Sunday, January 31, 2010

Please Mr. Groundhog - No More Winter

Brrr...another cold, snowy, but only slightly windy run today. Puppy and I settled on a nice 8-miler through the Rocky River Reservation of the Metroparks. I cannot say it enough that we are so lucky to have such a beautiful place to run. The sun was shining which somehow made the 24 degree temps bearable. I was surprised how few runners we saw today, and even more surprised by the number of cyclists I saw. Double brrrr on cycling in 24 degree temps!

So my weekly rundown:
Monday - rest
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 3 mile run, avg 5.7 mph or 10:31 pace.
Thursday - 1000m row, 30 squats, 750m row, 20 squats, 500m row, 10 squats
Friday - walked like John Wayne from the squats; no yoga due to a retirement party
Saturday - 3 mile trail run
Sunday - 8 mile run

I'm calling Monday and Tuesday "rest" days when, in fact, that's code for not doing anything. I have to admit I really missed my Friday night yoga, but the retirement party was for three coworkers and was important to attend. An otherwise good week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Has It Really Been 8 Years?!

One of my favorite pictures of my little pumpkin and me taken by Greg. I don't even know where we were hiking. Somewhere in the Athens area. I just can't believe it was 8 years ago in January 2002. I'm pretty sure this was the hiking excursion where Greg and Megan sang the "I'm Real" duet by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. Wow...time flies!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Slow but Decent Week

It's all in how you spin it, as pollsters say. One could say I was weak on the running this week. But I say I still got in some good workouts, just a bit alternative. Monday was a great day off with my girls. We got in a nice walk and a little kid yoga. The most activity I had Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of cleaning up more dog hair. A short bike ride either Tuesday or Wednesday (do your days run together, too?) mixed in with a few squats for good measure. Friday was Warm Powerful Yoga, which is the perfect way to end a tough week at work. A walk with my girls Saturday after watching my friend E kick butt at the Spartan Relays. And capped off my week with a short 6-mile run with puppy.

One thing I learned this week is that my core is getting stronger and I can hold my yoga poses longer. Today, I ran with better posture - a combination of yoga and not running on packed and/or slushy snow. So even though I don't have much to log this week as far as running, biking and swimming go, I am definitely feeling stronger and can say I had a good week. I hope you did, too! And now, to leave you with some yoga humor - enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Have Nothing to Wear

My husband once asked me, "At what age do they teach you girls that phrase". I had been sorting through my closet for something to wear to a party - probably a casual one even - and I uttered those 5 words every man hates to hear - "I have nothing to wear". A closetful of clothes and I had nothing (I wanted) to wear. Even Beyonce has those moments. Well, my daughter has now uttered those very same cringe-worthy words...and I now must act. Because I know that feeling. The feeling that has you searching online for the perfect party/winter formal dress. That causes you to window shop until you no longer care to see another dress again. That causes to resist buying another little black dress because EVERYONE wears an LBD....but not me...not this time. So this weekend my challenge will include squeezing in a long run (which is my shorter event, if you will) and finding the perfect dress for my daughter who has nothing to wear (what I shall refer to as the real endurance race). I'm exhausted already!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Strength Training

Today my strength training consisted of carrying my almost 3-year-old daughter up Wager Hill ala piggy back style to pick up Meg at swim practice. Talk about building core strength! It reminded me of the North Face print ad from a few years ago where the mother (an ultra runner) was deciding whether to go out for a run with her 4-year-old on her back in a backpack or to run with a tire attached to her with rope. Granted I only walked a half mile, but it's my story and so it will be dramatic!

Next up is kids yoga video that B picked up from the library because Mommy does yoga and she wants to do yoga, too. Looks like I have a full day ahead! I love having Monday off with my girls.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kicking Off the New Year Running

Today's Run for Regis started off with an incredibly foggy drive to Peninsula. I could barely see, but was still excited about tackling my first trail half marathon. I knew, having been a part of the practice run back in December, that this was a tough course. I was hoping I could use my morning drive to visualize the course and the technical components involved (ice, unpacked snow, slush), but instead I had to focus on where in the hell my lane lines were!

Tanya organized a wonderful event. I wish the other races I run had the same level of attention to detail and thoughtfulness as this race/running community. I have to admit I enjoyed her morning race lecture and will make a mental note to never wear my iPod if I see her out on the trails!

The 50kers started to the right to tackle the 5.5 mile loop around Happy Days; the half and full marathoners veered to the left to knock out the 8.1 mile loop around Kendall Lake and Salt Run. I will refer to the my first loop as the loop that never ended. The course was very well marked, but wow, who would have thought 8 snowy miles could have felt like 15 road miles? I did, that's who. Due to the "treacherous conditions" as Tanya announced, I felt I had to focus on the steps before me instead of being able to take in the beauty of my surroundings. The Kendall Lake pit stop was fantastic. Since this my first race that had an ultra as an option, I couldn't believe the food options. I was totally giddy to get a fig newton with my cup of gaterade. We had to check in once we got back to the Ledges Shelter (to keep everyone honest), then begin the 5.5-mile Happy Days loop. It took me 2 hours to complete 8.1 miles. By that time you wouldn't believe that I really was moving forward! At the beginning of the 5-mile loop, we were faced with the Ledges rocks, which were treacherous, and it was quite nice to have a volunteer watching over participants as we climbed down/back up the slippery suckers. Everyone joked that the volunteer had a camera around his neck so that he could snap embarassing pics of people wiping out. Thank goodness I stayed vertical!

About 3 miles before reaching the finish, I started having "stomach" issues (I won't go into detail), but jarring steps and bouncing was not in the cards for me at this point. A gingerly walk was all I was capable of. Fortunately, the feeling wasn't TOO intense so I was able to gallop from time to time to keep a forward movement. I finished the race and didn't even consider going back out. While I was settling in with a little sampling of chili, the first marathoner came in at about a 4 hour mark. Yep, it was THAT tough of a course!

My kudos go out to Tanya and her crew for such a great race!

I took this picture at the Ledges rocks. What can I say, after tackling the steep climb and not falling on the icy patches on the rocks, I decided to take a break to snap this quick pic. Plus, I wanted proof that I really was out there today!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Friday Night Yoga - FNY. Week two and I'm thrilled with my new (or renewed) routine. Tonight Kristen led the 5:45 class. Her style was different from Jen's, but just as enjoyable and enriching. I continue to be amazed at how yoga can really help you release negative thoughts and energy and let you focus on the present. Best $13 I've spent this week.

Off to brew me a cup of green tea and enjoy my husband's wonderful popcorn (he's a popcorn rock star in my eyes).

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Weather Mileage

Another run with puppy during this very cold, snow-laden winter. The picture above was along the bridle trails, which I found funny. Look closely - the sign says No Bikes. It's kind of funny considering I could barely run in the snow since it was like running in sand. At one point I seriously felt like I was running sideways or at a slope. After struggling for 2 miles (which is not like me), and logging in a 16-minute mile, I gave up and hit the all-purpose trails. Not a great deal better, but I'll take it!

The warmer temps were at least better in comparison with last weekend's run at -3 degrees. It hovered around 20 degrees during my run today which was just fine by me.

One week till the trail run. I'm thinking about just going the half marathon distance, maybe even adding on the 5-mile look for 18 miles. Depends on just how cold it gets...and whether Staci and Clinton from What Not to Wear ambush me mid-trail for my abysmal running gear selections!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Just Breathe

Even though it's also a Faith Hill song, it represents instead my yoga class tonight. I had been remiss in my yoga attendance the last six months or so. Earlier in 2009 I had gotten into the habit of attending at least one formal session a week. But then that proverbial "life" kept getting in the way in the form of duties associated with being a mother, wife, friend, worker, etc. But this was a pretty stressful week and husband could see that I needed my yoga time so he insisted I book myself for a class and commit. So I did. And it was freaking wonderful. The Warm Powerful Flow class was led by Jennifer at Inner Bliss and it was transformative. I was exhausted after the first 15 minutes - a sure sign that I had been lax in my practice. After an hour, I didn't want to leave the warmth and serenity of that room. I will sleep beautifully tonight.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10k Rowing Challenge

One of the blogs I read regularly is Ironmom. She challenged her group to row 10k. I had previously only rowed 500-800m in a single seating so I thought I would take on this challenge as well. During my lunch period (it's not fair to call it a lunch hour since I have to subtract 25 minutes for drive time, undressing then dressing again) I rowed 1600m followed by 400m run then tackled another 1600m row and 400m run before my time was up. My arms dangled by my side most of the afternoon! Surprisingly, I rowed faster on the second mile than the first. Rowing provides such an excellent full body workout targeting arms, abs and legs. So I'm taking on this challenge and I look forward to posting in the next few weeks that I reached the 10k mark.

This "rowing" picture from a CrossFit workout back in April. I'm in the gray shirt/white headband. Greg is on the far right in yellow. And I am quite sure there's a pile of sweat somewhere in the picture!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brrrrr with a Capital "B"

The yak trax were dusted off and put to good use for a New Year's Eve 5-miler. The temps hovered between 38-40 degrees which, compared to my Saturday run, felt downright tropical. As if wearing yak trax wasn't enough to remind me I lived in the winter storm belt, today I also had to pull out the gator. was stop-you-in-your-tracks cold! I originally had an 18-mile run on the agenda, but it was cut down to a 14-mile run after I had freezing buns and thighs. I'm not sure I've ever been so cold before. I had to stop 3 times just to get some heat and circulation in my fingers. In spite on all my "layering", it wasn't enough to beat the wind chill. When I got home, I checked which reported the temps as -3 with the windchill! Even after a long, hot shower, I was still unable to warm up from within. Megan had the best idea (impractical and not affordable, but the best nonetheless). She suggested hopping a flight to Florida and doing my long run after landing. If only it were that easy!

Look closely - there's 5 deer just staring at me while I was 3 miles into my run - simply a beautiful sight to see!

Hope you stayed warm today!