Saturday, December 27, 2008


Well, my dear running mate is in Idaho spending the holidays with family, so I'm on my own this week and next. I was hoping to run with Heather a couple days last week, but she was sick. We may be able to this coming week, though. Being that we just got a brand new baby, this week I've been doing some afternoon running. Ugh. Not my thing. It's hard getting up in the morning sometimes, but it sure as heck beats running in the afternoon. I think my performance is only at like 75% of what it would be in the a.m.

At any rate, I ran 4 miles on Monday and Wednesday, and Friday was starting to feel like I might be fighting off the cold that 4 out of our 5 kids have right now. I figured if I was going to get a long run in this week, I better get it done. I really haven't run by myself in months...the 4-milers were doable, but much less enjoyable without someone to talk to. But, I brought my MP3 player, and it wasn't too bad. Yesterday I planned 7.1 miles. Not really a "long" run compared to some of our other runs, but considering I was going by myself, I didn't want to be too ambitious. So, I got my water belt ready, grabbed my MP3 player, and Chris dropped me off at my aunt and uncle's house in Rocklin. When I was about to start my run, though, I realized my MP3 was out of juice. Not good planning on my part. So, the next 7.1 miles were left alone to me and my thoughts as I literally chased my own shadow for what seemed like miles upon miles.

It was only in the 40s when I ran, but it was sunny. The first few miles I felt great. I had a fabulous downhill part between miles 1 and 2, and then it was pretty flat with a few small hills the rest of the way. At about mile 5, though, the muscle in my inner thigh/groin began to get aggravated. I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here before or not, but for the last month or so, any time I get above about 4 miles, this muscle starts hurting. I'm not sure what it is, but I hope it gets better soon.

The last few miles were seriously brutal. I couldn't think of anything to think of besides the anguish I was in, and was tempted to just start having a conversation with myself out loud just so I could get my mind off things. I kept thinking about how there is NO way I'll get through a half-marathon on my own...I barely got through 7 yesterday! What the heck am I going to do?! The race is only a month away...I'm gonna need to figure something out. Maybe if I would have had my MP3 it wouldn't have been quite so bad...

At any rate, I did end up making it home. My knees were burning a bit last night, but I'm recovered today. And whatever muscle that is in my inner thigh is back to being normal again. I am hoping to do 9 miles next Saturday...we'll see if I can mentally get myself there. =)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Catching Up...

Well, after a wonderful trip to Disneyland last weekend, it was back to the grind this week. I ran 5 miles with Amber last Saturday (was supposed to do 10), and then just did 4 miles on Monday at the hotel. I missed Tuesday's run since we were driving back from L.A., but was back in the running (pun intended) on Thursday.

Today we did a really nice 10.6-mile run up in Lincoln. We started at about 6:30 a.m., and it was just starting to get light outside. The moon was especially bright because of it's location, so that gave us some added illumination. The first 7 miles or so were good...nothing eventful. I tried out my new knee supports, hoping I would notice a big improvement. But alas, mile 8 hits, and my knees say, "ENOUGH!"

I'm not sure what to do about that...I know it's just overuse. After I get home from a long run, I can normally barely walk. But, after I stretch and take a shower, usually within an hour or so, my knees feel pretty normal. Some days I'll have some residual pain throughout the day, but it's nothing chronic yet. Maybe I should talk to a doctor to see what I can do? Maybe Amber's dad would have some advice since he's a regular marathoner. I don't want to quit at this point. I'm too close to the finish line! But I also don't want to push my body too much. It's just so darn frustrating to be mentally motivated and ready to go, but to be held back by physical ailments. I guess I should be happy it's nothing worse. I mean, it really could be MUCH worse.

At any rate, the run was good. I misjudged the amount of time we had left toward the end. I thought we had about 2.5 miles left, but it took *forever*, and every time we came over a hill, I thought for sure the end would be in sight. When I got home, I checked my route, and realized the last leg was almost 4 miles, not 2.5. Whoops. Sorry, Amber.

We had two pit bulls come running at us about 1/2 way through our run. I was scared out of my pants, but Amber didn't seem phased by them at all! They ended up being nice doggies, and ran with us for a good couple miles. Wonder if they ever found their way back home...

It was supposed to be raining and windy this morning, but I woke up to clear skies, and we had great weather for our whole run! Very chilly, but no wind or rain! Here's a pic:

Only 7 more weeks until race day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ho Hum...

Today was one of those mornings where I asked myself, "Why am I doing this to myself??"
Got to bed at 9:00 (yay!), fell asleep quickly and slept DEEP until 1:45 when I woke up to Boy #2 crying because he had a pee pee accident in bed. By the time I got him and the bedding changed, I was wide awake. Not good. All I could think about was that I only had 3 more hours until I needed to get out of bed to run. I pretty much laid awake for the rest of the night, woken a couple other times by Boy #1 and Girl #1.

Other womanly issues awaited me bright and early, and it was a morning that if I would have had Amber's cell phone number, I may have called to cancel. Maybe I shouldn't get that number from her after all...I had no way out of my run since I didn't want to call her house and wake her family up. I had to buck up and suffer through it. My knees are still having issues from yesterday's 5-miler at the gym. Have I ever mentioned how running 5 miles on a treadmill is pretty much like running 10 miles outside? Maybe worse? I know, I shouldn't complain. I mean, I'm lucky that I can go to the gym and get a break from the kids while I zone out watching Regis and Kelly. But really, were we meant to run endless amounts of time without getting anywhere? Seems like some kind of weird conspiracy to me...

I feel better now that I'm showered and am drinking a cup of coffee. I only drink it on the days I run, and boy do I look forward to it. There's something about sitting down and drinking a warm cup o' joe after a run outside in the cold...

On a side note, I'm considering still running the Davis Stampede 1/2 marathon in February without Amber. I feel terrible, because I don't want to do it without her, but I'm worried my knees may not make it until May running long runs every week for 6 months. At least if I do the one in February, I can taper off for a month or so, and then gradually work back up for the event in May. I'm looking for someone to run it with me, though...I'm scared to do it by myself! I need someone to talk to so I can keep my mind off of the miles I run.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Double Digits!

I can't even believe I'm writing this, but we broke double digits today!! 10.3 miles...
I had the world's worst sleep last night...I don't know what it is, but the nights before runs, I seem to always have odd dreams about my routes and I wake up all night. Quite annoying. So last night, I kept tossing and turning trying to get our route out of my head to no avail. At 4:45, I hear a bedroom door open, and out come two of the kids. Ummm...I DON'T think so! After Chris put them back to bed TWICE, there was no turning back. I was awake for good. So I lay there until about 5:15 and finally gave in and got up.

Now I did have a few things to look forward to this morning before my run. Yesterday I went to Fleet Feet and got myself a new pair of shoes! They're still Saucony, but they supposedly have extra cushioning that is supposed to make them last an extra 50-100 miles. We'll see...(Ok, is it sad that I like to share pictures of my shoes almost as much as I do of my kids??) Aren't they purrty? =)

While I was at Fleet Feet, I asked the gal helping me what I could do about this blister on my big toe that has been plaguing me for the better part of 2 months now. She recommended some running socks that don't have cotton in them...they have that cool "wicking" material that supposedly wicks the moisture away from your skin and then it evaporates. I wasn't really sold on it until I got home from our run and took my shoes off. Holy cow! My socks were almost completely dry! Amazing.

After buying my two new favorite things, the cashier kindly informed me that I'd earned a $25 credit to buy something in the store! Figuring that it will be awhile until I go back, I decided to not let the reward burn a hole in my pocket. =) I went ahead and bought a new running bra. Oh my goodness, the difference that makes! It's like I'm a man when I run now! I'll just leave it at that instead of going into a long description of why I like it so much. =)

Anyhoo, I actually made it the WHOLE run today without stopping to walk at all. I was so happy that I actually did it! Again, around mile 8, my knees felt big time pressure, but I think the shoes helped a bit in that it wasn't sharp pain like I felt before. When we were done, I was hurting pretty bad, but after stretching and my regular post-run routine, they feel good! Just some residual tightness.

Well, this post got to be kind of long...sorry about that. Lots to be excited about! New shoes, new socks, new bra....and 10.3 miles!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


The training schedule called for 8 miles today, but we ended up doing 9.1 instead. =) Amber picked a beautiful run in Newcastle that was a great balance between gentle slopes and a few killer hills. This morning was the first time the cold weather seemed to affect me at all. It was a cold, crisp morning, and the cold air seemed to freeze my insides. =) After the first few miles, I didn't notice the burning anymore, but I still notice the wheezing a bit now that I'm home.

Knees did pretty good today...around mile 7 or 8 they pulled their same ol' protest, and we walked for about 30 seconds so I could give them a little break. It really irritates me...I hate to make Amber stop, and we're always on the home stretch when I feel like I need to just give them a break so they don't completely go out on me. But, at least it's not happening at mile 4 & 5 like it was before...maybe that's a good sign?

I was limping when I got home, but after stretching and eating breakfast with my cup o' joe, they felt great. Now that it's a few hours later, though, I'm thinking it would be beneficial for me to take an Ibuprofen...I feel the burning in my kneecaps coming on, and I don't want to repeat what happened a few weeks ago. I think Ibuprofen and I are forming a special bond. So, I'm off to pop a pill and maybe ice up a bit...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's amazing what a little practice can get you...

Ok, yesterday Amber and I ran 9.5 miles around Loomis and Penryn. I got a gorgeous picture of the sunrise coming up over some beautiful rolling hills and a little pond...and for some reason, the thumbnail of the photo in my phone is great, but when I try to send it or open it, it zooms way in and can't be seen. So, I guess I can't post it here until someone who is more technologically advanced than I am can figure it out for me.

But, onto our run...the middle section between miles 3 and 6 had some great up and down slopes. I had to make Amber walk once on a hill, but I should have just pushed through it. That's easy to say now that it's Sunday, and I'm not suffering through burning calves...oh, well. My knees did pretty good until about mile 7, and I had to ask Amber once again to walk for a few seconds so I could give them a minute to breathe.

I decided this week, I would preempt the excruciating pain I experienced last week and took an Ibuprofen and rubbed some Bengay on as soon as I got home. I don't know if it was that, or if this week's run was just not as difficult as last week's, but my legs were actually just "normally sore." I woke up this morning, and felt great! Yay.

Next week we go back down to 8 miles for our long run...pshaw! Piece of cake! =)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Amber and I have been looking for someone else to run with us so that in case one of us is sick or can't run, we still have a running buddy. Luckily, she knows someone at her church who wants to start running. So, Heather joined us this morning. We left at 5:30 a.m. and Heather did the first 3.2 miles or so with us. Amber and I intended on running about 4 miles today, but when I got home I mapped our run, and saw we ended up doing 5 miles! I love it when that happens. =)

Onto race day...I can't remember if I wrote on here or not about how we are looking for a 1/2 marathon that takes place on a Saturday. There aren't too many options out there...I found one that's on Jan. 17th, and although I think I could be ready by then, that particular race is in Pacifica, and has a large elevation gain during the race. After last week's hill experience and the pain that ensued when we were done, we decided it may not be the best choice for my first 1/2 marathon. There is one on May 2nd in Sacramento, and although I didn't really want to wait that long to do the race, at least now I'll have plenty of time to get my mileage up and get some speedwork done. Plus, weather will hopefully not be an issue. I set up a new 16-week training program at Runner's World that seems pretty good.

I really need to get some new running shoes, and could order a pair just like my current ones online, but I really would like something a little different. Guess I'll have to make a trip into Fleet Feet soon...I don't want to have to buy another pair before race day in May, so I don't want to do it too soon...

Monday, November 10, 2008


So Saturday after my run, I felt pretty darn good. My legs were a tad sore, but my knees were SO much better than they normally are. I think the Glucosamine I started taking a few weeks ago is actually helping! Usually by mile 4 or 5, my knees are protesting my attempts as an athlete, but last week I noticed a big difference in how they felt. BUT, Saturday evening the repercussions of my 9-miler really started to kick in. During church, I kept sitting down during the songs as I started to feel tightness in my knees and some burning behind them. By about 6:30 that night, behind my knees were burning SO bad...I iced them, but the pain was just burning through it! I didn't have any Ibuprofen, so Chris was a wonderful husband and ran to the store to pick some up for me. He also grabbed some Bengay. As soon as he got home, I rubbed the backs of my knees with the Bengay and took an Ibuprofen. I also kept the ice on for another hour or so. By bed time, I was starting to feel better, but feared what the next morning would bring. =)

I woke up on Sunday and felt great! My calves were sore (and still are), but it was a good kind of sore. No more pain in the knees! I decided to take Sunday and Monday off to let my body re-coop, and we're on for 5 miles tomorrow a.m. Hopefully my legs will be ready to perform by then. =)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sometimes I surprise myself...

Today Amber and I ran a *beautiful* route up in Newcastle off of Ridge Road. I mapped our run when I got home on MapMyRun and we did 9.1 miles! We did a loop out and back, and the first 1/2 was great. On the way back, though, it was mostly uphill, and I seriously got my bum kicked. I felt bad that I had to ask Amber to walk 4 or 5 times...I need to do more hill running. I am *not* used to it! It ended up taking us around and hour and 45 minutes...not too bad, but quite a bit slower than our normally under-10-minute-mile. Chris was SO sweet and drove out to drive by and cheer us on. After he drove past us, he turned around to head home. About 10 minutes later, though, I spotted them sitting out in lawn chairs and in the van cheering us on! I needed that boost, and I was just so touched that he would care enough to come cheer me on!

I took a few pictures with my phone, and I wish they did the view justice. It was a gorgeous morning for a run...perfect weather and the scenery just reminded me how thankful I should be to be alive and to have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscape the Lord blesses us with...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


That's how many calories I burned last month running! Can you believe that?! It's a good thing, too, considering I've been eating my weight in chocolate for the last few weeks. I seriously would have gained at least 5 pounds in the last month if I weren't running. I need to kick this sugar addiction fo' real. I've always had a sweet tooth, but it's out of control now. Having unlimited access to 4 kids' Halloween candy and the excuse that "I can eat whatever I want! I'll run it off tomorrow!" is not a good way to go in the long run (no pun intended). It's been a nice ride, though...

So, how do I break this addiction? I'm serious. It IS an addiction. I went cold turkey a year or so ago, and did great. I only allowed myself to eat baked goods since I LOVE to bake, and couldn't see living without my desserts for the rest of my life. I swore off of candy altogether, and did really well for a few months. I made the mistake of thinking I could re-introduce a piece of candy or chocolate into my life once a week or so, and that was it! I fell completely off the wagon, and it's been downhill since then. I need to just get over this thing and stop giving in to the tempting call of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kats. They really do call me...I can hear them! Can't you??

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First Run in the Rain...

Well, after a fun night of trick-or-treating and contentment with the fact that the rain stopped for a few hours while we went door-to-door, I woke up this morning to more rain. I was hoping Amber was still cool with running, even though we hadn't really discussed what we would do in the event of rain. She showed up right on time at 7:00. It was more like "showers" at the time, not torrential rain by any means. However, I have never run in the rain, and was a little curious to see how running my longest run in conditions I wasn't used to would go.

Initially, it was a little hard to adjust to. It still wasn't all the way light outside yet, and the combination of rain and poor lighting made for some bad visibility. But, after about 20 minutes, it became lighter and it wasn't so bad. Actually, after the first couple miles I started to kind of enjoy it! I felt pretty rugged out there in the rain. I felt like one of those runners who I would pass while driving in my car, and think, "What would possess someone to be out running in this weather?!" It felt good. The time flew by, and in the end we ended up doing 8.5 miles! I'm still a little bit shocked about that. I'm getting so close to double digits! Crazy.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Well, yesterday I crossed the 100-mile finish line! Amber and I ran 4 miles (two 2-mile loops), and when I got home, I logged in my run--I ended up having mileage of 100.28 for the month! This morning I "slept in" until about 6:10 and enjoyed my morning off before I run my longest run yet tomorrow--8 miles! It should be an interesting run, given it's supposed to be raining in the morning. I've never actually run in the rain yet, but I'm hoping my new windbreaker will help keep the moisture out, while not making me heat up too much.

Today is's a costume I thought was too funny not to post. =) Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Return of Mr. Putrid...

Today is normally my day off, but seeing that Friday is Halloween and I'll be stuffing my face with sweet goodies instead of running, I figured I better get some mileage in today. I got to the gym at about 8:30 a.m. and looked for an open treadmill. There are about 15 treadmills with t.v.'s and another 10 or so without any form of entertainment attached to them. I am not a person who can run endlessly on a black belt while staring off into oblivion, though. Having a t.v. to watch helps that time to pass much more quickly. Anyhoo, the first couple treadmills were taken, so I walked further down the aisle toward the only available one. I hopped onto it, happy that I was able to snag it before someone else, and wondering if maybe there was something wrong with it--why else would it be vacant during such a peak time? Maybe the t.v. wasn't working...or maybe the belt wasn't....or maybe when I turned it on it would go faster, and faster, and faster...but alas, I pressed the power button and all was well.

Now, when I chose the treadmill, I wasn't paying attention to who was running next to me. About a 1/4 mile into my 4-mile run, I noticed a familiar smell. Actually, it's an understatement to say "smell." It was a
stench. A funk that I haven't forgotten since my encounter with Mr. Putrid a few weeks ago. I looked to my right. No, miss blondy wearing a sports bra and short shorts couldn't be seeping that awful scent, could she? I looked to my left. Aaahhh. There he was. Mr. Putrid in all his glory. I desperately looked down the line of treadmills to see if another one had opened up, but no such luck. No wonder this one had been vacant! Now there were a number of "regular" treadmills with no t.v.'s available, but was I really willing to sacrifice my entertainment in order to maintain my ability to breathe? Of course not. I squinted my eyes to see how far the man had gone: .46 miles. GREAT! Now I had no idea how far he intended on going, but I imagined he still had a ways to go. Mr. Putrid, afterall, is in pretty darn good shape. It's amazing that such a horrible smell could come out of his body. He does have a lot of body hair poking out of his shirt...maybe that is contributing to his problem.

So, I bucked up, breathed as much as I could through my mouth, and completed my 4 miles. Actually, when I was in the middle of my 2nd mile, Mr. Putrid left. It's weird, but his scent lingered for a good 10 minutes after he was gone. Really, someone ought to tell that man that he STINKS! Who knows? Maybe people (women, in particular) have been avoiding this poor man for who knows how long...maybe he should see a doctor. I mean, really, I have NOT smelled anything like this man before in my life.

Onto other things...tomorrow is my last run for the month--I'm set to do 4 miles with Amber in the a.m., which will put me at just over 100 miles for October. Yay me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

4 more days!

My 100-mile goal for October ends Friday. If I can do my 5 miles tomorrow, 4 miles Thursday and 4 miles on Friday, I'll have met my goal by like .03 miles! I can't believe it. My runs in the dark with Amber have been great. If I could get myself up at 5:15 every day, I think I'd do it the rest of the week, but I just don't want to graduate to that yet. =)

We did 7 miles on was a beautiful run. We started at 6:30 a.m., so it was dark, but about 20 minutes into our run it started to get a little bit light. It was so peaceful and serene watching the sun rise over the country fields, and the weather was perfect for running. I think it's time for me to get new shoes, although it's only been a bit over 3 months since I bought my last pair. I had to ice my knees after our run. Usually for a few months after I get new shoes, my knees are good to go. I don't know if it's just my increased mileage, or me wearing through my shoes faster. I think I need to be more diligent about changing my shoes after I'm done running. They are WAY too expensive to have to buy a pair every 3 months! Usually when I run at the gym, I'll end up wearing the same shoes until I get home in the afternoon, and I need to stop doing that.

So far, I'm on track for the 1/2 on Feb. 1st. I hope I stay injury-free and illness-free so I can keep on schedule!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A little behind...

I ran 5 miles with Amber yesterday morning! Man, it felt great to get that much mileage done by 6:30 a.m.! My hamstrings were still tight from my lack of stretching after the race, and for part of the run, it felt like the socket that connects my upper thigh to my hip was going to explode, but other than that, I was good to go. =) At about mile 4, Amber took a fall. Poor's still pitch black outside when we run, and although we both have flashlights, it's still hard to see the nooks and crannies and cracks in the sidewalks. I've tripped multiple times, but have been lucky enough not to fully bite the dust. She was ok, though, and I was actually happy that she wanted to walk for a minute after her fall since my right hamstring felt like it was about to sever.

After the run, I made sure to stretch *really* good. My legs felt much better today, and since it's my day off, I enjoyed the re-coop time. I felt like I was fighting off a cold yesterday, and woke up this morning feeling a little worse, so it's good that I already planned to have the day off. Tomorrow we're doing 4 miles, Friday is another 4 planned, and Saturday I'm hoping to do my longest run yet--7 miles! I'm hoping Amber can come with me to make it go faster.

I'm at 68.5 miles for the month right's going to be close meeting my goal. I'm planning on only taking 1 day off this week instead of two to get my mileage in...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finished the 10K!

My goal was to beat 60 minutes, and I did it! My time was 58:12, and I ranked 18 out of 38. I placed 2nd in my age division! Woo hoo! Stupid me didn't stretch when I was done, and I'm still feeling the ramifications in my hamstrings. Won't make that mistake again...

Friday, October 17, 2008

1/2 Way There! my 100-mile goal, that is! Today I ran a meager 3 miles at the gym. I didn't want to work too hard since I have my 10k tomorrow. I'm now at 53.11 miles for the month. Woo hoo! I don't know that I'll get to the 100 miles, though, since I start my 1/2 marathon training Monday, and the first few weeks don't call for as high of mileage.

As I ran today, I watched "Spiderman" on tv. Well, actually, I pretty much watched commercials since every two minutes another one came on. But what I saw of the movie was pretty good.

Tonight I'm going out with girls from high school. I'm so stoked to get out of the house and away from the kids for I love them and all, but it sure is nice to be able to hang out with girls and talk about whatever we want, eat as slow as I want, and only have to worry about feeding myself. We're meeting at a Mexican restaurant, though. Not the best choice for the night before my race. We all know what Mexican food does to your tummy, and I don't really want to be in mile 4 and having to make a pit stop on the side of the road...

So, tomorrow's the big day! I really really really want to break 60 minutes on my time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Felt good to get back outside running this morning. Yesterday I did 4 miles on the treadmill, but it's just not the same. This morning it was cool, crisp and clear. The moon was full--or nearly--and gave us some natural light in the dark. This was helpful since my mini-flashlight is virtually worthless with its quarter-sized light output. I picked up my new windbreaker yesterday from REI and was so excited to wear it today! (Yes, it's the little things...) I was very happy with its performance. We ran 4 miles, and the jacket kept me warm, but not *too* warm. I didn't feel like I was sealed in a big black plastic bag like I did with my old windbreaker.

Only 3 more days until my 10k! Looking forward to it being done so I can continue on with my 1/2 marathon training...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was supposed to run today...

...but disappointed myself. I woke up vaguely sore from my run yesterday. Knee 1 and Knee 2 told me it wasn't a good idea to run 5 miles today. I was a bit disgruntled. How am I supposed to meet my 100-mile goal this month if I don't get in my 25 miles this week? I had to make an important decision--run today, and risk injuring myself, but keep the mileage I need, or take a day off and lose my mileage and save my knees some unnecessary pain. I chose the latter. I felt a bit discouraged all day, feeling like I let myself down, but I think it was the right decision. This one day of missing a run probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but I really am taking my goal seriously. I have never challenged myself like this, and I truly do want to exceed my expectations...Hopefully tomorrow my legs will be done protesting, and I'll be back on the treadmill for 5 miles and a possible encounter with Mr. Putrid.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ice crystals on my esophagus...

This morning I ran the route that I'll be running in the 10k next weekend. I wanted to know what I am in for. Have you ever been in really cold weather and felt like you're breathing in cold liquid air that turns into ice crystals once it hits your throat? Well, imagine that while running up Machu Picchu. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it was pretty bad.

Before I left our house, I checked the temperature online. It said 47 degrees, but "feels like" 37. Ok, I can deal with that. I got my ear cover on, my hood and gloves and got in the car to drive to the start line. I started my run at 7:03 a.m. The first 1/10th of a mile was fine...but then I hit a big hill. I seriously thought I was going to be crystallized from the inside out. My esophagus felt like it was on fire...which really doesn't make sense since it was freezing, right? Anyway, up until this point in my running, my knees have been holding up amazingly well. I've invested in some great running shoes that have virtually eliminated my pain. Well, after hitting mile .00002, my knees started to scream for me to stop the torture. I kept saying to myself, "mind over matter...mind over matter..." (that's my mantra while I really is true. The majority of the time, my legs are not REALLY going to fall off, and my lungs aren't REALLY going to shrivel up into little ice cubes, I just need to conquer the discouragement...), but I think the cold must have made my knees into some kind of old person's arthritic cousin.

I kept thinking about a friend of mine who is training for a marathon and told me to invest in a pair of running tights and a covering for my mouth for when I run in cold weather. I don't think I understood the importance of these little gems until today. As much as I don't want to be seen in a pair of spandex tights, I realize I already look like a fool running down the road with my "water fanny pack" and non-runner's stride, so what do I have to lose?

After the first mile, my lungs began to thaw and the pain there wasn't so bad. My knees fell asleep a couple times, and kept arguing with me about what I am putting them through, but they made it to the end of the 6.1 miles and I rewarded them with a nice rub-down when I got home. 59 minutes...I don't know if I'll have that good of a time next week, since I wasn't *exactly* sure where the start and finish lines will be, but I was happy with that today. The run was absolutely beautiful...gorgeous countryside, the smell of know, all the things you just won't find in the city.

Friday, October 10, 2008

33 miles so far...

...this month! I plunked out 5 miles on the treadmill at the gym today. The man next to me had a foul odor that kept drifting my way. It was bad. I mean, not just a mild scent--I mean a choking thickness of noxious air. Needless to say, this affected my running performance. As I attempted to watch a full episode of Regis and Kelly, my mind kept wandering back to the distress my nose was in. Finally, after 3.4 miles, smelly man stopped his treadmill and left to go torture someone else on weights.

Once he was gone, I could focus more on my task at hand. Mile 5 was especially hard today, most likely because I lost brain cells from my encounter with Mr. Putrid. But, I finished in 53 minutes, and felt great when I was done. I stepped outside into the wind and took a few deep breaths to cleanse any toxic remnants left from my new nemesis.

I'm feeling good...trying to decide which 1/2 marathon training guide I want to follow. I have until February to be ready for the Davis Stampede, so plenty of time. I just hope Mr. Putrid doesn't make it a regular habit to frequent treadmills near me...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Guess what I found today?

A calf muscle! I'm serious. I come from a long line of non-calf-bearing people...we don't have calf muscles. Just ask my sister--we have normal thighs that taper down to chicken legs at the bottom. While getting dressed this morning, I actually noticed a *hint* of definition in my lower leg! I had to do a double-take since this is uncharted territory for me. I think I am finally starting to notice some physical changes from all this running. I've lost 3 pounds, but I'm not really doing this to lose weight. I would, however, not mind looking like the girl on front of the Runner's World magazine that sits on the table in my family room. She seems awful happy to be running across the page, smiling and without any of the given pain that often accompanies me on my runs.

Anyhoo, this morning Amber and I ran 3 miles. Once again, it flew by. Who knew having some mental stimulation could make things go by so much faster? When I got home, I saw that Amber had accepted my "friend request" on Facebook, so I clicked on her page to peruse her photos. You know what I found out? Amber, who I thought was a beginning runner like me, FINISHED A MARATHON last year! What?! Here I was, thinking I needed to keep our runs somewhat short since I didn't really know if she did any long-distance runs...and she's already completed the goal I'm working toward! After the initial shock, I realized what a great resource I have! Who better to help me meet my objective than someone who is in the same life stage as me--with little ones at home--and has already completed the goal!

So, tomorrow holds 5 miles for me. Wish I had a treadmill right now, 'cuz I feel like I could get a good run in instead of sitting here typing. Saturday I'm practicing the route for my 10k on the 18th. Should be a good couple days of running...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day off...

Today was my day off. I thought I would really enjoy not running today, but I think I might be getting addicted. I craved a run today! Am I normal? I swear at night I can't fall asleep because I'm thinking about the next day's run, or mapping out (in my mind) where my next route will go. I feel like an addict, because as soon as I'm done with a run, I'm thinking about where my next one will be! I suppose it's a good thing to be addicted to.

I feel badly, though, because that is how I should feel about playing with my kids, reading my Bible, spending time with God...but it seems my mental priority has shifted to running. I'm not content with this. I mean, I think it's good for me to have something that I really love doing, especially since it involves keeping myself healthy, but I need to be careful that my priorities stay in the right place. I need to make sure that God keeps His position on the top of my list, and then hopefully the rest will fall into place.

I guess it's probably the "newness" of it all...the fact that I have found a hobby that I enjoy and am still sticking with it is exciting to me! I love having a goal to work toward...hmm..maybe I need to incorporate that goal-minded mentality into my relationship with God, too. If I can set my mind to some kind of goal to achieve in that area, maybe I can maintain some freshness in my relationship with Him while also working toward to figure out what that goal would be...

Tomorrow I'm back to running--I'm doing 3 miles with Amber in the a.m. Maybe I'll talk to her about my dilemma...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cool, crisp morning...

Last week, I asked a mom of one of the kids in Caleb's class if she would be interested in running with me Tue/Thur. mornings. I have never run with anyone before, but Chris won't let me run by myself in the dark, and I really need to get more mileage in, so I needed to find someone to keep me company. =)

So, Amber was kind enough to become my running partner. This morning was our first day of running together. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous since we really don't know each other, and since I've never run with anyone, I didn't want it to be awkward. We met at 5:45 at the end of her street, and were supposed to do a 3.1 mile run. I can't believe how quickly time flies when I have someone to chat with! We missed one of our turns, though, and ended up only doing 2.5 miles, and it seriously FLEW by. I couldn't believe it was already over. Amber is totally sweet, and it doesn't seem like we'll have a problem thinking of things to talk about. =)

I'm looking forward to the time change merely for the fact that it will get lighter earlier. It was pitch black outside when we ran, and although Amber was great and brought her flashlight, I always enjoy being able to see mailboxes before I run into them. =) I never actually made contact with a mailbox, but I had some close calls...

Yesterday I bought this jacket:
It was on sale for $49, which is the best deal I have found on what I'm looking for. Hope it does what it needs to...I'm so excited to get it! I need something for when it's drizzling outside, and to keep the wind off when it starts getting cold.

Well, with 2.5 miles under my belt today, I am at exactly 25 miles for the week! I really want to keep this up to meet my 100 mile goal. I think I'm going to read this book: I don't think I can commit to a marathon any time soon, but I'm thinking I'll at least want to do a 1/2 sometime in the next year...

Tomorrow is my first day off in 6 days. I think my body needs a day to recooperate, but I'm looking forward to Thursday morning's run!

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Blog on Running....

Ok, so I've been training for a 10k for about 10 weeks now. I wish I would have started this back at the beginning, because now I can't remember all the little details about my progress. This isn't my first 10k. Last year, I ran the Loomis MandaRun 10k without training for it...and about killed myself! I did some running before the race, but it was all on the treadmill, and I only got up to 5 miles, and a 10k is 6.1 miles. So this year, I decided I would train the right way--both on the treadmill AND outside. When I started the One Hour Runner training program: I literally couldn't run more than 2 miles (more like 1.5) without feeling completely beat. I really did not think I would stick with the program and actually be running an hour at a time 9 weeks later!

Last weekend, I ran 6.4 miles--my farthest yet--in 67 minutes! No stopping, either! I am so thrilled to have stuck with something and actually accomplished my goal! Last month I set a 50-mile goal for the month, and ended up going about 60 miles. This month, I set a 100-mile goal using ! I'll be happy if I can make it to 80 miles, but so far, I'm on track to complete my goal! I am still in awe of that...since Oct. 1st, I've already run 22.5 miles! Holy cow! Tomorrow morning I'm running 3 miles with a gal, and that will put me right at the 25-miles-per-week that I need to meet my 100-mile goal!

I honestly can say that if I have gotten this far, *anyone* can do it! I have grown up as a non-sports-playing, uncoordinated, wimpy girl! I actually feel like I am not the same person I was a few months food preferences are changing, my fitness level is dramatically increased, and my morale and confidence in my ability to accomplish something have skyrocketed! I can't wait for my race on the 18th and to see how close I can get to my monthly goal!