Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Big Squeeze

Anyone recognize this little device??

Well today I get to become intimately involved with this lovely little gem as I transition into real womanhood with my very first mammogram! I've heard it call the Death Vice, Boob Smasher.....you name it......but this little number can saves lives. That's why I felt it my bloggity duty to post a PSA to all the other gal bloggers out there ~ if you're now over 35 years old and haven't had a mammogram yet.....go do it! DO.IT.NOW!!!!!

Even if you're like me with no history of breast cancer or other red flags, it's a very important diagnostic tool. And besides, it really just looks like a ton of fun :)

[end of soap box rant]

In other running news, everything is still going well. This last week was my *recovery* week after the Fiesta Bowl HM, and trust me.....I needed it. My quads felt every inch of the 13 miles, and took a couple days to recover. Owchie! That was a new experience!

So I didn't get much (any? Can't remember....) running done during the week (also due to a hectic schedule with the kids) but I did get a decent 8 miles done on Saturday. Based on advice from Micheline, I opted for a mileage cutback in my long run. She's a firm believer in a *rest* cycle every 4 weeks, and talked me out of the 10 miles I had originally planned. The run felt decent and averaged about the same pace as Fiesta Bowl, so I was pleased. Any time I can run 8 miles and feel good, I am happy :)

Yesterday's run didn't leave me with the same warm fuzzies. I had a horribly slow, sluggish and extremely tired 3 mile morning run. It sucked. Let's just leave it at that. Apparently, some times you feel like a run........sometimes you don't.

I'm hoping to head out for some miles tomorrow morning ~ early ~ before all the Christmas chaos starts ~ for at least 5 miles, and hopefully a tad more. My long run schedule for the weekend calls for at least 13 miles.......so apparently the recovery break is over! :)

Hope everyone has a great holiday this week....and happy running!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon 2008

My poor, poor neglected little blog! It is about time that I finally have something to say and enough moments in the day to actually blog about it. I figure that in keeping with blog-tradition that at least a quick race report is in order....

Yesterday was the 2008 Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon up in Scottsdale. It's a much smaller race than what I'm used to (yes, I purposely drown myself in larger races where no one notices if you come in last) and it had never really been on my "to do list". My focus lately has been solely on the RNR Half Marathon coming up in January.

Yet two of my fellow TRC runners - Pat and Christina - were running this race and we had chatted about it on several of our long runs. For Christina, this was her very first race EVER.....and she was faced with having to run it alone :( After a lot of mental struggles, last week before I left town, I committed to running this race with her (strictly as a training run for me as funny enough I had 13 miles on the schedule for this weekend) and got myself all registered and ready to go. The goal was completion....and to give Christina some company as she crossed the finish line for the very first time.

The recipe for this half marathon wasn't exactly ideal:

one week of traveling and little sleep


one week of eating like crap (anything that wasn't nailed down)


one week of absolutely no running


a half marathon???

Well, not in the best of circumstances....but that was my receipe for Fiesta Bowl. Try hard not to be overly impressed ;)

Mentally, I knew I wasn't really ready for this ~ but for once I jumped out of my comfort zone and decided to give it the good ol' college try. My past half marathons have left me with a lot of mental baggage and trepidation....but it was time to face the pavement once again.

The goals are always the same. And yesterday, after a good solid run, I met each and every one of them!

The weather was perfect (although quite chilly at the start), the company was great, and very methodically Christina and I covered the distance. We ran ~ did not walk~ together for 11 1/2 miles ~ solid and strong. At that point, I felt my legs tighten and my mental paranoia started to take over a bit. I knew it was time to walk some, and slow the pace even more and take it on in. So after 11 1/2 miles I sent Christina packin' :) as she was well on her way to a fabulous race of her own, and we each needed to do what we each needed to do for our own success.

I crossed the finish line at 2:46:13, with Pat who came out to greet me (taking pictures of my behind, much to my dismay) and Christina waiting up ahead just outside the chute. I was smiling and happy, not dead, and not cramping. All 3 goals met in one fell swoop :)

It's hard not for me to "what if" this race to death, like I have with all the others. Of course, we were on track for a much better finish time (after 10 miles, my mental math showed that we could have made it in around 2:40.....which would have been amazing!) and I start to wonder if I let all the mental stuff really bog me down. In the past, my issues have been physical; yesterday, I think it was more mental.

I changed a lot of things ~ particularly in the areas of nutrition and hydration. I didn't overhydrate like I think I've done during pre-race in the past; and I kept my intake of calories steady throughout the run, instead of waiting until I felt like I needed it. I did discover that it's much hard to get Sports Beans IN your mouth while you're running, and that it really isn't necessary to leave a trail on a course that isn't an out and back ;)

I also discovered that I can RUN a long distance. It's slow, of course ~ our pace averaged anywhere between 12 mpm and 12:30ish ~ but we didn't stop. This is one area that running with Christina has really helped me in reducing my reliance on walk breaks. I'm still not sure what works better, time wise ~ running a bit faster and incorporating walk breaks, or just running slow and steady all the way through. Yesterday it was slow and steady, and it worked for us. Yet another new accomplishment for me!

And here are the dirty details:

Mile 1: 12:08
Mile 2: 12:24
Mile 3: 12:27
Mile 4: 12:31
Mile 5: 12:40
Mile 6: 12:42
Mile 7: 12:29
Mile 8: 12:18
Mile 9: 12:07
Mile 10: 12:36
Mile 11: 12:22
Mile 12: 13:04
Mile 13: 13:33

Total time: 2:46:13 ~ Average pace : 12:34

Garmie has my total mileage at 13.27, so I guess that makes me an over-achiever :) I hate it when I have to run more than required!!!! And since Garmie time and chip time agree, I think I should get credit for a marginally faster pace :) When you're this slow, every second counts ya know!!!!

But for the first time in my running career, I'm happy with my performance. Yes, it was a PR by about 5 minutes off of my Valley of the Sun HM from March. Yes, that makes me super happy. However, I also know that I can do better. I know that a 2:40ish finish was well within my reach...I just somehow chose not to grab it. Now I just have to get my mental game on and really start pushing myself toward what I know I can do.

But in the meantime, I will relish in the accomplishment as I try to walk up and down the stairs without my quads hurting :)

And congrats to my buddy Christina who finished her first Half Mary yesterday (in about 2:43ish, I think....freaking awesome!) and thanks to my buddy Pat who is always a fountain of moral support. We couldn't have asked for a better day to run!

Happy Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon Finishers
(Christina, Karen & Pat)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Picture my week.....

First here.....

Then here...

(Orlando, FL)

And somehow, due to peer pressure, I'm going to end up here...

All in the next seven days!! I hope to be back at blogging soon with many good things to say!!

Happy Running!
PS: Yes, it's the half marathon...I've officially lost my mind :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Testing, testing....

Is this thing on??

Yes, I am still here.

Yes, I am running. A lot, in fact. November is going to be my highest mileage month EVER!
(freaking awesome!)
Yes, I'm super busy with life in general.
Just wanted to take a quick second and wish everyone in Blogland a HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

And Happy Running!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everybody has one

Even if you say you don't.

Even if you block it out of your mind and deny that it ever enters the realms of your thoughts.

If you're like me, you'd never speak of it......even if you did have one.

It's just to risky.

Too embarrasing.

Too vulnerable.

For a runner like me, a time goal is just too scary to even talk about in public ~ let alone actually document in writing where others (including myself) might be able to refer back to it at later date.

After all, I'm a *just finish* runner ~ so I really don't need a time goal.

Do I????

It's now two months out from the RNR Half, and I'm so happy to be right on track in my training. I'm getting two short runs in during the week (usually if all the planets align) and a long run on the weekend. And the best part is that my long runs are improving.

I've always said that my goals for my upcoming races is just strictly improvement. For me, this translates into:

1. No leg cramps at Mile 10!
2. Finish strong and with a smile :)
3. Don't die (always a good one to keep on the list)

Not too lofty of goals, really....and if I met all on them on January 19th, I'd be one happy camper. So why the thought of a time goal is entering my brain, I really have no idea.

I'm trying to repress it, but it's trying hard to come out. The thought of adding a PR as #4 on the goal list is just getting way too tempting!

My long runs lately have felt decent ~ although I was extremely tired during Saturday's run (but I think we all were, so it must have been something in the air!) ~ and for the first time, ever, I am able to average under 13mpm during a long run.

Yes, you read correctly. I know it sounds silly - slooooooow.....but up until now, I've never been able to break the 13 minute average barrier ~ obviously due to the mix of walking and running. But now all three of my last long runs (10 miles, 8 miles and 11 miles) have all broken the barrier ~ coming in right around the 12 1/2 minute mark on average. This is what is causing my mind to wander......

My PR for the half marathon distance was somehow set at the Valley of the Sun last year (don't make me drudge up the gory details and discuss how good mine and Lisa's time SHOULD have been based on our performance up until the time that I cramped up....) and averaged just over 13mpm average pace. I do have to admit that this alone is amazing due to the amount of walking we did over the last 3 miles (due to yours truly, of course...UGH)....but I digress. Our final finish time was 2:52 and some change.....when it really should have been somewhere between 2:30 and 2:40. I still get frustrated when I think back to that day.

Then long runs like this weekend and the weekends past make me wonder..........what is really possible for me this year at RNR? If I can average 12.5 on a training run, what can I do on race day?? And the carrot begins to dangle.....

Then I snap back into reality and focus on my REAL GOALS. Time may or may not be on my side this year, but I am trying not to obsess about it. The good news is that I am still two months out from RNR and have already hit some serious long run distances. There are still 12, 13 and 14 mile long runs in my future.....but I know that I am on the right track to being READY.

Ready to IMPROVE and ready to finish with a SMILE :) Isn't that all that really matters in this silly sport???

ORN: Long Run with TRC peeps Pat, Candace & Christina ~ 11 miles ~ 2:20:33 ~ 12:46 average pace.

Happy Running!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Somewhere Pigs are Flying

I am sure of it. No doubt in my mind. What....you didn't see the pigs today??

Maybe you will find this even stranger........today I ran 8 miles. No really. I RAN 8 miles.


No, you aren't getting it.... (stick with me, will ya?)

I didn't run and walk 8 miles. I RAN. CONTINUOUSLY. Like real non-stop running. With no walk breaks!!!

Now you see what I mean about the pigs???? (dang, this bloggity crowd can be slow sometimes)

It was mileage "cutback" week on the ol' training plan, so a few members of the TRC headed out to brave the 42 degree temps (brrrrr.....chilly for AZ!) this morning at 6:30am to trek along the canals as usual.

Don't get me wrong ~ our pace was extremely slow ~ but we ran the entire way. The only exception was one quick stop for me to take off my shirt (don't get too excited peeps....I had a tank underneath) and then one quick walk break at about mile 5 for nutrition consumption (didn't last longer than about a minute). Other than that, Candace, Christina and I ran, and chatted, and ran and chatted for an entire 8 miles. And I felt FANTASTIC!

This is a first for the Pokey Record Books and something I hadn't even intended when we headed out today. But once we realized that none of us felt like walking, we kept the slow steady pace and knocked down the miles. Garmin is in my car, but I think we finished in about 1 hour 40 minutes or about a 12.5 mpm pace.

Good, GOOD things are happening around here in Running Land lately....and it only makes me more and more motivated each day! I'm not fast by any means, but I'm improving. Long run paces are getting marginally better, and my endurance is definitely improving. Have I mentioned how much I love running???

Better watch out for them pigs!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Running Words I Hate

TREADMILL and SPEEDWORK….not necessarily in that order and particularly if they would ever happen to be combined in the same sentence. That would be horrible!

So it is interesting that the past couple weeks have brought me to the point of trying to combine these two miserable words in my running repertoire. Seriously.

The tread(DREAD)mill??? Well, I’ve found that it has its place in my life when extra time is lacking and kids are sleeping (I hear you can get in trouble for leaving young kids along unattended, eh??) It used to be an old friend of mine back in my early running days when I didn’t have the guts to venture outside much where the *real* runners were. God forbid, I might actually be seen running. Now that I actually like it when people I know comment on having seen me running down the street, the treadmill has become a dusty piece of equipment in my garage. Using it bores me to tears, unless there is a good episode of The Office or Oprah on TV while I’m pounding away.

But time and schedule crunches in the past few weeks – combined with my commitment to myself that I WILL get short runs done during the week – have made the dreadmill a trusty companion. We’re not in love, by any means – but we tolerate each other for the sake of the kids. You know – the ones sleeping upstairs while we rendezvous in the garage. I am learning a whole new respect for my dear dreadmill – I hope it’s not just a fling.

And because time has definitely been of the essence – enter the other painful word from my running mental block: Speedwork.

Speedwork has never really been a priority of mine, because well…let’s face it – when you only have one speed (i.e. slow) how does it really work? I hated the prospect of actually having to push myself faster (oh, one of my running buddy's eyes are burning right now….) because it just might require a bit more effort on my part. Oh.The.Tragedy. (yes, I am a slug)

But I have learned in the past couple weeks that when one only has 30 minutes to run, the kids are sleeping upstairs and Hubs isn’t home yet, that these two grossly obscene words come together quite nicely and make a pretty decent workout. Desperate times cause for desperate measures (translate: short on time = better run faster!)

And the bonus? I actually feel like I have done something different, pushed myself a bit harder, left my comfort zone, and gotten in a decent run where otherwise I would have just been laying in bed dreaming about running.

I love me some speedwork on the dreadmill!!!

(Don’t quote me ~ I’ll deny ever saying such a horrendous thing)

And don’t laugh at my speediness – keep in mind this is Pokey-Style-Speedwork (not to be confused with actual speedwork done by a non-slowpoke runner)

I can’t wait to get back on the dreadmill tonight!!

(GASP! Someone please begin an intervention…..)

Happy Running!

ORN: Dreadmill Run ~ 1 mile at 5.0; .5 mile at 5.5; .5 mile at 6.0 (smokin!!); .3 mile walk/cool down ~ Total short workout: 2.3 miles

Monday, November 3, 2008


I think I have time to surface today for a quickie update....thanks for all the emails checking in on me.....everything is finally settling down a bit.
  • Things have improved greatly with my son and his hip issue, but it took two long weeks of doctor appointments, xrays, MRI's, crutches, and a lot of tears and frustration (mostly from me). I don't like being a bloggy whiner, so it was easier for me just to not talk about it all here. I also didn't feel the need to air every emotional meltdown I had in the past couple weeks, and believe me...there were plenty. I think we are status quo for now....thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers!

  • Workouts and running have been pretty good ~ I still managed a couple of mid week dreadmill runs, even in the midst of all the family stuff that was going on. This past week was a bit rough as I got a bit too ambitious at Body Pump last Monday (after not having gone to class for almost 3 weeks) and didn't back off my weights. Stupid, I know. It took me until Thursday to be able to stand from a seated position without cringing. My hammies certainly took a beating. Next time I will be smarter ;)

  • I've had a couple great long runs the past couple weekends ~ especially yesterday with Pat and Candace. So good, in fact that I had to steal Pat's splits from his blog since I am too lazy to upload mine :) We got just over 10 miles done, and I have to say that the first 5 miles of the run were the fastest I have EVER run that distance! For me to average under 12 minute miles for 5 miles is a serious success. You can see that we slowed dramatically for the second half of the run, and apparently walked a bit. Pat's neat software (you can check out the details on his blog) shows our average "running" pace (when we were running, not walking) at 11:22.....again, which is a big deal for me. The final distance was 10.4 miles at an overall average of 12:26. Bring it on PF Changs!!!!

The plan for this week includes returning to work on Tuesday (wasn't in my office except for all of 2 hours last week!), 2 short runs and then a *cut-back* long run of 8 miles on Saturday morning. Oh yeah, and trying to keep everyone in my family healthy and on their feet ~ literally!

Happy Running!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If ever running were therapy...

.....today was the day. I so badly needed a run this morning ~ both physically and mentally ~ that not even a stressful weekend and 5 hours of sleep could keep me from my long run. It was a NECESSITY.

Without talking about it much (because it's just too draining) my oldest son had some sort of relapse of his Perthes Disease on Friday night. Just stood up from the couch and couldn't walk. I don't even have to explain how much that breaks a parent's heart to see your child in pain. Combine that with Hubs being out of town, and it speaks for itself that I was a ball of nerves this weekend. He still can't walk on his own and has extensive pain in his left hip. Tomorrow we head to his orthopedic specialist and will determine if this is just a routine flare up, or a more long term problem. Please keep all your fingers and toes crossed for the former.

So the running plan for this morning was 8 miles ~ 4 by myself and then to meet Lisa for the second half of the run. I'm sure Lisa's blog will have a glimpse of some of the goofy pictures we took this morning (some of which we sent to Eileen as she was running her first half mary in San Fran this morning!! WOOT!), but I'm just too lazy to upload them here ;)

My first 4 miles were good, slow and consistent. Then I joined up with Lisa and she kept me truckin'. We did do a lot of walking ~ half out of physical necessity, the other half just because we had a lot to talk about and our speedy pace didn't allow for both breathing and conversation. We hit about 3.5 miles together and then parted ways. I was happy to report a big fat 11:25 split on my mile home (awesome for me on a long run), finishing up at 8.4 total miles. SUCCESS.

Later in the afternoon I was pondering some of my upcoming race goals (based on some conversation Lisa and I had this morning) and I was reminded of something that I often allow myself to forget. Two years ago about this time I became a runner. I picked a goal out of thin air and decided that I wanted to run a 10K race by the time I turned 40 years old (and I was 34 at the time). My friend Micheline jumped on my ambition and helped me form a love for the sport that simultaneusly both frustrates and inspires me on a daily basis.

So today, as I celebrated my 36th birthday I relished in the reality of not only meeting, but exceeding the goals I had pulled out of my wildest imagination. I am only 36 today, and have completed not only a 10K, but three half marathons. I'm not a great runner, and the finishes weren't necessarily pretty ~ but I've accomplished more than I could have ever imagined back then. My 10K by 40 has now turned into a marathon.....and those who know me know well that it just might take me the next 4 years to train for it! ;) The lesson of all my years of wisdom: don't ever underestimate what you are capable of. And dream BIG! And then dream BIGGER!! ;)

Happy Running!!

PS: Congrats to Eileen for finishing her first HM at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco today! I heard from Eileen via text message, so I don't have all the details...but am anxiously awaiting a race report!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Movin' in Maui

Had I known earlier that the "kick start" that I needed in my running resided somewhere in the South Pacific, I would have bought plane tickets to Maui much sooner!!! Aside from having a fabulous time (vacation wise) last week, I had an even better time RUNNING. Short runs, mind you....the things that are a constant struggle in my running life!

I ran 4 out of the 6 mornings we were there ~ just over 11 miles in total. I don't think I have ever gotten in that many short runs in a week ~ even when I was in "training" mode! Yes, I'm that lousy at the mid-week runs. It's funny to me that the biggest treat for me during this whole vacation was the ability ~ the time ~ to go and run almost every morning. I treasured it like at one time I would have treasured the vacation opportunity just to sleep in and enjoy coffee on the patio. Don't get me wrong ~ there was plenty of coffee on the patio to be had by me ~ it just came AFTER some really great runs :)

Day 1 ~ the Exploratory Run

The first day I headed out with the intent to find a nice path, or boardwalk of sorts, along the beach for my run. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed to find that the area we were in did not have any such pathways along the beach ~ only sand.

I have serious disdain for running in sand (unless it is like the hard-packed stuff like I found in Mexico last year), but I gave it the good old college try. That lasted about 50 yards. Thank heavens for the amazing view to keep my mind off the pounds of sand that crept its way into my shoes.

So I left the beach and hit the streets. Most of my runs looked like this.....

Run 2 ~ The More-of-the-Same-Run

I was pretty still disappointed about not having an ocean view during my runs (I mean I'm in Maui for goodness sake!), until the next time out I happened upon this little gem. It is unknown how many visits I actually made to this little venue during my time there :)

And even along the same route, I noticed many new things along the way ~ my favorite of which was this cute little church that just really warranted a photo opportunity.

Run 3 ~ A New Direction

It wasn't really my first choice, but by my third run I ventured out in a new direction (to the south of where we were staying in Kaanapali Beach) and hit the highway. Yes, the highway. It was the only option in this new direction.
The first half mile or so was pretty crappy ~ lots of construction going on in the resort area of Maui, so I ran past plenty of half-finished hotels and tried not to get hit by oncoming traffic. The sun had just started to peek up over the West Maui Mountains (which happened to be to the East of me as I was running), when I looked over to my right side and caught a glimpse of my shadow on a tarp that was blocking off one of the construction areas. As I ran along, I realized that I actually kinda liked my shadow! Good running form, cute pony tail. Okay...so this calls for a picture!!!

I had to stand still since I wasn't coordinated enough to actually snap the picture while running, but you get the idea of my vanity ;)

It was during this brief running stint along the highway that I learned something new about motor transportation in Maui ~ more specifically, that motorized scooters are treated like bicycles, not road vehicles. I learned this rather quickly after almost getting run over by two different scooters while running in the bike lane!!!

I'm from Arizona where bikes mean BIKES. The cycling kind, you know? Well, not so much in Maui. I learned a whole new respect for the motorized scooters. And I just LOVED these signs posted everywhere. Watch for bikers, but plow over runners. Sheesh....the injustice!!!!

Run 4 ~ Uphill on Purpose

My last run took me back out on the fearful highway again (this time much more successful at dodging scooters) just as the sun was coming up again.

I had run past this road on my previous run, and wondered what lay at the top of this gigantic hill. There was never any traffic coming down the road, and it was just winding enough so that I couldn't really see where it went. So I decided to do the unthinkable. Run UP the hill. ON PURPOSE.

(gasp! those who know me will find this portion disturbing and highly unlikely.....but true! ;)

Cell phone cameras just don't do this kind of sunrise any justice.

It was a beautiful trudge up the hill, and the thought of actually being able to run about intentional hill-running on my blog may have even given me an extra spring in my step! About halfway up, I came upon this sign which gave me false hopes...

There was not really any coffee ~ just estate lots for sale. *sigh* MAJOR disappointment. I'd run up a hill any day if there was a great latte waiting for me at the top ;)

But my reward came just a few moments later when I reached the highest portion of the road. How can you not love a view like this???

I stood for quite a while taking it all in (and catching my breath) and was just so happy that I had decided to venture up there that morning. And just to prove that I was really there, I snapped a shot of my trusty running partner and her long supermodel legs ;)

There's plenty more vacation babble and pictures to come.....hope everyone had a great time while I was gone....have lots of catching up to do!

Happy Running!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Hui Hou

If you need me ~ I'll be HERE

We are leaving on Saturday ~ me, Hubs, the Boys and the In-Laws ~ for some sun, sand and (hopefully) a little R & R. I am being realistic in knowing ahead of time that I certainly won't have time to post between now and then, thus A Hui Hou. It means "see you later" or "until we meet again" in Hawaiian. I know. I'm so linguistically advanced :)

Running has been in the crappy department this week, as in ~ there has been none. Still crazy busy, not feeling 100%, and just being lousy at working it into the priorities. I've already beat myself up mentally for it, so I'm done. I have a corrective plan of action once we return from Hawaii, and I'll deal with it then.

For now, I'm planning an early morning 5 miler tomorrow morning, a looooooong ass plane ride on Saturday, and then some running on Sunday morning when I wake up at the crack of dawn Hawaii time. And if I can get a short run (3ish miles) done every other day while I'm there, I will call it a success.

Good luck to my buddy Lisa who is tackling the 70 mile Tour de Scottsdale this weekend, and to any other peeps who may be racing!! ALOHA!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bumblebee, Wildebeast & a TRC Explosion!

Last night as I was methodically laying out all my running gear for this morning, I got this reaction from Hubs: “ You’re not really going to run tomorrow morning, are you?”

Me: Ummmm…..YEAH. (rolling eyeballs in disbelief that he would even insinuate that I might miss a long run!!)

I may have not been the best decision I’ve made in a while, but certainly not the worst either ;) I was feeling better – although not 100% yet. But I wasn’t going to miss another run.

The thermometer on my car was promising ~ 74 degrees ~ the best starting temperature we’ve had in a long time. Yes, it is already that warm in the dark at 6am. But for us, that is a real TREAT.

Our Tumbleweed Running Club exploded this week with the addition of several new runners! And can you guess….of course, they were all female. Yep, Pat remains the lone male of the group….today accompanied by FIVE other women. Other men on the canal must either envy or pity him ~ not sure exactly which! Luckily today there were no ramblings about female issues, crotch sweat or irritating husbands….just general banter about running and life.

The first portion of the run felt pretty good in general. I could tell early on that my breathing was going to be an issue. I had soooo much nastiness in my throat from being sick all week, that it really made it difficult to get my breathing under control. Then, combined with the fact that I ramble way too much on group runs (note to self: talk less, run more) it went downhill pretty fast. At the turn around point at just under 3 miles, it really hit me.

I made it to about mile 4 before I had to fall back a bit. We were running in two groups: three of us up front, the other 3 a little ways back. My intention was to fall back and join the other group, when I got attacked.

I was LITERALLY hit in the back of the head by the biggest BUMBLEBEE I have ever seen. You know, the huge black/blue ones that look like small aircraft? It hit the back of my pony tail, and then continued to swarm around my head. I tried dodging it, but it wouldn’t give up. So I did what any runner along the canal would do: I RAN.

I would run a bit ahead, and stop to catch my breath…..and then there it was – back in my hair!!! I must have smelled so good that it just couldn’t resist chasing me. Or, my all black running outfit may have made me look like the Queen Bumblebee….I’m just not sure.

So this thing won’t give up on catching me, so it was time to seek help. So I yell for Pat ~ who is not too far ahead of me ~ that I am being chased. And what do you suppose my running buddy does?

He laughs…and then goes on to yell back a story about how in the wild, bumblebees chase, and I quote – “the weakest wildebeast” – from the pack in order to attack it for food once it separates from the group. While still dodging the bee, I yell back to him that he’s full of crap and that it’s LIONS that chase wildebeast, and not bees. Oh, and by the way ~ did he just call me a weak wildebeast? Yes, he did. See what I tell ya ~ good running buddies are hard to find. I’ll have to take this issue up with Pat again on a future run ;)

So I ditch the bee finally~ but it didn’t help my running. I somehow made it to the 6 mile point where the group was going to stop. Pat and I had planned to run a couple more miles at the park to hit our 8 miles, which I still opted to attempt even after the lousy six miles.

So we ran about a mile around the park, and then it was time to let Pat move on. My breathing still hurt, my side hurt, my legs were tired ~ and although I didn’t mention it to Pat (I figured I had whined enough already) I had the slightest twinge of a cramp in my left calf muscle. So Pat went on and I planned to walk around the park back to my car.

So I walked a bit, stopped and stretched my calves, and felt marginally good enough to pick up the pace just a bit. So I reverted back to the old days and the Pokey Shuffle. There really isn’t a more accurate way to describe this ~ it’s really just a shuffle. Slightly faster than a walk, but definitely not a run. Not even a jog. But it got me through, and I shuffled around the park until I hit my 8 miles. I am getting more number-stubborn every day apparently ~ there was no way I wanted to come up short today. The splits ended up being pretty decent for the majority of the run ~ actually faster than last week. Not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it.

I still feel pretty decent, although my throat is a little more sore this afternoon ~ almost certainly from all the huffing and puffing this morning. In retrospect, it may not have been the smartest move to attempt so many miles today after a week of the sickies…..but you know, I’ve never claimed to be the smartest runner out there.

So the TRC is back in full action, with a great group for fall training! All six of us from today, plus Lisa and Eileen will all be running the RNR Half Marathon in January. I’m completely sad that I won’t be able to run with the group next weekend since we’re gone for fall break, but I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and more great miles!

And looking forward to settling up with Pat for the wildebeast comment….

Happy Running!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Apparently, I'm Average

I'm a number-geek, and this bothers me.

I got a C. I'm "Average."

I should have gotten a B and been "Above Average."

I'm talking about WORKOUTS. Workout COMPLETION, to be exact.

I have had 18 training workouts on my schedule so far for the month of September, and I've missed 5. So I get a 72% for the month of September. Fudge. That's actually a C-MINUS.

Had I not been sick this week, I would have gotten an 84% and been a little more pleased with myself.

Nooooooo, I'm not a compulsive number junkie ~ why do you ask? Me thinks I may have been hanging around with Lisa a bit too long now. But nooooo....I can still run somewhat uneven mileage and feel good about myself. So I'm safe.

And in case anyone asks, of course I included tomorrow's long run in my completion totals!!! DER.....it's going to be the highlight of my week :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My great workout streak has been broken this week, compliments of a nasty throat virus and my kids. You guessed it ~ mom and dad now have the bug.

I missed my short run last night and will try again tonight and see if I can at least squeak out a couple miles. I was really trying to keep the mileage streak alive ~ even at a low level ~ but it just may have to wait for next month.

This week I'll settle for one short run and a good 8 miles again on Saturday.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Ramblings

That must be what my boys hear every morning when I grace the bathroom scale with my presence. I think the thing hates me ~ just like Garmin does. Hey.....maybe there is a conspiracy among electronic devices in my household??? You know, it's a definite possibility. I might need to launch an investigation.

The scale eased up on me a bit this weekend with a pound or so drop....which I will take with supreme gratitude. I have been exercising a ton (well, a ton for ME...maybe not other crazy people that I know....) and have been eating well, and all I can seem to do is maintain. Apparently my body really, really likes the weight it is at and doesn't want to drop down any further. So we are at a battle of wills.....with me chugging along each week just hoping to see the tiniest of losses. I won't babble on any more about what a difficult process weight loss is ~ I've whined about it way too many times before. So I'll be quiet and go eat some more carrots...

That was Ramble #1.

Ramble #2: Running

I had a mediocre workout week last week ~ one short run and one weight lifting class. I broke my streak of mid-week runs on Thursday night when my youngest son ended up at the emergency room with croup. Yeah, you can Google it ~ it's a stupid childhood illness that usually affects kids much younger than a 4 year old ~ so it was just dumb like that my little guy got it. We spent 5 hours at the hospital so that he could get a breathing treatment, and then called it a night. It was exhausting and sure FELT like a workout.....so maybe I should count it anyway ;)

Saturday morning was a group run with Eileen and Christina, and it went pretty well. I had 7 miles on my schedule; Eileen had 8 and Christina had 5. So we ran 5 miles together along the canals, dropped off Christina, refilled water bottles and Eileen and I headed out for a few more laps around Tumbleweed Park. I love Eileen to death, but I think she tried to kill me :) This was her *low mileage* week following a 14 miler last weekend....but was a BIG mileage week for me. I hadn't run that far since the Valley of the Sun HM in March, so my body sure felt every mile of it! It was a bit hotter than I would have liked, and my legs just felt tired. I thought for sure I would be crazy sore the next day....but to my surprise, I felt great! I can definitely feel a difference in how my body recovers now, versus a year ago. All good stuff...

Ramble #3: Proud Mom Moment

My older son's football team has been getting a lot of publicity around Chandler, including the newspapers and an online publication called the Valley Sports Ledger. The Ledger is dedicated to kids's sports in the Phoenix area. Last week, his name was mentioned in a printed article ~ and this week his picture made the team highlights. He's the defensive lineman, just about to nab the quarterback. Not necessarily his best side, but you get the picture ;)

Yup, he gets all his athletic abilities from his mother. Happy Running this week!!

ORN: 8 looooong miles

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Running at the Office

Would that not be just the coolest office layout EVER?? Micheline sent me a link to the full article ~ asking me when my company was going to invest in this stuff. AWESOME. I need to start sucking up to my boss big time ;)

Until then, I will sit on my butt, talk on the phone, solve employee problems, juggle our finances and keep us legal each day.......instead of burning calories. *sigh*

On a positive note ~ I made it to Body Pump yesterday!!!!!! [jumping up and down with big happy grin] I took an opportunity to work at home another day this week ~ since my office was mostly empty, and there wasn't anything that I was working on that I couldn't do from home ~ and then took a little side trip to the gym while little T was in preschool ;) Yep, where there's a will, there's a way. I feel like a blob of goo if I don't get a weight lifting class in each week. Yes, Nat ~ I'm serious. I am totally addicted.

I'm paying dearly for it today though, as I think I may have been a little over-ambitious with my weight loads yesterday :) I'm pretty sore ~ all over really, but especially in my chest and shoulders. Oh, and my legs. Oh, and my abs too. See.....weight lifting is FUN FUN!!! ;)

Tonight I'm on schedule for a short run, which may not be pretty given my current state. We'll just have to see how well the ol' legs hold up. Then tomorrow it will be serious rest for a long run on Saturday.

Pat is trying to get a team together for this crazy Mad Mud Run. It reminds me of playing *Oozeball* in college....i.e. mud volleyball. But I'm older and much wiser now....so I dunnnnooooooo. My main concern is who would push my butt up and over that wall?????

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a little negativity...

...... goes a LONG way!

Not much to ramble about today ~ other than a great midweek short run last night ~ 3 miles with a big, fat negative split on mile 3. I mean BIG. Like almost a minute per mile negative BIG.

Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.

Again, still just patting myself on the back for getting a midweek run done, so indulge me for a while until this becomes a habit, will ya??

I'm in a bit of grief that I don't think that a trip to weight lifting class will materialize tonight ~ darn kids ~ but I am plotting to see if I can work from home tomorrow and squeeze it in. We'll see what happens. I love me some weight lifting....gotta have it!!!!!!

It's also nice to see the mileage numbers in my side bar actually increasing for a change. Apparently this happens when you actually start running ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Check out them legs!!!

Somedays I really wish I looked like my shadow.....check out them super model legs!!! And look how TALL I am!!! Awesome!!! It must be Pat's expert on-the-run photography that makes me look so good. It's the only way I'll ever get legs that long in this lifetime ;) Can you guess which shadow is mine??? (I love stealing pictures from Pat)

Great run this morning with the TRC ~ 4 miles along the canal, plus another 2.4 at Tumbleweed Park with Pat. Weather was relatively good again, and my legs and energy held up nicely. I'm still on the high of getting back into the swing of running, and I'm over my garbage-disposal-style of eating from the past week. The goals this week include 2 short runs, a weight lifting class, and one other XT endeavor (probably a quickie Tae Bo session) ~ and of course, a week wouldn't be complete without a long run on the weekend. Seven miles this week ~ BRING IT!!!

ORN: Long Run ~ 6.4 miles

Friday, September 12, 2008

I've had a really lousy week food-wise. Not sure what happened, but I fell off the wagon and consumed way too much of the foods I've been trying to avoid ~ namely PIZZA!!! It's absurd the amount of pizza I comsumed this week. ABSURD. And I wonder why my stomach isn't getting smaller???

Enough of that. I guess I'm entitled to food diversions every now and then...and this one is over.

On a positive note for this week, I stayed completely on track with exercise, including two short runs!! Count em ~ TWO!!! You may wonder why this is such a big deal, but it really is. Mid-week runs are extremely hard for me to fit in my schedule ~ just trust me, it's not an excuse ~ they really are tough.

But I think that planning my training in two-week blocks has helped ~ it allows me to see where my other commitments are and plan my mid-week runs in the gaps. Sure, it's usually 9:00 at night ~ but they got done! Last night was particularly cool as I got to run again with Caroline, and another runner Kristina (who happens to be C's neighbor and friend). What a treat to run with others during the week!!! 3 miles passes nicely when there is chatter :)

I hate to break it to Pat, but it looks as though Kristina is going to be yet ANOTHER woman added to the Tumbleweed Running Club!!! Dang it folks, this man needs a friend ~ a MALE running buddy to help him counteract all the estrogen on weekend runs!!! Sorry Pat, buddy....looks like you'll just have to tough it out for a while ;)

6 on tap for tomorrow....happy weekend running!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's like Crack

(Or, I guess it is.....seeing as how I've never actually done crack, it's just an educated assumption!)

Running, I mean. Running is like my crack.

No, not like Plumbers' Crack......RUNNING CRACK! Are you following me now???

Nothing makes me feel physically and mentally better than a great, morning long (ish) run with friends. This morning Pat and Caroline and I (in our attempts to revive the Tumbleweed Running Club) met at 6am for the start of the long-run season.

We were blessed with better-than-normal weather, which included a mostly overcast sky ~ which in our temps, is a HUGE bonus. We hit 4 miles together on the canal, and then I added an extra mile around Tumbleweed Park to round off my even 5 miles for today. I started feeling pretty good around mile 3, which is typical for me....so I decided to take advantage of the feeling and keep on keepin' on!!! And the first long run of the fall is in the books.

There is NOTHING better than coming home and taking a long shower after a great run. It boosts my mind, my body ~ and I just feel exceptional for the rest of the day! Days like today remind me why I run. It's my CRACK! I'm addicted.....I love it....and I need MORE!

See you next week TRC ~ same time, same place! I have 6 miles on my plan....could it be another 6 at 6???

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Virtual Mile + A Little Humble Pie

I really had not even remotely planned to run the virtual mile race (which happens to be sponsored by one of my fellow Zonies), until somehow some inspiration spilled over from Pat ~ and made me slap on some running shoes at 9pm last night and head out the door. It also helped that I had missed my short run on Tuesday night (due to an explosion of craziness at my house that night) so I needed to make up the run any way. I am committed to NOT missing a scheduled training run. I need to make it up some how, some way.

The mile really isn’t my favorite running distance. Especially the FIRST mile of any run ~ it is always the total WORST for me. It seems to take forever for me to find a groove ~ which if the planets align properly, sometimes happens between miles 3 and 4. So that explains why a 5K distance never works out well for me either. Maybe I am really a distance runner at heart????

Last night's run was also in celebration of my RACE-aversary, which as Wes articulated ~ really should be celebrated with a RUN. So I donned my Bridge to Breakwater shirt in honor of the occasion and headed out. It was still somewhere near 90 degrees at the time. No sun obviously, but toasty.

And to totally buck the system, I even took my least-favorite running partner out with me: Mr. Garmie. I had to dig, mind you, to find him after a long summer of 4-5 mile per week, Garmie-less runs….but we rediscovered each other after a relatively short search. I had asked hubby for assistance in locating my friend and all I got was this:

Me: I’m looking for my Garmin

Hubs: Oh, that watch-thing?

Me: (in utter disbelief, covering Garmie’s ears and walking out the door) I believe he prefers to be called a PERFORMANCE DEVICE.

Sheesh!!!! Non-Runners.

So the plan was simple: one mile out, one mile back. Shower. Bed. Sweet Dreams.

So I ran. And ran. And RAN….

I even passed a jogger up ahead of me ~ and believe me when I say that this kind of stuff NEVER happens. I am always the passEE, never the passER.

Garmie was tired, almost running on zero battery power….just like me. We made a perfect pair last night. I glanced at him 3 or 4 times during the first mile ~ and was elated to see a 10:18 or 10:20 smiling back at me. I was convinced that I was going to ROCK this Virtual Mile race with my fastest mile split ever. The fastest mile I had ever run was in June over in San Diego ~ about a 10:48 with hills ~ and I knew I was trucking along at a much faster clip last night.

It takes a lot for me to run that pace and not allow myself to stop. I thought of all the blogging buddies that might be running a Virtual Mile right along with me. I told myself that I should be able to do ANYTHING for 10 minutes.

When Garmie screeched loudly at me over my huffing and puffing, I came to a halt. I was excited to see the final verdict.

That’s when a big piece of Humble Pie came falling from the sky and landed squarely at my feet: 11:05.

I was in utter disbelief! Didn’t even break 11 minutes?? All that effort and I couldn’t even beat my June split? I believe a string of profane sayings came out of my mouth ~ or at least went through my head ~ as I took a quick breather and turned around for the jog home. I donned my usual comfort pace, turned off Garmie, and went over it all in my head again.

I tried to convince myself that maybe Garmie had a bad night. I mean, after all, he was totally on almost nothing for battery ~ so it can happen, right? I’ve read many accounts of other runners with messed up splits. Right? Or maybe it was too cloudy and the satellite didn’t pick up properly. Right? There had to be a reason. Maybe Garmie was just paying me back for the watch remark from Hubs? I wouldn’t blame him for being angry, you know.

But sadly, I am a logical person and while I believe that Garmie can mess up individual mile splits on a longer run, or even be vindictive on a whim, I happen to know that TIME is TIME and there was no way to dispute that it took me 11:05 to run the single mile. It was 11 minutes and 5 seconds after I had left home, and that could not be disputed.

It was time for me to eat the Humble Pie that had been served to me and make my way back home. I analyzed many things on that last mile ~ perhaps that maybe I should have timed my SECOND mile for the race, after having a chance to warm up…..or perhaps it was the heat…….maybe it was my new shoes not being entirely broken in…….maybe………maybe. But by the time I got home, I had a new appreciation for who I am as a runner….as well as who I am not.

I am not fast, but I AM a runner.
I am a runner that has to work hard all the time and not take things for granted.
I am a runner that has run 4 miles a week for the past couple months, yet expected to knock out a stellar mile on a whim.
I am a runner that has to do short runs in the late evening hours after all the work and family obligations are satisfied.
I am a runner that just a couple years ago would not have been able to run continuous mile at all, at any pace.
I am a runner that shouldn’t compare myself to others, but relish in my own accomplishments instead.
I am a runner that not long ago was still running 12-13 minutes splits, no matter how short the distance.
I am a runner that despite what I often believe, is making slow progress on a regular basis.
I am a runner committed to setting goals and reaching them.
I am a runner that will continue to be inspired by others.
I am a runner...

I could go on and on about all the things I learned about myself last night in 11 minutes and 5 seconds. And instead of coming home disappointed and deflated, I came home renewed and inspired. I have many, MANY things to work on in the coming months ~ last night gave me a very clear indication of that. It was both a wake-up call and a reaffirmation.

So thanks Reid, for the idea of this Virtual Mile ~ and to my buddy Pat, who without even knowing it, in an indirect way gave me the mental push I needed to go give it a try.

Today I officially registered for both the PF Chang’s RNR Half next January, and the Surf City Half in February.
The goals are officially out there again ~ now it is just time to do the work.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sing with me, willya????

Happy RACE-aversary to ME!

Happy RACE-aversary to ME!

Happy RACE-aversary dear Pokeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Happy RACE-aversary to ME!

(applause….hoots & hollers…..)

Okay, so it was actually YESTERDAY and I missed it. Oh well, it is still a sweet day on my record books.

September 2, 2006 ~ the day of my very first “real” race (real long, that is!!) I had never in my life imagined that I would be able to complete an almost-8 mile race.

It was the Bridge to Breakwater 12K in San Pedro, CA ~ it was hot, humid and miserable ~ but after my finish you would have thought I had just won a world record. Time was 1:36:34, or about a 12:44 pace.

What a sweet, sweet day. It was the start of many great things for me, the most important being the pursuit of health and fitness. I’m not that much of a better runner today than I was two years ago (I’m still hecka slow!!) but I am a much healthier and stronger person ~ both mentally and physically. For these reasons alone, this day of running was a true success.

This was back before I discovered that running with a hat or visor in the heat is truly a necessity, but you will all be happy to know that even back then, I only wore black ;) In case it’s not obvious, I am the short dumpy one next to the two tall, skinny ones.
It also reminds me that I need to reconnect with my friend Lisa (in the hot pink) who shared this day with me :)

Thank you, Running ~ for such a monumental day in my life. I am ready for MORE!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In the Zone

It is finally September.

And it is TIME.

Time to get moving again after the long summer heat. It is time for FALL RUNNING in Arizona!!

(well, almost) It is still going to be 106 here this weekend, but I am trying to block it from my mind.

I love this time of year when even the slightest notion of cooler temps hits my brain, and I can start planning out the next few months of running. Fall is prime running weather here in the desert, which is good because there are a couple of big race goals on my agenda.

But today isn’t about the races themselves, it is about my TRAINING GOALS.

Pokey Training Season officially begins today, so it is time for me to get back on the running wagon. And here is how I plan to do it:

Run ~ 3x a week ( a lofty goal for me due to a hectic family schedule in the fall, but it is a must this year if I want to see race improvement)

Strength Training ~ 1x per week (in the form of a Body Pump class where I get my butt whooped by an overly hot instructor on whom I have a serious girl-crush!)

Cross Training ~ 1x per week (not sure what form this will take, but it is a necessity. This will be the hardest for me incorporate into the regimen because my mind subconsciously wants to tell me that it is unnecessary)

I am committing to planning out my training weeks in 2-week blocks, so that I can shuffle training as necessary to help mitigate family / schedule conflicts. I already have the first two weeks of this month mapped out ~ now it is just time to go and DO.

Oh yeah, and did I mention I still need to drop some pounds? Yeah, just that little issue called “weight loss.” *sigh* It is so hard. I am really kicking the diet in gear during the month of September before training runs become really long. I’ve been doing well on the eating front ~ for the most part ~ and maintaining my weight….but now I have to focus on LOSING again. I need to be 10 pounds lighter before my next half marathon.

Now how many times have you all read THOSE WORDS??

Yeah, I know.

ORN: 4.2 mile weekend run ~ slow and sweaty

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One ticket to the circus, please

The 3 Ring Circus, of course.

Isn’t that the best kind ~ where you can watch 3 different events running simultaneously before your very eyes???

Welcome to my life………..

Ring Number 1 ~ WORK

Ever since returning from San Diego at the end of June, work has just been a whirlwind. It was audit after audit after audit ~ all routine of course, since Pokey runs a tight ship ~ but ridiculously time-consuming nonetheless. For a gal who typically prefers more of a life balance between work and home, the last couple months have been totally draining. I feel like I am behind in BOTH places….which usually isn’t a good thing.

I am starting to surface again, slowly but surely.

Ring Number 2 ~ FAMILY

Let the chaos of school begin!!!! Then throw in some football and we put on quite a good show!!!

Yes, school started for my oldest (6th grade) on July 28, and for my youngest (Pre-K) on August 15th. Each an every day is just a new adventure in what I call the “morning circus” where we all try to find some miraculous way to make it out of the house on time.

Football practice for my older son happens every night during the month of August – read it: EVERY night! I won’t go in to the long list of things that this affects in my family life ~ everything from homework, to dinner, to laundry ~ so let’s just call it CHAOS and be done.

We are only a few days away now from a return to somewhat normalcy when practice changes over to 2X per week. Totally do-able in my book and I’m looking forward to a little sanity.

Ring Number 3 ~ HEALTH

As if watching the activities in the first two rings of the Pokey Circus aren’t enough to hurt your eyes, Mr. Pokey decided to land himself in the hospital earlier this month with a case of pancreatitis!!! While trying to juggle Rings 1 and 2, for a full week I also had to manage hospital visits, doctor consults and two boys who were wigging out about their dad being in the hospital. This was nearly a nervous breakdown kind-of week.

The good news is that hubby is fine; bad news is that they have no idea what caused the flare up. He doesn’t fit any of the criteria for folks that usually get pancreatitis, so everyone is stumped. Me? Well I just have my fingers and toes crossed that it never happens again.

I appreciate all the emails I’ve gotten - both the supportive ones and the “get your ass back here” ones. Truly, blogging buddies are the best.

I’ve been doing my best to keep a decent workout schedule, which I have been successful at for the most part. Not a lot of running going on ~ usually just a 4-5 miler on the weekend - but I’ve gotten some trips to the gym under my belt and am still feeling pretty good.

The scale is still holding at the same level, which is both good and bad. At least the chaos of the past couple months hasn’t added 10 pounds of insult to the rest of my life’s injury!!!

I am excited to get myself back on track here over the next couple weeks, as fall running season will officially start for me! I am hoping and praying for some cooler temps to help me out!!!

Hope everyone is having some happy running, cycling, swimming or whatever floats your boat! Bear with me while I get myself reacquainted ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I'm heading out again today ~ this time to North Carolina for business and a few days of exercise rest. Not sure how I am going to do it....I've been completely compulsive about my exercise lately ~ which I guess is not really a bad thing.

I actually had to restrain myself from going to the gym twice yesterday, just because I could have if I had wanted to. Crazy, huh? But I resisted, and went back again this morning at 5:15 am for Body Combat class ;)

I'd love to say that my compulsion applies to my running also, but no such luck.

I did get a good run in on Saturday at the ARR Summer Series Race #4 ~ a hot, humid and sweaty 5K with Eileen and Lisa.

I've had better runs, I've had worse.....so I have no complaints. This was a training run for Eileen, so I told her to set the pace and I would just go along for the ride. The heat was brutal, but we knocked down the 3.1 and called it a day. Personally, I think runners should get at least a minute per mile credit for running in such conditions....

Here's our sweaty ~ but always smiling ~ gang after the race:

Congrats to Lisa who set a new PR on Saturday, and continues to amaze and inspire me!! No idea how she did it in the heat ~ some of us were struggling just to move ~ but she ROCKS! Awesome job lady :)

I am just happy to have broken through the scale threshhold that has been holding me hostage lately ~ I finally busted 157 pounds!!! I had been stuck there for sooooo long (like almost a month!!!) so it was very encouraging to see the scale move again. Less than seven more pounds to my first goal.....a new pair of jeans that I have been wanting ;)

The goal for this week is to eat smart while traveling. No easy feat, but I am going to do it. There's nothing that says that pushups and ab curls can't be done in a hotel room too!! ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tricks of the running gods

I truly am starting to believe that there are Supreme Running Beings out there in the universe that get an immense out of pleasure it messing with me on a regular basis.

It’s like every time I go out to run, one of the running gods (not sure exactly how many there might be) is rolling a dice, flipping a coin, or playing Rock/Paper/Scissors to predetermine the outcome before I even get started.

My runs in CA during the month of June were FANTASTIC ~ my best ever.

The couple shortish runs I’ve had since I’ve gotten back were MISERABLE ~ some of the worst.

As I was plodding along last Saturday morning, swearing at the running gods for the torture, I remembered something I had said long ago: as runners, we are never defined by a single run. In other words, a good run does not a good runner make; nor a bad run does not a bad runner make. Pretty deep, huh????

It is hard not to let a series of crappy running define me, but I’m not. I’ll just say that my running has sucked lately and leave it at that.

I did manage to make some friends on my run last weekend. I even brought them home with me. I decided to name them GNAT.

No, those are not moles or freckles ~ this is what happens when it’s monsoon season in good old Arizona and the humidity shoots up beyond anything that we are reasonably accustomed to. I had to block from my mind how many of these little critters I actually consumed or inhaled during this run ~ I chalk it up to helping me meet my protein target for the day.

When I got home, I was sooooo HOT, sweaty and gnat-covered that I decided to jump in the pool ~ running clothes and all. It felt great ~ and for a fleeting moment I was almost a wannabe triathlete. Until I remembered that the swim should always come first ;)

I’ve been holding steady with my workouts at the gym ~ trying for both a Body Pump and Body Attack class at least once a week. I’ve been good with my eating habits ~ even throughout a ton of traveling ~ but the scale still isn’t cooperating the way I wish that it would. But I feel good, and my clothes feel good….so I remain patient. I’m not patient by nature so I sure it wont last much longer.

This Saturday is the 4th AZ Road Racers Summer 5K. I’ll be attempting to run with Eileen, but am not holding too high of expectations for myself. I figure just getting up, getting out and moving for 3 miles is worth something ~ so I’m doing it. I have no expectation of running with Speedy Gonzales this weekend, although she is being kind enough to pick me up at 5:30 am, which is, of course, her most favorite time of day ;)

In other news, I’d like to announce the formal, official debut of team FOUR SCORE & SEVEN BLISTERS AGO, which will be competing in the American Odyssey Relay Run Adventure in April 2009. Our fun-loving, wacky team is made up of 12 runners; 10 of which are from various parts of the U.S. and 2 from Canada!!!

Somehow this team of 12 is going to spend 36 hours together in van, run 200 miles of roads rich in American history from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC, have an AMAZING time doing it. Fellow bloggers Jeff, Rob, Katie, Nat, Cheryl, Ken and Micheline are part of my wonderful team, plus a few other non-bloggers (yet great runners!) who have yet to really determine how crazy the rest of us really are!

I am both excited and a bit freaked out about this new undertaking ~ I’m sure it will be an amazing event. I’m sure I will ramble PLENTY about my team and this relay over the next 9 months.

And last, but certainly not least ~ I am finally publicly able to wish a big CONGRATS to my dear friend Micheline who is expecting her second little munchkin!!! The offspring, affectionately named “Frogger” will be arriving in Reno in late January of next year…..and its mother will still be up and ready to go for the AOR relay in April!!! She is a real trooper, my running hero, and my great friend. So throw some CONGRATS her way ~ as well as a bit of good luck too……she’s gonna need it if she has another boy!! Just ask me….I know!!! ;)

Happy Running!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Truly. Why do I live here? I should have just stayed in San Diego.

Yes, I'm back ~ or almost back, in bloggity terms. I just wanted to get down a quick post, so none of you think I died or gave up running. Thanks for all the stalking-emails....makes me feel the love ;)

Here's the down-low on me ~





Travel some more (all for pleasure of course).

Get buried by work.

Travel a wee bit more.

Eat right.


Run a little (a scorching hot 3 miles at 6am is all I've been able to knock out lately)


Try to unbury self and retain sanity.

So that's where I am right now. I am going to be out of commission for some more time ~ gotta get caught up at work just in time to travel again the week of the 21st (this time not for pleasure).

Be back soon :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is also NOT a post about running splits


It's really not.

Trust me. It's just a picture. California-greetings from the whole fam damily!!!!!

We'll be heading home from San Diego for good this Monday, and I'll have plenty of substantial topics to post about then ~ including a race report for the crappiest of crappy 5K that I ran in Del Mar last weekend, and managed to get myself a PW (that would be Personal Worst) ~ and of course plenty of babble regarding nutrition and weight loss. Everything you've come to know and love from me. There will be plenty to go around ;)

I have a ton of blog catch-up to do, but for now I just hope that everyone is doing well!

I headed back home for a few days this week to get some things done at the office (after all, someone in my family actually has to work while others just play at the beach for an entire month....), and my plane hadn't been on the ground for 30 seconds before two startling things happened:

First, the stark realization hit that it was 104 degrees at 8:30 at night. BLECH. I nearly hid on the plane so I could take the turn around flight back to San Diego. But no such luck.

Second, a text message appeared on my phone. It read: "You get one week until training starts."

Dumfounded, I responsed: "Whaaaaat???? Who is this????" (always best to play dumb)

The reply: "Yo training momma."

SIGH. I bet it will be a real stretch for you all to figure out who THAT came from ;)

Happy Running!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This is NOT a post about running splits

I repeat: this is NOT a post about running splits.

If this had been an actual post about running splits, the blog author would have been in complete violation of the Splitless Summer Edict, and therefore may be subjected to serious harassment.

This is only a TEST. Rumor has it that a Pokey Runner, who shall remain unnamed, as been running like blazes in Southern California for the past week. Garmin reports indicate a 10:48 minute mile, which has previously been unheard of, un-thought of, and UNimaginable up until this point. This mile was second in a 3ish mile run, subsequent to an 11:22 split, and then followed by a big freaking hill that just warranted walking. Rumors are circulating that the Pokey Runner was disgustingly sweaty (compliments of SoCal humidity), yet ecstatic after this major running miracle.

Again, this is only a TEST of the Split Posting System. Had this been an actual post about running splits, it would have been followed by either a lot of whining and moaning, OR in this case, a lot of hooting and hollering.

You can now return to your regularly scheduled Blog Programming.

(wooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blogity Rambles

Let me just start by saying that I am so glad it is Friday ~ and that by tomorrow at almost this time, I will be out of the 105 degree temps and back in the cool paradise known as San Diego. Ahhhhh…..I can smell the ocean now. I will be on blog-hiatus for a while as a result ~ other than staying caught up with work issues (sad, I know…it’s supposed to be a vacation), I am also going to be vacationing from the computer somewhat.

This morning it finally clicked in my brain as to what an amazing couple weeks it has been for me in the weight loss and fitness arena. I’ve been a little disappointed at my lack of scale-cooperation on the weight loss front, but that all changed this morning with a simple, daily occurrence.

I got dressed.

Not just in any clothes ~ not comfy weekend shorts and a t-shirt. Not even nice business-casual work clothes that I wear to my office. This morning I put on the most evil, unforgiving piece of clothing ever ~ second only to a swimsuit.

I put on a pair of JEANS.

Even worse ~ newly washed jeans ~ the worst piece of clothing imaginable for anyone who battles the scale on a regular basis. I was seriously disheartened when I picked up my favorite pair of jeans off the cedar chest in my room, only to find that I had washed them last weekend, and their stretchy, somewhat comfortable feel had been replaced with a stiffer, more unforgiving appearance. DRATS!

But resigned to my fate on casual Friday, I donned the jeans. With only one leg in place in the newly washed pants, the shock set in. They felt LOOSE. I put the other leg in, and it confirmed the same phenomenon. When it actually came time to button those bad boys, I thought I had made a mistake. Yes ~ I actually took them off to check the tag to confirm that yes, they were in fact the one pair of jeans I wear on a regular basis (because they were the least evil of all the denim in my closet) ~ and not a pair of my *fat* jeans that might have snuck out of the closet.

Yes, these were my old faithfuls ~ the same, yet entirely different. I will say without a moment of hesitation that all my disappointment over the scale disappeared this morning, all from one pair of jeans. Something in my body is changing ~ shrinking, toning…whatever…..but something REALLY good is happening here. I don’t care what the scale says if I can put on a pair of jeans ~ or any clothing for that matter ~ and look and feel as good as I do today.

All of us who are trying to lose weight always claim that we don’t really care about the scale, only what we look like and how our clothes fit. Yet, I don’t believe that we really, truly buy into that philosophy until it actually happens for us.

Something good is a-happening around here though. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to my week :)

I am sooooo going to miss my gym classes while I am gone for the next while, but I’ll keep up the cardio work with regular running. It will just have to do.

I have also added a new friend to my diet ~ the protein shake. And did you actually know that there is a Starbucks High Protein Frappucino??

Yes, it’s true! I had one this morning. Mocha Frappucino with 32 grams of protein in one serving!!! Who knew? It is the best thing ever for this morning-coffee-addict-turned-protein freak.

Want to know where you can get one? Right HERE ~

(sorry about the lousy picture)

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I have outsmarted the protein gods and created my own lovely concoction ~ still complete with skim milk, coffee, and protein all in one neat little bundle. Can you say YUMMMM?

Thanks for all the recommendations on protein powders ~ I settled on the one you see pictured, highly recommended by Eileen , as a result of sheer convenience ;)

I am currently plotting on what else can be mixed with protein powder….and am leaning toward the Starbucks Iced Coffee Lite in a the can….which is also made with skim milk. That will be next week’s experiment……

Until later gators….

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Movin' It

I Like To Move It - The best free videos are right here

Not only is this my new theme song for the summer, but I have also designated it as the *morning wakeup song* at my house once school starts again!!! Can't you see it ~ blasting this music while trying to roust my kids out of bed??? You just gotta love it ;)

Play the song ~ I promise you'll be addicted!

Happy day today ~ the scale finally moved in the right direction and shows me down 2.5 pounds for this week already.....still 2 days to go before weigh in ;) It certainly must have been those extra 10 minutes on the stair climber (translated: evil, evil machine) that Lisa (translate: slave driver) made me do after 60 minutes of Body Attack class last night. Either the woman REALLY wants to win the weight loss challenge, or is trying to kill me .......I'm not sure exactly which :)

Thanks for all the input on nutrition, and especially my protein debacle lately ~ it has all been so incredibly helpful! I am backing down a bit and not worrying about the *target* and just focusing on making a conscious effort to maximize the protein where and when I can. I am also going to add a protein shake to my daily diet and see how it goes.

I am sorry I have been so lousy at commenting on blogs lately ~ I am truly reading them all when I get a moment, but just don't have anything wise to say lately. I am swamped at work and soooo ready for vacation.

Workout Schedule

Monday ~ Tae-Bo Amped; Jump Start Cardio workout ~ 41 minutes (DONE!)
Tuesday ~ Tae-Bo – actual workout TBD (SKIPPED!)
Wednesday ~ Body Attack ~ 60 minutes (DONE!) + 10 minutes on evil stair climbing device
Thursday ~ Body Pump
Friday ~ Run; 4-5 miles
Saturday ~ Rest and Eat Smart

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yesterday I ate, and ate, and ATE…..

And then ate some more…..and I STILL couldn’t hit my protein target for yesterday!!!!

EGAD! Here's my food log:

I made a conscious effort to try and hit the target, could barely choke down all the protein in a full can of lentil soup (won’t be having that again anytime soon…) and still came up short. If you recall, the target the trainer set for me was 140g per day. Sheesh.

I was over my target calories by about 70 calories ~ which is fine with me. The Slim Fast shake was probably too high in calories for just a snack, but I was itching for the 15g of protein that it provided. I know there are other protein shakes I should be having ~ I just have to get to the store and figure that part out.

The good news today is that my scale was nice to me this morning and had me down just a smidge ~ about a pound and a half. I’ll take it ~ a loss is a loss! I am hoping this week proves to be successful in the weight department!

I skipped my workout last night ~ and was even too tired to mentally beat myself up for it. I didn’t get home until almost 9am (after a day of work, dinner with some friends so my kids could see their kids before leaving again on Saturday) ~ so I got the boys to bed and all the lights were out by 9:20pm. I was too exhausted to even think about Tae Bo.

So my parting question for today (and I know some of this was mentioned in some comments a few posts ago) is for anyone who utilizes protein shakes as part of their daily nutrition: What kind do you use and why? Do you know (off the top of your head) how many calories and grams of protein it has?

I need to get the most bang for my buck out of protein shakes: the fewest calories and the most protein. Not sure if that’s possible, but a girl’s gotta try ;)

Off to go eat a high-protein snack……

Workout Schedule

Monday ~ Tae-Bo Amped; Jump Start Cardio workout ~ 41 minutes (DONE!)
Tuesday ~ Tae-Bo – actual workout TBD (SKIPPED!)
Wednesday ~ Body Attack
Thursday ~ Body Pump
Friday ~ Run; 4-5 miles
Saturday ~ Rest and Eat Smart