Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. - 1 Cor 9:24-27

Friday, December 17, 2010

Running and Rambling

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"And I'm back in the game!"

"And I'm back in the game!" is one of our favorite quotes from the movie, "Ten Things I Hate About You"

That's how I felt after my two mile test run on Friday.  I wanted to go further, but I listened to my head and only ran two.  So funny to hear myself say that when a little over a year ago I couldn't even run a mile.

I am so excited.  Friday's run was great.  I do need to get out my Yak Trax for Monday's run.  We've had over a 13 inches of snow this weekend.  Monday looks cold too ... 1 deg F for the low.

Monday's goal:  2 miles with a 5 to 1 run/walk ratio

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This Momma has not been happy

This injury of my left foot has dampened my spirits.  I haven't ran since Thanksgiving Day.  I couldn't put any pressure onto my forefoot.  I am going crazy.  The thing is is that I could have focused my energy on cross training.  Why haven't I?  I gave into the temptation of dwelling in my pity ... until today.

This afternoon while Lots of Hair was napping, I did the first workout of Jillian Michael's Hot Bod in a Box.  Wow, did she kick my butt!  Trouble was downstairs with me cheering me on and counting with me.  I asked if she would be my personal trainer.  Her response, "Go, Mom, Go!"

My quads are sore and my arms are shaky.  Boy, does it feel good!  My mood totally changed this afternoon so much so that I'm a bit sassy.  =)

The x-ray results came back with no stress fracture and no dislocation.  I do have a small heel spur on the ankle; shouldn't it be called an ankle spur then?

It's been snowing here and I want to go out and run in it.  My foot feels pretty good.  I probably could have run on it today since the circuit training didn't aggravate it at all.  My goal is to try two miles tomorrow.  I have Gunner (my garmin) set up for a 4 to 1 run/walk interval.  If that's successful, I'll try a 5 to 1 ratio on Monday and keep it at two miles until those feel comfortable and pain-free.

How have you come back from injury?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas of Myra

The company where we work had a party for the children.  The children wrote letters to St. Nick, decorated cookies, and each received a gift.

Lil' Chef reading her letter.  The P.S. asked St. Nick to join The Biggest Loser
Mr. T after eating a cookie with green frosting.
This is the closest Trouble would get to him.
Lots of Hair just before screaming

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 10K Race Recap

A week has gone by and I have not updated my blog on my Thanksgiving Day 10K.  Maybe because it was my PW (Personal Worst) 10K.

After driving for eleven hours, we arrived at my mom's house in Kentucky.  My sister and I had signed up for the local Thanksgiving Day 10K race / fun run.

The morning of the race, rain was coming down pretty steadily.  My sister bailed on me.  She didn't want to get wet ... worried about melting since she's pretty sweet.

I decided that I was going anyway.  I hadn't run in over a week in prayer that my left foot would feel better to run on.  It didn't feel the greatest, but after a few Tylonel, I could run without limping.  I was so determined to run.  Running has been such a great joy and stress reliever for me.

I drove myself to downtown Cincinnati.  The race was to start and end at the Paul Brown stadium, where the Cincinnati Bengals play.  Parking was surprisingly easy.

People were huddling inside the stadium since it was raining.
Waiting for the start.

The people behind me.  The rain had stopped.
Before the start.  Lovin' my new ipod.
By the time I was at the starting line, the clock was running for almost twelve minutes.  This was my first big city race.  There were 12,000 runners.

Mile 1:  10:52
First mile was slower than what I wanted.  I was constantly weaving around other runners trying to get into my groove.

Mile 2:  10:15
Feeling good and in the groove.

Mile 3:  11:13
Left foot is starting to really hurt.  The course took us over the first bridge that crosses the river.

Mile 4:  11:36
Saw a couple dressed as an Indian (bow and arrow) and a Pilgrim.

Mile 5:  11:55
Another bridge crossing back over the river.  Left foot is crying.

Mile 6:  11:33
The end is in sight and I focused on enjoying the race.  Of course, people watching was a hoot!

The last 0.2:  11:26
Passed by a gentlemen who had collapsed from a heart attack.  The paper covered the story and he had lived.  He was fortunate that two nurses were running just a few yards behind him and administered CPR within seconds of his collapse.  Also, a young runner ran off course to get the ambulance which was only a block away.  The gentleman ended up having a quadruple bypass and is on his way to recovery.

Official Results:
(11:21 pace)

342 / 602 in my age group
3135 / 5488 in women
7312 / 10756 overall


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yes, It is November and Happy Birthday Lil' Chef!

Mother Nature finally decided that it was time.  November has been on the warm side for us and the kids have been anxiously waiting for the first snowfall.  Wait no longer, children...
Before my 9 mile run
Looking outside, the pavement didn't seem too slushy.  Therefore, I wore my Asics Nimbus instead of my trail shoes.  At mile 6, my foot stepped into a huge puddle of freezing water.  My toes were frozen for a mile.  Note to self:  When in doubt, wear the trail shoes.
My beloved running path ... may be one of the last times running on it until spring  =(
There are five deer in this picture ... trust me.
The falling snow was so beautiful.

Today is a very special day in our house; the day I went from a working mechanical engineer to a domestic engineer.  Eleven years ago, we welcomed our first child into the world.
Lil' Chef @ 18 months

Her birthday requests were:  ham with honey and brown sugar glaze, butterscotch pudding, ice cream cake, two friends over for a sleepover, kitten, and snow.  We actually came through on all requests this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Year Anniversary of Running!

November 12, 2009, I started a run / walk program.  Thirty minutes later, I finished 1.8 miles.  A 16:40 pace.  All this was done in my dark basement.  I used the PodRunner:  Couch to 5K on my iPod to let me know when to transition from walking to running.

I've looked and looked for a picture of me before I started this journey.  I tend to take all the pictures so there are very few of me.  These two are the only ones I could find:

Yesterday, I ran my 'long' route of 4.0 miles.

Feb. 6:  58:51 (14:43 pace)
Mar. 20:  48:42  (12:10 pace)
Apr. 12:  45:28  (11:22 pace)
May 17:  44:54  (11:14 pace)
June 17:  44:09  (11:03) ... now classified as easy run in my training log
July 6:    44:11  (11:02)
Nov. 11:  43:44  (10:56)

Mr. T took this picture of me this summer.  The fence in the background is what I was working on the summer before in the picture above.  You can notice a big difference in my face.

  • December 02, 2009 - Intervals of 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking
  • December 25, 2009 - Intervals of 3 minute of running with 1 minute of walking
  • January 9, 2010 - Intervals of 6 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking
  • January 27, 2010 - Ran for 0.8 miles without stopping
  • January 30, 2010 - First run outside.  Temperature was -5 deg and sunny.
  • February 13, 2010 - Visiting in the in-laws and ran outside for 5.4 miles (longest run at this point)
  • March 6, 2010 - Continued to get my runs in even on vacation in Wisconsin Dells
  • May 26, 2010 - Weighed in at 155 pounds; compared to 195 pounds in November 2009

Month           Miles       Avg Pace     Weight     Calories Burned 
Nov 09         21.8           16:02            194.0       1,980   treadmill
Dec 09          48.5           16:01           181.6        6,504  treadmill
Jan 10          48.9            14:56           170.2        5,728  treadmill
Feb 10         42.6            13:30           164.8        6,370  all outside
Mar 10        48.7            11:40            161.0        6,059
Apr 10        64.5             11:16            161.0        8,751
May 10       80.8             11:43            155.0      13,642
Jun 10         97.2             11:31            158.0      11,449
Jul 10          97.3             10:59            162.4      10,923
Aug 10        47.1             11:03            158.6        5,578  tendon injuries
Sep 10        70.6             11:11            160.0        8,348
Oct 10        85.2             11:29            160.0       10,369  changed form to a forefoot strike

Total miles ran in my first year:  753.2
Total calories burned:  95,701

This year, I have ran many races which I will summarize in a Year-in-Review post at the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Long Run in Pictures

The temperature:  25 degrees  .. required two layers of running attire today.
View when I stepped out my door

Mornings are so beautiful!


Behold, my new running path ... uh, I mean the city's bike path.

Isn't it beautiful?

Currently, this is where the bike path ends.  Eventually, it will go another 12 miles.

One of the many lakes in our area.  The water was so still.  Do you see the clouds in the water's reflection?

The local river

The Courthouse

Our downtown

9 miles
12:20 pace

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chase the Pumpkin 10K

A local Knights of Columbus group organized a race to raise money for diabetes.  A friend of mine asked if I was interested in going with her to run the 10K.  The race was less than two hours away from home and the fee was less than $20.  I was in.

I've been working on my running form; changing it from a heel strike to a forefoot strike.  Changing my running form has slowed me down.  I've also have been focusing on increasing my cadence, steps per minute.

My goals for this race was to run the entire race using a forefoot strike.  I haven't been able to do much speedwork or tempo work with my new form yet, so I knew that my time wasn't going to be close to a PR.
Before our 10K
The temperature was 35 degrees.  There wasn't too much wind which was a nice change from earlier in the week.  The course was an out and back.

Mile 1:  9:50  Avg Cadence 82.1
A 12 year old ran along side me and jabbered away about how she tries to find a running buddy in the race.  I said that she was welcome to run with me until her half way point, since she was running the 5K and I the 10K.

Mile 2:  10:07  Avg Cadence 81.4

Mile 3:  10:36  Avg Cadence 80.8

Mile 4:  10:34  Avg Cadence 80.4

Mile 5:  10:43  Avg Cadence 81.0

Mile 6:  11:20  Avg Cadence 78.4
There wasn't any runners ahead of me.  I came to a corner and I didn't know if I was to go straight or turn.  I turned.  Bad move, I had taken a wrong turn on the course.  When I realized my mistake, I had two options.  Go back to where I had turned or cut through the field to get back onto the course.  Not sure what was proper race etiquette but I elected to run through the field.  Upon coming out of the field, a volunteer asked me if I had taken a wrong turn and pointed me into the right direction.  Looking at my data, my detour cost me more than 1:17.

With the course being an out and back, you can see where I took the wrong turn.
To the finish:  0.35 miles (0.15 miles longer than the race)  10:06 pace with an average cadence of 81.5
My friend had finished ten minutes before me.  She was very kind to run with me into the finish.

This was the flattest course that I've raced.  Gunner didn't register any elevation change.

6.35 mi
10:30 pace
80.7 avg cadence

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blow me off the Bike Path

This morning, I stepped outside to 30 mph winds with gusts from 50-60 mph.  In store for me was a 4.5 mile tempo run.  The temperature was 42 degrees and falling.

My training plan calls for a 5 mile tempo run, but the bike path ends at 2.25 miles from my house.  Since I've been addicted to out-and-backs lately, I can not seem to change the route.  That will change soon as I'm sure the city will not plow the snow that will pile up on the bike path.

With my headlamp on low, I warmed up as Gunner (my Garmin) was getting reacquainted with the satellites.  With running early in the morning, a headlamp is necessary to see and to be seen.  I set my headlamp on low until I get further out onto the bike path, then I turn it up to high.  It also has a red blinking light on the back.

On the way out, I ran into the wind.  The strong gusts made it seem like I was to be carried away.  I laughingly told myself that that wouldn't be the case last November, when I was 40 pounds heavier.

When I reached the turn around point, the wind was at my back and pushed me home.  One of the reasons why I do like the out-and-backs is that the return trip seems shorter.  I've found that I need to play mental games to keep me running.  During my half marathons, I focus on getting to the next aid station.

Later today, I discovered that the winds that I experienced were the same conditions that shipwrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald, one of the most mysterious and controversial shipwreck tales on the Great Lakes.  She's second to the Titantic.  There's even a song about it, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", which is played on the radio stations around here.

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Friday, October 15, 2010

Art Class

On Fridays, our days are shorter.  I've scheduled them that way to allow for extra activities like gym class and library time. 

Today, we painted in watercolor.  Lots of Hair was taking her nap.

Table full of paintings

Lil' Chef's work:
 The hand of God is in the bottom right hand corner.  Can you spot the stars and the earth?

"The Garden"
 The Garden of Eden.  Gates are in the garden.  Adam and Eve are hiding in the bushes.  
God is like the wind.  Can you spot the serpent?

"Noah's Ark"

Mr. T's work:
"Bilbo Baggins"

"Sea Serpent"


Squeaker's Work:
"Boy and Girl at an Apple Tree"

"Mom and Baby Fish under the Sea"


Trouble's Work: