09/28/11

Streak Day 12 With the Hunk O Burning Love

Today is day 12 of my streak! I’m really enjoying it! I always give myself a little Hello Kitty stamp (don’t judge!) on my calendar when I do a run and it’s kind of fun to see so many pink stamps in a row for the past several days!

My husband, Wayne is making me so proud! This is week two of his “beginner training” run/walk program with me. He hasn’t missed a run yet! I, honestly think the gentle pace is helping my knee to continue to heal and the bonus miles each week are really helping me too without taxing my body too bad! It’s a win/win!

Wayne does IT support for a large grocery chain. Today he worked from 6 am – 2:30 pm, then has been “on-call” all evening (and will be until 4 am tomorrow) and he gets to be back at work at 6 am again in the morning! He’s also got a half hour commute each way! He’s working so hard that it really is a challenge to fit in exercise at times! But, my husband has not used that as an excuse and I’m so very proud of him for sticking with our running schedule despite this craziness!!!!!!

Tonight, when I told him it was a run night, he laced up his running shoes, grabbed his work cell phone and we headed out the door. We ran around the block over and over, needing to stay close to the house in case he got a call and had to jump on the laptop and rescue a grocery store who’s computers had gone down or a gas station or pharmacy had suffered other computer-related problems. Believe it or not, in our 2 mile run, Wayne got called three times! Two of the times he was able to keep walking and solve the problem by walking the caller through their issue and resolving it. I have to admit feeling very impressed with him when I listen to all the technical jargon and haven’t a clue what it all means, but know that his wisdom and help will solve a problem for some grocery store out there tonight! The third call was bad enough, he had to go into the house and log onto the pc to finish it up. He could have just thrown up his hands in the air and said, “Enough!” and quit our run – but he came back downstairs and we headed out to finish what we started.

I told him how proud I was of him – for all the hard work he does to support our family of 7 and for the dedication he’s showing to getting healthy with me! When we started the run, the sun was just setting. The horizon was serene and lovely in shades of orange, pink and purple. After the final interruption, we were running under a velvety black sky with a million stars overhead. I found a lucky penny and picked it up. It made me feel happy. I think I’ll save this one and tape it in my running log and give it back to my husband at some point, reminding him of these early runs in our “running relationship.” I hope he thinks it’s romantic!

As for my plans for my current streak….. I’m on day 12 right now. If I keep going, my next half marathon will fall on day 50 and Christmas will fall on day 100!!! I have been thinking of a crazy way to commemorate 100 days of streaking and I think I have it! If I make it too day 100, I will streak 1 mile naked (hehe!) Don’t panic (especially if you are my neighbor!!!) I will do it in the dark, late at night, out of sight of my kids, in my fully fenced backyard with only my adoring husband there to cheer me on!!!!! I think he’s going to like this plan!!!! Maybe he’ll even join me!!!! Considering it might be cold and snowy at Christmas, I think it sounds pretty wild and funny!

 

09/27/11

Streak Day 11 – Dedicated to Ryan the Great

My good friend, Ryan, who just completed his first 100 mile race asked me to dedicate today’s run (which is day 11 of my running streak!!) to him since he’s still recovering and cannot run. As it turned out, I’d already set up a running date with his lovely wife, Michelle, so it seemed like a perfect run for his little dedication. Michelle and I had an awesome time enjoying the mountains this morning, chatting about our bladders, our husbands and our kids – yeah, pretty much in that order, too.

We saw the cutest little lizard at about mile 2 who couldn’t have been more than 2 inches long (including his tail!) I took his picture! Hitting the Ridge Road and enjoying the shade trees for a bit was a real treat! On the way back down, I stopped to take a picture of a Mormon Cricket (he had a nice haircut, was riding a little bicycle and had a backpack and everything – tehe. No, just kidding. I do wonder how these little black critters earned that name, though!) Our best wildlife sighting of the day came about a mile from the end. I spotted a bullsnake (which look a great deal like rattlesnakes!!) He was partway across the trail and partway in a dry bush. Michelle was so excited! She said it was her first snake sighting during a run!!!! I took a few pictures and all of a sudden, the snake curled up, reared it’s head at us and started hissing loudly! I started screaming and running the other way and yelled back over my shoulder at Michelle, “I lied! I’m the one who was scared of snakes at Wild Idaho – not Ryan! EEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!”

 

We found the lovely spot on the trail where various runners, hikers and cyclists have stopped to place stones into a heart formation. I took a cute picture of Michelle there and told her I’d use it as my special photo for the day since this run was for her hubby! 🙂 It was a special time! Lots of fun!

Stats: 6.77 miles 129 heart rate. 2,049 feet of elevation gain.

09/25/11

Poop Identification 101 With Professor Andrea

Now I have many friends with outstanding skills. Mark is a gifted chef who can make enough waffles to feed his entire department once a month, Davina can weild a hammer and nail gun (and knows how to use them to build an entire classroom in her back yard), Emily can run 100 milers and confidently shoot a bow like nobody’s business. Today I found out what my friend, Andrea S.‘s talent is: She knows how to classify animal doo doo! I felt like I’d signed up for Species Dung 101! Every time we’d encounter a lovely smattering of round, pebbly poops on the group or a big plop of mushy, grody poopiness, Andrea would stop, lean closer, examine it and then confidently look me in the eye and say, “That, my friend is deer poo or bear poo or some other kind of poo.” Once, when I suggested that by the size of the droppings, perhaps it was in fact a coyote stool and she quickly set me straight and said, “Ohhh noooo…those droppings would be black from all the blood.” I bet the woman has a doctorate in doo doo!!!! She’s that smart! It was fun hearing all the things she tried to teach me today. And, when I stopped to pee in the bushes, she went ahead then came to a total standstill, mouthing “Shhhhhhh” as I approached as quietly as I could. She’d heard an animal in the trees below and mouthed to me, “Bigger than a bird, but not as big as a bear!” Whew!!!! I’d have been high-tailing it out of there if the animal expert thought there was a BEAR in those trees! hehe! We never did find out what it was. It stayed hidden, probably planning it’s next spot to leave droppings so we could find them and examine them.

Lots of fun today! I set up a big group training run for the Foothills 50K Frenzy course today. It was fun to see so many headlamps out before 6 am, itching to get on the trails! I think we had 11 or so show up today! With my IT band problem (and the out-of-shapeness that comes from slowly trying to rebuild the mileage without upsetting the IT band gods, I was right at the caboose of the pack where I belong (which, if I confessed the truth to you, is exactly where I am when I’m perfectly healthy too – shhh – don’t tell everyone what a turtle I am!) 🙂 My lovely buddy (and poo expert pal) Andrea was a doll to hang with me today! We lost sight of the others just a few minutes into the run and settled back into a pace we both found comfortable. I was intent on just letting my body do what it needed to today. I felt no sense of urgency or rush. I was calm, taking my time, stopping to enjoy the sunrise, the mountains, the beauty all around me. I took many pictures, really taking my time to get the shot right (which was a pleasant change to how I usually do try to hurry up when I’m doing it with others along for the distance.) Andrea is patient with me (Thank you, Andrea!!) She also kicked my booty today! That girl has some uphill legs that I more than once cast an envious glance at!!!! I didn’t mind, though. It gave me a chance to watch her crest the next hill, silhouetted in the morning sunlight as I took her pictures. I enjoyed that immensely!


I found my zen self out there today. I lived in the moment, I laughed and chatted with my buddy, punctuating our conversation with frequent bear hugs that come out of nowhere that I just cannot hold inside (you who have run with me know exactly what I’m talking about! It’s not my fault! I just like you guys so much it just springs right out of me and I find myself squeezing each of you like a cute teddy bear!) 🙂

Anyways.. it was a great run — honestly the BEST run I’ve had since Wild Idaho 50 miler a month and a half ago – AND – it was day 9 of my streak!!!!! Sweetness!

17.75 miles. 4:35 – total time. 15:21 pace. 2,635 feet elevation gain. 159: average heart rate. Moving time: 4:04, moving pace: 13:47, best pace: 7:38. The IT band did speak to me several times. I reined myself in, walked/hiked a lot and just enjoyed the miles Mission accomplished!

09/23/11

The Bear 100 Mile Ultra Marathon is Today!

Four of my good friends are running The Bear 100 Mile race as I type this! I’m inspired by each and every one of you! Go Emily, Dennis, Sam and Ryan!!! You can do it! My buddy, Randy is also there to pace Ryan through the night and my friends Michelle and John are crewing! I know you all are doing an awesome job and I’m sending you “Everlasting Energy Vibes” (don’t you wish those were REAL?!!!!!!)

This bit of encouragement is for them as they make their long, challenging journey through the trails of  Logan, Utah to Fish Haven, Idaho over the next 30 or so hours! I’ll be tracking them at www.bear100.com as they make their journeys to the ultimate bling at the end of one of these epic runs — a shiny belt buckle for each of them!

09/22/11

Some Running Inspiration

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ok, on a less serious note….it occurred to me that this statue kind of reminded me of someone. Hmm.. who could that be? OH yeah, ME in a picture my friend took of me on a run in July. Hehe. Good thing I’m totally dressed in my picture! 😀

09/22/11

Yoga With My Little Ladies and a Haiku

Anneliese and Savannah (6 and 4) joined me for my Wii Fit Plus yoga today.

Anneliese said “Bridge is my favorite since I can climb right under you, Mama!” haha

I wrote a haiku about it (per Daily Mile’s Daily Mission). What a fun start to the day!

Young girls breathe mama
Inhale exhale calm yoga
We are warriors

09/21/11

Hoka One One Test Run (Day 5 of Streak)

I got some new shoes! I’d been eager to try out the Hoka One One’s since I first viewed these crazy, boat-like flotation devices on the feet of many at Big Horn this year. I’ve since ran into other local trail runners who swear they are the greatest things since sliced bread, so, when I won a gift certificate for free shoes from Bandanna this past weekend, I knew exactly what I would cash in my prize on (and considering the grand total came to over $180!! I’d say I got my money’s worth!)

I first came home with the Mafate Women’s shoe in size 8 after trying on the Bondi B, Stinson and the Mafate at the store. The sales guy was a real gem and was really great about letting me take my time to find the right fit and the right Hoka for my needs. I’d done some homework, so, my husband sat by with a sly smile as I jabbered on and on about which shoe was for which purpose (I think I taught the sales guy a thing or two – haha!) The Mafate are the trail shoes. They come in women’s, men’s and unisex styles! The Bondi B are the road shoes (and look much smaller in comparison to the other two models.) And, the Stinson are supposed to be the best of both worlds – part road shoe/part trail shoe.  I knew I wanted a trail shoe, but did enjoy trying on all the various styles to get a feel for what they were like.  “Cushy” is the first word that comes to mind! And “Floppy” at first too, before I really yanked on the shoe strings and got a snugger fit.

After a few test runs on the sidewalk outside of the store, I ended up buying the Mafate women’s shoe in size 8 (the closest they had in stock to my usual size of 8.5.) I thought it would work. It felt fine on the little test run, but when I took them out on the trails on Sunday, I quickly developed a little blister on my baby toe.  The toe box of the shoes all seemed a bit narrow in comparison to the other shoes I own (mostly Asics Cumulus 10’s and Brooks Ghost 3’s.)

Bandanna was awesome and exchanged the shoes for the Mafate Unisex (which were MUCH cuter with the bold yellow, black and gray than the boring white and blue of the women’s version!) I bought those in a Men’s size 7.5 (which according to the tongue tag is equivalent to the women’s size 8.5 though the toe box is slightly roomier than the women’s version – so it was PERFECT!)

I wore the newly exchanged Hoka One One Mafate Low shoes today. No blisters or hot spots this time! Yay! I really do love the traction and grip on the soles! They are the best grip I’ve ever experienced (keep in mind, though, that I did all my ultra marathons and 99% of my training in plain old Asics Cumulus 10 road shoes!!) I love the wide surface area on the bottom. I never felt unstable and in fact felt MORE stable with more surface area to grab with on the downhill sections (very small today since I was running a canal path and not in the mountains.)  I’m eager to take them on a really long trail run with more climbing, downhill and some technical stuff to give a better review. I will report back after Sunday’s long run in them!

My IT band is still sore and stiff after a few miles, so from the start, I did more of a Galloway run. I’d walk for at least a minute of every mile – more if the knee was feeling off. I also walked to warm up and walked at the end to cool down. My calves are still feeling kind of sore from my race on Saturday and my 18 mountain trail miles on Sunday. Slowly but surely….. I’ll rebuild this running body!

I didn’t want to carry a waist pack today. I always carry my cell phone and a house key when I run, though, so my kids can call me if they need anything and so I can let myself back into the house when I get back. Luckily for me, I wear a Moving Comfort bra! They’re awesome! The ones I wear have two layers of fabric, so in the past I’ve used the little “pocket” that creates to stick gels during runs. I’ve done that for over a year! I’ve also put tissue or other things that I needed nearby in my “secret pockets”. Today I figured, “Heck, why not try the phone and key too?!” And, it worked beautifully! Yay!!! No more wearing my annoying waist pack on short neighborhood runs!!!!!! Who needs a fuel belt when you have a BRA, right?!!!! 😀

09/20/11

Shhhh!! Don’t Do Anything Foolish!

Running while recovering from an injury (or several in my case) is a delicate dance! Don’t do enough and you lose all that you gained in training prior to the injury. Do too much and you end up on the sidelines again, waiting even longer to return at full-strength and ability to your sport! You have to find that happy medium — pushing yourself enough that you regain what you lost, but not so much that you do more damage.

I have a lot of inner dialog going on as I run these days. “The schedule calls for x pace, you gotta run faster!!” “Shhhhhhh!!!! (This is me calling on my inner Mom-self) “It’ll be ok. Relax and let things happen naturally. You’ll get better! Your speed will come back – but not right now. Take your time. Heal properly. Hang in there!” I’ve also been focusing on a phrase I heard someone use that I thought fit the bill for me right now — “Focus on the ODOMETER not the SPEEDOMETER!” That helps! Realizing that if I just go super easy, I will hit the mile requirements for the day, even if I cannot right now hit the pace ones without putting myself in some pain.

I thought of Les A. today and how focused he’s been on his heart rate training! That helped a lot! I know he’s watched himself get faster, without causing injury, by letting the heart rate monitor be his faithful coach and guide! 🙂 So, I switched my Garmin screens back to the heart rate screen about a mile and a half into my run today and let that be my only focus. That helped! Less pressure than the pace screen! I also realized I’d been pushing too hard for my “easy” run today and was forced to walk about half a mile to get my average heart rate low enough to fall into the right zone. Then, once it was time to run again, I had to just kind of shuffle to keep things at that level. It was a bit embarrassing, so again I had to call on my inner “Mom” “shhhhhhh!” to calm my inner, critical chatter. It helped. I relaxed and said “Hi” and smiled at the people I passed — a woman jogging with a baby stroller, and some men working on the fences in my neighborhood that I complimented with a “Looking good, guys!” That felt nice. 🙂

I’ll get there. I’ll recover. I’ll find my strength and speed again — but — only if I’m restrained enough and patient enough to let things happen in their own natural time. Competitive Christie needs a little bit longer in time-out my inner-self-Mom thinks. 😉

Average Heart Rate: 150 (easy zone) 3.18 miles. 12:19 average pace. 39:14: total time. Ran up and down Nemesis midway through run today. It felt tough.  Streak Day 4!!!!

09/19/11

Hubby/Son Run Under the Stars (and.. Day 3 of Streak!)

What a fun night run under the stars with two of my favorite guys!!!! My husband has agreed to let me coach him and help him become a runner! Yay!!! I printed up a new, beginner (Galloway Style) schedule for him today and tonight, I whisked him off on his scheduled 2 mile walk/run. My husband does tech support for a large grocery chain and though he worked all day long at the office, he was on call tonight, so we had to stay really close to the house for this run. It was fun. The stars were out and it was really romantic. My husband’s really into astronomy, so he started telling me about a bunch of new planets that have been discovered and future plans our space program has for eventually going to Mars. It was interesting hearing him chatter about something he really has a passion for.

When his 2 miles were done, my son Wayne Jr looked at me all big-eyed and begged to go running too! I told him my schedule called for 3 easy ones tonight, so he could come if he put on his shoes. He was in his Mario Bros flannel pjs, which I thought made him the most adorable running partner I’ve had yet! 🙂 We settled into an easy 11:30 ish pace and just chatted and ran side-by-side. He told me that he really liked running trails this week and wanted to know when the next trail run with his buddy, Zach would be. I showed him the Big and Little Dippers in the sky and we enjoyed the cool evening air, running in the dark. My husband sat on the bench on our front porch, while my 4 and 6 year old daughters put jewelry and pretty hair clips on him while he played a game on his smart phone. (hehe!) He wanted to stay outside to kind of keep an eye on me and Jr as we ran in the night. It was sweet. Every time we passed the house, the little girls would yell out, “Hi Mom and JR!!!” The little poodle from two doors down chased us down the block, but only made us giggle. I was definitely NOT afraid of being chewed to death by that little fella and Jr thought it was hilarious too!

I’m really trying to work on finding a better balance with my family life and my running goals right now. I felt like tonight was a very good start! AND…following in the great example of my Daily Mile friend, Tom L. who’s on a seriously awesome running streak – I decided to start one of my own. This is the third day in a row I’ve ran and I’m hoping I can hit at least 50. I’m fine if that means just 1 mile on many days. I think it will be motivating and fun to see how far I can go with it – and it really will provide the smaller mileage days I need to help my husband and son to become comfortable as regular runners! 🙂

P.S. I forgot to mention the wolf whistle when my husband and I were running along the main road and a car drove by. He looked at me and said, “Can you believe that guy just whistled at me even with this big gut I’ve got?” I said, “Well, you’re pretty darn sexy, honey! What do you expect?!” haha

09/17/11

Harvest Classic 2 Mile Race

Well, it wasn’t my best 2 miler by any stretch – but, hey, I haven’t done hardly any speed training in the last year with my focus on the ultra distance and I’ve been injured the past 6 weeks – so……. my expectations going in were just to try and come in around 16 min. I did that! Man, it HURT!!! I felt so out of shape trying to push the pace! I wore the Sketchers (hehe) and they probably helped a bit. I had a BLAST at the event!!!! My 5 kids were signed up, but my oldest was still sooooo sick feeling that she laid on the grass, wearing her pink robe over her racing clothes while the other kids raced (bless her heart!!) The kids all had fun and my oldest won one of the kids’ gift baskets at the raffle (a totally sweet prize – a huge Nike sports bag (that she gave to ME – woo hoo) full of tons of stuff: basketball, football, playground ball, double dutch jump ropes, gatorade, TONS of snacks and fun stuff. She’s so sweet. She shared with all the kids when we got home!!!! 🙂 It was nice to see her smile after being so sick the past couple of days.

And….I won a prize too!!!!! YEAH BABY!!! I won the a gift basket with a g. cerf for new shoes (Totally will replace the Sketchers – heehee), a couple restaurant cards, a day of paintball fun for me and 4 of my favorite friends (hahahaha), a round of golf, and a hardware store g.c. (my husband wants pretty much ALL the stuff I won!) I will share!!! 🙂

Before the event, they had these aerobic teacher gals on stage doing all these fun warm up dances! I am so uncoordinated I think I stepped on a few people’s toes and sashayed my hips right into the side of some nice old lady! OOPS! Nobody ever accused me of being coordinated! It was FUN, though!!! Yummy baked potato bar, pizza, TCBY yogurt, chocolate milk at the finish party, music and bounce houses for the kids! One of the best events I attend each year! Love it!!!!!

Best part was sharing the day with my awesome family, so many of my SUPER COOL FRIENDS!!!! And my MOM Sherri C. was there too!!!! Hi Mom!!! Great job!!

OH yeah… I got 1st in age group. 🙂 That was nice.

2 miles – 15:45 total time. Pace: 7:50 min/mi/ Ave HR: 179 Max HR: 205 Max Speed: 5:09