Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspiring Runner: Ida Keeling - Running Strong

Check out this mother runner! At 95 years old, she is still running strong! I hope I can do the same, to run for as long as I can! Go, Ida, GO!!

This Is How You Spell....

Nice to know my boys are teaching their 3 year old brother how to spell words like this.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspiring Runner: Kristin Armstrong

"Although raising three children is the best adventure of all, this phase of my life is not marked by freedom—in terms of liberties & indulgences with time. But there is freedom in running. There is liberty & indulgence with time, even 30 precious minutes, if that's all the day affords. I am reminded...that adventure is out there, always whispering to me, calling me forward." Kristin Armstrong, Author & runner

Kristin Armstrong - wife of the famous Lance Armstrong - has become an athlete herself, a remarkable runner.  I read a little excerpt about her on Shanti Sosienski's Women Who Run and was struck by her strength as she dealt with a very public divorce from Lance, raising her children, and picking herself back up.  Again, I am inspired and moved by the healing powers of running.  Kristin found solace, comfort, and a new start in life through running.

I cannot wait to get my hands on her book, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run.  Has anyone read it yet?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When You Cook With Wine.... in cooking while drinking wine, things get a little nutty in the kitchen.  I was invited to a Cooking Class Party at a friend's house.  On our menu were these delectable dishes including Pasta e Fagioli, which my group was entrusted to make.  We soon discovered that when you combine this:

with these crazy yet beautiful gals, get something that looks like this.....

Not exactly the Pasta e Fagioli that we were suppose to make, but we had such a BLAST!  Will definitely do another cooking party again!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sockwa-Giveaway Contest

My husband, who's also a runner, has turned me to looking into barefoot running.  My Nike Free Run+ shoe purchase drew me to all sorts of barefoot running blogs and articles, and I must say, I am intrigued.  I like the part about barefoot running and the association to less injuries, if not. no more injuries.  As an ITBS and lower back pain sufferer, I am all for no injuries.

So I stumbled upon this giveaway at Barefoot Running Shoes for all you barefoot runners.  The Sockwa Giveaway Contest.  I have no personal experience with the shoes they are giving away, but if you are like me, dabbling on barefoot running and ready to move on from your transition shoes, check this out!  Worth a try!

Windy 3.5 miles today

Windy 3.5 miler today!  I literally was swept off my feet and struggled for balance.  While it was nice to feel the wind helping me up the hill, going back, it was like pushing a mountain.  I had to walk at one point because it was faster to walk than it was to run!

The run felt ok because of the wind.  Shoes feel great!  Getting used to landing on my midfoot instead of my heels.  ITB feeling a little better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Ran Like A Mother today!

After 2 not-so-great runs, I've been determined to just keep moving to get my fitness level back to where it used to be.  So today I had to get creative.  With my oldest home from school because of a virus and a scheduled training run, I was bumming out in the beginning until my bookend boys (first and third babies) asked to go outside to play.  As I watched them ride their bikes around and around the culdesac, I thought, "Hmmm....running laps?  Oh!  I can run laps!"  So I dashed intside to get my running shoes, measured the lap around the culdesac (1/10th of a mile!) and started running!  You'd think I had won Boston if you saw me with all smiles running around and around and around while watching the boys play.

After the 12th lap, it got really boring.  How in the world do track runners do it?  I didn't get dizzy, I just got bored.  In the end, it was better than no run at all.  I am excited at my discovery today, and proud to run like a mother!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Putting Cancer On the Run!

When I signed up for Ukrop's Monument Av 10K race in Richmond, I couldn't help but think about taking on the Massey Cancer Center fundraising challenge.  When my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, Massey was one of the centers we contacted about getting treatment for her.  Unfortunately, my mom was too weak to make the two hour car ride to Richmond so we decided it was best for her to seek treatment near home.

Massey had been very helpful and supportive up to that point.  I was impressed with how they formed a team of lung cancer specialists for my mom.  I knew that I couldn't run this race without making it more than just conquering my first 10K race.  I kept thinking of mom.  I had to help.

Within hours of sharing my fundraising challenge on Facebook, friends donated money and surpassed my first goal of $100-!  I was humbled and touched by my friends' generosity.  Each friend made a donation in honor or in memory of someone they knew who is/was touched by cancer.  Sadly, I came to know that three friends also lost a parent to lung cancer.

I hope to figure out a way to carry these names with me to the finish line.  Their fight will not be in vain!  If you wish to donate in memory or in honor of someone you know with cancer, you can do so on my fundraising page.  Thank you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

It IS love. His and hers Nike Free Run+s for Valentines

IN LOVE with our Nike Free Run+ shoes....and with each other of course...sigh.
Yes, we're cheesy dorks like that.  Instead of the usual Valentines dinner or chocolates or flowers, my husband and I got each other new pairs of running shoes.  So romantic, right?

I cannot say enough about my new shoes! (No, not the Nike Air Pegasus ones.  More below)  LOVE my Nike Free Run+!  I was vacillating between Saucony Pro-Grid Guides and New Balance 860s when my husband remarked, "wow, it's like you're wearing platform shoes."  For some reason, I didn't feel like I was on platforms until I stepped out of them and down an inch I went.  Wow.  "You should check out these Nike Free Run+ shoes."

First thought was "ooo, LOVE the black color. Very stylish, very me."  I pictured myself in a matching cute black running skirt..... But wait, are they comfortable for my running?  They look too stylish.

Lucky for me, my local DSW store has them in stock AND they were on sale, to boot!!!  Nothing like a good sale to make it that much sweeter.  But are they comfortable enough for running?  I had to focus on that a lot.

I was crushed when I found out they do not come in wide widths.  Darn wide feet again.  So I went up half a size and was lifted up again because they felt SO COMFORTABLE.  Like heavenly comfortable.  Not too high off the ground, but not too low, enough cushion for me but not too much.  I must have looked crazy running up and down the aisles of the store - it's one thing if it was a running store.  My gut definitely said "this is it."  Compared to the Nike Air Pegasus shoes, the Frees felt better.

Walking away with my Nike Free Run+ from DSW made me feel like I'm cheating on my running store.  The Saucony's they ordered for me STILL hasn't come in and I'm dying to run.  I couldn't wait and then of course, I meet another running shoe....

In the end, as a consumer, I got over it.  Running shoes are not cheap especially if you need to replace them every 6 months.  So thinking about that made me get over the guilt pretty quickly.  I can't wait to run in them soon!  YAY! 

p.s. The hubs just pointed this out to me.  In our shoes' pic above, the shadow of our heads together create a heart.  LOL!  Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day more than that, no?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Run Since.....January!!!!!

I took my Nike Air Pegasus for a run today!  My first run since January!  Very easy 3 miler to get started back up again.  It was a great morning, slightly warmer, and boy has my body forgotten to run for a bit there!  I rolled my ITB, stretched, and warmed up, and I couldn't believe my body was tiring at mile 1!  Yikes!  I slowed way down and ended up having to walk twice during my second mile.  But I managed to finish 3 miles despite my disappointment at starting all over again (it seems).

And the shoes?  They felt ok.  I didn't feel like my feet were in heaven, so just ok.  Not so sure about them.  My ITB was aching though, so that kinda dampened my first run.  Sigh.  Hopefully the next run will be better!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shopping for Running Shoes Take 2

After another frustrating call to my running store to find that my shoes STILL has not come in, I took matters into my own hands and went to another store.  DSW store of all places.  I must have tried on every wide width shoe for slightly pronators and neutral runners.  Unfortunately, most of the shoes in the store are medium widths. 

I almost gave up until I found a pair of black Nike Air Pegasus+ that looked like it had a wider toe box.  No wide widths at the store, so I picked up a half size larger and lo and behold they fit and they feeeeeeel good!  I ran around the store to test them out.  Crossing my fingers they work out.  Grateful for DSW's return policy.  Giddy over new running shoes! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

ITBS and Weak Hips

The outside of my right thigh is STILL bothering me.  STILL sore.  I roll it and it feels a little better, but then it comes back the next day.  I just want it to be better so I can start running again, now that I have a 10K race in my future.  There are days when I want to saw my leg off and throw it away.  Desperate, I limped over to Run Like A Mother: The Book's Facebook page and vented my frustrations.

Within minutes I got many comments from moms who feel my pain, offering many suggestions on how to iron out my IT band.  One mom in particular, offered this advice, "There is some evidence that weak hips contribute to itbs. Maybe you can feel like you are working towards your race if you do hip strengthening exercises while you wait."  If I could give her a big hug if I could.  I plunged into researching ITBS and weak hips and many sources concur - weak hips lead to ITBS.  I'm going to try these exercises out religiously if I can help it.

Thank you, RLAM community!  You saved me again!

Shoe Envy

The hubs got his shoes today.  So envious I got a little depressed.  Felt like the kid sister who had to watch her big sis open the birthday present that she wanted too.  I couldn't help feeling that way, but I was happy for the hubs too at the same time.  He was just as anxious to get back to running.

The hubs had been researching running shoes lately and was very entranced by barefoot running and minimalist running shoes.  I couldn't help but be intrigued as well, especially after I read the part about "less injuries" associated with minimalist shoes.  So the hubs took a chance and got Nike Free Run+ shoes and totally fell in love with them.  "You should get these shoes too," he said.

The shoes look cool - very stylish black, but I was so hung up over traditional running shoes and plus, I'm a slight pronator and supinator on my right (???) and my left is neutral.  I SHOULD get slight stability shoes for my condition.  The hubs was doubtful.  So this evening, he took some time to analyze my old pair of shoes and read stuff online about shoes.

"I think you are still a neutral shoe person, not a stability shoe person.  The wearing on the side of your shoes is due to the fact that you wore them down to death.  You're a supinator.  Neutral shoes."  We looked at my options online, read reviews, and it just got me more annoyed than ever.  So many options.  So dizzy.  Who knew running shoe shopping could be so difficult and frustrating?

I just want shoes!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Run Like A Mother: The Book

A friend loaned me her book copy of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity last year.  I enjoyed it so much I HAD to have my own copy.  Between potty training my 3 year old, nursing my ITBS, and my daily busy-ness as a stay-at-home mom, I finished the book feeling empowered, informed, and proud to be a mother runner.

The book is FUN-NY - highly entertaining, sharing lots of moms' hilarious anecdotes about balancing motherhood and running.  The authors, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, offer honest, realistic advice on training techniques, selecting the right running shoes, running gear, and more.  They know and understand moms who want to run, love to run, and moms (like me) who NEED to run.  I highly recommend this book to all moms, especially if you don't think you can squeeze running into your busy schedule.  The book leaves you inspired to lace up your shoes and go out for a run.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Signed up for my first 10K!

Signed up for my first 10K race today!!!!  And I don't even have running shoes yet!  What is that saying - putting the cart before the horse?

Well, the inactivity over here is killing me.  I HAD to sign up to get motivated.  Looking at the calendar, I should have started my training yesterday.  Where are those darn running shoes.  It's been weeks.  I'm antsy.  I want my shoes! (whine whine).

 The race I signed up for is the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond.  It's on April 2.  I found a great training plan for it, and I can't wait to get started.

Before today, I've only signed up for 5K races and never moved up to pile more miles.  I think I thought I had to run a fast 5K before moving up to a 10K.  I made up that rule for myself, I guess, thinking I'm not worthy of a 10K.  Weird, huh?  I didn't start running more than a 5K until last October.  I was training for the Race for Breath 5K in Virginia Beach, running 3 miles two times a week and doing fartleks once a week.  My husband thought I should start doing longer runs on the weekend, past 3 miles.

So one weekend, I thought, ok, I'll try it.  Once I settled into a nice easy pace, I surprised myself when I found out I've run 4 miles!  Wow, this is easy!  What a rush!

Of course I got way too excited and (cringe) increased my mileage by 1 mile every weekend.  A big no-no for a newbie like me because we know where that puts you - on the injured list, which sadly, I ended up in after my triumphant 7 miler on Jan 2, 2011. 

So now I know better and I'm approaching this 10K race as a novice, slowly piling the miles wisely because I do not want this ITBS to get worse or get a whole new other mess of injuries.

While I'm basking in this big jump into 10K races, I'm passing the time (until I get my shoes) by reading everything about running.  Trying to psyche myself up and get pumped up for my next adventure.  Yeah!
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