Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s That Time Again….

I don’t heart winter. I make that pretty clear. Or, should I say I like it if it stays 30* and above, I do like the snow and no wind please. Also, start up the week of Thanksgiving until mid January and then hover around 60* until April when the temperatures can go up. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. It certainly was this year though and the winds have been worse than I remember in my nearly 8 years of living in Reno.  4 seasons with Winter, Spring and Fall being two months, Summer 6 months.  Thank you very much….  Where is Utopia??  Exactly.

HOWEVER!!! We have had a couple of warmer days, we’ve gotten through the clock turning and now the buzz of Spring and Summer races are in the air. The weather might not be cooperating yet but we have light at the end of the tunnel!!

Time to cash in on all the winter training...

I’m signed up for the following:

APRIL:  Relay for Life 24 hour run on the 20th; Escape From Prison Hill half relay the 27th

MAY:  Rock N River Half 6th; Peavine 50/50 trail half 19th

JUNE:  Odyssey 2 day, 178 mile relay 2nd; Reno 5000 with the family 5K 23rd

It’s exciting to have races on the calendar, pay for them and watch the weather get warmer as we also gain more light.  My family loves summer – wakeboarding on the boat, camping, hiking, biking and pretty much staying outdoors for a few months straight.  I look forward to the change in wardrobe, barbeques and flip flops…..

King Tut

Yesterday I went on a field-trip with my two 6th graders to the King Tut exhibit. It was a blast because 1.) I was there and 2.) My kids were there. The exhibit was small but the staff was excited, had a lot to say and we learned a ton.  The best part of it all is that my kids know how special and important they are to me.  And they are.

SO, I got great input on the last post about asking for a reduced family rate for races.  Thank you, thank you!!  I did email another race – one that my kids entered last year – and they offered to do a flat rate for us!!  I’m absolutely thrilled.  The race director was fantastic (has 6 kids of his own), very understanding and willing to make it worth it for our family as well as worth it for his race.  The kids will be thrilled!!  Since this race is a series throughout the year, we’ll have additional opportunities to enter the family.  I’m so happy.  It’s hard to push my family to be healthy and active, to run and then not to have the money to enter us all in a race.  Events are the icing.  The goal.  So this is fantastic.

Here’s Ashlea, Gabrielle and myself at King Tut yesterday:

I Nearly Pooped Myself – Again…

I put the laundry in last night. It included my gym bag that I bring to my shop.  I bring a change of clothes for my Tuesday run to work and swap the sweaty stuff for the clean. As I was doing the change from washer into the dryer/hang up I saw my headphone cord. And I nearly pooped myself…..  OK, maybe I did just a little…

That can mean only one thing. OK, a couple things. One, my iPod and Garmin are also in the washing machine. Two, I’m a space-shot and angry at myself because after nearly 4 years of owning said Garmin, I’ve never had a mishap.  I’m running numbers through my head to calculate how much I’ll need to save and then spend to replace my beloved running companions.  I’m also wondering how I’ll make it without them in the time it takes to replace them.  My heart just sank.  I dug them out of the washer and set them on top.  I just stared in horror.

I know.  It’s not the Apocalypse.  There are far, far worse things happening in the world – heck even right here in Reno.  But in the World According to Jenn, it still sucked.  After I completed my dryer transfer I turned on the Garmin.  It made that familiar beeping sound.  I held my breath.  I turned on the iPod and plugged in the headphones.  I put them in my ears and pushed play.  I heard the delightful sound of hip hop!!!  That “grab a pole and start stuffing one dollar bills” sound beat in my ears!!!  Oh, sweet clubbing, my iPod seemed OK!!!  Then I gathered my courage and glanced at my Garmin.  I love the stickers on it that one of my daughters and my nephew put on so I could tell mine from Chris’.  I love the bulkiness – enough to stop a mugger with one strike and the band that never fits quite right; always a little snug or a little loose….  And (cue angels singing) it was on.  Ready to go on it’s next run.  Ready to pace me and be my guide – my honest voice of time and distance traveled.  As I stood in my sweats ready to make the first round of dumping bringing kids to school, it was there, gleaming it’s windows of truth.  Waiting for me to gear up and go. I will answer your call, my BRF!!  Later…..

Thank you, Garmin and iPod for weathering the washing machine.  Please hang in there.  I am hard on you as I am on myself for these runs.  I’ll continue to beat at you due to my love of the run, my determination to be stronger, better, faster but will try to remember you in my gym bag in the future…  I heart you….  Now I need to change my underwear…

Runners - when nearly pooping themselves - get this excited to see a port a potty. Even more excited when there's toilet paper!!!

Running Is Cheap Or Is It Me??

SO… One thing I heart about running is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Having said that, it certainly can be. Most of my running career has been pretty minimalist. I believe in putting money into good running shoes but everything else – not so much.  Having said that, I find shoes that I like and then look for them online for less or at discount stores like Big 5, or wait for a sale.  So I try to spend less.  As far as the rest of running stuff, it’s not as big of a deal.  Having said that, it’s easy to rack up some pretty hefty numbers on the cash register and it would be so fun to go hog wild….  I suppose like anything else it’s about balance and importance.  Some things I get for dirt cheap, some things I spend more on but I do always try to save.

Races are why I run.  OK, there are lots of reasons why I run but races are the fun part.  The icing on the cake, the ring in the Cracker Jack’s, the shiny object.  It’s the pinnacle of all that freaking training in 8* weather and 30 mph winds.  The bonus round for 100* temp runs, early mornings and night runs.  I adore going to events!!  Some of them cost too much for me to justify, some cost just fine but after adding travel, hotel, meals, etc…  cost too much, some are potential goal races like Great Wall of China or winter fantasies like Maui.  This leads me to a question….

It’s no one’s responsibility that I’ve chosen to have a large family.  I love it so I don’t really care what other people think about that part.  We pay for everything, support our family without assistance, work hard and all that jazz.  BUT having a large family means (without a hefty trust fund) we have to choose what we do.  Almost all of my kids run.  Two of them do the mile fun run, but the other 8 that live at home or in town run the 5K or 10K.  So it’s definitely become a family affair.  I think it would be great for the kids to do two events a year.  One they do is in October so I try to find another in Spring.  The problem is how expensive it gets.  I’ve looked at three different races for Spring and they range from $360-$400 for all of us to enter.  Compared to some races this might not seem like a lot.  For me, it’s a lot.

Is it wrong for me to contact the race director and ask if we can enter as a group and get a flat rate??  On one hand I would think the race would prefer for example $275 for us to enter as a group instead of nothing if we don’t race at all.  On the other hand I understand that it costs money to put on a race and it can’t cost them money for us to be there.  Is there a balance??  What if we didn’t get the T-shirts??  I did contact one of them and asked if that was possible.  He was very rude in his email reply so I in turn felt  bad for asking.  Then I got irritated because it’s $45 for the 10K no matter the age $35 for the 5K no matter the age.  We’ve done other races that are $10-$15 for the kids prices but we’re limited to what’s available for us locally.  I just don’t know how to feel or whether or not to ask.  For the most part I’ve had nothing but great experiences with events and especially the people who put in the time and effort to make them happen.  I just love how excited my kids get, what a fantastic opportunity it is for them, how much they learn, how happy it makes them.  I love this look:

Kids before the Reno 5000 Halloween Race October 2011

Tuesday Twelve 3-27-2012

Ran 8 miles Averaged 8:37 minute miles

So 8 isn’t 12 for those of you paying close attention. I did my usual routine – got home last night and got all my stuff out and ready. This morning at 6 I rolled out of bed, called the airport automated weather and got on weather.com. I vaguely recall thinking that I couldn’t run so I went back to bed. I’m a morning person and usually up and ready to go but this morning I remember it more like a dream.

When I woke up for real at 7:45 I had no idea why I couldn’t run.  It was 32* at 6 am with 6 mph winds.  Not a really big deal.  Hmmm… Guess sometimes you just need to sleep.  I had already made an everything bagel with cream cheese – not something I often eat and never before a run.  As I sat staring at the weather online I realized that there is a wind advisory but it didn’t start until 11 am.  Maybe that was my brain fart this morning??  As I continued to wake up I also realized that if I just threw on my clothes and left I could do the 8 miles straight to work and just cut out the 4 mile hill section.  So I did.  Since I ate the bagel with cream cheese, I threw down a ginger chew (just a precautionary measure for the tummy), got dressed and took off.  After a brief conversation with my co-worker to let her know I’d be in a half hour later and please don’t send a search party out combing the ditches, I was on my way.  It felt great!!!  Yes, it was 11-15 mph winds and in the mid 30’s but I felt so fantastic I was nearly giddy.

There are pros and cons to running the same routes over time.  I personally like to go somewhere new where I don’t know what’s up ahead and just sort of take it as it comes.  It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s exciting and I don’t know how long the hills are or when they’re coming.  Chris likes the same routes because then he can gauge what’s coming.  He knows what to expect and when and can gear up for it.  At any rate, I do the same few routes with alarming regularity.  The biggest pro in my mind is that I know how much I’ve improved.  The first 3.25 miles of my 8 miles is mostly uphill, the remainder flat and downhill.  Those initial hills used to intimidate me.  It takes a couple miles for me to warm up anyway and tossing in some uphill makes the warm up a little more difficult.  I used to stop and walk 1,2 even 3 times in that three miles.  Now those hills seem like just a bump in the road and I run them at a 9 minute mile pace.  That is a good feeling.  A really, really good feeling.

Here’s to getting up, getting out, getting better and getting it done!!!

Monday Motivation

OK, I’m attempting to NOT let the weather get to me this week. It’s getting toward the end of cold weather and (hopefully) the end of windy weather. I am blessed with so much in life, something as banal as weather shouldn’t irritate me. Here’s to a fantastic week of running and making a positive difference in the people’s lives we are blessed to touch!

BOO-YA!!

HURRY UP!!!

About a year ago, Chris told me he had a goal to run our 3.1 mile loop in less than 9 minutes a mile. I thought that was a great goal, but not one that I shared. I put in more miles than he does and I’m more geared for distance than speed. I’d rather stay trained for a half marathon year round, or even a full marathon year round ideally and be able to finish strong than to be fast. I’ve never been fast. Every half I’ve entered I’ve been middle of the pack. Nearly dead center. Not fast, not slow, just consistently plodding along.

Post 5K yesterday

My half marathons have been 2hr 2min to 2 hr 11min. I haven’t entered one in two years and I’ve never broken the 2 hour mark. Seems odd to me that I haven’t signed up for an event in so long since my passion for running is in the events, not the training. But I went back to school two years ago at 50 hours a week for nearly a year, we have a big family and I suppose life just got in the way.

I used to train with a group. We ran 5 days a week. I was the fastest in the group but I was happy to have company while logging the miles. Now I run alone for the most part.  I run usually 4 days a week and I do the same runs on the same days.  I’m running fewer days, but I pace myself so I just kind of do my thing.  Interestingly, I’m getting faster.  Why after so many years of running am I getting faster now??

I’m consistent but I’ve always been so I don’t think it’s that.  I’m logging roughly the same amount of miles per week so it’s not that.  The only change I’ve made is running alone.  I’ve shaved 1.5 minutes off each mile in less than a year without trying.  If you asked me how to shave time I’d shrug.  I don’t know.  I do know it’s happened and it’s taken me a while to admit it.  I was convinced it was a fluke.  I also know I’m not complaining, just perplexed.

Yesterday we did that same 3.1 5K run.  I ran it in 8 minute miles flat, Chris in 9 minutes flat.  I was actually bummed I didn’t break the 8 minute mile mark.  Then I realized what I just said.  Break.  The.  8.  Minute.  Mile.  Mark.  WHAT??!!  Under a year ago I blew off Chris’ goal to break 9 minute miles.  But who knows??  Maybe today will be the day I can break the 8.

Panty Ninja

One great thing about a blog is that it gives you just enough anonymity to offer up just too much information… I enjoy this about the other blogs I read. Give me TMI!!! Means I’m not alone with my weirdness!!

I’m a clothing optional girl. Not in the nudist colony sort of way exactly. I’d happily live my life on a beach in a bikini, flip flops and the occasional pair of shorts. Maybe a wispy, long sleeve, over-sized shirt when the sun goes down. I don’t like cold weather because, well, I’m cold but also because I have to wear so many clothes and I find that restricting.  When I’m running I like it even less.  I’m glad we have lightweight, breathable, wicking materials that also keep us warm but a sports bra and running skirt would be my year round choice.

When I’m at home whether it’s after work or a day off I prefer to wear a tank top and panties.  Having a herd of children – two of which are 13 year old boys – makes this difficult.  So when the opportunity presents itself, I strip.  Backtrack to a couple nights ago when I was in true panty form….  Doing everything normal, dressed people do – wash dishes, vacuum, dust, water the plants, put away laundry.  I feel as though it’s a step up since I’m not breastfeeding anymore at least the ladies are put away.  Barely, but they’re away….

Chris looked at me and said “You’re like a panty ninja!”  “Like??” I replied.  “I’m the real deal.  But since we’re a secret society, now I’ll have to kill you!”  Don’t stress, I let him live.  Barely.  Actually I’m still on the fence….

Which brings me to my point (holy cow!  I didn’t even see that coming!!).  Running gives me a strong, healthy body that, at 41 years old after 7 pregnancies and a multitude of baby surgeries, allows me to feel complete confidence.  I don’t bat an eye walking around in my bikini OR my panty ninja get up.  I’m still goofy (OK, if you asked Chris he’d tell you I”m a total dork!) love to have fun, chase my husband around mercilessly (favorite part of every day!).  I’m (for the most part) not intimidated at the prospect of growing older.  Thank you, running, for allowing my inner badass to shine through!!

Now, about finding myself a ninja cape…..

Running bra and skirt at the beach. FAVORITE. EVER!!

Hump Day Hills and Thankful Thursday

It’s a Two-fer. Couldn’t run yesterday for the 4 mile hill run, couldn’t run with the kids to get their 3 mile run in and didn’t run with Chris to do a 3-4 mile short, fast run.  Nope.  Nada.  The winds here have continued to be brutal. From 15 but often up to 30+ mph. The good news is the temperature’s are going up, but still, with that much wind running gets put on hold. Although I don’t like missing my runs and I’m very much a creature of habit, I try not to go stir crazy or let it irritate me.

Brianna and me at a race

I remember finding out I was pregnant with Brianna, the first of my pregnancies.  I have no adequate words for how excited, shocked (infertility said it wouldn’t be) I was and yes, I even felt a little trepidation.  I feel verbally inferior attempting to describe the absolute consuming joy I felt when she was born.  I don’t know if there are temporal words to explain a nearly spiritual journey.  It’s amazing to me that she’ll be 20 in less than 3 weeks.  Or that with adoption and subsequent deliveries, 12 more children call me Mom.

Chris and the kids met me at the end of a half marathon in 2009.

I have felt that joy every time I adopted or gave birth.  My children are all the same to me whether they grew in my heart or under it.

I never feel selfish when I go for a run.  My kids have grown up with it, so it’s no big deal to them.  They wait for me, take pictures for me, help me with my blog from time to time.  They ask how my run was and look forward to their runs now that all of them have graduated out of the stroller and onto bikes (not even a training wheel in sight!) or running right beside me.  They speak fluent running dialect and understand healthy eating and exercise.  My favorite is seeing them at the end of a race, running me in or cheering me on.  NO ONE has a family quite as big and supportive as I do!!  And my most favorite in the whole world is being at the finish for them.

Packet pickup for the kids 5K and Fun Run Oct 2011

So if they’re so great and bring me so much joy, it wouldn’t be fair for me to be grouchy if my compulsively scheduled runs don’t happen as planned due to situations I can’t control.  Sure, I’m disappointed.  Yes, I wish I was out pounding the pavement.  Of course I get a little stir crazy.  But my running gear is waiting patiently for me and in the meantime I get that much more time hanging with the little ones that mean the most to me as well as the big guy that tolerates me so well.

Today I took off work to go on a field trip with Olivia, my nearly 16 year old daughter.  She had a choir festival at the University and we had a blast.  Plus I’m ecstatic that she still wants me around to hang out with her.

Olivia and me on the bus!!

Last night we watched part of Biggest Loser that we taped.  The show suggested as a healthy option for a snack to use the frozen Yoplait smoothies.  So today after school we headed to Wally World and grabbed the Chocolate Banana.  When home, we got homework out of the way, whipped up the smoothie and finished watching Biggest Loser together.

Then Gabrielle got started on dinner – it was her turn – and made Chicken Alfredo from scratch with a little assistance from her Mom.

Gabi getting a little help from Mom

I have a blessed life.  I am amazed daily at how fortunate I am.  I’m not perfect.  I do get grouchy sometimes.  But for the most part I know once the wind calms down, the road will be waiting for me and I’ll have my time.

My family at dinner tonight minus me behind the camera

Tuesday Twelve 3-20-2012

Post 12 mile run this morning. That IS a smile on my face!!!

32* today and 6mph winds. Thank goodness!!! I’ll be the first to admit I’d prefer warmer temperatures, but after 3 weeks of super high winds – up to 70 mph – and down into the teens (super duper combo, don’t ya’ think??) it was a nice change in the right direction.

I did the 2 mile monster hill 6.5 miles into the run without stopping which was a surprise after 3 weeks of not doing this run. My kids all know this hill – they’ve driven it with me. During their races, they’ve told me if they think about me running up that hill and if I can do it that they can push through their run. So I thought about motivation a lot on this run. And I sent a mass text to my husband and kids at the top telling them I did it without stopping.

What motivates me to push:
1. My husband bragging to people about me.  SO awesome!!
2. My kids. Everything about them. Man they’re amazing.
3. Women bloggers that I’ve gotten to know. Thanks to their motivation, I do more and better.
4. Friends. I have few but I love them. My MMA friend Kelly who kicks ass, my friend Kellie who supports my insanity and doesn’t mind if I talk about shedding 3 pounds. My sister Kim and her husband Tony. I suppose they’re family so should be up with #1 and #2, but somehow I put them here. Go figure.
5. Powerful, confident, self-assured women who make a difference like my new friend Kelly who owns BodyRock Sports.
6. Wanting to stay in shape, age gracefully, look my best and eat good food.

Other things motivate me as well.  Biggest Loser.  Overweight, negative people.  That annoys me no end and pushes me to be stronger, faster, more lean and consistently positive!  I love seeing people make a difference in their lives.  Very inspirational.

Today I averaged 9:19 minute miles.  Not fast, not super slow.  Nice even pace which was the master plan.

Holy cow. What a little trooper! If this doesn't motivate you, go back to bed.... How can I complain about anything?