Monday, August 27, 2012

Hurricanes Run Away!

Well, I have awoken this morning with lots of thoughts on my mind regarding running and hurricanes! It seems like over the past 8 years those to things have been connected in my life quite a few times.

I have mentioned that I began running when I met my husband, and well lets just say I also have a strong hate for hurricanes because of him also.

In August of 2005, he surprised me with a trip to Disney for my birthday(this was before the bug was born, he LOVES disney) Well we arrived back from our trip early due to the looming tropical storm Katrina. I will remember these next few days and exactly how they occurred for the rest of my life. He got the call saying we needed to evacuate. We had no time to pack up anything, so we grabbed our bags still packed from Disney, and we headed out; Jake said Lacey don't forget your running shoes! I grabbed them but I did forget my heart rate monitor. Jake grabbed one uniform, one set of running clothes, and his running shoes. We loaded up in the military vehicle, and said goodbye to his Jeep that we did not know we would not see again. When we realized the magnitude of the storm, I headed back to New Orleans the next day to grab the cats(yes we almost left them there, I still think about that vividly until this day) I was stuck in 8 hours of contra-flow traffic with a dog and two cats just watching the gas gage as it would get lower, so fearful to pull off and get gas and lose my spot in this line of traffic.

Well Katrina hit! and the unimaginable occurred! Jakes apartment flooded. He was working 20 hour days, and a run for him was not even possible, but he still carried his running stuff with him in his vehicle everyday; as I type this today I wonder if he carried that stuff because it was all he had left or if he really thought he would get to break away from the General and go for a run. As the stress of everyday built one on top of the other, Jake encouraged me to run and would ask me how my runs went everyday. I am tearing up as I am typing down these thoughts. I have often times thought how many times in my life running as saved me, saved me from my own thoughts, and saved me from wallowing in stress and sadness.

I will never forget the smell as we drove into the city for the first time after the storm. That smell is burnt into my memory for life. As we drove up onto North Claiborne, there was a house in the road! I started crying! This was 3 weeks after Katrina, and one week after Rita; his apartment flooded twice. When we pulled in through the gate, the guard said LT you can't stay in there very long, try not to breath in much; and then he said this; "watch out for snakes!" This was the one time those words did not scare me. I wanted to salvage whatever we could, even though I knew we couldn't take anything. I was not expecting what we were about to see, the refrigerator was in front of the door, so we climbed in through the window. There was one thing that I was really trying to find that day, it was an award he had received after his deployment. Everything was everywhere and nothing really made sense. He said Lacey its ok, lets go we aren't gonna find it. I never once thought about the possibility of finding a snake, I lifted up the couch cushion, and there was the award! It was made of glass and literally must have been the first thing to hit the floor and everything else fell on top. I screamed, Jake jumped, you know how when you are so excited words wont come out, that what happened. He thought I had seen a snake, I finally was able to say I found it! It was the only clean spot on the whole carpet where that glass plaque had laid down.

During my run the next day (back then a 45 minute run was a huge achievement for me) I ran like I had never run before. I cried several times during that run, it took me a very long time to get over the material things that we lost. What we gained in love and appreciation for each other during that time, and how from then on running became a part of my life, can never be measured in material things.

to be continued....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I love a 10 miler!!!

Haha! But seriously I do! Having dealt with infertility and loss for years, being able to bust out a 10 miler makes me feel semi in control of my body. It's a bit a my own personal "Booya" to infertility!!

This morning I planned to start 10 @ 7am, but it was storming here and I'm actually scared to run in wet because I don't want to fall, but actually the lightening kept me at bay.

When Sugar went down for her morning nap I decided to tackle the beast! My longest run since my full in April (was it really that long ago?!? I'm still feeling pretty proud of that!!). Typically starting a long run at 10:30am in August is misery, but...

Dear Storm, Thank you for bringing in lower temperatures so my run started around 74* with a pleasant breeze!! Sincerely, Mama on a 10 mile run!

It was nice and I ran faster than I intended, and my sister brought me water because she's awesome!! I ran the hills here, which can be brutal but also make me feel strong.

Do I really love a 10 miler? The truth is yes!!!! I love saying "yeah I ran 10 miles this morning!" and still being able to walk, busting out a few dance moves during it, and knowing where I started versus where I am now! It's satisfying!!

No matter where you are, how fast or how slow, get out there and see what you can accomplish because you never know how much you can do until you try!

Enjoy the run!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stretch! Stretch! Stretch!!!

Lacey and I both are currently nursing injuries, so is our good pal Skinner. I'm having knee pain, so is Skin, and Lacey has a foot injury.

Upon discussing it, Lacey pointed out that when she starts making good progress in running she quits stretching as much. Thinking on it, I realized I do the same, it's like we suddenly take it for granted.

I'm of the school of thought that you don't stretch cold muscles, so no stretching before you've got your body warmed up. Pretty sure Lacey feels the same way because Captain America (aka Kenyan--Lacey will explain), always has us run some, then stretch really well, then run more.

We both love yoga. Lacey is like a professional, I'm serious, you should see her in a full bow pose--it's unreal! I started out barely being able to touch my toes and now can do quite a few poses proficiently. But if I don't keep up the stretching, I almost always get hurt, IT band issues, SI joint problems, most of which end up manifesting in my knee.

I'm not saying you have to master crazy poses or be a yogi, but stretching is important. As you use muscles, they build up lactic acid and stretching helps release some of that. As it builds up you get tighter and tighter and can (almost always will) end up hurt.

As a mom I know it's hard to fit in everything you want to do in a day, much less extra stretching. But you can stretch anywhere! We both stretch while blow drying our hair, flip that hair upside down and blow it out that way, gives it more body and loosens up your hammies, your back, your neck, your shoulders, tons of stiff joints! Stretch while you're sitting on the floor with kiddies, move the laundry basket to your left right and lean our to pull out the next thing!

If you have questions or want us to post some pics, just let us know! We'd be glad to!

Also, wish Lacey I happy birthday--it's a big one ;)

**pic is me in pigeon pose per Lacey's suggestion for my knee. One leg straight begin you, other leg at a right angle in front of you, bend over the front. If that hurts (like it did me for years), just put one leg behind you and the other in front, pull front foot closer to you for less stretch and don't lean over it. As Leandro on Brazil Butt Lift says "stretching is not about pushing, it's about allowing"--in his thick Brazilian accent!!***

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Fever!!!!

These runners are so freaking amazing!  I think I've cried more in the past few days watching them (mostly the women) win medal after medal after medal!  I'm not sure how you even get to go to the Olympics, but I want to go!  I want to get out there and win a gold for the USA!  I'm extremely patriotic, these women are my running heroes.

I'm not sure how much anyone else is following all of the running, but the women's marathon had 116 (I think, I know the most EVER) women start the race,  and a few had to drop out including our own Desiree Davila (due to a hip flexor injury that happened a month ago, can you imagine training all that time, then having to stop a few miles in like that?).  Our other two Americans finished 10th and 11th, seriously, Kara Goucher's (Lacey's hero) has a baby that is not even two years old and she came in 11th in the freaking Olympic marathon!!!!

I'll say this, it's pretty obvious that I'm not that beast (however I dream in my head), but watching them run in the rain I really felt for them.  My (only) marathon was in rain very similar and when I tell you that that changes everything, honestly it does.  I'll give you a comparison, mine took me 5:11 (that is hours and minutes peeps) and these women finished in 2:26--the whole freaking marathon in less than half the time it took me!  The course was FULL of curves and twists and crazy crap, then add in the rain and these women are so hardcore it makes my teeth hurt!

Did you know that the relay they ran tonight was in WORLD RECORD time--they (women) got the first gold since 1996 in that race, and the demolished the world record! They didn't beat it by a few seconds, but by nearly a minute.

Also, one of our Americans got tripped in the 1500m and completely fell and didn't get up!  All of that work, all of that training and someone tripped her (quite obviously not on purpose, but I still would have wanted to beat that girls butt)!!! It to me is gut-wrenching to watch someone lose their dreams like that, in a moment.

I'm also watching the men do the 4X4 relay and one of our men was shot IN THE LEG like 4 years ago and still made it to these Olympics! WHAT?!!?  One of the guys who helped qualify us for the finals of this race broke his fibula during that qualifying leg, yeah, got us to the finals while running on a broken leg (broke during the race).  Um, my leg kinda hurts, oh yeah, it's broken!!  Um, yeah, we still qualified for the finals!  Our men have held the gold on this relay for 60 years, but tonight got silver--BOO HISS!  But they ran their hearts out!  Plus that super fabulous Pitorius ran in the relay, who is he you ask, a freaking DOUBLE AMPUTEE!  How awesome is that?!!?

I need to go to sleep because I am running in the morning and I'm too pumped up!  Dang you Olympics, you're making my sleep even worse!!!!!  Too much fabulousness on the track y'all!!

So, in the am I'll be running like I stole something with one of my favorite college ladies who completed her first half earlier this year--made my heart smile for real!!

Run run run, maybe you or your daughter will bring us home a gold one day!!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How about a PR?

Lacey keeps telling me to blog about this and I've just been busy, but I'll tell my shorter long version of it...

When I started running I was doing great to finish a 5K in 40 mins.  I'm not exaggerating and I don't think that is anything to be ashamed of or to keep to myself.  I was out of shape, had honestly never really been "in shape".  Unlike most people I know I never played sports or danced or cheered or anything of the sort.  But at that point I was lapping everyone on the couch.

Speed was never a real concern for me because I was just so pumped to be accomplishing a run at all.  I still do NOT think speed defines a runner, I stand by that always.  However, it is fun to challenge yourself to new goals and well, I'm not trying to run longer than a full marathon, so speed work it is!

For a long long time I had wanted to break 30 mins for a 5K, but really thought that coming under 31 would be huge, so I aimed for that.  In May I accomplished that goal coming in at 30:55 in a 5K in the blazing heat pushing Sugar in the stroller.  So, what does a crazy person do but try to go for more.  Honestly, Lacey is a lunatic and keeps pushing me and giving me pointers.  Foxy does the same, always saying, "That's cool, but I bet you could do it in...".  For the Firecracker 5K, which is known for being sweltering heat, I had a goal in mind.  Doing lots of speed work I knew what I was capable of, so I was really mad at myself when I decided to do a cleanse the week of the 5K (which fell on a Wednesday), and honestly completely lost my juice in the last half mile.  I still set a PR at 28:54 (I think), but I was really disappointed.  My running pal, Skinner, was with me and helped push me to finish and said I shouldn't be disappointed, but I was.  I knew how hard I had been working and knew that I could do better.  So, I hit the hamster wheel some more, pounded the pavement, and kept working hard and found another 5K to sign up for, The Hot Pursuit 5K.  Yep, it was hoooooooottttttt!

That was the first race I've ever gone and run completely alone.  Usually I plan it with someone and meet someone there, I have plenty of friends who run, but seriously everyone was busy that day!  So, I left Sugar with my friend and headed out solo in the heat and tore out of the gate as best I could.  Those races aren't chip timed, so I was super OCD about starting my watch at the start/finish lines.  It was hot and I could feel it, but I also knew that I was doing pretty well.  I didn't use my Nike app or watch the time at all because I was worried I'd stress myself out.  When I crossed the finish and looked down to hit my watch to stop and my time said 25:51!!!  Holy moly!  That was 3 mins faster than the firecracker, so I knew then that my disappointment at the previous race was well served and it pushed me to accomplish even more.

So, what do you do after you set a PR like that in 5K?  Go for faster in a half I guess ;)  Training and working towards that now--lots of effort, energy, and sweat.  Watching these Olympic races, the women mostly, has really inspired me.  While I probably won't go to the Olympics for running, I know that I can continue to work towards my own personal best and push myself as hard as I can to show my daughter that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to and much more when you put in hard work!  Heck one of the men who came to the Olympics (and didn't qualify for the finals) has only been running for 4 years (though I'm pretty sure he's been athletic forever by the looks of him!)!!!  Four years and he's at the Olympics--that is amazing!

Run like you stole something and smile when you do!!!