Looking for Bling…

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

I have to admit, I look at the race bling before I enter a race.  I even sometimes don’t even enter a race if they don’t give away medals at the end.  Not sure why I do this but I guess it could be because I am wanting a reward for working so hard to get to the finish line.  (Please don’t say I’m the only one who does this)  There are some races I run because they were what I started with and they were the ones that pushed me to go farther, like the Lone Gull 10K in September.  I will never be in the top three who gets awards but my time has gotten better each race and I like to push myself in it because although it runs along the ocean it also has challenging spots that are very hilly.

But back to the bling….

The really cool medals!

The really cool medals!  Wine stoppers

I once signed up for a race the night before because the medal was so cool and I needed to do a long run that weekend anyway so why not do it with other running friends.  This year’s medal for the OKC marathon is huge and weighs a ton.  I didn’t realize how big it was until I put it next to last year’s while I was hanging in my room.  I guess it has lots of semblance too since it was the “Worst Best Marathon Ever” so it better be a big reward.

OKC marathon medal.  On the left is this years, in the middle is last years, and at the end is the year before.

OKC marathon medal. On the left is this years, in the middle is last years, and at the end is the year before.

As I prepare for this weekend’s half marathon, I find myself not real excited about the bling because it  isn’t that great.  Shame on me! I’m excited about the race because it is the same course as my PR in February and then I was still training for the marathon, now I’ve run the marathon and this should be a relaxing run by the ocean on what is supposed to be a beautiful weekend.  Not saying I’m going to PR but it would be ideal conditions.

Oh I get side tracked so easy….

Anyway the bling…. I started thinking after my short run at the gym today that really I get more than any race bling has to offer.  Through all these years (about 4 years) of training, I have gotten into incredible shape.  Not that I’m bragging but I found a couple of abs (which is nice, now I’d like to find the rest of the six pack), my butt is very perky, and I have great legs if I do say so myself.  Now I feel like I’m bragging but that is not what it is.  It is more I can visibly see the changes in my body.  For my insides, I make better choices when I eat (okay most of the time but I still enjoy wine and ice cream) and I feel healthier.  Then there is the mental aspect.  I am able to process things faster, have more energy even when my body says your tired my mind keeps us going, and I just feel nicer (most of the time).  There is also the race community.  Wherever I go there is someone who is a runner, training for a race or use to run who I have great conversations with.  That is so much fun!  This is race bling I never counted on but it rewards me each day as well as on the race course when I finish.

This is how I store my race bling.  I know very fancy.  Don't be jealous of my fancy $2 command hooks!

This is how I store my race bling. I know very fancy. Don’t be jealous of my fancy $2 command hooks!

So I will continue to choose some races due to their race bling because really I am a girl who likes to have some sparkly things but I will continue to remind myself that I wear my race bling every day and I am so thankful that I can be so healthy now in my 40’s and hopefully it will continue for many, many years.

How about you, every chosen a race because of it’s bling?  If so, what race are you planning on running, maybe I will join you!  What is the best race bling you have ever gotten?

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26.2 things I do while tapering…

Here is some insight as to how I am tapering for my upcoming marathon.  Maybe it will give you some help if you are in a taper of some things you can do.

1. Stare longingly at my running shoes on a gorgeous “rest” day.

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2. Work on hydrating and then practice quick pit stops in the luxury of my own home.

3. Organize my running shoes by color and year I wore them.

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4. Stress about what color to paint my toenails (cause that’s my tradition) trying to decide between OKC (green and white)  colors or Boston (blue and yellow) colors to run in honor of.

5. Read about a race I would like to one day run.

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6. Sign up for new races now because I know I won’t feel like running after finishing 26.2.

7. Call and make a massage appointment for the day after the race because I will be on vacation also.

8. Wash my car paying close attention to cleaning those mileage stickers!

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26.2

9. Clean my house with all the extra energy.

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10. Put together running inspired songs to listen to in the days before the big race for motivation.

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11. Check out the race map, relive last years’ experience, and then cry because I’m so overwhelmed by the fact I’m doing it again.

12. Stretch, foam roll, and core work in hopes that at least one pack of the six pack abs will become present before race day.

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13. Practice various hairstyles I might sport on race day.

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14. Read about elite runners and marvel at their times and pray to God that I will at least cross that finish line!

15. Create new hydration drinks and torture my family by making them try it too.

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16. Organize my race shirts and running gear and realized I need to get a new dresser because they have taken over.

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17. Go watch others participate in exercise.

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My daughter’s college dance performance. So much fun.

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That’s my girl, 2nd from the left.

18. Offer people to try my marathon fuel replacement and try to convince them by telling them how much energy they will have when they eat it.

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19. Change my eating habits from farm stand ice cream to frozen yogurt cause I’m not running as far right now and not burning as many calories.

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Yummy farm stand ice cream. Lots of butter fat!

 

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20. Search for new mantras to repeat to myself when it gets hard out there because we all know it will!

21. Go shopping for work clothes to take mind off of not running and unconsciously keep finding myself in running stores or in workout clothes area of the store.

22. Contemplate dying hair to match race only to decide that maybe they should change race colors to blonde and gray to make it better for us older runners!

23. Drive 26.2 miles in car and cheer her on to victory as we get to the end!

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24. Spend time reading people’s blogs about their recent races and enjoying their pictures living vicariously through their running adventures.

25. Schedule some extra clients at work cause I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with all of this free time.

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26. Really wonder what I use to do before I was a long distance runner!  What were my hobbies?

.2 Write a blog about 26.2 things I did while I tapered for a marathon.

How do you taper?  Any other wonderful ideas?  Help me out I have two more weeks!

 

17 mile fuel report

As you all already know I am training for my next marathon and last night for Valentine ’s Day (okay after dinner and a wonderful time with my man) I made a stop at Dicks for some new fuel to try out.  I think I am finding a good mix but I only have 2 months left to make sure I get this right.

This is all unsolicited but here is what I discovered today (the good and the bad).

I started with these as I drove to my long run:

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They were pretty good but after about 10 I wanted to not eat anymore due to the fact that the lemon taste was getting to me (insert the puckered face look here).  I was drinking a lot so maybe it was good I ate them.  I did feel like I had a lot of energy at the beginning and they were able to sustain me through the fast part of my run.

Up next around mile 5.5, I ate this.  (I usually eat it sooner but I was doing a fast 5.5 miles and then a long 11.5 miles so I was pacing myself)

Yummm!  Mocha flavored

Yummm! Mocha flavored

This seems to be my new favorite.  I love the taste and believe it or not, it is not as thick as GU.  I felt the energy fairly quickly and I was able to keep a pretty solid pace.

My final energy gel was taken around mile 10 (I probably should have taken the other one I brought around mile 15 but quite frankly I was just ready to be done by then so I didn’t).

 

Picture Vanilla here!

Picture Vanilla here!

I thought this one would be good because it is very thin but I totally disliked it.  Maybe it was the flavor.  I had the vanilla one thinking that it would be nice to have something a little different.  Well let’s just say the feeling I had in my stomach was a little different, I wanted to find a place to get rid of it!  But I didn’t I found myself drinking a lot of my water I brought along to get the taste out of my mouth and to try and calm my stomach.  (Guess what I won’t be buying again, vanilla!)

All in all I was able to complete my 17 mile run at my favorite place in the snow (it snowed the WHOLE time) and it felt pretty good.  I felt like I learned a lot about the fueling piece but there is still work to do before that April marathon (it is coming to fast!!!!).  Here are all the ones I picked up last night:

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Anyone else ever had these issues?  Any recommendations for some fuel that has worked for you?

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Not a very flattering picture but who looks great after 17 miles!

 Happy 15th day of February!

Yoga and Housework Janathon 12/31

Kitty Yoga, I wish I looked as cute stretching as this one does!

Kitty Yoga, I wish I looked as cute stretching as this one does!

Great combo right?!  That is what my Sunday consisted of.  Most of the day spent doing housework which I totally believe can be called cross-training especially if you have three flights of stairs you are going up and down to complete the activities.  I did however finish up with some Yoga for runners which was great for all those sore muscles from yesterday’s 9 miler.  So that’s my Sunday.  I know exciting right!  I bet you can hardly wait for what Monday will bring, but you have to wait cause I’m not tellin’!  🙂

Happy 12th of January/Janathon!

No baby for me but basically trying to do everything at once!

No baby for me but basically trying to do everything at once!

Janathon 4/31

Today’s activities were just to stay warm so no real exercise, unless you can consider running inside places from the car exercise!  Family visits always restrict my training but that is okay.  It’s always nice to spend time with family.  There were lots of stairs involved though.  She lives on the 3rd floor and we did stairs a few times, went to the movies and they have stairs up to the theater (and an escalator), and then all the seating was up stairs and we sat at the top.  So when you get down to it, today was another stair climbing, cross training day!

Hope you had a good 4th of January training day!

Janathon 3/31

Day 3… no rest from the relentless cold and snow.  Must stay indoors.  Gym not an option due to two strong days of running.  Must rest!  Must take down Christmas!

Workout consists of going up and down the stairs (3 floors), carrying heavy boxes loaded with Christmas decorations and climbing up and down the step stool to get to the high up decorations.  So I guess today was a stair climber kind of day for about 2 hours.  Then a little vacuuming to clean up the mess.  Now a little yoga to stretch things out and packing to head up to Vermont for the weekend.

I think this qualifies as exercise.  Thanks Janathon for making an ordinary day of work around the house count as cross training!

Janathon 2/31 – I’ll let the pictures tell the story

Happy day 2!  I got quite a bit done today including working until 2pm.  Here is how it went.  Enjoy!  (Disclaimer: these aren’t actually pics of  me but representations of my events!)

Did about 5 minutes of this in the morning.

Did about 5 minutes of this in the morning.

7 miles of this at the gym after work because of the snow.

7 miles of this at the gym after work because of the snow.

3 sets of these 30 each and the 3 sets of rotating these 30 each.  Ouch!

3 sets of these 30 each and the 3 sets of rotating these 30 each. Ouch!

3- 1 minute planks.  Oh feel the burn.

3- 1 minute planks. Oh feel the burn.

95 squats - feel the burn!

95 squats – my thighs!!!!!

About 10 minutes of this to help my legs recover.

About 10 minutes of this to help my legs recover.

Little more of this because the snow won't end until tomorrow and then there will be more of this!  But no work!!!  :-)

Little more of this because the snow won’t end until tomorrow and then there will be more of this! But no work!!! 🙂

Didn't get to do this but would like to in order to celebrate a successful day 2 of Janathon!

Didn’t get to do this but would like to in order to celebrate a successful day 2 of Janathon!

Anticipation

anticipationAnticipation also sometimes interpreted as anxiety.  Well whatever it is, I’ve got it!  I think it is anticipation though.  Tomorrow is my favorite race, the Lone Gull 10K and why wouldn’t I like it.  It was the first real race I ran as a distance runner, it is along the ocean and every time I have run it I have had wonderful weather and wonderful people there to support me.  This year will be no different. 

The course has not changed and since this is my third year I have a really good feeling about it.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful with the race temp being in the 60’s.  I have also got a few more miles under my belt as well as a few more races so I finally feel like I can relax in a race.

My goal is similar to last years which was ”run it in under 50 mins”, last year I missed by 15 seconds.  Here is hoping that that is not the case this year.  Something really fun about this race (other than we run along the ocean at 9am in the morning and it is beautiful) is that the amount of people registered to run is twice as many as usual.  I think that is awesome.  I am so glad for the organizers that they have been able to grow this wonderful race (so now I will be running with 1000 of my closests friends!).

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Now what to do with all this anticipation/anxiety and how to turn this blog post into a little something more than me talking about a race….

For me I burn anticipation/anxiety by redirecting my thoughts and keeping busy.  Today I spent some time doing some things for myself (got an unexpected manicure by a friend) as well as the normal Saturday errands including laundry and grocery shopping.  But the one thing that was missing on this beautiful day was a run.  And believe me that was hard because it was gorgeous outside.  (I try not to run the day before a race no matter how far the race is.)  But usually the best way for me to decrease my anxiety is go out for a run and not one with a determined amount of time.  I find that my body tells me how far it needs to go to help me feel better.  Just last weekend I went out for a run and what was gonna be a 10 mile run turned into a 14 mile run.  But in the end I knew I was able to think through my thoughts and I felt less anxious about beginning my work week the next day.

Some other good ways to decrease anxiety:

  1. Relaxation/Breathing exercises – for me yoga is good especially the low-impact type and breathing is vital to do this well.  Also breathing exercises can be done in a stressful situation to help you regain focus too.  Like today when the cashier at Wal-mart was a complete jerk to me and all I wanted to do was scream at her because she was so rude but instead I just looked at her and said to myself, “you will not still my joy and I will have a good day despite you!”
  2. Exercise – I know right, I keep coming back to this but when you are actively doing something you use that pent up energy and you concentrate more on the activity than the thoughts going on in your head.
  3. Write it down! – Sometimes when feeling anxious, it is a good idea to write down the thought.  Then look at it and see if you can reframe it into something different.  I call it restructuring your thoughts and my clients as well as myself, call it difficult but it does work.
  4. Distracting – all of these are forms of distractions.  But for this one I guess I mean consciously make the choice to finding something distracting.  I have a client who watches movies.  He tells me that he goes by the two hour rule, because that is how long most movies are.  At the end of the movie he takes a moment to reexamine himself and see where he is and if he can’t handle things, he pops another movie in.  This works for him because he has a lot of time on his hands but for others I tell them to try distracting themselves for 30 minutes then reexamine.  If 30 minutes is to long then how about 15 mins or maybe even 5 mins but be sure to reward yourself with positive thoughts after you make the time you have allotted for yourself because only by doing this will you get the confidence you need to continue.  

How do you deal with anxiety/anticipation? 

I’m off to bed early because I have an hour and 15 min drive in the morning to make it to my race and I want to feel rested so I can hit that goal!

Who wouldn't want to run along this scenery!

Who wouldn’t want to run along this scenery!

A Breakdown or Break through?!

breakdownEver thought you might be having a breakdown?  Maybe it was a break through!   What were your symptoms?

Over the past couple of weeks I have felt overwhelmed, cried to songs on the radio, wanted to turn around after it took me three hours to drive into Boston which is normally a 50 min drive and was pretty much in tears, as well as moments of begging for help from my Higher Power (God) to give me the strength and words to say to clients when I didn’t feel like I could help them.  Does this mean I am having a breakdown?  Believe me I sometimes feel like it!

But the breakthrough came when I realized that really I wasn’t taking care of myself like I am use to.  I have not been taking moments for myself to just breathe.  I remember this time last year I was pretty seriously training for my first ½ marathon ever.  I made the commitment to go to the gym and research how to prepare my body to run that distance.  This included rest, weights, and lots and lots of running. breakdown1

So recently I have been attempting to get back to that type of mindset.  Today I was able to start my day later and get some things done and end the day with a trip to the gym for a run.  I’m not saying that I may not be having a breakdown, I’m just saying that I have had a break through.  I need to take better care of myself.  The breakdown may have to wait.  Also if you lived near me you would see me driving down the road crying to songs on the radio like Rascal Flatts song “My Wish”.  Remember I do have the last one graduating this year and I love this song!!!

So breakdown or break through?!  Good news is that I’m moving forward and so could you!