Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lunching with the Ladies & a Late Night Run

The only real highlight of my day today was a fun-tastic lunch date with Lisa and Taryn at Sweet Tomatos, followed by a long, tiring day of work at the office and a couple of out-of-control kids this evening. It was only fitting that I needed a run.

Somehow at 9pm I drug my exhausted tail out of the house for some sleep walking.

At least I will be well-rested, as the Mileage Maven has dicated 11 miles for this Saturday.


Lap 1: 12:31
Lap 2: 12:07
Lap 4: 12:47

Total: 3.0 miles
Time: 37:26
Average pace: 12:28


Saturday, January 26, 2008

After a lazy week (well, lazy at least for one member) the TRC was back in action bright and early this morning at 6:30 am ~ in the 38 degree darkness of Tumbleweed Park ~ for a scheduled 10-miler (Lisa's idea of course ~ I would have been happy with 7 or 8) :P

We even had Pat ~ our group's sole Marathoner ~ back with us! It was AWESOME!

Here's how it all went down:

Now, Pat will say that he didn't hold up well. But the truth is, Pat was the same consistent, steady runner that he always is. He keeps Lisa and I on track (and from walking too much) and is the *rock* of our group. Pat's only fault from today was agreeing to 10 miles, when he probably should have been resting some more. I think he forgot that he ran 26.2 miles 2 weeks ago!!

Lisa will say that I was on drugs. Truth is ~ Shot Bloks and Nuun got me through today with flying colors, and yes ~ for a bit there, I felt like I was on speed ;) My left calf was very tight from about Mile 4-7 and it had me a bit nervous ~ then around Mile 8, I felt fantastic. We finished up the 10 miles and for the first time, I actually felt like I could have kept going. It was definitely the best run I've had for this distance.

Once I got home and got showered however, things changed a bit. My leg was SEVERELY tight and it felt just like it did after RNR after the cramping and spasming had stopped. So I am not sure what that means??? Did I damage something that is still repairing itself? Is it my muscle getting reacquainted to the long run? I'm not sure ~ but it wasn't anything an Advil couldn't cure ;)

As I was eating my lunch, my brain went all philosophical on me. Today was a great run ~ for which I am grateful ~ but I know that soon, probably this week, a bad run will follow. I get all tied up in knots when I have a bad run ~ and elated when I have a good one. I think I need to get a grip. Neither a bad run, nor a good run defines who we are as a runner. It is simply a result of what our body is capable of doing on any given day ~ given all life's variables, combined with our level of training. PERIOD. I need to approach each run with without hesitation and with no assumptions about my performance. I just need to RUN.

But today was a serious *mental* day for me. I needed today.

I needed my running buddies.

I needed my legs to move me for 10 miles without cramping.

I needed that GOOD RUN.

And I got it ~ so time to move on :)

Now I'm off to buy a few hundred cases of Shot Bloks and Nuun.

Long Run (R6W1):
Distance: 10.05 miles
Time: 2:10:00
Average pace: 12:56

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It is time again to pull this lovely picture out of the archives ~ because I need it. I have been lazy the last couple days and haven't run since Monday. I was supposed to get in 4 miles last night, but I wasn't feeling great (thought I was getting some of T's headcold) and then Hubby didn't get home until 8:30 from a meeting ~ so it was just enough excuse to crawl in bed instead.

I've been eating badly too ~ yesterday I think I ate everything that wasn't nailed down. Like I told Lisa this morning as we were philosophizing over the never-ending weight loss debacle, I somehow seem to think that FAT FREE = EAT MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I mean, seriously ~ if the Fig Newtons are Fat Free, it's okay to eat 30 of them, right???

In another attempt to feel worse about myself last night, I attempted "the plank." As the first few seconds passed, I was wondering what all the hype was about this newfangled exercise. Then after more time passed and my entire body was shaking uncontrollably, I figured it out.

Plank attempt #1: 48 seconds
Plank attempt #2: 25 seconds

See the diminishing returns? Oh well, so I gave it a shot. I can only improve from here.

In other news, I have a hot date tonight to see this flick. I am SUPER excited and hope it throws some running motivation my way!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Everybody's Doing It

First it was Planks by Nancy……then Family Planks by Pat raised the bar………..and now it’s Pushups by Bev………..when is all the peer pressure going to stop?

Are you all just trying to find new and improved ways to embarrass me? As if my running skills weren’t enough good material??? :P

Okay, okay. I needed some core and strength training so I’m going to give it all a whirl.

I’ll be sure to post how many planks and pushups that I can’t do ;)

Monday, January 21, 2008


This morning when I woke up, I could only locate one 5K race in honor of the MLK holiday. To the best of my recollection, I think it was called the 1st Annual Run Like a Slowpoke 5K.

Wanna know the biggest perk to my new-found run? I placed first in my age group ~ can you even believe it? I will definitely be doing this run again. Only problem is, when other runners get wind of my fantastic race, the competition may get stiff. But being the Race Director, I do have the option to be selective about who I let compete ;)

Other than having brick-legs, I felt pretty good for my new race. I am definitely thinking this will be an annual event.

Create & Win-Your-Own-5k-Race:

Lap 1: 11:55
Lap 2: 11:31
Lap 3: 11:49
.10 mile: 10:59 pace

Total Distance: 3.1 miles
Total Time: 36:21
Average pace: 11:44

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Recovery Run ~ with a new running group


Yes, it’s true ~ I had a new group of running partners this morning. Due to some schedule conflicts, I wasn’t able to hook up with Lisa as I had hoped, so I hesitantly prepared myself for a solo recovery run.

It’s amazing the friends that end up coming out of the woodwork on an early, cold morning when one is preparing to run alone ~ especially following a lousy race and a subsequent week of vacation from running.

So I headed out with my buddies: Mr. Lazy, Mr. Headache, Miss Cramps, Mr. Paranoia, Miss Resolve ~ and of course, Mr. Garmin.

Mr. Lazy gave me grief while I was laying in bed, continually snoozing the alarm and waiting for the sun to come up. We argued quite a bit, and he protested loudly as I headed downstairs to get ready. He whined and complained while I was stretching ~ which took quite a while as my muscles were as tight as they could possibly be ~ so I finally put him in his place. FINE, I told him ~ stay home. I am going running.

The rest of us headed out in to the cool 29 degree temps. As you can imagine, my legs were heavy for the first mile while I drug the remaining running buddies along with me. Miss Cramps was complaining from the start and refused to be quiet. (I am thinking that maybe Mendy left her in my car after last Sunday???) I was counting on the Advil that I had taken earlier (to rid myself of Mr. Headache) to also appease her complaints. She was persistent ~ but I was more.

Mr. Paranoia made himself known with each and every step I took, and perpetuated the vivid recollection of the wicked leg cramps I faced last Sunday. I tried to block him out with the fantastic music on my iPod, but he could not be swayed.

Mr. Garmin was apparently just as exhausted from RNR last Sunday as I was, and he bailed on me just before our first mile was completed. It was a blessing, actually ~ as he tends to put a lot of pressure on me, and it was good just to be out running this morning and not worrying about time or pace. I had planned to follow my typical 5 mile route, so the fact that Mr. G needed more recovery time wasn’t a deterrent.

So we trucked on ~ by the second mile, I had kicked Miss Cramps to the curb. She was not allowed to ruin a good recovery run.

Mr. Paranoia held tight for quite a while. It wasn’t until just after mile 2, with my legs feeling FANTASTIC and my mind feeling even better ~ that I was able to bid him a farewell with the help of Miss Resolve, who had been relatively quiet up to that point. There was no reason for me to be paranoid about cramping. I was out for a nice, leisurely run and I felt GREAT! Miss Resolve reminded me of what I am capable of, and of how far I have come as a runner. She talked me into running the full 2.5 miles to the turnaround point, without walk breaks. Miss Resolve said there was no reason to hurry and to enjoy the run. I really like Miss Resolve.

So I ran ~ slow as slow can be ~ the full 5 miles without walk breaks. I stopped at the 4 mile point to stretch my calves as my right one was starting to feel a little tight….. and then Miss Resolve and I headed home ~ me, with the biggest smile on my face :)

It’s really hard to find good running “buddies,” especially on a morning like today. While I prefer my REAL buddies from the TRC, I think a recovery run with the group at hand this morning was especially beneficial. It taught me who my enablers are, and how selective I should be with who I allow in my brain to run with me. I LOVE RUNNING.

Recovery Run

Distance: 5 miles
Time: As long as it took to cover the distance without walking
Average pace: slow and steady

Friday, January 18, 2008

Coming soon to a blog near you ~

  • A much-needed recovery run
  • 2008 goals
  • Weight loss plan

Those are the things looming over my head after a long week of traveling to the east coast. I have the 2008 goals pretty much figured out, a plan for my first recovery run tomorrow morning (not sure of the distance yet, but I'm thinking 4-5 miles if my calves cooperate) and weight loss plan ~ well....yeah....I know what I have to do on this one, I just need to DO IT.

I've done a lot of soul searching and mental planning after RNR last Sunday and I am ready to hit the ground running (no pun intended). It's almost embarrassing the amount of support I received from all my friends in blogland after last weekend's race ~ so let me just say THANK YOU.

For today I am happy to be back home with my kids and enjoying some good ol' AZ weather!! Hope everyone has a happy running weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

RNR ~ the unabridged version

After a couple days of letting things sink in, I figure I’m finally ready for a race report. I was hoping for enough time to let the emotion of race day pass, and for me to get my head on straight and regain some focus. So tonight, in my North Carolina hotel room ~ following a couple glasses of wine and way too much Thai food ~ I figure there is no better time than the present.

Yes ~ I finished the RNR Half Marathon on Sunday.

Yes ~ I shaved about 2 minutes off my first HM from November.

I think at one time, that would have been the end of my post and I would have been ecstatic about the mere thought of finishing a half marathon. Problem is ~ I learned on Sunday ~ during the long 13.1 miles ~ that my perspective on running, and my perspective of myself as a runner ~ has drastically changed.

The weekend leading up to RNR was nothing other than FANTASTIC. I got to meet and hangout with an amazing group of runners ~ Marcy, Lori, Mendy, David ~ and of course, Lisa. I am hoping that by the time I post this, there will be pictures for me to steal from their blogs :P since I was the only one that forgot a camera all weekend long! Although he’s a little camera shy, I’m sure that David got plenty of great pictures of our group outings :)

The blogger dinner on Saturday night was also great ~ with a chance to see Pat & Amy, Eric & Lori, and Taryn & Clay ~ and a whole slew of other bloggers that I didn’t know. Even my dear hubby, who couldn’t give a rat’s tail about running, had a great time talking to all the wonderful people!

Race day morning went off without a hitch; at Pat’s advice, we took the shuttle and made it to the starting line in plenty of time. As an unexpected bonus, our charter bus (a.k.a. shuttle) had a restroom and we relished in that luxury all the way to the AZ State Capitol Building.

We had enough time to check our gear bags, chit-chat a little and make one final trip to the luxurious port-o-john’s before finding our corral and settling in for the start.

The atmosphere was amazing ~ incredibly crowded….but the people watching and listening was great. It is amazing to me to watch so many people about to run a race for such a variety of reasons. There were solo runners, charity group runners, parent & child runners, runners that looked tense, runners that were cutting up and laughing hysterically, and runners who looked as nervous and anxious as I felt in the pit of my stomach.

I took us just over half an hour to reach the starting line ~ we were corral 16 out of 28 ~ almost dead middle of the pack. The projected finish time for our corral was 2:30.

9:02 came and we were off. The entire group of us ~ Lisa, Marcy, Mendy, Taryn, Lori and myself ~ headed out together. The race was extremely crowded, so it made jockeying for position among other runners ~ along with keeping the group together ~ very challenging. Taryn and I both needed a bathroom break at about mile 2, and against our urging, the rest of the group waited for us.

We took of again, except at this point I could feel a change. We had been trucking at a pretty good pace for the first couple miles ~ much, much faster than my “comfort” pace. Yes, I know it’s a race…..but when you only have one pace, my comfort pace IS my race pace! (Lisa…I really need to get that shirt!!!)

In retrospect, I KNEW I should have broken away from the group at that point. I was way out of my comfort zone, and was doing exactly what I had promised myself that I would not do ~ and that was to head out too fast, only to bomb later in the race. But there was also a part of me that thought maybe ~ just maybe, with the 5/1 intervals ~ I could pull it off.

It became apparent over the next couple miles that this was not going to be the case. I was continually falling back ~ and Taryn, bless her heart ~ ran with me for quite a duration before splitting from the group all together.

Just after mile 5 (and I only know this since that is where both mine and Marcy’s Garmins died at the same time), I finally did the smart thing. I was getting way too behind during the run intervals, only to catch up with the group during walk intervals, and them needed an additional walk time to get my own break. It just wasn’t working.

So I finally took my own advice, which I had been repeatedly giving to Lisa in the days prior to the race ~ and decided to “do my own thing.” I said adios to the group and slowed my pace. We had been running anywhere from 9:30 to 10:30 pace during our running intervals, and it was just beating me up. I slowed down to my comfortable 11:30 pace and all became well in my world again. This also freed up the rest of the group to do what they needed to do, and not worry about keeping me in sight.

The only regret I have about this is my lack of an iPod. I purposely left it in my car, since I had full expectation that I would be able to stay with the group, and would have plenty of chatter to keep me occupied for a couple hours. But now, as a solo runner, I regretted this decision in a BIG way. The bands and cheerleaders along the way were great, but they definitely didn’t give me the motivation that a good playlist could have.

The next couple miles were uneventful really. I ran pretty continuously, without a need for much walking at the slower pace. Up ahead, I could still see the group ~ Mendy’s pink shirt gave me something to track, and it was good to keep them in my sight.

I think it was about mile 6ish that I felt a new sensation. My hamstring muscles were tightening, which was new to me. During long training runs, the only issue I’ve ever really had was hip flexor tightening, and just general fatigue. But I didn’t think much of it, and figured it was just a result of the faster pace for the first 5 miles.

I remember hitting the half way point and thinking ~ COOL, I can do this. Let’s wrap this bad boy up and set a PR. At that point, I still had 2:45 on the brain. If I could do 3:06 at Big Sur, certainly being better trained for RNR, I could knock off a chunk of time on a much flatter course.

Sadly, the running gods were not aligned with me in this thinking. As clear as anything, I remember exactly where I was near mile 7.5 when the first leg cramp hit. It attacked my right calf first (I remember because at Big Sur the issue was with my left leg) ~ and within less than half a mile, the other leg fell victim too.

I started racking my brain for a solution. I ate Gu…and more Gu. I told myself ~ outloud, I believe ~ to listen to my body and walk at the onset of a cramp. I knew all too well that ignoring the initial twinge would leave me curled up on the side of the road. I did a lot of research on the cramping issue after Big Sur, and knew it was nothing to be messed with.

So I ran when I could, and walked when I had to. Out of desperation, I choked down one of the salt packets that I had stashed in my waistpack ~ ANYTHING to try and alleviate the cramping.

Nothing worked.

By mile 8, I was a complete mess. I kept telling myself that it was “just” another 5 miles ~ like an easy training run down to Fry’s and back ~ just another 5 miles. The cramps became more frequent, which meant less running time between them. I was walking a lot.

By this time, I had lost sight of Mendy’s pink shirt and new I had seriously lost time. It was at that point, I knew ~ in my heart ~ that I wouldn’t even break 3 hours. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks, and I could feel my motivation heading for the hills. It was ALL gone. I couldn’t stomach the thought of doing worse at my second half marathon that I had at my first. It was not supposed to work out that way.

By mile 10, I had consumed everything in my pack. That meant 3 Gu packets, 2 salt packets, plus another energy gel from an aid station. My water bottle never became empty ~ I drank as much as I could stomach without going overboard. Nothing was going to eliminate the cramps, so the intent became just to find a way to make it to the finish line.

At mile 11, I was mentally defeated. The pain had gotten so bad, I was so hot, tired and frustrated ~ that I contemplated the curb. Yes ~ I literally considering sitting down on the curb and calling it a day. In other words ~ QUIT. I was astounded to think it had even entered my thought process. But two miles is a long way to go under my circumstances, and I just wanted the race to be over.

It was just at that point when a runner next to me got a call on her cell phone. “That’s so awesome!!!” she yelled, and then proudly exclaimed to her running partner that her dad had just finished the Disney Marathon in 5 hours and 50 minutes. They hooted and hollered, and I found myself being happy for a person 2000 miles away that I didn’t even know.

Then I thought of all the other people I knew racing that day….and all they great things they were accomplishing. And I knew right them that a big, fat DNF on my record was not going to happen.

I was fully able to walk the next couple miles if that is what it took. It was my PRIDE that was tempting me to quit, not the PAIN. Pride said I needed to finish under 3 hours; my body said I would finish when I finished, one way or another.

The last couple miles are blur for me, even now. In the final stretch over the Mill Avenue bridge, the spectator crowd grew. I fought with everything in me to keep running (vanity, of course) and to hold back the tears. There was no way I was having a race picture of me bawling like a baby. Afterall, I have a reputation to uphold ;)

I made it through the chute, and across the finish line (I may have even put my arms up in honor of Lisa) before it all exploded. I was fine until I saw Lisa, and then all the pain and frustration from the last 6 miles just gave way. I am not a cry baby, so the emotion of this event astounded even me.

Lisa, being the mom that she is, tried to get me to the medical tent to get me checked out, but this time my pride prevailed. I knew I just needed some time to walk and stretch, and I would be fine. My calves were still extremely tight, but the spasms/cramps had stopped.

We went on to take what I’m sure will be a fabulous finisher picture as a group, and my running buddies were just as supportive as they could possibly be. Lori ended up being the slave driver; Mendy got the endurance award for feeling like crap and still making a good show of it; Lisa set a great new PR; and Marcy had a leisurely jog and never broke a sweat! :P

Lisa and I went to track down Pat, with the hope of running him in for the last half mile of his marathon. We found him, and he was doing GREAT! I thought that after an hour of rest, I’d be able to help my buddy, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and Lisa had to run him home. I am SO proud of Pat for his accomplishment.

Me? Yeah, I am proud of myself too. Not proud of the race itself, but the fact that somehow I managed to make it across that finish line when everything in me was screaming to quit. Maybe the most beneficial part of my training the past couple months was the little bit of mental toughness that I had been lacking before. The physical training may have failed me, but the mental got me through. And for that, I am grateful.

I realized over those last 6 miles, that somehow over the past couple months, the mere thought of finishing had become no longer enough for me. I had a new set of expectations for myself, which I never dreamed of having. I had trained and prepared well for this event, which is why it was so disappointing to fall short. The Pokey of the past would have been content to finish ~ running, walking or crawling ~ it would not have made a difference. What I realized, is that I am no longer that person.

Right or wrong, I have a new set of expectations and ambitions. In the past, I had never expected much of myself as a runner, and never really thought that I would. Boy, have times changed.

I now have a new set of challenges ahead of me. It is time to seek some medical advice for the leg cramps and try and get to the root of the problem. All the training in the world isn’t going to help me if I cant make it thru race day without cramping. Part of the deal that was so heart breaking for me is that I felt like I had worked SO hard in preparation for RNR ~ only to have it go by the wayside for something I cant control.

So I need to find a way to take control of that situation. I know I am not the only runner that has ever suffered from cramps like this, so I know there is a solution. I just have to go find it.

So I’m finally over myself, folks. I spent the last couple days being crabby and dodging as many of the “how’d it go” phone calls as I could.

I can’t lie and say that I am not disappointed. I will ALWAYS be disappointed about the way this race turned out. But my efforts are much better spent concentrating on the future of my running and how I’m going to get past RNR and learn from it. For starters, this means a trip to the doc to discuss my stupid legs. Anyone got any better ones they want to trade in????

I appreciate all the support from everyone, more than you will all ever know. And to Micheline, who got the major brunt of my frustration on Sunday ~ thank you for being such a great friend.

And Lisa ~ who texted me tonight to make sure I was aware of all the support ~ you da bomb. And you put on one helluva Java Fest! :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I'm a jumbled mix of thoughts and emotions after a tough race today ~ so in a few days when I get it sorted out ~ and stop being grouchy :P ~ I'll post my update.

For now, I'll let my stats speak for themselves. But hey, I finished 15,994th out of 25,000 runners, so it can't be all bad, eh??? ;)

Painful & Slow RNR Half Marathon

Friday, January 11, 2008


I am hoping to take a nap at work today, because I am thinking it might be the only real rest that I get over the next couple days, as the Runapalooza-RNR-Party-Fest starts tonight with the arrival of Mendy, David and Lori ~ and then the party really gets moving (or so I hear) with the arrival of Marcy tomorrow right before the RNR lunch get-together!!!!

Go easy on me guys ~ I am a whimp :)

My brain is still computing that we are going OUT ~ like to a bar ~ tonight after 9pm. I'm not in college anymore, ya know........this is going to require some serious STARBUCKS.

Amid all the chaos that promises to ensue, I am SO excited to meet some of the folks that inspire me and make me laugh on a regular basis! I think that Lisa is going to need some therapy after this weekend from the stress of volunteering to be both the Social Director AND Chaffeur, all at the same time. KUDOS, Lisa ~~~~ you rock lady!!!

And a huge thanks to Jess also ~ who has volunteered to track our progress during the race on Sunday! Against my better judgement, I am actually going to be sending Jess my bib number so that I can confirm on the world wide web just how slow I actually do run!!!! So check us out HERE on Sunday. Maybe just like the Norad Santa-Tracker, Jess can set up an 800 line where you can call and ask specifics :P

And finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY ~~~ a huge amount of good luck and positive running vibes are going out to my fellow-TRC running buddy, PAT ~ who is running his very first FULL marathon at the RNR on Sunday!!!! We may not be trucking along the canals with you like on past Sundays, but our thoughts and wishes are definitely with you all the way.......you are going to be FANTASTIC!!!

Let's Rock & Roll!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Texting for Dummies

Much to my dismay, my older son ~ like many other 5th grade boys, so I have heard ~ is very in-to his cell phone and text messaging. He has two buddies ~ we’ll call them Jay and Steve ~ that are his regular texting compadres. Their text conversations usually go something like this:

Jay: Heyyyyyyyyyyy

Son: Wassssssssup

Jay: Walking home

Son: Cooooool

In my opinion, typical 10-11 year old boy goofy stuff, right?

And how do I know what he texts, might you ask?

YES ~ I CHECK. I have apparently become my mother and believe that children under a certain age in my home have no realistic expectation of privacy. I’m not exactly sure at what age ~ if any ~ that will change for me, but I need not think of that at this moment.

Now to this morning ~ we are sitting at the breakfast table and D’s cell phone is vibrating profusely. I have noticed a sudden greater attachment to the phone over the last week or so ~ he even makes sure to charge it at night in his room so it is ready to take to school in the morning. Prior to this time, the phone usually sat with a dead battery on the kitchen counter for days on end before he ever noticed.

So I scold him this morning and tell him that he cannot be texting while eating breakfast and that he needs to get himself completely ready to go before he can take on such extra activities in the morning. So as he heads off the bathroom to comb his hair, of course I take a peek at the vibrating cell phone that is still sitting on the island in the kitchen.

Imagine my surprise when new string of text messages is displayed ~ not from Jay or Steve like usual ~ but from REBECCA. To my knowledge at this point, girls are still “gross” have been nothing but an irritation to my son and his friends. He rolls his eyes at any mention of a girl being anything else but a nuisance.

As I am still chuckling to myself over this new discovery, D walks back in to the room ~ and the cell phone buzzes again. This is where it gets good.

Mom: So……who has been texting you so much this morning?

Son (without a second of hesitation and adamantly): JAY!!!!!!

Mom: So….does Jay have an alias?

Son: Ummmm…..no…..????

Mom: So then who is Rebecca?

Son (again, without even taking a breath): Rebecca is a BOY!

Now let’s pause here for a moment. Words can’t even describe the look on my son’s face as he loudly proclaims that the Rebecca who had been texting him was a boy. He was flustered and his eyes were as big as saucers. And apparently, like all other kids his age, he thinks his mother was born yesterday.

Mom: Give me a break, Rebecca is NOT a boy.

Son: Yes….a boy in Miss K’s class…..

So here I cut him off and tell him that in no way do I believe that Rebecca is a boy. A Casey, or Jamie maybe…..but not a Rebecca.

Finally ~ the confession comes. Okay, Rebecca is a girl in his class ~ a girl that Jay (his texting buddy) gave Son’s number to (and vice versa) yesterday at school. Ahhhh…..my son is in contact with a girl….on purpose….for the first time in his life.

Even though I was laughing like mad in my head, we went on to have a conversation about how cell phone and texting privileges are based around honesty, and how there was no reason for him to lie to me about who he was conversing with. I don’t mind that he is talking with a girl, and I told him so. And being the mean mom that I am, I told him that future instances of dishonesty like that will result in the cell phone going bye-bye ~ and he knows that I mean it.

And so it has happened ~ my son has discovered girls in some sort of capacity. I had to call Hubby at work to relay the story because I was laughing so hard. It loses something in the re-telling since there is no way to recapture the look on his face, or the swiftness of the almost all-too-eager way that he answered my questions this morning. It was priceless.

So now I am on guard. You can bet your sweet selves that I will be checking text message conversations on a bit more frequent basis, just to make sure the conversations are on the level. I am about to embark on a new era of snooping :P

Someday, this will make a great story for my dear son when I recount for his new wife about his first interactions with a being of the opposite sex. And if and when he is ever blessed with a son himself, I may even suggest that he name him Rebecca :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Girls Run Wild

Okay ~ maybe not wild, but the girls sure did run last night!

Had another great taper run with Lisa ~ and as she has already posted, something MUST have been chasing us because we were running faster than we ever had before. 10:16 pace at one point….and all we could do was laugh!!! We took some walk breaks after about each half mile – and my first split was under 12 minutes even with a few minutes of walking at the end! Yeah, we were truckin’ pretty good.

Not sure how Lisa’s second split was so much better than mine ~ I thought I kept her in my sight, LOL! :P


Mile 1: 11:54
Mile 2: 13:05 (WTH???)
Mile 3: 11:52
.5 mile: 5:38 (11:21)

Total: 3.5 miles
Time: 42:29
Average Pace: 12:09

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And so it begins again...

The back-to-school-morning-circus at the Pokey House was in full swing again this morning.


Please tell me I am NOT the only parent that simultaneously dreads and looks forward to the kids going back school after a long holiday break???

The last few weeks have been so relaxed ~ ~ most of the time spent with all of us at home, nowhere pressing to go in the mornings, sleeping in, eating breakfast together ~ sometimes not even taking a shower until almost noon. But then the kids ~ particularly my oldest ~ start getting a bit antsy and I can tell they are ready to be back on a structured schedule with some consistency.

School started back again today for both kids, and I am reminded again as to why I DRINK. Okay, so it’s only coffee ~ but it sure does the trick. I always set my coffee pot to have my coffee brewed and ready for consumption at the precise time I am set to make my way downstairs ~ this way I am less apt to go crazy over the circus that is about to ensue.

And so it is ~ break is officially over. Each morning (except when I work from home) from now on is spent in a tornado-like mode with me trying to get myself and both boys out of the house in a somewhat civilized manner. How do parents that have more than 2 children do this? I am in awe. My hubby should be grateful that he is a teacher and is already surrounded by 25 high-school students by 7am so that he doesn’t have to contend with a dawdling 10 year old and rowdy 3 year old….and a grumpy, stressed-out wife!

To ease my stress and remind me why I undertake this ringmaster role each morning, I’ll post some pictures of my amazing kids. See ~ when they look like this, I hardly want to ring their necks ;)

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh....I am much calmer now :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

A little plug...

....is in order for one of my favorite running-wear companies!

After reading about, and chuckling along with, my clothing woes....the Director of Online Marketing for Brooks contacted me last week with an offer I couldn't refuse!

To go along with some of my other Brooks apparel, soon I'll be the happy recipient of these great pants ~
These are the Brooks Motion Crop pants, which I thought would suit my needs the best at this current time.

Meredith, from Brooks, actually recommended these after reading my post ~

The Vapor Dry 2 Capris ~ but being spandex-shy as you all know I am ~ I opted for the first ones that may be suited fine for training runs or casual wear, yet not necessarily for racing. Anyone looking for some great racing pants should give these a whirl ~ they sound great!!!

So a big thanks to Meredith and Brooks Running for finding my blog and contacting me!! I can't wait to try out my new digs!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Taper Wogg ~ Half the distance to the goal!!!

Can you tell we speak *football-talk* around my house these days? That's what came to mind as I was approaching the 6.5 mile mark this morning....so I figured, why not go for exactly half the distance to the goal? Which by my calcs, would be 6.55 miles (see, we accountants are pretty brainy :)

It was a great morning run with Lisa this morning ~ although a little tougher on me than I would have hoped. I felt good at the beginning, and the end ~ in the middle, not so much. We walked a lot, but it was fine. We were up, and out, and moving so all was well for Pokey and JavaMom. Sadly, we really started feeling good around mile 5 when it was close to quitting time....and a 10 minute *chat* break with Lisa before heading home didn't hurt either ;)


.52 miles ~ 6:08:56 (11:51 pace) ~ to go meet Lisa
Mile 1 ~ 11:39
Mile 2 ~ 13:53
Mile 3 ~ 13:56
Mile 4 ~ 14:28 (okay, a lot of chatting and walking)
Mile 5 ~ 12:36 (getting back on track)
Mile 6 ~ 11:25
.03 mile ~ 0:22

Total: 6.55 miles
Time: 1:24:28
Average pace: 12:54

Friday, January 4, 2008

Last night I ran away from home

I was exhausted.

I was grouchy beyond measure.

I had just come home ~ at 7pm ~ after finishing up the two worst days of work that I have had in 7 years of employment with my company. I have been swamped with the end of the year bunk, but instead I've spent all my time putting out fires and fixing problems due to other people's negligence and/or stupidity. And to top off my day, my boss and I set the timeline over the next couple weeks to terminate two of our employees.

My day SUCKED.

Never in my life had I felt more like NOT running than last night. And that ~ as you all might know ~ is the #1 sign for me that a run is a necessity.

Just before 9pm I threw on some clothes, Garmie and headed out the door in a huff. I purposely left my ipod at home so I could be alone with myself and clear my head.

Miraculously, I felt good and strong the whole way. I had time to think about and process the events of the day, and get my mind wrapped around the chaos that is coming in the next couple weeks.

In the end, I resisted the *Java-Mom-Influence* to keep my run in round, whole number increments :P and just stopped running where I had planned.


Grouchy, Clear-the-Head Run:
Mile 1: 12:00
Mile 2: 11:48
.8 mile: 8:57 (11:12 pace)

Total: 2.8 miles
Time: 32:46
Average pace: 11:42

Apparently, I should be grouchy more often ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clothing woes

I have a dilemma. Before I can even start working on my goals for this year, I have a clothing debacle that must be solved:


Stupid question, you ask? Not really. I have had many clothing woes over the past few weeks due to the colder weather.

First off, I am a SHORT girl. Yes, I happen to be only 5’4” tall, but that’s not what I mean. I mean that I only like to wear running shorts ~ not pants. This worked fine for me up until early December ~ I would wear 2 layers on top (a long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve over the top) and my running shorts. I even had Lisa poised at each run to make sure that I resisted the urge to wear pants when I thought it was too cold out….because I HATE running pants.

I hate running pants for 2 reasons: First, I am a sweater. No, not the argyle or cashmere type ~ the type of runner that can still be dripping with ridiculous amounts of perspiration after only 5 minutes of running in 40 degree weather. So pants make me HOT. I would wear shorts all season long if I could.

And I thought that I could until a long run a few weeks back. The weather was SO cold that I couldn’t really feel my legs from the mid-thigh up ~ and by the time I got home after 9 miles I had rubbed a 2x2 inch piece of skin off the inside of my leg and it was RAW :( My shorts didn’t necessarily ride up ~ they just rubbed for long enough without me feeling it to cause some serious damage. I had a scab for over a week, and don’t ever wish to relive that wonderful experience.

So lesson learned: no shorts in sub-50 degree temps.

So I dug thru my closet ~ through all the running gear I bought back when I first started this crazy habit ~ and dug out a pair of these:

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE these Brooks running pants. They have suited me well during the cold temps. But last week, I discovered a problem.

The pants have been great during short runs. They are spandex-based ~ so I typically have worn a longer than normal Under Armor shirt over the top to cover up the basics. See, the real issue is ~ I don’t have the physique for these kind of pants. [translation: my butt is too big] So as long as I can cover up my physique, all is well.

Well during my 10-miler last week, when I needed to take along my waistpack ~ all chaos broke lose. The waistpack, along with the slippery UA shirt and the spandex pants, made my shirt ride up. I mean, completely. So I spent the first couple miles of my run fussing with my attire, hoping to keep my butt out of the line of sight of passing traffic. I was not entirely successful, and just eventually gave up and figured if they looked, then it was their own fault.

But obviously, this cannot be the case at RNR. I can’t have Marcy staring at my backside as I zoom past her, right? And it’s a public race, so I can’t run in *censored attire* as SOME of us have admitted to doing, right?

So, there lies my dilemma. It is going to be too cold for shorts, but my spandex pants are out of the question.

Micheline suggested wearing tights under my shorts….and I’m considering it, but just wondered if there were other options. I have to get it figured out by this weekend so I can make it to the running store to get what I need, and have time to try it out next week before the race.

What to wear ~ what to wear?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Being S.M.A.R.T. in 2008


I can't believe it is 2008 ~~~ where did the time go?

I am still working on 2008 goals for myself, but it is going to require some more thought and planning....so I'm not ready to post anything just yet. It's ironic how in my profession I work with employees on setting goals in their professional and personal development plans, yet I have a hard time setting any goals for myself. I am trying to following my own advice and set S.M.A.R.T. goals this year for a change:


I'll get back on that topic later....

For now, a brief run report from the past week:

Everyone already knows about my day-after-Christmas-10-miler, and BELIEVE ME......I have the best group of blogging buddies in existence. All the supportive and encouraging words really help seal the deal for me. Just don't think that I post like that just so you can all say nice things to me :P but it is nice to know there are others out there who understand my running accomplishments ~ no matter how big or how small. So if I didn't say it enough during 2007 ~ THANK YOU.

We headed up to Flagstaff, Arizona last Thursday; then went skiing on Friday. I figured that got me a dispensation from running that day :P Saturday was a rest day; Sunday was a tough 3-miler in the high altitude, hills and ice. In all fairness, I suppose that when I post *great* run details, I also need to post the lousy details too. Sunday was a crappy run ~ 3.0 miles in 43:02 ~ yeah, a 14:19 average pace. In all honesty, I was surprised it was even that good! I was tired, cold, and the hills in Flag just kick my tail. Then add an icy running surface and it was ugly. I was happy to just have gotten out and kept moving. Like we all say, a bad run is better than no run.

Monday was rest and travel-home day, topped off at night by too much pizza, chicken wings and beer. (Okay, so it was only one beer, but it made me sound like a New Year's Eve partyer!)

This morning as my first run of the new year, I got a decent 5 miles done. I was still tired, and definitely paying for all the pizza and wings ~ but I got the distance covered in 1:04:31 ~ average pace of 12:54. Not my worst by any means....but not the best. This morning it just felt so refreshing to be out and about, I didn't care about pace in the least. I took a substantial walk break after 3 miles to just enjoy the experience......so that being included, I was happy with the overall outcome.

Now tomorrow I'm back to the grind, with a pile of work awaiting me. In the next week, I also hope to map out 2008 in terms of my running schedule. I have LOTS of work to do, but the last couple weeks have really shown me ~ for the first time ~ that improvement is possible. I am entering 2008 with the highest of hopes for a fantastic year!

Pokey's 27 Amazing Events from 2007

1. I ran.
2. I ran some more.
3. I ran longer distances that I ever imagined possible.
4. I got to run a race with my dear friend, Micheline.
5. I completed my first half-marathon.
6. I had my first group-run.
7. I met Lisa and Pat ~ and the TRC was born.
8. I called myself a runner.
9. I had my first experiences with hyrdation belts, Body Glide, and Gu.
10. My youngest son started preschool.
11. My dear hubby changed jobs to allow him more time with our family.
12. My oldest son played on the 2nd place football team in the state of Arizona.
13. My dear grandmother (my second mom) left this world for a better place.
14. We traveled to Rocky Point, Mexico for a wonderful vacation.
15. I earned a spectacular bonus at work.
16. We watched the movie the Pink Panther at least 50 times.
17. I got over a million hugs and kisses from my wonderful children.
18. My younger son ditched diapers and pullups for good.
19. My older son earned a Wii by pulling down straight A's for an entire semester.
20. My kids have learned to frustrate me and warm my heart all at the same time.
21. I went through 2 pairs of running shoes.
22. I was taken off blood pressure medication after 10 years.
23. I lost, and gained a few pounds.
24. I curbed my Starbucks addiction.
25. I learned to read labels on my food.
26. I became healthier ~ although not thinner ~ than I have ever been.
27. My family has had continued health and happiness ~ and more love than I could ever describe.

I could go on...........but I figured 27 ramblings for 2007 was enough.

Bring on 2008!