Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Track Tuesday

Yesterday was my last track workout before my goal race (Columbus Half marathon) this weekend. I always think I'm prepared for what will go down on the track but there are those days when I'm thrown off by what my coach tells me to do. This particular workout didn't have the pace goal listed on my schedule. TBA was there instead, which means Coach will give me my pace/splits at the track.

We start at a local gym, warm up a quarter mile in the parking lot and come in for drills (well, yesterday we came in since it was pouring rain). At that time coach goes around and talks to everyone to discuss their workouts. We all usually have different workouts based on what our training goal is at the time.

Here is convo between coach and I yesterday:

Coach - What's your workout today, Kim?
Me - 4x200, 1 mi, 4x200
Coach - Ok, aim for 50-52 on the 200s. For the mile, just pray.
Me -

I knew once I got to the track the mile was going to be an all out effort. I ran my 2 miles with the group, in the rain to the track. Got to the track, changed my shoes and hit all my 200s within range (actually a little fast). Then this conversation took place....

Coach - Kim, J and A are going for an 8 minute mile. I want you to start with them, in front of them. Guys, if she hits the 200 faster than you, let her go. Kim, all out.
Me - ok.

It was pouring, y'all! Pouring rain. The back light on my Garmin hasn't worked in a year. The track wasn't very well lit. The first lane of the track was basically one large puddle of water. Coach was calling out my splits as I came around to his side of the track. And somehow I was still ahead of my friends. 4 laps done.


and I finished my last 4 200s. We took a break in the dry for a minute to all talk, coach took a pic and we were on our way to cool down and get in a warm shower. With .25 left in the cool down I got into a bit of a fight with the sidewalk.

I have NO idea exactly how it happened. These falls while running seem to always happen so very fast! I felt sick immediately and took a few minutes to get up but I am grateful for all of my friends that I was running with. They stayed with me and made sure I was good. We walked back, I iced my elbow a little and showered. Once I got to work I decided to call the dr and have the elbow checked out just in case. It was still quite a bit swollen and throbbing 3 hours after the fall. Luckily there are no fractures, just a big ol' bruise. I'm still swollen and sore today but that won't stop me from kicking butt this weekend at my race!

I have to say that I think part of the reason I am not feeling worse post hard workout AND fall is because I took a nice dose of AdvoCare Nighttime Recovery at bedtime. This stuff makes a world of difference even after a hard workout with muscle soreness. So, I think it helped me to feel even less stiff upon waking up and getting out of bed this morning. If you are an athlete and haven't tried it - let me know! You will LOVE IT.

And the best part of all is that I kicked butt on the track. It's funny how sub 8 use to feel SO far away and now I'm hitting it more and it's not feeling as taxing. Hoping all my hard work pays off on Sunday!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Mile.

We've all ran or walked a mile before. Some of us have many under our belts. I've certainly done my fair share of mile repeats on the track but it was not until last month that I actually Raced the mile. Imagine my surprise on Thursday when I received an actual race plan from my coach.

A mile race and I received a very detailed race plan. I studied it a lot over the course of the days leading up until my race. I knew exactly what I was capable of (yet still doubted myself) and knew I'd have no issues at least doing my very best.

My very good friend is the race director for the Hal Canfield memorial Mile fest that takes place on Labor Day Monday in September every year. It is a USATF certified course and very fast out/back mile in one of our favorite areas to run - Cherokee Blvd in Knoxville, TN.

I got up that morning, did exactly as my coach told me to. Walked around the house, did a quick jaunt down the road and came back in to have my breakfast. The fist wave of runners started at 8:00am. The race was broken up into several heats. My heat wouldn't take off until after 8:30am. I had plenty of time to get in my 2-3 mile warm up and use the bathroom one more time.

sidenote- Here is my AdvoCare pre-race fuel routine-
Spark and Catalyst as soon as my feet hit the floor.
O2gold 60 minutes before race time.

We lined up and I was completely intimidated because I was literally ON.THE.LINE.. first with the fast girls. I joked that all my fast friends stayed home. I knew I'd place if I managed to stick to my race plan just based on looking at who was in the heat with me.

My plan had me going into this race not as a mile but broken down by 200 meters at a time. When I initially went over my plan I knew that the goal was sub 8, which I have only ever done once in a workout and that was well over a year ago.  I had a friend run with me for about half a mile of this to give me a little boost, some pep talking. But I was running this for me.

I started fast and knew it so I slowed a little in order to be able to kick it up a notch in the last 200. Once I got near the finish line and could hear people cheering I heard my coaches voice and, "You can get sub 7:30 if you kick hard." Eh.. I did not have it in me but here is how I did finish....


I was stoked, out of breath completely, but STOKED!! PR and sub 8 and FAST!! I finished 3rd in my age group and took home a sweet $30 gc to a local health/food shop where I racked up $30 worth of GU. 
Racing a mile is hard but I was happy to have done this race and really put myself out there. I gave everything I had that day and it showed how much my hard work has paid off. In June I was averaging around a 8:36-8:44/mi for repeats on the track. That's almost a minute faster in just a matter of months. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

She is back!

Whoa Mama!
Who has been away from this dusty ol' blog for far too long??
You guess it - this girl!

How many times in the last year have I even said that!? Too.darn.many.

One of my goals for the year was to blog regularly again and obviously I have failed.  But let's look at what has been going down in my town (or really my life!haha) during my blog hiatus.

-- That lil AdvoCare 10 day cleanse and 24 Day Challenge thing brought both me and my hubs great results. Like really really fabulous results. Neither of us has ever felt better. I'm down roughly 17 lbs since June and my man is down an amazing 40 pounds!!! I will post some  progress and updated pics soon.
And I love love love AdvoCare SO much that I'm working it a little on the side. That said, if you read here and wanna hear more - I would LOVE TO HELP YOU get back on track with your weight loss goals, gain more energy and feel more A.L.I.V.E and coach you up on how YOU can be the very best healthy version of you without some fad diet and weight loss quick fix.

-- Whew.  Football season, y'all. It's like a year long thing at my house but we are in full swing. And it has been fun. The team my hubby coaches for is doing well so far this season and my lil guy (who is not so little at 8 yrs old anymore) is waterboy this year.!! I have loved watching the team when I make a game and loved the excitement in my son's face to be out there with the boys.

-- My son (the 8 yr old mentioned above) spent a lot of this year (well June until recently) sick. First it was a parasite, then it was "we don't know," and it was test after test after test, meds after meds after meds, until our final follow up appointment with the GI dr a week ago to find out the poor dude has stress/anxiety related IBS. No bueno and no fun. at all. What caused this? The parasite was likely the start of it, but he also expressed to us some concerns with school and repeating 2nd grade. All is well now or at least on the upswing. The kids have been out of school for fall break so we shall see what happens next week.

Y'all my 10th half marathon is a week away!!! I've ran some races and had some amazing PRs since I last posted. I cannot wait to share all that. And if all goes well the next two weekends (goal half marathon AND Ragnar Relay) I will be taking a short base building break before training for marathon number tres!

Stay tuned and hey - I am back!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The difference 3 weeks can make.

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I'd like to think that in 24 days/3 weeks I did both of those. I broke bad habits and reformed new, good habits.

In 3 weeks or 24 days here is what I lost -
* addiction to coffee and lots and lots of junky creamer.
* addiction and undying need/want for all things sweet
* 7.6 pounds gone forever
* 9.75 inches gone from my body

In the same time frame I gained -
* energy!!! Energy to come home and not be a slug even on days I woke up to run the track at 4am!
* confidence - that I can. I can do what I am doing and not let nay sayers get me down about it.
*  my old wardrobe back!
* motivation, determination - it's back and the fire is even bigger this time.

I had tried hard (after losing 90 lbs) the last year or so to get my body back on track with losing weight. It wasn't budging. I didn't have it in my mind to work the way it needed. I was eating well though (through the week) and the weekend would hit. I lost all control on weekends. I had told many people, NO I don't need this or that. But finally, I broke down and my simple yes turned into something bigger than I expected. Part of my success goes beyond just the weight loss and inches gone. What I am most eager about is how I FEEL!! I am not dragging by 2-3pm every day and that's even on my 4am days! I have energy to spend time with the kids, to clean my house and to just get extra stuff done outside of my workouts. I don't dread my workouts. I'm up and ready to go most days instead of hitting the snooze button until the very last minute. I'm sticking and staying.

And here is visual proof as to why....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Oh hello lovelies!! You know what is better than a 4 day work week leading into a week of vacation???

A little giveaway for my favorite headbands of all time!!!

So, you know I told ya a while ago that I was selected to be an ambassador this year for BicBands?!? Well, yay for ME! But what's in it for YOU???

A giveaway of course.

Here are the details- 

Up for grabs is $20 worth of credit at BicBands.

To enter:
Reply to this blog post telling me what BicBand is your favorite.
You may also Tweet or Instagram your best BIC Chick moment with ‪#‎bicchick‬ and tag us too @bicbands! (Can tweet/instagram 1x/day, each post is good for 2 entries).

Contest open 5-22-14 through 6-1-14. Winners will be announced 6-4-14

So, what are you waiting for??

 This is me last summer racing in one of my favorite BicBands! And it also happened to be one of my best #Bicchick moments because not only did I PR, but I won 1st place in my division!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WW - a quickie

Just a little quickie to say what I've been up to. BUSY! But 18 days ago I started the AdvoCare 24 day challenge. Above you will see my day 1 and then my day 11. Results?? I lost 5.4 lbs and 6 inches just during the 10 day cleanse phase. I am rocking out the Max phase and can't wait to share my results on day 25.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Boring gets exciting!

I almost did my usual - 3 things Thursday post, but boring....

Instead let me tell you about some exciting stuff going on in my world.
This year seems to be the year of "running fun" for me.

 First,  I'm super excited to announce that I was selected to be an Ambassador for my favorite active headbands of all time.


I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to receive the call from Sandy earlier this week. She totally made my day. I've been a HUGE fan since I found her little shop years ago on Etsy. I haven't found a single hair accessory or running headband that stands up to the test like BICbands. And of course her slogan, "because I can," really spoke to me. The best part - she gives a percentage of proceeds to a different charity every month. Simply amazing. You'll continue to hear me spread the BIClove here, on Twitter and Facebook and if you see me in real life you already know I can rarely be seen without a BICBand on my head. ;)

Secondly, I have stepped out of my comfort zone already this year but I took a huge leap recently. A position opened up with our local track club to direct one their races. Two friends immediately sent my name to the club exec dirextor and in turn emailed me to make sure I got in touch with him. So, I will now be directing a race during the summer. I am really excited about the opportunity and feel so blessed to be a part of such a great club. My friends are awesome in so many ways and I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for their support and encouragement.

Lastly, I have failed to blog about my successes and downfalls to a T this year. That's going to change. I am going to muster up the courage this weekend to lay everything on the line. I need encouragement and support and well, I know I can get it here! I did before and it was great. Sunday begins another new adventure in my journey. Well, I shouldn't say new. I should say a re-start. I have never been more ready to hit the big green light than I was when I first started this weight loss thing. I'm full on ready to do it again and move forward to my successful path. I can't wait to start re-sharing my journey with you.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. This blog still exists. I need to make an effort to make it exist more. ;)
The truth is I have avoided  blogging because my running has been very "blah" lately and there's nothing fabulous to report. That has been quite depressing for me. I've been in Physical Therapy since late Jan/early Feb. Looking back it doesn't feel like it's been that long but seriously that is a LONG time. I've been running. Less than I like, but running. What I have not been doing is racing. I love racing. It's prime racing season and my poor Kinvaras aren't being used (on the track or on race days). I think they're beginning to feel neglected. It hurts. I registered and then had to DNS my first 5k of the season. Big, fat suckfest!

2. What exactly IS up with the PT thing?
Well, I may get released today. Like released from seeing him or at least on an "as needed" basis. I've been released to run the entire time because the goal has been to keep me running but making sure it's pain free. Obviously there had been some painful runs, which is why I said running wasn't bringing me anything fabulous to report. The hip has been mostly cooperative with the occasional impingement issue here and there. My glutes are weak but we are working on that. And my back, mercy it's tight and has been receiving a lot of work. I'm hopeful. Today I am hopeful. I'm on a run 2/off 1 day schedule and easy runs only. Next week I can add back those beloved striders after my easy runs and possibly get to some hills (they seem to give my hip some issues). So, be hopeful with me!

3. Other excitement.
PT has told me that I can pick up the kettle bells again. Swing 'em, lift 'em, get stronger. That is exciting news because honestly I KNOW that this extra 15 I've packed on the last yr+ isn't going anywhere with running (or lack of) alone. I NEED to lift weights to make the muscles burn baby! So, that is good news. The issue will be working that time back into my schedule and getting use to a running plus gym routine. The best part is that we are closing in on the end of the school year and my kiddos routines will change. That means they can stay up later and getting home by 6:30-7 won't be as much of an issue w/homework. So, yay summer because summer means more gym time!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Running in the woods!

A few weeks ago we went camping as a family. We drove a couple of hours to join friends at Fall Creek Falls State Park. It's chock full of great hiking and lots of fun. We did a few little hikes that day as a family and since I hadn't done my long run for the day I decided to run in the woods when I had a chance. It got me super pumped up.

I've been dealing with this nagging injury but it felt like running in the woods on the softer surface wasn't as painful as road running sometimes seems to be. So, when I got home from that trip I immediately registered to run my first trail race.

The Knoxville Track Club has a great trail race serious - Treadin' Troddin' Trails.
I chose one of the harder trail races on the schedule as my first trail race. I.C. King of Trails. When I told my PT I was running it he asked if I had ever ran there. I told him no and he told me that it was definitely legit.  I was even more excited.

Booty shot  my hubby got as we headed to the trail.

For $10 or 2 volunteer coupons I got to run a low stress, no pressure race in the woods with friends and got a t-shirt to boot! The weather on Sunday was perfect. I chose crops, a tank and a long sleeve to wear. I opted for a hat rather than one of my beloved BICbands for fear I'd have to deal with branches in the face and at least the hat could shield my eyes a little. My hubby bought me a new pair of trail shoes a couple of weeks ago so I also got to break those in. It was muddy too since we'd recently had rain. Fun!!

This race is stagger start based on age/gender. There were 4 women in my age group and we started roughly 10-12 minutes after the first person. We started on the paved road and  headed up into the trail. The uphill start was tough but there was plenty of downhill (narrow downhill, I might add) to make up for the uphills. I stepped to the side as needed for the fast folks to pass me. I walked when I felt the need to walk and I ran fast when I could. My friend Lindsay and I piggy backed each other the whole race, talking and making sure we stayed on the very well marked course.

I'd check my Garmin once in a while just to see where we were. She'd check hers too and we would compare  notes. I noticed mine was a bit short on distance but every time I stepped to the side for someone to pass or walked my Garmin would auto pause. Starting back up it took a while for it to restart. So, the whole time Lindsay was about .60 mi ahead.

There was a water stop at the half way point. Our buddies were working the stop so we took a break to chat with them for a minute or two before heading out to finish up the race. I had carried my own water but they had a sports drink and I opted to take a small sip of that.

The first half of this race is on the expert trails and we knew the last half would be easier. We were thankful for that. It seemed like we were able to run much faster and walk less on the last half. It went by much faster than the first half. The funniest part was when I hit a root, caught myself and hit another root. Thankfully I caught myself again!

We kept wondering based on the difference in our Garmins when we would hit the end. Then we saw vehicles and heard cheering. We'd reached the end!

6.93 miles

This race was so much fun. It felt so good to not worry about time or pace. It was fun to talk to a friend and just enjoy our surroundings without the normal race day pressure. I'm already planning my next trail race! I was amazed at how well I felt afterwards. I was sore but it was such a different sore compared to how I feel after road racing.

Have you ever ran a trail race? Do you prefer that over road racing?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon - Relay Recap

It all began this year with helping tag and label 8200 bibs on a Wednesday evening a couple of weeks ago with my friends. This is a little "event" that I have happily helped with for the last few years. I love it.

Volunteering for this event never stops there though. I missed goody bag stuffing this year because we were out of town camping, however I was happy to volunteer at the expo the day before the race. I was helping with checking in our wonderful volunteers. My little 4 hour shift turned into a  much longer (all day!) affair. I arrived around 8am and left just shortly after 6pm. Volunteering is one of my favorite parts of this event.

Race day -
Knoxville Endurance Ladies 4 person relay team before the race.

I was so excited when my friends and training buddies invited me to join them for the relay this year. 
I was given the last leg. It was the shortest at just around 6 miles (or less). I got my "race plan" earlier in the week. I was familiar with this leg of the course because it's also part of another race in town we run. The hardest part I thought would be waiting around for a couple or hours or so for my friends to finish their legs. 

Waiting on relay runner 3 to hand off to me.

I waited at the first exchange with my friends while my hubby ran his leg of his relay. Then he dropped me by Panera for a bagel and coffee. Hey! My 5am breakfast was gone by this point. 
We then headed over to my exchange. I warmed up a little and used the porta potty. Within a few minutes it was time for me to begin my run. My friend handed the slap bracelet off to me and down the hill I went.

I felt really good for the start of my run. Except I looked at my Garmin as I was coming down the hill into my first mile and was going way too fast. I hit my first mile 45 seconds faster than my goal. Given my current issues with a long time injury I have had I paid for this in my middle miles and the one hill I had to deal with.

It was great seeing my friends running the marathon and cheering them on as I passed them on their way out. I didn't take water or need to gel but did grab water at one stop since it had already began to warm up quite a bit. My only goal once I realized I was off pace was to run as fast as possible and finish the race with my friends. My leg was roughly 6 miles. I gave it absolutely all I had. I was excited once the stadium was within view and amped up my pace a bit despite that gross hill going into the stadium (hills are not my friend, yet). 

I could hear lots of cheering and looked up to see my friends! We all ran into the stadium together. We were stoked. We weren't sure exactly where we placed in the female relay division but we knew we had placed. We hung around a bit after the race to chat with friends and wait for a few others to finish before heading out and over to the Beer Market. One of our friends showed up later with these....

We finished as a group in 3:36:40 for the full 26.2 miles.
We were stoked to have placed and find out we got 2nd. Receiving an award was a bonus.

The best news is that we found out on Monday that we actually came in FIRST place in the female division. We'll be trading our lovely 2nd place plaques for first place plaques. YAY!

Posing w/our plaques and proud coach!

It was a fabulous day. I am so glad to call these ladies my friends and teammates. 
And I love this race every year. I have done a different part of the race each year for the last 4 years. I loved doing the 4 person relay this year so much that I am convinced it is my favorite way to run the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tom King Half Marathon recap

Two things I love - races and road trips! The only thing that makes the two better is when my friends are along for the ride and run! March 7-9 my friends, hubby and I all packed our bags and headed to Nashville, TN for a half marathon and lots of fun.

The details -
20th Annual Tom King Half marathon (and 5k)
Saturday, March 8, 2014
7:30 AM (limited to 1500 registrants)

My morning started like all race mornings. Up about 2-3 hours before the race, walk around, and eat breakfast before getting dressed and heading out the door. We arrived in plenty of time for a stop at the bathrooms and to hang around. We even saw THE Tom King as we were headed back out to meet the rest of the group before our warm up.

The weather was perfect at the start. It was cool enough to not have to bundle up and warm enough that I could've have switched my crops for a skirt if I had packed better. My friends and I did a half mile warm up then a few striders and lined up, ready to go.

I've been having some hip and tailbone issues and in therapy twice a week for that for a while now. So, I knew going in that this was not necessarily going to be the PR race I had hoped for. However, my race plan was pretty much laid out that it could have been a PR if my body was cooperative. The goal was to start at 9:25 pace and progress down from there. I knew this goal was attainable given my endurance and speed workouts lately.

The course is really flat (compared to K'ville). There were some inclines but nothing I'd even come close to calling a hill despite the volunteers saying, "You're downhill now," and "it's all downhill from here." The start and finish is at LP field. Start is on the outside road by the stadium and the finish is inside. The course itself is ran on some road then a paved bike/running path in a wooded park. We crossed a few bridges, one of which was bouncy and totally weird!

I liked this course/race well enough but not sure I'd rush back to it next year. I like the out and back but there wasn't really a lot of scenery. The finish was ok except once you think you're close to the finish line and see the stadium you then have to run around to the back side of the stadium which is kind of a mental challenge that close to the end. And that isn't all, once inside the stadium you have to run the entire inside loop to the finish. Not really fun when it's the end of the race and the goal is to pickup the pace for the final sprint. It's grassy and I'm just not a fan of running on grass.

My splits -
9:26 9:35 9:35 9:29 9:27 9:17
9:36 9:30 9:22 9:34 9:33 9:41
9:01 1:29

Obviously, I did not hit my goal paces nor did I PR. However, as I stated before my hip has been giving me fits so I knew going in this would be tough physically. I can stand about 8-9 miles before the tightness begins. Rather than stop and stretch wasting precious time on the clock, I push forward continuing to move. The best thing with that is that I was at least consistent and for this race that was a plus. My schedule did not have this race set up as my goal race for the year, so I was happy to run/race and collect a medal.

The only thing I'd have really done differently was carry my own water. I debated doing so because I thought there were plenty of water stops. However, it was warmer than I expected and around mile 9-10 we were in an open area of the park where the sun was beating down quite hard. That would have been the perfect spot for an extra water stop. This was also the time in which I needed to take another gel but was difficult without fluids to wash it down. Next time, I'd have my smaller hand held just in case.

The great thing about the out and back was being able to cheer on all my friends as they were headed back. Everyone did such a great job and looked awesome out there. They all came home with PRs!!!

Post race pic w/my hubby.

Finish time - 2:05:04
Age 35/39 - 48/107
Overall - 695/1283

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Best "What If" I ever heard.

You know we've all played that "what if" game before. What if you had a million dollars? What if you could have any car you want? What if you could take the trip of your dreams.
Well friends, here is an even better what if......

What IF Everybody Ran?

My friends over at Mizuno Running have come up with an awesome illustration and statics to show you what the world would be like if everyone ran. Less cigarettes smoked, better sleep, more smiles. The list goes on and on and on.

Here is my favorite -
More smiles! Why is more smiles my favorite?

Let me shed some light.
I've been criticized by others for my love of running (and the gym for that matter) especially in regards to my job as a mother. Some things have been said along the lines of time taken away from my kids. There was a time when it would bother me a little especially when my own kids have asked, "Do you have to run today?" But I've let any negativity with that go. Sure, there are times I feel guilt but let me explain as I have to my children.

If you've read here long enough you know where I was 6 years ago. For those that haven't let me share briefly. I was overweight, not just a little BUT A LOT! I weighed in at 248 lbs at my highest that I can recall even seeing on a scale. That number could very well have been higher. In 2008 a friend of mine knew I had desires to learn to run and at the same time lose weight. She signed us both up for a 5k. My friend was fit and in great shape. This was the kick in the butt I needed. I "ran" that race with her finishing in barely under 50 minutes. It was miserable but I was happy to have accomplished something.

Six years later I still run. My fastest 5k to date is 25:51 (summer 2013). I've completed the following:
13 - 5k
5- 10k
4- 8k
2- 15k
2- 10 miler
8 - 1/2 marathon
2 - marathon

Running has brought me a long way physically (losing 90 lbs!!).  Running has also brought me a long way mentally. Running has also helped me find not just myself but a ton of life long friends! What does all that mean? It means this mama is smiling more. It means this mama is happy and healthy and ALIVE!

So, when others question "WHY" I run so much or when  my kids ask "Do you have to?," I have an answer.

If I didn't run, I'd be unhealthy and obese. Being unhealthy and obese means I can't do all the amazing things I can do with my family/kids. It means being tired and grumpy and out of shape. It means not being around for very long because we know that being unhealthy and obese isn't just being tired and fat. There are SO many other related health issues that aren't just related to physical health. 

Along with all the other little things in my life that make me happy - running is my smile.

So, I ask YOU... what IF everybody ran? What if YOU ran? 

If you want to read more on this awesome project go 
here and here 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a busy weekend we had around here!
Friday was my birthday and you know how it started. 5am on the track with 10x200 repeats. I killed them!! I worked most of the day before heading to a torturous PT session. Instead of starting with my exercises and finishing with the tens machine we started with the tens and ended with the exercises and some other stuff. The torturous part? An elbow digging deep into my super tight muscles. I thought I was going to come off the table.

Because my son's birthday is so close to mine (me - Feb 28, him -  March 3) we decided to have his birthday party on Friday night. I'm such a cool mom to share my actual birthday for his celebration. :) Anyway, we had 4 of his friends over which made for a houseful of smelly, rowdy 8 yr old boys! FUN! They spent the night. The fun ended Saturday morning.  I lost my train of thought. Did you catch that? Haha My hubby made a birthday cake for ME and we celebrated my day on Thursday.

He did such an awesome job with my cake and thankfully didn't light 35 candles. It was a nice night with my family.

Saturday  morning once all the boys left I met a couple of friends for my long run. I was suppose to run 12 miles but they were only going 9. We rode together to the park. They suggested leaving and heading to Starbucks for coffee while I finished my last 3 BUT since we'd ran a decent clip and the course was hillier than my usual I decided to call it done at 9 miles too.

I think I made a wise decision there since I'd been having some issues with my hip this week. I'm also going into a race week. I have a half marathon coming up this Saturday, March 8th that I want to be ready for. I am ready but what I mean is I need my hip/body to completely cooperate for the best possible race. Skipping 3 miles from long run this weekend didn't worry me at all. I know I have the endurance to complete 13.1.

Sunday was spent with family taking it easy and meal planning for the week. We made a menu and I spent the evening getting my food ready for tomorrow. I think pre-planning is the best and easiest way for me to stay on track. It always makes me feel good going into a new week with a plan.

Tell me about your weekend. Anything fun?
Do you meal plan/food prep ahead of time?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Believe you can!

It's been a while since I posted any kind of update. I had gotten a bit down on myself being back in physical therapy and not hitting my goals for workouts. BUT the negative thoughts didn't last long. This week has been awesome!

physical therapy 
I tore the labrum in my left hip in April 2012. I spent 4 mos straight in PT then and "recovered" well. I was able to keep running. I trained well and ran a 23 min marathon PR in November, injury free/little pain. However, I took a tumble late December and seemed to have jarred things on the ol' left hip a little. I wasn't having a ton of pain/issues but my tailbone was really bothering me. I didn't fall directly onto my tailbone so I ignored it for a long time.

I went to the dr, had an x-ray and got good news. No broken/fractured or bruised tailbone. He put me on anti-inflammatory meds for a couple of weeks and said to call back if I still had trouble. I did. I was sent to a PT specializing in women's health therapy (more on that later). It's so weird how all our "parts" connect and one thing leads to another. The tailbone was overcompensating for the hip stuff. So, once things were resolved with the tailbone after 2 visits, the hip flared up reallly reallly bad.

I've been in PT for 3 weeks with great improvements. I'm trying hard to remain positive in that I won't require another visit to the orthopedic dr OR surgery for my hip just yet. I believe if I just be patient in listening to my body and do my PT exercises as told that I can continue to run well and prolong any kind of surgery talk.

easy runs
It's been repeated to me over and over how important it is to take it easy on the runs labeled "easy run." I know why an easy run day follows a track/speed day. Your body has to recover. Easy runs should be done at an easy pace (for me during marathon training this was 9:45ish, now I'm told to stay around 10:00). The competitor in me, I guess, wants to always work hard. I'm motivated most of the time and like to run with my friends (who typically are faster). Going a bit faster on easy runs wasn't always easy but I got use to it and that became an easy pace for me.

BUT then the marathon and blah blah. My body was tired, this happened and that. And guess what? Yep, that "easy" pace became much harder especially on my easy days following a speed workout. Why? Because I wasn't allowing my body the rest/recovery it needed! Guess what happens when we push hard back to back? More prone to injury! I am not saying that is why my hip is a little flared up BUT it gives me a good reason to listen to what is being told of me and my easy run pace.

So, that all said - I take my easy runs easy and I feel so much better doing so and not letting the pace control my mood of the run. I believe that if I listen to what I have been told and am patient with the easy runs I will see the improvement I want in all my runs - long, short, easy, speed, races!

the track
In the last month or so I have been having a terrible time hitting my paces for track/speed workouts. This may be partly because I have gone to the track dreading what was on the schedule. A bad attitude rarely results in anything positive! It could also be that this winter has been terrible. So much cold, rain, snow and just too much winter around here.

However, this week has been great. I lost the attitude of "I cannot hit that pace for that workout," and I said, "Screw you mother nature and your sub freezing temps." I went to practice, listened to my coach when he told me my paces and then I ran them. Boom, bam, bizzle.

My training right now is based on speed and getting faster for my upcoming races.  Here is how this week looked. I do speed work at the track on Tues/Fri.
Tues - drills - 2mi warmup 12x400 2 mi cool down (goal 2:05-2:00 progress down, 1:00 rest btwn)
1:57 1:59 1:56 1:58 1:56 1:57 1:56 1:57 1:57 1:58 1:59 1:56

Fri- drills - 2 mi warmup  10x200 2 mi cool down (goal :53-:55, 200 m recovery jog btwn)
:53 :52 :53 :55 :52 :51 :51 :51 :50 :48
Coach ran the last one with me as a birthday 200!

I believe that if I go to practice with a positive attitude and tell myself, "I can," when I am given my paces then I WILL! 

What I learned this week:
When coach says be patient - be patient.
Lose the negative thoughts - you will see positive results.
Keep the easy runs easy and allow the body to recover. 

And for my biggest bit of advice (not that this is even an advice post, lol) ------

Believe you can and you're halfway there!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Strawberry Plains 10k - race recap

The details -
When - Saturday, February 9, 2014
Where - Strawberry Plains, TN
What - Strawberry Plains 10k/Half marathon
Weather - 38 degrees and cloudy

For the past few years I have not only ran this race but volunteered. Actually, my first time ever at this race I volunteered only. This race is one of my favorites. I typically would choose to run the half (and have in the past) but this time the 10k was on my schedule. I was thankful for that! Given my last race (10 miler a few wks ago) I wasn't overly thrilled to be racing at all but definitely was glad to be running the shorter of the 2 distances.

I had a very off week last week. I only got in 2 of my scheduled runs and one other workout due to my body not cooperating. I will get into that more, but let me just say that as a result I was totally unsure of how things would go on race day.

Since I was volunteering for food prep we had to be there by 6:30am. Worked out well for us. It gave me plenty of time to get up, dress and eat before we needed to leave. I usually struggle with pre-race morning breakfast but on this race day things were perfect. I should make myself a huge note of that and keep doing that for every race day. Note about food prep - I made a bazillion and 42 peanut butter sandwiches on race morning. I may never eat a pbj again.

About 20-30 minutes before the race start my running friends and I got ready to head outside for our warmup. I was pretty chilled when we started out but was happy after a mile in to be warm enough that I wouldn't freeze during the race. My lungs felt great and my body was doing well. 1.5+ warm up and we headed to potty one last time before lining up. Since I had eaten breakfast at 5am and race start was 9am I decided to take a gel before the start.

We are usually advised to line up close to the start so as to not have to dodge walkers. I knew what my start pace should be (9:00-9:10) and felt pretty good where we placed ourselves in line. Once the gun went off I was a bit faster going out than needed so I tried to slow up a little to save energy when I would need it. I felt good. Really good considering my week and the pain I'd been having.

The plan was 9:10-9 to start and then speed up, however here are the actual splits:
9:22 (dropped a glove, stopped to go back and pick up. DUMB!)

Overall, I am really pleased with my race. I didn't hit my paces according to the plan BUT I was consistent and felt good the  entire time. Other than the one tiny walk break to pick up my glove that I had dropped I don't think I'd do much differently. This wasn't a 10k PR for me but since it's the first time running this course it is a course PR.

Where did I finish up?

Garmin time - 56:59
Gun time - 57:01
Chip time - 56:58

95/284 overall

and..... 1st place Athena! I'll take that since it wasn't close to being a PR race for me.I scored an awesome beanie, scarf,  and gloves (to replace the ones I ditched, goodbye Nikes).

It was really great to run with my friends and team mates. We all celebrated our own victories on Saturday. Several of us placing in our age/divisions and setting new PRs.

Did you race this weekend or finish a long run? How'd it go?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WW - hill repeats (and it's not wordless!)

I had a hill repeat workout on Friday. Typically I go at 5am to practice but put off my workout because I wanted to sleep in. We had some snow during the week. When I got to the end of my 2 mi warmup this was the sight of my hill. Snow and ice. I had never ran such hard hill repeats but I am glad to have gotten it done. I felt a bit like  a beast for accomplishing that after a long work day.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Motivational Monday - a shameless plug

If you know me well enough you know I don't like to brag on myself. You might also know that I'm shy, very shy. I don't remember the details of who or how I was pointed in the direction of the website but I was emailed, filled out a survey, answered a few questions and voila.. my weight loss/running story was suddenly made very much more public! I'm on weight loss expert nor am I an elite runner but I do have experience in both areas. Here is an article posted yesterday about my story. 
I like to think it's the perfect little bit of motivation I needed right now to keep me going in the right direction. 

Kimert Run's Weight Loss Success Story

Since I've already told you I am not an expert or elite runner here are a few more things I would like to add.
- I've been there. It's HARD not just at first but every single day.
- You have to start somewhere. Take baby steps.
- No magic pills, no magic shakes, no magic wraps will give you long lasting success.
- Diet and exercise - 100%
- Commit and find a support group willing to commit too.
- Believe. Know you are worth every step it takes to reach your goals.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Calhoun's 10 Miler - a recap of sorts

Saturday I ran my first race since my marathon in November. I knew going into this race that it was not an A race nor would it be for a PR. Even though I had a race plan setting me up for "racing" I still told myself "training run," race this one. I'm sure my coach didn't have that in mind but it's what I needed to tell myself to keep moving forward.

There is no day before race packet pickup, only race day pickup. No big deal. Just meant for an earlier morning. This race started at 7:30am so it was an early morning. We were still running a little bit behind. My morning was off. I was suppose to be there for a team pic at 6:45. I hopped out of the Jeep as everyone was getting posed for that.

I did a quick little jaunt to the building for my bib, shirt, etc. I talked with friends and decided I better suck it up and get outside for my warm up. I did a mile warm up instead of my regular two, stood in line for the bathroom and talked to a few more friends before making my way outside to the start line.

Weather on Saturday was cold and windy. I wasn't thrilled but made the most of it. I think I've done pretty well with running in the wind and temps this winter so far but still wasn't prepared for what was going to be the last half of this race.

This race is hilly coming and going with the infamous "Cemetery Hill," on both the out and back being equally hard each direction. I told myself to start slow and that it would be easier to make up the pace in the middle to the end if I saved my energy. That's smart and one thing I've tried to work on. It's part of the race plan too.

Disclaimer - I'm too lazy to go back and forth and look up my Garmin info now for this recap. So, no paces will be listed. I'm such  a bum. haha

The first half I watched a lot of people pass me. Some of those folks were people I knew I could run faster than but kept telling myself not to let that get to me because I wasn't wearing myself out early. I could catch up. I did.

I took my first gel at 3.5 miles and after that and the turnaround point I met my hubby who said, "Your race starts now, go." And that I did. My gel kicked in, I had energy and lots of those folks who were ahead of me early on were now sniffing my dust. I never looked back. I only stopped one time because I had to tie my darn shoe. Hate when that happens!

I will say that while parts of this race were a mental challenge and the course was definitely not easy, I enjoyed the second half a lot. However, the wind on that second half was misery. Up to 25-30 mph gust coming up by the lake. I could have done without that.

I did not PR. I think I ended up around 1:41 and some change. A decent training run for long mileage. I haven't decided if I will do this race as a repeat. I think I need to get back into a decent running base and speed again before I decide.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Treadmill Tell- All

This is a fun little ditty I found over on  Jess' blog and thought I'd join the fun. Much like the rest of the country it's cold here in E. Tn and I have had to get some of my runs done on the treadmill just to keep from freezing my face off. That is not a complaint about winter. I like that I live where we have a change in seasons, however running in 7 degree temps (like this morning) is sometimes as much as a mental struggle as it is physical. And that my friends is where the treadmill comes into play!

1. What’s your favorite workout to do on a treadmill? 
I don't really have a favorite TM workout. But I usually prefer to play with speed rather than just run a steady pace. Whatever I can do to get it done and over with faster.
 2. How many miles, on average, do you run on the mill each week?
Usually none. The only time I really have to get myself on a TM is when the weather forces me to. Otherwise I'm outside. Lately I've been getting around 3-6 mi per week on the TM but that is a huge exception (due to sub freezing temps and flooded greenways).
3. What was the most mileage you’ve ever completed on the mill in one workout? When? Why? 
I once did a 12 mile run on the treadmill. It was during training for my first half marathon (if I recall correctly). I knew I only had 2 hours to get it done due to the time frame my kids could be in the gym daycare. 
4. Do you mill at home, the gym or both?  
I don't have the space at home for my own 'mill so it's the gym for me when I have to use one.
5. What distractions or entertainment (if any) do you use to help pass the time?  
Usually just music. The gym has tvs but it's always on the news (and they have like 10 tvs) when I'm there. I don't think I could have much success running and trying to read a book/magazine.
6. If you have a treadmill at home, what kind is it? How old is it? 

7. Do you fuel any differently for a treadmill workout than an outside one?

Not really. I might drink a little more water since I have it sitting there but usually I'm only on the TM for short runs so fueling isn't an issue.
8. Any treadmill mishaps to report? 

Nope thankfully I have never (knocking on wood now) flown off the back of one!
9. Do you mill at incline to compensate for not being outside?  

A lot of times I set it to 1-2% but depends on what I'm doing and how I feel.  
10. Describe your perfect (if there is such an animal) treadmill conditions:

My gym is often too warm and there's usually someone who will get on the TM directly beside me (a lot of times an old man who enjoys passing lots of gas). So that said, a TM room, solo with the temp set at 60 and a good set of tunes!

Do you enjoy the treadmill or do you prefer running outdoors? 
What is winter running like where you live?  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A note to myself.

Back when I started this blog it seemed I had all the words to say and could write a post most any day of the week. It seemed like I knew how to lose weight and was dropping weekly. I was 110% into the gym and doing everything right to make progress. I was excited and energetic about ME and my whole journey.

Lately, I have no words to write or when I do they escape my brain as soon as they enter. I blame that partly on my busy life but really it shouldn't be an excuse. With smart phones these days one would think making notes would come easy. I have a reference guide at my fingertips and rarely use it. Oops.

I won't say I am not still excited and energetic about me and this whole journey I am and have been on. I also won't say that I am not 110% into the gym and my workouts. What I will say is this... I'm not progressing as far as weight loss goes like I want to right now. The reality is that I've gained (Yes, gained!!) 15 lbs in the last 2 yrs but mostly in the last few months between the end of marathon training and now. I will go on to say that I am super bummed about that.

What am I doing?
Is what I am doing wrong? Am I not doing enough?

Here is what I am doing -

Running 5 days a week. Logging at least 30 miles per week.
One BodyPump class a week. One BodyFlow class a week.

I do so very good during the work hours and mostly at night with the occasional treat in there.
I log my food either in a paper journal I keep in my bag or on my iPhone (see I do use it as a reference tool) on the LoseIt! app. Heck, I even take pictures of my food and Instagram them like a crazy person sometimes.

So, what gives??
I will tell you. My mind. I stress too much over this not happening or that happening. What exactly is that? The scale not moving. My clothes not fitting right. Not making this workout or not hitting my pace for that workout. It is driving me crazy!! Crazy.

I keep looking back at pictures from last yr and the yr before. I see SO much more than I see in my current pictures. I see so much more even in those pictures than I see in the mirror image of myself and I do NOT like it. I don't like the feeling I get when I realize (and I realize it a lot) that I am different (and not really in a great way) now than I was even 6 months ago. I keep fighting with the little voice in my head going between, "You'll get there," to "What the crap is going on?" It would be so easy to give up this fight right now and let myself go. But, I can't. I won't. There is no sense in even thinking that way.

Sometimes I think if I could just find a quick fix to snap myself out of things, but honestly is a quick fix worth it. NO, we (or I rather) gain nothing from quick fixes. Why? They're temporary and usually have no lasting effects (at least not of the positive kind). Complaining about the scale being up or feeling like a bundle of bloat doesn't fix my problem. It doesn't make the pounds come off or my image of myself any better. Instead it adds the frustration.

It seems like my last post was full of negativity and complaints much like this one. I don't really intend for that to be the case. I want this to be more of a "I know what I am doing wrong and this is how I will fix it," type of post to myself. I DO know the areas that need a bit of work and tweaking. I DO know what needs to be done in order for them to be "fixed." So, why is it difficult some days to keep my mindset headed in that direction?

It is not that I lack determination or motivation to eat right or workout.
I lack patience. I lack patience these days when it comes to results.

I have to get my mind back to one day at a time, one run at a time, one workout at a time.
Baby steps. I've already taken so many baby steps this week. The key will be to not let the baby steps forward end in a giant leap back.

You can do this. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Believe.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Be Fierce. Fight. Move Forward.

Yesterday was my first day back on the track in a while. My last few speed workouts were tempo runs and last week mile repeats which I had to do on the TM due to weather and timing. I managed to hit my paces for my mile repeats on the TM but I always think that is pretty easy to do since you can set the TM to a specific pace and just run. Yesterday on the track was a different story for my 2x2 mi workout.

During our warmups my coach goes around to talk briefly with each of us about our specific workout for the day and give us our paces. (Side note: usually most of us have a different workout and pace, that's fine, personal coaching proof there.) When coach came to me to tell remind me I had 2x2 mi and discuss pace I was ok at first. He told me he wanted me to start at an 8:30 and get faster if possible. I grinned, said I knew it would be tough but assured him I would do my best. It has been a long time since I was hitting an 8:30 pace per mile with confidence. I was going to do my best and try to hit the pace he wanted to see me hit. He knew I could do it.

After our core work we headed over to the track. From the location we meet at it is a 2 mile run. It was raining and seemed to only get harder the closer to the track we got. We made the most of our warmup. The best part for me is running this with my friends.

Once at the track we did some drills (high knees, backwards run, A-sip, striders) and were loosened up, ready to go. The track was soaked. Unfortunately UT's track doesn't seem to have the best drainage system and lane one was a sloppy mess. Yay for running in super wet shoes and huge puddles! haha

I lined up at the start, took a deep breath and hit my watch. Off I went. I started at an 8:22 pace and by lap 3 (.78 into my first mile of 2) I was hitting an 8:50 which was 20 seconds slower than goal pace for the first mile. I knew then I was struggling but was determined to keep pushing. However, I would be stopped when my coach asks, "How ya feeling?" My reply, "Eh." Then he says, "Stop." Ugh. This was like a punch in the gut. Only it was the first punch in the gut. When I stopped the punch went deeper and produced tears I had not expected this day on the track. I got a "pep talk" of sorts about how I was defeating myself before even beginning the workout and how I AM capable of hitting the paces given to me. I suppose that is true. The last blow to the gut was when I was told to instead run 2x1 mi repeats and aim for 8:20. Bah.

I wanted the next 2 miles to be killer. I wanted to fight the blubbering and the tears rolling down my face. I wanted to succeed. I didn't want anything to get in my head other than strength and confidence.

That didn't happen.

Despite cheers and encouragement from my friends and teammates and the "good job, Kim" I was getting from my coach I still failed to reach the goal. First mile 8:30, second mile 8:50.  When I finished I didn't even go to tell my coach. I hit the stairs, grabbed my water and waited on my friend to head back with me on our cool down. Unfortunately my hiding was found. I gave my splits and got, "We'll talk when we get back." Ugh. Why?

Why couldn't I hit the paces given to me? Why weren't my legs going fast like they were before my marathon? Why was my mind a cloudy mess of "I can't do this,"?

I didn't have the answers. I didn't know where to get them. I am so thankful that my friend let me cry, curse and be mad on our cool down run back. I was even more glad when she said, "I need to walk a minute." Was I spent? Could I not even hold down the cool down pace? No, but those few seconds gave me time to cool down and get my thoughts together. I hate to cry. I hate to feel weak and defeated. I was determined to not let my meeting post run make me cry again.

I love running. I love a good morning on the track. I love a PR. I love to race.
But what was going on? What is going on?
Is it really my mental state? Is it fatigue? Excuses?

Sure there were circumstances post marathon that kept me from getting in all my runs/mileage. Sure I had bronchitis/sinus infection/ear infection in November and then the Flu in December, but were those reasons for feeling like I did with running or were they just excuses?? I don't know really.

What do I know?
I know that the only place I can move is forward. I know that I cannot and will not let one bad workout define me as a runner. I know that I will get my speed back. I know that I have to believe that I can in order to succeed. I know that I have a great coach. I know that I have great friends. I know that when I hear the words, "I know you can do it. I believe in you,"  that I CAN!

So what will I do?

Be Fierce. Fight. Move Forward.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

Last time I posted it was 5 days until Christmas! And here we are several days past Christmas and no update from me. I'd love to tell you it was because I was on a tropical vacation however I was instead home, sick in bed with a nasty case of the flu.

Today is the first day I have not spent coughing my head off to the point of having a headache by bedtime. That, my friends, is exciting news!

I plan to recap 2013.
I plan to write about my "resolutions," which I really hate to call resolutions because I like the word goals so much better.
And I plan to discuss my race plan for 2014.

I hope you all had a great holiday and that your new year is off to an awesome start. This year is going to be a great one!