Monday, January 30, 2012

Motivational Mondays

I'm a day behind on this, but that's what happens when the kids don't have school on Mondays.  I am really liking this idea of "Motivational Mondays" to carry me through the week.  It's so easy (at least for me) to fall into a rut during training.  So every Monday, I'm going to post people, photos and links I find inspiring and motivating!


2)  I ran Ragnar Relay Washington DC last year (2011) and didn't learn about Holly Mitchell's story until after the race.  Holly's husband died the year before (2010) while he was running his first Ragnar leg.  Holly's return to the same race where she lost her husband is a remarkable story of strength and determination to complete an emotional race to honor her husband.

 ""It's impossible" said pride. "It's risky" said experience. "It's pointless" said reason. "Give it a try" whispered the heart."  If you haven't "liked" I <3 to Run on Facebook, you must!  They post the most inspiring and motivating photos there.  This is just one of them.

4)  Last but not least, Kerrie from Mom Vs. Marathon!  Kerrie's blog was the first blog I started following a year ago.  She inspired me to start blogging then, when I got the running bug.  I wasn't blogging regularly last year, but her FB and blog posts about her training, her first Hood to Coast Relay Race experience and her first full marathon experience brought me back to the blogging world and into this wonderful community of blogging runners.  If you're not already following Kerrie, you have to!  She keeps everything about running real and amusing, even the parts about getting injured.  Thank you, Kerrie!  She tagged me to do the 11 Random Things, so that will be up sometime tomorrow!

Hope everyone had a great Monday!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When A Turtle Runs Among The Hares

It felt like race day morning today.  Eight miles with 2 mother runner friends who have more running experience than me AND who are much faster than me.  Four marathons between them, and I let them run with me.  They ran 8 miles with me for fun.  Neither girl was training for a race, just me.  I was nervous!  Nervous and self-conscious about my turtle pace, about slowing them down.

Well, I left my insecurities at home and met with the girls at 8am because darn it, I'm getting my 8 miles in today.  I wish I took a pic of the three of us because I stood out like a sore thumb!  My friends looked more like runners with their running tights and cold weather running gear, and there I was with my running skirt over COTTON tights.  Yes, you read that right...COTTON non-running tights.  I think I looked more like someone who rolled out of bed in her jammie jams than someone who's going to run 8 miles.

I told them how far I had to go, and C decided on the course, a course I'm familiar with and have done a couple times before.  I decided I wasn't going to look at my Garmin and just follow the girls.  I didn't want to know my pace...sure enough after uploading my run on Garmin Connect later on, I saw that we were doing 8:30-10:30 min. miles and knowing that would've just stressed me out.  My long run comfortable pace is 11 min/mile.  It was nice to get a little big push from them, but it was also nice of them to slow down for me especially around the hilly parts.
Omg the hills around here are hard to avoid.  I used up every ounce of mental toughness in me to run up those hills with the girls.  C and T kept chatting away while I huffed and puffed behind them.  How can they do that?   I told myself I'm going to hang on.  On the long gradual hills, I had to focus on the backs of their shoes to keep myself from stopping and  crumbling into a heap.  On the steeper hills, I hung on every word exchanged between them, feeling like those words formed the rope that pulled me forward.  I knew we were going faster than my long run pace...shoots I felt it.
We stopped at Mile 4.30 to GU and drink, and I was so freakin' relieved.  I sucked on Vanilla flavored GU with caffeine which gave me enough of a kick for the next 2 miles until we hit another freakin' hill, which slowed me down again.  Why am I doing this?  When is it going to stop?  How can I run a full marathon when I can't even run 8 miles without feeling like crap!?!  C and T kept me going.  I could not have made it all the way without them.  I was technically still recovering from being sick, so I let myself go slow when my body needed to.
And why is that last mile always the longest?  

Obviously, I survived!  YAY!  I usually run by myself, so running with friends at THAT pace (averaged 10:30 min/mile) was outside of my comfort zone, and wow am I glad I did it!  I really enjoyed sharing the miles.  I'm happy I got to run with my faster friends, and happy that they want me to run with them again!  So I guess I wasn't THAT slow?  Or maybe paces don't matter so much when you run with friends because there is nothing like having each other out there to pull you through the rough parts or to share stories best told over 8 miles.

Thank you, C and T!  Thank you!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nervous About Tomorrow's Run

 So I'm a wee bit nervous about my 8 mile long run tomorrow.  Not so much about getting wiped out like what happened to me last Tuesday mid-run, but nervous because I am running with 2 friends whom I feel are way faster than me.

Don't get me wrong.  Running with friends IS fun, but for someone like me who is used to running alone and who is slow, it is nerve-wracking!  I'm feeling a little self-conscious!  Why am I feeling this way?

I think it's because I know I will be slower than normal since I am still recovering from being sick.  And maybe deep down I want them to like me and i want them to invite me to future runs so that they can push me to do my best, to go faster!  But i'm afraid that i'd be too slow for them, that i would hold them back.  Gosh I sound like I'm in junior high!   Am I really THAT insecure?

Has anyone much faster than you joined you for a run or do you stick with running partners with the same pace as yours?


Sh!t Runners and Ultra-runners Say - My Faves

We know there would be a deluge of Sh!t __ Say.  Naturally, I was drawn to these versions.  I like the Ultra-runners one the best.


Friday, January 27, 2012

When You're Sick And Can't Run, You Find Your Feet...

Since I'm sick and can't run or work out, all of a sudden I have all this extra time in my hands!  I'm trying to be a good girl by taking THREE full rest days, so I can do my long run (8-miler) this weekend.  I've got this bug that reduced me to a shivering, coughing, "hit-by-a-truck" mess on the couch.  I hate being sick.  Everything takes a back seat - the house, the laundry, and it's like survival mode over here, just feed and care for the kids, don't worry about anything else, just let the house explode.

Still haven't shaken the bug off of me completely, but I am feeling better. We're having this unusually warm spell today, 60-some degrees outside!  I want to run so badly!  But like I said, I'm trying to be good, trying to be good.  So instead of a run, I treated myself to some breakfast at Panera (after dropping off Little Man at preschool) - whole grain bread with a slice of ham and eggs!  YUM!  I'm easy to please.  For one hour I let myself "be where my feet are" and it was awesome - much needed "me" time that doesn't involve running.

I "met" Maggie Bahnson from my couch through Another Mother Runner's "Follow That Mother" post which led me to Maggie's own blog, A Slice of Wife, which brought me to her wonderful post about being where your feet are.  In my own frenetic days, I admit I am somewhere else but here most of the time.  Sometimes, while I'm cooking, I'm thinking about the laundry that needs to be done.  While playing with Little Man, I think about what to cook for dinner.  Maggie's post was my much needed reminder to be in the present and just relish whatever it is I'm doing.  It's something I am constantly trying to be better at.

So instead of thinking about what I'd rather be doing (running) or what I needed to do (groceries), I watched people in Panera.  I realized there were lots of moms like me - waiting for preschool to end, taking a "me" break, or working - in groups, alone - some on laptops or on their cell phones.  There's the solo Dad with his daughter, struggling to keep her from screaming her head off again.  Most interesting is this lady whom, I swear, took 30 pics of herself on her cell phone!  Ok!  Yeah, so this is what it's like when you don't run while your preschooler is in school - you get to hang out at Panera, chill, and take pics of yourself!

I realized then that I needed more of that kind of time.  I feel like I'm constantly rushing going from one thing to the next.  I need to just chill, "be where my feet are," like now.  Thanks so much, Maggie, for helping me find my feet.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday: What Scares Me

Source. This cartoon snake is ok. Looks like a gummy worm.
Freaked out over the other wpclipart photos of actual snakes
While snakes are on top this list, I have no desire to overcome it any time soon, unless overcoming that fear will promise me magic powers or all the money in the world....

Umm...scratch that.  No amount of money or supernatural powers will make me want to get close to one.  No. Not a chance.  But here are scary things to me that I am think sure I can face, thanks to supportive friends who will (promised to!) join me.

1)  Swim.  Swim classes.  Yup, I can't swim.  Or rather, I used to swim, The Hubs taught me how to swim a little, but throw me in a pool right now and I'll be screaming for a lifeguard.  Yes, you don't leave your kids alone with someone like me at the pool.  It's scary, isn't it?  So I'm taking the plunge, literally, and signing up for swim classes in the spring with a friend who doesn't know how to swim either.  I was a little intimidated by it - didn't want to be surrounded by 14 year olds, but thanks to my friend, I won't be the only one in the midst of 14 year olds.  Yup, I NEED to do this.

I'm motivated by thoughts of swimming with my boys and The Hubs this summer instead of just standing at the shallow end looking like a dork.  Oh and the cross training!  Yeah!

2)  My First Sprint Triathlon.  The running part is obviously easy for me, and once I conquer Fear #1, I'm sure this one won't be so bad, but I don't trust myself on a bike.  I'm afraid I'd lose control and literally ride towards cars or fall off the bike.  I have issues about stopping too.  I know, right?  How old am I?  Six?  I don't know what it is.  I just don't bike often and obviously need more practice.

When I was injured last year, I dusted off my bike for a short ride with the boys and ended up almost crashing into them because I lost control.  Pathetic huh?  

Practice.  I just need practice, right?  I need to get on the bike more.  Just give me an empty parking lot.  I'll be ok.  Yes, a sprint tri- would be awesome to try.  Two friends promised me they'd join me on my first tri- race.  Eventual goal:  Irongirl!  

3)  Marathon.  Full Marathon.  I think I'm ready for it this year in the fall.  I wanted a new running goal.  I'm scared about the long runs, the time commitment...running 26.2 miles in one day.  There were so many signs for me lately, though, pointing to 26.2 miles.  Signs that motivated me to just say, yes, I'm going to do it.  More on that later, but I am excited.  I'm not 100% sure yet which full to do, but somewhere close to Washington DC, Virginia, definitely.  Thinking of Marine Corps Marathon.  ACK!!!!  

When I feel the fear, the doubt, I think about this quote, "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived" from the movie, Strictly Ballroom.  So true!

Anyone doing MCM this year or in the past?  What was your first full marathon race or triathlon?  Would you recommend it to a first timer?  Are you training for your first full too?  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not so great feeling

 Going to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what's wrong.  Something during my 4.5 miler today, made me stop at Mile 2.  Pounding in my glands, ears...?  Extreme fatigue.  Ended up jogging/walking the rest.  Hopefully it's as simple as I might be coming down with something.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Inspiration

Last but not least, these two women below will make you think twice before you say, "I can't."  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3 Things Thursday - First 3 Races of 2012

One way to get out of the winter doldrums is to sign up for races!  I'm excited about my first 3 in so many different ways.  

Here are my first 3 races of 2012.

1.  Virginia Is For Lovers 14K, Virginia Beach, VA - February 11, 2012.  I'm REALLY REALLY excited about this one because I get to run it with The Hubs.  As in crossing the finish line together as a couple, at MY pace...!!!!  The Hubs and I  have run the same races before, but this will be the first time that we will run side by side and finish together.  He is much faster than me.  His half marathon PR is 1:48:something, while mine is 2:24:something, so he always finishes first. 

So while this race fits in well with my RnR half marathon training, it will be a "fun run" for The Hubs.  Before signing up, I kept asking him, "are you sure, are you sure?"  We looked at maybe having him finish the race at his pace and then back-tracking to meet up with me and then running the rest of my race at my pace.  When we compared our half marathon time splits, we discovered that by the time he finishes 14K, I would only be at.....the 10K mark, if I'm lucky...realistically, probably somewhere between Mile 5 and 6.  (WOW, I'm slow).

But The Hubs said, "Nah, forget it.  I want to run with you."  With you.  With me.  Sniff.  O.M.G. He loves me.  Sniff.

2.  Carefirst Rock 'N' Roll USA Half Marathon, Washington DC - March 17, 2012.  I almost forgot I signed up for this race until I went to my March 2012 calendar page when signing up for another race.  I signed up for this one last spring/summer.  I've always wanted to run a RnR race and with The Hubs claiming the RnR race in Virginia Beach later this year, I grabbed this one.  Mine!  Mine, Mine!

I'm both excited AND nervous about this one. I'm excited because I'll be running with some of my Ragnar Relay DC 2011 team mates.  We were so pooped at the Ragnar finish line that we didn't get to celebrate afterwards.  The celebratory beer made us more sleepy than triumphant.  So this race will make up for that.  Two team mates will be running the full and 3 of us are running the half.  

I'm nervous because it's an inaugural race, and after all the scary stories coming out of the last RnR Las Vegas race, and the "epic-fail" reports on the inaugural Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race in DC, I am hoping that this inaugural RnR race will meet everyone's realistic expectations.  (Crossing fingers and staying positive).

3.  Scope it Out 5K, Washington DC - March 25, 2012.  I'm running this race with my girlfriends!  I've been helping them train for this race, their first 5K race, and I'm so excited for them!  Most of my friends are new to running, some are struggling to get passed running non-stop for 6 minutes, and some are trying to get back to running after a very long break.  I'm looking forward to watching each of them cross that finish line and feeling the way I felt when I crossed that same finish line 3 years ago - with smiles, tears, and that wonderful feeling of "OMG, I did it!  I really did it!"

Yes, it's exciting, I get to re-live MY first 5K race, this exact same one!  Three years ago at my first 5K, my friend, Margaret, stayed with me the entire race while I struggled to keep running.  If it wasn't for her, I would not have finished that race running the whole way.  Yes, it was THAT hard for me.  

So this race is going to be all about my friends.  Here's to hoping this won't be their last race!

Your turn.  What are your first 3 races of this new year?  Please share!  Oh and anyone else running my first 3 races?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Porta-Potty Punch!

I saw way too many of these at my Ragnar DC 2011 relay race last year

Instead of calling out, "punch buggy," my boys call out, "port-o-potty punch!"  Ya think the hubs and I drag our kids to too many races, or what?  ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moms On The Run! - My Training Group

From my first 10K race last year
This morning was Day 1 of our "Moms On The Run" running group! 

What started out as two friends asking me separately if I could teach them how to run, ended up with me, organizing a running group of tough moms who want to run their first 5K race in the spring!  I'm so excited for them and very nostalgic about my first 5K training, but also nervous and anxious about my abilities to help guide them through the Couch to 5K training plan without hurting or breaking them - or worst, turning them away from running for good.  Yikes!  I don't know everything about running (aside from my little bit of experience), I'm not a fast runner, still feeling a little newbie-ish, but I have run a couple of 5K races before, so I hope that is good enough??!!  I only hope that in the end, they will love running as much as I do!

 I was so sure we would end up running in the cold, cold rain, but Little Man (my 4 y.o.) sang, "Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, won't you please shine down on me..." and lo and behold, the rain stopped (must remember that for my next rainy run).  Didn't want my friends to start off feeling discouraged already on their first day of training.

Overall it went well, I got a nice warm up before my 4.5 Miler, and got motivated by my friends' enthusiasm.

Do you remember your first 5K race?  What advice/tips would you give first time runners training for her first race?

Have you coached first time runners before?  Any advice that you can give me?  Thanks in advance! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Inspirations - The 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials and Derek Redmond Chasing The Blahs
Up until this past weekend, I was feeling a little unmotivated and uninspired.  2011 was such a huge running year for me (1st Ragnar Relay Race, 5k and 10k PRs, 1st half marathon race).  I swear, I think I got runner's high every time I ran when I trained for those races, and it spilled over to every aspect of my life - I felt like a better mom, better wife, a better friend and I finally hit my goal weight!  If I could bottle up that runner's high, I would.  I'm sure you all know what I mean.

Then my enthusiasm came crashing after my first half in November, which, I've heard and read, was normal and expected as my running season came to an end.  I was missing following a training plan and the excitement of looking forward to a race.  The crazy holiday prep slowly replaced my runs, and thus found myself in a huge rut, absent from running and guilty from the holiday indulgences.
I'm signed up to run my first Rock N Roll race in DC, the half in March, but my last training runs have been so....blah.  Could it be because I've already done the distance?  Or is it the cold weather? It's like the PMS that won't go away.  Blah.
Blaming it on my blahs, I almost forgot about the Olympic Marathon Trials.  Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, who came THIS close to spoiling it for me in the morning, I claimed the upstairs TV for the 3pm recorded broadcast on NBC.  No football game or Wii game or recorded Cat in the Hat TV show.  It's mom's turn in front of the TV.  If I was as smart as Run With Jess, I would've done some cross training while watching the trials, but I was so...blah (You go, Jess! ;) )

For someone like me who never watches TV, who knew that TV would pick me up and inspire me?

Inspiration #1:  The Men and Women at The 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.  Yes, all of them.  Watching all the men and women Olympic hopefuls at the starting line made my heart swell.  Gosh, even for someone who qualified but knowingly had no chance against the elites toe'd up at the start, their dreams ahead of them....  I felt so proud of them all!
Deep down, I had my hopes on Kara and Deena, who both just had babies and are getting back to racing again.  I wanted them to prove that they can make a huge comeback, that they are more badass than ever as mother runners.  I was in awe of Desiree Davila who made 26.2 miles look like a fun run.  She was so calm and cool the entire time.  LOVE her running form.  Kara, to me, has this way of looking both vulnerable and strong at the same time.  I identify with her a lot - emotions so close to the surface.  She is so real to me.  LOVE her.  Shalane's mantra, "cold execution," matched her face the entire race.  Once in a while, though, a grimace would pass over her face.  It was only after she crossed the finish line, taking first place, did I notice the chafing under Shalane's arms.  Ouch!  Oh and who doesn't grimace after running for that long?

Other memorable moments for me:  seeing the other women qualifiers cheering for the lead men as the men lapped them; Meb's victory lap;  the top 3 women crying, huddled under our flag, telling each other, "I'm so proud of you!"  It was painful to watch the fourth place runners - Dathan Ritzenhein and Amy Hastings - to be SO close.  

Inspiration #2:  My second inspiration came Sunday morning:  Derek Redmond back in the 1992 Olympic Games (not crazy about the song, but the words totally made up for it).

I just learned that Derek's dad is going to carry the Olympic torch at the 2012 London Olympic Games!  How cool is that?

Start of a new week.  I hope to face this new week with renewed energy and hope.  I'm thinking I might just need to change things up a bit, like run with friends more, or find new routes to run, to keep things fresh.  I was so inspired by these athletes to keep doing what I am doing.  To not give up.  To work my way back up again, and that it's ok to falter, just don't give up.  I was reminded of why I run - that positive and uplifting community of runners, that scary, exhilarating moment at the start line, and the triumphant feeling at the finish, no matter how fast or slow, injured or not.  

"If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hope they inspired you as much as they inspired me.  What inspired you lately?  Enjoy your MLK, Jr. holiday.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Studio Friday Part 2 and Olympic Marathon Trials

Not too happy with the way the runner turned out.  I wouldn't hard line her if I had to do this over again.

I didn't get to run through sunflowers this morning, but I did enjoy feeling that warm sun on my face.  It felt like 22 deg, but that warm sun was sure nice.  Did a 5K on a hilly route finishing at 32:09.  Sigh.  Feeling so out of shape, but hopeful I will get back to where I was pre-holidays in time for my half.

Speaking of running, who is following the live coverage of the Olympic Marathon Trials this morning?  Are you waiting until 3pm today to watch it on NBC? 

P.S.  I'm waiting until 3pm and trying to avoid reading the live coverage/updates on FB and Twitter.  It's so hard!  So, no spoilers, please!  Thanks!  :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Studio Friday - Running Through Sunflowers

"Running Through Sunflowers" - work in progress!

Like my ambitious 2012 Running Streak, down went my 2012 Drawing Streak.  Time to get realistic with my time and energy and expectations.  So here's my next attempt at bringing art into my life:  Studio Friday.  Every Friday, I will post things from my digital and actual sketchbooks

It's hard for me to escape running all together, so here is my latest drawing.  It's a work in progress.  I am growing to LOVE digital drawing and painting.  Will probably finish this tonight.  So excited to find an easy medium to work with and to be able to share it right away without waiting for the sun to rise.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

3 Things Thursday - These Are Sort Of Like Running....

Running has taught me so much about living in the moment - in the mile I am in - and not get too caught up in all the miles I have left ahead of me.  When I start to think about the 8 miles I have left in my 10-miler, or even the last mile in any of my runs, I go on freak out mode.  I start to feel rushed, then stressed.  All those doubts in my head start crawling, the run starts to overwhelm me, and I can't get my running groove on.  So I focus on the mile I am currently in, soak up what's around me, go with feel, and fall into the rhythm of my breathing.  And try to relax.

Thanks to running, I've learned to tackle things in my day that...well, that I really don't feel like doing!

1)  Like doing the tower of dishes in my sink.....

2)  ....while trying to chip away at this never-ending mountain of laundry.....

3)  ....and juggling the day's must-do tasks.....

So just like running, I try to take it one dirty dish at a time, one laundry load at a time, and one task/crisis at a time.  Relax.  Chill.  Be patient with myself.  It will all get done somehow.  One at a time.

(I have no idea why my blog looks this way - the right hand column should be down on the bottom.  Grrr..Time to go to Wordpress?)

(UPDATE!  YAY!  I got my blog all fixed - turns out my images were too big, it pushed my sidebar items to the bottom of my blog!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (ok, not really)

This photo was taken in the wee hours of the morning of our Heritage Hunt 5k race at 6:30 am.  The race was delayed because the company who was suppose to supply the water bottles never showed up!  The race staff scrambled to buy every single water bottle from surrounding grocery stores and 7-Elevens.  The hubs and I waited by warming up around the track.  It was still so dark out, but the track was ablaze, like ridiculously bright.

Despite the delay, it was an awesome race!  We both got a PR, great swag, and feasted on the best post-race food ever....pulled pork sandwiches, Mac n cheese, and cookies!  We had the best time and the hubs got first place in his age group!  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

3 Things Thursday: Defeated, Redeemed & Inspired

What a roller coaster of a Thursday it has been for me!

1.  Deafeated.  Feeling very pathetic, but after just 3 days of my Streak, it all ended yesterday due to so many things beyond my control - the hubs coming home later than usual, ridiculously cold temps outside, total meltdown from the youngest 2 boys, and a homework war with the oldest.  By the time I got everyone and everything fed, cleaned, bathed, and off to bed, it was already 10pm and I was exhausted.

 It pains me when I can't follow through what I set out to do.  Tet deep down, the adult in me knew that what I set out to do (to run at least 1 mile a day in January) wasn't very realistic.  Swept by the new promise of a new year, I made very ambitious goals without thinking through the logistics, since I have to work my running goals around my priorities (the hubs, the boys, the house).  So I'm going to put a bookmark on the streaking challenge and come back to it later this year, when the days are longer, and I'm ok with that.

2.  Redeemed.  It must have been from all the pasta I feasted on last night.  Or the 14 gummy bears I ate pre-run.  Or the (ahem) 4 pounds (YIKES!) I gained over the holidays (yeah that's it).  Or because I ended my Streak and got to rest yesterday.  Or maybe it was born out of the frustration for not being able to complete my Streak, but this morning, I ran 5.

Yes, 5 miles, and it felt SO GOOD!  I think I am finally getting my running mojo back!  I went by feel and started out slow, afraid I'd injure myself.  Running 5 totally surprised me since I felt so done at the end of my 3.5 mile run just 2 days ago.  I'm so relieved.  I'm back on track.  I'm so happy to be following a training plan again. :)

3.  Inspired.  Finally, after basking in my personal triumph from this morning, I discovered this little video, and it made me smile and all warm & fuzzy on the inside.  What a wonderful thing to do on your birthday!  It inspired me to do something similar on my 40th (ACK!) birthday later this year - to give back, to be grateful, to bring smiles. So please check out what Lucas did on his 30th birthday below:

'Til I Collapse

I've seen this so many times, and it's still painful to watch.  I have so much respect for these Ironman athletes for their unsinkable determination and drive to finish.  As a runner, you cannot just watch and not get goosebumps, tear up, and feel motivated.  Kinda shuts me up whenever I feel like stopping in the middle of my 5 mile run.  I need to add this song to my playlist.

"‎'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength and just pull that sh*t out of you and get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse." -  Eminem

Do you have a song on your playlist that gets you through those excruciating last miles?  Please share!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Running Streak: Day 4 - Is It The End, Already?

I'm staring out at our street and wondering if I could get in just 1 mile in today for my Streak.  The hubs is not home yet, it's almost 5pm and it's getting dark out.  This is when a "dreadmill" is looking really really really good right now.

I FINALLY got back to my exercise class this morning (oh, am I going to be sore tomorrow!) after 1 whole month of not going.  I had planned on sneaking off to the side to run my 1 mile around the perimeter of the gym, but I chickened out, thinking it would be rude to do my own thing all of a sudden in front of everybody.  This is not your ordinary gym with equipment like a dreadmill (oh, I wish!).  It's really just an indoor basketball court.  

I thought about parking my minivan in my driveway, windows cracked a little, engine on, to keep Dozer, my 4 y.o., warm, strapped in his carseat and plugged in front of the car TV screen, watching Tom & Jerry for the 146th time - while I sneak in my 1 mile, running 10 laps around my culdesac.  

But I didn't.

Go sign up for a gym membership already, you would say, right?  I know.  I should.  I'm so cheap.  I don't even like running on the dreadmill, and I have 2 awesome FREE exercise classes that I go to 2x out of the week where I can bring Dozer to play with the other moms' kids!  Exercise class and playdate all in one and free.  How can I say no to that?  

I think this means I NEED to buy a dreadmill for days like today (AHEM - wonder if the hubs is reading this).  Not that I would be streaking all year (though I have thought of it), but it makes sense.  It would be a great investment.  No excuses.

Hmm....Darn.  Should have asked Santa for a dreadmill.

Do you have a dreadmill treadmill?  Which one would you recommend?    

2012 Drawing Streak: Stuck.

Staring at my 9 y.o. as he did homework last night.  He is stuck and at a loss for words to summarize what he just read.

Reminded me of a time when writing a book report felt like giving birth.

This drawing does not look like my 9 y.o. exactly.  I got carried away with the folds in his shirt.  Like my running, I am slowly warming up to getting back into drawing.  It's not perfect, it's not the best, but it is done.

I'm a day behind posting my drawings since I do them at night and can't take a decent photo of them.  Still figuring out how to photograph my drawings.  This one was captured using my phone's retro camera app.  I have no idea why the right half of it is white.  Argh.

(Drawn in pen)

Wordless Wednesday - Winter's First Tease

More Wordless Wednesday over HERE

If the whole world could be at the starting line...

I have yet to experience a marathon, so I can only imagine the feeling, but I really really really like this quote.

"If the whole world could be at the starting line of a marathon and experience the feelings you go through, there would be world peace."  Walter Brown.

2012 Running Streak: Day 3 - Wind-Swept

What a blustery day!  The air temp was just 30 deg. but with the wind it felt like 18deg.!  When it's this cold I usually obsess the night before what i should wear.  The sun was out so I layered with a long sleeve tech tee, a pullover fleece on top of that, and finally my Salomon Fast Wing Hoody II Jacket, (no worries, this is NOT an affiliate link) one of the best running gear purchases I've made and one of my favorites!  It's a very light weight jacket that's wind AND water resistant.  It kept me comfortable and warm in my run this morning!  I highly recommend it!  

After my first two not-so-great runs of the new year, I was relieved to finally be able to run past 2 miles this morning (3.5 miles) without huffing and puffing and feeling like crap.  My pace was slower, but it helped me ease into my run and get into a rhythm.  I knew I was going too fast yesterday and Sunday!  

Well, I'm happy and mostly relieved that I'm coming around because today's run starts off my half marathon training for The Carefirst Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon in mid-March!  Yeah!  

Anyone else running this race too?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Drawing Streak: Day 2 - Making Faces

Feeling a little amateurish by not scanning my drawing, so I need to figure out the best way to take better crisper pics of my drawings.  If you have any tips you'd like to share, please email me!  (whysheruns at gmail dot com).  :). Thank you!

This is a blind contour drawing of me and my 3 boys.  :P. lovely, isn't it?!  Haha, you can't even tell which one is me!  It was drawn with my eye on the photo of me and my boys the whole time, without looking at my paper and without lifting my pen, hence the technique's name, blind contour drawing.  I love this technique - it's quick, it's not suppose to look "right" and it's fun to see the end drawing.  I added the shading and the frame in the end to ground the drawing.

I'd like to do more of these.  I think this one took me just 15 minutes.  Perfect for my crazy schedule!

she believed she could, so she did

Thanks to Another Mother Runner's post, I discovered mbartstudios on Etsy and fell in love with her shop, her ceramics, the stamped words, the stamped quotes.  She literally gave me my mantra for the year, "she believed she could, so she did." LOVE it.

2012 Running Streak: Day 2, Painful 1-Miler

It's my off running day so I just did 1 mile.  The streak requires at least 1 mile a day.  I have 3.5 miles on my training calendar for tomorrow and I don't want to overdo it.  Besides, that 1 mile was the same as yesterday.  Painful and I can't believe I was happy to be done.  How could I go from running 5 miles a day easily 2 weeks ago to struggling to do just 1 today?
Anyone struggling or struggled to get back to running after taking 2 or more weeks off?  What did you do, how long did it take you to get your running mojo back?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Drawing Streak: #1 To My Left

Aside from running, I like to draw.  I might be a wee bit ambitious here by doing my own drawing streak as well, but like the running streak, I'm going to try and do my best.  I'm testing out this new Sketchook app I discovered.  I haven't figured out how to erase yet, lol, but I like the deliberate-ness and permanence of each stroke like there's no turning back, haha!  Either that or I'm just making a lousy excuse for a not-so-great looking sketch, lol.  Just like my first 2 miles of the year, my first sketch is a start.

2012 Running Streak: Day One

I Heart To Run on Facebook challenged its subscribers to do a running streak for 2012.  I'm all for doing anything to keep running through the winter, so I jumped on the bandwagon and forced myself to run today.

I only managed to squeak in 2 miles this morning and O.M.G.  After not running for almost 2 1/2 weeks, it did not feel good.  I struggled.  Can't believe I lost my running mojo in just 2 weeks.  This is going to be "fun" getting back to running....with The Rock N Roll National Half in 2 1/2 months and already behind my training schedule......Yeah.  Fun.  :-/. Darn those cookies!

Anyone else participating in their streak or other challenges?  Please share!

(S)He's Expecting?! What?!

We spend Birthday days not just having cake and spaghetti (for long life), but also looking at baby pictures, reminiscing about when they were babies, toddlers, and when I was pregnant with them.  While recalling being pregnant with Tank, our #2 boy, Dozer, our #3 boy, wondered, "Where was me, Mommy, where was me?  Inside Daddy's tummy?!!"  LOL!
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