Friday, April 30, 2010

3-3-3 Frequently Asked Questions?

Ok explain those workouts and what the heck does 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, etc. mean? This program is designed to help you build up your running endurance through planned walk breaks (a technique perhaps made most famous by the great Jeff Galloway, who encourages even elite marathoners to take walk breaks to improve their performance. See. I told you you wouldn't be the only one walking!).

The theory works a little like this: You will eventually get tired. By taking planned walk breaks, you are anticipating that this will in fact be happening and running your workout accordingly. Think of it as saving a little in the tank, so you can finish the entire workout of 15, 20, 30 minutes or more as opposed to running for as long as you can (which might not be too long at the get go) and then pooping out and going home. What we’re trying to do at first is make sure you do get in a good quality workout, while at the same time increasing the amount of time you are able to run continuously. 1:1, 2:1 3:1, etc indicates the intervals of running to walking you’ll be doing. For example: the first workout is 15 minutes, Run/Walk 1:1. So in other words you’re running one minute, then walking one minute, running one minute, then walking one minute for the entire 15 minutes. When that first number changes (ie. 2:1) you increase the running interval to that many minutes. The walk break, in this program, will always stay at 1 minute.

Begin each workout with a short walk to warm up your muscles before running and end each workout them same way allowing your breathing and your heart rate to return to normal. Stretch when you're done.

How fast should I be running? Run at a pace you can talk at. Remember we want to COMPLETE each workout not necessarily see how fast or how far we can get in each workout.

How slow should I be walking? As slow as you like. It’s your recovery period so get what you need out of it. Just keep moving.

Am I really “going for a run” if I have to walk or am I just going to embarrass myself? Listen. Nobody is immune from having to take a walk break every now and then. I’ve run in 3 marathons and all sorts of other races and I promise you other people walk too! In fact, my OBGYN who is in his mid 50’s qualified for the Boston Marathon on his first attempt by taking scheduled walk breaks during his race.

You are “going for a run” if the pace you are moving at is faster than the pace you walk at. Any runner who suggests to you otherwise, would do well to remember that there will ALWAYS be somebody faster even than them. And chances are, the pace they run at would be considered something of a walk for somebody else.

What if I’m not tired after running a minute or when I’m scheduled to walk? Should I just keep running? Nope. Remember, you are anticipating you’ll be tired. That doesn’t necessarily mean you WILL be tired for the first few walk breaks. Give it at least the whole first workout to see where you’re at before adjusting the run/walk intervals. Otherwise you might be in for a surprise. If your not tired at all at the end of the workout, rock on. You’re ahead of the game a bit. Adjust as necessary. But be careful you don’t try to do too much too soon or try to go too fast or too far right out of the gate. Adjust only a little bit at a time and never change more than one thing in a workout (ie. speed, distance, interval, course) so that you can evaluate the effects of changing one variable at a time.

I’m not really tired at the end of the workout. Should I be? You shouldn’t feel like you just got hit by a bus or anything, but you should feel like you got something of a workout. If not, no problem, just advance yourself a little bit. Pick up your pace on the runs, increase the run portion of the interval or length of the entire run on your next workout. But just pick one and be sure whatever changes you make in the intensity of the workout are modest. Cardinal Rule #1: Too much too soon is too much.

I don't think I can increase the intervals or the length of the workout yet and on the schedule it says I’m supposed to. What do I do? No big deal. Just repeat the same workout until the increase feels doable. It might take you a little bit longer to get through the training schedule or perhaps you just had a bad day and will be able to catch yourself back up. Either way it doesn’t matter, as long you get it though it!

Warmups? Cool downs? How come I don’t see any of that lingo on your program? Because I hate them. No, really I do. Despite all the research showing the benefits of both and try as I might, I still can’t help but feel like they’re a waste of my very extremely limited time (but yes, I still do them). And that is a sentiment I know I’m not alone in. So I’m not dedicating precious space, to something most people are going to skip or cut short. Here’s the rule of thumb for beginners: sandwich your runs with some period of walking to get warmed up and cooled down. You’ll be fine.

Do I have to stretch? Welcome to a very highly debated issue: stretching prior to running. Some say absolutely or risk injury others say absolutely not or risk injury. So what to do? One thing "the experts" seem to agree upon is that you do not stretch cold muscles. So if you're going to stretch before you run, then warmup first. Walk or jog. After your run, your muscles are plenty warmed up, so feel free to stretch away.

Are there better training programs for new runners out there? Probably. Couch to 5K is a very popular program. Galloway’s got one, Run Less Run Faster has one too and if you do a little search I’m sure you’ll be able to find tons more out there much more scientifically researched by people with far more credentials than I. I’m just sharing with you what I did following baby #1 and #2 and what I pass on to my friends and family when asked since people do like to ask and I suspect there’s more of you out there that would like to know how to get started but are perhaps a little on the shy side.

Do people really listen to you? Nope. Ok my kids, but usually only when I threaten them or put a popsicle on the line ;-)

Will this help me lose weight? Yes! YAY! Exercise helps you lose weight (shocking the things you learn here right?). BUT you are going to have to eat sensibly to see significant results (dangit).

How come it doesn’t seem like I’m losing any weight? Because you are also building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat which is something your scale won’t accurately reflect (unless you’ve equipped yourself with a body mass scale). My suggestion…stay off the scale, watch what you eat and stick to the training plan. You’ll start to notice changes in the way your clothes fit. When the changes become significant, then hop back on and take a little peek.

I hate this. What can I do? Awww….really? Is it that bad? I’m sorry. Sometimes it’s just a bad day or even a couple of them. It was too hot. The kids wouldn’t stay in bed last night. Nothing went right at work and it drifted into your run. If that’s the case, then stick with it my friend. Things will look up soon. But if that’s not the case, there’s a good chance you’re trying to do more or run faster than your body is ready for. Try this…go out for a run/walk. Leave your watch at home. Don’t worry about the distance. Just run and walk for however long and far and whatever pace you feel like. Often times, this will do the trick.

How sore is too sore? Not being able to walk is probably a good indicator that you’ve done a little too much. Don’t get me wrong you should expect too feel sore, that is inevitable, but I’m not trying to render you useless as far as your other responsibilities go. If you’re finding yourself miserable the day after a run, I’d suggest perhaps slowing down or repeating a workout until it becomes a little more comfortable and a little less painful.

How do I know if I’m hurt or just sore? Ah….the age old question. For seasoned runners the answer is pretty simple: you just know. You’ve run enough to know what normal soreness from running feels like and when something you are feeling is, well, not normal. But when you first get started the hurt is one in the same. Generally speaking, soreness is going to kick in sometime after your run, while an injury is going to start hurting at the point when you get injured. Soreness will usually go away in a couple of days and injuries generally want to hang on a bit longer. Oh and if the pain started with a noise of some sort, chances are you are injured.

How can I make the soreness go away? Stretching, ice, and massage will all help. Oh…and chocolate. Chocolate helps too. Never forget that.

What do I do if I think I am hurt? Proceed directly to your doctor. Do not pass go (or spend 3 weeks searching on google for an answer other than injury while attempting to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the part that hurts eventually ending up at the dr’s anyway only having lost 3 weeks).

I really don’t like to sweat. What can I do? Suck it up. Runners sweat.

Where can I find a race? If you’re in Michigan, checkout http://www.runmichigan.com for tons of races. If you’re not, search online, check rec centers, churches, and keep an eye out from about April-October races abound. November-March, depending on where you live exactly, they may be a little more scarce.

How can I get faster? STOP. Back up. Too soon. Right now we’re just trying to get your feet up under you as a runner. The good news is you will naturally find yourself picking up the pace a bit throughout the training program as you get stronger and your body adapts to running. Once you’re running a few miles continuously, then you can start to think about incorporating some speed workouts into your routine. My experience has been when people try to pick up the pace and do speed workouts right out of the gate before they’re physically ready, they wind up hurt.

How can I get these runs in when my kids WILL NOT cooperate? I have no idea. When you figure it out, let me know ;-) Until then, rejoice in the flexibility of your schedule. If you’re having one of THOSE days (like I did last night actually), take a deep breath. Put the running shoes away and take the kiddos outside for a game of tag or curl up on the couch and watch Tinkerbell. Some days it just isn’t happening and instead of being angry and frustrated and gosh darn it trying to cram that run in while your 1 year old is sobbing in the jogging stroller and your 5 year old on the bike won’t stop whining, just chock it up to one of THOSE days and slide your run to the next day. That’s the beauty of running three days a week. There’s actually 7 so you’ve left yourself plenty of back up.

Jogging strollers: yay or nay? YAY! As long as your kiddo enjoys it, or falls asleep in it, or will actually sit in it. Otherwise, you might just be adding a little more frustration to your run. Be sure to look for a jogging stoller that has a brake, because you’d never believe how fast those suckers get going on the slightest of inclines. Use your tether strap, just in case. You don’t want a runaway baby on your hands. I’d also recommend a fixed wheel on the front. Steering is a little more difficult, but that also means hitting a rock or a stick or is not going to send you off course. If you want to find one cheap, check online at Craig's List or Ebay. Keep an eye out at garage sales too.

Ipods yay or nay? Nay. Well, for me anyway. My husband would be lost without his on a run I believe. I think half the fun of a run is being outside and enjoying your surroundings. Then again, when I run outside I’m on the trails lost in nature. You may be running in a big city to the glorious hymn of rush hour traffic and foul mouthed cabbies. Um…maybe not so pleasant. Whatever you decide, headphone or no, just always remember to be aware of your surroundings for your own safety.

I’ve got to run on the treadmill to get my workouts in but I’m losing my mind it’s so boring. What can I do? SHUSH! I would be lost without my treadmill, so there is no tm bashing here. Just be majorly happy you have one at your disposal so you CAN run. That being said, I'm agreed. I'd much rather run outside. But when you can't, you can't. Playing around with the speed or incline might make the minutes pass by a little faster it does for me anyway. Listen to some music. Watch some tv. Or write me a sonnet. No one has ever done that before so you’d have the distinct pleasure of being the first. Just remember running is almost all mental. Master the mind and you'll master the run, treadmill or not.

Is it ok if I do all my running on a treadmill even though the race will be outside? Yep. Do what you gotta do to get ‘em in.

Is it safe to run outside alone? Depends on where you're at and how you do it. I strongly suggest running with a partner. Another runner, someone following you on a bike, in a car, or if no humans are available even a furry friend that bites will do. But at the very least, make sure you are running with identification and that someone knows when, where, and how long you'll be gone for. I also carry my cell phone and have used it on occassion to bail from a run. I've also run into quite a few runners who carry mace (In fact, I almost was maced on a run as I passed somebody once, but that is perhaps a story for another time). Always be aware of your surroundings (yep, I know I already said this, but it's worth repeating).

Can I run more than 3 days a week? Sure. But what was that cardinal rule? Let's see here...too much too soon is too much. Yes, there are people that run every single day, maybe one day you'll be one of them. But for now, take it sloooooooowly. So as not to risk injury or runner burn out (which is sometime much more fatal to your running dreams).

Can I run less than 3 days a week? Sure. It will probably take you longer to get through the training program though and you might need to pick up some sort of cross training to maintain your cardiovascular fitness in between runs.

What about strength training? Shouldn’t I do some of that? Sure. Strength training is an excellent way to build muscle and improve your running performance.

Is cross training ok? Absolutely. Swimming, biking, rowing are all excellent ways to give yourself a little break while improving cardiovascular fitness.

I’m so tired today. Can I skip my run? You can and shift it to the next day, BUT (and that's a mighty bold faced but there) I almost always feel better after I run even when I am dog tired. I've got to do a lot of my runs in the evening when my girls are asleep and I've found if I can just get my running shoes on, I'm making that run happen. It's just a matter of shutting off my head and not thinking of the nine million reasons I don't want to or even that I deserve not to run. I usually cut a deal with myself, if I'm still tired after 1/2 a mile or so, I'll call it a night. Have I? Yes. How often? Very rarely. About as often as my daughter actually catches the butterflies she chases.

I’m sick. Do I run anyway? This is a hard question to answer without knowing exactly how sick you are and what your body tolerates. Moderate exercise like what is included in this program does benefit the immune system. However, if you are just totally whipped or you can't stay out of the bathroom for one reason or another, you might want to put that run off for another day. I've also found that when a cold really seems to be hanging on, it's better to take that you'd spend running and rest, rather than have it keep dragging on. Really, though, this is gotta be your call.

Is it ever to hot or cold too run? My opinion. Yes, but then again, I have a treadmill so I've always got the indoor option. If I didn't, I probably tough it out outdoors more than I do, but do it safely. Make sure you are drinking extra fluids with electolytes like Gatorade and running EARLY when it's hot. Layer, layer, layer when it's cold.

Um…I’m chafing in weird places and it frickin’ hurts. Help me please? Body Glide.

If I missed a week of running am I sunk. Should I start over? Nah. Not just yet. Try to pick it back up where you left off. You might need to back up a touch.

What should I wear to run in? Just wear whatever you're comfortable in at first.

When should I register for a race? Now. Now. NOW! Don't push this off otherwise there's a tendency to not do it. Not doing it, not having a goal makes the training just THAT much harder. So stop reading this and go sign up for that race you're thinking about. Do it now. I promise this will still be here when you get back.

Why are they talking about bibs? Am I really going to have to wear one, I’m not planning on eating anything. Race bib. You'll be assigned a number. Your bib has your number on it. You wear it your front (shirt or leg). Get four safety pins and pin each corner so it's not flopping around annoying you.

It says this race is chip timed. What does that mean? It means they will give you a little timing chip which will either be on your bib or you will attach to your shoe. This will be how the race determines your finishing time.

What do I do with a chip? Put it on your shoe by using the little plastic tie thingys they give you and attach it to your shoelaces. I just tuck the extra long part under my laces (yep, I realize this doesn't make sense now, but it will on race day).

What's a race packet? You pick it up before your race. Sometimes the day of. Sometimes the day before. Sometimes either or. At the very least it has your bib in it. Other items may include: safety pins, timing chip, timing chip plastic thingies (yeah...somebody feel free to tell me what those are called), flyers for other races, coupons from race sponsors, a shirt, product samples.

Does it matter if I do a trail race or a road race? Nope. Remember though that if it's a trail race, unless it specifically says paved trail, they are talking uneven terrain, rocks, sticks, etc.

If the race description says hilly or challenging, should I stay away from it? Not necessarily, but you probably are going to want to make sure the course you are training on is also hilly and challenging.

When should I register for a race? Now. Now. NOW! Don't push this off otherwise there's a tendency to not do it. Not doing it, not having a goal makes the training just THAT much harder. So stop reading this and go sign up for that race you're thinking about. Do it now. I promise this will still be here when you get back.

How early should I get there? Depends on you. But ask yourself some of these questions while trying to decide: Do I need to pick up my packet? Is there lots of parking nearby? What will traffic be like? What do I like to do for a warmup? Where is the start relative to parking? I usually like to be in the general vicinity of my race an hour in advance. I might still be in my car looking for a parking spot, but I want to be at least in the area.

What do eat before I run and/or race? Exactly precisely whatever you've been eating before your runs. Do not change a thing on race day. You don't want to suddenly find out some food doesn't agree with your stomach when running in the middle of a race.

What should I be doing while I’m waiting for the race to start? Waiting in line to pee. No really. Wait 'til you get to your race, that's what nearly everyone will be doing. Besides that, take it in. Enjoy it. You only get to have your first race once!

Should I get in the front or the back of the pack near the start? For your first race, I'd opt for the back otherwise you might get plowed down by some of the take no prisoners I'm breaking my PR today super fasties at the start of the pack.

What if I can’t sleep the night before the race? Nobody can. Don't worry about. Try to get some sleep in the days leading up to the race if you can.

If my race gives out finishers’ medals what should I do with it? Wear that sucker proudly all day baby!

Ok I finished your training program. Now what? First, email me at runfastmommy@gmail.com. Let me know how it went. I want to hear about it and maybe send you a little something to celebrate your fabulous accomplishment. Next think about what you want to accomplish next. Faster? Farther? Move onto trails? Pick up the bike too or swimming? But keep the ball rolling...

While it might have been a worthy effort, you totally have not answered any of my questions. If I email you, will you actually answer me? Absolutely :-)

3 Days-3 Months-3 Miles Training Plan

WHO? This training program is for people who are new to running with little to no experience or for former runners who’ve been on a hiatus but would like to get started again. It was written in particular with moms in mind who are short on time and need the flexibility in their schedule that children, especially small children demand.

WHAT? The goal is to be able to run 3 miles continuously by the end of the program in 3 Months

WHEN? Run 3 days a week, whichever 3 work for you, but try to space them out so your body has time to recover from each workout.

WHERE? The park, the gym, the track, a trail, your street, a treadmill, wherever you can find a safe place to run.

WHY? Why not? Not a good enough reason? Ok how about to get in to shape; to lose weight; to have more energy; to feel better; to be a positive example of healthy living, hard work and/or determination for your kids; or maybe even to just be able to keep up with that toddler that never seems to ever stop moving? Or maybe you want to prove to someone, perhaps even just yourself that you can.

HOW? The plan…

3-3-3 TRAINING PLAN

WEEKWorkout #1Workout #2Workout #3
1
15 Minutes
Run/Walk
1:1
15 Minutes
Run/Walk
1:1
Walk 5min
Run 1/4
Walk 5 Min
2 20 Minutes
Run/Walk
1:1
20 Minutes
Run/Walk
2:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1/2 Mile
Walk 5 Min
3 20 Minutes
Run/Walk
2:1
20 Minutes
Run/Walk
3:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1/2 Mile
Walk 5 Min
4 25 Minutes
Run/Walk
3:1
25 Minutes
Run/Walk
4:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1 Mile
Walk 5 Min
5 25 Minutes
Run/Walk
4:1
25 Minutes
Run/Walk
5:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1 Mile
Walk 5 Min
6 30 Minutes
Run/Walk
5:1
30 Minutes
Run/Walk
6:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1.5 Miles
Walk 5 Min
7 30 Minutes
Run/Walk
6:1
30 Minutes
Run/Walk
7:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 1.5 Miles
Walk 5 Min
8 35 Minutes
Run/Walk
7:1
35 Minutes
Run/Walk
8:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 2 Miles
Walk 5 Min
9 35 Minutes
Run/Walk
8:1
35 Minutes
Run/Walk
9:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 2 Miles
Walk 5 Min
10 40 Minutes
Run/Walk
9:1
40 Minutes
Run/Walk
10:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 2.5 Miles
Walk 5 Min
11 40 Minutes
Run/Walk
10:1
40 Minutes
Run/Walk
11:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 2.5 Miles
Walk 5 Min
12 45 Minutes
Run/Walk
11:1
45 Minutes
Run/Walk
12:1
Walk 5 Min
Run 3 Miles
Walk 5 Min
13 45 Minutes
Run/Walk
12:1
30 Minutes
Run/Walk
12:1
5K RACE
(3.1 Miles)
WOOHOO!!

Still have some questions? Of course you do! Please visit the FAQ’s section or send me an email at runfastmommy@gmail.com

3 Steps for Getting Started Simply

Ok so you’re ready. You’re going to do it. You’re going to start running, but you have no idea where to begin and maybe you’re even feeling a little lost or overwhelmed. Here’s three steps to get you started running on the right foot (or left if you prefer. That’s not one of the tips ;-)

1. Get a pair of running shoes – They don’t have to be the newest, most expensive or hi tech model out there. But they should be a pair that is suited for your feet. Go to a running store. Not Dunham’s or Dick’s or whatever big sporting goods store you have near you. Go to an actual specialty running store. And PLEASE do not be intimidated to do this. Trust me, you are not going to be the first person to walk through their doors looking for your first pair of running shoes. Everybody was new once, including even the sales staff, which is usually comprised of runners.

Go to a running store because generally speaking they know a thing or two about feet, shoes and how they’re supposed to work together when running. They’ll measure your feet properly (be prepared for a recommendation of at least a half size or two up from your normal shoes. Your feet expand when you run. They’re not trying to insult you, only save the life of a toenail). They also might want to watch you walk, maybe run. Some stores even have hi tech machines to evaluate how you carry weight on each foot. All this to help you find a shoe that works for you because there are different types and the wrong type for your foot can definitely do more harm than good. At a general sporting goods store, they’re probably going to do a great job in finding your size in the shoe you tell them to go get, but that’s about it.

Whatever you do though, do not just randomly select a pair of shoes you already own (even if they are sort of sneakerish) and go run. They weren’t designed to properly support your foot while running and chances are you’ll wind up injured trying to make that pair work. As a matter of fact, don’t even run in a resurrected pair of old running shoes unless you bought them, set them aside and never touched them again. Running shoes are designed to last 3-500 miles on average. If you’ve been using them to walk around in, there’s a strong possibility you’ve worn them out already. Soles will wear out before treads, so don’t just flip them over and say “they look ok to me.” It’s what you can’t see that will cause your legs to rebel against you later.

Best bet is to just suck it up and spend the $50-$125 on a pair of new shoes and not take any chances. Once you know what sort of shoe you need, don’t hesitate to check around and see if you can find a good deal on it somewhere. There’s lots of sites online that offer free shipping and free returns on running shoes. And if money is a major concern opt for a discontinued model on clearance, you’ll save yourself a lot of cash.

2. Find a race – And I know what you’re thinking. You’ve got to be kidding me! I am in no condition to be racing people! Am I right? But you misunderstand why most people run races. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the vast majority of runners out there are not entering races to win them. Do they want to see how fast they can finish? Sure. But trust me, you will not be the only one entering the race just to see if you can finish it.

A race is a tangible goal. It’s a date on the calendar to work towards. When you pick a race (for our purposes a 5K or 3.1 Miles), you can’t just slough off a run with a “eh…I’ll do it next week” because you don’t have that kind of time to spare if you ARE going to hit your goal (and you totally are!). You’ve got to get up and do it now.

Don’t worry about having to perhaps walk some of it. Pick a race three months out. Follow your training plan and chances are pretty good you’re going to run the whole thing. But even if you do have to walk, so what? You certainly won’t be the only one. And even if you are the last place finisher (which you probably won’t be) there will be somebody watching on the sidelines, who will be wishing they could do what you just did. Guaranteed. The purpose of a race is to get from point A to point B as quickly as you can. Period. And quite frankly, I am often times more excited to watch the last guy cross the finish line, than I am the first. Chances are she’s had to overcome a lot more to cross that same finish line. I mean really, who wants to quit a race when you’re about to come in first?

So find a race and register for it right now. It won’t cost a ton of money. Some races are as little as $15-$20 (but at the same time that $15 or $20 might spur you on should thoughts of quitting creep up into your head. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve said to myself “well geez, I paid…I’ve got to do it.”). And besides almost all races give out a shirt and you know we’re all about the shirt right ;-)

3. Get a training plan – It doesn’t have to be mine. There’s lots of them out there. I’d suggest picking one you feel comfortable with. One that might look challenging at the end but doable to start off with and gradually working you up to the challenging in the middle.

Once you find one, print it off. Or hop on your computer yourself and transfer it to your own calendar, then print it off. But print it off and stick it on your refrigerator. I used to think this was only something my family and I did, but I recently read Rules for Runners by Mark Remy (hilarious book btw) and found it listed as one of the “rules.”

Put it on your refrigerator so you can see it and keep that goal of yours in front of you. And because when you go to grab that leftover can of mild cheddar cheese dip (mmmmmm…cheese… my weakness) or box of pepperoni pizza, you’ll think twice because you’ll remember you’ve got a run to do early the next day and that kind of food won’t sit well in the morning. And don’t underestimate that little sense of satisfaction you get from marking off, checking off or coloring in that little box on your calendar or running schedule when you complete a run. It seems like a silly little thing, but wait until you miss a run. That little uncheck, marked or colored box will haunt you. You’ll never want to leave one again.

**************************************************************************************So there you go. Three tips. All that’s left for you to do now is….GO RUN!

**GASP** An actual short post...I think

I guess I have to write it first to be certain this will be short now don't I?

So we hit the big 100. Actually 102, YAHOO! Welcome to the new followers, please feel free to comment, vent, or lavish glowing praises upon the running moms of the world at anytime :-)

So as promised, let's give something away!

But what? Hmmmm.....

I've got a few ideas I'm mulling around with here. But let me pose the question to the crew (fyi: that would be you reading this post), what would you all like? No sense in giving something away that nobody wants, so leave me a comment. What would the best running mom blog giveaway be? What do you want? And don't just say nap, because you know I can't just be hopping on a plane and flying around somewhere just to do a little babysitting. Wait...if I were to hop on a plane, that might buy me a little time to take a nap too. Win Win. Maybe I should rethink this?

Leave me your best suggestions or funniest. Whatever. I'm not picky.

'Till next time....

P.S. Tomorrow morning I'm running in a duathlon relay with my dad. Woohoo! 5K run, 20K bike, 5K run (I'd be the runner). Wish us luck! We're team On a Whim because that's pretty much how this all got thrown together. Should be interesting! It's a first for us both.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 Rules for Port-A-Potties Pre Race

Because, quite frankly, there needs to be some.

Yes, we all look patient and civil, one might even consider us a friendly bunch, as we wait in line for our turn, but let's face it. Deep down where the fear of missing the start of our race resides, we're all just a heartbeat away from vicious angry mob.

So here's what I propose:

1. Pre-race, port-a-potties near the start are for runners only. While your support is sincerely appreciated and we know how desperately you would like to see your loved one as the starting gun goes off, time concerns are not exactly as pressing for you as the people who are actually trying to run in the race. Look for someplace farther away from the starting line to take care of your business. Or...hold it. It won't take long for the runners to be off and guess what? You won't have to wait in line.

2. Men who are only peeing are not allowed. Sorry guys, but really when's the last time you saw someone handed a ticket for public urination at the start of a race? And it's not like there's any shortage of police OR perps on race day even in big cities where there might be a lack of peeable trees and shrubs. In fact, I think races should seriously consider designating special peeing areas for men to get a few more of them out of line and speed things up a bit. Maybe a little Men's Room sign near a particularly bushy area. Perhaps a stick figure illustration near the woods. Something to encourage those humble discreet privacy seeking fellas that it's ok to step out of line at least on race days.

3. Port-a-potties should be spaced in groups or 2 or 3. This would prevent the inevitable competition that ensues when a free port-a-potty opens up between lines. At least, there is some dawdling, perhaps only a few seconds, but a few seconds nonetheless as those on deck try to discern through looks and head nods which line's turn it is. At worst, it is all out war as each line looks out for their own best interest trying to out sprint each other to the free potty regardless of which line got it last. Besides, this would also help prevent the unfortunate turn of events should one line get stuck in neutral due to a person doing God only knows what behind that green door. That unlucky line would still have one or two others to fall back on.

4. Cutting in line is punishable by disqualification of your race. Do I need to say more?

5. When the toilet paper runs out, you MUST notify the next person in line who will then have the option of either proceeding without or passing their turn to the next in line and waiting for the next available port-a-potty. SUBSECTION A: If the port-a-potty next to the one you are about to use is out of toilet paper, don't pretend like you don't know or it's not your problem. Help your fellow runner out! Grab a wad and pass it over before you close the door. Really, it's just common decency.
6. If you mess up the seat, you clean it up. It is just not right to stand in line for 15-20 minutes, then not be able to use the actual port-a-potty you waited for because apparently someone's insides exploded. Just not right. In fact, for these culprits, I propose if identified, they then are required to stand next to the scene of the crime with a sign that says "I did this." Until the race has started AND they have cleaned up their mess. I don't even like dealing in my kids' poop. I certainly don't want to deal in some random unknown adult's.

7. All port-a-potties should have lights inside of them. Because races start early and a lot of times, it's still dark. And if you happen to have the distinct pleasure of following a Rule #6 breaker, trust me, you're going to want to have lights in there. Otherwise, be prepared to lose your socks to clean yourself off with. (Really, just ask my mom).

8. No dawdling. Not in line. Not in the pot. None. Ever. Move it or lose it. When you're #1 in line cut the chit chat to a minimum and watch for an opening.

9. All races should be chip timed. (which would eliminate the need for a lot of these rules.)

10. Hmmm....Ok I don't really have 10, but it seemed weird to stop at 9. So I'll save this spot for you because I'm sure I missed something that one of you keen observers can help me out with. Feel free to leave me your rule in the comments and perhaps, just perhaps, this will go viral and we'll revolutionize pre-race prep forever.

Although, I'll just settle for being able to go home from all races with the same socks I wore there.

'Til next time...

P.S. Look! We've almost got 100 people following along with us now! We should celebrate. I'm thinking giveaway. Once we have 100 followers, let's have a giveaway. So what do you all want to win? I'm open to ideas.

P.P.S. Sorry for my virtual absence as of late, been working on a little surprise for you all during my usual I've got a free minute now think I'll post to my blog times. Keep peeking in and you'll see it soon :-) Also marathon announcement coming soon!

P.P.S. Peeable...not actually a word. Who knew?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sacred Bib Pins



Aren't they just gorgeous? Blurry yes, but what's not blurry at 6:30 in the morning?

You will notice, however, that there's only **GASP** 3. I dropped one in the seat of the car and as my mom made a move to do I don't know what, rescue maybe the other three, a voice came out of me that I'm not familiar with. This is how I know that bib pins must be sacred. For a moment, I sounded possessed.

"DON'T TOUCH MY BIB PINS!" I growled at her for fear that I would lose another. I could survive on three, but one or two meant I would be forced to run with a bib flopping around for 13 miles and THAT is surely enough to drive even the most well adjusted person, insane. Since I frequently find myself teetering on the edge anyhow, surely another missing bib pin would be enough to push me over.

Thankfully, the missing pin was recovered so there were no free flowing corners for me on race day at the Martian 1/2, but I now have two burning questions. First off, why do we even have to wear bibs anyway? Most races are chip timed. So it's not like we need them to determine finishing times or positions. Is it solely for the race pictures? Because honestly, I could do without. They're usually not my finest photos and besides I have Madelyn to take pictures for me. You saw her masterpieces yesterday. And it certainly can't be just to verify that someone has paid for or registered for a race, because I know plenty of unregistered runners who slip in and never get challenged by a race official (more on that in a post to come). I actually ran the whole 1/2 without a visible bib myself. I had expected to strip down three layers to a short sleeve shirt, but ended up only shedding two and running with long sleeves the whole time. My bib was on my innermost layer. Nobody batted an eye though when they handed me my medal.

So what's the deal here? Are we really just forced to deal with these paper nuisances because of a long standing running tradition that no longer serves a purpose like that story of the woman who always cuts the ends off her pot roast because that's what her mother did, but her mother only did it because her crock pot was small and the roast wouldn't fit? (it's from one of those chain emails, maybe not even true, but you get my point). I mean just think of all the paper and pins we'd save! Maybe race entry fees could come down a little bit from the cost cutting. Ok maybe that'd only save like a buck a runner, but it'd be one less thing to think about on race day anyway.

But if we just must there's no getting around it wear bibs, then here's my second question: Why can't we have sticky bibs? You know, ones that you could just peel off the back and slap on. No pins required. They could even be re-stickable so that you can put them on your top layer, peel them off and stick them on your bottom layer when you get hot and need to rid yourself of some excess clothing. I mean for crying out loud we've got fabric that wicks the sweat from our bodies and shoes that can talk to our ipods, but nobody can come up with a sticky bib? And if it is out there somewhere and I just haven't been in one of those races yet, why oh why hasn't it caught on? Maybe we should demand it. Show up to races not wearing our bibs with signs that say "Pins Prick Bibs Should Stick" chanting "stick y bibs stick y bibs!" Then refuse to run until we get them.

Alright, alright. You got me. Nobody's refusing to run over a bib here. But let me tell you this, if there was a race in my area that had sticky bibs, I'd run that sucker every single year. Well... as long as the course wasn't super hilly, they gave out medals, had cool shirts, post race refreshments, on course aid...

Something to think about.

'Til next time...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Martian 1/2 Marathon Photos & Runfam results

So the thing about me running and my husband watching the girls, one of whom would take off on her own little run if the slightest opportunity to make a break for it presented itself, is that there's not a lot of pictures of me actually running the race. It's not necessarily the easiest feat in the world snapping photos while holding the little baby tiger that happens to be my 1 1/2 year old especially since we've discovered she's not only a runner, but an aspiring photographer to boot.

But he was able to snap this one. I'm almost at mile 13. Perhaps you can pick me out by the Divas and my magnificently white socks.
I'd be the one in the pink shirt with the black tights that I REALLY didn't want to wear because they don't really fit me very well anymore. They're kind of getting big (yay!) which ironically has pretty much the same effect as the tights that are just a little too small on my 4 year old, but I refuse to buy another pair because tight wearing weather should be over in my opinion. It puts the crotch of the tights about mid thigh instead of where it's supposed to go, so your forced to keep tugging them up all the time or else adjust your stride to a waddle. I thought I was going to get to wear my skirt but, it was only mid-upper 30's at start time. Bummer. I'd be smiling (really that's a smile, but I don't have much left in me so that's all I can muster) because I just gave my husband and the girls the thumbs up. I knew that goal was coming smashing down at this point.

But here's the rest of the pictures my husband took or rather Madelyn tried to take of me running. There's this one of the people behind me:

And then...oh look! Some trees...


But he did manage to capture my sister just about to finish her first ever half marathon!

Doesn't she look awesome? I nearly hyperventilated when I caught up with her at the turn around point. I gave her a pat on the back and told her we were half way there and suddenly was overwhelmed with pride for what my little sis, and FANTASTIC running mom was about to accomplish. I started to cry a little bit. Not so good when you're in the middle of a half marathon and your breathing is a little heavier then normal. All I could think of was great, now she's going to have to stop when she sees I've passed out on the side of the road. Fortunately, I was able to pull it back together.

And just FYI: Runsis not only completed her first 1/2 marathon which was goal #1. But she ran a whole 13 minutes faster than she set for goal #2. Woohoo! But I'll give you one guess what she's already thinking... "I know I can do it faster." Oh and did I mention she's only been running since last June? Stellar performance sis!

And as for my mom, Runnana: That's her crossing the finish line, after which she'd be collecting her age group award in the 5K! She finished 5th and won herself a nice little light up martian key chain. And to answer your question...YES! There were more than 5 people in her age group! This was not an award by default. She acutally had to beat out 11 other ladies to take home the prize and all the glory. Best part...she wasn't even really trying. She actually ran part of her race while holding hands with my 4 year old. So yep, I think it's fair to say my kids have the fastest Grandma around these parts! Nice work mom!

And how 'bout a little bit of the support team eh? My Dad and the baby tiger...

Here's the girls looking for me. Madelyn's ready with fluids, just in case I need it:


And ok I've got a couple more for you, but since blogger is frustrating me right now and I'm in dire need of a snack I'll save it for later. There's no posting for me on an empty stomach.
'Til next time...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Running Nuns, Abducted Aliens & Why Runners Are Weird...My 1/2

For starters...

I DID IT!!!

I broke 2 hours in the 1/2 marathon. Woooooooohooooooo! Officially 1:58:22 at the Martian 1/2 Marathon this weekend. Despite the cold a couple weeks back that put me out of commision during the worst possible time of training and the lack of miles on my last few long runs, somehow I was able to dig down, waaaaaaaay down and gut those last three miles out.

Here's the splits for those who care, scroll on for those who don't:

Mile 1- 9:16 (little faster than intended, but figured I'd roll with it)

Mile 2- 9:19

Mile 3- 9:01

Mile 4- 8:59

Mile 5- 9:09

Mile 6 - 9:01

Mile 7 - 8:48

Mile 8 - 8:46

Mile 9 - 8:50

Mile 10- 8:51

Mile 11 - 9:26 (starting to get real tough here)

Mile 12 - 9:02 (this mile had to have more downhills then 11, because I swear this was the worst mile EVER. I have no idea how it was faster than 11. At one point, I yelled at the dude in the Martian shirt "where the heck are those stinkin' Martians?" They were used as mile markers and I could have sworn some super fastie decided to play a joke and swipe Alien numero 12. It felt like that mile would never end. Fortunately, they were right around the corner.)

Mile 13- 8:56 (one more small yet somehow still painful hill, then downhill to the finish)

.1 - 0:51


Honest to goodness it was you guys, well...you guys or the nuns that got me through this race. That's right folks nuns and not just any nuns mind you, running nuns. And not even just any running nuns, but nuns who run in the desert in full habit. Swear. Have a look. Click here to see one of the good sisters running.

You see a couple of weeks back, on a whim, my sister-in-law asked me if I'd shadow run* for these nuns, The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, who are trying to build a chapel in the desert of Arizona. They're raising money by running. I never mentioned it here, because it all kind of happened fast and just about the time I was getting sick. In fact, the day that we did the shadow run was the first day I conked out on a long run due to that nasty upper respiratory bug. But my sister-in-law got down to business and turns out, she rose enough money to make our team the top fundraiser (Go Teri!) for which we received a bunch of free shirts, medals, a lovely letter, and the promise of an entire day of prayer dedicated to our intentions. Half jokingly, I asked my sister-in-law if they could pray for my race because I was seriously going to need a miracle to get through it. Being the giving sister-in-law she is, she went right ahead and asked. The nuns not only obliged, but promised we would see God manifested in my race results. And of course, my only thought on hearing this a couple of days before the race was...crap, now even God is expecting me to do well.

But besides having the pressure of GOD HIMSELF on me in those final three miles, three miles that I had not been able to work up to in my training (I had only got up to 10 miles on my long run) there was also you guys to contend with. I was seriously tanking on mile 12, but just kept going, "COME ON KELLY! You can NOT go back and report on your blog ANOTHER missed goal. It's time to hit one baby!" (yeah...that's right... I often refer to myself as baby during races or on particularly difficult runs. I'm also not above using expletives when necessary. Silently in my head of course, but foul mouthed nonetheless).

Somehow, someway...I got through. And when I finished all I could think of despite my absolute and utter exhaustion was, I know I could do this faster. And right there, that's where it is. We're weird.

I mean think about it for a minute. We get up at 5AM on a Saturday morning, drive 1/2 an hour (or more) dressed in the least amount of clothes we can possibly handle despite the almost freezing temperature, then stand in a line bouncing around to keep warm at a port-a-potty for a good 15-20 minutes in attempt to perfectly time that last trip to the pot. We then run X number of miles during which at various times, we mentally wrestle with throwing in the towel and perhaps even wonder why we signed up to do it in the first place. But still after physically exhausting ourselves, the very minute it's over, I mean before the timing chip is even cut off our shoe, we start planning the next race.

Even when I ran my first marathon and could barely manage to walk across the finish line, as they wrapped that space blanket around me, I was already thinking about what I could have done diffrently to finish faster. A normal person, would probably have been thinking about oh...I don't know...ice bags, being carried to the car, perhaps some other use for running shoes. But not me. Good race or bad, for some reason I can't help but want to go faster, see if I can improve my performance. And I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not alone in this. Yes, there may be some of you out there who run just for the sheer and utter enjoyment, but I hear the talk around the finish line. If there's one thing the good majority of us have in common, no matter whether you're a super elite fastie pants or a huff and puff back of the packer, we've all got this inner desire to do better, run stronger, faster, or further. And it's something alot of people out there, just don't get. It's weird.

But maybe weird isn't exactly the right word. I prefer...exceptional. Yep, that's what I'm going with. And I happen to like us that way :-)

'Til next time...

P.S. I HAVE MORE TO REPORT. Big news from both my mom and my sister's races. They both did great! I've also got pictures to upload, a race review for you and of course along with races come funny stories. So be looking for posts in the next couple of days about things like rules for port-a-potties, sacred bib pins, and in particular I've got a FOR WOMEN ONLY post coming in the days ahead about a topic that needs to be seriously addressed but few dare to bring it up. I'm going there. So brace yourself.

P.P.S. Before I am struck by a bolt of lightning, it would probably be a good idea to thank the Big Man upstairs for his help on race day making the goal achievable. So thank-you Lord! And although they are not quite capable of controlling forces of nature that could render me obsolete, I'd also like to thank my mom & dad, my husband, my friend Maura, the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and anybody else who offered up a prayer for me on race day. How could I have not hit that goal with you all covering me with your prayers! Thank-you so very much! You all get a piece of this little victory too!

*Shadow run would be running a race not actually at the race, but wherever you happen to be. We couldn't make it to AZ, so we ran our race here in MI on the same day the AZ race was going on for the nuns.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dear treadmill...



Dear Treadmill,

This letter is long over due. Aside from one little tune up, you have faithfully executed your duties without so much as even a minor complaint without fail for 4 years now.

You've been with me through 3 marathons, 2 soon to be 3 halfs, and a slew of other races. You've accompanied me on runs far greater I'm sure than your creators ever intended, many runs 15 miles or more, even one 20 mile run when the weather just refused to cooperate. Despite these unholy distances for a treadmill, you stuck with me stride for stride only stopping mere seconds to catch your breath at 100 minutes as I reset the console.

But you've tolerated with just as much grace those days when running just wasn't in the cards. You were ready to do your job, but I wasn't ready to do mine. Kids, injury, illness or a desperate need for sleep got in the way. Just as quickly as I hit the start button, I would step off leaving you with no runner to train.

When on occasion I'd bring along a certain uninvited 4 year old guest whom you certainly knew would hamper our run, you never complained and your ability to maintain composure under the pressure of that child's waning attention span is nothing less than impressive. From maternity clothes to skinny jeans, you've seen me through without accolades, medals, your own technical race t-shirt or even so much as even a thank-you. Never once have you had the opportunity to cross the finish line yourself, yet still you are satisfied.

But I fear now that the end may be near. This morning when I stepped on for my last run before the half this weekend, your belt was slipping and not just a little. After two attempts at running, the risk of injury from unstable footing was far too great. I hope you understand, I was forced to run outdoors.

Perhaps this was just a fluke. Or perhaps you too are in need of rest from time to time. Maybe just another tune up is in order. I don't know. But if our time together is drawing to a close, and you're ready to go onto to that great fitness center in the sky, please know I will think back fondly on our time together. I'll never forget your dual cup holders, your in-console fans, and your hill mimicking incline. I'll carry memories of your teeny little track with me always.

Rest assured my dear friend, when that time finally comes, I'll do my best to move on and find some other treadmill. Not right away of course, but I know you'd want it that way. It'll be hard and no treadmill will ever be the same, but in your honor, I'll find the strength... **sniff sniff**... somehow.

Sincerely yours,
Your Running Friend,
Kelly

P.S. I can give you next week off as I take it easy recovering from the half with just a few short runs I can squeak in outdoors, but then I need to get back to it. So not to be pushy or anything, but I'd really like to know if you're salvageable by the end of next week. Thanks.



Monday, April 5, 2010

Adventures in Cross Training

This post is dedicated to my darling dear sweet sister despite the fact that she completely left me hanging in my desperate time of need this evening.

I should have known it was going to be a little weird when I left the house for the pool this evening and one of my neighbors was watering the street. Grown adult seemingly sensible type neighbor. Weird. Can not imagine exactly why the street needed watering.

Anyhow...plan for swimming goes like this. Escape my house the moment my kids' heads hit their pillows. Swim a 1/2 mile before my mom and sister show up. Give them a 1/2 hour swim lesson. Swim another 1/2 mile. And voila! I have cross trained.

Tonight however, I was just about to push off on my 2nd 1/2 mile when things began to happen. Fortunately a lane had cleared up because a couple of floaters (really that's all they were doing) decided to stopping hogging two lanes and go make out in the corner of the pool (sorry lifeguards. I know that sucks, but it worked to my advantage so I'm kind of glad they went on their merry way. There was no swimming around these people or sharing lanes with them if you catch my drift). My mom & sister were going to practice some of the skills they'd just learned in my lane to be near the wall so as to reduce their chances of drowning since that would afterall reflect poorly on me, their swim teacher. But this old dude shows up and looking very confused with goggles in hand, gets partially in the lane and stares at us. Since we were in the first lane near the stairs, I just figured he was entering there and would move to another lane, so I just smiled and nodded. He smiled back. Then I started swimming my first lap. Once I hit the wall and turned around, I learned my assumption was incorrect. For there was this big mess of water heading my way near the center of the lane which happened to be breaststroking (kind of) so frogishlike legs were going EVERYWHERE. Needless to say I hugged the lane line on the way back down.

But for some unexplainable reason I felt obligated to stay there, like I might offend him if I moved. I mean after all he had looked confused and I was the one that offered they hey why don't you swim here welcoming smile. So I stayed...and swam as fast as I could with no breaks. Surprisingly it felt really good. So much so that when I headed to the wall for my last turn, I was feeling a bit pumped up. I could see the fit little Asian man who wears funny looking things on his hands (that I know somehow give him a distinct advantage) just a couple of body lengths ahead and I thought to myself "no way dude...I am sooo gonna catch you." I did AND I knocked a good 5 minutes off my 1/2 mile swim. Boo ya.

However the by far weirdest thing that happened all night was the bare naked middle aged woman in the locker room. I realize in a locker room people change their clothes thus from time to time there is nakedness. Still I am a fan of the discreet. I change my clothes in a stall or behind a curtain or slyly one body part at a time while the rest is covered with a towel. And I generally keep my eyes on what I'm doing. Not this lady. While my mom and sister laughed their you know what's off in another section of the locker room, I was stuck alone while this woman bared completely all and decided to befriend me.

"Are you going to make it home for the game?" was her opening line as her towel dropped to reveal her bare bottom. I literally had no idea what she was talking about or even who she was talking to. I was just tying my shoes. Upon realizing no one was responded, I looked up. And there was a$$ right in front of my face and nobody else in sight. "Uhh...what game?" I asked. "You know, the big game. Final four." Right. Basketball. I could care less. And now her towel had dropped even more. "Yeah. Probably. I'm sure my husband's going to be watching it." Then, suddenly and without warning the towel was gone. I have no idea what else she said to me or what I said back. I only know that I was talking really REALLY loud as if somehow someone anyone (hmmm....like my sister or my mom) would come and rescue me. But no one came.

At this point I had already finished packing my back pack. I was totally dressed. But this naked lady basketball fan just kept talking and asking me questions. AND WHY WOULDN'T SHE PUT CLOTHES ON? Is it just me or is it slightly bizarre to have an entire conversation with someone you've never met before fully facing them while you are completely naked?

I finally managed to end the conversation with something like well you have a great night and then proceeded to turn around and walk away from the exit to go around the benches since this lady was blocking my quickest escape. My sister sees me come out of that section of the locker room and follows me out into the hallway. The minute we get out there, I turn to look at her and she is cracking up. "She was totally naked!" I said. To which my sister replied, "I know. I saw her." (Saw her and hid!) Later she would inform me that that seems to be the naked side of the locker room where women like to just be free and let it all hang out. Sometimes I wish I was a little more like that, but I think for now I'll just use a locker on the we divert our eyes and don't talk until we're all fully clothed side of the locker room.

And as for Miss Funnypants, A.K.A. my sister, I'm going to remember this and if you are ever faced with your very own friendly locker room nude don't even try to talk loud cause I ain't bailing you out. In fact, if I see that lady again, I'm going to tell her just what a HUGE basketball fan you are.

Well...that is of course only if I can recognize her with her clothes on...

'Til next time...

P.S. If anybody's having trouble posting a comment or has to post it twice to get it to show up, let me know. I changed the settings around a little bit and my mom said she couldn't post a comment the other day, but she wasn't sure if she did something wrong. THANKS!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The not so long run

Wait...let me check my running schedule again. Speed work...cross training...tempo run...cross training...off day...long run. Just like I thought. Didn't see "not so long run" on there anywhere.

Somehow though, that seems to be exactly the way my brain read the schedule for Thursday. What started out as a 12 mile long run wound up being all of 6 miles before I called in the cavalry to come pick me up. Well, I suppose technically it was 7 since I had to walk a mile to the pick up location where my sister and her half dressed son rescued me (why was he half dressed? Oh...don't you worry I'm getting to that.)

Now brace yourself because here's the point where I leave you with nine thousand reasons why this doesn't reflect in anyway poorly on me nor will it be an indicator of my half marathon just one week away. For starters this was my first long run since I got hit with the upper respiratory bug...cough, cough...which still doesn't seem to have entirely left my system (hence the coughing). Next there was the massive lack of sleep for no apparent reason (other than I've heard insomnia's floating around so perhaps I caught that too ;-) the night before which was followed by a more chaotic than usual morning that consisted of me running all over God's green earth like a chicken with my head cut off (you can thank my grandpa for that analogy) for any number of should be easy to find items that ended up being nearly impossible to find.

And then there was the heat. Now my husband warned me it was going to get hot, but I blew him off. I mean how hot could it get in Michigan on the first day of April for crying out loud? It was near freezing earlier in the week. Besides I had only one free spot in my day to squeak in a long run and that was mid afternoon about 1:30ish. After all I'd run in much hotter weather last summer and my trail is shady anyway. It would be cooler in the shade.

Except I forgot one very important thing. In order for the trees to properly fulfill their duty as support team for runners, they must be properly equipped which currently they are not. For you can have no shade, when you have no LEAVES!

Ugh. It was so hot AND windy. Which doesn't seem to go together I know, but nonetheless did. I almost felt like I couldn't breathe at times (although that could also have been the virus or some combo of the two. Who knows?) Now the first mile was great, 9:30 min/mile pace. Which is good for me because usually I can't get loose enough to run that until mile three or so. I'll start closer to 10 minutes. But already by mile 2, the heat hit me and the very life was being sucked out of my legs. Seriously, they couldn't have felt any heavier if my kids had snuck out and decided to go for a little ride each one hanging on to a leg.

By 3 miles, I was zapped for energy but I was coaxing myself on with the thought of a gel at mile 5. Which was no where near the reward it should have been since I didn't rinse out my water bottle enough after washing it, so I basically chased my gel with dish soap. AWESOME.

I was practically walking that 6th mile and made the executive decision that another 6 was probably not going to be so good especially if I was going to have anything left in me to watch my girlies the rest of the day, part of which was going to include wrestling my toddler through a church service.

That's when I called for my sister, accompanied by my shirtless nephew to rescue me. Shirtless because it was so freaking hot. It was nearly 84 degrees. I kid not. And not to be a wah wah whiner about it, but the warmest temp I've run in outdoors since last fall has been oh something in the low 40's and most of my runs are inside on a treadmill in the basement where the running conditions are always optimal and the temperature is a cool 60-65 degrees.

But whatever my problem was on Thursday, it is what it is. There's not much I can do about it in 7 days to salvage my goal for this half. So here's the revised plan: I'm gonna just see how it goes on race day. If things are looking good and I'm feeling alright, I'm going to push it that second half to see what I can do. If my lack of training due to illness bites me in the butt or some crazy unseasonable heat wave strikes at 7am, I'm just gonna go out and have a nice sloooooow easy long run on a pretty course. There'll be other races and it's not like I have anything to prove. In fact, I'm a running mother. I think that proves plenty.

Ten miler for me tomorrow morning (you know morning, when it's nice and cool) and my friend Katie is running her first 5K! (Woohoo! Have a great race Katie girl! You're gonna do great!) Then the festivities for Easter begin. So just in case I don't pop in with another blog post before, I hope you and your family have a very blessed Easter! May the Cadbury Eggs abound!

'Til next time...