Sunday, October 16, 2011

No secrets, just running: Part 2

One of the first things that I started to work on with running was my form. Jason said to "run like you are trying to sneak up on someone." He told me that if I ran that way, I would run lighter on my feet and wouldn't be pounding as much. This is something I still pay attention to. It's harder to do when I get tired. For example at the end of a long run when I am trying to increase my speed but I'm tired from the miles, sometimes I'll start to pound. At that point I have to remind myself to slow down a little and do it right. It feels SO much better to do it right.

The other component that I wasn't paying attention to was getting properly warmed-up and even more important was the warming down and the cooldown. Jason has an EXCELLENT post about this on his site I was a little overwhelmed at first with doing it all the time. I started doing the routines once or twice a week, then a few times. Now I am at the point where I won't run if I'm not sufficiently warmed up and I feel incomplete if I haven't done a cooldown routine. I've notice that the cooldown routines, especially the cannonball cooldown and the ITB Rehab Routine have really helped me with injury prevention. It doesn't add that much more in time to my workout. I started working on my core strength. It never ceases to amaze me how strengthening the core helps with everything else.

I am to the point where I run 30 miles a week. I run 5 times a week. When I first started with Jason, I ran 3 times a week with a total of about 15 miles per week. Essentially I have doubled what I am doing, but it has taken me over a year to double. I could have been more agressive with adding miles, but I wasn't. In May I tore my plantar fascia (this is different from getting plantar fasciitis) doing karate. It took me a few months to rehab it and get back to running on the road. I did a lot of pool running and biking during that time. Luckily Jason was able to help me through it. Looking back, if I hadn't had his encouragement, I think I might have quit running all together. By the way, my injury in karate could have been prevented if I would have warmed up properly! Now that I'm fully recovered, each of my 3 weekly runs are considered "easy" runs. I usually run 4 miles, sometimes 3 or 5 depending on how much time I have. Easy is a loose definition. I had a hard time getting it through my head. I wanted Jason to give me a pace to run. My easy pace changes from day to day, and thank goodness too. Today I am tired. I'm still recovering from my long run on Saturday and I'm getting a head cold. I ran easy and it felt wonderful. I'm not concerned that it was a minute a mile slower than my "easy" run last Thursday. Last Thursday I felt wonderful. Easy is a loose definition. Each easy run is followed by what Jason calls strides. Basically I run as fast as I can for 30 seconds. I catch my breath for a minute or so, sometimes longer. I do this 4 times. I think when I first started doing strides I did them once or twice a week. Now I do them after every easy run. I never pay attention to how fast these are, as again the speed depends on how well I feel. I remember one week I did my long run on Friday instead of Saturday. Jason suggested that on Saturday, I do my easy run with strides. My legs felt so sore from the run on Friday that I decided to skip the strides. Jason said that strides would have help stretch my legs and recover from the run. Now, I never skip strides, even if I have to go a little slower to do them.

Once a week I do an actual speed workout. In the spring I was doing hill repeats. I would run a couple of miles to warm-up then I ran up the hill as hard as I could for a minute. I would then turn around and slowly jog back down to the bottom. I repeated this 6 to 8 times. After that I ran the two miles or so home at an easy pace. Right now the type of speed work I'm doing is called a tempo run. This has been the only time that Jason even suggested a pace for me to run. He told me to run 2 miles to warm-up, try and run one mile at an 8:30 pace, then run two miles to warm-down. I don't remember exactly, but I think I did it faster, so it's good that I didn't stick with what he told me. I was able to run faster than he expected. I ran uncomfortably hard for 1 mile. It was too difficult to keep looking at my garmin to see if I was going "fast" enough. The next week I ran uncomfortably hard for 1.5 miles, then the week after that I did 2 miles. Looking back, if I struggled, it seems like I would spend two weeks until I was comfortable with my fast pace and mileage. Now, if I feel like I got my ass handed to me I am certain to try again the next week. I try very hard to not get obsessed with numbers. Numbers can be very fun, but I try to pay attention to how I feel. When I'm running my tempo, if I start to get comfortable, I run a little harder, if I start to taste blood, I run a little slower. I usually don't have to taste blood to know that I am running way too fast for me!

Again, I want to stress the biggest thing that I have learned is to be patient. I understand that I was pretty much coming from it's easy to be happy with every step I take in the right direction. I am, after all better than I've ever been before. I'm not trying to "get back" to that wonderful high school weight, or run as fast as I did when I ran cross country in college. I was never thin and I never ran. It is difficult for people that are working their way back to a certain point in life. I'm not that person. I remember cheating in gym class when we had to run the 1.5 mile run. EVERYONE else in the class had lapped me and I couldn't bear the thought of me running another lap alone while they just sat there in amazement. I ended after lap 5. I lied to my teacher and I told him I had finished. I still finished dead last in the class, I didn't lie to win an award, but I was so out of shape that I couldn't do it. Keep in mind, I was probably 18. It should have been a piece of cake. I literally came from nothing! I have never been lazy. I have an excess amount of energy that can drive the calmest of men to drinking! But, I wasn't doing anything right. Soda pop is not good for you. Plain and simple. I have had the biggest battle with this and guess what.....the battle wages on. It never ends. You don't get skinnier over night. You don't get faster from 2 speed sessions. You don't ever stop wanting the things you are addicted to. But, you can stand up and fight. I'm fighting the fight. I hope this helps you fight too! I like to use the analogy about brushing your teeth. If you went to bed tonight and were too tired to brush your teeth, would you get up in the morning and forgo brushing your teeth? Would you tell everyone that you failed to brush your teeth and are now a non tooth brusher, because you didn't do it once? How about if you went a day without brushing your teeth? What about two days? You would come to your senses, and brush your teeth. You wouldn't stop all together. Being healthy is like brushing your teeth. Just because you had a bad weekend doesn't mean that you can stop trying all together. Get out there. A great man named Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Try a little harder to be a little better." Get up and brush your teeth, keep trying and keep doing better!

I started here: Part 1

After fretting back and forth about what to say and how to react to so many inquiries to me about my running, I decided to write a little post about what I do, and how I came to do it. Writing is a pretty intimate process for me. Remember that really hot guy from high school that gave you butterflies? He was Josh Bacon at my school. Well writing used to be my Josh Bacon. I would get so excited thinking about what I was going to write and how I was going to present it. I've kind of lost my butterflies so you'll have to bare with me here.

Most of my running has been shaped by running coach Jason Fitzgerald of I cannot say enough good about him, I really can't. So to avoid becoming overly attentive in my praise, I'll suffice to say, he knows his shit, and if he doesn't know it, he'll find someone that does.

First off I want to remind anyone reading this that I am an amatuer runner. I'm not overly fast and I'm not perfect. What I have been doing is what works for me. I hope you find something that works for you.

The journey started over 3 years ago, when a good friend of mine, Lena asked me to start running with her. I had recently quit my full time job, to be a stay at home mom of 3 young kids. I was so desperate to get out of the house that I would have joined in just about anything......even scrapbooking. I just wanted to be around adult and not dealing with me and my fattness. We followed the "Couch potato to 5k" program faithfully and ran our first 5k on June 7, 2008 in Sringville, Utah. Our time was 36 minutes. We didn't walk once and I was elated! The NEXT month we ran our first half marathon together. Lena had just found out that she was pregnant and pulled back to run slower. I finished in 2hrs 35 mins. I was in so much pain after that half that I pretty much stopped running and got a little fatter. I ran off and on until I found myself nursing and pregnant with baby #4. (No, I'm not a member of the le leche league and yes I do realize that nursing is not a solid form of birth control. hahaha) I only gained about 3 pounds with this pregnancy and after giving birth to a 9 pound baby my weight settled in at about 235. We moved houses and towns and I found another big girl name Marinda that was ready to roll with running. I felt that the "Couch potato to 5k" program was an excellent place to begin again. It helped me mentally and physically prepare to run further. This time running came a lot easier for me. We started running in February and again I ran the same half marathon I had 2 years earlier in July....with a time of 2hr35mins. I was frustrated and hurting, but not as bad as I was the first time. I continued to run, because I was falling in love with it. I also joined Weight Watchers. I had lost about 10 pounds from the months of running, but needed to get my eating in shape. I thought then, and I tell everyone now that I can eat my way out of any workout. Eating is the most essential part of being healthy.

I hired Jason in late September, early October. At that time my lower legs throbbed almost constantly. I wore my shoes with orthodox in them constantly. Jason had me start doing feet exercises and leg exercises and slowly increased my strength. I don't recall when I got rid of the orthodox, but it was probably in 3 or 4 months into training. Slow progress, but solid. The first thing I learned from Jason Fitzgerald was to be patient! I think it has paid off. I laugh when people ask me how I have gotten to be where I am. They are usually looking for a quick easy fix. It didn't happen for me. I was content to let things happen as they did. My weight has come off slowly and the running has increased even slower.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rough Go

The last few weeks have been rough at my house. Why do things have to be rough? It could be my fault....but I'm not admitting that.

Last Thursday was Stephen's first day back on shift. It is amazing how quickly I grow accustomed to him being home and helping me with life. i.e. the kids, laundry, food, etc. Yes, I can handle these things on my own. But, why do it alone when I can have my husband help me? Am I right? Anyhow, let's get back to Thursday. Thursday was hot. The kids had swimming lessons in the morning, and I barely got all of them out alive. Regan is such a wild card. This kid is typical in the fact that he is almost 2 and always on the move. I got the 3 girls dressed in the dressing room and looked away for maybe 30 seconds. In that time Regan left the dressing room and went to the deep end of the pool to climb on to the diving board. Luckily, our neighbor who happens to be a lifeguard grabbed him before he actually made the jump. I don't get frantic all that often as a mother. I was frantic, desperate even. I

This week I am all alone. It kind of bites, and I find myself wanting to reach out to someone. I am doubting myself and my choices. I'm not sure I'm cut out for this life. I made it through yesterday....barely. I didn't struggle with the kids at all. I actually got a ton done around the house. It was pretty amazing. But, my conflict came in the evening. Always the worst part of the day. I was unsure and unhappy. However, I survived! I did it. I made it. There just might be a light at the end of this tunnel.


Monday, July 04, 2011

The American Flag

I know that sometimes there is question regarding my patriotism for this country. I want to let you know that I have started a tradition in our family of the folding the flag on the 4th of July family get together. I taught the cub scouts how to fold the flag and wanted them to understand a little bit more about it. The local American Legion guys did this demonstration for me, and I was really touched. I guess I really am proud to be an American.

Have you ever noticed how the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country", in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.

The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nations motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, Ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, youll see flags folded and now you will know why. Share this with the children you love and all others who love the symbol of "Liberty and Freedom."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Wild and crazy

Have you ever been a Saturday Night Live fan? I love it! "We are.....two wild and crazy guys!" I feel wild and crazy sometimes too. I realize, however that the thing that people like most about me happens to be my least favorite quality. I'm wild and crazy. I guess the wild and crazy part isn't what bothers me so much, it's the why.

Nervous energy.

Why do I have to have so much of it? It is not normal. I tell ya, it's not! How does one get rid of all that energy? I have found some interesting ways through the years. I dance. I love dancing. I do zumba, which is still pretty much dancing. I workout. I run. I clean. I mow the lawn, take the garbage to the dump. I clean some more, and then I talk. This is the part that I hate the most. I talk and talk and I laugh and I talk. Remember that stupid old t-shirt that expressed the line "Help I'm talking and I can't shut up!"? I'm fairly certain it was constituted in my behalf. I used to worry that people would read what I wrote on this blog and judge me, but then I worried that no one would want to read what I wrote. Ironic no? I want people to think I'm funny. Who doesn't love laughing?

Today at church, my neighbor and I got giggling so hard that I almost had to leave. This is the kind of giggling that you try and squash by closing your mouth and putting your head down. But, you are shaking so hard that you can't breath. I tried to look away from the hilarious culprit only to see Stephen giving me a disapproving glare. Even funnier. All the kids were either sitting on his lap or right next to him. They were smothering him. He looked like a tiny jungle gym that had long since reached capacity. Funny things happen during church. It's so hard to not laugh at them. So, why was I laughing in the first place? That damned nervous energy. It gets me every time!

Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm back....I think

It has been well over a year since my last post. It's strange to think that I used to post so much on here. I was intimidated by knowing that people I see in my day to day life might be reading my words and somehow hearing my thoughts. Strange feeling indeed. Also, I feel like maybe I'm not as funny as I used to be. Seriously, I wonder what I was on. I need to find that again. I hope that maybe, just maybe I can start writing again. I think I can feel those trickles of desire for the writing coming through. Maybe, just maybe. I need to reread everything. I hope I'm not embarrassed by what is here!

I have gotten way intense about a lot of things over the last year. The biggest one is running. I can't seem to get enough of it. It's hard to find a circle of people that appreciate my passion. I haven't wanted to put anything not funny on here and force it down anyone's throat. Now I realize, I'm not making you read this. Seriously, click out of it at anytime!

Day to day our thoughts consume us. No matter what we are doing our brains never stop working. This is an absolutely amazing thing. My brain is going constantly and usually not in the same direction for very long. See if you can keep up!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chocolate Coins

Sundays we attend church at 12:30 PM. On Dec. 6th, we receive a phone call at about 11:00 AM. It was a guy asking us if we are missing something. Stephen looks around, checks first and foremost for his precious cell phone, then for his wallet. "Nope," he says. The gentleman on the phone began laughing as he said, "Well I have a 4 year old boy of yours here at the church. I think he must be lost, but he said he knows exactly where he is."

Stephen hopped in the car and drove to our church. As he walked in there was a whole row guys that were acting like they received Christmas early. Apparently our family, especially Remi the devil child, is "too funny for words."

Remi left our house around 10:30. "Mom, I am going to Grandpa's house!" I was pleased, one less child to wrestle with while trying to get my new boy hair do to sleek and sophisticated. Ha! Remi walked straight to my parents house. It was, however, locked. He didn't want to be bothered with ringing the bell, or knocking on the door. It was too much work. So, he decided to walk the 4 or 5 blocks to our church. He knew exactly where it was. He was already dressed in his church clothes so, what's the big deal? Right? He walked into the chapel and was directed by the men in there to go to primary. Good thing he knew where that was too. I guess he walked in, looked around, didn't recognize anyone, and sat down. He listened better than he ever has before. Stephen asked him later why he left us to go to the church. "Duh dad, they were giving out chocolate coins. I LOVE chocolate coins."

Tell Me.......

Why are baby's fists made so perfectly for purple nurples?

Monday, May 25, 2009

More to follow!

For 21 weeks we have been waiting to see if my boys are observant enough to notice the huge protrusion sicking out of the front of my stomach. I am pretty sure that everyone knows that I have indeed found myself knocked up again. Well, my boys did not figure it out, apparently I always look swollen. We wanted to wait to tell them while I tried to decide if I am crazy for having another baby. We waited so long that we figured we would take them to the "big ultrasound." Actually our ultrasounds are a little anti-climatic. My ob does them. I am pretty sure he has the first ultrasound machine built. He can see all the things he needs to see, all the things that are important. In the grand scheme of things, the gender is not part of the important part. I agree wholeheartedly. That being said, I always really really want to know whether we are having a boy or a girl. This time, I was a little worried that maybe we would have both. Yikes! Well, we will not be having twins. We will be having one baby towards the end of September. If I were guessing, I would guess September 23rd to be precise. Thank goodness for planned cesareans. My doctor, bless his heart, THINKS we are having another boy. Hunter and Remi are completely stoked. Remi emphatically told me that he didn't ever want another sister. He could be right. Bentley might be all the girl this family can handle. Although I have decided that I am joining the ranks of neurotic women that bear children close to 18 months apart, for now, I am okay with it. Neurosis suits me.