Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Wrap Up

Well today has been a day full of emotions. It started with feeling a little solemn about all of the prep work I need to do to be prepared for teaching in the spring. Then I had a really up moment when I heard from my advisor that my first 2 chapters of my dissertation are almost complete. Then, I got a phone call from K-state stating they wanted to bring me there for an interview. I felt excited I made the short list, then nervous about having to tell my parents (who feel I am being disloyal), to anxious about the possibility of moving, to sad that I did indeed betray Tulsa, to committed to staying here and doing the best I can do, to all kinds of other emotions. The group run tonight could not have been timed better. It was so great to see some familiar faces that I haven't seen in a while: Linda, Sue, Tapos, Jana, etc. I made the decision to try to up my mileage tonight to a whole 3.5 miles. I trekked out, the whole way out in my head I weighed the pros and cons of both k-state and TU. It was funny though cuz the wind was blowing pretty good on the way out, and I barely noticed between the blaring music I had in my head mixed with all the crazy thoughts. By the time I hit the 1.75 point, I felt some peace back in my brain. My running has really been improving. I am feeling a bit more confident and am able to mentally prepare myself to complete longer distances, without feeling the need to walk. It is quite an amazing feeling to win the battle over yourself. I thought it was great to celebrate Debbie's first full mile run! Congrats to Carmen as well, who completed her first full mile (as far as I know) Monday out on Riverside! It's important to remember those feats. I can still vividly remember the first time I ran a mile straight...I was so elated and in such a state of shock.

I am really looking forward to Race into the New Year. I have high hopes for myself for 2009. I will document all of my resolutions on the 1st so as to not jinx myself. I think putting things in writing for others to read and ask about makes it more "official" and motivating. For those of you who won't be joining us tomorrow evening...I wish you a safe, happy and healthy New Year!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Catchy Title..

Sharon proudly standing in the rain as she heads out for her first run with the Runners World crew!

I have no creativeness today to come up with a catchy title for the blog. It has been the typical holiday whirlwind. I woke up Christmas morning and decided to do my 3 mile run early. I am cat-sitting at my parents house while they are at my brother's for the holidays. I forgot how hilly it is around their house. I still managed a good time and it was a good run. New surroundings help sometimes I think, although i do like the same route to know "how much further" at certain landmarks too. I was so excited about today's run because I was going to bring my friend Sharon, who I met in the 2nd grade..that's right about 11 years ago...Of course this morning's weather was a little sketchy. Sharon calls at 7:00 and says "I can't run in this", I of course then said "oh it will pass see ya in about 30 minutes". We arrived at Runners World and we waited with great anticipation as the lightning did eventually subside. Off we went. It was a fantastic run. I actually don't mind running in the rain, I find it someone calming. Maybe that's because you don't realize how much you are sweating you just assume it's all rain :). Anyhow. It was a great 3 miles. I am hoping that Sharon and I can crash the Monday at 5:30 group that runs Zink lake area....so great to catch up with friends you have know most of your life!!

I do feel the need to post some great pictures from Christmas...my dog's first Christmas with me. He absolutely thought the idea of tearing paper apart should happen once a month rather than once a year.
It was all about holding with one paw while pulling with the teeth.

My parents' cat, Hannah, was watching Boca wondering if he got something she could "borrow".

Can you spot the cat? Hannah found this great game to play. She buried herself in the paper (see the white paws under the red paper) and Boca would bark...he knew she was in the room but couldn't figure out how to get under the paper. I probably shouldn't share that part...as I am always bragging how smart my dog is...Then Boca and I went to visit my grandmother, she LOVES dogs. Who do you think is having more fun?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Survived!

Running has never felt so good. Well it wasn't an outstanding run by far, but I was so happy to be able to complete all 3 miles. I really think the best way to cure a bug is to get out and run...well except for last night when I felt like I couldn't breathe even when sitting, there are times when you have to listen to your body.

I am so excited to be bringing a friend with me on Saturday. I met her when I was a whopping 6 years old, and just reconnected with her this past weekend. Her words to me were "i want to be a runner" and I of course told her I had just the way to start! I know all of the Runners World crew will welcome her with lots of encouragement!!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Double Dose of Exercise

I spent this morning with trainer Andrew..he decided to give me a great workout for my last one with him for the year. If you have ever worked out with the Bosu ball, you can appreciate what a challenge the workout was today. Although it was quite challenging I really enjoyed myself this morning. I think I am finally starting to have a little bit of strength which is encouraging. I still don't think I was made to do push-ups, but well it's not quite as excruciating to do them now...

Work today was very low key and productive. Then it was off to the Marvellite Run. What a really neat concept. It was great to run through a new neighborhood. Some of the houses were really decked out. There were a few hills here and there, but nothing too terrible. It was a little chaotic in terms of which way to turn when, but overall it was a great time! The best part was there was pizza and treats afterward. I am not sure what the butterscotch/peanut butter rice krispie things were but if you made them I would love the recipe. Can add it to the "things I shouldn't eat, but love" pile :).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fate in Play?

Brrr. I don't do winter very well. Actually I can handle the cold weather okay, but really thrive on sunshine. I am plagued by the whole seasonal affect disorder thing. I am so thankful to be in such a positive place with running. It gets me outside and allows me to absorb some of that Vitamin D.

I was one of 4 people in the office today and was watching out the window, being rather unproductive, wondering what I should do to get in my 3 mile run today. I left the office around 1 this afternoon with my mind thinking I would take my ID and hit the indoor track in the fitness center. I wasn't very excited about my run because it takes 8 laps of the track to get in 1 mile, and I have boredom issues. Well on my drive home the roads really seemed to be okay, so I started thinking that I would suck it up and join the Runners World crew at 5:30 on Riverside. Well, I didn't feel very confident inside with that decision either. Then, low and behold an email from Coach Kathy talking about how to be safe when running on ice and sometimes it's okay to take caution and head indoors. So I took that as a sign that I should head indoors to the track...so with that in mind I took the dog out and he was ready for a walk, so off we went. The roads appeared to have minimal to no ice. So after a quick stroll around the block with the dog, I decided to run outside here. So I hopped on mapmyrun.com and found a mile loop I could do around the neighborhood 3 times and off I went.

I really missed the company while running together, but felt so empowered out there today. I actually had someone stop at the stop sign and rolled down her window and congratulate me on being out. Wasn't that nice? The kicker of today's run is I think it's the fastest 3.13 miles I have done since I've been back running (38:16). The other crazy part about today is at about 4 PM my body "shut down". A good case of a headache, stomachache and just achy in general...which makes me so grateful that I did my run earlier today. So I have taken some Dayquil to lick whatever bug i might be trying to get before it can take control...

I hope to see everyone at the Marvellite Run on Thursday. I think it will be a neat outing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finally a Sub-40:00 5K!!!

Today was a great day! Yeah it was windy, but at least it was warm and windy and not below freezing. It was day 1 of half-marathon/marathon training. I appreciate the beginner marathon training schedule that was put on my car windshield...I really think I may go for the whole she-bang....I was able to snap some pictures along the way today.

It was quite warm in the store this morning at 7:30..Yeah Warm!! Yeah no Wind!! I greatly appreciate Kathy & Brian and all of the race leaders doing this training to help those of us with "wild dreams".
I listened to the advice and instructions from Beginning Half-Marathon team leaders, Mike, Michael and Chrissy. Even though we were outside I felt pretty pumped and excited about this new upcoming adventure, the Jingle Bell Run, and the new shoes I was going to buy after the run :).

Ronit and I had time goals for the Jingle Bell 5K Run, so we decided to walk from Runners World to the start of the event, where we met up with Ruth and later Meg. Let the mental preparation for the "race" begin...
Before the race started, I decided we needed a "before" picture taken at the finish line...then I realized c'mon girls..let's take a picture like we usually are...Here's the Result:

Then it was time for the 5K....still quite windy. There seemed to be a really good turnout.

Look at the eagerness and excitement to be out running.....It's so great to run with friends!

The hill at Woodward was a little much for me to run...but i didn't let that stop me from reaching my goal of finishing sub 40:00. According to my Garmin I finished in 39:22, clock time was 39:43 (I think). Then it was a walk back to Runners Word and to find some new shoes...Here were the lucky winners:

I can hardly wait to take them out for a run...maybe tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and good times today.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Double Dose of Sweating Today

What a day of health it has been for me....I do not recommend having an hour personal training session and a run on the same day. I didn't think it would be too bad, because my muscles are usually sore from personal training until the next day. Well....I guess I never really accounted for how fatigued the muscles get during the workout and probably don't fully recover until a day later which is when the muscles are all "full strength" again. I guess the positive is...I did complete my hour training session (it was a full day meaning squats and row machine and push ups and single leg bicep curls and all kinds of stuff) and i also completed a 3.1 mile run. I was hoping to do 4 miles tonight so the Jingle Bell Run would seem short, but doing the 3 miles tonight felt like 15 (not that i've ever run 15 but ughh). Well better to get out there and do it then to say "i wish i woulda"....

Okay time for my little soap box note...I know I have mentioned this before but tonight a new person joined the Runner's World crew and felt the need to say she "ONLY" did a 5K. Then another returner was introduced and kinda joked about training for a 5K. Well...some of us find the 5K a major accomplishment. I understand many people with the group enjoy the mega/ultra long distances and that's wonderful, I envy your endurance and ability. However, I still remember the first time I ran a mile strength...I know with the tue/thur group I would never feel comfortable sharing such a "petty" distance achievement. The joy of running is it's individuality and ability to have shared experiences with others, so no comparisons should be made...so I just want to say that running any distance even a mile should be celebrated and not belittled....

Okay enough of that. I am so excited for the Jingle Bell Run. I really want a sub 40 time so if you see me out there encourage me to move a little quicker....:)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bloom Where you are Planted

All I can say in my blog tonight is I am so proud of myself for getting my butt outside yesterday in unbelievable winds to do a 2.7 mile outing and tonight in unbelievable wind and an 18 degree windchill to do a 3.1 mile outing. I was out doing a residency school year visit in Pawnee with one of my former students from KU and was taking in the cold air and drizzle and just thinking I can't possibly go for a run tonight. Well 4:30 hit and my doggie wanted to go out to do his thing. Now you may think doing his thing involves restroom behavior...oh no..my dog likes to head out to run circles around the front yard as fast and as many as he can before he gets dizzy. This sounds crazy..but I thought..if my dog can enjoy running mad in this weather so can I...so I changed clothes and off to Riverside I went. Now some might perceive me as "anti-social", although I do have some social anxiety, I decided to walk the bears early just to not let myself get to cold from standing. So when I finished walking the bears it was time to start running..and off I went. It was a slow run, but today I am not worried about time, I am just so proud I went out and ran....

Congratulations to all of you other crazy Runners World crew who were out there braving the conditions as well....We have all been somehow planted here in good ol' OK with some crazy weather...and I think it's great there are so many trying to help their health and running bloom...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nice December Morning

I decided to forego the group run this morning and venture out on my own. It was the 7AM call time that I wanted to avoid, I felt the need to "sleep in" which means I didn't get up til 7:30. So I headed out to 31st and Riverside and decided to do the 4.5 mile Zink loop. Well the loop itself is only like 4.3 miles so I started to loop again so I could get to 4.5...I like nice round numbers. It was really quite peaceful out. I took the camera with me to try to capture some great Tulsa shots. Here's what came out:

This is me before starting trying to give my "I'm serious about this" look. This is above Riverside on the great pedestrian bridge that crosses the road.
I really like this picture for the photography aspects. I love the sun reflection and the spacing of the buildings. I like the date on my pictures but wish I would have removed that feature for this shot. I like that it's difficult to tell if it's taken at Sunrise or Sunset....
This would be a photo (had i removed the date feature) that I would totally enter into a competition. I saw this just after the wooden bridge on the west side of the path and found the clarity of the mirror image of the bridge just breathtaking. Then you add in the hint of sunlight in the picture and moments like this are just few and far between. I was glad to be out for a jog this morning to be able to observe this sight and have the camera to capture it for others.

This is me, grinning and bearing a weak run from mile 2.5 to 3.5, but ready to trek on to complete the last mile. On the positive side, I was feeling quite good about my running, that I felt that I was able to complete 2 miles with relative ease. It is important, as Mike and I discussed Thursday evening, to note the "cans" or running as often if not more so than the "can'ts".

Lastly, I stopped to grap this shot of downtown from the west side of the pedestrian bridge. Again mhy favorite aspect is the clarity of the refelection of the buildings. I also could go into a lot of depth about my interpretation of the symbolism of this tree that stands alone in the foreground, but I will refrain. It is the poet/scrapbooker/photographer in me that finds this photo very thought provoking and reflective. I hope that you will find it enjoyable and intriguing as well.

Overall, it was an average run for me. I finished the 4.5 miles in about 58 minutes. My average pace was 13:01/mile, which although slow...is indeed close to my overall average and abilitiy, at least for now....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Whee 4 miles!! (well..3.92)

I had a wonderful run tonight. I was a bit nervous given the soreness of my quads from all the lovely wall balls and squats yesterday. I headed out with Ruth and Mike and cruised right along. I was even able to partake in conversation fairly easily during the first mile and a half. I was amazed. When I got to the playground (my normal 3 mile turnaround), I made the decision to do 4 miles tonight. I felt good, I felt strong, and my spirits were high. Mike was kind enough to accompany me on my journey. It was very nice to have companionship and company along the route. I lose sight of that from time to time. I thought i would share my mile splits from tonight, because I really felt like I did well. Mile 1: 12:51, Mile 2: 12:27, Mile 3: 13:16, Mile 4 (well .92 miles) 11:35. I would like to have an average closer to a 12/12:20, but all with due time and consistency. Yeah for completing a 4-miler not on a Saturday, and in the chilly weather!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When you can start the day with "Wall Balls"....

it's a good day? At least that's what trainer Andrew told me today as I whimpered (literally) through them. If you aren't familiar with "wall balls" and you would like to add something new to your workout this is what you do...First find a ball (you will want it cushioned) that weighs between 15-20 pounds. Second find a wall that can handle being "tapped" by a 15-20 pound ball. Then hold the ball just under your neck with both hands on either side as if you were going to pass the ball. Do a full squat...yes full squat butt to the toilet (my personal mantra for getting in a full squat) then as you stand push the ball up so that you through it and it taps the wall. I guess I should have mentioned that you should put your toes somewhere between 6-12 inches from the wall a little more than shoulder width apart and face the wall. Do the squat/throw routine in reps of 15. I laugh at that because i do sets of 5 with an allowance of 5 deep breaths in between cuz i'm a weenie. Then when you finish the Wall Balls put the ball on the ground turn your body to face the opposite direction and do squats...the squat only counts if your butt touches the ball. Do 15 of these. Then run 1/2 mile. Repeat the sequence 3 times. That was my workout this morning..man was it tough! Of course I had to do ab exercises after that, but my legs were thankful for the rest :).

Back to running...Last night's run was decent. I felt pretty good about it overall. I was happy to be out doing something as I was feeling kinda crummy when I arrived. It is always nice to see smiling/laughing/chipper people (even if they are faking it). It was only a 3-miler for me, but I finished in under 40 minutes which is always my goal for 3 miles. I am excited about the upcoming Jingle Bell Run and really hope that I can make it my first 5K in under 40 minutes. I am also pumped for the half marathon/marathon training. I am in a big quandary as to what to train for, the half or the full. I went in to it thinking training for the half, but then I think it's 4 whole months away, possibly I could complete the full. I think I will just start with getting the half marathon schedule and see how it goes during the first several weeks. If anyone has any thoughts, ideas, or opinions about what to train for I am all ears!!!