Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Running with my love

After running in blizzard like conditions AGAIN yesterday (two days in a row!) I had BLUE skies this morning. Ok, so the temps were still in the low 30's, but we are supposed to get almost to 60 today so I am excited. Josh and I ran together this morning (eight miles) and it was really nice. I usually run earlier than him, but we planned to go together today and it was great. He used to be way faster than me so we couldn't run together, and now the tables have turned which is kind of fun. :)

I haven't written about it on here yet, but Josh has his first marathon in just over a week! He is running the Teton Dam marathon (and can't wait to be able to say that he has finished "the Dam Marathon"). Ha! Josh was supposed to run the Rock n Roll Las Vegas marathon with me in December (my first) but he had kidney stones in the early fall that messed up his training, and he ended up doing the half marathon instead. His training was going really well this time around, and then he tripped at a track meet and hurt his knee. He has been really frustrated that he hurt himself (not even running!) but a PT looked at it and said that it was just bruised and running wouldn't make it any worse, so after two weeks off he is running again. His goal is just to finish his first marathon. I really want him to enjoy the experience and for him not to be miserable.  He also has his first tri coming up this summer and a 50K trail run!! Yup, he is awesome.

It is going to be super fun to get to be at the marathon and cheer him on. I have never been a spectator at a race before and I am looking forward to it. (My friend says I am a liar and that is is going to kill me to not be running... which may be true... but I AM going to enjoy it and the day is about Josh, not about me). That said, if this marathon wasn't just six days before my Ragnar relay race, I probably would run it with Josh. We are going away overnight without any kids so it is a great opportunity... SO TEMPTING...but as tempted as I am, I want to focus on Josh and on not doing anything stupid (because I want to kick some butt and thoroughly enjoy Ragnar this year!)

Do you run with your spouse? Josh and I don't get to run together too often, but when we do, I really love it. Now that the big kids are home for the summer we should have some more opportunities. :) He isn't much of a talker when he runs, but just being close to him and being out there with him is great. Josh has lost a good 60lbs and looks amazing, and he is a natural athlete. I love that  having an active lifestyle, eating healthy, racing, etc. are passions we can share and support each other in.
Here are two pics of Josh and I from Rock N Roll Vegas in December. 


And, I am super proud of my boys, Ryan and Shane. (They are the two that ran the 5K with me a couple of weeks ago). Ryan, at the ripe old age of 13, is also on a Ragnar team this year (not my team, but it is awesome he will be out there too!). He also ran on his cross country and spring track teams this year at his junior high. Both boys have been running every day, somewhere in the 3-6 mile range. (Nathan, almost 15, and Ben, almost 11, run with them sometimes too). Shane really, really wants to do the local half marathon that is coming up in July. (Shane is the one that won our local 5K at age 11). I have mixed feelings about letting him do it since he is so young, but he really wants to (without any pressure from us), it is a small local race where we will know tons of people and he'd have lots of support, and it is such a good thing for him to want to do with his time and energy compared to what most kids his age are doing... He is right on target to train for a half, so I guess we'll see how the next few weeks go and see how he does with some longer runs and then decide.

With 12 kids, and all of their different personalities, talents, likes, dislikes, etc. we have no pressure on any of our kids to pursue any hobbies, sports, careers, etc. It is really awesome just to watch them all discover who they are, what they enjoy and what they are good at. We have kids who are super athletic and love sports. We have kids who are gifted musically. We have kids who are natural artists. We have kids who read books like they are going out of style. If any of our kids end up to be runners that would be awesome, but what I want most for all of them (beyond being healthy and happy )is for them to find something (their "thing") that they are truly passionate about and truly enjoy, and then go for it.

Hey, do you love to run? Do you love hoodies? Do you want a chance to win a really super awesome one? Check out my RUN Hoodie giveaway here and please help spread the word. Thanks!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Snow, 15-miler and Shoe Ponderings

Dear Mother Nature,
It is less than 48 hours from being June. Please turn off the snow and raise the temps at least a little.
Thanks,
Erin

Yeah, I ran my 15 miles in a snow storm this morning! The roads were just wet, but there was literally inches of snow in the grass, it snowed (hard!) the entire 15 miles, and the temps didn't get over 30. Seriously?? Then I came home and read on blogs about runners already battling super high temps and humidity. I can't even imagine it!

It was a good run though. I had an average pace of 8:40, I had negative splits for the run and I felt really good. Jenny is out of town so I was on my own. It was REALLY tempting to just go back to bed when I got up and saw the SNOW and knew no one was waiting on me, but I am glad that I went (as always).

We had a really fun day yesterday. We went out of town to eat, shop and go to the movies. We split up and half of the family saw Pirates of the Caribbean and the other half saw Kung Fu Panda 2. We did some stocking-up at Target, took my little Amanda to have her ears pierced for her birthday (she will be 10 this week....didn't even flinch and LOVES her new earrings), and ate at ChuckaRama. My kids LOVE buffets, and  you don't even want to know the kind of damage my family can do at a place like that. I was really careful about what I ate since I knew I had a long run this morning, but I must have fueled well because my stomach was happier than usual.

While we were out of town I stopped in to the new running store in Idaho Falls. Fun! I am like a kid in Toys R Us in a running store. I hadn't had a running analysis done in quite awhile, so I decided to do one (free). I was interested in seeing what they would say because I have gotten some conflicting advice from various professionals in the past.

On one hand I have been told that I run on my forefoot, and since I do, I "can't" pronate, and don't need shoes with support.

On the other hand I have also been told that I have very low arches and therefor will always pronate and will always need some type of support in my shoes.

They put me in a minimal shoe and then had me run on the treadmill while they videotaped it. Then we watched as they played it back in slow motion and zoomed in at different places. The guy seemed really knowledgeable and pointed out that -

-yes, I definitely do run on my forefoot (I knew that... the heels on my shoes have almost no wear at all, even after hundreds of miles)

- I do still pronate, mild on one side, more moderate on the other. The pronation was definitely obvious on the video, especially on the one side, however the guy pointed out that since I am running on my forefoot, the amount of time that I am pronating with each stride is pretty short.

I have been running in my Brooks Ravenna 2's (and before that the Ravenna's) for over six months now. Brooks says they are for mild overpronaters. They are light for a support shoe and feel fast. I have been able to run 50-60 miles a week without injury and have used them for all of my races, long and short. They are the only shoes I have worn since I started wearing them.

When I first started running they put me in Brooks Adrenalines with inserts. I switched to the Trance with inserts, then (thinking that I was running in more shoe/support than I needed) I "moved down" in weight and support to the Ravenna's. Then I ditched the insoles. I had a little bit of soreness for a few weeks as I got used to running without the insoles, but nothing that kept me from running, and I have felt awesome (and been injury free...knock on wood....every since). I definitely feel like I am a faster and stronger run now. Is that because of all of the training? The change in footwear? Combo of both? Who knows.

With all the hype around minimal/barefoot shoes right now, it is hard not to be curious and want to try them, but I am also super afraid of injuring myself with all of the races I have planned.

I do believe in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line of thinking, but at the same time, even though nothing was "broke" when I was running in the more supportive and heavier shoes with inserts, I feel like I am better off and running better now in "less" shoe and no inserts, and just wonder if I have found my happy shoe place or if less shoe could be better for me.

So what do you think? Is there anyone out there who DOES overpronate some and is able to run long distances in minimal shoes? I know that you need to transition slowly, but are people able to eventually run all their miles in these shoes? Or do you think for me that I will always need some level of support in my shoes?

I am excited for the Brooks Pure Project shoes to come out in October... they have a new line of more minimal shoes coming out and two of them have some level of support in them.

The guy at the shoe store tried to sell me some crazy Biom shoes that cost $200. No thanks! I did get a pair of shorts and some sun screen and had fun looking around.

Ok, I am off to take the kids to church and then come home and enjoy some much-deserved rest. Happy Sunday everybody!!

Hey, do you love to run? Do you love hoodies? Do you want a chance to win a really super awesome one? Check out my RUN Hoodie giveaway here and please help spread the word. Thanks!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Awesome Hoodie Giveaway!

The super cool Christian over at the Relay Runner has donated not ONE, but TWO totally awesome "RUN" hoodies for me to giveaway. Seriously... how cool are these??

I have one of these hoodies and it is awesome! I got the women's hoodie and it is just the right cut of comfy but stylish (not too baggy). I love the gray color that matches everything, and the lettering and hood detail are just really nicely done. The hoodie seems super well made and is crazy soft, snuggly and comfortable. And how cool is a hoodie that says RUN??? I LOVE THIS. I have already worn mine with sweats around the house and jeans to go out and it works great with both (and I got lots of compliments on it when I wore it out).  I told Josh that chances are good he will see me in this just about every day. :)

I will be giving away one girls' RUN hoodie (winner's choice of size S,M or L), and one guys' RUN hoodie (size S, M, L, or XL), courtesy of the Relay Runner.

Want to win one? (Trust me... you DO!!) Here is how to enter!

Mandatory - 
- Go to the Relay Runner's website and check it out, then come back and leave a comment telling me something you like about the website, something cool about Christian, a product you like, a relay you would like to run... whatever. :)

Then-

- Make a donation of $5 or more and help me raise $3000 to support Team MEB when I run the NYC marathon in November, and help provide children in the U.S. and in Africa with access to good health, education and fitness. 

For every $5 you donate, I will give you one entry into this giveaway.
If you have already made a donation, leave a comment and let me know.
If you have already made a donation and you now make a second donation for $5 or more, I will DOUBLE your entries into this giveaway. (So if you already donated $10 and go and donate another $5, I will give you six entries just for the donations). 

Visiting The Relay Runner and making a donation of $5 or more to my charity team are mandatory to enter this giveaway. :)

For extra entries you can:
- Tweet about this contest - Christian at Relay Runner is at @therelayrunner (leave a comment here and let me know)
- Post about this contest on your blog (leave a comment here and let me know)
- Post about this contest on your Facebook page (leave a comment here and let me know)
- Get someone you know to make a donation (leave a comment here and let me know)

This contest will run for one week, and I will use Random.org to choose two winners on the morning of Saturday, June 4. 

Thanks so much to all who participate and SUPER big thanks to Christian Hanson. Please, please help spread the word about this giveaway. Thanks!!!!

Five random things on Friday

1.Yesterday was the last day of school and now all of my kids are officially on summer vacation. I think we are all very ready for a break from schedules and the stresses of school and are looking forward to more free time, family time, and fun. AND, I no longer have to be back home from my runs by 6:30am since none of the kids are up that early (and Josh is home) when they don't have to go to school, so yay for a little more sleep for me! :)

2. I missed the Biggest Loser finale on Tuesday because Josh and I were at the U2 concert in Salt Lake City!! We had tickets to go last year, and then Bono hurt his back, needed surgery, and the concert was cancelled and then rescheduled for this week. Our tickets for last year's show were still good, and even though it wasn't an easy night for us to go, we didn't want to miss it. The show was AWESOME and the music was just so so good. U2 is seriously the coolest ever and I love Bono... not just for the music, but for the work/advocacy/fundraising he does in regards to Africa and AIDS (which is obviously super close to home for me!)
Here are my two favorite Bono quotes -

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them." - Bono

"Dream up the kind of world you want to live in. Dream out loud."   - Bono

Here is me at the concert! :)






3. I am now at over 200 miles run in the month of May and still have 31 miles left to run this month. I feel awesome. I am at 913 miles for the year and will be hitting that 1,000 mile mark soon. Pretty cool! And Ragnar Wasatch Back is getting so close... I really can't wait.


4. I got a book from Runner's World called "The Runner's Diet". I wasn't looking to diet, but was hoping it would be more of a "here is a great way to eat if you a runner" type of thing" (which is how it was advertised). It was a pretty big disappointment to me. There is some good info in there, although not much that I didn't know and the bulk of it is aimed at new runners or those running just a couple of times a week (and short miles) or those looking to use running to lose weight. As an example, there was a lot of info on how most runners don't need Gu's or sports drinks and talked about how much extra calories are in those, how they are more for elite and distance runners, etc. I don't know too many people running 3 miles here and there that are popping Gu's, but I guess a good point was made. It just wasn't relevant info for me.  On the plus side, I guess it is good that I after reading it I feel like I am doing a good job with what I am eating and how much.

5.  Have you seen this hoodie?? It is like someone said, "Here Erin... we are making a hoodie just for you". It is gray, it is the perfect weight, it is super soft and it says RUN. As a self-proclaimed hoodie-a-holic, I had to have one. I might just wear it every day. STAY TUNED for your chance to win one of these bad-boys. :)




Hey, it's Friday. Want to do something really easy that will make you feel good about yourself for helping others? :)  Please help me raise $3000 to support Team MEB when I run the NYC marathon in November, and help provide children in the U.S. and in Africa with access to good health, education and fitness.  Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. :)


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Change in perspective

I have never been a fan of my legs.

Even in high school, when I was in good shape, could eat whatever I wanted without consequence, and could wear slim fit jeans, my thighs and calves were "substantial". No chicken legs here people.

My legs (along with the rest of my body) have always been insanely pale too. Sun doesn't help... My color options for my skin are very pale beige, bright pink, or fire engine red. I have played with self tanners but they don't look very natural on me, I don't like spending money on that kind of thing, and my skin is really sensitive. So pale it is.

To make it all even worse, when I was pregnant with my third son, I developed really rotten varicose veins on one leg. They are the big poofy kind. Super ugly. I hate them. The doctor asks if they hurt me at all, and the truth is they only hurt my eyes when I look at them! They have never bothered me in any other way, and optional (cosmetic) surgery isn't really in the budget. So, the varicose veins aren't going anywhere for awhile.

As I became a runner and lost over 70lbs, I had times where I was frustrated that I didn't have awesome legs to show off. Sure, my muscles are impressive, but you have to see past the glowing white skin and nasty veins to notice them. I never wore running shorts because I was so self conscious about how my legs looked.

But while I was running the Salt Lake City Marathon, somewhere in the later miles I found myself talking to my legs. I was telling them that they were awesome and strong, and thanked them for not cramping or getting injured. And since then, I have looked at my legs differently and have changed my perspective and attitude about them.

Yup, my thighs and calves are substantial. They are STRONG, and muscular and down right buff. These are the legs that in junior high and high school helped me hang on to the backs of big old thoroughbreds and steer them around jumping courses. These are the legs that have carried me on a journey of weight loss and self-discovery. These are the legs that have run through three marathons without any major cramping and only minimal soreness afterwards. These are the legs that put in over 50 miles a week without complaint and are always up for whatever I ask... speed work, hills, long runs... no problem. These are the legs that let me push and get that sub-four hour marathon I wanted so badly, and these are the legs that I am confident are going to carry me to a BQ marathon.

These legs are pretty darn awesome.

The other day I got some new capris in the mail that I had ordered. I ordered two styles in a size 4. The first pair (jeans) fit great. The second pair (a thinner cut khaki pair) did not. I literally could almost not pull them up past my calves. When I finally got them on (I am sure it would have been quite entertaining to watch), the waist of the capris was way too big, the thighs were quite snug but ok, and the calves looked like if I flexed I would bust right out of them.

And instead of being upset about it, I thought it was cool. I am proud of those muscles. That's when I knew my perspective had really changed.

The world seems to focus SO much on women being thin/skinny. I am thrilled that I was able to lose so much weight and get my body to a healthy weight. and I feel amazing. At 5'5" tall and 136lbs, I am right in the middle of what is said to be a healthy weight. I am sure I could diet and work at it to lose another 10lbs or so if I really wanted to, but my focus is on being healthy and strong.  Skinny little chicken legs wouldn't be able to carry me up big hills or run strong for 26.2 miles. Skinny little arms wouldn't be able to do 30 "man pushups", or carry around my two year old that has cerebral palsy and needs help and "mom transport" to do anything. I will take strong over skinny any day. :)

So I am done complaining about my legs and I am done being ashamed of them. My legs are strong. My legs are fast. And I am going to wear those running shorts with pride.


Hey, do you want to be the awesome person to get my fundraising current total over $500? I am just under that amount right now. It literally takes just a moment to donate and is so easy. Any amount is appreciated. Please help me raise $3000 to support Team MEB when I run the NYC marathon in November, and help provide children in the U.S. and in Africa with access to good health, education and fitness.  Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. :)


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No regrets

The only runs that I ever regret are the ones that I don't go on.

That is what I told myself over and over (and over) when I dragged my tired butt out of bed at 4:15 this morning, and stood in the kitchen listening to my very quiet house and the sound of POURING rain outside. The "devil-Erin" on my shoulder whispered that I could get two full hours of more sleep if I were to just crawl back into my nice warm bed right then. "Devil-Erin" suggested it was stupidity for a mom of 12 to be up when she had a house full of sleeping children and pointed out that I had a late night ahead tonight. I almost listened to her.

I contemplated the treadmill then or later, but with a busy day ahead of me I knew that if I wanted to get my eight miles in it would have to be early. And I didn't want to skip my run and knew I would feel blecky later on if I did. I started going through the motions of getting ready to run outside, all the while hoping that the rain would let up some. It didn't. I waited around to see if Jenny was going to come. She didn't. At just after 5am I said "screw it" out-loud and headed out the front door.

It was wet and it was cold (cold enough that the rain mixed with snow for a little while), but you know what? It really wasn't that bad at all. It was even kind of fun. And as I knew I would, I got home and felt awesome, and was super glad that I had gone and run, even in the dark and the rain.

Because truly, truly, the only runs I ever regret are the ones that I don't go on. :)



Do you have two minutes and $5? $10? Please help me raise $3000 to support Team MEB when I run the NYC marathon in November, and help provide children in the U.S. and in Africa with access to good health, education and fitness.  Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. :)



PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Sunday, May 22, 2011

awesome 18

Jenny and I ran an awesome 18 mile run this morning. The temps outside were just right, my stomach was really good, my legs felt strong the whole way, and as always, the company and conversation were perfect.

Jenny picked a really great route too, that had us running more than half of the 18 miles out and back on a dirt road. There was nothing but fields, cows, horses and views of the beautiful mountains all around, and it was nice to run on dirt for a change. I love running on Sunday mornings too... the world is just quiet and peaceful in a way it isn't any other day of the week.

I came home and stretched and then had some chocolate milk, an ice bath, a hot shower and my oatmeal, and life is good.

I am off to enjoy a Sunday with my family! We are going to church and then barbecuing with friends. Hope you all are having a happy Sunday. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One more day (and a question)

I am a track widow for ONE MORE DAY and then I get my husband back. Woo hoo! After back to back to back seasons of Josh coaching high school football, indoor track and then spring track, I am super ready for the summer.  The track season is long and they are gone on lots of overnight trips and I am so excited to just have him home more. He will have a good three more free hours to each day, and he will be home on the weekends. Woo hoo!

The kids have a short week of school this week and then they are done after a half day of school on Thursday. I sure wish it FELT like summer outside, but we are excited none the less.

I have an 18 mile run planned for tomorrow morning. I really, really enjoy these long runs. Jenny and I have been following the Ragnar training plan and this is the longest run of the training. After Ragnar (June 17-18) I will jump right into my marathon training for Top of Utah. I have a really awesome training plan put together with a little help from a new coach/adviser and I am excited to share it with you soon. It will mix things up for me a little bit and challenge me for sure....and hopefully get me to my new goal of sub 3:45.

Ok, here is a question for all of you Boston experts. I know that my chances now of ever actually getting to RUN Boston are slim with the new registration process, however I am feeling confident about my ability to qualify for Boston, and I like the sound of that. :)

So here is my question... I am 34 years old now, but will be 35 years old for Boston 2012. If I am reading things right, I think that means that I just need to beat 3:45 to qualify, not 3:40, since it says to use the age you will be at the Boston marathon you will be running (or qualifying for). Anyone know for sure?? I am actually hoping to RUN a 3:39, but with my rotten potty breaks I need to factor in 4-6 minutes of lost time (unless I find a miraculous cure between now and then!). I ran SLC in 3:53, but lost four minutes in the porta potties and ended with a time of 3:57:18, so even if I run a 3:39 (which I know won't be easy) my time will likely be a few minutes longer. Anyone know for sure if I need to beat 3:45 or 3:40?

Well, it is Saturday afternoon... house is clean... kids are clean... church clothes are laid out... running clothes are laid out... time to veg and enjoy some time with the kids, and count down the hours until Josh is home. Hope you are all having a great weekend!

THANK YOU to everyone that has donated to me and Team MEB for the NYC Marathon.

Running the ING NYC Marathon is a dream come true for me and I am so honored to get to do it for Team Meb. Please support me and Team MEB, and help provide children with access to good health, education and fitness. 


Do you have two minutes and $5? $10? Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. :)


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Help Please

I can say with 100% honesty that becoming active and getting in shape literally changed my life. I am healthier physically and I am also healthier emotionally. I feel SO good in so many ways. Running has given me a confidence that spreads to everything I do. I wish I had started this life style a long, long time ago.

Now I have the opportunity to help kids and their families in the US and in Africa make the same change, and have opportunities to include fitness and athletics in their daily lives.

I am SO honored to be running the ING NYC Marathon for Meb Keflezighi's Team MEB!! You know Meb right? He is the winner of the ING NYC Marathon in 2009 (first American winner since 1982!), Olympic Silver Medalist for the U.S.,  and a man with many, many other impressive achievements and successes in running, and an incredibly inspiring life story.

The MEB Foundation, helps ensure youth and their families engage in healthy, active lifestyles and is a leader and collaborator in health, education and fitness. The focus of Meb's foundation stems from his belief in the importance of 'Maintaining Excellent Balance.' I am always saying on here how important balance is in my life.

 Many kids don't have the opportunity to be involved in sports, or even to get outside regularly to play and be active. You can help me give kids and their families access to programs that provide opportunities for improving health, education,  and fitness, by helping me raise my minimum goal of $3000 for Team MEB.

I am not good at asking for help, but...

I have had a LOT of people tell me that my story inspires them. Whether you are here on my blog because you were inspired by a running mom of 12 or by my weight loss story or my love of running... or because you enjoy my writing....or because you are a friend or mine....or because you are a family member and have to (at least pretend to) like me,  I am asking you please to donate to my cause through Crowdrise here.

Please help me reach my goal of raising $3000 for Team MEB by making a donation of any amount. If you want to sponsor me per mile you can consider donating $13.10, $26.20, $52.40, etc. ANY amount, big or small will be greatly appreciated and go to an awesome foundation and a really great cause. I know that money is tight for just about everyone right now (trust me, I know!) and that lots of people are fundraising for great causes, but even $10 will help me reach my goal and will be so appreciated. I would be super grateful if you helped spread the word too.  Help me make every one of those 26.2 miles in NY count that much more. :)

There are MANY charities out there I could have chosen to run with through the NYC Marathon (most of which are bigger and have lots more support), and my plan was just to wait and try my luck again in the lottery next year and not run for a charity. But once I heard about Team MEB, I knew that this was a team I wanted to be a part of, because of who Meb is, what he stands for, and what his cause is raising money for.

Running the ING NYC Marathon is a dream come true for me. Please support me and Team MEB, and please help us help kids know the joys of a life well-balanced with health, education and fitness. 

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Fun running survey

I am stealing this fun running survey from Kim over at (Just) Trying is for Little Girls.

* what is your favorite type of cross training?
Um, this is sort of a trick question because I don't have a favorite type of cross training! I really like hiking although I don't do that very often. I love jumping on the trampoline and running around with the kids, although that doesn't really count. I do my strength training twice a week because I know it is good for me and makes me a stronger and healthier runner, but it is definitely not my favorite.


* what is your favorite song to run to?
Christina Augilera's "Fighter" is a definite favorite. I also love just about anything from the All-American Rejects.


* what brand shoes do you wear when you run?
BROOKS! I love love love Brooks. The Ravenna 2's are my go to shoes. They are a mild support shoe, light and fast-feeling, and feel great on fast runs and long runs. I have one two marathons in them and 50-60 miles a week and everything feels awesome. :) LOVE THEM!

* do you wear a hat when you run?
I wear a beanie in the winter with a pony tail hole that I love, and then when it is warmer I wear a headband or Buff that is folded. I have had zero luck with baseball cap style hats... I think they are super cute but they just do NOT stay on my head (and I have tried quite a few).

* what temperature is your favorite for running?
40-55 degrees, early morning, blue skies but before the sun is up too much and too hot. I am a total heat wimp. I would rather run in freezing temps and snow than anything over 75. I just melt!

* do you have any big races coming up?
The things I have coming up are Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay on June 17-18, the Star Valley Half marathon on July 9, and Top of Utah full marathon on September 17. After that is the NYC Marathon on November 7 and the Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday, full marathon the next day) in early January 2012.

* what is your favorite distance?
Marathon!!!! I love the distance, the training, the planning, the challenge, the dedication, pushing myself, the sense of accomplishment... all of it! I LOVE 26.2!

* are you a morning, noon or evening runner?
Morning!!! Really early morning. I am useless at night and too busy during the day.

* do you run solo or with a buddy?
Both! I run with neighbor and friend, Jenny a lot of days. I ran by myself through a lot of the winter and usually do a couple of days a week. I enjoy both. :)

* what's your favorite post run snack?
I usually come home from a run and eat breakfast... chocolate milk and loaded oatmeal (oatmeal with blueberries, banana, raisins, nuts and chocolate chips). 

* what's your FAVORITE race?
Oh that's a hard question! I loved, loved, loved, running the Disney Marathon (seriously loved it) and I love all things Disney... and Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay last year was one of the most fun things I have ever done. And I am super excited for the NYC Marathon... I can't pick a favorite!

* do you wear a garmin? If not how do you track your runs?
Yup, I wear a Garmin 305 that I have affectionately nicknamed "Coach Bob". :) I usually leave Bob home on Mondays and Wednesdays (easy paced days) and bring him on the other runs. I love running with a Garmin. I was just telling my friend that it really helped me PR in the 5K on Saturday. For the first mile when EVERYONE took off so fast, if I hadn't had Coach Bob telling me that we were going at a 5:45 pace (which I knew was too fast for me to maintain), I probably would have been afraid to slow back down, and would have struggled to find my 7:15 pace I was planning that first mile. Coach Bob really helped me stick to my plan in the 5K (7:15ish for first two miles, then pick it up for the last 1.1). Running with a Garmin also really helped me get my sub-four marathon in Salt Lake. I think it is an awesome training tool.

* what is your least favorite race?
Hmmmmmm, I don't know that I have a least favorite. I really, really enjoy racing. I haven't done a whole bunch yet, and I haven't had one yet that made me say, "Bleck, won't do that again". That said, there are very few races close to home here, and I have limited time away and money to use for racing, so I make my selections pretty carefully.

* what race is your favorite medal from?
My Mickey Medal from the Walt Disney World Marathon!
My Daddy and I, right after the WDW Marathon



* who is your running idol?
I am a huge fan of Meb (Meb Keflezighi). His story is so inspirational, and his dedication, work ethic, love of family, priorities, value of education, humbleness, kindness, strong morals, determination, and the way he handles adversity make him such a perfect role model for runners and really, for anybody.

* how long have you been a runner?
Two years and a couple of weeks! You can read about my journey to becoming a runner here. 

* (ladies) do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on?
Yes, always

* what's your favorite workout? repeats? long runs? tempo? fartleks?
I enjoy the variety, but if I have to pick one favorite, I would say it is the long run. I really enjoy them and how I feel the rest of the day after a long run.

Ok, and I am going to add two questions...

What are your short term running goals? 
I want to get faster at the marathon, and run a lot more of them. I have had a few people suggest I look into ultras, but at this point that doesn't appeal to me much. I enjoy trail running for fun once and awhile, but I am not a "trail runner". I really love the road racing. And, as I say a lot on here, balance in my life is super important to me, and I don't know how I would fit training for ultras into my schedule without compromising something else important (which I am not willing to do). But I never say never and I do love a challenge, so who knows what I will decide to try when my kids are older and I have more time for myself.


So my short term goals are to stay injury free, to continue getting stronger and faster, and to get some faster marathon times. I have someone super great that is offering her advice and help, and she thinks a 3:39 is a realistic goal for me. I am going to work towards it. :)

What is your ultimate running goal?
My ultimate long term running goal is to be a runner for life. I want to always be able to start my day with a run... no matter how far or how fast (or slow) it is. I want to be one of those little white-haired ladies lined up  at the start of races, chatting with everyone. I want to be able to say "I am a runner" for the rest of my life.

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday thoughts

So it turns out by the official results from the 5k that I took third overall. Shane was first, a guy was second and then me. The guy was in my age group so I took third overall and second in my age group (they did not split up guys and girls in the results. Stupid!). I was first female overall and first female in my age group. I am still pretty excited about it. :) We still haven't heard about prizes, but Shane made everyone laugh at the finish area when he said, "I sure hope it is a new car!" (For a $5 entry fee, I am guessing not!)

Jenny and I did 14 miles on Sunday morning that was really nice. Then yesterday we did an easy five miles, and this morning I went out and did an eight mile run and averaged an 8:16 pace. I felt pretty good about that. Ragnar Wasatch Back is one month from today!! Woo hoo! I can't stinking wait.  If you want to see what I'll be running you can go to this link. I am runner #6 and will be running legs 6, 18 and 30. (If you click on the leg numbers on the Ragnar page you can see the leg details). Team See Moms Run is going to have a BLAST.

Things are super busy here at home. Josh was gone for a few days at the end of last week for Regional Track, and then he is gone from Wednesday  night until Saturday night this week for State track. On top of that the kids have countless plays, programs, projects, field trips, concerts, etc. etc. etc. since the end of the school year is just around the corner.  But, after Sunday track is DONE and I am definitely excited about that. After back to back seasons of indoor and spring track, I am ready to have my husband around a whole lot more. :)

Anybody else excited for the Biggest Loser tonight? I am not a big TV watcher but I started watching this while I was losing my 70lbs and I have really enjoyed it. Who do you think is going to win?

Happy Tuesday everybody! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5K PR!! Woo hoo!!!

I ran our local 5K this morning. It was not a big race, but we do have some pretty good local runners who showed up.

I finished FIRST female, and third overall with a time of 22:00 (7:05 average pace). Woo hoo! My last 5K time was 23:33, and then I did a 22:23 for my virtual 5K (on the treadmill). I was super happy with my time and my finish, but even better than how I did is.....

My stinking rotten super awesome totally incredible ELEVEN year old, WON THE ENTIRE RACE with a time of 21:15. There were a lot of kids running in the race and all of them took off crazy fast at the beginning, and every single one of them died within a mile or so. Every single one of them but my Shane. He kept going, and going... As I was picking people off the last mile I kept saying, "Is that my rotten kid up there?" and everyone would laugh. He is unbelievable and just oozing with athletic ability. I am so proud!

They are going to call with the official results and prizes, but it sounds pretty awesome to say that my son and I were the first male and female finishers. Yeah baby!

And to add to my proudness, my awesome 13 year old came and ran as well, and he finished in 25:26 and beat his PR by over five minutes. Yup, I am one proud mama.

Here we are back at home, enjoying victory!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Perspective

This has been one of those weeks where the universe seems to be trying it's best to tell me that I am not good enough. It has been one emotional stress after another. There hasn't been any one big thing that is too terrible or hard, but all of them together have made for a rough week. I am glad it is Friday!

But I am ok. I am resilient and I have too much good in my life to get sucked down into the muck for long.

Things I am grateful for -

My husband - I don't know where I would be without him. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have more love, joy, security, peace, laughter, passion, support, fun, and LIFE in my life than I ever could have hoped for. There is nothing better than being married to your true love.

My kids - Yes, having 12 kids can be stressful, but boy is there a ton of love, fun, joy and blessings. And I may be a bit biased, but my kids rock. They really are the most awesome kids ever.

My parents - Take it from someone who has not always had two loving parents in her life... having a dad and a mom that love you unconditionally, care about your feelings, support you fully, think you are great, and are always there for you no matter what, is a blessing not to be taken for granted.

My best friend - I have never been one to have a lot of friends. There are a lot of great ladies that I consider my friends here where I live and I have a few incredible friends that I love with all my heart that live far away, but they aren't a big part of my day to day life. Jenny is always there for me, she knows me better than just about anyone, I can tell her anything, and she always knows just what to say or what not to say. Having a friend like that is such a blessing.

Family - Relationships are what make life worth living. Brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - I am so grateful for all of the people that love and support my family in so many ways.

My Faith - I would not have the life that I do or be able to do all that I do without the love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. My faith has allowed me to take big steps in life without fear, because I had faith that  I was making the right choices (even when they were scary). And my faith is there when things are tough, because I know that everything will be ok, no matter what.  There is nothing like some eternal perspective when little things bring you down.

Running - Running has truly become a part of who I am, and I am so grateful for it. I am so much stronger physically and emotionally than I was before I became a runner. I have an inner confidence that was never there before. I have something that I LOVE to do that I look forward to doing for myself every day. I love the experiences I have gotten to have with racing (and look so forward to what is in the future) and I have connected with many incredible people through the online running community. And I love how on weeks like this... when life is on the rougher side... that running clears my head, eases my stress, refuels my emotional tank and leaves me feeling peaceful, content, strong and ready to deal with whatever life throws at me.

Happy Friday everybody! I am going to run a 5K tomorrow and two of my boys (11 and 13) are running it as well. The weather is BEAUTIFUL (finally!!!) and I am looking forward to it. Wish my some speedy good luck. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Short shorts?

Yeah... so Mother Nature is a wee-bit confused on what season it is, and we got a whole bunch of inches of SNOW  yesterday afternoon and last night. Ridiculous! It is supposed to be 60's and sunny starting on Thursday.  YES PLEASE!!

I had eight miles planned for today and was running by myself, so instead of slipping and sliding in the slush and mush outside I decided to try out some new clothes I had gotten for my birthday but hadn't gotten to wear yet and to do my eight miles on the treadmill. (I hadn't been on the treadmill in quite a while...back to outside for me!)

Here I am in my Brooks Glycerin Support Tank and my Brooks Woven Shorts (with my "I just ran 8 miles on a the treadmill and finished at a 7:09 pace red face")


I love, love, love, love, love the tank. It fits perfectly, didn't rub anywhere, is a nice length AND, even makes me look like I have boobs. (I used to... not so much anymore). The color is a much brighter blue than it looks in this picture.

As I have said before on here, when it comes to my running apparel, I am pretty set on spandex/lycra on my bottom half. I love it because it stays put, doesn't rub, and is super comfortable. I had never worn a pair of traditional "runner's shorts" before. There was way less rubbing/chafing/bunching than I expected and they were a lot more comfortable than I expected. I have tried on a few pairs before and was never impressed. These shorts have a 5 inch inseam so are a little longer than a lot of runners shorts. I did not notice them at all for the first five miles of my run, but from miles 5-8 I felt like there was a little rubbing/chafing going on.

They are super light weight, fit really well, are a nice material and a very comfortable. I was surprised that I liked how they looked too. I think that I will use these for some of my shorter runs/races and keep my spandex for the longer stuff. :)

How about you? Do you run in short running shorts? Spandex? Skirts? Or do you mix it up?

Two more thoughts -

- Thanks for those of you that shared your thoughts/opinions on my Junk post. As I said, I understand that there are a lot of schools of thought on the topic and I am a firm believer that in most things in life, there is no one "right way" and everyone needs to find what works for them. For me,  I KNOW my higher mileage base lately has really improved my running in a lot of ways. It was very evident to me this weekend when I had a 16 mile run that I didn't even give a lot of thought or planning to, was able to run fairly easily, and then had no soreness at all afterwards. I love that I am at a place that running 16 miles isn't a big deal, and I do believe I am at this place because I have built up a strong foundation of miles (that I have slowly and steadily increased). So for me, bring on the miles, and I don't think they are junk at all.

- Thanks for all the congrats about getting to run the NYC Marathon. I am still on cloud nine about it. I will have to raise $3,000 for the MEB Foundation, which I am honored to do. All of the funds raised will go to support health, education, and ļ¬tness programs for youth. I will be getting a personalized fundraising site and once that is up I will post it here for sure and will definitely be taking donations (thanks Terzah for asking!!!)

More soon.

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

BIG news

My BIG news has to do with the BIG APPLE!

I WILL be running in the ING NYC marathon this year!! Holy cow it makes me crazy excited just to type that!!

I mentioned back on April 27 that I was "not in", meaning I had not gotten into the ING NYC Marathon via the lottery drawing. I knew the chances were slim, but man oh man I was hoping. :)

When neither Josh or I got in through the lottery I figured that was the end of it for this year, but then through Facebook and a couple of emails, I ended up invited to run on Meb Keflezighi's Team MEB!! You know Meb right? He is the winner of the ING NYC Marathon in 2009 (first American winner since 1982!), Olympic Silver Medalist for the U.S.,  and a man with many, many other impressive achievements and successes in running, and an incredibly inspiring life story.

I read Meb's book, "Run to Overcome", last winter and was drawn to him right away. He is from Eastern Africa (Eritrea), which is the neighboring country to Ethiopia. (I have four kids from Ethiopia and have spent many weeks there). As I read about Meb's childhood, the names of his family members, foods he and his family ate, conditions they lived in, etc. were all very familiar after my trips to Ethiopia. Meb has 10 brothers and sisters and family is a huge priority to him.  I loved reading about how close his family is and reading about such a happy and successful large family. Whether you have anything in common with him or not, it is impossible to read his book and not be inspired by his faith, hope, determination, success, and story of living the "American Dream".

Meb started a foundation called the MEB Foundation, which helps ensure youth and their families engage in healthy, active lifestyles and is a leader and collaborator in health, education and fitness. The focus of Meb's foundation stems from his belief in the importance of 'Maintaining Excellent Balance.'  The MEB Foundation is one of the charity teams for the ING NYC Marathon. They will have a team of 30 runners and like all of the charity teams require runners to fundraise for the foundation they are running for. Did you know that last year the ING NYC Marathon had over 190 official charities and raised over $30 million dollars for good causes???

I could have gone with one of the bigger charity teams, but this is an athlete, a foundation and a cause that I felt a personal connection to and a team I am honored to be a part of and associated with.

Josh had been really wanting me to plan a getaway just for us (we haven't gone anywhere for more than a couple of hours without Noah since we adopted him in September 2009 and we very very rarely leave our other kids too). We were considering going to Vegas again in early December and running the Vegas Rock n Roll race again but were still considering options when I heard about this opportunity to run NYC.

I am super sensitive and overly cautious about being selfish when it comes to my running. When my mother still lived at home when I was young (she later moved out, my parents were divorced and she is not involved in my life or my sister or brother's lives) she was extremely selfish about her time, and her job/hobby (she was a musician). Her priorities were way out of order, and it had a very negative effect on our family. It is the main reason I give up sleep to get my runs in before Josh and our kids are even awake, and why keeping my priorities in order and life in balance is so important to me. So I wanted to be sure that planning a trip to NY around the NYC marathon  would be something that Josh would enjoy as much as I would and wouldn't be a selfish thing.

Josh was on board right away. He was very encouraging to me to run for Team MEB and very excited about a trip to NY for just the two of us. We lived in NY (married) for four years and he misses it more than I do. I called my parents to see if they were ok with it and they were (as always) super supportive and encouraging. We can stay with my parents, and it will be great to have time with them and is much cheaper than going somewhere else and staying in a hotel, and we have lots of family and friends in NY. AND, we'll leave on Josh's birthday. So it is a win, win, win situation. :)

Have I mentioned how excited I am?? Running the ING NYC Marathon is SUCH a huge dream come true.


Yay for New York!!! (And to the reader who asked how I was born and raised a New Yorker and ended up living in Wyoming, I will share that story soon).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's day!

I started my Mother's Day with a 16 mile run with Jenny. It was crazy foggy but even though it threatened rain the whole time, it never did. Yay! Happy Mother's Day to us. :)

Let me tell you... there are LOTS of cards, hugs, kisses, hand-made gifts, and greetings on Mother's Day when you have twelve kids. I am CRAZY blessed.

I have some big, big, BIG running news that I will share tomorrow. For now I am going to enjoy the rest of my day at church and hanging out at home with the best husband and family in the world.

This is one of my favorite pics ever... Josh and the kids lined up at the start of my third Ragnar leg last year and had these "We Love You Mom" signs made. It was awesome!
Hope you all have a blessed day with people you love. :) And big hugs to all the moms out there!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Junk?

First off, if you somehow missed it, the incredible EMZ is running 24 hours on a treadmill today to raise money for the Sojourner Center (for women affected by domestic violence). Check out her blog here and if you can donate even a little, do it. :)

Happy Friday! I did a nice and easy six miles this morning... left my Garmin at home and took my music and just enjoyed myself. SO nice.

Today was supposed to be a rest day, but some weeks I don't take my rest day. I go by feel... when I feel tired or worn out or like my legs are heavy, I take the rest day. If I had a very long run that week or a race, I always take the rest day. But if it is a "normal" week and I feel good and I want to run on Friday, I do.

Today I set out to do five miles, but when I hit the 2.5 mile turnaround I was enjoying myself and feeling good so I kept going to the three mile turnaround and did 6 miles total.

Some people would call today's run "junk miles".

Runners World describes "junk miles" in their glossary as -  "Runs at an easy pace inserted into a program in order to reach a weekly or monthly mileage total rather than for any specific
benefit. Despite the name, "junk miles" often serve as recovery from harder workouts. The value of "junk miles" is still hotly debated among training theorists."

 I definitely do not run "extra" some weeks because I am trying to hit mileage goals. The only mileage goal I have set for myself was 1500 miles for the year with the Tall Mom Club, and since I am already over 750 miles for the year, I am not stressing about hitting that. 

For me, I add on extra miles sometimes because I really like running. I add on extra miles because I feel like running on a "day off" or because I feel like running a little more than I initially planned that day.

I am very very cautious about the risks of injury and overtraining. I listen to my body and back off on speed or mileage or both when I feel the need. I roll and stretch and strength train. I go to bed earlier when I notice I am feeling tired (or more tired than usual!) I have really been focusing on eating well and fueling my body well.

The truth is though, that I have felt better as I have added mileage. My body feels stronger, I have definitely gotten faster and I have not had any aches or pains. I added mileage to what was "normal" for me when I was training for the Salt Lake Marathon, and I felt better and better as the mileage increased.

I think finding the best mileage for you takes some trial and error and it definitely varies from person to person. Some people have had a high mileage week if they hit 25 miles in a week, and for others, a week of 80 miles is a low mileage week. My longest weeks so far were just over 60 miles, and I had a bunch at 50-60. Hal Higdon has said that to find your ideal weekly mileage you need to find where your threshold is... at what point you start feeling burnt out and getting injuries, and then train just under that amount. I think that 60-70 miles a week is probably my max.

Another area that is trial and error is when to run after long runs (and races). When I was training for my first marathon, the day after a long run was a day off from running on my plan. I was often sore and stiff all day of the "off day", and starting noticing that as soon as I ran the next day, I felt great. One week I tried running a short, easy run the day after my long runs and Ta-Da! I felt tons better. No soreness or stiffness.  So for me, the day after a long run I have a short, easy recovery run...not to add miles to my weekly total, but because it makes me feel better.

I know right now a lot of people are using and finding great success with the Run Less, Run Faster plan. I have not really looked into it because honestly, I don't want to run less! I like the miles, and I like running "more". But everyone is different and what works for one runner doesn't for another.  That's why there are so many different training strategies, plans, coaches and theories. There is no right or wrong, just what works for you. Everyone has to figure out what mileage helps them feel good, get faster (if that is a goal), build endurance (if that is a goal), and keeps them healthy and injury free.

I know "junk miles" can be a controversial topic amongst runners. In my running, there is no such thing as a junk mile. Every mile has a purpose for me. Some miles are part of my training and run with purpose. Some miles are run super hard. Some miles take a lot of effort and take a lot out of me. And some miles are run more for my mind and my spirit. Some miles are taken easy and enjoyed, and leave all of me feeling relaxed and content. And every mile is run with the intent of becoming a better runner overall, and treating my body in such a way that I can still be running 50 years from now.

How about you? Do you believe in "junk" miles? What have you found to be your magic mileage a week?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Limits

Lately I have been thinking a lot about limits, and noticing how people seem to put limits on themselves... limits on their happiness, limits on the blessings that life has to offer, and limits on their own potential and success.

Many people seem to put limits on their own happiness. I hear all the time people say things along the lines of "I'll be happy when..." and then fill in the blank. I'll be happy when.... we have more money, I get a new job, I get pregnant, our adoption is finished, I have a new kitchen, I find a man, I finish school, I move, the kids are older, I lose 20lbs,  I can retire, etc. etc. etc.

I am well aware that life is often stressful and that there are always challenges. And often it seems like "if only" we can get past a current challenge and reach a new milestone, goal, or success that life will be so much better and THEN we will be happy. Well, I think that line of thinking is flawed. I have found that often when we get past one challenge, life just tends to throw us a new one. If we are always putting off our happiness until things are easy or everything is perfect, we very well may never be happy. And I believe with all of my heart that our happiness should not and can not be conditional. We always have the choice to choose happiness, and while choosing to be happy may not eliminate our problems and life's challenges, it will certainly make our days more enjoyable (for ourselves and those around us) and our burdens easier to bare. I have never seen anyone be better off for being stressed out, frustrated, upset or depressed.

Look around you. Focus on the good in your life. Smile. Live in the moment. Choose to be happy today.

Another area I see people limiting themselves is in the blessings life has to offer. I hear people say SO often, "I could never" or "I would never...." With my family and my job, I hear it a lot in regards to adoption. "I could never adopt" or "I would never adopt an older child" or "I could never parent a special needs child". I am well, well aware that adopting an older child or a special needs child is not right for everyone. However, I believe strongly that many, many more people "could" than do, and that many are missing out.

Yes, adopting older kids, especially kids with difficult backgrounds, can be challenging. Being a parent is never easy and adopting older kids definitely brings along extra issues and challenges. And yes, parenting a special needs child can also certainly be challenging. There are many extra things to think about, extra responsibilities, extra demands on your time, extra worries and extra stress. BUT BUT BUT.... I cannot say enough that those "extra" challenges are so far, FAR outweighed by the extra blessings these kids bring with them. I know first hand that easier does not mean happier or better.

It is not hard to look at my life and imagine  how it would be if Josh and I had chosen the "easy" route. We could have just had our three sons and stopped there. We would both be working full time so we'd have a much bigger income and we'd "only" have three (healthy) kids so our expenses would be a lot lower. We would have lots more free time, "spare" money, luxuries, and freedom overall. But you know what? It's horrible to me to even think about it for long. Our life is so rich and special and amazing and FULL of love and joy and blessings. If we had chosen a different path we would be missing out on so very much. All the extra money, freedom, luxuries, and time in the world could not even come close to replacing the blessings that each one of our kids has added to our life, the things they have taught us, and the love they have added to our hearts.

That is not to say that everyone should go out and adopt a whole bunch of kids (I am definitely not saying that), but the next time you are talking about your life and you catch yourself saying, "I could never...(whatever)" just stop and think for a moment that maybe you COULD, and maybe your life would be better for it.

And finally, since I have become a runner and especially a marathoner, I notice how frequently people limit their own potential and success. I would be rolling in cash if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, "I could never run a marathon" or "I could never run faster" or "I could never lose the weight". Guess what? YES YOU COULD. When I first started running I could not run two miles without walking. For the first year I was running I was thrilled with any pace under 11 minutes per mile and I got nervous just contemplating running anything further than three miles. I did not lose 70lbs and I am not able to run marathons and run at faster paces now because I am lucky or because I have any special abilities. I am able to do it because I have worked really freaking hard the last two years.

I fully and completely realize that not everyone WANTS to run a marathon or even run a mile, and that is fine (and not the point). But to all of those who say "I could never", I say "you sure as heck could". It wouldn't be easy, but if you waned to, and set your mind to it and put the work in, you could do it. And the important thing (and the point I am trying to make) is that that doesn't just apply towards running. It applies towards any goal or challenge in life. I think if more people starting saying "I can..." or "I am going to..." instead of "I could never..." that there would be a whole lot of people amazed at what they are able to achieve in all areas of their lives.

It's not easy to reach beyond what is comfortable and familiar. It is not easy to challenge ourselves or take on something we know is going to be difficult. It is not easy to look on the bright side, especially in the face of adversity. It is often scary to dream big. I am definitely still learning. But I have learned that often the things that challenge us the most (emotionally, spiritually, physically) have the greatest rewards.

Don't limit yourself. Don't limit your happiness, the blessings waiting to come to you, or your own potential. Choose to be happy today no matter what life throws at you, and quit saying, "I could never...." Life is meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest. :)


“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” - Robert Fritz

 

"Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes.' Decisions do determine destiny." - Thomas S. Monson


“Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life. If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted. If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.” - unknown

 

“Limits exist only in the mind” - unknown


"Life, like classical music, is full of difficult passages that are conquered as much through endurance and determination as through any particular skill." - Sheri L. Dew

 

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder” - Ronald Reagan


“Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves.They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.” - V.S. Naipaul



 

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Time

I had an awesome, awesome run this morning. Ragnar training called for eight miles, and I decided to push the pace and see what I can do. I really want a sub 1:50 time for my half marathon in July, which would mean a pace of at least 8:23.

I did a route that goes four miles out and then four miles back home. The first mile is downhill, then there are three miles in a row that are uphill. Then you turn around and get three downhill miles and then the last mile home is uphill (big uphill). I knew it wouldn't be an easy route to hold a faster pace but I set out feeling confident. It was a lot warmer (so sad that 27 degrees F feels WARM right now), no wind, no snow. Perfect!

It was tough and I definitely was pushing myself, but I finished 8 miles in 1:04:55, with an average pace of 8:07. And I finished feeling good and strong. Woo hoo!

Here are my splits
Mile 1 - 8:25
Mile 2 - 8:17
Mile 3 - 8:24
Mile 4 - 8:12
Mile 5 - 7:56
Mile 6 - 7:55
Mile 7 - 7:55
Mile 8 - 7:50

That felt pretty darn awesome. :)

Today is my oldest daughter's 16th birthday. Nuts!! She was nine when we adopted her and I am only 18 years older than her. It feels kind of crazy to say I have a 16 year old. Really crazy!

 It also feels crazy that it is May already. Where did April go? That month went FAST. Our kids are out of school in just over three weeks. Since I am looking out the window and watching it SNOW right now, it doesn't seem possible for Summer Vacation to be three weeks away!!

April was a super good running month for me. I only had 169 miles because of tapering and then recovery, but the Salt Lake City Marathon was definitely the highlight of the month on April 16. 3:57! I still love to just say that out loud sometimes and smile. :) I did the Jelly Bean virutal 5K on April 22 with a time of 22:23 (probably faster since I found out a few days later that my treadmill had been off!!!)

I am thrilled to say that I have no injuries and no aches or pains (knock knock knock on wood), and I am loving being back into a routine of getting up super early and getting my runs done outside every day (and home by 6:30am). I am also loving getting to run with Jenny a lot of mornings. It is the best way to start a day!

Ok, that's all for now. More soon! Hope you all have a great day. As Brooks says, "Run Happy!" :)

Races2Remember Winner!

Congrats to.....

Kurt at Becoming an Ironman!

Congrats Kurt! You will love the Races2Remember products and service. :)

Send me an email at fullhousemom at g mail dot com and I will get you your prize.

thanks to all who entered!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Running is...

To me, running is -

freedom
a challenge
fun
motivation
determination
powerful
humbling
revitalizing
awesome
hard-core
training
adventure
sweat
smiles
sacrifice
healthy
discipline
racing
mental
a choice
endurance
focus
goals
tough 
success
victory
friends
a gift
personal
dedication
passion
fast
satisfying
work
peace
rewarding
a journey
speed
energy
play
effort
pure
unpredictable
spiritual
miles
enabling
sport
necessary
paces
pain
happiness
therapy
pushing
physical
exciting
natural
healing
courage
faith
strength
Me.

What would you add to the list?