Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've lost my mind

It's official. I've lost my mind. Let me explain.

I was a stay-at-home mom for 3 1/2 years for my one little boy and frankly, began to run to keep my sanity. As the story goes, I became obsessed and instead of talking about my boy all the time, I talked about running.

One neighbor of mine (in my last town) was far more sympathetic than others. He was a handsome, slender man in his late 50's who ran farther, longer, faster, and more gracefully than I could ever dream of. His advice was only offered if asked but his eyes always soften in delight when anyone expounded on the joys and pains of running. After seeing him at a few races, I indulged my curiosity and looked up his finishing times. Basically, he finished a 10K faster than my 5K.

My respect morphed into a wee idol-crush when he offered me up a pseudo-scientific nugget explaining the runner's high. I was telling him that I went on a long bike ride and just felt cruddy afterward, rather than joyful like I do after running. He said, rather convincingly, that only running and jumping on a trampoline offer the effects of the Runner's High.  Something about the bouncing and metronome effect.  I think he elaborated more eloquently or perhaps I misunderstood because I was distracted after learning who his brother was, but I've been convinced ever since then that only running and bouncing on a trampoline can kick down a hit of the endorphins I've been craving like a junkie since I sacrificed my running life for a paycheck

So, I went from a Half-marathon every other month to calling 5 miles my "long run."  From running 30 miles a week to eking out 8.  Changing climates hasn't helped, either.  Normally, if I didn't have time, I'd wake up super early (I've been known to run at 3:45 am).  But Sisters, I've just gotten accustomed to these hills, I can't deal with 30 degrees, too! (TREMENDOUS respect to those of you who do!!!!)  

This brings me to my original point when I began this post:  I've lost my mind.  I've been "bloated"* and tired and G-R-U-M-P-Y.  I'm totally jonzin' for cardio.
Only, I can't get out for a run, don't have a treadmill, can't figure out how to rig up a makeshift bike trainer, and somehow lost my jumprope in the move.

So I started to jog in place. And jump. And kick.  And bust out "dance" moves from the 80's.  I pumped my arms and pretended I was Footloose.  I exercised my demons** for 30 minutes. It was neither running nor jumping on a trampoline, but dang, I needed that.

*No, I will not call it weight gain until I'm 10 lbs heavier...just 4 lbs to go.
*Get it?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I just got back from the tennis court in my neighborhood with my kids. The two little ones where in the double jogger which I haven't used in a while. I take advantage of the time the 4 year old is in preschool to avoid pushing two. Anyways, on the way back home the 4 year old started yelling SPIDER.....sure enough, in the canopy was a spider....not only a spider but a genuine black widow. Luckily I got the guys out quickly then got the spider out too. No I didn't kill it. Maybe I should have but I left it about a block from home. I double checked on line that it really was a black widow. I really DIDN'T want it to be. My skin STILL feels the heebie geebies............... I read on the internet that they usually stay outside but in cold weather come into buildings. This has been an unusually cold winter in Eastern North Carolina.
Lesson learned : check ALL the crevices esp after not being used in a while.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Feet Pain

I've been experiencing pain in both of my feet for a while now and, like most moms, keep pushing it to the back burner and ignoring it. I finally decided enough was enough and made an appointment with a Podiatrist. I was getting concerned that the additional miles I'm putting in while preparing for the marathon might be doing more harm. Well, my appointment was today and I have to admit, I was fully expecting my x-rays to show something major. As it turns out, I'm simply an overpronator. He ordered orthotics for me which should be in in about two weeks. Really? Could that be it? Both of my ankles are killing me! And I get occasional shooting pains along the big toe area. Surly there is something more!
Since getting home, I've spent way too much time on the computer and I have to say, most everything I've read about overpronation fits me perfectly. I'm curious, have any of you experienced this? And if so, did a simple orthotic help?

Push-up Challenge Check-In

Okie-dokie. I'm doing the level 2 challenge and my push-ups are modified ('girl' push-ups). So I'm a weakling, I've accepted it:) Today I'm resting. I've completed workouts one and two of week one, tomorrow is workout 3 for week 1. I look forward to being able to do 100 push-ups in-a-row. I'm psyched!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Equipment Warning

Use caution when you are using hand-me-down or new-to-you equipment! We had a catastrophic failure of a 2001 Graco Doorway Jumper over the weekend. Luckily the baby is fine and I was right next to her so that after the nylon strap snapped and the spring part fell on her head, she did not also fall to the ground.

I mention this in the context of jogging strollers because large, expensive, possibly occasional use baby items are always tempting to use second-hand. That's fine, but be very careful to inspect these items before using them with your children. I've always heard that 7 years is the max for a car seat and no accidents, but how do you check the integrity of a stroller on Craig's list?

I don't have any authority to say this is a complete checklist, but do check the following:
1. Hand and/or foot brakes. Hand brake cable is just like a bicycle so parts are easily replaced. (I have an old post on maintenance.)
2. Tires are inflated to recommended pressure. Read the small words on the side of the tire to figure out what PSI is recommended for your tires.
3. Wheel spokes are tight and true. Loose spoke nuts can cause flats. "True" means that when you spin the wheel, you don't see a wobble.
4. Wheels are securely attached to the stroller. Either the nuts are tightened or quick-release is snug and, for the front wheel, lever to turned to "closed".
5. Harness for children is in good working order. All clips work, straps are adjusted to the correct positions, etc.
6. There are no loose parts that could injure a child. Loose screws? Stays from the canopy?
7. Runaway strap is attached to stroller and free from any moving parts.
8. No tears in the canvas seats.
9. No excessive rust.

These are also things that are worth checking periodically on your own stroller. Good luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Break From Running Was Just What I Needed

In 2008, I had one very big goal: go from a 5k to not one but two half marathons. On the schedule was the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksbug, VA in May and the half marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival in October. These two races consumed my 2008. I didn't finish feeling very strong in May so I ramped up my efforts, joined a running club, participated in speed workouts at the track and improved my diet. My efforts paid off and I had a great day in October. But then, I just fizzled. I figured I'd take a few weeks off then start running again and sign up for some races. I didn't do much running at all then just before Thanksgiving, participated in the annual Freeze Your Gizzard Cross Country 5k, a race I normally love. I hated it this year. I felt tired. I felt stiff. I just wanted to get out of the cold and go home. So what happened? I think since I spent an entire year thinking and talking non-stop about running, I experienced burn out.

I didn't just sit on the couch though. Instead, I joined a gym and started participating in other activities. I discovered spinning (which I love!), a really great strength training class that I never, ever miss and only ran when I felt like it and didn't put any pressure on myself if I went 2 weeks without running a single mile. Slowly, I got back into it and started running more and more and now, I feel like I'm back out of the running funk. I'm not going to stop doing the other things that I discovered and now love because I think they will help me from burning out again. Also, while I did make another big goal for 2009, a full marathon (gasp!!!), I'm hoping that I'll go a little easier on myself...ease up on the pressure I put on myself in '08 and most importantly, have fun again!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

100 Pushups Challenge

Are you with me people? 100 pushups! Can you imagine? Sounds like a good challenge for 2009 to me! All it takes is 6 weeks - 3 short pushup workouts per week. And the workout is FREE, no signups...nothing

Post your name or your "handle" on this blog to make your promise to the world that YOU ARE IN!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too Cold to Run?

The handbrake on my jogging stroller seems to be frozen until the temp reaches about 35 deg F.
Is this a sign that
a) it is too cold to run?
b) it is too cold to run hills?
c) I should stop being a wimp by using the brake to go slower downhill?

Cast your vote here :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

National Service Day - Jan 19th

Check out to find out what you can do to help out in your local area on "National Service Day" - January 19th. MLK Day has always been a day of service. So if you haven't volunteered on this day before - please get out there and help others in small ways or large. Consider doing something each day that weekend even! Bless those of you willing to lend a hand as part of your lifestyle. Reaching out is good for everyone.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year New Run

Happy New Year All:

I woke up New Years Day and realized it was time for another long run. I've weaned the 4th baby and am ready for a challenge, but something has been holding me back and I now know what it is.

I need new running clothes. The old stuff is really worn out. Most of it was worn during two pregnancies where I wore the stuff too long and stretched it out. It has all been washed too many times and just looks ugly and makes me feel ugly. With 4 kids I rarely spend money on stuff for me, but I really need new clothes and the requisite new running shoes. Ok budget here comes the line item for Mommy sanity.

I'm going to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon in Louisville, KY. I have a friend who is running it and it is always fun to train together even if this will be virtual.

So, if you are wondering if something is holding you back. Think about apparel and running shoes to start you off. This is a surprise to me. I'll keep you posted.

Part of my reluctance is that I HATE to shop and online fitting is tough. I even hate trying it on when I'm at the store.