Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sharing the Trails

It's hunting season in MN which means I have to don the blaze orange (or yellow or pink) when I hit the trails.  Sharing the trails with hunters is not my favorite thing to do.  It's not that I have anything against hunting cute little helpless deer (ok, maybe I do a little bit) it's just that I don't think it would be very fun be a mistaken target.  On a recent day, I was running in a wooded area and saw three deer.  They were about 25 yards ahead of me - they didn't even move as I ran by.  So cool - and then I talked to my friend who was in the same location hunting and he said he didn't see one single deer!! Ha ha!  Maybe deer prefer silent runners in hot pink and Brooks over hunters in camo and boots?

Anyway, that got me thinking about sharing the trails. I have been very lucky that over the last few years I have found a group of runners who like the dirt path that I so enjoy.  Last Saturday I ran with Spider - he loves the trails and rarely runs on pavement.  He has a goal to run his first marathon in June 2014 so he knows he has blacktop beauty in front of him soon.  But for now, he prefers bounding effortlessly (which really makes me mad!!!) around on the trails.  On that Saturday, Bluedoug also joined us - he is pretty new to the trails and I wasn't sure after the run if he really liked it.  But today he texted that he wants to go back out there on Saturday!!!

I think one of the best parts of being a runner is sharing your passion with others, when you get to see someone else get excited!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


24 hours
2 friends died  - cancer sucks
31 students watched as their teacher cried
8 hours watching the clock
1 3-day old baby brought to me by former student
7 much-needed miles on the trail
124 minutes of conversation with a BFF
5 hours of restless sleep
24 hours

Sunday, October 27, 2013

No title - Just HaPpY!!!

By the time I publish this blog it will be exactly one week since I ran the Mankato Marathon.  I am the worst about doing race reports.  I am not sure why - I think sometimes that writing it down doesn't do justice to the experience itself.  I try to hold onto the memories in my brain, but it seems that is getting harder to do - and that has NOTHING with getting older, right??  SO, this little recap is for me - so that when I am 103 like great grandma I can pull up my blog and remember one of the greatest races I ever ran!
Mankato Marathon 2013

The forecast for race day kept changing.  One week before the big day the forecast called for a high of 55 and no wind!!!  Perfect race conditions for me.  But the day of the race was actually quite cold (32) and blustery.  I was a little bummed cuz I had my outfit all picked out and then had to decide if I would go with tights or stick with shorts.  I went with shorts - but there weren't too many others who made that decision!!!  As I waited in my car for the race start, I wrote names of all the people who donated to the charity I would run for on my legs. It was pretty cool to see the list!! At about 7:50 I went to find the pace group I wanted to start with and also meet up with a woman I kinda know. We had discovered we had the same goals for the race so we thought we would run with each other. We were sh-sh-shivering and bouncing around trying to stay warm. National anthem.  Gun went off and we ran! Then stopped.  Then walked.  Then ran!!  Then walked.  Finally made it to the starting line and the bottleneck eased up so we ran!!!!  My goal was to start out slow which I can never manage to do!  I often run my first mile in 7:05.  This one was an 8:15.  I kept that pace for the first 3-4 miles.  Then we started up a very loooooong hill, so my pace slowed, but it was a fun hill and I had a great time talking to the runners around me. I lost my partner around that time.  Not sure what happened and I felt like I should go back to look for her.  I decided to keep moving forward and hope that she would catch me (I am glad I did - she ended up with a very different race than she planned.) The next 10 miles were about a 8:00 minute pace.  I met a man from a neighboring town and we had a great conversation!  Isn't it funny how you become "friends" with people during those long miles?  I felt great!  Took a Gu at mile 8 and made sure I was drinking at the aid stations.  I really need to figure out how to drink and run!!!!  Most times I walked through the stations.  I saw my kids and parents for the first time around mile 10.  That was awesome!!!  I ran over to get "some love" from all of them and continued on. At about mile 11 a friend of mine caught up and we ran together for a while.  His goal was to do negative splits, so after about 5 miles together he started to pick up speed.  I stuck with him for a while and as he pulled away I made it my goal to always keep him in sight. Miles 16-21 were UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I was keeping a 7:40 pace and felt amazing.  I remember thinking "Whose body is this???"  I just didn't think I should be feeling that strong at that point.  But I did, so I went with it.  It felt great to run like that and I actually got a little choked up. Then came mile 22...  I really needed a Gu or something but was all out at that pont.  I met my son at a cheer station as he planned to run the park loop with me.  As he took off with me I noticed that three of his teammates from his CC team were running with us!!!  That was so cool!!!!  They encouraged me the whole way!  I felt pretty sluggish and my pace slowed, the course gets very windy and hilly.  But it was still a great experience to have my son rooting for me!  We came out of the park and Kellen sent me on my way with a mile to go.  Running down the last few blocks was so much fun!!!  People were line up for blocks and I heard friends and students shouting my name!!  I high-fived a few and posed for a few pics before I decided to kick it in.  I finished in 3:31.  So close to a PR, but today was not even about that.  I SHOULD NOT have been able to run like that.  I was going to be very happy with a 3:40.  I was undertrained and overinjured. The running gods must have been granting wishes that day or something!  I ran across the finish line and right away saw my kids.  For some odd reason, I always get emotional at the end of a race. I gave my kids and parents big hugs!! I hung out in the finisher's chute for a while - I love to do that!  It's so fun to watch the faces of the runners as they cross that line. So inspirational! After that, I headed over to a local sports bar to join friends.  It was the perfect day! One of the best races I ever ran - why?  I had FUN!!!!!!!!  I ran happy!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ready to Run!

Excited? to be running the Mankato Marathon on Sunday!  I have no goal in mind except to finish with a smile.  My training has well, it has sucked.  I have had a really stupid hamstring issue for over a year.  And believe me- I have done everything to get rid of this thing, everything except take time off :)! So you may ask why in the heck am I running it then?  Well, I think a while ago I mentioned that I was asked to run for a charity.  The charity is The BackPack Food Program.  This charity provides weekend meals for children who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. It's super cool because teachers just sneak the meals in backpacks on Fridays and holidays and the kids then have meals for the weekend!!  Anyway, there are three charity runners (we are called Champion Runners)  and we each set a goal to run $1,500.  We did that and then $5,500 more!!!!!  Isn't that awesome?!?! So, the charity is the reason I have stuck with the marathon. It's not going to be pretty and I am surely not going to PR BUT it is in my hometown and that is FUN!!!!!
Watch my little little video!

Something else really cool about this weekend.  Along with the marathon there is a half marathon AND ONE OF MY FIFTH GRADERS IS RUNNNG IT!!!!  I have known Noah since he was just a little guy and have watched him grow up through the grades.  He has always been a great runner and decided this would be the year to try his hand at the half.  He trained so well - it is fun to listen to him talk about his long runs and tapering!!  He has set great goals for himself and I know that he will accomplish them! Send out a little cheer for Noah on Sunday morning!!

The weather forecast took a turn recently and there is a possibility I will be running in snow!!!  But just at the starting line.  High of 52 for the day so now the question is what should I wear?

Just put together a new playlist and my fave song on it is Timber by Ke$ha!!! LOVE that song and it makes me wanna dance.  But my son thinks I am weird.  He doesn't know cool when he sees it!

What do you wear for chilly marathons?
What's a song that you would suggest for the playlist?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Life is a Game of Ping Pong

     Imagine a giant ping pong table with two players hitting the ball back and forth, back and forth.  One player's name is "All That Is Good" and the other is known as "That Just Sucks."  This seems to be a never-ending game this weekend with no clear winner!  I wanted to write a post with wonderful and inspirational words. But I can't do just that - I need to include some other things that have happened this weekend - to recognize that while my life is okay right now, others are suffering.

* I ran the most beautiful trail half-marathon this weekend.  For those of you that live where a a change in season means a change in the landscape you know what I mean.  I ran through a forest filled with hues of gold and red.  I always wish that when I was trail running that I could look up to see all that is around me, but I am so busy looking down at the roots and rocks.  I did glance up a few times to see the sun streaming through the trees. Serenity.  I took first place in my AG and won a bright yellow and black fleece blanket that says "disaster zone."  Hmmmmm.

* A very dear girlfriend ran the Chicago Marathon today.  She trained so well and so hard and should have easily run a 3:05 marathon.  But something went wrong.  Her hamstring hurt at mile 10, but that was not the worst of it.  Her vision became blurred as she continued on.  She crossed the finish line at 3:37 and then passed out!  When she came to she was in the med tent and she has no idea what happened.  Her heart feels sad.  I wish I was there to give her a big hug!

*  A friend that I started running with over a year ago ran a 10K yesterday with hopes of a PR.  He ran the same course last year and this year he SHATTERED his record!!! And is he ever FAST!!! It has been exciting to watch him grow as a runner.  Last week he took his car to the shop and ran the mile and half home from there. He texted me "I am a runner."  Yes, you are!

*  Cancer sucks.  Yes, it does.  My coworker and friend's husband was winning his fight and things were looking good.  Now cancer is invading.  And tonight he had a stroke.  There are no more words to be said.  Just please pray for them.

* I want to end on a good note - maybe that will mean "All That Is Good" is winning.  My son, the runner, earned a spot on the Varsity CC team for the Big Nine Meet.  That's a huge deal for an 8th grader!!  The meet is on Tuesday and although I cannot attend because of Open House at my school, he knows I will be there in his heart- coaching and cheering and celebrating.  Mighty proud of my kid!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Really? It has been July 29 since I posted last!!!! It is not that I have had nothing going on - maybe it has that I have had too much going on and don't know where to begin. I have become a bad blogger - I hope I didn't lose my followers!!!  I won't bore you with ALL the details of the last 56 days, but I wil give you a snapshot of my life!

Ran Great River Ragnar for the fourth year!  This year out team placed 10th overall of 302 teams!!!!  We rocked and had a great time!!!!

Macey moved off to college 5 looooooooooong hours away.  She will be home in 20 minutes- her first time in 20 days, 7 hours, 32 minutes and 7 seconds.

**Well, I began that post two weeks ago.  I was all set to commit to writing the post when in walked Macey!!!  SO, the computer was cast aside and the great weekend together began!  I sure miss that girl of mine, but I am so happy that she is so happy!!!

I have decided I am not going to catch you up on what has been going on in my life.  One of my fiends (who also follows my blog) said he missed my blog and that I should just begin writing again.  I realize that I miss it too.  So , here I go... moving forward!

Monday, July 29, 2013

New News!!

There is a new love in my life and I couldn't be happier!  I have kept this relationship under wraps because I just didn't know where it was going.  I wasn't sure of the level of commitment.  I was unsure of how others would feel. But after two weeks and hours spent together, I am ready to reveal.

Isn't she pretty?  Her name is Sunny.  We are learning a lot about each other  - I am finding out trust is important.  I am still pretty tentative when it comes to riding, but the great thing is that my community has many strong bikers who are willing to share advice.  I will figure it all out, for right now I am just enjoying the ride!

Monday, July 15, 2013


We have this really great county park nearby.  It has gorgeous trails, abundant wildlife, a babbling stream.  It is the home to coyotes, turkeys, and deer.  Families gather their for reunions, friends gather to play volleyball and hike the trails.  It is a gem of a meadow nestled in the limestone bluffs of a river valley.  Doesn't it sound wonderful?

Now get this  - on Sunday, in broad daylight, out in the open, in the middle of a day when the park is at its highest use, a man decided to bare it all!!!  Can you believe it???  He was naked, on the bridge, participating in "lewd behavior!!!"  When the police responded, he got into his car and a slow speed pursuit ensued. It finally took a spike strip to stop him!  I wonder if he had his clothes on at this point??

Yesterday was National Nudity Day - it really was!!!  Maybe he can use this as his defense!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Passing of the Torch

My son, Kellen, has started captain's practice for cross country.  Kellen is a soon to be 8th grader who is not very big at all.  He is pretty proud of his six pack and likes to flaunt his pecs, but compared to his peers he is on the small side.  You would never really know that because Kellen has a HUGE personality!!  He is always smiling, joking around, and pushing the envelope just a little bit.  He is everything I wish I was at that age!!  Anyway, back to practice.  Kellen loves to run which is funny because when he was a small boy he ran really funny - kind of sideways.  We almost took his to a doc for an evaluation, but we figured he would outgrow it kind of like Forrest Gump.  Well, he did.  Kellen shows up every day at captain's practice even though it is optional. He is the youngest one there.  He runs hard and has big goals. Wednesday he experienced the "runner's high" for the first time and now I am sure there is no stopping him!  When I picked him up from practice his face was bright red and he was exhausted.  Then he began to spew (yes, that is the right verb!) "Mom, that was the hardest run ever.  I ran with the fast guys and I kept up.  I worked so hard. I am going to do that again tomorrow.  I am so proud of myself!" And he went on and on all the way home as he made plans to  the set records in distance running.  LOVED IT!  Kellen is one of a kind!  Some of his traits that annoy me the most - his stubborness, his questioning of authority, his lack of caring what others think - are also the qualities I admire most in him.  I love that we share a love of running!!  We are planning on running a half marathon together in August.  I think sharing that love is a thread that will always keep us connected!

New braces!!  I love that he chose colorful bands!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I looooooooove summer! Part of it is the weather and a huge part of it isI have the freedom of a relaxed schedule!  This morning I woke up at 5, did a little around the house, and hopped back in bed for an hour more! Yesterday, I did a Body Pump class at 5:30 am, ran at 6:30, played taxi for most of the day, ran trails at 5:00 pm, in bed at 8:30 with a book.  My kids are busy with friends and so far only need me for money and rides.  Love this new part of my life entitled "Me Time!"  IT IS AMAZING!

My daughter, Macey, graduated on Thursday and we had her party on Sunday.  The weather in MN has been very unseasonably cold and rainy.  We watched the radar for a week and saw only pending rain.  On Saturday, we moved all of out furniture out of our main level to make room for people in case it rained.  It rained hard on Saturday.  It rained all Sunday morning.  It rained an hour before the party.  And. Then. The. Sun. Came. Out!  The winds died down to a light breeze and the sun was shining brightly for the entire party.  Guests said it was raining all around us - just not on our party!!  We had a great time!  My daughter loves to decorate so she was in charge of all of that.  She did a beautiful job! She also stepped way out of her comfort zone and greeted people as they came to her party.  We had a "build your own grilled cheese sandwich" (Macey's favorite food) bar which was a huge success!!!  And I had the best friends in the world manning the food for me!!! We had a photo booth so we have a lot of crazy pics of family and friends to put in a book for her!! My goal was to keep the party inexpensive and to show that a grad party could be fun without spending tons of money or remodeling any part of our house or yard. It was the best party ever and IT WAS AMAZING!

I bought myself a new little toy - A NutriBullet!  I am not good at eating my fruits and veggies during the day, so this little machine is perfect for me!  I am excited to try out some new recipes.  Today it was spinach, raspberries, blackberries, and almonds.  YUM!  I heard about the NutriBullet last week at 3 am while I was up worrying about my daughter's grad party - ha ha!  The infomercial promised that I would feel better and look younger!  Heck yeah!  Sign me up!  So far IT IS AMAZING!

Tonight is the first night of our second year of the Muddy Shoes and Brews Trail Series.  A couple of friends and I started it last year.  It is a very low key gathering twice a month in which we run the trails and drink beer after.  Tonight we are celebrating with summer ales.  There are 34 people signed up.  Meeting new friends, running, toasting with a good beer - this night WILL BE AMAZING!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Catching Up

I have been pretty absent from the blogging world lately.  I have been so busy and in a little bit of denial. A couple of weeks ago, I had this bright idea that I was going to write a blog dedicated to my daughter who is graduating this year.  I started it, but could not finish.  Her looming graduation was too much for me to think about. She is ready to face the world and has chosen a college that will prepare her for the path she desires.  So, I am not worried about her well-being at all.  I am just having a really hard time dealing with the idea of her leaving the nest.  She is a REALLy good girl - so easy to raise, honor student, fun, hilarious, she makes me laugh, we borrow each other's clothes, we shop together, we work out together, we talk, we talk, we talk...  And now she wants to leave me?  She is ready, do I have to be?  Well, last night she graduated and I could not be prouder!!!!

On a different note - I ran the Chester Woods 10 Mile Trail Race last Saturday.  It was the most fun I have had since I was a kid - cuz I felt like a kid! I stood at the starting line with 130 other runners and enjoyed the peaceful solitude of the sunshine - we have only had sun in MN for 20 of the last 80 days!!  It felt amazing to see blue skies and have the sun warm my back.  That area received 9 inches of rain the night before so the the trails were mucky, muddy, sloppy, wet, soaking (any more adjectives?) We were wet within the first half mile and continued that way for the entire race! I ran for a while with a friend - it so fun to share that joy with another!  After a while we split and ran our own races.  It was a course with rolling hills and a few steep climbs.  I loved the challenge of the terrain and the puddles added to the fun. I felt pretty consistent throughout the race and ignored my hamstring when it got a little cranky.  In the final half mile I was running with another woman.  As we looked ahead we saw what looked like a lake right in front of us.  I jokingly said "Looks like we will be swimming."  I assumed the trail would curve and we would go around the water - WRONG!!  The trail was under water due to the rain.  So with big smiles and huge gusto - we ran right through it!  And then on to the finish line!!  My finish time was 1:24 - good enough for a first place win in my age group!!!

Weird - the photo keeps wanting to go sideways!!  Anyway - love the unique awards at trail races!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Reaching out to the blogging world - there is a blogger who has a fitness, health, diet challenge - I think it runs for a month.  She had a "get ready for summer" challenge during the month of May - I was too late to sign up but wanted to do her next challenge.  Anyone know who that is??

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Not Ready Yet

I knew exactly what I was going to blog about today even before I sat down at the computer  that is rare  Often the ideas come to me as I stare at the screen.  But this post has been a long time coming. It is not running related, so if that is what you were looking for you can stop now.

I want to write about my oldest daughter.  Soon Macey will graduate...ha, I guess I am not ready to write this post yet.  Too emotional!

Signing off  - one last thought, last Thursday we had 8 inches of snow.  In the past three weeks we have had three major snowfalls. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 70 degrees!!  Gotta Love MN!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Run or Not - You Decide For Me!

This is like one of those reality shows in which your vote counts!  I have a 50k run scheduled for this Saturday and today Mother Nature decided to dump six inches of heavy, wet snow on us!!  I love winter, but this is SPRING!!!  I can't decide if I should do the run. The trails will either be messy and snowy or messy and muddy.  Either way I am going to get dirty!!!  That is not a problem cuz I clean up pretty good. I just don't know if I want to plod slowly through the muck.  On the other hand, it might be a lot of fun to plod slowly though the muck.  So, you, the readers, will decide my race fate. Majority wins! Let's hear it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Live Like Ghandi

"You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." ~ Ghandi

I used this quote to guide a discussion with my students about yesterday's tragic events in Boston.  The saddest part of this discussion was that almost four months ago I led a very similar one about Sandy Hook Elementary School.   They want to know why.  And I don't know why.  They want to know who and I cannot possibly even imagine.  They are scared, they are courageous.  They are saddened, they are uplifted.  They are children dealing with grown up issues.  How do we explain to our children that good always wins over evil? How do we assure them that the monsters under the beds are not real when there they are on our TVs, Facebook, and tweets?  I have no answers to those questions.  We can teach them to have faith in humanity, look for the helpers, believe in yourself, lift up others, the power of prayer.  And then we hope that they remember...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ready, Set, Think!

I like to play this little game with my friends and family.  I think it is fun - they probably think it is annoying!!  I ask them a "question of the day" and expect a response.  So, I was thinking... (you know what is coming!) I know a lot of us do our long runs on the weekend and some of those runs. are. really. long.  So on Fridays I am going to post a QOTD.  Think about it, discuss it with your running buddies, and post back so I can hear your thoughts. It'll be fun to hear what others are thinking!!  It will be.  Really.  Just play along!

QOTD - You can visit any place in the world for 24 hours.  But once you visit, you can never go back again.  Where do you go?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spider Spins His Web of Miles

Yesterday I had a big run- 26.2 miles!  My last long training run.  There is something really fulfilling (and a little craaaaazy) about doing a training run that is equal to a marathon.  No fans holding signs, no aid stations, just me and the road!  Done - check that one off.
But today's story is not about me.  It is on the person (let's call him Spider) with whom I had the privilege of running the last of my miles with.  It was the first time he had run more than 8 miles  - he wanted to get to the magical 10!  I told him once he got to that point there was no turning back - he would always crave that mileage and more.  The run went really well - good pace, great conversation, and the miles quickly accumulated.  I reminded him of a few things as we were ending - rest, refuel, roll, etc.  He reminded me of a few things I sometimes forget!

Determination - mile after mile, hill after hill, nagging knee, cramping calf, he continued on with a fierceness we all should have.  At one point he turned to me and said "If we get back to the car and we have not reached 10 miles, we are going to run until we do!"
Joy - the look on his face as he cruised into the parking lot and extended a hand for a high five was pure elation!
Drive - less than 8 hrs following his run he was already planning out his summer race schedule and on that list was a half-marathon.  His text to me said "I KNOW I can do it!"

Do you remember when you first started running?  The first time running felt great? Your first "runner's high?"  How you felt when you crossed your first finish line?

How do you remind yourself of determination, joy, and drive in your runs??

Thursday, March 21, 2013

An Unexpected PR

I have been waiting for race pics so I could post them with my news. I didn't take pics and the professional pics are not loaded yet. I just can't wait to tell you any longer!! I PRed in a half marathon on Sat and it was totally unexpected! The race I did was Get Lucky in Minneapolis.
These are the reasons that my PR caught me surprise:
* I have been training for a 50k- lots of long slow distances and that means I have not done any speedwork!
* I have issues- as in hamstring- that have nagged me for months, plus I pulled a calf muscle a few weeks ago and I have been leary of running hard on it.
* I have been on a bad eating binge- I love Easter candy!! And the night before the race I joined my coworkers for Happy Hour.
* The course was hilly and icy- miles 7-9 were so slick.  I felt like I was sliding backward more than I was going forward!
* I didn't wear a watch- the only way I had any idea what my pace was would be when I came up on a pacer.
* I didn't start out fast which I have a bad habit of doing and I felt like I ran comfortably for most of the race.

It was not until I saw the clock at the finish line that I knew I could possible PR, but I was not even sure what my best time was. So, I just ran as hard as I could for the last 100 feet! I felt great!! And I felt even greater when I got back to my hotel room and looked up my results. A PR by 8 seconds! And an age group win!! That 1:40:31 was the best run I have had in over 9 months and I'll take it!! That race makes me excited for race season this year!!!  Did I Get Lucky? Maybe. Or maybe a relaxed state of mind is the piece I have been missing!! Something to think about!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What Was That?

So the other day I went on a very long training run - all by myself. This was a victory in itself because I always run long runs with friends.  On this day, I just couldn't get my schedule to mesh with anyone else's.  The run went pretty good- the hamstring issue was not too bad and the pace was all right.  Do you get the feeling that it was a mediocre run?  Nothing special, but I am fine with that. Not every run is going to rock!!!  There was one strange thing that happened and left me wondering "What the ...?"  As I was heading into the parking lot (with .001 mile of 24 miles left!!) I felt a twinge in my right calf.  It really did just feel like a twinge so I thought "No big deal."  but as I took the next step I knew it WAS a big deal.  I could not step down!  What happened????  Can anyone answer that for me?  I hobbled back to my car and shed a couple of "poor me tears."  I sat down on the steps next to snowbank and immediately starting icing.  Then I walked up the stairs to the Y and every. step. hurt.  I made it to the Body Pump class and iced some more while I drank the protein smoothie my lovely daughter brought for me.  I have been icing and resting for two days and my calf is about 90% better.  I still don't know what happened and if I don't know what happened how can I prevent it from happening again? I need to know, I need to know more. Any ideas?  Ha ha - that sentence reminded me of this AT & T commercial. These commercials totally make me laugh - I am a teacher, I hear this all the time!!!

Today we have a snow day!!  I spent the day baking and laughing with my oldest daughter.  Right now she is cleaning out another closet - she will do anything to avoid cleaning her room!!!!  I love snow days, but really waiting for spring weather!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Power of a Pushup

     My students rock!!!  They will rise to almost any challenge presented to them.  Waaaaaaaay back in November when I was upping my count in pushups I challenged them to join me.  We started out with a few groans and whines, but everybody did them the first day (and every day after that!)  They all thought they were such studs - until the second day!  When they dropped into their first pushup position they were very surprised by the pain they felt in those unused muscles!!  Loud moans and groans accompanied the pushups that day!  But they all did them - every single one.  It was so exciting for them to see their growth - many kids progressed from doing all pushups on their knees to every single one on toes!!  A few of them added in their own styles.  So many times the dismissal bell was just about to ring when one of the kids would shout out a reminder to do pushups.  One time we forgot and one of my students called me after school to ask me to send a reminder text.  The next day the kids came to school to tell me they had received the text in supermarkets, grandparents' houses, or supper time with their family.  They all did the 30 pushups on their own.  These are committed kids!!!  Yes, they had fun flexing those biceps, but the best growth was the self-esteem.  They set out on a challenge that many thought impossible at the start and they did it!!!!!  This teacher is proud!!!

     I am super excited to tell them about the next challenge I have for them (besides rocking the state tests!!) They all know that I am running a 50K in April.  They are great supporters and love to hear about my long miles, new shoes, and running stories. So with this knowledge, I am going to challenge them to run 31 miles in the 31 days leading up to my 50K!!! I have a plan on how we will accomplish that - we will run for the first 10-15 minutes of recess-- together, all of us.  Some may start out walking and that is fine.  But I bet you anything by the end of the 31 miles ALL will be running!!!!  I am calling this run the S'milin' Away 50K!  All who complete it will receive a t-shirt with a huge smiley face on the front. I have been checking out prices and I think I can make it affordable for all.  I would also love to put together a swag bag - if you have any ideas for cheap or free prizes let me know.
     I hope that I am a positive role model for the kids - I truly believe that a healthy body equals a healthy mind.  I want them to know that running does not have to be their exercise of choice, but that exercising should be a choice they make every day!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Run That Was

     Yesterday day was one of those "make it or break it" runs - fortunately this time I made it!  I had an 18 miler scheduled and it had to start at 4 am.  I know that is a crazy hour but my day was filled with kid stuff and that was the only time I could carve out in the day.  Luckily, I have a friend who is just as crazy and does not mind early, early morning runs!!!  I checked the weather and say that it was 10 degrees - a heat wave compared to the previous three days of negative numbers.  That positive number fooled me into dressing lighter than I should have and that became a problem later in the run.  The run went so quickly, even though we were moving pretty slowly.  My face mask froze twice (I need to solve that problem) and my hands started to get really cold!!  Running into the wind was the worst - it felt like I was in one of those wind machines and my skin was getting an instant face lift!!!  My thigh muscles felt like they were hardening and my butt felt like a rock - and not in a good way!  At 16 miles, my friend finished up and with encouraging words, sent me on my way.  Two miles is not a big deal, right?  Wrong!  I wanted to be done at 16, but I was determined to do my miles. At one point I said out loud "There is no one tougher than you right now!" and I believed that!!  I finished the miles, fell into my car, clumsily got the keys in the ignition and drove straight home to a hot shower!  ( have you ever taken a hot shower when you are painfully cold???  OUCH)

     Today I am looking forward to a beautifully short 6 miler.  It snowed last night, so the world is winter wonderful!!  I am doing a "destination run" - running from my house out in the country into town to the Y where I will do a Body Pump class.  I am NOT running home - my daughter will give me a ride.
     I am also looking forward (?????) to my son"s Super Bowl Party!  What's more fun than 7 13-year old boys????

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stellar Week!

I am doing it!  I am going to run a 50K in April and I have not been really committed to the training - or so I say.  I used to be really good at journaling every run and I could definitely see when I was in the middle of training. I could see the weekly totals, I could see evidence of the good runs and the bad.  I could compare my journal with the chosen training plan. I think without that written documentation it has been pretty easy for me to say "I am kinda training for a race that I MAY run in April."  What??  That is not like me at all!!!  I am usually all over training, writing, planning.  So I did a a little reflecting last night.  Am I or am I not training?  Is my head into it? And what about my heart? Here is what I found out - I AM TRAINING!!  Huge revelation, huh?  Well, here is how I came up with this.  I have done quite a few runs (not all of them pretty) that I would not have done had I not had a goal in mind!
1 week ago - ran 12 miles in sub zero temps, -25 windchill
Mon - hill repeats at 4 am cuz that is the only time I had in my day for that
Th - speedwork on the treadmill, I hate the TM but hated the wind outside even more
Sat - intended to do 14, felt great so we went 16. Facemask froze twice and icicles on eyelashes
Sun - 6 miles outside, started out fast (for me) and then turned to shuffling as the rain turned to ice.
Throw in a a couple of easy runs and three Body Pump classes.

So there it is!  I guess I am in training mode! Those are the runs of a person who has a goal in mind.  Those are runs with a purpose.  The physical piece is there and obviously my heart is in it otherwise I wouldn't be out there doing it! So now if you ask me "Are you training for anything?" I will answer with a resounding "YES!"

Now for something so unrelated to running but a proud mommy moment that I love to share.  My youngest daughter, my "Velcro baby," the one who cried at the start of every dance class, the one who I had to crouch behind at Christmas concerts to keep her on stage, the one who told me at 8 yrs old that she was going to live in my backyard when she was a grown-up, stood up in front of the entire student body at her school and gave a presentation on bullying!!!  This was not an assignment - she did it because she saw a need for it.  She first presented to her class and her teacher was so impressed she asked her to address her peers.  And she did it - eloquently and confidently!  And I got to see her do it!! Yes, I fought back the tears. She amazes me!!! BTW - she also was awarded Student of the Month at the assembly.  In her words "It has been a stellar week!"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!!!

Wow!!! What a week it has been!  Sunday night and my head is spinning!!!  So much has happened this week that I am not even sure where to begin!  Here's the skinny on 3!

The Good
My oldest daughter had a formal dance on Satuday night.  She looked absolutely stunning!  When she walked into my bedroom to show me how she looked I started to cry.  My baby looked like a woman!  She is graduating this year - I am always crying - but this really threw me.  Where did my chubby little baby go?  I am pretty sure she was walking around with a nukkie in her mouth just a little while ago! After I composed myself, we took pics of her and her boyfriend, then went to her friend's house and took more pics, then went to the Grand March and took MORE pics.  Here are a few of my favorites!

The Bad
I am going to tell this story the best and as briefly as I can so that I honor all that were involved. On Thurs, there was a terrible incident taking place three blocks away from my school.  The police were trying to do a welfare check on an elderly man whose family was concerned because he was making homicidal threats.  The check went very wrong, sadly.  Our school was put in a "soft lockdown" for four hours while law enforcement handled the situation.  The Tactical Response Team was called in to help resolve it.  The elderly man shot at the police and then left his house out the back door and continued shooting.  The police responded and shot the man.  He was killed.  This is an all-around sad situation.  I am not in any way saying the law enforcement made a poor decision.  They did what they had to do.  I just feel so bad for the man, his family, the police officers involved, and the community.  I am praying for all of them.  Such sadness.

The Ugly
Yesterday's run really stunk.  Actually, the run itself was not that bad.  12 miles with three friends in 34 degree temps.  My hamstring thing was bugging me but it was not too painful.  It is what happens to me after the run that is so ugly.  My hip flexors, inner thighs, and abs get incredibly tight and sore.  I can hardly get out of the car!!! This happens after almost every run.  I strength train, do core work, and stretch some.  I don't know what is going on!!!  It has been going on since July.  Has anyone else ever experienced this?  If so, what did you do to cure it?

Have a great week and "Run Happy!"

Friday, January 4, 2013

This Round Is On Me!

The question is "What's on tap?"  Tonight is the first night of "Happy Trails Happy Hour!"
A group of runners - new to the trails and experienced- are joining up at a local park to take on some trails.  It is a beautiful day here in MN - the sun is shining, the temps are in the low 20s, and fresh snow is on the ground.  Perfect reason to gather for a happy hour! I can't wait to see everyone adorned with headlamps and tripping running gracefully through the slosh!  I am pretty familiar with the trails because I run them 3-4 times a week.  But for most it will be a blind run- which I think is kind of fun (and maybe a little funny!)  The beverages FOLLOW the run which is good because otherwise we might not find our way out of the woods!

Tonight's beverage - hot cocoa with a shot of this

or this!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And the Ball Has Dropped!!

Thanks to all you bloggers who inspired me to sit down and post something today.  I have had writer's block - I wanted to sum up 2012, but was struggling with how I wanted to do it.  2012 was an amazing year!  I learned so much about myself, met many new friends, and accomplished SOME of my goals.  I am HAPPY!!!
Ring out the old!
Some of my highlights from 2012
First 50 K
Great River Ragnar Relay 
First ever overall win!!!!  Whoo hoo!

Diva Dash
26.2 Shades of GreyMarathon Relay Team

Ring in the new!
I have not yet set my goals for the year.  I do know I am hoping to shake this hamstring issue and run more trail races.  I have a 50K set for April and would LOVE to push myself to something a little longer.  We shall see!