Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trying not to be injured.....

I didn't realize how hard that would be! I've always been a 'pusher' (Tina Fey, "Mean Girls" style). I push everyone, my students, my own kids, myself - myself the hardest. Especially when it comes to sports. Growing up I played basketball & volleyball and I always went at it as hard as I could - no matter what. (That's actually how I ended up with a broken elbow :( my senior year!) Well..... I guess I unconsciously did the same thing when I picked up running. Pushing myself to go farther, harder, faster, longer with each run. Days off? Who does that? No days off! ---> Enter the frowny face any a weird pain in my hip. I'm not sure what it is, so I'm forcing -- FORCING -- myself NOT to run until it doesn't hurt. I DON'T want to end up with a serious injury b/c I couldn't just chill out. But seriously.... sad face -- I just want to run!!!

Normally, I hate that stores get seasonal decorations out WAY to early, but I made a last minute snack stop at the Dollar Store today and **gasp** they had candy corn!!!! It made my day!! Up until that point, I had been feeling pretty crummy thanks to the whole hip pain + car trouble fiasco, but those candy corns.... and my two super genious boys turning the little corner of the checkout area into a "candy rocket" & inviting me to go for a ride - when I accepted and we blasted off.... it was just so fun to play along with them. Those 5 minutes were a total surprise, but it was so super special to me. LOVE!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quinoa, Anyone?

Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken Recipe
This pic is from the website linked above (allrecipes.com), I'll post a picture of what mine actually looks like later...maybe.  ;)
What's your favorite way to  quinoa? (Yes, I did just turn it into a verb.)
I can't always be the last person to get into a trend.... can I? What trend were you "late" for?

A 'Mixed Bag'

(If you've never read any of the Lemony Snicket books, you have to! They're kids' books, but in the way that today's cartoon movies are 'for kids' - there's something for everyone! In one of the books, he uses the phrase 'a mixed bag' to describe a situation that had good parts and bad parts. I love that phrase! And it describes my last few days perfectly......)

Here goes: My mom had surgery (-), it was successful so her quality of life will be much better! (+)
I got back on track with my training schedule (+), but I stunk up the place on my speed work (-) and got dehydrated (-).
I did 10 miles yesterday (+) & realized I CANNOT STAND my hydration belt - it bounces! (---)
Now, my leg hurts (---) :( praying for it!!
And the biggest 'Boooo!' Of the week goes to my job. I know it's summer and teachers don't work or even think about work during that time right? Booooonk! Our 'school grade' just came out & my school was 1 point away from a 'B'. I'm not going to make any excuses, it is just like anything else in life, when you work SO HARD on something & pour SO MUCH into something, only to have the rules changed & the playing field isn't level, it really stinks. Then to have people come along that don't know anything about education judge and criticize your profession as a whole!!!!! AAAHHH!!!! Okay, sorry, let me get down off my soapbox....
I think, in calling this week 'a mixed bag', I was trying to be positive....

Ever read any of the Lemony Snicket books? What's your fave?

Anyone else have a life outside of running? How do you balance everything?

What do you use for hydration during long runs??

I loooove me some balance! ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Treadmills, Wild Hair & Speed Work... OH MY!

S1) Treadmills: I had to do my "easy" run at the local YMCA yesterday and it was definitely a learning experience! I NEVER go - don't have a membership (just had to pay $6 to work out for the day) - I've always felt SUPER awkward working out in public. I mean, it's like running on a stage for EVERYONE to see - eeek!! But I really needed to get his run in, so I sucked it up and went for it.... and fell in love with the treadmill!!!
     I am absolutely terrible at maintaining pace, but on a treadmill it kinda forces you to stay on pace - no accidental speeding up or slowing down. So, let me rephrase that - I love/hate the treadmill!

2) Wild Hair: And really, this is just an extension of #1. While at the Y, I thought, 'Oh, I'll be running inside, in the a/c, so I won't sweat so bad!' So, I didn't braid my hair or wear a headband - I just pulled my hair up in a default pony tail and went at it... and ended up with a tangled mess of super-sweaty (ew! gross, I know) hair. :(  Lesson learned - you still sweat when you work out in the a/c!  ((Told ya' I'm new to this!))

3) Speed Work = Epic FAIL Learning Experience: I was supposed to do 3x 1600 @ my goal race pace - 8:45 w/ 800 jogs in between. Key words: supposed to. I hit a major, MAJOR wall after the 1st repeat. I got about 1/2 way through the second when I had to stop and walk. I ended up splitting the remaining sets into 800s and walking 400 in between. I'm not really sure what happened out there today, but I'm working on a few theories. (FYI - I did this exact same workout a few weeks ago at just a slightly slower pace with no problem - it was tough, definitely, but I did it.)
 As a newbie, I research EVERYTHING as it happens to me and this is what I found:
Training Fatigue

Have you every hit a training rut? How did you deal?

Do you love or hate the treadmill? (Or both like me?!)

Train by effort or by pace?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wow! I feel like a *REAL* runner now!!

Ok, I know, everyone who runs is a *runner* - doesn't matter how fast or how far, only that you run....BUT....

A few things have happened recently to make the experience, the push and the drive a lot more *real* to ME.
1) I pushed through a really hard long run (10 miles), coming off a super painful throat infection, I actually had to run/walk the last 2.5 miles. I'm just glad I listened to my body and made the adjustments I needed in order to make sure I didn't get injured. But, I am sore today - not injured, but sore and that makes me smile - my muscles are being pushed and their developing - yay!!
2) I just scored an awesome list of dynamic stretches/drills from this blog that I just started following (hello! - I finally crawled out from under a rock - tons of people read this blog b/c it's AWESOME!!) ....too bad I found the list AFTER my long run... maybe I wouldn't be so sore if I had been doing them already...
These two "events" have made me feel more "official" - whatever that means! I just know I'm ready for my next run! Bring it!! :)
Was there an "Aha!" moment for you as a runner, when you felt "official? Share!!  :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Balancing Act

  The biggest struggle I have is with keeping my life in balance. With so many 'lthings to do', if I'm not careful, I'll get distracted or off-track & then overwhelmed. In the past, that has always been followed by getting physically overwhelmed - catching a cold that just adds to the exhaustion. YUCK! & NOT ANYMORE!
   I am working on staying on track, looking closely at my patterns & routines to see what I need to change. This is what I learned today: Runs do not equal prayer time.
   Some people may be able to fully focus & really pray while they run. Not me. Not that I don't acknowledge God at all during my runs - I am usually involved in some kind of conversation with Him, but it's usually more along the lines of 'I can do all things through Christ' or 'All things are possible to him who believes' and some part of those verses becomes my mantra for the next mile or so. At no point during my desperate running prayer do I pray for my family or really, anything other than my current run.
   With ALL of that being said - how does this affect my day? Well, if I want to have my time with God before I run, I have to get up earlier and that means I need to go to bed earlier. In order to go to bed earlier, I need to get dinner started/finished earlier so everyone will be ready for bed earlier - AAHHH!! Starting to get overwhelmed!
  I think I'm going to start by planning my meals for the week. I've never done that before, ,I'd say it's definitely time to start!

What are you 'get it all done' tricks?
Do you have any non-negotiables that you HAVE to do everyday?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Tempo Run + Race Training Research 'cause I'm a Runnerd ;)

     I did my 'baby' tempo run this morning - I'm only up to 3 miles, not including warm-up/cool down. I really have to remember that this is all still new to me. It's okay that I'm not at my goal pace yet - I literally still have like 20 weeks in my training plan. I will get to that point, I just have to keep working. My mantra this morning was definitely "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - it helped power me through that last mile that I thought was never going to end!

   The newspaper came and took pictures of us working at school today - I just hope they didn't catch me doing what I do best...running my mouth! :) I tried to look intently at my computer screen, but it's almost impossible for me to not talk for any period of time, so I'm sure my mouth was flapping a couple of times while she was snappin' shots. (ps - Planning went really well - we got 3 weeks worth of lessons ready - woo-hoo!!!)

   I ended my afternoon with some running research - since I am still new to this I read everything I can about training!

Half-Marathon Pacing Strategies (Active.com)

Cross Training Ideas (Active.com)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow....

     I'm so excited I get to do a 'real' run tomorrow! I'm going to do a tempo run @ 6:30, before work. This is my first race with an actual pace goal since my week of rest started.
    My 5th grade team is pre-planning for the upcoming school year & the newspaper might come by and snap a few pics of us working.
Teachers are small town celebrities! :) Paparazzi everywhere we go - guess I won't wear my running clothes.  That also means I'm going to have to do something with my way too long hair!

Have GOT to do something with this hair!

Is your hair long or short?
What do you do with your hair when you run?
Who else loves a good tempo run in the am?! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Yeah, so, I just Googled myself - I have a pretty common name & apparently there's a crossfit goddess with the same name. Maybe if I'd gone several pages back, I would have found something for me, but she's doing pretty awesome so I don't mind sharing my name. :)

 <----- That is the crossfit champ - not me!
Holy cow! I just did a little follow up research on the Crossfit Games - this is intense!!
Check it out: Crossfit Games
I've thought about adding some Crossfit-type training to my weekly routine, but I'm not sure how that would affect my running goals. Any thoughts??

New Year's Resolutions...

...in July? Yep! As a teacher, I tend to think of my years as from August to June & July is like a recharging time in between. The past few years I've been really guilty of just letting life happen which always turns into crazy-busy school years - I stay at the school waaaay too late, barely get to see my own kids & have absolutely no time for myself. (The first day of school last year marked an 8 month running drought!)
This year I am resolving to be more time effective! I will read my Bible & pray every morning & run every afternoon! School work will stay at school and the rest of my time will be used with purpose - no more waste....
.....which leads me to this morning's picture..... (this coconut water is probably going to go to waste unless someone can tell me what to mix it with!!!!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To Rest, or NOT to Rest? That is the Question!

   Pretty new to this whole running thing (since April), I have been reading anything and everything I can get my hands on - I'm overdosing on all things running - blogs, facebook, magazines, websites - you name it, I've either read it or, I'll probably read it now that you named it.... anyway - my point is this: some people have to learn the hard way, and this week, I was one of those people! :(

  In EVERYTHING I have read about race training, including my own plan, I have these little things called 'Rest Days' - you know, days where you aren't supposed to do any running *gasp*. My little OCD mind couldn't wrap itself around the concept of NOT pushing and running through every single day. Well... my poor little new-to-running, more than slightly out-of-shape, haven't-run-in-over-a-year legs couldn't wrap themselves around NOT resting!

   I felt a twinge of pain in my left shin-calf (I'm still not sure - it's too far back to be shin, too far forward to be calf - I told you I'm new to this - I'm sure there's a real word for it, but I like the name I gave it for now) a few days ago and I am now FORCING myself to actually *gasp* rest (I'm a big gasper in real life - drives my family crazy b/c they immediately panic and think there's something majorly wrong....and it's just me over-reacting :).

Yesterday, I wore pants in the sweltering summer heat to cover the kt tape job I had going on - I did it myself - and I must say, I think it turned out better than the first time I tried (see pic below of 1st attempt). So, I guess my message is: REST! I'm going to get back to my training plan tomorrow and I am praying and believing that it will all go well!

Yeah..this was my first try a few months ago... epic FAIL! {Now I use my can't-live-without compression sleeves and I love LoVe LOVE them!!}

**So, what about you - are you a rester or a streaker?**