Tag Archives: lifestyle

What’s Next.

So, I ran and finished this thing called a Half Marathon, and some of you may be wondering “What’s Next”?

I want to keep fresh goals and races in my future, to help keep me motivated. After the Half, I took about  week off, and really think it helped me refocus, and get ready to run. I felt great coming back and my legs haven’t been giving me any problems! WooHoo! Now that’s what I’m sayin’.

So, what is next up for me?

In March I have the Azalea 10k run. If you’ve not been to Tyler, TX during the Azalea Trails, you are really missing out. This course meanders through the Historic Azalea District, with all it’s flowering beauty. I’ve heard there are some hills in this course, but I think it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to the 10k distance as well. Right now my daily runs are right around 5 miles, so I think I’ll really enjoy this distance. The run is scheduled for March 26th at 10am, so it’s actually a Saturday run.

Then in June I’m hoping to run the Cherry Festival 5k in Illinois. A lot depends on our summer schedule, but I’m penciling it in right now.

Then comes the next big race in October… another Half Marathon! I’m very excited and think I can train even smarter for this one. Again, I’m not going to get super hung up on time and speed, but know I’d really like to finish stronger than I did with the first one. I dropped the cross training toward the end of training for the Miracle Match, and think that really effected by performance. SO….. this time, I’m diligently sticking with weights and elliptical work on my cross days. I’m not running 4 days a week, but think I can make up the miles of the day with 2 days of cross, so hopefully I can still meet the 1000+ challenge.

Right now, for the past week or so, I’ve averaged about 19 miles total- 3 days of running (2 weekly and 1 long) and 2 days of elliptical. It will be tight, but I’ll come very close to meeting the challenge.

It’s good to be on the other side of the Half, and I feel like I have really accomplished something important. I have a friend who has been running for 15+ years, and I hope to follow in his footsteps! I’d love to be 70 and still running (he’s not 70… I’d just love to be 70…).

Thanks for sticking with me! Here’s to another 13.1 miles to go!!

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Slump?

I’ve felt in a slump lately. For the month of November I logged a whopping 40 miles (some log that in a WEEK)… October? 67 miles. Slightly more respectable. I do have my excuses for November. We were in the final throes of Oliver! and lots of late nights, meant lots of doing nothing the next day. Then there was the week after Oliver! (the exclamation point is necessary, to get the full feeling of the play) was over, when I pretty much just sat on the couch (this was the week of Thanksgiving too). BUT, I did run a 5k Turkey Trot ON Thanksgiving day… which I should get some bonus points for (it also happened to be my fastest non-treadmill 5k run…. running on Thanksgiving AND a PR?? I rock). It was a virtual thing, so I was only able to print out a participation thing, but it was still fun.

All this to say, I’ve still been running, just lately I’ve felt a little blah while running. I’m sure it’s normal, and I’m sure it will pass, but it’s been there. I really hope that registering for the Half will start to bring me out of it.

In all of this a question is bothering me. Can I stay motivated to run without a race in the future? How will I stay motivated if I choose just to run for the fun of it, and because it’s good for me? I’m not sure that I want to be in the place where I need a race to motivate me…. I want to run for the joy of running. Hmmm… all these thoughts.

Well, the Mavs game is in it’s final throes, and they are leading and about to win their 10th straight game, so I’m going to sign off!

Keep on keeping on!!

The Relaxed Runner

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this thing called “running”. It’s like a lot of things…it means different things to different people (bet that was a shocker…). I’m full of amazing facts…just ask my husband.

In the almost 40 years that I have been alive I’ve learned a couple of things (yes, literally 2 things): 1. Chocolate should be eaten at least once (okay, maybe 5 times) a day; and 2. You can’t live by someone else’s standards. Both of these are EXTREMELY important.

I can’t take someone’s idea of what a runner is and try to shape myself into it. I have to look inside of myself, and find out what it is that I want to accomplish out of this thing called “a running lifestyle”. For some it is pushing their bodies to the ultimate limits, and sometimes beyond those limits (kind like me with pantyhose). For others it’s racing in marathons and half marathons and 10ks and 5ks, competing against those in their age category to be the best. Then for some it’s being able to run without stopping to walk for whatever distance they’ve chosen. And all of these are great definitions of running (I honestly mean that, totally non-sarcastically… I REALLY DO). But they aren’t MY definition.

Here is mine. I’m calling myself a  “Relaxed Runner” .  I run for enjoyment, relaxation and health. I run to have some alone time. I don’t run to break records. I don’t run to be faster than others. I run with walk intervals. I run slow on some days, and what I would call fast on others (okay, let’s face it, by fast I mean a little faster than slow). I run because I want to eat brownies. I run because it’s fun. I have no desire to run 26.1 miles. I have no desire to push my body to its utter limits. I do have the desire to do the best I can with each run, but I don’t want to give running the dedication it would take to achieve what others would perceive as “greatness”. And I am very okay with that. I still read Runner’s World magazine, and read a lot of awesome blogs by a lot of awesome runners. But I’m ME, and always will be. This is what makes my running personal and meaningful. I believe it will also be what KEEPS me running. Because in the end, my goal is to keep running… for as long as I can (age wise, not like the Energizer Bunny).

I can honestly say I’ve been bitten by the running bug.

So, as you think about your running, parenting, job, life (whatever) really consider if you are doing it by YOUR standards or someone else’s. I encourage you to know why you do what you do… to OWN it and be YOU.

On a totally unrelated matter, I ordered some compression sleeves today. I’m hoping that on long runs they will help my legs out a little. I’ve read great things about them and will let you know how it goes!

Be YOU today!

Don’t get me wrong… I admire those people who do push themselves. I think it’s great (if not a little nuts) that they have the energy, desire and determination to do that.

UPDATE:

I will be trying the GU on my 6 mile run TOMORROW. We celebrate a friends birthday last night… I had too much good Mexican food, played a great game and stayed up to0 late (yes, it’s sad when 10:30 is too late). So I will be doing that run on Sunday.

I Liked This

I found this article and really liked what it had to say. Thought I’d just share a bit of it. Enjoy!

I am NOT a Jogger

by John Bingham

“I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.

I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.

I AM A RUNNER because I don’t have running outfits. I have technical shirts and shorts and socks. I have apparel that enhances the experience of running by allowing me to run comfortably. I can say “Coolmax” and “Gore-Tex” in the same sentence and know which does what.

I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I’m pushing the limits of my comfort and why I’m doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate–things I once avoided–are necessary if I want to be a better runner.

I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I’ve done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won’t have to scream in pain later on.

I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.

I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.

I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far.

I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.

Waddle on, friends.”

Ureeka!

I’VE FOUND IT!!!!

And it’s all thanks to my son. We’ve started running together, and I’ve wanted him to do it the right way so we’ve started out very slow and steady. We are running a 1/1 interval and going anywhere between a 1.5 and 1.6 miles in 20 minutes. I was looking around Jeff Galloway’s site the other day and found this bit of information:

  • Here are my recommended ratios of running and walking, based upon your pace per mile.
    Remember that long runs should be run at least 2 min/mi slower than your projected finish pace in the marathon. An additional slowdown should be made for increased temperature: 30 sec per mile
    slower for each 5 degrees of temperature increase above 60F. It is always safer to walk more often.
  • Run-walk-run ratio should correspond to the training pace used:
    8 min/mi—run 4 min/walk 35 seconds
    9 min/mi— 4 min run-1 min walk
    10 min/mi—-3:1 (this is what I was shooting for)
    11 min/mi—2:30-1
    12 min/mi—-2:1
    13 min/mi—-1:1
    14 min/mi—30 sec run/30 sec walk
    15 min/mi—30 sec/45 sec
    16 min/mi—30 sec/60 sec

Jeff Galloway is a marathoner and a pioneer in the world of running. He advocates walk breaks, even for seasoned athletes. His emphasis is to take a walk break BEFORE you NEED one. This started to get me to think WHAT IF. So today I gave it a shot.

I was scheduled for a 4 mile run today and usually run those at a 10/1 interval. By mile 4 I’m pretty spent. I KNOW I don’t want to go any further and I’m usually sucking some wind. I feel fine, but I’m done. During my run intervals I can usually maintain an 11:30 pace or so, and I NEED my walk breaks (like a drunk needs his whiskey).

Today was different… WAY different. Today I did a 3/1 interval. During my 3 minutes of running I kept a steady 10:30 pace in some places it was a 9:00!! That’s a whole minute faster than my usual pace. Then I’d walk 1 minute. Most of the time I HAD to make myself walk because I felt I could keep going, but I stuck to my plan. By mile 2 I was feeling so good, I told myself… “Let’s go for 6 miles today”… HECK YEAH! So I did, keeping that steady 3/1 throughout.

I HAVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD! When I got to 6 miles I could have easily kept going. The hardest bit was right after a hill, but keeping that interval I was able to recover without a problem. at mile 5.5 I even bumped up my pace during my run interval to a 9:00 pace! Usually by the end of my runs I have barely enough gas in the tank to finish. Needless to say, I am VERY excited and think I have found my new love.

I’ve found some new music to listen to, as well. I’ve made a running mix of stuff by Vitamin String Quartet and Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It’s all instrumental and it ROCKS! This music makes me happy… I actually find myself smiling listening to it. You should definitively check them out.

Now off to clean house!

Just Call Me “Speedy”

This morning I did some speed work. Before you get too amazed, I am pretty sure my definition of speed work varies greatly from the standard held by most runners. My version of speed work is to go faster than a 11:00 pace. Yep, that’s it. Pretty simple, huh. No split this or that or things that I don’t really understand, just a faster version of my slow self.

So, this how it all went down. Instead of my normal 10/1 interval, I did a 3/1. I ran at a 9:30 – 10:00  pace for 3 minutes, then jogged a 12:00 pace for the one minute. I did this for 3.11 (no, we can’t not forget that .o1 bit of mileage… any mileage needs to be mentioned) miles and felt very good. I even sprinted the last .1o mile (okay, I sprinted about .7 of that and jogged the last, last bit). Overall, I felt great at the end (I must confess that one of my last “jog” intervals I walked.. there, I said it). I really enjoy this run, and think I will do it again. I hoping that this, interspersed with my normal running will help just a bit. Then again, it may just all be in my head, and I’m good with that too.

Tomorrow, I have a run with Jude. We’ll do another 20 minutes, and then Thursday I’ll do 4 miles, at a more relaxed pace. I’m not sure what mileage I’m going to do on Saturday, I probably decide Friday night. Jude’s and my first run was very successful, and he said he enjoyed it. When I asked him how hard it was on the Official Hardness Scale of: 1- that was the easiest thing I’ve ever done to 10- my muscles have exploded, and he said it was about a 5 or 6; which is exactly where I wanted it to be. He then told me he was looking forward to our Wednesday run.

There is one thing that really makes me nervous about running with Jude. As he gets more and more fit, it’s going to be a really big challenge for me keep up. For those of you who don’t know, he’s about 6′ 7″ and growing, so you can imagine the stride he’s going to have once he starts picking up speed. I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. I printed a running schedule so that he would have an idea of what we were going to be doing. On week 10 there is a 6 mile run slated. He was looking it over and saw that run and said, “I can’t wait to run 6 miles”. I really hope that running is something that he loves to do all his life…. but I may be getting ahead of myself.

Well, got to get the kids ready for art. Have fun doing whatever may be brought to you to do!

Let’s be Honest

Let’s keep it real. That’s what I want this blog to be about. Seriously, did I think training for a half marathon was going to be all sweet dreams and roses?? NOPE. So, today, this blog is going to be about the reality of my first 9 mile “run”. It sucked. I finished. The end.

Last night I knew that I was going to go 9 miles today. I started the “stoking one’s self to kill one’s self” process around 7pm. Saying things like, “Hey, you can do this”, “How much worse can 9 miles be than 8”, “Better get to bed early tonight, 7am comes quickly”. All these thoughts went through my head, and I truly thought I was ready to run. I thought about what I wanted my interval to be, my pace, etc. etc. All of which I totally tanked on.

7am did indeed come, and I was out the door by 7:15. I had settled on a overly optimistic 10/1 interval (listen carefully, can you hear the bells of doom??) cycle and kept a pretty steady pace (I didn’t check my Nike+ so I can’t really tell you what that pace was but somewhere around 11:00 or so). I mean, come on, I use a 10/1 for my daily 4 milers… that should work, right?? It worked GREAT for the first 5 miles. Someone didn’t tell my body that it had another 4 to go. at 5.5 miles I was pooped. So, I changed my interval to 8/1 thinking that would be better. Well I ran for about 2 minutes before needing a walk break. by mile 6 I just buckled and set my watch for a 2/2 interval (that was after walking for about 6/10ths of a mile). I was bummed.

Looking back (I hate hindsight… don’t you??) I knew that a 10/1 interval was way to aggressive. When I ran my first 8 miler I used a 6/1 and felt pretty good through the whole thing. What happened to my brain??!! Who’s brilliant idea was it to do a 10/1?? I’ve run two 8 milers both of them at 6/1 and my average pace hovered around 12:20 or so. Today?? Not so much. My average pace was a very slow 13:34. It’s okay. I finished when I wanted to quit at 8 miles. I pushed through and finished the mileage I had set for myself to complete. I know, deep down, THAT is what it’s about; at the same time I’m a bit disappointed in myself too.

Anyway… I can proudly say I’ve completed 1/3 of a marathon! I do need to remember that it is all a process. I need to be able to look at what was accomplished and be very happy with myself. When I wanted to quit, I didn’t. I pushed through, EVEN if it was a VERY SLOW push.

Don’t give up. Keep on pushing no matter how slow it may be!