Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Running Buddy!

On Sunday afternoon, I got to meet up with my new running buddy, Amber. She knows the area a lot better than I do, so she gave me directions on how to get to a sports complex in town that has trails around it. Fun!

Winter has really hit early here, which I guess isn't all that uncommon. She had thought that the trail would be packed down by cross country skiers, but it was still close to a foot of loose snow. Time for plan B!

The parking lot had been plowed, so we did loops around the roads to the different parking areas. It worked out surprisingly well, one loop was 1.4 miles. It is so great getting to run with someone new, and hear about their running journey. Everyone starts for different reasons, and I love hearing about races! Running with a local was awesome because she was able to give me insight into all the races that are in the area, including one in that same park in just a few weeks. There is a race almost once a month, most are around the 5k distance. Not my favorite, but it is a good opportunity to get better! After an hour of great conversation, we finished with just over 7 miles.

Hills, oh my. The HILLS! This area is HILLY added to the fact I am not used to the altitude. Moving from 1000ft to 4500ft didn't seem like a big deal, but I feel it on those hills. The good news, hills make you a stronger runner, and I have no excuse to avoid them!

The kids are adjusting to the area, although they are already lamenting that it is going to snow everyday FOREVER! They have seen more snow in the last 3 weeks than probably the last 3 years combined.
I am working on getting more comfortable on the treadmill. Covering the display with a shirt helps me not stare at it, but it is still hard to get into a rhythm. If winter continues this way, I will be using the treadmill quite a bit!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Trot

I was thrilled to find a local running club. I have been struggling through my afternoon runs, and am missing training for something. Mostly I am missing having contact with people other than my children! Cold+Snow+Wind for a week=wild children that are literally climbing the walls!

Today there was a Guess your Time Turkey Trot 5k. I know I am not in fast 5k shape, since I can't remember the last time I did speed work of any kind. Not to mention, I am still getting used to this whole altitude thing. I thought I would go with a conservative 28:00. Then I thought, taking the weather into account, I'd better make that 30:00. This morning, we woke up to 4 new inches of snow, and it was still coming down HARD. Okay, I'll reevaluate the time goal when we get there.

My husband decided to run the race too, which was great! I did ask if he wanted me to pace him and stay with him, or run my own race. He knows me well, and told me to do my own thing. :)

We arrived on time to register, and there were very few people. Everyone was laughing and joking about the conditions. So thankful to have found a fun group to run with! It was still snowing hard, and my feet were already cold.

A snowplow had plowed the road we were to run on, but it had scrapped it down to ice. It was going to be interesting! The original course plan was to go up a trail, but it was too snowy and slick. Instead, we did three laps around the park on the road. Up a big hill, around, down a big hill, around to the beginning. The road was solid ice with a thin layer of snow on it. I decided to make my time guess even slower, not sure what pace I could keep on the slick road. I finally decided on 34:00

It was very relaxed-there were only 9 of us who braved the weather. The race director shouted "go", and we were off. And sliding. Whoa! Sticking to the edge of the road wasn't too bad, but uneven. Coming down the hill I kept slipping and sliding. I was afraid I would fall and hurt myself!

We slipped and slid our way around the course, but it was a blast. The snow was still falling which made the park just beautiful. I realized I was on the last part of my last lap before I knew it. I wasn't ready to stop! Into the finish line, the few that finished ahead all cheering. Finish time, 30:11. Oops. I guess I should have gone back to my original guess. Oh well! Hubby finished in 35:00 or so, which was great! He only had to walk a few times, and did very well.

Afterwards they offered hot chocolate and cider, or water. Very relaxed and fun group. Great to know that they have races about once a month! I didn't feel nearly done running, (I clearly hadn't raced hard enough), so I told my husband to go ahead, and I ran to the house where our kids were staying during the race. It added almost 2 miles I think. There is something so peaceful about running in the snow, even though it is hard work!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How do you Survive the Treadmill?

It is -14 this morning. This is ridiculous! I am thinking this winter could equal a lot of quality time on the treadmill. I went to the YMCA yesterday and got a family membership so we all have somewhere to get our wiggles out, (as my kids put it), when it is cold out. They even have a Zumba class for kids starting at age 4. Funny!

So yesterday was my first treadmill run in a long while. The YMCA is the economical choice, and their facilities are functional without a lot of extras. I have the hardest time getting into a rhythm on a treadmill. I don't know what it is about it, a pace that should be easy makes me tired. There is only one TV in the room, and it is directly above the treadmills. In other words, if you want to watch it, be prepared to look straight up and hope you don't fall off the 'mill in the process. There is a window, but a parking lot is not the most distracting thing to watch. I have my music, but for some reason that isn't enough.

Next issue; It is too cold to run outside, (obviously), but does the gym have to be so HOT? I mean 70++*!!! 10 minutes into my run I felt like I was dying for lack of air. There was one fan in the room, and of course it is in front of the ellipticals (who also have a great view of the TV). Why do I get the feeling they are used more than the treadmills? Hmmm. Do you get used to the lack of air? As nice as it feels to wear shorts and a tank, I would still like to feel like I can breathe!

Ideas? Suggestions? If this week is any indication, it could be a long winter!
What do you do to make it on the treadmill?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Alive!

Hello, long lost blog. It has been a very long time. I somewhat doubt I still have any followers after my long hiatus, but time to start my rambling once again.

So, here's a quick recap. We MOVED! Whoa, crazy. I am now an Oregonian, and am finding that to be very weird. What do you mean, I can't pump my own gas? Okay, now that it's winter, that isn't such a hardship I admit.

Moving was a whirlwind of crazy. We literally had two weeks to get our stuff packed and out of our house. Which meant, we had to find a rental sight unseen on the computer. To add to the crazy, my Grandpa passed away the night before we were packing the truck. Whoa. Okay, I can deal with this. My hubby drove the Uhaul down November 1st, and the kids and I waited a few extra days to attend the memorial.

We moved in to a nice house in a neighborhood we like, (here comes a giant...)BUT, the house smells like DOG PEE!! ugh. Apparently my husband has no sense of smell whatsoever, since the smell about knocked me over coming in the door. The rental agency has treated the carpets twice, and it still reeks. Gross! I am hesitating to really make this "home" until that is sorted out.

Okay, moving on to running. What's that? Oh yes, RUNNING! That thing I like to do. Okay, right now, I don't like it so much. It is cold, and I am having to run in the afternoons now which is not my preference. Hubby's new job has a great schedule, starting work at 6am, and getting done at 3:30. So great to have him home in the afternoons! But it does mean running in the mornings isn't a workable option unless I leave at 4:30am. Um, yeah. So afternoons it is. How do you afternoon runners do it? I am tired by that time of the day, and my motivation is nonexistant.

Things I have learned running here:
  • there are no street lights. If I am gone past 4:30pm, be prepared to trip over everything in the dark. the sidewalks are not great
  • cars do not move over for you AT ALL
  • there are not street signs on all the intersections, so don't assume you can find your way home reading the signs
  • there is a paved trail through town Wohoo! downside, it is completely straight, with nothing to look at
  • running the trail, be prepared to stop at every intersection it crosses

So, I have been running 3-5 miles, 3-4x a week. Not great, but I am working on it. I am thinking it might be a treadmill kind of winter by evidence of all the snow on the ground, and more importantly, the high for tomorrow is 14 degrees. I guess it's time to embrace the gym!

The good news, there is a local running group! They are doing a Turkey Trot on Saturday. Totally stoked for that. It sounds like they do a short race about once a month. Hoping to meet some fellow runners, and hopefully a running buddy or two for long runs!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Comedy of Errors

As much as I wanted to run the You Go Girl with the rest of the bloggy buddies, it just wasn't possible this time around. Instead I chose to run the Indian Summer Half Marathon in Richland. You can't beat a $15 entrance fee!

I knew it wasn't going to be the best race since I haven't done a single speed workout, and my only tempo run (if you could even call it that), was three miles. My longest run was only 12 miles, and I have still had twinges of something in my shin. The good news is, I was planning on going into this race relaxed, and ready to just enjoy it and see what happened. I hoped for 10 min miles, but didn't know if I could even hold that pace!

And then, everything went wrong.

The morning of the race, I got up and packed everything up to get in the car. I drove to the ATM for cash. The ATM wasn't working. No big deal, I drove to another one. -5 minutes. I was just about to get on the freeway, doing a mental checklist, (good thing too!) and I realized I FORGOT MY SHOES!!!! Argh! Quick turn around back to my house, and there they were sitting on my porch. Duh, seriously. Preparing for a race with PMS brain was not going well. -10 minutes at least. My extra window of time to get to the race was narrowing.

Finally on the freeway cruising along until everyone slowed down to 45mph for fog. Really? I was going to be cutting it close! At this point, I was hoping to get there 15 minutes before race time.

I get to Richland and pull off on Exit 5A, following the directions I had printed off. I drove, and kept driving. Hmmm, this doesn't look right? I call my husband. No answer. 10 minutes to race time, starting to panic! I go back and try again. Maybe I went the wrong direction in the roundabout? It wasn't there last year. Try to call my husband again. Voicemail. Driving in circles, clearly in the wrong place, but having no idea where else to go! Husband finally calls back and I tell him where I am. He very helpfully tells me I'm lost. Thanks. I get back on the freeway, and finally figure out I needed exit 5B! I pull in and get lucky with a parking spot, the race has already started. To go home, or race anyways?

I go to the table and sign in, the 5k starts. I ask if I can start the half even if I'm late? She said sure, go for it. I quickly pull my hair back; the rubber band breaks. I dig around the car for another one. Hair up, Garmin searching, tie my shoes and I'm off a good 20 minutes late, 5 minutes behind the 5k racers.

I start overtaking a lot of the 5k walkers and joggers pretty quickly. I knew I was going out too fast, but had a hard time slowing to a comfortable pace. At the 5k turnaround, I was the only one to keep going. After another mile, I start catching up to other half marathoners. Whew! Feeling like I'm actually part of the race now. It was warmer than I expected, and I knew the adrenalin was helping me go out too fast. Oh well. Banked time for later?

Between miles 5 and 6, I see my running partner and cheer her on since she is on her way back. I start chatting with people around me, really trying to enjoy the race but keep going at a good pace. I feel like I have settled in at this point.

Last year, when I ran this race, it was going to be my PR course. It is relatively flat, and small and I was in shape to crush my PR of 2:02. I psyched myself so totally out, and had a horrible running day. I had asthma problems from anxiety and felt completely defeated before the turnaround. I finished in something like 2:17.

This year, I reached the turnaround feeling good. Around this point I realized I did not remember body glide. Yeah, uh oh. I was wearing compression shorts, so my legs were okay. I was starting to chafe under my arms. Ouch! I didn't expect it to be so hot. What can you do mid-race? Nothing, keep going knowing I would pay for it later!

I start thinking through the remaining miles, feeling my legs burning out from my fast start. I talk to anyone I pass, trying to occupy my mind. I try embracing the burning in my legs, which works for a time. By mile 10, I was tired. I walked through the water stop after 10, but set a point to run again. I was going to run it in, even if I was tired!

Miles 11 and 12 always feel so long! I was still passing people, but no one felt like talking, myself included. The sun was warm, and I was getting a headache. Did I not drink enough? No, I think I just had a headache. Not a good feeling on the run.

Mile 13 has a cruel twist. You can see the finish line, but you know it can't be that close, right? Run around a corner and realize you follow the river away from the finish and back again. Up the hill to the finish (why is that always the case?). I was thrilled to see lots of people cheering at the finish line. Sometimes in smaller races, not very many stay to cheer. I laugh when i see the clock at 2:30 something, thankful that was not my time. Finish! Garmin time, 2:10:31

Mile 1: 9:00 (way too fast)
Mile 2: 9:32 (still too fast)
Mile 3: 9:37
Mile 4: 9:48 (better, where I want to be)
Mile 5: 9:53
Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7: 9:49
Mile 8: 10:03 (getting a little tired, water stop)
Mile 9: 9:48
Mile 10: 10:16 (tired legs)
Mile 11: 10:48 (water stop)
Mile12: 11:07 (out of steam, slowed to chat with girl who pulled a muscle)
Mile 13: 9:56 (want to be done!)
Mile .1: 9:20 pace

2:10, 9:58 average pace. Way better than I expected! Not a great time, but one I'm proud of considering!
1231 ascent, 1221 descent (lots of rolling hills)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long Food Confession

Food and I have had an odd relationship for a long time. I grew up a horribly picky eater, (and am so getting payback with two picky eaters of my own-one who won't eat anything but plain pasta) and still am somewhat picky. I was a vegetarian for 10 years until I was pregnant with my first and was anemic. Now I eat only chicken, and only if it is cleverly disguised to not taste like chicken.

When I was around 12, I filled out-not my chest, just my body. It seemed to me I got big overnight. My best friend was as tall as I was, but a string bean. I compared myself to her, and felt big and awkward. Having a brother that teased me about my size did not help my confidence.

By high school, I started worrying over my weight. I would eat 300 calories in a day, then eat 3000 the next. My relationship with food was not healthy, especially for the athlete that I was. In my mind, food=fat. I had no concept of healthy, balanced meals.

I grew up watching my mom do fad diets and ordering infomercial exercise equipment that was used only for hanging laundry. She worked swing shift, so I was left on my own for grocery shopping and meals. One night I would have a lean cuisine, the next a whole frozen pizza with a side of cookie dough, then I would feel horrible with guilt. I briefly tried purging, but for the life of me could not bring myself in puke on purpose.

My senior year I still worried over my size, not understanding that you can't change your frame size. I compared myself to everyone else without a sense of practicality or reason. By summer, I stopped eating as much as I could-and I liked the results.

See, this is the trap with anorexia. It does work as weight loss. At times I would give in to sweets, and I would punish myself by running. I would not have called myself anorexic, and still hesitate to use that title-but the signs were there.

I moved to Montana excited to start out on my own. I was poor, and it is hard to eat at all let alone well when you are poor. When I did eat, it was ramen or something equally cheap and processed. I worked at a restaurant, and for a while that was my only meal of the day. I started dating, and started eating more. Eating can be such a social thing. I still ate like a bird, but I ate without guilt. It was a good thing. I gained a little weight back, but not enough to worry me.

I look back at how I felt then, 125-130lbs at 5'10" and I still felt fat. I still tried to suck in my gut, and worried over arm flab. I look back at pictures from that time and think, I looked bad, all bone! Why didn't anyone tell me I looked bad?

Fast forward, I got engaged, got married. I am eating more and running less, and put on a few pounds. I was embarrassed, but okay with it. I was on the pill which didn't help. I sprained my wrist and my husband had to help me button my jeans. He commented that they were tight. I stopped eating unless I was with him and had to. I knew what I was doing wasn't healthy. I reached out to a few friends, but stopped short of actually asking for help. In my mind, that equaled saying I wanted to get fat.

The second year we were married, I discovered I was pregnant. Wait, what? Birth control failed us, but it wasn't a bad thing-just unexpected. I tried to eat well knowing it wasn't just for me. I didn't gain any weight and was eating a ton. It was great! The doctor complained about me being underweight, but I was thankful to not get fat. That didn't last. Of course I got fat. Have you ever seeing a pregnant woman NOT get fat? Hello! It was hard watching my body change, knowing it would never be the same. After he was born, I was depressed. Montana winter, being cooped up with a newborn when all my friends were in college or playing, and I was fat (in my mind). I had stretch marks. But the depression did work in my favor in one thing-I stopped micromanaging what I was putting in my mouth. I just ate.

Three babies later, I was overweight. And I didn't think I was that bad, although I cried having to buy size 16 pants that were tight. I ate dessert daily, and enough carbs for a whole family. I fed the kids fruits and veggies, but ate few myself. I was over 210lbs and knew I needed to make a change, but before I did-I needed a plan to do it right.

I worked out, still somewhat obsessively-I can't help that. I dieted, but I counted points using old weight watchers tools of my moms to make sure that I ate what I should, not just cutting out food. The weight slowly started to come off. I was relieved to see progress, and it felt good not to be starving. I lost 45lbs.

I started running. The remaining 25lbs came off steadily, and I was finally where I wanted to be. I kept running because it felt great and burned of my stress, but I still needed a goal. Met a friend who turned into a training partner who got me to race. Something to focus on! I am a person who needs goals, and needs a plan. Not to mention a competitive drive in everything. Training to race suited my needs perfectly. Now I was eating to fuel my training, and splurging some without guilt.

Being injured has taught me a lot. #1 you can't eat like when you are running when you aren't. duh, but still true. So I gained weight back. Not the end of the world, but I would like to get back where I was. #2 I don't only run so I can eat like I want and still keep my weight where I want, it is so much more a part of who I am now-I like that about me #3 I do miss eating whatever I want on long run days

#4 I am coming to understand that how my mom dealt with being overweight affected me. I don't want that for my kids, my girls especially. I don't want them hearing and repeating "I'm fat". I want them to have a healthy relationship with food, and the best I can give them is my example. (this topic may need it's own post later since this is way long)

I am easing myself back into running. today I did 5.6 with one mile at "tempo" 8:30 pace. That hurt, but it felt great to push it. I remember when I started running and how HARD it was. It felt that way the first few days, and now it feels like I can go forever again. I'm sure I can't, but it seems like it at mile 3.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer of Weight Loss

Kerrie @momvsmarathon.blogspot.com came up with the idea to make the Summer of Weight Loss official adding in challenges and a weekly weigh in. I NEED that motivation. After being injured and off running, I have struggled with my eating. Well, like most runners, I love to eat. So I definitely don't struggle to eat-ha! The problem is I didn't keep my portion control in check with burning fewer calories, and I have a huge sweet tooth. I love sugar in all it's forms. When I am stressed and can't run, guess what I reach for? yep, sugary snacks. I try not to keep them in the house, but give in more often than I should.

So, as of July 5th I have been trying to keep as accurate of a food log as I can manage. I am trying hard to make smart choices, eating lots more fruits and veggies. This trip to Canada is making things a little more challenging. Canada is EXPENSIVE! We are trying to eat under $60 for the 5 of us, since that is my husbands daily amount from work. Thankfully the hotel has breakfast, sort of. We are doing PB&J for lunches, with carrots and cheese slices for snacks. The mini fridge is stocked with healthy food as much as I'm able, but eating out for dinner every night is tough. Especially kid friendly food. Last night was IHOP. I ordered off the lower calorie menu which was fine, but I inhaled the food and left hungry.

I know I don't need as many calories as my body thinks it does. I remember when I was first dieting, I thought I should never feel hungry. Sometimes our bodies like to trick us into thinking we are hungry when we are just fine. I did eat a package of fruit snacks last night before bed, which was better than the chocolate candy bar I really wanted.

I weighed myself over a week ago, just to see where I was at-and I almost cried. I am up 12lbs. No wonder my clothes are tight. So very frustrating, and I am upset with myself. It's okay though, I know now is the time to turn it around! I've done it before, and I know I can do it again.

Starting weight (as of last week sometime) 163lbs
Goal Weight 148 (this is the lowest I got my weight down, I wouldn't mind a few pounds off of that either. anything in the 140's I'll be happy with)

I will try to get before pictures up soon.

Challenge for this week: Eat a fruit and vegetable that you have never tried before
I am a picky eater-I admit that. This will be a challenge for me, especially not being able to grocery shop really, but I'll give it a shot! Thankfully the hotel breakfast has bananas and apples. Certainly not new, but free. :)

I ran 3 miles this morning that felt sluggish. I really argued with myself over going or resting. The calorie burn in my favor tilted the scale.
Breakfast, small box frosted flakes with skim milk, PB toast, 1/2 banana, and COFFEE!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome to Canada, Eh?

What a week this has been. I keep thinking things will slow down, but it hasn't happened yet! Last weekend I decided to have a yard sale, which was a huge success. But seriously, yard sales are HORRIBLE! Ugh! Now I remember why I rarely bother. Doing it on the weekend of the 4th made for a long weekend. The 4th was great. They had a concert and fireworks at the fairgrounds. we told the kids in advance they could use their money for rides or food, and that was it. No fussing or whining or we would go home. They did great! They sold cookies at the yard sale and made almost $8. We bought a small book of tickets, so they each got 4 rides. It worked very well, and best of all, we got to stay for the fireworks with no fussing!

Monday we tried to recover, and Tuesday was back to work for me teaching class. I was told summer is usually pretty slow, so I didn't prep in advance. I had 18 girls show up between the ages of 8-17. ugh! Not what I was prepared for. There is just no easy way to teach ballet to that big of an age gap.

At noon, my husband called and asked if I could have the kids and I ready to travel in 2 hours? Ha! Um, no. Are you kidding? Every year we go to Kewlona, BC with him when he travels for work. It's the only place he goes where we can go and have fun while he works. This year, we thought it wasn't happening and his boss was taking the trip. Needing to be ready to go out of the blue was crazy!

After a stop Tuesday night, we made it here Wednesday evening. I was stressed and grumpy. Traveling with kids is so hard. I am thankful for the chance, but I was so done with whining. Dave took the kids for a walk to the park, knowing I needed a break. And I went for a run.

I love to run. It just makes everything else melt away, for a while at least. It was hot-still 90 degrees, so it was a slow and hot 3 miles, but it helped immensely. This morning I got up at 5am, and the weather was a perfect 60 degrees. 5 miles along the waterfront was a great way to start the day.

View for my run this morning. Gorgeous!

Last night after my run, my shin felt a little iffy. I was concerned. I probably should not have run this morning, but I needed to start my day right. I don't like being grumpy with my kids (PMS is part of the problem). I used my new shoes today, Asics Gel-Nimbus 12 and they felt much better! I am praying that I am truly on the mend, and no more injury!

Oh, and next post, Summer of Weight Loss-although my weigh in and measurements will have to wait until I get home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Final Seattle Recap

Whew, what a weekend! A simple race report should not take this long. Of course, it doesn't help that they tend to be a little long.

Standing at the start line, looking at all those people was amazing. I was so glad that I decided not to miss the opportunity to run this race. Everyone started clapping and cheering-oh, I guess someone sang the National Anthem. I didn't hear it at all! Oh well. And we were off...

For such a big race, the wave start went smoothly. It was crowded sure, but it didn't seem like we were having to weave around people much at all. People watching at big races is awesome. Crazy costumes, like the dude in a polar bear costume, a couple of Elvis'-one with a fanny pack carrying a stereo. Then there was the guy with the blond mullet to the middle of the back. Zoe, Cassie and I tried to decide-wig, or real? I'm thinking wig, although can you say hot and itchy?

At around mile 3, we heard loud cheering. There was Kerrie and her cowbell! It was so great to have someone cheering for us by name!

Before we knew it, 6 miles had flown by. Wow, that is the longest I had run in 3 months. My muscles were starting to feel it a bit, and I was glad when Zoe suggested a quick walk break. I didn't want to be the first to ask to walk! The walk break was short but helped, and we were off again.

The hills weren't nearly as bad as I expected-not anything like Mercer Island! I was feeling much better than expected, and so far no pain in my shin. Running along the lake was beautiful, and we joked about wanting to go for a swim. There was a line of 40 (or so) soldiers holding American Flags. What a beautiful sight! I almost got choked up. As the wife of a veteran, I know the scarifies are HUGE but so worth it.

Up the steep hill to the freeway was really crowded. I wanted to run up, but was caught behind a group of people walking. Zoe charged up the hill, and waited for us at the top. Marathoners went right, we went left into the tunnel. The tunnel was LOUD and SMELLY! Ugh! I am not one to feel claustrophobic, but running in the tunnel made me want to get to fresh air, fast! Funny looking at my garmin for this section-I sped up a LOT! I got out of the tunnel and was thankful for the sea breeze while I waited for Zoe and Cassie to catch up.

This was the first race I have run with friends the whole way. I've started with people, but always got caught up in my own race and didn't stay with them. It was so fun to enjoy a race with other people, and to not give my watch more than a glance. No stress over pace, splits, finishing time. At times I could feel myself wanting to be caught up in the race, but I am so glad I stayed with Zoe and Cassie.

Mile 11 there was a steep downhill into town. Okay, THAT HURT! Shoot. Well, the damage is done. I was not going to quit! After that point, I could feel my shin the rest of the way. Zoe said let's run the rest, no walking. I didn't know if I had it in me. On to the viaduct and I wanted to walk in the worst way. Right when I was seriously considering it (it helped that there weren't any spectators right there) Zoe says, "Come on Kasey, You've got this!" It was what I needed, although I didn't know if I did have it! Downhill off the viaduct I was saying "ow ow ow ow" every step. The guy next to me gave me a funny look. Now I just wanted to be DONE!

We curved around toward Quest, and I kicked it and started picking everyone off I could. (chicked 4 guys) I didn't know where Zoe and Cassie were behind me, I just wanted to finish hard. Mr Garmin said 6:30 pace. Not a bad kick for being so out of shape! I heard my husband and my friend Joy cheering for me. I did it!

It felt great to get my first finishers medal, and to get my picture taken with Zoe and Cassie. Never has a half been so FUN and stress free. Maybe I should go into more races unprepared. Well, preferably with a lot more miles of training. Nice to know I can do the distance without training though. Of course, walking on Sunday was painful! Ouch!

My in-laws were laughing at me hobbling around Sunday and Monday, to which I said-
Totally worth it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday

Three years ago today, my last baby was born-all 8lbs of her (2 1/2 weeks early, thankfully!).

The last three years have alternately flown by, and felt like forever. Having a three year old, 18 month old and an infant was a huge challenge!

JJ Bug is my blue eyed dreamer. Always wandering around the house singing, spinning, dancing. She loves all things purple, and at 3 already likes shopping and the mall more than I do. She is the last to fall asleep most days, and always the first up saying her tummy needs food. She is fearless, willing to be first to jump off on anything and everything, wanting to keep up with her siblings.

She has the best grumpy glare ever, and looks so much like me at that age it is scary!

Even with the health problems I had after she was born, I cannot imagine our family without this spunky girl! Happy Birthday JJ!

I am hopefully going to finish my Seattle race report this afternoon-it depends on how the purple Tinkerbell cake goes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seattle Recap part II

I keep sitting down to write this post, and other things keep coming up. Kids are funny that way.

Normally before a race, I am very organized. I have a plan of what I am wearing head to toe, a plan for fueling during the race, for transportation and everything else. When I was first planning to come to Seattle knowing I was injured, I wasn't even going to go to the starting line. The plan was to just enjoy the expo, have fun at the blogger dinner, and cheer on the sidelines.

Well, I obviously didn't stick with that plan. I decided Friday to run as much as I was able, still not sure if I could or should finish. Of course, this meant that I hadn't packed Shot Bloks. No problem, I'll get them at the expo. Except they didn't have them-all they had were GU Chomps which my tummy does NOT like. Thankfully, Tall Mom Mel saved the day and brought me some shot bloks. Thanks Mel! Not planning very well also left me running in a running skirt (without shorts), and a bra top that didn't match. Not ideal.

My husband was a great sport, and was willing to drop me off at the start so we could get an extra hour of sleep. Well, what sleep we got. I had a hard time falling asleep, and he stayed up too late playing video games. Ha! We got to the drop off spot by 6am, so in good shape. I started following everyone else walking. It was a long walk to the start.

Finally the start line. I have never seen some many runners. I started making my way to corral 6 to meet up with everyone, but no one was there yet. I figured I'd make use of the honey bucket. The lines were crazy long, and caused me to miss the photo op at the meet up, but I was able to see most everyone and meet up with Zoe and her friend. Since Zoe is 5 months along with Goober, she was planning on walking/running the race. I was hoping I could keep up with her!

Standing at the start was awesome. looking back and seeing people lined up ready to race as far as the eye could see.

and....nap time is done, which means my blog time is done for now (not to mention this is getting LONG). The race will have to wait!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Seattle Rock n' Roll Weekend Part 1

Wow, where to begin? It was a busy, FUN weekend! Thursday I spent frantically cleaning in preparation for my in-laws coming to babysit. There is something so discouraging about cleaning for hours, then having your mother-in-law walk in and pick up a piece of lint from under the couch. *sigh* I was so ready to leave town!

We left Friday at lunch time and drove to the expo. I have never been to such a big expo! I wanted to buy everything! Then my practical side kicked in, and I didn't buy anything. I did stuff my bag full of freebies though! I got to see Scott Jurek, but the line was too long to get his autograph. Oh well!

Then it was off to Pyramid Alehouse to meet up with a few bloggers from the Runners world Loop.

From there, off to the Spaghetti Factory for the Bloggy Carboload Dinner! It was so much fun to get to talk to everyone and put faces and voices to the blogs that I read! I ate too much, laughed a lot, and got really excited for race day.
Up to that point, I had still planned on just doing part of the race to protect my shin. I threw that out the window, and knew I was going to take it slow, but do my best to finish!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seatte Rock n' Roll...

Wait, that is THIS WEEKEND? Whoa, when did that happen? June has slipped away in a frenzy of craziness. I look at my schedule and think, "oh yeah I've got this-no problem." Then things start rolling, and I'm thinking, "What psycho thought I could handle all of this???"

Ballet recitals, (yes, plural-the school I dance for, and the school I teach for) were hugely stressful and majorly time consuming. This was the first recital that I worked, and wow parents are CRAZY! I mean seriously! I got yelled at over the silliest things. Wow people, chill!

The Seattle RNR has come up faster than expected, and I am not ready. More importantly, my shin is no ready. I am on 13 weeks of this injury. 13 WEEKS! I cannot even express my frustrating. I have tried running easy a few different times which feels fine while I run, but hurts 3 hours later. Does that seem strange to anyone else?

I wanted to finish the race, even if it was slow. Now I don't know if that is a good idea or not. My current plan is to finish at least 10k of it and see how I feel. The problem with this plan is that the pain never sets in until after the fact. Hmmm. I know it would be smarter to not run at all, but this is my big race of the summer! I spent good money to experience my first big race, and dang it I want a finishers medal!

I am looking forward to the bloggy meet up dinner. Yay! It will be so great to meet everyone, and hang out. (is it bad I am almost sorry I have to bring my husband? I feel like I have to entertain him)

To walk/jog the whole race? or bow out early?

I weighed myself for the first time in a while...let's be honest, I've been afraid to. For good reason! I am up 12lbs from my lowest weight! I almost cried. I worked so hard to lose the weight, and it is creeping back. I am still working out 5 days a week at least, and being fairly careful about my food intake. *sigh* Running I miss you.

Ready or not, Seattle here I come!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Um, Now What?

I ran 4 miles in the early morning sunshine this morning. It was the first early morning run I've been able to do in a very long six weeks, and it was warm enough to wear my cute running skirt. I felt great during my run, albeit a little out of shape. 4 miles used to be the bear minimum I would run on any given day; today it felt tiring by the end. This disappointed me, but what did I really expect after 6 weeks of only doing ballet, swimming, and aqua jogging?

I was greatly encouraged that I did not hurt during my run, and with the knowledge my MRI was clear. However, in the back of my mind, I was thinking that all is still not well-no matter what the MRI said. I did some research online yesterday after my results came in, and found a few other options of what the trouble might be. The most likely culprit, a longitudinal stress fracture. In other words, going down the length of the bone rather then across. Apparently this type does not show up on an MRI, only with a CT scan.

Although a possibility, I don't WANT to be injured, so I figured I would go with the first answer-my MRI was clear, time to slowly start running again. So back to my run this morning. I am still very much enjoying my new garmin-not sure what his name will be yet. Right now I'm thinking Brick, because it's heavy! I also have a hard time keeping it off the bone on my wrist, which is a bit uncomfortable. Thoughts? I have skinny wrists, kind of incongruous to the rest of my body.

I felt great after my run. A few twinges, but nothing major. I am feeling in the clear! I am clearly on the road to recovery, and my hopes of running Seattle are improving. Two hours later, my shin starts to hurt, and throb, and pulse. Dang. The disappointment is huge.

Right now my plan is to take another week, head back to the pool and give running another try next week. I am not sure if I should try to go back to the doctor, or try to get into a sports doctor to truly find out what's going on. If it is a stress fracture, does it really matter that i have a picture of it? The treatment is the same-rest. What else could it be?

Spend extra money on a sports doctor for an answer, or keep resting and testing?

Monday, May 10, 2010

News, News, News

First of all, Happy Birthday to ME! It was my birthday on Friday which was wonderful. My big present, my new Garmin 305 (WOOT WOOT!) had gotten here the week before, but I was good and left it in the box after checking to see that everything had come. Friday night the family took me out to Olive Garden, my favorite. Not my favorite with kids, but I'll take it anyways. Hubby was very sweet and got me a running book, and a silly crown and wand to wear at dinner, (I totally did, too). The rest of the family got me gift cards, which I promptly spent the next morning on new running shoes (review to come).

Saturday as a birthday present to myself, I went for a run to test my new Garmin. It felt amazing! I could also tell I was out of shape, but it just felt great to RUN! I spent most of the 3 miles looking at my Garmin watching my pace and distance. Way too entertaining. It's a good thing I ran on the sidewalks. Oh, and I discovered that walkjogrun.net is not so accurate. My shin hurt somewhat after my run, but it was worth it!

Mother's Day we went to the Mariner's game. It was awesome! We got cheap seats in the LF Bleachers, which ended up being excellent. It was hot! We came home with a little sun, and all very happily exhausted.

And now, the big news:
I have been waiting for a week and a half for my MRI results. Waiting and waiting. They were supposed to get them last Tuesday. I called Thursday, and they didn't have them. I finally got the long awaited call this afternoon and....
the results were normal. Okay, this is techincally good news. Except now they don't know what caused the pain, and the lump and all that. The lady from the office who called said I could follow up with the doctor if I wanted. For what? If the MRI didn't show what was going on, what would?

For now, I'm focusing on the positive. It's not a stress fracture! And I am so going on a run tomorrow morning. We'll see how my leg handles that, and go from there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

100 Things about Me

After reading a few other 100 things lists, I thought I'd give it a go since I have nothing running related to report. (unfortunately) We'll see if I can come up with 100!

  1. I am 28 years old
  2. But my birthday is in just a few weeks, May 7th!
  3. I love my birthday and presents
  4. After becoming a mom, I have had to lower my expectations since the day no longer gets to be all about me. This was a difficult transition
  5. I hated my name growing up because it was a boys name
  6. When I complained to my mom, she called me Penelope for almost a year, which made me cry. Suddenly Kasey didn't seem so bad
  7. My name was spelled "Casey" when I was born. My mom switched it when I was 4 months old
  8. She wanted to switch it again when I was in high school to "Kaci" I told her to leave it alone
  9. I am 5'10", the tallest girl in my family
  10. My mom is 5'1"-I was taller than her in the 4th grade
  11. I didn't want to get married until I was over 30
  12. I got married when I was 20
  13. We had our honeymoon in Florida
  14. The highlights were the roller coasters and getting to help with the dolphin show at Busch Gardens
  15. I didn't ever want kids
  16. I have 3 kids
  17. I am ridiculously competitive
  18. It drives me crazy that my kids are so competitive with each other
  19. My last real job before having kids was a Professional Snowboard Instructor
  20. I was a snowboard instructor until I was 5 1/2 months pregnant
  21. I love movies
  22. I can't usually pass the shelf of $5 DVDs without buying one
  23. My husband and I rarely have conversations without movie quotes thrown in
  24. Yes, we are nerds
  25. I love disaster movies-Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, The Core, 2012. They make me laugh
  26. Movies put me to sleep-I usually last less then 10 minutes
  27. My middle toe is longer than my big toe
  28. It is also shaped like an alien
  29. I hold my pen between my index and middle finger
  30. I love music
  31. I grew up playing the piano, trumpet, violin and clarinet
  32. I can still play the piano and the clarinet
  33. The violin is very painful on the ears when you are learning
  34. I got my first tattoo right after I turned 18
  35. Now I have three
  36. The only other tattoo I would consider would be a wedding band
  37. I forget to wear my wedding ring a lot
  38. My favorite color is blue
  39. When I shop for clothes, I am usually in the mood for a certain color depending on the day
  40. I have always made fun of my sister for being "type A"
  41. My son is SO type A it is scary
  42. God has a funny sense of humor sometimes
  43. I love puzzles
  44. Doing a puzzle with three little kids around is a challenge
  45. I haven't tried a new puzzle in a while because of this
  46. I am always cold, especially my feet
  47. When I take an ice bath, I turn blue
  48. I love to read
  49. I tend to ignore the world when I have a new book
  50. My husband doesn't like to read by me because I read faster
  51. He once quizzed me on a chapter because he thought I was skimming to be faster
  52. I won
  53. Playing old maid growing up with my siblings, the cards were marked
  54. I cried every time I lost for years
  55. I didn't know the cards were marked until I was 20
  56. My family is competitive
  57. My husband's face when he first saw the winners dance was priceless(yes there is a dance)
  58. We are also bad winners
  59. I've gotten better since having kids
  60. I still hate to lose
  61. My husband won't play board games with me anymore
  62. I like to color in my kids coloring books when they are asleep
  63. I have my own box of crayons that I don't share to keep the tips nice
  64. I am a little addicted to Facebook
  65. I do not like any of the Facebook games like Farmville
  66. I cannot stand the sound of crunching ice, or when the kids crunch suckers
  67. I loved to crunch ice when I was pregnant
  68. The sound was still horrible
  69. I always tell everyone my husband is the same height as me
  70. I think I am actually 1/4 inch taller
  71. I wanted to marry someone over 6' so I could feel petite
  72. I enjoy driving and drive most of the time, even when my husband is in the car
  73. It bugs my dad that I drive when my husband is in the car
  74. Wearing a dress makes me self conscious
  75. I really like wearing skirts
  76. It is hard to find skirts that are long enough when you are tall
  77. I love ballet and used to dream about dancing professionally
  78. A teacher flat out told me I was too big, which broke my heart
  79. I still love it, and am enjoying teaching it
  80. People who don't try their hardest drive me nuts
  81. My running shoes are the only shoes I own that lace up
  82. I would prefer to wear sandals over anything else
  83. My kids make me laugh and make me want to scream all at once
  84. I like my girls' hair to be fixed at all times-it bothers me when little girls look like they haven't had their hair brushed in a week
  85. I rarely fix my own hair, and just leave it in a ball or bun
  86. It bothers me when people mispronouce my daughters name, or spell my sons name wrong
  87. I went out of my way to make them origional-what did I expect?
  88. I lose my cell phone on a regular basis in my house
  89. I am a picky eater
  90. I do not like the taste of meat at all
  91. I was a complete vegetarian until I was pregnant with my first
  92. I had one beef craving with each pregnancy
  93. I still only eat chicken if it is heavily seasoned and cleverly disguised to not taste like chicken
  94. I have no idea how to cook anything meat related but chicken
  95. My sweet tooth is my biggest hurdle to eating healthy
  96. I love to bake, especially when I am stressed
  97. My kids are picky eaters and it drives me crazy
  98. I love the feeling of clean sheets
  99. I hate doing dishes and only do them when my husband is out of town
  100. The classic Scooby-Doo cartoons are still my favorites, but they still scare my kids

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Favorite Things

I am missing running, no surprise there. What is making me smile is my running "stuff" that I am missing. For fun, I thought I'd make a list to see where it went.

Running Stuff
  • Lacing my shoes. They are my only shoes that lace. Isn't that funny?
  • My Balega socks. I love those socks.
  • My NEON YELLOW Brooks Vest. That vest is so LOUD I love to wear it!
  • My music-running is the best time I have to listen to my own music. Right now my ipod is getting used mostly for Ballet music-not nearly as fun
  • My running log, now I call it my exercise log. I liked it better when I was recording MILES not laps
  • My watch-I realized the only time I use a watch is when I run
  • Alone time-swimming laps is pretty solitary, but there are still people around that chat while you rest. I didn't realize how much I enjoy just being ME
  • Mountain Berry Shot Bloks for long runs

Good Stuff about NOT Running (this list will be short)

  • Less laundry
  • Charging my ipod less
  • My watch and sports bra tan lines are fading. (I'm actually pretty proud of those tan lines)

Wow, that's all I've got. Anyone have something to add to the list?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blonde Mom Swims

Blonde Mom no longer runs. I am still trying to wrap my mind around that one. I admit, I was in quite the funk this weekend. Seeing people out running in the sunshine made me jealous. My husband went for a run to meet us at the soccer game. Great for him-he is really wanting to get back into shape. It just made me jealous and sad. I don't handle being injured well.

Today was my first swim workout. I am not a great swimmer, but I am not bad either. I am thankful for an early morning lap swim time, so I can get a workout in. Last year when I started swimming laps in preparation for a sprint triathlon, I was humbled by the fact I could only do a lap without gasping for breath. I was pleasantly surprised today with being able to do my first 4 laps without a break. Not bad for having not gone swimming in 7-8 months.

There is a group of "elite" swimmers that are there daily. I ended up in one of the their lanes since the slower lanes were crowded. I did okay for a while, but was more than happy to scoot over when space allowed. A very nice lady clued me in on their workouts, and I knew they were beyond me right now. Not a problem. I've come to the conclusion that athletes in general are nice.

Aqua jogging
This was my first attempt at aqua jogging. I had read about it, and had the general idea. After swimming laps for 20 minutes, I went to the deep end with the float belt to give it a go. I felt like such a dork. I was the only person under the age of 60, which was funny. Everyone else was floating around chatting, I was trying to "run" intervals. I'm glad there aren't mirrors or anything at pools. I did 2:00 hard, 1:00 recovery figuring that would be like running 400's. Sort of. I didn't feel like I got a running work out, but I was tired by the end of 6 reps. I went back to swimming laps for the last 10 minutes.

I stopped after 45 minutes remembering last time I swam a full hour after not swimming for a long time, I was sore! I would like to be able to lift my arms tonight. So far, so good.

No news on the MRI yet. I am hoping they call with my appointment soon. After having the doctor poke at me, I have been more sore than ever. Praying the MRI will be soon, and will give an answer as to what is going on!

To avoid being all doom and gloom-who wants to start a Monday that way?

Goals for the week:
  • Be POSITIVE and not grumpy. It is not my family's fault I can't run!
  • Don't buy anything sweet, sugary, or pastry like.
  • Eat a fruit and/or vegetable at every meal!
  • No Baking! (it is a comfort thing-then I eat it)
  • Be THANKFUL that I am able to swim for exercise. It is way better than nothing!
  • Keep a food journal

My weight has been creeping up just a bit with my mileage being so low, and me eating a lot of sweets because of stress. I was somewhat embarrassed to get weighed at the doctors office. I am really going to work on making better choices is week. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 9, 2010

No News is Not Good News

I had a reasonably good tempo run on Thursday morning. I just went by feel, trying to keep a relatively hard pace for 4 miles. I was very pleased to finish with just over an 8:00 average. I haven't lost all my speed! That was the good news. My shin started really hurting after 3 miles, worse than ever. It hurt when I got home for the rest of the day which hasn't been the norm.

I gave in and called the doctor. I really dislike doctors, especially when they tell me to take it easy! To my surprise, they fit me in the next day, (Friday morning). I do like the new doctor that I found, and she took her time and listened to what's been going on. She is an occasional runner, so she was understanding about me not wanting to give up running.

I didn't get my wish. She sent me in for an x-ray on that leg, but what has her really concerned is the lump that is next to the shin bone. It is not sensitive to the touch like a bruise, and is hard. Very weird. Well, it didn't hurt until she started poking at it. After that it did hurt.

I got the call about my x-ray this afternoon. Great news! All clear. Oh wait, not great news-they don't know what's wrong. Up next, MRI. Until I have the MRI and they figure out what is going on, no running. NO RUNNING! I knew it was coming, but it still is so hard to hear.

I can swim, and possibly use a stationary bike. No running, no elliptical, no stair climber. I even asked about rollerblading, just in case. No go. My race schedule is seriously in jeopardy. Okay, she told me flat out my May races werent' going to happen, and the Seattle RNR is unlikely. I'm going to ignore that last part until it's a sure thing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Everyone!
I am amazed that it is April already, and Easter. My family and I had a wonderful weekend. Unfortunately, it included no running. Or maybe that is a good thing. I'm resting like I should, right?
I got to take my youngest (call me Piggy!-not sure why she wants to be a piggy, but sure) on a date with my mom. We went to a gift shop and picked out a new snuggle for her, similar to her old one. She took picking it out very seriously. I wasn't sure she would be willing to replace Lily, but she picked out another frog named Tadbit. And best of all, SHE NAPPED! Praise God!
After shopping, we went in a shoe store that actually had a good supply of running shoes. Awesome! Chatted with the owner, got fit and discussed the problems I've been having. She was a great help and suggested the Asics Nimbus, but did not have my size. Probably a good thing as it is not in the budget for this week. Tried on the Cumulus which I liked okay, but want to wait and compare to the Nimbus. Thoughts?
The kids woke up EARLY this morning. I had to laugh when my husband informed them Easter didn't start until the sun came up. Church was wonderful, then we went and spent the day at my moms. The hunt was hilarious, and we all made ourselves sick on candy.
I am planning on running tomorrow morning, just to give it a try. If my shin is painful, I promised to call the doctor. I am hoping that only running 10 miles last week was enough! I am missing running so much. If it does still hurt, I guess it's time to start swimming. And dieting! I am still eating like I am running 30 miles per week. Time to hide the candy...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I decided to run this morning feeling the need to get out and have ME time. It was AWESOME and so totally worth it. I did not give myself a lot of time, which was probably wise. The temptation to keep going was strong!

I ran less than 3 miles, and I definitely felt my shin. It didn't feel good, but it wasn't horribly painful either-just there. My stride felt normal, so I kept going. It felt amazing this morning! It was a perfect 37 degrees, and you could feel a storm coming in the air. The sky was bright red in the east. I mean BRIGHT RED! I wish I had a camera with me. It felt great knowing that I was one of the few people out and about to see that incredible start to the morning.

Then being able to watch as the clouds started rolling in, covering the red sky. It started to rain lightly and it just felt wonderful to be out and moving. My breathing easy, upper body relaxed, just enjoying the feeling of running in the early morning quiet. The clouds dropped lower and opened. It rained a little harder. No wait, now it's snowing. It didn't start coming down hard until I was 3 blocks from home. It worked out perfectly.

I came home relaxed, refreshed, and ready to be a much happier mom. My shin is hurting somewhat now, but I maintain it was worth it! There is something so incredible about experiencing a beautiful morning while running. It was a perfect way to start Good Friday, having that quiet time to be thoughtful and thankful.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Things

My blogs this week have been real downers. I am not normally a negative person-at least, I try hard not to be. Yes, we all know it is not fun to be injured (I am not admitting I am officially injured), but who wants to read whining? I don't even like writing it, although I freely admit it feels good to vent. Venting to non runners doesn't really count since they don't get it.

So today's blog is going to be about GOOD THINGS!

  1. New Runners World today! Let me hear a Woot Woot! And I showed more willpower than usual and did not read the whole thing in one sitting. It might last me until tomorrow.
  2. Runners World has an article about dealing with being injured. It made me laugh. Oh the irony!
  3. I got to sleep in two days in a row past 7am! Wow! I miss my morning run, but the extra sleep is something I could get used to.
  4. And better yet, a cute 2 year old blonde barista took my coffee order in bed, and my husband delivered it. Good way to start the morning. (we make our own espresso at home)
  5. That cute 2 year old finally took a nap today WITHOUT her SNUGGLE! Huge step, and will make my evening much better. (finding her snuggle would be even better. Lily is still missing!)
  6. I got ALL the star coins on Super Mario Brothers Wii. For any of you that have that game, you know it is a huge deal! (sad, I know-but my son loves that game)

I have not run since Tuesday. I did ballet yesterday, and some ballet conditioning and core work today. (all no impact) My shin feels fine when I am walking around on it. Should I try running tomorrow? Just to see? I could go swim instead, but I have a hard time getting in a cold pool when it's cold outside. I know, I'm such a wimp.

Try to run? Or Swim? I don't know if I can handle three days in a row of sleeping in.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It has been a very traumatic day around here. Lily is lost. Who is Lily? My 2 year old's snuggle pet/blanket that she cannot sleep or live without. It is in our house somewhere, but we have turned the house upside down looking since yesterday afternoon and nothing. I'm sure any of you moms out there understand the implications of a missing snuggle. It has not been pretty. Added to the fact that the weather is still horrible, all three kids spent the morning crying and/or whining-spring break is not off to a great start.

As for running, I did go this morning. I realize I should have rested, but I just wanted to get out and try. How did I justify this? Surely it is just the shoes. I wore an older pair of my Asics to see how they felt. I ran down the block, and it hurt. So I turned around to head home. But wait, it doesn't hurt so much anymore! Keep running the other way, and maybe around the block. The big block. Ended with 3.65 miles.

My shin really felt okay until the last half mile which lulled me into thinking my shoes are just the problem. That still could be the case, (hoping) but my shin has been throbbing off and on since my run. Dang.

My husbands car broke down again, crabby kids and a toddler who won't sleep without her Lily, and a possible injury for me. Spring break, can I have a re-do?

(sorry for the whining this week. I'm working on it!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Showers bring April Flowers? Please?

Or better yet, BRING SUN!

It is spring break here. Yay! Except, the weather is not cooperating. Today it is raining and blowing like crazy. We are on a wind advisory all day, with gusts up to 55mph. Doesn't that sound fun? Three kids+no school+bad weather=restless grumps! I can tell I will need to get creative this week.

The good news, the rain held off for my run this morning. It was breezy, but not gale force winds which was great. Speed work in the wind makes a hard workout near torture. I did not have a super hard workout scheduled today, keeping in mind the fact that Saturday's run was TERRIBLE. Seriously body, get with the program here! The mind is willing, the body is whining.

And unfortunately, winning the battle for the moment. Saturday I set out for a "long" run of about 8 miles. The first two miles, my knee hurt. I told myself I would turn around if it didn't feel better by the end of town. It did, so onward I went. Then my left shin started hurting again at about the halfway point (isn't that always the case?). I ignored it, and tried to concentrate on my stride. I struggled to finish 7.8 miles. That annoyed me. I sat and stewed in my ice bath, angry at my shoes or my legs or whatever was making my runs so bad.

Sunday I rested and iced. Well, more or less. I was also on my feet a lot. *side note* I am a "yes" person (I'm working on that) so even though I had had a huge week, I had agreed to sing for a Haiti Benefit that was going on. Good cause, but huge time suck! I was gone all afternoon, and on my feet for a lot of it.

The grey morning suited how I felt about getting up this morning. But I was determined to get to the track, especially since I mentioned to one of the soccer moms that a few of us meet at the track Monday mornings. I couldn't not show! I normally run a 1.5 mile route to the track. Today, I cut it a bit short just wanting to get there. I was somewhat relieved to see that none of the regulars were there, and the soccer mom did not show.

I want to work on my speed so was starting with 200s. My first was almost 10 seconds slower than usual. Not a great start. On my second repeat, my left shin started hurting again. Uh oh. I tried one more, which made it very clear that speed was so not happening today. So here is what went on in my little brain-"I know! I'll do a fartlek. Nope, that hurt too. Bummer. I guess I'll just head home. Wait! It doesn't hurt so bad! Try to go fast again! Crap, still hurts. Go home. I know, I'll just try a tempo to get home faster. Oh, and add a few blocks. I might as well make it worth it! Okay, I added a mile. It isn't hurting so bad. (at home) I lied. It hurts."

Brain, you are a tricky thing, and not so smart sometimes. I am starting to worry about a stress fracture. The very thought makes me cringe. I have a visible bruise on my shin that has been there in varying degrees for a few weeks I think. I am a klutz, so I dismissed the mystery bruise. But it isn't going away, and is sort of a lump. Thoughts anyone? I told my husband I would call the doctor this morning, but am procrastinating. I don't like the doctor anyways, and especially not if they are going to tell me not to run! I know, not so smart. I'll call. Really. I am telling myself if I deal with it now, if it is an injury it can be dealt with before the Seattle RNR. But I don't want to waste money on the doctor if it is really just a bruise!

I am open to suggestions. Happy Monday-well, I'm trying.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keep on moving on

This morning I actually managed to drag my sorry behind out of bed for a run, (for the first time this week-wow!). I am typically a morning person and don't mind my early morning runs. It is my quiet time-often the ONLY quiet time I get in a day. I have been so tired this week, it just hasn't happened.

I wanted to get back into my routine and make it happen today, even if I still felt sleepy. And boy did I feel sleepy. It is way too easy to get used to sleeping until 7am! I did manage to get out the door by 6:00 which is a little later than usual, but I'll take it.

I did my 5 mile loop this morning, and by the end of it I felt like a runner again. Thank God! I knew my body just needed rest, but having a bad run is stressful to no end. Silly, I know. I did just race on Sunday-which already feels like forever ago.

My 5 miles was not fast, but it was not slow either. My feet remembered how to pick themselves up again instead of dragging and tripping their way along. (Tuesdays night run was really that bad) And now I am ready to start training again. I will take the rest of this week as a down week, but want to start picking it up again right away. Maybe. We'll see how it goes!

I am looking for a 10k or something of the like in April, but haven't found anything yet. I wish there were more races around here! A runner friend mentioned she might go to Trout Lake for the half marathon, just for the day. Oh..tempting. It is 3 hours from here, so I didn't want to drive it on my own, or pay for a hotel to go. I thought, perfect! I can do the 10k. Can I hop in the car with you?

But then I started thinking...if I'm going anyways, why not just do the half? I've already put in the mileage but haven't had time to work on the speed for a 10k. I did trout lake last year as my first half. It is a pretty flat course, only one little hill. (flat as a pancake if you compare it to Mercer!) Hmmm

I admit, I really hope she decides to go-and takes me too!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recovery Blues

Okay, calling it the blues may be a little overly dramatic. That being said, I am still feeling very "off". Monday I was seriously sore and walking like an old lady. I was proud to be so sore, and very willing to take Monday very easy with just normal activity. Tuesday morning I woke up to run and my joints were still hurting. My muscles felt better, but the bones in my left foot, my right shin, and left hip all ached so I turned off the alarm and figured I would take two rest days.

That seemed like a great plan, until the afternoon when it was sunny and 65 degrees. How can any runner resist that? I took my son to soccer practice, and left from there to do a 30 minute run. It felt like I hadn't run in a year. How is that possible? Aches, sore feet, and my stride felt weird. Even so, the weather was glorious and I was happy to be running.

This morning I set my alarm to run again. No go. I have never had a post race recovery like this. Normally I take one day off and start right back up again. My body has apparently decided not this time!

I am somewhat wary of the pain in my foot in particular-worrying about a stress fracture. I did a two hour ballet class this morning and aside from feeling tired, my body felt fine. I am planning on doing an easy run tomorrow, and hoping for the best.

Has anyone else ever had trouble bouncing back like this? It's kind of weirding me out!

PS My new runningskirt got here today. Very excited! For some reason I thought it had the shorts underneath, and not just briefs. Hmm. I clearly miss-read the website, looking at it now. I'm a little concerned about chaffing-thoughts? (even with bodyglide)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mercer Island Half Marathon Recap

We'll see if I can get this post written before my the end of Super Why on PBS, and therefore the end of my quiet time.

It was great to get out of town this weekend and have a much needed kid break. My mom came through and blessed us by keeping the kids so my husband and I could travel alone. We stopped in North Bend and met a couple of friends for shopping. Well, the girls shopped and the boys headed on their way for "guy time" aka video games.

After shopping, we headed to Mercer and picked up the race packet. Hubby was a little mistaken in the directions, so it took a while to find where we were supposed to be. Oh well. I got my packet, that was the important thing. I looked at the map, but did not take the time to drive the course. I knew the course was hilly, and at that point figured ignorance was bliss. I'm not sure if it was the right call or not, but I like to think I slept with less stress.

Going into the weekend, I was coming off a two day migraine. Not fun, and I had missed my last two training runs. I was still head achy Sunday morning when I woke up, but it wasn't a migraine anymore. It did make it hard to eat breakfast, well that and nerves. I am not great about eating before a race, although I know it affects my energy later on.

We got to the race in plenty of time. In fact, too much time. Time to stand around and get cold! I did get to meet fellow bloggers Mel, Jill, Kerrie, and Zoe! Good thing Mel stands out in a crowd, she was easy to find. :) I chatted with Mel and Jill while we waited, and waited in line for the bathroom once more. We headed to the start, and realized how packed the start was. Oops! Should have gotten down there sooner. It was crowded!

It took a few minutes to cross the start, and off we went! I ran with Jill the first mile and part of the second, then lost her in the crowd. It was hard to weave around so many people! This was by far the largest race I have ever done, so I wasn't used to weaving around people the whole race.

The first 6 miles went great. I was relaxed, holding a good conservative pace I could keep, hoping for lots in the tank for the second half. The support at the water stations was good, although with so many people it was crowded. Then there was the people who just stood there drinking their water blocking the table. Um, keep walking people!

Mile 7, I really started feeling those hills. Ouch! My calves and left hip really started to hurt. I started trying to do the math in my head to keep my mind occupied, and to push up to the top of each hill telling myself I would get a rest on the downside. Then I tried to push hard until each water stop, promising myself I could walk through the water stops.

Mile 10 I was getting tired! This is normally when I bonk unfortunately. I was still doing okay, my legs were just starting to feel heavy and my hip hurt. Then we started up the big hill. It just didn't end. Most of the people around me were stopping to walk. That was hard enough to push through, but they were walking in the middle of the road, without much room to get around them. More people weaving. Trying to weave around people when everything in me wanted to stop and walk too was HARD. I wanted to stop.

I kept running, but it turned into a shuffle. My feet weren't wanting to pick it up! Miles 11 and 12 felt like forever. Just keep moving! I knew if I stopped to walk, it would be all over. At this point, my sub 2 hour was out of reach, but I still wanted to push hard.

My last mile was slow-a 10:something. I didn't mark the split. Finally going up the hill into the finish corral I gave it the best kick I had. However, the people in front of me were not going as fast. I tried to move around a couple of girls in front of me, but they were not overly cooperative. Oh well.

Finish time by my watch: 2:04:21 9:17 Average (13.3 miles)
chip time: 2:05 9:30 Average

Walking up the big hill to the tent was horrible. My calves were a knotted mess. I was proud of my finish time though. It wasn't the sub 2 hours I was after, but I know I gave it the best I had on the toughest course I have ever run.

things I learned:
  • Hills are HARD!
  • Eat more breakfast, even when it doesn't sound or taste good.
  • Even if it feels cold at the start, don't wear a coat. It was in my way the whole race
  • A big race means weaving around people-and that you will run further then 13.1
  • I need to keep working on picking up the pace on the last few miles of long runs when I feel tired.
  • Eat afterwards even when I don't feel like it. I make this mistake after most races, and always pay for it with a sick stomach.

Things I did Well:

  • I did not start out too fast
  • I kept pushing myself to the finish
  • I did well on the uphills until the last one and passed a lot of people. It made me feel strong!
I am sore today, but it is a good sore knowing I gave the race everything I had! The only soreness that concerns me a little is in my left foot, the bones on the outside of my foot are sore. Hoping it is just from the race, and nothing more serious.

Next up:
A 10K race in May, and hopfully one in April too if i can find one.
Seattle RNR Half Marathon in June

Training plans to come.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who Am I?

Profound title, I know, but this has been something that has been going through my mind lately as more things are being added to my plate.

So who am I? Wife. Mom. Runner. Dancer. Teacher. Soccer Mom. Chef. Laundress. Maid. (to name a few)

How do we balance it all? How do we know when it is just too much? How do we find that perfect ratio of things that make us better wives/moms/athletes without overdoing?

I love my husband. We have been married almost 9 years, and he has been a huge help to me as I am finding my footing in this new schedule. My kids have been understanding on the outside, but we have been facing some escalating attitude issues we have not dealt with before. Is it too much?

My runner self feels a little bi-polar. I'll have a great running day where I feel like I can tackle anything! And then a day that feels like I shouldn't even bother to run at all if I can't finish that workout. Where's the balance?

Teaching ballet has been a good thing. It feels good to see improvement in my classes, and to know that they are working harder than they ever have. My legs are handling the extra workload well, and my feet are getting stronger. That will make me a better runner. I haven't seen the weight loss I was hoping for with the added exercise, but perhaps that will come.

Spring soccer has started for my son, which he is ecstatic about. He was up by 6am Saturday morning for an 11am game. It was a long morning. I love that my kids want to be active and busy. It's finding the balance with my activities as well.

Adjustments need to be made as schedules change. For me, that also means learning to say "No". Such an easy thing, but it is so much easier to say "yes". For example, I was asked to teach 3 Friday night dance classes, including Jazz. I have never taken Jazz. I told my boss this, and she was unconcerned, figuring I could work with their recital piece. Classes went fine, however by saying yes to that, I unwittingly said "no" to something else. My daughter had her preschool open house. No problem, it started at 6:30, classes were done at 6:30. I would just be a few minutes late. Oops-open house started at 6:00pm, and I missed most of the activities. She enjoyed doing the things with Daddy, but I felt bad.

Another adjustment that makes me sad, but is the right choice, is postponing my first full marathon. I will now be doing the Seattle RNR half, and waiting to do a full in the fall. Probably Portland. As much as this makes me sad, putting my dream on hold, I also realize that this will relieve stress for myself and my family. Trying to find training time that isn't there when I am already slow on prep time doesn't seem like a great idea. Plus, it does give me a chance to keep focusing on my half marathon time and to do some shorter races this spring also.

Mercer Island is this weekend, and I am nervous! I have been spread so thin that I have not given my training my all. Can I still get my sub 2:00 half? I want that so badly. I will give it the best I have on race day, and we'll just see. And I will make my workouts this week as quality as I can in preparation.

Today's workout was fabulous-6x400 @ sub 1:50 (1:47, 1:46, 1:47, 1:46, 1;45, 1:45). I felt great for all the repeats, even though I did my long run yesterday. I added 2x400, 2x200 that I ran with a friend at a slightly slower pace.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Alive! and Kicking

Wow. I mean wow. So sorry for the serious lack of blogging. I have been lurking and trying to keep up with everyone else, but that's about it. My in-laws were in town for a long (really long) weekend. The kids were happy to see them, but it was a lot of stress and work for me. On PMS week. Not great timing. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am super clumsy during PMS. I can't even tell you how many bruises I have on my legs and hips from running into everything. Hello door frame! Frantically cleaning for my very type-A neat freak mom-in-law while running into everything was interesting.

I have been keeping up with my running, with a few schedule changes. I got 14.7 miles in on Saturday before going to play with the grandparents. Of course, all I wanted to do was lay down on the couch. Does anyone else have a hard time being productive after long runs? I'll admit that the last two miles of that run were HARD. I was eyeing the different places I could stop and use the phone to call for a ride. Glad I finished though.

Next big news, I got a job! One I was not at all looking for, although I freely admit we could really use the added income. I have stayed home with my kids from the beginning, so I haven't had a job in almost 7 years! How weird is that? And my last job was as a Snowboard Instructor. This new job is similar, sort of. I was hired to teach Ballet at a studio in town. Now, as previously mentioned I used to dance. I am not fantastic, but know the technique relatively well. A friend teaches hip-hop there, and mentioned they might be interested in more help. I thought I could maybe assist in a ballet class. (I have seen their recitals, and the ballet is BAD. Great hip-hop, jazz studio, but their ballet is horrible). I ended up being thrown in to teach a class of 18 11-13 year old (haha) as a working interview. Uh yeah. Apparently it went okay, because I was hired to teach all the Ballet classes to focus on technique. The owner will continue to work on their choreography, which is fine by me. So I will be teaching 3 nights a week.

And so begins a new juggling act of adding this into our schedules. I think we can make it work, and I love that I have a job where I get to exercise the whole time. I will keep my same training program, and just consider the extra few days of ballet cross-training. I admit I have been tired this week. An extra 2-3 hours of exercise a day is a lot, but I am excited for the opportunity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Mile 2 Months in the Making

I'll get to that in a moment. First I'll post on my interval workout yesterday. My schedule called for 4x800 @10k pace. I had that written down to be 4:00, so 8:00 pace. I don't know if I ran my intervals too fast, or my goal time was too slow. Either way, I didn't get close to 4:00-can't complain!

3:36-felt so good, added one more. Probably would have added another, but my family came to the track.

Which brings me to the mile. 2 months ago, my husband bragged that he could run a 9:00 mile right now if he wanted to. He has not run at all in 9 years. Yes, 9 years. Nor does he do any other kind of exercise. So, I laughed at him and told him I'd love to see him try. I kept suggesting going to the track to get it done, but things kept coming up.

Well, what better time to make good than a 3 day weekend? He knew it was time to make good on his boast. He took a lap to warm up, and I timed him. His first lap he was a little fast-which I let him know. I ran with him the second lap-not pacing, just encouraging. After that he was on his own, since my girls were having a sand fight in the long jump pit.

Hubby walked once during lap three, twice during lap 4 but just for a short while. He really gave it his all! I ran the last 200 meters with him, trying to help him give a good finishing kick. Final time, 9:37:55. He missed his time, but did finish a mile.

I admit it was a little hard not to laugh at him seeing spots and feeling like he was going to pass out at the end. However, I remember well what that first running mile felt like when I was so out of shape. Hubby was red faced even an hour later, and sore this morning.

The best part is, he is thinking maybe we should do a family day at the track every week and maybe he will start trying to run on my off days. Great idea-we'll see if he can get out of bed! A morning person he is not. I think the running bug is taking root.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where are you?

Motivation-where have you gone? Not so long ago I treasured my early mornings alone. Some days I was sleepy, but that first block always had me awake and ready to tackle everything. Is it burnout? Is it sleep deprivation? Or is it the constant gloom of winter that we have found ourselves in? I think there has only been one day in the last month that it has not rained.

No matter the cause, it is time to snap out of it! I am ready to train hard and give it my all. Grumbling at having to get up at 5:30am is not going to benefit my running, or my life in any way. Negative thoughts, time to go away now-and I mean it. I am tougher than you.

After arguing with my alarm for 15 minutes this morning, I did get out of bed to run. That was a victory. It was only a 30 minute tempo, but it felt like so much more. The good news is, my watch was found-that excuse is over. (until a short person relocates it again)

1 mile warmup felt good and on the way, I decided I needed a change. I went a different route which meant I had no idea where my mile splits would be. I thought that might be for the best and I would just give it what I had for 30 minutes, and plug in the time and distance later. (This is where a Garmin would be fantastic-I am hopeful for my birthday).

30.03 = 3.83-5.25 miles total
7:50 average!

No wonder I was feeling it towards the end! I was going 40 seconds faster than my pace! I felt good knowing I could hold a faster pace, but I have got to learn some consistancy. Next time I need to mark splits. I am proud of this tempo run and knowing that I worked hard and gave it my all when I really didn't want to.

The easiest place to do that is the greenway since it has markers every 1/2 mile. I will be glad when it is light enough to run there and feel safe!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I have a confession to make. I skipped my tempo run. Yep, totally skipped it. I had several weak excuses, my number one being I still hadn't found my watch. A tempo run is a waste of time without a watch, right? My two year old fell out of bed this morning at 4:30, and I had just gotten back to sleep when the alarm went off. It didn't take much to talk me out of a cold, dark run.

*My two year old fell out of her bed and started screaming. I rush to her aid, and hug her until she's calm. She informs me, "that bed kicked me out. Or my pets. That isn't nice. Night night" and was back to sleep before I left the room. Her pets are the stuffed animals she (and her sister) insists on sleeping with. They each have 10-15 in their bed and can't live without them.

I slept in until my husband gave me the not so subtle hint that it was 7:30, and he needed to go, could I be so kind as to deal with the kids? Oops. Thursday is my usual off day/cross training day so I'll just switch. No harm done.

To make myself feel better for missing my run, and my poor eating habits lately-that is a whole other blog!-I went to the adult Ballet class I used to frequent. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it a lot. I took my girls with me, and they behaved beautifully. That last time I tried, it was not so successful. My muscles handled the barre work well-the ballet conditioning at home has paid off! The dancing center work was a little slower to come back. I felt a bit awkward, large and clumsy. Oh well, it was a solid 2 hour workout, so it took care of my cross training for the day.

Up for tomorrow: the Tempo Run.....report to follow

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Thank God you're Crazy!"

This was my husbands quote yesterday. It made me laugh out loud. We were at Costco, and passed by the display of flowers. He commented that he had something in mind to get me for Valentine's Day, but it wasn't romantic. He gave me a look that said, "will that get me in trouble?" Then decided to tell me, my Race Fee! I told him I loved it, and it was romantic to me! To which he loudly proclaimed, "Thank God you're crazy!" in the middle of Costco. Between that and me laughing, we got some looks.

In my mind, romance isn't about what you get-it's the motivation behind it. Flowers are nice, but die. Jewelry is great, but not realistic to our budget. Most people I know would think a race fee is totally unromantic. Paying for you to run and feel miserable? For me, it is the perfect gift. As we all know, race fees are not cheap. I would love to race a lot, but the lack of races in my area and the already hefty fees make that difficult. My husband knows me well-that I want to race, but don't want to stretch an already tight budget to make it happen.

Today's run was the usual easy 4.5 mile loop, and my first run in my new shoes. The lure of the new shoes was the motivation I needed to get up this morning.

SHOE REVIEW: Saucony Progrid Guide 3
They were horrible. They hurt my feet before I had made it half a mile. It felt like running on rocks, and I don't know why. They felt like they had enough cushion when I jogged around the store, but they seriously hurt! I am a mid foot striker, and every time I landed on my forefoot pain shot through my feet and shins. I found myself trying to adjust my stride which made it worse. Not good. I ended up cutting my run short by a block because I couldn't do it anymore. I debated walking, but decided to speed up instead to make it home.

I guess I get to go for a drive again this weekend to return them, and back to the drawing board. I will try them once more for my easy run Friday and see if they feel better.