Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Running is changing me...

I know, today is Tempo Tuesday, and I did my tempo run, but I have been wanting to share some feelings I have been having lately instead. 

I'm physically changing, and that's fantastic, but this is something more.  I'm changing on the inside. 

I feel...peaceful...open...happy...the list goes on and on.  This isn't something I really expected and the scientific gal in me says this is endorphins, but it feels like more.  It's carrying over into everything I do.  I have spent a better part of my life being critical of myself and others in my head.  I would often say that if you are happy with yourself and content with your beliefs, then you are ok with other people having their own feelings and beliefs, but yet I would still struggle with feeling like I was "right" or I knew the "correct" way of doing things.

This is changing!  I find that the more I push myself with running and the more I am amazed at what I can do, the more I believe is possible in the world.  I feel like my mind and heart are opening to so many things.  I'm not necessarily changing any of my own beliefs, not at all, but I'm not so worried about anyone else and know that there are many paths.   I feel like judging myself and others less is making my heart open to life. 

I have noticed how this thinking is changing my reactions to things.  Yesterday someone was driving REALLY close behind me b/c I was passing on the highway (and I guess I wasn't passing fast enough).  I immediately felt that super-frustrated-annoying feeling start to take over, but instead of letting it take over, I just acknowledged it and let it go.  I got over and went on with my day.  I realized that I am often so easily frustrated by little things and that thinking negative thoughts all the time (regardless of how little) was just a vicious cycle.

and so I feel like talking and focusing on joyful things and the many blessings in my life!  I feel calmer, more peaceful, happier...and I know that this has come from my running.  This morning during my run I was grasping for a word to describe what I feel like when I'm running and it popped into my head.  Mindful.  I feel like running is making me more mindful and present in the here and now and somehow this is translating to PEACE for me.  I'm not even sure if I can properly express it, but that's why I'm blogging about it, right?  ;)

What has running done for YOU? 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday ride

I had this whole blog post in my head about this change that is happening to me from running, but it's just going to have to wait until a rainy day.  Today was too gorgeous not to get out there.  Rey and I decided to go for a bike ride, he even posed for a picture!

Yep, this is my life.

Actually, he did oblige and actually smiled in one of them!  That is a rare thing.  I haven't shared much about my partner in crime for the last 22 years.  He's my best friend and confidant and my biggest cheerleader.   I suspect he would put on a cheerleader costume if I asked him to.  It was a gorgeous day for a ride and I wanted to show him the wooded trail that Dallas and I found last year.

First we had some business!  This weekend is the St. James Sip-n-Savor.  This is the end-all-be-all in my little town.  What isn't perfect about tasting tons of wines and beer?   Seriously,  this really is the only event my town of 4000 throws annually that I can get on board with.  It's the one time of year I can walk into town and feel like I'm transported somewhere NOT in the middle of nowhere.  We literally walk up there (that's how close I live to Main Street) ...makes it easier to stumble walk back home afterwards!  Lots of wine to taste. 

The point is, I had to go pick up my ticket!  So first we rode up to the Chamber of Commerce to get my golden ticket for wine!

After getting my ticket, we headed towards the trail that I wanted to show Rey.  It's a fantastic trail, but some of it is gravel, it is VERY hilly, and in the end you have to climb this 1-2 mile stretch of road to get back up to near where we live.   I really can drag a post out, can't I?  It's ok, I'm feeling a little nervous about this post since all these awesome people liked my page yesterday.  I'm feeling a little blog-pressure to perform!  LOL

It was just as beautiful as I remember it, I think I'm ready to run it!   I have avoided it because all the way round trip, including huge hills, it's about 8 miles.  I do think I could run part of it and turn around though.  I said to Rey,  "It feels like we are in the middle of the woods!  I love this!" and he replied, "That's because we ARE in the middle of the woods."  LOL.   They really did just make a path through the woods.  It's so beautiful.

When we got to the end of the path, you are dumped in a valley where you are forced to turn around and go back up or go straight and go up a road.  Either way, it's massively hilly, so my legs are properly cross trained today!  A few pictures of the scenery and PART of the hill, looking down.

Shew!  We had to walk the bikes a couple times.  Rey told me to go ahead at one point but I wasn't going to leave him.  The great thing is that now he thinks I'm some sort of cardio-goddess...and that can never be a bad thing for your husband to think, right? ;)

It was a fantastic ride and so nice to spend time together in the sunshine! I am normally thinking about running the whole time when I cross train, but today I really just enjoyed biking.  It was nice!

 I promise that my deep thoughts on how running is changing me on the inside will be coming soon.

Do you like cross training?  What's your favorite cross training activity? 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

End of the week

I finished up my runs for the week this morning with a 4 mile run.  I did 13.18 miles this week.  How did I get to a place where that doesn't sound like much???  Oh well, that's how it feels and this blog is meant to be a place where I journal how things feel, right?  I am looking forward to eventually adding a 4th run to my weeks, but I'm unsure when I'll do that.  Right now I'm just doing what feels right!

I broke in my purple Brooks PureFlows today.  I've had them for a while, purchased right after I bought my first pair(that I wear on most my runs), but I have just walked in them and not run until today.  Oh and my new blue Pro Compression socks!  I'm not ashamed to admit that I got them in baby blue because they will work for my Cinderella outfit for the Princess!  LOL...yep, already planning that costume over 9 months out!

They were fine, but those tongues on the Pure Flows slip around so much.  I'm not sure what I will do after these 2 pair wear out, I have my eyes on the Altra Torins though.  Anyone have them?  I haven't read great things about the Pure Flow 2's, so I'm doubtful that I will go that direction.  I need some minimalist shoes with low to zero drop but cushion and WIDE. 

Before I ramble off into a shoe post, I'll stop!

It was drizzly and misty this morning, but a nice temperature and I ran at a comfortable pace for my end-of-the-week run.  I was in my head a bit this morning though, couldn't quite relax and just let go of all my thoughts.  I love getting into that near meditative feeling while running, but it didn't really ever arrive this morning.  I was too busy trying to slow myself down, it was supposed to be an "easy" run, after all.  4 miles in 43:47.

Oh, also, I went over my calendar and tried to see if I could find a race for every month.   I have quite a few already, August and September will be the hardest to get one in, I think.  I have a couple friends that are thinking of doing the Princess as well and I'm excited to share the experience with them!  One of them lives about 4 hours from me, so we are thinking of meeting half way for a training run at some point over the summer and maybe even a race! 

That's all I got!  Hope everyone had a nice week/weekend!

How about you?  Questions I have for you...

What kind of shoes do you wear?  Any suggestions for me on the minimalist front? 

 Do you ever just chatter too much in your head when running?  Do you like to think a lot or do you like to zone out/meditate when running? 

Have you ever trained for a big race with a friend or friends?  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge for Losing my Glass Slippers?!?!?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  I knew it was coming, I prepared for it.  I convinced myself that it was for the best that I didn't even consider a 10K followed by a half marathon, but when the announcement hit this morning, I considered it anyway!

Run Disney Announcement: A New Race Challenge & a Coast to Coast Medal

Yep, RunDisney announced a new 10K race the day before the Princess Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge for doing both back-to-back.   For those of you that don't want to do the math, that's 6.2 miles on Saturday, followed by 13.1 miles the next day.  19.3 miles. 

Shew, when I look at that number, it subdues me a little.  But oh getting 2 race medals AND an inaugural third medal for the Glass Slipper Challenge?!?!?  *swoon*  WHY does my blog have to be so ironically named when it comes to this challenge?!?!  

The Coast to Coast challenge sounds fantastic as well, but not nearly as tempting (uh, hello...all I can think of is the price of coast to coast trips!) Look at the bling though!


After getting excited and considering it, I still arrived at the same conclusion that I did before the announcement.  I'm not ready.  Not in the way I want to be, at least.  I think in 9+ months time I could probably "pull it off" but that's not what this journey is about for me.  I don't just want to struggle through that half marathon and barely finish.  I want to train and grow strong and run it with the pride and knowledge that I worked hard and the race is really just the reward for all the training. 

I am also going to try to remember this isn't instant gratification and if I am patient and just do the Half in February 2014...then I will be ready to do the Glass Slipper Challenge the following year in 2015!  This means MORE DISNEY!  ;)

So, let me live vicariously through you!  Are you going to run the 10K, the PHM, or take the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2014?!?  What about the Coast-to-Coast? 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Broccoli Knees

Oh yea, you get to read through all my rambling before you find out what THAT means!  ;)

Today was a long run.  I have been looking forward to it and dreading it for different reasons.  I was looking forward to it because I wanted to run 6 miles in hopes that it would alleviate my nerves about registering for the 10K in June!  I was not looking forward to it b/c my trusty running partner is having some issues lately.  He doesn't read this blog, but I guess if he ever ran across it, I'm not sharing anything that is too personal.  I hope. 

Dallas has been having a string of "bad runs".  From the outside, it looks like he's getting in his head a bunch and expecting perfection.  Maybe he expects too much, but I don't think that is all that's going on.  He doesn't care for running outside and has run his longest miles on the treadmill.  He ran 6 miles about 2 weeks ago and now cannot seem to even get to 3 without stopping with some issue.  His shins will bother him, he will get bad stitches in his sides or he will just say he can't go any further.  I have tried to support him and I'm just unsure what to say or do, this morning he actually said that I was NOT helping by talking to him about how you can get in your head.  *sigh*

So, after having run on the treadmill twice, I urged him to run long outside with me just once this week.  I parked in the middle of the trail (paved) that we were running so that we could run out 1.5 and then back so we could grab a drink at 3 miles from the car and then run the other direction for another 3.  We started off slow, but I was determined to keep the pace really slow so he didn't feel he was pushing too much.  It was much slower than I have been running, around 11:30-11:45 pace.  I even got a picture while running!  My least blurry run-shot yet.  They are usually a blurry mess, but I've been practicing. (gotta be able to take pictures during the PHM...I plan ahead!) ;)

It was a chilly start, but I was getting in my groove and warming up  as we headed back for the 2nd 1.5 miles.  Then, around 2.68, he stopped.  (I stopped the Garmin too)  He had a stomach ache and needed to go to the bathroom.  I suggested we drive to the gas station and then finish the other 3 miles, but he didn't want to.  Said his run was ruined, that he needed more treadmill work, he couldn't run outside...he was just so defeated and I felt so bad. 

I drove him home and 20 minutes later I hit the start up button on the Garmin and continued my run, just at home in our neighborhood.  Oooooh, it hurt!  I guess that 15-20 minutes it took to drive home and head back out really did a number on my legs b/c I was pretty sore starting back up.  I really needed to do this though, so I just decided to enjoy my run and not look at the Garmin for a while.  No worries about pace or distance, just running.  I think I had a permanent grin most of the time and eventually the soreness left me and I just enjoyed the sunshine! 

When I got close to 5 miles I realized that I had not really drank anything and had definitely not refueled for this long run.  Uh-oh.  Well, too late now, I was nearly there!  I pushed through and headed back towards home and I think I hit the wall!  It was funny b/c in my head it went something like this:

"Is this the wall?"
"Yep, I think this is the wall."
"wait, you aren't supposed to be excited about hitting the wall"
"but I can blog about it!"
"Ugh. I don't think I can go another inch.  It's like running in mud."
"just keep moving, slow down, but just keep on.  One foot in front of another..."
"I'm totally blogging about this."

I loafed along, thinking I might just passout or trip and fall on my face.  At some point a train went by, I was running parallel to it and the driver honked to me!  I waved and that perked me up and I kept going.  I couldn't cross the tracks because of the train, so I turned around and continued to run, seeing that I was at 6 miles and realizing that I could get to 6.2!

I crossed the tracks after the train was gone and headed towards out driveway, only to end up in the driveway at 6.18.  I was annoyed, but I walked almost a half a mile with Dallas with the Garmin off, so I'm calling it close enough!  LOL

I walked inside, opened the fridge and grabbed my gallon water jug but lost my balance and dropped the jug on the floor, spilling it everywhere and calling out to Rey at the same time.  Down to the floor I went with my water and I just sat and rested. It was probably a little over-dramatic, but  my knees were screaming at me and I just needed to sit for a minute.  I asked Rey for something to put on my knees and he reached  in the freezer and handed me frozen broccoli.  It felt awesome.  

 Rey was determined to get a sweaty picture of me, (I think he thinks I only post good pictures on my blog) so I obliged.  

My knees are still a bit sore this afternoon, but they just feel like I worked them hard, not injured.  I feel like I pushed myself right to my limit and it feels awesome! 

Have you ever had to try and support and lift someone up (figuratively)  when they were having trouble with their running?  What would you do if someone you loved was struggling with running while you were doing the complete opposite and growing in leaps and bounds?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I guess wide-angle Wednesday gets another post because I just need to vent. 

So, I had everything planned out.  I was going to run my first 10K on June 1st, just in time to submit it for my time when I registered for the Princess Half Marathon on June 11th, when registration opens.  You need to submit at least an official 10K time to be placed correctly.  For those of you that don't know the way it works, there are corrals that you are placed in A-H (etc) based on how fast/slow you are.  I won't bore you with details, but the closer to the front corrals you are, the better.  It also helps with spacing out so many people at different levels.  I wouldn't want to be in one of the last corrals because I would be weaving in and around tons of walkers and people slower than me.  I also wouldn't want to be in Corral A and slow people down that are faster than me.  


I live in a very rural area,  I'm actually surprised that we have races at all, but we do have a few.  To give you an idea of how few people in this area run, I won my age division on my first 5K last fall, running a 35 minute 5K! (this is pretty slow)  I had found a 10K listed for June 1st and although they didn't have registration open yet, they had a 5K/10K last year and it was listed as just "not registering yet".  I emailed the event coordinator with absolutely no response.  *sigh*  The chip-timing company that handles registration did respond to my emails, however, and said that they  were just finishing up some details and would be opening registration by the end of the month.  Yay!

Last night I got excited when I hopped over to the site (for the 5th time that day) and found registration OPEN finally!!!!  Yay!...or not.  Read closer, Karen.  ONLY a 5K this year.  womp. womp.  WHAT???  Seriously?

Find another, right?  Well, my job does not lend to driving 100 miles on a Saturday morning for a race.  My busiest times for petsitting are my weekends and it is nearly impossible in the summer months for me to have a Saturday morning off.  I did find a race though. 

June 8th (sheesh, calling that close for the date I want to have that 10K finished!) I found a 10K in St. Louis, 100 miles from me.  Rey and Savannah said they would cover my morning petsits that day, if I have any (which I will) and Dallas is on board to head in with me and run.  Since my Mom lives in St. Louis, she will likely even come to cheer us on.  So why do I have butterflies just thinking about it and feel kind of like this:

I cannot seem to pull the trigger and register us, I have been training for this  run and I know I will be ready, but NOW I'm terrified???  What gives here?  I know part of it is the unknown.  I was comfortable with running a 10K in my town because it's close, convenient, and there didn't seem like a lot of pressure since I know many people in this area are beginners like me.   I seriously feel like I'm going to have a panic attack just sitting here typing this.  I cannot imagine what I'm going to be like when I get to the Half???

Someone talk some sense into me.  This race is at the right time, my work will be covered, my mom can be there, AND there is bling!  (the races out here don't usually have any bling)

There is one other 10K in October in our area and I could email my submission to Disney in hopes that my corral will get changed, but I'm concerned that they will cancel that one and make it a 5K just like they did this one, so I really think I need to do this run.

Oh and to add insult to injury this morning and my utter disbelief, I looked outside and saw SNOW falling.  SNOW.  It's almost May?  WHERE is spring?? I have a feeling we are just going to skip spring and jump right to summer this year. 


Wide-angle Wednesday

This is Sapphire, can you guess where her name came from? :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day and Tempo Tuesday

Is it Tuesday already??   Earth Day threw me for a loop this year, being on Monday.  It was a gorgeous day, much better than last year.  We go to the local college for festivities with our homeschool group.  I didn't take many photos, but I had to grab a couple of the lovely tulips!

 I even sneaked a picture of my girl and her friend, waiting for their other friends to arrive.  (my daughter, Savannah, is the one in the yellow)

 After such a lovely day, I woke up to this:  (you can see my bottle-border garden I have been working on in the background)
 I guess this was good timing.  Dallas has been wanting to run on the treadmill, he is having issues running outside (that's a whole other blog post!) so I figured I could get my tempo run done on the treadmill just as easily as outside!  I really pushed myself today, I did intervals of running at 5.7(10:30 pace)  for a quarter of a mile and then 6.4(9:22 pace)  for a quarter of a mile.  I really had to push myself to do the three miles at that speed, but it felt fantastic and I know my speed work will help with my long runs.  I realized that I prefer long runs at a nice steady pace.  That's probably a good thing considering I'm training for a distance race!  ;) 

Hope everyone has a lovely Tuesday, mine will be spent indoors, I have a good book I have been trying to find time to read, perfect rainy day for it!

Do you like speed work or distance runs better?  Do you feel like tempo runs have helped your endurance on longer runs?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pink Elephants and PRs!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!  I did the Virtual 5K: Pink Elephants on Parade this morning, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Not only did I get to contribute to a worthy charity, but there's an adorable medal too!  I like doing virtual races, it helps fill in the gaps between races out here.  I live in a pretty rural area and there are not many races offered.  

I didn't have anything pink to wear, but purple was close and I thought the pigtails were fitting.  ;)  I may just put my hair like this from now on when running, it didn't swing around and pull as much as my ponytail does...and it makes me look about 12 instead of 40.  LOL

It was cold to start (44 degrees) but after about a mile and a half I warmed up.  I decided that I wanted to try and push a bit and better my time, so I tried to get my pace up without pushing too much.  I had a moment where I had to stop the Garmin and walk because there was a dog loose near where I was running and I know they get in chase mode sometimes when they see runners.  I just walked until he couldn't see me (maybe a minute) and then started the Garmin back up.  Turned around and headed back and really pushed when I saw I was going to beat my previous time.  Finished up with 31:52!  That's a great pace for me, so I was pleased.

I misjudged my mileage though and had quite a bit to get back home, so I decided to just keep running.  I stopped briefly to take a picture of the blooming trees in our town.  Perfect day for a Pink elephant run, lots of pink to see!

Ran back home and kept a pretty good pace, I finished up with 4.75 miles in 50:21 minutes.  A 10:36 pace for the whole thing!  

I received my first Kona Kase, I'll do a review once I try out everything in it.  Now off to enjoy the sun and do some afternoon yardwork!  

Oh!  I almost forgot.  I made a Facebook page for my blog as well.  Losing The Glass Slippers
I joined twitter too, but I don't totally GET Twitter.  LOL.  I need to spend more time over there figuring it out.  It's bad when you are asking your daughter to explain what the purpose of a hashtag is!  :p 

Have you ever done a virtual race?  Do you like them? 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Frappy Hiday!

I have been reluctant to blog this week.  I just cannot find the words or sort through my feelings appropriately and I'm not sure I want to.  I have read so many amazing, beautiful, heartfelt blog posts about Boston and running, and reading other people's feelings and connecting with them in that way is enough for me right now. 

Yesterday I did my long run because I'm pretty busy with petsitting today and tomorrow.  Sunday Dallas & I are doing another virtual 5K.  Virtual races are not the same as actual races, but living in a rural area that doesn't offer many races, they come in handy.  AND, they are usually for fantastic charities! 

So, back to this long run.

It was pouring and Dallas wanted to run inside anyway, so we headed to the gym.  Running really IS mental.  I seem to do this thing where once I run a distance ONCE, I get it in my brain that it was easy and I can do that distance easily.  Uh.  Not!  I ran 5.25 last week, so I wanted to up it just a bit to 5.5 this week.  Shew!  It was hard.  I did it, I didn't stop, and it felt great, but it was HARD.  I need to remember that just because I have done a distance one time, it doesn't mean that it's easy and I can do that distance easily the next time.  I was a dripping, sweaty mess afterwards. I took a picture of my sweaty shiny knees because a picture of my face would have been a bit scary at that point!  LOL

That's about it.  I feel like I should blog something profound, but I just cannot. 

Question:  Do you get in your head about distance?  Have you ever thought a distance was "easy" or "totally do-able" just because you had done it once? 

Monday, April 15, 2013


This morning I was all a flutter to watch the Boston Marathon.  I had never watched before, but just like anyone, I knew the Marathon was a big deal.  This morning I realized that as a runner, this might be fun to watch!  To be honest, I didn't realize it was televised until this morning and after searching for the station and finding it, I was GLUED to the tv!   I settled in and my husband humored me as we watched from pre-race to finish. HOURS!   I did my cross training right in front of the tv and was in awe and inspired.  I loved every single second!  I cheered on the elites, I studied their form and was amazed at their tenacity. 

A mere couple hours later all those feelings of awe and inspiration were replaced by horror and sadness.  I just cannot understand the world we live in sometimes.  My thoughts and prayers are with those that were running today and family members.   I really have no words. As a part of the running community I am outraged, disgusted, sad, and horrified at the events today.  As a human, I'm just in disbelief.  Why?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Staying out of my head

Happy Friday!   I had a little freakout over my long run this morning.  It actually started last night when I realized that I wouldn't be able to do it outside.  I kept waffling back and forth on whether to try and bundle up and run or just try to endure the dreadmill.   I eventually settled on the treadmill.  For the most part.  Kinda.

Once I got up and dressed in my shorts and tank, I had no choice, I certainly wasn't going to run outside like that in 29 degree windy conditions!  My trusty running partner helped keep my mind slightly busy on the way to the gym.  Dallas (my 17 year old) is ever the voice of reason. 

Even so, by the time I arrived at the gym, my stomach was turning and I had nerves like on a race day???  What was going on here?  I am the queen of self-talk, so I reminded myself that I ran 5 miles just last week, but each time I would do that, the little demon voice in my head responded "but not on a treadmill!"

There was nothing to do but just jump on.  Dallas & I set our pace comfortably slow (11:19 mile) and started up.  Something just clicked and I let it all go.  Unlike the other day when I was in my head nearly the whole time, this time I just let it go from the beginning.  I ran an HOUR straight!  AN HOUR!  I keep waiting to not be amazed at these feats, but each time I'm just stunned.  If you told me a few years ago or ANY stage of my life, actually, that I was going to be running for an hour straight, I would have died laughing.

I  ENJOYED the treadmill, go figure!  I had to take a snapshot of Dallas' TM because mine reset halfway through...I just started it right back up and kept going.  Rolled right off my shoulders!

Letting it go made all the difference and I had a fantastic run.  5.25 in 59:11.  I even had some self control...Dallas decided to run to 6 miles and I resisted pushing it more because I knew I shouldn't.

Something else I noticed on the treadmill,   I could see myself in the window and you know what?  I liked what I saw.   I love seeing the sweat on my collar bones and my shoulders swinging back and forth.  I look strong and healthy!  I can see my body starting to change.  The scale hasn't moved much in the last 2 months, but I can feel a difference.  I feel...ATHLETIC?!?! 

It's really bizarre and never something I really thought I would be.   AND, who is this person that keeps taking pictures of herself?!?!  LOL.  Feeling pretty vain about it, but I should be proud of what I have accomplished, right???

Have you ever had one of those times where it just CLICKED and you got out of your head and just ran?  Is there something you say to yourself to let it all go or does it just happen?

Thursday, April 11, 2013


That's my word for cross training today.  Blech.  Went for a bike ride with Rey, 40 degrees and drizzling. Wet, miserable, frozen HILLS of hell.  Had to take off my glasses because I couldn't see.  I should get wipers for those things.  Don't let all that green fool you, it did me.  It was freezing and windy. Yep.  Toes and fingers are still thawing, but I got it done.

Tomorrow I do what I love...5 miles scheduled!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wide-angle Wednesday

I thought about doing Wordless Wednesdays, but I'm rarely wordless.  Just sayin'.  The only way I'm wordless is through my photography and so I thought I would be clever and do Wide-angle Wednesdays!  Granted, not all, or even most of the shots will be wide-angle shots, but there aren't many "W" photography words, so give a girl a break.  ;) 

This will make me feel a little better about all the low-quality snapshots I have been posting on this blog and allow me to display some of my photography.  One day a week for a pretty photo!  AND, these Wednesdays will be fairly wordless...as wordless as I can be!  :p

 This week we'll just have to start with my favorite place EVER...you know where that is! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tempo Tuesday

Ha!  Perfect!  (I just came up with that, I easily impress myself...although I'm sure I will find out that 200 other bloggers had come up with that before me...)

I feel like I'm finally seeing some clarity in my training right now.  Up until this morning I have been flailing about a bit, unsure of where and when to proceed.  Most of the half marathon training programs I have found are only 16 week courses, which wouldn't even have me starting training until October or something.  On top of that, I'm feeling pretty comfortable with 4 miles right now and most training plans have you start at 2-3 mile short runs.  They also have you running 3-4 times a week, which my body does not seem to recover well from.

So, this morning I headed out for my run and I was waffling a bit on what I wanted to do.  I had decided, at least for now, that I want to stick to my 2x running a week with cross training.  This left me wondering exactly HOW I should run?  I decided that if I was going to do 2 runs a week for now, one should be a tempo run while the other a distance.  It sounded just right! 

I headed out the door at 6:40 and it was a gorgeous morning.  In the 60s, windy (which I happen to like, it blows some of that sweat off my face! LOL) and cloudy...those gorgeous blue/gray clouds you get before the sun is totally up.

I headed towards the park/graveyard  route that I knew would be about 4 miles.  Since I wanted to work on my speed, I was doing a little self talking that first mile.  I noticed I tend to get overwhelmed with the task ahead and start thinking how much MORE 4 miles is when I haven't even gotten to 1 mile.  I also wanted to speed up a bit, so I was having to focus on speeding up my steps without extending my gait...b/c I heel strike when I extend my gait.  I was pretty in my head, chattering away about "quick feet", "knees bent", "not even to a mile yet" when I realized that I just needed to get back to my mantra and SETTLE into it.  Stop thinking so much!  This is supposed to be relaxing and your time alone.

I did relax, and rounded the lake and headed up the hill to the cemetery.  I looked at my garmin quite a few times and saw 9:30, but I knew I had to be careful not to push too fast when I still had 3 miles to go. 

I ran through the cemetery and down into town.  I live in a really small town of 4000, but that makes it pretty easy in the mornings to just run the streets and not have to worry about tons of cars.  (although there was a woman just last summer that was hit on the outer road while training for a marathon, and she died, so I keep my music down enough to hear cars!)   My pace was looking good and I was settling into it as I headed over the tracks.  I do think I slow down a bit when I settle into my runs, but I felt like I had to balance speed and distance in order to not go overboard?  I'm new to this, so I'm really just trying to figure it all out.

I decided to detour a bit and go up a couple streets, just for a change of scenery.  When I got near 3.1, I started watching the garmin and was slightly annoyed that I didn't seem to be going really much faster than normal.  I pushed myself a little more and hit 3.1 at 33:41. (that's only 19 seconds faster than the 5K I ran with Dallas a couple Saturday's ago)

I slowed down a bit to catch my breath and then really got into my groove.  I feel like AFTER 3 miles is when I really get comfortable and feel like I could keep going.  When I neared home, I wanted to sprint a bit to finish off my run.  I'm glad I did because I was starting to flirt with the idea of continuing to run and I REALLY need to stick with it here and be patient!  Training doesn't happen overnight. 

Got in a good sprint on my street and finished up with 4.4 miles.
47:51 is a 10:52 min mile, so I did speed up my time a bit, but jeez, just by seconds.  I'm hoping that using my Tuesday runs to work on my pace and my Friday (or Saturday, depending on work/weather) runs for distance, will help me in my training. 

I purposely didn't run in my compression socks this morning because I only have 1 pair and I wanted them clean for AFTER my run.  I HAVE to get more of these, I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! They are Runningskirts compression socks. 
the hearts are too cute, even though they stretch a bit on larger calves like mine...but that makes them all the tighter and they feel fantastic after my run. 

That's my Tempo Tuesday report.  Anyone else have words of wisdom for my tempo training???  Did you ever feel like you were just gaining a few SECONDS when you started trying to improve your pace? 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thirteen point freaking one.

So yesterday was one of those interesting in-my-head days.  I ran in the morning with Dallas, we took it slow because we were still both pretty sore from our run Tuesday.  4 days?  Still sore calves?  Doesn't seem right, but what can I do?  Ran through some discomfort, but kept a slower pace than normal and we talked the whole 4 miles.  I felt great mentally afterwards,  but I was already hobbling around and knew I was in for some real soreness by afternoon.

Sure enough, even with compression socks on, stretching, and Ibuprofen, my calves were screaming at me by afternoon.  I was rolling with it and then my mind got the better of me.

I live in a small town of 4000 (stay with me here, this story does have a point) and I live about a 15 minute drive down the interstate from the large town in our area (large being 19,000).  This is where I go for nearly everything as our town only has one Main street and a small grocery store.  I drive this trek daily, multiple times, for my petsitting and other errands, I'm pretty used to it.  It's just how it is in a rural area. 

So yesterday I was in the "big" town doing a petsit. (I swear this story has a point!)   I needed gas, so I filled up and reset my odometer.  I drove to my next petsit and then when I was finished I hopped on the interstate and started the drive home.  Somewhere along the highway I looked down and noticed the odometer at 8 miles.  Huh.  My brain started working a bit and I watched the odometer climb EVER SO SLOWLY as I got closer to my home town.  And closer...and closer...

Until I pulled into my driveway and watched it flip to 13.1 as I put it in neutral and pulled the brake (yep, I drive a stick...not important info, but then again, didn't necessarily help with my calf pain!)

What are the odds???  Regardless of the odds, my sore calves were screaming at me after just 4 miles and all I could think of is how very very very far that big town is and how I was going to have to run that distance.  I was totally overwhelmed with 13.1 at that point. 

Some days I'll run 4 miles and I think, "Oh, I can totally do this! Just 3 more of that. This will be ok!"  but yesterday I felt the opposite.  It  really freaked me out to have this distance in my head from the big town to my driveway.  It seems so much shorter when I look at the map of Epcot to MK and back! LOL

I know it's all about perspective.   I'm lucky to have an amazing and supportive husband that not only talked me down last night from my frenzied blabbering about how I was going to possibly run this distance, but told me in no uncertain terms that I COULD do this and he had no doubt that I would.

I know I'll do it, I will!  I think sometimes though, my head waffles back and forth, thinking I can do it and it's just going to happen overnight. I think this was just a bit of reality.  This is going to take some time.  I'm going to be sore, I'm going to have to push myself, I'm going to have to be dedicated.  Oh but the reward for pushing yourself and reaching your goal!  I cannot imagine what it's going to feel like to cross that finish line and realize that I could have run from my house to that gas station in the next town.   Thirteen point freaking one is right!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Favorites Friday

Since I'm being good and still resting today (running tomorrow instead to give my calf one more day to recover) I thought it would be fun to do a Favorites Friday post.

I'm sure you cannot tell from this blog, but I'm a photographer.  I wanted this blog to be about running, so I haven't really talked a ton about my photography, but it's a huge part of my life.  I love capturing moments and memories with my camera.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography, you can visit my Website or my Facebook business page at Portraits & Paws Photography.

I purposely have not posted a lot of my photos taken with my camera and have actually enjoyed not having to worry about posting the "perfect shots" on this blog.   I wanted this blog to be all about my running, so it's somewhat freeing to let myself not worry about the quality of the photos that I'm posting.   Besides...I cannot really run 5 miles while holding my dslr! ;)

Maybe it's the nature of both my businesses, but since I'm a petsitter, I'm up at the crack of dawn every day.  I love the sun rising.  Every new day seems magical to me, I'm definitely a morning person!  Each one is different and I never tire of seeing the sun pop up over the horizon.  I even got a sunrise on my new tattoo!   I have carried my camera with me many mornings to capture it, and now I enjoy it even more when I can run and watch the sun come up!  I didn't take this picture this morning, but I saw the sun rise from this very spot today...minus the snow.

Surely you know this by now!  I love all things Disney, but especially Disney WORLD.  So so so excited to run my first half there and join together two great loves I have...the magic of Disney and running!  Oh and photography, naturally.   I love shooting at WDW, there's a neverending amount of things to shoot.

My back deck. 
Yep, Spring has finally arrived and along with finally being able to run outside, I look forward to my back yard this time of year.  I love being outside and this is my favorite place to be.  Last weekend we pulled out all the furniture and cleaned up the yard a bit, this weekend we'll do quite a bit more because we're due for 70 degree weather! We still have to stain the deck too. Yippee!  Yep, I even like yardwork!  After a long run or yard work, there is no other place I would rather sit and enjoy the fresh country air than here:

So...what are YOU doing this weekend?  I hope everyone can get outside and enjoy spring!