Friday, February 25, 2011


I added a widget ------------------>
over on the bottom right
of running blogs I have in my Google Reader.  Some of them I love because I have a lot in common with them.  Some of them I love because they are way faster and more dedicated to running than I will ever be.

What are YOUR favorite running or fitness blogs?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

another week

Well, in true follow-up to my last post, I still haven't been to the gym, because life is busy and crazy and full.  I've hardly blogged this week!

I have been getting some runs in though.  A few on the road and a few on the old treadmill.  You can click that Daily Mile widget on the right to check them out.  I haven't logged today's yet.

My week kind of runs by Wednesdays.  Wednesdays are my Fridays, since I work Sunday-Wednesday.  Sometimes it's easier for me to run on my workdays, because I have to be up early anyways, so might as well get up and run.  Sometimes it's easier on my days off because I may be able to run other than the morning, or even if I run in the morning--I can take my time getting ready for the day after that.

Every week is different.  Welcome to my life!  I kind of wish it weren't that way.  I like routine and predictability.  But as a working mom of three young kids, you just never know.

Tanget: At what ages do I not have young kids?  I think with a 1st grader, almost 4-yr old and 2yr-old, it's going to be a couple more years.  Maybe when #2 enters school.

I'm still thinking about doing a full marathon this year.  Although I was bummed to find out there aren't many at the end of the summer.  I guess it's too hot for racing.  But summer is good for training when you have kids out of school and more flexibility to your schedule.

There is a marathon in San Francisco though, the last day of July.  Which maybe I could pull off.  And if I won this free entry to it--it would certainly be worth going for!  In efforts to pay off debt, I have been debating race entry fees.  There is a local trail run I was considering, but I'd rather put the $35 to debt and do my own free trail run.  So winning would be great! 

Maybe that's my new goal--winning entries..  I've actually won several things via blog giveaways.  Perhaps I need to stalk running blogs for race entry giveaways.  I've seen a few here and there.

Any tips on finding blogs giving away race entries?

The Rock and Roll Marathon is in June.  I just don't know if I can train like I want to by then.  

I think tomorrow is going to be a video day.  It's supposed to be still raining and that way I can sleep in a tiny bit and exercise while hanging with my little girls.

Happy Weekend to me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

why I don't go to the gym

There are times that I lament not having a gym membership.  Sometimes the convenience of hitting the gym is alluring.  That having the gym as an option would mean more exercise, varied activities, classes etc.  But, it's just not in our budget.  And I have trouble justifying the expense since running truly is my exercise of choice and in Southern California there are very few days you can't run.

At the end of last year, I was super excited to win a 3-month membership to 24-Hour Fitness via a Dr. Oz giveaway.  They went super fast and I just got lucky hitting the website and entering my info at the right time.  I went back to get one for Bean and they were gone.

One of the stipulations of the free membership was that it was for one location only.  In December I decided to activate the membership and I chose a location near my work.  It seemed like a great idea.  Exercise during my lunch.  Hit the gym after work.  Lots of options right?

I think I've been three times.  In almost two months.

I'm just not cut out for a gym membership at this point in my life.  No two days are the same.  I have pretty specific times of day I can exercise, and it is different every day, every week.  And when kids get sick.  When schedules change.  All plans are thrown out.

I would love to do weight training, use an elliptical, go to spin class.  But there's plenty of time for that later in life.

I'm so thankful to have a treadmill in my garage.  A free, hand me down, old treadmill--but it works awesome!!  That is what has really saved me.  I'm just not comfortable heading out in the dark of the morning and 5:30-6am is the best start time for my runs.  There isn't a TV to watch.  I do like that I can see the sun rise in the distance as I run.  I watch the sky fade from dark gray to pink to light.  I listen to my music, or an audio book.  I'm just starting to find some podcasts to download.

I have another month left of my free membership.  Someone from the gym called me yesterday to see if I wanted to re-schedule my free analysis with a trainer (I forgot and missed the first one).  But I had to say, I just don't know.  I'll call when I have the time.

We'll see if it happens.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a running pill

Someone needs to invent a pill that makes you feel like you had a nice, hard run.

It would make my life a lot easier.

Some people take medication to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and the like.  Some people eat.  Some people drink alcohol.

Me, I just want to run.  Sugar, especially in the form of cupcakes and good chocolate are a close second.  But once they are consumed, I still want to run.

Sometimes, this is a good thing.  Other times, it's quite a challenge.

Which is why I would like a running pill.

Lily came down sick on Wednesday night.  There wasn't much sleep for 4 or 5 nights.  There was a lot of baby-holding and soothing.  My husband worked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Saturday when Lily woke up with a high fever again, I knew it was time to take her in.  Sure enough, double ear infection.  My poor baby :(  Saturday also was Opening Day for Miss Rose's softball team.  And errands that I couldn't do earlier in the week.  Sunday was work/church and a promised park date and then the Super Bowl.  On Monday, Bean insisted I was going running after work.  But then I got a call that Miss Rose was in the school office (do any schools have nurse's offices anymore?) with ear pain and a slight fever.  So Bean took her to the dr after work (ear infection for her too) and no run for me.

It was 6 days between runs.  There really was no way to get one in.  I have a pretty hard time getting up early after a rough night of sleep.  And by the end of the night, I'm toast.

I need a running pill.

Finally this morning I got to lace up my running shoes.  I spent 35 minutes on the treadmill.  It was glorious.

There's no way a pill could ever do that for me.

I am thankful for feet and a body that support my running addiction.

Hopefully life will cooperate for a while so we don't have another  6 day dry spell.

Friday, February 4, 2011

some good reads

I've subscribed to Self, Shape and Fitness magazines off and on for many years.  On one hand, they've served to inspired me, give me good tips, and keep fitness on my mind.  On the other hand, so much in those magazines seems repetitive.  How many crunch-free ab routines are there?  How many fat-burning food lists can you create?  I could pretty much map out both those articles for you, I've read them so many times.

Even though those magazines do have a lot about fitness and eating right, there still is a message--in my opinion--about looking a certain way, being a certain size, fitting into a particular mold.  There still is great value in these magazines, but I'm a bit burnt out on them.

My latest love is the Runner's World magazine.  Some of my other subscriptions are running out, and due to lack of time and lack of interest, I've decided to let the rest of them lapse.

What I love about Runner's World is it's about being YOUR best.  We all can't run the same pace, the same distance, the same mileage.  Everyone has their area of strength when it comes to running, their favorite distances and style of training.  Certainly competitive and serious runners are in great shape, but they put in the time and effort to be that way and it's so they can be their best.

I know I will never run a mile in 6 minutes.  I don't really have that desire.  I may eek out a mile or two in 7-7:30 at some point, but it's not something I'm very concerned about.  I run for myself I don't need to run that face.  I would be happy to get down to an 8-8:30 pace for a half marathon, but for me, eventually, I think it's doable.

I read an awesome quote from Dean Karnanzes in this month's Runner's World:

"Running has the uncanny ability to mellow the soul, to take the edge off hard feelings, and put things back into healthy perspective."

I don't know if I've ever read something that so perfectly encapsulated why I run.  It does mellow me and I get such release from running and when I get back from running, I'm even-keeled and balanced again--at least for a while.

So I love reading Runner's World.  Last month there was a story about a mom of 3 who lost her husband in the war and how she runs to deal with her grief. This month a story of a major league pitcher who has a daughter with serious disabilities and he runs with her and it's a special connection they share.  I tell ya-it's good stuff.

A friend linked to this tonight and I downloaded it and am looking forward to reading it. (download link at the end of the post)

A few blogs I appreciated this week:

Running to Sanity:  With the change of a few minor details, I'm pretty sure I could have written the same thing this week!

Run with Kate: Great story of life-change the practical way

Have you read anything good or inspirational lately?  There are several running related books I want to read and a couple documentaries I want to watch.  I predict I'll check them all off my list in about 5 years.  That's about how long it takes me to do leisure reading or movie viewing!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

fast & stress

I had a great run on the treadmill this morning.  It's hard to reconcile how much I love and hate getting up early to run.

There is nothing better than getting a run in at the start of the day.  I don't have to worry about trying to fit it in later on (which rarely happens these days).  I don't feel guilt for small indulgences.  I work out my stress and tension.

There is nothing worse than getting up before 6am.  I rarely go to bed "on-time".  I do best on 8ish hours of sleep.  Usually I end up with -6-7ish.  It's totally my own fault.  Evenings are my relaxing time, time with the husband and I let it stretch out.  I love being cozy in bed and I am a slow rouser.

But mornings are still best for me.  I'm just not comfortable with running in the dark, so treadmill in the garage it is.  At least my treadmill faces the rising sun.  I enjoy watching the sky fade from dark to pink to light.  And I actually don't mind running on the treadmill a few times a week.  I enjoy gauging my pace and distance, pushing myself and aiming for certain goals.  Even though my Nike+ is a great help on the streets it doesn't give me as much feedback during a run.

So last night I laid my running clothes out on the couch and set my alarm.  I can label my alarms on my iphone and the one that goes off at 5:45am is "Run Mama Run" which pops up when the alarm goes off.

It helps me get up when a child has recently needed attention in the early morning.  Bean was up around 5 with one of the kids, so I wasn't in a deep sleep when the alarm went off at 5:45am.  It still took me a few minutes to get up, and I laid there trying to figure out another time to run today.  Finally I dragged myself out of bed and was on the treadmill at 6:03am.

I warmed up for about a mile and then pushed it for 3 miles.  I ended up running 4 miles in just over 38 minutes, which was around a 9:30 pace.  I think my pace was closer to 9:00 during those las 3 miles.  It felt good to push it like that.  My legs are feeling it tonight though!  But I don't mind.  It's why I run.

Yet, as I often do, a stressful day, and probably not enough calories early on, led to stress eating.  Which means sugar consumption.  I'm not necessarily gaining weight, but I certainly am not losing the 5 "vanity pounds" that mostly settle in my middle.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I'm determined it will be a good one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

mama needs to run

So I've decided to write a separate running blog.

Mostly because I have frequent thoughts on running and exercise that I want to share, but I realize that not everyone who reads my blog might want to read about it.

Health and fitness is really important to me, and it helps me to have the accountability of writing about it.

I'm not saying this blog is going to be inspirational, or that it's some big deal.

It's just the ramblings of a mother-runner.

And the name?  It's a phrase I often tell my husband.

Mama needs to run.

Yes, sometimes I talk in the third person.  Especially when communicating about my need to run.