Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Tough Week Ahead

This is going to be a challenging week. I’m travelling for part of the week and I have brutal flight times – really early flights! As a lot of you working moms already know, travelling is hard. While I don’t travel that much when I do it’s really stressful. I try to get as much done before I leave to make it as easy as possible for everyone and then I still have to get myself ready as well. No matter how organized (lists, lists, lists) and prepared I am, it still ends up being stressful in the end. It doesn’t help that I have a mountain of laundry to try to get through….I can’t tell you how much I HATE laundry but that will be a separate blog posting one day on that topic.

And, of course, there’s the inevitable working mom guilt that kicks in too. I’ve been prepping the girls and telling them that mommy will only be gone for 2 sleeps and know that I’ll be thinking about them the entire time and they can ask Daddy to call me whenever they like. As they’ve gotten older they’ve become much better about the whole travelling thing but it’s still hard nonetheless. It still breaks my heart when they ask “why can’t I come with you?” and “how can I give you a hug if you’re not home?” Trying hard to hold back tears!

Okay, back to running. So for week four of training my mission is to complete 3-5-3-8. I’m planning to run my 3 and 5 miles on Monday and Tuesday so I then can squeeze in a 3 miler on Thursday, which should be doable. My 8 miles will take place on Saturday when I run my first race – a 10k! I will run that and then run the extra 2 miles to get to my 8 mile total. Should be interesting to be in a race and see how that feels. Will definitely do a race recap after that.

Speaking of recap, last week overall was a good running week. Completed my 3-4-3-7 week without too much of a problem. That’s not saying that running 7 miles was easy or fun – far from it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to run until the afternoon – at 82 degrees and no wind around a lagoon that was buggy! I finished the 7 miles but drenched at the end of it. I couldn’t help it this time but I will get my long runs done in the mornings from now on. We haven’t even begun to hit hot weather yet here. For the first time I was sore the next day. It wasn’t anything too bad or painful but just minor aches. I must be getting old – and will be turning a year older next Sunday!

Happy running!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Friday, April 23, 2010


I went to the gym recently wearing my favorite running top: A Nike hot pink tank with a picture of the Chicago skyline and the words "Marathon Training 2009".

I like it because it's comfortable, it covers my "I gave birth to two kids so I don't have washboard abs dammit" tummy nicely and many times, it makes me feel like I am a real runner.

Sometimes though, I wear it and I'm waiting for someone to come up from behind, look me over and say, "Really? You? Marathon training? Faker."

I'm not exactly sure why, but it bugs me to no end when the feeling that someone is going to call me out on my insanity and my nerve to think that I, the unathletic one, would tell the world via my Nike top that I call myself a runner takes over.

Granted, I haven't quite finished a marathon in my four years of trying (see why here). I've never been athletic. In fact, far from it. I still remember the third grade anxiety I felt every night before gym class. I was terrified of the gym instructor and even more terrified when we would have to run laps around the gym (I frequently came in last place, mortifying) or when we would have to do pull ups (failed again). I remember concocting a scheme when I was 9 or 10 and telling my mom that I couldn't go to gym class that day because I tripped on the basement stairs and twisted something in my neck. My mother was rightfully skeptical so you can imagine my delight when I overheard her telling my dad . . .well, "the rug is moved like she fell on it." I thought I was so clever by twisting the rug at the bottom of that stairs to fake my accident. Anything to get out of Mr. Helmke's gym class.*

My feelings of terror related to all things athletic continued through college. The second time with my husband's dad's side of the family we were at a picnic. Harmless enough, until someone had the bright idea of getting a volleyball game together. Now, I'm already nervous getting to know the family and now I have to demonstrate my poor athletic skills? So much for making a good impression.**

So when that feeling enters my psyche . . . that I'm a faker, that someone is going to find out my little secret and tell the world that I'm a phony, I have to mentally push it out. I try to remind myself that even though I'm slow, I'm still running. Even though I haven't finished a marathon yet, I will (knock, knocking on wood). Even though I take walk breaks through the water stops (and ok, sometimes the hills) I am still running the great, great majority of the races . . .5ks, 10ks, and even a few Half Marathons along the way. I need to get this in check before mile 19 of the marathon or I'm toast.

On a lighter note, Suzanne, I'll have to add "Stronger" to my playlist. I've been meaning to for awhile. My favorite running song of late? Orianthi's "According to You". It's cheesy pop, but it works.


*I can't remember if my Mom made me go to gym class or not. I'm thinking yes, I must have blocked it out.
**For the record, my husband's family are a great bunch and in fact, very supportive of my many years of marathon efforts.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Totally Redeemed Myself

So I admit I was a little down after my lovely 6 mile run on Sunday. I did not like feeling like a failure – for those that know me I’m pretty competitive and I don’t like to lose/fail…at anything.

I took the day off from running on Monday to try to forget about it but it still really bothered me. Well I’m happy to report that today I ran my 3 miles and I TOTALLY REDEEMED MYSELF! Boy did I feel good and recorded my fasted 3 miler to date! Woo hoo! I was determined to have a good run and I felt strong and confident, and really enjoyed the entire run. Even had a good 400m sprint at the end. I enjoyed hearing Tiger Woods tell me “Congratulations. You ran your fastest mile to date!”

Looking back I really should have ran on Monday to get it over with and it would have stopped me from dwelling even more on my bad run. I’ll try to remember that going forward. What I’ve learned is that there will be times I’m not going to feel great but the important part is finishing what I start. Yes, I had a bad 6 mile run, but I finished it and that’s what I should focus on. It doesn’t mean I can’t run the marathon.

And a special thank you to my “big sister” Judy for your encouraging words on Monday. Appreciate it as always!

I’m also going to start posting songs that really help me on each run. Today, it was Kanye West’s “Stronger.”

Happy running!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Six miles sucked!

Week two of marathon training completed. Ran 6 miles today and it was not a fun run – the title of today’s blog pretty much sums it up. I battled with myself after mile 2, so it made for a long 4 more miles! I meant to run on Saturday but never got around to it so there was 2 days in between runs. Not sure if that contributed to my “sluggishness” or not?

I was very good earlier in the week and got my runs in on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. All of those felt good and I had no problems. No shin pain either so I’m hopeful that was a 1x thing.

Looking forward to training this week so I can get the bad 6 mile run behind me.

Week 3 training is 3-4-3-7

Week 4 will be interesting as I’m travelling for work half of that week and I have my first 10k race that Saturday. And in week 4, we say goodbye to 4 mile runs in the middle of the week and say hello to 5 miles. Week 4 training is 3-5-3-8.

I’ve also joined a women’s basketball league so cross-training will be added to my overall training. It should be interesting considering I haven’t played even a pick up game in awhile but looking forward to it. The games will be played on Sundays so I’ll be sure to get my long runs in on Saturdays from now on.

Happy running!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Unplanned Vacation (Jenn)

The title of this post could mean that my husband whisked me away from our little Midwest suburb to the balmy beaches and breezes of Maui, but alas it does not.


My unplanned vacation was a vacation from running, blogging, and a general sense of organization. I'm not quite sure where I went on this unplanned vacation but I didn't run a step, I didn't blog at all (but thankfully Suzanne did, she ran a lot too, isn't she doing great?! At least chances are great that one of us will finish a marathon!) and the house is in an even greater-than-usual state of chaos. WTF?

I have a little cough/sore throat but I am pretending I don't because I need to get back on schedule this week. Training calls for 4 mi, 3 mi, 5 mi, 6 mi. I dread getting on the treadmill at some ungodly a.m. hour this week (yes Mike, I am going to get up before you leave for work, really) but I know I will feel better if I do. I could feel work stress getting to me more this past week. Partly because of work, partly because I didn't run.

Time to get in gear. The Marathon (and my 40th birthday) are now less than 6 months away. I have less than 6 months to become fit, fabulous and finally organized!

With that, I need to stop blogging and get organized to reduce some of the Monday morning chaos. Need to get the kids' clothes, lunches, paperwork ready. I'm remembering now too that I still need to order a birthday cake for my daughter's party, haven't started on my daughter's kindergarten Timeline project yet (even though we've had 2 weeks to do it) and I didn't send out those thank you notes I promised myself I would get to this weekend.

And I wonder why I wake up at 2:30 a.m. and can't fall back asleep. Yawn.

Oh crap, one of the dogs just threw up in Mike's shoe . . .

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chased by a dog and the Wind Kicked my A**

Successfully completed my first official week of training! Ran 3 miles on Friday and 5 miles today to finish my week of 3-4-3-5. It is windy, windy, windy here and boy did it kick my a**. There were times when I felt like I was not moving forward at all but I finished. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow so I had to make sure I got my run in today.

I also experienced getting chased by a dog. Not a fun experience but it sure does get the heart rate going! Luckily it wasn’t a huge dog but I was just praying it wouldn’t bite! The dog eventually left me alone, but does anyone have any tips on what to do when a dog starts barking and chasing you? Other than RUN!

Next week’s training is 3-4-3-6

Overall, it’s been a good week. I’ve felt good and have been able to sprint the last 400 meters of each run with what energy I have left – love that the Nike ipod sensor does that! I do think though that I need to plan one day of rest before my long run because my shins were a little sore after my run today, which I have never experienced. They felt fine while running but once I stopped it felt like my shins were on fire – not a pleasant feeling. I’m going to see if that makes a difference next week and will let you know.

Happy running!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Britney Spears and I…..

Ran 4 miles together today! My Britney playlist was on my ipod while I ran and she definitely helped me get through it. She may be a “hot mess” – a favorite phrase of Crissha, my college roommate – but the girl makes great workout music that keeps you going! Don't you think so?! I think Mike’s eyes (Jenn’s husband) may be rolling right now…we have some differences in our music preferences...let's just say his music taste is much more sophisticated than mine. So thank you Britney for helping me out today!

This week I’ve ran 3 and 4 miles, so I just have 3 and 5 miles left for week 16 training. I have found out that I now enjoy running outside more than the treadmill. This is new for me because I used to prefer running on the treadmill. Running 3 miles on Monday at lunch on the treadmill was torture as I’ve been running outside a lot lately. My imagination is much more creative while running outside with the scenery changing as I go.

I also used my new running belt today – by Amphipod – which was really comfy. That along with my black Nike visor are my latest running accessories.

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, Official Marathon Training Begins and We Got Our CEO Lost!

It’s official. My 16 week training starts tomorrow!

Week 16 Training: 3-4-3-5

Last week wasn’t a great training week overall, but I did end the week strong with 2 really good runs. Luckily I squeezed my run in this morning before the rain started to really come down. What is with this California weather? It’s warmer in Chicago right now! But I read Chicago is dropping back into the 50s by the end of the week while we’ll be back up in the 70s, so things will be back to normal.

Jenn – I really enjoyed your new story on the treadmill. It really had me laughing and remembering your other equally enjoyable stories. Ha! My favorite all-time Jenn story though has to be the bowling one. Although the New York story is good as well - thank God for the Ann Taylor store!

One of my most embarrassing work stories actually includes Jenn. We were together at a trade show and were asked to drive our CEO back to his hotel with his wife. Should be easy enough right? For starters, Jenn and I had a very small, compact rental car – not exactly what our CEO was accustomed to. And secondly, I’m one of the most directionally challenged people you will ever find (just ask my husband).

As we began our journey, Jenn was driving and I was riding shotgun. I don’t even know if we had directions or what – this was before the days of Mapquest – but we started driving and thought we were on our way. We were staying at a Hilton and we saw one on the horizon and thought great we found our hotel….WRONG…it was a different Hilton.

Jenn and I never had to say a word once we figured out we had NO CLUE where we were. We somehow managed to keep up a pleasant conversation with our guests, although I wonder what they were thinking. I do remember vividly how she drove to the nearest gas station and I darted out before she even stopped the car to ask where we were and get directions as to where we needed to go. In the end, our CEO never made it to the hotel. He had to go back to the trade show for some more meetings. After some brainstorming we decided to send the CEO flowers apologizing for our mix-up, which he and his wife appreciated. It turned out that we weren’t the only ones that got lost with him during that trip, but we were the only ones that sent flowers!

SF Marathon Here I Come,