Friday, February 28, 2014

If You’re Not First, You’re Last

Last Saturday, I laced up my shoes, threw on my skort (aka Chub Rub Loophole) and headed out to Woodway, Texas for a 10k race I had signed up for as my last official long run before my marathon.youth-commission-flyer-with-entry-form-2014

This was my first time running this course (this was the 3rd year for it, but I think maybe the first for the 10k portion). I didn’t see much in the way of advertising for it and with our local running group, Waco Striders, putting it on I assumed it would be a fairly small race. I’ve done a few races they’ve timed & put together and it’s usually for local charities, etc so the turn outs aren’t in the hundreds or anything.

I assumed correctly. There were 19 people running the 5k and 18 people running the 10k. For the 10k it was the 5k course looped. It went through a park and a couple little residential neighborhoods. I remember thinking, “Wow. I wonder if this is what it would be like if I lived in the city and ran.” Since I live in the country, most of my runs are done on gravel while being mooed at by cows.

I started the course telling myself to just go easy and enjoy the fact that this was my last long run. Alfred actually came to this race but Lillie did not. Typically he has to work so while I often offer, it’s really not a big deal for me to go alone. I assumed he wasn’t going to make it so I arranged for Lillie to stay with her grandparents. It was nice knowing he was at the finish line though and it probably pushed me a little bit harder to finish.

Well, either that or the fact that I was the last person to cross the finish line and the cops were trailing me.

Oh yeah, go ahead – read that sentence again. The cops were following me because I was dead fucking last.

 Bound for the Brave 10k results

If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, I always set at the minimum the following two goals for my races:

1. Don’t poop myself.
2. Don’t be last.

But you know, being last? Wasn’t that bad actually.

Probably because while I may have been last during this race, I actually dropped my 10k time by nearly 6 minutes! And it’s 10 minutes faster than my very first 10k I ran in 2012. I crossed the finish line with my head held high and crazy happy.  Bound for the brave 10k finish









The husband managed to capture me at my sexiest crossing the finish line. God bless him. My streak for having the “best” race photos continues!

I was thrilled to end my marathon training on this note. Even if it was the last note conducted on that day.

So, my next symphony, aka the marathon.

This Sunday.


I’m making my lists and checking it twice, thrice, wayyyy too much and I’m trying to ignore these giant butterflies that have gathered in my gut.

The Army Marathon  notified us that they have live timer at certain points during the race, so I’ve linked my facebook & twitter. Sorry for being that obnoxious person but my thoughts are – maybe someone will comment or text me when I need it most (at the wall) and I’ll take all the encouragement I can get.

Next time I post from here – I’ll be a marathoner! YAY!!

Until we run again!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Runners Tell All: How/Why I Started Running

One of my favorite running blogs/buds – Amanda from The Lady Okie – is hosting a monthly linkup for those of us that are crazy enough to run for fun (or for Oreos, in my case). On the 21st of each month we will write a post (prompts are already given to us) and linkup to share stories & really connect with other crazies. If you’re a blogger & any kind of fitness junkie (a new one or an old one!) you should definitely join in on the fun! If you’re not a blogger I would still check out the others that link-up and read through their posts – I’m sure there’s going to be information/motivation/inspiration galore!

February 21 - How and Why You Started Running in 250 words or less.
What's your running story? Give us the short and sweet version.

My first race was in January 2010 simply because I saw a friend post on Facebook about completing her first 5k. She also looked amazing, so that didn’t hurt my reasoning either.

I had recently lost some weight (trying to conceive and all that jazz) and barely trained for it (only running a mile before tackling the 3.1) I didn’t really enjoy it and was kind of eh about the entire experience.

5K 001

January 2010 with my coworkers at the time

My daughter was born in November 2010 and the 60 lbs I gained did not come off as expected. I moaned/groaned until January 2012 when I finally bucked up and decided to do something about it.


At a baby shower with my night time BBA buds before I started running.

I registered for that same 5k again on a whim. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even eh this time around – it was completely effing miserable.

I felt like a failure not only to myself but to my daughter as well. I wanted to be that active parent who could actually play with her kid outside. So, I signed up for another 5k in March 2012. I took 9 minutes off my time from January and there was no turning back once I ran through that finish line.


My Emilie ran it with me and yes, we totally wore those medals for the rest of the day.

Since then, I’ve completed 5ks, 10ks, halfs and I’m about to run my first full March 2nd, 2014. Woohoo!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Lillie Lately v.2

Lillie Lately

While walking into church, Lillie runs up to her grandparents.
Lillie: My daddy chokes me!
Granny: What honey?
Me: OMG, no, wait, it’s not. I swear it’s a game they play! Lillie & Alfred do this thing where she runs and hugs him as hard as she can around the neck. He does the same and they pretend they’re choking.

Hangs head in parental cone of shame.

Standing in the kitchen, I’m getting dinner started and Lillie (who was playing by herself in her room) comes walking around the corner looking incredibly determined.

Me: What’s up Lil?
Lillie: I want a black mommy.
Me: Uhhh..okay? 

Lillie shrugs her shoulders a bit and starts to walk away. Wondering where this is coming from (since it was completely out of the blue), I try to prod some information from her.

Me: Does one of your friends from school have a black mommy?
Lillie: No.
Me: Is there a black mommy on TV that you’ve watched lately?
Lillie: No.

At this point, I decide to myself this could be a really great teaching opportunity so I say, “You know, there are kids out there with black moms and they’re not any different from us. They go to school, play, eat yogurt, and they love their kids a lot too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a different color, it’s about how nice or mean you are. See? Mama’s arms are darker than yours but it doesn’t matter.”

I’m feeling pretty proud of my little speech, like she understood what I was trying to say, but then as she’s leaving the room she turns to me and says, “I will take a black OR a brown mommy.”

Me: <insert sigh> You can have whatever mommy you want when you grow up, but for now I’m sorry, honey, you’re stuck with me.

Lillie sighs loudly and walks away.

The husband had done some work bulldozing and the owner of the property had started a fire to burn the wood. We decided to ride down the road to check it out (and make sure the bulldozer was a safe distance away).

Alfred is telling me about his day when Lillie interjects.

Lillie: My heart is broken.
Alfred & I look at each other, eyebrows raised.
Me: Why is your heart broken?
Lillie: It just is.
Me: Did someone hurt you or make you sad today at school?
Lillie: No.
Me: Honey, a broken heart means you’re sad or upset. 
Lillie: Oh. Then my heart is not broken it is full!

And on that note, here’s to having a full heart – whether it’s full from love, life, yourself, family, running, drawing, reading, laughter, whatever it is – you deserve it. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day but because you’re simply awesome.  IMG_3317

Have a great weekend friends!

PS. If you’re interested in Lillie Lately v.1, you can find that here!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

20 Miles

Last Friday I felt ready to tackle my long run for the weekend (20 miles). I had read weather reports and thought it would be similar to what I’ll encounter during my marathon.

In short, it was not.

But this is a blog, who wants the short of it?  So, let me give you the long of it instead. (Ha. That’s what he said.)

Alfred had to work Saturday morning, but I managed to convince my sister to stay the night Friday and watch Lillie for me in the morning. I wanted to do all 20 miles out on the road (since those miles always go faster than treadmill miles) and had planned to break them up into two 10 milers. After the first 10, I would be back at the house to refill my water bottle, let them know I’m still alive and then head back out.

I had a pretty horrible chafing experience during my 18 miles, so I slathered on some Vaseline, procrastinated a bit and hit the door about 8:30 am. I wore a pair of running capris, a long sleeve tech shirt, my Spibelt (filled with my phone & some GU) and had my water bottle.

Well, I thought I had my water bottle. By mile 3 I realized I had forgot to grab it. Instead of turning around I figured I would just power through.

Note: Do not “power through” a 10 mile run with no water.

I had expected the clouds to open up and the sun would beam through around 9:30 am and things would be glorious. That did not happen. It actually seemed to get colder, the wind picked up and I was running through mist/fog situation that seemed as though it was out to get me. Pretty similar to Lost actually.

Around mile 4 & mile 6 of my run I had to take a miniature break and run some cattle that had gotten out onto the road back into the pasture. Country life, y’all.

At about mile 7, I was so fucking over it. I felt like I was barely able to pick up my feet and my body felt cold. Like, I felt warm but touching my actual body it was freezing. I didn’t wear a jacket or anything because I had thought it would warm up. I told myself just to make it to 10 (I’d be back at the house) and then I’ll just go from there.

I knew the second I walked inside I wasn’t going back out in the weather and I sent the husband a text to say as much.


Normally, I love his tough love approach (it usually does the trick) but this time - turns out, I’m a puss.

I finished the last 10 on the treadmill inside the house hating and loving the decision simultaneously. I was so red and cold when I came in from the first 10, my sister even gave me the side-eye. I managed to watch Hercules and answer 20 questions from Lillie while I did the second 10.

Mom, why you running?
Mom, where is bear?
Mom, where is my milk?
Mom, can I have candy?

and repeat.

About mile 5 I seriously considered bucking the fuck up and finishing outside just to get away from the questions, but then I looked out the window and settled on the lesser of two evils.

All-in-all, it was a shitty run. But it was still a great training run. For those that don’t run, that may not make sense, but for those that do – I know you feel me. I learned not to forgo water. I learned that Vaseline works wonders on chub rub thigh chafing.I learned not to underestimate the weather. I learned not to wear that particular purple tech shirt because it has a horribly placed tag on it resulting in a SpongeBob band aid.


I just took this photo, I promise it looked about 20 times worse than this on Saturday. Or maybe it just felt 20 times worse. Either way – sad face.

But I think the most important thing I learned was, even if the situation got shitty I still powered through and ultimately, I think that’s what I needed to know about myself before I tackle 26.2.

Here’s to powering through!

Friday, February 7, 2014

What do you know? A post about running.

So, let’s talk running. Specifically, let’s talk about my running. I mean, we can talk about your running if you would like but you’ll have to email me for that. You know, since blogging can be kind of one-sided when writing posts.

Well, if you haven’t noticed lately, I’ll be running my very first marathon in less than a month.

marathon jokeBefore I hit the register button for this race I remember feeling incredibly nervous because dude, that’s 26.2 freaking miles I’m committing too. At one time. And I’ve continued to feel that way throughout my training – as well, as anxious, scared to fucking death and completely underprepared.

But you know what else I’ve felt throughout all of those emotions – really fucking excited. Excited for myself because not only have I come so far in my journey as a runner but excited to to know I can do it. I took something I once thought was completely impossible and turned it into a possibility. It blows my freaking mind.

You know what else blows mind? That last year 8 miles was my long run and this year it’s my short run. Cuh-razy.

I’ve increased my mileage from a 5k, to a 10k, to a half, to 16 miles (all done on a treadmill, mind you), to 18 miles and tomorrow, I’ll be able to add 20 miles to that list. Which means, after this weekend, I’m officially in taper mode where my mileage will be cut back so my legs are fresh for March 2nd.

I’ve been hounding the shit out of the website for the most current information and trying to figure out the game plan. I’ve even looked at weather a month ahead trying to predict what I need to wear.  And it looks like tomorrow and race day could be pretty similar. I’m hoping that’s a good sign for my two 10 milers I’m doing back to back (that’s what I’m telling myself because 10 miles seems much more do-able than 20.)

Things that make me nervous

  • This will be my first point-to-point race. Everything else I’ve done has been out-and-back, a loop or at least ends up right back at the starting line, somehow.
  • The course will shut down after 7 hours. That means there’s a 16 minute mile pace required. I don’t really doubt I can do that but then again, I’ve never ran 26.2 miles, so who freaking knows.
  • This is The Army Marathon – there’s going to be some badass soldiers/veterans running this. I’m usually really good at not comparing myself with faster runners but I still can’t help but feel like I’m going to the last one to cross the finish line, or even worse not being able to finish at all.
  • I had a serious chafing issue with my 18 miles I did two weeks ago and I really hope that doesn’t happen again. It won’t stop me from running, but it will slow me down and make the next week miserable. I only want to be normal miserable from a marathon not extra miserable. That makes sense, right?

I feel a little better after typing out my nervous points. Blogging – good for the soul.

I have two goals for this race.

Ultimate goal: Finish. With this being my first one, my focus is to cross the finish line and enjoy the experience.

The following goal is what I’m shooting for but not at the expense of the first goal. I don’t want to out so strong that I can’t finish.

Extra goal: Finish under 6 hours (preferably closer to 5:30). I am not what I think of as a fast runner (single digit miles) and I know I’ll be even slower trying to pace myself for 26 miles. Right now based on running calculators it has my finish time at 6 hours or later.

And there’s my running spill for the day. If you have any advice, etc please please comment or shoot me a message. I am not to proud to say that I will need all the help I can get come race day.

In other non-running news, I thought I’d update my blog for 2014. I used PicMonkey to edit my photos and then just kind of googled ‘how-to's’ for the rest of the content. I think it turned out pretty swell (please feel free to nod in agreement).

Stay safe out there this weekend, friends!


Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 Resolutions

I know I’m about a month late but better late than never, right?

I’ve been publicly announcing my resolutions since 2011 so while it may be an eye roll for you, it’s been a nice way for me to look back over the years to see what I’ve done or haven’t done and where I’ve been at emotionally.

For example, in 2011 one of my resolutions was to not get pregnant. While I didn’t talk about it at the time, I was going through some serious shit adjusting to being a mom for the first time and I can clearly remember how adamant I was about not getting pregnant. But now? I’m in a much better place emotionally & physically to handle that. (For the record, we are not trying. No, seriously, I know people will assume we are because I typed that but we really aren’t.) Anyway, like I said – resolution posts are a gentle reminder for me of how far I’ve come.

So, let’s get to what I hope 2014 will bring me. Or maybe it’s what I’ll bring to 2014. Either way something is being brought-en.

Resolution #1: Time Management

  • One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve been training for my first marathon is I am completely disorganized when it comes to managing my time. It’s easy to procrastinate and say I’ll do it later but when later consists of dinner, laundry, dishes, kid time, prepping for the next days workout, husband time, etc – it doesn’t always happen. I think if I get a (flexible) schedule on the books that is fairly routine for our family, I’ll be less stressed and more present for my family, friends and myself.
  • The plan: Get an organizer. One I physically write down things in. I can’t seem to bring myself to do it electronically and stick with it no matter how many times I’ve tried. Does anyone have any tips on a good one? Currently, I’ve just been writing things down on a notepad I got as a stocking stuffer for Christmas 3 years ago.

Resolution #2: Meal Prep

  • I’m sure y’all have heard of this phenomenon. You know, where you sit down for 6 hours on one day of the week and plan out your entire freaking meal schedule for the rest of the week? I’ve tried this in the past but can’t get ever ‘find the time’ do this. Which is one of the main reasons I want to handle up on resolution #1. I have no intention on making this meal prep one of epic healthy proportions but rather one to make life easier for me on the weekdays. Don’t get me wrong though, I want to eat healthier but this is more for me to focus on how to do it. I’ll focus on healthier alternatives once I’m more comfortable with the change.
  • The plan: Focus on lunch, then dinner, then breakfast. I want to make this a lifestyle change rather than something that feels completely unattainable, so I’m breaking it up. I’m going to focus on my lunches throughout the week first, then Lillie’s (hers are usually pretty easy since it’s mostly leftovers or PB&Js & applesauce) and then Alfred’s. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of just ordering food in the cafe in my building, which is pricey and not always that healthy for me – this should help keep that in check. Then, I’ll move on to prepping for dinners throughout the week and then see how breakfast goes. Anyone have any meal prepping tips?

Resolution #3: Get Stronger

  • I really enjoy running and what it gives me – time alone to reflect or that great feeling of accomplishment – but I’m also finding that getting stronger physically by weight training with Moj is one of my most fulfilling workouts in the week. I like that I have (a small amount of) definition (in the right lighting – ha!) in my arms and back now and would like to push myself harder by cutting back on my mileage for a while.
  • The plan: Increase strength training. Once my marathon is over (in less than a month!) I’m going to go on a running hiatus. I’ll keep up mileage so if I want to run a random 5k I can (I do have a weak spot for them!) I may try to keep it up a little more for a 10k but we’ll see. I want to start by doing another round of Insanity (where I actually complete the full 60 days!) and during my lunch workouts really push it with Moj (my workout partner who introduced me to weights). After that, I’ll reevaluate and see where I want to go next. I’m really excited about this one.

Here’s to trying new things in 2014!