Half Marathon Mama!

Half Marathon Mama!
SBI Half Marathon, November 10, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Running withdrawals and the Holidaze

So, the holiday season can be pretty brutal for a mom and teacher...trust me, I was so ready for the vacation but the 'marathon' leading up to the break is hard. Christmas was amazing and our annual holiday party the Saturday before was a blast. We have the best friends and family and we really celebrated the season well!

These are my girls...we had so much fun! I love nights when the adults can get together and laugh...best party of the year!

My kids had a great Christmas. Santa and Nona and Papa all really spoiled them and made all of their wishes come true! I get to go shopping with my mommy for some necessities and I can't wait for that! I got $ to go towards a Garmin watch and I'm still researching to make sure I choose the best one!

Santa also brought me a nasty head cold for the holidays...ughhhhhh. I've been in bed for the last two days catching up on bad reality TV and running blogs. Watched a "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" marathon on TLC today...whoa, that was like a train wreck! People are just crazy!
Silver lining: while browsing runner blogs I realized that I WON a giveaway! I was so stoked, I screamed at my husband in my croaky voice and almost passed out from excitement, lol.

Thanks Steph, from "Run Lil Mama, Run!" I can't wait to receive it!

And now to the running withdrawals. With everything going on, I haven't been able to run for over a week...boooooo! I'm really hoping to get better by New Years since a bunch of us are planning to run a Resolution 5K Race with a Bloody Mary and Mimosa celebration afterwards. Can't wait!

Last thing, I never posted about my last race. I ran a fun Santa Claus 5K in early December in the drizzly rain. I had my awesome cheering section out in full force and snagged an awesome PR! 22:07 and third for my age division! Merry Christmas to me :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rainy run

So I decided to go running in the rain today. I have been hesitant to run this week because my feet have been achy and sore. :(
I think it's the shoes. I have always run in Nikes and I made the switch to Asics (yes, I went to a running store to get analyzed and they felt SO good!). They were okay for a few weeks and then my feet started bugging me after the Half. I ran in my old Nikes today and my feet felt great! I think I need to stick with what has always worked...
I loved running in the rain, it wasn't pouring, just a light drizzle. It was like getting a facial! It makes me happy to have something that energizes my spirit. I even giggled when I stepped in a huge puddle and soaked my left foot! Only bummer was that my stupid a** Nike+ app kept pausing my workout so I don't know my final mileage/pace :( I NEED a Garmin! ;)

I am tempted to run the State Street 5K on Sunday...it would be so fun and it's so hard to pass up a medal and a race for a GREAT cause!

What makes YOU feel good???

Monday, November 26, 2012


To Do:

1. Stretch every single day. Before and after runs/workouts.
2. Log workouts and miles.
3. REST.
4. Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
5. Eat clean.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Run

I ran today. I was NEEDING it. I promised myself I would rest my sore foot but I was going crazy. So I spent my time researching Garmin watches and running gear. Oh, and a ton of time reading other 'runner girl' blogs. Loving my new obsession. I was meeting my good friend for coffee ( Hi, January!) and I thought I would run there and back. It worked out well, it was only a 4-mile run total but it was a good workout for a relaxing morning. I want to sign up for the State Street Santa 5K but thinking I might need to rest. Hmmmmm....we"ll see ;) Hoping to get my hubby out there too! Hard to pass up a medal race....Want this!

Thanksgiving 4-Miler

Ready to Roll!
I signed up to run a race on Thanksgiving. A perfect way to start the day and to burn enough calories to enjoy the huge meal I would be consuming later and I'm always happy to add another bib to my collection! I really had no expectations for my time but hoped to see some improvement. I've been feeling some pain in my left foot/ankle so I wasn't sure how it would hold up.

I was more calm before this race and we piled the kids into the van and stopped for donuts on the way. I'm glad we didn't rush because the line for PRE-registered runners was waaaaaay too long. I knew the organization would be more relaxed than at other races but this was ridiculous. Four outhouses for the entire race (close to 1000 people) and no one even knew where the start line was! It was a mob but I ended up running into a few girls I played softball and basketball with growing up...after talking over the finer points of their Garmin watches (I WANT one!) they started the race 20 minutes late. I felt good from the beginning and tried to find a spot and set my pace among the masses. I hit the one mile mark and heard my Nike App voice say a time with a 7 at the start of it...whaaaaaaa? I almost choked! I was running super fast even with a sore ankle! I kept going and saw my hubby and kiddos a little on down the path. High fives all around! Seeing my peeps always gives me a surge of energy.

The bike path was pretty congested and the turn around spot was a joke...AND the two-mile water station promised never materialized....whaaaaaat? Not cool! But I made the best of it and kept truckin....saw my babies one more time on my way back and was feeling speedy (for me)! I came around to the finish stretch and was stoked to see the time clock. I finished at 30:25...a great time for me. I love this thing I have rediscovered and can't get enough!!!
Ready for the next race :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Race Virgin---well, sort of...

I was a little intimidated by the race experience. I ran one race years ago with a friend. It must have been a 5K and it may have been in high school. I really can't remember the details (clearly) but I'm sure I loved it, I'm a sucker for starting and finishing something and then 'checking it off my list'. 
So, feeling a little unsure about what to expect on the day of the HALF, I decided to sign up for a local 5K. The race was in April and I had been 'training' since January. I ran the 3.1 miles the Sunday before to check my speed and endurance. That run felt great so I was more concerned about learning the routines and procedures of running a competitive race.

It was quite an adventure for the whole family. I was so nervous and as my husband will attest to, I am NOT fun to be around when I am feeling out of my element or if I don't know what I am supposed to do. I figured it out fairly quickly though. Show up early, pin your number on, warm-up, and then run. Oh, and make sure to use the bathroom a few times before you head to the starting line. I definitely felt out of place with all of the runners in their uber-cool gear and special gadgets. I looked like a softball player and I was totally stressed about what I was supposed to do with the tab at the bottom of my bib number. Leave it on or tear it off? Such important questions!!! I figured it out and settled in to let the adrenaline take over.

So, with my hubby and three kids in the cozy car, I headed to the start line to give it my best shot. It was pretty chilly (for Santa Barbara) and windy too. I wasn't sure what to do about my sweatshirt and how to deal with the hordes of people. Basically, they told us to start and I moved along with the group.  I was feeling pretty good and decided I liked how it felt to 'pick people off' as I kept a solid pace. The course was very smooth and along the beach. Perfection. I held tough the whole way and was happy to see the water station at mile 2. It was an out and back course so I knew it would be a good finish. I tend to push myself hard at the end of a race and found some speed to finish with a time of 26:51...it felt amazing, especially seeing my family and unexpected friends at the finish line! What a rush! I was hooked...and no longer a virgin ;)

P.S. We left the race festivities pretty quickly because my three lovely children were tired, freezing, and whiny...surprise, surprise! I guess they didn't get the memo that this was "MAMA TIME". Needless to say, we didn't stay for awards but when I checked the posted times later, it turned out that I had PLACED SECOND in my age group!!! WHAT??!!? Cray-Cray! I think all the fast runners had signed up for the ten-miler that day, LOL.

Moral of the Story: DO NOT let the whiny little ones take you away from the experience of a race day.
I have made sure to stay as long as I want at every race since that first one and my kids are starting to get used to the program...they are my biggest fans :)
Minda sent me the cute photo email later that day, see what I mean about my kids? Lovely...

On your marks!

So. I decided to start a blog about my running adventures. I've been spending so much time reading other 'mother runner' blogs that I figured I might as well join the 'club'! I have truly become obsessed with running again. One of my biggest fans, Minda, put it perfectly. She said that I have "rediscovered an old love." So, so true. I can't get enough. I even dreamed of racing last night. Of course, I am not only enjoying the actual running itself, but have discovered the exhilaration and satisfaction of running races.

Let me start from the beginning. I've been a runner my entire life. I started running in elementary school, and was pretty successful in the yearly 'jog-a-thons' and school track meets. I even have quite a few trophies and ribbons stashed away somewhere (I know, so impressive!). I kept running here and there throughout junior high and high school and mainly used it for cross-training for my softball and basketball teams. I ran many laps around the school track after practices to keep in shape. I regret not joining the track team in high school because I am a competitive person by nature. I continued running on my own through college and then kind of lost it after I started teaching and having my babies. Even though I wasn't consistent, I always considered myself a runner and thought about running EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would tell people that and they would always look at me like I was crazy but it was true, running was a part of me whether I was finding time for it or not.

I always enjoyed running just for the freedom I felt during a run, the stress-release, and the health benefits. This year I have discovered the excitement of running races as well! I was feeling stagnant and bored with my exercise routine. I have been playing rec-league softball since high school and have added many other activities over the years but now that my kids are getting older, I was craving more "me" time. New Year's Day, 2012 was the beginning of my rekindled love affair with the run.
Some of my closest girlfriends and fellow softball mamas decided to register for the Wine Valley Half Marathon on Mother's Day weekend. I was ALL in! I was extremely motivated and very NERVOUS at the same time....what had I signed myself up for??? And signing up for a half marathon on New Year's Day? Such a cliche! A classic 'resolution' but I was determined not to let this one 'slip away'.

And so it all started...short runs here and there to get myself back in the saddle, some new kicks thanks to a great deal at the Nike Outlet, and a freshly printed training schedule posted on the fridge. I was all set. Ha! Little did I know that most of my 'team' would find excuses and reasons why they weren't training and if they were even going to run at all! While I was annoyed, I trudged on. I had paid the $100, told WAY too many people that I was running a half marathon, and really truly wanted to complete it! So, I joined a local fitness program that focuses on strength and endurance and found time for a few runs a week. Come hell or high water, I was going to run.

This will be my 'running journal' documenting and sharing my experiences of my "Year of the Run, 2012", and all of those yet to come...I'm madly in love and hopelessly devoted!