Thursday, November 29, 2012

Today's Run OR I Came to Kick Butt and Chew Bubble Gum

The up side of cooler weather is that is easier to really get moving once I get out the door, if only to get warm. The down side is getting out the door, especially when Luna gets really snuggly. But I went. Of course.

Because of how the audio cues fall, I didn't know how well I had been doing until I was nearly home. I was very pleased. I'm watching my running intervals become more solid one at a time, like sliding beads on a string. Once every running interval is set, I'll up the time again.

So, yes, right now I'm concentrating on speed, although it feels strange to call it that. In my mind, I'm working on the goal of actually running an entire 5K with no walk intervals. I know it's not necessary, but I feel like I have to get this done before switching to longer distances.

I was pondering this morning about how on earth I'm going to be able to train for distance. Right now, devoting a half hour is pretty easy. If I'm going to go 10K and beyond, I need to think of 1 hour+ training sessions. Does that mean getting up even earlier? How badly do I want this?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Today's Run OR Upping the Intervals

As is common to this part of the world, temps went from low 80s yesterday to mid 50s today. When I left the house, there was a cold mist and wind that made me almost reconsider going out in the first place. Glad I did. Was even more glad for my Bondiband. (Dear Santa, please send more! All the colors!)

I nudged my intervals up from 1 min run/1 min walk to 1.5 min run/1 min walk. Seemingly minimal (and something I had sort of done before), but it was time to push myself. Of course, not every interval was completely running (partially due to traffic), but I see that I will be able to get it done to my satisfaction.

It feels foolish to admit these tiny goals. I'm basically repeating the original C25K training. One of the things I didn't like the first time around was that I couldn't repeat any of the runs; I felt forced to move forward before I was solid. I want to be a confident runner (if that's possible).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Today's Swim OR Take Courage Monday

Got going early this morning for water weight training. Pool was super full. I'm assuming post-holiday guilt for some, although I am beginning to recognize who the "regulars" are.

As for myself, I felt wonderfully stretched out in the water--like an otter. Okay, maybe an Otter Pop. Or a Tootsie Pop. But probably more like a Tootsie Roll.

Doesn't matter. I showed up. So there.

And speaking of holidays, I seem to have maintained my weight. Plus I'm having to change out rings--some too big, some finally fitting again. It's the little things.

A couple things that inspired me this weekend:

1) This video that's making the rounds on FB

2) This thought-provoking discussion on vulnerability that hit me on multiple levels.

Be encouraged! Be the One--for someone else or yourself!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today's Run OR Cheaper Than Therapy

I need to rethink Thanksgiving weekend. The day itself is usually good after we scramble to figure out our plans (and I do no food prep except for the occasional baking--that's all Mister). The day after is a little ... blank. Part of it is post-rush let-down. Part of it is a self-imposed house arrest to avoid shopping crowds. Part of it is an annual sadness that lurks in the corners; I try not to stare at it and make it bigger. And then I usually have to work that Saturday (as I do this year).

All this to say that, even though it made getting ready a little tight this morning, I really needed to run. Another brain-turned-off-follow-the-intervals-but-not-push outing. So, speed sucked. But oddly enough, I made a PR for longest distance in a week. Unexpected, that.

But I really need to figure out a new tradition for the Friday that follows Thanksgiving. If I've learned nothing else from this venture, it's that change rarely "just happens." Intention is involved.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

(Virtual) Race Report: Gobbler Gallop

Charity: For the Love of the Kids
Finish Time: 0:42:17

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Of the virtual races I have done so far, this felt the most "race-like." Part of it was the bib. I normally feel a little weird about pinning on a bib for a run around the neighborhood; but the one that was sent in my race packet was so nice, I felt obligated to wear it. I'm glad I did. It helped me take the venture seriously.

Another part that helped was that my family got up with me to see me off; Mister set the timer for 40 minutes, and then he and Miss greeted me at the finish line (aka the end of our block).

But little things made this race wonderful. The weather is gorgeous. No technical issues with my GPS or my music. Easy traffic. Easy terrain. Met a couple walking their dogs at one point who cheered me on. I was also mindful that both my Running Mama was racing this morning, as well as one of my dearest friends participating in her first 5K; I said a prayer of gratitude for them both.

I have a lot for which to be thankful. I really do.

And now, as Master Shifu would say, "I am free to eat."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today's Run OR Meh

Today's run was not one of those spiritual and insightful sort of outings. It was--meh. Lots of walking. Brain tuned out.

It was more something to check off the list. One less thing to feel guilty about.

I'm really okay with not everything being epic.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today's Run OR Thanksgiving Week

After scrolling through a bunch of run and race reports yesterday, my heart wanted to RUN! I was, however, still a little sore after Saturday's excursion with Miss to Hermann Park and the zoo.* Plus, I have a virtual race on Thanksgiving morning, which means timing my runs. Would a swim be more beneficial?

Turns out the pool at the Y is having maintenance (glad I found out before I arrived). Run it is!

Great run (except for issues with my GPS)! Again, solid run intervals. At the beginning I thought, I can go longer than this! Toward the end, I was counting down for each interval, but they were completed. Says to me two things: 1) don't blow out at the beginning; and 2) it's time to up the intervals.

I'm not sure how to plan the rest of my week, though. Maybe a short, easy run tomorrow; walk on Wednesday; virtual race on Thursday; possible family activity on Friday (but what?); pre-work walk on Saturday (or maybe rest).

* If I was tired, I can only imagine what her little legs and feet were like. She did clunk out on the drive home and slept very well that night. I am probably underestimating her.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today's Run OR Proud of My Miss

Really good run. Every run interval was solid; the times when I wanted to cut it short, the training prompted me to take a walk break. The cool thing was that all my walk breaks aligned with dicey terrain that I probably would have walked for safety's sake. And I pretty much timed the end of my cool down perfectly to my front door.

Wow, was it cold! I was not sorry for my jacket, nor did I remove the Bondiband from covering my ears.

I fear this week I'm probably going to miss my Sunday long run, as it is a Reserves weekend and we have a get-together in the evening. I do, however, have an opportunity for a family fitness event on Saturday with Miss; it's a two-mile walk/fill-a-passport-full-of-stamps-to-get-free-entrance-to-the-zoo thing. Miss will be running a 1K at the same time I'm running my 5K beginning of December, so we're trying to get her in the mode to move.

As a side note, Miss just finished her soccer session and was still excited about it.* Ditto karate; Mister was telling me that her horse stance was one of the most solid in the class. Mister was also telling me that while they were waiting for karate to start, she was running around the track; at least the bottom half of her is in great form.

I'm proud of her, not because I expect to her to be a top athlete but that she's not afraid of sports like I was. I want her to try.

* At one point last year, she wanted to quit dance because "it put darkness in her heart."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today's Run OR Back on Track

Much better. Solid running.

I don't want to be one that whines about the weather,* but WOW what a difference cooler temps and lower humidity makes! My biggest complaint is that I can't get used to anything. At least in August, I expected it to be hot; so I ran in hot weather. I hate to go from shorts to long pants and back again--often in a week. I just can't count on anything.

There's a lesson here, I'm sure.

* Which is totally ironic, since I whine about everything else.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Managing Training and Dreams

Scrolling through my FB page, I ran across an entry from Slow Is the New Fast:

Teresa posted this and needs your encouragement: "I need to vent...and I am also looking for some encouragement. Have any of you have been where I am at at some point in your running career?? I'm at the beginning, have only done 1 5K on 10/27 and had to walk some of that due to asthma (you might have remembered me asking the asthma questions here before) but did have a great run and I was proud of
 myself but since then I have had a terrible bout of bronchitis (couple that with the asthma) and have not been able to run hardly at all. I feel so discouraged, like I just am not cut out to be a runner. Like I'm just too old (40) and this is too hard and why can't I run for even 2 miles without stopping! My goals of 1/2 marathons and even full marathons feel so daunting and unattainable. I get so down on myself and want to quit because I'm not instantly good or decent at this sport. I am supposed to run another 5K on Thanksgiving and have not trained at all due to illness since 10/27. Another 5K 12/9 too. Those times are just going to stink and I feel like why should I even bother. I feel like I need to start over with couch potato to 5K. Like all of the strides that I have made are just gone. I'm not trying to be a down, just feeling down about it."

Minus the bit about asthma, I could have written this, even down to the dates for the next races.

Trust me, I'm not giving up. Not by a long shot. It helps to know what by body is like cyclically, and rarely do things last forever.* Plus I've sunk money into clothing and race fees. Plus I've talked loudly about it. Plus I am hyper-aware that my daughter is watching me.

But I admit there are many Impossible Things Before Breakfast going on: I'm weeks away from my 42nd birthday. I am technically obese. I have never voluntarily participated in any sport until now. I still spend a good deal of my 5K time walking. But I'm still planning on hitting the pavement tomorrow morning at the buttcrack of dawn with my best effort. My bravery (or stupidity) is not in question here.

I'm not even questioning the size of my dreams. With effort, I think I can manage at least one full marathon before I'm 50.

But coming back to Earth, I really think I need to get my 5K distance at least solid running, right? Not fast, but solid. Then I can start stretching for the 10K ... then the 10 mile ... then half marathon ...

I think it's time to start back on the standard C25K training and see what happens.

* Managing infertility some six years ago can do that.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

(Virtual) Race Report: World Run Day

It's an odd convergence of World Run Day and Rememberance Day/Veterans Day. Last Sunday, our parish celebrated the Feast of All Saints (although it is actually 1 Nov). During our mass, we are given the opportunity to light a candle in memory of those who have died.

So, when I ran today, I was thinking a lot about how life and death inform each other. I run to experience and appreciate life as well as prolong it.

Not sure what
the neighbors thought
Or at least that was the intent. A lot of the run was fighting my GPS, and then later having to adjust the map manually. It's very discouraging in the middle of the run, as I can't relax and just pay attention to my body. Hence, I end up walking more than I intend. I did, however, solve part of my calf ache issues by paying attention to my feet--rolling through toe to heel rather than hitting flat.

I'm calling official time at 43:50. Really got to pick it up before next month.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today's Run OR Consistency

Find this here.
Since my brain cannot be trusted to work with my body, I went back to the 1-1 training. Not stellar, but pretty consistent. Thanks to hormonal flux, my water weight is up and my joints feel loose. I'm participating in World Run Day on Sunday; I'm hoping I can get my time down again.

But here's where I'm proud of myself--or forcing myself to be proud of myself: my consistency rocks. I get up. I go. Period. And that adds up.

Another thing that adds up: my consistent mileage. I have to remind myself that a half hour used to mean a mile and a half. Then it meant two miles. Now it's at least two and a half miles. And this will continue.

If I'm being repetitive, it's because I'm constantly having to remind myself of my progress. Otherwise, I have a tendency to get discouraged by the Big Picture.

I'm also grateful for the consistent diminishing of the Child's Halloween haul. Between her and her parents' sneaking, all the good stuff is gone. It's easier for me to resist pretzels.*

One last thought on consistency: I think I'm beginning to see a bit of wear in my running shoes. There's the start of a teeny hole on the top of the right shoe. The padding still seems to be okay, but my calves hurt a bit with each run in a way that I think may be the shoes rather than me. For as much as I shilled out for them, I was hoping they'd last a little longer. Maybe now that I know what shoes are supposed to feel like, I can find last year's version of this year's shoe at a cheaper price.(Running a cheap sport? My ever-tightening fanny!)

* Who the hell gives out pretzels for Halloween? That's only a step up from pennies!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Holiday Wish List

This is not on the list, but who am I
to deny the joy of giving?
It suddenly occurred to me that the holidays (and, consequently, my birthday) are right around the corner. Along with the panic that I should have started my holiday knitting on 26 December 2011, I've been bulking up my Pinterest with gift ideas and having Miss start looking through catalogs. At the same time, I've been cleaning up my Amazon and Etsy wish lists so people can easily shop for me.

I used to act all contrite and blushing when it came to gift receiving. But my mom used to say, "Do you want what you want, or do you want to be surprised?" Since I want it all, I just make lists and let the gifts fall where they may.

Here are a few things on my list--either to gift me or yoink for your own wish list:

1. Wonder Woman jewelry - I've decided to make WW jewelry a Thing, especially at work. Inspiration, if you will.

2. Sparkle Skirt gift certificate

3. Arm warmers from Groovy Baby Action Gear - I know she has my measurements on hand. Any of her styles are amazing. Did I mention she's offering a special coupon through this blog?

4. Bondiband headband - I love this, but any of them, really.

5. Fox socks - Foxes are a Thing with me as well. But again, any of the novelty socks here work for me.

6. This bracelet 

7. This shirt (2X)

8. This rack for holding race medals*

9. A race registration from Run 4 Bling

10. For you to run a race, participate in a walk … move! (Because I love you. And this makes me sound altruistic, doesn't it?)

What am I missing?

* Heh, heh. She said, "Rack."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Through Tuesday OR The Dog Ate My Extra Hour of Sleep and Probably My Enthusiasm Too

Let's call this the down side of my mood swing.

Last week was tough in terms of getting going. I did my run days, and I walked the "off" days, but getting out of bed has been icky. Got up Sunday and did my 3+ miles in around 43 minutes (lots of unenthusiastic walking). Similar non-running story today (only worse time). I Made it to the Y yesterday for a swim; much training with the water weights. But my enthusiasm is at a minimum right now.

It's not just the running where motivation is low; it's a lot of aspects of my life. I'm at a typically low point in my hormonal cycle.* Work is not all that great right now. Parenting is ... well, parenting. Puppy training is ... well, puppy training. I'm uninspired in my crafting. I'm drifting from fluffy book to fluffy book. I'm dreading planning for the holidays. What I really would like to do is sleep; if sleep is not forthcoming (as it hasn't been much these days), then I'd like to zone out. It's that Matthew Sanford quote: "There's a small death when you realize that adult life is deeply repetitive."

I guess the point is that I didn't want to get up and go, but I did it anyway. Wheeee, I'm an inspiration.

But seriously, it is important to me to recognize the lows as well as the highs because it reminds me that most things are pretty cyclical. The low points are not forever, but neither are the highs. I'm hoping to learn what I can where I am.

* It's stupid that this affects me so much, but at least I've gotten to the point that I recognize it for what it is.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Variations on the Theme OR Have I Got a Deal for You!

Silver and Sparkly White!
Since it was getting down to the wire with my costume last week, I developed a back-up plan by having a set of bracelets and tiara that I could wear with any of my work out gear. You can expect to see this set frequently in pictures for virtual races. I have also joined Team Tough Chik 2013; one of the requirements is to wear the shirt in an official race, and these will be part of that particular uniform.

Can we talk a minute about Katie of Groovy Baby Action Gear? First off, her stuff is cute and affordable. Secondly, she does custom jobs and ships super quick. Thirdly, she's got a definite WW vibe going. Finally, she's just massively adorable herself.

Christmas stars (for me, at least)
One of the things I learned from this last race is that I really ought to be better prepared for the cold, and running sleeves are a viable solution. For my Christmas races, I've ordered a set of white stars on red that I will wear with the tank. They are amazingly comfortable (and nicely hold in the batwing arms).

Matching the skort
As a second cold weather/mid-season option, I will probably get a set of arm warmers that match my skort. (I've been considering a matching Bondi Band as well.)

I've been tickling her ear for other variations. For the Electric Run, she and I have been talking about options for a tiara and bracelets that will glow in black light. For the Color Me Rad race, we are both thinking white tiara and bracelets with sparkly red star to best capture all the color.

Speaking of Color Me Rad, registration for the Houston run is now open for a reduced fee. Several people have expressed an interest in joining me on this; I will be running in the 9:20 wave, and you can run independently or join Team Chunky Wonder Woman (my feelings will not be hurt one way or another).

But that's not all! I've spoken with the above-mentioned Katie, and she's willing to cut you a deal just for putting up with my blathering! If you order something from her shop and use the code  noticeablyfoxed at check out, you will get 15% off your order!!!* If you're joining me for Color Me Rad, you can get a set to match mine. Or design your own. Or grab one of the cute designs already there. You don't even have to run--they're good for cycling or even just layering for every day.

I know I sound like a commercial; but I like what I like, and I like to share! Seriously, go check out Groovy Baby Action Gear and buy handmade!

* This is really the only Web presence I have that doesn't have some kind of fox theme to it. Long story.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today's Run OR Whether the Weather Be Cold or Whether the Weather Be Hot ...

I wish our weather was maybe a titch less bouncy.
Aaaand back to wearing shorts.

I shouldn't complain--the weather this morning was great! It was cool enough to get moving but not overheat. I have to explain to more northerly family and friends, though: You know that feeling you have in March when it's still cold, not too cold, but you're just kind of sick of the whole cold thing? That's how we feel about the heat in November. (Holy cow, it's November!)

Anyhow, I've been going "free-form" in terms of training, meaning I run for as long as I think I can, walk a while, back to running, and so on; I've done the route enough to know where the warm up ends and the cool down kicks in. This morning was one of those odd "I'm running. I usually walk here. Don't feel like walking. I'm running a little farther" kind of deals. Made a PR in terms of pace. So, yay!

I got my official event photos last night (see sidebar of this blog). That made me feel a little better about not making it to the event Flickr stream. I know I'm not going to be a size 10, but I wish I looked a little less bull-necked.* Costume looks cute, though. And I have a waistline. I'm planning on doing a series of progressive event shots to see the changes to my body. The bag full of Non-Recession Candy Miss got trick-or-treating last night isn't going to help any, though.**

* I'm blaming the camera position. They were shooting upward, which is assuredly not my best angle. Thankfully, I'm not the only one with this problem.
** Last year, we went out trick-or-treating with friends. One of the moms looked through the haul and declared it Recession Candy. I'm pretty sure you know what that means; for example, if you can't find the item in a non-"fun size" or there are flavors of Tootsie Rolls other than chocolate. Not that I won't eat it. Just sayin.'