Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring out the Old...Goals for the New

Hard to believe the last day of 2012 is already here.  This year has flown by for me.  It's so crazy how quickly time goes now.  This time last year I had only competed in one race and was not remotely confident in myself and my abilities.  I never imagined I would be where I am today.  Let alone be staring down my first half marathon in just seven weeks. 

So fast forward to today.  2012 was a good year for both me and my family.  It brought some challenges and many great blessings.  I competed in 13 races, branching out to further distances. I've shaved 11 minutes off of my 5k time.

 I've gone from thinking that the Princess Half was my one and done half marathon goal, to realizing there are many more half marathons in my future and with the advent of our Disney Vacation Club membership hoping there are more Run Disney events as well.

 I have found a confidence in myself and a happiness in my own skin that I don't think I have ever had.   Maybe I sold myself short without realizing I was capable of more than I thought I was doing as for that I am thankful for my love of running and my super special running friends.  I am no longer a runner by accident, I am now a runner on purpose. 

My goals for this year are flexible as I have come to realize that planning doesn't always work out the way that I hope.  I want to learn to take things as they come and not plan out to the hilt. 

That being said, I've got a couple of goals and this point that I am rock solid committed to seeing to fruition.  The rest of my goals will evolve as the year unfolds. 

My first goal is to complete the 13 in Twenty-Thirteen.  I'm hoping for mostly longer runs but I know I will have several 5k's in there as well.  This is totally doable.  I demonstrated that this year.  The difference is the that I plan to run further distances.

The second my husband and I will be undertaking the Whole 30 challenge in March.  The littles won't be doing this with us at this point.  My super picky eater would never eat if I forced this kind of a change on him.  Also, the secondary goal with this one is to cut my raging sugar addiction down to size.  Yes, I do watch what I eat now, but sugar (especially Reese's Mini's) is a major weakness for me.

I also plan to branch out and add some cross training to my world and add some weight training.  I currently am in possession of a kettlebell and some hand weights and I plan to use them.  Actually I have already started at night while watching TV after the littles go to bed.  But I do plan on integrating them more into my daily routine and you'll see more about that once the plan has unfurled.  I am super excited about having the kettlebell especially and will be purchasing some Kettlebell Bombshell DVD's in the very near future.

I've mentioned this before but the important thing to me is not just being active, but it's being active in simple ways where it's not necessarily going to take additional time out from my day to day life.  To find ways to incorporate into my schedule.  There is always time at home to spare 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes.  So I am going to capitalize on that time.  Looking for fun and creative ways to do that. 

Finally, I just want to continue being the best me I can be, there is plenty of room for me to grow.  I want to be a better wife, mother and friend and keep moving forward for all that know me, and most importantly for myself.

Wishing you all a very wonderful and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's Love

I've waited awhile to post my thoughts on my new Brooks Pure Cadence because I wanted to get past the early, lovey-dovey honeymoon phase of new shoes.  I wanted to see how much I truly liked them in various areas, I wanted to see how they did during a race and on a super long run.  Now armed with what I know I can confirm, that I am in love with my Pure Cadence.  I never knew what a difference a pair of shoes could make and as you know from earlier posts, I sort of thought it was silly to get fitted.  Now I know better.  I also think it will be awhile before I switch shoe brands or for that matter style.

Before I get onto the specifics of what I love so much about them, I want to explain where I've been.  Since I started running, I have been through three pairs of shoes.  I started out initially with shoes that were not specifically running shoes.  I stopped wearing those because I thought they felt heavy.  So I switched to another brand that was tailored to women and was considerably lighter.  I bought them because I liked the color (excellent reason to buy a shoe) and because they were not very expensive.  Since I wasn't sure if I would continue running my logic was that I didn't need to invest a whole lot of money into something only if I was going to burn out and stop.
  While I liked the shoes, I was constantly battling blisters.  I tried changing socks, cotton, no cotton, mesh, padded, you name it I tried it and I still had blisters.  It turns out my socks were most maligned as I later discovered I had bought a size too big.  A foot sliding up and down in a shoe is sort of conducive to blisters.  I parted ways with this shoe after developing extensor tendinitis as a result of tying my shoes too tightly on one foot.  Most likely an attempt to stop the foot sliding.  I bought another pair of shoes by yet another brand, spent a little bit more money on these and outside of blisters (notice a recurring theme?) I have nothing bad to say about these shoes.  They did get heavy towards their retirement, but I did really like these shoes.

Enter my birthday present from the hubs a new pair of running shoes.  Higher quality running shoes that might cost a bit more than I have spent in the past.  It became glaring obvious to both of us that much to my surprise I was actually a runner, and a runner who found she liked longer distances and actually ran on purpose.  It was time for some serious shoes.  After hemming and hawing I went to Fleet Feet Tulsa got fitted and tried on two  other equally amazing shoes, Mizuno Wave Elixir and Brooks Ravenna.  After I tried the Mizuno on he had brought out a pair of Pure Cadence.  Cue the sappy music.  It was love at first try.

So here is the lo-down on the shoes, these are just my thoughts on them anyway. I have now been running in them over a month, I have run outside, on a treadmill, running paths and street.  I have now run a 5k (and  PR'ed by the way) and finished an 11 mile run in them last weekend.  So I have truly put them to the test.

What I love:
 They are super light and flexible.  Something I have not had in previous shoes.  I can not imagine at this point that I will ever be able to say that they are heavy.

They are lower to the ground, and surprisingly enough I like that.  I don't feel like I'm up on heels and since I'm kind of klutzy, I feel like I have more stability being more on the ground.

I love that as an overpronator I can run in a more minimal shoe and get the support and guidance that I need without the heaviness.

The IDEAL heel is awesome.  There is a bit of a curve to the outer heel that helps with my overpronation and guides my strike a little better.  A little technical wonder that I can't really find a way to appropriately explain. I just know it works.

If you look close you can see the curve.  Initially it felt weird but I don't even notice it now.

The Nav band is another favorite.  It is a band that starts at the base of the shoe and runs all across the top and back down.  It helps lock my foot in place and thus cuts down on any friction issues.  I can even say that after my 11 mile run last week, I did not have any blisters or feel any friction.  Which is awesome for me.

The non technical stuff, they feel like nothing I've ever worn there is a smooth, less jarring feel and my feet feel great even after 11 miles, and I'm most certainly hoping they feel great after 13.1.

There is only one thing that I have had an issue with and it's more me than the shoe and that is with the Nav band.  If I am in a hurry to get ready (which would be my lunch runs on Tuesday's and Thursday's) I really have to watch where the Nav Band lands.  If it's in the wrong spot, I know it and I have to pause the run to fix it.  It's a quick fix, just slide it to the right spot.  But if I slowed down and made sure that it was where it needed to be the first time it wouldn't be an issue.

All in all, I'm over the moon, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present, or a better shoe.  Thanks to Brooks I now "run happy" or maybe I should say happier.  Love my Brooks and thanks to Twitter, I know they love me back.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Count me in

In thinking about my running goals for 2013, I realized I had no goals, no direction.  I had been so focused on just running and completing the Princess Half that I didn't go beyond that.  It has become abundantly clear to me now that the Princess Half will not be my only half.  It might not even be my only Run Disney event.  Especially now that we have Disney Vacation Club, I can see more in my future.

Enter Jill Conyers and her 13 in Twenty-Thirteen.    The beauty of this challenge is that it gives me my direction.  Last year I ran mostly 5k's and this year I want to try and shake things up a little bit in terms of distance. The awesome thing about this challenge is that I'm not locked in to just one distance. I do think I might try to do more of the longer distances this year though and if that's the case I can be a little bit more flexible with my direction.

At this point I already have nine sorted out in my head.

Disney World Princess Half in February
Shamrock the Ville 5k
Run the Ville 10K
OKC Marathon (Half) - Tentative
The Color Run 5k
The Glow Run 5k
Woolaroc Road Race 8k
Tulsa Run 15k
Route 66 Marathon (Half)

 Nine thought out so far, not bad considering we haven't even gotten into 2013 yet.  I love having a challenge   to focus on now that February is looming closer.  I am so excited to see how my Thirteen in Twenty-Thirteen actually plays out.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Path To Princess Half: Two Months!!!

Really?  Two months?!  All of my obsessing is getting so so much closer.  So technically, I just leave in two months, the actual half is two months from Monday.  Still counts, right?

So what do I have left to do?
I still need a tank. I still need the puffy sleeves.  I still need to order my shorts for under my tutu. I'm actually slightly freaking out about the little details.  I really would like to try a run with the whole costume put together prior to the half.

What am I not freaking out about?  Oddly enough, the race itself. Even though I've only run a little over ten miles so far, I know that I can tack on a 5k and still survive intact.  My confidence level has increased so much in the last few months it's amazing.  I'm not as worried about actually finishing it as I am about whether I want to set a time goal, or whether I just want to have fun.  I'm guessing I'll find a happy medium in there.

I have now cancelled all of my ADR's that I had booked under the assumption that it would be a family trip.  Now, we only have one reservation and are talking about spa treatments and flying by the seat of our pants.  Whereas in the past it was go, go, go, schedule, schedule, schedule. This could be the most relaxing Disney trip yet.  Minus the 13.1 miles I will be running but oddly enough that is relaxing for me too.

Magical Express is booked...Once I get our luggage tags from them it is going to be totally real.  Right now I think I am in denial that I am actually going to do this.  It doesn't seem real yet.

My checklist is getting smaller and smaller. I'm slightly terrified and super excited in alternate turns.  Mostly excited though.  I can not wait!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Suzanne Gone Sporty

I woke up this morning to a happy email from the wonderful Laura Williams letting me know that I have been accepted to be a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.  To say I was beyond excited would be an understatement. It may have even been the cause of an impromptu dance party in my bathroom this morning as I was getting ready for work.  Is that TMI?  Probably so.  

I've mentioned Girls Gone Sporty several times due to my new found love of "wicked wallies" and then that challenge provided the impetus for my December Every Day Fit challenge.  If you have not been to their site, I encourage you to check the Girls Gone Sporty group out at It's super informative and covers a broad range of subjects. 

I am so thrilled that I have been chosen to help represent them and to share my love of the sporty life.  I hope to be a great Ambassador for them and be a true representation of what they are looking for in their Ambassadors:    "We’re looking for women who embrace our tagline, “Live the sporty life!” Women who work hard, play hard, compete and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves."  

While I'm attempting to do that I hope I can encourage others to do the same. Won't you join me?  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Treadmill Tu(n)esday - Festive Edition

Since we are now rapidly approaching Christmas time, I thought I would liven up my interval play list with some Christmas songs just for a change.  Gives me a little bit of holiday cheer while I'm staring out into space.

So without further adieu, here is my Treadmill Tunesday play list.  Festive & Fun.

All I need is Love - Cee Lo Green & featuring the Muppets...This is off of Cee Lo's Christmas album which I think I am going to have to get the entire thing.  But this is a great start for now.  And you can't go wrong with the Muppets.  :)

Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters
Wizards in Winter- Trans-Siberian Orchestra (my favorite Christmas music comes from them)
Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses (80's cheesy holiday goodness)
Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
Banditos - Refreshments
Helter Skelter - Motley Crue's version
Live to Rise - Soundgarden
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius - Mary Poppins (Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews) - and why not?  It's fun, right?
This is Gonna Hurt - Sixx A.M.
Wild Ones - Flo Rida (featuring Sia)
and ending with the fabulous...
You're a Mean One Mister Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft

Do you have any favorite holiday songs you like to add to your list?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Think I have enough?

I won a contest in October from Premier Protein for a case of their protein shakes. I received them in the mail last Thursday. So far, I've had a couple for breakfast and all I can say right now is yum! Thanks Premier Protein!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Holy cow.  How has it been a week since I was last here? Oh, wait that's right it's December.  My life right now consists of work, children's activities, husband hockey games and this silly little thing called half marathon training,.

Right now most of my life is either in my car or somewhere other than home.  My son has a speaking part in our church's Children's Christmas musical so he has had rehearsals for two hours every Sunday night.    My daughter has dance for an hour on Tuesday's gearing up for various community performances.

Both of these activities are ramping up right at the same time.  The Children's Musical is tomorrow morning, so Lewis E will be done with his winter activity then.  Just in time for my sweet girl (who just turned five on Thursday) to start having performances.

It's been crazy, so crazy that I was wondering how on Earth I would be able to get my long run in this weekend.  My training plan happened to call for an 8 mile run, which is a little more time consuming.  I almost thought about just skipping it.  Ultimately, I decided I was not going to skip it.  I had to figure out a way to make it work and I did.  It wasn't ideal, I went straight from work to my favorite treadmill in our fitness center at work and ran for a little over an hour.  I took a super speedy shower and then went straight to church to help with the finishing touches for the musical.

Here's what I learned this week.  I am never too busy to skip a run.  There is always time somewhere to fit it in.  Circumstances may not be desirable but it can be done.  Also, there was a sense of accomplishment for figuring out not only how to fit it in but doing it and enjoying it at the same time.  Might also through in the fact that I PR'ed my treadmill 10k at 49:53.  Man, I wish I was that speedy not on the treadmill.

In the meantime on the countdown to slower days and more time spent at home with my favorite people and less time in the car with those same people.  Life is good.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jingle Bell Rock 5k Race Recap and Happy Raceversary to me!

Yesterday's race was an important race for me.  One year ago was my very first 5k and it was at the very same Jingle Bell Rock 5k.  I went into yesterday excited because that one race turned out to be such a significant step in my running journey.

I can remember last year being totally freaked out.  I had gone through couch to 5k, but was not nearly as persistent as I should have been.  It was going to be cold.   Was I going to walk?  Would I leave my friend that I was doing it with?  If so would that be weird?  I mean, we signed up together shouldn't we finish together?  It turned out ok,  it wasn't that cold, I did walk and I did leave my friend.  I finished that first race at 40:18 by chip time.  Not spectacular, but not super bad for a first timer.  The big thing was that I did finish, and I wasn't last.  It also got me hooked on racing.

I would have never imagined at that time that I would be sitting here a year later having now 13 races in belt. Most 5k's but also an 8k, a 15k, and two legs of a marathon relay that equaled out to be 10.6 miles.  Also, I  had no intention of running a Half Marathon.   Not once did I think I would be where I am today.  But I am and I couldn't imagine my life without running now.

As far as the Jingle Bell Rock yesterday, it was the exact same route as last year, the same set up, the same charity.  Nothing with the race had changed.  I'm not saying that in a bad way, familiar is good.  I knew what to expect.  I knew it would be fun.  After two bigger races it was nice to be back at home. It was my first race in my new Brooks Pure Cadence as well, but more about them on another day.

The main thing that was different about the race was me.  I was far more confident in my abilities and in myself.  I also went into it knowing that I would probably be able to beat my time for last year. And I did.  Not only did I beat my time from last year, I PR'ed my 5k time.  I finished according to my Nike+ GPS in 29:56, by chip time 30:16.  Obviously, I prefer the Nike+ time.  Not quite sure how the differed by that much as I started it right as I crossed but really it doesn't matter.  Aside from the fact that I appeared to have finally broken the 30 minute time frame and for the first time, I'm actually pretty happy with the final results.

All in all a great first Raceversary if I do say so myself.  Can't wait to see where I am a year from now.