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Running in an Oven

My children are addicted to the gym’s kids’ land.  Every morning we wake up and they ask, can we go to the kids’ land?  Great motivation, but an extra expense.  Still they talked me into running Wednesday and Friday this week so they could go play with their new gym friends.  Wednesday’s run was great, my first time past 4.5 miles since leaving Oregon.  And then again today I ran about 3.5.  The only issue I have with my running is that I was on a treadmill in, what can only be called, and treadmill farm.  Gym running is bizarre.  I run super fast on the treadmill, I like listening to my music, but I miss the breeze and my friends.  I was never a big talker during the run, but I was really good at asking the right question to draw the conversation out of my friends.  So I still think that running on a treadmill is like running in an oven, but it’s better than passing out from heat exhaustion on the road.

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Excuses

I can’t go running today because:

1. I’m supposed to rest after a race.

2. My ankle hurts.

3. I’m too tired.

4. The dog kept me up all night.

5. The dog is being a bad running partner, so I won’t go because he’ll keep everyone else up when I leave.

6. One of my kids might feel sick tonight, so I better not plan on waking up early.

7. I just don’t want to go.

8. I have nothing to run from, so why run?

9. I’m too hungry.

10.  I just don’t want to.

Rocket the Ice-Eating Dog!

Every time I walk to the refrigerator to get water and ice, Rocket, our 9 month old australian shepherd, plants himself under the ice dispenser waiting for his loot.  The dog is driven.  Rob is worried Rocket might figure out how to push the bar and get ice out for himself.  I think he might win America’s Funniest Home Videos.  I have not started teaching him to get ice for himself, but he does now assume his perfect sit at the ice maker as soon as he sees me head toward the glasses.  He is a very goal oriented dog.

I wish I was as goal driven as Rocket. After the half Marathon I have had a difficult time figuring out what to do next, and an even more difficult time getting out there and just running.  I had considered doing the Sprint distance triathlon, but my swim class taught me I’m not quite ready for that this year.  I have a true fear of swimming in the river, and I need time and practice to overcome that.  So I scratched the Dash.  I finally figured out my next race the Monday before the race on Saturday.  This weekend I ran a 10K at the Deschutes Dash.  I wanted to do it in 1 hour or under, but I made it in 1:06:26.  It was hot, not Texas hot, but when you’re used to running in snow and 46 degrees, running in the high 70s is hot.  By the end all I wanted was to find some shade and more water to dump on my head.  During the last mile I didn’t want to stop running so with every exhale I found myself chanting, “I can do it, I can do it!”  I ran past the roadies setting up for the Barenaked Ladies concert chanting, “I can do it.”  I ran past a grandpa waiting for his wife to exit the restroom chanting, “I can do it.”  I ran past a local anchorwoman chanting, “I can do it.”  When her cameraman said, “Did you hear her, she said she can do it.”  I realized, I guess I’m saying this out loud.  But I did it!  And then I poured as much water as I could grab over my hot head.  After the race I grabbed an orange slice and a glass of beer and waited for my friends to finish.  I was so proud! And yelled for them at the top of my lungs!  When Rob and the kids got there, Rob was so motivated by the rush of the race that he signed up for the Sprint Distance Duathlon on Sunday.  (Sprint=5K Run:12 mile bike: 5K run)  He did great even though he hadn’t gone for a bike ride in a year.

My new goal: August 8,2010.  Haulin’ Aspen 8 Mile race.  I’m excited and motivated.  I never realized how important these goals are.  I guess I’m lucky to have such a goal driven dog.  Every time I see him go for an ice cube, I’ll think, “I can do it!”

Skate Park

I wish I was brave.  I wish I could stand above a big hole in the ground on my skate board, or scooter and then just dive right in feeling confidant that as I raced up the other side I could do the best 360 of my life.  Since I am not the daring one in my family, I am raising or at least encouraging my children to take more risks.  I think Rob and I both have shown them that exercise, challenges, and risks create rewards, so yesterday I took my kids to the skate park. The biggest irony is that out of the 10-20 kids who were riding the bowls, hips, and pyramids, only one kid was on a skate board. Everyone else was either on a bike or a scooter.  I had no idea what the average age would be at the park, or what skill set my kids would need, but we had a blast meeting the 13 year olds and asking for tips.  My six year old son was uncomfortable on his bike, but owned that hip on his scooter.  And my 4 year old daughter was a streak of pink biking through a sea of black biker boys.  Hopefully this will help them learn that risks can be fun, but that you should always wear your helmet.

Beginner Swimmers Beware

In order to decide if I will do the Sprint Distance Triathlon in mid-July, I am taking an adult swimming class.  Since the last time I tried to lap swim in a pool with other people I almost drowned, I signed up for Beginning Adult Swim Lessons.  Wow.  I am doing the same routine that my 4 and 6 year olds are doing in their swim lessons.  I had no idea rolling form my front to my back and back to my front again was so difficult.  So far we have mastered the arrow, front float, back stroke, flipping over for air and back into the water, side stroke, side breathing, and the first stage of the crawl stroke.  Our teacher is patient, but smug.  Let’s face it, he’s a 20 year old teaching about of 30-40 somethings how to swim.  It’s obvious he thinks he’s better than us.  For some reason, I feel the need to knock him down a peg, or become his prize student.  The best thing about this class is it’s a major confidence booster.  I have not felt like I could swim since I had children.  That’s most likely because I’m always wandering around in the shallow end chasing babies who fall under water.  It felt great to be alone in the water and swim.  Once this class is over, I might actually go to the pool and just swim on my own time, or sign up for the advanced adult swim.

Good Thoughts:

1. Good 3 mile run this morning and an even better one Saturday morning.

2. Saturday I went to an amazing foam roller class.  Wow!  I kept thinking, I didn’t know I had muscles there!

3. I’m reading a great new book.  The White Queen by Phillippa Gregory.  Read it!

4. I’m on day 5 of Turbo Jam.  I still think Charlene is annoying, but I have to admit, that workout is a little bit addictive.

Panic Attack

I had a few last minute errands to run this morning before Wyatt’s Kindergarten Graduation.  I can’t talk about that because it will make me cry.  So Ginger and I ran to Target and as I checked out at the red shirted Target guy asked,  “Any big plans this weekend?” A simple question, usually answered with, Oh nothing, but all of a sudden I started to panic as the realization hit me, “I’m running a half marathon on Sunday.”  I felt my heart leap against my chest and I found it difficult to breathe.  Somehow I made it to the car without forgetting Ginger inside Target.  And then drove home blindly, trying to breathe.  I know I have already run 13 miles.  I have been training for this day for 15 weeks.  My legs and ankles feel strong.  But I think I finally realized, I’m not training anymore, it’s finally here.  Deep down, I know I’ll do great.  I’m hoping to beat my practice time of 2 hours and 50 minutes, and I’m ready.  So check back on Sunday to see if I survived.

Good Thoughts:

1. It’s a beautiful 70 degree day in Bend.  The kids and I spent that last few hours playing at the boat park!

2. Wyatt had a huge day: he graduated form Kindergarten, he sang me a song, and he learned how to pump on a swing without any help.

3. Ginger looks like a doll in her new halter top dress.  She’s ready for the summer.

4. Dinner’s ready, Dad’s home, and the kids have new video games to play.

5. And I’m ready to run that last mile.

The Human Ipod

I have the coolest, smallest, pinkest ipod you have ever seen, but I hardly ever run with it.   I have friends to chat with on the run, it would be rude to bring music along.  But I must admit, I get the oddest songs stuck in my mind as we run.  I think it’s because we tap out the beat with our shoes.  So here are some of the lyrics I sing in my head, and sometimes scream outloud as I run:

Byonce: “Now that you want me, never gonna have me.”

Lady Gaga: “P P P P P P P P Pokerface.”

Glee’s Version: “Now I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ with no broke, no broke.”

Handlebars: “And I can rule the nation with a Microphone! And I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars.”

Show Tunes: “I don’t need a lot, only what I’ve got, plus a tube of toothpaste and a follow spot!”

More show tunes: “A matchbox of a house, a fence of real chain link, a grill out on the patio, disposal in the sink!”

Preschool Songs: “A tootie ta, a tootie ta, a tootie ta ta.”

And when there are no songs in my head, and we are silent on our runs concentrating on our next breath, I hear the words of my sweet friend CM, “I am strong, strong, strong. I am fit ,fit, fit. I am strong, strong, strong.  I am fit, fit, fit.”  I am strong.  I am fit.

Fortune Cookie

A couple of nights ago my husband called and asked if I needed him to bring anything on his way home from work.  I immediately answered, “Dinner!”  So the sweet thing that he is went to the grocery store, bought healthy ingredients and whipped up some awesome mock PF Chang Lettuce wraps for all of us, complete with Fortune Cookies.  Rob’s was: Your Clean, Shiny Eyes are a Pleasure to Others.  I that means he is a joy to be around.   Wyatt’s was: You know how to spend your time and your money.  Which is funny because Wyatt always has a plan about what he’s going to buy next, legos, pokemon, or a go cart. Ginger’s was: Creativity is strong with you.  To which she replied, “That’s true, I am very creative.” And mine was: Keep Trying.  You will soon succeed.   Of course I took it as a sign, one week before the Dirty Half and now I know I’m ready.  My knee has a been a little wonky and my ankle feels tired and needs more stretching, but now I know I will succeed.  Thank goodness for the fortune cookie or I would have just given up.

Good Thoughts:

1. I did yoga this morning.  It’s a killer of a workout, but I thought the stretching section would really help my knee and ankle.

2. Heaven Can Wait was amazing.  I am always so impressed that while the runners are coming in to the finish, walkers are still just starting to go out on the course.  I love the cheers from the walkers.  This year’s winner was a young woman who ran it in 16mins and 20 seconds.  WOW!  I ran it in 33:11 and I still placed 526.

3. The kid’s drove go carts this weekend.  Nascar here we come!

4. Rocket learned to swim in the river.  I may never be able to take him running with me again.

5. Saturday’s six miles was awesome.  I’m ready for this weeks taper to prepare for the 13.1 on Sunday.

Heaven Can Wait

One year ago I ran my first 5K, it was Heaven Can Wait.  A race to support breast cancer.  I had planned to walk it, and then I decided to run as far as I could and then walk the rest.  I was with a large group of women I did not know very well.  Clara and I rode our bikes down and then ran.  I ran almost the entire 3 miles.  In my mind I ran for my cousin Sandra, who battled and beat breast cancer.  I ran for my sister’s mother-in-law who survived breast cancer.  I thought about my father-in-law I never met who died of cancer.  I thought about my dad who died from Leukemia.  I thought about the one in four of us who will one day have cancer and I was inspired.  I had thought 3 miles was impossible.  And still I did it, without any training, I just did it because I knew it was important.  This morning I ran 6 miles and I did not think about any of my family nor my friend’s battles.  Tomorrow I will dress in pink, I will wear my pink tag proclaiming that I run for Mrs. Bingham and Sandra, and I will run.  And as I run, I will pray.  I will pray that Mrs. Bingham will be given a miracle because she is once again battling cancer.  I will pray that Sandra never has to fight this battle again.  I will pray for Rob’s dad and tell him how much I wish I knew him.  I will pray that my dad is watching Wyatt and Ginger grow up and I will tell him how much I miss him.  And I will pray for a cure.  Run Girls Run.

Scooter-Cross

I’m starting a new race, Scooter-Cross.  My children and I are already in training for it.  Every morning we throw on our helmets, grab our scoots, run beside them until we have enough speed, and then scramble onto our scooters.  The first portion of the course is a wide, bricky trail.  There are lots of long curves where we can show off our balance and pop wheelies.  Next comes the dirt portion.  Here you have to use balance, push, and courage.  There is a sweet jump in the middle of the trail.  Wyatt flies over it, Ginger gingerly glides over it, and I usually stay on the brick.  After the dirt we have to swerve in between cars, and across a street. Finally we land at the Elementary school where we take our cool down lap, and steal kisses good-bye.  Ginger and I then take our victory lap home.

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