Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Jog 10K Race Report

Started off this Thanksgiving with a 6.2mile race.  I am signed up for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon the end of February and my training called for 6 miles this week, so I decided to do this race since the timing miles wise was perfect.  I realized if I could finish this race in 1:15 or less....I could possibly be moved up out of the last starting group for the Princess which started my stress about this race. Not that I hate the last group, but the Princess race has a lot of walkers and while I am no speedy runner, it would be nice to have fewer people to maneuver around at the race in February.  So while I tried to focus on just finishing the distance and that the race was for MUST Ministries which feeds the homeless, I started to stress about my time.

I was nervous last night, my stomach was in knots. You would think this was my first wasn't.  Truth be told, I am slow and have accepted that.  When I was perusing the results of this particular 10k from years past, seems like my recent run times would put me at the back - actually last in my age group.  Its not about where you finish I know, but seriously when the thought of "I will probably be last" hit, its a bummer.  This is why I stopped running 10 years ago, I was slow and compared myself to others.....which I HAVE gotten better about this go round, but still.......

So with my IPOD loaded with some great tunes I set out this morning in the dark fog to the race. No one was on the roads and it was actually a creepy drive that 10 miles, but I made it easily.  Parked the car, and went to get my race number.  It was chilly and I had plenty of time.  For some reason was I all emotional and felt like crying.  Maybe it was the fear of making my time....or heck even finishing or memories of all the mornings in the hottest summer in Atlanta I got up early to start running again.  Maybe I was wishing my husband and daughter had come with me to cheer me on...he did offer to come at the end, I told him to sleep in. I went back to sit in the car, eat a banana and put on my race shirt and number - and have a small cry - don't know what that was about!  I had a time chip for my shoe, but forgot my reading glasses and had no idea how to put it was my first race with one like this.

Got out of the car to walk around a little, found a nice lady to help me with the time chip and set off for the dreaded port o potties.  I drank a 16oz bottle of propel water on my way over and well, I needed to go.  I prayed I picked one without the remains of some other runner who had the nervous stomach deposit.  Happily, it was clean, had sanitizer and was on my way again.  I walked around warming up my legs looking at all the "runners"....people who looked like runners.  Skinny people with muscle tone, but not so much they are bulked up.  Short dudes with tiny shorts, young people who looked fit.  WHERE WERE MY PEEPS I wondered? I realized I had no lip coverage so back to the car I went, vaselined up and was good to go. I started to look for my friend Amy who was also running.  Guess what, hit the potties again....guess I drank too much propel water, but they were still relatively clean!  Yay for the little things in life!

Walked out, and immediately saw Amy at the start.  It was great to see a familiar face, especially the one who encouraged me to do this race.  She is also training for the princess, so we try to keep each other motivated.  While chatting with her, I heard a woman say "What I really can't stand, are the power walkers".  Look lady, not all of us have a thin frame like you or are fast - just go up to the front - which is where we were - and quit your bellyaching.  I decided to go further back in the pack since I didn't want to PO anyone who was fast.  I run intervals, 2 minutes run then 1 minute walk....yeah, that lady would love me.

Left Amy to go towards the back of the pack, turned on my music and as the race gun went off started my beloved IPOD Touch Interval App, that tells me when to run and when to walk...seriously, best thing ever.  I have to say, the race start was awesome.  It was kind of bunched up the first mile and you know what, I was passing tons of people.  Not that I am about being best, but obviously I put myself in the wrong spot at the start.   The course was a little hilly not bad, but so happy to hear Beasty Boys "Fight for your right to party" come on when I hit the first hill.  Yeah, its thanksgiving and for me to eat guilt free, this 6 mile race is my fight!

At the next hill my power song came on....John Williams "Olympic Fanfare" came on.  When I hear this one, I see myself like a Kenyan.....upright and FAST!  It always makes me feel like a true athlete when I am running to this.  About this time the race had thinned a bit and I noticed I was with the PWBLM group - that is People With a Butt Like don't see any tiny shorts among us.  Heck we have to be careful the spandex pants don't spread out too much so you can see what's going on under there.  Not that its a bad thing to be like me, but hey, I felt like I was among my peeps.  Those of us new to running or naturally slower or just trying to stave off a heart attack with some cardio ..whatever, love the PWBLM.

This race is a 3.1 mile course you run twice.  Before mile 3, when I was feeling the runner love...the leader of the race passed us.  The girl next to me laughed shaking her head saying "yeah, he is about to win 6.2 miles and we aren't yet at mile 3". But hey we were out there and this dude was super skinny - totally looked like a runner and he had a huge strides as he passed us shufflers.  We cheered the guy on and when the dude in second came by, same runners body with those tiny shorts, I told him, "go for it, you can catch him".

As I rounded the half way point, I did the old Arsenial Hall arm move and declared to the cheering spectators "I am going around again!"  They laughed and cheered me on more.

I have to say, around mile 4 I realized I was tired and ALMOST got a stitch.  Based on the times yelled out at the miles, I realized I was doing better than planned.  I was scared as still had to hit those hills again.....and thought I really want to beat my goal but if I am getting a stitch I need to slow it down.  I pretty much did my 2/1 intervals the whole race - though this lap 2 times when I was supposed to be running - um uphill- I decided to walk to get my breath back.

Around mile 5 there was a lady sitting on a chair in her driveway with her coffee...alone.  She was cheering EVERYONE on, so me and my pace buddy thanked her for coming out.  I was tired and it seemed like the end of the race was uphill.  I started to walk, but Chris Tomlin's "how great is our God" came on the shuffle.  This is the one "inspirational" in the religious way song in my run shuffle.  Its actually my favorite Praise and Worship song.  I sang to myself thanking God for my health and all he has given me and my family.  Guess what, got emotional and started crying as I saw the finish line in the distance.

The crying ended as fast as it came when Run DMC Walk This Way came on.  When I saw the clock said 1:11, I freaked out.  I was so was a ways off, but I could beat my goal.  I picked up my pace and for the end of the race, I was doing HUGE strides to try to make it under 1:13.  I crossed the line at 1:12:40 with my arms raised in victory yelling "I did it, I beat my goal".  There were many people standing around as the 5k race was getting ready to start. Did anyone cheer me on or clap, um, NO!  And a couple people looked at me like I was nuts and I saw an eye roll.  GET OVER YOURSELF LADY! Whatever, she was not the champion I was.

As I grabbed my banana and water my pace buddy whose name I don't know told me thanks for being so positive on the race.  I tried to thank all the police who were blocking the roads for us as I ran and told many spectators "Happy Thanksgiving".  I told her she was welcome and thanked her for being my pace buddy.  She was running the whole race, so when I would walk, she would get ahead then when I ran I would run past her....happened the whole 6 miles. "You helped me as I wanted to keep up with you" I told her.

I downed my water and walked around for a while to get my heart rate down.  I stretched out my foot and calves...walked some more and stretched at the van.  Andy had sent me a message telling me he was proud of me and guess what, more tears....though short lived.

I drove home feeling good about getting up early and setting a goal...and beating that goal.  Guess what, my time is good enough to get me out of the last start group for the half marathon in February AND is the fastest mile pace I have recorded since I started running this year. Of course I have many weeks of training left - and I will slowly build up to 13.1 miles, but its great to have set a new mile pace on a course that wasn't exactly flat.

Now its time to go eat!  And while I know the running I did surely didn't burn enough calories to make up for the feast ahead, but hey, I did good today and am going to enjoy every bite.... I do have some tight jeans on though, so I will know when I am full.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

25 Minutes

Today I hit week 6 of Couch to 5K.  I actually completed a 5K this morning...just didn't run the whole thing - ran 25 minutes walked probably 15 more. I am excited, I ran straight for 25 minutes!!!!  Slow, but still I wasn't walking...though seriously, I could probably walk faster.

Felt great...fall is in the air.  Its amazing 6 weeks ago the thought of running for 25 minutes straight scared me.  I will be honest, I do like a walk brake if for nothing else to break up the monotony and to just do something different a few minutes.  However, my goal is to RUN the entire thing.  I am sure I can do it in 3 more weeks!

Yay me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fit by Fall Results

I had a goal to be Fit by Fall.  A rather unspecific goal, so I wouldn't be setting myself up to fail.

Here is where I am, you be the judge how successful I have been.

1. I am 5lbs lighter than spring

2. I could not do any crunches the beginning of the summer....full crunches that is with arms over chest. I can do them now, though sometimes at the end of a workout, I am tired and can't.

3. I was doing boot camp 2 times a week, pretty much all summer other than sick or vacation, think I missed 2 weeks.  I am now exercising 4 times a week consistently. I started a running program and now run 3 days a week, boot camp is only one due to my work schedule. So exercising twice as much as I used to AND getting up early to get it done.

4. I started a running program with a goal of running a 5k after 9 weeks.  And I mean running...OK, jogging, who am I kidding, the whole way.  I did a 5k last month and finished in 40 minutes plus some seconds.  I did a combo run / walk, so I can finish one, now want to be able to run.  Last weekend I did a 20 minute run on my program, this weekend it will be 25 minutes!  When I finish my program, I would like to also beat the time from August just as a goal.

5. I want to complete another 1/2 Marathon, specifically the Disney Princess 1/2....its flat down there and they have entertainment every 1/2 mile which helps pass the time and distance. I did completed 2 1/2 marathons 10 years ago and know it just takes the commitment to slowly building up the mileage.  I will NOT be running the whole way, I am a huge fan of the Run/Walk interval training.

Hopefully, my Plantar Faciitis will not keep me from making my new goals.  I am hoping to avoid injuries.  Along with the Plantar Faciitis which is now better, but I have some heal issues, I developed Bursitis in my shoulder.  I try not to overdo it with my foot or shoulder when I am exercising and Ice and stretching are now a part of my post exercise ritual.  Getting old is hard!

There you go, I think I am doing great by my goals....... and getting more specific.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Run Julie Run.........

I have started running....and I do use that word rather loosely as I am SO slow. I decided I needed something to get me out of bed in the mornings and consistently exercise. Amidst the heat and humidity of one of the hottest summers on record here in the ATL....well the suburbs, I began the Couch to 5K program in July.

I am currently about to end week 5 of 9, and I am supposed to run a total of 20 minutes straight....the longest to date has been 8 minutes which I did fine no problems. It hasn't been bad actually the program is very easy to start as you do some walking and jogging in intervals, starting at like 60sec running and 90 sec walking. Each week gradually you add on a tiny bit more running. Its no more than 31 minutes so far a day, which is easy enough, but the hard part for me is that I decided to just do it in the mornings before it gets to hot which means I have to get up at sun up. Not easy for me as I am a night owl.

I have discovered however a closeness to my dad quite the opposite of me who was an early riser in nature. He had gotten very large and had a mild stroke or heart attack many many years ago. The doctor put him on a strict diet and told him to walk everyday. Dad would get up when it was still dark, and walk for at least 30 minutes. He wouldn't do it in the rain, but other than that he was out there. He lost 100 lbs 1 year between his walks and an exercise bike from Sears. He told me as he got older he would pray the rosary while he was walking. In the quiet of the morning this summer I have felt my dad's presence and his love. I have realized the joy of being up and out before most - I love the quiet...though its still VERY hard for me to go to bed early and I dread getting up. I do think where I am in life with my preschooler, I am just happy to have 30 minutes to myself, so I do appreciate the runs more than I have in my single days.

Anyway, its going well. My goal with Couch to 5K is to just RUN a 5K the whole way. I already did a 5K this program just to support a good cause, and I did it walking and running. I know I will never win as I am not fast, but to be able to jog for 3 miles is where I want to be. There is a race in October I am going to do and hopefully can run the whole way. Long term I want to go to the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon - 13.1 miles....which I would run and walk in February.

Hopefully I will stick with this. I am coming off of Plantar Faciitis which bothers me a little, but is much better. I just need to train smart. Off to get my princess in bed and to load some new music on the IPOD for next weeks runs.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Things I learned this week..........

Here's a recap of a couple things I learned this week, as you are never too old to learn.

1. I do not close the cap on the toothpaste after brushing. I never realized I was doing this until I asked my darling husband to please remember to close up the Ziploc bag we keep the almonds in. He agreed after I explained despite the fact we don't have a pest problem, I was concerned that critters could help themselves at night. He then asked me to please close the cap on the toothpaste....which I have been doing. Turns out, I totally would just leave it open, but not anymore.

2. Think 2 times before randomly posting on a Facebook friend's status you don't care about some political tshirt about health care reform. I was quoted "I don't condone it but it doesn't bother me" - meaning I thought the tshirt was on the tacky side but we do have freedom of speech in the USA last I checked, so yeah, a shirt with a message I think is tacky I don't care about. Turns out this attitude according to another of her Facebook friends has directly caused many ungodly things to happen in our country. OK, so indirectly I was accused of causing the moral decay of this country. Um get it over it dude its a TSHIRT and I am sure the are many out there that would be offensive and you wouldn't get your panties in such a wad.

3. The Passion of the Christ in Blu-Ray - yeah, it was just as if not more disturbing than ever seeing high definition of the crucifixion of Jesus. That scourging YIKES. I do think this is a very important film for Christians to see the depth of the love that Christ has for us regarding all he endured for us. I realized, yet again, how I love Jim Caveziel's performance and would love to see him play a life of Jesus role as when he is shown with Mary as a Carpenter was one of my favorite scenes. His face totally transformed to joy in the flashback of the Sermon on the Mount scene. This is truly a great film to watch on Good Friday and reflect. Yes, Jesus loves me.

4. Even preschoolers get pre-spring break craziness. Those kids were WILD, maybe its the return of nice spring weather who knows.

5. Angels live among us. The week I had my podiatrist appointment for my sore foot. Two days before I had come to the realization that its official, I have let myself go. I have gained weight, all my pants are tight and I am so unhappy with myself. As my doctor told me I had Plantar Faciitis and I needed to scale back the exercise depression started to set in, which guess what I do when that happens, umm eat. A asked how I was doing, I told her depressed about my foot and she offered me her spin bike in her basement. The weight gain I attribute to dealing with Dad's death, working everyday and well just laziness. Now its up to me. Thank you exercise angel for giving me no excuses.

6. I am not the only one who has had a less than stellar Lent. I read a great article this week by Ga Bulletin (the catholic paper) columnist Lorraine Murray which basically stated what my experience was, started out with good intentions, but once again FAIL. Hopefully next year I can stick with my sacrifices.

7. Roswell's Riverside Park Sprayground will charge admission this coming season. BOOOOOO!!!!!!! Why do I need to pay to sit and make sure my daughter is following the rules and safe, charge her if you must, but hey, think of me as a free safety patrol.

I am sure there is much much more but these are the highlights and I need to go make dinner.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My kid at church

Today is Palm Sunday. For Catholics its the Sunday Mass with the real long Gospel reading....its the Passion reading. Sarah normally cannot make it through the whole mass without getting loud and wanting to run around so I was a little concerned about this week. I had my plan....

1. Take Andy with me.... FAIL, I went alone.

2. Go to the family mass - kids do the readings, sing in the choir, take up the gifts and the talk is usually directed at kids which is nice. .... We did it

3. Sit in the front row to see everything and perhaps Sarah would be inspired by the other kids at mass..... We did sit in the front row with full view of everyone and all the action. My mistake was we were the only ones in the row. Sarah thought it was great she had all that extra room to run back and forth.

4. Tell Sarah we might see some people from school...this was not the best idea as there were no kids in her class there and she kept asking for kids by name, out loud, during the Mass.

5. Take a few simple items to keep preoccupied. My mistake, I had too much stuff.
* I forgot about the Singing Princess Birthday Card from Grandma in the backpack. Yeah, that got opened up around the time during the Passion reading that the crowd was saying "Crucify Him" I guess a little song with the Disney Princesses singing lightened things up, though only one note played before I swiped it, said "NO CARD" and put it away. This was followed by a minute of fake crying, thankfully not loud.
* The scarf in the bag provided some distraction, amusement and a real cute moment. Being alone in the pew, Sarah thought it was fun to run up and down on the kneeler and she waved the scarf as if she were in the Rhythmic Gymnastics event at the Olympics. I told her to stop and she looked around and saw a woman behind us with a scarf on her head in prayer - this is not the practice in modern day American Catholic churches, so you don't see alot of people with heads draped in scarves, though at my church, does happen. Sarah turned towards the altar, put draped the scarf on her head and folded her hands in prayer. She then smiled at this was a cute moment I have to say. Of course she took off again and climbed up on the pew looking to jump down to the kneeler. This was when I said "oh no, if you are going to act like a baby and not a big girl, then we are off to the baby room". I thought she would say, "no", but she just handed me the scarf and I packed our backpack and off we went.

Of course as we did the mom's walk of shame, it was the point when Jesus dies and everyone in the church kneels, so yeah, we didn't exactly sneak to the back. We found the crying room empty, Sarah wanted to know what we were doing there. I told her if she couldn't act like a big girl - which her new thing is that she is a big girl, then we had to go to the babies room. Big girls could be quiet and still in mass. Umm, yeah, Sarah was happy to be in the room with Altar on the TV screen and the window to the church.

No one ever gave me a bad look or shushed us in the church. Its so hard for me to focus on the mass when Sarah is so animated and full of life. I know its hard to pay attention for her, she is only three. She gets excited when the bells ring and always points out Jesus so I guess I am doing something right. Two people I didn't know told me how cute she was after mass which made me feel good.

I looked around during mass and thought maybe I sat in the wrong section as there were NO kids in view. I was wondering if all the older people were thinking "Why isn't she disciplining her child better?" or "When my kids were that age.....insert how they behaved at church here". No one exactly smiled at us, but again, its the passion reading, some really sad stuff going on.

Oh well, I will keep praying that Andy will come to Mass with me on Sundays. I will keep asking him. In the meantime, will keep working on a plan to have that perfect kid at church, which I know is setting myself up. Oh well, she IS one cute little girl.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Out of the mouth of babes and loved ones

I would like to think of myself maintenance wise as low on the scale. I like hair cuts that you can just let dry and go, I don't wear hardly any makeup, my dress is simple, etc etc. While this is me...there are days I can feel bleh. My dad used to always tell me..." You look so pretty today". No matter what I was wearing how my hair was doing, he told me just about every time I saw him, to which I replied "oh dad." Truth is I have heard I look like mom sometimes and he loved her so very much, of course he thought I was pretty!

I miss him and in my grief I eat, so I have gained some weight. My once loose pants are now tight. Finding something to wear can be a challenge. Today I had on some athletic capri pants, sneakers, and a March of Dimes Tshirt as i headed to an appointment with a podiatrist. Sarah came with me and as we walked out the door I asked her "how do I look".....which I thought was comical as not only did I look kind of blah, I have this muffin top thing going which to me is so unattractive so you can imagine how I feel.

My beautiful 3 year old said "Amazing" as she smiled and grabbed her princess purse. And you know what, I felt Amazing after she said that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Brudda Caleb

Tonight was the first time I heard Sarah mention her brother's name. She had picked up a prayer book that belonged to my dad. She wanted to "read it".... which at 3 with no pictures surprised me, but she was clutching that book for dear life. I told her that her books right now had pictures until she learned to read....and this was a very special book to me, that it belonged to my dad Pawpaw. I asked her if she remembered him , that he lived in heaven. She told me, "he went night night" and asked me again where he went and who he was with. I told her he was in heaven with her brother Caleb. "You never met him I said, but he lives in heaven". She looked at me and said matter of fact "My Brudda Caleb". First time I heard her say his name. I sure wish he was around to see how cute Sarah is...... OK he is around I truly believe his spirit is watching over us, I just miss him still. Forever in our hearts, my brudda Caleb.