Monday, October 28, 2013

End of Year Weight Loss Challenge Update

I have been m.i.a. and I apologize!  Life has been really busy lately and to be perfectly honest, I really have not felt like myself.  I'm burning the candle at both ends and I'm downright exhausted.  I've stayed up very late much of the past week working on our Halloween costumes and that, combined with the fact that Jack still isn't sleeping through the night, has meant that I've been more tired than usual.  I didn't realize how tired I was though, until I hit a wall last week.  I have anxiety issues that are triggered by lack of sleep and while I typically experience this only in my postpartum days, I clearly haven't been getting the rest I need lately, as my anxiety reared its ugly head.  So I have been trying to go to bed earlier so that I feel more human, thus the lack of blog posts this weekend.

We had our annual Halloween party this weekend and it was a pretty low-key affair, which was really nice.  I will post some pictures later this week once I upload them from our camera.  We also went up to the college where I work yesterday for their annual Boo Fest, which was a lot of fun.  It's an annual Halloween festival geared towards children with diabetes, so it's a sugar-free event with lots of games, fun activities, and bounce houses.  It's always a great time! 

It's about time for my update on my end of the year weight loss challenge, The Final Nut of 2013.  Since I last checked in at the end of September, I've lost .7 lbs.  Kind of underwhelming, but a loss is a loss, I say. I've lost 8.7 lbs total since August 25th, so I'm moving in the right direction.  

I have decided to re-state my goal for this challenge, though. I originally set out to lose 24 lbs between the end of August and December 31st and while I'm not one to back down from a challenge, I feel like I need to set a more attainable goal.  I really pushed myself this summer to meet my birthday challenge, but I did so in ways that aren't sustainable for me in the long run.  For example, I worked out 4-5 days a week on my lunch break plus one day during the weekend.  Guess what, though?  I really like having a lunch break, so after the birthday challenge, I treated myself to having my lunch break back and have had a hard time getting back in a groove.  I'm going to try to give myself some balance by working out 2-3 days a week on my lunch break and letting myself enjoy my break the other days.  So with that in mind, I want to set myself up for success and re-think my goal.  

My revised goal for The Final Nut of 2013 is to lose 18.7 lbs total by December 31st, so I have another 10 lbs to go.  I think losing another 10 lbs by the end of the year is still challenging, particularly this time of year, but it's also a reasonable goal.  

If there is anyone who would like to join me on The Final Nut of 2013 challenge, let me know in the comments below.  Your goal doesn't have be to lose 10 lbs in the next two months; it can be whatever goal you set for yourself.  Maybe you want to try to walk three times a week or perhaps you want to run a 5K by the end of the year.  Whatever your goal is for the next two months, let me know below and we can hold each other accountable!

Great quote below that I need to commit to memory!

"You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way." 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Badass Mother Runners Unite

Tonight was a really amazing, wonderful night and it was good for my soul! I have been looking forward to this evening for a couple of months and it didn't disappoint.  I got to meet two women who have truly inspired me and I was definitely starstruck.

One of the first running related blogs that I found early in my running career (ahem, like 6 months ago) was the Another Mother Runner website ( and I've been hooked ever since.  The creators of the blog, Sarah Bowen Shea (@SBSOnTheRun) and Dimity McDowell (@Dimityontherun) are authors of two (soon to be 3!) books geared towards mother runners and creators of the podcasts that I love to run to.  They frequently refer to themselves as Badass Mother Runners and I love that nickname.  It's so fitting because there is nothing quite as badass as working up a sweat and pounding the pavement.

In addition to their blog, books, and podcasts, Sarah and Dimity also travel a few times a year to various cities to participate in races and expos.  They host Mother Runner parties in a few cities and we were fortunate enough to welcome them to St. Louis tonight, as they are in town for the Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis marathon.

When I first found out they would be in town, I am fairly certain I squealed out loud and couldn't contain my excitement.  I called my running buddy, Stacy, that same afternoon to tell her to save the date and we've been looking forward to the event all summer.  My excitement has grown over the summer, as I continue to follow their blog, listen to their podcasts, and become an even bigger fan of these women and the community of mother runners that they have built.  I listen to their podcasts so religiously that I feel like I know Sarah and Dimity personally!

Sarah and Dimity hosted tonight's Mother Runner party at one of my favorite local running stores, Big River Running Company ( and they had quite the crowd.  When we checked in, Dimity expressed her concern that nobody would show up due to Game 2 of the World Series (Go Cards!), but there isn't much that would have kept me away tonight and I suspect others felt the same.  We mingled for a bit, enjoyed some wine and snacks, and then we were treated to a few readings from Train Like a Mother and some awesome giveaways.  Stacy won a handheld water bottle, which is awesome!  I was also able to have Sarah and Dimity sign both of my books and I loved what they inscribed on the books, because it will provide me with continual  motivation and inspiration!

Sarah Bowen Shea (L) and Dimity McDowell (R) reading from Train Like a Mother
Dimity and I.  She is an Ironman finisher; truly badass and inspirational! 
Sarah and I.  Sarah is also a badass mother runner; marathoner and recent Ragnar Relay participant!
We each received a goody bag when we left tonight with some awesome running related products including running socks (score!), Nuun, Gu's, some Lara bars, and some great homeopathic products that I can't wait to try (sleep aid anyone?  Nerve tonic? Yes, please!).  I also picked up a shirt I've had my eye on for awhile.  It says "my pace. my peace." and the first time I saw it on their website, I wanted it. My pace is not the fastest, nor will it ever be, but it is my pace and it brings me peace and serenity.  I also loved one of the other shirts they had that said "I'm stronger than I thought" because it is so true!

Love my new long-sleeve tech shirt! 
I had such a great time meeting Sarah and Dimity and I was so inspired by the other mother runners in attendance, too.  One thing Dimity said really resonated with me and brought a tear to my eye.  She said that we need to forget the mommy guilt and get out and go for a run.  Running makes us better mothers, wives, friends, and employees and there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.  I think this spoke to me so much because I do experience guilt when I go for a run, but it's my "me" time and if I don't make time for me, I get really restless.  So I will try to block out the mommy guilt going forward!

One of the things we did when we signed in was we added our goal for the year to the bottom of our name tag.  My goal is to run my first 1/2 marathon in April and Stacy's is to run 40 races before her 40th birthday, which I think is an awesome goal!  

What is your goal for the year? Have you ever been a little starstruck by someone? If so, who was it?

"My pace. My peace."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Made time for a run today and it felt good

I needed a run today; I'm feeling really tired (a casualty of deciding to make your own Halloween costumes), overwhelmed and out of sorts.  I haven't run since Saturday and I figured that a good run might do this girl some good.  It did.

I was going to head out at lunch, but never quite made it, so I stopped on the way home from work and did a quick 2.35 miler.  It was quite chilly (did we just skip fall and head right into winter??) and getting dark, but I'm glad I went.  The beginning part of my run was really gorgeous; the sky was overcast and the leaves were so gorgeous against the dark sky.  However, it started getting darker and there were a lot of deer along the trail (I'm not a fan) so I took my keys out to jingle them a bit and scare the deer away.  I felt like I was pretty aware of my surroundings, but I guess I had my podcast on a bit too loud.  A fellow runner snuck up behind me and said "on your right" and scared the bejesus out of me.  I didn't hear him approach and he was about 2 feet behind me.  I'm sure I jumped a few feet in the air and I know I yelled out loud.  Yes, thank you for alerting me that you were on my right, buddy.  Maybe next time you could pass me on the correct side and announce your presence before you are on top of me.  It got my heart rate going for sure.

As I mentioned on Monday, we had a really good trip to my alma mater over the weekend.  It brought back a lot of great memories and it was great to show the boys a part of their Mama's young adult life.  One of the Homecoming activities was a family 5K Run/Walk.  It was a fairly inexpensive race, which was nice, and we got a pretty sweet shirt for the occasion.  It was a small race and while I was running for fun and not for time necessarily, I knew I wanted to try for a sub-40:00 race and I didn't want to be last.

I knew I was in for an interesting race, though, when the woman came on the bullhorn and said "Welcome to the 28th annual Bulldog 5K.  We'd like to welcome back our track and cross-country alumni."  Oh crap.  In case you are wondering, I am not a part of that group.  Thoughts running through my head at that point included: Please don't let me be last.  Ok, well I might be able to beat those people over there.  Oh good, I think those women in the back said they were going to walk.

The race started and those folks in the front of the pack took off.  More power to you, track and cross-country alumni.  I pushed a little hard in the beginning, but I knew I couldn't keep up so I resigned myself to the fact that I needed to stay in the back of the pack.  This was my first race where the roads weren't closed, but luckily they had student volunteers on the cross streets directing traffic.  I was very appreciative of the fact that these students were out in the cold (it was like 35 degrees at the start of the race, brr!) bright and early on a Saturday morning and I made sure to thank each student when I came to the cross streets. 13 years prior, this grumpy gal was startled awake on a Saturday morning by the marching bands in the Homecoming parade and was not a happy camper (funnily enough, my roommate remembered this vividly, so I really must have made a stink about it.) so I appreciated very much the fact that those students were helping with the race.

I was in the back of the race nearly the entire time, but I was enjoying the run through town and seeing how it had changed.  I was also listening, appropriately enough, to a cold-weather running themed podcast, which helped since it was so bitingly cold during the race.  I ran the entire race, even up the hills (and there were quite a few of them) and was proud of myself for doing so given the fact that I was getting over being sick and it was so cold and windy for the race.  I ended up passing 3 ladies before the finish, so I was selfishly glad not to finish last.  As I came to the last 1/4 mile, I saw Mom and the boys, so Nick ran the last little bit of the race with me, which was so sweet!

I wanted to finish under 40 minutes and my Run4Good app said I finished in 40:31, but I also forgot to turn it off right at the finish line.  I saw the posted race results on-line and I finished 101 out of 107 (I'll take it; I wasn't last) and my official finish time was 39:56!  I am so excited to have a sub-40:00 5K!  PR for this girl!

I had hoped to do a little more sewing tonight (my costume and Nick's are finished, but I still have Matt's and Jack's to finish), but I feel like sleep is calling my name.

What is the smallest race you have participated in?  What is the coldest weather you have run in?

"The more I run, the more I love my body. Not because it's perfect, far from it. But because with every mile, it's proving to me that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible"  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend Getaway

I had a really great weekend, which involved returning to my alma matter for Homecoming festivities.  It has been 10 years since I graduated college and time has flown by!

Mom, the boys and I headed out of town on Friday and made the trip to Truman State University in northeast Missouri.  It was so great to see the University today and reminisce about my time there.

I want to share more about my trip (and the 5K that I participated in) and I will definitely do so in the next few days, but for now, there are some Halloween costumes that aren't going to sew themselves.

I apologize in advance for what are probably going to be brief posts this week.  I have to finish up three Incredibles costumes by Thursday hopefully, but for sure by Saturday.  I can't wait to post pictures of the completed Incredibles family, though!

Did anyone race this weekend?  Or do you have any other accomplishments to share?  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Down for the count

Sadly, whatever little bug Jack had took its toll on nearly the entire rest of the family.  I think I have the worst of it, which I would prefer, because it is so heartbreaking when the boys are sick.  I felt so bad for Nick last night, but I was glad that he didn't feel as badly as I did.  Luckily, knock on wood, Matt has avoided it thus far and I hoping it stays that way.

I have a busy weekend, so I won't be able to post again until late Sunday night, but in the meantime, I am going to re-evaluate my goal for the end of the year and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Re-evaluating my goals

Quick post tonight, as I'm going to try to work on Halloween costumes a little bit before I hit the hay.  I had a sick little fella today, so I stayed home and took care of him.  We did go for a walk this afternoon, which was really nice.  We haven't been to our favorite trail in several weeks and I think we've all been missing our walks.  I figured Jack could use a little fresh air and I was itching to do some sort of exercise.  I didn't quite feel up to a run, so I figured a walk would do.  We did 2.5 miles and enjoyed hearing the birds and crickets and watching the deer.  Apparently, the time we chose to go for a walk was the time when the deer practice fighting one another.  We came across an open field, where we typically see the deer grazing at dusk, and saw two sets of deer locking antlers with one another.  One of the pairs were younger deer, so they were really just locking nubbins, but the other two deer were older and had pretty gnarly antlers, so it was interesting to watch them play fight.

I've been giving some serious thought to re-evaluating my goals for my end of the year challenge, The Final Nut of 2013.  I haven't totally fallen off the bandwagon, but I'm hanging on by the spokes.  I worked so hard to meet and exceed the birthday challenge and I think when it was over, I gave myself a pass to relax a little bit.  There isn't anything wrong with that, I'm just wondering if I need to re-adjust my plans so that it's more sustainable.  My goal for The Final Nut of 2013 was to lose 24 lbs by December 31st and I'm considering lowering that goal a bit.

Am I setting my sights too high? Or maybe I just need to kick myself in gear again and get back in the habit of working out at lunch 4 days a week.  Although, it has been really nice having my lunch breaks back again.  Nobody ever said this was going to be easy, though, so maybe I need to stop giving myself a pass.  In any case, I'm going to mull this over for a few more days and I'll give an update next week.

What would you do? Would you push yourself hard for the rest of the year to meet the original, somewhat challenging goal?  Or would you re-evaluate and set a more achievable goal?  

I've always loved the below quote and it seems rather fitting at the moment.

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Believing in yourself

One of the added bonuses of becoming a runner has been a huge boost in my self confidence and it has never been more apparent than the past few days (post-10K).  I'm aware that I have been a little insufferable lately; I'm beaming with pride, talking a lot about my race and yes, my medal is still in my purse in case you'd like to see it.  I can't help it.  I accomplished something that I never thought I could and honestly, when I look again at the course map, I still can't believe that I ran that far.  It's still a little surreal, but I am so freaking proud of myself and I just want to revel in it for a bit.  

I struggle with self-confidence in all areas of my life and running has provided me with a surge of confidence and the belief that I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter how far-fetched it may seem initially.  On Sunday, there was a serious battle of wills going on in my head though, between the voice saying I couldn't do it and the other voice saying I could.  Crossing the finish line was exhilarating for so many reasons, not the least of which was silencing that voice inside saying I couldn't do it.  

I should note that the pessimism in my head was my own doing, because I have truly amazing and supportive family and friends.  Over the past 10 months, I have been blown away by the encouragement I've received from everyone and I am so grateful.  Having so many people who support me and believe in me, why was it so hard for me to believe in myself?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this, so I guess the point of my rather scatter-brained post is to say that you can do anything you put your mind to.  It sounds contrite, but I really do believe that, more so than ever.  No matter what your journey is; to lose weight, to become a runner, to write a book, to change your career path, whatever it may be, listen to the voice inside that says you can and silence the one that says you can't.  Believe in yourself and know that anything is possible.  No journey is easy, there will always be bad days (weeks, months...), but just keep repeating "I got this" because you do.  

I'm seriously considering making a t-shirt that says "I got this" on the front.  It's become my mantra and I said it repeatedly on Sunday. 

I wish I had discovered the below quote prior to Sunday, but I saw it yesterday on Facebook and it's definitely going up on my quote wall!

"Clear your mind of can't."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

10K, baby!

The sweet Halloween inspired medal below belongs to yours truly and I couldn't be happier!

Love this spooky medal!

I didn't blog last night for a few reasons.  The first was that I was on a mission to finish my costume for the race today.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out considering I could barely keep my eyes open while finishing it.  I was a textbook case yesterday for what not to do on the day before a big race; I didn't hydrate enough yesterday and I stayed up until 12:30 sewing my costume.  It was worth it, though.  The Roeseler's are going as The Incredibles this year, so I got to run as Mrs. Incredible, which was quite fun.

Mrs. Incredible pre-race
The second reason that I didn't blog last night was because I was having a bit of a pre-race panic attack/psych out.  I was so nervous about this race (Jessica, thank you for the good wishes on Friday's post; I read your comment in the midst of said panic and I appreciated your comment so much!).  I even contemplated just doing the 5K instead of the 10K, which is silly.  I had my heart set on running the entire race and I was 99% sure that I wasn't going to be able to do it.  My shaky confidence was my own doing, of course.  My training has been lacking (ahem, nearly non-existent) the past few weeks and I think that had a huge impact on my pre-race jitters. I didn't want to let myself down and I thought that walking part of this race would mean that I wasn't successful.  I know that isn't the case and honestly, just crossing the finish line of a 10K, or any race for that matter, is a huge accomplishment no matter how you get there.  My head just wasn't processing that last night or this morning.

I am so pleased to report, though, that save for a 10 second water break at mile 4, I ran the entire 10K!  I finished in 1:19:13 (5K split was 39:23, which is a PR for me), which was just shy of my goal of 1:15, but I can live with that. It was challenging, of course, but I did it and I am deliriously proud of myself.  Ask my mom about my post-race squeals and jumps for joy; I'm sure it was a hoot.  I made sure to pace myself and I particularly reigned myself in at the start.  The start of a race is so exciting and I find myself caught up in the moment and usually head out much faster than I can sustain.  So today, I very purposefully slowed down at the start and tried to savor it a bit.  

There were definitely times throughout the race that I wanted to walk and in fact, in the beginning, I told myself after I did the first 5K that I could take a little walk break.  When I got to 5K though, I really wanted to keep going to see if I could do it, even though I was feeling a little rough.  Every time I wanted to stop and walk, I slowed my pace down pretty significantly which really helped me quell the urge to walk.  I also ran up every hill despite telling myself it would be ok to walk up them (this is typically my strategy).  

I'm not going to lie, though, the last mile was the longest mile of my life.  I got to a point where I could hear the finish line announcer and I was sure I was near the end of mile 5 (I have no concept of distance, I've learned).  I saw the finish line and it looked like a straight shot about two blocks away.  I was really gunning it to try and reach my goal of a 1:15 finish and then I see the people in front of me turning.  Away. from. the. finish. line.  We ran another 3-4 blocks down and turned back around, essentially making a big U turn to the finish.  I'm nearly positive I let out a few choice words (sorry runners next to me) and I had probably the most overwhelming urge of the whole race to slow to a walk.  I kept telling myself, though, how close I was to the finish and I just slowed my pace to a more sustainable level to finish the last .5 mile or so.  Thank goodness my Mama was about 2 blocks up from the finish line because she cheered me on to get me through those last few minutes!  

This race was incredible (ha, see what I did there?) for so many reasons:
  • It was themed around my favorite holiday: Halloween
  • I got to run in costume
  • It provided fantastic people watching.  I kept pace with Rainbow Brite, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and two girls with frightfully large tutus
  • The course volunteers were so encouraging and friendly
  • The course itself wasn't too hilly and it even went down by the riverfront and in front of the Arch, which was pretty cool (someday, I will learn how to run and take pictures, but that day was not today)
  • A really nice random dude helped me through a rough spot about 3.5 miles in.  I was down by the Arch and feeling the need to walk and this bicyclist was hanging out cheering everyone on and he yelled "Great job!  You're incredible!!"  I ran past him for a few feet until I caught on and I turned around, smiled, and yelled back "Thank you!"  Touche, random dude, touche.  And thank you for the boost of confidence when I needed it! 
  • It was humbling coming through mile 5, trying to push through to the end and telling my feet to keep going and seeing a guy literally bound by me (he looked like a gazelle, no lie).  He ended up coming in 2nd or 3rd place for the half-marathon.  How anyone can 1) run so fast and 2) do so after running 12 miles prior is pretty amazing.  Congrats,  Mr. Gazelle! 
  • I got several encouraging texts throughout the race and they meant the world to me. I could feel the support from everyone and I can't thank you all enough.
  • When I walked in the door this morning, Nick's jaw dropped and I thought he was looking at my race bling.  Nope, he was just super stoked to see my Incredibles shirt (he was asleep when I left this morning) and he can't wait for me to finish his.  The look on his face was priceless and it's those looks that make staying up until the wee hours of the night sewing worthwhile. 
  • I didn't meet my goal of finishing in 1:15, but I don't give a damn.  I ran further than I've ever run in my life and further than I ever thought was even possible for me.  Prior to today, the most I've ever run is 4 miles and some change.  Today, I ran 6.2 and it felt fan-freaking-tastic!  I know if I set mind to do something, that I can achieve it.  Having been in a bit of a funk lately, I needed today's boost of confidence desperately. 
  • I know that a 1/2  marathon is well within my grasp. I've speculated that it is, but after today, I know that I can do it with the proper training after the start of the year. 
Feeling ecstatic post-race. 
I'm a little sore and super exhausted, but I'll never forget the sense of accomplishment crossing that finish line.  I'll also never forget all of the words of encouragement and the support that you have given me.  I'm eternally grateful and I appreciate each and every one of you. 

To my mom:  thank you, thank you for getting up early on a chilly Sunday morning to come cheer me on! I know it probably wasn't your preferred Sunday morning, but it really meant the world to me that you were there.  You've always been there to support me no matter what silly ideas I get in my head (running a 10K!) and I love you!  Happy (early) birthday!  And thank you for the delicious post-race breakfast!

To Matt:  thank you for being Super Dad/Husband the past 10 months.  Trying to find time to run is sometimes challenging, but you never hesitate when I say I'm going to lace up my shoes.  I also appreciate your reverse psychology. :) It does the trick!  I love you!

To Nick and Jack:  Mama loves you and I love when we run together!  You always cheer me on and I can't wait for us to run races together!

Now, it's time for some Advil and sleep!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

"Don't run away from challenges. Run OVER them." 

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm back

Sorry for the blog silence the past two days; it has been a busy, busy week!  I went to pick up my race packet for my 10K on Sunday and I'm getting really excited.  I'm also feeling really nervous, but that's to be expected.

I thought I would go on a run this evening, but I figured that one more run wouldn't make or break my race on Sunday (let's be honest, my training has been less than stellar the past three weeks anyway), so I decided some Mommy/Sons bonding time was in order.  I picked up the boys early and we went to get ice cream at a local ice cream parlor.  It was divine; I got a hot fudge sundae to share with Jack and Nick got a scoop of chocolate ice cream with whipped cream and sprinkles.  Going to this particular ice cream parlor has served as a special treat for Nick and I the past few years, so it was nice to bring Jack along this time and let him in on the fun.

We planned to go to the park after the ice cream parlor, but when we got there, it was closed for maintenance.  I wondered why there were no other cars on what was a rather lovely Friday evening.  The sign said "your tax dollars at work."  Right.  Let me tell you how thrilled I am with the way my tax dollars are being spent at the moment, but I digress.  We were all a little disappointed that the park didn't pan out, but we still had a great evening.

As I mentioned, I went to pick up my race packet today and I got my bib and my awesome Nike Dri-fit tech shirt.  I adore Halloween, so I'm loving all of the festive details of this race, particularly the shirt.  Unfortunately, I won't be wearing the shirt on Sunday since I will be running in my costume.  I started it this evening (I work better under pressure, you see) and I can't wait to post pictures of the finished product on Sunday!  I don't want to give it away, but it has been a struggle finding red running clothes.  Hmm...

How cute is this race bib??

Love this shirt! 
I've made a goal for myself for Sunday's race and that is to finish in 1:15.  I walked/ran approximately 10K at my marathon relay this spring and it took me just over 1:30.  My pace was in the 14:45-15:03 range, so I'm confident with my improved pacing that I can finish in 1:15.  I am nervous that I haven't trained properly the past few weeks, but I also know that this is so much more about my mental strength and I just need to keep repeating "I got this."

On another note, I watched the Cory Monteith tribute episode of GLEE tonight and I was not emotionally prepared.  I haven't had a really good cry in awhile and just a few notes into the first song of the episode, I had tears streaming down my face.  It didn't help that the first song was Seasons of Love from Rent, which gets me everytime.  It was a really beautiful and sad episode.  

Care to take any guesses as to what my costume will be (no fair guessing if you already know!)?  What will your costume be for Halloween?

Let the internal pep talks begin!

"If you don't believe in yourself, who will?"

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on cross-training

I took a rest day today, because my legs were sore from my run yesterday, but in the most delicious way.  I could tell I gave my legs a good workout yesterday, so I decided they deserved a rest today.

I do think I need to get back on the cross-training bandwagon.  I was doing such a great job over the summer of alternating run days and cross-training and I think it helped with my weight loss to be sure, but also my overall level of fitness.  I have been woefully negligent with cross-training and I wonder if this has contributed to the difficulties I have been having on my runs lately.  My favorite form of cross-training, though, was going for walks at night with Matt and the boys and this is impossible now during the work week due to dwindling sunlight.  The elliptical gets a bit boring and while I love to bike, I don't feel like the recumbent bike gives me that great of a workout.  I'd love to be able to bike outdoors, but I either need to get a new bike or fix my old one, if it can be repaired.

Long story short, I need to get back in the habit of cross-training through whatever means necessary and stop making excuses.

What's your favorite form of cross-training?  

"Set a goal so big you can't achieve it until you grow into the person who can." 

Monday, October 7, 2013

A great run and a few firsts

I got in a great run today and boy did I need it!  As you may know, I have been feeling really shaky about this Sunday's 10K and my runs this past week or so haven't been helping.  Getting 2 miles in has been a challenge, but today after work, I ran a glorious 3.5 miles.  It was a bit of a struggle, but I did it and I somehow managed to slow down a bit.

I am really confused about my pacing lately.  When I run at lunch in the park, I have been doing 10 - 11 minute miles and today, on my favorite flat trail near my house, my first mile was 13 minutes and some change and my average pace ended up being 12:08/mile.  This is good, because I was able to run longer, but I don't understand it.  I really don't feel like I was running any slower today than I was last week, but I must have been. I tried to run faster at one point during my run today and then slow down so I could feel the difference, but I didn't notice anything.  Maybe this will come with time?

I experienced a few firsts on my run today and they both involved bugs.  I do not like bugs.  At all.  I noticed a lot of gnat-like bugs flying around near the parking lot at the trail and I had to run through a few swarms early on.  I made sure my mouth was closed and kept running.  About .5 mile into my run, I looked down at my shirt for some reason and my lovely pink Under Armour shirt was speckled with bugs.  Ugh, it was disgusting.  They were just tiny, little gnats and they wiped right off my shirt, but it was still gross.

My second new running experience involves spitting.  If you are squeamish, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  I always see spit puddles on my running paths or see people spit and it's super gross to me. I just don't understand it, but I'm also a newbie runner so I try not to judge (I'm not doing such a good job, I know).  Well, tonight, I joined the ranks of fellow spitting runners.  Spitting becomes a necessity when above mentioned gnats fly into your mouth.  Blech. I tried to keep my mouth closed, I really did, but when I'm running, I'm breathing pretty heavily and my mouth inherently opens.  I'm pretty sure I swallowed a few of those damn gnats, but as my Dad would say, that extra protein is good for you.  Gross. I did try to spit a few of them out, not once, but twice.  I guess I will be a little less judge-y the next time I see someone spit while on a run.

I'm really glad I was able to get in a good run today (despite the gnats and spitting), because it makes me feel so much better about Sunday.  Hopefully a few more good runs this week will put me where I need to be physically and mentally!

Do you have any funny running stories to share?  Have you ever done something on a run you thought  you'd never do (drink someone else's water out of desperation, spit, etc.)? 

The below quote hit me square on the head today when I saw it on Facebook.  I feel like my run today re-energized me at a time when I desperately needed it.

"Renew your inspiration to run. Try a new route, find a fresh path and re-energize your reason to run." 

Ready to start a new week

Whew; what a busy weekend!  It was Reunion weekend at the college where I work, so I worked quite a bit this weekend, but it was fun.  Exhausting, but fun.  Saturday before I had to go to work, we took Nick to Cub Scouting Day 1 at the local Scout camp and it was a lot of fun, too.  While we were waiting in the registration line, it started pouring, but a little rain didn't keep us away.  Although it did make the trails quite muddy and slippery.  Nick wanted to explore the castle they have at scout camp, but when we tried to go up the path, it was too steep and muddy for us to get the stroller up, so Jack and I stayed behind while the rest of the group went exploring.  It was fine by me; I made the mistake of wearing flip flops and I was already a bit muddy and didn't really have any desire to get muddier.

We were supposed to participate in a 5K this morning, but we decided not to.  My work was a sponsor for a local 5K and we were able to participate as part of our sponsorship, but I was so tired from working this weekend and I had a touch of a headache so we decided to sit this one out.  It's too bad, though, because it was about 50 degrees outside at the time the race was set to start, so it would have been perfect running weather.

Subconsciously, I think I was also a bit scared to run this race for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I have been really struggling to get through 2 miles despite having run a 5K less than a month ago.  (Why then, do you ask, did I sign up for 6 miles next Sunday?  Great question.  Let me know if you have the answer).  Secondly, I have a pretty full race calendar this month with the 10K next Sunday and a 5K the weekend after and I want to avoid burnout. I contemplated running a mini-marathon (3.75 miles) in conjunction with the Rock 'N Roll Marathon the last weekend of the month, but I definitely think that would have been overkill.  

I'm feeling frustrated with the scale, or rather, frustrated with myself, I guess.  I've been feeling rather snack-y lately and while I did run more last week than the week before, I still need to work on my consistency.  It is a new week, though, and I am planning to get several runs in this week before my 10K on Sunday.  I am still quite nervous about the race, but I'm planning on a few pep talks in addition to my runs this week.  I can do this, I got this, and the like.

What races are on your calendar for this month?  

"A run begins the moment you forget you are running." 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

2 mile run = feeling better

I am feeling somewhat better today; more like me.  Jack-Jack is feeling much better, I caught up with a dear friend on the phone, and I got in a run at lunch which I think helped lift my spirits.  

It was another challenging run today, but as my husband reminded me, at least I got out there.  At lunch, I went on a different path at the park to change things up and I tried my hardest to slow down a bit so I could try to get in more miles.  I headed out relatively fast, though, as my first mile was 10:53, but I tired quickly and slowed down for my second mile.  My average pace was 11:29 and I consider it progress that I slowed down considerably from my run on Tuesday.  I had to laugh though when my Nike+ app gave me my words of encouragement at the end of my run.  The athlete, whose name I cannot remember for the life of me, gave me kudos for running more miles than I did last week.  That's not hard to do though considering how little I ran last week.  

I'm still feeling apprehensive about my 10K, but I will continue to run consistently over the next few days to build myself back up (both physically and mentally) and on race day, I will need to make a conscious effort to pace myself.  

In other exciting news, I will soon have my first giveaway on my blog!  Hint: it has to do with something I have been lacking lately.  More details coming soon! 

I will likely not be able to blog again until Sunday, as I have a busy weekend in store and will be working late tomorrow night and again on Saturday.  Knowing me, I will crash as soon as I get home both nights, so I hope you enjoy the weekend!

Do you have any big plans for the weekend?  

The quote below is fitting today because it did not feel at all like October, but more like late summer.  It was quite humid and hot! 

"Let every bead of sweat motivate you a little bit more." 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We will return to your regularly scheduled programming soon

I realize that I have not been my usual positive, resilient self lately and I appreciate you all being patient with me as I sort through my funky mood.  I promise I will snap out of it soon.  Sooner rather than later, I hope.

I did a lot of stress eating today, which I, of course, regret.  Although, the Pepsi I had at lunch really hit the spot.  The rest of the crap I ate, I could have done without.  Ugh.  I really loathe when I stress/binge eat and I still haven't entirely figured out how to avoid it.  I imagine I will be finding ways to deal with it for the rest of my life and I'm OK with that.  I just need to figure out what will work for me.

Jack-Jack was feeling incredibly under the weather last night and it's tough watching your kiddos when they are sick.  He can't verbalize his discomfort like his brother, bu you could just tell he did not feel good.  At one point last night, he woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep, so he just laid on my chest and snuggled for a long time.  I think he is finally starting to feel better though and I'm glad.

I had a mind to go for a run today to prove to myself that I could run more miles, but I thought better of it and decided it was best not to run two days in a row.  I will head out for a run tomorrow and try to slow my pace so I can increase my mileage.

Thank you again for bearing with me!  I guess you get the good, the bad, and the ugly from me, but that's the reality of life and it is definitely the reality of losing weight. I will keep pushing on and hope that I snap out of this mood soon!

To change the energy in a more positive direction, I'd love to hear about something great that happened to you today! 

"The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you." 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pre-10K nerves

I have not been feeling like myself lately and I wish I knew why.  It's kind of like an out-of-body experience.  Just when I thought I was getting back in my healthy groove, I've had my energy zapped.  I fell asleep again super early (as in barely made it to 8 p.m.) last night and while it felt good to get some sleep, I had a lot I wanted to accomplish last night.  I didn't get a run in yesterday, either, which I was bummed about.

So, today, I decided I was going to run come hell or high water, much to the chagrin of my co-workers who asked me to go to lunch with them.  (Sorry again, friends, I needed to run desperately and not eat fried food, which let's face it, I totally would have caved and ordered chicken fingers at Tom's.)  I knew lunch was going to be my only opportunity to run, so I went and was proud of my will-power in resisting going out to lunch.

My run today was victorious on one hand and disconcerting on the other.  It was victorious because my average pace was 10:41/mile.  My first mile was 10:22 (!) and my second was in the upper 10's.  I am really thrilled with this increase in mileage, but I'm wondering about its validity.  When I ran on September 21st, my average pace was 12:19, so I've either had a fantastic improvement in my mileage or my Nike+ app has lost her mind.  Maybe it is because the weather is much more pleasant?  Or again, maybe my app needs to be re-set or something.  I'm just wondering:  is it possible to improve one's pace so drastically?

My run was not so fabulous because it was a struggle to eek out 2 miles, much like last week.  I changed up my route today and went in the opposite direction of my normal track around the lake.  I thought I would try to tackle a massive hill in the park, because I'm sure I will have hills in my 10K and I've been mostly training on a flat trail.  I got halfway up said massive hill and didn't feel right, so I turned around and went downhill.  I finished my loop around the lake and could not wait until my app told me I had completed my second mile.  The second she said "2 miles completed," I stopped running even though I wasn't quite back to my car yet.

I just felt off throughout my run today; I didn't feel like me.  I've come to the conclusion that it's one of several reasons (or a combination of each).
  1. I'm trying to fight off whatever bug has befallen my boys (both Nick and Jack have some sort of ick and I'm really hoping to avoid both illnesses.  A cold and the stomach flu have plagued our house of late, oh joy.) and maybe that is impacting my ability to run well.
  2. I have set myself back by not running consistently for the past two weeks.  I went from running 3 times a week to once a week.  Is it possible to fall out of shape so quickly?
  3. If my pace has truly increased so much, maybe it is too much for me right now and I should slow down.  It really, truly does not feel like I am running that fast, so I fear I would have a hard time "slowing" down, but maybe I need to. 
Needless to say, I am incredibly nervous about my 10K next weekend.  If I can barely make it through 2 miles today, how the hell am I going to make it through 6 in a week and a half?  I am having self-doubt, so pardon me while I wallow for a bit.  I know that today's sub-par run should fuel me to get my butt in gear over the next 12 days and get prepped for the race as best I can, but I just need a moment to get myself together.  It wouldn't be the end of the world if I walked some of the 10K, but I really, really want to prove to myself that I can run the entire race.  I know I can, so I just need to get in the right head space.  

If anyone has any words of wisdom to share, I'm all ears!

The below quote made me feel marginally better about today's run.  If nothing else, it made me stronger. :) 

"Some runs make you feel invincible.  Some runs make you feel defeated.  Every run makes you stronger."