11.30.2011

Wordless Wednesday....almost

Toe update: I need to go back to the doctor for a reevaluation since it is not healing as it should be. 

As much as I want to feel like this (and sometimes I do)

Other times I feel like
Source

or
Source

11.29.2011

Tuesday Tunes and a Giveaway - mix1

Let's start with some tunes for a change....
I really love to run to songs by Eminem. The beat is a great motivator; however, I never listen to these tunes when my darling daughter is listening too....such as those treadmill runs at home. Today I am featuring The Real Slim Shady.



Now for a product review:
Awhile ago I confessed that I wasn't the best at eating in the morning before working out. This became more of an issue as my mileage increased since I really did need that energy in order to perform well. A reader suggested I try mix1. I looked online, liked what I read, and started hunting down the product.

From their website, I discovered two stores that should carry the product. I searched up and down all the aisles countless times with my darling daughter and no luck. I eventually emailed mix1 to verify and found out that the product was no longer available on island. But I really did want to try this product. Why? It is all-natural and contains the antioxidant levels equivalent of three servings of fruits and veggies. And most importantly, drinking something is quite easy to do on the drive to the gym.

I ended up ordering two cases from Amazon feeling totally confident I would love the product. I did....and so did dear hubby. So I ordered more.

And now I want to return the favor. One of you will be lucky enough to receive some mix1 to try so you too can fall in love with the product. I must apologize, I can only make this giveaway open to the United States due to shipping concerns.  Giveaway has ended.

And to clarify, I am receiving no compensation from mix1 for this product review and giveaway. I received samples free of charge to try and share.
A treat for one of you!

11.28.2011

I am so out of sync.....

Google Image
I am behind on reading your blog posts.

I am behind on posting my blog posts that are stored in my mind.

Flying in late and going back to work early the next day is not a good mix. I must confess, I ended up stopping at the grocery store on the way to taking my darling daughter to school today and got her a Lunchable. I know, shame on me for so many reasons but I did get one without any candy and with water! Does that count for something?

But now I need to get into the throws of work and do my two jobs plus that of my supervisor who is now on vacation. And tomorrow I will get back into sync because I will have a normal day and won't have to work until late at night.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Lunchables
  • Having a job
  • Vacations
  • Sunshine
  • Roads to run on

11.26.2011

7 Servings of Fruits and Veggies

Source
Participants in the HBBC are able to earn a point by getting in 7 servings of fruits and veggies. I love this element of the challenge not only for being able to earn a point when my exercise time is limited but for the overall benefits to my health. Who can argue any negative effects of eating more fruits and veggies?

But 7 servings is hard to do....even for a veggie-lover like me. But if I stay focused, and make them a priority, I have been succeeding on many days....even on Thanksgiving.

I have found that one secret is to start the day off right with my first meal ---- breakfast. Today was a weak day as I only had one serving of fruit with my toaster waffle. I love to toast the waffle, put on very little peanut butter, and top with banana. On other days I have added a serving of grapes or other berries on the side. Today my selection was low. Another good way to start the day....oatmeal (unsweetened for me) with two servings of fruits. I opted for banana and apple yesterday. I also added in about a teaspoon of peanut butter for added flavor.

Source
Another secret ---- snack right. With people around you snacking on treats it is tempting to snack too. First ask, am I really hungry? If you are, go for it and have a healthy snack. So when others were snacking on cookies or bread I opted for a banana. Can you tell they are my fruit of choice? I have eaten up to 3 bananas on one day.

Lunch secret ---- start getting those veggies in there. When others were having PB&J or turkey sandwiches, I opted for lettuce rolls. I grabbed my lettuce, turkey, little cheese and wrapped it up. On the side, a nice pile of cherry tomatoes and perhaps grapes too.

Dinner secret ---- I have been skipping the extra servings of bread and opting for what vegetables were available. And why not end the day right with fruits for dessert....and yes, that apple pie does contain fruit but keep it in moderation.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Rain....even though it hinders my running routine here
  • Scented candles
  • Fuzzy slippers
  • Butterflies
  • Fallen leaves

11.25.2011

I really do love to run!

With all the holiday festivities and family gatherings, I really needed to run. It took awhile for me to find the peace in the run especially since I envisioned my darling daughter playing inside with her cousins while I ran. Nope, the cousins came running outside and my sweetie wasn't really cleared for outdoor play....yet.

I was feeling annoyed and frustrated and even contemplated calling it quits to go in and check on her. And right as the thought was going through my mind and I was trying to balance my need to run and my guilt of not being inside with her, I heard some cheers with my Nike+ GPS app. It was just what I needed to keep on running and to support that by doing so, I would be a better, more patient mom.

And guess what, once I got inside my darling daughter was perfectly fine and playing with her uncle. I wasn't missed so my guilt was misplaced. Too bad it took so long for me to overcome it.

I ended up running 2.56 miles on what I can only call a "trail". It isn't a true trail but I need to differentiate this running platform versus my roadsides and treadmills. And it is a little rocky at times and a little uneven. There is rough grassy areas and mudflats. But do any of you have a better descriptive name for my fake trail runs?

Today I am grateful for:
  • My darling daughter feeling better
  • Getting my run in
  • Chutes and Ladders at a sale price
  • The enthusiasm of children
  • Gifts....especially the gift of time

11.24.2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am behind on my holiday wishes and had been cut off from Internet for the past 48 hours or so. But now I am thankful to be back in action online and am waiting for my cell phone to get back into action too. I am also thankful to have been with family today, even though our Thanksgiving was far from the Hallmark version. The household contained four adults and six kiddos --- one had an eye infection the past few days and today we awoke to another one with an eye infection and my darling daughter throwing up in bed. The poor girl has been clinging to me all day and was concerned about missing her special dinner. I put some aside before anyone had a chance to eat and it will be ready for her....when she is ready for it.

So no running for me today. No Skimble. No NTC. Nothing but giving love and comfort to my darling who is leaning against me right now in bed while we watch Horton Hears a Who.

I am also thankful I got my 7 servings of fruits and veggies again today. Stay tuned and I will tell you how I am managing to get it done. And I am thankful for pedometers and that my older sister is walking around the house to ensure she gets her two miles in today!

Happy Holidays!

11.22.2011

Tuesday Tunes and More

It is a drizzly, rainy day in Texas and I opted against running. I don't know if it makes me lazy or not since instead I did some workouts on the covered porch. I started with Nike Training Club Heartthrob and am still amazed about how hard that little 30 minute workout is. I followed it up with a Skimble Sun Salutation workout and ended up having two little girls join in on the fun and stretching. Perhaps tomorrow I can get my younger sister out on the porch with me!

I am also striving to continue to up the fruits and veggies in my diet. If you have been following my blog, you know the HBBC challenge is motivating me well but I brought a secret weapon with me on my trip. My skinny jeans. Yep, I brought them and am wearing them...although they do feel a bit more snug today. And between those two, I am "enjoying" this mushy apple as much as I can. What can I say, Gala apples are not my favorite but it does fall into the fruit/veggie category so crackers and cheese, stay away!

Today's Tuesday tune is Shout! by The Isley Brothers. I heard it last night and you know what, I think I need to add it to my running list.



Today I am grateful for:
  • Scrabble - old-fashioned and Words with Friends FREE
  • Forgiveness
  • Sisters
  • Way cool showers
  • Band-aids

11.21.2011

Running on Vacation

My perfect run on a vacation involves racing, although that isn't the case for me right now. But I am finding some interesting ways to get my runs in while visiting with family....even if it involves running around a house 100 times! And yes, I have been running in circles.

It is nice to be running on new terrain in a new environment. I am not doing the standard treadmill or roadside runs and even though there is a beautiful, scenic road here....I am strongly advised by the residents not to venture out on it. I don't know which has them more concerned....the random cars that go speeding by or the prison down the street. Either way, I will take their advice....somewhat....and make sure my running is safe.

I am doing good getting a bit of running in each day and I must confess, the HBBC and POTM challenges are helping me stay focused. There is way too much temptation between family making things to celebrate us being here and the holidays. I love that the HBBC includes incentive for eating enough fruits and veggies and I am determined to earn another extra point today by consuming 7 or more servings!

And although running here is beautiful on uneven grass, mud, silt, and rocks...plus a little cement....I look forward to running somewhere different while on this trip.


I am still wearing the Columbia's but am saddened that I received this battle scar.....good golly....I haven't had one of these in eons from my running shoes!


Today I am grateful for:
  • Being able to run
  • Family to watch my darling daughter
  • Cousins
  • New running shoes....more to come later
  • Packages in the mail....giveaway to be announced soon!

11.20.2011

The Best Christmas Gift, right?

The best gift if the gift you would love to receive too, right?

Not always. I can think of many things I would love but my sisters, mom, or co-workers would not feel the joy of it. But perhaps the gift I would love to receive my husband would love to receive, right? Not always. I am sure he would definitely not love this running skirt I adore.


But I did get (and give) him a gift I wouldn't mind receiving myself. And no, it wasn't this either.


Instead, I gave my husband a race entry into the Maui Oceanfront Marathon! It has distances ranging from a 5K to a full marathon and I did ask him what his preferred distance would be. And since the race day is January 22, 2012, I felt it appropriate that he officially received his gift now rather than later, say on December 25, 2011.

With all that said, Merry Christmas my dear hubby. I hope on January 22, 2012 you will still fully appreciate this gift to you....your chance to run your first marathon! Good luck!

Course Map

Do you see the love in this? My co-workers failed to see it. They kinda thought I was crazy. One told me that it was the worst gift ever. Really, I would love to have a race entry, or anything running related, as a gift....if I was given ample time to prep. I don't think I would love to open a race entry gift and discover I was going to run a marathon in a week. Not so pleasant. I am too compulsive about my training and running.

But how about you, would you love this gift?

Now here is the secret --- I am strategically planning the racing desires of dear hubby and myself to alleviate stress in our relationship that pertains to us both wanting to run and having a darling daughter to tend to. If we aim to take turns, there is one parent for parental duties and to be the cheerleader while the other gets to fully enjoy the run (although, I don't think dear hubby ever worries about the other stuff like I do). Yes, I do want us to work to run together more but thinking training and smaller races are more ideal. And why shouldn't we take turns supporting and cheering the other on? And one other added benefit, it is easier on the pocketbook.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The opportunities to race
  • Holiday joy
  • Giving the gift of love and running
  • Convenient finish lines
  • Support from loved ones

11.19.2011

Race Courses - Behind the Scenes

What is it about a race course that makes you feel happy? Do you like the out and backs, the point-to-points, flat and fast, or hilly? If you had a choice to pick a course, or provide input on a course, what would you say? Would your input be different depending on your current running/racing goals?

I haven’t met many race directors but I can say I know one who does put a lot of thought and consideration into the race course. ...and she is not a runner.

Do you remember my training plan HERE to PR at the Run and Walk for the Whales? I am going to try hard to get into this training plan but I don’t think my PR, or goal to break a 2-hour half, will be in February. And no, I am not just getting pessimistic. It is all about the course.

2011 Map
Courses for races may get altered over time for various reasons. The race director for the Run and Walk for the Whales wanted to get the course officially measured. Awesome! In addition, some course redesign was in order. Some of you runners out there who have done this race may like to hear that the double loop looks like it is vanishing. So good for the mental side of running. Going around that twice bogged me down, although the aid station in the center of it rocked! (Thanks research team!) But all things come at a cost, this pushes the course further north and into a hilly section. Yep, more hills, and a steeper one at that.

The race director set the proposed course in front of me, told me her thoughts, asked my input, and with my idea of running a sub-two in my mind fading, I said go for it! It looks good! It is just a hill! But I am that crazy running mom that bought a 10% incline treadmill for at home.

But the course isn’t just about the where. Race directors need to think about the aid and safety. Where do police need to be? Is it safe for the runners? Where will the aid stations be? Top of hill? Bottom of hill? Should you pass them twice?


With all that in mind, I am excited to race this run again this February. Will I get a sub-two? I don’t know. If I don’t will I cry? No. I have another half in April. Will I have fun? That is the point. Have I registered? Oh yeah! Do you want to register too? Go for it HERE. And if you do, let me know and we can say ALOHA! By the way, the race rates are good and the hotel will be offering run rates that seem to be really awesome this year.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder, although I work for the company that hosts this race, I am not being paid to share my opinion and yes, this is truly how I feel about this run.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Honest blogs
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Prayer
  • Good news
  • Clear skies

11.18.2011

Is it time to go to the airport yet?

As hard as I tried to be ready and prepared, I feel I am scrambling to get things together for my darling daughter and I to head out to visit family in Texas. But I just couldn't imagine not squeezing in an itty bitty run before being trapped on a flight and having to sit still. Being still is not easy for me!

I ended up with only 15 minutes to spare and ran 1.062 miles on my 10% incline treadmill. My average pace was 14'07" and I pushed myself for approximately 560 meters (12'00"pace. At the end of the 560 meters I was winded and my legs felt the difference but I wasn't dying. It is a good test to find my conversion rate for speed work at this incline. FYI - I kinda like speed work on the treadmills for the fact it forces me to maintain my pace. I am sure I am going to love the track for not having to watch the numbers go by to track distance. What do you prefer?

I would love to say my self motivation is keeping me on track and perhaps that helps some but I am so glad for all the challenges I opted to participate in.


In the Pile on the Miles Challenge I am increasing my distance week by week. I am trying hard not to focus on the low mileage weeks (ie. 5 miles for the first) but to focus on the increase and determination to get something down.


On a more personal level, the Still the One Challenge is kicking my butt. I am finding it hard to spend the time to reflect, meditate, and pray as I should even though I realize this is so important in my life right now. I really wish there was a forum like Daily Mile or a metric like miles run to keep my competitive side going. I refuse to give up though and hope this week I start to get my mind back into it and to not let discouragement knock me down.


Holiday Butt Buster Challenge --- I am so ready for tomorrow and hope I get a workout in. I arrive in Texas first thing and will be tired if I don't sleep a wink on the plane. And darling daughter had me up by 5:00 am due to her overbubbling enthusiasm for the trip. I did change my status from advanced to builder. I didn't want to in some regards (it is the competitive side of me) but in all reality, I am a builder right now. I am building back to where I was pre-broken toe. I don't even get the official toe status for another 10 days and am just being my overachiever competitive self telling myself I am good to run based on my desire and the level of discomfort.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My treadmill
  • Inexpensive photo frames
  • Luggage that is under 50 lbs
  • Flavored water without any artificial sugars
  • Determination

11.17.2011

Guess what I did....

Google image
It was a stressful day yesterday. Things that are out of my control and have the potential of having some very negative ripple effects are lingering there on the horizon. I am trying to have faith that all will be fine and that by the end of the day, this crushing feeling evaporates and I am free to go and enjoy my family holiday. My darling daughter and I are so excited!

But that crushing feeling lingers and made me a grouchy mom yesterday. I got home with my darling daughter and she started playing with dear hubby. Sometimes I wish I could be the person to play with versus the person who cleans up and gets ready for the next day. Instead of totally blowing a fuse, I stepped on the treadmill with the intention of doing a good run. But 6 minutes into the run I was bored out of my mind. The sad 0.4 miles couldn't even compel me to keep running in place no matter how splendid the view was. I needed more. This was not making me a happy mom.

So I convinced the family to pack up the dolls and head out of the door to a nearby park. I even forced them to go to the one with a road nearby so I could run on that versus uneven grass. The grouchy mom wins. I put on the Columbia shoes since they have the roomiest toe box and started my run.

My first thoughts were: ow, ow, ow, ow.....  But the ow was probably only a 1 or 2 on the pain scale of 10 and I have run with bigger ow's. I just had to stop envisioning the bones in my toe breaking apart and moving around all over the place. I told myself, just endure. Do a mile. You can do this. It has been almost 5 weeks since the crushing moment, surely you aren't doing anything intensely detrimental. At the 0.5 mile mark I was doing better. I was running more comfortably and had to focus less on relaxing the foot with each strike. Fear of pain or damage can make you do funny things. The uphills and downhills had more sensation than the flats. The veering off the road into the uneven grass to give a car more room was a painful reminder to be strong and hold my course.

My Nike+ motivator
And then the happiness began to flood me. I was running, slow, but running. I enjoyed the peace, the sound of my feet, and the light tunes in the background. I felt good and I had forgotten the magic of just over two miles. I hit my magic time/distance mark when running seems to become easier, more enjoyable, my pace begins to feel good, life is perfect. I ended up running 2.68 miles with an overall pace of 10'30". Nice easy pace and if I remember right, the pace my easy runs should be right now. If you factor in the time of the treadmill, I put in 3.08 miles.

via Google
I feel good about the running progress. The crushing feeling is still there and honestly, I know it can't go away until things are settled. It is who I am. I worry. And I will worry until all is good again. I just need to remember to breathe, have faith, and look for the silver linings.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Being able to run in shoes
  • Faith
  • The Dora suitcase my daughter loves
  • Endurance
  • Spontaneous dinner ideas that turn out great!

And for one final thought.....
Source

11.15.2011

Races - Behind the Scenes

As a runner there are elements about a race that makes it really memorable and elements that I feel can be improved upon. But honestly, as a race participant I am quite critical in a positive way. Why is this? I race because I love to run and races are invigorating! But I also feel like I am a secret spy benchmarking the best practices in races since I work for an organization that hosts an annual run maxing at a half marathon. Although, I would love to see them host a marathon one day!

I am sure you all know this but I can tell you a lot of work goes behind preparing for a race from legal logistics, to time spent prepping materials, to choosing awards and goodie bag items, to organizing volunteers, and the list can go on forever!

Source
I work at Pacific Whale Foundation and I want to tell you about why the Run and Walk for the Whales is awesome. And although I work at this organization, I am not being paid to promote this run. I am doing this on my own accord and these are all my own personal opinions.

With that said, let's go!

Prior to race day:
Permits, permits, permits. Planning, measuring, ordering, planning, headaches, and more. Reviewing the course, picking the price, finding awards, medals. Ordering bibs, timing logistics. Did I mention permits? Securing a location. Police, police, police. Organizing volunteers, training volunteers, tracking down lost volunteers, answering a million questions. And this year, the race director is trying to do something extra special for the walkers and aiming to get the course certified.

Race day:
Up before the runners. Our race director is out placing cones and making sure everything is good to go. Volunteers start showing up to do their duties and hopefully everyone is where they are supposed to be. And hoping for good weather and enough food for all the hungry runners. Accidents do happen even to the most organized race director and even in the largest, well-known races.

After race day:
Clean up, clean up, clean up. Just because you are done running doesn't mean it is all done. There is so much to be taken care of post-race --- getting pictures available, getting results online or published, answered post-race day questions. And at this point, the volunteers are gone and by the way, the race director has a whole other list of events to be focusing on in this case.

Tuesday Tunes and More

I had an awesome run yesterday after work. This seems to be a good time for me right now as it allows me to get a little more sleep and my darling daughter is being a trooper. I ran 1.62 miles yesterday with an overall pace of 12'23". I ran barefoot intervals at a 10% incline with the rest intervals at a 15'00" pace and the work interval at a 12'00" pace. I really do want to increase these incline treadmill paces but I am doing good and believe me, 12'00" feels harder than you would imagine on this thing!

I was keeping my work intervals at a duration of 1-minute but lengthened the rest a bit at the end. I was going to run for 20 minutes but once I hit that mark I had so little to go to round out 1.5 miles. Then I had to go just a bit more to add in that final rest interval. Love runs that end that way!

Elite Band in black
On a sad note, my RoadID band broke. Yep, snapped when it got snagged on a towel. This happened a few days ago and it must have been really weak for such a little thing to cause so much damage. I feel naked without it. I have put on my older RoadID FIXX but I like my sports elite better. It feels more natural and I am trying to love the FIXX (even with the "old" last name) because it can carry my marathon bead too. I am just not feeling the love of years passed so I guess I need a new band. It really isn't in the budget right now though and I am tempted to snag dear hubby's band since he never wears his RoadID and owe him a band later. Is that bad?


FIXX tag with marathon bead
Confession #2: I didn't make it to the gym this morning like I wanted to. But hey, I can run after work! But I wanted to see the gym life again and didn't because I got so little sleep. It was after 11:00 pm when I was still waking up due to dear hubby's cough or the TV. I ended up grabbing my alarm clock and moving into my darling daughter's room to get some peaceful slumber. And I just couldn't imagine thriving on less than five hours of sleep with a long day ahead of me today, so I changed the alarm right before falling asleep. Is that bad?


Are you ready for Tuesday Tunes?!

This week I am featuring a song not on my play list, but one I think I may add. It always perks me up when I hear it on the radio and I think it could be a good running song. What do you think? Take a moment to listen to You and Tequila by Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter!



Today I am grateful for:
  • A second bedroom
  • Battery operated alarm clocks that the batteries seem to last forever
  • Technology that improves life
  •  A kid's enthusiasm
  • Autumn

11.14.2011

Feeling thankful

There are so many awesome giveaways out there and today I just want to draw your attention to the few on my sidebar....right there to the right. There are a couple that have me super duper excited, how about you?

Now to start the week out right.....this Monday I am thankful for

  • My toe is healing (by the standards of my ouch-factor when I put shoes on).
  • Fun times baking with my darling daughter.
  • My darling daughter's enthusiasm over new boots.
  • That my furlough is about to end (and I really need it to right about now).
  • Being able to go see my family in Texas soon. Did I tell you I was going there for thanksgiving?
  • Christmas wish lists. When else can a kid dream so big? And yes, running moms can dream of new running shoes, Body Glide, nuun, GU gels, race entries, new tunes.....and no, I am not getting all that!
  • The full moon - it lights up the sky beautifully on my early morning drives. 


Have a beautiful day!

11.13.2011

Sunday Madness

Throughout my life I have heard that Sunday is a day rest. Hmmm....that is never really the case for me as often it is the perfect day for a long run. However, perhaps that could be considered "rest" for my mind because it is the ideal way for me to find peace and tranquility.

Today, my darling daughter and I have worked our butts off in the kitchen. We have made two batches of cookies --- swirled chocolate chip (no nuts) and peanut butter graham cracker cookies (made with Splenda and wheat flour). In between, we made a batch of brownies with walnuts and peanuts (applesauce for vegetable oil please). This is on top of the gingerbread cookies we made yesterday. No, I am not turning into a sugar craving monkey. We were making all these goodies for the upcoming craft fair holiday festival for her school to raise some money. And baking is a great way for me to volunteer my efforts.....and time but I don't think that part counts for this. But it doesn't matter, we did good.


I followed it up with a run on my treadmill and pushed one mile as much as I could at the 10% incline. I think I did pretty good all things considered. My overall pace was 12'40" for a total of 1.025 miles. Slow in my real running world, great for this treadmill world I am in.

Immediately I felt a little odd....not quite lightheaded but odd enough to pay attention to it. It seemed to let up and at the end of my mile, I felt winded. This is good under the circumstances. I stepped outside with my water to cool down and chill out. Ironically, when I got back inside I started to feel lightheaded and odd for a bit but that seems to have passed. Just a funny thing I had to share. I do need to check out the elevation here and see how that factors in. It would be interesting to see how many feet I moved up, if any, but keep in mind....I have run in this neck of the woods before....on occasion.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Dishwashers....even though I don't have one anymore but after all the baking today, I fully appreciate their wonder
  • Home buying TV shows....love them! Check out HGTV if you are so inclined. I got my family hooked on them too.
  • Columbia Drainmakers....not my preferred running shoe but I did a test step in them and I may be able to do some cross training/running/etc. in them. Can you say "Aloha Gym!"
  • The gym.....I miss you my friend and hope to see you again soon.
  • PBS Kids....cuz my darling daughter loves it and it is educational!

11.12.2011

Harbor to Harbor Race - as a volunteer

Yes, I wanted to race.

Yes, I wanted to beat my time from last year.

No, I didn't race.

Instead, I dragged my darling daughter out of bed before the sun thought about rising to get ready to go to a race so I could volunteer. Poor little girl, running or no running mom, she is getting up and being hurried out the door.

wating patienty for me to get it right
Thing is, I didn't know exactly where I was to be or what time. I knew I had finishing line duties. I knew where the after party was. I should have better of guessed where the finish line was but even the ever so early running/volunteering mom was late to the location of my duty. Yep, a couple of runners beat me. What can I say? Pathetic I know but at least, there were volunteers there and I did ask....didn't get an answer....but I did ask for clarification.

All that aside, it is a great organization that hosts these races and I was honored to be a part of it and to finally do what I was supposed to do....volunteer. It was good to see things from the other side. To cheer the runners on as they cross the line. To encourage them to go those final steps. To see the issues of runners stopping dead or running on when volunteers are trying to get the tear tags, their race numbers, their times, hand them their medals, etc. I have always been one who was grateful for the volunteers and tried to show appreciation. I think I may go one step further now. If I know I want to keep running, I can at least tear the tag and hand it off. If they are trying to hand me something, I can stop (although I always have). Because you know what, they really do care about you and want to get your time right. And yes, they really don't like those race bandits as it really does cause problems, especially when the bandits cross the finish line and detract the volunteers' attention from the runners who properly registered.

breakfast at after party
Will I volunteer again? Of course! This was the second race my darling daughter and I volunteered at. I think it teaches her a good lesson and I do feel it is my part to give back to the running community that gives so much to me.

Will I volunteer at the next Harbor to Harbor? I hope not! Only because I want to run it!!!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Glade candles
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • The enthusiasm of a child
  • Refund checks
  • Internet connectivity

11.11.2011

Columbia Drainmakers - Product Review

 I was given a pair of shoes (at no charge) from the retail store at the company I work at to review (I do not work for Columbia and receive no compensation from them).

The buyers saw these shoes and thought they may be something nice to promote to runners but wanted a runner to test them out first.

They are the Drainmakers by Columbia in raspberry dove.

As a committed runner I was instantly unsure because I never thought of Columbia as a running shoe company, but I opened my mind and heart in order to give a truthful review of these shoes to the buyers. After all, that is what they were looking for.

Fit - Immediately the feel was different. I traditionally wear a size 8 in standard shoes and an 8.5 in running shoes. The shoes I was given were a size 8.5. They felt a bit roomy in the toe box, more so than I would ideally like. I am still uncertain if I could go down a 1/2 size or if it is just the design.

Shoe - It is lightweight and flexible and reminds me of the Nike Free Run, but with less cushioning. The sole has physical holes in it for water drainage. I question how this impacts the durability of the shoe over time.

I started my test with short runs and it was post-marathon so I was a little less worried about any negative impacts. The sole is grippier than I am used to and kind of bugged me on my road runs but I could see how it would be beneficial in other environments.

Do I recommend this shoe? Yes and No. I will not run in this shoe for longer durations but it could be used for some cross training. I question the impact it will have on my body and I am used to shoes with a bit more stability right now. Remember, I do have that pesky piriformis thing going on. I think this is the perfect shoe for watery environments, as it was designed for, with the drainage. Think canoeing, fishing, possibly hiking, tidepooling even.

Please note: I received no compensation for this review and the opinions are solely my own.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Odd photo shoots
  • Product reviews
  • The smell of freshly mopped floors
  • Sunshine
  • Shelter from wind

11.10.2011

Things are not always as the seem

There will be running talk at the end of this post, I promise.

I was on the way to get my darling daughter from school but took a slight detour into a store that had gift baskets from crafters that have applied to be in the craft fair I am organizing. I had to go check them out but quickly realized, I was running late and had to go.

Source
I ran out of the store and into the parking lot, which was oddly empty and disturbing. I was trying to find my car but was more focused on the guys around another car that looked trashed and they seemed upset. And that is when I noticed my car there to the right with the driver door open, windows smashed, and tires slashed. My heart sank and although I knew there was nothing valuable in my car, I learned that lesson last time, I was distraught over the damage and more distraught over how I was going to get to my darling daughter in time. I quickly registered that those guys were in the same predicament and noticed a third trashed car further back in the parking lot. I didn't have the heart to walk closer to my car and turned to go back to the mall and get help. I passed a couple of people and asked for help and they quickly said no and rushed away.

I had to get my daughter. I called my dear hubby but of course, he didn't answer the phone so I couldn't ask him to rush to her. I called a dear friend and she was stuck at work and her hubby wasn't at home and that would have been so perfect if he was. They live 5 minutes from my daughter's school. I was so distraught I could barely get my words out to her and I just wanted to ask her to go next door and get my hubby from work so my daughter won't start to get scared because mommy is late. I ended up crying out in agony only to awake and find myself safely in my bed with my darling daughter tucked in my arm. I cuddled her a bit more tightly, showered her with kisses, and went back to sleep thankful that this time, the car incident was just a bad dream.

Source
A couple of hours later my alarm went off and it was time to get up and go to work. I pulled myself from bed with dread. I must confess, I loved my job. Not many people can say that but I did, really, I did. Yes, there were tough days, dreaded meetings that you get yourself through by treating yourself to a purchased lunch, but I loved my job! About a week ago, things changed and I dread my job and really hope that I can get over this. Perhaps this is just another bad dream and I haven't woke up yet? I can always wish, right? And no treating myself to a lunch, not in the budget.

But it is not all doom and gloom as I am slowly getting back into my running routine and am getting optimistic that I may be able to pull off that training plan and PR in February!

After my 1.5 mile run on Monday (overall pace was 14'37") I took it easier on Tuesday. I only ran 1.06 miles with an overall pace of 14'09" (my fastest so far with the broken toe). However, I don't know if I can truly call it easier just because the distance was shorter as I did irregular intervals. Essentially, I did some faster segments but the duration for work and recovery varied on how I felt. It was a fun interval workout and allowed me to test my toe a bit. Yesterday, I slowed things down a bit with a 2 mile run and an overall pace of 14'20". My running profile was a lopsided pyramid with more speed in the second half. I am doing all my runs barefoot on my home treadmill with my dad above me...


with this view to the side...


and afterwards I go outside to cool down.


I really do need to get a little fan to put on my treadmill once my runs get even longer. Right now, I am doing okay.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Blog comments
  • Photo editing
  • Making coffee at work
  • Good friends
  • Co-workers who care

11.08.2011

Still the One Update

Because my husband is so important to me, I took on the Still the One Challenge hosted at Skinned Knees.

It is the end of the first week and the goal was to make our loved ones feel special by doing a little extra for them. In addition, we were focusing on forgiving and forgetting and praying for assistance to achieve our goals. Along those lines, no complaining to others about our hubbies.

What did I do? 

I immediately called my sister and told her my mission and gave her instructions if I started to complain about dear hubby, she had to stop me instantly. I didn't call to complain, I stuck to my guns, and I tried to make dear hubby feel special through kind words, kind actions, and making him a special meal --- tacos with real meat! I even arranged for a date night, which was a delight!

And I prayed, and prayed, and prayed for my patience and ability to let go of the little things in life (like a spoon) that mean nothing. And I think it has been a positive experience and I am ready for week 2! I must confess, towards the end of the week I think I fell off track a bit but caught myself and started to refocus on what I was trying to achieve --- strengthening my marriage!

And on a funny note, I called my sister today and started complaining about something else and she stopped me dead in my tracks. I told her I would call her later when I had something positive to say!

Tuesday Tunes and More

What makes a runner a runner?

Everyone can answer this question a little bit differently depending on their own perspective. I definitely feel it has nothing to do about speed although I do have some speed classifications I apply to myself. Recently I have been walking as a form of exercise and to give the toe time to heal. I don't call that running due to the speed I was going and the speed I know I can go but I am still a runner.

Why?

Because it is who I am. It is a strong part of me and I have a deeply embedded passion to share my love of running with others. It is why I have been focused the past month on finding things I can do so when I return to my full-on running I am the best I can be at that moment. It is why I am excited to declare I did my first run with the broken toe yesterday, on my home treadmill barefoot. It is why I push myself to improve and let myself run anyhow I can. And it is why I won't let this speed bump knock me entirely off track with my training.

How was my run yesterday?

It was great because I did it! I only ran 1.5 miles for more than one reason --- running barefoot is new, my toe is still healing and perhaps I shouldn't overdo it, I wanted time with my darling daughter afterwards. I ran at a 10% incline with an overall pace of 14'37". Part of me didn't want to admit how slow I was but I felt I should because I wanted to announce that not all running has to be speedy. And honestly, I am just as proud of yesterday's slow run as my first marathon because they are both accomplishments, in different ways. And how can you truly inspire others to keep on going if you don't admit your own slow days?

My cool down after the run...I need a fan on that treadmill.

My barefoot running zone....with Dad watching every step.
Today's Tuesday Tune: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor --- a great song but honestly, I can't over listen to it or it becomes annoying. I try to keep it only on my long run play lists.




Today I am grateful for:
  • Barefoot running
  • PB&J
  • DVR
  • Family
  • The Still the One Challenge

11.07.2011

Monday Musings

Aloha Blog Friends!

It would be wonderful to have a post all about running but this running mom has little to say about running today. Instead, I am going to give you some wonderful randomness to start the week out right!

  • It has been over a week without internet connection at home. This makes it hard to really get into all my posting but I am more sad over being behind on reading all of your lovely posts! I hope to catch up soon and this problem will be resolved Thursday. Is it Thursday yet?
  • Yeah!! My darling daughter and I finally finished selling all the coffee tickets we needed to. Thank you for the extension! And yes, I was already seeing the benefits if I was "stuck" with bags of coffee.
  • Running is fun! Walking is boring. Sitting on the couch is no good at all. Therefore, walking is better than sitting!
  • I want to race on Saturday but I'm volunteering. Feeling bummed right now but I am sure it will be happier for me come Saturday.
  • I haven't designed my Christmas cards yet. I feel so behind on this but my darling daughter and I had a little photo shoot and I think I know which one I want to use! 
And it isn't this one.....

Today I am grateful for:
  • Porch lights
  • Starry nights
  • Plumeria sprigs
  • Sweaters
  • Upcoming Trips

11.04.2011

What makes a Friday fabulous?

First:
The Pile on the Miles Challenge started on November 1st and have I mentioned how grateful I am for this? It is funny how my perspective has changed and I am so grateful I haven't become all depressed and dreary with no running. It seems I have entered that point in my life (perhaps just for now) where I will make my dreams happen, one way or another.

The idea of this challenge was to get moving to help balance any holiday treats and to increase your activity level. The goal is 5 miles a week and yep, I am focused on that goal. I figured out exactly what I needed to do today to reach that goal, which may seem small to some. I truly do hope in future weeks my mileage increases and well as my speed but let's just take it one step at a time....no matter what the pace.

Second:
Google image - it didn't look like this
Where I live there are little to no street lights when you drive on the highways, etc. Trust me, when I first moved here from Texas it freaked me out to drive at night. It was so darn dark!!!!! But today I was able to appreciate the beauty that I wouldn't have been able to fully witness if there were tons of streetlights. I really wish I could have taken a picture to give it justice so I could give you a visual of the awesome lightning show that illuminated the sky on my way to work this morning.

Third:
Website image
It is date night!!!!!!! Okay, not quite yet but it is date night tonight! My dear hubby and I have a gift certificate so we can go to an awesome restaurant at the Ritz Carlton called The Banyan Tree. Thank you, thank you, thank you..... And my darling daughter is equally excited about her party night with some great friends of mine (and hers).

Today I am grateful for:
  • God's beauty
  • Rose-tinted glasses
  • Grasshopper pie yogurt ---- mmmmm........
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • My dear hubby turning my car around every night