Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

It's the time of year for resolutions, new beginnings, fresh starts. It's the time of year we look back and appreciate what we've done or regret what we haven't. I feel no real regrets. It's been a good year. Not necessarily an easy year but a good one.

Since this is a running blog, I'd thought I'd leave you this year with an inspirational poem by Sam Skeist. I first saw this over at Runblogger a couple of weeks ago. I think it's so important to hear why other people started running and why they continue to run.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reflections

I know everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk about White Rock and I will eventually stop. Eventually. But today is not that day so....

During my 10 mile run yesterday I had some time to think. And reflect over the race once again. I have done this SO many times I've lost count. But each time I remember something different. Like that around Mile 2 or 3 there was a car wreck in the middle of the course. Did anyone else see this? A car had plowed into a light pole and there were police everywhere. Or around Mile 4 on McKinney Ave at the water stop I heard a vaguely familiar voice say "Go Jessica." I looked up and saw Big Al Mac from the Kidd Kraddick Show. How could I have forgotten those things?

So yesterday I started thinking about Mile 19. About how I knew exactly where Jeff would be standing before I ever saw him. I knew this because we have stood in the exact same spot for the last 20 years watching for my Dad. Jeff, of course, was not around for all of them but he's been around long enough to know exactly where to go. And know that I would be expecting him there.

When I rounded that corner and saw him standing in precisely the spot I have stood so many times before, it was such a strange and big feeling. To be the one running. Not watching. BIG.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One week post-op

It's been a week since the big 26.2 and I ran a mile today. One. Not much but it's a start. I have gone to a couple of classes at the gym, one the Tuesday after White Rock. While I silently cried out in pain during the class, I think it helped. I woke up Wednesday morning feeling great. And in no pain.

Wa Hooooooo! When's the next one?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's a beautiful day

Check out this great race recap by my friend Dianna here. It will make you smile. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

26.2 - Done and done

I’ve sat down to write this post several times today. I don’t really know where to start. I can’t seem to put into words what yesterday was like but I will try…

My alarm went off at 5:00am. I was already awake. I think I had been awake since 3:00. Our hotel room was right beside the elevators and I could hear them move up and down all night. Not that I would have slept anyway but still. I got dressed. Woke Jeff up. He got dressed. And we were off to meet everyone in the lobby. It was kind of a strange feeling. I knew I was about to do something big but it still seemed so far away. So unreal. I guess that’s good because I was extremely calm. No nerves. No anything really.

So we get to Fair Park. It’s freezing. I mean really freezing. We walk half a mile to the Start line and can hardly stand it. It is SO cold. I start to doubt my race day wear. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to running. I don’t want layers. Or fuel belts. Or anything on me when I run. But there was NO WAY I would make it in the singlet and skirt I was wearing. NO WAY. So I decided to keep my favorite running jacket on and just toss it when I got to hot. Did I mention it was my favorite? Well it was and now it’s gone. Oh well.

At the start of the race each runner is placed in a corral according to their expected finish time. Dad, of course, was near the front so we said our goodbyes and good lucks and parted ways. I was way way way in the back. Way. When we finally made it back to my corral and it was time for Jeff to go, I kind of lost it. I don’t know why that particular moment was so hard but it was. He hugged me. Told me I would be great and how proud he was of me. All the while I was bawling like a baby. So I stood there alone in my corral crying. Not really alone considering I was surrounded by thousands of people but alone. Then it was 8:00 and the gun went off and we just stood there. We stood there for a while longer then we moved a few feet. Then we stood there some more. 50 minutes more to be exact. But then we were off! And I was good.

I felt great. The crowds were huge but not so huge that I was annoyed. The first couple of miles were incredibly slow because of it but that was probably for the better. Around the 3rd or 4th mile things opened up a bit and I was able to pace myself the way I needed too. Things were good. I felt good. This was my Team In Training event. I am telling you, there is NO other way to do it. When you have on that purple shirt with your name written in HUGE letters across the front, you will be cheered for from beginning to end. Every “GO TEAM” or “RUN JESSICA” I heard, I cried a little. I’m not even sure why. I think I was proud to be a part of something so great. And I think every time I heard my name out there, it solidified what I was doing. And why I was doing it.

My absolute favorite part of the race was seeing my family along the course – Jeff, Aunt D, and Kelly. I honestly don’t know how they did it but I saw them in 3 different places on the course and at the finish. Jeff was by himself. D and Kelly were together. That meant I had a personal cheering squad 6 times along the way. SIX TIMES. They have no idea how each of those sightings pushed me further along. Got me to the finish. I will be forever grateful.

Now on to the actual run…It’s all kind of a blur. What happened at what mile. But there are a few things I remember. I felt really great for the first 13 or so miles. The course was gorgeous. Great neighborhoods. Pretty surroundings. I was running the pace I wanted to run. Reading spectators’ signs along the way to pass time.

KEEP RUNNING CAUSE YOU’RE KICKING ASPHALT.

IN 15.8 MILES YOUR FACEBOOK STATUS WILL SAY FINISHER.

BECAUSE 26.2 WOULD BE CRAZY.

CHUCK NORRIS NEVER RAN THE ROCK.

BRAGGIN' RIGHTS FOREVER.

And then I hit White Rock Lake. The course around the lake isn’t hard. It’s just long. And boring. But then I saw my fabulous friend and TNT Coach Charlene! She was assigned to the lake (bummer for her) but YAY for me! She ran 14ish to 18ish with me and I’m pretty sure it saved me. I was moving slow by 18 but we talked, laughed, and generally kept my mind off what I was doing. She eventually had to turn around (I wasn’t the only TNT person out there? What?) and I was alone again. But I soon saw D and Kelly again! Oh happy day! OK, I was good for a little while longer. And then I saw Jeff! I made him run next to me while I cried and talked and I’m not sure what else. I knew that was the last time I would see him until the finish.

The last 7 were hard. Really hard. Mile 23 was the worst. My feet hurt and my legs didn’t want to go anymore. With every step. Every thought of wanting to stop, I repeated the words that one of TNT’s honored heroes, Frank, said at our inspirational dinner the night before. I actually wrote it down the moment he said it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This amazing person was less than a year out of treatment - raising money, running races. Making a difference…

“There might be sometime when you want to walk and I know some people are bothered by that. About having to walk. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you never quit.”

What matters is that you never quit. Mile 24 went by. Then mile 25. And then I saw David and Meg and I stopped hurting. Seriously. Stopped hurting. I was so excited to see them, the pain was gone. I knew I had done it. I knew it was almost over. Meg literally ran me to the finish line. I am so grateful for both of them.

I have to say, it was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. But also one of the most gratifying. Nothing will ever compare to that moment. Crossing the finish line. I am very happy and very proud.




26.2 miles - Done.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Out of the funk

My latest copy of Runner's World came in the mail yesterday. RW is my running bible. I read it cover to cover the days it arrives. When I curled up in bed last night, I only made it to page 5. I realized I was second guessing everything I had done for the last 5 months. Normally I read it with excitement about changing or improving my training, but not last night. My training is done. There is nothing I can do at this point but run. No point in giving myself more anxiety about what I should have done.

But I didn't sleep well last night. Not sure what I dreamed but I did wake up with the need to run. Not long, just a couple of miles. Somehow in the middle of the night I realized why I've been in kind of a funk. Why my training has been so blah for the last couple of weeks - once I hit 20 miles I stopped trying as hard. Not on purpose. But subconsciously I think I realized that I could do it so it was no longer such a big deal. And now this last week I've been worried that my training wasn't enough. Sigh.

So I ran 2 easy miles. I listened to music. Got my head in a better place. Enjoyed myself. Got out of my funk. I don't know what will happen Sunday but I know I'll be OK with whatever it is.

Maybe.

Rules To Run By - Day 53

Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

This is my final "Rule." Sad that it's over but happy I ended with this one. It's kind of fitting considering in less than 2 days I will run my first marathon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Setting Goals

It's less than 4 days until White Rock. I'm starting to get a bit nervous. It's a strange nervous though. I'm not really worried about the race or distance. I know I can finish. I'm actually more nervous about my expectations. I don't really even know what they are anymore. I just know that I usually set a goal for myself and I rarely meet that goal. Does this mean I'm setting my goals too high? Or not pushing myself enough? I don't think so. Or maybe. Who knows. I do know that I have to have some sort of goal in mind when I start. I can't go into it just hoping to do my best. That's not how I work. So I guess I'll do some soul searching these next couple of days and figure out what my goal needs to be.

Rules To Run By - Day 51

Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 50

Never apologize for doing the best you can.

(This is one that I need to repeat over and over for the next couple of days.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 46

Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

San Antonio Race Recap!

My countdown clocks have been updated! San Antonio Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon is done and gone. I have to say this was one of the BEST times I've ever had during a race (except for that first one with my Dad. But to be fair, that one was really painful so fun is not exaclty how I remember it. Meaningful, yes. Fun, no.) The entire weekend was great. Serene and I did everything you are NOT supposed to do before a race. We were on our feet ALL day. We tried sample after sample at the Expo (a big no no). We didn't hydrate. We skipped lunch. And then, instead of carbo-loading, we ate Mexican food. It was great.

The race itself was amazing. I ran with my two cousins, Christin and Kelly, and Serene. Serene and I run together all the time but we've never actually run a race together. It was SO much fun. And this was Christin and Kelly's first half. They were both SO amazing. I feel so very lucky to have shared this with them. I am already planning out future family renions centered around upcoming races. I mean, why not? Pretty soon I'm sure we will have talked the entire Collins family into joining us.
















Rules To Run By - Day 45

“Winning” means different things to different people.

(This is ABSOLUTELY one of my favorites. And yes, I know I've said that a couple of time but I really mean it this time.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

San Antonio RnR Half Marathon = Girls Weekend

I will run my 5th half marathon on Sunday - San Antonio Rock 'N' Roll. I am making the trip with Serene, Lisa, and Cassie - GIRL'S WEEKEND. My cousins Kelly, Christin, and Barrett will also be running the half marathon (it's Kelly and Christin's first). Chris, Roy, Meg, David (all running the full) and Dianna are all running as well. Did I leave anyone out? Because that is a LOT of people.

This is going to be SUCH a fun weekend. Getting to experience friends accomplish big goals. Getting away for a weekend. And the Expo. Let's not forget about the EXPO.

I signed up for this event ages ago before I realized that Dallas White Rock Marathon was moved up a week to Dec. 5th (4 weeks away). It's kind of put a kink in my training schedule and I've had to move my long miles up a few weeks. Because it's 4 weeks before my FIRST full marathon I don't want to go all out and push myself like a crazy person. But what do I do? Dad thinks I should run my race pace for the full. Should I? Or do I just go at a really comfortable pace and see where that takes me? I'd kind of like to run next to Kelly and Christin since it's their first...? Or do I treat it like I would any other training run? I don't know. And I may not know until the gun goes off. We'll see.

What I do know is that I am going to have a blast with my girls this weekend. Can't wait.

Rules To Run By - Day 43

Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 41

The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 40

During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.

(I agree and disagree with this one. I think it is super important to make sure everyone is running at a pace they are comfortable with and if that means you need to slow down a little then that's what you do. But I (personally) LOVE running with people that are faster than me. I love pushing myself to try to keep up. Sometimes it's what you need to see what you can really do.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 39

Without goals, training has no purpose.

(This is another one that I love. I always tend to make these huge (somewhat unattainable) goals. I think other people think I'm nuts but I like the challenge. Even if I never make it, it's totally worth shooting for. Otherwise, what's the point?)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 38

Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 37

When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 36

Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wise words from the White Horse

I was reading a guest blog post on Outside Online today by Christopher McDougall (author of Born To Run) regarding his Top 4 Running Tips. I don’t think they are all super realistic for most of us but his number 1 tip, To Get Fast, Forget About It, is really good. It’s a lesson he learned from Caballo Blanco (the “White Horse”) and one we should all learn. I personally think Caballo is kind of a whacadoo (anyone who always refers to himself in the third person besides Elmo is a weirdo) but he’s smart and he knows running. Especially long distance running…

"The problem with most people is they only care about getting fast, and think that once they get fast, running will get easy. They got it backwards. First focus on getting easy, because if that's all you get, that ain't so bad. Once you can run easy, focus on light. Once you get light, focus on smooth. By the time you're easy, light and smooth, you won't have to worry about getting fast--you will be."

Caballo Blanco

Rules To Run By - Day 35

Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of shape, or not feeling well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I ran 20 miles today.

I don't have the energy to come up with a better title. Why? Because I ran TWENTY MILES TODAY.

And to be honest, it was a much easier run than my 18. Now I'm not saying it was easy but it was easier. I hit a wall at 17 or 18 and just shuffled the last 2 miles. But I did it. And I'm proud.

That being said, I think I need to re-evaluate my marathon goal time of 4:30. I just don't think there is ANY way that will happen. And I think I'm actually OK with it. This is my first marathon. I'm not trying to break any records. I need to just run MY race and enjoy myself.

See...I had time for some soul searching during that 20 miles.

Daily Mantra:

Just run your miles. The right pace will come.

Rules To Run By - Day 32

Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.


OK, so cod liver oil is a bit dated too. Does anyone even use it anymore? I don't know but I totally agree with the saying. Especially today.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 30

There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 28 & 29

28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.

29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.

So here's another two for one. My opinion on the above...have a long talk with your running "partner" before race day. Know what the other is expecting. You may be going for a PR and your partner may want to take it easy. Or what if one of you tweak your knee at mile 7. Now what? Just make sure each of you knows up front that there might be a possibility that you will have to split up. Or make a pact that you will stay together to the end. Whatever you decide, just do it BEFORE race day. Then all will be fine.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 27

Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.

I missed my Rule yesterday! So sorry. Guess I was just too tired from my 18. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

18 and life to go.

(Yes, that’s right. I just referenced a Skid Row song. I’m not sure what’s worse – that it’s showing my age or or my taste in music? It’s a toss up.)

So 18 miles today. EIGHTEEN. That is officially the furthest I’ve gone. WAHOOO for me. I ran 16 last Saturday. I didn’t write about it because it wasn’t a great run. And I know, I know – they aren’t all great. But I really felt like I didn’t put much into that 16 so what I got from it was…not much. This 18? Well, I can’t say that I put a ton into it either but it’s different for some reason. Maybe because it was EIGHTEEN MILES?

I ran the first 10 with my regular running girls, Serene, Dianna, Robin, and Kim. It was a slow 10 (Dianna and Robin are running their very first FULL marathon next weekend in DC, The Marine Corp Marathon). The last 8 miles I did on my own. They were actually a bit faster pace than my first 10. Not much faster but some. It’s weird. I prefer to run with people but I run so much better when alone. I get into that kind of zen place when I’m by myself. I don’t seem to beat myself up as much. Again, weird.

My only real complaint about the day…I had to run up the hill at Glen Oaks 3 times. THREE TIMES PEOPLE (you McKinney folks know what I’m talking about). AND the hill in front of the Starbucks – TWICE. I swear I wanted to punch those people sitting at their little tables drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes when I passed by that second time. And yes, I realize I just said I was in a zen place. Whatever. Obviously, my zen is different than yours.

And I’m feeling pretty great right now. Considering. My feet and ankles hurt but that’s about it. It’s amazing how far I’ve come. I remember not that long ago hardly being able to walk after 13 miles. Could I have done 8 more for 26.2? I don’t think so. That’s a little scary. That 18 was all I had in me. 26.2 seems light years away. But I’m sure I’ll get there. Eventually.

Daily Mantra:

One foot in front of the other.

Rules To Run By - Day 26

The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 23

Keep in mind that the harder you run during training the luckier you'll get during racing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 22

No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Toenails are for sissies

I've been thinking I should just have my toenails surgically removed. They couldn't look any worse than they do now. And they definitely couldn't feel any worse. Right? But then I looked up what having your toenails removed entailed. Do you know? No? Well, I think it involves pouring acid on them. Not totally sure but I don't want any part of it. That kind of stuff is for you crazy Ultrarunners. I think I'll keep my black, lumpy, sore toes.

Rules To Run By - Day 21

Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 19 & 20

Day 19

Don’t always run alone.

Day 20

Don’t always run with people.

(19 & 20 go so well together...you get them both. Yay, I get a day off tomorrow.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 18

Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.

(I actually don't like this one. I always want to hear about how people are feeling. Besides, how I am going to self-diagnose when I'm feeling the same thing?!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 17

Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Countdown Update

(Per your request Kelly)

You may noticed I updated my Countdown Clocks over there. Tyler Rose is done and gone.

San Antonio Rock N Roll Half - 31 days
White Rock Full - 52 days
New Years Day Half - 79 days

New Years Day Half Marathon is the newest race added. It's a small race, only 200 participants allowed, at Watters Creek in Allen, TX. I've run the trails at Watters Creek a couple of times. It's a nice flat course. I should be able to get a PR. That's what I'm hoping anyway. Not sure what my goal is right now. 2:08 or 2:05 maybe? I don't know. I'll have a better idea of things the more I train. Maybe.

But It's difficult to try to calculate what pace I am going to be or need to be. I don't wear a watch on my short runs which I really thinks makes me go faster. But when I don't wear a watch on my long runs, I go too fast. And when I do wear a watch, I don't know my exact pace until after the run is over anyway. And this brings me back to one thing - The Garmin. I was really thinking maybe I didn't need one but now I think I do. I would like to stay at a 10:30 or 10:45 pace throughout my marathon and I need a Garmin to tell me I'm on track. To slow me down when I go too fast. To speed me up when I go too slow. Yep, I need a Garmin. Crap.

(BTW - Kelly, I blame you for this. I had completely convinced myself I didn't need a Garmin but noooooooo. You had to go and bring it up again.)

Rules To Run By - Day 16

A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dad, your head is really gonna swell.

Sunday's race brought back so many memories of races I went to with my Dad when I was younger. Obviously, just as a bystander then but the feeling was the same.  I haven't been to one of his races that wasn't a marathon in a long time. And since he's been out of the game for much more than a year because of knee surgery, Sunday was the first time I had seen him in his element in a while. With all his East Texas runner friends.  I actually think they were all a bit surprised to see him too. I heard numerous "is that Tony Collins?" and a few "Tony's back!" In fact several told me "that they could kiss first place good bye now that Tony Collins was running again." Another asked "if I knew my Dad was a legend?" Ha! Yes, I know. I know very well.  

Dad said "he isn't a legend. He is just able to outlast most folks." I don't know that I agree with that but it was fun to be around again. And now that I'm on the other side of it, not just cheering but a participant, I can appreciate it so much more.

Run Tony Run.

Rules To Run By - Day 15

Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2 hours and 15 minutes of hill training


Yesterday was the inaugural race for the Tyler Rose Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k. Tyler has a great running community and this was great race. It was very well managed, volunteers were amazing, and the course was beautiful.

But that same beautiful course was the hardest course I've ever run. (Not that I've run that many but still...hardest ever.) Hilly doesn't even begin to describe it. I honestly don't really even know how to describe it. The hills were so steep and so long and there were SO many. SO MANY. They never stopped. Ever. 13.1 miles of hills. And the few downhill areas were so steep that you had to slow down for risk of hurting your knees. Or falling. It was tough.

My time was actually pretty decent considering - 2:15:54. I was running a 9:15 pace for the first 6 miles. I just kept waiting for the hills to end. There had to be just a few flat miles somewhere. They never came. By mile 7, I hit a wall. I just couldn't keep that pace anymore. By mile 11, I had tears streaming down my face. I have never wanted something to end more. The full marathon folks were passing us going the other way now. I must have looked bad because a guy running the full looked at me and said "You're almost done. Don't give up." Are you kidding me?! REALLY? I just got encouragement from a guy who's already run 17 or 18 of these hellish miles and he's telling me not to give up?! CRAP. I've got to suck it up. And I did. Kind of. I didn't finish strong but I finished. And I earned that 2:15:54. Not my best time but definitely not my worst. I am happy.

Will I run it again? Probably. I'm sure I'll forget how hard it was in a years time. Right?!




Dad and his 1st Place Age Group Medal


And what shoes did I choose to wear? The tried and true - Sauconys. I don't know if it was that right choice. The Newtons probably would have made those hills a little easier. Maybe.


And how am I feeling the day after? Pretty good. Muscles aren't too sore or stiff. I am completely surprised. I do have a weird pain in my groin though. Can girls even pull their groin? I don't know but I feel like I did. I'm sure I'll google it today, self-diagnose, then figure out how to fix it. No worries. ;)


Rules To Run By - Day 14

When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 13

If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.

(Another one of my favorites. Although, I like my dad's version better...if it were easy, they'd call it golf.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 11

Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What to do?

So I can't make a shoe decision for my half marathon on Sunday.

1. Newton

Do I wear my Newtons? I love them SO much but I'm not up to 13 miles in them. I jumped from 2 miles to 6 miles and my arch paid the price. It seems stupid to try to run 13.1 in them but again, I love them. Seriously people, running up a hill in Newtons is a cake walk. Simply delicious.

2. Saucony

My tried and true Sauconys. They have never ever steered me wrong. It makes sense to wear these right? You would think so but since wearing other shoes, my Sauconys feel like I'm running in a pair of boots. So very heavy. And they have a ton of miles on them.

3. Brooks

My Brooks Launch. Ohhh I love these shoes too! They are OH SO LIGHT. They feel like I'm wearing a pair of socks. Cushy, comfy socks. Only drawback is they have no real support for my flat arches. I have to really concentrate on my form at all times. Around mile 10, that is a little difficult. But the laces say "Dig Deep" on them. And yes, I know that's not a legitimate reason to choose a shoe...but it kind of is, isn't it?! Yea, I think so.

So what so I do? Please tell me because I have no idea.

Rules To Run By - Day 10

All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.

(This one may just be my favorite.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 9

Don’t compare yourself to other runners.

Rules To Run By - Day 8

Keep your cell phone in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.

(I changed this one. Originally it said "Keep a quarter in your pocket." Dated much? Are there even any pay phones left?)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What a difference a year makes

Saturday was 10 miles on my training schedule. When my alarm went off at 5:30am, I calmly got up. Got dressed. And headed out the door. No anxiety. No thoughts of any kind really. Just ready to run.

While announcements were being made, I couldn't help but think about this time last year. How nervous I was about the long miles. How much I dreaded it. I couldn't sleep the night before. And then I thought about how I felt the next day. And how difficult it was for me to get around.

Wow. What a difference a year makes.

Daily Mantra:

You've come a long way. Just run.

Rules To Run By - Day 6

When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.

(This is one that I do not feel that strongly about. If it's a small group, wouldn't you just wait?)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 4

During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.

(Unless, of course, someone wants to run alone.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

E-GEL!!!!!

So it was only a matter of time before I dedicated an entire post to E-Gel. But seriously people, this stuff is AWESOME.


I first heard about E-Gel from Dad (of course) and he swore by the stuff. Every article or review I read had rave reviews. I mean RAVE. Never bad. Always good. But why is it so good? Well, I'll tell you...

GU vs. E-Gel

Taste: Don't gag. I know GU is an acquired taste. Maybe not acquired. Maybe it's just something you learn to live with. I hate to say it but E-Gel is the same. Not better. Probably even a little worse. There are only 4 flavors available and of those 4, Vanilla Strawberry and Cherry Bomb made me gag the least. So those are my favorite.

Energy: I have been taking it for about a week now and I can honestly say I see a significant difference in my energy level. I was a little worried because E-Gel does not contain any caffeine but it hasn't seemed to matter. I am running stronger and faster than ever. And the no caffeine means I can take it in the evenings and not worry about being up all night.

Size: It's quiet a bit bigger than GU. I can't take the entire thing in one swallow which makes it more difficult to deal with while running. (Score one for GU)

Substance: E-Gel has everything you need and them some. See below.




BONUS: EAT Free! Use my referral code 387217 and I get free product. Once you order, you will get a referral code for YOUR free products! Greatness.

Or better yet...just click on the link below to order. My referral code is already there!

http://www.cranksports.com/default.asp?rid=387217

EXTRA BONUS: MarathonPR - If you use e-Gel in your marathon training and on race day, Crank Sports will guarantee that you'll run a personal record (PR) time. Check out the website for details.

And no, I do not work for Crank Sports. Just wanted to share. ;)

Rules To Run By - Day 2

Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rules To Run By - Day 1

My friend, Meg, emailed this list – 53 Runner’s Commandments – to me this morning. So GREAT. I thought I would feature 1 a day for the next 53 days…

Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blame it on the Rain (yea, I quoted a Milli Vanilli song. What of it?)

I skipped my normal Team In Training group run on Saturday to particiapate in the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) Walk/Run to Break the Silence 5K. My friend, Lannie, is an ovarian cancer survivor and this run is for her. It was a great morning with great friends. We had a wonderful time and I can't wait until next year.

But since this is a running blog, I'll give you a short play by play of the race (if anyone out there actually cares besides maybe my dad). It was a cold and rainy morning. Whaaaaat? Cold and rainy? Wasn't it like a 107 last week? Yes, it was. But this is Texas and that's the way we roll here in the Lone Star State. Anyway, the race began with sprinkles and finished with a down pour. I actually felt pretty good the entire time. Especially considering I was nursing a sore arch and hadn't really run all week. And despite the rain (or maybe because of the rain), I had a decent time. 27:31. Also, not too bad, considering a cop stopped us and let cars go by during the MIDDLE of the race. I lost about 45 seconds for that. Probably more. Oh well. This race is to raise awareness. I was happy to stop...kind of.

Pre-Race (still somewhat dry)

After Race (I look a little bit like a boy in this pic. New haircut not so flattering here.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Check it out

Check out my new countdown clocks over there.

I got the idea from Dianna over at Bacons for a Cause. I love seeing your races and how many days you have left to prepare. Thanks for the great idea Dianna!

Annnnnnd since I am signed up for FAR too many races, I decided to stick with three countdowns at a time. Any more would just be overwhelming. For me anyway.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Practice what I preach...

After our training miles on Saturday, I asked a fellow team member how it went. TEAM MEMBER: "OK, I guess. I'm not a runner like you guys. It took me forever." ME: "You're just as much a runner as anyone. We all ran the same amount of miles. We all crossed the exact same finish line. Time doesn't matter."

Whew. That's kind of introspective, right? Oprah would be so proud. It's brilliant really. Time doesn't matter. We are all running the same miles. So what if you finished way before me. We both get the exact same medal. Same braggin rights.

Right?

Wrong. Time does matter. It matters because we (the average & below average runner) are going to be out there running for 4, 5, or 6 hours on marathon day. You, Mister Elite, will be done in 2. You will have eaten, showered, and collected your money while we are still at the half way point. Time matters. It matters because I was not born to do this. I am not a natural and gifted runner. Yet, I continue to do it. I am going to be training for the better part of 5 months getting ready for this one grueling day. This day, that for you will be over in a couple of hours, but for me will take what seems like forever. Time totally matters.  

Daily Mantra:

Time matters

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Laws of Motion

So do you remember just a few days ago when I said I was done? Remember that? No more spending money on running. Well, apparently I am a big fat liar head (a term I learned from Grant and asked him to not use again, all the while kind of loving it). Why am I a liar head? A hypocrite of sorts?

Because I have spent more money on running. BUT. It was an absolute must. I'm not even joking. I had NO choice. I had to have these shoes. And technically I didn't buy them before I needed them. My beloved Sauconys (that's right Saucony. I still love you) will have 300 miles by the end of the month. I needed some time to break these new ones in. So I HAD to, right?

Ohh enough of me trying to justify my purchase...let's just talk about the shoes.

Newton Motion - Stability Performance Trainer
From www.newtonrunning.com

Newton Running's top-of-the-line stability performance trainer is the ultimate shoe for Natural Running. Get a fast, flexible ride with greater energy return and less impact. The 2010 model has medial posting to offset pronation, enhanced durability in the heel, a new high-rebound midsole material and improved upper fit. This shoe allows you to run naturally — faster with greater efficiency and less overuse injuries (like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis).



More from www.newtonrunning.com

1. Land 2. Lever 3. Lift

LAND lightly with your foot parallel to the ground under the center of your body mass. This keeps impact shock off your heel, preventing braking action and reducing muscular damage.

As your midfoot/forefoot impacts the ground, you engage the Action/ Reaction Technology™. The membrane supporting the four external lugs absorbs shock and stores energy. As you LEVER your foot forward, the lugs act as levers loaded up with energy.

Instead of using excessive muscle power and pushing off to begin a new stride, simply LIFT your foot off the ground. The lugs will thrust out of the midsole chambers with a burst of energy that turns into forward propulsion.





So does it work? I'm not totally sure BUT I do know that I love the shoes. And yes, it may be a bit premature since I've only put 3 miles on them. But those 3 miles were great. I felt like I was running in socks. Socks that made me want to run faster. Run lighter. Am I actually running faster? Lighter? I have no idea. I no longer where a watch. But I feel like I am and that's all that really matters.

And yes, I am also aware that they may just be the UGLIEST shoes ever. I don't care. OK, I care kind of but I'm still wearing them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can I get a...

Wha What?

How many of you out there listen to completely different music while running than you do in your everyday normal lives? It's strange really. How different my taste is when I'm out pounding the pavement. I'm normally a Green Day, Violent Femmes, Pearl Jam kind of girl. A 90's alternative rock kind of girl. A Beatles girl. But when I run it's different. I kind of want someone yelling at me. Someone telling what to do and how it's supposed to be.

When I run...I'm a Jay-Z, Eminem, Little Wayne kind of girl. Even a Korn or Nine In Nails kind of girl.

Strange, isn't it?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm done.

I have to stop spending money on running. No more. Seriously, Jeff is probably one pair of new shoes away from divorcing me. I wouldn’t even blame him. It’s ridiculous really. My obsession with running. I’m not even that good. I’m not horrible or anything. And I LOVE what I'm doing. I’m just not breaking any records. If I were breaking records, then maybe just maybe I could justify it all.

I remember saying when all this started that running was an inexpensive sport. That all you needed was a really good pair of running shoes. Except that you need shorts too. And shirts. And bras. And socks. And gels. And drinks. And bars. Oh and more shoes. They wear out. Fast.

And then there’s the registration fees. That’s what really has me all worked up. The fees. They are outrageous. Yet I can’t stop myself from signing up.

September 25 – Run/Walk to Break the Silence 5K
October 10 – Tyler Rose Half Marathon (Dad is trying to talk me into this one)
November 14 – San Antonio RnR Half Marathon
December 5 – Dallas White Rock FULL Marathon
January 1 – New Years Day Half Marathon
February 20 – Livestrong Austin Half Marathon

It’s enough already. I need to get a grip. I’m done. No more.

(So what am I gonna do when my shoes need replacing at the end of the month? Get new shoes, of course. Whatever.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day after day, I will run and I will pray

Today was a particularly hard day. I don't know why but it was. I just couldn't get in my groove. I was 40 minutes late for work. Traffic was awful. Then I couldn't seem to get anything done. Not for not trying. But things just weren't going my way. And then I ran...

I rushed home to get my 3 miles done before Jeff left. It was drizzling outside. Should be perfect running weather. And it was. But I just couldn't get into it. I wanted to stop at a mile. But I didn't. Then at 2, I wanted to stop. Again, I didn't. The 3rd mile wasn't any better. I know I was horribly slow. My form was off. Everything was wrong. I had a fleeting thought of "why oh why do I put myself through this? Wouldn't it be nice to not be training for something? To not feel required to run every day? Or almost every day?"

The answer is no. What would I be doing if I wasn't doing this? Watching TV? Cleaning house? Sitting in front of the computer? Running is therapy. I think. I pray. I work out all of life's problems. This is my meditation.

So even though it was a horrible, miserable 3 miles, I did it. And I learned something. I always learn something.

Daily Mantra:

I will run and I will pray

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Am I back?

So the last week or two, I've been actually feeling good during my runs. Not great, but really good. Such an improvement from the last THREE months. The heat has been awful. I just couldn't seem to run. And I actually stopped running for a while after Too Hot To Handle. That race took everything out of me. Weeks later I still had nothing left.

But I think I've got my mojo back. Not totally but almost. Maybe.

Daily Mantra:

Stay with me mojo.

POT OF GOLD...update!!

So we've had a ton of stuff added to the POT in the last few days! The value is now over $2700! What?! Crazy, right?! You could win the ENTIRE pot so DONATE!!!

$100 Gift Card – Nordstroms
$50 Gift Card – Bed, Bath, & Beyond
$50 Gift Card – Chili’s
$50 Gift Card – Visa
$50 Gift Card - Visa
$40 Gift Card – Solare Spa and Café
$40 Gift Card – Massage Envy
$30 Gift Card – The Gap
$30 Gift Card – Albertsons
$25 Gift Card – Chili’s
$25 Gift Card - iTunes
$25 Gift Card – Coast Global Seafood
$25 Gift Card – Cracker Barrel
$25 Gift Card Cotton Patch Café
$25 Gift Card Cotton Patch Café
$15 Gift Card – Luke’s Locker
$15 Gift Card – Luke’s Locker
$500 Gift Certificate for remolding job or handyman services – K&K Construction Services
$500 Gift Certificate for interior design services – Hilsabeck Design Associates/Alan Hilsabeck
Tooth Whitening System – Hubbard Dental ($299 Value)
Exterior Window Cleaning – A Beautiful View Window Cleaning ($200 Value)
25 Passes for free Kid’s Meal at Chili’s ($250 value)
One hour Massage and Pilates Session – The Spa @ Stonebridge ($100 value)
One hour Therapeutic Massage from Erika Bazan, LMT ($75 value)
Sip N Doodle Paint Party for Two ($60 Value)
Timeless Works Photography Session & CD w/photos ($50 value)
Portfolio Review - Ameriprise Financial/Brandon Simmons ($50 value)
Tommy Bahama Rum (1 liter - $30 value)
Two Fudd Meals – Fuddruckers Hamburgers, McKinney, TX ($20 Value)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

POT OF GOLD!!!

Donation Incentive!!!

The TEAM is having a fabulous fundraising raffle called A POT OF GOLD! One lucky person is going to win the ENTIRE pot! Pretty cool, right?!

For every $5 donated, your name goes in the pot. For every $20 donated, your name goes in the pot 5 times!! How could you not give?!

Take a look at the items we've already collected for the POT! And this is just the beginning. I will update as we add more items!

DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! Just click on my Team In Training donation page to the right!


And don't worry, if you've already donated! You didn't miss out! Your name is in the POT!!!

Welcome to the TEAM!

The winter season for Team In Training has officially started. Woot. Woot.

We have a really great group. Yes, I say that every season (and I mean it every season). I think this organization just draws in really great people. So it's always an amazing thing to be a part of.

Average is totally OK, right?

Went to happy hour last week with my TNT peeps. Some alumni. Some new. At one point during the evening, I got bombarded by a few certain someones about my potential and the ridiculousness of my marathon goal. Ridiculous meaning I'm not pushing myself enough. Meaning my under 5 hours goal is stupid. Meaning I'm not training to my potential. What? What are they talking about? I love to run. I love to compete in races. (I, of course, use the word compete lightly). But I will never be in the same category as these certain someones and I'm totally OK with that.

Except now I can't get it out of my mind. Like I should be trying harder. Running faster. Like I should quit trying to plan out my 26.2 miles now. When I have no idea what it's going to feel like to run those kinds of miles. But how do you do that? Do they not know me at all? I plan everything. And apparently I need to quit assuming that I'm going to need to walk some. But who doesn't assume that? Except them. And their super fast friends. And my Dad. And his super fast friends. BUT IT IS TWENTY SIX POINT TWO MILES PEOPLE. I mean, come on. But they seem to think they are going to whip me into shape before December. I'm not so sure.

Either way, thanks a lot for putting this in my head. I was completely happy being mediocre.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quote of the Week

God expects us to develop all our gifts. I think to go out and win a race gives praise to the Creator. I don't think winning is a bad thing.

Sister Marion Irvine, Sole Sisters

Friday, July 30, 2010

For you Charlene...

It's been so hot out. And I can't seem to get motivated to run after Too Hot To Handle. It just took so much out of me. So Jeff and I joined a gym. My work pays for the membership so it's really ridiculous that we hadn't done it yet. We've been going a couple of weeks now. Jeff does the weights. I take classes. I actually love the classes. I'm kind of getting addicted to them. I love them all. Well, that's not totally true. It's more of a love hate relationship. But I do love to hate them....

So Serene and I went to what we thought was a normal lift class last week. With a normal instructor. But no. The normal instructor was out. And she was replaced by the Lift Nazi. I'm not even joking. He was this big Mr. T looking guy. Mr. T minus the mohawk but still. He walked around the room screaming. Screaming if you weren't lifting enough weights. Screaming if you were lifting too much. Seriously, there was no pleasing him. Towards the end of class he comes over to yell at Serene for not having her back down far enough. Or something like that. I'm not totally sure. I was just trying not to make eye contact with him. It didn't work. Next he's screaming at me because my legs aren't low enough. I swear if I had any strength left in me and I wasn't fighting back tears...I would have totally kicked him in the nay nays. Is that low enough for ya? Seriously.

And then to make things worse...we decided to take his spin class the next day. Apparently we liked being called out in front of the entire class. What?! I know. We are stupid. Oh but Spin Nazi is so much worse than Lift Nazi. So much worse. QUIT PEDALING IN THE BOX. YOU'RE ONLY AT A 4. YOU SHOULD BE AT A 7. I've never wanted to punch someone in the face more. Well, that's probably not true but I did want to hurt him. Bad.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in a name

That which we call a rose by any other any other name would smell as sweet.


Too Hot to Handle. I should have known from the name alone that this was going to be a miserable, hard race. But really it could have been called "Easiest Race Ever" and I should still have known better. I should know that if I'm dying of heat exhaustion on an easy 4 mile training run, that a 15k would probably kill me. But I didn't know.

Delusions of grandeur, maybe? Yes, I think that was it. That's a mental illness, right. Yes, that's what happened. Temporary mental illness. That has to be why I signed up for this race. Temporary mental illness.

Well, that and the swag. Sadly, It's all about the swag really. I mean, look at this:

All this for a 15K? And it wasn't even an expensive race. Yep, I had no choice but to sign up. I had to have that super cute tech shirt. (And it really is super cute. The fit is amazing. Very flattering.)

I had no real plan for survival for this race. Just hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Everyone else had a plan. Intervals. Or walking through water stops. Or something. But no, not me. I never have a plan. I just run. And if I can't run anymore, I stop. But I usually find something in me that will keep me running. Even when I want to stop.

But not yesterday. I couldn't dig any deeper. There was nothing left to keep me going. What mile did you see me, Serene? Mile 6? Or was it 7? I don't know but I was just standing under the water mister the race people had set up. Just standing there. Getting drenched. I think I was in some sort of daze or something. I heard someone call my name and I was like, ohh crap I should be running not standing. So I ran. I ran for another mile or two. Then I just stopped again. I was at least walking this time but still. I must have looked bad because my friend, Meg, comes up behind me and tells me to pour some water on my head. I did it without argument. Before that, I really thought I was going to have to walk it in. And I did walk some more. I had no choice. It was awful. But I finished. With a horrible and embarrassing time. But I finished.

I talked to a friend who ran it also. A MUCH younger and faster friend. She lost it at mile 7 too. Had to walk some. Sadly, her pain made me feel so much better. (Yes, Brooke, I was happy to hear about your pain. Whatever. That doesn't make me a bad person. Right?)

Anyway, I will wear my shirt proudly. I earned it. Will I sign up for this again next year? Who knows, maybe. I guess it depends on the swag.

Daily Mantra:

What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What goes up must come down...right?!

I train in and around Stonebridge. For those of you not familiar, Stonebridge is an area of McKinney. A very hilly area. A very very very hilly area. Saturday morning I woke up before anyone else (it was the first Saturday in ages that I didn't have to be somewhere). I threw on my running clothes and off I went.

I decided on an out and back 4 mile course that I use for hill training. I was just going to take it easy and see what I could do. The 2 miles out are straight uphill so the 2 back should be downhill. Right? Wrong. I don't know how it happens but there is never a downhill in Stonebridge. Ever. Even when you turn around and come down a hill you just went up. I know it seems ridiculous but I'm pretty sure the ground is shifting under my feet.

Daily Mantra:

Stupid hills will make me stronger.

Finish Hard

So this happened over a week ago but I have been so crazy busy that I'm just now getting around to posting stuff. We had our monthly DRC club run on July 3rd. It had been raining off and on for days so the temperature wasn't miserable. It was still awful but at no point did I want to die like I did last time. So that was good.

Grant and his friend, Dalton, ran in the fun run after our race. It was so cute. Grant was so excited. I actually had to take him to buy new "running" shoes for his big day. The last stretch of the race Jeff yelled "Finish Hard!" and Grant took off! Again, so cute.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quote of the Week

I had 1051 emails in my inbox. Crazy. They weren't all unread but still its ridiculous. So I was cleaning out my inbox this morning at work (yes, I was doing this instead of actually working) and I came across a series of emails between my cousins and I regarding running. I read this sentence and thought "Yep. That's totally my quote of the week." Love it.

I wish that Sunday was not the standard race day! Sunday is a day of rest! Not pain and torture...
Kelly Lawson

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Run Through the Jungle


So this will be the first Running is for Crazy People book review. And what makes me qualified to review someone else’s work? Their art? Their knowledge? Absolutely nothing. But when has that ever stopped me? Never.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Ever Seen.
By Christopher McDougall

Synopsis taken from Christopher McDougall’s website:

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.

Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.

With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

For me, this book was about the discovery of the art of running. What our bodies are capable of. And that we are all capable of pretty much the same thing…we can run. Some of us faster than others. But we can all run. Honestly, what other sport out there can a 19 yr old compete with a 60 yr old? And the 60 yr old has a really good chance of coming in first? Not on the football field. Or basketball court. Or anywhere else for that matter. But running. Running is a different game altogether. Why? Because we are all Born to Run.

We were born to run in the simplest of ways. Put one foot in front of the other. No high tech running shoes. Or high tech watches. Or high tech anything. Just run. I love this concept. Just run.

Now, I had no intention of joining the barefoot craze when I started reading this. Or the minimal shoe craze for that matter. But I did stop and think about it. I did stop and think about my form. How could I improve it? How could I stay injury free? After reading this book, how could you not? I am also not on the “I hate big shoe companies” bandwagon. Nor am I rushing out to buy a pair of Vibrams (although I did think about it. And probably will eventually). But I did switch to a lighter shoe. A shoe that forces me to get off my heels. To run more naturally. It’s interesting really. My calves were killing me in the beginning because I was using muscles I had NEVER used before. But my feet felt amazing. And my shins! Oh my shins have never felt better. Now my toe, my crock pot toe…that’s another story altogether.

And Ulramarathons. I’ve never even given them a second thought before. Now I read everything I can about them. It's fascinating that our bodies will let us run for that long. Fascinating.

And Scott Jurek. I think I have found a new hero to add to my list. (Jeff calls him my new boyfriend and I don’t argue). What an amazing athlete. And man. He has me rethinking everything I put into my body. He actually made being a Vegan look desirable. What? I know, it’s crazy.

And the Tarahumara. Such an amazing group of people. We can all learn so much from them - runners and non-runners alike. Besides...who else could bring back the popularity of the chia seed? I haven’t heard this much chia talk since the 80’s. And then we were just growing them as pets.

This book is a must read for ALL runners. Novice to Elite. It will change everything. Go out and buy it now…

I have to go now…must read this book a second time. And take notes. And underline. And change my life.


Daily Mantra:

Just run.

(Now, besides my Dad, who else got my “Run through the Jungle” reference? Nobody? Come on people.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What? Am I really doing this again?!


I have decided to sign up for another round of Team In Training. This time to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon. But wait? Isn’t that what I did last year?

No. No, it is not. I ran the half marathon. 13.1 miles. It almost killed me. But this time I’m running the full. THE FULL 26.2 MILES. It may actually kill me.

Kidding (I hope).

And it is my job to run the training miles. And ohhh there will be lots of miles. So very very VERY many miles to run. But I will run them. With a smile on my face. It may be a fake smile but a smile just the same. A smile because I can run these miles. It will be hard but I can do it. I can run these miles for the millions of people diagnosed with cancer each year that can not run them. I can. So I will.

And I will raise money for research and patient care. That’s what this really comes down to…raising money. Because without the funds, a cure will not be found. And patients and their families will not get the care they need. And Team In Training does this better than anybody.

So please help find a cure by donating to this amazing cause. A cause that is SO very dear to my heart. Please click on My Fundraising Link below. Donate what you can. $1, $5, $25, or more! Every dollar makes a difference. Thank you so much!!!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ntx/Whiterck10/jwatkinufs


Daily Mantra:

I can do it.

(Yes, my mantras are back.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Houston, we have a problem.

I was originally going to name this post “Another reason to hate Houston” but decided that was a little dramatic. And Lord knows I am NEVER dramatic. And I guess I don’t really hate Houston. I just don’t love Houston. I blame any dislike for the city on Jeff. He’s the one that hates Houston and now it’s rubbed off on me.

That is until this happened…

Houston Marathon Committee Implements Lottery System for Marathon, Half Marathon Race Registration.
New approach gives runners equal opportunity to register for popular events

That was in the actual press release. Equal Opportunity? Really? Do really great concerts go to a lottery system because they sell out super fast? No. Of course not. Because it’s stupid. First come. First served. That is equal opportunity.

And yes, I know one of the greatest races in North America is on a lottery system – The New York City Marathon. But in the words of Tony Collins…”they ain’t no New York.” And they never will be. Plus New York has systems in place that allow for local runners. And charities. And not just the charity of New York’s choice. But several charities. They have MANY ways to get in that doesn’t only involve the lottery. AND THEY ARE NEW YORK. It’s different. Plain and simple.

Seriously pissed off at Houston Marathon. If I could somehow blame famine in third-world countries on them, I would. Not too dramatic, right? This race does not sell out because it’s the best race in Texas. It sells out because of the flat course and nice weather. You want a PR, run Houston. You want to qualify for Boston, run Houston. Mostly I’m just mad because it screws up my running plans. My friends and I had EVERYTHING planned out and now it’s all messed up. Stupid Houston. Again, dramatic. I know. And I’m sure I’ll get over it…eventually.

Disclaimer: I completely realize I have no real knowledge of the Houston or New York marathons. So technically I should not be spewing my uneducated opinions to anyone who will listen but whatever. I’m doing it anyway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quote of the Week

Saturday morning I went to my first DRC (Dallas Running Club) Club run. 4 short miles bordering White Rock Lake. No big deal, right? Wrong. It was so hot. I mean SO hot. I honestly wanted to stop at one point. Quit. I couldn't breathe. So humid. It was like I was wearing an extra layer of clothes. Clothes made of sweat. I was actually shaking when I crossed the finish line.

I felt so beat down after that run. Down on myself. But I'm better today. Already have a new plan to work on my endurance.

Quote of the Week

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

John Wooden

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

For the love of Luke

Luke's Locker

Best. Place. On. Earth

Especially the one at Watter's Creek. Seriously. Best place on earth. It's like the
runner's version of Disney World. A little slice of heaven for the
obsessive/compulsive runner. Which I have become.

My friend Serene and I are there every week. No joke. Sometimes twice a week.
Sometimes twice a day. We browse. We try on. We add to our never-ending wish list. We mingle. Yes, that’s right, we mingle. There is always a myriad of other runners there. Doing the exact same thing as us. Talking endlessly about our infatuation with this sport.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quote of the Week

It's Thursday and I haven't done my Quote of the Week. Oh no! It sets the tone for my entire week. It describes what I have been feeling. If I have been struggling. Or not struggling. Ughh.

Well, since I feel like I'm on an exploration of the art of running lately, my quote this week is...

Thinking must be done first, before training begins.

Peter Coe

Whew. My tone is set. I feel better already.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is "comfortably hard" code for hard

So I’m trying to incorporate some tempo runs and speed work into my weekly mix. To get faster, you must run faster. Not that I’m all preoccupied with getting faster. But I want to get better. And with that comes faster. I think.

I’ve been doing some speed work for a while but I want more results. And everybody who is anybody (meaning the internet) says to do a weekly tempo run if you want to get faster and stronger. I actually had to look up what a tempo run was because I had no idea. People have mentioned them before and I just smiled and nodded my head like I knew exactly what they were talking about. Yes, I’ve been running less than a year so I should know EVERYTHING there is to know about running. Right? Right.

Now unfortunately, there is serious conflicting information out there regarding what a tempo run is, how you should do it, and for how long. Great. So how am I supposed to incorporate something into my schedule if I can’t figure out what it is?

Running Times magazine says:

Also known as an anaerobic threshold (AT) run or lactate-threshold run, the tempo run was popularized by Jack Daniels, Ph.D., about a decade ago. Here’s his definition, taken from Daniels’ Running Formula (Human Kinetics): "A tempo run is nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace." (He goes on to say that 20 minutes is ideal, but may be varied to suit the needs of a particular course.) Without getting too technical, threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production. Daniels states that this pace is, for most people, about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace.

(I kind of like the idea of being told how to run by a guy named Jack Daniels)

Runner’s World says:

A classic tempo or lactate-threshold run is a sustained, comfortably hard effort for two to four miles. The workouts below are geared toward experience levels and race goals.

And Hal Higdon says:

This is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two. I consider Tempo Runs to be the "Thinking Runner's Workout." A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.


SO what is it? I still don’t know exactly. I don’t really know what my 10K pace is. Or my 5K pace. I guess I need to run more 10K’s and 5K’s to find out. But I do know they all say that your pace should be “comfortably hard.” But how long do I run “comfortably hard?”

I decided to start small. I measured in miles as opposed to time. It’s easier for me that way. So I ran an easy mile. Then I ran a “comfortably hard” mile. Then I ran an easy mile. The problem was I my easy mile was too fast and my comfortably hard mile was WAY too fast. I wanted to die during the last mile. I realize I say that a lot. But seriously. Wanted. To. Die. There was nothing comfortable about it. It was just hard. And since I don't think almost killing yourself is exactly the results I should be looking for, I will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it gonna be like this every time?

I feel like after I complete a race, I have to start completely over. I feel like I did when I first started running. Miserable. Out of shape. Awful. Now, I realize that I’ve only done 3 races but it’s been the same every time.

I race.
I take a week off because I can’t move.
And then I start over.

The easiest 3 mile run makes me feel like I’m going to die. I want to stop. Throw up. Die.

So is it gonna be like this every time? I understood after White Rock. It was my first race. But it’s not getting easier. The races are getting easier. But the aftermath is the same horrible thing each time. I meet my friend Serene on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings to run. She feels the same way. We both want to die. And she’s in WAY better shape than me. It’s comforting to know someone else is suffering too. (And there is nothing wrong with finding comfort in someone else's misery so shut it!)

But seriously, it’s just so strange when you think about it. We never feel this way after a 10 or 12 mile training run. But a race. Man.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

YOU did this...

I have volunteered for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for almost a year now. Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been with Team In Training that long. And I can’t believe how my life has changed since that fateful day I walked into Market Street for the informational meeting. Ohhh how my life has changed. Changed all because of Team In Training. All because of LLS.

When I read the below, I couldn’t help but have the feeling that we had some sort of part in this. We meaning me and you. Now, I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s how I felt. Its how we should all feel. So, I wanted to thank all of you out there in blogland that donated to me and this wonderful cause. Thank you. YOU did this…


LLS Funded Researcher is on Time Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential People
Dear Friend of LLS:

I am pleased to share exciting news about Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr. Kwak was recently named one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People," for his role in advancing custom-made vaccines for patients with lymphoma.

Dr. Kwak, professor and chair of the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has focused his work on harnessing the power of the immune system of patients with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to fight their cancer. The vaccines are developed by taking proteins from the patient's own tumor, training them to find and kill lymphoma cells and then injecting them back into the patient. Currently in late stage clinical trials, the vaccines have been shown to extend disease-free survival for more than a year.

In 2007, LLS awarded Dr. Kwak a five-year, $6.25 million Specialized Center of Research grant, our most prestigious research award. These grants are distinctive in that they encourage at least three laboratories at the same or different institutions to work together. In addition to continuing his work on the personalized lymphoma vaccines, this grant is enabling Dr. Kwak to expand his research to develop immunotherapies for patients with leukemia and myeloma as well.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Kwak has been on the cutting edge of researching and developing novel immunotherapies that are already showing a clear benefit for patients with cancer. We are proud of Dr. Kwak's well-deserved recognition and are honored to have played a role in helping to advance this life-saving work.

To read more about Dr. Kwak's inclusion in the "2010 Time 100" please visit Time Magazine's website, and to learn more about our Research programs visit www.LLS.org. Please join us in taking pride in Dr. Kwak's achievements.
Sincerely,

John E. Walter
President & CEO

Monday, May 10, 2010

Technology

My obsession with the Garmin has prompted many discussions over the last week or so. All about technology. It brings so much to the sport, right? How fast am I running? How much faster did I run today than I did yesterday? Exactly how many miles did I run? What is my average pace? My average heart rate? How many calories did I burn? And so on…

My Dad told me that “at some point you can just get too technical. If you feel like it was a good run, then it was a good run.” Simple.

I had a friend ask whether or not I thought she needed a heart monitor. Well, she didn’t necessarily ask me but she asked in the general direction. My immediate reaction was NO! Now, I’ve never used a heart monitor but I have run with people who use them. And my experience is they slow down and speed up according to the beeps of the monitor. But isn’t your heart rate supposed to go up when working out? And what about speed work? It’s gonna beep off the charts, right?! Anyway, I think Dad’s right…you CAN be too technical. Listen to to your body. You know when to push it and when to take it easy. Simple. Now does that mean I no longer want a Garmin? Of course not. Don’t be silly.

Sooo in keeping with today’s theme…I bring you the Quote of the Week:


“Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.”

Jumbo Elliot, track and field coach


Side Note:

I update my blog with my iPhone now because Blogspot has been blocked at work. What?! Yes, it's true. I guess they want us to use our time more productively. Rubbish, I say! Anyway, please excuse any typos or grammatical errors (Aunt D and Kelly). It is not an easy task.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Now what

This is the first time since White Rock that I'm not training for something. I thought I would enjoy the time off. Thought it would be a nice break. My family could probably use a break. But I'm lost. I don't know what to do without a training schedule.

It's been 3 days. That's enough of a break, right? Yea, I think so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about.
 
PattiSue Plummer, U.S. Olympian

Monday, May 3, 2010

Correction

Or explanation maybe…

After reading yesterday's post again, it seemed like I was complaining about my 2:12 PR. And the race. That is completely opposite of what I actually meant to get across. Most races are completely dependent on volunteers. The Gatorade was an issue. But again, these people are volunteers and I am SO thankful they are out there giving their time. As far as my PR goes, I am totally proud! It was just such a strange race for me. I was kind of all over the place. Which makes me think if I would have had an “on” day, I would have really been AWESOME.

Anyway, just wanted to clear that up…

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Left it all on the course

Sooooo I ran my 3rd Half Marathon today. Heels and Hills Half Marathon in Irving. 2:12:46 was my official time. It's a personal record. I should be happy right? Right?

I am happy. Kind of. But I'm also pissed. It was such a strange race. Super small. Like 1700 people. Great course. Flat. Fast. Gorgeous. Small.

But the water stops were not ready. The Gatorade was watered down. I got dehydrated. I ranged from a 8:30 mile to an 10:41. I couldn't find my groove. It was weird. But I left everything I had on the course...I think.

Either way, my new goal is 2:05. Why? Because 2:10 is just too attainable. Have I said that before?


Before


After

We look so happy...to be done.

Thank you Jeff for being the official photographer and go getter of things. We would not have made it without you.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Garmin Envy

I have Garmin envy. Everywhere I look, someone has a Garmin on their wrist. I ran with a group of friends on Tuesday and they ALL had Garmins. Every mile we ran, every beep that went off, I became more and more jealous. Seriously. THEN they all stood around after the run looking at their heart rate, pace, whatever. Blah blah blah. I'm pretty sure they were just rubbing it in at this point. I knew my time. But that’s it. I could tell you my pace because I have a pace calculator on my iPhone (great app, by the way). But not because the GPS on my Garmin knew when I ran a mile and what my pace was. Garmin envy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a perfectly good watch. A great watch really. It’s super easy to use. Lightweight. All that good stuff. Plus it was a present from my Dad so I love it. But I still want a Garmin. Sigh.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quote of the Week

Ask yourself: "Can I give more?". The answer is usually: "Yes".

Paul Tergat

Sabotage

So I worked in my yard yesterday. All day. OK, maybe not all day, but for a really long time. Stooped down, bent over working in the yard. Now I can hardly move. My back hurts. My hip hurts. I'm walking like an 85 year old woman.

Seriously? A week before race day? What is wrong with me? I don't know. Maybe I'm trying to sabotage myself? Naaaa, I don't think so. I think Half Marathons are actually becoming easy so I didn't really even give it a second thought. WHAT??? Did I just write that? OK, not necessarily easy, maybe just achievable.

Wow. That's crazy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How many people have you told...

So I wasn't sure which blog to post this. It fits on both my Conversations with Grant as well as this one. I posted on both...

Grant: Are you drinking another one of those giant Vodka Cranberries?

Mom: What?!

Grant: (pointing to my drink) Those huge Vodka Cranberries that you drink all day?

Mom: Grant, that is water with a splash of cranberry. NOT Vodka Cranberry.

Grant: Oh.

Mom: How many people have told told I drink Vodka Cranberry all day.

Grant: Hmmmmm. Just a few.

Mom: GRANT! Please don't do that anymore. Where did you even hear about Vodka Cranberries

Grant: Oh who knows? I hear something once and it stays with me forever.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yesterday was plain awful.

You can say that again...

Actually, yesterday was fine. Last week was plain awful but I've had that song stuck in my head for a week. Now it's your turn.

Monday: Grant didn't finish his work at school. This is nothing really new but it's still a dissappointment.

Tuesday: Got a call from Grant's teacher to tell me just how much he's not doing at school. It was not a good conversation.

Wednesday: Maggie handed me my iPhone. "Uh oh Mama. Here go." New iPhone. 2 weeks old. The screen was shattered. I'm pretty sure she threw it across the room. She's been known to do that with a cell phone or two.

Thursday: I pay dearly to get my iPhone fixed. Jeff drops his Blackberry in his window washing bucket. It probably would have been fine but he didn't realize he dropped it so it was submerged for about 30 minutes.

Friday: Someone hit my car in the parking lot at work. And did NOT leave a note. Seriously. I hope they are ridden with guilt and cannot sleep at night. Jerk.

So, that was my week. Plain awful. But that's not now. That's then.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quote of the Week

I was pushed by myself because I have my own rule, and that is that every day I run faster, and try harder.

Wilson Kipketer, when asked if a $50,000 offer tempted him to break the world record

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quote of the Week

"It is a sublime thing to suffer and be stronger."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I stole that from Runner's World Quote of the Day but whatever...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Universe, you win.

So I lost another toenail today. I was on the phone with a friend, mid-conversation, looked down and "HOLY CRAP! I've lost another toenail!!" What?! Why?! How?!

I mean, COME ON! Is the universe trying to play some cruel trick on me? I hardly even ran this week. Why did I not run...because of the Crock Pot Incident last week. Seriously universe. I give in. You have won. Now please give me my old feet back.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Inspiration?!

A friend of mine sent me this message on Facebook last week. It made me laugh out loud. I can completely picture her red face...

I'm just letting you know I blame you. I decided to start running because I'm so inspired by your blog. I look forward to reading it and disappointed when it's not a new one. The only problem is that I stopped working out along time ago. On Sunday I went to the gym to use the treadmill. I had my Gatorade bottle on the ledge you can use to put things and a guy comes to get on the machine next to mine. I finish the Gatorade and put the bottle back on the ledge. I don't know if I was making the machine bounce too much or what, but the bottle goes flying off and I'm hoping up and down trying to get it. The man next to me gets off that machine and gets on another. My face was totally red. Hopefully, Tues. will be better.

Mostly I'm happy that I have inspired at least one person. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quote of the Week


Running is like mouthwash; if you can feel the burn, it's working.

Brian Tackett

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Crock Pot Incident

So I dropped a crock pot on my foot yesterday. Yep. A crock pot. How did it happen, you ask? Well......

I was up at the crack of dawn trying to throw together some dinner early since Tuesdays are always so busy. I'm walking from the cabinet to the sink, crock pot in hands, and I see on my phone that I've got 32 emails. 32!!!! So, very strategically, I balance the crock pot in one hand and check emails with the other. Why did I not just sit it on the counter? I have no idea. But next thing I know the crock pot is falling, I'm screaming, and the profanities begin. It's like 5:30am so everyone was asleep. Asleep until I woke them up with my craziness. Grant ran in to see what happened. I was in that I CAN'T TALK, I CAN JUST PACE BACK IN FORTH GRUNTING phase. But eventually everyone realized I wasn't dying and went back to bed.

It looks so much better today. The swelling has gone down and I can move it back and forth. So I don't think I broke it. It just hurts when I wear a shoe. I guess I'll go shoeless for a while. I'm sure work will love that.

For those who saw it yesterday, this is sooooo much of an improvement.