Monday, December 31, 2007

The Numbers are In!

I finally did all my calculations (miles run) and here they are:

  • In the month of December 2007 I ran 94.87 miles.
  • In all of 2007, I ran a whopping 1,128.69 miles! This is compared to 614.13 miles in 2006.

I have to say that I am extremely proud of these numbers. Earlier this year I set a goal of 500 miles. I never really had any idea how many miles I could cover in a year and since I was pretty close to 1,200 for this past year I am going to keep my goal for next year at 1,500. I am also planning on creating a body transformation goal because I am NOT happy with the way I look or feel. I'm also looking forward to how my better body will help my running.

I have also been able to get my lifting started again. I have been starting slowly, so I don't get too sore, and I've been pleased with the sessions. The Afterburn series has a set of exercises that you do (2 different days) for weeks 1-4 and then you switch the exercises. You lift 3x per week and alternate the 2 days. For the first 2 days, I did just one set of the exercises and today (my first repeat of day 1) I increased the session up to 2 sets and increased some of the weights. I'm trying to concentrate on going through a full range of motion rather than going for heavier weights. Especially since I lift at home, I think it will give me greater ability to progress at home.

My weight hasn't dropped in this first week of getting back into things. I know it is because my eating has not been very good. We still have cookies in the house (leftover from Christmas) and I have not been able to stay away from them. I don't want to throw them away because the rest of the family is enjoying them and I don't usually have things like that in the house so it is a special treat for them. I know I should either throw them out or stay away from them but I haven't been able to follow through with this as of yet.

I also need to find a good leverage. My biggest problem with that is that I'm not a very materialistic person except for my exercise equipment. I can't really give that away as a leverage because I need it to reach my goal. My finances also aren't in a position where I can put up money. My dh also isn't open to the idea of using our joint money as leverage (things are pretty tight - lots of Christmas bills and car repair bills). If any of my fellow LL's are reading this and have a suggestions PLEASE share them!

Time to get the kids off to bed. Until next time!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another Year Ends and Another Year Begins

This has, in many ways, been a great year for me. My family is healthy and happy and when that is the case most other things are secondary.

Earlier this year I found a wonderful group to run with! They are some of the nicest people I have ever come in contact with and I thank God every day for them. It has made running something that I truly love to do. Before, I did it because it helped keep me in shape and because I knew I was good at it - now I get up and look forward to meeting up with them, having some awesome conversations and pretty much just pounding out the miles.

This group really helped me finish the Marine Corps Marathon. I really have my doubts that I would have been able to put in the miles that are needed if I had had to do it completely on my own. Because of these wonderful people, I'm also planning on running in a couple of other marathons in the upcoming year.

Speaking of the upcoming year, I have placed a couple of new items in the column to the right. One is a list of goals for 2008 (which I may alter &/or add to as the year goes on) and the other is a list of races I would like to run this year. This too may be changed/added to as the year progresses.

The "bad" part of this past year is that I have allowed my weight to get up higher than is comfortable. It is the weight I was when I got married, almost 11 years ago, but I have come to realize that I am much more comfortable when I'm a good 10 pounds lighter. It really started when my marathon training kicked into high gear. I started making poor eating choices - way too many processed carbs - and started eating them in quantities that were too large. I was able to hold pretty steady before the marathon but since then I have been unable to decrease the eating as my training decreased. It is something I am really trying to get a handle on RIGHT NOW!

Tomorrow will be my last 2 workouts for 2007. I plan on lifting (Afterburn) first thing in the am and then meeting "The Gang" for an early morning run (actually late for us - 5:45 am). I am really excited to figure out exactly how many miles I logged this year. I know it is over 1000 but because I slacked off in keeping track of it here I will wait until tomorrow and then download from my Forerunner and figuring out exactly what the totals are. I have finished the year strong - since 12/23 (start of my Christmas break) I have logged 55.94 miles and will probably do somewhere between 4 and 6 tomorrow.

I guess that is all for now - until tomorrow when I post my totals. Keep on runnin'!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I have finally made it!

Things have been pretty insane around here lately but I have finally gotten past a great deal of it:
  1. Thanksgiving is over.
  2. My class is over - being out of the house 2 days a week for class and then all the homework was really hard.
  3. My son's birthday has past.
  4. My daughter's birthday has past.
  5. Our school singing program is over -it's really hard to get 21 three year olds to learn the words to 4 songs and then actually sing them during the concert.
  6. I am now officially on Christmas break!!

Add onto this list all of the normal life stuff and trying to get ready for Christmas and it really starts to get to you.

One good thing is that I've kept up with most of my running. I have allowed myself some days off, when things got crazy (kids being up sick all night, me feeling sick etc) but for the most part I've done OK. In fact, tomorrow I'm doing a 7 mile trail run with my friends. I'm really looking forward to it! My running has been good but my lifting has pretty much been non-existent and I'm hoping to change this over Christmas break. I also need to really clean up my eating. I've taken the step of making a goal on LL and want to take off the extra weight I have put on.

So my goals for this upcoming week (Friday 12/21 - 12/28):

  1. Lift at least 3 times
  2. Run at least 4 times
  3. Make healthy snacks for myself
  4. Track my exercise on LL
  5. Track my food intake on LL

If I can accomplish these goals it will be a great first step to getting myself back on the more healthy track. I've strayed pretty far but I'm going to work hard to get back!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It Finally Happened

I gave in and bought some bigger clothes. I really hoping that this will be the inspiration that I need to get me back on track.

The weather hasn't been very cooperative with my running. Especially since I'm not really training for anything right now, I'm not running in the rain. I don't mind running in the rain if it is warm out but when it is cold and rainy - forget it!

I'm planning of starting my lifting again tomorrow. I think I'm going to start the Afterburn program from the beginning again. I didn't do much more that a week and a half before I strained my abdominal muscle so just makes more sense to start from the beginning.

Bill is driving the Station's fire truck in the Elsmere Holiday Parade today so we will be heading out to that soon. It isn't the nicest of days (cold and damp) but we are going to dress warmly and go anyway. I've never been to this parade so I'm hoping it is fun.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Losing Myself....

...and not in a good way. I'm losing myself in a layer of extra fat!

Way back in the spring, I developed a pretty bad case of tendinitis in my forearm. As a result I had to stop lifting because everything I did was causing me pain. That seems to be the beginning of my problems. About the time that I got the tendinitis under control I was pretty far into my marathon training. Everything I had read told me not to add in lifting/new exercising in the middle of the training because it greatly increased the risk of injury - so I didn't.

When you read running publications, they tell you to make sure you eat lots of carbs because that is what your body needs when running long distances. Unfortunately, for me, the increased carbs began to get bigger and bigger (in portion size) and the quality began to get worse and worse. If I were to look at my nutrition right now it has become mostly carbs (hardly any protein) and high amounts of fat. I have not been tracking my nutrition so I have NO idea what my calorie intake has been but I can guarantee that it is way too high! My weight has increased to about 148 which is less than I was when I got married almost 11 years ago but higher than it should be. I am also to the point where my clothes are quite uncomfortable and I hate wearing anything that isn't shorts or sweats (my problem area is my waist).

I am still running a good 30 to 35 miles per week and tried to start lifting again a couple of weeks ago. The lifting got cut short, again because of injury - I strained an abdominal muscle. I think I'm now to the point where I feel comfortable adding the lifting back into the program. Just in time to deal with all the stresses of Christmas and birthdays (both my children have December birthdays).

I find myself doubting myself in many ways lately. I don't feel in control of many aspects of my life and I don't know how to get rid of the feeling. Everyday I wake up vowing to myself that today will be better! I will eat a more balanced menu. I will make sure to get my lifting sessions done. I will avoid fast food. I will avoid candy/sweets. Each and every day I say these things to myself and each and every day I find myself failing miserably! I have tried over and over again to get myself out of this "funk" and I can't seem to find a way.

At Leanness Lifestyle, Coach Dave talks about finding your "Why" and from day 1 I have struggled with this. I try to look into myself and figure out what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling it but I always feel frustrated while doing it. It is not a skill I am very good at and I think my frustration comes from the fact that I think I should be able to just come up with the answers. I'm looking into myself not some stranger, so why can't I just sort it out and have the answer? It is all very confusing and frustrating (I seem to be using the word frustrating and awful lot - do you think I'm feeling frustrated? LOL - kind of!)

Anyway, I'm not really sure where all this is going. I'm still running and will continue to do so - it is one of the few really great things in my life right now. My husband and my kids being the only things ahead of it right now. I want to get all the other aspects of my life under control and back in order and I hope to be able to do that soon. I'm praying for some divine intervention - I need the Lord's help to get me back on the right path. If there is anyone out there that is willing to give me a swift kick in the butt or has any suggestions I'm open to reading them.

Here is one source of true inspiration. Julie, I don't know how you fit everything into your day but if you have any suggestions please help. Your pictures are awesome - to think you have been able to put on muscle and lose fat while training for ultras is amazing!

I hope that by starting to post here more often, I will be able to get things back on track. I also need to get back onto the LL site and log my food and my exercise. I know these things are the first steps - all I have to do is start using the tools and keep at it consistently!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's been a while since my last post

I have been finding it very hard to find time to post but I have been back to running and lifting. I have started using the Afterburn training program and I really like it! Unfortunately, I think I strained an abdominal muscle so I took a couple of days from lifting. I'm hoping to get back to 3 days of lifting and 5 days of running (yes I know that makes 8 days - Wednesday is a double day).

This week I've only lifted once but I was able to run 5 days with a total mileage of 34.9. The funny thing is that not too long ago I would have cringed at that type of mileage. Well it is time to get the kids ready for bed.

Until next time!

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Time! get moving again!

I'm starting my new fitness program this morning and so far it's going well. I got up and lifted this morning for the first time in............a very long time. I stopped lifting a while back because of some tendinitis in my arm and then the marathon training kicked into high gear and I didn't want to risk injury so I just left it out of the program. I have been really missing it and I know my abs have suffered so back into the program it goes!

I'm going to use the Afterburn program. I looks nice and easy and then you actually do one of the sessions and realize just how hard it is!!! It called for 3 sets and I could only do 2 and I'm so shaky right now that I have to keep going back to fix my typing mistakes. I am going to be so sore and love every minute of it.

I'm also going to be watching my eating much more closely and get back to logging on LL. I have strayed so far off the healthy eating process that it is really sad. For the most part, I've maintained my weight because of all the running I was doing. However, this past week (while I've been giving my body a much needed rest) I've maintained the poor eating and not had any exercising to burn it off and I can really feel the decline.

In addition to the lifting, I am going to add some running back into the routine. I think my body is sufficiently recovered and I REALLY missing running with the group. My plan is to lift 3 times per week and try to run 3-4 times. If I run 4 times I will probably end up running and lifting on Wednesday which means running in the am and lifting after work. I know it will be a challenge but I really want to get back into the groove.

Off to the shower!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Marathon Report!

It's Official!

I'm a Marathoner!!!!

I have to tell you that this is quite long so if you stick with it - thanks!

The day started with a Very loud alarm at 4:40 am. Everything was all laid out so, I just put on all my clothes and filled up my Camelback. Then we were off to Lori's hotel in Crystal City. That is where the first trial began. Bill and I ended up in the HOV lane and couldn't get to our exit. Thank goodness we had a GPS and we were able to get ourselves back to where we needed to be.

Once at the hotel, I felt much more at ease although I was still a bit nervous. Just being with "the group" offered a level of comfort that I know I wouldn't have felt it I had been alone. From the hotel, it was a very easy Metro ride to the Pentagon where we got off and had a pretty fair distance to walk to get to the staging area. It was here that my nerves started to kick in again. As we sat and waited for the start, there was quite a breeze and my ears don't like wind - I get headaches - and I hadn't brought anything to protect my ears.

Anyway, time moved pretty quickly and before I knew it we were headed up to the start area. As we walked across this big parking lot, I saw something I don't think I've ever seen before - hundreds and hundreds of Porta-pots. There were so many of them that there were actually no lines at many of them. I've often thought, at races, that the organizers really need more places for people to go to the bathroom. Well, leave it to the Marines to follow through - I really think that they thought of just about everything. Back to the race report - we then made it up to the starting area where they had areas roped off according to finishing times (and yes there were still more Porta-pots here at the starting area). We settled into the 4:10-4:30 area and waited for the start.

The weather was beautiful! The rain that had blanketed our area the prior 3 days was gone and beautiful skies and cool temperatures took its place. I don't think we could have asked for better weather. Like I said earlier, there was a bit of a breeze but nothing unbearable. I think the high temps stayed in the low to mid 60's.

So there we are in the nice cool weather and at 8 am the gun goes off and the race begins. Of course with 25 to 30 thousand runners, we didn't move for a while. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the starting line. I was feeling great and excited to be under way. The number of spectators was amazing. It was an awesome feeling to be running down the street with people lined up on both sides of the street. Unfortunately, within the first mile I had to stop and fix my sock - it felt like it was bunching up under my big toe. This was not how I pictured the race starting. I was afraid I was going to have to run the entire race by myself. Thankfully, Helenann stopped with me! I wasn't sure if we would be able to find the other but we were going to five it a try. Sure enough we were able to hook back up with Jim and Lori!!

The 4 of us ran together for a while. There were a couple of times that we lost and then found Lori. I'm not exactly sure at what point we lost contact with Lori but I will admit that I was sad that the four of us couldn't stay together the entire race. We ran so many training runs together - deep down I had this hope (although I knew it was improbable) that the 4 of us would be able to cross the finish line together.

So our group was now down to Jim, Helenann and I and we were running quite well together. We did a pretty good job of working together and keeping our pace pretty steady. I have realized something though - I was so focused on maintaining that steady pace that I think I actually missed a fair amount of the "stuff" going on around me. To some extent, I don't remember many of the specific details of the day. It may also have something to do with the fact that there was so much going on that it was hard to take everything in. I was just in awe that I was actually running in a marathon.

Back to the race. My family (Mom, Dad, Bill, Ally & Will) was planning to be on the Mall so as we approached the monument area, I started trying to scan the crowd. It was really hard to look at so many people and find a familiar face. But there they were at about mile 12. I saw my parents first and then I heard Bill's voice and saw him and the kids. It was such a lift - it almost brought tears to my eyes. I was also able to find them at about mile 14 which was pretty cool! Jim was also able to find some family in that area. Two of us had now found our support people and I was really hoping that Helenann would also be able to find her family! And then it happened - somewhere between miles 16 and 19 - Helenann found her husband and her daughter. I know it made her feel good but I also got a lift because we had all found those special people in our lives - AWESOME!

I guess it was around mile 19 that we lost contact with Jim. Now it was only Helenann and I running together. I can't tell you how much comfort I felt just by having her with me. Neither one of us had ever done this before so it really kept us going. As we approached mile 20 we started going up a highway ramp. The hill was pretty tough but the crowd was awesome! They were almost on top of us cheering the whole time. However, mixed in with these awesome feeling was a bit of fear. Neither of us had ever gone farther than 20 miles and I know we were both nervous about those last 6.2 miles.

After climbing that ramp and passing mile 20, we entered Crystal City. What a lift! People were everywhere. It was an out and back section so there were also runners on both sides of the street. To top it off there was also an awesome band playing. I really can't express just how impressed I was with the whole event - from the crowd support to the race organization, it was a great experience!

As we left the Crystal City area, it became gut check time. We were now between miles 23 and 24 and Helenann said her knees and hips felt like they were going to explode. She slowed down and told me to keep going. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it if I slowed down so I kept the legs moving as best I could. I just concentrated on putting 1 foot in front of the other. As I neared the finishing area, about mile 25, the crowds really picked up again. However, I wasn't getting much lift from it anymore. I was tired and sore and really just wanted it to be over! My body was screaming at me to stop but I really wanted to be able to say that I ran the entire race. I just kept telling myself to put 1 foot in front of the other. I also dept thinking about Tim and how he never gave up or played the "Why Me!" game. He stayed strong and now it was my turn!

The last 1.2 miles of the race was up hill. The marines put tape on the street, I'd guess every 100 feet or so, that said "Beat the Hill". That saying got me up the hill. The only bad part about a race like this one is that you can't share your joy with your friends and family immediately. Even with my cell phone it probably took 15 minutes before I found Bill. There were so many people trying to get out one section of fence (it was the only way out) that things pretty much came to a standstill. Overall though it was a wonderful experience and one that I will probably repeat.

I need to send out a huge thanks to my running partners! Lori, Jim, Pat, Helenann, Leanne and Lynda. They are great people and great friends. I look forward to many more running sessions and races!

Some interesting stats: based on Gun Time

I placed 9847 overall

I was the 2916th woman

I was 513th in my age group

I was the 55th DE finisher (men and women combined)

I was the 16th female DE finisher

I was the 3rd female DE finisher in my age group

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Here's to the next race - where ever that may be!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Delaware Distance Classic 15K Results

What a day! For the first time, I actually ran this race knowing other people in the race. I actually went to the race with Helenann (one of my early morning running buddies) and her son Shane. Shane is 15 and just started running cross country this year. He is doing great! It was a lot of fun to actually have people to pal around with before and after the race!

It was a very warm day today. It was 80 degrees when the race started at 8:30 this morning and just got hotter as the day went on. In contrast, the temperature at last years start was 50 degrees.

The gun went off and we all moved forward with the pack. I was aiming at 8 minute miles or about 1:14:00 for the race. As we moved forward we settled into a pace of about 8:30 which was a touch slower than I wanted but faster than Helenann and Shane were expecting to go. They knew that I was shooting for a faster time so at about the 2 mile marker, I started to pick it up a bit. I started to put a bit of distance between myself, Helenann and Shane. I found out after the race, that Shane started to pick it up at about mile 3.

It was a hard race because of the heat but I felt good for most of the race. One portion of the race that consists of a couple of loops and then the second section is an out and back. The loops make up about 3 miles of the race and the out and back make up the other 6.3 miles. The out and back section is pretty hard because there isn't much shade and you are running near the river for a large portion of it. The sun was really hitting off the water which made it feel even hotter. I started to really feel it shortly after the turn around point. However, there was a great pick me up when I saw just how well Shane and Helenann were doing. Shane was making great progress and closing the gap between the two of us!

I really started using my pick-off technique (I pick someone in front of me - preferably women - and try to catch them). It was working really well and I was moving up in the field. The was one man that really didn't want me to pass him. Every time I would pull up even with him he would put on a bit of a surge so that he was a stride or two in front of me. I was happy with my pace so I just tried to maintain my pace. After a few minutes, I was actually able to get past him and stay in front of him for the rest of the race.

I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the race. My slowest split was in mile 2 which clocked in at 8:16/mile and my fastest split was in mile 8 which clocked in at 6:25/mile. No wonder I thought I was going to die during that last 1.3 miles! I need to say thank you to a man named Ed Maher, I don't know him but he really helped me get through those last 2 miles or so. The heat was really starting to take it's toll on me but I just kept Ed right in front of me and it got me through to the end. I was able to enter the finishing gait a second or 2 in front of him but I don't know if I would have made it the entire distance without his help!

As Ed and I rounded that last turn, I looked up and saw that the clock was in the 1:13s so I tried to put on one last push and was able to finish the race in 1:13:22 which breaks down into a pace of about 7:45m/m and 3rd in my age group. Considering how hot it was, I'm absolutely thrilled with the time! Shane ended up with a time of 1:13:32 (first in his age group) and Helenann finished 1:21:04 (4th in her age group). Overall an excellent day for all of us!

The really funny part is that over the past 3 years I have finished 3rd in my age group every year but by average paces have been 8:25m/m; 7:30m/m and 7:45m/m respectively. I just find it funny that my times have been pretty different each year but that I've still finished third each year. Hopefully next year I will be able to move up a place or two (I'll move up an age group so I become the young one on the block)!

Here's to next year! Keep on runnin'!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I've been swimming upstream......

....and not making much headway!

As you can see from the dates, I have not been doing much posting. I have been absolutely slammed by "stuff". I just finished writing an apology to a dear friend because I pretty much dropped out of a Bible study we were doing and that she was putting her heart and soul into.

I feel like it is just an excuse but in the past month I have started a new school year, have started taking a class of my own, the kids have started school, the kids have started soccer (with 3 practices and 2 games every week) as well as my marathon training and fundraising. It feels like I have been trying to play catch-up for the last month and not doing very well!

The marathon is in less than 1 month - I can't believe it is almost here! I hope that once the race is over and I settle into work a bit more that things will get better. I also didn't help that I had a weekend fro HELL the other week. I had an awful experience at work one Friday. My co-worker dropped a load of crap in my lap. The worst part was that it was the same crap we went through last year and I thought we had gotten past it. I have been trying so hard to keep the communication lines open, share ideas and not step on toes. Yet, she still seems to be unable to talk to me as a civil adult. She either doesn't say anything (keeps it bottled up) and then explodes or says something in a totally "bitchy" way. The part that pisses me off the most though is that I'm letting it affect me at work. I'm constantly thinking about how things will look to her so that I don't have to go through the emotional roller coaster again (did I mention it brought me to tears for the entire length of the meeting and then brought me to tears for the rest of the weekend - whenever I thought about it). I honestly feel that I have good instincts when it comes to my job. Did I do everything right? Of course not but I did not desire what I got!

Then to make that weekend even better, my Mom was admitted to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing (she's out now but still not completely recovered) and our washer broke (in the middle of a cycle of course). I have to admit it was a "perfect" ending to a "perfect" weekend!

It's late and I need to go get ready for tomorrow. Here's to hoping things get better!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Completed my first 20 Miler!

I ran my first 20 mile training run last weekend and it went really well! I didn't get nearly as sore as I thought I would. My biggest problem is that the run coincide with the start of school and all the germs that come along with that. Ally started at a new school and Will and I started back up with out classes so I've caught a bug and can't seem to shake it. Luckily, I don't feel bad I'm just really congested and the dripping is driving me nuts. I feel like I have a constant tickle in the back of my throat. Because of the long run and the cold I actually took a number of days off so that my body would be better able to fight off the cold - that's my hope anyway!

I've also been finding it very hard to keep up with all my computer duties. I know I'm falling behind on my Bible study and I really need to get my answers typed into our other blog. Julie - I haven't forgotten you I'm just finding it difficult to juggle all the new responsibilities. I've also started taking a night class (I need it for work) and it will become 2 nights a week very shortly.

The kids have started their soccer season. They both played their first games last Saturday and both had a really good time. Ally told me after her game that she felt very lost (they only had 1 practice before their first game) but had a great time! She is on an 8 and under team and they used officials, throw-ins and corner kicks but it was on a small field. These were all things that were not covered in their one and only practice so I wasn't surprised she had no idea what was going on. As long as she has fun though I don't care. I didn't get to see much of Will's game because I took Ally down to her field while he was still playing but he also said he had fun. I think we made a good decision signing them up with Kirkwood Soccer. Everyone we have met seems to be great with the kids and really seem to care about the kids learning about the game and having fun. They are not focused on whether they win or lose and that is what I want for my kids at this age.

Time to go get Ally from the bus. Keep on runnin'!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

First Week of School and Other Stuff

Ally started 1st grade this week. She was really excited about going to a new school and riding on the bus. Honestly though, when it came to getting on the bus I wasn't sure how excited she would actually be. I found out really quickly that she was REALLY excited. She left me standing there on the corner with no kiss, hug or good-bye given. She left so quickly that all I was able to get was that blurry bus picture. Not that anyone would know it but Ally is actually waving from behind the second window.
She had a great time this week! By Thursday she was wiped out though. I was really glad that everyone was off on Friday because she was able to get a great night sleep and it made a world of difference!
Will had his first soccer practice on Wednesday and it went GREAT! I really like the coach - he was great with the kids and he realizes that much past 30 minutes and the kids are toast so he stops his practices at 30 minutes. We will be having practices for him on Fridays and then the games on Saturdays. We were also able to pick up Will's uniform and he wore it for 2 straight days. He actually put on the whole uniform and went out in the back yard to play soccer - it was really cute! We haven't heard anything from Ally's coach and I hope we do soon because she is chomping at the bit to get going.

I've had a really good week running too. We ran a nice paced 8 miler on Tuesday (9:24 m/m) and then today we ran an awesome 17 miler (10:15 m/m). We couldn't believe we did so well this morning, it really felt like we were flying considering we were running 17 miles! Tomorrow I'll be running the trails with Lori for a nice hard 7 miles. The trails have been an awesome addition to my training! The surroundings make the run very interesting (especially looking for deer out in the open fields) and the hills give us an awesome workout.
We had to put our van in the shop again for a window problem. This is the 5th time we've had it in for the same problem. They can't seem to figure out what the actually problem is. The last time it was "fixed" it worked for about a week and then stopped again. The "good" part (at least for the kids) is that they gave us a loner truck for the weekend. It is an F250 Super Duty and handles pretty well. The kids have already been crawling all around in it!
Well, I guess that's it for now. Have a great weekend and Keep on Runnin'!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday 8/23/07

What a week I've had!

This past Saturday I ran 16.5 miles and then went down to a family reunion in Bozman, MD (just south of St. Michaels). We had an awesome time but it really wiped me out!! I didn't have any energy for 2-3 days so I didn't really do much exercising ( the 3 straight days of rain didn't help). I was able to jump back in yesterday with a 7 mile run and then another 4 this morning. I think the break did me some good!

Then the beginning of this week was taken up with getting Ally set at school. We had to fix her bus assignment and then I found out that she also needed some other paperwork filled out and then we had her open house last night. We got to meet her teacher and find her classroom. I'm hoping it will put her at ease about starting on Monday.

I will admit that I'm feeling really uninformed about her situation. I guess a lot of that stems from the fact that we have been working/attending the same school for the past couple of years now. I've always known what was coming up and what to expect and I don't have that with her now. I hope that once the school year starts that the communication will flow a bit better so that I can get a better handle on what is going on.

I've also signed the kids up to play soccer. Ally especially wants to play but I'm not so sure about Will. I'm hoping they both give it a legitimate shot and have fun!

Have a great day and keep on runnin'!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday 8/13/07

Boy are we going to have fun over the next couple of days! We are off for the next 2.5 days and are taking the kids to Sesame Place. We took the kids there once before but Will was an infant - he spent almost the entire day in his stroller asleep. We have also decided to stay over and go to the park on 2 days. We haven't told the kids yet but they are going to explode when we surprise them with that little tidbit!!
Workouts have been going well! Yesterday was a 7 mile run and I was able to run it in 1:06 which gives me a pace of 9:31m/m. My legs were a bit tight after Saturday's run but overall I have been quite pleased with the way my legs have responded the day after my long run. I'm definitely ready for some cross-training come Monday morning but they still continue to feel good. I need to do more stretching though - I can start to feel my calves and Achilles tendon area start to get tighter and tighter. I don't think it is serious but I do need to create a more well-rounded program.
Off to get the day started - keep on runnin'!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday 8/11/07

I now have a new all-time high for my longest run! It was supposed to be 14 miles today, which would have been a new high for me. However, I made 1 wrong turn on the trails and we ended up doing 15 miles instead. I have a feeling our distance was actually even a little higher because we sometimes lose our satellite links while running on the trails.

I'm really pleased with how the day went. My ankles/Achilles tendon area is a bit sore but overall I'm feeling good about how the session went. I was running with one other person and I think we are a pretty good fit for personality, conditioning and ability. She may be considering running in a new marathon here in DE the weekend after the MCM. That would also put us on pretty much the same training plan. That would be the answer to a prayer because I was really at a loss as to what I was going to do on my long runs while the other were running their multiple marathons in Sept./Oct.

Time to sign-off for now. Keep runnin'!

Friday, August 10, 2007


I found this on Meghan Timney's blog and she's right it is scary. I've actually seen things like this before but it never fails to make my jaw drop to the floor!

She also had a funny cartoon that I'm stealing as well:

Friday 8/10/07

I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture but this is what I think about the Ford Motor Company right now! I'm writing this in red and bold because I'm so angry with them! I own a 2002 Ford Windstar and boy does it seem to have a lot of trouble. I bought the van new and in the past 5 years I have had to spend thousands of dollars to fix all sorts of different problems. Last night I took the car over to the dealership to have a part replaced (this was my 4th visit for this particular problem). I was told that the part replacement would take about an hour - over 3 hours later I left the dealership. Then to top it all off all the problems still aren't fixed!

This might make more sense if I told you what the problem was. I took it in because the driver side power window wouldn't go down. It took so many trips to the dealership because they first thought it was the motor and it wasn't and then they thought it was a module but it was actually a wiring problem. Last night when they were working on the driver's window they found out that the back window (the one that wings out) wasn't working either. I hadn't even noticed that one wasn't opening - it has been too hot to open the windows anyway! After the 3 hour wait I was told that everything was working great - well, guess what! The back one still doesn't open!! After spending so much money in the first place I don't think I'm taking it back but boy am I pissed!!! A vehicle that is only 5 years old (it only has 50,000 miles on it so I don't drive it into the ground) should not have all of these problems. We take care of our cars so it isn't from neglect either.

I'm writing a letter to the Ford company. I don't think is will really get me much but it's the only thing I can think of to at least vent some of the anger. My husband's Ford truck is 7 years old and hasn't had nearly as many problems. RRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Today is a rest day for exercise because tomorrow is my long run. I'm going 14 miles tomorrow and it is the farthest I have ever run. I know that I can do it but it is still a bit nerve racking because it is having me venture into uncharted territory. I'm just thankful that the weather seems to be breaking a bit and it isn't supposed to be as humid tomorrow.

Keep on runnin'!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Studly Little Man

I'm not sure why he decided that he wanted a tie and dress shirt but I think it work for him. I'm not sure if you can tell but it is a camo tie which fits his personality perfectly!

Wednesday 8/8/07

I have no idea who this guy is but this is how I felt after my runs both yesterday and today. To top it off it was raining with a bit of thunder and lightning this morning. It was really hard to run this morning - I'm really glad I was running with Jim and Pat because I don't think I would have done the run if I hadn't been meeting up with them this morning. We went 7 miles in a little over 1:05 which gave us a pace of 9:40 m/m. considering how humid it was this was a great time. Pat was having a hard time this morning because of the humidity but I give him credit for sticking with it and completing the workout.

The change of focus in my workouts has been going well. I am experiencing some nice DOMS. In fact the start of my run this morning was a bit hard because my chest and triceps are pretty sore. I think shoulders are on tap for later today. I want to give myself some time in between my run and RT session since it was a hard run this morning. On the shorter runs I like to do my lifting right after the run and have the whole thing out of the way. If I wait too long I have a tendency to not get the second session completed.

Off to do some work around the house - keep on runnin'!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday 8/6/07

I decided something today - I've decided to go back to my POF lifting routine. With this routine, I will be lifting every day but the lifting sessions will probably last only 15-25 minutes. I made this decision because I'm not happy with the way my body is reacting to the heavily skewed aerobic component to my workouts. This goes hand in hand with my eating being less than stellar but I will stop the trend and try to shift my thinking.

I've also been having a bit of tightness/pain in my lower right leg. It isn't anything severe but I want to try and relieve it before it gets worse. The weird part is that the discomfort is more on the side of my leg instead of the front or back. I believe, that calf strains would be felt more in the back and something like shin splints will be felt more in the front but I'm not really feeling anything there. I'm hoping a bit of massage will help relieve it and I will be able to progress from there.

Today's workout was cross-training. I did 30 minutes on the bike (thought it might be better to give my leg a different type of motion) and 20 minutes of lifting. I worked chest and I'm expecting to be really sore tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to that though. It has been a really long time since I've lifted to the point of having DOMS.

Fundraising efforts have picked up and I'm a bit over $400 at this point. I'm pleased with it as a start but I'm really hoping to be able to kick it up a notch. When Father Bob gets back from vacation, I want to talk to him about approaching the congregation. I have a long way to go if I want to reach my $3000 goal.

That's all for now - Keep on runnin'!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wednesday 8/1/07

Here is a recent picture of my 2 cuties! They are growing up so fast. The picture was taken at a Wilmington Blue Rocks game. The kids' Tball team went to the game and even got to run out onto the field with the starters for the National Anthem. It was a really fun evening!

Well, it has obviously been quite some time since I've written. I took a week off from most of my normal computer activities. The kids were spending some time with my parents and I took the opportunity to have some ME time and do things that I don't normally get to do. It was a great week! I'm so thankful that my parents are healthy enough and willing to spend time with the kids like they do. I know it makes all 4 of them so happy to spend time together. The kids always spend days talking about all the things they did with Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop! This past week included fishing, swimming and Bible camp just to name a few.

But I'm now back in the swing of things. I've gotten caught up on most of my computer activities but still have a few remaining - my Bible study being the most important one. I promise I will catch up shortly Julie!!!

I had a really tough long run on Saturday. We ran 13 miles and did it at a very manageable pace but boy did I get sore! The soreness started during the run and then continued through Sunday. I was able to get my Sunday run finished but it was a bit of a struggle. It didn't help that I decided to do it in the afternoon and it was really humid. On Monday, I did some crosstraining on my rollerblades and my butt was still a bit sore but everything else felt good. Then yesterday I got a neck spasm while playing with the kids at the pool. I was afraid that it would not allow me to get my 6 mile run in this morning. But, I got it under control pretty quickly and I think the run helped me to loosen up even more. It turned out to be a good run. We did the 6 miles in just under and hour (the pace was 9:38 m/m) and the route included some "nice" hills.

This week's long run is only 9 miles because it is a step-back week but I think the plan is to run the hilly trails this weekend. That will still keep the intensity of the workout pretty high. I always look forward to those trail runs - being on the trails make the miles go by faster as does running with other people. We have an awesome group that meets on the weekend and it has made this training much more fun!

Fundraising update: things are really starting to move forward. I have now raised enough to actually get an account opened. I'm hopeful that things will really start to pick up speed and that I'll have a nice check at the end to give to Tim.

Well that's all for now - Keep runnin'!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday 7/21/07

I am so thankful this morning! First, I got my first response about my sponsor letters. I sent them out earlier this week and I've already gotten a response saying she will send a check - Thank you Cheryl! Then, this morning I went out for a 6 mile run. The weather was absolutely beautiful - nice and cool (bit of a breeze though) and the sunrise was spectacular. I did the run alone because Bill had to go into work today so I had to do a shorter run (my scheduled Sunday run) but I will be meeting up with "the group" tomorrow for a 12 miler.

This all made for an excellent start to the day!

I'm hoping now that the majority of the sponsor letters are out, I will be able to catch up on some of my other interests. I haven't looked at my Bible study book (It's Not About Me) in about a week and Julie has already posted the next chapters questions. I am really enjoying the book - it is easy to read but contains a lot of interesting points. I will also be receiving my copy of the next Harry Potter book - OK that's really weird, just as I finished writing the name Harry Potter, the UPS truck stopped at the house and delivered the book. We usually don't get our UPS deliveries until the afternoon! So, as I was saying, I'm really looking forward to getting into those 2 books. Then, of course, there is all that lovely housework that needs to be done - something I'm NOT looking forward too especially since I've let it go for a while. Finally, I also want to get a jump on planning for the upcoming school year. I at least want to get a month or 2 worth of gym classes planned so that it will be an easier transition into the start of the school year.

OK, I've waited a good 5 minutes - time to take a look at the new Harry Potter book. Later! Keep on runnin'!

Friday, July 20, 2007

It has been a while - 7/20/07

Things have been pretty busy around here. I've started my big fundraising push and have been spending a lot of time getting letters made up, envelopes stuffed and mailed. It actually took a lot more time than I originally thought it would. But the majority of the letters have gone out and I'm really hoping I will get a lot of positive responses!

My training has been going well. Although I have been feeling pretty tired this week which has resulted in some switching around of workouts. I think I will still end the week with the proper amount of total mileage though so I'm feeling good about it. Eating has not been as good as it should be so my weight loss has stalled a bit. I am making water consumption a priority because that has been lacking lately. I'm hoping that will also help curb the munching aspect of my nutrition plan.

Other than that the only other thing that has happened this week was my evaluation meeting with Saralee. It was very positive and I am happy that I will again be working with the three year olds and will be co-teaching with Jeanette. I'm looking forward to the upcoming year - both Jeanette and I will have a year under our belts plus Saralee wants all of us to sit down and come up with a plan for the year. This will help ensure that the kids are progressing at an appropriate level but I think it will also help Jeanette and I stay on the same page. Since we are both in and out of the classroom throughout the week it can be hard to keep up with each others plans and ideas.

Gotta go - keep runnin'

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday 7/12/07

I've had some really good runs this week! Tuesday and Wednesday were runs with Pat and Lori. I finally got a chance to meet Pat who was the person who directed me to this running group in the first place. It was great to finally meet him - he is a triathlete as well as a distance runner. He just ran in a 1/2 Ironman triathlon.

I ran on my own today (3 miles) so I decided to really try and push the pace today. I've really enjoyed running with the group but it has also been significantly slower than I was running before. Overall I think that is a good thing especially now that the miles are going to start to add up. However, I also want to make sure I get in 1 or 2 runs a week at a quicker pace. I still have my eye on doing well in my age group for the Delaware Distance Classic so I want to make sure I get in at least a bit of faster paced running.

OK, back to today's run. Like I said, I went into it with the goal of pushing the pace. I didn't have specific pace in mind but I was hoping for between 7:30 and 8 min/mile. It was also nice and cool, finally so off I went. I did the first mile in 7:24, the 2nd mile I did in 7:03 and I was still feeling pretty good so I kept on pushing and finished the 3rd mile in 6:17. The average pace ended up being 6:58 min/mile. Needless to say I was thrilled with the effort and the results - I also didn't have much left at the end which I also consider a good thing!

I still have a few more weeks where my shorter runs are 3 miles long and I will continue to do 1 or 2 fast paced runs. Once the runs get longer I may just run a portion of the distance faster.

Gotta go - Keep on Running!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday 6/9/07

No that's not me - LOL!
I finally got out for a great rollerblading workout this morning. I've wanted to get out the past 2 weeks but it just didn't work out. Today was hot, but because I was out really early and because there is a great wind as you skate down the road, but it really felt good. I went 5.5 miles in a little over 30 minutes. I finished up the workout with about 35 minutes of resistance training.
A bit later in the day I took the kids and Boomer to the trail that I've been running on. It is so hot out today that I decided to get the kids out in a place that I knew there would be lots of shade. I didn't want to take them to the pool in this awful heat so we'll do that tonight after dinner. We all had a great time - Will was a bit upset that we weren't going to see any water but was quite happy when we found a bird watching perch. The kids had a great time climbing up the ladder and then sitting up on the standing looking all around. I think Boomer and the kids are quite tired right now so I feel like I did my job - LOL!
I'm looking forward to some great runs this week. My mileage this week should be around 27 miles with a long run of 11. I'm gradually adding up those miles and it is awesome to have friends to run with. One of my new training partners is also planning on running the MCM so I'm hoping to be able to run it together!
Keep on runnin'!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Long Run 7/7/07

Went on a great group run this morning - it wasn't nearly as many people in the above picture - there were 3 of us. Doesn't really matter how many people there are though - I have just loved running with other people. We covered 9.6 miles in just under 1:40. I really think the slower pace is helping me a lot and just having other around is awesome!

I'm meeting Lori tomorrow morning to run the trails again. So, of course, I had to go out and get some trail shoes. They were expensive ($110) but luckily I had a gift certificate left for Women's Sports Specialties so I only ended up paying about $63. They are Asics and they felt really good so I'm hoping that they will feel good while I'm running and will help protect my feet from all the rocks and such.

Nutrition has been good so far today. I'm really making an effort to keep things reigned in because I had my splurge meal last night and I tend to make 1 splurge meal into a couple of splurge days. I've finally started to move my weight down and I want to keep that trend going.

Off to start a nice healthy dinner

Friday, July 06, 2007


I got a neck spasm today while at the pool. The "funny" part was that it kicked in when I sat down to relax in a chair. I'm sure catching Will jumping off the wall was the cause for the spasm but it didn't kick in until much later. I'm really hoping it doesn't mess up my long run tomorrow! It will usually hurt for a few days and then the pain is gone. I got a heat pack on it at soon as I could but it still really hurts.

One good thing is that I haven't let it frustrate me to the point of eating poorly. I did have my splurge meal tonight but that is where it will end! I am really trying to focus on not using food as a crutch - I want to use it for what it was meant for which is giving my body nourishment. Yes I will always enjoy the way food tastes but I don't want to be a slave to it anymore!

It's been a good week!

Boy has this week been busy. Bill has been off work since Wednesday so we've been able to spend a lot of family time at the pool. Bill has been able to go to some of the kid's swim lessons and then we've stayed to have lunch and play in the pool. They put on a really nice 4th of July party which we will have no problem going back to next year!

My workouts have been going really well. I ran with Lori and Jim on Tuesday and then by myself the rest of the week. I'll also be meeting Lori on Saturday. This week we will be road running so no trails this week - I hope we jump back into that soon. I had such a great time with that last weekend but I will need to get myself some trail shoes.

I had some up and down days nutritionally. Tuesday was really bad - I started binging on banana chips and could not stop luckily my weight wasn't drastically affected. Then Wednesday was better but still not great. But man did I rock the house yesterday - I had a great day and the scale finally moved downward. I dropped to 138.5 which is a 1.5# lose for the week so far. It really made me feel good to finally see some movement - it really fires you us to be rewarded for your work.

I am also really trying to make an effort to change my way of thinking. I started reading Taming the Feast Beast and it has brought up some interesting points. Then I read an interesting post on LL and it made me realize that I'm still really struggling with the "diet" mentality. I need to move past that thought process and begin to view it as a lifestyle. I don't think I have really made that transition - some of the parts of the puzzle are there (mostly with exercise) but many of the nutritional parts are still askew. That will be my main focus for a while.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

What an Awesome run! - 6/30/07

I went on my first trail run this morning with Lori and Jim and it was great! We started at about 5:30 am and ran for 8 miles. Lori and Jim went on after I finished but I was scheduled for 8 miles so I kept to my plan. I finished in 1:27 which was a 10:52m/m pace. This is a slower pace than normal for me but I ran the whole distance instead of using the run/walk technique. I thought it was PERFECT! I'll be interested to see if my ankles or knees baulk from running on the uneven ground. Lori and Jim are a lot of fun to run with and I love getting out on the trails - I would run trails every day if I could! I now know why Julie B loves her trail run so much! I will be back next week for sure!!

My eating was great yesterday and my weight dropped to 140 which was my goal weight for the week. I still have some exercise minutes to make up if I want to make this week's leverage. Charlene from LL challenged me to eat according to my plan all weekend which is going to be difficult because I'm taking Ally to a birthday party today. I will really need to stay focused so that I don't find myself nibbling. I just need to keep my goals in mind and stay strong!
Off to do my weekend chores!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday 6/29/07

I've really had a couple of good days with my eat! I've dropped a pound which I'm happy about but I really thought I would have seen a bit more of a drop - I have been spot on and I honestly thought a bigger portion of the excess water weight would have dropped. However, it is just about that TOM so I'm hoping that is the reason for the water retention. It doesn't really matter though, the important part is that I'm getting back on my program and I'm starting to see results! Baby steps will get me to my goal!!

MY GOALS! - I posted earlier that I would list my goals so here they are:
  1. Long Term Goal - I will weigh 130# for my marathon on October 28th.
  2. Six Week (Team) Goal - I will weigh 134# by the end of my team challenge on August 9th.
  3. Weekly Goal - I will perform 420 minutes of exercise (cardio & resistance training) and weight 140# (the actual weekly weight goal will change but the exercise minutes will stay the same).

I will also be setting up some daily goals for myself. Things like drinking enough water or having extra veggies on a given day etc. If there is one thing that I've learned from LL it's that goals are huge. Most people never sit down and actually make them. They might have some vague idea about what they might want....someday but they never actually define what they are, write them down and then make them public. It is a huge step!

The other thing I'm doing is setting up a leverage. This is also something I learned about at LL. Simply, and this comes right from The Leanness Lifestyle book, it is "self-applied pressure to reinforce your focus and maintain your commitment through the journey. It establishes a cost for failing." There are different types but I'll let you purchase the LL book to read more about it! If you've never used a system like this, it is amazing. My leverage is financial (it doesn't have to be but that is what I chose). I have a savings account that I've set aside so that some day I can become an Elite member at LL. I'm taking $200 out of that account and if I don't make my goal it will be sent to the KKK - a group I absolutely despise! I'm also going to fine myself $25 each week that I don't make my weekly goal. That money will also go into the end leverage.

Another weekly leverage I will set up is a massage. I have never had one before and have always wanted one. This is a reverse leverage - you purchase the session before hand and if you make your goal, you get to keep/attend the session. If you don't make your goal you don't get to go to the session and you are out the money you paid for it. I hope that all made sense because a good leverage is SO effective!

Well, today is a rest day for my exercising. I may go for a nice easy spin on the bike trainer just to keep my legs loose but other than that, I'm taking it off. Tomorrow is my long run and I'm thrilled to be meeting up with a group and then going for a run on the trails. It will be my second group run of the week but my first one on the trails. I will have to travel a bit to get there but I think it is going to be a blast! The only thing that concerns me is the possible lack of bathrooms - I'm sure some of them have had the problem before too so I'll just follow their lead, so to speak.

POSITIVE NOTE: I just found out this morning that Tim has started to drive again. That is such wonderful news! I'm going to email Donna soon and leave a message on Tim's CarePage. I'm so excited to hear he is making progress. I will be writing my sponsor letter this weekend and hope to get it out early next week. For those who may have missed my earlier posts, I'm raising money for a co-worker's son who had to have a hear transplant due to a genetic problem. He is a young man and this is going to hit him hard financially. He already has enough on his plate and I'm hoping to raise a minimum of $3000 to help him out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My first group run!

This picture is actually pretty cool because it is of a group finishing the 2005 MCM. They look awesome at the finish and I would love to look the same!

It was so much fun! I met 2 other people and we went out for a 5 mile run. The pace was right at about 10 m/m. I can't tell you how awesome it was to run with other people - it was great to have a conversation while running (with someone else that is). The best part was that I already kind of knew one of the other runners. It turns out that she knows my husband and we had met a few times before. I think I'm going to try and go back tomorrow so that I can meet Pat who was the one who told me about the group in the first place. I will definitely meet them on Saturday for some trail running. I am so looking forward to that!

After my shower, I will be sitting down and trying to write my "Why". I did get a couple of responses from my post over at LL and got some good ideas. I will also be following up on them. One of the suggestions was to do one of Coach's Boot Camps - I would love to do one but I don't think I have the money for it. Our family budget is quite tight and if I spend all my savings on a boot camp (which I don't have enough for) then I won't have any for either my Elite membership or a Platinum Lifetime Membership. Boy do I wish I could win the Powerball and then I could do both - LOL!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What is my problem?!?!?!?!?!

I am so frustrated with myself! My workouts are going great - I feel good about how my running going but my eating has been - I'll be polite in my wording - pretty poor! I don't know what my problem is. I start every day with a plan and I usually get a good 3/4 of the way through the day just fine and then before I know it - BOOM! - I've messed up the day by eating like......(I'll let someone else fill in the blank).

I'm trying to stay positive but I feel like I've been struggling for months now. I just can't seem to get my eating on track. The good thing is that my exercising has been keeping my weight pretty constant. I'm between 140 and 142 but I want to be down around 130 (I would be happy between 130 and 135).

I don't even know how to put my frustration into words! How do I get out of this downward spiral? It is so easy to just say....just stop the bad actions....just don't do it anymore! I've been sitting here for the past 10 minutes or so looking at this page because I really don't know where to go from here. I know the important part is to NEVER give up trying and I won't but boy is it hard! It is wearing me down mentally. I keep putting myself down by saying things like: "This time last year I was in a groove, why can't I get that back?!"

I don't have any answers but I am going to take some action steps. I've done these before but I'm going to do them again!
  1. I'm going to write another "Why". This is something I learned about at LL - it is something I've struggled with in the past but I'm going to give it another shot.
  2. I'm making a new weight loss goal.
  3. I'm making a leverage - I'm taking $200 out of my account which has been created to save money so that I can become a LL Elite member. There is a little over $300 in the account so I'm taking a big chunk out of the account. I will withdraw this money and I will give it to someone to hold. If I don't make my goal this money will be donated (I'll determine where in a bit) and I will be that much further away from my Elite status.
  4. I'm going to make a daily, weekly and monthly goal and I will post it here for accountability.
  5. Finally, I will post a copy of this blog entry at LL so that I can get even more accountability and support.

I have lost a fair amount of weight since I started at LL over a year ago - I'm proud of my accomplishments! However, I have come to realize that even though I have changed on the outside I have yet to change on the inside. I have not been able to make this a lifestyle. I'm still making bad decisions and craving junk. I long for the day when the junk won't be a temptation. I don't know if I'll ever get to that point, but I hope and pray that the day will come - soon!


My night class (TECE I) that is! It was a lot of fun and I learned a great deal but boy am I glad it is finished. It started back in January - can you believe it? It was 60 hours of class work, which was very hard but we had an awesome group of women in the class which made it a blast to attend each week. I'm planning on taking the second class in the series (TECE II) starting in September. So, there won't be a huge amount of down time but I'm definitely going to enjoy the summer!

TECE II will start at the beginning of January but because they are going to start doubling up the classes in November, we will be done before Christmas! I figured that if I was already in the classroom mode it would be better to get right back to it. Having it finished before the end of the year is just an added bonus!

Now back to training! I have officially started my 18 week marathon program! Yesterday was a cross training day (biking and weight lifting). Today was the first run of the program. I did a touch over 3 miles and my pace was 7:54 m/m. I decided to push the pace today to get in a hard workout. I want to make sure that I put a bit of a push into some of my runs but I need to make sure that I'm careful. I chose the Intermediate I program so I just need to be careful.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled for a 5 mile run and I think I'm going to try and head over to the Y and meet up with a few other runners. I'm hoping to be able to meet them a couple of times a week (maybe for my longer weekday run - Wednesdays and for my long run - Saturday). I haven't run in a group of people since I was a kid. I would occasionally go with my Dad to a group run a long time ago but haven't done it since. I'm really hoping to be able to work it out. I just need to make sure I get back in time for Bill to get to work on Wednesdays. The Saturday run is kind of far away so when the runs start getting really long we will have to work something out. I'm hoping he will be his normal supportive self!

Well, it is time to start getting us ready to get the kids to their swim lessons. Yesterday went pretty well and they are both looking forward to going back today. Yesterday was a bit of a short lesson because they had to get the kids into their correct classes. I'm hoping they will be able to cover a bit more today. I think Will is a tweener - he is a bit passed some of the things they are covering in his class but not up to the class Ally is in. I think Ally is right where she needs to be.

Off to get ready!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday 6/25/07: Readings and other stuff

One of the new routines I'm trying to establish is daily Bible readings. I've started a great study with some friends on a book titled "It's Not About Me" by Max Lucado. We've only gotten through 1 chapter so far but it is a good book. One of the things is brought back out to me was that I was not spending enough time in prayer and intimate relationship with God. As with most people, the excuse I've been using is time - "I just can't seem to find the time because......". Ya know what? That is a bunch of crap! Just as we say you much schedule your exercise time and make it a priority - you have to do the same with your prayer life. It is that important!

Long story short, I have had to really good Reading/Prayer Sessions the past 2 nights. I shared my first session insights with my Bible Study friends but decided to start putting my insights into this blog to share with everyone. Last night I read Psalm 90 & 91 in The Message Remix. The section that really spoke to me was in 91:14-16

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life, says God, I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to now and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times, I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"
Hold onto me, get to know me and trust me.....3 things that I am really trying to focus on right now. I am also coming to realize that trust is not necessarily something I'm good at. Trust goes hand in hand with releasing control which is another thing I will have trouble with "upon occasion".
Onto the "other stuff"...Wouldn't you know that it is raining today! The first day of swim lessons and it is raining and is supposed to rain all week. I'm assuming that they will have the lessons as long as there isn't any thunder and lightning but it isn't exactly the way I intended to spend the time. I was really looking forward to relaxing in a pool chair, at the side of the pool, watching the lesson for things we can practice on our own. Oh well, I guess we'll just play it by ear and see how the week progresses.
The rain also messed up my training plan for this morning (hence the longer post at 5ish in the morning). I had planned on doing a rollerblading session followed up by a lifting session but since it is raining, the blading got ditched. As soon as I'm finished here I will do my lifting session and then decide on the cardio portion of my workout.
I'm feeling better about my decision to go with the Intermediate I program. I really think I will do well with is a nice compromise between Novice II and Intermediate II. I think it will challenge me but yet not be so overwhelming that I breakdown physically.
I have procrastinated enough and it is now time to go lift!
Addition: I published my blog and it did something that has happened to me before and that I don't understand. It takes out spacing that I had in when I was typing and it pushes things closer together (notice the section right after the quotation it is different from the top section!) - I really don't get it!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Think I've made a decision.......

I've had my training plan set for over a month now. I decided to use Hal Higdon's Intermediate II program and have been steadily building up my mileage so that I would be ready to start that program tomorrow. Then I started doing some reading in one of Hal's books and on his web site/forums. Everything that I was reading was that you should start with the Novice program even if you don't consider yourself a novice runner. If it is your first marathon - use the novice program.

I saw it so many times, I started to worry if I was being too aggressive. I don't want to get injured while training for this race. So I sent some notes off to some friends (thanks Julie B. and Julie A.) who offered some great advice. However, it ultimately comes down to me making the decision.

I'm splitting the difference and using Intermediate I. There isn't a huge difference between Novice II (Novice I was too easy) and Intermediate I. The mileage is quite similar in terms of daily distances. The biggest difference is that Novice II has 2 rest days scheduled and Intermediate I has 1 rest day. I'm using the Intermediate program but I will keep a close eye on how I'm feeling and if I feel like I need a rest day or that I need a cross day instead of a run I'll do that.

I will probably second guess this decision over the next 18 weeks but I have to decide on something and it will be Intermediate I!!

Speaking of rest days, I took and extra one today. I was feeling a bit tired this morning - mostly because I stayed up later than normal last night. Food has been pretty good today but there is still room for improvement. I'm starting up with a team at LL this week and I am really looking forward to that! It is always great when you can get that extra support!

Kids start their swim lessons this week and they are really excited about it. I'm interested to see what types of things they will be doing. They have improved so much all ready but I'm sure these lessons will really bring out the fish in them!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday 6/23/07

I had a really good long run today! I ran 11 miles - I had originally planned on going 11.5 but my legs had had enough so I stopped at 11 and then walked another 1/4 mile.

I did a couple of other things that turned out to be good ideas. Normally, I run the entire distance around Delcastle (in a figure 8 style to increase the miles in 1 loop) so that I'm close to the bathrooms. It occurred to me today that if I run the loop until I use the bathroom I can then go out into the neighborhood and run a moderate length loop and finish back inside Delcastle just in case I need the bathrooms again. I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out! I tried it today and it worked great!! It was really nice to get out of the "normal" routine. The other change I made was that I forced (and yes I had to force myself) myself to run slower. My pace was right around 9:30m/m which is about a minute slower than I have been running my long runs. I think it is something I really need to focus on and try for a while. I'm starting to get nervous that my body is going to baulk at all the miles - I guess it is just my psyche getting the best of me.

The 2 changes also worked really well together for another reason. I found myself unintentionally picking up the pace so that my walking breaks were in a certain spot on my route. By changing the scenery and by changing the pace it got me out of the routine. I think it was good for my head.

My official 18 week marathon training schedule starts on Monday! I'm planning on contacting some friends about the program that I've chosen. I decided, quite some time ago, that I would use Hal Higdon's Intermediate II program. The Novice program just didn't look challenging enough. However, now that I've been doing some further reading and have been on Hal's message boards I'm starting to have second thoughts. Everything I've been reading states that you would be better off being undertrained at the start of the race instead of overtrained (within reason of course). The last thing I want is to put all this time and effort into the training and then have it all blow up in my face because I chose the wrong program. More on this topic later.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday 6/20/07

Training has been very good lately. I've had some very productive runs. Today's workout was speedwork: 9 x 400. I haven't looked at my paces yet but I felt like I was working pretty hard. The weather was not helping - at 5:15 am it was 71 degrees and 93% humidity. We had a storm front come through last night and it is making for some really icky weather.

I'm really beginning to wonder whether I want to go through all the trouble of trying to lose weight while training for this race. I have been maintaining my weight at about 140 for a while now and have been struggling to lose more. Most of my problem is mental and I realize that - a part of my brain keeps telling me that I look good at 140 so why do I want to drop lower. Would I look better at 130 or 135? Probably, but I just can't seem to get all cylinders firing at the same time. Anyway, something to ponder!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday 6/16/07

WOW has this week gone by quickly! It started a little crazy but ended with a really fun time. Yesterday we took the kids to Dutch Wonderland (DW) which is an amusement park. It is really nice for younger kids because it isn't huge like the Hershey Parks and the Disney parks. DW has a small water section with slides and a play area as well as your typical ride section. The kids are able to make it around the entire park and do everything they want without being so exhausted that all you do is fight by the end of the day.

I think it was a really good way to end the week especially for Will. Although I have to say both kids got some other treats this week as well. Ally got to spend some 1 on 1 time with Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop and I took Will to see Shrek 3. It made me feel really good when he got so excited telling people that we did a special thing together - just the 2 of us. He was more excited about that than he was to see the movie - melts your heart!

Workouts this week have been really good. I completed all my workouts including a 10.5 mile run this morning. I tried using my Hammer Nutrition products that I received earlier this week and they worked really well. I didn't have any stomach problems and used both gels and Heed (lemon-lime flavor). I added a bit too much water to my Heed powder so it was really diluted but I still liked the flavor and it didn't leave any aftertaste in my mouth which is what I was really looking for. I also have a packet of the orange flavor and will try that tomorrow. I think I may also have a local place that sells the Hammer products - now all I have to do is find it. I know generally where it is but I haven't seen any signs or anything for it so I'm not positive.

I was also excited to see that I've now run over 300 miles this year! When I first put that ticker up on the blog I just picked a number that I thought would be a real challenge to hit. One that would give me incentive to go out and run each morning. Now here we are, half way through June and I'm already over 300 miles. The interesting thing now will be to see just how many miles I can run in a year!

Until next time!

Monday, June 11, 2007

We both did well!

Yes, we both made it through the ordeal without too much difficulty. Will got upset only two times. The first time, which was pretty funny, was when he was supposed to put on one of the hospital gowns. He was wearing his Thomas the Tank Engine jammies and did not want to wear the gown. He cried and tried to run away and screamed and cried some more. We eventually decided that we wouldn't fight it.

The second time he freaked out was when he was coming out of his anesthesia. He was ANGRY because we wouldn't let him get down and walk around. The nurse was great and explained to us that because the anesthesia wasn't out of his system, he needed to either stay in bed or sit on our lap. She did say that if we held onto his arms/hands we could walk him around since he was fussing so much. Will didn't want any part of any of those situations. So, it came down to me holding him on my lap (in a big bear hug) while he screamed and cried and punched and kicked (all at me) and just pretty much tried everything he could do to squirm out of my arms. This probably lasted 25 minutes or so and then is just switched off and he was his normal loving self. It was very strange to watch - when he was upset, he didn't want any of the drinks or foods that the nurse was offering him. After he calmed down, he drank some juice, had a Popsicle and drank a Slurpee/icee. He was a totally different person. He doesn't remember any of the violence and the nurses told us that it would probably happen that way.

As a result of all that, I am already really sore. All the muscles in my back hurt. Just sitting still is uncomfortable and when I reach my arms in front of me like I would in a hug, I can feel every single muscle in my back - and yes they all hurt.

However, it was all worth it! His eyelid is all clear out and the doctor said he couldn't believe all the gunk in his eyelid. It pretty much filled his whole lid. He got 2 stitches to close it up and can't go swimming until Friday or Saturday. I'm going to take him to see a movie tomorrow so that should be fun. I'm just really happy that it is all finished and that we can hopefully move on and not worry about this any more!

We Need your Prayers!

This morning is Will's surgery. Please keep us in your prayers! We have to be at the hospital at 8:45 am and his surgery is at 10:15 am. The procedure is supposed to take about 30 minutes but we could potentially be there all day. I'm really hoping that everything goes smoothly, on all levels, and that we are out of there pretty quickly. I must admit that even though I know it is a very routine procedure, I'm getting a touch nervous. I know this will turn out just fine but he is and always will be my "baby".
My parents are watching Ally so it is really cool that she doesn't have to sit with us and be board to tears. She is going to have a great time with them (as she always does).
Thanks for your prayers and support!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday 6/9/07

Today's long run felt really hard. My legs felt very heavy and tired. I still ran it at a good pace but I never really felt "good" this morning. It was quite humid and that may have had something to do with it. In addition, I did some lifting the other day and my legs were a bit sore still. Not that it really matters - I'm going to have days when I feel awful and days when I feel like I'm flying. The important thing is that I got my 9 miles in. It took me 1:20 and my pace was 8:48m/m. I'm feeling a bit sore and stiff right now so I'm definitely going to be doing some more stretching as the day progresses.

I think I'm going to try and get a 2nd pair of running shoes today. I can't remember if I wrote before, but Bill got me 2 gift cards for a local women's sports store for my birthday. I think I'm going to get the same shoe I have right now. I've read different things about it - some say get different types of shoes so that your foot gets a different feel and others say to stick with the same shoe because you know it is already a good shoe for you. I'm just going with the same shoe and see how it goes. If I continue with the longer distances, I may try a different shoe after the marathon.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday 6/8/07

"The five S's pf sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit."Ken Doherty, former coach and Penn Relays director
Today was a pretty trying day. First thing this morning I had to take our dog to the vet. Let me just say, Boomer (my dog), does not like the vet at all. It is always stressful for both him and us when we go - not to mention expensive!
Then in the afternoon, we had to take Will (my son) to the hospital for his pre-surgical check-up. Today was pretty much just paper work and physical type stuff but it still makes you realize that he is have surgery on Monday. He has a blocked oil duct on his eye lid and the surgeon is going to make a small incision and unblock it. Everyone is telling us that it is a short easy procedure but it isn't really the procedure that concerns me. You never know how someone is going to react to anesthesia and that is really the part that concerns me about the whole day. I know deep down that God is looking over us all and will watch over him and keep him safe but I guess it is human nature to worry - I need to find a way to hand it all over to Him and be at peace.
Today was a rest day and tomorrow is my long run (9 miles). I have been able to drop about 3 pounds since starting my last goal on LL. My eating has in no way been perfect but I think I'm actually starting to turn things around. I am thinking about things before I eat them - I think that is a positive step. Sometimes I still give in and eat the "crap" but at other times I am able to stop myself and either make a better choice or just forgo all together.
One thing I am disappointed in is that I have only gotten 1 donation, for Tim, from my daughter's Kindergarten class. I would have expected to have gotten more of a response from them in particular. I sent notes to the entire school but didn't necessarily expect everyone to run up and donate. I did however, expect the Kindergarten class to show more support. This isn't to say that I won't hear from them as the summer progresses - I just don't know.
Until next time!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me & Day 2!

No I'm not crazy, it is not day 1 of my birthday, it is day 2 of my challenge. Yesterday was a pretty good day and my weight dropped to 140.5. Just so that everyone knows, at LL we track our weight daily. I don't get all that hung up on the number because I know that weight can fluctuate wildly in the course of the day. Until I started at LL, I never realize just how much what we eat and drink can effect our daily weight - I knew it fluctuated but didn't realize the extent of that fluctuation. I realize that some out there would consider daily weigh-ins excessive. However, I feel that as long as you don't get obsessive about it, it is a great tool. Coach Dave suggests you weigh daily and plot it on a chart (done for you at Club Lifestyle). By doing this you really do see trends and the big picture. Trends are important (especially for women) because you can get a handle on what happens to your body within a given month. The big picture is obviously important - even if your weight goes up and down every day, by plotting it on the chart you can watch the overall weight move downward - very motivating!

As for my birthday - I started it out with a great interval workout. I ran a total of 4.7 miles and the average pace was 8:08m/m which included my warm-up and cool-down running. I've also made some of Hokie's Sweet Potato Brownies. So far a pretty productive morning! We are going out to dinner tonight - I think I'll choose Red Lobster as my dinner place that way I can get some yummy food but try and keep it a bit on the healthy side. I want to enjoy the food and the company (my family of course) but not go completely off the deep end.

I'm also really excited about starting a Bible Study! Kristen, Julie, Melissa, Helen and I are going to be studying Max Lucado's book called It's Not About Me and I am really looking forward to it. It has been a long time since I've been able to participate in one. Ever since I started working, I lost my weekly Bible study group and I have really missed it. It will be good to get back into a study group.

Well, off to run some errands!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tuesday 6/5/07 - 7 DAY CHALLENGE

I am issuing a 7 Day Challenge to myself:

7 Days to:

Follow my exercise plan

Eat according to my LL plan

Record my calories correctly and accurately

I am also going to take some circumference measurements and will add them to this post after I take them. My eating has been my weak point lately (as per the norm.) and this needs to change. My marathon plan is really starting to kick into high gear and the miles will be adding up quickly. I need to make sure I am giving my body the good fuel it needs so that I stay healthy and injury free!
I took a break and did all my measurements. Now I must note that the skinfold I took is a 1 site test, which isn't going to be the most accurate and it is taken at the hip area which happens to be my worst spot. So, I believe it to be a bit high but the important thing is that it gives me an objective number to compare against. For better or for worst, here are the numbers:

Date: 6/5/07 Time taken: 8:30 am

Weight: 141.5
Body fat: 24%
Fat pounds: 34#
LBM: 107.5#
Upper chest: 35.75in
Chest: 36.75in
Rib cage: 33.5in
Waist: 35.25in
Hips: 37.5in
Thighs (avg): 20in
Calves (avg): 14in

Well there it is. I will stay with my challenge for 7 days and then take the measurements again - not necessarily the body fat values but definitely the circumferences and we'll see how I do.

Feel free to call me out if I don't post my progress. Speaking of progress, I had a good run this morning. I went 4.7 miles and ran at a pace of 8:05m/m. I still need to get some lifting in today and I will be taking the kids to the pool after lunch. Looks like another busy day!