Category Archives: motivation

Why I Run

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Workout(s)
Today – rest day.  True, complete, rest day.
Yesterday – 10 miles total. 6.8 am and 3 evening.  so really only 9.8miles, but I am rounding up to 10 for the weeks tally of miles because I am the runner and I can do that. And because Sunday’s 13.2 will be rounded down to 13, so all is in balance in the world of miles run this week. I’m at 37 for the week and I have one day of running to go. exciting? Me thinks so.  I am very close to 40, and that would make me happy.  My first 40 mile week since sometime in early march. THAT is cause for celebration, my friends.  not big miles to some, but its big progress for me.
Wednesday – was a legit, full 7 miles. No hijacked miles from another running day played by the rules. Neither of these two runs were assisted by mr. Garmin. He stayed home. As well he should have.  According to my handy dandy kitchen clock, this run was somewhere in the 7:15-20 pace.  Plus 30 mins stairmaster just for haha’s.  Thursday’s run was right around 7:30 pace.
I wanted no part of my planned 7 miles yesterday am.  the 3 last night was an after thought, reward for completing the 7.  back it up to the first 7- I wanted no part of it at 9:30 the night before when I set my 5am wakeup call.  I really wanted no part of it when my two little cherubs crawled into my bed at 10pm.  My desire to not run in the morning was furthered when I heard my husband up with my 2 year old at 4:45am. for the day.  I don’t care how precious children are, the day should NEVER begin with a 2 year old before the 6 o’clock hour.  Pre 5am is just torture.  It would have been very easy for me to turn over and give up on the run. I did not bail. I gave my run a fair shot.  and I was open to possibilities. I told myself, Katie, wise, smart, talented runner, mother, wife and generally phenomenal person that you are, at least give this run 3 miles and if you still don’t want any part of it- at least you tried.  Those positive self affirmations work wonders.  I gave my run a fair shot.  It deserved at least a chance before being shoved down into the non running abyss.  It was good.  Not sparkly chocolate covered Swedish fish good, but good.  There are a lot of times it’s definitely easy to crawl back into bed, or back into that big bowl of ice cream. Put down the ice cream, take off the covers and give your run or your workout at least a fair shot. and then make it longer for being a big baby about it.

It’s just been crazytown up in here this week.  I’ve only been writing this post for 3 days now and keep getting sidetracked doing super excitingly busy things like mopping my floors, filling big black garbage bags with junk, standing at the counter with a spoon in one hand and nutella in the other, chasing Luke around at field day, raising children, washing mybhair, and doing other domestic wonders.  minor things that take up a small portion of my time. all while attempting to be a functioning human being in society. Hopefully I’ll get this post written before the end of the month so that I can get on to other posts and more exciting things that I need to share with you lovelies.  and so that I can stop re-editing and changing all of the tenses.  It would be a complete travesty if I published this and all of my today’s were really yesterday’s and so forth.  would be shameful.

Apparently Wednesday was national running day and I missed the boat.  What kind of runner am I???  I’ll tell you what kind – the kind with three little crazy kidlings that really only has time to run and not keep up with every single national holiday there is.  I’m still a runner though, and I had a pretty fabulous running week.  In lieu of this national holiday that I missed, I think it’s appropriate to talk about WHY I run. I run a lot. Now I run a lot. A few weeks ago I did not run a lot. Now I run without pain and without a care in the world about a race or a pace or a distance.   For me, running is about balance. It balances out all the craziness and not so craziness in my life. It keeps me sane when my 4:45am waking 2 year old man eating gremlin terrorizes me all day. Climbs into the kitchen sink every time I’m not looking to wash his feet. finds it necessary to lock himself in the upstairs bathroom to which I have no key. And then there are the other 2 angels of mine. he learns his tricks from his sisters.  running is about balance. Physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. 

Physical:  above any other exercise, running keeps me in the best shape. Running makes me feel strong and capable. I love strength training, but even when I let that slide, running does a pretty good job of keeping the bod strong, and I love that. I don’t think there is a time in a runners life where they won’t experience some sort of injury or discomfort- that is par for the course. but, if you work through it wisely and patiently, you come back a stronger, smarter runner.  Running gives me something to work for, to push my body and my boundaries.  and to test my limits.  running also gives very good reason for me to buy these kinds of stylishly athletic clothes…


I would have no reason if I didn’t run. All about convenience – throw on some sneaks and you’re ready to hit the road.  And then hit up the grocery store not looking too hideous after. Or so I tell myself.

Emotional:  people say to me, if you are running so much, you must be running from something. The answer is quite possibly, YES. As a matter of fact, you are quite possibly 100% correct that I am running from something.  And that something might look like this – 


Or this

Or even this

I am a stay atvhome mom.  I am with my children from sun up until sun down everyday.  I love them more than life and am abundantly blessed to be with them 24/7.  willingly and lovingly tending to their every need.  Running gives me a moment in time away from all of that. It refreshes me so that I can keep lovingly and willingly taking care of those little people that I love and adore.  I run from them and then run straight back to them, energized and ready to go.

Spiritual: I am a very spiritual, faith filled person. I know I wouldn’t make it through life without my Christian faith and trust in God. I try to spend some part of the day in my own “quiet” time, in a certain devotional book or whatever it may be. But that doesn’t always happen. Distractions always happen. When my feet are moving and cruising on the pavement, I can easily clear my head and can sometimes use that time for prayer or just quiet.  The physicality of running  just seems to calm the spirit and puts me in a good place.  

Mentally: I need all the help I can get in this department. I am a pretty intelligent person. And then I had kids and I seem to have lost a lot of brain cells. In the July issue of Runner’s World, there was a little blurb on running and mental capacity to learn immediately after. here’s what it said- 
More power to the brain. perfect.

And a little quote from this famous author…


I couldnt agree more, Mr. Thoreau.  I can day dream when I run. The sky is the limit.
And apparantly I can learn a lot of new words after I run, too. bring on the dictionary and sign me up for the next spelling bee. I am fiercely competitive. 

And that is in a nutshell, why I run. It is actually probably a lot more complex than that. and given some time with a therapist, I’m sure many a secret and insight, pulling from childhood experiences and what not, could be divulged as to why I run and why I have such a desire to race and be better and stronger at this kind of strangely odd “sport”.  But that is my quick self analysis.  basic. thoughts on why I hit the road most mornings and am itching to get back out there by the evening.  Running is always a work in progress. and it enables me to balance and tune into all of those aspects mentioned above. then I blog about it and get it all out of my head for you peeps to enjoy.

So, national running day that I missed, I am thankful for this “sport”.  and I guess it deserves it’s own holiday just like every single other thing known to man that has its own special holiday. I will definitely miss this holiday again next year and read about it fist on the 50,000 other running blogs out there. and then I may do a little belated holiday shopping at lululemon to celebrate.  I think that might be a very appropriate thing to do. 

I have a lot more to talk about that got lost in this week and this 3 day long blog.  Stay tuned for more on sneaker talk and fueling talk and obviously running talk, oh and obviously nonsense talk because I’m almost as good at that as I am in coming in 2nd place at races. 

ps – I wrote this entire post on my new iPad (yes, my darling husband, you are wonderful and awesome and I am so thankful you bring me such sweet treats. Next time wrap in in chocolate and candy and I’ll be through the moon). So this was a little first post experiment writing it on this blog writer app and I have 100% no idea what I am doing or what it looks like until it’s posted.  My apologies for the extra abundance of grammatical errors or inability understand anything that was written. Not like that would be so out of the ordinary. 

Bloggers- do you write posts from an iPad? Do you use an app?

Who is racing this weekend?

Tell me, why do YOU run/exercise? Is it a reason beyond just staying in shape?

How often do you ditch the workout just because you don’t feel like it?  That’s naughty. Try not to. Or you’ll go in the timeout chair.

How to Friday – how to workout at home…..

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with three little kids…who always want to work out with you…and need water and a snack as soon as you lift a weight…and then need to be taken to school…which is totally overrated, all that schooling and reading and academia.  I’m kidding.  School is super important.  So is reading.  And all things academic.  

Workout – today is a rest day, so I took it easy.  25 minutes on the stairmaster and a little P90X yoga that I’ve had an intense craving for this week.  Or my hamstrings had an intense craving for.  I am doing 19-20 miles tomorrow, and didn’t feel the need to kill it today.  Not like I have been killing it all week, but whatev.  Just not my week.  It happens.  At least I’m trying.  Next week will be my week.  I have big plans to make big plans on Sunday for the coming week, including workouts and meals so that I don’t go to the grocery store and wander the aisles aimlessly trying to figure out what healthy meal to prepare for that evening’s feast.  It’s all about getting into a groove.  When I’m in the groove of planning, I plan.  When I fall out of the groove, I’m a mess.  Time to get back into the groove.  It’s fun to have it all planned out.  What a stellar revelation.

I joined my gym when I was 14 years old.  I worked out at the gym in between the field hockey and lacrosse seasons.  I worked in the daycare there through high school, and I kept my membership when they changed franchises.  My husband and I had romantic morning workouts together when we were just dating.  I went back to the gym after I had each of my girls.  I give the gym daycare credit for getting me through those first couple years when my girls were really little and we had lots of time and no activities.  It kept my sanity as they safely played for an hour while I ellipticaled away.  That is a word. 

The gym and I go way back.  The downward spiral started when they cut the time limit in the daycare to 1 hour.  It was not nice.  And then they put a limit on 20 kids at a time in the daycare.  If you didn’t get there 5 minutes before they opened, you were turned away with an 21 month old and a seven month old and dashed hopes of an endorphin lifting workout.  Then, if you can imagine, they cut the childcare program all together.  Tragedy.  Truly a sad day.  But everything happens for a reason.  I wasn’t willing to pay $135 a month for the other gym in town.  So I cancelled my membership.  After more than 10 years there.  For more than 2 years I did not set foot into a gym.  I worked out at home and started running.  I rejoined this past fall.  I love the gym, but now I have a much easier time working out at home and have no anxiety about not getting to the gym.  Now, the gym gives me a good balance to the home workouts.  I daresay I got into the best shape I had ever been in NOT working out in the gym. 

Some people need the gym, trainers, equipment and the motivation of going somewhere to workout.  But, it is completely possible to get a great workout at home as well.  The workout is only part of it – remember, physical exercise is only 20% of the fitness picture.  Nutrition makes up the majority.  Whether you work out hardcore at the gym, or at home – none of it will matter if your diet, or I should say nutrition, sucks.  

The following is How To Workout at Home – Katie Style.  which means minimal equipment.  minimal investment.  minimal fuss.  maximal fun, excitement and sweat.  You can totally go crazy with all sorts of different paraphanalia, but right now I’m just talking about baisc, old fashioned, standard fitness equiptment.  Nothing new and trendy.  No bands, bosu’s or other things of the sort – although I like all of those things.  I just don’t have time to talk about every single different option out there.  This is what you will need to make your home workout environment a success.     

1. Weights

Have some basic weights on hand.  You don’t need a fancy shmancy weight set to get toned and buff.  Or not buff, just toned.  A five, eight and ten pound set should be good.  Maybe a 15.  Another good thing to have on hand is a kettlebell or two.  This will lend to some variety in the home workout.  Last thing – a medicine ball is always fun.  If not to just let the kids play with while you try to get the real work done.     

2. Videos

I love working out with videos.  Like I said above, there are a lot of new fangled fancy internet workouts that I just can’t and don’t have the desire to get into.  If I tried to copy a workout from my computer, we would end up on pbskids.org watching and playing The Cat in the Hat games (by the way, happy bday to Dr. Suess!).  Not gonna happen.  I’m sticking with the DVD’s and the TV.

Have a handful of videos to rotate so that you don’t get bored and you don’t plateau on them.  All different types.  A couple of my favorites ladies to workout with are: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.  

I don’t actually follow this from start to finish.  I just pick one that I want to do.  I like this because it incorporates some exercises that get your heart rate up.  It’s a 3-2-1 method of strength, cardio, abs.  And I like the random Jackie Warner one that I bought. 

Pretty basic.  She’s not very high energy or anything like JM, but it is a good workout.  Another one I love is the P90X, which I also don’t follow in any order or the way it should be.  I don’t like following directions.  I like to do things my way.  A couple of my favorite P90X ones are the yoga, and the plyometrics. 

You can get individual P90X dvd’s on ebay.  You can buy anything on ebay.  True story.

When I was doing one of my long runs on the gym treadmill with no headphones, I was stuck watching and reading closed captioning for this workout series….

I almost bought it.  If I had my credit card.  It was that convincing.  And I never had a single thought about needing to lift my rear before being subjected to this informercial.  And I would have ordered one for my sister, my mom, my friend, my friends mom and anyone else who has a rear.  I refrained.  Those Saturday morning treadmill long runs are dangerous.  Too many infomercials. 

Point being, have a variety of different workout dvd’s on hand.  Keep it fresh.              

3. Magazines

We all know how I feel about SHAPE magazine.  I rip out the workouts and put them in pretty little sheet protectors and stick them in a binder for a rainy day.  I like to do my own fun circuits at home, and these help ignite the workout with some ideas, if I need them.  The fun thing is that SHAPE always has different types of circuit workouts.  So, I  have quite the selection of exercises to choose from to give me ideas of what to do.  Some of them are really good.  Some, not so much.  I don’t rip those ones out.

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I even labeled the binder.  That way I don’t forget that I’m not in highschool anymore and that flashy pink binder is not my chemistry homework, but my spectacular collection of exercises.  Magazines are a great source for at home workouts. 

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4. Yoga mat

This is just a good thing to have on hand.  You can find them anywhere, for pretty cheap.   

5. Water bottle

Hydrate.  done.  no explanation except get it ready before you begin your workout so you aren’t stopping mid session to gulp down a glass.  leaving you with a horrible cramp and the excuse that you can’t finish because you feel like your stomach is ripping apart.  or you have bubbles sloshing around while you are doing jumping jacks.  

6. Snacks

This would be for the kids, if you have them, and are trying to keep them occupied while you are toning and buffing.  Set the kids up before you start with snacks, games, books, activities to keep them busy while you are doing your thing.  Think ahead of anything they could possibly want or need and take care of it first.  minimize interruptions.    

7. Convenience

Store your at home workout accessories in a place that is convenient to use and easy to get to, yet out of the way.  The last thing you need to be doing is gathering weights from the recesses of  your home, trying to find that 2lb dumbell and yoga mat.  Keep them all in a place that you can easily get to them to get going.   

8. Back to the basics and multi-task

Don’t underestimate the basic exercises; pushups, pullups, planks, tricep dips on a chair, etc.  You can use a lot of household items to assist in getting in shape.  Babies work pretty well too.  Strap that little person in a front carrier and start working.  Sit him on your belly and crunch time!  You think I’m kidding.  I’m totally serious.  These all work wonders for the muscles.  You can do a lot with your own body weight as resistance training and no weights at all.  I am all about multi-tasking my workout as well.  I don’t like to work just one body part.  I like to use different balance positions to challenge different muscle groups at the same time.  It’s like getting the most bang for your buck in terms of time spent exercising.  Why workout just your biceps when you can be doing quads at the same time.  No brainer to me.  In this recent issue of SHAPE, they had one of my favorite ways to do this – plie squats.  I will do plie squats with any and every upper body exercise.  Those, and lunges.  Fantastic.       

 

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 9. Timer

If you do like to do your own circuits at home, or out of a magazine or from a website – a timer is a must. 

 

This is a gymboss timer.  I don’t have one of these.  I just use an app on my phone that is a timer and it’s a pain in the butt because I have to physically stop, reset and pay attention to it.  I tried a bootcamp class, and this is what the instructor used.  It seemed like it worked pretty well.  You set the intervals – the workout and rest period that you want to do and it beeps when you are supposed to change.  No stopping, checking and resetting a stop watch.  nice.  and it’s pink.  even better.     

10. Cardio

If you are like me, and you like to get a GOOD cardio workout in, too – take it to the streets.  Put on the sneaks and get outside.  I have put many many miles in walking and running with two kids in a double jogger.  That’s pushing minimum 75 lbs.  That’s a workout.  Brisk walking is a great workout as well.  You could also think about investing in a piece of cardio equipment for your home.  My stairmaster has a very special place in my heart.  I’ve had it as long as I’ve had my oldest daughter.  Yes, she has a more special place in my heart.  Do not worry.  But, it was a good investment, and we bought it used.  It was a top of the line used, though.  So it’s not breaking down weekly.  Something to think about.   

Some other fun tidbits from SHAPE mag today.  This is one reason I love the stairmaster – I can read while I’m stepping.  Thank God I picked it up in the grocery store yesterday, otherwise I never would have known this useless but necessary information.

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  I guess I’m happy to be below average on that one.  At least for another 5 years!

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 43% less likely to catch a cold if you exerciseAnother reason to keep it moving.  150 minutes a week.  minimum.  you won’t get sick.   

 

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More proof that I MUST get some good earphones that like my ears and a good playlist going.  This might have confirmed that I should run the end of the marathon with music.  I better start training with it. 

 

 

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This ties in with the How to Friday post about being Happy.  Some of the things listed there are avocados, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, peppers and walnuts.  I have all of those things in my home right now.  I should be beaming with joy.  eat up! 

That’s all the fun I have for this Friday.  I was very excited about my long run tomorrow until I saw the weather forecast is 80% chance of rain.  I really love New England.  But I really want warmer weather.  Without rain.  blah.  It will not keep me down, it just might send me to the gym for 20.  can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning. 

Talk to me!

What are some of your fun workout at home tips and tricks?  Favorite workout DVD’s?  I’m always looking for good new ones!

How many of those ‘happy foods’ are in your home right now?

Who has races coming up?  Long runs this weekend?  Totally relaxing and enjoying life?

 

Loving Lulu and reflections

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Workout – 5 miles outside, fairly “easy” – I’ll delve into that statement in uno momento.  36:xx minutes.  Kinda hilly.  Sunday is normally a rest day.  But Friday was also a rest day and I REALLY didn’t do anything.  Saturdays are my long run days, and it was supposed to be a longer than the half marathon I did run day, but I only did the half.  I know.  Very silly to say I only did the half.  But it’s the truth.  And I am at a place in my running where I feel like saying only a half marathon is small beans for a run for the long run day is an accurate statement for me.  If you are still following, that is why I chose not to rest today – didn’t do enough yesterday, the hills and the wind weren’t enough.  Here’s a picture of today’s run.  Yes, I’m still taking pics of my computer screen.  so sorry. 

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I just have a hard time taking it easy on a run.  I’m going to go ahead and call anything above a 7 minute mile a take it easy run for me.  I don’t generally go slower than 7:30 mile.  I don’t know that this is necessarily a good thing and is something I’m trying to work on.  This was actually a pretty nice, easy, shake the sillies out run (that’s definitely a preschool term. they come out every now and then. it’s fun to talk preschool lingo. the cool kids do it)   I usually leave the garmin when I want it to be easy and relaxing, but I took it today because I like to analyze the stats.  I need a job.  with numbers.  If only I could do this for a living.  anyway, for now I’ll raise kids and look at my garmin connect and do pace calculations.  

And another lululemon outfit for the run today.  photography courtesy of a 4 year old whizbang child.  and I have multiple pictures to make you understand why this top needed to be part of my wardrobe.   I think it’s called the back on track pullover something or other, not good with names of clothes, can barely keep track of my kids’ names…those are the same wunder unders I wore yesterday.  and I might wear them everyday for the rest of my life.  so comfortable I wish I could bottle it up and drink it.  comfortable coolaid.  could be a big hit. 

   

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Anna pulled out the super slimming thigh lense and made most of my legs disappear.  I like.  but not an accurate portrayal of the thighs that really exist.  according to the most helpful lululemon sales chic, my thighs are “muscular, so you may want to try the next size up”.  Ok.  Will do skinny mini leg girl.  I really want to not be nice to you right now, but you said that in such a way that I shouldn’t be bothered by it.  and I love this store.  so I won’t be bothered.  nice choice of words.  moving on.

#2 picture – supercool neckline, the hood has a hole in it for your ponytail that I would never use, but kinda fun – Anna is obviously not responsible for this superawkward self portrait.  she’s much better than that. 

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and look at that, it unzips too….

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It’s long. it’s warm, but not too warm.  it’s fitted. all around freaking fantastic top.  love.   

That’s the last of Lulu purchases – for now.  I am itching to get back there.  I bought a running skirt, and I think I am going to return it.  I love it, I have it in black and I bought it in this green/seafoam/teal color (I’m not good with naming colors either), but I think for the $, there are other things from there that I would use more.  I have a wishlist.  And it is growing longer by the minute.  I’m having lululemon dreams of pretty pants and perfect tops.   

Sunday Funday was indeed a fun day.  We went to church this a.m., and I did NOT get stuck in the nursery with the little goobers.  Good morning.  AND, I chose to waste an obscene amount of time doing absolutely nothing productive last night, went to bed SUPER late even though I knew it was my morning to get up with knucklehead, and the one and only super stellar husband got up with him for me – 3rd day in a row – because I made a poor choice last night.  that is love. 

ok.  I have some more reflections from yesterday’s race.  I’m reflecting so much for a couple reasons – this reflecting, and thinking nonsense is new to me too.  don’t be frightened.  I usually don’t do this much reflecting.  but, I have never run any race so early in the year – and it’s kind of kicked my mind into, this is really fun, I can’t wait to run more races mode.  thus prompting me to think.  and think some more. about future races and what I might do differently, or the same.  Here’s my list. 

1. Fluids.  I started the race having to pee.  I only had coffee all morning, and I usually drink some sort of sports drink well before the race.  well, I forgot to, and I was stuck between not drinking anything else and drinking some at 9am, 1 hour before.  I drank.  This left me with a slightly full bladder to start.  By mile 11, there was a darn near flash flood in my wunders.  The bladder control just isn’t the same after 3 pregnancies/births.  thank you children.  I pulled through and held tight.  real tight. NOT GOING TO DRINK THAT MUCH RIGHT BEFORE A RACE. 

2. Music.  I don’t run with music.  I rarely, as in I’ve run with music maybe 2 times ever, train with music.  This is something I want to change.  I really think some heart pumping music would help get me through the end of any half or full marathon, when my body has more to give and my mind is fighting it. GET SOME HEADPHONES THAT STAY IN MY LITTLE EARS AND PUT TOGETHER A PLAYLIST THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE TAYLOR SWIFT AND LADY ANTEBELLUM. 

3. Fuel.  I like to take something every 4 – 5 miles.  In a half, I usually take something at mile 4 and 9.  Yesterday I did mile 4.5 and then not until sometime between mile 11 and 12.  too little too late.  I needed it 2 miles back but didn’t feel like chewing on sport beans.  gu’s and gels just go down easier.  they also come up pretty easy.  FIND A GU OR GEL THAT STAYS IN MY TUMMY AND NOT ON THE PAVEMENT IN FRONT OF ME.  AND TAKE THEM AT THE RIGHT TIMES.

4. Hills.  I certainly did some hills yesterday.  Hills are the BEST training for running, strength and speed.  I have not been incorporating hills at all.  I am excited for the time change coming up so that I can get outside and run in the morning when it’s light out earlier.  I can do hills.  INCORPORATE AT LEAST ONE GOOD HILL INTO EVERY RUN.  AND THEN DO AT LEAST ONE FULL HILL WORKOUT PER WEEK.  this used to be my rule when I was running outside over the summer.  I think it’s a pretty good rule, and not a hard one to do.   

5. Mantras.  I have some that I use when I run.  they didn’t come out yesterday.  I needed them.  but they got lost in the mindless running that took over the end of my race.  my head was blank.  I got sucked in to the I can’t do it, I don’t have anymore to give thinking and couldn’t pull myself out of it.  Saying the mantras after the fact, doesn’t really work.  I know mantras do a great deal of positive reinforcement for the negative thoughts that can come at the end of the race, when you need your MIND the most.  PULL OUT THE MANTRAS.  REPEAT.  AND REPEAT.  OVER AND OVER.  Here’s a couple of mine – most of them are pretty corny.  except the first one.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I feel strong.  I am strong.  Run strong.  This one almost helps me get into a really good rhythm.  

If you can labor for 3 hours and give birth to 3 children with out any pain meds, you sure as heck can run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. it’s temporary.  Suck it up and go.  faster.  or some variation of this.  At some point, I’m sure early on, my mind made the connection between marathon running and pain.  can’t imagine why.  childbirth is also pretty painful – there’s the connection to the two.  silly.  I know.  It works.  and that’s all that matters.       

6.  STRETCH. ROLL. REPEAT.  I NEED to do this on a regular basis.  period.  once a month doesn’t count. 

that’s about it for reflecting.  so much to learn.  all the time. 

I ended the night with a little cuddle time with my boy.  he’s fresh.  put that tongue away, Luke. 

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scratch that.  it’s never really ‘cuddle’ time.  more like pull mommy’s hair out of her head time.  so much enjoyment either way.  whatever makes the boy happy.

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  What fun things went on this weekend?

Any good, long runs?  or just good runs, in general?

What’s in store for the week?!? 

Colchester 1/2 Race Day Recap

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Official stats –

30th overall out of 625

3rd female out of 221

1:28:26

6:46 pace

 

My stellar husband got up with tweedle dee at 5am, so I could sleep. 

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I slept until 6:30 when little cherub #3 came looking for me, and got to it.  Of course I was not prepared and did not have coffee.  Once again, aforementioned husband comes to the rescue with an iced coffee from the best little coffee shop this side of the Mississippi.  or the Connecticut River.  either one.  This ensures things move on out smoothly before the race.  That, combined with my staple pre-race breakfast. 

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quaker instant, flax, peanut butter.  stick to your ribs breakfast

I usually add a little protein powder to the mix as well.  I’ve been trying to get away from the pre-packaged oatmeal, and have been doing well with eating the real oats.  but this was a special occasion.  This is what I eat before any race.  I was not going to mix it up today in the name of clean-er eating. 

Typical morning followed – made breakfast for the crew – scrambled eggs, cereal, whatever else they demanded ordered asked for.  I got myself ready.  showered, makeup’d – I absolutely put on complete makeup before a race.  it just so happens that I ran out of just about all of my makeup, and I have yet to replace most of it.  the makeup today wasn’t super nice.  but then again, I wasn’t going to walk the red carpet, so it wasn’t the end of the world. 

This was the original wardrobe plan for the race:

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decked out in lulu.  those are the wunder under legging pants.  not made for running specifically, but phenomenal.  did not budge.  and the only pants that go to my ankles.  in love.  will talk more about them in a lulu post.  I may have bought some other things.  that I could not live without. 

I really liked the 10am start time.  We didn’t leave the house until about 8:45, and we were still there pretty early.  another thing I get crazy about – getting to the race with PLENTY of time.  We were parked and unloaded by 9:15.  I like to be on the early side.  This gave me plenty of time to get myself to the little ladies room, and make sure my laces were tied and my pants were on.  Last minute, I grabbed a long sleeve shirt and decided to change into it.  It was REALLY windy out.  the weatherman did not lie.  the wind definitely came out to play today.  I think it was about 40 degrees, but felt a lot colder because of the wind.  I was happy I grabbed the shirt, but I would have been ok if I stuck with the short sleeve.  I actually wished I had kept the short sleeve on about half way through, and then when the wind almost blew me sideways off the road, I was glad I had longsleeve. 

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don’t mind me.  just digging in my goodie bag for my sport beans and my gu. 

The night before the race, my husbands cousin decided he would run with me.  This made me really happy.  FYI- he runs a 2:50’s marathon and a sub 7hour, 50 mile ultramarathon.  He has put in 90 miles this week, before the race.  no big deal.  and I also met up with another friend of mine that I didn’t know was running.  happy day. 

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The race started right on time.  10am sharp.  straight into the wind.  I think it was about 25mph.  no exaggeration.  and the wind continued head on for probably about 75% of the race.  The course was a big loop.  Let me refresh you one more time on the elevation map of this course.  because you have only seen it twice this week. 

CT14831_Elevation_Map

The hills definitely joined the half marathon party today.  I could not imagine them away.  I wasn’t even able to downplay them into smaller hills.  They were every bit as horrible as they look in that map.  I really try not to exaggerate, but I would dare say they were worse than they look.  They were steep and there were a lot of them.  Hills within hills.  The race ended on a 2 mile climb with a significantly strong headwind.  That many hills should not be allowed in one race.

I took my first powerade gel, I think it was tangerine, at mile 5.  I’m surprised I didn’t gag it back up.  I usually can’t do gu.  This wasn’t horrible, but I try not to let it touch my tongue so that I don’t really have to taste it.  I took sport beans around mile 11 – this was hard because they are just hard to chew and swallow without aspirating them into a lung.  especially while I was chugging up a hill. 

I was definitely the idiot who stopped running before I actually crossed the finish line.  everybody was yelling at me to keep running the 15 feet to cross.  I could have sworn that the mat I ran over 10 feet back was the finish line.  apparently not. 

The race was very well run, but very boring.  and I don’t need to tell you again it was hilly.  to put it mildly.  there were no spectators and it was basically running on roads through the woods.  there was a bit of it on dirt/rock roads.  back country. 

We bolted right after the race.  There were no medals, no t-shirts, no rewards.  Nothing.  This was great.  I really don’t need another race tshirt that I wont wear, or a medal that my kids will fight over.  Unless I’m going to get 3 medals to pass out to the littles, I don’t really need it.  It only cost $12 to run it, and it’s a not-for-profit race.  I think there was a lot of food for those who stuck around, but after running and my husband trucking the kids around, we were ready to go -after a nice little shot with my cheering crew.  It took a few to get a half decent one.  no one wants to look at the camera at the same time.

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this is just a hot mess. and get a load of that forehead vein.  in full force today. 

 

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missing Alex.  hello again vein. 

 

 

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as good as it gets 

 

The nice thing about a half, is that you still have the rest of the day.  to not relax, go to birthday parties, play with children and go to the 99 for dinner.  My first choice was Red Robin, but the 99 was closer.  99 won. 

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I got a nice cobb salad, hold the bacon dressing on the side.  good stuff.  I really don’t have too much of an appetite after a long run. 

and now I am replenishing the muscles with a nice big bag of these.  and some dark chocolate. 

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Race Reflections

After the race, my husband asked me, “So, what did you learn???”  I like this question.  As with anything we do in life, there are things to be learned.  About life, about the particular thing we are doing at the time.  About ourselves.  Growth can happen.  growing is good.  I love to run.  I love the introspection and life reflection that comes with it.  I love how it allows me to dig in and figure out what drives me or what doesn’t drive me.  I love the physical challenge of it.  I love the results, physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.  This run kind of kicked off my racing for the year.  I was excited about this.  I have 49 days until my first marathon.  I have A LOT of work to do to get sub 3.  This is good to delve into my thoughts and figure out what’s going on with me.  Here is what I have come up with so far, to answer my husbands question. 

Physical – hills are hard.  I respect the hill.  I am going to run a lot more hills.  Physically, I conquered the hills today.  I took the challenge of this hilly race, and finished it.  Physically, I am capable of a lot more than my mind lets me believe.  I felt great at the end of the run.  My legs felt good, my breathing was good.  I had no knee pain, or pain anywhere.  This made me very happy.  I think one of my underlying concerns is always injury.  I’m always afraid that the next run or the next race will end in injury.  Physically, I am strong.  I want to get stronger to help prevent injury, and I can put that fear to rest.  I have also put on about 10 lbs since my last race in the fall.  10lbs fell from the sky and landed on my hips.  I am a female and my body kind of does what it wants.  I call it my winter weight and my I’m almost 30, I have little control over my weight, weight.  I was probably about 3-5 lbs under an ideal racing weight this past fall, but I felt good.  Now, I feel I am about 5 lbs above an ideal racing weight, for me, and was having anxiety leading up to this run about how it would effect my running.  I got rid of the scale.  Out of the house.  I have plans to do a post on this topic on it’s own, but this was something I was holding onto leading up to this run.  Regardless of the 5 or 10 extra lbs, physically, I felt great today. 

Mental – I have a great respect for the power of the mind over the body.  My husband said that my biggest challenge is not running a certain time, but overcoming the mental boundaries that I let determine my physical capabilities.  I wanted to win today.  I also wanted to PR.  My last marathon PR was a totally flat, fast, ideal weather race.  I thought it would have been a challenge to PR today.  It also would have been a challenge to win.  I wanted to win more.  Today, at mile 5, a woman passed me.  She was no more than 10 seconds ahead of me at any given time.  She won.  In the last half mile, another girl passed me up the last hill.  She got 2nd place.  I got 3rd.  14 seconds behind her.  At some point between starting the race and mile 11, I let my desire to win go.  Getting a PR was enough.  And I am beyond happy that I took over 1 minute off my previous flat half, on an unbelievable hilly, cold, windy race course.  That is a success.  But I still let something else go that was within reach because my mind was stronger than what I knew I could physically accomplish.  I do this over and over – I am ok with 2nd, or 3rd.  I don’t want to be.  I look at the results and grow increasingly aggravated that I didn’t push it harder at the end.  26 seconds between me and first place.  That’s less than 1/10 of a mile.  I let my mind settle for something less than I am capable of doing.  Last year, I wanted to run a sub 1:30 half.  So I ran a 1:29:36.  For the race today, I wanted to PR, by running less than a 1:29.  I ran a 1:28:26.  I let my mind limit my body.  Those are the results below for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place women.  I’m on the bottom.  I don’t want to be that close and be at the bottom.  I want to be on the top.  I can do it.  I need to stop letting my mind get in the way.     

27 1007 Katie Libby F 1/35    F3034   1/221  33       1:28:00.19   6:44

29 378 Molly Evak F 1/30    F2529   2/221  29          1:28:12.12   6:44

30 187 Katie Edwards F 2/30    F2529   3/221  29   1:28:26.59   6:46

 

Emotional – there is a process to everything.  I guess I still kind of consider myself a ‘new’ runner, just starting to move out of the ‘new’ stage.  I didn’t seriously start running until after I had Luke.  I ran before, but I didn’t put the time into it like I have in the past 2 years.  I have run more races in the past 6 or 7 months than I think I have run in the previous 3 years total.  I am still figuring out how to run and what works for me.  I definitely go into races, especially these smaller ones, wanting to win, or at least win age group.  I think it is going to take a certain amount of time and some races under my belt until I figure out how to really want it.  Like I said above, I tend to settle into certain goals, play it safe and let certain goals go when someone passes me on a race, and default to the next best while the first one is right within reach.  It’s going to take a certain number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th places until I’ve had enough of that and find the push to take more.  I’m in the process.  I think we are all in the process of something.  whether it’s actually the running, or the working out, or the job, or the family – whatever it is.  We are always figuring it out and getting ready to take it to the next step.  I have 49 days to keep training for the next race, physically and mentally.  running is not my life, but it makes up part of my life, and it is important to me.  Running certainly helps balance the other parts of what makes me move and groove.   

I’m always happy with the race.  satisfied.  on a runner’s high all day from running well.  As the day goes on after a race, and I reflect on how it went, I quickly realize there was more to give.  satisfied is not enough for me.  This is why I run.  It’s always a challenge – in many ways.  After I finished today, my daughter runs up to me and says, ‘Mom, you won!’  I said well, I got 3rd place for the women, and that’s great.  She said, ‘yeah, you won, you got 3rd place!’  and she’s right.  I ran.  I finished.  I won.  It’s always a win when you run, and you finish.  no matter what the place.  It’s always a win when you get out there and do something.  find in yourself what your winning something is and make it happen. 

 

I would love to hear about your race stories and personal wins!  Race season is coming up and I’m sure a lot of you have races coming.  Feel free to share, and I would love to mention you on the blog!  Also, feel free to email if you would like to read about a certain topic or have questions you want answered. 

 

What is your biggest challenge in running? 

 

Early morning wakeup call

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Well helloooo 4:45 am wakeup to my sweet little angel face darling 2 year old bubbly bouncing baby boy.  I’ve really missed you since 8pm last night when you went to bed, and was hoping you wouldn’t sleep until 7am so that I could see you sooner.  We thought we were out of the woods with the early riser – he is making a reappearance.  just to keep us young. 

Refresher – what we do at 5am.  when all the fun happens.

Eat cereal.  he was being camera shy.  probably still a little sleepy.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed.  puttin’ on a happy face.  and I either severely over tweezed that eyebrow, or the lighting is weird.  I think the lighting is weird.  

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Play with the digger.  work to be done by 5:30am. 

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Hide in the castle. you won’t fit in there, luke. 

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Sidenote- I just realized there are about twice as many picture “effects” on instagram that I didn’t know you could scroll over to use.  yeah.  little slow.  it’s like discovering instagram all over again.  fun.

Workout – EASY peasy 4 mile run, rolling hills.  no garmin.  no stress.  no speed.  no treadmill.  no clue about my pace.  light and fluffy.  T minus 2 days until half marathon.  my legs are very excited to rest, stretch and roll.  very excited.   

Staycation Days 3 and 4. 

day 3 was a roaring success.  Playdate in the am.  Birthday party in the afternoon.  Mommy night out in the evening that included a peartini.  I’m all about the fruity martini’s.  love ‘em. 

Day 4 is well underway. 

Trip to the mall.  Hit up H & M.  one of my favorite things to do is shop for clothes for the little kiddos.  much more fun than shopping for myself.  It’s like dressing up real live dolls.  Makes me feel like a big kid playing house.  wait.  I don’t have to play that one.  they’re really mine.  Got a few items to start the spring wardrobe.  the kids played in the play area.  we harassed panera for lunch.  sorry panera patrons who wanted a nice lunch without a screaming, tantrumming 2 year old.  today was not your lucky day. 

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Takes a lot of focus and hard work to eat a bowl of macaroni. serious stuff

I achieved my #1 goal for the day – keeping the kids out of the house all morning and tuckering their little heinies out.  Success.  Luker boy fell asleep on the way home.  happy sleeping kid.  happy sleeping peaceful mom. 

The girls and I made some brownies.  I grew up making brownies with my mom from scratch.  it’s a little sad to me that I will probably never do that.  then I get over it when all I have to do is add a little oil, water and egg and voila.  best brownies ever.  and it’s still a happy special time of brownie batter licking fun.  that’s what it’s all about anyway. 

 Hubs and I are trying to remedy this freaky new little smile Anna likes to sport.  that’s toned down a bit from the first take.  little scary.  working on it. 

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The mom in me – didn’t want to leave my #1 out of the post – #2 and #3 got pics, and I know my Nana and Bubba like to see the pics of the kids, they don’t care so much about the running talk… for you N & B

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Point proven – just realized I could do B & W on instagram!  wow. 

 

2 Days from my First Race of the year. 

My legs felt super tight and stiff this morning.  but that’s ok.  little TLC today and tomorrow and all is well. 

It’s 57 degrees here today.  this is a good week.  the weather is looking pretty snazzy for Saturday – high of 46 and sunny.  somebody loves me. 

I’m kind of excited for this race for a couple reasons.  and I would like to fill you in. 

1 – This is totally out of my comfort zone.  on many levels.  Normally, I would take one look at that elevation map and say no way.  I only run flat, easy, fast courses.  really.  I’m a wimp.  I don’t want to be that way.  This is good.  It’s a challenge and I’m glad I’m doing it.  I also don’t normally run anything this early in the year, nor do I or have I run any other half than the one I’m doing in June.  I don’t like change and I don’t like new things (unless they are a size 10 with 4 inch heels, made of designer denim or are leather, fit on my shoulder and come from Italy…to name a few)  Adding this race is a big step outside that little bitty circle I call comfort.  I keep my circle pretty small.  I like it like that.  This is making it a little bigger.  Bigger is better.  in this case.

Step outside your circle – or don’t – just make it bigger by adding a new something that you are already doing.  I’m already running, and I’m already doing races, I’m just adding a “new” race. 

Challenge yourself.  in any way.  grow.  become stronger. 

2 – This is a good way to ease into some bigger races I have coming up in April.  I think it will be nice to start with a half marathon and then go to the full.  Sometimes Often when I’m running, I think, how the heck am I going to do a marathon, faster than this pace, and it’s 26.2 miles!  Yes, that last .2 counts, because when you are running it, it feels like at least a 5K.  maybe worse. I’ve done 3 marathons, over the past 3 years.  I would still call myself a newbie to the marathon running.  And it’s a daunting distance.  I’m excited to get 13.1 miles in and let some of the there’s no way I can run a marathon, at the pace I want, or any pace, at all, ever, what am I thinking out of my head.  at least for a little while. 

I think people sometimes think that a marathon is what makes a runner, and if you haven’t done a marathon, you’re not really a runner.  NOT TRUE.  running a marathon is an amazing thing.  but it’s not the be all and end all of running.  set a goal and run a race.  any distance.  and you are a runner.  the smaller ones, whether it be a mile, a 5K, 10K, a half, are great confidence boosters to get you to where you ultimately want to be.  eventually. and it your own time.   

3 + 4 – It doesn’t start until 10am.  this is just perfect.  no reason to get up early.  that’s funny.  like I have a choice in the matter.  my little luke.  he loves to get up early.  at least I don’t have to rush out the door.  yay.  It’s all about sleep two nights before anyway.  I never get a restful night the night before any anticipated run.  early to bed tonight and I’m sure early to rise tomorrow.  and, technically I’m supposed to do a long run on Saturday.  this will knock off 13 miles in a fun way.  then I only have to do 6 or 7 more.  later in the day.  easy peasy lemon squeezy.  mom, I know you think this is crazy.  to run after a run.  it’s totally normal.  in a very not normal way.  

That’s all she wrote friends. 

 

Hows the weather doing where you live?  good for running?

Have you challenged yourself in any way lately?  running or not running related?

What time do you set your alarm for?  or do you have little human alarms that come in and wake you up at ungodly hours of the morning?  maybe that’s just me.  🙂

 

 

 

I’m a survivor

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Workout9 miles, flat, basement treadmill.  I don’t even care how long it took.  It was the most horrifically miserable run I’ve ever done.  complete exaggeration.  not EVER done, but ever done.  my legs were lead weights.  breathing was horrible.  and it was only 80 degrees down there, not the usual 88.  wimp.  BUT, this is my epiphany.  at the end of it.  I don’t care how miserable it was.  I did it all.  I am sticking to the plan.  I didn’t stop 1/2 mile or 1 mile short because my legs were 3 miles back.  as a matter of fact, I looked at the plan after, and it was only supposed to be 8 miles.  I need to pay better attention. 

SO – when you are having the most miserable of miserable workouts – stick it out.  slow down.  take a breath.  finish it.  you will be glad that you did.  unless of course you are literally losing a limb – you should probably take a break.   glass half full – glad it wasn’t a speed work day.  I probably would have just cut my legs off at the knees.  would have been more fun.   

I can think of a few reasons why today might have been difficult: 1.  Lack of sleep  2.  Lack of sleep  3.  Lack of sleep  4.  empty fridge.  something about needing FUEL for a run?   by mile 7 I bolted upstairs, scavenged the pantry and inhaled a package of sport beans.  delish.  I did have this to drink while I was running:

my favorite water bottle modeling the lovely drink mix. love that little water bottle.

The only reason for that particular kind is the last marathon I ran, this was the drink they were offering.  I wanted to get my little tummy used to it so that it didn’t end up all over me.  now I have a big container of it.  waste not want not.  It tastes fine.  I do like drinking something like this when I go longer than 8 miles, especially when I’m running in the Sahara dessert. I think I would like to try the Gatorade series stuff, though – especially the recovery drinks.  Has anyone tried them?? 

My husband gave me a most beautiful gift when I went downstairs to run –

somebody, help me! I need a flatscreen tv. i feel naked.

A new wall to look at.  something’s still missing.  an even bigger something because that is one large wall.  for a nice big flatscreen.  at least it’s a new view.  I think I liked my corner view better. 

They should make a bumper sticker that says – I survived Target.  with 3 little kids – or better yet – I survived a 3 day weekend.  with 3 little kids – we did have a peaches and cream day and made it out of Target with a few bucks to spare.  of course I found some steals and deals that I couldn’t pass up.  Let me share.  I was super organized and made a tiny little list of some things I needed. 

can you guess what's for dinner one night this week? the lucky winner will....get to be a lucky winner.

I don’t know why I thought Target would carry beluga, brown and red lentils???  what happened to me?? 

The “off the list” crappadoos that were way more fun than the listed items. 

Annies for a buck each!!! bigtime score. that's a favorite lunch around here. this is exciting.

 

sparkly headbands are a must. never pass up a good sparkle.

I've had my eye on those 3 middle pillows for a couple months. finally went on sale. they're happier in my home anyway.

 

Almost bought these last month - funny thing about CT, it usually snows. glad it didn't snow yet. glad I didn't get them before because I got them 50% off today. it's basically spring anyway.

 

he couldn't hang. target is so exciting. tuckered the little guy right out.

That should do it for Target for awhile.  I only had to give Luke 4 lollipops and a container of vanilla wafers to get him through the store.  And the kids didn’t shoplift anything.  always a good day in my book. 

 and I will leave you with a Quick Tip – don’t wear shoes like this when it is 15 degrees out.  bad decision #197 for the day.  that’s all. 

little piggies were not happy

Do you like to wear headbands when  you work out? 

Do you have better workouts on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, or do you have to eat first?

What is your favorite thing to have for lunch?

I will share with you a couple of recipes I am going to try for lunch, later in the week.  after I get to the store and make them.  that could take awhile. 

Leave me some love below:-) 

and don’t forget, you can put your email in and “follow me” in the upper right.  we’ll have fun together.  promise.

Are you having a baby?

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Workout – Treadmill 7 mile tempo run. 1 mile warmup, 5 mi @ 6:25, 1 mile cooldown – 47 min total.  please don’t ask me what “tempo” run means.  I was told, very intelligently, last week and I can’t be expected to remember it this week.  i have to make room for more important things like 2+2=4, my name is Katie, and don’t forget to pick your daughter up from school. 

I did my workout today on the gym treadmill.  My treadmill at home can’t be trusted with that kind of precise pace requirement.  That treadmill is reserved only for the i don’t care if my pace increases or decreases at any random moment run.  A few things clued me in that this probably wasn’t going to be running through a field of daisies kind of fun running. 

#1 – the pace for the day was 6:25, for 5 miles.  need I say more

#2 – I made the bad decision of going to bed later than 10:45 but earlier than 11

#3 – I had an evening workout yesterday.  meaning it had been less than 10 hours since my previous workout.  double trouble

#4 – my little person alarm clock had me up at 4am.  couldn’t snooze button that one away.  sad. 

way too happy to be alive

#5 – I’m not 100% sure how I got from my house to the gym at 5am, but I ended up there and had to peel myself out of my car once I got there. 

#6 – my 1 mile warmup felt like a full blown speedworkout run. 

I muscled through and made it 7 miles.  I was tempted to walk the cooldown, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what the plan meant by cooldown.  that smartcoach thing should really come with an instruction manual. 

in my most favorite running shorts. saved for special occasions. they don't end up at my armpits after a run. they stay on the hips like good shorts. must be my good birthing hips that keeps every running short from staying in place. except these. love.

Funny thing, when it was all done – I felt pretty good.  actually kind of felt like I had more energy to burn.  that’s why I love just going and getting the workout in, even when I am bone tired.  If I didn’t workout every time I was tired, I’d be 250 lbs depressed on my couch.  true.  I can think of a few people who wouldn’t be happy with that.  those endorphins really have the same effect as some sort of super strong antidepressants.  when used appropriately.  at least that’s what the doc tells me.

To top off my stellar morning, my little cherub greets me on my way in the door with, “your belly is big.  are you having a BABY or something???”  why no, my darling, I’m not having a baby.  but thank you for that wonderful observation you just made.  truth be told, it’s opposite day here today.  what she really meant was “mother, you look stunningly fit and fabulous.  how do you do it???”  that’s what she meant to say.  I know it.  I get free encouragement like that all the time.  kids are so cute.  But who would trust anything coming out of this mouth anyway? 

More later, my friends – on running, on goals, on life, on whatever I feel like talking about at the moment. 

xoxo