Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: Trains, Too Much Pink, And Another Race!

Today's post is late because I was busy building this with Little Man....

We have trains coming out of our ears in our house.  Tired of playing with Thomas the Tank Engine Trains?  Oh well let's just excavate the Geotrax trains from the basement and play with MORE trains!  The Hubs is going to flip and literally trip over all the trains that are out all over our floor right now.

Please do not look too closely at my unshaven leg!

This morning, I dragged my very sore self to my friend's exercise class.  I was sore from her Monday workout class and running 7 miles (2 miles for C25K coaching and 5 miles on my own) yesterday did not help to work off the lactic acid soaking up my body.  Today's class actually made me feel 200% better.  I was in this crazy endorphin high half-way through her class.  I was like, "ok, what else can we do?  More burpees?  SURE!  YEAH, ALRIGHT!!". I was so over-the-top-slap-happy I'm sure I pissed off the other moms who couldn't wait for the workout to end.  But I LOVE those kinds of workouts!  Awesome fuel for the rest of the day!  

When it came to cool-down on our mats, I got the "wow, how color coordinated you are" remarks from all the other moms.  I looked down at my mat and my shirt and man did I reek pink!  Like I threw up Pepto-Bismol-all-over-myself pink!  It was a much brighter pink on pink than the photo shows above.  Little Man even noticed, remarking, "Mommy, it's like you're camouflaged." 

So in-between connecting train tracks and making lunch for Little Man, I learned that the Rock N Roll Marathon series was offering a great Leap Day deal, $29- off registration fee with the promo code, LEAP.  It was a deal I couldn't refuse!  I needed a tune up race for Marine Corps Marathon, and the Dodge Rock 'N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon fit the bill. 

I'm VERY EXCITED because that means I get one of these babies after September!

Oh and Happy Leap Day!  Did you do anything special on this Leap Day?  Anyone else sign up for another race?  Which one?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivate Me Monday: Your Body, Your Faith, Yourself

I'm borrowing Running To Be Skinny's "Motivate Me Monday" title because well, it just sounds cooler than "Motivational Mondays."  Not only does it sound better, but because my readers (that's you! :) ) motivate me just as much as the photos, quotes, and links that I post here every Monday.  So motivate me, please!  Please share what motivates you.  I really appreciate all your comments, tips, advice, stories, and encouragement you give me daily.  Thank you!

I found these post-it notes (see below) on Things We Forget.  A post by Another Mother Runner led me to these post-it notes of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation.  They are such a great way to start off a new week!  If you're not following them already, you must!

I picked these post-its after my very lousy 7-Miler yesterday.  I was stepping down to 7 from doing 10 last weekend, so I was looking forward to a good "shorter" run.  Well, I guess you never know how your run is going to be until, well, at the end!  I went slower in the beginning (Mile 1 - 11:58; Mile 2 - 11:15; Mile 3 - 10:46), after so many reminders from runner friends & training plans, that long runs are suppose to be slow.  Like 1  to 2 minutes slower than your race pace (depending on your source).  Seasoned runners can go 30 seconds slower than race pace.  My long run race pace is 10:30 min./mile, so technically, I'm suppose to do my long runs somewhere between 11:00 - 12:30 min./mile.

My big rookie mistake this year is doing most of my long runs at race pace.  Really, Marie?  Really stupid, huh?  So bad.  So if you've been running for just a year, like me, or just starting, make a note of this and don't do what I just did:  Do not do your long runs at race pace.  Long runs are suppose to be slower than race pace.

Clearly, I should have been doing this too: 

Listen to my body.

Yes, my body is obviously smarter than me.  It's been telling me to slow down weeks ago after PF showed up right before my Virginia Is For Lovers 14K (race recap coming soon! I promise!).

So during my 7-Miler yesterday, PF was trying to poke its ugly head through my foot again with an ache at Mile 5, enough of an ache that it slowed me to a walk.  Then my SI Joint on my right started to ache!  I ran the rest of my run MUCH slower just to finish, and I iced and massaged the crap out of my foot and calf.  Again.  So more resting is in store for me this week!  The only saving grace from that run was running with my friend, F.  It was our first run together and if it wasn't for her, I probably would have just quit at Mile 5.

Best advice I've received was just that - listen to your body - even from those little aches and pains,  before they magnify to an injury that could side-line you for months.

Have faith.

Aches, pains, soreness, and injuries can really discourage me to the point where I start to doubt whether I have the body to train for my first full marathon in October.  I really like this post-it above:  "Let Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear."  I have to remind myself that I had the courage to sign up for my first full marathon because I know that I CAN finish that distance as long as I follow a training plan and be smart about training along the way.  I know that if I let that fear of getting injured get in the way, I will never get to that finish line.

Run my own race.

I think I'm insecure about my running pace when I run with friends.  I'm slower, and I find myself apologizing for slowing my friends down.  I need to get over that and realize that if my friends wanted to go faster, they wouldn't invite me.  Right?  It's so easy to be swept away by faster friends, and I find myself trying to keep up.  Last time I did that, I got PF.  So now, I'm trying to stay true to myself and my friends.  I'm much more relaxed on my runs as a result because I am running my own race.

Ben Comen, Runner.
Finally, how can you not be inspired by this kid?  Meet Ben Comen.  He was a high school kid when this video was recorded.  He was in his school's cross country team.  He has cerebral palsy, but watch him run a 5K.  I just LOVE how passionate he is about running and his strong determination to finish even after falling down so many times.

UPDATE on my aches and pains:   PF is gone as of this morning, knock on wood.  Enough for my workout today.  I've been self-correcting my SI Joint, something I learned from Physical Therapy, so this morning is good so far!  Crossing fingers!

Thanks so much again to those who gave me tips on running my first full marathon!  Reading your blogs motivate me everyday.

What's your week's motivation?  What motivates you to keep running?

Friday, February 24, 2012

O.M.G. I DID IT!! Marine Corps Marathon, here I come!!!

On October 28, 2012, I'll be here.....!!!!!!!

Ok, maybe not right there up front, more like a mile back behind all those runners, but I DID IT!!  I just officially signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon for Team Lung Love!  I am raising $1,000 for the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) in memory of my mom whom I lost to lung cancer 3 years ago.  She never smoked a cigarette in her life.  I don't have my fundraising page set up yet, but I couldn't help but share this right away because "OMG, OMG, OMG" is all I could say after hitting that "submit" button on LCA's page and making it official.

Running a full marathon is a dream for me, that's both scary and exciting.  I had been so scared about getting hurt during training, about not being able to finish, about the intimidating distance, that I thought I would be sick to my stomach after signing up - and wonder what the heck I got myself into.  Didn't I feel the same way when I signed up for my first half marathon?  But I did it, I survived the half marathon distance!  What's another....13.1 miles, right??!  ;)

So after getting the green light from my doc this morning, getting The Hubs' many blessings and support (gosh I love him so much), and getting all the info I needed from LCA, I realized that I have nothing to be scared about.  As long as I train smart, follow a training plan, listen to my body, know that I have the support of my family and friends, I know that in 8 months I CAN do 26.2 miles.  I just need to believe.  Right??!  ;)

Do you remember your first full marathon?  Which one was it and if you could do it all over again, what one (or two) advice would you give me?  Thank you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Procrastination? Excuses? and The Marine Corps Marathon 2012

So I saw this post from the Marine Corps Marathon's Facebook page yesterday morning.....


I didn't freak out, I just felt like I was coming down with the stomach bug all of a sudden.  Sporto and Little Man just had the stomach bug, so it's very likely?

No, this one is just from the realization that in 14 days, or sooner, I will be committing to twenty-six point freakin' two, my goal race this year.  I can't believe registration is literally right around the corner!!!!  Last year, they sold out in 28 hours.  Who knows how fast they'll sell out this year??!!  

I know for sure I WANT to do this race.  I NEED to do this race. THIS year.  I HAVE to do this race because I am turning 40 this year.

Yup, new age group, come November 2012!  LOL.  A friend thinks I'm crazy for being so eager to put my body through hell (training and running a full marathon), to celebrate my birthday.  Yes, other girls celebrate turning 40 with a spa treatment, a cruise to some exotic beach, a weekend away with girlfriends, with chocolate, or margaritas...but this girl wants to sweat, to ache, to test my limits, to cry, to go through mental and physical agony and aching feet for her birthday.  Fun, huh?  Can't wait!

Me and my mom back in 2006
So I'm planning to sign up for Lung Cancer Alliance's (LCA) Team Lung Love, a group of runners who train for marathons, half-marathons, and other distances while raising money for lung cancer advocacy and research.  I was really excited to learn that a non-profit like LCA was one of Marine Corps Marathon's charity partners this year because MCM is THE marathon I want to do as my first, AND I also want to raise money again this year for lung cancer awareness and research in memory of my mom.  I always carry my mom with me whenever I run, and I know I'll need her more than ever to carry me through this race.

The nice thing about signing up with Team Lung Love is you get a guaranteed MCM entry.  No stressing and fighting over those limited entries on March 7.  AND you'll be helping out a great cause that is very much needed.  Lung Cancer is the least funded research program in our country, yet it is the #1 cancer that claims the most lives EVERY YEAR, more than breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers COMBINED.

Ok, so why haven't I signed up for Team Lung Love yet?  Why am I procrastinating??!  My Three Things (excuses?) Thursday....

1).  Waiting for this Friday, when I get my yearly physical.  I want to get the green light from the Doc.  I'm having the same nagging soreness on my right outer thigh.  I am hoping it's just my SI Joint.  I've learned to self-correct and I know the exercises to do to help it.  Crossing fingers!

2).  I've got a few more questions for LCA so that I know exactly what my commitments are when I sign up to run for Team Lung Love.

3).  Honestly, I'm scared more about getting injured during training than the actual race itself.  Scared about getting injured and not being able to run this race.  I am so injury prone.  Since I'm still kinda new-ish to running, I could use all the advice I could get to stay injury free.  Like what kind of cross training is best to make me a stronger runner for this marathon, what training plan would you recommend,...ANYTHING!

My goal for MCM is to finish.  So if you've got any advice for this marathon virgin, please leave some below!   Thank you!

Are you running Marine Corps Marathon this year too?  Are you planning or signed up to run your first full marathon?  Please let me know! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Many Faces of Abe Lincoln

In celebration of President's Day, Tank's class made these.  Who knew that Abe Lincoln had so many personalities!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Embracing The Turtle That Is Me

When I first started running back in 2009, I ran a 13-14 minute mile.  Now THAT's a turtle pace.  On my first 5K race, my pace improved a little bit, and I ran an 11:59 min. pace, finishing at 37:15!  As I ran more, my pace improved, a little bit each time:

1st 5K Race - March 2009
Scope It Out 5K

1st 5K race March 2009:  37:15 (11:59 min/mile)
2nd 5K race May 2009: not timed, ran pushing a jogging stroller, kicking myself for not getting it timed
3rd 5K race Nov. 2009:  37:03 (11:55 min./mile)

After a year long hiatus from running races....

4th 5K race Nov. 2010:  31:49 (10:14 min./mile)!!!

It's not super fast, I know, but holy cow, it felt HUGE!  I've wanted to run a sub 11 min./mile pace and I DID IT.

And then...

5th 5K race June 2011:  ran with friend at her pace (her 1st 5K!)
6th 5K race Aug. 2011:  31:25 (10:06 min./mile)
7th 5K race Oct. 2011:  28:27 (9:09 min./mile)

3rd 5K Race - Nov. 2009
Race for Breath 5K
That was my last 5K race as of today, and my PR!

How fast or slow a runner is is all relative.  I know that a 9:09 min./mile pace is still not fast compared to so many of my readers' 5K pace, but my point in posting all my 5K times to date, is to show (and to remind myself) that in time, a turtle like me, CAN break out of the turtle shell and eventually become a little faster.  You just need to be patient.  This is something I am realizing I'm not good at....being patient.  I need to be patient so that I don't get injured again.

4th 5K Race - Nov. 2010
Race for Breath 5K

I needed to look back to my turtle roots because this past Saturday, on my 10-miler, I was sooooo sloooow.  I ran 10 miles at an 11:59 min./mile pace.  Granted, there were a few hills, and I was pushing against a strong headwind for 1 mile at the end AND at Miles 8 and 7, but man, did I feel like a turtle with a capital "T."  It felt so discouraging.....10 miles in almost 2 hours!

Digging up my 5K race times helped remind me that I will get faster some day on my longer runs, and that I have come a long way from my 14 min./mile pace.  It's been a struggle, but I'm happy to have re-discovered my happy long run pace, an 11 min./mile pace for distances over 5 miles.  I am learning to embrace the turtle that is me.  I just need to keep going, to keep running, to stay smart when training to avoid getting injured, and I need to be patient.

Are there any 10 min./mile +PLUS runners out there like me?

6th 5K Race - August 2011
Sunrise Stampede 5K

7th 5K Race - October 2011
Heritage Hunt 5K

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Running After My Boys

OMG. I'm so. Behind. Still working on my Virginia Is For Lovers 14K Race Recap. Crazy busy here at home as always!

Anyways, my TTT for today will be all about my boys.  I have 3 boys, ages 9, 7, and 4.  Yes, 3 boys.  No, that's it, not trying for #4 to try for a girl, and nope, not even if I'm promised a girl.  My boys are part of the reason why I run.  Some days I run to get away from them, other days I run so I can be more patient with them, and every time, I run so I can live to see their grand-kids.

I don't think I've ever "introduced" them, so here are my boys.

 1)  Meet Sporto.  My first boy.  Don't let those glasses fool you into thinking he's anything but active and all into sports.  The boy LOVES to run.  He LOVES to play football.  He loves being outside.  He would do laps around our culdesac for fun.  He can totally beat me in a 1-mile race.  Yes, he's fast like The Hubs.  A sprinter.  I'm glad he got The Hubs' fast-running genes.  Oh and he's got great running form too!  You should see him run!  He runs so carefree, always with a smile on his face.

He loves to read too.  Like Mom.  :)  He's currently reading the Harry Potter series and I have to tell him to stop reading or he'll be up until midnight or longer!  I'm very grateful for that. 

He's very emphatic, always thinking of others and very quick to make sure everyone is included in a game.  He's the first one to tell an adult if a friend is hurt.  He helps me a ton with his little brothers.  He's like the 3rd parent.  He can get carried away, though, disciplining his brothers.  He's the typical first born.

He loves to play his electric guitar.  He dreams of being in a rock band.  He can play Twist and Shout by The Beatles and Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Everyday, as he gets ready for school, brushing his teeth, I stand next to him and silently wish he doesn't grow up as fast as he seems to me now.  I look at our mirror image and hug him, committing to my memory how tall he is that day (this morning he's up to my chin!).  He hugs me back every time - that is one of many things that I love about him and what I hope he never stops doing.

2)  This is Tank.  My second baby boy.  He is the most inventive and creative out of the 3.  He thinks outside of the box, and he marches to the beat of his own drum.  He never gets bored.  He always seem to find something to do.  Like when we're waiting forever for our food in a restaurant - his little brother starts whining, big brother starts complaining, and Tank?  Tank starts making pyramids out of sugar packets and keeps rebuilding them if they crash.  I love that about him.  Patience.  Lots of patience.

He loves to draw.  He loves to paint.  He is fearless.  I get so intimidated by a blank canvas and he just attacks it with bold strokes, re-drawing or re-painting as he goes.  Another thing that I love about him.  He has his own sketchbook of drawings, doodles, that I treasure.  I need to buy him a new one.

He is forever building new Lego buildings and contraptions.  I am always amazed and in awe of his imagination.  He helps me look at things at a different angle.  I love discovering new things with him.

He is quiet, though, he won't speak up.  But he's ok with that.  Sandwiched between two very vocal brothers, he often just sinks back, very secure in just watching and listening.  Oh, but he's got this very mature wit.  He's hilarious.  It's a wit that you expect only from an adult.  I think he gets it from The Hubs.

I live for his hugs.  His hugs are quick and fleeting.  He's not a very affectionate boy, but when he does show some affection, I am so over the moon.  I cherish those hugs and hold onto his hug longer. I can't help but feel how fast his toddler years went.  I don't want to ever feel that way again about where he is now. 

3)  Last but not least is Little Man.  He's the most vocal and the loudest out of the 3 boys.  He's the baby, and he insists on being heard.  He is like a cross between Sporto and Tank.  He loves to run just as much as Sporto, and he pretends to know how to play football.  He's got a great imagination, like big brother, Tank, tirelessly fabricating  battle scenarios and stories between Star Wars Clone troopers.  And like Tank, he doesn't bore easily.

Little Man loves to read or to be read to.  He is starting to read 3-4 letter words.  Really!  He is currently trying to read "Hop On Pop" by Dr. Seuss.  He loves to sound out each letter and blend the sounds together.  He thinks it's fun.

When he was just barely 2 years old, he already knew his alphabet and could recognize each letter on the page.  He started memorizing short rhyming books and stories by the time he was 2 1/2 years old.  It freaked us out at first, and then we soon discovered he's got a great memory.

He loves sharks.  When he loves something, he wants to check out every single book about that thing.  We currently have 10 shark books and every book he borrows from the library is a shark book. Yes, he's very passionate.

He loves to sing.  He sings anywhere and everywhere, like at Target.  And he sings LOUDLY.  He serenades me at Target while I shop.  Who needs an iPod, right?  Ok, maybe I do, unless I'm in the mood for Christmas songs in February or his preschool songs.  When he was 2 years old, he sang Beatles songs, thanks to my Dad and Beatles Rockband.  He has no inhibition whatsoever.  He's quite the entertainer.

When I started running, Little Man was just 2 years old.  He was my running partner for 2 years until he got too heavy.  I pushed him in the jogging stroller which he grew to love.  He was the best running partner, as long as I have enough snacks!  I ran my second 5K race with him while he napped!  When he turned 3 years old, he went from napping on the jogging stroller to singing in the jogging stroller.  I listened to medleys of Beatles songs for miles and miles.

These days, he cheers for me when I come home from my long runs.  He never hesitates to give me hugs, no matter how sweaty I am.  He is quick to make sure he hugs me before I go for my long run, to the grocery store, anywhere.  I like that a lot about him.  He reminds me to never take goodbyes for granted.  When I carry him (yes, I can still carry him), I etch into my memory how heavy his is now and take in his scent.  For as long as I can carry him, I'll hold onto him tight and savor his 4 year old-ness.  Because it does go by so quickly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing

In the midst of preparing Valentines for my boys, so this is a short post, but I wanted to greet all my readers a very Happy Valentines Day!  What wonderful things are you doing for your special Valentine(s)?

Valentines for my C25K friends - dark chocolate truffles!

Little Man's Valentines for me <3

Red Velvet Valentine for my boys

Monday, February 13, 2012

Motivational Mondays

I'm finally home! From a blissful Virginia Is For Lovers 14K race with The Hubs, to reflective moments during the race as I thought of Sherry Arnold and her family, to an awesome and priceless time with my family (sis, Dad, and brother), and then hearing about Whitney Houston, it's been a roller coaster weekend.

I can't wait to share with you this week, my Virginia Is For Lovers 14K Race Report, running for Sherry Arnold, my thoughts on Whitney Houston, and family moments I want to remember.

First, I want to share what I hope will motivate me this week:

Motherhood and doing your best.
 As a mom, sometimes I can't help but feel short of what I "think" I should be able to do at home, for the kids, for The Hubs.....Thanks to Bliss Sisters for reminding me to forgive myself, to be kind to myself, and that I'm doing my best everyday to be the best mom to my boys.


I finally got more information about running the Marine Corps Marathon this fall for Team Lung Love, a group of passionate athletes, runners, tri-athletes, who raise money for the Lung Cancer Alliance for lung cancer research and advocacy.  They're based in Washington D.C., and they are one of MCM's charity partners..  The phone call re-assured me more that MCM and raising money for lung cancer is in my future, but there were times over the weekend when doubts creep in, the fear of more imminent injuries, and just whether or not I could do 26.2 miles. 

But you know what?  Just like Ragnar last year bugged me, so does MCM.  I know I just got to keep believing.

10-minute a mile.
I'm a 10.5 min/mile kind of girl for anything above 5 miles.  I need to remember that, and to remember that it's ok.  I've been running with friends who are faster than me, and I have to admit, while I love being challenged and pushed, I am happier running at my 10-minute+/mile pace.  I remember when, almost 2 years ago, my goal was to run a sub 12min/mile pace for a 5K.  Now my 5K PR is a 9min/mile pace!  Sometimes I forget to be patient with myself and I want to run faster sooner.  So this week, I'm going to stay true to myself and embrace my 10-min +/mile pace.  This blog post from The Wannabe Athlete resonated with me so much.  Please check it out! 

Art, What Art?
Still struggling over here to carve time for it, but not giving up, just going with the flow.  This photo inspires me, and I'm going to post it as a reminder.  Not giving up yet.

Green land by Piotr Krol

How was your weekend?  Did you run for Sherry Arnold?  What inspires you today?  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting Ready To Run For Sherry

All right, Virginia Is For Lovers 14K, I'm ready as I'll ever be!  Getting my gear together today.  So thankful that my PF is gone (knock on wood), my boys are FINALLY feeling better, and I feel very well rested!

Never mind that my last run was a week ago, I've done zero workouts since Monday, and I've been eating very badly.....I'm ready and pumped to run 14K with The Hubs tomorrow, because suddenly the race is not only about being blissfully in love, running for love, running for each other, and running together for us,,,,the race is also for Sherry Arnold.

Sherry was a mom, a wife, a daughter, a teacher, and a runner who went out early one morning in January for her long run and never came back.  Two men were arrested after someone tipped the FBI Tip Line.  Apparently, one of the men confessed to killing Sherry.  Her body has yet to be found.  Her small community in Montana is in shock over this heinous crime, and saddened by the loss of a wonderfully giving and very loved human being.

Within the running community, what happened to Sherry hit too close to home and touched our hearts.  So many of us could not help but think that could have been any of our mother runner friends or anyone who loves to run.  All around the world, runners will unite tomorrow in support of Sherry's family and run this  virtual race for her.

Yes, we will move mountains with each step we make and run our hearts out for her.  I will keep Sherry in my thoughts as I run my race tomorrow, and I hope you will join us in this movement of healing.

Are you running a race or organizing a run tomorrow with friends for Sherry?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Things Thursday: The Little Things...

Not much for words today.  PF is better, 4 y.o. is better, but 7 y.o. is now sick, I haven't run since last Saturday, and I have a 14K race THIS Saturday.  Regardless, when you're injured and you've got 2 sick kids, you are thankful for the little things in life you often take for



The Hubs, my hero - who always makes lemonade days out of lemony days.
Last, but not least, and definitely not a "little thing," LOL, is The Hubs, who continue to put up with my emotional eruptions and still wants to stay with me.  He's my "go-to-guy" when I want to hear, "it's going to be ok," and he makes me smile.  Did I mention he is going to run this 14K race WITH me AND finish WITH me?  If you can't call that love, I don't know what love is then.  :P 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 1 With Saucony Hattori

 Do you like my new pair of pink running shoes?  I decided on this color for fun and, being in an all-boy house, I needed to have something pink and girly.

I love getting new running gear.  I bought a pair of these Saucony Hattori's back in January when the Running Warehouse had a huge sale.  For $30-, I could not resist.  I've wanted to explore and try minimalist running shoes and after running in Saucony Kinvaras for 7 months now (and loving it),  the Hattori's were a natural progression for me, and the timing price-wise could not have been more perfect.  So I'm going from a 4mm heel to toe lift (Kinvaras) to now 0mm (Hattori's).

I thought this would be a great time to start getting used to running in these Hattori's because I'm currently coaching a Couch-to-5k running group 3x a week.  We are on Week 4, Day 1 of the C25k plan, and the jog/ walk ratio is the perfect pace for me to slide into these shoes gradually.  My goal is to run the 5k race in March in these shoes.  I won't be going at race pace, since I'll be cheering my running group at their pace, but I'm hoping it would be a safe intro to running races in them.  I can't wait!

Why am I trying the Hattori's?  I'm so tired of getting injured!!  Currently I have PF (plantar fasciitis).  Again.  It's frustrating especially when you have a 14k race this weekend.  Argh.  Reading Christopher McDougall's Born To Run definitely pushed me into this direction to try minimalist shoes.  So I'm willing to try these out especially if it would mean less (or no) injuries!  I'm going to stick with my Kinvaras for the longer/faster runs, and use these Hattori's only for my C25k runs for now.  So excited!

I had to use the Shoe Fitr over at the Running Warehouse to figure out my size.  I wear a Size 7.5 in the Kinvaras and according to the Shoe Fitr, I'm an 8.5 in Hattori's so they run small.  I really like the fit.  It fits like a sock.  It's not constricting or tight at all, and I have wide feet.  They're meant to be worn without socks which I was a bit nervous about because I blister easily, but there are no seams inside the shoe.  So far so good.  In my first run today in them, they felt comfortable.  It felt like I was running in slippers!  

Do you wear minimalist running shoes?  Which ones and how do you like them?  Or are you interested in trying out these type of shoes?  

(Note:  I bought these Hattori's and was not compensated in any way to blog about them.  Thoughts about them are my own only).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivational Mondays - Coping With Setbacks, Battling Doubts, & Drawing Inspiration

1)  Setback.

I know, "Sigh" is not a good way to start off a new week. A minor setback from my long run this past Saturday.  The dreaded Plantar Fasciitis (PF) strikes back.  Darn left foot.  So I'm focusing on what I can do about it now.  Like icing my foot every 20 minutes 3x daily.  And massaging the bottom of my left foot.  It hurts a little when I'm barefoot and walking around the house, so tomorrow I think I'm going to wear my Keen shoes inside my house.  


Oh and did I mention I have my first race of the year this coming weekend?  A 14K.  Ya, great timing.  Oh and my half marathon is in a month too.  Ya, lovely.  I'm going to see how my left foot feels today (Monday) and see if I need to skip my 5-miler tomorrow (gulp).  I'm not worried (yet).  I'm looking at the 14K race as a training run - a long run - for my RnR DC Half, so it's ok (deep down I'm feeling, no it's not ok!! why?? why?? why??).

So I'm going to focus on exercising patience this week and "will" this PF out of my foot.  Wish me luck! Gosh, wish me luck, please!

2)  Battling Doubts

You know how you have good runs and then bad ones?  I had good and bad ones last week.  It's the bad ones that I can't seem to get out of my mind.  Like my long run over the weekend.  Yeah, the one that brought PF back.  I did a 10K with a friend.  Only a 10K, so I thought.  But I felt awful.  During the run, I wanted it to be so over.  It was so hard!  And to think just 2 days ago I was sky high after 5 miles.  It got me thinking about the full marathon I want to do this fall.  OMG!  Am I crazy?  What am I thinking?  If I feel like crap after a 10K, I don't want to be ME when I do 26.2.  I have friends (runners and non-runners) who are telling me how HARD and miserable 26.2 is!

So the doubts are creeping in big time.  Sigh.  Sniff.

And then I saw these.....




3)  Drawing Inspiration

Despite how crappy I felt during my 10K this past Saturday, I did feel good at the end.  I was grateful to have the company of a good friend whom I re-connected with because of running, after years of busy-ness between us.  Re-connecting with her through running was a blessing.  Not only does she run (she is training for the Virginia Beach Shamrock Full Marathon), she is also an artist and a mom to boys too!  I am so ridiculously inspired by her!  She is training for a marathon AND making art - two things that can't seem to co-exist in my world.  To see her actually making that co-existence happen is HUGE to me.  So I took this little pic of one of her pieces to inspire me this week.  Perhaps having PF won't be so bad, it will make me make time for a painting this week??!!!  
What inspires and motivates you this week?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Madge Did Not Disappoint



Who's watching the Superbowl?  No, wait, what game...?  I mean who saw that short Madonna concert?  Yes, she's 54.  I can just picture her daughter, Lourdes, cringing at home, watching through her fingers.  There is no cringing here.  I think she's da bomb...even at 54.  She knows how to throw an awesome performance.  She did not disappoint this girl.  She made me want to dig out my old Vogue CD.  Not totally sold on that cheerleader part and her new song, but nostalgia won me over.  It was definitely one of the best half time shows since Prince.  Can't wait to see her in concert.  Go, Madge!

What did you think of Madonna's half-time show? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Why It's Been A Great Day!

As always, I'm a day behind.  How do you guys keep up with your tweets, blogs, and FB pages?  My days are packed like sardines, like today.  No, it's not packed like stress-ful packed - more like fun-packed.  If only all my days could be like today.  Balance is good.  Finding peace is good too.  Here's why today is good:

1.  Running In The Rain.  Started the day off running in the rain with my C25K ladies.  I'm so proud of them for getting their butt out of their warm and dry houses to meet me outside for Week 3, Day 2 of our training.  I am so hoping they'll soon understand why I run in the rain, sleet, snow, and heat.  The fact that they keep coming to our training runs is a good sign!

2.  Running In The Sun.  After running with my C25K ladies, I went off on my own for my 5-miler training run.  In the Sun!  Yup, sun came up just in time for my 5-miler and it was nice while it lasted.  It got cloudy, then a little drizzly, but it's been awhile since I ran solo, so it felt really good to have that alone time, just me and my wandering thoughts.  I got inspired by the pages I read last night from Christopher McDougall's Born To Run and tried to run like a kid again.  Didn't look at my Garmin, just went with feel and it felt amazing!  I was landing on my forefoot, and wow did I feel light on my feet!  When I finally looked at my Garmin, I was surprised/happy to see I ran faster compared to my last 5 miler last Tuesday AND it felt like it went by faster too!  Hmmm...

3.  Catching Up With Friends.  With non-running friends.  It's so easy to just stick to running friends when you're training - at least that's what I find myself doing.  I love talking about running.  If people let me, I would.  Today, I caught up with two non-running friends and it was refreshing (in a weird way) to talk about something else other than your first race of the year.  Shocking, huh?  I did sneak in a little bit about running and yoga, but only because they were staring at me, horrified at the amount of food I was eating!  Hahaha!  It's what happens when you're rushing after your 5-miler to get back for preschool pickup and then off to meet friends for lunch.  I was STARVING. 

Anyways, it's been such a great day.  The sun is finally all out and I think we're going to play outside today before my guitar and drum lessons for my other 2 boys.

Did you have a great day today?  What made it great?

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