Saturday, July 23, 2011

Safety #1 Running buddies

These girls are my rock... love running with them!
I did my first presentation for our Fleet Feet 10K training program this morning on runner safety. Its been a long time since I've presented material in front of people (other than the workout that Ed let me lead last Wednesday which went really well other than the group cussing me out in their heads being so excited over making them do one mile repeats). Due some extenuating circumstances in our area it was just a good time to remind everyone of some safety issues anyhow. Here's a little run down of how I keep safe on runs. Today I'm going to talk about running buddies.

I schedule a run with friends, especially in a new area to me. Running with my friends is one of my favorite ways to connect and socialize with my besties. I found this amazing group of friends through running and we keep that going by exercising together... and of course they are kind of a captive audience once we're out on the trail a few miles... I do love to sing and tell jokes 10 miles into a 20 mile run... I'm sure they love that!

crazy things you do when with your running buddies

Run with new people. The best way to make new friends is to go for a hot sweaty feet pounding run with them. Every ones guard is down and the honesty seems to shine through. I can attest to the fact that I've sometimes over-shared with new running buddies but I've also listened to many stories that we wouldn't normally share in any other circumstances from child birth to bathroom habits, while out on the trail. I build emotional walls, that's just how I deal with life... but they crumble easily on the trail or road. That seems to be when I'm to the most ME.

out on a run with my best running buddy

I run with my dog. She loves to run with me. She deters strangers and other dogs from approaching me and its just great to spend time with her. I rescued her from the pound and she is just so happy to be out and about with me that I can't help but love that time. I also hope that keeps other big scary animals away while on trail runs. My dog even has a best friend...Laila that she loves to run with. That is how amazing running is. :)

me and Koz on our 50K relay
Running buddies stop you from running into the street when you shouldn't. They remind you of which side of the road to run on (facing traffic), have extra eyes and ears to watch out for dangerous situations, keep you from getting lost alone, pull you through a hard run, carry extra GU or chomps in case you run out, deter strangers (or big animals) from approaching. They are your sounding board, youre theirs. Running may be cheaper than therapy, but its also a lot more fun. I do love my running buddies!.

Do you have a running buddy... or two or three or more? Do you run with your dog?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Heights, Water and Catwalks, Oh My

Lots of fun stuff going on here! Coaching is going well. I'm not getting as many miles in as I would like and my hip was a lot more tender after hill repeats with the 10k group Wednesday night than I would have liked. I did a couple short runs this week but other than that I've been off the wagon. My brain AND my body needed the long run release. When Linda in Paradise offered up a chance to run the flumes above DeSabla reservoir this morning I jumped at the chance.

My grandparents, aunt and cousin lived just down the fire road from the PG&E lake when I was little. We spent countless hours walking along the trails, riding sleds down the embankment in the snow by the lake and riding my cousins horses along the paths. Although it has been many years since I've spent time up there in ways it will always be a part of me and some of my best memories.

I met Linda at 6:30 in order to get 10 miles in. She ran this same trail for 10 miles yesterday with a bunch of people from Paradise that make the track down the hill in the Spring and Fall for the marathon programs. They all took the Summer off and taking to the trails up in the foothills. Today we headed off along the trail and chatted about lots of fun stuff. We run along the flume with the water running the opposite direction. There are several places where you have to walk along "cat walks" sometimes just two boards side by side and sometimes grates with a hand rail... sometimes without a hand rail...

If you know me in real life you know I'm a chicken sh*t. I don't like water... I don't like heights and I'm not particularly fond of bridges. OK I LIKE bridges a lot but I do NOT like to walk across them. Heights+water= no thank you. I just sucked it up and walked. The views were probably amazing but I wasn't going to look around and see. It was just one foot in front of the other. I'm sure that Linda was annoyed but she didn't show it. We got to one point where the catwalk didn't have a handrail. It was half of a metal tube cut in half and help up next to the cliff side of a mountain with water GUSHING flowing against the direction we were running. it was hard to keep moving forward without feeling dizzy so i took my time.

We turned around and headed back and crossed back across the same catwalks. It was a lot easier to get across then. Water flowing the same direction and better to focus on getting home that way! Linda even offered to take a picture on the long catwalk to prove i got across all by myself! The run was beautiful and I forgot that I love the sound of the water moving. There were still a lot of wild flowers in bloom and the temperatures were in the high 60's the entire time. I am definitely putting this run on my list.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Put Me In Coach

Lots of big changes have been  happening these last few months. I've been so overwhelmed that I've had little time to sit down and pull them together as a post so I'll lightly touch on a few of the things that we've been going through.

First things first. We put our house on the market in hopes of finding something a little bigger and with a pool. Keeping it clean and ready to show has taken up almost every morning in case someone calls and wants to see it so it leaves little time for running. Little to no running is only adding stress to a already stressful situation. I'm hoping an offer comes in soon so I can look forward again.

Hollywood Pitching

Hollywood (10 y.o. son) had the baseball season that refused to end. Between the constant rain outs and the fact that they were undefeated in their playoffs I had to juggle practice, games and the rest of our crazy life right now. They made it all the way to the district level where they made a it through a tough game but didn't end up on top. Its OK... so many kids never make it as far as they did and he improved by leaps and bounds this season.

Blondy reading his new book

Blondy (9 y.o. son), since the weather changed from cold to HOT he's been battling migraines just like me. Its harder to monitor how much water he's taking in and I'm sure he would do well. we had to leave a few of Hollywood's games because he would go from fine to migraine in a matter of minutes.

Celebrating 12 years married

FireFighterProvider (FFP) has been changing his schedule around like crazy to make it to Hollywood's games. He's also starting a new business with his best friend so there will be more to come on that but lets just say that has been a whirlwind of papers and meetings and licences and federal, state, local business dealings that aren't always on the "same page".

Coach Tina Necklace for GOTR

Me, Mightymite Runner (MMR), went off to LV for my Birthday and took that RRCA class to be certified as a running coach. I also had a great stint with Girls on the Run. I've been working my way though the workshops to be able to work with Susan and the other amazing coaches at Fleet Feet Chico. I've been looking forward to this for so long!  GOTR was probably the highlight of my Spring. I met and worked with wonderful young women who changed my life with their spirit and growth. Having boys is so different than working with girls. I loved every minute of working with them. We "graduated them" with a 5k called the Diva Dash. I cried as I watched each of our girls cross that finish line. it was amazing. I don't have time to do it again this Fall but I'm looking forward to another Spring program!

I did get my certification and started working with FF to get ready for the Summer Sizzler 10k program. I had been waiting so impatiently but as it approached I was just a bundle of anxious nerves! I shouldn't have been. Ed, Susan and Vince made things very easy for Cari and I (coach trainees) and we took to the route on our bikes to touch base with everyone and make sure everyone was safe and following directions. Other than the heat (it was 93F that day) things went very smoothly.

Perfect Post Run Yoga Stretching
Saturday went well too. I drove to Cari and Vince's house and we rode bikes to the park where we were starting. It is so nice of them to share their extra bike with me since mine was stolen from my garage two weeks ago. These are our longer run days. Ed and I take the "advanced" or "speed group" out a little farther than the "endurance group" with Vince and Cari but generally along the same path so it is easy to keep everyone in the general area. There were over 100 of us out there running! What a great group. Some of the trails get a little tight so its good to go over etiquette for such a large group. We get to remind our runners to go single file along the path where other's are running, riding, walking their dogs and such. We may not be able to control what other groups are doing we need to be more responsible and courteous since we represent Fleet Feet in name and actions.

We finished our run and this great gym, Elevate Chico strength, was there to do post run stretching/yoga next to Sycamore pool. It was the perfect end of the run. I'm looking forward to the next 7 weeks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day 2011

What a year so far! This time last year I was just getting back into running after an injury and having trouble tackling 4 miles. Today I went out after two weeks off and it felt like it had been forever since I had run. I can't believe I've run through two marathon programs and a 10k program since then. Crazy stuff. I haven't had any time to post and obviously no time to run in the last few weeks with this crazy busy live I've been leading lately. Liz said today she has never seen me so stressed. I would have to agree with that. Running is definately my anti depressant.

So I broke my streak and ran a nice easy 4 with liz today. I smiled afterward and haven't had the need to scream or bite anyone's head off since I got home. I see more sanity runs in my near future.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

High on the Miles

Liz at mile 17 (committed)

The method to my madness is easy. Its been stressful around here so I run... or I don't but there is no in between. I run hard or I run long. I did learn so much at my RRCA class and but the big make it work for me info is to slow down on my longer runs and I''ll feel better. Guess what? It worked! I started out working hard on that first Tuesday night speed workout but then kept it light for the rest of the week. I eased off even more on my pace and I did amazing on our 20 mile run this weekend, even with the crazy wind, rain and sleet (and hills) we ran through I felt great the entire way. I had nice easy quiet 6 and 7 mile runs all week. That 20 miler on Saturday finished off a 47 mile week.

Bday shot of tequila

We celebrated my birthday by going with friends to dinner at Tres Hombres, hit Panama's for a drink (but no potty breaks!) then for some "Drunk Bowling". I was pretty blitzed by then and made everyone shake their butts if they were up at the same time as me. I yelled WAHOO a lot and drank a bunch of NorCal Margaritas which made me VERY HAPPY! We didn't get in until 1am or so and I slept like a ROCK! I didn't go for a run Sunday but I didn't have a hangover either! Wahoo for me.

at mile (crazy) 17 of 20

Monday I did knock out a good 7 miles up to the airport but it was warm. Weird what 2 days can make, from snowing to the 60's and sunshine. Tuesday night was my "webinar" with the rest of the RRCA group and so I ran with Robin, Traci, Marta and Anna at the CSUC track that morning. We ran bleachers and sprints. Not my usual kinda run and it showed. I was at least one set back from them by the end and my strides (sprints) were poor but I tried! I was super sore and tired and still had to run to mom's office to call AAA since I locked my keys in my car and then run back. It was only 4.87 miles in the bank but 3 of those were pretty hard work! I was super sore the next day but went for a nice long hilly hike with friends to Table Mt. and even more sore today (Thursday) but ran a good 7miles including the mother hill with Tracy, Cheri and Liz today. Hopefully I'll run 5 tomorrow and figure out how to get my 18 in on Saturday.  

RRCA Coaching Certification

The cute hat I bought myself for my Bday

Something I've been pondering and throwing around in my head for a while is to take a coaching certification class. I have a lot of friends who are very interested in running and ask me advise. I give them little ideas on how to get started and what worked for me but I struggled with the fact that I'm a runner not a coach and truthfully as much as I love running... I love teaching more. I miss teaching CPR, I miss being the one who can lead others into a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to be a part of the larger picture.

I approached Susan at our local Fleet Feet and told her I was interested in helping out in the longer distance programs and did she think she could use someone in the Fall. She said yes! Their programs are growing by leaps and bounds for all the programs and its hard to keep enough coaches who can follow their philosophy rotating through the programs with some time off too. It would be nice to give those who are in there a break and its always good to have more "feet" out there to monitor the runners.

I've only been running for the last 3+ years and would they accept me as their coach? Would I do well enough in this class to not just pass but to get the info I need to teach them? Would this give me the confidence I'm looking for?

I headed for LV from Disneyland on my sisters 29th Birthday. While they were driving back to NorCal I was on planes and in Taxi cabs. I took cheater books with me to study before I got to class. I got to the hotel and walked over to REI so I'd know where I was going to be taking the class the next day. I also bought myself a pair of cute capris and a hat. I'd been looking for one in DL and never found one that I really loved.

Where our class was held in NWLV

I ate dinner at a pub across from the hotel/casino and met a sweet young couple out on a date sitting at the bar that chatted me up. They said it was nice to have a conversation with another adult at dinner. I was glad they got a chance to get out. I remember what that was like!

Class on Saturday was my birthday. Lots of sciencey stuff. Learned A LOT. I learned why slow running is good, why building your endurance helps in any longer race, why we build the programs the way we do.

We all met back at the same pub I ate at the night before and had a yummy dinner of stir fry and they bought me a "birthday shot" that I had to take without my hands. Didn't work out to well. Total party foul but it was fun.

wicked blurry shot of my birthday "shot"

Sunday I met up with some of my RRCA peeps and we went for a run. Of course I got lost with my running buddy so we just headed up to Starbucks instead. :) Got in a good 3 miles though! Went back to the hotel and took showers and headed back to REI community room. Warren jumped in and gave us a lot more info to digest and we had to put a lot of that information into action. Building a running plan and program around a really "pushy" pretend runner looking for a half marathon time a bit beyond her abilities at that time. Most of us judged a little too conservative. It was hard to think outside the box but we got the picture pretty quick! I left with a good view of how things work and lots of notes! Thank you Susan for the heads up and the good advise.

I took the test today and got a 92%. less than what I expected but that's OK. I need to be better about following my gut!

Disneyland trip

WOW! Its been too long! I'm going to do a few recap posts here and catch you all up on the fun times I've had since I've last posted.

Nani w/ her pop princess do and Belle

The week before we went to Disneyland I was so good about my miles! I hit them all knowing the next week would be hard with my sister and her kids in town before we left for SoCal. I did have a crazy headache that Saturday and bailed 2 miles in but I felt confidant that it wouldn't interfere too much with my training. Up to that point I had been really good this training period with hitting close to what is written for me. I also ate well. I've been more aware of my gluten splurges and that they really don't make me feel well so it isn't worth it to jump ship. I did a time or two but for the most part I was diligent. I missed posting here because we didn't have Internet. That just about drove me bonkers.

We drove to Disneyland caravan style with my sis, her kids and my parents in the other car on that Monday. It was my nephew Jeremy's 3rd birthday. He's so stinkin' cute! It was also my 18th anniversary of my Melanoma diagnosis. Let me tell you that it may have been wet and cold in NorCal but SoCal was beautiful and sunscreen was a must. We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe and headed to our hotel for a good night sleep.

5 kids and my sista on Casey Jr. train

me and my boys

Tuesday-Thursday was a whirl wind of Disneyland madness including my hubby taking my niece (6) on her first roller coaster ride on the Matterhorn, my nephews (JJ age 3) and (TyTy age 4) each on their first roller coaster rides on the Gadgets GoCoaster in ToonTown. Not sure the little guys recovered but Nani sure loved it! I took her and her mom over to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a princess makeover and she chose the "POP PRINCESS" hair do for her princess day. She looked wild! Kinda reminded me of the 80's music I listened to growing up. She only needed a microphone to sing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" into and it would have been perfect! We did so much walking and carried Tyler (4) a lot. I estimated that we probably walked close to 10 miles a day. Between carrying my nephews and hustling from 7am til 11pm every day I don't think I lost any fitness while I was there! Probably one of the best parts was that my sista, my nephew and I wore our "It's My Birthday" badges with our names on them and EVERYONE said happy birthday to us for the last two days (that's when we found out we could wear them even if it was our bday WEEK) of our park visit. It was pretty amazing!

St. Patty's day in the park with the whole Family

Holding Tink w/ Nani and my Sista

My little family in CalAdv.

All the kids at the CARS

Got to see Pooh Bear! I love taking little guys to DL!
 I hopped on a plane to Vegas Friday while they drove home to cold wet Chico. I cried in the car on the way to the airport. I missed my sista and the kids already and I had just walked out the door.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Into the Wind

North end of the levy where we shouldn't have been
 There is a crazy storm headed our way. Some people in other parts of the country think its beaches and sunshine all over California. Well here in Chico we don't have a real beach but we have lots of creeks with wonderful watering holes to jump in. We have lakes all around us to go explore too. But this week we are expecting snow all the way to the valley floor! SNOW! You know because all the people who already shouldn't be out there driving will be F-L-I-P-P-I-N-G out! I'm excited though. I love running in the rain and I'm sure I'd love running in the snow although I do not like running in the wind. The whole run today felt like it was running right into the wind. So I haven't even looked at my splits but I'm sure they aren't good.

I swear she found every mud puddle
I took the kids to school and came back and ate breakfast. Gotta love Cheerios with strawberries and blue berries. I know they aren't in season yet but I couldn't resist them on my Trader Joe's trip. They did not disappoint. I love me some blueberries. They are most definitely my favorite fruit. Strawberries are yummy but just can't compare. I can't wait for summer fruits and veggies.

I didn't get out the door until 9:30 but the wind had already picked up and the clouds were threatening rain. I grabbed the leash and Cindi went crazy. She was so ready to go. I knew that she was going to either drag me or that I was going to spend the first few miles correcting her. Off we went and we hit our first hurdle when we crossed the first major street with two puppies that Cindi assumed were there to play with us. I had to drag her away from them but they all did look pretty cute playing together. Off we went to the walking path behind a local subdivision that leads to the levy. Its just over a mile to get there and Cindi was so happy to be off leash for a bit. There are houses to our right but all open fields to the left so she felt very free and I had to keep calling her back so she wouldn't run off. When we hit the levy we decided to add some mileage by turning left instead of right and seeing where it lead. I probably should have told someone I was going there since I doubt enough people go out there that if something bad happened it would be days before anyone found me! So no more going back there by myself but we will be heading back there with friends for sure. It was pretty though.

Just past the ball fields along the levy
We turned back into the wind and ran to Wildwood park along the levy but the wind was so bad and my hip was hurting a little I had to stop and stretch a few times along with the "snot rockets" and coughing along the way. The wind took my hat 3 times along that mile stretch alone. We turned the corner and checked the water fountains that are apparently still off due to this freeze and decided to take a leashed loop around the path that is just over half a mile long then over the road to the other side of the levy. Cindi was pretty tired by then and our run was starting to warm up. We ran along Centenial then turned around at the 5 mile mark and headed back with a water stop for us both at 5 mile, me at the fountain and her in the creek then ran back along the levy and home. Those last 3 were almost effortless. Finally found my happy place and even the parts where Cindi was on leash she was behaved. At the point to turn off the path behind the houses we did run into a German shepherd who was loose. We ended up leashing up and heading into the neighborhood to avoid a confrontation. This ended up adding more than a half mile to my projected route but we didn't even care! Well I didn't care and I didn't hear Cindi complaining so when we slowed down in front of the house and noticed the hubby wasn't home yet I almost headed back out for a few more miles. Instead I did dishes and laundry and stretched.

Chico Creek by 5Mile

We do have a few miles to make up for since i didn't run yesterday. I'm thinking of heading to Paradise and running in the snow because I'm so jealous of you mid-westerners who have been battling it for months. ;) We got in with 8.81 miles in but I'm not telling you how long it took us with all that head wind.

Do you take your dogs on your runs? How far do you run with them? Cindi has run anywhere from 3 and up to 12miles with me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It Snot Pretty

I did now want to get up this morning for our scheduled 14 mile run but today was a little special and we ran from C&M Automotive. My friend Kosmo and his wife own the repair shop and also sponser a local race series here in Chico. You could not ask for more supportive and sweet people.

Kosmo had a route laid out for us based on a cycling route with some little extra loops to make up some mileage. We started out from C&M and I kept up with the 10m/m pace group but it wasn't pretty. The first 5 miles were at an incline with some rolling hills at the top. We went up by the airport then along Ryan by the ball fields where Hollywood plays Little League. I kept Susan, Liz and Becca in my sights and TDD right behind me. There were a lot of "snot rockets" and "super spitting" going on from all the morning gunk from this cold. It was GROSS! We did have a few fun little things happen along the run though. About mile 4 a cow and and its calf came out over a hill headed in the same direction as us at a run. It was like they were running with us. It was very funny when my friend made an attempt to run faster than them up the hill. We also saw a bunch of great creeks and slews rushing with water. I wish I would have stopped to take pictures.

At mile 5 we turned off of Cohassett Highway and onto the Keefer road. The houses along this road are pretty amazing. I would love for someone to buy me one of these $500k-$1million dollar homes then come clean it for me. :) We took a few of those loops off the side streets including running past Aaron Rogers parents house. I didn't take a picture because I was respecting their privacy but it was green. Not GB Packers green either but that's OK. It was pretty cool. That kept me going past the half way mark and I was just hoping to make it to the 10 mile mark. I was all about climbing in coach Paul's truck and giving up but he went to rescue another runner by the time I got to the aid station meaning I was going to have to finish the last 4 miles. Now I'm glad I did but I probably would not have regretted it if I hadn't finished.

Levy shot of the rushing water. This is usually dry

Liz on the levy

I felt like CRAP! I took GU shots (the new peach tea ones are THE BOMB) at mile 5 and 10 and hoped they would kick in quickly. The last 4 were plagued with moving streams right over the road on Hicks and that makes for some wet socks which even with Body Glide makes for hot spots or even blisters. We turned off onto the levy at mile 12.5 and headed towards home. The wind was a bitch all day. My head felt like it was going to explode from the pressure in my sinus and every time I stopped for something I started coughing. I just wanted to get back to Kosmo's shop and drink coffee and eat treats. So although I felt like I was flying I saw on my Garmin I was struggling to keep it at 10 minute pace against a 10-15 mph head wind.  That uneven surface isn't too pleasant on wet squishy shoes and socks either so I was ready to be home and out of the wind. I'm just thankful it didn't rain on us! I did like TDD's version of my cold. Its like a little green gremlin in there trying to get out... and the snot and gunk is like that character from the commercial we all love don't we? LOL

I'm looking forward to a good easy hill run with my friend Cheri tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feelings on Boston and Lance's Retirement

I'm not a fast runner, marathon or otherwise. I'm more of a mid to back of the pack runner. I like to run with my friends and my biggest goal is to someday finish under 4 hours. There's not age I need to be when I do it. I don't need someone to tell me that I'll have to run faster to achieve that. I'm not sure how I'd be feeling if Boston was a goal of mine. I would probably disheartened, discouraged and upset or maybe I would feel just like I do now. I do know that I have heard from some runners who are not happy about these changes. They will have less of a chance to register if they are close to their BQ cut off time. They will lose that 59 second grace time on the minute cut off. They will have to work so much harder to drop their times low enough to qualify in the future. I don't disagree with the BAA practices and changes I just feel for those people who have worked so hard to get close and may loose their chance. I do think that with more people running, and running faster for that matter, it is making the chances of meeting the current/old times more attainable with a good strong consistent effort. That is a lot of runners who qualify,  a lot more than the number of qualifying spots available for the Boston Marathon. As a runner with a young family I don't see it in my future. I don't have the time or ambition to put into it and my heart is more about getting others into running than running marathons fast myself. I have a hope that coaching will bring some of that competitive energy back to the future but its not a burning desire yet. So If you want to qualify for Boston you have a lot of work cut out for you. Go out there and do your work... and I'll watch your times as you cross that Boston line.

Lance is Re-retiring from cycling to spend more time with his family. His name is on one of the most successful charitable organizations to bring funds and education to one of the deadliest diseases in the world. He obviously adores his family and his fame on the bike has given him a name to use for a good thing. I personally don't think that he is a selfless, humble, innocent man. I think that he wouldn't be the kind of man I would want to marry or have a family with (although I do adore his ex-wife Kristen Armstrong's blog). I do think that his body was made to do amazing things and he did them... with or without doping. I really could care less if he did or didn't use drugs. I think his children are old enough to read the information that is out there the truth, the theory, the lies, the not so subtle comments that some people might be making about their father. Lance and I are very different but we have a few things in common, we ran a marathon (although he was A LOT faster) and we are both cancer survivors. So I'm not going to bash him. I'm going to forgive without knowing all his faults. I'm going to keep wearing my yellow bracelet and running or volunteering for the LiveStrong run in our little community in October. I'm going to tell my kids that being the best they can be without using pills or shots or drugs is the only way to truly win and you are not only cheating yourself but your friends, your coaches, your peers, your competitors, by "doping" in any way. I'll tell my children the truth, that dignity and honesty are more important than winning. I only hope that Lance knows that too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When it Rains...

post 8 mile hilly, wet, windy run

... it pours. I've feeling so cruddy that I finally broke down and got a script for this yucky gunk that has taken over my body. My PA gave me the script as a last ditch effort if it all goes south and that's exactly what it did. So much for the "allergy/Reactive Airway Disease/possible virus theory he had going. After taking the first day of the z-pac on Tuesday night I started feeling like ME again! I hadn't run since Sundays Grand Mother F***ing hill workout on Sunday with Liz  where I actually had to stop and walk because I was coughing so hard. I took Monday and Tuesday off because I was a wreck and a half.

Any who... I used my usual Monday rest day to do some core work then I skipped Tuesday nights speed workout to get better. Our beautiful California weather took a vacation somewhere else and the rain and wind made a reappearance. I hate the wind more than ANYTHING else. I would rather run in the pouring rain than in the wind. Yuck. I did make it to Book club on Tuesday night at the crepe place here in town and the food was yummy and the book was "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I tried really hard not to read it but once I started reading it I couldn't stop. It was a great discussion for a blustery wet night speed run that was scheduled for the exact same time.

I did get a 4 mile run in on Wednesday night with Liz. Apparently I was feeling pretty good because Liz was sore from the 3x 10 minutes at interval pace she had to run on Tuesday night in the rain and wind that I had to be reminded to rope it in for her. She did kick my butt today though.

stretching post wet, hilly, windy run

I woke up this morning to pouring rain and crazy winds and got dressed this morning and left the house at 6:40 to meet with her, Susan Z, and TTDas we met at 5 mile for an 8 mile hill run up in Canyon Oaks. I had some relative "ups and downs" during the hill run and not always during the hills either. I did master the "snot rocket" and I'm not so good at spitting out the gunk in the back of my throat. Yuck again. This may be a little TMI but that's what runners talk about when we run anyway right? Well that and food. We ran the "GRANDmother F***ing Hill" today again and I only had to walk long enough to clear out the snot in my nose and get going again. It was a little better than Sunday. We did get back to 5 mile and get our stretching in under the little overhang. I took some pics of the fast moving creek then us stretching. I need to make up some miles tomorrow then a 14 mile run on Saturday and probably a Sunday hill run again. I'm looking forward to Monday's off day again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things I Love...

  • my hubby
  • my boys
  • my puppies
  • my parents, sista, nieces and nephews
  • my amazing friends
  • running with my friends
  • hugs and kisses
  • reading (my Nook rocks)
  • movie theater popcorn
  • BBQed ribs
  • corn on the cob with lots of butter and salt (see movie theater popcorn. I'm sensing a theme here!)
  • Dirty Dancing (gotta love Patrick Swayze... RIP)
  • swing dancing
  • Jiminy Cricket, Tinker Bell and Disneyland
  • the sound of the guitar or saxophone
  • Christmas (and Christmas music)
  • Giving people the perfect present
  • that runners high I get on that perfect run
  • late night talks with my bestie
  • watching my oldest play baseball
  • watching my youngest read Harry Potter
  • watching them both swim like fish despite my fear of the water
  • eating the food my husband hunts (especially wild pork!)
  • cuddling with my husband on the couch
  • camping at the lake
  • laying in the hammock with my hubby
  • riding my cruiser around town
  • book club
  • runs with Cindi (makes me feel safe too!)
  • Puppy play dates w/ my red headed friends and their fur babies

Saturday, February 12, 2011

restart #gagillion

is gagillion a #?

 I've started a ton of posts but they all seem so HEAVY and needed a lot more processing in my brain before I could share them. So they sit in my Edit folder and don't see the light of day. I'm OK with that but I do regret not sharing anything with you guys for a while.

What I have been up to:

first time skiing in the last 18 years or so

1) The hubby took us skiing last month as the boys big present for Christmas. They got all day lessons at Homewood and they did amazing! I on the other had got a "crash course" on the mountain. I was actually doing well until I got tired in the afternoon and fell a bunch. I came home not a happy camper but I'm glad the kids and hubby had a good time.

2) I spent weeks with soreness on my left side (normally its my right side that gives me issues). All my push off muscles were not happy at all. I had been running hills 2-3 days a week in preparation for Big Sur 21 in May. Dr. John fixed me up though. He has magic hands. ART really works.

3) I started coaching Girls on the Run with one of my running friends "Daring Donna" and another friend "Lively Lisa"! We had a coach meeting for all the coaches in Butte County a couple Saturdays ago, then last week had our first two meetings. I cannot tell you how much I love being a part of this organization! The girls are amazing. One girl's mom approached Donna worried about her daughters self confidence but that first day she came up with her own nick name, "Make It Happen M"! Isn't that great? I'm getting lots of great ideas from Caitilin over at Healthy Tipping Point. Thanks Caitlin!

4) I signed up for the RRCA coaching certification seminar in Las Vegas the weekend of my birthday. I also started some coaching meetings with Susan so I can help coach the half or full programs this Fall for Fleet Feet. I had my second meeting with her and Laurie yesterday. I can't even start to explain how excited I am for this opportunity. As much as I love running I also love to get others on the path to a healthy relationship with themselves through running. I've trained with our local group in 10 different programs from 10k to 3 full marathon programs in the last 3 years. I would definitely say that running has been the biggest positive change I have make in my life. I love that I can share that with others.

5) Habitat for Humanity Home Run was today. Its a local 5k that my friend Vicki organizes to raise funds to build local homes for families who choose to invest in their futures by helping to build their own homes. I would say that today was a success! I hope Vicki though so too!

Deer at the golf course on our 10 mile run Thursday

6) sickies... We have had unseasonably warm weather for the last month. Everything is blooming early. I noticed an increase in my allergies but I have never had a problem running through them. I've noticed for the last few weeks that I've had a tickle and coughing after my runs, especially after runs up by the airport where there are large expanses of grass growing. Monday it seemed especially bad and by Wednesday night I was wheezy and my nose was draining like crazy. I thought I was dying by Thursday and went to the doctor. He said he didn't think it was bronchitis but "Reactive Airway Disease" which essentially seasonal allergies on asthma crack. He gave me a Rx for an inhaler, nasal spread and cough medicine as well as  a regular daily allergy meds. so far I think the cough medicine is the bomb and the inhaler is a life saver. The strange thing is that I feel great when I run. its when I stop or try to sleep that I fall apart.

7) Lots of miles including getting my long 10 mile run in on Thursday morning starting at 6:30 with Liz in the park. It was nice to finish before 8:30 and get on with my day. We went to a friends that night with a bunch of other running friends too. What a great community we have here! I've done no kettlebells. Still working on my thyroid med levels that seem to affect how I throw my weights around.

So I'm going to be better about posting because there are some important things I want to talk about and share with you guys. But for now this little tidbit will have to do.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Mother Hill, ART new adventures for Mighty Mite

Last night was another hill workout thanks to coach Ramon. I've been consistently running this hill 3 days a week for the last few weeks and I'm loving the results I'm getting from it. My easy pace is creeping down and my hard workouts are pushing limits I haven't seen since the fall 09 marathon training cycle. I'm reading Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to be Your Best Coach by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. I'm only 1/4 of the way through and already learning a lot about how my body works and what works for me and training. Hills are my friend and I'm loving the change in workout BUT I'm a little excited to get back on the interval bandwagon to see those results although I know we're still in base training. My progression run on Saturday was pretty amazing. I was easily talking at sub 10 pace down to 9:30's and hustled in that last mile for a strong finish at sub 9m/m pace.

Running back down the "Mother Hill" on Sunday morning

Tuesday night was the same hill as Sunday morning and  last week but on the way back we had a little side road to add another mile in of some less intense hills. Liz and I started at the back and moved up through the group when we got to THE hill and I just kept powering up it. Each time I do it seems a little more of a victory. Those hills on the Big Sur 21miler aren't going to get me because I'm going to be prepared.

Big News... I'm taking the RRCA coach training certification seminar in LV in March for my birthday. My bestie and maybe some other friends will be coming along for the ride too. I have some plans in mind I'm not ready to talk to you about but I'll let you know as soon as I'm ready to unveil them! I'm also going to be helping coach Girls on the Run for a local school with my friend Donna this Spring. I'm very interested in helping girls find an exercise that they love so they can make it a life long habit to stay healthy. I love the overall concepts we're teaching them to and a positive perception of themselves as well as to combat negative self talk and social pressures. This is an amazing program and I can't wait to be a part of it!

on the water table at Dr. John's
Today I went and saw my chiropractor Dr. John because I pulled something in my shoulder and upper back when I helped my grandma when she fell a couple weeks ago. I've been guarding it but the tingly feeling in my fingers, the weakness and loss of range of motion. It sounded like a Rice Krispy commercial in there today as well as a lot of Active Release Technique going on while he worked on putting me back together. He also hit those regular trouble spots along my hip and IT band. You know its a good visit to John when its a snap-crackle-pop session, you curl your toes in pain or you cry. We sometimes call it "Fragoso's Torture Chamber" or "Dr. John's House of Pain" for good reason. But ART works and we all love going to see him. He is not lacking in the patient department for sure. I got 10 minutes on the Hydrotherapy bed while I was there. Hot water shooting into your muscles while you stay nice and dry and play solitaire or Facebook on your phone is pure bliss. Mostly I like that better than my painful visit to John but today I'm pretty sure he won.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Whirlwind of a week

I'm pretty proud of myself for not only hitting my miles but getting and lots of those miles in the form of hills. I'm loving getting stronger and pushing those limits, of feeling the burn in my legs, in my core, in my ass... All these miles have also given me a lot of time to think. Our family dynamic is changing and things are coming to light that have been brewing for a long time. Things that I have very little control over but I wish I could change none the less. The one thing I can do is be the best me, mom, wife, friend that I can be. Being that means including running and working out. Being a healthy happy human being is now part of my make up, it is included in the definition of me. Mighty Mite is tired of bending herself to make others happy. So she's going to love on her boys, go to dinner with the girls, watch movies and cuddle with the firefighter provider (FFP) and take my dogs for walks with their furry friends. Are you tired of referring to myself in the third person yet? yea me too.

When I was in my Freshman Year of High School I ran track with an amazing coach. I also did something to my knee in the middle of a 1 mile race and end up twisting it pretty good. The sports trainer iced me up and did an evaluation. We talked for a good half hour about my training, about the melanoma and then about food. That sparked my interest in nutrition for athletes. I took several sports and nutrition classes over the years and one thing or another always got in the way of me going after what I really wanted to do. No more of that. I'm making a plan and putting it into action.

First things first.

I took Monday off and did some stretching and core work.

 Scheduled evening group run and we met at the prompt care parking lot and ran the "mother hill" and took the corner running the ridge across the top before dropping back down. its mostly rolling hills but its a lot more up going out and more down on the way back. it was wet and cold but always fun to run with those peeps. Our program has great coaches. 5.2miles

I met Liz and Vicki at the park for a late afternoon run along the trail with the wein. It was a great time catching up with my first two running pals. It was definitely an easy run after running hills on Tuesday night. 3 miles

Got up early and met Liz, Kim, Tracy and Susan at Left Coast and headed out on a POURING down rain run. it was hard but fun. I was soaked to the core and came home and cuddled on the couch with 2 big fluffy blankets and proceeded to waste the rest of the day. 5.2miles

Rest Day. Hubby went hunting so we could have more duck in the freezer! We had friends over and made a nice dinner of duck Parmesan, salad and wild rice. It was pretty darn good.

Up an at 'em. I headed out to Fleet Feet for a nutrition presentation by Susan before our 9 mile run out West of town. It was a progression run and we had a few warm up miles before heading into our speedier miles. Each mile was supposed to get faster but I had one mile that I had to slow down and do a little overall status check so I pretty much maintained but I did stay strong and got down to sub 9 minute mile that last mile. I felt great! We ran errands then headed to Paradise to drop the kids with my parents. We headed off to Hamilton City for the annual crab feed to support the Volunteer Fire Dept where FFP used to be a Battalion Chief. Lots of old memories came flooding back and we had a great time visiting with the Penman's and making some new friends too. 9miles

Another "Mother Hill" run with Cheri, Kim, Liz and Chane this morning. That hill is killer! But its fun and it works me out. I can't wait to start adding in some hill repeats. My parents brought the boys home and we hung out all day while friends came and went. 5.2

total 27.6 miles

I'm looking forward to taking the boys skiing this week. I guess that means I should run tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Speed + Fun = Fartleks

Fartleks are a sweedish term for running which means speed play during running. So tonight being our first speed workout for the "marathon or 21 mile race" program Coach Paul and Ramon had us doing speed play for our workout. We started out with a 15 minute warm up then did some active stretching and plyo's in the parking lot. We got started doing a countdown.. 2minutes hard, 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard, 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard then repeat it all until you get two miles of speed play in. Most of Liz and my faster running was at sub 8minute pace. most of the easy stuff was in the 10minute/mile range. Then we did an easy 10 minutes of cool down and stretching. I'm looking forward to the miles in this program.

Tomorrow I'm off to do Kettlebells  a photo shoot and hopefully run hills tomorrow night with some gals from running group then an easy 5 in the park Thursday with the girls and Kettlebells on Friday. I really need to work on eating well in the morning. I keep falling off the Gluten Free (GF) bandwagon and that is something I need to work on better because my tummy is not a happy camper when I fudge brownies literally and figuratively on my diet (I did pick up some GF blueberry waffles to try and of course some other yummy treats like Nutella to give my blander foods some pep! I need to drink more water. I know that. So I'm off to do great things and I'm starting by finishing up watching Biggest Loser then heading to the shower and to bed. Night all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year 2011... Unanswered Prayers

Ha! a post that has absolutely nothing to do with running and very little to do with food. Yep that's my disclaimer for the next three paragraphs. Happy New Year everyone!

You know that song Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks? Ya that was a little flash of my life yesterday. The hubby was getting off work, we met for brunch at Mom's and stuffed ourselves silly with food, came home and hung out not doing much of anything but cuddling under the covers trying to stay warm while the hubby caught up with some sleep, we took Hollywood to a sleep over, got pizza (I got Greek salad) for dinner, we watched a movie "Spies like Us" with Blondy then headed to "bed" for some more snuggle time early. All these little blessings going on while...

... the first boy I kissed asked me out by making me listen to the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on his Sony Walkman. He was the first boy I said "I love you" to and meant it, made up silly little nicknames for everything with, built a dream house in every view and layout possible on paper, wrote countless poems and letters to,  and we planned our entire future together almost exactly 20 years ago. Ya that boy said "I do" to his beautiful bride yesterday while I was living out my amazing life with my husband and great kids.

So our lives went in such different directions, led us down different roads when we broke up for reasons that now seem so trivial and silly and awkwardly mature. That's what was bound to happen when were only 14 and 15 years old. But that year together and that day we said goodbye (even if we lived next door to each other for another year) took us to today (er yesterday) when we are thanking God for having the past behind us and our futures ahead. I hope you finally found your happily ever after G. You deserve it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bye Bye 2010 6+ miles

Cindi running down the levee w/ frozen puddles
I paid the sitter $20 to come out on this freezing cold morning and sit on the couch to keep peace this morning so I could go for a run. I checked the temps at 8:45am and wasn't all surprised at the 29F reading. Brrrr.... I took Cindi with me and off we went for a 6-7 mile run. I checked my Garmin at the half mile mark and apparently accidentally turned it off before it even got started. Oh well. The first few miles were a lot of fast, slow, stop with the pooch and I was getting frustrated until we got to the levee and I could let her loose. She didn't get fresh water since all the fountains along our route were turned off in case of frozen pipes and all the puddles were very frozen over. Probably a good idea considering how cold it was still after 9am. I leashed her back up at the two mile mark and we headed up towards upper park. She stopped to visit with the cows and to visit some other puppies along the trail and we finally made it up to the end of the parking lot at the cross so I could undo some of my many layers and get her some water.

 I'm loving the leash that has the clip so I can just hook her onto my hydration belt and run hands free. It also means I can hook her to a pole and she can't get away while I'm taking off my jacket and adjusting my ipod. It makes the first few miles a little harder because she wants to pull so much but once she gets her wiggles out she's a good sport and runs right next to me. I can't wait to take her on more runs this winter.

The trip back was pretty uneventful. She was such a good puppy and stayed right with me along the road moving off when I gently pulled her leash when a car was coming. She ran off leash again on the levee and had a little mini puppy play date with some other off leash fur-ends then we headed home. I loved the cold run  although I did miss my gloves and that wind was icy cold.

Pretty darn finish to 2010