Friday, July 25, 2014

Lord Of the Bling 10k Wrap-up

This week James and I have been running in a virtual race.  Last year we stumbled on this great group called Nerd Herd Running and signed up for their racing series.  They are virtual races with different geeky themes.  Right up our alley!  We had a such a good time doing it, we signed up again this year.  We are on our second race of the trilogy. 

James initially had a goal of running the 10k straight.  That fell through when he didn't train so we broke it down over the week.  Today we finished our 10k.  We went to Huron Park near us and decided to do a trail run.  We also were making our video for the contest they were running along with the 10k run. 

With a name like Lord of the Bling, you can guess what geek theme the race was.  Lord of the Rings of course!  The video contest was a You Shall Not Pass video.  We used River as our monster and I was the runner trying to pass James who was Gandalf.   Here is our resulting video.


 We had a good time doing it too!  It took several takes and some editing, but we got it!

 Today we did the following intervals:
5 rounds of 3 minutes run/1 minute walk
4 rounds of 4 minutes run/1 minute walk

We did this all on trails.  That is something I'm not used to , but James is.  He helped me a lot by talking me through it.  It was nice to run in the shade almost the whole time though.  We didn't like the mosquitoes at all!  They could have stayed in hiding.

James loved doing this run and can't wait to get his medals in October for the series.  We have one more in the series and that's in October.  That one is a 5k or half-marathon.  James will be doing the 5k option.  I have to look at the dates, but I may be doing the half-marathon if it's at the same time as the half I'm already running.

We also took a couple of before and after pictures today.

Tomorrow my only running partner will be River.  We are planning a 4-5 mile run in the morning and on Sunday I have a long 8 mile run planned.  It feels so good to be back on track!  James will be running with me on Wednesday next week.  It will be nice to have him back with me after having several days of him not running with me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Think I've Found My New Cross Training

It's hard to believe that today is Wednesday!  James and I have been busy little bees today.  We got up this morning bright and early for our run.  We both were secretly hoping it would be raining so we could run in the rain, but it wasn't.  It was cooler this morning though.  We got River hooked up, our water bottles on and headed out.  Today our run went like this:

 2 Rounds 2 minutes run/1 minute walk
5 Rounds 3 minutes run/1 minute walk
2 Rounds 4 minutes run/1 minute walk

It was a great run!  James smiled the whole way.  He did much better at keeping up with River and myself.  He had a great time!  I'm feeling like I'm back to myself so I'm doing a double tomorrow.  I'm getting up early to run with River and then I'm going to the gym to do the bike and weights.  I won't do a long run, but I just want to see how I feel.

We did our 30 minute clean/purge and then he went to Michael's for his craft class.  I found a quiet corner of the store to read since we can't leave the store while he's in class.  I have to sit and read otherwise I will spend way too much money and we need to save for our trip to Indiana and for Fan Expo in August.

We had some lunch and did another quick purge to finish filling the Salvation Army boxes.  Then it was off to drop our boxes off.  Afterwards we went to the park.  Here is where I found my new cross training. 

I know playing on a playground is good for your motor skills both fine and gross.  I play with James when we go.  This playground has a lot of balance type things though.  My core is really sore right now!  I balanced (or tried to) on this really wobbly wake board thingy and had a tough time doing it.  I played on the monkey bars and some of the other wobbly toys.  It was a lot of fun and James got me trying to do it all.

I'm thinking a few trips to the park in the mornings might help my core. I've been trying to figure out how to make myself do more core work.  I'm just to lazy to just do it, but if it's fun like this I just may be on board.

So tomorrow I'm doing a double.  Friday James and I are running and make our video for the Lord of the Bling Contest.  Saturday I'm doing speed work and weights in the gym.  Sunday is my long run.  Here we go!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Warrior Dash, Piano Contest, and Back To Training

This past weekend I ran the Warrior Dash for the 4th year in a row.  I have a love/hate relationship with this race.  I love running and trying to conquer the obstacles, but before the race I have my moment of what the heck am I doing???????  This year was no different.  I was super nervous at the starting line and when I started out.  Once I got going though, I was fine.

It seemed that the whole race was uphill this year.  Oh my goodness was it uphill!!!!!  Some hills were steeper than others, but there were tons of hills!  The obstacles were lot more balanced this year.  Last year it seemed like there were a lot of climbing and this year it was a good balance.  I did have to go around one of them and another I got up to the top and couldn't get over it so had to climb back down.  And did I mention the hills??????

I am very proud that once again I did climb over the cargo net obstacle.  I always get to the top and have to pause and figure out how to get over the top to climb back down, but I manage to do it without killing myself.  The mud wasn't very thick this year either.  That was a blessing.  I didn't get stuck.

Here is a before and after picture of me.

We had a great time afterwards eating turkey legs and drinking a beer.  James had a big beaver tail.  We listened to a great band and enjoyed being outside in the beautiful weather.  It was a fun day!

Sunday we spent the day in Toronto at James' piano contest.  He had two performances.  The first one he got a Superior rating.  He was a little disappointed, but he wasn't expecting to place with that song.  His second performance he did really well.  He made one mistake and after he was done, looked like he was going to cry.  When they announced the winners he ended up getting 2nd place!  He was so excited!  I wish I would have had a picture of his face.

Yesterday we both were lazy so we took it as a rest day.  Today we were back at our training.  James, River and I were up early since it was supposed to get hot and humid today.  We did 5 rounds of 2 minutes run/1 minute walk and 4 rounds of 3 minutes run/1 minute walk.  James did a much better job today.  He said his new running shoes helped.  Tomorrow we are up early again for a run possibly in the rain.  Friday we are going to Huron Park to do our run because we are doing a special video for a contest that goes along with our virtual run we are doing this week.  It's going to be awesome and funny according to James.  I can't wait to see what he has planned.

I'm looking forward to another great summer day with James tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Feeding the Drama Llama

Oh this morning that Drama Llama showed up and James fed it a lot of drama.  He likes running, but some days he doesn't want to put in the effort.  He would rather just run a few steps and then walk for 10 minutes then run a few more steps.  Today was one of those days.  We had moaning and groaning.  He was running like a little old man.  He complained the whole time.  Yet when I asked him if he wanted to stop, he got mad at me.  I don't get 9 year old boys sometimes.

We made it through a 25 minute run/walk, but the Drama Llama was right there with us the whole time.  River was just wanting to run, but she had to wait on James.  She was not a happy dog.  In fact when we got home she was still ready to move.  Usually we get home and she crashes, but not today.

Now to be fair, James did need new running shoes which we got today.  But he could have won an Academy Award for best dramatic actor this morning.  Maybe he was being filmed and that was what he was going for.  Who knows.

The rest of the day went well.  We did our cleaning and our errands.  He went to Michael's for the arts and crafts thing.  We had lunch and then we took all 3 dogs out for a walk.  He wore his new running shoes to start breaking them in.  He and Mulder ran most of the time and there were no complaints. 

I told him that he doesn't have to be the best or the fastest, but if he wants to do this, he has to put in the work and put some honest effort into it.  We call it feeding the Drama Llama because it's easy to remember and to cue him when he's being overly dramatic about anything.  James has that tendency to overreact to everything and blow it all out of proportion. We are trying to teach him not to do that.  He is getting better, but every so often he brings the Drama Llama with him.

We talked about it and he wanted to know what he could do when he's at his mom's and his cousin is watching him to help with his running. I gave a few really easy things and showed him a couple of great Runner's World videos.  He likes the idea of it, but I don't know if he's allowed outside when his mom's not home.  I can understand that.  Next week he's with us and will run 3 days with me.  We are doing the Lord of the Bling virtual run and he's excited about that.  That coupled with the new shoes should help.

I now understand why my parents got frustrated when I would get overly dramatic.  It really is quite a production.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back In the Gym

It has been almost 5 months since I've been in the gym.  I figured it would be a gong show, but it wasn't that bad.  In my effort to go back to basics I did intervals on the treadmill.  I did make them speed intervals though.  Here is what I did:

3 minutes @ 3.7-4.1
1 minute @ 5.5
3 minutes @ 3.7-4.1
1 minute @ 6.0
3 minutes @ 3.7-4.1
1 minute @ 6.5
3 minutes @ 3.7-4.1
1 minute @ 7.0
3 minutes @ 3.7-4.1
1 minute @ 7.5
5 minute cool down

I like this interval workout.  I think it will be good to do for the next couple of weeks when I do speed intervals in the gym.  I will increase the speed on the 1 minute intervals though.  Next week I wills start at 6.0 and work up to 8.0.  It makes the time go by quickly too.

I also lifted weights for the first time since February.  I didn't lose as much as I thought I would.  I just did legs today and my weight was only 5 pounds lighter on each machine than what it was in February.

It was a quick trip to the gym, but I packed a lot in during that 40 minutes.  I feel pretty good too.

When I got home I didn't even change since I was just going to get the dogs out for their walk.  We did just under 2 miles and the last 7 minutes I got a good upper body workout as they all started to go crazy for some reason.  The first 30 minutes they were picture perfect.  Then something hit them all at once and the crazy was released.  River started barking and stopping every few feet to look for rabbits.  Anya started pulling forward trying to get birds.  Mulder kept wanting to go back to where we had just come so he was pulling behind me.  There was all kind of crazy going on.

Tomorrow morning James will run with me.  We will go 25 minutes doing the run/walk intervals I did yesterday.  1:1 for the first 10 minutes and then 2:1 for the last 15 minutes.  It will help him as well.  Next week we do the Lord of the Bling 10k virtual run.  He's excited.  I think we may break up the 10k over a couple of days though.  He's just not ready for a straight 10k.

Should be a fun morning tomorrow!  Looking forward to it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back to Basics

I'm finding that I'm getting frustrated with my running.  I'm not where I want to be due to being hit and miss with my training.  Because I'm not where I want to be, I get frustrated and talk myself out of my runs.  I had to take the weekend and reset my thinking.  I have to go back to the basics and just enjoy the run.

I think I'm setting myself up for failure.  I put to much pressure on myself to get faster, better, stronger and forget why I'm running.  I'm running because I enjoy being outside.  I enjoy the feeling of going far and knowing that I can have my body do that.  I enjoy clearing my mind.  I enjoy the way I feel afterwards.  It's not about times and pace and winning.  It's for me.

Today I went back to the beginning.  I ran for 20 minutes.  I did a run/walk interval.  The first 10 minutes it was a 1:1 and the last 10 minutes it was a 2:1.  It felt good.  River was with me and there was no pressure on myself.  I just enjoyed going fast for the run and recovering on the walk.  I enjoyed the morning.  It was cool and peaceful.  River was excited to be out and running.  She smiled the whole time.  I smiled the whole time.  I felt relaxed and I wasn't putting pressure on myself.  It was fun.

Tomorrow I'm in the gym.  I will do 20 minutes on the treadmill or something else and start back to lifting weights.  Once again, it will be back to basics.  Slow and steady.  I am still going to run the half marathon in October because I enjoy it.  I'm going to do it because I enjoy it.  I'm not going to worry about times or paces or anything like that.  I'm doing it for the pure joy of running.

On a another note, last week I got my new tattoo.  It is really awesome!  Here it is.

It's the TARDIS from Doctor Who.  I love it!  My leg is still sore because I just got in on Thursday, but the run didn't hurt.  I love how detailed it is.  Ben outdid himself once again.  He's an amazing artist!  If you are in the area check him out at Motor City Tattoo in Oshawa.  He does amazing work!

Tomorrow I'm in the gym, Wednesday I will do a 20 minute run again with James, Thursday is another gym day, and Friday I will do do a 25 minute run.  Saturday I'm doing the Warrior Dash.  It's a fun race and I know I'm not going to be first, but I enjoy running it and challenging myself.  It should be a good time.

Sunday James has his piano contest so it's a rest day for me.  Then Monday it's back to easy running.

I think by taking a step back I will be back to where I want to be in a few weeks.  Just have to get back to basics.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Dirty Dash

What a fun race this is!  It's my 4th year running it and I always love to get down and dirty in the mud pit at the end.   I will be honest though, I'm not much of a trail runner.  I'm always afraid of twisting my ankle and undoing the surgery I had done 14 years ago.  I am such a klutz that walking can sometimes be considered a full contact sport.  Throw in tree roots and low hanging branches and I could be looking at an all expense paid trip to the hospital.   But for this race, I'll suck it up and pick my way through the brush.

James has never been able to run it this race and has been begging to for years.  It always fell on a weekend that he was at his mother's house.  This was his year though.  It was his time to shine according to him.  He knows those trails because he has done Adventure Running at that park.  He had a goal of getting covered head to toe in mud.  He had his friend Jackie running with him.  All bets were off.  It was James vs. the mud in an epic battle.

We started off at a nice pace.  He knew a few people running because of Adventure Running.  Jackie was a trooper after having such a horrible first race experience a few weeks ago.  We pointed out how this race is marshalled and there are signs to show you where to turn and where to go.  The two of them chatted and got into the race more and more as we moved along.

At the 2k mark we entered the woods.  This was when the excitement really started to build.  This meant we were halfway done and that much closer to all the mud.  We got to the first river crossing and they were in heaven.  It was like watching to Labrador Retrievers jump in the water.  They were making sure they stayed in the deep part of the water.  James was up to thighs and Jackie was right behind him.  I was trying to herd them out of the water and back onto the trail.  As we were getting out of the water, James "fell" in the mud.  I He claims it was an accident.  I may buy that the first fall was an accident, but the 2nd and 3rd ones I don't think were accidental. 

Now he was muddy and much happier.  He takes off and is running ahead of us.  I'm hanging back with Jackie to make sure she's okay and not worried about getting lost.  As we are running, I'm teaching them what to do when they need to walk, trail etiquette, and the importance of running in a straight line as a opposed to running like a drunken sailor.  James likes to spend time in Jamesland and forgets that there is world outside of that magical place.  He has to be reminded from time to time.

We hit the next river crossing and they were splashing and having a good time.  I got the question I had been waiting for, "Where is all the mud?"  Then we came to the hill that was all mud.  James fell down on his hands and knees and crawled/rolled/commando crawled up the hill so he could get muddy before the mud pit.  Jackie walked up it laughing and having a good time with James.  I, on the other hand, very slowly used trees and grass to help me up   It was super slippery and I didn't want to take out the people behind me by doing my best imitation of a bowling ball.  Besides, it would have been hard to pick up the split.  We got to the top and it was another 2 minute run until the mud pit.

Once we hit the mud pit all bets were off.  James dove in head first trying to get the award for the muddiest person.  He rolled and crawled throwing mud at me the whole time.  Jackie stayed upright trying to pick her way through while keeping her shoes on her feet.  I, being the seasoned veteran, began crawling.  But I made the fatal mistake of stopping and got stuck.  It took me about 5 minutes to get through the pit and I was weighted down by all the mud that was caked on.

I crossed the finish line and looked back to see where James was.  He was lying in the middle of the mud pit like a slug.  He was stuck.  He got halfway through and got sucked in.  He was trying to get out, but the mud pit wasn't letting him.  So I put on my super hero cape, summoned by super strength and jumped back in to save him.  Let me tell you, it was like the blind leading the blind.  I got stuck again and almost lost both of my shoes.  I managed to get to him and we started pushing and pulling our way to the side where the mud wasn't knee deep.  We got to the side, he got in his feet and managed to make it out and across the finish line.

Covered in mud from head to toe, Mike brought us our towels and change of clothes and we all trudged off the the river for a bath.  I think they liked that just as much as the mud pit.  We got rinsed off in the nice cold stream and headed back for a meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, and stale bagels. 

We had  great time at this race and James and Jackie are already planning their method of attack for next year.  I'm glad James got to finally run it and Jackie got to see that running races can be fun.

This morning my run was stormed out.  I will run in rain, but not in thunder and lightening.  I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better morning for running or I will just hit the gym.  James has track and field camp this week so he will be running and jumping some more.  He was super excited for this camp and I'm so glad that he enjoys it.  It will be a busy week for us, but it will be a great start to our summer of fun!