Jessica, my sister and I make it a point to run 2 – 3 times a week. Most mornings she is my savior, my therapist, and my confidant. And, we get to start our day like this. I’m the luckiest person in the world, because when we are done, even if my run wasn’t as great as I was hoping, I can start my day fresh and ready to tackle what comes my way.
Look at all of our cute little people in our extended family who ran this race. We were running to support my brother, Brady who has NF. Most of his life, he hasn’t had any complications, but recently he had an adventure when a tumor was removed from his spine. He is doing well, but we are all a little more tuned in to all of those who struggle with this disease. Those two sweeties in the front are his little girls.
Here comes Nora. She’s running in with her cousin. It was a 1/4 mile out and back race.
Naso came in almost dead last, which is really funny. This kid can run, but he struggles with knowing how long things take. We watched Nora come in and then we watched the 4 year-olds run in. Then the moms with strollers. Grandma Julie was there. Hmmm, Naso? Mike started walking and then we could see him sauntering in, acting exhausted. When he saw us, he sprinted and ran the rest of the way. Silly kid. We decided it is a mental thing – when he can’t see the finish, it’s almost too much to bear. Today at “quiet time,” I reminded him to stay in his spot until I came to get him. He looked really concerned and asked the same question he asks every week, “what if you don’t come?” I will always come, Naso.
My brother, Ryan and I ran the 10k together. I was a little worried about him – he is so nice, and in much better shape than me. He just got out of the military and spent 9 months in Afghanistan, but he was still willing to stick with his aging sister. He has done that all of his life. We did pretty well considering this was the first race I had run in a couple of years. Our time was 1:02. We ran with Fiona our niece which was a real treat. She is a cross country star for Ferris.
Jessamyne and Meg finished up. They ran/walked the 10k. So proud of Jessamyne. Running isn’t easy for her, but she has taken an interest.
It was a good day. I love my extended family and whenever we come together to support each other, it’s just really a good time.
Running is something for me. It has not always been easy for me, but I now love it. I feel best when I am training and working toward a goal. Something about my personality makes it impossible for me to stray from whatever training schedule I am on. If my watch or phone says I’m supposed to run, that’s what I do. I am training for a 10k right now, using this great app. I’m preparing to run the Spokane Summer Solstice 10k Run in support of NF. I’m inspired by my brother’s recent struggle with this disease, and he has become more involved in our community, and so I support him.
So, because of this training schedule, I get up early to work around whatever we have going on around here. My favorite runs are with my sister. We talk about everything – adoption, kids, our day, and we usually solve all of the problems of the world in an hour. Sometimes we are not able to get together because of crazy schedules or appointments. Yesterday was one of those days and that meant I needed to get up at 4:50 to get my 6 mile run in before coming home to get all of the kids ready for the temple and out the door by 7:20. I’m usually very tired when I start, but I walk out the front door, take in a deep breath, turn on some heart-pumping tunes and start walking. Five minutes later, I am running and usually feeling all sorts of feelings . . . . gratitude, freedom, love for my family, and a little bit invincible – like I can do anything today. Why wouldn’t I get up extra early for that? And, so I do this for me.
I am constantly seeking new ways to push myself in the area of running. I signed up for the Spokane2Sandpoint Relay early, and panicked as it got closer and closer. 12 team members, 185 miles, 3 legs for me (one of them in the middle of the night). No sleep – which is a little of a problem since I’m usually conked out on the sofa at 9pm. Lots of sweating and no showers – I do like to be clean. Plus, there is the whole idea of running multiple times within just a few hours. And, was I good enough for my team? That’s a lot of pressure . . . .
1st Leg: Down Mt. Spokane, 2nd runner in the race, 8:15am, 5.1 Miles, 43 minutes, 8:11 min/mile. A personal record for me.
Here’s how I looked after Leg 2: Centennial Trail, 3.3 miles in 93 degrees, no shade. 33 minutes, 10:07 min/mile. Although my time wasn’t great, I survived. And, I got an attractive picture.
Difficult to see in this picture, but we camped out at Athol Elementary from 10:30pm to 1:00pm. When we laid down, the gym was completely empty. Later, runners were packed in like sardines. Luckily, I had gotten my 1 hour of sleep and we were ready to start our 3rd Leg.
3rd Leg: Spirit Lake highways, 2:30am, 6.7 miles, 1 hour 1 minute, 9:11 min/mile. Stars were out and it was beautiful. My trusty van followed me most of the way so I wouldn’t be freaked out by potential beasts and unleashed dogs. Thanks, guys. I dug really deep on this one.
Here was our van. We were done at 8am, took showers, ate breakfast and waited around for Van 2 to come in so we could cross the finish line with them at the City Beach in Sandpoint.
The whole team. The Relay Ninjas.
1st Place overall was an ultra team of 6 runners who completed it in 20:52:30
Our team completed it in 26:52:23 (Average 8:45 min/mile)
20th Place overall, 14th in our Division.
Hooray for us?
Would I do it again? I think so (don’t tell Mike).
I have had a goal for 3 years. I am hesitant to call myself a runner because it is a fairly new thing for me. But, I always felt if I could run a half-marathon in under 2 hours, I would be a real runner (reminiscent of Pinocchio?).
I had a great training schedule and did most of the long mileage training on my own which required a large amount of perseverance. Every time I ran in tough weather (sleet and snow once or twice), or with aching joints or low iron I told myself that if I could push through the hard days I could do anything. And, I had some really good runs with some really good times. . . . until 2 weeks ago when I got sick and anemic and injured my ankle somehow.
So, what happened next? Doubt and fear and humiliation. I know, I’m a little on the dramatic side. I just could not handle coming across the finish line past the 2-hour mark one more year. Up until Friday, I was pretty discouraged. And then my biggest cheerleader (Mike, of course), took some time off to go downtown with me and pick up my packet and give me a pep talk. I took some ibuprofen and relaxed a little and pulled myself together.
So, here’s what I learned . . .
Insanity – This was the best pre-training program I could’ve done. My cardiovascular capacity increased and my lower body strength got a lot stronger. And, it taught me to “dig deeper”, as Shaun T would say.
My strengths – I charge the hills . . . I was always amazed at how many people I passed going uphill. That’s just my personality – if it’s tough, get it over with.
I can do hard things. A very wise Bishop taught my daughter that, and I think it applies to me.
Preparation is everything. Sticking to my schedule and being focused on my goal made it happen.
Friends can make all of the difference. A good friend and her daughter showed up in my last couple of miles when I was starting to feel a little despair. Sometimes all you need is a little support to help you endure.
Chip time – 1:59:18
Division Placing – 24/100 Female Runners, Age 40-44
153/671 All Female Runners
I would like to think I’m a champion. This is my all-time favorite breakfast – helps me refuel after a tough run and fills me up. Actually I’ve eaten it for lunch several times, and fixed it for my family for dinner on occasion.
Green onions and zucchini in olive oil.
Add a baked potato.
1 1/2 cups spinach.
Cook until vegetables are slightly browned and spinach is wilted.
1 whole egg and 2 egg whites poured over the top.
Add shredded parmesan. Yum!
2 weeks until Race Day. I get butterflies when I think about it. Not because it’s my first race, but because I’m so close to reaching a personal goal that I set 2 years ago. I’m not sure whether or not it’s realistic for me, I only know that when I reach it, I will feel more legit when I call myself a runner.
Long runs used to make me anxious – especially when it was a distance I had never run before. I would barely sleep the night before and I’d wake up with adrenaline pumping. But there’s nothing that quite compares to the elation at the end of the run after knowing that I had run farther than I ever had before.
Now that I’ve run a Marathon, I have no desire to run any farther than that. And, I look forward to my long runs. They are a time to empty my mind, be alone, and really be in touch with me. I admit, it is somewhat a selfish thing. This morning my schedule said 11 miles, and I was literally squeezing it in. I usually do my long runs on Saturdays, but tomorrow is a 7-year old birthday party at my house, beginning at 9:30am and I’m pretty sure Mike would like me present. So, I arose early to tackle it before getting the kids off to school.
Jeff Galloway talks a lot about the mental benefits of a long run, especially when training for your race. And, if a long run is overwhelming, here are some tips for making it through your long run. I still believe that anyone who follows a training schedule can complete or reach their goals for a race, whether or not you call yourself a runner. There’s nothing better for me than the day that follows my long run, knowing how I started my day and what I’ve already accomplished. I almost feel invincible. Runner’s world had a great article on recovering from your long run, which I should probably read right now, considering what I still have to accomplish today.
My kids don’t understand why I like to drive with the radio off. Or, why it would be fun to spend time by myself. But, I like quiet. I like being by myself. I think that’s pretty normal for a mom. My favorite “alone” time is actually spent running – especially the long runs. You would think that the longer the run, the more I would need a partner, but not so.
Four years ago, I never thought I would run more than 2 miles, let alone regularly participate in a “long run.” Running has changed my life – I’m not only more fit, I’m a better person and I can see more clearly.
Last week, I had a great run – 7am on a Saturday morning, not clear skies, but not totally dark with a slight mist. Perfect. I put on my headphones and took off. I rarely dread running, but the beginning is always a little rough – it’s like I forgot how to get my body moving. It only takes a minute to get into a groove. By mile 2, I’ve settled into my pace.
The music is great – not too loud, just enough to help me set my pace. It doesn’t distract me from cycling through all of my crazy thoughts and worries and from doing a whole lot of problem-solving. Most of that is finished by Mile 5, and then I am free to just let my mind wander. After Mile 8, I’m totally rejuvenated and if I’m lucky, I'll come home to a house full of pleasantly smiling children who have all done their jobs and are getting along like they are best friends. Anyway, it was a great run.
2 weeks ago, I finished 8 weeks of a team challenge with good friends, Juli, Christy, and Joy. We were one of 20 teams across the United States. In my previous post about this challenge, I inferred that I was “coerced” into joining the team. That’s not totally true – it was all my own choice. The challenge was tougher than I imagined it would be. I had no problem with vegetables, exercise, water intake, and even the no-eating-after-8pm rule. I did have a problem with the fact that I couldn’t have a treat every day and “treats” included things like chips, any refined food, and a multitude of tasty things. I am proud to say that not only did I finish, but our team was fabulous. We took 2nd place and was only one of 2 teams that averaged more than 500 points (the max amount without weight points) every single week.
Hooray for the Quad Squad! Here are the stats:
Our team lost 42 pounds and 32 inches.
Overall, the 20 teams lost 690 pounds and 425 inches!
It was a great program and I found that I changed a lot of my habits. I have gone back to treats, but now too many of them make me ill – is that a good thing? I think so – I hope I can maintain so many of the good habits I made while doing it. Accountability is the key in this program and that’s why I think so many were so successful. So, if you want to be held accountable, and you have friends that will still be friends with you even when you fail a little, this program may be just what you need to lose those pesky last pounds.