Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm Back!

Well, friends, it is official!

Today, was my last doctor's visit and I have been cleared to run.

I was 99% sure that was gonna happen, but that 1% of doubt haunted me a little.  Boy, was I relieved when she said how happy she was I felt better and glad that I had a few good runs.  Yeah!

So, here we are, this chapter of my life is over.  Well, over for now.  You see, disc disease does not go away.  I am going to continue focusing on and strengthening my core and hope for the best.  I am determined to be healthy and the more I move the better I feel.

I would like to give a big thanks to all of my readers who have given me motivation, support and advice during these past few months.  It has meant the world to me.  I started this blog so that I can motivate my readers but I wanted to be motivated too, and you did not let me down.  Thank you!!!

As I said before, I am still on the treadmill and running at a slower pace.  I plan to have my first run outside this weekend.  Anyone want to join me for a slow and steady couple miles?

Today, I ran 2.5 miles and I have a 3 mile run planned for tomorrow.  I am registered for the Narrow River 5k, May 19, and I am so looking forward to it!

My fundraising has hit a stand still, but I expect to have some ups and downs with that.  I know it will all come together and I will reach my goal.

Now, on to Weight Watchers.  I am down 3 pounds!  I finally "get it" and like how it all works.  And boy, you get a lot of points for running.   A 40 minute run is 10 activity points, I like that.

Run strong, think big!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful

Tuesday, I headed to the gym for 3 miles.  I was not that excited about it because it was on the treadmill.  Thanks to your responses and ideas for how not to be bored, I downloaded some new things onto my iPod and remembered that I had all the podcasts from Another Mother Radio.  I got on the treadmill that I liked and started up the podcasts.

Dimity and Sarah are just wonderful ladies who have numerous marathons, half marathons and smaller races under their belts.  They are a wealth of running information and my go to people for help and advice.  Their Train Like A Mother book, is now attached to my hip.

I started my run and felt really good.  I was surprised when I looked and saw that I was just under 3 miles.    Time was flying by and I was loving it.  The second podcast started and I knew I could go further than 3 miles.  I did!  I finished the run at 4 fabulous miles and was smiling when I was done.  This was my longest run since last year and I felt great!  This was the Good.

This brings me to Thursday.  The gym was more crowded than usual.  Is is not the people that bother me, in fact I like to people watch, see how they are doing different stretches/exercises and socialize.  When I walked up to the treadmills, I had a choice of 1.  This treadmill, IMO, is in the worst spot in the the gym.  Which, I am sure, is why no one was on it.  It is the first one in the line up and in your line of view is a pillar with two machines on either side of it.  I was to the left of the first TV, which had the Today Show on, and frankly, you can keep that show.

I got on anyway and put on my music.  It usually takes me about 10 minutes to find my groove, but 10 minutes came and went.  So did 20.  No groove.  How can Tuesday be so awesome and today suck.    When I hit 2 miles I paused the machine and emptied my water bottle.  Three miles is what is on the schedule today, and I am going to finish it.  I started back up and I did finish but I couldn't wait to get out of there.  That is the Bad.

Now, I know you are all dying to know what the beautiful is.  No, I didn't get a fabulous new hair cut, or a gorgeous new dress.  No one has gifted me diamonds.  Which makes me realize, Mr. Running While Mommy, I think I am due.  Hee Hee 

I got new running shoes!  I know, I know you are jumping up and down with me.  I knew I needed them, just my injuries alone, told me I did.  So, after having such a bad run, I went to Camire's, to cheer me up.  
( shop local friends)

After trying on a bunch of different shoes, and running up and down outside the mini strip mall, I chose Mizuno's. They felt the best on my feet but to be sure, I ran 2 miles with them today on the 'mill.  At first, I thought, uh oh, they are too big.  I went a half size bigger than usual, which was recommended.  It didn't take long to realize that that was a good decision.  These shoes feel great, I am so keeping them.
These are my new shoes and I love them!

When you first decide to run, you read all kinds of things for beginners about what to do and not do and how to stay healthy and injury free.  When you get to the what do you need to be a runner, every article and book I read said "all you need is good running shoes."  I didn't' exactly ignore this but I didn't research what a good shoe is.  I failed myself in this respect and spent the last 4 months in PT.

Now don't get me wrong, I know people get hurt all the time, with good and bad shoes.  Injuries are different and for me, I think I could of avoided my knee issue if I just started out with a good running shoe.  My back is a different story and I am not sure shoes would of made much of a difference there.

So what did Running While Mommy learn?  Well, there are good runs and there are bad ones.  If you really think about it though, they are all good because you are running and not sitting.  I paused the machine at 2 miles and if I walked away, well, I still did two miles which is more than a lot of people.  Somewhere I found the strength to do just one more mile, so yes, as sucky as it was, it was still a good run.

The other thing I learned is that beautiful new running shoes make you a better runner.  OK, not exactly, but I sure felt good and I liked it!  Don't sell yourself short, if you want to run, take the time and find the shoe that works for you.  When you look at the price and think, " oh my, that's a lot of money!", think about this-everytime I saw a doctor my co-pay was $40 and every time I went to PT it was $20.  I could of owned 4 pair of running shoes and a few new running skirts for that kind of moolah!

So tell me, what kind of running shoe do you wear?  What do you do if you can't find your groove?

Run strong, think big!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Active, But Not Healthy?

Well, two weeks ago, I joined Weight Watchers.  I never thought of myself as overweight, but according to their website, I am.  Now, to be clear, I am only 3 lbs into the overweight category, but this made me mad.  I want to lose those 3 pounds but I don't want to be on the high end of where I am supposedly healthy either. So now I am on a mission to lose 20 lbs.

Not that I told you that, the first two weeks have been and epic fail.  I did not lose one pound!  I didn't gain any either, but still, very disappointing.  

This, of course, is not the fault of the program.  It is totally all me.  The first week, I had trouble figuring out how to use the website and the second week we were on vacation.  The site is not that hard to navigate, so don't let that comment discourage you.  You can track everything you eat and all your exercise and if you don't know how many points a food is, you just type in the numbers from the packaging and waaa laaa, you know how many points a reeces peanut butter cup is.  Six points, by the way, if you eat both cups in the package.  

I should of been able to do this on vacation, but I didn't.  I just ate and drank what I wanted and to be honest, I am fine with that.  Today is day 1 of week 3 and I am totally on track.  Well, on track if 2 cups of coffee count as breakfast.  

What surprises me is that I work out, almost every day.  It never occurred to me that a person with an active lifestyle can be unhealthy.  I imagine some of you are rolling your eyes and I get that, but I truly thought, I was in good shape.  

I am the same weight I was when I got pregnant with my first kid.  Don't we all make our pre-baby weight our goal once the kids arrive and we are done being pregnant? Well, I got to that weight but it is not the right weight for me.   So here we go!

Not being able to run the last 4 months didn't help but that changed this week.  Yesterday, I did a nice and easy 2 miles at the gym and feel good.  Right now, I am planning on running Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays with cross training in between.  This may change, once the kids are out of school, but until June, this is what it is.  

I am planning on staying on the treadmill a little longer before I venture outside.  This is easier on my body, as I said in the last post, but it is boring.  I use music and the gym has TV's but I still get bored.  I am trying not to worry about that, as I know this is what is better for me, but I would love to hear what you do combat boredom on the 'mill.

I have one more PT session before I see the doctor and I will have to come clean with her that I have been running this week.  I think she will be ok with it since I feel good, I hope so anyway.  I have six months to be ready for the Nike Womens' Half Marathon, which I know is plenty of time.  I am looking forward to the training and adding distance.  

My fundraising so far is slow, but I have reached 4% of my goal so far.  I am trying to come up with some fun ways to raise money and, on Thursday, I meet with a TNT rep to help with those ideas.  If you have raised money before, I would love to hear your thoughts.

For my next run, I am planning on 3 miles.  I am also planing on losing one pound this week but I think the running may be easier.  Wish me luck.

Run strong, think big!

Friday, April 20, 2012

April Vacation and A Little Bit Of Running

Woo Hoo!  April vacation!  The family and I spent this past week at Indian Head Resort in New Hampshire.  What a great time!  We found this place through friends who spent February vacation there and loved it!

The resort has a lot to offer.  Indoor and outdoor pools, which are open all year round.  Paddle boats, tennis, game room and exercise room.  The food did not disappoint and I ate like it was my last day on death row.  There was entertainment every night for the adults and the kids.  For the kids, starting at 6:30pm, there was an ice cream social followed by bingo with prizes.  After that, there was a show and to finish it off, karaoke.  
Yes, it is April in NH and we are swimming outside!

Our kids got to see two shows.  The first was a magic show, which was cute and the second was a pirate adventure.  The pirate was called Captain Radical and he was awesome.  You could see just by looking at the kids, that they were having the time of their lives.  My little guy got to have an actual sword fight with him and it was one of the highlights of his trip.  To my disappointment, this was the only part of the trip that my camera wasn't attached to me.  Ugh!

The other highlight, was our visit to the Polar Caves.  Now this was super cool!  Here is how the website describes it. 

 "The Polar Caves were formed an Ice age ago. Our caves are granite caves and do not have stalactites or stalagmites, which are found in limestone caves.  Instead they were formed when the glacier moved overhead dropping boulders at the base of Hawk’s cliff.  These boulders formed passageways, which over the years we have built boardwalks through to make a neat experience."

If you live anywhere near this or if you visit, this, in my opinion, is a must see.  Me describing it to you would not do it justice, but here are a few pics.

Now on to some big news!  Some of you won't be surprised.  I have been running!  I ran for the first time on Monday and today, I ran 3 miles.  This is a week before I am scheduled to see the doctor, but I feel great.  I have been doing everything that my physical therapist has recommended and it has helped tremendously.  We have been focusing on strengthening my core and every day I feel stronger.  I am running at a slower pace and so far, have only run on the treadmill.  The treadmill is a little easier on me and if anything starts to hurt, I can just stop and not worry about how I am going to get home.  I am going to ease into it, but I have to tell you, I am surprised and excited that I hit 3 miles already.  I thought it was gonna take me longer to get to that distance.  I am feeling so good and so confident, that I registered for the Narrow River 5k.

I am also feeling better about training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  I have my fundraising page up and running and I hope you will take a look at it and consider a donation.  I have already had a few donations, which I am so thankful for.  It just proves to me that I can do this.  I CAN run 13.1 miles and I CAN raise $3200 to help the families and patients whose lives have been affected by leukemia and other blood cancers.  This is already proving to be an exciting journey and I am happy to have you all along for the ride.  

Run strong, think big!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Only Half Crazy

Well, it is official.  I will be running the Nike Women's Marathon on October 14, 2012.  Last night, I went to the Team In Training kick-off party for the race.  It was a fantastic night of pampering at Luminous Salon and Spa.  

We had our choice of services, including massage, manicures, and a wash and blow dry. There was wine, appetizers and desserts.  I enjoyed a massage and my hair looks fabulous.  There were raffles and I won a bottle of wine!  When my hair was done I filled out and paid for my entry fee for the race.  Let me tell you, it really felt good.  This has been what I have been working for and now it is really happening.

You couldn't help but enjoy the energy in the room.  People were there for all different reasons, but one reason was the same.  We are there working hard and raising money to help families whose lives have been affected by leukemia and lymphoma.  I cannot truly imagine what this dose to a family but I am blessed to know the Kane's.  We will be running on what would of been their daughters 16th birthday weekend.  We will be running to honor her memory and celebrate her life.  There is no better reason than that.

As a mother, I think it is easy to say that if I was in this situation, I would just break down and stop living.  However, when you talk to Mrs. Kane, you can't help but be inspired.  She has and continues to live her life with much purpose.  She does this because her daughter can't.  She has to live with meaning because of her 3 beautiful boys who need her to still and always be their mommy.  I can only guess that Mr. Kane makes this a little easier for her as they are the perfect team.  They love and support each other no matter what and, that to, is an inspiration.

I am nervous and excited about this race.  I have never raised money before and not sure what to expect.  I have been told it is easier then it sounds.  It will also be my first half and I just hope to finish.  I have no big desire to break records or tackle the hills like they are flat, we have all seen the rice-a-roni commercial, I expect them to kick my butt!
"Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat"
But really, those things are just a small part of it.  I am going to do this, because I want to support my friend, Mrs. Kane.  I love her and her family and I am honored that she asked me to be a part of this.  I didn't know it, but the first time I wrote the words, "I am going to run a half marathon", this was the race it would be.  I don't think this will be my last half, but if it were, I could be happy with that.

A while back, I was asked to write a piece about Purposeful Running.  I talked about why I run and what keeps me going.  I said in that post that it is important to give back.  I am lucky that I can do what I love and still make a difference and for that I feel blessed.

I called this post, Only Half Crazy to be funny as I am only running the half in San Francisco, but I hope all you full marathoners know, I don't actually think you are crazy, I admire every single one of you, especially, Mrs. Kane who will be doing the full that weekend.  I plan to be waiting for her at the finish to celebrate with her our achievements and her little girls life.

Run strong, think big!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jamestown Bridge 10k, DNS

DNS!  Did not start!  OK, to be fair, I knew I wasn't participating in the race because of my back, but, now that the day has come and gone, I feel so bummed.

The Jamestown Bridge 10k was the only race I was registered for ahead of time and I was really looking forward to it.  I have been told it was a fun race and a beautiful view and you get jelly beans at the end.  Fun!

I wanted to do this race for the above reasons, but also because my parents are in town and they would of been able to see me cross the finish line.  DH and the kids would all have been there too and I think it would of been a great way to start the day.

Honestly, I was fine until I picked up my number on Thursday.  I would of been 124.  I liked that number. When I picked it up and got my shirt, my mood changed.  I wanted to run and I was mad that I couldn't.  Believe me when I tell you, I thought about it, but I knew I would make my family mad.  I only have three more weeks before I see the doc and I know she will give me the ok to run.  I would of been more angry if I ran today and hurt myself, or couldn't finish because I haven't been training.

PT is going great!  I continue to have more good days then bad and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am looking at different training plans for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October.  I will let you know what I come up with but I would love to know which plans you have followed.

Tuesday, I will be meeting other Rhode Islanders who will also be doing the NWM and I will officially be signing up.  I am really excited about this as it will be a fabulous weekend for am amazing cause.  If anyone reading would like to be part of our team, message me and I will give you the details.

Did you run the Jamestown Bridge race?  How did it go?  Have you ever run the NWM?  I would love to hear details, the good and the bad.  How did you train for the hills?

Ok, well thanks for reading and listening to me vent.  I know there will be other races and I am just grateful that I will be able to run again.

Run strong, think big!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Run Strong, Think Big!

Run strong, think big!  My signature, a phrase that I think about a million times a day.  These four words have gotten me through just one more mile on more than one occasion.

What does it mean to me?  Well, run strong, to me, means to do the very best you can.  Put your whole heart into it, make every step count.  Hold your head up and be proud.  This is your run, your moment.  You are the only one who can control the outcome.

Whether it is 20 miles or 2 doesn't make a difference.  They are your miles, run them strong!

Maybe running isn't your thing.  Maybe you bike or swim.  It doesn't matter.  Just do what makes you happy and do it to the best of your ability and be sure to have fun!

Think big!  Big to me, at the moment, is a half marathon, 13.1 miles.  But to you it may be 3.1 or 26.2.  Maybe it is sprint triathlon or an Ironman.  Maybe you want to learn to fly an airplane, or just master flying a kite.  Whatever it is, if you can dream it, then you can do it!

We all have dreams but so many of us let them stay just that, dreams.  Why?  Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure, or rejection.  I say embrace those things and don't be scared.  They are part of life, but so are happiness, success and hope.  Believe in yourself.

I have to admit, some days this is harder then others, but when I see my kids look up to me, watching my every move, it all comes together for me.  I have to be strong and think big for them.  They are the greatest joy in my life and my biggest dream that has become my reality.  I believe if they see me work hard and succeed and be happy then they will too.

I am about to officially sign up for the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  This race takes place in San Francisco October 14.  I will be doing it with Team In Training and at the moment there are 10 of us making up our team.  We will be running to honor the memory of my girlfriends daughter and will be running the weekend of what would of been her 16th birthday.  Out of the 10 team members, I am the only one in Rhode Island.  If anyone is interested in training with me and making the trip to SF, then please message me and I will give you the info.

I will be writing about this at least once a week while training, the good and the bad.  I am hoping to inspire and be inspired by the stories that I will be hearing form the people that I am training with.  I am hoping my family can see that you can make a difference by doing what you love.

So tell me, what does run strong, think big mean to you?  Remember, you don't have to be a runner to answer this.  Tell me what some of your goals are and what motivates you.

So, I say to you again, run strong and think big my friends!