Friday, July 13, 2012

Changing it up. There are other ways of training...

So it's vacation time for the Mills Family!  We are heading to California today for 2 weeks.

(So that's why I'm sitting at my computer instead of packing.  I'm just trying to avoid everything I need to get done by 2 pm this afternoon.)

We are taking the red eye (with 3 kids) tonight to San Francisco to meet up with my parents, who have driven to SF in their RV.  Then we are spending the next two weeks together in their RV.  My parents, their dog, our 3 boys and my husband and I in the RV.  For 2 weeks.

Sounds a little chaotic.  And believe me, it will be.  All that energy in a very enclosed space.  A VERY enclosed space.  But it will also be a heck of a lot of fun.  We did the same thing last year and had a blast touring the Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands and Zion National Parks.

Hiking in Arches National Park, Utah 2011

This year we are visiting San Francisco, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and Los Angeles.

When we started planning this trip, my first thought, believe it or not, was how am I going to keep up with my training schedule!  Forget the fact that we are going to be visiting spectacular National Parks!  Where am I going to run?

Come on Deb, get a grip.

So maybe I won't be keeping up with my training plan exactly.  I won't have my weights or my hula hoop with me.  That doesn't mean I'm going to deteriorate into a wobbly, jiggly mess in two weeks.

Instead, I've planned out miles of hikes.  Up mountains.  Through forests.  Around waterfalls. One hike that I want to do is 14 miles to Clouds Rest in Yosemite.  How great is it that I am fit enough to even consider doing that?  Unfortunately, I don't have anyone who can keep up with me!

Clouds Rest, Yosemite

But I will run across the Golden Gate Bridge.  If there is one thing I want to do in San Francisco, it's that. 

Can't wait to run this beautiful bridge!

So if my running takes a back seat to hiking over these next 2 weeks, so be it.  I can't wait to take in the glorious scenery and fresh mountain air!

So either by running or hiking, I'm still training.

My pink miles will just be more uphill.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New York, New York

I've been in a little bit of a funk these last few days with my exercising.  I've been lacking motivation - I just want to lay in bed when the early alarm goes off.  I don't want to run or exercise.

The mind is a fickle thing.  How is that one day you are are raring to go and the next you could care less?

I skipped my Tuesday run this week - I just couldn't for the life of me get out of bed.  I ran 3 miles of hills yesterday, dragging my sorry rear up and down the inclines, including Hilda.  Today I woke up at 5:30am without the alarm and after 30 minutes of trying to talk myself out of getting up, I finally rolled out of bed.

I sleepily put on my running skirt and shoes and headed out the door, with my playlist set to shuffle.

The second song made my heart and mind wake up.

Frank Sinatra and his famous New York New York.

Verrazano Bridge, the start of the NYC Marathon

I remembered why I have to run 4 miles today.  I'm running the New York City Marathon in 115 days!

All of a sudden, I had a spring in my step and a smile on my face!  I felt lighter and much happier. And most importantly, happier running.

I don't know why my mind does this to me.  I know it happens to everyone, this lack of motivation. My goal seems far away - 115 days - but it's not that far away at all.  That's the thing with marathon training - it takes time!  I can't just wake up and run a marathon.  It takes days and days of miles and miles.  It's easy to lose track of the goal when you are weeks away from the race.  But you need to keep building your endurance and strength.

Frank made me realize that this morning.  That I'll have good days and bad, but as long as I keep hitting the pavement, my goal will be reached.

It really is all about putting one foot in front of the other.
On my pink miles!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pitbull, Carly and me. Running in One Direction.

I've always been a lover of music.  I've played the piano all my life, and the clarinet in high school. Sang in Gilbert and Sullivan musicals.  There is almost always some music playing in the house somewhere.

And I can't run without my music either.  I've tried.  Every so often, I think that I'll listen to the birds chirping their early morning songs while I run.  But that doesn't get me moving up the hills like some heavy duty hip hop does.  I need my tunes.

I love a varied playlist - I'm eclectic all the way.  I'll go from Adele to ZZ Top in a heartbeat, with John Denver thrown in for some wholesomeness.  I'm hoping his easy going lyrics balance with Eminem shouting and swearing at me in the early morning.

Yes, I'm a fan.  Awesome running music.

(Speaking of Eminem - one day last year I was running at the park, listening to him curse through Till I Collapse.  I ran past a nun in her habit who was saying her rosary.  I wondered if we canceled each other out.)

Music motivates me. It makes me go faster.  It helps me up Hilda.  It entertains me.

And I sing when I run.  I play my air guitar.  I bang my air drums.  And I love it.  I'm sure people driving past me think I'm having a seizure or something.  But isn't it better to be getting some strange looks on the road than sitting at home in front of the boob tube?

This past week I've had two of my fastest runs ever.  My usual route is 4 miles and I ran it this morning in 44:15.  That's the fastest I've ever done!  And that includes 4 pretty good hills.

And I have several people to thank for that awesome time -

Pitbull, for telling me to get back in time.
Carly Rae Jepsen, for telling me that she might call me. Maybe.
One Direction, for telling me that I'm beautiful.
Florence and the Machine, for telling me my dog days are over.  That I run fast for my mother, father, children, sisters and brothers.

And most of all, Beyonce.  Did she tell you? Girls run the world.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Run Up and Down. Repeat 7 times. Then go see Hilda.

3 months post op and I am finally feeling normal again.  And that means training again!  The New York City Marathon is just 4 months away, and I'm getting my rear end in gear.

I'm back to running 4-5 days a week, and I'm also running hills again.  Hill repeats had always intimidated me.  When I read about other mother runners running them, I always thought that hills were for real runners, not me.

Well, hello, I'm a real runner! And hill repeats are now one of my favorite things.

Except for Hilda.

I have a hill route that I run - it's just up and down my rural country road.  I run three miles - three different hills.  Two hills I run twice and one I run three times.

And then there's Hilda.

There is this hill right before my driveway. For lack of imagination, I've named her Hilda.

 OK so that looks pretty pathetic.  Hilda doesn't look bad at all!  
But pictures just aren't conveying the feeling I get 
when I stand at the bottom and look up.
And then she continues around the corner, and heads upward some more.

She's not an exceptionally long hill.  Or steep hill.  But I have a fear of Hilda.

I don't know what it is.  I've avoided running up her for the last 2.5 years.  She is certainly steeper than what I normally run.  But there is no reason why I can't just crank on up the slope.

So I did just that this morning.  I said to myself - get your rear end up that hill.  Is Hilda stronger than you?  No, Ma'am, she is not.  I ran up the Queensboro Bridge in the NYC Marathon last year for crying out loud! I'm going to let a little hill defeat me?

So up I went.

I almost made it to the top without collapsing.  My Garmin beeped 3 miles (Done!) before I reached the top.  How's that for a lame excuse to quit Hilda?

But she's not going anywhere.  Hilda will still be there next week.  And the week after that.  And the marathon after that.  I'll be racing up Hilda before I know it.

And the good thing is that my driveway is right at the top of Hilda.  So I can just collapse on my own turf when I'm done with her.