Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! Thank you to all the men and women who have served our country and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice! My Dad is a Vietnam Vet, so I tend to be quite patriotic. :-) God bless the U.S.A.!!!

Well, despite the early morning downpours, it turned out to be a pretty nice day. My hubby and I took the kiddo to Memorial Park for a jog around the loop. It didn't work out too well, because jogging with the jog stroller is a complete pain in the butt!!! My husband was nice enough to push and told me to go ahead of him. However, everytime I got a little to far ahead, the kiddo got very upset and cried at the top of her lungs. At one point, I headed around the corner and made it all the way to the water fountain and could still hear the screams. We ended up "power walking" the last mile with me pushing the stroller, so that the kiddo would be happy. That was fine by me...the whole point of this little outing was to have some outdoor family time and have fun. It was obvious that before I started pushing the stroller, the kiddo was NOT having fun! Plus, it was pretty hot (around 86 & humid), so walking was a lot easier than jogging. We ended our outing with an early dinner at Beck's Prime. I managed to stay away from the milkshakes, but I did split and order of fries with my hubby. Yum!

As for the jog stroller, I must have gotten the wrong one. I see other people running with them all the time and they make it look so darn effortless! I have to fight with mine to keep it going in the right direction. One 2.9 mile loop around the park feels more like 6 miles. My husband said I should continue to run with it and build up endurance. I guess if I could run at a decent pace with the stroller, I should be able to haul butt without it.

Woohoo, I have a short week at work - I had to hurry up and use my vacation, so I will be off on Friday and Monday. This weekend is also the Heights Fun Run, so I am looking forward to that. Then, the following Saturday starts HoustonFit's fall program. I can't wait! There is something about having a big goal to aim for that makes me so much more motivated. I just read that the group will be starting with 6 miles, rather than 8. I was a little relieved to hear this, as I have not run over 6 miles in about 1 1/2 months. I ran 10 miles back in April, but have not been able to squeeze in that mileage again since.

Have a great day!
Run Long & Livestrong!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Astros Race for the Pennant

Yesterday was the Astros Race for the Pennant 5K. I picked up my race packet from Luke's on Friday and much to my surprise, I ran into a HoustonFit-er (damn, I suck at names) and Coach Gaye! It was so great to see them! Coach Gaye has been an awesome Coach and at the Houston Marathon last year, she had just the right words of wisdom to keep us going. I hung out to chat for a little while and got to hear a little bit about Gaye's experience in Paris while there for the marathon. Then, I ran into a buddy from A&M and chatted for a little while longer. I love going to Luke's because I always run into someone I know and have a chance to catch up.

On Saturday morning, it was hot and humid. The temp was around 80 and it was partly cloudy. I met up with my running buddy Marlina (she's the person who inspired me to run to begin with...I'll have to post that whole story another day!) and Pam. I did see a few other HoustonFit folks that I look forward to seeing again when training starts up next month.

This was my 1st year running this race and I really enjoyed it. Milo Hamilton, who has been the radio voice of the Houston Astros since 1985 announced the start of the race...I'm a fan of Milo, so I thought that was pretty neat. The course went through parts of downtown and had a few "hills" that were tough in the heat. Luckily, there was a bit of a breeze and 2 water stops along the way. Marlina and I started the race together and Pam and I finished it together. I don't think I beat my time from the "Tie One on For Charity 5K" a few weeks ago (mainly due to the heat), but I don't think I did too bad. The official times haven't been posted yet, and I forgot to start my stopwatch, so I don't even know my finish time. (I think it's somewhere around 32 minutes?)

The after party was terrific...they had the usual fruit, water and gatorade...but, they also had lettuce wraps, kolaches, popcorn and beer. They also offered free weight and body fat measuring (gasp! I actually did this... at least I know where I am in that respect, and I know that I have some work to do!) Add the great looking t-shirt and the 2 free Astros tickets and I give this race an A+...I will definitely be there again next year!

Run Long & Livestrong!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

One foot in front of the other...

Yesterday, I met my faithful running pals Kay & Pam for a 6 mile jog at the park. It was about 90 degrees - damn hot in my opinion! Because of the heat, we figured we do 5/1s and not push it too much. The whole 6 mile thing was my idea, because I knew I wouldn't be able to get in a long run on Saturday due to the 5K we were running. At the end of the 1st 3 miles, I was was wondering what in the hell was I thinking...did I come up with this bright idea of six miles??? Do I really want to do more!?!?! In fact, I was ready to call it a day, but Kay and Pam kept me on track and we kept going. (Again, it helps to have friends to keep you honest!) In times like these, I have to remind myself - just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will eventually get it done!!!

About 1/2 way through the second half of the run, I just pooped out. I hate it when that happens!!! My head felt hot and my legs just decided that the running was over. Sooo...I wimped out and walked it in. I always beat myself up when that happens. I feel like such a wuss when I wimp out. Pam and I ran the same distance on Sunday with no wimping out, so it really bugs me when this happens. But, we finished in a decent (not great) time and we had plenty of time to get home to watch the 2-hour season finale of LOST (which was GREAT by the way!).

I did have a bit of aching in my lower legs - not really my shins, but not my calves, just somewhere in the middle. Today, my shins are really bothering me. I don't know why that's happening - usually with brand new shoes, those types of aches and pains go away. I will probably take it easy tonight and do core conditioning - so much for getting in 20 miles this week! That's okay though, HoustonFit starts up soon and I will get in more than enough mileage. I will have to keep reminding myself - one foot in front of the other again soon enough!

Run long & Livestrong!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A nice 3 miles...

Monday afternoon, I met up with fellow HoustonFit-ers Pam, Kay and Roni for a loop around the park. (You've read about Kay and Pam - Roni and I trained for the Houston Marathon back in 2002 & she's run it 4 times!) I know I've said it before, but I just have to say it again...it is so great to have other people to run with! It was about 85 and very, very humid thanks to the earlier rain showers, so having people to talk to while running made the weather much easier to tolerate. While running we discussed summer plans, fall marathons, the upcoming 5K, etc. We made a couple of quick stops for water (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!) and walked for about a minute while on Memorial. We made it around the loop in 30:30 and we added a little walking "warm-down" at the end. We finished with some stretching and more conversations about work then called it a day...I had to get home in time to spend a little time with the kiddo before watching the Alias finale! R.I.P. Alias, I enjoyed all 5 years!

My goal this week is to run 20 miles...I thought this would be easy until I remembered that I would be running the Race for the Pennant on Saturday rather than the usual long run. So, now I have to figure out when to fit in the other mileage. I may check out some other routes for my weekday runs just to get a little variety here and there. I can hardly believe that the HoustonFit fall marathon training program is starting in 2 weeks...where did the time go? It seems like we just finished the Houston Marathon!

Run Long & Livestrong!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Long Run

I didn't get to do the Heights run with the HoustonFit group on Saturday as planned. But I was lucky that my HoustonFit buddy, Pam, was available to run on Sunday instead. Pam and I both ran Houston and Austin this year and we tend to run at about the same pace.

On Sunday morning, we somehow missed each other at our usual meeting place. So, I started to run the loop by myself when I saw Pam...thank God! I don't like to do my longer runs alone if I don't have to. During the time that I was running alone, I started to think about the fact that I had no ID on me at all!!! If passed out right there, no one would have any idea who I was or who to call!!! I think all these thoughts had to do with my husband and I losing a friend a week ago - he just collapsed without any warning and died...and he was only 34 (the same age as me). I usually have a plastic tag on my shoe with my name, telephone #, emergency contacts, etc. But, I hadn't had a chance to put the tag on my new shoes. These tags are a great idea! You can buy them at the local running stores, or on-line at http://www.smartidtag.com/. You get one free when you join HoustonFit, so I've never had to actually purchase one.

Luckily, since I was running with Pam, I didn't have to worry about things like that anymore. Pam and I ran 2 loops around the park doing 5/1s. During that time, we talked about work, school, other runners on the loop (evil grin), etc. It's so great to have something to take your mind off your aches, pains, the heat, etc. Actually, the heat wasn't too bad yet. It was 79 and pretty humid, but nothing compared to the heat that would consume the air a little later in the day! It felt great to get some miles behind us and get an early start on the day. That's what I love about running in the morning - you feel like you've accomplished something early on and you are negative in your caloric intake! Woohooo!

Next weekend, we're running the Race for the Pennant and I can't wait. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and it will be relatively cool!

Run Long & Livestrong!

R.I.P. ~ Timothy "Todd" Carter ~ 5/22/71-5/12/06

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hot Momma!

Holy cow, it was hot yesterday! I hate the heat. So why do I live in Houston??? I ask myself this every summer. Oh wait, it's not summer yet....it's only going to get hotter! I hate the heat!

I had an appointment yesterday afternoon, which allowed me to get a head start on the rush hour traffic. Since I had my running clothes with me, I decided to stop at the park for a jog around the loop. While sitting in traffic, the thermometer on my car read 97 degrees! When I arrived at the park, the temp was back down to 94. (As if that's so much better!) So, I get out of my car and as I'm walking over to the dressing rooms, I think to myself "Hmmm...this doesn't feel so bad. It's not that hot." As I was heading to the loop, I see my good friend Roberta. She deserves many kudos...not only did she recently finish the MS150, she completed the Power in Motion running program and her 1st 5k!

Six minutes into my run and I'm thinking "Hell it's hot!". Then, I decided to do 5/1s. If you remember from my previous post, I am such a wuss when it's hot. It's times like these when I wish someone was running with me, so I wouldn't be as tempted to be such a pansy-girl! About the time I made it around to the Tennis Center, I saw my friend and fellow HoustonFit-er Pam. We ran together for a little while and then I ran into another HoustonFit-er, Kay. Each time, I stole a few seconds to stop and talk....my way of combatting the summer heat! I eventually made it around the loop. I won't even mention my time, because then I will have to look at it here forever....it was pretty sad.

I am sooo looking forward to running a nice long run through the Heights tomorrow with some HoustonFit buddies. We start nice and early, so it's still relatively cool. Heaven forbid I do a long run in the afternoon heat...I hate the heat! Did I mention that I hate the heat?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not much to report!

Ugh, I have not been able to run at all since Monday. Remember how I posted that life changes as a Mom? Well, that is so true this week! Usually, when I can't make it to the park, I run on the treadmill (aka - the "dreadmill") after my kiddo has gone to bed. This week, the kiddo seems to think that she must sleep in mommy & daddy's bed rather than her crib. So, being a paranoid parent, I haven't run on the treadmill because I'm afraid she will wake up and I won't hear her (it's a noisy treadmill) or that she'll roll off the bed and hurt herself. So....until I figure out how to work around this, I am stuck.

The good news is that I did manage to do a core workout yesterday. I didn't know much about core workouts until I started doing hill workouts and speedwork with Houston Fit. Coach Felix educated us right away! Core conditioning exercises are designed to help strengthen muscles that you use when running. In theory, if you strengthen the core muscles, you will run better, faster and with fewer injuries. I'm all for that! Here are some examples of core conditioning exercises from distancecoach.com:


Run long and Livestrong!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday Loop

It's Monday already. Where did the weekend go? I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day! I was thinking about how life changes when you become a Mom....your life is no longer your own anymore. Maybe I should have named this blog "TX Runner Mom" instead. :)

Today I met my HoustonFit buddy, Kay, at Memorial Park for a loop around the park. I highly recommend finding a running buddy! There are times that I like to run by myself, have some quiet time and let the stress of the day fade away with each step. But then there are times when it's great to have someone to run with. I don't know about other people, but when the weather gets warmer, I tend to not push myself as much when I run alone. I take an extra walk break here and there and quite frankly, I become a wuss. But, when I'm running with someone else, I tend to give a little extra effort. I think it's because I don't want to be the one slowing us down. I don't want to be the wimp that says, "can we walk for a minute?" or "let's get some water". It's not that I'm competitive, it just that I don't want to be the wuss. Plus, it's great to have someone to talk to - it makes the miles go by that much faster.

Overall, we had a great run. The weather was nice (around 80 with a breeze) and we made it around in about 30 minutes.

Tomorrow, I think I'll do my core workout and maybe some free weights for the arms.

Run Long & Livestrong!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Whew, I'm done...

with my GMAT! I think I managed to do alright, not too great but not too bad either. I had to miss my Saturday long run this morning to take the test, so I feel like a big blob. I will probably have to skip the run tomorrow as well - it's Mother's Day after all!

I finally had a chance to stop at Luke's Locker this week for new running shoes, which are an early Mother's Day present from my terrific husband and adorable daughter. I choose to go back to my old favorites - the Saucony Grid Stabil. When I started running, I learned that I am extremely flat footed and my feet overpronate (roll inward), so these shoes are exactly what I need. I did try a different model of Saucony shoes last time, but missed my Stabils! The only bad thing about motion control shoes is that they tend to be heavy. Well that, and you can never find them in cute colors. Runner's World has a great link on their website called "Shoes 101". It helps you determine which type of shoe you need and gives you different options to choose from in various brands and prices. Check it out:
Run Long and Livestrong!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Hallelujah it's Friday! Do you think it's a bad thing to live for the weekends? Normally, on Saturday mornings, I get up early and meet my running buddies at the park for a nice long run (between 7 & 12 miles). However, tomorrow, I get to sit for the GMAT, so please send me some good luck vibes if you don't mind.

Yesterday's 5K was a blast. It was a very laid back race and the weather was so nice! Everyone hung out and talked before the race. There was already some fruit and water and a country-ish band was playing. I saw some folks from Houston Fit and Luke's, then found Lisa and her friend Susan. When it was time to start, everyone just kind of meandered over to the start line and we took off. There were no chips, so I'm not sure if they will be posting "official" times. According to my watch, I finished in 31:40 - not my best or worst time. That's an average of 10:11 per mile and I was hoping to keep it under 10, but I just kind of lost my steam somewhere along the way and slowed down a little. Kudos go out to Lisa, who was hauling butt and finished well under 30 mins. Woohoo, you go girl!!! (Lisa and I used to run together at pretty much the same pace, so I need to find out what she's been doing.) Also, thanks so much to Channel 11's Lisa Foronda who was there cheering everyone on! She is also a runner and when she's not participating in a race, she always manages to be there cheering. Overall, I give the race an A+ - they had music, great food, beer, dri-fit shirts and lots of great prizes...I'll be doing this one again next year! By the way, there is a great pace calculator on the Cool Running website: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/96.shtml
I am horrible at trying to figure out my pace, especially for long runs, so this is a great tool!
Run long and Livestrong!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wooohoo, nice weather!

Well, today is my 1st post and I think I picked a great day. I'm running a 5k tonight and the weather is near perfect (okay, near perfect for Houston, anyway)! It was 65 when I woke up this morning with a high of 82. Like I said, near perfect!

The 5k is the "Tie One On For Charity 5K" and is sponsored by the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation. My friend Lisa, who happens to be a young Lawyer in Houston, told me about it. It sounds like a good time. There will be Hooter's hot wings and beer at the finish - what more could a runner want? Oh, well maybe a "free" t-shirt. (I think runners have the most expensive collection of t-shirts out there.)

So my goal is to run as fast as I can. You will learn from my posts that my definition of fast is not really that fast - it's just fast for me. I sometimes feel bad when I tell people I run, because in all honesty, I jog. When non-runners think of people running marathons and other races, they picture people like Flo-Jo or Carl Lewis. Um, yeah, that would NOT be me. After I completed my 1st marathon, I was so proud. Yes, I finished it in 5:22...not Boston worthy by any means, but I finished dang it! A girl at work asked me, "Did you win?". I don't think I answered, I think I just turned around and walked away.

I run for a few reasons - 1) to stay in shape, 2) to be able to eat bad stuff and not feel too bad about it, 3) I enjoy it! Yes, I want to better my time and PR, but I want to have a good time doing it. Before I started running, I thought that I wasn't capable of running, much less running marathons. I proved myself wrong and I'm so glad I did. I hope that my blogging will inspire someone else who felt the same way to start running too. Hell, if I can do it, anyone can!!!