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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A really quick howzit!!

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!! I just thought I'd say a quick hello and share some pics with you from our celebration.

The tree at my in-laws' house. I told you it was ridiculous. There was also a secondary pile for the people that weren't spending Christmas morning with us.

My dearies playing with their new scooters on the day after Christmas.

He, uh, has a flair for the dramatic sometimes. Hey, at least you know he appreciates his gifts.

Puppies!!! In just two short weeks one of these cuties will be ours. For now, we get to play with all four of them.

Craaaaaaaab. Our annual crab feed is on the 23rd and Uncle Bud never disappoints. My father-in-law ate so much that he got sick.

This is the first year in many that we haven't had any real family drama during the holiday. My drama decided not to rear it's ugly head until the day after Christmas. And now I'm stuck trying to figure out how I will fit in my running without my sister living with us. Maybe time to buckle down and get that single jogger and take my little girl with me....maybe time to invest in a treadmill. I have no idea. More to follow.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it Thursday?? Holy crap, it's Thursday!!

This week has been a discombobulated mess of sorts. My last posting? Yeah, I started it on Monday and only just now posted it. Lame, I know. So here we are, just a few days from the big day. Today is Christmas Eve-Eve, the day that we here in the Brown Family kick off our holiday festivities. Every year, my mother-in-law (the sane one) hosts a huge crab feed at her home. Her brother brings fresh caught crab from up North and cooks it up for our indulgence on CEE. He barbecues bacon wrapped albacore as an appetizer and we gather together in close quarters, sipping on wine, laughing at the kids, munching on bread and salad, and cracking crab shells. Usually we wind up spraying our tablemates with crab juice or lemon. It's all good. Really, it's quite fantastic. We are kind of a loud bunch. We tease and laugh and make inappropriate jokes that the kids don't get. We play games and usually the kids can cajole someone into letting them open just ooooooone present. It's a blast and I look forward to it every year.

Tomorrow is cookie madness at our house. Tomorrow I will wake up early and absolutely destroy every square inch of my kitchen. See, I don't have any counter space, so I have to be extremely effective in flat space usage. I will bake approximately twenty dozen cookies by myself -well, in all honesty I will have two 'helpers' but that really winds up being more work. Then I will box said cookies into festive holiday boxes, shower, and leave for my mom's. She's approximately a 5k away (I'm actually thinking of maybe running to her house to get my training run in and showering once I get there, but we'll see) and we will do our Christmas dinner with her, my stepdad, and siblings.

THEN on Christmas morning I cook the traditional Christmas breakfast that the kids won't let me flake on. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, toast....I've scaled back. When people used to come over it included sausage and hash browns. I have to draw the line somewhere. This year our Christmas morning will just be the four of us Browns and my sister that lives with us. It will be the first year in five years that my brother-in-law hasn't stayed overnight and spent the morning with us. I'm kind of sad, but I know that he is starting his new life with his fiancee and I am reluctantly happy to share him with her and her family. I digress. Following our present bonanza, we stay in our pajamas and drive 45 minutes to my in-laws (again, the sane ones) house to open the most ridiculous amount of presents anyone has ever seen. Truly, there are a lot of people there, and they all LOOOOOOVE to give. I'll take a picture of the presents tonight because they will have already started before we get there on Christmas. There is usually a pile of gifts around the tree that is taller than my four-foot kid and extends about six feet into the living room. It takes HOURS. So many hours, they usually take a break. A present intermission, can you believe it? It's ridiculous. But my kids enjoy it a lot. They are the only two in their generation, so they get spoiled to the extreme. Lots of clothes, books, toys, toys, toys, toys. We have to take the SUV out there. We made the mistake one year of bringing the car and not everything fit. And this was back when we had only one kid....

So you probably won't hear from me until next week. Hopefully I will have put a few more miles under my belt (and ZERO pounds!!!!). I'll be sure to share pictures of the festivities.

I hope everyone has a truly blessed and joyous holiday surrounded with loved ones. You all deserve the best. <3

Monday, December 20, 2010

The past week recap

It's been, well, an interesting and busy week for me. Last you heard, I was getting ready to kick off my next half marathon training cycle. I vowed to do the cross training and actually stick to the plan this time. Shortly after my last blog, I went out to my garage/laundry area to swap the load and bring some clothes in. On the way in, I very slyly stepped into the house and used my opposite foot to swing the door shut behind me. This usually works for me. This time? Not so much. I felt a sting as the metal thingy on the bottom of the door hit the back of my heel/lower ankle. Ouch! Naturally, I didn't have a hamper so I just had this huge load of clean laundry balancing between my arms. I limped over to the couch, dropped the clothes, and checked the damage. OMG. It's about an inch long and pretty gnarly looking. I bandaged myself up and thought it was good. Then I tried wearing a pair of tennis shoes. Not good. Not good at all. Pain, serious pain....I was a little nervous about how my scheduled Tuesday run would go.

As luck would have it, Tuesday's run did not happen. I still couldn't wear regular shoes without limping a little, and my sister decided not to come home in the evening when I was supposed to run with my husband. (She stays home with the kids so we can leave.) Wednesday afternoon, my husband got off of work early in the day, and I laced up my shoes. I put about four bandaids over my boo-boo and off I went. Three miles on deck, three miles completed. It was not my best time ever, but considering I had hurt my stupid ankle, forgot my inhaler beforehand, and hadn't really run three miles in two months, I think it was pretty good. Every time I felt like just turning around and going home I thought of my husband's voice saying, "I just don't know if you can do it alone." It pissed me off a little bit, just enough motivation to keep going!!

Sunday I was slated to go for a four miler. In case you don't know, here in Sacramento we are raining. A lot. Looking outside yesterday morning I thought, 'there is no way I'm going out in this'. But I thought about it for a few hours and finally decided to go, no matter what. Just as I pulled my jacket on, I looked outside and realized it wasn't raining anymore! I hurried through my stretching and headed out. Now, I'm not really prepared for this running in the cold, potentially wet business. I wasn't sure what to do, so out I went with my tanktop, long sleeved DriFit top, and a Nike running jacket along with Mizuno ear warmers and some cheap cotton gloves. I didn't even make it a mile before I was ripping off the ear warmers. As my whole core started heating up, I started getting really uncomfortable. Shortly after I took off the ear warmers, off came the gloves which I shoved in my jacket pocket. Somewhere around mile two I stopped. I was hot, ridiculously hot. So I took off the jacket to try to devise a plan to run with it tied around my waist. I took off again, no luck. One pocket had my cell phone in it and the other side had my gloves and ear warmers. They were hitting my ankles and calves. I untied the jacket and tried rolling it up like a belt. I took off again, and this time the pockets flipped out of the "belt" and started hitting me in my hips. Arrgh! Highly uncomfortable and I'm sure super attractive. So the jacket went back on for the rest of the run. Running up Jefferson Blvd has a pretty decent sized hill (to me anyway) and I was able to truck it up the whole thing which I was pretty excited about. I hit a few sprinkles right around the three mile marker and thankfully that was it. Remarkably, I made it to the end in 50 minutes which put me at a 12:17 mile. Slow, but I don't think that it was too awful bad for my first long run with lots of stupid issues like overheating, a ton of wind, and my jacket drama.

Now I know that I really really need to keep up my endurance during these runs. To finish my next half marathon in 2:30 I need to push for 11:25 minute miles. I have done this before, but never on a run longer than 5 miles. I need to believe in myself, believe that I can do this. Stay dedicated, stay motivated, keep my feet moving.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It begins....again.

Today officially kicks off our training program for the next half marathon in our playlist. It's hard to believe that in twelve weeks, I'll be out pounding the pavement for 2:30 (did you catch that positive vibe? oooh yeahhhh...) to complete another 13.1 miles. Not so long ago, it was an impossibility that I would ever run 5 miles. And here I am, with aspirations to run two HMs next year followed by a full in 2012. Amazing.

Yesterday we went to Fleet Feet to pick up some new shoes. I love our Fleet Feet. It's always so full of friendly staff and shoppers. The store itself is so quaint. Nobody looks at you funny when you're walking across the store with your jeans rolled up to your knees. They put your shoes on for you and rub your feet as they talk to you about the foot bones and arch support. Nobody looks at you funny when you run across the sales floor with your jeans rolled up to your knees with two different shoes on. Unfortunately, I think I party fouled yesterday. I was all excited about my shoes, they felt great, looked great, yay! The very helpful foot expert cut my Superfeet insoles to my shoe, we paid, and off we went. After dinner, we popped our shoes on just to check it out and wear them around the house before scuffing them up outside. My shoes were too tight. OH NO. I am notorious for this. At first I thought, no big deal, I'll just take them back. My husband looked at me with an amazed look on his face and said, "yeah, it's a good thing you had $35 insoles cut to fit the shoe". *#&^^%! I'm going to call them today to find out what I should do. If all else fails, I guess I can try and see how the size 8 insole works in the size 8.5 shoe.....if not, I guess I just screwed myself out of $35.

I put my old shoes on and we headed out the door for a quick jog to see how his knees would hold up to the upcoming mileage. No bueno. We were just going to go two miles, no biggie. After using the Pain Roller and stretching for a ridiculous amount of time as advised by his doctor, he still was only able to run for less than a quarter mile. Almost instantly, he told me that his knee was twinging pretty bad, after a minute or two of looking at his face I asked if we needed to stop and he admitted that we did. So we walked to the stop light and turned to head home. He already had big plans for his crosstraining (he is going to start biking to work a few days a week and swimming once a week at least), but he is really upset that he can't run. I'm scared. If he can't run, I will have to do this training myself. I have to run this whole thing myself. He told me that I have to know that I can do it myself- I guess this will be my chance to prove it.

Oh yeah, and check out this giveaway at Shut up and Run!! . It's for a lot of really good stuff.

Friday, December 10, 2010

2011 goals...

Here we are, closing out 2010. Another year on the books. Ten years since graduation, ten years of 'adulthood'. That's a lot of time to look back on. I love going through old pictures and videos. I was browsing through some photo albums the other day and reminiscing. It's funny, we go from one group of pictures-our senior trips to Santa Cruz and Cancun- where my husband is in shape and looking great to another group just a year later where he is extremely overweight and looking unhappy and uncomfortable. I don't know when it happened. So quickly he went from 220 lbs to 320 lbs. No scale, no accountability. We talked about how it happened- eating out all the time, not eating properly (no breakfast, lunch at 3, dinner at 9, nothing in the middle), not moving at all. With me, it was a slower transition. I graduated in 2000 at 125 lbs, a size 3. I remember purchasing jeans at a size seven one shopping trip and then all of a sudden needing an eleven which I was absolutely positive was bad sizing and vowed never to buy that brand again. I weighed 159 lbs in 2003 when I discovered I was pregnant. After having him, I was 161 lbs. Fast forward to 2007 when I got pregnant with Justice and weighed 172. Fast forward to this spring when I weighed in at 178 lbs. Unacceptable.

My goal for 2010 was to lose weight and run an half marathon. I have lost weight- 17 lbs. It's a start, a decent start I suppose, but I am really hoping to drop at least twenty more. So far it's a process of stages. Stage one is to get in shape, drop the bulk of the weight. Stage two is to fine tune- get toned and focus on the last of the weight, whatever is left to lose. At this point, two kids and ten years later, I don't know if 125 is a realistic weight goal for me. It doesn't seem possible at this point and I'm not going to set it as a goal. Once I drop down to my goal, I will work from there.

I also did run a half marathon. If you could call it that. How about- I didn't walk a half marathon. We finished it together at 2:48. So now I get to the next stage, work on improving. We are going to be participating in the Shamrock'n half marathon in March. Our twelve week training plan starts this coming week. I am determined to stick to the plan this cycle. Last time, we skipped a bunch of runs and barely cross trained. I hope that with one half marathon under my belt and a full training schedule completed, we will be able to finish in 2:30. That's shaving off a little over a minute per mile. Can I do it? I think I can. I read this inspirational quote the other day- "Instead of thinking 'I'll believe it when I see it', we need to change our thinking to 'I'll see it when I believe it'." I totally think that self-destructive thinking limits us. Me in particular. I plan on sticking to the training plan this time around, even if it means running by myself sometimes. Even if it means I have to wake up earlier in the morning to get in some cardio/cross training. I plan on running Shamrock'n in two and a half hours.

That being said, I also plan on not stuffing my face this Christmas even though it will be super tempting with all of Aunt Debbie's cookies, cakes, and homemade fudge. I will steer clear of the See's sampler box that Gary never fails to bring. I will politely decline mamosas at breakfast. I will limit my consumption of delicious Starbucks brewed beverages. It's a time of great change in my life, and I fully intend to make it a time of positivity and extreme growth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The past 19 days....

I have been a total blog slacker. Truth be told, I get busy. And when I log on to blogspot, I find myself having so much fun catching up on everyone else's blogs that I run out of time to put a few of my own thoughts up. Eh, what are you gonna do? So here's a quick recap of what's been going on with me these past 19 days.

Drove an hour and a half to do some of this:

The kids had an absolute blast, and so did we. It was only a day trip, but it was well worth the relatively short car ride and the packing/preparing for the day.

We ate some of this:

Every year Jacob's company gives us a turkey. We were supposed to be out of town for the holiday, and he assumed that we would give the turkey to my mom or something so he picked the biggest one left. It was 20 lbs of turkey. Luckily we still had the turkey when we discovered that we couldn't go through with our plans due to extreme weather conditions (we were supposed to travel about 6 hours north, almost to Oregon). Twenty pounds of turkey can feed four people, make turkey enchiladas, turkey spinach pie, numerous turkey sandwiches and still not all get used. We had the quietest Thanksgiving ever, with just the four of us. It was really a nice change, even though it was really strange for both my husband and I.
Indulged in some of this:

Some friends of ours took us wine tasting for my birthday, and we visited four Napa wineries. It was a lot of fun. We had never been wine tasting before, and it was definitely an experience to remember. It was pouring on us all the way home, but we wound up driving to our friends' house in Auburn and hanging out in front of the fire winding down before we called it a night and grabbed the kids from my mom's.

Celebrated a little bit of this:

My lil princess turned three years old on the 27th. We celebrated her birthday by heading to Leatherby's and treating our family to dessert. It was crowded in there but we all had a good time.

Notice something missing from my recap??? My running shoes? Yeah, I didn't spend nearly as much time with them as I wanted to. I did venture out once for a short run, but that was really about it. I am running our local Shamrock'n half marathon in March and the kickoff of my twelve week training program is this coming Sunday. I'm really looking forward to having a reason to train again....I wish I could motivate myself without having a specific reason to get out there, but it is what it is. I'll just have to find another half marathon about four months after this next one so I don't lapse into such a long down time. =o)
Have an awesome day!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Norcal Running

Just yesterday I was wondering how else to find blogging runners in my area. I mean, it's great that I get to know you guys in Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington, and Michigan and all but.......y'all are too dang far away!! After our spectator-less first half-marathon last month, I realized that I really need to hook up and get some runner buddies around here. Someone that will WANT to come stand on the sidelines and cheer us on or someone that will WANT to join us running. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous when I read blog posts from friends where other bloggy buddies have met up for runner shenanigans while carb loading beforehand or created several personal cheering sections. Man, that must be AWESOME! So far, I have one buddy that lives actually just a few miles away from us. Hopefully once he gets all better from his recent injury and we hit race season again, we can help support each other. (**Hi Jose!!**)

So imagine my surprise when I got a comment from someone at telling me that they added me to their blogroll. Say what??? A blog completely dedicated to running in NorCal?? A blog with other running bloggers in my area?? OMG it's an answer to my prayers. Today that's what I'm thankful for. A look into my local running community. I'm super excited. I hope that soon my running blog includes more running and less prattling on about life in general.

Speaking of life in general, my birthday happens to be this Friday. So naturally I am in full-swing deep cleaning mode. See, nobody comes over to our house. We're kinda homebodies like that. Our house is small and therefore we run out of places to creatively store and hide all our crap. Said crap winds up tucked around the house until I have the time/motivation to run around and find it a proper home. School papers, mail, books, kids toys- you know, things like that. So I am getting things organized and prepared for company this Friday for my birthday celebration. It's just going to be my family and probably my in-laws, just a few people, but in our house just a few people makes a crowd which makes any little out-of-place thing feel like it's crowding people in. Jacob is planning dinner and I assume cake...

Our conversation on Monday:

Me: So I planned our menu for the week and I'm ready to go shopping. Uuuuhhhhh, I'm going out on a limb and didn't plan a meal for Friday since I HOPE I'm not cooking on my birthday.

Jacob: *laughing* No honey, you won't have to cook on Friday.

Potentially this will be a pizza night. We'll see.

What do you usually do for your birthday?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful Monday

Hello y'all! This weekend I had the pleasure of standing by my son while he volunteered for the VFW handing out Buddy Poppies in front of our local Wal-Mart. He was soo cute in his little Tiger Scout uniform saying, "good morning!" to everyone that walked past. I wish I had brought my camera with me; it was truly something I was proud of. And he was so proud of himself too. When our relief showed up, a veteran himself, Isaiah was very excited to show him our cash container full of bills. I think our shift pulled in quite a bit to go towards the support services for injured veterans. Sunday was a lazy lazy day in our house, we mostly laid around, watched movies and read books. Still no running in, although I really should have yesterday. I kick myself today for not going yesterday. The weather was gorgeous!

Today I am thankful for Visine. Random, I know, but seriously. Something in the air these past few weeks has caused my eyes great pain. They constantly feel like there is something in them, and they are red and itchy all day long. A dad at the bus stop actually asked me if I was high last week. How dare he? I guess you never know about a person. Anyway, so needless to say, after that question I decided to get some Visine and I have been using it every single day.

That's what I'm thankful for today. Hopefully tomorrow is more interesting haha.

PS- 47 days until 01/01/2011!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful on Friday

Did anyone else feel like today was MONDAY? I did. Yuck. Isaiah had yesterday off of school, but he had school today. Just for one day and then of course he's off for the weekend. Strange. I think it threw everyone's schedule off. For whatever reason, I assumed that since he didn't have school on Thursday he wouldn't have homework on Wednesday. And then assumed that since he didn't have school Thursday, there wouldn't be homework. Actually I didn't think about homework at all yesterday. It's been such an off week. So imagine my surprise this morning when I opened up his backpack to make sure everything was in there only to discover two days of homework incomplete. Unacceptable. Bad mommy. So he did the two days of homework this morning and I drove him to school instead of him hopping on the bus. Like I said, it's been a really off week.

Today I am thankful for teachers. Yes, I said it- teachers. I came to appreciate teachers while I was in high school. Elementary school, I just thought of them as teachers. Middle school, I thought of them as the bane of my existence. But in high school, I really got to appreciate what a teacher does for a child and a parent. I looked at the punk kids surrounding me and saw what the teachers were putting up with. I promise you I would probably smack the shit of at least three kids a day if I were a high school teacher. At least.

Last week I met up with Isaiah's teacher for his parent-teacher conference. Unfortunately, it was just as I expected. The high points: Isaiah is very intelligent and driven. He is engaged in class and likes participating in discussions. She showed us his testing scores for his writing, spelling, and math and he was off the charts in all three areas. Then she got to the low points: Isaiah is very easily distracted. She thinks he is bored during carpet time when they are working on blending letter sounds. The reason she thinks this? He tells her that he is bored. (haha, that's his dad, all the way.) The mixed points: She wants to send him to a second grade class for reading. BUT she hesitates because she doesn't know if his misbehavior and inattention is solely due to his boredom or if he will continue to be a distraction in the second grade classroom.

As I watched Isaiah interacting with her during the p-t conference, it was pretty neat. I don't get to see him interact with non-family adults very often. She must get very frustrated with him. I certainly know that I do. And compared to some of the other kids in his class, he is mild. How does a teacher go throughout the day and not completely pull all of his/her hair out? It takes a certain type of person to handle that. I am not one of them, but I certainly give props to those that can. Thank you to all teachers, for shaping the future of the world!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday thankful tidbit

Almost missed it! Actually, for those on the East Coast, it's already tomorrow so I technically dropped the ball. Good thing I don't live on the East Coast. Today is Veteran's Day, so it's only fitting that today I am thankful for all the veterans. Last week, a representative of the VFW came to Isaiah's pack meeting to talk about the Buddy Poppy program. I couldn't stay in the room to listen to him talk because our two year old decided she had to go pee about five times so after the second time, I just hung around outside and watched the guy talk. As I watched his mouth move silently, I wondered about the things that he has seen in his lifetime. I wondered about the things that he has burned into his mind that he doesn't even talk to his family about. I wondered about the things that he dreams about at night that aren't dreams, but repressed memories.

I know lots of veterans. My husband is a member of a Masonic Lodge, and we have a lot of members that are Vietnam vets. I had a conversation with one of them a few weeks ago, and he really opened my eyes. Without going into very much detail he let me know that there are things that my naive little mind could never even imagine that he saw on a daily basis. A little closer to home, my brother-in-law is a veteran as well. It's strange to look at this "kid" lounging on my couch with unkempt hair, scruffy face, and odd choice of clothing and think that he has had a type of experience that neither I nor my husband could even begin to grasp. He is all smiles and jokes most of the time, but I know that the things his brain holds are unimaginable for most. He gave up the innocence of his youth to fight in honor of our country.

To all the men and women out there that have put their lives on the line, I am thankful for you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful booty bustin tidbits

Today I am thankful for the blogging community. I have connected with so many different people that have given me so many fantastic ideas, input, and inspiration. Whoever would have thought that someday I would have 'friends' scattered throughout the continent? Not me. Through blogging I have met runners, non-runners, moms, single gals that I can live vicariously through, people nothing like me, people everything like me, funny people, serious people, and everything in between. You guys are my link to the world while I am home with my kids and dog. The entertainment in reality that reality TV just doesn't offer.

I'm SUPER thankful for challenge that I finally signed up for today: Bootie Buster Challenge. Yeah buddy!! Check it out!

With all of the holidays coming up and my family in full birthday season, I have never been able to keep clear of cake, pie, cookies, and all the other goodies that have become synonymous with the last quarter of every year. This is of course in exception to 2007 where I displayed commendable willpower against the mass of pies at Grandma's at Thanksgiving and steered clear of three birthday cakes. Granted, this is only because I had gestational diabetes and my doctor would yell at me if my blood sugars were all out of whack. (Yeah, testing four times a day and spending a half hour at the end of the week going over the readings with the clinician was not fun.) I am hoping that this year with fairly clear cut goals fitness and health-wise, I will be able to keep myself in check, but at least if I can't, this challenge will provide the motivation that I need to keep moving and maybe burn some of those excessive calories off.

Two pounds lighter, twenty more to go....can I drop ten before 01/01/2011? We shall see.......

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Behind. I hate being behind.

Grr. I haven't blogged since Thursday. It makes it difficult to blog when my husband is home, like he is for the weekends. I have no excuse for the lack of blogging the other days. So here's what I thought about being thankful for in the days that I was missing.
Friday: I was thankful for coffee. Oh man, am I thankful for coffee. I drank a cup every day when I first arrived at the office. Sometimes one in the afternoon. Sometimes, walking to Starbucks was my excuse to leave the office for a break. It almost seems that I drink more coffee now as a stay-at-home-mom than I did before! It makes no sense, but it seems like I do, especially now that the weather is (finally!) getting colder. Also, I've read a lot of articles about how the caffeine is helpful in weight loss so now I view it as something that is helping me in more ways than one.
Saturday: I was thankful for means of electronic communication. I love email and Facebook, probably to an extreme. I get all of my updates from my friends, even the ones I talk to semi-regularly, via the magical internet. If it weren't for the internet I wouldn't talk to anybody. I hate talking on the phone (there are a few people I make the exception for), and usually have a very difficult time with it when the kids are awake. They view Mommy on the phone as time for them to cause all kinds of destruction and I can't yell about it at all.

Sunday: Thankful for the RAIN!!! And boy, did it rain. And rain. And rain. All night and all day. We woke to a very wet and gray day, which I loved. I got to head out shopping by myself and immerse myself in the racks upon racks of shoes and clothes at our local Ross. It poured all the way out to Woodland from our house and then again all the way home. On the way home, we saw the most beautiful rainbow which appeared to originate from the river. It reminded me of my favorite non-running quote which relates very well to my life in running/working out and inspired my blog title- "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain" (Dolly Parton).

**Not the actual rainbow we saw, but it's gorgeous, right?**

Monday: Thankful for pain? Sounds off, but think about it. After a long, hard workout, one of the most satisfactory feelings is that tightening and soreness in your muscles that let you know that you made some progress the day before. We worked out hard on Sunday afternoon and I pushed through every rep. Monday morning when I woke up I felt that all too familiar ache that reminded me that we worked out our chest and triceps. The burn was uncomfortable but what it meant felt wonderful.

Tuesday: Thankful for magazines like this and girls that look like this that grace their covers. From one aspect, I am not thankful for them because they remind of something that I am certainly not. But then on the other hand, they give me something to look at and be driven toward. I would love to be in at least half as good shape as any of them are. I love reading about things that can make my efforts in the gym even more effective. I also love cutting their pictures out and putting them on my motivation board.

I'm sure right now that my friend Denise's baby girl is being born, so I'm off to check on her status (via Facebook of course). Hope everyone's day is going lovely!!

PS- 45 days until Christmas! 52 days until 1/1/2011!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful tidbits 3

Let me start off by letting you know that Jacob's knees are injured for sure. Not just a pain anymore but a full blown, physical therapy requiring injury. That's what the doctor says anyway. Patella something-or-other. I will have to pump him for more info when he gets home, we could only talk briefly before heading in to Lodge. Doc says no running for eight weeks at least and he will have to go through some physical therapy. I'm sure the cost of co-pays for this will be a small fortune, but whatever. If he can run again at the end, it will be worth it. One of the things the doctor said was "this is a typical injury in long distance runners". I dropped my jaw when Jacob said this to me. Holy cow, we're considered long distance runners? YES! I guess relatively speaking- we are long distance runners compared to those who don't run at all, or those who run 1-3 miles. However, compared to the ultra-runners out there that slam out 50 mile weeks, we bow to you as we are small potatoes. Needless to say, I will need to find the time and opportunity to run during daylight hours, by myself. I guess I could always hit up one of my unemployed sisters to help me out for a half hour so I can get some miles under my belt.

Today I am thankful for friends. I was recently asked to sing at an Installation of Officers for a local organization. I was stoked, and gladly accepted. I put up a posting on Facebook, and within a few hours one of my best friends called me, concerned. She started off gently..."So I see you're going to be singing at something?" I got all excited and started telling her all about it. She was quiet for a moment and hesitantly said, "well, when was the last time you sang in public?" Thinking that she must be concerned with the fact that I haven't had any training since high school, I assured her that no, no I sang at Jacob's installation last winter. Mid-sentence, I realized that that was not the reason behind her call. See, there was this incident during our senior year of high school. I won't go into too much detail but it involved a talent show, singing, and me walking offstage in tears. Terrible, really. I was supposed to sing at graduation and decided to back out of that at the last minute, concerned that I would have the same problem. As it dawned on me why she was calling, I was so touched that she was concerned about this and how I was going to handle this upcoming performance. We had a good laugh about it, and went on to chit-chatting about our lives and the things we had going on with our crazy families and ourselves. She lives in Texas, and we only see each other a handful of times a year for a few hours, but I still consider her my best friend.

**I don't know how she feels about her picture being on here, so here's a picture we took of our feet during a recent visit. Don't ask, it's one of our 'things'**

I am so thankful for everyone that I have in my life that I consider true friends. Friends can truly hold us together when everything around us is crumbling. People that we can vent to when our families are driving us insane, people that can laugh at us and with us, cry with us and for us. I love all of my friends, and value each and every one of them. That is what I am thankful for today. =o)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful tidbits 2

Hello out there to bloggy land, and welcome to the second installment of 'What Daphne's thankful for'. Today has been a rough day. See, it never fails. It's the first week of November, and already the fighting has started over what we are doing for Thanksgiving. Not fighting between us, but fighting between my husband and his mom. Every year, the holidays turn into a struggle over how we will be spending them, where will we be going, and who will get to see more of us. If any of you are from a split home, you understand what I'm talking about. This year though, we have decided that instead of fighting and trying to shove everyone into our house so nobody feels left out, we are leaving town. We are packing up and heading out. This has lead to more drama than I expected. But I am vowing that I will NOT spend another holiday season stressing out with high blood pressure, ready to drink myself into a coma. I refuse. So with that, I am thankful for the happy things of the season.

I am thankful for the leaves, the millions of leaves that look absolutely gorgeous on the ground. The leaves that as a family we will rake for hours on end, jumping and playing with them, squishing into the green waste containers. I am thankful for the colors. For my Uggs which I love to wear and it is finally cool enough to pull it off. For the smells- cinnamon, honey, warm apple and pumpkin pies. For the comfort food- roasts and stews cooked all day long in the slow cooker. For seasonal flavors of coffees and creamers. I am thankful for the festive holiday displays. I am thankful and a little embarrased that the Christmas decorations at the mall still to this day catch my breath and I look in amazement at them just like a little kid. I love the hustle and bustle at the malls during the holiday season, but only when I'm not trying to buy anything on a deadline myself. I am thankful for FALL and the beatiful, wonderful feelings, smells, and sights that it brings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finally, a RUN! (and Thankful tidbit 1)

Last night we did it! We finally did it! We laced up our running shoes and pounded the pavement. For 2.7 miles to be exact. Now, it wasn't the longest run we've ever gone on, but I think it was a great starter to get our feet wet and back on track. It actually felt pretty good and we maintained a decent pace at about 11.5 minute mile. I am so glad!! We followed this up with some squats, split squats, and calf raises along with some ab work. I am walking a little funny today, but totally, totally worth it. =o)

While meandering through bloggy land I discovered this awesome idea from One Crazy Penguin. She has decided to blog each day between now and Thanksgiving, each day dedicated to something she is thankful for. I think in this day and age, it's so easy to get wrapped up in what we don't have that we forget about the things we should be thankful for. Those things typically aren't the types that can be measured, the things that really count in life. Let me kick this off by being sappy. Honestly, all of these could potentially be really sappy, but humor me.

The first thing I am thankful for is my husband. See, sappy, I told you. But you don't know the half. I could type for five years and you still wouldn't grasp it. But I'll try to give you a snapshot. When we first entered into our relationship twelve years ago, I was seriously damaged goods. Soul shattered and broken, I was in an abusive family situation and was a wreck. Even after seeing what a true mess I was, he still stuck around to pick up the pieces. Even after my stepdad was out of the picture, I struggled with emotions that I didn't know how to control. I cried. A lot. I manage to keep the waterworks under control for the most part now but he says that for a while he wondered if I would ever get a grip. To this day, he tolerates my odd moodiness and my forgetfulness, my occasional temper and irrational arguments when I'm just being stubborn.

He has shared in the joy of marriage, and having two children. We have shared the pain of losing family members. We have spent hours debating on the most ridiculous topics. We are the perfect match for each other, and I am thankful. Thankful for him, thankful for the life we have.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Shame...

So, I suck. Correction, that should be plural. WE suck. Let me tell you the truth right now. I have not ran one.single.step. since our half marathon. Other than running from the corner to the house one morning because Isaiah forgot his lunch box at home and the bus was coming. The knee pain from the half marathon lingered on for longer than we expected. Jacob's knees were sore for about four days longer than mine. On October 16th, we vowed that we would go for a run on the 18th which was the following Monday. The reason for this? A very busy weekend where one of our best friends was getting married and we were pretty involved in the wedding. I felt good. I was excited. My shoes wanted my feet in them. On the 17th, the wedding was gorgeous. And wet, in several senses. They hosted an open bar, which I understand is incredibly generous. I am not a big drinker so this didn't excite me quite as much as some people, I'm sure. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a big drinker, so it doesn't take much to get me to a state of blithering madness. I was fine, and cut myself off at one point. I thought I was so mature for it, and patted myself on the back. Somehow though, I wound up back at the bar with a friend who ordered me another and I couldn't turn it down. I sincerely believe that this last drink lead to my demise. I am known to be a little bit clumsy even while sober. So three sheets to the wind, I should not be surprised that I managed to roll my ankle-while barefoot!- knocking me to the ground. The next morning I woke up with a queasy stomach and a tender ankle the size of a softball and the color of an eggplant. Super hot, I know. This delayed our running schedule yet again. =(

This leaves me here, on the 27th, with 13.1 miles for the month. So much for my 50 mile goal for the month. I will just have to make sure I hit it next month. Hit it and exceed it. I am so determined to hit this goal this time. No injuries, no excuses. If we have something going on in the evening, I have to get my booty out of bed and get it done early in the day. I can and I will. I have a little over three weeks until my birthday; I wonder if I can hit 50 miles between now and then? That will be my 'A' goal. 'B' goal- 50 miles in the month of November. 'C' goal- no c goal, only A and B.

The good news is that we are feeling back on track again. I have worked out two days this week already, and we are planning a run this evening before dinner. I found this cardio boot camp video on exercise tv online that I have favorited because it is awesome!! I really would like to make the investment in P90X or Insanity. I hear great things about both these regimens and know that they get results. Last night we hit the gym in our garage, and I feel great! We worked out chest and triceps and threw in a bunch of crunches. I haven't gained any weight since the lapse in working out, which is awesome but I also haven't lost any. Jacob has gained a few pounds back, but that's nothing that he can't lose quickly once we are solidly on track again.

Hope everyone has an awesome Halloween!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A little of this and that...

Our first half marathon is under our belt, and I couldn't be prouder. I'm wearing my race shirt today (again). It's been a painful week of recovery. Both our knees have declared mutiny. Watching us walk for the first 48 hours was like watching a 90 year old couple. We were hobbling around and every time we stood up was a huge ordeal of first straightening out our legs and then straightening up our backs. Quite the sight, I'm sure. I really would like to shoot for more HMs in the nearer future. It doesn't look like it's in the cards for us though. Each HM in our area averages around $50 per person. With the current J.O.B situation that we are in, $100 is a sacrifice, not to mention the extra cash to be spent on gels and stuff to get us through the event. Not to mention, new shoes, which I think we are both in need of. Interesting timing because....

I just finished reading 'Born to Run'- OMG best book ever. To me. I'm not usually a big non-fiction reader so I wasn't sure how I would do with this one. Lucky me, it read like a novel. I learned so much about the Tarahumara and also some big time ultramarathons and those that run them. I really enjoyed reading about Barefoot Ted, and I think I may look further into the minimalist running experience. If we are built to run, if the evidence clearly shows that we evolved our bodily stature in a certain manner for a certain purpose....why shouldn't I trust that what I have been given is enough? I am amazed by this breed of runner, and definitely plan on finding out as much as I can about them. What if the problems that we all suffer from can be tied to a simple dependence upon modern technology? Isn't that what lead to this epidemic of obesity in our country? In trying to be as efficient as possible, we have created more problems. What a thought. I will continue to report on my findings.

On to more somber business. The month of October is a tough month for a lot of people in my life. First, October 7 is my niece's birthday. She would have been four years old yesterday. I can still remember the first day I met her and I can tell you what pictures I took that day. You can read more about her story here. I wonder what she would be like today. I imagine she would be a little spitfire. She would be shy with strangers, but opiniated with family. She and Justice would gang up on the boys and give them a run for their money. This is what I imagine, anyway.

Tomorrow is Nicholas' birthday. He would be 22. My sister and he would probably be married by now. He was so sweet; I really think he was good for my sister and both the children. Not many young men would think twice about being with a divorcee with two children that required special attention, but he seemed to embrace it. He loved my sister and both Adam and Christina. I regret that I didn't get more of a chance to get to know him better.

Next week Friday, October 15th, marks the three year anniversary of the passing of Matthew, the son of one of my closest friends. He is a constant memory to my entire family. He was only in this world for 10 weeks, but has touched so many lives and continues to on a daily basis. My friend Denise is one of the strongest women I know. She also blogs and can be found here. We have a strong base of friends with children that love to play together. I just know that Matthew would have made a delightful addition to "the gang". How I wish our children did not know the pain of a missing friend.

Next week Friday, on the anniversary of Matthew's passing, I will be running a virtual 10k. I am running this 10k in honor of Christina, Nicholas, and Matthew. All three are held near to my heart, and October is a month that they all share in some way. I feel like they had no control over the last page of their lives, so I am going to take control of the pages within mine. I will run because they can't.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Urban Cow Half Marathon- Race Recap

Our race preparation really began on Saturday. Jacob had to work, so I made sure I packed him a nice, carb-y lunch with a good mix of carbs and protein. I ran around with the kids most of the day and we enjoyed a lunch with a little extra brown rice on the side for me (I mix in chopped olives and raisins, yum!). I visited the race expo, which was a little disappointing to me since I hear these are really great places to meet vendors and get gear. There were not a whole lot of booths here. I did get to stop at the Fleet Feet booth and scored two 13.1 stickers and a visor for 50% off. Score! When we got home I started preparing my very first homemade spaghetti sauce. Thank you Runners World for including several tasty pasta recipes in their current issue!! I made a delicious pomodoro base and prepared Fettucine Capricciosa. YUM. I used garden vegetable fettucine to add a little extra oomph in the veggie department. I had to time all of this just right, since we had a surprise engagement party to head to that evening. We had to leave the house at 5:45 to be there in time, so we ate a super duper early dinner. I was worried about throwing off our regular schedule but the party was for my brother-in-law, so we figured it was worth the risk.
Up at 5:30 am. I had everything prepared the night before to get us out the door in a timely manner. Unfortunately, my husband somehow still took FOREVER to get ready. We headed out the door at 7 am. The race started at 7:45. Luckily it's just a few miles down the road, but we had no idea what to expect with traffic and parking, etc. Parking was available the local community college, which happens to be located across the street from the starting line. Very convenient, and it was a nice way to get warmed up a little bit. They offered shuttles to the starting line every ten minutes though, just in case. We walked on site and immediately found our friend Monica, who owns the Grocery Outlet in Rancho Cordova. We stopped and chatted with her for a moment while we pinned on our bibs and got our timing tags situated on our shoes. I had to go pee- BAD so we said our goodbyes and headed to the porta potties, where I stood in line with probably about 100 people. As I stood in line, the race started. I wasn't too worried since there were a TON of people there and we usually start more in the back of the pack anyway. Once I finally got out of there though, only the stragglers strolling on through were left so off we went. As we came across the line, the announcer says, "gotta love the runners jumping in late, running in from the bathrooms!!" I gave a little wave and smile and we were officially off! We saw Monica standing by the sidelines cheering us on and she snapped our picture.
There I am in the pink skirt with Jacob behind me!

We felt pretty good, we took in our Gu Chomps in the first mile to give us some extra energy since it had already been almost 2 hours since we had breakfast. The first few miles felt great and I was totally ready to go go go the whole time! At around three miles, we found ourselves next to a woman who was power walking about as fast as we were jogging. So Jacob asked her about her pace and fell into a conversation with her. It sounded like her finishing goal was right around ours, so he asked if it was okay if we hung out with her for a while. Her name was Linda, and chatting with her sure made the time and miles go by much quicker than I expected. Before I knew it, we were at the halfway mark. Around mile eight I felt what I was positive was a blister developing on my right foot. Lame. At around this point is also where we fell completely silent. Shortly after this, I looked at my husband and realized that he was sweating so much that his visor was dripping! He had his own tropical rainforest going on in front of his face. As we ran along the river, we came across a head wind which I'm sure felt much stronger than it really was. As I was off to Jacob's left and slightly behind him, this head wind also blew his dripping hat sweat right onto me, so lucky me I got to share his little climate for a little bit. I was too tired to move out of the way though.

Mile 9 and I felt a slight cramping going on in my upper calves. A new kind of discomfort. Luckily, it passed fairly quickly. At this point, we were still alongside Linda and she was keeping up a great pace. She looked back at me a few times and told me that I was doing great. Jacob was extremely supportive as well which was good because it would wind up coming back to him in the last two miles.

Around mile 10 is where Jacob ran out of steam. I naturally slowed down with him since my legs felt like lead pipes. He fell behind me and I kept looking back at him to make sure he was still there. "Don't worry", he said "you won't lose me. I'll follow you anywhere." So on we went. Right about this point is where I started to feel HOT. It was warming up quickly and we were in direct sunlight. I kept telling him to just keep going. On the side of the road, they had placed signs with pictures of cancer patients and sayings like "Because of you, he can play sports." "Because of you, she can be the grandmother of triplets." It brought me to tears. At this point, I was very emotional because of the distance we were running, so seeing things like that just brought me over the edge. It was great motivation.

Miles 11 and 12 were just trudging along. We never broke our stride, just slowed down. We had lost Linda at some point between 10 and 11. We just kept motivating each other to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I would push him and he would push me. At the 12.5 mile mark, we could hear the announcer over the loudspeaker and we could see up ahead a finishing line marker, around a corner with some trees. Go, Jacob said. "Look, we're there! Just a little bit further, push it! Let's have our kids see us push it through the finish line!!" Turned out it was a dirty dirty trick. As we got closer, we realized that there were no spectators cheering us on because it wasn't a finish line at all! It simply said "1/2 mile left!! Get Moooooving!" It made us laugh, and pushed us through the last 1/2 mile.

Crossing the finish line, we were side by side and I grabbed his hand as we crossed over. Linda came running up to us, full of congratulations and excited to see that we hadn't gone over our goal time by too much. She finished just a few minutes ahead of us. We took a picture with just the two of us and then one with her too. If it wasn't for her, we probably wouldn't have kept going so strong as long as we did. And she said if it wasn't for us, she probably would've slowed down too! We will forever remember her as our first HM pacer.

It was exciting to see all the spectators in the neighborhoods that we ran through and elsewhere along the route. I loved that Fleet Feet had their employees out cheering us on. Some were even dressed in cow costumes with signs. There were also aid stations every 2 miles, manned by local school cross country teams. These kids were also sprinkled throughout the route, cheering everybody on. I'm telling you, that was a great touch. They made the difference. Our cheerleading team was sparse. Our friend Monica and her daughter were there, but they were working their booth and also helping at the finish line. My brother-in-law was supposed to pick up our kids from my sister and bring them to see us finish, but that didn't work out. (Totally another story for another time, good grief. Suffice it to say I'm totally disappointed and pissed off by it.) Maybe next time.

I was really excited to have met a new buddy that is excited about working out and keeping moving. I'm also really excited to have met my DM and bloggy buddy, Jose and his wife Amy at the finish line. They were volunteering this year and we got to chat for a little bit. I hope to see more of them and get to cheer them on at races in the future.

So our FIRST half marathon is in the bag!! Our finish time 2:48:53. Our pace 12:54. We are already talking about the next one. Maybe in March, maybe sooner? I'll keep y'all posted!! Until then, here's some pics for your viewing pleasure!

Me, with my finishing trophy- COWBELL!

Sweet, sweet victory.

Friday, October 1, 2010

So I lied, sue me!

Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run high fived me today on her blog for our first half marathon. It felt great to see recognition, and to know that we are all linked together through this common goal, this passion. There are many people running this weekend, people that I don't know personally and will probably never meet. Take for instance Jamie @ Running Diva Mom. I have been following her marathon training. I am awed and inspired by the 20 mile training runs. One year ago, I would never have imagined myself running for any distance, much less in the double digits. And yet she does it. Often. She herself has two children that are close to my own kids' age. She makes the time to get out there. It is her priority. This weekend she will be running her third marathon. I will be thinking of her toughing out double my distance when I feel like calling it quits during our race.

I fear that after this half marathon is behind us, we will lose our sights on the real goal here. The half marathon is just the dangling carrot right now. We are out of shape parents! I need to lose at least another twenty pounds and Jacob, well he needs to lose at least another fifty. His goal is to shed about ninety. I am nervous that with the inclement weather coming and my sister probably moving out in January, we will find that it's just easier to stay in. We have our home gym, but it's not the same. Our intention is to run every other day for 3-5 miles at least. Maybe we will decide to throw in a few longer runs here and there, but we are keeping it nice and easy, realistic for now. My goal for the month of October is to run FIFTY miles, and I expect all of you to keep me to it. I'm serious. Make me accountable. If we alternate 3 and 5 mile runs throughout the month after a week break after this weekend, I should be over 50 miles. So. Keep me in line, people!! I will love you for it, I promise.

I picked up our race packets today. (Have I mentioned that I feel ridiculous calling this our race? I'm certainly not racing, merely hoping to finish.) It was amazing seeing people leaving Fleet Feet with their race bags. People of all ages and sizes. The shirts are pretty darn nice, if I do say so myself. Jacob is excited to see it, as he has been hoping to expand his running wardrobe. And the little backpacks are super cute too! Justice helped me out by wearing her Daddy's on her back while we walked to the car. Let me just say thank you Sacramento Fleet Feet for having such a great store and an awesome system for the packet pick-up today. It was quick and painless and that's a lot for me to say, considering I did have a cranky 2 year old with me.

That's all for now, see ya soon!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Things Thursday

It's been a pretty uneventful week here in Mommy/Wife/Runner Land.

1) I am looking forward to picking up our race packets tomorrow, visiting the race expo Saturday, and finally on Sunday- THE BIG DAY. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I am actually running 13.1 miles, and it's even more mind-boggling that I am excited about it!! Jacob wants to try to finish in 2.5 hours. I think he is insane, but I will push for it and I know he will do what he can to make it a reality too.

1) My Sparkle Skirt arrived yesterday. It is just as cute in person as it is in pictures. I would take a picture of it myself to post on here, but it looks gigantic so I won't. (Fantasia's dancing hippos come to mind.) I'll be sure to have some pictures of it on me next week though, so stay tuned for that. I can't wait until my clothes stop looking so huge. I just keep reminding myself that this is why I'm doing all this work. My jeans are getting baggier on me every day. Not flattering in the least, but I'm cheap and want to wait until they are practically falling off of me before I buy new ones. Almost there.

3) I love watching The Biggest Loser. My husband doesn't like how we both get sucked into it and then wind up not working out because we're watching the dang show and then we wind up staying up late, too. So I record it. I watched it this morning and wowie zowie. Who the heck loses 41 lbs? Even in two weeks, which is what I think they said. I am amazed. I think they are recording the show differently this year because it really shows what goes on in the gym. Every other year has shown more of the stories behind the people and this one seemed to focus on the intensity of the workouts and the trainers. Maybe too many people come on to the show thinking that it's going to be a piece of cake because it is depicted a certain way on the telecast. I don't think they will have that problem any more. Makes me see my "mean" coach husband in a whole new light. He is nowhere near as bad as those two. But then on the other hand...they're pushing through barriers that they never would if it weren't for the trainers so they should be thanking them. You never know what you can accomplish until you are pushed to do so. Anyway, so this morning I was doing my little situp routine and my 2 year old is watching me telling me, "go, go, go" and counting for me. Very cute, we're raising a little mini trainer!

That's all for today....I probably won't post again until after Sunday. Wish us luck!!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Counting down....

In less than ONE WEEK, I will be running 13.1 miles. For fun. Am I crazy? I think I might be. Last year, Jacob couldn't drag me out the door to run 2 miles, yet here I am, excited as can be for this great experience. Sooo...this past weekend we went to Grand Lodge. It too, was a great experience. We departed on Friday after seriously altering the day's plans. Jacob was supposed to ride down with his buddy Brian and I was supposed to drive down later in the day after Brian's wife got off of work. She got off of work early, so I had to pack in four hours worth of last-minute preparations into one hour so that Jacob could make it to Frisco on time for his meeting. It was kind of hectic, and we wound up being late anyway, but oh well. I didn't forget anything. Wooohoo!! Although, close call....I realized right before packing my bag in the car that I didn't pack myself any underwear. Yikes! Off to Friso we go, where we stay at the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. I have never experienced valet parking or concierge service or anything like that. To be honest with you, I've never stayed in a hotel that has a mini-bar in the room. Naturally, I touched the containers of macadamia nuts and Red Bulls which signal magnetically that they have been removed and so we had $11 worth of mini-bar charges on our bill. They were glad to remove the charges when I explained what a retard I was. I learned quite a few things this weekend, for instance, never ever wear heels in San Francisco. I brought a pair of shoes with reasonable heels and two pairs of super tall super sexy shoes. Let me tell ya, those shoes are DANGEROUS when walking uphill, and downright deadly when walking downhill. Thank you Jacob for being a trooper and walking slowly with me and holding on to me so I wouldn't topple over. I also learned that everything in the Bay is ridiculously overpriced. Breakfast for 3? Can you say $75? OMG. Parking per day? $51.30. Double OMG. All-in-all it was an awesome weekend.

However. Yes there is a however. We found ourselves with people that don't care about their fitness. "Why would you run?" they ask. "You're not going to do that, watch," they said. Turned out they were right. Taking advantage of the adult weekend, we indulged in champagne and a $42 bottle of wine (which I didn't know was a $42 bottle of wine, OMG) as well as some other wine that was snuck into the hotel by our friends. We didn't run. At all. We set our alarm for early on Saturday morning so we could visit the fitness center, but that didn't happen. On Sunday morning we had to pack our room and check out before our business meeting at 9. We had also been up until 1 am so we did not greet the early morning sun. I feel ridiculous that we had these goals and didn't meet them. Darn our friends for being right. Runner buddies- how do you guys keep up with your training when those around you aren't supportive?

We are tapering this week so the runs are shorter. One run, one crosstrain, and then rest rest rest until Sunday. I'm keeping my eye out for the mailman this week because I am expecting my package from Team Sparkle!! Yay!! I am going to be sporting the hot pink Traveling Sparkle Skirt for my race and I am super duper excited about it. Usually I like to stay more under the radar and don't go out on a limb like this to stand out unless I'm part of a group so I'm a little eensy weensy bit nervous, but at the same time I am stoked!! I will make sure to post pictures.

I am looking for something tasty and effective for our Saturday night carb-loading dinner. We also have to figure out how exactly we are going to work out the breakfast situation on Sunday morning. I'm sure it will all work out fine. It better.

In other non-half-marathon news, I have committed to participating in a virtual 10k hosted by Running Diva Mom on 10-10-10. I am looking forward to it, and if you are looking for an event to run but can't find one that fits your schedule, this is a great one because it can be completed anytime between October 1st and 15th! Check it out HERE .

Oh, and definitely stop by Tall Mom on the Run's blog here to check out her awesome giveaway! Seriously cool running stuff going on here.

Hope everyone's fantastic and all that jazz, talk to y'all soon!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday- Let's try this out

I've been slacking on my blogging lately, why I do not know. So I'm going to attempt to do a Three Things Thursday to at least keep me up-to-date once a week.

1) Jacob and I ran 9 miles on Sunday! It was amazing. It felt LOOOOOOnnnnnngggggg, mostly because, well, it was. We were feeling pretty good and even incorporated a small hill (Palamidessi Bridge) in the middle. We tried out Hammer Gel for the first time, which was not to bad tasting. The texture was odd and unexpected, but not terrible. I managed to keep my feet on the ground for almost the whole run. See, I have bad luck with cracks in the road/sidewalk. (I even fell once while 37 weeks pregnant with my son, wound up getting taken to the emergency room, good stuff.) So as we're running along WestAcre, I'm telling myself that we're in the home stretch, just pretend like this is just another run, we're almost done...and boom! I hit a spot in the sidewalk where the crack is raised about an inch above the rest. I go flying forward, almost losing my shoe, and plant my palms into the sidewalk. Somehow I didn't skid. Somehow only my hands touched the ground. Somehow I didn't get roadrash on my palms. I imagine it's because I was moving at snail speed, but whatever. Jacob comes running back to me, asking me, "what the hell are you doing?" Uh-huh that was totally intentional. He drives me crazy sometimes. Anyway, I shook it off and got back on my feet. We finished the nine miles at right around 2 hours. I am optimistic about adding 4 miles to finish out the half marathon. If I can do 9, I can do 13.1. Right?

2) My husband and I preparing for our first weekend away from the kids in a lonnnnnng time. He is a Freemason, currently the Master of his lodge and this weekend is Grand Lodge, where they get to vote and that good stuff. We get to stay in a fancy schmancy hotel, I get to go to a ladies' luncheon while he is at his business meeting, and then we get to get all dolled up (think prom, for adults) for a formal banquet and dancing. I am really excited for adult time with our friends that we have made within our Lodge and others in the area. I am kinda stressing out about the packing thing....I have to pack for the kids for the weekend with their grandparents, plus pack for Jacob and I for business meetings and a formal night out. I'm sure to forget something- last time we did something like this, I forgot his dress socks and bow tie for his tux.

3) I recently added two things to my "bucket list". One is to run on the Embarcadero in San Francisco and the other is to run Ali'i Drive in my hometown, Kailua-Kona. Well, we are about to cross something off the list. Unfortunately, it's not running in Kona. This weekend, we have a ten miler slated. We know for damn sure we won't want to run Sunday night after getting home from Frisco. We also know that we don't want to run on a treadmill for 2+ hours, gross! So that only leaves us with one option- wake up early on Sunday and run in the one spot in San Francisco that's not a hill. We are running the Embarcadero!! We mapped it out from the little beach at the end to the bridge and it's 2.5 miles each way. Four times and we'll be good. So wish us luck with that!!

That's all for now, my little angel (ha!) is demanding lunch, RIGHT NOW. She's so bossy sometimes...I have no idea where she gets it from. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bloggy blog blogger

Howdy doody neighboroonies! It's been hectic, crazy, and all things related this past month or so.

Proud moments: My son is in first grade this year, and I think he's doing wonderful! He is exceling in the math and reading program. His teacher actually pulled us aside at Back to School night and let us know that she has assessed him at a higher reading level and he and one other boy will be given "special" assignments to keep them interested and challenged. She is also going to talk to the principal to discuss sending them to a second grade class for the reading portion of the day. I am so excited for him! I remember doing the same thing. He has already mentioned that he went to a different class for a project earlier this week, so I think they are experimenting to see how it works. The class uses a card system to keep track of the students' behavior. Green means good behavior, yellow means that she has had to speak to them a few times and they lose a recess, and red means that they lose both recesses. She sends home a sort of a progress report each week to tell us how our child is doing. Two weeks in a row he has been all green, but last week his came home with a comment that he "seems to be easily swayed by others to make the wrong decisions". Boo. I was worried about that. I remember a lot about being that age and how important it seemed to fit in, even though the kids I wanted to fit in with were doing things I didn't want to. So we had a talk with him about making the right decisions and setting good examples for others. He seemed to understand and took pride the rest of this week to tell us that he made his own decisions during the day. I am so incredibly proud of him. <3

Also, on the running front, Jacob and I are officially back on track with our training program! We couldn't seem to get past the dang 5 mile mark; it was terrible! It is hard to get out there for over an hour.... but we decided last week to try for seven miles. That would be our house to the Capitol building and back. But we felt so good that we just kept going. We made the loop around the Capitol building and gardens (which is 1.12 miles) and headed home. Our total run distance: 8.12 miles. Our total run time: 1:48. It took us a long time, but we both felt great and completely accomplished.

Fail run: Well, you know since we ran 8 miles, I thought we were the leet and a 5 mile run wouldn't be a problem! We figured that since we are spending more time out on the road, we needed to figure out how to get hydrated. We headed to our favorite local Fleet Feet store and got into a lengthy conversation with a worker there about nutrition supplements and hydration options. Jacob opted for a simple waist pack with a big 20 oz water bottle that chills in the small of his back. Me, I had to go with the cute handheld one that was purple and reflective. Very cute, and felt good at the store. While empty. Good grief. On our run that night, we decided to head out with the new gear just to test it out. After one mile, I felt like crap. At about the 1.75 mile marker, I was almost in tears and ready to head home. Jacob is usually very good about keeping me motivated and positive but this time he realized that something was really bothering me. My calves and ankles were killing me. So we walked mile 3. Still limping, we walked mile 4. And then still limping, almost in tears with shame and irritation, we walked mile 5. I couldn't figure it out! What was the problem? The only thing that was different was the water bottle, which while a little bit heavy on the arm when full of water, should have had nothing to do with my legs. Guess again. I happened to be flipping through my current issue of Runners World and they had an article regarding jogging strollers. It said that anytime you alter the body's running mechanics (i.e., pushing a jogging stroller or holding a bottle of water) you cause greater stress on the core and legs. Holy crap! A little 20 oz bottle of water wreaked that kind of havoc on me???? Ridiculous!

We are heading out tonight for another 5 miler. I will not be bringing my cute new water bottle friend, just to test it and see how things go. We may have to make another trip to Fleet Feet to get me a waist pack...especially since we are slated for a nine mile run on Sunday!! Wish us luck, I think we might need it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My return...

Last report left you hanging with word of an injury. It was pretty bad, in my eyes. I couldn't really walk without limping. Off and on throughout the day I would have this throbbing ache punctuated by a sharp shooting pain through the outer edge of my foot. Seriously inconvenient, I'm tellin ya. I was worried. Just in the nick of time, I was struck down by what I'm certain was food poisoning. I think it was the nutrition gods smiting me, or whatever it is they say. While taking my son back-to-school shopping we wound up at the mall. Terrible place, really. Here nor there, I wound up in the food court at lunch time with two very hungry children and we ate Panda Express. I felt fine until I started cooking dinner. Long story short, overnight was a disaster of my two-year-old puking (and my dog beating me to her bedroom and eating it! gross!!) and me being up all night with her. The following day I could barely move, I felt so terrible. So being the awful mommy that I am sometimes, I laid on the couch all day with the kids watching Alf and VeggieTales on Finally at around 9 pm I felt good enough to swap a load of laundry out and that's when I realized that my foot didn't hurt any more!! Apparently all I needed was something to force my a$$ to stay still and stop walking around!

It had been almost two weeks since I last ran, but we had already paid the registration for Kaleo's 5k which was yesterday. I was a little nervous since it had been so long. My nervousness increased when Jacob looked at me before the race and asked if I had already used my inhaler. D'oh! I leave it in my purse, but that morning I grabbed my wallet and threw it in the bag with the kids' extra clothes. Rookie move.

Isaiah ran his first race, too! He has been begging for us to register him for the kids' run at the next race we did. So true to our word, we registered him for the 1/2 mile run for kids 6-11. We pumped him up for it, and prepared him that there would be kids bigger than him and he might not be the fastest one out there but as long as he finished and did the best he could, we would be proud of him. He's kind of a sore loser, and being that he is at the bottom of his age group, I didn't want him giving up because he was being beat. He came in FOURTH. I was so stinkin proud of him, I had to hold back tears as I watched him line up at the start and then pumping past me and the tears were flowing watching him cross the finish line. Sappy mommy, I know. But it was amazing.

My mom came along with us to hang onto the kids while we did the 5k, and I am so thankful to her for that. It was really nice having them waving at us excitedly as we ran past at the start. It was pretty warm, but we trucked along. He told me that he didn't want me to hold back for him, "I won't let you leave me," he said. So on I went. Supposedly this course was flat and fast, but I have run three 5ks so far and this had the most inclines out of any yet! They were small, but I could definitely feel the difference! My goal was to break 35 minutes. Being that I hadn't run in two weeks, wasn't sure how my ankle/foot was going to hold up, and didn't have my inhaler, I thought that an almost three minute improvement was reasonable. He huffed to me as we passed the three mile marker, "give it all you've got, finish strong!" We crossed the finish line side by side at 34:33.3. This breaks down to 11:09 miles, which is over a full minute per mile improvement from my last 5k. I'm really excited about that! I can't wait until our times drop into the single digits but in the meantime I'm just happy with progress in the right direction!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Falling off the wagon, and back on with a vengeance

Last week was awful. Since my last post, we did not run until two nights ago. We ate out at least once on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday was not too awful bad, we shared two rolls at sushi. On Saturday we went out to California Pizza Kitchen with some of our best friends (hi guys, we LOVE hanging out with you and I have to admit that this was the most fun eating excessive calories!!). On Sunday somehow we wound up at McDonalds for lunch and then at pizza for dinner for our family August birthday celebration. Yikes, no wonder we felt like crap!!

On Monday we were bound and determined to get out there and run. So run we did. We decided on the same route to complete the 5 mile loop. I went out and bought a snazzy Nathan LED light a few days ago and it made it's debut. As we are scooting along Jacob puffs behind me, 'hey you, you think just because you have a fancy armband that you're fast or something?' He also had a new watch which does splits and stuff which we have never had on a run before so he was prepared to holler at me our time along the way. We finished our first two miles feeling great and averaging 12:15 miles. Quick enough for us. Sometime around the midway mark I started having some discomfort in my knees. Not unexpected, but then something new popped up- a pain in my inner left leg, just above my ankle. We slowed it down drastically for miles three and four but picked up as best we could for the last mile. It took us one hour and four minutes. (Did I tell you that the last run we did my map was wrong? It was only 4.8 and not 5.) So it only took us two more minutes to cover almost a quarter mile longer. I was very happy with our time. A little sad that it felt so rough, but happy that we were able to maintain a little quicker pace even with a short stretch of walking in the middle. One of the coolest things about the run was that we saw another solo runner heading toward us as we were coming into our four mile marker. At that time of night and in that part of town I was pleasantly surprised and he seemed happy to see us too. =o)
Unfortunately the pain in my leg seems to have translated to a bigger issue. The outer edge of my left foot has sharp pain off and on throughout the day even though we took yesterday off. Jacob wants to go out for another five miler tonight but I just don't think I can do it....I hate to let him down but I'd also hate to really hurt myself and put me out of comission to a point where I can't train at all. =/ I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

High FIVE for us!!!

On our plates last night, a five miler. At this point in the game, every long run mileage increase is scary because each one can be classified as a PR in distance. Three miles, then four, and now five. Five for some reason, seemed so much more daunting. So after letting our tummies settle from dinner, and putting the babies to bed, off we went. (Don't worry we don't just leave them home sleeping alone. My youngest sister lives with us and she was in her room, probably talking on her cell phone and texting the whole time.)

I'm not gonna lie. I was scared. Would I make it? Did I hydrate enough during the day? Did we wait too long after eating? Did I use my inhaler at the appropriate time before leaving? My prior fail run left me with way too many worries, and I could tell Jacob was worried about me pooping out too. He won't leave me in the dark so if I don't make the run, he doesn't make the run. He has a lot more weight to lose so a little more is on the line for him than finishing the training run and getting to the point where he can run a half marathon. He is super hard on himself and if we run into any hiccups in our training plan I am worried that it could be a disaster. It has been in the past...I can only hope that since I am on board with him this time I can pull him through any rough patches that make him want to give up.

Mile one, he asks me our time. Thirteen minutes. Slow for the normal hard-core runner, but for us that was making good time. We still hadn't technically run a full four miles yet so we weren't sure how five miles would be. Since we have been averaging twelve minute miles, I wasn't going to complain at thirteen, considering we had to sustain it for over a mile longer than we are accustomed to. We continued on. I didn't remember where on the map the other mile markers were so we just started looking for our own milestones. First it was, I see Whitey's. Than it was I see Stone. Then I see Industrial....followed by Harbor. And finally we were in the home stretch. It took us 62 minutes, so somehow we picked it up at some point and wound up finishing with an average twelve minute mile, give or take a few seconds.

I felt amazing. Tired, but amazing. There was a little bit of shin and knee discomfort toward the end, but nothing that was anywhere near pain. Things I noticed on our run: 1)Jacob's head is pretty shiny and he has the sexiest calves I have ever seen. 2)My shadow is changing. In my midsection, in the area that used to be just a big blob of thickness. I am trimming down and the muffin top has more definition instead of just extending the entirety of my waist to underarms. (I'm not being negative here, that's actually really exciting because I can see that I am trimming down!!) 3)It truly is mind over matter. Your body really CAN go further than it alone will allow you to. You have to engage your body and your mind to push yourself past the limits.

As we started our cooldown, Jacob looked back and me and said very simply, "I'm proud of you. I couldn't have asked for you to do a better job tonight. Everything was perfect." I'm proud of that particular moment, with sweat dripping down my face and my heart racing...I had never heard sweeter words coming from his mouth. Other than "I do" of course. =o)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today-Random Rambling

I woke up this morning in a terrible mood. A don't-touch-me, don't-talk-to-me, best you don't even look at me kind of mood. Don't know what did it, don't know who, don't know why. My husband, ever the antagonist, pokes at me when I'm in moods like this. But this time, I'm not just barely in the mood where his poking actually makes me grin and get over it. I'm full blown pissed at the world. Which is rare for me, and why he really doesn't know how to handle himself when it happens. One of my other bloggy buddies Shutupandrun posted something yesterday about her mood and how it just creeps up and you have a meltdown where you're yelling at everyone and taking away privileges and crap like that. That's the kind of day I'm having.

At around noon, my husband I'm sure was thanking his lucky stars that he had to leave to run the Child ID booth in Dixon. So now I'm home alone with the kiddos, waiting not so patiently for them to both fall asleep. Luckily for me, we ran out of toilet paper and I had to get some other dinner items for our guests tonight (fun, I'm in such the mood for guests, bleh) so I had the distinct pleasure of carting both children to the grocery store by myself. They did pretty well, considering. I think Isaiah really tried hard, thank goodness for that. While we were there, I kept getting this nagging feeling that today means something- August 1st....what was it? OMG, I came to a halt in front of the meat department which the kids complained about because "it's toooooo coooooold". Today marks twelve years from the day my husband asked me to be his girlfriend and I actually said yes. See, he discourages the celebrating of any anniversaries other than the one that "counts"- our wedding anniversary. Otherwise, he gets too many dates confused. It's bad enough that he has to remember TWO kids birthdays now lol. Whatever. Anyway, so yeah....makes it even worse that I am in this terrible mood on this very auspicious day. I feel like a total ass. And that's all I have to say about that.

Yesterday we had an event in the morning to go to which I had no idea how long would take and then we had double booked ourselves so that we had a housewarming party to attend at five. We got out of the first thing super early and had over two hours before we had to be at the housewarming so Jacob got this great idea that we should go for our four mile run right then. It was freakin HOT. After the first mile and a half I felt like I had to puke. It was at that point I realized that in all the running around we did yesterday, I had only drank maaaybe 16 oz of water. No bueno. So we walked for a little while and picked it back up after stopping in at the police station to use the water fountain in the lobby. After running for about another mile and a half, my body felt like quitting. I was overheating bad and feeling so crappy. My legs didn't hurt, my lungs were working fine, but my body just wanted to melt into a puddle on the ground. Damn the city of West Sac for not having any trees!! There was barely any shade and we were running in temps a good 40 degrees hotter than we are accustomed to. All in all, it was a fail run. We didn't run nearly enough out of the whole 4.8 or so we traveled (including cool-down and warm-up) but I now understand the importance of fully hydrating allllll day long. Good grief. I guess all runners have their off days. Yesterday was definitely one of mine.

On a more positive note, I started reading ChiRunning yesterday which is a totally fantastic book. I'm not totally practicing all of the methods it talks about, but I have made conscious effort to alter and improve my running posture for better running efficiency. Even with the minor changes that I have made, the four miles that we ran a few days prior to the fail hot run were so much easier than any previous run. I felt good, and even after the four miles were over I kind of wanted to keep going! So, more to follow on that and how it works out for me. I have high hopes!

Oh yeah, please keep my iPod in your thoughts today....somehow (I'm sure one of the kids is the culprit) when I plugged it in today, I got an error message that it was corrupted and I am currently in the process of restoring it. Fingers crossed that it works! I don't know what I'm going to do if it goes out on me. =(

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I know I'm a sissy but....that water was COLD

Whew what a busy week we have had! I have had the distinct pleasure of visiting with one of my bestest friends during one her few and far between visits to Northern California. See, we have been friends since our freshman year in high school (at this point, too long ago for me to want to admit. OK, it's been fourteen years.) and although she lives in Texas she remains one of my best friends. We can go six months without seeing each other and pick up a conversation like we just left off five minutes ago. I love her. Since she has been here, we have eaten pizza twice. I'm a superhero athlete now though, so those things don't tempt me like they used to. I lie. I really really really wanted that damn pizza. After slice 2 when I'm supposed to cut myself off I found myself longingly staring at that delicious round goodness sitting mere feet away fom my face. But I win, and the pizza stayed right where it belonged- on it's pan for someone else to shove in their mouth.

We worked out in the Church of Work aka my garage twice last week. Lots of crunches, jump rope, stretching, and knee ups. Lots of weights lifted. Lots of sweat dripped. We ran twice at three miles each. I feel like I'm getting slower, not faster, which is completely a buzzkill but at this point I'm just happy that I was able to finish. With each run that we do, I feel like it's going a little bit smoother and I feel a little bit better. I also feel like quitting completely a little further on in the run so I take that to mean that my endurance is building.

On Sunday, we were supposed to do our first long run. Long runs in this training plan start at four miles and gradually progress up to ten. We are supposed to run ten miles on the last weekend in September. <--Knees shaking about this one, seriously. Anyway, we didn't do the long run on Sunday. We wound up heading out to the lake that afternoon with the canoe. We paddled around for a decent amount of time and pulled up to the shore to let the kids play around. It was really a beautiful day, perfect for hanging out lakeside and people watching. The kids had so much fun digging up rocks and clamshells. Before heading home, we decided to meander out onto the lake again. While out in the middle of the lake, hubs thought it would be a great idea to let our son jump out of the canoe and into the lake. I protested- loudly. But it didn't seem like I was going to win this one so I opted to compromise. Fine, I said, but only if we get a little closer to shore. If we tip this dang thing over, I want to be a little closer in. So Hub prepared my son for the fact that the water would be very cold and told him to go over the edge- easy. Easy does not come naturally to a six year old ball of energy so he went bailing out over the edge. Needless to say, we ALL felt how cold the water was. Hub's popped out of the water first and flipped the canoe back over, at the same time pushing our two-year-old daughter back into it. She was completely ballistic, poor thing. Our son was laughing hysterically, he thought it was the funnest thing ever. Hub retrieved his hat and a flip flop that was floating near us and we proceeded to swim back to shore, towing our canoe with us. At this point, the canoe was full to the brim with lake water, our gear, and both kids. Poor babygirl was screaming bloody murder and littleman was completely hysterical the whole way in. The water was cooooold and even though we were swimming pretty hard, I was shivering. I can see why the swimmers I see going across the lake wear wetsuits. Looking back, it really wasn't that bad. I just felt really bad for babygirl who at that point was overtired and the shock of tipping over was just too much for her to handle. She fell asleep before we even turned out of the parking lot, but we were all burnt out from being in the sun all day. We skipped the long run.

So last night, we made up for it. Four miles, measured from our pretty much all the way around one side of town. West Cap down Harbor to Reed to Jefferson and up West Cap back home seems like a really long way...but somehow it's just barely over four miles. I have no idea how long it took us since we didn't look at the clock before we left. All I know is that we finished it, and I FELT the extra mile. My knees are aching today but otherwise I feel great. We are going to need to get some reflective gear, because we have been running a lot at night and as these runs get longer and longer we are finding that there are less and less streetlights. I think that some of the knee pain is from running on the sidewalk as opposed to the asphalt but I am not running on the streets without reflectors on. I found myself in disbelief while we were running- this was the longest run we have done to date. And then found myself in further disbelief that we would be over doubling this by our last training run and even further, running this over THREE TIMES for our race in just a few weeks. I am speechless every time I think about this. Speechless but hopeful.

So we have another three miles on the slate for tonight. I hope my knees can hold out for it. I'm sure that it will feel like a walk in the park after last's hopin.