Wednesday, November 17, 2010

my return to the bloggosphere

it might only be temporary.

i think my last post was in june! crazy. needless to say a lot has happened, and i have been a busy girl.

first of all, it was a HOT a$$ summer!!! i started my training for the marine corp marathon in july amid morning temps at 5 a.m. of 85 degrees, with a heat index of 95. we were baking and sweating buckets. training in that SUCKED, but we perservered.

second, i decided to go back to school to work on my master's degree. i graduated with my undergraduate degree 15 years ago, so it was quite a decision and an adjustment. i work at the university so i am lucky to be able to attend for free, two classes per semester. one semester is almost down, and we'll see about the next 4! oh yeah, master's in public relations, since that's kinda what i do.

third, and maybe the biggest, i was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma. probably in august, when my long runs were getting up into the 16-18 range, with a 20 looming, i really began struggling with breathing issues after about 12 miles. my chest would feel tight, i'd have trouble taking in more than a little bit of air, i'd get lightheaded, sometimes nautious, and after a few miles of running til i got this way and walking til it eased, i'd get super fatigued. my run would be shot at that point, and i'd end up having to walk the rest in. what running i did, up until that point, would be in 1/4 to 1/2 mile increments, and even those were a struggle. with the new burden of school on top of all the other stress, i thought at first it was anxiety attacks because i'd leave my run almost in tears, but it didn't add up. running was the one thing i felt ok about at that point. i don't know why it took me so long, but after a couple of months of dealing with this, i finally went to the doctor. we talked through it, and he said, i think you are dealing with exercise induced asthma, which is what i had concluded prior to going. i'm glad he agreed. we decided not to run tests since the result would most likely be the same, just at a much higher cost. so he prescribed an inhaler which i would use 15 minutes before my run, mainly my long ones. the results were instantanious, and i was relieved! the bad part was my training for MCM was coming to an end, and i only had 2 or 3 more long runs left. those all went well, but i knew i wasn't strong enough to do what i wanted in the marathon. i had sacrificed some of my hilly long run routes so i could actually have a better shot at finishing it on flat roads. i had a successful 22 and 20 miler, a good shorter run in between, and my taper was great, but anything prior was junk for the most part.

i went into the race knowing this, had a great experience, which maybe i'll blog about later, and came away motivated to run stronger for my next one. it's been a busy few months, and now the holidays are approaching. changes are on the horizon in my career and keeping fingers crossed for continued good luck. fortunately, my semester of classes is coming to an end, and i'll have a much needed break from reading, writing papers, and studying. looking forward to the holidays, resting, and running!

glad to be back.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Running for a Reason

You all know that years ago, I became a runner. Many of you know what a difference running has made in my life both physically and mentally. This fall, I will be running my 10th marathon in Washington DC, the Marine Corp Marathon.
I decided to run this marathon with a purpose and give back using the sport that has given so much to me. I am going to add Push America to the Marine Corps Marathon and create my Push America Challenge 2010!

Push America is continuing to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities across the nation. It’s called the Push America Challenge and it’s open to anyone who wants to challenge themselves in endurance events while raising funds and awareness for the programs of Push America.

For this 26.2 mile run I have committed to raise a minimum of $1,500 for Push America by October 1st. Currently, I have raised 10% of my goal, which is great, but I’m not there yet! I sent you this e-mail because I need YOU to help me reach the finish line. Just think – that’s only 13 people giving $100! Your entire donation is tax-deductible and guaranteed to go the distance by positively touching the lives of some very special people – of course any amount will be greatly appreciated, but don’t be scared to go for it along with me! Giving is easy. Just follow this link to check out my team member profile, get more details, and point, click and give today! It will take 5 minutes, and it couldn’t be easier to donate online. Just be sure to click on the link in the top right hand corner that says “Click Here to Sponsor Dawn”. I truly thank you for your friendship and support! I encourage you to help me out even more by forwarding this message to someone who you know will join the fundraising effort!

To see how lives have been touched by Push America follow this link

Finishing all 26.2 miles of this marathon will be a memory that I will never forget. Not only will it be an intense physical accomplishment, but the true value lies in the lives of people with disabilities that will be touched by your generosity.

Run with me in DC!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

summer has arrived

it's been almost two months since i last posted! wow! there hasn't been a lot to post, and things have been pretty busy. work has been good, running has been good, and life in general has been pretty good!
i do know one thing for sure, summer is HERE! i think i mentioned in a previous post about taking to the mornings to run. well since then, the heat has gotten much worse and the humidity even higher, if that is even possible. so yeah, i'm still running in the morning. i'm even waking up a couple mornings before 5 to run before i teach my 6 a.m. spin class. so guess what, my internal alarm clock is at 5 a.m. now! no sleeping in comfortably for me on the rare one day i get to. it's worth it.
life has been fun as well as busy. my window replacement project in my house is finished, for the most part. and i'm loving my new energy efficient windows. this gaping hole was how i saw my house when i left for work one morning. i was glad i was leaving!for our university's centennial commencement, i helped host our commencement speaker. my co-worker and i were able to sneak a quick photo before he headed back to nyc.

i get to travel sometimes with my job, and i get to do some cool things. like the college world series last year, and the mississippi picnic in central park this year. the mississippi society in nyc hosts a picnic every summer in central park, and different cities and universities from the state host tents and booths for the natives who now live in nyc. this was the 31st year of the picnic and it was as successful as ever, complete with friend catfish and sweet tea. here's a pic of the southern miss crew. smttt!i'm about 3 weeks away from beginning my marathon training for marine corp. i'm excited and ready to get going. i've completed my schedule, and now focusing on getting myself prepared mentally and physically for the upcoming 16 weeks. now that commencement, nyc, and the window project are behind me, i can look forward to the rest of my summer training and recovering by the pool.

it's good to be back!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

what have i been up to?

i know it's been a while since i've posted, but i've been a bit busy! work mostly, with running, baseball, and a construction project at my house!

first, the running has been so much better. why? i've been running in the morning!!! late spring in south mississippi means rising temps and humidity. lately, we've been topping out anywhere from 85-90 degrees with more to come! the highly humid 70 degree mornings are much more tolerable! i'm so lucky to have a sucker for a running friend. one that will get up at 4:30, drive 30 minutes into town to meet me at 5:30. i am having to drive 15 minutes, so she's not doing all the work to get there. while we hate waking up so early, we've really learned to love the mornings again. we're consistently running 2-3 mornings a week, on top of my other two mornings of teaching. the temps are so much cooler and there is nothing like the feel of the morning and running! plus, we get to see sites like this sunrise.
second, i've been really enjoying southern miss baseball. after a stunning year last year, ending at the college world series in omaha (yes i went!), this year has been a bit of a downer. i didn't expect a repeat, but i had hoped for more than we were doing. but bam, out of the blue, we're on an 11 game winning streak, with 3 conference sweeps in a ROW! it's been a lot of fun again, and i'm proud to be a golden eagle baseball fan! the team, with a lot of youngsters, has really found the fun in playing again, kinda like what you have to do with running sometimes. they have all started growing mustaches and have started some mid-game dances in the dugout. keeping it light! below is one of the keys to our success, a promising freshman hitting .410!
third, i've been following the oil spoil in the gulf. living only 70 miles north of gulfport, ms and the gulf of mexico, it's something that we are all focused on around here. only 5 short years after katrina made a direct hit on our beloved mississippi coast, leaving it in pieces and devestated, we find ourselves asking why this now? whether the spill effects mississippi or louisiana, we are all watching closely and worried for our neighbor. the gulf supplies at least 30% of our seafood industry, and many could lose jobs. not only that, but so much wildlife in the louisiana wetlands is in danger. defintely something to be concerned about! lastly, on top of several weekends in a row of work, i find myself going home to a dirty house! i live in an older house, probably 60-70 years old, and while it wasn't a fixer-upper (that was already done), i have had to do some normal things like a new roof and painting the outside. currently, the biggest and dirtiest project yet, i am having the windows replaced. the house still had the original wooden windows. while i LOVE those windows, they had to go. many of them has suffered too much water damage and were not getting the job done. so my dad, the 'can do anything' dad, is midway through the replacement process. he's 74 and handling most of the work on his own. and they are looking great! i go home each night and clean up the mess that has been made, but no biggie - i'm having major work done much cheaper! this has to be one of the messiest jobs ever, but the pain will be worth the gain! i'll post pictures when it's all done, soon i hope!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

dead legs, tired legs, heavy legs - same difference

i haven't posted in a while cause i haven't had much to post about! hip issue returned, but i'm handling it. but the worst is the dead, heavy, fatigued, tired legs - all the time. i don't know if it's related to the warmth in the air, or if it's all in my head. either way, i'm still running.

i'm trying to deal with it so instead of doing 3 days back to back to back of running and cross training combined, i'm doing 2 days running with some cross training thrown in and then just a day of cross training or even a complete day off. it's definitely frustrating because i am motivated and really want to run.

my hip isn't as bad, and it's getting better. i think i did some damage to it running some hills a couple of weeks ago. i had a session yesterday morning with my friend / also a nurse after 30 minutes on the bike in spin class (she was the only one who showed). she does tremendous good to my IT band and periformis. it already feels MUCH looser today, but sore from where she worked on it. soreness is ok, looseness is GREAT!

tomorrow, i will run a longer run of 8-10 miles so today, after feeling lots of fatigue while going up and down the stairs at work and a good bit physical activity at work, i opted for a complete rest day. i'm sitting on my porching typing this feeling the ache in my legs.

i am confident that this too shall pass.

on a lighter note, i enjoyed an afternoon with my kayak last sunday. i also took molly to let her enjoy the lake and some swimming. we had a blast, and i love the upper body workout kayaking gives while providing some rest for my legs. it's going to be a great summer!

Monday, April 12, 2010

a new hobby

say hello to my newest hobby. i'm a PROUD new owner of a pelican apex 100 sit on top kayak. i've been wanting a kayak for years, and now i have one!
my friend from work and i headed out sunday to make our purchases. it ended up being an all day trip as the store we went to in gulfport only had one! that was a problem cause we both decided on the same kayak. so, we headed to mobile. melissa's boyfriend was also with us and decided he wanted the same one as well. so, after thinking and stopping at a few other stores, we made it to mobile. a little while later, we were loading our brand new kayaks on the back of the truck. after an 8 hour day, our mission was complete. i also purchased some necessary accessories: life vest, water proof bag, some tie downs for my car, and a paddle! i must admit, i felt a little geeky getting excited about all that gear, but it looks so cool on top of my xterra! at 10 ft long and 40 lbs, i have a load on my hands, but i can handle it!

tomorrow, i'll be getting up bright and early to get my run in so that i can take the kayak out for its maiden voyage after work. i'm pretty excited! this summer, i hope to log lots of miles on my feet, my bike, and now my kayak. definitely looking forward to a new way to cross train while resting my legs!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

and the winner is....

I signed up today for the 2010 marine corp marathon. i will be running / virtual training with a former student, now friend. i will also be fundraising for push american, a philanthropy for american's with disabilities. i'm very excited!!!!! but nervous about this fundraising thing. :)

mcm 2010!!!!

running alone

after surviving last week, and recovering, i'm back to training. i squeaked out some runs at the end of last week to pull together 30 miles. i had some great runs too. and i did half of them alone.

after running with ginny on wednesday, i met a couple of girls for 10 friday morning. of course, the day i don't have my garmin is the day i wish i did. we ran a nice pace, but i don't know what it was. i'm terrible at knowing pace without my garmin. i had planned to run with another girl saturday morning, but the threat of thunderstorms held us off. it was nice to sleep in and be completely lazy for half the day. later that day, i got out and ran my old 8 mile route that goes from my front porch and back. this route is half hills and half flat (with some small inclines), and those hill are TOUGH! i love this course. i hit it as hard as i could, and right now, that's not too hard, but i was proud of the run and my effort. i told myself, i'm never going to get back in the kind of shape i want to be in if i don't get out the door and do the miles. and the kind of miles i need. sunday, i went out for 4 miles easy. that was tough because i had been with my family eating lots of good food, lots of candy, and napping. but i did it. my legs were tired, but the run was good for them.

the thing i've been telling msyelf lately is not having someone to run with is no excuse to not go. i used to run alone all the time before i met so many of my great running friends. after that, i got spoiled and dependent. i also know that i often run better when i'm alone. i'm more apt to push harder, and there are no excuses when you're alone, no one to blame. so, as i move forward with my goals, i will have to run alone more than i have been. i'm ok with that!

last night was a true test though. i knew during the day that my legs felt weak and dead. i could tell when i walked up and down the stairs at work. i had planned to run the 8 mile route again, and i started to dread it. but as soon as that dread and apprehension popped into my mind, i reminded myself, skipping or changing the plan to something easier will get you nowhere. so i went. maybe i should have amended my plan and cut the mileage back to 5 or 6 after all. my legs were dead when i started and more dead when i finished. often i start a run and think, this is going to suck, only to have it end up being fantastic (mind games). not yesterday. i managed to keep my average pace under 10 min., but only barely at 9:50. that did include several short walk breaks, after i drug myself up the hills. it's a fine line between pushing and hurting yourself. yesterday was a great mental battle and victory. physically, i probably should have altered my run, or saved it. i ran steady, and ran all the hills the best i could, but my gas tank was on fumes. i was giving all it had without getting much back. just one of those days. but, i did it. i hope i have enough to finish my plan for the week, which includes 6 today on flat ground for sure!

running alone has its pros and cons. the cons are you're alone, no one to motivate, no accountability partner, no one to make you laugh, etc. the pros are that you did it without any help, no one to hold you back (or for you to hold back), no excuses, you can run any plan you want, and you can say you did it! for me, running alone is great for the mind because unless you're a total social runner or have a partner who is completely in sync with you, on race day, it's just you out there, good day or bad. i want the ability to go if i can or hold back if i have to. also, at the end of hard, successful run that i did on my own, my sense of accomplishment is so great. i am pumped!

i expect to have plenty of runs with friends, but i also plan to run just as many alone. because that is what will get me to boston. me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

decisions, decisions

the deadline to choose my fall marathon is looming. i thought i had a good idea of what i'd do, but a new opportunity came my way last tuesday. several friends were in town last week for founders' day, one a runner who is from the dc area. he ran the marine corp 2 years ago as his first marathon, and he decided we should do it this year.

marine corp is one i definitely want to do, and have wanted to do for a long time. my friend kept talking to me about it over and over while he was in town. i first blew it off, but the more i think of it, the more i want to go. from a financial standpoint, it makes sense. my only expenses would be registration and airline. his family lives outside of dc in virginia, so it's doable.

my other option is the rocket city marathon in huntsville, which my friend ginny, Happy Feet 26.2, is thinking of doing. we've talked of doing a marathon trip together before, and this would be a great opportunity. this is also a smaller marathon that would allow me to not have to bob and weave through crowds as much.

there are pros and cons to each i'm sure. i'll figure it out, and make a decision. either way, it will be a fun fall marathon.

now i just have to get off the couch and go run today. :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

it's great to be a golden eagle

a day in history i will never forget. i'm tired and exhausted, and my feet may never be the same after working for 13 or 14 hours, but the centennial celebration day was a day to remember. thousands came to celebrate, and it was truly a success.
we celebrated our founding first by recognizing our students and their accomplishments. then we dedicated our centennial gateway and its donor. we announced the time capsule. we invited our VIP's to a special lunch. we recognized our faculty and staff for their accomplishments and dedication to our university. we were joined by our governor, lt governor (a southern miss grad), and other guests at a formal convocation with full regalia. then we partied...a picnic on our green space. we ended the day with the photo above.
a day i'll never forget. a piece of history.
p.s. i am in the photo above. first row of the first zero, on the left side, beside a guy in a brett favre vikings jersey (yes, brett is an alum along with jimmy buffett). i'm in a black dress, and the girl on my right is in a bright blue shirt. maybe i'll post a better picture later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

calm before the storm

i had hoped for a relaxing weekend, and for the most part, i got it. i finished up my marathon week of spinning thursday, and i was ready to get back to normal starting friday.

after work, i joined a couple of friends for some mexican, margaritas, and then alice in wonderland in 3d. what a fun night to unwind and escape. i haven't seen a 3d movie since jaws in 3d i think! i'm a johnny depp fan so i really enjoyed this movie - total fun!
saturday morning, back to running! vicki joined me at my house for a run in my neighborhood, but before she met me, i did an easy 3. i got in a total of 9 miles. it was a little tough since i hadn't run in over a week, but i did it. it was a gorgeous morning, and it was good to be out of the pedals and on my feet! after the run, i got dressed in a hurry and went to hubfest, which is a yearly festival in our historic downtown. it's complete with stages for bands, vendors selling all kinds of things (artwork, jewelry, crafts), tons of bad for you food that's oh so good, etc. it was a beautiful day which i assume contributed to the larger than ever crowd.
my primary reason for going to hubfest was to help out a little bit at the southern miss stage and tent. i work for the university of southern mississippi alumni association, and our university is celebrating the 100th year on tuesday. this whole year has a full schedule of events, but tuesday is the anniversary of the school's legislative founding so therefore a huge day for us. we played a special role at hubfest, complete with a mini-eagle walk featuring part of our marching band, dancers, mascot (seymour), football players, and other athletes. (eagle walk is the walk our football team makes each home game through campus to the locker room, it's kind of a big deal). it was fun seeing all the black and gold.
it was a busy, but fun weekend. after hubfest, i did lots of yard work and house work, which left me exhausted and feeling a little under the weather. i woke up sunday feeling the same way, but was determined to get out and about. after church and some time in the sun, i gave up, came inside and slept. i have a really busy week so i don't want to take any chances! still don't feel well, but all is ok.
i will miss a few more days running due to teaching tomorrow and work tuesday, but after that i hope to get back to a normal schedule.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

spinning marathon week

this is a marathon if a different kind. the spinning kind. this week, i'm putting running aside to conquer a new challenge. 7 spin classes. doesn't sound like much? well, trust me it is!

i teach 3 spin classes a week which fits in nicely with my running schedule and offers me a great opportunity for high intensity cross training. i love my classes, and that i can express my personality through the music i play and the style of class i teach. often, i sub for the other instructor (a class here and there) who has 5 classes a week. this week, he's on vacation! at the gym, i consider myself a bit of a spin class beast. so he asked about subs for this week, and as a self proclaimed 'beast', i was like give em all to me!!! i ended up taking all but 1 of his classes as another sub wanted to teach one.

so today, after teaching my 5th class, i am finding myself a tired legged beast! i have had 4 really solid, tough classes, and one fairly easy class. this morning, i wondered if i'd make it, but much like running, as class moved along the legs loosened up and got better. i'm happy i'm on the downhill slide of this subbing thing! tomorrow i have two more, back to back, after work. i will be one happy spinner once that last one ends at 7:10 p.m.!

i'm looking forward to being back on my routine next week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


you always hear that a big part of the running battle, mainly in distance running, is mental. for me, nothing is more true. i get really, almost freakishly, nervous before a marathon, or any race for that matter. in school, i had test anxiety, so i'm sure it's related. the night before a marathon, i'm a wreck, but when the morning comes, the anxiety and jitters turn to a focus. the thrill of the start of a marathon is something only those running the race can experience. the thousands of people shivering in the cool morning air, the talk about what pace everyone will be running, and the sound of the cheers from the runners as they cross the start line are things that only a runner truly feels. pretty much everyone in the race, thousands, have traveled completely different paths to get there - training, experiences, and even motivation. some by weight loss, some because of a demon in their life, and some cause they love the challenge.

i think about what motivates me. i only started running about 7 years ago. i started running because a friend wanted to 'get a little fitter' because of a guy she was dating. she is not one who enjoys exercise at all, but she wanted to try so running was what we were going to do. about 2 weeks later, i was on my own. i kept going, and soon found myself running 5-6 miles several times a week. then wham, a year later, i was doing my first marathon. over the years, my motivation has changed and evolved. what started as a way to 'get fitter' turned into 'let's see what i can do today'.

after 9 marathons, and periods of struggle, burnout, and even dislike, i am finding myself feeling motivation again. motivation like when i ran my second marathon and bettered my time by 1 hour and 20 minutes. and motivation like when i wanted to break 4 hours and missed it by a few minutes. and motivation like those days when frustration and disappointment ate me up for having to miss a run.

how do i know i'm feeling the motivation again? well, this week, i'm teaching spin 7 times because of subbing for a fellow instructor. pretty much 2 classes a day, some before work and after, and some back to back both after work. running will be tough with this schedule combined with my work schedule. not only am i busy with teaching, i'm facing one of my busiest weeks of the spring at work. at best, i will only be able to run 2-3 times this week. i will survive the week, and missing a few days will be ok. and hopefully when i have the opportunity to run, i'll take it! i'm still easing back into a routine after new orleans, but i'm finding myself itching to get at it! i have goals, and i know i won't get there unless i do the work. that's how i know i'm motivated.

motivation. it's good to know the feeling again.

track on tap - st. patty's style

as promised, here are a couple of photos from last wednesday's track on tap. (see previous post for details).

shout out to chris and jenny maul for the photos.
from our first stop at mugshots. yeah, we got some lucks in there. best burgers ever!!! too bad we didn't eat any. :(
from our second stop at the alumni house sports bar. yeah, we got some looks in there too!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

spring break!!!

i work for a university, and typically we don't get spring break. the last two years, due to the budget crisis, our president has been gracious to give us the week. one as a cost saving measure for the campus, and two, to boost morale during tough economic times. i didn't go anywhere last year or this year, and both years i used it as time to clean house, do yard work, and REST!

i have no issue with sleeping in, but since i've been a runner, those days are rare and treasured. during my spring break, it was the same, although i got in plenty of naps. i still had to teach my spin classes, but i was able to get in some great (and fun) runs.

monday, i had my morning spin class as usual. after that i met my friend vicki for a short 4 mile run. i was pretty tired. no one showed for the afternoon class (no surprise considering spring break) so i was glad to go back home and relax.

tuesday, just a 6 mile run around my little neighborhood. i wasn't feeling very well (stomach issues) so it was a tough day. i spent the rest of the morning doing a lot of yard work and the afternoon doing some work work.

wednesday, i was back to teaching that morning. let me note here that my morning classes start at 6 a.m., so i get up at 5:15. after that class, a short 4 mile run with my buddy terri. we kept it short because the running club was hitting the streets for track on tap. let me explain track on tap. we have some super fun, and crazy, runners in our club. track on tap was started a few years ago, and we simply meet at a location and run from bar to bar. we typically get 3-4 miles, easy, with 2-3 stops in between. at the stop, you can partake in the beverage of your choice, from beer to water to diet cokes. often, these runs have themes...halloween, christmas, and yes, st. patrick's day. we were all decked out in green, some had some cute accessories as well. (hopefully a pic to follow if chris maul will post them online for us! :)). so at this track on tap, we got in 3.5 miles. a total of 7.5 for me that day.

thursday, SLEPT IN!!! took it easy most of the morning, watched tv, napped, etc. that afternoon, did some more yard work which consisted of a lot of raking and bending over. i count yard work as a workout any day!

friday, today, was my ridiculous day. i met terri for 10 miles this morning. i can't say no, and i wanted to do 10 miles! we ran it easy, and we really had fun talking and catching up. back home to relax before the 5k tonight! i finally had a sunny day where i could get in my backyard and get some sun. i enjoyed that then finished up my afternoon with a little more work work and a nap before the race. i had mixed thoughts on what i'd attempt to do....race it or screw it and run it for fun. i hadn't decided until they said go. i ended up starting with a friend jodie, who is pregnant. i ended up staying with her, and we ran about a 10 minute pace and just laughed and chatted the entire race. i'm sure those around us who were really struggling hated us, but we had a good time. i had 4.5 total after a 1 mile warm up and a .5 mile cool down.

so, tonight i'm tired. i'm at 32 miles for the week, just 3 weeks after the marathon. i'm feeling good and excited about how i feel mentally and physically. tomorrow, if the weather is kind, vicki and i will jump on our road bikes for an easy ride as it will be my first time on my bike since the early fall. next week, i will be subbing for 4 spin classes, in addition to my regular 3, for a total of 7 that week. i doubt i will be able to squeeze in a run, maybe 1 or 2, but that's probably good as the spinning will exhaust me. i won't let it phase my current motivated state, but allow it to be a break after a harder week.

so, staying true to my 2010 goals, i have completed my first short race of the year, even though i technically didn't race it. at least i'm in the game!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

what's next

it's funny how for weeks before the last marathon i was so excited to not have anything to train for, to just run. now that the marathon is two weeks behind me, i'm finding myself wanting to train for something.

this week i'm finally feeling better, and i actually have had a couple good runs. the change in weather (sudden feel of spring) and the time change has me feeling a bit recharged. plus, it's spring break, and i'm enjoying a few days off from work.

saturday, i bumped up the miles to 8, then ran a quick 4 yesterday after the baseball game. when i say quick, i mean a tempo run, and an unplanned one. i headed out thinking, 'this isn't going to be a good day', but my first mile was a surprising 9:25. so, i got a little adventurous and decided to see what i could do. second was 8:48, so then i wanted to see what else i could do. the third was 8:38, and i was definitely feeling it. i was grateful for a couple of stops for traffic when i needed to cross a street. my last one was 8:25, and i averaged out at 8:49. and even though i was sucking wind, i felt great. an unexpected run like that is a thrill. it does something to you that nothing else can. it boosts the confidence, and it motivates.

so, what next? i will continue with my 2010 goal of doing more shorter races, and i'd like to find a half or two to do over the spring or summer. during that time, i'll be thinking of what fall marathon i'll do. i have a few ideas, but no decisions yet. as usual, i will have to wait until the football schedule comes out which determines my work schedule for the fall as well. we'll see!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

recovery, spring, and molly

it's been about 11 days since the marathon, and i've run twice. this is what i've been up to!

the day after the marathon, i had to teach my monday morning spin class. it actually wasn't that bad! the first few days after, i was mostly just sore. tuesday, i took an entire day off to get some much needed time off my feet and sleep. i felt completely exhausted for 2-3 days after the marathon. i ended up calling in sick for my wednesday morning spin class, but i had decided to go to yoga that afternoon after work. what a great yoga class! and i felt great in class! thursday, i got called in at the last minute to pinch hit for the other spin instructor so i taught his two thursday afternoon classes which are 10 minutes apart! by this point, i wasn't really sore, but i definitely felt the fatigue! the first class was fine, but in the second one, my legs were on fire. i survived.

friday, i took sweet molly girl for a 45 minute walk. it was for me and for her. sadly, my poor friend started limping after the walk. she has done that before, but after a longer run or sprinting in the back yard while playing. i was a little concerned, but not overly. saturday morning, my first try at a run with my friend vicki. we did 6, and it was about as i expected, not hard, but not easy. i enjoyed the run and the gorgeous spring weather we were treated to that weekend. saturday was also molly's 2nd birthday so i spent the day with her. she got treated to lots of backyard time while i did yard work, and a special birthday meal, meaning not dry dog food. she was not a fan of her birthday hat, but she looked so cute.

sunday morning, i debated a bike ride with an afternoon group that goes at 1:30, but i decided for another walk instead. i was still feeling tired and fatigue in my legs, and i just don't want to push it. so i took molly out again, this time for only about 30 minutes. she started limping early in the walk. i got concerned. we headed home and rested.

monday, early spin class, but monday night, no one showed for class so i went home for more rest. tuesday, molly was still limping so i called the vet, and took her in. after what i went through with my last pup, i was a nervous wreck thinking all the bad things - arthritis, displaysia, and even worse, cancer. luckily, the vet thinks just bursitis, so we're taking anti-inflammatory and resting. as of today, she's a lot better. hopefully we can put off worrying about those other things for another day or never.

i met up with vicki again for 4 miles. my legs felt great! i was excited, but the next morning, yesterday, in my attempt to bike in class, i discovered i was not as recovered as i thought. luckily it was storming after work so i went back to yoga instead of running. i felt better at yoga last week, 3 days after the marathon than i did yesterday, 10 days after! today, i'll hit the pavement again and give it a shot. maybe 5-6 miles, we'll see. either way, i'm taking it easy.

i am going to allow myself complete recovery before i start pushing anything again. i have signed up for a 5k next weekend, but i will play my effort in that race by ear. i do not want anymore IT/hip issues like last time. once i'm recovered, i am determined to have a GREAT spring / summer running season!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the bright side - a memory made

it's better to look for the bright side of things in life. find the silver lining. that's how i'm looking at sunday, february 28. the day i ran my second worst marathon in 5.00.56. :)

i have a good attitude about it for many reasons, which i'm going to list for you.
1 - i barely trained so you get what you pay for
2 - i had a great time with my fellow hattiesburg runners
3 - i had the opportunity to run all 26.2 mile with a friend i've known my entire life
4 - it was a GORGEOUS day in south louisiana!

i headed down on saturday with jim, terry, and charles. jim would be running the marathon, like his 12th or something, who knows. terry was going for fun, no running for him. charles was going for his first. we hit the expo, met up with james and jodie and did our thing. and i shouldn't forget to mention the UHmazing parking spot charles got for us at the convention center. his ability to get in perfect position in the first go (parallel parking) was something to behold as well. we were happy with the parking spot, but unhappy to find out only 2 beers PER person at the finish party. we'll hear about this for months i'm sure.

to the hotel for a little rest. i was bunking with ginny, and she was coming in later, so i just chilled and watched tv until dinner. i met back up with the same crew for a good dinner down on bourbon street. as always with this crew, there was LOTS of laughs and smart comments. it's a good time hanging with these folks. after a great dinner, back to the hotel to get my things ready for the morning and for bed. ginny made it in later, and we stayed up probably too late chatting, but it was fun. we never get to do that so i enjoyed it.

alarm goes off 5 a.m. sunday. i got up, showered, got dressed, headed to the start. it was a little bit of a walk, but i didn't mind. after i finally found the bag check, i headed to the start corral to meet my friend barry, who i've known pretty much my whole life. he is a mississippi state alum, and i am a southern miss alum and employee. we were decked out in our collegiate gear, which seemed to amuse only us! we enjoyed chatting and catching up on life for a while. we were running a good, comfortable race for probably 8-10 miles, then it got quiet. it's funny how runners chat it up big time, and then when the moments get tough, silence. we were both concentrating on feeling better! we never hti the wall, but it was more like slow running in mud that got higher and higher each mile, making it harder to run.

yeah, we both fell apart, and early. this was barry's second marathon and my 9th. we were doing it for fun, only for fun, and to try to help barry PR. the fun ended, ha, and we started to ask each other, jokingly, "why are we out here again???" later, barry thought my attempts at humor and motivation were waisted, so i put him out of his misery and stopped. after a while, i accepted this day was in the toilet for good, so i just went with it and started having fun, whether we were walking or running. after about mile 22, we really struggled - nausea, cramps, dehydration, etc. you name it. we decided to run/walk it in, finding points or landmarks to run to. this worked, and we made it to the finish. we were greeted at the finish by barry's wife and oldest son noah, who is 4 i believe.

yeah, we were both disappointed. i knew that day wouldn't be a PR for me, by no means, but i didn't expect it to be quite that bad. but, i was determined not to beat myself up about it. i look at it as another marathon finished with one of my oldest and dearest friends, and i loved spending time with him and seeing his family. this marathon was about the experience, and it was a great one.

hopefully, i'll have some pictures to add soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

running, sunshine, and baseball

10 miles, last one, then 26.2. and after 26.2, i'm going to enjoy weekends of 10's and 12's!

this was a low week for me, lower than i wanted as i was forced to take tuesday off due to feeling a bit under the weather. monday was my day to teach spin twice, so i usually look forward to a longish, easy run on tuesday, which didn't happen. after teaching wednesday morning, i went for that longish run after work. 7 miles, easy, relaxing, and my legs felt good. thursday, i was going for 7 or so again. stopped at 5 cause it just wasn't my day! i managed to salvage my workout by doing some yoga, stretching, and ab work at home. gotta work those kinks out!
saturday, i met terri and jenny to run 10. vicki joined us for 8. we had a great time, and it ended up being a really quality run. it's funny, cause none of us wore our garmins! i was able to run my last mile and a half in pretty hard. it was a good day.

the weather was gorgeous this weekend. it was the perfect weather for one of my favorite things - college baseball! friday was opening weekend at the park, and i made it out for a few innings after work. saturday, after my run, i headed back out for day two. what a great day! i'm looking forward to spring, more baseball, and lots of 10 to 14 mile runs for a while! i'm going to enjoy life without training for a marathon for a while (until fall), and get back in the short distance game. my first few 5k times will be sucky, but i have to start somewhere! i have a few ideas for the fall, and i'm going to keep those to myself until i figure things out. there will definitely be a fall marathon, and i plan on getting there strong!!!
i hope to be celebrating and recovering this time next sunday from a FUN marathon! it's just for fun, right?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

snow, long run, and camping

the first time it snowed this winter, i was on my way to las vegas to run the marathon. so i missed it. this time, i was home and off work. when it snows in the south, life shuts down, and people play! snow isn't a nuissance here, it's an excuse to be a kid again, takes tons of pictures, and talk about it for days. this is my first snow in my first home that i own. also my first snow with my best pal, molly. i spent the morning playing in the back yard with molly, and the afternoon 4-wheeler riding in the snow and mud. that was fun. below are a few pics.

after the fun in the snow, i was talked into 'camping'. i'm a country girl, but still not into the 'roughing it' kind of camping. we were in a nice camper, with a kitchen, heat, a shower, a bed, and a bathroom! we parked at paul b johnson start park and had a great view of the lake. we went down friday, and i came home today. saturday morning, i woke up and headed back to town to meet ginny and audrey to run. ginny was doing 16, and audrey ended up doing 14 with me, her longest distance ever. we met up at anatomies, a local gym, and ran about 7 miles in the hilly neighborhood. the lawns were still covered in snow and it was a lovely run. we met audrey's husband charles at the trace and planned to finish up with him. poor charles is suffering from a knee injury and had a tough time. after our run, the gang indulged in post-race pizza at mellow mushroom. i do think that is my favorite part of running - the post-run fellowship. below is a shot of the trace at our destination, epley station.
camping. i headed back to the camp after the run and pizza. we spent the afternoon relaxing outside, checking out the rest of the campsites, and then listening to the southern miss basketball game by the fire. we got brave and let molly enjoy the outdoors without a leash. she did great! and she LOVED camping! she loved sitting outside watching the birds, the geese on the lake, and just walking around sniffing things like dogs do. i can't wait to take her back in the summer so she can swim! we had a great weekend, and i was sad to come home today. snow is gone, run is over, and the relaxing weekend by the lake is done. these are the things in life that make going back to work ok.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

bring the pain #9

i've been flip flopping back and forth about whether or not i wanted to run the full in new orleans. i registered for this marathon last june, and the plan was to keep working after vegas and go as hard as i can. you all know about my aches and pains and how it troubled my training. i then started wavering on the full and started thinking about the half.

a childhood friend ran his first marathon in baton rouge the same weekend i did vegas. he LOVED it. we discussed running new orleans together, for fun. in my wavering, i forgot all about it, until he mentioned it on facebook the other day. so it started me thinking. and after my sleepless night a couple nights ago, i started thinking that i can still do this. so today, i headed out for the test, a 20 miler.

i'm happy to say i made it. it wasn't the easiest 20 miles, but i've felt much worse, many times. it was a decent run, and i was able to keep the pace around a 10 minute mile. before vegas, i was doing 20 milers about a minute faster per mile, but i understand the shape i'm currently in. i understood the shape i was in then, and knew i had been in better shape than that even. however i'm happy for today's victory. i can't change the shape i'm in at this point for this marathon, so i accept it for what it is and celebrate that i did it. my last long run, 3 weeks ago, was a horrible 18 miler that left me walking and sick in the last 5 miles. the week before that, was a tough 16 miler. and the week before that, a pretty slow 14 miler. today, there was no guarantee i'd finish running 20 miles, but i did in an ok time with no walking. orleans marathon is back on the table. it won't be a PR, and i feel pretty confident it won't be my worst. it'll hurt like an SOB, but i'm going to have fun, run with a friend, and celebrate finishing my 9th marathon.

bring it on #9!

Friday, February 5, 2010

standing still

today was a blah day, with lots of rain, and a long stinking nap that has rendered me sleepless at midnight. luckily, i am off tomorrow, so sleep isn't overly important. however, it led me to facebook and the urge we all have to stalk. my browsing led me down a path i wasn't at all expecting. i thought i was just being nosey.

i won't go into details on what all was involved in my stalking, but as i've said before, 2009 was a tough year. i've been very fortunate in my now 37 years to not have that many tough times, so i've been trying lately to take it in stride and learn from it. i am learning from it daily. tonight, i realized i've been standing still for quite some time. not all came from this past year, but it certainly didn't help me to get moving again.

as i was lying here, listening to the rain, i started thinking that for a long time, i quit moving, almost quit living in some ways. i slowed down and started letting life pass me by. work, friends, training, my relationship with God. i also realized there were a lot of things i didn't want to do, but i still wished i was doing. for me, that's a strange place to be. to wish to get out and run, but not do it cause i hurt or just don't want to. to wish to go hang out with a group of friends, but not do it because i'm tired. to want to be at church, but find excuses not to go or fall back asleep. i have been standing still while life kept moving.

many of you reading my blog haven't known me but for a few years at most. i was a shy girl growing up and still have shy moments, but in college, i became larger than life. even in years after, i was often the center of a party, a group, a joke, laughter. in my older age, i've mellowed out, but i realized i have also shrunk. my personality is still there, but it lies quietly behind a wall. what built this wall? not one thing, but several. a collection of pieces over the last few years that instead of knocking down and moving on, i felt it easier to let them stack up. i can only assume that i felt letting them stack up wouldn't cause me any harm as i never had any issues before. all this time, i just thought i was growing older, changing interests, or something. i think if i'm wishing to do all these things i'm not doing, then i'm still the same me inside.

what to do now that i've had this midnight revelation? i don't know, but i can only hope and pray that now that i have realized that i've been standing still, i can start working on moving again. i don't expect to wake up tomorrow and go run a blistering tempo run, or start reading my Bible for an hour. let's face it, i've never been that motivated. i do expect to keep this realization on the forefront of my mind, and pray about it as often as i can.

you ask, what does this have to do with running and getting to boston? EVERYTHING! i can't be standing still to realize my goals.

run, for your life!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

new shoes - to run or not to run

i love new shoes. i love old shoes! i love all shoes! this weekend, i got two new pair of shoes. one, a super sophisticated pair of high heels, and the other, a sleek new pair of running shoes. both were birthday presents! no better gift than shoes! for years, i've been wearing the Asics Gel Kayano, and i love these shoes. they are kind to my feet and my potential for shin splints. i broke them out last night for a run, and i was almost blinded. they are the WHITEST shoes! i commented on how white they are, and another runner said she loved bright new shoes cause they made her feel fast! i just feel like a nerd wearing bright, white new shoes. sadly, they'll get dirty and worn in no time. but they felt wonderful, and i'm reminded how much i love new running shoes or any new running toy for that matter. here's to lots of miles logged on these babies!

i ran at the track with a few others. a couple of girls weren't feeling it so i was easily swayed into just running some miles. since i had a good run on saturday, i was ok with that. i ended up getting in 6 and parts of this run were really good. i felt mostly pain free, until the end, and i'm feeling some tightness today in the IT band again. the road to recovery is apparently a long one. but i think i'm further down the road, finally.

a thought popped into my head earlier this week. switch from the full marathon to the half marathon in new orleans. reasons: 1) heart is not in the long miles lately, 2) body has been hit with a few issues - IT band, periformis, fatigue, 3) training hasn't been good at all. mostly, my heart isn't into the miles. i think what started as slow recovery from vegas turned into problems in the IT and periformis which resulted in losing my drive for 26.2 on february 28. i want to run something, i just need to thoroughly think it through before i make the decision to switch. i want no regrets, only happiness with whatever i decide.

i have completely enjoyed running during my last few runs. i'm feeling better and running a little better. i'm still moving forward and away from the burnout that begin in early 2008. running is a lot mental, but i think i'm WAY more mental than the worst mental runner. since my mental struggle began a couple years ago, i decided that whatever i run, i need to do it for the right reasons, whatever they may be. which is why i am considering the switch from 26.2 to 13.1. the reason would be to make sure i have fun that day NO MATTER WHAT.

stay tuned!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

crazy week - bad times, good times, and a year older

last week, my 18 miler went down the toilet! wowza, what a bad run. i've been hurting pretty badly in my IT band and periformis, and i have been taking it pretty easy now for weeks. saturday woke up to rain and just wasn't feeling a run for 18 miles in that mess. i slept in, hit the treadmill for a few boring, slow miles, and then finished up with stretching and core work. all part of fulfilling my goals for 2010. then watched the saints...who dat!

decided that i would go for the 18 on sunday. the leg was feeling pretty good, and i would rather get it done on the weekend it was scheduled instead of putting it off. i had a team, vicki and terri. vicki for the first 8 and terri for the last 10. it was cloudy, cool, and a bit too windy on sunday afternoon, but all in all, not bad weather for a long run. felt good in the first 8, and felt good in the next 4-6. the rest, DOWNHILL quickly. and it wasn't the IT band or periformis that canned me. it was some odd sensation of not being able to breathe! i would start feeling shortness of breath, try to deep breathe, feel my chest and back get super tight, then i would get lightheaded, and then nauseated. that cycled repeated consistently, beginning as soon as it ended. the only way to end it was to walk. poor terri, she had to endure my complaints, my apologies, and all the walking. i would have been ok with her leaving me, but i think she was worried i'd pass out! i was a little worried about that too.

finally, we made it back. terri left, and i headed home, feeling 'ok'. once at home, whoa. nausea, lightheadedness, and just plain old feeling bad. i got in the bed and called it a night! this weakness lingered for a day or two, and i have been taking it majorly easy. my good buddy terri ended up with a stomach virus the night of our run! she was way more ill than i was! i don't know what happened that day, but it was something weird!

tuesday was my birthday - 37. i got to have lunch with mom, have cake with work friends, and run with running friends. not a bad day. wednesday, i was courtside at the new orleans hornets game, at least during the 4th quarter. i am lucky to work for an organization that allows me to do really cool stuff more often than not. the hornets game, thanks to our association president, was one of them. we were treated to seats in a suite complete with a spread, and 4 courtside seats that we took turns using. i must say, the view was awesome from the floor. we had a great time, and it was a good addition to my birthday week. my birthday week will end with a long run tomorrow with vicki and ginny, and then i'm headed to jackson to do some shopping and have dinner.
i am continuing my 2010 goals of eating good, except for the birthday cake and basketball game food, but thanksfully, the cake is gone so i can get back on track. my running, however, is suffering. i don't know if i'm a little burned out post vegas marathon, or i'm legitmately having some issues. either way, i'm not quitting, but i'm not able to do anything more than just run. i don't feel physically able to do a lot. i'm still going to new orleans, and it will be a 'fun run', but i will regroup after i've recovered and get a new plan.
i'm excited to report that i'm fulfilling another goal today by going to yoga. classes at the payne center resumed this week with the start of school. i'm excited about this aspect of my goals and adding this back into my training and recovery. especially with the leg ailments that have hindered me lately.
i might be weak, but i will continue to Run For My Life!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

hell is freezing

yes, you heard me. hell is freezing over cause i am eating healthy! i do not make resolutions, but i have goals for this year. as you remember, eating healthy is one. no other way to do it than to just do it!

my diet isn't horrible, but i do enjoy a lot of splurging and some bountiful meals. i still plan to splurge from time to time, but less of it. i also plan to make better choices and cut back the amount i eat. i started monday, and i'm happy with how it's been going. i am adding fruits in as snacks, going to eat more veggies, eat out less, and eat a better breakfast.

not only do i want to be healthier, i'd like to lose a few pounds. my running is up and down right now with this IT band / periformis problem so i definitely need the added boost of a healthier diet.

go me!

Monday, January 11, 2010

training and stretching

i wish i were in better shape to truly enjoy and take advantage of this great running weather! i love the cold temps and usually run so much better. saturday, jenn, ginny, vicki, and i were 4 of the few who were out braving the wind and below freezing temps. i ran 16 miles, starting with jenn and ginny for 4, then met vicki for my last 8. i don't think i ever really got warm!

i have a few more long runs before new orleans. what i had hoped to be a good race, may now be one 'just for fun'. i'm still struggling with this periformis / IT band issue in my right leg. this issue has prevented the kind of training i had hoped to continue after vegas. i've accepted this, and i am planning to continue with my training for new orleans, just modify it a bit. to race will still be an accomplishment, and another race under my belt. the main thing is, i'm still training, keeping up my motivation, and moving forward. baby steps, right? it's a marathon, not a sprint.

i know i'm not stretching enough, so i made a goal yesterday to really make a point to stretch after each workout, forever. i have to realize i am not getting any younger, and that my age might actually be a factor, yikes! i always stretch after i teach a spin class, and it always feels so good, so why is it such a problem to do after i run? my good friend vicki has been nursing an injured hamstring for over a month now. she hasn't stopped running, but she has been vigorous in self massaging and stretching. she has seen vast improvements in her injury. i need to follow the advice of my wise running friends and take that extra 5 -10 minutes and stretch.

i will be adding yoga back into my workouts next week once the payne center begins its spring semester class schedule. i look forward to the extra benefits that will offer. just one more step in the right direction for this new year and my goals. i'm determined to accomplish them!

2010 is off to a great start!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

what's my motivation?

two steps forward, one step back. or it's more like one step forward, two steps back.

first i wasn't physically recovered from vegas. then i was, and started getting back on track. now, i don't want to run! ha! i had a good week last week. 35 miles, taught 3 spin classes, and did a lot of stretching and some walking even. i was taking it easy, feel good, and ready to train! this week, i don't wanna run, and my leg feel tight again. i will, and must, get through this emotional hurdle.

things i'm repeating in my head to motivate myself.
- new orleans will be my 9th marathon - something to be proud of and to celebrate
- don't worry about the PR on this one, just keep running
- lots of friends will be there, i don't wanna miss the FUN!
- continued marathon training means more king cake for me!
- the rotten ex will be there to attempt another marathon - i can beat him! (ok so that one is mean, but you know you think it too!)

new orleans is the scene of the crime of 2008. the place where i hit the wall. where i succombed to complete burnout. where at mile 14, i took off my number and walked back to the finish area. where i shed tears over my quickness to wimp out. where i was utterly disappointed that despite being in the best shape of my life, i would not be smashing that PR. could these things be the cause of the motivational and mental struggle? with me, yes!

maybe it's time to find a cool new running gadget.

Monday, January 4, 2010

year end stats

my 2009

running - 1075 miles
biking - 499.5
spin - 2-3 classes per week
1 marathon - las vegas - 4:16

goals for 2010

run over 1000 miles again, try to hit 1300
continue my biking and spinning
be more faithful to weekly yoga
eat healthier (that's the hard one)
PR in the marathon
run more shorter races

it is written - now i can't hide.

Friday, January 1, 2010

happy new year, happy new running

i've heard many say that 2009 wasn't a great year. well it must have been in the water! 2009 wasn't the best of years for me, and i'm happy to welcome 2010 and a new decade. if i had to use one word to sum up 2009, i wouldn't have to think long on that one. the word is disappointing.

disappointing because a relationship i was enjoying and growing attached to ended.

disappointing because my sweet 9 year old dog passed away.

disappointing because i wasn't my best at work.

disappointing because it wasn't a great year of running for me.

today is the first day of 2010, and i hopefully started out on the right foot with a 14 mile run. that's pretty big, not because i started off the year with that long of a run, but because i've had trouble running! let's hope and count on that meaning something as i have high hopes for 2010 - personally, professionally, and physically.

so, here's to a good year and lots of PR's!