Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ghostly Gallop 5k

Today I ran my Ghostly Gallop 5k which was a virtual race with Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - for those that don't know the concept a virtual race means that participants in many different locations run their miles at their own time and in their own place, then share their experiences.  Yes, you run actual miles.  The virtual part is that everybody doesn't gather at the same start line and run the same course.

My result:  3.11 miles (5k) in 36:56 (average pace 11:52).  I consider that to be pretty darn spectacular since my PR (personal record) 5k is 35:20 and is from 2011 when I was running very regularly and had been training for months.  My training has been kind of hit or miss lately, but that is all going to change now.  More on that later.  Anyway, I ran the Wolf River Greenway here in Memphis.  It is a lovely running path, and the scenery can't be beat.  The trees are turning here now, and of course there were lots of runners, bikers, dog walkers, and others on the trail.  I used my Halloween running playlist I blogged previously and just danced my way through it.  Yes, people look at you funny when you do the thriller hands or sing "Werewolves of London" but who cares right?

Here's my race pic.  Yep, that's all you get.  But aren't my compression socks awesome?  Halloween runs rock and I got a lot of smiles and thumbs up during today's run in my black and orange.

Something about running - SMILE.  Not only do all the other runners and walkers and bikers smile back, but it makes YOU feel better too.  Running is supposed to be fun.  90% of the time at least some part of my run is fun, but we all have those runs that really, really honk.

OK, so why is everything about to change?  Because I signed up with an online running coach.  Train With Marc - I am going to buckle down and get serious about this running thing.

Also, our house has been on the market for 6 months.  As dismaying as it is, we made the decision to take it off the market until spring.  We need a break and to get through the holidays.  It is really quite a weight off.  I get to live in my own house again.  And I feel like I can plan more than 2 weeks ahead and schedule myself to do things again without the worry of a sudden house showing.

You may have missed the Ghostly Gallop, but in addition to the Sisterhood there are a ton of virtual runs listed over on Facebook in the Virtually Running group.  Many people use these as fundraising efforts for Team in Training.  And you get a cool medal.  I will post my t-shirt and medal for Ghostly Gallop when they arrive - unfortunately my mail mostly goes to my office so no mail on Saturday.

Keep running and SMILE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ghostly Gallop Playlist

No, I'm not dead.  I did pretty much quit running on any regular schedule.  But....I'm back.

This weekend I'll run my Ghostly Gallop for the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. It's a virtual race, which means you run on the same day as everybody else, but everybody runs in their own place.  And of course you get a medal and a t-shirt in the mail for when you finish :)

So, here's the Halloween Fun playlist - I'm open to suggestions!!

Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones)
Thriller (Michael Jackson)
This is Halloween (Citizens of Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas)
The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band) (DUDE - this is an awesome song to run to!)
I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow)
Monster Mash (Boris Pickett & The Crypt Kicker 5)
Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr)
Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man (Concrete Blonde)
People are Strange (Echo & the Bunnymen)
Who Can It Be Now? (Men at Work)

Twilight Zone (Golden Earring)
Shirt Skirt/Long Jacket (Cake) (this only makes sense because it is a costume consideration!)

Any suggestions?  It is a really fun playlist and I expect I'll listen to it past Halloween anyway :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Half Marathon Training vs. DAR

I have been trying to stay on schedule with my training despite the best efforts of the rest of my life to throw a wrench in it.  But yesterday made me really stop and re-consider some things.

I had always believed I would be a Chapter Regent for one year before becoming the Secretary/Treasurer of the Memphis & Shelby County Regents' Council the second year and then going on to be the President of the Council the third year.  Chapter Regents serve for 3 years, and this would round things out nicely. 

But yesterday I found out that I am S/T THIS year.  Now.  And will be President next.  Which made me have to stop and re-think some goals.

I love running, and running is important to me.  But when I chose to get in the line to become Regent I knew I was going to put everything else behind DAR for those 3 years. 

My chosen half marathon was to be Labor Day weekend.  The first event that I am involved in with the Council is two weeks after that.  I also have travel commitments for my state-level chairmanship during July and August.  So....

I am going to continue to train but am pushing my goal race to October to give me more room.  And to take the pressure of airline tickets and vacation plans off as well.  Instead I will try for the RNR St. Louis.  It is a 5 hour drive and we have family there.  There are also several other races within a 5 hour drive that I could do around that time. 

This also will take off a little pressure while training in a Memphis summer....the humidity was 94% today at 9 a.m.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Day Late .....

But not a mile short.  Got my 4 miles in today instead, and boy did I need it.  Work has been kind of nuts and today was no exception.  So I was ready to hit the park.  There was some group of kids and moms and they were all gathered around a spot on the running/walking trail, so I decided to detour out into the neighborhood.  Lots more shade and something different as well.  Also a few hills and I guess better training than going around and around the same .9 mile surface.

The heat is still here, but it wasn't awfully humid.  I'm still a sweaty girl when I finish.

Did the Runner's Core Level 1.1 again too.  I really felt it in my abs last time, and this time will be no exception.  But I also was able to do all the sit-ups today so that is a win.  The cats want to help - cat hair + sweaty girl + yoga mat = yuck.  Just in case you were wondering.

Ordered Prancer (aka Mr. Dancer) a couple of new pair of shorts from Road Runner Sports.  They have wonderful customer service, a great shoe finder, and their prices aren't half bad either.  Both of us got new shoes from them this year - him the Brooks Beast which he really loves for its excellent support and width, and the Asics Gel Kayano 19 for me.  I'm really an Asics girl at heart I guess - their shoes seem to just melt onto my feet.  They also have a wider width (I've been told I have big feet for a female runner - how rude!!).

Anyway, I also ordered myself a new fuel belt thing and also some salt caps.  I've heard good things about salt caps, and since I tend to be an empty runner and have a very hard time taking in anything but water during a run I hope that they will be helpful this summer as both temps and distances increase.

I'm going to go get in the shower so I can go to bed with wet hair again tonight.  Fun times.  Until Wednesday - keep dancing!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Slow and Steady Right?

Today was a tough day of tilting at windmills and I knew I needed to run as badly as I wanted to just skip it.

I let myself be very slow.  It was hot, humid, and windy threatening a storm.  We had about 6 sprinkles but no rain.  The wind was helpful, but the humidity was killer.

When I got home I did The Runner's Core workout level 1.  It took about 10 minutes, and I couldn't complete all of it.  Planks for days, but situps will stop me in my tracks every time.  And my balance ball was more inflated than theirs so it was pretty funny - my husband had to help balance me.

Bogart the Amazon spent the entire time giving the yoga mat the hairy eyeball.  He really didn't like that thing, and was growling at it when I was doing planks.  Mark had to reassure him I was ok and was not being eaten by the blue thing.

Then I brought in the balance ball and BD immediately went "tall bird" and felt that he needed to protect me from the awful thing.  I don't blame him - I might have needed protection.

I have no doubt that I am going to feel this workout in the morning.  I am going to try to do core at least 3x a week - either after runs or on nights I am not running is still up in the air.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yeah, OK, I'm not dead

Or injured.  Or anything that might be a good reason not to be running and blogging.

I ran tonight - not a bad run but not great.  I'm officially on plan.

I downloaded the Hal Higdon's 1/2 Marathon Novice 1 Training Program.  It fought with me on wanting to start today, not next Monday.  But I won.  It works well, and I hope it will make keeping up with my runs a little easier since I don't want the calendar on the fridge while we are trying to sell the house.  It does not, however, sync with Garmin or Daily Mile so I will keep using my Garmin too.  Considering how reliable my iPhone has been with run apps in the past and the GPS data, this is probably a good idea.  Garmin won't cheat me out of that last .20 like the iPhone does.

Let me tell you, if you held Hal at gunpoint I don't think he could sound less enthusiastic than he does in this app.  I'm can't find where to turn off his "cheers" but they made me kind of laugh anyway.  I never knew "You're doing great" could be a dirge.  Anybody remember the old Clear Eyes commercials with Ben Stein - yeah, like that.

I discovered if you loosen the laces on your stability shoes too much, your legs ache and feel like lead.  I tightened them back up and the last mile was so much better.  I also discovered that if you run 7 miles in a week for the first time in months, you might experience some delayed onset muscle soreness.  Yeah, I thought I might be immune or something.....

I've missed running.  It feels very daunting to look at 7 miles last week and think that I want to be able to run 13.1 all at once again when this is over.  But I guess we will go back to baby steps.  One of these days I will be a continuous runner and stop the cycle.

My goal is to run the Covered Bridges Half in New Hampshire on Labor Day weekend.  Wish me luck!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

And immediately a change in plans

So I sent my husband the training plan, and he said great but.....

He mentioned that perhaps this would be ambitious while we are working on selling the house, what with showings and 30 minutes to get the birds and GTFO and probably this being a lot on nights and weekends.

He knows how frustrated I tend to get when my plans don't work.  So.....

I am holding this plan for the 2nd half of the year and going into a 12 week Novice 1 Hal Higdon Half Marathon Plan.

Because I can be taught.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I think I should start spring training now

Then again, I think spring should have started by now too so we all know how that works.  BUT.  I have been reading Run Less, Run Faster and I have decided to give it a shot.  I've based my training on a 39 minute 5k time (which is somewhere between my fastest and my slowest) and I've set it up to start the week after I get back from DAR State Conference.  In between I'm going to try to do a little base building, which is what I've been trying to do for the last month and failing.  ANYWAY.

So my first week of training will look like this:

April 23 - Track Repeats - 8 repeats of 400 meters with a 400 meter recovery interval - target pace for repeats is 2:58 (I've never done repeats, but I understand I can program my trusty Garmin to yell at me appropriately)

April 24 - Cross Training - I am going to use the bike with the trainer for this - 10 minutes easy, 8 minutes tempo, 7 minutes easy (tempo should correspond to about short sentence effort)

April 25 - Tempo Run - 5k (3.1 miles) at 12:50 pace

April 26 - Cross Training - 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes tempo, 5 minutes easy

April 28 - Long Run - 10k (6.1 miles) at 13:20 pace

I know I can do the paces for everything but track and I understand that is supposed to be my major hard workout every week.  I am going for an improved 10k time.  My last 10k was about 1:20 and that was planned as I took it really, really easy.  This 12 week plan will get me through to July, although my goal 10k is actually at the end of June.

Can I work out 5 days a week and keep it up?  Who knows.  I like that the cross training can be done indoors and it is in minutes so should only eat a half hour of my day.  I'm a slow runner, so a simple 5k takes 40 minutes if I don't drive to the park to do it.  Add driving to the park and it takes an hour of my day.

If the plan is too ambitious, I can always recalculate.  But the point is for it to be hard.  Here's to hard work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

It hasn't been much of a week for workouts

So last week was another exercise bust for the most part.  I got in my 5k for jelly bean.  And we spent 6 hours on Saturday painting and another 4 on Sunday scrubbing hardwood floors, so counted 6 points toward my workouts there.  My legs are killing me from doing the painters squats.

The TV room is finished:

 The dining room no longer has wallpaper:
 And the room where we used to have the dining room furniture has been transformed into a formal type living room:

I cannot tell you how different this all looks.  It is very fresh and clean and pretty and if all of our stuff fit and we had a bathtub I could soak in and maybe a better kitchen we might stay. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

A pathological fear of wallpaper

Is that possible?  I think I am developing one.

While Mark took the master bedroom from this:

To this:

I took the dining room wallpaper from this:

To this:

I still have a wall and a half to go, and I'm at 10 hours of stripping.  With a steamer, up and down a ladder.  So I'm giving myself credit for 90 minutes of the 6 hours I spent on Saturday lifting a 5 pound steamer up and down.  I'm going to have great shoulders for summer at this rate.

I have been really good with the water, but horrible with the fruits and veggies.

All in all, Spring Bootie Buster has been pretty much a bust for me.  Then again, spring has been pretty much a bust at this point since it's still cold and wet and gross here.

Here's to a better week!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

21 Days

Today is day 21 of Intuitive Eating.  I am not calling it a "challenge" anymore because really it is a lifestyle change, not a temporary challenge.

I'm finally starting to feel like I have a handle on my emotions and why I eat when I am not hungry.  I'm starting to figure out ways to go around that, and to keep it from happening.  And sometimes that actually means dealing with why I feel stressed or tired or sad.

I'm starting to not give food the power to convince me that I am hungry when I am not.  Or that I need one more bite.  I'm a big girl. If I get hungry later, I know where to find more food.

I'm starting to understand that emotionally a doughnut is the same as an apple - both are food and neither should have an emotional good or bad value.  The only questions are am I hungry and is that what I am craving?

Still a process, still learning, still going to keep challenging myself and the way I think.  But when a friend at work kept saying "somebody eat that piece of doughnut left so I don't have to" I realized that it had NO power over me anymore.  I didn't care if there was half or a whole box - I didn't want one mentally.  And that is where the "challenge" comes in.

I'm sure I will have ups and downs.  I'm sure that some days I will eat emotionally and know I'm doing it and not care. But life is a process all the way.  And it's nice to stop using food as at crutch, diets as an excuse and allowing myself to fail because I didn't really want to try in the first place. 

Food is food.  Life is too short.  Go play.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Decided to Dance Tonight

Headed out to the local park for a 3 mile run.  Went ahead and did 5k because really, what is another .1 anyway right?  It was a good run.  I've switched to new shoes - Gel Kayano 19 - and I am really enjoying the feel of them.  Softer than the ones I was in (New Balance 990) and less, um, granny.  Still stability, but much lighter and more flexible.  Makes me feel like dancing!!

3.12 miles - 39.11

Monday, March 18, 2013

SBBC Week 2

Not really a fail, but this week was a mess and I frankly just didn't manage to get much done.  I got in some water, and a 90 minute walk yesterday with a friend who was in town.  It was supposed to get nice this week so that I could actually start running again, but then they changed our forecast and who knows.

Spring will come eventually and I will be able to get outside and get on with it, right?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Bootie Buster - Week 1 Roundup

Since 90% of my activity involved working on the house, this week was kind of a bust.

Doing curls with the Shark steamer while working on the wallpaper (for 3 hours) and doing squats and toe lifts while painting trim (about 2 hours) doesn't seem to count in the challenge.  But tell that to my poor legs and arms!

So - what did I manage:

Monday - WATER to the tune of 90 (!!) oz - that's a point.  Only 3 servings of fruits/veggies (freggies) so no points, and no points for activity or workout of the week (WOW) as it was a rest day.  1 point for the day.

Tuesday - WATER - 72 oz = a point.  But no points for freggies.  I did the WOW and ran for 35 minutes so that is 4.5 points total.  5.5 for the day.

Wednesday - spent quality time with the steamer, moved the appliances and cleaned behind them, and scrubbed the grout lines in the small bathroom with a toothbrush. Lived on Diet Coke, but I did have broccoli & salmon for dinner.  No points.

Thursday- WATER - 72 oz = a point.  Thank goodness for my Tervis tumblers.

Friday - Nothing.  Thursday and Friday were kind of nuts at work.

Saturday - worked on the house - painting squats :P  Not a point.

Sunday - did laundry, cleaning, cooking, and rested.  No points.

So that makes 7.5 for the week.  Not very good, but I'm not stressing over it.  Things are crazy and I know what I need to do rather than what I want to do, which is all part of being an adult.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

All Fired Up

(TL:DR Summary - Not quite a PR, great run, two challenges)

So I took some time off, did a little mental regrouping, and today started my half marathon training again.  I really needed this run, and it felt like there was a conspiracy to keep me from doing it.  Tons of little frustrations piled up one after the other.

And then I was outside, on the pavement, with a new playlist and putting one foot in front of the other.  Take it easy, enjoy the run, and don't push too hard.

I didn't push too hard.  When I thought I wanted to walk, I would ask what hurt (nothing) and could I breathe (usually) and if breathing was the problem I slowed my jog a little and asked is that better (yes, quite).  And I ran mostly the whole way (except the tricky part over the tree root getting into the park, and when I had to stop and tie my shoe).  And it was awesome.

I love it when a plan comes together. 

My all time PR for the 5k is 35:20 back in November of 2011.  Today's time:

Perhaps I shouldn't have stopped to tie my shoe....

In other news, I am doing a couple of challenges this month:

The Run to the Finish Spring Challenge.  Yesterday was day one.
March 4, 2013:
Water - 90 (!!) ounces (1 point for going over 64)
Freggies (Fruits & Veggies) - 3 (no points - my diet honks)
Workout of the Week - no
Daily Workout - no

March 5, 2013:
Water - 72 ounces so far and still drinking (1 point)
Freggies - 1 (I know, it's so sad)
WOW - YES (1 point) - the cat helped and thinks he should get a point too
Daily - YES - 3.5 points

So far for the week I'm at 6.5

Additionally, I am doing an Intuitive Eating Group.  I don't want to call it a challenge - it is, but not in that way - I am challenging myself and my views on food.  I'm going to break the cycle of diets and learn how to eat the way I need to for myself.  More on that later - or go to Studio Eats and check it out!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So I'm a quitter....

Of sorts.  I quit the running group.  It just was not for me.  I'm a solo runner at heart.  I need my space and my head time.  I need to go out and set my own limits and push or not.  And I really need my schedule to be very flexible - if I need to scoot my 3 miles from Wednesday to Thursday then I don't need to feel guilty for it.  Finally, I need to not have a long run on Monday nights.  Sheesh.  Mondays are hard enough.

So, I'm running with my best friend, training partner, and soul (sole?) mate - my husband.  He is not really a runner - usually he bikes and is my support team with water and smiles to help me through my longer runs.  But he's learning.  And he's running.  Tonight we did 2 miles, and he pushed with me.  Not a bad time for a run neither of us was really into in the first place.  I will be so glad when we have light in the evenings again.  And when somebody puts the heat on out there again.

Tonight I had my first real car scare.  This large (Pathfinder?) thing came by, swung into a cove and was making a u turn in a rapid manner.  I didn't trust him, so I jumped up in a yard.  And promptly rolled my ankle and sat down.  Didn't hurt much more than my pride, but I might need some liniment for that.  I got back up and ran on, and a less than a minute later they went roaring past me again, with another car in pursuit.  I'll never understand people who see the need to play games of tag and chase in cars.  Anyway, made it home safe and sound, but will continue to be careful out there!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Sometimes it is so hard to find the motivation to run.  I know I need the miles, and to follow the plan, but this time of year is especially hard.  Gray day following gray day.  Cold and damp and windy.  And lots to do.

It's the to do list more than the weather that gets me.  Sometimes I feel like the only thing I can drop from my week is a run...or two...or all.  When life gets crazy, running tends to be what I ditch first.  Partially because I cannot run in the morning - really, can't, have to be up an hour before I run and that ain't happening on the week days.  So the only time I have to run is at night.  And when my weekends are full and my nights start to book up and I haven't seen my dad or my friends in ages.....the runs are the first thing to drop.

Right now with run group it is especially hard.  The group run starts at 6:30 and I get off work at 5:00.  So that is an hour and a half to waste before the run.  I like to get off work and go run before I sit down, because once I sit down and relax I'm toast.  I also don't eat before I run so I'm STARVING by the time the run group ends.  Sometimes I'm starving before we even begin.  And as the runs push into 5 miles....which is an hour of running....things get difficult.

Look at it this way - I get off at 5:00, usually stay until 5:30 at work putzing around, then run an errand or two and get to run group around 6:15.  I'm trying not to spend money right now and since we all know Target has a cover charge....yeah.  So I'm at run group at 6:15.  We stand around and freeze until 6:30/6:45 when the run starts.  Then we run for an hour.  So that means that I don't get done running until 7:30 ish and usually don't get home until 8:00 or so.  Then I am starved and want to eat.  And I need to get my stuff ready for the next day, and spend time with the hubs, and get a shower and dry my hair so I can sleep.

If I go straight home, change clothes, my hubs eats and I go run I'm out the door by 6 with him and we are back by 7:30.  Night is not a total loss.

I will be glad when this run group ends in 4 weeks.  It has been a real learning experience in a lot of ways.  I have learned that I am a solo runner at heart and I enjoy my runs alone, doing my own thing.  I have learned that I have what it takes to run in whatever weather as long as I feel like it.  I have learned that when life gets stressful, I want to drop the one thing I have a say in attending, which is running.

Funny thing is, I haven't regretted a run yet......

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine's Day 10k

The first two miles I really just wanted to go home. But by mile 3 I started to feel better. I told my husband I expected it to be 1:20 and I nailed it. It was cold and windy. Overall I had fun and am happy with my time. 2 minutes better than my 10k in September. Can't complain about that!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Running Track Like I'm in the 9th Grade

The last time I was on a track I was in high school.  I wasn't fast then either.  I remember having to run a mile in 8 minutes for an A, and for every minute you lost a letter grade.  So a 10 minute mile was a C.  Which was about what I was able to run.  I remember my mother telling me that I was not average, I was excellent and excellent meant getting an A.  So I ran my little heart out.  And I passed out at the end.  But I got an A.

Kind of the story of my life - I'll make it to the finish line, but that's it.  I can do anything I put my mind to, but once I draw a line in the sand I rarely cross it.  This far and no farther.

Running track repeats made me remember how much fun it is to run really really fast. Which I can only do for a really really short stretch.  But with work, maybe I can push that limit more.  My ultimate goal -and holy grail - is a 10 minute mile.

After all, nobody's grading me anymore and I don't need anyone else to tell me if I'm excellent.  I already know I am.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

5 by the 5th

I've joined the 5 by the 5th Virtual Race Series.  I came on board a little late, and so I missed January.  But I logged my February time.  I chose to go with the 5k option rather than the 5 mile option, but I may scale up as we go.  I'm committed to running 5k before the 5th of each month through June.  I think I can manage that.  Hope so.

I did my 5k last night as part of the 3.5 mile run I logged - the 5k was 38:38 but I had to finish the lap of the track anyway so let my ticker keep on running.

Come join us!!  It is free to join and there are prizes: sign up here @mommyrunfaster

Something that doesn't involve fiber

So about two years ago I suddenly decided that I was going to run.  Yes, me.  Stop laughing.

No really.  Stop laughing.

So I worked my way through a 5k in October of 2010, then several other 5k "races" in 2011, and decided in 2012 to run a half marathon.  After a brief layoff due to injury, I completed my first 13.1 in November 2012.

I call them "races" because I am not going to win any awards for speed.  I'm slow, but I hope to get faster.  If I don't I'll just keep being slow.

This year's goal - to run 300 miles.   I ran 233 last year, and that was with an injury.  It's only 25 miles a month right :)

Because so many of the challenges I sign up for online ask for your blog, and my Medieval Needle blog isn't really pertinent, I started over.

So, let's run.  I promise it will be fun.