Saturday, September 25, 2010

The run that wasn't.

I went out of town with my mom for a few days, to the little ol' town of Moses Lake. I'd planned to do a 5 miler while there on Friday...As I drove around town that morning, I even looked around for a great spot to run. There was a beautiful path next to the Lake that looked perfect.

I spent the morning packing up some of my Aunt's apartment, and somewhere in the tape and cardboard, I lost my enthusiasm for my run. I was trying to think up excuses...I would be more productive to stay and keep working...I forgot my socks, I ate too many milkduds. I finally dug out some of my aunts cotton socks, and decided to shut up and go run. I took my pile of workout clothes to the bathroom, and realized I'd left my one and only sports bra, my beloved Fiona, in the washing machine, at home, in Vancouver. Let's just say, my "girls" don't run without Fiona. Excuses run.

Up next? Tomorrow, 9 miles with my best running buddy :) Bring it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brain vs. Body

So, today is my "scheduled" run day. I usually don't run on Sundays, but obviously I did yesterday (race day).  I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to run today, but I did. I felt great all day, even though I pushed it yesterday in the race. I am still riding the wave of feeling good about my finish time, and feeling a little run happy.

So, I ran 4 miles. Now that I've seen my times down well under 10 min/mi, I really want it to stay there. I KNOW that I can't keep that pace for long distances (at least for now), and that I shouldn't push my pace like that for every run. But, BUT, it's so stinking hard to reel myself in! I knew I should just be running an easy run today, but dang if I didn't hate seeing my pace pop over 10 minutes. Even though it was just a few short weeks ago that EVERY run was above 10. I was thrilled to finally see my times GET under 10:30! Now, I really want to see them under 10 every run. Dang...this is so addicting, and bringing back my inner 16 year old competitive self. Wanting to "win". Against who, you might ask? Just me. Just myself. I want to beat myself. Bad.

So, I tried to be good. My legs felt pretty good, but my right knee was reminding me today to take it a little easy on her.

Wednesday, I'm back to 5 milers for Wed/Fri and a longer 9 miler on Sunday. What do you do to recover from a race? Does a 5K count? I have no idea. I'm a total rookie. A run happy rookie.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My first Race!

just before I started the 5K race
Today, I raced. Since I first participated in the Race for the Cure in 2007, I have had the goal to run the next one that came around. For the past 2 years, I've wanted to race in the 5K run, and not done it. Even though I'm in week 8 of my half marathon training, and completed a 10 mile run on Friday, this race was a huge goal met for me, even though the mileage wasn't as high as what I've been running in my weekly training runs. But this 3 miles was a big deal for me.

The crowd waiting to start the 5K walk
After a night of POURING down Pacific NW weather, this morning was perfect for a run! Dry, even a few peaks of sun. THOUSANDS of people racing to celebrate, remember, and support one cause.

Portland's Race for the Cure (breast cancer research fundraiser) is the 3rd largest in the world, and the largest per capita Race for the Cure...I heard there were over 30,000 in attendance! just crazy.

my new garmin! (yay!)
I ran the chip timed 5K, which was my first "official" race ever. Outloud I said I wanted to finish in under 30 minutes. In my head, I fantasized about finishing in 27 minutes, which would be 9 minute miles (never run that). I finished at 27:39! I was very happy with that average of 9:10 per mile.

My splits were:
1-8:56 (YAHOO! Loved seeing my time start with an 8!)
(plus....the little bonus .02 miles, 6.something seconds)

One of my weaknesses that I'm trying to reign in is starting out too fast. I told myself I wanted to pace myself between 9:25 and 9:45...and of course out of the chute, I was pacing around 8:40). The energy of the crowd was so enthusiastic...I just couldn't hold myself back! I did slow down, knowing I couldn't keep an 8something pace for the whole race.My typical pattern followed, first mile fastest, gradually slowing with each mile.  I settled in in mile one behind a lady in a survivor shirt who was keeping a steady pace that I felt good about. So, I chased her for most of the race. I was greeted by my mom at the finish, telling me how proud she was of me, which was the perfect finish! Thanks, mom!
Mom and I

My eyes were brimming with tears off and on, as I read the names, and saw the photos on the backs of racers. When I finished, I stood to the side watching for some friends to finish, and cried some more as I watched Survivors come through the pink survivor lane finish. Women who looked way to young to be wearing those pink bibs and survivor tshirts. Mom's my age, walking with thier kiddos, my kiddos ages, sporting bald heads proudly. I just cried watching the looks of joy, pride, and fight as they crossed the line in victory. I watched women cross the line holding hands, celebrating life, and remembering loved ones lost.
survivors lane (runner unknown)
friends celebrating together as they cross finish (unknown runners)

I raced to honor my sweet friend Christy's mom, Carol King, who lost her battle to breast cancer several years ago. I also raced to celebrate my mom, Denise, and our dear friend Jackie, who fought and won battles with cancer, even thought it wasn't breast cancer. I ran to honor  a few gals from church, Rosemary and Carol, who've fought and won the battle with Breast Cancer. It was an emotional day.

I didn't think my hubby and kids would make it, since we were expecting dumping buckets of rain, but my hubby surprised me by bringing all 3 kids and met us at the finish. Nothing like your kids telling you "good job, mommy!" to make your day :)
Mom, Me and Jackie

On a fun side note, I scored a used Garmin yesterday on craigslist! I am feeling really blessed by my sweet husband and his support of my running. I found this Garmin, in excellent condition, for $75! I was feeling a little guilty for even wanting it, I rarely spend that kind of money on anything for myself. I am a clearance, sale, thrift store, craigslist shopper. Even though $75 was a great deal, it's still just a chunk of change to splurge on myself. But the night before, my hubby was giving me some sweet supportive compliments about running and the good he sees in me from it. After that, I felt like it was worth the investment. Thanks, Honey, for supporting me and loving me. You are the best!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Long run today with Selene...
Week 8 of training...
It was a hard week for me, running wise.

My sucktastic run on Tuesday, followed by no more runs before today (just two strength/cardio sessions)= a tough run today. I'm not sure it it's because I didn't get much "mileage" in this week , or if it's just a hard week. I think I am going to start my period tomorrow...maybe that plays into my tiredness. (it certainly explains why I've cried so much this week!) Selene is much more disciplined than me, but it felt hard to her too, hopefully I wasn't just dragging her down!

I love having her to run makes the time go so much faster, and we get to catch up on life. She's a more experienced runner, so she gives me little tips as we go (like focusing on keeping my arms moving when going up a hill instead of keeping my heavy feet going) and telling me when to hit my split button as we hit the mile markers, and reminding me when to take my shot blox. She is the best. Today, mile 7 & 8 were hardest for me...but Selene does great her last two miles, so, after she reminded me to take my blox, the last two miles seemed better and she was going strong to the finish, it kept me going too.

I added strength training to my off days this week, with a Turbo Jam dvd. It actually really helped loosen up my stiffness, and I felt great knowing I was doing something to help improve my running and start toning more than my legs. My whole life,  I have lean legs and a flat bum (as in no shape). So of course running toned up my legs quickly, but my midsection and arms are the areas I'd really like to see some improvement. And, they have lost a little bit of inches, but I have a long way to go before I hit "toned". :)

I'm looking forward to resting tomorrow, maybe a little yoga, and my first timed race Sunday (Race for the Cure 5K!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today's workout: I have not really been doing much in the cross training/strength training area, but my good friend Beth kept telling me how much she liked working out to Turbo Jam for strength training on her non-running days. How much it helped her runs. So I bought it off ebay and today, I broke it out, knowing I wouldn't get another run in before my 10 miles on friday (one day early so I can do it with Selene).

I have to say, i loved it! I was sweating like a crazy's kind of weird, I didn't use to sweat much when I ran, but as my miles have crept up, I have been more of a sweater. Today, I literally had sweat dripping down my face into my felt really good.  It felt great to work some other muscles in my body, and made me excited to see what changes will happen with it. I'd really like to see some more inches come off, I seem to be at a standstill in my weight and inches melting away right now.

Last night, as we layed in bed, my sweet hubby told me something I don't think I'll soon forget. He said there's obviously been physical benfits to my running, pounds and inches, but that he really sees something different in me. In how I feel about myself, how I carry myself. That he can't stop thinking about it. I smiled. It means more coming from him than anyone else. He sees all of me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. He sees the good, bad, and ugly. I was so glad that he could see it too, because I feel like I've found part of myself. I feel like running has given me a gift...something I can feel really good about. Something I can accomplish. A challenge I can work hard towards and see a concrete result. (not like working hard all day at home, and then still having kids who have bad manners, messy rooms, and dirty laundry). It has brought some balance to my heart and mind. It was so good for my soul to hear it from him. Babe, you keep my fire burning with those sweet compliments! I love you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


That was today's run.

I had a full day yesterday, with a photo shoot in the evening. My hubby got home just in time to do the kidlet hand off. There was no daylight left when I got home, so no run for me.

So, I planned to do a good run to day, and a short run tomorrow, rest thursday, and long run friday (10 miles). For some reason, my legs just didn't seem to have the get -up- and- go they did last week.

After our 9 miler on Saturday I felt good. The run felt just right, it didn't seem overly difficult, it was nice and smooth, we kept a good pace the whole time, and even at the end I didn't feel totally wasted and ready to stop. I could've kept going, I think. I stretched, I hydrated, I drank chocolate milk (love that tip! good excuse to drink the good ol lowfat choc milk). I even felt fine the rest of the day Saturday. Sunday I was a little sore, more than I have been on any run for a long time. Monday, still sore, so I was ok with not getting to run that day. I felt my legs could use another rest day.

But today, while the soreness has faded, my legs felt like concrete. I felt great my first mile...I decided to run a different way to my usual route. Turns out, school had just released and there were teenagers all over the sidewalks and road where I needed to be. SO, I ran fast, unintentionally, but I was just trying to get by the crowded neighborhood. At one point I checked my pace and it was 8:40...which I knew I couldn't keep up with. So, I slowed it down and my pace for that first mile was 9:20. I was excited to see that, but knew I'd probably pay the price in mile 3/4, especially since I was feeling concretish anyhow. Mile 2 was when I started feeling super slow. Heavy. I actually walked for a minute or two...which felt horrible to me. I haven't done that in months! I felt lousy. I wanted to go the short route home, giving me a mere 3 miles today. At my midway point (where there happened to be a potty stop) I really had to go. #2...which was just weird. Who wants to stop for that on such a short run? Lame. Got going, and decided even if I had to slow down and even walk a bit, I would finish my planned 4miles. I chose a route I knew I had to finish the whole mile, because there is no way out of the trail til the end. I was glad I did, the trail dipped down into a wooded area, where it was much cooler and fresh....quiet and beautiful. Once I got past 3, I was feeling better and finished feeling alright.  20 more seconds of walking after a hill...I just felt like CRAP. The last mile, I kept trying to focus on being tough, in my head. I'd been beating myself up for mile 2/3. Feeling like a failure. But, I told myself to buck up  and finish slow if I had to, but FINISH. So, I did at least do my 4, so at least  there's that. I haven't had such a lousy feeling run in quite a while. What the heck? was it because I pushed myself towards a little bit faster pace last week, followed by a 9 miler? Was it just too much for my legs? I don't know. I'm a little worried about 10 miles...just because I just don't have time to get the mileage this week I'd hoped for. But, I am adding more cross/strength training this week, so hopefully that will help. I felt so wiped today, that I cracked open my VitaCoco coconut water I picked up for my friday long run. I've never tried it, but really, about 5 minutes after drinking a 1/2 cup, I felt a lot better! I drank another 1/2 cup and felt even more refreshed. I'm sold. I think it really helped replenish me...but now I need another for Friday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maybe it's the new pants...

Maybe it's my fantastic new Nike running capri's. Maybe it's because I amped up my playlist to include some faster tempo songs. Whatever the reason, today's run was fantastic! I pushed myself harder than usual. My times:
Mile 1-9:56 (with a big ol' hill which I usually avoid at all costs... I actually shouted YES! when I looked at my watch at the one mile some weird looks from passing bikers. It was the first mile UNDER 10 min for me!)
Mile 2-9:31 HELLO my best time EVER!!
Mile 3-10:02
Mile 4-9:46
Mile 5- 10:11 (another smaller hill, but I was feeling the burn, big time!)
Felt great to see 3 of my miles under the 10 minute mark!

I am starting to feel motivated by lots of things, and finding running inspiration all around me. As I sit here, still sweating from my run, I'm going to reflect, so excuse me for a moment...Oh wait. First my times per mile

My inspiration...
  • finally seeing some improvement on my time per mile and endurance to keep a pace for longer time.
  • friends...seriously, I have amazing, encouraging, friends. Friends who are running 5Ks, Marathons, and 1/2 Marathons, Hood to Coast...the list goes on. They are beautiful strong inspiring women. Friends who are fighting back from injuries to hit the pavement again, despite their physical pain. Friends who are running miles and miles for those who can't. 
  • when I hear a good song, I think "That would help me run faster...what is this song?" (like," I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas, for example). I dug through my itunes and amped up the ol' tired playlist. For 5 miles, I needed a few more pumped up songs to get me through.
  • My kiddos. The other day, they were running around my folks front yard, yelling "We are running, like Mommy and Auntie Rachel!" Nearly brought a tear to my eye. A few short months ago, they could've said the same thing about sitting on the couch or in front of the computer. One of my BIG motivators is them, I want us to be an active, healthy family. I want to be around a long time to enjoy it together. Blood Pressure runs high in my family...and I want to keep that at bay.
  • Run Like a Mother, blog, book, and other running blogs. It's feeding me a nice Mommy Girl Power Vibe, that really is inspiring me and helping me believe that my body CAN reach my goal. 
  • Figuring out how to time my splits, I love seeing how I'm doing each mile. 
  • Togetherness. I am a big fan of community. Relationships. I really love the new bond with some old friends (and new) brought about by running.  It's so inspiring to see friends reach hard goals.
  • Aloneness. Not gonna lie, here. After the day I had with my kiddos yesterday, I wanted a one way ticket to anywhere. Running really lets me "burn the stink off" as my grandma used to say.  It's much better for all of us, if my "stink" is left on the pavement, and not in my living room, if you know what I'm saying. It's really amazing to me, how much stress and tension is relieved after a run. 
  • A little retail therapy. ( I LOVE me some retail therapy, but it's usually spent at the clearance racks of Target, Kohl's or the Goodwill. I'm cheap.) I splurged this week on a new pair of running capri's at the Nike Employee store (friend hookup) and a hydration/fuel belt. After reaching the 8 mile mark, I felt like I had shown myself that I was committed and capable, and worth spending a few bucks on. 
OK, I'm off to celebrate my boys 6th birthday at The Bird (Red Robin). Good thing I got in those 5 miles! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

10 minute mile.

It's something I've wanted to see on my stopwatch since I started running, almost 3 months ago. When I ran my first 3 consecutive miles, I was at about 11:30-11:40 per mile. Today, I averaged 10:21 over 5 miles, with my personal record for a mile at 10:00! I finally am seeing some seconds shave off my time. Feels SO good. I really REALLY would like to get down under 10, if I'm shooting for the stars I'd like to get to a 9 minute mile someday.

Today I used my own watch and tried to keep track of my splits (which I just recently figured out what that even meant!) against my nike+ sensor. My mileage seems to be accurate on the Nike sensor, but the time seems a tad slow compared to my Timex Ironman watch. I finally figured out how to work the split timer and how to view it...which if kind of fun. My nike sensor only tells me my average, not the time for each mile, so I liked being able to see which miles I ran at what pace. My first mile was the fastest, but the rest were pretty consistent between 10:10 and 10:20 per mile. Still, my best run yet, I think.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here I go.

Pretty much as soon as we landed home from Ethiopia, and our jet lagged wore off, the reality of parenting 3 kiddos under 6 hit me square in the face. With two, we were man to man defense. Now...we had to go to a zone defense. I. was. tired. We love each one of our little loves to pieces, but mama quickly realized, she need The work and stress of adoption and all it's leftover emotions, well, I just needed to run.

My story goes a little like this. I used to be an athlete. I played volleyball and basketball in middle school and high school, with passion. I loved loved loved it. Then, I changed schools and was too chicken to try out in a "big" school. Never played again. At one point in my freshman year, I ran the dreaded "mile" in PE in just over 6min 30 sec. I was competitive then, and badly wanted to be the first girl to finish the timed mile. I think I may have come in second once or twice. I never, EVER ran more than one mile.

Fast forward to my post baby years. After our first child was born, I of course wanted to loose my baby poundage. I walked alot, ate healthy-ish, and got back to my pre baby weight fairly quickly (but still not where I wanted to be).  Fast forward two more years and another baby, and I really wanted to get in shape. I started couch to 5K, and it lasted about one run. Hated it. Felt fat and heavy and bummed out that I couldn't even run for 2 minutes without feeling like I would puke or pass out. A year later, I tried again, and loved it. I made it up to two miles and injured my foot. My doctor told me to stop running for awhile. And, I did. For two and half years.

When  we came home in June with our third kiddo, Lucy, who's adopted from Ethiopia, I realized that for my sanity and fitness, I HAD to get some excercise. We were fairly tied to home at that point, bonding with our little one, but my hubby also happened to be home from school for the summer. So, started couch to 5K again. It was easier than I remembered, and I really wanted to run. So, I did. I jumped ahead a few weeks on the training schedule, and started running longer. I worked my way up to 3 miles in about a month, running every other day. Around that time, one of my sweet dear friends, put it out there that she needed a new running partner for training for a half marathon. The timing was right, I had time to follow the training schedule and loved the idea of getting to spend weekly time with one of my favorite friends. So, here I am. I have worked my way up to 8.3 miles and am loving almost every minute of it. I am feeling so good. It feels fantastic to say, "I ran 6 miles today!". My body is changing slowly, but I'm feeling like I'm in better shape than I have ever been in my adult life. I never EVER dreamed that I would WANT to run a half marathon. Running has been a great way for me to get some much needed alone time, with no small children touching me or saying "mom, mom, mom" for the 10,999th time that day. I am finding more patience, more energy, and more thankfulness in my life. I am thankful that I am ABLE to run, when so many are not.

I have no idea how this half marathon will go, but I have a feeling I will be hooked. I am already scouring the web, trying to find what my next race will be.

This will be my space for keeping track of my runs, my progress, my goals, my thoughts. It feels weird to say, but running is really just about me. Something I do to take care of me. I haven't honestly taken good care of my body for years, and it's beginning to feel pretty good.