Spreading Positive Energy - Day 9

In memory of my dad, I dedicated 9 posts on Life as a Running Mom to focus on happiness and how we can spread peace. It only seems fitting that the final day is all about love.

Love is a great motivator and as a running mom, the love for my child gives me patience and strength to help her grow. My love of running sets the foundation for bringing activity into our household and demonstrates that it is great to push yourself and that it is okay to not always win. And the love I have and receive from others helps me push and run further and stronger.

Therefore, todays' challenge is easy.

Challenge for Day 9: Get up on that mountain top and call out (aka comment via your computer) the ones and things you love!

What is in store now for this blog? Training updates, run reports, race results, running reviews, etc.

Stay tuned and keep running!

My loves: my husband, my daughter, my mom, my two sisters, my angels, my in-laws, all my aunties, uncles, and cousins, my friends on Maui dear enough to be called aunties and uncles, chocolate, running, warm sunshine, massages, pedicures (okay, only have had 2 in my life!), HUGS, and more!!!

Racing with a jogging stroller

As a running mom eventually you will come to the day when you need to decide how you are going to run....with your child in a jogging stroller or solo with your child being taken care of by someone else. If you are a competitive runner, this question will not only come up during training but during racing.

I am a running mom and I am a racing mom. For the most part, I race solo with my darling husband watching my daughter. However, at times I do and I have to admit it, I want to race with my daughter. She puts in so much time into my training as well either by being in the jogging stroller or by waiting patiently for me to finish running and deserves to be part of the big day.

How do I prepare for racing with a jogging stroller?
  1. Assess the course and distance - Is the distance less than or equal to a distance we have trained at? Is the course jogging stroller friendly? I have never found one race director that doesn't quickly response or seem annoyed with my question about the course and if it is applicable for a stroller. Most of the time, I have a pretty good idea from the course description but I always double check.
  2. How does the timing of the run fit into your child's daily rhythms? Moms know when their children tend to have the hardest times. My daughter has a tough hour prior to dinner on most nights. If I were to head out into a race with her at this time, it may be a bit more challenging. I won't say impossible but I will say, be prepared.
  3. Prepare myself - This is the easy part. Make sure I'm in my running gear and have what I need to run.
  4. Prepare my daughter - Involve your child in the excitement and the fun of the race. It is something special and yes, she can have banners or streamers or other fun elements. Prepare for her needs - I make sure my daughter has her water, snacks, and any fun toys she may like. Of course, we train knowing toys stay inside and even some fun friends (aka stuffed animals) are used to being tied onto the stroller.
  5. Run, have fun, and congratulate your little one for her accomplishment too! - After each run I do with my daughter, training or racing, I always high five her and tell her "good run!". She may not have been running, but she was there allowing me to run and sometimes that may be the tougher part. FYI - often after runs she then switches to the runner and gets her friends buckled in and pushes the stroller!

Go Baby Go!!!

Day 8: Cherish each other - Daddy, this one is for you!

It has been one very long year without my Dad. Saying I am without him isn't entirely accurate though. He is in my thoughts, my heart, and my dreams but for me, that just isn't enough.

Almost a year ago I told this story to my daughter so that her Grandpa would be forever a part of her. She loved the story so much, I turned it into a book for her. You can do amazing things these days online with some time, creativity, and Snapfish!

In honor of my father, here is the story my daughter loves so much.

King Alphonse

There was a little girl with golden curls and her Mommy loved her so. At bedtime the little girl ran and climbed into bed, like she always does, and her Mommy climbed in beside her and cuddled next to her for some bedtime sweet talk. Usually the Mommy would share stories from her workday since that is what the little girl liked; however, tonight was a special night and Mommy had a special tale and this is how it goes....

In a far, far, far away land there lived a king who ruled his kingdom with love and grace and his name was King Alphonse. One day King Alphonse had an idea and said, "Let's build a castle from sand!" and everyone agreed. King Alphonse took off his crown and worked side by side with the entire kingdom. The castle was magnificent! It stood 50 feet high and had 5 turrets, one right in the middle. The whole kingdom loved the castle and King Alphonse ensured there was always time for play.

One day the people looked out and saw a bunch of turtles approaching the castle and they were afraid. King Alphonse said, "Let's build a mote." and that is what they did. It was the widest and deepest mote ever and had a bridge across it and everyone felt safe. But King Alphonse surprised the kingdom by inviting the turtles to live and play in the mote. And that is how everyone in the kingdom learned that being friends and sharing is better than fighting.

And do you want to know a secret? King Alphonse is your Grandpa.

This story was written for my two angels and is dedicated to Lloyd Racicot, written for my dearest daughter with all my love.

Challenge for Day 8: Remember the ones you love. Cherish the time with them. Spread positive energy through sharing stories of the good times, the challengs, and how we overcome them with love and determination.


10-mile Base Run

I climbed out of bed just after 4:00 am to head down to the gym to do my scheduled run for the day. Getting up so early is always hard even though I have never regretted doing so. It is always nice to know I can get up and that my husband is able to do daddy-duty. I quickly get my stuff together and head out of the door and by 4:30 am I am running!

The goal is 10 miles today. I quickly accept that I won't be at my work desk for a couple of hours and to just get into the groove (or rhythm) and enjoy the run. I pick a good pace and set up some slight intervals for pace/incline adjustments. I have found running at a steady pace on the treadmill is not good for me, which is fine. A true road run is never at a constant pace or incline.

About halfway into my run a co-worker comes into the gym. It has been awhile for her as well but she doesn't like running alone in the dark and so, we run together (kind of) at the gym. Ironically, she leaves the gym before me and I ponder how many people have come and gone since I started. Does this bring me down? Not at all! It really is a great feeling! Almost as great as that runner's high that I really began to feel just before mile 7.

Towards the end of the run the staff at the gym asks me how long I have run so far. I replied almost nine miles and kept chugging. Once I got to my final mile I picked up my pace and ran hard and fast for dad. It was a great run and I can't wait until I go back next week!

What did I do post-run? Enjoyed the rest of my Cytomax. I had prepared a 12 oz serving to drink during and after running. Delicious! Then some post-run stretching of my IT band and piriformis muscle and I'm good to go!

Finding your (Running) Rhythm - Day 7

Day 7 of Spreading Positive Energy in memory of Dad.

Any experienced runner can tell you that a run always feels best when you are in your groove, or in rhythm. How you achieve this is entirely up to you. Do you use music to keep your rhythm in place or do you listen to the beat of yourself, your feet pounding the ground?

I do a little of both. I do love to listen to tunes when I run especially if I am training on a treadmill. And I am quite particular with the beat of my tunes. I like a good base and a good beat. However, I always follow my body and aim to get into the wonderful running groove I love so much. For me, I know I am running in rhythm when the effort seems less, my body is flowing, and all is good. Don't get me wrong, I can be in rhythm and still have a challenging run that pushes myself, but I am in tune with myself.

My shortcoming is that it always takes me time to get my rhythm in check, which is why I feel I am better as a distance runner than a fast, short-distance runner. The hardest part of all my runs is the initial 20 or so minutes. Once I pass that point, I flow and my running feels more graceful, more me. Upon reflection, I feel this time marks the amount of time I need mentally to let go of all the things I need to do, all the stress, all the responsibility, and really get into accepting and enjoying my time and focusing on myself. Perhaps if I incorporate some meditation into my life, I can reach this ideal running state earlier and enjoy more runs in rhythm.

Challenge for Day 7:
Find your rhythm in life. When you are in tune with yourself and taking care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others and share the positive aspects of life.


Revitalize through Rest - Day 6

Day 6 of Spreading Positive Energy in memory of my Dad.

My current training plan has me on my second rest day in the row today. This feels very unnatural due to my recent training but I wanted to try something new. Plus, rest does indeed have its benefits...both physically and psycologically. So today I'm keeping it simple on the blogging and will incorporate a bit more rest into my day.

Challenge of Day 6: Prioritize and make your personal rest and recovery needs number 1 on the list. This will not only help you but will better enable you to interact peacefully with others. In addition, do something special for that loved one at home so they too can have a moment of rest. What a great way to spread the positive energy!

Peace and Happiness!

* Want to know what is up with the orange numbers? Read Day 1 of the Spreading Positive Energy series.


The New Training Plan

I have looked at other running blogs and have to confess, there are a lot of blogs out there written by runners already running great distances. But how about those runners who are just beginning the journey of seriously increasing distance?? Well, welcome to my world. I am finally at the point in my life where I am ready to take on the challenge, have the time to take on the challenge (kind of, sort of), but most importantly, have the determination to do something for me!

I have always been a runner but more dedicated at some times than others. A year ago I took running back up after a longer than desired sabbacle due to the birth of my daughter. I have always formulated my own training plans and have always been happy. However, I wanted to try something different.

So here it is....all shiny and new! The recommended training plan for me via virtual Nike+ coach. The first mental obstacle for me will be running only four days a week a couple of weeks. So unlike me but I am open to see what it is like especially since I recently read (ok...I'm a mom so I skimmed and focused on relevant portions) Runner's World "Run Less Run Faster" by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss.

The second mental challenge for me will be the short runs on Saturday and some Tuesdays. Really, my target distance is 2 miles? I can't remember the last time my goal was 2 miles but honestly, I will stick to the plan as much as I have ever stuck to any of my plans.

I have a tendency to run more than my target weekly distances so perhaps this conservative plan will be a good thing for my running and my left piriformis muscle. Plus, to let you in on a little secret - I am already scheming some great speed work on those short distances.

Happy Training!

Everything is a Gift - Day 5

Day 5 of Spreading Positive Energy in memory of my Dad. And yes, everything is a gift! Sometimes you just need to look at the gift another way to see what makes it great.

I ended up being able to do my planned 6-mile base run yesterday and during this run, I really focused on how each element was indeed a gift.

Gift 1: My husband got home early enough for me to run upcountry. He dropped me off at "my spot" and I was going to run up to meet him and my daughter at the park.

Gift 2: The running course is essentially an uphill run as it is subtly increasing in elevation. Yes, this is a gift because it builds strength and endurance. Plus, there are a few short downhills before the next big uphill.

Gift 3: It was windy and I was running against a head wind so it was keeping me cool!

Gift 4: It was raining. For those of you who live where rain is something you do need to plan for, that really isn't the case on Maui. I can count the number of times I have had to run in the rain over the past 7 years on one hand. By the way, it is 3 times. Once 7 years ago where I made the decision to go and run in the downpour to see what it is like. The last two times, I was caught in the rain and both times, it has been light rain so no big worries. It was keeping me cool and fresh! At the end of the run my daughter even asked me if I took a shower because my hand wasn't all sweaty. My reply, the rain kept me clean during my run (but I still showered later!)

Challenge for Day 5: Remember everything is a gift. If you don't see the good right away, look at it from a different perspective.

My 5 Best Gifts (in no particular order):
  • Being able to run
  • My family
  • My husband who will go out in the morning and bring me back a diet coke (even when I really am trying to quit this indulgence)
  • My adorable daughter
  • Loving that I can make a difference at work 


Spreading Positive Energy - Day 4

Have a plan but accept that plans change.

You never know what the day will bring and honestly, sometimes the things you least expect can be the most memorable.

It is imperative to have a training plan if you are running to meet a specific goal. I cannot see how anyone could haphazardly run without one and expect to run successfully. In your training plan, decide how many days you want to run a week, which day would be your optimal run day, what cross training you will do (if any), what type of runs you will do, how long your run days will be, etc. I even solidly schedule in a rest day....a day where I must refrain from running and let my muscles heal.

But life happens and the medium-long run I planned on for today won't happen today. Am I going to fall apart in distress and have an awful day? No way! I adjust - I can easily do that run tomorrow and enjoy the time with my daughter today. This still gives my body the appropriate recovery time before doing my long run Wednesday morning. Of course, if by chance my husband gets home from work early this afternoon we may just need to head up to Thompson Road! I will be fine, my training will be fine, and if I forced the run I would have missed my daughter dressed up so adorably as a princess!

Challenge for Day 4:
If you are a runner, go ahead and be bold and plan a new run. Try a new path, if it isn't as awesome as you hoped, at least you gave it a try! If you are not a runner, be bold and plan a delightful adventure with your family. Perhaps a walk in the park or venture out on a new trail? Even a walk around the block after dinner could do wonders! Try this plan and see what life has in store for you!


Spreading Postive Energy - Day 3

Day 3 is all about motivation because motivation is what makes the world go round!

I have been a runner for years but I still have times when my motivation gets low. I challenged myself to overcome this yesterday by getting a "virtual" coach through Nike+. I am enough of a technology-lover that this will do the trick.

My "coach" told me to run 4 miles in preparation for my marathon in September. Really, 4 miles?! That's it?! Okay, so I listened to my coach, kind of, and did my run but I was motivated enough to add a twist on it. After an appropriate warm-up I proceeded to run the rest of the 4 miles at a progressive pace. I felt great so I ran another cool-down mile, I can even rationalize that this 1 mile beyond my "coach's" goal was for Dad, and then I focused on stretching.

I have an ongoing issue with my piriformis muscle that is nagging but not stopping me. So I focused on soothing this muscle with some time with the foam roller targeting my hamstrings and IT band. After some targeted stretching I eagerly joined up with my daughter to have a wonderful girls' night!

Challenge for Day 3:
Keep your motivation high! It is hard to not be happy and positive when you are feeling on top of the world. And when you are feeling that great, share it with someone else!

Motivational Tips:
  • Get a coach or personal trainer - real or virtual
  • Find a running partner or running group - I find this very hard with my schedule and not knowing any other running moms
  • Get some new tunes - I try to add a few more every other month
  • Enter a race  - I try to do one each month as it gives me my next "reward" day. I may not plan to run a peak race each time because my training schedule may require me to just use the race as a base run.
  • Switch up your routine - run a new path, spice up your run with sprints, switch between distance goals and time duration goals, do whatever you need to keep your run fresh and fun

Do you have any motivational tips? Feel free to share!


Spreading Positive Energy - Day 2

People are what is important so how does a store closing rank high enough to be something that causes a feeling of sadness? When that bookstore is the only big bookstore on the island and holds three years of memories of me with my daughter.

My focus today is on cherishing each and every moment because you never know when it will be your last moment. I didn't know when I hugged my dad the last time that it was going to be my last hug. As I reflect back, I am so glad that I did give him a nice long hug. I remember my daughter saying "Mommy come on" and I remember replying "Mommy knows but Mommy doesn't want to let go". I am so glad I held on those extra seconds because even though I may not have fully cherished it then, I do today.

So yesterday when I knew it may really be the last day I take my daughter to "our" bookstore, I cherished it. She loves the bookstore so much and relishes in being able to play and pick out her own books so I allowed her to have fun to get a great selection of books. Then I treated myself to a couple of running books and bought my husband a couple of history books. As we walked out my daughter asked to be picked up and hugged tight. I held her tight and believe it or not, some tears came to my eyes that these very special moments we have shared are coming to a close. Fortunately, I know there are other fun things we can do but that Borders Bookstore will indeed be missed. And yes, I know it will be open a few more weeks but I don't think I can take her back into a store that is just going to look emptier and emptier. I want her to remember the fun and fully-stocked store!

And as a running mom, I really do cherish each and every run more. I used to be able to run whenever I wanted (within reason) and always avoided treadmill running. Why on Earth would I do that when there is so much to see outdoors? But as a mom, that treadmill running is just as awesome and perfect as running outside. Each long run is a blessing not only because I have the time to do it but because I have the ability to do it.

The Challenge for Day 2:
I am going to begin to cherish each moment, take the time to stop and say hello, take the time to see the beauty in life, and remember, that running is one of the best gifts that has been given to me! And for you, I am going to challenge you to take a pause in your very busy day and really experience and cherish that moment.

Peace and Happiness! Keep on running!


Spreading Positive Energy - Day 1

Personally as a runner, I have learned how to embrace challenges and use positive thoughts and energy to overcome my hurdles. My leg aches, stretch a bit and keep on running. I notice a blister forming during a half-marathon, focus my thoughts on something else and keep on running. Of course, later I will devise a plan to avoid that blister.

I feel these running lessons can be applied to all aspects of life so for the next 9 days I am going to spread the positive energy to the world beyond my run and challenge you to do the same. Why 9? Because I like the number 9. Simple as that. Why now? Because I have been reflecting a lot on life and remembering my day so these 9 days are also in his honor.

The challenge for Day 1:
I live in Hawaii and have communicated with people of various concerns or fears of radioactive iodine getting here. Not to diminish any one's concerns, but today I ask that we remember the families that are truly being impacted right now by the earthquake and tsunami that affected Japan and beyond. My heart goes out to the families in Japan still looking for loved ones. My heart goes out to the mothers and fathers in Japan who cannot give their infants tap water because the radioactive iodine has been detected in the water at levels that could affect the very young. And more importantly, my heart embraces those who are trying to make a difference. Those who are opening their homes to refugees, those who have donated money or time, and those who can't do anything besides pray. So today, I will run 1 mile for those affecting by the tsunami in and out of Japan. I know there are some in Hawaii who are also dealing with loss of property. And as I run I will remember my dad (my angel) and the angels on earth making a difference. Your challenge - be an angel run 1 mile with me.

The meaning behind the orange numbers - orange is the color of leukemia and I will continue to use orange numbers for the next 9 days in remembrance of Dad


Running from the Monsters

I started my day yesterday with a wonderful 9.8 mile run. I did one of my favorite training runs - an awesome tempo run! I love these runs because I get to push myself after my warm-up. I like the feel of running at a higher RPE and know that doing so is a great way to continually improve my running. I would run these runs even if they didn't have a great training benefit. I ended my run feeling recharged and ready to face the day (oh yeah, and with the normal tired feeling after a great run!).

And then the monsters of the day started poking their heads out. Every one's monsters are a bit different because each one of us has different hurdles we need to face each day, or that each day forces us to face. Yesterday was a day full of monsters leaving me with an overriding grouchy feeling. As much as I told myself that my monsters were little in comparison to other monsters, they kept nipping at my heels. So why wasn't I able to run away from them this time? Why were they still there pestering me after such a lovely run? Well, perhaps if I didn't have such a great run they would have done more than nip at my heels.

The end-result is simple. I asked my husband to pick up a pizza for dinner. Okay, a splurging moment for me that allowed me to skip making dinner. But it was worth the cost - after enjoying my wheat pizza with mushrooms and black olives I did feel better. And I should have left good enough alone - but no, I decided to tackle a couple more orders of business online and those pesky monsters reappeared.

Oh my! It was one of those days. Perhaps you could say it was just the alignment of the planets, or it was my destiny to face these monsters today, or just plain old bad luck. Regardless, I waved my hand over my shoulder, climbed into bed, and said a prayer asking for patience and strength. And as I closed my eyes, I thought of my Dad and could just hear him giving me the much needed advice - "everyone has bad days, everyone has challenges, I had bad days and rough times too. You are doing great and I'm proud of you. Keep up the good work!"

And you know what? That would be something my Dad would have said and I found comfort in the thoughts. I slept great knowing that I will gain some distance on my monsters and that tomorrow is another day, another race.

Keep on running!


Wahine Half Marathon: T minus 26 Days

Less than a month away and I am already anxious to hit the start line. I always get excited about races but this one has really been amping me up. My first all-women race! I never thought I would be drawn to such an event but I am ready to go. Ready to race on the island I used to call home, ready to race through a park I know and venture beyond. Ready to show my daughter that women are indeed strong!

For the race, my family and I will be packing up our bags and staying at a different hotel than usual. I wanted to be near the race start because it makes for better race mornings. I have decided to pack my drink since my recent training has proven once more that Gatorade really isn't my sports drink of choice. I guess I could bite the bullet and go with the flow but I would rather have my mainstay be a drink I love. However, I will not be making my homemade sports drink. From this point forward, my long runs will be with Cytomax so I am ready to hit the road on the 17th.

For more information about the Wahine Half Marathon or other races in the Run Like a Diva series click HERE.


The 5 best's and worst's

We all have our favorite things and then those things that drive us berzerk. So for me, my five wonder charms are (in no particular order):
  • Running
  • My daughter - nothing can top one of her hugs or kisses
  • A bubble bath - oh how I wish I had a bathtub!
  • Sunning on the beach
  • Massages

My five mood-challengers (again in no particular order):
  • Whining
  • Crazy drivers - especially in parking lots
  • Inequality
  • Voice mail alerts that just keep going (oh yeah, darling hubby has one of these!)
  • Complete lack of plans or disregard of plans

What are your 5 best's and worst's?


The run when you have no time to run

It was one of those days where the run I wanted to do wasn't going to be the run I was going to do. Sometimes, family obligations, needs, or desires take precedent over my training. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily as I believe you need to embrace each moment of your life. And at times, the unexpected can be wonderful.

So when a very small window of opportunity opened itself I jumped onto the treadmill. Usually long runs are my favorite training run but today I did sprints. I sprinted hard. I pushed myself to the limits. I reached a higher RPE (rate of perceived exertion) than I had reached anytime recently in my training. And I LOVED IT!

My 8 fast sprints was my training today. If you can't run the distance, why not make each step you can run mean more? After all, it is just as important to incorporate speed work into your training as it is to include long runs for endurance.


Run 'til Your Green - Race Reflections

I arrived at The Ale House just before 5:00 pm to pick up my race packet. My daughter was delighted to see that today my race number was to be 222. I could feel the enthusiasm and loved to see all the runners in their variation of green running gear. For me, I had my green socks on.

The trade winds have been blowing like crazy the past two days so for the race I was going to have to forego on my traditional race hat. Instead I pull my hair up high on my head in a ponytail and just ignored how ridulous it looked. The end result would be less hair in my eyes.

At 5:35 pm all the runners are escorted a short walk across the highway to the race start. We are all waiting patiently to run and some are really ready to go so they can get back to The Ale House. While I wait I play peek-a-boo with my daughter and my husband takes pictures. Shortly thereafter some music starts and we all begin to get our groove on before the start is officially announced and off I go!

It was a great start and I'm feeling good even though I run about 0.5 miles before realizing my Nike+ was not initiated properly and not logging distance. No worries. It still informs me of my pace and I'm happy with my starting pace and plan to stick to it. The first half of the run is against a nasty head wind and I try to push myself but push myself reasonably.

The race course has a few very mild rolling ups and downs, which are no problem due to my incline training. However, the race course is along a road that was inudated by seawater from the tsunami last week. I can tell it had an impact and can smell the after effects. I later learn that the race directors travelled our course the day prior and removed dead fish from the road to the ditches.

At the mid-point I check my pace and I am still going strong and pick up the pace for the final return. Why not? I have the wind to my back and I smile and enjoy the feeling. I feel like I am running free and happy and relish in the feeling that this is why they call many 5K's fun runs. Yes, I am having fun!

I see my family about a 1/4 mile before the finish line and give them a shaka as I push myself as much as I can at this point. And I finish strong at 25'40". My best 5K since 2006 and only 35 seconds shy of matching my PR thus far. I am happy and run some more back to my family before enjoying the post-race party.

I dance with my daughter and enjoy a drink while we wait for the results to come in. Afterwards, I take my family to Pinata's for dinner and enjoy something new - the portabella mushroom quesadilla that came highly recommended and now I know why.

Delicious! And the only green that I ingest is my guacamole and cilantro on the side.


The value of competition

Fairness and equal participation is the mentality for a vast number of youth sports. In fact, it is represented in the first two philosophies for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Their six philosophies are:
  1. Everyone Plays
  2. Balanced Teams
  3. Open Registration
  4. Positive Coaching
  5. Good Sportsmanship
  6. Player Development

I began to ponder this mentality when my daughter asked me at a race award ceremony if I was going to get a medal. My reply was simple, sometimes mommy does well and gets a medal and sometimes the competition is a bit harder and I don't. But mommy always does her best and tries and I am happy with how I ran today.

As I reflect back, I feel this is the winning message I want my daughter to grow up with. You don't always win and that is okay. But am I questioning the philosophies of the AYSO? Not at all. I do agree at a young age all players should get a chance to play because skills will not develop in isolation on the sidelines. I also feel that everyone can learn from other players or runners. There are a lot of lessons out there to learn and I strongly support sports as the foundation to being a better person.

My daughter will grow up in a household that embraces healthy competition. She will learn at times I am competing against others and at times I am just competing against myself and aiming for a better PR. Last night my race had me in an age category with runners half my age. Woah! This was a time to focus my competition on me, being a better runner, working on my PR, and improving my racing capabilities. I did not get a medal but I got something even better. I got the sense of pride knowing I did well, I achieved my goals, and I set a wonderful example for my daughter who is eager to get her own race number one day and run. What can beat that?


Run 'til Your Green - The Countdown Commences

In just over 11 hours it will be the start of the 3rd annual Run 'til Your Green 5K on Maui. This should be an easier race in regards to endurance needed but the thing is the 5K race is a tricky one for me.

I am an endurance runner. I like the distances and the distances seem to like me. That is why I am in training for a marathon. I think it may be a good fit for me. It takes me some running time to really get my groove on and hit that wonderful running oh yeah! feeling. The 5K just doesn't offer the distance for that rush of wowness.

So why do I still race the 5K? Simply put, it is fun! I love to be out with other runners and even though I know this isn't my peak race, I can still strive to improve my performance at this distance. I can still try to set new PR's with or without the jogging stroller. And a lot of 5K's are great charity runs, which I am a huge supporter of.

What are my goals today?
  • To push myself and see what transpires. To be the best Celtic Warrior I can be! (Oh yeah, tonight I am a Celtic Warrior -- or in other words, I'm in the age bracket of 18-39 -- but not for much longer.)
  • To race smart and overcome the hurdle of a race starting in my natural body down time. Typically, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm is my sluggish hour. The race starts at 5:45 pm. Hmmm.....
  • To have a fun run and enjoy myself!

Course records: 16:13 Sam Wilbur 2010, 19:38 Lindsey Wilbur 2010

Race Age Classes:
Leprechanus (17 and under)
Celtic Warriors (18-39)
Druids (40-49)
Arch-Druids (50-59)
Grand Druids (60+)


Running Skirt Comparison....and the winner is?

I am new to the running skirt craze and recently bought two brands of running skirts to review.

Model 1: Nike

The design: The running skirt came in a variety of colors and the material is soft and has wicking capabilities to pull sweat away from the skin. The underskirt is a pair of boy shorts. There is a slight vent on each side and beyond that, the running skirt has no bells and whistles. No drawstring, no pockets, no nothing. However, I have read online about a different model that does have pockets for those who are interested but I can't tell you more about that. I did not find that model in a store on-island.

The wearability: The skirt is comfortable and stays put during running. I feel the boy shorts provide nice support to a runner that actually has a derriere. I have done multiple runs in the skirt and am completely happy.

Model 2: The North Edge
The North Edge

The design: The running skirt only came in black in the store I visited on-island but that isn't to say more colors aren't available. The material is very light-weight and enhances a cooling effect. The underskirt is boy shorts. The skirt has a drawstring in addition to the elastic waist, a outer pocket on your back by your waist, and inner pockets on each upper thigh. The logo on the front is reflective but seems to serve no true safety purpose.

The wearability: The skirt is comfortable but doesn't sit smoothly along my curves but that isn't a real factor for running. The boy shorts stay in place but don't seem as supportive as the Nike skirt but still provide ample support. I have done multiple runs in the skirt and am happy.

And which skirt is the winner for me?

I vote for the Nike skirt and not just because I am a lover of Nike products. I really do like the feel and support of the skirt better. I bought The North Edge skirt because I thought I would really like the lighter fabric better but I do not get too hot in the what to appeared to be heavier fabric. I see no need for pockets in my running style and training....at least for now. I do have pockets in my hand-case for my water bottle if needed but I do see how this may be a selling point for some. What is important is to pick what works best for you in your runs even if your choice is to stick with running shorts or leggings.

Can water really be harmful?

Dehydration is a word we hear alot. Everyone is advised to drink plenty before, during, and after a run to prevent dehydration. Simply stated, dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you ingest, in other words, there is not enough water in your body - an easy scenario for any sweaty runner. The symptoms of dehydration are dry mouth, no tears, less sweating, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, and light headedness. So should you just gulp down the water and run until your heart's content?

No Way!

There is a less known and very dangerous condition that can plague runners called hyponatremia. Have you heard of this one? Hyponatramia occurs when there is not enough sodium in the body. A sweaty runner ingesting plain water may increase the water in her body, but the sodium levels are being further diluted and she is getting closer and closer to hyponatremia. The symptoms are confusion, fatigue, headache, irritability, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Severe hyponatremia can result in coma or death.

If you look closely, some of the symptoms of dehydation and hyponatremia overlap so what do you do if you start experiencing some of these ambiguous symptoms? Slow down and take care of yourself. The main thing is to run smart and hydrate smarter! If you are new to running or an elite runner running longer distances, make sure you are hydrating with a sports drink that replenished the essential electrolytes, such as sodium. And most importantly, don't just gulp without reason. The best way to hydrate is to listen to your body and drink on demand. Your body will tell you when you are thirsty.


Quitting is NOT an Option

Every runner has or will have the moment when they just want to quit. When you just want to get off the treadmill or turn around and run back home. Usually the moments are triggered by a run that isn't turning out how you expected it to be and those moments can come when you least expect them.

My goal today was to just run for 4 miles, a nice short peaceful run. I had all the elements in place - essential duties of the day fulfilled, family taken care of, daughter had an hour of fun in the sprinkler, so now I can run guilt free.

I got my daughter set up with her afternoon snack and jumped on the treadmill only to hear five minutes later she is still hungry, then it is another issue, and then another. My easy run starts and stops like crazy and all I question if this is really worth it? But I have it on my schedule to do 4 miles and I really want to do 4 miles.

The peaceful run I envisioned is far from peaceful. I am agitated. My legs feel sluggish (probably from the start, stop, start, stop) and I am just not in my groove. Do I stop? Should I stop?

No, I don't stop but keep running and finally begin to find some peace. My daughter is settled in and I contemplate the challenges of today's run. In all reality, it was just a mental challenge and not worth cancelling a run. I tell myself that this mental challenge will pass and can only prepare me for the mental challenges I may endure when I run my marathon.

So for today, I am happy I continued to run through the challenges and although I felt my pace was sluggish, overall I was on target.


Training - Today's 87 minute base run

What are your training goals each day? Do you set out to do x miles or is your goal to run for x minutes?

For the longest time, I measured success by the number of miles I completed. I was more "successful" when I ran more; however, this measurement of success is a bit arbitrary. There is more to a run than the number of miles. There is the course and the nature of the run. For example, are you just running to get miles under your belt or are you doing speed work? Specifically to me, am I running solo, on my incline treadmill, or with my daughter in the jogging stroller. Each one of these impacts my run and the nature of my run. I have learned to evaluate each run by certain parameters in order to have a more realistic overall assessment of my training.

Today my initial goal was to run for 60 minutes; however, I was feeling so good I decided to run an additional 27 minutes. I didn't work on speed work, I didn't do intervals, and I didn't worry too much about my pace. I ran at an almost steady pace with some mild variation on my 10% incline treadmill and I am happy with the end-results. The calculated intensity of my run and my rate of perceived exertion is perfectly aligned with a base run.

So how do I calculate intensity of my runs? First, I have established threshold paces for each run category (solo, treadmill, with jogging stroller) and convert that pace into seconds. After each run, I take the appropriate category threshold pace and divide it by my run pace to get my intensity level. I usually train around 0.92 of my threshold pace. But I found this still ambiguous because some days I just feel better so I started noting my rate of perceived exertion. This too is subjective as I try to create an average estimate that reflects my entire run but my base runs typically have a RPE of 5.0. With these parameters, I can really get into the evaluation of my runs beyond just the number of miles and this improves my training.

Rate of perceived exertion table (from Shape magazine):
1-2: Very easy; you can converse with no effort
3: Easy; you can converse with almost no effort
4: Moderately easy; you can converse comfortably with little effort
5: Moderate; conversation requires some effort
6: Moderately hard; conversation requires a bit of effort
7: Difficult; conversation requires a lot of effort
8: Very difficult; conversation requires maximum effort
9-10: Peak effort; no-talking zone


Massage - A Training Essential

I have always loved massages and at times indulged in going to get a real massage...one performed by a real masseuse. Until recently, I viewed massages as a treat or an indulgence; therefore, when motherhood came upon me, going for massages ended.

How silly I was to underestimate the value and importance of massages and as I reflect back, having massages during pregnancy and after would have made a world of difference. With my hip injury around Christmastime, I was re-introduced to the value of a good massage. Since then, I have been more dedicated to ensuring I pamper myself to the necessary massage.

You may ask how I can say pamper and necessary in the same sentence. It is easy to explain. I still view a massage as pampering because it is one hour for me to relax and let someone take care of me. How can a mom not see that as pampering? But the massage is also a necessary part of my overall well-being.

I have found that regular massages help me work through my emotions and release stress and hidden frustrations. Plus the massage increases circulation and helps my tensed up muscles release allowing me to be a better runner. But the most important revelation I had today during my massage is that massages are as spiritual to me as running is. I am in tune with my body during the massage envisioning each muscle fiber and bone, using my breath and mind to will my muscles to relax under the talented hands of my masseuse. This parallels my mindset during a good long run, feeling each fiber of my body and willing it to keep going one more mile for day.


What the Tsunami Taught Me

It was a long sleepless night. But family is all good and I have been in contact with good friends and co-workers. It seems Maui was hit pretty hard and we are still waiting on the "all clear" so we can return to work (and training) as usual....or not so usual.

But what did I learn? At first I thought it was hard to get updates on what was happening with no radio, no TV, and no cell phone reception. Okay, I am a bit of a minimalist in some regards. So I turned to Facebook to get information out and receive information only to realize how awesome my boss is at keeping the world up-to-date on exactly what we need and want to know. What to know where to go to get the scoop? Follow Pacific Whale Foundation on Facebook!

Training recommences tomorrow with a long run!

How does a tsunami warning affect my training?

I woke up just before 10:00 pm annoyed. I was only awake because my husband was on the phone. I walked out of the room to see what on earth was up to only find out my annoyance was completely misplaced. It seems we are under a tsunami warning due to an earthquake (magnitude 8.9) off of Japan.

So what does a running mom do? What can I do? I know we have supplies in the house, my car was fueled up this morning, so we just have to wait. Ironically, my mind goes into auto-mode from growing up where there were hurricanes. I pull out the couch bed, add lots of pillows, get the flashlights and candles handy, and move my daughter into the living room with us. Why? Who knows. There is no logical reason. Where we live we will not see or feel any impacts, unless we lose power and then no more blogging for me.

As I wait, my family sleeps. I think about the long run I had planned for 4:00 am tomorrow and decide it is not to be. I can't be heading down to sea level within an hour of the anticipated first wave. I think about jumping on my treadmill to just relax and reflect, but refrain since I do want my family to sleep. And I remember that just a year or so ago I experienced my first tsunami warning. Nothing materialized and I am thankful because for that one my husband was down at the coastline for work. And I think of my dad because for the first warning he was alive and if I remember right, I was due to fly out soon with my daughter to see him and my family and I didn't want any aftermath to affect the flight.

And in the quiet I hear the few cars on the road, hear an occasional helicopter, and wonder when the next round of sirens will go off. I am glad that this time I did not need to go out for supplies. I learned my lesson last year. I hope that everyone in low-lying areas have moved to higher ground. And I am doing the best to put the word out to family and friends that we are okay and not to worry.

So how does the tsunami warning affect my training? It may be a bump in the road that I don't run at 4:00 am tomorrow but I will get my long run, I will train, and I will be ready for my half marathon in April and my marathon in September. How do I know? Because I run to honor and remember my dad and that is all the commitment I need to succeed when obstacles get in the way.

Be safe!


And the challenge is on!

I love Nike+ and was inspired to take part in their March challenge, In Like a Lion. The challenge: run 50 miles from March 7-31. Sounds good, right?

It is great and I needed the extra bit of motivation but while I slept last night for my meager 7 hours, I dropped from 255 place to 370. Go figure!

But what I find amazing is that the top runner already has an impressive 54.92 miles. How I wish I had the time to just run and get those miles in while working and taking care of a family.

Am I discouraged? No way! It is awesome to see what others are doing, to push yourself to do the most you can, and to aim to get just a few more miles officially on the record.

Hello running shoes, here I come! Are you ready?

Stats on other Nike+ Challenges:
  • 700 km* 2011 - 55 place out of 310 challengers (holding steady right now)
  • 211 miles** in 2011 - 1,733 place out of 11,696 challengers
*700 km = 435 miles
**211 miles = 340 km


Finding Inspiration - A Great Runner

Ironically, I'm not one who is usually motivated by people in the standard way. In school I was often asked to write about a hero of mine, someone I admire, someone from history who I feel set a great example. These were always the hardest assignments for me because I feel everyone is noteworthy, everyone is great in their own way, and that we need to build upon our own talents.

However, last night I watched "Without Limits" and although I can't say I found myself a hero, I can say the movie is worth watching for runners and non-runners.

The movie is focused on the life and running accomplishments of Steve Prefontaine. Steve was a very determined runner and always gave 100%, if not more. He set many records and his personal bests were were - 3:38.1 (1500m), 3:54.6 (mile), 7:42.6 (3000m), 8:19.4 (2-mile), 12:53.4 (3-mile), and 13:22.4 (5000m). Steve ran in the 1972 Olympics at Munich, ran a great race, and ended up placing 4th. Unfortunately, Steve tragically died at age 24 in a car accident.

I found his determination and drive inspiring and was equally intigued by his coach, Bill Bowerman, who was a co-founder of Nike. Go figure!

For those of you who are interested and in the right neck of the woods, there is an annual 10K run in Coos Bay, Oregon in honor of Steve Prefontaine. For more information, go to www.prefontainerun.com. If I ever find myself in Oregon, you will find me running!


Training: 1:2:3:4:5:4:3:2:1

I had one overriding goal today in my training - to run for 60 minutes. Sounds simple enough, right?

But the run had to have meaning and work my body so my 60 minutes included an interval pyramid with increasing intensities. Today, all intervals were a solid 2 minutes 30 seconds. After an appropriate warm-up, I started cranking up the speed and returned to my recovery speed between intervals so in reality, the run was really 1:2:1:3:1:4...etc. Level 5 was pushing it at a speed where I had to convince myself to keep going and not allow myself to give up.

Why did I choose this workout plan?
  1. I like variation and speedwork. It keeps me motivated.
  2. I have found if I run a significant distance at a steady pace on a treadmill I usually end up with an injury even if only minor muscle strain. My theory is that road running is not ever truly a steady pace and by forcing myself to do so on a treadmill is unnatural.
  3. My frustration level was high today so I needed shorter duration intervals and goals.
  4. I needed to run for 60 minutes for pure emotional bliss!
The end result, I had a great run and plan to incorporate this workout plan in future training runs.

Keep running one more mile for Dad!

Training: Intervals - Pyramid Style

My training a few days ago was a bit out of the norm. The whole family has been sick and I had less than 30 minutes to do something before getting dinner ready. As much as I wanted to really pick up the pace and do a good threshold or progressive run, I stuck to a more conservative interval run.

Why didn't I take it "easy" on myself? Because I was still coughing up a storm and although I know I always stop coughing when running, I train smart.

So I jumped onto the treadmill and created a new workout plan for myself. My run today was going to follow this plan, a twist on a run I read about on a blog on my reading list: runnerscooldownmile.blogspot.com.


Each number represented the number of minutes in that interval and each number represented a different speed. I pre-selected my speeds and stuck to them. The speeds got progressively faster so the 1 minute intervals were at a slower pace than the 3 minute intervals.

The run was fun and I achieved my goal for the day. I even had time post-run to do my necessary stretching, get myself and my daughter in the shower, and started dinner on time. At that is what it takes to be a running mom --- you appreciate the small runs you can squeeze in because you know, any run is better than no run!


The Preschool Coach

Today I snuck in a run while my daughter was finishing up her nap. In all reality, if I didn't have 100 other things to do, I could have run longer. Note to self: tomorrow during nap, start running at the start!

My plan was a nice base run to keep the juices flowing while I finish overcoming the nasty cold. I was enjoying the tunes and the pace knowing my child was sleeping peacefully by me on the couch bed. A couple of times she woke a bit, looked at me and smiled, and curled back up in sweet slumber. I have to say, it is nice that she can actually see Mommy running at times versus being pushed in a jogging stroller. I think it helps her appreciate what actually goes into running.

I was going to run just until she woke up so I could spend some fun time with her but was surprised when she woke up, turned to me and said, "Mommy, make it go faster!" And how can you say no to your coach? I picked up my pace and did a good solid additional 1/2 mile for my sweet little girl.

Keep up the pace!

Fueling Your Body - Nachos Anyone?

I often joke that I grew up on burritos and nachos. But even though I did eat plenty of other nutritional and not-so nutritional foods, it seems that Tex-Mex is at the heart of my being.

As a runner who is increasing distance, it is important that I maintain a diet of certain core nutrients. I need enough protein, I need enough carbs, and I am a veggie-loving being. And one of my mainstays is still the ever-present nachos! And at lunchtime on my days off, you will often find my daughter and myself enjoying our nachos.

However, the nachos of today are not necessarily the same nachos of my past. I have found ways to incorporate more goodness into the nachos and to make them different almost every time!

 For all recipes, I start with a good wholesome chip. And my wholesome I mean whole grain. I have used a nice rice chip at times too and they have a really good crunch. I wish I could remember the name of this chip but found it at Costco. Then the creative fun begins!

Recipe 1: Top each chip with vegetarian refried beans, a little cheese, and microwave. For my daughter, she like her toppings in the center. I top mine with the lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, sour cream and of course, the hot stuff: chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

Recipe 2: Mix some salsa into the vegetarian refried beans and top each chip with the mix and a little shredded cheese and microwave. This time I went a bit fruity and added some sliced cuties to our lunch. My daughter also got some craisens. I added sprouts to mine.

I have found that the food I have always loved can be turned into a very nutrional meal to support my running demands and provide more nutrients than the traditional variety. And I plan to experiment more. For example, my next nachos may contain some secret ingredients in the refried bean mixture such as pureed sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or whatever puree might be sitting in my freezer waiting to be eaten!


The Solitary Runner

Do you ever feel like the only runner out there? At times, I do.

I know of many runners that are fortunate to belong to a running group. I have even looked into the running groups I am aware of in my neck of the woods, but none seem a fit for my life as running mom. At times I even yearn to live somewhere where being a running mom was more of the norm.

But perhaps I am just jumping to conclusions. Perhaps there are more running moms just around the corner and I just don't realize it. Unfortunately, my little circle of friends doesn't include any dedicated runners that would be willing to endure a training run with me for additional support.

Does all this put me at a disadvantage? Honestly, probably not. As a solitary runner I can always go at my pace. And as a solitary runner I need to stay focused, look deep inside, and keep my motivation up. And I find other ways to connect with runners and engage in fun competition during training.

So on a final note, if you are a Nike+ runner, give a call out to Run_Momma in the Nike+ forum or leave your Nike+ screen name below.

Run on!


How do you hydrate?

Hydration is a vital part of our lives in order to have happy, healthy functioning bodies but often we overlook or neglect this part of our existence. And yes, even myself at times.

But when it comes to running, hydration is vital.

With so many products on the market today geared towards runners or other exercise enthusiasts, how do you pick which method of hydration is right?

For me, I have four tried and tested hydration methods that I turn to for support.
  1. Plain water (or water with a twist of lime): I mainly drink plain water pre- and post-run and throughout the day. Very seldom do you see me carrying just water during a run because if I am going to carry a drink, it is because I am going to run a distance and need a little bit more oomph in my drink. Don't get me wrong, water is great but is best suited for standard hydration needs and shorter runs where you are not sweating too much. If you go beyond that, you need to switch your method in order to replenish those much needed electrolytes.
  2. Gatorade: How can you not turn to Gatorade? It seems to be the drink of choice at all runs and any runner knows, you don't want to drink something in a race you haven't trained with. But personally, Gatorade has always been a bit heavy on my stomach. I have trained with it diluted (quite a bit) and have done races where I take just a sip (and also hydrate with bigger sips of water). 
  3. Cytomax: I tried this when my doctor wasn't too pleased with how much I was diluting my Gatorade. She advised me to try this alternative because it goes down easier and isn't as sweet, as that was my main complaint, and I needed to get more electrolytes in my body. I got the tropical mix and it is a bit fruity but good. I have trained and raced with Cytomax.
  4. Homemade sports drink: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook (a great read for all runners) has a recipe for a sports drink that I do love. It is delicious and gentle on your stomach. I have trained and raced with this. For those who are interested, I provided the recipe below.
So how do these stack up nutritionally (per 8 oz serving)?
  • Plain water: no calories, no electrolytes
  • Gatorade: 50 calories, 14 g carbs, 100 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium
  • Cytomax: 90 calories, 22 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 60 mg vitamin C, 6 mg calcium, 14 mg magnesium, 50 mcg chromium, 120 mg sodium, 60 mg potassium
  • Homemade sports drink: 50 calories, 12 g carbs, 110 mg sodium

 Now, how do you choose?

Look at what your run is going to entail. If you are doing a longer run perhaps a drink with more carbs is worth it. Also look at the convenience and what you will really be able to do. For example, I am racing on O'ahu in April. Am I going to pack the ingredients needed for the homemade sports drink, fly to Oa'hu, and make my drink? Probably not. Too many uncertainties and hassles. I could pack some Cytomax and mix with water. That seems simple enough but how much drink do I plan to carry? The third alternative is to begin training more with Gatorade so I can drink the Gatorade and water along the course and run light. What have I decided? I'm not 100% sure yet but I am training with Cytomax and Gatorade right now and will keep you posted.

Homemade sports drink recipe (from Nancy Clark's book, Sports Nutrition Guidebook):
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 orange juice (not concentrate) plus 2 Tbl lemon juice
3 1/2 cup cold water
* Dissolve sugar and salt in hot water and then add juice. Chill.


What makes runners happy?

"Wow, runners are all just so nice!" is just one of the many comments I have heard from friends and co-workers on the disposition of runners. And it is true, runners are nice and I really enjoy being in the presence of other runners.

But what makes runners nice?

Simply stated, running.

Running has an impact on your mind, body, and soul. You need to be focused and positive to go the distance. Running trains your body to work more efficiently, to consume oxygen better, to be better coordinated; therefore, your body is more in tune to endure the challenges of each day. In addition, running releases those fantastic endorphins that make you feel oh, so good! And runners know to listen to their bodies and to properly interpret what their bodies are saying. For example, am I sluggish today because my mind perceives obstacles or am I sluggish because I'm not properly nourished? Is this pain I feel a minor temporary pain or is this a pain that I must listen to and adjust my run accordingly? Body awareness is useful in all aspects of your life as you make the necessary adjustments during play or at work when you are glued to the computer.

But is that enough to make runners happy?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

I feel the true sense of happiness that runners possess comes from the fact that runners take life at a different pace. Even the fastest runner moves slower that the mass transporation we have today allowing the runner to see things differently. Plus as a runner, you focus on different elements during the run because you need to avoid the little obstacles in your way. And for runners like me, you are up earlier than the vast majority of the public. You are out and about when others are still snoozing. You see the homeless on the sidewalks looking for warmth and feel the gratitude for the blessings in your life. You see the stores just opening up and make connections with the other early risers in your community. And today, when I left the gym after my 6.6 mile run, I saw the moon setting and the vision was absolutely beautiful! I would have missed this beauty if I didn't get up and go to the gym and am thankful I did today. (But how I wish I had a camera with me!)


Nike, Nike, Adidas....

Work is crazy and overwhelming right now and after picking up my daughter from school and coming home I was delighted that my husband was actually home. So what does any running mom do? I get out of my work clothes, pull on a new Nike running skirt I'm trying out, and put on my trusted Nike Free Runs. Hello treadmill...here I come!

And it gets better as I was blessed by my husband taking my daughter out to pick up some items for dinner so I got to run all by myself allowing me to fully take in and cherish the run.

Once I started to break a sweat I noticed this sweet aroma and pondered for a second what it was and then it dawned on me. Over twelve hours ago I put on some Adidas perfume before heading to work. Aha...Adidas-scented sweat. Fortunately, my mind quickly drifted away from the funny scent as I began to ponder the running skirt. I was always against running skirts for no real concrete reason other than I always wore shorts so why change? But to put bias aside and because I heard so many women raving about them, I thought I would give the skirts a try and guess what? I loved it!! The Nike running skirt for trial 1 was comfortable, stayed in place, and the boy shorts underneath were much better than I ever expected!

In my happy, elated moment I cranked up the speed and cranked up the tunes and ran myself to utter bliss! Music and running have been my two proven methods of relaxation so when they both come together, watch out troubles!

I finished my run in time to return to wife and mom when my family returned. My running shoes went back to the treadmill where they sit and beckon me day and night. But for now I can resist their call because I had my time and now it is time to have fun in another way --- playing with my daughter!

Happy Running!

Maui Marathon: T minus 6 months

September 2010
Okay, so in all reality it is a bit over 6 months until the Maui Marathon commences but today I begin my separate side mission. To detail the treacherous training I will endure to realize my goal of running a marathon. Is the training really going to be treacherous? Probably not. Intense perhaps. Focused absolutely! Worth it all? Yes. Are there going to be days I don't want to drag myself out of bed? Sure. But will I still endure? That is my plan!

Currently I am training 4-5 days a week. My goal, ensure 5 days of training and incorporate cross-training and stretching on a regular basis. In all reality, I want to stretch each day due to this funny hip injury I am coming off of. It seems to respond well to stretching and is happy when I stretch, so I should just stretch!

 Sounds easy enough, right? Hmmm.....I am a mom, an optimistic mom, but still a mom.

What do I perceive as my hurdles this month?
    The Victory Kiss!
  • Incorporating training run with a 3-year old who is becoming more adamant about what she wants to do. Yes, parents are ultimately the ones who are in charge but I also am a firm believer in positive parenting and if she does offer up a great negotiation to do x instead of a run with mom, I will need to be flexible and readapt. Plus, any mom knows running with an upset child in a jogging stroller is never a good idea.
  • Incorporate those lovely long runs I dream about. You know what I'm talking about, the ones where you are running for miles along a road, a beach, or even through a neighborhood listening to your tunes knowing that your sweet daughter is having fun with Dad. Oh yes, those are the runs a mom loves!  Sounds simple huh? Not so much. My husband and I both work full-time and our work weeks are structured around my daughter's two school days. Therefore, there are no regularly scheduled family days. Yep you heard that right, there are no days each and every week where my husband and I are off together. Woah!

Hurdles aside, my tools for success are:
  • Determination and I have plenty of that!
  • I have a treadmill at home and can run anytime, when time permits. In other words, I can run as late or as early as I need.
  • My own personal negotiations to sweet talk dear hubby into taking a few vacation days here and there for me to run. And yes, he is supportive and understanding enough to actually do just that!
  • Oh yeah, and tell the world about it! How can you not stay on target when you have people from every direction asking you how you are doing and what's next?

So what is next?

A T minus 5 months update in a month and other fun blogs along the way!

Happy Training!