Monday, April 30, 2012

Hitting the Wall

This past week, a few of my running friends have mentioned to me “hitting the wall” while running.  Jeff Galloway says “Your wall is normally the length of your longest endurance session within the last two to three weeks, provided you are going at the pace you could on that day. Even a little too fast in the beginning will introduce you to the wall sooner.” 

This wall sounds like a scary thing.  I do not think I have ever hit my wall while running.  I would like to say that I have always been faithful to training plans, but the truth is I have not.  I have been close to faithful, but never 100%.  The reason I think I have not hit my wall is because I have never run past a half marathon length—13.1 miles. 

While discussing this with a group of running friends, several opinions were brought up.  One friend suggested that the wall is mental.  This very well could be true.  After running for two plus hours, the body and brain get tired.  Another cause for hitting the wall could be hydration.  We sweat a lot more then we realize when running.  If those fluids and electrolytes are not replenished, the body and brain do not function properly.  One last thing that could be causing a runner to hit the wall is improper fueling.  Our muscles use glycogen as energy.  Glycogen comes from the carbohydrates we eat.  When running for long distances, we deplete our glycogen supplies very quickly.  Low glycogen, like fluid and electrolytes, need to be replaced for optimum performance. 

So, what is the best way to refuel and rehydrate?  The answer is simple.  There is no best way.  Everyone is different.  I have heard all kinds of different ideas.  For fluids—water, Gatorade, Nuun and Power Aid are common.  I like the low calorie Gatorade because it is less sweet.  For fuel, the possibilities are endless.  There are tons of companies that make fueling product—like GU and Cliff.  They make gels and candy like solids.  I prefer a less conventional way of refueling—pop tarts.  I love them, but don’t eat them on a regular basis because they are so high in calories.  What better excuse to eat some Pop Tarts--"I have to replenish my glycogen supply".  Jeff Galloway recommends gummy bears.  I have friends who swear by Skittles and even Twizzlers.

Do you feel like you have ever hit the wall?  How do you refuel and rehydrate on your long runs?

A dream is a wish…


Bondi Band Sale Update

As you know, I am selling Bondi Bands to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  To read my review of Bondi Bands, check out my review.  Here are pictures of the Bands I have left.  The cost of the bands is $10 for 1, $18 for 2, or $25 for 3.  This price includes shipping.  All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

If you are interested in any of these Bonds Bands, please e-mail me at

Thanks for you support!

A dream is a wish...


Thursday, April 26, 2012

People Watching

I like to people watch when I run.  Most people think it is crazy that I do not listen to music when I run.  I view running as my me time—my time to leave my worries behind.  I see music as a distraction.  I have some of my most clear thoughts when I run—thoughts about life, where I want my life to go, what is important to me, and sometimes I see some really funny stuff too. 

I see of the funniest stuff when I run.  Tonight, I did my usual Thursday evening run at the local high school track.  My friend could not make it, so I went alone.  This was the most crowded the track has been for me this year.  When I went Tuesday evening, I saw an unusual older couple.  Just like on Tuesday, the older couple and I got to the track at the same time.  Just like Tuesday, they got out of their car and immediately started jogging, while still in the parking lot.  They stopped at the top of the curve and stretched.  They lined up at the starting line, and then ran the curve of the track hard.  Once they hit the straight, the women turned around and slowly walked back to where they had started.  She was walking against traffic.  The man kept running hard.  They met up again and did the same drill over and over.  I kept on with my own run, all while witnessing this.  Why, I thought, were they doing this?  Why would he run the whole track hard, while she would stop about a quarter ways around, and then slowly walk back to the start?  Why bother starting together?  These are some of the crazy thing I think about when I am running.

Another interesting thing I saw on the track tonight was a family walking very slowly, but carrying back packs.   These were not your typical high school kid backpacks—these were real hiking back packs, only empty.  Were they planning a big hiking trip?  Were they starting out slowly with less weight and distance?  I wonder where they are going.  I bet there real hike won’t be anything like walking on this cushy track that is so forgiving and flat.  These are some of the crazy things I think about when running.

In the middle of the track, there was a pee wee boys football team practicing.  Once they were done running, they boys ran the track.  Boy did that make me feel slow!  There was also what looked like a mother and daughter walking.  The daughter looked to be about my age.  Is this how they get in there quality time?  The last family I saw while running was a young father with two little boys, I would say around the age of four and six.  The father was really good with them.  They would run some and then walk some.  Was the dad getting them started in sports early?  Was he teaching them an active lifestyle early?  These are some of the crazy things I think about when running.

Now do you see why I don’t listen to music when I run?  There are so many interesting things going on all around me, why give that all up to listen to music.  I know most people that listen to music while running enjoy the music as a distraction.  I don’t need a distraction when all of this is going on around me.
Do you people watch when you run?  What are some interesting things you have seen when you run?

A dream is a wish…


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting Back on Track After the Flu

These past few days, I have been fighting an awful stomach flu.  You know how it goes—weak, shaky, not being able to keep anything down, lots of time in the bathroom.  No fun!  Now that I can stand up straight again, when do I resume my normal workout routine?

Today, I started out very easy.  Instead of running around the track at the local high school, I just walked.  I also did my normal weights routine, but used lighter weights.  I still feel tired and weak, but don’t want to give up a whole week of my training plan—I have two half marathons in the next six weeks! 

How do you get back into your workout routine after being sick?  Do you work out while you are sick?  I could really use your advice on this one!

A dream is a wish…


Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Princess

Happy Birthday to my little princess!  Today is my daughter Andrea’s third birthday.  I know I talk all the time about my daughter being my inspiration, in running and in life, but I have never told you her story. 

Andrea was born on April 23, 2009 at 26 weeks gestation, weighting just over one pound.  She was such a fighter and did so great her first three weeks of life.  At three weeks old, she needed heart surgery.  An error occurred during her surgery and her airway was severely damaged.  We had to wait for her to be seven pounds before she could be trached.  After five very long months, she was finally ready to come home. 

Once she came home, she got sick a lot due to the trach (an open hole in her neck.)  She was hospitalized several times in her first year home.  She survived a few more hospital errors, including a major blood clot from a central line being inserted incorrectly, an IV burn and having to much fluid injected and left in her lungs.  She has also had several airway surgeries.  Through all this, she has remained the happiest baby you would ever meet.  She is never without a smile on her face! 

Her first year and a half of life took a major toll on me.  Living at the Ronald McDonald House or at the hospital was not easy.  Even when she was finally home, I get little sleep because her trach needed to be suctioned about every two hours, even at night.  I was tired all the time, so I never exercised and ate whatever was quick and easy.  I gained a lot of weight very quickly.  I early 2011, I realized that while I was giving her all my love and giving her the best medical care I could, I was not giving her a happy, healthy mom.  She deserved to have a mom who is happy and healthy!  That is when I decided to change my life. 

I decided that I would become a runner!  I set my goal as completing the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon.  I worked hard at running and working out, losing weight and eating well.  As you know, I achieved my goal of the Disney Princess Half two months ago.  Nothing was better than seeing her smiling face watching me at a few spots along the course.  As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my medal, all I could think about was holding my baby girl.  My daughter inspires me every day.  She has fought so hard these past three years just to stay alive.  Seeing her fight so hard while still being so happy inspires me to work hard and do better to make her proud of me. 

Who inspires you?

A dream is a wish…

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hershey 10k

Yesterday I ran in the inaugural Hershey Park 10k.  The morning started very early.  My iPhone alarm went off at 4am.  I got dressed and headed down stairs where my friend Michele was getting dressed for the race.  I looked out my living room window to discover it was pouring outside.  We hoped in our cars and were on our way, after a quick stop for coffee. 

We got to Hershey around 5:30 am.  Being one of the first few cars there, we were sent all over to find a place to park.  We ended up parking right up near the start of the race.  I got my SPIbelt and pockets packed with my gels, water, sunglasses, phone, my Id and debit card.  What can I say; I like to have all the necessities.  It was still drizzling off and on.  Michele and I headed toward the start line and to look for a few other friends.  Along the way, we meet the race director hanging up hundreds of medals.  She noticed we were wearing our Disney Princess Half Marathon shirts and asked us a bunch of questions about runDisney events. 

Once runners started to arrive, photographers and Hershey’s candy character were everywhere.  I found my two other friends I planned to meet race morning.  It then started to downpour!  All the runners huddled under the bleachers of the Hershey Park stadium to stay dry.  As clumsy as I am, the wet roads and sidewalks were starting to make me nervous.  I was terrified of slipping and falling.  Then it was time to line up to start.

This race had the most uneventful start I had ever experienced.  I kept checking my watch for it to be 7am.  All of the sudden, everyone in front of me was moving.  No announcements, no “ready, set, go.”  The first part of the course was downhill, which I did not like due to the rain.  Because of the relatively small size of the race, there was no usual beginning of the race bottle neck to deal with. 

Overall, I enjoyed the course.  We started out at the Hershey Park Stadium.  We headed toward the Giant Center, and then made a turn onto Hershey Park Drive.  We were on Hershey Park Drive for quite a while, but it did not get boring.  We went past most of the park, plus the Hershey Outlet center.  Then it was time to run in Hershey Park.  I had not noticed the how hilly the park is until this race.  We entered the park around mile 4.  I was pushing hard for a good time, so I was very tired and breathing hard by then.  The first hill in the park killed my lungs!  It really slowed me down and messed with my head.  We ran past several of the famous Hershey Park roller coasters.  Then it was time to run through the Boardwalk at Hershey, a new water fun area.  This was also tough for me.  The turf was very slippery.  It was completely impossible for me to run on it without slipping.  We exited the park with about one mile left.  Of course, this mile was the toughest for me.  My lungs were done.  I was counting down the minutes until the finish line.  One thing I found very neat about this course is that the course was marked every quarter kilometer, inside of mile.  Psychologically, this made the miles go by faster since kilometers are shorter than miles.  Once I got to kilometer 9.75, I was SO ready to be done.  I swear the course had to be miss marked because the last.25k felt like at least half a mile (I was not the only one to think this either—several friends said the same thing after the race).  After circling Hershey Park Stadium, there it was—the finish line!  I run hard for the last .10k and finished strong. 

Once I crossed the finish line, a very cute little boy handed me a medal.  I stopped my clock and looked down at my time.  It was 1:20:02.   I was hoping to come in at under 1:15, but given my usual pace, this was a good time for me—12:57 per mile.  If I can keep this pace, I will finish my next half marathon under my goal of three hours.  After taking some pictures at the finish, my friends and I headed over to Chocolate World.  Chocolate World is right outside of Hershey Park and has a very fun, free chocolate making tour ride.  They give you a free sample at the end.  After that, I hugged my friends good bye and went home.  This was a good race overall.  I am considering doing the Hershey Half Marathon in October. 
A dream is a wish…


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dietary Suppliments

What is your opinion on dietary supplements?  In the past, my opinion on supplements was that most were unnecessary.  If your diet was good, you were giving your body everything it needs.  My have always tried to eat a balanced diet, so dietary supplements were never a big concern of mine. 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a supplement manufacturer.  They wanted to send me some supplements to try and tell you about.  I was reluctant to agree, but I figured what could it hurt?  If I did not like the supplements, I would honestly report that to you.  There was also a chance that I would find something that would make me feel great, that could change my life. 

I just started taking the supplements a few days ago.  I am nowhere near ready to tell you about it yet, but it is something that has been on my mind a lot this week.  What is your opinion on dietary supplements?  Do you take any?  What ones?  What do they do for you? 

A dream is a wish…


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The hardest step...

This has been a tough week for me.  My daughter has been sick so that means very little sleep for mommy.  She is fine, just a cold, but she is miserable.  When she has a cold I have to suction her trach more often during the night than usual, so that also means less sleep for mommy.   On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, I usually meet a friend for a run at the track at the local high school.  Mike got home late tonight, so I missed the track run.  I put Andrea to bed early and was determined to get a run in tonight. 

After a rough week, I REALLY did not feel like going for a run.  I was tired and just wanted to sit on the couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy.  I keep thinking about a quote I read yesterday.  “Sometimes the hardest step is the one out the door.”  Still not feeling like going for a run, I put on my running shoes and my jacket.  I set my RunKeeper and made that hard step out the front door.  I told myself just one trip around the neighborhood and I could stop—about one mile.  I usually do three trips around my neighborhood, around three miles, but if I was not feeling it I could stop.  After about half a mile, I told myself I would do two miles.  By the time I hit the first mile, I vowed to do all three. 

Once I got home after doing all three miles, I felt so great.  It turned out to be a great run.  My time was good and I ran more of the crazy hills in my neighbor than I have before.  I am so glad I fought the urge to just watch TV.  I am so glad I got out there and actually ran!  How do you get yourself to work out when you really don’t want to?  Do you have anything you tell yourself to make yourself work out, even when you really don’t feel like it? 

A dream is a wish…


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Running Watches?

I think it is time that I invest in a sports watch.  I usually turn RunKeeper on in my iPhone, but it kills my battery.  As my runs get longer, I need another option.  What watch do you use and how do you like it?  I am kind of tech stupid.  I need something very simple to use—nothing fancy, just enough to know how far I went and how long it took me.  I saw a Timex at Wal-Mart for $50.  Do you know anything that one?  There are so many choices!  Garmin or Nike?  GPS or not?  Is an older model ok?  What about used?  Please help!  What easy to use sports watch do you recommend?

This past week has been a tough one for me Weight Watchers wise.  I don’t weigh in until tomorrow, but I know it will not be good.  I totally went off plan over holiday the weekend.  Today I started over.  I stayed on plan and got in a nice run.  I have five weeks until Diva and seven until San Diego.  It would be nice to have a few less pounds to drag alone for the run. 

In other running news, registration for the 20th annual Disney World Marathon has opened.  Will you be there?  I think I will skip 2013 and do Goofy in 2014.  I got a message from Nike earlier confirming that the rumors about a Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC next spring are true.  That is about all the details I have--more to come when I get them. 

A dream is a wish…


***I still have Bondi Bands for sale!  All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Running Like a Diva!

I’m running like a Diva!  I’m doing the Diva Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach on May 20, 2012.  I have wanted to do this race since I first heard about it.  My sisters and I had planned to do this race together, but as it gets closer all three have changed their minds.  My mom and grandmom will take a road trip to South Carolina with my daughter and I. 

The Diva Half Marathon sounds just as girly as the Disney Princess, but with a twist of sass.  There is a feather boa station and tiara stop.  At the finish, there are bubbly and roses.  The finisher medal is presented by a hot fireman.  How fun! 

I have never been to Myrtle Beach.  I have driven through South Carolina on the way to Florida once and I have visited Hilton Head, but never Myrtle Beach.  I have done some research online about MB and it looks nice.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

With only 7 weeks until Diva, I have to step up my training!  I was planning on 9 weeks until another half marathon—the Rock and Roll half in San Diego with Team in Training is June 3rd.  I looked over my San Diego training plan and the weekend of the Diva race is the weekend I a scheduled to do 14 miles, so the Diva will substitute nicely. 

Have you ever done a Diva race?  Will you be at the North Myrtle Beach Diva half marathon?

A dream is a wish…