Thursday, June 03, 2010
Busy, tired day today. Up early to go running with my sister. She just got a Garmin, lucky duck, and therefore has an "extra" HRM I got to borrow today. It's an item I haven't invested in yet, but using her old one I can see where this is something I am going to have to get for myself. She's letting me borrow the other one, but I had so much fun using it this morning and I can see where the competitive side of me will come out with this thing. Competitive against myself. "Hmmm which numbers can I beat today?-ALL OF THEM!! Bwahhahaa" Yeah, that's my brain talking to my body...I'm weird-I know...Anyways, had a blast with the HRM this morning.
Came home, showered and got ready to take the kids to school. Daughter's Kindergarten class had their field trip today. My mom watched the littlest one and I got to chaparone the field trip!! Fun stuff!! They just went to a local kids' museum here in town, but everybody had a blast. Soooo, I am getting ready this morning and thinking..."I am chaparoning a Kindergarten field trip today, I need something comfy and practical." I settled on my "go to" all purpose outfit. A denim skirt and a floral print shirt, both of which I've had for FOREVER!! As soon as I have the outfit on I realize that ages ago I had as one of my pictures on my Sparkpage this one picture where I am wearing this exact same outfit!! At the time of the original picture I was at "maximum density" as some sparkers would say.
Here is the original pic....
Hmm...Not a huge fan of that pic. I'm still not a huge fan of the next pic either, but mostly because I am in serious need of a trim and I was having a problem finding a place to set the camera while I set the timer and took a pic of myself-lol!
Notice how the shirt now just kind of hangs there. I didn't realize that this shirt is not flattering. It just HANGS there. Which is still preferable to the bunched up around the fat look from before. I am retiring this shirt. It has done it's duty and then some-LOL! Plus, it is so big now that it is having problems staying on my shoulders. The skirt still works and it is super comfy. In the before picture-you can't see it, but the waistband it rolled a couple times so that the skirt was pulled up to where the hips were wider and it fit better, now the waistband doesn't get rolled anymore. The skirt fits without tweaking and on good days is just a tad loose!
Not a HUGE difference, but there is a difference and I like it. Someday the difference will be even more noticable, unfortunately the shirt won't be around to see it...
Now it is time to get ready for my son's baseball game tonight. A busy, tired day...
Tomorrow, I won't be around much-packing to go camping, then Saturday is THE RUN!! First 10K-its gonna be slow, but its gonna be! I'll report later in the day on Saturday...See ya all then!!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
This morning was the 6.2 mile practice run with my sister before next week's 10K race. I get up, gather all my gear (visor, pedometer, ipod, stopwatch, fuel and water bottle (oh my goodness so much stuff)). Drive to my sis's she shows me the route on the Spark Track your route tool and we get the Daisy dog and off we go.
We had just finished our warm up walk and were stretching before starting the serious business of running 6.2 miles. Before I am done stretching something makes me look behind me and lo and behold there is a dog behind us. I figure he isn't vicious or he would have attacked while our backs were turned (not sure exactly what kind of dog, but he definately had a pit bull look to him-pit bulls have a distinctive "smile" and he was wearing that smile). Daisy, my sister's bichon hadn't been noticed yet, but she saw him shortly after I did and told him to get lost, he didn't listen so I went towards him to distract him while my sister picked up Daisy (people with smallish dogs-this is an extremely effective way of protecting your dog from loose dogs, something about picking the dog up makes the other dog lose interest-usually). Once I was within two feet of the dog I found out he was EXTREMELY friendly. Not a mean bone in this dogs body. He was jumping on me and kissing me and acting like I was his best friend. This was very effective in distracting him from Daisy. My sister turned back the way we had come and once she was around the corner the dog forgot all about her and Daisy. He started running with me, unfortunately sometimes in front of me, which was hard to control since he wasn't leashed. He would run ahead and then come back, check some things out and then come back.
I really did not want the dog to follow me on my entire run. He was a GREAT dog and had I had a rope or a leash I probably would have kept him and brought him home until I could post some signs and adds and try to locate his family. He was neutered and well taken care of, he had a collar, but no tags. He loved chasing the ducks, that was fun to watch, he wasn't trying to catch them and gave up as soon as they flew away so it was really entertaining. This dog had loads of personality and was so cute and sweet, I really hoped somebody would be missing him and come find him. I also hoped that since my run takes me through most of the community he would recognize his house and go home. I kept telling him to go home, but he was too happy to stay with me. Eventually my sister caught up and passed me and he ran with her for awhile, but always came back to me. Finally we got to the point I'd been dreading. It was time for us to leave the community's gates and go out into the wide world. Right away we have to cross a VERY busy road, I was so scared he would follow us out and get even more lost or worse get hit by a car. This dog had demonsrated some ADHD qualities and I was afraid he would just run in the street and that would be so sad. My sister and I spent quite a bit of time trying to get him to head the other way and "GO HOME" we yelled that over and over and he would run ahead a bit and then come running back. I'm sure he was wondering why we weren't coming with him. This pup was having a BLAST running with us. We finally got him around a corner and we sprinted back to our turn off. I ran a bit past it, because a lady with a dog was coming our direction and I wanted to warn her about the super friendly lost dog. Well he found us...only then his ADHD got him interested in the lady and her dog. We ran on and looked back after we crossed the street, she was standing at the corner trying to convince the dog to move on . I didn't look back again, I was too scared. He was out on the street and I didn't want to hear or see what might happen. I never did hear any screeching brakes so I assumed he was okay. Much further down the road the lady on the bike caught up to me and guess what...Pooch was with her!!! He was running along side her with her dog (she was on a bike going very slowly). He saw me and that goofy dog almost ran right into the bike to try to get to me. Just then he saw a man walking his dog and off he went. I hope that the man with the dog had a chance to help pooch out. He was a really sweet dog. I hope he was just lost and gets found, some people ditch their dogs in unfamiliar neighborhoods when the decide they don't want them anymore. That would make me REALLY mad because our town has a very excellent animal shelter and several dog rescue agencies. So I am almost half way through my run when the doggie problem finally sort of resolved itself.
So, I keep running and soon I am running on this empty stretch of street with a nice sidewalk (I'm in the street) and nice landscaping running along the sidewalk. It wasn't long before the second funny thing happened. I am running along and there is water here and there, and some storm drains and pretty soon I see this stuff in the street. It seems like some sort of debris at first, my sister said she thought it looked like ash, I thought it was small leaves. Pretty soon though one of the leaves hops. Yep, it hopped. It wasn't a leaf or ash but a baby frog!! An itty bitty baby frog. Probably not bigger than the tip of my pinky finger. After I see the first frog I see more....there are DOZENS of them all over the place, mostly hanging out near the storm drains and puddles in the gutter. I then noticed croaking coming from the landscaping on the other side of the sidewalk. The frogs lasted for a hundred yards or more. There would be short spots where there weren't any and then they were back. They were everywhere!! A swarm of frogs. What is a group of frogs called? Dozens and dozens and dozens of them. It might be a stretch to say hundreds of frogs, but there were definately alot of the little things. They were very cute too.
I finished the rest of the run without any more oddities happening. No more funny dogs and no more frogs. Ran into a massive mud patch, but that was about it. It took me 2 minutes longer today than last week but I still shaved time off from my last run. Ran .2 miles further than last week and if I take off some time for messing with that silly dog I definately went faster :) not alot, but still faster and that counts!! Next week is the race, it is going to be interesting to say the least. Bet I don't have to take care of a lost dog or watch out for baby frogs though!!
Funny things happen to me when I go running :)!
Friday, May 28, 2010
1. 3 miles is a "short" run.
2. When I look at the new clothes that have arrived at the store I look for new running pants and shirts first, and I look to see if they are made of fabric that "wicks".
3. I have now purchased something called GU, which as of last year I had never heard of or dreamed that it would be something you eat.
4. I now know that Hydration packs are not just for bikers or hikers.
5. I congratulated a sparker on her first black toenail, usually something that would receive condolences earns congrats when you are a runner.
6. I now actually consider purchasing socks that cost more than 5 dollars for a 3 pack, in fact I own the most expensive socks in the entire house. I also have a pair of "lucky" socks.
7. I have different shoes for different purposes. My running shoes are not my aerobics shoes and my aerobics shoes are not my walking shoes.
8. I dream about the Garmin Forerunner 405 and get a tad jealous when my sis gets the 305 (I'll admit it!!! She deserves it though...)
9. I traded my video capable ipod for a shuffle because the shuffle is small and light instead of big and clunky.
10. I started planning dream vacations around races, Hartford, CT in October. Las Vegas, NV in December. SLC, UT in April. Walt Disney World, FL (the Princess half) in March and then the Disneyland 1/2 in September so I can earn the Coast to Coast medal. San Diego, CA (oh wait that is less than 2 hours away I can just drive there ;p), the Rock n' Roll half in SD in June. I've always wanted to go to Alaska-is there a race (10K to 1/2) there and when?
And the bonus number 11...whenever I look at the Catalina eco marathon's web page I can TASTE my desire for the buffalo head medal. TASTE IT!!!! I practically DROOL over it. You have to run the full marathon for the medal and if I ever run a marathon that will be the one!!!
Without Spark and Sparkfriends I never would have gotten there!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I am a 40 year old, in a month 41 year old, overweight, mother of three children and I just signed up to run a 10K, in the mountains, up and down HILLS, in a week!! I must be insane, would a sane person do something like that?
This is the 10K I've been preparing for, this has been my goal for almost a year! This is where I was headed when my training got derailed. This has been the plan for quite awhile. Still, I've been putting off signing up, I kept double checking the deadline to make sure I wouldn't miss it. I knew eventually I'd have to make a decision-5K or 10K. This race comes with both options.
For a month I've been bouncing back and forth. 5K, 10K, 5K, 10K. On some days I was certain it would be the 5K and on others I was optimistic about the 10K. I tend to be indicisive on the best of days, some days I can't even decide what to wear much less something as important as which length race to run.
This morning on my run I decided...10K and that would be it, no going back now. Stupid endorphins I think they made me crazy!! I might have to do a little more explaining here. I don't think either my sister nor I have really explained this race we have signed up for.
We live in a valley, a pretty little valley, a TRUE valley, we are surrounded on all sides by hills and mountains of varying degrees. Easy access over several smallish hills to the west. A bigger hill to the north, rolling hills to the south, but to the east is where you find the most difficult access to our valley. A beautiful towering mountain rising more than a mile above sea level. There is a road that goes up and over, from our side the up part is not too bad, it's the over that is not too much fun. We've spent alot of time on that mountain. Almost yearly trips for camping, other trips for hiking and occasionally trips for playing in the snow. My sister, mother and I were taking regular trips for hiking before winter came and driving the roads got a little more dangerous. We haven't been up the hill for awhile. "Up the hill" is the local term for the Idyllwild/Anza region. Kids from Idyllwild used to have to "come down the hill" for school, we go "up the hill" for a hike. But don't let that term of endearment fool you. This is no hill...
Pretty isn't it? Idyllwild is a beautiful little town very near the very top of that mountain. The race runs around the town, which, being in the mountains is actually relatively flat, for a mountain. There won't be alot of HUGE hills, but there will be plenty of hills and ALTITUDE. We do pretty well for flatlanders, we adapt pretty quickly, but still I've never RUN up there. The original plan was to get a few mountain runs in before the race. Not going to happen.
So why did I decide to do the 10K if this is such a crazy idea? Well I've got a few reasons.
1. I've been training for it and I want it.
2. I'm not a total high altitude novice and I should be able to still at least WALK the entire distance if that's what it takes.
3. No matter what, if I finish, it will be a PR :)
4. I have a 6.2 run on Saturday and then runs on Tuesday and Thursday next week to keep building up my stamina a bit more.
5. Today was my best "straight run" (meaning no intervals) in a long time.
6. I still REALLY want to do that half in December, I feel strongly that I need a 10K under my belt before taking on that challenge. We are going into summer and for my immediate area that means fewer to no races. Gets too hot to race during the day-just asking for trouble. I could travel and find a beach race or something, but this one is now and in a location I love. Idyllwild has alot of sentimental value to our entire family, running my first 10K there would just add to that value.
I think I am prepared enough. Not as much as I would like to be. Not as prepared as my sister. But, probably enough. It might take me three hours-that is how long we generally spend on our hikes at about the same distance. On the other hand our hikes gain alot more altitude than this run. I'll probably get lost because everyone else will be done. I'll probably strain a glute on a hill. I won't be able to sit for a week and there isn't even a medal for this race, just a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt I won't be able to wear in the valley for 3 months or more. I'm still doing the 10, just so I can say I did...
I must be crazy...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Biz Stone is a pretty smart guy. For those of you going "who on earth is Biz Stone", you might not know his name, but you know his company. Biz Stone is the cofounder of Twitter and he just happens to be a runner. A regular feature in Runner's World Magazine is the "I'm a Runner" page. They take celebrities, business people, people who's names you probably know who are runners and do a one page feature. I love this page, it is one of my favorite parts of the magazine.
Biz Stone is the featured person in the June 2010 issue of Runner's World. He has some good things to say, mostly about where he is in his program, what he's doing and what he's planning next. The last quote is the one the reeled me in though. Preceeding the quote he is discussing an idea of getting the office staff out on a weekly run because you connect better outside. Then he says this...
"A lot of people go out for drinks, but going for a run would be much healthier."
I had this kind of lightbulb moment. I could see in my head one of the people I used to work with coming to my desk and saying "hey, we're all going out for a run after our shift is over, you wanna come?" Then I could see this senario replayed at offices all over the country and all over the world. Friday afternoon rolls around and the office organizer (you know that one person (sometimes there are two) who is "in charge" (officially or unofficially) of organizing office activities (birthday parties, potlucks, Friday night drinks), goes desk to desk organizing an after work workout. Instead of birthday potlucks the office would run a 5K. Instead of a company picnic (aka lets pig out so we can put our company healthcare to good use) the company sponsors a race and donates the proceeds to a local charity, or an employee who needs a boost.
Then my imagination really got away from me and I could hear John Lennon singing Imagine in the back of my mind as I pictured all this fitness going on...Only in my mind the lyrics were a little different (Sorry John. Nobody put this to music and we should be okay...)
Imagine no obesity, I wonder if you can, No need for Weight watchers, A brotherhood of runners, Imagine all the people, Sharing every run...
You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will run as one.
A world where going out together with your co-workers to run is more normal than going out to eat. A world where even the companies we work for put health first. A world where socializing and networking is done on the track instead of around high caloried cocktails and fried appetizers. A world where running tracks are planned as faithfully as children's play parks. A utopia of runners.
Now of course I realize, just as going out for Friday drinks is not everyone's cup of tea (hehe that strikes me as funny) , running is not for everybody. Some people have real medical reasons not to run and some just don't like it. Just like I don't like mushrooms. The office run will probably never replace office drinks. But, a person can dream can't they, if even for just a moment...
Real lyrics to Imagine by John Lennon found here...
Complete article with Biz Stone found here.... www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,
s6-243-410--13497-1-1X2X3-4,00.html (in the mag, the quote is at the end, on the site it is on page
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