Monday, May 31, 2010

May 28th, 2010 – 2.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was a bitter disappointment…. And I had such high hopes! I spoke to my brother earlier today to ask him about the little diddy he did while we were running the hills in Los Osos last Thanksgiving. He told me that that “little diddy” was called The Marine Corps Cadence. Oops! Well, I knew it was something like that but I didn’t know what it was called. We ran 4.88 miles that day and the hills were cruel and punishing. At around mile 3 I had hit the wall 3 or 4 times already. Then he told me about PT (that’s Physical Training to you civilians) that he did in the Corps and how the cadence really helps. So he started with it and it really did help! Almost got another 2 miles outta me.

I looked up “Marine Corps Cadence” on iTunes and I found a few. I listened to several clips and decided to purchase an album. So I was psyched (can 30-something mothers of two say “psyched”?) to get to my run tonight. I was going to be pumped up in time for Memorial Day and I’d be doin’ it Marine Corps style. Semper Fi, right?! Wrong!!!!

I loaded up the iPod and headed out, ready to just do a short run because I had a 10 mile run scheduled for the next day.

Everything was beautiful. The cadence had me going and I was able to keep my stride and hang in there. When I got to the end of mile one, my iPod just crapped out on me for some reason. When I stopped to look at it to see if I could just switch to another playlist, I discovered that all my data had been wiped!!! WTH!

I tried to keep at it but I got to the 1.25 mile point and didn’t have the heart to keep going. So I turned around and came home. This run was very disappointing, but there must be some reason I wasn’t supposed to do anymore. Ah, well.

Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 26th, 2010 – 6.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was really good. It didn’t start out all that well. Jordan had a friend over to play, but I couldn’t stay. I *had* to get this run in. The first mile was as usual. Just miserable and I was thinking I would make this a short workout instead of the planned long run. But at the end of the first 4 minute segment, I went ahead and took my walk break, which meant I was definitely doing the long one. Ah well.

By the time I reached the 1.5 mile point, the run was feeling pretty good. I had just reconstructed my Workout Music playlist and it seemed that I was really going to enjoy the new list.

At about the 2 mile point, I realize bladder voiding has become a MAJOR priority!!!! But I have another 4.5 miles to go! What the heck am I going to do?! This has never happened to me before but it wasn’t surprising. I had taken about 20oz of water with the foulest tasting orange GU about 20 minutes before I left home and that 20oz of water was fighting to get out of my body!

At the halfway point, I pass a 7-11 and I figure they have to have a public restroom, so I stop my watch and run in there. The cashier tells me that they don’t have a bathroom and I wonder if he’s being serious or if he just doesn’t want to be helpful. I don’t have time or patience to worry about being judged by individuals who are clearly middle-aged and working behind a register at a corner store. Obviously, he’s made some poor life choices, so I didn’t let his look of incredulity at my soaking wet clothes and sweat-drenched face bother me. I leave, go ahead and cross the street and start the homeward trek.

At about the 3.50 mile point the situation has become desperate. I pass the Carl’s Jr! Oh, Carl’s…. Lovely Carl’s. I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but my husband is still a HUGE fan, so can you do me this one BIG favor? Yes! It has a side door that opens right at the entrance to the restrooms, so I don’t even have to look apologetically at any staff members because I am so obviously in desperate need of their facilities but have no intention of buying anything. Even though I am about to burst, I am out of my head and deliriously uncomfortable, I can’t help but notice that this bathroom is a tiny bit disgusting, so with what I would call an Herculean effort, I manage to get the seat cover down before I release! *sigh*

I feel LOADS better. I need to get back to it and get my heart rate back up to where it belongs, but I am still my mother’s child. So I wash my hands thoroughly, use a paper towel to open the door and head back out.

I was still almost 3 miles from home and I was ready to call for a ride. It was cold, it looked like it was going to rain, I was losing daylight rapidly and I felt like I had ruined my workout with this mid-journey pit stop.

I don’t know that I would call it Providential, but it was definitely fortunate that Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was what came blaring out of my iPod at that moment. Just try to stop running with that beat banging in your ear!

By mile 5, I’m glad that I decided to go ahead with the run. I’m feeling good but I am very aware that I need to head over to Dick’s or Big 5 to see about some arch supports. My feet are flat and while my new Asics are *fantastic* in every other respect and have improved my enjoyment of running tremendously, it’s not the first time I’ve noticed that I might need extra arch support.

The rest of the run goes off with ease. I know I’m going to feel it in the morning, but for now, I feel pretty good. I took a few minutes to stretch before I hugged the kids and hit the shower. Chris had warmed up leftovers, so the kids had been fed. All I had to do was change a diaper and do prayers. After that, the evening was mine. It was all about American Idol and a good night’s sleep. Zzzzz……..

BTW - Does anybody have any advice on inserts for good arch support?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 24th, 2010 – 4.35 Mile Run/Walk

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was GREAT!!!! This was really the first time I had set out to do a run strictly for time. Usually, I don’t care about my speed, I am just happy to be out there doing something good for my body. I decided to leave Sarah at home because I didn’t want to be distracted by anything.

This was going to be my standard, short workout route and I was only really interested in that first mile. I wanted to make sure I was pushing myself, but not exhausting myself, for the entire first mile so I could shave a few seconds off of my usual 12:35 time. This time doesn’t bother me because I do it pretty consistently when I’m training on this route, but somehow on race day, I tend to keep up a 9 minute mile pace. There really is something about being out there with a number pinned to your belly. Also, the first part of the route is on a slight incline and training on any incline is going to be helpful on race day.

So I reset my Omron HR100C and started off. As soon as I get out the door, I see Jim and Miss Patti out walking their dogs. Well, I have to stop! Here are two of my favorite neighbors and I’ve never seen them hanging out together! They ask me why I’m not running with Sarah and Jim tells me that she got out yesterday and he had to put her back in our backyard for us. Bad Sarah! I’ll have to talk to Jordan about making sure the gate is closed when he takes out the garbage. We exchange pleasantries and I explain that I’m out for time this time so I’ll have to come back later and take Sarah for a walk when I’m done.

I turn on the iPod and realize that when I synched it to my laptop for the first time a few days ago, I lost all of my Playlists!!! So my Workout Playlist is gone forever, lost in cyberspace. Ah, well, I’d been meaning to update it anyway. So I search for a genre that will suffice and settle on Funk. Alright, so it’s up to George Clinton’s Atomic Dog to get my heart pumpin’ and my feet racin’. Here we go!

I thought this was going to be absolute torture, but it really wasn’t!! I kept my breathing smooth and maintained proper form because I knew that if it were race day, I’d be more likely to lean into that incline, just to get through it. It’s strange that I’ll allow myself bad form on race day when I’m such a stickler during training.

I finish mile one in 11:26 which doesn’t sound like much but that was just HUGE for me. More than a minute off my usual time! I was so excited! I’d never done that in training before and I was very happy with that!!!

I decided to keep it moving and continue to push myself for the rest of the run. During the sprint, my heart rate was at 186, which 102% for me. I decided to bring it down to 92% for the rest of the run, which is huffing it, but not uncomfortable for me. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful and I was happy to make it back home after my usual 3.65 miles.

My warm down consisted of my walking with Jordan to a neighbor’s house to introduce our dogs. They asked us to watch their pug, Lucy, over the weekend while they were away and I wanted to be sure they would get along.

The experiment was NOT successful, but we’ll keep at it and see if they can become firm friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 21st, 2010 – 4.37 Mile Walk/Hike/Walk

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s workout wasn’t a run at all. I decided I wanted to check out a trail I found when I was doing my hill work earlier this week. I took Sarah and Jordan. I wasn’t sure how long the trek would be but I knew it wouldn’t be quick because Jordan is not the best partner for an honest to goodness workout. However, if adventure is on the agenda, he’s the best.

So we set out and even though the trail head was at the end of a one mile climb, my heart rate never got anywhere near the aerobic or anaerobic level, so I stopped trying to track it and just enjoyed the scenery.

It was nice. Because I had been there before and seen the first quarter mile of this trail, I could tell Jordan about little stream that was ahead and to watch for the song of the bull frogs. There were so many little critters around and Sarah tried to bolt at every sound and movement. She’s pretty strong, but she was manageable. She seemed to be having a great time.

We walked on. We picked up rocks and had a Rock Throwing Contest. We always do that when we go hiking. At the end we’re always convinced that we were both the victor. No one really knows who wins, unless Chris comes. Jordan and I can throw rocks for half an hour and debate about who throws the farthest. Then Chris will pick up one rock and toss it with a force that has our jaws dropping! I have *no* idea how he can throw a rock so dang far! But I’m sure he’ll teach Jordan his trick and they’ll soon be no doubt as to who’s the winner.

We walk and walk and climb and climb. It is only at this point that my heart rate gets up to a level that is even remotely respectable. It only lasts a few minutes. Jordan is marveling at the view and the dog is panting, so we stop and I take a few snap shots.

We met a family and chatted with them on the way down. As we were heading home, I asked Jordan if he wanted me to call Dad to pick us up. According to my pedometer, we had reached the 3 mile mark, which was all I required of this trip. At first he wanted me to call. Then he changed his mind and decided he wanted to go to Rocket Fizz to get a piece of candy. So we held hands and walked to Rocket Fizz.

I’m sure most of my running buddies would call this a complete waste of time as far as workouts go, but when I am 80, shall be glad that I made the investment. When I am on my death bed and musing over the many failures and successes I will have to answer for when I stand before the Lord, I hope we will look back on this night and He will say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19th, 2010 – 6 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I was impressed with this run for two reasons. First, I really really really didn’t want to go. I was so tired when I got in from work. Second, I had planned to do a route I had never done before and the first 3 miles were to be completely uphill.

A few weeks ago, I had done a comprehensive search of all the parks in my area, so I could have a full menu of trail runs in case I wanted to mix things up a bit. I decided I would try one tonight. There was one I’ve been meaning to try since I did the search.

According to Map Quest, it was 2.98 miles away, within the very affluent neighborhood down the street and up the hill from my house. I had a long run (6.5 Miles) scheduled for tonight, so I figured, I would run the 3 miles up the hill, scope the park out for about a half mile and run the 3 miles back down the hill. Easy Peasy!

I had been putting off the hill work portion of my training because I really don’t like hill work. Who does, really? But I knew if I wanted to be fully prepared for this half marathon, hill training had to be a part of my regimen.

So I strapped on all my gear, swallowed one diet pill (which I do NOT recommend if there are any young girls reading my blog) because I knew I would need the ridiculous caffeine boost to even get the desire to start t his run.

According to, the ascent would start at the end of Mile 1. So I start the run out pretty easily and I’m on my 4 and 1 program because I know I am going to beat myself up pretty good on this run.

So, I’m at the end of Mile 1 and I’m looking up at this hill. The diet pill has kicked in, so I am ready to slay this beast!! Off I go!

Fewer than 2 minutes in, I’m wheezing like a Sleestak and my heart rate is up over 200. That kinda freaked me out, so I pulled off a little bit. Never have I ever seen my heart rate so high. I don’t know if it was the diet pills, the hill or both combined, but cardiac arrest just doesn’t sound like a good time.

According to “the experts”, my maximum heart rate is 183. Typically, I try to stick somewhere in my Target Heart Rate range, which is supposed to be 80% (147), when I’m doing a long run, so I won’t burn out before the finish. But this time was different. Because this hill was so steep, even a moderate jog had me up over 165. I decided that was OK, but I would slow down when I was in the 210 range.

So, I’m huffing up this hill, taking my scheduled breaks and marveling at how beautiful it is up there. These homes are in the multi-million dollar range and I would be jealous if I didn’t feel so sorry for them… If they are like everyone else in Southern California, they are *way* under water on these houses and will *never* be able to sell them for that they paid for them.

Aside from that, the grounds are beautifully kept and several times, I pass green belts whose only purpose seems to be for the relief of the obviously pampered pooches of these residents! There are bushes and bushes of the most lovely lavender and wild flowers, roses, ferns and slender young birches.

Aside from the fact that my heart is beating out of my chest and my muscles are burning with rage, I’m feeling pretty good. My knee is feeling good and my AT is feeling fine.

I am exhausted. I find myself at the 3 Mile mark. According to Map Quest, I should be standing in the park, but there is no park in sight. Sarah has had enough and I am losing daylight. Even though I’m fairly certain that these beautifully wide, well manicured streets will be well lit, even after dark, I give up the quest, turn around and start back down the hill.

Oh, but now!!! Now we’re going downhill! Now I plan to punish the pavement in retaliation of the misery it’s put me through. Sarah and I break into a sprint and it feels so good! I am aware that running downhill can be hard on my knees, all my joints, actually, so I am watching my form and making good choices, but I am owning this run!!!

It’s a beautiful day, the wind is in my hair, blood is racing though my veins and it feels good to be alive! Whew! In no time, we’ve hit mile 5 and we are at the bottom of the hill. We’ve blown passed other runners and even one running club, I think. I even passed a trailhead entry, which I plan to investigate later.

I still hate hill work. I still wish I didn’t have to do it. But this was a great workout and I’m feelin’ good! Sarah got home and immediately drank her entire bowl of water, then passed out on the floor. Tongue hanging out and the whole 9. She’ll forgive me later. I can’t worry about that right now. I’ve got diapers to change, stories to read and prayers to do.

G’night! Zzzzzz…….

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18th, 2010 – 3.65 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was really great. I selected smooth jazz on the iPod because I knew I was going for a relaxing run. I missed my run yesterday because of inclement weather. Well, inclement for Southern California. It wasn’t cold. Wasn’t raining. It just wasn't *perfect*. I know, I’m a weather wimp and that’s why I submit to this ridiculous cost of living.

I usually stop at the half mile point to stretch, but I am barely running so I just blow right passed it.John Coltrane is doing his thing and I’m feeling good. Sarah is orbiting me like a furry, black moon. So I have to pass her leash behind my back several times so I don’t get wrapped up in it.

This is just a smooth run. I’m not focused on speed. I am focused on form and listening to my body. Mental Evaluation: Achilles Tendon – Good; Knees – Check; Lower Back – Solid. We’re good to go and James Ingram and Patti Austin have posed the question: “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?” Well, James and Patti, running keeps the music playing.

I’m at the half way point and I’m still feeling pretty good. Like Gretchen Lieberum, “I Feel Like A Brand New Morning”. Now I am heading back home and it’s going to be a good night.

Posture Check – Straighten that spine, get that chest up, tuck in that bottom, don’t let those shoulders creep up and pump those arms like a lumberjack. Ah, yes. My center of gravity is behind me now and that relieves the pressure coming up in my knees. This is good. It’s not always about speed. Working on form is just as important. Doesn’t matter if you break your record if you can’t walk the next day cuz you’ve blown out your knee, crushed a disc or snapped your AT!

Norah Jones is singing me home with “Turn Me On”. I’m loving this. I’m feeling good. I’m finished now and it’s time to get dinner on the table.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 15th, 2010 – 6.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Today’s run was great! The weather was great and I knew it was going to be a long one, so I was on my 4 and 1 plan. I unlocked Sarah’s leash, so she got to run a little freer and she seemed to like that. At the end of the first 4 minute segment (the half mile mark), I stopped to stretch. Then I was off again. My Achilles Tendon is feeling ok, but I’m taking it easy anyway.

Suddenly, two dogs are fighting to tear down their own fence to get to my Girl. What? Well, I can’t have that!! So I shout my warning, “NO!” but they don’t listen so I aim my pepper spray for the first time ever, with the intent to fire. They are still barking and clawing! If this goes on, they will get out! Then what will I do?! So I throw up a quick prayer and I fire!

The dog whines and they both retreat. I wait for the sinking feeling of horror that would surely come after intentionally causing another living organism pain. I know it was justified. I had to protect my dog and myself. I can feel the tears start to bubble under the surface. As I approach the fence to inspect the damage and apologize to the dogs, I hear myself shouting, “That’s right, Damnit! Stay away from my dog!” Turns out it wasn’t tears bubbling to the surface, but 38 years of bad-ass, angry Black Woman protecting herself and her property. I kept on running….

At the one mile mark, I’m feeling really good. My knees are feeling pretty solid and my AT is hanging in there, so I keep on going. It’s warm out and I discover that I forgot to bring a towel, so my tank top will have to do to mop up the torrents of sweat dripping into my eyes. But it feels good.

At about the half way mark, I cross under the freeway and start the homeward trek. Things are feeling good. Sarah’s following along like a good girl and my knees and AT are even with the program. Taking it easy seems to be doing the trick.

At the 4.5 mile mark, I reach a corner and hear some insane barking and the biggest monstrosity of the German Shepherd species I’d ever seen is trying to jump a 6 foot cinder block fence! What is going on? It’s Spring, so maybe my dog is putting out some crazy pheromones or something, but this dog is really trying to get to her. I turn around and shout “NOooooo!” and in one fluid motion, I release the safety on my pepper spray and fire! The dog immediately retreats.

This time there was no pretense at remorse. I was honestly scared to death and figured we’d better keep moving before the owners of this dog show up. I know if my dog came running into the house with a face full of pepper spray, I’d be looking for perpetrators. I would have been pretty easy to spot. I wasn’t trying to hide, I keep my pepper spray pretty visible, there were plenty of witnesses and let’s face it, if the cops were looking for a 30-something Black female who lives in my town, they would only have a handful of addresses to check out.

At the 5 mile mark, I’m starting to feel the twinge in my AT. It’s not terrible but it’s letting me know that it doesn’t like what I’m doing. The next time I’m stopped at a light, I stretch my calf muscles and it relieves the tension just a bit.

When I’m a little over a mile from home I have another 4 minute segment coming to a close. Typically, I would go ahead and run through the upcoming break since I’m so close to home but my knee is starting to ache a little bit too, so I go ahead and take the 1 minute break.

I take the last half mile at a sprint. When will I learn? Turns out the lesson wasn’t too hard on me this time. I’m a little achy, but nothing a quick stretching session won’t fix. I feel good and I learned two things: (1) Listening to my body is always the right thing to do and (2) if you step to me and my dog with some canine nonsense, you’re gonna get hurt!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 14th, 2010 – 4 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This one was an interesting run to say the least. When I went to pick my son up at the BGC I saw a lady jogging with her son who was ahead of her on his scooter. I thought that was the sweetest thing! This kid had to be 6 years old and I thought surely, my little dude could handle that if some crazy 6-year-old could, right?! While we were driving home, I saw the lady and her kid again and said, “Look, Babe. That little dude is working out with his mom. Would you like to do that with me sometime?” He was very excited about it because he had been wanting to get some practice in with his scooter and thought it would be great to hang out with me. Great! So it was a date! The next time I had a short run, I would take the boy and we would bond and have one of those Mother-Son relationships you only see in the movies. It was gonna be great!

Well, today was that day. I asked him if he was still up for it and he readily assented. I let him know that this was going to be an honest-to-goodness workout for Mom, so he would have to keep up and there could be no complaining. I’ve taken him on runs before. It has proven to be a highly effective disciplinary action when he nuts up at school. I figure: If he’s not going to do well in school, he’s going to do well in Boot Camp. Cuz come hell or high water, he’s getting’ outta my house after graduation. Solid parenting!

I figured this would be a much pleasanter experience because he would be on his scooter and I don’t run that fast so he would be able to keep up with me without any trouble. I told him if he was good and kept up with me, we could stop by Rocket Fizz to pick up some candy. So, I had given him a clear goal, told him how to do it and set up rewards for good behavior. Seriously, I should write a book on Parenting. We could be millionaires, right?

He was whining and complaining well before the half mile mark. He had already found himself behind me most of the way. I honestly don’t understand. HE’S ON A SCOOTER!!! He should be leaving me in the dust!

At the mile mark he is openly crying like I’m shooting him with salt rocks and I am thoroughly frustrated and completely annoyed because instead of getting a focused workout, I am having to play Drill Sergeant. Move! Move! Move! I am being as patient as I can because I know that the first half of this course is on a very slight incline but it’s not so bad that he should be weeping like he just watched “Extreme Make Over”.

We finally get to the half way mark and I can finally tell him that we are going home in answer to his “Waaaah….. I wanna go home!” statements. I also tell him that this is the easy part because it's on a slight decline. So now he is keeping in front of me for the most part and when the declines come I am coaching him to just ride it and keep his handle bars straight. Soon he is way ahead of me and has to stop at corners to wait for me before he crosses the street. Good boy!

We are at the 3 mile mark and Rocket Fizz is a half mile away. He’s been doing pretty well for the last 20 minutes or so, so I tell him we can still go, but he can only get one thing because of all of the incessant wailing at the beginning of this journey. So we roll into Rocket Fizz and he gets a pack of Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum and I get a pack of Now & Laters. I *love* Now & Laters. Reminds me of when I was a kid. We set out for the last half mile of the trip and while we are standing at a corner waiting for the light to change, he sees a friend of his from school in the car with his Mom. Well, this is great! They say “Hi” and wave then the light changes and I say, “Go! You wanna look like a big shot in front of your friend, right? All you gotta do is beat your Mom.” So the last half mile of the run was a bona fide sprint.

In the end, it was a fairly decent workout, I got to hang out with my boy and we both got some candy…. Not too shabby. I’m not sure that I’ll be taking him on a workout again any time real soon though. Guh!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 10th, 2010 – 6.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I knew today’s run was going to have to be a long one. I usually reserve the long-ish run for Wednesday, but I didn’t run all weekend and the run on Friday was only 3 miles. I was kind of excited about this one because I knew I was going to do it 4 minutes on and 1 minute off, so even if I really didn’t want to get out there, I knew I’d get a break after the first 4 minutes.

As usual, the first 4 minutes were atrocious. Strangely, the first step I took had a bit of a sting to it. Like I’d cracked my knuckles, only it was in my Achilles Tendon. I know I have AT issues, so I was going to take it easy.

I stopped after the first 4 minutes (at the half mile mark) and stretched. The dog was not into the program tonight. She kept crossing me and stopping and just acting strangely all around. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to do the run – she always wants to run. You should see her when I pull my running shoes out of the closet – she was just unfocused. This makes the run more difficult for me because I have to concentrate more on making her behave.

Mile 1 was great. The weather was fine and there was no sense in focusing too hard on the run at this point because it wasn’t nearly over. So I let my mind wander to work, family and life in general.

In no time at all, I am at the halfway mark and I have to cross the major street, go under the freeway and start the homeward trek. Now, I left the office later than I wanted to so I am losing daylight and I still have to get home and cook dinner. The husband is only good for watching the children while I’m out. Cooking dinner is NOT his thing!

We’re at about mile 4 and it seems like Sarah’s endurance is waning. Hmm… I wonder what’s wrong. She’s hanging in there, though. Maybe she’s just as intent on getting back home as I am.

Around mile 5, I am really starting to feel that my Achilles Tendon is struggling to stay in the game. I’m going to have to do some research on support for the AT while on long runs. I wonder if an Ace Ankle Brace would help. I have also been looking at Merrell Women’s socks. They are supposed to be extra supportive too. The pain is not enough to make me stop running, but it’s enough to make me take notice. I am not interested in injury.

When I’m about 1 mile from home, I check my timer and see that one of my 4 minute segments is up and I am due for a walk, but I’m not about to break when I only have 1mile to go, so I kick it into gear and tell Sarah that we are in this thing together.

So we sprint home and make the 6.5 trip in record time. Problem is, it’s after 8pm and no body’s been fed yet. What to do, what to do!!!

Well, the boy is already asleep, so I think I’ll just let that go and give him an extra piece of toast in the morning. The girl is still awake. She’s hungry and she needs to have her hair done before she goes to bed. So I throw some croissants in the oven and she, Chris and I have Croissants with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese for dinner.

Ah well, we can eat healthy tomorrow. Good hustle, Sarah!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 7, 2010 – 3.1 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

It’s Friday and we left the office early today because of a power outage. We don’t really get weather here in Southern California, so the Government has stepped up and implemented the occasional Rolling Blackout so we can feel like the rest of the world from time to time.

This presented me with an opportunity to run home real quick and get some alone time with the husband. So we get home and immediately go to separate rooms. He turned to his computer and I ran right for the TV. The room was a mess and I wanted to get it picked up while I had a few minutes before we needed to go pick up the kids.

After about 15 minutes, I thought I’d get dressed for a run and have Chris leave me at the BGC when we went to go pick up the boy and I would just run home. That’s about a 3 mile run. It would be a great way to kick off the weekend and it wouldn’t be so overwhelming that I would have to nurse any sore knees or ankles.

So I get dressed, strap on the iPod and heart rate monitor, load up the dog and head out with Chris to go pick up the kids. It’s always a treat for them to get picked up from school and find the dog in the car. It’s just another element of the chaos that is our life.

So I start out and mile one comes and goes with absurd ease. This is going to be a smooth run. I’m not trying to reach a new Personal Record, not trying to save the world. I just want to have a nice relaxing run so I can have a nice evening.

Sarah has a completely different agenda and she is obviously trying to break some kinda super dog record because she is pulling on her leash and pressing me to move forward…. Faster! Well, I don’t want to disappoint her. Even though I know that sore and possibly injured is not how I want to spend Mother’s Day weekend, I’m not about to allow myself to be outdone by my dog, so I pick up the pace!

Needless to say, I am sitting on my floor, sweaty and exhausted in the Child’s Pose position with frozen corn on my right Achilles Tendon…. With a new PR for the 3 mile course.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3rd, 2010 – 5.12 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I wanted to do a different route tonight. It was nice to do something different. I was running toward the sun at the beginning and away from it at the end. I didn’t realize how much that would affect the run. Wow!

Mile one was really nice and usually I’m not a fan of mile one. At about the 1.5 mile mark, I pass the high school and I want to be very careful because I don’t want to be run down by some horny teenager who’s sexting while driving, so my focus is split when it wouldn’t otherwise be.

Now, this is a run that I should have broken up with my 4 minute on 1 minute off thing because it was quite a bit longer than usual, but I would like 5 miles to become the new standard workout. So I ran the whole thing.

Mile 2 is feeling good and I’m at the park I was trying to get to, the one I mentioned in my last post?

I run around the park and made it an even 3 miles before I head back. I stop to stretch a bit before I leave the park. Not because I want to but because I’m 38 and my body hates me when I don’t stretch.

I’m still feeling pretty good….

Somewhere around mile 4.12, I hit the wall. What! The Wall?! Are you kidding me? Who moved The Wall? There is no way I should be hitting the wall so early. Right? Well…. It is a new route, and I didn’t have enough respect for the slight incline of the return trip. I’m used to ending my run on a very welcome albeit slight downhill stretch.

I wanna stop but I know I won’t forgive myself if I do! So I start pumping my arms because your legs do what ever your arms do. It’s working and as Providence would have it, Christine Aguilera’s “Fighter” starts blaring on the iPod.

So I fight my way home and when I get here, the in-laws have stopped in to see the kids. Aww…. They are so awesome! I love those folks. Of course, I’m sweaty and gross, so I need to run through the shower and stretch as much as I can without taking too much time. Needless to say, it wasn’t enough.

I am *so* going to feel that in the morning!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010 – Half Mile Run.... What?!

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Don’t let the brevity fool you. This was a *great* experience!!! A friend told me about a trail here in town that was supposed to be pretty good. I left my house with no real intention out getting out of the car. I just wanted to make sure I could find it.

So I loaded my son into the car and set out to blaze a new trail, as it were.

As I was following the directions I thought I remembered Mary telling me, I am falling in love with this piece of the city! I’ve lived here for over 5 years and I had no idea it was so well laid out for open air exercise! I passed one of those wonderful parks with a dirt trail around the parameter and exercise Monkey Bars and Push Up Bars and whatnot. Now, certainly, the bars are covered in pink eye and herpes, but that’s OK because I’m a runner! I hate doing push ups and chin ups are for the unattractive.

I kept on down the road, but I made a mental note to stop by that park on the way home.

Pretty soon, the street changes names. You know how that happens. But I was told to keep driving an eventually the road would end. You can’t miss it! Finally, I arrive at the trail head. Oh, my Heavens, it is beautiful!!! There are other people out there and they are walking their dogs and getting their hearts pumping. I can barely stand it!!!

I park and I just have to get out of the car! The trail opens up to a steep climb and the Beast within me starts to purr. So I start up the hill and a gentleman zooms right by me in a full on sprint. The running super powers are taunting me. But my son is with me, which usually ends up being an exercise in frustration when I’m trying to get a workout, so we keep walking up this hill and without meaning to, I start running up the hill! Oh, it feels so good! I have to stop because I am not prepared. I’m not in my running clothes or my running shoes, I have to keep up with my keys and I didn’t bring a runners pack.... and of course my son is with me and now he is screaming “Mom, wait!!!”

So I go back to get him and we take a wonderful stroll up this hill. After a quarter of a mile, I decide to turn around and head back to the car. Oh, but now we are going down hill. I tell my beautiful, 7-year-old son that I just can’t stand it and he needs to keep up with me! So we sprint down the hill together. It was awesome!

I am definitely coming back here!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1st, 2010 - 3.75 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Today’s run was a gloriously pleasant joke! I wanted to stop by Sallly’s to treat myself to a new Spring Nail Color. There was an article in my Health Magazine this month that suggested that flirty bright shades are all the rage this season. Snore! I know! I know! But I promised my husband I would try to keep my nails polished this Spring and Summer. He really likes it when my nails are done and he’s a pretty good guy, so I figured it was a small thing I could do for him that I could possibly exchange for an orgasm or two from time to time.

Anyway…. This quick purchase split my rather short run in half. Anything less than 3 miles isn’t typically worth the time or effort, but it was such a nice day and the shop is along my usual route, so I thought I’d go ahead and run over there, pick something up, then complete the route. Of course, this meant my heart rate completely dropped out about 1.75 miles in while I was deciding between some Bubble Gum shade and what looked like a Frosted Pumpkin color and I had to do the remaining 2 miles with 3 bottles of nail color in my running pack, banging on my kidneys.

Other than that, it was a wonderful run. The day was glorious. Spring is so beautiful in Ventura County. I kept my heart rate at about 92%, so I was working pretty hard when I was running. I was listening to my Funk playlist on my iPod. How can you not love catching a groove to “She’s a Bad Mamma Jamma”, “Atomic Dog” and Old School Jams? Life doesn’t get any better than this.

When I got home Jayda was still napping and Chris and Jordan were engrossed in separate computer games so they didn’t even notice when I walked in. I grabbed a giant glass of water and hit the showers. After a cup of Greek Yogurt with dried cranberries, I sat in front of the TV and polished my nails. Cute!