Thursday, August 26

Three Things Thursday

1)  I took my Chickadee and a friend to the Carousel mall today to spend some of her hard-earned babysitting money.  One good thing about her wanting to shop alone with her buddy was that she didn't ask me to buy her one.single.thing!  Well, except lunch--that was only because I told her she was paying for her own if we didn't eat together ;)

2)  I skipped running for the 2nd day in row - partly because of time constraints (the mall was out of town) and partly because I am still nursing a stiff neck/back since my 5-miler.  Tomorrow I'm running regardless, so hopefully it will work itself out before then.

3)  "You have been entrusted with an incredible pain"...MaryBeth Chapman in Choosing to See.  I sat in Borders book store for about an hour and read several chapters of this book while Chickadee was shopping with her pal. I was embarrassed when I started laughing out loud and then had to hunker down when I started to bawl...definitely one of the best books I've read in a long, long time.  I will always think of my life hurts in a different light after reading about her experiences.  She's a lot like me.

Tuesday, August 24

Two Fer Tuesday

Although it's been a while since I've posted, believe me, life has continued to move in a forward direction!

1) My girlie and I volunteered on Saturday to work at the first annual ALS Walk to Defeat Lou Gehrig's disease.  It was awesome to have my daughter work alongside me and along with some other good friends.



2) I ran my first 5-miler since my half marathon back in April.  I have really slacked off this summer and confirmed to myself that need goals and a plan in order to stay consistent.  I did 3 5Ks this summer, but I didn't run much more than a 3-mile training run once a week until this week when I resumed a more regular schedule.  I was happy to cross a 5-miler off my list--it was a mental hurdle I had been avoiding.  I have a 10K scheduled for Oct 2.  This will be the first 10K race I've run--it's going to be a challenge because it's a very hilly course.

Sunday, April 11

Half Marathon Report



Well, the half marathon is over, and I am still alive and kicking! I owe so much gratitude to each of you who offered moral support and financially helped me reach my fundraising goal to support World Vision. I found out a few weeks before the race that I was in the "Orange Laces Club" and I received a pair of bright, neon orange shoe laces to wear in my shoes on race day - for raising over $800. In fact, my goal was to raise $1000 and I am happy to report that I exceeded that goal, raising over $1,060 for clean water wells to be dug in Africa.

John and I drove with our kids to New York City on Friday, April 2 and headed straight in to the heart of Manhattan to a running store located in the World Financial Plaza to pick up my race packet.
In the envelope was my race number to wear on my shirt on race day and my racing "chip" which is a tag that you loop through your shoe laces to clock your individual race time. I also received my orange laces to wear in my shoes, for reaching a fund raising milestone of $800. After picking up my packet, we headed over to our hotel, located near LaGuardia airport and Flushing Meadows Park, where the race was located.
The kids were able to enjoy some pool time with some friends, as I was racing along with three other girls from my town and two of them had brought their families along as well. By dinnertime, my aunt had driven up from Washington DC with a friend of hers to stay overnight and support me while I ran. We had a nice dinner out and then headed to the hotel for an early bedtime.
Unfortunately, besides pre-race jitters keeping me awake, we had some unruly hotel neighbors, and even a 3:00 a.m. call to the front desk didn't quiet them down. I got up around 7:00 a.m. without having more than a few winks of sleep. I had brought my own breakfast along, and this allowed me to get dressed and eat while John took the kids down for breakfast. Our hotel offered a shuttle service over to the race site, and we all caught the bus and were in Flushing Meadows Park by about 7:45 a.m. At 8:15 a.m., we met at the World Vision tent where we got race instructions, and a team picture. We also were able to walk together with other World Vision racers and our friends/family to the start line. It was such a blessing to have family and friends there to give encouragement and support since I have done all of my training alone.
My one goal for the race was to be able to complete the whole 13.1 miles without having to walk. My pace is not fast, but I figure if I'm moving faster than I can walk, then I am technically running Winking smile emoticon My "ideal" time goal was to finish in 2 hours 30 minutes, but I figured it would take me closer to 2 hours 45 minutes since the temperature was unseasonably hot and the race was several hours earlier in the morning than I usually do my long training runs.
I got off the starting line with a friend of mine who has been running for a few months longer than me, and stayed with her till about mile 7, even though we were going quite a bit faster than my last few training runs had been. It was great having someone to run alongside, but about mile 7, I reverted to my usual pace to make sure I would be able to finish the race running. Around mile 10, the heat and fatigue began to set in and fortunately, my sweet husband was at the sideline with a fresh bottle of water and lots of encouragement. I also began to review the long list of names of people who donated to the race in support of me, the many emails, text messages and phone calls that I had gotten to wish me luck and it was just the thing that really boosted me through the last few miles.
The course was set in the beautiful Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the US Open & the Mets stadium. The weather was sunny and breezy and there were a lot of areas that had tree shade. The real bonus that the course was virtually flat, except for a bridge or two that had a bit of a rise going up and slope going down. I was able to finish the race in 2 hours 32 minutes and I was very happy that I met my goal of not stopping to walk. I was also pleased that I was very close to the finishing time that I wished for myself!
I want to thank each of you again for the encouragement and support that helped make April 3rd a day that I won't forget.

Sunday, March 28

Countdown


It's almost here! One week from today, my half marathon will already be over. I began running in earnest in September, worked up to 3 miles, then 5 and then started a training schedule in January to get me ready for the half marathon.

So far, I have done long runs every weekend, my longest being 12 miles. I thought it was gonna kill me, but I survived, and I'm sure I will be fine on race day. The jitters have definitely set in and I am worrying about everything from whether I'll get a good night's sleep the night before to whether I'll have to stop and use the bathroom halfway through ;/ Most people probably don't need to fret the way I do, but I can conjure up a myriad of things to worry about.

When I chose this race, I decided to join the official fundraising effort for World Vision. There is no minimum requirement for an amount to raise, but I decided to try for $1000. I truly didn't think I would come close to raising $1000 but I am thrilled to report that I have raised $940 as of this morning! I even qualified for the Orange Laces Club - I will be given a pair of neon orange shoe laces to wear on race day if I want (anyone who raised $800 or more qualifies).

I am most excited about having my family on the sidelines to cheer me on. I have walked in 2 half marathons and run a 5K but I've never had anybody there to watch. I am so thankful to my hubby for picking up the slack in our household through these months when I've been preoccupied with training and/or exhausted, and I'm blessed that he thinks it is important to come along to see me accomplish this goal I have set for myself.

My one goal is not a time limit...I simply want to be able to run the whole course without needing to stop to walk. If my times from some of my longer runs are any indication, I won't be fast. But I just want to keep moving at a pace that is faster than I can walk!

I'll report back in when I'm finished!

PS--If you decide you'd like to help boost me to the last few dollars of my fundraising goal, click the link to my personal fund raising page and you can donate on line.

Sunday, February 14

Half Marathon training for weeks 4 & 5

What a busy two weeks! I started a new job as an administrative assistant, but have been working at my former job (in the Principal's office at a school) for the last two weeks as well! It has been a real challenge to fit my training runs in, and I've had to do quite a bit of creative scheduling to make it happen. I will be spending my last week at my school job and that will be ending on Feb. 19. After that, I will be back to a more manageable schedule with my new job offering quite a bit of flexibility and the opportunity to work at home some if I really need to.

Week 4 of my training brought a hill workout and a couple of short, speedy runs (short being 3 and 4 milers). I had to do the hill workout and one of the short runs on a treadmill because of frigid temperatures (blustery and in the teens). Week 4's long run was 8 miles, which was my longest run to date. I was pretty happy with how I felt at the end--tired, but not completely exhausted. At least I was able to function for the rest of the day--doing fun stuff like laundry & grocery shopping. In between my running, I also did strength training with a trainer on Tuesday. I enjoyed a gift certificate for a massage on Friday evening...that could really become a habit!

Week 5 was a bit lighter of a week. I had another hill workout which I did on the treadmill again due to very messy, snowy, wet weather we've had around here. I had a couple more 3 and 4 mile runs and my long run yesterday (Saturday 2/13) was back to 7 miles. I felt good during my run, but I was dreaming of another massage after--especially since I gave my hubby a gift certificate for a massage for Valentine's Day. I also strength trained on Thursday with my personal training small group.

My time has been so packed that I've copy & pasted the last couple of posts from my Team World Vision training page--perhaps I'll be able to offer a little wit & wisdom when things calm down a little. I keep standing amazed at myself that I've actually been pretty religious with my training schedule, haven't dropped out and am making steady progress. I've never done anything this challenging before and I have a tendency to "rethink my goals" when things become "not fun" anymore. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself, especially because I have not found myself to be a real lover of running. I do love the effects of it, and the sense of accomplishment that I'm getting, but I can't say that it would be in my top picks of riotously fun things to do. Out of 25 runs (in 5 weeks) I have only missed 3 3-mile runs. Two were due to kid-scheduling issues and the third was because of a pulled muscle in my back which I decided to rest before my long run the following day.

All in all, things are coming along, and I can actually see myself running a half marathon in 7 more weeks.

Sunday, January 31

Week 3 of half marathon training

This week brought very cold temperatures that caused a challenge for some of my runs. It is almost impossible for me to stay comfortably warm when it gets below 20 degrees. I did my first hill workout, which is meant to strengthen a different set of muscles and increase your speed. I did that on the treadmill on Monday because the weather was dangerously wet and we were in a flood state--I decided not to risk getting drenched by passing cars.

The rest of the week had runs ranging between 3 and 5 miles. My week culminated with a 6 mile "long run". I had to put that off on Saturday because the temperature hovered around 14 degrees, and the weatherman promised a balmy 20 degrees on Sunday!
I really don't like running on Sunday--it is a full day of church and family dinner and activities and I am usually too pooped out to take a long run. But I planned carefully, took some extra snacks to church to keep fueled up, and headed out the door while my sweet hubby fixed lunch for the kids.

In addition to my runs, I kickboxed for an hour on Monday and did hour-long strength training classes with my trainer on Tuesday and Thursday. I noticed on one of my 3-milers (that was particularly hilly) that my stamina was not what it usually is--I even stopped to walk one-tenth of a mile. I have not done that since I started running! It was a bad idea too, because it has been a real temptation on the rest of my runs this week--to just stop for a minute or two. I find that I have a very hard time re-starting though, and it's just better for me to grit my teeth through it when the going gets tough.

I am so very thankful for the support my husband and kids have given me in my training - never complaining about my Saturday revolving around getting that run in. They are a bunch of keepers!

Wednesday, January 27

Sweet Riot

I won! THESE!



From HER! I can't believe my luck, because I had never even heard of them and had no idea they were my dream come true!

Sweet Riots are itty bitty little nibs of chocolate covered cacao, one of those natural wonders full of antioxidants. Each teeny tiny nib has only 1-2 calories, but I tell ya, it was all I could do to keep myself from flipping the top and dumping the whole container in my mouth.

I tasted one several of each (just to thoroughly test each one) and so far, my favorite is the 50% chocolate. I will be routinely re-testing though, and I will be sure to post if I change my mind ;)

For now, all three packets are safely hidden in my glove compartment (or my large purse, as my husband likes to call it) for emergency purposes -- I do routinely have chocolate-related emergencies while driving hither and yon. And for safekeeping (from 13-year-old son who would NOT refrain from dumping an entire carton in his mouth--and who routinely sniffs out my top-secret hiding places for all things decadent).

Sunday, January 17

13.1 New York - April 3, 2010

Last September, after doing two half marathons (one in Nashville for my 40th birthday and one in Syracuse, NY) and walking half of one and all of the other, I decided to begin training to run an entire half marathon. I started in the middle of September using the Couch to 5K program since I've always been more of a kickboxer and strength-trainer rather than a runner. I finished the Couch to 5K program and ran my very first 5K, the Interlaken Steeple Chase in October.

I also began searching for half marathons and was thrilled to find that a favorite charity of mine, World Vision, was sponsoring the 13.1 New York race in April 2010. After some convincing of the hubby, who was determined to come watch wherever I chose but detests large cities (especially ones named "NYC") I registered for the inaugural event of 13.1 New York. Joining this race gives me an opportunity to raise support for World Vision and also is a chance to participate in the very first race that they hold in NYC. My particular race is giving assistance in Africa providing things like wells for clean water and food. If you want to support me in my race, simply click on the link above and you can make a donation right online. You can also follow my progress as I journal about my training each week.

Once I had completed my 5k training, I began to work up to 5 mile runs and officially started my half marathon training on Monday, January 10. It was exciting to complete my first long run (6 miles - the furthest I have ever run) wearing my super-cool, neon orange Team World Vision shirt. Lots of people reportedly spotted me running around town.

Especially in light of the tragic earthquake that occurred in Haiti this week, I am thrilled at the timeliness of my race and the huge presence that World Vision has in the assistance of disasters like this. If you have been thinking about ways that you can help, or organizations that you may want to support, visit World Vision and consider making a donation.

Thursday, January 14

10 Things

Suzy, over at Running on My Time (who, incidentally, I found through the Freihofer's Run for Women, which, I plan to participate in this June) tagged me to list 10 things that make me happy. I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought it was due time to share a bit.

1) My relationship with Jesus Christ.
2) The fact that I'm a mom (which I didn't think I wanted to be until I was).
3) Muh Main Man (who reaffirms that he's The One for me with every new day).
4) Coffee (Starbucks grande, non-fat, no-whip Cinnamon Dolce Latte, to be specific).
5) Running gear (like my new World Vision running shirt, in neon orange for the half marathon in NYC on April 3).
6) My 2-hour-a-day job at an elementary school office (it's like parenting on a mammoth scale sometimes!)
7) Having a goal and achieving it (like in November when I ran 5 miles for the first time)
8) The smell of clean sheets.
9) Volunteering at my kids school.
10) Summer (the hotter, the better).

I'm such a blog-slob lately that I don't even think 10 people read anymore--so no sense in tagging anybody else, but if you read and want to participate, it's a good exercise in reflecting on life's blessings!