Friday, March 29, 2013

Running in Palm Desert

I cannot even tell you how much I was ready to go on vacation.  It has been a great week of sunshine, laughter and fun with kids (and without!)  lol

I wasn't sure how well I would do with my running this week.  First because I'm on vacation and that is a lot of work while on vacation.  Second I hate running when I'm hot.  Not just dislike it greatly or feel slightly inconvenienced but actually hate it.

Luckily I had a recovery week for my training and that meant shorter runs and no hills or intervals.  All I really had to do was go out and do 3 mile runs for three days and then a 7.5 run on Friday for my long run.

I celebrated arriving and not having to sit in the car anymore by having a Lava Flow adult beverage.  Yummy!  I only had one because it went down way too easy and I could find myself in a world of hurt if I had too many.  :-)

Monday:  I was out the door by 7:00 a.m. and it was already 60 degrees!  That isn't super hot but I seriously like running in the low 50's best.  So this was still on the warm side for me.  Also the air was dry and that made it hard as well.  I didn't use my inhaler because I wanted to see how well my breathing did or didn't do.  I was slow and breathing was hard.  Part of the reason I was slow was because my legs were stiff after two days of sitting in a car.  It took awhile to work the kinks out.  Actually it took almost the entire run to work the kinks out.  There wasn't much to say about this run other than I did it and it was beautiful.  Can't say I minded running in sunshine instead of rain for a change.
Street our Suite is on.  

Golf course at the end of the street we where we are staying. 
Later in the afternoon we went on the Palm Springs Tram and had a great time taking pictures at the top and seeing the sites.  I think if we ever come here again we will totally make that a day trip where we go up in the morning and spend the entire day hiking.  It was beautiful up there with amazing views!

Tuesday:  I left a little later Tuesday morning.  It was after 7:30 a.m.  I am on vacation after all.  Unfortunately that meant that it was warmer than the day before.  It was over 65 degrees and it felt hot. It wasn't long before I was sweating.  I had used my inhaler and that made a huge difference!  So glad I have that now.  I have been amazed how much it has helped.  (I think I have said that before but I'm still marveling on what a difference it makes!)  My average pace was about 30 seconds better than on Monday.  That was good.  Still not terribly quick but not a terrible pace either.

Wednesday:  This was my cross-training day.  It was also the day that we had reservations at the spa.  The adults had reservations at the spa, we left the children at the pool.  They had food and water so they were okay.  :-)  Once we checked in we had complete run of the facility for the rest of the day so my friend and I headed over early to get our workout in before the pampering began.  We used the fitness center at the spa.  I did 35 minutes on the elliptical machine and then about 25 minutes of free weights.  Once we were done there we went back to the locker room to get ready for our pampering.  Wow!  I had never done anything like this and I have to say it was awesome.  We went and showered and then we went and sat in the sauna, followed by the hot tub.  So relaxing!  And we hadn't even started our appointments yet.  I had decided on a 1/2 hour facial followed by a 1/2 massage.  Mostly because I couldn't decide on which one I wanted to do for an hour so I did a little of both.  I thought this would help me decide what I like more in case there is ever a next time.  Didn't work.  Now I want an hour facial and an hour massage.  lol  After our appointments we met the guys out by the pool.  They both had massages.  The pool was lovely and there were no children.  I love my children and am having a great time with them on this trip.  But it was quite lovely to sit by a pool that didn't have splashing, shouting children for a couple of hours.

Thursday:  I got out by 7:00 a.m. again and it was still very warm, around 68 degrees.  However, the sun was low enough that there was more shade and that helped me not feel too hot.  I used my inhaler and this time I carried a bottle of water.  Every run I have tried to add something that might help me do better.  I was hoping that would make it so that my long run on Friday wasn't a painful experience.   I did really well.  I kept it right at a 13 minute average which was another 30 seconds faster per mile on average than Tuesday's run.  My last half mile Joe was finishing up his run and cooling down so he ran with me.  I was running very fast for me and he was running slow for him.  lol  But it was still fun to run together for awhile.  I actually ran a pace of about 11'15" for that last half mile which is really fast for me and I usually can't do it for that long.  That was a nice little bump for me at the end.  :-)

Friday:  I ran 7.5 miles this morning!  My friend Faylene went with me.  She walked and I jogged.  She usually runs at a 9 minute mile and a 13 minute mile actually hurt her knees to jog that slow.  So she walked briskly and I trudged along.  :-)  We got about a quarter of a mile and I realized that I had forgotten to use my inhaler before we left.  Since I knew there was a hill along the route we were taking  we turned around and I ran up to the room and used it really quick.  That was a good call.  We had started not long after 6:00 a.m. because I wanted to beat the heat as much as possible.  However it was already 65 degrees when we started.  But there was a nice breeze and the sun wasn't beating on us until the last half of the run.  I did the first mile WAY too fast.  That was before Faylene had decided to walk and I think I was trying not to slow her down.  I paid for that.  The rest of the run was okay but not as quick as I was hoping.  I did get negative splits for the last 5 miles which was good for me.  So considering that it was hot, I had worked out for five days straight and I was hot, it was a pretty good run.  Faylene took some pictures while we were out and about.  She let me steal them.  :-)

I took this one when we had about 2 miles left in the run.  The sun had some up a long way and made the hills change considerably.  

God's beauty and creation is everywhere.  I love that I get the opportunities to go other places and see new things.  Working out this week was challenging.  It's hard to get moving on vacation and to run in the heat.  But I was worried that if I let it go this week it would be really easy to let things go next week, and the week after, etc.  So I got my runs done in the morning and relaxed the rest of the day.  I have a wonderful week in the desert but I have to say that I'm ready to go home.  I love Oregon in spite of the rain and cold.  And I'm ready to sleep in my own bed without two girls sleeping in the pullout bed right next to us.  :-)  

So the successes this week were getting out there and getting it done and working through the heat.  Hopefully the pace will pick back up when I get home and it is cooler and and the air isn't so dry.

I'm feeling pretty sassy today.  I hope you are too.  :-)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Go, Go, Go!!!

It has been a busy week.  And when I say busy I actually mean crazy busy!

Monday:  This was the day after the Shamrock Run and I was still smiling a mile wide over how well it went.  I was supposed to run 4 miles and the sun was out so I was excited to go.  I ran the first two miles pretty well but then I started getting this weird twinge in my leg behind my knee.  It kind of felt like my leg was giving out and I would take a weird step to recover and then it would be gone.  After the third time that happened I decided to walk.  It felt like if I wasn't careful I could really hurt myself.  I walked about half a mile and then tried running and it happened again almost immediately.  I decided at that point to just walk the rest of the way home.  On Sunday I had listened to my mind and pushed my body.  On Monday I decided I should listen to my body.  :-)

Because we were planning on leaving on vacation on Saturday and I had a 12 hour work day on Thursday with parent/teacher conferences I made some changes to my training plan in order to try and get it all done anyway.

Tuesday:  Goober #2 had a choir concert and I was going to do my run after work and before the concert.  I started not feeling good after work on the drive home.  When I got home it just got worse.  I didn't run and I skipped the concert.  I was really upset about missing the concert.  Well, later I was really upset.  At the time all I wanted was for my stomach contents to settle down.  I ended up getting sick and then going to bed at 7:30.  So no run, no concert and no preparing for the vacation.

Wednesday:  This was a prep day at work so we can get report cards ready and do lesson planning.  It's also a flex day so we can work at home too as long as we get our stuff done.  I got up at the normal time and went and did my swim.  I was still a little tired and weak from feeling sick the night before but I didn't feel like I was going to throw up so that was a big improvement.  The swim was good.  I feel like I am getting better at it all the time.  Again, better for me.  My kids could totally kick my butt!  lol  I cleaned up and headed to work and finished up my grading for report cards.  That was done early since I was mostly caught up so I got a lot of planning done.  It's amazing how much you can get done when it's quiet.  Although I have learned to close my door and keep most of my lights off.  If people know I'm there they come visiting.  Which I love but then I spend my whole day talking and really don't get anything done.  (I talk a lot, imagine that!)

After work I went to the high school track in Lebanon to do an interval work out.  This time I was supposed to jog a 1/2 mile, sprint for 3 minutes, 6 times with a 5 minute jog in-between and then finish up with a 1/2 mile jog.  I did the sprints but walked in between.  There was a big storm moving through that day and while I had avoided the torrential downpour that had been happening all morning it was still cold and really windy.  Going west on the track was great but when I turned the corner and came back east I felt like I could try and fall and the wind would have held me up.  It was really hard to get all six times done.  I wanted to quit so many times.  On interval #4 it started to rain and hail.  And then the high school kids started showing up.  Nothing like having a bunch of high school kids sitting in the bleachers trying to stay dry and warm watching the funny lady on the track to make you feel confident. lol

It was a long day but I got two workouts in and all my report cards done so I was happy!  Plus my classroom was all cleaned up and ready for conferences the next day.

Thursday:  No workout!  Parent/Teacher conferences ALL day long.  Not a great turn out.  None of the parents that I had called and asked them to come in showed up.  That was a bummer.  :-(

Friday:  I only had conferences until noon.  I ended up going until 12:30 because, wouldn't you know it, a parent showed up at 12:10 when I was just finishing up putting everything away and wanted to know if I could still talk.  Of course I said yes. lol

A bunch of people from work were going to "Choir Practice" and wanted me to go along. (Choir Practice is teacher code for having adult drinks.)  I really wanted to go but I had so much to do that I had to take a rain check.

I ran a bunch of errands that I needed to get done before we left on our trip and didn't get home until almost 3:00 p.m.  I needed to get my long run in which was supposed to be 10 miles.  I finally got my stuff on and headed out around 3:30.







There were only two things good about this run.  The first was that it didn't rain on me.  It had poured down rain earlier when I was running errands and I was sure it was going to do it while I was running but it didn't.  The other accomplishment was that I was able to jog the whole thing.  It was a struggle!  I was slow and just had no energy at all from start to finish.  I was ready to quit at mile 2.  That's not good when you still have 8 miles to go.  I did two things very wrong before my run.  I didn't a good lunch and I didn't drink enough water during the day.  I didn't fuel my body like I needed to and I paid the price.  I know better but in the busyness that is my life I didn't do what I needed to do.  Lesson learned and I don't plan to repeat the lesson!  I'm used to doing my long runs on Saturday or Sunday where I can sleep in, eat a good breakfast and take my time getting ready.  Now I know that when I have to do long runs during the week after work I need to make sure I am properly hydrated and fueled.

Now for some fun info.  I was playing around with my Nike info and looking at different information about my runs.  I found a way to look at my information for the entire year last year and then this year.  Wow!  A bit of a difference between 2012 and 2013!

I will have to look at this information any time I am frustrated and feeling like I'm not making progress.

Another positive note that balances out the disaster and frustration of swimsuits last week.  I decided to make sure I only brought shorts that actually fit on our trip.  I didn't want to be upset while on vacation about my clothes.  Happy dance!  Everything fit great or was too big!  I am sitting in a hotel in California right now wearing a pair of shorts that were just a smidge too tight last summer.  I have to keep hitching them up cause now they are just a smidge too big.  Oh darn!!

I'll be running this week while we are in Palm Desert.  It will be different to be running in the sunshine and heat.  I will have to suffer through it.  :-)  After last weeks wind, rain, and hail I am ready for the sunshine.  :-)

Have a great weekend!  Keep moving!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shamrock Run!!

Shamrock Run 2013

What a day!  I didn't sleep very well last night.  I was very nervous about this run.  Not about the distance.  I knew I could go 9.3 miles, I've done it before.  I was nervous about the hills that I was going to be facing during the run.  I had looked at the map and knew that there was going to be some serious work for me.  Hills and I don't get along in general.  I like them fine when I am in a car.  They are also fun when I am going downhill.  To be more specific, it is the uphill that I have problems with.  This run had a few uphills in it.

For those of you who are familiar with the Portland, OR area.  The route took us north along the Willamette River and then back south, heading up the hill to OHSU.  Then back down and around along the river again.  

We had a lot of rain on Saturday afternoon and the weather forecast was a bit iffy about what run conditions would be like.  I kept waking up and tossing and turning.  I tend to get a bit jittery about races.  Upset stomach, can't sleep well and general nervousness is the norm.  Even when it is a short race I get wound up.  I'm learning that is just how I work.  :-)

We had to get up early.  By early I mean butt crack of dawn early!  We got up at 4:00 a.m. because we had to meet our friends at 5:15 in Keizer so they could ride up with us.  Race time was 7:40 and we wanted to make sure we had time to find parking and get to the start line without feeling rushed.  

We got up to Portland and found parking not to far from the finish line.  It was still Oh Dark Thirty when we got there but was beginning to get lighter.  

Josh & Wendi Gum - Fabulous Friends and Encouragers Extrodinare!!!

Joe and me.  Love my man!  Best Friend and my Biggest Fan!

When it was getting close to race time they announcement came to get into the start corrals.  They had timing chips so your official race time didn't start until you crossed the start line.  Which was good because there was 9,000 people participating in the 15K.  They did wave starts where they would let people go and then stop the crowd and then let another group start.  It took about 10 minutes before we officially started.  That was the last time I saw my hubby and Wendi and Josh until after the race.  :-)

Just a few people waiting to start.  :-)
I worked really hard at starting out slow.  I have had a bad habit of starting out too fast during my regular runs and it is even worse during races.  I get all caught up in the excitement and find myself trying to keep up.  I usually end up paying for that later in the race.  This was my first race where I consciously tried to go slow at the start.  Probably still started a bit fast but I did better at pacing myself then I have in the past.  The sound of all those runners going past me on the pavement was really cool.  

I was feeling pretty good on the first hill.  It was more a gradual slope so I just worked on moving along and enjoyed looking at the different shops along the way and the funny clothes and hats that other runners were wearing.  

At mile 4 I had to pee.  This is not a good thing when I am running.  I feel like my bladder is going up and down in my stomach and at any moment I may pee myself.  lol  I knew there was supposed to be toilets at the mile 4 marker and there was.  Unfortunately there were only 4!  The line was pretty long but I really had to go, I had already skipped the potty at mile 2 because of the line and I couldn't remember if there were anymore along the route.  Plus, the thought up going up the steep hill with a full bladder did not sound fun.  The bummer part about having to stand in line for a significant amount of time during a race is that it messes with your race time.  I can pause my Nike+ app and then restart it when I begin again.  Can't do that with the race time.  Every minute that I stood there was eating into my finish time and my average pace.  I can't believe how long it took some of the runners to get their business done!  

The good side of standing in line was that it gave me an opportunity to strip off my sweatshirt and use my inhaler.  This was my first chance to try out my inhaler on a hill in a race situation.  I was very pleased with how much it helped.  I'm not sure I could have done the steep hill without it.  I had to work on my breathing but I didn't feel like I had an anvil sitting on my chest which I have felt like in the past.  Very glad to have that little bit of help.  One less thing for me to struggle with.  :-)

As I worked my way up the hill I made each lamppost along the road my goal.  I will run to the next lamppost.  Now I will run to the next lamppost.  When I got close to the top we could hear the sounds of bagpipes and drums.  Another runner got all excited because she knew this meant we were almost to the top.  Sure enough, just a little farther and there was the bagpipes and a water station.  We had made it to the top!!!  Other then the pit stop for the bathroom I had run ALL the hills!  At this point I was pretty stoked.  I could tell that my pace was pretty good for me during a regular, flat run at home and most of it had been up hill!  

The last three miles were all downhill and I was feeling good.  I little bit tired but no aches and pains.  My feet didn't hurt and it was fun.  I had a few people that had been run/walking around me and so I worked on getting in front of them so that I could beat them.  After all, I had run the whole thing.  I should be in before them. lol

Finishing was fun!  There were SO MANY PEOPLE!  They had run out of finisher medals which was a bummer.  But they will send it to me in the mail so that will be cool.  I worked hard for that medal!  It doubles as a bottle opener.  How cool is that?  

We had decided to all meet at the car after we were done rather than try and find each other in the masses.  I had told Joe that I thought I would end up walking up the hills so I knew he would be expecting me to be done until around 2 hours 30 minutes.  Surprise!!!  They hadn't been at the car all that long and were decided if they should go back to watch for me when I texted Joe.  Believe me, I was grinning all the way to the car.  Our car was parked on the second level and it was fun to walk up the street and have Joe, Wendi and Josh all hooting and hollaring for me.  :-)  I felt like a rock star.  

We decided to head to Fudruckers for burgers and I'm pretty sure we inhaled our food.  It tasted so good and we were so hungry!  I'm pretty sure we earned whatever calories we ate during that meal!

My time according to my Nike+ app was 2:05:31 with an average pace of 13'29" per mile.  I was stoked!  My official race time finish was 2:11:06 with an average pace of 14'07" per mile which makes sense when you factor in the pit stop at mile 4.  Either way I'm pretty happy.  If I can maintain this pace for three more miles I can beat my goal of under three hours for the Eugene Half Marathon at the end of April.  And there aren't massive hills on that run.  Just one long gradual one.  No problem!  

Wednesday I was defeated and frustrated.  Today I'm so excited.  This is obviously progress.  I am obviously making good changes and seeing results.  This race proved it!  I will have to look back at this post and remember this day on the days where I want to give up.  How I feel today is why I don't give up!  I've posted the picture below before.  Seemed like a good time to put it on here again.  :-)

Glad I'm not giving up!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's going to get easier, right?

Why does getting healthy have to be such an emotional battle?  I KNOW I am getting stronger. I KNOW I am getting faster.  And even so I still have days where I am so frustrated I just cry!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I think 75% of the time I maintain a pretty good attitude and 25% I just want to stomp my feet like a little kid and say "It's not fair!" at the top of my lungs.  Wouldn't that be a sight?

It was a long day at work.  Not a bad day, just long.  Lots of students who needed a little more than just teaching.  Kindness, an extra smile, or knowing that I cared about them as an individual.  It's one of my favorite parts of the job but it is also one of the parts that takes the most emotional energy.  When it is a day with a lot of emotionally needy kids it can be draining.  We are getting close to Spring Break and many of the students start having bad behavior because they know they have a week at home with irregular meals, not great parenting and no time to get away from a not so great life.  Can't blame them for acting up but it is so important to be consistent with expectations for them.  They need that, even if they don't think so.  :-)

I got home from work and my new swimsuits had arrived.  Ugh.  Almost no women enjoy trying on swimsuits.  Heavy women hate it!  One top was good, one was okay.  The bottoms didn't work at all.  I was frustrated and aggravated!  Earlier in the day I had seen on Facebook that a friend of mine who lives in Salem is doing the Medifast diet and has lost 64 pounds since January 8th.  That made me so aggravated!  I'm thrilled for him but don't understand why I have only lost 10 pounds in more time with eating right AND running and swimming like crazy!!  SO UNFAIR!  (I know, I know, life isn't fair!) Then I was supposed to go do my run.  Well that just didn't sound worthwhile at all!  What's the point.  I've been at this for 11 weeks!  I want change and I want it NOW!  I got on all my workout stuff and went outside.  Joe was washing the truck and we were talking about the Cascade Lakes Relay.  I don't like being the weakest link on the team.  I feel like I bring everyone else down and that they are having to wait on the slow, fat girl.  I love being included but it is hard to feel like I don't contribute the way everyone else does.  He basically told me to get over it.  :-)  In his loving way of course.  Anyway, it led into me talking about my frustrations and how I don't feel attractive.  Lot's of tears during that conversation.  It's not easy to talk about how I feel about how I look.   I want to be a Hot Momma for my hubby and I don't feel like it at all most days.  But my hubby thinks I'm a Hot Momma so I need to focus on that.  Easier said then done but I'm trying. Sigh.  Things that are difficult make us stronger, right?  Right!

So, I dried my tears.  Got a big hug from my man, who loves me quite a lot. And headed out on my run.  I was supposed to run 1/2 mile then do 8x2 sprints with 5 minutes of jogging in between and then finish up with a 1/2 mile jog.  Sounds fun, right?  I jogged over to the track at the high school because that's a little more than 1/2 mile so that works well for the first part.  I had downloaded an interval timer to my phone since my Nike+ app doesn't do that.  (Hint hint Nike, work on that, would you?  lol)  Running as fast as you can for 2 minutes seems like forever! The first four sets I did exactly like I was supposed to.  The last four sets I still sprinted for 2 minutes but then I walked (at a brisk pace) for the 5 minutes.  Joe had suggested that I just go out and do my thing and enjoy the day and do my best but not push it.  I think he didn't want my work out to add to my frustration level.  It was very warm, over 65 degrees.  Cloudy but it was so wonderfully warm!  I love Spring! 

Joe and I had to go to the store and get milk.  Running out of milk at our house is a national tragedy!  When we got home and I had a chance to look at my run on the Nike website I was surprised.  My average speed during the 2 minute sprints was around 11' mile pace for all 8 sprints.  Wow!  I know that I didn't have to maintain it for long but the fact that I could maintain it for 2 minutes 8 different times is pretty cool.  It will be interesting to see if my next run is any different after this.  I haven't figured out how to copy the graph that I can see on Nike+ so I can show it to you.  It's pretty slick.  I liked seeing the consistency of the intervals.  You could definitely see the sprints and jogs and then the sprints and walks. 

One of the things I did during this workout since it was on the track was work really hard on my form.  I have learned that keeping my shoulders relaxed, and my core nice and straight helps a lot.  I used to start hunching my shoulders when I got tired and then my back really hurt and I ran even slower.  I have been doing a lot of reading about running and one of the things I learned is that posture is very important.  It is good for you in general but it is really important for your breathing.  It's harder to breath when you are all hunched over.  You aren't giving your lungs the room to expand and get the extra oxygen your body needs while working out.  This makes you tired.  See the circle?  I was making myself tired because of lack of oxygen and then hunching more which just made me more tired.  Not good Kimosabe!  Since starting back with running since Christmas I have really worked really hard at my posture and I think it has made a difference.  I definitely have not had the tired and sore shoulders and back.  Swimming has also helped make my core stronger so that has helped with my posture as well.

This isn't an easy journey for me.  I wish I was one of those people that started running and the weight just falls off.  Or one of those people that started eating healthy and the weight just falls off.  Or one of those people that is doing both and the weight just falls off.  Sometimes I think I just have to have things be difficult.  They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  He must have a very high opinion of me! 

I swam this morning.  I have a short run on Saturday and then the Shamrock Run on Sunday.  I'm a little nervous about the Shamrock.  We will see how it goes.  (And I got my shirt yesterday and it looks too small.  I didn't try it on because that would have just added to the aggravation of the day!)

Tonight I get to go watch my son sing at his concert.  He sings with such joy on his face.  He loves performing and singing and it shows.  How can I stay in a grumpy mood when I get to see a fantastic young man do something he loves?  Not possible! 

Still running in place and getting nowhere fast but I least I'm faster.  :-) Still trying to get out of God's way.  Maybe He should just run me over! lol

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Racking up the Miles!!

Another beautiful day for a run!  I love days like this where the sky looks so blue and the air is so clean.  I had the Coast Range on one side and the Cascade Mountain Range on the other.  Gorgeous!

I ran 8 miles this morning.  It took a bit to work the kinks out.  In the past this could mean almost a minute slower per mile but I'm trying to push through that and managed not to lose too much on my pace.  Then I started getting negative splits and was feeling pretty good.  Until after mile 6.  I really struggled to maintain my pace the last two miles.  I didn't get negative splits, that's for sure!  I need to start bringing along something to give me a boost during mile 7.  That seems to be where the energy level starts to poop out on me every time I have a long run.  I don't like the Gu so much.  I think I might try the Shot Bloks  which look like round gummys.  If I talk to 10 different runners about what to try they will give me 10 different suggestions.  I have decided to try what I think will work for me and go from there.  :-)

While I didn't get negative splits for the last two miles I did manage to keep a very steady pace from start to finish.  I like looking at the map and seeing the green the entire route because it means I was fairly consistent.  My average pace was 13'30" a mile and that is awesome since a few months ago I was averaging 15 minute miles over three miles.  Going faster and farther!  Yay!!

All week long I have been focusing on the fact that I am blessed to be able to get out and run.  There are many people that can't even if they wanted to.  This afternoon I was at a swim meet watching Goober #3 swim.  There was a woman there from another team.  I have seen her at meets before and she has always impressed me.  She is in her 40's and is a member of a swim club.  She gets in with all the kids and does her best.  It isn't her age that impresses me.  It is that she is paralyzed from the waist down.  She can't kick, she does a sort of dolphin kick and pulls herself through the water with her arms.  She ALWAYS has a smile on her face.  She gets herself out of her chair and onto the diving block.  She gets herself out of the pool and into her chair.  She looks like she is having a great time.  What a great example for the kids!  What a great example for the adults!!  So I may not be losing weight but I'm active and can get out and do what I need to do.  I'm blessed!

My youngest Goober did great at her swim meet.  It's fun to see her challenge herself.  She signed up for her first 500 swim.  She knows she swims that for warm ups at practice but it's different at a meet.  She did awesome and is already planning on doing it again and killing her time.  I'm proud that she is learning how to challenge herself and set goals.  Swimming and running are such great sports for that.

The swim meet was in the town where I teach and one of my students was on the host team.  He is a 7th grader and has only been in my class since the beginning of the semester.  We have connected over swimming and it was fun to get to see him in action.  He made sure to find me before things got started so that I would know when he was swimming.  He also found me after to make sure I saw him.  I made sure to fuss all over him and give him High 5s cause he got a PR by 15 seconds!  That's huge!  Even though he knew I was there because my kid was swimming he was excited that I could watch him too. Such a simple thing and yet I could tell it meant so much to him.  It was a great reminder that my job is not all about making sure that my students remember what I teach them.  My job is also about being there and letting them know I care and that they are special.  I love what I do and today reminded me that I make a difference!!!

I thought I would share some things I have learned about running in case I have inspired anyone to start trying it for themselves.  I'm no expert and these things I have learned the hard way or from my hubby and other running pals.
  • Shoes DO matter!  I have a hard time spending money on myself.  I have a hubby and three kids.  They need things more.  But I have learned that $30 tennis shoes from Payless Shoe Source DO NOT cut it! 
  • Don't buy the brand, buy the right shoe for you.  Don't get the shoe because it is Nike or Adidas.  Go to a store that specializes in running shoes.  Tell them what you are planning and how long you have been running or not running.  They will put you in different shoes and then have you run in them. They watch and make suggestions based on how you run and how you felt in the shoe.  I have settled for shoes that weren't exactly right and regretted it later.  Once you find the right shoe it is awesome!  Joe loves his New Balance and I love my Brooks.  :-)  
  • They really do wear out fast!  I used to think that Joe was crazy when he needed new running shoes after six months.  $100 shoes and they only last six months!?!  You will know when they are due for a change because the bottoms of your feet start to hurt.  You get your new shoes and everything is lovely again.  It is worth the money because if your feet hurt, you won't run.  If you don't run, you don't get anywhere.  ;-)
  • Sign up for a race and then use a training plan.  There are all kinds of training plans on the Internet for beginners up to really experienced runners.  I like having a training plan because it pushes me to go farther and it also has intervals and other things that help me get stronger and faster.  If I don't have a plan I know I would quit much sooner than I should.  Today I would have quit at six miles but kept pushing because my plan called for eight.  I can hear the colonial on the A Team saying "I love it when  plan comes together."  (I just dated myself there, I mean the TV show not the more recent movie.)  
I have officially lost 10 pounds according to my scale.  This works out to being about 1 pound a week since I started back with the running.  I was hoping it would go faster but I'm trying to be happy that it's going at all.  They way I figure it, if I can keep it up I will have lost 52 pounds in one year.  That's not too shabby.  That's worth keeping at it!  Better than gaining 52 pounds in one year which is they route I was heading while I was feeling sorry for myself last fall.

Next week is the Shamrock Run in Portland.  It's a 15K which is 9 miles.  Very doable for me but there is one big hill during the run so that part will be a challenge for me.  Hills and I are not friends! lol

Sorry it was a long one today.  Had lots of stuff rattling around in my head.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Getting out of the way!

On Sunday when I went on my run it was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was gorgeous.  Because of the circumstances of the weekend I had been unable to run on Saturday so I was just going for a slow and steady pace and to get the miles in.  Along the run I was thinking about how I'm running in place and getting nowhere fast.  While on this run I was thinking how I wish that God would just either heal me or make it so that someone would figure out what the problem is so we can take care of it.  Suddenly I realized that at no time throughout this journey had I really just given it all to God and let Him be in charge of it.  So for the rest of my run that is what I worked at.  I asked for help, guidance and strength and that His will be done. 

Sounds easy, right?  Sometimes being a Christian and giving struggles to God is easier said then done.  I think God wanted me to really get this idea on Sunday because that evening I was at my best friends house and we were hanging out and talking.  She was telling me about how at church this morning she had been thinking about me during the message.   It was about giving our struggles to God and then getting out of His way.  Huh, imagine that.  I have this aha moment in the morning and then God makes sure I hear the message by having one of my closest friends say pretty much the same thing. 

This week has been getting out of God's way.  Am I still frustrated about the lack of weight loss?  Of course.  Giving something to God doesn't just mean all my emotions are all better right away. Am I going to make sure that I am not only doing what I am supposed to do in order to be healthy but also that I am going to trust that God has a plan and that there is a purpose in this experience?  Absolutely!

Monday I had an awesome run.  It was another beautiful day and I was able to push and get negative splits again with my 4th and last mile being my fastest yet at 12'19 and my average pace for the entire run at 12'49.  Making improvements!

Yesterday I needed to do five miles with hills.  So I went back to North Albany.  This time I went down Thortan Lake Rd (rolling hills), up Scenic (short but steep), down Scenic, (yay for downhill!), up Gibson (deceptive hill, just keeps going, and going, and going...), then down North Albany Rd. (thank goodness for downhill!).  I got a late start so the end of the run was dark.  I was glad I had my safety vest since it was raining and I was running on the side of the road.  People are idiots and I really didn't want to get hit by one.  I managed to run all of it except the last part of Scenic.  I'll get it next time.  Everything seemed to hurt.  I'm trying hard to not come down with a cold and I'm sure that didn't help.  So the success in this run was that I got it done and I ran 95% of it.  I came home wet, tired and grumpy.  I had to do lots of asking God to help my attitude because it wasn't good last night.

This morning I got up and did my 30 minute swim.  That's also getting better.  I am able to keep moving the entire 30 minutes and I can almost swim one length of the pool breathing from both sides with my face down in the water in between.  Just like my kids although I'm sure it isn't as pretty as when they do it.  :-)  I'm glad I went this morning because I'm still trying to not be sick and it was nice to come home and not have to think about my workout.  I posted on Facebook that I would love to have someone bring/make me dinner and weird, no one took me up on it!

I'm going to keep working on getting healthy and lean on God when I'm tired and frustrated.  I'm also going to make sure that I let God do whatever it is that needs to be done.  I'm getting out of His way!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week in Review :-)

Spring is coming.  It is nice to go workout and not be freezing.  There is still rain, I live in Oregon after all.  But it is nice to get the occasional nice day.  In Oregon when there is a day that is in the upper 50's for temperature everyone is breaking out their shorts, t-shirts and flip flops.  Even if it's raining.  :-) 

I missed my run on Monday but decided it would be okay since I had the big hike on Sunday.  A student from last year had asked me to come to watch her play basketball sometime during the season.  Because of meetings and my own kids activities I hadn't made it to a game all season and I felt terrible!  I don't like promising something and not following through, especially to a kid.  Luckily for me her team made the playoffs and had at least one more game.  I wasn't going to risk them losing and not playing any more games so I went to the game. I had a meeting after work, I went back home to pick up my youngest goober from swim practice and then headed back to Lebanon to watch my former student's game.  It was a great game!  They ended up losing by one point but they played hard the entire game!  My student was great and the smile on her face when she realized I had shown up was totally worth missing my run.  She is one of those kids that I really connected with and I miss seeing every day now that I'm in a different school.  Some kids just latch on to my heart in a special way and it's hard to let them go.  :-)  This is one of those kids that I plan to be at her high school graduation and her college graduation.  :-)

Tuesday's run was awesome.  I only had to go 3 miles so I decided to really push and try and get an average pace that was under 13 minutes.  I know this is not a terribly fast goal for most runners but for me it is moving right along.  I had to really push through the run to make it happen.  My first mile is usually fine but the second mile is where my knee hurts or my calves are tight.  When I'm doing a longer run I just slow down a little and work the kinks out.  Since this was a short run if I wanted to keep the pace average under 13 minutes I was going to have to keep moving fast even though things hurt.  That was tough but I did it.  Once I got two miles done and the pace was 13'04 I was pretty sure I could reach my goal.  I picked up the pace just a tiny bit and tried to maintain it as best I could.  I finished with an average pace of 12'52 over three miles.  Yay!  Small victory but a victory so I'm taking it.  :-)

Wednesday was cross-training day so I went for my 30 minute swim.  I was very tired on Wednesday all day.  It was an early release day at school which makes the kids all squirrly and then I had a District meeting all afternoon.  I was wiped out by the time I got home.  I went and took a nap for an hour then got up and headed to the pool for my swim.  I swam 30 minutes.  I am taking fewer and fewer breaks at each end of the pool.  I am also getting better at making it an entire length doing freestyle with taking breaths on both sides and putting my face down in the water.  Another small thing but I like the feeling of making progress.  Got my little bit of time in the hot tub after.  It was nice to warm up. 

Thursday was a rest day.  It was nice to come home and not have to worry about my workout one day of the work week.  I did end up going to the pool to have some hot tub time with a friend.  We ended up sitting on the side of the hot tub talking for an hour.  Love having girl time and I love having so many great friends to spend time with.  I am a blessed lady!

This week has been a "recovery" week on my training plan so all the workouts have been notched down a bit.  Friday was a three mile run.  The weather was amazing!  I drove to work in the sunshine and came home in the sunshine.  I love that the days are getting longer too.  It's nice to go run and not have to start when it's getting dark and finish when it's all the way dark.  Now I'm starting when it's light and it is just starting to be twilight when I finish.  I still wear the safety vest so that I can be seen easily.  I have noticed when I'm driving that at twilight it is almost as difficult to see runners and walkers as it is at night.  So many people wear all black or dark clothing and with no lights or vests it makes it hard to see them.  I don't want to be splatted all over the road because a car was turning and didn't see me crossing the street! As usual my run was not great. Not terrible but not great.  I have come to know that my Monday and Friday runs just are not going to be my best runs.  :-)  So I trotted along and enjoyed the weather and all the other people that were out and about doing the same thing.

My plan was to run 6 miles Saturday morning and then head to Portland to watch Goober #2 swim in the State competition for her club swim team.  She thought she was getting a ride from a teammate and so I wouldn't need to be there until just before her first swim.  Just before I went to bed I found out that she needed me to take her and we had to leave at 6:00 a.m. so she would be there in time for warm ups.  So much for running before I left.  I just didn't have it in me to get up at 4:00 a.m. to run before we left.

When we got to the swim meet we found out that her relay team had made the finals which would be at the end of the afternoon session (really it was the evening session.)  I wish I had known that cause then I could have brought my running stuff and gotten the run done between sessions.  As it was we had lunch with the team at the Olive Garden (Yum!) and then took a nap in the car.  lol  It was hard to sit in the bleachers all day.  My back was killing me by the time it was all over.  And you would think with all the padding I have on my posterior that it wouldn't hurt but it did.

The one awesome thing was that I found my fabulous friend Tonya and we got to sit together and talk the entire morning.  We went to high school together and whenever we get to spend time together we just have a great time!  I picked my friends well in high school, if I do say so myself.  :-)

The other awesome thing was that I got to watch my daughter swim.  I'm so proud of her and how hard she has worked.  (I think I might have mentioned that once or twice.)  I'm a blessed mom!  Next she is moving on to track for the spring.  She throws shot put and discus.  Should be fun!

I got up this morning and boy did I NOT want to run!  My back still hurt and I was SO tired.  I woke up about 7:00 a.m. and I wasn't able to get my get up and go to actually go until about 10:00 a.m.  I took it easy.  I only had to do 6 miles and with the way I was feeling I knew that if I tried to push it hard then I would end up getting really frustrated.  I kept a somewhat steady pace and just enjoyed the beautiful sunshine.  It was a gorgeous day!  My music was playing, I had sunglasses on and it was a great way to spend the morning.  I am very thankful that I am healthy enough to get out and be active on days like this.  I know many people who cannot and I have a lot to be thankful for.

I found this on Facebook the other day.  I may not be losing the weight but it would be even worse if I didn't keep going.  I'm not going to give up!!  Eventually I will be very happy that I kept going!

We had a meeting tonight for the Cascade Lakes Relay.  It's hard to believe it's only 5 months away!  I'm going to have to apologize my team.  I am the slow one on the team but that's not what I have to apologize for.  The past two years we have done this it has been a great and challenging experience for me.  But I am definitely the slow one on the team.  I don't think there is a person on the team that runs over a 10 minute mile, except for me.  And I point it out constantly that I'm the slow one, or that I won't be as good as everyone else, blah, blah, blah!  I need to quit doing that.  Duh, I'm obviously the slow one on the team.  I don't need to point it out constantly.  And if it bothered them they wouldn't have me on the team and yet here I still am.  It bothers me though because I feel like I'm dragging the team down by being so slow.  Sigh.  Got more self-talk to work through before August!

So I'm going to keep working.  I'm adding praying to the list of things I need to do better.  God and I have been having some great talks this week.  I talk, He listens!  I realized this week I'm trying to do a lot of this on my own and I need to do my part and let God do His part.  This is easier said than done for me because it's hard for me to let go and let someone else be in charge, even God.  So much to learn!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Funny Story!

I forgot to share a funny story that happened while I was finishing up my long run last Saturday.

I was getting towards the end of my run.  I only needed another half mile to finish up so I needed to continue down the main road I was on and then circle back around the block to my house to get the distance I needed.  I usually keep my music on the low side so I can hear cars and can be more aware of my surroundings. 

I'm cruising along, working on my pace, thinking about how I'm almost done.  Doing a little self-talk to get me through the last half mile when I hear a shout right behind me.  "HEY!!!"  It scared the crap out of me!  I startled drastically and turned to look behind me thinking "What in the hell?"  Directly behind me, almost next to my feet was tricycle bike.  The ones that are for adults.  It was complete with a wire basket on the front and flags on the back.  The person driving the bike was a little old man with a baseball cap and a helmet on top of the cap.  He was not happy with me!  He starts shouting at me about how he has been hollaring for me to get the hell out of his way.  "Stupid earphones, why couldn't you hear me?"  Well, I wasn't to happy about being startled like that and then being crabbed at.  I am generally a pretty nice person and I feel that it is very important to respect my elders.  However, I had been running a long time and had been focused and having that focus broken by somebody who is crabbing at me didn't go over well. I stepped onto the grass so he could get by and he yelled at me again saying I needed to pay more attention and I told him it wouldn't have been a problem if he had been in the bike lane where he was supposed to be, since I was on the sidewalk where I was supposed to be.  I put my earphones back in but I could see that he was still jawing at me about his opinion of the situation.  I kind of wish now I had left the earbuds out so I could hear what he had to say.  I'm sure it was delightful!

The funniest thing about all of this is that after he passed me he went about 15 more feet and then turned into the driveway for the retirment home.  15 FEET!  He could have just gone behind me slowly for a little bit and waited till I passed the driveway and then turned.  Evidently it was more fun to scare the bejezus out the runner and the yell at her as he went by.  I had to laugh!  People really are funny. 

Beware of Old Men in hats, riding tricycles!
(This was not the one who startled me but you get the idea lol)