Monday, February 23, 2009

Return of the MOJO and Extraordinary Runner Award

Wow I am so excited! I got an email today that I won an Extraordinary Running Award from the Runners Lounge! If I had lost my mojo before..I DEFINITELY got it back today! I put a link to my story below.

My Joints Are In Motion

I have won a free pair of shoes and I am also being interviewed for the Open Mic for this Friday! I feel like such a celebrity - at least in running blog land (that's good enough for me). I feel great today and not just because of this but when I reread my story it really reminded me of what drove me to come back to running in the first place. I shouldn't care if my butt is bigger than it used to be or that I don't have time to become a stellar speedster or even that I look like a bag of dodo at the end of a race (insert hottie magazine runner pictures here). I did some speed work this morning and at the end of it I felt fantastic - and a little sick to my stomach so I guess it was a success. A personal success. That's all I need!

This year I am participating in a few other events but I am doing another marathon with the Joints in Motion Training Team in December so I have that to drive me on. This time I am participating with a friend (Marci) and I am just as excited as I was the first time. I needed this reminder to confirm for me that I get my validation from myself. Logging heavy mileage or getting a record time is fantastic and I look forward to getting there once kids are older and life is easier but I can and should be just as easily motivated by the simple fact that I laced up my shoes and got out there.

Anytime I am losing my faith or feel the mojo slipping away, I will reread my story and many others like mine and tell myself that I run because my daughter might not or because so many people would love to run and can't/won't. I will be reminded that the only roadblocks to success are the ones we put up ourselves. I will also remind myself that the definition of success should be as flexible as my commitment to a sugar free diet (imagine crazy fits of laughter at this point).

Next time the big green blog of ectoplasm comes calling, I will sit on him with my "less than Jillian Micheals standard" backside. Then I will lace up and head out.

Thanks for all the great comments from the last post - it helps!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Attack of the Blob

I am in a rut. Marathon Mama refered to herself as Ectoplasm which I thought was hilarious so I am totally stealing it and it will now be a reflection of my mood over the past few days.

Last week we had great weather and now back to cold temps and snow - yuck. I keep begging hubby to get promoted to California or the Carolinas where he goes all the time but so far I am not getting anywhere. Run Girl has decided that sleep is not necessary even after nearly four years of life so I have had one too many pre-school sized conversations at 2:00 in the morning. Futhermore, I have had some work stress and things are not going as I hoped. I don't exactly work in a recession proof industry so I am hitting wall after wall and sometimes, it is better to just fall down.

I was very inspired by my new training plan last week and yet I have not run in four days. Call it time management, call it laziness, call it a sudden addiction to my couch after the kidlets are gone to bed - whatever it is, I am losing myself quickly and turning into that green blob. Perhaps me and Marathon Mama should go out for a gigantic bowl of ice cream to really finish us off. :)

I need some inspiration. I may be opening up the flood gates here but I want to know of a book you have read or a great article or something that really gets your blood pumping. It would be fantastic if it could be about a 30 something working mom of little kids, with a travelling husband, 20 extra pounds to lose and the desire to be a superior runner and elite soccer/tennis player and super mom but alas, this may be asking too much. I accept all entries and welcome thoughts.

It would also be wonderful if something free could just show up at my door like I read about on several blogs. What fairy godmother do I talk to about that? (I am smiling as much my ectoplasm will allow for) :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Race Schedule Update and Totally Unrelated Thoughts

Thanks to all the great advice from my fellow bloggers and those that run with me around here, I have decided to formally change my registration in the Ottawa Marathon (May) to the 1/2 marathon.  I have revised my mapped out training plan to reflect this new distance as well as my time goal of sub 1:50.   I was worried that I would feel disappointed in myself but I actually feel great!  I am anxious to get a great finish time and am strangely excited to increase my speedwork...weird.  

So now the modified 2009 Run Mommy Schedule looks like this:

May - Ottawa 1/2 marathon
June - Durham Forest Trail Run (very excited for this one - my first trail run!)
June  - August - perhaps a few more trail runs and the occasional 5-10k for speed
September - Scotiabank 1/2 marathon Arthritis Society Alumni event
October - GoodLife Toronto Marathon (or 1/2 marathon - undecided about this one.  The beauty part of this race is that I work for Goodlife so no registration fee)
December -  Barbados with Joints in Motion! Full marathon.

I know Marci posted about Barbados too and we are very excited!  I am sure we will post more on our upcoming events.  Can't wait.  Although I know Marci will kick my butt to the finish line because she has become super speedy gal - I am totally OK with it. :) 

So there you go.  I think my schedule works well for my family, my job, my marriage, my clean bathrooms.  It is enough that I feel like I am still running regularly but not so much that it takes over my life.  Also, the longer distances occur in the late fall when I have months and months of ice/snow free training beforehand.   It also gives me a chance to play soccer (pulled hip flexor aside) and tennis as well as all the activities we do as a family like coaching their soccer, bike riding etc..   Thanks again to all who gave me solid and thoughtful advice. :) 

Under the title of totally unrelated, I had a fun cooking day yesterday.  Thanks the Sexy Six Pack Challenge, I have been really trying hard to eat clean as much as possible.  This means lots of whole foods, nothing processed and staying away from crap (as much as one person can and remain sane).  For Valentines Day yesterday we decided on a fun family/adult menu.  First, I made homemade butternut squash soup.  I LOVED it.  I put a small dollop of sour cream on the top as well as some sprouts...

Final vote - Run Mommy - YUM.  Hubby - sort of, Run Girl - LOVED it, Run Boy - YUCK.  Umm..  soup is one my favourite things to make and is so much easier than most people think.  

Then we made homemade pizza's.  This is always a big hit except that my children make theirs pretty quick. - sauce...cheese...done.   This time, Run Girl actually put on some tomatos, broccoli and a few pepperonis.  She is always the more adventurous eater than the boy. Then Hubby and I decided to make our pizza and this was the final result.
This pizza made me laugh so hard that I had to take a picture of it!  It is such a reflection of our relationship!  First, you will notice that the size if the halves is not quite half.  Clearly he made his half first.  Second, his is full the basic's - tomato sauce, mountains of cheese and pepperoni.  That is my husband- a very basic guy with no extraordinary requirements.  Then you see my half (or slightly less than) and I have put on pesto, broccoli, red onions, veggie chicken (soy), and goat cheese.   

I think all couples should make a shared pizza for therapy - it really helps define things!  What makes me so happy is that he admired my half(ish) even though the thought it was disgusting to him.  He didn't make fun of putting pesto on pizza or scold me for buying expensive goat cheese or soy chicken just for a pizza.  He appreciated that I thought it was yummy and he happily ate his portion with just as much joy.  I guess that's why we have been together for so long and are going to celebrate 10 years this year!  

Great the blogging allows us to give free food therapy too. :) Final thoughts..I became a new auntie this week!  I have a brand new nephew and a sister who is a first time mom so I expect lots and lots and lots of calls. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Alternate Universe

Today I am in an alternate seems so bizarre to me that I felt compelled to post about it.
  • I have not run since Saturday. I played soccer on Sunday but of course - now a sore leg. Today is better but I think I need to give it a few more days.
  • I am on a business trip this week so I will not be MOM (in person at least) for three days.
  • As a result of a said business trip, I have just arrived in my hotel room and I am now watching Oprah while I blog. Can't say that EVER happens at 4:30 in the evening.
  • I usually have fruit smoothie for breakfast and some kind of soup for lunch. Today I had a bagel with cream cheese and for lunch - a chicken burger. And I don't eat meat.
  • Before I turned on the computer, I was browsing through my Runners World magazine and my Oxygen exercise mag. This was to alleviate my guilt on today's poor eating (while I cannot run). What is really crazy about this is (aside from the time of day) is that while I was browsing, there was a knock on the door which was VIP Business services dropping off my complementary bag of cookies and juices. I ate the cookies while browsing the health living magazines...I don't even like white chocolate.
  • The temperature today is much like April - not January...and I am in Northern Ontario.
  • Tomorrow, after I sleep all by myself in my hotel room with no children calling me or husband making bizarre night time noise, I will get up and speak to employers looking to bring health promotion to their workplace. Can I do that with a straight face??
Maybe I should call my house now and talk to the kids during dinner so I can get a sense of the volume that I am not in the middle of. Then I should tidy up the hotel room and maybe wipe down the bathroom..That should be bring me back to reality. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

7 on the 7th and RICE

Well I managed to finish my 7 on the 7th in some good weather for a nice change! Yesterday was record breaking warm temperatures however the downside was the sidewalks were full of water and puddles from the melting snow.  However, I managed to get my 7 miles in pretty well (considering it was the first outdoor run in weeks).  I had a full intention of 75 minutes to get it done...well, well, well...

I started out great but like I said, the water getting in my shoes took some getting used to.  I had my ipod up to max volume to give me a push.  I felt a lot of energy from the warming temp.  I tried really, really hard not to look at my Garmin but couldn't help myself a few times.  A little addictive. :).  I am actually glad I did because it kicked my butt a few times.  I wrapped up the seven miles in exactly 70 minutes - I am not kidding - I hit the stop button at 7 miles and time was exactly 1:10.  Crazy.  I felt pretty good about it and anxious to get going on some speed work this week. Thanks to Run to the Finish for putting it together!  

Now on to today's adventures.  I did not do my long run today as I am running with a coworker tomorrow.  So tonight I had my soccer game which I was really excited about!  Last week we played a team filled with 19 and 20 year olds and I knew this week's opponents were more in the 30+ set.  Thankfully.   Anyway, I had a lot of energy to burn and couldn't wait to get on the field.  I play mid-field so there is a lot of running but today when I got out there, something felt funny in the right quad.  I ran around a bit hoping it would go away.  Then on a rush for the goal, I crumpled in what I thought was a charlie horse (the worst one I have ever had!).  I dragged myself off and then began stretching and trying to work it out.  

I waited it out until the second half and went back in.  I was running around OK and then again on a break for the ball on the right way, I planted my left foot with the intent of striking with my right foot and my whole body went down with killer pain in my right upper quad.  I think it is my hip flexor??  It is very painful to lift my leg and I literally dragged my right leg home.  

So now what do I do?? I will be really bummed if this squashes my soccer playing but even worse if I can't run.   I welcome any and all advice.  I am trying to do RICE but if there other helpful tips - I'll take them. :)  

Speaking of helpful tips - thank-you to all who commented on my last post.  I really took everything in and will make that call this week.  At this point (injury aside) I am really considering doing the 1/2 and save Marathon #2 for the fall.  I have decided I can be mom, wife, friend, sister etc... AND runner.  I just need to know my limits. :)  Thanks again all. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Half The Race, Twice the Effort

Today is a strange day and one in which I am grateful for the sounding board that is this blog. As most know, I just did my first full marathon and while I was not overjoyed with the finishing time,the experience was unforgettable. However, I am determined to do more marathons and get a much more respectable time. That said, I have some limitations. Ones that I have chosen to ignore for a while but I think I must acknowledge and confront.

First, the weather. No surprise here but I HATE winter. More importantly, I hate cold temperatures. Truth be told, I live in Southern Ontario where we have it much better than other parts of Canada or than our American friends in the northern states. However, I still hate wearing 8 layers of clothes and sliding on ice and getting frost bitten cheeks. This winter has been particularly daunting and I have run more on a treadmill or indoor track than I have outdoors for the past three weeks. This makes me a little nervous!

Secondly, I have small children and a full time job as well as a husband that travels half the month. Again, I fully acknowledge that there are many, many women out there that have these same things and manage Boston level runs and superior accomplishments. I worship these women. Plus I imagine that they all look like this hardbody in the picture...

This leads me to my thought...perhaps I should put more focus on the half marathon and really striving for an excellent time than being so determined to to get a great time in the full marathon? Is that selling myself short? Am I giving up? That is not to say that I never want to do another marathon because I do. I am thinking that I would like to do several 1/2 marathons with some hard core training and specific goals and perhaps try two or three marathons in a year (preferably in the fall when I have a snow/ice free training period).
I have been doing a lot of reading lately on the half marathon and it has quickly become a huge event in recent years. I am sure there are a number of reasons but for many, it is simply more attainable. The distance is..well...half as much so it seems logical that more people could acheive it. The marathon is a wonderful experience, and one I don't want to miss out on a second time but the mileage and training structure is such that it takes up more of my time than I can spare on a regular basis. At least if I want to do it properly.

That is another fair point, I can continue to train for the full marathons but I may end up acheiving under my standards because I simply do not have the same amout of time to do everything in my life (Effectively). My children are very proud of me as a runner but I am often met with sad faces when I head out the door to run because they would rather play Checkers or even the popular, "Help Mommy Sort the Laundry" game. :) God knows my bathrooms would struggle to pass a "white glove" test.

I know myself and doing the marathon for the second time means that I MUST acheive some kind of respectable showing (for my standards). In May, I am registered for the Ottawa marathon but I am strongly considering changing to the Half Marathon and really focusing on a sub 1:55 result. Then I will do more 1/2 marathons as well as a few trail races followed by the full Marathon in Barbados with the Joints in Motion (and Marci!) in December. Of course then my husband and I are participating in the Disney event (his first 1/2 marathon) and I would like to do the Goofy. That would mean my total marathons for 2009 would be 2 but my half marathons would be more like 6 or 7 plus trail runs. Will I get the same satisfaction from that now that I have done a marathon?

Thanks for the thoughts. Wow I love having a blog. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dear Body

Dear Body,

I know you have taken some abuse in recent years, I apologize. I have taken you for granted and now I must try to make amends. I understand now that fancy creams and a loofah sponge are not enough to truly make you happy. There are so many other things to consider Body, and I have listed my promises to you below:
  • First, I promise to eliminate retched and toxic white sugar from my diet. I know that Tongue and Taste buds might be upset at first but overall, Endocrine system will be overjoyed and it will be worth upset buds.

  • I promise you Heart and Lungs to keep up all the oxygen that gets pumped into you on a regular basis. I realize that for a few years, you were starved but I am afraid you have to blame Reproductive system for that.

  • I promise you Muscular system, to really try to give you a workout. I try but it is simply not very fun to lift something up and down unless you get a fun toddler hug out of it. However, I expect something in return. I expect you to tighten up and maintain your shape when I am wearing a bathing suit or sleeveless top. No excuses this time. This is especially important for you backside muscles. 35 years is a long time to stay upright, I get it but lunges are not fun so I expect you to fall in line.

  • While I have already addressed Muscular System, I think it is important to speak directly to Abdomen. I believe you may have suffered the most, I am so very sorry. Unfortunately, I can't do much about those nasty stretch marks or c-section scars but I can really promise you that I will finally get rid of that nasty pouch you have been carrying. It must be so uncomfortable and frankly, a little embarrassing for you! I have to warn you, it might get worse before it gets better because they have these things called crunches. There are terribly unpleasant but no pain, no gain.

  • Now Skin...we have to really get serious. I accept that you cannot remain tight and firm for ever but what can I do to make sure you don't get lazy for at least a few more years?? I use great sunscreen and shield you from rays as much as I can. What more do you want?? OK, OK, I promise not to wash you with regular soap anymore and I swear I will invest in more facials. But I beg you...especially you around the eyes - cut me some slack..

Now for my requests:

  • Legs, I ask a lot of you. Not only do you keep my upright and able to be an active part of the world but I expect you to carry me for long, long, long time without rest. I want you to expel that lactic acid as quickly as possible and let that oxygen in! My guess is that it is like cocaine for your muscles so enjoy it! I appreciate your efforts but we really need to kick it up a notch. While I appreciate you hanging in there, it is time to buckle down. You also need to make nice with Feet because we need them to cooperate to be successful. Plus, as an added bonus I think it is time to chop off that little extra you got hanging on the you really need that? Think of the nice pants you could show off if you got rid of it.

  • Lungs, get ready because there is going to be a LOT more oxygen coming in at speeds a little faster than before. I never cursed you with smoke or toxic fumes so you should be able to pick this up quick.

  • Heart. The centre of your universe. The doctor tells me that despite all my efforts, you are hurting a little and need to be cleaned up. I will dedicate significant effort to make that happen. I beg you to give me some time because I can't risk losing you. I need you for practical purposes because everybody works together better when you are happy. More importantly, I gave some of you away to my husband and children resulting in a serious risk of breaking more hearts than just you if I left. I will make it my mission that with the my help, the doctors help and your dedication, you will be all fixed up in a few months. Please don't give up because I need some more of you to give away for many years to come.

  • If I could make one last request, while I realize you are getting older, is it too much to ask that you shrink just a little?? We can only pull off a bikini for so long and I would definitely like that to be just a tiny bit longer.... please???

Thank-you, Body for listening to me. I hope we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement and not have to discuss these things again. Together we can accomplish so many great things so let's do it and stop thinking about it. Its time for action!

Your truly, the Soul of Run Mommy. :)