Pages

Monday, November 30, 2009

Whirlwind Weeks Ahead

I’m in the middle of a few busy weeks. I have to honestly say that those of you who work, have families, and run are amazing because I can’t imagine doing it all. I have a hard enough time keeping life straight without working.

This morning I was up early and did 6 on the treadmill. My weeks always go better when I start Monday morning running. My ITB was tight so I took short breaks at 2 and 4 miles to stretch it out. I’ll add some ice and more stretching throughout today and it should be fine. I also wore my new shoes and I have two nice blisters to show for it. Ah, the joys of running. :D

I went back and read what I had written about my toe pain and realized I haven’t written much lately. My right toe is great. Well, I don't' think it will ever be great, but it isn’t hurting at all these days! The specialist I went to spent time talking with me, looking at my x-rays, and feeling/manipulating my toe and foot (thank goodness his hands were warm). The good news: he felt and saw no indicators of arthritis. The not as good news: he felt and saw the starts of a bone spur on the top of one of the bones and that is probably causing the pain when I hyper-extend my toes. The foot plates I have are working well for my toe because I can’t hyper-extend my toes at all with them in my shoes. The downfall is that the balls of my feet are getting beat up because the footplate seems to be negating the cushioning under my foot. I’ll see if I get used to it, but I may have to get some cushioned insoles for my shoes.

This week’s plan:
Monday: 6 miles (done)
Tuesday: weight train at the gym
Wednesday: 5 miles in the morning, 20 page paper due at night
Thursday: off (instead go to airport to pick up my mom and SO)
Friday/Saturday: 10 - 12 miles
Sunday: off

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thoughts on 2010

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my 2010 running goals. I am very goal oriented, but I generally don’t do yearly goals so I am not sure how to go about this. There are two parts to my problem:  the time frame combined with the word goal.  One year is such a short amount of time to complete a goal, at least the goals I am used to setting. According to Webster:
 
goal
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English gol boundary, limit
Date: 1531
1 a : the terminal point of a race b : an area to be reached safely in children's games
2 : the end toward which effort is directed : AIM
3 a : an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points b : the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal c : the score resulting from such an act

 
I think what I have is a strong aspiration to do some running next year. I don't think it is splitting hairs to use the word aspire; I just don’t wan to use the word goal because I feel like a failure when I don’t reach my goals. And, according to Webster:

 
as•pire
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): as•pired; as•pir•ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French aspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, from ad- + spirare to breathe
Date: 14th century
1 : to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal <aspired to a career in medicine>

 
Here I go. I have an aspiration to run four longer races in 2010. Possible races include:
  • 1/1, Hangover Half Marathon
  • 6/5, Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K
  • Sept, Lake Placid Fall Half
  • 10/10, Marine Corps Half Marathon
  • 11/14, Stockade-athon 15K
  • Plus, hopefully another half or full marathon to round out the year

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Whipping Wind

Last night I was a little on edge with the family so I went to bed and curled up with a feel good book and read until I was ready to fall asleep.  I could still feel the aggravation in my shoulders this morning when I woke up this morning so I knew I needed to go on a run.  Not only would  a run help me figure out why I was on edge, but it would also help me work out any extra tension in my shoulders.

What I didn't count on was the weather.  This is my first "winter" running outside.  It isn't winter yet, but it should be a lot colder than it is.  When I set out at 10am it was a sunny 44F outside.  The challenge was the wind, it was whipping around.  Since moving to NY we have missed the constant air movement that we had in Iowa.  So, for it to be windy was a pleasant surprise because I love the air movement.  It wasn't so pleasant when I was running into the 45 mph gusts.  I don't know if it was my imagination or if it really happened this way - but why was the wind always gusting when I was trying to go up hills? 

The wind (sustained ~25 mph) made me rethink my running route.  I primarily stayed in the subdivision so I wouldn't be on any long straightaways.  There were times I was dressed properly and the times when the wind was blocked by trees I thought I was going to roast.  Over all, I was warm but I am fine with it because it kept the wind from going right through me.

Today:  7.12 miles in 1:09:17 (9:44 ave pace)

Week totals:
18.51 miles outdoors + 1 treadmill mile!  9:37 ave pace
1 weight training session

Friday, November 27, 2009

Not Much Today

Today is one of those days, I have done no exercising, I've been over indulging in M&M's, and I haven't eaten all my daily fruits and vegetables.  I figure I can have a day once in a while.  There is always tomorrow, right?

On the plus side we are almost finished decorating for Christmas.  This year, like every year, we let the kids help decorate.  This year the kids are noticeably taller because there are no ornaments on the bottom foot of the tree!  I like the tree decorated just so, but I can't bring myself to move any decorations to the bottom foot of the tree because it is the kids' work. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Recap

Today was wonderful, busy, and full of good food.  There were a few things that we needed to schedule around.  Punky spent all day Wednesday talking about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and how she was going to watch it in her pajamas.  Well, there is no disappointing my four year old girl, so we planned on a TV morning.  Then, the Packers played the Lions starting right around lunch.  Thanksgiving is not the same without football, so when the parade finished we were planning on watching the game.  Then, there is the food preparation that I hadn't started at all.  And, I signed up for a Virtual Turkey Trot at Ambitious Aspirations.  The question was how to fit it all in.

I did it all.  I was up early to get the pie crust and the bread started.  Then, when the rest of the family watched the parade I went for my Turkey Trot 10K.  I'm not sure how the rest got done, but it did.  I couldn't have done it without my partner in crime, ADP.  It seems he spent the day washing all the dishes I made while preparing our Thanksgiving Feast. 


I've never run a 10K and while this wasn't a sanctioned event, I will definitely count it toward my goal for this decade.  I ended up running 6.29 miles this morning in 59:24!  I am very happy with my run.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Fanfare!

I'm starting a Friday Fanfare for all those who are running races.  But, with Thanksgiving tomorrow I want to send out a good luck to everyone a day early, especially those who are getting up on Thanksgiving day and running a race before enjoying a Thanksgiving Day feast!

11/26, Tina is running Turkey Trot 10K
11/26, Sami is running a Turkey Dash
11/28, Jon is running a Run Off That Turkey Trot 5K

Good luck!  I can't wait to read your race reports.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else!

If you want to be part of the Friday Fanfare, just leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relief

Thanks for all the well wishes a few weeks ago when I was taking my comprehensive examination for my master's degree.  I just got a letter in the mail and I PASSED!!!

Will there be a marathon in my future?

I know I will run a marathon. The question is when?? I have been looking at 2010 races and trying to figure out if I should attempt a marathon next year.
There are a lot of things going for a spring/early summer marathon.
  • I have no spring plans
  • I am taking the spring off of graduate school
  • It is cool in the spring
  • The marathon I’d most likely do is over a long weekend (Key Bank Vermont City Marathon in Burlington)

The downfalls aren’t as numerous, but they are still in my mind: 
  • I don’t think I could train for a marathon alone
  • I would probably join Team in Training [http://www.teamintraining.org/] for the marathon (raising money is a daunting task) or find a group to run with (how does one find a group like that?)
  • I’ll be an assistant coach for Punky’s soccer team on Saturday mornings
Really, it is just raising the money and the soccer conflict that are the only big downfalls. Punky has already told all her friends I’ll be her coach. I have a huge soft spot for my kids and if she wants me to coach, then I will. I believe the Team in Training long runs are on the same morning as soccer, but I’m not sure. I have plans to go to an info session in January to learn more about Team in Training.

Is there ever a good time train for a marathon?

Monday, November 23, 2009

In and Out of School

Today has been a day of school.  I spent the morning working on my research project for graduate school by observing  4 and 5 year old kids at preschool.  It was a blast and I'm writing up my findings now.  Observing was fun, but I feel like I'm trying to "find x" in writing up what I observed. 

If spending the morning in preschool wasn't enough, today was take your parent to school day for my older child.  I had enough time between preschool and kindergarten to eat lunch, put the preschooler down for a nap and say a quick "Hi" to ADP (who came home so I could go to kindergarten).  We had a great time doing music & movement and putting his clay beads on a string.  I think I'm ready to graduate from both preschool and kindergarten after today's excursions.

I loved visiting both schools.  But, if it happens again I'm not going to both schools on the same day.  I'm exhausted.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flabbergasted

I went out on my much anticipated run today. I’m glad I planned on only five miles instead of my originally planned 10 miles. Regardless of the distance, I’m still flabbergasted when I plug my Garmin into the computer and it comes up with times in the 9:xx range. I’m simply flabbergasted.

The run went well and I started too fast (9:01!). My ankle felt good (no brace today). My ITB felt good for the first four miles and then got tight so I took a quick break to stretch it out and finished my run home. It doesn’t hurt now, but I’ll continue to stretch it and add some ice in soon too.

My slowest mile was when I stopped a couple times to fidget with my mp3 player/radio. I was desperate to hear the score of the Packer and 49ers game so I was searching around for a station with NFL scores. Even ESPN radio was failing me today; it was very sad. So, I gave up my quest after a few feeble searches and turned my music back on. I was happy to see a nice Packer lead when I got home from my run (unfortunately for me they are not on TV today, hence the Sunday afternoon run).

I have to shout out a big “Thank You” to ADP because when I walked in the house after my run he was making cookies and let me eat some of the cookie dough! ADP making cookies is something that happens every weekend. This weekend his timing was spectacular!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It Took 4 Hours

Since I decided to cut my 10 miler today (still hopeful I’ll get 5 in tomorrow) I went shopping. I won’t say it was complete torture, but I was walking around for four hours trying to find the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone. I think running 10 miles would have been easier. However, I’m happy to say I am finished with my Christmas shopping minus a book for my niece and a gift for ADP! It may be easier to run 10, but it feels darn good to be just about done gift shopping for the year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ahhh…

Today is a new day. Yesterday was…well it’s in the past and I’m not going to dwell on it. Thanks for your comments yesterday – they really made my morning when I got them this morning.

My cold seems to be winning because I’m still blowing green gunk out of my nose (4 days running). Colds not only make me tired but also keep me up at night. Not a good situation. I still plan on beating this cold, but at this rate it may take until Christmas.

I was up early this morning for a run on the treadmill. It wasn’t my best run, but I ran! I am still cautious about my IT-band. I walked .5 mile and then did lots of stretching. When I was done stretching my computer finally agreed with me (update troubles) so I could turn on a movie. I ran three miles and it felt good. Just before the three mile mark my IT band was getting tights so I walked the last 1.25 miles. When I finished I did more stretching and some push-ups and wha-la, I was ready for my day.

I have to toss out my plans for a 10 miler tomorrow. I plan on going out for a 5-miler instead. Five is better than today’s three!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Today

Today I've had an overwhelming feeling of being deflated.
*

Tomorrow will be better.
Photography by Mark Power

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Out of the Mouth of ADP

ADP (a.k.a. husband extraordinaire, excellent chemist, king of vacuuming) stops at the gym three times a week to exercise. His knees aren’t great, but that doesn’t stop him from running three miles once a week. For Father’s Day he decided to find out how he’d do at a 5K and he finished in 19:19. No training. No speed work. Just plain talent…or maybe it’s his 36” inseam. Either way, the guy is fit and can run.

What does this have to do with me? It is something he said over the weekend. I was trying to catch up on my blog reading (Google reader is a life-saver in this arena) and I was reading Running off at the Mouth post “Some Weekend This and That”. She just had her 11th anniversary (Happy Anniversary!!!) and how did she celebrate? She went on an 11 mile run. I had to share with ADP because it is a great idea.

Then it happened, he said he’d run 10 miles with me next year to celebrate our tenth anniversary. I had to up the ante a little and said 10 would be great, but the Marine Corp Half-Marathon (the race I just ran in Oct) is usually two weeks before our anniversary and THAT would be really cool. We talked a little about it (details like how he’d have to train some, we’d need a sitter, if we’d run together or would he finish and have to wait (forever) for me). Details we’ll iron out later. For now, I have a date for my 10th anniversary!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ice On My Knee

I’m sitting here typing with my leg propped up so the ice pack will stay on my knee. It isn’t an easy position to hold, but the ice helps so I’ll keep doing it. Yesterday I didn’t exercise and I didn’t have any pain in my knee. Since yesterday went well, I got on the treadmill this morning to see how my IT band was doing. All was well for two miles. At almost exactly the 2 mile mark I felt a little pain so I stopped running and walked for another mile. Since I had originally planned on an hour of running today I spent the extra time stretching and catching up my running journal. Now I sit and ice my knee because while yesterday was basically pain free, today certainly is not. I guess my plan has been changed to ice-elevate-stretch, repeat as often as possible.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Value My Sleep

My alarm was supposed to go off early this morning so I could do 6x800’s on the treadmill. Couple hurting myself yesterday with the fact that I haven’t been sleeping well lead me to turn my alarm clock off this morning. It did not do me much good; I was still awake early because I couldn’t sleep. I made the best of it and did some homework for class Wednesday. Hopefully tonight will be a better night because without sleep I’m a bear.

Here’s a quick update on yesterday. My leg is feeling better this morning, but I have yet to test out how it feels running. Thanks for the stretch recommendations. Yesterday it didn’t feel like I did much with the trainer, but my muscles have the wonderful ‘you worked me hard yesterday’ pain! Now, if only trainers didn’t cost so much! I also want to point out that I can add. I wanted to get in 9 miles yesterday so on my way to the gym yesterday I took a little loop through my subdivision adding a couple miles onto my run there. On the way back I missed a turn so neither the run to nor from were the actual mileage to the gym. Next time I think I’ll do a straight shot to the gym and see how far it is.

Now I need to get back to my homework; procrastination time is finished.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Morning Worth Repeating

I was determined to start the week on the right foot…a running foot. I didn’t get a run in yesterday due to the rain so I ran this morning. I ran 5.25 miles to the gym and had my “fitness consultation.” I’m fit. No, not the fittest I’ve ever been, but I’m no slouch either so there was little consultation and lots of personal training. I met with Nate for an hour (did I mention he’s a Packer fan?) and went through lots of exercises that will help me get stronger and in turn help my running. When the hour was done I hit the pavement again and ran home (3.5 miles…and only one wrong turn).

I was going for mileage, not time today. The run there went well. I have a new appreciation of the hills I usually ignore when I’m in my car headed to the gym. Ugh, they were a bit taller and longer than I’m used to. I made it up and down them though. The run home was little tough. It could have been that I had just spent the last hour with a trainer. It could have been the fact that I was tired and hungry. It could have been almost anything, but what I do know is about .5 miles from home I hurt myself on the shoulder of the road. I didn’t hurt-hurt myself, I walk-jogged home and have full function of my knee. But, I’m going to be icing and stretching my IT band for the next couple days. Do you recommend anything to help my IT band?

I’d love a repeat of this morning all except the last half-mile home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bummer Exercise Week

I don’t do well without a plan. I didn’t have a plan this week because I was waiting to see what the doctor was going to say on Wed. Well, Wednesday has come and gone and I still haven’t exercised except Monday morning. To round out the week I woke up to 45F and rain so I’ll run tomorrow (60F and sun!).

With the okay to run as much as wanted/needed as long as my toe feels fine I’ve decided to run a low-key half marathon on 1/1/10. What a way to start the new year! I talked to the race director (who happened to help me when I went back to the shoe store the second time*) and found out lots of interesting information. It is a 3.5 mile loop (he admits it is boring to run around and around) and the he is getting lots of quality goodies for after the run (Starbucks anyone?!). There is only race day sign-up, no medals, no shirts, nothing extra. It sounds like my kind of race. The unknown is the weather. He said last year it was about 5F and the year before it was 50F.  I wonder what it will be like this year.

Back to my training plan for the Hangover Half. I have a lot coming up between now and the new year (as does everyone else in the world) so I tried my best to make a schedule that would work.

Monday morning: speedwork
Monday night: strength training at the gym
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: treadmill run
Thursday afternoon: exercise class at the gym (granted, I can’t make it until Dec 10)
Friday: off
Saturday/Sunday: long run

I'm happy to have a plan again, and one that include more running! 

*I went back the shoe store I previously mentioned and the help I received was no less than spectacular! I got an even trade for the shoes I purchased the day before and I’m much happier with my new shoes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Five Things Friday

Just five things today (OK, 7 if you count the links at the bottom).

  1. Yay for my new carbon fiber foot plates!! I can go running again. (The plate goes under the insole.  I'm not sure what this will do for arch support though because the plate is flat.)
  2. New foot plates + higher mileage on my running shoes means new shoes.
  3. I'm headed to the gym this weekend for a fitness assessment and to get a training plan in place with the help of someone who knows what they are doing (a.k.a. not me).  The someone is not only a trainer, but a marathoner AND Green Bay Packer fan.  I couldn't be more excited.
  4. My meal planning and grocery shopping for the next week is done.
  5. In my free time I plan on starting The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown this weekend. 

Check out these great give-aways.
POM Wonderful Giveaway from See Sami Eat.
Beat the Flu Giveaway from Mom on the Run

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One for the Girls

Disclaimer:  If you are a guy, just stop reading now. If you are family you can stop reading now as well. The rest of you this may be a TMI post but it is worth the read.



There are many names for a girl’s monthly visitor...aunt flo (AF), the rag, menstruation, it…and females have to deal with “it” every month. One of the challenges is finding something that will work while exercising. A friend who is a triathlete let me know about menstrual cups. I’ll never go back to the “old way” for so many reasons. One of the big ones for me is no more leaking, never a drop! I can go out on a long run and not worry or wonder. And, on busy days I don’t have to find a bathroom every couple hours because the diva cup can stay in for 12 hours at a time.



There are a few different brands but I’m only familiar with the DivaCup. It comes in two sizes (pre/post pregnancy and/or based on age) which takes the guessing out of what to buy. The only challenge is figuring out how to put it in. There are a few sites with lists of different folds, I like this one. Try the different fold and see what works best for you. Just remember to wash your hands before you use it and to boil the cup monthly (for 20 minutes) to kill off anything trying to live on the cup.

I know others who use the diva cup and when I bought my first they gave me some advice which I’ll pass on to you. Don’t give up. It can take a couple cycles to figure out how to insert the cup without difficulty. Once you figure it out, throw all the tampons and pads away because I’m confident you won’t want to go back.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yippy Skippy

I finally had my appointment with the foot/ankle specialist (he's actually a surgeon but since he's one of Bugs' friends dad I went to him). 
  • Great news:  I can run as much as I want as long as my toe isn't hurting. 
  • Good news:  I can run on the treadmill, (cushioned) track, and if those feel fine outdoor surfaces are okay as well...but not trail running yet
  • OK news:  I have to get a carbon fiber foot plate (more $$ out of pocket because insurance doesn't cover them).
  • More OK news:  I have to replace my shoes more often than I have been, which is more money out of pocket again.
Dr. D. manipulated my toe for a few minutes and now it's sore so once again I sit inside on a 50 degree day and instead of running.  I tried to make the best of it and went to the shoe store  to buy new shoes.  ADP went over the weekend and came home proclaiming they were the best store ever.  I came home bummed because the person helping me assumed I should be wearing the same shoes I wear now...even though I was fitted for them a long time ago and I was heavier then.  I'll take the shoes to my next doctor appointment when I get my foot plate and see if they will work or if I need to return them.  I'm not so secretly hoping I need to take the shoes back and someone different helps me next time.  Even if I don't have to take the shoes back I know they will work - I've gone through quite a few shoes in this line and haven't had any major troubles with them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Selling Myself Short

I heard having a Garmin might change my training. Well, apparently I have been selling myself short (at least to myself). A year ago I had a hard time running a 12:00/mile. Through training for my October half-marathon my times naturally got faster and I was happy when I was running 10:30/mile. Well, on my outdoor runs (all two of them since getting my Garmin) all my times have been under 10:00/mile. My best, and most relaxed, mile came during a 5 mile run at 9:10/mile. WOW, big difference. Here I thought I was running almost 90 seconds/mile slower. There is no reason why I can’t break 30 minutes when I run a 5K race again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unexpected Weekend

I finished my test Saturday morning, went home and spent a little time with the family and then curled up on the couch with a novel (The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fioato). It was wonderful and then turned unexpected. Punky woke up from her nap with a rash and she couldn’t stand still it itched so much. So, off to urgent care we went. An hour later I dropped Punky off at home and went to get her prescription filled (she’s doing better now). I made it home just in time for dinner only to realize I didn’t prepare anything for myself. The next couple hours went well! Then, in the middle of the night we had a sick kid. Punky was afraid of going back to sleep so I “slept” in her bed with her. Punky rolls, kicks, hits, and pushes when she sleeps. She slept. I got beat up.

Sunday morning came and Punky was no worse for the wear. She was having fun, eating, and moving around like nothing had happened in the previous 24 hours. I was dragging and down-right tired. So, not only did I skip running on Saturday because of my test, I skipped running on Sunday in the 63F weather because I was too tired. I’m determined to have a better exercise week than weekend so I started it with 800s on the treadmill this morning. I’m tired, but for a good reason this time! Here’s my week plan.

Monday: 6 x 800s (done!)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: Doctor appt…hopefully good news
Thursday: Gym
Friday: off
Saturday: 9 miles

Sunday, November 8, 2009

50 Things about Me

  1. I want to run one marathon in my life
  2. I’ve quit drinking diet coke more times that I can count
  3. I still drink one diet coke a day
  4. We pay cash for everything we buy
  5. If we don’t have the cash, we can’t buy it
  6. We are working hard to pay down our debt
  7. I have two kids
  8. I’m vegetarian
  9. I’m in a book club
  10. I’ve only run with other people once in the last 12 years (other than races)
  11. I went on my first cruise over the summer
  12. The only time I ran with other people was in the morning before we got on the cruise
  13. I listen to country music
  14. I prefer to listen to 80’s hair bands over country when I run
  15. I haven’t had a fulltime job in over six years
  16. I love being a stay-at-home-mom
  17. I miss the intellectual stimulation of a job
  18. ADP has gotten a discount on his running shoes because of paying cash (and asking for a discount)
  19. I’m jealous of ADP’s discount on his shoes
  20. I love winter
  21. I learned how to drive a manual transmission in a Porsche
  22. I love gardening
  23. I’m disappointed in my veggie garden this year
  24. I don’t like biking
  25. I used to be in a swim club (we didn’t have a swim team at my school)
  26. I’m a slow swimmer, but I loved it
  27. I changed my last name when I got married
  28. People can’t pronounce my married name
  29. I had a bellybutton ring
  30. I took the ring out because it wouldn’t heal
  31. I have no food allergies
  32. I dated the captain of the football team in high school
  33. I dated a business/econ major in college
  34. I married a chemist in graduate school
  35. I’m a chemist
  36. No, we didn’t meet in lab
  37. It is hard to come up with 50 things about myself
  38. I’ve only read one book about running
  39. I love getting Runner’s World magazine
  40. I read it cover to cover the day it comes in the mail
  41. I hope running will help keep my knees from failing when I get older
  42. I plan to run the rest of my life
  43. My hope is that I eventually get fast enough so I can go on a run with ADP
  44. 'Fast enough' is so that I don’t feel like I’m slowing ADP down a lot
  45. I’m in awe of my SIL who runs and was/is a high school cross country coach
  46. The problem with running is that I don’t like the way I look without make-up on
  47. I can’t run with make-up on
  48. I have run on and off for 12 years (took time off to have kids)
  49. Until I ran a half-marathon I didn’t consider myself a runner
  50. I want to run four longer races in 2010

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3-hour Time Limit

This morning I am off to school for my comprehensive exam. I usually run on Saturday mornings; let me say, I’d much rather be running. The doors open at 8:30 and the test consists of one write-on-demand question starting at 9 am. To paraphrase the course book, I have three hours to combine everything I have learned in the 15 classes I have taken and write as much as I can in an orderly fashion using the professor’s favorite money-phrases.

I have no idea how I’ll be doing when I finish the exam. I’ll have a 35 minute ride home to mull over what I wrote, think of things I forgot to include, and hope that I answered the question to the best of my ability. I have left my running plans wide open for today. I don’t know if I’ll get home and be ready to crash on the couch for a few hours or I’ll be super charged and ready for a long run. Both are fine with me. What I know is I’ll be mentally exhausted because I’m going to put my all into this test so I pass.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Love Your Comments

Thanks to everyone who has commented lately! Your input has really helped me. Most recently was yesterday – I now know how to turn the back-light on when I’m using my Garmin at night. This will be a huge help! Someday I’d love to do the same as Tall Mom on the Run with her Friday High Fives (Tall Mom, would you mind having a copy-cat?), but it isn’t going to happen today. If you want me to mention an upcoming race let me know what you have going on!

My happenings are all wrapped up in my test tomorrow morning.  I didn't want to wear myself out tonight at the gym so I did an easy 3 miles on the treadmill early this morning.  It is good to have it done, but it just didn't hit the spot.  I'm looking forward to next week when my focus can be back on running, school in general, and family.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And the Sun Went Down

Yesterday was different than all the other Wednesdays this semester, I didn’t have class. I took full advantage and went for a run when ADP got home. I usually don’t run in the late afternoon and on the occasion I did, it was still light. I started on my run and the sun went down. I learned a few things yesterday.
  1. Do not run outside the subdivision when it is dark. There are no lights on the pathways or roads.
  2. Wear gloves when it is below 45F. My hands got cold.
  3. Be prepared to be blinded by the random guy driving toward you with his lights on bright.
  4. When the Garmin beeps, nothing is wrong and there is no need to stop.
  5. Why doesn’t Garmin have an indiglo button? I couldn’t see the face at all.
I did get 5.2 dark miles in Wednesday evening. It was good to go out an run, especially since it may be my last run until Monday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter


Thanks to the Thomas Nelson Book Blogger Review Program for the love story “Seaside Letters.” The story revolves around Sabrina and Tucker, who both live on Nantucket. Sabrina Kincaid is running from the pain of her past and has closed herself off choosing to be alone instead of risking being close to anyone. The veil of the internet helps her open her heart to a stranger who turns out to be the same man she serves coffee to every morning at her job. Sabrina is able to reveal herself to Tucker online, but is unable to do so in real life.

“Seaside Letters” is marked as a love story, but it also includes internal struggle, God’s ever-present love, hope and inspiration. The book showed how Sabrina tried to hide the truth from her only to realize she couldn’t hide from life; she needed to face what had happened and move forward.

I enjoyed the love story and how the past and present were weaved together to form a coherent story. I was looking for more character development through the book. Sabrina did grow, but seemingly only at the end in what seemed a forced scene at a church. Although the theme of God’s love is intertwined through the book, for Sabrina to suddenly find herself at a where with a conversation with a friend she understands what she has to do seemed a little hasty. Overlooking the altar scene, the book is delightful and fun.

Overall, “Seaside Letters” is a nice love story. The sparks between Sabrina and Tucker are fun to read. The cover of the book fits the story. Hunter’s writing is easy to read making the story even more enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Love Gadgets

It happens once a year in our house and it happened last week: I rolled change. The kids got involved by helping sorting the coins I’ve collected all year long. During nap/school I sat down with a movie and started rolling the coins. This last year was about average for us with $89 in coins. Once the coins were sorted and rolled ADP and I had to talk about what to do with the money. Thankfully (for me), I remembered what we did with the coins last year: bought ADP Guitar Hero for the Wii. So, I made a short but heartfelt talk about why I should get the money this year along with a few extra tens. He agreed! I got on the internet and went shopping.

Yesterday my new Garmin Forerunner 305 arrived! I had already run five miles on the treadmill in the morning but I just had to try it out. Thankfully, ADP’s dinner plans were cancelled so he was home at his normal time and I headed out on a short run. My afternoon run had one purpose: to try out my Garmin (I’m still pleased with my time even if it was for fun!).

I went with the 305 because I monitor my runs not by pace but by my heart rate. This comes from some fainting issues I had years ago and it has served me well so I’m not messing with it. Now, I just need to figure out how to cut and paste the lap data into a post.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Plan for the Week

This week is a different week around here. For one, it is one of the only full weeks of school for the kids in November. With conferences, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving it seems like the kids will be home more than they will be at school. ADP is working late a couple days (gee, he has to go out to dinner tonight, rough!). Add to the mix my comp exam on Saturday and my normal schedule is out the window. Here’s my current plan:

Monday: 5 miles (treadmill)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 3-5 miles outside
Thursday: cross train at the gym
Friday: 3 miles (treadmill)
Saturday: off (comp exam all morning)
Sunday: only time will tell

I already finished my Monday treadmill adventure. I warmed up for a mile, ran a little quicker for 3 miles, and had a mile cool down followed by some walking to finish my time out on the treadmill. It sounds a lot like last week, but with my middle three a bit faster than last week. It is good to be done for the day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Winter Plans

I am not one to shy away from cold weather, but the idea of running in the cold scares me a little. I don’t know how many weekends I’ll be running outside this winter so I had a plan for this winter: work on the treadmill and get faster. I don’t know if this is going to happen, I have to wait and see if my toe is up to it. Any suggestions on how to get faster? Obviously speed work…but anything more specific? I know I can be faster and my legs want to go faster.

Since I don’t know if I’ll be working on my speed (or lack thereof), I need another plan. I may be a Weight Watchers Lifetime member, but I definitely don’t have the trim runner’s body people that you see in magazines or in races. I finally have the confidence to wear what I want, so perhaps it is time to whip my body into better shape so I can wear anything.

I’ll come up with more winter plans as time goes by (I'm debating a Hangover Half if the news from the doc is good on 11/11 and the weather is good on 1/1). Winter can last a long time here so one plan will not make it through the cold winter months (if it is a normal winter). Running aside, I can’t wait for snow so I can get my snowshoes out!