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!