/> SLO in Arkansas: August 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Running stuff

Here is a little running update, so if you don't care at all, feel free to quit reading now:)
Anyway, my running has been interesting the past few weeks. I am currently having some shoe drama, which I hate. The last shoe I bought was apparently a wee bit too small, and has been killing my feet. As in, blood blisters and black toenails on 3 of 5 toes on my left foot. Yuck! I finally went and bought some new ones downtown for my birthday, and got a size and a half larger than those old ones hoping that would give my toes some relief. It did, thank goodness. It also gave my foot some room to move around, and now I have a HUGE blister on the bottom of my foot right on the ball where I push off with every step. My toes are healing, but now I limp even when I'm wearing flip flops:( Ugh! I went and traded those shoes in last night for the exact ones as my original pair, but in a half size down from what I just had. I ran in them this morning and my blister is killing me, but it was already there so I don't think it was the shoes. I am hoping it will heal somehow so I can move on (less painfully).

Anyway, I am progressing nicely with my distance and love the change of perspective having a marathon under your belt brings. I had 12 miles on the schedule for today. I used to fear 12 miles. Today I was like, it's not even a half marathon, it's not that far!! My new running partner and I knocked those 12 out like they were nothing. I have been working a bit on my speed lately and trying to hold a faster pace for longer distance, and it is starting to pay off:) I ran my last (and only) half marathon in 2:08 something, which averaged out to a 9:50 mile pace. I was happy with that to say the least. Well this morning I ran 12 miles (1.1 miles shy of a half) in 1:54, which averaged out to a 9:26 mile pace! Whoo hooo! I could have held it one more mile which would have given me about a 2:03 time, or 5 minutes faster than my previous time. I am really excited about that. My ultimate goal is to break 2 hours in a half, and I am getting closer:) My next half will be on October 1st, and I am getting excited to race again. It will be a hilly course though, so we will see how that factors in.

I ran 26 miles this week. Want to know what is crazy? My highest mileage week during my last marathon training was 28 miles, and that was the week I ran my 20 mile run! Every week that goes by I am more and more amazed that I even finished that marathon with my poor training for it. Yikes! Needless to say, I am feeling much stronger this time around, more confident, and have a wee bit better understanding of the distance and how to push and train my body. I am having fun too! Now if only we could trade in this heat and humidity for some awesome cool fall weather, it would be just perfect! Getting up at 4:45am to get my longer runs in on Saturday mornings is not my idea of fun, but pretty much necessary when running in August in Arkansas.

I am really looking forward to next week and the boys going back to school/mother's day out. We are in desperate need of a regular schedule, and a few hours break from each other around here these days!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

32

I am really loving my 30's so far, and am really hoping that 32 is as awesome as 31 was:) It will be hard to top, but that is what I am going for! My actual birthday was in the middle of the week and we just ignored it for the most part and went about business as usual. I had fun going to the store and picking out my presents later in the week with Silas and the boys. They got me some new running shoes and an ipod shuffle, which I love!! I can't wait to get out and run more now:) I also opted for no cake this year, since Jace will have a birthday next week and we will definitely be eating cake for his celebration! I just couldn't be trusted with two cakes in two weeks in the house:)

Some awesome friends from church offered to keep the boys so we could go out this weekend, and we were so excited to take them up on the offer!! Silas and I rarely go anywhere by ourselves (unless the boys are in school for a few hours and then it is usually a local lunch), so we couldn't wait to get dressed up and do something fancy. We were going to try a nice steakhouse in town, but decided at the last minute to head to Memphis for our favorite treat.....the Melting Pot:) We always feel so strange leaving the state for dinner, but it was fun to drive and talk uninterrupted for over an hour and eat in peace!

My birthday dinner date was fantastic! I could eat cheese fondue every day. We ate and ate until we were stuffed and barely had room for dessert. I am the weirdo who left the cheesecake untouched on the plate and ate everything else! It took us about 2 hours to eat dinner which was such a treat, and very different from the usually hurried meals out with the boys. I think it's a good thing we don't have a Melting Pot closer....we would be huge and broke for sure! It was wonderful:)

Silas made sure to watch carefully how things were made so we can try some of our own at the house. I can't wait! The boys had a blast while we were gone and were so excited to tell us everything they had done. We are so thankful for special people who love on our boys and give us a small break:) I had a great birthday and am excited to see what this year holds for me. Maybe it will be my best yet!
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fitting It All In

Well I'm not actually! To tell you the truth I am a wee bit overwhelmed at the moment. I have way too much to do and not enough hours to get it all done, which means my stress level is a little higher than I would like it to be. Thankfully running helps keep that under control most days:)

August is a tough month. It's really hot. The summer has been long and fun, and you get kind of bored and ready for a change of pace. And then all my babysitters have gone back to school, and my kids haven't started back to mother's day out yet, which is my number one stress right now. I still have to work, but now I have lost the ability to do that easily. I love my kids to death, but the days are getting long and it is so hard to make phone calls and schedule clients, do paperwork, etc with them screaming and wrapped around my legs! I am definitely looking forward to August 30th!

Speaking of August 30th, Tyson is starting Pre-K!! I am amazed at how fast the years have gone, and how big he is. The Mother's Day Out program he has been attending for the past 3 years has an official pre-k program that he will attend this year. He is pretty excited and already knows most of the kids in his class as lots of them go to church with us, or he has been in their class over the years. Jace will be in the 2 year old class and knows several of his classmates as well. I am really looking forward to the routine and schedule of school again and having some dedicated hours each week to work. I like being fully present and engaged with them when I am at home, and that is always such a struggle in the summer months when they are out of school and I still need to get some work done. I had taken on 3 home studies this past week or so, and was getting more overwhelmed by the day trying to figure out how to do them around my regular work hours and when Silas is home. Today I finally gave in and told my supervisor I could only manage to do one of the three. I really hate having to do that, but I felt my sanity going out the window rapidly and for me it is better to cut back than forge ahead and lose it down the road when the stress hits. Don't you just love getting older?! I don't think I would have been smart enough to make a decision like that even a few years ago, but now I at least have the wisdom or better understanding of myself to know when and where to draw the line. I have been working this year to simplify, and its not always easy. I have felt bombarded the past few weeks with events and activities, work, and fun, and have been trying to figure out how to fit it all in. My answer to most of it has been to cut most of it out when possible! I hate missing out on things, but sometimes you just gotta let it go:) My kids and husband suffer the most when I am stressed and overwhelmed, and keeping that in mind really helps me in my decision-making when it comes to what I can handle. If mama ain't happy, no one is happy! So, I am working to fit in the important stuff, let go of the unnecessary things, and focus on all the positive things and people I am blessed to have in my life:)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's My Birthday!

I am finding it a bit hard to believe I am 32 years old today:) So far the 30's have been wonderful years, and hopefully this one will be even better! I am in a really good place in life and loving it. I am so blessed in so many ways. And what better way to spend my birthday than with my favorite little guys?!


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Good News Is I Have A Six Pack....

.....the bad news is you can't see it because it's hiding under the last remaining layer of baby fat:) Silas tries to assure me it's there. He is so sweet:) Sorry, I know that was random! I'm pretty scattered today. It's day 3 without a coke, so excuse my random thoughts. This is currently the time of day I would bust open a nice cold one, sit down on the couch and veg out for a bit while the kids are sleeping, enjoying some quiet before I have to go to work. But not today. Today I am making my 2nd cup of coffee instead for an afternoon pick me up:) I'm not trying to cut out caffeine, I'm working on cutting out the dark carbonated goodness that is coke. I will probably fail, but that's ok! Every day I go without one is several hundred calories I have saved:) I use sugar free creamer in my coffee so yes, I am saving at least 100 calories per drink.

Anyway, Silas and I have recently discovered a little something called vitamins. I have been feeling tired all the time, and just have no energy most days. It's a wonder I get my workouts done with the way I feel. I have really been dragging lately, and finally hit the point where I needed to do something about it. I finally went to GNC and found a nice multi-vitamin for active women and let me just say.....I love my pills! I have taken them for 2 days and can already tell a HUGE difference in my energy levels, clarity of thinking, etc. Silas even decided to try some too since he has been feeling the same way, and he loves them as much as I do:) Last year I focused on weight loss alone, and did so by doing the very basic things, eating less/portion control and exercise. This year I am really wanting to do more for my health and try to cut out some of the junk food and give my body more of the good stuff. I ask a lot of my body with my training, and I pretty much fuel it with sludge half the time, which isn't the best combination. So this marathon training cycle I am working on cleaning up my diet a bit (don't judge me if you see me eating junk though), drinking more water, taking my vitamins, and doing a much more intentional training plan. Last marathon I just ran the number of miles at whatever pace I felt like it. This time I am incorporating cross training into the schedule, and doing a long run, an easy run, and a tempo or speed or hill run. I feel really good at this point and am already so far ahead of where I was last time. I went out and ran 10 miles on Saturday morning at a faster pace than I ran my last half marathon and felt great the whole time, so I am super excited to see my time come down in this next race in October.

Speaking of October, have you felt the weather lately??! Fall is coming! There is a nice coolness in the early morning air when I go run now, and though the humidity is still there, you can just feel fall coming. I love this time of year and am energized by it. I can't wait to bring out the fall decorations and smell the pumpkin spice candles soon:)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Summer Slow down


I really can't tell if we are slowing down in the heat, or gearing things up for the fall these days. I just can't believe how fast our summer has flown by and that school starts just around the corner. Even though we still have a few more weeks, the public schools start next week and things will be back in full swing in no time.

We are still busy cramming in summer fun where we can and trying to enjoy our free time as much as possible. We have loved our swim days with friends, and are planning a day trip to Searcy this week to swim and catch up with good friends we have been missing. The boys and I are excited! There are plans to try and squeeze in one more trip to the water park before it closes for the season. Hopefully that will work out for next week. We are taking some friends to the lake this weekend for some get-away fun before their kids start back to school. We had a family over to grill out hot dogs and the kids all played in the sprinklers in the front yard this weekend. We even managed to eat ice cream for dinner one night last week when the temps hit 107 degrees! It was just too hot to cook, or even want much food:)

I have done a bit of back to school shopping for the boys, but luckily they have most of what they need already. I try to buy ahead when I find great sales on clothes and stay ahead of what they will need coming up. I finally caved this year and bought our first "themed" anything for Tyson! He specifically requested a Spiderman backpack for pre-k, so a Spiderman backpack is what he got:) He loves it! Both boys got new backpacks and new tennis shoes for school, as well as hooded zip up jackets. Thankfully they are good to go with jeans and long sleeve t-shirts for the fall. We made a startling discovery this weekend when I was trying on Tyson's long sleeve shirts from the spring. They are all too short in the arms and waist length, but guess who they fit perfectly?? Yep, Jace. My baby who will be 2 years old in a few weeks is wearing 4T shirts and 2-3T pants! We basically realized the boys are almost the same size in the body, Tyson is just several inches taller:) I am not sure if I am happy they can share clothes, or scared at what this means for down the road! Jace won't stop eating and may possibly be much bigger than Tyson if he doesn't watch out:)

The heat has been crazy the past few weeks, but the early mornings seem to be cooling off and I am really looking forward to the fall weather. I love the Fall and everything about it, and am so excited! The crazy heat has forced me to start getting up early to do my workouts though, which has been a struggle at times. Last week I was up at 4:45am on Thursday to run almost 6 miles, 5:30am on Friday to swim, and 5am on Saturday to run 9 miles. I really love the mornings, but unfortunately do not go to bed early enough to get a full night's sleep. I am really needing to work on that:) Life has been fun and good for us this summer and I am constantly trying to be thankful for all our many blessings. We are all happy and healthy and looking forward to school starting and all the fun things the transition to fall will bring:)
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Friday, August 05, 2011

One Year Race-aversary

It's my one year anniversary of racing this weekend! August 7, 2010 was my first road race last year, and I ran Hot Summer Nights (4 miles). I was so nervous for that race, and it was so tough, both physically and mentally. But I finished, and have not looked back since crossing that finish line:) I was so proud of myself for running that race, and the work I had put into losing the baby weight from the boys. That race was a turning point for me, when I finally felt alive again and remembered that being an athlete is a huge part of who I am. I am so sad that they aren't having the race again this year....I was really looking forward to racing it again and seeing how far I have come. But even without that specific race, I can see how far I have come in the past 12 months......

I gained confidence after the 4 mile race and entered several more local 5k's in the fall. Each one my time improved, and I was more and more hooked. I decided to aim high and began training for my first half marathon that fall. I finished 13.1 miles in Wynne, AR in November 2010, and knew this was only just the beginning for me:)

After slowing down a bit on the running front for December and the holidays, I was anxious to get back into my training. I bit the bullet and registered for the Little Rock Marathon in March 2011. Running that marathon was probably the hardest thing I have done. One and done??? Nope, not for me!! Crossing that finish line was huge for me, and the confidence grew, along with the desire to push even harder.

I hoped back onto my bike in the spring for some cross training and started gearing up for some real fun...triathlon!!! I completed my first sprint triathlon last week and am really looking forward to increasing my endurance and distances for the next one down the road.

As I look back over the past year I can't help but smile at the journey I have been on. I love this stuff so much (in case you can't tell)! I am much more confident in myself all the way around, am much healthier, physically, mentally and emotionally, and have had fun involving my boys in an active lifestyle. I have made some great friends along the way as well. It has been a busy year, but an amazing year. I began marathon #2 training this week as well, and am so excited to push myself even more this time around. It sure helps knowing I can do it!! I am so excited about racing this year and all the adventure it will bring. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a physical body that is able to accomplish all the things I love, and a family that supports and encourages me to go even bigger. I am blessed beyond measure and loving every second of it!!!
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jace

I am a bit in shock at how fast Jace is growing up. He seems like such a big kid to me, and my baby isn't even 2 yet!! His 2nd birthday is in just 3 weeks though, and he is excited. What gets me the most is that I can't believe he is almost the age Tyson was when I had Jace:) I can't even imagine being pregnant again yet, much less have another one!!!

Jace and Tyson are both big talkers, but in very different ways. Tyson has been jabbering since he was 8 months old and just won't stop. Man that kid talks constantly about EVERYTHING!! He is hard to understand at times though. But Jace is a different story. He is a pretty quiet kid, but can talk so clearly and is starting to use really big sentences! I think they are supposed to be putting 2 or maybe 3 words together at this point, but he frequently uses 7 or 8 words at a time. He says things like, "Daddy look at me!!" or "Get out of here, there's a monster in there!" He is very demanding when he is hungry and tells me things like, "Mama, want my apple juice in the fridge right now!" or "I need a piece of cheese right now!" Apparently everything he needs is right now:) I just laugh when he says it because it sounds so grown up from such a little guy.

His first words this morning before I pulled him out of his crib were "Want to watch a movie now." He and Tyson are really into watching the Toy Story movies right now, and they both love them. They have gotten all buddy buddy lately and are really having fun playing together. Especially now that Jace can talk and participate more I think. He can open doors, get his juice cup out of the fridge by himself, climb anything, start the dishwasher and even turn on the TV with the remote. He is a busy bee and learns so much from big brother. I have really enjoyed spending time with these guys this summer and am amazed at how much they know and can do. One random thing they do at mealtimes is to stand up in their chairs/booster seats and put their arms up over their heads and yell out "hextagon!!" I have no idea what it means!! I think they are saying hexagon, and Tyson picked it up from a Mickey Mouse movie where there is a hexagon shaped train car, but not sure how that works into meal time really:) They both do it at the same time, and then get down on the floor and dance a little jig before they will go on eating. Funny little boys!
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Race Junkie

My camera does some weird things to pictures, so this one looks a bit grainy. It was the only one of our family though, so I had to post it:)

This picture was from a random run a few weeks ago. I love wearing my Little Rock Marathon shirt. The back says...."A marathoner of mythic proportions." I love that:) And speaking of marathons, I am back in "official" training for marathon #2! I am trying to take a completely different approach to this second marathon and learn from my first one as much as I can. First off, I only "officially" trained for my first one for about 9 weeks. That is NOT enough time people! This one I am planning to have 18 official training weeks for, which is substantially more. August 1st started my training with a nice dripping 4 mile run. I loved it:) I have combined several training plans together to create one that should work well for me. I am going to try to increase my mileage quite a bit over last time, and get several more 16+ mile runs to help build my distance base up. I am also planning to try and incorporate some speed work in, because the whole goal of running number 2 is to beat my time from race #1:) I am hoping to take 15-20 minutes off my time, so we will see how it goes.

I am also training with some different people this time around. There are several women who are running the same race, or other marathons around the same time as me, and we will train together. It should help to run with people who are also training for the same thing and with the same goals in mind. Seeing as it is 105 degrees today the plan for August is just to survive the heat and get a good foundation in. I am loving the summer, but I am really looking forward to some fall running temps! I have a half marathon race planned for early October which is my goal race to break 2 hours. I am looking around for another sprint triathlon too if I can find one close enough and fit it into my schedule easily. No big deal:) Anyway, everything is going great and I am hoping to stay healthy and get serious about my training over the next few months. December 3rd is coming and I have some big goals to reach:)
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Monday, August 01, 2011

Race Recap- The Run

I ran back into the transition area, changed into my running shoes, and was off again for the last leg of the race.
Transition goal time: 1:30
Transition 2 time: 47 seconds!

There weren't many chances for pictures since the run was in the woods, so this was the best we got! The run leg started across a 1/4 mile levee, and the winner was already coming back towards me as I was running out! This was a fun part since you got to pass people coming and going, and I tried to do lots of encouraging to others that were just heading out on the run as I was heading back in. I crossed the levee and headed into the woods. Oh the woods. I try to have a good attitude about trail running, but I just don't. I hate it. A lot. Mostly because I have had two knee surgeries, and have pretty bad ankles from years of being banged up in soccer, and picking my way over rocks and tree roots up and down narrow little dirt trails is not my idea of fun, and my body doesn't like it! Anyway, I knew it was a trail so I made the most of it. I just ran along and mostly tried not to fall. My legs felt like jello and the terrain was rough and uneven. I girl right behind me crashed hard right at the end. Yikes!

I didn't have my Garmin on so I had no clue how far I had gone. Thankfully there was a random 1 mile marker in the woods. At that point I was tired, but knew there was only a mile left of the race, so I chugged along. The trail was so narrow there was no room to pass anyone either, so I had someone right on my back the whole way. We finally got back to the cleared part to come back across the levee and she said, "thanks for pacing me!!" and took off. I finished strong and felt good at the end. I couldn't believe it was already over!! They handed me a ice cold wet towel and a powerade and off I went to find my family.

My run time was about what I thought for the trail part.
Goal run time: 20 minutes
Official run time: 20:40 (10:20 pace)

Not the best for me, but for a trail, that was all I could hope for!!

Overall finishing goal time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Official finishing time: 1 hour 14 minutes 22 seconds! I rock:)

This was a group shot of all the women who participated from Jonesboro. There were several others who didn't make it in the shot I think. We had fun together!! So there is my race breakdown. I will post again later with my thoughts on the race now that I have had some time to process it all.

oh yeah. I finished 8th out of 26 women in my age group! I was aiming for top 10, and I got it!! Man I love this sport:)
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Race Recap- The Bike

I was so pleased with myself for finishing the swim, and in a decent time, that the rest of the race was just fun! I grinned all the way up the ramp into the transition area, and got my bike stuff on pretty fast. I had every intention of practicing my transitions before the race, but alas, did not. I managed to be fast and efficient though, which was awesome:)

Transition goal: Under 1:30
Transition 1 time: 1:17

I ran my bike to the mounting area and off I went.

The bike was enjoyable except for the fact that I had a pounding headache the entire ride. Like feeling like my head was going to explode pain. There was nothing I could do about it, so I just rode along:) I was cool from the swim and the breeze felt nice. I have never ridden my bike hard for a very sustained period of time, so this was all new to me. I just went along and tried to pass people, or catch back up if I got passed. I ate my jelly bean energy beans along the way which helped with my head a little since they had caffeine in them too. I was able to drink my water and gatorade just fine too, and didn't lose any of my bottles:) The ride was pretty uneventful. There were some rolling hills, which really slowed me down, but I felt like I was doing fine on time. Of course there was a killer hill (the biggest one yet) right at the end of the bike leg, so I got off the bike huffing and puffing, which I did not want to do!

I got of my bike and ran it back into the transition area to get ready for the run.

Goal bike time: 35-39 minutes (17-20 MPH)
Official bike time: 40:22 (16.35 MPH)

Pretty close! I was pretty slow taking off and coming back in, which I will account for the extra 22 seconds of time:)

Here is a picture of me with my awesome photographer and coach after I finished the race!! I love this guy and couldn't do any of this without him!!! Thanks Silas for all you do for me:)

Tyson just had to wear my race number and glasses after the race. He was SOOO excited to be there and loved it all so much:) Maybe he will follow in his mom's footsteps down the road.....
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Swim Video


Hopefully this works. I am the one in the bright red outfit a few back. Yes, I jumped off stupid, but I didn't want to dive in and risk messing my goggles up!! I have contacts and needed my goggles to stay put:)
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video


We had to swim out to a large green buoy, turn right and swim out to another one, and then head back to the pier. It looked pretty far when you weren't in the water, and really seemed like you weren't getting anywhere when you were in the water!

Annie Oakley Super Sprint Triathlon 2011- The Swim

So my first ever triathlon is officially in the books, and the verdict is.....LOVED IT!!! That comes as no surprise to me:) I am breaking my race recap down into sections so I can get more pictures on here, so hang in there. We got up at 3:30 am and hit the road by 4am. The boys did amazing and watched movies all the way to the race. It ended up taking us almost 2 hours to get there! We arrived, picked up our race packets, got our body markings and time chips, and set up the transition area. I met up with some girls I know from Jonesboro, which really helped calm my nerves to have others to talk to, and show me how to set up my stuff! This is Kara, Heather, Emily and I before the race.

I was really close to the front for the swim start since I registered so early, so I didn't have a lot of time to be nervous before we took off. Blow up the picture and take a look at the look on my face!! I was pretty nervous but trying to be calm and tell myself I could do this:) It worked! I hit the water and just started off my freestyle like I had practiced in the pool. My breathing was great every 3 strokes, my sighting was good and I didn't veer off course any, and I just kept it slow and steady. A few people did swim into me at times, which is more annoying than anything. I resorted to breaststroke a few times, but overall I felt I did as good as could be expected for the swim!

This was before the race when I was setting up my transition area. It was a beautiful morning and not nearly as hot as it had been the past few days thanks to a little rain the day before.

A picture of the start of the race. Silas got a great video clip of me swimming and I will try to figure out how to put it on here! I was never so happy to see the pier and climb out of the water by the end. I never panicked though, and never felt like I couldn't make it, so that was good. I had started my watch right before I jumped in the water and checked it when I got out...10:35 or something close. I was so happy! My official swim split was 11:16 though since it included the run down the pier and back up into the transition area.

Goal swim time: Less than 12 minutes
Official swim time: 11:16
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