Monday, February 22, 2010

Please Follow Me to

Today's a big step in a long journey that Dimity and I have been on together: The website for our book went live today. With only a month until our book hits stores nationwide (you can already pre-order it on Amazon), we are eager to build a community of strong, spirited runners. Dimity and I will be blogging more frequently. I have so appreciated your support on this blog, and I look forward to even more of a dialog on the new site. Please join the conversation!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Newest Secret Weapons

We all need new tools in our arsenal every so often. Like yesterday I got the twins each a coloring/activity book at the Dollar Tree (or, as the kids call it, "The One-Dollar Store"). When they get loopy, I can distract and entice with the books and some fresh crayons. Or the easy chicken enchiladas recipe my pal Dana sent me.

As for me, I debuted a new pair of speedwork shoes this week--Asics GEL-DS Trainer 15s. They provide the moderate stability I need, but are lighter and faster than my current everyday shoes. I felt like I needed a little get-up-and-go for my first marathon track workout--6 x 800. I was supposed to do them in 3:45, with 1:35 rest in between. I can't run fast and handle too much technology (e.g. pushing buttons several times per lap on my Timex) so instead I recovered with a 200 (half a lap) between each repeat. In the past, my M.O. was to do a full lap (400) after each 800, so I was a bit worried about hitting my target of 3:45.

Silly me: The shoes--plus one other new tool--propelled me to even better times. My times ranged from the overachieving first 800 (3:33) to the slowest (3:43) with most in the 3:39 range. You might say I was a trifle stoked.

And my other secret weapon? I am not going to spill too much, but it is a mouthpiece I'm testing for an article in Runner's World. I was skeptical at first, but after going through some moves with a physical therapist from the company that developed it, I'm rapidly becoming a believer.


Monday, February 8, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Before I had kids, whenever I was going through a rocky patch--say, a long stretch of no dates--I'd feel like things were entrenched and they'd never change. But since becoming a mother, I realize life changes daily. Take, for example, bedtime battles. Ten days ago, the kids were driving me so insane at bedtime, I was ready to sell them on eBay. I'm ashamed to admit I might even have uttered that (empty) threat when I felt pushed to my limits by the kids arguing, getting out of bed, crying, whining, coming into our room, you know the scene. I felt I was at my wit's end--and I had no clue how to rectify the situation.

Oh, that was so January! Bedtimes are still less-than-calm, but the last few nights, the kids (the twins, in particular) have fallen asleep with a minimum of blood-pressure-raising shenanigans. (See the sleeping kiddos, above.)

Same thing has happened has happened with my marathon training. Honestly, last Monday I was worried I was late to the game and I'd never catch up. Forty-two miles, many, many hills, and just seven days later, and I'm feeling well positioned and primed. Example A: The weekend's long run. I was supposed to do 12 hilly miles at a pace of 9:15-9:45. I was so intent on tackling the climbs (I headed up Rocky Butte, one of Portland's biggest hills) that I lost track of distance. I unintentionally ran a half-marathon exactly...and averaged 8:59-minute miles. Better yet? I felt great at the end. One week down, and looking forward to the next 11. Who knows how things might change, but right now I'm confident and upbeat.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Training for Big Sur Has Officially Begun

As I've said here before, sometimes it works better for me to walk up to something backwards rather than facing it straight on. That's what I'm telling myself I've been doing the last month or two for the Big Sur Marathon, which I'm running on April 25. You see, if I don't convince myself that my weekly hill workouts and long runs for my recent half marathon can also count toward Big Sur training, then I'm already behind the 8-ball!

I have good friends training for Boston (a mere 6 days before my marathon) and they ran 21 miles over the weekend. I ran 12, paltry in comparison. As a mom, I know I'm not supposed to compare myself to others--at least that's what I tell my kids--but it's tough not to check out other runners' plans and mileage totals.

For now I'm sticking to my plan, telling myself I'll just get hurt if I try to make a big jump to keep up with my Boston buddies. I just need to remind myself that the end of April is still a long time from now. (Right????)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Talk About Dull!

Another just-had-to-share story. Steve and his daughter's tale was inspiring. This one from the Metropolitan Diary in Monday's NYT is stultifying. I applaud the commitment to running, but venture forth! (I have italicized the part I can't fathom.)

"For 20 years, I ran 10 laps around my West Village block every day. I usually ran in the morning before work, but occasionally had to wait until evening.

"On one of those runs after a stressful day af the office, I was feeling really tired as I began my ninth lap. I'd decided to cut my run short until a woman sitting on a stoop called out, 'Is this your last lap?'

"Before I could say a word, her companion answered, 'No, she has one more to go.'

"Needless to say, I went on to complete the full 10 laps."


Monday, January 25, 2010

A Proud Marathon Dad

I had to share this sweet tale from a dad here in Portland named Steve. He and his older daughter, Jennifer, age 26, are training to run Boston together. (That's them up there.) They've run the Portland Marathon together, and both set PRs last May at the Eugene Marathon (Jennifer ran 3:39 and he ran 2:59!). Here's the part of the tale (an email written by Steve) I had to share, as it made this mother tear up:

"For Christmas, I had technical running shirts done up with 'Running Boston with My Dad' on her shirt and 'Running Boston with My Daughter' on my shirt. She always insists on running on my left so her shirt has an arrow pointing right and my shirt has an arrow pointing left. She is super-excited about wearing them and doing that race. I thought she'd think the shirts were corny, but instead she cried and told me it was the best gift she'd ever received. I'm going to run every step of the Boston Marathon with her so watch for us on video at the finish line in our funny shirts!"

I know I daydream about sharing something so special with one (or all!) of my children.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NYT Gear Test: iPhone Holders

I'm proud of my first New York Times story in 2010 so had to share. If you're old school, look for it in paper tomorrow.

Off for trade show and cold-weather, altitude running in Salt Lake City. Here's hoping for no lung-wrecking inversion!