Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fat Penguin Running (Feb 2012 Recap)

Eddy is doing a little jig this morning (or a penguin waddle!). Second month of 2012 has hit the books with my second consecutive 100 mile month. Notably, all these miles are OUTSIDE road miles in Wisconsin. If that doesn't make me part penguin, I don't even know what. Like a fat penguin running (which if I could embed this video I would - it is totally worth clicking the link!). 

Garmin Log January - February 2012:

 Count: 40 Activities
 Distance: 204.84 mi
 Time: 39:28:28 h:m:s
 Elevation Gain: 5,081 ft
 Avg Speed: 5.2 mph
 Avg HR: 150 bpm
 Calories: 28,448 C

What blows my mind about this is not only that I ran 200 miles so far this year but that somehow I've even gained weight doing it! Look at all those calories I have burned! Imagine for a moment, what I've been eating to actually be gaining weight on top of all that running. Good grief, that's terrible. Step Away from the sugar!!!

But back on the positive side, I've run over 39 hours in 40 outings. Pretty cool. Considering I haven't even been running a year yet, I'm pretty stoked with what I've accomplished. Onward and upward!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 13 Training (really? is that what we are calling it?) Recap

 See Eddy run. Still. Trying to run. Training? Not sure you could consider this training anymore...

 8 mile fun snow run

Running has become a need now. I can feel the mood and tension start to build in me as I push the 48-hour-Eddy-has-not-run mark. I'm short tempered. I'm grumpy. I feel gross.

Although, I think Eddy's knees were pleased with our new can't-run-on-the-weekend cause we are now home alone schedule.

Eddy is on pace to run 100 miles in February, my second 100 mile month in a row. Which considering the nose dive that my motivation has taken, is pretty stellar. I just need to get over myself. Nothing much has changed. It has everything to do with my attitude and nothing to do with my ability at this point. I'm just grumpy.

Eddy will get over it. Promise.

Ps. Eddy really likes talking in the third person today. Annoying yet?

This week in review. I pushed my long run til this morning since weather on Friday (say nothing of my total lack of energy) cut me short. I was a slave to the plan, now I'm just planning to slave, however that may happen.

This week in review:

 Count: 4 Activities
 Distance: 26.70 mi
 Time: 4:38:59 h:m:s
 Elevation Gain: 681 ft
 Avg Speed: 5.7 mph
 Avg HR: 149 bpm
 Calories: 3,441 C

Since the Training is getting Eddified at this point - my only goal with my life in flux and the move to the desert pending the 3rd week of March is to keep a base mileage of 20 miles a week. I can do this, and then once life settles down, I can see where I land in Phoenix.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

(It's daft but) I am Home Alone

Saturday nite and I'm snuggled up with a new fleece blanket watching House Hunters International.... the height of sophistication people! It might be better if I had like a thick green avocado mud mask on or a Biore Pore Strip on my nose or something (I don't - pinkie swear). I've got kids in bed and no cats sitting by my side. Yes, folks, I am Home Alone.

 It isn't the first time that I've been home alone with the kids. When we moved to Madtown 3 years ago, Hubs went ahead on the corporate relocation, and XJ and Eddy toughed it out in Minneapolis for 12 weeks (me, in my first trimester with Miss P, XJ only 12 months). It wasn't fun, but XJ and I bonded over routine readings of Snowmen at Night and Good Night Moon.

XJ can recite both book by heart. It was a good (albeit forced) bonding for the two of us. I cherish my memories of that time even though it was stressful and solitary. Back then, I was an invincible new parent. High on hormones and ignorance, I felt vulnerable yet ultimately competent. I can do this. No biggie.

Now we've got Miss P and Eddy knows better. I am not high on hormones or ignorance. I'm competent but I'm still vulnerable. I think just knowing this makes me a real parent now! This time around, I'm focusing on not channeling my stress into my reactions or interactions with the girls. I'm trying to be more affectionate that I am naturally. I'm switching up some routines, allowing for some later nights, an extra book, a treat or a cuddle. I'm going to try to bond, like XJ and I did 3 years ago, so that I can look back on this time and feel that it was a positive and not a negative.

The house is quiet now.

On Thursday nite I found a lovely family to adopt the cats. It's great that they saw through all my tears to give the kitties a new home. Honestly, I wasn't sure I had it in me. I've had those cats longer than I've had my husband. Particularly Belle. I knew Shadow would be fine. She's pretty laid back and will warm up to anyone who will pet her butt.

But not my Belle Belle. Belle is more sensitive. Longer to take to strangers. Skittish around the kids. More likely to throw up or hide. She's my first baby. She's moved to 8 different houses with me from Baltimore to Manchester to Canterbury to Bloomington to Savage to Madison.  Belle's loyalty and love is earned and not freely given. I was the most worried about her adjustment to a new family given her attitude and her age. I think that the adopting Mom saw that she was a lover and I'm hopeful that they will bond like we had.

The house is quiet. I've lost three voices of my family. Hubs, Shadow and Belle. I cried a lot the last couple days, but I've turned a corner. I've put my feet up and my mud mask on. I've cuddled up with a reading of Snowman at Night with a new fleece blanket not infected by cat hair.  I'm ready to tackle whatever this move can throw at me now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

3 Things Thursday - Packing, Kavu, Luck

I need an outlet this week and so far running has fit the bill. Despite my total depression last week (as evidenced by my maudlin blog recap), I've been pulling on my compression socks this week and putting my game face on. I'm still hurting, but feeling better having completed some good runs.

1. Packing

Gosh, those glossy moving articles with newlyweds joyfully wrapping up coffee mugs while sneaking in a kiss or two are really annoying. I've had moving quotes from Allied, United and Mayflower, and hmmmmm... I'd say United wins the day for the cheesiest promo pictures. They haven't won our business yet, but I find hilarity in this... Look honey! A pan! Oh! A spatula! Golly gee, don't you just love moving!

Eddy thinks:  If you don't stop smiling, I'm going to smash you over the head with this pan!

2. Kavu

At our garage sale last summer I swapped some random item (can't even remember) for a Kavu Seattle Sling Bag. I didn't know it at the time, but this bag has become a favorite run around town carryall. Big enough to hold some stuff, but small enough not to feel burdensome, it really is perfect. Ultimately practical, I've chosen it over my new Coach Kristin Hobo for general usage. So needing some retail therapy I ordered a new Kavu for the trip south. It is a Secret Squirrel in the color Butter Dash. How could that be wrong? Butter..... yum. And this makes me happy because it reminds me of my bestie's visit to Madtown last winter where we delighted in pink squirrels and laughed way too much over this:

3. Luck

I'm feeling blessed and lucky these days. But just to insure myself against Mr. Murphy in the upcoming weeks  I picked up a Brighton charm and will be wearing it for a while. See, Hubs leaves for Phoenix tomorrow and Eddy will be holding down the fort with XJ and Miss P for the interim. Appropriate that we will be in the thick of the moving over St. Patty's Day weekend, so I figured I could use a four leaf clover.I'll take all the luck I can get right now.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stress and Taper (Week 12 Training Recap)

Hard. It has been a really hard week. It had nothing to do with running and everything about my mental and emotional state. The running was just symptomatic of every emotion that I've been feeling. Emotionally, physically and mentally drained. That's Eddy right now.


My knees hurt. My shins hurt. My ego hurts. I've gained 10 lbs (not this week, although it feels like it). Tuesday I headed out into 2 inches of fresh snow in the Yak Trax. Turns out the roads were clear.  Running 5 miles on Yak Trax on pavements killed my legs. Pain. Ouch. Should have stopped but I didn't.

Oh, and have I mentioned this was a taper week? I ran a fraction of the miles that I have been logging. My 5 miles felt like 10 miles. My thoughts were so negative this week that I can't fathom how I have EVER ran more than 6 miles. Ever. I'm wondering who that Eddy was that did those 12 miles runs. It couldn't have been this body and these legs...

I can directly attribute my hard week to two things:

1. Stress (no, duh)

2. I'm going to miss my race. ( was a motivator, not the only one, but a good one)

The move has shaken my world like a snow globe. We're juggling everything and suddenly running isn't the most important thing. I'm proud that I'm still doing it but this week it was just running. It was not Eddy training for a half Marathon. It was Eddy running off the stress of the impending decisions. The emotion of moving my house, my kids, my work, my life. It was the crushing pressure of my husband leaving town, of coming up with the money to front our move, deciding on a new house, selling a car, finding a daycare, shipping our cats. As I ran this week, the normal frivolity of my Ipod was drown in sea of frenetic thoughts - "What if ____? Can we ____? Will it be____?" So many questions and no answers as I pounded my shins, knees and legs into the pavement.

For the first time since I started training in December, I took two days off. I met my old self again, the non-running Eddy. You can ask Hubs, she's not very nice. By Saturday afternoon, I was a lunatic yelling at my kids, yelling at my husband and dying to get out of the house. I don't care how much I'm hurting, I've got to run tomorrow I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep last night.

So, I ran today. The first mile was brutal. The second mile, I warmed up. The third (9:16) and fourth mile (9:07)  I beat myself up on the road. The fifth mile I was happy to be turning to home. And so much happier all day. So happy this hard week is over.

Because of this move, I'm going to miss my first half marathon. Missing my race turns up the volume of the little voice in my head who asks: "Why are you doing THIS?" But despite the move, I did run every day I was meant to this week. I might have cut some corners here and there, but I got out there even when the going was tough (what does my left foot going numb mean? Never done that before today).

I don't know what next week will bring. I'm feeling so overwhelmed in every department of my life including running. I've got to just slow down and realize I can't do it all in one day. I can't pack the house today. I can't run all my miles at 9 min pace today. I'm just going to try to get done what I can get done and remember how far I've come.

Week 12 in review. All outside. This Wisconsin winter continues to delight us!

 Count: 4 Activities
 Distance: 19.52 mi
 Time: 3:16:40 h:m:s
 Elevation Gain: 429 ft
 Avg Speed: 6.0 mph
 Avg HR: 152 bpm
 Calories: 2,562 C

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Moving and Shaking (Week 11 Training Recap)

Moving. So much to say here. Moving off the couch, two years ago. Moving to the street, last year. Moving up to training, this winter. Moving to Phoenix, next month.


Stop the presses. I'm moving to the desert.

Let's not beat around the bush. I'm a northern girl. I'm a yankee thru and thru. I'm most at home with snow frequently -- shorts, rarely ---  and palm trees are a delicacy. My long run this week was in 16 degree temps. No wind. A nice Charlie Brown snow. And I was totally digging it. Loving it. Taking the gloves off around the 4 mile mark and soaking thru my Under Armour Balaclava.

It is not just me. It is the whole family. We are a winter weather accessory smorgasbord. Miss P can rattle off the list of things she needs to leave the house, "snowpant, scarf, hat, mittens, jacket, sunglasses." Don't like the purple Tinkerbell hat? No worries, we've got Hello Kitty, or the Gymboree mouse, or the Baby Gap bunny or the Columbia Purple "funny" hat instead. I've got mittens showing up in random places and ice scrapers lined up in the garage. I won't even mention the snow blower parts that take up the other side of the garage..... and that's no joke.

So, yeah, Eddy. In the desert. This is going to be classic. 

As for the shaking. I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing. It is a BIG move. Really, since 2006 we've started our slow migration west, starting in New Hampshire, to the Twin Cities, to Madtown, and now to Phoenix. It has been a series of events and with each one, there has been a feeling of inevitability. In New Hampshire we had to move because we couldn't get internet for my telecommuting job. Upon selling our house, Comcast drove up the drive to tell us they were wiring the neighborhood. Oh, and the realtor on the other end of the phone asks, "You have cable out there, right? The buyer is a day trader and needs cable." Yep, we got that. Just in time. Eddy & Hubs, exit New Hampshire.

Today,  our random thought was that maybe we shouldn't move our AWD Black SVU to the arid zone. So we took a  chance and listed it for sale and said - "what the hey! Maybe it will sell." We listed it yesterday. We sold it this morning to the first and only person who looked at it. Inevitability? Yeah, we are feeling it.

Moving. It is bittersweet for me in two ways. First, I've gone through some major personal change here in Madison. A change that will stay with me forever no matter what happens. I've run my 3 mile loop down East Pass, Maple Grove and Cross Country so many times that I feel like I should  - 1. Say thank you to the condo off Maple Grove that has bacon wafting from it every Sunday morning- 2. put a  caution sign out on the stretch of sidewalk on Cross Country where the run off always freezes making it super dangerous and slick - and 3. introduce myself as the random crazy runner that jogs thru the elementary school crossing and waves at the guard 3 times a week regardless of the weather. The circle route for me has become a part of my journey here. I've struggled with it. I've added to it. I've doubled and tripled it. But I've always come back to it. It is my running home. And I'm shaking with nerves to leave my running home.

Second, I've made some friends here which I don't take lightly. For me, making friends is hard. Even harder as an adult. It is easier than it used to be now that we've all got kids, but still, it ain't easy. As I put myself out on the street, I put myself out in the world. I made conscious efforts to just talk to people. To invite people to my kids parties, more for me than for my Miss P (clearly). I can pretty much head out in Madtown now and see someone that I know, and I like that. I will miss that. And I'm sad to leave what I deem to be the beginnings of some close friendships here. That is bittersweet because good friends are hard to come by.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I am moving and shaking. I'm going to have to leave town before my scheduled half marathon but I am determined to finish this training. I'm going to run 13.1 at the end, even if it is only for me. Lets just call that the half "Mara-thon".

This week in review. Another happy week of cold weather running here in Wisconsin. Next week is a taper so it will be good as a lot of my energy will go towards getting this house in order for movers who aren't shakers.

 Count: 5 Activities
 Distance: 28.56 mi
 Time: 4:59:38 h:m:s
 Elevation Gain: 766 ft
 Avg Speed: 5.7 mph
 Avg HR: 148 bpm
 Calories: 3,671 C

Thursday, February 9, 2012

3 Things Thursday - Focus, Focus, Focus

1. Focus. This blog used to be just a place for Eddy's rants and raves. It took a turn at weight loss and another turn at running. Today, I need it to be about Eddy again. Eddy's focus. I've been in a strange and unfamiliar place the past two weeks. I've lost my focus. The only thing I have kept up with is the training, but the diet, the cross training, the good mojo has slipped away. More than ever, my mind has slipped into that scary "Why am I doing this?"place and I am scaring myself.

2. Focus. It is ok. It could be so much worse. The things that have taken my focus from me are ultimately good things. Things that will put Eddy and her family in a better place with a better future. But it is not without change and the anxiety related to that change has eaten away from my usual big picture - "every little things, gonna be  alright" mentality. It is ok for Eddy to struggle. It is ok if I gain a couple of pounds back. It is ok to feel overwhelmed. I've come a long way, and this is all about growth and strength, mental and physical.

3. Focus. Valentines Day is right around the corner. This has got me thinking about love and flowers and sweets and all things Hallmark. I'm not a huge Valentines fan, but it is nice to have a reminder to do something special for the one we love. Hubs and Eddy have the same love language - we are both Acts of Service people. We do things. We try to keep up our ends of the bargain. I launder Hub's shirts, he takes out the trash. I destroy things, he fixes them. We are ying and yang. We try to get time alone for date nites and the such, but with my focus issues (see above), I've been taking my stress out on Hubs. I need to focus not only on Acts of Service but the other love languages as well. Focus on us.Awwww.....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nathan, Nuun and Honey Stingers! (Week 10 Training Recap)

Sometimes you just gotta have some new stuff to get you excited. I was psyched for my long run this week so that I could start experimenting with hydration and fuel. I have a sprint size handheld that I used for fluids this past summer, but I had never given much thought to replacing fluids during my 10+ mile runs because I've been doing them all in sub-freezing temps. Well, I was wrong. I still sweat (I know, still human) so I must replace that fluid. Thus, the Nathan Quickdraw Plus.

And I am embarrassed. Or blond. Or both. Who runs holding a hand held wrong?! Turns out, I do. Or did. I couldn't figure out why the back of my hand was so sore, and as I complained to Hubs, he politely pointed out that maybe I was holding the bottle wrong. "Huh?" He suggested that maybe you actually hold the bottle versus holding the strap. As I learned, if you hold the strap such that the full bottle of fluid smacks against the back of your hand for every stride, it will hurt after an hour or so. My Hubs -- Genius --and not even a runner. Good thing I've got him to keep me on the straight and narrow.

What better to put in the new Nathan than some Nuun? Now, I ordered Kona Cola flavor as recommended by Dimity ala Running Like a Mother. I don't know what I thought when I ordered this, something along the lines of Pina Colada (seriously chalking up blond moments), but the cola thing was lost on me. So when I tasted it, I was like "WHA?". In my first outing I sort of forced it down. Bleh. But you know, it grew on me. During my 12 miler on Friday, the taste seemed to mellow and I liked it. I really like Nuun, flavor issues aside. I'm super excited to try others-  Strawberry Lemonade for one. So awesome that Nuun are Team Tough Chik sponsers. Three cheers for discounts!

Honey Stingers. That just sounds cool. I have yet to dabble in the world of gels, GUs, chomps, and all things fuel. I thought that these little honey soaked waffles might be a good first step towards fueling for long runs. The idea of sloshing down a strange flavors of neon colored gel just seemed less that appetizing. Some advice that I've read says that for half marathons to fuel at 4-5 miles and 8-9 miles. During my 12 miler this week, I scarfed a honey waffle down at 7 miles, right when the good feeling of fresh legs and happy tunes was wearing off and the mind was starting to cut corners on my predetermined route. This waffle followed by a  swing of caffeine enhanced Nuun, and I was pepping to go. The fuel and fluids kept me happy for another 3 miles, and all and all I would say that this long run was the most satisfying to date. My recovery was quicker than previous weeks (thank you chocolate milk), and I feel that with 12 miles done at home in 2:05 mins (including waiting at several roads crossings, etc.), that a sub 2:20 half marathon isn't a total pipe dream.

The Garmin week in review:

 Count: 5 Activities
 Distance: 31.17 mi
 Time: 5:21:40 h:m:s
 Elevation Gain: 798 ft
 Avg Speed: 5.8 mph
 Avg HR: 153 bpm
 Calories: 3,984 C

Joy! Every run was outside. Thank you fake Wisconsin spring. You've been good too me. So much that I will try not to complain about the high of 10 that is forecast for Friday - my next long run.

Oh, and I'm not even going to talk about the Patriots. I am too depressed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

3 Things Thursday - X Training, Guilt & Yogurt

1. Cross Training. I need to do it more. I was really quite proud of my arms and fitness last summer. As much as I've loved running and the routine of my training, it has come at the detriment of the breadth of my fitness. I've been lazy about my strength training and have been forgiving myself all sorts of misgivings as it relates to my diet. Today is a  rest day and I should be cross training, and I haven't. Guilt.

2. Guilt. I'm feeling guilty today. Guilty for not being a better wife to my husband who is awesome and deserves more love and understanding from me. He is the Darcy to my Elizabeth and I need to show him more.

Guilt for being so willing to hand my children over to daycare, babysitters or other caregivers for their daily activities and fun. Guilt for being so self centered about my diet, my fitness, my time. I'm armed with all sorts of reasons why it is better in the long run that I am focusing on me, but every now and then, guilt. I'll get over it though, I always do.

3. Greek Yogurt. Is this stuff the best stuff ever?! YUM! I guess writing this while I eat lunch is obvious!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moving Comfort - Juno Sports Bra - Review

Boobies. Bubs. Boulders. We've all got 'em. Well, all us gals and some guys. Running puts our relationship to the test. Bounce Boobies Bounce! Guys love it, girls hate it.

Thus, the sports bra. The mono boob. A necessary evil. Or is it? 

At the recommendation of some Tough Chik's, I held onto my nerves and let my purse strings go when I ordered the Moving Comfort Juno Bra off Amazon. This bra was said to be good for the well endowed crowd, of which I consider myself a member, if only because:

I actually have little "bubs" (as XJ calls them). However, my little handfuls have nursed two babies, have inflated and deflated from sizes B to DD back to B and shriveled up like raisins with my weight loss and running. I'm not a Popsicles stick with two melons on the front (I wish!). More like a tongue depressor with two oranges squashed on my chest. Pretty picture huh? My endowment comes mostly from being a big girl at points, nursing and for the sake of  TMI, too much left over skin. Gosh, that picture just gets prettier and prettier. Lets move on, shall we?

When I first started running, I was making due with Champion bras from Target. At the Nike Outlet, I pick up some Nike Swift U Back which did the trick thru the summer and fall. On the prowl for something to get me thru my marathon training, I picked up the Juno.

Upon inspection, this bra is no laughing matter. It is intended to tame even the most unruly of the bouncing boobies. It is somewhat molded but not overly (which I like cause molded cups seems to go all wonky in the wash.And lets not even talk about cups with those little foam triangles that get all out of shape).  It is compression but not suffocating. It is adjustable and yet unyielding.

A couple of things. I had been warned that the Juno was hard to get into. Maybe I'm strange, but I had no problems. My trick? Put the bra over your head and pull your boob up into it. Adjust the shoulder straps, attach the back closures and you are good to go. At first, I was concerned about chaffing by my neck where the straps come in (like a racerback), and the first time out, I put some protection there - but alas, my fears were unfounded. No problems with chaffing. I also worried about how my heart rate monitor strap would work with the Juno. My Garmin strap slides right in under the bra, and is held tightly in place. A nice plus, the back is cute, no?

Upon washing, the Juno has held up well. I wash with my running gear and hang dry. So far, so good. 

The Juno is not cheap retailing at $30 - $50 depending on your color choice. But at $30, this bra is a must have for any runner looking to keep the oogling eyes of bouncing boobies at bay. The Juno is now my first choice in boobie gear for those serious runs, and really aren't they all serious?

(Disclaimer: Moving Comfort did not supply me with the Juno to review. I'm not being paid for this opinion. It is just Eddy in my limited experience, telling you what works for me.)