Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not Gonna Lie...

I am so discouraged lately by my injury. It has been 2 1/2 weeks since I busted up my Achilles and I am still limping bad and am still limited. It was gradually feeling better, then Sunday I was wrangling all of my kids at this family fun center Boomers and I tripped a little in the parking lot, unintentionally landing on my hurt foot. I reinjured it :(

So here I am today, feeling fat, tired, a little depressed and anxious. I am anxious because I am physically incapable of doing at least 75% of what I usually can do. Most of these things include normal daily maintenance and parenting. Thankfully my dear husband is home all week for the Thanksgiving holiday because so are my 3 busy boys.

I don't do well with slowing down. I don't do well with letting others help. And I don't do well with being the weak one of the litter. We've been furniture shopping and yesterday we had to go to Ikea. My husband wheeled me around in a wheelchair which was a humbling experience to say the least. The same day I can say that I did finally see a doctor again and a referral for an MRI is in the works, as well as to see an orthopedist and physical therapy.

Last night I took my oldest son to see Catching Fire, just him and I. It was a great movie! Part way through I was regretting not running more while I was healthy and feeling so jealous of Katniss running through those trees (we'll disregard for the sake of my post that she was running for her life...). I was wishing I could miraculously receive a silver parachute with a glorious canister attached that would contain some kind of cream or wrap that would cure my ailment.

Then today we took the boys to Balboa Park where they have Free Residents' Tuesdays which allows locals and military to get in free to select museums. Again, I was wheeled through the museum, and when I was not in a wheelchair I was using my crutches(which HURT!). I love going places, especially new places. But about halfway through our visit I realized I wasn't even enjoying much and I just wanted to go home, close all of the curtains and escape until I can walk normally again.

I guess I simply needed to write this post to express my frustration and sadness at finding myself so not me lately. Being hurt has worn me down.

In one month we will walk through the gates of one of my favorite places: Disneyland. We are taking the kids there for Christmas. I really don't want my husband to have to wheel me everywhere. I really don't want to rent a motorized cart. For 2014 I have set the goal of running 12 half marathons- one for every month. That feels extremely out of reach at this point. I will just be glad to walk again.

So that's where I am people! I will come around and have good days too. But if you read this will you do me a favor and say a prayer for me? Thanks :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fat Day, Skinny Day

This title sounds like it could be the start to a bad book written in Dr. Seuss language! However, the thoughts behind it are very real (and probably won't rhyme).

Seeing the numbers on the scale jump a bit higher last week did a number on me. The weird thing is that I always say I don't depend solely on weight measurement but no matter how I try to reason with myself, that number matters to me. It is one huge way I gauge how I am doing with health and fitness. It stinks to be on the "heavier" side of it.

But then I had this beautiful sunny and warm day last week where I wore just the right pants, and my hair looked great! So I've gained a couple of pounds, so what? I felt beautiful aside from the fact.

Fast forward to today...I have been in the stretch pants I slept in last night all day. I woke up and did the normal thing, but ended up doing chores and the tedious job of vacuuming out my car. It took so long it ran right into my kids' pick-up time from school so here I am, still in my stretch pants, unshowered, 3rd-day-hair pulled up, no makeup. I care, I really do...just not enough today I guess.

Then I made the "mistake" of going to Sports Authority to shop for bathing suits. I did end up finding a great place to swim laps, which also happens to have boot camp classes that incorporate the pool. The lady at the front counter told me that they have bikes as well. But in order to swim there for fitness, I needed more than a beach bikini.

So I went to Sports Authority...I tried on bathing suits...I faced the music! The lighting was terrible and the large bottoms were tight! In my defense, I wear a misses large normally. I have a booty and I'm fine with that. But having them be way too small? This can't be happening! I couldn't have possibly gained all 7 pounds in my butt alone. Sulking, I took the bottoms back to the clearance rack to see if they had *gulp* larger sizes. Then I looked closer at the tags...they were little girls' sizes! THANK GOD IN HEAVEN! So instead of thinking a ladies large was too small, it turned out the girls' XL fit great! Bonus...I still fit into some sort of little girls' sizes. For whatever that helps, it helped.

So while I had made a mistake and felt better about it, I did notice that things are not looking as in-shape as they did earlier this summer. The sleekness of areas that have been sleek are less sleek. My tan has faded and that usually helps mask a lot too, so I realize that. But it's good, I'm glad to see where I'm at...because tomorrow I start swimming. I hate swimming, I suck at swimming, this ought to be good for me :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Razzleberry Smoothie

Razzleberry Smoothie

TJ’s Vanilla Cultured Coconut Milk
TJ’s Organic FF Milk

This smoothie is bursting with raspberry flavor, which I love. You can add gobs and gobs of kale and you won’t overpower the yummy raspberry flavor.

Raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and powerful antioxidants. They are linked to improved cardiovascular and neurological health as well as cancer prevention. (See livestrong.com or driscolls.com for more nutrition info)

Achilles Injury: One Week Out

It has now been one week since my injury. How's it going?

Well I am slowly regaining range of motion and strength. Today was the first day I could push down on my clutch with my forefoot instead of my heel. It is still very hard though! Stretching my Achilles is possible, but super tight and painful. I try to do it throughout the day anyway. If the Achilles is like a rubberband, I don't want it healing and ending up shorter! I'm not sure if that would realistically happen but in my mind stretching it helps. I am getting around ok, but with quite the limp. I am basically walking on my heel on my left (injured) side still. I try to ice it once or twice a day.

Outside of the actual injury, I'm kind of going nuts not being able to exercise. You'd think I might be happy to have a genuine excuse to "get out of" exercising, but I am not! Exercise is a huge, regular part of my life and I have to admit I have been snapping at family members (with a prompt apology) for stupid things...things that usually don't get to me.

So my goal today is to 1) See about swimming laps on base. I'm nervous about this because I haven't been to this lap pool and a huge majority of the patrons are Marines. This one is going to take some courage! 2) Get a PCM and the earliest possible appointment with the hope that I can get the ball rolling on a referral to physical therapy.

1/9/14: FYI while the Achilles is a tendon like I mentioned, the stretching I was doing probably wasn't helping. A torn achilles needs to be immobilized kind of with the toe pointed, and the tendon shortened. Once it is healed, physical therapy helps to gradually stretch it back out. Did I injure myself by stretching? Does it matter? I will never know! But overall, if this ever happens to you, immobilize that puppy and get to your PCM pronto! It is important to see the extent of the damage early on so intervention can be taken quickly. In my case I have developed scar tissue because my injury is so old. My surgery will probably be more extensive and will require a longer rehab period. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Achilles' Tendon...turns out it's pretty important!

So the flag football tournament came and went. Our team placed 3rd! I was so hyped for this tournament...I mean I was ready to blow it up! Well, first play of the first game, the handoff was made to me and at some point while busting through ladies, I took a blow to my left Achilles' tendon and down to the ground I went. I didn't play at all after that. Instead, I went to urgent care with a left lower leg that simply wasn't working. Turns out (this is sarcasm here...) your Achilles' tendon is integral in the function of your calf muscle. Injure your Achilles' and in addition to the pain you will experience, you will also experience the strange sensation of a muscle that just doesn't work. I tried to walk it off, and simply fell because my leg wasn't working, kind of like everything from the knee down was numb.

So here I am 3 days post injury. I am slowly regaining range-of-motion and function to my calf, but slowly. My left leg is a major cankle still with a lot of swelling. But I am seeing some-albeit minute-improvements each day. I am just thankful that it is just a contusion and not a tear-or worse-rupture, which would require surgery and months of recovery time. I'm not sure how long I will be down, but I'll just be thankful to walk normally again, whenever that happens.

So in the meantime my posts will probably be about recovery from time to time. I am also hoping to focus on nutrition and diet control.

Ever since moving to San Diego, we have been eating out a lot more, mostly for convenience. I have also been kind of eating whatever I feel like with just a little bit of thought to the calories that might be adding up. The good thing is that the entire first 90% of our time here I have had to be "bikini ready" and that really helps you keep yourself in check. But now that it is fall and the water parks are closed, and the weather isn't hot, it is easy to settle on jeans and a tank or shorts and a sweatshirt for beach attire.

That being said, I want to do better. If I had a scale, I would assume I may have gained 5 pounds since moving here. If not, I would be pleasantly surprised and could start ahead of the game. But either way (and since I don't have a scale) I want to make some positive steps back to healthier eating.

So here are a few goals:

Cook more, eat out less (measurable goal...no more than one meal out a week)
Practice portion control (use smaller bowls and plates)
Drink more water! (64 oz or more per day)
Eat more vegetables (do not buy snack foods such as chips and cheddar cheese crackers, snack on carrots, celery and sow peas instead)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Squeezing one in!

I got a run done yesterday but didn't quite get to post it! Life is busy and sometimes all I have time for is the run, and not the blog post! So I'm getting it posted in the 5 minutes I have left before I need to wake my kiddos up for school.

Style/Workout: Get Out and Go Run (No Time or Distance Goal)
Setting/Route: Out my front door
Progress: (running mileage):  4 today/ 4 this month/ 378.2 year-to-date
This run felt tough. I did what I always do and it just felt tough. I walked some. I added mileage before tackling the big hill and it ended up being exactly 4 miles. 
I don't know what it is...if it is the fact that I'm only running 2-3 times a week or what, but I feel like I am just not getting better (and by better I mean faster) lately. I have still been biking with the husband once a week and have been playing football 3 times a week (that's over after our big tournament this weekend). I still kind of hover in the 9:45 minute mile pace for the most part. On good days I do get faster though. I guess today was just a tough one. 
I am itching for another half marathon. The one I wanted to run is coming up, but too soon since I haven't had any quality long runs in quite a while. I don't think it would be wise to try and just wing it. 
Good on me though...I registered for a 5K Turkey Trot yesterday! Nothing like a free race to force you to throw out all excuses! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A New Weekly Tradition

I am loving our new city-San Diego, CA, and there is so much to see and do here! I have been thinking about how much I have enjoyed running and biking in new areas of the city and have come up with a new tradition called Field Trip Runs. This is no extraordinary idea, it is simply my way of challenging myself to run in new exciting, beautiful, refreshing destinations-right here in my city! Here are a few I have run so far:

Harbor Blvd, downtown
Mission Trails, through the gorge
Lake Miramar, Scripps Ranch

That's it so far! How sad is that? There are so many gorgeous places to run here! To be continued...

The One Thing You Should NEVER Do Before a Run...

Style/Workout: Get Out and Go Run (No Time or Distance Goal)
Setting/Route: Out my front door
Progress: (running mileage):  4.6 today/ 42.85 this month/ 374.2 year-to-date

A last stitch effort to add mileage to the month...a way to enjoy the sunsine...making sure not too many days pass between runs...all are perfectly good reasons to go for a run!

But today I learned two tough lessons. 

#1: The one thing you should never do before a run is...drink milk. Ick. I never drink milk before a run and I totally know better! But for Halloween morning I had made pancakes and after eating one milk was the natural choice. I was not thinking! It was churning in my stomach the entire run...which is NOT a pleasant feeling.  

#2: Be sure to map out a desired new route. Today I took a wrong turn and ended up on a wonky path. All is not lost here, because as the say, not all who wander are lost. So I supposed it can be applied to runners by saying, not all who randomly run are lost. Sometimes this method is super relaxing. You run to just run, to get out, to just go. But today I had my sights set on a particular route and went way off path which was kind of frustrating. Oh well, I got over it and did an out-and-back instead. 

So how did this run feel? Well besides the icky stomach, my body feels pretty good today. I have had a lingering soreness and don't seem to be recovering as quickly as I am used to but I think it could be due to the variety of physical activity I have been doing lately. Whatever it is, the best medicine is usually to keep working it out until your body "catches up". 

Oh yeah, almost forgot...HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mango Kale Peach Smoothie

Frozen Mango Chunks (cut into smaller cubes)
Fresh Kale
4 oz Activia Peach Yogurt
Organic Milk

Today I didn't realize I had run out of my vanilla soy milk so the yogurt was a lucky add-in. It worked great! Mango and Peach always go together well. 

Mangos contain over 20 vitamins and minerals so they are considered a superfood. In particular, 1 cup of mango provides 100% of your daily recommendation for high-potency vitamin C, 35% of your daily need for Vitamin A, and 20% of your daily need for folate. See this mango website to read details of what each of these vitamins do :) There is also a video tutorial on how to cut a mango...something I still haven't mastered! 

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K (necessary for your body's production of clotting factors), vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, along with countless minerals. Who knew so much could be packed into a simply leafy green? 

My peach component is present in the form of a yogurt so that is the category I will focus on. Yogurt is a great player in the health of the digestive system, providing active bacteria that help with digestion. 

If you are going to buy milk, buy organic. Not only will you be drinking chemical-free (i.e. pesticides on grain and hay) milk but you will be lessening your exposure to antibiotics fed to livestock. The addition of antibiotics into the diets of livestock is a huge contributor to antibiotic resistance in our society today. Lessen your exposure and if you get a bacterial infection you will be more likely to respond to "lower level" antibiotics.  


Love, Melanee

Monday, October 28, 2013

Breath of Fresh Air Run

Style/Workout: Go-To 5K
Setting/Route: Out my front door
Progress: (running mileage):  3.2 today/ 38.25 this month/ 369.6 year-to-date
Today's run was great. I finally got out there, finally made time for it and finally broke out of my rut! I am determined to make a routine stick, even when I am busy! 
Today I ran my go-to 5K route with some flat, a big hill and a loop. It went great! My pace for miles 1 and 2 were slower then I vamped it up big time for mile 3. I finished really strong and it felt just awesome! 
It has been rainy here today and much cooler. Still not cold enough for long pants or a long sleeved shirt, but definitely cooler. It felt a little bit like the everyday weather in Oregon this time of year which was kind of cozy. 

Stop Talking Yourself Out of it!

(Today, I am kind of writing to myself)

If you are like me, you are your own worst motivator. I would like to say it is not true, but it is. I have a million reasons not to go for a run, as we all do. My "excuses" are usually centered around the lack of time I have in my day, and other things I could be doing instead. Even the nasty, "I don't want to" voice rears its head. Then there is the procrastinator voice saying, "I'll just do it later," which never happens! It is easy to talk myself out of a run. That's why often times I have to argue with myself and then straight up quiet my own self's voice telling me I have other things to do. When it doubt, don't think, just go.

But I think the important thing to remember is that the reasons TO run far outweigh the reasons NOT to run. Today my TO list includes:

Running to:

-relieve stress
-maintain my fitness level
-conquer the hill
-snap out of my rut
-to feel great!

And like I knew it would, my run felt great, and I felt wonderful afterward. It's funny this little mind game we play with ourselves!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pumpkin Smoothie

For some reason, lately I have not been into vegetables much. I will munch on carrot and celery sticks, and I'll make steamed veggies with dinner and load lettuce and tomato on my sandwich but as far as salads I have not been into it. One way to sneak in veggies and fruits that always works for me is smoothies!

In true autumn fashion, I tried my luck throwing some things together to make a pumpkin-y smoothie and it turned out pretty good! Pumpkin is chock full of Vitamin A, important for many body functions including immune function, vision, reproduction and cell growth and maintenance.

I don't really do measurements per say in smoothies because you really can add different amounts of everything to make it to your taste and texture. Just assume my ingredients are listed in order of "more of this" to "less of that".

Pumpkin Smoothie

Canned Organic Pumpkin 
Unsweetened Applesauce
Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk
Stonyfield Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Pie Spice

If you make it just like this, the smoothy is not overly sweet and very pumpkin-y. If you like a bit more sweetness, use Vanilla greek yogurt.

A Real Update

My last post was kind of a cheat. I posted an old work-out and a quick update with some exercise I have been doing. But overall my exercise life has been weird to say the least. I make a goal to get out and do something active every day, that's the best I can do right now! Sometimes I have it all planned and I get a workout in before the day begins, others I know I will exercise in the evenings at flag football practice. 

But it's been a hard month. First I got sick, then I tweaked my back. Since then our family has had more things to do then time or sanity to do them. I commute way more than I want to. That will change, I'm just praying it changes soon!

Then this week my son got the stomach flu. Puking and diarrhea all night and no sleep for Mom either. Then I spent all the next day disinfecting the house from top to bottom. Energy zapped. Did I mention I have been on my period through it all? Life is not fair sometimes. 

I need rest. I need a massage. I need yoga. 

For starters I'm going to go on a Power Walk! See ya!

Five and I'm Alive!

It only took me 3 weeks to post this run!! As a disclaimer, since this run, I have been doing more biking with my husband and I'm playing on a fast-paced ladies' flag football team. I won't bore you will fill-ins on the rest, just suffice it to say I haven't been totally sitting on my butt. 

Style/Workout: 5 miles/46:52/9:22
Setting/Route: Lake Miramar
Progress: (running mileage):  5 today/ 35.05 this month/ 366.4 year-to-date

Like I said, it has been 3 weeks since I completed this run, so I really can't remember much! I do remember being totally stoked to bang out a 9:22 pace and as usual I thoroughly enjoyed the setting. 

I will say, ever since we moved I have felt like my "normal" life has been rocked to the core. Everything is so off kilter lately and usually I can grab onto a routine and stick with it for weeks. Lately it seems things are so different from week to week that I have not been able to accomplish that. 

Biking: I am really enjoying biking! First, my husband and I go together so it is something we really enjoy together. Do I love the exercise of biking? Sometimes. Others I hate it. I would much rather run hills than bike them and biking makes my sit bones quite sore. But biking takes you further and is so exhilarating. Every time we get out and bike, I feel lighter and faster. My husband has been my inspiration-he bikes 30 miles a day to and from work! The other part about biking that I love is that we find fun, beautiful destinations, of which there are limitless options in San Diego. 

Flag Football: I am having so much fun! I will say, I have not sprinted in a long time and it is NOT the same as running long distance. It is far from it! I learned very quickly that a good warm-up is crucial when sprinting. I have come dangerously close to pulling both of my quads in practice. With longer distance running a warm-up is good, but when you don't have time you can run your first mile slowly and consider that your work-out. 

That's all I have today kids, sorry my blog is so lame lately! Life has been beyond nuts!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tweaked Back

Somehow over the weekend I tweaked my back. It is literally the injury I am afraid of most. Maybe it is the field of nursing that I am going to with its high incidence of back injuries or maybe it is the agony of past experience by I take special care of my back.

Well somewhere along my husband and I's 22-mile bike ride Saturday I think I hit a pothole or something and took the impact the wrong way. I noticed a slight soreness develop then somewhere at 12 miles I really started to notice. The rest of the day it was evident that some sort of trauma definitely occurred.

So I have been down for 2 days now with a hot pad and ibuprofen *trying* to take it easy. I am not good at taking it easy. I just came off a week's worth of coughing and phlem and I may have stayed in bed one day. Taking care of a household makes it hard to let go of the reigns.

But I'm going to try, for the sake of getting back on my feet sooner. I will not lift anything heavier than 5-10 pounds or twisting. I will ask for help. I will go slow and be careful. I will be patient with myself.

In the meantime I can focus on other muscle groups and areas of health (like diet!)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Me, For Real

Lately I have been surrounded by inspiration. Whether it be a Facebook post by a friend, the fall weather, something my kids did, or the fact that my husband rides his bike a gazillion miles a day to get to and from his work. It is a blessing to be inspired every time you turn a corner. Although I do believe it is something you can find if you are willing to look for it as well ;)

I felt inspired to write a little about the real me. The me #nofilters if you will. This will be a bit of a here-and-there post but here goes:

I am me. I am a woman, a mother, a very proud wife. I am the backbone of the US Coast Guard. I am strong, and I love staying active and in shape. 

My family has the genes for muscles. We are middle height, dirty blonde with what I like to call a "schnozz" and we are athletic. Both of my brothers and I were high school hurdlers in track and field and we were all really good at it. My younger brother went on to play football for USU, got his bachelors in personal training and has dabbled in MMA as well as other training disciplines. My older brother is the ultimate "man's man" and has worked very hard for many years as a logger and in other tree-trimming professions which are very taxing physically. He has to stay strong.

So I have always been muscular.  In high school I was teased to no end and called "manly" by boys who, let's be honest, I could have kicked the crap out of. I even had one really mean boy draw a picture of me with huge muscles and male genitalia. I can rationalize now as an adult that they were just self-conscious and intimidated. However, as a young, developing girl, to say it made me self-conscious of my physique is an understatement. I have struggled with it ever since. It was only when competing in sports-especially track and field-that I felt comfortable in my own skin, because performance reminded me that being strong was a gift. It made me proud of my muscles.

As I grew out of the awkward phase of high school and started having kids, my priorities changed but I have always craved physical activity. My pregnancy with my oldest son was a surprise at 18 years old when I was the fittest I have ever been. I ran up to 6 months pregnant, and didn't really "show" until about 7 months. I gained an ideal 25 pounds and fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans 1 week later. This was in 2000. I laugh about that now! 

I had never been much of a long distance runner but the desire to "get my body back" motivated me to run in the mornings before my husband went to work. My runs were usually about a mile and a half. 

Fast forward about a year and a half and we were pregnant again! Determined to have as great of a pregnancy as my first (and bounce back as well), I was running as I had before. I ended up losing that baby to miscarriage and was devastated. I don't remember how much I ran after that, but I did take my son on daily walks that probably added up to a mile and a half or so. 

In 2003, we were blessed with our 2nd son. I gained a bit more weight (about 45 pounds) and did NOT get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans one week later. I discovered pilates and continued to go on daily walks. I think I felt pretty much back to "normal" by his first birthday.

In 2005 we had moved to a brand new city in a whole other region of the US and I had delivered our third son. I gained 55 pounds with him and noticed a real change in my body. My thighs and butt were definitely heavier, as well as basically the rest. I had my work cut out for me. I was busier than ever now with one in Kindergarten and 2 babies at home. I would put them in the stroller as soon as our oldest was off to school. I wouldn't even go inside the house except to grab sippy cups. Then we'd be off! Gradually I walked further and further, reaching about 3 miles. Some days it would be less because squirmy kids could not tolerate the stroller that long. I also did some biking in this season since I could convert the stroller into a bike trailer. In the summer it was crazy hot so I would swim laps while the kids swam.

One winter day in 2006 I found myself jogging down the hills on my route and eventually these stretches of jogging got longer and longer until I was jogging the entire walking route. I had "accidentally" become a long-distance runner. I ran my first 5K in 2006 and the rest is history. Having a way to "compete" with myself and gain a sense of accomplishment in something related to physical activity was awesome as an adult.

I have never been the fastest, but I have gotten faster. I have never felt like I look good running but it makes me feel so good that I don't even think about it. I don't always love running while I am doing it, but I never regret getting myself out there on the course. 

I am not a skinny runner. During times of intense training I have gotten trimmer, but I lose weight in my abdominal area first and start to show ribs (unflattering in my opinion) before my legs and butt lean out. I have a big butt, I have meaty legs and arms. I have great abs and shoulders. I am shorter, my legs are short and I have a flat chest (although my kids were breast-fed and I'm proud of that!). My right arm is bigger than my left. I don't know how many times people have asked me if I were a gymnast. I am my own runner.

I have been called many things: thick, in-shape, stalky, buff, ripped, yolked (a new one to me). We do not have control of others' perceptions of us, all we can do is be kind to ourselves. 

I have stretch marks near my breasts and on my butt although it is through the grace of God that none of them show in a bikini. I have some extra skin on my middle that shows if I bend over or sit in certain positions. It is all me. I have great hair. I tan well. I have some acne issues and age-expected wrinkles. I don't have to shave every day thanks to blonde leg hair. I have cellulite, and my butt isn't as "lifted" as before.  I don't like pictures of me point blank and prefer them taken at an angle. My husband says I am most beautiful right when I wake up in the morning. And I am just me.

I fall off the training wagon from time to time, but I always get back on. I'm 32 and can do pull-ups. I ran a freaking marathon this year and P.R.-ed in the half marathon. I can keep up with my kids and almost out-sprint my 13-year old. I inspire my kids to be active and reach for their goals. They love running the kids' races at my races. I am me. 

So there you have it. If you want to say I am naturally muscular you would be right...underneath I am. But genetics can only take you so far. Guess what happens when you don't work muscle? It turns to fat. Guess what happens when I eat badly? I store it on the backs of my arms and legs, not to mention I get cavities and feel like crap. I have to work, diligently, consistently to stay in shape.

My point is that whoever you are, your goal should be to be the best YOU. Discover your strengths and celebrate them. Discover your weaknesses and work on them, but understand having them makes you a human being and without them you might not have the motivation to strive for improvement. Never give up and always keep trying. Always keep improving.

Then, remember to celebrate the unique, one-of-a-kind YOU. YOUR journey. YOUR achievements. The influence YOU have on this world. It's a beautiful thing! Just be you.

Busy, but not too busy to run!

Style/Workout: 3.75 miles
Setting/Route: Nearby, hill, heat
Progress: (running mileage):  3.75 today/
30.05 this month/ 361.4 year-to-date

Today was one of "those" days, in a good way.  I got through the normal hullabaloo of whisking kids off to school, came back and picked up, including making beds, scrubbing dog pee out of the carpet, tons of dishes, kitty litter box, walking the dog, going a load of laundry...and exhale. 

By that point the sun was out and I was dressed and ready in workout gear. Hubby and I have a biking date for this afternoon pending his intention to get off work early. For whatever reason- may have been my second cup of coffee, some motivating stories from friends on Facebook or the marines in the field close-by playing flag football, I decided to go ahead and throw my hat on and lace up my running shoes for a run anyway. I just felt like being active! The sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky so it was by no means cool during this run. So it was also a good measure for how well I am adjusting to the heat. 

I averaged a 9:57 per mile along the 3.75 mile route. I am pretty pleased with myself! Not only was this run a tad longer than my other ones in the heat, I did run harder and felt much better. This run was marked with a giant smiley face. 

So I goofed about the training plan that I mentioned in my last post...that one is a marathon training plan. So I will be searching today until I find the appropriate half marathon training plan! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

5K A-OK!

Style/Workout: 5K
Setting/Route: Fast, flat loops
Progress: (running mileage):  3.11 today/
26.3 this month/ 357.65 year-to-date

Ok maybe a lame title, but I was glad to be back running after being sick for a week. What a pain! Third week of my kids back in school and I get sick. Did any of them get sick? Nope!  Just Mom! Such is the life of a mom and wife as they say :) Well today has been great. The weather has been a little cooler lately, dipping into the 60s in the evenings and slightly lower at night. Today I woke up to clouds which were welcomed because it was nice and cool, with a cool breeze. So I took off, did some running then took some time to stretch and do some strength training moves. 

Today I need to make some real measurable goals. Then I need to get some tangible plans for my goals. 

1) Run the Runway 5K October 5
2) Run the Silver Strand Half Marathon November 17th. 

I have no time goals for these runs, I just want to participate and finish! 

1) Register for races (budget them in)
 2) Follow a training plan (I found an easy no-brainer one in Competitor magazine!)

** Fail to plan and you'll plan to fail! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Time, Not By Mileage

Style/Workout: 40 minute run
Setting/Route: Out my front door route, including big hill
Progress: (running mileage):  3.8 today/
23.19 this month/ 354.54 year-to-date
Yesterday I wasn't feeling well. Sore throat, just not quite feeling as up to speed as usual. But this morning I was feeling mostly fine so I went ahead and got a run in. I didn't want to run. Everything in me wanted to snuggle back into my bed after dropping the kids off at school and sleep all day long (ok maybe I wasn't feeling "fine"). But I decided to run by time not speed which kind of takes the pressure off mentally. I kept it really relaxed and checked it off! 
I was by no means "fast" per say, but I was glad I finished the run. I almost regret it though because it didn't take long to realize that I am, indeed fighting off some sort of bug. Whatever energy I had before my run was completely sucked out of me by the run. I managed to do some laundry, shower and blow dry my hair before I took a nice nap. Then I popped some ibuprofen, guzzled a bottle of water and picked the kids up from school. By the time that was over, I was just glad to be home, and have my kids miraculously behaving themselves. My wonderful hubby took over as soon as he got home and now I'm just resting. No run tomorrow, but hopefully the next day. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to it!

Style/Workout: 5K with hill
Setting/Route: Out my front door route
Progress: (running mileage):  3.1 today/
19.39 this month/ 350.74 year-to-date

Today's run was the one out my front door that starts with a flat stretch followed by a gynormous hill. I like this run because it allows me to gauge if I am getting stronger/faster. My times on this route have included: 8/27: 34:33, 9/6: 33:55,  & today's run 9/16: 31.40. So YES, I am getting faster! It is good to see some progress. 

I'm not going too nuts this week because I've developed a sore throat and while I a believing it is nothing, I know I need some rest. The kids/life has been stressing/wearing me out lately! 

Lastly, I will register for Silver Strand Half Marathon happening November 17th 2013 before the end of September! That is my goal! That being said, my second goal is to formulate some sort of training plan on my calendar. I am coming up on the 8 week away mark!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Better Temperatures, Better Run!

Style/Workout: 5-Miler, no walk breaks!
Setting/Route:  Lake Miramar
Progress: (running mileage):  5 today/
16.29 this month/ 347.64 year-to-date
Today's run was really great! For the first time in a long time I actually marked the "it was great" smiley on my Nike + app. Today was a bit of a test for me. The temperatures dropped back to San Diego normal, and it was less than 70 degrees this morning. So...I was curious to see if during these temperatures I would perform better. I did! I ran the entire 5 miles without stopping (well except a few steps to cancel a text coming in...). Not only that but I had a goal to run it in 10:00 or less and I managed 9:15 per mile! Yaya! It was a good day for running. There's hope for me! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Same Run, Different Day

Style/Workout: 5K Run/Walk
Setting/Route: Santo Rd Hill + La Mirage Condo Neighborhood
Progress: (running mileage):  3.11 today/
11.29 this month/ 342.64 year-to-date

Today I ran the same route I have been running that starts at our travel trailer. I run about 3/4 mile flat for a good start, then I tackle the gynormous hill. Today I felt stronger! I went hard at the hill and only walked once. I give myself permission to walk for 3 reasons 1) I feel like I am overheating 2) I feel like I am about to throw up 3) I am getting a sideache. All of these things are typically caused by CO-2 build-up, so walk for a bit while I focus on taking a few breaths, focusing particularly on the exhale to blow off the CO-2. 

My pace wasn't much faster, but I like how with a particular route, you can test your fitness by seeing if you can finish it in less time. I shaved .78 off of my last time, which isn't earth-shattering, but it is still faster. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lake Miramar Run

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned a cool lake with a path around it? I asked around and got some good information about it, and today after dropping my kids off for their first day of school I had the opportunity to run it! 

Style/Workout:  4.68 Miles Lake Loop
Setting/Route:  Lake Miramar
Progress: (running mileage):  4.68 today/ 8.18 this month/ 339.53 year-to-date

Today's run was tough but great! The heat is really getting to me, and even at 8am it was still around 80 degrees. My app usually posts the temperature but for some reason it didn't this time. 

This trail is a nice paved loop that has a few small hills but is mostly flat. The views are gorgeous! And it adds up to around 5 miles so either you turn around or you push yourself to get all the way around the lake. There is no in between, no swimming across! 

I was not on my A-game preparation-wise today. I managed to forget my hat so I wore my everyday sunglasses which kept slipping down my nose from the sweat pouring down my forehead, I forgot my armband and headphones so I held my iPhone (and carkeys) the whole way. It was just kind of awkward, but I made it work. No one looked at me weird at least! I also didn't have my wrist-strap water bottle which really is a must on this trail this time of year. There are even signs posted to carry your own water because there are no water sources along the way. There are porta-potties however, just FYI. So while I had guzzled water throughout the morning and right before my run, it really would have been nice to have it with me. 


Morning Run + Afternoon Bike Ride!

Style/Workout:  3.5 Miles running, hills included; 15.5 mile bike ride, nice and flat
Setting/Route:  Neighborhood Run/Coronado Bike Ride
Progress: (running mileage):  3.5 today/ 3.5 this month/ 334.85 year-to-date

Today was a good day fitness-wise. I got out and went for a great run, followed by a nice bike ride in the afternoon with my husband. I kept thinking, hey all I need is the swim and I've completed a triathlon today!

Run: This run still felt tough. It wasn't a new route, it was close-by and included a huge hill! I am still regaining my endurance, as evidenced by my 10:00-11:00 pace. But I don't feel badly, I will find my groove. The added heat is also an adjustment still. 

Bike: My husband and I escaped out to Coronado Island with our bikes and had a great time! It wasn't super hot by any means because a nice cloud layer was lingering off the coast. This was our second long bike ride together and is proving to be a really nice way to spend time together (and works my legs and butt big time!). 

My husband blows me away big time when we ride, but he's sweet and slows back for me.

At the Coronado Chamber of Commerce

Every year there is a half marathon out on Coronado called the Silver Strand Half Marathon. It is November 17th this year and I'm not sure if I will make it due to previous commitments. If for some reason they fall through I'm going to run it! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Beautiful Harbor Discovery Run

I LOVE San Diego. There is so much beauty here. Forget all of the big-city attributes! I love the harbor, the ocean, the desert gorge, the islands...ok the big-city stuff is great too ;)

Today's run all started with my husband. He has been riding his bike nearly 20 miles to work (one way). The last few days have been stiffling hot and humid so around 3pm he calls me up to come pick him up so he doesn't have to ride home. I agreed. It was just too hot. But that meant I would need to bring him to work bright and early on a Saturday so that he could ride home today. I wasn't super excited to get up early on a Saturday but it proved to be extremely rewarding. There weren't any cars on the freeway, it wasn't hot yet and the sunrise was incredible on the harbor where the hubs works. That, and it gave me a chance to explore a great new running path. Win-win-win. 

Style/Workout:  5.04 Miles, fast and flat
Setting/Route:  San Diego Harbor to Liberty Station and back
Progress: (running mileage):  5.04 today/ 11.45 this month/ 331.35 year-to-date

Here are a few pictures I scalped from the internet of the route! 

One funny thing that happened was that I stumbled upon a fun run! Actually I had heard about it before, it was the All American Heroes 5K/10K. I actually wanted to run it but forgot it was the day! So here I was running along my merry way as I pass markers and water stops. It felt silly! I ran all the way to the starting line, and would have signed up and ran it but I was already 3 miles in and I only had $5 on me. 

It was just cool because I got a feel for how easy it is to access morning fun runs downtown. I am intimidated by major traffic and I was so happy because it was nonexistent! I definitely would like to make early morning Saturday outings a habit. I could even try other areas like Balboa and Coronado. Beautiful! 

Lastly, I ended up with some chafing in between my thighs. It was a different sort though...not the strawberry kind but more of a bubbly-cluster of hives-kind! It was brutal! Thankfully it died down within an hour or so. Time for chafing cream!

Friday, August 30, 2013

A New 3.3 Miles

Style/Workout:  3.33 Run/Walk
Setting/Route: Santo Rd Hill + La Mirage Condo Neighborhood
Progress: (running mileage):  3.3 today/ 6.41 this month/ 326.31 year-to-date

 Today's run was needed for my mental health. Labor Day Weekend is definitely approaching, because the kids are driving me nuts...which means school must be about to start! 

So this run was part of my scheme to get my morning to myself. I drank my coffee outside, ran inside quickly to change, grabbed the laundry and headed away from the travel trailer (oh yeah, if I didn't mention it, we're living in our travel trailer until our military housing becomes available). Once the laundry got started, I switched on my music, did my warm-up lap through the park and headed out. My mission was to explore other possible running routes. I ended up doing lots of hills! Unfortunately we live in a place called Mission Gorge, which means that all around us are hills. And I say "unfortunately" because it's not fun to run hills with every single workout, but I imagine it will do me some good! 

On a separate-but-similar note, I found a great running path near where I will be dropping the kids off for school. My plan is to have my running stuff ready, drop them off and run before I head back to the travel trailer and my To-Do list. I struck the mother load...a beautiful 5-mile looped path along Miramar Reservoir (Lake Miramar), a pretty lake right smack in the middle of what is more of a deserty area. The lake is used as a water source so there is no swimming or watercraft available.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August StrideBox Review

It's August 27th and I'm just getting to this? Could I BE anymore behind? I know! Moving does that...but thankfully my running stuff went into a suitcase with me, and not a random box!

The Stride Guide...not only does it tell you what is inside with a nice description of each, it tells you what they retail. August's haul would cost: $22.93

 The item I was most excited about was the cooling towel. I had actually been shopping for one of these at Sports Authority-not for myself but for my 13-year-old for halftime at his football games. Now I don't have to buy one!

5K on a Hot and Sunny Day!

Style/Workout: 5K Run/Walk
Setting/Route: Santo Rd Hill + La Mirage Condo Neighborhood
Progress: (running mileage):  3.11 today/ 3.11 this month/ 323.28 year-to-date

I'm back to blogging! It's things like this that make my life feel more "normal"

 This was by no means a fast run. Not at all! However, I used the Jeff Galloway method and just walked when I needed to and kept trucking forward! I started out with a nice warm-up walk, and had 1/2 mile before I had to tackle the huge hill. It was kind of cool to map this run because it is the same route I have been walking. Turns out it is about 5K! 

It was super hot, and I'm glad I brought my amphipod with water in it. I am going to start filling it up and puting it in the freezer the night before then taking it out in the morning. It was just so hot for me. I think I poured more water over my head than I actually drank!

Summer Has Gotten Away From Me!

Mission: Get Back on Track! 

I haven't been running much this summer, but I refuse to let myself feel guilty about it. I absolutely prefer when I have a good groove going and I am running several times a week, along with strength training and yoga, etc. but summer has not been the season for me! 

Our family just moved 1,000 miles south, from Oregon to California. And while I'm absolutely loving the change, there are a few catches... 

1) It's summer...so the kids are all home, which means that most moments of the day I spend it loud chaos. Occasionally I "win" with some kind of activity or outing, but even then I feel like I spend a lot of time in "survival mode" with the kids.

2) We don't have a house yet, which means we are living out of our (exceptionally large I must admit) travel trailer in a perpetual state of "vacation". Hey, vacation is well and good, but you know how it always seems much harder to squeeze your runs in on vacation? I don't know if it is a state of mind or the lack of routine but if you know what I mean, then you understand the challenge. 

3) New area, unknown running routes. I was so proud of myself when after just a short time here I found a great running route! Remember the one along the golf course? Well after running it a handful of times, I noticed a "No Runners or Walkers" sign. Thankfully I saw that before I got into trouble! It was such a bummer too, because it was such a lovely running route. 

So that is where we are...back to square 1 for what feels like the 17th time. What I can say for myself is that I have been escaping for power walks up the big hill and through the neighborhood that sits on top. I got tired of being frustrated so I threw off all pressure I was puting on myself and just decided to stick with some walks that were working for me, in order to stay active. I have not forgotten my love for running however, not by a long shot. 

In addition, my husband took me for a long, 20-mile bike ride on Saturday which took us all the way down to Mission Bay Park where the bike trails are endless as well as the views. It turns out, even in a big city like San Diego, biking is actually quite practical! I am a novice however and I was pooped after that ride! I'm hoping he will take me more often and I can build up some stamina. I'd really like to ride by the bay more often. Ultimately what I want to do most is stand-up paddle-boarding. I would LOVE to find a SUP Yoga class! 

So that's it kids...and you would be proud of me, I am headed out for a run to wherever the path leads me...in search of new running routes!