Tag Archives: Half marathon

Celebration Thursday

Running is a funeral for your fat. Let sweat and tears flow freely!

Today is Thursday and there has been a lot of celebrating going on. Thursday is an oft underrated day of the week.

First, last night was a milestone. I had ice cream for the first time since Mother’s Day. My  3 whole days of strength and will power are to be commemorated.

Secondly, we tried a brand new pizza place specializing in “healthy” pizza and it was amazing. It is called Pizza BOGO and their whole business model is around hormone free, antibiotic free, and organic ingredients. They have a flax seed miracle crust and were running a special for as many large unlimited topping pizzas you want just $5. I was in vegetarian, clean eating heaven. Anytime you tell me pizza is healthy, I’m going to make you proud with the vast amounts I consume. I will definitely be revisiting Pizza BOGO frequently.

The third and final celebration related directly to me is that I ran 6 hot miles thinking I was going slow, but realized I was going quite fast and had an epic run, seemingly without effort. Day 549 of the runstreak was completed well. I also had an epiphany regarding self-image during this run. I realized I don’t care what people who look at me and watch me run think. I used to only run in the metro park because you rarely encountered cars or people. I thought others were judging my pace, sweat, or stride. Today I’ll gladly galavant anywhere soaked in sweat and salt crystals. I earned my stride. I’ve fought for my pace. I’ve also realized that most people just stare because they are truly amazed you would run so much with no one chasing you. I smell admiration off them. (On a side note I passed a PTA mom on my run with her hair perfectly coiffed, fully made up, and a cute yoga outfit on doing a little perfume scented jog in the neighborhood. I did not let that deter my salt infused, hair soaking wet, BO scented self-esteem from running proud.)

20130516-175604.jpg Gentry celebrated yet another trip to the grocery store with mom. He gets free cookies when we go to Giant Eagle and gets to drive the car. We were also celebrating my very healthy choice to take advantage of the 4 (12 packs) for $11 coke zero sale. In all honesty, my soda consumption is significantly lower than it was a year ago. I’m baby stepping away from drinking it all together. I’m not even drinking a can a day, however I do dream of it often so that is why I write about it so much.

20130516-175611.jpgToday we are celebrating Reese’s amazing participation in our LifeGroup Bible Study last night. Of his own volition, he took out a notebook and pencil and wrote down scriptures, memory verses, and took notes on the lesson. He also participated like a champ. That boy is hiding God’s word in His heart.

20130516-175623.jpgWe are celebrating Reese running faster than any other kid at the Forest Elementary School Family Fitness night.

20130516-175631.jpgWe are celebrating how much fun we had at Gentry’s end of the year picnic at his pre-school with all of his friends and the fact that I ate no desserts at the potluck and stuck with fresh fruit and salad. I really am better behaved than I let on, but it’s not as much fun to share all of my good choices. Bad choices are more intriguing.

20130516-175648.jpgAnd the biggest celebration of the week is that Gentry graduated from Pre-K like a champ. He is now a certificate holding finisher of John Knox Presbyterian pre-K and armed with all the knowledge he needs to take Kindergarten by storm.

20130516-175700.jpgCelebrating family: Mimi with her boys at Gentry’s graduation

20130516-175716.jpgCelebrating Gentry’s stellar performance skills. This kid has no fear of public speaking, singing, dancing, and poem reciting. Be on the look out for him on the front page of your favorite news website someday. This beats his former no fear of removing his pants in public. Thankfully he grew out of that stage so you aren’t reading about him for less than savory reasons.

What is worth celebrating in your life this week?– I am celebrating that tree pollen seems to be climaxing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (As I look through watery, red, itchy eyes glazed over by springs finest torture makers)

What is one of your favorite new “healthy” food discoveries? Seriously check out Pizza BOGO

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How to Avoid Terrifying Toilets

If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse. 

(Mantra’s like this have gotten me through many tough days. Since life has no do-overs, don’t waste it with excuses!)

Many said it couldn’t be done. Today (May 7) in 1954 Rodger Banister proved them wrong by running a mile in sub-4 minutes. Impossible things happen.

I mentioned that I wanted to do a brief recap of the Capital City Half Marathon Race Expo and Race day.  The Capital City Marathon really is a great race to participate in. Everyone is nice, the crowd support is enthusiastic, the course takes you through all the main highlights of Columbus, and you get to chill with around 14,000 of your closest friends. Thankfully all three years that I have run the Cap Half have been accompanied by decent weather. This year was special though to me because, not only did I PR, but it was the first race that I have run side by side my main squeeze. He generally is a faster runner than me, so we hit all the expos together and hang out around the port a john’s, but then we split ways about 1 mile into the run. This time, he paced me through like a champ, bringing back memories of his stellar delivery room coaching skills when we had our 2 sons. Having a good looking man by my side to distract me and yell at me when needed, was just what the doctor ordered.

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The hero the day before the race. Somehow, he still manages to look this good even after a long run though. Guys are so lucky. Not a hair moves out of place.
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At about 6:15 AM on Race Day Morning, I knew the running weather Gods were smiling at us.

20130506-130256.jpg20130506-130350.jpgJonathan finding out the root of all of his problems from this nice sports medicine professional. Too bad they didn’t have a mental health professional. We would’ve been there a while! 🙂20130506-130405.jpg20130506-142200.jpgAs a side note, isn’t it funny how when I don’t have my kids with me, Jonathan becomes my object of obsession again? I guess I need someone to dote on and take copious pictures of. Love my men.

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Getting it all ready the night before. I love my spibelt by the way. No more safety pins ripping my nice technical shirts. My race day bib just hangs on to the belt and I can stash all of my essentials in it too. If I have any say in it, I will be bringing back the fanny pack. All runners know how amazing a good hip purse is.

Here are glimpses into the race day Expo. If you have never done a medium to large city race, you need to. It will most definitely provide you with the motivation that you need to keep exercising. It is so inspiring to see all of the people from all sizes, shapes, skin colors, countries, and back grounds come together to achieve a moment of personal greatness. Not everyone will win a major sports championship, but almost everyone can cross the finish line of a large race feeling like they are surrounded by adoring fans. Small town 5K’s and gimmick runs do not provide this same feeling of Olympic stardom, but they can be a good place to start. I really hope that I can inspire you to run. I have found nothing that helps balance my mind, body, and spirit for maximization like running does. (Riding my bike is a pretty close second, but running is still my go to.)

Race expos are a great place to find and purchase running gear. I got my Mother’s Day gift early, a new pair of Brook’s Adrenaline GTS-13. Jonathan finagled us an even better deal than the rock bottom price they were already offering since we were buying two pairs. The His and Her shoes are our big holiday gift to each other. Yes, we are weird and frugal.

The main expense involved in running is keeping your feet blanketed in appropriate wear. I have flat feet, bunions, and a whole host of other foot related issues, so if I didn’t spring for shoes I would be bed ridden or crippled. I try to buy my shoes at the cheapest possible prices. I have purchased them from race expos, zappos, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Nordstrom Rack depending on who has the lowest prices at the moment of my need. This requires some sleuth skills, but even with nice tennis shoes every 4-5 months (depending on the mileage I’m running), running is infinitely cheaper than risking my health. (Remember my dad was in his 30’s when his kidneys failed and he had complications of diabetes and heart disease leading to his death at 51). I must stay in shape and keep my weight down. I always tell myself this isn’t about my appearance, it is literally life or death. I guess I’m blessed in a morbid way to already have a view of the grave and my mortality at only 33 years old. After all the Bible says “Teach us to number our days and make our days count.”

20130506-142142.jpgPeeking at the finish line and getting excited for the after party. Seriously, who ordered the weather we had over the weekend? Good job!

Pre-Race Fuel:  Bagel with Grape Jelly and some Mixed Fruit and a Small amount of coffee and water

You want to be hydrated and caffeinated, but you want to avoid stopping at the potty during the race if you want to PR, and you discover that the pre-race bathroom lines are INSANE, so you only want to wait in line and go as few times as possible. I was totally shocked at my first official race by the bathroom scene. It is also common and accepted practice at these events to discuss your personal number 1’s and 2’s with total strangers. It is like being at a “Mommy and Me” meeting where women discuss ultra personal health, hygeine, and birthing stories with each other. Don’t be grossed out though. You can learn a lot about how to be a better runner by learning to fuel, hydrate, and go to the bathroom well.

During race fuel: A Mandarin Orange Flavored GU and Gatorade or Water at fuel stations as needed (Seriously you haven’t lived until you have gotten a drink at a fuel station. Watch up for cups flying into your face, friendly volunteers, and people getting tangled with each other.)

Post Race Recovery: Water, Free Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (heaven handed out at the finish line), Coke Zero, and Coffee

I can guarantee you that the Capital City Half marathon toilets weren’t near as scary as a toilet I used on Sunday. The bathroom was full of advertisements on getting screened for HIV and STD’s. It definitely brings comfort to your soul to know that the majority of people using these public toilets with you are living lifestyles that would urge them to get frequent tests on their bodily fluids.

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What is your worst public bathroom experience?

Any race day hydrating or fueling strategies that you would like to share?

What is your favorite recovery beverage after a long run? I always crave caffeine, so it is an ice cold soda (preferably Coke Zero even though it has ZERO nutritional value) or coffee once I’ve had my water or a sports drink with electrolytes as needed.

How to run a mile

You can’t grow if you can’t be uncomfortable.-@leadershipfreak

Growth moments occur with one foot on solid ground and one foot firmly in midair. Growth happens “where the sidewalk ends.”

The bottom line is that you can’t do anything if you first don’t start. Two and a half years ago I couldn’t even run one mile from start to finish and was 55 pounds larger than I am today. Saturday I will run my 6th official half marathon race (I’ve also raced a full). Contrast that to this morning when I ran 1.5 miles just to keep my run streak alive (the powers that be usually recommend a complete rest day before a race) and literally felt like I had done absolutely nothing. Two and half years ago I would’ve wept at running a solid 1.5 miles, and now it felt like almost a waste of all the time and effort it took to put my clothes and tennis shoes on, but keeping the run streak alive is no joke! Keeping these 55 pounds off and toning up a body marred by two pregnancies and 14,000 years of yo-yo dieting is no small task. This girl is on fire. I’m not letting anyone slow my go. I’ve come to far to turn back now. (I think I have the makings of a political speech. Please vote for me. I’m Citizen of the Year.)

20130503-101634.jpg Because I have learned that you are all dying to know what I eat, when I go to the restroom, and the temperature that I like the room set at, I didn’t want to forget to leave you with these nuggets of information. In keeping with the part-time vegetarian lifestyle, once my Daniel Fast was over this week (the Daniel Fast is more vegan than vegetarian), I had an amazing egg sandwich for lunch. This is my go to lunch 4/7 days a week usually, unless I’m on one of my nut butter kicks. I get my protein. It tastes delicious. It is very filling. And, it has the health muscle building fats and complete yada yada yada that you need to thrive. I add one serving of cheese on the egg and place it on two slices of whole grain bread with a serving of strawberry jelly. It will change your life. Try it ASAP.

20130503-101640.jpgRaising the kiddos as part-time Vegemite’s too. They don’t know it though. They just like the healthy food to make them big and strong. Food always tastes better on a cartoon plate. Look at all this protein and body building fruit from Gentry’s snack/lunch combo yesterday. Yum.

20130503-101651.jpgOne of two of my favorite athletes.

My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading oppourtunity.
My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading opportunity.

Full disclosure: I followed that gorgeous plate with a bagel and jelly. I definitely think that extra glycogen will buy me a first place win.

My first full fat, whole milk cappucino since the fall. I'm not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk.
My first full fat, whole milk cappuccino since the fall. I’m not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk. Good thing I ran a whole mile this morning.

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Before you are jealous of what you perceive to be my at home coffee bar and perfectly crafted breakfast, you must be made aware that I’m out of town for a business trip that coincided beautifully on the calendar, in the same city, with my Half Marathon tomorrow (a Race and Expo Recap will be going down on the blog) at a hotel with unlimited Starbucks coffee. I caution all citizens to be on high alert because by 8 AM this morning I was about a gallon of the goodness into my day. I “hydrate” so well for races. I’m following all of the rules. I mean, certainly coffee is better than water correct? It’s a bean!

I love it when business and pleasure piggyback. Isn’t that what life is-a mesh of mind, body, spirit, work, and play?

Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat: I love the cycle.

Learn when to work, when to play, and when to rest. It isn’t weird at all that I consider running 13.1 miles rest. Mind. Body. Spirit.

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5 ESV)

Ok, now I want a vacation. Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat. Fly away to Australia for 3 weeks (I wish)

How do you make sure that your work involves play and your play includes work? We don’t want any workaholics or sloths. We were created for so much more than the extremes.

Citizen of the Year

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WARNING: Daily Bible Reading, Renewing of the Mind, Fresh Air, and Exercise Induced Endorphins will lead to Joy, a continuous state of happiness, and overall contentment regardless of the circumstances!

So I weighed today (and truthfully everyday)….I’m happy to report I am only up 2 lbs from all of the festivities and at least 1 of those 2 lbs can be attributed to the much higher than average sodium I’ve been consuming. I normally really do eat clean and at home. I’m not making that up, and because of that, eating out and eating salty/processed food really reeks havoc on me.

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This morning I woke up pretty pumped so I decided to throw an immediate party with several of my best friends. I invited Claritin, Chobani, Mrs. Banana, an entire pot of coffee, sunshine, my Garmin Watch, a hug from all 3 of my men, and a sunny outdoor 8 mile run/1.5 mile walk into my life and started the party early. The extreme pleasure evident from the above photograph has less to do with my pot of coffee, and infinitely more to do with the fact that I was able to run outside today. My 8 mile run today felt easier and was done at a faster pace than my miserable 4 mile run yesterday. While I only averaged 9:28/mile, I am in taper mode, which means taking it easy and no speed work, so I deemed the run a great success. My favorite part was the walk at the end of the 8 miles though. It gave me ample time to breathe pollen deep into my lungs and enjoy the side effects of a freshly mowed lawn on my eyes and nose.

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Below: Peace, Love, and Donuts (Sounds like very good philosophical advice)

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My clean eating is going super well. Between last night’s community event (more on that below) and my post run work lunch dates, I am managing to keep my calorie consumption well below the 9,000 calorie a day mark. I count this a great success on a birthday week.  The best Gyro you will ever eat is at a little hole in the wall in Lakewood, Ohio called the Greek Village. Their Chicken Gyro and Fries will definitely change your life. I definitely need to make a stop there this week in order to celebrate God’s goodness and another year of life. (At what point does the week long birthday celebration turn into gluttonous excess? I really don’t know the answer to this. I am trying hard to find out though and I will report my progress back to you.)

We made a pit stop on the way back at a place we’ve wanted to try at  Kamm’s Corner  called “Peace, Love, and Donuts”. This was a very unique spot with INSANE donuts. Gentry had a dirty worm. Jonathan had a M&M donut, and I couldn’t decide, so I just chose a basic powdered donut. These donuts were amazing. They are made right there on location and are consistently rated best donuts by Cleveland magazine. Everyone that lives in the Cleveland Metro Area should also spend their birthday week exploring local places. It doesn’t take long, and you are completely justified because it is your birthday. Also, be sure to sign up for all the free birthday coupons at all of these places. All of my celebrating has cost me very little $. Don’t let me fool you. I explore and have fun on like $1 a day.

In the middle of all of this goodness and partying and play, I have been doing lots of seeding and leading today. For example, we don’t just visit these places to eat and explore, but we plants seeds of the gospel and invite people to church with us. Today the lady at the Greek Village told me that I was a ray of sunshine and how she was energized by our encounter and how I uplifted her soul. We have invited them to church, in fact, my husband even preached about the amazingness of their Gyro’s, so we are believing that at some point the Seeding, Eating, and Repeating will result in harvest.

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So last night was super fun. We took the boys to karate, watched them name names and take prisoners, and my mom picked them up there from us so that we could network, lead, seed, eat, and repeat. We went to the Citizen of the Year Banquet with 400 or so of our closest friends. The food was predictable banquet style high sodium, high fat, medium taste, maximum bang for your buck, and maximum caloric content. I also ate a bacon wrapped water chestnut ( or 12). This was a first for me. I like water chestnuts and anything involving bacon is always a hit, so I figured it couldn’t really fail as an appetizer item.

In all honesty, it is an honor to live and serve in our community and God did some amazing things at the Citizen of the year Banquet last night. We went to represent the Bridge Church and continue to network with the officials and friends that we have made and be the “Johnny Appleseed’s” of the gospel that we are called to be. You wouldn’t even believe the doors that were opened and the conversations that we had. Great things are in store and God keeps laying bricks onto our foundation: Line upon line….precept upon precept…here a little, there a little. Serving God and living for him is the best. One person said “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet.”We sat next to and dined with the Director of Law and the Director of Finance for the city, as well as with a former citizen of the year. I’m pretty sure that was divine strategy. I also saw my friend, Reese’s best school friend’s mom, who serves on City Council and is up for re-election (friends in high places), the president of the women’s charitable league that I have been serving in, and hung out with the mayor again.

In addition, we dined with Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms) from the Office. We are bonafide celebrities now. His company was very enjoyable and he removed his face tattoo and black tooth to be in our presence.

How involved are you with your community?

Do you see value in investing in people even when you have no guaranteed return?

How much weight do you usually gain the week of your birthday?

I am voting for myself as Citizen of the Year next year. I deserve it because I keep trash out of my front yard and the lawn stays in a moderately pleasing state.

Bikram Running

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There will never be a day when we wont need dedication,discipline,energy,and the feeling that we can change things for the better -GS

After a very late night, and the fifth night in a row that I’ve slept only a handful of hours, I unwittingly embarked on a round of Bikram running, or you could call it sauna city. If you are not familiar with Bikram, it is a type of yoga that you do in a room set to 2,345 degrees, give or take a degree or two, and is designed to detoxify you. Why anyone does this is beyond me, and when you add the fact that running is like increasing the external temperature 20 degrees no matter what the setting (they say to dress 20 degrees warmer when you run), and the fact I am just a salty sweatband wearing gal anyway, it was a recipe for disaster. I don’t know why the local YMCA thinks 80 degrees is an acceptable cardio room temperature, but my 76 year old work out buddies love it.
The above quote applied today in a huge way. I was on top of the world on my run yesterday, and today I felt like a beached whale plodding through quicksand. Today the dedication and discipline kicked in long before the energy did. Thank God I’m on the taper for the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio next week so all I had on the agenda was a 4 mile run and 1 mile walk. The good thing about short running is it is short. The bad thing about short running is that by the time you are warmed up and ready to sprint to your gold medal, you are done. I’m more of an endurance runner than I am a sprinter, so, as weird as it sounds, I prefer distances of 6 miles plus. (Depending on where I’m at in my training schedule) I do enjoy my 5K speedwork days though, when I’m not in a sauna, not hopped up on 45 pots of coffee, and not mentally/physically exhausted. (so basically once a year. ha. just kidding)

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Being forced to run on the treadmill when the sun is brightly shining outside always makes your run so much more enthusiastic. I mean, who wouldn’t be energized by this view?
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Glancing at Sophia Vergara while being stimulated with pop tempo beats helped me push through. I mean, I could look like her by pushing through to the end of my run, or look like Jessica circa 2010 pre-running. The choice is clear. Run towards Sophia!
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The husband was out of town, thus forcing me on the treadmill. I couldn’t get up early and get my run in and leave my kids home alone because he wasn’t there. Therefore, since Gentry had PM school today instead of AM, I had to drag him to child watch at the YMCA while I drug my pitiful self onto the treadmill. Notice how I piled up the pillows creating a fluffy husband so I could have the illusion of safety while I slept last night.

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The best part of waking up, besides being alive, Chobani and Starbucks.

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Continuing the birthday celebrations…..bye bye edible arrangement. We wiped that arrangement out in about 35 seconds. We are full time sugar seekers, but I like to make it sound healthy and say we are part time fruitarians. (Fruitarians will eat only what falls (or would fall) naturally from a plant). It has nothing to do with our love of carbohydrates.

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I could not be more proud of Gentry for choosing the chocolate covered fruit over the regular fruit. He is a smart cookie.

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A glimpse of last night’s quick dinner, the result of having to rush Reese right off the bus and into the car to attend an all evening event.

Notice, my husband returned home today bearing snacks. Between the Chick Fil A and the snack pack, the post birthday clean eating is going tremendously well. At least I’ll have well stocked glycogen stores for the Capital City Half marathon.

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Here is Gentry when I picked him up from school today. He is sporting his brand new Angry Birds glasses. I had to go to Target to pick up some essentials, and in staying true to what I know to be righteous and holy, I had to purchase something not on my list. I find it preferable, nay mandatory, to purchase extras every time I go into Target. I am still trying to witness this doctrine to my husband, but he is having trouble converting. In keeping with our Dave Ramsey lifestyle, I must disclose that Gentry really did need a pair of sun glasses that fit his head. Last year’s glasses were cutting off his vision and circulation.

The new sunglasses have nothing to do with Gentry’s top 3 quotes (unsolicited mind you) of the day today:

1) Mom, you can’t finish listening to our daily bible reading plan when I’m in school. Save the last chapter for when I’m done. (We are on day 105 of a You Version Read through the Bible program that we listen to together daily.)

2) “You are a Super Mom”

3) “Mom, your hair is so long and silky that I can’t quit touching it”

I am not exaggerating or lying about any of the above quotes. If you know Gentry, you know he’s a heart breaker.

For our comments section, have you ever been really proud of yourself? Besides the fact that I punched my run today in the face even though it was fighting back hard, I met a chiropractor last night in a social setting and did not ask him to crack my back. This is a sure sign of maturity. I really wanted to have him work his magic on me, even though he was a total stranger and we were in a large crowd. I am very proud of the fact that I resisted asking him to perform free services on me.

I am also proud of the fact that I have been such an amazing witness for Christ that a mom at Gentry’s pre-school knew it was me driving the wrong direction because of my “The Bridge Church” car magnet on my van. I’m letting my little light shine!

What are you proud of?

Are you a “fruitarian” too?