Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sights I See ;-)

I normally don't do two posts back to back but I forgot to include a tidbit from this past weeks runs.  :-)

On Sunday's run last week  I ran down 34th Ave to start with and I was getting close to the end of the street and I noticed something hanging from a tree.  At first I though someone had hung a hat on a branch.

As I got closer I realized it was a BRA!  I had to laugh, how did a bra get into a tree on a busy street?

I kept going but the thought of the bra in the tree gave me many chuckles along my run.

I was telling my friend Betsy about it and we were laughing.  I told her I wish I had taken a picture of it for my blog.  She said I should go that way again and take a picture if it was.

Yesterday I made my route for my long run start out down 34th Ave.  About 1.5 miles in I approached the tree.  Would it still be there?  Or did I lose my opportunity to record the bra in the tree for prosperity?

Lucky me!  It was still there!

Bra that is hooked and on a branch.
Bra in a tree (No, it's not mine)
  • How did the bra get here?
  • Why did the bra get here?
  • Does the owner realize it's in a tree?
  • Does the owner care that it's in a tree?

Inquiry minds want to know.  Actually, maybe I don't want to know.  The answer may be more disturbing than I can handle.  (And no it's not mine.  None of mine are missing and this one is too small.)  lol

You just never know what you are going to see when you are out for a run.  Adventures await, lace up your shoes and get out there!  :-)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Weeks-Lots of Ups, a Few Downs

It's been two weeks since my last post and I know my four followers are probably worried about me.  It has been a busy couple of weeks.  I am working hard at work and school.  Oh ya, and running.  :-)  There is a big difference in the amount of running I have done this September compared to last September.

I tried out my new trail shoes and they were great.  I loved the bigger size and didn't feel like my toes were pressing against the end of my shoes when I was going down hill.  I also felt better in general and even ran some parts of the trail.  It felt so much better than any of my runs the week before so my husband was right.  I needed to take a break.  Glad I did because the last two weeks have been much better.  We tried out a new trail that started out on Highway 99 by the Adair gate and met up with the Nettleton loop we have done before.  We passed part of the Peavy Arboretum and the whole trail was really beautiful.

Me at Peavy Arboretum 
It was a little rainy when we went on the hike but the leaves haven't gotten serious about falling yet so we didn't get wet with all the tree cover.

Self image is such a funny thing.  I know that I'm looking better and getting healthier every day.  I'm trying to be more willing to have my picture taken because I don't want to be the person who never does because of how I look.  But I will be honest.  It is hard for me to look at pictures of myself.  I see chubby legs, flabby arms and a poochy stomach.  This makes my husband so frustrated with me.  He hates it when I pick at my looks.  I know that's not what other people see.  It's an area that I'm really working on now.  I see the positive in everyone else, I need to be more willing to see the positive in myself.

My next three runs were just three mile runs.  This was what my training plan calls a recovery week.  All three runs went very well.  The first had an average pace of 11'47, the second was 12'09 and the third was 11'46!  Wow!  All the defeat and frustrations that I felt the week before were annihilated!  This is a serious improvement in my speed and I was very stoked.  Saturday I had to do a 7.5 mile run and I was a bit nervous about how it would go, especially since I hadn't run my long run the week before.

That run was excellent.  I had a consistent pace and felt really good the whole time.  My average pace was 12'18!  I have never done a run that far with a pace that low.  I have to say I did a little happy dance when I got home.

This past week was a little rougher.  My Monday run was a four mile run and I had an average pace of 11'49" which I think is the fastest I have ever done for that distance.  That felt pretty good.  I also liked that I had a really steady pace.  I wasn't slowing down and then speeding up to try and make up for it.  I just trucked along.

Nice steady pace with a little spurt at the end to finish fast.  :-)
Tuesday was a long day at work and I was really tired when I got home.  I was supposed to do five miles with a 1-2% incline.  It was pouring down rain and I didn't want to run in it and I just couldn't bring myself to run on the dreadmill so I didn't do my run.

Wednesday I got up early and did my swim.  It felt pretty good.  I did 750 yards in 25 minutes.  The first 500 felt good, the last 250 was a struggle but I really want to work and doing that distance without a kickboard or fins since that is the distance in the triathlon I'm doing.  Two weeks until the triathlon and I'm starting to get nervous about it.  I just don't want to embarrass myself.  :-)  I got to school at 7:30 a.m. for a meeting.  Wednesday was an Early Release day for the students so they left at 1:30 and then we had meetings for the afternoon.  That was followed up by Open House which lasted until 7:30 pm.  That was a very long day!

Thursday I woke up with a headache.  It was a pretty bad one so I took some medicine and took things kind of slow getting ready for work.  I headed to work but on the drive in the headache got worse and by the time I got to the school I had a full blown migraine on my hands.  I haven't had one that bad for over two years.  It was so painful I knew that I could not work.  So I put in for a sick day, made sub plans and headed back home.  I got in the house, took more medicine,  crawled under a blanket on the couch and slept from 9:00 a.m until 1:00 p.m.  I woke up, ate something and then fell asleep again.  I woke up around 3:30 to the sound of a parent, sitting in their car outside of my house waiting to pick up their child from the elementary school around the corner that had his stereo blasting.  I could hear it very clearly in my house, with no windows or doors open.  The bass made a nice rhythm with the banging in my head.  I walked outside and asked him to please turn it down.  He seemed surprised that I could hear it in the house.  But he did turn it down.  Sometimes I am amazed at how unaware people are of their surroundings and how things they do affect others.

I'm really glad that Thursday was a rest day because I wouldn't have been working out even if I was supposed to.  I did manage to get my homework done for my class and that took quite a bit of concentration that evening.  I went to bed early and slept like a rock.  Friday I woke up and felt so much better.  I am pretty sure that the migraine was because I was over-tired and a bit stressed with some added things at work, grad school and trying to balance family, work, school and running.  On the plus side, the students really missed me and did surprisingly well for the sub which isn't always the case, especially this soon in the school year.

Friday I ran three miles.  This time I ran from the house and then had my route end at the pool so I could do a swim workout with my friend Betsy.  I had another good run with a pace of 11'49".  Then we swam, sort of.  It was more like we swam a lap and then talked, swam another lap and talked some more.  Repeat.  Then we went and sat in the hot tub with Joe and Meighan.

Today I had to do an 11 mile run.  I really didn't want to do it.  It is so far and takes so much time.  And I haven't run that far in months so I was pretty sure that when it was over I was going to be feeling it. Also, the weather was not good.  A big storm was arriving in the Pacific Northwest and things were just getting started.  But I knew that I couldn't put it off until Sunday because the weather was supposed to be downright nasty by Saturday night and only going to get worse on Sunday.  So off I went.  The wind was awful!  I ran straight into the wind from about mile 1.5 to 3.  I felt like I was slogging along.  It was a little better when I turned but then the wind made me feel like I was getting pushed sideways into the ditch so I had to work to run in a straight line.  When I finally got onto Three Lakes Road, mile 6, I had the wind at my back and that was so much better.  I felt really good until mile 9.  Then I hit the wall.....hard!  The last two miles were a struggle.  They were a struggle to run, they were a struggle not to quit and walk and they were a struggle not to shortcut the run and go straight home.  I had to really do battle with both mind and body.  My body hurt and it was hard to to keep going.  Everything seemed to start hurting or getting tight at the same time.  Then my mind started up.  I had done 9 miles and that was really good.  Nobody would know/care if I didn't do the whole 11 miles.  It wouldn't hurt to go home, after all the weather is crappy, nobody would blame me if I didn't finish because of the weather.

Long Run!
I would know.  I would be mad at myself for not doing what I was supposed to do.  I knew my friend Betsy was doing 12 miles this morning and I had told her I was doing 11.  By golly I was going to do the whole 11.  I was NOT going to tell her that I quit early or walked.

I was supposed to run an easy 11 miles which means that I am not supposed to push it to try and be fast.  I'm not supposed to run at race pace.  But I kept it at a 12'55" average pace for the first 9 miles.  The last two miles blew that pace.  I ended with an average pace of 13'10".  I've had worse and actually this is a really good pace for me at this distance.  I'm hoping that if I can do this well (mostly) for a training run then I will be able to do even better for the Runaway Pumpkin Half next month.  We shall see.  I keep telling myself I have to trust in the training.

My first month of work, school, running and family is just about done.  Some things have gone well.  Some things I will need to work at.  Feeling a bit behind at work.  Can't seem to find my rhythm this year with all the extra meetings.  I'll get there eventually.  School is going well and I turn in my last assignment tomorrow to finish up my first course.  Didn't miss any assignments and so far am getting a good grade so that's a good feeling.  My family doesn't appear to be too upset with me or how things are going.  I don't think I have become the crazed woman that sometimes appears when I am completely overwhelmed.  I only missed to workouts in my training plan for the month of September and that is really amazing.

Slight difference in my commitment to working out between last year and this year in September!
I am going to have to work on doing a little better with the housework.  The family has stepped up but no one seems to want to step up and tackle the bathrooms.  I'm going to try and get to those tomorrow before something grabs my leg the next time I'm in the shower.  It's almost to the gross stage which is not good!  

Looking forward to October getting here and getting my next to races in the books. 

Whether you are a slow runner or a fast runner, you are on your first run or a seasoned veteran of the roads, way to go!  Keep at it!  Good for you!  :-)  From this slow runner who is getting faster, it's worth the effort!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Running Shoes Make Everything Better!

Since there must be balance in the Force it seems that since last week I felt like I rocked, this week I need to struggle.
Beautiful trail run with my hubby.
Monday evening I got off work and came home to do my four mile run.  My husband asked if I wanted to do a trail run with him.  Since he never runs with me cause I'm so slow I said yes.  We headed out on the trail around 6:00 p.m. and it was nice to run in the trees because it was so hot.  It was still hot but at least the sun wasn't beating down on us.  I felt winded and tired right from the start.  I couldn't seem to find a good rhythm and just felt "off".  Then I got frustrated because I really wanted to do well since I don't have many opportunities to run with my husband and I was pretty much sucking it up.  Had to stop once to use my inhaler, had to stop another time to walk just because I was so frustrated.  Average pace was 14'37" per mile.  Not anywhere near the pace I was doing last week, even factoring in that I would be a little slower because it was a trail didn't account for this.

On the flip side, the trail was really pretty, I had great company and I got it done.  I figured that it was just a bad day and it would get better.

Tuesday I had to run intervals on the track again.  This week I had to do six sets of three minute sprints with five minute slow in between and a 1/2 mile warm up and cool down jog.  I went right after work and it was hot, I mean HOT!  And after a full day of sweltering in a hot, stuffy classroom with middle school bodies I was already hot.  I made sure I had plenty of water and after stalling for awhile talking to my husband I finally went out to get it done in the lovely 92 degree heat.  For the second day I felt sluggish and not in my groove.  I got the work out done but my sprints weren't as fast as the intervals I had done last week even accounting for the heat and the longer duration for the sprints I felt it should have felt better than it did.

Wednesday was my cross training day so I got up early and got my swim done.  Even my swim didn't go well.  I felt like I was swimming in molasses and again, about all I could say when it was over was that I did it.  I certainly didn't do it well.

Thursday was a rest day, from exercising anyway.  I stayed at work until 7:30 p.m. trying to get some things done.  I have been feeling like I have been playing catch up at work since school started and wanted to try and get ahead.  :-)

Friday we had made plans after work so rather than run after school I decided to get up early and run in the morning.  I figured this way I could beat the heat and maybe have a better run.  I was really hoping it was the heat that was getting to me.  Nope.  I had another sucky run.  I was so discouraged when I got done.  My average pace was 13'38".  I realize that six months ago I would have been thrilled with that pace.  But last week my average pace on this exact same route was 12'47" and that was after school when it was hot.  But at least I didn't have to come home, go for a hot and frustrating run and then go to dinner.  I just got to come home and go to dinner.  Had a great evening with Goober #3 and my hubby.
Joe and I sporting our new Mickey Mouse shirts that Betsy bought us when she went to Disneyland for the Disneyland Half Marathon.   She spoils us! :-)
My husband said that I needed to take a break.  He thought that I have been pushing hard and my body needed me to back off a bit.  I messaged my friends that have been/are going through this same journey of becoming healthy and basically vented to them too.  Between my husband and my friends I got the message.  Take a break, your body is talking to you.  You aren't quitting (we won't let you), you are doing what you need to in order to be better later.  My husband thought it was funny that I wouldn't take his advice until my girlfriends gave the same advice.

I was supposed to do a 10 mile long run today.  Instead I drove to Salem and bought running and trail shoes.  If you can't run, then go buy stuff for when you can.  :-)

If you live in the Salem area or the surrounding area you need to go check out Gallagher's Fitness is downtown Salem.  They are fantastic.  We have been to several stores that specialize in running shoes and apparel and always go back to Gallagher's for our shoes.  They have our name on file and can tell us exactly what we bought last time.  They have a spot to run in the store with the shoes on and all of their salespeople can talk knowledgeably about your stride, foot strike, and what kind of shoe would be best for you.  I have worn Nike, Asics and Brooks.  I am a Brooks girl.  Nike has been hit and miss.  One shoe will feel great and then the next will be the pits.  I have had one pair of Asics and they hurt my feet anytime I ran in them more than four miles.  Not good when you are training for a Half Marathon.  I have yet to have a pair of Brooks that weren't awesome.

Here's a link to check out their website:

The one problem I have always had when I get new shoes is that for the first few months my toes get numb during my long run.  I also have had a problem with losing my toenail on the toe next to my big toe after my runs that are longer than 10 miles.  I wondered if maybe I should be wearing a slightly bigger shoe.  So I took my old shoes with me.  I have always had a tendency for my ankles to fall inward and have worn off the tread on my shoes in a weird way.  I thought it might be good to make sure I didn't need a different shoe to help compensate for that.

Worn tread to be proud of!
I went in to the store and talked to the young lady about what I was looking for.  I wish I had asked her what her name was but she was fabulous to work with.  I showed her my shoes and she said, "That is worn tread to be proud of!"  I had to laugh.  She explained that not only did it show that I had put some serious miles in on these shoes but it also was evenly worn down and showed a good foot strike.  I have worked really hard on my posture and how I run this year so I got a big kick out this.

New tread, old tread.  
I also talked to her about how my toes get numb and I lose toenails.  She went and got me a pair of Brooks Adrenalins that were the same size as the ones I had so she could see how they looked.  She said no way, they were way to small.  She then got me a pair that was a half a size bigger but she still felt like my toes were to close to the end.  I was kind of bummed because the first pair was purple and that's my favorite color.  The second pair was blue.  She went to go see if there was an even bigger pair (11 1/2 in women's, I'm a serious bigfoot!).  Unfortunately the only pair that they had in that size were a narrow and that wasn't going to work.  She found me a pair of men's regular that would be the equivalent size and were regular width for men but would be considered a wide for women.  The fit great and I really liked how they felt.  They were blue as well.  We decided that I needed to jazz them up so I bought hot pink laces to add a little sparkle.  :-)

Brooks Adrenalins....with Sparkle.
Needed new trail shoes as well! (Also Brooks)
Tomorrow I will go hiking in my new trail shoes.  Monday I will run again.  Hopefully it will be better than this week.  But even if it isn't I'm still going to do it.  I will not give up and I will not give in!  I'm going to keep moving.  Because new running shoes make everything better, right?  :)  Time to create worn tread I can be proud of again.  :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Busy & Crazy Week!

The first week of school is done and it was a doozy of a start to the school year.  :-)

Tuesday was the first day for 6th graders.  All hands on deck to make sure they had a good day and felt at least a little more comfortable about starting middle school.  I think the parents that came to drop them off were more terrified than the kids.  Having a child go to middle school is a big change for the parents too.  We handed out schedules, we had an assembly, we did tours of the building and grounds, we had lunch with the kids and then the rest of the afternoon they were with their homeroom teacher and we could finish up getting ready for the 7th and 8th graders the next day.

I got my room finished up, made some copies and then changed my clothes.  I needed to do intervals and I had decided to use the track behind the school.  I figured there wouldn't be anyone around and I didn't want to run on the high school tracks because I was pretty sure there would be football practice.  I didn't think about Pop Warner football practice.  I was about half way through my intervals when all these boys start showing up, and parents with lawn chairs.  There were little boys (1st graders maybe) all the way up to 8th graders.  Lucky me, it was the 7th & 8th grade boys who were practicing on the field inside of the track.  There were about five of them that saw me and said "Hi, Mrs. V."  Great.  I'm out here dying in the heat and trying to sprint for two minutes at a time with my students, former and soon to be new watching me.  It was really tempting to quit and call it good.  But I'm trying not to do that anymore so I kept at it.  My training called for 8x2 (eight times sprinting for two minutes) with five minute slow jog in between.  Half mile slow run to warm up and a 1/2 mile slow run to cool down at the end.  I had a really hard time breathing after the first two sets so I was walking the five minutes instead of jogging but I did manage to walk at a brisk pace.  At one point, when I was finishing up my 1/2 mile cool down I heard the coach yelling at the boys.  He said, "You guys aren't even trying hard!  Your teacher is out here working hard, sweating and getting it done!"  I had to laugh.  Overweight, old lady and their teacher besides and the coach is using me to shame his players because they aren't putting in the effort.  I took that as a compliment.  :)

Track work looks funny on the map.

I am pleased with my average pace since I did so much walking.  The sprints were fast!  :-)

Wednesday was the first day with all my regular classes.  I got up early and did my swim.  I was absolutely sure that I wasn't going to feel like it after work.  I swam for 30 minutes and got my 750 yards.  Used the kickboard and fins for the last 15 minutes and worked on my kicking and getting my breathing better.

First day with the kids started out a bit rough because I had emailed some things from my home computer thinking I would print them when I got to school.  That usually works just fine.  But this day the internet was down, which meant no email which meant that I couldn't make the copies I needed.  I had to make some changes to my plans for the day but it was all good.  Just threw me off my groove for a bit.  Loved meeting all my students and starting to put faces with names and all in all it was a good day.  I was very glad that I had done my swim in the morning.  I was tuckered out when I got home.  My legs ached from standing all day and my throat hurt from talking all day.  It might take a bit to get back into my teacher groove.  I did, however, come home and go grocery shopping at Costco with my husband.  Then I crashed.  :-)

Thursday started out better.  I had made sure to do the copies I needed after work on Wednesday (when the internet had finally come back on) because I was taking no chances.  That was a good call because about 3rd period we had no internet again.  lol  Wednesday had been something with our system.  This time Comcast had accidentally cut a line.  Sigh.  Then to add to the excitement we had a tremendous thunder and lightning storm start right at the beginning of 6th period (the last class of the day.)  I know that storms like this are really common in many areas of the United States, even other parts of Oregon.  But they are not common in the Willamette Valley and they usually are not this intense when we get them.  Needless to say my students were either really excited or slightly terrified.  Then, because the internet was down and the office couldn't check schedules to call for students, they had to keep calling student's names over the intercom to come down to the office.  Lots of parents had come to pick up their kids because of the storm, they didn't want the kids to be walking/biking/skateboarding home.  It made for a very interesting end of the day.  I gave up on getting anything accomplished that was productive.  :-)  I was VERY glad that Thursday was a rest day so all I had to do when I got home was post my own homework quickly in case the power went out and then do nothing for the rest of the evening.

Summer Storms.  Photo courtesy Baily Gardner, @ Bayhay32 on Twitter via KVAL News. 
Friday was a good day.  I'm getting to know my students and they are getting to know me.  We had some fun activities to build class unity and help us get to know each other which caused much laughter and fun.  Next week we start really getting into the regular routine.  ;)  I just had to run three miles and although it was hot I really wanted to see if I could do it with an average pace of under 12 min. miles.  It was hard work, breathing was difficult but I did it.  What a good feeling.  I was tired but in the good way that comes after pushing your body hard.

Pretty happy about the negative splits on this one!  :-)
Today was my long run.  I am trying to follow the training plan.  It has me pushing myself during the week.  Hill runs, intervals, tempo runs are all designed to help me increase my speed and stamina.  My long runs are for building up my distance and I am supposed to do them slower than my anticipated race pace.  Sometimes this is really hard because I want to keep trying to improve every time I run.  Today I worked really hard at just keeping a nice steady pace and not killing myself.  I went eight miles and kept a pretty consistent pace.  My average pace was 13'13" which last winter I would have been thrilled to have for a three mile run let alone an eight mile run!  Sometimes it's hard to keep things in perspective but it's good to look back and see how far I have come since last winter.

Really consistent pace!  The slow downs were either cars that I had to step off the road for because they wouldn't go around me or crosswalks.  :-)  Safety first!  I always love it when my last mile is my fastest, especially on my long runs!!
So I made it through my first week of school, I made it through my second week of my own online class AND I did all of my workouts.  Yay me!  I'm pooped!  Hopefully I can keep this up and not drive my family crazy in the meantime.

And speaking of my family.  When I got home on Friday and was going to quickly change my clothes so I could run I got the best surprise!  My husband had done ALL of the laundry, put away all the Costco groceries and cleaned the kitchen.  My man rocks!  Just say'n.  :-)

Tomorrow is a rest day and I think I'm going to rest.  :-)  Gotta gear up for another fun filled week.  Hope you are out doing your thing this next week too.  :-)

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Will NOT...

In my role as a teacher we are often reminded to word things in a way that is positive rather than negative.  Instead of saying Don't Run, we say Please Walk.  This makes sense to me and I try to model this with my students in all areas.  Especially since a high number of them only hear the negative style in their regular life.

This being said I was doing some thinking the other night, while I was running naturally, and actually had a negative statement turn into a positive one without taking the negative word out.

I started out thinking like this:

  • I will not be able to do this.
  • I will not be able to finish a triathlon.
  • I will not ever be any faster.

But then I realized that these statements were not true.

  • I will not give up on trying.
  • I will not sell myself short.  I will finish the triathlon.
  • I will not settle for slow.  I will keep working at my endurance and speed.

This last week I went back to work.  The week before school starts is a mad scramble of trying to get the classroom ready, make lesson plans and lots and lots of meetings.  On top of everything else I also started grad school.

We didn't officially start back to work until Tuesday but I went in anyway to work in my classroom (along with most of the other teachers in my building.)  I went for a 3 mile run in the morning.  My average pace was 12'16" and my last mile was 11'43".  I was pretty excited.  Once I had cooled down and cleaned up I headed into work and tried to finish up getting my classroom ready.  I didn't finish but I got a lot done.

Tuesday I had to run another 3 miles.  It seems like for every good run I have, I have an equally bad run.  Tuesday's run proved this theory.  I started out okay but just felt off.  I'm thinking it's because I had been in meetings all day and it was hot and I was tired.  But that could just be my imagination.  :) I kept getting a little slower instead of a little faster.  But when I got done I couldn't be too bummed because my average pace was 12'56".  I kept a crappy run under a 13 minute average.  A few months ago a run that had a low 13 minute average mile would have had me over the moon.  Now I'm thinking it's a bad run when I'm just under 13 minute miles.  lol  Funny how quickly my perspective has changed on what is a good run and a bad run.

Wednesday was a cross training day.  I was going to get up and swim before work.  I set my alarm and got up at 5:15 a.m. and headed for the pool.  I got there and realized that the pool was closed for its yearly maintenance.  Sigh.  I went home thinking I would try and get a bike ride in after work instead.  My son texted me and wanted to come over for dinner.  I miss my boy so I said yes!  We had a great visit with him and his girlfriend.  Then I did homework and headed for bed.  I was beat.

Thursday was a rest day and I took it.  My first homework was due for my class so I finished that up but there was a glitch with posting things online so I spent a few frustrating hours trying to get my homework posted.  I was feeling frustrated and tired.  At this point I was pretty sure that there was no way I was going to be able to juggle my roles as wife, mom, teacher, student and runner.  Something was going to have to give and it was going to be runner.  I finally got my homework posted and headed to bed feeling very defeated.

Friday was a prep day so I got to spend the day working on my classroom and plans again.  There were some frustrations that were out of my control but they just kept piling up until I was just about a basket case.  I was a crying, teary mess by the end of the day.  I think that I was overwhelmed and tired and it just finally spilled over.  I HATE it when I get like that.  Usually I can go with the flow with most things but Friday it all just got to me.  I had a dinner date with my mom and step-dad so that kept me from staying at work late (which was a good thing!)  I had a great time visiting with my folks and that helped get me back on a more even keel.  You never outgrow getting encouragement and comfort from your parents.  :)  After dinner I did a little bit of homework.  I had to take Goober #3 to a church overnighter that didn't start until 9:45 p.m.  I didn't have time to get my run in before dinner or between dinner and taking her to the church so I had figured it wasn't going to happen.  After I dropped of the goober I had thought about going to get a Blizzard.  I could almost taste it and it was going to be the perfect comfort food after a really long crappy day.  I left the church and the strangest thing happened.  I drove home.  I really wanted that Blizzard.  I mean I REALLY wanted that Blizzard.  I could almost taste it.  But I hadn't worked out for three days and a big, yummy Blizzard was not going to get me to any of my goals.  All it would do is make my pants tighter.

Comfort food!  
When I got home I was all by myself.  My husband was working, all the Goobers were gone and I had the house to myself.  I was just going to go to bed.  I was so tired!  But I still hadn't worked out since Tuesday.  I could justify not working out because of the day I had but I decided to suck it up.  I have a treadmill (a.k.a. the Dreadmill).  I don't run well on it.  I feel fast but it always says that my pace is way slow and I can never seem to keep a consistent pace, let alone speed up.  I went on the Dreadmill, cranked up the volume on the TV and found a good movie to watch.  The Green Mile was on and that is one of my favorite movies so I was good to go.  That was the most awful run!  I mean terrible.  I was sweating like a pig, I only ran the first mile, walked a mile than ran/walked the last mile.  My pace was terrible and it was all the misery that I felt last winter when I started this journey all over again.  But I did the whole three miles, at 10 o'clock at night, instead of getting a Blizzard.  So even though it was awful I still felt like I won.  I won the battle with myself.  Not only did I not get a Blizzard, I got a work out in.  Yay me.  :)  Guess I'm getting better and seeing the success instead of focusing on the failures.

Saturday I was supposed to go for a 6 mile run.  Instead I went for a 7 mile hike with some girlfriends.  Girl time was exactly what I needed!  We hiked, we talked, we laughed and we moved right along.  We had about 2,200 feet in elevation gain over the seven miles so we worked hard.  I am finding that these hikes actually help my running.  I work hard on those hills and that makes me stronger when I run.  So even though I didn't get my long "run" I still felt like I did accomplish what I needed for my training.  I love being able to be so close to beautiful trails.

Sunday I went and picked up Joe from work.  He headed off to go on a bike ride with a friend.  I have been afraid (yes, afraid) of going farther than the route I have ridden before, which is only 7 miles.  I need to do 12 for the sprint triathlon next month so training rides of 7 miles were not going to cut it.  Plus I was afraid of the freeway overpasses (two of them) that I would have to go over on the tri route.  They made me nervous because they are more uphill than I have ever been on and I was worried I wouldn't make it and would have to walk the bike up the hill.  I also was worried because there is no shoulder and the road gets really narrow.  I really don't want to end up smashed against the side of the overpass because of an idiot car.  And the final fear, the real big one for me, I just wasn't sure that I could go that far on the bike.

My friend Betsy was running in the Disneyland Half Marathon that same morning.  She had a big time goal for herself.  We have been talking about how we are Badass....with Sparkle.  So I was thinking about Betsy and how she was running and trying to reach her goal.  How can I stay home and not try when she is out there giving her race her all.  I channeled my own Badass....with Sparkle and headed out.  My goal was not to go fast but just to finish.  I need to remember that Exercise Induced Asthma does not just happen when I run.  I was wishing I had my inhaler a couple of times but it wasn't too bad. I did 13 miles!  I was tired and my legs were a little wobbly at first but I got it done.  I now know that I can swim 750 yards, I can bike 12 miles and I can run a 5K.  Now I just need to do all three, one right after the other and I will have my first triathlon done.  It's getting closer!! Overcoming fears is not easy but I'm glad that I keep at it.  The feeling I get once I have won over the fear is amazing.

My friend, Badass Betsy?  Not only did she make her goal for the Disneyland Half Marathon she beat that goal by 7 minutes.  Big time PR!!!  Yay Betsy.  I'm so proud of her, she has worked HARD for that PR.

Picture found on Pinterest
After the bike ride we took Goober #3 to the fair with some friends and had a great time.  That was followed up by all of us going another friends house for dinner.  (Wendie, also part of Badass....with Sparkle, channeled her own Badass and got her farthest run of nine miles and did with an average pace of 11'40".  She pretty much rocked it!)  So we had a great day with lots of accomplishments, followed up by great family and friends time.  It was a pretty great day.

Today I got up and didn't want to run.  I didn't want to do anything.  I was just tired.  Staying at home and vegetating sounded like a great plan.  But I had some things I needed to do in my classroom and a Pedi appointment at 1 o'clock.  I really didn't want to run but I also really don't want to start down that road of coming up with excuses not to run.  With all I have to do right now it will be too easy.  I really want to not give up on myself.  So I sucked it up and headed out.  I was supposed to do 4 miles.  I felt terrible.  Everything ached, I couldn't find a good rhythm with my breathing and I wanted to turn around and go home.  I made it another mile and wasn't feeling any better but I had managed to make up some time.  But I still wanted to stop and just walk home.  I went another mile and had to stop for a minute to catch my breath.  I thought about stopping and walking home but decided to do the last mile. My last mile ended up being being my fastest at 12'21" and the average pace was 12'47".  I couldn't believe it.  This horrible run actually was a good run.  It didn't feel like it at all but evidently that didn't matter.  I was so glad I ran!

So this week was full of many lessons.
  • I can find time to work out.  Although I hope I don't have to do to many workouts at 10 o'clock at night on the Dreadmill.
  • It's okay to be afraid as long as I do it anyway.  The feeling when you overcome a fear is totally worth it.  You know, Badass....with Sparkle.
  • Even bad runs can turn out to be good runs.  
Glad I'm not too old to learn new lessons.  Or is it relearn the same lessons again?  Either way I'm making progress.  :-)

And my classroom is ready, mostly...

Where the magic happens.  At least it's where I hope it happens. lol