A New Lesson

Just a quick update:

I’m still hitting bumps in the road, but I am not giving up.  I’m getting some decent runs in in the process.  Today I stayed after school–not to tutor–but to run with a student.  Things like this are part of what makes me a great teacher.  She’s a junior and wants to get into better shape the right way, so she came to me!  (Me!?  Really!?  It’s still hard to picture myself as a healthy person!)

In everything you do!

In everything you do!

We ran for 30 minutes after school, and she said she plans to run with me any day I am willing to stay.  We ran and talked (and walked in between!).  I helped her set some goals.  She wants to run a full mile (without stopping–no intervals) for her P.E. final in May.  I assured her that would be a piece of cake!  I convinced her to do a 5k with me in May as well.  That one, she’ll have to work for! 🙂

I’m excited, and so is she.  This may be the motivation I’ve been looking for–to BE someone’s motivation.

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Two Posts in One Day! Sunday Run

Just a quick update on my whiny-ness!

I RAN!  Running makes me HAPPY!  Why oh why do I always forget this.  Every. d*mn. day.

I also no longer have the desire to eat the nastiness (cookies, muffins, and fudge) that lurks on the kitchen table.  I am however, still desperately encouraging the hubs to “eat, Santa, eat!”…so that I won’t be tempted later.

I did my long run earlier this week, because I knew my weekend would be hectic.  Today, I went out for my final 3 mile run and it was quite nice.  I didn’t feel like I was dying.  I swear it’s because it was warm (upper 60s!).  I’ve been doing all my running outdoor in 30 degree weather, and most of my runs have been rough.  Do-able, but rough.  Today was much better.  I actually felt like I maybe-sorta-could run a real, honest-to-God marathon in four months.  Stay tuned, though.  That is still TBD!

I love that I used to be intimidated by a measly 5k.  These days I run them regularly as part of a  fitness plan…or for “fun”!  Today it took me 40 minutes, but there are a ton of hills on the route I took, so I’m good with that.  I’m not a fast runner, and that’s okay too.  I run.  That’s good enough for me. 🙂

It was gorgeous.  Neighbors were waving, the sun was shining, and all was right in the world.

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This day was made for running.

Run to the Lights 5k in Branson

So, I haven’t run much since my half marathon in October.  Without an immediate need for training, I’ve been a little lax about my running. And fitness. And eating. This weekend was my first run with mileage over one mile (eek!), and it was surprisingly…okay…ish.

I took the day off on Friday to clean and pack.  Hubby worked a 1/2 day and picked up the kiddos on his way home.  We ate a quick lunch and headed out the door for Branson.  After an uneventful 4 hour drive and FINALLY having the time to begin reading Gone Girl, we arrived at our hotel.  We unpacked, readied ourselves for the race, and left for Silver Dollar City, where the race would take place at 10:10pm.  We took a few pre-race pics:

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Let me enlighten you on this little racey-race.  We registered early.  The 4 of us paid a registration fee of $25 each.  With that fee, we each got a really nice long sleeved t-shirt, free hot cocoa, hot wassail, cookies, water, and bananas, and…drum roll, please……………….a free pass for Silver Dollar City!  The cost of an adult ticket to SDC with tax is $63.41 and a child’s ticket is $52.66.  This means for our family  of 4, the cost to enter the park alone would have been $232.14.  Instead, we paid $100 and got free food and tshirts.  Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

The race itself was okay.  I ran all of it except part of a realllyyy steep hill–much steeper than the rest of the hills.  I swear..the whole course felt like hill after hill after hill. I know I ran it in under 40 minutes, but it was chip timed and the official results aren’t up yet.  No worries–I wasn’t running for time.  Thank goodness…because I’m sure I lost at LEAST 2-3 minutes just dodging walkers.  I ran it…hubby and kids walked it.  They were all a little cranky when they finished, but I had hot cocoa waiting for them and that made them happy.

I wish I hadn’t been so lazy for the last month, but, well, I have.  I would have run a much better, much faster, much less physically straining race had that been the case.  I had side-stitches and my legs were tired–I attribute some of this to being soooooo flippin cold!

We left SDC and stopped by Denny’s on the way back to our hotel, and when my head finally hit the pillow it was almost 2am.  Here’s a pic of the kiddos at about 1am (don’t judge..we had just gotten back from our busy night!).

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The next day, we had breakfast (if you wanna call it that) at the hotel, stopped by the Titanic Museum because my son is absolutely obsessed ever since he studied about it in summer school two years ago.  He thoroughly enjoyed it!  It was an emotional morning, and I teared up several times.  So did the hubs.  P.S.  They give a boarding pass as patrons enter.  Each boarding pass has the name of a real passenger on the Titanic.  At the end of the tour, patrons find out if they survived or not.  We ALL survived!

We went straight to the park.  We rode a few rides, ate some funnel cake and hand-dipped ice cream, and rode the train.

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Riding the train in deep thought…probably pretending he’s on his way to Hogwarts.

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Waiting with the boy while his fearless sister and dad ride crazy death-traps.

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My extra eating kinda shows in this pic, but hey…look at those super-sweet shirts we got!

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“Look, [Mom]! I’m riding a furry tractor!”

"You'll be clapped in the stocks before you're twenty."

“You’ll be clapped in the stocks before you’re twenty.”

I was an emotional wreck at Silver Dollar City too.  I’m not sure if it just carried over from the museum, or I was just having a weepy day, or what the h-word my problem was.  Anyway, I saw so many happy families.  So many grandparents happily holding grandbabies, grandpas riding Fire in the Hole with grandsons, grandmas doting on the kids while Mom and Dad strolled into shop after shop hand-in-hand.  It abso-freakin-lutely tore. me. up.  I was relieved to be wearing sunglasses because at one point, I was climbing stairs thinking of my sick, bed-ridden parents, leading me to the verge of a full-on ugly cry.  I completely and utterly envied them.  I was desperately longing to have that in my life; in my kids lives.  But that’s not the case.  And that’s okay.

I confided in my husband later that night.  He didn’t have much to say except that at least I will be there for my kids and grandkids, and that was sweet.  Just not enough in that moment.  I just needed to wallow for a minute.  Both of my parents are back in the hospital, but that’s a story for another post.  I love those people, but I wish I had more quality time with them.

Well, that got dark…fast.  Maybe I’m still wallowing!?? lol.  I love my parents how they are and where they are.  They are wonderful people.  I just occasionally get a little wind knocked outta me when I see how things could be.  This is the reason I kicked my oversized a** into gear and lost over 100 pounds. Who cares about sexy.  I want to be healthy!

I’m going to eat well and get a good run in tomorrow along with some bodyweight/strength training exercises.  In fact, that’s the plan for the whole week.  I’m sure those things will lighten my mood too!

Sounds like a good game plan to me.  What’s yours?

Down with the Sickness

 

Ugh.  Running is hard. Like, really hard.

I’ve got some funking funk going on right now.  I’ve had a sore throat since last week.  I thought it was due to being back to teaching, but even after a four day vocal chord rest in the form of a super long, super welcome holiday weekend, it still hurts.  Worse.  Now I’m achy and generally feeling blah.  And that’s the medical term. I swear.

I caught up on my training runs this weekend.  Today, I’m back on track with a five mile run.  I just. couldn’t. do it.  I ran a total of 30 minutes, but it was in intervals, and it was miserable.  It’s either from running so much over the weekend, or because I’m “down with the sickness”, or both.  My body hurt when I ran, and my lungs hurt when I breathed. Bad combo. Bad run.

 

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Tomorrow is a new day, a crosstraining day, so that’s good.  I’ll be able to manage a decent bike ride.  Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better by my five miles on Thursday.  I’ll rest up on Friday and do my nine mile long run on Saturday or Sunday, depending how I feel.  I’m excited and nervous to be trying some fuel during this run. I’ve found that anything over 6.5-7 miles, and I’m d-o-n-e done!  I’m hoping that fueling 45 minutes in will help me keep my energy up.  We shall see.  I have Gatorade and I’ll be picking up a few Gu’s to try.

 

On a side note, I signed the family up for a 5k in Branson in November called Run to the Lights. I’m super excited about it.  We will be running through their HUGE light display on Friday night, and then we will each get a free pass to Silver Dollar City in our swag bag.  The kids have never been to SDC, so this will be so much fun!  I can’t wait.

 

I’m off to do a little writing and to get some serious rest, so I can kick this illness in the face.

Happy running…and stay healthy!

 

Trail Runs in MO State Parks!

I came across a news article today that was promoting the Missouri State Parks Racing Series.  I decided immediately that I would complete them all!

I already registered for the first one. It’s a kayak/trail run, but I opted for the run portion only.  Mostly because I’m chicken, and I’ve never been in a kayak before.  Canoe…yes.  Kayak…no.  Hubby and I have decided to camp that weekend, so we will make it a family affair.  I hope it’s not too hot!


 

In October, I’ll be running this one.  Since the date coincides with one of the options for my half marathon, I guess I will officially be running the Go! St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon instead of the Mo’ Cowbell.  It feels good to have a definite race date set for my half! 🙂


I’ll be doing this 15K in November!


And competing this 12K tunnel trot in December!


Looks like I have a busy fall ahead of me.  Can’t wait!

Mud Run? More Like Mud FUN!

Oh. Imm. Geee!  So, it’s an “easy” week in half-marathon training.  I did this weekend’s 7 mile long run last weekend, so that I could do this 5k (that I had already signed up for months ago) as my taper this week.

Success!

We ran 3.1 miles, completed 13 obstacles, kicked butt, and did it all in the pouring rain!  I was worried it would be hot this late in August.  Wrong!  I was FREEZING all day.  I even had to turn on the heater on my way home! 🙂

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I’ve run several races, but this was the first time I actually got a finisher’s medal!  No other races have offered them!  Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhh!

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We climbed over things.  We climbed under things.  We crawled through mud.  We convinced a volunteer to climb the ropes with us! We danced and ran at the same time.  We “woo”-ed a lot!  It was a blast.  I ran with my niece, Michaela, and a fellow participant from a weight loss competition I was in a few months ago.

We made it through the day unscathed.  Except that I was getting out of a large blow-up slide/water pit, and I slid right over the edge and layed myself out flat on my side hard enough to knock the wind outta me!  No harm, no foul, though!  I still feel great.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

The craziest thing that happened today was that it is usually Michaela who encourages me to keep running and not give up…”next hill”, “that sign”, “passed the next post”, she’d huff and puff at me.  Not this time. No-sir-ee, Bob!  I out ran HER.  It was cool to get to cheer her on!  It was also a new experience to change in front of strangers in a large tent.  I wasn’t even embarrassed.  Modest? Yes.  Embarrassed?  Heck no!

We had so much fun, but we are exhausted. Little did I know my “easy”week was gonna be so difficult!  I think it’s nap time!

 ******I run for fun!*****

I Don’t Sweat…I Glow!

 

Rockin' my sweaty 5k tshirt last night!

Rockin’ my sweaty 5k tshirt last night!

 

Ay Chihuahua! (More like OUCHIE-Wah-Wah!)  I did Workout One from yesterday’s Half Marathon Training post.  Ouch!  Between that and the 5k race last night, my body, she hurts!  Honestly, it’s “my neck, my back” (what a terrible song!) that hurt the most–I think from the Russian Get Ups and KB Swings.  My legs, which were the actual focus of the strength training, feel great. I guess they are more used to the abuse they get on a daily basis. When I get home tonight, I’ll do some cycling and some swimming, since it’s a crosstraining day.  Tomorrow is strength again, so I hope I’m able to move better in the morning.

Last night I ran a Glow Run 5k.  It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for another one.  While in line waiting to get my pre-race port-o-potty on to avoid an embarrassing post-race pee stain, I saw a fro wig out of the corner of my eye.  I turned around to tell the youngin’ “wow, you went all out,” but when I turned, it was a 50 something with a concrete helmet head of hair.  She was thin and fit and beautiful.  I don’t know what was up with the unmoving black encasement that framed her pretty face.  Socially awkward moment 5,875,345 narrowly avoided. But, I digress.

When we lined up for the race, they organized us by runners and walkers.  I feel such a sense of pride to line up with runners these days!  I was sure as I stood there that someone would call me out as a phony….”I’m sorry, ma’am, but shouldn’t YOU be with the walkers?  [chuckle, chuckle] I mean, let’s be real about this.”…but no one did.  Embarrassing confrontation averted. Heh. Heh. Heh. Alllllllllll-righht.

When they blew the whistle, some runners took off like bats outta hell.  I mean seriously.  Like bats.  It was super dark, and I couldn’t see the washboard gravel that passed for a race route beneath my feet.  They must have had bat sonar or spidy-senses something. My (many times injured) ankle was audibly pleading with me to not roll it in one of the many dips and divets. I consented oh-so-willingly.

So many people passed me. I started to think, “Oh….M….Geee!  I WASN’T ready for this after all!”, but I kept my pace, steadied my breathing, and chugged along.  Soon, I was following a very fit looking blonde.  Well, it was dark, so I THINK she was blonde.  I liked her pace, and I trailed her for about a quarter mile.  She asked if this was my first 5k.  I was pleased to report that no, it was not my first 5k, but it WOULD be the first one I would run in its entirety.  I apologized for seeming like a creeper (because I was following her), but she said she felt like one too (so, I guess she thought I meant I felt like I was creeping along, instead of being a weirdo stalker). Super-trendy-teen-lingo-picked-up-from-my-high-school-students-fail. Face palm.

I eventually passed her and felt a little guilty.  I’m not sure why. I think I’m one of those “sorry” girls from the Pantene commercials. Then I passed more people.  Women.  Men.  Children.  All the people that blew past me outta the gate were losing steam!  Slow and steady wins the race.  So very true!  My favorite part of the night was when I passed to tween boys.  As I passed, one exclaimed to the other, “Dude, we just let a GIRL pass us!”  D*mn straight, ya did! Girls rock!  I run like a girl and I’m darn proud of it! I was so proud of myself for passing youngins…and old-uns…and seemingly more fit than me-uns.  Wow! I’ve come a long way, baby!

I ended up getting very tired about halfway through.  It was hot.  It was also my first night race.  I think those factors played into it.  That, and I had done some strength training that turned my legs to jelly.  No, they aren’t sore today, but they were made of rubber yesterday.  I made it halfway, grabbed a water on the run, and turned around to go back the way I came.  For a quarter mile spurt, I was passing people still heading toward the halfway point.  I “good-job-ed” and “keep it up-ed” them as they passed.  It felt good to know that I…me…formerly 300lb me…was ahead of so many people.

After the oncoming (pedestrian) traffic portion of the race, we split ways to make a loop.  The course was kind of a lollipop.  We began at the top of the lollipop, traveled around the sticky edge of it, down the stick, back up the stick and around the other side of the lollipop back up to the top.  Toward the end of the course, I was keeping pace with a teenage boy.  Bless his heart, he wanted to talk to me, but I just wanted to lie down and die.  The last little bit had a huge hill (yay for my hilly neighborhood training!), and I was exhausted.  He was sweet though, and I mustered a little staccato-ed conversation.

Finally, at the top of that hill, I saw the top of that damned lollipop.  The finish line never looked so sweet!  I ran down a small hill and followed the lit paper bags all the way across the finish line in 35:29.  I know that’s not super fast, but it’s the fastest I’ve ever done a 5k, AND I ran the whole d*mn thing too, so how do ya like me now!?

All in all, it was super fun, super rewarding, and the super moon just made the run that much more amazing.  Beautiful night. Beautiful people. It’s a beautiful life I have.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Spend some time with people you love!  Make the day count for something!