Saturday, September 28, 2013

AM Yoga

I was just reading a few other running/life blogs and a few of them mentioned early am running sessions. I WISH I could do that! This isn't the kind of "I wish..., but I don't want to do the work" kind of wishes. I live in the middle of the wilderness. If I ran in the am before sunrise, or the pm after sunset, I might get eaten. No joke. We have coyotes & panthers & bears...(oh my!)
...and maybe even flying monkeys! I am NOT prepared to deal with that!
So I have decided to do my Yoga Meltdown every morning. I just decided this. Right now. It's amazing how inspiration comes out of the most random places! I was going to write about how I didn't get to do ANY yoga this week and I only got to run once thanks to parent-teacher conferences, meetings and soccer practice. But first I was going to confess my jealousy of others' ability to am run.... and somehow, the two thoughts collided and I thought - Aha! AM yoga! YESSSSSSS!!!!

It's perfect! It's one of those ideas that I'm so excited to try that I want to hurry up and have a Monday morning so that I can do it!! (....and then I slap myself and remember how much I LOOOOOOOve my weekends and want to enjoy EVERY minute....)

Usually my great ideas come in the shower or on long runs....and then I forget them... but I've put this one into writing so it WILL happen! 

Confession: I love the following picture b/c this is what I imagine happening even though I would NEVER actually do something like that to someone who got in my way.... well, not literally, I would just GO AROUND them in the nicest way possible....

I'm going to try my long run tomorrow, so I'll do my yoga later. Which brings me to another painful topic. My long run. It hasn't been able to actually grow into something 'long'. I've had to come home only getting 5-6 miles for the last 3 weeks. I'm not being hard on myself, saying that it isn't long because other people have 20+ mile long runs. No, this isn't 'long' for me, because I have done 5 mile tempo runs and progression runs. So my long run should be able to be longer than that right? It's the opposite hip, my left one now, that has started flaring up. I thought I was doing enough strength training, but I guess not..... so I'm just going to hang out around that 5 mile mark until I can go further without pain. I DO NOT want to have to take another month off!

Do you sleep in as late as possible in the AM or are you an early riser? What do you use that time for?

What hazards do you face where you run? How do you deal with them?
When I am able to run on the country roads around my house, I ALWAYS take my cell phone and wear bright, reflective clothing. My dad thinks I should also strap on a hand-gun...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Be Nicer Than Necessary (+ desperate plea for treadmill tips...)

That is my mantra right now! I hope that if I repeat it enough, I will be able to actually do it!

I'm currently in a situation at work that really makes me want to say 'It's not me, it's her so there is nothing I can do to 'fix' this.'

But that would be lying.... there is always something, even if it's just being a little nicer. How 'nice' I am should NOT depend on how the other person treats me.

(And I feel like I need to clarify: nice DOES NOT = door mat! Wrong is wrong & I won't just let it happen in the name of 'nice'. Being 'nice' is about being more positive, not talking negatively about others and trying to be more approachable. It's possible to be 'nice' & still be a boss! :)

-------------And on to my running happiness (insert big goofy smile here!)----------

I went to the track Thursday morning since I didn't have to be at work & I tried ROCKED my Yasso 800's! My goal pace for my 1st 1/2 really is more focused on staying healthy, so it's not a speed goal. But my runs lately had me in serious doubt that I could even hit that pace. I did 4x800 @ 9'00 with a recovery lap. Each week I will add another set.

Friday I did an easy 2 miles, and I'll long run (still building up - 7 mi) Sunday before church.

I ran my track workout and my 2 miles in my PureCadence shoes, I'll run my long run in my Adrenalines. Speaking of Cadence.... when I have to run on the treadmill, I'm trying to take advantage of the always-in-your-face stats and I'm actually counting my steps per minutes. I can't get to 180. I wonder if that's because I'm on a treadmill, or if I'm really just that awful at taking small, fast steps!

Since I'm having to stay on the treadmill for a lot of my runs until the weather changes, anyone have any tips, tricks or just plain common sense info about the treadmill that I should know? Because I sure am completely clueless in that area...I'm serious...assume I know nothing and tell me everything! (Can you sense the desperation?) For example, I think I read somewhere that putting the incline at 2% makes it more like running outside....but I don't know what 2% is when the treadmill elevates at increments of .5!  Please Help!!! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Not So Secret Goal: Boston!

I want to qualify for Boston.

There. I said it, or well, typed it. Either way, it's out there. Now you know. I haven't been running for very long. Not quite a year consistently, but I want to be a lifelong runner....and I want to qualify for Boston.

Boston Magazine's May cover

I realize I'm no where near that level now, but it's a goal I am working toward, and I am trying to make sure that I am doing the 'right' things to get me there.

1) Instead of just lacing up and leaving, I have started a stretching routine.

2) I actually cross-train. I just started Jillian Michaels' 'Yoga Meltdown' today. (OMgosh! Crraaaazy!!) The DVD is not my 1st choice but there is absolutely NO ONE in the entire county that I live in that teaches (is that the word??) yoga!

3) I am making conscious decisions about my food - seeing it more as the fuel my body needs and trying to make more healthy food choices.

After an injury scare earlier this year, I'm really trying to do the 'right' things, I just get kind of overwhelmed at times. I LOVE following other runners' blogs but sometimes I get caught up with and actually discouraged by how fast everyone ELSE seems to be! I'll feel awesome about a run and then when I see someone else's speed, I have the tendency to belittle my own efforts. I HAVE to STOP comparing myself to others!! I love this quote:

And this is another good one to remember:

There's a fine line between looking to others as inspiration and being to hard on yourself because you aren't as something as "everyone else".

All I can be is the best ME possible, and that's what I'm working hard at these days. I want to be stronger and faster than I was yesterday; I want to be nicer than necessary. I want to go out of my way to help others. To always do my best in everything I do, no matter how big or small..... and by this time next year.... maybe I'll be waiting for MY Boston confirmation.... if not next year, definitely the year after that. :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Runtastic Weather....or not :)

This has to have been one of THE longest weeks EVER! I took my 5th graders on a field trip on Tuesday.... that seems like FOREVER ago!
Wednesday my oldest son was supposed to have pictures with his soccer team. Too bad I was the only one who showed up! I would have thought I was the one with the wrong date, but the photographer was there too and she said it was supposed to be our team. So instead, I dropped him off with my sis, who already had Josh, and I went for a run....
....and about 5 steps away from the house, it started to rain. You know what I did? I just looked up at the sky, smiled..... and then turned around and went back home.... I had to change my shoes! :) I had decided to take my brand new PureCadence Brooks out for a run, but when the rain started, I changed my mind - I put my faithful  dark purple adrenalines on and headed back out.

"It'll probably stop soon..." I told my sister..... "I'll just keep running until I get to that sunny patch over there..." I told myself. 

Neither of those happened but I had a blast! I ended up doing almost 3 miles in the POURING rain - it was not drizzling, or sprinkling - it was definitely pouring. By the end, my shoes were squishing and when I got home, I was literally dripping everywhere I went.

Honestly, I only felt that way as I ran out, running back I was just ready to be home and dry! I kept thinking the faster I run, the sooner I'll be home!! I also still had my cell phone strapped to my arm and I was more than a little worried that I had COMPLETELY fried it (don't worry - the phone is miraculously ok).

Life (work, boys, soccer, weather, errands, the earlier sundown times) prevented me from getting ANY other runs in this week, keeping me at only 2 runs before my long run on Saturday! I'm really having a hard time increasing my weekly mileage. Which brings me to Saturday...

I re-joined the local YMCA for like the 5th time in my life! It is the only gym in our entire county and my only access to a treadmill. I have an elliptical machine and my grandmother has a stationary bike, but if I want to do some good old fashioned treadmill runnin', I've gotta hit the Y.

Saturday, after Cam's 8:30 soccer game, I did just that. The boys went to 'child watch' (the gym's free child care service) while I tried to do my long run on the treadmill - not ideal, but better than not getting it in at all right? I dreaded the idea of 6 miles on that thing, plus I only had an hour before I thought Child Watch closed, so I ended up doing a 5 mile progression run instead. I did the 1st mile super slow b/c it also doubled as my warm up, and then finally ended with my last mile at something close to 8'14 - I can't remember exactly - but it felt great!

I'm afraid I'm going to have to do A LOT more of my runs inside on the dreadmill treadmill until soccer season is over and the temp cools off more. If I wait until 7 when the temp finally drops it's almost dark! I can't wait for the first cold front of the season - please come soon!

Have you ever run in the rain? (How did that work out for you?)

How does the weather impact your running schedule?

What's your favorite season? Why?
I LOVE Fall - candy corn, football and jeans. (Jeans? You may be asking - but Summertime in Florida is just waaaaay too hot for jeans and I loooove them! I also love sweaters, which is why Winter is a close second - fall in Florida is still WAY too hot for sweaters...)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Florida.....

What better way to spend the day than with toes in the sand and 5th graders in the Gulf? Ok.... there are probably a lot of better ways, but THIS was an AWESOME alternative to sitting in a classroom today! :)
We may have to deal with FCAT, RTI, PMRN, FAIR, NGSSS and Common Core (I don't know the abbreviation for that one yet...), but we also get to take field trips to the Gulf/Bay for some hands-on science!!

On a running note, I decided to do strength training and stretches today for my cross-training instead of the stationary bike - I think that evil machine was causing me to over-train so I wanted to refocus and do something more focused on strengthening my core. (I also did this on Sunday, and I'm still sore!)

I had a pretty amazing run yesterday and I knew my body needed to recover. I'm pretty happy with how things are going - my speed is improving and my long runs are getting longer - yay! :) Tomorrow I'm either going to do speed or hills. I kind of love not being tied to a specific training plan and being able to adjust and improvise based on my body and how I feel. Once I get my base re-established, I'll go back to a REAL plan and I'll love the results I get from it, but until then, I'm enjoying my freedom (and the results I'm getting from it)! :)

Which one - the beach or the mountains? Both? I like a little bit of both, but not TOO much of either one! HA! I need a beach cottage and a mountain lodge - 2 vacation homes aren't too much to ask, right?

Do you like sticking to a prescribed plan or running to the beat of your own drum? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Do You Crave?

"Discipline is trading what you want now for what you want MOST."
     I've had to be really honest with myself these last couple of days and I think I have something seriously wrong with my priorities. On days when I can't run, I get cranky. When I was injured and couldn't run for about a month, it got really ugly (like eating an entire bag of candy corn within about 2 days all by myself, ugly!). But this Saturday I realized I had gone the entire day without praying once and I hadn't read my Bible in over a week! I wasn't 100% sure I even knew where it was.

     This realization upset me. But not as much as I think it should have. I have been making adjustments to my life, being much more proactive - making meal plans & sticking to them, making a training plan & actually fitting it into my daily schedule - even doing some cross-training and strength building! I am so very proud of these changes I am making, don't get me wrong. But I feel like I have completely neglected a major part of my life.

“Look for God. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

    Spending time with God, in prayer, in meditation & reading, requires me to be still. I used to think running would count as prayer time, or when I'd be in my car on my way to work. But honestly, I'm always distracted doing those things. Why is it so hard to just be still? I totally relate to the mediation part of Eat, Pray, Love with the whole being still thing. I think, somehow, although running does allow me to relieve stress, sometimes it creates another source of stress! Am I going to hit my goal pace? Am I going to be able to run the entire distance? Push harder! Go farther! Go faster! Sometimes these thoughts crowd into my mind while I'm running and then that peaceful time to myself becomes stressful.

This is how it feels WHILE I'm running..... and when I get back, it's all still there waiting for me! Running doesn't make my problems go away. I've got to keep working out and strengthening my ability to let go and give it to God!

   I think being still is the only way to fix this. Running obviously isn't conducive to peace and prayer time for me. I'm too competitive. I might as well admit it and accept it so that I can move on! I still love running - that hasn't changed. But, I want to crave peaceful, quiet time, reading & praying, more than anything else. That needs to be my priority and I think everything else will find its place. Getting my day started in the right way will help my heart and mind be prepared for the day. With so much uncertainty in my life right now, I need to be full of as much love, peace and joy as possible!!

{Running gives me the outlet for all of the emotions that I feel during the day, but don't necessarily express. Running gives me an outlet for my incredibly competitive side so that I can NOT be so competitive in other areas of my life! ;)}

Do I need to run? Yes. But I also need to remember that I need God more.
Whew! It sure felt good to get THAT off my chest!

Do you include quiet time in your day?

Do you have a favorite 'life lesson' movie (or book)?  Obviously Eat,Pray,Love is one of mine. I know it's a book too....I need to read it so I'll feel a little more sophisticated. Life lessons sound better when you say they came from a book rather than a movie, right?! :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Little Bit of Random Ridiculousness...

Wanna see the oldest phone on Earth still in use? Here it is:
That is what my phone looks like, except mine has a shattered screen and scuffs all over the edges. This December it will be 3 years old! Whaaaaaaat!?!? I HAVE GOT to get a new phone!!! There are sooooo many things my phone CAN'T do it's ridiculous! I can't take a screen shot, I can't see the pictures I'm taking of myself (what a disaster right? haha) I can't do 'Snapchat' b/c it won't play the videos people send me....
This is a picture of me running..... kind of.... wouldn't you have enjoyed seeing this happen on the side of the road! haha!
AND to top it all off......... somewhere around 1 mile of my run today was 'free' - My tracking app froze and turned off at 2.33 miles and I didn't notice until almost a mile later that I never heard my stats for mile 3. Grrrrr!!

I reset the thing and kept going.... I think I probably did a little over 5 miles. I wish I knew exactly! I had a pretty eventful run - in addition to the tracking ish, I also had a HUGE dog come out to the end of its drive way and bark at me. It sounded deeply annoyed at my presence..... probably the same way I sounded when I yelled "Come get your dog!" toward the farm building it came from. Don't know if they heard me, but the dog did and he didn't come any closer.... he could tell I meant business! :) (But I was pretty scared - checking out the fences trying to find one I could run to and climb if I needed.... trying to imagine how to get over the barbed wire..... intense!)

What kind of phone do you use? I'm trying to decide: iphone? galaxy? Something completely different?? AAhhhh too many choices!! (Part of why I haven't already gotten a new phone.)

What do you use your phone for other than 'phoning'?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Unplanned Rest

     Well, I really wanted to run to do. I mean really wanted to. It has just been one of those kind of weeks - it should have been 'easier' because it was only 4 days long and the kids were taking benchmark tests so work was supposed to be pretty calm.... supposed to be.
I sure do wish our math books would come in! :(
     Our math textbooks and practice books still haven't come in, so we're having to run copies of ALL those pages, plus creating super-cute pinterest (printing on sticky notes - seriously THE coolest thing EVER - I came up with a few new things to do JUST so I could print on some more sticky notes!!!) inspired activities for our study journals. Not to mention the run-around involved in trying keep our grade team organized and in harmony with one another. THAT right there - the 'harmony' part was probably the HARDEST thing at the beginning of the week. We aren't always a cohesive group and that makes for a very stressful work environment.
This is how work has felt lately....
     I did an amazing* speed workout on Wednesday (*amazing for me - not settin' records here people, just pushing my limits & that feels GREAT!) and I was really looking forward to a casual run today to balance out my miles and work on my form after my tortuous bike cross-train-wreck yesterday. HOWEVER, soccer practice, unplanned errands for my sister and a really ugly thunderstorm made sure that DIDN'T happen. I think I'm going to sleep in my running clothes and get up super early to get my run in before Cam's 12:00 soccer game. (Really? 12:15 in Florida? I wonder what the temp will be..... I'm guessing mid-90's...)
Partly Cloudy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mmmmm....Afternoon Coffee Break :)

 + = :)

  Don't know about you guys, but I LOVE afternoon coffee! I just tried that blueberry flavor and it is UH-MAY-ZING! It smelled so good - that was almost enough. Almost. :) I still have A LOT of the day left ahead of me - soccer practice, grade papers, clean my classroom, do homework with my boys and my new least favorite form of torture, about an hour on the stationary bike.
  I don't know why, but I really REALLY REALLY don't like it. BUT, I'm trying to be diverse and cross-train so I can stay balanced. I'll do several strength moves this afternoon as well and those I really enjoy. I think if I were outdoors, riding a real bike, I'd like it. This is sort of like the treadmill to runners but I guess it's more extreme b/c I LOVE running, so treadmilling it is something I'll do because I REALLY want to run.... but I'm not the biggest fan of riding a bike to begin with..... (once, when I was a kid, I fell off one going super fast down a giant hill - ripped my jeans and my knees pretty badly - I guess I still hold a grudge...)

Oh, well - at least I get to DO something today! I'm very grateful that I have the ability to get up and be active, so I'm done complaining. :) .....and I just finished my coffee so break time is over! Time to get started on the rest of my day....

Coffee, tea or other? When do you drink it?

How do you feel about the stationary bike? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

These Shoes Were Made for Runnin'....

'....and that's just what they'll do...'
    I feel like I was really mean to my feet today! They had to endure about 12 hours of work & errands in TERRIBLE shoes! I need to start changing into my tennies as soon as the kids leave! I absolutely love my running shoes - they make me feel faster when I'm doing non-running things in them :)
  As long as today felt, I did have a awesome run - awesome in that I reached one of my own personal mini-goals. I've been easing myself back into running for the past month & today was my first speed day in a while. You may not believe me, but it. Felt. Great! I've also been trying to focus on my breathing (3 in, 2 out) & form.
     Form is the hardest for me to work on alone! I'm reading up on everything I can find, but there's no one to actually help me with it locally!
   I am so proud of myself for pushing through & doing this run today....even though I literally just nodded off working on this!

Where is the strangest place you've fallen asleep?

How do you like your goals - big projects or more of a stepping stone to bigger things approach.

Cross-training Tuesday

For the 1st time ever, I actually did some cross-training yesterday. O.M.G. That stationary bike was intense! I really didn't know what I was doing, so I just picked one of the workouts that come with the machine.... I think I climbed a virtual mountain with that thing! ....sorry, no picture, although I'm sure I looked pretty hilarious!
Today I will do speed work - I love speed days because I like to go fast! :) Of course, 'fast' is relative - I'm still trying to ease my legs back into things so I don't re-injure. My fastest intervals are between 8 and 8'30. I used to be afraid off that pace, but I when I just went for it one day and tried it, my body realized it was actually possible and it's been getting easier & easier! I just love being able to see/feel results!

I will leave you with my latest new thing - blueberry flavored coffee - Mmmm..... it smelled amazing as it was brewing & it did not disappoint!

What's your favorite 'run'? Long, speed work, tempo, hills (haha)?

Tried anything new lately?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's a 4 Day Week! Woo-Hoo!!

Today is Tuesday, which means:
1) Grade Team meeting @ 7:40 (note to self: need a huge cup of coffee for this one)
2) Kiddos are benchmark testing = I can grade papers and take care of other business while they work
3) After school I need to go grocery shopping so that I can stick to my meal plan for the week - list:
        - lettuce
        - cheese
        - eggs
        - sunflower seeds
        - chicken
        - orange marmalade
        - stir fry veggie mix
        - rice
        - black olives
        - pepperoni

        - bell peppers
        - onions
4) Work-Out: Cross Training Day (1st one ever!) I have to say, I am excited to actually be training the way I'm supposed to for once! I think I'll hit up my grandmother's house b/c she has a stationary bike & the boys LOVE hanging out with Nanny - win-win for everyone! :) (hmmmm.... it seems like I don't actually have ANY of the ingredients so I have to get EVERYTHING... do I even have food at my house right now? geez.......)
This is my plan for today. I WILL do this! YES!!!!
Saw this and made me laugh! I'll try not to be a competitive jerk, but it still may not be safe to stand in my way....... ;) j/k.... a little.....

Hope everyone has an awesome day!
What awesomeness do you have planned for today?

Monday, September 2, 2013

C is for Cookie...

..and cake and candy, and chocolate too! I did it - I made the Rolo Cookies and....... 
they were AMAZING!!

The recipe I followed came from Hungry Runner Girl, but I ended up having to let them cook for a few more minutes. In my oven, 7 minutes @ 350 just wasn't long enough so it ended up being about 9 minutes for perfection! ;)

Sadly, my diet must consist for more than just cookies, cake, candy and chocolate so, I've decided to give meal planning a shot. I know I'm soooo late on this but, better late than never, right?! I'm starting with Tuesday since we're spending today at my mother's house. Here's my 1st attempt at a weekly meal plan:
Monday: Mom's Cookin' :)
Tuesday:  Salad - boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, almond slivers etc. ;)
Wednesday:  Orange Chicken (Trying it for the 1st time - if it works I'll post the recipe!)
Thursday: Grab something (Cameron has SUPER late soccer practice)
Friday: Grab something again thanks to above mentioned SUPER late soccer practice :)
Saturday: Homemade Pizza (ok, well, it's kind of homemade - the dough is from packaged mix)
Sunday: Meal @ Mom's (this may get switched with Saturday, just depends on how the weekend goes)
Now.... let's see if I can stick to it it's time to go grocery shopping so I CAN stick to it! :)

What's your plan for the week?

Oh, you may think I'm crazy, but I noticed something in the air yesterday... as hot as it was... I could still sense it... it's almost Fall y'all! (sorry, had to go southern for a second) I love Fall!!!

What's your favorite season? Why?