29 December 2010

Dog Days are Over

I really don't have anything profound to report, however I feel like it has been a while since I just rambled on about a bunch of nothingness so here goes! I have been doing much more running lately, and all of it has been in my VFF's! I must have the most delicate feet in the world because although they are comfortable shoes I ended up with a couple of blisters and the bottoms of my feet were really tender for the first few runs. I am still wearing them without socks and think I will keep it that way.

So far the longest run I have done is 60 minutes while wearing them. I have also done a few 30-40 minute runs and it just keeps getting easier and easier. I do notice some soreness in my calves and the back of my heels that I don't get with normal running shoes but the best part is that my knees haven't felt achy whatsoever- and I have not worn my braces at all! I have been taking the heavy bag boxing class about twice a week and also have started going to an advanced circuit class Friday mornings. And playing soccer of course!

So, about soccer...I have put a lot of thought into this and as far as I can tell I have two options for soccer during my marathon training. Either I quit playing for 18 weeks or I play goalie. Yes, you read that correctly, I am seriously considering playing goalie for my indoor coed league! There is just no way I can continue playing Friday night games and then doing my long training runs Saturday morning if I want to be successful in my marathon. But I figure as goalie I am not doing all the running and stop/go motions that increase injury rates. Our current session has 3 games left and the last one just happens to be the Friday before my training will begin (January 31st).  So I have a bit of time to decide and hopefully try playing goalie to see how I like it.

I also realized that my running playlist was actually starting to annoy me! I was getting tired of hearing the same songs over and over so I spent some time making a new one the other night. I still need to come up with some more good running tunes so if anyone has a great song let me know!

Our family enjoyed a really nice Christmas this year.  We spent some time with my mom and my brother and his family on Christmas Eve.  She cooked homemade lasagna (my favorite) and it was a really nice evening.  Chrismas day we were able to spend at home.  We had about 16 people over and I made brunch for everyone.  We played games and the kids were able to enjoy all of their new presents.  Dinner that night was mellow and we were able to spend it with Will's brother before he headed back to Boise to live.  It was perfect.

However, I am looking forward to starting a new year. I gave up on weighing myself and checking my body fat for now. I just really don't want to know and figure I will start fresh on January 1st. Why torture myself right??? So I have been avoiding the scale at the gym but promise to get back to business next week. I am currently working on my New Year's resolutions and will have a list for you this weekend. If anyone out there is looking for some ideas here is one for you- join me at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5th, 2011!!! There is a race distance for everyone- a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full. Check it out, it is a beautiful area and what a great resolution- running!!!! http://www.nodm.com/

I will leave you with my current song obsession, enjoy!

19 December 2010

Chasing Santa!

After the race, feeling pretty good!
When I woke up yesterday morning I just knew it would be raining.  How did I know that?  Well, because I was signed up to run a race- and that means it will rain that day!  Cynthia and I, along with a couple of other friends (Ray and Eric) were all heading downtown Tacoma to run the Santa Runs Tacoma 5k race.  I was really excited since this was my first race since September 26th when I ran the You Go Girl half marathon (yep, rained then too!).

I got all decked out in my fancy costume and waited for Cynthia to arrive at my house.  And magically by the time she arrived the rain had stopped!  We got really lucky because the weather held out and the sun even made an appearance towards the end of the run!  We made our costumes last week and I think they turned out pretty cute- we were snowflake girls!  We had a ton of comments on them, and I also got plenty about my shoes since I wore my Vibram's.

Cynthia, Ray and I post race
I knew I wanted to set a PR on this course- it was the same as the very first race I ever did last March for the St. Patty's Day run.  I decided to skip the ipod and just tune into my body and push myself as hard as I could.  We started off strong and Cynthia, Eric and I all stayed together for the first couple of miles.  I kept pushing the pace a bit faster as we got closer to the end and Eric fell back a bit.  Cynthia and I stayed together and were able to hold hands as we crossed the finish line.  This will probably be the last race we do together for a while.  Of course we had to pass our token runner at the very end- this time a fellow snowflake girl!

I felt great during the whole run, my feet didn't fatigue in my VFF's like they had the previous week so that made me happy.  And the best part?  My time was AWESOME!  Overall this was one of the most fun races I have done yet!

My Stats:
Total Time- 27:52
Pace- 8:59
Female (my age group)- 16/91
Female (overall)- 90/619
Overall- 230/934

Ready to head out the door!

14 December 2010

Runner Girl is Back!

So I have officially ended my break from running.  I have just missed it too much to wait any longer so I will try to run somewhere between 15-20 miles each week leading up to January 31st.  At that point I will begin my 18 week training plan to prepare for my very first marathon!  I decided to run the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5th 2011.  This particular race makes the most sense to me for a variety of reasons.

I think the part I like best is running the same race from my New Year's resolution last year- only doubling it!  I also love the location, it is very pretty and peaceful up in the Sequim/Port Angeles area.  The weather is guaranteed to be mild, the race is well organized with tons of awesome volunteers.  And I have at least two friends who will be running the half version with me, so that is an added bonus.  I am going to attempt to recruit a few more, so we will see what happens.   If you are even slightly interested in joining me (running or cheering me on!) here is the website- www.nodm.com

I have decided to follow the Hal Higdon training plan for my marathon.  Right now I am reading his book Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide and it is very interesting and informative.  He is in his 80's and still running marathons- that is amazing!  It is an 18 week program so that means it will officially start on January 31st for me.  I am so excited, I cannot wait to be back on a training plan.  I know, what is wrong with me right?  I am just one of those people who need a PLAN!  Tell me what to do, then I will go do it- it makes my life so much easier.  And there is just something so satisfying about saying "I'm training for a marathon" to people!

I ran for 40 minutes in my VFF's today on my treadmill.  I ran slowly on purpose, I just don't want to do too much too fast and end up in the same boat as before (injured).  But I still expected it to be somewhat difficult to run for that long- that maybe I would feel out of breathe or something like when I very first started running.  But nope, it was like I had never stopped, I didn't even break out in a sweat from the pace I made myself keep (10:30 or so).  I should know myself better than that, I sprint up and down the soccer field every Friday and feel good doing that.  It is so true what they say about it being a mental game! 

I attached my Nike+ sensor to the top of the shoe with a velcro strap I bought and it seemed to work great at picking up my pace.  I decided to continue with the Nike+ for now since it is my only option but also because I want to complete my first full year of running with it so I can have all of my data in one spot.  January 14th, 2011 will mark my one year anniversary of running, and what an amazing year it has been!  Life changing- I have seriously become a different person.  Running long distances has taught me things about myself I never knew I was capable of.  I am so excited for the next leg of my journey to begin!  Runner Girl is BACK!!!!

10 December 2010


Warning:  I am about to do a bit of venting!  I apologize in advance if anyone is offended.

So a couple of nights ago I was sitting with some friends/acquaintances chatting.  We got on the subject of exercising and how often we all go to the gym.  All of a sudden one of the men (who I actually don't know that well) says "so the three skinniest people here are the ones who never go to the gym!" and everyone kind of looked around and agreed it was true.  And almost joked about it like it was funny or cool.  Ok, now out of the six of us sitting there not one of us is what I would consider to be overweight.  Three of them just happen to be naturally skinny.  But that isn't the part that really bothered me. 

What bothered me was the insinuation that being skinny is the same as being healthy.  Like it is somehow ok to not exercise and eat junky food because you won't gain any weight.  I know for a fact that the three "skinny" people at that table have terrible eating (and drinking) habits and they are only skinny because they were lucky enough to have good genetics.  Not one of them ever sets foot into a gym and probably think running a mile is an impossible task.  That is not my idea of a healthy person.  Just because somebody is thin does not automatically mean they take care of their body!

It is just frustrating that as much effort as I apply to eating right and exercising it didn't seem to matter at that moment.  Because I am not "skinny".  Well, I have news for you people- I don't want to be skinny!  I just want to be healthy, toned and fit.  I would much rather have an average sized, athletic looking body than be skinny.  So there.  And now I am done with my ranting and raving.

Yesterday morning I headed off to the gym wearing my VFF's (of course).  I think I was feeling a tad guilty for taking a rest day the day before so I started off doing 15 minutes on the stairclimber, then did my 60 minute boxing class...then set off outside to do a 2 mile run!!!  The run was amazing, it was the first time I had really ran in my Vibram's and it felt really good. 

My gym doesn't have a track so I ran around the building (each lap is almost 1/4 mile) 9 times.  I ran slowly and focused on my form- no ipod, no tracking device- just me and my mind.  Boy have I missed running!!!  I was in heaven just running those silly laps, getting all muddy because parts are not paved and it had been pouring rain all morning.  I can't wait to get back to those longer runs- where it is just ME.  My thoughts, my body, my breathing.  To me, that is a little piece of heaven.



06 December 2010

Cold Feet

So my intention for the last week has been to go outside and run completely barefoot in an attempt to strengthen my feet.  I have been doing some research on how to ease into minimalistic running and that was a suggestion that made sense to me.  Run only as far as your bare feet can tolerate so you don't overdo it.  I just couldn't quite get myself to get out the door though, especially when I remembered my walk from last week!   

I went for a 2 mile walk in my VFF's last Thursday afternoon around Wright Park- it was a beautiful, crisp day and I took advantage of a free hour before work.  As I wandered through the park, talking to squirrels and people watching I realized that my toes were pretty cold.  Then they became painfully cold...then numb and I couldn't feel them anymore.  They were like little frozen sticks.  I am not a fan of being cold! 

I didn't buy socks to wear with my Vibram's because they felt too "bunchy" when I tried them on.  I might be willing to get past that if it means I can retain sensation in my toes when I am outside!  It also might make a difference when I am actually running too- I wasn't exactly generating any extra body heat just walking.  I guess I will find out soon enough.

So I compromised with myself and did my barefoot run on my treadmill this morning.  I did a 10 minute walking warm-up, a 10 minute run then a 5 minute cool down.  All while just wearing some socks!  It was such a cool sensation to run barefoot.  You can feel every time you break form or step down heavy and correct it with the next step you take.  I think I am going to enjoy this new way of running a lot.  I will be adding 5 minutes to each run this week, then next week I will switch to the VFF's and should be able to start doing longer distances.

I have officially put a race on my calendar.  I will be running the 2010 Santa Runs Tacoma- Frosty's 5K on December 18th.  It will be my first race in my VFF's so that is exciting!  Cynthia is running with me and we are going to be dressing up.  We haven't picked our costume yet but we have a few ideas.  I can't wait!  This is the longest I have gone between races since June! 

The holidays are in full swing at our house!  We put our tree up a couple of weekends ago and decorated our gingerbread house.  I somehow managed to get Christmas cards addressed and in the mail today.  I haven't started my shopping yet- I probably need to get on that!  I love driving around and seeing all the pretty lights and listening to the kids ooohhs and aaaahhs over them.  I also love watching old holiday movies and listening to Christmas music.  The holidays are a hectic time, just remember to actually take time to enjoy them!     

I will leave you with a picture of a lego vehicle my daughter built the other day.  I especially like the 4 heads on the back with a walkie talkie in the middle.  She explained to me that they were "extras".  Oh good, you never know when you might need an extra head!  And don't forget the 4 extra bodies too.   Just in case.

01 December 2010

King Of Anything

So today was technically my next 4 week check-in day for my weight loss/body fat analysis. I decided to give myself a break and wait 2 more weeks. So I will be doing a 6 week check in on December 15th instead.  I have been enjoying this song right now so thought you might want to have a listen.  I love Sara Bareilles.  And this song is awesome.  Happy December!!!!