Finish What You Start

It doesn’t matter what place you finish, what matters is that you finish what you start.

This was my motto as I went into CIM on Sunday.  I knew that I hadn’t trained properly and I knew that it had all the potential to be a very ugly race.  But I also knew that I signed up for this marathon.  Two weeks before the race, I committed myself fully to running it regardless of what kind of training I had done – which was minimal.  But if there’s anything that I know about myself, it is that I know that I am tenacious and resilient, and I knew that come hell or high water, I would finish.

The morning of the marathon started off great for me.  I had carb loaded and hydrated for three days prior, and I had been banking as much sleep as I possibly could.  I got my gear ready on Friday.  On Saturday, I rested as much as possible and made a few last minute runs to pick up things that I needed – like my customary coffee and bagel cause Starbucks doesn’t open as early as I need them to on Sundays.

I got up early, dressed and sent a text to my friend, Judy, who was running with me to make sure she was on her way.  I didn’t hear from her.  Uh oh.  I called her … no answer.  Crap.  What the hell?!  Our goal was to leave by 0400 and it’s dangerously close.  Then it’s 0400 … and I get a frantic call.  She just woke up!  Are you kidding me?!  Wow.  I’m panicking and Chris says, let’s just go get her.  She’s 25 min away in the OPPOSITE direction.  I’m going nuts.  But Chris says that there’s not much we can do … we need to just start where we are and chill.  Okay.  We get her, and we’re an hour late from when we initially wanted to leave.  I send a text to my friends, Shiloh and Khrys, who are waiting to take us to the start and they tell us to relax and chill – No worries.  However, all the while Chris is driving I’m thinking we’re soooo late, and why is he driving sooooo slow!!! But we get there in one piece, and our friends are not at all wigged out that we’re 30 minutes late.

Judy & I at the start!
Chris, Shiloh, Khrystyne, & I as we wait to board the bus to the start!
Beautiful Khrys!

I love Khrystyne and Shiloh.  We met at Khrystyne’s house where she graciously let me use her toaster to toast my bagel, and then her restroom to change out of my sweats.  We then followed them to the point where we could get as close to the start as possible … where we were then bussed to the start which was awesome. We didn’t have to wait long once we got to the start, and there were plenty of porta potties so that there were no lines.  I got a text from Mac, but I couldn’t locate her.  It would be Judy and I once we got separated from Shiloh and Khyrstyne.  (Shi and Khrys were running the relay.  Shi wanted to run a half so she ran the first leg with Khrys and her second leg.  Khrys was leg one.)

No one believed that I ate this burger & drank this Pepsi & I ate Snickers throughout the run!
Judy & I at the Half.

We ran an uneventful first half.  It was FREEZING at the start with temps in the 30s.  Judy and I just ran together, and we warmed up pretty quickly.  It was a nice run thru the streets of Folsom.  We were looking forward to getting to the halfway point where Chris would have my requested hamburger and Pepsi waiting for us.  Let me tell you that I got a lot of flack for that.  A lot of naysayers and non-believers did not believe that I could eat that and keep running.  Let me tell you … I know my body.  I know that I always eat before I workout.  I knew that I could handle this, and I knew that I needed to eat.  I was hungry … so I ate.  Two burps later, I was good to go.  After a much needed break, Judy and I took off again.

Mile 14 … my feet start twinging.  I can feel them.  I stop to stretch them.  I tell Judy that if she needs to go, or to run faster to please not wait for me.  She tells me that she’s having a hard time keeping up with me.  What?!  So we run.  At this point, we’re running and we “feel” someone running beside us.  We look up to see Mac and Mel.  I say, Hi and I’m happy to see them.  But they’re faster than us so they run off.

Judy and I continue to run together.  We encourage each other, remind each other to take water at the stops, and to just keep moving.  We count down the miles.  At one point I tell Judy that once, just once, I’d love to just be a spectator.  To just stand on the sidelines and just cheer people on.  I love the people who spectate and cheer on the runners.  I love the volunteers.  I thank them as we pass each water station.

It gets harder for us from mile 19 on.  We work on light post to light post.  We keep moving forward.  We never get discouraged because we know that we’ll both finish.  Just one foot in front of the other … keep moving forward.  Look ahead, don’t look back.

By Mile 24 we’re both done.  We’re spent.  I’m starting to hallucinate some, not from exhaustion, but from pain in my foot.  I keep moving, Judy right beside me.  We’re both tired and cold, but we forge on.  We talk, we walk, we run … Through this whole time I am so very thankful to have Judy by my side from the very first step.  At this point, she is my rock and I am hers.  We’re waning though, but for some reason, at this point we get mad.  Not at each other, but just mad that we’re taking so long, that the mileage seems unending … and we say, “Let’s just go.  Let’s get this sh!t done!.”  And we go.  We move not much faster, but we walk a little less.  Mile 25 … Mile 26 and the Capitol Building.  We’re there.  We’re done.  We have finished … The medals get place around our necks.  We can hardly walk.

Soooo happy to be DONE!

It was a LONG, but good run.  We never tired, we were just hurt – my feet and ankles, and her back.  We never bonked or hit that wall.  In retrospect, I should have changed my shoes as planned at the halfway point.  I can’t remember why I didn’t, but I’m sure it’s because my feet feel okay and I think I can make it.  I’m not really sure if changing shoes would have made a difference.  I believe that they still would have hurt just as much.

I’m thankful for my running partner, Judy.  I’m thankful to my hubby, Chris, who drove me there, picked up my friends and taxied them all over the course, brought Judy and I food, then waited for us at the finish.  It was a very long day, but I’m happy that I made it to the finish in one solid piece. (Like that wasn’t gonna happen.)


I spent the rest of the afternoon icing down my feet for about a good solid hour, then wearing my compression stockings with my feet and legs elevated.

The rest of my training week was pretty uneventful.  Hahahaha!  Yes, I did say, “training week.”

Monday:  Rest day.  It was an all out stretch day.  The foam roller was my BFF.  I’m a little sore, but I’m moving pretty well so I don’t complain.  I’m happy that the swelling in my feet have decreased some.  I still walk around with my compression stockings on.  Let me tell you what, my Zensah’s are the bomb dot com.  Those things are awesome.

Tuesday:  I have an appointment with my massage therapist.  Oh. My. God.  What a great session!  90 minutes of much needed DEEP tissue massage.  I love how when I say that she can put more pressure onto me, she says, “Oh yeah, you’re an athlete.  You like pain.”  Yes, I love really DEEP tissue massage.  She really stretched me out then she gave me much needed TLC for my feet.  Yes!!!  Soooooooo Awesome!

Wednesday:  I was going to go to Cardio, but I lolligagged too long and missed the time.  Oh well.  I probably needed to rest another day since I’m also nursing these allergies vs cold that I have.

Me & ERae!

Thursday:  In the morning, I got a good 35 minutes on my the trainer.  I love my spin bike.  My legs were loose, and I worked them out pretty hard.  In the evening, I hit Fleet Feet Stockton’s Brooks Nightlife Run.  It was a very nice, leisurely three mile run with Tony from Fleet Feet, and my friend Erika Rae, and a few other girls.  There was a contest for the best lit individual – I came lit in mini Christmas lights.  Fun!  Tony took all of our pics and put them up on the FF Stockton’s page on FaceBook and the one with the most “likes” at the end of the week wins.  I’m hoping to be the lucky winner!

Oh the elevation from mile 6 to 8 ...

Friday: Another rest day.  Actually, I did a lot of walking.  Chris brought me up to Walnut Creek to the Expo for the Walnut Creek Half Marathon.  It was a nice little expo, and I’m excited to run despite the elevation.  LOL.  While at the expo, I was able to try on some Brooks Pure Flows which is equivalent to the Saucony Kinvaras.  I’m really excited to get me a pair.  When I slipped my feet into them, they cried out, “Please.  Pleeeeease … buy us!”  They were pretty comfy!  I really need to find the “right” pair of shoes for my poor feet.  I really put them thru a lot and they do deserve to be treated right.

Also, while at the expo, I was able to meet The Praying Runner, Jose.  He’s such an inspiration to me.  I first heard of him while I ran the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.  I remember seeing him on the course at HMB complete with rose in hand and cheering him on as we ran past each other.  I initially wondered what the rose was about, but really didn’t give it much thought until I read his story.  Jose had lost his wife earlier this year after a LONG battle with breast cancer.  As she was his biggest fan and supporter, who encouraged him to pray for others as he ran, he dedicates every run to her and runs with rose in hand which he leaves at the finish line.  He then takes his medal and goes to her grave site and leaves it there for her.  I thought it was such a lovely, touching story.  I’m honored to know him.  He accepts prayer requests and several times I have asked him to pray for my father (at Nike, which he ran also), or my daughter (during CIM), and even myself (also during CIM).   It’s ironic that while at HMB, I was compelled to pray for my friends even before I met him or heard his story.  I prayed for my friend KK and her hubby who had just passed away.  If you want to read more about him, click here.

Dark, COLD, but ready to go!!

Saturday:  Today’s the day of the Inaugural Walnut Creek Half Marathon, and it’s also my last race for 2011.  I’m able to meet up with Mellie Mel in the morning and together we walk to the start line.  It is a very COLD morning in Walnut Creek.  Mel and I shiver for awhile as we wait for the start.  I look for my friend, Layla, who will be the 2:10 pacer.  Shortly after she arrives, it’s gun time and we’re off.

Bad@$$? For a little scratch? LOL!

Mel and I run the first few miles together.  At mile 1.5 we hit the porta potties, since there was a SNAFU at the start and there were only a few.  Oops!  Coming out of the porta potties, I have a little mishap with a bush and it scratches me up pretty good.  I’m okay, but it looks worse than it is because I’m bleeding everywhere.  No way am I stopping though.  I laugh because at one point in the race, someone yells out to me, “Oh. My. God. You’re bleeding, but you’re not stopping.  You are a bad @$$!”  Really?

Miles 1 thru 5, besides my little mishap, are uneventful.  Mile 6 is where we started to climb uphill.  I’m trucking along, encouraging everyone, and I just keep pushing.  I had to shake my head because this is where all of my sled training came in.  I always – ALWAYS – grumble and moan when my trainer straps the 145 pound sled to my back and says, “GO!”  I whine, moan, etc., and he tells me that it’s good for me.  He says that we’re workin’ those power muscles, and I just shake my head in disbelief because that thing sucks soooooo BAD!  Well, running up that hill was nothin’ thanks to my trainer.  I won’t grumble and complain so loudly anymore.  I’ll just mumble under my breath.

Just when you think you’re going to turn around and head back, you don’t.  You keep going UP  higher and HIGHER … Mile 7 … Mile 8 … Mile 8.5 is when we hit the turn around and start to head down.  Yeah!  I let gravity work for me and let it carry me down the hill … err … mountain.  Miles 10-13 were relatively even, but still rough.  My feet had given up on me at mile 5, but I still kept going. I could feel the pounding that they were taking, but I forged ahead.  =)  I got to the finish and couldn’t have been happier.

Double Bling!!!
Mellie Mel & I ... Double Blingers!
Me and my friend, Layla. 2:10 pacer. She's awesome!

Walnut Creek Half Marathon was the the last half marathon for the Nor Cal Half Series.  What does this mean?  It simply means that over the year, I have run a few races that were part of the series and because of this, I qualified to receive a “bonus” medal at the end of this race kind to acknowledge my participation in the series.  It was fun to run and be part of this event.  I enjoyed all of the races and I’m happy that I participated.  The other races that I ran that were part of the series included:  Davis Stampede, Fresno’s California Classic Weekend Half Marathon, Davis Moo-nlight Half, and The Giant’s Half Marathon.

So … That’s my week in a nutshell.  My feet are pretty mad at me right now for running a half marathon six days post full marathon.  I am working hard to find the right orthotics or the right shoes to help my feet survive more than 13.1 miles.  Seriously, they start to cry if I go longer than that distance, but they keep going and never complain when I drown them in an ice bath.  They put up with my antics and for that I am truly thankful to have the feet that I do.

I have had a great week, and an even greater year.  It’s been a very wild ride with all of it’s ups/downs, highs/lows … My year in review is a blog post of it’s own that will be up soon.  So much to write, yet so little time.

Thanks for comin’ with me on this training run that ended with CIM and Walnut Creek.  It’s been a crazy 22 weeks!  To all the nay sayers out there who didn’t think or believe that I could do it … this one’s for you.  Let it be known that I am Row., and I finish what I start!  I ran that marathon, maybe with not such a great time, but I finished that sucker, and went on to run a half six days later.  I may not have run quite as much as an average marathoner does, but I must have run enough to get me through the marathon with crazy beat up, sore feet.  I trained hard in other areas, I built some good muscles, I worked hard, and I had fun.  Life is good.

The training continues on for me.  For me, every day is a training day.  To get thru life, this training is necessary.  I enjoy what I do and I have fun, for the most part, in the process.  I don’t know if I will ever run another full, however, I have said that four other times … I love the distance of the half.  On Monday, the training for life starts again.  I have different goals, different plans for myself.  Come along for the ride, ’cause you know me … it will be a wild one.

My 2012 Racing Schedule is up somewhere on this blog, however it needs to be tweaked and I hope to do that in the next week, as well as get a 2011 recap up.

Life is good.  Continue to train HARD.  Train SMART.  Eat WELL.  And have FUN.  Whatever you’re doing … have FUN.  See you on the flip side!

Marathon Training – Week 21 – Sitting, Waiting, More Deciding …

Race Mode ... NO thinking ... Just doing ...

This is it.  2 weeks left.  What can I say?  Nothing.  I don’t want to say anything.  I  am just hangin’ back, siting, and waiting …  I’m just gonna hang out.  There are some things that need to be done yet and I’ve gotta man up and do it.

Sunday:  Um … got nothin’ for you except a bunch of much needed SLEEP!!!

Monday:  I hit up AMMA for a great cardio session with Stephanie.  Resistance leg cuffs and weights.  Love’em.  I wish that I could’ve stayed for the second session because TRX was involved, but with my shoulder it would not have been able to handle it and I would’ve just been frustrated and stood envious of those who are able to perform the movement!  It’s all good.  I got a great workout in.

Tuesday: Nothing.  I got nothin’ for you.  For one I’ve got some serious sinus issues and I took a Pseudophed.  Working out after I take a Pseudophed is like waiting for my heart to explode out of my chest.  Even if I take a low dosage, it still jacks my heart rate up sooooo high that I feel as if I can’t breathe and my heart wants out!  Also, I had to make some serious decisions today.  Serious to me, anyway.  Since injuring my shoulder over a month ago now, it hasn’t had the chance to heal because I keep pushing it.  I keep going to the gym and trying … trying to do the moves, stretching my shoulder, asking it to do things that it physically can’t handle right now, and pushing it despite the pain.  So … I have made the decision to stay out of the gym for the next month.  I sent my trainer an email that detailed how my shoulder was not healing and that the risk of it injuring it further (i.e. tearing the injured muscle or worse, dislocating the shoulder itself, or even tearing the rotator cuff) is NOT worth it.  It’s just not a risk that I am willing to take right now.  I’d rather just do cardio, and rest my shoulder and give it the time that it needs to heal.  I could tell you that I’m resting it now, that my trainer does his best to modify my workouts … but when I’m in that box, I want to be like the big kids and do what the big boys and girls do.  I want to lift the heavy weight and work hard.  I know me … and I know that I’ll push myself to try.  So … I put myself on the injured reserve list.  I’ve sidelined myself from the box.  That was a very hard, yet wise decision to make.

On another note, I did hit up Fleet Feet today and picked up my race packet for the 7th Annual Stockton’s Run/Walk For Hunger.  While there I got another Nike racerback sport top.  I love those tops … I think I own a hundred of them.  Okay … not quite a hundred, but a lot!  How could I resist with 15% off and a $$$ voucher … I practically got it for free!

Wednesday:  Nothing.  I’ve got no data for you today except more rest.  Yep.  I did a lot of prep for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner.  I seasoned and readied Jimmy the turkey (named by Noah this year) and got the other fixins ready to go.

Ready To Gooooo ...
Me & Cory. Post Run Goofiness!

Thursday:  I got up in the morning thinking that I really didn’t want to run this race.  I remember last year was FFFFRRRREEEZING and I just didn’t want to get out of my warm and cozy bed.  I also went to bed late and woke up wwwwaaaay to early … but I got up, got dressed, put Jimmy in the oven, grabbed my breakfast and coffee and out the door I went.

The weather wasn’t too bad.  48 degrees and overcast.  I found parking quickly at the Port’s/Banner Field parking lot, then set out to find my friends.  Cory was with her friend, Maureen.  Our friend, Norah, found us.  I was sooooo happy to see her.  Norah just started her running journey not that long ago, was sidelined for awhile due to some health issues, but then ran/walked NWM!  Belinda and her hubby were there, too!  Erika Rae was there with her kiddos – but she was so busy and I didn’t get a chance to meet up with her.  We took our customary pre-race pics and headed off to the start.

The race was pretty uneventful.  Cory, Maureen, and I went up to the very front of the start line.  We hadn’t even started yet, and I already got separated from my people!  Flashbacks of NWM – crowded and crazy.  Surprisingly though, as I decided to line up at the VERY front, I did not once feel crowded or boxed in, nor did I have to fight with any walkers.  I ran alone as I scanned the crowd unsuccessfully for Cory and Maureen, or Erika, or anyone that I knew … Ah well …

I settled in and focused.  My pace was sub 10min/miles which I felt was a tad fast except it didn’t feel fast.  I ran a good race.  I was happy, and cool.  I could feel my feet kinda getting iffy.  I had worn my new Zensah ankle supporters which may have contributed to my issue, but it wasn’t too bad.  I worried a little at how I would get thru 26.2 miles next week, but I let it go and forced myself to focus on the here and how.  I didn’t ever feel bad and I told myself that – “Row., you’re fine. You’re breathing is fine, and your legs are strong.  GO!”  So I went …

Taken by my bud, ERae! =)

Shortly after the turnaround I, I  happened to take my right earbud out.  Thank God, I did because I heard, “Row!!!”  I looked up and saw Erika Rae heading towards me running in the opposite direction.  She was able to snap my pic, we high-fived, and I told her that I loved her.  That was the only time I saw her … =(

It showered on me from about mile 3.5 to 5ish.  It was an awesome shower, however it was short!  It never rained again after that!  After that it was time to hit it and get to the finish.

Rosemary - my finish line motivator!

When I run, I always make it a point to thank as many volunteers, Police Officers, photographers, etc.  Most reply with, “Thank you for running,” which to me seems kind of silly, but I think it’s because they’re shocked that someone would actually think to thank them and they don’t really know how to reply.  But … I think that they still need to be thanked.  =)  It’s fun to me.  Also while I run, I always make it a point to encourage the other runners who run beside me.  I try to tell them that they’re doing a fabulous job, and that they look strong.  If we’re close to the end I tell everyone that I pass that they’re lookin’ good and to finish strong.  It was at around mile 5 that I turned slightly to my right to tell a runner who was beside me that she looked good and to finish strong.  I didn’t recognize her with her hat and sunglasses, but she recognized me and started screaming my name, “RRRROOOOOWWW!!!”  Once she removed her sunglasses I recognized her!  It was awesome!  It was my friend, Rosemary from my Princess Shift job!  We have always talked about running a race together, but have never really been able to get together and plan.  It was nice to see a friendly face.  So … together we took off, pushing each other for that last mile.  We ran fast and we ran strong.  It was so great!  I loved it!

Beckwith Twins!!! Matt & Mike!
Beautiful Norah!
Running Code 3!

The finish line in the past has always been inside the ballpark, this year for some reason the finish was outside of the ballpark.  It was fine with me, just different.  It was a very nice run.

Highlights include seeing the Beckwith Twins, Matt and Mike, on the course.  This was Matt’s first 10k.  Mike started running earlier this year, in April, I think, and since then he has run several sub 2 half marathons, and finished a full marathon! Next week, Mike will also run CIM with me.  Other highlights include seeing Norah, my beautiful friend.  And … the best … the photographers on the course, one who told me to get my arms up and look strong!  So much fun!!!

Friday:  Spent most of the day doing chores around the house, getting ready for my three day weekend of work.  I puttered around the house, spent time with the kiddos, and did a lot of “resting.”  I wore my Zensah compression stockings all day, and had my feet up.  Then worked all night.

Saturday:  I thought I’d be exhausted, tired, lazy.  Instead, I found that I was okay so I headed out to my favorite AMAA and got in an awesome Cage Fitness workout.  Total body.  I left there with sweat pouring out of every pore of my body, and of course, with a huge smile on my face.  I love that place.  I worked out this morning with my buddy, Camille, and next to Jennifer, and with the other usual suspects that I  pal around with there.  I could feel my shoulder tighten up during the workout, but it was okay.  I just modified the walkout push-ups to planks with leg raises.  Good times.

So … just three workouts this week.  I’m good with that.  I’ve got these allergies and this shoulder issue that I’m contending with, and I’m banking rest for the upcoming week …

More time prepping for next week’s D-Day.  I’m wearing my compression gear until the day.  I see my PT on Tuesday to get last minute pointers on taping up my ankles and feet.  I also have a massage and chiropractic appointments scheduled next week.  I do work Tuesday thru Friday morning so that may be a little bit of an issue, but I’m sleeping thru everything, banking as much as I can get.  I have yet to figure out exactly which shoes I’m wearing which may be a little bit of an issue.  Carb loading won’t be an issue.  I’ve got my outfit picked out.  I have my gear list made out.  My music playlist is good to go.  I’m ready.  =)

Two more races for this year.  Just two.  Then it begins again.  It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is here.  I don’t really know where the time went  or how it ran by me so quickly … pun intended.  I’m excited for this running year to be over.  Next year, 2012, brings LOTS of new and exciting running venues, and actually running for a cause.  That’s a blog in itself so we’ll get to that in a few.  Let me just get thru these next couple weeks, and recover for a minute.

Next week is it.  I’m sure my training will be pretty much NIL so there will be really no reason to post a blog except to just get thru the week.  It’s been a wild ride.  One week … Train HARD.  Train SMART!  Eat WELL.  And have FUN!!!  I’m ready for this to be over with.  I’m not thinking.  I’m in race mode and I’m ready to get this sh!t over with … =)  See you at the FINISH LINE!

Marathon Training – Week 20 – Sealing My Fate

I was waiting for a sign.
Yep ... What Nike says ...

I’ve been dickin’ around with this for far too long.  It’s time that I made up my mind and decide one way or another if I’m running CIM or not.  Soooooo … As of today, right now, this very moment … After much deliberation and over thinking … I’m “IN.”  No more changing my mind or fretting and worrying about it.  I’m going to run CIM.  No more thinking about it, only planning for the run, and getting into and staying in race mode.

They say that before you run your next marathon, you have to forget your last.

There.  It’s out.  It’s done.  Decision made.  I had a few heart to hearts with those that know the turmoil in my head.  If you’re wondering if I have any goals, well, kinda … I want to finish strong and healthy and in one piece.  I’m not sure what my buddy, Cory, has in mind, if she has decided to opt out or not, but I know that Judy has decided to run with me.  I know that Mac’s running, but I’m not sure about Mel. Last year I ran with time goals in mind.  This year, as I have said, I will run only for the pure joy of just being able to run and finish a marathon.  This will be marathon number 4 for me.  I’ll be going in without any reservations, I’ll be healthy, and injury free, and I will finish strong and happy.  (So it is written, so it will be and is done.)

That being said, I’m leaving it at that.  I’m not talking about it anymore, so don’t ask me …  I’m good with my decision, and I’m at peace. I know that I CAN do this and that I WILL do this.  That’s all that you need to know.  So … let’s get to training …

Sunday:  I got no data for you.  I was supposed to run something today, and I took the day off and everything, but signed up for nothing.  I’m sure that the Stockton Half was on this date last year and that’s why I took the day off, but they changed the date on me.  My running buddy, Mac, asked me if I wanted to run the Clarksburg Country Run, but opted out because of the fact that I’ve been running so dang much.  At the very last minute I thought I’d register, then opted out again.  I’m glad that I did because I feel pretty whipped!  I heard that it was a really nice venue, and I’m sorry that I missed it, but seriously, I’m glad that I didn’t run.

Instead, I sat around the house, ate not one, but TWO glazed donuts, and did absolutely NOT A DAMN THING!  And … I don’t feel guilty about it.

Me with two of my BEST buddies at AMAA: Z and Karyn! I love these two!

Monday:  I hit up American Martial Arts for a great cardio session with Jeanne and my girls.  I love my friends at AMAA.  Since my shoulder is still pretty stressed, I couldn’t do the exercises that required push ups, or left hooks, but everything else I was okay with.  I had to laugh when my friend, Karyn, asked me why I was there if I was injured … Girl, only my left shoulder is injured … not my legs, my core, or any other part of my body.  So I have no excuse.  I love working out there!  It makes me happy.  I signed up for Cage Fitness also … yep.  Something new to learn!  Excited.

Tuesday:  The plan was to get in the box but that didn’t happen, so then it changed to get in a spin workout, but instead I ended up with a whole lotta nothing!  Oops!  Oh well.  What can I say?  I’m tellin’ you, the weekend kicks my butt!  Ugh.  I’m not going to complain though.  I got some good rest in and I’m happy about that, then I worked a short stint at my Princess job.  Running around the hospital for 4 hours was enough of a workout for me today.

Wednesday: I’m surprised that I went.  I rushed in the morning to get there on time and when I got there, I wished that I just stayed home.

The Warm Up:
3 rounds of
Run 200m
15 Jump Squats
15 Kips (no kips for me because I can’t hang, so I was to do PVC roll overs)
5 HS Kick ups (none of those for me either)
Then … when that’s all done … 400m sled pull at 135#.

Let me tell you that I can’t pull 135# so I don’t know why I keep having to do it. Okay … I can pull it, I don’t like to pull it. It’s so freakin’ heavy and it takes me so freakin’ long to do it.  It’s frustrating beyond belief, and it sucks ass!

I didn’t even do whatever it was that I was supposed to do, because that f’n sled pull took me too dang long!

The Workout:
3 rounds of
200m Farmer Carry – I coudn’t do that so my trainer switched it up and modified my Farmer Carry to a sandbag carry. 50# sandbag carried 200m.
20 Deadlifts – 105# for me
40 Overhead Lunges. Overhead was a no no for me, so I carried the weight to my side 15#.

I enjoyed the workout, just not the sled pull. I was not feeling it, and it’s starting to piss me off that my shoulder is STILL injured and hurting. Yeah. Workout done, but not with a happy heart.

Thursday:  The plan was to hit the box immediately after working my 12 hour  shift, however, the powers that be had other plans.  It was a very BUSY night at work, and according to my manager, she was told by the higher ups that she was not to give us breaks.  Really?  A 12 hour shift without a break or any meals?  That makes for a very unhappy employee.  Really, you’re not gonna give any of us a break?  Whatever.  That being said … I was not able to eat, or take a short rest period so that meant no workout for me.  So … I decided to go home, sleep, then get up early and hit the box at 1500.  My husband said that he woke me up, but he didn’t.  I know he didn’t because I heard him, and I wasn’t fully sleeping.  I know that he did NOT try to wake me up.  He went and worked out alone!  WTF?  Seriously?  Let me tell you … this made for one very pissed off, cranky, frustrated girl.  My shoulders are tense.  I’m mad as hell, my tolerance level is LOW.  That was NOT a good idea to let me sleep.  I needed that workout, but I probably needed the rest more.  That being said, I’ll leave it alone.

Friday:  I had every intention of going to workout in the morning, but didn’t make it.  I had every intention to go workout in the evening, but puttered around so much that I lost track of time so that was a bust.  That being said, I guess you can tell pretty much that my energy expenditure for the day was a huge … a really HUGE goose egg!  Nada!  Ugh.  I’m finding that the weeks after working my weekends are so difficult.  They suck.  I’m having such a difficult time recovering … not to mention, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder so it makes it even crazier.  I “forget” every year until my hubby mentions it to me.  Oh well … =[  No excuses.  It is what it is.  It just sucks to not get a workout in at all.  SUCKS!  Instead, besides fiddle farting around with my family, you would’ve found me with my H-Wave permanently attached to my left shoulder for at least 2 hours!  I love my H-Wave!

On another note, I signed Chris and I up for Brazen Racing’s New Year’s Day Run, and NorCal Survivor Mud Run.  Thanks to Schwaggle, I got the Survivor Mud Run at a HUGE discount (65%), so it was almost FREE!  And … since I got a nice offer from Morgan Hill (50% off), I signed us up for 2012’s Morgan Hill Half Marathon, which is in October.

Saturday:  There’s a new fitness rage at American Martial Arts Academy where I workout … it’s called Cage Fitness.  5 – 5 minute rounds of a total body workout!  OMG!  I signed up to attend a class today and absolutely LOVED it!!!  I had so much fun!  =)  But I LOVE martial arts.  I love MMA and boxing.  It makes me feel STRONG and confident.  It’s awesome.  So that was my workout today.  Jeanne kicked my ass.  I just wish that my shoulder was not so wonky so that I could do the moves at 100% instead of 50-75%  I know it’s necessary to save and rest my shoulder, but seriously, it’s been a month and it sucks.  So … more H-wave for me today again.  I spent the day cooking Paleo, and taking my kids out to the mall.  I had a great day.

That’s my weekly recap.  Not much of anything, but a little bit of some things … Could’ve been better, could’ve been worse.

I’m not answering any questions about my decision to run.  I know that’s insane, but those that need to know … know, and those that don’t need to know, know enough and really don’t need to know much more.  If I start talking about it, I know me … I’ll be able to freak myself out and talk myself out of it.  So … NO.  I’ve made up my mind and I’m now in race mode.  Thank you very much, have a nice day …

My training has been consistent.  I’ve gotten my runs in, albeit short and sweet, they have been pretty good and pretty taxing.  I love my trainer.  I know that my shoulder will get better – I just need to be patient and just rest it, leave it alone, and not push it as I have been.  I have faith in myself.  I have great friends and my awesome hubby that I can lean on.

I talked to my friend, Cory, today … she’s worried about CIM, but she says that she will run it.  I’m happy about that … =)  We can do it.  I know that we can.  It’s all good.  So … Me, Mac, Cory, Judy, and probably Mel.  Love it.

I have some training issues that I have to workout with my trainer next week, but I’m sure that they will resolve themselves. I just need to talk to him about a few things.  I’m gonna hit the box pretty hard this coming up week.  My kiddos are off from school so it’ll work out that I can go a little earlier or sleep in a little later … =)

Thanksgiving is coming up this next week also.  I have so many things to be thankful for as I am very blessed!  I have a great life.

So … two weeks.  Train Hard.  Train Smart.  Eat Well. And have FUN!  It’s not worth it if it’s not fun!

The fact that you can feel the fear means you also have the courage to get beyond it.  Otherwise, the fear would serve no useful purpose.   – Anonymous

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 18 – Recipe For DISASTER

I’m sure it happens to everyone, can’t be just me … Or maybe it can be just me.  I mean for the last three weeks I have been struggling.  I seriously mean STRUGGLING.  I’ve felt listless, no energy, no motivation, no drive.  I even considered that I’ve had some serious illness or caught a virus, but that’s been ruled out.  I’m just so freakin’ tired.  Then it hit me …

I have been going NON-STOP for the last few months.  Even when I take a “break” it’s only for a day or two and it’s because I’m working which is it’s own crazy workout, then it’s back to the grind.  I have been hitting the gym pretty hard and regularly, then running various races when I’m not at the gym.  I haven’t stopped at all.

But over the last three weeks, I have been having a lot of difficulty getting started, I’ve been feeling so BLAH!  I’ve had to struggle to get out of bed, then again struggle and force myself to go workout.  I’ve been trying so hard to fake it until I make it, however, I can’t fake it anymore.

I’m not suffering from burnout, what I’m suffering from is over training.  As I have said, I have done no real “resting” even on my rest days.  I’m always doing something.  It’s almost as if I hate to not be doing anything on any given day, thinking that if I stop I’ll fail.  I desire to be invincible, and to just keep on doing what I’m doing.  However …

Overtraining + Lack of Sleep + Poor Nutrition + No Rest = A true recipe for nothin’ but DISASTER!!!  Yeah … three races in three weeks in October, and hitting the box consistently every week … I have finally worked my body into a state where it says, “NO MORE, Row.  Not right now.  You need to take a break and I’m gonna slow you down for a minute.”  Not only do I feel worn out, but my left shoulder has been aching, sore … okay … screaming for some real relief!  So … Let me tell you what I’ve got for this week …

Sunday:  Nothing.  I got absolutely NO data for you whatsoever.  I was scheduled to run the Down and Dirty Mud Run in Folsom, and I never signed up for it.  I let the registration date pass me by, and my husband said that I needed to rest.  So … I chilled out all day doing a whole bunch of nothing.

Monday:  Again … Not a damn thing.  I was going to go workout, but went to sleep instead after working my long 12 hour shift.  In the afternoon, I hit the Chiropractor who gave me a much needed head to toe adjustment.  Dr. Brian gave my left shoulder some TLC, adjusting it, manipulating it, then massaging it.  I got a whole body massage, then laid on the traction table for awhile.  Then … my favorite … H-wave to my L shoulder for 30 minutes.  Ahhhhh … Bliss!  I love how my kids love going to the Chiropractor also.  They get full adjustments, massages, lay on the traction table, and get H-wave if they need it.  Actually, we went to see Dr. Brian because Chris and the kids were in a hit and run MVC on Saturday and Noah was complaining of some neck and shoulder pain, and Nate was complaining of back pain.  Noah ended up with whiplash, and Nate felt better after getting adjusted.  I just happened to be a tag a long today …

Tuesday:  Hmmmm … I did nothing in the morning, but come the afternoon, I had gotten Low Census at work and I hit that box at 1500.  Thank God for LC because had I not gotten LC, I would not have gone to workout at all.  The workout went something like this:

The Warm Up:
400m Run
20 sec Leg Swing (Forward, and Side/Side)
20 PVC OH Walking Lunges

The exercise was to find max Jerk and work 80%, 2 sets of 2, then to work the Power Snatch 3 sets of 2 at 75% … BUT … since I’m injured, my instructions were to find my one rep max deadlift and do a few sets of 2 reps. Ugh! My max today was 150 lbs.

The WorkOut:
2 minutes, AMRAP with NO rest of:
Hand stand walks, or wall walks (Since I’m lame, I got to do burpees – Yippee)
GHD Sit Ups
R arm Snatches (KB swing for me with a 26# KB)
L arm Snatches (again, KB swing was substituted d/t my shoulder)
Then Double Unders.

This was followed by a short run. Yea!

Wednesday:  Nope.  I was going to workout in the morning, then I got started late and ended up not going or doing anything at all … Nothing except sleep and rest up for my long 12 hour night shift.

Thursday:  Yeah … I was going to go.  I had every intention to do “something,” and instead, I went to sleep after working my long 12 hour shift.  Some days my bed just calls to me louder.

Friday:  Spent a lot of time planning for my trip to Fresno that’s happening on Saturday.  I’ll be running the Two Cities Half Marathon and spending the day with my oldest son and my daughter.  It’ll be a Girl’s driving trip, and a day to spend with my kiddos whom I love so much.

My friend, Vanessa, at FGB 2.
My friend, Dominic, at FGB 2.

Saturday:  The plan is to leave for Fresno as soon as possible.  I committed, however, to go to the second annual, Fight Gone Bad, at the box where I train.  I told my trainer that I would come support and take a few pics.  It was great to watch my friends compete.  I wanted to compete, however, my trainer said no, not with my injured shoulder.  Next time, he promised me.  My friend, Becky, who is also injured, stood on the sidelines and found our motivation as we watched others participate.  It was fuel for our fire!

Getting my ankles Rocktaped up!
My Girl, The Last Minute Stowaway, & Fox Boy!

We left for Fresno around 11:00, and made it there without incident.  Oh … we had a last minute stowaway as Noah wanted to come with us.  We met Sam at the Two Cities Marathon Packet Pick Up and Expo at Chuckchansi Stadium!  What a great expo … Lots of vendors and demonstrations.  Jeff Galloway was there!  I got a free 20 minute massage!  I picked up some Body Glide because I forgot mine.  I got a pair of really cool arm sleeves!  And I got my ankles taped up by Chris from Rocktape!  It was an awesome way to spend part of my afternoon.  Chris also gave me some tips for taping up my shoulder that may help with the pain.  Can’t wait to try it out!

At Five Restaurant with three of my kiddos!
Linguine Fruitte de Mare ... YUM!

After we checked into the hotel, we, or I carb loaded at a nice restaurant called Five in North Fresno.  It was great food, and my kiddos were happy to be there!  We had a nice meal, then we hit Target to pick up a few essentials – like a pair of headphones that I forgot, a small box of cereal, and a banana.  I know … Cereal and bananas don’t belong in the same sentence as Target.  Oh well.  I got my customary morning Starbucks coffee from the nearby Starbucks and hit the hotel! It was a nice day and evening with my kiddos!

So … that’s my lame week.  Literally lame.  I’ve been babying my left shoulder and just trying to shake off whatever it is that I have.  It’s been rough going.  Slowly, I can feel my shoulder getting better.  I’ve been stretching it, getting massages, and doing some range of motion exercises.  It’s not as painful anymore, but it’s still irritated.  Maybe another week.

I’m sure that not working out is not conducive to my training at all.  I know that I do need to rest though, and maybe it’s what I need … to just lay around and do absolutely nothing.  I believe though, that if I am not doing anything, if I am sedentary, then my training will suffer.  I can’t get it thru my thick skull that rest is also an important part of training.  I know that in my head, but I can’t seem to follow the advice without feeling weirded out that I haven’t done anything!  Out of seven days, I worked out one.  ONE!  Ugh.  But … I’ll take it for what it is and just move forward, and only look ahead and not back.

Next week is another new week.  It’s a chance to start over.  So … no more worrying.  I’ve got a half mary to run on Sunday, and more chances to make up what I’ve messed up this last week.  It’s all good.  Life is good.  So … As I bid good bye and good riddance to this crazy week … I ask you all to train HARD!  Train SMART.  Have FUN!  Eat right!  AND … Get some rest if you need it.

I leave you with a great blog on The Importance of Rest During Training … I should take the advice … It speaks to me AND I know better.  Catch ya’ll on the flip side!

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,, 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 15 – Setting Myself On FIRE!!!

I will be my own catalyst & set my own self on FIRE!!!

The countdown to CIM continues and you know what?  I’m still not worried.  This could be bad because I’m not sure it’s because I’m not worried or if I really don’t give a flying effff … err … flip!  I’m sure it’s because I really don’t give a crap about this stupid marathon.  It’s the wrong attitude, I know.  I know … I’m registered to run it.  I am already confirmed “IN.” So … in the interest of NOT DNF’ing … I will run it.  And in the interest of getting through it, I will change my piss poor attitude and become my own catalyst.  What am I talking about?  I means that I will be my own flame and fuel, and I will be driven by my own determination and persistence.  If you know me, then you know how tenacious I am and can be.  I will set my own self on FIRE!!!

Why?  Why am I so unmotivated and not excited to run this marathon?  This will be marathon number 4 for me.  I know what it takes to run the distance and I respect everything about it.  26.2 miles of running.  What the eff?  I know that I let myself be influenced by my friends, and I, in turn, asked others to run with me … It is because of this fact that I will run.  The fact that I feel “obligated” to run with my friends that I asked to run with me.  That and I’m not into seeing DNF or DNS by my name.  That is NOT me.  No, that is NOT me.  It’s okay.  I know that I will run with heart and that I WILL finish.  I know because that IS the me that I know.  I have lots of fuel.  LOTS of fuel!  That being said … Let’s go!  BRING IT!

MiniRow .. BEFORE
MiniRow ... AFTER

Sunday:  Muddy Buddy San Jose!  Yeah!  I love this event.  7 miles of smiles – biking and running!  Yeah!  So much fun!  This is year 6 for me doing this event!  It’s year 4 of me and Rosa as partners, but it’s our first year with a team name that will stick throughout the years!  Team Nucking Futs!  Yep, don’t mix the letters up.

Once we got to San Jose, Claudia and I met Felisa at REI to pick up our packets and our shirts, and what other little things we needed – Gu, etc.  Felisa and her family was kind enough to take us to dinner at Bupa di Beppo where we carb loaded on yummy garlic bread and all kinds of yummy miscellaneous pasta dishes!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to stay with my friend, Felisa, who was partners with Claudia.  Felisa ended up staying with her husband who had gotten his own room, so Claudia and I had a room all to ourselves!  It was a great room at the San Jose Convention Center Plaza!  Claudia picked that room purely on the fact that they had “cool chandeliers,” so she says.  Lights out was at 2030!  Yep.  She laughed at me because I slept with the bathroom light on.  I’m a day sleeper okay?  I sleep in the light!  Hello?

Fueling Up ...

We started our day at 0530!  We hit up Starbucks where we got these great Artesian breakfast sandwiches that Claudia introduced me too, and our coffeeeee! Yum!  The drive up to Mount Hamilton was beautiful, albeit on a VERY narrow, two lane road.  I was still sad that my hubby wasn’t going to be there, but when I looked on my Squawk I had seen that he was on his way!?!  What?  Really?  That totally made my day!  My hubby has only missed a few races (no more than 3) of mine in all these years.  I like having him there supporting me, so to see that he was coming to be with me was a HUGE BONUS!!!

It was a really nice day in San Jose!  The weather was perfect.  Claudia and I had a few issues with putting the tires back on our bikes.  We had a little panic attack as Claudia couldn’t figure out how to get her disc brakes open.  They were shut tight.  We asked maybe 6 different men, 2 straight up admitted that they didn’t know, while the other 4 tried to help us, but they really had no clue.  They tried though.  They were able to help me with mine which was a big help.  I knew how to do it, but I had to make sure … Who knew that there was a certain way that the tread went?  Felisa found us quickly and noticed Claudia’s panicked face.  We explained the situation to Joe who quickly assessed Claud’s bike and fixed the problem in less than 30 seconds!  Wow!!!  Claud’s mood quickly changed and we were all happy girls once again.

Team Nucking Futs ... BEFORE
Team Nucking Futs ... AFTER

The event booths were just a short walk from our parking spot.  My buddy, Rosa, and her beautiful daughter, Ari, found us quickly and we got our bikes and selves “decorated.”  We got our numbers on, Felisa and Joe got brooms for our bike, and we had these really cool dri-fit shirts that I had our team name put on.  I finally found Chris and Grace prior to the start.  It was great to see them.  They were with Michael and Fern and their family.

I love this pic of Felisa ... It's one of absolute joy!
With Claudia & Felisa - Team Sassy!

The course had been the same every year.  We start the bikers start first then the runners.  I’m not sure whose idea it was to let our group (76-85) go last, but there we were … Wave 11 … the very LAST wave to go.  We start going uphill … No, really … UP a HUGE freakin’ MOUNTAIN!  1.2 miles.  It was almost impossible to navigate my bike because so many women stopped and got in my way!  Really?  Move the eff over!!!  It took some time to navigate through the sea of women walking their bikes up the mountain!  Finally at the halfway point, I was able to get back on my bike and ride!  Obstacle one was done, and I took off running, while Rosie took off on the bike!

My Buddy Becky & Pamela - Team Muddy Mothers (I think it shouldda be Muthas, but that's just me!)

It went on like this, leap-frogging and doing an obstacle course, for the next 4 more times.  I love the bike ride for my second biking leg as it’s ALL downhill and it’s an exhillarating ride down, all the time screaming for the runners to move to their right!  LOL!  I skipped the slide obstacle … for one, the line was long, and secondly, I have NEVER liked the slide … EVER!  My workout buddy, Becky, found me on my second run, and she thunked me on my shoulder.  I wanted her to run with me … and she did for a little while as I yelled, “Becky, where you at?” the entire time.  I encouraged every biker and runner that I passed or passed me.  It was a good time!

I got to the finish line at sub 60.  My goal was 49 minutes this year, but I was slightly off.  It’s okay.  It was FUN!  Rosie was slightly peeved that we didn’t make better time, but I told her that we really didn’t train at all!

My Grace LOVES the Twins!
Love My Friends! =)

Post race fun was had at Hot Pot in Milpitas.  We had a good time!  We met up with Felisa, Fern, Michael, Joe and their families and just had an all out great time trying to figure out how to cook our food.  I am very thankful for Felisa and Fern picking up the tab for my family and I.

Muddy Buddy 2011 in the bag.  Great fun.  Great atmosphere.  And a GREAT support crew this year!  I loved it!

Monday:  I’m not sure what I did to my left shoulder … Well … I know what I did – I injured it some how during the dumbbell thrusters last Thursday, and tweaked it a little while on the bike yesterday at Muddy Buddy.  My range of motion to my left arm and shoulder is pretty shot … I can only lift it 45 degrees laterally.  After that it’s painful.  I’ve had my husband massage it. I’ve rubbed analgesic/medicated ointment on it.  I’ve tried to keep moving it and rehabbing it myself.  By the end of the night I was able to move it more, to maybe 75 degrees, but it was still painful.  So … I made Monday a rest day.  I did go and get a flu shot and called for a deep tissue massage appointment.  I’m not worried about my arm.  I know that it’s more muscle than anything else.

Tuesday:  My left arm is better but it’s still painful to move it up and down laterally.  My plan for today is to do cardio, no weights, and to hit the Chiropractor.  Chris did massage it early in the morning which helped, but it was only 75%.  I whined about missing my workout but there was NO way I would be able to lift any weight.

I went to lunch with my girlfriend, Linda, then waited for my kiddos to get home from school so we could hit the Chiro.

Dr. Crawford adjusted me from head to toe and got my left shoulder to about 80%.  It still hurts, but I can move it more freely laterally.

As far as cardio goes … I hit the spin bike for a good hour and twenty minutes as I watched Biggest Loser.  I love Biggest Loser.

Wednesday:  I only went to go workout because my husband was tired of me “whining” about how I wasn’t working out.  So … he sent me out the door and into the doors of the box where I was greeted with a hearty, “Row.!  Where the hell have you been, girl?”  Alrighty then … Time to get started.

The Warm Up:
Run 800m
10 Catterpillars
10 Leg Swings Each Side
10 Squats

Cleans to Over head Squats
We practiced the move until we got it down, then added weight and then did the move until perfected.

The Workout:
Ground To Over head with the dumbbells.

It was an awesome workout and I really would have liked it better had my left shoulder not hurt so dang much. My trainer showed me some great stretches for it though and it really helped.

Thursday:  It’s my birthday!  Good excuse to skip out, right?  Uh huh!  No way!  I know that this may be my last workout for the week so I had to go.  But first … Gotta take care of business.  DEEP.  TISSUE.  MASSAGE!!!  Oh yeah!  I love my maseusse!  She is awesome!  She applies DEEP pressure how I like it!  I mean DEEP.  She hit my left shoulder with a vengence and attempted to work out that nasty kink that I have in my scapula.  I can feel it!  It’s there!  It felt much better after Marie worked on it, but my range of motion is still limited.

My Trainer with my "Special Workout"

My workout … Oh yeah.  It was awesome!  AWESOME!  I drug Noah with me and off we went.  Chris thought he could get away with “hiding” in car … no way!  Our trainer spotted him and called him out! Our workout (mine and Noah’s) went something like this:

The Warm Up:
Run 200m
10 Roll Up/Roll Jump Up/Roll Up Piston Jump
10 Toe Touch Jumping Jacks

The Work Out:
2 Minute Drills
– Max Double Unders (48 I could’ve done more but this hurt my shoulder to spin the rope)
– Max HSPU/Hold (1:05)
– Max Ab Mat Sit Ups (78)
– Max Push Ups (42 – I could’ve done more, but my shoulder)

The “Special” Workout – “The 43s”
43 Wall Ball Squats
43 KB Swings
43 Burpees
43 Broad Jumps
43 Cal Row …

OMG!!! I worked out with a bunch of kids today, My Noah included. They all whined, and all I could say was that I was an old lady, old enough to be their mother … so Suck it Up and do the work!!! We all laughed. It was a great day! =) Happy Birthday to Meeeee!!!

Friday:  I got no real data for you.  All I did today was rest and stretch.  I’ve been blah since getting my flu shot and I just feel as if I got my butt kicked.  Whoa!  It’s something else, but I probably need to rest and just get my mental game in order.

Saturday:  I am not 100%.  I am uber distracted with all this NWM buisness and everything that needs to be done in order to leave for SF today.  Our Party Bus broke down yesterday.  As Chris frantically worked to get it in working order, I can tell you that things went from bad … to badder … then better … then worse!  It took a massive dump.  I felt really bad for Chris because he had worked so hard to try and get it in working order, but it was not to be.  I called Cory to let her know that we were running late and why.  As we scrambled to come up with a Plan B – searching for rental cars, etc., Plan B kind of fell into our lap with Cory calling us to say she would drive.  Thank you, Jesus!  Within an hour, we were on our way to SF with Cory at the wheel!  Wheeeeee!

I Run For My Dad ...
Me and Cory ...

We were fortunate to find a safe parking garage quickly that was close to our hotel, and we hit the NWM Expotique (“expotique” because it’s sooooooo freakin’ small and soooooo freakin’ crowded).  We had a *tiny* SNAFU attempting to pick up one of the bibs, but we were able to quickly rectify it and get Linda’s bib from Kris!  Thank God!  Cory and I were feeling sooooo claustrophobic that we got our bibs, didn’t stay for anything in the expo, took a few pics, and hightailed it over to NikeTown!  We experienced more claustrophobia while in NikeTown and while at the Wall of Names.  We just got what we wanted and left … It was turning out to be a little bit crazy.  We trekked it back to the garage, got our stuff, and headed to check into the hotel.

So … all in all … maybe a mile and a half of walking total.  LOL!  That’s the mileage that I have for you for today.

Cory, Me, Shiloh, & Linda
Birthday Cakes ... Bite Me!

We met Linda and Shiloh for dinner at Ti Piacera on Polk Street to carb load.  While there we called Judy to see if she was coming because she said that she was, but it turned out that although she picked up her packet, she said that she would meet us in the morning.  We kinda knew what would happen next, but that’s not my story to tell.  We had a great dinner, then I was surprised with a HUGE box of cupcakes from Shiloh for my birthday!  Fun times!

We had a good day … But I was physically and mentally exhausted.  I was not running on all cylinders and felt way less than 90%.  I was able to fall asleep pretty quick … but you know how that goes pre race … (To be continued …)

So … that’s my Week 15 recap.  Decent and fun, but my midweek could have been sooooo much better had I just sucked it up and done the work.  Instead, I felt very out of sorts.  Seriously, for my husband to “have to” shooo me out the door to go workout is pretty pathetic.  I’m not sure if it was the flu shot that I received, or if I was just “blah.”  Probably a combination of the flu shot, lack of sleep, and over-training.  I know that’s what it is.  Eh … excuses, excuses.  I have so many.  I could blame this, or say it was that … but seriously, it is what is is and that’s all.

NWM is an awesome race that raises funds and awareness for blood cancers.  I am fortunate enough to be running it again this year.  I am thankful that with the help of my friends, I was able to raise $1,000 on my own for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!  I am so happy and proud of my friends.  They are so awesome in supporting me as I run in honor of my father!  I miss my Dad and I know that he will be with me as I run NWM.  Again … Thank you to all of my supporters!!!

So … as Week 16 lurks around the corner … I remind you that I have a lot of fuel, and that I also know the number to my local fire department … 9-1-1!!!  I am thankful to have survived another year, to have had a birthday so I could eat cake and ice cream and then cupcakes!  I am thankful to have had the opportunity to run NWM again.  And I’m thankful for my family and friends … especially my husband who works so hard to keep me crazy happy!  He is my rock, solid and strong!  Thanks, HPP, you’re my favorite.

If you see me out there “lagging,” I give you permission to find some fuel and throw a match on me to help me keep myself on FIRE.  I also give you permission to help me put some of the fire out if my hair happens to be on fire.  Okay … Go … Go get your training on.  Train hard.  Train smart.  Have fun!  See you next week!

Marathon Training – Week 14 – Countin’ Down

Heeeeerrreee we go … Time to start countin’ down.  I think there’s 8 or 9 weeks left until CIM.  As you can tell I’m *that* excited to be counting down … Oi Vey! Who or WHAT posessed me to sign up for this marathon, I don’t even remember, but I know that I don’t ever want to run one again.  I’ll run halves.  I love the half.  But a full … It will take a lot of convincing and bribery, and you better just offer me cash … a LOT of $$$ cash $$$ … but I don’t think that would even make me blink an eyelash!  I pray to God that I just get through CIM … I am thankful for my health, and my ability to move and run.  Just the thought of running 26.2 miles in one running session … You know that I haven’t forgotten my last one yet, or the one before that, or the one before that … Their memories are ingrained in my mind and they say that you have to forget your last marathon before you run the next … Ugh!  In that case, I’m in some deep doo doo, people!

Sunday:  It’s been a rough weekend.  Not really rough, but busy, and I’ve been tired from lack of sleep just from working at night.  This morning I made it as far as changing into my gym clothes at work, but I drove home … and I fell asleep with all my gym clothing on, even my shoes!  LOL!  So … In the afternoon, after eating, I hopped on my spin bike for 30 minutes and rode fairly hard.  That’s all I got for ya though.  30 measly minutes on my spinner!  But it’s something.  10 miles is something, okay!  So there!  Was I envious of my friends who ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon?!  Oh, no, no, no … I was not! =)  I was happy to be sleeping in my warm and comfy bed!

I had my hubby pull down my bike in an effort to get it ready for Muddy Buddy next Sunday!  Rosa and I have used this bike every time we’ve done Muddy Buddy in the past, and I’m looking forward to this year’s race again.  I’m sad thought that my hubby won’t be with us.  He’s always been with me.

Monday:  Back to the ole grind …  I hit that gym with a vengence this morning!  I got off work, thinking that I would just get dressed and drive over towards that way – that’s always the plan, and I always know that I’ll 99.9% get out of my little car and get myself in that gym.  It was fun to see my family drive up to meet me, albeit that my Nathan was not a fan of getting up *that* early in the morning!  I am the same way.  Hard as I might, I try to trick myself into believing that it’s going to be “easy, ” and that I’ll be okay.  It never is, but it was a good workout none the less!

The Warm-Up:
800m Run
10 leg swings – front and side
10 knee to chest
10 alt quad stretches
20 opp heel reaches
(Easy so far, right?)

Front Squats – find max weight and do 3 sets of 5. It tool me a minute to find my “max” weight of 105 lbs! So … I messed around doing a few reps at various weights until I found it. That’s a lot of squatting and with the weight right in front of your throat – ugh! Lol!

The Work Out:
As Many Reps As Possible in 20 mins
6 Pull Ups
3 Handstand Push Ups
4 Clean & Jerks
I did 11 reps. Ugh! I wanted to do more but started to fatigue towards the end!

Nice workout. My boys did 50+ pull ups, rope climbs, and wall jumps! I love how Noah used NO legs at all for the rope climb! Geez! Chris did the same beginning workout as the boys – burpees and dumbbell pushes, then he did ring pull ups, and then hit the rower! Yikes!

Tuesday:  Nope.  I got nothin’ today.  No mileage.  No crazy workout to post.  I had a dental appointment in the morning, and I worked my Princess Shift in the afternoon.  So, unless you count the massive amounts of walking that I do at work, I really have no data for you, and I’m okay with that.

Wednesday:  We were ready.  Noah and I got up early and hit the 209 together, with Grace as our tag-a-long!  We got up early, just us as Nathan was dead to the world asleep and Chris was sleeping after working all night. Noah and I had a great workout, and I wish that we were able to get a pic of us in our handstand positions doing Hand Stand Push Ups! It would’ve been a great pic!

The Warm-Up:
Run to Davis

Overhead Cleans – perfect the move. Used 55#
Sounds so easy, and once you get the move, it’s okay, but getting it down is something else.

The Workout:
Row for 30 calories
30 OHS (Over Head Squats)
100 Double Unders/100 lateral jumps
30 HSPU (Hand Stand Push Ups)
60 GHD Sit Ups/120 Regular Sit Ups
30 Ground to Overheads
30 CTB Pull Ups
30 Burpee Lateral Jumps

800m run to warm down.

Fun, fun, fun workout. I love – really LOVE – Hand Stand Push Ups.

Thursday:  It was kind of a crazy day for me. I worked all night, and slept a little … I woke up too early – noon, and I wasn’t able to fall back asleep. Ugh. So … at 1430, I said that I may as well get out of bed and get my workout on. Surprisingly, the family was ready to go – the family WANTED to go … so who am I to say no. Off we went!

The Warm-Up:
Run 800m
10 walking lunges each side
20 hanging kips
20 KBS

2 min Ring Plank
2 min L Sit
15 Skin The Cats
2 min Ring Support

The Work Out:
Run 400m
25 KBS (26#)
Run 400m
25 R Arm DB Snatch (12#)
Run 400m
25 L Arm DB Snatch (12#)
Run 400m (x2, I ran an extra with Chris)

This workout was actually FUN! I seriously enjoyed myself while I “skinned the cat!” I had so much fun. At one point I wish I could’ve gotten a pic of Nate, Noah, and I all skinnin’ the cat, but alas, I’m not great at working out with a camera!  I know you’re all wondering “WTH’s a ‘skin the cat’ move?”  Here you gooo …  

The workout itself was exhausting but fun. I was only behind Noah by about 20 seconds. Nate was behind me by over a minute – his excuse? “I can’t run in the rain.” Ugh. I watched Chris struggle a little, but he worked hard. I ran his last 400 with him. Like I said, today was FUN! Can’t wait for tomorrow … I hear it’s gonna SUCK!!!

Friday:  Remember yesterday when I woke up too early?  Well, yeah, I paid for it today.  I was exhausted beyond belief.  So what do you think I did?  I did absolutely NOTHING!  All I did today was find some dri-fit long sleeved shirts for Rosa and I and I got them personalized for Muddy Buddy!!!  I was thankful to have found someone to personalized them for me on such short notice.  =)  My family went to workout today and I was kinda sad that I was too tired to go!  =[  Some weeks are just worse than others.  It’s always like that for me!

Saturday:  Heading out to San Jose with my friend Claudia today!  In case you’re keeping track … I got no data for you.  I jacked up my left shoulder at Thursday’s workout with the dumbbell presses.  The range of motion isn’t the greatest and I’m kinda worried about it.  This week hasn’t been the best in terms of working out or for mileage, but I’m not worried.  I know me and I’m good with what I’ve got.  I’ll make up for it, no worries.  I’m gonna head out to San Jose and have a great time.  I’m happy that my Rosie will be there as my partner, as well as my workout buddy, Becky, with her partner Pamela as Team Muddy Mothers, and my friends Felisa and Claudia as Team Sassy, and my buddy Melissa and her friend Sondra as Team Muddy SnM … It’s gonna be a great event.  This will be Muddy Buddy #5 or 6 for me.  I’ve done it every year for awhile and I just love it!!!  =)

That’s my week 14 for ya.  Kinda weak, but it’s more than most people do.  It’s been a good week, regardless.  I know that when I did workout, I did workout to 100%.  So it’s not wasted!  4 workouts, all good.  I must get my shoulder worked out.  Healthy people sometimes don’t realize all the muscles that are used when they’re healthy and all working in order.  When we get injured it really makes you appreciate your body and all it does for you.  I’m very thankful for my little body. I’m very thankful and blessed to be very healthy and firing on all cylinders 99.9% of the time.  So … it’s okay that my shoulder is a little tweaked.  I’ll stretch it out and go see my Chiro and get a massage.

That being said … be good to yourself.  Be good to your body … it’s the only one that you have.  Take care of it and yourself.  Train HARD, but train SMART and have FUN!!!  Week 15’s gonna be a GREAT week.  I can feel it!  Lots of things happening like the “Special Row. Workout” that my trainer promised me!  Yeah!  I love my trainer … did I tell you that?  He’s awesome even when he does kick my ass.  That’s what he’s supposed to do!  =)

One week until Nike Womens Marathon.  Won’t you please consider sponsoring me as I run in memory of my beloved Father?  You can donate here at my personal link …  It’s for a great cause.   Can’t wait to run with my girls!  =)

K … catch ya’ll next week!  Have a great one!

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!  =)