Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Disney day!

I owe my PR of 1:54:05 to so many people! First and foremost, my own personal running coach! With out his continued support and encouragement and rigorous training schedules this never would have been possible! He made me push my body to limits I never knew were possible! When people tell new runners that running is more mental than physical, that is the absolute truth! There a song I like that has this verse in it "even on my weakest day, I get a little bit stronger!" Those words are so powerful! Even when you haven't had your best run, you still ran, you quieted that evil mean voice that told you stop, you can't do this...and you did it! I asked Kenyan if 8 years ago, during our first run, that I made all of 1/4 of a mile with out stopping, if he thought I'd run a sub two hour half marathon, he said I knew you could do it but I never thought you would, he giggled:)

The next person I owe this amazing victory to is my lightening bug! I cried When I saw her coming across the finish line of her mile, and with a time of 14 minutes and a pep pee pit stop in the woods! She had a false start on her first 100m, it was a sight to see! She gleamed with pride as they put "her medal" around her neck! She ran 3 races herself the day before! I can't wait until she is 14 and can run her first half with me! Here at Disney!

I was very concerned about the start time and the early wake up, I even think I was half asleep for the first two miles! The start was very congested for 4 miles! There was a lot of negative talk about how the race was run, and rude people; personally I thought the early start was just crazy, but I would totally run this race again! With that being said Kenyan said I probably finished more like 1:52;) God I love this man! I am truly blessed to have such an amazing husband and daughter! Would I say this race was magical??? ABSOLUTELY! I cried when I saw my bugs face at the finish line, and she screamed run faster mommy!!! I can not wait for my next race because I know I have so much more to give! I really think, actually I know I could've done the whole thing at a 8 min pace, the congestion of the route did make keeping pace difficult, but I look at every race as a training race, so I took a lot of lessons away from this race. I hydrated at every other mile, which I do not typically do, but Kenyan said he does do thats what I went with.

I have never felt so strong mentally running a race, even with thinking I had to pee for the first 3 miles! I just kept picking it up as I crossed each mile marker and did the math in my head of where I needed to be, from mile 4-13.1 I was faster at each mile, I never slowed down! And the messages from kenyan certainly helped! He said at mile 3 I needed to pick it up or I want gonna break 2 hours, well I started dodging princesses left and right, bobbing and weaving! Overall it was an amazing experience!

I also want to thank Deni who set an alarm to cheer me on before the race! & wrote a sweet blog of encouragement to me!! She has been a huge motivator to me with my training leading up to the princess half. I can't wait to see her as she hits a huge PR at the end of Rock n Roll NOLA!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Running gear

What kind of gear do you need to be a runner?  This post was sparked by a status update from a friend of ours (actually Lacey's SIL) who discussed how important good shoes are and the need to change them out frequently.

Basically, to be a runner, that is ALL you MUST have (unless you're like me and have ridiculously high arches, you will also need inserts).  It is soooooo pertinent that you have good running shoes.  You need to be fitted by someone who knows exactly what they're doing, truly knows about running.  Most of the big shoe stores have great people who will type your foot and tell you what kind of shoes you need.  The way that you will know that they are actually selling you what you NEED and not what will make them the most money... They won't only show you the most expensive shoes possible, they won't try to up-sell you on every single other product in their store.  Whoever is fitting you should see you walk in the shoe and if possible run in them, lots of these stores have a treadmill so they can watch your form and make sure your shoes are appropriate.

Being a woman there is something essential that men do not need, that is a sports bra!!!  This is paramount as the amount of discomfort from lack of support can outweigh anything else you have going on.  This does NOT mean that you have to spend $50+.  My favorite ones that I've found are at Target, so there you go!  I will say that you need to try them on, you need to jump up and down and try to bounce around in them to make sure they are supporting you well.  The more loose your sports bra the more chance for chaffing (more on that later).

Aside from shoes and a good sports bra nothing is essential, really it's not.  However, if you are wanting to train for a long distance run, you really should read up on the subject.  Unless, you're married to Kenyan, who happens to be a running expert and can prep you for pretty much anything--some gals are so lucky ;)

For people who are just starting out, I highly recommend the book Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Coach Jenny.  I wish I had read this before my first half marathon, before I even started training for long distance, it was so helpful and so motivational.  It is not intended for hardcore, speed seeking, serious runners.  It is mean for those of us who start from nothing and want to accomplish something big for ourselves.  ***I'm not being paid to endorse this book, though that would be awesome--ha ha!***

Once you start that the other thing that I can highly recommend is Bo.dy  What is that you say?  It sounds somewhat inappropriate huh??  It's basically a shield for your skin from your skin.  For lots of us who are just starting to run, the reason is to shed a few pounds, which can be painful to our joints, our feet, and yes, our inner thighs--yep I'm talking about skin friction.  What you might not realize is that you can have chaffing in multiple places.  For those of you who know me you know my arms are fairly thin, but my inner arms still tend to rub my sides, which leads to chaffing on my arms.  Chaffing can also occur in your sports bra area, and let me just say that when your shower water hits that -- yowza!!!!  Pain!  So, while you may be thin, or you may not, this product can be a serious lifesaver!!! Men, well they chaff elsewhere, so if you're running with your man, they can use this business too!

What other products do I love and use always?  Hmmm, I must have a visor, I do not like a hat, too hot.  Sunglasses slip off my face.  I used to be a Bondi Band lover, but now I must have the shade for my eyes from a perfect visor!  The inserts I wear are typically Super Feet, but I'm not preferential to any brand.  I think a good program for your iPhone to track your distance, etc is really important too.  I used the Couch25K to get back to running after pregnancy, I had recommended this to lots of people before to get started and can now say that it's a great program.  Now, I'm addicted to the Nike app and literally stare at it all the time and look at my pace throughout each run!

There are other good running books and products, you could go broke from buying "running" stuff, but it's not necessary.  However, it can be so fun to buy!!!

Lacey may have some other thoughts, so hopefully she will weigh in too!

We want y'all to know that you can always email us and ask any questions you have, or just leave a comment below! (

I thought princess needed beauty sleep...

Apparently not this princess!!!! Alright I haven't even been able to post anything recently because the butterflies were too bad! It's 3:19 and I will be catching a shuttle in less than an hour! Start time is 5:45! I think I'm gonna run like I'm being chased so I can hurry back and take a nap! Well with hopes of breaking two hours! Kenyan said before bed, you are trained! You are ready! You have worked hard! Now quit messing with your music and get some sleep! This was at 11:00pm! 4 short hours ago! I like exclamation points!!!!!!!! If you couldn't tell!!!!! I hope my pandora works in case I get bored with my playlist!!!! This better be magical!!!!! Agh!!!!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Run, Lacey, Run!!!!!

Lacey is doing the Princess Half in Disney in about 6 hrs! I can hardly sleep for being so excited!

I tried to get Sugar to get excited with me, but apparently she doesn't need a crown to be a princess! Obviously, she's not sharing my enthusiasm!!

PR Lacey!! I'm cheering (from the bed) and can't wait to hear about it (after I get some beauty rest)!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Headache Remedy

Today I wasn't feeling my run.  Tuesday's run was sucky--and I mean SUCKY.  My right knee decided to lock up on me, while pain shot from the back around to the front.  It hurt and I couldn't get past 3 miles, which was sucky because I was supposed to run for 60 minutes.  That just messed with my head and had me dreading my run today.  To top it off I had a wicked headache that wasn't easing up and all I could think was that my dang head was going to pound for 40 minutes, then it would still be pounding and I'd be sweaty!  **Pre-running me did NOT like to sweat!  Running Deni, loves to sweat, but wants it off very quickly**

However, it was gorgeous outside and I just really wanted to go enjoy the day, but Sugar is feeling really yucky, so I didn't want to take her outside.  I didn't want to take her out and bounce her around in the stroller (just wanted to smother her with snuggles).  So, I was faced with that dreaded treadmill again.  I can't even tell you how I hate that stupid thing.  I would think that it's just me, but everyone who has tried using it says it's terrible, so instead, I ran circles around my house.  Yep, I did it again.  I'll just tell you that after about 15 of the 40 minutes I timed how long it took me to make a loop and then started counting loops.  I made approximately 161 loops around my house!  And no I wasn't dizzy and didn't feel like a hamster on a wheel.  It was strange, my phone battery was low, so I didn't have it with music, I had the TVs off, it was silent, as Sugar was sleeping and so was Foxy, so I just heard my footsteps and breathing.  I heard the squeak in my left shoe (what makes your shoe squeak?), which was annoying until it wasn't anymore.  It was cathartic, the circles, the lack of phone, no noise, no music, just me and the run.  I certainly never believed that I could be in that zone while running circles around my house, but I hit that running zone.  Do you know that running zone, where nothing else matters, no thoughts are crowding your mind, no distractions, just straight zone running, it's what I always want on a run.  To me being in the zone during a run is absolute perfection!

So, today's run was a GREAT one.  I think part of it was that I couldn't track my distance or time or pace, so there wasn't that overwhelming inner competition that I have.  At the end of the run, I no longer had a headache.  I felt good and was inspired and ready to go again tomorrow!  

THEN... I signed up for a full marathon (I've been planning this for months, but hadn't pulled the trigger and signed up).  I'm so excited I could pee my pants, but I won't because I'm the mommy and I'd be the one who had to clean it up!

Run because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why kid myself and Just run...

Both mornings this weekend I said I was going running at 6am. Why do I kid myself? Now had I been meeting my friends to run, I would have been there, but it's just not happening these days! Rain Saturday and a road closure, then today--pure exhaustion and a bit of divine intervention (had I gone Sugar would've been in a bad way because she woke up at 6:15 starving and Daddy had nothing!). So this afternoon I talked myself out of running twice, just tired, just wanted to lounge, just whatever my lame-o excuse was! Yes, even pain-seeking, nutty runners have days that they don't want to do it (a belly full of Mardi Gras yummy slows you down)! Finally I decided to just run!!! I didn't have time for my full 6 miles, so I decided to give myself a break and just run. When you're training for something it gets so easy to get caught up in the schedule! You get rigid, or at least I do and that is important, but not paramount. As I was reading "Marathoning for Mortals" some this weekend, I was reminded of that and sent it to my sister, forgetting to heed the message myself. So, today I took Sugar in the stroller and we hit the running trail in town and I hammered my first mile as fast as I thought I could. The next mile I sprinted/walked repeatedly, then for my final mile I pushed to see if I could do a mile with the stroller even faster, I did! It was fun and I only did 3 miles and I enjoyed it, feeling accomplished and slightly liberated afterwards. Running is hard both physically and mentally, but it shouldn't be miserable. If you're totally not enjoying yourself, mix it up, give yourself a break, try something new! Don't let your hobby become work, then you'll just have two jobs, that's no good!!! Run on runner!

Friday, February 17, 2012

I am a out for the steaming divot!

It has taken me 8 years to feel confident enough to say that. When I first started running I was very slow, had bad form(my form still needs improvement), and would give up very easily. To me running is 85% mental and 15% physical, wait let me readjust that...80% mental, 5% insanity, 15% physical.

I got up at 4:30 this morning to get ready to run before the bug was up and Kenyan had to head to work. I'd heard someone say before that their wife got up at 4:30 to run before their kids were up, I thought that's INSANE! Now, for me, that's when some of my favorite runs happen. I enjoy seeing the sunrise, I enjoy clearing my head before starting my day, and I enjoy the thrill of running in the dark. Don't get me wrong, I love a beautiful sunny run around the LSU lakes, up on the levee, or #1 at the beach!

I want to give some pointers here from my experience (I'm not a professional) there are things you can run through pain wise; for a female running through period cramps is like a victory for me for two reasons; 1 because men can't, and 2 because I feel so much better afterwards; do not run through pains of a twisted ankle! Dumb! Very dumb! You can run through sore or tight muscles, run harder it will help! Today I ran through a tightness in my left calf muscle, I just kept picking trees to sprint and open up my stride. This is all things that I have learned from Kenyan over the past 8 years, well except the period cramp part;)
Kenyan has constantly told me I'm not pushing myself hard enough, well stubborn me did not listen fully until about 3 weeks ago. I did a speed workout he gave me and ran a 7 minute mile, I thought I was going to fall off the treadmill and be knocked unconscious for bug to find me when she woke up from her nap, but I survived and man did I feel strong, empowered if you will!

Moral of today's story is you are way stronger than you think you are, and if you are having a bad day....RUN! And then dance to some Michael Jackson! Talk about cross training! Try keeping up with a 3 year old obsessed with Michael Jackson!

I totally forgot to mention that I stepped in cow poop and had it flinging on the back of my legs around mile 5! Awesome huh, made me run faster:)

Happy running y'all!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pros and Pros of Accountability

That's right, I said it, there are no cons to accountability.  Usually because if you choose an accountability partner you're not going to choose someone that is going to be a downright ass to you if you slip up some days.  Here are two great examples from today...

I texted Speedy Gonzales, my co-blogger on here (yep, Lacey) and told her I was hopping on the treadmill for a short tempo run.  We both loathe the treadmill, so she knows I need encouragement to actually do it and vice versa.  We're pretty good at this and I won't even begin to tell you all of the things we do to encourage one another, ok, yes I will, but in a minute!  So, she says, "You should try to do a whole mile at 9 min pace after warming up.  You can do it!".  This girl is nuts, seriously, you should see what her speed work was yesterday, I made my lungs hurt reading it!!!  So, obviously, I take that challenge and run with it--hahaha!!!!  I did my warm up, my 10 mins at an easy pace, then I cranked that rickety old bastard of a treadmill of mine up and hit it...  Nine horrific minutes later and I'm not going to lie to you people, I felt like my lungs were going to explode, but I also felt like a rockstar--possibly even the Michael Jackson of mommy running!  (My sister and Lacey's Bug are obsessed with MJ btw!).  I was supposed to walk two minutes, then do another 10 fast, but I had a hard time recovering.  In steps the accountability partner who says "That's ok you did it, you pushed your muscles and they will thank you for it :)".  See, no getting down on me, all hey girl why you gonna slow down now?  Get moving you're fat and lazy!!  Nope, just great encouragement, which lead me to hop back on that blasted contraption and do way more than I would have done solo.

The second example I have is of my sister and my college roomie, who are my other two accountability people.  Roomie and I have been doing Fab Abs for the month of February (thank you Pinterest), we text daily, including my confession Tuesday that I completely forgot to do it Monday.  Anyhow, today Sister says that she just has to admit that she is not doing her run, she is not planning to make it up, she's just out for today.  Roomie responds that she hasn't run all week and having out of town company was probably going to keep her from doing it the rest of the week.  Confessions often elicit follow-up confessions.  I confessed to some serious eating and lack of guilt for it!  It's carnival season after all!!!  The point is, we know when someone needs a swift kick in the pants and when they need a gentle pat on the back for just having a rough time, or maybe even a sparkly purple headband to make them feel the need for speed--thanks Roomie!

So, while accountability may seem daunting and like someone will just be getting on your case all of the time, that is definitely not truth.  Accountability is different from your trainer who you pay to give you a hard time.  Accountability will usually encourage you to do more than you would without it, and the cheering that you receive from a good AP will make all of it worth it.  Speedy even told me she would make me some yummy risotto soon--Will Run For Food!

Now, I do have to tell you that Lacey and I are lunatics and we are both really goofy and like to have fun and make each other laugh!  We discuss lots of stuff that we won't even put on this blog, but it's hilarious.  So, the other day when I told her that I was running circles around my house, I videoed it and sent it to her.  The next day she videoed herself running on the levee by her house and sent it to me, then she sent me another video when she saw "her sign".  It's truly fun and we are in complete agreement that looking pretty in a run picture is just plain stupid, that looking rough is proof that you worked hard and pushed yourself and are hardcore!!  Maybe one day we'll be brave and share a video with our audience, but for now, we're just sharing them with each other--eat your heart out for missing them--haha!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A PR is a Personal Record.  It is basically keeping track of your best run times.  I think I mentioned before that my times have never been monumental.  I am not a fast runner.  When I ran my first race, well, more than a 5K, I was there with a lot of friends.  There was a group that I had been training with back home, my "running family", including my sister and college roommate, who had trained and run a 10K 4 months before.  That first race was such a triumph for me, but in my group of friends I was LAST!  Seriously the last one done out of our whole group.  It was discouraging to a degree, just because I really had trained and thought I would finish a little faster.  BUT, I was determined not to worry about how fast I ran.  The fact that I was running, that I hadn't quit, that I had actually already signed up for another race, all those things were huge for me and I wasn't going to let my pace define me.  That first race was my fastest race to date, and it was only seconds shy of a 12 minute mile pace.

Today, I had a training run and I had a number in my head that I would like to keep pace.  While pushing Sugar 12 miles this past weekend, my pace was almost a minute faster than that first race, which was triumph enough for me, but I knew without the stroller I could be faster.  When I hit the half mile mark I was keeping a 10:17 pace (10minutes:17secs/mile).  That was pretty good, but I knew I could do better.  My training plan had me running 60 minutes today and I just wanted to finish 6 miles.  The week before I had run 4.7 miles in 50 minutes, which included pushing the stroller, so I wanted to beat that.

Today, I set a PR for the 10K because I completed 6.22 miles in 60 minutes.  That had me finishing a 10K in under and hour (just barely, but still under) at 59:53.  I literally jumped up and down and yelled, on a very busy road here in town, people probably thought I was crazy!  I don't care.  This was huge for me.  I'm no more of a runner, as I do NOT believe that speed makes you a runner, I believe your passion, your heart, and your commitment no matter the obstacle makes you a runner!  That PR for me, just told me that I am stronger and I can continue to improve, which is a victory for me.

Set your PR, challenge yourself, but you don't have to let the number on the screen define you or your running!  

Run ON!!!

Valentines Contest...momma needs a new pair of shoes!

I entered to win a pair of mizunos today with the following paragraph:

My FAVORITE running buddy is My husband. He has helped me develop a LOVE for running over the past 8 years.  We do not always get to run together, for one he is much faster than me(I am working on it); and two we have a 3 year old daughter.  We run as a family a lot, we take turns running during her nap time, and occasionally we will have a friend or family member around to watch our daughter so we can run together. My husband is my best friend and my running coach.  I did not always listen to his advice because I am stubborn! Since really listening to his advice and not overtraining and really pushing myself, I am the fastest that I have ever been! He has been at the finish line with my daughter cheering me on at my last two half marathons, and there is no greater feeling at the end of the race to see their two smiling faces!  To them I am the winner of that race, no matter how fast or slow! I still hope to one day run along side of my speedy husband at his pace for 26.2!

Today Kenyan wanted to surprise bug with a daddy daughter lunch for valentines day, I love that man! She was super pumped!  They were going to eat sushi, which is right by barnes and noble and I'm pretty sure she convinced him to go there too, and she will be coming home with a new book and stuffed friend!(She's so cute and really hard not to buy things for, especially since she LOVES books!)  Kenyan said its going to be a beautiful day to run, NO MORE THAN 4 MILES! (FINE, GOSH! is what I said) So I hit the levee full speed ahead, well not really, I was supposed to be taking it easy... it was a beautiful run, beautiful weather, beautiful feeling through out by body, just a great great run!

I would like to give a huge shout out to DENI!!! for rocking during her run today at a super fast pace for a 10k!!!!  We have been sending each other video clips and pictures during our runs, and that has been super fun!  So DENI is my favorite virtual running partner! I think that this is a great way to keep friends motivated to run!  I once talked for an entire hour on the phone while running!  Its great for your lungs, try it!

My Bug, is my FAVORITE running buddy for different reasons(and they don't make mizunos in her size yet, so I wanted Kenyan to win a pair too)  She has made me smile and laugh and sing, and is definitely one of the main reasons I run every day.  I want her to see us as an active happy family, and what greater way than through running.  She recently did her first one mile fun run, and the look of excitement on her face was just priceless!  She will be doing the one mile fun run the day before my princess half marathon(I already know that I am going to cry) We also found out that there is a 100m dash for 1-3 year olds, and since she is part Kenyan herself, she naturally has got that one in the bag!

Happy running Y'all!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The THRILLER of a 15 mile run

I used to just give up on a run if it was too cold, too rainy, too hot, and especially too windy; but recently I ran 15 miles at the beach and conquered all those and then some. It was the most awesome and painful thing ever!  I was 2 weeks out from the Gulf coast half marathon, and we were at the beach over the thanksgiving holiday.  Kenyan, bug, and my SIL were going shopping so I decided to do my long run.  I started without a number in mind, but I wanted to see if I could do more than 13.1, so in my head I came up with a nice round 15.  It was beyond perfect weather conditions.  I felt as if I was teleported to heaven and this must be what it's like to run with God!...until I had to turn around at mile 9.  I kid you not, I felt as though I was running through a sand storm.  Oh, and to make matters worse, all these happy little bikers were passing me by sipping on their water, and I had none.  I had to pass a gas station to get back to the condo and I seriously contemplated going in and begging for water and leaving my wedding ring as collateral to come back and pay later!  Yes these are the crazy thoughts that sometimes occur during long runs, little oxygen going to my brain cells coupled with dehydration equals loco!  Before I turned around I was keeping a good pace, fluctuating between 8.5-9.5. When I had to turn around I was barely keeping 11 min pace!  I felt like I was pushing one of those football thingys, and the sand literally was sandblasting the skin off of my shins (literally! because later that day my skin was so smooth).  I passed up that gas station at 11 miles, 4 to go, I am a very hard headed person, I told myself 15 miles, well that meant 15 running miles, not a break to walk. When I got back to the hotel parking lot, I said to myself holy crabs!! I just ran 15 miles! My calves were on fire!!! I needed water!!! I got back to the room and everyone was just getting back, perfect timing; because I hate to miss out on anything.

It happened to be Black Friday, which I never ever shop on, and apparently the beach is the place to do your black Friday shopping. They walked right in and got all these amazing deals, including a surprise for me-a Wii and a Michael Jackson dance game!  I was so flipping excited, but then Kenyan and SIL were like, so you ready to play? Thankfully I got a three hour reprieve because it was almost time for bug's nap.  So I put bug down for a nap while Kenyan headed out for his run, then I tried to nap which never happens. Well the bug was up and SIL was like what you got, show me your moves!  She is very competitive!  So I got up and displayed my mad dancing skills, yes after running 15 miles!  Well, they wanted to dance and dance and dance some more!  Later when it was bed time for the bug, I read her books (we love Mo Willems books, if you have a little one) and I could have fallen asleep right there!  I should have just stayed in bed with bug, it would have gotten me out of dancing for the next 3 hours!  I was literally shoveling cereal in my mouth and downing water to have the energy, but the competition continued due to my extreme dance talents (so kidding).  My SIL was like you have so much rhythm, clearly she was taking shots of tequila or something,(I have no rhythm) and Kenyan swore that because he was so tall the sensor was not picking up his moves...sure;)

It was my turn for one more dance, I dug down deep to muster enough energy to crush Kenyan and SIL, and I did!(they're gonna kill me) I should end this post with a disclaimer, it is not advisable to run 15 miles and then partake in a 3 hour highly competitive game of Michael Jackson the experience; it may cause minor dehydration and soreness. However, I never turn down a challenge; even a challenge between me and myself! Challenge yourself to run that extra mile, it will pay off.

Happy running y'all!

Here is my sign!!!

On Saturday I got to see two phases of the Rouge-Orleans runners(126.2 ultra marathon on the levee from Baton Rouge to New Orleans). It was inspiring the dedication these runners had, and how cool that they were passing by my house! I saw them during the day time, which was 40 degrees and windy, and then at night all lit up like Christmas trees in much cooler temps and windier. I teared up as I was cheering for them, and my bug was super excited. I told her that daddy and I were going to run that next year, and told her how far it was and she said that's a lot of miles! That's when I texted Kenyan and told him we MUST do this next year! He immediately responded by saying yes, and what an awesome bonding experience! I was pumped! I wanted to go run in the cold right then, well at least sit on the porch and watch them run;)

So Kenyan said I couldn't run more than 8 miles today because I had to "taper" before my half in 2 weeks; Deni confirmed.

Bug and Kenyan were headed out to run errands, perfect time for me to get in my easy 8 miler, he also said I had to run slow and threatened to take my watch, so I didn't even have the pace on just the miles so I could know where to turn around. Well what did I see, an 8 mile marker for the Rouge-Orleans! I'm hooked I'm putting it out there for all the world to know, God willing I will be running the Rouge-Orleans next year!!! I finished my easy 8 miler in 1:14 minutes feeling great and looking forward to a PR at the Disney princess half!

Happy running y'all!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pushing Your Limits

I have a tendency to gauge whether or not I can do something [in regards to running] based on what others can or do accomplish.  I'm not really sure how to explain this except that if my sister can complete a half marathon, then I can even if I'm not as fast.  If my friend can train while being a mom, so can I.  Often I ask others about what they've done and how they've done it to try and gauge what I might accomplish.  Every once in a while though, it doesn't occur to me to check with other people, and that tends to serve me well.

Example one: yesterday I ran 12 miles pushing my 25 pound stroller with my 15 pound baby in it.  It didn't occur to me that this isn't something that people do every day.  Not that there aren't people who do, because a friend of mine did it last weekend with his one year old (but he's a he, which surely means he's stronger than me).  So, I guess that was what I heard most recently and I thought "well, he pushed his kid 12 miles, I'll be pushing mine 12 miles next weekend".  So, I did!  I'm very thankful that my partner in blogging/running crime here didn't tell me before I went that she's never pushed Bug more than 6 miles.  I probably would have quit.  Instead, she texted me during the run and encouraged me!  Afterwards I posted a pic of Sugar and I on fb and a few people commented that they had never pushed the stroller more than ___ number of miles.

I pushed my limits, I did more than I ever dreamed that I could, which proves to me that I can always do more.  Too many times we let that voice in our head convince us that we can't!  My favorite quote I've seen lately was on Pinterest, and it said "The voice in your head that tells you that you can't is WRONG!".  Amen to that.  Don't let the past dictate your future.  Don't let what you have done before be the end.  Don't let a goal that you didn't reach in the past stop you from pushing forward now!  Just because you haven't or you didn't doesn't mean that you can't!!

Five years ago I had never run 2 miles.  I thought marathons were for amazing people, but not that I could be one of those amazing people.  I want Sugar and Bug and anyone reading this to know that you CAN do anything that you put your mind to.  Your body will do it, if you can make your mind allow it.  Our thoughts destroy us, they can keep us down.  They make me beat myself up for having a slower pace one day than I did three days before, when 7 months ago I was giving birth via surgery.  I'll end with this quote because I think many times we don't realize how this applies to the things we think we can't do, but it is applicable...

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.  Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions for they become habit.  Watch your habits, for they become character.  Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."

May your thoughts begin with "I CAN run (or whatever you want to accomplish)"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Early morning runs

If you ask Kenyan he will tell you I'm not a morning person. I'm not a morning person in the sense that I do not like to talk much for at least an hour after I'm up. So I actually enjoy getting up while most of the world is still sleeping and heading out to run.

My alarm went off at 430, I tiptoed down the stairs, literally; we live in an old creaky house. I started the coffee and made my peanut butter and honey sandwich. I watched the news for a bit and then I hit the potty, put on my running gear and headed out to run. I was doing an easy 5 miler, so said Kenyan.

It was 48 degrees and starting to drizzle...bonus; shower and run at the same time, as a mom you must always multi-task! It's funny which runs feel like man that was an awesome run. Most people might think I'm crazy for running in the rain especially in 48 degree weather but it felt great and it was refreshing. I live in a very rural area with lots of critters, lots! I heard a few weird noises, but didn't see anything. Definitely helps when needing to pick up the pace! I was up before the sun, getting my run done!(I like to rhyme)

I got back to the house before anyone was awake. Score! Extra time to do core work and stretches!

As a mom you have to find time when you can to run. If its something you are passionate about, you will find time for it. For me running is my therapy, it clears my mind, and helps me to be a better wife and mommy! As a runner you get out of your run what you put into it, even on the bad runs. It takes time to develop a love for running, or a need to run; but when you do there is no turning back...well unless you see a snake!

Happy running y'all!

Doing what you have to...

Sometimes running and being a mommy are hard to coordinate.  Especially when your treadmill is about 20 years old and doesn't keep pace accurately (seriously, I thought I was nuts, but everyone who has been on it says it is off).  So, you do what you have to in order to get the run in.

Last night Sugar woke up puking, in a violent scare you to death kind of way.  Actually she made a little noise so I peeped at the monitor and she was actually drowning in vomit.  It was coming out her nose and mouth and she couldn't clear it.  I was in there faster than lightening and yanked her up and Foxy came running too.  We suctioned her, I cried, and she finally calmed down.  Needless to say I didn't take my eyes off of her the rest of the night.  She projectile vomited on me four more times and finally seemed done.  Then woke up around 12:30am screaming in hunger, so I fed her and we went to sleep.  She woke again at 6am and ate and back to sleep.  Obviously, I don't think that being jostled around in her stroller is the best idea today, so I opted to wait until her nap and hop on that treadmill.  I wasn't feeling it, so I did what I have done a few other times and ran laps around the inside of my house.  My kitchen, game room, hallway, dining room, and living room make a complete circle, so I did it over and over and over and over and over and over...

I tried carrying the monitor outside and running the perimeter of our yard, but the ground is soft and has holes and I almost twisted my ankle 3 times in two minutes and my little dog almost tripped me too!  So, back inside.  I feel like I'm not getting as strong a run in when I do this, but it is certainly better than no run at all.  To make myself feel better I did my speed drills twice (they are simple, 30 seconds of all out running as fast as you can, then walk for 1 min, repeat 4 times).  I'm not hardcore, but when I took a video and sent it to Lacey for her viewing pleasure only, she laughed and called me hardcore!  Thanks Lacey!!

Rock-n-Roll New Orleans, you better be ready for me! :)

I'd love to hear stories of crazy things you've done to get your run in and accommodate your children!

Bad runs

Some people say that there are no bad runs.  I agree in the point that a bad run is certainly better than no run at all.  BUT, I have OFF runs.  That's what I call them, the ones where you just never hit your stride, you feel awkward, you wonder if your gait looks at goofy as it feels, you can't breathe right, your socks are crooked, it's too hot, too cold, to sunny, just an OFF run.  I love and hate these runs for many reasons...

1. I love them because if you just keep going you have that sense of accomplishment in something that you actually just wanted to quit!

2. I love them because they make me appreciate the good ones even more.

3.  I love them because they make you stronger.

4.  I hate them because they are awkward.

5.  I hate them because sometimes you finish feeling more frustrated than when you started.

6.  I hate them because usually I cannot pin point why it was OFF.

However, I do love knowing that OFF runs happen to the best of us, the most dedicated, the most fit, the fastest, and the best trained!  I consider Lacey a bit of a hard core runner, she's certainly faster than me and looks the part, so when we both commented that today was an OFF run for both of us (in two separate states, two different distances, two different paces, and two different people), it was comforting to know we weren't alone!!!  These runs happen and they make us better, they make us keep pushing forward for that next GREAT run, which I hope we blog about more than OFF ones!

This is my bad run re-cap for this day:
Today started out just like any other early morning run. I wake up have a cup of coffee, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and I go potty. I felt good heading out, felt strong. I synced my gps watch, adjusted my shoes one more time, and started out. It was right before the sun came up and that's always a little scary around here due to the fact that we live in the country! There are all sorts of varmin out here. I have even seen baby foxes. At two miles I was still feeling good and then at 3 as the sun was coming up I thought this is a great start to my day, then at 3.5 I swear I heard and felt every foot step.  It was not peaceful or relaxing.  I was not keeping my pace, which was also frustrating. I tried to let my thoughts wander, but I just continued to hear every footstep. Right at 8 miles I was telling that little voice in my head, ok get over this and just run! Finish strong and feel proud.  I mean you just ran 8 miles, come on, pick up the pace! And yes, I do talk to myself on runs.  I also sing and sometimes dance depending on what type of mood I'm in.

OFF runs to me are exactly like Deni said you just never hit your stride and are sometimes even more frustrated than when you started.  Becoming a runner is more about your mental strength than physical strength, some people may say yeah right.  The thing about running is that no one is forcing you to do it.  It is something you have chosen for one reason or another, be it weight loss or perhaps a friend talked you into running a 5k.  I think races are a great way to stay motivated to run.

**This was Wednesday***

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hi, I'm Deni

I'm Deni, and I'm a runner.  I'm not the fastest runner and I never plan on trying to qualify for Boston.  I haven't been running my whole life.  I started running so I could eat more and not gain more weight.  That's just plain honest!  It never occurred to me really to run more than a 5K, actually for quite a long time.  So, how did I get to training for a marathon?!!?

Well, let me start by saying that I remember NYE of (I think) '06 (maybe '05?) two of my friends came to a party we were having and had run 16 miles that morning training for the Chicago Marathon.  I remember saying, "That is freaking nuts!  I would never do that!  Why would anyone put themselves through that?  How miserable!", or something along those lines!  Seriously, I know better than to say NEVER!!!!  Fast forward to 2008 and I'm trying to lose some unwanted lbs that have packed on because my husband and I love to eat good food and drink nice wine and Louisiana beer.  So, I start weight watchers, and start walking to earn more "points" so I can eat more--that's how I roll!  One day I went out for a long walk, like an hour and come home and tell my husband..."I just ran like 3 blocks!".  He was seriously in absolute shock!!!  I was a self-professed couch potato and my schedule pretty much revolved around my naps and work.  He was kinda stunned and said "Why?".  "I don't know, I just thought I'd try it!".  So, my sister and I started doing the 5Ks around town.  We would walk some, run some, you know, just to see what we could do.  In July of 2008 I found out I was pregnant after over a year of trying.  I was beyond ecstatic and was relishing in my newfound excuse for staying close to the couch again, while my sister and best friend were training for their first 10K, which honestly I was slightly jealous of at that time because I didn't want them doing this without me!  But, I wanted to be a mommy more than anything on earth, so this was the best excuse if I was going to be missing the fun.  Something had seriously changed! A few weeks later my entire world crashed in around me when I miscarried my baby.  Gut-wrenching cannot begin to describe the feelings that I battled after that.  Meanwhile my sister and friend ran their 10K and I was just feeling broken and helpless.  So, they announced that they were training for a half marathon and I jumped on the bandwagon, they were NOT doing something cool without me again.  Running was a release and a way of punishing/pushing my body that had just failed me so miserably!

We began training and I was painfully slow, seriously, you could barely count what I was doing as actual running, but I was running and I became a RUNNER!  John Bingham aka "The Penguin" says it well when he says it doesn't matter how fast you are, how far you run, it only matters that you run.  You are a runner.  I had become a runner.  I became one of those people who joined my friends (the ones I made fun of a couple of years earlier) and scheduled my days, weekends, plans, etc. around running.  I got up on Saturdays at hours that I had only known previously from having stayed up that late and ran miles, not a mile, but multiple MILES!  I bought gear.  I learned lingo.  I read books.  As I ran I processed those millions of emotions that come with miscarriage and struggling to get pregnant.  I pounded the pavement and pounded my broken heart and pounded the body that had failed me.  When I left for a run I would be so full of anger, frustration, sadness, and things I couldn't even put into words and when I was done, things weren't solved, but they were lighter!  In February of 2009 I ran my first half marathon and it went like this...

We had dinner the night before with the blue haired crowd (meaning 5:00pm) and one shot of tequila (to calm the nerves according to Tom--it worked!) and went to bed at 8:30pm after laying out every single article of clothing and each thing our breakfast entailed.  Sleep was fitful and we got up so early I'm not even sure it counted as the next day (some day you'll hear about how much I hate mornings!!!). We got dressed and I'm serious when I tell you I thought I was going to jiggle out of my skin with anticipation.  I had never run 13.1 miles, that is the beauty of training, you never hit that distance until the actual race, which perpetuates the thrill in my mind!  We had Julie's parents drive us to the start, take pictures of us in our matching t-shirts (That said "The first but hopefully not the last" on our backs), used the bathroom, looked around, saw the sun rise, and made our way to the start line.  I got my ipod ready and it would not turn on.  AT ALL, no music, nothing! Cue PANIC!!!  We started running and I was painfully reminded of how disgustingly slow I was because I had to just let everyone leave me so that I wouldn't be quite so miserable.  Later I found two other friends, but eventually had to let them go ahead of me too.  By mile 10 I was completely alone running (except for the bazillion other runners) with no music, my ankle was hurting, and my spirit was broken.  I cried.  I'm pretty sure I've always glossed over all this in telling the story, but I did, I cried.  I felt terrible and like I couldn't make it (though quitting never crossed my mind), and I walked/ran the rest of it in complete disarray.  I crossed the finish line in stride and actually once I spotted it, my spirit changed, I knew I would finish and I could see the end.  I crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 37 minutes and 9 seconds.  That my friends, was my PR.   I have done 5 half marathons since then, and it remains my PR.  I crossed the finish line, and BURST INTO TEARS!  I did something that I had never thought possible.  Part of the reason I had made fun of my friends before was because I didn't believe that I could do something like that.  And I had just finished a half marathon.

I am a runner.  In April of 2009 we ran with Team in Training raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I found out 2 days before we left that I was pregnant again.  After all of my hard work to raise money and the training I had done with a stress fracture in my ankle (oh yeah, that was why my ankle hurt during my first half marathon) I was not missing this experience.  So, I told only the coaches there and I did it, in 3 hours and 6 minutes.  I carried a camera and took pictures.  I walked a lot, and I enjoyed the scenery in beautiful Nashville, TN.  About 4 weeks later I miscarried again.  No, no one close to me or involved in my care thinks that my doing the half marathon contributed to my loss.  Actually now, I  know my issue and running certainly didn't contribute to my losses, but that's another story!  Running then continued to be my outlet.  It was where I could go when the emotions were so overwhelming that I felt I couldn't breathe.  I felt like I couldn't breathe a lot and so I ran a lot.  I didn't get faster (mostly because like Lacey I didn't listen to the experts tell me how), but I got stronger in body, mind, and soul.

I am a runner and now I am a mommy!  Those are probably two of my favorite things to say!  I didn't run while I was pregnant because honestly, I was terrified the whole time, but I did read about running, and plan when and how I would get back to it.  One of the hostess gifts for one of my showers was a BOB stroller (Lacey and I swear by them) so that I could take Sugar (my daughter, well her nickname) running with me.  I took her out in the stroller when she was six weeks old.  Nothing amazing, not really more than a walk/jog, but we started with the Couch to 5K app and have built from there.  **I hadn't used this app before but had suggested it to lots of people, and can now say with confidence that it's a great way to start running or get back to it.**  I also had a c-section, and wanted to know how soon I could get back to running.  I'm not as hardcore as Lacey and she was certainly more fit than I was to begin with, but I was back to running within six weeks of having Sugar, I started the C25K program then and two weeks ago ran 9 miles pushing Sugar in the stoller.  Sugar will be 7 months old Sunday.  I'm running my 7th half marathon on March 4th, in the same place that I started 3 years ago.  I'm actually smiling ear to ear right now thinking about it!

We're here to write about being mommies and running, how you can do both.  How both have changed our lives.  We hope you find inspiration here and that we can make you laugh!!

Hi I Am Lacey a runner-mommy

I am a military wife-mommy-runner. My running journey began almost 8 years ago when I met my husband. He was an avid runner, and I immediately developed a love for running. Running has gotten me through some very tough times, it is the cheapest therapy out there!(you just have to replace your shoes every 400-500 miles.)

My first real emotional need for running was after hurricane Katrina. My husband who was my fiance at the time, was full time in the military. He lost all of his belongings, and was working 20+ hours a day. My office was out of New Orleans, which had flooded so I was not really working. To my husband I was, and he was so grateful for it. He continued to push me to run even when he could not. I would wait for his call and carry my phone on runs in case he might have a free second and I would drive all over to bring him a cup of CCs coffee or a real lunch if he was going to have 5 free minutes that day. A few months later we relocated to Alexandria, where I knew no one. On our four month anniversary he had to go to a military school in another state. Thats when I really started running alot. I would run for hours with my dog mollie (who could run forever). Running really kept my mind off of things. I was tired alot but just attributed it to stress and getting up for work at 530 everyday. I would come home from work at 3, nap until 4, and then head out for my run. Then I got very sick and ended up in the hospital, (I was extremely anemic, hence the tiredness) My husband drove 10 hours as fast as he could to be by my side. That was the first time my training was put on hold.

It has taken me 8 years to get to where I am today as a runner. I did not always take my husbands advice on how to be a better runner, and I payed the price a few times along the way. I started training for a half marathon when we moved back to baton rouge and about 6 months into my training I became pregnant with our daughter. I did not stop running during my pregnancy, I just didn't run further than 6 miles. I got up every morning before work and was running by 5:45 am; I know that this is what made my pregnancy so easy, along with my post c-section recovery. I ran until I was 7 1/2 months pregnant and then I walked. When the doctor told me I had to have a c section and did I have any questions, I said how soon before I can run? He said 1 month. So, 1 month to the day I started running. It was our first family run, I was super pumped! It was a fairly cool day, beautiful weather and I was ready! My husband (I will refer to him as the Kenyan from here on) would not let me run further than 15 minutes, I listened because I didn't want to overdue it. I wore this big elastic belt thing that really held everything in place so I didn't feel like my uterus was going to plop out! 5 months later I ran my best 10k. I would plan my runs around her feeding and nap schedule and most times she would stay napping in her car seat for another hour or so after we were done running. Running after my bug was born definitely was my therapy, it was a way for me to feel good emotionally and physically. There were days when I just could not muster up the energy to run, and kenyan knew it! Sometimes he would get home from work and say Lacey you need to go run!

I can tell you that running with a jogging stroller makes you stronger for lots of reasons; one because you are pushing an added weight, and two because a lot of times I would be singing or talking to my bug(nickname) for 4 or 6 miles.

My husband has pushed me mentally and physically with ways to be a better runner, but it was literally like a spark went off one day and I told myself HEY! I am a runner. I never felt like a runner up to this point because I had not yet run further than 8 miles. When I finished that first 10k after my bug was born with my husband-best friend by my side and a happy bug, it was the greatest feeling ever! I also ran faster than some of my husbands soldiers and he thought that was great and hilarious all at the same time. It was a great feeling of accomplishment that I could still run, breast feed, and function on little to no sleep sometimes. When I went back to work when my daughter was about 8 months old and I did not run as often. I missed her terribly everday that I was away from her. Some mornings I got up at 4:45am and I would pump (not as in pump you up) and run before I had to get her up and ready for daycare. Then I started running on my lunch break, which was not always easy because I would be sweaty but I did not care; I washed my face, and sprayed on some perfume. I was getting my run in; my therapy for the day.

I started going to yoglates with a friend and that is where I learned that I needed this time for myself to be a better wife, and mother. Through yoglates, I became stronger and I learned how to strengthen my body to become a better runner, and something clicked HEY maybe I should listen to my husband who's been running for 20+ years! So I really started trying and pushing myself, and getting a training schedule from the kenyan (not really kenyan, just freakishly fast). I realized that my mind was getting in the way of me being a better runner, not my body.You can always run further than your mind thinks you can! That is step one in becoming a runner! No matter how fast or slow you run, its the fact that you got started that counts the most. I also started going to a plyometrics class occasionally that was taught by this super hardcore guy, he would yell at us as we are on our 100th lunge PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY! As a runner you will gain mental and physical strength you never knew you had!

I ran my first 13.1 not for a half marathon per say, but in remembrance of a previous co-worker of my husbands. I thought about him alot on the way, he died very young of a brain aneurysm and was an amazingly funny, smart guy; the miles just seemed to fly by. My husband and his co-workers run 33 miles every year on July 5. So I said I would do 12, and up to this point my longest run was 8 miles. I was nervous, and excited that day. It was extremely hot that day, I got started about 7:00 am and it was already 95 degrees. As I was making my way back around for my first 6 miles I met up with the kenyan and one of the other guys. He said how do you feel, I said I feel like I could go 7 more, so I drank some water and ate a protein bar and kept on running. That day proved to me that I am a runner! I kicked my training into overdrive and started training for the Gulf coast half. I had an injury during my training, I twisted my ankle on a rock and kept running! Like an idiot! I had set out to run 10 that day so by golly I was gonna run 10, at mile 8 was when I twisted my ankle. I took off two days and started out with 3 miles, by the 2nd mile I was limping, leaning on the stroller like a crutch and my daughter saying mom why are we going so slow!?! Well I finally had to take off an entire month and did not think that I would be able to run. I rode a stationary bike and did lots of gore training, I hate the stationary bike! One month before the race, I was able to run pain free, I got two good long runs in. I finished way better than I expected and I wasn't dead, the kenyan says that's because you could have pushed harder(God I love him!) I teared up at 6 miles, because I had this wave of emotion that came over me and I knew I would run that entire 13.1 and finish! It brought tears to my eyes as I was coming across the finish line to see my bug screaming go mommy go, run faster mommy! I tear up alot on runs, you will read about that a lot to.

I will end this first entry with this because it could be an entry all to itself. I've had people tell me there kids don't like being pushed in a jogging stroller(BOBs are the best), once my bug was older and talking we had some of the best times in the jogging stroller, we would sing songs, count trees or birds or whatever, talk about food, colors, hunt for trolls (she had an obsession with trolls for a while after reading 3 billy goats gruff) we would make up adventures and so on. She is now 3 and loves running too, so if she's with me for my run then she will either run before I start or after I'm done. She is currently in training for her first race:) A one mile fun run at Disney where I will be running the princess half. We are definitely a running family! I say families that run together eat lots of food together, no really families that run together stay together! Happy running!