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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of 2013 Goals

I hope everyone ran their happy place or places in 2013.  I know I got to.  I know I achieved some big goals this year though not all of mine. I want to recap my goals for 2013 and report how I did.  It is accountability time!!  After I atone; I will set some new goals for 2014.

Run my first 1/2 Marathon - Yes I did this in February and I completed my second shaving off 5 minutes in November.

Run 1500 miles for the year. - This was more of a motivator for me.  I did not think I would run this since last year I did not even hit 1,000 miles.  I have done 1,115 to date. 

Run everyday - I did the spring and holiday running streaks and ran 335 days this year.  Basically unless I was sick or injured I ran. 

Strength train twice a week - Okay so if you have been reading this blog you know I blew this resolution big time!  I see strength training making a resolution come back in 2014.

Eliminate most TV (all pointless reality TV) - We changed our TV subscription to basic (hubby and I both see the need for this one.) -Over time we found out that we both need some mindless downtime and this is an affordable way to do it.  Plus hubby likes sports.  

Write more - always a passion.  I only recently rediscovered it writing this blog. -Success!! This blog and my word on water blog have helped me keep this resolution.

Eat more variety especially new grains - Success.  We subscribed to an organic produce service and I spent most of the year cooking new, healthy recipes with new ingredients.

Do more together - we can save $ on TV and spend it on actual experiences together - We have definitely done this and I hope to do even more.  We did not really travel this year but that let us do more local experiences.

Listen more talk less - I am by no means mute, but I think I have done better at this.  Ask hubby to see if that is just a misperception on my part.

Read more.  I have read about 6o books on 100 Books to read before you die I hope to read all of them, maybe not all this year. - I definitely read more between 25-30 new books this year.  Some really good ones too.

Cook more at home - See above.  2013 was definitely the year of healthy cooking for me.

Donate to charities I care about: Water related charities, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and animal related charities. - Yes I did this and I found a way to combine this with my favorite hobby: running.  Spoiler alert!!  Upcoming blog topic!!

Spend more time with the cats - We traveled less and ate at home more and the cats were also grateful we did not completely give up TV.  They love a warm lap and the Real House Wives of Atlanta: those girls are catty!!

Work as hard as I can at work and then leave it there and be fully in the moment at home.- I definitely made progress here.  Not perfect, but work is definitely fading into a more appropriate place in my life and that is behind my family and other passions.

Say yes to work projects I know I will enjoy and that will advance my field, and no to the time sucking activities that only frustrate me.- I would say not fully successful here. Guilt still nags a little when saying no.

Tell people in my life what they mean to me - Does anyone ever reach complete on this? I believe that is a way we should strive to live not a goal we cross off the list.  Still working on it everyday!

All in all 2013 was a pretty good year for us.  Sure we got robbed and hubby had to end his streak due to a foot injury.  We did not achieve every goal, but we have each other, our health, happiness, a roof over our heads, organic produce in the fridge and 6 cats who love us at least three times a day right before their meal times. 

Wishing y'all a Happy, Healthy 2014.  I will have some new goals and hopefully some fun on my way toward progress!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

My Women's Running magazine came in the mail this weekend.  I love this magazine and as I was reading it today while baking dozens of Christmas cookies.  Yes, I get the irony!  I saw this article about setting resolutions.  It is resolution setting time.  That being said the article had this kind of crazy suggestion. The author suggested that before we set our goals we spend a little time coming up with100 things we are grateful for / accomplishments we are proud of from 2013.  I was like really 100, hey why not a 1,000 I have nothing but time.  Never one to turn from a challenge I thought I would give it a try.  I don't think I will put down all 100.  I mean how self indulgent and you don't really care. Also it promised to lead you to Nirvana and all that inner peace, self esteem, and gratitude.  So here goes nothing.

1) Married to my best friend - that is a gratitude for me.  Ask anyone who knows us and they will say accomplishment for him to be married to me.
2) Jazzy -everyone should love as openly as this cat
3) Mo - I want to be that cool someday
4) Frankie - He is so smart he amazes me still even after having him for 15 years
5) Pablo - He still thinks I am actually his mommy even though he is 5 now and it has been years since I bottle fed him as a scared kitten
6) Georgia - I want to be as bold and adventurous as Georgia is.  I already frustrate her father as much as she does.
7) Lena - She has taught me patience and that earning love and respect makes you appreciate it more. It was not easy to earn Lena's trust 
8) My bills are paid
9) A comfortable bed
10) I learned to cook Kale
11) My health
12) Qualifying for the C group in Peachtree with my 5K time - never thought I could do that.
13) Sharing a hobby I love with the most important person in my life
14) My friend Laura - she knows why
15) Running my first half marathon - seriously 3 years ago I could not run 1/4 of a mile
16) Our subscription to Nature's Garden - organic produce
17) My job
18) Clean water
19) Being recognized by my peers at work with two awards this year.
20) Read 20 really good books
21) Ran a second half marathon and got a PR - missed my goal by a minute.
22) Conquered my fear of the track - even placed third in my AG at the race
23) Ran a sub 8 minute mile
24) Got up at 4 AM at least 4 days a week most weeks and ran
25) Completed the Holiday running streak
26) Completed the spring running streak
27) Laughter
28) Having a treadmill - felt like it rained everyday this year!
29) Got a new PR at many races this year
30) Finished 3rd in my AG for the ATC Grand Prix Season
31) Cooked several times a week most weeks
32) Got a project that I have been working on at work for a year is going through
33) Helped my family when they lost their car and had medical issues
34) My cats health insurance since Frankie, Mo and Jazzy all had medical issues.
35) Silver Comet Trail
36) The Greenway
37) Atlanta's Beltline
38) Cochran Shoals Park
39) Running
40) Having health insurance
41) Paid vacation days
42) Sunny Days - really missed them this year!
43) Cold shower after a morning run!
44) My 15 year anniversary (together 21 years)
45) Working with other professionals
46) My friend Becky - she makes me take myself less seriously.
47) My sister for taking on the primary responsibility for my mother's health care
48) Cobb Police- they were amazing after we were robbed.
49) State Farm Insurance - same as above
50) Running shoes 
51) Learned all kinds of new recipes
52) Did better at finding balance.
53) Said no to some things that took me away from my husband and got in the way of running. - That is a huge accomplishment for me.

I think that is enough for this post!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday!  I will be following up on my goals for this year and setting some new ones.  I will be taking some time with my husband!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Is Nature Conspiring Against Runners?

I know I have been MIA lately but with holiday hub bub and work has been CRAZY just getting my actual runs in has been challenging enough.   I have not been getting to my blog.  Add doing better on that to next year's resolutions along with deciding on our race schedule and oh yeah strength training!

So I have been busy and I am really glad I decided to do the Runner's World Running Streak or seriously I would have blown off running, a bad idea at this time of the year.  Two work holiday parties this week and 2 holiday lunches with friends; I have to double my mileage this week.  What is it about committing to something like a running streak that assures the wrath of Mother Nature?  I mean really.  The running streak started on Thanksgiving.  For me a day before, but that is beside the point.  Immediately Atlanta had the coldest Thanksgiving in over 100 years.  Really?  The cold is not that big a deal.  I have learned how to dress for it and purchased the right clothes.  What I do not enjoy is that it started raining the Saturday after Thanksgiving and  I mean come on.  I don't mind the occasional run in rain and wet feet, but after a week I felt like a duck.  The last two weeks our treadmill fully recovered from the case of neglect it was suffering.  I was so grateful that today it wasn't raining I hardly noticed it was in the 3o's with a wind chill in the 20s.

I am happy to report I am still just running for fun no timing apps or watches.  I just run with hubby and visit or I play my music and enjoy myself.  It has been a nice break.  Just running to stay healthy and doing at least one mile a day.  So far so good.  Day 19 today with a 5 1/2  miler on Silver Comet.  The weather kept most folks off the trail so hubby and I had it pretty much to ourselves.  One more week of work than a two week vacation.  I can't wait.  I am almost there.  I am not scheduled to work late everyday this week, so I hope I will do better about blogging this week.  Almost time to wrap up the resolutions, pay the piper and set new goals!  Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

End of Race Season For Us

Today was the 1 mile prediction run and ATC season wrap up breakfast and awards presentation.  Let's just say we aren't that great at predicting our time. said 8:30 and finished in 8:09.  Oh well!  I kind of knew it. Hubby was pacing us after he pointed out that I ran too fast last year and messed up the  prediction.  As soon as the run started he took off like a jack rabbit...excuse me who is too fast and throwing off our pace? This also officially the end of our races for the year.  With the big changes to ATC we don't have as many set races next year so we will be taking some time to see which local races we might want to try.  We did decide since there is no Grand Prix series with ATC next year we are probably not going to run Resolution Run on News Years Day like we have been.  The course is not that attractive and we can just go out and run on our own. 

We did decide to renew our ATC membership.  I think they are in a time of transition and I hope they will find their way to continue their mission of encouraging health through running, and balance it with their desire to accommodate a growing membership.  At least right now we are willing to see if they can.  There are some races we love and we have friends there and we enjoy being a part of it.

Today was fun.  Hubby and I both received the Bunny Award for running every race of the Grand Prix season.  For hubby who had a major foot injury for the last three races (also the longest of the season) he really earned that award.  I still don't know how he did it.  Out of their more than 20,000 members there were 5 women and 10 men who did that.

I also got third place in my age group for the season.  So I am proud of that.  This was a really good season for me, where I saw my hard work really result in better running.  Not just more PRs and brand new race distances, but feeling better and finding running and racing fun.  I look forward to getting back at racing, but for now hubby and I are both doing the holiday running streak and I am happy to just focus on the run and the fun of having my best friend to run with me and push me to be better.  I would never have gotten the Bunny Award (or known what it was) or my 3rd place AG Award without my husband.  We have two weeks off coming up from before Christmas to New Years so we plan to run and relax and visit some of our favorite local places. I also promised hubby we would go ice skating something he has wanted to do every holiday.  I hope I don't break my leg.   I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  I know running has really helped me handle holiday stress.  I hope it is the same for you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

We Interrupt This Running Blog...

Today we interrupt this running blog to recognize the passing of the greatest leader I will probably ever see in my lifetime.  There are few if any people who will come to the end of their life having left the impact that Nelson Mandela left on his country and the world.  He was strong in the face of violence and oppression and forgiving, humble, and generous when power rested in his hands.

He held the ideal of a nation that became the ideal of the world.  He truly believed in walking in the compassion he sought fruitlessly in the early days of Apartheid.  When the tables were turned, instead of seeking vengeance he sought understanding and peace. 

The world is a sadder place without him, but an infinitely better place because of him.  I wish you peace as you transition and I hope you watch your country unite as you always hoped, and in their mutual grief may they find the humble strength to carry forward the legacy you beagn.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Technology Break - Running Streak

I was taking pics of hubby after our freezing Thanksgiving Run and snapped this shadow shot of me

Took a little break from blogging over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Just wanted to take a little break from technology actually.  Decided a little time connecting with my real husband and getting out and about would be good for the soul.  It has been and it has sparked my holiday plan.
I am actually not really training for anything, except of course a healthy life.  No goal race, in fact hubby and I don't really have a race on the schedule until Heart and Sole 5K in February.  I had been going back and forth about the Holiday Running Streak.  I did the spring streak and the holiday streak last year.  It is a good way to stay mindful during the holidays.  Hard to overindulge if you know you have to get out there and run, not waddle, at least a mile. 
As well as doing the streak I decided that though I love technology and I have gone on about how I love ISmooth Run, I have decided my streak will also be a running technology break.  I won't be listening for my splits or pace or distance.  Brace yourself, I am just going to run and listen to my body.  I will run as fast or slow and as short or far as I feel like running.  I will enjoy the Christmas lights that brighten my pre-dawn holiday runs and the good company of my husband.  Mostly I will just run for fun and kind of end the year just enjoying running. Not getting in my head and wondering why today I was slower than yesterday or telling myself  I have to get that extra 1/4 mile or I won't hit my weekly mileage. 
I am officially on day four of my RW Holiday Technology Detox Running Streak.  I look forward  to getting to know once again the simple pleasure of running to run. 
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and celebrated with those closest to them.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Week in Review

It has been a mixed bag this week.  I am not training for anything in particular and I have been doing a lot of running by feel without any apps or tracking.  That has been nice.  I forgot how nice it could be to run without something reminding me that I could run faster or I should slow down.  I am sure I will refocus on some particular race goals but I think for the holiday season I will just focus on running for fun.  That can be a very valid reason to run too!

So this week I did really well on food.  I cooked a lot and we had a lot of new recipes including a delicious balsamic roasted butternut squash.  Thanks Food Network!  Oh yeah I might be addicted to Food Network.  That is a discussion for another day. 

Running went well.  Lots of running by feel.  I did not get my long run in because the end of the week posed some unexpected challenges.  Mainly I pulled a back muscle Friday trying to get into a parking garage all torn up by Downtown Atlanta construction.  Fortunately, my run Friday was already done.  By Saturday my back felt better but I had a slight stomach virus.  I thought I would feel better if I ran.  I did run 3 miles.  I did not feel better.  Today  I felt better but the pulled muscle and stomach virus combined with not eating yesterday made a longer run today a little out of reach.  Instead we headed to Cochran Shoals and did a 5K along the Chattahoochee River.  Temps were in the 30s so it was brisk.  I ended the week with 19 miles. 

So strength training and I were on a first name basis this week.  I had in two nice sessions in the afternoon after work.  One on Tuesday and one on Thursday. I was all set to do one more like my 3 time a week a goal but... see pulled muscle and stomach virus.  At least I got out there and did something this weekend.  Also got some of my pics from Soldier's Half.  Love the photos of hubby running me in to the finish.  Especially this one where he is literally pushing me through!

I only have two days of work this week.  Hubby and I are firm believers in no consumerism on Black Friday so we plan to hike the 6 mile trail at Red Top Mountain State Park instead of mall walking.  We love it there.  No turkey trot run for us on Thanksgiving we will do our own run.  I am hoping to get some good workouts in with a little down time.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goal Setting

I was pretty focused on my half marathon training and this week I took it easy with a low mileage week of pretty easy running.  The holidays are upon us and of course I have to decide if I am going to do the Runner's World Holiday running streak.  I did it last year and I did the spring streak.  They can be motivating when I am not training for anything. 

Now that my half is over and I am at a racing crossroads with the dramatic shift in direction of the Atlanta Track Club I guess this year will be a chance to try new races.  I definitely think I would like to do two halfs again next year. That number seems about right for me financially and physically.  I am not sure which ones, though I suspect the fall will be the Silver Comet Half since it is right down the road.

I am not ready to set goals for next year especially since I am still working on the ones I set for this year with mixed success.  I do need to refocus now that the half is behind me.  I have a few short term goals.

Strength Training - 3 times a week.  I have to get serious about this.  I have the equipment I just need to suck it up buttercup and get at it.

Eating - I need to enjoy the fresh organic produce we get each week and continue new and healthy recipes and cooking at home and bringing my own lunches to work.  I feel so much better when I eat fresh health food.

Decide on the running streak.  Either I need to do it or I need to recommit to 6 day a week running.  For me consistency is the key.

Add back in a middle - long distance weekend run. 

For now that seems doable. The strength training is probably the most challenging. 

Hope you are reaching your goals!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Do It!

I have been travelling, first for the Soldier's half, then back one day and off for a work related trip.  Came back today.  I did not feel like running this AM.  I am sick of travelling, tired, and had another long day of meetings and activities.  I set my alarm anyway and I went to the tiny fitness room and found the only treadmill.  I said to myself just do a mile and then you can quit. 

If you run, you know what happened. After a mile I felt less tired, and frustrated about travel and even though non-runners don't get it.  I had more energy and I pushed through to get my 3 miles in this morning.  Tomorrow temps will still be in the 20s here and I have my cold weather gear out.  I have a long night of work tomorrow with an evening event that will last until around 9PM.  I know running in the morning will make my day more bearable.  So I plan to enjoy my first run in the 20s tomorrow.  I actually enjoy running in the cold after the first 5 minutes.  In those first minutes I am usually saying to myself "are you crazy it is freezing!  Your bead was so warm!"

Does running recharge you?  I find that most of the time if I just get started I will end up feeling good and it will actually make me feel better. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Soldier's Half PR and Just Missed the Goal!

Yesterday was the Soldier's Half in Columbus Georgia.  It was my second half marathon and it was my first out of town race.  I learned a lot and had a great time!  First let me say overall what a cool race experience.  The course takes you right into and all around Fort Benning for7 miles. First of all when will I ever get on an air force base, let alone one lined with uniformed soldiers cheering you on and getting a chance to thank them.  Also you start and end the race running down the Avenue of Flags.  Seriously!  The only real hills on the course are in Fort Benning and they are lined with Drill Sergeants yelling at you.  It was just one of those races. I will admit that I crossed the road a couple of times to high five some soldiers and I was caught up in enjoying the experience, instead of focusing on pace.  The rest of the course was beautiful around the River Walk.  It is a nice course mostly flat except for two big hills in Fort Benning and rolling hills through the River Walk and golf course.  They have so many amenities.  Port-a-potties every 1-2 miles, lots of gels, water, Gatorade, and PowerAde.  What they did not have enough of was volunteers at the stations.  There was a wait for water and electrolytes at every stop.  So I lost a little time, but felt like it was better to wait a bit and keep my hydration consistent. 

The Good about the race and the trip:

Chip Time 2:01:31 - 92 seconds off my goal, but a PR by almost 4 minutes. 
Felt great.  My first half I was really feeling it at mile 10 for the rest of the race.  This time I felt great the whole time.  When I saw hubby at mile 12 to run me in I was like wow already 12 miles. That proved my training with more long runs paid off.

I had packed correctly and my belt, fuel, clothing choices, and technology all worked and were comfortable.

My first half was slower than my last half. That was a goal or me to hold back and leave some in the tank.

Hubby running in the last mile with me.  They tried to give him a medal, but he would not take it.  I knew he wouldn't that is not how he rolls.

Nice race swag.  We got a cute fitted women's shirt which I love and a cool bag.  Love the medal Dog Tags.

Cool vibe with 2,000 runners from 38 states. 

Inspiring to see the folks who ran for a fallen soldier.

The hotel we stayed at was across the street from the Infantry Museum the start and finish.  No parking stress, no logistic stress, and hubby could wait at the hotel in warmth and comfort for me.

Fun day after that walking the Columbus River Walk with hubby and watching the Chattahoochee River Games. 

The Bad or what I learned

The hotel was convenient to the race, but in a bad part of town with nowhere to get a decent dinner the night before.  We ended up stressed, late, and eating microwave pasta in the hotel. Not my ideal pre-race scenario.

A little disorganized.  We may be spoiled by ATC, but number pick up the night before  was chaos.  The volunteers did not know how to route participants and they did not have all the stuff  in one area.  As a result I was not routed to pick up the commemorative painted poster.  A bummer we were going to hang it in our office.  At least we made it to pick up my packet.  They advertised pick up until 7:30 but actually closed it at 7 PM.  In search of dinner that night, we saw a lot of angry folks standing at the closed Infantry Museum.

It was cold at the start, but after 2 miles everything was great. 

I started too far back in my desire to hold back my pace. I got caught in the crowd and spent the whole first mile trying to get out.  My pace that mile was 10:30 about a minute slower than I planned.

Not enough volunteers and the aid stations meant we had to wait.

Confusion with the 5K runners that delayed the start of the half.

Columbus is a pretty depressed area of the state and it was a little sad driving around there.

As cool as it was to run around Fort Benning you could not help but notice how young these soldiers were and think about all the wars still going on and what might happen.  Especially when the young families were out at the base cheering for you.

Lastly, hubby still has not agreed to run a half with me but I will continue to work on him. 

For now kind of glad to not be doing any special event races.  Just want to enjoy running with hubby.  Back to our regular 3 milers and 5-7 mile weekend long run. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Disappointing Shift in Focus

On the Banks of the Chattahoochee River after our run today.
No the shift in focus is not mine.  I remain focused on running because of health, fitness, and fun.  I was disappointed to receive my monthly Newsletter from Atlanta Track Club.  Atlanta Track Club is the second largest track club in the US, right behind the New York City Road Runners.  Atlanta is a town that loves to run and as you can see from the pics I post, it has tons of great places to run all over the metropolitan area.  The ATC has always had as a focus to increase health and fitness in Atlanta through running and walking.  One of the ways they did this was through a series of 13 races throughout the year called the Grand Prix Series.  Most were free races and came with your annual membership.  This is the series that hubby and I will get our Bunny Awards for this year and I will place 3rd in my AG in December at the annual awards breakfast. 

The great things about the Grand Prix series were it was affordable, only a few of the races were additional paid entry fees with a shirt.  You always had a race coming up to keep you motivated.  They took place all over metro Atlanta (a 16 county region) and they had the AG awards and the Bunny Awards.  Most of the races were low key and they really were accessible to all level of runners, giving everyone that feeling of crossing the finish line.  In the newsletter they announced that the Grand Prix series has been discontinued.  They will focus instead on a 7 race competitive series and they will award the top male and female, top masters male and female, and top grand master male and female.  To be considered in the series you have to at least win in one of these positions in one of the races.  They also eliminated most of the free races so now you pay your membership fee and the race entry fee.

I can see needing to recoup costs. I am sure those of us in the grand prix series would pay a smaller entry fee of $10 or $15 for some of the other races.  I also see this as an overall change in focus.  My husband and I are probably front mid pack runners.  We are dedicated members and really ambassadors for ATC.  I got 10 people in my office to join this year.  Now it appears ATC only wants the competitive runners.  They have cut the course open times for their races.  Not a big deal to us, we are well below them, but a big deal to those just getting out there trying to get in shape.  It does not seem these changes are consistent with encouraging fitness in Atlanta through walking and running.  Seems more like we want to be an elitist track club and we have no  intention or  time to waste on amateur runners just out enjoying the sport of running.

Hubby and I are of the glass half full sort.  We don't know that we will rejoin ATC next year.  They don't seem to want us there.  On the Brightside. Atlanta is a city that runs.  There are races every weekend and many cool new courses that we missed being dedicated to the ATC season.  So we will get to experience new courses and new races.  I am sad we did not know earlier in the season.  Some of my favorite races were cut and I would have savored those races a little more if I knew I was never going to run over the meadows with the sun rising over the north Georgia Mountain during the Cartersville 10K again.  Oh well there will be new opportunities.  I just hope ATC doesn't regret this change in direction, and I hope those who were going to start out running or walking  know there are plenty of races happy to have everyone who wants to participate, competitive or not!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pictures from Today's Run

Today's run was the last 5 miler before the Soldier's Half a week from today!  I can't believe it is here.  My legs felt great this week because I have been consciously slowing down and backed off the mileage.  I feel well trained so I decided fresh legs was important. 

Today's run was awesome because hubby was back and able to run with me.  For the first time in two months we headed out of the hood to run downtown at the Beltline.  We love running there because it is lined with public art, packed with people, and built along a riparian wetland corridor park.  All of our interests converging.  I have missed running with Dung where we were just out enjoying it.  Today was one of those just taking it easy, talking, laughing and taking some pics.  Hope you enjoy!

View from Old Fourth Ward Park from the Beltline

A Yarn Art Display using kids toys
Hubby at the EVEREMAN installation before Piedmont Park

Jamming on the Musical Art Installation made out of Bik Racks

Hubby in the Four Seasons Zen Garden



Sunday, October 27, 2013

What Happens Happens Don't Lose the Joy

So I completed my last 10mile training run today.  I will be cutting back to running 5 days a week about 3 miles.  May do 4 or 5 next weekend depending on how I feel.  I want to have fresh legs as I go into the Soldier's Half a week from next Saturday.  I feel prepared.  I have trained for this half more than my first.  I have done more long runs and increased my pace, strength training, and speed work.  I feel like I have done everything I can.  What happens race day happens.  Either way I will be happy and proud of myself.  I know the training has made me a better overall runner.  If that doesn't show up in one race so be it.  I will commit to have fun no matter what.  I am running for a good cause the Fallen Soldiers Charity, and hubby and I are celebrating our 15 year Anniversary that weekend.  We will be combining racing and enjoying Columbus and the suite I booked for us, coincidentally right across the street from the number pick up and starting line. 

There are so many things you can't control for on race day.  Maybe you aren't 100%, maybe the weather sucks.  I am 100% sure that I can control for my attitude and I can enjoy the race I have worked hard for even if I don't make my sub 2 hour goal.  No one can take away the hard work and the benefits of the hard work on my running. 

I am also proud because this half is all me.  It is a reflection of my training. My first half hubby helped so much, because he toughed out 8 mile training runs with me and I only had to do my two longest runs on my own.  This time with his nagging foot injury, I had no one but me to depend on.  It was all on me to stick with the commitment and go out the door and say "today I am running 12, see you in a few hours."  I am proud that I did it. 

I thought about that today as I was running my 10 miles. I focused on an easy effort run today.  Goal was to run what you feel comfortable running and be able to breathe mouth closed.  I thought that should be 10minute mile. It was about a nine minute mile for the first 5miles then about 8:30.  As I passed the .3 mile marker on my way back to the zero mile where I was parked, I remember the first time I saw my husband while he was on a run after work and I was on a run after work. I ran from the 2.6 mile marker back toward zero and he ran from zero toward the 2.6.  That was also the first run I ever ran more than 3 miles.  I also remember hubby passing me saying "you looked so good I did not know it was you."  He has been there for me, cheering me on the whole way.  Even though he could not train with me I am so grateful to him.  I remembered that support today when I was nearly done.  I know he has been frustrated with this foot injury, but I know he will be back to full strength and I will be done with my half and we can go back to our regular runs. Of course I will continue to push him into one long run a weekend, but no 10 milers I promised. 

Who pushes you even when they aren't there physically?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Milestones and Benchmarks

I started running in March of 2011 because my husband asked me to do a 5K with him as a birthday gift.  Originally I had two thoughts. First, score the race entry is only $30.00 bucks this is an affordable gift!  Second thought was if I don't actually die running 3 miles I will never have to do this again.  Ha,ha,ha!  Since most of the folks who read this are runners or want to be runners or used to be runners, you know what happened.  I crossed the finish line at that first race, admittedly an affordable birthday present, but not the last time I would do that.  Spoiler alert: I also did not die.  This blog is not written from beyond the grave.  Instead I felt proud.  Proud that I made it 3 miles, proud I wasn't last (though nothing wrong with being last, you are running circles around the person on the couch watching the countdown clock for the return of Twinkies to the market place), I did not end the race in an ambulance, most surprisingly, I ran almost all of it.  Only walked the hills.  For this bookworm, former 20 minute miler on the Presidential Fitness test the biggest revelation is I loved it.  I loved, dare I say it...running.  When the heck did that happen? 

Yesterday Atlanta Track Club announced that due to a venue scheduling problem they were cancelling the last race of the season the Fall Distance on November 2, 2013, the week before my half.  This meant that the Grand Prix season was over and they would be finalizing standings.  I can say this, probably only here, but I was excited because I finished 3rd in my age group for the season.  I knew I had been running well.  Set PRs for distance and courses pretty consistently this year.  I am 44 and supposed to be above all of this; I mean running is about being your best self that day and I believe that.  It also did not stop me from being excited about the hard work I put in building up my endurance and speed and how happy I was to see it pay off.  Also I move to a new AG next season and a couple of girls would need to quit ATC or running all together for this to happen again, so I will enjoy it. 

Looking back over where I was in 2011 and where I am now I can see the hard work and effort paying off.  Not just in the very self-congratulatory way I just announced, but in the way I feel when I run, the way my body responds, etc.  It really has been a rewarding experience even without any actual rewards.  I also can see the difference in my body.  After work today I am heading to have a bunch of my work clothes altered because they are too big.  I never thought that would be the case, but I am now at the point where I have to decide between small and extra-small.  That is another example of where I have been and how far I have come.  Sometimes when you are in the middle of something it is hard to evaluate how far you have come.  Reflecting back can be a good motivator to continue on the journey.  A great way to look back is to visit Athlinks website.  They have the whole history of your races.  It is kind of cool to look back and remember where you were and see your improvement.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are Your Friends Runners?

As I walked into my laundry room this weekend I had only one thought.  "Well no doubt we're runners."  One smell of that room with the running shoes and a weeks worth of running clothes nicely fermented and all opportunities to nonchalantly shrug off, "oh run, yeah we run occasionally."  It got me to thinking even if your friends don't discuss their PRs and measure their weekends in miles logged and paces achieved.  Even if they prefer to go to a new city and still think driving is the best way to get to know the place, are there telltale signs that beat like Poe's heart beneath the piles of laundry or the closed office door.  Are there things unique about runner's homes that give away that they run?  Is there an athletic equivalent to going through their medicine cabinet?

I thought what makes a dead give away a runner lives here.  Here are 10. 

1. Carpet is made out of recycled race bids, come on we're an eco-friendly group.
2. There are medals hanging from the chandelier instead of crystals.  Who ever earned a crystal?.
3. What you assumed was a family photo is actually a picture of Steve Prefontaine.
4. There is a tic mark chart tracking how many glasses of water consumed that day.
5. You ask to borrow a cute pair of shoes and they ask stability or motion control?
6. You accidentally use their body glide instead of your deodorant when getting ready in the guest bathroom.
7. Most of the keys in the house are not on a key ring so they can be slipped easily in a belt.
8. For Halloween they have a bowl full of honey stingers and sports beans.
9. Instead of a conversion from grams to ounces they have a chart converting Kilometers to Miles on their fridge.
10.They know that it is exactly .06 K from the master bedroom to the laundry room, at least if their Garmin is working correctly. 

Add your own!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week in Review

So not a stellar week for workouts to much living not enough running.  Work has been super crazy and I took a good friend, who has been having some challenges, to a concert to celebrate her birthday Thursday night leaving me tired on Friday so I took an unscheduled rest day.  Overall eating and hydration was good.  Mileage pretty low, but maybe that means I will have fresher legs next week for my last 10 miler before the half. 

The weekly Overview

Mon - Rest Day -I was really feeling the 13 miler from Sunday so I took a rest day.
Tues - Felt great Ran 3.1 miles at 4:30 AM finished with planks (sneaking in a little strength training)
Wednesday - 3.1 mile AM run no strength training
Thursday - 3.1 mile AM run - finished with push ups, planks, bridges and leg lifts
Friday - Unscheduled rest day
Saturday - Haunted Hustle 5K - PR for the course, but not the distance. I am not that fast on trails.  I always err on the side of I am naturally clumsy so I should slow down!  Strength training push ups, scissors, bridges, planks, plies, and sit ups.

I plan an easy slow 6 tomorrow.  Just to get in an hour of running this week.  Hoping for a less stressful work week and finishing my last 10 miler next week before the half.  

Also got our Flipbelts in the mail and used it in the race today.  Love it.  It is so comfortable and nothing moves.  My sports beans are going to fit great along with my IPhone.  Also the Yurbuds are working great compared to my Skull Candy so I feel like all my stuff is ready for the half.  I am especially excited about the Flipbelt since I still have the irritating rash on my side that my Nathan's belt caused on my 13 miler.  

Hope everyone had a great week and had fun if you were racing this weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Running Stuff

This morning I was out running and, as unusual as it is, a fellow runner was running up my street.  It is only unusual because it was the start of my run which meant it was a little before 4:30 AM. I saw this runner way down the street he had on a head lamp and reflective vest.  I thought can't miss him.  Then I saw my little flower shaped LED reflector clipped to the bottom of my white tech shirt. 

When I got home hubby asked me how my run was.  I told him I saw another runner and he had a head lamp.  He asked me if it was our friend Mitch, who also runs a part of my route.  I laughed and said not with a head lamp. Mitch is very old school.  Running shorts, singlet, shoes and maybe GPS watch.  He is not into gadgets and extras.  I thought about getting ready to run every morning I have my Road ID, my Iphone with Rock My Run and I Smooth apps running, Yurbuds, a Nathan's belt, my water bottle that gets left at home.  Don't forget Bodyglide, the 6 shoes I have in rotation, countless tech shirts, sports bras, running skirts, shorts, tights, and capris, and a running hat.  I spent a part of Monday ordering flipbelts for hubby and I, so we can better carry our running stuff!  I almost forgot what I used to spend money on before I started running.  I am sure I had something.  Then of course there is the Nuun, sports beans, honey stingers, etc.  It occurred to me that runners might embody that old George Carlin bit about stuff and buying stuff for your stuff and a place especially to store your stuff so you can get more stuff. 

I am pretty sure I can run with less.  I have.  I actually enjoy running naked, but hubby feels better when I have ID and a phone at 4:30 in the morning.  I know before I started running I always rolled my eyes when hubby came home from the running store with another pair of shoes or a new must have gadget.  I mean how many pairs of running shoes do you need?  Right! I know I am sure I still owe him an apology. 

Do you have a lot of running stuff?  What can't you live without?  For me Bodyglide!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Soldiers Half Training Run

Just happy to be done!
Today was my last over 12 mile run in preparation for Soldier's Half Marathon on November 9th.  It was a lot hotter than I expected this time of year, which is crazy optimistic because I have lived in Atlanta long enough to know I should not be surprised.  I left later than I planned too.  Not an ideal start.  I did have my new over the ear Yurbuds and I had downloaded my music from Rock My Run on my phone so it did not cut out like when I was live streaming it.  This was the first race where I wasn't constantly fighting my ear buds and losing music. That was nice.  The first 10 miles felt good but I was a little ahead of my planned easy pace.  Also I did not bring water because Silver Comet has nicely spaced restrooms with water fountains.

I think it was a little hotter than I realized.  I skipped the mid-run water out and back and I was really feeling it around mile 11.  I pushed through and made a note to make sure to hydrate better during the half.  Silver Comet was packed today.  Lots of folks out riding, skating, biking or just walking with their families.  I realized today what a great asset this is in our area.  It is built along an old railroad and runs for 61miles.  It is totally free.  It has restrooms, water fountains,  benches, and picnic tables.  With hubby's injury it means I have done most of my long runs on my own and close to home.  With Silver Comet there is no traffic, it is safe and family friendly.  It is shaded and easy to run any distance you want to run.

For the rest of my training it will be my normal weekly morning runs and on my weekends:

Next weekend I have a 5K on Saturday and Sunday I plan on a 6-7 mile easy recovery run.

The next weekend will be my last double digit run probably a 10 miler, easy pace and a shorter run the other day.

The weekend before Soldiers Saturday I have a 5 mile race and then will be taking it easy with slow short runs until the half. 

I am looking forward to the race.  Hope your training is going well too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting Motivated for Strength Training

So getting up 4AM and running is not hard for me.  I am pretty consistent and I feel goo d afterwards.  Even today with a tight calf, I still could get into it.  I called it quits at 2 miles because I did not want to injure it because I need to do a long run this weekend.  Soldier's Half is fast approaching. I need a few more double digit training runs.  I joined this health and fitness challenge at work, since I am on the wellness committee and we are sponsoring it.  I had to pick a goal.  I could have said "I am going to start running or I am going to run a half marathon, but I thought we should choose a real goal something we really need to improve.  I chose I am a runner who needs to incorporate more strength training. 

This leads me to my blog post.  I such at strength training.  I am inconsistent; I get bored.  I totally lack my laser like focus in this area.  Hubby even redesigned our extra room to give us a perfect area for strength training.  I have not used it yet.  I have been doing my planks and I incorporated some push ups yesterday.  Is there a good program that I can fit in with my running?  How does everyone fit in strength training?  I read about my friends doing it all the time but I don't seem to be able to get it done.  So that is my confession and plea to hold me accountable. I suck at strength training and I told everyone at work I was going to get better?

How do you stay motivated to strength train? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Feeling Like Myself

I finally feel like I am back in the groove.  The run this am was great.  It was in the 50's and beginning to feel like fall.  I had been dreading this run because I have been so tired and felt so out of sorts.  I am such a creature of habit (especially my healthy ones).  Now that I am back and I am eating fresh whole food and drinking water regularly and getting some sleep it sort of all came back together.  I love those effortless runs where you feel like you could run forever.  Also it never ceases to amaze me the difference I feel when I run.  I have been so tired and yesterday, a rainy morning meant sleeping in and a rest day.  I felt like I was dragging all day.  This morning back up at 4am and I am more focused and have more energy.  I don't know if this is something anyone can explain to someone starting out to live healthier.  It changes your whole perspective on what you thought was healthy.

I am back at trying for 6 running days a week, adding back in my planks and some strength training.  My half is a month away!!  I hope to get in a nice long run this weekend.  On the flip side hubby has still been struggling with his injury and I know he has not been feeling like himself. Just like the feeling good snowballs, I think so do the effects of missing out on your regular exercise routine. I know it has been hard for him, and every time he feels like he is making progress he feels like he takes  two steps back.  I hope he is able to get back to his running soon. I know he loves it and before I started running I would have looked at this like a break, but now I realize it is kind of torture, especially because I can run and he wants to join me so badly. 

What do you do to take your mind off running or to get some physical exercise when sidelined with an injury?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What a Difference a Week Makes

I have been out of pocket and technology since we were robbed. I have missed blogging, but I have missed following all of my blogger friends more.  Well I am back in technology.  Went with a Microsoft Surface Tablet, because  I think it is more practical for my work and home life.  Now I can blog on my lunch hour!  How about that!

This week was tough and not one I am terribly proud of and I was definitely paying a price for it on my runs this weekend.  First let me say Vegas, without a car trapped at a casino, is not a health conscience mecca!  I had to search high and low for veggies and forget my healthy snacks of fruit.  Diet not great.  Also sleep was an old lost friend.  I have been in the conservation game for a while, so at the biggest conservation and efficiency conference of the year I have one or two colleagues to catch up with, most in the bar or over some meal.  Also we had to see something in Vegas right?  So a 9:30 David Copperfield show at MGM Grand it was.  May not sound late, but when we got back to our hotel it was 1AM or for the east coast girl 4 AM.  That is when I usually get up to run.  So you might imagine I am an early to bed kind of girl.  Body still on east coast time wants to get up at the crack of dawn.  I was punch drunk tired by Thursday. 

The schedule for me with meetings and sessions was jam packed.  Early AM starts and late night events.  I only got in two days on the treadmill.  Also I love all of my friends and colleagues, but by nature I am more introverted, so this constant stream of activity and socializing is really a big effort for me.  The great, passionate people in the field make it easier, but still going against my grain. 

How does all of this come  out in the wash.  Two tough runs this weekend.  I was jet lagged, dehydrated from the desert and lack of time to properly hydrate, poor food choices, and no sleep.  I have been feeling really strong training but yesterday's 10 K was a struggle and a 3 miler today at the pace I have been doing my 12 mile runs felt hard and I had a bad a side stitch. 

I am back on the program.  I will be cooking healthy meals with fresh ingredients, I started back on my regular water regime and I hope to be feeling like myself by my long run this weekend. Rainy morning tomorrow is going to give me a much needed rest day.  It is amazing what one week of less than ideal health choices can do.  I guess I forgot that I used to make these all the time, now that I know how much better I feel I hope I can always remember that and try to focus on it.

Hope you all have been having a better, more successful training week.  I am back at it this week and glad to be back home.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What a Week - OMG

So I have been MIA this week and I apologize, but to say we had a lot going on is an understatement.  From last blog, a week ago, you will remember we were dealing with some family health issues.  Those seem to be getting a little better.  Flash forward to Monday.  I am on my way to a meeting at an elementary school to help an eagle scout candidate with an irrigation project.  Hubby calls.  I knew immediately something was wrong.  We are the couple that run together, but we are not the couple that call each other at work.  I mean I am at work!

I answer and hear "you have to come home now." 

Me: "You know I have a late meeting tonight."
Him: "You need to come home now we have an emergency."
Me annoyed: "What?
Him: "We were robbed I have the police here."
Me not so annoyed anymore: "I am on my way."

That is when I got the story from hubby.  He came home from school and saw Mo, our 13 year old Maine Coon, looking scared and confused and sitting on our welcome mat.  All 6 of our cats are indoor only.  He thought did we forget to shut the door.  That is when he noticed the french doors were standing open and our front door had been kicked in. 

All of our electronics were stolen and when he called me he said "all the cats are out.  I got Mo, Frankie, Georgia and Pablo but Jazzy and Lena are gone."  It is funny how moments like these really clarify what is and is not important.  Lena and Jazzy important!  TVs, laptops, tablets, not important!  By the time I got home he had located all the kitties.  They were scared but safe. 

I have to say the police were great and super responsive our insurance carrier was really fast.  Our landlord is having the door replaced tomorrow a friend brought over a TV for us to use.  Amidst all the trauma and stress we have been reminded of how lucky we are.  In one clarifying moment we learned what really matters.

So for those who read the blog you know I run pre-dawn from home.  You may ask do I still do that?  The answer is yes.  I did it Tuesday morning, and the rest of the week.  Some may ask why?  I did it because I define me and I decide what I do, not some slimey thieves who would rather take someone elses hard earned possessions than work for their own.

On the running front I am proud to say I kept up my workout schedule.  I did a hill workout today for speed work. Tomorrow is a 10-12 miler on tap we will see how I feel. 

Next week I will still be without technology.  They are sending our check next week. I will be in Vegas for the largest water resource conference in the country all week.  My mileage and workouts will definitely be less next week.  Again I won't be posting.  Using hubby's work laptop to give this update today.

Also there will be blog dedicated to it because he deserves it, but among all the things that happened this week hubby ended his running streak when his nagging foot injury continued to worsen. He went to the Dr. Friday and we are awaiting the X-ray results.  I am so proud of his nearly 3 year streak, but maybe more proud he had the courage to end it realizing that he wanted to continue to run for life more than he wanted the streak. 

This is a lot but wanted to explain why I am missing your blogs.  I am sure you are training hard and doing great stuff.  When I get my tablet and return from Vegas I will be back at and anxious to catch up on all you have been doing!!  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One of Those Aha Moments and Oh Yeah Might be the Worst Daughter Ever...

Everything I learned about healthy eating and living I learned on the interwebs.  I sure as heck did not learn it from my family.  That is the crux of the fun I have not been having since late last week.  My immediate family: mom, brother, sister and an aunt that lives with my mom and brother have a lot of medical challenges and issues.  It would be quicker for me to list out the diseases that do not run in my family.  Bubonic Plague and Leprosy, I think were good.  My dad passed away in his 60s after being ill for most of his life but incapacitated for 13 years. 

Their medical history is a long story let's make it short.  Because of these challenges my mother was driving my aunt to a Doctor's appointment on Thursday, because of her medical challenges she should not have been behind the wheel.  Because she also suffers from a case of terminal stubbornness she did not ask for help from us.  They got in a minor accident.  Because of her medical challenges she ended up fracturing her patella.  My sister and I have been trying to help out and shuttling folks around, oh yeah aunt and brother don't drive.  In the midst of all this, my assigned duty yesterday was to take my brother grocery shopping.  This is where the aha moment comes in, wait for it.  I wish I could have taken an instagram pic on my phone, but I am sure the result of that would have been my mother's exasperated "Kathleen" accompanied with a disappointed look and head shake. 

The cart was divided right in half.  One side full of medical supplies: adult diapers, all kinds of over the counter meds. etc.  The other side the food they planned to eat all week.  There were 3 two litre bottles of Pepsi, 5 packs of some processed cinnamon buns, sugar laden cereal, whole milk, hot dogs, every frozen food you can think of, unless it came with vegetables.   Did you know you can get tortilla encrusted fried fish with a side of macaroni and cheese?  In fact, I did not know this, but you can get almost every food frozen with a side of mac-n-cheese, unless it has a vegetable.  I just wanted to snap a picture and post "enough said."  Oh yeah to be fair there was one can of green beans.

Now on to the worst daughter ever part.  I know I am supposed to help and serve with a happy heart, but when I got back and my bed ridden mother was smoking and my obese brother was unpacking the "food" we just bought, all I wanted to do was get back to my life.  I can admit it.  I got angry.  Because they are in a difficult spot and a lot of responsibility is falling to me and my sister, but I feel like they are there because of their actions and decisions, and that they don't acknowledge that.  Yes I helped because they are family, but part of me felt resentful and angry, a part of me felt like an enabler, and part of me felt sad that they won't ever know what life is like if you make different choices.  Not really about running today except to say, if you read my blog you are probably someone who has an interest in their health and improving it and good for you.  Because you are controlling what you can in service of your family down the road.  It is not that we don't all enjoy things from time to time or fall off the wagon, but it is about never getting on and failing to recognize the role that plays in your current health situation.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ATC Singleton Race Recap

So today was the Singleton with Atlanta Track Club.  We have a choice between 5 and 10 miles.  I probably should have done 10 since I just kicked off training for my Soldier's Half in November.   I was signed up for the 5 miler.  The race went pretty well.  We got there and Hubby has been fighting a bad foot injury all week so we decided we would run separately and we decided to forgo a warm up.  I could use the first mile since it is always hard to get out of the crowded field and he needed to reserve everything to make 5 miles.  Insert here that he is a bad ass because if my foot looked and felt like his I would have been sleeping in this AM.  Later in the post I will share how he failed to follow the careful plan we had outlined to try and prevent further damage to his foot.

For me, the race went pretty well.  It was incredibly humid and we were joined by a sparse light rain, what a refreshing change for the wettest year since record keeping began.  I had a very tough work week with long hours, late nights and lots of work.  I was looking forward to decompressing Friday, but you know what they say about best laid plans...Anyway little family car accident and resulting drama meant another late and frustrating night followed by what would surely be another frustrating day.  Did not really come to the starting line without baggage, though most of it mental.  Knock on wood I have been feeling really physically strong during my runs. 

I did take the first mile to warm up ending at around 9:30/mile.  After that I was nicely in negative splits in the 8/mile range.  As I saw mile 4, I was feeling everything, the rolling hills, the frustrating week, the fatigue of too many late work nights, and I had two thoughts. "Jeez I am glad I did not do the 10 and this is over in 8 minutes."  The last mile was a little hilly, I was a little mentally off.  I finished 2 seconds behind mile 4, which meant no negative split for the last mile.  Oh well, there are other runs. 

About hubby, I was supposed to wait at the finish.  He was going to stay at an easy 12 minute mile.  He finished right under 50 minutes, so for all those who have ever taken a math class you can tell he failed to stick with the plan.  I went out the last stretch when I saw him to run him in, knowing he had toughed out a hard run.  Of course running him in I had to point out that he was under 10 min/mile and I thought we talked about this.  Anyway, he says it helped his foot loosen up.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but no doubt, mental roadblocks don't get in his way like they do me. 

The Good of today:
Finished 43:12 - 8:40/mile.  This is almost 5 minutes faster than last year.
Placed second in my Age Group, must have a been a thin field for 5 milers
Overheard guy I had been trading off with all race as we came into the final stretch and I passed him:
Guys friends cheering "That girl is smoking you!  Move it!"
Guy: "I know, but I am dying and she isn't even breathing hard."

Also after the race while waiting for hubby, this girl stopped me and asked me if I had run a Spring has Sprung back in April.  I said yes and she said "I thought so.  Thanks for the push!"  That was pretty cool.  I am feeling strong going into my half marathon training. 

The bad:  Family is a challenge sometimes.  Sometimes things get in your head, that have nothing to do with running.  I have to say for over 20 years blasting this song in my car has always made me feel better. "Pushing the Needle Too Far" by the Indigo Girls.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Supports Your Running

This week I have been doing a lot of solo running.  Not a big change for me during the week, but usually on the weekend hubby and I do run as a couple.  He is injured and since he is a streaker it is a week confined to 1 mile treadmill runs for him.  I have been out kicking off half marathon training on my own.  Lately some of my blogger friends and companies I follow on Facebook are talking about things that get them running.  I think of these things as support.  You know what picks you up, what keeps you going?

I look at hubby swollen, bruised, and sprained foot and see him get on the treadmill and pound out his mile.  He seems determined to keep up his streak of attending our track club's Grand Prix series by running the Singleton 5 miler this weekend.  I see what supports that drive are his streaks, and mad determination (he is way tougher than me).  The streaks, all of that investment is what supports the idea that he can tough it out and ride it out. 

Someone else was talking about music.  It gets them going and pushes them through.  Usually the thing that supports is really what stands in the gap at that one moment.  The moment can be "I don't want to lace up and do this."  Happening right at the start. The moment can be somewhere in the middle of that long run where you say "yeah, I can't do this one more minute, let alone 5 more miles."  The moment can be in that first mile, before you find that rhythm when you think "seriously, what are you doing?  We have ice cream at home and a Top Chef Marathon on the DVR."  The thing about the moments, different as those are, is they pass.  The support, the thing we use, be it music, a streak or a running partner, they are the thing that helps us over the mental gap.  I guess for me it is likely music, especially if I am thinking about just not wanting to start.  Sometimes it is hubby, my favorite running partner.  When I just want to bag the long run it is probably stubbornness riding shot gun.  I don't want to come up short.  I like to finish what I start.  I just think, "I have done it before I can do it again." Surprisingly, as much as I wanted to quit.  As bad as I thought I felt, in a few minutes I am over the gap.

Everyone needs support.  What's yours?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up and Goal setting

Okay so my Dailymile week ends on Sunday so I do my wrap up from the week, big on accountability, remember?  Then Goals for this week.

Wrap Up.

Pretty successful week.
Ran 26.67 miles
Ran 6 days a week per my September Goal
We got our first order from Nature's Garden Delivers (Organic produce).  It was great.  Cooked some excellent meals and successfully made a main dish with Kale that hubby loved.
Most days I put up my phone before dinner.  Not perfect.
Oh yeah.  I must do okay working out.  I am participating in a fitness program Walk Georgia.  The idea is you log your fitness activities and that equates to miles walked across the state.  I am in 4th for those participating.  I guess I get in more than my share of workouts.

Monday - AM Run 3.1 miles
Tuesday - AM Run 3.1 miles  Plank 1:08 minutes
Wednesday - AM Run 3.1 miles
Thursday - Rest Day
Friday - AM Run 3.1 miles and Plank 1:15 minutes
Saturday - Run 11 miles HM Training Began and Plank 1:32 minutes
Sunday - AM Run 3.8 miles recovery run -and Plank 1:10

All in all not a bad week.  Eating was pretty good.

Goals this week. 
Very busy week at work so first I hope I make it through the week without killing anyone.  Morning meeting was touch and go, so I need to pull it together. 

Actual goals for this week, I have a race on Saturday.  Not a long one, just a 5 miler.

Run 6 days this week ( keeping with the September goal).  I think during my HM training, that features some longer runs, the one rest day is a big help.

Eat well. - Notice I did not say cook.  I have to work late almost every night this week.  My goal is not to cook, but try and eat well even if I am grabbing something.  Luckily I have my produce from Natures Garden delivers so I am planning on some salads and some tuna with Avacado ( I am addicted to this).

Kick up the planks.  My shoulder is finally healed and I hope to build back up to plank a day.  This week with work and everything I will be happy with every other day.

Blog three times.  Like I said crazy week, just trying to be realistic.  

Race on Saturday _ Singleton 5 miler.  I don't really have any goals.  Hubby is still hurt so not sure what Saturday will bring.  May hang back with him and make sure he is okay. 

Hope you have a great week.  What do you hope to accomplish this week?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Confidence Boosting Runs

Soldiers Half is two months away! So time to get down to some actual training.  I had a long run on tap for the weekend.  Originally it was going to be with hubby.  Well seems hubby ended up kicking a door on Friday the 13th and injuring his foot.  Since he has a running streak of over 1,000 days he is on one mile painful runs until it heals.  So I thought good day to head out and see where I am after a summer of shorter races and 5-8 mile long runs. 

I set my I Smooth Run App for a timed run, best running app in my opinion.  It is very accurate, measured many times against hubby's Garmin, and very versatile.  I set up for 90 minutes of continuous running with a 5 minute warm up and cool down.  I was hoping to eek out 9 miles at a comfortable pace.  Well I guess slogging through the wet, humid, horrendous summer we have had paid some dividends.  Also it might be the addition of planks and plies to my post running regimen.  In December when I started training for my first half my first 90 minute run was a little over 8 miles at around 10:10m min/mile.  Today I thought my app was broken as it kept racking up miles but never said you are half way through your work out until mile nearly 5 and 1/2 miles.  It also kept saying my current and average pace were in the 8 minutes.  I was beginning to think, "I wonder who is running."

The best part was I was just running a comfortable pace.  No struggling just enjoying the beautiful weather the scenery and my new Half Marathon mix I recently downloaded.  This run was a confidence booster for me.  I ran my February 1/2 at about 9:18 per mile.  Today I did nearly 11 at 8:55.  I know during the race I will be a little more pumped up.  So I feel like my sub 2 hour goal might be within reach.  I only need to shave 4 minutes off my last half.  I also tested out my Altra Intuitions one of the shoes I am considering for the race.  They felt pretty good. 

The funniest part was there was guy on Silver Comet running, I passed him three times, twice on my way out.  I passed him when I first started then I pulled off for some water and a restroom break at the rest area and passed him when I got back on.  I don't think he went out as far I did so when I was coming back to my car I passed him again.  He said to the guy next to him, "this is ridiculous! That girl  is lapping me."  Tomorrow will be an easy recovery run.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  We are having the most awesome weather!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rest Days...Taking a Break

Today was a rest day for me.  My legs and body felt fine, but work has been crazy and my days have been long.  Next week I am working late everyday.  I just needed a day to sleep in and I don't know not have to get up to run.  Just a day off.  I did find I missed my run.  It is what usually centers me and my day, but I also felt like I will enjoy it more tomorrow if I took a rest today.  My goal for September was to run 6 days a week so so far so good. 

I also hoped by taking a rest day today I will be more ready for a long run this weekend.  My half is two month out.  Time to kick up the training.  The forecast for this weekend is for cooler sunny weather.  I can't wait.  Now I just have to convince hubby that he really wants to run 8 or 9 miles this weekend.  I might have a chance he has been doing a few shorter runs this week.  Keep your fingers crossed.

I do notice I used to take rest days because my body could not handle the running.  Now my rest days are more for me to mentally recharge.  I guess that means over all I am a stronger runner.  Also I have been able to add back in a few more planks.  Not back to everyday but have gotten 3 in this week so far.  I can already tell the difference with adding them back. 

How can you tell you need a rest day? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Attitude and Challenges

This is the theme of this week for me.  It seems so many of my friends and some fellow bloggers are struggling with challenges.  For me work has been super busy and tiring.  I guess I have been thinking every life has struggles, tragedy, and challenges.  I am not one to dwell on those.  I am more about changing what I can and having a good attitude about what I can't.

For example someone struggling with a loss asked me today don't I worry about losing my husband?  I can say in all honesty that I don't worry about that and here is why.  I choose to live in the present moment.  If I spent my time worrying about what might happen I would miss out on what is happening.  They asked don't you worry about disrespecting those who have passed by moving on?  I can honestly say no.   I look at it this way.  In every challenge, tragedy or struggle something positive comes out if it.  If I spend all of my time reliving the past event I won't see and appreciate the gift that came out of the struggle.  To me that is more tragic.

I think running is sometimes a test like that.  Can I do this?  How much will I suffer?  How much pain will I endure?  Then out of being willing to tackle those challenges and face those fears in the present you will find a gift.  It may not be the gift you set out for at the beginning, but will be what you need.  Just some thoughts for those struggling through a tough time.  Don't lose the gifts of the present to the pain of the past or the fear of the future. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Feeling Lucky

This pic is not from today, but from a day when hubby was nursing an injury and he did one mile and I went out for 5 around our hood.  He met me in front of the house and, as he often does, he wanted to take a picture.  It turned out great and I love it.  It could have been the same scenario this weekend.  Hubby hit 1,000 days on his running streak Thursday and celebrated a little too hard barefoot at Silver Comet Trail.  His foot and ankle were really sore after.  I thought I would be running on my own this weekend while he recovered with short 1 milers. 

Of course I sometimes forget who I am married to.  That was the case this weekend.  I was getting ready Saturday to run just 5 miles since we had done 6 on Monday and I asked what he wanted to do.  I said I was just going from Parking spot A to B and back to A a little over 5.  I asked how he felt he said "fine."  I saw the wheels turning and I said, "do you want to run out part of the way with me and if you have pain you can head back and I will meet you?"  Of course as soon as I said it I knew his foot would have to be falling off before he turned around and headed back to the car.  Of course he did the 5 miler with me and it was really fun.  The beautiful weather was such a great change from the constant rain we have had all year.  Then today we headed out to a trail we like along the Chattahoochee River.  This weekend was one of those weekends where I am reminded of how much fun running is.  We just had fun.  We enjoyed beautiful sunny weather and time together.  Maybe just us girls, but I had on cute running clothes and felt great.  Finally feeling fully recovered after my fall, I was just enjoying myself. 

I was also reminded how lucky I am to have  supportive husband who loves running and supports me.  He is often the motivation that pushes me out the door.  At my half marathon he is the supporter at the finish line.  We also learned about a new local race today.  The Village to Village 11K in Smyrna.  It is the weekend after my Soldier's Half in Columbus.  I could tell hubby wanted to do the race.  We decided he would register and this time I would be the one at the finish line cheering him on and taking pictures.  This weekend just reminded me that I am a pretty lucky girl.  Hope you are feeling blessed and lucky too. Who supports your running?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fitness Friday

Was it really only a four day work week?  Felt more like 8.  Oh well the good news, I had tons of deadlines that I met this week so I guess the hard work was worth it.  Also I got in my runs.  Nutrition was not as good as I like, but you can't have everything. 

Monday - Run 6.2 miles in the rain Labor day
Tuesday - Run 2.75 miles - crazy lightning storm made me turn around and head back.
Wednesday - 3 mile evening run with hubby and pick up new Atlanta Track Club shirts.  Thought we were going to our running store's for a group run.  Went there decided to pick up our Atlanta Track Club shirts and head to Silver Comet Trail for our run.  Running at night is definitely not my thing!
Thursday - Rest Day.  I was able to do my first plank since I hurt myself when I fell.  1:45.  I was glad abut that.
Friday - 3 mile run under the stars this AM.  It was beautiful and a little cooler.

Like I said we did not do as well on nutrition.  We had a Labor Day indoor cookout since we got rain and had sausage sandwiches and beans.  We were out a couple of nights so we grabbed something.  Cooked last night chicken, plantains, and broccoli. 

I am excited that we are trying this new subscription service, Natures Garden. They only deliver in Georgia and Arizona right now.  You can pick from a variety of sizes of weekly or every other week fruit and vegetables.  All organic.  We get our first order next Thursday.  I think it will be great because it is going to force me to try new veggies and fruit.  It is not that I don't like veggies and fruit. I love them.  It is that left to my own devices, I just stick with what I know.  Especially what I know how to cook.  I am excited about trying this. 

Hope you had a productive week.  Did you reach your fitness goals?