Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top 5 runs

I know that I have not been running for very long but I have had some great runs so far.  Here is a list of my top 5 runs over the last year:

1: Running along the beach.
2: Running the 5 mile trail run.
3: Running with my sister-in-law Katherine.
4: Running my first 5K.
5: My longest run of 7 miles 2 weeks ago. 

Running Break?

Once again I have encountered a hurdle in my running.  A couple of weeks ago I went to the Chiropractor because I was having some neck pain that wouldn't stop.  The Chiropractor started her assessment and immediately told me my left hip was higher than my right and that I had a severe curve in my spine.  She took some x-rays and told me I had scoliosis.  The next day she went over the x-rays and we saw 3 curves in my spine.  I told her how I am a runner and I am training for a half marathon and she advised me to stop running for good.  She said that it wasn't bad for the curves in my spine but that it was rubbing an exposed disk in my back raw.  She says that if I continue running, as I get older I am going to have a lot of pain.  I was shocked and I still feel like I am trying to process this new information.  Since I have started running over a year ago, I seem to keep hitting hurdles.  It seems as if I am not meant to run.  But I am not giving up that easily.  I have halted my half marathon training and have been doing slow and easy runs.  I have set up an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion.  If he advises me to stop running, I may accept defeat.  But I will not go down without a fight!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

6 mile run

I had my long run this morning and had to run 6 miles.  That is the farthest/longest I have ever run.  I got up bright and early at 6:30 am and made the run in an hour and 4 minutes.  Along the way I saw some deer grazing in the grass and it made my morning!  The last mile was incredibly hard and it took all of my willpower not to stop and walk, but it is so worth it.  I am running longer and improving my time.  Here's to hoping I have enough energy to get me through the rest of the day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit."
George Sheehan

1/2 Marathon Training

Since I started running, I have had a huge desire to run a half marathon.  A marathon has always seemed completely overwhelming to me being a mom of 3 and back in school.  I feel I just do not have the time to be able to commit to the training, but a half marathon would be doable.  I still have never found enough motivation to sign up for one until I heard my sister wanted to do one.  So now I am training for a half marathon in San Antonio in October.  I am in my third week of training and it has been great so far.  I have an easy run on Tuesdays, a tempo or hill run on Thursdays, and a long run on Saturdays.  This morning I did a 4 mile tempo run and it was rough!  The most I have ever run in one day is 5 miles, so doing 4 miles at a tempo pace was not easy.  I thought I wasn't going to last the last 10 minutes of the run, but somehow I made my legs keep moving.  I feel stronger than I have ever felt as a runner and I am really looking forward to running with my sister! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back in the Game

I am finally starting to find my groove in running again!  I basically had to start all over again with running after my injury but I finally ran 4 miles last Saturday and then Tuesday and Thursday of this week I ran about 3 3/4 of a mile.  My pace is much slower now as well.  Before my injury I was averaging about a 10 minute mile and even faster during races.  Now I am averaging an 11 minute mile and I feel like I am pushing myself to get that done.  I know that it is just going to take a little time before I get back to were I was and I am just praying I can go a while without any injuries.  I have incorporated a dynamic stretch program before I run and I make sure to do a lot of long and slow stretches when I get done.  Another difference in my running is that I have had to adapt to running in the evening.  Dave has had to go into work super early the last couple of weeks and I would need to run at 3 am if I wanted to run in the morning.  The winter was nice because it didn't really matter what time of day I ran because there was no beating sun to worry about.  I have tried running at 10 in the morning and it was already too hot.  I have also tried 5 pm and that was still too hot as well.  So now I try and go at around 7 or 8 pm and it has usually cooled down enough to not be completely miserable.  I don't mind sweating and the heat, but the sun beating down on you while you run is just a feeling I cannot overcome. 
I am not sure when I will run another 5k but I have been invited to participate in 2 different marathons towards the end of the year.  I am not sure if I am going to do them because I just don't know if I will have that much time to devote to running.  I would love to try, but we shall see!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

April Race

I did not run in a 5K for April.  I am kind of disappointed that I had to break my goal but I was just not ready to run.  I guess now I will have to run 2 races in 1 month!

Slow start

Since my injury, I have had a hard time getting back into running.  I was supposed to take 4 weeks off from running but I had to do more than that due to pain.  Running the Warrior Dash was great but very risky.  Fortunately I didn't hurt myself any worse, but I still was not able to jump back into running.  I started going out for a mile and a half run once a week for 2 weeks.  Then I increased to 2 miles for 2 weeks.  A couple of weeks ago, I started forcing myself to run 2 or 3 times a week and 2 nights ago, I was able to go 3.1 miles.  It felt so good to be able to run that far.  Some of my runs are good and pain free.  Others are miserable and painful the whole time.  I can tell my leg is getting better but it still hurts.  I have devoted a lot of time to stretching before and after my runs.  I know that helps a ton.  Running makes me feel so good and I wish my injuries would stop slowing me down!

No Sodas for a year!

As of the end of March, I completed my goal of not drinking sodas for a year!  About a month into the year, I stopped having cravings for soda.  The only times I was tempted to give in were when we would take trips to San Antonio and stop at Bucc-ee's.  They have Dr. Pepper slushies and I would crave them so bad!  Other than that, I had no problems.  When we would go out to eat, I would just order tea instead of soda.  Now that my year is up, I have not been interested in drinking soda.  Every time I get one, I can only drink a few sips of it.  Plus, I run better when I don't drink sodas!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Race

I did it!  I survived the Warrior Dash.  The week before the race, I had made up my mind not to do the run because I was still having pain.  Saturday afternoon I talked to some people who had finished the race that morning and they had a lot of fun and thought I should do it.  Dave ran Saturday evening and after hearing about his race, I decided I would go and just take it slow and have fun.  I ran with a friend from high school and having her next to me for the beginning of the race help to push me through the initial soreness in my leg.  I was going very slow and yet still passing people, so that was encouraging to me.  My goal was to finish in under an hour and my time was 47 minutes.  I lost count of the amount of obstacles on the course but the highlights included climbing a steep mud mountain and then sliding down the opposite side, jumping over fire, climbing through a pitch black tunnel, crawling through a mud pond which had barbed wire in it, swimming in a lake and having to jump over floating logs.  At the end I was completely muddy and exhausted but I am so glad I did the race!  If you want to see pictures, go here and enter in my bib #- 31464.  Dave's bib # is 31463.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The verdict is in!

I finally broke down and went to the doctor.  I tried running again yesterday morning and didn't make it down the street before I had shooting pain again.  I decided to go to an orthopedic surgeon and I am so glad I did.  I was in and out of the office in half an hour with my diagnosis and I am already feeling better.  The doctor took an x-ray, asked some questions, moved some muscles around and concluded that I have a strained abductor muscle.  I am supposed to hold off on running for 2 more weeks, which is not so great, and take anti-inflammatory medicine for the rest of the week.  For some crazy reason I thought Tylenol was anti-inflammatory and so when I first hurt myself, that is what I took.  I took some Advil yesterday and actually noticed considerable pain relief by the end of the day.  If I have not had a noticeable change in pain and ability to run without pain, I will go back to the doctor to get an MRI that will look for a possible stress fracture.  The doctor didn't think I had one, but he couldn't rule it out without an MRI and because of my build, I am more prone to stress fractures.  I am still planning on running the Warrior Dash in March as long as I am feeling better in the next 2 weeks.  I am going stir crazy not being able to run though, especially because of the beautiful weather we are having and the fact that it has been getting much lighter earlier in the morning.  I am definitely going to be adding in a lengthy warm up to my running routine.  I may even consider some yoga to help with it, but I find yoga hard to do because I don't have the patients for it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another week off

I am having to take another week off from running.  My muscle is still giving me problems.  I thought it was better and so Tuesday I went out for a run but as soon as I started, I had to stop due to shooting pain.  I did some research online to see what was going on (anything to avoid the doctor!) and I found some helpful stretches and exercises that will hopefully take care of the muscle.  Most of the research I did said it would take about 2-3 weeks to heal.  If I am not feeling better by then I will go have it checked out by a doctor.   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mixed Emotion

On Saturday I strained a muscle in my leg so I am taking the week off from running to let it heal.  I am so disappointed I can't run this week because the weather is absolutely perfect for running!
I have been planning next months race for a couple of weeks now.  There is a race in March that is a muddy obstacle course that I have been looking at since January, but it wasn't something I wanted to do by myself.  One day on facebook I noticed some highschool friends talking about doing the race and I commented to them that I would be very interested in doing it with them.  Today I was able to register for the race and I am so excited about it!  I will probably be switching up my training a bit for the next month to be able to complete the race.  Can't wait!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February race!

Saturday's trail run was awesome!  The weather was perfect, maybe a little chilly for the girls and Dave, but perfect for running.  Running on a trail was a lot more fun than I had expected.  You had to focus on each step you were taking and it made the time go by fast.  My time was 49 min 40 sec and I placed 5th in my age group (26-30) out of 14 females.  I came in 73rd place overall-out of 132 people.  I hope to be able to do the run again next year!  Here are two stories from the run that I want to remember:
About half way through the run, two men had slowly began to overtake me in speed.  I had also been working on staying at the same pace as another female runner who looked to be about my age.  She was quicker than I was but I wanted to keep her in my sights.  At about 3 3/4 miles we came to a very steep hill.  As soon as I reached the hill, I sprinted as fast as I could.  For some reason, the hill recharged me instead of tiring me out.  I picked up my pace and completely lost the two men and the female.  I didn't see them for the rest of the race and I even managed to pass a few more people before I crossed the finish line, one girl in my age group!
Second, as the female runners crossed the finish line they are handed a carnation, to celebrate Valentine's day.  I was handed my carnation and proceeded to try and walk until I could catch my breath.  As soon as my breathing returned to normal, I turned around to look for Dave and the girls.  I saw them and Emily and Ally started running towards me.  I was so excited to see them and I thought they were coming to give me a big hug!  I kneeled down to give them a hug and both of them went straight for my carnation!  Neither of them wanted to hug me and they quickly began arguing over who got to hold the flower first.  What a proud moment!
Overall it was a fantastic day!  We were served breakfast tacos, coffee, fruit, chocolate milk (which Emily and Ally were very excited about), and girl scout cookies!  This was by far my favorite race and I liked the 5 mile distance.  Maybe next month I will try for a 10k!  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trail run!

Tuesday I ran 5.5 miles in 52 min in preparation for a 5 mile trail run I will be participating in on Saturday!  I am taking the day off today in order to be rested and ready to go Saturday.  I had thought about trying to get in a short run, but a cold front came in yesterday and it is chilly and windy today.  I am so excited about doing a trail run!  I was afraid I might get board trying to do a years worth of 5k's, but there are so many different varieties of races offered.  I jumped at the chance to get off the road and hit the trail!  I am a little nervous because I have ran 5 miles once about a month ago before my Tuesday run.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday run

So Texas had its first freeze this past week and I chose not to run during that.  Today was absolutely beautiful outside and I could not wait to go for a run!  I set a goal to run for an hour, but I stopped at 46 min 45 sec due to lack of hydration.  I physically felt like I could have run for longer but I was dying for water!  After I got some water, I had Emily and Ally come sit on the curb and help me do sprints.  I did six 30 second sprints to make up for not meeting my hour long run goal. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Running in the wind

I did not get to run last Saturday because we were out of town and then this morning a major cold front blew through Houston bringing gale force winds and torrential rainfall.  This afternoon my body was aching to run!  It was 35 degrees and incredibly windy, but I had a great evening run!  I decided to just do 3.1 miles and I ran it in 28 minutes!  A new record!  There were points in my run that I thought I wasn't moving at all because the wind was blowing so strong, but when I stopped my watch at the end I was very excited to see my time!  I am not sure what the rest of my week holds for running because the weather is supposed to be bad and we are headed out of town again, but I am hoping to be able to get a couple of more runs in.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Summer lovin!

I am highly anticipating the return of warm weather running!  I know, I know!  This is Texas and it doesn't get that cold here, but there is just something highly unmotivating about running in the winter.  When I first started running last summer, I never had a problem getting out of bed and going for a run.  This winter, I have become and expert at finding reasons why I shouldn't do my run for the day.  I will take running in Texas heat over winter running any day of the week!  Running in the cold is just not enjoyable for me.  My nose runs constantly, my fingers and lips go numb, I have to wear layers of clothes to start out with and then end up sweating the rest of the run.  Plus there is the chilling winds, the watering eyes, and the pitch black of the early morning.  This summer, I will probably be begging for a chill, some wind, anything to help me survive the humidity, but for now, I miss the summer and the heat!
By the way, I did convince myself to run this morning and I did 4 miles in 40 min 57 sec.   

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January Race

Today I ran my 5k for January.  I chose the 5k Pink Out that was hosted by a high school track team and was raising money for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  There were only 38 people running and most of them were highschoolers. I came in 23rd place and I ran at my best time of 29 min 9 sec (although Dave got 29 min 10 sec and I got 28 min 54 sec).  It was a very chilly morning -28 degrees to be exact- but Dave and the girls still came and supported me.  It was a great morning and I can't wait to do more!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday run

Tuesday my mom was in town so I got to run in the afternoon during the kids nap-time.  I actually had a really great run time-wise.  I ran 4 miles in 39 minutes which is a new record!  The bad part about the run is that my ankle has been hurting me a lot.  I sprained the inside ankle over the summer and I took time off to let it heal.  After I started running again, it was fine for a while and then it started getting sore after runs.  Now it hurts worse and worse as I increase my time and pace.  I am not sure what I am going to do about it.  I am in a really great place with my running and I don't want to have to stop.  I also don't want to do permanent damage to my ankle. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great run!

Today I got to run at Hermann Park in downtown Houston!  I loved the change of scenery and running around other runners.  I ran for 51 min 38 sec.  My goal for the day was 5 miles.  I am not sure exactly what my mileage was but my pace is usually about a 10 1/2 minutes/mile.  It was a great day for running!  Dave even got up early this morning and went for a run!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cold Run!

I HATE running in the cold!  It was 30 degrees this morning during my run and it was windy!  My nose was running non-stop.  I have learned to carry a tissue or two with me when it is cold.  I would take running in the summer over running in cold weather any day of the week!  My time was slower this morning than on my Tuesday run.  I ran 4 miles in 41 min 36 sec.  I am not sure why I ran slower, possibly the wind or the fact that I kept having to wipe my nose, but I felt like I was running better than my Tuesday run.  Tuesdays run was 4 miles in 40 min 10 sec.  I have one more run this week, on Saturday.  I am going to try for 5 miles.  I am hoping to go to a park to run and get a change of scenery.  Since I have increased my mileage, there are only so many places to run in my neighborhood.  It gets boring fast!  I have recently switched up the days that I run.  I used to run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but now I am running on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  I like the new schedule much better because on Saturdays I can run at any time of the day, not in the dark.  I can also go somewhere new to run.  I am also trying to do more weight training along with my running, but I know once school starts, my free time is going to have to go to school work.
No matter how cold it was this morning, no matter how early or dark it was, I am so glad I got up and ran.  I feel more energized on my running days and I can go through my day knowing that I accomplished something big this morning! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Running Accomplishments

11-25-2010 Turkey Trot
My finish time was 32 min 1 sec.
I finished number 156 out of 574 people for my gender, 20th for my age group, and 380 out of 1019 people for the overall race.
Photos of the race can be seen here.

Runing Goals

Here are my goals and intentions for running.  They are set to keep me motivated and give me something to look forward to as I run alone in the dark.  I hope my list of goals will grow as I grow and advance as a runner.

Day-to-day- Run 3 times a week at least 40 minutes per run.
2011- Run a 5k once a month.
In the next 5 years- Run in the Disney's Princess Half Marathon.
In the next 20 years- Run the Great Wall Marathon.

My intro into the running world

A year ago I gave birth to my third daughter.  I had gained 50 lbs which is about the average I gained with each of my pregnancies.  After the birth of my first daughter I lost all of the baby weight except for 10 lbs within a year of giving birth.  After my second daughter was born, the weight came off a bit slower, but I was able to lose all of the weight except for that same 10 lbs from the first pregnancy.  I was never satisfied with how my body looked after the birth of my second daughter.  When going to the pool or beach, I always wore shorts and a one-piece swimsuit.  I had that stomach pudge that would just not go away.  The reason it didn't go away was because I made absolutely no effort in trying to make it go away.  I did not exercise and I ate terribly.  When I got pregnant with my third daughter, I continued my bad eating habits.  It wasn't until after she was born that I woke up to what I was putting in my body.  I was eating fast food 3-4 times a week.  I was doubling my portion sizes at dinner when I did cook at home.  I was always finding excuses to get dessert after dinner.  It really hit me on what kind of example I was setting for my family.  I am in charge of buying and cooking food for us.  I really became convicted about what I was doing for my family and my own health.  I was teaching my kids to eat huge portion sizes, that fast food is good, and that fruits and vegetables are not necessary in their diet.  I did a little bit of research online and found out about the Eat-Clean Diet.  I really liked what they had to say and I bought a cookbook and started reading more about it.  I also subscribed to Clean Eating Magazine and Oxygen Magazine for extra motivation.  In April of 2009, I committed to not drinking sodas.  At first it was a short-term goal until our first beach trip that summer, but when the deadline came, I didn't have any interest in drinking a soda, so it became a long-term goal.  Dave and I also started working out a couple of times a week to a Jillian Michael's DVD.  It was hard and very intense for both of us, but once again, it was a short-term goal for us to do it until we went to the beach.  I lost a little bit of weight, but not as much as I had hoped to.  When we got home from the beach, I knew something else had to change, I just didn't know what.  I sat down one afternoon and started doing some research on the computer.  I read something about running a 5k and instantly I knew I needed to start running.  This was not easy for me at all.  I hate running and I hadn't done it since I was on the basketball team in high school.  I talked to Dave about it and he said he would love to do it with me!  So we started running.  We started out just trying to run for 10 minutes.  What a feat that was!  I thought I was going to die while running and I was really sore the following day.  But I kept at it.  Eventually I worked up to a mile, then 2, and finally 3.  I had many hurdles to cross including bad knees, high arches, 2 sets of wrong running shoes, a sprained inner ankle, and getting sick.  My goal was to run a 5k.  I finally was able to run in my first 5k on Thanksgiving day 2009.  It was an awesome run!  I had worked so hard to get to that point.  I get up at 5:45 am, by myself, and run in the pitch black.  I do not enjoy getting up and it is hard to stay motivated, but running in the 5k made it all worth it.  The feeling of running with other people is such a rush!  I wish I had that everyday!  After the race, I vowed to do more 5k's to help me stay motivated.