Friday, September 24, 2010

September 23rd, 2010 – 2.15 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 was a great run. More of a sprint for someone like me. I gotta be honest, my mind was playing tricks on me after the Half. I was determined to be proud of myself because if anyone else on the planet told me that they had completed a Half Marathon, I would be over the top with praise and admiration for that person.


The fact is, even though I finished within my 3 hour goal time and I managed to stay on my feet without puking, I came in 220th in a race with only 240 runners. And of those last 20 stragglers, only one of them was younger than me. In short, I could have and should have done MUCH better!!!

Again… I am congratulating myself because hey, I ran a half marathon!!! But I can’t get my brain to stop calling me a loser. And it’s not a personality disorder. I’m not one of those shrinking violets who are never happy with themselves no matter what they do. I think I’m friggin’ fabulous! I think I’m what normal should be. As it is, I’m a ROCK STAR!

My back story is kind of a mess. My childhood was a bit of a nightmare, but I managed to get myself educated. I’ve been married to the same MAN (YES, a man. Call me kooky but I believe it’s still OK to be heterosexual) for almost 14 years. I have 2 gorgeous kids who live in the same house as my husband and me. I go to work every day. I pay my bills on time. I go to church (almost) every Sunday. I pay my tithes and my taxes. I believe the man is the head of the household and Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I have a thing about cupcakes but I try to eat right and I exercise pretty regularly. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I’m not skinny but I’m not fat. In the looks department, I’m better than average when I drop outta bed and by the time I’m dressed for work I can make a grown man weep. I’m witty, funny and an all-around great dinner guest. And on top of all that, I’m a fantastic cook and I’m a tigress in the sack.

My point is: I’ve got self-confidence falling out of my fabulous and perfectly formed butt and I *still* think I screwed up on that Half Marathon!!!! And knowing that I should have done better is little better than failure in my mind. If it was the best I could do, I would be more than OK with it. However, knowing I could have done better and didn’t is dreadful. Shame on you, Sabrina!

Fortunately, as previously stated, my self esteem is quite high, so moving on is no trouble for me. < This is me washing my hands of it. Swish-Swish! >

This run was to be the beginning of my redemption. I knew it was going to have to be a short workout because I got started later than I’d originally intended. There would be no messing around this time because I was losing daylight and the plan was to do a 2-mile sprint.

It was good. It had been days since I’d strapped on the Asics because I promised myself a full 5-day rest period after the race. I was still feeling a little twinge in my ankle and left knee, but there were to be no excuses tonight. I thought it was going to be miserable.

Once I got Sarah strapped into her reflective gear and my tunes on the iPod, it was a really great run and I didn’t realize how much my body had missed it. There were a few times I had to remind myself to keep on pushing because while it was a short run, it was much faster. I usually try to stick to a 12-minute mile pace and I wanted this one to be around 10 minutes. I kept it between 9 and 11 minutes the whole time but my average was skewed because I didn’t stop my RunKeeper when I stopped at traffic lights.

It felt good. The pace was good (for me) and the distance was perfect. Long enough to be worth the time and short enough to avoid major soreness or injury. I will try it again later and try for a long run this weekend.

I have the Los Angeles Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon next month and I gotta do better!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rest Days

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 has been 5 days since the race and I am at the end of my scheduled 5-day rest period. Lloyd told me that a good rule of thumb is to rest one day for every mile I ran in the race to recover from all the dumb things I might have done on race day. Things I wouldn’t otherwise do.

Aside from running 13 miles, there weren’t any really overly taxing things I’d done. I took the entire run very easily, or as easily as you could take 13 miles. So I can’t justify a 13-day rest period.

I have been nursing sore knees, heels and ankles. All else seemed to be back to normal by the end of last weekend. Extended days of rest don’t agree with me. I haven’t been restless and I have been sleeping *so* well but I have been extremely grumpy. Even Chris has been asking me if it’s time for me to catch a quick run. Usually, he doesn’t want me to go.

A Bit of Random News: A few months ago, I submitted an online application for the show “WipeOut”. I heard it was really hard to get on the show and thousands of people apply. After a few weeks, I forgot about it. Yesterday, I got the call from the casting director asking to set up an interview. I gotta say, I’m pretty freaked out by the whole thing. Winning $50,000 would make a lotta things OK around our house, but making a fool of myself in front of the entire country does not sound at all appealing.

It’s pretty exciting. No denying that. I will think it over on my run tonight.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 18th, 2010 – Wounded Warrior Half Marathon

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.”

FINALLY!!!! I am among the <1% of Americans who have finished a Half Marathon and can truly call myself a “runner”! For the rest of my days, even if I never lace up another pair of Asics, I can refer to myself as a runner and no one can ever take that away from me! Praise the Lord!!!!

I won’t lie. It was hard, even torturous at times, but I persevered, didn’t get picked up by any military personnel for falling behind the course time limit and I finished the race!!! And I got the same medal the guy who finished first got! I heard he finished in 1:07. Ridiculous!!!

My goal was to finish within 3 hours and I finished in 2:45, so I am happy about that. There are several things I would do the same way and several things I would do differently.

The Same:
1) Wear Fila moisture wicking running pants. These were much better than the running shorts I had originally intended to wear. I used Body Glide, but there didn’t seem to be a need. These pants were great!

2) Wear Nike moisture wicking socks for women. These were perfect. Not a blister in sight and they were brand new when I put ‘em on. Typically, doing a race in new gear is a no-no.

3) Bring a light jacket for pre-race hoopla. It’s cold that early in the morning and I was there for at least an hour before the starter pistol was fired.

4) Bring my own water. It’s just a good idea.

5) Empty my bladder before the race begins.

6) For dinner the night before: pasta and water. That’s it.

7) For breakfast: a banana and water. That’s it!

8) Show up early.

9) Wear a sports watch

10) Wear music. This is strictly my personal preference.

11) Have my family there at the Finish. That was *so* great!!!!

12) Arrange to have someone drive me home.

13) Take pictures at the Finish Line

14) Have Pepto Bismol on hand. Sports Beans do the job but they dropped like the housing market in Southern California. Ack!

15) Take 600mg of Ibuprofen 30 minutes before the start.

16) Write a list and pack the night before.

17) Clear my schedule so I can crash when I get home.

1) I will train for the full 13.1 mile distance. I trained for 10 miles and that was great. I was told that training for 10 miles is sufficient for the Half Marathon. This is a FALLACY!!!! I hit the wall like never before at the 10 mile mark! My body began to cramp and my muscles were on the verge of seizure. It was terrible!!!! I had kept up a steady 12 minute mile pace up through mile 10. After that, I was being passed by senior citizens with obvious knee replacements!! Whoever said a Half Marathon is just a 5k with a 10-mile warm up is a terrible liar. I contend that after a 10-mile run, 3.1 miles is MUCH farther than 16,404 feet!!!! After that 10th mile it…. was…. miserable!!!!

2) I will not underestimate the importance of having support at the end of the race. While my family eventually made it to finish line, they didn’t make it there until a few minutes after I’d crossed it. I didn’t realize how much I needed someone until a very dear friend of mine met me at the end and ran that last quarter mile with me. Thanks Lloyd!!!!

Also, my good friend Sarah was there to see me cross the Finish Line, take a quick snapshot and greet me with water and a fresh apple. Thank you so much, Sarah!

3) I will focus less on taking pictures during the race. I know… I know! But it was my first Half and I wanted to be very present during the entire run. I’m not at all sorry that I have the experience fully documented but I lost precious minutes being sure to take snapshots of every mile marker and cool military warning sign. Next time I will run it more like a serious runner and less like a tourist.

4) I will not forget my post race shoes. I left my Crocs at home and I *really* wished I had them when it was all over.

5) I will have fewer Sports Beans. Ugh!

6) I really gotta get a Garmin. Using my iPhone for music and Runkeeper is really too taxing for it. I almost ran out of juice completely before the finish. And somehow my Runkeeper got paused for about a mile and and only clocked about 11 miles. When I got online to try and edit it, I added another 3 miles somehow and screwed it all up! Jeez!

All in all, it was a great experience. I am so glad I did it and I am forever indebted to Lloyd for seeing me through it. Love ya for it!

This is a pic of Lloyd and me at the end of the race. Lloyd is my hero. He finished 2nd in his class and 5th over all. Amazing!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 14th, 2010 – 3.02 Mile

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 awesome. I can’t help thinking I was cheating just to get the miles. We took Sarah to the Dog Park and I asked Chris and the kids to just leave me there so I could run home.

The route is all downhill. The last mile leveled out but the first 2 were a breeze. I thought I should be ashamed to book these miles because it was so easy, but miles are miles and this wasn’t exactly a bad workout. It felt great to just be running. And I must say, I was impressed by the fact that I was to a point in my training where I thought 3 miles of any kind was no big deal. I remember a time when I felt like I needed a defibrillator after only 2 miles.

I was concerned that I could be overtraining, but I think I’m OK. I will rest tomorrow. I had been having trouble sleeping because I’d been plagued with anxiety attacks. This happens when I overdose on caffeine. I had a whole pack of Sports Beans and another pack of Shot Bloks on Sunday when I did 10 miles. So it may not have been wise to do a run when I was so fatigued from training and lack of sleep.

But since I had to run, this was the perfect route. So pleasant, so easy, so relaxing. My body is starting to push back with pain and fatigue so I will rest tomorrow night and get to some laundry that I have been ignoring for *way* too long. The kitchen’s a mess and it’s been about a week since I’ve baked cupcakes and my kids deserve better than living a life in a home without cupcakes.

I love cupcakes!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 12th, 2010 – 10.4 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.”

Today’s run was really nice. It was the last long run I’ll do before I taper off to be ready for the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon this weekend. Technically, it’s a new route. I’ve done about half of it, but today I was going to complete the loop and make it a round 10 miles. The first half is a steady 700 ft climb. That is about a 550ft increase for me.

Mile 1 – This was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Mile 2 – This was when the real climbing was about to start and I was living for my 4 minute intervals to be over. Even the walking sections were a workout. Take a quick pic for my blog. It’s a beautiful day.

Mile 3 – The incline tapered off just a bit but was still a challenge and I had the fatigue from the previous miles behind me. Take two more Sports Beans and a bit of water.

Mile 4 – Still climbing and wondering if I will turn around and make it an 8 mile run. I can live with that. It’s still respectable. More water.

Mile 5 – This is where the incline tapers off significantly. I start to believe I can do this! The incorporated area ends and I’m running directly on the street with the cars. There are no sidewalks, no shoulder, many holes in the ground. Could those be rattlesnake burrows? I notice there are no street lamps and make a mental note to remind myself that this is strictly a daytime route. More water.

Mile 6 – My legs are just going. No thought. Zen running is beginning to set in, when my body just…. Goes. Take 1 Shot Block with the last of the water. Mile 7 is usually when I hit the wall, but I’ve been climbing for over an hour and I’ve hit the wall two times already.

Mile 7 – I am desperate for water now. I’ve been out for almost a mile. A special thanks for the good people at Rubio’s for letting me fill up at their fountain. And I’m back on the move!

Mile 8 – Now I am on the homeward trek and I am feeling pretty good. I’m tired for sure, but this part of the route is very familiar to me, the pavement is smooth and the path is peppered with many mature trees. I start to realize this running outfit won't do for race day. My Body Glide has completely worn off and I know that when I get home my girlie bits are going to be rubbed raw. The sweating will not help either. Youch!!! I make mental notes to be sure to shave cleanly on the morning of the race, wear long pants and figure out a way carry Body Glide with me just in case.

Mile 9 – I’m on auto pilot and just riding the decline until I get home. At the 9.38 mile point I realize I am about a half mile from home so I know I’m going to have to add some distance because if I stay on this route, I will arrive home at about 9.89 and didn’t come all this way to end up anywhere shy of 10 miles. So I make a left and start up the street. There is a slight incline and it’s killing me after such a long run.

Mile 10 – I’m in my neighborhood now and I am so familiar with it, I feel comfortable running on the street. The rubber in the asphalt provides slight relief to my knees and ankles, but after this much distance, the difference is significant. Feels good. I’m out of water again.

Last .4 – I’m about to round the corner and get home. Feeling good. There’s love there waiting for me and I’m, ready to go get it.

Home – I sit on my porch and add notes to RunKeeper with my iPhone. During this short break, my muscles have cooled and tightened and getting up to ring the doorbell sounds like torture. So I tap the door with my toe until someone comes to rescue me. It’s Chris! My hero!

He asks how far I ran and I can triumphantly say, “10.4 miles!” He’s impressed. All pain and discomfort is forgotten for the moment as I bask in my Sweetheart’s admiration. Then kids run up to me to ask for kisses and food. Amazing. Dad’s been here for hours and they’ve been quite content watching TV and playing games. Now that I’m home, they’re starving. I’m dripping with sweat, obviously exhausted and dehydrated and physically defeated but my kids don’t notice that. To them, I’m still Super Woman who magically makes food appear out of thin air. *sigh* I love them for it and of course, I don’t want to disappoint them. My ice and shower will have to wait. I’ve got babies to feed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 10th, 2010 – 4.40 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 was the most awesome run! Ran it with Jordan! He lost his backpack somewhere AGAIN!!! He was supposed to be grounded all weekend but he asked if he could work it off. I told him that he could if he ran with me and we were going to go about 4 miles. He said he’d do it so we got him geared up and had Chris drop us off at the Dog Park. We added another half mile to the run, then turned around.

By the end of mile one, we were going down hill, so the run was extremely easy and pleasant. Jordan ran all of the 4 minute intervals. He loved having his own music and I put a flasher on his cap because we lost daylight at about the 2 mile mark. He thought that was pretty cool too. I also had on full reflective gear: Vest with LED lights and a day glow cap with reflective strips. Wish I had a pic of that!

The weather was great, the temperature was perfect and it was so great running and bonding with my boy. Hopefully, he’ll find his backpack on Monday. If not, I guess I’ll get a full-time running partner. Score!..... But he really should find his backpack.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7th, 2010 – 3.73 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 did not start out great at all. While I was working on mile 1, I was seriously wondering why the heck I’m doing this. Even up through the 1.75 mile mark, I was just not feeling it. I just wanted to stop the whole time.

However, somewhere after the 2.25 mark, it just opened up. It started to feel really good. The weather was great and the temperature was perfect. I was trying to maintain my race pace, which is going to be super slow and steady because I’ll have to hang in there for 13 miles.

If I can fight through those first 2 miles, the last 11.1 should be cake!

Oh! I registered for the Wounded Warriors Half Marathon on the 18th. Yes, the 18th of THIS MONTH!!! Anything to support the Troops! So what I thought was going to be my first half marathon (Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon next month in Los Angeles) is actually going to be my second.

If you told me this time last year that I would be running TWO half marathons next fall, I would have laughed myself silly. But here I am…. And I hope I won’t regret it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 5th, 2010 – 4.61 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 miserable! It was far too hot. I should have waited until later in the day. My pace wasn’t terrible, but I really felt like I was having a cardiac episode at some points. I packed some water, but didn’t realize that I hadn’t packed nearly enough.

The beginning of the run was extra slow because I had Jordan with me. Chris and I took an extra 20 minutes to get him set up with my old gear and some good music, only to have him completely wimp out during the first quarter mile. He was close enough to home that I could just send him back and keep on running.

Mile one was really awful, but that is as usual. This was supposed to be the regular maintenance run at about 3.6 miles, but since I didn’t have Jordan with me, I decided to add an extra mile so I did it in my 4 and 1. It was good, but at about the 1.5 mile point, I start to realize that it is way too hot and it’s starting to effect me physically. My heart rate was alarmingly high and if I didn’t slow myself down and drink some water, I was going to have a real big problem.

I had taken a few Sports Beans before the race so my heart rate was artificially elevated and it didn’t feel right. Usually, I wouldn’t take Sports Beans for such a short run, but when I bring Jordan, he likes to have a few beans so we take ‘em together.

The 2 mile point is starting to feel a little like the 39th week of pregnancy. I’m in pain, I’m miserable and I’m starting to think this thing is just never going to end! I check my phone for the local temp and learn that it’s 95 degrees!!! Way too hot! I keep going and I’m approaching the turn around point. The second half of this run is on a slight decline and it has these lovely trees lining the street, so I get a little relief from the heat. Whew!

At the 3 mile point, I am starting to feel LOADS better. I know it’s still too hot, but the high is setting in and I have about 4 oz of water left and I little over a mile and a half to go. This is good. One of my greatest pet peeves is to have the “runner’s high” to kick in when I’m running up my driveway and walking in my front door.

The last mile and a half are actually quite good. Even though I am feeling really good, I decide to force myself to walk the last half mile because it is really warm, my heart rate is way too high, I am out of water and I am starting to see dots swarm before my eyes. I know the signs and passing out on boiling asphalt does not sound at all appealing.

So I stop to walk and talk to a neighbor or two and enjoy the stroll into my neighborhood. Now I’m back home. Here is a very common scene in my house. This month’s edition has a short article on how to avoid heat stroke (page 30) and a free offer on Gold Toe Power Sox! (pages 8 & 9). I am all over that!!

September 2nd, 2010 – 3.25 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 was a great run. A birthday run. I turned 38 today! I didn’t want anything incredibly exciting for my birthday. Just to get a good run in and to be excused from my cooking duties.

It was a very relaxing run. We all took Sarah to the Dog Park and when it came time to go home, they left me there, so I ran home. The Dog Park is nestled in the beautiful hills of Simi Valley, so it was all down hill and the weather was beautiful and I had nothing to hinder me so I could just run. Well, I did have my reflective gear, so I looked like a middle-aged Christmas Tree running down the street.

It felt good. I know my knees and AT were taking a beating with the downhill run, but it felt good at the time.

Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August 31st, 2010 – 3.2 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 wonderful and glorious treat. Unfortunately, I couldn’t act like it. We got a note from Jordan’s teacher telling us that he was not behaving in class… Already?! Seriously?! The school year *just* started!

I told him he had a spanking coming, but I would grant him the opportunity to work it off…. And that would manifest itself in a 3 mile run. Now, before you start calling CPS on me, we’ve taken him to therapy and we’ve been told that while he shows signs of Sensory Seeking issues, he does not have ADHD. Then we were told that a child like Jordan needs extra physical activity and discipline. They suggested Occupational Therapy, but after a few sessions, it just seemed as though we were paying people a ridiculous amount just to play with him for about a half hour, then tell us a bunch of stuff we already knew about him.

I say that to say, extra physical activity is a fine mode of discipline for a kid like Jordan. The rule was, if he completed the run and did the best he could, he could work off the spanking. Any whining or complaining would result in him getting the spanking and he would STILL have to finish the run. He agreed and I was praying that he would live up to it cuz really, I hate issuing the spankings. It’s my least favorite part of being his mommy, so any way I can negotiate different options is OK with me.

It’s also a pretty fine balance I have to keep when I’m using running as punishment because I really don’t want him to grow up hating to run. So I told him about Sports Beans and gave him one before the start of the run with a cup of water. I told him we would take another bean and more water at the end of mile one. Then again at the end of mile 2.

This wasn’t the best workout, but that’s OK. It was all about spending time with my boy and getting to the bottom of his issues at school. It was really great. We stopped and danced at every traffic light so our heart rates wouldn’t drop. He was a really good sport, shaking his booty in public with his mom. People were smiling / laughing at him but he didn’t care. It made him dance harder.

We did it 4 and 1. At the first walk break, I asked him what the deal was at school. He told me that he just wasn’t paying attention and wanted to do some of the cool things his desk mate was doing. I told him to try to focus and get all the work down quickly, then tell the teacher and maybe she’ll have a cool game or puzzle he can work on while the rest of the class finishes up and if there was any cool thing he wanted to do with his desk mate, he should write it all down and do it at recess.

He said he’d try. We ran some more.

At about the 1.5 mile point he saw the trail head we came to the last time we ran together and asked if we could run the trail. That wasn’t the plan, but I let it flow. I gave him another bean and some water because we missed the one mile mark and this trail is pretty hilly.

So we run about a quarter of a mile up the hill, then down again. He’s doing a fairly decent job keeping up with me and I gotta say, I’m proud of him. At about the 2.5 mile point, I start doing a Marine Corp Cadence. He immediately picks it up and learned the words and he wants to lead it.

I told him the Military was where he was headed if he didn’t want to behave in school. After graduation, he’d better have a plan cuz I don’t pay bills for grown folks!

Good run! I loved it and so did he. Now let us pray for a good day at school.