Monday, January 12, 2015

#NoExcuses Madlibs

  • Hey 2015, it’s me jedimama (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)
  • This year I would like to run happy, build some strength, and break out of my comfort zone.
  • It would also be super duper awesome if I also did PR the 5K and 13.1 this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because I'm turning 40.
  • The thing I am looking forward to most this year is running with friends again.
  • I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is a full bladder to help me get up, get moving (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.
  • Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is lack of time and I have used it to get out of doing everything and then some on more than 1975 (number) occasions.
  • I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to go to bed earlier.
  • Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I'll still get up on time instead of wasting the morning.
  • I will stop blaming the girls [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the chocolate chips when everyone knows it was really me.
  • My kids [job, hair, car, husband, kids] are not the reason I make excuses. I will show my kids [same as before] who's boss this year and get my running [type of sweaty activity] on
  • I know that an outside run [type of workout] is better than a treadmill run [noun]
  • I will reward myself by sleeping better.
  • No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock an action jersey (article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and not stinky (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking strength workouts [yoga pose / workout move] in new capris [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my abs [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  13.1 mile [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.
  • Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my capris [article of clothing] will smell in my / during my speedwork [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!
  • Tag, Tweet, shout-out, call, text, fax or email 3 friends to take this survey and share how they will have a #NoExcuses 2015. Remind your friends to simply fill in the underlined parts!
  • Use the #NoExcuses hashtag and post to win prizes from Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, WIN Detergent, Actio926, Beaming with Health, and Sasquatch Racing.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Yearly wrap-up and future goals

Lotta green (Easy) on there… 
I decided to take it easy in December. No speedwork, no long runs. Partly because of holiday prep and sickness and partly because I did the Quickfit Holiday Challenge with Jessica Smith.


Mileage: 32.6 milesRuns: 10

Bike: 39.2 miles
Trips: 6Races: 0Cross training: 22 days / 27 sessions

Not a lot of running, but more than last December (23.7) and I did a decent amount of biking and cross training. I also did a decent amount of socializing! Lots of nights out with friends and holiday celebrations. It's been a pretty good month. 

I recently got a new iPhone (5S) that can take full advantage of the Health App and count my steps and track my sleep and all that fun stuff. I manage to walk an average of 3 miles per day just doing chores in my house. The sleep tracker has confirmed that I sleep like crap. I'm awake multiple times a night and don't get a lot of deep sleep. I'm sick AGAIN though, so I'm hoping to get back on track. I was doing so well getting up at 6:30 every morning and it was easier to fall asleep but then Christmas vacation happened and we all got sick again and yeah. I hope to start again on Monday. 

As far as the year went… I wound up with 661.9 miles (yes I find that funny too) which is the most I have ever done. Sure, it would be great to have a 1000 mile year, but I don't think that's in the cards for me right now. As long as I keep going up, which is what I'm been doing, I'm happy. I think I'm also less likely to get injured that way. I've got 51.7 biking miles for the year to add to those running miles too.

Last year's goals: 

1. Run 4 times a week
2. Cross train 4 times a week
3. Beat my 5K PR of 27:35
3a. Set a new PR of 26:30
4. Don't get injured doing it!

1. 4 times a week is tough. I had some good weeks, but quite a few when I couldn't get that 4th run in. I'm pretty sure I did 3 times a week consistently though. 
2. Tee hee. I had months when I did a lot of cross training but many months when I did none. 
3. HAHAHAHA, nope. Not even close. 
4. No injuries, so that's good. 

So, not quite a successful year as far as that goes. BUT, I had lots of special running moments that meant more than the time on the clock (Ragnar, Wildcats Marathon with my kids, Ran a race with my husbandRunning the half marathon for Fallon). I also participated in something called the Earthathon and helped other runners reach an awesome goal of running 25,000 miles. For 2015 I am helping to lead a team of over 20 runners (United Snails) as we try to reach 25,000 before other teams (there's still time to join! Go here to join a team. All you need is a twitter account.) It's a great way to stay motivated to run during a cold dreary winter.

I'm keeping my goals for 2015 simple:

1. Run 3 times a week
2. Bike 2 times a week
3. Cross train (strength, core, etc.) whenever I can
4. Run with friends whenever I get the opportunity! 
5. Be the best runner I can be

I'm not giving myself any time goals. I would like to PR at both the 5K and half marathon this year. I'll work damn hard to do it. But I'm not going to define myself by that. I'm not going to judge my success on numbers. I'm not an elite, not a pro, I'm just another Strong Running Mama trying to stay sane and be a good example to my kids. If I do the majority of my runs with a smile on my face (or at least in my heart) and run with friends and laugh, I'm doing pretty good. I am a million light years ahead of where I was 5, 10, 15 years ago. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November stats

I feel like I was just writing October's stats. We spent the majority of November sick. After 3 weeks I gave up and went to the doc (yesterday) for meds for a sinus infection. I only took a weekend off when I was sick and the girls were both sick and the idea of running long just wasn't appealing.

I did pretty good sticking to my routine this month but it's getting harder. It's getting cold out there and the toddler does not like to bundle up for stroller runs (and it's hard to buckle him up wearing a coat anyway). I think I'll be doing more treadmill runs soon. My long runs are not quite long yet, but I ran more often this month. Last November was 32.8 miles.


Mileage: 54 miles
Runs: 14
Races: 1 (Celebrate Women 5K)
Cross training: 8
Bike: 12.5 miles

I did really well with the cross training this month. In addition to the Jessica Smith videos, I've been adding some bike miles. I bought a bike trainer to use with my road bike but it didn't work out the way I hoped. My bike is a smaller sized mountain bike. The back tire was being shaved by the trainer and when I looked into getting a replacement tire I realized that I couldn't get a trainer tire for it and to get just a regular mountain bike tire would have been too much work and money. Adding it all up didn't make sense. So I sent the trainer back and bought a semi-recumbent bike instead. I should have done that right away but I swear when I first started looking all I saw were bikes for thousands of dollars. My research failed me. I'm not heading for a triathlon or giving up running. Biking is great cross training for running and an indoor bike is something I can do during the winter. I'm hoping to do the bike twice a week, run 4 times a week and throw in some videos when I can. 

The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

I did just start Jessica Smith's Quick Fit Holiday Challenge which means videos almost every day for the month. I generally don't do challenges because I have a hard time fitting them into my running schedule but I like the word "Quick" in this one. All of the daily workouts are 20 mins or less. I should be able to get that done on top of whatever running and biking I am doing. I'm expecting to have a really strong winter of exercise so I can have a really strong half marathon time next fall. When a good friend says she's running her first post-baby half and asks you to do it with her there's only one response. So I signed up for the Wineglass Half Marathon in October. A destination half with friends and wine. Awesome. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

October's stats

That month went by pretty fast.

I was determined to not let this October be a repeat of last October when my 2 weeks off after the half-marathon turned into more. I intended on only taking a week off so that's what I did. I've been fine too, no aches, no soreness, no need for extended recovery. I started back relatively slow but now I'm kicking it back into "high gear" with a planned 4 run week. Two stroller runs, one speedwork, one long. I hope I can keep this up!


Mileage: 43.4 miles
Runs: 9
Races: 1 (Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon)
Cross training: 4

Last October was 24.1 miles, so I'm okay with 43.4. I've started to get some Jessica Smith workouts back into my rotation too. I'm hoping that if I stick with it all it will make the winter slightly less horrible.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon wrap up

As I expected, I didn't PR at Sunday's half-marathon. But that's okay, because sometimes races are about more than just the numbers.

We got to the race around 8 and had some trouble parking so by the time I got the bathrooms the line was huge for both the inside park bathrooms and the portapotties. I had gone to the bathroom 5 or 6 times before I left the house so I thought I'd be okay. No. I'm going to have to get there earlier next year.

Me, Tracy & Kathleen before the race

I met up with a few friends running the half and we started out together but I was determined not to try to keep up with anybody this year. I was going to just run and be happy doing it. It was somewhat difficult at first to think of Fallon and run happy. If I thought about the details too much, the exact opposite would occur and well, running and crying are not a good mix. So I switched gears and thought about how strong she was and how much good she has done. I ran most of the race "alone" but ran into (no pun intended) a couple of fellow Strong Running Mamas who very nicely took pictures.

I'm not the guy in purple.

The entire time I was running I was peeing. I was prepared for it but it was somewhat distracting. I think next year instead of using the hydration vest I will run with a catheter and a pee-bag. 

When I hit mile 11 my toes hurt, my arms kind of hurt, my legs didn't really want to move anymore. I really wanted to just be done but I had so much further to go. Even further than I thought because my beloved Bia added a half-mile for me. I don't think I could have really added a half-mile from zigzagging, so I don't know what was up with that. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. And then I thought about how hard Fallon fought for her 11 days and surely couldn't I fight for a couple more miles? I was determined not to let her down. I had to finish so I could donate to her cause. She came through for me and pushed me on. 

Pushing on
When I got into the home stretch I could see my family waiting. I will be honest, I had a hard time not crying. But I was determined to run happy, so run happy was what I did. 

High fives!
When I saw the finish line I let it all go and ran as fast as I could and finished really really strong. My official final time was 2:23:11, 8 minutes slower than last year. I was actually pretty pleased I came in before 2:30. Last year I ran hard with friends and did 2:15. This year I ran "easy" by myself and was only 8 minutes behind. Most of the time I ran with a smile on my face, thanking volunteers and laughing at signs ("Run faster, we all just farted."). When I wanted to quit, I didn't. Sure, it would have been great if my easy running led to a 2:00 finish, but that wasn't going to happen. I had a good run and on top of it all, I was able to make a nice donation to Fallon's fund.

I'm taking this week off from running so that I can try to catch up with all the things I've neglected. I don't want to take much longer off though. I know how a week turns into 4. I want to take advantage of stroller running weather for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to get back out there. Part of me wants to just take a nice break but a larger part of me wants to do a reverse taper and get back up to 10 miles in a couple of weeks and stay there. I'm not sure if the winter will cooperate with me, but I'd like to get as many miles in this winter as I can. I need to get these legs nice and ready for when I do PR at next year's half marathon. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

A special half marathon goal

On Sunday I will run my second half-marathon (or thirteener as some like to say). I've been training for it for 16 weeks now and I think I'm ready. I've been thinking a lot about my goals and time and running and what's important. Last year I did it in 2:15:02 which was exactly my A goal. It would be great if I can do it faster this year, it would be good if I can make it close to that. But honestly, I only have one goal in mind.

I'm going to run each mile with little Fallon Jade Rilling on my mind and in my heart. A year ago today she was born and I remember talking about her as I was running last year's race. Worrying because she wasn't doing well. I had no way of knowing she would live such a short life. Just 11 days. She was born with a very rare--but rare doesn't mean impossible--disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. There was nothing they could do, no way to prevent it (that we know of), no way to cure. More research is needed to help parents from having to experience this horror. The Rillings have raised an amazing amount of money on their own but until there's a cure, it's not enough. 

If you'd like to donate to her birthday fund: . If you'd rather donate directly, you can do so here: .

I've already donated to her birthday fund but I feel like I have to do more. If I had my butt in gear earlier I would have set up some kind of fundraising thing, but my butt is rarely in gear these days. So, whatever my average pace is for this half-marathon, I will multiply it by 13.1 and donate that as well.

If you can't spare any extra money right now, please honor Fallon by being grateful and satisfied with your lives. If I could pack up some peace and joy and send it to the Rillings I would. If you're the praying sort, perhaps you could send some their way?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's stats

September is always so crazy with back to school and soccer and crap. I ran more this month than last month but not quite as much as I did in July (or September of last year). Considering how insane our soccer schedule has been and how incapable of getting up before 8:00 I am, I'm okay with September's miles. 


Mileage: 69.8
Runs: 12
Crosstraining: Laundry?

Yes. 69.8! Had I known while I was on the treadmill yesterday that I was so close to 70 I would have added .2, but alas I had set out to run 40 minutes and that is what I did. I briefly considered hopping back on but I had just run intervals and I was done with it. 

I am in week 13 of my training plan. For some reason I decided to do 4 runs a week instead of the 3 I did last year… or I should say I decided to plan 4 runs a week. Unless I get up before the sun I can't do 4 a week. Particularly if I wind up doing my long run on Friday because of weekend insanity. I am greatly looking forward to our weekends calming down. Although basketball will start up in December it's only one kid and Vader won't have to mow the lawn, so our weekends should be somewhat easier. 

I am in taper mode and only have to run 6 this weekend… but we'll have two soccer games, two soccer picture times (in a different location) and other stuff to do. My preschool playdates start up this week as well, so I've got plenty to keep me busy.