Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slow, Can't Breathe and Lost my Key

You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face. Gatorade ad
My fellow Sole Sisters and I before the race, little did we know what adventure would await us

             Friday night I was excited to run a 10K race, It was called the Harvest Moon Hustle and the line they used was Fast, Flat and in the Dark.  Well it was not really any of those things for me.  It was a awesome race and beautiful scenery it was just not my night.  The start time had to be moved back so it would not really be dark for safety reasons and regulations, and that was fine.  I did not have to wear the head lamp that I bought and I was fine with that.  My goal time for this race was under one hour.  I was really hoping to get a PR in this race.  I have not run too many 10Ks but my best time was last year and it was 59:36 and I was pretty sure I could beat that.  That one was in the rain with hills and this was suppose to be flat and the weather was BEAUTIFUL!  My fellow Sole Sisters and I talked about using our Ipods as it was not recommended but we all decided that we NEEDED them.  I know elite runners do not use them and if it would have been a shorter race no problem but 6.2 miles---- I needed music.  We started the race and my Ipod did not work, it did not work the whole time.  I spent so much effort messing around with it I just had to let it go and run without music.  The hard part of this was when the negative voices came in my head, there was not a song playing to drown them out.  The negative voices were telling me not to push myself because who really cared about my time, then I would say yes YOU care come on push it.  I also could not breath very well.  I have horrible allergies and should have taken extra medication before I ran around a field and on a dusty gravel road.  I was able to manage a super sprint at the end up a hill and that felt great.  I then looked over at the c lock and it was after an hour but I started towards the back and did not see what it said when I crossed the line so I thought it might be close.  Now on to the after party, food and a beer and it will all be forgotten. 
                 Just grab my key out of the key pocket in my pants ( which I assured my friends I use all the time and my key always stays), oh my where is it, it is not in my pockets, it is not in the pants,  it is not in my underwear, WHERE IS MY KEY!?!?  I yelled to my friends and they looked at me with wide eyes.  We searched where I had been stretching I went and talked to the race volunteers, who were by the way the nicest people I have ever met, they were just amazing wonderful people!  We realized finding a key on a gravel road at night as it was pretty dark by now was going to be impossible and I had run the 10K not the shorter 5K!  The volunteers drove us over to the after party and made sure we got beer and food and anything we needed.  My wonderful loving and awesome husband had to pack up the kids in the car at bedtime and one was already asleep and bring me the spare key.  I was a good 30+ minutes from home and he got the whole story through three different phone calls with three different numbers because our stuff was--- locked in my car!

with the key after my husband dropped it off, all is good now, well my husband may not have thought so  :)

All in all I had a fun time with my Sole Sisters, the Volunteers made a huge fuss over us and we got free food and beer. My friends are laid back and just went with the flow, no worries over my lost key. My husband laughed about it after I got back home even if he was less that thrilled that one of our four year -olds was throwing a major fit about having to get in the car.  Oh and in case you are wondering about my time did I make my under an hour goal. NOPE my time was 1 hour 1 minute, as if that one minute was laughing at me and my misfortune that day.  BUT  it may have not been my day that day but I ended  the night with a smile on my face, lots of laughs and good times with friends and I very important lesson learned that my key pocket in my shorts is not a good place to store my key!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


My granddaddy died yesterday. He was 91. His life was full and long and in the end, he met his LORD peacefully. I spent much of yesterday so stressed and anxious and worried... Emotions rolling through me like massive waves, trying to keep it all together, trying to determine how I could get down to south Texas with my 4 young kids for the funeral. In the end, it was decided that it wouldn't be realistic to make the trip. Emotionally, yes, I want to be with my family during this time, yet reality was, it was going to be insane. My Great Aunt even assured me that Grandaddy would be "yelling at you from Heaven" if I attempted the drive solo. Still, I was conflicted. I felt responsibility to be there, to hug my Nanny, to reflect on his life.

Desperately, I grabbed my shoes and went for a run. At least maybe the pounding of my footsteps would help me forget the pounding in my head.

I met with two Sole Sisters, and through our 3 mile journey, they helped me find the peace my soul desired. I silently review sweet memories I had of him as I was a child and more recent memories of him with my children. Eating watermelon, riding in the back of his truck to the lake and later, when he was much too frail to walk far, riding on his Gator to the mailbox at their lake house.

Today, during my run, the words of the Apostle Paul continuously came to the front of my mind, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1)

Grandaddy ran his race for 91 glorious years. I believe in the last few weeks he spotted his finish line. He made his peace, he was ready to for his running days to be over and he triumphantly crossed that line with crowds cheering him on both sides. We celebrate his perseverance, his life on this side, and Heaven welcomed him with open arms on the other.

Running yesterday and today helped me reflect on his life, what he meant to me and my children and find peace in being unable to tell him good-bye at this time. I am looking forward to a quiet moment when I can take my children to his grave and whisper our memories to the breeze, cast our love out to those living with his memory and reflect on his impact in our lives and the lives of all who knew him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In honor of you

At first look, we would be considered unlikely friends. She, a conservative Mormon, me, a Christian who swings more to the Left. Yet, as mothers we quickly bonded over parenting our sweet boys (we each only had 2 kids at the time!) Turns out, we were neighbors, too, who attended play dates, walked to the park and learned valuable parenting tips from one another. Often, we would watch the other's boys so that the weary mom in us could snag a break, or take one of our kids to the emergency room. She started training for a Marathon and, honestly, I thought she was out of her gourd. Run? 26 miles? Crazy. I didn't think it was physically possible, let alone mentally, emotionally, and how could she even manage as a wife and mother. I was in awe. 

Now that I'm a runner, I am even more in awe of her determination and dedication. How she sacrificed in order to conquer such an enormous challenge and still be an amazing mom- wow. 

Carrie moved away several years ago, but I think of her often. She has always been the perfect image of strength and perseverance. 

Yesterday, Carrie had a brain tumor removed. Today, she was walking the halls of the hospital. Again, I am amazed. In awe. 

This week, the Sole Sisters have been wearing bandanas as we run not only for Carrie, but all of those who have cancer, tumors or those who have overcome such battles. We run and we remember. 

Own it

In talking with my Sole Sisters lately I have noticed one thing. Some of us are selling ourselves short!  I will include myself in this group.  I have been known to say when asked if I ran a marathon, no I "only" did the 1/2.  Well the half marathon is still 13.1 hard miles.

  Many of us feel like we need to say I  run 10 minute, 11 minute, 12 minute miles, or that we run slower,  we still all run the same miles.  We put in the work, we make time for ourselves and we do something that makes us stronger women and better moms and friends.  So I say to you fellow Sole Sisters ---Own it!  You are all wonderful beautiful strong women and I love being a part of this wonderful group.

I challenge you to leave a comment about something great you have done lately, it can be running related or it can be anything that you are proud of.

Mine is- I ran last night when it was starting to get darker, I had no GPS, I had no music, I did not even have my normal running attire on.  My husband came home and I just put my shoes on and went out the door, and I felt like I was flying.  It was  2 1/2 miles and it was not on any schedule or part of any plan.  I just went out running just to run :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Running: Love it or Hate it?

I can only speak for myself, but I have been running for a lot longer than I have enjoyed running. Does that even make sense? I started running as a challenge. I am challenged frequently as a stay at home mom, but I wanted a challenge that felt like I was accomplishing something for which I could clearly take credit. Look, see that mile, I ran it!

In the beginning, I would slowly do my warm up walk, dreading when it was time for the running to start. I would try to get my runs over as early as possible in the day so I would not have a tight feeling in my stomach when I thought about still having to run. Yet this morning when I went out for my tempo run I didn't give it a thought, I just did it.

When I was training for my 10K and hit the first 5 miler, I talked myself into putting it off for one day. That Friday was much too hot and Saturday's forecast was nice and cool. It made perfect sense, I even had more time on Saturday too. All Friday night I dreamt that I was running the 5 miles. I tossed and turned and all I could think about was how I had to get up and run 5 long miles. So on Saturday, I got up and ran my 5 miles. I ran those 5 miles in the rain, with the local high school cross country team running 1 mile sprints back and forth on my route. Lesson learned!

Somewhere during that 5 mile run, I figured out that I could do this running thing. If I could run in the rain and smile at all the teenagers flying past me and still just put one leg in front of another, then I could do it. I don't know why I doubted myself, but I think we all have distances or paces that feel intimidating to us.

I am sure I will have plenty of times when I am intimidated by a distance or pace my training plan dictates. It may take me a couple of tries to conquer a tough training week or route, but I know it can be done. I may truly enjoy running now but it will always be a challenge for me. I hope you all find a little more love in your runs this week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

From an Enthusiastic Sole Sister, but Reluctant Blogger

I've been reluctant because I'm not sure that I have anything incredible to say.  Somehow it is easy and natural to share my heart in person, but more difficult typed out on a page.   However, I have so enjoyed what others have written, so here goes.

Here's what I was thinking of yesterday on my run. "Practice, practice."  If I can just do a little bit each week, I make progress in overall fitness, in overall health and in overall life.

I learned a lesson in all of those things after study abroad, I came home with my jeans tight and my mind foggy, it was a good lesson to learn young;  fitness is a choice.  I love the poster that says, "Heavy is hard, Exercise is hard, Diet is hard.  Choose your hard."  For me, exercise starts a series of positive chain reactions; I exercise, so I feel better, so my day goes better, so I eat better, etc, etc.

Yesterday was a long day, but a good day with my boys until about an hour before my husband got home, there were temper tantrums and communication breakdowns that were ugly.  Everyone was hungry, but apparently the dinner I made was disgusting.  Who knew?  Why didn't someone tell the cookbook that the recipe I followed was unfit to eat??  We made it through and I recovered really well as The Mom, didn't lose it for long and got us back on track with the evening-with buttered toast for dinner, but whatever works-I had to let go of a lot of things when I had two boys under 2 years. (Not bragging-read that as a warning!)

I credit exercise with some of that, love and support with more of it, but I can tell that I am parenting better now than I was 6 months ago, stressful situations don't get me down for as long.   Is that related to the fact that I could tie up my shoes and go for a run/walk after the boys got up to bath with my husband?  Absolutely yes!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sole Sisters Mustache Run

Angela explaining the aerodynamics of mustaches

Workin' It

The whole gang- Mario, Luigi, Don Juan, Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds,Gene Shallit, Larry Bird and Ron Burgendy

Bridget in the lead, Meghan flashing gang signs

Angela still rockin' the stache

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running with Purpose

Originally, I started running because I knew it would be good for me, right? I had a goal in mind- complete a 5k by the end of the summer. It was doable. I was capable. Having a goal kept me motivated in the beginning.

But, as the miles began to add up and my shoe of choice was more often my Brooks than my well worn Chacos, I started to realize that I had found not just a goal to keep me going, but a prupose.

You see, as much as I may not like to admit it, running has become vital to my mental health. I have four children. Four kids born in five years. My life is wonderfully, fantastically, beautifully crazy. I started off with my headphones in just to tune out the noise. I told my husband i ran because for at least half the distance, I was running AWAY from home. The good news? I always turned and came back!

Running has provided me that happy place. Solace. Peace. Solitude.

I am a better mother and wife because I have found this "thing" that can help me to keep on keepin' on! It's obvious that taking advantage of the runner's high has a number of mental health benefits. People who experience this euphoric feeling while running report being totally relaxed, happy, energetic, and satisfied with themselves. Running also releases serotonin, which is a natural mood lifter.

I have also noted that running is extremely difficult for me. Each run involves some pain, some challenge, some mental struggle- to quit or not to quit? Each run, no matter how far, how fast or how slow... I usually want to stop about 2 minutes into it. BUT running has become the easiest part of my day. 

I'm not complaining about this life I have, but carting four kiddos to and fro, cooking meals, making sure the livingroom has at least a clear path to the bathroom and we have at least some paper plates to use wen the dishes get too crazy... it adds up! So for me to know that I have mastered a challenging run that morning gives me the strength, energy and courage to face whatever the kiddos may toss my way.

You may have many goals for your training, and for life in general, but what is your purpose?

A great resource to explore further can be found here at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not falling behind.

I've been feeling a little "left behind" lately as I watch my sole sisters crush their goal speed; time and time again. I am so slow, and it's really been bothering me. Sure, I have endurance. I feel like I proved that (to myself!) after a friend and I did a nearly six-mile course a few weekends ago, but I only have that kind of endurance if I go soooo slooooow. I am sure some of my sister runners walk as fast as I run jog. I obviously don't belong in a pack of elite runners, and I feel like a lot of my sister runners are in that place already or are headed there very quickly. I've been thinking about it, praying about it and stewing over it. I'm. Officially. In. A. Funk.

It's never easy being a farmer's wife, but we're in the season where my husband is working very long hours and I am left to tend to the three children alone. This leaves little time for running, but I still make time. I just find it hard to make enough time to improve my speed, distance, etc.

One of my inspirational Facebook pages, Cool Running, posted this story yesterday. It really adjusted my attitude!

What is your ideal racing weight?

One quote I particularly appreciated about the article is this: "One study on the effects of weight on running performance found that the addition of 5 pounds of weight to the body reduced running performance in a 12-minute time trial by 5 percent."

FIVE PERCENT?!? Seriously?

I can't expect myself to be at the same level as many of my friends, who are not overweight. (and not even close.) The facts are the facts: I am still toning my body down from the size it was just a few months ago. According to my BMI, I am in the category of obese. Obese! I've come a long way, but I still have a long road ahead of me, too.

It's hard when my running buddy is a college student who hasn't started her family, and many of my inspirational friends do not have issues with their weight or husbands that work from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Actually, the women I am on this journey with are rock stars. I envy them and at the same time I look to them for inspiration.

I don't want to make excuses for myself, and I haven't so far, but I am glad to know there is a reason I am slow and that each pound I lose will help my speed. It's very deceiving how shows (Biggest Loser for one) make it look like someone can lose a few pounds and suddenly they are a marathoner. It is just not that easy!

I have to ask myself, what do I hope to accomplish, here? Mainly, I want to inspire other girls that you can do it. Anything is possible! I won't give up, but maybe I should continue to run alone until I am up to par and beyond an 11 or 12 minute mile? Some consider that slow, after all! (for me, it's nothing short of a miracle.)

At any rate, I may be slow but when it comes to improving my health, I am not falling behind!

Lacing Your Shoes

My feet have changed a bit since having babies, along with other things, but my old comfy shoes just didn't seem to fit right and were no longer so comfy. I figured it was just time to get a new pair and headed out for some cross-trainers a while back. After trying on several pairs, I finally settled on one and had to order them since all they had left in my size was the display. I have had a love/hate relationship with them since. If I get the toe part tight enough so my foot stays put, the top is too tight. So, I loosen the top and it works itself loose again at the bottom and my foot is moving too much in the shoe. I remembered doing "fancy" laces in elementary school and wondered if there was a way to lace them differently for running. Remember, I'm just getting into this whole things as running for a purpose and not because I'm being chased or playing with the kids, so I had no clue about all the different information out there. I actually came across a couple different sites that have information on this! If you are like me, these will help you figure out a way to lace your shoes to keep your feet from sliding around. I now can do cross-training videos and not have aching feet and legs!

How to Properly Tie Your Shoes - Runner's World


Monday, September 17, 2012

Run, Mama, Run!

I am so excited to be able to post about my first 10K! I truly enjoyed running the race, it was such a great feeling to accomplish this goal. My time was right in line with what I expected from my training, 1 hour, 8 minutes and 46 seconds. RunKeeper had the distance at over .2 miles farther, which is still confusing to me. (I know my phone updated the app recently, has anyone else seen a change in the accuracy?)

My family came to cheer me on and lend their support. Well, that is what they claimed, but I think my girls had an eye out for the swag more than for their mom. ;) Addy jumped out and joined me for the last few strides across the finish line. She really kept up too! She said that was her favorite part of the day and I have to agree with her!

My two goals for this race were to run the whole 6.2 miles and to beat my training times. I accomplished both of those goals so I feel incredibly blessed. My next goal is to work on increasing my strength through actually cross training and to increase my comfort on longer runs. My big goal for my 35th year is to complete at least 2 half-marathons. I better get running!! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Running with my Sisters

So Saturday I did a mud run with my Sisters.  My real flesh and blood sisters.  We did a Mud Run.  It was a fun time.  Neither of my sisters run as much as I do, if at all.  They are both in great shape because they do all sorts of boot-camps, yoga, weight lifting you name it .  It was super crowded so it would have been impossible to run the whole thing even if we wanted to.  This was all for fun as it was not timed.  It was pretty hilly and the obstacles were challenging but fun.  We then got to this creek of mud.  It was about 1/2 mile of wading through mud up to your waist, at the deepest.  People's shoes were getting stuck, people were falling, everyone was helping each other.  It took forever to get through but we made it, I will admit I was glad to get out of the mud.  My youngest sister had just asked before that part "Where is the mud?"  Well she got what she asked for!  It was a fun time and I was happy to spend a day with my sisters and get to pretend we are kids again.  I am pretty lucky to have then both live in the same town as well as my younger brother.  Family is very important to me and having fun and getting dirty with your sisters is a great way to spend time together.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Night Time Running

 My husband came home from a meeting last night and said "It's beautiful out, you should go for a run!"  So of course I did!  And man, was it gorgeous.  It was the best run I'd had in a while.  I only went 2.11 miles at with an average pace of 11.10min/mi, but it felt good.  I haven't felt good running lately so to have a run like this was important to me.  I did have to stop and walk up a hill but other than that, I ran the whole time with a fairly consistent pace (thanks RunKeeper for showing my pace/elevation throughout the course!), which I am very proud of.  Plus, I got to try out my new running shirt!  I picked up a Brooks Versatile long-sleeved running shirt at REI when we were in Colorado and have been dying to try it out.  I LOVE it!  It kept me warm without making me feel warm, and it has awesome moisture-wicking action.  It's also very lightweight material.  I would highly recommend it!

Now I just need to hit up Road ID and get a bracelet and some reflective gear or a light so I feel even more comfortable and safe on my night runs!  I never feel nervous when I'm out running by myself at night, but with all the concern I have been receiving from friends and family and after reading some of the testimonials on the site, I think I should probably take some precautions.

I also followed in fellow Sole Sister Jenni's lead and went for a bike ride/walk/run with my 5 1/2 year old son tonight!  It was great!  He has been so hesitant to ride his bike for whatever reason, so when I offered to run with him and he took me up on it, I was overjoyed.  It didn't take him long to get excited about his ride, however my 2 1/2 year old daughter insisted on going with us on her plastic bike.  I can't wait to see my route on RunKeeper because I was running back and forth between my fast son and my slow daughter.  The first part of our excursion ended with me running after my son (who was careening down a slope whooping excitedly) while carrying my daughter (who was cackling with laughter) and her plastic bike.

After dropping her off at home with Dad, my son and I headed to the bike path through our park.  It was a pretty quick pace because his comfort level on the bike skyrocketed the second he realized he is actually good at biking. ("Maybe I could do this as a job, Mom!")  I had a hard time keeping up--I got a nasty case of shin splints halfway through his ride.  I haven't had shin splints in a long time; was it because I was stopping and starting so much on the first part of my run?

Road ID Winner

Congrats Angela O.! You're the winner of a fabulous new Road ID wrist band!

Queen (or king) of excuses? There's an app for that!

Are you a couch potato but wish you weren't? Do you have a health or fitness goal that you're having trouble achieving? Has your doctor told you to exercise or lose weight but you just can't seem to find the time? Then GymPact might be for you!

A Sole Sister told me about this FREE app last week and I was eager to try it out. (I have no affiliation with the company and am not receiving any compensation for endorsing it.) GymPact is an app available in iTunes (the website says an Android version is in the works) that allows you to create a pact to exercise, but if you don't keep up your end of the pact then you must pay! Conversely, if you meet your goal, you will be paid! How cool is that?

You control your pact, so you choose the number of weekly workouts and amount to be charged to your credit card for not meeting your pact ($5 minimum, with additional amounts in $5 increments). It's easy to set up, and then it's up to you to get moving!

There are two ways to meet your pact:
  1. Walk, run, or bike outside for at least 30 minutes and track your workout using RunKeeper (another FREE app and my all-time favorite). You can't cheat because you must maintain at least a 2mph pace.
  2. Check in at your gym and check out a minimum of 30 minutes later.
I met my goal of 3 workouts this week and tried logging them both ways. The integration with RunKeeper is perfect and I had no problems, except when I paused RunKeeper to fiddle with the stroller and forgot to restart it! I'm always so mad at myself when I have a good run or ride and I've forgotten to start RunKeeper but of course I have no one else to blame for that.

GymPact has a database of gyms (located via GPS) but mine didn't show up when I tried to check in. It was easy to add and now it should be there for the rest of my Sole Sisters who work out at the same facility!

I won't go into all the FAQs as I don't want to be responsible for any negative outcomes, but there is a way to schedule a break in advance if you're vacationing or otherwise unable to meet your pact. If you become sick or injured, you can submit a digitally signed doctor's note or note from your employer to avoid being charged for those missed workouts.

I think this is a fantastic idea for those who need a little extra accountability or motivation to exercise regularly. The app itself is free, so the only money you stand to lose is what you leave on the table. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Road ID- Julie's Story

I know this is a blog about running, however I am here to share my experience with you about a wonderful product from Road ID.  This product will put parents’ minds at ease when a child runs off in a crowded place.  Ever have that happen?  Ever worry about the possibility of that happening?  Whether it is at your local grocery store, an amusement park, or a crowded baseball stadium…you turn your back for a second and your child can vanish. 

That happened to me. 

We were in a group of 8 adults and several kids at a minor league baseball game.  No one saw our little 2 year old boy run off.  Our little 2 year old who couldn’t talk.  The game was coming to a close.  The lights were about to go off for a fireworks show.  The stands would soon be filled with people trying to leave the ball stadium.  My little boy was missing.  He was gone.  There were so many people, how would anyone know if he was truly missing.  You can read the full details of this frightful night over at my personal blog: Gigglesandgumballs

After this horrific event, my husband and I started talking about some steps that we could take if this ever happened again.  We tend to go to a lot of crowded places with our four kiddos, so we needed something fast. 

Road ID was the solution. 

The next week we ordered Road ID slim wrist bands for each of our kids.  You can have the company engrave up to 5 lines on a little plate that is attached to the rubber band.  We included our children’s names, our cell phones, and city on ours.  You can include up to 5 lines.  They are very comfortable to wear and our kids don’t mind a bit.

Road ID is not only for children.  They offer a variety of products including adult ID wrist bands, different reflective products for runners and cyclists, and sports apparel. 

My husband is an avid biker and has been in several road collisions.  He now wears a Road ID bracelet in case he gets into a serious accident and can’t talk. 

Another nice feature of the bands is that you can list if you have any allergies or medical conditions.  If you are unable to speak, medical personal will have a better idea of how to proceed. 

For more information about what Road ID has to offer, head on over to their website at:

Road ID: A Review

Sole Sisters is incredibly blessed to be able to review some of the finest products the running market has to offer! For our premiere review, I (Megan) was given the opportunity to try out a Road ID. This product appealed to me for many reasons, but mostly for safety and peace of mind for myself and my family as I hit the road to run earlier in the mornings (when its often still dark) and for longer miles. A Road ID is a wrist band (or you can choose the option of a dog-tag style, or even IDs that attach to your shoe laces) that has your information laser engraved on it. If you were to become hurt, ill, struck by a car or even abducted, Road ID can help identify you in an emergency situation as well as give First Responders access to your basic medical information and emergency contacts.

Upon first getting on the Road ID website, check out the story of how the company began. It's not only a reminder of how dangerous running (or cycling) can possibly be, but its a compelling argument for having some form of identification on you while exercising. After reading the story, I browsed the rest of the site finding myself engulfed in Road ID testimonies as well as helpful Resources in making sure your local First Responders know to check athletes for Road IDs.

When I was ready to order, I was immediately drawn to the sport version of the Road ID bracelets. This style offers a nice range of color options and seemed "sportier" for athletes. The sleek version, to me, seemed like a nice option for those who may have serious medical problems or allergies and may need to wear an ID band more often than just for exercise. The slim version is also available for children which is such a great idea! We will definitely be purchasing some for our 4 kiddos for our next vacation.

While ordering, the pictures were clear, and I also loved how easy it was to get the right size and fit for the bracelet using common items (a dollar bill, anyone?) instead of locating a measuring tape or even just guessing how many inches your wrist may be. The website also offers great support in determining what information is best for you to put on your bracelet. As I don't have any allergies or medical conditions, I listed my name, DOB, 2 emergency contact numbers, a line stating NKA, and a line that says "Run with Sole". For those who may have conditions important for First Responders to know about, Road ID has a great selection of medical conditions and allergies with correct spelling and abbreviations.

Road ID also offers an Interactive feature for your wrist band- it is free for the first year. I opted out of this as I don't have any medical issues, but I think it's an amazing service. You can actually input your medical history and other pertinent information to a website. First Responders can then call Road ID support or visit the website and get your full workup right there! That could definitely save a life!!

My Road ID came in the mail the other day and I love it! The color is perfect and the fit is amazing. It sits right at my wrist without slipping and it doesn't feel scratchy against my skin. I have gone for a 5k run and a 2.75 walk pushing a jogging stroller and even did 35 minutes of Yoga while wearing it. It never got in the way and never slipped or pinched my skin. In fact I nearly forgot it was on until I was getting ready to shower.

In all, I think this is an important product to consider. The Road ID website offers a lot of really great safety gear in addition to their wrist bands, and while we may think we are invincible or that something wont happen to us, to me its worth the money to be prepared and its worth the peace of mind for myself and my family as I step out the door to put my sole to the pavement.

Want to be rewarded for reading this review? Road ID is giving away one FREE wrist band! Simply leave a comment telling the Sole Sisters your favorite product from the Road ID website. Want additional entries? You can comment for each additional option below:

  • Like Sole Sisters on Facebook
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A New Plan

Last Monday night I definitely was not looking forward to my run Tuesday morning and had two excuses lingering in my brain. I planned to skip a week and do Week 3 Day 1 for C25K and I was up late Monday night. I was in that state of sleep where you're semi-aware of what's going on but not quite fully conscious when I heard our daughter wake up, jump out of bed, and climb in on top of me. Yep, another bad dream. Somewhere along the way she learned that monsters can be scary and mean, and that darn black moose keeps roaring at her. She is a snuggler and I know once she settles her body down and is as close to crawling back inside me as she can, there's no moving her back to her bed - she is truly scared. I will not trade the loss of sleep for these few times because I know they won't last. So when the alarm went off, interrupting a wakeful sleep, I thought I hit snooze. Not so much. We all woke up about 30 minutes before we needed to leave for preschool, which is doable but I feared how it would influence dropping her off. I got a quick breakfast for the two littles and really wanted to put on my regular clothes for the day. My husband had already dressed for a run since he was home and I knew it was mostly to motivate and support me. Plus, this is a great opportunity for our son to practice his bike skills sans training wheels and ride on the trails. So I put on my running clothes, got everyone and a bike loaded up and left.

After preschool drop off, we headed for a trail deciding our first goal is to go a different route each time. I also decided to skip the podcast for W3D1 and just run. Find a rhythm and go. We ended up running/walking/biking about 2.5 miles and only had two bike incidents! I realized after I got to my turn around destination that I hadn't quite thought that route through before setting out and I don't use any GPS tracking things (we're pretty low-tech here). It was a little farther than I intended to go and by no means did I run the entire way. I did run longer intervals than last week just listening to music and once my lungs finally found their rhythm about 2/3 of the way back, my legs deiced they were done and I had to walk a bit more than I wanted. But we did it! And although the runner's high has faded and the fatigue and soreness are setting in, I'm glad we did it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

60 miles out of my comfort zone

Faster that a speeding truck ( OK not really)
So in this group of Sole Sisters I am one of the women who has been running longer than some who have just started and I have also run two half marathons.  I am by no way an expert or super speedy.  I just have a little more experience with running than some others in the group.  I was asked by a fellow Sole sister to run in a relay, a 60 mile relay!  It was in another city, with people I did not know other than my fellow Sole Sister and I had never done anything like this before.  I researched the team of runners, yes yes I Googled their race results, I found out that I would be one of the slower members of the team.  I thought not sure I wanted to do that.  I then remember that when our group had signed up for the Havelock Run there were new runners who were afraid to be on our team because they thought they were slower.  I had encouraged them to join and run and they had the courage to do it and did AWESOME!  I was going to learn from them and do this RACE!  The day came and it was pouring ran and I was given the last leg and one of the longest legs.  My first run was 5.5 and my second was 3.  It stopped raining on my first leg and I pushed hard and ran great.  My second leg my fellow Sole Sister was handing off to me and she had just passed another team and I heard the team tell their  member ,who was about to run, that her goal was to pass me.  I said " OH no I don't think so", and I ran, I ran hard, I kept looking over my shoulder.  I was running on the HWY ( scary).  I was wondering where the next exchange was?  Well, she did not catch me, not even close!  I did something I thought I would never to, with people I did not even know and it was turned out great.  I still look at the pictures and I am proud of the effort I gave on that day. 


Most Moms I know are tired. Their plates are full with jobs, chores, children, meals to make, floors to clean (again), nursing babies, shopping, car pooling... The list is literally endless. We are, by the true definition of the word, weary.

Weary: 1. Physically or Mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, Strain, etc.; fatigued, tired 2. Impatient or dissatisfied with something

As Moms, we are pulled in zillions of directions, often physically AND mentally exhausted and, in the moment, can be dissatisfied by the state of our minds, bodies, houses, children's attitudes... WEARY.

Lately, I have been weary, too. I haven't wanted to even put a clean shirt on, let alone lace up my sneaks and pound the pavement- where would the energy even come from?

I love the verse from Isaiah: run and not grow weary, walk and not faint

It is often my mantra as I'm out on the road forcing myself forward. I thought of these words the other day as I debated whether actually doing my long run for the week. It would be my longest run to date, beating my previous long run record by 1.5 miles. I was too tired. I had a headache. My period had just started. I was feeling a bit more than weary, I was on a hormonal crash course.

But, just as the Bible promises we are renewed in Jesus, I grabbed my mp3 player, blasted some awesome tunes and found that as I ran, I too was renewed. I had a goal, I had something to accomplish and it was only for me- no one else in the entire world was facing that exact route, that exact mileage as I was. I ran, and I was not weary... in fact, I even walked some, and I did not faint. 

I'm still tired today, and I'll likely start making some excuses here soon to try and avoid my tempo run this evening, but I know once I get out there, even if the time is brief, that run is mine. It belongs to me. My muscles may get sore, my lungs may burn, but my heart will not be weary, because I made the time to run, just for me. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Past the slump

It had been quite a while since I ran more than 2 miles. 2.4 last month, and I walked a third of that too. 2.2 was the last distance I ran without any stopping, and that was 3 weeks ago. Yep. I was in a slump. An I-can't-go-any-farther-2-mile-slump. My goal since April has been to work my way to running 3 miles about 3 times a week. So why couldn't I get myself to go any farther? I needed help. So I turned to, you guessed it, my fellow Sole Sisters!

They had all sorts of great suggestions! More cross-training. Changing my route so I don't mentally quit when I hit familiar landmarks. Run with friends. Cheer myself on. Throw in some sprints for fun. Plus lots of encouragement that it's not just me, it's just hard to increase your mileage!

So tonight, I mapped a new 2.5 mile route (using!), met up with 2 Sole Sisters, and ran more than 2 miles! Grand total? 2.61 miles, at a slow but satisfying 12:47 minute/mile pace! We stopped briefly at the water fountain at our turn-around point, and the ladies helped me through my usual my-shoes-are-filled-with-concrete moment from about mile 1.5-1.8, and we did it! So much fun to run with good friends and smash through imagined barriers!
Here we are after our run! What a great night!

Another Fuel Up With Color Story

This past Saturday, I also participated in the Fuel Up With Color kids 1 mile fun run with my little boy. Ever since I started this journey back into running in April 2012, and especially since my first race in June, he has wanted to "race with mommy." So on September 8th, he finally got his chance! I didn't know what to expect from him, but I was determined not to carry him at all. We walk around the neighborhood quite a bit, so I knew he could handle that much at least. Well, he surprised me! We ran the whole first quarter mile up to the first physical challenge station (weaving through cones)! After that, we walked and ran the next half mile and decided that we would run the whole way left when he could see the finish line. He saw it before I did, and he took off! We ran through the final station (sprayed with water guns!), past Grandma R, Grandpa A, and Daddy, and zoomed past the finish line to hug Grandma D and little sister! He loved it!

After the race, we asked him what his favorite parts were, and he said the water guns and beating me! We finished with a 15:30 pace and enjoyed our post-race snacks. It was a perfect first race for my son's foray into, I hope, a lifetime of physical fitness.

"Ugly" duckling

I began running in March of this year, mostly because it is something I have always wanted to do. I finally decided this would be my year. Having made the decision to end my baby making "career" I am making time (with no excuses!) to focus on myself and my health, wellness, and fitness. It has been incredible so far and though I have much further to go (40 to 50 lbs. to be exact!) I look forward to each and every step on this journey. The teamwork I have found here is priceless. I am thankful every day for each and every one of these ladies. They're my sisters, cheerleaders, inspiration.

You see, I am different from the rest of the girls here. I am a runner, yes- but I am an overweight one. I am not in shape yet, but I am trying. So while I am doing really well for someone of my size, my race times and my mile splits are not at the level of the others here. I have a comfortable 12 minute mile, 11 when I really push myself, and it doesn't bother me much. When I began this journey in March, I was 30 pounds heavier than I am today. My one running goal for 2012 was to run a solid 5K. Crushed it! And the other morning, I came within .7 of a mile of running a 10K. I am so, so, so proud of myself. I am not focusing on time any more, I am now focusing on endurance and working on a faster mile.

I have set a new goal now, to run a half marathon in the next year or two. I know I can do it, just as I know I can lose the rest of the weight I've set out to lose. I feel like I am on FIRE and this year I have learned that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and have others who push you to be your best.

So yes, I am the overweight runner here, but it doesn't bother me. I'm writing my own Cinderella story, the "ugly duckling" who WILL become a swan. Watch and see!

This is so Sole Sisters!

Saw this & had to post!  SO TRUE.  It's so easy to get caught up in how busy our lives are--especially with kids!!  But, we find time by making time.

Yes, I train like an Olympian.

Of course I train just like the Olympians do, don't you?  Well, maybe I log in less miles, eat a worse diet, and have a few extra minutes on my miles, but our healthcare is similar.  I get regular Chiropractic care (which I'm sure I'll need to write an entire blog entry about) AND I use kinesio tape.
A couple months ago I decided to start running again after taking a 6 month break.  I found that my knee was killing me after even a mile or 2.  I happen to have the cutest, smartest, most gentle Chiropractor in the world :) and he suggested I try taping it.  He started taping it before my runs.  It took 3 or 4 runs for me to really start feeling the difference, but since the kinesio tape has been amazing. No more knee pain!  Today I did a 5 mile jog with no tape & no pain.  The tape helped my knee learn to stay in the right position. I'm going to start weaning myself off the tape, but not ready to quit cold turkey! I love it! 
My stride was pronated (see the picture on the left).  It's amazing how something happening down towards your feet can effect different parts of your body--in my case, my knees.  I have shoes from Brooks designed to help with pronation, but it just wasn't enough.  Nothing has worked like the kinesio tape.
Sometimes my tape will only stay on for one run, sometimes 3 or 4 runs.  I'm not sure why it lasts longer some times versus other times.  I've been trying to wear shorts to show off my tape :) and when I'm asked about it, I always say, "I'm training like an Olympian." We all deserve the best treatment to make our runs safe & healthy. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just another manic Monday!

I am oh-so happily in the taper week before my first 10K this week! I ran 5 miles this morning and only have a hill workout this week according the training schedule.

I was pretty relaxed heading out on my run. Getting into a groove and enjoying the cool morning was amazingly easy. That ease evaporated when I came a few inches from trampling on what I can only assume was a rabid raccoon! I had moved over to the very edge of the road to allow an oncoming car plenty of room when I caught sight of a furry black creature at my feet. I screamed and pretty much jumped right in front of that oncoming car! I looked back, hoping to see that it was a dead raccoon, but nope the creature was alive and kicking.

My five mile route took me past the raccoon six times! Once the owner of the house stopped me to warn me about her new 'friend'. She said he greeted her on her porch and was not happy he was not welcomed into her home. I bet she was happy to have a back door! I was happy to have a sidewalk across the street from the raccoon to move to when I had to pass the raccoon! Although the squirrels chattering in the trees above the sidewalk sent me screaming and sprinting down the street. I had a fantastic pace the last mile!

How do I get past the insanity?

I need to get back into a routine of running but I'm finding it hard to do so when my children don't cooperate.  Finding a balance between being a full-time mom, a part-time accountant, and my own person has not been easy.  Struggling with a 5 year old who is fed up with Kindergarten and a 2 year old who is asserting her independence in ways I cannot cope with has put stress on me that I haven't found a way to alleviate.

I was hoping getting back into a routine would counter my stress, but it's the "getting back into a routine" that I haven't been able to do.  Part of the problem is that my 2 year old is refusing to go anywhere, get dressed, have her diaper changed, etc.  When I try to force her to go, she screams and cries until she throws up, and by the time I get everyone and everything cleaned up, the last thing I want to do is go anywhere.  I'm scared to take her to the Y because even if we make it there, my assumption is that she will freak out until she vomits and then I'll have to retrieve her and go back home anyway.

I know I could run at night.  I know I should run at night when my husband is home with the kids.  But after a day of fighting, I don't want to do anything.  I feel like the Queen of Excuses when it comes to running these days and I need to get out of my rut.  I tried running at the lake yesterday, but running in sand is really not as fun as it looks in the movies and magazines.

How does one balance being a Mother and Runner?  For me the term Mother Runner seems counter intuitive right now.  What should I do?  What can I do?

I'll go for a run.  Wish me luck...

**EDIT**  1.64 mi at 11:12min/mi pace

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fuel up with Color Run

Yesterday the girls and I went to a local run.  It was called the Fuel Up with Color Run.  It was promoting healthy eating and exercise.  Since I am an active mom myself these are important issue to me and my family. I think my job as a mom is to make this fun.  I want my kids to always stay active and enjoy it.  My oldest daughter enjoys swimming and right before the race she said " Mom this body was not made for running, it was made for swimming."  I laughed and said well thanks for trying this event.  One of my twins ran off fast and my oldest could hardly keep up with her.  The other twin just ran at her own pace she ran the whole way and the bikes to bring up the end were right behind us.  The thing is we all had fun, we all ran a mile and did it together.   I love participating in events like this with my kids and hope to find more opportunities to do so.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Move it or lose it!

I love to run. Yep, I'm one of those weirdos. I don't love being sweaty (and I sweat a LOT!) or tired or sore. But I really, really don't love how I feel when I haven't run.

Growing up, exercise was a part of my daily life. We lived in a college town and my mom didn't drive, so walking or biking was how we got around. No one in my family is what I'd call an athlete, but our leisure time always included golf or Frisbee or swimming or badminton or a family bike ride. In junior high I received the Presidential Fitness Award even though I didn't play team sports like most of my friends. I remember thinking I wouldn't be able to run a 7:30 mile - but I did!

During high school I chose to focus on music and journalism rather than athletics. I sometimes ran in my neighborhood or did exercise videos but I never had a strict workout regimen. In college, I discovered the gym. I had never been overweight or inactive but I was worried about the Freshman 15 and the gym was a great escape from the pressures of school and a difficult roommate situation. Running on the treadmill, listening to tapes on my Walkman (yes, I'm old), I was transported into my own world.

After dropping out of college I stopped exercising regularly for a while, despite the fact that I belonged to a gym. A few years later I separated from my husband and was laid off from my job shortly after that. Suddenly I had all the time in the world to exercise. I couldn't afford a gym membership any longer, but I had a pair of running shoes and a yoga tape. I spent hours each day walking or running the fantastic trails in Lincoln and doing yoga. It was a very difficult time; I was poor and lonely and my future was bleak. As I sank deeper and deeper into a depression, I struggled to lace up those shoes and get out the door, but it was the only thing that made me feel better. Following the jogging trail kept me from going down a much darker path and frankly, it saved my life.

Eventually, I went back to college to finish my degree and rediscovered the campus gym. A friend and I would often meet late at night to run on the treadmills, because it was the only time our schedules coincided. A new workout buddy convinced me to join the YMCA with her because it offered reduced membership rates for struggling students and waitresses like us. After graduation I moved to California and joined a gym near my house, enjoying the opportunity to swim outdoors year-round and hit the great running and biking trails in NorCal. I went to the gym regularly despite a grueling work schedule, and was rewarded with feeling healthy and strong and in the best shape of my life on my wedding day.

When I moved back to Nebraska, one of the first things I did was rejoin the YMCA. I got pregnant not long after moving back but I continued to do cardio and yoga on a regular basis. After having the baby, the last thing I wanted to do was exercise. I was heavier than I'd ever been, but SOOOO tired. Then depression reared its ugly head again and I knew I had to act. Although the YMCA offers childcare, my child wanted nothing to do with it. I forced myself to get up and head to the gym after the 5am feeding a few days a week, and to put the baby in the sling or stroller to walk in the afternoons when the walls started closing in. Many days, I didn't see how I would be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But we survived. I lost the baby weight, just in time to get pregnant again. I went to the Y religiously during my second pregnancy (and still regained the 40 lbs I'd just lost!) but I felt healthy and I knew exercise was helping to strengthen me inside and out. My second baby was born just a few hours after I completed a brisk 3-mile walk, and all that exercise allowed me to deliver - and recover - quickly and drug-free.

With two small children, it was a struggle to carve out time to exercise. My second baby didn't like Child Watch any more than my first, so I continued going to the Y early in the morning before my husband went to work. I bought a double jogger and started hitting the trail near my house. I was out there nearly every day, rain or shine, in freezing and sweltering temperatures. I avoided postpartum depression after the second baby, and my bad days were never as bad, despite there being double the amount of crying and diapers.

Now I've lost the baby weight for the last time, but I continue to run. I run because it combines two of my favorite mood-lifters: exercise and the outdoors. I run because it makes me feel strong and proud and capable. I run to maintain my sanity and to keep depression at bay. I prefer to run alone, because it's often the only time during a day when I can be alone and I am an introvert. My husband is a runner but we don't run with each other (he's much too fast, plus someone has to watch the kids!) although he ran an entire 5K by my side last year, sacrificing a better time just to support me. I like feeling connected to others who run, this secret club we carry in our heads and hearts. Maybe I'll develop some of that competitive fire that others seem to have and start signing up for races right and left. But probably not. I'm not running toward anything or away from anything or for a cause. I run just for me. I run to live.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Restart

Well, I set out this morning for my restart after dropping off our daughter for preschool. I gotta admit, it felt great to have my running shoes on! I wear sandals/flip flops 95% of my life so even just enjoying the feeling under my toes and how light they were was a surprise! I had my son's bike in the car already and convinced my husband to go along with us since he was home and did Week 1 Day 1 of the C25K - 60 second run/90 second walk. Like I said earlier, our son has just begun mastering his biking skills with no training wheels so I knew there would be distractions; helping him get started again, brushing him off a few times, and talking him through slowing down for the declines. (Makes me thankful I grew up in the country where it was pretty flat!) Since my husband was along he helped our son get started again when he happened to stop in the middle of a running interval. Maybe the key for me is having multiple distractions? A young biker, a husband/friend, an ear bud in one ear telling me when to run/walk, and other trail users (so I focused on keeping our son on the right side and not crashing into them!) to distract me from anticipating when my next "rest" would be. This run was so much better than my initial run the first time around! My finishing thought was, "Wow, that was almost easy. Almost!" I'm optimistically cautious as to what the next couple runs will feel like. If When I get past Week 5 Day 3, I have hope that I'll be okay. I also have a feeling I will be calling on some running buddies to get me through the "long" runs.

Persistence and motivation

I have started running many times in my life. By that, I mean I have started a running program or routine more than once. More than twice. Probably more than 8 times in my short 30 years. I have quit for so many reasons, some silly excuses (too cold, too hot, I just want to watch that show tonight,...), and some perfectly understandable reasons (pregnancy #1, pregnancy #2, injuries,...).

But I have started again each time, even though it may be years later. To feel healthier. To reach a healthier weight. To lower my cholesterol. To have more energy. To keep up with my children's activity levels. To have time to myself. To think. To pray. To set a goal and achieve it. To have fun. To prove to myself that I can do "impossible" things. To increase my endurance.

As I have learned more about running and my body in particular over the years, I have had an easier and smoother journey starting back up each time. I know how to breathe so my side stitch doesn't make me give up. How to stretch and work on my stride to ease my illiotibial band knee pain. How to start out slowly so I don't burn out and hurt myself too soon. How it feels at the end of a great run. Where to find the best shoes for my feet. Where to find help when I'm hurting. And how to keep myself motivated to continue when the couch keeps calling my name.

As of today, I have not run in 5 days. In that time, I was up most of the night for two nights helping two mothers bring two beautiful new babies into the world. As I doula'd my dear clients this week, I was so thankful that I run. I helped a laboring mother walk up two steps at a time for 6 floors, twice, and wasn't huffing and puffing like I would have 5 months ago. I helped a laboring mother walk briskly around the hospital floor, and didn't have to think about whether I could handle another circuit. I had the endurance to rub a laboring mother's lower back for almost 5 hours continuously. And then I had the strength and energy left to come home to my family, just in time for dinner and bedtime.

I am a runner because it makes me a better wife, a better mother, a better birth doula. Running gives me the energy to live my life well.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plans schplans!

Truthfully, I am not great at sticking to a training plan. I think I felt my way through the last three weeks of the couch to 5k training plan my first go through with it. The second time I did it, I glanced at it every few weeks to get a second opinion on where I should be. After being able to run for over thirty minutes straight, I just kept adding minutes. Sure, I sometimes had to slow way down to keep from walking, but soon those minutes added up to an hour.

Eventually, I realized that to improve my speed (and I am not talking elite runner status!) I would probably need to consult a training plan. Not only consult a training plan, but actually stick to it the entire time, not only when I felt like it. I searched and searched for one that would fit my schedule. Well, one that would fit the child watch schedule at my local Y at least! Once I found  my training plan, I signed up for the run, and blabbed to enough people that I felt truly committed to the plan and the run.

Here is a link to my 10K training plan, For those too enthralled to look away from this post, in short the training plan has 4 days of running. Two of those days are shorter easy runs, one is a long easy run and one is a speed or hill workout. There are 3 rest days, one rest day is an optional rest or cross training day. I took the rest day every single time (ans sometimes more than once ;))!

My next challenge is to take the cross training option. I have decent endurance, but am pretty short on strength and defined abs and arms. While running has helped my legs get toned, my upper body is not enjoying the same benefits.

One day when I was feeding my obsession with the Hood to Coast relay, I came across a runner, Jess, whose blog really inspired me to commit to increasing my strength. I would be lying if I didn't say that I am intimidated and more than a little fearful of being sore but I am excited to give it a shot. Here is the link to Jess' blog and fall fitness series, I love that it is not time-intensive, doesn't need fancy equipment and instead of dreaming of toned abs and arms I will be working on toning them!

What cross training do you do? What is your favorite half-marathon training plan? I would love to hear from you! I am ready to quit talking about doing a half and just get it done! :)

You are a runner...and you and you and you!

I still have a hard time saying, "Yes, I run. I'm a runner." Instead I like to say, "I jog sometimes." or "I try to run..." or "I've done races before." I guess I just lack self confidence, but Pinterest keeps trying to tell me otherwise with all these cute little sayings:


It's actually one of the greatest things about being a runner. Once you truly consider yourself a runner you understand that you don't feel like part of some elite 6 minute mile group--you still feel like you. You can still go a year without running and then start back up at 1/4 mile. You can go 2 miles and feel lousy or 6 miles and feel great. Either way you run. Maybe your run is more of a quick shuffle walk, but guess what? You are a runner too. It's not an exclusive group. We take all kinds. Some will be quick, some slow. Some will be short distance runners, others go the distance. BUT, if you are doing it, you're a runner.

I can vividly remember the first mile I ever ran. For most, it was in elementary school during P.E. Not me, not this non-athletic girl! In elementray school, I was walking that whole gruesome mile in the way back with the fat girl. The first REAL mile I ran (sorta ran...) was in high school. I had skipped class the day of the mile run, but my teacher made me make it up (tricky lady!). I thought I was going to die. I had heard of people running for fun & just couldn't imagine those were ordinary people.

A couple years later I started college and decided I could be one those very strange people who ran. And not running to escape something chasing them (although sometimes I do like pretending I'm being chased by zombie now after watching "Walking Dead"), but running to be healthy. To live longer, healthier, and let's face it--to combat all that drinking weight from turning 21! My husband couldn't believe-and still laughs about the fact--that I could only run 2 blocks before needing to stop to catch my breath. To me, that is not the unbelievable part. Of course, I ran out of breat right away--I'M NOT ATHLETIC...HELLLLOOOOO??! I don't do anything--except watch TV, I love to watch TV :). The thing that is unbelieveable to me is that I stuck with it. But, I came up with perfect plan:

WATCH TV. Yep, that's right. Watch TV while I run--my favorite thing with my unfavorite thing! BRILLIANT. So, I started going to the Campus Rec Center and running on the treadmills. First, I just slowly ran the commercials and walked during the shows. After building my pace, I switched and started running during the shows and walking during the commercials. By my senior year, I could run an hour without walking. AMAZING. But, I still didn't consider myself a runner.

I continued to run off & on through an out of state movie and 2 babies. I don't know why I didn't have the courage to shout out and say I'M A RUNNER. ROOOAAARRRRR!! But, I never had.

Then, I joined Sole Sisters. No judgments here, just courage and strength. It's amazing listening to all these RUNNERS share struggles & trimuphs. I'm a stay at home mom, like most of the Sole Sisters. My life feels busy. The gym is not for me at this stage with little ones and finding time to work out is hard. But, no way & no reason I can't find 30 minutes somewhere in the day if I want to. And ya know what, sometimes I really don't want to :) & I don't. But, I've started running more regularly because of this group and feel amazing. I'm a runner. Sometimes I'm good, sometimes I'm bad, but I AM A RUNNER.


If there were a pageant for Queen of Excuses, I'm pretty sure I would be in the top three for the crown. Even a fellow Sole Sister agreed that I can find a justification an excuse for almost any situation! My biggest excuse had been that I couldn't continue running because of my husband's schedule (which there actually is quite a bit of truth to that) and I can't leave our kids alone to go. So, I told myself I would start up again once our son mostly mastered his bike skills so he could ride along with me on a trail while I push his sister. Well, that happened this week so tomorrow's the day! Now I just need to find a wide, mostly flat trail so I can't use the "there are too many hills for him to keep up" or "we can't go down hills because he freaks out and can't stop" (which is true at this point) excuses. I think the worst part of all of this is the starting over. I was up to week 5 in the C25K and had been cross-training consistently through May. Tomorrow, well, I'm starting over from the beginning and I vividly remember how that felt in March and I am not looking forward to it. Not at all! However, I am counting on my new running buddies to keep me just as entertained as they did when I used my workout DVDs in the basement! Although, I'm not sure they'll dress up as Super Heroes. Maybe they should, then the people who see us will focus on them and not me hyperventilating! :)


So I have not been feeling the best lately, I have really bad seasonal allergies and this year they are the worst they have ever been.  I can not breath unless I take my medication and I hate taking medication.  It makes me feel all strange but I guess I need to breathe.  Sunday on my long run I had a bad run.  It was hot and I had to walk a lot.  I actually have not run since then because I just do not feel good.  Today I was exhausted.  The girls would not sleep last night and I couldn't breathe.  I woke up feeling like crap again.  I took the girls to preschool and I had two choices.  To take a nap or to go for a run.  It was hard I was so tired but I set out to do an  "easy" 4 miles.  I did it I ran the whole way and when I came to the bottom of the big hill before the end of my run, I found my favorite motivating running song,  "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.  I turned it up and went for it facing the hill head on, the lines "feet fail me not" and "You can do anything you set your mind to, man" stuck out to me today.  I am now sitting here post run still tired and still struggling to breathe but I feel stronger, every step, every hill helps me feel this way.  I feel like running to the top of the hill helped me out of my funk and I feel ready to run again ( tomorrow).

A New Running Experience

I am not a runner. I've never been a runner.  I'm not sure I'll ever be a runner at this point.  But my goal is to get to the point where I actually enjoy running because everyone I know who likes running seems to have this zen attitude and I could really use some zen in my life.  Currently, I run because I want my legs to stay toned and I want to keep eating dessert. Are those good reasons?  My current motto is: "I may come in last but at least I'm doing it!"

I am loving this Sole Sisters group, though!  I am amazed at how much farther I can go when I am running with someone!  So when I got a chance to visit a friend in Colorado (who is a "real" runner), I took her up on her offer to run with me.

Ignoring the fact that I had biked approximately 6 miles that morning, (with a tag-along, no less!) Julie and I set out for a late run in the beautiful Colorado night air under a waning full moon.  Sounds pleasant, right?  Well it turned out to be less so when I started running up a hill.  Ladies, 24 hrs is not enough time to acclimate to a different altitude! I was huffing and puffing before I even went half a mile.  Again, though, running with a friend made it all better--talking while running ate up the distance.  Unfortunately, I made her turn around shortly after a mile.  A 2 mile run at about a 12 mile pace.  Not my best, but "at least I'm doing it!"

I also learned that running shoes are not the best shoes for hiking.  Or at least not my current pair, which are Adidas ClimaCool shoes.  For running, they are fantastic--the name says it all.  They are lightweight and breathable, so I don't feel like I'm clomping around when I run and my feet stay dry during my runs.  Also, they fit my flat feet well because they don't have much in the way of arch support.

Looking forward to cooler Fall weather so I don't have to wait until 10pm to run!  Of course it will start getting dark sooner.  What do you wear to run at night to stay safe?  Recommend some running wear/safety gear!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Now that I am a runner, I can't stand the feeling of regret. It haunts me after a bad run, it follows me like a wounded puppy moaning and whimpering in my ear... what could you have done differently? What should you have changed? Most often, its that I should have pushed through. Yah, my shins hurt, but I could have run those last 3 blocks!

When I first started running, I cared more about what others thought, how they saw me as I jogged, huffing and puffing up and down my same route, three times a week. I feel I transitioned into a "real runner" once I cared more about how I felt. I don't want to let myself down. I want to feel proud of what I just did- whether a quick 1 miler, or a new long distance, or tackling some crazy hill I couldn't even bike up before! Now, I push myself further and harder, because I want to avoid that nagging regret.

I look forward to having a lack of regret in my workouts. It pushes me, motivates me through. I know I'm only cheating myself if I don't accomplish my goal, no one else will know, but me, how that regret hangs over me.

We all have bad runs, days where our feet are 20lbs heavier, our breathing isn't right, we're on our periods (Amen, sista?). I allow myself to wallow some, but try to channel the bad run mojo into something new and more purposeful, knowing that there is a new day on the horizon, a new chance to plod forward, one foot after another, slowly stomping that regret away.