Last Long Run!

Sat, April 30
11 miles outside at about 9am
Time: 2:01:15 Average Pace: 11:01

Today was my last long run before the race!!! Ahh!!! Next week I have 6 miler which will be a piece of cake! Today’s run was good – it was about 36 degrees when I left this morning and nice and sunny so I wore Capri running pants and a long sleeved shirt. I felt good about my time and even better at the fact that I did NO walking at all!! And there are some pretty decent hills along the route. I finished in a little over 2 hours so I’m pretty confident that I can complete the race in less than 2 1/2 hours – just having to add about 2 more miles.

Overall it was a really good run. My legs felt great from step one which was awesome! At about mile 3 I got what we called when I was little a “side ache”. It started on one side and moved to the other. I just pushed my hand into it and it eventually went away. Mile 4-8 felt great. Miles 9 and 10 were the toughest and then the last one is always tolerable just because it is the last one!!

Pretty pysched about the race in a couple of weeks. I just have to remember to not go out too fast. I’m sure my adrenaline will be kicking and I’ll want to be sure I keep to my own pace. It is going to be epic.


Okay, yes, the honeymoon is over. You know that stage after you get a puppy when everything they do is SO cute and they are SO awesome and good and wonderful? You do? Well, then you might also know that that stage only lasts for a few days or if you are lucky a couple of weeks. Well, we have hit that stage with “Prince Henry Higgins” (Prince because at times he has a very regal look about him and Higgins because of the show “My Fair Lady” and Henry Higgins). I find myself going around the house singing to him, “just you wait, Henery Higgins, just you wait!” Wow, that really fits!

Anywho, so as I was saying, we are now beyond the bones and puppy treats of getting a puppy and into the work of having a dog – a young dog who happens to be a very large puppy! He gets really wound up around 8pm or 8:30pm at night which corresponds with when Zach is going to bed. This usually involves a flailing towel (something to bite) and/or flailing pj’s (something to bite), a kid running through the hall screaming (something to bite) and then a kid crying because HE was the something to bite! Zach is still trying to get used to the fact that this new puppy is not going to react the same way as our almost 12-year-old beagle/basset did: just pounce once and bark in the other direction…if we were lucky. No, a puppy who sees an opportunity – any opportunity to play is going to be all-out and ready for action!

Plus, I think that as Henry is settling in he is testing the limits more. If it is not bolted down, he will try to bite or chew it. Even if it is a very large and heavy piece of furniture. And, thanks to Henry, I’ve unearthed three pairs of shoes and a pair of flip-flops that I didn’t even know I had from underneath my nightstand. He has even made it his job to chase his tail like a champ. That one is hilarious to watch! He will chase it, get it in his mouth and pull himself over. Oh, and apparently Henry wants to do bootcamp too. This morning Mike caught him going up the basement stairs with one of my 8 pound dumbbells in his mouth!!! Yikes!!!

So, like I said, the honeymoon is over. But, now the real fun begins!

Bootcamp Out!

Thurs, April 28
5:30am – 6:30am – Bootcamp class at LifeCenter

So today was our last Bootcamp class until the summer (sigh). The class will start back up again in early June outside-should be fun!! With it being our last class I felt like Troy tried to make it extra hard, but we took everything he dished out and then some!!

We did some fun drills with the basketball as a warm-up. We had to do get 15 rim shots between the three of us and I was surprisingly good at those! I generally suck at basketball. Then we did a circuit with bosu ball, a circuit that involved seated shoulder exercises, which was really hard, and then a circuit with weights for that involved plank push-ups and sit-ups which was really tough. Then we ended with a good ab/pushup circuit.

Oh, in the middle of our workout – right about 6am, the power went out in the whole place – totally dark. We had severe winds during the night that carried over until the morning. It was funny because once a little bit of light turned back on people kept lifting and we kept going too. By the end of class all the power was back to normal.

It was sad to be done at the end. We gave Troy our thank you card with sweaty hugs! I would have preferred to go at least until after May 15. It is funny how I’m thinking of everything in terms of after the race. But, the other ladies were ready for a break, so it is what it is. I’m really gonna miss that class – it was really motivating to know that other people were going to be there and I loved having a workout already designed for me and a trainer to tell me what to do. I’ll have to design my own weight training or cross training regimen now, I suppose!

Now I just have to keep up my habit of coming every Tuesday and Thursday and swimming with maybe a little weight training mixed in. Hey, I’ve got the swim suit now, so no more excuses!

The Crazy Club

Wed, April 27
Ran for 1 hour and 7 minutes outside at 5:30am
Distance: 6.06 miles; Average Pace: 11’12” (which I take issue with since I did the math – it should be like 11’3″!)

Today’s run was pretty great all around. I got up after hitting snooze only once at 5am. I was worried that it was going to be raining as thundershowers were predicted, but luckily and thankfully it was clear and about 61 degrees. So off I went!

The run was surprisingly great from the beginning – after about 5 minutes my legs felt great and I was in the groove. It wore running pants – capri style with an iPod pocket in the back, a short sleeved shirt and of course, my stylish vest. It was a beautiful morning. I heard the birds chirp over my iPod and I saw about 5 deer – so close that I could smell them. They didn’t know what to make of me and just stared at me as I ran by. I only got spooked once after Paula Abudul’s “Cold Hearted Snake” came on my iPod. (Don’t judge!) It was still fairly dark out and I was convinced that I saw and heard a snake on the ground, but no, it was in fact a stick and the hissing noises from the song. Yep, I’m a dope!

I was supposed to run 60 minutes today, but my route was a bit longer to get back home so I just did more. Oh, and no walking! My iPod reminded me at the point when I ran “5 minutes past your goal” and that felt great. I’m sure people driving by me running that early looked at me like I was crazy. That is what I would have said too about a runner running that early or in really bad weather a year ago or even a few months ago. But now, I love it! I understand now what the commitment to a training program really means. I understand now what completing these goals/runs means to me on a physical and mental level. I understand what the little wave of a hand to a fellow runner on your path means. Either that or I have now just joined the crazy club too! If so, that is a membership card that I hope I have forever.

Puppy Tales Premier!

So, it has been really interesting having a puppy in the house again…a large puppy, might I add! Yes, Henry is settling in a bit to his new life as part of the Ramsey pack and it has been interesting for all of us getting used to it. So, I decided to start a new category of blog entries called, “Puppy Tales”.

Some of the things that we are getting used to with a puppy as opposed to an older (and deaf) dog are: a dog that responds when you talk, responds to other dogs barking and other noises. Also, a dog who wants to play, chew, bite and chew some more!

As a puppy he has been learning and exploring his new environment – lots of this exploring involves using his mouth! So far, he has had the following in his mouth: a tennis shoe, a dress shoe, a flip-flop, a used tissue, a lego (may or may not have swallowed it), wood from a bed, pj bottoms, a magician costume, golf ball, and just tonight he grabbed the shower curtain and pulled it down, rod and all! And yes, he does have bones and toys to chew!

He really is a good boy, but a puppy is a puppy! Thankfully we are using a dog trainer so we can learn the proper ways/commands to train him. I mean a small untrained dog is just a nuisance, but a large untrained dog could be dangerous. We had our first session with her on Saturday and it turns out that ya know what? We are ones that need training! Henry (and for that matter all dogs) is not a little child dressed in a fur costume. Well, that would be just disturbing on a lot of levels. But, it is only natural for us to want to reat him like a baby person/child, but we are learning that that is just not a good idea.

We are definitely laughing a lot more in our house now that Henry is a member of the pack. For example, he barked and tried to greet a big picture/poster of a dog at Petco. He chases his tail like its his job. He crawls underneath the bed with his back legs sticking out and barks. He turns into “crazy dog” and crashes down the stairway. He is still clumsy and growing into his long legs and huge paws.

Yes, this is going to be quite an adventure. I’m happy to share our Puppy Tales with you!

500 Rep Workout and then some…

Tues, April 26
5:30am – 6:30am – Bootcamp at Life Center

This was a booty-kicker today! We started out with a warm-up with the medicine ball. We did 50 slams against the wall and then some other things with it. Then we did a few random arms exercises with some weights. Then came the fun part. We did what Troy called the 500 workout. This involved the three of us working as a team to complete 500 reps of things between us. This was the breakdown we had to do:

50 regular pushups
50 plank pushups
100 renegade rows with 15 pounders
100 squat thrusters
100 bicep curls with 12 pounders
100 squat and press ups with 15 pounders

He asked us to set a time goal to accomplish this. We said 20 minutes, but we ended up completing it in just over 16 minutes! Yahoo! I did the following as my contribution:

50 plank pushups (I totally love them)
25 renegade rows
25 squat thrusters
50 bicep curls
50 squat and press ups

Then we did another team circuit – this time with abs. We had to complete 200 ab exercises (100 regular situps and 100 knee-ins) in 5 minutes. We each did 33 of each and completed it in a little over 3 minutes I think.

Then we had to do the unthinkable…run 2 miles in total. Ugh. I walked a few laps, obviously, while the other two each ran 1 mile.

After that we did some more arm exercises and were done!

Troy told us that our last class – this Thursday is free! What a nice guy. The ladies and I decided we are going to give him a thank you card and include a tip for him. He has been really great and we want to let him know that!

Monday, Monday….

Mon, April 25
Ran 45 minutes outside at lunch
Distance: 4 miles; Average Pace: 11’15”

So Monday runs are starting to feel a certain way generally – sucky, with a capital S! It may just be that way because it is the next run after my long run on Saturday, but all I can say is…ugh. My legs hurt, per my normal routine at the beginning of my runs, and I decided when I started out that I was going to go slower today. I would do my run and put in my time, but just not as fast. Plus, I have this thing with my neck that is bothering me. I’ll call it a “crook” in my neck, but I can put my hand right on where it hurts on the right side of the back of my neck. I massaged it before my run and during, actually, but it really hurt. It hurts when I turn my neck and I was just really aware of it during the run. I’ve had this before and what has worked before is a “bean bag thing” warmed up in the microwave. So, that is what I’ll be doing tonight…after the grocery store, I mean! I already popped some ibuprofen. I also got a stitch/catch in my hip when I was doing my pre-run stretch.

Falling apart I tell ya!

However, I want to note that 1) I did my run as indicated on my training schedule and 2) I did not walk at all. The show must go on…victory.

Run Your Own Race

A friend shared this with me (below) and I thought it was so good I just had to share it too! It made me think about the following…What does “run your own race” mean to you? To me it means being truly who you are without worrying about anyone else. You are you and nobody else. Your goals are yours and belong to only you. So many times I have found myself competing with others – worried about how fast I’m going and trying to beat everyone else. I’ve learned that competition is good except when it interferes with you actually accomplishing your goals! So what is your roadblock keeping you from being your best? On the track, on the job, at home and everywhere in between. RUN YOUR OWN RACE!!!

Written by Kristin Armstrong (former wife of Lance Armstrong) written in ‘Heart of my Heart: 365 Reflections on the Magnitude and Meaning of Motherhood

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” Galatians 5:7-8

‘I have a ceramic tile in my office that says, “Run your own race.” It is leaning against a photograph of me, smiling huge, after crossing the finish line of a thirty-one mile trail race. If you think I’m one of those crazy talented athletes, think again. I am just like you. I never thought I could do anything like that race. At one point, I couldn’t even run three miles. My endurance was built up by experiences over time, not by any special gift.

The “Run your own race” quote is precious to me. Anytime I start to pay too much attention to people around me (particularly in a running race), I lose confidence and lost heart. I get distracted. I go faster than my pace to try to match someone else’s, and I don’t have what I need to make it to the finish. That thirty-one mile race was different. I looked at it like a journey, not a race. My mind was set on crossing the line, not on my watch, and I had a list of all the reasons why I simply would not give up.

Don’t let other people cut in on you and break your stride. Don’t try to match anyone else’s pace; their goals might not be the same as yours. Stay focused on your own race. Pay attention to where you are and how you are doing; don’t waste time and energy looking at everyone else, making incorrect and unproductive comparisons. Our children need to learn this vital lesson as early as possible so they can run the race marked out for them.”

>No day off from Bootcamp!

>Thurs, April 21
5:30am – 6:30am – bootcamp at life center

I totally forgot to blog yesterday! I was off of work so I was thrown off a bit. But I did do my class! It was a good workout. We did some partner arm stuff using a towel as resistance. It was okay, but I prefer using weights. Then we did a good circuit…more arms, used the training room a bit and then did a good ab circuit. As I write this today I’ve pretty much decided to not do my 30 minute run today. Zachary is off today and he needs to clean his room and of course he needs my help! So, we are going to try to make that cardio!!! Tomorrow my long run is 7 and that will happen as planned…

>Happy Hump Day!

>Wed, April 20
Noon – Ran 60 minutes outside!
Distance: 5.5 miles; Average Pace: 10’55”

Today’s run felt great. Again, I hesitated to get up and run in the dark this morning. I knew I had a longer run and I’m just not confident enough yet to go very far in the dark. No matter. I planned a lunch run and got ‘er done! I actually showered and everything and was still in time for my 1pm meeting. I started a wee bit earlier than normal…a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

I’ve discovered a pattern that is holding true time after time. About the first 20-25 minutes of the run I’m in pain…not in hell, like in the past where I’ve had to stop, but a couple steps above the hell threshold. It is not comfortable, but I’m confident in the knowledge that it will stop at some magical point after between 20-25 minutes into the run so I’m able to push through okay. Then, the rest of it I’m literally golden. At that point I’m singing with the iPod and just having a good ‘ol time. At the end of today’s run again, I felt like I could run for a few more miles with no problem. Which is good considering I will have to do exactly that in a few short weeks!!! I’ve also noticed a difference in the recovery time. I’m not huffing and puffing and sweating like mad after a run like I did back when I first started a few years ago. It is also cooler now, as we are well aware, but still the cool down feels different in that it is not that big of a deal, I guess. I’m still stretching, for sure, both before and after the runs. I think my body is just getting used to it. What is that called: muscle memory?

But, I still don’t want to run a lap in an inside track. Don’t make me do it, or I might push you too!! 🙂