Tuesday, June 21, 2011


A few weeks ago, I started having trouble with my iPod. This made me extremely sad as I've put it through the paces, using it for at least 3 or 4 years. I figured out that the problem was either with the battery or the software so I took it to the Apple Store closest to my home. The Apple Genius suggested I reinstall the software before plunking down 70.00 to swap it out for a new one under Apple's battery program. So, I did that.

It's now working great- except for the fact that before my long Saturday run two weeks ago, I just forgot to charge it. I took off and got about 2 miles from home and, it died. Sigh. Now, as a pacer for the SF Marathon Training Program, I wasn't allowed to wear an iPod so I'm used to running up to 22 miles, music-free. But today just needed music- I wasn't going to make it otherwise. So, I circled back around to my house and pick up my iPhone that is loaded with lots of music.

I don't have a specific running mix on my iPhone so I hit "shuffle" and off I went. Oh boy- I was in for a treat. The following is the play list that resulted from my dead iPod/iPhone shuffle experiment:

1. Hot-n-Fun, N*E*R*D
2. Wait a Minute, PCD
3. Just A Lil Bit, 50 Cent
4. Lover Lay Down, Dave Matthews Band
5. Love Lockdown, Kanye West
6.Funhouse, Pink
7. Check It out, Will I Am & Nicki Minaj
8. Wanna Move, P. Diddy
9. I'm A Slave For You, Britney Spears
10. How's It Going To Be, Third Eye Blind
11. Louisiana Bayou, Dave Matthews Band
12. P.Y.T., Michael Jackson
13. Living Dead Girl, Rob Zombie
14. Army of Me, Bjork

After Rob Zombie and Bjork, I decided I'd had enough of shuffle mode and I headed home. Overall, it was a fun experiment but I was so glad to get my trusty iPod back into fighting shape!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Me and My Shadow

When I was training with my friend J for the Colorado 1/2 Marathon, I figured out that I have a a fairly strange source of inspiration when I'm out running. It's not some moving song on my iPod or a motivational billboard along my route. No- it's nothing like that. It's...my shadow. Seriously! My shadow is really inspiring!

I'm sure other people who have lost significant amounts of weight can attest to this, as well. IT IS HARD TO SEE MYSELF AS A SKINNY PERSON. There, I said it. Even two years after hitting my goal weight, it is hard. The mirror is a tricky, tricky thing.

But, when I'm out running and I look down and see my shadow, I realise everything that I've become. My shadow is...well, she's fit! And she's working hard! She's running at a faster pace than she's ever run before and, it's easy for her!

So, on days when I'm not so motivated- I'm so lucky when the sun shines in the right direction and she comes out to cheer me on!
My Shadow- She's Tall!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Does This Matter So Much? (AKA- The Post Where I Remind You Where I Came From)

I was so excited yesterday when I figured out (well, really read on line how to) merge all of my various Google related products into one account. Finally, I could delete my obscure google account that was tied to a hotmail address and have everything under one nice, neat, GMail sign-in.

I wasn't so excited when, this morning, I took a look at my blog posts from days gone by and saw that all of my pictures have now been deleted- pictures that, I'm certain, I no longer have possession of. Google merge FAIL. I wanted to direct readers to a post I wrote back in the day to remind you why I think it's such a big deal that I'm even trying to run 1000 miles. The fact is, that a few years ago, I was so overweight that painting my toenails was a work out.

I wrote a this post back when I reached my goal weight on Weight Watchers that recounted my weight loss journey. I'm realising now that that was almost 2 years ago and I've kept all of the weight off! Honestly, I'm very impressed with myself- and this would be why.

I was overweight my ENTIRE life. I remember my mom being so worried about my because I'd eat entire blocks of cheese or four dinner rolls with butter, as a snack! I went to high school and, in my senior year, I tried out for cheerleading. All of the activity helped me lose some weight and I was really very healthy. Then, I entered college. When I graduated from college, I weighed an astonishing 265 pounds. When I got on the scale and saw that number for the first time, I couldn't believe it! There was no way that I'd gained 80-100 pounds in college! Looking back at my photos from my four years, however, it's obvious that I got heavier each year.

My First Year of Marriage
I lost a really significant amount of weight on the Atkins Diet and ultimately looked like this ---->. I went on to graduate school and I met my husband! After graduation, we quickly packed up and moved to California, where I started my first post-Master's degree job. That first year was so stressful- trying to learn how to be married, and then learn my job was overwhelming. When all was said and done, I gained about 70 pounds back.

A friend and I decided to try Weight Watchers together. I started the program in 2006 (same year I got married!) and hit my goal in 2009. Now, in 2011, I've maintained my weight and, as you know from reading this blog, I'm an ATHLETE! I've run 8 half-marathons, 2 full marathons, and countless miles on my way to 1000.

Me, Today- 117 Pounds Down
So, while 1000 miles might not be a big deal to a lot of runners (I know some who have hit 1000 miles already- in June!), it's an exceptionally big deal to me. A few years ago, I would have laughed in your face had you told me that, some day, I would want to a) run any distance at all and b) run 1000 miles in a calendar year. Today, I'm laughing in the face of anyone who thinks that I CAN'T do it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pain in the...

If you are a Facebook friend or a Twitter follower (@Princesks) of mine, you are probably aware that I'm working hard on completing my goal of running 1000 miles in 2011. In fact, as of last night, I've run 324.88 and, therefore, have 675.12 left to run.

Now, if you are doing the math, you'll see that at the end of this month, I'll be halfway done with the year..and probably NOT halfway done with my goal. So, what's the hold up?

I'll tell you what the hold up is! My...umm..rear end! I have a literal pain in my behind. Now, don't get all weirded out on me- it's a muscle or a nerve issue the impacts my lower back, all the way down to my hamstrings.

I've had injuries before- a lot of them. I've had a neuroma, plantar faciatis, sesamoiditis, tendonitis...blah blah blah- and all of them were fixable! I got orthotics, I rested, I stretched- done. But this- this is driving me crazy because it just sticks around.

I've started seeing a massage therapist and I've learned some stretches that seem to be helping. And while I slowly seem to be getting over this...er..issue, the fact still remains that this pain in my...is becoming a real pain in my...!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

So Much To Say! Three May Race Reports!

Today is June 6- FAR later than I had intended to write this post (or, what really should be three separate posts). Nonetheless, I'm here, I'm posting. All is well!

Back in this post, I mentioned that my friend J and I were training for the Colorado Half Marathon that took place on May 1st. We completed a training program that I derived from a few plans I'd completed before, maxing out with a long run of 12 miles. More important than our race preparation, however, was our race OUTFIT preparation! We decided early on that we wanted unique outfits for the race and, in the end, we probably had the most unique outfits out there!

We made these race shirts with our names on the front and "We Run This Town" on the back. I got really scared leading up to race day that it would be too cold to wear our short sleeve shirts but, in the end, we just layered a few long sleeve shirts under them. We got tons of compliments on our outfits before, and during the race!

The race started at 7:00 AM but we had to board a bus at 5:45 AM to get to the starting line. This race starts up in a canyon and heads down into our town and cars aren't allowed up the canyon on race day. Hence, the buses. However, our bus driver didn't seem to know where she was going so she drove us half way up the canyon, and then turned around and brought us back to town. As if we weren't all nervous enough!! We finally found the race director who gave her directions and we made it to the start.

It was so cold that morning, both J and I had our teeth chattering. I wasn't sure how I was going to hold up in the cold since I'd had some lingering issues with my legs. To make matters worse, my iPod that I'd charged all night, decided to die...at the starting line. Luckily, I'd planned for this and brought my AWESOME first generation iPod shuffle with me. It's not trendy but it worked!

Finally, the race started. The course went gradually downhill for the first several miles. We did hit a significant uphill around mile 6 that was pretty rough. We'd trained on some hills but, clearly, not enough. Who knew? Around mile 8, my back and legs started to cramp up on me and we stopped and did some stretching. J got a bad cramp in her side, as well, so we took a few walking breaks between miles 10 and 13.

We rounded the last corner of the course and saw the finish line- thank God! We sprinted to the finish to find a big group of our friends waiting for us. My parents were also there with my hubby- it was the first time they'd seen me finish a half-marathon! After all was said and done, I did take over 4 minutes off of my previous PR! I was also so proud of J for training for, and finishing, her first half-marathon, ever!

Fast forward two weeks to May 15. I registered for the Kaiser Permanente Colfax Half-Marathon on a whim, even though it was only two weeks after the Colorado Half Marathon. Since this race was in Denver, I went down there on Friday and stayed with my friend, K for the weekend. She was such a great host, taking me to Target to get a long sleeve top (since, again, it was forecasted to be freezing cold!), and to Q'doba to get my requisite pre-race burrito.

On race morning, I woke up and K was already up. She said "I have good news! There's virtually no wind!" and I said, "What's the bad news?" and she said "It's 40 degrees!" K drove me to the starting line and it was a little rainy but the rain let up before the race started. I jumped in line for the port-a-potties and then it was time to line up in my starting area.

This course is an out and back course up Colfax Blvd. and back. It's a steady, gradual uphill climb for the first 6 miles, and then a steady, gradual downhill to the finish. I was very exciting as I was on pace to DESTROY my last PR by over 5 minutes until...my hip flexors got in the way. I've never had this problem before but on both legs, my hip flexors tightened up and I had to keep pulling over to stretch them. Luckily this was around the 11 mile marker when this started so I only had to deal with it for a few miles.

I did manage to finish with another PR, taking 2 minutes off of my Colorado 1/2 Marathon time. I really enjoyed this course and would absolutely run this race again- even if it's only 40 degrees!

Finally, Hubby and I decided to run the Bolder Boulder 10K. It's the second largest 10K in the country and it is supposed to have tons of community support. The race takes place every year on Memorial Day, so we booked a hotel in Boulder for the night before. In the morning, we got up early and walked to the starting area.

This had to be one of the most well-organized races that I have ever participated in. I guess you have to be organized when 50,000 people participate in your event. We stood in line for five minutes to check a bag and then made our way to our starting area. In this race, there were waves that started from 6:00 AM until 9:30 AM- each about ten minutes apart. There were staff members throughout the starting areas, checking bibs to make sure people were in the right areas. I was amazed at the how well coordinated everything was!

At last, our wave was schedule to start and off we went. Hubby hadn't run as much as I have lately, so I decided to stick with his pace and just do this race for the mileage. Along the course, we encountered people throwing marshmallows to the runners, a trampoline acrobatic team, bands, people passing out popsicles, and more! Hubby decided to try out the slip and slide that someone set up in their front yard. All was well until he got the wind knocked out of him. He encouraged me to run ahead while he took a minute to catch his breath. When he caught up to me, he had a donut in one hand, and a beer in the other. I think he was feeling better!

We finished the race in Folsom Field at the University of Colorado. It was an amazing feeling running into a stadium full of cheering people. Once we got off of the course and made our way into the stands, a group of Marines ran in, in formation- the crowd went crazy and I almost started crying.

Overall, May was a fantastic month for racing but I'm hoping to take a breath in June. I'm still working on logging miles to reach my 1000 mile goal, but I'm running for fun- for me- not because a race is coming up. It's been nice just running with no goal in mind. I did sign up for the Rock 'n Roll Denver 1/2 Marathon in October and I signed hubby and I up for the Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon in December. I figure by October, I'll be ready to set a new PR- I have a very specific time in mind- if I make it, I'll tell you what it is! Until the next!