I Ran Today

1530“I ran today.”  It seems like such a little thing to say, so simple, and seemingly so insignificant until you can’t do it.

I’ve been running my whole life.  It’s been a long standing joke that I’ve been running once I exited the birth canal 40 something years ago and haven’t stopped since.  Mind you, I am FAR from elite status, but regardless, I consider myself a runner.  I have always loved it – the feeling of freedom that it gives me, the feeling of strength and power that my body feels, the feeling of sheer determination when I want so much to just be done with the run, especially when its a difficult run.

I won’t lie … I took my ability to run for granted.  All my life, I just ran. I’ve had a few minor injuries here and there, but for the most part they were easy to recover from and then I went about my business and started up again once I was healed.  But seven months ago, I blew out my knee in a freak accident during the CrossFit Open WOD 13.4.  5 months ago, I had surgery to repair my injured knee.  When I was finally cleared to start exercising again, I thought for sure I’d just be able to just jump back into where I left off … WRONG!!!  Oh so WRONG!!!  I tweaked my knee more than once thinking that I could just pick up where I left off.   It has been a difficult recovery, more mentally than physically.  I have had to check my ego more than once, and I’ve learned to accept the fact that my knee would not heal completely if I didn’t just SLOW down and take the time to let it heal.

For the last 2 months I have been working once again with my trainer, Gabe Subry at CrossFit 209 Sport, and my Physical Therapist, Todd.  These two have been relentless in my training.  They both understand my need to get back in the box and into running.  They have both been patient with me and have been working with me to get me back to the level of functioning that I once was at.  At CrossFit, Gabe has me doing MECHANICS ONLY, meaning that I am only to practice and perform the movements with light to no weight at all, adding weight on slowly.  During my Physical Therapy sessions with Todd, he has been working on resetting me neurologically. I have had some really BAD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since my injury.  I have been afraid to jump, run, and do a lot of movements out of fear that my knee will buckle. A lot of the exercises that Todd has me doing have been helping to reset my thinking and get me back into  training mode. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve that have been helping me overcome my fears.  I am thankful for these two – more than I can ever express in words.

I’ve been itching to run for soooooo long.  I had pre-registered for several races prior to my injury, but  I was most disappointed that I had to cancel and bow out of my beloved race at the Half Moon Bay International Marathon in September.  I’ve run that race since its inauguration! It’s my favorite run of all time, so you can imagine my disappointment to have to drop out!   I was not even disappointed when I did not get chosen to run the Nike Women’s Marathon this year and I love that race because I’ve always run it for my dad.  So when the opportunity arose to sign up for another half-marathon, I was slightly hesitant, but I felt compelled to do so.  Enter the St.  Joesph’s Stockton Half Marathon – I could run that, I thought. So I signed up.

My running partner, Anitra, & I.
My running partner, Anitra, & I.
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!

The venue this year started and finished at the University of the Pacific (UOP).  The course differed slightly in that rather than running down March Lane, it was more on the levee all the way down to Ladd’s Marina and into the residential area of Brookside, back up to the levee and into UOP.  I loved it – it was scenic for the most part – lots of pretty houses and boats – perfect for dream building. I am truly thankful to have run with my friend, Anitra, she was an amazing source of strength for me during the run!  I love the free photographs that comes with the race! I love the after party – beer (not that I drink) and burritos!!! Starbucks had a barrista bar providing coffee to the runners and spectators.  The medal was amazing!  It’s just a fun little race that packed a lot of punch. Bonus, it was a BEAUTIFUL day for a run and it was less than 10 minutes away from my house!

So, yes, for me to say, “I ran today,” is a HUGE accomplishment. For me to have run my first half-marathon 5 months post-surgery without (yes, WITHOUT) any sort of training is … INSANE! But … I did it!!! To think that there was a time when I literally felt cut off at the knees, to have finished a half-marathon … well, yeah, I have sooooo much to be thankful for.  I am so very thankful and feel so very blessed to have the ability to run once again and to be back out on the road – running!!!

I. Ran. Today!

February 2013 Recap

LOVE my Running Friends ...
LOVE my Running Friends …

I know that it’s only mid-February … Why am I recapping now? It’s too soon, right? Well … I can tell you that it feels as if I’ve lived a lifetime in this short amount of time already …

February started off so nicely. The first race that I had scheduled, a Super Bowl inspired run complete with miscellaneous football training obstacles, was cancelled. That was fine, it would have been fun to do that, and I was really looking forward to doing it, but it was not meant to be.

My second race scheduled was the “tiny” Smiles Half Marathon in Galt, California. I chose this race because of the fact that Galt is about 20 miles from my house, and it sounded fun. I love little races.  However … I completely forgot about this race. I forgot until the Wednesday prior – two days before – to the race that I was scheduled to run! I wasn’t too worried, but it was amusing that I hadn’t thought about it. I remember a time when I worried about running a race two weeks prior, and now it’s as if my body knows what to do with little or no preparation.

Fast forward to the Friday before race day. I’m finishing up working my 12 hour shift, and checking my timesheet to make sure everything checks out so I get paid properly when I get a phone call from my panic stricken husband telling me that our daughter has passed out and is having a seizure! W.T.F!!! I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying, I could only in my mind, see my baby out cold and having a seizure and not knowing how or why. I could only hear a few words that he said – “Passed out,” “Seizure,” and “911.” As a nurse, these are words that I hear on a daily basis. As an ER Nurse, I am able to dissociate myself from all the craziness happening in the ER and go about my life and business as if it were nothing. As an ER Nurse, I am strong and able to handle things, cope well, and separate myself. But when it’s your own … when it’s your very own child (or family member), I am a different person. I am still a nurse, however, I am a nurse who is on the other side of the gurney and no longer in control. No matter how strong I want to be, no matter how composed I want to keep myself, I function differently when on the other side of the gurney. It’s not a nice feeling being vulnerable, unable to separate, unable to put your guard up. It’s hard to be strong when you know that you have to be for your child because you know that if your child sees you freaking out, your child will not fare well in that situation. I can do it for my child, I did it, and my child did well. My child, my daughter knows that I would not let anything hurt her, that I would fiercely protect her. What my child did not know was that inside I was dying. It was heartbreaking to see my Girl laying on the gurney, hurt and afraid. It hurt me to see my husband so afraid, so panicked, so vulnerable. He’s usually my rock, the strong one, but I know that he doesn’t do well when it’s his children. If you thought I fiercely protected my children, HE is and even fiercer protectant! Know that.

My Girl being strong ...
My Girl being strong …

When I was able to lay eyes on my Girl, she cried when she saw me, but when I saw that she was upset and fighting … I knew she would be okay. Her CT Scan came back negative, so it’s time for outpatient follow ups to rule out other causes. So you can understand now how one can age many years in the span of a few hours … So far, everything’s good. Thank God.

My husband stayed home with the child on Saturday. I wouldn’t have run had he not been home. Did I feel guilty leaving her? Yes and no. Yes because maybe I should’ve stayed home with her, but no because I knew she was okay.  So I headed out to Galt with my friend Anitra. The morning was a super COLD 32 degrees! I laughed at Anitra because she said, “I wanted to be like Row., so I dressed in my shorts and tank top.” I had happened to dress in capris and a long sleeve top … I was not dressed in my normal attire of shorts and tank top. Not to worry, we found her a jacket that she could donate/dump so it worked out well.

The BEAUTIFUL Shiloh and I!
The BEAUTIFUL Shiloh and I!
Richelle and I!
Richelle and I!

I was happy to see that Shiloh came from Sacramento, as well as her friend, Chris, and then my friend, Richelle, came all the way from Fresno.  There were, of course, my local friends, Angela, Cres, and Lisa. There was Matt, who was running his first half ever. And … I made a new friend while waiting around the finish line, Mimi. I’ve seen Mimi on my friend Alexis’ page, but had never met her in real life. She is a great gal. Fun, and full of energy! =)

Run Happy!
Run Happy!

The course of the “tiny” half was thru the residential streets of Galt. Lots of houses, lots of cars, but on the plus side, lots of police patrolling the area and they made good use of their cadets! The water stops were manned by the local Boy Scouts. The only problem that I saw was that there were NO portapotties along the course. (Thank God I didn’t have to go!) I believe that there were a few residents of Galt who were not fond of runners and having their streets blocked, but for the most part, everything went fairly smooth. I had a really good run despite no training at all so I can’t complain. Would I run it again? Yes! As I said, I like small, local races. Other bonuses to this race include having Tony, Fleet Feet owner and Race Director, call your name out while coming into the finish chute, and can’t beat FREE race photos!!! =)

With my #1 Girl at Disney On Ice!
With my #1 Girl at Disney On Ice!

So … I know it’s the middle of February, but it seems like a life time. I have no other races scheduled for the rest of the month and I’m okay with that. Let me just take a breather and let the rest of this month go by uneventfully. I’m okay with that. On a positve note, the Girl celebrates another year on Sunday … Happy Birthday, Grace!!! Mom loves you!

Until next time … Hold your loved ones CLOSE and TIGHT. Never take the time that you have with them for granted. Train HARD and Train SMART. Eat WELL. And … Have FUN. Get out there!!!

Such A Diva … The Race That Almost Wasn’t

Melinda, Linda, Richelle, and I … 4 Divas. I *LOVE* this picture!!!

I have to admit, this wasn’t on my list of “must do” runs for 2012.  I saw that a few of my frunners had signed up to run it, and I was happy to let it go.  I had a friend, though, Melinda, who asked me to help keep her in check, to give her a goal, and a little bit of motivation, and to suggest a race for her.  I suggested a few, then casually threw out that there would be a Diva Run in SF that she could sign up for.  Low and behold, Melinda signed up and said that she was “IN.”  Then our mutual friend, Rosie, wanted to run it as her first half and it was at that point that I felt somewhat obligated to sign up and run with them, so … I did what a good frunner would do, especially since it was MY idea, and I signed up.

Run Like A Diva, the SF race, is a popular women’s only race series held in several cities throughout the United States.  This race would be no different, and it filled to capacity fairly quickly.  There was a waiting list of about a thousand women that they took and were able to accomodate, once they got the “okay” from the city.

I wasn’t going to run this race. Remember, I was initially just merely suggesting races for my friend, Melinda, to run. I never believed that Rosie would sign up to run though! Not only that, but I had injured myself two weeks prior in Calistoga by running on uneven pavement.  I really tweaked my ankles running that one. So I was *this* close to bailing out on them.  But … I did not.

My Diva Race outfit!

Fast forward to one week before the race.  Rosie bails out as she has overbooked her schedule and has been working so much overtime to fund her daughter’s Quinceneira.  She tells me that she wants to give her bib away.  Easy … so I ask Cory to run with me, and she’s “IN.” But at the last minute decided that her heart was not in it and eventually bowed out …

My friend, Linda, had initially sold her bib, but in the end wound up running after all.  She wanted to run. She needed to run. And it worked out for her so that she could run, and even had a friend who asked her to stay with her in SF! Talk about twists of fate!

Melinda and I.
Linda and I …
Richelle and Linda!

I rode up to San Francisco, really it was the city of Burlingame, not San Francisco with my friend, Melinda, who is an awesome, badass runner!  This would be her third half, but her times are amazing!  The drive up was uneventful and conversation was nice. We lucked out with parking as we were able to find close parking to the hotel where Linda and her friend were staying!  We were fortunate enough to meet Rischell, Linda’s friend, who is an awesome runner.

Sea of PINK!!!

After our pre-race primping, we made our way down to the start where we were greeted by a sea of women dressed in – what else – PINK!!! It was somewhat nauseating, but it was, after all, the Diva Run, so it was expected that women would come decked out in their best Diva running outfits!

The run itself was not a bad run.  It reminded me a lot of running Alameda’s See Jane Run.  Flat, fun, and mostly all women.  As I was running with Linda, who was 2 weeks post full marathon, I knew it would be a good run because we dubbed ourselves “Gimp and Limp.” The first mile was somewhat rough for me – just trying to get my footing, and making sure that my ankle supports would hold up.  (Let me tell you, BOTH ankles were ace wrapped, had ankle supports, and had calf compression sleeves on!)  Once I got my footing, it was an uneventful first half.  By the turnaround, I had to remove the left ankle support, it felt slightly “off,” and felt as if it would fare better if I just removed it.

Mile 7.5, I was belting out songs to my running partner, Linda.  Mile 8 was the “water” incident – where they ran out of water and were scooping it out of a large community barrel.  When Linda asked where the water was from, the volunteer, who thought he was funny, stated, “The Porta Potty!”  Ugh. Stupid!

Miles 9 and 10 were getting rougher for Gimp and Limp.  I was starting to feel pain in my right foot.  Linda had to stop a few times, but we continued to  plug away.

I lost Linda somewhere at around mile 10.5.  I turned around and Linda was no where to be seen.  I’m thinking she stopped somewhere and didn’t yell out to me?!? Aaaah. I dunno.  All I knew was that I was alone with the tunes on my iPod …

At mile 11, I had had enough.  I wanted it to be over with so I began to pick up my pace despite the throbbing pain in my foot. It was still tolerable, and really, really wanted to be off the course.  The temps were starting to rise, and it was gettin’ HOT. Oh. My. God!  I believe that Mellie Mel caught up to me at mile 11.5 – I felt a tap on my shoulder and was surprised to see her because I believed that she would be way ahead of me!

Diva Row. – Complete with Tiara, Boa, Medal!
Melinda, Richelle, Linda, & I … Post Race DIVAS!!!

It was a lot of work to get to the finish for me.  I remember grabbing my tiara and boa at around mile 12.5, but I was workin’ hard to maintain.  I was happy to be finished! I went thru the nutrition line and got my post race food on! I was so hungry, but I lost Mel. I did find Melinda and Richelle, and then Linda without incident.  We were all happy to be finished.

Overall, I enjoyed the run, but I don’t believe that I’ll run it again.  Although I did enjoy the company of my friends, I’m not that fond of running with ALL women. I ran injured, but it was okay because I was

Linda & I – I believe that we both wanted to kill ourselves after that run!

pretty careful and I ran slowly.  I felt as if I could run slightly faster, but I really didn’t want to push it.  I truly enjoyed running with my friend, singing out loud, and just chillin’.  There really wasn’t anything “exciting” about running thru industrial Burlingame, nor was it pleasing to run to the smell of early morning ocean smell … LOL! I thought that the tiara and the boa was a nice touch that my daughter would enjoy, and she did!  =)  Thank you, Diva Run, for bringing me closer to my friends, for reminding me that I’m not alone, and that my friends ARE important.

Post race Diva bling!

Injury Continues To Prevail

Proud Parents with the Graduate!!! CSUF ’12!

It’s been a long, LONG weekend in the ‘No … Fresno, that is.  Over the weekend our oldest child had graduated from COLLEGE, and two graduation ceremonies later we can say that we did it.  Sunday morning found Chris and I exhausted.  Not just tired but dog tired EXHAUSTED! In addition to driving to and from Fresno twice, attending two different graduation ceremonies for the same child, then a congratulatory lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon on Saturday searching for, then purchasing said college graduate a car!!!  Yes, we were tired, but probably Chris more than I, however, I whined louder.

So, yes, Sunday morning you would have found two dead tired parents who just happened to sign up to run a half marathon before heading home from our already long weekend.  California Classic Weekend – a combination of a Century (100 mile) bike ride on Saturday, a half marathon on Sunday, and a kids run.  One could ride the Century ride and turn around on Sunday and run the half marathon. Or one could just do the bike ride, or just do the half marathon.  As I had run the half marathon last year, and as we had absolutely NO intention of riding 100 miles, Chris and I opted to only run the half marathon. It had already seemed as if we had been on the ride of our lives with the graduations and rearing of children.  The half marathon was all that we could handle.

Packet pickup for this event was held on a Thursday and Friday.  What the hell?  Really?  I can see if you were in Fresno, or if you lived in Fresno that this would work for you, however, we don’t live in the area, and even though we were in town on Friday, the expo began at 3 p.m. and we were long gone by then.  Last year we could pick up our bibs at Chuckchansi Stadium on Saturday, this year we were not able to as there was NO packet pick up on Saturday.  Really?  What an inconvenience!  We were assured that we would be able to pick up our packets and shirts prior to the race start in the morning.

Sam and his new Jetta, Miranda.

Our evening ran late as we took our child car shopping, add on the need for filling out applications for credit, insurance, promissory notes, etc., we were lucky to get in dinner by 9 p.m. Our other younger children were were grouchy and tired by this time, however we made the best of it as we dined at Denny’s!  It was an exciting night for our older son who was extremely excited and thankful to have gotten a new car!

Upon arriving back at the hotel, we readied and laid out our gear for the morning’s run.  Shorts – check. Shirt – check. Shoes – check. Everything – check, check, check. The only thing we did not have was our bib’s.  Sleep came easily for both of us, as we were both FAST asleep by the time our heads hit the pillow!

Race READY in the ‘No!
Chris and I at the start. =)

0515 came early! I was able to get up early, and ready myself without incident while my mother-in-law made coffee.  I know!  The horror of not having my regular Starbucks tall, triple, non-fat, no whip mocha!  What the hell, right?  But actually, the hotel provided coffee was fine, and it provided the jump start that I needed.  I was fortunate enough to have packed a mojo bar to have as my breakfast.  It was a very short walk to the start line, and while walking we met a very nice man who was also running the half, named David.  He and Chris struck up a really nice conversation, and he let us know of his goals (to sub 1:30! LOL!) and we talked about how inconvenient it was to have packet pickup on a Thursday and Friday! We got to the packet pickup table and were able to get our goodies without incident, put our bibs on, and head out to use the facilities.

While on my way to the porta-potties, I was fortunate enough to find my new

My newest running friend, Richelle! She ROCKS!!!

running friend, Richelle, who was stretching and warming up.  I introduced her to my husband, asked him to take a photo of us, and I was off while they chatted and waited for me.  Shortly after I was done, it was perfect timing, as there was about 10 minutes until gun time.  I worried the entire time before the start about my ankles and feet that were still nagging me, and that were still quite painful.

Miles 1-4 were fair.  I ran sub 10min/miles which was okay for me since I was still nursing injuries to both of my feet and ankles.  I was reminded of my girlfriend when I saw the Amtrak station at the half mile mark and I wondered how she was doing. It brought a little smile on my face as I noticed that even when she’s not with me, she is.

Mile 5 was just outside of the zoo gates. I was still doing okay, but I could tell it was beginning to get slightly painful.

Mile 6 was in the zoo.  It was nice to see the animals – Giraffes are my favorite.  I stopped for a minute to stretch out my calves which were starting to tighten up.  I was beginning to hurt even more – I know because I was running crooked, putting more pressure onto the side of my left foot.  Mile 6.5 I see Chris and call out and wave to him.  It was starting to get hot out there but I reminded myself to pour water down my back at every water station.

Mile 7, my left foot was starting to cry, so I stopped and removed the ankle support/brace, and I stretched out my feet once again.

I was doing okay from miles 8-10, but by mile 10.5, my left foot again started to whimper so I stopped and removed the ace wrap that was also supporting my ankle.  I left it on the side walk and hoped that some homeless person would be able to use it as it was fairly new.

I ran from mile 10.5 to the finish without much incident.  I decided to just suck it up.  I told myself that I was okay, that my foot was okay, and that I would be okay, but I was done and we needed to finish what we set out to do.  So I pushed it, slightly limping, but not.  Just kind of running a little bit crooked as I had been over the last few races since the Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon.  I told myself to dig deep.  I reminded myself that there were worse ailments out there and that I was very fortunate to be able to run, albeit a little slower than I normally run.  And I just finished as strong as I could.

DONE in the ‘NO!
Chris coming into the finish. Waving!

I was happy to have finished strong and to have finished upright.  I waited for Chris and as I was doing so, my lovely family arrived … and I jokingly berated them for being late and not seeing my stellar finish! Chris arrived shortly afterwards and my son was able to take a few picture of him, and my mother in law and family were able to cheer him in.  I was happy that they were able to see him finish.

I love this little half … about 3500 people. We all got Cold Stone ice cream at the end, as well as a fairly stocked breakfast plate.

Overall, the course was slightly different than from what I remembered from last year.  It was still a nice run, but it was HOT.  The sun was scorching hot at the end and I was thankful to have been done and out before too long. Aside from the packet pickup fiasco, it was okay because even that worked itself out. Last year I remember that there were no porta potties on the course.  This year I saw several.

I’m not sure if I would run this race again.  It was a nice run, and right now I’m a legacy runner, however … it would be bittersweet as I only ran the race because my son, Sam, was in Fresno and I could visit with him.  This year he graduated from college and starts a new chapter of his life.  Only time will tell if I run this race again.  Who knows … I may.

Here’s what I do know though … I’ve been nursing the injuries to my feet and ankles since the end of April.  Although I have been nursing them, babying them, taking them to accupuncture, soaking them in warm foot soaks, and keeping them compressed … I’m still injured.  I still hurt, but I continue to push it because that’s how I am.  I’d say on a pain scale of 0-10, I’d rate it a 5, and would go up to a 6.5 to 7 at worst.  It’s not that bad, but yet, my injuries prevail because I am stubborn! I’m so hardheaded and I beat my body up pretty good!  I just know that there could be worse things though.  I just know that my injures are minute when looking at the big picture.  I know that my injures ARE healable.  I know that I WILL heal.  I am sure of that. So while my injuries are slightly aggravated after each run, I know that it’s my own fault that they prevail.  I run when I should rest my feet, but I know that I will be okay. This will not get the best of me … I am bigger than my issue, and I know people! =)

Until next time … Train HARD.  Train SMART.  Eat WELL. And run HAPPY!

Gutting It Out At The Oakland Half Marathon

Over the last two weeks, I have really done a whole lot of nothing.  Seriously, in all honestly, I have been sick … really sick.  What started out as allergies, turned into a full blown head cold, that eventually turned into bronchitis complete with bronchospasms, with a touch of a 24 hour flu thrown in for good measure in between that head cold and bout of bronchitis.  I haven’t fully recovered, and I really have no business doing any kind of strenuous exercise until I’m close to 100%, right?  But being Row., I really don’t heed my own advice quite that well, and I like to test things out and push if I can get away with it.

This is how it all started … I had the makings of a head cold, complete with severe congestion and sore throat when I ran Sacramento’s Shamrock’n Half Marathon.  I had to call in sick to work for two days after this half because I felt pretty bad.  After running, I got worse and what was just a head cold progressed to this awful coughing because I was so dang congested.  I was starting to feel better by day 5, and I even went back to work on Friday, worked a full 12 hours shift, and proceeded to rock a 5K immediately afterwards.  Um … yeah, not the best idea, but I did it and did well.  But … there’s always a but … I ended up getting worse.  My coughing was so bad that I couldn’t sleep so I broke down and asked one of my Doc’s to write me a prescription for some Super Duper Cough Medicine which I took.  I slept so well, but that night I felt as if I had a hangover from the med. Then I felt as if I were dying – so debilitated that I could barely get out of bed, and I vomited.  Only once, but I vomited and I never vomit.  I believe that the last time I even came close to vomiting was 11 years ago when pregnant with my daughter. Ugh. Gross. The achiness went away, but the head cold was now in my chest – a nice appearance of bronchitis which had me coughing all the time because my bronchioles were always in such a fit of spasms.  I felt as if I were trying to cough up my right lung! Mind you this is now 3 weeks into this.  And I besides the two runs, I haven’t worked out at all.  It’s been like a forced rest for my poor shoulder.

Well … You’d think I’d learned my lesson from all of this right? Except I signed up to run the Oakland Running Festival this weekend.  Yeah … crazy.  Any other sane individual would’ve bagged the race and DNS’d it.  But no … Not Row.

Saturday night, I fell asleep without incident.  I was pretty whipped, and knew that I had to get some good rest in. About an hour into my sleep, my daughter, who likes to sleep with music, turned on her radio to go to sleep except it was at FULL blast, and not only that it was house mixes – bass thumping, heart pumping music. There went my sleep – I could not fall asleep afterwards for nothin’.  I did finally fall asleep at about 3 o’clock only for the alarm to ring right at 5!!! It wasn’t even a fitful nap due to all my coughing, and add on the fact that I’m for some reason nauseated and I know that I’m in for a delightful run!

I cough and hack and gag all the way to Oakland.  I try to eat my breakfast sandwich, only to feel as if I’m force feeding myself and start choking. I’m whining to my husband.  I can’t decide what to wear for outerwear. I feel out of sorts. I know that he feels bad for me, but there’s not much that he can do. He even offered to let me stay in the car and sleep while he took my bib so I’d get a time, etc., but I wasn’t going to let that happen.  I’d decided to just shut up, suck it up, and run.

What it looked like the day of packet pickup. Oh and that truck in front of us said, "Marathon" at the top. Another sign!
It turned out to be a beautiful day for a run!
Ready to go!
Chris - Race Ready!

The weather turned out to be surprisingly beautiful where it had been forecasted to be a torrential downpour. (Well, I don’t know if it was supposed to be a downpour, but it sounded good.) We had a lot of time before the start so we did the customary prerace cheezing, porta potty pit stops, and what not. The half marathon had a late start time of 0915 so we had lots of time to kill.

My view of the START ...
And Chris' view of the START! LOL!

The race started promptly at 0915.  Chris was behind me, however, I lost him before we even hit mile one.  I felt kind of bad because I always feel as if I should run with him, but he never wants me to wait for him.  He wants me to run my race.  I was doing well, surprisingly, but I figured that with my lack of sleep, my coughing and nausea, I’d just run to run.  However, I felt good.  But I felt it at by mile 2.  Not the sickness, but the ankle ache on my left side.  I figured I’d just let it go, that it was tolerable. I continued to run the streets of Oakland – thanking the volunteers, high fiving the police and firemen, and taking in the sights.  Like I said, the weather was perfect, and aside from my little ankle ache, I was okay.  That is until about mile 9 when the tiny ache became a real ache and I could feel myself running crooked to compensate.  This lead to my balance being thrown off, so now not only did my ankle ache, but my left knee was starting to whimper a little.  But I talked to myself, my body and I told it that we could do it for 40 more minutes, that we could tolerate this pain for a little longer, that we were strong, and that we were okay, that we would be okay.  Essentially, I told my body that it had NO choice.  I said, nicely, that we would just have suck it up and just gut it out the rest of the way.  Just like that.  You know, like when you talk to your kids … you don’t give them choices, you tell them what they’re going to do and they don’t argue back, and if they do, you whack ’em!

At mile 10, I thought of my friend, Audrey, when I saw someone who held up a sign that read, “Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” I smiled, and told my body that what we were experiencing was just that … Temporary. I reminded my body that we would be okay, despite the now crying left knee.  Just a little ache. We were gonna be okay.  Every time we went up hill, I smiled and said that this was my sled pull for the day, my mini WOD, and thought of my friends at CrossFit 209.


We got to Lake Merritt … People kept saying that it was “just a jaunt around the lake and you’re done.” Yeah right.  Lake Merritt is HUGE!!!  These people surely had a skewed sense of measuring! I know that they only meant to motivate, but it was really deceitful! Mile 11, more crying from the knee, just a little louder, and not only that, but my shoulder was also starting in and my right arm went numb. Mile 12 … still whimpering, but Rockafeller Skank comes through on the iPod and I tell myself and my poor knee that it’s just about over. We got this.  We take off just a tad faster. We push hard. We have no clue where we are time wise because I decided stop looking at my Garmin at mile 3. I just know that I have to dig a little deeper and rise up … so I do. I push hard and just go.  It takes a few before I can spot the finish line and it’s just slightly up an incline.  And before I know it, I cross that finish line and I couldn’t be happier.  I immediately thank my body for pushing through, for sucking it up, and gutting it out when the going to rough.  I’m really proud of myself.  Despite all the odds that were stacked against me – the lack of sleep, the crazy sickness, the shoulder, ankle and knee issues – I finished! I’m really proud of myself for getting the work done!!!

Best of all, I’m proudest of my body for not listening to my head.

Highlights of my race: Best sign I read was, “Where’s everyone going?”  Running thru the Wall of Fire! Seeing the Raiders in all their make up! And cheezin’ for every camera I saw – and I saw a LOT!

Marathon Training – Week 19 … Decisions, Decisions

As of today, I have not fully committed to running the California International Marathon.  I have less than one month, and I have not decided whether or not to run this race, or to say, “Eff it!” and let it be my very first DNS!

This is where my Libra personality truly shows.  As a Libra, I have such trouble with making decisions.  I want so much for the answers to just come to me, and for them to just come easy.  I am ashamed to admit that I want decisions to be made for me so I don’t have to think.  I want things to be cut and dry.  It’s too difficult for me to be able to see both sides, and they both weigh so heavily on my mind.  I think too much, is my problem.  I can’t be one of those individuals that doesn’t think and just does, just takes a chance and goes for it.  Instead, I think, and think, and then over think as I weigh the pros and cons in my mind.  I can’t ask anyone what they think because ultimately the decision is mine and only mine to make, and I will have to live with that decision.

So … here I am.  Undecided with only three weeks left to go.  Not only that, I’m currently undertrained and slightly injured.  I haven’t run more than 15 miles in any one given run.  I am also suffering from a lot of issues with my ankles in which they start to give out on me at around mile 13.  I know.  Lots of things to think about, and I better think fast.  Oh boy …

Before I get too deep in thought … Let me recap my week for you …

40% chance of rain ... 60% chance of sunshine & clear skies. I should've banked on the sunshine!
Such a great venue! Loved it! Hoodie & Bling!

Sunday:  Sunday you would have found me in Fresno, California at the Two Cities Marathon.  You will recall that I had spent an awesome day with three of my kiddos on Saturday milling around the Expo and eating dinner, etc.

What can I say about the Two Cities Marathon?  They predicted 40% chance of rain … so what did I do?  I didn’t bank on the 60% chance of sunshine.  I dressed for wet and cold, and instead it was dry, warm, and sunny.  It was a perfect day in Fresno and I was overdressed!!!  Seriously OVERDRESSED.  Wow.  Capris (I haven’t worn a capri since February!!!), tank, long sleeve, and a lightweight jacket (in case that 40% chance of rain falls, y’know?).  Oh, and I can’t forget that I was asked to wear a fox beanie by my son for good luck.  It didn’t rain even one single, tiny drop … It was beautiful and sunny for my entire run.

It was great that most of the hotels offered shuttle service from to the start.  I came alone, no husband, and I didn’t ask my kiddos to come tag along and wait until I was done running.  I didn’t know anyone there, although once I got there, I could see on FaceBook that there were a few people that I knew who signed up.  There were thousands of people at the start.  I had my coffee and breakfast while on the shuttle.  I had some random person snap my picture while waiting for the start, used the Porta Potty, and then made my way down to the corral I was assigned to.

The course itself was really nice.  I can tell you that the crowd support was awesome, as well as the entertainment along the way.  It’s become somewhat customary that I use the porta potty at mile 2 – so I took a short break and went.  Throughout the run, there were ample aid and water stations, there was no shortage or long lines for porta potties either.

I had a great run.  I enjoyed running and interacting with the crowd.  I got a lot of compliments on my son’s beanie, and since our bibs were custom, most people gave me a shout out as I ran by.  As usual, I thanked as many volunteers as I could for being out there to support and help us, and I encouraged most of the runners that I ran alongside.  I have found that it really helps me when I am able to do that for others because I know how difficult it can be.

I ran a fair race.  I can tell you that I started to have ankle issues around mile 7.  Since I’ve had PF, I haven’t really been able to find the correct orthotics to help with the way my ankle turns in when I run.  I’ve kind of been neglecting it because it really doesn’t bother me until after the run.  However, running a half marathon and suffering is going to be much more difficult than running a FULL marathon and maybe having my feet fall off and the ankles.  It may be a real problem!  I’ve been trying to get into see my PT so that he can help me figure out how to stabilize my ankles.  I have also been experimenting with different shoes to see if that will help.  So far nothing.  So … my hubby’s suggestion is that if I do decide to run CIM, he will meet me at the half way point (exchange #3 for the relay) with food and a change of shoes.  Which may be something to consider.

Anyhow … back to Two Cities Half Marathon … the finish was incredible.  LOTS of people cheering.  And a short recovery walk from the finish until you got your medal hung around your neck, water, chocolate milk, and a very warm hoodie!  YES, I said a hoodie!  Immediately after, you are surrounded by tents with people cooking breakfast – HOT meals – pancakes, bacon, sausage, etc., and a tent with ice cream sundaes.  It was incredible!

Getting from the finish, back to the place where the shuttle bus driver said he would be was amusing!  I got lost.  I asked several volunteers and they all steered me in various directions except for the right one.  My only option was to pull out my iPhone, and use my GPS to find my way back.  It was only one mile and some change, so I wasn’t worried.  I had thought about calling my son to pick me up, but road closures and getting my daughter out the door would make things difficult so I opted not to call him.  I would trek my way back, and as I did, I prayed to God that I would somehow meet up with the shuttles so I would not have to walk long.  As luck would have it, I didn’t have to walk far.  God heard me.  I walked smack into the the shuttle bus driver.  Thank you, Jesus!  I got him to take my post-race picture then he drove me back to my hotel without incident where I was able to take a very long, hot shower, and checkout on time!

Would I run it again?  Yes.  It was a really nice venue!  I enjoyed the expo and the post race festivities!  I like the fact that the hotels were able to coordinate shuttles.  I love the hoodies and the hot breakfast.  I enjoyed the course entertainment, and crowd support!  It was a great race.  Not my best race, but it was fun, and I had a good time.

Monday:  I thought I’d rest.  Instead, I hit up AMAA for some cardio fun in the afternoon once I was able to get a good couple hours rest after my kiddos left for school.  You know that I love cardio at AMAA!  I love working out with my friends.  I had to modify a lot of the moves because I can’t throw a left hook because of my bum shoulder, but it was all good.  I had a really great 45 minute session with a lot of leg and core work!  =)

Tuesday:  You found me in the box today with a workout that really kicked my behind!  Seriously … It made me wish that I stayed home.

The warm up kicked my behind … Literally. Thank God for my hubby who carried a little of my weight at the end of the sled pull. Ugh. So weak today!

The Warm Up:
20 High Knees, Butt Kickers
20 Squats, Lunges
20 Kips
10 Push Ups, Pull Ups
400 m sled pull (125 #)
I couldn’t pull the sled at body wt today, so for the last 200m, Chris took a load of 25# off me. Thank God for marriage, right? Sometimes it’s 50/50, 60/40, 90/10 …

Since my workouts are modified to accommodate my injured shoulder, my strength workout was Back Squats. Find an uncomfortable weight and do three sets of 5 reps. Okay then. My “uncomfortable” weight was #110 lbs. Yep – both the sled pull & my back squats were close to body wt. Ugh.

The Work Out:
Row 750m
50 HL Push Ups – for me modified to Jump Lunges
50 KB swings
50 Pull Ups – Modified to GHD Sit Ups
Row 750m

It was a really good workout, but when the warm up kicks your butt there’s a problem!  Whoa!

Wednesday:  The gist of it went down like this …

The Warm Up:

Run 1000m then
3 rounds of
10 Walk Out Push Ups
30 Ab Mat Sit Ups

Back Squats for me – work up to a weight that is uncomfortable and do 5 sets of 3 reps. Yeah. I love squats, so it took me awhile to find that uncomfortable weight of 105# (I think).

The Work Out:
6 Rounds of
5 Cleans (12# dumbbell touch ground, and lift overhead for me)
5 Burpees
5 Push Presses (26# KB swing for me)
5 Box Jumps
5 Front Squats
5 Push Up Deadlifts

Row 1000m

Thursday:  I love working out. There is no doubt about that. Today’s workout taxed me and made me doubt myself for a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome workout, but it was rough.

The Warm Up:
3 Rounds of
10 Burpees
10 Mountain Climbers
10 Ring Rows
200m Run

1 minute L sit
1 minute L hang
1 minute L ring support
2 minutes Hand Stand Hold
10 Skin The Cats

Okay … this workout really had to be modified for me because of my shoulder. I could do the L sits, but the L hangs I could not so that had to be modified. The Ring Support I could do. The Hand Stand Hold, I could not … so … my trainer modified it for me so that I had an upside down Bosu ball that I would put my hands on, and then an exercise ball that I would put my toes on and hold for 2 minutes. He wanted to see if I had plank skills … I have MAD Plank Skillz! I rocked that exercise and I’m pretty proud of myself! I skipped the Skin the Cat move altogether because I’m sure that was one of the exercises that jacked up my shoulder weeks ago!

The Work Out:
4 Rounds
200m Sandbag Carry (45# for me)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
Bar Facing Burpees

This. Workout. Kicked. My. Ass! It took a lot out of me, and I had to dig deep to find the strength to finish. But finish I did, and I finished strong.  But I was dying on the floor when I was done!  Although I had a substitute trainer today, I’m thankful that he was encouraging, and motivating.

When I got home from my workout, I had a message on my answering machine from my Chiropractor, Dr. Brian Crawford, telling me that he had read my FaceBook status and telling me that I needed to get my butt in his office so that he can fix my shoulder!  Lucky for me, my kiddos had an appointment so we all headed down there.  He cracked my back, my neck, then adjusted my left shoulder.  He knew which spots to hit in my scapula, the front of my shoulder, and my bicep.  He knew that there was some nerves that were also getting impinged along with my muscle because of the shooting pains I was getting in my bicep.  How did he know?  I didn’t say a word.  Let me just say that I felt instant relief after getting adjusted, then I was able to use the H-Wave for 30 minutes as I waited for my boys to finish.  I have an awesome Chiro.  He looks out for me, and didn’t charge me for my visit.  He knew that I was hurting as I’d been in a few weeks earlier complaining of the same thing.  He takes great care of my family and I and I would highly recommend him to everyone!

Friday:  It’s Friday, and it’s Veteran’s Day. I’m thinking that the box wouldn’t be open at all, but Noah, Chris, and I, and our tag-a-long, Grace, go in hopes that it will be open … and it was! I’m glad we went because we had a great session. Easy and fun. Well, you know “easy” means something entirely different to me.

The Warm Up:
800m run
3 rounds
10 PVC Good Mornings
10 PVC Squat Jumps
10 PVC Overhead Presses

The Workout #1:
11 minutes AMRAP
11 Ground to Overhead (modified to 26# KB swing)
11 Toe to Bar (modified to Ab Mat Sit Ups)
11 Box Jumps

The Workout #2:
5 minutes AMRAP
10 Ball Slams (modified to side slams for me)
7 Burpees

Deep stretching.

It was a nice way to end my week. =)

Saturday:  Nope … Got nothing for ya today.  I’ve worked out all week and I’m done.  Today’s a rest day for me.  Sleep and recover!  =)  Seriously!  Sleep and recover!

It’s been a great week.  I’ve worked out hard, and I can see results and I like that.  You know that my week last week was crap, and although I know that I need weeks like that where I do nothing, it was still mentally devastating that I had such a long rest period.  It threw my game off on Sunday when I ran in Fresno … Okay … It may or may not have, I just know that I wasn’t 100% at Fresno, where a few weeks earlier I had a great run in Stockton!  I just know that it makes a difference in my game and performance when I’ve worked out.

I know that in the upcoming weeks I have some really hard decisions to make.  I’m sure I’ll end up running CIM if just to run.  I have never DNS’d a race and I don’t know if I really want to.  I know that it won’t be a pretty run, but I know that if I do run, that I’ll finish!  So we’ll see …

Maybe I set my goals and bar too high.  I know that my expectations of myself are very high.  I’m hardest on myself and I expect a lot out of myself.  I’ve tried to lower the bar and my expectations, and I’m not just able to.  I am very good at beating myself up physically and mentally.  I am a positive thinker, and I do believe that what you tell yourself plays a big role in how you perform and what your outcome is … I know that I expect a lot out of myself, but I am also kind to myself.  I know when to back off, and when to let go of the dream.  It might take a minute, but I’m a realist.  It’s all good and I can roll with the punches.

As I roll into week 20, I’ll make my decision as to whether I’ll run CIM.  I’m pretty sure I’ve made up my mind.  I’ve had a couple heart to hearts with my good friends Marci (@BA_MarciRuns), and with Erika (@erikarae74).  I have yet to talk to my husband who knows me best, but seriously, I think I know which way I’m leaning.  Like I said, I know that ultimately the decision is up to me and me alone, and I will have to live with whatever I decide.  I’ll keep training hard.  I’ll get a LONG run in next week and see how I feel, and I’ll keep bugging my PT to help me with stabilizing my ankles.

It’s all good.  I know that whatever I decide, I’ll be okay with my decision.  It’s been a great training week for me!  I expect next week to be another good week.  I’ll make it the best week that it can possibly be.  I have a few friends running Clarksburk Country Run in Sacramento on Sunday … One running a half, the other a 20 miler.  I almost … *almost* signed up for the half, then the half relay … but in the end decided to stay home and chill out.  I don’t feel bad at all for missing a race!  =)  Those who have been following me know that I have been racing at least 2x month.  It’s taxing when you tally up my miniscule training runs during the week.  I know that I’m over a 1000 miles for 2011 already.  I’m proud of that.

So … Week 20’s comin’ up … Get out there everyone.  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Eat WELL!  And, most importantly, have FUN in the process.

Marathon Training – Week 17 – Fakin’ It ‘Til I Make It

Sometimes the only way to do something that you don’t want to do is to just do it … Fake it until you make it.  Smile and pretend that you’re having a great time, and turn off the voices in your head that tell you that you’re tired, etc.  That works for me, anyway.  I just keep pluggin’ away and talk to myself, telling myself positive things … there’s the occasional cursing in there, but for the most part, I get what needs to be done, DONE!

Me, Bel, & Cory
I love these girls! Tigger & Pooh!
My Twitter Budz! @mikebravo11, @erikarae74, & @cindy_rivera209

Sunday:  I was skeptical about running the St. Joseph’s Stockton Half Marathon.  I was exhausted … literally bone tired.  I hadn’t been sleeping well the whole week, nor had I been eating as well as I usually do.  But … I was going to run.  I signed up for this race, and I would run it.

She got up early to support her Mama & friends!

I was thankful that my husband was able to take the day off so he could come with me.  Like I said, Chris is my biggest fan.  He’s my driver, my cheerleader, my BFF.  We brought our daughter, Grace, who loves to come hang out with us and cheer the runners on.  We got up early, hit Starbucks, and headed on over to the race start.

We were able to find my friends, Cory, Erika, and Cindy easily.  We took advantage of the time we had and hit the porta potties, then took our customary pre-race pictures.  It was nice to have a lot of time and not have to rush.  Race start was promptly at 0730.  After a pre-race speech by the race director, Tony Vice, and by Mike Ricks, VP at St. Joseph’s Hospital we started without incident.

Me and Hardy!
Beautifu, speedy Melanie & I.
Some random guy I got to throw up a "shaka" sign as we passed the photographer!

The race was pretty uneventful.  The weather was perfect.  The course was completely – COMPLETELY – marked.  It was similar to last year with just a little tweaking.  I ran mile 1 and 2 with Erika and Cindy.  Erika was pacing Cindy to PR.  I didn’t want to screw that up too much ’cause I was just running.  I ran a few feet of mile one with my friend, Hardy.  He’s a FAST runner, so I told him I’d see him at the end.  At mile 2.5, I knew that I had to stop and take a potty break.  Good thing, too ’cause I really had to gooooo!!!  I ran mile 3 thru 5 pretty much alone.  At mile 6, my friend Melanie caught up to me and we ran together until mile 8.  Melanie’s FAST(er) than I am so when I started to peter out, I told her to go.  I saw Chris and Grace and their awesome signs!  My favorite cheerleaders!  I ran alone from there on out until the end.  Not really alone though as I ran with others and I did my best to encourage them as we ran together, or as I passed them.  I did get a one guy to throw up a “shaka” sign as we came towards a course photographer! Too funny!

Rounding the corner to the finish!
My FAVORITE pic - coming up to the finish line. Thanks to Mike Bravo's Bro for this shot!

Finish Line shot!

From the back!

Around mile 10, I had to have a talk with my very heavy legs.  They were trying to tell me that they were tired.  I told them that they were not, that we had a little over 3 more miles to go so they had to suck it up, STFU, and keep on moving!  Basically, I said, “Too effing bad, you better keep moving, and get the rest of us to the finish line!”  They follow directions well … cause I got to the finish without much incident or anymore complaining from them.  I love that when I rounded the corner from Grand Canal towards the finish, I briefly saw Chris and Grace, then I heard the announcer over the PA announcing … “Annnnndddd comin’ in towards the finish is one very happy Row. Wallen.”  Since it’s Stockton, and it’s where I live, I have the hometown advantage.  Lots of people that knew me were there cheering me on!  It was such a great feeling!

This was by far a really great race!  So much better than last year.  Packet pick up went very smoothly at the new Fleet Feet of Stockton.  We not only got a nice tech shirt, but also a reflective running vest from Mizuno.  The expo, albeit small, was friendly.  I love how most of my friends were running the booths!  On the course we were given COLD water!  OMG!  COLD water is like gold!  The Gatorade that was offered was also COLD.  There were ample aid/water stations, and enough porta potties on the course.  As I mentioned earlier, the course was completely marked.  The volunteer police, as well as the paid police on patrol guiding and controlling traffic were very helpful.  The volunteers at each aid station were all very lively, enthusiastic, and motivating.  I absolutely LOVED the mile 12 volunteers who danced with the sign and encouraged every runner as we ran by!

Post race we were offered not only our medals, but a towel, and water.  We were also provided with some awesome post race nutrition – cookies, fruit, and Togo Sandwiches.  The race photographers, CaptivatingSportsPhotos.net, took some great – seriously GREAT –  race pictures before, during, and after the race … AND … they provided us with FREE photos to pick up at the race, or to download from home.  I have a lot of pictures from this event, so if you want to see them you’ll have to log onto FB and check out my album there.

So much fun.  I’m thankful to have been able to run this race once again this year. With the sponsorship of St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Tony Vice, the race director, was able to put on a great race this year.  Thank you so much for providing Stockton with a venue that we can all be proud of.  =)  I ran a great, happy race … can’t ask for much more!

Monday:  Thought I’d take a rest, huh?  Oh no …

I’ve had serious DOMS since very early Friday morning. I could barely walk then or on Saturday. Then I ran a half marathon yesterday. You’d think I’d rest today, but nooooo … the hubby said I needed to go workout with him. So … okay … I’ll go …

The Warm Up:
800m run
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Opp Heel Reaches

Deadlifts – “Find a weight that is slightly uncomfortable.” Really? What exactly does that mean? Heehee. For me … it’s 90lbs. I know … weak. Oh well. I worked it. I LOVE deadlifts.

The Workout:
10 rounds –
3 HSPU (modified to 6 hand lift push ups ’cause of my healing shoulder. I asked to do HSPU and was told NO!)
6 Deadlifts
12 Pull Ups
24 Double Unders

Hahahahaha! This was a great workout! I can feel myself getting so much stronger. I know that this workout ROCKS. I love it so much. I love my trainer! He’s awesome!

Tuesday:  For the life of me, I can’t remember what workout I did on Tuesday!  What the heck?!  I know that I went and worked out because  … I know I did, then I went home and showered and went to lunch with my gal pal, Linda!  Aaarrrgggh!  I can’t find it on my trainer’s website either because it’s down for maintenance!  Okay … This day is to be updated … Oi!

Wednesday:  Since I worked last night, I decided to go ahead a make today a rest day.  I know.  Lame.  But It is what it is.  I’ve been working my butt off at home, at work, on the pavement, and in the box so don’t judge unless you’re walking in my shoes.  My body is one EXHAUSTED mother!

Thursday:  My body said, “Row., you’re tired. Stay home. Rest.” Did I listen? No, of course not. I got myself dressed, and out the door I went.

I was late and I thought about not getting out of the car, of just driving away when I got there … But I was seen so there was no backing out now. So I got out and started …

The Warm Up:
Run 400
Leg swings – side/side, front/back
Good mornings
Then … Then … Wait for it … Sled Pull at just about my body weight to 400m! HOLY COW, Batman!

Bench Press on a ball

The WorkOut:  (As if everything else wasn’t enough …)
4 Rounds
20 sec L sit
20 KB swing squats
8 burpee broad jumps

That workout took a lot out of me. Wait … The sled pull took a lot out of me. My trainer said he wanted to work my “powerhouse muscles.” Really? Yep. The backs of my legs were on FIRE!!! Yep. It zapped my energy. It tested my faith in myself. I asked to be killed. And yet … I survived. Thanks to my trainer.

Friday:  I so wanted to stay home.  Heehee.  It would be so easy for me to just climb into bed once Grace gets on the bus.  However … I know better, so I got my hubby up and off we went …

“Maybe we should’ve stayed home,” was my first thought when we got there. The box was full, people were everywhere … so we just settled in and started the warm up …

The Warm Up:
Row 1500m OR
Run 1 mile … I ran one mile
10 Wall Balls
10 Pull Ups
10 Walk Out Push Ups

3 rounds of
10 Back Extentions
20 GHD Sit Ups

The WorkOut:
20 minutes, As Many Reps as Possible (AMRP)
Run 200m
15 DB Thrusters
Okay … I did this workout three weeks ago and jacked up my shoulder, so my DB Thrusters were modified to Back Squats. I was happy with my 45 lb bar. Once I started though, my trainer and his partner came at me with some weights for each end of my bar. They added 30 lbs to my measly little bar. What could I do? I just went with the flow, gutted out the workout and finished 8.5 rounds! It’s all good. =)

Saturday:  Would you believe me if I told you that I went and worked out?  Don’t.  I did nothing.  I worked a long ass 12 hour shift, came home, slept, then went to Stockton Thunder Hockey!!!!  I made myself have a rest day and spent it with my awesome Fam Bam!  I seriously still hurt.  My body hurts.  I’m sure it’s from the cumulative effects of constantly pushing my body and asking it to do more and more everyday.  EVERYDAY!  Even on rest days I’m still doing something.  Like today … Rest?  Hahaha!  I did a lot of stretching before and after going to the game.  I mean, seriously, I am very thankful for my body.  I am thankful for all that it does when I push it.  I know that I ask a lot of it, but it always delivers.  Always.  There’s usually some moaning and groaning coming from the mouth, but my everything else delivers.  So if I want to slack off a little and just lay in bed a little longer … then so be it.  My body deserves it.

Hockey was fun.  It was Halloween day, so my lovely daughter, Grace, dressed up as her requested “Dead Zombie Cheerleader.”  I never knew that she was such an avid hockey fan!  She was all over the place – screaming, cheering, clapping, and just having the time of her life!  I love it because it’s loud and fun!  I also love it because it’s time with my family that’s been a little to few and far between.

I can tell my body needs to get to the Chiro.  I also need to make another massage appointment.  My shoulder is still pretty tight and sore, and my legs are full of lactic acid!  LOL!  =)  I’ll do that next week.

I got my hotel for the Fresno Two Cites Half booked, and I got my registration in for the Walnut Creek Half Marathon finally.  Was just waiting on some final details.  I know.  Crazy.  So … it’s been a very eventful, busy week.  Next week doesn’t get any easier, it’ll be just as crazy with Fresno coming up.

On a good note … my muscles a poppin’!  Hot damn!  My trainer’s been workin’ me hard and he promised me that if I was faithful and put in 100% that I’d see results.  He was right.  I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing … No … I’m stoked!  I’m happy.  I’ve been working hard!  My trainer always tells me to “Stop testing the waters and just do it.”  I know … I think too much, and he can see that I do too.  He pushes me all the time, never lets me slack.  Love it and hate it at the same time!

Week 18 comin’ up … 4 weeks left.  I’ve gotta get this sh!t done!  I’m tired, but I’m not going to think about it anymore.  I already know what I need to do and I’m just going to work hard and get it done!  I need to get a 20 miler in!  Eeek!  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Have FUN!  Let’s goooooo …. =)

Marathon Training – Week 16 – Running On Fumes

It’s just about time to start gettin’ down to business … Week 16 … Uh yeah, Row.  We’re gettin’ down to the nitty gritty and it’s time.  There’s no time anymore to dilly dally or fiddle fart around.  Com’mon now, Row.  You better get real about this marathon, or this marathon’s gonna get you!  I know.  I’m just lazy, and like I said … I’m just not into it.  This marathon’s gonna end up biting me in the a$$ if I’m not careful.  Ah well …

NWM ... I Run To Be MIGHTY!!!
Customary - Shaka at the Start!

Sunday:  This is the day of Nike Womens Marathon.  This race was my first real run that wasn’t a 5 or 10K not even a half marathon, but a MARATHON.  I started running this race because my husband thought I’d rock it!  He thought it’d be a great way to honor my father that passed away a few months before registration opened.  Thinking that it was a lottery, and that there was no way I would “win,” I entered … and then … I “won!”

This year would be no different.  I’m old hat at this race, right?  I know what to expect.  I know what to do, where to go.  I’ve got a routine down.  Right?  No sweat … Except this year was a little bit “off.”

Starting on Friday when our Party Bus took a dive while Chris worked to ready it.  He worked so hard to determine the problem, but he was unable to that night.  On Saturday he thought he had the problem fixed, only for it to hesitate as we drove it to go pick up Cory.  We took it back home because we didn’t feel it was safe to drive it such a long way, and we worked on formulating a Plan B, which was to find a rental car to drive.  As we searched for one, we were fortunate enough that Cory offered to drive to the city.  Thank God!

I, myself, felt “off.”  I wasn’t feeling like myself, I was so unusually exhausted that no matter how much I slept I never felt as if I was rested. I attribute this to me getting the flu shot, although this has never happened to me in the past after getting the shot.  So I dunno.  I just could not get myself together.  I thought it would pass and I’d just go about my merry way, but when you’re not 100% it’s rough going.

Me, Cory, and Claudia at the Start ...
Sooooo many people!!!

Sunday morning, I found myself awake at 0300 and unable to go back to sleep.  Try as I may, it was not happening.  0500 came quickly.  Cory and I dressed, and packed up our stuff and prepared to haul it back to the car that was at the parking garage.  Chris’ plan was to drive the car to a destination close to the finish line.  We left him at the parking garage and off Cory and I went to the start.

At the start of a huge race like this … we found ourselves in a sea of people.  There were 22,000 people registered to run this race.  Add on their families and miscellaneous viewers and you really have a lot of people!  A LOT!  I knew that going to the restroom prior to race start would be an issue.  The lines for the porta-potties alone were sooooo long.  I told Cory that it would be faster if we could just go back to the hotel and use the bathroom there, however we had no room keys!  Ugh!  Lucky for us, our friend Claudia was close by and she gave us her room key to use!  Quick jaunt back to the hotel, and less than 15 minutes later we were back while people were still in line to use the porta potty!  Wow!  Pre race we were able to get a good 1.5 mile warm up in trekking from the hotel to the parking garage, to start, back to the hotel, then back to the start.

Making our way to the start we encountered a mob.  We were gridlocked, stuck in a mess of people who happened to not be moving.  Seriously, Cory, Claudia, and I were stuck!  We tried to push our way through with no such luck!  Then Evan found us … actually, she saw ME of all people.  Evan barreled her way through that crowd like a champ!!! Yep!

We did the customary pictures at the start.  There was no reception for me so to post on Facebook, or tweet anything wasn’t worth the effort and waste of battery.  We just took the pics, and tried to send out a few texts … most didn’t go through at all.  It took us about 25 minutes to get to the start line.

I ran the first 2 miles with Cory and Claudia.  At mile 3, I turned around and they were no longer beside me.  I knew that the big hill was at mile 6 then again at mile 9 … I was prepared.  Running in a sea of walkers was no bueno.  Walkers, TNT walkers, 5 deep … WTHeck?  Where is race etiquette here, people?!  I found myself weaving in and out of walkers countless times.  I was not a happy runner.

You know how sometimes you just know that things are not going to go according to plan?  This was one of those times for me.  I’ve only had one really good running experience in San Francisco and that was my first Nike.  I just don’t know if San Francisco likes me at all.  I love SF.  I spent my summers there with my grandma, and I wanted to live there as a kid!  My memories of the SF Half from July hit me like a 1/2 ton of bricks.  It was as if I had PTSD!  Whoa, the flashbacks!  I never saw any of my running friends.  I ran alone … But I talked to myself and reminded myself that it would be okay and to just keep going …

Did I have a good run?  Of course, I did.  I love Nike.  I love that I am able to honor my father by raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!  I should know better than to do well in SF.  I should lower my expectations and just be happy running. I was very disappointed that I did not see one friend (besides Cory who I drove up with, or Claudia who stayed in the same hotel as we did).  I didn’t see Shiloh, or Linda, no Mac, no Mel.  I didn’t see Felisa, or Norah, or Brooke.  I didn’t see Erika Rae.  My friend Jessica, nope.   I saw no one … Not even at the finish area.  Ugh.  It was really sad …  I was really sad.

This is kind of silly, but I only have one of my Tiffany Necklaces out and that’s my first one.  The others are still in the box.  Someone asked me why I don’t sell them on Ebay.  Well … think about it … they’re my medals.  I wouldn’t think about selling my other medals on Ebay, why would I sell my necklaces?  I worked HARD for these medals.

Fffrreezzzzing!!! But my feet felt sooo much better!

Post marathon, Cory and I did quite a bit of walking back to the car.  We know that we walked just about 2 miles to get back to the car.  It was a little difficult because … Because … I broke rule number 1 … “Don’t try anything new on race day.”  Technically, I didn’t break the rule.  I got new shoes and had worn them on short runs, but the long runs I didn’t try them on.  They felt okay with the short runs so I took a chance.  I felt some pain at mile 6 but gutted it out and finished the race.  Post run, my right foot really, really hurt.  Walking was slightly difficult.  When I got home, I set up my foot spa as an ice bath.  Oh. My. God.  That hurt!  I could only put my feet in for 30 seconds at a time and that was it!  Total mileage for the day 17 miles!  Ugh!

Monday:  I’m exhausted!  I mean EXHAUSTED!  Beat down tired and I just want to sleep.  Unfortunately, I promise my mother that I will help her with some things around the house that she needs done.  So I spend my morning with my mother.  As much as I love her, her negativity grates on me.  Everything is a “problem.” Oi Vey!  Really, Mom?  Negativity drains me.  It saps my energy.  I missed my morning workout, but it’s okay.  I contemplate making it a rest day for a minute, but I found myself ready to go in the afternoon so I took myself to AMAA and worked out with a bunch of my favorite people!

Kickboxing with my favorite people is awesome!  I love AMAA!  45 minutes of intense cardio combined with resistance training!  Yep.  Combo punches, kicks combined with squats, ground kicks.  Ab work … Ugh.  Yeah.  Love it and I felt much better after having finished.

I finally brought my St. Joseph’s/Stockton Half Marathon registration in to Fleet Feet for Tony to register me.  I lagged getting my registration in.  Oops!  Ah well, I got it in and I’m “In.”  While at Fleet Feet, I picked up some really crazy cool running shorts that match the jacket that Chris got me at Nike Town!  I’m excited to run which is weird because I wasn’t this excited to run Nike which is pretty sad.  To be more excited to run Stockton instead of Nike … I know, I’m pathetic!  But I am excited to run in my home town …

Tuesday:  You found me in the box today.  Chris and I hit the box at 0900.  Too crazy!  I will admit that I was a whiner today. Not really whining, more like sarcastic under my breath talking to myself, etc.  I don’t whine really. It’s a defense mechanism for me to become sarcastic. Really. I did go workout today so that’s winning for me.

The Warm-Up:
3 sets of each –
5 Deadlifts
5 Power Snatches
5 OH Squats
5 Rack Snatches

Finding 70% of Max 3 sets of 2 reps of OH Squats
*Since I have this injured left shoulder, I was to do the same but of Front Squats.

The Workout:
3 sets of each
Row 500m
15 Pull-Ups
15 Ring Dips
(Time 14:30)

Wednesday:  I have to tell you that I made today a rest day.  Gasp!  I know!  My body is still not 100% – I still feel sooooo blah, and my poor left shoulder still cries.  I have this “issue” with my left shoulder. I injured it one day during an intense workout (probably the one where I skinned the cat), and ended up straining my sub-scapular muscle and even impinging it! That was 2 weeks ago. It still hurts.  I’m sure it’s because of the fact that I’m not a good “rester.”  I push my little body pretty far, and I test it’s limits more than I should.  So today … today I rested and my body sighed a huge sigh … only to remember that I have to work tonight!

Thursday:  My intent was to hit the box at 0800 – immediately after working my 12 hour shift.  Instead what happened was some things happened at work and I was not able to leave on time, so it was decided that I would hit the 1500 time slot.  I asked Chris to wake me up at 1400.  Wow!  I slept well, but not enough.  But I got up and I went.

Since my shoulder is still pretty jacked, and I was given orders to rest it, I reminded my trainer and he promised to “modify” my workout.  He told me that today’s workout would be absolute torture for my shoulder so I was to do a workout completely different from what everyone else was doing.  I was thinking that I’d get off scott free … Oh, no!  My trainer don’t play!  “Modified” workout my a$$!

The Warm Up:
Run 400m then 2 sets of –
20 High Knees
20 Kick Butts
20 Jacks
Then run 400m. Stretch.

My “Modified” Workout:
3 Sets of –
50 Jump Lunges
50 Ab Mat Sit Ups
Run 400m

Then …
3 Sets of –
15 Back Extentions
25 Box Jumps

My Cool-Down:
Row 1500m

I watched others do handstand crawl-outs, and rope climbs, and “L” sits.  My workout was definitely the harder of the two!  Wow!  I got my a$$ beat literally!  I know that my legs are gonna be thrashed tomorrow!

Friday:  My glutes and hammies hurt!  I have DOMS really BAD!!! They ache.  Seriously … I hurt.  BAD.  I got dressed this morning after work and headed off to the box, however, I was late so I went home thinking that I would go with Chris to the 0900 class.  I fell asleep – with all of my clothes and even my shoes on as I waited.  Oh boy.  I did nothing today.  Not a dang thing.  And I feel guilty.  I feel really bad that I did nothing.  I feel as if I am lagging.  I’m lame – figuratively and literally.  It hurts to walk.  It hurts to move fast.  I tweaked my shoulder a little more today because I couldn’t wait for someone to put the 5 gallon water bottle up on the dispenser.  I did it myself and just about tore my shoulder out of it’s socket!  Ugh.  I folded my laundry standing up because I felt bad.  Yeah … I’m straight trippin’.  I am also running on empty.  You know when you’re driving your car and you know that you’re just about out of gas?  You know when you look at your gauge, and check the range and it tells you just how much you have left to go before you run out of gas?  Well, I am running on fumes and saying prayers that I make it to the next station … You know you’ve done it.  You look at that gas gauge and tell your self, or like in my case, you lie to yourself telling yourself that you’ll make it to that next gas station.  Then you tell God that if he allows you to make it, that you’ll never do anything stupid like that again.  Yep.  That’s me in life also … always skating by on a wing and a prayer.  I’ve always made it, God hasn’t let me down yet.  Yet I know that if I continue down the path that I’m headed, that my luck will eventually run out and I’ll be stuck, out of gas and praying won’t help.

Look who found me at FF ... Erika Rae & Thor!!!
See ... I clean up well ... =)

Saturday:  Uh … yeah … nothing.  Not a dang piece of training to post.  Zero!  All I did today was stretch my VERY tight glutes and hammies out, and ice my shoulder as well as try to stretch that out also.  I am having very serious doubts about running tomorrow’s half.  I am tired as all get out, there’s no time to rest because I’ve got stuff to do today, and then a birthday party to attend tonight.  Oi vey!  All I want to do is sleep!

Packet pick up for the St. Joesph’s Stockton Half was at our local Fleet Feet.  Grace and I were browsing around the store and I heard someone call out my name … I turn and see Erika Rae in line.  I haven’t seen her since June because I’m such a lame friend! She looked fab!  We hit the tiny expo and then headed out.  Grace and I did a few more things that we needed to get done before heading home, then it was time to get ready for zeeee party!

The birthday party was a 50th birthday celebration for my friends, Fern and Felisa!  Chris and I had such a great time mingling, then dancing.  The food was good, the company was great, and the party was rockin’.  We had a really nice time.  It’s just so out of our element to be partying.  But we had a good time.

Right when I got home, I got my race gear ready and went to sleep as I was sooooo tired.  It’s so irritating to run on lack of sleep … this was to be one of those runs.  I was hoping that between my DOMS and my lack of sleep that I would do okay … let’s hope.  (To be continued …)

That’s week 16, people!  I know that I need to get more rest.  I know that I need to take my rest days seriously and actually do nothing.  I push and push and push my body and myself, asking and demanding more and More and MORE …

I wish I could say that I was having a good time with running.  I’m just not.  I’m still having a hard time and I’m only running bare minimum.  I need motivation.  I need some really good motivation.  I feel as if I’m running on empty literally.  Most days I’m exhausted and I feel as if I’m not 100%.  The injury to my shoulder really has nothing to do with running – meaning that it hasn’t hindered it at all, but it still makes me realize how much I really thrive on being 100% and when I’m not … when I’m struggling … I realize how much I really use (and ABUSE) my body.  I don’t ever take my body for granted.  I am thankful for everything that I have been blessed with and I am grateful that I am able to move, run, throw, jump … everything.  You just don’t realize until you’re injured just how much you rely on your body.  I’ve been icing, getting massages, using heat, muscle rub, H-Wave, to help get it back to 100%.  I am not one of those people who will sit by idly and hope that it will just heal itself.  I have not taken any pain meds, not even a mere tylenol.  It’s not that painful, it’s just irritating.  And I’m more pissed than anything that I’m injured!  Really?  It’s a sub-scapular strain with an impinged muscle!  Wow!  And only on the left shoulder.

I have 6 weeks left, I’m guessing.  I’m hoping that all goes well and that my mojo will find it’s way back to me STAT!!!  Anyone wanna help a sister who’s floundering with motivation out?  I’m sure I just need a very swift kick in the a$$!!!

Until then … I’m not going to “hope” that week 17 looks brighter.  I am going to make sure that week 17 rocks me to my core!  I know that if it is to be, it is up to ME, not anyone else.  I’m going to take whatever fumes I have and make sure that I harness it and use it to it’s fullest advantage.  I will make it a great week … make yours the same.  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Have FUN!  Go! Go! Go!

Marathon Training – Week 13 – Lucky All Around

I love the number 13!  Where some consider it an unlucky number, to me it’s not.  It’s a lucky number for me and I like it.  I’m a numbers girl … I love the number 13 … And I started off this very lucky numbered week with Lady Luck!

When they said, "Running Heaven," they weren't kidding!
Start line Shaka!!! =)
Peace and Prayers ...

Sunday:  It was an invitation.  I let it sit in my inbox for awhile, only paying attention to it by chance when I went to delete the massive amounts of junk mail that I receive on a daily basis.  I only opened it because it contained the heading “Half Moon Bay International Marathon.”  Whatever, right?  I’d just open it and peruse, then trash it.  But instead, I was intrigued.  An invite to run the Inaugural race in Half Moon Bay.  Who doesn’t know me?  I love Half Moon Bay.  I was sad when we decided to pass on running the Pescadero Artichoke Half Marathon in April.  So … Of course, I was “In.”  You didn’t have to ask me twice.

Scott Jurek ... Ultra Runner Extraordinaire!
Done! Cool spinner bling!
George Miller, HMB Race Director, and I!

It was to be a very small race.  Only 500 lucky people for the Marathon, the Half, and the 10K.  Sounded soooo perfect … soooo intimate … sooooo me!  A run in a beautiful part of Nor Cal, on a beach … Really?  And they promised miles of “Running Heaven.”  How could I get so lucky?!

The expo was small.  Just a few vendors, and of course packet pick up.  Easy.  I missed Scott Jurek’s talks because I had gotten there late, but I was fortunate enough to meet him at dinner at Sam’s Chowder House, where he gave a short speech that was a great motivation.

Race day was perfect!  The weather a very cool mid to upper 50’s, a little fog.  It was perfect.  I was once again running alone.  I knew no one there, but it was okay.  I made a few friends while there.  Like Monika from Utah who was also running the Half.  She took my pics at the start.  Then there was Eric, his wife Cathy, and their friend, Christian.  Eric had noticed that I was running around their pace and asked if I would like to be running buddies.  Of course.  We all ran together until the turn around, then as the path narrowed, Christian went ahead, I was behind Christian for awhile, then Cathy caught up to me then to Christian.  I’m not sure what happened to Eric.  He told me when I saw him at the finish that while his wife was great towards the end, he had slowed down.  It was okay.  We all finished within minutes of each other.

The volunteer support was amazing.  Standing at various points they cheered us on and offered us encouragement.  My husband offered to volunteer his services during this event.  It was fun to see him at the 5k turn around point, cheering the runners on, and then to see him on the way back … that was cool.  =)

The run was gorgeous as expected.  Beautiful paved trails thru Half Moon Bay, scenic waterside, then we hit the dirt trails which was equally beautiful.  The water and aid stations were plentiful, as were the porta potties.  The water stations had plenty of water.  It was to be a “green” event, so there were volunteers who had pitchers if you wanted your water bottle refilled.  Towards mile 6 they offered Shot Blox and Cliff Shots, and at every station they offered water and Gatorade.  Along the route you could find the trail clearly marked … one of my biggest fears in running is that I’ll be around no one and get lost.  Stop laughing, it’s happened to me twice in races!  So I made sure I asked George, the race director, how clearly the course would be marked.  He assured me that the course would be clearly marked … and it was.  Lot’s of “Moony” markers everywhere.

As for the running … my running … what can I say?  It was amazing.  I ran effortlessly with a huge smile on my face for the entire race.  And as I ran, I encouraged other runners and I thanked all the volunteers for being there for us.  One volunteer who noticed me once on the way up, then on the way back commented on my enthusiasm and HUGE smile.  I wish I knew her name.  I was not really tired, just my right foot with my plantar fascitis issues started to act up.  When it starts to ache, in an effort to “save” it, I start to favor it which in turn makes my left foot take the brunt of the energy/pain, causing me to run crooked.  When this happens, my hip gets out of whack and my left knee gets wonky.  So … It was really the last mile that taxed me physically.  Mentally I felt strong, and I know that I ran strong.  I know I ran strong because I heeded my new Brooks clothing advice and “Ran Happy.”

Crossing the finish line, I was greeted by the announcer announcing my “amazing” finish, then by the one and only Scott Jurek who placed my medal around my neck and gave me a congratulatory hug.  I found my new friends and congratulated them as well as others on their finishes, grabbed my post race banana, water, and Cliff bar, then immediately made a bee line for the massage booth as it started to drizzle a little!  What fitting weather! By the time I made it there, I could feel my right foot seize up and I was thankful to have made it to the finish and to the massage booth!  My masseuse was beyond wonderful.  As I had gotten there a little early and I only waited for a few minutes, but I was paired up with a lovely woman named Karen who was absolutely fantastic!!!  She took care of my poor foot and aching calves!  She had magic hands, and she was awesome!

Overall it was a gorgeous race.  I dedicated this run to my friend Karen Martinez and her husband Craig, who recently passed away.  Half Moon Bay is one of Karen’s favorite places, and she visited there quite often with Craig on many occasions.  Throughout the entire run, I prayed for my friend and for Craig, may he rest in peace.  Will I run it again?  Oh, heck yeah, without a doubt.  I was happy to hear that my hubby wanted that to be his first marathon!  So … HMB 2012 … look out!  The Wallen’s will be headed your way again.

Monday:  I skipped ALL of my workouts today.  Oh my God!  I can hear all of your gasping sighs!  What the heck was I thinking?  I know.  I know.  But seriously … I’ve been working my body out pretty hard, beating it to a pulp some days.  My little body was seriously begging and pleading for a break, so I granted it one.  What’s one day?  Instead, I hit my Chiropractor’s office with my son, Nate, and he adjusted me from the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet!  No joke.  I love a good manual adjustment.  I love hearing my spine click into place.  My family thinks I’m a little creepy when I talk about it, but seriously, I even have my son Noah asking for them.  My Chiro, the awesome Dr. Crawford, is an integral part of my health and well being, and he plays an important part in keeping me active.  Anyhow … Chiro, traction table, and a massage … Ahhhhhh!  Lunch with my girlfriend, Linda V, where we both had HUGE California Omelettes, then dinner with 2 out of 4 favorite boys.  Yep, I ate my weight in comfort food!  LOL!

Tuesday:  Double double today!  It’s back to the grind today!  Yep 2 workouts for me … =)  For my morning workout, it took me awhile to get started.  Wanted to go early, but ended up going a little later and talking my hubby and my son, Nate, into going with me.  I am thankful that my trainer was up for taking in my men and showing them the way!  The workout was somewhat difficult, but doable and I love that I was able to workout with Nate.

The Warm-Up:
800m Run
15 PVC Up & Overs
20 Hug Me’s

Perfecting the Snatch
It’s a lot harder than it sounds to get the move/form down. It got slightly tiring also repeating the move over & over! I used only the 35# bar, but like I said repeating the movement several times over in 20 mins … I’m sure I got a good workout in that itself!

The Workout:
3 Rounds of –
3 x Turkish Get-Ups each side (12# DB)
6 DB Push Presses each side (12#DB)
9 Burpee Box Jumps

Yep! It was a good workout. I loved working out beside Nate. He loved it as much as I do! Chris … I’m not sure. I have yet to get Noah in there with us, but he’s been away so far thus week while on break!

As far as the second workout … I hit AMAA for Becky’s class which rocked!! Weighted jacks, weighted knee raises, as well as weighted core work … Can’t forget awesome cardio work of punches and kicking. Lateral jump squats, punches, move laterally with more squats, then jump squat back. Just so you know, I caught some major air with my jump forward squats! 3 rounds and I rocked ’em! I left dripping! And I had fun withy peeps – Becky, Lorin, Rich, Susanna, Mark. I encourage everyone and I’m kind of obnoxious, but they all know me and we all have fun! =] Love AMAA!

Wednesday: Got get up, get up, get down!  Heehee!  I love getting up and heading to the gym!  I knew that today would be a good day.  Honestly, I wanted to skip it.  I wanted to just stay in bed and veg out, but it was not to be because … BECAUSE my husband actually woke me up and was the one who wanted to go!  Really, Chris?  So of course, I’m all for him working out, and I’m not gonna let my man down!  So I got up and off we went …

The Warm-Up
Run 800
20 seconds of each
High Knees
Butt Kickers
Leg Swings
Arm Swings
Quad Stretch

Worked on form for the clean and hangs. 45# for me.

The Workout:
7-14-21-28 reps of:
Clean and Hangs
Wall Ball Squats with a 20# ball
GHD Sit Ups

Run 800m

Yeah. I left completely soaked, out of breath, and spent. But I got it done, and so did Chris! =)  In the afternoon, I brought Nathan who actually begged to go … OMG!  What have I created here?!?

Thursday:  I woke up this morning with a feeling of blahness.  I know I’ll go workout later, it’s not that.  It’s that feeling of dread.  It’s me dreading that damn CIM that’s coming up in December.  In all honesty, I have absolutely NO – NONE – ZIP – ZERO – ZILCH – desire to run a full marathon.  And yet, here I am training for one.  The eff?  Then there was an invite to run some Clarksburg 20 miler in November from Mac.  No thanks.  I’ve got seven races from now through the end of the year.  No thank you.  Then there’s Ms. V who posted that she never wanted to run again … what’s happening here?  Oh my.  Yeah … I just don’t want to run this freakin’ marathon at all.  But I’m obligated because I talked my friend, Beautiful Cory, into running with me … I’m crazy!  I just don’t have it in me.

Next year, I won’t be running as much.  I’ve got a few races planned with some friends, and some races that I will run because I am a legacy runner.  But not nearly as many as I have run this year.  It’s not even October yet so far for 2011, I have run 13 halfs, 1 -10 miler, and 3 -10ks.  I have left one duathalon, 4 – half marathons, 2 – 10Ks, and a full marathon.

My workout today was actually fun.  I worked out beside by Irish Twins – Nathan & Noah, and also my hubby.  We had a lot of fun, or at least I did.

The Warm-Up:
2 rounds of
Run 200 m
10 arm swings
10 arm swings high
10 deep lunges
10 jump squats
Run 200m

The Work Out:
5 minutes of Double Unders (108 for me)
50 Burpee Box Jumps (5:30)
1000m Row (5:01)
Max Plank Hold (3:30)
Run 800m

Holy crap. I thought I was gonna die after the burpee box jumps! Nathan and Noah rocked. Chris does what he needs to do to finish. I love working out with my fam bam! They rock! But it was soooooo HOT today in the afternoon!

Friday:  I had missed my workouts today because I had a class that took all morning.  It’s okay.  I’m not stressing.  I know that I got some good workouts in this week, so it’s all good.  I know that my boys went and hit the gym this morning, and they said that the workout was good!  I’m sorry that I missed it.  =)  Today starts my three day weekend to work, so we’ll see how I hold up.  I have my shoes and gear ready to hit the gym in the morning right after work … =)  I love how people believe that I get all weirded out when I don’t hit the gym or workout or run.  Hello … I’m just as human as the next person, and I’m not *that* OCD about getting all my workouts in.  I mean, if it’s been a few days, yes, I do wig out a little, but if it’s a day here and there … I really don’t stress unless I *need* to get in that gym!

Saturday:  I got no data for you.  Zip!  Zero!  Nada!  I had every intention … I always do.  Instead, I got off work in the morning and slept!  Yep!  You heard that right … I went to sleep!!!  Night shift’s been kickin’ my butt!  I’m not complaining.  I am thankful to have a good job, it’s just that sometimes it’s rough to get the necessary training in after working a long 12 hour shift!  Some days I get’er done, some days I just go to sleep!  What can I say?

That’s a wrap for week 13!  Not a “bad” week … could’ve been better, could’ve been worse.  However … Week 14 is another week!  No worries.  October’s my favorite month, and it’s about to get crazy up in here!  Muddy Buddy on the 9th, then Nike Womens, then Stockton Half, and maybe the Down and Dirty Mud Run …  I love October!  It’s my favorite month ever!!!

I finished up my ever so ambitious 2012 Racing Schedule!  You can read all about it here!  It’s pretty off the hook for someone who doesn’t want to run!  I know, I know.  It’s almost impossible to take the runner out of me.  I’ve got BIG plans for 2012!  =)

I’m finding my running happiness again.  It’s my reset button … my control/alt/delete!  I keep saying that I’m done, but I know that I’m not.  You can take the runs out of the runner, but you can’t take the runner out of the running … I dunno, something crazy like that!

This week I finished up my 30 day training switch up.  30 days of pure resistance training coupled with cardio and running.  What can I tell you?  I can tell you that the resistance training has made a significant difference in my running!  I can tell you that I have dropped 5 pounds, and a few body fat percentage points!  I can tell you that my legs look sleeker, and more defined, as do my arms and abs!  I can tell you that I feel like a million bucks!  My running has been less of a struggle, and I am happy!  I have enjoyed training with my trainer who in the beginning assured me that by his training me he would make me, that he would show me that I was a “Phenomenal Athlete.”  He didn’t lie, nor did he ever let me slack.  He never let me take the easy way even in the beginning.  In the beginning I was intimidated and afraid.  Now, I jump into the workouts with enthusiasm and joy even though I believe that I am about to get killed.  Hey!  At least I’d die a happy, happy girl!

My new Brooks Launch ... Running Happy!

I got some new kicks!  I had to find something with a little more cush for the long runs!  I love my Kinvara’s, don’t get me wrong, but after 12 miles my right foot starts to question my sanity!  I decided to try Brooks … I just like their motto … “Run Happy.”  Plus, I used their clothing for my HMB run and I loved them!  So I got the Brooks Launch … I got lucky and found a pair of Nike Frees in my closet also!  I know.  I was cleaning out my closet, getting ready to toss the empty shoe boxes and there they were!  I train in my Nike Frees … I love them for training at the gym!  So … my feet are happy!  Laughing and sighing and happy to have some new kicks!

Have a great week, everyone!  Run happy!  Hit the pavement.  Kick some asphalt.  If your week wasn’t the best, make this one coming up better!  There are no judgements in running.  Just do what you need to do to get through it.  Remember, it’s a blessing to be able to move and even more of a blessing that we can run as there are so many out there who can’t.  Train HARD.  Train SMART.  And remember to have fun in the process!  Catch y’all next week!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 10 – Changes Abound …

It’s week 10, halfway there I’m guessing.  I have yet to find the marathon training schedule that I chucked during week 5.  Oi.  Hee hee hee.  I’m slowly finding my mojo and my footing, and am once again getting excited about training.  Life is good, and I know it’s because I seriously changed up my workouts!

Tori, my Twitter BFF, and I at the Disney Expo.
Ali and I

Sunday:  This was seriously the FUNNEST run that I have had in a long time.  Besides the Giants Half last weekend, this Disneyland Half Marathon was a BLAST!  Wow!  My friend Judy, once again had a bib that she was not going to use, so I quickly asked my Twitter BFF, Victoria @easelytorie, if she wanted to run with me.  I got a resounding, “Yes, of course!”  But she was worried about finances, etc.  I explained to her that I was given the bib and that if she wanted it, it was hers.  Last year, she was in a similar predicament where she had to give her bib away, so she was very grateful for the opportunity to run this year.  She had been injured, so she was worried that she would slow me down.  I told her not to worry, that we would just run together and have fun.  We met for the first time in real life at the Disney Health and Fitness Expo.  It was as if we had known each other for a long time!  We also met Ali @alitherunner there, as well as our friends Kristy @kristylpants, and Lauren @liloruns!  Good times.

Row. and Torie ready to goooo!

The run on Sunday was on a day with ideal conditions.  We met early in the morning at my hotel and walked the short walk to the start.  One complaint that I had was that once you got in your corrals, there were no porta potties to be seen!  So although I had to go, I couldn’t unless I walked back out to where they were herding runners.  It was okay, just irritating that waiting in line would add to my time.  Oh well, just subtract 10 minutes from my time.  We hit the first set of porta potties just after mile one – perfect.  Hardly any lines … except people were peeing so s l o w l y … What the heck, people?  Drop and go!  Drop and go! How hard is that?  Heehee!

The run was pretty uneventful, meaning, no running issues for me.  We took water at every water station, and we ran side by side for the entire race.  It was amazing.  I thought that I was slowing her down, and she thought she was slowing me down.  It was perfect pace though.  I had a little twinge in my right foot, but it was tolerable and in the end did not cause me any undue issues.  The weather was awesome – slightly overcast, 60s.  Crowd support was awesome!  The volunteers were great – always smiling and encouraging.  Cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, everywhere … they were so happy, and all I could do was thank everyone for being there for us!  Running thru Angels Stadium was a nice experience.  I high fived all the kiddos, and we saw our friend Kristy as we went in.  Wow!  I loved it.  It was an awesome run with someone who I interacted with only via web and text … She was a great partner!  =)

Disney Blingage!!!
Soooo Much FUN!!!

Post race we were greeted with “cooling” towels, water and, the most important, BLING!!!  We did the post race picture thing, then headed back to my hotel.  This race was very well organized, from parking, the expo, the volunteers, to the corral herding, to the post race festivities.  Everyone knew what they were supposed to do.  I had my reservations in the beginning, but I seriously had a BLAST and can’t wait to run it again next year!!!

Poor feetsies just couldn't catch a break!

I thought I’d catch a little break after the run, however, I had my kiddos with me and they deserved a little fun, too, right?  So while they headed off to breakfast, I hit the showers and got ready.  As it was a little pricey to hit Disneyland for a family of six for just one day, we decided that Knotts Berry Farm was the place to be … and we were right!  The kiddos had sooooo much fun there!  We had heard from the locals earlier that Knotts was definitely much better than Disney.  The Wallen Kiddos are not much into crowds or rides, so this place was perfect!  10 hours and maybef 6-8 miles of walking later, I’m sure that you’d think that my legs would be screaming.  In all honestly, they were not.  I felt great, the only time I ached was when I quit walking for a minute … then my right foot would have a tiny bit of trouble getting started again.  Nothing a quick ice bath couldn’t help with after we got back to the hotel.

Monday:  Monday, Monday … What can I say?  We did a little bit of walking when we hit up Citadel on the way home, but other than that, it was more of a rest day as we headed home.  My kiddos were tired but happy … Life is good … =)

Tuesday:  Back to the grind.  Back to training in full force.  No time for slacking. 1 mile warm up. 3x: 30 kettlebell swings w/ 26lb kettlebell, 30 box jumps, 400m run. Tabata rows x 4 min. Tabata barbell push press alt with burpees x 8 min. Then 3x: 12 push ups, and 12 clean and presses!  Holy cow!!!  I seriously thought I was gonna die, but didn’t.

Wednesday:  Today’s workout left me gasping for breath.  Literally.  1 mile w/u run. 3 x 10 straight legged dead lifts with 75#s, then 30 box jumps. Then 1200 m run, 50 kettlebell swings with 26# kb, 800 m run, 50 kb squats, 400 m run, 200 m run with the kb! Oh. My. God!  All I could do was just lay there for a second to recover.

Thursday:  I made every effort to get to the gym after work.  I brought my clothes, changed into them, but as I was driving I began nodding off.  I decided that it was probably not the best idea so I proceeded to head home and immediately crashed as soon as I hit the bed.  Now, if you think I took a rest day, think again.  I got up early before work, and set a goal to run at least 2 miles.  I ran 3 and felt like a million bucks.  Okay.  Okay … I felt like $1.50, but still … I got the work done.

Friday:  Today I was going to do it.  I once again got dressed, and headed on over to the gym.  I made it this time.  However … I started questioning myself immediately after I got there.  That was quickly nixed in the bud when my trainer said, “You’re here after working all night?  And you’re smiling?  You’re badass.”  Then I saw the workout of the day … Whoa.  Yeah, I was wishin’ that I just went to bed … Warmed up with 1 mile run … Then … For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 20 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball
30 Kettlebell swings, 26 pound kb
50 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push Presses, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push-ups
1/2 mile run

I did this workout after working a full 12 hour night shift. I came in with a smile on my face, and left with an even bigger smile on my goofy face. I gave it 100%. I thought the weights of the DB and KB were a little too heavy, but my trainer said that, “Hey, you are a little bit strong. You are a stud!” So how could you not push harder. I left it all on the floor and am so proud of myself. Love my trainer!

Saturday:  Okay … I really debated getting out of bed for this one.  I should’ve just stayed in bed and slept.  Nooooo … I got my butt outta bed and I went.  Maybe not the bestest idea that I ever had, but too late now.

Warm up: 50 high knees, 50 butt kickers, 50 squats, 10 pull ups, 20 burpees, run 800 m.

150 wallball squats with 14# ball.
30 burpees, 30 DB thrusts. X 3
30 DB deadlifts, 30 jump lunges x3
Run 800 m

This workout put me in check.  See, I have always believed that I was a good athlete and that I’m in fairly good shape.  This workout challenged me and I wondered if I could *really* do it.  Today I’m sooooo sore that I’m starting to doubt my ability.  It probably was not the best idea either as tomorrow I’m running the Buffalo Stampede 10 mile run.  Oh boy.

So … that’s my week in a nutshell.  It’s pretty crazy what I’m doing, changing up my workouts and all, but it’s all good.  I can feel the changes and I’m having fun working out and getting put into place.  It may look like I’m not doing much running, but believe me … it’s there interspersed in all of my workouts.  I’m running on dead legs let me tell you, but it’s good to know that they still move after all that I have put them thru.  My quads, glutes, and hammies are SCREAMING at me!  Screaming, I tell you!  Whoa!  But it’s a good hurt.  It’s a good kind of pain.

Oh … here’s something to ponder … The new “thing” at work is to talk health/fitness/exercise to our patients as part of their vital signs. No problem for me because I practice what I preach. The only issue I have is when patients scoff me, telling me that I’m skinny, etc. They never believe how hard I have to work to stay in the shape that I’m in, and they don’t get the difference between being “skinny” and being “fit.”  A lot of people don’t get that.  Also, ALL of my patients one night – EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM – was a woman between the ages of 45 – 65 who was as round as they were tall. Some didn’t fit on the gurneys properly. All had a BMI of 40 – 60+. What has happened to our society?!? I just don’t even know … I just do the best that I can to help & encourage, but it makes me sad, and, honestly, it creeps me out …  And honestly, I’m not sure why I have to waste my breath for someone who’s not going to do more than lift a fork to their mouths?!  But I’ll do it with the hopes that I may inspire even just one person to get out and get movin’ …

Week 11 comin’ up.  It’s gonna be a good week … I can feel it!  Have a great one, everybody … Train hard, train smart, and you know … have FUN while you’re at it!  =)