Daily Chatter

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A new equation

Going into Casey's Virtual Marathon I was beyond confient that I would have no problem running 10 - 15 miles within 3 days time.  So I told Casey to give me whatever number of legs she needed to complete a Team.
She gave me 2 legs on Team Blues Brothers 2000.  Little did I know that I would be so happy that it was only 2!  
Friday morning we woke up to strong winds and blowing snow; white out conditions.  Although the neighboring schools were closed we had school.  So I got middle off to school and since littlest was up before dawn and conditions would not allow us to go for a run, he and I headed out for an early start to our day.
Friday a.m. run = FAIL
After work I thought no problem, I will get in 1 leg of the marathon on the treadmill since the winds were still a tad too much to stroller jogging.  BUT when I get to the sitter, I am told that littlest has the big D. 
Yep, Diarrhea.  Every parent's plan killer!
Friday p.m. run = FAIL

I tell myself I needed to back off my mileage anyway.  Trying to remain positive.
I also remind myself that single parenting it this weekend, I will have ALL the time in the world to run 10.48 measly little miles.  Right?!?

Littlest and I are up early.  We are greeted by more blowing snow.  Since he is up super early I KNOW that I can run when he takes his nap.  No problem. 
Noon = no nap
1:00 = no nap
2:00 = no nap
3,4,5,6,7,... = no nap
BUT one clingy baby
more Diarrhea.

Saturday a.m./p.m. run = FAIL

I did succeed in handling the middle getting to have a friend over all day.  I did enjoy LOADS of sungle time with the littlest.  Something that will be few and far between before I am ready.
So Saturday with the family (- Dad) = PASS

The stage was set early in the morning leaving NO room for failure:

I knew that this would be the day that I helped bring my team -

The Blues Brothers 2000 - to a victory! 
Thanks to my teammates for running their legs too!

I know I have mentioned that I am a sweater.  (No not angora or argyle.)
This is way you don't see photos when I run on the treadmill.

I went on the finish out my run with another 3 miles.  To regain a little motivation for the upcoming week. 
All it took was a little determination and Running = success!

Single parenting this weekend + bad weather/ cranky little = few runs over the weekend.
But today I added a factor of determination to change the equation!

6 days to the Greenway Trail Marathon/50k!
Pray for warm weather in Maryland to melt the snow and ice.
Although I am screwing my trail shoes tonight...just to be safe!

Friday, February 26, 2010

What is Your Best Advice?

The winds were howling outside all night long creating some lovely wind chills. 
 We have white-out conditions and yet school was not delayed or cancelled. 
It felt like a morning for a donut!

Littlest decided to forget that sleeping is to occur at night so he and I got to listen to the wind for most of the night.  That will make for a difficult day at work.  I wonder if that extra sugar will help or hurt me?!?
With all the challenges last night and this morning there was no morning run for me.  I am left with the memory of getting out yesterday morning. 

Today is the first of 3 days; Febraury 26, 27 and 28th for Casey's Virtual Relay Marathon.
So I need to run 10.48 miles (2 legs). 
We are Team Blues Brothers 2000.
Tall Mom on the Run
and Me
I have stopped following my training schedule almost completely. 
I am still running more miles than my plan is calling for. 
So if I can get the weather, kiddos, time and the stars to align I won't have any problem completing the race.
Here is my question.  Knowing that I can run much FASTER on the treadmill, do I run the race miles on the treadmill to try and WIN or do I run them outside like a REAL marathon would be? 
Do I do one leg on the treadmill and one leg outside? 
What do you think I should do?

increase the chances that you will reach your goals by writing them down.

Erica at Run Mommy Run is celebrating by having a Bondi Band Giveaway! 
I just order a bunch of them but with all my hair you know I need more. 
Check it out.

Erica at I Run Because I Can is hosting a Gu, Brew and Chomps Giveaway.
Check it out.  Who doesn't need a little fuel along the way!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I am the most blessed girl in Bloggy land! 
I won an amazing Giveaway that Mel at Tall Mom on the Run was hosting! 
What great timing!  I needed some happiness and motivation heading into the count down to Race Day!
Thanks Mel!

2.  Thanks to all my followers and constant commenters! 
I don't tell you all enough how motivating and inspiring you all are to me. 
Thanks for all your words.  Whether those words be supportive, educational, inspiring or thought provoking; thank you for them all.   

3.  I recently had a post where I shared some lovely Before and After photos.
Well, actually it would be more accurate to say During and After photos.

If you missed it Click Here.

Let's see your best During and After photos!

(If you are brave enough!?!)

Foggy Morning Runs

I now have 9 days until I enter the wonderful world of ultras. 
9 days. 
That is a single digit incase anyone missed it.

Very little I do at this point will help me perform any better during the race. 

So for the past 3 days I have been trying to focus on enjoying my runs. 
 Being that I frequent the same routes quite often I try to enjoy the changes along those routes. 
I use my run to simply spend some time in my mind and be quiet.

Last evening when I was reading up on a few blogs I noticed that I lost a few followers.  I thought about this while I was running this morning.  I wondered if I had written something that offended the now ex-followers.  It's not rewarding to think that I have lost the ability to inspire someone. 

My biggest concern over the ex-followers would be the thought that they lost interest in running, in seeking a healthier lifestyle.  And if my words failed to help them if they were struggling in their efforts. 

Perhaps their journey simply lead them down a different road.

While mine has me on familiar paths. 
I thought of them; the ex-followers, this morning and wish them well in whatever road they are now on.

As for me, I will continue to share my little journey; up hills and down, through mud and snow, in the dark of night and at the crack of dawn, behind a jogging stroller or dripping wet on the treadmill; my journey. 
Maybe a lot like yours. 
Seeking something amazing everytime I lace my shoes.

Thanks for sharing in the journey!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Change Artist

I am always amazed at those of you who get those runs in during your lunch breaks. 
There isn't anyway I could go from this....

to this in less than 30 minutes.
...(ok not much improvement but I smell better!)

I have been enjoying a wake up run everyday this week.  I LOVE starting my day with a quick run.  Even after getting up in the middle of the night with the littlest and feeling tired when I hear my alarm go off, that morning run can turn it all around. 

Tonight I will be hitting the treadmill for some serious miles. (littlest willing)  There is an outside chance that we may be able to hit the ROAD instead but I am keeping it flexible so I am not disappointed.  I can mentally mess myself up if I concretely make plans in my mind and then they get changed. 
 I might end up just NOT running at all. 

How do you deal mentally with having to change your running plans?  Do you allow changes to keep you from running?

Amanda at Run to the Finish is having a great Giveaway!  Don't miss it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday Miss

This is what I was doing when I missed my Monday p.m. run.
My littlest finally got his first haircut. 
I know the family was tired of having strangers refer to him as a her.
I rather enjoyed having two "daughters" for a little while.

My other niece (sister to the famous biking sherpa) recently passed her boards and is now continuing her education so that she can teach.  She did a great job working with littlest. 
He did a great job of entertaining himself with various things. 
He most enjoyed spraying himself in the face with water.

He finally looks like a little boy. A WET one but a little boy.
Just like mommy looked this morning running in the fog!
More on that later.

I'll leave you with the sweetest little soggy face on the planet...
....I could be bias.

Don't miss this one

Monday, February 22, 2010

A quickie in the morning

I just had to show you all that I do wear something other than my light pink dry fit. 
This morning for my quickie I wore my HOT pink dry fit. 

Oh please, quickie.  What were you thinking?

I mean I ran a quickie 3.5 miles to warm up and stretch out the tired legs.

12 more days to the Greenway Trail Marathon & 50k

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Sunny Sunday "Stroll"

The amazing biking sherpia and I were feeling confident as the sun shone brightly and we goofed off before heading out for my second of two long runs this weekend.  After putting in 15 treadmill miles on Saturday, I wanted to see how my legs would hold up for another 17 being tired.  In that way I could accomplish my 50k+ distance in two days.  I was hoping that completing the distance would give me some confidence about the race since I have had little ability to get out on the trails due to the weather.

We have all kinds of energy to goof around BEFORE the run!

And introducing my Nathan's fuel belt. 
I HAVE to take a water bottle to the race or they will not allow me to participate. 
Safety issues incase you get lost. 
(fills me with a warm and fuzzy feeling about how easy the trail is to read)

Biking Sherpia thinks snow is GREAT fuel! 
And she discovered she loves Blueberry Pomegranate Chomps!

We had a new pack leader for several miles.  This friendly brown dog decided to show us the way.

We also saw (and I kindly relocated) this poor little bird.  I think she bounced off a car.  I don't know if she'll make it but I put her on some hay instead of the cold snow.
We ran our 17 mile loop in reverse to see if that lessened some of the major hills.  We have them everywhere!  They are hard to avoid.  We both agreed that it was a wise choose.  Although there were several steep hills we avoided the majority of the long uphill grades and benefited from getting to take them all on the downhill side. 

When you run would you rather do short steep hills or long gradual grades?

We did it!  17 miles (2:14:32/7:55). 
So glad to be done our legs were tired!  But I feel confident that I can handle the effort that the trail run will take.
13 days and counting...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Letters Home

I got two letters from Army Son today.  It was so great!  He sounds so positive and upbeat.  It just made my day.  In my last letter to him, I included photographs of his favorite tv shows that he is missing. 

One of which is Survivor. 
He wrote in one of the letters, "I am Survivor ready.  Well, at least by the time I get done I will be!"  I knew that I had to kick it into high gear if I am going to be able to handle HIS workout.  He has already sent me a list of things he has to do for exercise. 

Soon I may lose my title as the Fittest Family Member! 
I might be more proud of him for taking over my reign than I would be upset for having lost it! 

But the challenge he threw down did cause me to run a crazy 15 miles on the treadmill.  I have a scheduled outside long run on Sunday but I still pounded out 15 on the treadmill today.  Which took me to 60 miles for the week.  Can we say too competitive?  I think I might be regretting that when I am 10 miles from the house tomorrow and wanting a short cut home that does not exist!

Friday, February 19, 2010

An Experience

After logging another 13 miles on the treadmill last night, I was so happy to get outside this morning for 3.5 miles even if I had to do lots of feet watching to avoid the ice.  That huge dark cloud moved in quickly and stole the sunshine away.  But that did not take away for a great running experience. 

I recently had a conversation with Denise about a guest post I did.  That conversation ended up being more about experiences.  That is what life and running is for me.  Experinces.  I choose not to view them as good or bad.  Simply things to learn from or not. 

So last nights 13 miles on the treadmill using my computer to watch an instant Netflix because ALL 3 of my "spare" tvs died and my morning run finally outside with ice and snow were not bad or good experiences.  They just reminded me of a few things:

  • I need to be flexible

  • I need to be prepared

  • I need to appreciate all I have when I have it

  • I am lucky to live in a place where I can count on my neighbors to watch out for me

  • I have many ways to be able to run, I should be thankful
Not everyone would agree with running 13 miles on a school night, it takes time from my kiddos.  Not everyone would agree with running on roads that are ice and snow covered due to the risk.  But the things I choose to do I hope will encourge someone else to try something in a different way.  To have a new experience.
And with the I will leave you with the end of my on-going conversation...

"...But here in bloggy land I hope to encourage and inspire people who are seeking many different things; one of which is an obsession with running. I hope to learn from these same people. So I keep my mind open to things that I might not have thought of before. I don't always agree with what others do. However, I believe we are so blessed by having the ability to choose whatever we want at any given time that I try to honestly think about things people do that are unlike "my way." I would like to think with that outlook I will not miss out on something that may have been a great experience for me.

And isn't that really what this all is, an experience. Neither good nor bad, simply a time of undetermined length in which to experience as much as we can and impact as many as we can."

I am going to experience everything I can today.
How about you?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I should be a Nike sponsor...

...if only for the Saucony shoes on my feet!

I had a great 3.5 (27:52) wake up run this moring.  The road in my area were a bit snow/ice covered so I participated in some foot watching while I was running but it didn't slow me too much.  Tonight I am looking at 15+ on the treadmill or 6.5 with the jogging stroller. 

With so much snow on the sides of the roads I have been very hesitant to take littlest out.  If there are cars on the road there is literally NO WHERE to go to get off the road.  I could go to some even more "back" roads where there is even less traffic but they are in even worse condition.  Ugh. 

I am happy that I have the option since I really need some mileage to feel prepared for my 50k Trail Race on March 6th.  That is right around the corner!  Ekk.  I e-mailed the race director with concerns about the conditions of the trails.  This is the exchange we had.

..."Hey Shelley (I think I remember you) (is that a good thing or a bad thing that he remembers me?)

Starting with the second issue. There is a chance the race could be cancelled the park services have the final say. I think it is too early to predict that yet. Then there is the issue of trail conditions, a friend and I went out yesterday and all we could do is ‘post hole’ we got about a mile and a half in about an hour and half.

I tend to think we will be seeing snow, ice, mud and some run-able sections but who knows. It is probably best to check with the website or me the few days before the race..."..."now all you might need are snow shoes (two of my sons live in West Virginia they were supposed to get another ten inches last night.."

I said,  "...heehee. I wonder what kind of pace I could make in snowshoes. ;-)"

to which he responded.  "Based on our pace yesterday all we need is a 120 hour time limit..."

Even though I know he was joking, it does not fill me with confidence about the trail conditions.
With so little time I doubt I will get any decent trail runs in before the race day.  I know I would be doing this for fun as a lot of trails runners have the attitude of "enjoy the journey."  I like that idea.  BUT I don't like the idea of 10 hours on an unfamiliar trail in 20+" of snow and ice WITH a stream crossing. 

Time will tell. 
I will keep getting my miles and see what Mother Nature has in store. 

Anyone with experience running a trail race on really bad trails?  Creek crossings?
Any advice or suggestions? 
Any and all are welcome.

Don't Miss this one!
is having an amazing giveaway bonanza!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday

I had to show off the spoils.
Thanks Casey!   
My daughter wants to steal my wrist warmer and bracelet!

We actually had a bit of sunshine yesterday.  But we also had snow showers. 
I know there will be an end to all this winterness so today I choose to be happy and think that it is all beautiful.  Because it is much pretty when it's not on my face.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yes there IS ice on my face

I have no shame. 

I ran this morning OUTSIDE!  It was beyond cold but I HAD to get outside. 


I only went my 3.5 miles (27:01) but I had ICE all over my face.  I unfortunately wipe the ice off of my forehead before realizing just how lovely I looked.  I totally rock the icicle category in a beauty pageant.  But you get the idea.  I was a frozen running deliriously happy icicle.

Have you ever gotten back from a run and discovered you were a beauty queen?

When I will get outside again is anyone's guess but at least for today I feel content and happy something that treadmill running just doesn't do for me. 

Do you get the same 'high' from running on your treadmill that you get from running outside?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blue, Red and Orange

You might be happy that this picture is a little dark since I look just so lovely after 10 treadmill sweaty miles.  But I really wanted to show you just how lovely I look when I run inside where no one can see me.  The sad things is that you don't see the bright orange shorts I have on.  You are missing out.  I wonder if I can squeeze a few more colors in there some where?

I had a great week of almost exclusively running on the treadmill.  No.  The treadmill was not the great part.  The running was.  With all our snow days I was able (read bored) and logged some long treadmill runs.  Not as enjoyable as being outside but when the drifts are higher than my head and the wind is howling, getting to run at all is amazing. 

With another snow storm in the forecast for Monday I will be pounding the treadmill for a little while longer.  Rocking my amazingly non-color coordinated running gear. 

When you run at home do you care about your outfit or do you dress to sweat?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The LYS Winner is and a Name for my Muskrat

(send me an email for details about how to claim your winnings!)

10 things running has done for me:

1. Brought down my cholestrol

2. Made my metabolic syndrome vanish

3. Been a very cost effective therapist

4. Been an avenue for meeting countless awesome friends!

5. Is my 'me' time

6. Caused me to become intimate with my weather station

7. Made me a great role model to my kids

8. Destresses me

9. Keeps my tummy flat(ter)

10. makes me accountable to myself

Thanks to everyone who entered this great giveaway sponsored by Jill at Lift Your Sole

You may remember there was a little bonus entry for suggesting a name for my muskrat friend I see on my morning run.  After reading the names to my middle one without allowing her to know who suggested each name the winner is...
There is what Mel had to say
"... Hmm Morton the Muskrat.. I am going to have to be creative here.... "
There will be a little something sweet headed your way.

Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun.  Come back often and watch for those hidden giveaways that I love to sneak in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maybe I Should Do Movie Reviews

I really don't know how it happened.  I knew that I was not following my training schedule this week when I only got 15 miles on Sunday instead of my scheduled 20 but I don't know how that short fall ended up in me being at 74.5 miles on Thursday night. 

I have watched The Perfect Getaway, The Proposal and Surrogates already.  I should write reviews.

Since movie reveiws are not my thing, I will just leave you with a few reminders of some of the great giveaways happening in Bloggy Land.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

My littlest is a climber. 
He seems to have a problem simply being at ground level.  Now this used to mean I had great biceps from holding him all the time however he has discovered that he is part spider monkey and can climb up ANYTHING. 

(DISCLAIMER:  Since I do not want to go to jail for neglecting my child pictures of him on top of the kitchen table or climbing up the open drawers to stand on the counter top will not be shown...not that those things were allowed to happen of course!)

I hope that his desire to reach new heights is a sign of things to come in his life.  As his adoring mommy I want him to reach for things just beyond his limits and achieve them!  With that in mind, I temper my response to his climbing efforts.  I try not to get frustrated when he carries his little chairs around to assist himself in getting to the top of something new.  I remember that there will be many times that I want him to figure it out on his own and be resourceful.

Begining resourceful is what I feel like I have been demonstrating the past few days.  Finding a new way to get things done.  So tonight with the snow flying again, school cancelled for tomorrow, my kiddos got another Veggie Tale-athon on the projector while mommy ran 10 miles on the treadmill. 
This week I am reaching for mileage just beyond my limits.

Do you or will you allow your children to do things that "break the rules" because you believe it is helping them learn to be ....confident, creative...? 

Don't miss the AmAzInG gIvEaWay

Monday, February 8, 2010

Timewarp Treadmill

We had a busy weekend here in PA.  Loads of cross training shoveling. 
To be honest, I enjoyed all the playing in the snow.  I love being outside.  I love working hard.  I love pushing myself even when my body is screaming for me to stop.  Love it!

So today should not have suprised me. 

I got up early even though we had a 2 hour delay for schools.  Instead of sleeping that extra little bit I got up and ran 6.5 miles.  It was great!  I had to watch since the majority of the roads are still snow/ice covered.  But after not getting to run until Sunday evening when the rest of the free world was watching the Super Bowl and even then it was on the treadmill for 15 miles playing catch up on the 30 I had scheduled to run, I was eager to be outside running.  I wish I had taken my camera to get a better photo of the great frosty morning instead I have to settle for a picture taken with the camera on my cell phone.
It does not do the scene justice however, I like seeing the muskrat colony area as it changes over time. 
Yeah, muskrat. 
In case you missed it HERE I am looking for a great name for a new muskrat acquaintance that I am cultivating a friendship with.  Give the best name suggestion (as judged by my middle one) and you could get something sweet.  Also don't forget the Lift Your Sole Giveaway ends at midnight on 02.12.2010. 
(Boy there must be something about Ones, Twos and Zeros.)

To finish my Monday recap, I got in a great morning run.  It really refreshed me.  My legs felt happy and slightly aware that I had ran the fast 15 the night prior.  Since I am a big fan of double days and I have to get my miles in when life allows, I was planning on another 3.5 to finish my running day.  HOWEVER, the road are still bad and the temps are really low to have the littlest one out so I finally decided to attempt a treadmill run with just the middle one and littlest.  No other grown up assistance!
I got them all set up with the 'big' projector, a couple Veggie Tale movies and snacks.  I started my treadmill movie, The Perfect Getaway.


They did so well I ran 13 more miles. 
It was like I was on a timewarp treadmill!
I feel bad that our evening together was so short but I have to admit that the lack of long runs with a 50k looming has been stressing me.  My middle one was so proud of her self for being such a big helper.  (Of course delaying her homwork didn't seem to bother her either!)

My training week runs Sunday through Saturday.  With 34.5 miles in for my week already I am feeling much more confident about things even with more snow forecast and loads of family responsibilites to deal with this week.  Just like getting your run completed early in the morning, getting your runs in early in the week just takes the pressure off incase life happens and running doesn't.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't be sad

We finally got shovel out today.  You should see my huge biceps!
(Don't worry littlest was not outside without his winter gear for long)

The kids loved all the snow.  It was a beautiful winter weekend.  But soon it's back to the training schedule hopefully the weather will improve in time for my early March race.  I would be sad if they had to postpone it!

But don't be sad. 

There is still time to enter the great giveaway hosted by
Giveaway ends 02.12.2010

And don't miss this great giveaway too!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Can You Run In This Much Snow?

When you get this much snow and still consider running outside, you might have a problem.

But there isn't too much snow for entering the Lift Your Sole Giveaway. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Battered Brown Box

As I was attempting to work through some saddness this morning while I was squeezing in my 3.5 miles this morning.  "Squeezing in" because of the major snow storm we will be getting by noon today.  "Saddness" because my Army son has yet to get ANY of the letters that I have mailed to him.  My runs are frequently a time when I try to quiet myself enough to listen for some kind of understanding when the stress in my life seems to be more than my shoulders can bare. 

As I was focusing on my foot strike (I am actually getting very good at being a fore-foot striker!) my thoughts shifted to how much Army son had supported and encouraged me over the years with my running.  I thought about all the days he would greet me while I was still getting out of the car from work.  He would help unload the car (kids, groceries, whatever) and then encourage me to hit the road.  My mind wandered down those happier memories and found it's way to the HBBC.  You all remember that, right?  Well I had all but forgotten.  Sorry Amanda.  That just shows you that I wasn't really in it to win it as much as I was in it to keep motivated over the holidays BUT I did win it and that meant I should have gotten a package from the lovely host Amanda!  She even emailed me that it was in the mail....long ago.  How could I have forgotten?

I finished my run (26:02) and was stretching on the porch I wondered if the carrier could have put the package in one of the two totes fill with Army gear that have been living on my porch since hubbs got back from AFG. 
Sure enough there it was!!
A slightly battered brown box of happiness.

I believe that God puts things on our path EXACTLLY when we need them.  He had allowed me to forget about the HBBC and the excitement of winning until the day I needed a little bit a happiness the most.  (okay maybe not the most but I needed happiness today)  Maybe I would rather that He simply allow Army son to get my letters but I know that there is a greater reason that they have not yet been recieved.  Perhaps that reason has more to do with Army son than me.  What I know for sure is at some point I will understand the why and it will be more amazing than anything I could ever have figured out!

Back to the battered brown box of brightness.
Do you see all these goodies!  Thanks so much Amanda!  I am so excited to try it all out.  Everything from a new book to an electronic jump rope!  Loads of yummy stuff, new socks, a visor, two bags and more.  I am sure I will be posting about all the great things as I get to enjoy each one.  My daughter (the middle one) already has her eye on the sweet PINK digital key chain (like she needs a place for her keys?!?).

If I ever get that trail 20 done these will both come in handy!
One during the run and one after. 

Thanks so much Amanda!

Thank Jill!