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

Monday, May 31, 2010

First run with a running buddy and hydration

This past weekend, we traveled out of state to attend a cousin's wedding.  My husband's cousin, Katie, was in town for the wedding also.  Katie is an awesome runner.  I had asked her if she would like to join me for a long run the morning of the wedding.  She is much faster than I am; so I was hesitant about asking her to join me.  She graciously said yes.

We left from our house on Friday afternoon and twelve hours later; we arrived at the hotel.  I slept for a few hours and then dressed to go run.  I was a bit nervous.  I decided that I better eat something now, then wait until later in my run.  I ate a package of assorted Sport Beans.  I was surprised that they tasted pretty good.

Katie met me at the hotel and we ventured out.  It was sure nice to have my garmin be able to tell us how many miles we ran!  Our goal was to find a running trail, as they are many in the big city.  We weaved through many different neighborhoods.  We chatted about running, family, kids, jobs, and more.  Every mile, my garmin would beep and I was amazed at how the time flew by.  We didn't find a running trail, but I had a wonderful time.  We ran 8.5 miles.  My heart wanted to go on, but my legs died at mile eight near the fish market.

This was also my first time running with hydration.  The two trail races that I'm planning on require runners to carry hydration with them.  This was a great trial run.  I was wearing a CamelBak Delaney Plus.  Overall, it worked out great.  I was able to carry my cell phone with me too.  The pack didn't bounce around and I didn't noticed the liquid sloshing either.  At mile 7, the pack was starting to irritate my stomach; so I held the water bottle the rest of the way in my hand.  I still have a 'pouch' on my stomach from having five babies.

Here's a picture of our route:
We average a 11:58 pace; my best long run pace.  I know that I really slowed Katie down, but she was a great sport to go running with a newbie like me.  Thanks, Katie!

From my heart rate information, I burned 1157 calories.  When I returned to the hotel, I drank a protein shake and about 5 oz of mangosteen juice.  After stretching, I joined the family for breakfast.  I felt great the rest of the day and had a wonderful time at the wedding.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An early Merry Christmas Gift

Yesterday, a package came in the mail.

Inside the package was:

Oh my!!!!!  I've been looking at the older version Garmin for five months now.  This is the latest one, the Forerunner 405CX!  There are so many bells and whistles on this.  It's amazing.  Now, I can analyze every part of my run.  I am not an elite runner by no means.  I may be not even a 'runner'; perhaps more of a jogger who is trying to run.

This morning, I had a four mile run scheduled.  I have been consistently running my easy four mile at a 11:15 pace.  One of the features is a virtual partner.  So, I set my VP for 11:15 and my goal this morning was to stay ahead of it.  So much fun!!  During the run, my VP kept me updated on whether I was ahead of him or behind.  This will be a great tool to use during races.

During my run, I had the garmin set up to scroll through various data.  I had it set on medium speed, but I found that I need to have it scroll faster.  I was able to see my pace, distance, time, % heart rate, heart rate in bpm, lap distance, and lap time.  Talk about information; plus that wasn't even all of what it could show me while running!

During my four mile run, I need to cross the main highway twice.  If there's traffic, I had to remember to stop my timer when I waited ... not any more!  The garmin as an auto pause feature.  It stops when I do.  How cool is that!

This was my first day using this wonderful device.  I'm looking forward to learning more and more about how to use it.  The workout feature looks very interesting.

After I finished my run, I set the Garmin down near the computer and then booted the computer up.  A few minutes later, I heard some beeps.  I look at the Garmin and it says, "Transferring Data".  No more manually entering my stats into my Runner's Log.  Ok, maybe I still will since that way you can check up on me through the blog.  =)

I'm testing out which log interface I like best, the Garmin Connect (online), the Garmin Training Center (pc), or SportTracks.  Would appreciate any feedback on which log you prefer and why.

Some pictures of my data (these were from SportTracks):

My route (as seen from space; I can see my house!)

A picture of the hills I climb and descend:

My heart rate during the run:

My pace:
You can definitely tell from my pace and heart rate when I was going up a hill or going down.  And the answer to the question that you've been waiting for ... Did I beat my Virtual Partner this morning???  Yes, I did!  My pace for this run was 11:05

A huge thank you to my "running sponsor" for this early Christmas gift.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What happened to my kids?

The morning started off nice with a P90X Core Synergistics workout.  I need to strengthen my core more in order to improve my running.  Wow, what a workout!  After my shower, I had some time to sew before the kids and I started school.  (Yes, I get up early)  When I sew, I do not sit in a chair but on a exercise ball.  I definitely did a core workout, because I noticed that it took more effort to sit upright to sew.

After sewing for an hour, the kids and I started school.  I'm not sure what happened, but everyone was focused.  When I asked something of someone, I got "Yes, Mom.  Right away, Mom"  Where are my kids??  We were finished with school before lunch today!  Granted, there's been a bit less of work because we are finishing up various things as the school year comes to a close.

Next I hear, "Can I watch Lots of Hair for you, so that you can sew some more?"  Um, ok?  So I did a bit more sewing before lunch.  I had only to make my own lunch today too.  The older kids fixed lunches for everyone else.  After lunch, Lots of Hair went down for a nap.  I announced that I was going to go back down to sew some more.  Lil Chef was practicing the piano when Mr. T came up to me and asked if he could do her chores.  Um, ok.

So far, there's not been any fighting.  This is amazing.  Lately, we've been focusing on treating each other as if they were part of the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, & Joseph).  Today, I see fruits of our labor.  What a blessing today is!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weight Loss Update

With the season finale of the Biggest Loser tomorrow,  I thought that I'd give an update of where I was and where I am at now.

It's been seven months since I've started this adventure.    My kids ask me why I still run, since I look "normal" now.  I tell them that I run to feel good, to help me become a better runner, and to help me become a better mom.  Also, I don't want to go back.  I like the energy that I now have and how my clothes feel.

Yes, I'm a numbers nerd (the engineer in me)

             11/07/2009     5/24/2010
             -----------      -----------
weight    195 lbs            156 lbs
chest       43.5 in              37 in
waist      40.75 in            33.5 in
hips         46.5 in             39.5 in
pant size     18                8 or 10

Wow, I'm sure glad that I did keep track.  One of the hardest challenges for myself now is to get my mindset out of my "old size".  When I arrived to pick up my packet for my first race, I looked at the t-shirt that I ordered => XL.  Fortunately, I was able to exchange it for a medium.  A medium!!!!!

What's next?  Well, I would say that I am in maintenance mode and fine tuning.  I need to do more core workouts to keep my back healthy and to help improve my running.  I have been trying to incorporate P90X into my routine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Trip to the trails near the local State Park

We headed out to the local state park to walk the trails and enjoy the spring flowers.  I know, it's almost the end of May but we are just seeing the spring flowers.  We met up with our local homeschool group.  The mom in the purple shirt has a forestry major.   She was able to point out all the different species of trees.

Mr. T is in the red shirt holding a walking stick.  Lil Chef is in the blue shirt, red shorts, and sun hat.  Trouble is in the purple dress.  Squeaker is in the red shirt behind Trouble.  Lots of Hair was on my back in the Ergo Baby Carrier.

Woodpeckers at work

Forget-me-nots - Notice the pink ones; which are somewhat rare.

 A beautiful area of forget-me-nots

A star flower or Trientalis borealis


 The local lake with plenty of fishing
 We had a good adventure.  No one was hurt or stung.  Our last hiking adventure, we came across a nest of yellow jackets.  All of us were stung multiple times.  So, I'm amazed I was even able to get these kids back out into the woods!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One gate finished, one more to go.

Last year, I started building the fence in our backyard to corral my little Trouble.  I had some pictures of our house when it was first built in 1899.  The original fence was an iron wrought one, which would not work for our family or our budget.  The neighbor had a white picket fence which I tried to replicate.  With a newborn, I was pleasantly surprised that I finished the fence last summer with exception of the gates.  Gates are hard.

After starting my fitness journey and now running regularly, I have the motivation to tackle just about anything.  So here's gate number one:

I have one more gate to do, but it's a bit more complicated.  It's a double gate so that I can fit the riding mower through.  Hopefully, I'll have another picture to post of that finished gate before the end of the month.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A project to help prepare for First Communion

My second born just celebrated his First Confession and First Communion two weeks ago.  One of the ways we prepared for this was by creating two Faith Folders from Lapbooks for Catholics, one for Confession and one on the Holy Eucharist.  A faith folder is Catholic lapbook, a file folder refolded into a book with mini-books or projects displayed.  I was so overjoyed to find this sweet lady's website.  I am not very creative and thrive when directions are available.  The directions were clear and many options were available such as, filled-in, fill it in yourself, or blank.

The inside

Receiving his First Holy Communion

Monday, May 10, 2010

My first PR!

5K - 31:39 PR  (5/8/10 - Journey's)

I am so proud of my first PR (Personal Record)!  I placed 8th out of 18 in my division; and 123nd out of 243 overall.  My pace was 10:13/mile.  Not too shabby since I have only started running since last November.

I had so much fun despite the three inches of snow that fell the night before.  Check out the snow in our "before race" picture.  The temperatures were in the 30s and the wind was blowing hard.  Fortunately, our course had tall evergreens on each side of the road that blocked the wind.  The scenery was fantastic.  The evergreens were heavy with snow so much that the boughs were in trouble of breaking.  The sun came out during the race which made the snow glisten.

My brother-in-law and my sister drove over eight hours to race with me.  They are the two shorter ones in the picture of us before the race.  My brother-in-law raced in the 5K with me and did very well considering how little he trained.  My sister ran the half marathon and finished in 2:08!  I am so proud of them both.  I am so thankful that they were with me to share in this adventure.

I paced myself well the first mile.  My body was still warming up.  I should have done more warm up before the race.  By mile two, I was in gear.  At mile three, I turned it all on and went as fast as my legs could go.  Looking back, I think I could have started a bit faster.  I was being conservative because I didn't want to burn out in the last mile; which many did and it felt great passing them all.  My goal for my next race is to try to pass some of these eight year olds!

Next race is a trail race; Saturday, June 5, 2010.  I still haven't decided if I'm going to run a 5K, 12K, or 10 miles.  My sister challenged me to run a half marathon this year, so I'm working out my training schedule to prepare for it.