Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Motivation: Run Free

When was the last time you ran without having an exact route in mind?  Or the last time you went out to run without really knowing how far?

It's been awhile for me.  The last time I remember running outside not really knowing where I was going or how far was back in January 2011.  I felt so good running that I just kept going, because I felt like I could.  When I went home to map out how far I've gone (it was my pre-Garmin days), I was shocked to learn that I ran 7 miles.  Seven miles and the longest distance before that was only 4.5 miles!

When I train for a race, I get so caught up in total mileage, pace, where to go, where I can go to do a 6, 10, 12 mile loop that I forget to just let it go sometimes.  You know?  Feel free, feel lost in your thoughts, get caught up in what's around you, and have the rhythm of your breath and footsteps to guide you.  I need to remember to do that once in awhile to remind me why I love running so much, because now that I'm in the thick of marathon training and the miles are going up, training days are starting to feel like work.

So tomorrow, I'm going to lace up for my 6am run and run free.  Happy Monday, all!

What about you?  Do you ever feel this way sometimes?  Do you remember the last time you ran free?  Please share!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Crazy For Halfs

It's been awhile since I've done TTT.  It's been a challenge for me to keep up with the blog, but I hope to send a waterfall of posts soon.

So as you all know, I'm training for my first full marathon, Marine Corps Marathon.  I am now in the thick of it, having completed my first 15-miler last week (the longest distance for me to date!)!  I'm at Week 9 of 18, exactly halfway through my training!  I can't believe it!  The next couple of weeks are going to be up there in mileage, but I have a couple of weekends where I "only" have to do 13.1 miles.

So what to do when I'm running "only" a half marathon distance?  Whenever I do that distance, I always feel like I deserve a medal for the effort.  I know.  But hey, why not, right?  So that's what I did.  Here are three half marathon races I've signed up for - all 3 within 1 1/2 months.

Just call me crazy.

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Virginia Beach - September 2, 2012.  It's coming soon!  Almost a week from now!  I'm excited about this one because a) it's flat, b) the finish line is on the boardwalk (thinking about a nice soak in the ocean after the race), c) racing with college friends, d) post-race concert featuring Train, one of my faves, and e) did I mention it's a flat course?

Of course the weather could be really nasty, hot and humid, but I've trained in that on hilly training runs around here.  Do I have a time goal?  It would be nice to get under 2:15, but I feel no pressure only because it's a marathon training run for me and the last I want to do is push myself to the point of injury which I don't want to do.  I'm going to enjoy it.  Every mile. Soak up some sun.  Run happy.

I'm still debating how many miles to do that day.  I'm suppose to do 17 that weekend according to my training plan.  Should I do a 2 mile warm up pre-race then a 2-mile cool down post-race?  Or should I just race it?  I follow my training plans to a "T" especially the long runs, so I HAVE to do 17.  I have 18 to do the following weekend and this weekend is a step down week to 13...soooo I don't know, I'm going to try the 2 pre and 2 post and see how I feel.

More importantly, still thinking about what to wear to this race, LOL!  Do I have my priorities set or what?!

2)  Maine Half Marathon - September 30, 2012.  I'm more than excited about this one because of the course!  Gorgeous views!  By the water!  Cooler temps! (I hope!  Crap. I just jinxed myself.)  Yes, I'm going to be in Maine at the end of September!  This one I will truly enjoy because I have exactly 13.1 miles on the training calendar, and this race is perfect!

Don't know what I'm going to wear (LOL), but I know there will be Zensah compression leg sleeves with this one.  So giddy about this one!!!!

3)  Heritage Half Marathon - October 14, 2012.  Let's just say that this race will kick off my birthday celebration which will continue through until Marine Corps Marathon in October 28.  Not saying when my birthday is, but I will be 40!  Yes!  Big. Four. O!!!!  The course is hilly a little, and it's a small race, but I'm looking to have a great time at this race with friends.  My training gals are joining me on this and so will The Hubs!  Last double digit mileage for us until the marathon!  Squeeeeeeee!!

So there you have it, my crazy half marathon race schedule.  I didn't count the virtual half marathon I have this weekend, nor the other one last month, but the three above would totally get me into the Half Fanatics group which I'm looking to join.  Just because.  Hee hee.

Are you half marathon crazy like me?  Are you a Half Fanatic?  

Thanks for hanging in there...waiting....if you are..for my blog updates.  I appreciate your following my blog.  More to come!  Happy running to all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I Run So I Can Deal With Ear-Splitting 4yo Tantrums

It's ok, I'm ok...I have a 5 mile interval track workout today.  After a day like today, I think I might just kill that workout.  lol.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Motivation: Just Keep Going

Thanks to DC Rainmaker's Facebook post, I was inspired by Olympian marathoner Caitriona Jennings from Ireland who finished almost an hour after the leaders in 3hrs 20min and never gave up.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Run So I Can Think Of Ways To Play With Food: Gummy Worm Habitat

Sorry, non-running related post here. Let me preface this by saying that I keep up with my running so that I will have enough patience to play referee when a quarrel breaks out between my boys. Running has kept me sane and inspired enough the next day to think of fun stuff to do with my boys (because they're driving me crazy! Lol, just kidding).

With just one more month of summer vacation, what else can I do at home, for dirt cheap, to distract them from fighting over who gets to fall into the Sarlacc next? Enter the old "Gummy Worms Dirt/Mud Cake" food craft with a geeky twist, from yours truly, which was enough to delight and entertain my boys (ages 10, 7 1/2, and 4 1/2).

I told my boys that we're going to make habitats for worms. I love fun activities that have (sneaky) educational opportunities.  So the first thing I did was give each boy a small glass, like this one above, to hold our worm habitat.

Next I showed them what the layers of the soil look like:

I told them we're going to make the layers of the soil out of chocolate chips, Oreos, and chocolate pudding.

Chocolate chips in action tumbling into our mouths...errr...glasses (sorry for the blurry pic).

Making bedrock with chocolate chips.


Crushing Oreos to make the Parent Material, making sure we don't crush them into too small pieces. Then we added the layer of Parent Material (crushed Oreos) on top of the bottom layer of Bedrock (chocolate chips).

Next step, adding a layer of the chocolate pudding for the Sub Soil.

The boys had a hard time not licking their spoons, so not a whole lot of Sub Soil went in.  Haha!


More crushed Oreos, this time, finely crushed, for the last layer in our soil matrix, Top Soil. We skipped the Organic Layer because frankly, I think this is enough chocolate, although crushed vanilla Oreos would've been perfect! Shhh...don't tell my boys!

Alas, the gummy worms that will reside in our perfectly yummy habitat...

Happy worms in Sporto's cup (10yo). By the way, for a 10 yo, he thought this was a fun food craft, and he wasn't just saying that because he loves to eat.  Proud mommy moment when he recalled details about the soil layers he learned in school!

Tank's (7yo) worms...already making a mess, just like Tank. The boy cannot stay clean even if he tried. I have to give this boy credit for imagination, suggesting that we plant a broccoli tree next time. Hmmm....if that would get them to eat vegetables, sure! Why not? Chocolate and broccoli!

Little Man's (4 yo) worm habitat.  The boy has no patience.   Look at the spoon already in the glass...the poor worms did not even get a minute to get settled in!

Little Man's worm habitat minus one worm already. Haha!

So this was our version of that Gummy Worm Mud Pies. To those with kids, do you know of any other fun food craft to do with kids? Any other suggestions to keep kids entertained at home in the summer? I would love to hear about it! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Caribbean Waters, Almost

If I stare at the water long enough, I can almost feel like I'm at some Caribbean beach. And not the kiddie pool.


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