Saturday, December 31, 2011

Run Down

As I look forward to ringing in the New Year, I look back at my running accomplishments in 2011.

I ran eight races (listed by distance, not by chronological order):
(3) 5K:
·         Leprechaun Scurry
·         Strides for Strong Bones (I even won 3rd place in my age division!)
·         Monster Dash
(1) 5 Miler:
·         Rapid Rabbit
(1) 12K:
·         Bloomsday
(3) Half-Marathons:
·         Coeur d’Alene
·         Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll
·         Run Like a Girl
I ran a total of 299 miles.  Trust me I really thought about running a mile today just to make that an even 300.  My goal is to double that distance next year.  Yep, I said it.  Now I have to do it. 
I started my year walking a mile at an 18:52 pace (remember, I’d just had a baby the month before) and finished running a 5K at a 10:21 pace!
I fractured/sprained my foot in February, but have healed completely.
I’ve committed to race on the American Cancer Society DetermiNation race team at the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon on January 15 and raised OVER my donation commitment!
It has been a long road (no puns intended), but one worth traveling.  I’m excited to see where 2012 takes me!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

15 Days and Counting

I've started my count down to Phoenix!  I exceeded my race donation commitment to the American Cancer Society and have my race jersey in hand!

I cannot thank everyone enough for all the generous donations of support. I will run hard and make you proud. It is not too late to donate to this cause (plus it is a tax deductible donation).  Click here to make a donation now!

To the very special person who I have dedicated this race to:

You are an AMAZING woman who is beautiful from the inside and out.  You are stronger than I could ever be and will race this race for you until your strength is back for you to run it yourself.  Keep the faith.  You are my inspiration. xoxo

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Who Needs Sleep?

Just when I think I’m caught up, I fall behind.   My last post was two months ago.  Let’s just say that between then and now, life happened.  Luckily for me, it happened in a good way.  I could go through it all in detail, but frankly I don’t have the time nor would you want to read my ramblings.  So here are the highlights:
  • I got a new job!
o    I’m very excited and I know this year will be a whirlwind.  Fitting training into an already crazy schedule is nearly impossible.  Who needs sleep right?  My training has definitely suffered, but I’m now settling into a routine which includes working out a couple of days a week, after work and before I go pick up the kids.   Once I have my kids, ME time is over…including trying to go to the bathroom alone.

  • I completed the Run Like a Girl Half-Marathon on Oct. 1, 2011!
Sole Sisters running team.
Happy pre-race photo of the cousins.

o   Twenty-two crazy “Sole Sisters” met up in Bellingham and we had a blast!  Sadly, we never had the opportunity to get a full group picture.   They treated us to something fun at every mile (tiaras, chocolate, Captain Marathon- who apparently was VERY friendly with one of our Sisters).  See picture below.    The bonus was at the end when we were welcomed at the finish line by the HOT firefighters of Bellingham.

Any guess where Captain Marathon's other hand is?

o   We stayed a fabulous hotel and had a great room with a full view of the bay.  Unexpectedly, we were all startled the first night when the room started to fill up with bright light and sounds like a UFO was coming to beam us up.  Apparently, we didn’t notice the small sign on the counter of the front lobby warning us of “Brief, occasional train sounds.”  Sigh.  Again, who needs sleep? 

Our suite had a sweet tub.

  • I won an award!
o   I was honored to receive a state exemplary volunteer award which confirms that I officially do a lot.  I say that because I always feel busy and I guess I am.  People comment on how much I do and ask how I do it all.   Honestly, I have no idea, but my super woman cape is starting to show signs of wearing.  

My mom flew up and attended the award dinner with me.  One of the highlights on the way home was finding an ancient relic.    Who knew phone booths still existed?  Of course I took this picture with my cell phone.

I made my mom pose for the photo.
  • I’ve accomplished some mileage PRs (Personal Records).
o   I made it up to 8 miles, non-stop running!  This is HUGE for me!  Don’t get me wrong.  I go the distance, just not at a fast pace.

  • My husband bought me a new hamster wheel!
o   My mother ship has landed.  No more cold, wet, night runs for me!  Crap, this also means no more excuses…. 

  • I’ve acquired 80% of my donation goal.
o   I have raised 80% of my fundraising commitment for the American Cancer Society.  Thanks to so many generous friends and family who believe in my cause to race in January!   I only have $225 left to raise in order to reach my $1,250 goal! 

  • I found a few suckers to run with me.
o   I now have two others who are going to join me in Phoenix to run the half-marathon.  (The rest of you are still welcome to join us.  It’s not too late!)  I certainly have a knack of talking people into doing crazy things with me.  I LOVE it!

I could go on and on.  But instead, I’m going to end on this note.  I dare you to walk or run just a little bit further each day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park a few more spaces away from the door.  Love your family and cherish every minute of every day.  It is a gift.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1.0m Running From the Boogie Man

Week 4, Day 3

It was pitch black out, but thanks to a relatively full moon I was able to barely see my way. Until tonight, I didn't realize that we only have one street light on our street and it is on the opposite end of where I run. I was running from the shadows and the boogie man. Okay, I really did run from a dog right after I drop kicked it for sprinting out of the shadows and trying to bite my legs. The neighbors who were driving home saw this and then followed me to make sure I made it home safely. After stopping to chat with them for a while I called it quits and went in for the night. So much for the four miles I was supposed to do. Running in the dark of the night is very different from running in the dark of the morning. Not sure I want to do that again.

Friday, September 9, 2011

5.0m Crack of Dawn

Week 4, Day 2

I was feeling crazy again so I got up at the crack of dawn and ran before work.  I needed to get some miles in and was desperate to find a way and get it done.  Not to make the same mistake as last time, I ensured the caps on my water bottles were closed.  I had a time I had to be done, so I kept up the pace.  It was eerie again on the first lap, then the sun started to rise and the beauty of the morning showed itself.  I kept right on pace and finished a minute ahead of last week.  Five miles in 54:55/10:58 pace.  I'm pretty happy with that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

4.03m Round and Round I Go

Week 4, Day 1:  Track Workout

Today’s workout felt great and relatively easy since I was coming off three days of “rest.” It was supposed to be my second run this week, but s#*! happend and here I am behind. The story of my life.
I was concerned about my foot because I’d worn some fashionable heels to work yesterday and by the end of the day my foot reminded me that it had been fractured less than six months ago. Oops…yep, I try to forget that and then wonder why my foot talks trash to me when I do dumb things like that to it. To my surprise, my foot felt great today and the hardest part was slowing down and trying to keep a consistent pace without constantly checking my watch. So, I just ran and hoped my pace was close to where it was supposed to be. Here was my training for today with my projected and actual paces:

800 m warm up: ran 12:13 pace

4-6 x 800 meters with 3-4 min recovery

1st @ 5K pace (11:00): ran 11:00 pace- nailed it!

2nd @ 20 seconds faster than 5k pace (10:40): ran 10:43 pace- I was close.

3rd @ 10 seconds slower than 5K pace (11:10): ran 10:48 pace- oops a bit too fast.

4th @ 5K pace (11:00): ran 10:52- It is really hard to gage my pace and be consistent

5th @ 15 seconds slower than 5k pace (11:15): ran 11:24- I think I was slacking a bit here waiting for the grand finale

6th @ 5k pace or faster (11:00): ran 9:15- OMG, I had to check my watch twice to make sure that time was correct.

800 meter cool down: ran 10:33 pace

All said and done, I ran 4.03 miles in at an average 10:51 pace. I really happy with that and it felt good to get out and run again. What I don't like about the track workouts is how boring they are and make me feel like I'm chasing myself...round and round I go....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5m I've Gone Off the Deep End

Week 3, Day 3
Its official, I've gone off the deep end.  My first morning of a three day weekend and instead of sleeping in I set my alarm, got up at 5:00 a.m. and went running.  Yep, that’s right.  I voluntarily got up before sunrise on my day off to torcher myself.  And so, off I went in the dark of the morning.  It was a cold fall morning and the dew off the road was spraying up onto my legs.  No, wait…I didn’t get the cap sealed on my water bottle and it was splashing down my rear onto my legs.  Perfect.  Yes, I chose to be here. 
I was already two days behind on my training plan, so I decided to use the “rest days” I just had to jump ahead and start my next week’s training run.   It was a bit eerie and still so ran with my IPod off for the first of two loops to help me be more aware of my surroundings until the sun started to rise.  How beautiful the sunrise was!  That made it all worth it.
I felt strong and fast (for my slow poke pace) and had a goal to stay consistent and finish my five mile run in an hour like last week.
All said and done, I ran five miles in 55:12!  My 11:02 pace knocked off five minutes from last week’s time!  I do question my sanity, but I loved the run...especially my pace.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3.5m Fueled by Frustration

Week 3, Day 2:  3.5m Track Workout

Today I was busy from the time I woke up to the time I should have been going to bed. I'd already put off Tuesday's track workout, so I had to figure out how to fit it in today. I was not going to have the luxury of using a track and my hubby wasn't going to be home in time to allow me to go to one. So, my creative juices started flowing. I measured the distance around the pasture and figured I'd have to run around it an absurd amount of times to get all my sprint repeats done. Not going to happen.
Next option took me to the hardware store. I came home with colored duct tape (I didn't know there was such a thing) and marking paint. I put Fats in the stroller and down the road we went marking distances along the road so I could do my sprints between markers.
It was a cooler day and a storm was moving in. I had nervous, anxious energy from dropping my son off for his first day of Kindergarten. I had a crazy amount of stress and frustration ready to explode out of me from situations that arose the day before. All of this fueled me through my run.
 My training plan with splits:
 800 meter warm-up
 400 meter sprints (5x) progressively getting faster and with 45 second rest between laps.
 3-4 minute rest
 400 meter sprints (5x same as above)
 800 meter cool down
As I started my warm-up, it started raining and blowing. It was raining so hard I could barely see where I was going so I ran in the house and put on my visor. I was already sopping wet and needed to reference the splits I wrote on a sticky note.  So, off I went to the house again and put the sticky note in a plastic baggie. Then, I put the baggie in our mailbox so it wouldn't blow away. Genius!
I ran 3.5 miles in 34:47 with an average pace of 9:55, including a mile of warm-up and cool down!   I ran off all the tension in my body and had a finish time to prove it! I've never run that fast in my life. I felt better when I was done before I started.  Time will tell if it ever happens again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

5m Woo Hoo

Week 3, Day 1: Five Mile Run

Tonight I accomplished something that I’ve never done before; I ran five miles without stopping or walking!  I had a constant, negative self-talk going on in my head, but I pushed through the doubt and just kept running.  I geared up with my not-so-sexy reflector vest and water belt.  I put Nuun in my water bottles and set out.  It was another HOT summer night and I finished in the dark completely drenched in sweat.  I had a goal time to finish in an hour and I nailed it on the nose without a minute to spare.  Total time: one hour.  Pace: 12 min/mile.  I’m happy.  Life is good.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2.75m I'm a Skirt Convert

Week 2, Day 4

I had another dead Garmin battery and another night of guessing how long I’d been running.  Obviously, I’m not a quick learner.  I was exhausted yesterday, so I postponed my training until today.  I chose my route because I was in search for a key that might have dropped on the road.  I did a slow jog down the road and back keeping an eye out for a lost key.  It felt good to be moving and the key search kept my mind of the distance and the heat.  I wore a pair of running shorts and was quickly reminded why I’ve become a running skirt convert.  Unless you are Barbie, I would expect other runners to understand chafing.  My shorts were short, it was a bazillion degrees outside, and I was sweating.   When I run, I intentionally make sure my thick thighs do not meet by covering them with compression/spandex shorts.  My not-so-sexy behind does not need to be seen by the world.  Thus, the running skirt is a perfect solution for me.  The skirts I wear come with compression shorts under them to keep my friction under control.  Then, the skirt adds a nice feminine touch while covering what needs to be covered.  I LOVE the skirts from Running Skirts (

On the topic of running skirts, I just bought this one to wear at the Run Like a Girl Half-Marathon in October (  Check it out!  I have a great group of women joining my Sole Sister’s team.  It is going to be a blast and an experience the gals will never forget. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4.78m Overshot

Week 2, Day 3:  3-4 miles easy

Tonight I dressed in my obnoxiously bright, florescent green running shirt and white skirt to help me be visible as dusk set in.  Too often our neighborhood turns into a super-speedway and I get nervous when the drivers don’t see me.  There aren’t any sidewalks, so it’s a free-for-all.
I planned the route in my head before I left and went slow, steady, and RELAXED my upper body.  My easy pace is slow enough that speed walkers could cruise right by me, but I don’t care because I’m moving.
The first mile was hard.  My legs felt heavy and my neck and back were still tight.  As I pushed through, I felt better and lighter.  My aim was to finish just under or at four miles, but when my Garmin chirped that I was at mile four, I estimated I was still about a half mile from home.  I thought about walking the rest of the way, but figured it would just take too long so I kept running.  Another .52 miles I was home, and  then I walked for .26 to cool down.
I realize that I overshot a bit on the mileage, but I felt good at the end of the run.  The 13:00 pace is probably why.  Tomorrow I’m scheduled for 35 minutes of cross training.  I think I may choose yoga to help stretch out my muscles.  We’ll see.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4.25m With a Side of Ibuprofen

Week 2, Day 2: Track Workout

Yesterday was another track workout and another four miles of mind numbing circles. I only had one distractor with me instead of two, so I was able to focus better on what sequence I was on during my repeats. What I did discover was there are eight lanes on a track (I’m probably the only one who didn’t know that) and I had to repeat my sprints eight times. How convenient? Very convenient because I started my first one in the eighth lane and by my final sprint I was in the first lane. This helped me to not think so much and just run. Because I ran the track this way, my workout ended up being 4.25 miles instead of 4 miles which was fine by me. I finished in 48:22 with an 11:23 average pace.

Thank God I finished when I did because I was slowly being taken over by the high school cheerleaders starting their practice smelling like the Hawaiian Tropic oil they just sprayed on so they could “get a tan today.” Wow, did that smell bring back memories of my high school years!

Yesterday I was smart and armed myself by wearing my compression socks to help “wrap” my shins. Last week my shins talked trash to me the whole time I was sprinting and then for days after. This time, my shins felt better and I could focus on sprinting at 90%. I thought I’d done a good job until this morning when I woke up and my shoulders and neck hurt so bad I could hardly pick up my son. This shouldn’t have been such a surprise to me because I had focused so much on my shins and laps, I didn’t notice how I would tense my shoulders and neck when I was pushing through the sprints. Duh, I’d been so good about focusing on form and relaxing through my runs that I completely blew it yesterday and now I’m paying for it today. So, I started the day off with my normal breakfast, but added a side of ibuprofen.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3.52m Running in the Dark

Week 2, Day 1:  45 minutes easy run

The nights are quickly creeping up as I often venture out about the same time, but todays run I ended up running home in the dark.  I made sure to charge my Garmin to ensure I wouldn’t have a repeat of last week’s dead battery.  Even though it was working, I still had no idea how long I had been running because I didn’t know how to turn the backlight on to read my watch!  It was too dark to read it, and I wasn’t going to chance pushing random buttons and mess up my time.  It was another successful guessing game because I finished back at my driveway at 45:17!  My pace was 12:51.

Again, I focused on my form and consistency in pace.  I ventured out with the goal of enjoying the run despite having eaten a LARGE, late dinner.  I went slow and steady and didn’t have any issues.  It was a beautiful summer evening and I know that they will soon come to an end.  Until they do, I will enjoy them.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3m Award Winning Day

Week 1, Day 4

My training assignment today was “30 minutes or cross-training,” so I met my friend Lisa in Medical Lake to do the Strides for Strong Bones 3 miler with her.  Well, I use the term “met” loosely because she was there prompt and early and I was praying I would make it before the start.  In my typical fashion, I cruised in right as it was starting.  The problem…I hadn’t even parked my car. 

I quickly texted Lisa to let her know that I was there so she could go ahead and start.  In lightning speed, I got Fats strapped in the stroller, gear in the bottom, coffee in the cup holder, and I started running.  No one was at the start line, so I prayed I was heading the right way.  After I found Lisa, I had her push the stroller while I took off my sweatshirt.  To my surprise and relief, she continued to push the stroller for the remainder of the race! 

It was a relatively small crowd, and Lisa and I cruised past quite a few people as we were busy chatting, catching up on the months since we last saw each other.  Before we knew it, we were crossing the finish line and noticing that there were not very many others there before us.

When the awards were announced (given 5 deep in each age group), Lisa and I both won 3rd place in our age divisions!  Even with her pushing Fats in the stroller for me! She was a super trooper and I’m so proud of her.  She has worked so hard to overcome a setback. She is even considering doing her first half marathon next year…considering being the key word.

We don't know our finish time because Fats was fascinated with my Garmin and apparently restarted the timer on my watch when I was holding him.  He also loved the medal and did a taste test on it.

It was a good day, for a great cause, and with great company.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

3.17 Restless Run

Week 1, Day 3

Today was actually a rest day, but I was very restless.  It was a stressful day, which started with my son getting his shots for school.  (Last time it took three of us to hold him down while he was screaming.)  Needless to say, the opportunity to run arose and I took it.   I won’t be able to run tomorrow as my training calls for, so I did the run tonight.

“Three miles easy” ended up being 3.17 miles in 35:22 with 11:10 average pace.  My “easy” run was probably closer to a medium run, but it felt great so I went with it.  Tomorrow will be my rest day, then I will meet a friend for a walk on Saturday.  I’m looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

4.06m Track Workout

Week 1, Day 2

I went to the nearest high school track with my kids in tow. By the time I got out there, I was surrounded by football practice and the heat of the day was creeping up. Before I started, I called my cousin to make sure I was interpreting the workout correctly:

800 meter warm up (track)
8 x 400 (1 lap) @ 90% effort with a 200 meter (1/2 lap) walk recovery
Finish with an 800 m cool down (walk or jog)

Once he saw the track, DD decided he wanted to run a lap with me. He has the potential to be a great runner someday. Despite wearing his cowboy boots (and me telling him he needed to wear his running shoes today), he ran one lap at a consistent 8:30 pace!  When my other munchkin got restless, I would push him around the track with me. When neither was with me, I would I circle back to see DD pushing his brother around in the stroller and waving a WSU Cougar flag at me like I was about to finish a race. I felt a little like we were part of a circus show.

It felt good to get my workout done early. I did lose track of which lap I was on since my focus kept being interrupted by my kids. In the sprints, my shins reminded me that in high school I used to tape them before races. My lungs reminded me that I’m not young anymore. I have a long way to go, but excited that this journey has just started. 

Final stats: 4.06m/47:15/11:39pace

Monday, August 15, 2011

DetermiNation Training Begins!

Week 1, Day 1
Today was Day #1 of my DetermiNation Team training! My assignment was a 40 minute easy run. As I headed out, I felt good and forced myself to go slow and steady. I know an easy run has a pace you can talk through, but when you are training alone that is hard to go by. I decided if I could sing along with the songs on my Ipod, I was okay. A quarter of a mile in, my Garmin died, so I was on my own to determine when I'd completed my 40 minutes. I ran a familiar loop around the neighborhood and felt great the whole way. It surprised me how "easy" the run was, which made me question my pace. When I got home, I calculated how long I'd run by adding up the minutes of the songs I listened to on my Ipod. Total song time elapsed: 43 minutes! Because I intentionally ran at a slower pace, I estimated my distance about 3.3 miles. Not having any experience with a training plan, this is all new to me. I'm keeping my mind open and my legs moving.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

5K Walk for Wishes

I took my kids and went to the Make a Wish Foundation's Walk for Wishes 5K. I pushed both in the stroller most of the way.  My oldest was excited to get a "race" shirt, dinosaur painted on his face, balloon sword, and slinky toy. The snacks were an extra bonus for him.  It was a great walk for a great cause.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm a DetermiNator!

I got my welcome packet and team shirt today for the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation Race Team!  I will be running with the team in the Rock 'n' Roll Phoenix Half Marathon on January, 15, 2012!  I cannot do it without the support from my friends and family.  Please go to
to make a donation to help save lives.  Don't have much to give?  How about a donation of $1 for every mile I will run ($13.10)?  Anything helps.  Thanks SO much for helping me achieve a dream of helping others.

4.68m Centennial Trail

This morning I took another walk with Sue and pushed Fats in the stroller.  More talking and walking.  I remembered that I have a 5K tomorrow with Walk for Wishes and feel really guilty that I didn’t actively fundraise for the cause.  Dennis is excited to go and be in the “race” tomorrow.  He did a great job last year and I look forward to taking him again this year. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

6.48m Split Workout

4.48m Centennial Trail: 
I met Sue again, same place, same time.  Pushing Fats in the stroller we walked and talked again.  I think I did most of the talking (which I’m sure doesn’t surprise anyone.)   We made a date to meet again tomorrow, sorry that it will be the last time we get to walk before she starts back to work on Monday.  Where did the summer go?

2.0m Around the Block: 
Later that evening, still dressed in my workout attire (yes, I’m a workout clothes junkie and slob), I decided I to go out for a slow short jog.  I started out running the first mile in 10:56.  My legs felt great, my breathing was comfortable then suddenly my stomach decided that it wanted to donate back the taco soup I ate for dinner.  Luckily, I didn’t get sick, but thought it was a good time to walk for a minute and turn back.  A 12:05 mile later and with a sigh of relief I was back home.   I won’t make that mistake again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

4.42m Centennial Trail

I met up with my friend Sue and we walked along the Centennial Trail.  Pushing Fats in the stroller, Sue and I just walked and talked.  Just under four and a half miles later, we found ourselves back at our cars.  We enjoyed it so much we made a date to do it again tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

4.16m Neighborhood Loop

Tonight I worked on my form, stride, and staying light on my feet. I took it slow and without music so I could stay focused. I did a warm up with intervals.
Mile 1: walked (15:05)
Mile 2: walked 2 min/jogged 1 min (14:08)
Mile 3: jogged 1 min/walked 1 min (12:50)
Mile 4: jogged 2 min/walked 1 min (11:22)

My average pace was 13:28.  I don't mind because I am trying to train myself to run correctly before I train to run faster.  Hopefully it will work.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

6.0m Lewiston, ID/Clarkston Wa Levee

Having missed an early morning running date with a friend, I pushed my little guy in the stroller on the same route we would have run together.  The morning heat was starting to creep up and I was pushing my litle guy in the stroller so I chose to walk the Lewiston/Clarkston levee loop across the bridges. I didn't take any tunes, but instead chose to stroll down memory lane.

I was in town for my high school reunion (year intentionally omitted) and I found myself smiling and laughing out loud as I walked along remembering memories I hadn't thought of for many, many years.  It was a fun way to remember the good times.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1.0 Manure Mile

Dressed in my black secret stealth clothes, I went out to run another manure mile in the pasture. I waited until my very chatty and nosy neighbor had gone in her house for the night. A repeat of last night's scenario left me no other option but to run "lines" again alternating from jogging to the middle fence and sprinting back to the front fence. I was already in the negative for time since the sun had just set, but I was able to get a mile in before I couldn't see the piles to avoid anymore. The air was thick with smoke from fires somewhere and my lungs didn't like it.  That's when I called it quits.

It was a very short run and 10:12 later I had logged a mile more than when I started.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2.0m Bad High School Flash Back

I felt like I was back in high school running lines. It wasn't a good flashback and my body isn't as spry as it once was.  I had 15 minutes of daylight and my husband wasn't home, so I had to get creative or I wasn't getting any miles in today. I wasn't going to leave the kids and had to go out and feed the horses anyway, so I just started doing laps around the pasture. I dressed in all black as to not draw anymore attention to myself.  I ran Ipodless (is that even a word?) so I could hear the horses coming if they decided to get frisky and join me running. I ran laps from the front fence to middle fence and back alternating walking out and sprinting back. I would have done more, but I could no longer see the random rocks and manure piles in the dark. It was a good obstacle course, to say the least.  I got in 22:58 minutes at an average pace of 11:29.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2.62m Santa Rosa, CA

This morning came early after staying up shooting the breeze with family until 1:30 a.m. I woke up at 7 a.m., looked at the running clothes I'd set out, then rolled over and went back to sleep. I figured if I missed my run today I could make up the miles when I got home, but the sleep not so much. Eight o'clock came and I couldn't bring myself to get up. By the time it was 9:00, I finally pulled my rear out of bed and guilted myself into running.

I REALLY didn't want to run so I chose a short route and ran fast. I figured the faster and farther I ran away from the house the less likely I would quit and turn around. Mile one done in 9:46! (It helped that it was downhill.)

Mile two was uphill and I powered through at an 11:27 pace. I finished with a fast walk for the remaining .62 miles. I wanted to push to the end, but decided to save some energy for the three hours of paintball I was scheduled to play. Nothing says "I love you" quite like shooting your relatives in a paintball game.

Speaking of paintball, it was a blast! My sister and I knew we would suck so she decided we should match and I thought we needed to look obnoxious to embarrass the family. After a quick visit to Target, we showed up wearing rediculous pink dress shirts, black sweats, white socks, and Ked shoes.  Plenty of welts turning to bruises later, I called it quits and became a spectator. It was an experience we will all be talking about for a long time!

Tomorrow I head home and hope to get a run in before I have to go sit on a plane.  It's been really fun seeing my family, but I sure miss my boys.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

7.31m Around Santa Rosa, CA

I've been eating my way through my family reunion, so I decided I better go out for a run to burn off some of the calories. I had the choice of running around a lake or through the "Active Adult Community" so I chose to check out the neighborhood.

My run started downhill and was a quick mile (for me) at 10:33 pace. Ahh, fresh legs, no time constraints, and a perfect 58 degrees with 90% humidity. The morning fog had not yet lifted and there was a slight drizzle against me as I ran. It felt incredible.

What goes down must eventually go mile two was not as pretty. I stayed at my consistent pace and worked my way up at 12:25 pace. I did stop for a few seconds to pet "Charlie," a cute little dog walking his owner.

Mile three had a few false flats, but at 12:14 pace I was able to really enjoy my suroundings. I was working my way through neighborhoods consisting of houses with perfectly manicured lawns, and a golden lab, hummingbird, or flower flag hanging outside the front door. There were more golf carts on the road then cars.

Mile four I picked up the pace to 11:39 after first checking the street sign name against the map I scribbled on the sticky note in my pocket. I was still on course and almost around the golf course.

My last mile was the home stretch and another hill. I pushed myself past street names like Cliff Dr and Skyline View. I knew I wasn't imagining the hills. A 12:01 mile pace took me home. I was happy with my 5.01 mile run and 11:46 average pace.

Later that afternoon, my sister and I escaped the family to go to the grocery store. On our way we decided to stop at Spring Lake and take a walk. We had a great time and it was a pretty route. We walked around the lake, taking the shorter distance option since we were just wearing our flip flops. We had a great conversation and 2.3 miles later we were back at the car. We had plenty to chat about (not like girls don't anyway) since it has been almost two years since we've seen each other!

It's been a great day and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

5.5m Hills & Pace Work w/Two Surprise Guests

I had three goals and met them all! #1 was to log five miles. Check.  #2 was to complete ten hill repeats. Check.  #3 was to finish each mile faster than the last. Check.  I'm not a speed racer, but I accomplished my goals. Here were my paces with mile 1 & 2 doing hill repeats:
1m: 13:53
2m: 13:21
3m: 12:46
4m: 12:22
5m: 11:11
1/2 mile cool down.

Somewhere in mile three I passed a house party where two guys came running out and started pacing me.  They were funny and tried to strike up a conversation with me.  One of them didn’t have any shoes on, so he gave up first and the other held in until the hill, then he headed back.  I’d be surprised if they were even old enough to be drinking.

Friday, July 22, 2011

1.77m Stroll w/Mom

As I write this first blog entry, I’m wondering who (if anyone) will be interested in reading what I have to say?  Seeing that I have no “followers,” I guess I can write anything and not worry about offending anyone…so here goes.

Tonight was the last of many nights I have walked in the evening with my mom while she and my dad have been visiting.  They are leaving at O’dark 30, so it will be a while before we walk together again.  Our walk consisted of the usual plodding pace and tangential conversations.  We could have walked in silence and it still would have been nice spending time together.

The only noteworthy thing we saw on our walk was a cow that looked awkward.  She stood in the field with her back arched and tail up, crooked to the side.  The bull behind her seemed very interested, so we didn’t want to watch their “date.”  What we did discover was that she was not interested in what he had in mind (no surprise, right girls?), but instead she was in labor.  The poor girl had something pointy (hoof, shoulder, knee?) not quite lined up to begin the exit.  As we stood there watching, the sun was setting and it was getting dark so we decided to go.  We are hoping all goes well tonight for her and the calf.  All I can say to the cow is “Hey Sister, I understand and feel for you.”  I’ll check on her tomorrow....