Running the Worries Away

I am coming to terms with my mandatory furlough days and am beginning to see opportunities around me that I can embrace during this phase of my life. What a great mindset to have with two big races just around the corner.

But let's talk running and focus on training!

I have done something different this week in goals. I have dropped all mileage goals and am focusing on just running on my running days. Of course, I know my mileage goals for race days. Why did I do this? Because I am getting bored and down on myself if I don't clock all the miles I set weeks ago. So to set myself up for success, I am building confidence and getting things done. Therefore, I feel better about myself and run more. Yep, I am performing a form of reverse psychology on myself.

Tuesday's run after work: I picked up my darling daughter from school and as she happily played school with all her stuffed animals, I hit the 10% incline treadmill with the goal to just do a mile or so. I just wanted to run something as I had plans for more running time today (thanks mandatory furlough). I ended up running 1.75 miles with an average pace of 10'58". If you just look at the pace you may think this is slow for me. And overall, it was an easy incline run for me. But I did pick up the pace a bit for two minutes starting 13 minutes into the run just to raise my heart beat some and to feel the adrenaline rush I love so much! I ended up burning 200 calories in this run. By the way, before the run I had a mix1 and can't wait until my new order of two cases arrives!

Today's run: I had so much fun with my run this morning. There was no pressure to be anyway afterwards at any particular time. Now that is a dream come true for a running mom! I ran 6.61 miles with an average pace of 9'05". I ran negative splits and really had fun picking up the pace in the last 5 minutes. Afterwards, I had some foam rolling love but really won't that left piriformis just let loose and relax!

What was/is your workout today?

Did you achieve your goals?

Have a great day!


Kaua'i Half Marathon - T minus 5 days

I posted a little about the Kaua'i Marathon HERE but felt it is time for a deeper look into this wonderful race and weekend that is just around the corner.

I will be running the Half Marathon since on September 18th I am slated to run my first marathon. The idea did run through my head last night to just go for it, upgrade to the full and do it. But no, I won't. Why? Because my mom is coming all the way from Texas and my aunt is coming all the way from Michigan to see me run (okay, see me run the final minute or so) on the 18th. Therefore, marathon....you have just a bit longer to become my new race distance and time PR.

image from Amazon.com
So for today, let's focus on the Kaua'i Half Marathon....commencing at 6:00 am on September 4th. Why am I running this? Because of Dean. Yep, Dean Karnazes. I find him extremely motivational since I watched Ultramarathon Man 50 Marathons 50 States 50 Days. I knew he was going to be on Kaua'i and when he wrote he wouldn't be able to make it to Maui this time and "invited" me to Kaua'i, I couldn't say no. And my wonderful dear hubby is totally supporting me in this. (And I am feeling guilty for leaving my dear family for two days and taking my first night away from my darling daughter since she was born....that is about 1,280 nights that I have always been with her.)

The race is at the southern tip of Kaua'i in a place called Poipu. I have been to Kaua'i before but never to this region so I am very excited to see some new scenery! The first 11 miles of the marathon and half marathon are along the same course and both start at the same time. Very cool! The map posted on the Kaua'i Marathon website is below. Nice loop, huh? At mile 11, those who are running the full marathon will veer off to the west before heading back to the finish.

You can even view video footage of the half marathon (and full marathon course) HERE. Check it out! What parts looks the most amazing to you? What do you think about that tree tunnel?!

Some part of me is looking forward to the "restful" weekend but I do question how I will hold up with no family around and so much quiet time. I will not be doing the Carbo Load party even though the family is at home. Just can't justify spending that much on pasta. And I may be able to get to bed at a decent hour and get some rest....maybe. My race goal is not to set a PR (although a part of me really wants to beat my PR from February 2011 at the Race for the Whales). My race goal is to incorporate negative splits and to not miss my family too much at the finish line.

Hawaii (or the Big Island) is currently on the hot spot and is the youngest island

You may think of Kaua'i as some little Hawaiian island in the middle of the Pacific. In some regards you are right, but this little "garden isle" has incorporated some great technology with this race. I loved seeing the course video footage and think it is really cool they will be streaming the start and finish of the race HERE.

So what do you think? Wanna run with me?


More furlough days....trying to focus on the silver lining

Just a couple of weeks ago I had to implement one furlough day a month. Today I was told I had to do four but with some love from my supervisor, I am down to three. Essentially, a 15% paycut until December 1 (if all goes well).

My first response, pounding headache.

Second, tears.

Now, is there a silver lining here that I am not seeing?

Weekend Update - Time Flies By!

How was your weekend? Did you get your runs in?

Saturday was a "rest" day for me but I really don't think I got much rest. My darling daughter had swimming lessons and that was a start to a whirlwind day. It was "whatever you want, darling daughter" day so after swimming we headed off to Subway. Yum! Then she decided she wanted to go to the aquarium so off we go. I couldn't get there quick enough for her. We made it home just in time to shower and go to church and then it was back home to making dinner and bed. Woah!

Sunday I ran an easy 7.28 miles with an overall pace of 9'11". It was a boring run at the gym but necessary as there was another full day ahead of me. I got home in time to do some reorganizing of darling daughter's toys, shower, and head off to the resort with my family. Dear hubby had an interview to do and we had complimentary Champagne Sunday Brunch. How could I say no? Afterwards we played at the pool a bit before heading home for me to get there just in time to attend a webinar (more on that to come later, I am sure!). Afterwards I thought I was going to have play time but it was shower time for darling daughter and cooking dinner time for me. Where does the time go?

Today I started with a 3.63 mile run with an overall pace of 8'33". It felt good to go a bit faster. My mind really likes it! I had some foam rolling time and realized, time is flying by again and I need to get focused on work!

Have a good Monday!


Preschooler Snack can become Mommy's Running Fuel

After much deliberation, my darling daughter decided what she wanted for a snack. Fruit chews, marshmallows, and granola (vanilla with almonds). It ended up looking pretty good to me. She is loving it and I am thinking, pre-run fuel???

What do you think?


Road ID Coupon

I love my Road ID and recently ordered one for my dear hubby and darling daughter. The engraving on her Slim ID was rubbing off and they are immediately sending a new ID for her. Their customer service is remarkable! On top of no-hassle service, and many apologies for this happening (they do guarantee engraving for life), they even sent me a coupon code to share.

Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksErica8731336

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 09/26/2011. To order, simply go to RoadID.com or click the link below:


If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6335.

** Order quick - the coupon is only good for the first 20 requests!

Kaua'i Half Marathon --- Just over a week away!

Recently I found my motivation level to be low and I think it is because my runs and workouts are boring right now. I am in a training phase where I am no longer working to build up mileage or speed but maintaining myself and preparing for my next two races.

Today's workout: I ran 3.17 miles at an overall pace of 9'31". I followed this up with some foam rolling and stretching.

So in an attempt to lift my spirits (and not succumb too much to my Maui Marathon anxiety that is building) I am going to focus on the Kaua'i Half Marathon!

Race Day: September 4, 2011

Location: Kaua'i, the fourth largest of the main Hawaiian islands, which is lovingly referred to as the "garden isle".

image from wikipedia - Kauai
Personal Running Goal: Run and have fun. Start smart and run negative splits.

I wish I could say more but like I said, my motivation is low and I am kinda in a funk. But I can't wait to see the beauty of Kaua'i but on the other side, I am dreading being away from my darling daughter for 38 hours. It really is breaking my heart even though logically I know dear hubby can take care of her.


You know you are a runner when....

What makes someone a runner? Easily defined....if you go out and run you are a runner. Period. Nothing more to say. Pace doesn't matter. You are a runner if you run.

So I should have said, you know you are a crazy, addicted runner when.....

And here is my definition of my craziness. When you always have a bag with your running gear in it along with shampoo, powder (love it after a shower), and a towel. In addition, in your purse you always carry your iPod with Nike+ sensor, fitbook, and some spare GU gels. Why? Do I really think I am going to go run 20 miles on a whim? Who knows but that is what it is with me, day in and day out.

Initially today I thought my post was going to be about my fears but we can tackle those later. It is much more inspiring to talk about how I missed my morning workout at the gym since my darling daughter woke up before I left and wanted/needed some mommy cuddle time. She always wins that one. My compromise with her was we would run together after school or I would hit the treadmill at home. She agreed and really, this almost always happens when we make this compromise. But as I got to work and the sun started to rise I could feel edginess building inside of me. No good for a productive work day when you are a crazy, addicted runner with races just around the corner.

What would you do? I texted my supervisor and told her I am going out for a quick road run. She said have fun, be safe and off I went. I didn't go far but I ended up running 3.36 miles with an overall pace of 8'27". The first half was slower than the second due to a crazy head wind but I am feeling much better now and can be super duper productive!

Run + This View = Happiness + Peace

And as part of the My Memories Suite v2 software giveaway, here is another example of something I created on the spur of the moment. My darling daughter is missing me at school so I thought sending her some family pictures would be nice. And no, I can't just print out pictures. Way too boring! So together we created this "scrapbook" page that she can keep in her cubby at school. I formatted the design to be printed on a standard-sized piece of paper and really got creative with all the images. Essentially, the only template was the background (minus the photo box and heart)

Don't you want to do this now?

You have until September 1st to enter the giveaway to get the digital scrapbooking software for free!


My recent workouts

Life is busy and life is fun! However, the stress of life can become overwhelming and pushes me to drink those terrible diet cokes. Really? Why do I always fall into that trap?

So besides announcing a giveaway winner and launching a new giveaway, I have been taking care of myself. Yes, taking care of myself and that means more foam rolling love and some easier workouts. My left piriformis muscle must stop whining! (Help me please!)

Yesterday after work I headed over to the gym to do some intervals. I know, many of you may question if doing intervals can count as an easier workout but I think they can. I didn't up my speed as much as I usually do in intervals and good golly, they were just so much fun to do! The end result was 4.14 miles with an overall pace of 8'25". I ended my workout with the foam roller and then ended my night with a nice long massage. Thank Heaven for that! 

On a side note, I typically don't want to draw attention to others running on a treadmill at the gym and try to give them their privacy to do what they want to do. But how can one not notice a guy cranking up the treadmill speed so high I thought a jet engine was about to take off?! Seriously, I was waiting for him to fly off of the treadmill. I had to peek and have to say, I didn't know you could set a treadmill to the speed of 12. Did you?

Today I started my day off right with a little short run (just over a mile at a pace of 9'05"). I followed that up with some good ol' cycling (15 minutes and about 5.8 miles). Afterwards, I had 30 minutes of pure indulgence with some time with my trusty foam roller and lots of good old fashioned stretching. That darn muscle is still aching but what can I do? Compression shorts and ice? The shorts hide nicely under my dress for when I am at work. :)

fitbook GIVEAWAY - Winner Announced!

I am so happy to announce the winner to the fitbook GIVEAWAY take 2 (plus extras)!

One lucky person will be receiving the products pictured below:

Yep, a lovely fitbook pink, a Blender bottle, and some PowerBar products to try.

The winner was selected randomly by random.org and I had to take a picture because I couldn't believe the number chosen. Congratulations to #1, Stacey Kirk, you  just won! Please email me at lifeasarunningmom@gmail.com with your physical mailing address and I will ship your goodies off to you! You have until August 31, 2011 to contact me.

Thanks to all who entered and stayed tuned for the My Memories giveaway coming up next!


Thankful Tuesday

It is amazing how I can forget my one day of thanks for so many weeks. I am a compulsive person and remember so many other things. But here we go!

This week I am thankful for:
  1. My nice and easy run yesterday to work out body kinks. I ran 2.47 miles after work with an overall pace of 9'45". I was taking it easy because I noticed some tightness in my shins. This is a rarity for me but quite ironic since just the other day I was saying I opted not to buy compression socks since my calves and shins so rarely bother me. Go figure!
  2. My race schedule! I loved racing this past weekend and am so glad I have the half marathon trip in two weeks. I think it is helping to dampen my crazy, paranoid, first marathon thoughts and actions that are beginning to emerge. Oh yeah, I am terrified of eating anything new or meat for fear of getting food poisoning. Really?!
  3. Being tagged for a blogger award by Meg O (really, go check out her blog....I love it!).
Name your favorite color: Blue but ironically, I LOVE PINK clothes!

Name your favorite song: Your Man by Josh Turner (but not a good running song).

For running, anything with a beat but right now On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez is pretty cool but that just may be because I really don't listen to this song much and it is new.

Name your favorite dessert: Dark chocolate and red wine.

What wizzes you off: Lack of acceptance and appreciation. Everyone is different and that is what makes life so very awesome! I don't see why others can't just accept each other for who they are, what they are, and appreciate the differences. Can you imagine how boring life would be if we were all exactly the same?!

When you're upset you: Run, Cry, Turn up the music. Depends on what is bugging me. I have even run while crying with the music up loud.....that was the day I had to accept my Dad had leukemia and there was nothing in the world I could do about it. Yep, I really did run around the block crying my eyes out. Then I just ran and listened to the music.

Your favorite pet: We live in a rented house with no-mammal pet rules so I guess I am going to have to really love my darling daughter's pet goldfish, who she named Nemo. And yes, she does know Nemo is really a clownfish but what can I say? She was just turning 3 when she named the fish.

Black or white: Both! You have the presence of all color versus the lack of any color. It perfectly demonstrates the extremes of life; however, I choose to live in the color spectrum with so many shades of blues, pinks, purples, etc.

Your biggest fear: Failure. I want to live a good life I am proud of and that my daughter will be proud of. I really do want to make a positive impact on Earth and have some meaning to what I am doing. If only I could set tangible goals for this.

Best feature: My compassionate heart and ability to see anything from someone else's point of view.

Everyday attitude: Determined and strong. I know what I need to do each day and I know what I want to do each day. I try to make the need's and want's happen everyday.

What is perfection: Oh my....I feel we all strive for perfection but perfection doesn't really exist. I think it is a force that causes people to get too hard on themselves. I strive for the best that I can be, the best that I can do,  etc. and hope others do that too. I feel if we get too wrapped up in the word "perfection" we are just setting ourselves up to failure. Your vision of "perfect" will be so different from mine. I guess I could say this in the "glass half full" kind of way too, we are all perfect in what we do!

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate muffin. Oh how extremely decadent and terrible for me but at times, I just want some warmed up chocolate muffin!

Now who to tag? I don't know who has been tagged but I nominate:

See Mom Run Far

It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other

TX Runner Mom


Beat the Heat Race Reflections

What darling daughter does when we run
I must confess, moments before the race I still didn't know if I was going to be racing or doing a training run. My left piriformis is still whining a bit and I didn't want to risk an injury. But once the run commenced I couldn't resist giving it all I had. I really, really, really wanted to beat my time from last year. And by the way, last year I placed 1st in the women's 35-39 division. I had too much pride to not do my best.

However, this year the divisions were different. There was the open division (under 40) and masters division (40 and above). But that didn't change my state of mind.

So how did the race go? My dear hubby left me behind at the start. Bye bye dear (but really, next time can you just tell me you plan to leave me behind?). I started a bit fast and tried to maintain that pace as long as I could. Two guys in orange passed me about 1/3 into the run. Okay, I will deal with that but no way on Earth am I going to let some girl pass me! (Sorry ladies...I must draw the line somewhere.)

Running hard to the end
I knew the course since I have raced and trained here and the hills can get to me at times. I don't know why but on the return the hills seem to really get to me. One day I may get to evaluating the elevation charts to just see if there is a real difference or if it is just a body/mental difference. If it is the second, I will need to work on overcoming that ridiculous hurdle! But my splits indicate that the second half was indeed a slower run for me. (Bummer!) On the bright side, I did pass up one of those guys in orange in that second half (yeah!) and as much as I wanted to pass that girl way up there, no luck for me today.

The end result, I completed this almost 10K (6.05 miles) in 50'55". I placed 3rd in the female open division and I was 19th out of all 41 runners (I really need to work my way up that pack a bit....I know I am a middle child but it is time to get out of the middle of the pack and lead more!). I am very happy with my results but mainly because I shaved 2'22" off of my run time from last year!

Recovered quickly
I look forward to this race again in 2012. I want to see how my new training plan, which will incorporate strength training and core exercises, will make a difference. And yes, I am already planning my post-marathon training. Don't we all a month before we actually run the race?

And what happened after the race? My dear hubby (who placed 3rd in male masters division) had to head back to work so my darling daughter and I enjoyed the potluck and view. I had the wonderful privilege of talking to some other runners, including Matt Holton, who is just as inspiring in person as he is in the blog world. On the way home, I decided to pick my daughter up a movie from Redbox since she is so stellar and we ended up having slumber party night! Life is perfect!

Our favorite pose!

The best kiss ever!

Slumber party preparations!

I'm ready....come on darling daughter!


A Peek into Beat the Heat

I will post the race analysis later but here are some images!

Look at me!

Here we go!

Woah Mommy!

Awesome View!

Awesome View take 2!


Furlough Day Run - There is always a silver lining!

The negative this week - the company I work for needs to implement cost savings so we are all taking some furlough days again. Gonna have to tighten up the tight budget but hey, I got to spend the day with my darling daughter! It is Admissions Day so no school for her....

So we headed "down-country" and started the day with a nice and easy run. I love, love, love running with her in the jogging stroller! I went 3.61 miles with an average pace of 9'59". My pace was 30 seconds faster but then we started talking and I guess that slows me down. But I am glad I took the chance to talk because those moments you can't make up. I can always run faster next time, like tomorrow at the Beat the Heat 10K race!

Afterwards, we played at the park, went to the aquarium, ate lunch out before picking up some birthday presents (we have three birthdays directly in a row coming up, baby niece (on my anniversary!), niece, and mom....boom, boom, boom!), and made macadamia nut banana muffins for the race tomorrow. Perhaps I should share that recipe!

Me Time

Just what the doctor ordered for me to unwind....a cold glass of non-fat milk and quiet time to read a book while darling daughter naps. Gotta go enjoy! I will fill you in on my run today later!


Is Appreciation Endangered?

One of my favorite bloggers (okay, I you are all my favorites!) posted about balancing an undying love of running and intense training with your significant other. Read the post at Watch MeGo Run.

It got me thinking about my running life and my loved ones and how hard it is to balance it all. Then as I was supposed to be drifting off to sleep to try to get at least 7 hours of slumber, I began to ponder appreciation. (Hang in there, this will come back to running.)

In all reality, our needs are different but it is human nature to give what we would want to receive, right? Whether my dear hubby realizes it or not, I give him a wonderful running gift and that is that he can run when he wants. He runs after works and I take care of our darling daughter and dinner plans. I make arrangements for child care, etc. so he can run in races or run with me on Sundays. I even go as far as preparing his sports drink mix. In return, all I want is appreciation. I really don't need him to go as far and give me back all I give him (although freedom to run whenever would be cool) because I am quite picky on my run preparation. However, if anyone was attentive and observant enough to see what gels I like, how many I want to carry, and to prepare a nuun (and perhaps pack an extra tablet for my longer runs) and go as far as prepping this I would be really impressed and appreciative.

So here is what I am appreciative for today:
  • I appreciate the nice lady who gave me a couple oranges at the gym since she had extras from her tree.
  • I appreciate winning the giveaway at run Courtney run! Check out my goodies I received yesterday below.
  • I appreciate my past two days of cross training where I have combined cycling, stairclimbing, and so much foam rolling to work out all my piriformis kinks. I really needed to focus on this in preparation for all of my upcoming races but I am looking foward to actually running again!

And for giving what I would like to receive:
  • I may not always do this. Although I would love a new running skirt and Brooks running shoes, I won't give that to my mom for her birthday. Not her cup of tea!
  • But I will give a wonderful gift of a fitbook, PowerBar products, and a Blender bottle to one lucky follower! Enter the giveaway today!
Thanks Courtney! and Good luck in your fundraising!


fitbook Giveaway Take 2 (Plus More)

Aloha and Mahalo to my 50 followers!

In celebration I am giving away a gift packet to enhance your running and training.

One lucky winner will receive:
  • a fitbook (an awesome tool to track your training, diet, and rest!) You can read more about fitbook HERE.
  • PowerBar Products to set the stage for your running - Peanut Butter bars and some PowerBar Energy Blasts to give a try during your run. (It is so nice to be able to try some products to see if you like them before you buy them, isn't it?)
  • One Blender Bottle (my daily go to after my runs --- it does a great job of mixing my protein shakes up and I can just add cold water at the gym when desired!)

To enter the giveaway due the following (be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do!)

Good luck! All entries must be received by midnight August 23rd. The winner will be selected randomly via random.org and will be announced August 24th.


Recovery Run - Check!

As much as I try to get 8 hours of sleep each night, it is so hard to accomplish. I got just under 7 hours last night before heading to the gym for my pre-work run.

My pesky muscle via Google images
My goal today was to take it easy and do a nice recovery run. My left piriformis is a bit achy and perhaps I should just put that icy hot patch on; however, those things really stick and hurt to pull off. The cheaper brand is so much better but I am stuck with a large package from Costco. Who would have thought that the "good" brand would hurt so much. Thing is, the patch usually wipes the whines out in one day so I think I am just being a wimp.

I ran 3.29 miles today at a pace of 9'52" (nice easy pace). I opted to cut the extra 15 minutes of time I had from running and focus on stretching and foam rolling. It was a great idea and quite meditative as well. I moved into the dark classroom that wasn't being used yet and did my stretching and rolling in low light. I could feel the stresses of life roll away and yes, that pesky muscle did release some but there still is that underlying achiness. This isn't new to me and I know I will be fine. It is just an annoyance but I guess it is part of the life of being a runner. It probably was unrealistic of me to want to run as much as I want to run and expect to never feel any aches.

What aches have you added into your life since you picked up running?


Mahalo 110% Play Harder

I love my 110% Play Harder Transformer Compression+ Shorts!

They are a killer to get on but it is well worth it between the awesome compression and ability to insert ice packs to target my glutes, hamstrings, and quads. I know they are designed so I can run in them and then add the ice packs/sheets but I haven't done that. I really love my running skirts. But they are a great go-to after my long runs and I have been found sleeping in them once or twice (without the ice of course).

Yesterday I iced for 20 minutes on my way home from my 22 mile run. I used ice blocks that were in with my protein shake and focused on my little trouble area. Once I got home and showered I squeezed into my compression shorts, inserted the ice packs, and set the timer for 20 minutes. Yep, I actually do set the timer so I don't get distracted and ice too long. I continued to wear the compression shorts for the vast majority of the day (they look so stylish under a sundress) and my legs are feeling pretty darn good today!

Yes, there is still some burn in my quads (as to be expected) but I am able to walk up and down the stairs at work with ease. And that darn left piriformis is being its cranky self but that just means, I need to stick with the foam roller each day and perhaps get that massager at work going when I am there. And come October, I am going to really focus on incorporating strength training or whatever else is needed to get that cranky muscle to stop whining so much! Any suggestions?

Please note: This review represents my own opinion. I purchased this item and received no compensation.


Mission Accomplished

Today I took on my training goal of running 20-22 for the second time. My first attempt was weeks ago and I failed to go much further than my last 20 mile run. In hindsight, I think it was because I was already on the verge of becoming really sick; although, I didn't realize it at the time. Read about the day before my attempt HERE. What do you think? Was I sick for that first attempt at 20-22 miles?

I was determined to succeed today because I really needed the mental confidence going into the Maui Marathon on September 18th. The way my training/racing calendar is stacked, today was my last day to do a 20+ mile. Ironically, church last night helped set my mind in the right direction as we pondered the meaning of perseverance. Oh yes, those sermons can apply to all aspects of life, trust me.

I woke at 5:00 am and went through my checklist.

I even tried to slowly move to the car that my dear hubby was already in with the engine running. Not because I didn't want to run but because I didn't want to run in the dark solo. The plan was for him to drop me off and we were going to meet up later so he could run the final miles with me. But still, I started my run in the dark which had me a bit wary but I figured I would be fine. The sun was about to rise in about 20 minutes, if not sooner. So off I went!

To make things really cool, I was running today to my new Marathon play list I made last night to give it a test. I purposely started the list with slower beat songs to help me start slow. I then incorporated the higher beat and more motivational songs as well as my spiritual, relaxing and empowering songs where I felt applicable. I can get bored listening to the same play list so I won't use this one again until the Maui Marathon. And by the way, it passed the test of appropriateness for my running.

My running plan was simple. Take it easy. My goal was to finish with the feeling that I could run more. I wasn't focused on pace and even resisted the urge to check in on it. I didn't want to get competitive with myself and increase the pace. I really wanted to try to incorporate negative splits at about 13 miles but thought that could hinder me reaching my first goal: to finish feeling I could run more. I needed that mental boost more than I needed to prove to myself that I could incorporate negative splits.

I was carrying my sports bottle (which is really a 20 oz, not a 32 oz) with nuun. I had an extra nuun tablet stashed for my refilling. I was carrying 5 GU gels but I only took four....one every four miles and I did the final 6+ miles without another GU.

I felt great! Not once did I feel I couldn't continue. As I review my splits there are areas where I slowed but some of that was me purposely slowing down to allow dear hubby to catch up after grabbing his water bottle from the car, after his emergency potty break, and when I found out he was hurting. I felt it was right to stay by his side and not push him.

I even veered off towards the end to say HI to a good friend I haven't seen in months! And you always know who your true friends are when they hug you even after you warn them you are all sweaty.

My dear hubby ended his run before me (he was really hurting) and I wrapped up the end of my run at 22.07 miles with an average pace of 9'34".

Not my fastest pace but I am really happy with my run today. And you know what, I would be happy if I maintained that same pace throughout the marathon! I will get more competitive when I do my second!

Happy Running!

P.S. I have been given the opportunity to try out, review, and host a giveaway of some digital scrapbooking software. So far, I am really impressed! Look for that in the days to come.


What's in a number?

I peeked and I discovered. Here it is, my number for the Maui Marathon on September 18, 2011.

I was instantly happy with my 99, but why?

It has been a few days since I learned my number and honestly, I have not thought much about it since my initial happy thoughts. But the number popped back into my mind during a recent run. I began to analyze my number, something I have never done before, and now I LOVE my number.

Here's why:
  • The number 9 was my soccer number way back in High School. 
  • 99 can be broken into 9+9 = 18 and 1+8 = 9; therefore, you have three 9's. (Oh yeah, and there are three 3's in a 9)
  • My wedding anniversay is 9/9/2009 (yep, 9/9/9 and yep again, I did that on purpose).
  • Therefore, my 99 can be seen as a triple 9 and made me think of the Holy Trinity.
  • The triple 9 can also represent my running trinity: Me, my dad, and God. All 3 of us are always there in each and every one of my runs, especially the long runs.
  • So there you have it. I have the perfect number for the Maui Marathon. I am going to have an awesome running day, no matter what my time is.
Pretty cool, huh?

Do you ever go crazy analyzing your bib numbers?


Running is Bliss!

I had the most amazing and fantastic run this morning!

After glancing briefly at the cover of my Runner's World magazine last night (can't wait to read it), I decided that an easy run would be next on my list. And that is what I did today, which is a really good idea since I plan to run 20-22 miles this Sunday.

I felt wonderful and every part of my body was in sync. It was almost 65 minutes of pure bliss! I could have gone on forever! Okay, maybe not forever but you know what I mean. Too bad I wasn't all set to do my long run today (but even if I had all the goodies I would have needed, I didn't have the time due to that work thing).

My run stats: 7.09 miles at an easy 9'10" overall pace.

Why was today's run so good? Perhaps because I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night. Perhaps it was the PopTart I ate this morning (oh so delicious). Perhaps it was just that my body was recovered and ready to go. Who knows but come Sunday, I am going to try to get plenty of sleep and eat a PopTart pre-run.

I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. I found out my marathon race number and pondered that some this morning. Such a cool number! Read more here!


Emergency Repair Needed

My Sports Band is falling apart....again. This is my second one of this model and I really don't feel it is holding up as long as my first one. Perhaps because I am running more miles....I am not sure. But the Velcro attachments are coming off of the band; therefore, my iPod falls down my arm and to the wayside.

I love my iPod because of the Nike+ sync and the associated ability to track distance. Yes, I could get a Garmin but I have this whole set-up and it works great, when it stays on my arm.

I feel committed to the iSkin Sports Duo since I know it works, when it isn't falling apart. I tried another brand prior to this and I couldn't use the wheel while it was in the protective shield. That is no good!

So I pulled out my  needle and thread and sewed those Velcro pieces back on but really, is there a better product out there? Any suggestions on a good arm band for iPods that allow you to still use the wheel?


To Carbo Load Party or Not?

There are a lot of carbo load parties associated with runs and honestly, I have never attended one. Why? It just seemed like a lot of money for what I could eat...even if I am fueling up well. Plus, if you factor in family that may be with you, oh my!

But am I missing out? Is there more to this and I am missing it since my eyes are stuck on the ticket price?

So let me know....

Have you gone to a Carbo Load Party/Dinner before a race?

Was is worth it?

Would you go again?

What are your thoughts?


Killer Run

Look what I got about 17 miles ago!
I foolishly had two glasses of wine last night and stayed up too late; therefore, 4:00 am was just too early. Instead I slept an additional 45 minutes and vowed to get out of work early to run on my way home. My goal was to head out of work by 3:00 pm but in all reality, it was probably closer to 3:15 pm when I got into my car, geared up and ready to run.

I had 4 miles slated on my plate today and intended to do them all. But I also wanted to have fun. So I decided to run as fast as I could handle for 30 minutes and see how many of those 4 miles I could squeeze in there. If I did a 7'30" pace the whole time it would be a perfect fit. Thing is, I couldn't instantly get myself running that fast. I had to warm-up into it.

My first mile was 8'03". Pretty good pace for me but not fast enough for my goal. I had to pick up the pace.

Mile 2 was 7'31". I was pretty much on track with what my overall pace should be but I had to shave off some seconds to squeeze the rest of my distance in. I tried to pick up my pace more and I was running hard. However, I ended up doing the last two miles at 7'33". I had slowed down some and really cranked it up to pick up the pace at the end.

The end result: I didn't get the full 4 miles into the 30 minutes but I continued running hard until I completed all 4 miles. Afterwards, I slowed to a recovery pace of approximately 9'30". My final distance was 4.46 miles and my overall pace (including cool down) was 7'51".

I was exhausted and had to sit to catch my breath and drink my chocolate whey protein shake before jumping into the car to drive home.

It was a great run and I look forward to running 7 miles tomorrow before work!

P.S. The 1,000 miles --- those are just the ones I have logged with Nike+.

I'm a Raceaholic!

I have been working really hard to get the fun back into my running. I love to run! But some days it is so hard to look at that training schedule and get excited about what is on the plate. However, there are many times when I look at the schedule and get excited about what I get to do!

So why the mental change?

I think racing. Running in a race truly gets me going. It is fun, fun, fun! It puts a sense of purpose to all my training. It gets me out with other runners and I get to try to beat them, or not, depending on my frame of mind and intent that day. I can race to race or I can race to train. I really don't care, I just want to race!

But here I am in a racing lull and feeling dismal. Okay, perhaps I am not that bad but for all of you who love to race, you know what I mean. 

My last race was in May! May! That was so long ago. Ages ago!

Although I am pleased to announce I am about to enter race heaven! Starting August 20th I get the wonderful privilege of running in a race every two weeks! How cool is that?! But then I wonder if that was a crazy plan to stack races like this so close to my main training goal.

Here is my race plan:
I am telling myself the races will finalize the mental training I need. I can work on starting slow and running negative splits where applicable. On the 20th, I hope to run good and strong. I will race to race, unless something comes up. I even shifted my final 20 mile run to the week prior versus on the 21st when it was scheduled. On the 4th, I am going to race to train. It is not about setting a PR but running. And I planned to run 12-13 miles on that day anyhow so why not run with others and try to start slow? Then on the 18th, I race to succeed! And here, success is finishing well. I could set so many time goals (and I probably will have some wishes tucked in my mind, okay, I do) but I really feel for my first marathon I should just aim to finish smart and finish well. I want to avoid getting hung up on time since I took that approach with my first half and it left me wanting to run more half's.

Are you a raceaholic?

Do you stack races?

Am I crazy to race like this prior to the Maui Marathon?


So long 3-day weekends.....you will be missed

This is my last Monday off. So very sad. Starting next Monday my darling daughter returns to school and I go back to a 5-day work week after being in a 4-day work week for almost 3 years. I am looking forward to 8-hour days again but will miss the 3-day weekends with my darling daughter, even those like this weekend that are full of uphill battles.

Today's challenge - potty training and naptime. So what does a running mom do? Propose a run! My sweet daughter eagerly agreed and was ecstatic we were going to run during naptime. We ended up doing a couple of laps around the block and she did great! That girl can run! (Although, I think I have said that before.)

The stats: 1.13 miles with an overall pace of 12'23". She is going to be so ready for the Front Street Mile come September!

Check out some of our fun escape from reality!

Pre-run stretching

Ready to go!

Downhill joy!

No Mommy, I cannot look at you....

Foot Action


Treadmill vs. Nature Running

I have heard this debate so many times with so many different viewpoints. You have heard them all too. Treadmills don't work your body like running outdoors. Treadmill running is harder. Treadmill running is easier. You need to increase the incline on a treadmill to mimic running outdoors. You shouldn't increase the incline on a treadmill because it alters your form. Training on a treadmill is fine. You shouldn't train on a treadmill.

Really? How can treadmill running spur so much to talk about?

I think for me it is a pet peeve to say one form of running is better than another because I have so much faith in us, the runners.

You know when you are working hard. You know when you aren't. (I will come back to this.)

My scientific and analytical mind got wrapped up in this as I truly tried to even the score card for evaluating all my runs, regardless of platform. This would be running solo outdoors, running outdoors while pushing a jogging stroller, running on a treadmill with no incline, or running on a treadmill with a 10% incline. I estimated my threshold paces for each and computing the intensity of each run based on its associated threshold pace. The end result: meaningless data. I could have a run at a calculated intensity of 0.98 (1.0 being running at threshold) and the run felt easy to moderate. Obviously, the error was in the threshold pace used to do the calculations.

Now back to what I was saying, I trust us, the runners, to know when we are working it really hard and when we aren't. You can do a run on a treadmill, outdoors, with a jogging stroller, etc. and estimate your rate of perceived exertion. Can you talk? No? You are running hard. Period. End of discussion.

Is running on a treadmill less effective than outdoor running? I say no. A run is a run (but I firmly believe in running in the beautiful outdoors whenever possible because nature is indeed awesome and you never know what you will see and what elements you will encounter).

Today I did my run on a treadmill at the gym. My goal was to do a run similar to my 10.3 miles where I managed to really push a couple of miles. One with a pace of 7'30" and one at 7'01". That day, I could only push two miles. Today, I wanted to see if I started smart, could I keep the intervals going? Essentially, I wanted to run a mile, push a mile, run a mile, push a mile, until I got to 10 miles. And I wanted to finish strong.

I say success! I kept my intervals going all the way to the end with my best mile being my last one at 7'08". I may not have gone as fast as my land-based run but I remained strong. I kept increasing my paces throughout and for that, I say great job! And at the end, I felt awesome and could have run more!

Stat comparison: Today, 10.27 miles with an overall pace of 8'11". My land-based run, 10.3 miles with an overall pace of 8'59".


A Fun Run to Start a Fun Day

Yesterday I made a promise to my daughter. We were going to have fun today! We were not going to do the traditional chores but go out and explore!

Although the day started with a time out for darling daughter I didn't let it bring me down. We packed our bags and headed down to start our day. First on the agenda, RUNNING! I had no goals in mind for today in terms of mileage or time. I just wanted to run with my darling daughter in her jogging stroller. On the way to our destination she did protest but once I parked the car I couldn't get her into the stroller fast enough. I set her up with some Raisin Bran to snack on, put her in charge of my hydration (water with nuun --- and darling daughter loved it and drank half and I should have given her a potty break sooner), and started off along my path!

I must confess today was the first day I can honestly say I did an easy run with my daughter. I have run with her countless times in the jogging stroller of varying intensities but they have always seemed hard. Not today so I was shocked to see my overall pace was 9'26" with her. Really?!

Traditionally I run with her in the 10-minute range. Plus I held this for 3.25 miles. Cool!

Next stop, playground. I ran straight up to the playground and couldn't get her out of the stroller and into her running shoes quick enough for her to go play. We had a lot of fun and she was climbing like a monkey! Her confidence is building so much in this regard.

The next stop was to be the swimming pool near the playground but due to her not listening we skipped that and headed to Costco. She wasn't very happy about that and screamed awhile but eventually calmed down. Once at Costco I treated us to a meal since I was starving! Guess one little frozen waffle before my run wasn't enough. So for under $4 we had a meal and proceeded with our shopping (and stayed in our budget!).

Playing with camera color options
Once we made it home, her disposition was great so I quickly unpacked groceries and headed to the pool up here. What can I say? I really did want to go and I did stick to my guns earlier. She had the consequence for not listening (and sorry, you gotta listen to mommy if we are going to be at a pool). BTW, I even got a good job and well done from the lifeguard. The training pool is frigid and I couldn't bear it so I headed over to the larger 9' deep pool with my daughter. I set her down about 3' from the pool, handed her my sunglasses, and firmly told her to stay put while I quickly jump into the water. Right before I jumped, I looked at her and said "I will be just a minute and told her I am going to jump, go under water, and come right back out to you". I did and when I returned I got my compliment. Phew! I was actually concerned the lifeguard would not approve but I really needed to totally submerge myself (quickly) before I could endure the temperature of the training pool. (FYI - the larger pool is heated slightly and is typically 5 degrees warmer.) We had a blast again and darling daughter even let me dunk her!

Afterwards, we had a late lunch and got a couple of items from the grocery store - 2 free pineapples (a shopping reward), ice cream, and ice cream cones (an indulgence but a special request by darling daughter for afters tonight).

All in all, we are having a great day. There was one more time out awhile ago due to a tired, frustrated girl biting me but I won't dwell on that. She is sleeping peacefully now and I did give her a lot of things to do today!

What do you do when your little runs don't listen?

Were your children biters? How did you overcome this?

What did you do this Saturday for absolute fun?

Any guesses on what I am going to do with two pineapples?