Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween. Longest run.


This is how I'm answering the door for the trick-or-treaters. Note the bunny slippers and the stuffed pig (of course!)

Tomorrow at 7 am I'll be dressed quite differently as I run a 30K (18.6 mile) race, tacking on some miles to bring it to a 24 mile long run. Am I nervous? You betcha! Why? Because running that long is TOUGH! But I keep thinking that by lunchtime tomorrow my longest training run will be DONE and I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other until the miles are behind me, just like any other run.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spirituality. Abs.

Spirituality

I've been clean and sober for 23 years. When I first got sober I did everything that was suggested for recovery, including daily AA meetings, working the steps, and working with others. What you learn in AA is so valuable for having a quality life, and I wish more people could learn the lessons of AA, although I would NEVER have stood in the "alcoholic/addict" line willingly!

When we moved to Rocklin almost 15 years ago, I had a newborn and was working part time for a computer company. And I virtually stopped going to meetings. In the last year, though, I've connected with a fabulous group of women and have started going to meetings again.

So that's a very long intro to the "spirituality" of today's post. I was reading the "big book" of AA and feel compelled to begin and end my days in the way suggested by the book:

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?

Doesn't this seem like great advice for everyone? I did this last night and this morning and hope to make it a daily habit.

Abs

Last night I decided to pull out a P90X video for abs. I think it was Tony's One-on-One trainer. I don't do ab work very often. I kinda feel like that gets taken care of with kettlebell swings and sprint intervals. Anyway, I did like 5 minutes of ab work last night. And today I'm sore. And I like it. Perhaps it's time to rethink my approach to core work.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A beautiful tribute to moms who run from Runner's Lounge

A salute to the running moms who make running a priority and have the discipline to plan and stick with their training even when real life doesn't cooperate. And also for the moms who don't. A salute to the running moms who opt to sleep in an extra 30 minutes after being up all night or skip their run to help with a last minute school project because they know right then something else is more important.Dscn2829

A salute to the running moms who have the strength to eat the right foods at the right times to make sure they have the fuel they need to power their running. And also the moms who rely on a PB & J sandwich as a prerun staple and left over mac n cheese for a little pick me up.

A salute to the moms who look great in spandex and sport tops - without a coverup - because they are runners. And also the moms who don't, but wear it anyway because running makes them feel good enough to wear running clothes in public.

A salute to the moms who dig down deep to run hard and competitively in their races and set the bar higher for all women. And also the moms who run their own race and race to finish just to show their kids it isn't always about winning - it is about finishing what you started.

A salute to the running moms that squeeze in a short run here and a long run there between errands, practices, work and kid crisises and don't miss a beat. And the moms who also squeeze them in and show up at work, at school, or at home red faced, sweaty, stinky but happy because they got their run in.

A salute to the moms who run so her favorite pair of $100+ designer heels Dscn2831 match the priceless look of great running legs. And also the moms whose only pairs of $100+ shoes are her favorite running shoes.

A salute to all running moms who could just as easily stop running because it would make life a little easier, but don't, because they know it makes them a better person. It keeps them healthy when their kids aren't. It keeps them sane when life is crazy. It keeps them out of their fat clothes. And, it gives them personal challenges that are uniquely their own.

A salute to all running moms, regardless of age, speed, ability, or goals who are proud to tell their family and friends they are a runner. We salute them because they are a role model for their daughters, sisters, and the next generation of running mothers.

For these running moms, we say thank you for being a runner.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Random, tired, makeup-less update

video

Some timely advice


"I've learned there are three things you don't discuss with people: politics, religion, and the Great Pumpkin." -- Linus in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Feeling a little better...

Thanks for the comments and emails. They all made me smile and gave me hope.

But I must not be completely optimistic yet, because right now I'm cooking dinner (Black Bean Chili w/lots of veggies) and I was thinking that if I'm asked what's for dinner, I will respond a la Ann Hodgman, author of "One Bite Won't Kill You", with this:

We're having, "Yuck, I hate this!"

Weeknight dinners are so ... so ... daily!

Halloween-ish running garb


I'm heading out for a 5 mile run, and decided to wear something to match the season. At Four Bridges, they were selling last year's shirts for $2, so I picked one up. And when paired with my CWX running tights, which look like they have spider webs on them (kind of, if you squint), I think it makes me look rather festive, don't you?

Reason for silly running clothes? I feel kinda down today. Parenting is hard and I don't see any relief on the horizon. So what's a mom to do? That's right -- you suit up and show up. In my case that means putting on Halloween-ish running clothes and getting out there and running.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Four Bridges Half Marathon

What a fun run! I'll start at the end -- Donna and I finished with a 1:56 time which is a wonderful time in and of itself, but made even better by the rolling hills of the last 4 miles of the course (plus the one steep hill right before the finish!).

So we got there about 45 minutes before the race, which was plenty of time to park, use the (real!) bathrooms, and get to the starting line. We were in the second wave of runners (1:46 to 2:15 predicted finish time) and we both had tears in our eyes as the first wave started to the crack of the starting gun and then Queen's "We Will Rock You" blaring over the speakers. (Our starting song was The Who's "Who Are You?" which was almost as cool!)

The course was super fun, way more fun than 3 years ago. For one thing, they had someone dressed as a troll at every bridge (a la Three Billy Goats Gruff), snarling and shouting at the runners. Also there were plastic snakes and spiders on the bridges, which were fine once I realized they were fake! And there were people in costumes at various points along the way which added to the fun atmosphere.

I had my iPod with me, but opted to run this one without music, kind of as a mental training exercise. Donna and I chatted for the first 5 or 6 miles, and then she tuned into her music, and I had time to chat with other runners (I ran into a guy I worked with at the computer company almost 13 years ago!) and to just think my own thoughts.

We finished with smiles on our faces, and Donna's family (husband and 3 gorgeous daughters) was there to celebrate with her! My suspicion? Today was NOT her last race!

And speaking of races, I've signed up for the Helen Klein Running Classic which takes place on Saturday. They have a 30K (18.6 miles), a 50K (31.1 miles) and a 50 mile race. My plan is to run the 30K and add on miles to make this my 24 mile run. But what I'm most excited about is being around real ultra people -- how cool is that? AND guess what the post-race snacks are? A full Thanksgiving dinner!!! (Mine will be sans turkey, of course.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The only constant is change


Ok, so girlfriend Donna has decided (as of today) that she's running her first half marathon TOMORROW! She's been training, but has had some knee issues, and wasn't sure if she could do tomorrow's race. Well, decision made, and I get to run with her!

So the plan is to run together, unless I slow her down (Donna is a speedy one), in which case we've agreed that she's going to take off at whatever pace works best for her. And after the race, I'm going to do 7 more miles, so I'll have another 20 under my belt! I'm looking forward to doing 20 this way, as my 17, 20, and 22 mile runs have all been run by myself, and that kinda wears on you as the miles go by.

So wish me luck, friends. I'm running Four Bridges tomorrow!

UPDATE: My running coach/husband, after looking over my training schedule, tells me I do not have to do the extra 7 tomorrow after the half -- woo hoo! I'm 6 weeks out from the marathon, and will be doing a 24 and a 20 as my last two long runs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

1200 miles, baby!!!

Let the celebration begin... :)

I think my ultimate goal for the year is 1500 -- that would mean 37.5 miles per week, which is very doable, given the training schedule I have for the marathon. But I'm not entirely ready to commit to 1500 miles. Why? Because it's HARD to run lots of miles when it starts getting cold and rainy!

I'll keep y'all posted!

10 more miles...

...until I hit 1200 for the year. Amazing how a goal can pull you forward! In March I set the goal of 1000 miles for the year, and at that time I was "behind" being on track for that. Now I'm at a weekly average for the year of 27 miles per week. As I look at the numbers I feel kinda like, "Really? Have I really gone that far?" But I know I've tracked well and guess what? If you run consistently, the miles add up.

Speaking of running consistently, I'll be following the SF One Day race tomorrow. It's where people run for 12 or 24 hours and see how many miles they can complete. I'm oddly fascinated by stuff like this, but don't read too much into it, ok? I'm still scared of doing the marathon, much less going any further than that!

Finally, here are some Halloween images that made me smile:

Once a math geek, always a math geek, right?

South Beach treats, anyone?

Sad, but true...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Anniversary weekend pictures, part 2

Mendocino is really beautiful. There are scenes like this everywhere you look:

I got some new shoes:

We went for a run along Big River.

Tim running:

Me running:

Taking a break after 3 miles:

Cooling off fast after the run:

So beautiful:

Random weekend thoughts:
Mendocino, land of the Prius, is the only place where one can feel guilty for driving a Camry Hybrid, as it doesn't get as good of gas mileage as it could if it were a Prius!
Breakfasts at the inn were fabulous, and I loved that there was no bacon or sausage!
At a dog-friendly place, there are always happy dogs to be petted.
North coast CA is really laid back. Maybe it's all the pot in the air...:)
Hot stone massage is relaxing, but I won't do it again, as I love therapeutic massage and ALWAYS have issues to be attended to.
There are a million yummy restaurants to choose from. We ate at Cafe Beaujolais twice because it was that good!
Having a wood-burning fireplace in your room is fun and romantic.

I think I've regained my equilibrium after the weekend and it feels good to be back!

Anniversary weekend pictures, part 1

(As sometimes happens, Blogger is having trouble letting me upload pictures, so I'm breaking this post into sections, hoping I can get around whatever's going on with Blogger today.)

As promised, pictures from our anniversary weekend. We stopped in Davis, about an hour into the trip, for lunch at Bistro 33.

Then we really hit the road. The drive to Mendocino is 5 hours, and as you get closer to the coast, it looks like this:

Tim takes a break from driving.

Meals at the inn were delicious. On the first morning, this is what our waters looked like. My water is on the right. Can you see the problem? (Middle glass is fresh carrot juice -- yum!)

Once we fixed them, life was much better. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nike does the right thing!

Got this info from Vanilla at Half Fast.
Nike is announcing today that it recognizes Arien O'Connell as a winner in last weekend's Nike Women's Marathon completing the full race in 2:55:11. She shattered her previous time and achieved an amazing accomplishment.

Arien will receive the same recognition and prize, including a Tiffany & Co. trophy, the full marathon elite group winner received. Arien was unfortunately not immediately recognized as a race winner because she did not start the race with the elite running group, which is required by USATF standards. Because of their earlier start time, the runners in the elite group had no knowledge of the outstanding race Arien was running and could not adjust their strategies accordingly.

Learning from the unique experience in this year's race, Nike has decided today to eliminate the elite running group from future Nike Women's Marathons. Next year, all runners will run in the same group and all will be eligible to win.

Nike has a proven track record of supporting athletes and we're proud to be able to honor Arien and other athletes who surpass their goals and achieve great accomplishments.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What goes up...

...must come down. As delightful as the weekend was with Tim, re-entry has been a bitch! I'll post pictures once I regain my equilibrium. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend workouts

Saturday: 5 mile run along Big River
Sunday: 40 minute kettlebell workout in the room while watching football!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Anniversary - aaaaah!

This weekend we're belatedly celebrating our anniversary, staying at The Stanford Inn, a vegetarian (vegan, really) inn, and it is absolutely lovely, from the wood-burning fireplace in the room, to the awesome breakfast, to the trails that run along Big River (which we're going to run on in a few minutes) to the gorgeous scenery of coastal Northern California. In the midst of some of our toughest parenting times thus far, it feels extra wonderful to be away from real life, and to just enjoy my husband! I'll have pictures to share when we return.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A food ultimatum for myself


On Monday I wrote about needing to rethink my eating. I still really like being vegetarian -- the idea of eating animals don't sit well for me (eating body parts or ground flesh -- no think you!), nor does it make sense to drink milk (that's for baby cows, not for me!). I eat very limited amounts of cheese and eggs. That all sounds good, right? Well, I've slipped back into my lazy processed food ways, so although I'm not eating animals, the way I'm eating is anything but healthy.

I continue to try to eat a whole foods based diet. I read everything Tracy Reifkind writes and agree with her views. But I've been unwilling to put them into practice thus far.

So I started to think about what kind of leverage I can use on myself. Like what kind of deal can I make that will spur me into action. Because living like I do now:

Breakfast: handful of almonds, vegan protein bar, Diet Pepsi
Snack: some peanut butter?
Lunch: baby carrots and hummus, another protein bar
Snack: Frosted Mini Wheats and soy milk
Dinner: Salad? Frozen burrito? Whatever.
Post-dinner: Protein bar, or cereal again, maybe some Doritos or Sun Chips, anything chocolate

See much balance here? I sure don't!

So here's what I've come up with. I need to start eating real food. A lot more fruits and veggies. Just a better diet all together. And if I don't? I have to go back to eating meat.

So today I've had:

Breakfast: almonds, vegan protein bar (old habits die hard!)
Snack: Green smoothie (I've missed these!)
Lunch: Falafel wrap from U-Food
Snack: pumpkin apple muffin

Ok, so it's not the best, but it's better than before, don't you think? And my deal with myself has me thinking about my food choices, because I'd rather be a healthy carnivore than a processed/chemical-ed vegetarian. And I think that may be enough leverage to keep me moving towards better food choices, don't you?

More about running 22 miles

I'm so happy the run is behind me. I figure the next time I do 22, it will be a little bit easier, because with each long run I learn lots of good stuff. Here are some notes from this one:
  • Because of my AM/PM sugar packet experience, I did carry both a cell phone and some money this time! See what an experienced runner girl I am!
  • I think I'd be better off taking a day off before the long run. On Monday night I did speed work (7 miles) and on Tuesday I did LOTS of kettlebell swings. So on Wednesday, my glutes and hamstrings were sore and it might be better to be fresh for long distances.
  • I tried Accelerade for the first time this run, and I liked it. They tell you they have a 4:1 carb/protein ratio and that it's best for endurance and recovery. All I can say is that I didn't have too much post-run tummy weirdness, and that's a good thing, right?
  • This run had two distinct halves. The first 12 miles went really well, and I averaged a 9:05 pace. By mile 15, I had a huge cramp and was considering quitting. And those last 7 miles were amazingly tough. I think I averaged almost 10 minutes per mile, and that was only because I was pushing to go fast (HA!).
  • What got me through those last 7 miles were stubbornness (I did NOT just run 15 miles to have them go to waste!) and my marathon runner neighbor Jan. I ran into her at mile 15. She just did a 4:06 marathon two weeks ago, and is running the Nike half this weekend. She asked me how many miles I was running and I told her. She said, "You're doing GREAT!" (and she IS the most encouraging person on the planet). Then she asked why I didn't have a water bottle, and said she always gets super thirsty the last few miles of a long run. So I took her advice and ran home to get a water bottle (like most of my runs, I was never more than about 4 miles from my house and at this point I was 2 blocks away!). And the whole last 7 miles I would think, "I want to stop running!" and then I would think, "Jan says I'm doing GREAT!" Thank you God for putting Jan there to help me through this run.
  • I will never again schedule ANYTHING after a long run. (I trained a client 45 minutes after I stopped running.) It's just too taxing. What I really want (I think I may have written this before) is to be like Dean Karnazes who just gets home from a run and immediately starts playing with his kids and enjoying life. I'm more like "Where's the computer (must log miles on weblog and on dailymile!)?", "Where's the shower?" and "Where's my bed?". It may sound nuts, but I really do want to be able to run 15 - 20 miles and just get back into life. Is that unrealistic? (Don't answer that unless you answer really nicely, ok?)

Can't sleep.

Tried to take a nap after today's long run. Dogs were restless and barking, and kids were home from school and I just couldn't do it. So I thought sleeping tonight would be easy. Nope. Can't sleep. Can't get comfy. Don't like it much.

Thanks for all the nice comments, friends! I really do intend to reply to every one, but sometimes it takes me a while.

Parent Project was excellent. So good that it would be great if it were required for all parents of pre-teens. Don't want to infringe on copyrighted materials, but I'll give some general overview info as the class goes on.

Heading back upstairs to attempt to sleep once more. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

22 mile run

Done. Took everything. So happy it's behind me. No way I could have run 4.1 more miles. Good thing marathon is nearly 2 months away.

I'm starting a class called The Parent Project tonight. I've heard wonderful things about it, and as life with my older son is becoming increasingly difficult, I'm hoping this class will provide some solutions. But I bring it up because if anyone is in Rocklin tonight and wants to see something that will make them laugh, stop by the Parent Project at 9:00 to see me attempting to get up out of a chair after sitting for 3 hours!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tucker at the Mud Run

Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is from California Sizzles, a Pasadena Junior League cookbook that my mother in law got me about 15 years ago. It has some wonderful recipes, and this is just one of many:

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups butternut squash, diced
1 granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 - 2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch of nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth (I use veggie broth)
1 ½ cups milk
1 orange, juiced plus grated rind
salt and pepper


In a large soup pot melt butter and saute onions over medium heat until soft. Add squash, apple and garlic. Saute for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add flour, curry powder and nutmeg, stirring constantly to blend. Slowly add broth, milk and orange juice and rind, stirring constantly to combine. Simmer 20 - 30 minutes until vegetables are very soft.

Puree in batches in blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Pics from the pumpkin farm



You've just gotta love the beauty and energy of being twelve!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

7 fast-ish miles

I don't want to become a really slow runner, and in order to avoid this, some workouts need to be about speed. Sometimes I'll do a Cardio Coach (wonderful workouts!) to push my speed. Tonight I happened to be following two faster runners (they looked like high school girls, but it turns out they were mother and high school daughter -- lots to love about running!), so I started out fast, then hung with them for a couple of miles, then worked to stay fast. I ended up running 7 miles at an 8:21 pace, which is Speed Racer fast for me.

The plan for the rest of the week is maybe one slower mid-distance run, say 6 to 8 miles. Then on Thursday I'm running 22. And what will keep me going is that on Friday Tim and I are leaving for a weekend in Mendocino (belated anniversary getaway). We're staying at a beautiful vegetarian B&B on the ocean, and we're scheduled for massages in the forest, we're planning to rent a canoe or kayak or bikes (or maybe all 3) and we're just gonna enjoy a kid-free weekend --- aaaaaahhhhhh, bliss!

Final pumpkin post

  • Although I am an introvert, at the 3 hour mark, I felt lonely at the pumpkin patch. However, I read a lot of good blog entries and read some great training books.
  • My son is now old enough that I can embarrass him which is the only reason I didn't bring running clothes or start doing pushups on the picnic benches. If I'd been here by myself, exercise would have happened, because I truly don't care what other people think.
  • I bought a new pig -- a really cute garden stake. I'll post pics later this week.
  • Pumpkin apple muffins are delicious!
  • I need to rethink my eating. Confession: I've fallen into the love of manufactured food trap once again. And as I'm a lazy cook, I'm living on salads and protein bars, because I don't want to cook two dinners. May have to rethink the vegetarian thing, as often times being veg these days means I eat raw almonds, protein bars, baby carrots, and whatever sugary treats I want (one of the benefits of running lots of miles, but NOT the way I want to fuel my body).
  • Note to self -- post butternut squash soup recipe. I just said I'm a lazy cook, but that doesn't mean I don't cook at all. In fact, I'm a good cook, but I'm burned out on the whole dinner thing. I do have a few fabulous fall recipes though, and one of them is an out-of-this-world good butternut squash soup recipe. I promise I'll share it this week!
Time to load up the kidlets and head back home. Happy Monday, friends!

Runner arms begone!

A few weeks back, my husband, who says what he means and means what he says, told me that my arms were getting a little too runner-like, in his opinion. This came as no surprise, as I was focusing on running almost to the exclusion of anything else. So I've planned some more upper body weight workouts over the last few weeks. And I put a pair of 12 pound weights in the family room, and have been using them when I watch TV. Hey guess what? When you lift weights consistently, you look and feel stronger! Here's my TV-watching weight routine:

Pushups: 3 sets of 10
Overhead press: 2 or 3 sets of 20
Rear delt flyes: 2 sets of 10 or so
Fast hammer curls: 2 or 3 sets of 15
One arm rows (using both weights in one hand): 2 sets of 10 or so
Tricep press: 2 sets of 10

As you can tell, I don't have this written down or formalized or anything. But doing this while watching TV makes it feel like "not exercise" and I like that.

The day of much writing

The kids came back after seeing the animals and riding the hay ride, and we had lunch together. They are so fun to be around! Now they're in line for the train. So yeah, there will probably be a few more blog posts today...

Why I broke up with my scale

I haven't weighed myself in almost a month now. Why? Because I never react in a sane manner to my weight. If it's a good weight (less than 135 or 136) I want to celebrate by eating. And if it's a bad weight (more than 137) I want to eat to console myself. And why should any of those numbers be labeled "good" or "bad"? I know it's easy to measure your weight, and maybe if I could just treat weight as information, it would be fine to weigh. But so many things affect your weight, which is why it can fluctuate so wildly within a few days or even in a single day (water weight, anyone?) So I've given up weighing. But right now, all my close are loose, even my "skinny clothes." My rings are loose. Running is going well, and I'm feeling strong, energetic and alive. So I guess if I did weigh, it would be a "good" number, right?

Why I exercise

Running, biking and swimming with Tucker last night was SO MUCH FUN, although swimming is amazingly difficult, which is why I intend to do more of it in the near future! But I loved how I could connect with my kid through play, and that's one of the main reasons I exercise. Some might think that "how you look" would be at the top of anyone's list for why they exercise. Actually there are many reasons why I stay active, and vanity is probably at the very bottom of the list. Here, in order, are the reasons why I stay active:

1. To keep my emotions and moods on an even keel.
2. So I can eat a lot of food. :)
3. To feel confident and sexy with my husband.
4. So I can play and move without the restrictions that can come with age.

Anyone else want to chime in on why you do what you do???

Hangin' at the pumpkin farm

http://sarahmeyerwalsh.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/pumpkins_2.jpg
So I'm sitting at a picnic table at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm. It's a beautiful fall day and Tucker and his 3 friends are enjoying all that Bishop's has to offer. At almost 13, he and his friends wanted some freedom, so I told them I'd plant myself with the laptop and some good books, and I would be content as they have fun here at the farm. Thanks to the magic of cell phones, I can check in with them and let them know where I am, and we're going to have lunch all together, which will be fun.

I started taking the kids to Bishop's when Austin was just 1 year old, and it was an annual tradition until just the last few years when the kids were of the "I can take it or leave it" mindset. But when you bring friends along, it's a whole new thing. Bishop's makes the BEST pumpkin bread and we will be leaving with lots of it! Perhaps that can be my 55 mile celebration treat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Make that 55

Tucker wanted to go to the gym and do a triathlon, so we did a 1 mile treadmill run, 3 mile bike, and 100 meter (4 lap) swim. Tons of fun!!!

Highest mileage week ever

54 miles this week. Body feels good. Marathon is exactly 8 weeks from today. That thought makes me feel nervous AND excited.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My son's going to homecoming tonight!


I hope he has a GREAT time and makes equally GREAT decisions. It's very strange being the parent of a teenager. And delightful. And confusing. And I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

How my family views my running

Reactions in my immediate family are varied and as unique as the individuals I share this home with.

Austin (age 15, oldest son) does not hesitate to tell me that I'm insane. Truly nuts. Can't imagine why I'd want to run at all ever. When I tell him about long runs, he uses this as evidence to back his theory of my insanity. My reaction to this? I laugh. It's par for the course with a smart, sarcastic teen in the house.

Tucker (age 12, youngest son) is the exact opposite. He delights in my miles. He tells me I'm his "crazy running mommy!" (but he says this as he's giving me a huge hug) and that he's so proud of me. When I told him I ran 6 miles yesterday, he said, "That's NOTHING for you!" Tucker's encouragement feels absolutely wonderful!

A funny aside here -- Tucker tried cross country for one day when school started. He came home and exclaimed, "All they do is run!" Ummm, yeah Tuck. That's what they DO in cross country!

Tim (age 44, best husband) says he is "crazy proud" of me and that feels fabulous! He ran 3 marathons in his late 20s and early 30s and doesn't want to train that hard again (it messes with his golf game!), but is really excited that I'm training for my first marathon. I don't think I'd even be signed up for the marathon if it wasn't for his offhand comment a few weeks ago where he said I could run a marathon if I wanted to. Thanks so much, Tim!

All I know is that regardless of their views on running, every one of my guys will be busy on the morning of December 7th as I run my very first marathon. And yes, Austin, you DO have to get up early even though I know it's your least favorite thing in the world to do!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

You STILL send me!


Nineteen years ago today was one of the best days of my life!

I love you more with every year we spend together!

Baby, you STILL send me! Happy anniversary!

God stuff

In my world view, it's all God stuff. But I wanted to bring to your attention two specific God-inspired things you might want to check out:

1. Fireproof. Tim and I saw this movie on Friday and it's wonderful. It is a Christian movie, which means they're going to talk about God, and I'd give it a B+ in terms of acting. But it's a wonderful movie about marriage and it somehow manages to be encouraging, instructional, and laugh-out-loud funny all at the same time. I came away with some fresh ideas on keeping my marriage strong. For those who are struggling, I'd highly recommend it. Don't know how long it will be in theaters, but it's worth checking out.

2. The Shack. Our pastor recommended this and after Tim read it and loved it, I decided to give it a go. I am a Christian, but one with lots of questions. This book helped answer quite a few questions I'd had, and helped me to get a fresh perspective on God. Highly recommended!

Note to Jo Lynn -- I don't know how to get in touch with you directly, but we go to Bayside in Granite Bay, which IS affiliated with the one in Lincoln. I don't know your brother (darn it!) but I'm encouraged to know there are ultra runners like you (and maybe me someday?) in the Christian world! If you want to email me, I'm lgandy at starstream dot net.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Longest run thus far

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I ran 20 miles today.

Re-reading that, it doesn't even seem possible. But yep, I ran 20 miles.

It was not easy. And true to my crazy kind of running, I never ran more than 3 miles from my home. The first 7 miles were easy, except because it's that time of the month, I needed to make a girl pit stop by the house (part of why I never went very far from home). Next 7 miles were good too. Then another pit stop. Last 6 miles got tough as I headed into new territory. But now it's done.

I'm trying to figure out long runs. Last weekend I ran 17 on Sunday and didn't like that, because it felt like I was bitchy and draggy the whole rest of the day, and it's a day with my family. So today I ran with the kids in school and Tim at work, thinking that would be better. I'm not sure if it is or not. Kids still have needs. Dinner still happens. Honestly, what I want to be is Dean Karnazes, who talks about running all night, then coming home and playing with his kids. I'm more like "Stop the world -- I ran 20 miles today!" Maybe as I get used to more distance it will be easier. Actually, I no longer feel completely wiped by a 13 mile training run, and as that used to be my longest distance, maybe there's hope as I stretch out the miles.

So what's happening right now? I'm making chocolate chip cookies and loving every minute of it!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday projects

In addition to laundry, cleaning and normal maintenance, I tackled two projects I've been putting off for a while:

Project 1: Unlace, wash, dry and relace my running shoes. (Two pairs were used in the Mud Run -- Tucker and I wear the same size -- and the others just needed washing. Also, I don't have 4 active pairs of running shoes. Two pair probably have too many miles on them, but I can't bear to part with them!)

Project 2: Tear the pantry apart to find the source of the tiny moths that have been making a home there over the last few weeks. (The "Leslie Lane" sign was stolen for me by some high school friends, and I've treasured it ever since. And I LOVE our pantry!)

The difference between me and Tina Fey


(This is Tina Fey and not me. Sorry for any confusion!)

There are, of course many differences. She is an A-List Hollywood actress. I am a stay-at-home wife and mom/part-time personal trainer. She is known by millions. I am known by tens (maybe hundreds?). And the list could go on and on. But the contrast between us became painfully obvious when we had similar injuries. Remember when I skinned my knees in the Mud Run and called them "kindergarten knees?"

Well, this weekend on Twitter, Tina Fey posted this:

I stubbed my knee last night and now it looks like I've been blowing a hobo on gravel.

hoboless gravel

Yeah, we may LOOK alike, but our minds certainly don't work the same!

Copying Tracy

I did NOT feel like working out today, but knew I needed something to wake me up. So I took Tracy's workout and changed it slightly (cuz I'm not as strong!) and here's what I did:

Warmup = 40 2 hand swings w/12kg x 3 set, 1 min work/rest = 6 minutes

1st set = 12 kg 3 minute work set, 1 minute rest
44 transfers, 1 minute
12 clean, press, transfer, 1 minute
44 transfers, 1 minute
1 minute rest

I did this 3 times = 12 minutes

2nd set = 12 double clean&press w/2 8kg's
45 sec work, 45 sec rest

I did this 10 times = 15 minutes

3rd set = 30 double swings w/2 8kg's
45 sec work, 45 sec rest

I did this 5 times = 7 1/2 minutes

Total workout = 40 minutes

I liked the double kettlebell work, which is something I've rarely done. I had to stop after 3 sets of the transfers and c&p's with the 12kg's as my hands were feeling pretty beaten up. So I put on some sock sleeves and dropped to a lighter bell that I knew I could control with the sleeves on. Even so, the double swings just about killed me -- limiting factor? Forearms, baby! This workout felt consistent with my desire to get stronger in my upper body and it mostly preserved my legs for tomorrow's long run.

Muchas gracias, Tracy! It was fun workout out with you today. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

On the outside, I'm a suburban housewife...

...and I look like this:

On the inside I'm a little (a lot?) less conservative, and I want to look like this:

This is Catra, aka Dirt Diva. If you don't yet read her weblog, you should. She's just completed her EIGHTH HUNDRED MILE RACE this year!

So I know that I could go and get lots of tattoos, but I'm approaching 50, not 30, and I think those tattoos would have nowhere to go but south. Sign. I guess I'll make do with running shirts like this:


(From the Athleta catalog. More views here. The back of the shirt is even cuter than the front.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

If I explode...

...you'll know it's because I was so filled with pre-period sugar (note to self: do NOT let kid make cookie dough, then put it into nice individual containers [RAW] in the garage fridge) and water that something had to give.

I'm off on a 10 mile run. Hoping to drop, oh, 10 or 20 pounds of excess fluff!

(20 minutes later) Julianne reminded me that I was planning on using today as a rest day. Plus I have a huge blister that's starting to heal and not running today would surely help. Ok, here's the compromise. Atom Ant suggested a workout months ago -- crud -- now I can't find it! Going from my sieve of a memory, here's what I think it was:

5 rounds
100 jump ropes
25 squats

Wish I could find it! Anyway, I think I'll just do a short intense workout today, then run medium tomorrow. Given the blister, the intensity of the last few days of running, and what I KNOW to be smart, it's the right thing to do. Thanks Julianne and Atom Ant!

(15 minutes later)
Did it! Time was 6:15. Felt kinda like one huge Tabata interval. Was pleased to see that I haven't lost the jump roping skills developed in 5 months of boxing camp earlier this year -- I didn't foot fault even once!

(1 hour later)
Ran 6 miles. I was warmed up and just felt like getting out there! Took it easy though with a 9:25 overall pace. I think it's finally fall here -- woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CrossFit-ish workout

10 minutes of
Clean and press, 35 pound barbell
20 kettlebell swings, 16 kg kettlebell
I finished 7 rounds.

10 minutes of
10 pushups
10 TRX rows
20 kettlebell swings, 12 kg kettlebell
Also 7 rounds of this.

I am dripping sweat, and only exercised for 20 minutes. Nice!