Thursday, February 21, 2013

running + nursing school + mamalife

There is nothing in life right now that makes running easy or a no-brainer.

Monday through Wednesday I leave the house between 6:20 and 6:40am. Also two of those days, my hubs leaves at 5:15am. I learned to love morning running. Getting it done before the kids were up and the day started. Not having to find time to squeeze in running or exercise later in the day and take a second shower. I got really spoiled much of last year because I did a lot of early morning running in my neighborhood because Bean didn't leave for work until about 6:45am. But his schedule has changed, and it's a benefit to us overall.

I know there are a lot of people who get up at 4:30am or 5:00am to run and I could do that. But I haven't. A lot of nights I'm studying or prepping the family for the next day of me being gone, and I don't get to bed early enough wake up that early. I have chosen to prioritize sleep in my life--a minimum of 7 hours when possible, realizing how important it is in overall health.

By the time Thursday and Friday roll around, I want to sleep in (until 6:30am when I have to get up for getting the kids to school) and cuddle on the couch all morning with my 4yr old. And weekends are full of family stuff and I don't like taking time away from my husband and children to run. When I have exams coming up (like the THREE I have next week) I typically need a few hours away from the home to focus solely on studying.

I guess I'm thankful I've been nursing an injury and have already been running less the last few months.

The hard part (well, one of them) is that I want and need running more than ever. But for the next 18 months, it's not a top priority. However, that doesn't mean I can slack off completely. Or that I want to. Because when I do fit in running, I'm so happy I did and it makes everything better.

Tuesdays I get home around 3pm and I try to do a DVD (or maybe run on the treadmill in the garage while the kids play outside around me) before I make dinner.

This morning I disciplined myself to put on running clothes before I took the kids to school (you know, instead of staying in my jammies and slippers). When we got home, I set the kidlet up with the iPad (she watches mostly PBS stuff on it, so it's educational, right?) and headed to the garage. Pumped out 3.5 miles, done before 9am.

I'm trying to figure out when I'll fit in a run on Saturday or Sunday this week. I'm registered for a 15k at the end of March, so trying to not die while running that!

This is a new season for me in running. It's been able to be a huge focus the last few years. But now my focus is getting through nursing school while being a good mom and wife.

I am also looking forward to the fact that when I'm done with nursing school coincides with when Lilybug starts kindergarten. So once I have a job as a nurse, the days I don't work--or I start later in the day, I can run after dropping THREE kids off at one school.

It will be glorious!

Oh--and I'm still having trouble with my piriformis but I got a suggestion on the Another Mother Runner Facebook page to try the pigeon pose and it's helping SO MUCH!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let's GO get Dirty Girl!

I should be studying right now. But I want to get this post up! Nursing school is a butt-kicker. It's not particularly "hard" yet, but just SO MUCH INFO TO MEMORIZE.

But, a few weeks ago I had a blast getting dirty in San Diego and getting my mind off school for a few hours. I had the opportunity to run the Dirty Girl San Diego Mud Run. Please note, I didn't say it was a race---it was a run, and it was really fun.

The nitty gritty...

As I was getting ready the night before, I realized there is a reason why the Mud Run I have done in the past was in June. GREAT temperature. Not blazing, but not freezing either.

Um, February in San Diego can be freezing (to us thin-blooded folks) and it was.

I knew the general area of the run (a local golf course) but I was surprised to be driving on a dirt road and parking in the grass with some cows across the street. You just never know what parts of your city you will find when you do a new run.
Hello, bovine.

Melissa arrived just after I did, and since we were on the news together a few days prior, we hooked up quickly. In fact, there was a chance were going to be on the news again that morning at the race site, but it got cancelled at the last minute (i.e. I heard a tweet come to my phone at 3am with the change) which we were all okay with because that meant more sleep and less time in the cold.

Carrie came down from L.A. to run with us and it was great meeting her too! Melissa printed up Run for Sherry Bibs for us, but since they were just on paper they didn't make it past the first few obstacles. Melissa had Team Sparkle Skirts for us. Definitely on my list of running attire I want for myself!

The check-in area was well organized and adequately staffed. Something happened with my registration and they didn't have it, but they quickly added me to the list and got me a bib number without much issue at all.

One bummer was that the port-a-potties were a few minute way to the other side of the course. Since this run had waves running all day, I think that was their way of not having one area be too crowded. But I wished they had at least a few at the check-in area.

We got our bibs on and checked our bags.

The biggest bummer was the start of the run (we were in the first wave scheduled at 8am) was delayed over 30 minutes. And it was COLD. We were dancing around just to stay warm. Since we were going to be getting wet and  dirty, we didn't want to layer up too much, like I might have done for a regular run on a cold morning.  We had a lot of rain the night before and the organizers said that delayed them being set up on time.

Finally the run was under way! It was kind of nice running on the grass and dirt trails.

The obstacles were creative and fun.

(I'm at the top, climbing over)

 And cold and muddy! I managed to stay upright in the mud pits so I didn't get terribly dirty on top. But my shoes and legs were caked in mud most of the time.
(This was my favorite obstacle...although I couldn't find a picture of myself on it.)

 It finally started to warm up a tad about half-way through so my hands were no longer icicles. Every obstacle had a sign that said "shhh, we won't tell if you go around." I thought that was pretty nice!

 This was the craziest obstacle (in my opinion). In fact, my forearms and triceps were sore the next day and I'm pretty sure climbing across this rope net was to blame.

(again, not me, but gives you an idea)

I appreciated the wave starts because the running paths weren't very wide at some points, but it was never congested.

We took the run easy, took a few walk breaks when we felt like it and enjoyed the course.

The finish was a little anticlimactic due to new waves starting at the same time, but there were some people there cheering us on which I appreciated. There was water available, but whatever snacks they were offering were across the way again, and due the late start and family schedule-- I didn't have time to go check it out.

My hands got a little torn up from crawling through a mud pit with a netting over the top to keep you low. And I found this odd bruise across my thigh a few days later, and it took me another few days to realize it was probably from the Mud Run! But what's a fun obstacle run without a few souvenirs?

Overall, this was a great fun run! It is PERFECT for a group of girlfriends wanting to do something fun and active together. It's awesome for a new runner who doesn't want the pressure of a "race" but wants to do something organized and get some race swag too. I would totally recommend it to friends and any of the cities where it's coming up. There were tons of teams with great tshirts and costumes, wigs, tutus, rufflebutts and more.

Go get dirty girl!!!  They have a great Facebook page as well, with thousands of great pictures from their events.

(Read Melissa and Carrie's recaps too.)

Monday, February 4, 2013

getting ready to get dirty (on TV!)

My Dirty Girl Run is coming up on Saturday. Mud Runs have a special place in my heart because they were some of the very first runs I signed up and actually trained for.

Like I said before, one of the fun parts of a Mud Run is that it's difficult to "race" them due to the obstacles and crowds. But that takes the pressure off and you just enjoy the experience.

Last week, I was contacted by the Dirty Girl staff and asked if I wanted to be part of a news feature for the run. Dirty Girl raises money for breast cancer, which is such a worthy cause. The caveat was-it was for the local CBS morning show. Which is EARLY. But I figured, why not?! You don't get a chance to be on the news every day. And that's what coffee is for, right?

So I got up at o'dark-thirty this morning and threw on my workout clothes.

Since I would be driving from the news feature to my long lecture day of nursing school, I had to be completely ready to be away from home for a total of 14 hours.

The other bonus was I got to meet Melissa (blue Sparkle Skirt) and Shannyn (pink Sparkle Skirt) for the first time and Melissa brought her friend Sandi, who is a trainer and put us through some paces. (and if I'm ever looking for a trainer or boot camp, I know who to look up because Sandi was all about getting the maximum out of the seconds and minutes we were on air).

Melissa brought a Team Sparkle Skirt for me to wear (and perfect that it matched my long sleeve running shirt I love) and we were able to bring awareness to the Run for Sherry. (I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome the skirt is. If only I had unlimited funds for race-wear.)

We did a brief "teaser" and then a bit later the actual segment aired--all live. We elected Melissa to be our spokesperson, while Shannyn and I "trained" in the background. We did this at both the 5am and 6am hour. We were done about 6:20 and PRAISE GOD I spotted a Starbucks in a Vons on the way to the freeway and I got my caffeine before heading to school

Check it out!
San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

You can still register and save 20% with the code: SDBLOGGUEST

So, what do you think of my form? Seeing this video made me want to video myself doing some of my workouts so I can critique my form. I think my butt was too high during the mountain climbers.

I'm super duper tired today, and sitting for so many hours doesn't help, but it was a fun morning and I'm glad I did it.

Can't wait for all the fun on Saturday!

(Read Melissa's recap here)