Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I'm so excited! I just found out I am the winner of the $100 Running Shoes from Online Shoes from the Reese's Run virtual race!! Thanks, Christy from Run Like a Girl.

Also, thanks to everyone for the advice regarding my last blog post. I so appreciate all the encouragement and suggestions. Everyone made terrific points.
  • Mark Berry from Half-Marathon Mania reminded me that I have 30 days until the marathon and don't need to decide now. Great point!
  • Lots of you reminded me that a lot can happen to a body in 30 days. And to keep trying. More good points!
  • Glenn Jones (aka The Running Fat Guy) and Rick from Marathonman Runs Again! reinforced my concerns that attempting a marathon could cause my injury to worsen.
  • I think Melanie from Mel Tries to Run imagines that I'm going to dance and rock out along the course. What Mel doesn't know is that I'm a horrible dancer (picture Elaine in Seinfeld... ya, I'm almost that bad). I do like how Mel thinks, though. In my dreams, I am a Kenyan Shakira.

So, again... thanks for all the support and advice! I guess the best course of action will be to take it day by day. Who knows... I may not know what to do for sure until the day before the marathon.

And you know I'm going to keep you posted...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gotta Step It Up Notch (or Three)

Now that my knee/leg is feeling better, I decided to get out and walk this afternoon. It was nice to be outside, even if I still can't run. I wasn't pushing myself to walk my fastest because I'm concerned about hindering the healing process. Still, I thought I was making good time.

I was wrong. I walked for an hour and 19 minutes and went about 4.3 miles. That makes a pace of 18.22. In order to finish the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 6.5 hours, I need to be able to walk at about a 15 minute pace. The race gives 7 hours to finish but I want to get across that finish line ahead of the people with the push brooms.

I'm going to go ahead and admit this: I'm scared!

I am so far behind in my training... whether running or walking... I feel like I will not be ready for this race.

I am so hoping I will be able to run part of the race. I can't, however, even run across the street at this point without experiencing sharp pain in my right thigh. I know this because I tried to run across a busy street while out on my walk. Fortunately, the street was narrow... otherwise it could have easily turned into a Frogger scenario.

Like this:

... or for you youngsters:

So. What to do?
  • Hang in there, work on walking faster and hope my leg is in passable running condition?
  • Or do I hang my hat for this one and focus on future races?

My fear is that I will start the marathon and not be able to finish. Or not finish in time. I'm not a quitter... but I'm also not a fan of being humiliated.

What would you do?*

*Don't worry... I rarely act on the opinions of others. I'm just curious.

On a happy note-- my feet look pretty! I gave myself a long-overdue pedicure today. I hope the toenail polish holds up when I start running again!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll, Baby!

There are less than 36 days until the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I am getting so excited! Even though I've had to change my focus and plan to walk it, I am looking forward to the excitement of the day, the bands, the scenery, and the post-race beer.

In a way, it's nice that I will be walking the race. I get to focus on having fun! I just have to finish in under seven hours.

And heck, you never know... if my leg/knee feels well enough, I may try running parts of the race.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Randomness is the New Methodical

Out of respect for my scattered-brain, I decided to go random tonight in my blogging.

I'm in Love
It's not uncommon for me to profess my love for inanimate objects. I've proposed marriage to strong, hot cups of coffee. I've fallen in love with many Italian Gelatos in my life. I've even had my knees go weak & my heart throb when seeing a beautiful, shiny 1968 Mustang Convertible or a sweet, custom Harley Davidson.

Today was a great day in the love department:
  • I got to go on the Roller Table at the chiropractor's today. I LOVE the Rollie Table! The Roller Table is a cushioned table that has rollers under the upholstery that move along the spine/back in a wave-like motion. I always fall asleep on it. Ahhhh... I wish I had a Rollie Table.
  • I also found and fell in love with these:
After falling asleep at the chiropractor's and then again at the
physical therapist (yep, there too), I decided I needed some caffeine.
And chocolate.
I found both in one little chocolate bar.

Randomness Regarding Physical Therapy
  • I did not get the same PT I had last week. This was disappointing. Today's PT was nice but not as good as the guy from last week. I always prefer men health practitioners over women, for some reason. Still... I guess it's better than having the the Hulk.
  • I fell asleep on the therapy table while going through shock treatment (or whatever it's called when they attach those little electrode things to sore muscles).

  • I can't do just nothing for very long at all without falling asleep. I can't even sit through a complete church service. I usually end up having to walk out part-way through the service... which does not look good when your husband works at the church.
  • This falling asleep thing never happened before I had kids. Hmmm...
Count Me Out... For Now

Tomorrow my training group is doing a 10-mile trail run/walk. I was planning to walk it since my knee/leg feels so much better. As it turns out, I won't be able to go because my husband is "on call" to possibly to some audio work for his old company (Jazzercize, Inc.). If they end up needing him, it will be decent money (and who can't use that these days?!).

I'm disappointed, but I figure it will be good to give my leg a rest for one more week before we do an even longer run/walk next Saturday.

My Four Year Old

My youngest little guy is so funny! He is mischievous, charming, and cute. There is never a dull moment with him around. If you don't believe me, read on...
  • Yesterday he sucked some ants up through a straw and decided they taste pretty good. I never thought I'd have to tell one of my kids to stop eating ants.
  • Today he licked the cat's face. I'm waiting for him to cough up a fur ball.
  • When he doesn't want to do something, he claims his knee hurts (sound familiar?).
  • He will swear up and down that he is not 4 years old... he's 7 years old. That's how old his big brother is.
  • He wears flip-flops 363 days out of the year. Getting shoes on him practically takes an act of God.
  • He LOVES Hawaiian print shirts.
  • Because of his flip-flops and shirts, we call him Jimmy Buffett (don't worry, he does not drink Margaritas).

Thanks for reading my random ramblings! One of these days... hopefully sooner than later... I'll be able to post about running, walking, miles, pace, minutes, hills, chaffing, trails, roads, and the questionable goodness of Gu again!

Happy running, everyone! And for those of you who have races (and there are quite a few of you)... Good luck & have FUN!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reese's Run and Something is Missing

Reese's Run
Reese's Run Virtual Race is supposed to be tomorrow. Well, I did it today. And I didn't run it, I stationary-biked it. I also did twice the amount plus two miles. I hope that counts!

Reese is the daughter of blogger, Run Like a Girl!. Reese has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She turns four tomorrow. Run Like a Girl hosted this 4-mile virtual race in order to raise money for Joints in Motion. It's not too late to sign up for the virtual race. You can still click on the Reese's Run box on my sidebar and take it from there.

Something's Missing
My first two years of teaching were pretty much spent either being sick or fighting off some sort of illness. During our first month-long break (we were a year-round school), I remember waking up one morning and feeling weird. I kept wondering, "What is wrong with me?" Then it hit me... I felt well! For the first time in three months, I wasn't sick or feeling worn down from fighting off infections. It had been so long, I had forgotten what it felt like to not be sick.

I had the same strange sensation today. While having a great time walking all over the Wild Animal Park with my four year old, I realized I felt different. Something had changed. I was walking up hills and down hills... without pain!! It's been so long since I've been able to do any sort of serious walking without feeling pain, I forgot what it felt like to be without it.

Don't get me wrong... I still feel it when I try to run. I can't jump on the pogo stick. I also feel it when the cat almost trips me by running between my feet. But, I figure it can't be much longer until I can get back to running.

Big Baby
No, not me... not this time, anyway. I'm referring to the cute baby elephant that is at the Wild Animal Park these days. Baby elephants are my favorite animal... and if I had one as a pet, I bet it wouldn't try to trip me by running between my feet.

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crazy 8... Gosh! It's Late

I'm going to try to make this quick. I'm trying to be good lately about getting to bed before 11:00. Plus, I'm tired.

I got tagged by MCM Mama to fill out the Crazy 8s Survey. I'm glad because I wanted to blog... lest you all forget me... and I had nothing to say. Plus, I know you are all just dying to know everything about me*, so here goes:

*I'm being facetious. I'm sure you already know more than you ever wanted to know!

8 Things to which I am looking forward:

1. My glass of chocolate milk in the morning
2. My first cup of coffee in the morning
3. Mother's Day... I love getting showered with hugs, gifts, & special treatment
4. Being able to run again.
5. Dog the Bounty Hunter to be over (my hubby is watching it)
6. Dropping 5 pounds off my hips and butt
7. Going to the San Diego Wild Animal Park with my 4 year old tomorrow
8. Wearing my new Running Skirt on Saturday to do another 10 mile walk

8 Things I did yesterday

1. Made birthday cupcakes for my son's class
2. Built a castle out of blocks
3. Blew bubbles
4. Took cupcakes into my son's class
5. Missed teaching for a moment
6. Cleaned
7. Worked out at the gym
8. Read blogs & made comments

8 Things I wish I could do/I want to do

1. Fly
2. Eat all the brownies I want without gaining weight
3. Place first in the Boston Marathon
4. Stay up late every night
5. Sleep in late every day
6. Find a box of Lucky Charms that has only the marshmallow charms
7. Solve all the world's problems
8. Get the piles of laundry put away

8 Shows I watch

2. America's Most Wanted
3. The Office
4. American Idol
5. My Name is Earl
6. Desperate Housewives
7. Big Bang Theory
8. Dog the Bounty Hunter, apparently

8 People I tag

1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You
5. You
6. You
7. You
and I can't forget...
8. YOU!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Caffeinated Are YOU?

I've been reading a lot, lately, about the benefits of caffeine when running and/or working out. Here's a little test you can take to make sure you're getting the most out of your morning cup of coffee:

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Short one tonight

My knee/leg is feeling better! I really started to notice the improvement yesterday. While I do still feel some pain, it definitely is less! Woo-hoo!

So tomorrow, I'm going to do the 18-mile run I missed yesterday. Hee hee... I'm kidding, folks! I'm taking time off until I know I'm able to run and not injure it again. I'm also going to go back slowly.

Yep, slow like that.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

Take It and Run Thursday (belated)

Yesterday's Take-It-and-Run Topic at Runners' Lounge was about blogging as a runner... why start & how it helps.

I'm not going to write a lengthy blog about that... I'm going to bullet-point it. I love bullet-points.
  • When I started running and training for a marathon, I thought I had a unique idea... I'd blog about my running experience! It might be entertaining for my friends.
  • I found that my idea was not unique. Instead, I found lots of running blogs.
  • My friends don't find it entertaining... I guess if you're not a runner, it's not interesting to read blog after blog about "running this" and "running that"... "Asics blah, blah, blah"..."my knee wah, wah, wah"... and so on.
  • As quickly as I found out I did not have a unique idea, I found out that the running blogger world would be a place to learn, get encouragement, give encouragement, and laugh at things having to do with running.
  • My RBFs (thanks MCM Mama for the catchy abbreviation) have lived up to this expectation. What an amazing support system!
  • Thanks to this support, I have learned so many things and have remained excited about running, even when forced to take a break from it.
  • I find myself thinking of you fellow bloggers at the most random of moments.
For example, I was at the San Diego Natural History Museum today with my family. I saw this hanging from the ceiling:

Can you guess which of my RBFs came to mind? Here's a hint... she says she has an irrational fear of sharks. If you guessed Mel at Tall Mom on the Run, you're probably a mutual friend of hers... and you'd be correct!

So, Mel, that shark is for you! That reminds me... aren't you leaving for Hawaii soon?

I thought of Glenn Jones at The Running Fat Guy when I saw this cute kitty at the same museum:

Why? Because he commented on my coyote blog that mountain lions are sometimes a threat in the areas where he runs. Glenn, if you see one of these guys during one of your runs... it was nice blogging with you.
  • To sum it all up... running blogger friends have become a part of my everyday life. Without their support, words of wisdom, humor, and example I wouldn't be as motivated and excited about running as I am.

TGIF Foto Friday (belated... unless you live on the West Coast, like me)

Since I've started running, I find myself noticing runners everywhere I go. I'm certain I never noticed so many before I became one. When I spot a runner, I check out their gait, gear, clothes, speed, routes, etc.

As I mentioned above, my family went to the San Diego Natural History Museum today. We also went to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Both museums are in Balboa Park. I noticed runners everywhere! And no wonder. It's a beautiful place to run.

I even noticed this runner at the Science Museum:

This little guy has probably been running in this hands-on Water Distribution exhibit for years! Between bringing students and my own children to the museum, I'm sure I've seen this display numerous times. I only noticed him today.

Sorry, little guy! Keep it up... you're looking good!

Alright, RBFs... have a great weekend! To those who have races... good luck! To those who have long runs... enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My First Physical Therapy Session

Today was my first session with the physical therapist. I've never been to a PT before so the only thing I knew about them was based on TV shows and movies.

So, here's what I imagined:
  • Someone who looks a lot like The Incredible Hulk (minus the green, of course).
  • A loud, bossy, Drill-Sargentesque guy in scrubs.
  • Me, sweating and crying in pain as I strive to pull myself across the parallel bars... all the while, the PT yells at me to be strong... to stop being such a wuss or I will never, ever run again!!
  • After I find the strength within myself to reach the end of the bars, my tormentor applauds and tells me I have what it takes... I will run again (start the sappy music).
I admit it... I've watched a few too many made-for-TV movies in my life.

Here's what I got:
  • An athletic-looking, lean-muscled young man (dang, I'm getting old!). Turns out he is a runner.
  • A soft-spoken, kind individual who listened to me and didn't immediately toss out my idea that I might have a stress fracture of the femur.
  • Me, getting to relax while he stretched my legs for me... I didn't even have to put forth the effort to stretch, he did all the work! Sweet!
  • Hearing that he didn't think it is a stress fracture... but the ligaments in my right knee are loose.
  • But... here is where the sappy music starts... I will run again.
Just not for a while.

Apparently, having loose knee ligaments is not the greatest attribute to have as a runner. If I understood correctly, it is good to have ligaments that are tight enough to support your knee. If that is not the case, the quad muscles and the muscles connecting the two parts of your leg together get over-worked and prone to strain.

In other words, the muscles in my quads, core, and hips need to be stronger in order to pick up the slack of my loosey-goosey knee.

Until the pain is gone, I need to stay away from activities that will aggravate my leg. That means my 18-mile long run/walk on Saturday is out. I've been given some simple, non-aggravating exercises to do in order to start the process of strengthening my quads and hips.

I'm still hopeful I will be able to walk the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Since there are a few half marathons I want to do in the fall and winter, however, I will skip the Rock 'n' Roll if it means being strong enough to run the half marathons I want to do.

Meanwhile, I need to be more motivated to keep up my strength training and stationary bicycle. I miss running, though. I can't wait to get out there and run!

This is the Hulk of my youth. That's how old I am.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brownies, Boobies, and Bloggers

Mel, at Tall Mom on the Run tagged me to fill out this survey. I think it's fun to learn new things about my fellow running bloggers... things that may not have anything to do with running. So, assuming you're as nosy as I am, here are my answers for the survey.

The rules are:
1. Fill it out
2. Change one question with one of your own
3. Add an additional question
4. Tag others

1. What are your current obsessions?
My leg... wondering if I'll be able to do the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon. And finding fun half marathons to shoot for in the next few months.

2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
My Addidas running pants... I don't run in them, but they are comfy. I also love my long-sleeved Charger T-Shirt.

3. Last thing you bought for yourself?
Another running skirt from Running Skirts. I think I'm going to ask for another one for Mother's Day. Maybe this should be up there under my obsessions.

4. What’s for dinner?
Already ate. I made chicken fajitas w/ guacamole. Yum!!

5. Say something about the person who tagged you:
Like all my running blogger friends, I've never actually met Mel. I'm sure we'd hit it off if I knew her in person. She has a great sense of humor and doesn't seem to take herself too seriously. I get a chuckle out of the names she gives the hills and roads that she runs. She's got "The Hill of Death", "Monster Hill", and "Monster Road". Mel is hoping to become a published Children's author... and I think she'll be a great one!

Mel also has a giveaway going on! A pretty pink beaded bracelet (made by her mother-in-law) and other pink stuff. Why pink? It's in honor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for cancer research. Check out Tall Mom on the Run and enter to win the Pretty in Pink Giveaway!

6. What is one item you could not live without?
My laptop. As a stay-at-home mom, it's sometimes my only link to the "outside world"... unless you count making casual conversation with the cashier at the grocery store. On my laptop I blog, spend too much time on Facebook, and keep up on current events.

7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die?
Tahiti, Italy (wine and gelato... yummm), Hawaii, Alaska, Egypt

8. Three things to do before you die:
  • Run/walk a marathon
  • Write some sort of book and have it published
  • Figure out the LOST story-line

9. What are you reading right now?
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin. Excellent book!

10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?
I haven't watched a movie in a looong time, unless you count Mary Poppins. Well, I do like Mary Poppins... so maybe that does count.

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Brownies... especially the corners and the edges.

12. What’s your favorite smell?
Baking brownies... yum, yum, yum! I love how my boys smell when they are fresh-out-of-the-bath clean... they don't smell good very often. My husband's pillow is another favorite (it smells like him).

13.If cost wasn't an issue and you could run any race in the world, what would it be?
Anywhere exotic and beautiful!

14. Do you have a goal that you are trying accomplish before 2009 is over?
Finish a Marathon... if my leg is better that will happen on May 31st. I'd like to squeeze at least two half marathons, too.

15. Describe one of your happiest moments.
Just one? I can't do that... I have a few:
  • When I found out I was pregnant with my first son. I could not believe it when the test showed positive!
  • The day my first son was born and I got to hold him for the first time.
  • When I found out I was pregnant with my second son... he was a little surprise.
  • The first time I saw and got to hold my second son.

16. What was your best Halloween costume?
In high school, I dressed up like an old bag lady. I wore a gray wig, old clothes, and shuffled my way to class. People didn't even recognize me, including the teachers! It was so funny.

17. What do you have an addiction to?

Just kidding! Coffee is my drug

18. What do you do that you would be embarrassed for others to know about?
I like to make up silly songs and do horrible dances for my boys. I do this to bug them. It works, and it also makes them laugh.

19. What is one totally irrational fear you have?
I've already blogged about my fear of public restrooms (especially those blue port-o-potties). Based on how many others are afraid of them, I've concluded that my fear is not so irrational.

Here's another one for you: I am afraid of those storm drains that run along sidewalks. You know... the ones that swallow skateboards, balls, and frisbees.

I have been afraid of them for as long as I can remember. I will walk out of my way to avoid stepping over one. I try not to park next to them. If I do have to step over one, I break out in a sweat, my heart pounds, and I have to calm myself down from a potential panic attack. We have one on our cul-de-sac and I hate when my boys play too close to it.

Crazy, huh?

20. Do you have a favorite training tip?
Don't over do it!

21. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Probably the time my oldest son- who was 4 at the time- went with me while I shopped for bras at a large, upscale department store. Many of the bras were hanging at his eye-level and they were the preformed bras... I was engrossed with finding the right size when I heard my sweet little boy yell at the top of his lungs, "Look, Mommy!! BOOBIES! Lots and lots of boobies! I LOVE Boobies, Mommy!" As he announced this, he was squeezing the bra cups with both hands.

The young sales girls laughed like it was the funniest thing ever. The snooty old-lady shoppers looked at me like I was some skanky mom who encourages her boys to notice such things as "boobies". Sigh... my boys do notice boobies. It starts young, that's for sure! ;D

22. What is your dream job?
I have the same dream job as Mel... I would love to get paid to take photos and write. My dream is to travel, be with my family and stretch my creative mind.

23. (The question I've added) What should you be doing right now besides answering these questions?
Laundry, getting ready for bed, laundry, sleeping, laundry, laundry, oh- and laundry.

I am Tagging these Blogging Runners:
1. Alice at Heffer Blog
2. Stephanie at NY Trail Runner
3. Sarah at Running Mama
4. Oz Runner

Monday, April 13, 2009

Half-Marathon Wish List

Now that I'm into this whole running thing, I've been looking into half-marathons I would like to do. There are so many out there!

My ideal half-marathons are in pretty places, allow slow runners, offer cool shirts, and have entertainment along the route. Even more ideal, are those that offer Finisher's Medals and free beer at the finish line.

Here are a few I've found that fit most of my "Ideal" standards...

The Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay
November 15, 2009
  • Pretty place... check!
  • Slow-Runner Friendly... check!
  • Cool Shirt... check+ (the plus is because the shirt is a tech shirt)
  • Entertainment... check!
  • Finisher's Medal... check!
  • Beer... So many wineries in the area, who cares?!
Pros: Mini-vacation, sight-seeing, cool weather
Cons: The cost of a mini-vacation

The Silver Strand Half Marathon Coronado, San Diego
November 15, 2009
  • Pretty Place... check!
  • Slow-Runner Friendly... check + (the plus is because they also allow skaters... ha ha)
  • Cool Shirt... check!
  • Entertainment... check! After race party on the pier
  • Medal... check!
  • Beer... available at the party on the pier
Pros: Close to home, flat course
Cons: On the same day as the Big Sur HM

America's Finest City Half Marathon
August 16, 2009
  • Pretty Place... check!
  • Slow-Runner Friendly... check - (the minus is because there is a 3 hr. time limit)
  • Cool Shirt... check +
  • Entertainment... ??
  • Medal... check (I think)
  • Beer... Nope, but that's OK! There are lots of margarita's to be found in Old Town
Pros: Close to home
Cons: Weather might be too warm, hilly, time limit... but I think I can do it!

Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon
October 4, 2009
  • Pretty Place... check!
  • Slow-Runner Friendly... check!
  • Cool Shirt... check +
  • Entertainment... check!++ This IS a Rock 'n' Roll HM!!
  • Medal... check!
  • Beer... check!
Pros: Mini-vacation
Cons: $ for Mini-vacation

My "dream" half marathons are the Big Sur HM or the Rock 'n' Roll (can't do both). The others are more realistic because they are close to home.

So many half marathons... so little time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jesus was a Surfer???

I took this picture on my group run in Encinitas... about 20 miles north of San Diego. I couldn't decide if it was blasphemous or profound when I first noticed it. Trying to give the benefit of the doubt, I decided it probably wasn't meant to offend.

This surfer statue can be found in Encinitas,
near the San Elijo Campground.

Regardless of the intention behind it, it makes a good point. If Jesus were physically here today, living in Southern California, there is a good chance He would be a surfer. I say this because when God became a man, He didn't come as a king, a rich man, a ruler... he was an "average" guy. His friends were average men and women. In fact, many of his friends were society's outcasts. So, Jesus... a surfer? Sure, why not?

This commentary in no way means to imply that surfers are outcasts. Most of them are fine, dedicated athletes. :)

With that in mind... Happy Easter Everyone! I hope the day is a wonderful, blessed one for all of you.

* Our group run today was 10 miles (a cut-back in miles this week). I joined the group that walks because of my leg. My leg felt great and I enjoyed getting out there! Walking is fun! But not as fun as running. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Glad I Kept my Gym Membership!

Tangled up in Blue
I was feeling down this afternoon. Since I haven't been able to run, I've been unmotivated to do much of anything except stick around the house. That is so unlike me... usually I'm all over the place, doing fun things with my boys. I usually need to get out of the house and go hiking, walking, visit to the zoo, or anything but stay housebound.

This week has been hard because my first grader has been on spring break and he loves to torment his little brother. On top of that, my husband has been working late and is exhausted because he's been super busy, getting ready for our church's Easter services.

So, I have been pretty much isolated from adults for almost a week. I didn't realize how desperately I needed a break until I had to make an early morning trip to Starbuck's to replenish our coffee supply. It was bliss being by myself for that short time!

Running is MY Time
Running is my ME time! I miss having that time to myself... time to think, time to not think, time listen to my music, time to to see the sights, time to unwind, time to do the one thing I get to do by myself.

As I was washing the dishes (for what seemed like the umpteenth time today), it occurred to me that I need to get out. Get out and get some exercise. I had planned to work my upper body at home but decided a visit to the gym would be the best thing for my state of mind. And that is what I did... as soon as my husband got home.

I listened to my iPod (a Jillian Michaels podcast). I stretched. I lifted weights. Then I decided to get some non-running cardio work in.

This Machine is Just Right!
I felt like Goldie Locks in the house of the Three Bears. I tried three different machines until I found one I could use. The stationary bike was the only cardio machine that didn't bother my leg.

In the past, the bike was my last choice of workout machines. When I got on the bike this time, I was happy. It felt so good to get my legs moving again without pain! I was amazed at how quickly I was able to spin those pedals without feeling winded or tired. I give running the credit for that! I kept up a fast pace for 30 minutes and could have kept going but I needed to get home.

Sometimes It's Good to Forget
As part of our household budget tightening, I was going to cancel my gym membership about two months ago. I forgot. By the time I remembered, I had injured my leg/knee. I decided that maybe I ought to postpone cancelling until I figured out what was going on with me.

I am glad I didn't cancel it! I can see, now, why it is important to cross-train... to have other options. I can't wait to get back to running! While I wait, however, I will work to keep myself in cardiovascular shape. Once I can run again, I will mix up my training and strengthen those weak parts so I don't injure myself again.

OK... I must be tired. I just drifted off while writing this... Or maybe I'm just boring. Either way, good night my blogging runner friends!

I Heart Racing Expos

OK... I'm a couple days late but I finally took some pictures of what I bought at the Carlsbad 5000 Expo.

Running Skirt
I'm sure most of you have heard of Running Skirts. I've seen them on-line and have wanted to check them out in person. I got that chance on Sunday since they had a booth at the Expo. I wasn't planning on buying any more running clothes but when I saw how cute the running skirts are, I had to get one! They are sporty, but feminine, and the colors/patterns are fun.

I also got a top to match the skirt. I'm not as excited about the top... it's pretty generic-looking and the fit is not the most flattering thing I've worn. It IS comfortable and seems to be made of high quality fabric. Running Skirts has a bra-top but it's a wee bit skimpy. Maybe when my tummy is flatter and more toned, I'll be brave enough to buy and wear just a bra-top with my Running Skirt.

For now, here is a picture of me in my new Running Skirt & the matching, tummy-covering top. You can't tell from this picture, but the side panels of the skirt are turquoise.

And why am I jumping in this picture? I felt stupid just standing there and I can't run right now. I found out I can't jump, either. Ouch.

Marathon Belt
That bright yellow thing strapped around my hips is the other item I purchased at the Expo. They call it a Marathon Belt but I'll use it for any kind of run, walk, or hike. The pocket is made of a nylon material and it stretches. I was able to put my Cannon Elph camera in it, along with lip balm, cash, driver's license, and a credit card. It was comfortable and didn't bounce or slide down my hips. I was surprised at how non-intrusive it was during my race, even with all that stuff in it. I probably could have squeezed my car keys in, but I had a pocket on the back of my shorts so I put them there. It will be great for carrying gel-packs and/or gummies. The maker of the belt is called iFitness, Inc. If you don't like bright yellow, they come in lots of colors.

That's all I got... unless you count the Jamba Juice I purchased after the race. Yum! I could have spent lots more money on all kinds of cool things, but I was good and didn't go crazy.

I also picked up lots of information on future half marathons in other cities. I can't wait to be able to run again so I can try out my Running Skirt and do more races!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Carlsbad 5000 and Me

My First Race Ever!

Sunday's Carlsbad 5000 (5K) will go down in my personal history as the first race I ever ran. I'm getting all teary-eyed just thinking about it... sniff, sniff.

Honestly, I wasn't overly excited about this race. I've been so focused on the Rock & Roll, that I sort of viewed this run as a fun little distraction on my way to San Diego. And a way to help raise money for Dan to get his wheelchair-accessible van.

When I went to watch my boys run in the Junior Carlsbad on Saturday, I got more excited about Sunday's run. The excitement generated by the crowds, music, and party-like atmosphere is very infectious. I was even inspired watching all the kids run their races, having fun, and flashing their medals.

It also occurred to me that the Carlsbad 5000 may be the only race I'll get to do for a while. If my leg isn't better in the next couple weeks, I am going to back out of the Rock & Roll Marathon altogether... not even to walk it.

With that in mind, I decided to give this race my heart, and sole soul as far as enthusiasm goes. And it was fun! I had to go by myself (my husband works on Sundays because he is a musician/media director at a church). I prefer to go places with other people but it was kind of nice to go by myself. I took my time browsing the expo booths, purchased a few items, people-watched, tried out samples, and looked for people I know.

I found someone!

This beautiful woman is Theresa. She's a runner. She rocked the Carlsbad 5000, coming in 73rd out of 1,228 women in our division. I've known her for years & she doesn't believe me when I try to explain how slowly I run. She suggested we run together. I laughed. I'm still laughing.

I also found the group raising funds for Dan's Van. I've never actually met any of them prior to Sunday's race, except for Dan. Dan was a fourth-grader at the school where I taught last year. Less than a year ago, he was hit by a car while chasing after his skateboard, leaving him with major head injuries and very limited mobility.

I ran with my age group while the rest of the team joined the walking division. Here they are coming into the finish. Great news: The team ended up raising all the money needed to purchase the van Dan's family needs! That news made my day!

Taking Care of Business

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a phobia of public restrooms. And now you all know it, too!! Lucky you!

I avoid public restrooms everywhere... unless I am in a nice, clean establishment. I even have nightmares about having to use a dirty public toilet. Really! On Sunday, my nightmare became my reality. I had a couple cups of coffee at home before I headed out the door to race. Well, the coffee caught up with me.

I've suspected that running is making me a braver person... now I know it's true. I know this because I used a Blue Port-O-Potty!!

I'll break it down for those of you who are mathematically-minded:

The smell + The content found inside = The stuff of nightmares!

I managed to take care of business without touching anything. It wasn't easy, but I did it! I hope to never have to do it again. Ever.

And On to My Second Biggest Challenge of the Day...

I know you all are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how I did in the race. Overall, I did OK. My leg was doing well until about mile 1.5 and then I had to alternate walking and running. I finished the 5K in 38 minutes 51 seconds according to the clock... but 38 minutes 11 seconds according to my time chip. That makes my pace 12.19 minutes per mile. I was #932 out of 1,228 women in my division.

The results made me happy. I may have been behind 931 woman runners but I came in ahead of 296 other women. I really thought the odds were in my favor that I'd be in dead last.

My time was 38 long minutes and 11 seconds. I was surprised when I saw the clock at the finish line and it was showing 38-something minutes. I figured I'd finish in the 45-something minute range.

I realize that a pace of 12.19 minutes per mile is slow to lots of people. Prior to my leg injury, all but two of my runs were at about a 15 minute pace. So, a 12.19 minute mile is great for me! Woo-hoo!

All these facts almost make me forget about the 10-year old boy running in flip-flops who passed me up at mile two.

No, that's not how I run. That's me being a goof.

My Selfless Act of Helping Out the Economy

As I mentioned, I purchased a few items at the Expo. I'll take pictures and blog about them tomorrow. I also got information about future races. I discovered that race expos are fun, fun things!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Junior Carlsbad

Today was a fun day for our family! As part of the Carlsbad 5000 weekend, the kids' race events were held today. When I signed my boys up, I was a little worried they would back out at the last minute and decide not to run, but they did it... and they did it well!

Here are some pictures of the day:

RookieBoy1, after passing the finish line.
His group (6 year old) had to run 1/2 mile.

RookieBoy2 after his 1/4 mile race.

RB1 with his Finisher's Medal &
Complimentary Jamba Juice.

RB2 with his medal. His chicken ran the race, too.

Tomorrow is the Carlsbad 5000. My very first race ever! I'm excited, even though it is only a 5K. At this point, I am thinking of trying to run it. My knee/leg feels better as long as I take the anti-inflammatories (better... not good). I'll see how it feels in the morning. Worst case scenario is I go with the walking crowd.

I need to get caught up on my blog reading! I have been so busy with family stuff, I feel out of the loop with what is going on with all of you in Running Blogger Land.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Change in Focus

Whine, Anyone?

I haven't blogged for a few days. There just has not been much to blog about... unless you want to read my whining about my knee/leg. That's right, it hurts again still. I haven't been able to run or even do serious walking because of it. I am finding myself feeling depressed and sorry for myself. See? Aren't you glad I haven't been blogging?

What's Next?

My doctor decided to refer me to a specialist. He's hoping the insurance will OK me seeing an orthopedic specialist but thinks they'll want me to see a physical therapist first. I don't know what the difference in approach is between the specialties. I just want to be able to run pain-free again.

"Walk & Woll" Marwathon

That's what my 4 year old calls the Rock & Roll Marathon (San Diego). Well, he has part of it right... I decided to change my focus for the marathon. I'm going to start training to walk it. I would rather run/walk it but since I'm not sure I'll be able to do that, I need to prepare myself to walk the 26.2 miles. So, I'm back to giving my leg a rest and hoping to be able to spend the remaining days training with the walkers in my group. I have almost two months before the marathon so I'm thinking positively that I'll be ready to walk it.

Future Goals

I plan to run 30 marathons in the year 2010.

Don't worry... I'm just kidding!

Not long after starting this training, I decided that half-marathons are probably more my style. I had already paid for the Rock & Roll (SD has no half for this race) so I'm determined to do it! Plus, I really want my shirt and finisher's medal.

After my leg is all better, I'll be looking for some fun half-marathons to run in. I'll also take a more gradual, casual approach to training for HMs and just have fun running again!


In an unrelated topic, we got a kitty cat!! It took a lot of convincing, but my husband finally agreed that a pet would be nice.

Side Note:

This was a huge step for him... when we first got married, we had the cat from hell. We kept her because we knew nobody else would be stupid enough to take her. We had her until she passed on due to old-age and numerous health issues, including diabetes and obesity (we didn't make her fat... she came to us that way). She was such a mean-spirited, moody, annoying cat that she ruined cat ownership for us for years after that.

Our boys have never had a pet. Well, we did have a Beta fish for a while but those don't count. My husband is not a fan of dogs so we decided on a cat. I found him on Craigslist... he was being abandoned during a boyfriend/girlfriend break up.

This is Peanut

We love him, already! He's about 4-5 months old. His breed is Russian Blue (or partly). He's playful and sweet. He hasn't scratched or bitten the kids (yet). He hasn't clawed the heck out of the couch. He does his "business" in the litter box. So far, there have been no kitten-sized fur balls barfed up. He doesn't meow at us when we eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, breath. He still has his "man-hood"... but we're taking care of that little issue next week. Snip-snip


I found an easy, delicious brownie recipe. I wish I hadn't found it. I make them & I eat them. Why do I want to eat like crap when I can't get out and run??? Does this happen to you?