Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sharing a great dessert recipe!

Do you love dessert?  Do you wish you could find an EASY, low-fat/low-cal recipe that most everyone will love?  (OK, maybe you'd rather have one that only YOU love--I get that, too!)  If you are a WW, this one made the rounds several years ago and was 2 points under the original Points system.  I haven't calculated it for Points Plus, mainly because I have not gone to WW in a year now and am feeling hugely guilty so I am ignoring Points Plus.  I'll get back.  Someday.  Really.

Anyway, here goes:

Pineapple Macaroon Cake

1 box angel food cake mix (they are almost always fat free, but make sure)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in unsweetened juice (NOT heavy syrup)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix ingredients above (including the pineapple juice).  IGNORE BOX DIRECTIONS.  Put in a 13x9 glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.  (My oven cooks it at 35 minutes; original recipe says 45.  Just keep an eye on it.)

This cake is incredibly moist and sweet.  Two of my three kids LOVE it. 

Enjoy!  Happy running, happy eating!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wishing I had better knees ...

A friend from high school recently posted on FB that she had read my posts about running and was surprised by them, since the last time she and I spoke I had stopped running after a 4-mile race (held here annually, very popular) due to a knee issue.  I had forgotten just how painful that knee issue was until she mentioned it, but as I looked back this weekend over my training log, I often see this in the "Aches/Pains" box:  LK.  Left knee pain. 

During the training for my first of those 4-mile races, over 10 years ago now [by the way, I did not consider myself a "runner" during any of the four 4-mile races in which I participated--I would train for the race, run it, then stop--completely--and not run again for months or even years], I developed this excruciating knee pain.  I went to an orthopaedist who gave me a really fancy name for the cause, which I of course do not remember, but the bottom line is that some tendon or ligament or other non-bone thing that is supposed to run straight down my leg actually shifted off of the "track" it was supposed to be on.  This was most likely caused by carrying around too much weight (my first two pregnancies put me in the "small cow" range on the weight chart).  He advised me to avoid certain exercises like squats and lunges (which I continue to do today, thank you very much!), to avoid running (oh well), and to stick with biking and swimming (like to bike, can't swim).

Oh, and here's the kicker (and I try not to get all "het up" over this comment).  When I asked if there was anything he could do to resolve the problem, he said, "No.  Now, if you were a real athlete ...."  He offered to give me a cortisone shot to get through the race, but I decided to just tough it out.  Kinda wish now that I had pushed back on that whole "real athlete" thing, but I get his point--if I'm not going to run for anything more than general health purposes, it probably isn't worth the risk, expense, recovery time, etc.  I get it, really I do, but on some level I wish that I had said, "But I want to be able to run, do squats, do lunges, without pain!"

Most days my knee does not hurt.  And in fact, usually if it is hurting at the beginning of a run, it will let up as I warm up and get into a good rhythm.  It will NOT stop me.  However, today I'm feeling it, and my morning run was what I call "rimpmilling"--running and limping on the treadmill.  It has its own sound--slap (right foot hitting the treadmill), thud (left foot hitting), slap, thud, slap, thud ....  Sigh ....

Hope you all are injury free!  Happy running!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Glad I survived today's interval training!

Whew!  I went to bed last night excited about running 9 miles today.  Should have looked at the training schedule--today's 10-Miler Training Program had us only going 6, but with 6 x 4 speed intervals at our perceived "10 miler pace".  Since I've never run the 10M before, Coach told us that we should aim for 30 seconds per mile slower than our 5K pace.  OK, that I could kind of figure out.  Running bud Robin and I ended up pretty close to that pace, at least for some of the intervals.  The last one, however, fell on a long incline and I was pooped.  Robin stayed with me, although I'm betting she could have powered up that hill.  She gets to do hill work during the week, while I'm on the 'mill (which has an incline setting that worked for the first three uses, then stopped).  She has graciously offered to train with me during the week, at least once a week, between now and 3/31 (RACE DAY!!) so that I can get more hill work in.  Will this EVER be easy?  Don't know, but I'm not going to stop to figure it out.  Just gonna keep on plugging away at whatever pace I can!


I noticed a major flaw in my current equipment, however.  We are not in a position right now to splurge on a Garmin, so instead I have Runkeeper on my iPhone, along with iSmoothRun ($4.99--the only app I've actually ever paid for!), so I attach that to my left arm with a running strap and it tracks where I've gone, the elevation changes, how fast, splits, even weather, so it is not bad for a Garmin substitute.  However, I got really overheated this morning and needed to strip a layer off, meaning I had to unstrap the iPhone, pull off my outer layer, then restrap my phone.  Very time consuming, and I didn't want to interfere with the intervals.  There has to be a better system (or else I just need to freeze my feathers off at the outset in short sleeves--easier said than done at 39 degrees).  Anyone else run with their iPhone?

Arm band and case shown here on eldest daughter's (much skinnier) arm.
Overall, it was a good morning's work, but I can see where I need more training.

Happy running!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh yeah!

Nothing like really pushing it to release all those negative vibes!
11 Random Things ...

So after reading a number of these 11 Random Things posts, I have been tagged (and I feel so ... included!  Thanks, Jen!

The rules:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people! 

Here are 11 random things about me ...

1.  Marriage.  Hubby and I (barely) knew each other in high school, never dated.  Ran into him 12 years post-high school, dated a month, then eloped.  We have three beautiful daughters and have been married 15.5 years.
2.  Piano.  At age 45, after a 30-year break, I have resumed piano lessons.  I do not want to see "middle age" as a time of stagnation, but continued growth.

3.  Allergy.  My husband is allergic to horseradish.  How bizarre is that??

4.  Children.  I had my third child 23 days before my 40th birthday.  She arrived less than 4 hours after the first contraction, and was born EIGHT MINUTES after we got to the hospital!  I may be an old, slow runner, but I'm a darn fast "birther"!

5.  Food.  Everyone kids me about my "chocoholism".  In truth, while I have always loved chocolate, as I have gotten older I don't crave it nearly as much.  Cheese, bread and wine are actually higher on my list these days.

6.  Running.  I try so hard not to worry about my speed, but when I look at other blogs and see someone complain about their 9 minute/mile pace, I want to scream.  I would LOVE to have that kind of pace!

7.  Jokes.  I was born in West Virginia.  I'm an attorney by profession.  You can imagine the thick skin I've had to develop to handle all those jokes!!

8.  Sense of Humor.  Related to #7 above, my sense of humor is by far my best attribute.  This may also come from being a "fat chick" for a good portion of my life, so much of my humor is the self-deprecating kind.

9.  Heritage.  We can trace one side of our family back to English settlers who arrived here in the late 1600s.  However, I relate much more to my Irish ancestry--loud, beer-drinking, fun-loving folks!

10.  Movies.  I'm not much into chick flicks.  There is enough drama in real life, so I'd rather get swept up into a good action/adventure type movie.  Iron Man, the Bourne series, that's more my speed.  Hubby appreciates this attribute!!

11.  Travel.  My college major was French Language & Literature.  I've never been to France.  Very sad.  I love to travel, so someday ...

Answers to Jen's questions:

1.  What was your first job?  Candy-striper at the local hospital, age 13.  Found out very quickly I couldn't stand the sight of blood (or sick people, for that matter!) so I got to sell sandwiches to dreamy docs at the "canteen" instead!
2.  If you could only hear one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Graceland by Paul Simon.  It isn't my favorite song of all time, but it invariably makes me happy, and that counts for a lot.
3.  Favorite quote or saying?  Bring it on!
4.  Disney World, Vegas or a cruise?  Cruise, because I've never been on one.  I lose too much money in Vegas.
5.  Your favorite "kid" movie?  Babe.  Love that one.
6.  Celebrity crush?  Robert Downey, Jr.  Hands down.  Everyone (even my dear hubby) knows that I call him "my boyfriend".
7.  Dream race?  Any race in which I'm actually proud of my time!
8.  Favorite blog? (Bonus points if it's mine… just kidding. not really.) :)  Yours, of course!  Actually, any blog that I can read and feel uplifted rather than intimidated. 
9.  Italian food, Greek Food or Asian?  Italian, of course!  Married to one, so it has to be that!
10. Favorite sports team?  Not much of a sports nut, sorry to say.  The UVa Cavaliers--go Hoos!
11. What was your first concert?  Beach Boys

11 Questions for those I tag:

1.  If you could change your first name, what name would you choose?
2.  Do you have siblings?  If so, how many?
3.  What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
4.  Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
5.  What's your dream job?
6.  Do you take compliments well?
7.  What is your favorite physical attribute?
8.  Which article of clothing do you own that always makes you feel beautiful?
9.   Dogs or cats?
10. Have you broken any bones?  Which ones and how old were you?
11. Absolute favorite vacation spot (or dream vacation spot)?

I'm tagging:

If I've tagged you and you don't care to do this (or got tagged elsewhere), I totally get it.  However, I've had fun with it and hope you will, too! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy I pushed through that run!

Another tough morning on the treadmill--but after all the melted chocolate I consumed yesterday, I knew I HAD to stick it out!  I'm not sure why this week's morning runs are harder than usual--the mileage is the same, but it may be that I'm not getting quite enough sleep.  This week has its own challenges, as eldest daughter and I are going to an open house at the HIGH SCHOOL she will enter this coming August (a mere 7 months from now!).  I went to a parents' meeting at her current school last night to learn more about the registration process, and I'm fairly sure my parents did not have it this hard back in the day.  Going from a small, faith-based private school to a large public high school will require a good deal of effort, but we'll get there.

The point of all that rambling is that my running may very well be my salvation this week, as it definitely de-stresses me.  Just wish I had some extra energy reserves to power through.  Thank goodness for great songs shuffling through the iPhone this morning!

Happy running!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wondering what was wrong with me this morning ...

After Sunday's really pleasant run, I was looking forward to my short 4 mile run on the 'mill this morning.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I was huffing and puffing by mile 2.  My legs felt like lead and I wanted to stop SO much!  However, we have a treat coming into the office this afternoon--http://www.meltingpot.com/our-menu/chocolate-fondue.aspx.

That's right, MELTED CHOCOLATE!!  For a confirmed chocoholic like me, this is nirvana.  I've got my bucket bowl spoon appetite all ready!  And yes, I'll try to stick to the fruit rather than the pound cake as I'm dipping into deliciousness today.  I'll try.  Maybe not all that hard, we'll see.

Anyway, knowing that we had this coming in helped me find some hidden resolve, so I kept plugging away.  I was so irritated with myself for feeling sluggish that I kicked it up that last little bit and managed to finish at 6.3 (yes, fast runners, some of us kick it UP to 6.3!).  Since the training schedule calls for 5 miles tomorrow, I sure hope that I've got more energy then!

Happy running!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SO SO SO happy about today's run!

Today was a new milestone for me.  Well, every weekend is a new milestone run for me, since I am new at this whole running gig.  This afternoon ace running bud Robin and I braved the cold mist and got in our scheduled 8.5 mile run.  The group run got canceled yesterday morning because the roads weren't fit to be on, either in the car or out of it, so we planned it for this afternoon when it was supposed to be clear.  Oops.  It wasn't.  We didn't care.  The miles went by seemingly effortlessly for us, but when I looked at our average pace, I see why they were effortless!  Oh well, these long, slow runs are supposed to be the slowest of the week so that we can build up endurance, right?  I'm still working on bringing up my speed on the shorter mid-week runs (please don't choke, fast runners, but some of us struggle to get in under 11:00/mile; the mere fact that we can run at all is nothing short of miraculous).  Anyway, I cannot imagine how it would have gone without someone with whom to shoot the breeze. 

The cool thing is that my muscles, sore from a tougher-than-imagined "yoga for weight loss" DVD, warmed up quickly and did not complain until I stopped running (funny how that works!).  Also, the bruise on the top of my foot did not hurt at all.  Bruise, you ask?  From what?  OK, in addition to being the slowest person in the Western Hemisphere, I am also the clumsiest.  I dropped a FROZEN CHICKEN on my foot.  Yep, frozen solid clucker, right on top of my left foot.  I was--once again--trying to do two things at once and it was either drop the chicken or the carton of milk.  I opted for the chicken, mainly because with three kids I clean up (and cry over) enough spilled milk, thank you very much.  Makes for a better story, too, don't you think?

So if you are lurking out there and would care to comment, I'd LOVE to hear about any other completely bizarre injuries. 

Happy running!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pondering the elements ...

Much to my daughters' delight, it is snowing out there, and since snow doesn't usually make that "pinging" sound on the driveway, there clearly is some sleet mixed in.  The C10TP (10-miler training program) meets at 8 A.M. tomorrow for our weekly long run (8.5 mi tomorrow--woo hoo!).  However, running bud Robin and I have already discussed this, and while we are adamant about getting in our long run, we are also studiously avoiding injuries to the extent possible.  Therefore, we have decided to delay our run a bit, which will mean coming up with our own route (in reality, just adding one more lap around the track on top of last week's route would put us over that number).  The bigger bummer is that we'll miss out on the camaraderie of the others in our slow-but-steady pack, but I'll forego that this week if it means running on just plain old wet pavement instead of that icy stuff I fear will greet us in the morning.

Interesting note:  I was reading Run Like a Mother, the first book I actually PAID FOR for my Kindle, and dear hubby said, "Are you reading about running AGAIN?!?"  Yes, dear.  That's kind of all that's on my mind right now.  Cool!  (LOVE this book, by the way, even though the authors would surely rather die than run at my pace!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy to see a slight speed increase

I was really psyched about a scheduled run with my running buddy Robin, but life intervened and I found myself back at Prompt Care (again!), this time with number 1 child (sinusitis, laryngitis).  Once I got over my pique at having to cancel out on Robin, I put my mind on getting in five miles on the treadmill.  I started slow, then ramped it up slowly and achieved my fastest-ever treadmill time for 5 miles.  I'm still slow, but getting a little ... less slow as time goes on.  For someone as results-oriented as I am, this measurable progress is critical.  I will soon leave the 11 minute averages behind.  If you are reading this and happen to be a zippy 7 or 8 minute miler, don't worry, I won't catch you, but I have to give myself credit for not giving up.

Happy running!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Loving how stress-relieving running can be!

We are not exactly the most graceful family in the world.  In fact, at just about any given point in time, one of the five of us will be suffering from some sort of injury, usually unintentionally self-inflicted.  In my case, it is almost always a direct result of rushing through life at full speed ahead, despite knowing that this is not always a safe course.  Last night it was middle daughter Elaine's turn (again) to demonstrate that the klutz gene passed to her via that lovely X-chromosome I gave her.  She slipped on a throw rug at my mom's house, landing with full force on her wrist.  Initial x-ray reports do not show a fracture (thank you, Lord!), but a sprain bad enough to put her in a wrist brace and cause her considerable pain.

Now, how does running have anything to do with this?  Because had I not jumped on the 'mill this morning and gotten in four solid miles at a pace that shows improvement (if not actual speed), I probably would not have handled the whole situation nearly as calmly.  I was in blissful ignorance when I drove out to Mom's this morning, but I quickly learned of her injury, and by 10:30 it was obvious that she needed medical attention.  2 hours in the Prompt Care waiting and exam rooms (so MANY sick people in that place!  sheesh!  pass the hand sanitizer, please!) normally would have had me climbing the walls and in a serious foul humor.  Today, it rolled off of me, and I'm convinced it was the residual endorphin flow from the run.

So enjoy your run and the resulting "Shield of Calm" it provides!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So psyched about today's run!

True confession:  I was completely freaked out last night and this morning about today's run.  For some reason, the idea of running 8 miles--a new distance for me--was daunting.  Top that off with 26 degree weather, and I was not my usual bouncy self leaving the house this morning.  However, as soon as I got to high school where the C10TP is held, I saw those wonderful friendly faces of people with whom I have been running for the past 3 months, and all negativity left me.  Cold?  Yeah, it was cold, but no wind (unlike yesterday's blistering gusts!), and the sun was shining brightly down upon us, enough so that by the third mile we were stripping off a layer!

I tried a gel for the first time, and that may have helped with my overall energy level.  Also had my new Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld 22-oz. water bottle, so no need to stop along the way for water.  I'm still getting used to the idea of carrying something, but I've heard that this is the time to try new things like the gel and the water bottle, NOT on race day!  The water bottle leaked a little, but I'm not sure I had the lid on exactly right.  I'll keep monkeying with it and decide if this is a good thing or if a belt is better (or nothing at all, and just depend on water stops).

The absolute best part of today's run was the support of the other runners.  Our little group is almost always last, but no one seems to care about that--it is all about building up the mileage incrementally, injury-free if possible.  Thanks to Robin and Dave today for all the positive vibes, and to our Program 4 Captain Betsy, who got us on some of the 10-Miler course.  What a great run!

Happy running!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why I love my shoes

In the late summer of 2010, after I had been running pretty steadily for a few months, I started getting some heel pain.  It got increasingly worse (excruciating pain any time I stood up after being seated or sleeping for a while), until I finally had it diagnosed by a podiatrist--yep, plantar fasciitis.  No fun at all!  The podiatrist gave me inserts, had me tape my foot and stop running for a while.  I gradually felt better and incorporated short runs back into my cardio workouts, and while I could do a mile or so pain-free, any longer run than that caused a lot of pain.  I was very discouraged until an article appeared one Sunday in our local paper.  A doctor here at UVa, formerly at Harvard, had invented a new shoe that turns current shoe design on its head.  There is NO FOAM in these bad boys; instead, the bottoms are made of carbon fiber, and they are designed in concept on the cantilevered floor of the Harvard track.  When I read about this shoe, I wept (seriously), because I knew at last someone had made a shoe FOR ME.  I am flat footed.  I over-pronate.  I have plantar fasciitis.  When I heard that the factory (located right here in Charlottesville) was going to be open 3 days a week, it was all I could do to wait until the next open day to go.  And you know something?  This shoe has lived up to all of the promises it made.  I have had them since August and I absolutely LOVE them.  I have NO PAIN.  Hear that?  No pain!  This shoe actually stretches the plantar whatchamajiggy that was tightening up on me and giving me all that pain.  Orthotics unnaturally constricted this, but the OESH shoes let it flex the way it is supposed to.

The downside?  Well, they aren't the prettiest or daintiest shoes on the market.  Here are mine, in black (they also come in "Lizard"):

They are also a tad heavy, but I know there are folks out there who have run marathons in them.

Oh, here's another great thing about them.  You know, if you run, that you have to pay attention to your shoe mileage.  I even have an app on my iPhone that will track shoe mileage for me.  Guess what?  I don't need this feature!  Because there is no foam in here to wear out, these shoes are good to go for as many miles as I am (or at least as long as the uppers hold up).  I have been told that there are runners out there with over 2,000 miles logged on their OESH shoes!

Here's the link--go check them out for yourself.  Shoes are very personal and I'm not saying these are for everyone, but they sure did the trick for me!


Happy running!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Overcoming boredom on the treadmill

I can't say I was looking forward to this morning's run.  As I set my alarm last night, I envisioned a very LONG 5 miles staring at the basement wall.  However, once I was on the 'mill, I played my favorite songs and found myself drifting away mentally so that I was not just staring at the slow crawl of the mileage meter.  It was springtime and I was outside.  It was warm and sunny and bore no relation to the reality of my surroundings.  By mile 3 I knew I would have no problems finishing!

MIND OVER MATTER.  Or as I read somewhere lately, run with your heart, not your mind.  Love it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Battling that old demon, the SCALE

As a former Weight Watchers receptionist (and WW lifer), I know the drill.  Get on the scale once a week.  No more, no less.  Don't freak out over the number for any given week.  Your body doesn't always process things in a timely manner.  Well, I know all that, but I am still in a very wearying mental battle--more with myself than the actual instrument giving me the numbers I don't like. 

Despite all advice to the contrary, I hop on the scale every morning, and I have for years.  I also am very aware that what I eat today likely will not be reflected tomorrow morning, as one's body often takes 2-3 days to process high fat or high sodium foods.  And Sunday evening was full of both of those offenders, as well as some red wine.  But I was so VIRTUOUS yesterday, and had run over 11 miles between Saturday and yesterday, that I was convinced this morning's scale announcement would be a pleasant one.  No such luck--in fact, it was 0.2 pounds UP from yesterday.  And that would be completely acceptable if the entire reading weren't about 7 pounds more than I wanted it to be.  I seem hung at this point.  I am going to have to incorporate some strength training back into my routine, no doubt about it.  It will help my sluggish running AND my sluggish metabolism, I hope!

Happy running, happy strength training, one and all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Moan-Day!

After a fun evening with wine and rich foods last night, I was NOT looking forward to getting up this morning to hit the treadmill--even told dear hubby that if he didn't see me getting up at the appointed hour, not to freak out, that I would make up for it this evening.  He busted my chops a bit--practice what you preach, etc. (I deserved it, and I do thank him for it!), so when I woke up in time to get my run in, I did what I needed to and felt better for it.  However, I'm pretty sure I was sweating merlot this morning!!

Hope everyone has a fit, healthy Moan-day!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

LAST in my group, FIRST in my mind!

The 10-Miler Training Program (C10TP) is divided into 6 distance groups.  Based on the distance I had been running before the program began, I started in Group 3 (a starting long run of 2.5 miles), but quickly moved to Group 4, since that more accurately reflected the mileage I should be doing on my long runs.  Today our group ran 7.5 miles, and while I managed to hang with the group for most of the run, they lost me the last mile (I've grown to detest Melbourne Road!).  However, rather than berating myself, I decided to celebrate the fact that I RAN 7.5 MILES!!  (OK, I actually only ran 7.25 due to a slight change in plans at the outset, no big deal.)  It is really exciting every Saturday to know that I am going farther than I have before.  It also helps so much to have friendly, supportive people around.  We know one another by name now, and we can joke around to make the miles go by more quickly.

The only complaint I have about today's run is that I seemed to have cut off Runkeeper 3 minutes into my run, meaning I don't have my splits to see how I am progressing.  Tony thinks it may be the program, but I have a feeling it was user error.  Oops!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nutritional Battle on the Homefront

One of my daughters and I spent a much-needed morning with a nutritionist, in an attempt to help us through the minefield of hormonal shifts and changes that hit young girls during adolescence.  We got a tremendous amount of help with my daughter's specific issues, but more importantly, I was given some directives to follow for the entire family.  This will be a real shake-up at our house, as I have not been a stickler about fruits and veggies (having had a rather severe aversion to all things green as a child!).  My philosophy was always that they would grow to like things as they matured, while my husband would have preferred to serve the "right" foods at dinner and make them eat them, like it or not.  Well, turns out he was right (yes, hubby, you were RIGHT). 

This is not going to be pretty--my girls are used to being able to fix themselves something other than what I have served if they do not care for my dinner.  No more.  However, this is clearly in their best interests, and if I could back up the clock and do this part of my parenting over, I definitely would.  Bless the nutritionist for not scolding me, but instead encouraging me to instill these healthier habits now, before it truly is too late.  Wish me luck!  I can only imagine the squawks I will soon hear!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making fitness a priority.

Usually I wake up long before my "absolute latest" get-up time in the morning, and that is when I get in my running.  Last night I knew that I would be pushed this morning, between needing a solid night's sleep and having to leave the house at 7:10 to get the older 2 to school for worship team practice.  I thought about putting today's run off until this evening, but that is so risky, depending on the homework load.  So, I did what I have advised friends to do--I set my alarm for an earlier-than-usual time and made a promise to myself that I would get up regardless of how much I wanted to stay in bed, get in my 3 scheduled miles, and not cut myself any slack.  Know what?  I feel so much better for having done this!

When my children have a dentist appointment, I make them go even if they may not want to (okay, even though they very clearly and loudly do not want to!), because it is the RIGHT thing to do and will help them in the long run.  Why should my commitment to fitness be any less deserving of this approach?  Schedule it, do it, ENJOY IT!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yes, I'm slow. It's okay. Really!

Had a nice 5 mile run on the 'mill this morning.  I was fearful that it would be like last week's grueling 5 miler, since I tossed and turned and had wickedly vivid dreams when I did sleep, but I got into a good rhythm and stayed there.  Oh, except for having to jump off at the 2.3 mile mark because suddenly the basement stairwell light went out and I started wondering if there was a prowler in the house (after all, it is still REALLY dark down in the basement before 6 a.m.!).  Up in the kitchen, hubby and 5-year old were huddled in front of one of the heat vents; hubby had shut the light off so that said 5-y.o. would not want to come downstairs and yell "Boo!" at me the way she normally does!  :)

The run gave me time to reflect on Sunday's 5K results and wonder if I will ever get faster.  Or, to be more honest, LESS SLOW.  I didn't come up with a great answer, although when I finished the run and looked at my times for the past 3 weeks, those 5 miles are taking me less time.  The bigger answer that came to me is that it just may not matter how slow I am.  At first, I embraced my pace--it is MY pace, after all--but I had managed to get myself into a funk because of all the running blogs I've been devouring lately, seeing all these SUPER-FAST women making it look so easy!  I look at their PRs for 5Ks, for example, and know in my heart that no matter how much I train, I will never, EVER run that fast.  So I was beginning to beat myself up.  Why run at all if you can't go fast?  Why post times that are bound to make some folks laugh out loud?

Then TurboTurtle kicked in and slapped some sense into Doubting Lisa.  What possible difference can it make if I am slower than the vast majority of other people who call themselves runners?  I RUN.  I get up most mornings and do something that is good for me, that makes me happier, more self-confident, than if I stayed in bed.  That's all that matters. 

Oh, and if you happen upon this blog and you are wondering whether you, too, could be a runner, I can honestly say that if I can do it, slow pace, self-doubts and all, you DEFINITELY can!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Run, Mom, run!

Elaine, my 10 year old, took this photo and wanted me to share it. Happy to oblige--I look like a runner, huh?? :)
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day 5K: Why you should NOT start out too fast!

Linda, one of the awesome C10TP coaches (left), and the Turtle, pre-race!

Well, I didn't break any records, but what a great way to start out the new year!  This was an 11 a.m. race, which made it a little tougher, in my opinion--my runs are generally quite early in the day, and for my long runs (well, you know, long for me!) on Saturday morning, I usually can have 1/2 banana with some peanut butter and feel great.  I added some toast and a cup of coffee this morning (2 1/2 hours pre-race), but I felt "sloshy" during the race.  Also, for January 1 it was quite warm, and while I considered wearing short sleeves I ended up in my zip-up long-sleeved shirt, and I got overheated around the 2-mile mark.  The biggest obstacle I have, which I also found during a 5K back in November, was starting TOO FAST.  Coach Lorenzoni keeps warning us not to do this, but I get so caught up in the early-race momentum that I am running a full minute per mile faster than my weekly runs.

Part of me wants to skip any more races until the 10-Miler, mainly because I am not thrilled with my race performance, but I know that if I want to learn to pace myself, I need to get in on as many races as I can.

Oh, the funny part about today's race came as a result of racing out in the country.  (BEAUTIFUL location, by the way--thanks so much to the good folks at McIntosh's Farm for letting us use their pastoral setting!)  Less than a mile into the race I looked over to the side of the road and saw a skunk ambling my way.  That's one motivation for kicking it into high gear!

So, fellow racers, if any of you have tips on not starting so fast, I'd love to hear them!