Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saying "Goodbye"

Tonight was our last official get together for our half marathon class, we like to refer to it as our "mixer" (Great term L!). I am going to miss having class every week.  I am really truly sad to see it end - I will miss seeing everyone! Going into the class I wasn't even sure of what to expect. I wanted to have some accountability for my running.

What I didn't expect was to make friends with the people in my class - I mean, I figured I would be friendly... but I truly have a blast each and every week. It's been awesome getting to know people who have similar interests as me.

There aren't enough words to thank each and every person in that class, especially my "coach" - without them I never would have come as far as I have. I was planning to do a long reflective post on my half experience tonight, but instead, I decided to share a picture of all of the wonderful people in my half class.
Back Row: "C", "D", "S", "S", "P" and Front Row: me, "E", "J" and "L"

Again, thank you to each and every one of you.  And congratulations to all of you on a job well done with your race this last weekend.  I hope that we all continue to stay in contact and meet up for runs and dinners and such in the future!

P.S. If you are visiting my blog and cannot comment, please drop me a message at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My first Half Marathon - Fort4Fitness Race Recap!

Let me start off by apologizing about not posting about my half marathon until now... the reason is two-fold. Number one, my family was here from out of town and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. Number two - and probably the biggest reason - is that I am still trying to come to terms with the whole event.

You see, I had lofty goals.  I told anyone who would listen that my "real" goal was a sub 2:00 half, even if I wrote down on paper that my "perfect" time was 2:05 and my "reasonable" time was 2:15.  Now, don't get me wrong - I am relatively happy with my time.  What I am struggling with is how I got that time, we all want to go out there and give it our best.  Despite my time, I know I didn't do that.  That's were my disappointment comes from, not the time itself.

Now that I have that off my mind, lets get to the "good stuff."  The two days leading up to the race I tried to eat extremely light to ensure that I didn't have any digestive problems - I did  "so well" that I lost over 5 pounds in 2 days.  (Not sure this is a GOOD thing when you are prepping for an endurance event like a half marathon).    Friday I spent the day shopping with my mom, sister, and the kiddos.  Not sure being on my feet all day was a good idea, but I put on my calf sleeves and enjoyed my family time.  Dinner was my "running tested" spaghetti with marinara sauce and bread.   The nerves started kicking in and I was stressing out.  We finally got my shirt finished up and then I laid everything out.  (Thanks for that suggestion Wells L, without it I am sure I would have forgotten something).  I think I finally got to bed at like 11:30....  (meant to be in bed MUCH earlier, I do better with 7-8 hours of sleep)

Prior to the Race Saturday Morning:
    - alarm went off at 4:30, had a moment of panic when I realized I had forgotten my Imodium the night before.
    - ran downstairs and took Imodium, then hit the shower
    - got dressed, put on my pace tattoos as well as my motivational tattoo
    - spent the rest of the time getting everyone ready and planning Mom's cheering spots
    - left the house a bit after 6:30, realized as I was pulling out that I hadn't eaten breakfast (whoops) so had to run back in and grab myself an english muffin.
    - got downtown about 7:00 and found out that Mom's car had been making clicking noises over half of the way down, kept clicking after the car turned off.   The clicking eventually stopped, but we decided that it was not a wise decision for her to drive the course to cheer me on - didn't want her to break down and be totally stuck somewhere.  (Ended up getting her car towed and fixed by Monday!)
   - It was FREEZING - spent some time with family, took some pictures, and tried to calm my nerves.
I have the best "fan club" ever, the only person missing was my Dad who couldn't come due to work!
   - Visited the port-a-potties twice before the race (whats with the peppermint scented potties? Don't get me wrong it was much better than what it could have been, but still weird!)
   - Broke down and started crying as I left my family to line up for the race
   - Ran into "E" my half marathon class "coach" before the race and he wished me good luck - seeing him calmed my nerves quite a bit.  I wished him good luck as well and decided to see if I could find "L" and "C" from my class.  It didn't take me long to realize that I didn't have time to find them and get back to my corral so I sadly decided I would just see them afterwards.  Found my way back to my corral "I" and saw "D" as she walked to her corral - wished her luck and took my place and did some leg swings to try to calm my nerves.
I look much more confident than I was feeling! 

The Race:
Miles 1-4:
   -Waiting for the cannon to go off to start the race seemed to take FOREVER, I was a bundle of nerves!  
    - Stayed to the right after the start because I knew my "photographers" were on that side, ran past my sister first just after the start line on Baker Street.  I knew I wouldn't have photographers on the course so I decided to ham it up hoping my sister would get some good pictures for me!  

 - After passing my sister I focused my attention on getting myself at a nice easy pace and get myself in a comfortable position.  I was in a corral based on a finish time of 2:30 and I typically run faster than that, so to start with I was passing quite a few people.
 - Hubby and Mom were just a bit down Calhoun (probably between a quarter and half mile into the race) to snap a few more pictures and cheer me on.  Mom also got a short video.  Hubby didn't have the best luck with photos but here is what he got

 - Had tucked my fuel into the band of my spibelt, but I realized just after I passed Mom and Hubby that they were slipping around and I was going to lose them so I had to try to stuff them in the spibelt - ended up having to carry two of them because they wouldn't fit.   Fail, need to figure this out before the next half!
 - took gatorade by accident at the first aid station, drank a little but didn't want to risk drinking too much of it
- These first miles were easier than I anticipated, I thought it would be torture running down one road straight for nearly 4 miles.  But, it was going pretty easy and I was feeling strong, passing people quite frequently.
 - Got passed by two guys carrying flags, they were full of energy and patriotism.  I wonder if it was true blue patriotism or wanting to get noticed, either way it was a great distraction.  They carried flags on poles for the whole 13.1 miles (if I remember correctly, they finished about 10 minutes ahead of me).
  - Realized I wasn't getting my "every 5 minute" stats from my phone, figured I had the volume turned down and tried to keep trucking because I didn't want to lose time fiddling with the phone.
  - Fueled with chocolate #9 around mile 4 because I was afraid I would die if I waited until the next aid station.  I didn't have water though so I was DYING for water by time the aid station rolled around.  I did use a sip of propel to get it down with, but didn't want to drink too much of that too early.

Miles 5 - about 7.5: 
- I was so relieved to see the greenway come into sight.  This was the only area of the route that I hadn't seen and I wanted to get it over with.  I knew it would probably be relatively easy for me.
- I loved the greenway - so pretty, relaxing, shaded, and an occasional slight breeze.
- There weren't a ton of spectators,but there were a couple groups of people at the beginning and end - and I found the environment made up for the lack of spectators, at least at that point in the race for me.
 - I was excited to see my 5 mile split, it showed I was ahead of where I needed to be!
 - Started to feel some twinges in my tummy around mile 6.5 but seemed to fade away some so I kept running past the stops.
 - Fueled somewhere around 7.2 miles with another chocolate #9.
 - For some reason, getting off the greenway was a huge relief for me mentally.  Maybe its because I was over half way?
 - I might have had one or two 15-20 second walk breaks but can't recall.

Miles 7.5 - 10: 
- Tummy started acting up again but I was determined to not stop.
- I felt like I was running a bit slower, but still strong.  I was happy with how I was doing so far.
- Started to really struggle with my tummy after mile 8 - ended up stopping around mile 8.8 for a bathroom break.  Was relatively quick except I got tangled in my spibelt - haha.  I might have been able to push past it but I didn't want to risk being one of "those" people I see pictures of online.
 - For me, things got hard when the 10k'ers joined us - at first it was an emotional boost for me to realize I was doing the "hardest" race but soon the dodging and crowding got annoying.
 - Ran out of propel at around mile 9
 - At mile 10, the clock showed I was still about where I needed to be pace wise, maybe even a bit ahead (I forget)

Miles 10 - 13.1: 
 - Saw someone down on the ground getting aid - looked like she had passed out.  It was a reminder to make sure I was listening to my body
 - was struggling some and was taking occasional walk breaks, but I still felt like I had my sub 2:00 in the bag.
 - SO surprised to see my Mom and Daughter at about mile 12.7 (?)  - huge boost for me mentally.
 - threw my hand-held bottle at them and posed for a few pictures and kept on running.

 - ended up walking the short distance on Baker street because I wanted to be able to finish strong with  my running.
 - ran as strong and hard as I could the rest of the way, really picked it up when I hit the stadium.
 - I was scanning for my family and couldn't see or hear them, so I just tried to focus on the task at hand - running as fast as I possibly could.
 - When I saw the clock, my heart broke a little but I tried to stay positive and finish strong.  I may have passed some people in that last push to the finish line?
 - My hubby wasn't able to get good finish line photos - hopefully I can get a good one once the race photos are available!
- Crossed the finish line at 2:02:46, official time of 2:01:37

After the Race: 
- I thought I would cry when I crossed the finish line but I didn't, I was emotionally numb.  What a humbling experience I had just had.
 - Got my medal and post race refreshments and got in line for my finisher's photo, this is when I realized how my phone had failed me.  It wouldn't turn on.  Somehow I had either stopped the app or crashed my phone at about mile 1.2 -  guess that's why I wasn't getting updates on my pace and such.  Whoops!  While standing in line I got woozy so I ate an apple.
 - THOSE STAIRS out of the stadium sucked, and there was such a crowd to exit, all I wanted to do was find my family!!
 - TOOK FOREVER to find my family, but I finally did!  Mom helped me get my sleeves on right away and I told her I needed to go look for my friends.  After a bottle of chocolate milk, I decided to head outside so that we could see them better.  "C" surprised me as she rounded the corner.  She looked strong and was ahead of pace!  YEAH "C"
 - I waited a bit for "L" but decided that I would help run her in.  I knew those last few minutes were really hard for me and I would have loved to have someone there to help me - so I went to find her!  Mom went with me to snap some pictures!
 - Found "L" and she was KICKING BUTT!  Ran with "L" until the tunnel then went inside to see her finish and meet up with her after the race.
 - Met up with  L, C, and their friends April and Tia for pictures.
 - Waited a while for my other classmates but never did find them!
 - Lunch at Granite City with the family and then REST the rest of the day! WOOHOO!

THIS IS SOOO LONG ALREADY so I will have mercy on all of you and end this.  However, I will do another post of "the good, bad, and ugly" of my first half marathon hopefully tomorrow.

ETA: I am looking into getting some sort of "wrist GPS" system like a Garmin. Anyone have any recommendations or suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 26, 2011

13.1 - DONE!

I've been trying to come up with the words to make a post about my half marathon this weekend and I unfortunately haven't been able to put my experience down "on paper" yet.  I am hoping to post my reflections soon.  But I wanted to let everyone know I am still here, and I survived!  The month of October is going to be a whirlwind for me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ramblings of a soon-to-be Half Marathoner!

It's late Thursday night, and I am sitting up waiting for my Mom and Sister to get into town for the weekend.  What better to do than write a blog post about what crazy things are going through  my head?   Warning: I ramble and this may not make any sense!

It's been almost 12 months since I started my journey to a healthier me.  I started out making some big changes to my diet: eliminating processed/pre-made food, eliminating pop and adding water, limiting sodium, eating lean protein, portion control, and making healthy low fat meals that weren't necessarily just salads.  The first few weeks were awesome, the weight just flew off - 5 lbs a week for the first 6 weeks!  It was great to see the results that quickly because it helped me stay motivated.  I remember at the time I was swimming as my main form of exercise.  I love swimming and can't wait to add some swimming back into my schedule.

One day late in the fall while scrapbooking with friends we got into a discussion about running.  I was FULL of excuses  - plenty of reasons why I would NEVER be able to run.  First of all was the fact that I had two knee surgeries and the biggest problem for me was that I had a VERY large chest and my excuse for not running?  I couldn't find a sports bra that would work.  Really....pathetic excuse!  The runner in the group assured me that there were indeed bras out there that could be effective. Somehow between that conversation and talk of new year's resolutions I decided I would take up running.  At first it was pathetic... I couldn't run more than a few steps without being out of breath.  The same person who made me knowledgeable about sports bras gave me some breathing tips that made running possible.  I am forever in debt to her.  Who knew that less than 12 months later I would be readying myself to run a half marathon.

13.1 miles.  That's a hell of a lot of miles, especially for someone who not a year ago weighed over 300 pounds. 125 pounds lighter, that's approximately a tenth of a mile per pound I have lost.  Or, another way to look at it - each mile I run will signify approximately 9.5 pounds I have lost.  Totally crazy.  I can't imagine going back to the way I was living before.

I do still struggle with my food choices sometimes - but what I have found is that when I do make poor choices I am doing MUCH better about getting back on the band wagon.  I might have a couple days where I eat whatever, but its so easy to get back to healthy eating because I genuinely feel better when I watch what I am eating.  And, most importantly, I love the feeling that I get when I run.  It's a sense of utter and complete satisfaction - every time I put on my tennis shoes I am accomplishing something I never thought I would.

Soon it will be all over, that doesn't seem humanly possible.  But, in a little less than 36 hours all my training will come to head and I will be running 13.1 miles with an estimated 3000-4000 people!  I am super excited, albeit a bit nervous.  I just have to have faith in training and all the work I have put in.  No matter the results of Saturday's half marathon, I am a winner.  I've lost 125 pounds, gained an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle, and gained years of happiness with my children as they grow up.

So proud to be "Running 4 my life"

Note:  I would like to wish good luck to the following people who are running in the races here in town this weekend:
Beth (10k), Kimberly (4 mile), "L" (half), "C" (half), April and Tia (half), and "J" (half)

And of course, good luck to any of you who may be running races outside of my local area.  Without your support I wouldn't be where I am today - so THANK YOU.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Praying to the "weather gods"

Not that long ago I posted a glorious forecast for the half this weekend. It seems that we may not get so lucky now - as of right now, here is our forecast:

I am praying it somehow gets better between now and then because I don't want to even consider running 13.1 miles in the 50s with rain!  Please, rain and half marathon gods, have pity on me? haha

Tonight is our last official half marathon class and I am super bummed about it.  I have grown very fond of our  weekly meetings.  Its been a great way to get out of the house and have some adult time and get to know other people who have similar goals as me.  I knew I would meet people, but I didn't realize that I would make such good friends with the people in the class.  We will apparently have a "mixer" after the half where we get together with the North class and go out to eat and discuss how the half went.  I am really looking forward to that.  Should be a great time.  

I am volunteering at Natalie's preschool today, my family gets here late tomorrow evening, and then starts the countdown to my first half marathon!  

Ready or not, its less than 70 hours from now!!! ahhhhhh!  Can't wait...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crazy Mom on the Loose!

So, first off, I apologize to all of you guys - in addition to my normal large amount of pictures that I include in a race recap, you have even more because I was that crazy Mom this weekend - snapping away tons and tons of pictures.  Natalie ran her first "real" race and I couldn't be more proud of her.

So, lets start with that shall we?  She did one other "fun dash" but I don't really count it.  This however, was a real race - or they called it a fun run..... but, 1 mile and they had a clock so I call it a race even though there wasn't chip timing.  Unfortunately she has been sick since she started preschool a few weeks back, but she was really excited to do the race.  Her dad "ran" with her pushing the stroller- I truly believe she might have run a bit faster if I had been running with her, but either way she had fun and that's what matters.  She was the absolute last one to finish but she was a trooper - and even better, Dr. Mark continued to circle back to run the kids in.  It was great that they didn't give up on her even though she finished way after the other kids.   Although, she told me she doesn't want to run a mile again! haha!   But, she was proud - she told me she told her classmates and teachers about it at circle time today! Maybe there is hope she will catch the running bug yet?
Can you tell how excited I was for her? Thumbs up - she's ready!
Pufferbelly "cheer" before the run Just starting out! 

Running strong at the beginning Dr. Mark running her in - great guy!
Natalie crossing the finish line Seriously, SO proud!

This was such a fun race for the kids - $3 and each kid got a participant ribbon as they crossed the finish line.   And I am including this one last picture of Natalie,because I am sure we can all relate to how she is feeling in this picture.  You can just read her thoughts... doesn't she look "so over" running here?  Go glad hubby got this one while she was running.

Okay, now that we have that part out of the way... lets get to my race recap, shall we?   I decided to do this race because it supports the Fort Wayne Trails - and I can't WAIT until they get them done, especially the ones on the north side of town!  The second annual Pufferbelly 5k was held at Solomon Farm Park. The organizers did a great job putting it together.  They had several musicians there playing  music before and after the race as well as some fabulous post race food: pizza from 800 degrees, donuts, chips, cookies, gatorade, water, and Starbucks coffee.  The organizers and volunteers were all very friendly, they even had an area set up for the kids to play some games.  It was much more of a family event than any of the other races I have done.  Such a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

I went into this race telling myself I shouldn't push too hard.  I mean, I am running a half marathon in less than a week - of course I should take it easy.  I didn't want to risk injuring myself or tiring myself out too much.  I was planning to line up somewhere in the middle of the pack but no one was wanting to be at the front so I sucked it up and took my place up front.  

Yep, screwing with my phone while running! 

As per usual, I went out faster than I wanted to, and burned out towards the end.  I honestly don't remember much about the run - I was just focused on running as strong as I could but listening to my body to make sure I didn't push too hard.  I ended up being the 3rd female to finish but came in 2nd in my age group.  If it had been the "usual" age groups I would have taken first.  My age group at this race was 20-29 versus the usual 25-29.  The girl who took first (in the pink shirt in the above picture) was 20.  So close!!  My official time was 24:11.5 - quite a bit slower than last week, but still better than my previous PR, so I am happy with it. Came in 16th of 90 overall.  

 And a few pictures of me finishing... 
I swear - I wasn't pushing my way across the finish line.  At least, I don't think I was... I hope?
I am going to claim bad camera angle!

ETA: Anyone have any last minute helpful hints for me regarding my half marathon this weekend? AHHHH, can't believe its so soon!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Just what I needed....

All yesterday I was nervous about today's run because my body just aches.  You know, sometimes being a woman is just a painful process... add that to aches and pains from running and I was worried I wouldn't have a strong run today.

I tried out a new diet plan this week.  I cut out most of the protein, dairy, and fiber from my diet for Thursday and Friday.  I did this in hopes of combating my tummy troubles.  I also took 2 Imodium last night and this morning.  Of course, this was  my first try so I don't know if it was pure luck but it seemed to  have worked!  Hooray!  *knock on wood* I am hoping that repeating this next week will lead to a successful half marathon with no tummy problems.  Its frustrating when my tummy holds me back from what the rest of my body is capable of.

Of course with today being a taper week I had a shorter long run than normal - only 8 miles.  Typically my tummy troubles crop up between miles 5 and 7.5 though so I am hopeful.  I have been venturing a bit further from the Y and enjoying some nice trails in the housing areas to keep from feeling so bored during the long runs.

8.05 miles in 1:10:28 - YES!
Just what I needed to build confidence for my half - a strong run! 

Nothing much of importance to note today as far as the run goes.  It was a bit chilly today, but I still ran in my planned  F4F outfit (plus my calf sleeves and some knee high socks cut into arm warmers.  I took the arm warmers off at around mile 3 or so.  Took fuel at mile 4.5 (chocolate #9).  I didn't drink much since it wasn't hot and I didn't feel like I needed as much.  I think I only drank 20 oz of water during the run and immediately after.

I did break the rules a bit today - at our class on Wednesday our running coach warned that we should keep our intensity the same and just decrease distance.  He said that often times people increase their intensity because they are feeling more refreshed.  I think I fell into that trap.  Most of my long runs I average between 9:10 and 9:30 pace per mile.  Today, my pace was 8:45 per mile.  oops.

Pace and elevation chart as well as splits below:

Sending my buddy "Wells L" over at My Story...Chapter 2 good luck as she goes to her Girls Night Out today.  She previously won her age group and is hoping to repeat - I totally think you can do it!  Go get 'em!

Hope the rest of you have a great weekend, I am going to scope out the route for my half marathon today and my dad will be stopping in tonight on his way home to Alabama from Michigan.  And of course, tomorrow, I run another 5k!  And my daughter will be running her first "real" run - a 1 mile fun run.  She did one other one,but it was probably like 100 yards - this will be huge!  Hoping she makes it the full mile!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fantastic Friday?

Not much to report here - went to the zoo with my kiddos this morning.  It was a very nice cool outing and we enjoyed the previews of fall! So much fun!  I am glad we have a decent zoo in town that we can just go walk around for a few hours.  Its not a huge zoo and we dont even typically do all the exhibits each time, but its a nice way to get out and enjoy the outdoors! For your "viewing pleasure" a photo of me and my daughter (don't mind her, shes not into getting her picture taken)!

I got so overwhelmed with my half marathon stressing yesterday that I forgot it was weigh-in Thursday. I have been watching what I eat but I haven't been dieting so to speak.  I weighed in at 184 this morning.  According to the BMI charts, at 5'11" - I am still 9 pounds overweight.  I really hope to see 175 (or possibly lower) someday but I am not going to stress about it.  Yes, I know BMI is outdated and typically not the best indicator, but its something concrete that I can strive for.

And last but not least, this DEFINITELY makes for a fantastic Friday... extended forecast, check out the weather for Saturday Sept 24 - my half marathon date!  Yes, I know it can change, but let me be ecstatic for at least a few days! haha

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have this problem, its called "OCD" - I get a little overwhelmed by even the smallest things sometimes.  Not that it ever stops me from actually doing things, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in things that I forget to enjoy the moments I am "planning for."

Right now I have a million and one things I am stressing about for the half:
 - What time do I need to get there?
 - Will I be able to time a bathroom stop with a port-a-john with no line?
 - Should I switch from the "walk" corral to a corral with a more appropriate time goal?
 - Do I eat breakfast or skip it hoping to avoid tummy issues?
 - Where should I station my "cheerleaders"?
 - Will they be able to get from "point a to point b" or will they be held up due to traffic, etc
 - How do we handle needing another car seat for kiddo? (I think I have this one figured out?)
 - Am I going to be able to actually run this whole thing?
 - Please God don't let me forget anything.
 - Do I wear my new longer skirt or my old "tried and true" one knowing pictures will be unflattering?
 - How is my stomach going to behave?  How many potty breaks will I need?
 - If I run at x:xx pace, I only have x minutes to spare if I want to reach my goal time.
 - Will I run into my friends before hand?  I am going to need some reassurance!
 - How do I make sure I go out smart and don't overexert in the first 5 miles like I did at PCT?
 - What is the weather going to be like?
 - I am afraid that I am going to be too concerned about time, I really just want to go out there and enjoy myself.

And last (at least on this list, but not in my head) but not least:
 - What do I put on my shirt?!?!

I have been kicking around alot of ideas for the back of my shirt:
 1.  simply a before and after shot of me with my blog address (I vetoed this because I dont think the iron transfer would hold up to 13.1 miles of sweat - though I love the idea)
 2.  Something along the lines of "125 pounds lost" and then below that ""
 3.  Something more vague along the lines of "if you can dream it you can achieve it" with my blog addy
 4. "You don't know who you are until you see what you are capable of." with my blog addy
 5.  "Reclaiming my life mile by mile" with my blog addy
  ---- OR, I am open to better ideas?!?!  Please help!

Now, I would also love to have something small/short on the front... HELP!?!?!?  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Let me start off by saying I LOVE my Wednesday night running class and am not sure what I am going to do with myself after next week when its over.  I have met some fabulous people and while I know the friendships will continue, they all live way too far away in my opinion! hah!  Thank you "L" and "C" for being my Wednesday night running partners.  And a big thanks to "J" too even though I know he probably doesn't read this blog - its been great getting to know all of you guys and I know each and every one of you will blow your goals out of the water at F4F next week.  

Did I mention I am uber sad about this class ending?  Seriously, we have a blast in class!  Our running coach has been fantastic too - he is way better than most of us will ever be, but he has a way of relating to runners of all levels.  Honestly, for anyone living in the Ft Wayne area, I would recommend 3 Rivers Running Company's half marathon class.  

I went into this class not sure what I would be able to accomplish, and here I am just about 10 days out from my first half marathon.  I thought for sure I would be employing a run/walk strategy because I didn't believe I had it in me to run 13.1 miles.  My race plan at this point is to run all 13.1 miles, but I will allow myself 2 (maybe 3?) walk breaks.

We got some good suggestions tonight in class, our topic was final goal setting and such.  Of course, being so close to the half we are in a taper week.  This should mean that we are cutting back our mileage but keeping the intensity about the same.  "E" warned us tonight about being careful not to push too hard during runs as a result of feeling rested from the decreased mileage.  That's something I will have to be very mindful of the next 10 days. I am also going to have to be VERY careful during my 5k on Sunday.  I don't want to push too hard and hurt myself. I think it will be a struggle because I am always competitive with myself, it will be hard to go into it and not give it 110% percent. 

I ran alone tonight because "L" and "C" didn't have clothes to change into after running and it was cold and rainy.  I am still a bit envious of them - I am sure they had a great dinner and enjoyed talking about race strategy.  I had never run in the rain though, and I figured I should give it a shot so that if it rains on F4F day I won't be totally taken by surprise.  So, we said our goodbyes and I zipped up my new Asics Storm Shelter jacket and took off into the nastiness!  It was definitely less pleasant than I was expecting.  The rain was so cold and it was making it hard for me to see, and it was accompanied by a cold breeze. 

My first mile was in about 8:20 which was a bit speedier than normal but I got faster the longer I ran.  My overall pace was 8:10 minute/mile.  While this isn't uber fast, its 20-30 seconds faster per mile than I have been doing in my training runs.  I don't know if this extra speed was a result of my energy due to the cut back, or maybe it was a result of wanting to get inside and out of the cold?  I have a feeling it may be the latter.  

So now to try to counteract any leg soreness I am rocking my "new" Zensah calf sleeves.  I can't thank the person who sold them to me enough.  I honestly never thought my legs were that sore, but after putting these babies on tonight I can tell the difference!  LOVE them! 
Now I just need a full body compression garment to help with the ache in my hips and knees and everywhere else! Haha! 

Last but not least, because its still eating at me, I am REALLY going to miss my running class and seeing my half mary peeps! :-(  I am uber excited to run my first half marathon but sad that doing so will signal the end of this wonderful weekly ritual I have become accustomed to! 


Accountability is getting on the scale this morning even after I had a melt-down diet wise yesterday.  My diet yesterday consisted of chocolate frosted mini wheats with skim milk, chicken with spaghetti squash, granola bar, and the following:


For the record, thats a chocolate milkshake, 2 chocolate chip cookies, and dinner was wings, soft pretzels, and potato wedges from buffalo wild wings.

Yes, I am ashamed.  It was one of those days,  I actually sat in my car and cried for almost an hour.  I turned to food to comfort me when I felt like nothing was going right.  I know this was a huge step backwards for me as far as my diet goes, so I forced myself on the scale this morning.  Strangely enough my weight went down... though I suspect it may go up tomorrow.

Now that my confession time is over, I have to apologize about not posting and commenting much.  My daughter started preschool last week and I am still getting used to the time that requires.  I spend 1-2 hours in the car every day between taking her, getting her home, and the pickup/drop off line.  I haven't quite figured out a schedule that works for me. Here is a photo of her on her first day of school showing off the card that Grandma made for her and our attempt at being crafty (her school bag).  It's not the greatest picture, she doesn't cooperate for me- I will try to update with a better one later.

I was supposed to do a post about my long run, but unfortunately since that was almost a week ago I don't remember much about the actual run.  I will do a quick summary here, not that it will be interesting to most of you guys, but I want it more for my reference.  The schedule called for 9-10 miles, I was secretly hoping to do 12 to get me closer to the half-marathon distance.  The farthest I have gone is 11 miles and I am secretly afraid that I won't be able to go 13.1!   I overslept and got a late start so I decided I would shoot for 10.  I forgot to eat an english muffin before heading out - whoops!  I fueled with Chocolate #9 at about 4 miles and about 7.5 miles (not the greatest decisions but they worked) and drank water and black cherry propel.   I ended up stopping by the house at about 7.5 miles to use the bathroom and headed back out. I had some problems with my gps running app on my phone.  Although, I didnt realize it until I was done with my run.  Luckily, despite the problems the mileage ended up being right.  The splits however, were screwed up.  Which is sad because I would have liked to analyze them before the half.  Ah well!  The splits being off is what made me realize there was a showed I ran one mile in 7 minutes - yeah I think NOT!  Somehow while it got the overall mileage right it showed me running all over creation, random lines that I did not run etc.  I know the overall mileage is right because I double checked it.... yeah, so confused!
My overall time for 10.04 miles was 1:31:45

 Hah.  For giggles, here are my splits from that long run:

I promise to try to do better about updating the blog and including some more interesting content.  Hope you all are having a good Tuesday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Never Forget.

Source -  Copyright Thomas Franklin for The Record

10 years ago terrorists attacked our country and it will never be the same.  It was a time of great change for me, I had just started my freshman year of college.  I was halfway across the country from my family (my parents were in Texas and I was in Michigan) and just learning how to stand on my own two feet.  I was a Tuesday morning and I was in bed when the phone rang.  I decided to roll over and ignore it and let my roommate answer the phone.  She wasn't on the phone long and left as soon as she was done.  Something told me I needed to crawl out of bed and see what was up.

By the phone I found a note "The country is under attack.  Your Mom and Dad are safe."  I was reeling, I didn't quite understand the magnitude of it all but tuned in to the news and watched the days events unfold.  It was hard being away from my family during this emotional time, especially given the fact that my family was living near Fort Hood which is a HUGE military base and was on the list of potential targets.  I felt so helpless, there were so many people who needed help and I couldn't do anything to help them.  It was a shock to me to see how differently many of the people on campus reacted to the events.  I guess it shouldn't have been surprising to me, most of them were not from a military background.

On my campus we had a rock that was frequently painted to reflect current happenings with various groups on campus, etc.   A group of my friends and I decided to paint the rock in remembrance of those who lost their lives that day.  Looking back, it was such a small thing, but it was all we knew how to do.  We were trying to deal with it the best we could on our little college campus.  I am so grateful that my mom made the following scrapbook page for me with quotes that I wrote as well as photos from our "rock decorating" escapades.  Looking at this page always brings me back to that day 10 years ago....

 This is the same page, but showing the bottom flap folds out and had more photos underneath.

The events of September 11th had such a lasting impact on me during that formative first year at college that I did my year long McGregor/Honor's Day presentation on the Impact of Photos of September 11th.  It was an interesting project.  The hardest part of this project was sifting through the thousands of images that were being shown.  I had to narrow my photos down to a small group of different categories of pictures.  From there I categorized the pictures based upon the type of picture they were.   To study people's emotional response I made a slide show and had people write down their initial gut reaction upon seeing each photo.  I was able to draw some interesting conclusions from the study.  Not that I can remember exactly what they were to this day, but honestly.. this project will probably always be the one I remember the most, the one that I am most proud of, the one that affects me the most.  I cried so many tears during this project, but it was still so rewarding.  I was hoping to share the images I chose for my study, but they are on a floppy disk and I have no way to read the disk, maybe I will add them later if hubby can figure out how to get them to me.  But, for now, here is a scrapbook page that  my mom  made showing my presentation board for Honor's Day.

I haven't watched any of the memorial stuff on TV today.. I sort of feel guilty about it.  But for me, reflecting on this event is so much more of an internal thing.  However, I heard the 9/11 "Heaven Remix" on the radio several times, and every time it choked me up... its worth a listen  It is SO sad to imagine all of the children who are growing up without their fathers/mothers, or the wives and husbands who lost their "better half."  Sometimes I take my family for granted, today is a reminder for me that anything can happen and I need to treasure every day with them.

Make sure to make Memories today because Tomorrow isn't Promised.  I love you Natalie and Daniel - you are Mommy's whole world.  I may not be the best Mommy, but I promise you that I will always love you more than the day before.  And Tommy, thank you for sticking by me, fat and thin, happy and sad, etc - I love you and I know I don't tell you enough how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate you.

While we didn't do much today to actually "commemorate" 9/11, I am glad that I spent the day with my family because honestly that's what life is all about.  I don't need a special day to pray for and remember those who lost their lives that day or those who have lost their lives since while fighting for our freedoms, its something that I remember every day.

That is all for today, I had planned to make a post about my long run on Thursday, but I felt like this was much more important. Maybe tomorrow.   For now, time to go listen to a few patriotic songs as well as "Where were you when the world stopped Turning" by Alan Jackson and hit the bed.