29 September 2010

You Go Girl!

Ready to run our 3rd half marathon- You Go Girl!
Well, I am happy to report I survived my third half marathon in less than 4 months!  Cynthia and I ran the You Go Girl half marathon last Sunday, September 26th.  It was the first year for this race and I have to say the course was pretty enjoyable.  It started downtown Tacoma on 9th and Market and ended down at Thea's Park on Dock Street.  We toured through the muddy trails of Wright Park.  We ran down Schuster Parkway, through Old Town, along the waterfront and then back to the finish line.  It poured, rained, misted and drizzled rain on our heads the entire way, but after a while I barely noticed.  I guess I am used to it by now- it has rained at some point during every single one of my half marathons.  This was the most it had rained during any given run I had done though.  My feet were absolutely soaked for several hours- they looked like I had been swimming for days once I got my socks off!

I ended up seeing several familiar faces during the course of my running.  At mile 1 and again around mile 2 one of the Tacoma Police Officers I know was directing traffic at an intersection.  My best friend Jaime volunteered (to stand in the pouring rain!!!) and was helping with traffic around mile 5.  I hopped up on the sidewalk and gave her a big hug which was a perfect energy boost at that time.  Thank you Jaime- love you!  Then around mile 6 I spotted one of my regular customers (his wife was running) and he gave me a big high five.  So nice to have some support and smiling faces out there even though the weather was terrible!! 

Around mile 8 I could feel the ache in my right upper quad setting in and it was making me nervous.  I just kept stopping to stretch for about 60 seconds every time I felt it and it seemed to go away.  I probably had to stop about 3 or 4 times but I never had to walk!!!!  I was sooo thankful for that.  My cardio was just fine, I definitely could have pushed harder in that aspect.  However, the memory of having to walk during my last attempt at a long run (on this same route!) kept me from overdoing it.  Slow and steady wins the race, right???  Or in my case, slow and steady finishes the race able to keep running!

There were pacers running with us carrying signs with finish times to help us gage where we were.  These are so helpful- a big visual sign that says "hurry up" or "wow, you are doing great"!  Well, in the beginning I was right in front of the 2:10 pacer.  Probably somewhere around mile 3 she passed me (which I expected).  At some point around mile 7 or so I realized the 2:20 pacer was still behind me so that became my sole focus- stay in front of the 2:20 pacer!  When I was stretching at one point I finally saw her heading towards me so off I went, picking up my pace a bit.  Around mile 10 I really needed to use the bathroom but was worried if I stopped she would pass me and I would never catch up.  So I skipped it, but on the return trip back down the waterfront I noticed there wasn't a line for the bathroom so I hopped in really quick and when I came out there she was- right behind me!  Again, I picked up my pace and thankfully never saw her again.  But thank you thank you thank you race organizers- those pacers are so helpful!!!  Maybe someday that will be me carrying the sign.

As I came into the finish line I spotted my family and friends cheering me on.  There was one girl right in front of me so I did what I always do- take it up a notch and sprint right past her over the finish line!  Thanks to my hubby for dragging the kids down to watch me cross the finish line as well as to Ray, Betsy, Kara and Morgan for being there to support me.  You guys are awesome! 

Prior to the race I had to do some real thinking about what was REALLY important to me as far as my physical fitness is concerned.  Yes, I have been training for months and months now to do these races.  But what was my real, ultimate, original goal?  To run a half marathon in less than 2 hours?  No.  That would be nice, however when I push myself too hard I get injured.  So that goal really doesn't make sense for me.  My original goal was to push past the plateau I was at and improve my overall fitness.  Which I have achieved. 

A few posts back I posed the question about whether or not I should play my 2 soccer games the night before my half marathon.  And while everything I know and everyone I talk to said I should not play those games, I should rest my muscles...my mind said PLAY!  Yes, I am crazy.  But if my goal was to improve my overall fitness why wouldn't I play soccer???  Playing 96 minutes of soccer (without a sub) then running 13.1 miles a mere 12 hours later- that, my friends, is one fit chick!  If I hadn't played soccer, maybe my time would have been faster.  But that is not what is important to me- I was there for my team and had a lot of fun playing those two games!  And I finished my half marathon between 2:10 and 2:15 which is all I can ask of myself.  I am apparently very consistent in my pace!  I don't regret my decision one bit.

Total Distance: 13.1 miles  Total Time:  2:14:53

49/120- Females aged 30-34
264/671- Overall   
So excited for our race- killing time so we don't have to hang out in the downpour!!!

Ready for anything!
Heading towards the finish line!!!

Happy to be done!!!

BRF's after completing our 8th race together!!!

24 September 2010

My New Neighbors

I was so excited that the new season of Biggest Loser started this week.  I love that show and always look forward to it.  If you have never watched this show the basic idea is that extremely obese people go live in a house on The Biggest Loser Ranch and learn how to eat properly, exercise and lose huge amounts of weight each week.  They are eliminated one by one based on the percentage of weight they lose until at the end there is one person who has lost the most percentage of their starting weight.  Hence the term "biggest loser" -get it? 

Anyways, I LOVE the two trainers on the show- Bob and Jillian.  They are amazing and I wish that they could be my neighbors.  Or my aunt and uncle.  Or they could just adopt me, whatever would be easiest for them.  These two are the main reason I like to watch this show.  I always learn from them and they are very motivational.  In fact, when I feel like I want to give up on my workouts a lot of times Jillian magically appears before my very eyes and starts yelling at me.  It works like a charm!  Because I certainly wouldn't want to make her mad!

So I started watching the season opener and as they were introducing all the new contestants for the show I just started feeling very frustrated.  How is it possible that our country has become so obese?  The fact that there is a need for this type of show in our country is horrible- I just don't really understand it.  Each contestant on the show says the same thing.  They don't know how to eat properly, they don't know how to exercise and there is some big tragedy in their life that is preventing them from enjoying their own. 

I find that hard to believe.  Well, perhaps sometimes those things ARE true.  However, there are resources available everywhere for people who would like to change their life and get healthy.  It isn't rocket science.  It's common sense!  You don't need The Biggest Loser to change your life.  Seriously.  Eating sensible, healthy meals and getting 30 minutes of physical activity a day (even going for a walk) would be a huge step in the right direction.  But you do have to make a conscious decision every day to make healthy choices in order to live your best, healthy life.  Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.  Especially calories!  If you want to lose weight and really LIVE your life you have the power to do that.  I didn't say it was easy, and I didn't say that it would happen overnight.  But it WILL happen if you put forth the effort.   

I am still going to watch The Biggest Loser of course.  It is fascinating to watch these people lose weight and transform their bodies.  And no way would I miss out on my Bob and Jillian time.  In fact, this show was my inspiration to run my first half marathon.  I figured if people who weigh double and triple my weight can run a FULL marathon, then certainly I can manage half of that!  I just kind of wish there wasn't a need for 10 seasons of this show.  That would be ideal. 

Update in my fitness world- I love my new gym!  I have been 3 times now and it is great to be back building my muscles!!!  I get 2 free sessions with a trainer and apparently they are going to do a body fat analysis and fitness evaluation on me.  Super, I was wondering how much of me was made up of fat!   If it isn't too horrifying I will let you all in on the details of that lovely test.  I will be running my third half marathon on Sunday September 26th.  It is the You Go Girl downtown Tacoma and I am very excited for all my hard work to pay off.  Even though I ended up having to stop my training schedule early because of my leg I am hoping that it will all work out.  Fingers crossed! 

Total Distance:  4.10 miles  Total Time:  40:23  
*a nice easy run to test out my leg- it was a bit tender but held up*

17 September 2010


Here is a small list of things that have made me smile, laugh or simply be happy this week.

1.  Daughter worrying about having to keep pace with her friend while running the 1K little girl dash, because "she says I wear her out when I run"!  I had to explain to her that starting a race together is really fun, but then it is ok to separate and find each other at the end.

2.  Son explaining to me today how his nightlight light bulb "ran out of batteries".

3.  One of my regular customers came in tonight.  She is a spunky older lady who always orders a mocha.  She said she needed to register her starbucks card so she could get her free birthday drink.  I asked if her birthday was coming soon and she said it was in January.  And that she would be turning NINETY!  I would never have guessed in a million years.  She said she was a runner all her life and had ran the Sound to Narrows almost every year since it started.  That is going to be me when I am old.  Shocking the hell out of people when I tell them I am going to be 90 years old in a few months.  She is my hero.  I will give her a free birthday drink whether her card is registered or not!

4.  I am going to get my muscles back.  I decided to switch to a new gym- All Star Fitness.  I am super stoked about it.  I canceled my YMCA membership back in June for summertime and have been trying to decide whether I wanted to go back or not.  I decided the only things I am going to miss are the kickboxing class with Nikki at the Morgan branch and the stretching/pilate's room Downtown.  That is about it.  So on to bigger and better at my new gym.  I went today and did a complete weight circuit- felt AMAZING!!!  There are some fun looking classes I want to try out as well.  I am happy with my decision.

5.  Watching this video:

Then just randomly saying "rug" to those who get the joke. 

6.  Playing Words with Friends on my Itouch is still fun.  Sometimes people play words that make you smile (or blush) when you see them.  You know who you are.  And somebody that REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to win a game against me actually won.  And even though it makes me a little mad that I lost, it also makes me happy.  Because that means that person is persistent, determined, learning and not being a poor sport about losing numerous times before that- and is therefore an awesome person to play a game with.  Because really, who likes a poor sport???  Not me!

7.  I booked our trip to Maui on Monday.  Airfare and condo are both paid for and we got an amazing deal on both.  We will be gone for 11 days.  I. Can't. Wait.  And I did a little research- there is a 10 mile Harbor to Harbor race the Saturday we will be there.  Guess who is going to run it?  ME!  How cool is that?


14 September 2010

Iron Girl

I was really looking forward to running the Aflac Iron Girl race last weekend (9/12) around Greenlake.  I had signed up to run the 10K and knew I could kill it since most of my midweek runs had been between 6 and 7 miles.  I was prepared to give it my all and hopefully get a really good time.  Well, since my leg/knee had been bothering me since my run last Thursday I was actually worried I wouldn't be able to run in it at all! 

I bought a foam roller at Sports Authority on Friday and it is my new best friend.  I would highly recommend getting one if you are somebody who works out regularly, it stretches your muscles in such a way that it hurts so bad you want to cry -yet feels so good you can't seem to stop!  Wondering what the heck I am talking about?  Check it out on You Tube:

I decided to skip out on my soccer game Saturday night, which I really hated to do but was the only logical decision if I was going to attempt running on Sunday morning.  It is hard to admit to yourself that you need to rest when what you really WANT to do is go be active and not let your team down.  But in the end my decision is what was best for my body so I just have to remind myself of that and let it go.

Sunday morning I woke up at 4:50am- which is quite possibly the earliest I have ever had to get up to go run in a race!  I headed over to Cynthia's house and we were on the road by 6am headed up to Greenlake.  The race was to start at 8am and parking up there is a bit tricky so we wanted lots of time just in case.  The weather was cold and cloudy but the rain held off -sound familiar?  Typical race weather!

There were 5 of us girls running together- Cynthia, Tiana, Robin, Aubree and myself.  I was still on the fence about whether or not I would do the 5K or the 10K, I just wasn't sure what my knee would feel like once I started running.  I am also a bit stubborn so I almost didn't trust myself to admit my knee was hurting and throw in the towel after one lap if there was even the slightest ache. 

There were around 2,000 women signed up to run the Iron Girl, which is a lot.  Especially considering the track is not very wide.  We made the mistake of starting way back in the 10 and 11 minute pace group so once we got started it was nearly impossible to get into a decent stride.  I know better than that- we should have wiggled our way forward more.  I blame sleep deprivation.  Anyways, my knee was feeling great which I was really thankful for and around mile 1.5 or so I looked at Cynthia and said "I am just going to do the 5K, so I am going to pick up my pace".  Easier said than done! 

I weaved in and out and around as best I could for the last mile or so.  The funny part was that after I crossed the finish line and was stretching I realized I hadn't even broke out into a sweat!  I don't even remember the last time I only ran 3 miles.  But I was really happy with my decision- my knee wasn't achy (well, maybe a little) but had I continued on I think I would have been mad at myself.  My time was decent but I wasn't able to really run as fast as I could have if there weren't so many ladies to pass!

Here are my stats:

Time: 29:35
Pace:  9:33
Place overall:  191/1370
Place in my age division:  30/255

Cynthia and I- 6am, heading out the door for the Iron Girl!

The Iron Girls post race-Me, Aubree, Tiana, Robin and Cynthia

Posing with the Aflac Duck- Cynthia, Robin, Tiana and me

10 September 2010

Blah, blah, crap

Well, this hasn't exactly been my favorite week of all time.  Not necessarily the worst either, but still not great.  We have all had a touch of a cold off and on in varying stages throughout the week.  Hubby got hit the hardest and stayed home from work for two days.  I ended up working 4 eight hour closing shifts in a row, which was really LONG.  I spent Labor Day working an incredibly busy afternoon with minimal staffing (earned my time and a half!). 

Son had his first time out at school on Thursday (his halo wore off).  Daughter threw up at school today and spiked a fever so I had to go get her.  I think she was just worn out, it hasn't really progressed into anything resembling the flu.  Yet.  This new schedule will take some time to get used to, but for now we are all just a little bit wiped out.

Yesterday I was supposed to do a 14 mile run for my training program.  It was to be my longest run yet, and I was really looking forward to it (yes, I am insane).  I was actually thinking I would just do a timed run of 2.5 hours which should be around 15 or so miles- just to say that I had ran for that long.  However, since the run last weekend my knee had been feeling a bit sensitive so I decided to just do 10 or 11 miles instead.  I headed down to the waterfront and set off on my run. 

Around mile 5 or so I could feel the ache starting in my knee.  I was determined it would be fine and just kept going.  Well, the pain spread up into my hip flexor and would come and go.  I would stop and stretch it out and just keep running.  Around mile 8 I just couldn't handle the pain anymore.  It felt like my leg would just not support my weight and I was going to fall flat on my face if I ran one more step.  And while that might make a great story, I wasn't taking any chances. 

So, I had to walk the entire rest of the way back to my car.  From The Dock all the way down Schuster Parkway, through Old Town and down the waterfront past Duke's -where I had parked my car.  About 3 miles or so.  Do you have any idea how long and frustrating that was???  Ugh.  Not to mention how hungry and thirsty I was when I was finally done.

I went out and got a foam roller today, and a more intensive knee brace so hopefully that will help.  I am supposed to play a soccer game tomorrow night and then run a 10K race Sunday morning so I am a little bit stressed out.  And my half marathon is coming rapidly, only 16 days away.  I might have to be done training for it and just hope for the best.  We will see what happens.  Send me some good thoughts please!  

On a positive note, the first jar of Nutella is finally all gone.  I would like to think I didn't eat a large portion of it, but who am I kidding?  I have now moved on to a much healthier jar of almond butter.  I am refusing to open the second one, I think it will be a Christmas gift or white elephant exchange present.  Who has the next birthday????  I hope you love Nutella!!! 

Total Distance:  8.4 Miles  Total Time:  1:26:23 (terrible, but I had to keep stopping to stretch!)


06 September 2010


It is that time of year I love and hate all at the same time.  Summer is ending (although to be honest, did we really HAVE a summer?) and Fall is on its way.  I love summer- the smell of sunscreen, wearing shorts and flip flops, camping, popsicles and going to the lake.  But my very favorite time of year is Fall, so this transition time is always kind of bittersweet.  I am sad to say goodbye to summer but eager to have cold mornings and warm afternoons, the changing leaves, my birthday and Halloween, apple cider and all the delicious smells of Fall. 

And one of the other best parts- SCHOOL!!!  And a set schedule- hooray!  My daughter is now in third grade, she loves her new teacher and ended up with many of her best friends in her class.  She is going to have a fantastic year.  And we made the decision to switch my son to a new preschool for a variety of reasons and he also seems to love his teachers and has made a few new friends as well.  He has his teacher fooled actually.  She said to me after the second day "Is he always so sweet and happy?  He is just a delight!"  I almost laughed (then I realized she wasn't kidding), so I just smiled and agreed with her.  I am glad he is behaving in class, that is all I really can ask for right??  Hopefully it stays that way!

First day of Preschool - 9/1/10
Heading up to her first day in 3rd Grade!  9/2/10
Last Saturday (9/4) I ran the 10 mile over the Narrows race in Gig Harbor.  The weather was typical for my racing days- cloudy, cool and a little rainy.  But is was a great run, Cynthia ran it as well as another friend of mine Alyssa.  This was her first race and she was a little nervous- it was cute actually because it reminded me of how I felt way back when I did my first race last March.  I decided to not look at my ipod whatsoever the whole race, just wanted to push myself as hard as I could and see what happened.  It was an extremely hilly route, and the wind on the bridge was so strong I couldn't even breathe through my nose.  I could tell I was running faster than I normally would because it was less comfortable.  But Alyssa kept up with me the entire time and I had a great finishing time of 1:35:41!  About 30-40 seconds faster per mile than usual for my longer runs!  This race wasn't chip timed but the organizers did a fantastic job of keeping us in order and recording our times.  Statistics were just posted and I was 82/219 overall for the females and 23/62 for my age group.  I am very happy with that, and if I keep that pace for my half marathon I figure I can finish right around 2:05!

Racer girls ready for action!!!  9/4/10

Alyssa and I racing for the finish line