Monday, June 27, 2011

Running: Make it work

Sorry Tim Gunn.  But today, I *made it work* for me in my workout.  Not sewing.  I have a new running partner.  Nothing regular.  Totally part time, but she's amazing. 

She promised me a run and today we ran.  She is much, much faster than minutes.  I, on average, run an 8:20 to 8:30 mile.  Today, panting in her footsteps I ran an 8:10.  A full TEN seconds faster than I've ever run!  How do people do that?  I couldn't imagine keeping a pace that fast for miles and miles.  But people do it all the time, people much older than I, too. 

After my very successful mile I, out of breath, continued on for another two miles bringing my run and time up to 3 miles in 24 minutes.  As much as I wanted to stop, I picked up my Puma clad feet and kept a steady pace all the way to the end.  A very rewarding day.  Polished off the run with an hour of Body Pump.  Upped my squat weight to 40lbs and really struggled, but it was a great feeling. 

My day ended with me, my children and husband, in the garden weeding.  Another hour and a half spent pulling up nasty green weeds that try to suck the life out of my plants.  Losers.

Silent cheerleaders, what have you been doing to stay busy?  Working out?  Vacation plans?   Races?  Do tell.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running: Redemption

There are so many ups and downs with running that it can mess with your head.  One day you're up and the next you're wondering if you're really insane and if all this running is worth the effort.  Saturday was one of those days.  I had geared myself up, mentally, all week for another eight mile run.  Strapped my shoes on and hit the pavement determined.  I made it to the halfway point and nearly died because it was so hot and I didn't have any water.  Luckily, my halfway point is a small church and there happened to be someone there. 
And this, my friends is where my run turned horrible.  I drank a little too much.  A half mile in, on the way back, my stomach started feeling weird.  My legs were already giving me problems, felt like I was dragging two wooden blocks, and slowly I started to fall apart.  I nearly passed out after a mile but I wouldn't stop...finally after 6.5 miles I stopped running.  I couldn't take another running step.  My hands were bloating and stiff.  
I walked up and down the hills feeling nauseous and beating myself up.  There is nothing like falling short of a goal.  A very familiar goal.  As I got closer to my house I ran up the last heartbreak hill, about .75 of a mile, and pounded it out to our driveway.  My husband was just getting in our van.  I had been gone so long he was setting out to find me.  That should give you an idea how bad my run was.

So, Monday rolls around, my legs were still feeling gross, even after a good stretching.  But I set out looking to do three to five miles.  I did 3, barely making it back.  It was so discouraging.
my baby girl helping me with my yoga moves!

But here is where my day took a turn upward.  After my run, during my stretch routine, I used a nifty little tool my sister introduced me to.  Please welcome my latest piece of workout equipment.  The foam roller.

Photo Courtesy of HERE
Talk about an insane difference in the way my legs felt after rolling them out.  No more tightness or pain.  Using the roller was quite painful, but the results were worth it.  Later that evening I went to Body Pump feeling like a brand new person.  So much so that I tacked on 5lbs to my squat weight bringing it up to 35lbs.  Finished the workout, roughly 200 squats, and felt like a champ.  My legs felt amazing and my spirits were lifted. 
Then, to top my night off, I signed up for another 5k.  Yeah, I'm just crazy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sewing: Maxi Skirt

I know, it's literally been forever since I've posted anything to do with sewing...other than my lovely punk monkeys.  Well, get ready.

Today I got a hankering to sew something for myself.  The other night I was at the store and snatched up a pattern that I'd been staring down for at least four months.  Score.  Made me a maxi skirt today.  It was super easy and I love it. 

Very rewarding for me, too.  I have really missed sewing it has been close to impossible for me to do anything with my machine other than those rascally monkeys!
Oh, three cheers for me, $3.75 worth of fabric and a new skirt for Sunday morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Running: 10k, all the way!

Me and God, we got a thing going on...
Put in a special request for little to no humidity and a cool day.  Got just what I wanted, which was the icing on the cake for my race today.  My 6.22 mile race...

I can't even begin to describe the type of emotions I had today.  All of them were good, but they were just all over the place.  Today was my first ever 10k.  It was amazing!  Compared to my last race, which I had a stitch in my side the whole way through because I made myself so nervous, this was so much more comfortable.  I had a few issues with my nerves, but nothing that stopped me cold. 
Before the race I kept this phrase in my head, "zen out".  I needed to zen myself out.  It worked.  I wasn't completely calm, because you need your nerves, but I was focused and at ease.  
There were only 86 registered racers, very small, and an even smaller amount running the 10k.  
 everyone setting their watches...race is about to start!

I immediately looked for people to pace with.  Felt like the new girl on the playground asking for friends.  HAH.  But it's important to have a little nucleus of people to run with.  
 Meet Chris and Sue

I stayed with them until the 2.5 mile mark, then shot off -- and never looked back. 

When I saw the big spray painted letters on the ground telling me I was at 3 miles, I smiled because I felt really good.  During the first 2 miles my nerves had been acting up making me worry whether or not I was running too slow.  But I wasn't.

Edging up on 3.5 miles there was a huge spray painted smiley face saying "It's all downhill from here" and I ran like I was being chased...I used the hills to gain time.  I wasn't afraid to run pellmell.  It was at the 5 mile mark that caught up with a lady, in a pink shirt, who I hadn't seen since the beginning of the race.  
The last few yards to the finish line...

She set my finish pace for me.  Rockin it out hard next to a lady at least 25 years my senior.  She kept me going, man.  All the way to the end we were side by side, I just couldn't back down.  Then, I dug deep and finished in an all out run.  My official time was 51 min and some seconds putting me roughly around 8 min, give or take, a mile.  In my age group, I finished first...but I can't even say that THAT was the highlight of my day.

My son Cylas was.  

A month ago when I got the email for this race, I noticed that there was a quarter mile run for kids his age.  I really wanted him to run it.  And today he decided that he wanted to do it.

When they shot off the starting line, I cried a little.  My little boy was in a REAL race!  He did so well.  He didn't come in first or even second, but he finished.  He didn't fall, he didn't stop, he passed a whole bunch of other little kids and he made it to the end.  Then he cried, said his tummy hurt and that his feet were sore.  New shoes??  Pumas, perhaps??  Yes, I have a little runner in the making.  So very, very proud of my baby boy.

Watching all those little legs running as hard and as fast as they could was totally amazing.  You know, I've read that if you want to learn how to a child.  They run without abandon, are light on their feet and their posture is perfect.  As we grow older, we tend to tighten up, hunch and run with heavy feet...these were truly little lightening bugs.  So sweet.

Oh, and my little brother ran the mile, too.  That was huge for him...very proud of him, too.

Today was just spectacular and it really boosted my confidence for the half-marathon in my future.  I was also really happy about Cy's determination to run and hope that both of my children embrace athletics with a fierce competitiveness.
Right after my race, tired and sweaty but one happy momma!

Me, with Cylas after my race and right before his...I'm on the phone with my dad telling him about my race!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Running: Elasticity

Last night was another grueling, yet rewarding workout.  The weights on my bar were heavy and taunting me.  My muscles were screaming during the whole workout and I was seriously sweating like a pig.  Sort of embarrassing because I seriously could have filled a small cup with what poured from my neck.  It didn't help that the humidity was high and I had just finished a 3.5 mile run ten minutes before.

Knowing my race is Saturday made me dig deeper and grunt a lot.  Poor, sweaty me...not really too concerned what other people were thinking but getting the best workout.  My legs feel amazing this morning.  They are sore, but not nearly as sore as Tuesday.  I knew that yesterday's workout would cut through my soreness with a sort of balm that heals.  Weird but true.
But what really made my workout enjoyable was my leg.  That pesky little leg of mine gave up its secret.  It needed to be stretched.  So, I stretched that sucker good and it stopped acting up!  How did I not stretch well enough that my muscle ended up in sort of a knot right below my glute.  Quite painful.

I started looking for my next race...a half-marathon.  Really concerned that I won't be able to put in the mileage needed but determined to make it work.  The half is in August...plenty of time.  Focus, focus.
Be on the look out for photos and a post on my 10k!

Silent cheerleaders, well wishes desired!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Running: *sore*

Went to Body Pump last night and did something really scary -- I upped my weights.  I've been tossing the possibility around in my head for quite some time now and finally took the plunge.  So glad I did.

Adding weights, even two additional pounds, can make a world of difference and it's scary!  My first thought was that I wouldn't be able to do it.  I added five pounds to my squat weight and five pounds to my chest weight.  Although, I did drop five pounds on my triceps weight.  My arms start shaking so badly that I can barely hold the bar!  Maybe I'll add the weight back and just hold it bar so at least I'm getting some resistance training in. 

I ran


It's a small amount but after doing an hour of Body Pump, you're pretty whipped.  Not to mention my legs were shaking from the added weight that evening.  This Saturday I have my first 10k and I couldn't be more happy.  A little nervous because my leg is still acting up and I haven't had the chance to run six miles in a while.  I'm not worried about completing, I'm just worried about how slow I'm going to be.  I don't like being slow.  Compared to other people I'm slow, but that doesn't matter I'm comparing my time with my previous times and I know that's what will make me disappointed...I'm going to give it my best and I'll have photos soon!

Silent cheerleaders, have any races planned?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Running: Seems like this will never end

You know that feeling when you're doing stuff and more stuff and getting stuff done, but you don't feel like you're REALLY getting anything done?  Yeah, that's me and running right now.  I've been running, when I can.  Four measly miles last week.  Three miles so far, this's just been hard!  My husband is in school, my brother is visiting from Cali and my leg hurts.  Erg. 

All of the other things can be explained away, but my leg is really starting to bother me.  I think it's the muscle.  Not sure why it hurts and wondering why the pain isn't going away.  Was sort of hoping it would, as I haven't been working it all THAT hard...
If it doesn't straighten up soon, I'm going to try and find a solution.

Until then...I have a 10k scheduled in two weeks.  SUPER excited about it.  And now, I'm on the hunt for a half-marathon.  Getting closer to my marathon goal.  The other day while I was running, my mind flashed back on the documentary Spirit of the Marathon and it made me smile...anyone can run a marathon, anyone, including me.  It doesn't matter how fast I go, or how slow, it only matters that I don't stop and I cross that finish line standing up, arms held high...and I totally know I'm going to cry.  Whatever.  Don't laugh.  Running is an emotional thing...just as much as it is a mental thing.

Silent cheerleaders, there is much to be said for clicking on those little buttons below...namely, the "keep running it out".  I'm still hanging in here!  Keeping the dream alive.