Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have you ever heard the story...

about the little girl,

who grew and grew WAY too fast,

and was suddenly five years old?! Where does the time go? We are so honored to be the parents of this beautiful daughter of God and so blessed to have such a sweet sister and helpful daughter as a member of our family.  Happy 5th birthday(tomorrow) to our one and only girl!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Official Richmond Training Gear

Officially two weeks into Richmond marathon training, and I get an email about official Richmond Marathon training gear. To buy, or not to buy? Kind of disappointed in the selection. When I ran the Cooper River 10k there was a HUGE selection of this stuff. Can't decide if either top is cute enough to buy... opinions? suggestions?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Zoe Birthday Project

It has been a crazy busy couple of weeks here, and I haven't had time to sit down to blog. I actually just sat down to eat dinner at 9:45 tonight (not something I encourage). I had been having some pretty serious pain with my right foot, which is the foot I've never had any trouble from, and I decided to take a week off of running. Probably for the best for lots of reasons because I can't imagine how hard it would have been to fit the running in. My foot is still bothering me, but not when I run, and not any worse after I run than before I ran. Yeah, I'm confused too. Trying to avoid a trip to the doctor's office with three kiddos in tow. We'll see what happens, I guess.

The main reason for this quick post is that I wanted to help spread the word about the Zoe Birthday Project. This is a simple, free way to help improve the life of a little girl with SMA. These kids are so special and they touch the lives of everyone around them. It's cool to find a way to make them feel as special as they are. I thought it was pretty awesome that Daughtry got involved on this one too. You can check out the Zoe Birthday Project on Facebook here and see the picture they sent in. So, if you have a minute, take a picture and post it! Let me know if you do! I'll try to catch up on all of the past weeks events as soon as possible!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let them eat... fruit pizza

We haven't had a lot of family time in the kitchen in recent months, which feels really weird by the way. So this week we had a quick little date and made some fruit pizza. I'd had some at a baby shower a while back that was amazing and had been craving it since. So when I found a really quick and easy recipe on Pinterest, we had to try it. Let me just say that I have only had homemade cookies and frosting for a couple of years now, so it was hard to go along with this all the way, but a lot of things change after baby 3. Nothing brag worthy or crazy. There wasn't a lot of effort or prep. It at least satisfied the craving and made for a fun time and some cute pics. Family time in the kitchen is my favorite. 

 Dad got in on the action....
 Parker and I waited patiently for our turn. Yes I had just finished working out. So?!
 Masterpiece completed
 Everyone was happy

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Running in the South in the Summer

I'm trying to get used to getting an early start on long run days so that I don't feel like dying from heat & humidity. Last week still felt great by the time I finished running, but this morning, at almost the exact same time,  I was feeling ready to be done running & inside. While I was out though, I was making a mental tick list of things that make running in the southern summer weather a little nicer for me.

#1. Like I mentioned last week, it can suck to lug around extra weight sometimes, but I'm really starting to love running with my hydration belt. The thing about southern summers is that MOST of the time you'll be running in heat AND humidity. It can really zap your energy and it can get dangerous if you don't stay on top of hydration. A hydration belt might be a little too much for a three or even six mile run, but it's smart to at least bring a handheld water bottle along. You never know when a seven mile run might turn into a ten mile run, or the weather that feels ok when you start out, feels terrible and suffocating a few miles in. You definitely don't want to risk being stuck without water in the heat. This is the one I use
                                                                  nathan elite
But if you want something a little less clunky, you could get something like this
                                                               @Becky Laws

#2. Pacing and spacing are important. Run at a comfortable pace. No one needs  to get heat stroke, right?! And for me I'm finding it's better to space my water and whatever I've packed to refuel, evenly. Every two miles of runs longer than six miles I'll drink water or Powerade (NOT Gatorade. I hate that stuff, but some people love it). On runs longer than ten miles, I'll have a Honey Stingers energy chew with my drink of water. If I get off of this schedule it seems to be harder for my body.

#3. Start as early as you can while still feeling rested from the night before, and safe to run in the area you're running in.Today I finished at the same time I started two weeks ago. I was able to get in all the miles that I wanted to run, and although I wasn't feeling super, I ran and finished strong. If I had started at the same time I finished, it would have been miserable. I would have maybe gotten half way in before I had to walk, and once I walk I do it again, and again, and again. Frustrating and discouraging. To go along with this one, unless you know a safe place to throw extra clothing, or want to shove it in your hydration belt (mine has a little elasticized band to hold things like top layers of clothing), try to dress for your last five miles rather than the first five. Remember this is the south, in the summer, that I'm talking about, it's still like 57 degrees when I start, not 30. So it's a little chilly starting out but a mile or two in, it's comfortable.

#4. I really love that there's a decent sized stretch of my out and back that has honeysuckles and even when I'm in the neighborhood there are a few areas that are particularly fragrant. This morning I wasn't enjoying my run quite as much as last week, and was needing a pick me up right as I passed the honeysuckles at mile five. When I came back through at mile eight I was expecting the smell and it made it that much better.

#5. No joke, watch your step. I've seen everything from dead and live snakes, to a possum that could have been dead or alive, scary looking insects, smushed squirrels, and then all of the universally found things like litter, car parts, discarded clothing etc. Which inspires my next two thoughts. First of all, someone should bring Captain Planet out of retirement
or at least keep your clothes in your car. If Bojangle's cups & beer cans aren't bad enough, I never want to see another pair of underwear while out running again. What the what?! Second, the earlier the heat & humidity start, the earlier you'll get a too strong whiff of dead animal. If it's there, anywhere, you'll know it. UGH!!

#6. If you're what I like to call a "hood runner" (you run in neighborhoods), and a people person like me, you'll probably have the opportunity to enjoy some southern hospitality. No, I'm not talking about the guy who yells "He don't bite!" at you from the door of his house as his psychotic, rabid looking dog is chasing you. You'll likely see some of those, but I'm talking about the people who sit out on their porches or work in their yards every Saturday morning. They'll notice that you are out every weekend too and they'll likely have some form of encouragement for you. Smiles, waves, cheers. Some will try to talk to you as you run, some when you are finished. They'll ask you how far you've run and be very impressed. Or tell you they "love your energy". When my mom was training for the Divas half there was a little man who would come out every week and cheer for her and tell her to keep it up and it would pay off for her. How many times I've found myself wanting to walk or stop or skip and thought of  the person who watches me every week, and kept running.

Ok, I'm dying to hit the hay, so these are my 6 tips for southern summer running. If you have any summer running tips, feel free to share them with me. It's going to be a summer full of running for me this year.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

GSF founder Bill Strong

Bill talks to Fight SMA about what Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is doing to help out in the SMA community. You'll see part of why I love this charity!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day!

In honor of national running day I decided to share some of my favorite running quotes. Pretty much all of them came from Runner's World quotes I get in my email, and they're all from different people (not me). Tonight I'm going to run between four and six miles- maybe I'll try to find someone too run with to make it more fun! If you're a runner, if you've always wanted to be or even if you hate it- today is the day to give it a run :) Enjoy!!

*As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.*

*We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable.*

*Once you are a runner, it's always there in the back of your head.*

*Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up*

*What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate*

*When people ask me why I run, I tell them, there's not really a reason, it's just the adrenalin when you start, and the feeling when you cross that finish line, and know that you are a winner no matter what place you got.*

*Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.*

*With a body made joyous through movement, the mind is able to relax. With mind/body balance, we can take the power of feeling good and generate compassion*

There is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving.

*Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run*

*If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.*

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Perfect Run

It's a rare thing, but it does happen. No, really, it happened yesterday! My running partner sent me a text around 3:15 am that her little guy had been up for awhile and asked if we could run an hour later than planned. It just so happened that I got it while I was up feeding my little guy, and so I lost no sleep answering the text, but got an hour more than planned- sweet! When I got to where we were meeting to run, the sun was just getting to a good spot in the sky and the weather was runner's perfect (on the chilly side with little humidity).
We stretched a little and tried to keep warm while I strapped on all of the gear I'm trying to get  used to carrying. *Let me just tell you that a hydration belt is both convenient and inconvenient. It's nice to have freedom to go further away and pick a different route while still having all of your stuff (water bottle, energy chews, Powerade, ID, cell phone etc) in case you need it, but it sucks to carry all of that around with you, around your waist for hours on end. Plus it looks like a gigantic backwards fanny pack, and we all know how cool that is. And today my back is killing me because I didn't have it tight enough, and it bounced around the whole run because I didn't want to stop long enough to readjust it, and spilled a decent amount of my water down my backside. Anyway, the first couple of miles were a good warm up pace around a couple of neighborhood streets. It was great catching up with my friend who hasn't been able to run in a while because of her crazy work schedule, and to laugh and commiserate about baby sleeping schedules, and life as a mom. When she had run as far as she had planned to I decided to try an out and back that I've started a few times but had been to chicken to finish. Why? Well truthfully, it's because I'm a neighborhood runner. I'm used to running where there are people, and a few stop signs, and very little traffic. This out and back is on a great road, some hills, open road, a great view, and, a stop light. Laugh if you must, but it's a stop light at a decently busy intersection. I've only ever run through stop lights once before and it was two years ago WITH a friend. Not alone. It's a bit of five year old mentality maybe, but running through a stop light is intimidating. Will people see me, or will I get hit? Will I be aware enough of them?  And most importantly- Will I have to stop in the middle of my run and just stand there, waiting? Turns out that this stop light wasn't so bad, after all. It was a great run! It felt great to get out of the neighborhood routine of running loops and cul-de-sacs and stretch my legs. It felt great to just run and think about why I'm running, who I'm running for, and how exciting it is that I'm going to run an actual full marathon. It felt great to run negative splits all the way through, I got excited each time my Garmin would beep, and I'd look down and see a faster mile than the last, eventually running a minute and a half faster mile than the first. Side note: running on more rural roads can be interesting for a few reasons. One of them is all of the things you're likely to see. Yesterday I saw a HUGE snake that had, luckily, been run over before I saw it, a possum that may or may not have been dead (yes I ran in the middle of the road to stay far away from it), and a much more experienced looking runner going out as I was coming back (this was another "big girl" moment). I stopped at eight miles because I only ran six last week, and I was scared to over do it this week and then spent the rest of the day wishing I'd done at least two more week. Another thing that made it perfect was that I ran eight miles this week in the same time it took me to do six last week. :) It was the perfect run...