Wednesday, December 28, 2011


It's hard to believe that we are in the last few days of 2011. It's been filled with great memories and great struggles in our home. I am thankful that we all have our good health and love for life as we start a new year.

Probably the best personal decision I made this year was to quit my job. There is nothing worse then working a job that leaves you unfulfilled and underpaid! The decision to be a stay-at-home Mom (for as long as we can swing it) has proven to be lucrative for our family and our girls. I don't regret it for a minute and have found peace with finding other things that define me other then my career.

Probably the best hing I did all year was coach a girl's team of Mini-Mermaids. I can't even begin to put into words how special this was for me on so many levels. Everyone I encountered said :If only something like this had been around when I was a kid." My thoughts exactly, I didn't find my love for running until my thirties and I always laugh when I tell people that I was "that girl" who walked the track in P.E. The idea of sweating was so gross while today sweat is more like a badge of honor. If I could instill a fraction of how exciting it is to cross a finish line and feel proud of your accomplishment I knew that these girls would be way ahead of me in building self esteem and self worth. Getting to know these girl's on a deeper level was so rewarding and so awesome. The icing on the cake was getting to cross the finish line with my three and six year old and cheering everyone else in.

The added benefit to my own overall fitness was running twice a week with the girl's and then doing my own run on Sunday's. As soon as running club was over I transitioned nicely into a very easy fitness plan of running 3 days a week and then found myself in a 10k training plan to ensure I continued with my hard work. I've always wanted to work on getting faster but didn't really want to put in any effort into actually doing fartleks and whatever other out of my comfort zone training that might require. I was pleased to find that by running with a bunch of six year old's I had actually gotten faster. Adding in my new Garmin that actually let me race myself, I was quickly improving my run times. Which led to a most gratifying 5k PR on Thanksgiving day. Which was really a big deal to me since it had been 2 years since I had last earned a 5k PR.

Overall as I head into 2012 with 10k's and a 1/2 marathon to train for I feel good about the place I am in. I have pushed outside of my comfort zone and done things that I normally would not do which has greatly built my confidence in my abilities. The key is to keep the momentum going!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dam Jingle Bell Dash

Fresh off of my 5k PR on Thanksgiving my friend Molly and I decided to sign up for the Dam Jingle Bell Dash put on by Wolf Pack Events. While it didn't fit in exactly with my current 10k training plan how could I say no to getting to run with bells on my shoes!

It's been pretty cold here in the mornings and Saturday was no exception. It was 38 degrees at my house and 35 degree's at the race site location. Despite the cold it sure was pretty.

Since I had just earned my first 5k PR in two years I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but in the end I decided that it was a Jingle Bell Dash and that I wanted to just have fun, so I wasn't going to try and earn a new PR on an unfamiliar course. Molly was kind enough to run with me and we chatted the entire time (okay Molly did most of the chatting as I did my best to run and keep up my end of the conversation!) 

Overall I felt like I handled the course well, there were some hills but nothing to big and while I felt like I struggled a little in the beginning as I felt out the course and tried to fall into a pace that felt comfortable overall it felt good and was pretty similar to my training runs that I've been doing pace wise. The bummer part is that my Garmin Forerunner 610 has been on the fritz. It lost the satellite signal right before the start and then died about .05 miles from the finish line. It's been reverse charging and all sorts of other weird stuff. I was hoping to be able to nurse it through the race but I ended up with no data and the Garmin is being returned for a replacement. 
As we crossed the finish line I clocked in at 32:41, 45 seconds off of my PR. Hmm... probably could have pushed harder out there to earn another PR, but I was happy with the day and happy to enjoy myself and not have the pressure to compete with myself. 

In fact it was such a great small race that I'm going back in January to do their 10k. I'm following a 10k plan but had not really made a decision about actually racing a 10k or just going out and running one on my own. Since this was a nice small and well organized event and close to home, it's hard to say no. 

Hoping I'll have a new Garmin back in time for for the race. I've grown very fond of it and am super bummed to be without it for a few weeks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December

Even though it seemed like December the day after Thanksgiving, at least it's now official!

In an effort to not be slacker I have decided to start a 10k training plan.  Last year when I started training for the 1/2 and was looking for a way to condition myself before my actual training started, my friend Molly suggested doing the last few week of a 10k training plan so that when I started the 1/2 training it would feel easy. I took one look at the last few weeks of a 10k plan and thought "yeah, not ready for that either!" So I just worked on convincing my body it was okay to run 3 days a week. So now that I have lots of time before my 1/2 marathon training starts and I've already been running 3 days a week and getting faster, I've decided to just follow the 10k training plan which will give me a couple of week in between that and 1/2 training if I end of ODing on running.

I have been scoping training runs and a 10k to do at the end of my training in January but it's looking like slim pickings this time of year. I'm looking at either doing Brazen's Coyote Hills 10k in January or just running a 10k and calling it my own little race. I'm hoping that as we get close to the end of the year folks will start publishing more races and maybe I'll have more to pick from. I'm tossing around doing the Oakland Running Festival's 5k assuming there are no occupy protesters and the Presidio 10, but I'm going to wait a little longer before committing to anything.

In the meantime I'm working on stretching my very sad and sore legs and now adding in my cross training 2-3 times a week. Which means more laundry! Yay!