Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Training for a 5k

Tyson at the Lacamas Lake Kids 1k
For a while now, my 9 year old Son Tyson has expressed his interest in running and has asked me quite a few times if he can run a race.  I kept putting him off and had every excuse in the book to not get out there with him... "I have a race this month, so next month we can start training", "it's too hot, so once it cools down, we can start".  When really, the truth was I didn't want his training to interfere with MY training...  Selfish, much? :(

Since September, my "season" was officially over, I had nothing to "train" for and my mileage had been cut big time due to the Nike study... I was bummed out and really wasn't enjoying running like I usually did.  I blamed it on the Nike minimalist shoes that I am doing the study for, but I really had no desire to run, at all.

A few weeks back a friend asked me if I wanted to do a 12k with her... I could pull that off so it wouldn't mess up my Nike mileage and it would be fun to do a race again!  YES, I'm IN! She had a discount that would give $8 off each entry and as I'm signing up my husband said he would like to do the 5k. As I keep looking, I see they have a special rate of only $18 for kids under 18 and with the $8 discount that would only be $10 for Tyson...  light bulb... I should sign up Tyson!  So I did... but I didn't tell him.

Next day I asked if he wanted to go on a run with me... of course, his answer was "YES!" We went slow, took a few walk breaks and ended up walking/running 3 miles.  We chatted the whole time and he told me all about his school, friends, teachers, recess and some random-ness (of course). 

Tyson is the typical talk to much about random-ness, acts like he knows it all 9 year old boy AND he has 2 younger siblings that require a LOT of attention from me... so needless to say, he doesn't get the attention that he needs and deserves from me on a daily basis.  But just spending this 30ish minutes of just him and me on the the pavement (in the rain), I was spending quality 1 on 1 time with him while doing something he knows I love... That sparked a connection between us that I cannot explain, but I know he "gets it".

I asked him the next day if he wanted to run a 5k and he was ecstatic!  He couldn't wait to get back out and start "training".  Now, we go out 3 days a week and run at least 3 miles... The whole run, he talks all about his day at school, his friends and of course, there is some random-ness... But I feel like I am getting to know my son more and more each day. 

As soon as he gets home from school, he's asking when we are going running...  Its so cute to see him in his running clothes and grab his fuel belt with his quench gum and his iPod to get out there are hang with his Mom!  It's a special gift that I get to share this with him and I hope its something that he will want to continue and something that we can do and share together for a long time! :) So proud of my little runner-man!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nike Study - Week #1 (AKA, Hell Week)

So there is not much going on right now in my running life, except my Nike Research Study.  I have spent the last few Monday’s at the Nike Lab getting my feet measured, my running and walking gate analyzed (from the same machine that I had to wait for LeBron James to finish using… Yes, His famous foot goo touched mine!), and my ankle strength measured.  My legs have been  colored on with sharpies and little metallic dots have been stuck all over my legs, belly and back and I run around and around a teeny tiny track with a million camera’s taking my picture as I run past.  WEIRD!
So the study officially started on October 1st, I get my pace sheet and my 10-week training workout plan.  This requires an IQ of 4.2 billion and a master’s degree in mathematics or something… It seriously takes me more time to figure out what pace and how long I am supposed to be running instead of actually running.  2x100-600-800m at 97% VO2, 1:67… HUH?!?! I honestly had to download a MPH pace sheet so I could figure out what speed I needed to go for my Vo2 Pace... bladdy, blah! ;)
Nike Workout ~ Week #1
My Nike Free's... Complete with the non-removable awesome black velcro dots only on the 1 shoe for easy attaching of the metallic dots! AWESOME, huh?!?! ;)
I just completed the first week in my Nike Free Runs 3.0, I have re-named this the “Hell Week.”  I have never been in so much pain from running in my LIFE!  My entire left side from by lower back, down my butt to my calves is so incredibly sore that even walking is hard!  I checked “Dr. Google” and shockingly enough, you are supposed to “ease” into more minimalist shoes instead of just busting out 20 miles your first week in them… but I guess Nike dude didn’t get that memo!
I went to lab again on Monday, fully intending to tell the Nike Dude ALL my issues with the shoes and get some advice…  All I got was “Let us know when you fill out the survey, but can you run today?” ummm… OK, Yes… I will hobble around the track with my belly hanging out and little sticky things all over me so you to take pictures of my running form… all for research (and free stuff)! ;) 

Starting week 2 today and PRAYING that my body soon accepts these new shoes and my new running style and the pain lessens with each step.  I’ll let’cha know!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trip to Medford for the Rogue Run Half Marathon

About 3 months ago, my Sister Theresa told me that she wanted to start running and do a race... I talked her into a half to start things off... and I also picked the race for us to do together. She lives in Medford so the Rogue Run sounded like the perfect fit!

Sportin' our new shirts for the fam!
We planned on leaving early on Friday to head to Medford since it’s a 4 hour (5 with kids) long drive. But we got delayed as usual and ended up leaving around 2. We ended up getting to Medford around 7 that night so it was perfect to get a quick soak in the hot tub and hang out for a bit and then head to bed. The next morning, we dinked around in the backyard all morning.  The kids did some fossil digging and then headed to the Rogue River to do some gold panning. We all had a blast digging in the river for tiny gold flakes that we started calling "ORLANDO!!" (My Mom planned a trip to Disneyworld while we were there). Theresa and I left the river early to hit the packet pickup and get our goodies. Only to find out this has to be the BEST race swag EVER... I FINALLY got a tech shirt that I will wear (I’m wearing it right now ;), a Kleen Kanteen, and a super cute LuLu Lemon bag along with a bunch of other goodies. We got home, started carbo-fest dinner... Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Bubble Balls (meatballs wrapped in bread, mmmmm) hung out for a bit and then headed to bed around 9.
Surprisingly, I slept really well, even though I had all 3 kids in the room in a different bed and a different place... But we woke up at 6 for race day... Showered and headed to the fairgrounds to be bused to the starting line. The whole bus ride was freeway... and the whole way, the trail ran by the freeway.  It was so fun to see the distance that 13 miles really is!
They finally tell us to get in our pace groups... I go halfway between 9/mm and 10/mm, thinking these are the 9:30'ers and my sister heads off to the "I don’t care" pace group. I actually start crying because I wanted to start the race with my sister, but there was NO way I would find her in the group now. We had talked before and decided we were going "run our own race but see ya at the finish!"
Freezing our fannies off waiting for the race to start!

Mile 1 (8:56): Super Stoked to get going!  We run through a neighborhood for about a half mile then we are on the trail that will lead us back to the fairgrounds.  I remember looking at my watch and telling myself to SLOW DOWN!
Mile 2 (9:07): First Aid station at a park and there were these OLD ladies in Cheerleading outfits doing a cheer for all of us.  It was hilarious!  I kept telling myself to slow down, slow down, slow down… I wanted to do some 9:30’s for the first 10 miles and then still have gas left in my tank to finish strong so I was freaking out that I was going too fast.

Mile 3 (9:16): Finally was able to start slowing it down for these next few miles, I found an older woman that didn’t look like she was working too hard and then paced off her.
Mile 4 (9:28): Ran next to some rivers, and occasionally we could see the freeway and people driving would honk.  So fun!
Grandpa and the kiddos waiting for Mommy and Aunt TT
Mile 5 (9:15): The older lady stopped and walked the next aid station, so I lost my pacer.  I passed a bunch of people at the aid station and then found a group of guys to stay behind… Until one dude kept blowing snot rockets and I got scared he was gonna hit me with one… So I passed them right quick!
Mile 6 (9:12): Got a text from the family that they were waiting for us.  I didn’t know where but I got really excited to see the kiddos… I have never seen then on the course, just at the finish so I was really excited!
HI Guys! Just what I needed!
Mile 7 (9:21): Turned the corner and saw Tyson clapping and yelling at me… I was so excited and he ran with me for a while.  My Mom and Dad, My Sister’s boyfriend, Hubby and the kiddos were all there to cheer me on… It was so awesome!  Except that Evelyn did not like that Mommy kept running past her and started screaming L poor daddy!  Another aid station with Animal Crackers (Weird, but good) and I was re-energized from the family visit and feeling good!
Tyson ran with Aunt TT for a while!
Mile 8 (9:30): I remember this as the only part of the race that had a hill, and some weird turns so I felt like I kinda lost my groove on this mile, but the mascots and people cheering on the side of the road really kept me going!
Mile 9 (9:14): Another Aid Station, with Mario high-five and some M&M’s gave me another boost because I was starting to get really tired!
Mile 10 (8:59): This is where I told myself before the race that I was going to pick up the pace… So I did… and this mile HURT… Couldn’t seem to get my breathing right, I had a stupid blister that was starting to hurt and my legs were HEAVY…  But I knew I could do it… there was only a 5k left!  I heard honking coming from the freeway and looked up to the see the family in the Minivan waving! That meant they were heading to the finish line… YAY!
Mile 11 (9:00): I was still hurting and came to another aid station.  I didn’t get the electrolytes on accident so I decided to take some fruit snacks.  It seemed like everyone had turned up the speed at this mile because we all were really breathing hard.  Mile 11.5 was the table of temptation…  Wine shots and chocolate truffles… I did the wine shot, but passed on the truffles… NOT a good idea… My tummy started to hurt after that wine.  But I remember looking at my Garmin and saying to myself “You’re gonna do this… You’re gonna beat your sub-2 goal, so don’t slow down and don’t quit!”
Mile 12 (8:53): I felt like my lungs and legs were on fire… My blister on my foot was SCREAMING at me but I just kept looking at my watch, figuring out the math and telling myself “one more mile”
YES!!! THE FINISH LINE... and yes, I am totally looking at the clock! ;)
Mile 13 (8:52): Turned off the trail and onto the main road to head back to the fairgrounds…  And there was gravel.  Gravel and I are NOT friends and I immediately trip on a huge rock and almost fall over.  I hear people behind me gasp cuz they were sure I was going down!  It hurt a little, but thankfully I didn’t twist my ankle or anything.  The gravel was short and then onto to main road to the finish.  The streets were lined with volunteers every 50 feet or so, clapping and cheering us on…Those volunteers are the only thing that kept me going, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, my legs were DONE and my blister was huge… I was DONE! But I turned a corner and saw the finish line, looked at my watch and went for it… I sprinted to that finish line and crossed the first timing mat right at the clock ticked 2:00:00 (1:59:48 officially)
I ran right into my Hubby, and instantly started crying… I got my medal and sat down on the curb as quick as I could. Evelyn was there and she was still a little pissed about the running by her incident so she was pretty clingy and not too happy with me.  I sat on that curb for a while but then I needed to pee, so I got up and headed to the bathroom.  On my way over there, my Dad tells me that Theresa just texted and she is at mile 12. 
Theresa at the Finish Line! A great place to be!!!

She was speeding to the finish, faster than anyone (mainly herself) had thought, so I hurry up and go pee.  I got back to the finish line, just in time to see her coming down the Shute to cross the finish line in 2:29:48, AMAZING!  I cannot believe how well she did for her first race, with only 10 weeks of training!  My sister rocked her first half! I got an e-mail from her not 24 hours after the race, asking me to make her a new training schedule to help her get faster for her next race…  can you say, addict!?!?!?! ;) YAY!  I cannot WAIT to do another race with her and watch her continue her running journey!
The Rouge Run is one of those races that I will do EVERY year that I can!  It had it all… awesome swag, awesome course, awesome volunteers… Awesome everything! J

Friday, September 14, 2012

Warrior Dash

Better late than never... right?

So, Warrior Dash in 1 word.. NUTS!

I was not sure what to expect when my friend convinced me to sign up last October (yes, almost a year before the event) but I knew there was some cool people participating, it was gonna be fun, it would be something I have never done before and it was gonna be dirty... But I quickly learned how cool the people were participating and I learned it was the most fun I have EVER had being dirty!!  And I am sooooooo doing it again next year!

The Warrior Crew... Clean, Excited and ready to get Dirty!
Like I said, I had NO IDEA what to expect.  But we already decided that we were trotting this.... no winning or PR's for this group... it was all about laughing and having fun... and WE DID!

We walked up some pretty good hills the first half-mile or so and then we started to hit the obstacles. Started off with a nice dip in a lake and over some "logs" to get us nice and wet and ready to get dirty...
Then the obstacles really started coming... We climbed and jumped over walls and logs, rolled and crawled under barbed wire, climbed over cars driving below, got slapped in the face with elastic, down into fox-holes and over cargo nets, Jumped over fire and trudged through the "Perfect" Mud all to get a cool medal and say "we survived" Warrior Dash!
FIRE at the starting line
Over the Logs in the Lake

Over the Wall and Under the Barbed Wire
Cargo Net.. How I hate thee!

Muddy Slip and Slide
Jumping over the fire!

After all the Shenanagins... we cleaned off in the lake and had some beer and turkey legs... 
Getting "Clean"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

10 Running Personal Questions

Thanks Another Mother Runner (and Devon for tagging me!)... How fun!

1.  Best Run Ever:  ummm... Every race... but I guess if I have to pick... it would have to be my FIRST race, the Shamrock 15k.  I ran it with my best friend with only 1 goal, to finish.  I knew after it would not be my last race and that I was officially addicted!

2.  3 Words to Describe my Running:  Relaxing: Running is my FAVORITE thing to do...  I am usually alone (no Kids) and I can let my mind relax and just focus on running... not kids, not husband, not life... Just running!  Intimate: Running is my intimate prayer and worship time with my Father in Heaven.  Scheduled: I am a nut when it comes to my running and training schedule.  I have to have every run planned and they all have a purpose.  I don't think I have ever just "Ran"... It's always on the schedule! HA!

3. Go To Running Outfit: Always my Nike Dri-Fit shorts, Nike tank top, My super-awesome fluorescent green Anphipod Hydration belt (don't leave home without it!), Ipod nano, Cell phone, Garmin, Injini toe socks, and of course my Asics Cumulus 12's!

4. Quirky Habit While Running: I tend to get in a groove with my music and start playing air drums or air guitar... I have had many strange looks on my runs.

5.  Morning, Mid-Day, Evening:  I'm NOT a morning person, I would love to sleep in until noon if my kids didn't need me to wake up!  That being said, I am TRYING to be a morning runner,  mid-day is too hard and evening runs never seem to happen with life... so I try to crack it 3 days a week and gym it another morning!

6. I Won't Run Outside when it's: HOT...  I live in Oregon, so it doesn't get hot too often, but when it does, I am a grumpy runner!  I'll take a good run in the pouring rain over sweating my butt off in the sun any day!!!

7: Worst Injury and How I got Over it:  I have Piriformis Syndrome (Self Diagnosed) So my hip and butt hurt baaaad after a run... It sucks but I am doing more strength training, starting Pilates and Icy Hot and Costco sized ibuprofen are this runner's best friend!  Plus, I have a blister problem,  I have tried EVERY sock on the market... but my feet are just weenies and haven't got the memo that they better shape up!

8.  I Felt Most Like a Badass Mother Runner When: I finished my first Half-Marathon in less than my goal time (barely).  And PR'ing (again, barely) in every Half-Marathon since!

9. Next Race is:  The Rogue Run Half Marathon in Medford with my SISTER!  She is doing her first half-marathon and I am SOOOOOO excited for her!

10: Running Goal for 2013:  Complete my first Marathon.  It would be cool if I could bust out a sub-4, but for today... just completing it will do!

Monday, September 3, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

I can honestly say... Running changed my Life!!
1 year ago today (er, Saturday) September 1st is a monumental day for me!  It's the day I decided to quit smoking and start running!  Little did I know that God had a plan for a total transformation and it started with getting me running.

It started simple enough... I needed to quit smoking and I was ready to lose the baby weight.  Evelyn was almost 2 and I was still packin' on a few extra LB's that I was not so fond of...  I hoped running was my solution to hopefully take care of both... Find a healthy outlet to deal with kicking my addiction and lose some weight in the process... PERFECTION!

After starting (and flaking 3 times), I recruited a good friend to start the Couch to 5k with me. On September 21st (I checked my phone app) we started it together.  The first day, we would run for 45 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes... and honestly, I thought I was gonna die at the end of that 45 seconds, how would I ever be able to run for 30 MINUTES?!?!?!?!  But we helped modivate eachother and we kept trugging along, repeating a few weeks once it got harder.  By week 7, I was sick someone telling me when to walk and when to run... and deep down, I knew I could do a 5k if I reeeeally wanted to, but that just wasn't enough for me... I wanted to shoot for something a little harder (OK, actually, I just wanted a cool medal) so on November 9th (again, checked the app), I bagged the couch to 5k and started my own weird training schedule for the Shamrock Run 15k.  Of course, being the great friend that I am (heehee) I signed my partner in crime up as well and told her it was her birthday present (yes, she DOES still talk to me!!)
Shamrock 15k Finishers!
I remember telling people that my first race was going to be the Shamrock 15k and many of them looked at me like I was a little crazy (and I thought the same) since I had never done a race and the 15k course is notorious for the HUGE hills, but I was determined to finish it, without walking for myself and to kinda prove people wrong.  On March 18th, I finished the Shamrock 15k in 1:42:35 (11:01 Pace), I didn't die, I didn't walk and I got a really cool medal (or beer bottle opener) at the finish... From that point forward, I knew I was ADDICTED!

I think on the way home from the Shamrock, I told my friend that I wanted my next race to be a half-marathon... my thought was, if I can run 9.3 miles, I can surely do another 4 and make it a half-marathon... I heard good things about the Helvetia Half and it would give me 3 months to train for it... I could do that... I signed up ASAP (so I couldn't flake).  
Little did I know, the plan that God had for me while I trained for the Helvetia Half-Marathon... 
First, a little background... I was really depressed... I wanted my Husband to leave me and take my kids away.  I didn't feel like I was a good enough Mom or wife and I didn't deserve them and I really didn't want to "mess them up" by just being around.   But I found that running was the ONLY thing that made me feel somewhat normal and on days that I ran, I felt like I could function a little better as a wife and mom.
In April, I went to Kansas City to the International House of Prayer for the Passion for Jesus Conference.  I went (mainly cuz my husband had paid money... and I don't flake when $ is involved) and during those 4 days, I remember encountering (for the first time) God's Love and Forgiveness for all the stuff I had done in my past and I stood before God, completely broken, confused and exhausted... He forgave me and I was a new person!! That's when He decided He finally had something to work with and began a total transformation in me...  all I knew that I could do anything that I set my mind to... because I had the "Big Guy" on my side.
One of my Fav places on the Earth... IHOP.

Coming home from this trip, I had a renewed determination for training for my half-marathon and new-found love for running.  I found that when I ran, I could really feel God's presence with me.  I would spend my run singing worship songs, praying (sometimes for new legs!) and just enjoying his presence.  This was my alone time with God and I was loving it!

June 9th, I completed the Helvetia Half-Marathon in 2:10:28 (9:57 Pace) and was greeted by my Family and Best Friend at the finish line.  That was one of the happiest and
most proud days I have ever had! 
Helvetia Half-Marathon Finisher!
I look back and I cannot believe how much my life has changed in the last year.  I have been set free (obviously) from my smoking addiction, my severe depression, my fears of being a bad wife and mother, the regret from some past decisions that I have made in my life, and my fear of people and their thoughts about me (this is a work in progress) and through running, I have gained new friendships, started coming out of my introverted shell more, and I do something that not many people do in their lifetime.  I know this is just the beginning for me and I can't wait to see where God will take me in the coming years!
Running is more than just a hobby for me... It my quiet time (and with 3 kids, the ONLY quiet time I get) and my special time with God.  It's my Mommy alone time, a time for just me, to push my body and do something that I enjoy and that is good for me!  I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of running and how God uses it to help me be who he wants me to be!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I feel...!

I dont know what's up with me lately... but I think I have hit my first running funk...  I don't look forward to my runs, they drag on FOREVER, I cannot even think about busting out anything over 8 miles, I am actually dreading my next race... My poopy attititude about running is showing up in other areas too...  Poor kids are getting blasted with my short fuse (1 more week till school starts), Poor Hubby thinks i'm PMS'ing, I find myself eating crap (proof is in the waistline) and drinking more often than I should (as I sit here with a glass of Chardonnay) and just overall feeling funky!

I used to look forward to getting up and busting out 6+ miles... not lately... anything over that is just not happening!  But I have had some soreness (in my left side a$$ and hip) and after doing a little research found it's pretty common from carrying my offspring on my left hip... but it has been making running any distance pretty uncomfrotable the last few weeks.

Runs are usually God and me, pump up some good Misty Edwards to get the worship flowing and God and I can spend some good quality time together... but lately, Misty aint doin it for me! Actually  the ONLY run I enjoyed this week was 5ish miles with my new (kinda) friend (through running) Krisi.  Poor thing had her ear blabbed off the whole run, but it was actually enjoyable having someone to talk to!

I am DREADING my 13 mile training run this weekend, and I probably will find a way to flake out on it!  I dunno WHY do I need to run 13 miles... only cuz my stoopid training thing says to... ya, ya... blah, whatev!

But I WANT my passion and love for running back, I want to have that connection with my Father, where I can chat away and he just listens...  I want to have that joyful glow about me that inspires others...  UGH! What do I do?!?!?!

1. I have been reading the Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother books.  They are HILARIOUS but have some good tips and info! (lemme know if you wanna borrow them ;)

2. I am gonna attend a "Run the Edge" seminar with Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher (if Kara is there I am TOTALLY gonna pee myself) on Saturday with Devon (who inspires me... so maybe she will help de-funkify me ;)

3. I am losing sleep and obsessing over starting a "running group" in the Tanasbourne area... I am hoping there are some other peeps out there that could use a running buddy, some motivation and a swift kick in the pants... like I think I do!

4. Praying for patience and wisdom...  I feel like I am in the desert lately... but I know that it's for something good... but... UGH... This sucks!