Thursday, December 31, 2009

Three Things Thursday

1. We bought a pair of running shoes for Taylor at lunch today. Let me tell you, this is a huge accomplishment. The man cares NOTHING about sneakers/tennis shoes/whatever you want to call them. He has worn the same pair of New Balance shoes for the past 5 or 6 years. I knew the chances of getting him to a running store (the closest is 90 miles away) are nil, so we met at the local Rack Room Shoes and bought some neutral Saucony shoes. Seriously, we giggled through the whole thing because he kept saying "whatever you think" to which I would reply "but they're your feet - I can't tell what feels best." Good times, good times ...

2. Have I mentioned that I registered him, Kate and myself for the Sweetheart 5k on February 13? I have the ticker on the left but I don't think I've blogged about the fact that he's agreed to try running! I do hope he enjoys it ... I love it so much and want to share that with him. It will also be great to share a hobby together. The 5k has a couples division but I doubt very seriously we'll have a shot at being anywhere near the fastest couples there. Our team name: My Wife Made Me Do It. Kate will be running the 1 mile fun run and is super excited!

3. We are now a Wii family. This is by far the most popular of the Santa gifts. We've all had a blast playing different games, including the games on the Wii Fit Plus with the balance board. You should see my Mii in that game ... it's overweight just like me!

So that's it for posting in 2009 ... Happy New Year to everybody! Here's to a great 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Operation Anything

I'm not sure which blog provided a link to KK's Running Through Life blog and her Operation Anything challenge. But I'm glad I clicked through because for the first time in a long, long while I feel that I have the motivation to follow-through on making some healthy lifestyle changes.

The reasons for my reaching this mindset are not revolutionary ... I've just finally reached the point of wanting to make these changes for ME. Obviously, I want to lead a healthy life so I can hopefully be around for a long time to be with my wonderful husband and children. I absolutely want to be a positive role model for my children so they don't grow up to be couch potatoes and have lifetimes of unhealthy habits. I've wanted that for a long time. But now, I want this healthy way of living and healthier body for me because I deserve it.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

So, my goal for Operation Anything is "Operation 150." I've reached that weight before and I can do it again. The last time was in 2002, but I fell off the wagon quickly after our beach vacation that year. Ah, yes, trips to Dairy Queen opened the door as apparently sweets are a "gateway" food for me. Once I go past moderation with sugar and chocolate, it's hard for me to stop and return to more healthy choices.

So, "Operation 150" fits in nicely with my weight loss resolution laid out in the prior post. (OK, Taylor, if you're still reading my blog posts from time to time, you do the math since I won't step on the scale or the Wii balance board while anybody's in the room! How's that for accountability? Heck, I might even put a weight loss ticker on the side.)

This week's goal-setting in "Operation 150" ... drumroll please ...

Complete the 4 runs scheduled between now and next Wednesday as part of my half-marathon plan (4 miles Saturday / 3.5 miles Monday / 2 miles Tuesday / 3.5 miles Wednesday)

I've done a good job on the plan so far although last weekend's 4 mile run was shifted from Saturday to Sunday due to a cold, misty rain. I only did 2.5 today instead of 3, but I really consider it a victory because I really, really, REALLY did not want to run today at lunch in the cold. If I had to fight it that hard today, this needs to be next week's goal to give me that little extra motivation.

That's the plan for now. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It is what it is

As 2009 draws to a close, I can't help but think about many of the things that I did not accomplish this year. It would be much more positive to focus on all of the accomplishments instead, but as Kate would say, that's how I roll. I am way too critical of myself. Perhaps writing this blog post will help me change that focus a little bit.

Most importantly though, it's been another wonderfully blessed year with my family. Taylor and I just had our 15th anniversary earlier this month and I still can't believe sometimes that I'm married to the man who has been my best friend since we were children in elementary school. He is truly my soulmate and there is no one else in this world I would rather share my life. Kate and Will are two incredible, unique, wonderful children. Sometimes it's difficult dealing with Kate's constant stream of talking and Will's never-ending motion, but watching them grow and mature is a blessing from God. My most sincere desire is to be the best wife and mother possible. Without a doubt, it's the most difficult job I have ever had but is also the most rewarding.

Since this blog was started primarily as a place to capture my feelings on this running lifestyle I'm trying to incorporate, I need to write a little about that. I'm still enjoying running but continue to be a little disappointed that I'm still so slow and don't have a lot of endurance. But after looking back at my running log, I can see that some progress has been made during the past 12 months. January, August and December are the best months out of the year with a little effort made in February - June, September and November. I didn't run any at all in July and only did the 10 miler at Medoc in October.

Realistically, I can't expect to make a whole lot of changes with that lack of consistency. On a positive note, I am close to hitting 200 miles for the year and should reach that mark. My average per time per mile is also faster now than it's been all year, so I need to focus on that progress. I'm still slow at a little under 12:00 miles now, but that's better than the 13:00 plus in January.

Well, that's enough for the past. Let's look ahead to 2010 and I'll put my resolutions on the 'net ...

  • Lose weight: realistic goal is 20 pounds, so-happy-I-would-probably-pee-on-myself-goal is 40 pounds
  • Total miles: run 400 miles before January 1, 2011
  • Race different distances: complete at least one at each of the following distances - 5k, 10k, 10 miles and half-marathon

The key resolution of those three is the first one. Losing weight is going to make running much easier and much more fun.

I guess that's it for now as my lunch hour is over. I'll be back a little later ... perhaps with another resolution or two.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another night run

I think I'm beginning to enjoy these p.m. runs. It was a little after 7:30 tonight before I could go out for my 2 miles. This time I used my new headlamp & it worked great! I just need to tighten the strap a little so it doesn't slip down, but all-in-all, I was quite pleased. I ran a little faster than normal again tonight with an average time of 10:38 per mile. It was the same 2.06 miles as Monday evening, but a much more pleasant time without the cold rain. Total time was 21:55 ... may not sound fast to others, but I'm very pleased.

Well, that's it for now as I need to put the laptop away.

Oh, and 15 years ago right now, my wonderful husband Taylor and I were probably just leaving our wedding reception. Time really does fly by ... what a wonderful 15 years and many more to come!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

Well, Monday evening's run in the rain and the dark may have made me feel a little hardcore, but I wasn't tough enough for tonight's rain. I'd planned on another 2 miles or so after work, but decided against it on the way home. I bought a headlamp at Wal-Mart today and am very anxious to try it out, but I couldn't find a better wind/rain jacket. Too much rain has moved into this part of eastern NC and now there's even a tornado watch. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in a run tomorrow.

On the bright side, I did do the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred tonight. Will "worked out" with me, too, which was a hoot. He may not have the techniques down, but he moved the entire 20 minutes. Such fun ... but I probably won't be able to move my arms tomorrow!

100 days until the Canal Trail Half Marathon! I haven't mentioned it yet, but I plan on following Hal Higdon's Half-Marathon 12-week training plan which will begin December 20. Yep, that's right, I'm starting it the week of Christmas. Not sure if that's brilliant or stupid ... we'll see if Uncle Higgie (thanks, Nik & Dan) works out for me. If any readers have any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So that was something new ...

Things I learned yesterday evening in the dark & in the rain ...

  • I need a more wind- & rain-resistant jacket; the Wal-Mart special was not sufficient
  • My new Droid Eris phone fits nicely in a snack-sized ziplock baggie
  • The "softrace" app loaded on said new phone works great (even inside a ziplock baggie); it accurately measured a known 0.5 mile out-and-back
  • I need a headlamp; it's not easy to avoid mud puddles in the dark
  • Running in the dark just after sunset is not scary; I like it better than running in the dark just before sunrise (yeah, I'm a wimp & I'm not sure why 5:45 p.m. is better than 5:45 a.m.)
  • Oh, that's right, I'm not a morning person; 5:45 p.m. will always be better than 5:45 a.m.
  • Except when it's not raining at 5:45 a.m. & I should have taken care of these 2 miles at that time
  • Running in a cold rain makes me faster; 2.06 miles in 21:44, 10:34 average pace - nice!
  • My in-laws think I'm crazy; my husband & kids already know I'm crazy, so that's no biggie
  • Running in the rain and dark makes me feel like a hard-core runner (ha ha ha ... that's a hoot!)

No running today ... maybe 30 Day Shred tonight? That's it for now ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Running has been a mini-obsession of mine since I first laced up my shoes and hit one of the farm paths here at home on July 31, 2008. I've had my ups and downs with it, taking some breaks along the way when the laziness took over. But, for the most part, it's been something that I've thought about every day even if I didn't actually get up and run.

Reading many of the running blogs that are available on the 'net has been a wonderfully absorbing time-killer for me. Just ask my husband; he can't believe the amount of time I can spend on the laptop reading complete strangers' thoughts. It's helped me learn a lot about running. It's also helped by seeing that there are a lot of other people like me out there ... those of us living normal lives sharing the same hobby/lifestyle. I especially enjoy the blogs of other working moms. If you are a runner who happens to be reading these rambling thoughts of mine, be sure to check out some of the links on my blogroll and you may just find one that appeals to you as well.

I also discovered the joy of running podcasts shortly after I started running. When I first bought my iPod, I just assumed that I'd only load music on it to help distract my mind while running. But then, I discovered "Phedippidations" through iTunes and realized I could listen to someone else sharing their knowledge about running while I'm trying not to think about my tired legs. After following the various links to other podcasts on iTunes and on the web, I have several that I've subscribed to and listen to regularly.

One of my favorites is Ashland Dave's "Running in the Center of the Universe." Dave just seems like a down-to-earth guy and Ashland, VA is only about 90 minutes from my part of NC. He mentions the Outer Banks quite a bit and has run that marathon as well as Richmond. I just really like hearing about a runner talking about areas that I know. If I do decide to run a marathon or another half in the future, either OBX (my first choice) or Richmond are good options. I wrote him an email last week complimenting him on the podcast and he mentioned it on #79 which is pretty cool. He's also hopefully going to put up a link to the Roanoke Canal Half Marathon. I'm so excited about having a local half, that I thought I'd do what I could to help spread the word. Hopefully his mentioning it on the podcast will bring in a few runners from that part of VA. So, thanks, Dave and keep up the good work on the podcast!

(And, yes, I know that the joy of running blogs and podcasts isn't news for any other runners that may have stumbled across my blog ... but the one reader I know I have is my husband ... maybe this will help him understand why I enjoy blogs and podcasts so much!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Medoc Ten Miler

Today has been a great day! I accomplished my goals at the Medoc Ten Miler this morning. Now, I'm on the sofa and will be napping as soon as I type this. Score!

This was a race of many firsts for me: first trail race, first time going 10 miles, first time at a race less than ten miles from my house (that was incredible), first race medal and first time at a race with a marathon (so inspiring, don't know that I'll ever be at a point where I can do that, but I loved seeing those guys/gals today).

Honestly, for the first time I felt like a REAL runner while out on the trails today. Not because I ran the entire way or because I was blazing fast: big NOT to both of those. But I really felt like I was the exact place I wanted to be and I just felt "right."

It was tough but I had a plan/goal in mind and I stuck to it. Since this was my first trail race and I knew the rocks, roots & hills would be much tougher than the paths here on the farm, my very conservative plan was to run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute. My time goal was 2:30 or 15 minute miles ... yep, I'm still very, very slow but I'm getting better.

When I came home, Will asked me "did you win, Mama?" My answer: "yeah, I did sweetie" because I did exactly what I set out to do. I finished in 2:28 something (forgot to stop my watch when I crossed the mat). I lost a couple of minutes sometime during mile 5 because I backtracked and was convinced I'd gone on the wrong trail because the flags were placed a farther apart than they had been everywhere else. There weren't too many people behind me and I was by myself most of the time except when some of the fastest marathoners passed me on their next loop.

I had a great, great time! It was so much fun and I loved every minute of it (yes, even while struggling on those steep stairs at mile 8 and during mile 9)! I'm absolutely convinced now that if I can finish 10 miles at Medoc, I can definitely do 13.1 at the
Roanoke Canal Trail Half Marathon in March. I'll hopefully be running at a faster pace by then, too.

I've been looking at some online HM training plans and I've found a novice plan that I think will work for me. It's scheduled to begin the week of Thanksgiving. I'm ready to start now! But that's just the "high" from today. I'll just stick to doing easy runs 3 times a week between now and then. I'm also going to focus on losing about 10 pounds in the next 5 weeks. That will definitely help, too. I know my weight works against me and makes running harder than it needs to be. Sigh ... it's a lifelong battle that's just really, really hard.

The Canal Trail HM should be easier than today's ten miler. The Canal Trail is mostly flat and isn't rooty and rocky like Medoc's trails. Medoc has some steep ups and downs in sections, too (well, steep for northeastern NC). The good news is that, like today, I'll be guaranteed a PR since it'll be a new distance for me!

I guess that's it for now. This sofa is very comfy and I've earned this nap!

Mile 1: 12:06
Mile 2: 15:59 (includes a stop by my car to drop off my sweatshirt)
Mile 3: 15:48
Mile 4: 15:12
Mile 5: 16:32 (includes the backtrack to confirm I wasn't off the trail)
Mile 6: 13:52
Mile 7: 15:04 (ate 1/2 granola bar, steep stairs at the very end)
Mile 8: 13:56
Mile 9: 15:29 (more steep stairs)
Mile 10: 14:11

Chip time: 2:28:13.9 / 14:50 pace

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Five miles & a superhero

Today's run by the numbers:

Miles: 5.12
Time: 1:12:38 (14:11 avg pace)
Temp: low 80s
Wildlife: 2 deer, 1 baby field mouse
3-year-old superheroes: 1

My Nike+ sensor stopped working Thursday morning, so I used my mapped out an approximate 5-mile route for today. The RW smart coach plan called for 5 miles easy at 14:11 (yeah, nailed that!). I had hoped to run it between 13:30 & 14:00 average pace & had written down what those splits would be for each of the 3 sections of the route. I was on target to do just that at the end of the first section.

I was making the turn to go down one of the farm paths when I heard "Mama!" I turned and saw Kate and Will coming towards me on the golf cart. Will wanted to join me for a while, so he and I started down the path with Kate still in the golf cart to give him a ride when he wanted to stop.

A smile, a wave and a "good morning" was all I offered to the crew priming tobacco in the field next to the path. I don't know nearly enough Spanish to even attempt to explain Will's attire: bathing suit (no shirt), homemade cape made from a towel and sneakers. At least he wasn't wearing his goggles on top of his head ...

(We bought an above-ground pool this summer ... now Will wears a bathing suit at all times so he's ready to swim at a moment's notice. At least this is an improvement over the "George of the Jungle" phase when all he would wear was his underwear.)

Will stuck with me for most of the second section even though we had to take a few more walk-breaks and G2 stops than I would have made if I'd been alone. Then, of course, there was a meltdown when I explained that we couldn't run down the path into the woods since we didn't tell Daddy we were going there. He and Kate finally got bored and rode the golf cart back home while I finished.

So, I didn't finish the 5 miles in the time I'd hoped to ... but at least I have the memory of my free-spirit, "Super Will" running with his cape flying behind him. I'll give up a minute or two for that anytime.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tall Mom's Giveaway

Quickie post while I'm at lunch ... check out the Pearl Izumi giveaway at Tall Mom on the Run! For the couple of people who read my ramblings, she has a great, upbeat blog. If you like what you see, be sure to follow her & mention that I sent you there so we'll both get a bonus entry in the giveaway.

I'll write more when I have a little more time. So far this week, 2 miles Tuesday & 3 miles yesterday. Five miles planned for tomorrow morning ...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Four hot, sweaty miles

I'm back!

I had about 6 weeks of a "look at me NOT running" phase, but that's over now. I rolled my left ankle in early June and had to take several days off to give it time to recover. Well, those few days turned into 6 weeks.

Thankfully, my guilt (and a little fear) about being registered for the Medoc Trail Races 10 miler in October brought the motivation back. I used the Smart Coach program at Runners World online and built an 11-week program to (hopefully) get me to the point that I will be able to survive the 10 miles. I realize it will involve a lot of walking (being on trails will be tougher and I'm way out of shape), but that's okay. It's going to be so much fun!

Today was a scheduled 4 miler and it was tough but I made it through it. It was my longest run in quite a while. I started a little later than planned so it was already hot by 9:30 a.m.. The first two miles on what I call the "big tree" route were definitely better than the last two miles. I ran the "cow pasture" route a couple of times to finish out the run and that includes the tough hill. Here are the splits from my watch (used the distance times from the nike plus which hopefully are fairly accurate).

mile 1: 12:36
mile 2: 13:07 (25:44)
[stopped & rested for a couple of minutes & sipped some water]
mile 3: 13:41 (39:25)
mile 4: 13:30 (52:55)

Still slow, but that's okay ... at least I put a few more miles on legs. My left foot did okay. I've been dealing with some tenderness since the June ankle sprain that I've self-diagnosed as peroneal tendonitis (gotta love the internet and the ability to google ... the symptoms are exactly what I'm experiencing). After a few days of RICE, I successfully tackled three miles the following Saturday. I managed to complete all three runs scheduled this week also.

I'm so glad that I'm enjoying running again. I feel so much better when I'm following some sort of plan. Next week includes 2 miles Monday, 3 miles Wednesday and then 5 miles Saturday. If I'm smart, I'll also add in some cross-training on the other days. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I registered!

Oh my gosh ... I just registered for the Medoc 10-Miler on October 17 ... I have a LOT of work to do between now and then ...

Have I lost my mind?

I've setup a half-marathon training plan in Buckeye Outdoors. I'm hoping that will be a good preparation for this trail race. Since Medoc is so close by, I'll definitely do some of the training runs there since this will be my first trail race. It's a little rooty & rocky on much of the trails, so that's going to require a lot of attention. The kids enjoy going so we'll make some of them family outings.

3.11 miles yesterday evening when it was still way too hot (80+ degrees). I was very slow and struggled in the heat. Hopefully a couple of miles tomorrow morning will be more encouraging.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

the give-away made me do it ...

write this post, that is ...

But one of the bloggers I follow, Erica, is giving away a pair of Thorlo socks and I'm picking up an additional entry by blogging about it. I appreciate the idea for a blog post and especially love the chance to win something! My running budget is not very large and the chance to win a good pair of socks is exciting. I do have 3 pairs of Title 9 socks that I'm rotating now and love. They're thin and I'd like to try the additional cushioning of the Thorlos to see how I like that. Thanks, Erica!

I'm still working on blogging regularly, kind of like I'm working on running regularly. You know, when it comes down to it, I'm still basically the lazy procastinator I've always been. I have good intentions, but actually putting them into practice requires dedication. -sigh- I'm such a slacker, sometimes.

You know, I don't want this blog to be a place to criticize myself, but I've always been very hard on myself. As a whole, running has empowered me and made me realize that I can do it! I just have to constantly fight against the lazy side of myself, and a lot of times, I lose that battle.

Let's see ... what else ...

I've had a successful week with getting up early to run in the mornings 2 times. I love to sleep and am not a morning person at all, so getting out of bed before I absolutely have to is a victory in and of itself! I ran 2 miles both Wednesday and Friday mornings. I did a little upper body workout with my hand weights Thursday morning. I also walked during my lunch hour Thursday and Friday.

Kate and I have not had a chance to continue the couch to 5k plan since the first time last Friday evening. Starting that before school and softball are over was probably not a great idea. She had 3 softball games last week as well as 1 practice. That along with the last "real" week of school did not leave a lot of time for anything else. We'll try to get out and run sometime today or tomorrow. Four more days of school (yay!) and 2 more weeks of softball and then her schedule will free up ... isn't that strange to say that my 8-year-old has a schedule ...

Well, now I need to get up and go outside to help with yard work. It's a beautiful day here in North Carolina and our yard needs lots of attention!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Couch 2 5k & Kate!

I started the Couch to 5k with Kate tonight. She wants to start a training program and from everything I've read, this is the best one. We alternated 1 minute of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. She did great! I'm very proud of her and we hope to continue this for the full length of the program (8 weeks, I believe). Here's the graph of tonight's workout minus the 5 minutes walking before and after. We had a great time!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I wanna see a straight line!

The name of this blog is "GISrunner" ... I tell people when they ask about my exercise plans & I say "I run" ... I even have a subscription to "Runner's World." But deep down inside, I don't consider myself to be a runner yet because I think I still take way too many walk breaks and my slow shuffle is really a jog. I'm being very generous to describe myself as a runner.

I've been using the Nike+ since September. I bought it about 5 weeks or so after I started the Couch to 5k plan. I like it because it keeps up with the mileage and pace for me. I know it's not completely accurate, but for the most part I think it's at the most 5% off when I've measured routes on my mapping system. I can live with that. Plus I really like using the slowgeek website to graph the runs so I can see the run/walk portions.

Here's the first run measured with the Nike+ in September. I was at the track and made an effort to warm-up, break up the run/walk portions evenly and then cool down. Yep, I did a pretty good job of doing just that.

Now here's graph for the Harvest Days' 5k in October that was more of a cross-country type course on the horse trails at the 4H Rural Life Center. It measured slightly short and that didn't surprise me at the time. There were parts that were not marked very well and I may have cut a turn or two a little short. I started off too fast and had to take a lot of short walk breaks.

So now here's the graph from Saturday's Patriots' 5k.

Argh, there are those dips from the walk breaks again! I'm really looking forward to the day when I can have that magical straight line graph. I have a few treadmill workouts that are like that. I just have a hard time maintaining a consistent pace outdoors that I can maintain the entire time. The hills in Saturday's 5k were a little unexpected as was the headwind and it had an impact on my legs. But on the bright side, there are some good stretches at a 10:00 pace, so I need to concentrate on that.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself ... after all, that's what I do best! I just really want to call myself a runner and believe it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Patriots' 5k

I had a blast today at my third 5k! It was the first time I've had anyone with me at a race. Kate had already made plans to go to breakfast with Papa this morning, so they left home a little before me so they could go to Oscar's for pancakes. I went on to Crowley's and registered for the 5k and signed up Kate for the 1 mile fun run. I had enough time to talk with Tammy who I went to school with. She races in triathlons and is the one who sent the registration flier to me. I also spoke to a couple of others who graduated from Halifax Academy as well. Kate and HT hadn't made it there by the time we started, but that was fine as I didn't expect them to finish eating that soon.

This was a small race and the only the second time it's been held as a fundraiser for Cornerstone Christian's athletic programs. I'm guessing there were probably around 100 runners total, including the kids in the one mile run. We started at 9:00 and I tried to keep reminding myself not to go out too fast. My goal was to finish under 35:00 so I was shooting for better than 11:30 miles. Yeah, still slow ...

Wouldn't you know it, there were two long, sloping hills in the first mile. Not a promising start, but I kept plugging along. I tried to maintain a fairly consistent run:walk ratio. I can't remember exactly what I did, but will upload my slowgeek graph when I get a chance. The rolling hills throughout the whole course were a little difficult as was the wind. Neither one may not have been too bad for other more experienced/fit runners, but to this overweight 39-year-old newbie, it was tough.

I checked my watch at the 2 mile mark and realized I probably wasn't going to finish under 35:00, but I gave it my best. One last hill at the end and I pushed it as hard as I could to the finish. My finish was 35:58 according to my watch and 36:03 according to the official time. I'm not sure which time I should go by as this small race wasn't chip-timed.

I am really happy with the outcome even though I didn't meet my goal. I know I pushed myself. Could I have done more? I might could have gone a little harder in the beginning, but I really was quite tired by the end so that may have been my best. All in all, I'm pleased.

Then the best was yet to come because Kate started calling "Mama" when I crossed the finish line. She and HT had gotten there in time to see me finish and that was great! We pinned her number on (#182) and I told her about the 2 hills she'd have to run. She lined up with her friend Eric and was ready to go. I ran part of the way down the course so I could get a picture of her. I'm so proud! She finished in 6th and had a great time. I really hope this is just the first of many races for her and that she develops a love for running at a young age. By the time she finished, Taylor and Will had arrived (Will was a sleepyhead this morning and didn't wake up in time to go to breakfast with Papa).

So now it's time to train for a June 20 race. I'm planning on doing the 10k and begin training Monday. Hopefully Kate and Taylor will do the 5k. I'm so excited!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Still here / still running / still blogging

Yep, I'm still around ... life just seems to take over sometimes, doesn't it? I'm still running although not nearly as much I had hoped during the month of April. We went to Orlando April 17-25 and I didn't run any while there. I'm a little disappointed in myself about that because I'd really planned on running at least a couple of times. I allowed myself to get a little too involved in family stuff while at the resort on the days we didn't go to the parks. I just didn't want to wake up early enough on those days to run before it interfered with family time. This running thing is a not the habit/necessity I want it to be yet, but I will get there. There's no way I feel guilty about having fun with Taylor and the kids and doing the things they wanted to do, though. I want running to become a consistent part of my lifestyle, but family absolutely comes first.

I've run twice this week so far. Both runs were while Kate had softball practice. The 2 mile route around TJ Davis Recreation Center is on the roads and is hillier than I'm used to, but I did okay. Last night was at Chockoyotte Park and it was the best run I've had in a while! I really like the crushed gravel path around the park. For the first time in quite a while, I ran (well, jogged at about an 11:00 pace) an entire mile without taking a walk break. I was frustrated because my left shoe came untied at about 0.8 mile & I stopped to tie it. I thought I'd paused the Nike+ but apparently did not because there's a dip there. Then the right shoe came untied a little around the 1.25 mile mark. Same thing happened again with not pausing the Nike+. I have absolutely no idea why I didn't double-knot them before I started ... lesson learned.

I'm still so slow, but I did try to push it a little during the last .25 mile & did that at around a 10:00 mile. My stride felt better & I don't think I was "bouncing" as much. I need to concentrate more on doing that & hopefully it won't be too long before I can maintain that for a longer distance/time. Here's the graphic from slowgeek showing the run ... I like the fact that there aren't too many dips from walk breaks. All in all, I'm very pleased because I had the 2 shoe-tying stoppages & two 2-minute walk breaks. Not bad, not bad at all ...

Next up is tomorrow's Patriots' 5k. I'm really excited because it's one of a few local races & the first I've done since the Harvest Days 5k in October. Dare I put a time goal in writing? Yikes ... I'd love to come in under 35:00. Anything under 37:30 minutes is going to be due to adrenaline and pushing myself harder because I'm still really averaging 12:30 miles for the most part. I'm looking forward to the day when I will come in under 30:00.

Kate is also going to do the kids' 1 miler. I would love for her to gain a love of running at a young age and I hope she'll have a great time. I think I'm finally wearing Taylor down a little, too, although he hasn't actually run any yet and won't participate tomorrow. I printed the C25k program & he thinks that'll work well for he & Kate to do together. I hope so although I'm sure he'll fly past me in no time!

There's also a 10k on June 20 in our county that I'm toying with the idea of entering. Hopefully Taylor & Kate will do the 5k together.

That's it for now, I guess. I'll try to post again tomorrow after the race with a report.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chic Runner Giveaway

Quickie post because I said I'd do it : )

I just entered the giveaway at ... here's to hoping I win the gift card & can purchase some new Asics!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No running yet ...

but at least I'm blogging! I'm going to allow my toe a few more days to heal. The weather is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous on Saturday with temps in the 60s, so I'm planning on running 3 miles or so if my shoes don't bother the toe too much. Kate's basketball game is at 11:00, so hopefully I'll be able to go out after we return home. I hope to run what I'm calling the "big tree/woods" route in my running log. It's really very nice and is a logging road through the timber tract west of the farm. I may even be able to convince Taylor & the kids to ride the golf cart for a time. I love running that route, but as I go deeper in there, I have to admit it's probably not the best idea to be completely alone.

I also have a few plans for future blog posts. I'd like to take some pictures of the various places I run. There's nothing really unique about them, but I just want to add a little "where I run" piece to the blog. I read so many different blogs (all listed on the side). It's interesting that so many people live in cities/suburbs and run on roads all of the time. I think that would be a good change of pace, but I really like the serenity of running out here in the country. Of course, it's not like I have any readers ... I guess I just want to add the pictures for my own memories.

I've also started measuring out my 2009 runs on Google Earth with the idea of seeing how long it will take me to "virtually" run to the Outer Banks where we vacation each summer. So far, I've crossed over into Northampton County. I'll try to add a little more info about that in other posts.

I also want to start blogging a little about non-running related stuff, too. Mainly things going on here at home. It's a good place to write a little about some of the cute & crazy things our kids do. On that note, here's one example of life with Will.

We had our "small group" meeting at our house Monday night. Our small group has gotten smaller & smaller & now only consists of Taylor, my mother-in-law Selma, and our pastor Bob and his wife Penny. Bob gave each of the kids a container of the mini M&Ms which they were eating in the kitchen while the rest of us were watching a DVD during our meeting. A little later when Will came back in the den, we noticed that it looked like Will had a little blood on his nose. I didn't think much of it as he's getting over a cold. But as I was wiping it with a tissue, I discovered it wasn't blood but was melted chocolate. Apparently, he decided the M&Ms were the perfect size to fit in one nostril. Thank goodness there was no harm from it and I hope he doesn't try that little adventure again.

I guess that's it for now ... it's almost bedtime and I have a wide-awake 3-year-old to start calming down.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's this? A new post?

Wow, it's been a looong time since I last posted. Not much of an excuse for not blogging other than life happens. The holidays were great and as always, a blessing to share the joys of the Christmas season with my family. But now it's January (almost February!) and back to a more "normal" pace.

I took a break off running beginning in November that lasted for the most part until January 1. It all started with a very tender spot beside on my left foot's big toenail. And ... fast forward to today when I'm sitting at home with a bandage on said toe. It turned out (or rather in) to be an ingrown toenail. Let's just say I've never been so happy to have a doctor do a procedure involving shots and sharp instruments. Honestly, it already feels better. Even though it's still a bit sore, it's not a sharp pain like it had been for the last 2-3 days when it had worsened.

I'll have to bandage it for a while & take care of it with daily soaks & cream, but if I'm feeling up to it, I'll try to run again in a week or so. I'm in the middle of training for the Sweetheart 5K on February 14. I guess you can call the slow run/walk thing I do training since I actually printed a schedule from Runners World Smart Coach. I ran my longest distance Saturday - 5 miles! It was great and I may have been able to go a little longer. But looking back at it now, it probably had a lot to do with the toe pain flaring up again.

I really don't have huge expectations for this 5K. I'm obviously still very much a beginner. I'd like to best the time at the Harvest Days 5K in October ... that's a reachable goal. A tougher goal is to finish under 30 minutes. I doubt that'll happen due to the toe issue, but we'll see.

The goal for this afternoon? Reading and hopefully a nap ...