Category Archives: General

That Running Obsession

August 6, 2014

August will be my highest mileage month for running.  This means I will run at least 57 miles this month.

I came into summer telling myself I would run just about every day and I would kill the 56.6 miles I ran in May.  Then the summer heat and humidity hit in July and I managed just 41 miles.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty pleased with that mileage, but I had really thought I’d be running longer runs, if not more of them.

Back in June hubby and I ran 10 miles.  Our longest run EVER!  It was exciting and I thought this was the beginning of longer runs across the board.  WRONG!  While I felt great during and immediately after that run, my legs seemed extra tight for weeks after.  My IT bands seemed to act up off and on and just always have this dull ache.  Whenever I went out for a run I needed to walk a good part of the hills to “baby” my hips and IT bands.   During this time I started PiYo and have found that it helps tremendously with stretching and flexibility.  It’s also making me stronger.  I’m back to running most of the hills, which is a problem because that was also my drink break. LOL.  I love the strength Piyo  is gaining me through my core and hips too because the more I pay attention to my form when running the more I realize my hips, core and glutes  are SO important in my runs.  When I get tired and stop paying attention to form I immediately start feeling the twinges in my knees.

I don’t know if it’s the slightly cooler temps and less humidity lately but I’ve been enjoying my runs a bit more this past week.  Now that August is here I feel like it’s a fresh start and I’m really “craving” the runs.  I went out yesterday because I just physically felt like I had to run.  I don’t really know how to describe the “craving” a run thing, but I suspect other runners understand.  It wasn’t a good run.  My whole body felt like it was lead running through sludge.  I’m not completely sure why.  I ran 5.5 miles the day before and haven’t really run back to back days all summer.  The weather was also warmer and more humid than it had been the day before.  Who knows why it was a bad run.  It just was.  I told myself yesterday that today would be an off day from running.  Yet, today I have that “craving” to run.  I made myself get a good Piyo workout and stretch in because I know my body really needed that.  Now all I want to do is head out for a run.  I’m telling myself to wait until later tonight and see how I feel then.  I’ve gotten a good workout already today and have a huge to-do list.  Maybe a run tonight will be my reward for crossing off everything on the list 🙂

Happy Running

Out of Hibernation

March 29, 2014

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted anything here.  I’m not entirely sure why that is.  I’ve thought about posting something here and there, but always decided it wasn’t interesting enough.  Every day does pretty much seem the same.  Get us all up, fed, packed and out the door to school and work.  Come home and do homework, cook dinner, shuttle kids around to after school activities, clean up dinner, get organized for the next day, squeeze in a workout, go to bed.  Not very interesting.

I do wish I had added some updates on programs I’ve done since my last post…especially since my last post was only 5 days into The Ultimate Reset.  Well, that’s long done now.  I got out of it what I had hoped.  I felt refreshed and back on track.

Both hubby and I moved on to P90X3 and are just finishing up week 11 of 13 weeks.  I’ve loved the program and loved doing it with the hubby, even though we do it at separate times.  There’s not enough room where we do it and when weights or the pull-up bar are needed it means we’d have to share.  I’m feeling stronger and definitely have more muscle definition than before.  I had a goal at the start to be able to do at least on chin up without using the assist band.  So far, I’m not there, but I am closer and I do still have 2 weeks left.

Nicer weather is finally on the horizon.  We’ve had a handful of mild days that have been great for running.  Saturday’s have become our “date run” days.  We bought a treadmill after Christmas which has resulted in pretty much picking up where we left off in the Fall.  I will admit for as much as I wanted the treadmill, I don’t really enjoy using it as much as I remember from my past treadmill use.  I really think the difference is the last time I consistently used a treadmill, I was just beginning my running journey.  I hadn’t really done any time outside. I didn’t know any different.  Now, I LOVE running outside.  Using the treadmill is different.  My stride is different, my impact is different, it doesn’t have the same effect on me mentally as outside.   I’m still grateful we were able to get it though.  I do need to make a point of using it more often. Maybe this summer when I can’t stand the thought of running in the humidity.

There will hopefully be some posts in the near future.  Some exciting things are coming up… Birthdays, certifications, races, new programs etc.

Stay tuned. I promise to be around a bit more.

Introducing My New Running Buddy

December 27, 2013                                                      eagan

I posted back in October about joining a group named Who I Run 4.  That post can be found here.  I waited, and waited and waited.  I did a few runs that I dedicated to buddies without runners and to others in the group in need of extra prayers/runs.  I read posts by buddies and by runners and anxiously awaited my own buddy.  I wondered who he/she would be and what their “story” was.

Well, on December 15 I was notified that I had been matched with Eagan.  Eagan is an adorable 3 year old little boy who is working so hard to get better so that he and his mom, Megan can go home to their family and friends. Eagan is currently in the hospital in Colorado, but his family actually lives in Wichita, Kansas.

Eagan was born with a congenital heart defect.  He had surgery when he was just 3 days old to have a pacemaker placed.  This past summer Eagan again went into the hospital to have a bigger and better pacemaker place.  Once home from the hospital he began having difficulty with his breathing.  After antibiotics didn’t work, he was readmitted to the hospital.  He spent weeks there and eventually went home without any real answers. You can read the detailed account here on Eagan’s fundraising page.

On December 3, Eagan was given a diagnosis of Chronic Eosinphilic Lung Disease.  This is not a well-known condition and is rarely seen in children of Eagan’s age.  Eagan was airlifted to Denver, Colorado on December 5.  He has been there ever since.  Doctors have been working to find a treatment plan that works for him.  They believe they have finally found the one.  Eagan began a new med yesterday.  If all goes well he will be able to go home soon.

If you’d like to follow his journey you can like his facebook page Eagan’s smile.

My cute little coach should  help keep me motivated to run this year.  So much so that I am hoping to accumulate at least 1000 miles run over the course of 2014.  I have never really kept good track of miles but I know I didn’t run anywhere close to 1000 miles this past year.  In trying to decide how many miles I wanted as a goal for the year, I decided to map out the distance between where I live here in Massachusetts and where Eagan and his family live in Kansas.  We live approximately 1600 miles apart.  YIKES! That’s a lot of running!  I’m a little unsure if I can actually make that so for this year my goal is 1000.

I hope that I will be able to provide even half of the support and inspiration for Eagan’s journey as I know he will for mine.  Here’s to an amazing 2014 and many adventures!

I’ll keep everyone update periodically on our total mileage.

Happy New Year!super hero

Where has the time gone?

November 19, 2013

Wow!! Where has the time gone!?  I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in weeks.  It’s not like anything super exciting has happened.  Just the usual day to day goings on.  We’re feeling the Holiday vibe setting in though.  Thanksgiving preparations are beginning and even some Christmas prep too.  This next month will be a whirlwind of activity and I’m hopeful we will be able to slow down and enjoy it at least a little.

Through it all we will attempt to keep our workouts and healthy eating going.  This is the time of year where it gets really dicey and it’s so easy for me to let it slide.  I think this year we will make it though.  Hubby is on track too and between the two of us we have been able to work it so we each get our workouts in.

Running hasn’t been as consistent as we’d like.  I’ve been able to get out for a run a couple times a week and seem to be able to hit 5 miles.  I’m still working on a way to fit it in more often during the week.  I struggle with the early morning runs.  My body just doesn’t love them no matter how much my head loves them.  I have difficulty finding the right nutrition prior to getting out in the morning.  My body needs something, but I don’t have very much time to eat something and then give it time to digest and be of use to my body.  I think a treadmill is going to have to be my winter running partner but since we don’t currently have one that plan isn’t very effective.  We will probably splurge on one after the holidays and until then I’ve been toying with heading to my parents a couple miles away to use theirs.

Hubby and I registered for the local 5 mile Turkey Trot this coming Sunday.  I’ve been really looking forward to it.  I ran it once about 15 years ago and had to walk many times.  My goal was to someday run it again without any walking.  I should be able to do that.  I also should be able to take about 10 minutes off my time.  I should be able to these things based on my recent runs.  What worries me is that since my last 5 mile run last Friday my knee has really bothered me.  I often get little twinges as I run, but they never amount to much once I’m done.  This time though it REALLY hurt along the side of my right knee for the last 1/4 or so of the run.  It just got worse as the day went on which has never happened before.  It was sore the next day as well, but has pretty much gone away.  I’ve still had a little twinge here and there and then tonight while doing any exercise that used a squat, I could feel a mild little pull and twinge.  It makes me worry about whether I can get through the 5 miles.  I plan to stop and buy a knee brace this week and will head out for a short 2-3 miler to see how it feels.

Even if I have to decrease my speed, I want to run this entire thing.

Stay tuned for an update and hopefully some pictures on Sunday.

Running Inspiration

I’ve been running for a few years now, although not nearly as much as I’d like.  It’s always hard for me to fit a run in when I’m trying to keep up with a specific workout program.  Even when I’m craving a run, it just doesn’t always happen.

I’ve been able to increase my distance and my pace over the last couple of months and have been very happy with that.  Unfortunately with the school year back in full swing I’m left with very little time to get myself out for a run.  It’s been averaging once or twice a week this month.  I’d love to add at least another day a week to that.

I’ve got some races planned for the near and not so near future so I sure need to keep the runs going through the fall and winter.  Thankfully I’ve found that I actually like running in the colder weather so there’s no excuse with that. Sometimes I just need something to inspire and motivate me to get out there.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve found two different ways to keep my inspiration going strong.  The first one and the one I am most excited about is a group called I Run 4 (IR4).  You can find them here:

IR42

http://www.whoirun4.com/

and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/irunformichael/

IR4 was founded by Tim Boyle when he found inspiration running for a friend of his with Down Syndrome who was suffering from hip dysplagia and couldn’t run himself.  The group matches runners with special needs people of all ages who just can’t run.  Runners and their matches connect through Facebook and inspire one another.  As runners we dedicate our runs to our match/our buddy.  There are many people in the group who dedicate their walks, rides and other workouts as well.  Runners often make shirts with their buddies name on them, they may write their buddies name on themselves or running sneakers etc.  Many send race medals and/or race bibs to their buddy  after a race.  Really whatever way you work out to let your buddy know you are thinking of them works great.  I haven’t even gotten my buddy yet (I probably still have a good 4 weeks left on the wait list), but I have already been so inspired by both the runners and the buddies they run for.  Reading about all of their lives and workouts has been so inspiring and motivational.  I just can’t wait to meet my buddy.  I’ll share what I can about that journey once I have my buddy and we get going.  I’m hoping that I get matched in the next few weeks because I think it would be AMAZING to dedicate my Turkey Trot run to him or her.

I’ll keep you all posted.

 

The other piece of inspiration I found was an app called Charity miles.  They can be found here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharityMiles and on your phone in the app store under charity miles.  This is a free iPhone/Android app that lets you earn corporate sponsorships for charity whenever you walk, run or bike. Bikers earn 10¢ a mile and walkers and runners earn 25¢ a mile.

charity miles

Every time you log in to start a run, walk or ride you can choose which charity you want to put your distance towards.  I love this because as I scrolled through the list I had a hard time deciding which charity I should choose.  I’m happy to be able to choose different ones each time and spread the donations around.  For my first time out yesterday I chose Autism Speaks- a charity close to my heart.  There are others almost equally as close so they will all get some of my time.  In fact I think tomorrow I will run for The Michael J Fox Foundation because this weekend each mile run will actually raise $3/mile!!

Here are the current organizations you can raise money for:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Feeding America

Wounded Warrior Project

ASPCA

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

The Nature Conservatory

Every Mother Counts

Autism Speaks

Soles 4 Souls

Special Olympics

Habitat for Humanity

World Feed Programme

Girl Up United Nations Foundation

Partnership for a Healthier America

(Red) To Benefit The Global Fund

Pencils of Promise

Shot at Life United Nations Foundation

Vision Spring

Achilles International

Nothing ButNets.net United Nations Foundation

She’s the First

Do Something.org

Ironman Foundation

Stand Up To Cancer

See what I mean? LOTS and LOTS of great organizations to help.  So get out and walk, run or bike.  It’s not just good for you, but others too.

 

Please share this with anyone you think might want to take part in either of these.  The wait for list for IR4 runners is about 6-8 weeks so if you know any special needs kiddos and their families who may like to participate please share this with them.  Of course share with runner friends as well.

A Family 5K and Progress

Sorry to be a couple weeks behind on getting a new blog post up.  It’s been a pretty busy couple weeks.  I’ll be filling you in on some of that.  The rest is just normal day to day crazy.

T25 Progress

Last week I finished my first phase of T25 (the alpha phase). I took my new measurements and was happy to see that I had lost a few more inches total and 5 lbs over the first 5 weeks.  While I had initially hoped for more of a weight loss I am actually VERY happy with losing 5 lbs in 5 weeks.  Up until recently my normal loss would be about a pound a month so this is actually really good.  This morning was a big milestone for me because I finally entered a new weight range.  I tend to measure in 10 pound increments so getting down into the next increment is always exciting.  I really don’t ever remember this weight.  It’s a good feeling 🙂

I had heard good things about this new phase from people who are ahead of me on the program so I was really looking forward to it.  This phase is all about the core which I really, really need.  Well, first week of beta is now complete and I have to say so far I am loving it!  Weights are back in my life for a couple of the workouts. I’ve missed doing weights and after the last couple days I am soooo sore!  It’s a bit uncomfortable, but I love being sore because I know I’ve had a great workout and those sore muscles are getting stronger.

Running

I’ve been determined to increase my run mileage and have finally had some success with that.  Thanks to a holiday on Monday and no school for professional development on Tuesday I was able to fit in runs both days.  I did around 4.2 Monday and then 4.5 on Tuesday.  My Nike app has been acting up lately and it turns out it’s not been very accurate.  The app actually told me I did more both days but when I clocked the routes with my car those are the numbers I actually ran.  I’m still happy with it, but feel a bit cheated out of some mileage.  Both days I may have been able to push myself a bit more had I known I hadn’t actually run as far as I thought.

Today was pretty exciting because we ran a 5K as a family.  Hubby and I did one a couple weeks ago (his first) and the kids did a kid’s race.  They were all adamant after that that they were ready to do an actual 5K.  After some looking around online we found the race that we did today.  We had initially wanted to do a different one tomorrow, but that would have meant Middle kiddo and either Hubby or I wouldn’t be able to participate due to a swim meet.  So we chose today’s race.  The kids were all able to fit in a couple runs with us last week to be sure they would do okay.  I’m not sure whose genes Youngest has, but she ran over 2 miles with me her first time out, talking all the way.  We didn’t go fast, but I was still impressed.  Oldest and Middle didn’t fare quite as well on their trial runs, but were still determined to run the 5K.  I made sure to let them know that it was ok to walk whenever they needed during the run.  The whole point is to go do something active together and have fun.  With time and consistency they should be able to run longer and faster and take time off each race.

We paired up at the start of the race.  Middle wanted to run with Hubby and Oldest was running with a friend so I got to run with Youngest.  The waiting at the starting line was hard.  The race ended up starting a bit later than planned and with 3 kiddos who had never run a race before it was a bit stressful.  They were nervous and I will admit this is always the hardest part for me too.  I’m so used to heading out the door for a run and starting on my terms.  When I’m ready to run, I’m ready and waiting around for others is a bit torturous.

Youngest and I had a good start.  I checked in with her frequently to be sure she was okay.  Finally she told me she was trying not to talk because she wanted to concentrate on her breathing.  Based off our first run together I didn’t really think she needed to worry much about her breathing, but who am I to tell her not to focus on that.  Off we went.  We passed Oldest pretty early on.  She’s been struggling with a head cold and was pretty congested so she stopped to walk briefly.  We continued on our way.  I was pretty impressed.  We slowed to a walk briefly at the water station a little after the first mile and then continued on our way until just before mile 2.  She started to meltdown around this point.  We slowed to a walk off and on as she got more distraught about being thirsty and tired.  The thing with Youngest is, when she starts to meltdown it’s very hard to reason with her.  It can also come on very quickly without much warning.  This is what happened today.  One minute she was running along and seemed to be doing fine, the next she was so tired and thirsty.  The next mile felt like 5.  I’m proud of her though because she did continue to run a bit off and on and we did manage to avoid a full blown meltdown.  Coming around that last corner and seeing the entrance for the finish line was our savior.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  All in all I think she did amazing.  We don’t have official times yet, but we finished in about 41 minutes.

Oldest finished a few minutes behind us.  She said she had to slow to a walk a few times, but overall did well too.  I think under her 45 minute goal.

Middle and Hubby finished about 5 or so minutes later.  I was the most worried about her.  She’s struggled with her knee bothering her when she runs so I hoped it wouldn’t bother her today.  She also struggles the most with endurance.  Turns out she ended up walking more than running because of that.  She seemed in great spirits when she finished which was really all I hoped for from all of them.  I just wanted them to have a good time and want to do it again sometime.  Everything else will come in time.Hunger Run 5K

 

End of Week 4 and a 5K

This past week was week 4 of T25 Alpha phase.  Only one more week to go in this phase. I can’t wait to move on to the Beta phase.  I’ve heard good things about it from friends who are already on it.  I’ve been weighing myself every couple days even though I know I shouldn’t.  I am just about out of one weight range and into the next which is incredibly exciting for me.  I’m hoping this last week does the trick.  I’ve decided to fire up my Body Media for the week to track what I’m burning and taking in.  I have been successful without it since giving it a vacation back in late spring. I hope I don’t get too obsessed with it again, but feel like I need to find out where I stand with calories in and out.

I’ve been averaging about 1 run a week over the past couple weeks.  I would love to be able to get myself out the door at 5:30 am for a quick run before work at least a couple mornings a week, but have yet to get it done come morning.  Come afternoon I need to choose what my 30 minutes will be: run or T25. Since I’m determined to follow the schedule as is, guess what wins? Yup, T25.

Yesterday Hubby and I ran an awesome 5K called the Huff&Cuff.  It was his very first race since starting running back in the spring.  I’m not sure but I think the fact that Wachusett Brewery was a sponsor and gave out free beer following the run may have been part of what convinced him to run it.  photo (11)

He did fantastic, finishing a minute before me with a time of 29:41.  I finished at 30:40 which was a new PR for me.  I had hoped to finish under 30 minutes but I’m still very happy with this time.  I didn’t feel quite as good as I have on other recent runs and I’m not quite sure why.  It was a flatter course than our usual routes, but I was struggling to get my breathing under control and to find my groove.  I was surprised to find I ran as fast as I did because I sure didn’t feel like I was while running.  All in all it was a great race and a great day!  We can’t wait to do it again.

1380050_10202121105259094_1685587305_nThe girls are all saying they want to run it too next year.  They did the kids fun run which wasn’t quite what we were expecting. More of a quick sprint down and back on a field.  They still had fun and got a medal, but I think they felt it was for much younger kids even though running a full 3 miles would have been a bit further than they’ve done yet.

photo (10)

We are thinking about doing another local 5K in a couple weeks.  Surprisingly it  works out that we can all do it together again without any schedule conflicts.  Here’s to creating a running family 🙂