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!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Plagues and Plateaus

Last night I slathered the bottom of my legs with Icy Hot in hopes that it would help my legs feel better.  I think it did.  Since I didn't get my mileage in yesterday, it was up to me to get the run in.  I had planned on running with Kelly, but things didn't work out, so I had to go it alone.  If I could make it to six miles, it would be the longest run I have done solo.  My legs had been bothering me, so I promised myself I would at least do four and see how it went from there.  I decided to do 2:1 intervals.  I also told myself I would not worry about speed and just concentrate on getting in the distance. 

I went outside to spray myself with Off.  Since Friday, the mosquitoes have been awful.  AWFUL!  My friend, Angela said it best when she said they were plague-like.  And she is right.  As I was spraying myself, there was an entire slew of them trying to land on me.  It was disgusting!  As I walked to the trail head to get started I was still shocked to see that I was completely surrounded.  It was like a wall of mosquitoes right in front of me, and I wondered if I would make it.

Luckily, once I started running, it was harder for the mosquitoes to land on me.  The legs did hurt but not as bad as yesterday.  I slowed down a little, careful not to push it too much.  As I rounded the corner, I saw a family of squirrels and I thought of Angela since she was attacked by one last week.  Seriously, a squirrel jumped off the top of a tree and landed on her ankle.  Freaky, right?

Luckily, the squirrels were too preoccupied to notice me running by.  I had the music low so I could still hear all the wonderful nature sounds.  I thought of my fellow Road Runners, many of which were running in a half marathon this morning.  Sometimes when I'm running, I wonder what the hell I am thinking.  How can I possibly think I can do such a thing?  I am barely getting to the third mile, and I'm tired!  How in the world will I make it through a half?

Those thoughts are courtesy of the mean girls in my head.  Sometimes it's hard to shut them up.  But somehow around mile three, my legs stopped hurting quite so bad.  I think maybe they went numb.  But the running was a little better.  I was running in a new part of the neighborhood, so I wasn't too sure of the mileage and where I would end up since I didn't map it out.  But I was just trying to enjoy it as much as I could with the damn mosquitoes.  The Off started wearing off around 4.5 miles, and when I slowed down, they were landing on me.  It didn't help that I was closer to bushes and fences at this time because this is where they were much worse.  Once I got away from them and closer to the park, it was better.  I made the loop there, stopping once to refill my bottles from a water fountain.  They must have installed some since the summer.  This is good to know.

I realized that although my run was slow, (averaging about 15:30 pace) I was feeling pretty good.  I made the last lap back to my house, and I had to come inside to do my cool down walk because the mosquitoes were just too much to handle.  I stopped the Garmin and the mileage was 5.75.  Perfect!  With yesterday's magic mile and 1/4 mile warm up, this makes a perfect 7 miles for the weekend.

And to make things even better, I stepped onto the scale.  It seems as though I have finally broken through my three-month-log plateau!  Yipee!  I hope it continues because that sucked!  Maybe this is the boost I need to re-step up my game.  It's hard not to get discouraged.

But in the words of Coach Dan, "...it's not supposed to be easy."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Death of a Running Shoe

I hear the bells tolling.  I am afraid the life of my running shoes is coming to an end. Earlier this week I noticed the sides kind of being worn. Not on the bottom, but on the sides.  I do put a lot of pressure on the sides of my feet.  I always have.  I mentioned it to Kelly, and she could see what I was talking about.  But it wasn't until this morning that I put it all together. 

My legs are hurting.  My shins have not bothered me in a long time; not since I got my Brooks.  But they hurt this week.  As we met this morning to do our magic mile, I mentioned to coach about the pain, and he suggested I not run for the magic mile.  But Diana was there, and there was no one else close to her pace to run with her.  I told coach I would run with her and just not despair if I didn't beat my time.  I told Diana that my legs were hurting and immediately she said, "Oh no!  Do you think it's your shoes"  Well I didn't but now I'm wondering.

We lined up for our magic mile.  Diana stayed with me for most of the first quarter of a mile.  My pace for the first half mile was great, and I was under a 12 minute pace.  I slowed down for a second and then the pain kind of got in the way.  I kept going, but my walking break slowed me down way too much, and I didn't beat my magic mile time.  I was 20 seconds worse, in fact.  But, I can't be too sad. I told coach I would run and not be upset if I didn't beat my time.  The awesome news is that Diana improved an entire minute and then some on her magic mile.  And this was after her tumble on the sidewalk last week!  So way to go Diana, and I'm happy I could be there to run with you for this awesome accomplishment!

I came home right after that.  I got out a massager and massaged my legs a bit before heading off to Zumba.  I got a different pair of sneakers since I didn't want to wear my running shoes again for the class.  I met Tiffany there, and I guaranteed she would love Renae.  And she did.  You just can't help but love her!  I got a much better workout than Thursday, probably because I think the massage helped the legs a bit.  

I think I'll use it again tonight, and hopefully I can get my miles in in the morning.

And I hope there's still some life in my shoes.  I got the most wonderful compliment from my friend Ruth yesterday.  While I was working the game, she told me I was her inspiration when she went running and wanted to stop.  She thought of me and told herself she could do it!  =)

28 days til Warrior Dash!  Woo Hoo!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

30 days!!!!

30 days to Warrior Dash!!!!

Woo hoo!!!

We have a new Warrior Princess in our midst.  My sister, Angie, will be joining us for the "craziest freaking day of (our) life!"

With the mud...and the dirty water...and the fire!

We are going to have so much fun!!!!

In 30 days!!!!!

Zumba with Tiffany

After some discussion about boot camps and alternatives, my friend Tiffany and I decided we needed to get to the rec center and utilize the facilities.  So I suggested Zumba!

Me: Zumba tomorrow?

Tiffany: I don't dance!!
(slight pause in between texts)
Tiffany:  What time?

Me: 7 pm

Tiffany: Hmmmm.  I don't Zumba. :) No way

After some discussion, she agreed to go!

Me:  Yea!  I'm cheering!!!

Tiffany: Humph!

It was the "Humph" that made me chuckle, so I texted her earlier today to give her a countdown to the hip-rolling, booty-shaking hour.  I only did it once though for fear that she would change her mind.

We met at the rec center just in time for class to start. I was kind of off today.  My shins are hurting, and I think I'll have to go to the chiropractor very soon.  I thought it I wore my running shoes, my legs would feel better than the cheap cheer shoes I usually wear to class.  The only problem with that is that running shoes are made to move forward.  They do not like to pivot or turn or chasse.  I realize that that affects the sweat factor in Zumba classes.  I couldn't get my groove on.  Tiffany, on the other hand, was doing great!  She was dancing like a pro that knew the routines!   It was great!

She had a great time, and that makes me happy!  We'll be attending Renae's Saturday class, and I know she'll really fall in love with Zumba then. 

Yea, Tiffany!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not so Easy Breezy

Oh, how I love the fall!  The high today was 74 degrees, and there was a breeze.  It was actually a little chilly just standing around outside.  It was starting to get a little late, so I went to get dressed to get a run in.

I couldn't find my pants.  So I put on my spin shorts.  Weird, but it would work.

Then I couldn't find my socks.  My favorite pair of running socks are ruined because my husband, trying to be helpful, melted them with the blow dryer trying to dry them for me on Sunday.  But I have other socks that I can wear, but they are nowhere to be found.

Not that it's about fashion, but there I was in the turquoise shirt I hate, pink cotton socks, and spin shorts.  At least I had my Brooks, which still had the D-Tag on it from Sunday's race.  I was totally stylin'!!

I started off on the trail, and there is always a nice breeze back there, but today it was gust.  I had never really had to run really hard against the wind before so it was a good challenge.  As the first half mile passed, I was looking forward to getting on the other side of the breeze.  But that didn't happen.  I got to a part of the trail where the breeze wasn't so hard and in some spots disappeared all together.

That would have been fine, but then I reentered the wind, and I was still on the wrong side of it.  I figured eventually I would be on the downwind.

But no!  I don't understand how I could be running against the wind in every single direction I ran.  And it was beating me up!  Pushing me back, pushing me to the side, slowing me down. 

Regardless, I enjoyed it.  The wind kept me cool and it felt kind of like an obstacle.  It was fun.  Once I got within the last 1/3 of a mile, I pushed it.  I ran the last section at 12:48.  Woo Hoo!

Although I had that nice little fast jaunt, I think the wind slowed down my overall pace.  I felt like I was faster than what the Garmin shows.  Not that I am so far beyond a 15 minute pace; it's still my average for training runs, but I just felt like I was using a lot of energy. The whole run was three miles and took me a full 45 minutes. 

I blame the wind.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Running of the Bulls

We are at it again.  The Lunar Rendezvous Run gang would now be reuniting for the Houston Texan's Running of the Bulls.  This time, we had a new gang member in my little one who would be running in the Toro's 1K. 

The Lunar run had 523 runners participating.  This race would be much larger, and the kid's run had sold out!  I think there were a little over 2000 adults running today.  Big difference!  When we made the exit to get to the Reliant Stadium, there was a line of cars already waiting to get into the stadium parking lot.  Leslie was already there, and she called to tell us there were soooo many people! 

We met in the parking lot for our before picture!

So my family made their way into the stadium, and we lined up behind the start line.  Leslie and Justin stayed close to the front of the line, and we made our way closer to what we thought was the back.  We had about twenty minutes to wait, and come to find out, we were no where near the back of the line.  When we did look back, there was a sea of people behind us.  We decided to stay put, and thought they could just pass us. 

It got to be that time, and they started playing loud music.  That was fun, and kind of got the blood pumping.  We started off with Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up.)  We took off with a great pace.  Really great, and I kind of freaked out because I didn't think I could keep up that pace.  And as fast as I thought we were, we were being passed up left and right.  I debated on slowing down or trying to get through that first mile.  But we made it though the first mile at a pace of 12:37.  To greet us at the mile mark in addition to a water station was a marching band!  How awesome was that!  We walked while we drank our water, and then kept going for mile two.

We kept going, and we had a hill to climb.  It was actually a ramp, but it may as well have been a hill.  I was tired, and my legs hurt.  I looked over at Kelly, but she was living up to her title, Grace Kelly.  She seemed to have dissappeared and some other woman who obviously didn't run 11 miles yesterday was there next to me.  She was making it look easy.  I was inspired, and then I found my zone.  And it was great!  But it was short-lived.

We were running through another parking lot to reach mile two, where we were met by Texan's cheerleaders in knee-high pink boots.  And they were cheering for us.  Our pace of this mile was 14:02.  We walked as we drank our water, then we walked for a few more seconds.  Because I wanted to, because if it was up to Grace, I'm sure we would have been jaunting it all.  We rounded the corner, we were heading back to the stadium.  We could see the runners already making their way to the end.  Kelly said, "We're almost there!  This is easy!"  And then I wanted to trip her,  I said, "Are you the same person who ran 11 miles with me yesterday?  Because you're making this look easy.  I think you are a pod person, and this is your pod running with me!"  We had another ramp and then we were back in the stadium parking lot.  The music could be heard again, but we still had to go all the way around the building to get to the back.

Kelly was so encouraging, but I still asked that we take a quick walk break right so that we could finish strong.  Our last mile pace was 13:28. We were at the tunnel where you run in and we could see the finish line.  We had a nice little downhill ramp, and we took advantage of it and ran it in to the tune of Animal.  We crossed the finish line and high-fived each other.  It only took a second to find my husband.  My little one was on his shoulders and met me with a high five.  My dad gave me a hug, sweat and all, and told me that was awesome!  It was a great finish!

But I have to give props to Kelly.  She was in her zone.  The whole time!  She felt really great, and you could tell.  She was fabulous!

I had to get Millie out for her run, so almost immediately, we started our way back out to the parking lot. She didn't seem very nervous, but once we got there, there were so many adults!  She made her way to the end of the line.  Kelly was behind me, and I told her that all the parents were freaking me out!  We decided we would just run with her.  I had thought that I might if she was nervous or scared, but she wasn't.  She was already worming her way to the front of the line.  They said "Go!" and she took off.  I think it was a full two minute before she realized that we were running with her.  She turned around and Kelly was right behind her.  I had made my way to the sidewalk beside her to try to keep up.  She was running!  She made it about half way through her run and then she walked a little.  When we made it to the end, I told her, "That's the end, sweetie!  Run it in!" 

She was awesome!  We waited aroud for a few minutes.   The lines for our free refreshments were awfully long, so my dad suggested we go to Denny's for breakfast.  Yes!  Not that I like Denny's but food sounded good.  First we had to get Millie's medal. 


She was so proud.  I was so proud.  The way she tackled that run was just amazing to me.  She was so brave, and not at all intimidated by the crowd.  She was happy to recieve that medal. 

I'm waiting for them to post the official results.  I can't remember what they are now.  But I know that the Garmin says we finished in 42:34.  That is 3:12 faster than the Lunar run! I also remember that I was not last in my age group.  That's always good. 

I wish I would have found and stayed in my zone.  But I think in addition to the physical, today was mental too.  I let my mind get away from me, and I paniced with my new faster pace.

But on the plus side, I have a faster pace.  Better get used to it.

11 Mile Morning

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I was very nervous about this morning's run since it had been a very bad training week for me.  Food-bad.  Runs-bad.  General exercise-bad.  We met at 5:00 and Diana was joining us again, this time from the start. 

As we took off, the weather was cool, although a tad bit muggy.  I had a hard time getting into a good groove; but sometimes it does take a couple of miles to feel it, and we had so many miles to go. I knew I'd get there...eventually.

In spite of all of this, things were going pretty well.  We were all in sync and keeping a good pace. It was still dark as we ran into a neighborhood with some really pretty houses.  So pretty, in fact, it was distracting.  And then we had a man down.  Diana had tripped on a sidewalk that was jutting out of the ground.  It was awful.  We were only a little over 2 1/2 miles into the run.  She was done.  Her knees were scraped up pretty good, and her husband was coming to pick her up.  We stayed with her until then and joked that the people were probably going to call the police because of the three random people standing on the sidewalk in the wee hours in the morning.

So this is all bad, but the break that we took while waiting for her husband must have been the break that was needed for me to get my stride.  My breathing was better, and I just felt more ready to tackle the challenge ahead.  Once we got out of that neighborhood, we were on a main road with NO lights!  Kelly almost tripped there, and I think it may be time I get one of those helmets with the headlights on them.  Not really, because I don't think I could handle running with that thing on my head. 

Although things were better, my legs were bothering me.  I'm not sure why.  At one point, Kelly asked me, "Have we even gone four miles yet?" and we hadn't.  All of a sudden I was stunned by the distance we still had to go.  But it wasn't horrible, it just sounded like a lot.  I was still determined to do it, even though we were behind on our time.

Somehow, the streets just seemed shorter.  The last time we did this route, it seemed like this street Morgan just went on forever.  But this time our water station was waiting for us before we knew it. 

At mile 7, two things happened.  First we saw the first group of our club heading our way.  These were the marathoners, and they were on their way back from their 20-mile run.  We cheered them on as they passed us.  Then the pain in my legs seemed to get more intense.  We were almost at our turn-around point, and when we made it there, my hips just felt so tight.  Kelly said her legs were getting sore, so we decided we would stretch really well when we stopped for the second time at our water station.  Then the second group of marathoners passed us up.  But right after they did, their alarm sounded for their 1-minute walk break.  So we passed them up.   Kelly and I joked later and were all, "Oh)yea!  We totally passed the elites!"  (Ya, even if it was just for 10 seconds!)  =D

As discussed, we did take a break at the water station and stretched the best we could.  We were at 9.6 miles now.  But we were suffering.  We said out loud to each other-"We've already done this.  We're almost done.  We've got this."  And we ran.  Concentrating on each minute, we ran.  Minute by minute was the way it was.  The ten mile run was tough mentally.  In that run, I had a battle going on in my head that I had to defeat.  This time it was physical.  My legs were hurting, but I the battle wasn't in my mind.  There was no choice but tokeep going, and I knew that I could.

Finally, we made it to the last corner.  I love that corner!  We were in the home stretch, and we ran it in.  11.18 miles!

Kelly told me later that I had really kicked it up a notch in the last mile and a half.  When I checked the Garmin, sure enough.  We were the fastest in those last three miles than the rest of the run.  That made me feel good.  Kelly has always struggled with mile 10.  Although she may have been battling in her mind to finish, she never appeared to waver, and she ran like a champ! 

I now understand how people say if you can run this distance you can run the half.  I can see how you would just keep going.  It hurts. You want to stop.  But you would just keep going.  I can see it now.

Of course, next time I struggle I'll be all, "What do you mean I can run a half!!!!"

We stretched before getting into our cars to go home, and once I sat down I felt all the pain rush into my legs.  I was hurting so bad, it was comical.  I got home and immediately got into the hot tub.

My little one and her neighbor friend were attending a dance clinic, so it was a mom's afternoon.  My neighbor, Dierdre, treated me to the best pedicure I have ever had.  It was endless and filled with all kinds of wonderful massage and lotions that rejuvenated my pained legs.




Her first race!
 We'll see. Worse case scenario, we won't sign up for a race after a long run.  But look at the excitement on her face.  I can't wait to see how she does on her first run.  It will be worth all the pain if she loves it and has a great time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conference Week

I know I've had some bad weeks before, but since my journey started in February, this has to be the worst. 

I haven't done anything.  And I haven't been eating well.

I left Monday for a conference in San Marcos for our student information software.  I saw on the website that our hotel had a weight room, so I took my exercise clothes and running shoes in hopes that they would have a treadmill or elliptical.

I spent the evening Monday night with my daughter.  That was great!  I met the other ladies later, but we didn't stay out late.  So the next morning, I woke up at 5:30 to go get a workout in.  I eventually found the weight room on the third floor (WTH?)  and I gasped as I walked in.  This was the picture I saw on the webpage:


Nice, right?  It would be if it was part of it, but this was the entire room.  And you have to consider the wide-angle lens.  The room wasn't even as big as my own hotel room.  It was tiny.  Right in front of that mat you see the bike on was a mirrored wall. I got claustrophobic as I was waiting on the treadmill.

Fifteen minutes later, it was free, and I was alone in this tiny, mirrored room.  Running on a treadmill is difficult enough, but running on a treadmill in a small room and a large mirror in front of your face is even more difficult.  I'll stop complaining now. I made it through a mile and then I had to leave to get ready. 

Other than walking around the conference and the outlet mall, that is the only exercise I got. 

I didn't go to Zumba tonight, but I was going to go for a run.  I didn't want to leave the little one again after I just got home; so Kelly had agreed to meet me here after I put her to bed, and we would run in the neighborhood.  Perfect.  But then Kelly had issues and had to stand me up.  No problem.  I would go to the rec center and run the track, and if people were running on the bridge on the way, I would run the bridge.  Yea!

I fell asleep.  I just woke up, and I've missed the running-in-the-gym opportunity.

So it's a crappy work-out week.  REALLY crappy work-out week.  And I hope it doesn't affect my 11-mile run on Saturday.  But I'm afraid it will.  But I'll force my way through it. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Reluctant Halfer

So up until a couple of weeks ago, I refused to say or even consider that I would sign up for a half marathon.  I know that's what our group is training for, but I didn't know that when I signed up, and I was just wanting to improve.  And they have all been very supportive.  Kelly would tell people, "Candi and I are training for a half marathon!" and I would immediately chime in, "Uh...Kelly is training for a half marathon; I'm just running."

Well, a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  I decided that I would probably sign up with Kelly to do the Mardi Gras half in February.  I got comfortable saying that, and I even told Coach Ric my plan.  Still freaks me out, but I am getting used to it.

Cut to last week when my friend, Angela called me and asked me if I would be interested in doing the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February.  My friend Angela, who only two weeks ago was telling me I was crazy for running 9 miles!  I was caught completely off guard and didn't think a trip like this would be possible.  My sister, who is very proud of me, encouraged me and even offered to help make it possible.  My husband was on board and said if it is something I really wanted to do, we could make it work.  So now it seems I will be running in the Princess half.

From Warrior Princess to Halfer Princess. 

Wow!

I am kind of freaking out!  I have to get over the guilt of it all.  Angela is one of my dearest and oldest friends, and I know we will have a great time!  I feel lucky to be able to do something like this with her.

So now, I have other thoughts.  This will be my first half marathon.  How can I not have my family with me?  Will I be able to run 13 miles without Kelly?  I don't know if I want to run my first half without my husband and my girls to cheer me on at the finish.

My solution?  I will be signing up for the Mardi Gras run on the 5th of February, and I will be signing up for the Princess Half on the 26th.

I've gone from running no half marathons to running two in a month.  I will consult Coach Ric about this, but looking at our training schedule, I think 3 weeks between these two races will be okay. 

And I have to say if I thought I had lost my mind before, now I know it's completely gone!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Repeat of the Repeats

Our school district has four more games this season.  Thank goodness, because working them and then having our Saturday runs the next morning is starting to take it's toll. 

I had woken up late last week, and I was paranoid about it happening again.  I checked my phone like 20 times before I went to sleep, but the night was still filled with me waking up in a panic and checking the time.  I didn't want to be late again.  And this time I couldn't be.  We would have company on our run this morning as a fellow group runner was going to join us.  However, she would be meeting us on our route and not at the beginning.  So it was important that we be there to meet her when we said we would be.

We were doing the mile repeats again, but this time there would be four of them.  The first mile was slow as Kelly and I tried to wake up and get into a groove.  And it wasn't because coach told us to run that slow, we were just slow.  It was just our warm up mile, and I hoped we would get warmed up before the repeats started.  We had the same 4 minute walk breaks in between each mile, so I tried to psych myself out for what was ahead.  We started the first, and it did get better.  Our average pace for the first mile repeat was 15:27.  Not quite our 1/2 marathon pace, but faster than our full marathon pace. 

Dianna did meet us right as we were finishing up that mile and joined us for the next two mile repeats.  The next mile was a little slower, but we all had a pretty good rhythm going by now.  As we finished up the next mile, Dianna was ready to stop at her neighborhood where she joined us.  She had completed two of the mile repeats with us and she did great!  Even more awesome than that was realizing that she has been walking her miles mostly.  We offered to slow down a bit, but she was done and I hope happy with her progress.  She really did great!

Our next two mile repeats were back around 15:29.  All was great until we passed a horrible gas smell.  We noticed it last week, but today it was worse.  I think Kelly was going to call it in to the gas company, because it stank.  Then we passed a buzzing light pole.  That didn't sound good.  Then, after we had just talked about all the lovely bird sounds that we had been hearing, we heard these birds that I swear were laughing at us.  That's what it sounded like.  They were laughing at us.  If I get my creative juices flowing, I'm sure there's a scary movie in there somewhere.

We started feeling really good (yeah...now that the run is almost over) so we decided to just run in the last segment.  It was about 6/10 of a mile.  We ran it in at a pace of 14:05.  It felt really great!

Most of the group is running in a 10-miler race tomorrow, so there were very few of us running this morning.  We were first today, but only because we started early and (as I mentioned) most others were not there.  Coach Dan ran in shortly after us.  He had run the mile from his home to the building where we meet so he could meet us at the finish line.  After talking with us for a few minutes, we saw Tom running in by himself and shortly thereafter the other group of awesome women was coming in.  We hollered at them and cheered them in.  It was fun being on that cheering-squad side of it, although having the team cheer you on in is fun, too!

They're all rock stars!  And I wish the runners the best of luck in tomorrow's 10-Miler.

UPDATE:
I signed me and the little one up today for the Houston Texan's Running of the Bulls. I'll be running the 5K and she'll be doing the Kid's Toro 1K.  I hope she loves it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stress Free Zumba

So, today I got the call that no one likes to get.  The one where you hear something along the lines of "we need more tests."  I'm sure everything is fine, but you can't help but listen to that little devil on your shoulder saying, "what if?...."

So after getting home and going to the store and other household chores, I took off to Zumba.  I really wanted to go for a run, but by the time I was able to leave the house, it was getting late, and a long run before it got too dark was out out of reach. 

So I lost myself in Zumba instead.  I really just got into the class.  I didn't look at myself in the mirror, I didn't worry about missing steps, I didn't really care about anything else.  I just danced with everything I had and made my fat cells cry.  Because making the fat cells cry seemed like a better alternative.

And it was.  Now I'm going to relax with some yoga and my favorite post on days like this-chavasana.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That Time of Year

I love this time of year.  After a whole month of temperatures that are surely close to hell, it is nice to have this reprieve.  Today, as I was sitting outside with the little one, it was 89 degrees.  Ahhh, lovely....

I got my husband to take my place, and I suited up and hit the road. I forgot to charge the Garmin, which was bad; but my phone was charged, which was good.  Well..sort of good.  The GPS is still messed up, but at least I would have a timer. 

Apparently, I'm not the only one loving the weather.  Usually I don't have to share the trail until I get closer to the park, but today there were three other people that I saw after starting at the trail head.  Once I got to the park, there were lots of people.  Running, walking, and walking with pets.  It was beautiful out, and we were all going to enjoy it.

I felt still that I was slower on the gravel, but when the Nike + GPS told me I had only run 1 mile at 17 minutes per mile, I knew it wasn't quite that bad. So I kept going, and I ran into the park.   After the first mile, I guess I was warmed up a little bit because my stride just felt better.  I also realized that I hadn't been stopping for my intervals, but I think that's okay.  Some of the runners in the club say that they don't start the intervals for the first thirty minutes, and really it felt good to just run and see that I haven't lost that ability. I just ran and around the second mile, I could tell that my pace was better.  I felt strong and able. 

The sun was going down and it started to get dark on my last half mile.  It was so nice out, I was sad that the run had to end.  I would have never thought that my 5K neighborhood route would turn out to be my "short run." I finished with a 14:47 pace.  Not too bad, but this is a lesson to keep the Garmin charged.  I would be able to see how fast those last two miles were if I had.

Oh well, it was a good run.  It is going to be much easier getting those weekday runs in with weather like this.  I love it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Late Waker for the 10

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I set my phone alarm for 4:15.  The day's run would start at 5:08, and I told Grace Kelly that we should start on time, if not early, since we are always the last group in. She agreed.  So imagine my shock and horror when I wake up from a dream in a panic, check my phone, and it is 5:04!  I jumped up out of bed, grabbed my clothes and started to run downstairs when I received a text that Kelly was already there.

Crap!

I don't think I ever got ready so quickly. We ended up not starting our run until 5:30, and Kelly was very gracious about it.  I guess the good thing about all the chaos is that I didn't have the opportunity to freak out about having to run 10 miles.  We just started running.  As usual, we talked about the previous night's events, and that always seems to cover the first two or three miles.  We did not run into sprinklers this morning, but the weather was beautiful!  It was nice and cool, not humid at all, and we didn't even have any unusual and foul odors that we seem to encounter quite often. 

Earlier this week, the coach sent an e-mail out on nutrition and gave us tips for keeping our sugar levels in check during these long runs.  After reading it, I asked him what constitutes a long run and if I should be considering using things like jelly beans and drinks.  What I actually wrote in my e-mail is "should I be using Kelly beans and drunks?"  He is quite funny and told me he had no idea what Kelly beans are and as a rule I should stay away from drunks.  I think this is why you are supposed to proofread before you hit send. 

By using little amounts of candy and electrolyte drinks, I should be able to avoid that incredibly sleepy feeling that I have been experiencing on Saturdays.  Apparently, my sugar is dropping too low and creating this effect. So for the day, I split up a Nuun tablet to accommodate the running bottles, and my pouch contained skittles.  As per his advice, I started eating a couple of skittles every so often around mile three.  Before you know it, we're at mile 4.5 hitting the water station.  I used it to put a Nuun tablet in one of my bottles, and I alternated drinking that and regular water. 

Everything was going pretty well until we hit 7 1/2 miles .  Then it just seemed like we still had so far to go.  It was about this time that the other groups started passing us, too.  I think that was discouraging only because if we had started on time, we would be coming in around the same time as everyone else.  Now we would be last again; and it shouldn't bother me, but it did. 

Around mile 9, I told Kelly, "I am battling this!"  She said she was too, and said she just kept thinking encouraging things.  We kept going.  But I couldn't stop thinking about how long this last street was, and I knew we had another mile to go. Then as if an answer to my prayer, the last corner appeared into our view.  We were almost there.  We got closer, and I could see Coach Ric and a fellow runner Tina by the driveway.  Michelle was there, too and when they saw us they started cheering us on, and yelling at us to sprint it in.  And we did.  Our pace for that lap was 12:33.

Coach said, "You just completed your first 10-miler!" and I just smiled!  We talked to Tina for a little while before heading home.  She asked if I ever thought I'd be running 10 miles.  To be honest, I never thought I would get past the 3.5 that was my record when the club started.

I had my chocolate milk ready and ice cold for my drive home.  I hadn't enjoyed chocolate milk in I can't even tell you how many years; but as I drove home, I was loving every drop.  Then all of a sudden, tears were rolling down my face; and I was crying as I drank my chocolate milk.  I just ran 10 miles!  It was sinking in.  I ran 10 miles!  As hard as that last mile was, now I was on top of the world!  And then I looked at the clock, and I realized Zumba was starting in 10 minutes, and I wanted to go.  I knew I couldn't though because we were going to see my daughter in San Marcos, and we had to get ready.  But that's how good I felt.  I felt like I could tackle another hour-long workout.

Coach Ric's suggestions were right on, too; which should come as no surprise since the man totally rocks!  I didn't feel sleepy like I have been.  I made the three hour drive without falling asleep, and I made it through all the fun of the day feeling like a champ. 

There are lots of renovations going on with the football stadium at Texas State.  The short story to that is that we had no where to park, and we had quite a walk ahead of us to get to and from the football stadium.  We had a tailgate with the other Strutter parents with lots of wonderful brisket and sausage, and I did indulge in some potato salad since I figured some carbs would be okay at this point.  Plus you have to give me an additional two miles of walking by the time it was all said and done. 

And I didn't have any cake.

The football game was great!  The Bobcats beat Nicholls and the Strutters rocked the half time show.  As an added bonus, the little one took a picture with Boko.


She did get a little antsy after half time, so I took her walking around.  We ended up on the side of the stadium where there was a large grassy hill.  You see above that she is in a dress, and she was wearing her little Jessica Simpson slip ons.  Rather than rolling down the hill, my future marathoner ran up and down the hill several times.  In her dress and her flats.  I watched her and thought I should join her.  But I didn't.  =)

We got to see my oldest after the game as we took her out to dinner.  We were still full from the tailgate, but she had to have been starving.  We got this picture before she changed for dinner.
I love my girls!
So all in all, I have to say it was a stellar day!  Kelly and I ran that 10 miles in 2 1/2 hours.  In two weeks, we'll add another mile.  In addition to having my skittles or jelly beans, I'm going to follow the coach's nutrition plan for the night before.  I'll be prepared for battle if the negative thoughts come back.

And I'll wake up on time!