Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perfect 10

Okay, so perfect is an extreme overstatement. But I did run 10 miles today and it felt pretty good!

There have been several times in the past few years I've said I'm going to commit to working out or running or some other physical activity. But unfortunately, I have a pattern of quitting when it gets tough. Not this time, though. This past summer I committed to training for this half marathon, and I've actually stuck with it. In the beginning, I know I stuck with it because I knew that my good friend Shannon, and several of my cousins were running that same race-- they would ask me how my running was going, and they held me accountable. But then I started to really enjoy myself, once I could finally run and not struggle to breathe!

So as cheesy as I know it is, I was grinning from ear to ear as I took the last steps of my run this morning, and was greeted by the members of my running club that had finished before me. I was really excited, and felt like I accomplished something really big today.

I'm still not as fast as I want to be. But even if I don't get faster, I'm really having a great time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Theology of a Toddler

Two things Eisley announced today while we were jumping on the trampoline together:

Eisley: I am God! 
Me: Oh, really? How come you say that? 
Eisley: Because I am Tinkerbell! And I can fly! 

And then she yelled the following, at the top of her lungs: 

God made me SPECIAL and he loves me VERY VERY much! 

(This one I am totally on board with. Eisley being God and Tinkerbell, and God being like Tinkerbell, I'm just not so sure about. Besides. How does she even know who Tinkerbell is?) 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Funnies from Eisley (From the past 2 days)

Last night, while spending the night at my mom's house, Eisley took this little teddy bear to bed with her. It is an angel bear, and has wings. In the middle of the night, Eisley threw the bear out of her bed and yelled, "I don't like that Jesus bear!"

Yesterday, my sister said to Eisley, "Hey, E-Money!" Eisley grabbed Kat's face and said, "I am NOT E-Money!"

Last night, Eisley saw a book about Noah and the Ark at my mom's house. My mom was telling her about Noah and how the animals were saved. Eisley added, "Yeah, Noah and the Wonder Pets saved the animals from trouble."

Eisley asked Aunt Kat to stay with her and play. Kat said, "I can't, Eisley. I have to work." Eisley, in a dejected tone, sighed and said, "Well, I have to go to work, too." Kat said, "Where do you work?"  Eisley said, "At my work."

Eisley was sitting at my mom's computer, and clicking things like crazy. Mimi said, "Eisley, let's not do that." Without skipping a beat, Eisley put her hand in the air and kept on clicking and said, "Hang on, Sister! I'm checking my email."

We took Eisley to the Rose Garden the other day and a lady there gave Eisley some roses. I told Eisley to smell the roses. So she did, and I asked her, "Does it smell good? What does that flower smell like?" She said, in a matter-of-fact tone, "It smells like poop." Ha!

Monday, October 11, 2010

7th Heaven (Do You Believe in Magic?)

As the number of days until my half marathon gets smaller, the number of miles I am running gets larger. On Saturday I ran 7 miles. And I had a blast.

On Saturday, we were in the Dallas area visiting Billy's family, so I decided to drive up to McKinney on Saturday morning to run with my cousin Jessica and her Team in Training group. I knew that there was no way I could run 7 miles on my own. Well, maybe I could have, but it was a terrifying amount of miles to run, since I have not ever run that far before.

I went to bed at 8:30 the night before, and I was up at 5 a.m. on Saturday. I met Jessica at 6:30, and after a few group announcements, a woman named Tammy shared the story of her battle with cancer, and why she runs with Team in Training. Her story was truly inspiring, and really set the whole tone for the run. The Team in Training folks aren't just running to do something for themselves. They run to save lives. They do it one pledge, one donation, and one mile at a time.

Since Jessica was running a half marathon the following day, she ran just the first 4 miles with me before she stopped, and I ran the last 3 by myself. My last 3 miles were definitely my slowest.  I really enjoyed running with Jessica, and with her friend Serene. We actually had things to talk about, and the time flew by. Before I realized it, we had completed 4 miles, and it wasn't until the very end of those 4 miles that I realized I was starting to hurt. Now, I know that for Jessica, those were a very slow 4 miles. She was taking it easy on Saturday because of Sunday's race. But for me, those 4 miles were actually quite a bit faster than I normally run when I'm by myself. And because I was enjoying the company and conversation, I hadn't even realized we were running at a slightly faster pace than I am used to running. It was a good feeling.

At the end of those 4 miles, I was starting to hurt, and the mind games started. I wanted to quit, and I probably could have thought of at least 20 excuses to talk myself into actually quitting. But I forged ahead, and not long after, something magical happened. The e-gel I had taken just a few minutes earlier, kicked in. And it worked. No more complaining. No more mind games. I just ran, and I felt good while doing it. Before I knew it, those last 3 miles were done, and I felt as though I had really accomplished something! What is e-gel? I'm glad you asked!

I had read about e-gel on Jessica's blog a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest, I wasn't sure I would ever try it.  Not because I don't trust Jessica's opinion; I just doubted that it could really be that different than Gu. In my (limited) experience so far, all of the energy gels produce about the same result for me. But last weekend when I went to Fort Worth for my 5K, I stopped in at the Fort Worth Running Company, and spotted e-gel on the shelf there. I bought one packet just to try, and from there would decide whether or not to buy more. I am here to tell you, that I will never buy another packet of Gu, or any of the other energy gels. This stuff works. And it works well.

Rather than repeat the very things Jessica has already written on her blog, I have included an excerpt from her blog below.  I am in complete agreement with her assessment of the product.  And as Eisley's friend Plex would say, "Try it! You'll like it!" I have included a link with my referral code below, should you decide to give it a whirl.   Without further ado, here's what Jessica has to say about it:

GU vs. E-Gel

Taste: Don't gag. I know GU is an acquired taste. Maybe not acquired. Maybe it's just something you learn to live with. I hate to say it but E-Gel is the same. Not better. Probably even a little worse. There are only 4 flavors available and of those 4, Vanilla Strawberry and Cherry Bomb made me gag the least. So those are my favorite.

Energy: I have been taking it for about a week now and I can honestly say I see a significant difference in my energy level. I was a little worried because E-Gel does not contain any caffeine but it hasn't seemed to matter. I am running stronger and faster than ever. And the no caffeine means I can take it in the evenings and not worry about being up all night.

Size: It's quiet a bit bigger than GU. I can't take the entire thing in one swallow which makes it more difficult to deal with while running. (Score one for GU)

Substance: E-Gel has everything you need and them some. See below.
MarathonPR - If you use e-Gel in your marathon training and on race day, Crank Sports will guarantee that you'll run a personal record (PR) time. Check out the website for details.

If you order online, use my referral code 387752 and I get free product. Once you order, you will get a referral code for free product also. When I ordered under Jessica's referral code, not only did she get points, but because I was a referral, I got points as well-- enough points, in fact, to make my shipping cost $0.

You can also click here to order. My referral code is already there.

Thank you so much, Jessica, for the great tip! I am forever grateful!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Race Recap

So I ran my 5K this morning. It was hard. Much harder than I think it should have been, to be honest! Some thoughts & observations:

* I am still sick. Today I feel worse than yesterday; I am feeling pretty congested, and can no longer breathe out of my nose.  I stayed overnight at my cousin’s apartment last night, who lives in Fort Worth,  about three blocks from where the race started (and finished). When I got winded going down the stairs to my car this morning, I knew it would be a tough run. But I ran. And I tried really hard not to do too much whining. :)

* It was good to be in the race atmosphere, and for what was a pretty small race, I felt it was done well.  It was fun, there were lots of people around, lots of fruit and smoothies to sample, and there was good music playing. At the halfway point, there was a water station, and even for such a short race, they had mile markers set up. When I put my electronic chip on my shoe, I felt like a legitimate runner. Ha!

* The race was not entirely awesome, however. The starting line and finish line were at the same place, and the path leading in/out of it was very very narrow. It was frustrating. When the race started, there were of course a lot of people packed into this tiny space, and we were all trying to get around each other; I had forgotten what that was like. I can only imagine how it will be at the half marathon, when there are thousands of people lined up to start the race. There was a guy at the start that seemed to be trying his very best to annoy me, and did so with a lot of success! When I would go right to get around him, he would go right and cut me off. When I turned back to the left to go around him the other way, he turned back to the left and cut me off again. He didn't seem to hear me when I told him I was coming up on his right (or left) to pass. Oh well! Then, as I approached the finish line, there were three people in front of me running side by side. And because the trail was so narrow, there’s no way I could have gone around them, even though I wanted to. On either side of this little pathway was a big drop-off/steep hill.

* The race was NOT on a road, which is what I had expected. It wasn't a trail race, either. It was sort of somewhere in between. The race went through Trinity Park in Ft Worth, and it was more of a dirt/gravely kind of road. A walking trail, I guess. It wasn’t awful. Just softer than actual road is, and a different surface than I am used to running on. At one point we were running along the river on a concrete trail, and that was definitely the easiest part of the race. The race started and ended on a grassy hill. It felt like I was in high school cross country all over again. It smelled and felt the same.

* My official chip time was 32:53. My goal was to finish under 32, and of course I wonder if I could have, were I actually feeling my best. But of course, it is what it is. I ran as hard as I was able today, and I cannot worry about what "could have been".  I will simply try to improve from here, and see what I can do at the next race.

All in all, it was a fun morning! I hope I am not down too long which whatever has me feeling yucky! I have a big training week ahead.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My First Race

Tomorrow morning, I am running my first race in a very long time. Like, in 4 years. Before the 5K I ran 4 years ago, it had been 8 years since I had run a race.

Tomorrow I am running a 5K, as part of my half marathon training. In just a couple of weeks, I will run a 10K. And just 6 weeks from now, I'll actually be running my half marathon. I can't think about that right now, though. It panics me too much.

But the 5K. I am excited about it. Sort of.

This has been a really difficult training week. Every single run I've gone on, has been painful. My legs hurt, I can't breathe, and the hills? Well. Don't even talk to me about the hills. They make me want to cuss. [Don't tell anyone, but sometimes they do.]

Plus, I'm sick. Yesterday morning, I started to feel something coming on. A cold? A cough? It might as well be pneumonia as far as I'm concerned. I don't have time to be sick right now. Not even with a cold. There are far too many miles to run yet.  Though I'd rather not get sick at all, I'd really prefer getting sick after November 14, Race Day.

I don't feel awful...yet. And maybe this will turn into nothing. But I know my body well enough to know when I'm getting sick. And I think it's coming.

I will still run my 5K tomorrow. And it will probably be difficult, since I don't feel my best. Maybe it will even cause me to get sicker, quicker. But I'm not missing this race.

Wish me luck.