Running with Olympians

Ok, so it wasn’t so much running with Kara and Shalane as it was running at the same time as them.  I got up at 4:00 to get ready for my long run, and I watched a little of the Olympic Marathon live while eating my PB toast and getting my shoes on.

It was cool to start out my run knowing that across the ocean the Olympians were racing at the same time.  They were running a conservative 5:30 pace. I was running a normal 10:30 pace.  They were sporting a bra and briefs look.  I was also running in a sports bra and underwear, I just added shorts and a tank top to complete my look.  Nobody needs to see my abs.  I have the abs of a dessert lover.



They had thousands of spectators screaming and cheering them on.  I had a truck honk at me at a stop light and some drunk girls in the back yelled at me.  They had a torrential downpour of rain.  It sprinkled on me for almost two minutes at mile 8.

They were rested from not doing their typical two a day workouts.  I was rested from my two a day nap schedule. They finished 26.2 miles in 2:25 and 2:26. They came in 10th and 11th.  I finished 9.0 in 1:36.  I came in 2nd.  I was running with my speedy friend Kristen, who is kind enough to run at my turtle pace with me because she enjoys my company so much.  That or I am the only crazy fool who will meet her at 4:30 on a Sunday morning.  Mostly it’s my company though. Ok 80/20 maybe.

I had a good run.  I came home and watched the rest of the marathon and was awed at how similar, nothing like, my run was to theirs.  Training for my October half is going well.  My official full marathon training starts Sept. 17th!  Yikes!!!

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Like Mother Like Son

A few years ago I babysat for a friend of mine.  She is a pilates teacher and her idea of dessert is mixing strawberries and blueberries together at the same time.  I fixed her 7 yr. old a nutritionally void, I mean sound, meal of Kraft Mac and Cheese.  He proclaimed it the best mac and cheese he had ever tasted.  I then was going to open the Krispy Kreme box I had promised my kids they could break into after lunch and asked him if he would like a donut.  He looked at me and said “What’s a donut?” I bit my lip to keep from crying for this poor child.  I thought about calling CPS because clearly he had been seriously neglected in the very important  donut tasting educational aspect of child rearing.  He didn’t seem too excited to try it and I didn’t want to shock his system farther and have his mother never trust me with her child again so I gave him a apple instead.

Fast forward to a few months ago.  My youngest is now 7 and for Mother’s Day they brought me breakfast in bed.  Because they love me, they waited until 9 and they didn’t make it themselves, they brought me donuts.  I came downstairs the next morning and I found this was all that was left in the box.

Conversation with my youngest:

Me: Jackson why is this blanket in the donut box?

Jackson: Looks at me like I’m the crazy one, and says in a isn’t it obvious tone of voice “So when I get home from school even though the donuts are gone, my blanket will still smell like them.”

This is my child.  He is obviously a genius.  I think I’m going to stuff my running shirt and shorts in a empty donut box so I can smell like donuts on my next run. Perhaps I will open a etsy shop and only sell empty donut boxes to runners or people on a diet.  They will have to be full at first to really get the scent in there of course.  I can eat donuts that I write off as a business expense as part of my “job”.  This plan is getting better and better.

This also led me to another future millions making idea.  Donut scented laundry detergent.  Genius right???

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Running for Science

Az. is hot.  Also this just in.  The sky is blue.  I’m new to running outside all year round.  It was great in the winter.  Now, not so much.  I was doing pretty well while the low was still in the high 70’s.  Then it started creeping up into the high 80’s.  It’s hot but at least it’s a dry heat right?  Today 10 miles was on the schedule so my friend Kristen and I decided to start at 4:30AM.  We met at the park and it was 86 with 56% humidity.  I can assure you I was not at all dry while I was running.

Luckily I had just read this article recently and had a plan.


Therefore the results of this study suggest that drinking a Slurpee, or similar icy drink before exercising in hot weather can increase your endurance, and help you last longer.

Drink a slurpee in the name of “science”?  That is my kind of science.   A slurpee at 4:30 in the morning really didn’t sound too great, but there is a Circle K a few miles from where we were meeting.  We decided to run for 6.5 miles, stop and drink our slurpee and then finish our last 3.5 miles and see if it cooled our core temperature and made it easier to run faster.

It wasn’t too horrible when we started.  Try not to be jealous of my summer desert running conditions.  I know my delightful descriptions make you secretly yearn that you too could wake up at 4 for the privilege of running in humid almost 90 degree not too horrible weather.  The sun wasn’t shining down on us hot enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk and there were some puddles from the rain the night before, so it was basically like we were running in a tropical paradise.

We started off slow and gradually upped the pace.  We got to Circle K at mile 6.5 and went in for our Slurpee’s.


We took our icy treat outside and sat on a wall to enjoy.  I drank about 8 ounces of mine and then it was just too sickly sweet.  It was better eating it using the straw as a spoon instead of drinking it, although that was tricky.  What ever happened to those straws with the spoon on the end? They are a vital part of the slurpee experience.  You just can’t enjoy it in the same way with a regular boring straw.

If I’m going to keep running in the heat I might have to order these.

400 for only 9.99 on amazon. Who wants to split it 10 ways with me?

We finished our last 3 and a half and I definitely didn’t feel as hot.  That might have been from stopping and resting for 5 minutes as much as it was the cold drink though.  My legs were so tired.  They weren’t happy that I was expecting them to do this running thing again, they thought they were done with that nonsense for the day.

It took me about a half mile to warm up again and then I did pick up the pace by almost a minute faster than it was at miles 5 and 6.  I think that was more because I just wanted to get this crap over with, but I am willing to say it was at least partly the slurpee.  I might just have to try it again next week, in the name of science of course, to get a more accurate scientific conclusion.  Maybe if I drink twice as much I will be twice as fast.  Once my 400 pack of straws come in, watch out world.  You will be seeing me at the 2016 olympic time trials for sure.  I won’t be competing, but if you look really hard you will be able to spot me in the stands.  I will be the one drinking  a slurpee and cheering and yelling with extra slurpee endurance.

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1AM Surprise

I started training for my Oct. 6th half marathon this week.  It was only $20! How could I not sign up for only $20? women’s half Now I have my half in October,  a half in November and December,  my 1st full in January, and a half in Feb.  There are a few more races I hope to throw in there. It is good to see a official training plan up on my fridge again. I love coming home from a run and crossing off that day on the plan.

Today was a 40 min tempo run.  I had gotten up at 4:30 every morning this week to be able to run outside before bursting into a ball of flame. The low last week was 90. This week it was a chilly 82. (((Brrrr)))

I decided facing the dreadmill was worth being able to sleep in.  I was ridiculously excited to turn my 4:30 alarm off and let my 7 yr.old “Mom, can I have some cereal?” alarm wake me up instead.

At 1:15 in the morning my dog woke me up whining.  He has been having issues lately with pooping on the carpet downstairs in the middle of the night. It’s very random.  He had been fine the last few nights so I decided to let him back into sleeping in his dog bed at the foot of our bed. I was less than thrilled when he woke me up on my one day to sleep.  Argh!!  He was sitting on my husband’s side of the bed and I got out of bed and went over to look at him when I saw a dark shape on the carpet next to him.  I picked him up and carried him downstairs to the laundry room while berating him for pooping yet again.

I grabbed a bunch of paper towels, a plastic grocery bag, and filled a bowl of water with a oxyclean solution.  Marched back upstairs and gingerly picked up the disgustingness with 4 paper towels so I wouldn’t have to feel it.  I didn’t want to turn on the light and wake up my husband so I left the closet light on and I could just barely see.  Drowned the “area” in oxyclean and spent five minutes blotting it all up.  By this time I was wide awake and cursing silently at the dog and at my husband for sleeping through all this.

I went back downstairs to throw out the bag and happened to glance in it as I threw it in the garbage.  What the ???  I took a closer look and realized I had just spent the last 10 minutes cleaning up after a navy blue sock. Son of a bitch!!!

I had to apologize to my dog, who just wanted to jump into bed with us, let him outside so he could actually take care of business, and then spent the next hour trying to fall back asleep. At least I didn’t have to get up again at 4:30.  My human alarm didn’t come in until 7:30 and I had a good tempo run on the treadmill a hour and a half later.

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My 1st Half Marathon

I was doing well in my training for my 1st half marathon which was supposed to be the Rock N Roll P.F. Changs Half in Phoenix on January 15th, 2011.  Then my friends, Juli, Kristen, and Christine convinced me to sign up for the Rock N Roll Vegas Half on Dec. 4th 2011.

I signed up right before it sold out.  Honestly I was more excited about having a fun girls weekend than I was about running.  I got the kids off to school on Friday morning and then we headed out to Vegas.  It’s only about a 4 hr. drive from Phoenix.  We checked into our hotel and headed to the expo.  It was huge.  Of course, I had nothing to compare it to since I had never been to any race expo or run in any race before.  Not even a 5k.  What better way to start my racing experience than with 44,000 other people on the Las Vegas Strip right?

We got our numbers and did some shopping and went back to the hotel for dinner.  We met up with another friend the next day and headed back to the expo.  We went over to the Brooks Carnival area where I won a lovely T-shirt.  My friend, Christine, won a new pair of shoes!  She threw that ball into that tiny cup on top of the shoe mountain.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday afternoon and time to get ready for the race.  I pinned my bib on and put my chip timer on my shoe and we dropped our bags off at gear check.  My friend Juli was running the full marathon so we said goodbye to her and then went back inside to wait for our race to start.  Christine brought glow sticks for everyone and handed me one. I bent it to get it to start glowing and it cracked and the stuff inside shot right in my eye.  I have to wear contacts because I am blind as a bat.  My eye started burning like crazy.  My friends shuffled me past the line of 100 people waiting to use the bathroom and steered me over to the sinks.  I took out my contact and rinsed my eye out with a ton of water and the burning got a little better.  After a few minutes I put my contact back in and we went to get in our corrals.  I was still a little blurry in one eye but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from running the race.  My friends are much faster than me so I was in a corral way behind them.

The race started and I took off.  It was crazy crowded and I was weaving in and out of people. There were a ton of people dressed up in fun costumes, there were people running barefoot, and I passed one very tall burly man wearing nothing but knee high socks, a scarf, and a nude colored thong.  He was running with a beer in his hand.

My normal pace was about a 12 min. mile at that time and I ran Miles 1-5 at a 10:20-10:40 pace.  6-9 I slowed it down to a little over 11 min. miles.  At mile 10 I was dying.  The farthest I had ever run was 12 miles and I couldn’t believe I still had 3 more to go.  I saw so many people around me walking.  I wasn’t with any of my friends, and I thought I can walk for just a minute.  So I walked for a few minutes and then started running again.  Walking was a big mistake because it made it ten times harder to start running again.  I felt like I was sprinting, but I looked at my watch and was barely hanging onto a 12 min. pace.  Mile 12 was 13 minutes.  Mile 13 was 12 minutes and then I ran as hard as I could to the finish line.  My goal was to run it in somewhere close to 2 and a half hours and I came in at 2:29.

It was like this for the whole race.

The finish was insane. I got my medal and stood in line for my picture and then I made my way back inside to get my bag.  There were people crammed everywhere. I guess a lot of runners who drank the water had gotten sick.  I was fine. I met my friend Christine who had waited for me and she was really sick.  My other friend Kristen, went to look for Juli, who was running the full. I helped Christine back to our hotel room. It took us forever to work our way through the hotel.  She had to stop at a bathroom to be sick.  We made it to our room and she took a shower and crawled into her bed.

Poor Juli was running the full and having a hard time.  They did a terrible job of keeping the full marathon lane separate from the half so she merged in with all the halvers at the back who were walking and couldn’t get around them.  It started raining on her.  They were breaking down the tables at the water stations and were out of water and cytomax.  She had to stop at a 7-11 just off the course.  She made it to the finish and there was a huge traffic jam in the hotel.  The big Michael Jackson Show at the hotel was just getting out as the same time all the runners were finishing and it was wall to wall people.  People were passing out and getting sick and not able to move at all.  It was terrible.

It wasn’t quite the first race experience I was hoping for but I did have a good time.  I ran my goal time. I got a very cool medal.  It glows in the dark.  I guess they ran out for the later runners.  They are supposed to be making major changes for next year.  I was proud of myself for coming a long way since I had started about 8 months earlier and could barely run a quarter mile.

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The Beginning

In March of 2011 I had to go dress shopping.  I really had no idea what size I was so I took a bunch of different options into the dressing room.  I found one dress I liked but they only had it in a size 16.  I thought that will be way too big, but I will try it on anyway.  It fit perfectly.  I thought ok, it’s not so bad.  I like it, I look fine in it, and I brought it home.  Then a few weeks later I saw a picture of myself in this green dress and I was horrified.  Why does a picture look so different than your reflection in a mirror? It was a moment like this.

There is a little green belt park right by my house and I decided to start walking there to get some exercise.  Once around the loop is a half mile.  I was mildly strolling around the loop, while patting myself on the back for getting out there, and planning what to eat later to treat myself for burning so many calories.  I mean I had walked 2 miles, I thought that was some serious calorie burning right there.

I looked up and saw two of my friends who I hadn’t seen in a while appear in the distance.  They were running.  I watched them get closer and closer and they stopped to say Hi.  They looked fantastic.  They had both trained for and run their first half marathon a few months ago and were planning their next race.  At that time I didn’t even know how long a half marathon was.  When I heard it was 13.1 miles, I looked at that loop and thought about running around it 26 times and I was in awe of them. 🙂

I decided walking wasn’t going to cut it and I was going to start running too. I had tried to run at the gym on the treadmill in years past but never got very far. This was the first time I had ever really thought I should run outside.   I went out the next day to see how far I could make it.  After 1/4th of a mile I almost passed out.  A few days later I ran 1/2 mile.  I think it took me about 7 minutes.  I sent this email to my friend.

Hi Juli,

Will you direct me on where to go to look for a schedule of how to train to start running. I love running outside, it’s so much nicer than the boring treadmill. I want to start doing it as much as possible before the weather gets crazy hot. I went a whole half mile today without stopping, which I’m sure makes you smile and want to pat me on the head and say “Way to go little tyke!”  It’s a start. My current plan is to run until I feel like I’m going to die and then walk. It would be nice to have something a little more organized to follow. What did you do when you started? Thanks for any help!

She was so supportive and encouraging.  I kept going and adding a little distance each time. I still wanted to die at the end of each run but I did it anyway.  A old man on a rascal scooter passed me on the street and I seriously considered scooter-jacking him and racing away on it.

To celebrate national running day in June of 2011 I took advantage of a sale and signed up for my first half marathon in January of 2012. I had worked my way up to 5 miles by then.  I was a little in shock that I had just payed $70 for the privilege of running 13.1 miles.  I am cheap so I knew if I payed for it, I was going to train for it.

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Dessert and I need to take a break

I have 35 days until I officially start training for my first full marathon.  Since I started running I have lost around 130 pounds.   Unfortunately I’m only down a total of 30 pounds. The other 100 is the same 5 pounds I have gained and lost about 20 times.  I am currently 13 pounds away from my goal weight and I am determined to be as close to it as possible by the time I start my full training.

I hope that by starting this blog I can hold myself accountable and finally get down below 145 to my goal weight of 135.  I keep hovering between 145-150.  It’s so easy to say I just ran 10 miles, I can have this donut, see’s chocolate, candy, cookie, etc…

I’m putting the brakes on my love affair with dessert and putting the moves on dessert’s, younger sibling that has a good personality also known as fruit.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

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