2/22/15

My brain while running a double digit run on the treadmill

We had a snow dump of about 4-5 inches between Friday and Saturday and when it was still coming down on Saturday morning, I decided that I'd just get on the treadmill and deal with it. I have a great pair of Yaktrax, but this was fresh and light snow and I would have just sunk down in it with immediate wet feet. Did not sound appealing. The treadmill never sounds appealing either, but dry was better than wet. Somehow I sucked it up and ran 12 miles on the treadmill. Wait, what? Did I do that? I haven't done this on a treadmill in forever. It was a little nostalgic ... and mental.

Before I continue ... I learned my NordicTrack treadmill resets at mile 10. This was the first time I actually let it keep going just to see what would happen. Any other time I've run double digits on it, I would reset it myself after an hour, just to get a fresh start to the next hour. I was curious what would happen this time if I didn't do it. Mile 10 is its limit. We only have a standard model. Poor thing.


Apparently my treadmill resets at mile 10


I had to really work on my mental game for this run. I read so many other runner blogs casually mentioning long treadmill runs, but seriously, let's really talk about this.  Here's my version of how this 12 mile run on the treadmill went:

Mile 1:
Ok, I'm warming up. I hate the warmup on a treadmill. It takes forever to reach 0.5 when I start getting the speed going. It's a snail pace of horribleness while I'm mentally telling myself how much this sucks.

Mile 2:
Wahoo! Finally past the 1 mile warmup, let's just do a couple miles on the mill and call it a day. After all, I'm going to run outside again soon and that is WAY better. This is just temporary hell.

Mile 3:
Well, I made it to mile 3 and you know what, if I just add another 2 miles I'll be at 5 and that is a really awesome workout. Running another 2 miles isn't a big deal. Let me go potty first.

Miles 4-5:
I'm awesome! I'm killing it! Hmm, maybe running 8 miles is ok. I've got another 40 minutes or so to spare. Just live in the mile and plan my kitchen renovations.

Mile 6:
I hate this. I hate all of it. I am so hateful. Who likes doing this??? How do long distance runners run so long on this thing??? I've been on it an hour now. I want to be done. WAH! Let me go potty again, because hey, I did run for an hour now.

Miles 7:
Ok, it's not so bad. I'll just go to mile 8 and wrap this shit up. Seriously. That will be enough. The end is in sight.

Mile 8: 
Well, let me just do ONE more mile. It's sort of ok at the moment. But then for real, I can't take it anymore.

Mile 9:
Ok, honestly if I just go another mile, I'll have hit 10 miles OMG I'll have reached double-digits. I'm so awesome!!! I'm starving.

Miles 11-12:
I'm now insane. I'm a hamster on a wheel. My family keeps coming down to check on me. They are making me irritable because they don't understand I am in a zone now. They are hungry and want to be fed. Screw them all I am running a near half marathon today ... wait, should I run to 14 miles? No, stop the insanity.


And that is my brain while spending nearly 2 hours running on the treadmill :)

12 mile treadmill run



Happy running everyone!


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
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2/19/15

Running with joy, positive goals, and a great fried rice

Time for some positivity! I've been thinking about the overall "big picture" with regards to running and what my main goals are now. I've mentioned before (often) that I'm starting to change gears in terms of my desires with regards to running and fitness. I've run every race distance now (5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon) so every bucket list item has been checked off. Going forward, joy needs to be my main goal with running. I love happy runs, the kind where you worked hard, but felt on top of the world. I love my runs that are just for me with no other reason than health and fitness. This is the type of running that brings me the most happiness.

Since I've been dealt a bit of a curve ball with the recent attack on a runner on my running paths and our safety has been thrown into question, I know it is time to mix it up a bit. I know we're all 99%-probably going to be safe again out on our local paths where I live, but it's going to take some mental time to get past the worries. I've begun looking back to the time when I was working on running + weight training. I think it is definitely time adjust my methods and make health and fitness my main running goal. Racing really needs to become sort of a secondary thing that is done just for fun. It's where I know in my heart I want to be. It's where I know I find the joy with running and fitness. I don't like having to have "race pressure stress" anymore when life throws the curve balls.

There is this ...  




Positive goals for me:

  • Run with the goal of fitness and health, not with the goal of specific race distances.
  • Bring back the free weights! It's time to work on my core and upper again.
  • Get back to my roots of encouraging healthy living for moms!
  • Races need to be fun ones.
  • Continue with this blog's direction of more lifestyle topics.
  • Enjoy my rest days! 


Time for the free weights


Other goings ons...

I went to the movie theater on one of my rest days this week and saw Kingsman. Loved it! I love anything with Colin Firth, so I was already biased going into it. I hadn't been to the movies by myself in a while and my little personal "movie date" reminded me how much I enjoy doing that. Two hours of uninterrupted time to myself with movie theater popcorn ... ahhhhhh! I need to get back to doing this more often!





The Disney Princess Half Marathon is approaching and will take place this weekend. My girlfriends and I are patiently waiting in anticipation of when they announce the 2016 dates so we can begin planning our girls getaway Princess Half weekend. I'm super excited for this!


We finally got around to trying the famous Trader Joe's frozen bagged fried rice. The internet ravings about it were true! It's a new household favorite to have on hand and very yummy. It's great for busy parents who need a quick and healthy meal to throw together. I do believe one needs two bags to feed a typical family. I added lots of eggs and brussel sprouts.

The much talked about Trader Joes frozen fried rice




Happy running everyone!


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Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

2/17/15

Quality of life versus quality of fitness

If you read my last post you will know that we runners in my local area are dealing with a recent safety concern - a female runner was attacked in an area many of us run in and where we had previously felt safe. I'm still processing it and do not have a clear answer going forward. I ran for a little bit outdoors on Monday with a mother runner friend of mine who just completed Ironman Arizona this past Fall.  We talked about the situation and she too isn't sure what her solution will be. We both feel violated and it didn't even happen to us! An area we need for pathways has been ruined for us.


8 mile run in 12 degrees


Not to rehash my previous post, let me just summarize where I currently am with regards to long distance running. I have 8 safe miles locally for running; meaning 8 miles of pathways keeping me out of dangerous road traffic that are also highly populated most of the day and evening with lots of people around. It's possible I could add a couple more miles going in a direction I've yet to run in that are somewhat safe too, adding another 3 or so miles, but I never see runners run that route. It's mostly road traffic. Basically, I have a good 8 miles. Finding more mileage beyond that is hard and requires going into less populated areas when safety as a lone runner can be a concern. I also live in an urban environment and don't have quick access to trails and other nature-based running without driving far. The location of the runner attack unfortunately was a thru-way that most of us runners use to cut over to other parts of town to gain more mileage. It's a needed thru-way that we've kind of lost now in terms of a safe comfort zone.

8 miles is great for fitness! 8 miles is all I need to keep myself healthy and fit. I cannot complain because I know many runners in rural areas or other locations would love to have a solid 8 miles of safe running. Unfortunately, 8 miles is not enough for marathon training. It could be repeated to double in mileage, but I'm not a fan of repeats. I don't have an answer right now with regards to my April marathon. I will not run long on the treadmill again; been there done that. I don't know if I am in the mood for repeats of this 8 mile stretch. Part of the joy of running was exploring and finding new little routes and ways about town. Monotonous running is not really what I want out of running anymore. Yes, sacrifices must often be made with regards to marathon training. Yes, if it were easy everyone would do it. Yes, if you want it bad enough, you make it happen. I believe in all of that. For me personally, however, I don't need "that" anymore. I have run a full marathon so that bucket list item has been checked. I am not an elite. I don't have plans to try for a BQ. I wrote a couple posts last Fall discussing that I am now in a chapter of my running life where it must be about joy. I'm older now. My quality of life is just as important as my quality of fitness.

If my tone sounds irritable, I apologize to my readers for it. I am frustrated with the situation. It happened and I need time to be angry.

For now, I'll run my safe 8 miles with the few variants I can craft out of it. I can loop a bit in my own neighborhood to gain another 2 miles and get 10 milers done. I love 10 milers. They are nice and long and leave me feeling well-run. They are a decent launching point for any half marathon. Looking beyond that mileage base right now, however,  is frustrating based on our current mental and safety comforts. Running while you are nervous if another attack will happen, if there will be a copycat, if the guy is waiting for his next victim, well ... quite frankly it is unsettling. He was not caught. He's still out there somewhere.


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

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2/14/15

When your safety is a concern as a runner

I've been a little quiet this week trying to process a situation that happened here locally. A female runner was attacked in an area we all run in. Having her dog with her saved her in this particular situation. The predator has not been caught and the police have asked us not to run alone. I'm sure some will ignore that warning, but for now, I'm not ignoring it. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to do now with regards to marathon training. I need all of these pathways, neighborhoods, and parts of town to run in because I need a lot of miles right now. The fact it happened in what we all considered a safe area is probably what is most concerning. It's sort of put a big black cloud of safety concern over everyone now. The running groups training for the upcoming Mini Marathon will probably be ok because they have a specific training program that always gets big herds of runners, so they can always run together. Their mileage base isn't as high since it's a half marathon so they don't need as much path access. It's a little trickier right now for those of us needing more mileage and training for less high profile full marathons. Full marathoners cannot easily have a reliable training partner for every single run. Maybe one run a week, but not for every single one. *sigh*

I'm really not sure what to do at the moment. For now, I'm on the treadmill and sort of waiting/hoping for a news update that they have caught who has done this. Or that as a few speculated, it ends up a false story (but I am not one to assume such a thing). Either way, it's put me in a bind as to how to proceed.

I follow many female runners online and watch them go on long solo trail runs, early morning runs in the dark, and all sorts of other types of independent outdoor runs. I know we are all liberated women, but on the flip side, at all other times we tell women to not be out and about in desolate areas alone. Yet we runners do it. It's sort of a juxtaposition with what we know is smart safety versus our freedoms to do as we please and not let fear hold us back. Yet, every year, we in the running community have several heartbreaking stories of women who have been attacked, injured, or at times killed. It's never been safe in the world for women to be in desolated areas alone. Yet, somehow we runners have made it ok to do? The ironic thing is that the elites don't usually do their long runs alone. Why are we mere mortals doing that? Did we in the running community make an exception to the normal safety rule of the world of not being a woman alone in isolated areas just so we can run more marathons? It's sort of curious to think about it in terms of the evolution of this sport. Is a sport that requires carrying mace or a switchblade really smart? I don't have an answer to be honest. I love to run, but hate knowing our running stores carry mace as a item YOU NEED. 

My Mother instinct has scaled me back and moved me to the treadmill. First and foremost, I am a Mother before anything else and I must think in terms of what is best for my child. My child needs me safe and alive. Some women will train for a full marathon completely on the treadmill. I have done that once as well, with several long double-digit runs on it. For me personally, I do not want to do that again. There is absolutely no joy in that for me and it is grueling. I have no desire for grueling. I'm ok with up to 6 or so miles on it, but after an hour, I've had enough on the thing. I am not an elite. It is not my job to run. This is supposed to be enjoyable!

Right now, I do not have an answer to my dilemma. I am grateful that this female runner ended up ok. It's just rattled the local running community quite a bit.


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
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2/9/15

Spring weather in February, nail polish, and a new candle scent

Happy Monday! Time to start off a fresh week! I'm watching the weather right now and it's looking fairly decent. Hopefully my runs go smoothly this week and I can get the mileage in that I need. Last week was a scale back week and I really did scale back. Snow in the middle of the week had me mixing things up, but fortunately with a scale back week, it was good for me anyway. I had a 10 mile run on Saturday with very nice weather. Spring weather in February? It's going to spoil me! Well, since it was a scale back week, I don't have much interesting to discuss with regards to running. I had my massage, some good down time, rest, recovery, and now it's time to get back to work for another 3 week cycle. Since last week was a bit of an easy-going week, bear with me on this photo-dump post of just odds and ends.

I'll be glad if we don't see any more snow, but I'm trying hard not to assume this could actually happen just yet. For now, I'm getting my outdoor runs done.

10 mile run after the snow melt


Did you catch the full moon last week? February 5 was the date. We had a really good view of it here!

Full moon on February 5


... and seriously, the pets were a little weird during the full moon phase. Kitty came to me for lots of snuggling.

Johnny wanted some snuggles


In hopes of beating some winter time blahs, I ordered a new and fun Zoya nail polish shade. This is one of their Pixie Dust shades called "Bar Magical". I like it very much, but it does leave your nails a little bumpy since it is full of glitter. I thought it would be a good one for our next Disney trip, but not sure if I want bumpy nails on that trip.

Pixie Dust Bar Zoya nail polish

I also switched out some of my candles and decided I needed some fresh and light scents. This is a favorite of mine right now! I ordered this Bath and Body Works candle on a whim a while back only because it is called Lake Shore Drive (Chicago) and I love Chicago. Well, it ended up smelling really nice! It's got a light and airy scent, a very fresh fragrance and not overpowering. I'm not sure if this candle is available anymore?

Nod to Chicago candle



Happy running everyone!


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
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2/1/15

Thoughts on the direction of this blog and hey I ran 12 miles

Hello and I hope your weekend has been going smoothly! I have lately migrated my "long run" to the middle of the week so my weekends are truly more free. I ran my long run of 12 miles on Thursday and finished up my weekly mileage with a comfortable 8 mile run on Saturday. I'm feeling very good and am pleased with how well things are currently going. I have a massage and chiro appointment in the upcoming week that I am looking forward to and know my body needs. I just love how my weekend was freed up with the long run already done earlier and how it gives me more relaxing weekend time. Relaxing time also means thinking time. I've been thinking a lot lately about this blog and what direction I want to take it in. February is my "blogiversary" month and I have been mulling some ideas and thoughts around in my head. I could use some input from friends and other blog readers!

Before I continue, we spent the weekend doing some hamster cage migrations. Who would have thought our hamsters would live *so long*. The big fat slow one needed a bigger home! Kitty always needs to monitor the hamstering in this house. No worries, the tank has a reptile cover to protect the hamster from our house panther. The hamsters normally live in our daughter's bedroom, but we had set this new system up downstairs before we took it up to her room. The setup upstairs is more elaborate with more cages and tubes :)

Kitty monitors the hamster activities


Back to thoughts on the direction of this blog ...


What was the original purpose of this blog? 
  1. an outlet to connect with other runner/fitness enthusiasts who share similar life experiences (such as motherhood, age bracket, etc)
  2. to help new runners with tips and inspiration
  3. to discuss healthy eating for the family
  4. how to stay mobile and fit while dealing with motherhood and its demands 
  5. our travels

compared to:


What topics does this blog lately cover?

  1. personal updates on how my running week has gone
  2. products purchased and enjoyed 
  3. thoughts as I age as a runner (and as a woman in general)

What are some topics and plans to continue on with, perhaps in a 2nd internet location, or tied in to here?

  1. I will always run, forever. I expect to continue with personal running updates.
  2. I would like to find time for paper crafts. I used to love art class and miss painting. Particularly water colors.
  3. I am enjoying a new resurgence of makeup and where the industry has gone with regard to quality makeup ingredients. I would like to explore more of that.
  4. I get requests from time to time from companies to send me free products and I hate giving out our home address. I believe it might be time to rent a PO box. On the to-do list!

I feel this blog has been slowly morphing a little and that is fairly normal for most bloggers as one grows, learns, and progresses through life. Several years ago, I really documented running in a more educated and systematic process. Now, it's become very fluid and organic for me, very second nature. I don't feel the need to write big detailed posts anymore on running tips. There are plenty of bloggers who do that and quite frankly, every worthwhile running coach will tell you, there is no one perfect way to run. Every runner needs to fine-tune the process based on his/her personal needs. Every runner is a snowflake.

So, my feelings as to how I want to migrate forward with Movable Mom is to push it more in the direction of how I stay mobile/fit/run in terms of regular old life. Not how you can make some fanatical crazy attempt of running like Olympians (hey, there are those runners), but how you can just be a runner as a regular human being while enjoying life. I want to have more posts about other things I do, and oh hey, I also ran 12 miles the other day. How did I run and still live my regular life?

You will find topics on the internet telling you to narrow your blog's focus, to brand yourself, etc. What I find, however, is that some of the most popular bloggers and Youtubers are ones who share regular life in between their directed focus. If you only focus on ONE thing, at some point, your readers/viewers will get bored and move on. When you become more human and add life interest topics, you become more "real" and your audience can find a connection.

Make sense? Do you agree or disagree?

I loved this photo Saucony had up on Instagram! Did you catch this one?




Happy running everyone!


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

1/27/15

Lucky with the weather and still outdoors running, Tumbling, Taekwondo

Hello! Are you snowed in? The big blizzard Juno has miraculously passed us by. We usually get stuck with these big blizzards but this time got lucky and I'm still outdoors running. For now. Thinking of all my Northeastern friends and hoping they are all safe! We're carrying on like usual here in the Midwest. I'm actually very grateful the weather has been so mild *knock on wood* and has allowed me to get a lot of solid outdoor running miles in. I ran a wonderful 8 mile run yesterday with 5 of the miles at steady state. I'm loving how my steady state pace is feeling much easier. It may be time to modify my goal paces a bit.

My daughter is still going strong with her fitness and sports. She's reached red-black belt in Taekwondo and should soon be getting ready to test for black belt! Maybe by the end of this year? I'm not sure yet on that time frame.

Taekwondo sparring practice

She's also been in tumbling for a while now. She used to do gymnastics, but since she began focusing on Taekwondo, she migrated out of full gymnastics. Now she does tumbling for fitness (and in case she wants to try out for cheer later ... not sure on that). She'll be starting Track Club at her school in the upcoming school year as well. My very active girl :)   I wrote a post a long time ago regarding my thoughts with Youth Sports. Still feel the same.

Tumbling and working the rings


I'm preparing to write a post about my latest experiences with "aging and makeup". Since I run, I tend to a) be out in the elements a lot and b) lose facial fat. Combine that with me getting older, well, it has become time to revisit how I do makeup and what works for me. Hopefully I'll get that post wrapped up this week!

I'll leave you with this. I found this one quite amusing :)





Happy running my friends! Are you a "getting older runner" and figuring out new ways to deal with beauty?


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Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/