Tuesday, April 26

The Easter Bunny Stole my Running Shoes

 We are back from our trip and we had a wonderful time. My only regret is that I didn't run as much as I would've liked. Family time and visits took priority I guess. Looks like week 2 for me will be a bust on the training and week 3 isn't looking much better right now. Tomorrow is a new day and I will be back at it hard!
While in Oklahoma we sort of had a curve ball thrown at us, and it may end up working against my plan to run the 1/2 in September. I'm trying not to stress about it as I can't do anything until my husband and I can talk about it. We got back Mon. night and he left today on a business trip. Waiting to talk about it will allow me some time to process this information and pray about it. I know I can find another race but this one was special. We will see, nothing is final yet. The pictures are just a few of our family from Easter. Hope y'all have a blessed week of training. Pressing on with you!

Saturday, April 23

Be One With the Bunny

Happy Easter y'all! If you are reading this post then my techno skills have improved! I set this post up before we left Texas to publish while we were out of town, so yippee for me if I actually made it happen. We are currently in Oklahoma for the Easter weekend, and I have hopefully gone for at least 1 run on my beloved running trails in town. I really miss those trails...many, many, miles of pouring out my heart before God. Hopefully I will not die on the multiple (real) hills this trail has. I am sure I will be enjoying the cooler weather though. It has been crazy humid here in the South!!! I am starting to realize I have a big adjustment coming this summer. Hopefully this is not going to affect my overall training goals! Every run this week I have returned home soaked, like I have just stepped out of a shower with my running clothes on. I tend to be a sweater anyway but this is dripping sweat. One morning I weighed myself before I went running, then again after my run and I had lost 3lbs!!! I know this is from sweating which tells me I have a right to be concerned about hydration this year especially. I read a blog post recently that suggest it is the post run intake of foods that best fuels your body for the next days run. The post suggested that this intake "should occur between 30 minutes and 4 hours after exercise is completed." Right now my post run intake is Chocolate milk or a protein drink. That's all I can stomach right now while trying to adjust to the heat. I know that I am talking about two different things here: hydration and fueling, but this post really got me thinking....if this is right; that proper fueling for the next days run occurs in the post run stage then would the same principal apply for fluids? How important is post run fluid intake and should this be consumed within a small window of time rather than spread this out throughout the day?  I love learning from eachother and this lady knows what she's talking about. She's got me thinking and I apparently have some homework to do. Love to hear what you all know about hydrating post run?
My runs for this week so far are;
Mon. 5 miles
Tue. 4+weights
Wens. 9LR
Thurs. Off for travel
 On a side note:
This is what they saw when they first came down
The Easter bunny was good to the kids this year :o) Even though my son is a teenager I think he still appreciates his mom indulging him with a basket every year. I try not to make it too kiddish which can be a challenge but I think he would miss them if I stopped. It's just one silly way to express my love to them.

Tried to be a little creative and not do ALL candy
Finally it would be completely out of character for me not to mention my Savior the Lord Jesus Christ so near Resurrection Sunday. For me personally the resurrection of Jesus is the culmination of all things meaningful, faith and fact, in establishing my relationship with God. In Luke 24:46-48, the risen Jesus gave His disciples a greater understanding of the resurrection when He told them: "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are God's provision for the perfect and final sacrifice for man's sins. God requires no other payment for sins! With this provision, mankind is granted the opportunity for new life by the forgiveness of sin and escape from its bondage. It is ours for the mere acceptance of this gift!

"Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

Happy Resurrection Sunday!
He is Alive!!!
He Has Risen!

Sunday, April 17

Week 2 of 21

My mantra for this week was fight for it!

Week 1 Re-Cap

I had a pretty successful week 1 of running and training. I had to make one slight adjustment on the schedule due to muscle soreness. On Monday I did the scheduled 4 mile run plus strength training. Based on some research my plan was to lift heavy. I did only upper body using heavy dumbbells for 8-10 reps per set. I did 2 exercises per muscle group and by the end of the workout my muscles were fatigued. I woke up Tues. morning pretty sore so I knew I had pushed the strength work. I was scheduled to have a second strength w/o on Wens. but by Thurs. night I needed 3 ibuprofen just so I could sleep without waking up in pain. I think pumping my arms during hill training made it worse also. So one small adjustment on the schedule there. Tuesdays hill work felt somewhat out of control. First issue is it's really hard to find any hills around here, and especially long ones. I decided to try a new hill, not the same one I used in February. It was short but steep. So steep that I had to go down it in a sideways fashion. Going up the hill is where I'm not sure I benefited as I should. The hill was so steep I was on my toes the whole way up struggling not to lean forward (like a hand and foot climb up). Even though I tried driving with my legs, I was lugging up that hill. The whole time I was thinking to myself; this hill is too steep! I'm going to injure myself! Even with these thoughts going through my head I still did all 6 repeats, yep, cause I'm crazy fighting like that. What do y'all think? Too steep? From what I understand my hill strides should be quick paced, right? My second hill workout which was Thur. I went back to the less steep hill and worked on a faster pace up it. I used my Garmin to measure the hill and it is .10 of a mile. The grade is gradual not compromising my form at all. Is this too short of a hill?

Here's what I fought for week 1:
Mon. 4+strength
Tue. 4+6 x hill
Wens. 7.5 mi (on the schedule was the same as Mon. but changed this b/c of sore muscles)
Thur. 4+6 x hills
Fri. Rest
Sat. 9 LR (building back up)

I lost 2lbs this week! I wasn't perfect on my diet in the sense that I probably ate too little. I could tell a couple of my runs suffered from too low of calories...ugh! trying to balance this is so hard! I need to stop fretting...( oh great! the word fretting made me think of fritter as in corn fritter...mmmm) For now I'm sticking with the plan and will try to figure out ways to fuel my runs better.

Helping to get the last of the lemon squares plated
My favorite part of this whole plan! It has been good to get my mind back to the discipline of memorizing. During the week I was presented with an opportunity to help a family who is in need. The girls and I baked Lemon squares and Rice Krispy bars to sell at a fund raiser for this precious family that has had such tragedy in their lives recently. Before we started baking the kids and I read the story of this precious family. Sometimes trials are like rocks that we carry and other times they are like boulders, this family is definitely carrying a boulder right now. My heart just goes out to them.

The road ahead; Week 2 of 21

Week 2 will be a little different as we are going out of town for the Easter weekend. I will have to move some things around since I don't know what my schedule will be like while we are there. I might try to get my long run in the day before we leave...we'll see.
I would really appreciate any advice, or thoughts toward my training that you are willing to take the time to share. I know the next 6 weeks will be hard as I push myself past limits that I have not pushed before. I'm excited to see what is possible. I leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It's the courage to go on that counts"
(and I would add not only the courage to go on, but the courage to fight for it!)

Friday, April 15

You've Come a Long Way Baby!

"My boy" Ryan!
"The Boston Marathon" Those three words in the running community conjure up thoughts of hopes longed for, dreams to fulfill, the unforgettable milestones and history. Yet, it's so much more than being swept up in the nostalgia. As anyone knows who has ever qualified or fought to get there, it's the journey to get there that defines you. It becomes apart of your legacy,  its the culmination of miles and miles of sweat, work and perseverance. That comes, with the very least, bragging rights.With the running of the Boston Marathon just days away my thoughts are on running friends who will be there making their own story. I can't wait to read them all!  
"Bobbi" Gibb who ran unofficially in 1966 and clocked 3:27:17

Below is an excerpt from a letter written to the BAA by Bobbi Gibb the first woman to run Boston. Her thoughts say it all.

"as my pace dropped
the last two miles seemed interminable
I began to feel like a failure
and this is where I learned
the real meaning of fortitude,
to keep on in the face of disappointment,
to continue to do your best even when others are passing you. To see your hopes crushed and yet to continue. This is why I have as much respect for those who run and do not finish first as I have for the ones whose strength, endurance and training brings them first place"
"I appreciate the people who quietly and privately go about their lives and running without the thought or possibility of winning marathons, but whose balance, courage, and perseverance is heroic, perhaps more so for being unnoticed and unacclaimed. People, ordinary people, are extraordinary, whether given credit or not. Is the mountain flower less beautiful because it blooms unnoticed? I think not"


Disco was just going out of style, Jimmy Carter was president and a pair of famous New Englanders took first in the Boston Marathon. The year was 1979, and 25 years later we recap that memorable race. Runners in the men's division wait for the starting gun. The '79 race was the largest ever at the time, officially numbering 7,897 runners.
Disco was just going out of style, Jimmy Carter was president and a pair of famous New Englanders took first in the Boston Marathon. The year was 1979.

Sunday, April 10

Week 1 Training Plan

I have been working on a 3 fold plan with the goal being to loose 20 lbs. and run a sub 2 hr. 1/2 marathon. Part 1 of the plan I have titled "Mouth." It will be about what I'm eating, the nutrition part of my plan. Part 2, "Motion," will cover running, and strength training. Finally, part 3 "Mind" will be the things I am doing to keep my mind and heart engaged. The hardest part of putting this plan together is that my "reward half" the Rock 'n' Roll Va. Beach is 21 weeks away. That's like a lifetime y'all! Yet I know I will need every bit of this time due to the fact I have a husband, 3 children and priorities that shift in the ebb and flow of family life. Having this much time will give me the flexibility I need as a wife and mom without having to stress over a time crunch. My plan as of now is to post my schedule and the results weekly. I am doing this for both accountability as well as hopefully someone might be helped or motivated by my postings. So here it is:

Part 1 Mouth:
HELLOOOO --- I Moustache You a Question?
I know that in order to succeed on any diet it must be simple. Second, as a runner it must fuel. This can be a tough act to balance but I think with this plan I will see good results. My eating plan for this week is 3 meals and 2 snacks. To eat protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat in every meal. Below is only a sample day but one I will stick very close to.
Breakfast: Green Monster smoothie (pre-run meal) I'll discuss this decision and recipe in a later post.
Snack: 1/2 C (fat free) Cottage Cheese w/ tomato 1/4 avocado chopped.
Lunch: 1 whole and 2 egg whites chopped on 1 s whole grain bread. (a little mayo to hold it together) 1 C veggies.
Snack: 1 T nut butter on celery sticks
Dinner: 1 Protein (fish or chicken) 2 veggies (no starchy carbs)

I realize this may not be enough calories for the day so I will adjust/add more as I listen to my body. In all honesty my biggest problem is, I don't eat, then I binge, so success for me will be to eat at the right times and the right foods. Also you might have noticed no desserts on this list-gasp! Pray for me...

Part 2 Motion:
The plan here is based on my goal for a sub 2hr half. I had mentioned in a previous post about a new fancy scale that I had bought that gives you both weight and body fat percent. Well people I'm in the 30% range. Ouch! Ugh! Sigh! What this means is I am at risk for all kinds of medical issues and being 40++ this is a serious concern. I know that I need to work on building back some of the muscle I have lost over time and the way to ensure that is I am reducing my mileage for two runs a week so I can give more energy to weight training. Here is my plan, I will actually repeat this schedule over the next 6 weeks.

Mon. 4 mi. run + strength training

Tue. 5 mi + 6x hill repeats

Wed. 4 mi. run + strength training

Thur. 5 mi + 6x hill repeats

Fri.  Rest with lots of stretching

Sat. Long run

I know I am being rather broad with my list here, but I will get more specific in other post's. For now my plan is to concentrate on upper body and abs for strength work.
Part 3 Mind:
 This part is really the back-bone of my workout plan, the key to my success. Having my mind girded for action. How do I plan to do this? I'm glad you asked :) First is to get in the Word of God first thing in the morning. I have a reading plan that I've been using that takes me through the entire bible in a year. One of the things I love about this plan is that I repeat books of the bible several times so I get to really chew on the Word. The other thing is, I plan to memorize another whole book of the bible. Many years ago I memorized the entire book of James, all 5 chapters, word for word,  it was life changing. I decided to take on this challenge again and I am looking at memorizing I Peter. As many of you know that have followed me for the past several years God has taken me through some deep trials over the past few years. I have also shared that my physical condition has a lot to do with how I handled didn't handle those trials. Since our move to Houston God has restored so's as if I have taken a deep breath for the first time in a very loooong time. I know that it is by His strength and grace daily poured out in my life that I will have any success at all. I must have my mind fully engaged in the battle ahead. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" I Peter 1:13

So there you have it, my three fold plan of attack; mind, motion and mouth. I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and anything you have found that helps you keep pressing on.

Friday, April 8

Mama's Magic Running Shoes

My friend Kate asked an excellent question on her last post about minimalist shoes and barefoot running. I went to reply to her post when I realized it would be embarrassingly looooong. So I decided to post about my recent experience with minimalist shoes here. 

Right before my last half I NEEDED new shoes and since I had been looking into this whole minimalist thing I decided I would order an extra pair of shoes (a pair of minimalist) along with my normal Asics. I figured since running warehouse offers free shipping I would just send them back if I didn’t like them. After looking into my options I decided on the Saucony Kinvara, a minimalist shoe for the neutral runner. When my shoes arrived, the Asics I normally wear had a different lacing system and it was very uncomfortable. When I put on the Sauconys I immediately noticed how light they felt in comparison to my Asics. It felt like I was wearing nothing! How could a few ounces make such a difference? I couldn’t wait to try running in them. The first time I ran in them I was hooked! I had to make myself slow down! They changed the way my foot struck the ground and I was actually running faster. Yes! the shoes made me faster! I started calling them mama’s magic running shoes. BUT, I could feel every nook and cranny on the street. After about a week of running in them my legs were feeling a bit beat-up. I could tell they were not giving my feet or legs the cushioning I needed. I started to experience pain in areas I had not hurt in a long while. Problem was I was running out of time to find a new pair of regular running shoes and I LOVED THESES SHOES! Fast-forward…after trying numerous pairs of shoes to replace my Asics, I had no choice but to run in them for my last ½, but my legs felt pretty beat-up toward the end. Since the 1/2 I have been looking into finding a new daily trainer and have found the Brooks Ghost to be a good replacement for my Asics. The only problem is when I put on the Brooks shoes they feel like lead weights now. I also notice the tendency to heel strike in the Brooks. The Sauconys promote a more mid foot strike. So what’s my conclusion…I think for injury sake and training I am sticking with my Brooks. When I drop some weight I plan to give the Sauconys another try and see how my legs feel. I love the more natural stride the minimalist shoe promotes, and I truly believe this causes me to run faster. I’m hooked on the minimalist shoes but my legs tell a different story.

Just an added note here; with my new found love for the minimalist shoe I also tried the Brooks Launch which offers a tad more cushioning. I never ran in them because they were so narrow and hurt just to put on. If these come in a wide I may give them another try later on down the road.

I would love to know your thoughts…have you tried minimalist shoes? Do you recommend them?