Monday, December 31, 2012

Yoga Monday : Extended Triangle Pose

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana):

Happy New Year's Eve!

I love this pose for runners because it really stretches the hamstrings and side waist.  These seems to be areas that tighten up often for me so I practice this stretch regularly.  Namaste.

For more information on this pose visit here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A LULU Christmas

Ok, I have had a lust for Lululemon clothing this past year.  I mean pretty, flattering athletic clothing for runners and yogi's all from a company with a heart, is there anything better?  Well, maybe the price.  It has seemed beyond selfish to me to spend twice as much on a running outfit just because it looks nice  (ok there are loads of technical reasons too, but it really boils down to appearance).
Well, my loving husband has noted my panting and drooling and gave me a very generous Christmas gift this year, a Lululemon jacket in white and a pair of running capri's.
Sadly, my well intended husband bought the clothes just a little too small for me (which is unbelievable since I've been known to shop in the children's department).  So I go to have a second Christmas when I went to return the items and pick out some new ones.  I purposely went the day after Christmas knowing there would be a few bargains to be had.  And I was right! I was able to exchange my lovely Christmas gift for both as winter and a summer running outfit.  I couldn't be more excited with my new capris, shorts, tank, long-sleeved mock and ear warmer.  Now I can hardly wait to see my next set of race photos!
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Training during the holidays, is it even possible?

I find myself with a few extra moments right now and sadly can't get out the door to run so I guess I'll type!
Currently, my father in law is visiting us from out of town and my husband is off work so there are plenty or adult supervisors around but yet, I can't seem to get out the door to run!
I had the best intentions today or finally logging my long run for the week today but now it's mid afternoon and my husband had to run some last minute errands.  Meanwhile my father in law is doing some work in the yard for us so I feel like an absolute scum asking him to come play dress up for the nine-hundredth time this week just so I can go run.
You see to me, my running is as much a chore as it is my respite.  I feel like my daily workout is a requirement; my family however does not!  My husband is half supportive of my efforts and knows better than to voice his less supportive half.  But I just can't shake the feeling of selfishness when I scamper off down the road especially during this holiday, family season.
I know it's fine to take a light week, enjoy Christmas  but I also know I have a 30k race just 4 weeks away and that I haven't logged a run longer than 10 miles in the past 2 weeks.  My training plan has scratches and marks all through it and I'm feeling very anxious.  Will I be ready for an 18.6 mile run? I just don't know and I'm feeling deflated at this moment.
Not to mention, I've been having some uncomfortable twinges coming from the arch of my right foot making me fear that I've inflamed my plantar fascia!  When I do get out for my runs this week (even if they are shorter than I'd like) I will be taping the area and wearing my compression sleeves and crossing my fingers, all in hopes of passing through this time of inflammation (both physical and emotional!) quickly and with a little stability.

Merry Christmas.

Yoga Monday : Fish Pose

Fish Pose (matsya):

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today's pose is great for chest congestion and thyroid issues.  Both items I suffer from.  Here in Central Texas it's the start of "cedar season," meaning the cedar pollen is about to engulf our air and render me nearly paralyzed with congestion, red eyes and general malaise.  This pose helps to loosen my chest just a bit and gives me a slight amount of relief.  I also suffer from and under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and this pose is supposed to help massage the thyroid and give it a little boost.  Namaste.

For more information on this pose visit here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yoga Monday : Wheel Pose

Wheel Pose (Dhanurasana )

The wheel pose has to be one of my absolute favorites.  I admit this is not for the faint of heart, but as a former gymnast this pose just feel natural to me.  Until I began my yoga practice, I would've called this a back bend but wheel pose sounds much more refined!  I think this pose is great for runners because it opens the hips and stretches the core. For a great tutorial on this pose go here.  Namaste.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yurbuds---I Love You!

Okay, I have fought with my iPod earbuds for years.  They never fit well and part of my work out just naturally contained perpetual movements to my ears to reposition these slippery, sloppy earbuds.
I have become fed up with them more than once and sought replacements but nothing seemed any better.  This year, I tried two different brands that had pieces that wrapped around my ears with hopes they would stick in place such luck.  They actually sucked worse than the iPod buds.  Since I never actually cared about the sound quality, just their "stickiness" I've never wanted to buy an expensive technical pair. I figured the only difference between cheap and expensive pairs were the way they sounded (okay I know nothing about how how these things actually work) and so I continued buying cheap hoping to find something that just fit my small ears correctly!
Well last week I gave up!  My iPod buds were splitting and I was so irritated by them during my long runs I threw my hands up and knew that if I was going to have some music to carry me through my half marathon I'd need something new.
After a lot of research I decided that Yurbuds were strongly recommended and worth a try.  So in a last minute fit before my half marathon I ran to Best Buy and bought a pair of Yurbuds Inspire.  I tried them for the first time during the race and I absolutely fell in love!  These things rock.  They don't slip they don't slide and they are great!  I can't tell you how excited I am to use these little guys!  While I realize that a lot of true runners would say that running without anything in their ears and just the sounds of your surroundings is the way to go, I have to disagree.  I find music or an audiobook to be a great way to move me forward during my workouts and with these new earbuds I think I'll easily find myself even more motivates!
AWESOME, go get a pair today!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Yoga Monday-Half Lord of the Fishes

Running seems to provide me with a place of therapy both physically and mentally but I find it impossible and irresponsible to spend all my time running.  I know that to get the most benefit out of my running legs I must train and work my entire body.  Enter yoga.  For me yoga is the second best thing to running for my conditioning.  While aerobically, yoga is less intense than running or cross-training it is none the less effective at working and strengthening my body.  Beyond the strength and flexibility that yoga provides me it also gives me mental conditioning like nothing else.  Since yoga is centered around self-awareness and present-self, it is very effective for keeping me rounded in the midst of my long-term competitive goals.  In my yoga practice I seek to find my own grace and calm; two items that have proven beyond valuable as a mommy to three very active and often strong willed daughters!  So with that I am planning to post a yoga pose every Monday to provide inspiration for the week.

Week 1: Yoga Monday

Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
I personally love this pose because it gives a nice stretch in the thigh/buttock area (often tight and sore from running) while also wringing out your insides with the twist allowing fresh blood and oxygen into your core region.  

Step by step instruction provided here by

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Half Marathon-DONE!

Just finished the Half Marathon I've been training the past 7 weeks for.  I ended with a 1:52 (8:35/mi) in 5th place for my AG.  I'll take it!  After battling this weeks cold I really am very happy with these results.  I feel pretty good at this point and realize that I could've pushed a little harder at the end, but got confused on the race course and thought I had further to run than I actually did!  Oh well, I'll attack more fiercely next time.

Now I'm off to nurse a wicked blood blister on one of my toes....ugly!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Today is officially the last day of my half-marathon training.  I'm anxious to see if it was enough.  I have lost a little of the excitement and courage that I had last week since this week I've been battling a cold and feeling generally weak.  I was planning on "tapering" this week but the cold has forced me into an even easier week than I was expecting.  But I won't let this bug get the best of me.  I am still preparing for tomorrow's race with gusto and am determined to run it with some grace. I won't let the last 7 weeks of preparation go unused.
Today I plan to have some holiday fun with the girls(some ornament painting and cookie baking). Maybe the jolly spirit of the season will kick the last of this cold out of me.
I won't make my way to the gym or the trail today but I do plan on doing a yoga set before bed to be sure I'm loose(I'll also spend a good deal of time in fish pose to help my chest congestion). I've put a good deal of thought into my meals this week.  Eating high protein, high carb easy to digest meals and hydrating like crazy.  I'm also in search of foods rich in iron that aren't beans(to avoid intestinal discomfort) since Aunt Flo came to join me yesterday and I feel weak from the blood loss....great condition, I know!
I've packed my race bag; directions to the course, GU blocks, extra socks and hat, IPod,  nathan hand-held waterbottle and some grapefruit juice.

Safe to say I'm as ready as I'll ever be!  Lets just hope Pheidippides a his band of running gods are on my side tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Run Happy!

So on Thanksgiving in the spirit of the holiday I submitted my fondest running memory to the Brooks Running website to be added to their Facebook Timeline of Running History(check it out here).  Well news arrived on Monday that I was one of the 3 chosen from hundreds of submissions for the contest!  How awesome is that!  What's even more special about this contest was the memory that I submitted for the contest; crossing the finish line with my eldest daughter in her first race!  Truly an amazing memory and one that keeps me running forward.
As a prize for winning this contest Brooks has sent me a brand new pair of Pure2Connect shoes that I am in love with(another gift from Brooks as a part of their wear test program).  Ironically, I have been wearing these exact same shoes for the past 3 months and am on the verge of wearing them out so it's so lovely to know that I have a fresh pair waiting for me in the closet when it's time to retire this pair after the upcoming Half Marathon.  And since it was my daughter who helped me wins these new shoes I promptly went out and bought her some new running shorts and flashy hair bows!  It's great to be a runner and a mother.  Run Happy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Awesome training run

Running for me has always been a stress reliever and a source of solace.  With three little ones at home my life is rarely quiet or calm so running provides that oasis for me.  I choose to run alone because I like the time to myself.  Also, because I did a team race earlier this year and ended up with one of my friends not speaking to the group for weeks following the race (I guess we all have different levels competitive spirits). There have been moments when I've thought it would be wise to join a running club or to find a partner to help challenge me, but ultimately I find myself the best and cheapest company.
Today was a day when I wish I had run with someone else, or at least had someone else around to share in my accomplishment.  I ran 11 miles this morning at a 8:35 pace.  Nothing too spectacular but an accomplishment none the less that I wanted to shout from the roof tops.  The other part of the run that was so darn fun was picking up another runner around mile 8.5 who must've thought he was tough stuff.  I could tell by his gait that he was an athlete but not a long range runner.  Once he spied me he made his move and whizzed past me to eat his dust!  I let him maintain his lead of about 300 feet for the  next mile and a half but then we hit a downhill (my favorite) and I zoomed right by.  I could hear his mouth drop.  I couldn't tell you how far ahead of him I made it before he slowed to a walk by once I finished my run and turned around for a quater mile walk I saw him standing still.  He turned and headed back where he came from and I have no idea if he picked up his pace again or not, but I loved surprising him and kicking his butt.  Oh and did I mention that this was in my last couple miles of my run compared to his fresh early miles!  Score one for the girls!!
Lets hope today's high keeps me going through the next 9 days as I gear up for the big Half-Marathon.  I'm putting it down here; I'll be content with a 9 minute pace but I know that I need an 8:30 or less if I'm going to have any chance of placing in my age group (even at that pace I could quickly be picked off by some more seasoned athletes but this is where the paces were last year) so I'll keep doing some speed work outs and hoping that I feel as good on the 8th as I did today.

Lace 'em up!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Making a list and checking it twice.....

So I've already begun making my Christmas wish-list. While my daughters are rambling off items like My Little Pony and Minnie Mouse I've started daydreaming about what I'd really love for Santa to stuff into my stocking.  This year I find that most of my "wishes"are for items that might help my running or my lifestyle.  While I know that I'm not likely to see too many of these items actually under the tree this year, here's to holding onto a few dreams!

  • CEP Compression Calf Sleeves

  • Amphipod Hydrafoam Handheld Ergo-Lite water bottle

  • Handful Bras. Honestly what Momma would't want something functional and flattering like this!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Potty training!

Ok, so here's the "Bugaboo" part of this blog.  Some ramblings and antics about my children and parenthood.

I have three sweet daughters and 2 of which have whizzed right through the babyhood and are now 22 months old.  An age, I believe, to begin potty training. My eldest was this age when I trained her, and I fully intend to have her younger sisters trained and out of diapers before their 2nd birthdays as well.

Let me just say, I thought potty training was the hardest parent challenge I had ever endured when I trained Adelyn, but now that I'm training twins I'm recanting.  Potty training twins is the hardest challenge I've had as a parent! Not only am I scrambling to get one to the toilet in time, but then I'm trying to find a spot for the second one to go as well.  Not to mention the accidents, yes twice the fun!  I believe that this endeavor is actually helping with my speed work on the race course since I'm scrambling, running and darting all over the house in an effort to avoid one more pair of wet pants!

Even with the challenges I firmly believe my efforts will be worth it.  I HATE diapers, they are messy, expensive, dirty and well gross.  So the quicker we are out of them the better.  Beyond that I think the successes in the bathroom give my girls some confidence and some independence, something that girls need at any age. So with our handmade cloth training pants a timer and a hearty supply of cleaning solvents we trudge forward.  Everyday we get closer, I just know it.

Training Week 3 (4 weeks to go)!

It's been 3 weeks since I made the heavy commitment to a December 8th half marathon.  So far so good.  Today I buttoned up this week with a great 5 mile run through the cool fall morning on a nice trail along with 30 minutes of crazy core work (to quote the instructor "6 tracks to a 6 pack!"....we'll see).
This week has been pretty mundane.  Thankfully.  Last week was tough.  I felt fatigued and my body felt like it was made out of un-moveable steel.  My tibias ached and my toe nails started to give way, and I was sluggish.  This week has been much more fun!  I've logged my anticipated miles and completed several varied cardio workouts.  I even feel like I can see a few slight improvements in my figure from my hard work. Bonus!

As I look at my training plan I see that the next 2 weeks will be long!  I will be spending a good deal of time away from my family with my laces tied and my feet pounding the pavement.  Am I being selfish with this training?  Yes, I suppose but not intentionally.  My  husband is fairly supportive of my efforts, although he really sees no point, and my girls love to go to the races and cheer me on.  Nonetheless, I spend 10-15 hours a week training, time I could be playing with the kids or cleaning the house.  The honest reality of it though is that I don't really believe I'd be any more productive as a house wife if I weren't running and I'm sure I'd be less effective as a mother and a wife without it.  Running and pushing my body thrills me, it motivates me, it energizes me.  What could be more beneficial for children than a happy mommy?  Nothing, I hope.  As long as my hard working husband continues to allow me a couple hours of solace when he's home to go run out my mommy stress, and the local gym continues to provide me with free child care then I fully intend to keep moving and run right through the guilt!

Week 3 Results:
Sat: 5 miles with hills
Sun: 6 miles 
Mon:60 mins Yoga, 4 miles stationary bike, 1 mile 6.45 pace
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 2 miles sprint interval
Weds: REST
Thurs: 5 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 5 miles negative split & 30 mins CX works plyo/core

Week 4 Schedule:
Sat: 6 miles with hills
Sun: 9-10 miles 
Mon: 60 mins Yoga & 3 miles sprint interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 5 miles stationary bike
Weds: REST
Thurs: 3 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 5-6 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Suburban Trails

I've started adding a few more miles per week to my treads in effort to gain distance and speed for my upcoming races.  In doing so, I've had to seek out new trails and time for these longer runs.  With my new training plan I've started running when and where I can.  This has been exciting and humorous.  Last weekend, I decided to use my feet to take me to my local Walgreens to pick up a couple small items.  The Walgreen's is about 3.5 miles from my home (7 miles round trip)and the run itself was generally paved with concrete and asphalt and with a few monstorous hills to fight with, but it wasn't the actual pounding of the pavement that was so much fun during this journey.  It was showing up sweaty and gently out of breath into a general public setting and seeing the glances of the less active society watching me that was so amusing.  Sure, I may not have smelled as appealing as the other shoppers and my clearly impatient demeanor at the check-out line(not wanting to be idle for too long) was a little irritating but I myself was a little smug, knowing that my body was all I really needed to get me from place to place.  It's nice to get past the tethered feeling that we seem to have to our cars.  While I don't live in an area where I will ever be able to completely go without my car for any length of time, knowing that once in a while I can steal away on nothing but my feet to complete my errands is liberating.

I did learn a great lesson during this trip, I need some gear!  If I'm going to be adding distance from my home and gym I really must get myself a good handheld water bottle and some obnoxious neon shorts or tops!  I've discovered that venturing onto the suburban sidewalk trails may open a whole new world of opportunity and danger!  While I'd like to imagine most people whizzing by me in their cars are aware of my presence and proud of me, the reality is just the opposite.  Sadly, most people driving in their cars pay little attention to the pedestrians around them. In fact, the NHTSA found that in 20120 that nearly 12 pedestrians a day lost their life in a motor/pedistrian accident! From the cozy cabin of most cars we pedestrians seem to be nothing but an annoyance at best and a speed bump at worst!
So please, be careful while your hitting the pavement, and enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 1 Training Review (6 weeks to go):

I have just completed my last training session for this week of this fast paced program that I've decided to undertake.  In just 6 more weeks I plan on racing in a half marathon (13.1 miles).  This week has been exhilarating and energizing.  I've added several new blisters to my toes and some dull aching in my tibia's but I'm generally feeling good.  I feel fairly confident that at this rate I'll be ready to tackle the challenge.  That being said, I must admit that my times on this morning 4 mile run were abysmal.  I intended for the run to be a negative half split ( 2nd half was run faster than the first) and was successful by definition but it's not saying much with mile 2 was a turtle-y 9 minute mile! I think I've got to get myself a decent watch/pedometer so I can keep better track of my pace.  Beyond that, the 35 minute plyo/core workout  added a little hair to my chest (kidding really) and a bucket-full of sweat beads to the gym floor.
For anyone who is interested here is what this week's training looked like and a peek at what next week has in store.

Week 1 Results:
Sat: 5 miles with hills
Sun: 6 miles 
Mon:60 mins Yoga & 3 miles interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 2 miles sprint interval
Weds: REST
Thurs: 2 miles hills with twins in double stroller
Fri: 4 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Week 2 Schedule:

Sat: 6 miles with hills
Sun: 7miles 
Mon: 60 mins Yoga & 3 miles sprint interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 5 miles stationary bike
Weds: REST
Thurs: 3 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 4 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Off to the races.....

Fall is in full swing across the country and here in Central Texas, for me, that means race season is here.  Don't get me wrong, you can find a race just about any weekend of the year in this area but I personally take my annual "break" during the hot and steamy summers.  While the rest of the country seems to be hunkering down and preparing for the cold months I am just starting to get my running legs back under me and out on the trail. This month's edition of Competitor magazine has countless articles on the "winter break" and with the NYC Marathon set for this month (conditions permitting this year) it's clear that most of the community is preparing for their BIG 2012 finish.  Not me, we're just getting started!

So what are my plans for the fall/winter season?  Well, I kicked off season with a 5k and a 5 mile race in October (with 2nd and 3rd place finishes respectively) and November will bring the ubiquitous Turkey Trot.  But the height of my training and focus will be on the Half Marathon I have committed to in December and with any luck a 30k in January.  Just putting those commitments in writing here has me feeling inspired, how about you?

I'll keep you posted on my progress along with a few quips and anecdotes along the way from my 3 daughters (the eldest, who is 4, started her racing career this season).  There are sure to be lumpy days, times when I just feel like a lump of coal, but with my sights set on a little more "hardware" for the trophy wall I'm feeling up to the challenge.

Lets lace up and get moving.