Saturday, July 30, 2011

You can take the girl out of the honky tonk...

I haven't posted in a while because my running has become pretty routine. Our running group meets every Tuesday and Thursday for a couple of laps through the park. We had been running at Bayshore, but there is no shade along the route and Florida runs need shade. There are 6 of us that run together so far. There are some other coworkers who would like to join us, but it doesn't work for their schedules yet.

I only ran one race last month, the St. Pete Beach 5k. It was the first of three. It was a tough run. I didn't know it was in the sand and I had never run in sand before. It was not very fun. I wish I had worn my Vibrams. The silver lining is that it was in a series so I could learn from that race and run better next time, and it worked.  I ran the second race this evening and had a great time.  I wore my Vibrams today and the sand was more firm so it was a much better race.  I took at least 3 minutes off from my first race, which I didn't accurately time.  The post race party was fun too.  I got free beer, 2 gift certificates for RoadId, a new singlet, and a drop off bag.  I said on Daily Mile that I would giveaway my other RoadId gift certificate, but I'm giving it too my RBK because she is awesome. 

My RBK thinks she developed tendinitis in her ankle from running in the sand during the first 5k. And another running club member has an injured back.  Everyone send healing vibes their way.

Heal quickly you two!!
I did get out of my running routine last week when I went back North to visit my mommy and our family.  It was HOT!!  100 degrees hot.  But I was still able to get in some early morning runs.  It made me so home sick to be out there running the hills, in the fresh air, passing farms and fields.  Instead of bus exhaust I smelled dairy farm.  I spent alot of summers growing up on a dairy farm so those smells take me back to a great place.  The first day I didn't see a single car, but I did get passed by a tractor.  I also found an awesome piece of old barn board that I am going to use as my race medal display.  Here are some pictures from my country bumpkin runs.

And just because Max is cute and fluffy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

iPhones and puppies.

I mentioned in my last post that I registered for the St. Pete Beach 5k series. I am starting to have buyers remorse. I have an unofficial goal of running some type of race each month. The series will help me fulfill that goal but 7pm in Florida is wickedly hot. Instead of running in this crazy heat I usually do the smart thing and avoid it by running in he morning or on the treadmill. So, I need some help from the bloggy world. How do you manage a hot run?

In nonrunning news, I am writing this post from my new iPhone. I feel like one of the cool kids, even though I'm a few years late. I am still learning all the cool things it does. So, I'm asking for iPhone tips too. Especially picture or blogging advice.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Come run with us.

After finishing the Stillwater Half Marathon, I've been able to reevaluate my running.  I'm going to spend the summer training to better my 5k time.  I've already registered for the St. Pete Beach 5k Series.  They are evening races along the beach.  I like running shorter distances in the summer when it is crazy hot.  I don't want to be out in the Florida sun any longer than necessary.  By registering for these races, I was able to join St. Pete Road Runners.  I think they will be able to help me explore new routes around my neighborhood.

As a way of making the short runs more fun and to keep me from bailing on my runs, I've started a running group at work.  RBK and I have already been running alot together and we have a few running coworkers who I thought would come run with us.  It would be a great way to help us fit our runs in.  A night shifter's schedule is not a flexible sometimes.  All we want to do after a 12 hour shift is hit the hay and to wait and run before work means running in 90+ degree weather.  No thank you, I am not that hard core. 

The first morning M. and I ran 2.5 miles.  I proved to myself that first day how important this was going to be for me.  If I hadn't made the commitment to this "group" I would have ditched.  Of course 1 minute into the run I was energized.  That is such a great feeling and one of my favorite parts of running. 

RBK was able to come to the second meet up and we ran 4.35 miles along Bayshore.  RBK runs at a faster pace, so it was helpful to have M. there because we run a very similar pace.  We finished this run with a great breakfast at Daily Eats.  Man, I love that place.

Today was the third meet up and 5 people came to run.  RBK had a speedy running partner and I ran with 2 others.  We ran at the park with the 1.25 mile loop and did 2 laps.  It is very close to work and has some shaded parts to help keep cool and bathrooms.  I've invited walkers to join us too.  I like this park because people can run or walk as many laps as they want as fast or slow as they want, but still feel like part of the group.   I'm excited for more and more people to come so that everyone can at least partner up and have a good run.

Someone recently FB messaged me and asked me about what motivates me to keep running.  It definitely isn't my talent, the ease at which a run, or that I feel I was born to do this.  It is getting messages asking me about running or having someone tell me I inspired her to register for a half marathon.  That is what keeps me going, being part of this running community. 

Are you part of a running club?

What keeps you running?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Half Fanatic #1124

Sorry this is so late, work took over my life for a little while there, but I have a sweet stretch off this weekend.

Ok, maybe it wasn't the greatest race I've run.  It was very painful, I was very slow.  I had to take a bunch of walk breaks.  But it was still a good race. 

We didn't sleep very good the night before and we were up and anxious to go at 5:30.

Ready to Run!

Uh, popping a squat before the race? 

RBK's dad was a great supporter.  He dropped us of near the starting line at about 6:30.  The race started at 7:00, so that was enough time to hit the honey buckets, take some pictures, stretch out a little, and walk to the start line.  Much better than parking far away and taking the shuttle bus to the start line.

I'm glad we didn't have to start at the bottom of that first hill.  There were a lot of hills to come later, no reason to start off that way.  RBK's dad and his girlfriend were waiting at about the 4th mile.  My first goal was just to make it all the way to them without a break.  I knew I was not prepared for this race, so I tried to stay smart.  Taking it easy and taking breaks before I was too exhausted. 

It took a while for my legs to get loosened up and to get my mind right.  Once I got in my zone, I became a little optimistic for second.  Once the hills started, I wasn't as optimistic, this was going to be hard.  I tried to stay focused and before I knew it I saw Papa Clyde cheering us on.  We stopped for a picture.

 We popped our tunes in our ears and we were off.  The course was very beautiful, well, Minnesota is very beautiful.  I tried to stay distracted from how hard this course was by enjoying the town and my music, but it wasn't easy.  RBK wanted to us to do the race together but she is so much faster than me it was hard for her to hold back.  She would run with me, run faster and get ahead of me, then turn around and come back and meet me again.  I started shooting eye daggers at her.  I hated holding her back but she wanted us to stay together and I just couldn't keep up. 

After about the 7th mile I thought the hills were finished.  Nope.  They were shorter hills, but they were still there.  My ankles started popping and I instantly changed my form.  Bad runner.  I couldn't push off with my left foot, I had to keep it completely parallel to prevent it from popping more.  I continued to take walk breaks and RBK kept running her circles around me.  I went to a very bad place.  I felt terrible about myself and my body.  But I made a vow with myself to never run a race so unprepared.  RBK yelled at me for being so negative but it didn't quite pull me out of my funk.

Thank goodness for Coheed and Cambria.  I got a second wind and I relaxed my form as much as I could.  I really felt like I got into a groove.  My pace didn't really get better and I was still taking walk breaks, but my shoulder were relaxed and I came out of my fog.  Just in time for photographer.

After mile 10, RBK was a good bit ahead of me.  I stopped to slip on my ankle brace.  Kristina didn't come back.  I ran/walked and focused on making it to Papa Clyde again, who was waiting at mile 12.  We had driven the course the day before and I knew that right before where he would be waiting was a long downhill.  I couldn't wait to reach it. 

Mile 12.
Thank goodness, only a mile to go.  I walked a good bit of that last mile so I would have the umph to finish the race running.  Before I knew it Stillwater came into view and I saw the finish line.  I wish I could say I finished "strong" but I'm happy enough just saying that I finished.  Uff da!!  I was so glad to be done.

Not long after I finished the first marathoner crossed the line.  I'm glad I beat that guy, just for my ego.  My goal for this race was just to finish with a better time than my first half marathon, and I did just that.  Finishing this race meant even more than usual because it qualified me for HALF FANATICS!!!!!!!  #1124 Right here baby!  That was my third half in 90 days.

After the race, RBK treated me to an awesome surprise.  My very first facial.  Wow, I had no idea what I had been missing.  I will definitely be doing that again.  I've also never had a pedicure, that's next.

We went to dinner with RBK's dad and his girlfriend and we took up the offer for free beers.  I will never turn down a free beer. 

As hard as the race was and as bad as I feel I did, I had a great time.  Minnesota is a beautiful state and Stillwater is just like a postcard.  I would love to live there, if it wasn't for those crazy winters.  I said I would summer in Minnesota and winter in Florida. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May in Photos.

This weekend I will be running my fourth half marathon.  It will be the second state I can cross of my list.  I'm going to Stillwater, Minnesota to run the Stillwater Half Marathon with my RBK.  Although I don't feel adequately prepared, I am super stoked to be working on my 50 states marathon.  I can't wait!

Confession:  I haven't been running very much.  I've done a few runs this month, but not enough real training for a half marathon.  I really don't know where my motivation has gone.  I've been reading running books, blogs, magazines, and websites and itching to run, but when I actually have time to go, I am exhausted.  I have been working alot lately, but that is no excuse. 

Instead of running, I've been going to beer festivals.
Eating sushi.

Playing with high school friends and their babies. 
And getting gifts from my RBK.

Yesterday was also my 4th wedding anniversary.  I am so blessed to have spent this time with Smooth.  He is such and amazing guy and he got me the greatest anniversary gift.  He bought be a frickin awesome new running outfit.  I can't wait to show you guys.

There is more I want to share with you guys, but it is my first day off in a while and I don't want to spend all day on the computer.  I just wanted to let you know that I am still here.

How to you stay motivated?

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I buy all the state of the line equipment, the latest greatest shoes, a dri-fit shirt in every color, spandex pants that make me feel fast and don't give me chub rub.  I download running apps to log and track every step I take.  I have a fancy headband, a handy shuffle, an awesome gym bag.  I have a  fanny pack, inhaler hider, totally hip, SpiBelt, I drink and eat chia seeds like they are magic pellets. 

But my closet is still not getting any fitter. 

Nothing can make me harder, better, faster, stronger except me.  My body, my heart, and my mind.

Wednesday and Thursday morning I went running.  It was hard, I was slow, but I ran. 

Wednesday morning RBK and I went to Bayshore to do the usual 4 miler followed by breakfast.  It was the first time I ran since the half marathon and it had been 2 weeks before that since my horrible scrub run.  Yeah, I ran in my scrubs.  WTF?!  Anyways, I was a little anxious to see how my ankles would feel during the run.  I wore my Sauconys to help avoid any extra stress on my tendons.  It felt really good.  I tried not to focus on them, instead just recognizing that they were "uncomfortable" then focusing on my breathing.  It was a beautiful day along the water and there was just enough breeze to keep us cool.  I was pretty proud of myself, I must say.  Oh, and a big high five to Dr. Wheeze.  I didn't even think about using my inhaler. 

After the run and our Daily Eats breakfast, I came home and promptly soaked my feet and ankles in a cooler full of ice water.  It seemed to relieve the uncomfortable feeling quickly.  It felt good and according to Patchouli, it tasted pretty good too.  Silly dog.

Thursday morning after work we headed to a different park to change up the routine.  It is a nice park with a 1.25 mile loop.  We didn't have much time, so we did 2 laps and called it a day.  2.5>0  It was fun checking out the park during the run, going out on bridges and playing on the playground equipment.  We will definitely be going there again.
Cool fishing deck.

I love playgrounds!

Climbing the wall.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starting Over.

It's ok, I'm still here.  Sorry I haven't been posting.  This is a "running" blog, not an "I can't stop eating long enough to get my running shorts on" blog.  I guess I am not handling the bad ankles very well. 

Do it, do it now.

That's all going to change at 7:30 tomorrow morning.  RBK and I are going running after work 3 days this week.  Man, I really need her motivation to get me started back up.  The half marathon in Minnesota is coming up quickly, less than 5 weeks.  In the past 4 weeks, I've only run the Iron Girl half marathon.  No me gusta.  I've refreshed my running schedule and I am putting my game face on.

No more.

We are going on Bayshore in the morning, but I am going to suggest a couple other places to run for Thursday and Friday morning.  I am looking for some hills to get us ready for Minnesota.  I guess I just need to run the Iron Girl course a few more times.

So look for more blog posts this week.  And if I am not posting, I am not running, so yell at me and help me keep my butt going and my fridge closed.

I need more of this.

This weekend is the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg.  I am volunteering Friday, Saturday, and Sunday-race day.  I've never seen a triathlon so I have no idea if it is something I would be interested in doing

This Saturday is the March of Dimes walk on Bayshore in Tampa.  You can support the March of Dimes by visiting my page here.

...all images, except the picture of me, are from google...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vader Vapor.

My mom is so proud of me.  My coworkers are pretty proud of me too.  And I'm proud of myself too.

I went to the asthma doctor yesterday!  I know.  I'm awesome.

I have a confession.  I have been being a noncompliant asthmatic respiratory therapist runner.  Epic fail.

My new doctor is great.  He was recommended to my by my noncompliant asthmatic respiratory therapist coworker. 

I told him I'm a runner (and I felt kinda awesome referring to myself that way, and guilty because I haven't run in a while), and that I felt my asthma was holding me back.  We came up with a very aggressive game plan to manage my asthma and allergies and he hooked me up with a terrific "sack o nerd".  I've got inhalers, nasal sprays, and eye drops to nip this thing in the bud. 

More good news, my ankles are getting better.  They start to hurt about halfway through my night at work, so I'm still kind of nervous about running on them. 

I know Dr. Oz and Google are not the best primary care physicians, but orthogate is a great website that explains a little about the peroneal tendon and problems that occur. 

I really want to start running this week.  I've been doing strength training since I haven't been running, but like I told Dr. Wheeze, "I'm a runner."

Congrats to all the awesome runners at the Boston Marathon yesterday!!  You guys rock, hard. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spa Week.

Did you guys know it is Spa Week and many spas have discounts on massages and other spa treatments?  You should check SpaWeek to find what deals are near you.

I am waiting on my RBK to get here so we can go get our Spa Week massages.  I really need it after this week.  She wanted to go Monday or Tuesday but I was so sore I couldn't possibly have someone touch me.

I don't know if was the difficult course, my shoes, or the combination of both that caused me to hurt so bad.  I love my Vibrams so I'm going to blame the course.  When you think of running a race in Florida, the last thing you think of is hill training.  I wish I would have paid more attention to those bridges on the course map.  My bad. 

After 5 days of ice, foam rolling, a foot massage from Smooth, TEDS compression socks, and enough NSAIDs to give myself an ulcer, I can finally walk without my "swagger".  Some parts of my feet are still hurting, but I feel so much better.  I was thinking terrible thoughts, stress fracture, bone bruise, no more running.  Yuck. 

I had no idea that was a real quote.  I thought I made it up.

Only 6 weeks til the Stillwater Half in Stillwater, Minnesota.  I will be working on hill training for this race.  I hear Minnesota is not all that flat.

What is the website where you can look up past race times?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Iron Girl. Rubber Ankles?

The good:    I learned some good lessons yesterday.

The bad:      Three evil inclines.

The ugly:      My ankle.

I knew that since I hadn't run in two weeks, Sunday morning would be a tough mental game for me.  RBK came over Saturday night so she wouldn't have to drive so far the morning of the race.  We ate our Iron Girl granola bar we got in our race packets before we went to bed. 
We woke up at 4:00 Sunday morning and got ready for race day.  Smooth went with us to be our photog and spend some time on the beach while we were running.  He is A for Awesome!  I had a bagel thin with PB and banana and a cup of coffee.  I had a sore throat Saturday so I took some Halls with me and we were out the door at 4:50.  Ask I was driving, I saw this cute little tree frog on the hood of the truck.  He was having a hard time sticking.  Luckily there was a stop sign so I could shoosh him off, I think he was our mascot for the day.

We parked at Coachman Park and waited for the trolley to the start line.  If we were coming from out of town I could see how that would be nice, but since we are kind of locals now, we would have been better off parking closer to the beach.  We had to wait a while for the trolley to come and it would have been safer to drive ourselves.  Our trolley driver kept slamming on the brakes to tell other runners to catch a trolley somewhere else.  That was considerate of her, but she had forgotten to close the trolley door. 

When we arrived at Pier 60 we took some pictures and waited in line for the bathroom.  Oh, then they told us there were honey buckets by the starting line.  We drank our 5hr energy.  First time we did it before a race.

Excited to start.

Jumping for joy.

After we peed, we headed into the starting corral.  They didn't have separate corrals but they did have pacers.  We got as close to the 2:30 guy as we could.  We didn't have to wait long for the race to start.  RBK wanted us to stay together, but something told me this was going to be a tough race.  Her goal was 2:20, mine was a PR hopefully close to 2:30. 

Starting line.

Beautiful line up.
 The start went well, not a huge pile up.  It didn't take long into mile 1 to loosen up.  RBK told me on the way to the start, 'I think this is the same way the 5 miler I ran started, if so, there is a big incline in the beginning.'  I think that is good that they put the hill at the beginning.  Ha.  I'm hilarious.  I did really good up the first hill and felt like I had a good pace.  My first 6 splits were:

I used my inhaler a couple times in the beginning.  I couldn't believe they had the roads open while we were running.  They just had road cones to separate the lanes.  Truck exhaust is the last thing this asthmatic needs when running up hills.  I felt like I was getting a blister on my right foot, but other than that I felt ok, the course just seemed really hard.  I hunted the 2:30 pacer guy down like he was prey.  I got in front of him for a couple of miles.  I had great tunes and was trying to focus on my form.  Something was feeling off.  I didn't expect such a hilly course in Clearwater.  The course was really beautiful.  When we weren't running over the evil bridges surrounded by the water, we were running through a pretty residential area.  This one house had a fence covered in honeysuckle and it smelled really good.

Then my left ankle started the popping thing.  Ugh.  It is tolerable when whatever is popping out pops back in and as long as I kept running it would usually be ok.  But I could feel my form getting worse and worse.  I lost the pacer guy, I walked through the water/Gatorade stations and on the last 2 hills.  The humidity was pretty bad at this time.  I was slowly losing my umph.  They had more water stations at the end of the race which was a big help.  There was also a crazy dancing girl along Gulfview who reminded me of the SunDrop girl (I am dressing like her for Halloween, so if you see a SunDrop ringer t-shirt, keep me in mind).  I was chuckling to myself in my head.  Kudos crazy dancing girl.  I passed her 4 times.

My next splits were:
14:45<--I'm pretty sure I had to talk myself from jumping off the bridge. 
Chip Time:  2:39:56

As I'm running the last mile I know I am running pretty close to my Princess Half time.  I refocused, found some Coheed and Cambria on my iPod, and got back into it.  Finally I saw RBK and Smooth.  The finish line was kind of weird.  There were 2 blue timing pads.  I just went for the one under the blow up thing.  I was beat.  I couldn't wait to take my shoes off.  As soon as I got my medal and made it through the finish shoot the shoes came off.  Ahh.  The sand felt so good.  I met up with RBK and Smooth and we walked down to the beach.  It felt so good.  I walked in knee deep.  Smooth pulled cute shirt out of his pocket he bought for me while I was running.  It is a flower 13.1 shirt from asportygirl. I couldn't have asked for a better finish. 

RBK 2:17:26  A great PR!!!

Hi Smooth, I'm dying, but I'm smiling.


Clearwater Beach



We walked over and got our food bags.  Yogurt, banana, gross muffin, hot OJ and a nasty breakfast burrito.  Nice try, but fail.  Am I the only person who doesn't want sugar after a race?  I ate the yogurt anyways.  I really wanted a pickle.  I told Smooth I wanted a pickle while we were waiting in line for the trolley to get back to our truck.  The ride back was hot and smelly.  Runner's are gross.  On the way back to the car we passed a sign that said "Pickles Plus Deli<---."  Oh that sounds so good.  When we got to the parking lot, I realized Pickle Plus Deli is in the same lot as our truck.  Score.  I limp as fast as I can into the deli and ask if they had pickles, maybe those big jar pickles.  The girl looked at me like I had 3 heads.  It was called Pickles Plus Deli, why is that a weird request?!  She said she had some deli pickles and I asked if I could have some.  She brought be a bowl of 4 nice sized pickles and told me I didn't owe her anything.  She made my day.  They were delicious and really hit the spot.

I <3 Pickles.
 On the way home we both had to go to the bathroom, now.  Was it the granola bar, 5hr Energy, the yogurt, or the pickles?  We had both eaten the same things all day and had to go at the exact same time.  Thank goodness I have 2 bathrooms.  I whipped up some blender drinks and we headed to the pool.  While I was laying out relaxing I couldn't stop thinking about the race.

The bottom of my right foot felt uncomfortable from the beginning.  I have a blister on the bottom of my foot below my big toe on my right foot and on the tip of my second toe on my left foot.  My left ankle was popping during the race,  but was feeling ok now.  My right ankle felt a little sore, but not too bad.  Even though I used my inhaler, my lungs felt ok for the majority of the race.  I think when I felt my ankle popping I was really overcompensating with my right leg. 
It felt so great to jump in the pool.  My legs and ankles actually sighed.  I heard them.  I texted my mom that I just finished my third half marathon.  She thought I finished THIRD, like third place.  Aww.  We were exhausted but didn't want to fall asleep in the sun.  We came in and took a nap before our dinner at The Melting Pot with some coworkers.  It was my first Melting Pot experience and I can't wait to go back.  Blogger fail, I forgot my camera. 

After dinner I came home and tied ice packs to my ankles and fell asleep.  They were so sore and swollen.  Today I was supposed to go rollerblading with a friend before our sushi lunch with RBK.  I had to cancel on the blading early because I can bareley walk.  My calves are super tight.  My hammys are sore from the hills.  My ankes are still swollen and I either have a stress fracture or planter fasciitis.  I have never had either one, but I know it hurts.  I have never felt this bad after a run.  I've spent my day with BenGay, Aspercreme, Mortin, my foam roller, compression socks, and ice.  Was it the hills or my beloved VFFs?  Beside the sore calves occasionally, I haven't had any problems with my shoes.  I don't want to have any ill feelings towards my shoes, but I don't think I can keep racing in them.  Especially if I don't know the course very well. 

My next race is the Stillwater Half Marathon in Stillwater, Minnesota.  I better get to working on hill training and wearing my Sauconys.  I also want to stick with crosstraining during this training session.  But, first things first, I gotta be able to walk.

Don't forget to sign up for my Virtual March of Dimes 5k.

Sony Walkman Giveaway-RunFasterMommy