Monday, February 28, 2011

You Might Be a Runner If....

1.  You have enough running shoes to build a small wall or mountain in your home.  Seriously, my friends on facebook just did not seem to "Get" this picture like I do and I think you might.  

2.  You're willing to save up to spend your "fun" money to run races.  

3.  You find yourself thinking of travel experiences in terms of what kind of cool races might be going on at that time. My high school coach and his wife mentioned that I should come see them in Sonoma this summer and I immediately started thinking about what races might be happening at the same time.  

4.  You're willing to sit in a tub full of ice water after running 13-26ish miles just so you can recovery faster in order to do it again!  

5.  You're willing to eat this gooey stuff called GU that tastes like Poo just so you can keep running longer. 

6.  Your idea of a hot sexy date is dropping off the kids at Grammy and Papa's and going on a 13 mile run through the country with your husband.  A time to reflect, reconnect, and have an uninterrupted conversation!

Can someone please tell me WHY my feet bow out when I run??  It was bad this weekend. Hey and how is this outfit for Hot and Sexy?!  Woo hoo!  Ha!  At least I keep it real on here.   

 Trying to get a good running shot for my blog header.  No luck.  But we had some laughs in the process.  

7.  You enjoy seeing your run split up into mile times.  

8.  You're willing to wear sock-like sleeves on your arms in order to have the ideal body temperature when you run.  And you get excited about spending money on the perfect blue running top to go with the arm sleeves.  Oh, and you might have a running blog if you're known to take a picture of yourself wearing your new running gear.  Even though really, you look like an idiot and really, most people who don't have a blog would tell you to Get. A. Life.  

Excuse the tired, end of the day, no make up look.  I'd like to say that I usually look better but this is the real deal with me most days.  Ha!  Tis the life of a SAHM.  I get excited when I have a reason to do my hair and make up and wear something other than workout clothes. It's like playing dress up.  

9.  You look forward to seeing your weekly training plan all written down and you're excited to see improvement.  

Of course, if you're Chris K, this would make your head spin.  Sorry Chris, don't look. It works for me.  :) 

10.  You really do run because you LOVE it!  You don't need the races and the training plans.  You don't need the fancy Garmins, sexy tops, and fancy protective sun hats.  You run because it fills you so completely, balances your mood, brings you back to yourself, and makes you a better you!  You run because you love to run.  

1.  Thank you so much for your sweet and sincere comments on my last post about my dad and my personal and emotional feelings about running:  The Deepest Part of My Running Heart--Running for Him  

2.  Anyone have anything to say about the Nike Women's Marathon or Half Marathon?  And Anyone planning on trying to run it this year?  I know that I've heard good things and that you get a Tiffany's necklace for finishing...a nice running one!  Score!  And my girlfriend and I are planning on trying to get a group together to try to get a spot this year!  Road Trip!  Any takers?  

3.  Finish this phrase and add one of your own:  You might be a runner if....

Peace Out, 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Deepest Part of My Running Heart--Running For Him

A little background info:  My dad died when I was a little girl.  He was killed in an excavation accident. He was working in a ditch when the dirt walls collapsed in on him. His body was cremated and his ashes were buried beneath our aspen tree by our home on a mountain in Dillon, Colorado. When he died, my brothers were 6 and 1 and I was 4.  I only have a few memories of him but I grew up dreaming of what he was like and I never stopped wishing that I knew him and feeling an emptiness in my heart without him.  I knew he was a dreamer, a risk taker, and a man that set out to make his life what he wanted it to be. He loved the mountains and he worked hard to build a life for us in the Colorado Rockies.  He was most alive in the mountains and being in nature.  I heard many stories about my dad but out of all the stories I heard, I heard of his love for running.  I knew that he loved to run and I knew that he had a gift to run.  My mom would tell me stories of how he dreamed of qualifying for the Olympics someday and how he'd go on his long runs religiously.  They were part of him and he needed them.  She would tell me stories of how my older brother would run after him and try to keep up when he was barely out of diapers.  And she told me stories about his determination to run even when he was told that he'd never walk again.  I wrote about more about this and my dad as a runner in my post Passion, Determination and The Will to Run.  

It was my junior year in college.  I can still remember feeling scared and overwhelmed about everything. I was scared of life.  I was stressed about school, money, running, tests, papers to write, needing to get all A's so I could keep my scholarships, and trying to work and still run and study.  I was scared of the unknown.  Scared that I had no clue where I would be when I was done with school.  I didn't have a clear enough plan to make me feel in control of my life.  Anxiety consumed me daily and I was often stressed and worried.  When I would get like this, my roommates and good friends knew what they needed to tell me.  "Go Run", they'd say.  And Run I would.  I'd run. And run. And Run away from it all.  Every step would wash away the worry.  Clear the air.  Help me to see clearly again.  

Now that I look back on those days, I'd like to believe that when I was the most scared or worried about life that my dad was there running with me and doing what a dad might do for his daughter if he was alive to do so.  It was as if running was my time with him.  

There is one night that I remember more clearly than most.  It must have been October of my junior year in college.  A cold night in Iowa.  It was one of those nights that I felt like life was too much.  One of those nights that my roommates nudged me out the door to run again in hopes that I'd come back to myself.  A few miles into my run and I found myself on an open road with open fields on either side of me.  The sky was dark but the moon was oh so bright and it led the way for me.  It was then that I knew that I wasn't alone.  To this day I know that my dad was running with me that night.  It was as if he was next to me and telling me all the things that I'd always wanted to hear from him but never could.  He told me that he was proud of me.  For my running.  For my hard work in school and life.  He told me that he loved me and had been there all along.  He'd been there to see me run.  To see me graduate high school with honors.  To see that I made it safely when I drove myself to college from Colorado to Iowa for the first time.  He was there all along when I thought that I was the only freshman college kid without my parents there to help me move and when I was so scared and felt so alone.  He told me that he was there and that he loved me and that I didn't need to worry.  I remember this night so clearly.  It is one of the most powerful and clear memories that I have.  And I remember how my worry rolled away that night.  With every step, every stride, my pace quickened, the moon grew bigger and brighter and I smiled through the tears.  I knew he was there and that he loved me.  

So often, I am asked about why I run.  I even ask myself this question.  Why do I run?  Why do I train?  Why do I want this so badly?  To reach my potential and push myself?  There are may reasons for this but one of the biggest reasons is because when I run, I feel connected to my dad.  I feel like in a small way, he is living on through me when I run.  I'm able to do something that he didn't get to finish for himself.  

Awhile ago I wrote a poem in memory of my dad.  I didn't share it with many people but I did send a copy to my Grandparents (my dad's parents), who were very dear to me. It will make more sense if you read the background information that I included at the beginning of this.  

The Earth His Home
The earth he cherished.
The mountains, 
     His nutrients.
The land, 
    His fuel.
Nature enriched his life,
     With it
He filled his soul.
Now he enriches the earth
Under that 
      Quivering aspen tree.

The earth fell down upon him.
      Robbing him of his breath. 
Leaving his soul to dance
      Above Mount Buffalo and 
his body to rest beneath the roots of 
      the tree that he planted for us to climb.
The small brick, painted,
placed at the foot of the white wood.
      That was was where my father lived.

A father I was too young to know
      But am engrained with his spirit.
His breath fills my lungs,
      His power is in my legs,
His strength in my will.

The soft steps of my feet and the 
      rhythm of my breath
      are a call to him.
Running gracefully under the open sky that is
      unusual in beauty
The road that stretches out to touch the end 
     It is a connection
He runs beside me and tells me 
    He is proud.

It is I that continues his vision--
     that holds the earth so dear.
The mountains, my inspiration
     his music fills me up.  
His dream carries me with its passion.

He lives among nature
      The sun cresting on the mountain
His soul dancing, wandering free over
      Lake Dillon.

Just as earth he so loved,
     so too, earth took him.
Now he enriches the earth 
Under that
      Quivering aspen tree.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Treadmill vs. Outdoor Running. Is the Treadmill Easier?

I have repeat miles today.  The plan: 2 mile warm-up; 4 repeat miles at 6:30ish pace with a 2 minute active recovery in between; 2 mile cool down.  I'm actually excited!  I never thought I'd be excited about doing repeat miles but these days I seem to  be finding so much more joy in my training than ever before. Things that would have made me sick to my stomach to think about before now make me feel challenged and optimistic. I'm not quite sure what this change is all about but I know a big part of it is that I'm finally at a place where I am ready to push myself to my limits and see what this 32 year old body and mind can do!  And I'm doing it for ME.  Not because I have to but because I WANT to!  I think the biggest part of this new fire in my running spirit is that I experienced my first major injury and during that time I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. I had a lot of time to think, reevaluate my goals, and decide what I want for my life.  For the first time ever, I wasn't able to run.  I didn't have a choice.  I was couch bound and sitting on that couch for several months wondering if my hamstring would ever be the same again gave me a lot to reflect on.  I found myself almost making a deal with God or myself or my heart that if I could run again without a bum hamstring then I would finally give my all...mentally and physically and I would finally allow myself to believe that I am good enough to dream bigger than I ever would have dared to dream.  I know this sounds silly or sappy but sitting on that couch and not being able to run gave me something that I wish I would have had all along.  It was a gift in a way.  I finally feel like I have that belief in myself that I can do the things that I never truly believed possible.  Something just clicked and I realized that one of the biggest factors that allows the human spirit to be "GREAT" and reach new limits is the desire and belief that something is possible!  I finally believe that I'm capable and I'm willing and excited to Give My All and make the most of this decade in my life!  So, here's to those repeat miles today! 

Which brings me to the topic that I really wanted to put on the table today.  I'm considering doing my repeat miles on the high school track today instead of the Treadmill.  Something about doing these outside sounds way more challenging to me than if I were to do them on the treadmill.  Is this just something in my head or do you think that running outside is the more challenging option?  Something about getting on a treadmill, setting the incline to 1.0 or more and putting the pace at 6:30ish mile pace and holding on just sounds easier to me than having to pace myself and push myself to keep going.  It is so much easier to slow down when I'm running on the track or outside by much more of mental game for me.  If I slow down or stop on the treadmill when it is set to my goal pace, then I fall off and make a huge ass out of myself in the gym.  This would stink.  Also, I know this sounds really weird, but when you are at the gym doing an intense workout on the Treadmill, there is that sense that you need to look bad ass or keep up because there are people running on the treadmill's behind you.  It gives you that element of having an audience even thought they probably don't give a hoot, don't notice you and are flipping back and forth between Ellen and CNN. Unless of course, you have your pants backwards or are sporting a classy camel toe.

Whatever the reasons, the idea of doing my miles on pace on the track or outside by myself just seems way more challenging than if I go to the gym and get on the TM.  That's just me though.  I'm curious about what you think. 

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you think the treadmill makes a workout easier than if you were were doing your speed workouts on the track or outside somewhere by yourself?  Not just physically but mentally too? 

And do you see yourself accomplishing something in your life that you never before believed possible? 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Than a Blog

Back in October I was kind of at a mini cross roads in my life.  I guess you could say that.  I was just coming out of a serious hamstring injury, I hadn't made a decision about whether or not I would be returning to my teaching job and I was just kind of feeling lost.  I needed something.  A focus.  Something just for me to enjoy and challenge myself.  Something to make me feel like my life wasn't just about picking up cheerios, wiping butts, and breaking up fights all day. As many of you can imagine, not being able to run or exercise very hard was really wearing me down and I was starting to feel just a little crazy!  
When my friend Jenny mentioned that I should start a blog, I was totally against the idea at first.  I had no idea what to write a blog about and honestly, I felt kind of embarrassed at the idea of writing one.  I guess I just didn't really know what having a blog was all about and I didn't want to just be another blogging mommy who stays home and records her kids' every word, meal, smile, fart, and poopy diaper.  I didn't want to just write a blog that only I was interested in.  If I was going to write, I wanted to write about something that others were interested in reading too.

What I did hope to gain from this blog:
*  An outlet to express myself
*  An opportunity to learn about running, nutrition, training, and healthy living
*  A way to process my thinking and reflections as a mother 
*  An avenue for growing as a writer and getting more fluent in my writing
*  A way to build up writing samples 
*  An opportunity to bring up important issues in motherhood, running, and life and have feedback, comments, ideas, and advice from others.
*  A way to share the creative projects and ideas I do with my children
*  To connect with others who hold similar passions and interests.

What I didn't expect to come from this blog:  
*  Having people that want to read it besides my mom.  I thought that maybe 10-20 people would be reading it by now and I figured that most of those people would be people that I already know.
*  That I'd make some genuine friends!  I mean some of you have turned into modern day pen pals and I honestly feel like I've made some genuine friendships.
*  Being so incredibly inspired by your comments, feedback, and by reading other blogs.
*  Learning so much from your comments, feedback, advice, and blog posts.
*  That what I had to say about my life and reflections would be inspirational to others....every e-mail, letter or comment I receive from people who thank me for something I wrote, or tell me that something I said resonated with them or inspired them means so much to me.  It puts a huge smile on my heart and makes me feel like that is reason enough to keep writing.  
*  Getting some awesome Mail!!

This morning I got an e-mail from a runner here in Portland, OR.  She just started a running blog about making her running dreams come true.  She's AWESOME and has some natural talent and gifts as a runner.  I'm excited to see her reach her goals and make her dreams come true.  I'm also excited to get to know her as a friend and go on some slow runs with her so we can chat.  She gave me her number and we had a great conversation this morning about our training, her awesome coach, and our goals.  I can already tell that I will learn from her and be inspired by her dedication and motivation! When we ended our conversation, I felt so inspired and pumped to continue to train hard and dream big.  Thanks Nicole!   So, go say hello to Nicole Wagner at My Dream to Run!

Here are just a few things I've gotten in the mail this week:  

Awhile back H Love from Keep on Keeping On asked how many miles we guessed she would run on her vacation with her family.  I guessed the exact number so she sent me some little treats in the mail!  

I especially love her sticker and the bare Minerals mascara!  My kids thought it was pretty special to get something too!  And I can't wait to use the Shot Roks!  Thanks H Love! I found the perfect place for your sticker...the cover of my Running Journal!  And one of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31. 

Jess from Blonde Ponytail, one of my favorite blog friends, sent me some mail too!  She sent me a very sweet card and included her awesome running sticker!  I had a hard time deciding where in my Running Journal to put it since it didn't fit on the cover very well.  I finally found a page just for her!  Then, because I truly do think I've learned something from every single one of you that comment on my blog posts and that write fabulous blogs, I wrote down some things I've learned from Jess and how she has inspired me.  Thanks Jess!  

Look what else I got in the mail today:

Wow, that online shopping was fast!  I'm thinking tomorrow I will receive my black arm warmers and the blue/black Nike racing top that I caved in and bought!  

I'm excited to try out my Wave Riders tonight on my 8 mile run!  But first, I'm off to go wake these little sickies up:

Happy Thursday!  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Since the kids have been in bed, I've been trying really hard to research and shop for shoes while watching The Bachelor at the same time.  Yes, there you go, I admit it.  I do indulge in watching The Bachelor.  It is my little mindless treat for the week.  And now, add online shopping to that!  Good Grief, what has happened to me?!  Seriously, I'm not a big shopper.  And I've certainly never been an online shopper.  Until now.  Reading all these running blogs about great running shoes, gear, and gizmos has got me thinking of all kinds of things I'd love to have to support my running passion.  For now, I'm just shopping for shoes and trying to control myself from buying all the cute lil' tanks and shorts that will probably make me run faster on race day.  They do make you run faster, right?  I'm convinced that I would run a 18:30 5k or a 1:29 half marathon if I had this Nike Long Y Back Black and Mega Blue Tank.  It's on sale too!  I think I need to go back and get it (see, this is not the normal Amanda talking...what have you done to me blog world?!).  

My online shopping tonight was really all about shoes.  I think that after 18 years of running that it is about darn time that I start figuring out what kinds of shoes I like and what works for me.  
Here's where I am at with shoes:

Saucony Kinvaras 
I recently started having some lower/inside hamstring pain and I was thinking it had to do with my over pronation and running in my Saucony Kinvaras.  However, I'm thinking now that my biggest problem with these shoes was that I didn't ease my way into them like I should have.  I probably should have been using them for shorter easy runs here and there until I slowly moved my way up to longer distances.  I will still try this in small steps.

Stability Shoes
I do know now that I have been running in a stability shoe for most of my running years and I didn't know it.  Over the years I've worn Nike Pegasus, Addias Super Nova, Addias Boston, Nike Elite 4, and now the Mizuno Inspire 6 (which I like). 

Transitioning/Neutral Shoes
I would like to try out some different kinds of shoes that might run more in the neutral category without totally giving up my stability shoe.  

Racing Shoes
I'm interested in having a road racing shoe that will be good for 5ks-Marathons.  I'm sure this doesn't make a huge difference for a runner like me but there is something to be said about having a special "fast" shoe that you get to take out just for race day.  Makes racing seem extra special no matter how slow or fast I am.  

Here's What I have coming to me in the mail soon:

Addias Adizero Mana 5 
This is a light stability racing shoe.  It can be used for speedwork and longer and shorter races.  

Mizuno Wave Rider 14
I am currently running in the Mizuno Inspire 6's and wanted to try to alternate with a more neutral shoe so I thought this one would be a good one to try out since I like the Inspires. 
Mizuno Inspire 6
These were on sale so I decided I might as well order another pair since I like the ones I'm in.  I'm just a little confused by the width measurements...I don't know if I'm in an A or B.  I ordered a 7.5 B so I'm hoping it is the right size. 

And last but not least, I'm thinking about ordering these to try out:

Anyone have anything good or bad to say about the Nike LunaRacer +2? 

So there we have it!  My online shopping is officially over and I am going to go back to being the non-shopper that I am.  Well....I did see some Saucony Shorts that I liked too.  I might just have to go back to teaching to support my new obsession with running gear.  Either that or I need to start writing some really awesome blog reviews so companies just start sending me free stuff to try out and then convince YOU to Love it!  

What kinds of shoes do you run in?  

Do you use a racing shoe for race day?  

Do you have an outfit that you consider your "race day outfit"?  
I'm a big believer in feeling good on race day..physically and mentally.  I think what I wear is important to helping me feel good and run faster.  After all, if I look and feel sleek, sexy, and bad ass then perhaps it will help me run faster.  I think so.  That's just me.  But I have not run in something "sleek, sexy and bad ass" since our speed suits in college.  Since then, I'm pretty frumpy  looking so I would love your favorite racing outfit suggestions.  
Come on Chris K, I know you have some favorite little manly bun huggers that you wear with your Newton Shoes and a tight spandex tank that shows off your muscles!


P.S.  My husband just read this and he's across the room laughing and saying "You'd really call your college speed suit sleek and sexy?!  It was like running in a bathing suit!"  Hey, I felt sleek and sexy in it!  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First-time Burpee Video. My Attempt to Join the Contest Last Minute.

My arms are shaking and I'm still breathing hard after my first attempt at these things called Burpees.  Heard of them?  If not then you'll have to check out my video of my attempt to see how many I can do in 2 minutes.  You see, I'm always up for a challenge but I'm not always good at remembering things.  This Burpee contest has been circling the blogosphere for some time now and it ends today!  Yup, so I decided to wait until I am slightly injured, ran 8 miles yesterday and 12 today to try my first burpees.  Smart woman!  My very first video was 34 seconds and I did 10.  I decided to be a total puss and throw the towel in but then my competitive side told me to give it another go.  Second attempt is in this video below.  I think I did 20 in 1 min and 10 seconds.  When did I become such a quitter?!  What?! Who stops with 30 seconds to go?!  I need to go give myself a firm talking to and hopefully get control over this slacker attitude before it ruins me! I could have fit in at least another 10 in 50 seconds!  Good grief.   Ha, hope you enjoy the video.  At least I tried. Please look past the glasses and greasy, ready for bed look (besides the fact that I threw on some athletic clothes). Just keeping it real.  Thanks for the inspiration Katie and Running Wannabe.  You rock!    

Don't pay attention to what I'm talking about in the beginning.  I think it is something about doing 10 in 30 seconds already...blah blah blah.  But partway into it, my 3 year old gets in on the action with me.  So fun!

Some random things in the Running Hood here at Runninghood:
*  I've been posting like a fool so you might have a hard time keeping up.  I posted about my new favorite running bra.  I love it so much!  I just might have to wear it for everything...running, swimming, normal wear.  It is awesome!  

*  I really think I notice a difference with how I feel when I take this Udo's oil.  Seriously.  And I believe all the research I read about it.  

* Ice baths are NECESSARY!  They are so wonderful in how they help me recover faster after a long or hard run.  I've felt great all day!

*  Thank you so much for your Podcast suggestions.  Why have I never tried podcasts before?  It is a perfect world...long run or easy run + and interesting podcast means that i can learn, laugh, be entertained and keep myself from running faster than I should!  Loved it.  I flipped through some spiritual stuff, attempted a sermon, marathon talk, NPR, a Jeff Galloway Interview on walking breaks...hmmmm, not so sure I agree but interesting. This will be another blog post.  
*  I will add to that podcast post and include it in my running advice section of my blog for your reference if you are needing a good podcast to listen to on your next easy or long run or hey, if you're not a runner, maybe just for when you want to chill out!  

*  Running journals!  I am so excited to hear from so many of you about your running journals that you are starting!  yay!  I can't wait to see them!  

*  Speaking of journals, I have had a few blog readers ask me about the different kinds of journals I write so I plan on doing a post on that soon.  I keep a personal journal, marriage journal, running journal, and I write to each of my kids in their own journal (which includes other things).  Oh, and Kovas suggested that maybe I start a bathroom journal.  He's on to something there but I have to okay it with my agent before I mention it on my blog any further. 

*  12 miles today.  I tried to keep all my miles 8 or slower. Average 8:38 pace. Just where I wanted to be.  Felt solid.  A little bit of pain but my ice bath helped a ton!

*  Day off of running tomorrow but I have a Chiropractor appointment.  I'm going back for more Graston therapy.  I don't have enough bruises already.  Joy!  
* This week in running.  Might not go as planned.  Will listen to my body and plan accordingly.  

1.  Anyone have the day off tomorrow for President's Day?  

2.  Did you do anything wonderful and exciting this weekend?  I know that some of you ran races!  I'm so happy to hear about all the positive race reports from this weekend. Go check out AM's PR at Running, Tri-ing and Living. 


Podcasts Please!!??

Ok blog peeps. I'm taking a chance here that someone will come up with something good in the next 15 minutes.  I'm about to head out for a slow 12 miler and would love to listen to something good other than music.  So.....

Anyone have any suggestions for a good podcast to listen to?  Running, Spiritual, Inspirational, Enlightening?  Something I can learn from or just even enjoy???

Thanks.  Here's hoping I get some good suggestions.  


I'm going to go ahead and keep this post up even though I've already got my podcast chosen from the suggestions of friends on facebook, e-mails and this post.  I think this will be a great reference for other runners out there looking for something enriching to listen to on their long runs!  So, I would love your suggestions even if I am already on my run listening to another podcast!  I will pull from this when I need a new one.  Thanks!

For some extra strength, recovery and stamina, I just "oiled my machine" with some Udo's Oil (check it out).

 I am now ready to head out on my slow run with some good listening material.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Udo's Oil...Recovery, Strength, Stamina

Just got home from New Seasons Market where we stocked up on all kinds of goodness!  One of the things we restocked on was this:

This is just one of the products I've come to start using since training for marathons again. Udo's Oil has shown to help endurance athletes experience greater strength, stamina, and faster recovery.  It has also been proven to have many other health benefits such as fat loss, and improvements in skin condition, sleep and concentration.  Check out the research, athlete testimonials, and frequently asked questions at the Udo's Oil "Oil The Machine" site for more information.  This stuff is pricey but I'm convinced it is good stuff to add to my diet.  I plan on being more active about taking notes about changes I notice from taking this again after not taking it for awhile.  I'll share my observations with you in a few weeks.

Chicken Soup For the Runner's Soul
I started my morning with a little bit of coffee and some running inspiration.  I've never been one to read Chicken Soup for the Soul books but I won this one in a giveaway from Lisa at Because I Can.   Please go visit Lisa's Blog and say hello.  Thanks for the book Lisa!  I love it.  Especially the forward by Dean Karnazes and the first story by Michael Fitzgerald.  

Running Update
Since my chiropractic appointment and taking it easy this week, I'm feeling much better. I still have some pain but I'm noticing improvement since being out of the Kinvaras. Last night before Family Movie Night, I made a quick trip to the gym and decided to try out my running legs.  I ran a mile warm up and then ran two miles at the 8.8 and 8.9 speed (6:44/6:49 pace) and then a half mile cool down.  I was very happy to hold on to the sub 7 pace for 2 miles.  

Today I ran 8 miles @ base pace.  I could definitely feel my leg by the time I was finished and so I iced, stretched and rolled.  I can't tell what pain I'm feeling from the run and what pain is still from the Graston Therapy.  I know I definitely have some bruising from the therapy. I wrote my splits in my running journal and included a picture below. 

 I also taped in a very sweet e-mail from a blog reader that I didn't know about.  It made MY YEAR!  So very sweet and thoughtful of her to send me such kind words.  I am always thankful when people write me to tell me that something I wrote helped, inspired or motivated them in some way.  It gives me even more reasons to keep on blogging when I start doubting why I blog. 

And just for kicks, here is a picture of my sweet man doing his core work before heading out on his 6 mile run.  Um, that is MY Garmin that he bought ME for Christmas.  We totally share but I'm not complaining because he is going to pace me in my 5k and our 1/2 marathon in April. Oh, and Check out that OREGON SUNSHINE today!  Glorious!!  

Hope you're having a great weekend!  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chiropractic Care, Shoes and Bras For Booby-lacking Me!

Good grief, I know my last few posts have been kind of in the whining "Debbie Downer" category.  I've snapped out of it and am ready to return to my positive self.  I'm going to blame it on injury and  an old acquaintance name P.M.S.  On to better things.  

The Handful Bra
Check it!  I found the perfect running bra for me!  I went into Portland Running Company yesterday before my chiropractic appointment and I'm so glad I took a peek at the bras they had.  Usually I just figure that I don't need anything fancy since I don't really have much in the boob department but then I saw it.  The perfect bra for me!  It is padded but it fits like a perfect sports bra.  It fits great, covers up any nipped out nipples, and makes me look and feel good about my rack.  It isn't just a bra for people like me who are lacking in the boob blessings.  It is a great bra even for the ladies with some boobs but maybe want a little extra padding or don't want to flatten their boobs like a pancake or boob tube.  Check it out...The Handful Bra.  I love mine so much that I think I will order one in each color...this is BIG for me because I am not a big shopper and I'm not one that feels that I need all the latest gizmos, trendy running clothes and accessories but this bra is a MUST-HAVE!  I can't believe it took me this long to find it.  
Chiropractic Care
I'm convinced that regular chiropractic care is essential for me to stay healthy and ready to perform my best when it comes to running.  I believe this is true for not only athletes but as far as my running is concerned, I hope to make it priority to at least get an adjustment once or twice a month.  Luckily, I have an amazing sports chiropractor.  If you live in the Portland area, it is well worth the drive for a visit to Dr. Ted Forcum at Back In Motion Sports Injuries Clinic if you have any sports related injury.  I'm hoping that my visits will eventually just end up being a quick adjustment rather than needing the painful Graston Technique therapy he has been doing on my hamstring since August.  It is painful but I believe in what he does!  

Yesterday's visit was well worth my time.  He watched me run in my Saucony Kinvaras and told me that I over pronate and these shoes are no good for me and probably what is causing my issues right now.  So back to just running in the Mizuno Inspires (which I've been thinking were the wave riders).  I'd love to try out some Brooks shoes because I hear so many good things about them but part of me just thinks I should stick with what works.  I want to try the Brooks Launch shoes but like the Kinvaras, they are a neutral shoe and I am not so sure I will have luck with them if I'm having issues with the Kinvaras.  

If you're in the Kansas City Area and want a good Chiropractor for regular care and adjustments, check out Whole Life Chiropractic.  

This week I've been continuing to tell myself my new mantra of "It has to get harder before it gets easier."  An excerpt from my running journal today:
"  Originally this was my mantra during a hard workout where I was adjusting to a faster pace for a longer stretch of time.  But I'm realizing that this is a mantra I can also tell myself today as I'm feeling injured and trying to find the best shoes, supplements, diet, etc.  in order to be the best I can be as an athlete.  These are just bumps in the road but once I figure them out, I will find things getting easier again.  This is part of growth and improvement!"  

After my rest and my therapy with Dr. Forcum, I'm feeling better today and tonight I will get out there for some sort of run depending on what my body tells me when I start.  I'm excited to know it isn't something that should be too bad or keep me from running!  Big smiles!  

This is the page in my journal that I've been going to a lot this week in my reflections and time off from running.  

Thank you so much for the loving and supportive comments you've given me the past few days!  I am so very thankful for this blog and all of YOU!  I've learned SO MUCH!  And I never would have imagined what genuine connections, encouragement and support that I'd get!  

1. Do you have a chiropractor or do you get regular Chiropractic care?

2.  Good luck to all of you who are racing this weekend.  I know there are quite a few.  I'll have to come back and mention you specifically when I have time to read some blogs tonight or this weekend.  

3. Inspiring running material today?  Janae from Hungry Runner Girl ran 26.2 in 3:18 just as a training run this morning!  And Beth from SUAR ran 15 miles this week...this is HUGE and her determination and focus to heal is inspiring!  I know neither one of these Rockin blogger runners need a shout out from've probably already read their blog today way before mine but I felt like mentioning them anyway!  

Happy Friday,

Assumptions About the SAHM, Balance, and Making the Most of Our Lots In Life

It is one of those rare moments that I wake up earlier than the kids and I have a few stolen minutes to myself before I'm needed by three little ones and my time is a wooosh of putting out fights, wiping up messes, answering what seems like thirty people at once, wagging my finger with a growl on my face as I try to talk to someone important on the phone and keep my kids at bay, giving kisses, playing little people, racing cars, pretending to be a princess, always making more snacks, getting drinks, cleaning up paint, crawling around like a horse, trying to get three kids focused, dressed, and ready for school, gymnastics, or doctor appointments and an endless list of other things that make me happy.  I also have those breaks where I get to steal away for a few minutes at a time to check my e-mail, read a snip of something funny or know, connect with other ADULTS...even if it is on the computer and not the once visited staff room or teacher meeting after school.  Sometimes I even have a moment to make a phone call to a friend...preferably a friend with kids so that they understand the sound of seeming chaos in the background.  I love my life.  I love that I chose to make my present career to be at home with my kids.  I'm putting my Masters Degree to good use I'd say.  And what I love most is that I CAN do this.  I know it isn't something that everyone wants or can do but I'm thankful for it and I'm treating it like anything in my life and making the most of it!  I know that I'll have years ahead of me to go back to school.  Get that Doctorate and teach at a University if I want.  Write my book.  Go back to teaching. You know, become the President or marry a prince.  But for now, I am here.  I'm a Mom.  Day in and day out.  And I love it.  But that doesn't mean it is a cake walk.  It doesn't mean that I'm just kicking up my feet all day and eating cheese sticks and watching Dora eat cocoa beans off the trees in the rain forest and telling Swiper to Stop Swiping!  

I guess one of the things that I've been ULTRA sensitive to lately is the small comments or conversations I hear about how nice it must be to Stay At Home and Not Work!  Not just the comments that mention how lucky I am or how wonderful it must be because it IS wonderful and do consider myself lucky and these are such good intended comments.   I've received so much love and good support about my decision to be home with my kids.  My close friends and family know how important my teaching career was to me and they know how passionate and in love with learning and being active in the education field is to me.  It is my good friends and family that know that it was NOT an easy decision to give up something that made me SO INCREDIBLY Happy and ALIVE! The comments or suggestions that seem to be getting under my skin lately are the ones that make the job as a SAHM seem "cute" or "small" or ....wait for it....."EASY".

I mean really, doesn't SAHM mean:
*  staying in your jammies all day 
*  Every day is like a weekend or day off (um, not when you do it every day!)
*  drinking coffee and reading blogs (um, coffee, yes!  Necessary!  Blogs, only on the fly and with little kids tugging at my leg and blocks flying overhead.)
*  Going to thy gym and dropping kids off a daycare (what?!  Not yet...Jillian on the living room floor maybe.  But with a kid or two on my back and under my stomach when I'm doing push ups).
*  Letting my kids watch t.v all day while I read or talk to friends.  (um, again no.  Don't get me wrong, I have my uses for t.v but it usually waits until quiet time in the afternoon and some days they don't get any.  I'm kind of hardcore about the screen time.)
*  Sit on Facebook and e-mail and write blogs all day!  Surely this must be what you SAHM do all day because when we working people get home from work, we see so many postings from you on FB.  (yeah.  Well, you have a staff room and adults to engage with people!  Thank GOD for social networks or I think I'd lose my friggin' mind!  And Yes, I do take a moment here and there for e-mail, blogs, and keeps me sane.  Helps me stay connected and involved and for Goodness Sake, I get to use my MIND!!  But as always, I have goals in life, and one of them is to spend way less time getting sucked into the computer)   
*  You get the gist....we basically sing songs, play with play dough, eat snacks, and have one big long vacation (okay, so the majority of you don't think this but there are a few that do)

I think we all can find things with our life and our jobs that are hard.  Things that make us feel over the top with stress.  We can all feel out of control and lost sometimes.  But it is so important to not get trapped in that "Grass is Always Greener" mindset.  Life is about finding Balance.

Life as a SAHM is about Balance (as with any job) and putting intention and focus into being with my kids, creating a magical childhood for them, making my living/working environment work for me (this means trying to keep it clean and organized...I mean, I'm here a lot!),  and making sure I take time to nurture and support MYSELF!  Right now this means setting and accomplishing personal goals, connecting socially and intellectually with other adults, and continuing to reflect, write, read and set goals for my personal life and career life after motherhood.  Part of this for me is writing my blog, staying connected with friends and family on facebook and e-mail and taking time to get away.  This is the public side that people see and perhaps why some people assume that being a SAHM is so easy and why we SAHMs can't possibly understand how difficult it is to work outside the home and still juggle family life, etc.

I guess my purpose in writing this is just to touch on the issue of accepting our lots in life, our jobs, our situations and making the most of them without assuming that we have it better or harder than others.  It isn't about what job is better or harder to balance or who has more on their plate.  I mean really, it is about balancing the life we do have and making the most out of our situations.  We all have busy lives and bumps to work through.

Wooooo weeee, looks like I had something to get off my chest (as little as my chest is, it sure did have a lot there)!    Thankful that I have this blog to vent!

Things I'm thankful for today:
*  I had a graston technique therapy session with my Sports Chiropractor yesterday and am feeling better.  Thinking that my problems had a lot to do with the Kinvara Shoes that I was trying to run in.  I over pronate so I'm thinking I'm good to stick with some more supportive shoes. Still taking it easy on the running front...this is important to me...I don't want to be stupid.
*  My purchases from Portland Running Company ( next blog)
*  My kids sleeping in late so that i had time to write and reflect.
*  It's Friday
*  I love my job!
*  I've got a beach house all picked out for my marathon weekend and will get to stay 3 nights with some of our best friends!
*  Most importantly, today I'm thankful for supportive and understanding people that make the most of their life and support and encourage others.

I'll leave you with a picture of my office at work.

1.  If you made it this far through this blog you either A.  Are one of those few people that really read it all  or B. Scrolled down to see what questions I might ask in hopes that they are easy to answer without being obvious that you didn't read the blog.  Ha, I get this!

2.  Balance.  What's an area of your life that you would like to give more attention to in order to live a more balanced life?  

3.  When you start feeling out of control with your life, what are things you do to find balance and peace?  

Happy Friday!  I'll be back next time with a shorter and more interesting post...I promise!  Probably about Running Shoes and Bras...Exciting!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Seems Small to Some is Big To Me!

Note:  I originally posted this hours ago:  If I Knew Then... but then took it off, posted it again, took it off, posted again and then finally took it off.  I guess I just felt silly, dramatic and vulnerable in a way.  Sharing something about my hurt hamstring, something so important to me but something that probably seems so small to others, made me feel embarrassed or protective over my feelings.  But then my friend Jenn, from Running Sane e-mailed and asked me about it and she really seemed to understand.  I figure, if the post resonated with her then I'm sure there are others out there that will be able to relate to it too.  I guess part of a good blog is writing raw and being real...saying the things from my heart and not just the things that will make the masses happy.  At least that is what I want my blog to be.  So, here's my post back with a few things taken out.  This is important to me and however small it seems to be so concerned over a hurt hamstring, it is something that scares me and had me worrying a lot last night (this topic of injury, feeling fearful at the idea of not ever really having my hamstring back again, and feeling like I only have so much time to reach my goals is a post for another day).