Monday, January 25, 2010

10 to 7

Finally!!!! I promised myself I wouldn't record any of this week's runs until I did my long run. And I did it today!

Due to nursing this calf strain, I did the mileage that was called for on my half training schedule, but broke it into smaller portions all throughout the week. I did see the doctor for the strain and he assured me that although I didn't want to push it too too hard (hills, speed, high miles), that getting right back into a routine was fine and healthy. That day I came home and went running!! I felt like a piece of me had been missing lol I'm such a running dork.

I decided that every Sunday, my long run day, would be no less than 10 miles. I feel that in order to be ready for 13.1 miles through Red Rock Canyon, I need to be hitting at least a 10-miler once a week. Then yesterday, Sunday, I was having a crappy day. I was upset about something and my lovely dh and I were kinda rubbing each other the wrong way... it lead to me not wanting to do anything. I also was SO totally not feeling 10 miles. I said like 4 times yesterday "Forget it... I'm not doing Red Rock. I just don't have the motivation, strength, endurance. I just can't do it..." As those words even come out of my mouth, there's a voice in my head saying "SHUT UP. YOU SO CAN DO IT." But there are times where I still doubt my ability. I know the ticket to a ride on the feel-better
train is usually... a run! It proves to me how much I have built up my endurance and strength.

So I skipped the run yesterday, called it a bad day and committed to doing a long run today, Monday.

The week's recap:

Monday, rest
Tuesday, 2.5 miles
Wednesday, 2 miles
Thursday, 2 miles
Friday, rest
Saturday, 2 miles & 30min Shakeology full-body workout
Sunday - bad day
Monday - 7 miles!

The 10-miler turned to a 7-miler so that I could rush over to my son's school to help in his classroom. I'm not disappointed though because I left that 7 miles feeling AWESOME! I know for sure 3 more miles would have been fine! I'm experiencing with Hammer Gel. Took a Tropical flavored one at the 1-hour mark. I felt amazing. I felt like I had a great amount of energy, I wasn't hurting as much as usual, and the enrgy carried me through helping at my son's school. Nothing but my right calf hurts a little bit, but even that isn't too bad and I'll go on to run 4.5 miles tomorrow.

During the run and especially when I'm not running (usually while sitting), my left knee burns, towards the bottom left side of the knee. Really bad uncomfortable burning and aching. I might be heading back to Milligan. I'm mad at myself for not mentioning it to him before. It's getting to the point of not being able to handle the pain well. Any suggestions?

Happpppppy running!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Birth day"

Thursday was my youngest daughter's birthday. She turned 2. It was such a fun day covered in paint, glue, pizza, stamps and gluten free chocolate cake - and I mean all of us covered in that!

Her birthday is a special day in 2 very special ways. One, of course, is that it's the day God blessed us with our one and only baby girl joining us in this world. The other is the turning point it would end up being for me and my health.

Her birthday is always bittersweet for me. I really enjoyed the labor experience, but I also didn't get the VBA2C I was attempting. I had huge success of going into labor on my own and laboring for 2 days naturally, but I still ended up with another cesarean due to some mistakes I still made.

This moment in my life will forever be one of those turning points... where we look back and can say we KNOW our life changed. It's like when the road your driving down comes to a dead end and there's a sign with arrows pointing right and left. You can no longer go straight forward, this road has come to an end, you must make a turn, you must change directions. Thanks to prayer and my stubborn personality, I chose to turn away from the post-partum-depression-feeling-sorry-for-myself-I-hate-the-world direction. I had made up my mind long before birth day that I would walk away happy with my experience knowing that I did all I could to make it the best I could. I would have faith that I could get over whatever the outcome was.

However... I never thought God would bring me to HERE! A place where I feel strong, confident and have accomplished feats I never ever could have imagined! I've been able to set goals physically and grow mentally. I'm someone and something I never thought I could be. And it's cheaper than sitting with a psychiatrist!

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom... what a cliche-ish yet so true statement.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
James 30:21

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!! That day and forever, you're presence is a blessing ♥

Today I'd like to share this really interesting blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Am I strict with my diet? - Part 2

I know my Part 1 was so long and had a bunch of info already, I'm sure you're thinking "there's more!!??" YES. There's always more. We're changing a lifestyle of bad eating habits here. As I go on with my daily day-to-day life, I realize more of how I'm eating and want to keep sharing.


Sugar is so hard to avoid. There's a difference though - refined sugar and natural sugar. Either way, we need to be aware of how sugar effects our body. And we need to learn how to work with sugar.

Here's what I do. Again, I'm no expert. I've been trying to perfect the sugar balance for 4 years. ONLY after changing all my other eating habits have I been able to really keep it under control. After my second child was born, I was told by my doctor that I was Hypoglycemic. This means that my sugar levels are too low. Which is ironic because I was eating a lot of refined sugar foods. What happens to me with the Hypoglycemia is that my body releases insulin too fast. The results are that if I haven't eaten I feel very faint, nauseous, sluggish, confused, and disoriented. Then once I eat, especially if the food has a high glycemic index, I often have a crash and could literally fall sleep right wherever I am. While pregnant, I would have those glucose tests done and everything was normal, until my last pregnancy... my first round of glucose testing was high! I had to go back and do the 3-hour test... then everything was normal. I later found out that the hormones during pregnancy can raise blood dugar levels. Interesting....

Anyway, my way of handling this without medications and frequent doctor visits is to keep refined sugars to a minimum and to eat sugary foods (apples, bananas, pasta, bread etc) with protien (eggs, chicken, tofu, veggie substitue, peanut butter, etc).

There's a good amount of information on the net about sugar, how our body reacts to it and how to balance it. This is such a really key part to taking care of ourselves, getting healthy and losing weight. Ever notice how most diabetics stuggle with weight? Sugar plays a big role in our weight, and that's just on the outside... imagine what's going on inside.

A must read article HERE.
And check out the cool breakfast eating plans at the very bottom of THIS page.
There are 5 total.

Stay tuned... I'm sure there will be more :o)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Am I strict with my diet? - Part 1

A couple weeks ago someone asked me if I was strict with my diet. I have lost a lot of weight this year and I'd venture to say that people probably think I eat nothing but salad, organic and no-carb.

I figured it's time to really touch on some key factors in my new lifestyle that have helped me get healthier and slimmer.

The number one thing for me was becoming AWARE. Which started mostly with becoming a vegetarian. Now before you start thinking "oh forget this... I'm not going vegetarian!" let me clarify that I didn't go vegetarian because I wanted to lose weight. As I became aware of what I was eating, I started evaluating what made me feel good & tasted good and what didn't. I never liked meat. I ate it because I figured I had to, and now I realized I didn't have to. I began reading labels to keep meat products out of my diet.

Before I started anything with myself, we realized my daughter had a wheat/gluten allergy. This also added to being aware of reading labels and I started taking notice to the reactions my body was having to certain foods like her body was to wheat/gluten.

So now here I am reading labels for my daughter and I... and I started to realize what was actually IN our food! When I understood the foods we were eating, I could also understand how those foods made me feel. Which foods made me feel energized, or instead tired and sluggish.. which ones caused cramping and discomfort. Things that we normally relate nothing to our body's reaction to the fuel we're putting in it.

With this I recognized I had a problem with dairy. Mostly sweet dairy (ice cream, icings, some cakes, the filling in sandwich cookies...) I would get cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting. I felt all around crappy when I had these foods. And ya know what? They're chock full of sugar and very little, if any, nutritional value. So I was ok giving them up.

As I became aware and active, I also started noticing my appetite decrease. I was hungry sometimes. Not all the time. It made me feel better to eat during hungry times because I knew my body was saying it needed it, not just because I was bored or upset. However, I didn't wait until I was so hungry that I was sick. Keeping blood levels calm is very important.

This started the #1 best rule I started following. If it didn't have nutritional value then I didn't eat it or I added some. Like adding a leafy green salad to the side of my pizza. This made me fuller on less pizza and eventhough pizza isn't healthy food, I was still able to eat something I liked WITH something nutritional. By doing this, I forced myself to be aware of what I was putting in my mouth - did this fuel my body? Was this going to satisfy my hunger or make me even more hungry later? Was it going to make me cranky and tired or leave me feeling satisfied and energized?

So am I strict with my diet? No, but yes. I still eat some unhealthy foods that I enjoy, but I don't only eat that and I limit my portions of those foods. I am more strict with refusing to take in foods that make me feel yucky, but I still slip up and crave a cookie or a piece of cake. I just don't dwell on it, but I stay AWARE that I ate this.

Through this journey, I've learned to love and respect food again. It isn't the enemy. It doesn't have to feel like I'm limited and missing out. I can eat what I want, in moderation, but I choose not to put unhealthy/artificial stuff in my mouth on a regular basis. This makes eating much more enjoyable.

Here are some of the changes I've made in my own and my family's daily diet the past year:
~Eggs - go free-range and/or organic
~Salad - pick spinach, mixed spring greens, or other dark leaves. Don't choose Iceberg.
~Sauces - natural. Check the labels and choose ones without High Fructose Corn Syrup. Go with the least amount of sugar and salt as possible. The ingredients should be easy to read and mostly consist of vegetables and water.
~Fruits & Veggies - buy fresh. If you must buy canned/packaged/frozen, then choose anything packed in water or it's own juice (not syrup) and make sure the ingredients don't add sugar or sodium ('no salt added').
~Meat - really try your best to buy hormone/antibiotic free. It tastes better and is better for you. Cut down on the red meat the best you can. The best choice for meat is chicken breast.
~Dairy products - again go as natural as possible. I personally switched my daughter and I to Almond milk and choose coconut yogurt over other kinds.
~Bread/Starches - whole grain, whole wheat. WHOLE being the key word. Just because it's brown and says wheat does not mean it's good for you. Check that it doesn't have HFCS. Do this for bread, pasta, crackers, etc.
~Drinks - I don't drink coffee. When I have tea, it's decaffienated. We don't keep soda or juice in the house. We'll sometimes get soda with our pizza when we go to our favorite spot, and occasionally I buy OJ... but almost always our fluid intake is water only. Also, I goal to take in my body weight (lbs) in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, take in 150 ounces of water daily.

Take vitamins. Do research on what would be best for your lifestyle. But at least get on a multi-vitamin asap.

The theme you may notice here is that I've chosen to go with as little preservative-filled artificial food as possible. BE AWARE of what you're eating, even when you are eating something that isn't the best food for you. You can't just ignore that. When we ignore what we're eating we tend to eat more and keep eating crap.

I can honestly say that I hate counting calories. I've done it maybe a dozen times. I say I'll try and then I slack off and I just don't totally believe in ONLY counting calories. It's only ONE part of the foods we eat. There's also nutrients, vitamins, sodium, fiber, sugar, carbs, fat... What about these? I can eat low calorie soup that has like 850mgs of sodium per 1/2 cup! That isn't good. If I'm only looking at calories then it looks great, but there's more to food than calories. AND... calories are good. Yeah I said it. We need calories for energy. We need calories to fuel our bodies. So please, I beg of you, don't only count calories. Don't go that route. If you want to count calories, also look at all the other information as well and choose more natural foods that don't need to add preservatives and sugars to create a more flavorful taste. If you want more taste then add fruit, honey, pepper, fresh/dried seasonings, a dash of salt (much better than the loads of sodium the companies will pour into their food!). Just do NOT be in bondage over JUST calories! Use it only as a guideline for keeping portion control in check. Also take notice, the more natural the food the less caloric content it usually has.. meaning the more you can eat!

I'm absolutely no expert. I'm learning new stuff everyday and have made mistakes along the way. I'll continue to learn and make mistakes. That's what makes it a journey. Most of us have gotten so lost on the path of healthy living, or were never even on the path in the first place! I grew up eating a whole box of mac & cheese to myself. Ordering the #2 (2 cheeseburgers, fries and a soda) @ McDonald's even at 8 years old. I'd smother my pasta in butter and eat it on Italian bread. I know what got me to where I am now. And I don't want that for my children or for myself any longer. I'm sure there are plenty more healthy changes I could make, but our family is healthier now than it was last year and we'll only continue to get better!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2 mile walk...

I can't stay sedentary very long. It's not in my nature, and definitely not since becoming an athletically active person.

My calf hurts really bad. I'm doing all the right stuff - heat, ice, compression, rest, light activity, stretching. I even succumbed to taking Iburprofen for the swelling and pain.

Today I went for a 2 mile walk. It hurt. I stretched along the way. The leg would feel better immediately after a stretch but within a few steps went back to hurting.

There are running pains that we sometimes deal with and know they are normal sore muscles or a tight muscle for the day, but this is much different.

I have an appointment on Tuesday with a sports doc... we'll see what comes of that.

I know that by nursing this calf, I'll be better off in the long run.. no pun intended but that worked... I know that just like the shin splints, this will soon be a distant memory. And most of all, it's taught me to train better - more consistently and all the way through.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Right leg not doing good.

My right calf is not recovering well. Everything else feels great, and it's even ok during runs, but between runs I'm in a lot of pain.

I've been icing it and heating it, stretching it, wearing compression, resting it yet exercising it. I just can't seem to find anything to help...

On another note - I tried out a running group today and really liked it. I'm hoping every week gets better and better. I was suppose to run 4 miles, but instead did 3 with the group. I had been late and had to run to find them. I didn't know the area and it was dark... so I was already nervous of being left by myself. I decided to run back with the first group that looked to be running a pace I could keep up with. They ran faster than I normally do, but at a nice pace and I really liked being pushed a little harder.

The weather outside tonight was gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recovery run

Today was finally a run day and I felt physically up for it. I took it to the treadmill @ the gym though. I felt I needed the forced pace. I goaled to go for 30 minutes or 2-3 miles. Whichever I felt like doing as I approached one of those first. I ended up with a 3.5 mile walk/run. I started out walking a med/fast pace for a 1/2 mile, then I paused the mill and stretched my legs, then ran at a comfortable pace for the next 1/2 mile... and so on. I went from run to walk without stretching, but any time I was going from walking to running I would pause and stretch beforehand. The first 1/2 mile of running I felt like my leg would buckle at any moment. The muscles felt a little sore and weak. I just pushed through it and it got way easier as I continued. Thus the 3.5 miles instead of 2-3. I hit the hot tub for 10 minutes afterwards. Then spent the evening in Zensah compression leg sleeves.

This week has shown me that eventhough I slightly knew... now I'm totally sure that I'm completely, utterly and incomprehensively addicted to running. I don't get it, I don't understand it fully, but it is what it is. Worst of all... I'm ok with it.


Found a possible running group! Going to try it out this week. Looking forward to it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I wrote a post on this before the Half and here's another one. I needed the experience to really understand what I was dealing with.

Here's what I have to say about fuel during the Half Marathon race. I wasn't hungry really. But I knew trying to run hard for 3 hours was pushing my body to some limits. Especially since I haven't done it before. Water makes my stomach feel sloshy so I've gotten used to running long distances without hydration. I also hate running with much gear on. I only drink water in my daily life, so I stay hydrated and then go without on a run. I don't get thirsty either. So I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but it's what's worked for me.

Now the situation I'm facing is that I think my recovery is suffering. I may not have enough balance of electrolytes. While training the next 8 weeks for my next Half, I'm going to use Endurolytes by Hammer (2 pills per 1.5 hours of running + 1-2 more after the run) and Hammer Gel (1 packet for every 1.5 hours of running). For those that use this - does that sound good, too much, too little?

My #1 concern is that I will be come dependent on products. I want to be able to go for a run wherever, whenever. So... I'm still a little unsure of starting this, but I do need to try something.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recovery & 2nd Half Marathon - Calling All Experienced Runners!

With my first one done, it's time to practice recovery and maintence for the next one.

Oddly, I wanted to go out running today LOL

I'm positive it's too soon. My brain was doing the thinking, not my body. I definitely needed some walking though. Too much rest and my muscles get stiff. I decided to go grocery shopping at a few places and 'kill two birds with one stone'.

The majority of the soreness is in my right calf, left knee, both thighs, and hip flexors. The pain is slowly heading up to my torso today.

I'm using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), but didn't ice it yesterday. I used light heat in the shower. It seemed to be the signal I was getting - cold just didn't feel right at the time. Tonight I will ice. And although I'm not one for medicines, I took 2 Ibuprofen last night. None today, I feel good enough without it.

My main concern and confusion at this point is how long do I sit out? I want to run, but I understand my body needs time to recoup. Especially since I pushed it 5 miles longer and harder than I ever have before. It's probably in a bit of shock at the moment lol From what I read online, it seems that around 2 weeks of walking with light jogging at the end of that 2 weeks is sufficient. Any experienced runners have input?

I have my 2nd Half Marathon 8 weeks from now - on March 6th at Red Rock Canyon (VERY VERY hilly course). So I'm trying to figure out what to use as a maintence/training schedule for that. I am thinking I want to go out there to Red Rock for at least one of the 3 run days. But what distances should I maintain or start from?

How does Week 8 - Week 12 from Hal Higdon's Novice plan look?
4.5/4.5/8 (do this for a few weeks)
5/5/9 (do this for 2 weeks)
5/5/10 (do this for the last couple weeks)

Or does something like this look better:
3/5/10 Every week
Is this one overdoing it?

First Half Marathon Race Report

I know I need to do this before I forget the reality of it all.

Truthfully, I still have no patience or brain power to write. I'm definitely in recovery mode.

I'll start with reporting that I bombed the last 2 weeks of training. I ended up not running more than 8 miles, and that was only one time. I did pay for this later... I'll get there.

Leading up to the race, I was mentally weird. Feeling really confident I could do it, but not so sure in that confidence. I was nervous I was downplaying it in my mind so that I wouldn't get nervous. Like a subconscious mechanism so I didn't freak out. Thursday night before the race... I'm going to definitely get too detailed... but this is real... my monthly "friend" showed up! I was ready to throw the entire thing. It was too much to have to plan bathroom stops, headaches, cramps, possibly messing up nutrition etc. But after a chat with a runner friend, I felt much better and decided I'd take a day to think about it.

I decided the next day that I'd definitely run. But I won't lie... I was still really apprehensive.

For this race, I bought some Under Armor CoolGear running tights. No pocket but really like a second skin without being constricting. Kept me warm but not hot. Also, I loved the ankle elastic. It was snug enough not to let air flow up and to stay put (no riding up or bouncing around. It was like running naked. hehe

Ok so onto the course...

We took off @ 8:30am from Boulder Beach @ Lake Mead. I positioned at the back of the pack. I wasn't out to compete, just to finish.

I started out well. Took my time and made it up that initial hill that gets you out of the Boulder Beach area. I've done this course many times now - on foot and on bike - so I knew it was downhill as soon as I got out onto Lakeshore Drive. I have to note that getting up that little hill without walking was a milestone in itself. I've always walked it, even with my hybrid bike @ my first triathlon.

Found a nice pace right off the bat, passed a few, was passed by a few. A thumbs up by one guy keeping pace with me. I really felt like a runner! I know.. I know.. by now I should right? Anyway.. I took it to a walk at mile one. My goal was to run a mile/walk a minute. Even as hard as that was to do at mile 1 because I felt in such a pace zone. Well, I shouldn't have. I should have run like 3 miles before doing this. I lost my pace, my heart rate naturally drops very quickly and this hindered me getting back into a zone... I finally found one for mile 2-3, then broke it again and walked... then mile 4-6 was awesome! It was also a very beautiful downhill and then some uphill for the turn-around. This course as a whole is VERY hilly and has those imaginary flats... where you think the road is flat but in some way you can still tell it's definitely going uphill. That's this course to a T. The downhills are wonderful though, only one that was a bit steep, but mostly they were gradual grades so it didn't hurt too much. Going uphill was tough though.. probably for the same reason - it's gradual and felt like it would go on forever.

At the turn around, I stopped to change my number from shirt (that was now tied around my waist) to leg... I will always wear it on my leg from now on. I never thought of it and it makes it much easier to undress! Duh. The simple things no one thinks to tell ya! lol
Well, in case you didn't know, I just told you.

Somewhere around mile 9, I grabbed some food at an aid station - an orange slice and a piece of potato. As well as squirting my PB packet down... which going down a dry mouth is NOT fun. Thank goodness for the aid station water.

The way back was tough. I was mentally there, but from mile 9.5 - 13.1, I mostly walked. My body was sore, my hip flexors hurt like HELL! I couldn't wait to write this part!! How in the world can I get my hip flexors stronger?? I spent those 3.5 miles without my MP3 on (the music was annoying by now) and I prayed, talked to myself, enjoyed the scenery, definitely tried running the most I could. I did my best to walk as fast as I could and run every downhill all the way until the next uphill was too much to handle anymore, then I'd walk. My walking pace was in the 13min/mile range. My running stayed in the 10-11min/mile range. At times, I felt like my legs were going sooooooo slow while running that I had to check my watch and see if I was actually running or just fast walking! I was running though... so that was good.

A little slap in the face was when I was already on my way back, I passed 2 runners heading up to the turn around... eventually they ended up passing me. I had to repeatedly remind myself that I wasn't racing anyone else and this was just to finish. JUST FINISH VAL. JUST FINISH.

Finally the last uphill (which was that nice downhill that greeted you on Lakeshore Drive I mentioned earlier). At this point, I knew my family was waiting for me, my flexors were so sore and I just wanted a rope & some roller blades or a skateboard being pulled by a truck to help me climb up this darn hill. It was a little itty bitty thing compared to some I had now tackled out there.. but I was spent physically from the waist down.

As soon as I hit the top of that little hill, I ran the rest of the way downhill to the finish, waved to my family and had a huge smile on my face because I knew this was it. I had done it!

My 4 year old joined me running the last stretch and I was just SO happy! When he joined me, it was the reminder of why I do this. To be here longer with them, to be an example of health and fitness, to show them that goals are attainable.

My friend who talked me off the ledge of throwing the race, Miss Alyssa, THANK YOU for all your help and support. Your tips, tricks and experience is helping me so much and I know it will continue to for all of my running days.

Happy running!


Official time according to Judy (my Garmin):
Total time 2:49:40
average pace 12:57/mile

Saturday, January 9, 2010

D-DAY!! First Half Marathon.

It's done!! I did it, in under 3 hours as I goaled. I will update completely tomorrow. I'm very sleepy :o)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Feeling better already!

Yep I am! Thanks for the prayers.

I'm going to do a hard workout at home and see how I feel during/after that. If I feel good then I'll be attempting 10 miles tomorrow.

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 week to go & a stomach bug

Tomorrow marks one week to go until my first ever half marathon. I have mixed emotions. I definitely think I can do it, but how well I can do it is something totally different. My desire is to mostly run the entire thing, with maybe a minute or 2 break here and there. Most of all, I just want to feel as comfortable as possible. It's a long way and a lot of time I'll be out there running. The last thing I want to feel like is "someone get me the heck out of here!".

I haven't run since Christmas Eve. I've been feeling very off. Not toally sick, but really not normal. A lot of dizziness, nausea, fatigue, constant changes in appetite. Then, last night I'm celebrating New Year's Eve with my kids... I had a glass of wine while we baked some cookies. About an hour later I felt horribly nauseous. I ended up puking all night. Then at 8am this morning, my daughter wakes up crying... she had thrown up too, for the first time ever in her life. We spent the morning curled up in bed together and nursed. My husband then took the kids and let me sleep. Thank God for him. I slept until 4pm! I felt like such a bum. I have a hard time accepting sickness because it happens so infrequently.

I'm obviosuly nervous as to how this will effect my race. It's still a week away, but I'm worried that my body will be in recouping stages. I have to hope it's just a 24-hour thing. No one else got sick which keeps me hopeful it will die with just me and the baby.

So if anyone's out there, please say a little prayer for us to get better... and for me to recoup quickly.

Happy New Year! I know my family sure won't forget this one!