A 2.3 mile return to running

I couldn't resist the lure of the outdoors and ended up doing my run today there instead of the gym. However, I established a smart run plan that didn't have me heading out to nowhere with a long return home. My family and I headed upcountry to one of my favorite running spots and boy, it was cold!

I found this ironic with so many people mentioning how hot it is for them and here I am thinking, this is cold. I even kept my t-shirt on over my normal running top for a bit of added warmth. I headed off to run while my darling daughter and dear hubby played at the park.

My hope was about 3 miles and to feel great at the end. It didn't really turn out that way. I immediately felt like a sloth trying to run and didn't feel like my body had an ounce of grace in it. Who knows if I looked as awkward as I felt, but I kept on running up and down the little hills and tried to console myself in the fact that my pace was sub-nine. I also chastised myself for caring about my pace since I logically told myself that today's run was to get my legs back into the groove. Pace didn't matter. Distance didn't matter. I just needed to run.

So I ran and ended up completing 2.3 miles with an overall pace of 8'49". Afterwards, I joined my family at the park and ran around the grassy area with my daughter as she ran her marathon and then her Jacaranda Race. If you have been following me for awhile, you will realize she is fully in tune with what I am doing. I am training for a marathon. I ran the Jacaranda Run this last May. Of course, her pace is slower than mine but she can really speed it up when she wants to. That girl can run! The cutest was when she started to pour pretend water over her head since she was getting hot. Once again, I guess I am making an impression as can be seen as in my review of the Wahine Half Marathon.

In all reality, I probably put in another 0.5 miles at a slow jog with my darling daughter and I should be feeling really good. But I was darn grouchy. I even cried later on and yes, my family ran to console me. Then I texted a dear friend who provided me another much needed pep talk telling me I will be back to me, probably in a week. So now, I am feeling better and my sad face from before is much happier now.

fitbook giveaway ends tomorrow, August 1st


Getting back into the groove

I find it very ironic that I fell so ill after Jennifer Mueller-Cumming's interview since one of her final comments was to not take running for granted. We are all so lucky to be able to run and I know we all know the "pain" when we can't get out and do what we want to do. And to my astonishment, there was a time when I was sick when running was farthest from my mind...not vanished....just not a compelling desire.

On my road to recovery I found myself really appreciating some of the small things again. Such as making my daughter a sandwich for lunch Thursday afternoon. And then sitting at the table eating chicken noodle (mainly broth) and enjoying the companionship of my family. I really enjoyed sharing the meal with my daughter who seemed equally excited to be eating chicken noodle. And how can I ever forget the way she clung to me and cuddled close to me Thursday night as if she was as relieved as I was that I was on the road of recovery. Although she did later comment that she wanted me to still be sick but I know that is just because she didn't want me to go to work in the morning. Can you imagine a better symbol of unconditional love? My daughter would prefer to be with me sick and not myself than to not be with me. How sweet!

I returned to work yesterday and it was exhausting. The stairs were wiping me out but at the end of the day I was able to run from my co-worker's car to the gas station convenience store to grab a Gatorade. That was a huge improvement!

I haven't run all week and no, I am not down on myself. I am going to be fine. I did have 17 miles slated for my Sunday run but I think I am going to forego the road run and go to the gym in the morning and hit the treadmill. That way I can run for what I can do and get my body fully back into the groove. I look forward to eating more protein and other nourishing food today.

And most importantly, I am thankful for all the kind words of support and concern many provided. It is very much appreciated. And I can't wait to catch up on your posts to hear what has been going on in your training! I have a lot of reading to do!

Current giveaways:
fitbook - ends August 1st
$25 Sports Authority Gift Certificate - ends August 4th


Sports Authority GIVEAWAY

Sports Authority is one of my go-to's for my running supplies. Not only do they keep me in stock with GU gels, I love the assortment of running clothes they offer. They also have a fairly good assortment of running shoes; however, I have become a bit pickier on that one. In addition, I can get running and sporting good supplies for the rest of my family!

In honor of surpassing 25 followers, I will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to Sports Authority. The winner will have the choice of an e-certificate that will be emailed to them and good online only or the standard card certificate to be mailed to them (good online and at stores).

The winner will be chosen by random.

You have until midnight August 4th to enter. The winner will be announced Friday, August 5th.

To enter the contest, you must do the following and leave me a comment for each.

  • Follow my blog here [1 entry]
  • Follow Life as a Running Mom on facebook [1 entry]
  • Share this giveaway on your blog or facebook and leave me the link in the comments [1 entry]

Good luck!


Three IV's within 2 days

The standard stomach bug wasn't the standard stomach bug after all. After convincing the doctors that I haven't traveled outside the country or gone camping, and yes I am sure, they are still uncertain about the cause of my ailment but I am finally on the mend....or so I hope.

I had one IV yesterday afternoon followed by an awful night. So I went back today, got two more IV's (all of them the standard saline) and I think I am getting better. I even ate today (and yes, the running mom who eats about 5 times a day went over 24 hours without eating).

So now, back to resting I go and I will be back to blogging, and running, soon.


A stomach bug and a new giveaway?

I have been knocked off of my feet and have spent more time lying down recently than I think I have ever done!

Yes, I have been hit by an awful stomach bug, which of course, impacts training. As of today, I am down two runs for this week. However, I am still too sick to really care too much about it. Or perhaps, I know there is plenty of time between now and race day so I am fine. I also know I am in a good training position so I am good to go.

But perhaps, I realize now that those aches I felt on Saturday and the crazy stomach since were all precursors to yesterday when the bug knocked me over. All of a sudden, I am feeling pretty darn good about my performance Sunday. I wasn't upset about it but now I am feeling even better about it.

I owe you all information on the upcoming giveaway of a $25 gift certificate since my blog has passed 25 followers. Yeah! I will try to get to it today but honestly, my head needs to hit the pillow again and I hope to return to my normal self tomorrow.


Interview with Jennifer Mueller-Cummings, Not your ordinary woman

You never know where life will take you and I am so thankful for the times my life has crossed paths with strong and wonderful woman. Ironically, I have gotten back into touch with some wonderful friends of the path only to discover that our lives have been running on parallel courses to the same running goals.

There is one remarkable woman I want to introduce to you. She is the most amazing woman I ever met, in fact, her whole family is awesome! I fell in love with them instantly and know if there wasn't an ocean between us, they would be a larger part of my life. This April I got to see my dear friend again, in person, and she is as wonderful as always and is a great example of how you can indeed take charge of your life --- to make a wonderful life even better!

Without further adieu, please let me introduce you to my dear friend, Jennifer Mueller-Cummings, from Honolulu, HI.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: How old are you?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: 35 years old. My birthday is in June, 1976.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: Do you have any children?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: Two Daughters: Kennedy (11), Ashtyn (10)

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: How long have you been running?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: My first race was in 2/2011 for The Great Aloha Run-Honolulu, HI. I had lost 90 lbs and wanted to challenge myself to see if I could START and FINISH the race. My intention was to walk the entire thing, but once the gun went off, I had this burst of energy and to my surprise was able to run the entire thing AND with a pretty good speed!! That was enough of a confidence builder that I registered for several other races!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: Why do you run?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: The t-shirts and medals....yes....I am one of "those" people...I'm just being honest!! I am starting to be more passionate about it though and see training in my future!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What is your biggest hurdle in running?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: I don't mind running, but I have a difficult time following a training schedule because then I feel like I "have to" do it rather than "want to" do it. That is my biggest challenge that I need to overcome and is the reason why I don't train for races. I run occasionally just to switch up my routine!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What are your race PR's?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers:
Kaiser Permanente Great Aloha Run (8.15 Miles) 2/2011
Time (1:20:56), Pace (9:56)

Wahine Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 4/2011
Time (2:22:00), Pace (10:51)

Hawaii Pacific Health 10k (6.2 Miles) 5/2011
Time (1:15:36), Pace (12:57)
(I got really sick during this race but finished...for the shirt!)

Coconut Chase 8k (5 Miles) 7/2011
Time (48:48), Pace (9:49)

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What is your favorite running distance and why?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: I enjoy the Half Marathon's because they are long enough that you can really get in the groove and really connect to your inner strength. It is so rewarding crossing that finish line knowing that you completed the distance. AND because you are greeted with that shiny medal that motivated me to finish!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: Can you share one interesting thing about yourself?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: I was over 230 lbs a year and a half ago and could barely walk 1 mile. I have lost 90 lbs and have a new passion for a healthy and active lifestyle. I am doing things that I have always dreamed of doing but didn't think I would ever be capable of doing. LIFE IS GOOD!!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: If you were to give a new runner one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jennifer Mueller-Cummings answers: Don't take it for granted that you are physically able to run!! Thank God for your health and the ability to be active. There are so many people who have physical limitations that prevent them from running. There are people who are watching you live out what they will only be able to dream about. I also urge you to encourage people to run and be active. You never know...you may be the person that makes a difference in their life!!

Many mahalos to Jennifer for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing her passion for life. I am sure you can now see what I wanted to highlight this remarkable woman, and yes, we should never take what we have been given for granted.

Jennifer, keep up the great work! You are a fantastic mother and a wonderful role model for all! I am so proud of you!

Jennifer can be found on facebook on her own personal page.


Girls' Day, Mall, Sales

Saucony shadow genesis

'nuff said

A new week: new goals, new me

New hairdo, prior henna
The opportunity to giveaway a fitbook to one of my readers turned out to be the best thing for me as it pushed me to reflect on my own personal training log.

I have spent a good amount of time reviewing my log for the past year and reading my comments. I discovered I have become a bit lazier in my logging recently and that was never intentional. For example, months ago I documented a low sleep night due to my darling daughter waking up a lot. I have had "bad" nights since, but they are not documented. And yes, sleep is vital.

I discovered I noted goals over time...to be more fit for example....but never once did I mention what my reward would be if I achieved the goal. I didn't even define what I meant specifically for the goal or if I achieved it. How silly of me, a person who does know how to set SMART goals in the work environment. I know goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. And we all know, people like to be rewarded, or at least acknowledged, for their successes, right? So why have I been such a bad employer for my own body?

Well, things are going to change starting today. I am going to set SMART goals for myself and I am going to reward myself for my successes, small and large. And I challenge you to do the same...To become a better employer of your own body.

If I didn't have my past log and if I didn't use it (although poorly at times) I would have remained down about my current 21.5 BMI. But hey, upon review I have discovered that is down from 22.5 at the beginning of the year. I am getting fitter! I just need to develop the proper metrics to measure, and I really am not a fan of body weight being a true measurement of fitness.

How do you define fitness?

What goals do you set for yourself? Are they SMART? Do you acknowledge yourself for your successes?


The Smart Long Run

First, thanks for all of the advice I received when I asked how I should proceed with today's long run when I felt so awful yesterday.

I ended up sticking to my plan and headed out as early as possible with dear hubby to do my run. He knew where to drop me off and we had a meet up plan that would be somewhat in the middle of my run. My hope was that running with him would give me the support I needed to get to 22 miles.

My plan was great but my body didn't hold up as well as I anticipated.

I started out with a reasonable pace and was aiming on not starting too fast as I wanted to finish stronger. Essentially, I wanted to incorporate negative splits. I was feeling really good for really long. I didn't even feel too bad when I ran up the dreaded Wailea hill with my dear hubby at about mile 14 (or was it 15?). Our pace slowed but I didn't feel like I was dying. That came about a mile or so later. All of a sudden my legs felt like lead and my whole body ached.

I tried to focus on running in the now and not thinking about what I had left to do to get to 22 miles. However, I did decide we could turn earlier to head back. My thought was that if I got to feeling stronger, which has happened before, I could pass my end point and head back again.

As the end point approached, I was still feeling like I was running beyond empty and I kept telling myself this was an awesome training run. I really wanted to see what I would do when my mind and body kept telling me to stop. So what did I do? I bargained with myself at mile 19. I told myself if I could pick up the pace for one more mile I could call it a good run at 20 miles (remember, my goal was 20-22 miles and I did receive some advice that if I had to do 16, it would be okay...thanks Matt!). I made it pass the 16 mile mark already and I think I shocked dear hubby when I picked up the pace for my final mile.

I really did hope that when I found that inner strength it would carry me a little longer...okay, a little longer than it did. I wanted this to be my longest run yet and I made it to 20.14 miles (0.01 longer than my last longest run). And trust me, when I hit that mark I felt I had nothing else to give. Therefore, I see today as a successful run with an average pace of 9'09". Not my best pace but I didn't give up as early as I wanted to. My splits are below.

Icing afterwards
So does this run scare me about my performance at a marathon when I need to go longer? Not at all. I still have weeks of training to improve upon my base and performance. I really think I was hurting as a result of being dehydrated yesterday (yes, as I drank a lot I began to feel better but I probably wasn't at prime), and I don't know if lentil soup was the best dinner I should have had last night.

Once that marathon comes, I will have all my ducks in a row and I will succeed!!

Are you interested in getting a free training log? Enter the fitbook GIVEAWAY


Running Advice Needed

I feel terrible today. My whole body aches and my head is throbbing and my stomach is a bit unsettled. Some of this may just be a monthly hormone thing too.

I think it is due to a long meeting (8+ hours) outside yesterday in the sun. I really think I am dehydrated and plan to drink plenty of water today and take some vitamin C.

But here is the thing: I have a 20-22 mile run on my schedule tomorrow that I really, really want to do. I even have someone lined up to watch my darling daughter and my dear hubby will be meeting me at the halfway point to finish with me.

Do I run on? When do I make the final running call? What would you do?

On a happier note, you can officially enter the fitbook giveaway now. The winner will be announced August 2nd.

fitbook GIVEAWAY

I first fell in love with this training book online but honestly, I didn't really appreciate the book until I saw it with my own eyes. The first thing that shocked me was how small it was. Really, could something this small be so useful? Will it provide me the motivation I need?

Trust me, I do realize a book in itself cannot be motivating but it is a valuable tool that cannot be overlooked. And I liked small since it could easily fit in my purse but questioned if it was too small to track the information I want to track. I can't tell you how wrong I was for questioning is small would be big enough. It is perfect!

But I am not just in love with its size.

I love that it has a place for you to put your identifying information in the front (as much or as little as you please) so your lost fitbook can find its way back to you.

I love that it gives you a little advice on establishing SMART goals.

I love that it provides you a place to put your metrics at the front so you can track your progress after the entire 12 weeks. I realize this has more importance to some than others and I use it just because I love the cute pictures!

And yes, I love fitbook because it is so darn cute! And useful! (And they have junior versions!) But don't just take my word for it. Check out this testimonial.

Are you ready to get your very own fitbook pink today?

This giveaway has ended. Here is how you can enter the fitbook giveaway:
  1. MANDATORY: Follow my blog and leave a comment [1 entry] 
  2. MANDATORY: Comment here on what you currently use to track your workouts/food and why it works for you and tell me your current 12-week goal that you would like to track using the fitbook if you win! [1 entry]
  3. MANDATORY: Like fitbook on facebook and/or follow fitbook on twitter and tell them {lifeasa}RunningMom sent you and leave me a comment [1 entry for each]
  4. Follow Life as a Running Mom on facebook and leave a comment [1 entry]
  5. Follow Life as a Running Mom on twitter and leave a comment [1 entry]
  6. Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, or twitter and leave a comment for each [1 entry for each]
Enter by midnight Monday, August 1st. The winner will be drawn by random by my darling daughter and I will announce the winner Tuesday, August 2nd.

Get your own fitbook today HERE.

I received no compensation for this review. The fitbook was provided to me free of charge for review and giveaway. The opinions are solely my own.


Breaking through the rut

I think I have found my way to greener pastures....finally!

One thing I have benefited from recently through running and blogging is finding comfort in the fact that I am not alone when I find myself in that dark, dreaded rut. It has been plaguing me recently and today, I really feel I found the true exit. Not that pretend one that just wraps around straight back into that same rut you are trying so hard to pull yourself out of.

I have found my passion for running again by finding my positive attitude again. I can be hard on myself. Really hard. I don't think there is anyone out there who can be harder on me than me. Why do I do this to myself? I don't know but it does have the benefit of me having the capability to push myself to success. But it has that dreaded downfall of being too hard on myself when I am not achieving the goals I set for myself.

Case in point. Earlier this week I had a great workout with paces I should be really happy with. However, since it wasn't exactly what I planned to do because of that dreaded rut and my hectic life, I wasn't happy with the workout. Does it benefit me to think poorly of myself in this case? Absolutely not!

Today I woke up in that same rut but I was beginning to see the light. I remembered ruts in the past where I just did nothing. This time, I am still getting out there and doing something. I may be doing more cross training but I am not laying around gloomy. I made it to the gym this morning with the same mantra I have been giving myself all week --- you just need to do at least 20 minutes of something. If you do more, great. If not, it is okay.

I cycled today and spent a little time leafing through a Shape magazine before I tossed it to the floor to really feel the cycling in my legs. I left my iPod in my gym bag and listened to the music at the gym. And I reflected on my training and realized, I am doing great! I am staying active and even squeezed in a second workout on a day where I felt my morning workout wasn't enough.

Hello fitbook, here I come!
Yes, I have detoured from my plan recently but I am not lost. I know where my end point is and I will make it there. And I decided, I am going to toss my old log aside and get into my fitbook logging again starting this Monday. Why? Because I keep telling you how awesome the fitbook is so why am I waiting to start using it again? I want to sit down, analyze my past week, and set SMART goals for next week. I need to set myself up for success. I need to see my small improvements and reward myself for getting things done instead of getting down on myself for veering off a course I set up months ago.


Working on Speed

I have been grouchy this week. Call it hormones, call it too many late nights, call it whatever you will but it is beginning to annoy me.

Typically, when the grouchies hit me I just run out the door and run! Problem solved, I am calm and peaceful. But for some reason this week my normal tricks aren't working (so perhaps it is the lack of sleep after all).

So what am I doing about it? My training week is changing a bit as I am focusing on speed work because this is the type of run that can usually obliterate the grouchies. I did end up doing a second workout yesterday after work and for that I am grateful. All the treadmills at the gym were taken so my dream of sprint intervals vanished and was replaced by the Stairmaster. Have you ever got onto one of those things at the gym? It has been a long time for me since my recent gym-stair experiences have been the Stairclimber. The Stairmaster is tall and there you are above every one working your little heart out. I had 30 minutes to devote to my after work indulgence and I did climbing intervals instead fo sprint intervals. How did it work out? It was hard and just what I needed! I felt good and relaxed (but remember what I said about those grouchies returning?).

Today I overslept (once again reiterating that perhaps I am a bit sleep deprived right now) but I still mustered up the power to get to the gym for my pre-work workout. But I only had 30 minutes (again) and I needed some time with the foam roller today. So I jumped on the treadmill and did speed intervals for 20 minutes and loved it!

Why do I love the treadmill for speed work? I like that you set your pace and the treadmill does force you to keep it. No one wants to fall off, right? And I am competitive enough to not turn down the pace if I am feeling tired and crazy enough to increase the pace to keep pushing myself to maintain the proper rate of perceived exertion. I honestly feel for me speed intervals on the treadmill are more beneficial than me doing the same on a track. But I guess I would have to give the track a try to verify my theory!

After my intervals, I did devote some time to a foam roller and guess what, my trigger points weren't as achy as I thought they were. There was just one really, really bad one and it hurt so good to focus on releasing that muscle.

It is so small, yet so good!
Sneak Peak into fitbook

This week had made me reflect on different ways to set goals and document progress. Recently, I have been propelled to focus on my long term goal of running a marathon and the log I picked up at the time I set this goal lasted one year. In the front, it has an area to chart out your year and then every four weeks you set your plan. I think this has some merit but can you really truly set a good plan for yourself 4 weeks out? I trust I can set my long runs but what about the other training and adapting for good days and bad days? What about setting SMART goals that truly are aligned with your progress?

other log - place to map out your month

What I love about fitbook is that although you set an overall goal 3 months out, you are propelled to look at your training week by week by setting weekly plans. This makes more sense to me. I will always have my larger goal and anticipated pathway to get there, but I like the idea of evaluating the completed week, looking at my pathway for the next week, and setting SMART goals for achieving it the next week. This allows you to factor in life and your progress in training. It sets you up for success but forcing you to really look at where you are and where you want to be.

fitbook - mapping out your week

I bought the year long training log since I felt it was necessary and I felt it was a financial value. A whole year for less than a year of fitbooks. But honestly, don't we all know you get what you pay for? I will stick with the fitbooks in the future and can't wait to return to them. (But I can't waste a log, can I?)

Stay tuned for more glimpses into fitbook and a chance to win one!


The fitbook excitement builds!

You may remember me mentioning that thanks to fitbook by fitlosophy I have won two fitbooks, one for myself and one to give away to an awesome reader.

It gets better! I just found out that the version of the fitbook the winner receive is the fitbook pink!! This limited edition fitbook benefits breast cancer and won't be available again until October! I don't think I have told you this, but I love pink and I love anything that benefits cancer research!

I know I keep promising you the opportunity to participate in this giveaway and trust me, I am working hard to get all my ducks in a row. But here is my plan, today I am going to introduce you to fitbook and its line of products, in a couple of days I am going to give you a sneak peak into my life and why I think fitbook is a better means to document my training, and then I will officially launch the giveaway. If you are not a follower yet, now is a good time to begin to follow so you don't miss out on the giveaway and all my cool training updates. And since I care so much about you, I will be tossing in an extra treat or two along the way!

Click HERE to get your own fitbook today!

This could be in your hands soon!

But before then, you can see inside this!

And what can be better, a version for your little ones!


Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things

My goal is to inspire others to do wonderful things, to get out and be active, and to find success.

Today I want to highlight a gentleman who is making great headway in accomplishing his own personal goal.

But before I begin, I want to express my deepest gratitude to this gentleman for taking the time to answer my questions so I could share his story of determination and perseverance to lose weight, increase his personal fitness, and run a marathon. He is at the beginning of a wonderful journey but already has some stories to share with others.

Without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to....

Name: Gary Aneis

Age: 34

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What motivated you to begin running?
Gary answers: My friend convinced mt to give it a try, so I did!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: How long have you been running?
Gary answers: Since this past fall.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What has been your greatest achievement?
Gary answers: So far my 5-mile run at the end of June.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What is your biggest hurdle?
Gary answers: Just to keep improving my pace.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What are your race PR's?
Gary answers: 1 mile 12:46; 3 miles 46:19; 5K 49:19; 3.5 miles 52:50; 4 miles 54:45; 5 miles 1:14:19

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What is your favorite running distance?
Gary answers: I don't have one yet.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: Can you share one interesting tidbit about yourself?
Gary answers: I'm a sports nut!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: If you were to give a new runner one piece of advice, what would it be?
Gary answers: One step at a time, don't rush anything!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: You have accomplished so much in your running and weight loss goals. What advice would you give others who want to lose weight?
Gary answers: Same as above, one step at a time. Don't rush anything.

You can learn more about Gary and follow his success at www.500lbs2marathon.com.

And to help you all track your fitness goals and progress, stay tuned for my upcoming giveaway. Thanks to fitbooks by fitlosophy, I will be able to provide at least one reader with a fitbook of their own to track their goals. If I reach 50 followers or more, I will go ahead and give away the second fitbook I won! In addition, I will have some extra items.


Foam Rolling Tips

My foam roller is my best friend.

Okay, perhaps not for communication but for injury prevention and my own personal rehap....it is the best.

I did look at the general instructions initially and through trial and error I have found my own trigger points and sometimes it hurts so good! This is when I know I need to keep foam rolling!

My problem child is my left piriformis muscle and although I seem to be doing okay with it and the foam roller, I always am looking for ways to be more effective. I have found a good video demonstrating good form for using the foam roller for your piriformis muscle. I tried his tips and it made a huge difference in a quicker release --- and isn't that what we are after?

Jai's advice was so helpful on my glutes I thought perhaps I would look and see what he suggested for my hamstrings to see if it was equally helpful. And yes, sweet success! The tips he provided were quite useful to how to better position myself for one leg, to straighten my back more, and how to alter the effect with toe placement.

Do you foam roll?
Where are your trigger points?
What are your secret tips for more effective foam rolling?


Pushing myself - 10.3 miles done

I was planning on a tempo run today but that was modified a bit but I can't complain. My expended effort was way up there and I achieved my goal. Run well and run hard.

Today I ran with my dear hubby and my goal was 10 miles. We ended up completing 10.3 miles by the time we got to the store door to take a post-run bathroom break and grab some post-run snacks.

We started out at an easy pace to allow for a good warm-up. Once my Nike+ told me I had completed one mile, I informed my dear hubby it was time to pick up the pace and I started going. Shortly afterwards I checked in on my pace and it was around 7'30". What? I was originally thinking a tempo run for a few miles at a pace around 8'06". My dear hubby was behind me and I wanted to see how far I could sustain this fast pace for myself. So I pushed the mile and decided to change my plan and do a couple of fast one miles.

At the start of mile 3 I slowed up and did a mile at a slower pace and hubby joined my side again...kind of....he was a bit ahead of me but I was running with different goals today. It wasn't just distance. I wanted to incorporate training to increase my speed and performance.

Once I was informed I had completed 3 miles I picked up the pace again and the only thing I communicated to dear hubby was "tempo" as I took off. Moments later I checked in on my pace and it was sub-seven. What? Really? Moments after that I felt exhausted and I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to let up and give up on pushing this mile. I lost count. I kept finding new targets to run to and honestly found the second target before I reached the first. I kept checking in on my pace not wanting to let myself give in since my rate of perceived exertion was way up there. I was dying! But I completed the mile and was surprised that within minutes my breathing returned to normal with the easier pace.

We reached the turnaround point at 5 miles and as much as I hoped to do another mile fast, I felt beat. My hip ached and we were running into a strong headwind. I wanted to slow to nothing but kept going as fast as I could. At one point my dear hubby commented on my slow pace. I kind of asked for it but even though I knew I was struggling, I really didn't want someone calling it to my attention. (He apologized many times afterwards so no harm.) But if you look at my splits, you can see my toughest time.

My legs were aching. My hip wanted me to stop but I knew it was my body resisting. I knew this training and running on empty with tired legs was very important to my marathon training. I was going to do the final 6, just like the final 6 in a marathon, and it may be tough but I will succeed! Failure is not an option.

I slowly began increasing my pace and focused on Matt Holton's advice to run positive splits. I didn't worry about slowing down to a pace I don't normally run but focused on increasing it in the final miles. And guess what? I achieved my goal!

I did increase my pace even against that nasty headwind.

So how do I feel about today's training run? I think it was awesome. I ran hard, I ran when tired, I remained focused, and I didn't give up. But there is also that little part of me that wished I maintained a sub-seven minute mile for that whole 2nd push. Really, I couldn't get those 2 seconds back! Perhaps next time.

Where we were going

Where we came from


Giveaway coming up soon!

from www.getfitbook.com

Thanks to fitbook by fitlosophy I just won two fitbooks and will be giving away at least one and perhaps more.

The official giveaway post will be coming up soon.

On a side note, I forgot to tell you the funniest part of my run yesterday on the treadmill at the gym. For the first time ever I dropped something. Okay, I really didn't drop anything, just knocked my little towel off the holder and there it went. Of course, I gracefully stopped, retrieved my towel, ignored all the looks, and resumed running. Moments later I looked up at the TV to see a man running really fast on a treadmill and no, he didn't drop anything. Just fell off. How ironic!

Getting back into the groove

Daily vitamins and calcium
My goal yesterday, put in some running time on my way home to work.

I headed off to the gym and as I entered I was greeted by a staff member who often works when I run; however, today he was doing his training. He asked if I was going to do another 10 miles today. When I replied nope, it is a recovery week, his response was that I would end up doing 4-5 miles. If that doesn't motivate you to get it done, what does?

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't really low on motivation but that is one thing I like about going to the gym from time to time. People there can really motivate you and you can make connections to others training towards the same goal. I now know two people at the gym who are also striving to do the Maui Marathon this year and we can touch base on progress. Although, I never have time to say more than a couple of words with my hectic schedule.

I had about 40 minutes to run today as I had to get home in time to do a family night out and take my darling daughter to her first movie at a movie theater. (This is a big thing!) I ended up running 4.35 miles with an overall pace of 9'12". This is slower for me but I am feeling good and my hip seems to be back to its normal quirky self.

What's next? A tempo run tomorrow with my dear hubby. I don't know if he is going to run the tempo pace with me but I know he will be there with me before and after. I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you run at the gym?
Where do you find motivation?
Have you ever gotten overprotective of yourself after a running injury?


In LOVE with fitbook!

I love details and I love to analyze things. I am also completely committed to my training and want to monitor my progress. Therefore, I document my runs meticulously (and sometimes in multiple places).

The best avenue to do this is with a fitbook! The main selling point of a fitbook is that it is small and can easily fit into my purse. Yes, I just confessed, I love to carry my training log with me and it goes with me almost everywhere! To work, to the gym, to the store....I think you get the point. But do I really pull out that book and look at it where ever I am....sadly (or gladly if you are a runner who understands)....yes!

So what are some more selling points about the fitbook that I like (besides the small size)?
  • It has a place at the start to put your information in case you and your precious fitbook ever get separated.
  • It prompts you to identify and write down your 12-week plan, current weight and other health stats, and goals.
  • It provides you ample space to log your weekly plan, stats, goals, and REWARDS for success! I have never seen another training log that prompts and reminds you to reward yourself.
  • It includes the categories of strength training, cardio, flexibility, food, and nutrients so you can track all aspects of your training and fitness.
  • It provides space for a weekly wrap-up and analysis.

What are some of the downsides?
  • I do wish they offered versions longer than 12 weeks for those who have longer-termed goals.
  • It is hard to fit all my running into the cardio section but you can always add it elsewhere. And on that note, I keep hearing a runner's version is on its way so if we all ask, perhaps it will become available super quick!!!
Check out the fitbook and let me know what you think. Would you like one? Do you want a runner's version? How do you log and keep track of your training?

If you have a fitbook, today is your last day to blog about it and perhaps win one! Go to fitbook's facebook page to learn more.


Just a little recovery run


That is how I am feeling even though I know my added rest was and still is beneficial to me overall. Logically, I know it doesn't hurt my training and planned to take one more day but I just couldn't. It had been 48 hours since my last run and I was in withdrawal and getting antsy and cranky. Please tell me I am not alone in this?

So I ran. But I only ran 2 miles. And I only ran them at recovery pace, which is leaving me not feeling too good about myself. I didn't get winded. I really didn't get sweaty. But I guess I do feel good that I ran. But I am still feeling lazy so perhaps I will just remain kicked back, pick up my yarn and crochet needle, and continue to work on that project for my daughter that I have been working on since last Thanksgiving. Sounds good, huh?

But it won't happen. Instead, I will empty the dishwasher, give my daughter a bath, clean the playroom, make dinner, and carry on with the other elements of my end-of-day routine. So those feet propped up??? That lasted just long enough for me to take the picture!

Kaua'i Marathon - Call me crazy?

I may be nuts but I love to run! And what do all runners do on a day they are worried about a pesky injury returning? Register for another race! Okay, maybe not all but that is what this running mom did.

I have a secret confession - I am also inspired by Dean Karnazes ever since I watched the Ultramarathon Man movie that details his 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. How can a runner not be inspired by that? And it wasn't just me. My dear hubby and darling daughter loved the movie too!

So what does all of this have to do with registering for another race?

Quite a lot! Trust me!

Dean Karnazes will be the official host at the Kaua'i Marathon, for the third year in a row by the way. So this is my chance to meet someone truly inspirational and who cares about kids' fitness too! (That touches the mommy-side of me.) And I already confirmed with him that he won't be able to make it to Maui this year and he suggested I run Kaua'i.

I was amped! But I contained myself since I do have the Maui Marathon on September 18th that I am training for and the Kaua'i Marathon is September 4th. So I looked at my training schedule ready to find a real reason why it wouldn't be feasible. And there is a 12-13 mile run scheduled on the 4th. So, after checking with dear hubby and trying to talk myself out of it a bit more, I am going to Kaua'i to run the half!!!! The downside is this run I am doing alone. My dear hubby graciously said I could and should go and he will stay home with our darling daughter. I owe him big for this one and already said this could be my birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gift this year!

Have you ever spontaneously registered for a race or another endeavor because of your personal passion? How did it turn out?

Oh, and the pain I woke up to yesterday. Gone! I am me again and the extra rest was just what I needed! Trust me, today I woke up feeling rested and rejuvenated so that little twinge ended up being a blessing in disguise!


Waking up to pain

It happened again and of course, I panicked! I woke up to pain in my hip. Not terrible pain. Not painful enough to stop walking or stay home from work. Just painful enough to get me worrying. Why would I worry about a little nagging pain?

Just before Christmas last year I woke up to pain. It was a little more pronounced than today's. It was in a different location. But I woke up to it just the same. My choice then - still go to the gym but do some cylcling instead of running to give my body a break. The next day, I got back into running. Shortly thereafter, the pain worsened and before I knew it, I could barely move and pain was going down my leg. So of course, I go to the doctor to fix me. The doctor's advice - I had a nerve issue. Just keep walking. Do NOT lay down because it will do me no good. So like a good little girl, I listened. BAD idea! The pain worsened and I turned into one grouchy mom who made the whole family miserable as I cried in pain and couldn't move around on my own very well. Somehow I managed to get into the car and my dear family gladly took me back to the doctor.

I hobbled into the examining room and saw a different doctor this time. He took one look at me, knew I was serious, and asked what was up. I went through the whole scenario again. I woke up in pain. I don't see how it is associated to my running since I didn't do anything major the day before the pain. He watched me hobble and said, it was not a nerve thing. I had a torn muscle or tendon and he did the same thing. (Yes, this doctor happened to be a runner and a cyclist....I love it when doctors understand!)

He gave me an anti-inflammatory shot, sent me to x-rays to verify it wasn't anything else (it wasn't), and by the time I hobbled back to him (being escorted by the x-ray technician) he could tell the pain was beginning to ease up. Which really meant, now I was just in excruciating pain versus extremelely excruciating pain and 'you really want me to move?' pain.

Oh and by the way, his advice, lay down and relax!

I followed his advice. Did the icing. Took the week of anti-inflammatory meds and amost 7 months later....I am pretty much me again. I only say pretty much since I do things differently now. I do targeted stretching focusing on my glutes and hamstrings. I do routine foam rolling. Things I never did before. And it is working.

But I woke up in pain today. Once again, different pain but pain.

What am I doing (besides panicking about the impact on my training)?

I am not running today. I will take a day to rest and recover. It is a recovery week. I can afford it and the benefits far outweigh the risk of making something worse. Perhaps I am overcompensating but I really don't care.

I have an icy hot patch on my hip. I took ibuprofen (I don't routinely do this). And I have my dad's prayer blanket with me at work. It is a security thing and I really won't look funny since it is cold at work...really cold. And most importantly, I prayed. I put myself into God's hands and placed my trust in Him. Other than that, there isn't much I can do.

How am I feeling now? It has been a couple of hours and I am feeling better. But I am glad I left all my running gear at home so I don't get tempted to run later. And yes, this was an intentional move on my part since I really can give into temptation!

Once home, I am sure my dear hubby will keep me off the treadmill as I also left him a note letting him know I woke up in pain.

But to leave this post on a postive note. Check out my current placement in some Nike+ challenges I entered!

211 miles in 2011
Place 497 of 20,706 as of last night
in top 2.5%

700km (435 miles) in 2011
Place 33 of 453 challengers as of last night
in top 7.3%


10% Incline Run - Oh my!

After a long day of work there were three things I was dying to do. Pick up my darling daughter from school, hear about her day, and run. On the way home we stopped so I could stock up on GU gel. My darling daughter really wanted me to try mint chocolate and although I LOVE mint chocolate, the idea of running and ingesting it didn't sound too pleasing. I opted for mandarin orange and blackberry.

Once we got home, I quickly got myself geared up for the running part of my day. My darling daughter was an eager supporter and brought tons of clothes into the playroom/living room/exercise room so she could play school with teddy while I ran. I didn't have much time so I focused on pushing myself. I ran 2 miles at a constant 10% incline. My run profile was a lopsided pyramid. I increased my pace to the midpoint and then tapered down ensuring the second half of my run was faster than the first half. Overall my pace was 9'51". I know this seems slow in comparison to my other paces but really, running at that incline is tough! Really tough! My rate of perceived exertion was really up there and when my darling daughter kept asking questions I eventually had to resort to waving my hand to indicate not now. Plus, I think this is my best pace to date at this incline.

Now onto Thankful Tuesday:
  • I am thankful for the unexpected surprises that come into my life. You never do know what lies in store for you.
  • I am thankful for the comments on my training post about what my longest pre-marathon race run should be. I am also thankful for all the people who responded to me on facebook as well. I will try to get those responses to you all soon.
  • I am thankful for diaper rash cream. Yep, diaper rash cream. Months ago when I had a bad chafing experience (pre-Glide) I stumbled across some of my darling daughter's diaper rash cream that she didn't really need anymore. I tried some on my chafing and it helped. So when I discovered a raw spot from my gel arm band Sunday, I hunted down that bottle of diaper rash cream and generously applied. It seems to be helping. What do you do to promote quicker healing?


Training Question - How long should my longest run be?

Earlier today I was pondering how long my longest run should be in preparation for a marathon.

For those of you who have run a marathon before, what is the longest run you did in the weeks leading up to the race?

I have 10 weeks of training to go and my current plan of increased distances are:
  • 2 weeks from now: 20-21 miles
  • 4 weeks from now: 21-22 miles
  • 6 weeks from now: 22-23 miles

I wasn't sure of how I would be handling the distances when I started this plan but I seem to be holding up well and recovering quickly.

I had a comment from Matt from Maui Runner on my last blog entry, who anticipated my question (somehow) and he thought I could go to 24 miles or so. I think I could and still have time to do a proper taper before race day.

So what do you say? Stick to the plan or up the mile ranges by 1 for my next three longest runs?


and it just keeps getting longer...

Today's goal: 20 miles. It would be my new longest run. My longest to date is 18 miles.

I would love to say I woke up and that everything in life was perfectly aligned for success, but that really wasn't the case. There was some whining, temper tantrums, and a little fighting before I put my feet on the ground to run. Not the way I want to head out on the longest run of my life but it is what I had to conquer today. And yes, I wanted to throw in the towel, toss the run to the side to be done another day, but dear hubby wouldn't let me. Mahalo!

It took me a few miles to get into a groove and I honestly felt during those first 3 miles I was forcing myself to get into a consistent pace more so than usual. My splits ended up being:

  • Mile 1: 8'21"
  • Mile 2: 8'06"
  • Mile 3: 8'14"
My mind was a little too focused on the large goal at hand and it took some time for me to focus on my mini-milestones. I like to think of the next GU because it forces me to access my body, how I am feeling, and develop a plan for my next carb replenishment. Besides the 4 GU gels I packed, I was carrying a 12 oz bottle of very diluted Gatorade. I was set. (Pre-run was most of a PowerBar and a mix1).

At mile 5 I took my first GU.

For the first almost 8 miles I was running a pretty much flat course. I encountered more runners on this path today because it seems the Army recruits were in training and they were struggling! I don't know what they were running but one struggling guy's time was 15'10". Moments later I passed two more walking with a random jogging step here and there. They were being closely trailed by their supervisor in a vehicle behind them. That would make me want to run faster!

Around mile 8 I was happy to be moving into my next phase of running. I had already run from Kahului to Kihei. The elevation profile would now be slightly hillier but there was now a cool breeze, and I needed that!

  • Mile 4: 8'10"
  • Mile 5: 8'12"
  • Mile 6: 8'22"
  • Mile 7: 8'36"
  • Mile 8: 8'45"

I knew my pace was fluctuating more and wondered how much of it had to do with the slight rolling hills. I really think it may be becasue I was now running where I needed to be more alert. There are more crosswalks, more obstacles, more cars to watch. The terrain was also less pristine with sandy patches, gravel, and uneven or nonexistant shoulders.

I took my second GU at mile 9.

Around mile 12 I took a detour to a public bathroom at a beach park and then took another slight detour shortly thereafter to fill up my water bottle at another beach park's water fountain.

  • Mile 9: 8'10"
  • Mile 10: 8'45"
  • Mile 11: 8'53"
  • Mile 12: 8'59"

I was now venturing into Wailea and the inclines were becoming more pronounced but the scenery is very pleasant. I was running with many other runners running in different directions and one guy kept passing me with the way he was running his loops. It was a bit discouraging for a moment but when I veered off to the "big" incline and he didn't, I felt strong.

  • Mile 13: 8'58"
  • Mile 14: 8'37"
  • Mile 15: 8'47"
  • Mile 16: 9'03"

At mile 14 I took my 3rd GU and passed my end point. I really was feeling the inclines and imagined I had a constant uphill climb in front of me. I knew that was not the case but really, I feel there is more uphill than downhill. I pushed myself to the turnaround point two miles away and told myself not to worry about pace. Take it slow if I needed. Just keep running. I also told myself I could have my spare GU, the 4th, if I wanted.

  • Mile 17: 8'55"
  • Mile 18: 9'19"

I took that 4th GU at mile 17. At mile 18 I turned back to my ending point. I tried to convince myself it was all downhill from here since I felt I was going all uphill that past two miles. Logically I knew that wasn't the case. Emotionally I must have too because I called on my dad for support. I usually bring him into my final mile but needed him for the final two today. And yes, I really think I said "Dad, I need you now" out loud. Did anyone hear? Well, my dad did and he always seems to have my spirit guide with him too.

For the final two miles I received thoughts of when to drink, to keep my pace as is, that a downhill is just a few steps away, etc. I even ran pass my endpoint a bit to a large tree I was determined to make it to and then turned around to head to the beach. Why? I felt I could do it. I wanted to prove I could. And most importantly, I knew that final stretch was going to be an awesome downhill so I could push myself a bit more now.

  • Mile 19: 9'08"
  • Mile 20: 9'17"

Total miles: 20.12 miles
Total time: 2:54'41"
Overall pace: 8'41"

How do I feel? Awesome! (with achy legs)

What was the grossest thing I saw on my run? A dead cat, which made me really glad I do pay close attention to where I put my feet.

What was the sadest? A lady crying in a car but fortunately she wasn't by herself.

What was the most unexpected? The intense aroma of blossoms during one portion.

What was the most annoying? A van screeching brakes for no reason.

What was the happiest? Getting to my endpoint, seeing my family, crashing on the blanket, and my daughter immediately offering me some cutie. Yes please!


A Mom's "Rest" Day

If you look at my training schedule you will see that little squiggle under Saturday, every Saturday. That indicates that today is to be a rest day. But in all reality, Saturdays are anything but restful.

What is on my plate today? Well, no running (so sad) but I do have lots of other things that have me running around. My darling daughter and I have already run all around town to get a start on the day's errands and chores. I am on my second of four loads of laundry. And the cake we are baking....already in the oven. On that note, the pineapple has been sliced and is all set in the dehydrator for our next batch of pineapple chips. And it isn't even 9:00 am yet!

And somehow in the middle of all of this I will need to find time to play and check on poor Rainbow who isn't feeling well (that is, darling daughter's doll). I also need to figure out what to do for dinner and it needs to be special since today is dear hubby's birthday! Where is he? At work, all day, for a really long day.

I hope you all have a great Saturday and I will let you know how my 20 mile run goes tomorrow! Right now I am feeling pretty good about it but yesterday I got a major cause of jitters that lasted a minute or so. Oh my!


What have I been doing?

Holiday weeks are indeed great weeks and I am enjoying each moment of the week!

I typically work Tuesday through Friday, which means long days to get my 40 hours in but wait, Monday was a holiday and there you go, 8 hours completed! What does that mean to a running mom? I could actually catch a few more zzz's this week (needed for proper recovery) and run until my little heart is content. Although for that second part, I don't know if I will ever be able to run as much as I dream I could because even during holiday weeks, life has commitments and I have other things that I need (and want) to do.

But yesterday I treated myself to pure indulgence. Lovely, fantastic, mind-boggling indulgence! I had already clocked in some extra hours on Tuesday and Wednesday so I got the a-ok to leave work super early yesterday. Yep, I was done my noon and headed out to run. My training plan had me slated to run 9 miles yesterday and I was going to achieve my goal (and even got some extra sleep!). I ended up running 9.42 miles with the goal of maintaining a somewhat consistent pace, which really means, NO, Running Mom, you may not do speed work or do intervals today. Could you please refrain yourself and just run? 

I achieved my goal of consistency and maintained a pace of 8'49" (give or take 5-10 seconds or so).

Afterwards, I picked up my daughter early from school and we ran some errands and I treated us to a very diluted Powerade while we shopped. I needed a drink and remember, I am trying to avoid those diet cokes?

Dinner was spicy chicken wings with a touch of oniony mashed potatoes and a wonderful tomato side salad. I improvised on the side salad and cut some grape tomatoes in half, added some capers, sliced up a little monterey jack cheese, and topped with roasted flax seeds and a sprinking of black pepper (fresh ground). Yummy!

But that wasn't the end of my indulgence. After my darling daughter fell asleep, my dear hubby treated me to a back and leg massage and then off to bed I went.

Today all I could think about when I woke up was cross training. After reviewing my training for the week I justified my instictual decision. Due to me missing some runs awhile back my weekly mileage total is a bit off from my plan. So even if I did cut the miles back today, I would still increase mileage this week and that includes the 20 miles I have on my schedule for Sunday. In fact, I would be increasing from approximately 35 miles last week (my max so far that I could see in my quick review) to 40 miles this week. Sounds reasonable.

So after a 1.04 mile warm-up (I had to run something, right?) I did some time on the cycle with a random profile then hopped on over to work on my abs. I can't remember the last time I really devoted morning time to my core. And what did I do in the rest intervals between ab sets? Stretched my glutes and hamstrings, of course!

Then it is off to work for me in my pre-pregnancy jeans that are fitting me just the way I like them!  

What a good start to the day!


Obliterating Obstacles!

Yikes! I overslept!

That was my first thought of the day and no, I didn't oversleep. It was just the back porch light that decided to go on and off throughout the night. Honestly, I didn't even know that sensor light worked and never saw it on for over 2 years so what is up with that?

It was only 3:48 am and even though I did snooze until after 4:00 am (guess I did end up oversleeping after all), I got up and headed down to the gym. My mental state was grouchier than anything and even though I logically knew running would make me happier, overcoming this mental road block served to be obstacle 2 for the day. (By the way, obstacle 1 was oversleeping.)

I told myself that I had to run and just get there and get it done. I told myself all I had to do was 3 miles this morning and I could do another 2 in the evening. I told myself not running was not an option.

So after chastising myself, I hopped onto the treadmill and set my plan to do some hill repeats. Isn't that what you do when you are resisting a run? Increase the intensity? I altered every two minutes between a 3% incline and a decline. Furthermore, every 10 minutes I increased my pace. I was going to run the grouchiness out of me if it was the last thing I was going to do this morning!

I ended up running for 35 minutes with my 5 minute cool-down (but really, that just meant I was running at no incline for 5 minutes). My overall pace was 8'44" and I can't wait to really analyze those splits since I did run my downhills faster than my uphills. The end result - 4.02 miles completed. And how is the running mom? Much happier!

And now for some gratitude. Thanks to Secrets of a Running Mom, I am now the proud owner of a cute 13.1 bumper sticker for my car! I love that the text is in purple since it is my darling daughter's favorite color. She helped me find the perfect spot and place the bumper sticker on my car and ran off to get my dear hubby to show him. I must say, I don't think he felt the love as much as my darling daughter and I did. He kinda looked at it and then asked "what does it signify?". Oh my! I felt crushed and immediately thought about the post on 365 Runs....hopefully. I know I commented that I could see someone in my neck of the woods not knowing what a 26.2 (or 13.1 in my case) bumper sticker meant but I  never imagined it would hit so close to home. I informed dear hubby that it was 13.1 for a half marathon, and no, it wasn't a bible verse, and found peace in the fact that my darling daughter got it. Well, probably not the half marathon part but she did know it was a running thing!


6 Miles to Flush out Injustice

I awoke to talk about a trial, a trial I wasn't following at all. Yes, I was aware of it and saw random images on the TV at the gym but who can read closed captions on a TV when running? And I have no TV channels at home so there you go. My life in a media bubble.

But facebook friends filled me in on the verdict and my co-worker brought me up to speed on what I should know and I found myself pondering the justice system for a milli-second before moving on to prepare a presentation on dolphins I need to do tomorrow. Oh yeah, I am on top of my training schedule but procrastinate on other matters of life.

I left work and headed to my faithful treadmill for today's 6 mile run. I was bombarded by images on the TV of a sweet little girl. Within moments I realized I was angry and wanted to scream at the top of a mountain. Frustration with the things in life I have no control over mounted and naturally I thought of my Dad. And once again, within minutes I felt a surge of peace as the run vented my frustration, my sense of injustice in the world, and I once again realized how lucky I was to be a runner.

My run ended up being 6.08 miles and then I told myself to rein it in. I have a heavy load this week - the most miles for a week ever and my longest run ever on Sunday. I can't go randomly adding too much more mileage in here and there. My overall pace was 8'49" but I really pushed the final mile in memory of all who have left us but rest in peace and are free of pain.

My Dad, my hero, my inspiration.

My Grandma who I really wish could be here with me today to do "icicles" on my arm.

My Grandpa who was quiet but strong and taught me the power of observation.