Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Days 1-6 of a runstreak

I will say . . . and will probably change my mind . . . but a run streak is not that hard.  I am lucky in that I have a treadmill in my living room.  It was put there for my husband to be more active because he said he would use it if it was there, but I have used it more than him, and I don't use it very often.  It has mostly been a jungle gym for Maddox.  However, it is great for a run streak in November when I get home after dark and don't want run outside for 1 mile. 

My first run was a 1 mile run on my treadmill on November 1st.  I discovered that my Garmin watch is pretty accurate to my treadmill.  It was slightly off, but there was a moment when the belt slipped on the treadmill and I grabbed the railing. If my arms are not moving, then the Garmin does not accurately count my steps on a run. 
My second run was also on the treadmill.  It was still light out when I got home, but I was home alone with Maddox and couldn't go outside for a run.  I decided to only do 3.1 miles because, well let's face it, treadmill running sucks (even for 1 mile).  Again I noticed that if my arms weren't moving then the Garmin wouldn't accurately track distance.  There were a couple times I started swinging my arm faster than my legs to make up for the times that I wiped my face or messed with my phone.  (I don't have this issue when I run outside, probably because of GPS.)
Yay! Saturday and a day home where I can run outside during daylight hours . . . except everyone in my family who could watch Maddox, works on Saturday.  Luckily he started playing with a friend and asked to go to his house for awhile.  So I called the parents and asked if they minded if I went for a run (they live down the street and often the kids just go to each other's house randomly).  So I was able to do a 5 mile run in the rain. yay =|
 It was very wet, I wasn't even halfway done when the water started dripping off the brim of my hat. 
Sunday was another 5 mile run, nothing especially exciting about this run.  
Monday is almost always my rest day, so 1 mile on the treadmill.  
My animals have discovered my electric blanket.
And then yesterday I decided to try 3 miles at the fastest I could run.  I have decided that if I want to get faster, I have to actually work at it.  So the slower miles are nice, but there has to be some sort of faster runs in there so that I actually get faster.  I am not fast, my fastest 3 miles turns out to be a 8:38 min/mile average.  Granted, I don't consider that slow, but I really did feel like I was dying at times.  I even stopped a couple times and walked once or twice.  I think my actually running time was closer to an 8 min/mile, but when you factor in the stops and the walking, it slows down the average.  In my defense (of dying) I ran my normal 3 mile route, and that includes a steep incline at mile 0.2-0.5  with a gradual incline at mile 1-1.5.  I sprinted up that first hill (and then stopped), then ran fairly fast up the second incline (and then stopped).
I did remember after I laid down last night that the fast running is really what causes my hip to hurt the most.  I haven't had an issue with it since I quit doing pace runs, and actually forgot that I had problems with it after the pace runs this summer.  I briefly thought about putting ice on it as I was laying in bed, but then fell asleep.  Once I got to work I noticed it was bothering me again so I put ice on it for a little bit.  

My plan is to keep the slower runs for the majority of my runs, and I'm not looking at pace for my 1 mile runs.  In fact on Monday I set it at a 6 and left it (turns out that is a 9:59 min/mile, for sharing purposes my Garmin rounded down, so the extra 6 seconds were from going over 1 mile).  But I would like to do one faster run a week.  I guess we'll see how that works.  =)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hello November

I have never been a huge fan of November.  There's nothing exciting happening outside.  Yes, we get 2 extra days off for Thanksgiving, but really there's nothing else exciting that happens.  The weather gets colder, everything just seems grey and dreary.  Western Washington is even worse because it really gets grey, the rain starts (well, it often starts sooner) and it just is pervasive.  The rain here is more of a mist than a rain.  I have actually walked around outside thinking it wasn't raining to go inside and realize my hair is soaked.  I hate it.  A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today and I liked it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still not excited about November, but I do like this post.

One thing that I've been a little excited about is . . . a run streak!  I've been thinking about it a lot, and I'm going to do it. In fact, I don't think I'm going to wait for Thanksgiving.  For some reason, this weekend I really wanted to start it, but I decided to wait for November 1st (today!).  I don't normally subscribe to the belief of waiting till Monday, the first of the month, the first of the year, but this time I decided that's what I wanted to do.  I am going to run every day for at least a mile for all of November and December.

Well, last weeks running . . .

Only 2 runs.  7 miles on Sunday, which I already posted, and 4 miles on Tuesday.  I was crazy busy every day after work last week and only got those 4 miles in by running in Marysville while waiting to meet a friend after work.  That was a fun one.  I don't know Marysville (a town between my home and where I "officially" work).  I found a park on Google Maps and drove there. I changed in the restroom (yuck) and ran in a straight path 2 miles out and turned around and ran 2 miles back. 

Friday I went to my dad's house.  Sunday was the Tri-Cities marathon, which I did not run.  I did tell my brother-in-law that I wasn't running and he invited me to do Crossfit with him.  I did a 40 min session and it didn't feel extremely hard in the moment but the next day I couldn't lift my arms.  I did a 4 mile run on Sunday after I got home.

Tuesday I did another 4 mile run and I am going to run at least 1 mile today. 

I realized the other day that I am 4 months away from going to Hawaii.  My sister and her husband started doing a diet plan, 30/10 Fitness for Life because my brother-in-law needs to lose weight (dr's orders).  They are losing a lot of weight, although I don't recommend their diet.  You can only have food once a day, otherwise it's smoothies or some sort of snack that they provide.  I guess they can eat vegetables (not all, no carrots) and no fruit at all.  It's a completely carb free diet.  My sister has been pretty worried about what happens when they are done, but she's doing it and hoping for the best for my brother-in-law.  He has a great track record of losing the weight, but always gains it back within a few months of reaching maintenance. 

What does this have to do with Hawaii?  Well, my sister is losing weight . . . she's been slightly (not a lot) heavier than me since I started running, if she loses weight and I don't, then I become the "fat sister."  That sounds really terrible, she isn't/wasn't fat, but I picture myself being fat . . .  It's not about competition, it doesn't bother me that she'd be thinner than me, but I just don't want to look fat in comparison to her, which is why I need to lose weight as well.

So, I need to get serious about my eating.  I've been comfortable with how I look for awhile, but I know that I can be thinner.  I loved the way I looked in 2015 right before my first marathon.

Not quite comparable pictures, but as close as I can get.  You can definitely see that my boobs are bigger, and my stomach is poochier now. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

My week in running

Well, another low mileage week.  Last week I ran once, on Wednesday for 3 miles and then on Friday for 3 miles.  Saturday I had grand plans to go for a run with Maddox.  There is a very pretty trail 10 minutes from my house that is flat and runs along Padilla Bay.  I've walked it a couple times with my sister, but I've always been a runner that prefers to run straight from my house.  I always feel that if I plan to drive somewhere to run (other than a race) I won't do it, so I've never run this trail but I've thought about it often.
 On Wednesday when I ran I decided to go to Maddox's soccer practice and then down a trail to home.  Well, I was only about 3 blocks from the road to my house when my toe hit a curb and I crash landed.  There is something about falling that is interesting.  I never really believe I'm going to hit the ground until I do.  I think right up to the end that I am going to magically catch myself. Well, I did not . . . I hit and rolled, scraping my elbow and weird spots on my hand and one finger, like the very tip of one finger.  When I got to the trail I realized that it is no longer summer, and if I start a run after 6pm, likely I will be running in the dark.  The trail that I was running on is fine during the day, but is rather sketchy at night, so I got off it right away and went a different way home.
My run on Wednesday made me realize how early it gets dark now, so I got out my night running gear and went for my first dark run. . . Well, actually I rode the bus home on Friday and then forgot my phone on the bus.  Knowing that the bus was headed north after dropping me off to Bellingham (a 45 min drive north) I realized I needed to catch it before it left town.  After a crazy drive through town and a very nice dispatcher, I got my phone, but by then it was after 7pm.  I thought about skipping my run, but I didn't. But I did only do 3 miles again.

Since Damian got his most recent job he works every Saturday from 8-5, and Chris changed his schedule a few years ago and works Saturday as well, so I've struggled with my Saturday runs.  I tried early in the summer to take Maddox with me on a bike ride, but his bike was too small and he didn't enjoy it.  I ended up running around the middle school track for 3 miles or so while he played in the grass and was completely bored. But so was I, I hate track running.  Anyway, Maddox got a bike for his birthday (in June *ahem*) and I keep meaning to take him again to see how he does, but I've been lazy with that.  So I decided I would pack his bike into my car and go to the Padilla Bay trail and run while he rode.  I thought the trail was 2 1/2 miles one way, so i thought a 5 mile run would be great (it is only a little over 2 miles, but that didn't matter afterall).

When I shoved Maddox's bike in my car (no bike rack) I caught the chain on something and popped it off its track.  It took a little maneuvering to get it back on, but I did.  Then he was riding soooooo slow, I kept getting after him, and he finally said "it's so hard!"  At first I couldn't figure out why he'd think riding on a flat, well-maintained trail was hard, then I realized his bike has gears and it was probably in a high one.  So I got it down to a lower gear and we started again when I noticed his front tire was flat, like pancake flat.  So we limped the bike back to the car. He had rolled over a tack (or I did when I was fixing his gears). 

Maddox said he was good to go for a run with me, so we headed back out. I had to readjust how far we were going to go.  I knew he'd never make 2 miles one way and then have to turn around and do another 2, so I kept thinking I could get him to 1.5 with a total of 3 . . . he didn't even make it to one mile.  He tried to run back with me, but he kept walking.  So finally I put him on my back and gave him a piggy back ride back to the car.  I didn't take any pictures of that run, which I'm kinda bummed about, but oh well.

Sunday I went for a 6 mile run that ended up being 7 miles.  It was a really nice run.  I have to say, fall running is my absolute favorite, especially when it's sunny like it's been for the last 2 weeks or so.  I love the leaves and the crisp air.  As much as I love the warmth of the summer, it makes for miserable running. 

I have been kicking around the idea of a run streak.  I know that there is a popular one from Thanksgiving through New Year's.  I've never done a run streak, but for some reason, this year, it sounds interesting.  The rules of a run streak are that you have to run at least one mile every single day.  There was a story on the news a few weeks ago about a guy with the 5th longest run streak, he had ran for 40+ years, every day, one mile.  Then one day he was hurt and he quit mid-run.  I can't imagine running that much, I think he was in his late 70's when he quit.  Then I heard my supervisor and another lady at my work talking about their 100 day run streak (they didn't really do it though, they committed to 100 miles in 100 days but they counted a 5 mile run and then they didn't have to run for 4 days if they didn't want to, and neither one of them actually accomplished 100 miles in 100 days), but it got me thinking that it would be interesting if I could do it.

I am terrible at follow through, unless it's a race.  So I wonder if I can come up with some sort of reward for completing it.  I don't know what that would be though.  It has to be something I wouldn't do or get anyway. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Happy October

Well, my two week reprieve from paper writing was over this week.  My school goes from Thursday to Wednesday, so yesterday was the last day of my school week and today is the first day of my new school week.  So my paper for "last" week was due yesterday.  Yesterday was also the last day of that particular class.  Each class is 8 weeks and there are no breaks between classes.  So today I start a whole new week and a new class.  It's continuous all year.  I think they take off 2 weeks at Christmas (which will be very, very nice), but it's the only break unless I request one.  By next summer I may be ready for one, but the more I take off the longer it'll be before I graduate. 

Anyway,  I say all that becaue I have definitely noticed when I have a paper in my class I'm less likely to write on here.  I'd like to change that because I do like writing just for fun, but I do get tired of it. =)

Anyway, I am enjoying my runs right now.  It feels calm.  I don't know how to explain it, but I don't dread them and if I don't feel like running, then I don't.  I didn't run on Sunday because we had a crazy busy day.  So I was going to run on Monday instead (I rarely run on Mondays)  However, I got home and Damian had gotten pizza, so I grabbed a slice, ate it and then took a bath.  It was nice, I didn't regret not running at all.  Tuesday I couldn't run because I was hanging out with my sister.  So the first run I did this week was yesterday, 3 miles. 

I will say, I do get that twinge of thinking only 3 miles and it's already Thursday, that means I have to run today, tomorrow, and Saturday to make up for it.  But then I tell myself, no I don't have to do anything.  This may change, I can already feel it changing, but for now, I'm good.

So my weekend . . . it was ridiculous.  I don't know if I mentioned it but when my uncle died he gave all of his neices and nephew (one nephew) a small inheritance.  He was never married and had no kids but it was still a nice surprise.  My aunt died a few years ago, who was also not married with no kids, and she left everything to her siblings, so we figured that would be the way it would happen with all our single aunts (two) and (one) uncle. 

Anyway,  I would like to put some of the money I got from my uncle away for my kids and I've been putting off looking into it.  So Saturday I decided I would go to a couple banks and talk to them about it, it's not enough to really invest, so I was thinking some sort of high interest savings or a CD.  "High interest" my butt, they are marginally higher than a regular savings and the CD was marginally higher than that.  Completely ridiculous.  But it made for a busy morning. 

Then I took Maddox to lunch and we bought a couple Halloween decorations at Lowe's.  I have discovered that Maddox is very, very into "Happy Halloween" as he calls it.  He really wanted decorations so I bought some just for him.  Then I went to the running store because the shoes I bought on my birthday gave me blisters on the arches of my feet, which are terrible.  But I got new ones and a pair of socks in exchange.

Sunday we went grocery shopping, then spent 2 hours (at least) in Verizon getting new phones.  After that we went to the pumpkin patch. 

We took a family photo, but it's on Chris's phone, which means I'll never see it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Random thoughts

In March (well, I suppose it was the end of April) I lost my myfitnesspal streak.  I had a streak of over 2 years of faithfully logging into myfitnesspal.  Granted, I didn't always log my food, especially for the first 6 months or year, I would sometimes, especially at the beginning of that streak (I previously had a streak of over a year before this one), just log in so that I didn't lose my streak.  After losing my 2 year streak, I've been rather sporadic on logging my food.  (Well, there's losing the streak and then losing my mom that has made me less likely to care about what I'm eating.)

I posted the other day about getting myself a new Garmin watch.  One of the features of Garmin (I suppose it's actually the Garmin Connect app, not necessarily the watch) is that it syncs with myfitnesspal and will also keep track of my calories . . . so when I put the watch on and was looking at the app on my phone, I realized that in order to see my calorie intake, I need to actually record what I'm eating.  I suppose we'll see how I do with that.

Honestly, I have noticed that things that I used to care about don't matter so much anymore.  I attribute that to my Mom's death.
  • *Side note - someone recently asked me about me saying "death," "died," and "dead" instead of "passing" or some other term that isn't so harsh.  And I realized that I use dead because I'm so angry about it.  Saying my mom "passed" or "is gone" is too nice.  It's just not fair or okay that she died and I want to use as harsh a wording as I can because I'm not okay with it.
Anyway, the other features of my watch that I'm obsessed with is the heart rate monitoring.  I looked up healthy resting heart rates and what I saw said 60-100 beats a min is in the normal range, but really fit people often have resting heart rates lower than 60.  I want to be considered healthy, so I've been looking at it constantly.  Right now my average is 59. yesterday it was 58 but for some reason last night I couldn't get it below 70 consistently, but I really, really want it to be lower.  It's ironic that I've been looking at it so much because I just recently read a post from MaryFran (shout out 2 posts in a row) =) where she talked about her brother going to the ER because he fell while riding his mountain bike.  While in the ER he fell asleep and the heart monitors went off because his resting heart rate is so low that while he was sleeping it dipped way down (which was fine for him).  I thought #goals! 

I've even been waking up at night (well, I always wake up a little) and look at it to see what my heart rate is down to.  I didn't see anything lower than 54 the first night, but Monday morning on my way to work I noticed it had gotten high (mid-90's) so I started deep breathing and got it all the way down into the 40's (while driving, pretty impressive).

I've thought that it would be a good thing for Chris to have.  I bet he has no idea what his resting heart rate is, but if he got as obsessed with it as I have become, maybe he'd work to get a little healthier.

So back to that post I linked to from March.  It's strange to look at a post dated March 1st.  My Mom died March 5th, and when I wrote that post I had no idea she was going to die.  She was in the hospital at the time, but we didn't know until March 3 that her condition was so serious.  It's like reading something from a simpler time, a time when I didn't have so much stress and sadness and worry about my dad.  A time when my biggest concern was my monthly goals, losing weight, hiking more, stretching more, and a running PR. So much has changed in just 7 months.

To lighten the mood . . . Maddox has been sticking his head out the window on his way to soccer.  He is such a goofy kid, I had to take a picture.  I posted it on Instagram and said something about not knowing I was raising a dog.  =D

Maybe I should go back and read the beginning of the year's posts.  Especially the goal posts.  I just read my posts from March, and the goals I had back then really were goals I'd like to work on.  Healthy eating, less wine, more stretching, hiking, and running.  Maybe having a focus on this type of stuff would be good for me for right now.

Last night I ran another 5 miles, and I have to say that I am enjoying not focusing on the pace.  It wasn't fast (9.43 min/mile), and while sometimes I have urges to be faster, when I'm starting a run the thought of going faster makes me want to quit.  I think consistent running will naturally make me faster.  It did in 2015 and before.  I was running my shorter distances at close to an 8 min/mile without trying. 

But honestly, while part of me wants to be faster, I am also okay with where I am right now.  I still would like to have a marathon of under 4 hours, but I think with consistent running and some speed work next spring it will be "easy."  (What a way to set myself up for failure . . .)

Monday, October 8, 2018


Wow! Another week without a paper due for school.  That's 2 weeks in a row, which means that you get another post from me.  =)  This particular class is almost over, it is on Addictions counseling and I'm ready for it to be done.  One and a half more weeks . . .

Saturday was my birthday.  I turned 42, which makes me wonder how I got here.  How did I get to be 40, much less 42?  Anyway, it was a nice day.  Chris and Damian both worked, but Maddox had a soccer game and my dad and sister came up for that.  We went out to lunch and then I bought new running shoes.

I bought Hoka's which I've never had before.  I was pretty excited to go run afterwards.  I did 5 miles and was really disappointed that I had rub spots on both feet in the arches and on my right pinkie toe.  Thankfully I got them at the local running shop and they allow returns even if you've worn them.  I may have time today to go return them.
That evening Chris and I went to a nearby town for dinner.  We were there over the summer with my sister and her husband (and kids) and I thought it looked like a really nice place to have a nice dinner, so we went back.  I enjoyed it a lot.

On Sunday we officially celebrated my birthday.  I had ordered myself a new Garmin running watch (Forerunner 35) and it came in the mail (through Amazon) on Sunday, which was super exciting.  I was supposed to run 10 miles in preparation for the half marathon at the end of the month, but I didn't want to run.  Like really didn't want to run.  However, I had my new Garmin, so I decided to go run 5 miles.
I wouldn't say I enjoyed my run a lot, but I'm glad I did it.  I also opened my birthday presents and I was pleasantly surprised that Damian got me a really nice hiking backpack.
I guess that means I'm gonna have to do some long distance hiking.  =)

So marathon . . . or half marathon training.  I don't think I'm into it.  This makes 2 weekends in a row that I didn't run as far as I should have.  Last weekend I ran 7 miles instead of 8 or 9, this week 5 miles instead of 10.  The half marathon is in 3 weeks and i haven't run farther than 7 miles in over a month.  I don't think I can run 13 miles comfortably.  I am not sure where I stand running wise right now. . . I'm not feeling the long distances, I get the desire, but then when it's actually time to do it I don't want to.

I've been debating about going back to running just because.  When I first started running I was running 5 days a week, and while I don't think I'm going to do that, I was also running because I enjoyed it.  I had no goals and no time expectations.  I'm thinking I might do that for awhile.  Run when I want, as slow as I want without any pressure of "I have to go XX distance at X.XX pace."

Several months ago someone I've been following since I started blogging, MaryFran, wrote "I need to stop thinking about the distance I used to run.  I need to stop thinking about the pace I used to run.  I need to just run the best I can at the point that I am at right now" and it really resonates with me.  That is where I want to be now.

I guess we'll see how that goes.

Oh, and I love my new Garmin . . . it measures heart rate on my wrist and tells me how I slept, reminds me to get up and move around (which I need to do) and links to my phone so I get notifications on it . . . oh and controls the music on my phone.  (I only slept about 1 hour of deep sleep last night, broken up throughout the night, which is not great, and my resting heart rate average is 60, which is really good.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Have you noticed I've been MIA for the last month?  I had zero posts in September.  I don't think I've ever gone an entire month with zero posts since I started this blog.  I just haven't felt like writing.  And there are a couple reasons for that . . . the biggest one being that I am writing a paper every week for school.

But the other reason is that I'm not running much.  My last post was a triumphant post about finishing 15 miles even though I didn't feel like it at first and maybe continuing with marathon training. . . Well, right after that post, 2 days after that post, Chris got a call saying his Grandpa was dying, and then a few hours later that he had died.

His Grandpa was a World War II Vet, so they ended up taking over a week to get the arrangements for his military service.  I had a planned trip with my sister the second weekend of September to go to Leavenworth for the wine walk (that we always do). I was happy that I was able to do that with her because for awhile I was afraid I'd have to cancel it to go to a funeral. 
We even bought special shirts this year!
So, I came home for 3 days and then we went to the Vancouver, WA area (I can't remember exactly where, but it was down that way somewhere) for Chris's Grandpa's funeral.  I didn't care for his Grandpa much, he wasn't a very nice man, but I do really like Chris's family.  At least that side of his family.  We had a very good visit and I remembered how much I enjoy hanging out with them (it's been 5 years since the last time). 

I even ran with his brother who is very into Crossfit right now. 
By the way, never trust a guy who says he thinks he knows where he's going.  We were going to do 5 miles and I trusted that he knew how to get to a trail, we never found the trail and ended up with under 3 miles. 

I didn't take many pictures on this trip.  I just didn't think of it.  We left on Saturday morning and Sunday was Damian's birthday, so they celebrated his birthday with cheesecake on Friday night.

Anyway, back to running . . . I never ran more than that 15 miles at the end of August.  And by the time of Chris's Grandpa's funeral I decided that I wasn't going to push myself to run 26.2 miles undertrained like I did last year.  In some ways I still feel like I'm recovering from that marathon, and all the half marathons I did last year.

I do feel that I do better at running when I have a goal.  Which I don't currently have.  Well, I do, but they won't happen till next year. (I want to run Ragnar and I want an under 4 hour marathon).  I am going to go to my Dad's the weekend of the Tri-Cities Marathon, and I think I'm going to run the half marathon.  I guess I need to figure out when I need to register for that (hopefully I haven't missed it).