Saturday, January 29, 2011

Running Update: Water

I can't truly enjoy my water unless it's cold.  Very cold.  So, I keep a glass in the fridge.  My glass is always frosty and it's the best water ever.  It's also a sort of challenge to see how many times I can empty my glass throughout the day.

I read once that when you're going on long runs you should only drink when thirsty.  I guess that makes sense.  Well, I drink my glass down at least four or more times a day.  I do have my "off" days where I get too busy, but I try to make sure I'm plenty hydrated.

Anyway, last night, I went running and I almost stopped at a mile and a half!  My legs felt like lead or blocks, or something awful.  I dragged myself up to two miles, almost fell off the treadmill, even, then told myself that if I can make it to two then I could do NO LESS than 3.2 (a 5k).  The little red numbers flicked up to 3.2 and I figured I should try and push to 3.5.  My legs still felt like I had monsters gnawing on them but I couldn't stop because my little red numbers were up to 3.7.  So, I polished the evening off with 4.1, 140 abs sets and 70 arm reps.  I suppose I should be fair and tell you all that I had been up since 2:45am with two sick children, didn't eat lunch and didn't take a nap.  REST and FOOD are important!!  uhm, like, duh.

Today I went to the gym and it was like I was a new woman.  I did an hour and a half of Zumba and then a 3.6 mile run.
Total miles for the week:

Don't know how to feel about this number.  The goal I set for myself is to have logged at least 20 + miles a week.   Should I beat myself up?  Mmmm, naw, I ran and I ran, and then pushed when I felt like I couldn't even lift my legs.

Here we go silent cheerleaders.  Another month is on the horizon.  Three cheers for staying committed this whole month!

**The YTD mileage summary: 76 miles, so far, for the month of January**

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Running Update: Coping

To be honest, this is getting me down:

It's pretty when it first arrives, but then it hangs around and hangs around're like, dude, you've sooo worn out your welcome.  Who likes 20 degree temps anyway?  Not to mention that when the sun goes down it can get as cold as 7.  Noway.  I have had it.

Last night I ran 4.4 and felt great!  I could have kept running but I had a workout partner that I had to meet up with.  I love having someone to keep me company.
The last part of my run I kicked the incline up to 6.5% and ran at 6.7mph.  I was hiking my knees high and focusing on my breathing.  It was hard.  I miss running on REAL hills, though. Soon enough, soon enough.
O!  And before I forget, I've decided to cross train two days a week.  Tuesdays and Thursdays I will be doing yoga and pilates.  It's soo important to strengthen your surrounding muscles.  When I first started running, my partner tried to express how crucial it was to stretch and do abs after our runs.  I wasn't into it.  First of all, I could barely breath because she was so much faster than I was and I spent the whole time trying to keep up, so by the time we got back it was all I could do to not fall on my face.
But now, you won't catch me sitting down after a run; I immediately fold over into a nice stretching routine followed by 130 abs.  The difference between my pre  "I'm-too-tired-to-stretch" running and my now running is huge. 
Bottom line: DON'T be lazy.  Think smart and do what you need to do to protect your body from injury.

Silent cheerleaders, I'm not running out of steam, I'm just warming up.  Hip-hip!

8.6 miles, this week, and counting

**The YTD mileage summary: 59.7**

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'm not an expert or anything, but I do have rudimentary knowledge on what I should be eating to keep myself healthy.

I'm not super crunchy...but I'm crunchy enough.  (for those of you not familiar with the term it simply means the difference between tree-hugging healthy and Trader Joe's healthy.) I enjoy snacking on Soy Nuts, Cliff bars, fruits, and guzzling Naked Protein drinks.

I supposed I should give you all an idea of what I put into myself to make sure I have energy and that I'm supplying myself with what my body needs for my workouts and well...just general health!

My breakfasts don't really vary much.  I LOVE breakfast. You can usually find me eating oatmeal, eggs and toast or Cream of Wheat with hash browns and eggs.  Sometimes, not very often, I do eat bacon.  I do love bacon...see, I'm not totally crunchy.

My, for some reason I'm TOTALLY clueless how to feed myself come lunch time.  BUT, if I do eat, I love making a turkey sandwich on Ciabatta with a little mayo, mustard , monterey jack cheese and avocado.  And if I'm out and about during lunch hour and didn't pack anything along, it's Subway all the way.  I eat the sweet chicken Teriyaki with lots of veggies.  Yum!  And my kids love that place, too. Other times when I'm at the house...well, it's a free for all and probably not as healthy as it could be.  I will make the kids something to eat but I won't eat.  Weird. we're talking.  I love making dinner.  Sometimes it's a six hour process from start to finish with prep time.  My family is my inspiration.  We tend to eat a lot of chicken and pork.  I always, always serve a fresh veggie and then I have the starch, either potato or rice.

Lately, I've been obsessing more and more about how many calories are in my food and portions for myself.  For some reason, I eat so much.  I'm not gaining weight because I'm running so much, but my appetite has hit the stars.  Kind of cool and nerve wracking because I'm constantly looking for food.  I feel like a wild animal...hah.

But here is a list of important vitamins and the foods which provide them.  Take a look and try to add these to your diet if you haven't already:

Folic acid -- This usual helps regulate blood pressure and if you've ever been pregnant you know all about getting enough of this...
Food that supply it  Lentils, spinach, asparagus, whole wheat pasta, pinto beans, breakfast cereals.  The list goes on.

Niacin --  This increases your "good" cholesterol and lowers the "bad" cholesterol.  But, before you start taking pills or anything, try to find out if you're allergic.  Niacin can cause a severe reaction that makes you think your skin is burning up.
Foods that supply it  Tuna, salmon, turkey, grass-fed beef, potato.  The list, once again, goes on.

 Vitamin D --  Ok, so we all know what this does for you...calcium!  It also helps boost immunity, helps prevent autoimmune conditions (meaning when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system), lowers blood pressure.  There are so many positive things that happen when you have enough of the D!
Foods that supply it  Salmon, milk fortified with vitamin D, egg yolk, lowfat yogurt, white mushrooms...

Selenium --  To be honest, I had never heard of this's a mineral...before.  I did a little research and found that it protects your cells against the effects of free radicals (which are atoms with an odd number of electrons that are running free, radical, and are trying to attack the nearest stable molecule.  This begins the process of disturbing healthy cells.).  Bottom line selenium helps your immune system and your thyroid gland.
Foods that supply it   Walnuts, chicken, turkey, fish, onions, whole-wheat bread, shrimp.

   Now, this isn't a comprehensive list of all the vitamins or minerals that you need but it's to give you a general idea... I hope it helps.  Be sure to count your calories and remember that if you're going to workout...or at least consider what you did to be a work out make sure it's NO LESS than a 500 calorie burn.  You must spend those calories, otherwise they'll end up sitting on your hips and putting chins on your earlobes!

Eat healthy, breath easy and live happy!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


A little pre-mature but so necessary.

Tonight I ran 4.2 and once again, I was smiling the whole way.  You know, when I first started this smiling thing, it was hard.  But now, I don't think it would be natural for me to run without smiling.  I secretly hope there are people in the gym stealing glances at my goofy grin and thinking, "how cool is that?  she looks horrible, all sweaty and a huge Afro, but she's still smiling."

Yes, I do secretly hope this.

Either way, I'll never know.  But smiling sure does help me.

I've been reading about other runners and their successes and it does a couple of different things for me.  It makes me cry and smile and then I feel like the biggest lump in the world knowing that a 75 year old nun (yes NUN!!) has completed two Hawaii IronMan competitions and 37 marathons amongst other huge athletic accomplishments. do you feel about that?  Brutal.

Iiiii, just have to tilt back on my little Puma heels and think, "self, stay on track, stay with the goal you have set for yourself.  You are not those other people, you are Misha."

But I would TOTALLY be lying if I didn't say that I was just a weeee bit jealous of that lovely lady. 

Let's give it up for the mother of two who was just shown up by woman three quarters of a century old.  Nevermind.  Not a fair comparison.

Let's give it up for the mother of two who has been working at her goal as steadfastly as possible and doing more than she ever thought.  
Now that's better...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


There are bound to be weeks like this, I'm sure.
Like, the three things that should never happen did happen.

1. I forgot to take my iPod to the gym this last time
2. Shin splints
3. Got a cold

Painfully horrible the three combined.  I didn't realized that I had shin splints until speaking with a good running buddy of mine and I started describing the type of pain I was having.  At first, it was just on my inner calves and then it move to the outer edges and it was very, very painful to bend down.  Uhg.  So, my last go at "running" was actually me on the elliptical.  I "ran" for all I was worth 2.1 miles.  I felt like a serious failure because that little amount only pushed my weekly mileage up to:


My lowest week in a long timeIt doesn't feel good to have mileage that low and it feels worse to post about it.  But, there isn't really anything I can do about it.  My mileage might be low next week again so my legs can recover.  I don't want to exacerbate the splints making it nearly impossible for me to run.  So, there you have it.  A shamefully low amount of mileage, but I promise it won't stay that way for long.

Silent cheerleaders, you don't have to cheer, I'm giving you the day off.  :(

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Actually, no, since living back East their concept of winter includes this fluffy white stuff called snow.  No more thunderstorms in the middle of winter with a side of flooding...that's Sooo California.  (I do miss that though)
Well, this skirt is a nod to the dark nights laced with snow and the golden sunshine in the early mornings here in PA.
Please, welcome:

The Tier Drop Skirt

Tulle.  Obsessed.  I love tutus!  I've been scouring the internet for good tutorials on how to make one.  I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for but this little skirt satisfied my craving for now.

I've already started my notes for another such skirt.  Dimensions will be a bit different giving it a more full/tutu-ish feel.  

But this skirt was definitely a cutie!

I can't get enough.

So, shoot me.  I'm the mother of the cutest two year old around.  I like playing dress up with her and there are no limits when it comes to making her clothing.  Now, if I could only get better...I sense a theme with all the little skirts I've made so far... hah.  I'll try not to be a one trick pony.
Don't make fun  :)


It may come as a surprise to you, but I did, in fact, beat last week's mileage!


Felt great.  My last go at the treadmill was 3.7 pushing my mileage up and over the top.  I had an awfully packed weekend and was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to run.  I started fretting a little telling myself that even if I had to run in 20 degree weather I was going to beat my mileage.  But, fortunately, there was just enough time for me.  The gym here closes early on certain days so it was a race against the clock.  Isn't that ALways the case??  Uhg.  Either way, I have to report that I have officially beat my treadmill mental block.  Yesterday, I pounded out a perfect 6.2 miles smiling all the way.  And I'm not kidding when I say that I was smiling.  I turned up the catchiest of tunes and bopped my head around like a weirdo.  A weirdo that knew she was doing something VERY special, like overcoming yet another mental block in running.  I couldn't believe myself, actually.  6.2 miles!  On the treadmill!!  I deserve Trader Joe's pumpkin cupcakes for that one.

Silent cheerleaders.  You really make my day when you cheer.  You kind of look like me.  Mouthing words to a song that no one can hear.  Earbuds crammed into my ears, running on that treadmill lost in my own world.  Let me hear you scream.  Yeah!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RUNNING UPDATE: Confessions of a runner

Well, a beginning runner. 

Tonight I went to the gym.  Yes.  Tonight.  I didn't get up this morning because I stayed up wayyyy too late.  I'm actually digging going to the gym at night.  First of all, I don't have to get up even before God decides to smile on the earth.  Second, it's not COLD in there!  I think I'm falling in love with it...slowly.  Wait, maybe not, there is nothing like running in the open air.  And when I run outside I don't need the iPod.  For some reason my mind tends to Zen itself out and before I know it I've run to the halfway point.

For me there are a couple of tricks to working out in the gym.  iPod.  Actually, that's the only trick.  I pump my salsa music up so loud I feel like I could run 10 miles without even a gasp.  But then, reality sits in and I'm looking at the bright red 3.63 flickering slowly upward, and wondering if I can even make it to the 5 mile mark I promised myself.  
To be honest, tonight I had a little bit of trouble.  I was tired.  My muscles were a little sleepy.  They didn't have the kick they usually do.  I wonder if it's because I ran 5 miles the night before??  I don't know.  In spite of my desire to quit at 4 miles and then at 4.5, I didn't.  Felt good to go all the way to my goal. 
5.1 -- bringing my total mileage for this week up to:

Oh, yeah, I can TOTALLY hit 20 + miles this week.  Nada prob.  I finished this evenings workout with 10 minutes of stretching, 130 abs and 60 arm reps.

Silent cheerleaders? Show me some love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It's a nice number.  I wish I could have logged more but this last week's mileage came up to a total of:


Getting up at 5am just isn't early enough, I suppose.  It takes me a good hour to get rolling in the morning and then I have the short drive to the gym...and still, time is ticking away ever unforgiving.  
It's a race against the clock for me.  I have to run as far as I can, as quickly as I can in just under an hour.  But on a treadmill!!!  Those things just don't work for me people.  The farthest I've run on the treadmill, so far, was 5.1 miles.  And even then, around 3.5 miles I was getting a little loopy looking longingly at the bright red STOP button.  I kept swallowing my irritation down until my stomach was about to burst.  But I didn't stop. 
So, I figure since I leaped over that 5 mile hurdle...a 6 miler is in my future?  Near future?  I hope.  Of course, it will have to be on the weekend when I don't have to race back to the house so my husband can leave for work...  
Here is my promise to you all.  This week my mileage will be more than last week.  I promise.  I don't know by how much.  But I am going to put my best foot forward in this (o. puns..)

Where are all my silent cheerleaders?

O!  And in preparation for the summer months when I can get up at 5am and not have to worry about driving to the gym because itssocoldIcan'tfeelmyspleen outside, I bought this!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Got up at 5:30 this morning.  Groaned and rolled over.  Fell out of bed around 6.  Up and out by 6:45.  I did something new this morning.  I went to the gym.  I've never had a gym membership and I've never gone to the gym out here.  But drastic times, drastic measures.  It's COLD and snowy.  The roads weren't even cleared and it snowed quit a bit overnight.  But, I brought my grand total mileage up to:

15.6 miles

I ran 4.3 today.  I hate treadmills.  They bother me.  It doesn't feel like I've gone anywhere for the past 45 minutes.  How boring is that?  But I have to do this.  The treadmill is my friend.  While the weather is being torturous I still have to keep my goal in sight.

Running outdoors makes everything go by so much quicker and it doesn't feel like I've run 5 or 6 or 7 miles.  It's awesome.  Plus, I've discovered that gyms make me ill.  For some reason, I start getting clammy and nauseous.  You don't have to say it...I know.  weird, right? I almost had to stop running at 3.5 miles because I felt sea sick or something.  But I finished out strong raised the incline to 3.5 and pounded out those last 3/10 of a mile.  (when I do run on a treadmill, I make sure the incline is set at 3 and then I raise it and lower it during my workout to challenge my muscles.)

Tomorrow, I am taking my long run.  I hope the weather is nice, because I don't want to do 8 miles on a treadmill.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


11.3 miles this week.   This year...
A little low, but I am working with the time I have.  Because it's winter the mornings are very dark and very, very cold.  I could get up earlier but I'm not comfortable running around here in the pitch of morning.  No street lights.
I am happy, however, that my goal of running at least 20 miles this week is very achievable.   I have upped my abs to 135 instead 120.  Feels good.  My body is getting stronger and I can feel my muscles strengthening around my lower back.   My lower back is my arch nemesis and if I don't watch it, it will get me good.
Met two ladies this morning while on my chilly run.  They were walking their dogs; and there is nothing better than running up a hill with "Good luck!" and "Good for you" 's following my back.  It made me smile and my run so much better.  Having support, even if from complete strangers, is very empowering.