Monday, August 31, 2009

The Battle of Seabrook

We have all faced different battles in our lives. Some have faced the battle of the bulge. Others battle insecurity or negative, destructive thoughts. Our country is in the midst of a universal health care battle. Our troops are fighting in a battle in the middle east. Today I faced my own battle. The Battle of Seabrook. I am a native to this territory so you would think I would have been prepared for this battle. I know my enemy well. I have lived among them for years. Each evening, our front line troops drive around conducting air raids on them. I do my best to keep my home secure from them. When one infiltrates my battalion I go into hand to hand combat with them. Like a Ninja, I sneak up on them and try to destroy them before they even know I am within reach. Yes, I know my enemy well
So what happened? How did I lose this one? I forgot that my only defense against my enemy, while I invade their territory is chemical warfare. I forgot my repellent. So as I ran through the woods, I looked all around me and the air was black with little jet fighters attacking me. My only defense at this point was to run faster and sprinkle my drinking water on them. I thought I was doing well until I got home and my husband took pictures of the back of my legs. It was total annihilation of my legs. I am sure the enemy left with alot of my blood. Should I be concerned about needing a blood transfusion? Just kidding.
But seriously, this was a big mistake. I thought about putting repellent on my legs but I was so anxious to get out and run that I dismissed it. And now here I am with welts. I knew better. I live in swamp area and it had rained on Friday and Saturday. The skeeter trucks didn't come by on Sunday so I knew there would be thousands of those buggers flying around.

But I am proud of myself. A few months ago, I would have turned around the moment I saw the first skeeter. I would have become upset and just quit. But I didn't. As a matter of fact, those moments when I looked down and saw 30 or more skeeters on my legs, I just ran faster. I looked like a commercial for OFF...only I was the unlucky person being eaten alive by skeeters.
So I lost the battle of Seabrook. But I learned my lesson.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Race for the Cure

Some of you may already know about my past. In 1998 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was Stage III and it had metastasized to my lymph nodes. For those who don't understand the stages, there are only four stages to breast cancer. I was 28 and had a 20 month old little girl at the time. I feared for my life but more importantly, I feared for hers. At the time I was diagnosed, ten members of my family, on my father's side, had already been diagnosed. Only one had survived. Within months of my diagnosis, she was in another battle with cancer and two of my cousins were diagnosed. My aunt lost her battle but my cousins survived. We know it is hereditary, I mean how much of a coincidence is it that fourteen of us from my grandmother to my generation have been diagnosed with it? But they don't know which gene. It has not been identified. And it doesn't just strike certain people in my family. My grandmother was in her 80's when she was diagnosed, my cousin Irma was in her early 40's, I was in my 20's and my cousin Leslie was a teenager. Yes, breast cancer is vicious.

That is why I have decided to join the Race for the Cure. You guys know me, I wasn't a runner until a few months ago so this is the first time I was able to do this. I am excited about it. I have created a team Boob Troup. I know I have had a late start but this is important to me and if you are a woman, it should be important to you. My biggest fear is for my daughter. I hope and pray that if she should share this gene with me, that her detection of the disease is early and her prognosis is better than mine was at the time I was diagnosed. If any of you have daughters, or even sons, I know you will want them to have a fighting chance against this disease. The more we can do to support research, the better hope we have in our children and our children's children to beat the disease.

Please join me at my Race for the Cure
home page and make a donation. No amount is too small. As a matter of fact, it is the small amounts that matter the most. Pin It

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I ran!

You know, I went for months, dare I say, years, without working out and now a few days and I just feel out of sorts. Sure I went to the gym a few times last week but I didn't run. And I missed it dearly. So today after a few bumps in the morning, I was able to get my run on. So why is my mini acting like I haven't ran?!?!? I ran this morning but I fear my mini so much, that I feel a need to run again tomorrow morning...eventhough I am not suppose to run. But I am glad I ran this morning.

It gave me time to reflect over my past week. I loved seeing my family and getting ready for the new school year, just not at the same time. So getting out and turning on my Nano and just hitting the paths near my home was relaxing. I know, I can running be relaxing? I can't explain it but it is, even for this fluffy gal. So what are you waiting for? Pin It

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have been abducted!!

Seriously, this is a busy week and I don't even know where to begin. So to make it quick and short, I am going to do it bullet style:
  • Picking up stepson from Alabama
  • Scanning 700+ pictures for video montage
  • Editing pics for video
  • picking songs for montage
  • creating video montage
  • taking daughter for school shopping
  • shopping for dress for dad's birthday
  • picking up sister from airport
  • taking daughter to school and wait 2 hours for book pick up
  • getting hair done
  • cleaning house for guests staying
  • firming up birthday party plans
  • making arrangements for family arriving from out of town, picking them up and bedding
  • translating song into English from Spanish (and I don't know Spanish)
  • Creating party gifts for guests
  • going to gym to work out
  • Cook for party tonight for Bible Study end of summer party

I am sure I left out a few but I have to go again. Miss all you guys! I'll be back on Monday.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Post Couch to 5K

Can I just say that I love trail running? I did my first trail run during W9 of Couch to 5K. I fell in love immediately with the trails. I don't think about the time and I feel less stress when I run. What I mean is that my run feels easier. I love running past the butterfly garden as the sun bathes them in a soft glow through the trees. I love running over the bridge and seeing all the baby crabs crawling below. I love running past the skate park and watch the kids do their dare devil tricks, or saying hello to fellow dog lovers that have normal dogs that can run with them. (Note to self: need to train one of my dogs to be normal enough to go out in public.) All of these small distractions make my run easier. It is so stimulating that I forget about the minutes on my Polar F6. All I do is enjoy the run.

So when I ran on the treadmill earlier this week, I struggled with each minute. In front of my was my fake tree and to the right was the big screen and to the left was the view of my backyard. It was boring. No new smells to discover or a breeze to feel grateful for blowing, just nothing. So it was a short run but I did it. But I made sure my next run was outside.

So on Saturday I woke up late and the heat had already made itself at home in my little town, so I had to wait to the evening. It was a great run. I couldn't wait to get out there. I loved taking a deep breath of the sea air or hearing the birds chirp, seeing the squirrels and just saying hello to cooler weather. By cooler I mean, it is not in the 90s. Since I have finished C25K , I am starting to work on my pace. So I tried to go just a bit faster. It was a dance really. I would get a quicker turn over on my feet, I would hit the center button on my Nano to hear my current pace, look down on my Polar F6 to check my heart rate and make adjustments. I did this several times for the first 25 minutes. Then in minute 26 I just ran. I ran until I couldn't run anymore. And when I couldn't run anymore, I stopped my Nano and there she was, Joan Benoit Samuelson. She was congratulating me on my new PR. 16:46 pace. I love running. Pin It

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 9 Class of 08/10/2009

Ok, I am a day late in posting about my final C25K run. Was I like a gazelle gliding through the trails on my last run? No. My day proved to be a Monday. I walked out the door and attempted to turn on my Nike plus but my Nano was frozen. My husband did not seem in the mood to go with me, which kind of hurt my feelings because this was a big day for me. I was running my last run on the program and I was hitting 100 miles on my Nike+. So, with all of that hanging on me, I trudged back inside and tried to reset my Nano but nothing worked. As a last ditch effort, I hooked it up to my computer and restored to factory settings. My computer had to download an update and then had to reload all 500 songs back onto my Ipod. Needless to say, I was not very happy. It was getting later, the sun was getting higher and the day was getting hotter.

But finally I was ready to head out the door. As I approached the front of my neighborhood, my husband rides past me, and he doesn't have the water. So, I am screaming, trying to get his attention to tell him to go back and get the water. As I proceed to walk, the funk just comes over me. I don't want to be out there. I feel cheated. This was to be a perfect run and it was becoming a perfect mess. Even the gravel on the trail felt deeper and seemed harder to walk through.

But that is where all my training from the prior weeks comes into play. I knew from previous weeks that you have good days and bad days. That sometimes you hit a runner's high and other days you just hit the wall. And I learned that it is okay to have those days. It doesn't make you a failure or make you any less of a runner. I have read hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, scoured blogs and know that all runners, even Olympic ones, have their off days. So my off day made me the same as Kara Goucher. (funny thing: I didn't even know who that was about 10 weeks ago). If you don't, google her.

So as I ran and the sun beat down on me, I felt sluggish. I started to try to chant to myself. "You can do it", I said over and over again. And for a while I believed it. Womanizer was playing on my Nano and I was finally hitting some shade, this was gonna be a good day. So I hit my center button on my Nano to get an update on my pace and this is what I heard, "Current time 25 minutes, current pace, 0 minutes per mile...." NOOOOOOOOOO, dagnabbit, what the freak? and every other word of frustration came to mind. What is going on? So I hit it every once and a while and it was all over the map when it came to pace. And my distance? It was off also. This was suppose to be my celebratory run and it was turning into a disaster. As a Christian, all I could think was , "Satan, get thee behind me!". He was going to try to steal my joy. He knows me getting healthier and fitter was going to give me more energy to serve and he wants none of that. But that ain't gonna happen.

So I finished my run yesterday really hot and tired. But you know what? I finished it. I finished it and I can't wait to run again. That is the difference between never running before and spending the last few weeks learning how to run and learning about my body, I know I was just having an off day. So what?

As the day wore on, I got out of my funk and found my blessings. I check in daily with two threads at Weight Watchers, C25K Daily Challenge and Heavyweights. I have met some of the most amazing women on these boards. Dare I say, some of us have become friends. We share our woes, our praises, our lives and family stories. I smile right now just thinking about all of them. There are those like Rebekah that have been where we are and shares a wealth of knowledge. There are those like Christina and Kris that just make me laugh. Then there are others like Lisa, Andie, and Amanda that I watched finish C25K before me and offered words of encouragement. Even all the news one, Christine and Beth that give me a chance to pay it forward and share anything that I may have learned on my journey. There are even the Nathans and Lisa's that I have not heard from in a while but still think about. All of them, and so many more, make up a big community of people that have found this love for running or are just discovering it, like me. Yes, I am truly blessed to know these people and to call them friends.

What a journey! When I started, I thought I just needed a pair of shoes and some clothes and just put one step in front of the other. Which is true to some degree. But I found that I could combine my love for technology with my new found love of running. I bought a HRM that is almost as important to me as the invention of the wheel. And not to be outdone, my Nike+ has been my little cheerleader and my data tracker. I can tell you what my pace was during any week of C25K, I can tell you what day I run the most, even what my average distance is during C25K. Yes, my Nike+ feeds my data junkie needs. I found new uses for my Iphone in MapMyRun, C25K application and progio. Yes, running has been good for my techno side.

Running is a whole other world. But who knew you could benefit from different clothes?!? I didn't even know what tech shirts were. I didn't know how different they felt from cotton when you are dripping in sweat. I didn't realize the difference a good pair of running shoes made when it came to comfort and preventing injury. And who knew that us gals that are well endowed could actually find a running bra that meets all of our unique needs. Did you know that there are even different types of socks? Yes, I know, who knew? Or running gear that has been created to massage certain parts of your legs, depending on how it is constructed. Crazy, right? Or get this....GU. I know, I know, what the heck is that? Apparently, it is nutrition on the go when you are out on a long run. Or that documentaries on Running the Sahara or books named Born to Run would be interesting? And I have just started learning about all this. So much still to learn.

But the best part of all this. I discovered myself. I learned to listen to my body as I run. I pick up the pace a bit and listen to my bodies reaction. My heart is beating a bit faster, my breath is becoming a little more shallow, new muscles in my legs are waking up and then I slow down a bit. I feel my breathing coming easier, my form is more relaxed and my overall feeling is just good. I travel a bit further and tease it alittle. I push it a little more and listen to my body. I change my form, while running, and listen to my body to see if it is making me more efficient or if it is struggling. I love the mental part of the run. Even when the Beast shows up and I have to figure out how to tame it.

I also discovered confidence. Each week presented itself with a new set of goals and each week I was amazed that I could meet them. Sometimes I had to repeat a week or I just flat out cried because I was embarrassed or it seemed too hard but it was worth it. My first run outside was scary. I didn't want anyone to see this fluffy gal trying to run.... and fail. I did whatever I could to avoid people. As they passed me, I tugged on every piece of clothing, I guess mentally trying to hide behind them. But I learned that all the ill thoughts that I thought they were having, were in fact, my own. What I learned is that, if they are runners, they admire and love any runners. I learned that they are ready to help out and offer advice if you ask them. And the only people that really smirk....are the people in the cars who can't run and don't who cares? They are not runners so they probably laugh at the slim and trim runner for running in the heat, the cold, time of name it. They hide behind their sneers because deep down, they long to run and have probably tried and failed. I have been blessed with two friends in my Bible Study that are avid runners. They met in a running group, they have qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon (Again something new that I have to qualify for the Boston Marathon....and it is hard), and all they have done is love on me. They encourage me, they congratulate me no matter what my pace for finishing a 5K. They are good people.

It seems so surreal that I have completed Couch to 5K. It is almost scary. I mean, what do I do next to stay motivated? I loved the small goals each week in the program. They boosted my confidence and pushed me to do better. I am on to a search for a new program. The One Hour Runner, 10K training from Nike...who knows. Pin It

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Almost Done W9D2

I can't even begin to tell you how I feel. I went out this morning to run the trails. I am in Week 9 so I do a 30 minute run with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. It felt so comfortable. It felt natural. In minute 18, where I usually feel like stopping, I felt like dancing. Well Janet Jackson was playing at the time...and who doesn't like to dance to Janet?

It wasn't too hot for this time of year. It was 79 degrees and there was a breeze coming off the water. It was a Saturday morning so there were more people today than there were during the week but who cares! I no longer dread seeing people on the trails or when cars pass by or the landscapers are outside. None of that matters anymore.

If you are reading this and you are just starting Couch to 5K, be prepared to see some changes in your life. Be prepared to have more confidence. Be prepared to know how to listen to your body. Be prepared to start seeing food as not a comfort when stressed but fuel for your body. Be prepared to flood your body with endorphins and feel joy. Be prepared to be able to push through the hard runs because you know it gets eaiser. Be prepared to call yourself a runner. Pin It

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Long time no see

So I have been MIA for a couple of months. Well, I have been MIA on my scrapbooking blog but my running blog is pretty active. That is why I haven't posted to this one. I had to take a break from scrapping. It was consuming my time and my health. I needed to get healthy and I wasn't going to do it scrapping. Not that I think scrapping is bad, I just needed to step back and get some balance in my life. So I have devoted 10 weeks to a running program. Since then, I have become a runner and ran my first 5K. Once I graduate from my training program, I will start adding scrapping back to my life...hey a mini album about my running.

If you want to know more about my running, vist me at SeeFluffyRun. Meanwhile, my father's 80th birthday is coming up and we are throwing him a party. So I thought I would share the invitation I made for him. My sister sent me a picture of him that I have never seen, so I used it. I used Photoshop elements to change the size and bought an element..darn...I forgot where...and I used it. Enjoy!

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Long time no see

So I have been MIA for a couple of months. Well, I have been MIA on my scrapbooking blog but my running blog is pretty active. That is why I haven't posted to this one. I had to take a break from scrapping. It was consuming my time and my health. I needed to get healthy and I wasn't going to do it scrapping. Not that I think scrapping is bad, I just needed to step back and get some balance in my life. So I have devoted 10 weeks to a running program. Since then, I have become a runner and ran my first 5K. Once I graduate from my training program, I will start adding scrapping back to my life...hey a mini album about my running.

If you want to know more about my running, vist me at SeeFluffyRun. Meanwhile, my father's 80th birthday is coming up and we are throwing him a party. So I thought I would share the invitation I made for him. My sister sent me a picture of him that I have never seen, so I used it. I used Photoshop elements to change the size and bought an element..darn...I forgot where...and I used it. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Registration is open!! Nike Human Race 10K Pin It

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

W8D3 and counting

So, I have been struggling lately with getting up early. I am pretty much jumping out of bed and running straight for the office and working. But I really need balance in my life. For whatever reason, I have taken up watching TV. If you knew me in person, you would know that I cannot commit to any TV show. I can't remember what day they air or what time or even what channel. I usually end up watching the last show of reality shows. You know get the whole season wrapped up in two hours. Work smart, not hard has been my motto.

Well, since I started running on my treadmill or the treadmill at the gym, I have taken a new interest in TV watching. I want to stay entertained for the duration of my run. So my interests in watching TV has caused me to research show and the times they air. I am such a geek.

But last night I went to bed early in hopes that I would get up early to run. I didn't. I was up early, about 7am but I wanted to be out of the door by 6:30 am. So I sat down and did my Bible Study...balance, remember? When I finished the study, I heard the DJ on the radio say it was only 84 degrees. Hot dog!! I threw on my shoes and got my husband and I went for a run outside while he rode the bike. It was nice.

I love running on the paths that go over small streams, past the middle school, through the woods and drop me off in front of my neighborhood. I felt so alive. There was so much to look at that I didn't constantly look down at my watch or calculate my pace. And by the end of the run, I felt rejuvenated. I didn't encounter the beast that I see on the treadmill. She did not show up and I was pretty glad. I can't believe I ran the whole thing. There was a time when walking that distance was a struggle. Now, it was like a walk in the park. (pun intended)

So I think for the rest of my Couch to 5K, I am going to try to get up early and run outside. Pin It