Week 5 and 6 of Half Marathon Training

So this is week 6 of my half marathon training and it has been a somewhat of a bust. Last week when our weather was nice and in the mid 60’s congestion hit and I assumed it was my allergies. It started differently though which I thought was odd, but blew it off since I hadn’t had issues with them really all summer long. Fast forward to yesterday, I got to thinking with all my prescription allergy medicines that I have available, nothing was really helping, so I began to suspect an upper respiratory infection.

So I finished up with work and drug myself into the doctor with both of my kids (that should tell you how desperate I was to breathe normally and not get short of breath eating!). Yep, I was right! (Maybe I should be a doctor…). Steroid shot, antibiotics and codeine cough syrup and 6 hours later I could breathe through my nose again! Yay!!! It’s the small things as a mom/runner.

So despite my sickness, I got some running in, but it began to get difficult with the congestion.

Week 5
12/15/13 – 6 miles outdoors in 1:02:15
12/16/13 – 2.48 miles indoors with my husband in 34:12
12/17/13 – 4.00 miles outdoors in 39:45
12/18/14 – 2.65 miles indoors with my husband in 34:04

Week 6
12/22/13 – 5.00 miles on the “dreadmill” in 50:55
12/23/13 – 3.00 miles on the “dreadmill” in 29:37 (virtual race against my husband)
12/25/13 – 3.06 miles outdoors in 30:36
12/28/13 – 7.00 miles outdoors with hills 1:10:20

This week also marked the start of week #1 of P90x3 that my husband surprised me with. These have been the perfect length to incorporate into my half marathon training! 30 minutes to get strength and crosstraining in in between running.

I have the best husband, not only did he surprise me with that, but he also got me a new pair of my favorite New Balance shoes and Santa happened to bring me some compression socks that are awesome!

How was your Christmas? Did you get any new fitness items/gadgets?

3 Days to GO!!!

merry-christmas

 

So we only have 3 more days to go until Christmas is upon us!  I absolutely LOVE this time of the year.  It means more now to me that I have kids and get to share all the fun and delight with them and getting to watch their eyes light up with joy.  I am quick to remind them thought, that Christmas isn’t about presents and what not.  It is about family, being caring, sharing when you can and wonderful memories and traditions, at least in our house.  It is a time to spend the wonderful moments with our family members, eat delicious food, make memories and reminisce about the old.

So with this past weekend, I finished up all my Christmas shopping once and for all and got them all wrapped.  I just need to run to the store and get the last-minute stuff for our small Christmas dinner for my little family of four and then Tuesday, we can start prepping for Christmas dinner.  This will be our FIRST Christmas here at home, just us!  We had plans to go visit my family in Kansas over the weekend, however those plans got crushed by an ice storm that hit us on Friday evening.  We got about a half-inch of ice , however we never lost our power.  We lost several tree branches though, but nothing was damaged thankfully.  Hopefully once it warms up, we can get out there and get it cleaned up.  We will make it to see my husband’s family though hopefully next week after the holidays are over and his dad is home.

Do you guys have any Christmas traditions or favorite memories of the holidays?

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

P.S  Happy birthday to my favorite sister duo, whose birthdays are tomorrow!!  Amanda and Laura!!!  Love you guys!  <3

Winter Workout Layering Guide

So I recently got into a conversation recently with a friend that is fairly new to running and she was unsure of what to wear outside during the winter months.  She wore the only thing she knew, cotton.  EHHHH!!!!! Wrong answer!  She braved through her chilly run in this and kept going back and forth between sweaty and chilly.  This is what sparked our conversation, as running in the colder temperatures is something that I have actually come to LOVE!  It’s easier to breathe, avoid overheating (for the most part, unless you overdress) and it’s more motivation to stay warm, KEEP MOVING!  So since this conversation I have been working on putting together a little visual image that would be easy to refer to instead of a long, written, drawn out description.  The main thing to remember during the winter months is your base layer SHOULD be DRI-FIT or moisture wicking material to pull the sweat AWAY from your body, as you will STILL sweat obviously.  Cotton absorbs the sweat and keeps it CLOSE to your body.  The rule of thumb when it comes to dressing is to dress like it is about 10 degrees warmer outside then what it really is.  OVERDRESSING can be just as bad, as if you get TOO warm and can’t take the layers off you will sweat more and your dri-fit base layer can only hold so much sweat before it starts to cool you down as well and give you chills.

This is the hardest thing for me to do when it comes to races, because there is about a good 30-45 minutes of standing around out in the cold air during the winter months and you are dressed 10 degrees warmer but you are standing still and not moving.  I get cold so easily!  I actually have a space heater sitting next to me now under my desk.

layeringguide

Encourage and Empower

Thrive

 

So recently I made a post asking people “In 2014, I will _______.”  I loved reading all the answers I got!  Although I saw one answer that really made me think about how I would answer that.

Thrive.

Simple and easy.  Yes….we all want to thrive!  Thrive – to prosper; be fortunate or successful.  To grow or develop vigorously; flourish.  The word thrive can be used in SO many different ways.  We want to our health to thrive, we want our family and children to thrive, and we want our jobs and success to thrive.  What better word to use then “thrive!”

However I don’t want to only thrive this year.  I want to EMPOWER!  Empower – to give power or authority to.  To enable or permit.  Not just myself, but as many people as I can!  I find it rewarding to help empower others and help them see just what they are capable of.  Empower!  To empower others to take control of their situations and circumstances.   To empower myself, to help take control of my family’s financial freedom.  To set us ahead of where we have been in the past.  I think thrive and empower should go hand in hand, don’t you?

encourage-and-empower

What would it take for you to feel empowered?  If you felt empowered, wouldn’t you thrive?  I think we all should take these words and keep them in the back of our minds.  Let them be our goals.

 

How would you like to see yourself thrive in 2014?

How would you like to be empowered in 2014?

AHHH!!!! What have I done?

The title pretty much says it all!  What does that mean?  That I have to KICK MY ASS in gear and get busy!  So I signed up for my 2nd half marathon today!  The Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon Series in Dallas, Texas!  Here I come Big D!   March 23, 2014!  Mark your calendar!  I’m coming for you!  This will be state #2 in my sister-in-law’s bright idea to run a half in every state!  I am just following along for moral support!  HA!  I think this should earn me extra brownie points for being the “BEST SISTER-IN-LAW” 😛  I will leave out the minute detail that I am the only sister-in-law at this point.  Tee hee! No comments Alisha!  No bursting my bubble here!

So yes the last few weeks have been rough with activities going on, the wintry weather we got and cranky toddlers.  In the last 11 days, I have exercised six times!  BOO on me!  Starting today I am back on track!  This morning marked the lowest for me on the scale 148.0!  Three more pounds to go then I am at goal, BUT that doesn’t mean it stops there!  NOOOOO WAY!!!  Getting ready to go see some patients now then when I get back I will get my run in plus my P90x and then I will get my schedule re-worked.

On top of the RNR half, I need to sign up by Jan 2nd for the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon.  This will be the true test for me.  I only ran ONE half marathon this year.  So OKC will mark my 3rd half and it’s a little over a month after the RNR half.  I know many people who do this so I know it’s TOTALLY attainable!  I look forward to the training after the holidays so I can get some runs in with my dear, friend Jennifer!  Her and her family are heading back home for the holidays which I know they will enjoy and have a blast seeing family and friends, but I’m going to miss them!  Have a safe trip you guys!! <3

DFW half

 

LET’S DO THIS!

QOTD:  So I always thought my neighbor was funny with this concept, but she is one that has to pay for things to get herself motivated.  (ie.  paying for running clubs, Weight Watchers, Shakeology, etc)  I always thought this was a funny concept, but you know what?  It works!  Once you put money on the line, you feel COMMITTED!!! *gasp*  Isn’t it funny, how that works?  Have you ever realized that?

Manic Monday

So how was everyone’s weekend?  Good I hope!  We had a relaxing three-day weekend at home! (Four for my daughter!)  They had been saying for a while that we were going to get our first wintery weather mix last week and we sure did!  Not a whole lot by any means as we have definitely seen more, but enough to get my daughter out of school for two days so far.  It started on Thursday (my birthday) with some sleet which picked up throughout the day, then sometime over night we got about five inches of snow!  It really was beautiful!  Definitely COLD but BEAUTIFUL!  Enough to cover all the grass.  Luckily we found out the night before that there was no school which was nice.

After breakfast we all got dressed to go outside and play.  I think my husband, daughter and I were all excited because this was Taylor (my son’s) first snow fall and we were all curious to see how he liked it.  We of course had to dig out all the winter weather/snow gear and we had to go track down the snow boots that Nana Howe gave us for Taylor the last time we saw them.  They were a little big but they did the job.  I’m husband said he had his “stripper boots” on as they went up to his knees pretty much!  HA!  He did walk around kind of funny in them.

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He was so amazed when he first got outside!  He kept “oohing” and shrieking hysterically!  Of course than Sissy had to get out the sled to ride on.  It took a little coaxing to get him on it, but once he did he was all smiles!

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I took him out into the middle of the yard to get him to walk through the snow as when Sofie was his age she would not actually step in snow and when she did she would cry because it was on her shoe!

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He definitely did not want me to get too far away from him because when I would he would start saying “mama” and holding his hand out for me to grab it.  <3

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A few pictures of our front yard and neighborhood.  So pretty!  <3

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Of course Daddy and Sissy had to go get out the 4 wheeler and play with it in the snow.  They had been waiting for this day since we bought the thing!  Least it was better than the first  year we moved here and they were doing this in our yard with the riding lawn mower!  HA!

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And of course some little boy had to take his turn (a VERY slow one at that, but he loved it!)  See those little red, chubby cheeks?!?!  <3

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Of course then once we went inside we had to warm up in front of the fireplace with some hot apple cider!  Great snow day!

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Later after some little boy went down for a  nap I decided to go out and attempt my FIRST run in the snow.  It really wasn’t too bad!  I duct taped my shoes up to keep snow from getting inside them and to keep the wind out too.  I kept running from patch of snow to patch of snow to avoid the ice.  I wasn’t able to get out and run Saturday or Sunday like I would have liked due to snow melting and then re-freezing overnight and our street is literally a solid sheet of ice.  Which of course is why Sofie is out of school AGAIN today!  The main roads are clear, however the side roads/neighborhood roads are still a mess.

 

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Gift Ideas for Every Runner

So what do you get someone who likes to run?  If they are anything like me, they love any and all running gadgets/apparel/clothing.  But there is so much to choose from, what do you choose?  My husband made me think of this when he is asking me what I want for Christmas.  So here it is, these are a few of my favorite things…(not in any particular order)

1) Clothing

So far in what I have found for clothing that I like have been relatively inexpensive.  My favorite brand is actually Academy Sports BCG.  I love their running compression capris, shirts, and winter tights.

Pants

BCG Women’s Cross-Training Cold Weather Leggings

Price ~$20

tights

 

Long Sleeve Shirt

BCG Women’s Cold Weather Mock Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt

Price ~$20

Mock neck

Capris

BCG Women’s Cropped Legging

Price <$20

capri

 

Running Skirt

runningskirts.com (I personally like the “golf skirt” for the extra length)  Super cute patterns and girlie all at the same time!

Price $30+

runningskirt

 

 

2) Gear

Fuel/Water Belt

BCG Waist Belt Bottle

Price <$20

belt

This was my 2nd Fuel belt I tried and I absolutely LOVE this one!  I love the fact that it’s just ONE bottle vs 2-4 of the little ones.  It rides on your low back so I don’t notice any bouncing at all.  Plus it has a small pouch for fuel as well.

3) Shoes

In this area, every runner has their own preference.  I personally LOVE New Balance and Saucony, but that is what works best for me and my feet.  If you are determined to get shoes for your runner. I suggest getting a gift card to a running store and letting them get properly fitted and sized for the proper pair of footwear.

4) Gadgets

Garmin Watch

Price $100+ (price will vary depending on model)

Every runner wants one at some point trust me!  They are so nice to have!

garmin

 

 

Case for iPhone

Tune Belt (it accommodates iPhones WITH Otterbox case ON, just be sure to read specifications as there are different ones)

Price <$20

tunebelt

 

5)  Money

Even after this list you don’t know what to get your runner, just give them CASH!  Yes I said CASH.  Cold hard cash, not a gift card, CASH!  All those races that they run in don’t accept gift cards, they need money to pay for all those race fees.  Your runner will be delighted to get this I promise!

 

 

 

6 Tips of Exercising in the Cold

Have you ever tried exercising/running outdoors in the cold?  I hadn’t honestly done it until last winter.  Now I find it MORE enjoyable out in the cold then when it’s summer time!  You don’t get overheated as easily and the cold air is easier to breathe in.  I do have my certain temps where I draw the line when it’s TOO cold, but I do find it more enjoyable.  So with that said here are some tips for exercising in the cold weather when most people tend to think you should stay in doors where it is warm.

1) Wear layers

Making sure you are protected from all elements is crucial.  Wind, rain, cold, etc.  So by wearing layers, you create different barriers that as your body heats up, you can remove those barriers if need be.  One thing with exercising outdoors is to remember to dress as if it’s about 10-15 degrees WARMER out.  Yes in the beginning you will notice the coldness, but once you get warmed up, you will be thankful too!  You don’t want to OVER layer though with items you can’t take off, or you risk sweating too much and thus cooling yourself off with a wet layer later in your long runs.  The layer closest to you should definitely be a synthetic fabric or something made of polyester that wicks away moisture and pulls it away from your body such as Dri-Fit clothing.  Second layer I like to go with is a fleece of some sort and then if cold enough a 3rd layer to protect against wind/water.

2)  Wear a hat

About 50% of your body heat is lost through your uncovered head when the temperature hits the freezing mark.  I like to wear a Dri-Fit hat too, so that it wicks away all my sweat (I sweat a LOT!), but yet keeps my head warm.

3)  Wear gloves

Keeping your feet and hands warm in freezing temperature is also crucial as when your body gets cold that is the first parts of your body that blood is whisked away from.  Making sure your body is nice and warm will help keep blood flow properly shunted towards feet AND hands.

4)  Avoid heavy cotton materials

These will actually make you COLDER.  They sop up sweat, keeping it close to your body making you colder.  Stick to polyester/wool fabrics that don’t do this.

5)  Check the weather/forecast

Make sure you look at the temperature and the windchill.   The US National Safety Council says there is little risk when exercising in 20 degree Fahrenheit, even with 30 mile an hour winds, however dangers DO exist when the combined temperature and windchill fall below -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

6)  Consider a face mask or scarf in frigid temperatures. 

When temperature near those riskier temperatures, wear a loose layer of protection over your nose and mouth.  By doing this, it will also help warm the frigid, cold air before it enters your lungs, helping to protect them as well.

Tulsa Turkey Trot 2013 Race Recap

So the day started off at 6:45 am when my alarm went off and I woke up thinking “Who the heck set the alarm?”  I had weird dreams off and on all night after taking Tylenol PM due to allergies bugging me, so I woke up a little foggy headed.  I had laid my clothes out the night before so I proceeded to get dressed.  I looked at the temperature outside just to make sure it was as cold as I had been planning that it would be.  Yep!  26 degrees!  I was fine with it, but was hoping my little munchkin would be as she had only ran one time out in the cold successfully!  At about 7 am I went and woke the little sleeping beauty up and she had this look on her face like this is crazy to be getting up early to run, however she didn’t say anything.  She just took all her clothes I made her lay out the night before back upstairs.  (We had a small problem the night before with the fact that she couldn’t find her ear warmers and gloves that we had made sure she had for the race.)

After a quick breakfast of a waffle and milk for my daughter and 1 slice of toast with my usual PB, half of a banana, honey and half a cup of coffee to wake me up, we were on our way!  It’s about a 20 minute drive from where we live at to get to downtown Tulsa.  Parking was not an issue at all, although we did have to pay for it.   We met up with my friend Jennifer there as she had woke up late and said she would just meet us there.  We happen to park next to her unknowingly at first, until I looked around once she called me to find out where we were at.  “Right next to ya girl!”  HA HA!

Once parking was paid for we proceeded to bounce around and of course have to take the obligatory pre-race pictures!

2013-11-29 08.22.08My daughter and sister-in-law

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My sister-in-law, daughter and I

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My friend Jennifer, daughter Sofie, and I

(P.S.  We need to get Jennifer trained in the right winter apparel to wear for running.  It really wasn’t too bad if you were in the sun. )

I was so excited with this race as this was my daughter, Sofie’s first TIMED 5k (she has run in the Color Run twice now) and my friend Jennifer’s SECOND 5k!  Closer to the start time we got in the corral area which helped keep us warm.  Sofie kept laughing at the dogs that were running the 5k as well.  Before we knew it, “BOOM!”  This was the loudest start gun I had EVER heard!  Sofie jumped and looked at me like is going on?!?!  We walked for a little bit til we crossed the starting line.

My whole goal with this 5k was to pace Sofie as she wanted to place in her age group.  I actually didn’t have to pace her all that much.  She kept pushing us!  I was afraid she was going to burn out before the end.  When I run with her, I don’t wear my usual headphones but I have music play (Taylor Swift) so that Sofie can hear it as she LOVES Taylor Swift.  Her slowest mile was the first mile, but it was still faster than she had been training at, 10:25.  Throughout mile two and three, we kept encouraging Sofie.  I told her since she kept pushing the pace just to run her race and she was our alpha dog.  She protested at this because she didn’t want to be a “dog.”  I then told her she was our alpha wolf as she likes wolves.   So we had a quick lesson on wolf packs and that she was the first girl alpha wolf.  She liked this idea!  There were times you could tell she was starting to get fatigued, but then I would find boys about her age ahead of us and told her our goal was to pass him before the finish.  She proceeded to sprint.  I had to rein her back in as we still had a mile to go.  We slowly crept up on the boy and his dad and soon her and I were going back and forth passing the boy and his dad.  Sofie was having fun with this as she can be really competitive at times and ALWAYS wants to be better than boys.  Also on the last mile, my sister-in-law Alisha and I started to serenade Sofie with Taylor Swift songs.  I’m not quite sure Sofie appreciated this though.  Moms are supposed to embarrass their children right?  She is lucky I didn’t start dancing down the road for her!

Sofie needed up finishing her first timed 5k in 31:30.  A PR for her!  She was so excited!  On the home stretch she had everyone cheering her on!  Police officers, her aunt, me, people running around us!  She did great!  I had tears in my eyes at the finish for her!

2013-11-29 09.03.58Her rosy red cheeks afterwards

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Sofie at the finish line

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She survived!

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Watching others cross the finish line

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Sofie going up to accept her award for 2nd in her age group!  So proud of her!

Needless to say after this race, she wants to do the Broken Arrow Santa Run on December 14th!