Monday, August 15, 2011

So. . . Tired. . . Must. . . Sleep

But, I'm probably not going to. Went for a 2-miler this morning; ran most of it. Got less sleep last night than the night before. Ugh. Whipped the biggest hill on my chosen course (which was a pretty good one, actually). Doc's talking about moving Mom to a SNF for a while. She's gonna love that, when she figures out what he meant by "sniff". I can tell she's clueless b/c she didn't moan, groan, or make faces. Maybe it's wrong of me, but I didn't feel up to enlightening her today. Got the parts put together for my piece of crap car, and another new one bought, now to put the put-together parts together to form a functional vehicle. That will be Jon's job when he arrives home tonight. Not sure what I'd do without good friends at times like these. As for me, I simply can't wait to see my own bed, where hopefully, my baby (and thus, myself) will sleep well for the first time in a few days. Until then, anyone got an IV drip of caffeine?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bad Blogger! No Cookie!

:( No cookie? But I like the cookie! lol Okay, seriously, yes, I'm still running, although not as much as I might like here recently. I've just been neglecting my blog again. However, since I'm sitting at a friend's house in the middle of the night, with everyone else sleeping, and me unable to decide where to sleep, since my older 3 monsters have taken over my hide-a-bed, I figured I'd put up a quick post. Varying circumstances have hindered my running over the last month or so, but I'm still stumbling along. I may be running in place, as far as progress goes, but it's better than slipping backwards, and eventually I hope to move forward again! My mother has spent the last week+ in the hospital with a systemic MRSA infection (Doctor said it's one of the highest white blood cell counts he's ever seen, and he's been in practice long enough he was my doctor back when I can barely remember.), and she'll likely be there for that much longer. She's hating that, and so am I, though both of us or different reasons. She misses home and the grandkids that she can't see b/c they have her in isolation. I hate the multiple trips to Salem that are KILLING me in the gas $$$ department. Also, my van decided to be a pain in my a$$, and have the wheel bearing go out just now. Perfect. My friend Jon said he could fix it. He was wrong. ~sigh~ It requires a machine press to put the new bearing in. So. . . I'm stuck here overnight, and we're going to fix that in the morning, as (see my surprised face?) the garage isn't open on Sunday. I've had that vehicle about a year and a half. It's cost me nearly as much in repairs and maintenance as it did to buy it. Every mechanic who's ever touched it hates its guts. I think I'm getting rid of it at the first reasonable opportunity. That may take a while, but still. . . van, your days are numbered!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slowly Stumbling My Way Back

Perfect weather for a run this evening. We had some rain this afternoon, and it was cloudy with temps in the low 70s, so when the RP called and asked if I wanted to go out, I jumped at the chance! Still feeling the sting of feeling like I'm irresponsible for asking someone else to watch my kids for an hour. Gotta get over that if I'm going to try to do a half. We drove out to PP and did our 2.25 there. I had to take a couple/three quick walk breaks on some of the hills, but I finished strong--for me, lol! Legs are definitely feeling the time off. They were starting to think I wasn't going to do this to them anymore. . . and now they're screaming like toddlers having a tantrum. ~sigh~ And just when I almost had them trained. :-( Water's down in Bunker (pump broke), so all I had to take with me was G'ade. Good thing it wasn't hot out there! Splashing Gatorade on your face just doesn't work for me! Unfortunately, it also means no shower until they get it fixed. We didn't think of that! Ugh. Of course, if it's not fixed soon, I'll be finding a friend to impose on so I can clean up! In the meantime, thank God for baby wipes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to the Races

Well, since my blog hasn't received much attention lately, those of you who read it may or may not know that it has been 3 weeks today since my last run. Somewhere between my last run and what would have been my next run, I injured my back by sleeping wrong (yes, I know, pathetic). And just when I thought I was about ready to return to action, I did it AGAIN, only worse, leaving myself unable to sit on the couch without a pillow at my back! Seriously, am I 29 or 92? So, my only workout in those 3 weeks has been a 7.5 mile walk to the lake with my TOPS buds, on a good day. Insanely fun day, btw. However, that was also the day the wheel fell off my stroller. We got it back on and got the last half-mile or so finished, but since then, I don't really trust my equipment! (Go figure.) Anyway, my RP called yesterday wanting to know if I was doing the 5K today in Salem, and my response was, "What 5K?" Really, Salem race organizers need to publicize their events better! Ordinarily, that short a notice would have resulted in me not being able to go. And I've still never scored a t-shirt, lol! However, Jon said he'd watch the Mouse, and Mom kept the other 3, and off I went on my apple-cinnamon oatmeal (w/ craisins, yum) and 4 hours of sleep! I haven't been fueling or hydrating properly here lately (less reason when one isn't running), and that coupled with the lack of exercise kinda showed. Still, overall I was pleased with my time. I shaved a little time off of my last run of this same course (the Relay for Life 5K). Still got whipped by a little white-haired speed walker. . . Oh, well! What I'm not telling you is that it was 15-20 degrees cooler out there today than the last time! Lol. I could tell I'd lost some cardiovascular fitness out there, mostly b/c my heart rate was running higher than usual. I walked some (when don't I, so far, at the 5K distance), but not more than I consider reasonable for a hilly course, and a comeback at that, and I finished strong. Lol. Dug deep in those last few meters trying to catch Janis and finish with her. . . and what does she do? Starts running again when I've almost caught her, and stays a few steps ahead of me to the end! Rotfl!!! It was her first 5K. She hasn't made it past Week 4 or C25K yet, and is starting to get a little discouraged by it. Told her keep trying; it'll come! She still beat me, and I've technically graduated! I have until August to get my 3 miles strong so I can start my HM training. Wow. Not as much time left for that as I'd like, after spending 3 weeks off. May have to start seeing Amanda and Marca's chiro, so this doesn't happen again! Today, Advil was my friend, if only for a confidence booster, lol.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just Because the Blog is Feeling Neglected

Okay, short post needs to go up, since it's apparently been over a week since my last post. Been a busy, yet uneventful time, at least in the world of running. My runs have been terrible! At first I was blaming the fact that I was suddenly shoving around about 50 pounds of stroller + baby all the darn time, but then I met up with Marca, Allie, and Beth for a workout, and Marca relieved me of my stroller so Allison and I could run together a bit. I felt a little better to see Allie struggle right along with me, but not much, as she hadn't run since the Memorial Day 5K. Finally, though, late last night, I got my breakthrough and my validation. The weather had been cooler over the last few days, cloudy and in the 60s (heaven, for a runner, lol). And I hadn't had a chance to go out and run, or, truthfully, much inclination. Had some issues in the personal life dragging me down. But last night, I decided I was going out. Weather's supposed to heat back up soon (was supposed to today, but didn't), and I didn't want to miss it! So, I strapped on my Garmin after the kids were asleep and told myself I'd just run around in laps real close to the house and rack up a mile, at least. Well, that mile felt so good, I went for 2. Could probably have gone 3, but I don't like leaving the kiddos alone long, even if they are all asleep and I'm running back by the house every 10 min or so to listen for them. Felt great! So. . . it's not the stroller that's killing me; it's the heat! And I feel better also to realize that no matter how crappy the workouts seem to be at the time, I'm making progress with my fitness that will show itself when the temps drop to sane levels again. I logged my fastest pace for last night's run, as well. Okay, okay, some of you don't think 13:49 min miles are anything to brag about, but it's a personal triumph! (in the words of Blanche Devereaux) I ran twice as long, at a better pace, than my Jr. High torture sessions, and felt WAY better doing it! Put that in your whistle and blow it, Coach. My training method kicks your method's a$$! Oh, and the scenery's way better, too, but that part's not your fault. :-) Unless you consider that part of the scenery back then was you. hmmm. Yeah, you coulda been more pleasant. Okay, okay. Enough cattiness for tonight. Unfortunately, I leave you with that, as I suddenly seem to be out of things to say. ~Yawn!~ Goodnight, world!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hot, Hot HOT!!!

And it ain't gettin' better anytime soon! Ran/walked/shuffled the Relay for Life 5K at Salem today. If I'd started running when I first stepped out my front door, I'd've been pretty good. As it was, I had to drive to Salem and wait for the race to start (supposedly at 8, but in my limited experience so far, these things never start on time). Shady spots along the course were a welcome relief, but there sure could have been more of them, lol! Not sure what the temp was when we started out, but by the time we finished, it was climbing into the 80s. I was just a touch overheated at the finish, but it passed. Got my ass handed to me by a couple of old guys out walking in Wranglers. ~sigh~ Thank God I've never had much ego when it comes to athletic pursuits, or it would currently be bruised, broken, and bleeding out. Of course, it might help if I could ever get a decent night's sleep before a race. Was up last night til past 1, then had to get up at 6. And I think I woke up somewhere in the middle there. Urg. Oh, well, at least the baby slept. I have yet to score a t-shirt from a race (keep getting registered too late), but I bought myself a new tech shirt and a pair of sunglasses today, so next time I run, I get to find out just what the bfd is about tech shirts, and not have the sun in my eyes. Of course, I look remarkably like a hot-pink sausage in the shirt, but wth? In other news, my bathroom scale registered a magical number this morning--199.8. I'll take it, lol.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Virus is Eating My BRAIN!

The evidence points to it. All the signs are there. I'll be registering tomorrow for my second 5K, less than a week removed from my first. I go for my run, even if I have to take the baby in a stroller. Walk breaks still exist (especially when the stroller goes), but they are brief, and I don't have to force mysef to end them. I now own 2 pairs of running capris, a pair of shoes (thinking about a second), a water belt, and a Garmin, which I about lost my mind upon discovering one of my children had stolen yesterday evening, lol. It has been found, no harm done, but if I want to avoid it making its way into the trash again, I'll have to find a better place for it than the kitchen table! Still missing my bottle for my waistpack; haven't seen it since Monday afternoon. Kids! Well, I can replace it far easier than I could my Garmin. And I have other bottles that can go in the pack, just none I like as well! Oh, and I'm starting to wonder how soon is too soon to start running more often, and I get crabby if I don't get to go for a couple days! I make sure I drink my water, b/c otherwise, I don't run well. Considering skipping a church BBQ that my family wants to attend b/c it's the night before a race, and I know I shouldn't eat like that if I'm running first thing the next morning. Oh, well. We shall see. Tomorrow promises to be a busy day anyhow, and they may not even want to go after all that. If they do, I'll just eat carefully. Should be able to stick my husband with all the kids Saturday morning and just run. Think I might set a PR, lol? It's on a track. :-S I've never run on a track. On the bright side, it's definitely flat. On the not so bright side, it's bound to be boring. :-P Oh, well, enough babbling. Catch y'all on the flip side!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First 5K! ~Happy Dance!~



Omg, I can't believe I totally forgot to blog it! Admittedly, my internet connection has been for crap the last couple days (I'm at my mom's now), and I might not have succeeded had I tried, but I still can't believe I forgot! So. . . did the Rolla Fun Run 5K for my first 5K event (I thus far refuse to call what I do "racing" lol). Was supposed to meet my husband at the event, but his cell phone (which doubles as his alarm clock) died, and so he didn't make it. Which left me disappointed, but also, perhaps more significantly, pushing the baby in an umbrella stroller! Oog. I went up there having set a goal for myself of finishing the 5K in 45 min or less, secretly hoping to run the whole thing and set a personal best for time (under 44 min). Once I realized I was on my own with a baby, I adjusted my goals. 50 minutes. I never trained with a stroller. I did FAR more walking than I hoped for, learned that drinking while steering is next to impossible, and learned to despise the umbrella stroller for the fact that I have to hunch over just enough to interfere with my breathing and screw up my form. :-( Was walking with Janis this evening (with my usual stroller, bigger wheels necessary for the gravel roads we favor), and debating with myself whether I'd have been better off with that stroller for the 5K. It's bulkier, and heavier, but it's also taller. So my form might have been better. Decisions, decisions. . . . and a moot point, as I didn't have it in the car yesterday. It was warm out, but not as bad as I feared (weather forecast called for a high in the '90s), there was shade along the course, and plenty of cool breezes. All things considered, I feel like I could have gotten that PB on this course, if things had worked out differently. Not too many hills. Pavement and concrete, when I'm used to mostly gravel, but that wasn't really a problem. Beautiful course. I think I'd like to do this run again. Maybe next year I won't keep getting passed by that old guy who looks like he's having trouble walking. :-P Had some friends there as well. Nice to have someone you know waiting for you when you cross the finish. :-) Thx, Allie! There's a 5K close to home next weekend (just learned about it yesterday). Might try to redeem myself. And shatter my 5K PR, lol. Oh, forgot to mention. I did make my adjusted goal time. 48 minutes and change, by the clock at the finish. Chip times yet to be posted. I can't go by my Garmin, as I forgot to start and stop it at the right times. Tried running with my mp3 player. Don't think I'm a fan. I might try it a few more times before I chuck it, but really, the earbuds and wires were just kind of distracting, and I didn't feel like it kept me going particularly well. At any rate, bottom line, I could have had a better run, but I'm not disappointed in my performance. And it oughta be an easy time to beat next time. :-)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh. Hell. YEAH!!!

Days like today are the reason why you get out there and run the crappy days. I've been feeling bad about my running here lately. I've been averaging 2 runs a training week the last. . . well, might as well say 3 weeks, since I'm not getting another done this week, and the last couple runs in particular I've felt like if anything, I'm losing ground rather than gaining it. I should be wrapping up Week 9 right about now, and I hadn't even completed a Week 8 workout yet! But tonight, everything just sort of. . . fell together. I was starting to be afraid I wouldn't get out there tonight, and this run was really important to me. It's been 2 days since my last one, and there're only 2 more until my 5K in Rolla on Monday. I REALLY didn't want to go out tomorrow, and only have 1 day of recovery before Monday! That's fine for training, but not for an event where I'm going to ask more of myself than usual, and in an unfamiliar setting where I have no control over the course or other conditions. And to top it off, as I was heading out of the parking lot, this HUGE flash of lightning, with giant crack of thunder right on top of it, lit up the sky. I thought (for a second) about going back and calling it off. Then, I thought again. Remembered how important this run was to me, and guaged the weather. Didn't really seem like it was going to last. And it didn't. One more flash of (more subdued) lightning, and a little light rain, was all I had to deal with! Couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions, really. Moist and cool, just the way I like it best, with (again) the scent of honeysuckle to help you really enjoy all that breathing. :-) I decided I was going to try for the 28 min mark tonight. I didn't start my Garmin until after my warm-up, b/c I wanted an even more realistic read on my time for race conditions. As I approached 28, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided I was going to try for 30. Once I hit 30, I decided to keep going as long as I could. What I was thinking of most as I ran tonight (especially the tougher moments) is a quote from a shirt I've decided I want.

"I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me."

So tonight, I ran for those who can't. At the 32-min mark (and an uphill grade, lol), I took a couple minutes walk break, then started running again. My intention from this point was to run/walk the rest of the 5K, but somehow, I never got around to walking anymore! The last bit was a bit of a push to finish, but by that point, I knew I could do it, and could see no point in giving up so close to the end! I actually finished the distance running a couple loops around the sidewalks at my apartment complex, so when the Garmin hit 3.1, all that was left to do was drag my exhausted butt into the house, chug a bottle of Gatorade, choke down a spoonful of peanut butter, and stretch! My stomach was a little unsettled for a bit (think I downed the G'ade too fast), but I got over it pretty quickly, and when you consider that tonight I did so much more than I've ever done before, well, who's surprised? Oh, my official time for tonight's run? 44:05! Under my time goal for Monday by almost a minute! Of course, tonight was near perfect conditions, with a course I could decide on myself (in other words, mostly flat, lol). But this makes me feel great! I'm not nearly as nervous about Monday as I was before. I just can't believe how well this run went! On Cloud 9 here, and probably will be for a couple days, lol. People are apt to get tired of hearing about it, particularly my DM buds, who will bear the majority of the burden, since they "get it" and other people's eyes glaze over. :-) Doing a serious happy dance here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mommy Guilt

. . . and daughter guilt, and wife guilt, and neice guilt. Where does it end, really? Feels like I'm always supposed to be doing something for someone else, but if I want to take an hour to do something that's good for me, I'm WRONG. Especially since, when I want to take that hour, it means someone else has to keep the kids from killing each other for an hour. And I'm not supposed to ask anyone to do that. After all, they're my responsibility. Haven't been able to go out hardly at all here lately (run or walk), and then I discovered yesterday that my treadmill has finally COMPLETELY turned up its toes and died. :-( No one I trust to watch my kids has actually felt up to it lately, so my running training has fallen off the last couple weeks (only two runs each week), and I have my first 5K coming up on Monday. At the time I registered for it, although my pace is bad enough I wouldn't have made the distance, I at least would have been just finishing C25K at that time. Now, I'm about a week behind that. So, last night, after all that guilt culminated in a good cry over the unfairness of a mom having to feel guilty about every little bloody thing, I decided to toss the program out the window and just run for me. My goal for the night was simple: run/walk 5K as quickly as I could in reasonable comfort, and see how close I could come to my goal for Monday--complete the 5K in 45 minutes or less. I came in at 46 min 38 sec. Not too shabby, all in all. Ran some; walked some. Longest interval of straight running was only 10 minutes, but I didn't go out with the intention of torturing myself to make a certain number of minutes, only to see how close I could reasonably come to a total goal. Overall, other than tripping over the dog a couple times, I was happy with the run. It was a perfectly beautiful evening, with the heady perfume of honeysuckle on the breeze. Gotta love late May in rural Missouri! I was beginning to think I was never going to get a run in while the honeysuckle was in bloom. Then I sat at the computer later in the night and did some resistance band work for my upper body. Arms are a little sore today, so I'd say I did some good. Have an invitation to work out with some friends this evening. . . we shall see if I can slip away.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ugh!

Thinking that's pretty much all there is to say about today's workout. I'm not sure what the deciding factor was, but I'm sure there were several contributing ones. It was actually a warm, sunny 75 out today, and when you factor that in with the rain we've BEEN having recently, it adds up to humidity. Then, there was the fact that we decided to run PP Hwy (of the hills), and go in a little further than usual, so our out-and-back course made 3 miles. Little did I realize that last half-mile in was all downhill. Which of course translates to the first half-mile out being all uphill! I hadn't done anything physical in 3 days (life will get in the way from time to time), so maybe my legs had gotten lazy as well, but as I turned around and started back up that monster of a hill, I realized that it just wasn't going to happen. So. . . C25K w8d1 probably goes in the books as my biggest FAIL so far. I made it 20 minutes (about)--that's 15 minutes running before I tossed it in. I tried running again after making it back up the hill, but my legs were KILLING me today. Still waiting for this to stop hurting, at least this much. Even the walk back to the car hurt most of the way. It almost feels like I'm losing ground rather than gaining it. What am I doing wrong?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running is a Mental Sport. . .

. . . and I am INSANE!!! Had a fairly crappy run today, actually. That's what I get for not remembering to drink anything for the first half of the day. At least, I sure hope that was the problem! Pace was terrible and my legs hated me, but I finished C25K w7d3. Managed to keep going, however slowly, until the end. Then, once I recovered, I tossed a few quick fartlek-style run intervals into my walk home as penance for my awful pace during the actual run. Then, I'd barely been home long enough to post, when Janis called! She and Annie wanted to know if I wanted to go for a walk with them this evening. Annie's been itching to try the hills on Crossville Road, so. . . after I fed the family supper, off we went. With those two pushing me on, we managed to complete the 5 miles at an average 17 min/mile pace! Wow. Of course, I tossed a few runs in there, either just for the fun of it, or b/c it becomes necessary from time to time to catch up with my partners. I tend to lag behind a LOT. Janis has offered to slow down for me, but it's a better workout for me if she doesn't, so. . . I just let her kick my fanny repeatedly, lol. On the bright side, even though my challenge has somehow been deleted, I don't think I'm going to have any trouble making my goal of 50 miles for the month of May. Just checked my stats out of curiosity, and I already have 44 miles! Wow! Not so bright, my first workout of the day today, I did 5K in 50 minutes and 45 seconds. Doesn't bode well for my aspirations of finishing my first 5K (in less than 2 weeks) in 45 minutes. :-( Ah, well. We shall see, huh? At any rate, after logging 8 miles today, I'm taking tomorrow off with no remorse whatsoever. My "bad" knee is hurting some, and I'd rather err on the side of caution and rest it than push it too much and injure it. Wouldn't want to be properly laid-up. Starting to notice that if I don't get to run periodically, I get cranky. :-) Great; I'm an addict.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Registered for my 1st 5K ~scared now!~

As you can see by the new widget to the right, I have officially signed up for a race! Right at the end of my C25K training. I don't expect to run the whole thing without any walking, but it's a milestone, nonetheless. Will be making the husband take me out for pizza at my favorite place for lunch afterwards. ;-) Oh, and if anyone was paying attention, yes, I made my 20 for the week. Cold SOB out there tonight, and drizzling mist, but I put in my 3 (walking) for a total of 20 miles this week! Now, it's after midnight, and the counter is officially reset to zero. ~sigh~ Such is life on the Mile. Bye now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

C25K w7d2. . .and then some!

In the end, a 10K+ day for the crazy woman. Went out after dinner for my w7d2 workout (5-min warmup, 25-min run). About halfway through, a couple of my partners pulled up with an invite to join them for a walk after I was finished. I accepted, with a side thought that lack of oxygen to my brain was surely impairing my better judgement! So, finished my workout (personal best for pace!), and then went to their house to schmooze with their cat and head out for a nice, brisk walk. :-) Had a fantastic time! If I go out tomorrow and push for it, I could end up breaking 20 miles for the week. ~excited!~

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stupid Freaking Hills!

Okay, all you dailymilers who complain about not being able to find a decent hill--take some of mine! I can't find a decent flat spot! The only way to run a course without hills in it is to take out some dynamite and blast them level first. Come visit me sometime. I may not be ready to run them with you, but I can introduce you to some hills that will kick. your. ASS! I don't care who you are! Anybody out there remember the Mercedes (I think) commercial from a year or so ago, the one where they're trying to impress you with the degree of grade their SUV will climb? Yeah. I saw that commercial and thought Are you kidding me? When you wanna test your pansy rich-man's SUV on some REAL hills--come to rural Missouri! I seriously have lived in homes with steeper driveways than that little lab-created incline! Anyway, forgive me; I seem to be a little off-topic, lol. I did my run in a new area this evening, a neighboring (? lol ?) town while waiting for my son to get out of his Boy Scout meeting. I also (can you tell?) spent a fair portion of the workout swearing at hills! ~sigh~ C25K w7d1. Aside from the hills, this is nothing I haven't done before (albeit only once), but today it just seemed rough. I don't think I was well-enough hydrated, I didn't get enough sleep, and I didn't pay enough attention to what I ate today (which didn't improve with my discovery of Creamsicle Oreos at the store afterward). Ah, well. Tomorrow is another day. The loop I did tonight was, by happy accident, almost a perfect 5K. I will not be running all of it until I am MUCH better at this! In those 25 minutes of running, I only manage to do about 1 3/4 miles. :-( Ugh. I start off with a respectable pace, but I just can't hold on to it! I can tell I'm improving (even though my times don't seem to show it), but it's a little discouraging. But today's c25k 30 minutes was only a hundredth of a mile less than the last one I did, and when I take into account that that one was on a flatter course, without the 1-minute walk break I took today. . . I have to figure that if conditions had been the same, I'd have improved instead. My cooldown walk (the remaining 1.17 miles) was SUPER slow! I couldn't believe how slowly I was shuffling along. I can feel the effects of my recent hill workouts; I may curse the hills, but I feel stronger climbing them than before! And I feel like my mechanics have improved. I'm remembering to use the hips and upper legs more, rather than relying so heavily on the calves. Not that my calves aren't still working hard of course. They still despise me and think I'm a cruel beast, lol. I someimes wonder if I should be icing them. ??? Also, I think it's taking longer before I qualify as truly miserable, so things are looking up! :-) I just have to keep reminding myself that while I may be slow, I am currently running nearly twice the distance I ever have before in my life. And that, dear friends, is a victory worth celebrating!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Double Duty Day

Busy day yesterday! Went out in the afternoon and did my C25K w6d3 workout (tough one, probably more mentally than physically), then I'd only been back in for about an hour or so when my partner, Janis called to find out if I wanted to go running with her and Annie! OMG! I said no. . . then changed my mind and walked over to her house to meet them anyway, lol! We then proceeded to do their workout of w2d1, on PP (the hilly course). Then I came home and fixed what ended up being a rather late supper of bbq chicken, corn, potatoes au gratin, and cranberry sauce, topped off by strawberry cheesecake (ty, Liz). Double workouts must pay off, though, b/c in spite of that dinner, I weighed in with a loss this morning! (Though I'm having some mild twinges in my back now.) Probably going to drag my husband out for a trudge down (and back up) a long hill this afternoon. And just to make things really interesting, if I can get the straps repaired, I'm taking the stroller and the 18 m/o! If I work really hard, perhaps I can weigh in under 200 this Thursday. :-) And if not, there's always next week. The numbers aren't everything, but that is a milestone I'd like to reach. Had the Garmin outside for the first time today, and let's just say I'm definitely enjoying it! It's so nice to be able to run wherever I want to run, and not have to try and figure out my miles by other methods before or after. :-) I'm thinking it was a good purchase, in the long run. I ordered my new water belt, and I'm a little annoyed (whether with myself or with Amazon I'm not certain). It was eligible for free shipping, but I did the one-click order thing, and apparently, you have to do the long checkout process and specify free shipping to actually GET the free shipping. Grrr. So, I ended up paying about $6 for shipping that I didn't have to pay. Oh, well, the deed is done. And hopefully soon I'll have a water belt that's better for my running. Catch y'all on the flip side; I've got a stroller to fix!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Still Here!

Yes, I'm a hair behind on my blog posts, but I AM still here, and still running. Week 6 is the current name of the game, and I'm 2 days in. Did day 1 on PP Hwy with Janis and Annie, and the hills liketa killed me! Wow! I'll never understand why, when I run outdoors, I always park at the end of my course that puts me running the mostly uphill grade on the way BACK when I'm the tiredest! Day 2 took us inside, since by the time we got together this evening, it was raining and cold. I don't mind the rain, but I still have issues with cold rain. :-) Just a wimp, I guess. My Garmin came in the mail yesterday, and I wore it for the first time today, but I really feel like all I got from it was time, b/c since we were inside, the satellite tracking wasn't working real well. Maybe Saturday I'll get to run outside again, and try it out for real! It's not as bulky as I was expecting, and that's awesome. Thinking I'm really going to like it. My pace is still terrible, as evidenced by the fact that today, I was right behind Janis for a time, she was walking, and I was running, and I couldn't catch up with her, lol! Ah, well. I just keep telling myself, it WILL get better. It has to. On a brighter note, weighed in with a loss again tonight at TOPS! 2.something pounds. Not really sure what the "something" was, lol. Bought another pair of running tights, but I wasn't able to get the smaller size I'd have preferred. They didn't have any! And I can tell these are getting a bit looser than I'd like. Oh, well. Nothing's perfect!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kiss Week 5 Goodbye!

Well, today marks an important milestone for me. I completed the 20-min run at the end of C25K Week 5, which also happens to be my longest continuous run EVER!!! That's right, ever. Up to this point, the longest I've run at one time was around 13 or 14 minutes, when forced, in 7th grade PE class. And strangely, this was easier than any of those runs. Well, maybe not so strangely, when one considers that I started at my own level of fitness (basically none) and worked my way up, with proper rest between workouts. Doesn't hurt that I now know more than I ever did then about the importance of proper nutrition and hydration, either. Funny, I've classified myself as a runner on DM for quite some time now, but today, I actually FEEL like a runner. Making it for 20 minutes (however slow) gives me a gigantic boost of confidence that I actually CAN complete this program and run a 5K, and, in time, more. I didn't have to deal with any hills today, and that probably helped significantly. :-) It was raining today, and when Janis called to find out if I wanted to go with her and Annie to walk/run in the cafeteria, I decided to go and just do my w5d3 workout there. As far as cardio and breathing go, I'm actually doing really well, I feel like, but the legs could use some more strengthening, so I plan to start adding a day or two of hill work (walking) each week and maybe buy some of those stretchy bands (blanking out on what they're called) an learn to use them. Still want a kettlebell, though. ~sigh~ Too many things on my wish list, not enough $$$! :-) LOL

Friday, April 29, 2011

Eight Minutes

Okay, so yesterday's workout (w5d2 of C25K) called for 2 intervals of 8 min each, seperated by 5 min walking. Eight minutes, when the longest I've run at one time was 5, and Tuesday's workout kicked my butt! I was a little apprehensive. Still. . . interval one came and went, and I feel I (for me, anyhow) nailed it. About halfway through my walk break, I ran into a friend, and stopped to chat with him for a minute or two, accidentally resetting my Polar instead of pausing it. Ah, well; nothing's perfect. :-) So, went ahead and walked 2 min before carrying on with the second run interval, so I may have gotten more rest time than strictly allowed; don't know. At any rate, the second 8, done at the uphill grade of the cemetary road (I have GOT to change which end I start from, lol) almost got me. It was extremely tempting at times to stop early, not finish the full 8, and just try it again another day. But, I pushed through. Got my first catcalls today, from a truckload of idiots. One reason I run on that road is it's nearly always deserted. Pretty sure they were being sarcastic, as it was during the second run interval, so I was damn near dead, and I do NOT look sexy in my running tights, lol. But hey, they keep my thunder thighs from sticking together and my fat rolls from bouncing too much, so that's all I ask of them. Function, not fashion! Walked to my TOPS meeting afterwards, where I logged a gain of .75 pounds. I'm blaming it on PMS, lol. Ran into a couple of my cousins on the walk home, so that was nice. Going out later today to meet up with Janis and Annie for some easy intervals. Hoping Marca will be well enough to get back out there soon. She's suffered an injury to her meniscus (hoping it's just irritated, not torn), and she's currently trying to rest it with some stationary cycling. And Janis says she knows a couple other people who are interested in trying C25K out. Before we know it, we might just have a running club around here, lol! And I will have been the beginning of it. Isn't that a kick in the pants?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Week 5, Day 1. . . shut up and get me some ice!

Okay, not really. By the time I walked out the last mile (give or take) of the workout, I was about done limping. But geez. My body did NOT want to do this today. It let me know that in no uncertain terms as soon as I started running. I told it to shut up. We WERE doing this. And we did. We didn't do it particularly well, lol, but we did it. I've heard it said that in running, you have good days and bad days, and that makes sense, as in life, you have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day. I'm not certain what the deciding factor was. My eating habits haven't been the best over the last few days, and I took 2 days off in a row when my gut said not to this time. I may not have been hydrated well enough. But I'm going to take my chances here, and blame it on PMS. As much as I hate using that particular crutch, I think it at least played a part. I was barely moving at all through the second interval; picked it up some for the last by telling myself it was the last one, and once I was finished with it, I was finished, at least with the running (if you can call it that, lol). I'm not sure even my super-supportive DM buds could call what I do running, if they'd actually seen it. :-) But. . . I'm doing it. And that is a step in the right direction. Sometimes it's a tiny, limping step. . . but it's in the right direction. Someone asked here a while back on DM what's your mantra? The focus phrase that gets you through a tough workout. I didn't have a clue at the time, but (no laughing, please) the one that got me through my last 5 today was: "You're a runner. You can do this!" Ridiculous doesn't count, as long as it works. And when I complete my 20-min run at the end of this week, I'll be mentally giving a certain coach the finger. (Is that wrong? Probably. Do I care? Probably not.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain. . .

. . . and guess what? More rain! Grr. It's been raining here since about Thursday, and has no intentions of stopping until next Thursday. Today's supposed to be an easy day, and I guess that's all right. I should probably be cleaning house. Doing laundry. Something. I haven't even figured out what's for dinner yet. Maybe tuna casserole. That oughta make my mom happy--not. Still, I have most of what I need to make it, and I can get the rest easy enough. Can't really figure out what to do for a workout tonight. Maybe Janis'll call later and we'll put in a walk. Or maybe I can con Bill into taking the kids over to Mom's for a bit when he comes to visit tonight so I can do some yoga. Haven't done that in a while, and it'd be good to get the stretch, as well as a bit of workout for the upper body. I think maybe next month I'll buy that kettlebell set I've been wanting. Maybe. Gotta see if I've got the $$$ first. :-) Or maybe I'll con the husband into buying it for me for my birthday, lol. Funny; most women would kill their husband for buying them exercise equipment for their birthday. Me. . . that's all that's on my list this year! Unless you count a bullet blender for smoothies.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 4 Done! Maybe.

I haven't decided. Should I kiss Week 4 goodbye, or repeat, with more focus on pace? I know my pace for these longer intervals stinks, and truthfully, perhaps stinks worse than it has to. But I'm afraid if I pick it up, I won't be able to complete the time without being miserable. I think I'd have been better off, if it were possible, to do this according to distance, rather than time, b/c then I'd be pushing to get to the end of the distance faster, rather than just trying to survive the time. :-P Today was spotty and kinda freeform, as far as workouts go. I met up with a friend for a mile and a half of brisk walking (girl has a HELL of a walk pace!) and we tossed in a few 60-sec run intervals, since she's C25K curious. Then, after she went home, I debated with myself for a few minutes before heading back out to do my w4d3 workout. Got it done, at snail pace once again, then after I recovered, I started tossing in some fartlek-style run intervals, just focused on maintaining a good form and a decent pace to whatever goal spot I'd picked for myself. Figured I needed to do something to redeem myself for my horrible pace during the actual workout!








Took a giant step forward on my quest to become a serious runner today. Took a deep breath, bit the bullet, and bought a Garmin 305. Barely used, off eBay, paid $90 + 5 for shipping. Includes HRM strap. Happy dance! Of course, I'm sure I ticked off some rival bidders rather badly. . . just another little perk. >:-) Of course now, between this, and my shoes, and these supremely ugly capri tights. . . I HAVE to keep running. I've spent too much on it not to! And I still have a wish list! I must be nuts.






Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slow Like Turtle. . . Finished the Race

Well, many firsts for me tonight in the world of running. I went out to the cemetary road after my TOPS meeting b/c I saw an opportunity to run outdoors and avoid the dreadmill. So, first outdoor run (yay!). As I was starting my warmup, it started to sprinkle rain. By the time I finished and walked back to the car, there was water dripping off my nose. So. . . first RAIN run! I'm out there huffing and puffing, and thinking I can't believe I'm running in the rain! I am HARD CORE!!! lol Which is ridiculous of course, but it kept me smiling. :-) And. . . first time to successfully complete a Week 4 workout!!! YAY, me! (Geez, what watching Suite Life has done to my vocabulary!) Of course, I completed it at the pace of an elderly, arthritic turtle, but. . . I did it, lol. That's progress! And NO cheating. Even when I accidentally added 15 seconds to my walk b/c I wasn't watching my clock well enough, I still went ahead and finished the full run, instead of shaving 15 sec off to even things up, lol. By the time i got back to the car, I was VERY effectively cooled down, b/c it was about a mile back after finishing the workout (out-n-back course, and right now it's out, back, and most of the way back out, then gotta get back to the car). Had to come home, towel off, and drag on a sweatshirt and comfy pants. Well, guess that's all for tonight. Gonna walk with some TOPS pals in the morning if it's not pouring rain. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Did It! . . . Almost.

O.M.G! My cleavage is DRIPPING sweat! (TMI? Yeah, probably.) I just completed C25K w4d1. Kinda. Okay, I cheated a little toward the end, but still. . . progress is progress. It's been gradual baby steps up 'til now, but Week 4 is a huge leap up from Week 3, in my opinion. Your run time suddenly takes a huge step up, and at the same time, they cut your recovery walks in half. All things considered, I'm not displeased with my performance. It may take me 2 weeks to feel that I've mastered this one and am ready to move on. Which would suck, as I have my eye on a couple 5K's toward the end of May, beginning of June, and was hoping to fully run at least the June 4 one. We shall see. But boy, I was wishing about halfway through that I'd thought to turn the a/c on before I started! Still, probably for the best that I didn't. If I'm hoping to run outdoors, I might as well not get used to frosty cool air now. Still, when your run outdoors, there's the hope of a breeze, at least the one you create for yourself by running THROUGH the air, lol! Hoping to catch an "easy" run with my friend Marca tomorrow, as she's just starting her C25K journey. Of course, it'll be the first time outdoors for me, so it may not be as easy as I'm hoping, lol! Still, it'll be fun to run with a friend. Better shave tonight if I'm going to be wearing this outfit in "public" though!

No laughing! I know it looks hideous, but I wear it for function, not fashion. And I'm starting to believe that the camera really does add 10 pounds! Couldn't seem to get a full-length shot, but yes, those are capri-length tights. Too bad--the shoes are the best part of the whole getup, lol! Mostly, I think the reason I'm willing to post a picture of my 209-lb self in lycra is b/c then you (and I) can see the improvement as the weight comes off. :-) Damn, I didn't think I was still this fat. . . oh, well. Miles up, pounds down! Healthier body, here I come!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loggers Lake

Took my oldest boy out for a little hike today. We drove out to nearby Loggers Lake to hike the nature trail around the lake. A beautiful day, and the forest was abloom. :-) We lost the trail partway out and had to turn around and go back, but oh well. Needed to get back and start dinner, and the kid was wearing out anyway. Not finishing=an excuse to go back! Better luck next time, but hey, it was a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon! Monday night, so company for dinner. Baked sweet potatoes, grilled pork loin, and coleslaw, plus an experiment in grilled mangoes. Experiment was a success. Yum! :-) Got some more work done on a baby blanket I'm crocheting for a friend. Working on the granny squares right now. I despise granny squares! But, the baby's coming in June, so. . . mustn't procrastinate! I'm hoping to mail it in time for the shower, and that's actually in May! Starting Week 4 of C25K tomorrow. This is where it all fell apart for me before. Wish me luck, say a quick prayer for me, whatever it is you do. I'm going to need all the help I can get! Screw you, Coach Porter! Perhaps that shall be my mantra as I puff my way through 5 minutes tomorrow. :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inside Again!

Well, stuck running inside on a beautiful spring day once again. :-( Still, finally completed w3d3, and there's something to be said for that. Tried reading on the Kindle while I ran, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work out. I can't reach the buttons to turn the pages particularly well, which gets rather awkward, but it is a nice distraction. Today's run was actually the most difficult of Week 3 for me, which is unusual. Maybe it's b/c the pace on my walk breaks felt faster, making recovery more difficult, but I can't confirm this with a broken display. Or it could be due to failure to fuel and hydrate properly today. A breakfast of 6 mini Cadbury creme eggs does not make a good breakfast, and I hadn't been drinking my water right, either. Tried a new recipe for dinner tonight--sweet potato-lentil chili. The kids were not impressed. When are they ever? ~sigh~ The grown-ups approved, however, which means it'll probably keep coming back. It'll at least make a reappearance as leftovers, since the recipe makes WAY more than it says it does! It's supposed to make 8 half-cup servings. Since I feed a crowd (with healthy appetites, usually), I doubled the recipe. The leftovers filled my 4 (or is it 6?) quart slow cooker insert! Loaves and fishes, anyone?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Odd. . .

Amazing what a brief period of healthy eating will do to you. I saw the most amusing thing in the store today--a bag of Jet-Puffed Jumbomallows. Bought them, figuring the kids'd get a large charge out of them. :-) I ate one. ONE! I feel slightly nauseous. How strange. Bought some new running gear today, and a new battery for my Polar watch. I'm contemplating various options for a piece of gear to track my distance, but barring a miracle, that purchase will be a long time coming. I hoped to get outside for the last workout of Week 3 today, but it just didn't happen. I'm going to go ahead and skip it today and try again tomorrow, but if getting outside fails tomorrow, I'm going to just suck it up and hit the 'mill again. It was perfect weather this afternoon, too. :-( But, when you don't have time, you just don't have time. I have to find a way to make time. Maybe tomorrow I can get either mom or my aunt to watch my boys for a bit so I can go out. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Plugging Away on the Broken 'Mill

Well, check Day 2 of Week 3 off the to-do list. The treadmill's still busted, and I'm still running on it. No idea how fast I'm going or how far, and it sounds like hell. But I'm doing the workouts; I guess that's the important part. I guess right now, the way I feel about it is mostly get in, get it done, get it over with. I could wish I was enjoying it more, but truthfully, it's not too bad, and maybe that's a pretty good review, all in all, coming from me. :-) I kinda wish I could get outside, though. Weather's gorgeous, and the view's bound to be better. Probably be harder than the treadmill, but less boring, and I could at least track my distance better. Besides, if I'm going to do a 5K outdoors, I have to learn to run outdoors eventually, right? Maybe next time the husband's in for the weekend, I can get one in, test it out. But since he's only here maybe twice a month, is it enough? Ugh. Ate too much stir-fry tonight. Oh, well; tomorrow's another day. On the bright side, my TOPS weigh in came back with a loss of 2.75. The scale gets to live. I threatened that if it lied on me again this week, I was going to beat it into a pile of unrecognizable rubble. Guess it took me seriously. ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Addicted?

Okay, so I did it anyway. Despite crappy equipment, no light left outside by the time dinner was served and cleared, and a lack of anyone to watch the Brat Pack, I still did it. I couldn't stand not to. I felt like if I gave in today, that was the end of it, really. Especially the end of my ambition to run the Boy Scout 5K in Rolla on May 30th. I HAVE to stick with it tight if I want to do that run. Even at that, I may not be ready to do it all without breaks. But I want to do it, just the same, and do the best I possibly can. Am I starting to get hooked? Lol, I don't know; you be the judge!

Curse You, Technology!!!

My treadmill is on course to become my nemesis rather than my friend. I had decided after this weekend that I would simply take my 2 days, and shift my workout schedule to TTS, rather than MWF. However. . . I suited up and hopped on the treadmill today, only to discover that my belt is back to rubbing my motor housing and my display is shot! I just want to SCREAM! So I guess I'm going to HAVE to figure out a way to do my running outside, or give it up altogether. :-( I have my Polar watch that Bo gave me last year (needs a new battery), but no real way to track distance outdoors, so no way to pace myself. Still, once I replace the battery, it at least gives me a way to time my intervals. The main issue is how I keep up with someone to watch the kids 3 days a week while I go out. My usual run time (while baby naps) has to be scrapped, and replaced with something later in the evening, which gets in the way of dinner prep! I'm just losing my mind all around, and every solution I can come up with costs money, which I don't have! Sometimes, being a broke single mom sucks.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bye-Bye, Week 2!

Okay. . . week 2 is officially toast. Still dealing with post-run cramping and soreness in the calves and tenderness in the medial side of the lower leg. Stretching, massage, and a small hit of protein seems to help, but next week ought to REALLY be fun. Much more. . . optimistic(?) workout schedule. So far, I've only done 1 1/2 min at a time, always with a bit more for recovery. Next week, I amp it up to alternating bouts of 1 1/2 min and 3 min, with even time after each for recovery. I noticed my prescribed workout is 2 min shorter, too. Might go with that, might not. Depends on how I feel overall, lol. It's been kind of a "depressed" day, so I'm proud of myself for sucking it up and getting it done, really. I've made good food choices (so far; the husband's in town, so meatloaf, potatoes-n-gravy, and corn for dinner, lol), and I'm trying to get my water down. I keep forgetting it. Gonna have to try FlyLady's method for keeping up with how many I've had. Of course, that doesn't work out so well when the kids keep dropping by the oasis for a drink. :-) Little squirrels! I bought them their own bottles, but they still like Mommy's best. Reminds me of Gigi (German foreign exchange student who lived with our family when I was in school). She'd always beg my best friend for "just one bite" from her cup-o-noodles. Toni still remembers her as "the only person I ever met who could fit a whole cup-o-noodles on one fork!" We'd offer to make her her own cup, but, "It tastes better when you make it for you!" :-D She was fantastic.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing Day


It had nothing to do with running, of course, but it was pretty sweet anyway. Literally, in some points. I have a weakness for hot Krispy Kremes. And the light was on. I make no excuses, as I stuff my mouth with warm clouds of happiness. I know I will have to pay for it, and find some way to regain the balance. But some things are worth it. Mmmm. We took Preston and Tristan to St. Louis today, to visit the Butterfly House and the Magic House (and the Bob the Builder exhibit therein, lol). The Butterfly House was kind of a bust. Beautiful as always, but come to find out, my 3 y/o was terrified of the butterflies! Poor baby! Then, he retaliated by trying to terrify ME! He disappeared from the playground while we were having lunch and giving the kids a play break. Finally found him all the way back over at the B'fly House! Then, on to Cold Stone Creamery (yeah, I was BAD today, lol), a short trip to lostville, and then the Magic House. It was the first time my mother has been since I was a child. I told her it was bigger. No, really, BIGGER. Some things can't really be absorbed until you see them for yourself. :) She was in awe. We spent probably 4 hours there, and I don't think the kids saw 1/4 of all there was to see and do. But, they had a fantastic time, and that, after all, is what we went for. So. . . WIN!!! Tristan enjoyed the Bob the Builder exhibit. Preston was delighted with it. :) They loved the sand pit and the water table, the bubble room and the musical stuff. We must do this again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ya Learn Something New Every Day

Well, maybe not EVERY day, but I think I picked up something important yesterday. It was a busy day, so I didn't do my blog right away, but I DID do my run, c25k w2d2. And WOW did my legs HURT!!!! I had to lean on the wall to gimp off the treadmill; I was afraid I'd fall otherwise. My calves were that badly cramped up. I stretched, I massaged, I stretched some more. Nothing but rebound cramps. ~sigh~ Then, my mother suggested a potassium deficiency. Not something I've ever dealt with, but it made a certain amount of sense. Perhaps I was getting enough for my everyday, fairly sedate lifestyle, but not enough to support the added demands of running? So, I fixed myself a snack. Greek yogurt, with honey, pecans, and dried cranberries. (I recommend it, btw. Yummy.) And what do you know? I don't think I was done eating before I began to feel MUCH better. So, now I'm going to make it a point to include enough potassium in my diet. I certainly don't want a repeat of yesterday's fiasco. On another point, I've also decided no more shorts for running, unless they happen to be knee-length and tight. Anything short enough (or that will ride up to be short enough) to leave my thighs bare impairs my form, b/c my thighs are too fat. They rub, and when it's skin-to-skin, there's not enough freedom of movement for good running form. So, for now, it's capris, b/c I don't own any bike shorts yet. Haven't in years. I consider myself too fat to wear something that tight in public. But, this isn't public, and running clothes are not a fashion statement anyway. So, I may have to buy a pair. :-) Eventually. Saw on Facebook today that a good friend of mine is thinking of taking up c25k. More power to her, I say. Far too many of us sit back and say, "I could never do that." And we make all sorts of excuses. I know; I've spent years doing it myself. But the fact of it is, you never know WHAT you can do until you TRY. And when you do what's possible today, more will be possible tomorrow (or, in this case, next week). It's all a question of doing just a little more at a time, and being kind to yourself. After all, you haven't done this before, and your body is likely to hate you for it at first. There's a reason Paul spoke of the spirit being willing, but the flesh being weak. So, we force the flesh, little by little, to become stronger. It's amazing to me how the flesh desires that which is self-destructive. Think about it. The spirit wants to run (or lift weights, ride a bike, do yoga); the body wants to sit on the couch. The spirit wants a healthful diet; the flesh demands burgers, fries, and Snickers ice cream. And in the end, if we give in to the body, is the spirit destroyed? No; the body is. One would think the flesh would have a keener sense of self-preservation! :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Out With the Old; In With the New


Shoes, that is. :) My new running shoes arrived today, and although I tried them on and took them on a brief test flight, I am anxious for tomorrow, when I can try them out in a "real" workout. But, for today, my calves are still tight and sore, so I'm respecting my scheduled rest day. Perhaps I'm respecting it a tad too much, as my eating plan is falling apart. I had a friend over this morning, and his idea of breakfast is fried eggs and bacon. Luckily, I was able to shove most of my share off on the baby who, I tell myself, needs the fat for brain development, lol. Half a cup of oatmeal with blackberry fruit spread rounded off my breakfast. But. . . . I have fallen victim to a box of "new" snack cakes and homemade cookies gifted to me by a neighbor and very dear friend. She brought them for the children, who are NOT doing their part! Meanwhile, they have been sitting beside my computer and gradually disappearing. At any rate, I'm off to give my aunt a lift into town for garden supplies, and probably to round my lousy food day off with something quick (in other words, probably not good for me) for dinner. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beginning Week 2

I hate this computer some days. I was in the middle of a good post here, and then suddenly, it highlighted all my text, and of course, we all know what happened. With the next keystroke, it was all gone. And I cannot figure out a way to get it back. I can't even figure out why that sort of thing keeps happening! Grrr! And now, of course, the baby isn't going to allow me enough peace to try and get it back. Suffice it to say, w2d1 completed, with just a little more difficulty than week 1. Started the run with tight hamstrings, courtesy of too many hours in heels at Grandma Mary's funeral visitation yesterday, ended with (of course) cramped-up calves. I wonder how long that's going to last? Had a good chat this evening with my TOPS pal, Marca. We agreed that women are pretty much nuts. Doesn't matter how hard we work or how much we accomplish with our lives, if we're overweight, we consider ourselves failures. (I am fat and ugly, so I must be lazy and undisciplined, and therefore, I am worthless.) How ridiculous! Do we not believe that God sees the heart of man, and values us for far more than a number on a scale? We will allow that number on the scale to drive us, to the point that we'll do most anything to lower it, and often do as much damage to our health as simply being overweight does. When if we would allow a desire for a healthier lifestyle to drive us, such as fueling our bodies with good food and working out to increase our strength and abilities, the weight loss would follow, and we'd feel far better for it. Too often we're so desperate for the number to go down that instead of switching from fueling our bodies with bad food to good food, we switch from bad food to nearly NO food! Well, you don't expect your car to do better on no gas than bad gas, do you? Of course not! Our chapter seems to be in a bit of a rut, and we're thinking spring might be the perfect time to see if we can shake things up, work on a whole new attitude. Something to think on, anyway. I imagine we'll talk more on the subject. We're glad to be of a similar mindset, as it's hard enough to get rid of "stinkin thinkin" especially when it's a habit taught to us literally by all of society over the course of our entire lives. Perhaps the help of a friend will make it easier to remember what the goal is and what's REALLY important, here. Honoring the gift of our physical being by tending to it well, not fitting it into a certain size dress. And how much we are worth as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. How hard we work, and how much we DO get right, even on the days it seems most everything goes wrong. Marca is an amazing woman. She works hard every day to take care of her family and devotes considerable time and energy to volunteer work for causes she believes in. And all this in the face of her own physical challenges. I'm glad to know her and proud to call her my friend. Yet, if she's not careful, she will look at the number on the scale, or the one sewn into her jeans, and mentally toss all that aside, telling herself she's a failure and she just can't stick to anything, so why even try? Do you know someone who might be in the same boat? Tell her today--and tomorrow, and the next day--that you love her and think she's amazing! Maybe if we hear it often enough, we'll begin to believe.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reflection

Today seems to be a day for thought and reflection. Perfect, really, for a day I'd decided on for a yoga routine. :) I was considering earlier the circumstances that may have led to my lifelong hatred of running. I was never a terribly physical person. Tag, hide-and-go-seek, and the like were among my least-favored games. Even as a child, I prefered a leisurely walk through the woods, or an afternoon spent curled up with a compelling story. I also had (and still do) a fondness for food. These in combination have led to me spending my life, as far back as I can remember, overweight and out of shape. Being teased for being fat and slow, and not particularly good at physical games did nothing to encourage me to put down my books and play. And then came the culmination. 7th grade PE. Every morning of 7th grade, first period, we were to run 20-some-odd laps (what I'm told is about 1 mile). No easing into it, no walk breaks for those of us less-fit suckers. No rest days (unless you count weekends when we didn't have school). And all of this with a gym teacher who ran his jr. high PE classes as if he were still in Marine boot camp. Which meant those of us who were slow and struggling didn't get encouragement shouted at us, but rather insults! No wonder I learned to despise running, and to believe it was something I simply wasn't made to do. So, I spent the next 15 years or so making all the standard jokes about it (such as, if you see me running, you'd better keep up) and believing only crazy people could possibly ENJOY such torture! Then, I stumbled across dailymile.com. I registered as a walker at first, but I couldn't help being drawn in by the runners, and particularly intrigued by something they called C25K, short for Couch to 5K, a program designed to take the American couch potato, and get him/her running a distance of 5K, or 3.1 miles, in about 9 weeks. The program looked fairly simple: short bursts of running interspersed with walking a while to catch one's breath, with each week bringing the run time up and the walk time down. Now THIS looked like something I could do! The program (and every runner I've met) advocates rest days between running workouts, to allow the muscle tissue to rest and revitalize. Without rest days, I've learned, the body simply cannot get stronger, no matter how hard you work. Could this be why, in 9 months of running a mile every morning, it never got easier? (Ya think?) And then, there was the encouragement! Here, instead of being insulted for being slow, and unable to complete the distance without walking, there are cheers, pats on the back, and the reassurance that you will get stronger, and it will get easier. It doesn't matter what level you're at. The guy training for his tenth marathon will give you a thumbs-up for completing the first week of training, or for the first time you ran a half-mile without stopping. He'll treat your 5K like a major event, encourage you beforehand, wait anxiously afterward to hear how it went. He can whip out a 5K in under 20 minutes without breathing hard, but for you, it's a milestone, and he respects that, because he remembers when it was his milestone. There's also the pervasive attitude that slow mileage is better than no mileage, and that the victory isn't in acheiving a certain pace or distance for the day, but rather in getting your ass off the couch, lacing up your sneakers, and heading out the door. Thank you, my friends. I have never met any of you face-to-face, but you have made me believe in the impossible, and that is an incredible gift.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Farewell to Week 1

Week 1 of C25K is officially in the history books. Today's pace was the best of the week, and I've discovered something important regarding running mechanics. If you move more from the hip, less from the knee, it's not so painful on the calf muscles! Go me! Today's workout actually felt really good (aside from the fact that my calves are killing me), and I'm looking forward to moving on to Week 2 on Monday. But for tomorrow, yoga, no excuses. And for Sunday, a day of total rest. Then, my body should be ready to attack the more challenging runs of Week 2. :) I can feel a definite difference in my body already. Stronger, slimmer, more toned. Weighed in last night at TOPS with a loss of 2.5 pounds for the week, so I must be doing something right, lol! And with all this exercise, I KNOW anything coming off is not muscle!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed

Try, try again. So the saying goes, anyway. Due to several factors, as well as general discouragement, my last attempt at becoming a runner was a dismal failure. So, with spring comes the season of renewal (WHY do we make New Year's resolutions in January, again?) and the spirit of a fresh start. Today was day 2 of week 1, c25k style. Overall, I am finding the beginning easier this time around, so it heartens me to know that perhaps I did not lose ALL the ground I gained (just most of it, lol). For now, most of my training will take place indoors on the treadmill that I've recently managed to fix, well enough anyhow, but I've already mapped a 5k out-and-back route for the day I'm able to take to the roads. However, being the single parent of 4 small children makes daily outdoor training an obstacle to the dream. I have dealt, over the past few days, with a number of aches and pains, but I must believe it will be worth it in the end. :) Once again, I am spending considerable time on Amazon, drooling over stability running shoes, and I think I have my pair picked out. Now I just have to scrape out the 50 bucks. Why must this be so expensive? And then, I realize, if I ever make it to my eventual dream of running the St. Jude's Marathon (Half would make me very happy) in TN, it will get far MORE expensive! But for now, baby steps. I can train for a 5k in my regular old tennis shoes, at least at first. I hope to be ready by fall, and I think I even have one picked out. :) Wish me luck!