Sunday, September 30, 2007

Never a dull moment

That's what running with Lisa and Pat is like: never dull, and a hundred laughs a minute. Who would think an 8.5 mile run could be so much fun?

Well, seeing as how I am always the last one to post about our adventures, I'll leave most of it to my running cohorts to give you all the dirty details.

It's funny to me though, how we all seem to leave out just the teeniest, tiniest details that might incriminate OURSELVES during these Pat, while trying to avoid a combine during our on road/off road adventure, almost doing a face plant in the dirt despite his graceful recovery........or Lisa, who pretended to be UNsick when leaving the house in the morning, yet sniffled and snorted for the 8.5 mile journey, all the while talking about her grand plan to save 200 GU packets for a giveaway t-shirt. She didnt want to hear that this prized tshirt would end up costing her over $200, LOL!

ME? Well I admit my crazy moments...including a shower of Gatorade down my front side due to a water bottle malfuction, and an railroad track injury to my hand (which actually could be blamed on Lisa if I was so inclined). Oh yes, and I forgot about wearing my running pack upside down and almost....ALMOST dumping out all the contents at the gas station while trying to pay for my Gatorade. I must have gotten dressed in the dark.

How GGT put up with our antics, I am unsure. She stuck with us for 6 miles and then headed home for some real adult conversation. :) Since the REAL troublemakers are gone next weekend, she and I might try to meet up for a shorter run on Saturday morning before I leave town.

But seriously folks, yesterday was GREAT. Another personal mileage record for me at 8.5 miles. I had planned on running only 6, but felt good after that point and decided to stay on with Lisa and Pat.

Last week I started REALLY dragging around the 6 mile mark, so I could see a slight improvement this week. I think it was close to the 7ish mark that I wanted to start whimping out. That's when Lisa spotted the dirt trail for extra mileage and then......well, you all know how that goes.

My new ASICS were just awesome....only one short period of foot numbness and it wasnt severe, and went away quickly. They certainly aren't white anymore after yesterday, that is for sure. And should I mention the dirt rings around my ankles when I got home? I looked like my toddler after a day in the sandbox. :)

Only one strange physiological issue that is noteworthy - a strange feeling in my left calf muscle at almost 8 miles. I am not sure what a muscle *spasm* feels like, but I think that may have been what it was. It felt like my muscle was squiggling around in there....that is my highly techical explanation. A short walk break helped, and I'm glad it didnt return.

My lower calves were much tighter by the end of yesterday's run than I have ever noticed before. Today I am only slightly sore, which is good.

If what Pat tells me is true, I am hoping that by *pushing on* during these long runs when I feel like stopping, I am getting stronger and able to extend farther each and every time. See, Pat isn't just our comic relief, he is our mobile advice columnist. I have learned a ton from Pat in the last 16.5 miles! ;)

Have I mentioned that I have the best running buddies ever?

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Writing on the Wall



This the motivation that is tacked to my office wall where I can see it while I work. It is right next to the calendar that has a countdown of the number of days until Big Sur.

As you might be able to tell, the map is the Big Sur Half Marathon course map. In 44 days, my Pokey behind will be seen dragging itself along this course in a somewhat-hopefully-respectable-but-doubtful fashion. Luckily I will have two other side kicks (Micheline and Lisa) to help me along.

I am nowhere near prepared for this, yet for some reason I am not yet intimidated by the thought. I am okay with where I am - and if it means I walk a large portion, so be it. The fun will be had in spending quality time (3ish hours) with 2 friends that I rarely get to see, and the ultimate accomplishment of simply finishing a distance that a year and a half ago would have been unfathomable to me.

So mentally, I am ready. The physical part is still yet to be determined.

Tomorrow I have another run on the books with the Charlie's Angels gang, minus Angie :( but plus a friend of Lisa's. :) Pat and Lisa are planning on 10 miles; I am planning on 6.

I do need a 10-miler in a couple weeks guys (hint, hint). But for tomorrow if I can manage another 6 miles, all will be well in my world.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wow, Wow and WOW!!!!

By John Bingham

The late, great, baseball pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige is often quoted as having said “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
He also said “"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.” Mr. Paige should have been at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

If he had been, he would have met 93-year-old Fauja Singh. Mr. Singh is the current marathon world record-holder for runners over the age of 90. His time? 5:40. Content that his marathon record is secure for now, Fauja ran the half marathon in Toronto this year and set that world’s record. 2:30:02

Those records alone would be enough to make one wonder about the necessary slowing down that experts seem to think comes with age. But as astounding as Fauja is, his accomplishments were nearly overshadowed by a 73-year-old youngster named Ed Whitlock.

What Ed the younger did was break his own world’s record in the marathon by completing the waterfront course in--don’t read ahead--two hours, 54 minutes and 48 seconds. That’s right, a sub-three-hour marathon at 73 years old. If the Boston Marathon qualifying times were based on these two men, the race could start in a phone booth in Hopkinton.

I had a chance to meet both Ed and Fauja. What’s more impressive even than their speed, skill and dedication is their humbleness in the face of relentless media coverage.

You may not have heard of him before, but in his hometown of London, England Fauja Singhs’ name is mentioned in the same breath as David Beckham. (And if you don’t know who David Beckham is, you need stop running so much and watch the news.)

Through an interpreter, Fajau explained that he doesn’t see what he does as remarkable. He started running when he was 81, just to have something to do, and he discovered that he first enjoyed the act of running--and later the sport. He is so humble that at the pasta party he deferred to his 76-year-old "mentor" explaining that it wouldn’t be right to speak in front of his teacher.

Then there’s Ed Whitlock. Ed ran a 2:59:10 at the 2003 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon becoming the first person over 70 to break three hours. But, as he said, he really wasn’t as fit as he wanted to be and so the record didn't seem deserved.

In 2004 Ed came back fit, well trained, and honed for another record attempt. He is, at 73 years old, as tight and as muscular as any Olympic athlete. And even more surprising, Ed will not accept endorsement contracts because he feels it would compromise the integrity of his amateur status. He is, and wants to remain, the quintessential club racer.

What does all of this mean to the rest of us? I’m not sure. But I do know that it confirms my belief that what increasingly distinguishes the baby-boom generation from those that have come before us is our absolute and unrepentant unwillingness to get old. True, Fauja and Ed aren’t exactly "boomers" but they stand as examples of what can happen with a little good luck and a lot of calm determination.

It’s been barely twenty years since a baby boomer named Joan Benoit won the first Olympic women’s marathon in 1984. Now, we have a marathon in New York City’s Central Park just for women over 40. Age is no longer an excuse for inactivity and inactivity in no longer the reward for getting old.

I do know what it all means for me, personally. I saw my own future on the waterfront of Toronto--it came to me as an epiphany. It was as if my destiny came to life right before my eyes. I have finally, after all these years as a runner, identified a life goal for myself.

It’s pretty straight forward, really. I just have to maintain my current marathon pace and live to be more than 100 years old. I mean there’s no hope that I can knock off Ed Whitlock’s record of 2:54:48.

But Fauja’s record, that’s another story. I’m about even with him right now. I know that because he passed me at mile 18 of the 2004 Flora London Marathon. I’m sure if I hadn’t stopped for coffee and chocolates I could have kept up with him.

I know now what I need to do. I just need to keep training like I am now for another 40 years, then put in a few months of speed work, tempo runs and hill workouts, and I can take a shot at going sub 5:40.

That’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.

Waddle on, friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Woman’s Prerogative…

….is to change her mind, RIGHT?

Okay, good.

So I did. ;)

The Newbies just didn’t do it for me last night on the treadmill. I ran/walked for an hour and it just felt like my shoes were sloshing around the whole time. My toes didn’t know what to do – they went from a studio apartment to mansion overnight!!!

The fit was much too boxy and I didn’t feel like the shoe was supporting my foot.

And after just an hour, the ball of my foot felt….how do I describe it……*rubbed.* Like my foot was moving around too much and had I run a longer duration I would have had blisters. I didn’t like it.

So I went back to see Jeremy today and traded him for the other pair of Asics that were the runner up to the New Balances. These were definitely the more pricey model, but if they make my feet happy, then it’s all worth it. I am not keen on the color, but again, there are no fashion contests to be won by me anytime soon. One trip down the canal and they certainly won’t be white anymore, that’s for sure!

I also discovered that too many trips to the running store can be dangerous. There are just waaaaaaaaay too many goodies and gadgets to buy. This one caught my eye today because I have been in need of a hydration belt. Anyone have any experience with it?

I know Lisa doesn’t like hers cause it rides up…this one claims not to.

I’ll try not to post tomorrow about yet another pair of running shoes. ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Out with the old, In with the new

Shoes, that is.

This morning while T was in preschool, I took a trip up to Performance Footwear to check out a new pair of kicks. I’ve had my old shoes, a pair of Brooks Adrenalines for about 6-8 months now, and figured it was time again to be re-fitted. I haven’t whined too much here (you guys are lucky) about the numbness problems I’ve had in my foot in the past, and while it’s gotten better, it hasn’t gone away entirely.

My running gang on Saturday concurred that it might be an issue with my shoe and the width of the footbed and toebox. So I decided to go check it out. I took my old, dear friends with me.

The hour I spent with Jeremy at Performance Footwear was the most educational and helpful running experience I’ve had. He put me in the snazzy Nike *slippers* and did a complete “foot strike analysis.” I walked and ran on the treadmill while the camera recorded my foot movements. Then he played it back on the computer and analyzed my running. It was AMAZING!

Here’s what I learned today:

1. My existing shoes were way too small. The smaller size was not able to accommodate my foot expanding as I run, which most likely caused the numbness.

2. The physical structure of my foot is normal. Arches are normal height.

3. I am a PRONATOR. Who knew? When I had my first pair of running shoes fitted, I was told that I was a “neutral” runner with no noticeable pronation or supination. I don’t know if that was an inaccurate assessment, or if my running motion has changed over time.

4. I need a stability shoe, much like the Adrenalines, which are made for moderate pronators. A motion control shoe wouldn’t hurt, but probably isn’t necessary at this point.

So that’s a lot of running jargon for me for one day. I wish I’d had more time to spend at Performance Footwear, but didn’t want to leave my child stranded at school while I played around at the running store!!!

I tried on 3 pairs of shoes: the updated version of the Brooks Adrenalines, an Asics model (cant remember the name) and these:

New Balance 767 Stability Trainer

I fell in love with these immediately due to the cushioning (my Brooks never felt really cushy). They feel a little “boxy” compared to what I am used to….however, what I am used to turned out to be way too small! It may take a while for it to feel right….it seems strange that I can tighten these laces so much more than the Brooks. And my feet look absolutely gi-normous!!! Oh well, I never plan to win any fashion contests while running anyway ;P

So these are my new wheels. I can’t wait to take them out for a spin….hopefully they will serve me well.

And for anyone who hasn’t ever had their running foot motion analyzed before – DO IT……….NOW!!!! It is great information to have. I’ll keep you posted on how these New Balance bad boys work for me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

High Blood Pressure

Unlike my other Blogstars, I think I am still in recovery mode from Saturday’s run!!! Aside from a slight blister on the back of one of my heels (not sure why that happened) and a chaffing abrasion under one of my arms (I HATE arm flab!)….I didn’t end up too worse for the wear after Saturday, except for just some general leg soreness.

It’s still lingering today, which reaffirms for me that I am sadly out of shape.

Not like it was news to me, so I don’t dwell on it.

Tonight I am meeting with a new running group for the first time…and am hoping to get an easy 2-3 mile run on the books. We’ll see how it goes.

On a different note – I got some GREAT medical news on Friday!

Since you all don’t know me – I have had issues in the past with high blood pressure. When my first son was born 10 years ago, it reared its ugly head as PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension). And it never went away. It improved somewhat in the years between my pregnancies, but never entirely got back to normal. After I had Son2 three years ago, they put me back on BP meds, and I was a bit resigned to my fate of being considered *hypertensive* for the rest of my life. Obviously, it didn’t help that I was also overweight and mostly inactive at that time.

So when I started running last year, in the very back of my mind… something I never mentioned to anyone….was the hope that maybe SOMEDAY I would be in good enough shape, and at a healthy enough weight that I could get my BP back under control. Well, by last summer……I was running consistently and had dropped my weight to 149 pounds. Unfortunately, my doc at the time was not willing to take me off the meds (JERK). Not sure why, but I didn’t push the issue.

I hadn’t thought about it again until last Monday when I ran out of medication, and had an appointment on Friday to get it refilled. And yes… you might have guessed…… current doc (who is a sports medicine specialist) had decided to let me try and go without the meds!!!!!!!!!!! My BP in the office was 123/80, when usually it skyrockets since I am so nervous about it being high, LOL! That was with being off the meds entirely for a week. So he has decided to let me chart my BP readings for the next few weeks, and if there is no spike again – I am DONE!

I can’t express how happy this makes me! The thought of being 34 years old and tied to BP meds for the rest of my life didn’t exactly razz my berries.

All my readings over the weekend were normal, so I am THRILLED!

And the kicker is – I still have 20 pounds to lose (again) and am not nearly in the physical shape I was in just a year ago. So the way I see it, things can only get better!

Maybe it’s just the Oh-No-I’m-Turning-35-Crisis, but I am confident this is the year for me. I am committed to getting myself back in shape and staying HEALTHY!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Eight is Enough

How can a day where you manage an 8 mile run, in great weather, with a FANTASTIC group of friends, ever end up badly?

IT CAN'T. It really just can't.

There isn't much that could happen today to ruin the high I've been on since this morning.

Pat (the self-proclaimed Waterboy) already beat us all to the punch, but I can steal pictures pretty well. ;)

Pat, Karen, Lisa & Angie......all ready to rock and roll at 6am.....and Lisa wasn't even grouchy!

Don't you like how Pat took pictures of US running, yet the only one we see of him is where he is all pretty and refreshed at the start? Hmmmm.....good Waterboys and photographers are hard to find. ;P

I have to say though, I am happy that the pictures he took of our backsides somehow escaped internet publication. WHEW.

I could not have asked for a better gang to run with on my first ever group run! And kudos to Pat for picking a GREAT route, and even have the foresight enough to go and leave water stashed along our route, just in case. What a guy!

And for the gals who are wondering out there, if there was any doubt: Pat is a total gentleman. Even though he could have gunned it and had a great finish to the 8 miles, he stuck with me in my Pokey Run for the last 1/2 mile when I was struggling. YOU DA MAN, PAT! Thanks for being so thoughtful and supportive!

It is hard for me to fathom that this is only the second time, IN MY LIFE, that I have ever run this distance....and it's been just over a year. This is a serious accomplishment for me, as well as a serious mental milestone that I have needed.

I am slow, there is no doubt, and I have a feeling the group could have trudged on a bit faster without me, but having Pat, Lisa and Angie there really made all the difference. Thanks guys for giving me the best long run EVER!

Friday, September 21, 2007



"OH, Mexico...

It sounds so simple I just got to go

The sun's so hot I forgot to go home

Guess Ill have to go now...."

I love James Taylor. AND..........I leave for Mexico two weeks from tomorrow!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooo hoooooooooooo! I am so excited for a vacation!! The kids are on fall break and we are taking off.....along with another family......for an entire week of sun, sand.........oh, yeah - and MARGARITAS!!!!! :p

I hear there is a place near where we are staying that does pedicures/manicures, while sipping margaritas by the ocean. You can bet your sweet self I will be found there at least once during the week!



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Out of the Comfort Zone

Completely and ENTIRELY out of the zone. Yep, that’s me. [insert scared face here!]

I am a SOLO runner. Always have been – even back when I was in the groove and running somewhat respectably. I have never ventured out to run with other people.


Few reasons: first, I have always run at odd times. I work a somewhat full time job (although only 3-4 days in an office each week), I have 2 kids and a hubby with a busy schedule – so I find time to run when I can. This has meant 9:00 at night, or 5:00 in the morning. I squeeze it in when I can.

Second, I am a slow poke. But you knew this already, right? I am not a good runner. It does not come easy to me. I also resemble a dying water buffalo when running at a pace that is slower than some people walk. Even when I was 20 pounds lighter (in a far distant time somewhere last year), running was a challenge for me. When I started running the very first time, and weighed almost 180 pounds, I used to run at night for the simple reason that I didn’t want to be seen. I learned to run on my own, griping and groaning in my own head the whole way.

My runner friend Julie (who sadly moved away last month), used to be so wonderful and supportive…always offering me an invitation to run with her. Problem is – Julie was a fabulous runner. She completed the Boston Marathon in 3:20ish this year. We were in entirely different leagues. I know she would have “toned it down” for me, but I was always too embarrassed for her to have to do that. My running would have been walking for her!

Running alone is much easier as it helped me not have to compare myself to others. Each step of progress was my own, even if it was light years behind what others were able to do. It has suited me well.


I think those days are over. Thanks to Lisa and her urging (which I definitely need), we are doing a long run together with Pat on Saturday.

As I confessed to Lisa earlier, ever since last night I had been brainstorming the list of excuses for why I would not be able to make it on Saturday. And the list was lengthy, and somewhat funny and creative, if I do say so myself!

But the truth is, I just don’t feel ready. Truthfully, I am NOT ready.

Okay. So what?

I needed someone to push me, and Lisa did the job. I should feel extremely lucky to have two other runners who are willing to put up with me and be supportive as I venture out of this rut that I am in.

I’m putting my pride aside (and yes, I have a lot of it in me) and just doing it. What is the risk…that I can’t finish the 8 miles? That I have to walk and let them go ahead? BIG WHOOP. It has zero risk and 100% potential to be a great long run.

Thanks guys. You are just what I needed. :)

On a non-sappy note – anyone else find THIS extremely interesting? Makes me ponder the existence of the male species even further, LOL!! (no hate-comments, gentlemen!!!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Power Gels and Sports Drinks

Thanks for all the input from everyone on my data search for the *right* sports gels, etc. to be using on long runs.....I also thought I would post the information given to me by my best *COACH* :)

I can always count on Mich to be a wealth of information - must come from all the years of living with an Ultra Runner!!

I figured I'd post it here as some good information for anyone else who might be needing it.

It is really personal preference. Based partly on taste, partly on how a particular manufacturers "formula" works for you and partly on how it sits on your stomach.

Generally, any gel would work. Particularly for relatively moderate distance runs. GU's are good, liked by a lot of people and widely available at athletic stores. Cliff blocks are the same deal. Like a jello shot (but less jiggly and more between a jello shot and a gummy bear). Cliff also makes Cliff Shots, which are a gel, like GU's.

There are dozens of energy gel brands - Hammer Gel, E-Gel, Carb-BOOM, Honey Stinger, Accel Gel, Jelly-Belly Sports Beans, Powergel, . . . and I'm sure there's more out there. I can only relay information based on Chet and my experiences. Chet hasn't had good success with Powergel, and I honestly don't know any racers out there using the stuff. Chet has used Hammer Gel, E-Gel, Carb-BOOM, Honey Stinger, Cliff Shots, Cliff Blocks and GU. I've used GU, Carb-BOOM, Cliff Shots and Hammer Gel.

Chet's currently using Hammer Gel and E-Gel's. He's found that that he likes the flavors of Hammer Gels the best, he can take the plain (it really is *PLAIN*) so when he's flavored out on his long runs and races, it doesn't turn his stomach, and the E-Gel's are a good variety of flavors and he does notice a real "boost" more out of the E-Gels. He used GU and Cliff Shots for a long time early on, but the flavors would get overwhelming, not agree and just didn't work for him over time. But, occasionally, he likes the Cola flavored Cliff Shots and blocks. He also used to use the Carb-BOOM's as they provided a different variety of flavors. I guess when you run as much as he does and eat as much of that crap, flavor really does matter.

I on the other hand really like the Hammer Gel espresso flavor. It's got a nice caffeine kick and tastes like chocolate pudding. I like the GU's and Cliff Shots too. I tend to go with the vanilla, chocolate and berry flavors, and like those. But, I really just use what's around, and since Chet always has a good stash around, I use whatever he's got.

Now, the real question I have for you is what are you drinking and how much? I think the big issue you need to be looking at (and your starting point) really needs to be hydration. I know you HATE the scale, but it's still DAMN hot out there, so you should really be monitoring how much water you're loosing while you're running. The BEST way to do it is to step on the scale right before you leave to go run, then step on the scale when you get back. If you've lost weight, you're not drinking enough. I know you don't want to hear this, because you're running to "loose" weight, but when you're out on the run, you need it to be a net zero or pretty darn near to a net zero.

Also, on your longer runs, you should start adding a specialty drink to the mix. Are you carrying one water bottle (are you carrying any?)? Are you carrying two? Down there, on your long runs you should be carrying at least 40oz of fluid!!!!!! If you're carrying two bottles, then you could mix up one bottle regular strength of a sports drink and then have the other plain water. Really, plain water is best, but if you're going out for more than an hour, it's time to start thinking about adding some supplements to that. The energy gels are really for that - energy. Sure, they have electrolytes in them and stuff, but they are a "boost" not a replacement. That's where the sports drinks come in.

GU, Cytomax, Hammer, and a lot of the other manufacturers that make gels make sports drinks. Honestly, I think Hammer Heed is one of the best, GU is very good, and Cytomax is doing okay out there too.

This is my recommendation - pick up a good sports drink at the local running shop. Start using it. Start out with a full concentrated solution. If it's too strong for your taste, then start playing with it to dilute it down. And start using that on any of your runs longer than 60 minutes. Get a few energy gels too. And then carry those. I think you'll see a marked improvement with using the sports drink, but on the really long days when you start to feel the crash, take a gel. You'll notice a big difference there too.

It's all personal preference. Try different brands, flavors, etc. See what you like.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Longest Run of the Year

Oh Happy, happy, HAPPY long run day!

Yes folks, today was the day. I ran longer (not necessarily farther) than I had in an ENTIRE year!!!!! See, wonders never cease.

I’ve been down on my running lately, but set out this morning with a very specific goal: 1 ½ hour run. No mileage goal – just time. I get way too stuck on how far I am going, or rather…how far I am NOT going…and then I get frustrated and go home. So today’s goal was entirely time related – and it worked so well, I am thinking that all my long runs will be time-oriented for the next couple months until Big Sur.

The last time I ran an hour and a half was September 2, 2006. I finished the almost 8 miles of the B2B 12K in just about 96 minutes. It was my longest run ever.

Since then, I have been a slacker. My longest run since that time was 5 miles.

Today I ran the 90 minutes, and am totally, happily oblivious to how far I actually went. The purpose was to keep myself MOVING. I did not do run/walk intervals…instead just kept a slow running pace and walked when I needed to (which mostly consisted of water breaks).

And the amazing part – I FELT GREAT!!! The first couple miles are always the roughest on me…it takes me quite a while to warm up. After about 45 minutes or so today, I was feeling fantastic…….even despite this ridiculous heat here in hell where I live.

I decided to try some of the trails around my house, which is something I usually don’t do since it’s usually dark when I run. But today, in daylight, they worked great. And the other great key is that once you get on these trails – you can’t get off until the next mile! Keeps me from taking a short cut! :)

I ran past a dairy farm – a portion of which had cows literally 2 feet from where I was running. As I came up, one started to walk along the fence with me, as if trying to come along! You will all be happy to know, that yes….even the Pokey was able to out run a cow! LOL!

It was a great run, filled with different sights and sounds….and renewed my faith in running…and in myself. I need more runs like today.

In the next month and a half, I need to add a half hour…or ideally, an hour…to my running time, and I have no doubts I can finish Big Sur. Oh Happy Long Run Day!!

It sure wasn’t as noteworthy as Pat’s 9-miler, but it was definitely some major progress.

Now……..some questions also occurred to me today as I was running – regarding nutrition and fluid intake for Big Sur. I read somewhere once, I think…that only runs over 90 minutes require any intake other than water.

Is this right?

What types of pick-me-up foods should I start trying before then? I know all about the gels, etc….but have just never had a need for them since my runs have been so short.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Who's your buddy, who's your pal?

Only 6 weeks until Micheline and family come to visit me!!! Woo hoo! And I just found out I will get to hang with my buddy for 3 weeks in a row!.....a little at the end of October, a couple days in early November and then again at Big Sur! WOOT!

Well, they aren’t JUST coming to visit ME……psycho husband is running the Javelina Jundred. Yes, this man is a psycho nut. I am unable to grasp what causes a normally sane person to want to run a 100 miles– without being chased by rabid animals – time and time again. Not sure what number of 100 miler this is for psycho dude, but I continue to be impressed. I struggle to run 5 miles – he runs hundreds. Where is the justice?

And just who is this said Micheline?

Micheline truly is my partner in crime. My rock. My motivation. My ass kicker. My accountability specialist. The person I send pictures to of a great run in California. The person that I’m not embarrassed to admit that it took me an hour to run 4.5 miles. The person who stuck with me during Pat’s Run when my foot went numb and I became a whiney whimp. The first person that I whine to when I have a bad day or a bad run. The person who goes to eat sushi without me and then calls to tell me about it. The person who understands why a good running bra is about the most important thing in my closet. The person who bought me my first running log. The person who first told me that I COULD run if I wanted to.

Micheline and I *met* on our favorite pregnancy site when we were both expecting our sons. T ended up being born in August 2004; G was born that September. I can’t recall exactly how our when we clicked in each other’s brains, but I can honestly say my life hasn’t been the same since.

The only thing that sucks is that my dear pal is miles away in Reno, NV. Quite a jaunt from Phoenix, so we don’t get to see each other often. I am looking forward to October – and then November when Mich, Lisa (another fried from PGO…who ran the B2B with me last year) and I all meet up for Big Sur.

Here is the shirt Mich wants to get us:


Only one problem – Lisa is a “skinny ass” so we will have to put masking tape over hers and write over it with a Sharpie. LOL! There is also something about wearing a shirt that says Fat Ass, when you ARE a fat ass that makes me a tad unnerved!!! ;) I also want to know: what happens if I’m not in front of anybody????????????

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Puke Patrol & the Dark of Night

Puke is just one of the hidden joys of being a parent.

My kids rarely get sick with anything other than a sniffle, so I am pretty relaxed when D complains of a stomach ache in the middle of the night. That is, until I am awakened by the sound of puke at 1:30 a.m.

So I was on puke duty from 1:30 am to 5am. Needless to say, I am exhausted and D is home from school. He’s bummed – it means no football practice tonight.

R is staying home with him this morning so I could come in to the office and get some stuff done; I’ll be home in the afternoon. I’ll just say it’s about FREAKING time he pick up some of the kid-related responsibilities. That is all I am going to say.

I got my run in last night – but I’m not sure how far it ended up being, but my guess is about 3ish miles – maybe a smidge more. I was supposed to have bunco last night, but it got canceled, so I took advantage of the fact that R had already arranged his schedule to be home with the boys.

So I went to my meeting at D’s school; drove thru at Burger King for a Whopper Junior – no mayo – only 7 WW points ;) – then headed to the gym to change clothes and took off.

It was still hot at 7:45 ish when I started running – probably close to 100 still. But no sun, which is definitely a plus.

It started out a pretty crappy run, but ended up okay.

I forgot how much I really don’t like running at night, and I hadn’t done it in so long, that I made some stupid mistakes. First, I wore all BLACK. Black tank shirt, black running shorts. Thank God my shoes are white! Second, and Tewonda the Tri Goddess would be upset: I forgot my pepper spray!!!! There is something comfortable about running with that in my hand – and something very UNcomfortable about not having it.

Motivation and energy come in mysterious forms though- which I learned as I made a bad decision to run through the bus lane at D’s school, since I happened to be running around that area. Not sure bus lane is the right descriptor – but it’s the single lane where the buses park – closed in my chain link fence on side, and the block fences from a row of houses on the other. AND NO LIGHTS. Basically, once you get in there, there is no way out until you reach the other end. Like a tunnel, only open on the top.

This thought occurred to me as I was about ¼ of the way down the lane – which is probably only about 1/8 of a mile or so – but really didn’t sink in until a car turned in behind me.

Not sure what the heck I would have done had the car stopped – I didn’t have my pepper spray to go all Tewonda on them – so I am just thankful I wasn’t faced with that. As they passed, I kicked my tail in gear and sprinted like mad to get out of there. I won’t be running through there again any time soon!

So notes to self: don’t wear black at night, carry pepper spray and don’t run through the bus lanes. I am a smart chick – I learned my lessons!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Is it Friday yet?

I’m so ready.

Life is just starting to wear on my a bit….juggling too many things, and all by myself as R is in the middle of golf season and never home.

T started preschool last week – yesterday was his 3rd day. He is still having trouble with what I call “the transfer point” where he literally leaves my hand and walks in to the classroom. The crying has gotten better (no crying on Day 1; about a minute on Day 2 and about 10 seconds yesterday) and he is super positive during and afterward….so I guess I am okay with it. With as much planning and contemplation as this preschool decision took, you would think I was helping him choose a college!

D is doing great – midterm came home yesterday with straight A’s. This Saturday he gets to go to the ASU game with his football coaches as a Scholar Athlete – for any CYF players that have a 3.5 GPA or better. As much as he makes me crazy at times, he makes me even more proud.

I am ready for FALL. Ready for cooler temperatures.

This morning I called to make our reservations for the Polar Express, only to find that all weekends in December are booked. :( And here I thought that calling in September was being EARLY. Pfffft. We are considering going the weekend before Thanksgiving, which isn’t what I wanted…but it is the best we can do. We’ll just get a super jump start on the Christmas season!

And, only 3 ½ weeks until Rocky Point! Have I mentioned that I could use a vacation?

60 days until Big Sur. Still haven’t gotten out to run again this week. Tonight should be a short run – 2-3 miles so I don’t feel like a slug. I still am not back in the groove.

For all my local runners out there, anyone ever consider THIS? I am signed up – via a friend that used to run with this group – for the RNR Half Training program. It starts on September 23rd. I am already nervous.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why is it so easy to fall off the wagon, and SO DANG HARD to climb back on?

I tell myself that I am over being mad at myself…and am OKAY with where I am in my running and ACCEPTING of where I am not…..

(but it still ticks me off)

I need to get over myself and focus on what I CAN do instead of what I used to be able to do. *SIGH*

Okay, vent over.

I have gotten so much support around here that I almost feel guilty about whining!!!

I’ll move on to a run report instead.

Since R was gone all of last week, running was out of the question. Can’t exactly leave the kidlets home sleeping at 5 am to go run!

R got home Saturday, so I was out the door Sunday morning…although a little later than I had hoped for. I left about 6:15 and got about 4.5 miles in….still on the run/walk routine.

Picking routes now is tough…I try to make sure I am running north/south when the sun decides to barrel over the horizon so that I don’t get blasted in the face.

But it was still HOT. Even that time of the morning, I was dying of sweat! I cannot wait for cooler weather to show up someday.

It’s hard for me to say I enjoy my runs lately….seems all I do is beat myself up mentally, sweat like a pig, and wonder how the heck I am going to last for 13 miles come November.

Micheline, gotta love her, doesn’t seem worried!!! I think she is in denial. Or something has happened to her brain after living with an Ultra Runner for so long. Me, on the other hand – I AM WORRIED!

62 days from today, to be exact.


My goal for this week is going to be a long run of at least 5.5 miles – hopefully 6. I have one of my old routes up to my parents’ house that should work.

On a lighter note…….we are heading in to one of my FAVORITE holiday seasons:


I am home tomorrow, so am planning on dragging out the decorations and T can help me after preschool!

I am a Halloween freak……I loooooove decorations and every year we hold a big neighborhood party in our driveway…potluck style, fire pit, beverages (both adult and kiddie!) and it is just a ton of fun. I am so looking forward to it again this year!

Which reminds me……I’ll share some stupid Halloween humor!

Anyone know what these are?

C’mon……… you know.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Oh, my sweet neglected running journal….or now a blog. I have gotten 3 messages so far from gals at wondering where the heck I am, and what is going on with running.

That group has been so inspirational – I hate to leave them – but I just think this is a better format. I’m sure the mods there are thankful I won’t continue to take up journaling space too! I feel like I have made in difference in people’s lives by being there – and maybe by my own ramblings, inspired others to purse an active lifestyle – no matter how difficult it may be. Anyone who can make it through the 40 pages of my running rollercoaster deserves SOMETHING out of it! ;)

There are also more runners out here in blog land—and also many wannabe runners like me – that I think this is the better place. I will post a link in my journal so that my stalkers can still find me if they need a good chuckle.

For others, I've added THE STORY OF ME link right over there ->


Now 65 days until Big Sur. For those who don’t know me yet, this is the race I have supposedly been training for.

I have two partners in crime – Micheline (in Nevada) and Lisa (in California) that will be joining me in this race. Hopefully one of them will have enough energy to drag my ass across the finish line in a somewhat respectable manner.

If you’re not enough of a glutton for punishment to read about my past life, here are the highlights of me:

1. Almost 2 years ago now, I decided I wanted to be a runner – after never really running a long distance step in my life; I became a Penguin, and started waddling

2. I suck at running. I really do. It is a lot of work and it is hard for me. I am not a natural runner.

3. I am SLOW. Turtle-like.

4. I don’t even like the act of running so much – what I like is the way I feel AFTER I run that keeps me doing it.

5. I completed my first 5k in April of 2006 and a 12K in September of 2006. The pic is from the Bridge to Breakwater 12K in San Pedro, CA. (I am the short stubby one, with the plethora of gear on my arm….next to the 2 tall skinny chickies..):

6. During a race, I run about a 12 minute mile average

7. Did I mention, I am freaking SLOW?

8. I am embarrassed at my running abilities and usually run alone for that reason (see Micheline, I can admit it now!)

9. My longest run EVER has been the 12K (just shy of 8 miles)

10. I lost almost 20 pounds running in 2006, and have gained it all back (something due to the fact that when you take a break from running, you have to take a break from eating too…..funny that, huh?)

11. I am struggling to lose weight, improve my running and not having much success at either

Whew, that was like a catharsis of sorts.

I am *supposed* have the following races on my calendar as well:

Race for the Cure 5K – October
New Times 10K – November
Turkey Trot 10K – November
Iron Girl 10 Mile – December
PF Changs Half – January

I have a lot of work to do.

I have back tracked so much since this time last year that it PISSES ME OFF.

Who can I blame?

Me. And my stupid schedule and busy life. And my hubby’s stupid schedule and busy life. And my kids’ stupid schedule and crazy life.

I have not allocated enough time to train for Big Sur as I had hoped. My goal one day is to show up for a race and actually feel PREPARED. Actually feel as if I am well trained and READY.

It isn’t going to happen in November, so I am hoping with some inspiration in Blog Land, and some arse kicking from Micheline, maybe another race on my calendar will indulge me that luxury.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A game of tag?

Pat “tagged me” so I guess this is what I do…..don’t forget folks, I am a blog-rookie!

Jobs I’ve held: hotel reservation agent, political fundraiser, IRS intern (no hate mail please, LOL), accountant, office manager, director of human resources and accounting (current). Pro bono position: MOM.

Grown Up jobs: pretty much all listed above – I didn’t work until I was in college!

Future jobs: I love what I do…so unless I win the lottery or retire someday, I don’t see a change in my future profession.

My Guilty Pleasures: anything CHOCOLATE, pizza, Starbursts candy, Alaskan King Crab

Places I’ve Lived: Socorro, New Mexico; Columbus, Ohio; Tempe, AZ; Chandler, AZ

Show I Enjoy: Guiding Light, Law & Order, Dirty Jobs

Websites I visit daily: a ton of work-related, financial sites;; Self Propelled (thanks Pat!) and several blogs of my girlfriends.

Awards I have won: many academic awards in high school/college; AZ Employers Council Excellence in Human Resources award; “Best Mom” certificate from my sons for Mothers Day!

Nicknames: used to be K-squared (my initials with my maiden name), Honey, and Mom!

So am I done? How do I tag someone? I need to figure this thing out. ;)

67 More Days

I wonder how I figured I’d have time for a blog?? Sheesh. I am lame.

A quick update for now……….Big Sur is 67 days away. I have come to terms with some things:

1. I am not ready
2. There is no way for me to be truly *ready* in the next 67 days.
3. I will need to use the Galloway method to complete the race.

Once I came to terms with where I am, and my limitations – all is well in my world again.

I got back on the running track (somewhat) last week with a short 2 mile run during the week, and a 4-miler both on Saturday morning and Monday morning.

Using Galloway, I run 2 minutes, walk for 30 seconds. I just wait for the beep and doing what my trusty watch tells me. This may not be the most glorious way to finish a half marathon, but it is the only way for me right now. It keeps my foot from going numb and keeps me moving. What more is there?

I am hoping to maintain some short runs during the week, with an increasing long run each Saturday or Sunday until November. It may not be the best training plan out there, but it is the only thing that has a hope of getting me to the finish line.