Monday, December 19, 2011

All Time High!

I ran 51 miles last week, and I'm still STANDING! Yesterday's 19-miler officially pushed me into a new PR for weekly mileage. I feel so thankful that my body is holding up.

I don't have time to go into the specifics of each (Christmas guests!!!), but I'll share an overview of the things that I believe have kept me healthy. Over the next couple of weeks, I will break down each category into a more detailed post.

1) SHOES-Ok, this may be the biggest one for me. I've struggled with injuries on and off (mostly hips). I now rotate between 4 pairs and my legs have never felt better.

2) Changing my foot strike-I feel like this has helped me to stay healthy as well + get faster. BUT... this is how I got injured in the first place... I was too aggressive with going from a heel strike to mid-foot strike. My calves were sore for WEEKS (*red flag) and then the rest of my R lower leg broke down. Luckily, I had access to an Alter G and took another 6 weeks rehabbing on it, focusing on my form and changing into a lower heel-drop shoe SAFELY.

I love you, Alter G. You were so good to me.

3) I do my hard days hard and my easy days easy-I run by feel and I don't get hung up on the numbers. Sort of. For example, yesterday I really wanted to see if I could do my 19-miler below a 9 minute mile pace. I consider my long run day a "hard day." That being said, I still wanted to run it at a comfortable pace where I didn't feel out of breath. I also didn't want my body to feel like it was really struggling. I was able to hold a sub-9 pace, but had my body felt rough, I would not have pushed it. Today will be a VERY easy 4-mile recovery. If my Garmin says 10:00 when I look down at it, then so be it. I have spent my post-injury running completely running by FEEL, keeping in mind that the day after a hard workout needs to be gentle. NO TWO HARD DAYS IN A ROW. 

4) Hitting the gym 2-3 times per week-For me, strength training is essential. I consider it a form of insurance. I work my legs/core HARD. I am actually sore most days after my strength training. It's working. My hips/knees/hammies are getting stronger and staying healthy. I have even been lifting the day after my long runs. I was nervous about this at first, but my coach said to go for it.

5) Compression Gear-I feel like it's helping. I've bought some new compression shorts and calf sleeves and I don them after hard workouts. Full review later!

That's it in a nutshell! I'll break the nut down in a bit... Off to get ready for this with the boys and the grandparents:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Relief... and a Race!

I'm slowly making my way back to blogland. My Writing Theory class ended on Friday. WHEW!!! The instructor wasn't kidding when she said it was a 16-week class compressed into 7 weeks. OUCH! Much pain. I have less than a week left in 20th Century American Literature and then I. AM. DONE. Next semester will be my last semester of school EVER. Never say never, but I am pretty sure I will NEVER go back. Ending my academic career with an MA in English is fine by me.

So running... What's going on with that?

I've spent the past few weeks feeling like I'm running in another person's body: a healthy person's body!

I'll save what I've done differently for another post (i.e. I'm dangling a carrot to bring you back to reading my blog. Ha!).

For now, I want to tell you about my 10k this morning! This will be the lamest race report ever because well... it was a lame race.

I've made no bones about the fact that I'm not a huge fan of my town. I don't want to diss Parks and Recreation too badly because, you know, they did a good job today with the resources that they have available. The guy that gave out the medals to the winners is one of the kayaking/fishing dudes that took care of my oldest son at his day camps this past summer. He's a nice guy who does a lot for Parks and Rec., so I don't want to be a turd and make fun of the race.

(But yeah... low rent production, KWIM? Then again, the entry fee was $14. What should I expect?)

Let's interrupt for a quick pre-race photo. Because that's about it for photos. Everyone stayed home and chilled out while I went over to the park (2.54 miles away) to race.

I will tell you all about my Brooks PureFlows in another post. LOVE THEM.

So the race...

I was told by Coach to keep the first 2 miles at a 7:45 pace and if that felt ok, I could turn on my afterburners after that.

I'm entirely too lazy to download my Garmin onto the computer, but if memory serves, Miles 1 and 2 were around a 7:40 pace. I felt great, so I slowly started to pick it up.

With about .5 to go, I laid the smack down because I saw that I was 4th place female. There was no way that I was going to catch #1 or #2, but #3 was right there, and I couldn't help myself. I passed her with probably .03 miles left (it was something ridiculous). She wasn't having any of that, and we ended up crossing the finish line together. Total photo finish.

The good news: I finished in 43:32. That is *technically* a 10K PR for me. My last mile was a 6:36 (or at least when I stopped it at .95... see below). Holy cow!

The bad news: My Garmin read 5.95 miles at the finish line. What happened to the last .25 miles?!? For that reason, I don't feel like I should count this as a new PR.

At any rate, the 5.95 miles in 43:32 comes out to a 7:18 pace. I am stoked by that! I ended up winning my age group (30-39) and taking 3rd place female (along with the other girl). The winning female ran a 43:10, only 22 seconds faster than me. Woot!

Carlsbad Marathon is in 6 weeks. Very excited. I've got a good feeling... Just gotta stay healthy!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


That pretty much says it all!

The second half of the semester is KICKING. MY. BUTT. I started a new class (Theory of Writing) that doesn't allow much time for farting around in blog land.

But... Just wanted to check in to let everyone know that I just completed my highest mileage week EVER. 41 miles! And my body feels GREAT. Woo hoo!!!

See ya soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Straight Poop on the Temecula Half

Alrighty roo. Here goes nothin'. Grab a coffee and/or a NoDoz.

*Let me preface this by saying that I apologize because I have NO good pictures of the race. This was a quick "mommy's mental health" 27-hour trip to Cali. I went sans husband/kiddos and met my running partner and her husband in Temecula for the race. 

We'll start by rewinding to the day prior...Hindsight being 20/20, I probably shouldn't have eaten that ENTIRE plate of thai food (chicken with LOTS of veggies... aka FIBER) for a late dinner and then stopped at Circle K for this:

I didn't eat 6 of them (just 1), but I probably could have. 

Race morning I had a 1/2 cup of coffee and something called a Bonk Breaker bar. I had purchased it at REI in San Diego along with the PreRace stuff that I mentioned in another blog entry. Roserunner, I included the link for you. A little bit about it... First off, it's pricey. I was expecting to get one of those giant containers like what you get when you buy powdered sports drink. Uh, not so much. It's in a tiny little grandma's cold cream-sized container. There are 20 servings total and it cost $40. I didn't realize that it wasn't flavored. Yeah, it's kind of nasty. You're supposed to mix a scoop with your favorite sports drink and drink it 30 minutes prior to exercise. I did just that. I can't say that I noticed anything incredible; however, I didn't notice any negative side effects (e.g. heart beating out of my chest, the shakes, etc.). The verdict is still out. I'm going to need to try it a few more times and really pay attention to my runs and my fatigue level.

So let's get to the race...First of all, let's start with the course. They had to make some changes to it (yada, yada, something about traffic, yada), and this is what it ended up looking like.


(Side note: I have no idea how to take this from my Garmin report screen and turn it into something professional looking that I can download and post onto my blog. So I took a picture of my computer screen with my iPhone. I'm dumb, I know.)

At 7:30 am, they had us start the race in waves of 10 or so. They'd let a new wave go every minute. Kind of goofy, but because we would be running single file after we exited the winery onto the main road, it had to be done. I think I was in the 4th wave. Also, you can't see it, but we ran up a very steep hill for about 30 seconds right off the bat before the big downhill that you see.

That sucked.

I started out with my running partner and her husband, but she took off like a race horse. Her pace was too fast for me, so off they went. When I got to the first mile marker, I looked down at my Garmin.

Mile 1: 8:07

Yep. Too fast for today. Slow down.

It was at this point that I realized I was missing my iPod. I had planned to run without it so I could get into my head a little more, but I was having regrets now.

I settled into a nice comfortable pace and chugged along from Miles 2-6.5. Things were pretty uneventful except for the fact that my bladder seemed to be filling up by the minute. At the turnaround point,  I couldn't stand it anymore, so I decided to stop and pee. The problem was that there was really nowhere to do it. There had been a porta-potty around mile 3ish. Naturally, I didn't have to go then, but I did now. There's no way I could have made it all the way back to that same shitter (which was at mile 10ish on the return leg), which by the way, was the ONLY ONE ON THE ENTIRE COURSE. Ridiculous.

I figured that I had no choice but to drop my shorties behind a volunteer's parked car at the aid station. So that's what I did. Sorry dude! You gotta do what you gotta do. I was somewhat discrete.

I also decided that since I had just peed and was at a place where there was water,  I might as well take my GU gel while here. The aid stations were few and far between-like one every 3 miles. I figured now was the time to refuel, so I opened my packet of what proved to be "instant diarrhea" instead of "racing fuel" and sucked it down with two smallish cups of water. Big mistake.

By Mile 9, I was hurting.

I actually started in with the mental stuff right about here. Bear with me as this part is really cheesy, and I'm almost too embarrassed to type it. I decided at this point in the race to pick a focus word. I tried STRONG. "Be strong." "You're strong." 

Meh. Wasn't feeling it.

Then (*giggle*) the word FIERCE popped into my head. "You're fierce." "Be fierce."I think I actually said it out loud. Bahahaha! (No one was around me at this point. I'm not that much of a loser!) I don't know... It felt right, so I went with it. I used it a lot to attack the hills in the second half.

Mile 10 and the shitter is in sight! Thank God!


BTW, Miles 7 and 10 came out to a 9:08 pace because of the breaks. Boo.

After I unload my intestines, I'm feeling much better, and I'm feeling ready to end this already. I pick it up...

Mile 12: 8:05

Mile 12 is where I see 3 guys ahead of me. The one closest to me sealed his fate when I noticed that he kept continuing to turn around to see how close I was getting. Yeah, buddy, I know exactly what you're thinking. And yes. You are about to be chicked in the last mile by a broad wearing a sparkly red skirt. SNAP!

So yeah, I had to pass him. And the other two right in front of him.

That brings us to Mile 13. There was a HORRIBLE hill at the end right before the finish line. Like, so horrible I walked for about 30 seconds of it. Who is the idiot that designed this course?

Mile 13: 8:53

Last .18 according to my Garmin was at an 8:21 pace.

Anyway, I'm really pleased with how it all played out.

I ran a 1:53:

a) coming back from an injury
b) with only 1 10-miler the week prior (my last long run had been a 14-miler on 7/24)
b) on a tough course with lots of hills (something we don't have in Yuma)
c) having lost at least 2 minutes due to potty stops.

But, I will say this. Perhaps I could have shaved off another 5-10 minutes or so had I seen this guy:

One of the runners posted this on Facebook and said they saw it on the course.

Sweet Mother of God. I can't decide if that would have resulted in a 1:43 or death for me. Maybe both?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Temecula Half Marathon Quickie!

And I really mean it when I say quickie! I'm still playing catch-up and actually start a new class today, so I'm swamped.

First, the positives....
I accomplished almost all of my goals! And then some!

#1-I did not poop in my shorties.
#3-I wore a cute outfit! I seriously got a bazillion compliments on my Team Sparkle skirt. I'm thinking I need another one.
#4-I ran at an 8:40 pace and finished 62nd overall, 18th woman, 8th in my AG. 1:53:36


#2- I did have to stop and poop. DAMNIT! Me and GU are no longer friends, I fear. But more on that later.

The race was, well... Interesting. More on that later too. Let's just say that if I had trained for this as a goal race, I'd be pretty unhappy. Aid stations were lame and infrequent, there was 1 toilet on the entire route, you had to pay an extra $5 if you wanted a CHEESY race t-shirt and there was no finisher's medal. $40 entry fee? I'm thinking it should have been $20. If that.

Since it was a solid training run, and I'm not injured, it's all good! I'm thrilled!

Talk to you later, blog friends!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goals (Schmoles)


If you're looking for a feel good, motivational post on my goals for Sunday's half marathon, you're probably not going to find it here.

You will find a little bit of low-brow humor, however. Shocking, I know!

So here we go.

In case you just jumped into my blog, here's the deal. I was on track to run a fantastic half marathon in September: the Heartbreak Ridge Half. 5 weeks before the race, I injured my leg. Boo. I then spend the next 6-8 weeks (can't remember the specifics) rehabbing my leg and getting healthy. While injured, I decided to sign up for a half marathon in October (Temecula Half Marathon), thinking that I'd be healthy by then.

I'm healthy! YAY!

But... being healthy doesn't mean that I can go out there and run myself into the ground.

My coach e-mailed me yesterday and wrote "we are running this race because we can." He also told me that I need to exercise caution because I'm going into it having run a mileage deficit. Or something to that effect. In other words, the longest run I've done in over 2 months is the 10-miler that I did last Sunday. It went well, but that doesn't mean I can go out there and try to bust out 8 minute miles for the entirety of this race. That would be DUMB, and I'm finished being a DUMB runner.

So Sunday is simply a solid training run. If I have to put a number on it (to it?), I'd have to say that I'm shooting for a 9 minute mile pace.

After checking out the course, I think this is a solid plan. Good morning, hills.


1) No pooping in my shorties


2) No pooping during the race

I feel pretty confident that I will be able to achieve Goals #1 and #2. It's only a half, and my bowels do ok during that distance. I just have to watch what I eat the night before.

3) Wear a cute outfit.

Check. This goal is already accomplished. I am wearing my new Run to Honor visor (more on Run to Honor in a later post...) and a red Team Sparkle skirt.

Team Sparkle skirts have become all the rage within the past few months. Many popular running bloggers are doing/have done give-aways recently. My outfit for Sunday is actually a rerun from the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon (sans the Minnie Mouse ears that have gone flat in the below photo). In fact, the Sparkly Girls Paparazzi ambushed me after the race for a photo that they could put on their Team Sparkle Facebook page.

How rude that I didn't even get off the phone. What was I thinking? Oh well. I really wanted to talk to my Mommy. What can I say?

 Wow. I look like complete SHIT here. But at least I was a running fashion trendsetter, right? I wore a sparkly skirt way before its time.

4) Run that 9 minute mile pace we discussed earlier. Or that I discussed. Or that I typed. Whatever. 

So that's that!!! Off to the race, I go!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I just completed my last assignment for my Creative Writing class:  a 13-page short story. 

I am now officially

...of the way done with graduate school (M.A in English-General Studies).

I ask myself daily why I decided this would be a swell idea.

Probably the wrong question to ask someone who willingly trains for a 26.2 mile race (more than once).

This is one marathon I will never do again.

12 more hours... I can do it!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back in DDs!

Double digits, that is!

Today was my first long run since my injury in late July. 10 pain free, not excessively hot (finally) miles!

I headed out the door around 7 am wearing my husband's Ironman watch since mine died this morning. Crap! Dead Garmin and now dead Timex. I may have to cave and charge G-Money now since I can't run without a watch. GASP! Why not just take off my shoes and head out the door barefoot while I'm at it?

I ran for 1:35 just to be safe. I'm pretty sure that I was running faster than a 9:30 pace, so it was likely more than 10 miles.

Had to make a pit stop at Jack in the Box right around the 1-hour mark. Apparently, it's a bad idea to completely gorge yourself with Papa Johns pizza, hot wings and cinnamon dessert pizza the night before a long run. Oh, and drinking 1/2 a Grande Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte right before said run isn't such a hot idea either.

Got a very random photo before I hit the powder room.

I'm thinking not very many people that eat at your joint, Jack.

Tacos with American cheese: Perfect fuel for running (to the toilet).

My husband actually loves the tacos there. GAG!

I do confess to enjoying an occasional JIB milkshake.

1 week until the Temecula Half! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not Dreading the Dreadmill... Sort of

But first... I want to thank those of you who commented on my last blog entry. I really appreciate your thoughtful words about my husband's service. So thank you for the thank yous!! (or something like that). I even gained a couple of new followers, bringing me to 29. 

I am well on my way to becoming famous.

Next-before we dive into why the treadmill doesn't always suck-I present you with a "Shameless Mommy Brag."

My kiddo was in last Sunday's paper! (He won the boys 8U 25 Fly with a new PR of 20.40 seconds.)

Last night, I decided to be social (for once), and I dined with 4 other squadron wives. It was really fun and a good reminder that all work and no play makes me a really dull and bitchy person. At any rate, one of the wives presented me with a copy of last Sunday's paper and said, "Did you see this?" I did not, in fact!! So cool. I knew that a photographer from the paper was at Evan's swim meet last Saturday and had taken some pictures of him. I made a mental note to check the paper the following day, but then I forgot because we had another day of swimming followed by a school bbq. Too much going on! I remembered again on Monday and checked online to see if he was in there and nothing was mentioned, so I forgot about it again. I'm so happy that my friend saw it and saved it for me! I look forward to putting it in Evan's swimming scrapbook. He was excited to see it this morning too.

So let's move on to the meat and potatoes of this meal. Or would it be just the meat? Whatever.

When I think of the treadmill, I think of this:

I feel like a hamster going nowhere on the treadmill. I HATE going nowhere. I'm kind of like that in life too. I have never been stagnant. I'm always moving forward. Always looking over the horizon. I admit it. I live my life too much in the future. Whether I'm concentrating on getting another degree, training for my next marathon, getting my last child to realize that crapping in a toilet and wearing Elmo underwear is the coolest thing in the world, I am always looking forward the next big accomplishment in my life.

So we've established how normally I'm not a fan of the treadmill. Wednesday and Thursday involved the treadmill, and oddly enough, I found myself actually calling it that in lieu of its normal nickname: The Dreadmill. Why?

For starters, and for those of you who are new to my blog, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Alter G for helping me deal with my recent 8-week tibia/calf/not exactly sure injury. Because I had access to an AG and used it diligently (obsessively), I feel like I have lost very little fitness. I've lost some endurance because the longest mileage that I logged on it was 7 miles. However, I've lost just a fraction of my speed. I'm starting to eek back up to my pre-injury pace, and I realize that without this fantastic tool, I would be nowhere near where I am currently.

What else?

Here are 3 more reasons why the treadmill doesn't suck:

1) The Rape Prevention Factor


Thanks for the reminder that we live in a shady, shithole town, Holly. For real.

This incident brought this story back to the forefront of my mind. After this happened, my husband bought me a handheld pepper spray that I've gotten out of the habit of carrying on my runs. Not anymore!

Yep. On the treadmill, I can run without the fear of being raped. SCORE!

2) Garminless Days and the Thrill of Seeing my Pace

I'm running naked these days, so being on the treadmill has been a real treat because I get to see exactly how fast I'm running. I know you other Type-A runners can relate. Woo hoo! I feel a little bit more in control, plus I get to practice my mental math now that I'm back to seeing my paces.

That brings me to #3.

3) Improving My 3rd Grade Math Skills and Keeping my Elderly Mom Brain in Shape

Aren't you supposed to do crossword puzzles and whatnot when you get older so your brain doesn't die? Seems like playing number games on the treadmill is an acceptable substitute, no?

Thursday Workout Brain Conversation:

Alright, I just finished my first warm-up mile. Let's figure out how to finish 6 miles in less than 55:20, which is what I did yesterday. That was a 9:13 pace, I think. Or was it 9:12? Hmmm.. Let's bump it up to 9:31 pace for the next couple of miles and see what that does. Ok, we're at 19:41 for 2 miles. What's that pace average? Hmmm. 19 divided by 2 is 9 something... Then I have 41 seconds... Wait. Don't I have to carry a 1 somewhere? So put that by the four. That's 14. Divided by two is 7. 7?!?! How does a 7 work in relation to seconds? There's only 60 seconds in a minute. SHIT! How do I do this? 

This goes on for the duration of the run at .5 to 1.0 mile intervals and since I seem to often miscalculate intervals, before I know it, I've run like another 1.5 miles and I'm that much closer to 6 miles. Sweet! It pays to be Gumpish at math!

And so with these three things in mind, I have found that I detest the treadmill less and less each day.

How about you? Are you a natural treadmill fan? If not, have you found tricks and/or psyche shifts to change your relationship with it?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Half Day in the Life of JOATMON

"Brevity is the soul of wit," said Shakespeare.

In both the spirit of brevity and wit, I present to you, "A Half Day in the Life of JOATMON."

(Jack of All Trades... Master of None. Get it? That's me! Wah wah.)

The day started off pretty standard. Living in a house of penises, I can expect mention of a phallus at least once during each 24-hour period of my life. This morning did not disappoint. My 5-year old interrupted my shower at 5:45 am by asking if he could join me. I declined, seeing as how he's reached Kindergarten, and my husband and I feel like it's time to phase mommy's nudity out.

"Hmmph," he complained. "I wish I could be 4 again!"

I finished up my shower and opened the door to find said non-4-year old on my bathroom floor.

"I'm touching my penis," he says.

"Alright, "I say. "Stop doing that in here, ok? Do that somewhere else." I tell him.

"Fine, I'll touch my butt!!!" he retorts.

The sad part is that I didn't even flinch. It wasn't the reaction from him that I was expecting; nonetheless, I wasn't surprised. Not even a little.

Moving on with the morning....

The blessing and curse of today is that it's a holiday. Blessing = don't have to get kids ready for school and can shuffle early am responsibility completely to husband. Curse = I have a crapton of grad school work and papers to grade (and a blog entry to write so I can win a t-shirt) and no kid-free day in which to get it done. The other curse part is that the school where I teach didn't observe the holiday. Off to school it was for me this am!!

It actually worked out well because I decided to incorporate SUAR's challenge to my students. For their first essay (we are starting the 2nd 8 weeks of a 16-week course today), they will write a 3-paragraph paper on a day in their lives. I thought it would be a fun way to get them engaged in writing and help them focus on their creativity.

SUAR, you've made it to the big time. You're beaming from my projector.

Everyone wave hi, and act like you're happy to be in my class!

They actually look like they're having fun. Is it because there are only 5 minutes of class left? Methinks yes.

I shared SUAR's blog entry and it was met with a few chuckles. You can't please everyone, and I am thinking some of the girls didn't find the toilet humor as hilarious as myself and the other varmints in the class, but it is what it is. You can't deny SUAR's creativity and vivid details/descriptions. That's how I want my students to write.

Sort of.

Maybe less fart/butt/poop and more SAT words but still... Creative is GOOD. Making a connection with your reader... EXCELLENT!

Have I kissed enough ass to win a t-shirt? No? I shall continue...

 "Wooooooooooooooow!" was the reaction when I showed my students the view that SUAR has on her way to work. We desert rats are used to this:

Wow. Just wow.


Stunning. But not in a good way... At all.

Class ends, time for one more class (I'm a part-timer) and then off to pick up my boys. My husband arranged his flight schedule so that he could watch them until my classes were over.

Naturally, there's a long line to get on base.

It's not construction, but it's a line. Both cuss-inducing events.

I arrive at my destination and pick up the boys from the brig. (If you read the Wiki definition, you'll notice that it says "penal" in there. Heh heh heh heh. Penal.)

Have fun, kiddos? I hope nobody bent over to pick up the soap...

Alright, alright. It wasn't the brig. Kind of looks like it though, huh? I had to work that picture in there somehow. It was actually the front of my husband's squadron. He's a badass defender of our freedom.

"I'll see you at 8 pm, " he's saying here. 8 pm is bedtime for the boys. Nice try, honey.
(He also made fun of me for making it a priority to blog for a contest when all I do is bitch about how much time I don't have to get things done. Hey. A JOATMON has priorities to dabble in it all.)

What was I saying about brevity? Oh yeah. Let's wrap this up. 

Home for lunch, nap time for the littlest one and a babysitter for the big boys....

Ta da!!! Today's feature is Scooby Doo and the Goblin King.

I realize that I look blurry and almost faceless here. Tyler is having an off day with his iPhotos.

That's a wrap for my exciting half day! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm currently in a weird place.

First, there's this.

71 degrees at 11:00am today? I get to run outside?!?! CRAZY!! It's like it happened overnight.

Not to worry. It's the first of a couple of "teasers." We'll be back up in the triple digits again in a bit. Or Maybe the upper 90s if we're lucky.  Happens every year... or at least the two that we've been here. It should finally break around Halloween. 

And then come the snowbirds. Boo. It's a trade off.

Second, I'm trying to get my groove back.

I spent June-August working my ass off only to get injured 5 weeks before the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon.

Then I spent 6-1/2 weeks working my ass off trying to lose minimal fitness while becoming injury free .

I'm almost 100%, but I'm easing my way back into it so as not to end up back at square one. This week I'm scheduled to do 29 miles total with a long run of 8 miles on Sunday. Meh. I have visions of speed work and hill repeats, but it's not smart right now. I also have visions of my Garmin. I miss her. I'm glad that we're on a break, so I don't obsess about my paces, but I feel antsy that I can't tell my EXACT distance. Running by time only is annoying. 

The Temecula Half Marathon is in 18 days, and I'm kind of blah, really. It's going to be an easy training run. There's no PR goals or anything like that. The excitement factor isn't really there. Although, I am excited to try this stuff before the race.

Liquid Speed

My running partner has been using it and said that it's unreal. It made her feel like she was flying on her 14-miler last Sunday. Her legs also were less tired than normal. SOLD

I plan on signing up for the Carlsbad Marathon ASAP (i.e. before bed tonight). It's 15 weeks from this Sunday (January 22nd). Beautiful course, perfect weather... And oh by the way,  I will be PRing that one. Just so you know.

Played "Eye of the Tiger" twice on my run today. 

Risin’ up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man (chick) and his (her) will to survive
Speaking of Rocky Balboa... We just got back Sunday from a trip to Philly last week. Of course, we had to do it. So without further ado...

I'd insert an inspirational Rocky quote here, but well... There are none. I actually looked for one. The guy has the IQ of a hubcap. 
But he's got heart!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A New Season

Happy Fall! 

The leaves are turning...

The sweaters are coming out of storage, and the boots and leggings are being prepped...

The hot, heavy, thick air of summer is becoming a distant memory...

Or not.
This is what I get for the first day of Autumn? WTF?

Well, whatever. I'm not going to let the incessant and continued obnoxious heat here bring me down. While it's still Hot as Hades,  it feels better than 7 weeks ago, when I last did my last run outside.

Until TODAY, that is!

--Cue fake running photo (that actually took place *after* the run)--

Photo courtesy of this guy.

Future barefoot runner? Not on the sidewalk though, bub!

I had a glorious 6.1 mile run. It was supposed to be only 5, and I'm waiting to hear back from my coach to see if he's mad at me (hee hee). I was able to catch back up with my awesome running buddy, Kim, so we got to gabbing and you know how that goes. 55 minutes later, I realized I had gone a little too far and a little too fast. According to Kim's Garmin (since I'm not wearing mine), we ran around a 9:08P. She looked down at her Garmin at one point during the run and told me we did an 8:26 mile. OOOOPS! I was shooting for around a 9:30P.

At any rate, I felt fantastic. I'm ready for a new season of running, racing, and leaving both the summer and my injury behind. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Running with the ugly stepsister

Once upon a time, I ran by feel.

I didn't need no stinkin' Garmin.

When we moved to Arizona in 2009, I decided that I wanted to get back into running. As soon as the weather broke, that is. It was July, and I was in no way, shape, or form interested in running in the kind of oppressive heat we have here during the summer. No thanks.

In fall '09, I jumped right into half marathon training. Being an overachiever, I naturally chose Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half training program. No was way I going to do the *gasp* "Beginner" program. Of course, I had no idea how far or fast I was ever running since at that time, I had no Garmin to keep track of my distance and pace. I pretty much winged it. I assumed that I was running around 9 minute miles, so I just went with that. If the plan called for a 3 mile run, I ran for 27 minutes. For longer runs, I assumed that I was running a little slower, so I adjusted my time accordingly.

At the end of January 2010, I made it to the starting line of the Carlsbad Half Marathon. My goal was to finish in just under 2 hours. As the race progressed, I distinctly remember reaching the mile markers way above goal pace. Every couple of miles I'd do the mental math until it became readily apparent that, "Holy cow. If I push it, I can do sub-1:50."

Of course, part of pushing it meant foregoing a pit stop and peeing in my running tights. Oh well!!!

Crossing the finish line of that race is one of the most meaningful moments I've experienced in my running life (career? hobby? whatever). I really did get choked up. I couldn't believe that after running only a handful of times in the previous 4 years, I managed--in 12 weeks--to run my second fastest time for a half marathon EVER. I was so proud! 1:48:54 never felt so good. That time was way above where I thought I'd finish. Truth be told, I was hoping for a 1:58.

What is my point? I'm getting there.

As of today, I've been rehabbing for 6 weeks. On August 7th, I went outside for a 14 miler, took about 7 steps and then turned around and walked back home--pouting. It's been 6 weeks of Alter G Treadmill, elliptical machine and pool running.

Over the past 6 weeks, this has happened...

I spy a dead Garmin in a make-up drawer full of crap.

I'm happy to announce that my rehabbing (somewhat) is coming to an end! Today will be my third attempt at a combo treadmill run/elliptical training workout. The previous two have been totally pain free! I am hoping that in another week, I'll be back outside actually GOING SOMEWHERE on my runs.

Today also marks exactly 5 weeks until the Temecula Half Marathon. I have decided that for the next 5 weeks, I will train with the "ugly stepsister."

Maybe ugly is too harsh. She's the no-frills, functional stepsister.

On any given day, I read through running blogs and it's all about the numbers.

"I ran a new PR mile today! With a stroller too! 5:56!"

"I was off on my splits for my Yasso 800s: 3:14. 3:17, 3:20, 3:18."

"My long run went really well. I finished with a 9:05 overall pace!"

Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers.

Numbers, however, aren't really something a runner should worry about too, too much after coming off of an injury. And I know that if I jump back into training with my Garmin, I'll be worrying. I'll be looking down at that bad boy every 35 seconds checking my pace.

I don't want that kind of pressure. I don't want to compare myself to everyone else right now.

My goal for the Temecula Half Marathon is to run it at a 9-minute mile pace. I feel pretty confident that if I continue to remain injury-free and consistent with my training, I'll be able to do it.

And like I did for the Carlsbad Half, I'm going to do it all by feel.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Candid Camera

We had a great weekend of swimming. Evan set lots of PRs and finished 2nd place overall in points in the 8U division.

He also KILLED his 200-yd breaststroke. That boy has some endurance.

Ok, let's have two cool action shot and the rest bloopers--bloopers of both my oldest boys in action.

Ready. Set. GO!!

Evan in action during his 100-yd IM. 

Don't forget basketball star, Tyler.

A little blurry mom, but I still look good.

Now for the fun stuff. Can you feel the enthusiasm?





Put the damn camera away already.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Heading North

Tomorrow, we're heading 4 hours north to Kingman, AZ for a swim meet.

Can I tell you how excited I am about this?

High of 88 degrees = HEAVEN! I may actually be chilly.

In leg news... 

I went to the doctor on Thursday. It was a big, fat waste of time. She sent me to get an x-ray, which will likely show nothing. She also said no high impact (i.e. running) for 4-6 weeks. Hahahaha! If my leg still hurts at the end of that 4-6 week period of not running (ha again!), then I can maybe get a bone scan.

Thanks for nothing, Navy Medicine!

Anyway, it's almost as if simply calling the doctor was the catalyst for a speed-up in my recovery. My leg has felt GREAT this week. Today, I ran the last 20 minutes of a 1-hour run on the Alter G at an 8:27 pace and 85% of my body weight. I felt ZERO PAIN. Tomorrow is a rest day, Sunday will be elliptical training (if the hotel has one, that is), and next week will hopefully be my last week on the Alter G. We'll do another trial run on the regular treadmill September 19th. Can't wait! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Laborless Day

In my case, that's certainly what it is. Today was my first non-cardio day in a month! It felt really good to relax with an hour of yoga at our local yoga studio. It was a great reminder of the benefits of that form of cross-training and a reminder of how I need to get back to it ASAP. I see some "hot yoga" Sunday night dates with hubby in the near future. He's a big fan of yoga as well.

Anyway... So I had a mental breakdown two days ago.

If you google "mental breakdown" this is one of the images that appears. Haha.

While I didn't shave my head, I had a solid 24 hour pity party sprinkled with a bit of rage. Much of it was about my leg. Much of it was about where I live. Not a fan of the leg or the town right now. The thing to remember, however, is that both conditions are temporary.

If I had to guess, I'd say that I'm about a month away from returning to normal training. At least that's what I'm setting myself up for. Tomorrow, I plan on bolting to the doctor after my class ends at 9:15 am and setting up an appt. to see if we can schedule an MRI... Just to rule out the worst case scenario (stress fracture). Then I'll bolt over to the gym and hop on the good 'ole Alter G for 1 hour (at 50% of my body weight). Afterwards, it's back to resistance training, baby. I have neglected it (as well as yoga), and I need to return to it. Here's a good article on why

Next weekend should have been a nice trip to Oceanside for the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon. Instead, it's going to be a return to Kingman, AZ to watch my 8 year-old kick butt in his debut at the 200m breaststroke. While I can't yet celebrate my own athletic achievements, I'm excited to celebrate those of my boys. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wah wah wah wah

This pretty much sums it up...

I woke up Friday morning and felt too much soreness in my leg. I also noticed that the nodule on my tibia, which had decreased in size considerably over the past couple of weeks, was now enlarged and tender to the touch.

I e-mailed my coach, and we decided that it would probably be best if I hopped back onto the Alter G instead of attempting another regular treadmill run.

Not that the Alter G is jail, but I've felt a little trapped on it lately.

I did, and it was a good thing that I chose to do that. I could only run around 50% pain free.

Coach has also recommended that I try to get back into my doctor to see if I can get an MRI and that I do no more than 50% body weight on the Alter G for the next 2 weeks. We're going to treat this like it's a healing stress fracture. Boo.

And so it goes. Just like my 2 year-old's current attempt at potty training (or lack thereof as of last week), it's one step forward, two steps back.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! I'll be enjoying mine at the pool. Again. With my stylish pool belt.