Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beautiful Women: A Man's Perspective

I wasn't going to write this post this week.  I planned to write it for next week,  but last night, I was hanging out with some friends and this topic came up so here we go...


My male friend said to me last night, "So, I read your blog about the stretchmarks...."

He was surprised to read that it was an issue for women.

Really?!  We're practically deformed!

So I asked him if having an imperfect partner was an issue for a man and braced myself for his response.

He said no.

Really?

Really.  He said he notices imperfections, but if he really likes a woman, stretchmarks don't send him running for the hills.

Good to know.

Randy says that he's not bothered by stretchmarks, but he had a part in creating them.  It was nice to have an unattached perspective.

Thank you, Anonymous Male Friend! :-)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After last week's post, I received one picture via email.
Anonymous ~ mom of 3, youngest is 9 months old
Anonymous recently started working out and is taking control of her body.  Good luck, Anonymous, you can do it!

Are YOU brave enough? Email me your pictures jamiem718@gmail.com or Tweet me a direct message.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 3

This week started out a little rough.  I came down with a UTI on Sunday, so when I tried to run on Monday morning, the bouncing made me have to go to the bathroom.  I ran around the block back home, used the bathroom then went back out.  Ran a little, had to go, went around the block back home.  By then, I'd had enough.  What a bummer.

I couldn't get out of bed on Tuesday, so I changed my strength/cross train day into a rest day.  My body was exhausted and clearly needed a break.

Wednesday, I was feeling much better and was able to run (without running around the block to the bathroom--woohoo!).  Thursday I met the Turtle running group for 4 miles.  My awesome Turtle friend, Angela, said "Hey, Jamie, you're getting some arms!"

Highlight of my day.  It's so nice that my hard work is paying off and others are noticing!  Thanks, Ang! :-)

Saturday, I met two of my running friends, Anne and Angie at 5am.  My family had a busy day planned and I needed to get my 8 miles done and be home by 7.  Check! (And it was pain-free to boot!)

I got home, took a baby-wipe shower, change my clothes and Randy, the kids and I headed downtown for the Heart Walk.  With Randy pushing the Little Ladies in the double jogger, we walked the crowded streets of Columbus (very slowly) for 3 miles.  There was a Food Truck event at the Ohio History Center (we love our food trucks!) so after the Heart Walk, we headed to the trucks for lunch!

Yes, we followed up a walk for heart disease with fried food from a truck.  That's how we roll.  Then we all came home and took naps (after a real shower with running water, of course).

I did not run on Sunday, but I did get up at 5am to volunteer at water station #2 for the Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon.  This was so much fun!  If you've never volunteered for a race, you are missing out; and if you think the races near you don't need your help, you're wrong.  Race directors can never have too much help and often times, the volunteers receive a free race entry to use in the future.
The volunteers at water station #2
Thanks to Rob for the picture!
Beth's sign was a huge hit with the runners! ("1% of runners poop their pants. We are the 99%")

Whew!  This turned out to be a super fun-busy week!


Week 3
Monday- Run: 1.01mi (fail)
Tuesday- Unplanned Rest Day
Wednesday- Run: 3.33mi
Thursday- Strength: Abs & Arms, Run: 4mi
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Run: 8mi, Walk: 3mi
Sunday- Bike: 8.64mi
Total Mileage for Week 2- 27.98
Total Running Mileage- 16.34

How did YOUR training go this week?
Have you ever volunteered for a race?  This was my first!  What was your experience?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Elizabeth Mary ~ Then and Now




It seems like just yesterday that we brought Baby Ellie home from the hospital.  We used to laugh that her pacifier was almost as big as her head.
She was so tiny in that car seat.

She was such a happy little chick.
Seven months old.
 She was always very affectionate too...
Yes, that is half of my face in her mouth.
Ellie's first birthday was bittersweet: baby-hood was coming to an end but toddler-hood promised to be exciting.
To be perfectly honest, I was pretty excited that I was able to keep her alive for a whole year.
Along with age two came little cherub cheeks and a hysterical personality.
Ellie was so excited to turn three.  Preschool would start at age three.  The only problem: her birthday is in March and preschool didn't start until September. (I can't believe how much she still looks like a baby in these pictures.  I didn't think she looked like a baby at the time.)

First day of three-year-old preschool.
Third birthday.
She was thrilled but I was sad when September finally came.  She would be away from me for three whole hours.  She loved preschool and that made leaving her there a little easier on me.
 
Fourth birthday.
First day of four-year-old preschool
The truth is, I love spending my days with my little ladies.  I'm not happy or relieved that school age is upon us and I can "get rid of them" for a while.  I don't want to get rid of them.  I feel sad when I hear other parents saying that they can't wait until school starts.  Why wish time away when it goes so fast?  In the blink of an eye, Ellie will be...what?  Driving?  Getting married?  Having babies of her own?
 
No.  She won't.
 
I refuse to think of it or allow it to happen.  She will be my sweet baby forever.
 
All joking aside, I like to enjoy what I have, when I have it.
 
Age 5
Waiting for the bus.
I can't believe she's in kindergarten already. (I can't believe I let my baby ride a bus!)

Randy makes fun of me for taking so many pictures.  I'll forget all the details if I don't document, document, document!














         
Here it comes!
Climbing the big steps.
There she goes.  My baby's first school bus ride.


I may, or may not, have followed her to school and walked her into the building.

When she came home three hours later, she was all smiles getting off the bus and telling me about her day as we walked up the driveway together.  She loved her first day of kindergarten, her teacher, the kids in her class, the playground....and I found myself wondering where my tiny baby went.  I swear she looks a little older than she did this morning.

Ellie-Bean, you are going to have a great kindergarten year, but seriously, kid, can we slow time down just a little?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Beautiful Women

 

I considered deleting last week's Thankful Thursday.  What am I doing?!  I can't post that!  It's too personal, maybe I don't want to put myself out there.  People are going to laugh at me, at my stupid picture and no one is going to take this seriously.

A friend talked me into it.  I hyperventilated a little as I clicked "post".  I banged my head on the computer desk when I saw that people were reading it.  What have I done?

You know what?  No one laughed.  No one made fun of me.  Quite the opposite: women started sharing their stories.  They told how they could relate to what I wrote.  Some women lost 100+ pounds, some carried and gave birth to twins, all are dealing with the aftermath of these amazing feats. 

Randy said to me, after I told him how shocked I was at the response, "Really? This surprises you?"  Yes.  After spending the summer at a water park, where lots of women bare lots of skin--skin that I would be too self conscious to bare-- yes.  I'm surprised.  I had no idea so many women felt the same way.

I realize that most men don't feel this way, but women have evil thoughts that our husbands won't find us attractive anymore.  This new body isn't the one they married. 

We really need to get out of our own heads.

A few very brave women sent me photos of their stomachs.  As promised, I'm only identifying them by their first names.  No tagging to blogs, Twitter or Facebook. 
  

Kate

Amanda

Amanda

Julie ~ mom of five (in 5 years!)
Julie ~ 2 weeks after tummy tuck

Let's give these ladies a round of applause!

I was so excited to get Julie's pictures and of course, I had a million questions for her.  She said that after the first week post-surgery, the pain wasn't too bad, she also said that if you have stretchmarks above your belly button, you'd still have stretch marks post-tummy tuck, but they'd be below your belly button.  Interesting.

Julie said she's happy to answer any questions that any readers have.  If you want to discuss this in depth with Julie, contact me via Twitter, email (jamiem718@gmail.com) or leave a comment with your email address and I'll connect you to her.

I'm still thinking that a tummy tuck is not for me, but I'm not closing the door to that option yet (but to be perfectly honest, I'd rather spend the money on a trip to Disney World).  For now, I'll just keep up with my abs exercises and running and see what happens.

My friend, Andrea, has already publicly announced that she's going to rocking a bikini next summer.  I'm not quite ready to make that declaration...we'll see how much progress I make in the next nine months.

Great big thank you to Kate, Amanda, Amanda and Julie for being so brave.  You ladies are awesome! :-)

Feeling brave?  You can still send me your pictures and I'll do another post next week.  I can mark your picture with your first name, or with no name.  Tweet me a direct message, or email me jamiem718@gmail.com.
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 2

I knew this week was going to be a light week as far as mileage goes.  Randy had to travel for work Wednesday through Sunday so my last early morning run of the week was Wednesday.  I took the little ladies to Michigan to visit my parents for the weekend. 

Aw, how sweet, I went to visit my parents. 

I had an ulterior motive.  The selfish reason behind the Michigan visit was so I could get out for my long run on Saturday.  Thankfully, my parents don't mind my using them as childcare occasionally.

When I'm in Michigan, I usually run the six-mile loop (over and over, depending on what I'm training for) at Stony Creek Metropark.  Stony Creek has a beautiful paved path that loops a lake. (see pictures) The Metroparks in the Detroit area are not free to use like they are in Columbus.  I pay $5 to use the path when I visit.  Sure, I could run the roads for free, but then I have to worry about cars and I have to stop for traffic...not to mention there is nothing interesting to look at.  It's worth my five bucks to go.

Friday morning, I took the Little Ladies to play at Dodge Park located five minutes from my parents' house. 







I noticed that there was a gravel path that looped around a pond there.  Hmm....maybe I can get my six miles in at this park instead of driving the twenty minutes to Stony Creek?  I saw an older gentleman walking the path and asked him how long the loop was: about a mile and a half.  I'd have to run a bunch of times around, but that's ok.  I decided to try something new.

I went to the park shortly after sunrise on Saturday morning and made my way down the half paved/half gravel path toward the pond and I saw a bridge that looked like it went into the woods.  Curiosity got the best of me and over the bridge and into the woods I went.

I was thrilled at what I found: a paved path that ran along the Clinton River! 


I turned left first and ran.  I'll admit, I was a little jumpy.  I'd never been there before and there wasn't another soul in sight.  I heard a noise in the woods next to me and I clicked my pepper spray, that was strapped to my hand, to the unlocked position and looked around searching for my stalker.

Deer. 

Nice, Jamie.  Way to keep it together.

I ran as far as the M-53 overpass (just over a mile). Overpasses freak me out a little, and I wasn't feeling very comfortable in my new surroundings as it was so I decided to turn around and explore the other end.

Here are some views on my way back:
How is it that I lived 5 minutes from this view until I was 24 years old and NEVER knew it was here?!

Why, hello, riverfront house with awesome windows!  I love you.
I ran all the way down to the south end trail head and turned around to come back to Dodge Park.  I was about a half of a mile from the bridge that would take me back to Dodge Park and I saw a couple, who had been walking, stopped and looking into the woods.  I slowed to a walk as I suspected they were looking at deer and I didn't want to scare it/them away.  So glad I did.  This big guy posed for me while I took a few pictures.

Isn't he gorgeous?
By the time I got back to the park, I had run 5 miles.  I did a loop around the pond and wandered around a bit for a total of 7.25 miles when I got back to my car.  What an awesome run.

Week 2-
Monday- Run: 4.04mi
Tuesday- Bike: 8.67mi
Wednesday- Run: 6mi
Thursday- Rest
Friday- Strength: Abs and Arms with Mommy!
Saturday- Run: 7.25mi
Sunday- Rest
Total Miles: 25.96
Total Running Miles: 17.29


How is your training going?  What week are you on?  What are you training for?



Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Next Best Thing to Racing

What is the next best thing to racing?

Cheering at a race!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of cheering at the first cheering station of the Komen 3 Day walk. Ever heard of it? Twenty miles a day, three days in a row. How badass is that?!
A friend from high school, Keri, who I keep in touch with on Facebook has been walking the 3 Day for the past three years. Her mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor. (WOOT WOOT!) I happened to be in town the same weekend of the walk, so I headed on down to the cheering station to cheer on Keri and her team, the Milkers and Shakers (and everyone else who walked by).


The Milkers and Shakers (Keri is in the middle)


This event is so cool. I loved seeing so many women supporting other women. There were lots of men too and most of them were wearing pink. I saw one older gentleman who had spray painted his beard pink, another guy with a pink mohawk and yet another wearing a bright pink bra over his shirt.

Now would be a good time to mention that I don't care for the word "tit". I don't feel quite as strongly about it as some women do about the words "moist" or "panties", but it's not a word I use and I find it just a tad degrading and offensive.  I tend to use words like "breasts" or "boobs".  Even "knockers" and "jugs" have been known to come out of my mouth, especially "jugs" while nursing. But "tits"?  Not generally in my vocabulary.

Well, there were tits all over the place at the 3 Day walk! And, to be perfectly honest, it seemed totally appropriate.


Tit Crew's support tent.  This team's crew was responsible for the sidewalk chalk encouragement, blaring girl-power music and a crew member was painting pink ribbons on any walker who stopped by.

This is a really fun event, supporting an issue that is anything but fun.  Breast cancer is so scary and real and, all too often, so devastating, I think we, as humans, need to make light of it sometimes as a coping mechanism.

There were some cute and clever team names other than Tit Crew (which is pretty clever, even if I'm not a fan of the tit part):
  • Save the Toucans (get it? Two cans? I got a serious chuckle out of that one)
  • Bodacious Tatas
  • Blushing and Bashful Boobs
  • 60 Mile Men (an all men's team -- good for them!)
  • No More Naughty Nockers
  • Handfuls
It was so awe inspiring to see a whole community coming together to celebrate survivors, honor those who lost their battles and to raise money to help find a cure.

To all of the participants of the 3 Day walk, yesterday, today and tomorrow: you are an inspiration.  Thank you for making a difference.

Keri and I before the Milkers and Shakers continued on their merry way.

Have you ever walked a 3 Day?  Or do you know anyone who has?  Would you ever want to?  After seeing part of the event yesterday, I totally want to do it.  I sent my friend, Kate, a text saying so.  Her reply: "you're crazy".  I think we already knew that. ;-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Stretchmarks

Stretchmarks.

Five years ago, just the sound of that word made me cringe and on a bad day, it would make me cry.  Five years ago, Ellie was a perfect little 5 month old full of rolls, smiles and drool.  She was beautiful and I was so proud of my body's accomplishment in creating, growing and nourishing her. 

Don't you just want to nibble those chunky thighs?!
Unfortunately, the happy pride turned to anger as soon as I removed my clothing.  In the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy, tons of bright red stretchmarks formed all over my stomach, spanning from my hip bones to above my belly button.  It was awful.  They were ugly.  I was ugly.

When Ellie was 9 months old, I went to a personal trainer for the first time.  I knew she was going use that fat-pinching contraption on me and she was going to see my stomach.  I considered not going just because of that.  I cried all over Randy the night before, he listened, he rubbed my head, but there really wasn't anything he could do or say to make me feel better.  It's not like he could say "They're not that noticeable."  They were that noticeable.  I'm sure he thought I was a little crazy because I wasn't worried about how much fat the pinchy contraption would detect, I was only worried about the personal trainer seeing my ugly stretchmarks.

I did go to the personal trainer, she pretended to not even notice the stretch marks and the pinchy thing found the fat. ;-)

A few months later, I got pregnant with Aleena, and wow, did my belly grow.  If I didn't already have stretchmarks, I would have gotten them then.  I loved being pregnant but hated to look at my gigantic stomach with red stripes in the mirror.

40 weeks.  Come on out, Baby! (you can say it: huge.)
 After forcefully evicting Aleena, I had another beautiful, perfect baby girl....and lots of bright red stretchmarks.  Not shocking, it's not like I thought they were going to go away, but again, it took away from the new baby glow. (or was that haze?)
Sweet little faces.
Three and a half years later, the bright red, ugly lines have faded to silver and I'm left with loose, wrinkly belly skin that feels like a 90 year old arm.  The fat content has decreased greatly, thanks to running and various abs exercises, but I've still got some work to do.  And my belly button!  My poor deformed belly button!  To all of you young ladies out there: do NOT pierce your belly buttons!  Listen to your mothers, they really do know best.

This whole rant was inspired by a post on the Run Like A Mother: The Book Facebook Page:
"This morning's question courtesy of Angela, who has had four babies--and now has extra skin around her midsection. She's lost more than 30 pounds (go girl!) in the last two years, putting her smaller than she was pre-kids. But she hates the look of the flabby skin. Any advice, other than surgery?"

One of the suggestions on Facebook was to use an anti-aging firming cream that was meant for your face to tighten up the loose skin. I might have to test that one out. I'm seeing results in my ab muscles, but I've hit a plateau where the loose skin is concerned.

Randy has told me that if I really want a tummy-tuck, we can save up for it, but the jury is still out on that decision.  *Side note: Randy was not, in any way, suggesting that I should have a tummy-tuck.  He offered the option of spending our family money on something to help me feel better about myself.  I don't want any man-bashing feedback.

I'm not a fan of unnecessary surgery (that will keep me from running) so instead, I'm trying to change my outlook.


Badges of Honor.

The fact is, it was an honor to grow my babies and I wouldn't trade either of them for my pre-baby smooth skin.  Most days, I'm indifferent toward the stretchmarks, but occasionally, I catch sight of them at a weak moment and my first impulse is to cover them up.  I'll never embrace them but I'm working toward coming to terms with the hideous, permanent part of my body.

Lots of women get stretch marks, of varying degrees, from pregnancy.  Many of my friends have them.  We've discussed them, but never had a show and tell session.  I'm thinking there isn't enough martini on the planet for that....but maybe we should.  Maybe we'd all feel better about what we're so busy hiding, if we see that the women around us, the women we care about, are suffering right along with us.

I can't believe I'm about to say this...I'll show you my badge of honor.  Show me yours.

Maybe it's not that bad.


Ok, yes, it's that bad.  I swear, my belly button used to be cute.

Tweet me: @runmama2girls, or leave me a comment with a link to a picture or email me (jamiem718@gmail.com) and I'll include them in a follow up blog next week (with no names, if you'd like).  Go ahead. You can do it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wordy Wednesday (a day early)

I found a different entrance to the neighborhood that is across the busy street. This "new and improved" entrance is almost directly across the main road from one of the roads in my hood, so I don't have to ride on the main road for any length of time.  I tested out this new and improved route yesterday on my run.

Last spring, I named the other neighborhood the Party Hood, because I'd leave my neighborhood, where I was in solitude, and run down to the other neighborhood for my mid-long runs and I would see lots of runners, walkers and dog-walkers out and about down there.  That hood is where the party's at!  Generally, though, the party starts in that hood around 6am and I'm only out after 6 when Randy can go into work later.

Random thoughts from my ride:

Tired.  Maybe I should have slept another hour instead...
I'll bet they don't know their garage door is open.
Ugh, the lunatic-driver paper delivery guy is in the hood this morning.
Ew. Someone spilled gravel in random patches on this road. Not cool.
Wow, those garage lights are bright!  I love them!
I spy a person turning around in a neighbor's driveway...I wonder what they forgot....lunch?  Cell phone?  Coffee?  Kiss from their spouse?  I would totally go back home for that.
Pew. This loop smells like skunk.
Pew.  That cat smells like skunk.  Poor cat.
The crescent moon is so clear and bright this morning...and with Venus nearby...they look spectacular!
Lots of people (in cars) out early this morning.  I usually see maybe one or two cars before 6am.  Not 5!
There is a house for sale in the Party Hood!
Hmm...that house is dark except for the basement which leads me to wonder, did they forget to turn the lights off? Or is someone down there, up to no good...like chopping up a body?
Oops. It's 5:50 already! I have to go home. I shouldn't have hit the snooze this morning.
A person! (in their driveway picking up their lunatic-delivered newspaper)  Good morning, first-form-of-human-life I've seen this morning!
Ahh...that felt good.  Who needs an extra hour of sleep?  Not this girl!

Bike Ride:
5:20am
8.67mi
36:32
14.24mph

How was your workout this morning?  Or this afternoon?  Or this evening?
Did you see and admire the crescent moon this morning?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 1

WOOT!  Week 1 is in the bag! 

I have to say: a few weeks ago, I didn't know if I'd ever get to write this post.  The hip flexor strain was seriously cramping my style and bringing me down.  I still feel it every once in a while, usually when I'm carrying a child (which I've been trying not to do).  I have not been feeling any pain during a run, after a run or the next day.  I still foam-roll and ice after every workout and I'll continue to do so for quite some time.

I'm afraid of speed and hills, both of which I need to do, both of which could set my hip back.

You could say I'm in a quandary.

I'm happy thrilled ecstatic to report that this week went well.
On Saturday, I got to run with a few of my running friends.  I was super excited to run with Anne again.  I haven't run with her in a long time.  I also got to run with two other Ragnar teammates, Andrea and Greg.

Anne's training plan called for a 5K race plus several slower miles, so, on my bike, I marked a 5K course at a local metro park and we raced!  Well, Anne raced, I ran a much slower 5K with Andrea:
Mile 1- 10:29
Mile 2- 10:39
Mile 3- 10:23
Last .1- 8:53 <-- so much for slow, we got a little excited when we saw Anne cheering for us at the finish line!
Finish- 32:20 <--- 5 seconds slower than my Dash for Donation 5K time

Personally, I think every race should end in a bright pink smiley face.
Thanks, Anne, for remembering to take a picture!
After the "race", Anne and I ran another three and a half miles and were joined by Greg for a bit.  Such a fun morning!

I'm so happy to be able to run with my friends again!

Week 1-
Monday- Strength: abs & arms
Tuesday- Run: 3.5mi
Wednesday- Bike: 10.65mi (read random thoughts)
Thursday- Strength: abs & arms, Run: 3.67mi
Friday- rest
Saturday- Bike: 5.15mi, Run: 3.1mi, Run: 3.53mi
Sunday- Family bike ride: 4.16mi
Total Miles: 33.76
Total Running Miles: 13.8

What a kick-ass week!

How is your training going?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Parents

"I really got to know my dad after he died."

She smiled as she said the words and went on to tell me how talking with and hearing stories told by his close friends at her dad's memorial helped her to know the fun, funny, adventurous, trouble-maker side of her father.

"How sad..." is what I thought to myself as I listened to her.  Such a shame that she didn't learn such things, that she couldn't enjoy his true self while he was alive.

I hope I never say such a thing about my parents.

My parents are my best friends.  It wasn't always that way. When I was a kid, they were my parents; exactly what they should have been. We got along well, but they were still parents. At that time, their job wasn't to be my friend. Now that I'm raised, (and just between me and you, I think they did a stand-up job with me) they can just be themselves.  (Although, I have to admit that occasionally I still get the stern "Jamie Lynn!" from my mom.)

The fact is, my parents are pretty awesome.  Randy, the kids and I go on vacations with them. Yes, they help out with the girls, but we really enjoy their company.  As a matter of fact, Randy and I started vacationing with them long before we had kids!
Vacation in Virginia Beach ~ 2011
My parents are fun and funny.  Randy and my dad refer to one another as their "drinking buddy" and my mom is always looking up new recipes for martinis that we have to try when we're together.  They're just easy to be with and talk to.  All too often, we stay up way past our bedtimes just sitting around the kitchen table chatting and when we plan our vacations, we pay careful attention to book accommodations that allow for our shenanigans after the little ladies go to bed (ie, not studio hotel rooms).

The four of us have a lot in common.  Randy and my dad love to cook, and they're really good at it.  Luckily, Mom and I love to eat!  And, oh boy, do we eat well when we're together.  We all have the same sense of humor and fun personalities and we enjoy some of the same activities.  No, my parents don't run, but not for my lack of trying!

I realize that not everyone has this type of relationship with their parents.  I have friends who talk to their parents every other week or so.  I talk to my mom at least twice a day.  Some might call it odd, I call it special.  Maybe it's because they're young, in their 50s, or maybe it's because they are just that awesome.

Someday, in the very, very, very distant future, my parents' friends will share stories and memories about them.  I don't want that to be the time I learn new things about them--about the real them.  I want to know and enjoy them now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordy Wednesday ~ Random Thoughts

Last night...
Me: I'm going to get brave and cross the main street in the morning on the bike.
Randy: You STILL haven't crossed the street?!

I've been saying for weeks that I was going to cross the street (speed limit on said street is 45mph--s.c.a.r.y.) and ride in another neighborhood so I'm not staring at the same roads over and over...

I'm a chicken.


Random thoughts from my ride:

I'm going to do it.  Today is the day.  Look out world!
Wow!  New batteries in the head lamp makes a huge difference!
I'm going to do it.  After loop one.  I should warm up...right?
I smell skunk.  I hope I don't see skunk.
I'm going to do it. After loop three. (the road to cross is in loop two)
If a rider blows by a stop sign and no one is around to see it, did she break a law?
I'm going to do it.  Here I go.
For crying out loud.  Stop shaking.  Pansy.
Crap there's a car coming.
Left at the light...and... DONE!  I'm in the other hood!  I did it!
Wow!  This road is so smooth! (fresh asphalt)
"...falling from cloud 9, crashing from the high, I'm letting go tonight, yea, I'm falling from cloud 9.  I'm wide awake..." (I know I'm not the only one to sing in my head for entertainment.)
Humph.  There's no one out in this hood either.
Ok, time to head back.
Right at the light, ride one tenth of a mile then turn left into my hood.  I can do this.
Crap.  There's a car coming.
For crying out loud.  Stop shaking!
I did it!  I'm still alive!
Two more miles.  Let's finish this biotch.
"I'm wide awake. Yea, I was in the dark, I was falling hard with an open heart.  I'm wide awake.  How did I read the stars so wrong?"
Hey, look!  A runner!  Good morning, Runner!
Oh.  Shirtless runner.  Not a fan.  Put some clothes on.
Clothing should be required to leave one's house.  Just sayin'.
There goes another stop sign....

5:08am
10.65 miles
15.3 mph <-- fastest dark ride yet!

How was your workout today?  Care to share a random thought or two?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bummer sprinkled with Awesome

So...the Strong Like Susan July Abs Challenge started off with a bang, but petered out near the end.  Because of my hip, I had to modify or completely omit an exercise every day.  It got discouraging and I think I only did one day during the last week of July.  I originally said I wanted to do the challenge again in August, but I've decided that it's best to put that off until September.  Since I felt my hip complain so much during the exercises in this challenge, I think it's best if I stop trying.  I'll let my hip heal, then reintroduce these exercises again next month.  I think if I take a break during August, I'll have to modify less --if at all-- in September.
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The Strong Like Susan Challenge is awesome, and I will be back, I just need some time to make sure my whole body is healthy first.  I do, however, have a list of the exercises that did not bother my hip, and I'll include those exercises on my "core and PT" days in August.  In the first 3 weeks of July, I saw more definition in my abs; this workout is very effective.  I love it!

Hip Update:

Now for a little good news: I ran FOUR MILES last Saturday with no pain during or after!  I had a serious happy dance going on (which also did not hurt my hip).  So far this week, I've run 3+ miles on both Monday and Wednesday with no trouble.  I'm taking it slow and still foam rolling and icing after every workout, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I'M BACK!

Aaaaaannnnnnd here's more bad news: with only 12 weeks until the Columbus Marathon, There isn't enough time for me to safely increase my mileage from 4 to 26.2.  "Safely" being the key word.  three weeks after Columbus, I'm running a Ragnar Relay, a 200 mile relay race through the hills (read: mountains) of Tennessee.  I have been planning and looking forward to Ragnar for almost a year now.  I ca not afford to be injured and miss it.  All that being said, I changed my Columbus Marathon entry to a half marathon this morning.  I may or may not have shed a tear or two when I clicked the submit button.  I know this is the right decision for me and my still healing hip, but that doesn't lessen the disappointment or feeling of failure.
totally blows...
Being the bright and shiny person that I am, I'm trying not to dwell on what I'm missing and focus on a new goal: PR the half. (Assuming the hip doesn't relapse, of course.)  If all goes well with increased mileage this week and next week, I'll start one day a week of speed work and a couple of weeks after that I'll start hill repeats, (Did I mention I'll be running through the mountains in Tennessee?) and eventually this month, I'll need to start running 2-a-days (again, for Ragnar training).

Lots of fun to still be had this summer!

How did your July Abs Challenge go?  Will you join me for another abs challenge in September?
Have you ever had to downgrade a race? How did you deal with the disappointment?