Sunday, January 31, 2010

Team Run #2

Team in Training team run #2 today! It was good. The plan was 4 miles, and I ended up with 4.3. For the first 3 miles I was running at about a 10.5 min/ mile pace, which is about a minute faster than it has been. Then I accidentally hit a button on Garmi and it restarted the the end pace wasn't accurate. But my last mile was fairly slow. I just lost some umph. My nutrition habits have been off lately, and I can tell.

The run took us along the East Bank Esplanade in Portland then over the Steel Bridge and into the Pearl District, then back again. For the first mile I ran with one of the mentors, the captain and someone I met at the kick-off party. It made the time go quickly. Then the second mile I chatted with the mentor for a bit, then the captain. My shyness is still there, and they are great at extracting it! I ran the last two miles on my own (which was probably why I was a little slower) and then I was done.

I am really enjoying the Team in Training. Everyone is great and the support is amazing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who Thought of GU??

I have been a little weary of trying GU. I know of a few athletes who use it while running, but something about GU just put me off. In the package from the running store Garmi came from was a sample of GU chomps. Today I thought, what the bad can it be? I am in LOVE! Think of those great Fruit Snacks you had as a kid, the really good ones. It was like having four big fruit snacks! YUM! And the best part was about half way into my run I felt amazing. My pace picked up and I felt even more alive. It was awesome. Now it may not be all due to the GU, but it was though I had liquid energy flowing through me. I am going to have to stock up!

I did 4.02 miles today. I live in the sticks...with lots of hills, so I am running those a lot. My time was even better than yesterday for the same distance and today I was at an incline for 50% of the time. Seattle has hills, and I have yet to look at the elevation on the course, but I figure that I will be ready for the hills! I hate running on the road with no sidewalks, but you really can not beat the scenery!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Are You High?

It was another emotionally rough day. After work I went to the gym. The treadmill has become my nemesis.....but desperate times called for desperate measures. So I set the goal of 4 miles. It didn't seem too hard considering what I had done the past two runs. After 10 minutes I was not enjoying myself. This was not going to be a goal I would attain. So I decided to do 30 minutes, which was my marathon schedule "assignment" for the day. Finally at about 22 minutes, I hit 2 miles (I know, not a fast pace) and I was dripping in sweat! How in the heck was I going to do another 8 minutes? I was trying to use my music to get me through, and that was not working. An old episode of Desperate Housewives was on the television so I was watching that.

Then, the magic number of 30 minutes came on the screen. I was almost to 3 miles, so I continued to run. I kept telling myself, just get to 35 minutes. And I did, and I kept going. I mean...I had done 3 miles, why not keep going. All I needed to do was break it down to 5 minute increments. At 47 minutes, I did it....4 miles completed. I did a short walking cool-down and hopped off, leaving my phone and water bottle on the treadmill. I grabbed a towel to wipe the machine down and this old lady was on my treadmill! Hello, do you not notice the personal belongings of someone else! So I reached over and grabbed my phone and water bottle (which is bright pink and blue) and the lady said she didn't even see them. So my cool down moved to the indoor track where I finished another .25 miles. Needless to say when I was done I felt awesome. Can you say Runner's High!

I think I have found the way I will get through this deployment. Running makes me feel better than anything else. And I will look damn good when I pick Eric up!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Team Run

6 am is really early! Especially on a day off and when it isn't the Munchkin waking me up. I must say it was definitely worth it though. My first team run with Team in Training was today. When my alarm went off though I also got a phone call.....which caused some turbulent emotions, but I won't go into that here. Last night I put the names of three honorary team members on my training shirt (more will be added!) John, Maddie and Pam have all EARNED their place to join me while I run on June 26 in spirit! So I threw that on, along with some running shorts and my laced up my shoes with my FABULOUS neon green emergency tag. The team runs will mostly take me into Portland, and today I was headed toward Grant HS.

 My Mentor Marianne and Me after 3 miles

Not quite sure what to expect, I signed in (apparently this is very important!) and got my name tag. It was a balmy 40 degrees (ok, I really don't know what the term "balmy" means, but it sounds cool) and I really wish I had my gloves, but oh well! We were split into three groups to go to three different stations. First station was run by Coach Seth about injury prevention. In the next station we played BINGO to get to know each other. And the last station was about our running schedule, but more importantly WHY we are running. Coach Karl talked to us and it is amazing to see the passion and inspiration that all of our coaches, mentors and staff have! Each runner has a mentor, mine is Marianne and she is super sweet! After 45 minutes it was finally time to run! Due to the different events there were some running 2, 3, 6 or 8 miles. Since it was the first run I was supposed to do 3 miles.

Everyone's route took them around the track once, and while I was going around my coach, Jen joined me. We chatted about running for a few minutes, and then we came up to some new runners and one was feeling discouraged and needed to walk, so Jen stayed with her and I continued. Oddly enough, I am kind of shy when you first get to know me, especially in this kind of situation. I was having a bad emotional day so I welcomed the solitude. They encourage not using an iPod while on team runs (I think to get know each other) so I didn't have music either. Another runner came up beside me and we ran for about 1/2 mile before I got enough courage to say "hi, my name is Micki....I am not much of a runner and talker." To my relief she said "me either." So we continued that way, for about another 1/2 mile. She then slowed down, but I continued my pace. It was great to come up to another person walking with her mentor to then hear her say "I am ready to run again." When I had about 1/4 mile left Marianne came running toward me and joined me until I finished. She then chatted with me over some water about some of the things in my personal life telling me if I needed anything let her know.

 Not the most glamourous pic....but hey I just ran 3 miles, what did you do?

WOW! Can you say amazing!?!?!? Everyone from the staff, mentors and coaches are nothing short of spectacular. They aren't lying when they say that they make sure everyone crosses the finish line. It is the most positive experience imaginable! My only question is why I didn't do this sooner!

I also looked at the course map. Part of me says, "What the &%^^ am I thinking?!?!?!" while the other says "I am going to do this with no problem, and have a blast doing it!" Now if I can just take that first voice and kick it to the curb. (By the way, that only came to be after driving through Seattle this week and seeing where I will be running!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Road to Marathon Begins With One Step

I am officially a member of a Team in Training! I went to the Kick Off Party yesterday, and I am pumped! Talk about inspiration!!! Today, I went for my "official" first training run. I laced up my Mizunos with my neon green emergency band tied on. Garmi had a difficult time finding the satellite, so I started the timer and my iPod and took off. I had a destination in mind, and when I got there my plan was to catch the satellite and determine how far I went by then. My run was going to take me approximately a mile and a half, up hill. I got to that point and felt great so I kept going. I figured why stop now! So I went for another 15 minutes. When I turned around Garmi found a satellite, so I reset everything. When all was said and done, I was out for over an hour and did 5.2 miles! For that entire time I was able to take myself out of my current situation (which is that Eric is now deployed) and spend that hour thinking about those that are going to inspire me while I run 26.2 miles in June. I thought about those that are still with us, and those that have earned their angel wings.

One step, that is how it begins. One foot in front of the other, that is how to get through the hard times. My run today was full of hills, the up and downs. Running is going to get me through Eric being gone. Like this journey of him being gone, like my run there will be hills. There will ups- there will be days when I feel good and invincible. There will downs- when I feel like my world is crashing down around me. Team in Training is preparing me to run this marathon, and help others fight their journey that is including their own ups and downs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cancer Sucks! (And I Am Going To Make A Difference)

At dinner the other night E asked me a question that I had to think a bit for the answer, and my response surprised him. The question was "what do you want to see before your next birthday?" My answer, "I want to see the finish line of a marathon." I don't want to see foreign lands, art or, I really want to see that finish line. Today I made another step towards seeing that sight. I attended a Team in Training information meeting! Wow! During the inspirational video (honestly, I didn't need a video for inspiration!) I was filling out my registration form. My only hesitation was which event to register for! I have the choice of the Rock and Roll Seattle or the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon. As of now I am choosing Seattle. The reason I would change is CB's dance recital.

Cancer sucks! Working at Doernbecher put lasting impressions on my heart forever. I know that I have angels that will be with me through out my training and when I am running my marathon. Plus I will have the support of my team! And I am hoping to have family and friends at that finish line as I cross.....not only as support, but to share in the accomplishment of completing my first marathon!

My fundraising page link is on the side of this page, and if you can...donate. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society supports patients and families through the journey. As cliche as it sounds, even $5 can make a difference. $5 is giving up a latte for a day, it could mean a huge impact on a patient. It could be gas to get to an appointment, or lunch for a parent while their child is having treatment.

I am really excited about this. There isn't a cause more dear to me, and the sense of pride I will have crossing that finish line is more than just accomplishment, but the pride that I AM saving the life of someone!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Next Challenge

I wanted to do it, but mostly I was scared to. Sure, signing up for the half marathon was a hard decision, but that was mostly due to a financial commitment I would have to make. No, this was a bigger challenge. So what would be bigger than flying to Orlando and participating in my first half marathon? It was hitting the "SEND" button on the comment section on a fellow blogger's post. Why was it so hard you ask? It was a commitment. A HUGE commitment! Check out her blog at! My commitment is to run, walk (or crawl) 1,000 miles before January 1, 2011. I am accountable to someone besides myself now. I personally have not met Tall Mom (yet!) She is the friend of a fellow Coastie wife, and when I started running, my co-hort in Coastie Wife "crime" (before getting all hyped up, we are Co-Ombudsmens of our husbands' Unit) told me about Tall Mom's blog. I checked it out, and WOW! She is absolutely amazing! Aside from the part about being short (hence Tall Mom) and being athletically inept....she was in position last year. She is a working mom that started running last year and did her first half, then full marathon by July. Now she is a running fool! (And has an great following in the Blog world). But besides that, she is also an amazing person. I don't even know her and do not waiver in saying this. She is a true inspiration to those of us with fear of doing something new. My fear in signing up was not being up to the challenge, and letting those around me down by not completing it. Then I read this:

A little intimidated??
Break it down in simple Math

1,000/12 months in a year= 83.33 Miles per month

1,000/52 weeks in a year= 19.23 Miles per week

1,000/365 days in a year= 2.74 Miles per day


(Taken from Tall Mom on the Run)

So, how could I NOT sign up! I can handle it by looking at how it breaks down. So were am I now? 
January 1- 3.1 
January 2- 2.64
January 5- 5.5
January 8- 3.5
For a total of 14.74 miles, so just beginning I am 5 miles shy of the mileage I should be doing a week....but I also have two more days of the week with a 3-4 mile run tomorrow and a 6-7 mile run on Sunday. So I think I might be able to do this. WAIT, I WILL DO THIS. And what if I don't? I don't. Who do I let down? No one. Because if I don't do it, it means that there was a damn good reason not to. 

I do ask for encouragement.....what?!?!?! I am actually asking for my family and friends to check in on me with this challenge, encourage me.....push me.....especially when the motivation falls short or my mouth starts spewing out the excuses. Everyone has been great so far, and thank you all! (Especially my wonderful husband who is either with me on a run, or watching the Munchkin so I can). And thank you Tall Mom for your encouragement and the push you gave (that I needed) me to realize what I CAN do! 

On a completely other note, I did 3.5 miles at the gym today. The .5 was on the treadmill. The 3 was on the indoor track, that is very small. It takes 12 1/2 laps to make a mile. Well I always loose count ( is hard to count to 12, and remember what number you are on) so I thought it would be perfect to use Garmi (my new nickname for my Garmin...not too original, but I am trying it out for a bit). Weeeeeell, there were two small problems. One was the building couldn't keep a satellite signal. The second wasn't too bad. But the small track confused the little guy. He thought I ran 4.5 miles at a nice 6.5 min/mile. Yeah....not so much. I only ran 3 miles at a 10 1/2 min/mile pace. I also learned that I can't run commando. Yup, I said it. I tried today....didn't work. I was afraid my butt would be flashing for everyone to see, and well no one needs to see that. So for now, I will be on the conquest to find the perfect underwear to wear while running. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Run Results

My official results from the First Run are in! Needless to say, I was a little disappointed. I was proud of myself for doing the run, but I was upset that I was not in great health and able to run the entire thing. Our entire family has been battling colds and fevers on and off for a few weeks now. Last week Eric had no voice and a horrible cough. I had a fever the previous weekend, and a sore throat on Thursday. Well I think my fever was coming back on the day of the run. I still wanted to run though, so I toughed it out. For the run I chose to wear a long sleeve water-resistant fleece with a tank top under it, some running shorts, my running gloves and the microfiber headband (mainly to keep my super short hair out of my face!) According to Eric, we started the race pretty fast and strong. About mile 1 though I could not get my fleece off fast enough! (It is not easy removing clothing while running....especially when the clothing is semi-fitting). I felt warmer than I did running during the summer, in 90 degree weather. I finally got it off, as well as my gloves and headband (thanks Hon for holding them for me!) I made it just a little bit further before I had to start walking. Well that was a big mistake! For me, if I start walking, returning to a jog is very difficult. So I continued to off and on jog and walk. I was able to finish the last mile jogging though.

Eric was great! He could have taken off and gotten some good numbers, but he stayed with me. Which was good, considering how I was feeling. The cool thing was the last mile the weather had gone from no rain to a drizzle to downpour. I love running in the rain. It felt so good! And I never got cold. But I still wanted to finish the run with my number visible (which was on my fleece) so I had to then get my fleece on while running, on my wet arms!

So here are my results. Keep in mind I was walking about a third of this:
Chip time: 36:24
Pace: 11:43
Age Place: 68 out of 95
Overall Place: 688 out of 952

Well out of curiosity, I went back and looked at the other runs I had participated in this year. Despite walking, this run was the 2nd best pace, and the best 5K I have had this year. So I am improving. Here are the rest of the results from the year!

Shamrock Run 5K (March 15, 2009)
Chip Time: 38:51
Pace: 13:22

Pints to Pasta 10K (September 13, 2009)
Chip Time: 1:13:52
Pace: 11:53

Run Like Hell Portland 10K (October 25, 2009)
Chip Time: 1:10:26
Pace: 11:20

What a great year for me! I am so excited to see where I go this year :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I must say that I am happy to see 2009 end. It was not an easy year for me, but I must say that I have definitely had quite a few changes. I never really make a New Years resolution. Why? Mostly for the sheer fact that I have the will power of a cheeto. So why set myself up for failure? Instead, I look back at the end of the year and look at what I was able to accomplish throughout the year. I will share a few with you....

                  January 2009

1. The most noticeable change this year has been that I have lost almost 40 pounds since last year! This has been great, and makes me feel amazing. On February 11, 2009 I started the Medifast program. I was on and off it for about 3 months, and over that time I lost about 25 pounds. It was a healthy way for me to get the weight off quickly, and I felt good while on it. And it helped to pull me out of the sugar spiral I was in. I started the year wearing a size 16, almost 18....and finished the year in a size 10! It is not easy, I am not good at accepting compliments and I still picture myself as I was at the beginning of the year. So I am finally beginning to go through my clothes and decided which ones are too big now and taking them to consignment shops or donating them. Running is now helping to get me in shape and give me some sexy legs!

2. I ran my second 5K, and survived! I ran the Shamrock Run 5K in Downtown Portland. It was the following week I found out I had problems with my back and was down and out for almost 12 weeks. But the bug was planted, and at the end of the Summer I ran the Pints to Pasta 10K. Then I ran the Run Like Hell 10K in October and The Turkey Trot at the Oregon Zoo, a four miler, in November. Last night I ran a 5K at midnight. I have also signed up for the Princess Half Marathon in Orlando this March. I have a new addiction, and I LOVE IT!!!!

Shamrock Run March 2009

Run Like Hell October 2009

                                    Turkey Trot- Oregon Zoo

 Running as a Family Turkey Trot 2009
                           Eric and I....First Run 5K December 31, 2009

3. I am raising a four year old.....enough said!

4. We adopted a third puppy from the Humane Society in February. Jethro Moss joined the family, even lthough we thought he was a St. Bernard mix and he was actually a boxer mix. His personality is wonderful, and we are still adjusting to having a puppy around, but he has been a blessing to us, although a very trying blessing:) He is not a great running partner yet, he still poops out around 1 mile....and there are a lot more interesting things to explore than to actually run. But chasing him down the road does give me some exercise!


5. I have learned more about myself, and what I can pull myself through than anyone will ever know. I learned that love is the most important thing in the world, and it will sometimes pull you through the most dark of times...even when you don't know that it is pulling you. Life is hard, and I am learning that the most important things in your life are generally worth the fight. Sometimes learning about yourself is hard, but the reward is so worth it! I have found that ADHD does not help me with "alone" time with my thoughts, and running gives me an outlet to think but keep me occupied at the same time. Running gives me health, energy and and outlet to let go. It has allowed Eric and I to do some fun things together (thank you to our "munchkin-sitters while we run!) It also allows me to be a role model for my daughter that is positive and healthy. There is nothing like hearing your lil' munchkin say, "I wanna run with mama".

July 2009- Eric and My 6 year Anniversary in Arizona
(We hiked 3 miles in 109 degree weather....and survived)

As I look forward to 2010, I can only imagine it being the best year yet. I have already ran 3.1 I can say it is off to a good start. I will say that I have goals for this year....
  • Run 500 miles through the year (or now 496.9 miles :) )
  • Get the finisher's medal for the Princess Half Marathon
  • Participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon in September (I would get another 2 medals if I do this!!!)
  • Continue to lose another 20 pounds, but more importantly become more healthy.
  • Look at the positive in things instead of the negative. Not an easy task, but much more healthy.
I hope everyone has a wonderful 2010.....I know I will!