Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Not Pretty People

That ugliness right there....yes I know I need to repolish or unpolish my toe nails. Besides that, do you see the black coloring on two of my toe nails? Yes this is why I still can't wear my cute knee high boots and why I haven't run in 2 1/2 weeks. This is what happens when you buy cheaper running shoes a 1/2 a size too small and then run 26.2 miles in them. I know ridiculously stupid right? I slap myself for it. The big toe is still a bit puffy too. I finally could at least wear flats this last week. Before that was flip flops or open toed sandals. Also, I still very like I have sore weak muscles. It happens after I sit for awhile. I go to get up, and suddenly my inner thighs are yelling at me. Is this normal? I thought I'd be better by now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Proud of Myself for Working Through the Hard

If you used to follow this blog, you know that I haven't posted in awhile. That's because I was working harder than I ever have before. I went back to work teaching at the end of August. This was about 2 weeks earlier than usual. And of course that happens when I'm training for my first marathon. One of you readers commented that it would be the hardest thing I've ever done and you were right. I knew the marathon itself would be hard, but I underestimated how hard the actual training would be. Right know I want to give a shout out to all working moms who have ran a marathon. It would be hard enough training for a marathon without having a full time job, but adding my teaching job PLUS being a mommy and a wife I was pretty much spent at the end of every day. So I'm sorry about my absent blogging and commenting, but I've been on survival mode for a few months and am now just trying to feel normal again.

On my heaviest training weeks, on a good day, I'd wake up early to run 3-4 miles, get ready for work, the kids ready for school, work for 7 hours, volunteer coach cross country for an hour after school, come home and fix my family dinner, run for 4-5 more miles, and then eat my own dinner. I was eating around 8 o'clock nightly. Then on my 2 weeks of running 40-43 miles a week, I had to add in finding someone to take my oldest child to his soccer games and go to cross country meets that were 3 hours and finally add in an Open House. Again, I am still recovering energy wise and my marathon was two weeks ago.

I ran the Portland Marathon on Oct. 4 and it is a fantastic marathon. My husband went with me. We flew in on Friday morning, got our rental car, found our hotel, and then tried to plan a route to get there since many roads and bridges were going to be closed the morning of the marathon. This is a closed marathon which makes it really great. It has fantastic crowd support and is MP3 friendly. I could not imagine running a marathon without my music! We got to do some sight seeing Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday morning I was up at 4:45 am to get dressed. They told me that even though the marathon started at 7 am, we should be there before 6 and she didn't mean 5:55! We made it into downtown Portland around 5:45 am. It's the first time I was at a race in complete darkness. It's not easy going to the bathroom in a port-a-potty in the dark let me tell you! I went to the bathroom serveral times and I was getting nervous because my 1st 1/2 marathon started when I was in the bathroom. I did not want that to happen again. I made it out with about 2 minutes to spare! My hubs tried so hard to take pics of me at the beginning of the race, but our batteries were dead. He got some more battries during the race.

I felt really great the first 9 miles. After that I started feeling pain in my toes. My toes normally get blisters while I run, but this was a different feeling. I felt like my big toes were going numb. I made two critical mistakes for this race. First- bought new, cheaper shoes. They were my brand but a cheaper model. I do NOT know what I was thinking. I guess I thought since they were Saucony they would be good no matter what. I think I bought them a 1/2 a size too small. Second- a new running belt that I hadn't tried out before running. That wasn't my fault exactly. I ordered it online and expected it to come in much sooner than it did. Twice while I was running the stupid thing popped off my waist and I had to adjust it while running. At one point, I was running holding my i-pod cord with my teeth while wrapping the belt back around my waist!

A marathon is a different kind of animal than a 1/2 let me tell you. During a 1/2 I don't see people stopping to walk, stretch, or puke like I did during this race. It's a fairly easy course too. Many people I know have ran this for their first marathon. I saw so many supports holding signs for their loved one, ringing cow bells, bands playing along the course. It was really great, but I just wish I enjoyed it more. My toes were hurting so badly and then my calf started to hurt extremely bad. I was worried I would have to get it wrapped, but I didn't. But even through all of that pain I never thought about quitting. I stopped running twice...once to get more water in my fuel belt bottles and once to call my husband to tell him I was almost done. Unfortantly, my cell phone had also died. Luckily he was there and watched me finish. I finished before I thought I would. I think I said I would finish around 4:30 but I came in at 4 hours 5 minutes. I think I could have broken 4 hours if it weren't for the stupid shoes! At the end, I was done. It was so hard to walk. But the volunteers are there for you there as well as medics. They gave me my space blanket to keep warm. It seems weird after doing such vigorous activity to eat badly, but that's what happened. They were there giving me mini candy bars, Grandma's cookies, bags of chips, string cheese, a little bit of fruit, and my favorite....a large bottle of chocolate milk! Then I got a medal, a rose, a tree seeding, and a pin. Plus, my coveted finisher shirt!

For a full week afterwards, I could not walk normally. I had to wear sandals or flip flops since my toes were so swollen. They are black under my nails which means they will probably fall off. It was weird to hear myself say, "Walk normal," while completely sober! I took the Monday off of work to try to recover a little. But still through all of that pain, I still want to do another one. Someday! Just to see how much better I could do with the proper equipment. And out of 15 training weeks, I am also proud that only 1 time did I not get a run in. I ran through pain, injuries, colds, and a vacation where I fell and thought I broke my arm around mile 5 and still finished my 15 mile run. I am proud that my body could do this. This body of mine that was once prediabetic, asthmatic, sleep apnea and infertile ran a marathon. Not only that, but I am almost to my goal of running 1,000 miles this year. This body of mine! I just can't believe what a transformation I have made. I am usually very hard on myself, but finally I am filled with so much pride. Before if it was hard, it was so EASY to quit. Now, quitting is not an option for me! Here are a few pics, but we don't have many due to technical difficulties.
That's me in the pink coming around the corner for the finish!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I underestimated

So I am starting week 10 of my marathon training. I knew the marathon itself would be hard, but I completely underestimated how hard the actual training would be. I will be training for 4 months. School starts this week, so that will make training even harder. Currently, I am running 40 miles a week and running 5 times a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I usually have to do 8 miles and it's speed work. Those days are KILLING me! It's going to be tricky to try to fit in running 8 miles before my morning meetings on those days. I'll probably have to run them after school and I don't do well running with food in the belly. I will give myself props though for my long run on Saturday. Lately, I've been having to break my long run into parts so I was nervous having to do 16 miles straight. Last Thursday while running my 8 miler, I was dying and had to take at least 5 walk breaks. I think it was the time of day and running outside. On Saturday, I made sure to wake up early and the weather was great. Proudly, I was able to run all 16 miles without stopping! They were slow miles, but I kept saying to myself, "Slow and steady wins the race." I am the tortoise!

Another thing I underestimated when signing up was how hard a relay race would be. On August 14-15 I was part of a 12 person team to share the running responsibilities to cover almost 190 miles. How it works is, the 12 people are split into two vans of 6. The first van runs the first 6 legs while the 2nd van waits at an exchange area. Then the first van of people get to go eat, stretch, and rest while the van 2 runners go their 6 legs. You run 3 different legs over 2 days. Our race started on top of a mountain In Washington state at 7 am. I had to get up at 4:30 am to meet my team! Ouch!!! Our first runner got to participate in one of the races many contests: the wild wig contest. She had on a purple mullet wig with small little lights on the ends of the hairs. The second runner was in the wildest costume contest. Since our teams name was Team Roadkill, she placed a plastic bag over her that had stuffed animals with their stuffing hanging out of them all over it! I was runner #4 so I ran my first leg around 9:00 AM. My first leg was 6.1 miles. I had a sore tush from jet skiing the previous weekend so it hurt to run. The weather was not normal for August. It was actually a bit cold, windy, and we even got rained on. Not ideal summer weather, but with a van full of sweaty runners the cool weather was awesome!

We ate a light lunch at Subway before driving to wait at our exchange area. Normally, we'd walk around, lay out and stretch at this point. But it starting raining big time, so we all sat and waited in the van. Now running at race speed and then sitting for hours is not so great on the muscles. We all were stiffening up pretty quickly! I brought my marathon stick to try and roll out my muscles, especially the tush! When my 2nd leg came it was about 5:30 and it was getting stormy. The wind was blowing and then it started to rain on me. I didn't even realize I hurt myself, but when I finished running my 5.3 miles I had blood on the toe of my shoe. I guess the combo of bad socks and the rain caused a bit of blistering. When we all ran our 2nd time, we went for dinner this time at Applebees. I could have fallen asleep right there on the table. It was about 8:30 at night and I was ready for bed. We drove to our next exchange point where we were supposed to be able to roll out our sleeping bags to get a few hours sleep before our next run. The exchange point was at an amusement park. They said we could lay our sleeping bags out under their pavilions, on top of the picnic tables or on the cement and they were lighted. Since that didn't appeal to any of us we tried to sleep in the van. All 6 of us. Needless to say, none of us could sleep. We walked around a bit and waited for our next exchange. This was the best one yet. When our 2nd van came in our team all got to ride on a roller coaster as part of the race! It was 12:45 am, pitch black out, and foggy. I loved it. I loved it so much, I rode on it twice and held my hands up the whole time! After the roller coaster it was our vans final legs of running. It was now about 1:00 am. We were running on back country roads now in north Idaho. Now those of you not from around here, north Idaho is notorious for having a large hate ground compound called the Aryan Nations. Being a black woman, I cant' tell you how thrilled I was to be running in the middle of the night in this area! Our team decided though to send a rider alongside each of our runners for safety. SO when it was my turn to run at 3:30 am, I had a 6'4 tall white blond male as my rider. He's their kind of people so I felt a little better. My last leg was 5.5 miles. After that, I was supposed to ride 7.1 miles right after but I had a little mix up. When I was done running I had to hop on the bike and get my biking gear situated. Our runner didn't want to wait and he just took off. By the time I got ready, I had to pedal really fast. Finally I got to what I thought was my guy. I was talking to him, I thought he was answering me, it was all fine. Or so I thought. I rode at least a mile behind him when I came up on my van. I asked them what they were doing. They said they were pulling me off the bike, that our runner was way ahead of me and he was fine. I was confused. I told them that's not right I was with our runner the whole time. They said I was with a runner, but not OUR runner. I was a little delusional at 4:15 am I guess! After that leg I was out. I crashed out in the van, skipped breakfast to sleep even longer int he van. We got to our destination city where all of my team finally got to lay on some grass to get a few hours of sleep. They were giving mini massages 15 minutes for $15. Totally worth it! I was so sore!!! At one point, my reflex was almost to punch the guy because he hit a sore spot. But I did not. Then I set out to find COFFEE! I hadn't had any in 2 days!! I was dying. Our team ended up finishing in 29 hours. I slept a little bit more on the ride home. I probably got 3 hours total. When I got home I was done, I could hardly walk, hardly eat, and was so tired. It was a great experience, but boy did I underestimate it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Regrets, I've Had A Few

My hubs and I just had a four day mini vacation away together for our 13th anniversary. It was beautiful and fun but I had a revelation I think. Here I have been on this weight loss journey pretty much for 4 1/2 years (with a pregnancy in there). You would think after all this time I would have truly from my core changed my habits. Eating healthy should come naturally by now don't you think? But alas it has not. The 4 days we were away I was out of control. I ate things I haven't eaten in years. Plus, we went around to about 10 different wineries which did not help either.

When I drink, I let go of everything I know to be good for me. I call myself the "Cookie Monster." Remember how he eats by just shoving cookies into his face. That's how I get when I drink. So this weekend away from my kids the hubs and i were drinking it up. That led to me eating french fries on two different days. I have had fries at a restaurant in years. Then I had a burger. For some reason after a day of drinking wine, my body wanted MEAT. Now I will say, I swear on my life, it was the BEST burger I've ever had in my entire life. It probably had about 1,000 calories though. It has orgonzola cheese (which I had never heard of), some kind of chutney, and bacon on ciabatta bread. I could only eat 1/2 of it at one time, but I saved the rest because it was too good to let go. Let's see what else did I put in my body, a burrito, ice cream, 2 mini desserts (2 because they were in shot glasses so I thought why not but turns out I could only finish 1), a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks, and lots and lots of alcohol!

I think I've fooled myself that I've been getting healthy and not being on a diet. I obviously still have my fat girl mentality. I obvious have been dieting this whole time. Perhaps this is why my weight has crept up 15 pounds. Perhaps this is why I gained 3 1/2 lbs. in 4 days. Perhaps I need to make more changes than I thought I did. I used the excuses, "I'm on vacation," and, "It's my anniversary it's OK." Well maybe for one treat or one meal. Not to indulge in whatever I see for 4 days. That's not OK and I need to be able to choose wisely when I'ts food I have not prepared. I STILL have this issue that I need to work on.

While the hubs and I were away at the lake, we rented a jet ski. I have never been on a jet ski and it was really fun. We rented it for 1/2 a day though and boy did my tush and hips get sore! In fact, my right tush cheek still hurts. It hurt so bad that I could run for more than 5 minutes yesterday without winching. I had to take a ton of Tylenol and stretching before I could finish my 8 miles! It was also talking to me this morning, but not as much as yesterday.

I have a relay race that I volunteered for this weekend. I volunteered to do it without thinking it all the way through. It's a 12 person relay team to run 185 miles in 36 legs. Each leg is from 3-7 miles long. We all take 3 different legs. It starts at 7 am on a Friday. I'm used to racing on Saturdays or Sundays so I had no idea I'd have to find daycare for my boys. Also, I guess I didn't think about that I could be running at ANY time of the day or night. I could have to run at 3 o'clock in the morning. I could have to run when it's 100 degrees! I could have to ride my bike next to someone running in the middle of the night. I only know the captain of my team and I haven't seen her since high school. We ride in two different vans and I'm not even in her van. So I'm going to be in a van off and on for up to 35 hours with total stranger being all stinky and sweaty in front of them.Everyone says, "Oh you'll have so much fun." I even thought it would be fun when I first heard about it. But then when reality set in, it doesn't sound fun at all. I need my sleep! I need to shower! Holy crap this is going to suck! Has anyone out there done one of these races? Any words of wisdom for me? Help!!! I will leave you with a few pics from my anniversary trip.

Sunday- Easy 3.23 miles in 28 minutes
Tuesday- 8 miles, 1 mile warm up, alternating every 1/2 mile running on an incline for hill work, 1 mile cool down
Wednesday- Easy 4 miles in 38:06 + Level 2 Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred

The resort:

My hubs saying my nose got sunburned:

The jet ski:

First dinner out dress

On the beach

At Tunnel Hill Winery
At Tsillan Winery where I tasted the best Reisling I've ever had

Last nights dinner dress:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When Will I Learn???

For those of you who may have stumbled upon my blog recently may not be aware that I have issues. I am fully aware of my issues and know that I am a work in progress. You would think someone of my age and semi intelligence that I would learn from myself. I do but on a very slow curve. With that said, I am an idiot.

Last night I was reading another runners blog. In it, she linked to 101 tips for runners. Being a novice getting ready for a marathon I thought I better read this. Many of its suggestions were to make sure to get adequate rest. As I was reading this it was 11 o'clock PM and I was tired. Did I listen to my body and go to bed? NOPE. I kept reading that link and then another and then another and then checked my Facebook. I ended up staying up after midnight. AND since it had been so long since I ate a decent meal I was then hungry and was going threw my cupboards to find something to tide me over. Here I am trying to not overeat, watch what I eat, and I go into an eating frenzy. On top of that, I KNOW I need adequate sleep for weight loss. But have I been getting enough sleep?? NO! Is there any logical reason?? NO! Tonight, I vow to be in my bed by 10:30 PM!

Having a horrible night sleep did not help my running today. Today is a quality running day that I was excited for. I decided to do Fartlek's (face paced intervals between 30 sec. to 4 min. with recovery time). I started with a mile warm up. I did it in 10:47. That should have clued me in that it was not going to be a good running day. My mind was tired. It made my legs tired. It made me dread the thought of 8 miles on my treadmill. My boys interrupted me several times. I made my own excuses to jump off the machine to do something. I finally finished but it wasn't 8 miles straight so I feel basically like I sucked again! I ran my speeds adding 30 seconds each time and recovered for 2 minutes in between. I am hoping if I get a good nights sleep I will be better tomorrow. On a positive note, my new shoes seem to be helped my legs a LOT! I still feel tender in my Achilles tendon, but the knees feel better. We'll see when I run on the street how the legs feel.

Tuesday- 1 mile warm up, 6 miles doing Fartlek speedwork, 1 mile cool down 73 min. total

Monday, August 3, 2009

Did I Miss Something?

I have been paying for a gym membership for 5 years. Every summer, I try to go to the gym. The summer the twins were 1 1/2 they did pretty well since we had a routine. Eat breakfast while watching big brother during swim lessons. Then get big brother, clean up our mess, and go to the playroom. We did this Monday through Friday so they got used to it. Last summer they would cry and cry and they'd come ask me politely to please get my screaming kids out of there! OR when they were having fun they would throw toys, not out of anger they like to throw things is all. So I tried that for 2 weeks and never go to workout so I gave up working out at the gym and started at home. This week, my oldest son has soccer camp from 9-12 and the gym is right between his camp and our house. So I decided to try it AGAIN.

They knew who we were right when we walked in which worried me. They were asking me what it was that they used to get kicked out for. One gal actually remembered their crying. Great. I said yes either crying or throwing or diapers or whatever. Well the boys are potty trained and have actually asked to go in there when we've been at the gym just to swim. I figured all of this was a good sign so I decided to try it again. I'm actually not sure what their problem was because they go to a daycare during the school year. It's not like they're new to daycare. But I guess different routine, different people, created different reactions than normal.

Anywhoo, I went to the gym today and was able to do 40 minutes on the Stair Master and 30 minutes on the weight machines. Now here's what I noticed during my workout; I know it's been awhile since I worked out in a gym BUT are weight machines now only for older folks or teens??? Because as I was doing my circuit, that's all I saw. Me and senior citizens, not that's there anything wrong with them, and one teen. Do younger ladies now workout in the free weight room? I gotta tell you, I'm scared to go in the free weight room. One reason is I don't really know what to do in there. Another is there are men in there making all kinds of noises and moans and groans that freaks me out. A third is it's a room full of mirrors. I'm not into staring at myself while lifting weights. Is it me? Am I the last woman under 60 that's not using this room? Granted, normally I see the older folk using these techno key machines that remember their settings for them. I noticed that all of those machines have been removed and they are waiting for newer equipment. Maybe it was the time of day. I don't know but I felt weird being 36 surrounded by people in their 60's and 70's only. The people that looked close to my age were IN THE FREE WEIGHT ROOM. Ack! I know people get scared and intimidated to step into a gym period. I get that because that's how I feel going into the free weight room.

So question of the day is, are weight machines for older folks? Should I get over my free weight room fears? Could it be a fluke thing?

Major props to my 3 1/2 year old twins who made it an hour and a half in the playroom without getting kicked out!!

Monday- 5 min. warm up, 30 min. on level 13 aerobic endurance, 5 min. cool down climbing and lifting with 5 lb. weights doing: 3 sets of each hammer curls, bicep curls, flys, and shoulder presses.
Then 2 sets of legs with 15 reps each and 2 sets arms and back 12 reps

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My achy breaky body

My WHOLE body ached yesterday after my long run. My Achilles tendon, calves, quads, and knees. I was limping around the house. My husband was concerned that I won't be able make it to my marathon. I think I just need new shoes so I went and bought some. Normally I just go to my running store, they have my shoe and size on their computer, and I just get a new pair. Today, they were out. OUT! And my shoes won't be in until Friday. After how I was feeling, Friday seemed way to long to wait for new shoes. I tried on 7 pairs of shoes. I finally decided on a pair of Adidas Supernova Sequences size 11! Please, please, please let this be the reason I hurt. I am determined to do this marathon.

Another problem I had after my run yesterday was umm...how do I say this politely...runners tummy. For some reason, my belly doesn't like any runs over 10 miles. I know to not eat what I ate yesterday, but I think I am going to have to start taking Imodium before my long runs from now on. I just don't want to feel like crap after my long runs. Do any of you other runners get this way? I can't imagine you do because why would you continue to do that to yourselves?

It's the end of my 6th week and next week I'm going to be messed up. My hubs and I are going out of town for our anniversary, so I need to change my long run from Saturday to Friday. Friday is normally a rest day, so now I need to maybe make my rest day after my long run? I know it feels good to run the day after a long run to kind of loosen up the muscles, but I don't think my hubs will find it very romantic to ditch him for over 2 hours on our special weekend away. I will be taking my running shoes and Garmin with me though to get a 4 miler in at least. Any advice or suggestions are always welcomed!

Sunday- Easy 4 miler in 38 min. avg. pace 9:30