04/7/11

It’s like Christmas Around Here Today!

The Sweaty Bands for my top finishers for the Lake Lowell Half marathon showed up today, too! Here they are, along with the top prizes for my top three females in the Marathon. They are so pretty! What awesome prizes! Thanks to Sweaty Bands for being one of our top sponsors!!! They rock!

04/7/11

Race Bibs Just Showed Up!

I’m super excited! The UPS guy just brought me the box with the Lake Lowell Marathon and Half Marathon race bibs, goody bags, safety pins and Road ID prizes!!! SWEET! My kids had to try them out to make sure they looked totally awesome and I think you’ll agree with me – they look pretty sharp! Woo hoo! I’m really directing a race one month from today!!!!!

04/5/11

Yellow Daffodils and Cherry Blossoms

I’m so thankful to have more sunlight in the evenings again! It was a busy day with the kids and they also helped me prepare another 1,400 flyers for the Lake Lowell Marathon and Half Marathon. We’ve been working really hard. Yesterday we got 700 done. Only 400 more to go tomorrow and then we’re done with this group! By the time we’d had dinner, I was feeling pretty spent. I’d put on my running clothes this morning in the hopes I could squeeze in a run, but the opportunity never came up. My husband saw me sitting there all gloomy and tired and insisted I go running. I love when he does that. Sometimes, I need a little push at the end of the day.

The sun was low in the sky as I headed out, running right towards it. I loved the feeling of the warmth of the sunshine on my face. It was about 48 degrees and the winds were about 12 mph, so it was a nice combination of sunny and chilly. I didn’t bring my phone, any water, my keys – nothing. That felt nice, too. During the week, I usually stay very close to the house while I run and bring my cell in case my children need me back home quickly. Tonight, I was able to run with less responsibility since my husband was home and that felt great. I left the neighborhood and headed into the countryside, onto a road I’d only traveled by foot a couple of times before. Exploring new territory always cheers me up.

Running along that country road, I saw them — rows of yellow daffodils lining the walkway of a country home. They were so beautiful and bright. Soon, I saw a few more. Then I saw the trees, with their white, fluffy, pale pink and white cherry blossoms. I spotted a little killdeer squawking at me as I ran by, which told me that the nest was somewhere nearby on the ground full of eggs – likely in some gravel or something similar. Those things made me smile. Spring is my favorite season.

Happy Springtime, everyone!

Stats: 7 miles. 11:43 pace. 1:22 time. Felt: Ok

03/31/11

Walking My Anxiety Away

I really am very excited about being a race director. It’s a huge honor and I really think we’ll put on a great event — but.. the details, the many, many details that go into something as big as planning a first time marathon and half marathon can be somewhat overwhelming behind the scenes. So many things are falling into place this week: we’ve purchased our event insurance, are in the process of finishing up the t-shirt design, our first batch of flyers went out it the goody bags of a local half marathon that will happen this weekend, some of the goody bag freebies have started showing up from sponsors and our race participant numbers and our web site daily unique visitors are climbing daily. But, I’m still stressed! There’s still so many things left to do – and as any race director will tell you, many of them have to wait until almost the last minute since you can’t really order medals or shirts or even porta potties until you have a better idea of exactly how many people will be attending your event.

The sun is shining today. It’s beautiful out! After spending most of the day adding our half marathon information to the various race web sites I’d submitted our full marathon info to and talking to a few vendors, I was really needing a break. Since it’s Thursday -a.k.a. “Track Night” I didn’t want to run yet. I’m still slowly building back up the miles since my ankle injury and figure I’m not quite ready for twice a days just yet (hopefully soon, but not yet.) So, I laced up the new Brooks Ghost 3’s and headed out for a walk, instead.

It felt really good to pound along on the sidewalk, soaking in the vitamin D and feeling my breathing coming in a nice, steady rhythm. My busy mind rattled off all my worries and I felt the pace quicken as I thought of the most pressing concerns. The faster I walked, the calmer I felt. As the blocks went by, gradually, I started to feel less worry, less frustration, less anxiety. I felt better.

I got in 3 miles and walked every step. I was pretty pleased to see my average pace was under 16 min/mile. Not bad. My heart rate stayed nice and low too – 119 ave. I’m looking forward to enjoying some time with my children this afternoon and then taking the whole family (if I can convince them all) to come with me to the track tonight for a little more exercise and social time with our pals.

03/28/11

Scared Up Some Miles in the Brooks Ghost 3’s

Now I see some unusual things when I run sometimes, but today was especially unique. This was the first time I’ve ever ran by a Hot Dog on roller skates — HONEST! Once that happened, I made sure to keep my eyes opened for more fun and interesting people out enjoying a windy but sunny spring break!

I saw a little old man in running shoes and knee socks and shorts pushing his little wheeled fertilizer spreader around his lawn – I’m sure dreaming about how green and lush it would be as a result in a few weeks. Did I neglect to mention that this same man had on a knit stocking cap and his winter coat? It was that kind of ironic weather today.  45 degrees, 15 mph winds with gusts up to 20 mph and sunny. Peering out your window, it would be easy to be fooled into thinking, “Woo hoo! Shorts weather!”, but one step outside and you quickly would realize that “Brrrr! No, it’s not!” I wore a long sleeved, tech shirt and capri tights which seemed about right. I tucked my chilly hands into the sleeves, balling up my fists with the fabric and felt just fine.

I ran up that hill affectionately nicknamed “Nemesis” while the wind threatened to blow me back down again. I saw many golfers out at the golf course today, enjoying the sunshine and the spectacular views of the valley below. I ran by a cow who “mooed” at me. I mooed back. I was chased down by a weenie dog, but it was a pretty fair match seeing as how we both have stubby legs. I also saw a little boy on a pogo stick and really, really wanted to ask for a turn, but controlled the urge.

It was a good run! The new Brooks Ghost 3 running shoes did a fine job! I hardly noticed them! That’s always the whole point, isn’t it? To find shoes that make you forget about your feet so you can focus on moving forward. So, if you’re a neutral runner who likes cushion, a wide toe box, a snug heel cup and a lacing system that doesn’t make your toes go numb, I’d recommend trying on a pair of these.

One more fun thing to share.  I have this phenomenal running friend named Lynette. She’s a fellow mom, an ultra -runner with a capital “U” (this past weekend she finished yet another 100 mile race and earned another one of those coveted belt buckles hard core ultra runners lust for) and she’s even a college professor – of Chemistry!  In addition to all of those honorable achievements and claims to fame, she is also known amongst my running pals as the “Vera Wang” of ultra runner fashion! She designs and wears the most adorable tutus for her races. I remember the first time I spotted her. It was the Weiser River 50k in April of last year. It was my first official ultra and I was scared. But, I saw this woman in this gorgeous pink and red fluffy tutu gracefully running along and all I could do was smile. She brought a lot of joy to me that first race and since then we’ve become friends, so I’ve been able to admire even more of her lovely tutus (even on the likes of her main running buddy and my super hero, Dennis – who ALSO did the 100 miler this past weekend — all while wearing one of Lynette’s tutus.)   Lynette had something special planned for this past weekend. Since the race is a 100 mile event, it happens through the day and the night. She’d rigged up her tutu with glow sticks so that she glowed in the dark as she racked up the miles. How fun is that?!

Anyways… I’ve been thinking about a way to help me really enjoy my upcoming marathon – the Lake Lowell one that I’m also directing. I think the pressures of the planning have kept me from remembering why I agreed to do this in the first place — because I love running around Lake Lowell and I wanted to share that with others.

I ordered my first tutu from Lynette today. I asked for lots of neon, loads of colors! I really think that just like that first time I saw Lynette bounding by in her lovely designer-wear tutu and it brought joy to my heart, that wearing something so colorful and fun will also help me to remember why I’m there and why I do what I do — because girls (and Dennis) just wanna have FUN ………and feel pretty, oh so pretty! 😀

Stats: 7.33 miles. 11:34 pace. 1:24 total time. Felt: A little sore, but slowly rebuilding the mileage and strength again.

03/24/11

Taking Time To Breathe

My stress level has been higher than usual with all of the race planning going on.  My husband and I have been spending nearly every evening and weekend working on details of the marathon and half marathon and have had very little time to just chat, hold hands, watch tv or do anything relaxing and fun together or as a family.

Yesterday was my baby daughter’s birthday. She turned 4. That seemed a really good excuse to take a night off from race details and enjoy some fun family time. We had a nice spaghetti dinner (Savannah’s favorite), then had pink and yellow cupcakes for dessert. Afterwards, we headed to the movies to watch Yogi Bear. We had popcorn, soda and Milk Duds. We laughed a lot. It was just what my frazzled brain and thirsty soul needed.

After we tucked the five kids into bed last night, I sat down and made a list of things to do in the next week to attain better balance in my life right now. I wrote things like: Drink Chammomile tea. Run With Friends on Saturday. Do Yoga. Give husband knock-your-socks off kiss. Take a walk.   Today, I drank that chammomile and took a walk.  I also brought along my camera and wore my heart rate monitor to ensure that I was remembering to slow down and listen to the birds and be in the moment.

It’s lovely out today! The prettiest day we’ve had here in Southern Idaho yet this Spring! The sky is a breath-taking shade of robin egg blue, the clouds are like giant cotton balls thrown about the sky and the birds were twittering and tweeting to their heart’s content. It was exactly the sort of day I’d call perfect.

Taking my camera along was a fantastic way to make me stop and really notice my scenery. It’s hard to ignore the rust color of a robin’s breast when you’re zooming in for that perfect close-up or neglect to really see the details on the petals of the purple tulips pushing their way through the soil when  you’re crouched down for a closer look. I have a busy mind. This was therapeutic. I encourage those of you who’ve had a busy week to do the same. Grab your camera and get out there and really notice the details around you. Close your eyes and listen to the birds. Take a breath – a really deep one and let it out slowly. Breath. Be Alive. Enjoy!

Today’s stats: 2. 36 miles 28:03 – pace. 1:06 – total time. Ave heart rate: 95. Felt: At peace. 🙂

Here are some shots from today’s nature walk:

03/18/11

A Slow Ride on the Anxiety Train

Feeling fairly overwhelmed with the details of planning a race. Just could not find my mojo today on my slow-going run and haven’t seen it in awhile. Was up all night worrying about the plethora of details that need attending to so we can put on a great marathon in 49 days (not that I’m counting!)
Looking forward to the combined birthday party of my two youngest daughters (ages 4 and 6) tonight to take my mind off my “to do” list for the marathon. Seeing my little girls dressed up as princesses with their little pals and eating some delicious fudgy, chocolate birthday cake will definitely help I think.
Stats: 2.36 miles in the neighborhood. 12:26: ave pace (walked the last half mile) Total time: 29:23. Felt: Discouraged