Sunday, April 28, 2013

Eugene Half Marathon

Half Marathon that is.  :-)

This was another early morning race.  Race time was at 7:00 a.m.  We woke up around 4:30 a.m. and headed out the door by 5:00 a.m.  We parked at the Lane County Fairgrounds, the race organizers had several spots around town that people could park and then be shuttled to the starting area.  We were in line around 6:25 a.m. for a bus but we think they only had one that was going out to the start and coming back.  We didn't fit on the bus that showed up after we got in line and it took over 15 minutes for it to come back.  

Waiting to get on the shuttle to the start.  It was a little cold.  

We got to the starting area only 5 minutes before race time.  That was a bit stressful!  They lined us up in corrals according to our pace that we had entered when we registered.  Joe was in the C corral.  I was in the E corral.  :-) 

I'm always amazed when I see people I know at these things.  There are thousands of people and yet I find friends.  One of my newest friends is Betsy who is a huge inspiration to me.  She has lost a ton of weight through running and biking.  She has been getting off of all the medications that she was on for various issues that come with being heavy.  She did a full marathon last December in Hawaii.  I basically want to be her when I grow up.  The best part is that she always has a smile on her face and a great attitude.  Every time I see her I feel encouraged and that I can do this.  :-)   She found me before the race started so we got this fun picture.

Betsy and Me!  Pre-Race smiles :-)
I was much slower when I registered so I was back with the walkers.  Next year maybe I will get to start sooner.   They had staggered starts so it took awhile for our turn to get going.   We finally crossed the start line at 7:15 a.m.

Waiting for our turn to start.
The first couple of miles were tough.  The back of my thighs were hurting, especially on my left leg, all the way up to my behind.  I really wanted to walk.  I mean I REALLY wanted to walk.  I pushed through because I just knew that if I started walking in mile 2 this race would be as miserable as last year.   I was not going to have that again.  The leg started feeling better after mile 2 so I'm glad I pushed through.  I walked at all the water stations but other than that I kept a pretty steady pace.  I did well with my Shot Bloks and used my inhaler at mile 8 because there was a significant hill for about 3/4 of a mile.    I got really tired after mile 10 and really had to push to keep going.  My pace was still pretty solid so that was good.  

Another thing I love about this race is the supporters.  There are people sitting in their yards with cow bells (and beers!)  People that had made signs for their friends and families and then brought out signs to cheer on the rest of us.  Little kids who wanted to get high fives as the runners go by.  Around mile 5 there was a school that had a whole bunch of parents and kids cheering on the runners.  One of the boys had a sign that said, "You have to be half-crazy to run 13.1 miles."  I told them I was all the way crazy because I am a Middle School Teacher.  The teachers that were standing there laughed big time.  Stuff like that just jazzes me up and makes it a little easier to keep going.  Thank you to all those wonderful people that stood out there and cheered on complete strangers for hours!  You rock!

Mile 12 was where I started having problems.  They had one last water station at mile 12, just a little over one more mile to go.  I walked like I had at every water station throughout the race.  When I started up again I could feel a spot on my left foot that was hurting.  I knew I had a blister.  It was on the inside of my foot and it hurt!  How do I go from just feeling tired to feeling like someone is sticking a pin in my foot in the blink of an eye?  I walked for a bit and adjusted my sock and got going again.  Then suddenly my calves started getting really tight.  I ended up walk/running the last mile.  Not the way I wanted to end but I also didn't want to get injured.  I knew I had been on track to beating my Corvallis Half time but now I wasn't sure.  

Here's how my splits ended up:

Quite a few negative splits and nothing over 13'30" even with having to walk/run the last mile!
I love coming into the end of this race.  There are a ton of people standing on either side of the route going into the track.  Then you hit the track and there are people all along the corner and the stands are full of people.  All those wonderful people who have come to watch their loved ones do this crazy thing.  All of the runners who had already finished and were watching for their friends so they could cheer them on.  I always run the end, no matter how crappy I feel.  Today was no different.  Managed to suck it up and get back to my good pace for the trip around the track.  What a great feeling.  I was pretty sure I was going to PR again and even with the 15 minute difference on the course clock I knew I had PR'd again.  My friend Faylene said she was watching on the live video feed and that I had a big ole smile as I crossed the finish.  :-)  Imagine that.  

Joe was waiting for me in the finisher's area.  He just wrapped his arms around me and asked, "Well?" I started to cry and said that I was pretty sure that I had PR'd again and he just hugged me tighter.  I am very blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive husband.  He NEVER makes me feel like my accomplishments in running are not important.  He can run circles around me and yet he is always proud of me when I make another goal.  I love being married to my best friend!

Yet another finisher medal, another PR and another happy smile.  :-)
Me and my best friend/hubby.  Post-race smiles. :-)
So here are the stats for the last three years of my Eugene Half marathons:

2011 - 3:03:48 with a 14'02" average pace.  (Also, my very first Half Marathon)
2012 - 3:10:23 with a 14'32" average pace.  (Struggled with an upset stomach)
2013 - 2:51:22 with a 13'05" average pace.  (Best time EVER for any Half Marathon!!)

Wasn't able to run the entire thing but came pretty close.  Wasn't able to get a 12'any second average pace but came pretty close.  I've got some goals for next year!

Can't wait to see what I can accomplish next year!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Plover Pacer and other Ponderings

It is has been a busy couple of weeks.  I have been running but really dealing with the tired issue in a big way.  I had to throw in a three day streak of headaches because I'm an overachiever like that.  Can't just have things be easy.  lol

Work is busy.  The end of the school year can be exceptionally busy and super fun.  I'm trying to get through all the stuff we need to cover in a very limited amount of time while I keep thinking "What the heck!  Didn't school just start?"  The fun part is that the students have a lot of the higher level thinking skills down really well and that makes it so we can tackle activities without all the explaining what I'm looking for.  They just hit the ground running.  It's fun to watch.  They don't realize how far they have come.

I have had some really good runs the last two weeks and I have had some really crappy runs.  I have to say that the good runs are outweighing the crappy runs so I'm not complaining too much.  (Only a little.)

My average pace is getting consistently in the low 13 minute range and I'm getting more and more 12 minute miles with an occasional 11 minute mile thrown in.  I still get frustrated because I'm sure that if I was losing weight more consistently then I would be even faster.  I have longer runs this year at the Cascade Lakes Relay and I REALLY want to rock them.  I don't just want to do better than last year.  I want to kick last year's ass!

But first I have to kick ass at the Eugene Half Marathon which is this coming Sunday.  I am getting my butterflies in my stomach already.  I hate that.  I am not trying to win or be in the Olympics.  I really have no reason to be nervous but I always am.  No one is putting pressure on me, just myself and I really am my own worst critic.

The weather has been fantastic this week, in the 70's all week long.  I usually run after work and it has been glorious.  However, with spring in Oregon comes allergies.  On Wednesday I just had to run 3 miles.  My nose was running the whole time and I had a terrible time breathing.  I think I'm going to have to start taking an allergy medicine daily and using my inhaler for all my runs in the spring.  Otherwise the snot and lung factor is going to be a problem.  And believe me, having a snot problem while running is not fun.  Not breathing well isn't a party either, I'm just saying.

I had the funniest thing happen on my run on Monday.  I was running my four mile loop that goes out into the country a bit.  Toward the end of the second mile there are fields on either side of the road.  Every time I run there I see a lot of these little birds, I think they are plovers or killdeer.  They must nest in the ditches or the edge of the field.  They fly in and out of the ditches and the grass as I'm running.  Often they will do this funny chirping sound as I go by so I think I must be near their nests.  Occasionally they will run along the road for a bit before flying away.  Monday there was one of these plovers on the road and it started running down the road in front of me about 10 feet.  Usually they take off after just a little bit but this one didn't.  It just kept running down the road in front of me.  Every once in awhile it would turn and look at me and then take off running again.  It was my little Plover Pacer.  If I sped up, so did it.  If I slowed down, so did it.  It ran in front of me for almost a quarter of a mile.  A car came by and scared it off.  I wonder how far it would have gone if the car hadn't come.  I don't know why but I really got a kick out of this silly little bird running down the road with me.

Plover Pacer
We got a new Sports Authority in Corvallis so we went the other night and checked it out.  I needed something that I could wear to carry my inhaler on longer runs since none of my running pants or skirts have pockets.  I found a nice, light belt that I can fit my inhaler and my Shot Bloks into during my long runs.  I also found a super cute hat to wear.  I always wear a hat when I run.  I can stick my hair out the back in a pony tail which is good because I have a lot of thick hair and it makes me hot if I wear it down.  I also got a pair of capri running pants and a tank top.

The good thing was that I could actually get into both.  The bad thing was they are tight and form fitting so they show off every pudge and bulge I have.  Unfortunately, I still have a lot of pudges and bulges.  They were both XL and the largest size the store had.  I was a little disappointed but didn't feel completely bummed.  I managed to keep focused on the fact that I could wear them if I wanted (but only if I wanted people to cry in fear when they saw me running down the street) and just a few months ago I probably wouldn't have even been able to get them on.  Weight loss is still only at about 18 pounds total since Christmas but clothes are fitting better so that's a plus.  Last night we went to Costco and they had some running Capri's and tank tops.  We dug through the pile looking for XL and found some.  I brought it home and they fit much better then the ones we had gotten earlier.  I know that many women wouldn't think twice about wearing tight clothes but I'm really self-conscious of my "rolls" so I don't like things to be too tight.  This is rather difficult in the running clothes area because I think they are meant to be on the tighter side.  I like to hide my heavy, not flaunt it.

I have a short run tomorrow and then Sunday is the Eugene Half.  The race that started me on all this long distant stuff three years ago.  At that time I was losing weight and getting faster.  It was a few months later that the tired issues and the weight gain started happening.  I thought at the time I would be a skinnier, healthier me by this time.  At this point it has been an entire year that I have been going to the doctor and seeing various specialists and having repeated blood tests to find out what's going on.  So far no definite problem has been found which makes fixing the problem a bit problematic.  :-) 

Hopefully my next blog will be about having another great race.  If not, I will be whining about all that went wrong. 

Check back next time for the continuing story....(I had the Pigs in Space announcer voice from the Muppet Show going in my head while I typed that.  lol)

Keep Running!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Praying for Boston

Today is a sad day.  Bombs were set off in Boston during the Boston Marathon near the finish line.  I'm am incredibly sad by this news.

I'm sad because I feel like a part of the running community and these were my fellow runners.  They were trying to reach their goals and have their moment to shine after a hard fought race.

I'm sad because these were my fellow Americans.  Citizens of my county that I am proud to be a part of, in spite of or rather because of our differences.

I'm sad because these were people.  People anywhere should be able to be out in public and be safe.  Not just feel safe but actually BE safe.

I'll be praying for the people that are in Boston today.

  • I am praying for the runners and their families that they feel God's loving presence.
  • I am praying for people who have loved ones in Boston and are waiting to find out if they are safe that they find out quickly.  
  • I am praying for the first responders and police on scene that they do their jobs well and bring aid and comfort to those hurt.
  • I am praying for the government officials who are in charge of the situation now and during the investigation of what happened.  May they be given wisdom and compassion to do their jobs well.
  • I am praying for all of us that we can figure out a way to disagree or be angry without having to hurt others.  This is not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in.  

When all else fails my limited understanding of why these things can happen I do the only thing I can.  I turn to the Lord for comfort.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Corvallis Half Marathon

Wow!  What a week!  What a day!

Today was race day.  The first of two half marathons that I'm signed up for this month.  This was also the week that I had a cold and my training was the pits!  I ran on Monday and that was it.  Yikes!  Even the run on Monday was a struggle.  I had school and several meetings this week and by the time I got home I practically fell into bed.  Every day that I didn't run made my stomach a little more flip-floppy.  I just didn't think I would do well because I hadn't been able to run all week.

To make matters worse I was at Detroit Lake on Saturday doing a clean up day at the club we are a part of.  Lots of raking and picking up downed tree limbs.  I had been at it a couple of hours and I tripped on a rock and my knee got a little twisted.  It wasn't terrible but my first reaction was "Oh crap!  I have a race tomorrow!!"  I took Advil when I got home and again before bed.  The knee wasn't hurting when I got up.  Sigh of relief!

The nice part about being part of a race that is in a town less than 20 minutes away AND doesn't start until 9:30 a.m. is that you don't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn.  I actually slept until almost 7:00 a.m. which is sleeping in for me, big time!  I got all ready and my friend Faylene came to pick me up.  Both our hubbies had to work today so it was the ladies representing at this run.  Faylene had picked up our packets the day before so I grabbed my bib packet and dumped it on the table and there was a problem.  I had a bib and pins and a zip tie but no timing chip!  Shit!  That's a problem.  So we quick hopped into the car and got on our way to Corvallis.  No problem, we had plenty of time.  It was right at 8:00 a.m. so we had an hour and a half before race time.  We found a good parking spot and headed up to the packet pick-up spot and as I'm starting to explain to the woman what the problem is I look at the envelope and I realize I know exactly what the problem is.  I had Dwayne's bib packet.  Faylene had picked up his too because he was originally not supposed to work.  When she picked it up she turned in the chip so that she wouldn't have to fuss with it today.  Crap!  That means that my packet and chip are back at her house in Albany.

So we hurry to the car and head back home.  I got all my gear ready so that I was good to go and then I would drive after we got to Faylene's house so that she could get all ready too.  We buzz back to Albany trying to be careful with our speed since getting a speeding ticket on top of everything else would have been a total bummer.  Faylene jumps out of the car and runs into her house while I hop out and move over to the drivers seat.  All of a sudden Faylene comes out and jerks open the driver's side door.  I was laughing and saying that I thought I was driving.   She pulls the lever to open the trunk of the car.  OMG!  The packet was in the trunk of her car the whole time!  I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants (which on a race day is a very real concern!)  Faylene gets back in the car and is saying bad words and I am dying laughing.  It was such a comedy of errors!

So, once more it is back to Corvallis.  We got back to Reser Stadium at about 9:00 a.m.  We didn't get as good a parking spot as we had at 8:00 a.m.  But at least we still had 30 minutes to spare.  :-)  We got over towards the start line and I found my brother-in-law Steve.  This was his first Half Marathon.  He is a fast runner and in great shape so I knew he would do awesome.  It was fun to see him and help him figure out how to attach the timing chip to his shoe and show him where to line up.  Made me feel all experienced!  lol

My and my brother-in-law Steve before the race.

Best Friend, Faylene and fabulous brother-in-law Steve.  Ready to kick butt!
Before the race begin I also found lots of my friends, both new and old, to say hi to and get hugs from.  So much fun to see everyone and wish each other good luck.  It really does feel like you are part of a big, special club when you are involved in any kind of race.  It doesn't matter if it's a 5K and you are walking, a 10K or a farther.  Everyone just want's everyone to go out and rock their best!  So much fun!

So the race began.  I started out a little too fast but I felt pretty good.  I did slow it down a bit for mile two.  There were several hills in this race starting after mile 4.  They were very deceptive because it was a gradual incline that just kept going and going.

I think I did pretty good for me.  My average pace was low for me on a short run for most of the race.  After mile 10 though I ran out of gas.  This has been something I have been struggling with on my long runs and I got much farther before it hit this time.  That's a bonus.  Still, it was aggravating to be so close to finishing and know that I was slowing down.  I had to dig deep to speed up for that last mile, which took forever!  I think the last mile felt longer than the 12 miles I did before.  Yikes!

It was a beautiful thing to come around the corner into Reser Stadium.  What a fun way to finish!  I came around the last corner and could see the finish line and the big clock with the time on it.  I had done it!  I finally broke three hours!  And not just barely but by 6 minutes!!!!!!  And my wonderful friends were waiting for me and yelling and screaming because they knew this was a big deal for me.  I just started crying.  I'm crying right now writing about it.  I ran up to where they were standing and got huge hugs from all of them.  Then I cried some more.  (Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a cryer.  Happy tears, sad tears, mom tears, the list goes on.)  All the work and effort I had put in since Christmas had payed off.  I ran 13 miles with an average pace that was almost 3 minutes faster average pace than the run I did the day after Christmas and that was 2.70 miles.  I think that's worth getting excited about!

I think I have had more pictures taken of myself in the last four months than I have in the last four years.  This one is special.  Mostly because I know the emotions I was having at that moment and it was AWESOME!  There are some other pictures out and about.  As I get copies I will add them.

Two weeks until the Eugene Half Marathon.  I will have to change my goal for that one.  Now I want to get under 3 hours AND have an average overall pace of 12' anything.  :-)  Gotta keep challenging myself.  

Counting my blessings again!
  • Thank Faylene Gardner for being my best friend and always cheering me on.
  • Thank you Wendi and Josh Gum, you guys always make me feel like a rock star.
  • Thank you to my three amazing kids for letting me take the time to go for my runs and believing in me too.  
  • Thank you to the wonderful community of runners who always are encouraging with high fives and "you got this" comments, whether I'm just training or in a race.  You never make me feel like I don't belong because I'm heavy.  
  • Thank you to my wonderful parents and siblings who cheer me on and listen to all my whining and struggles and still believe I can do this.  You rock and I have a great family!
  • The biggest thanks goes to my very best friend and husband.  He listens to my whining.  He cheers on my victories large and small.  He never makes me feel like my accomplishments are any less important than his even though he could kick my butt from here to next week.  He worries about me, encourages me and just loves me, no matter what size I am.  Can't get much better than that!  I love you Joe!  
I know, it sounds like I just won an Oscar.  That's kind of how I feel.  :-)

Going to work on my training for the next two weeks and see what I can do in Eugene.  But no matter what I'm a winner.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I get inspired by many things.  People I love, people I don't know, movies, books, true stories about overcoming immense odds, memes on Pinterest and Facebook and even YouTube videos.  This is a video that I found that I love.  I mean I LOVE it.  This kid is awesome!! Kid President and his brother-in-law make these videos together.  I found out after I had watched this Pep Talk that Kid President has brittle bone disease.   Get ready for one awesome pep talk:

I am a 43 year old woman whose biggest struggle is being tired and having a difficult time losing weight.  Big freaking deal.  This is a nine year old kid who has to be careful about how he sits down or bumps into a chair because he could break a bone.  He has such a positive attitude and a fantastic outlook on life.  Every time I watch this video it makes me smile and makes me appreciate my life and all I have been blessed with.

I showed the video to my students a while back and asked them to write down one piece of advice they loved from this pep talk.  Here is just a few things they came up with:

1.  You can cry about it or you can DANCE about it.
2.  We are all part of the same team.
3.  I'm on the road to AWESOME!!!
4.  Don't stop believing, unless your dream is stupid, then get a new dream. lol

"You can cry about it or you can DANCE about it" has become a class motto for all of my classes.  It's been fun to say it and apply it to our daily lives.  There are days where someone will be frustrated and mad and I'll say "Well, you can cry about it or...." and then either they say "Dance about it" or the entire class does.  And then we all do a little dance.  You can't help but be in a better mood and smile a bit when your goofy teacher and your classmates are dancing around you.  Believe me!  I have had students try to stay grumpy and it just doesn't work.  :-)

I have had many people tell me that they read my blog and how I'm such an inspiration.  I find that to be rather funny.  How am I an inspiration?  I'm not overcoming cancer or some horrible disease or any kind of disability.  Soldiers injured in war are an inspiration.  People who overcome disabilities are an inspiration.  Parents who help their children succeed in spite of overwhelming obstacles of poverty and racism are inspirations.  Basically I am just a woman who is too stubborn to give up.  And I'm facing an issue of weight.  Not life threatening weight problems or other related health issues that come with being morbidly obese.  In the big picture, my issues are teeny tiny.  Sometimes, when I am frustrated with my lack of progress, it helps me to look at the big picture and realize my problems aren't that bad.

For all the people who have inspired me in the past, THANK YOU!!  You have helped me on my journey.

For all the people who say I am inspiring them, THANK YOU!! You are helping me on my journey too!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Frustrations and Victories, all in the same week!! :-)

I'm starting to get nervous about my two half marathons this month.  The Corvallis Half is only a week away.  The Eugene Half is only three weeks away.  Yikes.  My stomach does flip flops every time I think about it.  Not because I am worried about whether I can do it or not.  I know I can run 13 miles, I've done it before.  I'm worried that I will not meet my goals for improvement and that I will be disappointed.  I'm very competitive with myself.  Funny, I think everyone else is awesome just for doing the race but for myself I get bummed if I don't accomplish what I want.

Here are my goals:

Corvallis Half:  To run the whole thing and have a better time then last year.  Last year my time was 3:07:40.  Which was pretty good considering that I walked at least 3 miles of the race.  My pace was 14'20".  Definitely hoping for a better pace then that.

Eugene Half:  To run the whole thing and have a Personal Record for a half marathon under three hours.  Last year I finished in 3:10:23 with an average pace of 14'31" per mile.  I had to walk a lot of the race and I just felt yucky the entire time.  My stomach was upset and I had no energy.  This was when the tired factor was really bad so I'm sure that was a factor.  The first year I did this race was in 2011 and it was my first Half Marathon.  I finished in 3:03:48 with a pace of 14'02".  I have not been able to beat that time yet.

In order for me to get a finish under 3 hours I have to have an average pace per mile of 13'44".  I know I can do that over shorter runs but I'm really worried about what will happen over the longer distances.  I have had problems with running out of steam after about mile 7.  It would really be the pits if I was rocking my pace for most of the run and blow it for the last three miles because I run out of steam.  I will be using my 11 mile run this week and the Corvallis Half the next week to try different things (Shot Bloks, etc.) to figure out a plan before the Eugene Half.  The Eugene Half is the one that I want to kick butt on since it was my very first Half and it is where I did my best time ever.

What will happen if I don't make my goals.  Nothing really.  They are just for me.  The world will not stop.  Nobody at the race will care about the heavy lady who finished 9,000th.  But for me it will be a big bummer.  And to be perfectly honest I will cry about it and probably mope around for a few days because I'm disappointed with myself.  Then my hubby will tell me to get over it and I will move on to the next race and the next goal.  It will probably motivate me to work even harder for the next one.  My pace at the Shamrock Run according to my Nike+ app was 13'24" but official race time was 14'04".  If the official race pace is 14'04" in Eugene then I won't make my goal.  Ok, enough of that.  I'm psyching myself out already.

There are days where I think I have totally got this and days where I think that I'm just going to keep being the fat girl huffing and puffing around the track.


I went to the Endocrinologist Thursday.  My doctor sent me to the specialist with the thought that the specialist would dig deeper to try and figure out the tired/slow weight loss issues I'm having.  Sigh.  It was not a productive visit.  Again, I'm over 40 and it gets harder to to lose weight for women in their 40's.  Evidently the stress I went through 12 years ago with the farm is why I gained weight and now can't lose it.  Did you know that I would be less tired if I lost weight?  Why, thank you, I never thought heard that.  Why didn't I try that?  Oh wait, I have been trying!  More blood tests.  Not because she thought anything was wrong but because she figured we can rule out the obvious stuff.  As far as she can tell from her examination I am perfectly healthy in every way except that I'm overweight.  Her suggestion was that I eat fewer calories and join Weight Watchers.  And maybe I should do more cross training and build more muscle.

I'm trying so hard to keep a good attitude and be positive about the changes I am making.  Days like this make it really hard.  I don't think this was the digging deeper for answers my regular doctor was hoping for when he sent me to the specialist.  I have lost 15 pounds sine December 26th.  This averages out to about 1 pound per week.  However,  I lost 9 the first week and I think that was just holiday bloat.  So that means I have lost an additional 6 pounds in the 14 weeks since which works out to be less than half a pound a week.  A half a pound a week is progress, I will acknowledge that.  However, with the healthy choices I am making with my eating, the reduced calories I am eating AND the fact that I am running 20+ miles a week AND swimming and doing weights at least once a week I should be losing more.  I'm trying to do this the healthy way that will be lasting.  Not the fad diet, shakes or bars.  I want to develop good habits that help me become a healthy person, lose weight and keep it off.  If I'm doing everything right why is that not happening?  I didn't enjoy going to the doctor and basically get patted on the head and told to do more.

It makes me want to go eat a lot of ice cream, pizza, and all kinds of other really yummy things.  lol  But I know that won't help me be successful and will only make me backtrack and I like being able to say that I am doing everything I'm supposed to.  So I'm going to keep doing what I'm supposed to.  :-)

I will go back to my regular doctor one more time and talk with him about it.  After that I think I will just keep doing what I'm doing and resign myself to the fact that losing weight will be a slow process and being tired all the time is my reality.  Not much I can do about it so I am going to keep working on what I can control and give the rest to God.

On the other side, I have had an amazing week of running.  Go figure.


Monday: I had a nice four mile run in beautiful weather that I had an average pace of 12'57".  This made me happy. I get pretty happy about anything under 13 minutes and to average less than over four miles is awesome.

Tuesday:  I was supposed to run hills so I went over to North Albany.  Got a late start but we were still having some of the nice weather that I brought home with me from Palm Desert so it was almost 70 degrees.  Hills and heat are usually not a good combo for me but I felt pretty good.  I was a little worried about how I would do because I forgot my inhaler.  I did have to concentrate on my breathing and I did have to pause my Nike+ at the top of the hill and get my breath back.  On my way back I could tell that I was getting the average down so my last mile I turned up the speed and was shooting for an 11 minute anything mile at the end.  I ended with a 12'12" mile at the end of a 5 mile run with hills.  Still really great for me so I was happy and my average pace was 12'52" which was just a smidge faster than Monday's run.  Not too shabby considering it was a mile longer and had hills.

Wednesday:  Had my 30 minute swim and then did some weights at home.  The swim felt good and I think I'm getting stronger in the water every week.  At least I'm not snorting as much water up my nose.  I hate that!

Thursday:  Rest day and doctor visit.  Talk about sucking the wind out of my sails.  I was a weepy walrus on Thursday!  Only let myself mope about it for the evening.

Friday:  I was SO tired when I got home.  It was raining.  I really didn't feel like running AT ALL!!  But I went.  And it was good.  Actually it was pretty awesome!!  So glad I went.  I ran 4 miles, just a loop down the main road by my house.  I thought I was starting out slow but the first 1/2 mile report was that I was running a low 12 minute mile.  So I slowed it down and at a mile I was still at an under 13 minute pace.  Well, I felt good and it wasn't a super long run so I decided to see if I could get negative splits for every mile AND get the last mile to be 11 minutes, any seconds.  If at some point I had to stop or slow down, oh well.  I walked at crosswalks just to get a little breath back but ran the whole thing.  I'm a happy runner!  It was a great run!

I got an 11 minute mile!!!!!  Woot Woot!!

Check out my pace right at the very end of the run!  SWEET!
I ran this one with an average pace of 12'16" and the last mile was 11'26".  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was when I got done.  I was tired and I could tell I had worked hard to get it done.  However, I did not feel like death was imminent or like I was going keel over from lack of oxygen.  That in itself was a huge accomplishment for me.

I went from feeling like nothing was working and doctors were stupid on Thursday to feeling like a rock star on Friday.

I'm going to stick with the rock star feeling.  It is WAY more fun!

Saturday: Today's run was supposed to be 11 miles.   I started out really slow (for real) and just work at picking up the pace a teeny bit as I go.  I have pushed it all week so I figured I would get the miles in and just try and enjoy the run.  Especially since I will be at it for awhile.  lol  The first seven miles went pretty good and I was getting negative splits.  But about mile four it started to rain.  Not just sprinkles or a light drizzle but a full on downpour and it kept pouring for almost an hour. My the time I got done with mile 7 I was completely soaked to the skin and my socks were sliding around.  I was worried about getting blisters so I decided to walk for a bit.  I was already shivering because I was so cold but I really wanted my 11 miles.  I ended up doing 9 miles.  I just couldn't stop shivering and I didn't want blisters the week before the Corvallis Half.  I decided that I had pushed hard all week and it wouldn't be the end of the world if I cut this one short.  I hope that doesn't bite me in the but later.  I got up early so I could get the run done and then go watch Joe do the Beaver Freezer Triathlon.  He wants me to video his transitions so he can see what he does and maybe make some changes before the Ironman in June.  Normally not getting my full miles in would make me very frustrated but for some reason I'm totally okay with it today.  Maybe because I know I have been rocking the runs all week it isn't the end of the world if I don't rock every run.  I certainly don't want to get an injury at this point because I didn't give myself a break.

Another fun thing that happened on Wednesday that helps balance out the crappy doctor visit on Thursday was a visit to my old school.  I had to stop by to pick up my friend because she didn't have her car and needed a ride home.  Which I totally love to do because we get talk time on the way home.  Of course I had to pop in and say hi to everyone.  I really love where I'm working now but I really miss my Pioneer Peeps!  I had several people say that I was looking really good and they could see changes.  So weight isn't coming off so much but changes are happening.  My poor husband was all disgusted because he has been telling me that for weeks but I didn't believe him.  But I will believe my friends. lol  Well, they haven't seen me for a few months so they would see the difference better.  He sees me every day and is I think he is just trying to be supportive.  Which he totally he is!  Love my guy!

Goober #3 took this picture of me after I got done with my run on Friday.  I think the smile says it all!
I may be Running in Place and getting nowhere fast but I'm beginning to enjoy the journey more!  Happy Running!  


Monday, April 1, 2013


I have been thinking about hope a lot lately.  What is hope?  How do we get it?  What happens to us when it is gone? 

I have had Parent/Teacher Conferences a couple of weeks ago.  Conferences are a double edged sword for teachers, at least for me they are.  You want to celebrate what kids are doing right!  Kids are fabulous and every single one of them is doing something right.  Some kids you have to search harder for what it is they are doing right and others it is pretty easy.   The kids that always make right choices and turn in all their assignments and do beautiful work are the easy ones.  I enjoy them and they make teaching seem a breeze.  It's the ones that make me want to bang my head against a wall that are the reason I teach. 

It is quite possible that many of the kids that I teach who don't turn in work, mess around in class and in general are as disruptive as possible are the ones that need someone to care about them the most.  My way of caring is to have high expectations, consistency in rewards and consequences and to try and have as much fun as possible along the way.  Some of them don't have anyone at home that thinks they can be better, or makes them follow rules or gives appropriate and consistent consequences when they make poor choices.  A lot of these kids have given up.  They don't have hope.  They may leave my class with an F because I'm not going to lower my standards just cause I like a student.  But there are going to leave my class knowing that I pushed them to be better the entire time they were in my class.  I believe in them, even when they are getting an F. 

I had one student before Spring Break who I called over to my desk to talk with.  He sauntered over and says to me, "Are you going to give me one of those talks about how much you care about me and believe in me?  And how you know I can do better and I need to believe in myself.  And education is the key to making my life different."  I had to laugh.  He's heard it all before.  So my response was, "No, I want to tell you to quit being a lazy whiner and suck it up and do your work."  He laughed and said that that was a new one, he hadn't heard that before.  He's 13 years old and already playing the system.  It's really sad.  I do like him and he does have a lot of potential and really could change his life.  He chooses not to and I think it is because he has no hope of anything better or different.  For all I know his teachers may be the only ones who are shining any kind of light in his life. 

I want to be the teacher that helps kids start believing that they can do or be more.  I want to be the teacher that is their biggest cheerleader.  The one who celebrates every victory with them, big or small, in the classroom or out of it.  I also want to be the teacher that is on their case when they make bad choices, don't turn in work, turn in sloppy work, don't show up for school and holds them accountable.  I want them to learn that someone who really cares about them will celebrate the good and harass them about the bad.  :-) 

Okay, enough teacher talk.  What does this have to do with my running and getting healthy you might ask.  A great deal actually. 

As I have been on my journey the past few months I have been staggered by the support and love I receive from my family and friends.  They celebrate my successes and when I am having bad days and am down on myself, becoming Madam Crabby Pants, they encourage me or kick me in the butt (depends on who it is and what I need, lol!).  I have hope.  When days are frustrating or hard I know there will be days that are better and some days that will be spectacular.  I cling to that on the days that I am struggling, either with my attitude or with my body not cooperating with what I want it to do. 

The definition of hope is:

1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence : trust

I know that I have had very little success in losing weight.  But I have hope that we will figure out why that part of the equation isn't working.  I have hope that I am making enough changes in my lifestyle that my body will eventually figure out I'm serious about this and get with the program.  Some days I am clinging to hope by my fingernails and other days I feel full of it.  Either way I still have it.  And I plan to keep it!  Because I see every day at work what having no hope looks like.  How can I give up hope about something I have a certain degree of control in?  Many of my students have horrible lives and absolutely no control over any of it.  No wonder they have given up. They don't realize that school is the one area that they do have control over and can lead to giving them the hope they have lost.  What kind of example do I set for them and my own kids if I'm not willing to show them that you can have hope.  I will work out and eat healthy and concentrate on the things I can control.  I will have hope that the rest will eventually work out.  I think that is one of the examples I am trying to live in front of my students.  One asked me the other day why I kept trying when I wasn't seeing the results I wanted.  I told him that if I quit now I will NEVER see the results I want but if I keep working at it I can hope that I will, sooner or later.  :-)  Kids file all these little conversations away and think about them whether they realize it or not.  I want my example to be that hoping is worth it but you have to work at life in the meantime.  Nothing worth doing is easy.  My students have been teasing me because I have been using my running as examples for many of our monthly character traits and our discussions about them.  I think they like that I'm real and honest about how sometimes things work and other times they don't but you have to keep trying.  :-)  Adults struggle and have successes and disappointments.  If kids don't see how we handle it when things are tough they won't know how to pick themselves up and try again. 

There are many verses in the Bible about hope and faith.  One of my favorites is this one.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

Hope is about the inside.  My outside may not be where I want it to be but my inside is focusing on hope!  God has been showing me that I have so many things to be thankful for.  How can I do anything but have hope and trust in Him for the rest?  He hasn't failed me yet.  And the times I thought He had because what I wanted didn't happen.  Well, let's just say I'm glad He is in control because things ended up being better then I could have ever imagined.  I would have totally messed things up if I had gotten my way.

My run tonight was good for me.  I had to work hard but I kept a good pace and overall was pretty happy with how it went.  It was nice to run in the Oregon air instead of the dry desert air from last week.


Tomorrow it's a hill run.  It will be fun to see how much better I do since the last time I did my hills.  I have hope that I will see improvement.  If I don't then I guess I will know what I need to work on.

Keep running and keep hoping!!