Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 19th & 25th - Weight Training & 2.94 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 is going to be a *very* low mileage month. I’ll be doing well if I can it in over 30 miles this month and that’s just terrible. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

The weather hasn’t been great and I am getting over a terrible rattling cough but I won’t make any excuses for myself. I could have done better, I just didn’t.

Last Tuesday, I did some weight training. That’s never a good time for me because weight training is my least favorite form of exercise. But I was so glad to get that workout in. I need to do more of it because my next race is a Mud Run at a Naval Base. I’m less worried about the distance and more interested in getting strong enough to pull myself over 6-ft walls and over various hurdles while I’m wet to the skin.

I’m not sure what I’m going to wear but I’m thinking I’ll wear my 5-fingers and as few clothes as possible. When I was on WipeOut, I learned how heavy mud and muck can be.

2.94 Mile Run – This was a fine run. The weather was just beautiful. I decided to run it in my 5-fingers because being barefoot and running on a Spring day’s gotta be pretty close to Heaven.

So I set out. I knew I was still a little under the weather, so I was ready to be satisfied with a short workout. What I hadn’t considered is how unwise it is to run in your 5-fingers when your body is extra prone to fatigue.

By the 2.5 mile point, I was tired and having trouble keeping my carriage up and good form is essential when you’re running in your 5-fingers. The last half mile was a little sloppier than I’d hoped. Not only that, at the last traffic light, when I had made a deal with myself to take it easy for the rest of the run, two 20-something college chicks who were out on a run stopped at the corner too.

Now, I have no problem with 20-something college chicks. I think 20-something college chicks are wonderful!!! Who doesn’t?! Beautiful without even trying. With their iPods and ponytails and sweet dispositions. Smart. Athletic. Forward thinking. With the whole world of life and opportunity before them.

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to get smoked by two 20-something college chicks who are out for an evening jog that they don’t even need, in my own neighborhood! If they were serious runners, they’d be on campus, on some trail or I would have seen them before, as often as I run these streets. Clearly, they were trying to work off some Spring Break / Easter noshing.

They were young. They were cute. They were quick. But they weren’t fast enough. The light changed and the three of us took off! I wasn’t sure how far they were running (or had run) but I was only about a half mile from home. I had messed up my pace standing at this traffic light, but I figured if I could keep up a 8.5-minute pace, I could pull away from them quickly, make a left turn into my neighborhood and pass out on the neighbor’s lawn if I had to.

So I did it. Left those pretty young things in the dust and cruised on home.... and a 10-minute pace was sufficient. Sure, it was petty.Yes, I should be ashamed of myself. Of course, I’ll feel it in the morning.... but that’s nothing compared to the way I feel right now.

HaHaHa!!!! I wouldn’t be 20 again to save my Mama’s life!

What's this funny face Jayda's making? Happy Spring Everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 17th, 2011 – The Gator Run 5k

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.”

Oh, no! I may have really screwed up here! This was a great race and I clocked my best time ever, but I wore my 5-fingers, so I clipped my timer chip to my waist instead of my shoe.

There wasn’t a good place to put it on my shoes and I didn’t want to feel it flopping around for 3 miles, so I clipped it to my belt. When I went to check the results today, I couldn’t find my name or number. Blast!!!

There was a lady named Pamela I was chasing the whole route. I ended up beating her to the finish but she was great. She was a good sport and let me take a snap shot of her for my blog. Runners are awesome.

The problem is that I may have placed top 15 in my age group and there’s no record of it! The lady who was 13th in my age group came in 19 seconds after Pamela, so I would have taken her place if my time had posted! Top 15 is great for a race of that size. BLAST!!!!!

Well, I will never do that again! I’ll wear my chip *in* my shoe if I have to!!!

I’m sure there’s some great lesson to be learned here about how as long as I know how well I did, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the world never knows. But I’m not feelin’ it right now! I want the rest of the world to know!


Aside from that major screw up, it was a GREAT run. My running shoes had been giving me some trouble, so I don’t regret the choice to run this race in my 5-fingers. It felt GREAT!!! I’ve got no issues with my AT and my knees feel just fine.

I’ll be wearing them again at the Mud Run next month.

See ya at the race!


Friday, April 15, 2011

April 14th, 2011 – 7.02 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. Let me just start out by saying that I love my neighborhood. It’s not the best neighborhood in town, of course, but it’s an All – American, middle-class, Toyota & Honda driving neighborhood full of single-family homes with 2.9 kids and a dog. It’s a peaceful, older neighborhood, with well established trees, where the kids play in the street and neighbors wave at you when you drive by. I love it.

One of the things I love most about it is that it is less than 2 miles from even nicer neighborhoods. Neighborhoods where there are expansive green belts for the dogs and their pooper-scooping owners. These neighborhoods seem to have been planned and organized with open-air exercise in mind. The sidewalks are wide and shaded with beautiful, blooming trees. They even make hill work pleasant.

At about the 2 mile mark, I turned a corner and started running into such a neighborhood. I wasn’t going for speed this time because I knew that I was facing some pretty steep hills. But I wanted to run some speed intervals when I hit the hill. I’d forgotten to strap my watch on, so I couldn’t do the 30-second sprints I intended to do but this wonderful neighborhood is peppered with these NO PARKING AT ANY TIME signs, so I was able to sprint between signs. This was effective, and it could be argued, even better than the stopwatch.

When I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, the sidewalk split into horse trails so I was able to get some relief for my aching ATs. At the halfway mark, I turned around and started running down the hill. Downhill running is something I need to keep working on. I need to keep my form tight so I don’t get sloppy and wear out my knees.

At the 5 mile mark, I had to stop and stretch. Sciatic pain was killing me. You can’t really do anything about sciatic pain but stretch. Pain relief meds don’t even touch it. I started running again and the pain subsided.

I was a mile from home when fatigue set in. I wouldn’t say I hit the wall, it wasn’t *that* bad. But in my haste to get out of the house, I only ate about a handful of pinole, half a scoop of chia seeds and about 8 oz of water and I didn’t pack any water. I don’t usually pack water for anything less than 5 miles, but 7 miles is a lot for me without water. The hunger and dehydration were making the last mile pretty tough for me.

So I switched my playlist because the only thing that was going to get me through was a double dose of Jesus!!! So I pumped up the gospel music, changed my mantra to “Keep Fighting” and ran it home.

Mile 7 Soundtrack
“Jesus Never Fails”
L.A. Mass Choir

“Keep the Candle Burning”
Point of Grace

“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”
Clay Crosse

Great run!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 8th, 10th & 11th – 2.98, 3.64 & 3.54 Mile Runs

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.”

Something went terribly wrong from April 3rd thru April 7th. I’m not sure what it was, but during that time. Not only did I have no desire to run but I actually DIDN’T run!

It was weird. I can’t remember the last time I took 5 straight days off. Even after the half marathons I’ve done, I was at least hobbling around after about 3 days.

After the third day, I was feeling pretty antsy, but I still didn’t run. By day five, the pain of inactivity was far worse than my worst workout recovery, so I had to get on my feet again.

April 8th, 2011 – 2.98 Mile Run - Like most mothers of young children, scheduling is only one of the many things that have to line up if you’re gonna get a run in and today was a bad day for a run.

After a full day of work, we had plans to go over to the In-Laws’ house to have dinner. My father-in-law had some sort of training event at his office and they sent him home with trays upon trays of BBQ from Wood Ranch. So my mother-in-law called us over to help eat it.

Seriously, who’s gonna turn that down?

Fortunately, they have a *really* nice treadmill so I asked if I could use it while we were there so I could bang out a quick 5k before I ate. It was a super casual outing so after I set the husband and kids up with plates, heavy with BBQ’d ribs, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and dinner rolls, I dressed out and hit the treadmill.

It’s been years since I’ve used a treadmill, but how bad could it be? Very bad!

I thought treadmill running was easier because you didn’t have to provide your own forward motion! It wasn’t difficult, per se, but it was *so* mind numbingly BORING!!! And it really shouldn’t have been.

Their treadmill is really top notch! It has the built-in fan and an in-laid television. I watched Jeopardy. I love that show! But the whole time I was thinking “When will this be over?!”

It was a great workout and I fully understand why people like treadmills. I was able to do some great interval training and maintain very specific speeds and rest times. I’m sure it was a lot more efficient than my typical workouts, but give me open air and a shady sidewalk on a spring day any day!

Besides, just shy of the 3-mile mark, I accidently knocked the safety tab out of its magnetic casing and the whole machine stopped and wiped out all my data. Blast!!!

April 10th, 2011 – 3.64 Mile Run
This run was great!!! I was in a little pain after the last run. I think it was my shoes. I was having some serious discomfort in my left knee and both ATs. Today, I decided to take it easy and run in my 5-Fingers.

Running in 5-Fingers is always a treat. You can’t run nearly as fast, but it’s like running when you were a kid, barefoot and without a care in the world.

At about the quarter mile mark, Jordan overtook me on his bike to heighten the effect of this adolescent frivolity.

There is absolutely nothing noteworthy to report about this run except that this was the most joyous experience I had all week. Out on a run on a beautiful day with one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Seriously… A slice of heaven.

April 11th, 2011 – 3.54 Mile Run
The first a part of this run was pretty bad. It was after dark and I took Jordan with me.

He couldn’t quite prove that he didn’t have any homework, but he claimed he got a Homework Pass at school because he had done so well on his reading. This was plausible, as he is ahead of his class in reading, but he couldn’t produce the aforementioned “Homework Pass”.

So Chris told him, he could read for 40 minutes or run for 40 minutes. He chose to run with me and I was ecstatic!!! I didn’t really want to run but I knew I needed to. Once I knew Jordan was in, I was excited!

He whined the whole first half, which is always a drag for me. I would have gone easier on him, but the whining boils me right over. So rather than turning right at the corner, I chose to keep straight and run up the hill!

We only went about three quarters of a mile up the hill, but it was a pretty decent workout for him. We did it in 4 and 1 intervals because this wasn’t a disciplinary run, so he had several walk breaks. I wasn’t working him *nearly* as hard as I could have.

When we got to the halfway point, it was time to run down the hill. Oh, the bliss!!!

I don’t know if it was the ecstasy of the wind in his hair when gravity is carrying you downhill or the wonderful knowledge that we were headed back home, but he soared over the miles like a little bird on the run back home.

That was great! We sat down on the front walk way, checked our stats on my iPhone, high-fived, then went inside for a big chunk of Rice Krispy Treats and a glass of water.

I asked him, “Do you think any of your friends could run 3.54 Miles?” He said, “Probably not.” Another high-five.

And it was off to the showers, then prayers, then bedtime. Zzzzz……

Monday, April 4, 2011

March 29th thru April 2nd, 2011 – 12.28 Miles Total

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 am reporting three activities today. My last few runs have not been great and I'm thinking it may be because I didn’t allow myself to recover after my last race. I was told once by a running buddy that you should recover one day for every mile you ran in your race. So if you run a 5k, you should rest for 3 days afterward.

But that’s ridiculous, right? Who needs to rest after a 3-mile sprint? That’s just a regular workout right? You just happen to have a number on your chest, right? Well, apparently not.

Every runner I’ve spoken to seems to agree that you make silly mistakes on race day that you would never do during training.

While I may be at a point in my fitness where a 5k race wouldn’t phase me, silly race day mistakes and all, my last race was a 10k and whether I wanted to admit it or not, it took a lot out of me.

March 29th, 2011 – 6.42 Mile Run: This was a nice run. Perhaps a rookie mistake to get out there and run almost 6.5 miles so soon after the race. It felt good at the time, though. Somewhere around mile 5, I got this sting in my knee, but I was almost done so powering through it was no problem

March 31st. 2011 – 2.16 Mile Run: I knew that I should not have done this run and under normal circumstances, I would have rested BUT Jordan got suspended from school!!! Suspended! I didn’t even know how to respond to this!

I was a good kid. I never ditched a class. Never drank. Never smoked. Never did drugs. Never partied. My cheerleading skirt was the longest on the squad. I didn’t buy a bikini until after I was married! I didn’t even get my driver’s license until I was 24! I waited a very respectable amount of time after I was married to have children so there was absolutely no doubt that I got married because I was in love and not because I had to. I did everything in the proper order (except the driver’s license thing): High School, then college, then marriage, then career, then house, then children… And this pastor’s kid *certainly* never got suspended from school!!!

I was elected to stay with Jordan for the morning while he was supposed to be at school. In the afternoon, I could drop him off at the BGC and go to work, but for now, I had this 8-year-old school law breaker on my hands and I had to effectively communicate to him that getting suspended was not to be tolerated in our home.

So after 2 hours of scrubbing, swabbing, wiping, dusting, vacuuming and pooper scooping, I ran him for 2 miles until he dropped to his knees and wept openly. I ran him non-stop, but you can tell by my pace that I didn’t run him as hard as I could have. There were several stops where I had to do the drill sergeant thing and yell in his face to keep him sufficiently terrified, but he ran his little heart out.

I couldn’t show it, but by the end of this run, my knee and ATs were really giving me grief. So I decided I would rest for 3 straight days.

But that didn’t work out…..

April 2nd, 2011 – 3.70 Mile Run: Even though Jordan was still grounded and banned from everything that had a screen in our house, he was still allowed to ride his new bike. He came to me while I was folding some very unimaginative laundry and asked me if I wanted to run while he rode his bike.

I knew I shouldn’t have. Both ATs were killing me every time I stood up or walked but I really wanted to go for a run. I know these mild days are soon going give ‘way to scorching temperatures and I didn’t want to waste a good running opportunity. Especially since my boy was asking me.

So I decided I would take it easy and just go for as long as he wanted to.

Well, he was ready to quit after 1 mile! What?! It took me longer to change my clothes! I wasn’t about to stop after 1 mile. Running still feels like torture at the 1 mile mark. It doesn’t start to feel good until at least 1.5, right?!

So I ran him to our neighborhood, told him to ride the rest of the way home and called the hubby and told him to expect the boy in a few minutes but that I was going to get in some hill work.

Hill work?! Are you kidding me?!!! Why doesn’t someone who loves me ever say, “You’re insane!!! Your body is telling you that it needs rest! Do the usual distance if you have to, but for Pete’s sake, take a flat course!!!”

Well, no one said that. I only ran the hill for about a half mile then ran back down. But that was enough. By the time I reached my driveway, I was limping.

Needless to say, I will be taking today off and probably tomorrow. My knee is popping and my ATs are so sore and tight, I was honestly worried about myself. I think a couple days of rest ought to have me back on my feet again and in fine form.

Random Thought: Isn’t it funny that being separated by race at a packet pick-up / Health Expo is totally OK with us? Any other time, we would protest.