Monday, January 27, 2014

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

What a great week! If every week of workouts was like this one, I would be very happy, indeed. The only thing lacking was my PT exercises. I feel like it is so hard to fit in every single thing-- so this week the PT exercises fell to the wayside. I did, however, do more foam rolling, and even dragged out my (super painful) black roller to give my legs some post-run torture love today. 

Total Miles Run: 12.5

Monday: Yoga

Another amazing yoga class. One highlight was that my instructor pulled out these yoga tune-up balls for us to play with. We took one ball and leaned up against a wall and stuck the ball between our TFL and the wall, and then just worked the ball in to the muscle . . . ouch! And ahhh! And then we could roll in in to our glutes and anywhere else. It was great. When we were done on the wall we took two balls and put them in the little baggies and could use it almost like you would use a foam roller, rolling hamstrings or quads on it. 

Tuesday: TRX class

It was my first time doing TRX and I really enjoyed it! I was pretty scared it was going to kick my butt, and while it was a great workout, the secret I discovered about TRX is that you can make it easier or harder as you like. And if you're feeling a little lazier, you don't have to push as hard. I have five more classes to attend in order to use up my Groupon, so I'm excited to go back for more TRX classes! Maybe I'll even go get another Menchie's afterwards like I did after this class . . . 

Wednesday: 3 Mile Run

Nothing fancy, though I *tried* to pick it up in my run intervals just a teensy bit. I'm not ready to officially do any speed workouts, but a few seconds per mile faster will hopefully not break me!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 4.5 Mile Run

This run was great because I felt strong, the sun was out, and I got to run a bit along Alki, so I was rewarded with a beautiful view of Elliott Bay. 

Saturday: Strength, Walking with Friends, Basketball with the Family

In the morning I did a quick workout at the gym:
*10 mins rower
3 Rounds of:
*10 bridges w/ feet on the stability ball (heels together) rolling ball to my bum and back out
*10 bridges w/ feet on the stability ball (toes together) rolling ball to my bum and back out
*10 stability ball roll-outs (shins on ball, rolling ball up in to my chest and back out)
*10 squats with 25# plate on chest
*10 lunges with 10# plate held overhead
*10 push-ups, on knees and trying to keep elbows tucked to my side (this is HARD!)

After the workout I met my friends to go for a walk. One of our dearest friends, and one of my favorite running partners, suffered a heart attack recently and he was just cleared to go on a 20 minute walk. So a few of us friends met him to walk for 20 mins, then we had coffee.

Then my husband, girls and I went to play a little basketball at the playground! Eloise and I stayed longer and walked home, so I got in another 20 mins of walking there. It felt good, but super tiring, to have such an active day!

Sunday: 5 Mile Run

My longest run in a while! I mis-judged how cold it would be and was freezing for the first couple of miles. Oddly, the temperature was the same as the day before when I walked with friends, I think the difference was the sun wasn't out this morning. I was able to maintain a 10 min/mile pace doing a 4/1 run/walk, and that boosted my confidence a bit. Yes, it was a little hard still, but I am excited to see how the rest of this training goes, and hopefully I can hold a 10 min/mile pace in the marathon if I keep this training up! 

And here's a random cute picture from when I had lunch at Eloise's school with her:

Yes, we've had some gorgeous weather this week! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

Week of January 13 to January 19

I think am back to having a reasonably consistent, and varied, workout schedule, so I thought it would be fun to bring these posts back to my blog! 

You will see that my strength workouts have been all but dropped completely. The biggest reason for this? I took so much time off of regular workouts over the holidays, and when I went back to doing anything strength-related I felt so weak. To be honest, it sucked. A LOT. And it was a little demoralizing. So I am sort of shying away from things that take a lot of strength, and focusing on things that improve my strength as it relates to running. But, yes, I am much weaker now that I have been in a while-- luckily I don't care as much because I have been running more!

Total Miles Run: 11.85

Monday: Yoga

I am going to try to go to yoga once a week, at least for a while, to see how I feel incorporating it in to my fitness routine. This class turned out to be just what I needed, as the instructor had us doing lots of hip openers and even had us using foam rollers! 

Tuesday: Run 3 Miles and PT exercises

Chugging along on my run/walk. 

Wednesday: Cardio and Strength

*10 mins elliptical
*10 mins HIIT on the rower (I do 1:30 easy/:30 hard)
/*2 x 10 with my heels touching on a stability ball, my body up in a bridge pose, rolling the ball towards my                 bottom and back out again
 *2 x 10 same as above, just with my toes touching instead of my heels
\*2 x 10 stability ball roll-outs 
/*3 x 10 sumo squats with a 30# kettlebell
\*3 x 10 KB swings with 30# kettlebell

I was unreasonably sore in my quads, inner thighs the next day. So sad.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 4.1 Miles Run and PT exercises

I was supposed to run 3 miles-- ALL of my mid-week runs on this marathon plan are 3 miles!-- but a mile in to it I was feeling good and decided to do 4 miles, instead. It was a wonderful run, I really enjoyed pushing the distance a little bit. 

Saturday: Easy Cardio

I had planned on going to the gym, but instead did a bunch of dancing with my girls. Hooray for Just Dance! (My absolute favorite is dancing to "Kiss You" by One Direction. Yes, I think something is seriously wrong with me.)

Sunday: 4.75 Miles Run 

This run was my long run of the week, and was supposed to be 4 miles. I completely intended on going only 4 miles, but then mis-judged the distance! I ran about 1/2 mile to a local park with some trails, went around the trails (including up some very steep and long hills!) and then back to where I started. I tried to stick to my 4/1 run/walk, but with the hills and everything I ended up walking at different times, when I needed to. Around mile 4 I walked a little extra to get my heart rate down, as well. That is the beauty of the run/walk, I suppose, is that it really helps remove your ego from the process, and needing to RUN THE WHOLE DAMN THING. I think this whole run took me about 50 minutes? 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bursting With Pride

Do you have ever those moments with your children that you just stop and realize, whoa this is huge, really huge. This is a turning point in the life of my child, and in the way I perceive my child.

This happened the other night with my older daughter, Iris. 

I have written a little bit in the past, and less so in the more recent, about some of our struggles with Iris. She has always been anxious and has had at times debilitating social and emotional difficulties. It has been a very, very hard journey, for all of us, and has taken a seemingly insurmountable amount of work to get to where we are now. And where we are now is at an incredibly amazing point in Iris's life.

She is now in fourth grade and is having the best school year of her life. She is making friends, enjoying her school work, exploring new opportunities, connecting with her teacher, and most importantly, building confidence and finding joy. 

Matt and I have always been extremely cautious about signing Iris up for extracurricular activities, but after she repeatedly requested to join a basketball team this year, we agreed. Matt signed on to help coach the team, and we crossed our fingers!

After just three practices, the girls had their first game. They played against a team of much more experienced girls, and all of our girls, including Iris, were just trying to figure out the game and get their bearings straight. They all played hard, and I think they all had fun. 

Iris, a girl who, as my husband pointed out, will complain about even taking a walk around the block, absolutely loved the game. She not only quickly picked up on how to play, and listened carefully to instructions and feedback (and then went out on the court and executed the recommendations!), and played well with her team, but she just had a lot of fun, too! 

I would be remiss in my job as a parent if I also didn't tell you that she also made the only basket that her team got the entire game. Matt had some fancy-ish explanation for the move Iris did to make said basket--I'll admit, it was pretty amazing to watch-- but I don't know a whole lot about basketball so I'll just say it awesome

After the game Iris was glowing. She was so pumped up, and can't wait to play again. 

All of this, from my girl who I thought maybe wouldn't ever be able to join a team, or enjoy sports. Of course, who knows, it's possible in a few weeks she will change her mind and hate the whole thing, but watching her absolutely come alive with joy in a place I never thought she would, was the best feeling in the world. 

My superstar! 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Week One of Marathon Training

Sort of exciting, I suppose, that this is technically the first week of my marathon training. It's not that strenuous, as it consists of just 3 30 minute runs, and I already missed the first day because I was out of town. I made up that run today, though. Woo hoo!

As of today I am officially back to being on my normal schedule. The girls are back in school, the holidays are over, we are finally done with the illness that swept through our the family, and I have completed a short, but exhausting, road trip with a friend. It feels like it's been ages since I was on any sort of decent schedule for exercising, eating, sleeping, you name it. 

Last Sunday I took a very early flight to Albuquerque and was picked up at the airport by my best friend. She was moving from Texas to Oregon (but was picking me up in Albuquerque because she was there with family). We literally began the road trip right from the airport, driving about seven hours to Kingman, AZ the first day, then driving nine hours to Sacramento on Monday, and finally getting to our destination in Oregon by mid-afternoon on Tuesday. I boarded a flight home at 6:00 that night and walked in to the house at about 8:30 pm, completely exhausted. The idea of a road trip is fun, in theory, but we just drove and drove, a lot of it up boring ol' I-5, with nothing to look at and only stopping for gas, food and potty breaks. We did stay in decent hotels each night, complete with breakfast buffets (my favorite!), so luckily we weren't driving through the night. Of course, the bright side was getting to hang with my friend and chat and catch up and talk about all of the changes life brings as we get older. Oh, and also just having hours to sit and chill and stare out the window of a car without rushing around or dealing with anything. 

At the first rest stop, just west of Flagstaff, AZ.

Selfie with my girl at the rest stop. (I'm on the right)

I love that these truck stops are called Love's.

We discovered Dutch Brothers coffee while in Sacramento and are in love! 

I flew home in two separate planes like this. They offered free beer 
and wine on board, but I basically had to chug my wine because the 
flight was so short--we were only in the air for 30 minutes! 

Being home meant I had about a million things to knock off my to-do list, but I mostly enjoy all of that stuff, so it was all good. Running was the one thing I put off, though. I put on my running clothes first thing in the morning, but didn't actually run until just after mid-afternoon. It was raining most of the day and I just kept trying to find reasons to not get out there. Like usual, however, once I forced myself out the door the run was wonderful, rain and all. I timed it just right so that I literally ran up to my girls' bus stop right as they were being dropped off. Whew! 

Running, even my 4:1 run:walk is hard right now. Dang. 

The other really exciting thing I did today was cast my net to find some Ragnar Northwest Passage team mates. I decided to put together a team this year-- for no other reason than there were a few people I really wanted to run with, and the only way I can see to make that happen was to make my own team! I am hoping and praying I find enough people to round out a full team. We shall see! Just over six months out now! 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

So, Now What?

Ah, the start of a new year.

Seems like a great time to spend half the day dreaming up a new training plan, no? 

Let me back-track a bit. 

I have been running . . . a little. I started a few weeks ago doing 5 rounds of a 1/1 run/walk. I am now up to a 4/1 run/walk. It is okay. It's a little boring, I run laps on soft surfaces or a treadmill, and it's humbling to just be doing run/walk. I asked my PT what he thought about me upping my mileage so I could train, again, for a marathon, and he suggested I look in to Jeff Galloway's plans. Jeff Galloway. The champion of the run/walk method. So I looked in to his marathon training plan and was blown away by how different it looked from what I had read about in other plans. Two 30 min run/walks a week and a longer run/walk on the weekend. His plan even calls for going up to 26 miles in training! Say what?

So, I started asking around to see if anyone else had heard of this, or had tried it, or knew someone who tried it, or thought about trying it, or . . . . well, I got some decent feedback! Then, as if they were all up in my brain, the women behind Another Mother Runner posted a question on facebook from a mama who was looking in to a Galloway plan to keep her injuries at bay (I swear, it wasn't my post!) and she got over one hundred positive responses! 


I sat down and looked over the plan and quickly realized I don't have enough weeks between now at the Seattle Rock-n-Roll marathon to follow his entire plan as written. I had to scale back. Lo and behold, I realized I could cut the plan so my long runs top off at 20 miles, which is pretty common for marathon training. A friend mentioned she only trained up to 20 miles following his plan, so I thought "hey, good enough for her, good enough for me!" and erased a bunch of weeks from the end of the plan, moved the training days around on the calendar and presto! I had in my grubby hands a real, live marathon training planning. 

Being the over achiever I am (ha!), I quickly started looking up half marathons that fall at the right spot in my training and found a couple that looked interesting, including a trail half marathon. I mentioned these to a good friend, and might get her on board with those races, so we shall see.

It's all very exciting for me.

Now I need to focus on getting my ass in gear and out of holiday slug mode. I am truly embarrassed about how much crap I have eaten in the past week. I have no idea how, but the scale hasn't gone up (thank goodness)-- and lest you think I'm humble-bragging, I will admit that I have definitely lost strength and endurance over the past few weeks. I would rather carry more lbs and be stronger than the opposite. Yesterday at the gym I tried to do 5 sets of 20 wall balls with 10 push-ups between each set and was practically dead by the end of the 4th set and I quit. It's probably just that I am gaining fat and losing muscle faster than I can shove handfuls of sugar cookies and tortilla chips down my throat. 

Anyways, that's the training news around here! Trying to wrap my head around the run/walk method while still wanting to be a "real" runner. Whatever that means. When it came time to train for the full I, yet again, whipped out my Hal Higdon Novice One plan and you know what? I have gotten injured twice trying to do that plan (not saying it's Hal's fault, it probably just has bad ju-ju associated with it now). I need a new plan. 

Please, oh please, just don't let me be one of those run/walkers on the race course that the "real" runners curse about under their breath as they get stuck behind me when it's time for my walk interval. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Year in Review

January 2013 feels like it was ages ago. Does it feel that way to you, too? 

So, let's review from the very beginning.

January 2013

I made some resolutions and hopes . . . and hardly did any of the things on the list. This year? Not worrying about resolutions. Just going to try and run. And run. And run. 

My resolutions for running in 2013 

Yep 1. Not set any PRs in distances I have already raced. 
Nope 2. Run a trail race.
Yep 3. Volunteer at a race.
Sort of? 4. Improve strength. This is a tough resolution, I was going to write "strength train twice a week for 30 minutes" but I realized that isn't an easy one to measure. I would rather make a goal, like "do 20 big-girl push-ups in a row" or something. I will keep thinking about this.
Nope 5. Try a new recipe once every week.
Nope 6. Read 12 fiction books.

My hopes for running in 2013

Nope 1. Run a marathon.
Nope 2. Do a destination race (carrying this over from 2012!).
Nope 3. Run 1,000+ miles.
Big. Fat. NOPE. 4. Not be side-lined by an injury.

February 2013

I did my first 5K post-injury and had a lot of fun! 

I got my first MRI . . . and it ruined Steve Miller Band for me for the rest of eternity. 

March 2013

I got to wear a walking boot for six weeks due to a partial tear of my plantar fascia, which coincided nicely with the brace (and eventual cast) that my then 6 year old got to wear when she broke her arm.

April 2013

I did a #BostonStrong run with a local running store. 

I hit 1,000 miles run total for my running career-- at least, 1,000 miles that I logged on dailymile. How exciting! 

May 2013

We did The Color Run for Mother's Day.

Iris joined me (on her bike) for an 8 mile run! We had a blast!

Eloise joined me (also on her bike) for a run, too!

June 2013

June was a super fun month. First I did an awesome 11+ mile run

Then I checked out low tide with Iris

Had a fun, crazy week that involved camping with my daughter's 1st grade class. 

July 2013

Is there anything to say about this month besides, "Ragnar, baby!"?

August 2013

We took a summer vacation near Lake Chelan, WA. 

September 2013

The girls went back to school! Hallelujah! 

I finally made a birthday post for my daughter who turned seven almost a full month earlier! 

I likely fractured my foot. Again. 

I worked up the courage to do a flip on my girls' trampoline. 

October 2013


I learned a lot about salmon because of my 5th grader's studies. 

I also quit my (very part-time) job in October, but I didn't really blog about it, so I don't have a link for that. It was definitely a huge moment for me this year!

November 2013

I wrote a post a day for November 2013. Nothing too earth-shattering (not that the rest of my posts from the year were!) but I had some fun with it. 

I walked down memory lane when I wrote a post reminiscing about elementary school

The whole family spent a night at Great Wolf Lodge, which was a total blast! 

December 2013

These amazing little things happened to us.

Christmas came . . . and went. 

On to another year!