the 5K loop on the treadmill, I would not have had that moment.  So thank you, Terrie - for that inspiration and for running with me tonight.

We ran 1.6 miles and then had to come back so she could make the ride home before dark.  I decided I would go out for another couple miles, so off I go.  Unfortunately, my body had other plans, and I only made it 1/2 mile out before I had to turn around and walk home.  Slowly. 

I made it home.  Barely.

I just got an e-mail from Coach Ric reminding us to eat well tomorrow for our long run on Saturday.  I think I should start hydrating now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ghost Story

Unfortunately, I did not get a run in on Sunday.  Or Monday.  So today is Tuesday, and it gets dark before you can get home and blink your eyes.  Luckily, Kelly was back in action and wanted to go to the gym to do the strength toning class.

I went up to the rec center a little bit early hoping to get a couple of miles in before class started.  I started the Garmin just to keep track of my time, and off I go.  I wasn't listening to music because my phone was pretty much dead, so I was alone with my thoughts.

People often ask what I think about when I run.  Well, most of the time I have Kelly to bounce things off of or at least listen to her thoughts.  When you're on your own...well...I thought of this episode of My Ghost Story in which this couple goes to this castle which apparently is being used as a hotel.  They are awaken in the middle of the night by cold, frigid air.  It freaks them out enough for the husband to snap random photos in the dark. They see a large shadow on the right side of the picture. The next morning, the wife is in the shower.  All of sudden it is cold.  Then she hollers for her husband because her back is burning.  She has two large scratch marks on her back.  In the part of her back that she cannot reach and scratch herself.  So what do they do?  They go have breakfast.  Because that is the logical thing to do after being scratched by a ghost.  They do not mention this to the hotel manager, the desk clerk, the concierge, or even the guy who brought them their pancakes.    No.  They eat their breakfast.  And then!?  Then they go back to their room!  Why?  Why would you do that? I just don't get that.  It's like another show I saw where these people move into a haunted house.  Once they find out their is a child ghost in the house, they do the only logical thing.  They buy it toys and then continue to let their baby sleep in the room occupied by the ghost.  WTH people!!??!!  I don't know what I would do, but honestly, I don't think I'd be all "I think I'm ready for my omelet" if I was scratched by unseen forces. 

So this is what I was thinking when I look down at the Garmin.  I had one more lap to go, and I was right at 12 minutes.  I stepped it up a notch, but it wasn't enough to beat my magic mile time.  BUT...I ran a mile in 12:48.  And it was a good mile.  I didn't kill me or leave me winded like the magic miles do.  It was just a good run at a good pace.  I am pretty psyched really.  It's only 30 seconds slower than my magic mile, and if I hadn't been so lost in ghost thoughts, I may have been able to step it up a notch earlier and matched the magic mile.  Overall, I call it a success!  =)

It was only a mile, but I couldn't stand passing the heaters for another mile, so I went to stretch before meeting Kelly for class.  We started a few minutes late because the Weight Watcher people were hogging all the parking spaces, and Lydia was giving time for everyone to park.  Good class.  It is my belief that I will be very aware of my inner thighs and obliques tomorrow.  And the best part is I'll know why and it won't be because a ghost tortured me.  I did it all to myself.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rainy Days and Saturdays

Grace Kelly and I had discussed the potential rain that was forecasted for this morning.  We decided we would go running then go to Zumba.  If it was raining, we would skip the morning run, go to Zumba, and then get our six miles in later in the evening. 

Then Kelly texted me this morning at 5:45.  She was sick.  She wouldn't be making the run.  And then I listened to the night, and it was raining.  The rain, no Kelly, and the thought of failing at another magic mile kept me in bed as well.  And then I felt so guilty that I couldn't fall back asleep.

So I laid around for an hour or so before getting up.  I got dressed and went to the strength training class at the rec center.  It's been a while, so it felt good to work out some of those muscles that I re-discovered at the Warrior Dash.  It's not as intense as the circuit that I used to do, but it's a good start.

Tuesday, Renae was taking requests for Saturday's Zumba class.  She would be doing an extended "Turkey Burn" workout, and she would do some of our old favorites.  So I requested one and was excited when she knew which one it was and said it out loud.

So imagine my disappointment when we went through an hour and  half of Zumba, and my song didn't play.  Total bummer!  But of course, it was a fun class, and I loved having the extra half hour.  It was like a mini Zumba-thon.

Now, I'm concerned about my six miles.  It's still raining outside and yucky.  I really don't want to go to the rec center and run  around the track 60 times.  That sounds...torturous.  But I'll have to get it in somehow.  Let's hope for the weather to clear up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pause.....And Happy Thanksgiving!

So what's next?  The Warrior Dash is over, and we are making plans for the next one already.  I'm thinking we should get enough people to fill up an entire wave.

So in the interim...

Tuesday was the first day I had not been so sore that I couldn't sit on the potty without protests from the legs.  Monday night, I went ahead and went to Zumba.  What could it hurt?  I was sore, but staying still was just making me more stiff and that doesn't help.

So off to the rec center I went.  The muscles warmed up nicely, and I was forgot about the soreness.  Tuesday morning I felt much better.  So much better in fact, that I went to Zumba again.  Tuesday morning  classes are ones I don't get to indulge in often because I'm at work.  It's Renae's class, and it was ever so much fun.

Later, Angela called me and asked me to come over for a run.  So I did, and we headed over to Rice stadium where there is a three mile trail around the campus.  We would do 5:1's and we would stay at Angela's pace.  It was a nice, slow run; and it was Angela's first solid three miles.  She did great, and she even stepped it up in the last quarter mile.  Hopefully we'll get the chance to run together more often since we will have our race in February.

Which brings me to the next question.  What's next?

I'll continue to train.  I still have the two half marathons to run in February.  Then there is the Dirty Girl mud run in March.  I have enjoyed blogging me journey here, so I'll continue to do it for the next chapter.

I'll run.  I'll strength train.  And I'll Zumba as often as I can.  But truly, if there is anything I learned from the Warrior Dash it's that I cannot neglect the strength training.  I made it through, but I will be anxious to see what the difference is when I am stronger.

My friend Dianne bought me a 13.1 magnet.  She is so encouraging and thoughtful.  I told her I think I should run it again before I put it on the car just in case it was a fluke.  I don't really think it was, but I don't want to jinx it either.  The next long run is 14 miles, and that will be next Saturday.

I got up this morning and went for a run while the pumpkin pie was baking.  I got a full four miles in in just under an hour.  That should at least cover the pumpkin pie. 

So that's four work outs this week, and it's all been cardio.  Not too good for the strength training I'm supposed to be committing to.  But I can't say that I'm sorry that I've logged in 7 miles for the week so far.  That's much better than I have been doing with getting in my weekly runs. 

So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there.  I hope you are having a fun and food filled and blessed day.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Warrior Dash

The long-awaited day was finally here.  No more wondering.  No more guessing.  It was now or never.


I was still worried about that wall.  But as my sister and I pulled up tot he parking lot, it was just a little bit of excitement and curiosity as to what was coming.  Angie and I had taken off before the husbands and kids to be be sure we had time to get our packets and meet everyone before the race.  Packet pick up was a breeze, and we met up with Princess Che, Kelly, and Leslie before we knew it. As I handed Che her tutu, I put mine on "just for a picture" and then it never came back off.  The tutu had won the mean-voice war, and it was going with me on the battlefield!  We were also joined by a couple of handsome princes, Wessel and Pieter.  We were a pack of seven heading for the 9:30 wave.

Left to Right, Prince Pieter and Wessel, Princess Che, Leslie, Kelly, Angie, and me!
 Angie and I kept looking for our husbands, but as the clock counted down to the start of our race, we knew we were not going to see them.  This made us both sad.  The warrior fire went off, and our wave was starting.  As we made our way to the start line, I saw my husband.  I rushed over to the side to give him a kiss and then we were off; finally on our way for whatever was coming next.  We ran, and basically the first mile was just running.  Running on dirt, through pastures and by horses.  It was smelly, but very pretty.  My 'I-don't-run-sister' made it through that first mile like nothing.  She was in the zone, and it was awesome to see her running with such strength and ease.  Before we made the turn to go back into the woods, Leslie and the guys were waiting for us.  We trekked on as a group, and soon enough there was a back up.  It was a deep ravine that you had to run down so that you could make it up the other steep side.  After that we were at our first obstacle.  The Barricade Breakdown.  This obstacle consisted of five walls, each about four feet tall.  You had to jump over them and then crawl under barbed wire.  Kelly and I had practiced this at the playground, so I knew how to tackle it. 


After that, it was the Road Rage.  We had to run through a maze of tires after which came the junkyard of cars that we had to traipse over.  Then we had more tires to run through.  Surprisingly, I felt very balanced and strong, and we made it though without causalities.  True to form, I was slow; as I was most of the race.  =)-


I think the next obstacle was a muddy river.  It was about knee-high deep of very dirty and muddy water.  The bottom was very gooey and slimy, and your feet sunk into the mud with each and every step.  The guy in front of my lost his shoe.  We made it though without falling, but someone behind us, maybe even Wessel or Pieter, made big splash and our first splatters of mud made their appearance.  Pieter at this point, was drenched from head to toe in mud, and I used my tutu to wipe his bib clean.  This way his number was visible and I looked more muddy and more like a warrior without actually having to do any mud work. It was a win-win.




Along the way there were many, many ravines that we had to run up and down. I kept shouting, "Elevation!  Elevation!" but I quit because there was so much of it in the woods, that it would have lost its humor pretty quickly.  We came to a point where there was a steep incline.  It was muddy and slippery and there was a rope that you could use to pull yourself up.  I had my first concern there.  Did I have enough upper body strength to use the rope?


I did.  The guy at the top of this obstacle was even there to lend a hand to get you to the top, but I didn't need him.  I made it, and we kept going.  The next obstacle was the Chaotic Crossover.  This was my least favorite. Wessel had jumped into the middle and rolled his way across each of the three sections of cargo net. But I think I even may have cheated by scooting myself along the sides rather than going through the middle.  The girl behind my kept singing, "I'm sexy and I know it." and at this point, I believe Kelly had put hand prints on my butt, so I shook it when I was finally coming down the ladder.






Next up there was another knee-high muddy ravine, only this time you had to climb a plank to get over it when you were done.  So much mud!  Wessel handed Angie his camera because he was going to dive in!  He and Pieter were completely covered, head to toe, with mud by now.  This, I think is my favorite picture.


Front: Candi, Che, Kelly, Leslie
Behind: Angie
Behind Angie: Wessel


At this point, all of us girls had strategically placed hand prints on our shirts.  We kept going over more ravines and dips and inclines.  We had the Horizontal Hike which wasn't nearly as bad as it looked in the picture.  We had the teetering Traverses, which when we came to it, I heard that voice say, "Just go!' and I did. I even posed for a picture in the middle.  I never once looked down so that I couldnt' get freaked out if I looked at the ground to see how far off of it I was.  Turns out, there was a woman on a gurney by this obstacle.  I guess she had fallen off the traverses and they were taking her off.  I'm glad I didn't see her, but I know Che and Kelly did. 


Coming up was Normandy.  This was x-shaped logs with barbed wire at the top that you had to get low to crawl under.  After a few of those there was a large cargo net that you had to crawl under.  As I approached this one the guys hollered at me, "Come on princess, get low!"  He was also yelling out that once you get under the net, you could stand up and run it out.  That would make it easier.  But as soon as I got under the net, my tiara got stuck in the net.  It took me a second to get it out, but I did; and I was glad that guy gave us the tip, because it was kind of a long net.


Soon enough we came to our first water station.  The cups even said Warrior Dash on them.  Cute, but I wasn't about to try to carry one all the way back for a souvenir.  The guy shouted, "only three more miles to go!" and I laughed, "Three miles?  I can do that in my sleep!" 


We started coming out of the woods, and we were met by the trenches.  I tried to pick one that was wide to go in.  The ground was soft, but the texture was definitely more rocky; and my knees were starting to hurt as I got toward the end.  The last log before I got out was very low, and I had to scoot on my hip to make it out. 


There was a bit of running, or rather walking from there.  My shoes were so heavy from all the mud, and it must have added another 10 pounds per leg.  It was harder to run, and I didn't really want to because I wanted to save my strength for the obstacles ahead.  Angie commented that we could use some jelly beans or something, and it was true.  We were starting to feel the lack of fuel at this point. The trail was rough, with lots of sticks and cacti, and even poo!  Before you knew it, we were at the end and the last five obstacles. 


First up was a fire pole climb which was not listed on the website.  You had to climb up these very steep, narrow stairs.  This was difficult in itself because my thighs were feeling the effects of all the getting low and my lack of squats as of late.  Once we got up, the guy hollered, "Stand up princess!" and I had to stand up to slide down.  Che was down there encouraging me.  This was the one that had intimidated her because of the hieght, but she had made it down like a champ!  I reached out and slid down.  Then Che and I were all, "We just slid down a pole!  Uh huh!"


Next up was the wall.  That damn wall that had given me pause, I was now ready to tackle it!  Then I tried to climb a bit.  I came back down in a panic.  I said out loud, "I can't do this!  I can't do this!"  I heard Angie say, "Ya, you can!."  I stood there.  I looked up at the rope.  I looked at my feet.  "I can't do it," I said either to myself or out loud.  I don't know.  Then I looked over to the side of the wall.  That was the only other way around it, and I couldn't do that either. So I grabbed the rope and stepped up.  I looked up and reached up for the next piece of rope, and I pulled myself up to the next step.  I did this again and again until I reached the top.  Once I reached over the top of the wall, I knew I would make it.  I pulled myself over and sat on the top.  Angie told me, "You did it!  Now take a minute!"



I breathed.  I had climbed the wall, and I was sitting on top of the world.  I didn't take a long minute, and we climbed down the back.  I looked around; we had all done it.  We were not only warriors, we were wall-conquerors; and I felt a few tears coming down my face.



Right after that was the Cargo Climb.  Not that it was going to be a problem.  After that wall, it was all easy going as far as I was concerned.  The only "thing" here was it was  large step from the ground to the ropes.  We climbed the nets ,and they sank into every step that we took.  The three of us "tutu girls" as I heard us being called made it to the top at the same time. 


By now, our family was in sight, and we could see our kids cheering for us and jumping up and down. I blew them a kiss before going off to the tightropes.  There was no hesitation, I just grabbed one and started to cross.  My muddy foot slipped once, but not enough to bring me down.


We were now at the last obstacle.  Muddy Mayhem.  They had flags set up right before the mud pit, and I think the intent was so you would have to get really low to go under them.  I told myself, "just go" and Kelly, Leslie, Che, and I slipped into the muddy water on our bellies.  The muddy water was supringly cold, but it felt really good.  It was easy to glide along the top of the water by using your hands on the gooey soft bottom.  We just pushed ourselves along, and it got a little deeper toward the end.  Unfortunately, I forgot to close my mouth, and with all the waves people were making, I think I got mud in my teeth.  When I got to the end, my tutu weighed a ton! It was so heavy, and I tried to pull it up before getting out.  But I couldn't get out.  It was so slippery, and I just kept falling.  Finally, I had to rip the tutu off.  When I did this, my tiara came off for the second time.  I put it back on my head, and I knee climbed out of the pit.  And then I walked to the finish.  They put the medal around my neck, and I just said, "Thank you!"  I grabbed two cups of water and used one to rinse out my mouth and hopefully clean my teeth. 


We did it!  We all did it, and we had a blast. 



We stayed together for the full race.  It was just a great group.  I was definitely the weakest link, being the slowest at basically everything; but everyone was great and encouraging and it was just a great experience. I can't even describe much fun we all had and how great I felt.  We made our way to the hose-off station which is basically a large hose shooting out water and people standing in a crowd trying to clean off.  You couldn't even see. 


I donated that first pair of shoes, the ones that got me started.  It's hard to believe that I pushed through the pain of those shoes, because I felt it right away; and I missed my Brooks.  I tied them together and threw them in the pile, saying my final goodbye to the new runner I was.


We made our way with our families to the beer station to cash in our chip timers for our promised beer.  The girl asked me what kind I wanted, and I told her it didn't matter because I hated all beer.  But I sure was going to try to drink it.  We got our turkey legs. Oh my gosh, it tasted so good.  I'm sure just about any type of protein would have been delicious, but it was the Warrior Dash, so we got the turkey legs.  I tried to take a bite and sip my beer, hoping the leg would mask the taste.  Alas, I could not finish it.  I gave the rest to Kelly and Angie who were only too happy to help me with it.


We hung out for a while.  We ate our turkey legs.  We danced.  We talked.  And we laughed.  It's a day I would love to live over again.  I had my family. I had my sister.  I had my friends-old and new.  And I had the best time. 


I think I would have to say my favorite obstacle was that wall.  I worried about it, and I stressed about it.  And then I conquered it.  I can do it.  You can do it.  We can do anything we set our minds to.  We are the warriors!


And victory is mine!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tutu Thursday

ONE MORE DAY TO THE WARRIOR DASH!!!

Wow!  It's amazing to think that this journey's beginning is almost at fruition.  Only one more day, and the most important question is still up in the air.

What am I going to wear?

So Kelly has started making herself a tutu.  She convinced me I needed one too, so I'm making mine as well.  It's black and white and fuchsia.  It's really cute.  The only problem is that it makes my overall circumference very large.  VERY large!  The tulle sticks out.  A lot!  I'm going to continue making it, but I am not committed to wearing it.

So, I am still in between freaking out over the Warrior Wall and the mud.  (Ewww mud.  So gross!)  But I am super excited, and so ready for Saturday to be here.  Unfortunately, I have not gotten a single run in this week.  Not one!  It gets dark so early now, and that is part of the problem.

I did lots of push ups last night though.  Well, a few. Okay, five.  But they were good ones.  I made them count.  I held a plank for a minute, and then I did sit ups.  All this confirmed that I need to strength train.  Big time!  I should be much further along by now, and this is what upsets me the most.  I've wasted my time.  And I've known it.  I can go back and read what I've written here, and I've known it.  I just didn't change my routine.  So any wall or obstacle that requires upper-body strength that I struggle with is going to be my own fault. 

But, I'm going to give it my all, because that is what warriors do.

I went to Zumba tonight.  So much fun.  And then Diah called me to the front of the class for one of the songs.  I've never been on the instruction side of a class, and it was very different.  First of all, I think I was backwards on every move.  Second, it's different not having the mirror.  Even if you're not looking at it, it's there.  Last, I guess part of me doesn't really care what people think, because I didn't change anything I normally do.  I was just having fun.

So why can't that transfer over to this tutu?  I just don't know.  I don't think I want to know what I look like in the tutu.  I think it would be fun to wear.  I really do.  I think I would feel really silly and cute.  But the mean girls in my head are loud.

Then I think about people like Daniel.  Daniel at the running store who was rude to me.  Daniel who looked at me like there was no way I earned the 13.1 sticker that I wanted to buy.   I know there are lots of Daniels out there.  They may even be on the Warrior Dash course.  They may think I don't belong there, and they may say mean things to me.  They are out there.  They always will be along with the mean girls in my head.  And as awful as they are, I'm willing to fight them off.  It is a battle.  But it's a battle worth fighting, and I hope I'm on the winning side more often than not.  I guess we'll see soon enough if the tutu is a casualty or this war or a victor! 

I'm hoping for victor!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Diana

I had a horrible night's sleep.  Horrible!  I was excited not to have worked the football game last night since I think that takes its toll on Saturday runs.  But I had bad dreams and just overall crappy sleep.  So when Kelly picked me up this morning, I got in the car and told her, "I don't want to be here!"  She didn't care.

So off we go to the professional building where we usually start our runs. Today would be 8 miles and we would vary our route just a little bit.  Diana was there, and she would be joining us.  I forgot my Garmin.  Kelly forgot her Garmin.  Luckily, Diana had hers.  She set it, and off we went.  Right away we fell into a good pace and the laughter started.  We were coming up to someone walking kind of strange on the side of the road, and I joked that it was a serial killer.  Turns out Diana watched scary movies with her daughter the night before, so I tortured her with as many scary scenarios as I could.  Turns out, he wasn't a disfigured monster or anything else.  Just some random guy putting out garage sale signs. 

The first half of the run seemed to go by pretty quickly.  I felt pretty good, but it was definitely not quite as good as the last run.  But the weather was great and so was the company.  We came to a point where the wind was stronger and Kelly pointed out the sunrise.  There were lots of clouds and the sun was sandwiched in between them.  It illuminated everything around it and the rays were stretching out behind the clouds.  It was beautiful. 

We got to our water stop, but there was no water.  That was disappointing, but we stopped to stretch for a minute anyway.  Then we kept going, and I wondered if Diana would cut out when we passed her neighborhood since she kind of struggled with the six miles from two weeks ago.  But she didn't, and we rounded the next corner.  We were at 6.5 miles when I felt like she started to struggle a little bit.  Kelly was feeling really good, and I was okay. 

We got to 7.3, and Diana said, "Hey guys, I am going to have to walk."  But she was so close.  I told her she could make it to eight.  Slow her pace; I would slow down with her.  Kelly came behind us, and we told her we would go at her pace.  And she did.  She ran two minutes at a time.  I said things out loud.  "Coach Dan said it's not supposed to be easy.  We can do this."  I said lots of things, not not only for her benefit, but for mine as well.  I was struggling more than I had the week before. 

We got to eight, and she kept going.  And we were all laughing again.  We ran, and Diana even sped up a bit.  We made it all the way back.  8.23 miles.  We did it.  She did it!  And she finished strong.  We cooled down and stretched.  Then we saw Michelle coming.  She wanted to be sure she caught us to congratulate us on our 13.5 last week.  I thought that was awesome! 

We'll miss everyone next week as it will be WARRIOR DASH DAY!!!  Wow!  Still in shock over that one.  Last night, I felt a little more confident about the wall, but this morning the fear and intimidation is back.  I figure I'll stress about it all week and hope that it works in my favor.  It's worked in the past.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Practicing at the Battlegound

Or rather the playground.  More on that later...

So I'm freaking out over the new obstacles, and everyone knows it.  So my friend, Tiffany, facebooked me and told me to get to Zumba and forget about the dash for a little while.  I'm so glad I did.  I had the best time.  I met Tiffany there, and we started laughing about the YouTube videos that she has been creeping me out with.  The music started, and I just let it all go - All the stress and tension from the week, the fear of the wall at the dash, and the lack of time to work on my upper body.  We just danced and laughed and had a great time.  It helped that the second song was I'm Sexy and I know It and I had made the mistake of watching that music video.  It is hilarious and kind of disturbing, but unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to that song without some of those disturbing images.  But anyway, the class was fun and I had a great workout.  I wished it would have gone on for a little longer, or at least one more song.  She asked, "Ready to cool down?" and I shouted, "NO!" but she didn't hear me.  Actually, she probably did; but she ignored me, and we cooled down.  Diah commended me for my workout, and said she's going to pull me to the front of the class next week.  We'll see.

So today, Grace Kelly and I were going to head over the old police department where they have a training center complete with a rope wall.  This would be the test to see if I would be able to conquer the Great Warrior Wall.  Off we go.  We met there, and there was no wall.  They must have torn it down.  We were bummed!  So instead of going home defeated we took off to another battleground.

Actually, it was my daughter's school playground.  They have a vault bar and parallel bars. So we practiced jumping over them.  It may not seem like much, but it was good to know that I could probably make it over those lower walls, although it won't be pretty.  We climbed the rock wall of terror and some other ladders and that's about all we could do before it got too dark to see.  Kelly has pure faith that I can make it over that wall.  I will just wait for her confidence to catch up.

When it comes down to it, I'm just disappointed in myself for losing the full-body focus.  It's like that wall is the wall keeping me from my goal and serving as a reminder of what I started out to do.  It's time to get back to the strength training.  That's the reality.

Regardless of that wall, I am getting really excited!  We are going to have so much fun, and I can't believe it's so close!  Wall or no wall, I'm still in.  The warrior princesses will be there, and we will prevail.  We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!

Countdown to Warrior Dash:

8 DAYS!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 Days!!!

Last week, I was showing my husband the Warrior Dash obstacle course.  It was pretty  much the same as when I had signed up in March. 

So my sister and fellow warrior princess looked today, AND THE OBSTACLES ARE ALL DIFFERENT!!!!!  There are tightropes!  There is a great warrior wall!!  There is ever so much more barbed wire!! And there are trenches!  TRENCHES!!!!

We are so screwed!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Half Marathon Morning

I had set my mind on running 13 miles this Saturday, because I was looking at the wrong schedule.  Usually I panic and stress and freak out over each new long distance, but I was actually excited about this one.  I told my husband that I probably needed the fear back because it's been working for me so far. 


When we got our "assignments" for our Saturday run, coach said we would be running 12 miles.  Hmmm.  But then I never got our routes; somehow Kelly and I were left off the list.  So I mapped out a route for us for the 13 that I thought we were scheduled to do.  The next morning, Coach Dan had forwarded me our 12 mile route, so I had both with me when I left my house at 4:15 am for our run.

It was cold out again, but this time I was prepared.  Kelly and I warmed up, and took off.  It started off pretty good, and we warmed up some within the first mile.  We got to the point in our run where we sometimes turn and Kelly asked what we were to do.  So we stopped for a minute to discuss.  I told her that the 12 mile run I got that morning said to go straight.  The 13 mile route I had mapped had us turning.  What were we going to do?  I told her I had it in my head all week that we were running 13 miles, and I really wanted to get there today.  So we turned.

Things went pretty well.   We were well aware of the distance we had to go, and Kelly was aware of the wall she was afraid of hitting.  We had a small pow wow when this all came up.  We had to take these thoughts captive.  There would be no wall today.  Only a small partition, if anything, that we would jump over.  We would push through.  I don't know what it was, but I just felt determined.  Maybe it was the message in the mirror that my husband had left for me that morning.  Although I didn't actually see it until I got home, I think I noticed it subliminally. 

We kept going, and we took a quick break to stretch at our first water station at mile 5.7.  When we were getting closer to our turnaround point, we met up with another group running the 12 miles.  They looked great and strong, and we encouraged each other as they passed us up.  The thought occurred to me that they were going to finish much earlier than we would, but that's OK; because I was mainly focused on finishing and not so much of the pace and time. 

We made it to our turn around point somewhere around 8.5 miles.  It wasn't until about 10.5 miles that things started going downhill.  My back started to hurt.  Kelly's too.  Then my legs were starting to hurt.  And my hips were tight.  It was all at once, and I had to say out loud to my legs, "You will not win!  I am doing this, so you may as well buck up and play along!"  Kelly kept saying, "We can do this.  We can do this."  We told each other that we would stretch at the next water station; we just had to get there; but I knew we would.  Some of the groups running 23 miles met up with us right before then, and seeing them helped. 

We made it to the water station, and we took our five minutes this time.  We got water.  We stretched.  We breathed.  We were at 11.8 miles, and we had 1.7 to get back to the finish.  We would not only do the half marathon route, we would surpass it a little bit.  Refreshed, we took off again.  We were even still laughing, so things were good.  When we got to 12, I reminded Kelly that if I hadn't altered our route, we would be done.  I think she told me to shut up, but it was probably in a nice way because Kelly is like that.   

We were tired.  Kelly asked if once we hit 13 if it was okay if we just walked.  I said 13.1 and it was agreed.  We were almost at the 13 mark when two of the other ladies running 23 miles passed us up.  DeAnn was very funny.  She looked at us and was all, "Why? Why? Why?"  I laughed, and said, "Because we're rock stars!"  They kept going, and I was glad to know we wouldn't be far behind. 

And then we made it.  We were at our 13.1 mile mark, and I had just run my first half marathon.  We high-fived, took a quick breath, and then started to walk. 

And it hurt!

I couldn't believe how bad it hurt to walk.  We ignored the beeps of the Garmin, and let our heart rates come back down.  When we got a little closer, I could see the group waiting by the entrance to the parking lot.  I told Kelly, "They are waiting for us, let's go!" and we ran it in.  We ran slowly, but we ran.  I could see Tina at the end.  She was clapping and hollering for us.  She had waited for us to finish, and she ran to meet us and finished it up with us.  We made it to the end and she hugged me.  Kelly told her I just ran my first 13.1 miles, and she hugged me again and told me how proud she was of me.  And I cried.  I started bawling like a baby right there and was met with more high fives and hugs from the others.  DeAnn gave me a hug and when she let me go, I almost fell-a small protest from my legs.  We kept moving and then stretched for a few minutes.  Coach Ric asked me how I felt and I said, " I feel great now!"  Then he said that it's always the last three miles.  Wow!  That is exactly when I started hurting and things became painful.  I always find it amazing that these seasoned and elite runners go through the same things I do.  They are so graceful and they make it look so easy; it's a comfort to know that they feel the same way, they have the same pains, they struggle with the same voices and negative thoughts. 

I love this group!

Two more of the 23 milers came in after us.  After high fives, Kelly and I sat down in the parking lot to stretch, promising to pick each other up if one of us couldn't get back up.  As we were stretching and just talking, one of the ladies commented that we looked so fresh and happy laughing over here, not like we just ran 13 miles. 

But we had just ran 13 miles.  13.5 to be exact, and we did it in 3.5 hours.  We were able to walk, and we were alive.  I think that makes the run a success!  I was happy the rest of the day.  It was a great day.  We went to see my daughter.  We enjoyed the pre-game reception of the Texas State game, and the Bobcats won!  Half time was awesome, as expected, and dinner with my family and my daughter's friend was wonderful! 


Maybe it was all those endorphins that people talk about, but maybe it was just an awesome day. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Footloose

Somehow Tiffany hasn't stopped answering my calls or texts, and she agreed again to meet me at Zumba.  We started talking, and it may have been that we should have kept talking; but instead we went for the stress relief. 

The music started and the warm up song was Footloose.  I'm thinking someone went to the movies and liked it and decided to add it to our repertoire.  Luckily, that was the only song like that.  One of the first real songs was I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO.  (I didn't really know that; I had to look it up) I like that song; it cracks me up. And when there was a break in between songs, Diah asked how we were.  So I said in a monotone voice, "We're sexy and we know it!" 

It was a fun class, but the air was kind of toned down tonight.  When she asked if we were ready for a cool down, I shouted, "No!" but I was the only one.  But we still did another song, and it was a good way to end the night.  Lots of fat cells crying, and my legs were okay.  But my Zumba shoes suck, and they kind of make my foot fall asleep.  I wonder how it would be in socks.

Days to the Warrior Dash: 16!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

18 Days!

18 days until the Warrior Dash!

I can hardly believe it's so close!  And I have totally fallen off the building-my-upper-body-strength wagon!

I was thinking I should start doing push ups or side planks or something to build up my arms.  But instead, I went for a run. 

Yesterday was Halloween, so there was no exercise; there was only the walking of the block for trick or treating with my black kitty cat and our neighbors.  It was also my oldest's birthday, and she was turning 21!  (Happy birthday, sweetie!) I was totally fine with her turning 21, by the way.  I've been preparing for a while, you know.  I was just great until I was in the car and listening to 10,000 Maniacs singing These Are Days and all of a sudden I couldn't stop crying.  And then it was like that all day.  Just sporadic tears of joy and pride.   I love Halloween and my daughter's birthday and the trick or treating with my family, but I couldn't have used a run to work out all those emotions I encountered all at once. 

I took my shoes back to my chiropractor who deemed my shoes in good shape.  That made me happy, so after working on math facts for half an hour or so, I put them on and put them to work.  The legs were still fighting me a little, but I just pushed past it.  I decided to run the distance and not do intervals this time.  I've gotten spoiled with those breaks.  But I didn't wear my belt, so I didn't even have the excuse of stopping for water.  But it was good.  The weather is nice right now, so as the sun was setting I stayed cool and didn't really start getting thirsty until after the first mile. 

My pace was 14:20, and it makes me wonder how people can be so fast.  

Now, it's 18 days til the race that started this crazy journey for me!  I have to focus on the important things now.  There is no more time to waste.  So the important question is:

What am I going to wear????????

UPDATE:
I re-mapped this run on mapmyrun.com.  It turns out, my GPS on the phone is still not completely accurate which I would have noticed if I had looked at the map.  This was a 2.11 mile run with a pace of 13:51!  I still wonder how people can be so fast, but I am happy to know that I made it to a pace under 14:00 and I wasn't dying because of it!  =)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Girl Time

I went to the chiropractor again on Thursday, and she worked on my legs for at least an hour.  She worked and worked and worked on getting all the knots out of my legs but they just weren't budging.  And I am worn and tired.  Almost defeated.  I didn't get a run in that night or even Zumba because I was in and out of sleep from 6:00 on. 

I think my body is rebelling and insisting on rest.  I got almost 11 hours of sleep and I still woke up feeling awful.  Finally around 1:30 in the afternoon, I felt my legs loosen and I started to feel better.

But rest is what was on my mind this morning at 4:30 am when my alarm was going off.  Coach said I could take a few days off.  I could jack up my legs again if I push myself too hard.  And what is this burning pulses I feel in my legs every so often?

I forced myself to get out of bed and get dressed.  I was fighting with myself that I needed this run.  When I met Kelly, she said, "I do not want to be here!"  Then Diana met us and she said she didn't want to get out of bed.  And by the way, it's like 46 degrees out.  It's unanimous.  No one wants to run.  But we do.

Coach met us first thing this morning to see us off, and off we go.  We had a warm up mile, and my legs were not protesting too much, but the run was shaky and slow.  Then we had our first mile repeat, which was worse than that awful warm up mile.  This whole time and half way into our second mile repeat, I am battling; fighting for my running life in my head.

I kept hearing, "You can stop.  You should stop.  You are hurting your legs.  You've done two miles, but you should go back."  Honestly, I couldn't get these negative thoughts out of my head.  I said a quick prayer.  I reminded myself what I have set out to do.  I remembered it's not supposed to be easy. 

And then the voices stopped.  And I found my groove.  And I felt good.

Then it was fun.  We did our repeats and talked and enjoyed the weather.  We laughed and complained and encouraged each other as we went on.  It was like girl time, but instead of having coffee, we were running. 

We increased our speed with every repeat.  Diana, who has not really been running, was keeping up great.  She was tired, but I told her she was doing an amazing job; she was going to do this.  We had 1/2 a mile to go, and we were going to just do a light run in.  We were in the home stretch, and it was great!  She slowed down when she needed to, and I slowed down with her.  We kept it going until we reached our parking lot.  6.5 miles!

Success!

That is until I realized that we were supposed to do six mile repeats, and we only did four.

We were cheaters!  No wonder we made it in before everyone else.  =D  I didn't actually realize this until about five hours later.  So the feeling of victory prevailed for a while.

And it was a victory.  I have been feeling kind of down and doubting myself a lot these past couple of week.  It would have been easy to let myself stay in bed under the ruse that I needed the rest.  But all three of us beat that feeling, and we all felt great after.  And I won my personal battle.  I know there will be more battles coming.  I know I still have training to do.  But with my girl time on Saturday mornings, I say bring it on!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where is the Magic?

Maybe it's my fault because I didn't warm up.  But I was short on time.  I thought I would just go for a short 1.5 mile run, but I would make it count.  I could try to beat my magic mile time since I didn't do so hot on Saturday.

I did go to the chiropractor on Monday.  The mileage and what not have been accumulating knots in my calves which started reeking havoc on my shins, but rather than being progressive, it snuck up on me all at once.  Which meant that when Dr. John started to work out the knots, it hurt really bad!  I think if someone is rubbing your legs and it hurts and is making you break a sweat, then you should be able to count it as exercise.  I mean you are sweating and it's part of the whole "no pain, no gain" theory.  I'm just saying...

My legs do feel better, but they are not at 100%.  I should have done a warm up mile, but there's not always time for what you should do.  I was lucky to get the run in at all, so I'll move on.  I took off.  Things were going well.  I really thought I would meet or beat my best magic mile time.  My heart rate was up.  My pace was good.  I don't know what went wrong, but I didn't beat my time.  Not even close.  When I reached 12:18, I still had .09 miles to go!

I'm wondering how I did it that day.  How did I run that mile in 12:18?  I haven't been able to do it since, not even close!  So tonight I will start praying that Tinkerbell or whichever magic fairy sprinkled magic dust on me be kind enough to do so again. 

And maybe even again.  =)

Days to Warrior Dash: 25!!!