Sunday, April 11, 2010

running, TMB-style ...

Back on my 300th post, I asked you to comment with any question you wanted me to answer. The response was huge. Way too much for one entry. So, I have decided to categorize the questions and reply in a series of posts over the next few weeks. Today, I discuss my life as a mother-runner, with an emphasis on runner ...

Nicole Joy asked: "Do you think you'll do any more Disney races in the next year or so?"

I can't wait to go back to Disney, for both the vacation aspect and the races. The Princess Half was definitely the best run race I have ever done. Unfortunately, a Disney trip costs a small fortune. So, we will not be going back this year. Or even next year. The plan is to head back in the fall of 2012 and to race the Wine and Dine Half.

Staci Dombroski asked: "If you could do any race, what would it be? Where?

Definitely, the Maui Half Marathon. I have always wanted to visit Hawaii and if I am going to travel that far, then I am definitely going to race. Plus, can you think of a more beautiful run?

Erin G asked: "My question is what did you think was the hardest thing about running when you first started? How did you get over the hurdles?" and MJ asked: "How did you feel after you ran your very first mile? When you were just starting to run, did you ever feel frustrated?"

I definitely think the hardest part about beginning to run was getting past the mental stuff. We are built to run. Any able bodied person can become a runner. I think what separates those who stick with it and those who don't is the ability to fight the negative thoughts. I remember thinking that I was going to die during those first runs. I was constantly convinced that I couldn't make it. That I was going to drop to the road and never get up.

I think what got me past it was that I felt like I had something to prove. To myself and those around me. I wanted to show myself that I really could do anything I put my mind to. So, when I wanted to quit, I would run for 30 seconds longer. And then for 30 seconds more (thankfully, I am a self motivator). Some days were harder than others, but after my first race (which was the first time I ran three miles straight), I finally felt like a runner and I knew that running was something that would define me from then on.

reeebeka asked: "How you cross train?"

Um, yeah. About that. I am not the best about cross-training. For the past three years I have taught Stroller Strides, which is a 60 minute class that mixes cardio and strength training. But as the instructor, you don't always get the best workout. Other than that I don't do much. But, I will be training for a sprint triathlon this summer, so at some point I need to add some cycling and swimming to my routine. And I have also had P90X staring me in the face for the last six months, but I have yet to start it. But I will. Eventually.

Libby asked: "What are your ultimate/lifetime running dreams/goals?"

I'm not really sure. I don't want to qualify for Boston. Or run a marathon in every state. Or even run another marathon ever again. I'd like to become a half specialist, but my favorite distance is actually the 8K. I want to travel to races. I'd love to get an age group win. There really are so many things I'd like to accomplish, but I often think of myself as constantly evolving. I prefer to set smaller goals as a way to getting to where I want to be.

In general, I want to be faster (but who doesn't?) A 23 minute 5K, a 47 minute 10K and a sub 1:50 half are all times I will hit. I don't know when, but I will. I want to build my mileage to 40 mile a week and I'll get there too. I guess my number one running goal is to always have the motivation to be a better runner.

Sarah asked: "When did you first start running? High school track, later as a mommy? What got you started and when did you run your first half marathon or marathon?

I wish I could say I was always a runner. But that's just not the case. I was the kid in high school who would fake an injury to get out of running the timed mile in gym class. And although I've always been an athlete and even competed at the Division I level in college, I NEVER ran. I'm pretty sure my longest run back then was 800 meters, and even that was at a snail's pace.

I first started running after I had Doodle. I had decided that I was going to run a 10K as one of my New Year's resolutions. By the time August had rolled around, I still hadn't attempted working towards that goal. So, I found a walk/run training plan for a 5K, signed up for a race and never looked back. The first time I ever ran three miles without walking was on race day. Afterwards, I needed something to keep me motivated, so I registered for an 8K two months later. By the time I ran that 8K, I had decided to train for a marathon. Because when I decide to do something, I do it big. So, the Monday after Thanksgiving (3 months after I first started running) I began marathon training. 16 weeks later, on Doodle's first birthday, I finished that marathon in a painfully slow time.

Kim asked: "I want to know more about running during your pregnancy. Did your doc (or anyone else) ever give you any crap about it? "

Yes and no. My doctor was pretty much on board. She knew that she couldn't really stop me, so we came to an agreement about my training. Rule number one was to listen to my body. And rule number two was never race all out. Pretty simple, right? I listened to her and she didn't give me a hard time about running.

My mom was the hardest to convince. She did not want me running, convinced I was damaging her unborn granddaughter. Every time I complained about not feeling right, or being achy, she told me to stop running. After a point, I think she gave up too and just let me do what I wanted. But honestly, those people closest to me knew I wasn't going to do anything stupid. More than anything, they were all very supportive, regardless of whether or not they agreed with my running.

Heather asked: "How did you get so comfortable on the treadmill? I cannot handle running on it as I stare at the time and it bugs me. Also, what treadmill do you have and do you watch tv or listen to music?"

Oh, the treadmill. My favorite piece of equipment (it's a six-year old ProForm). How I will miss you when you are gone ...

OK, seriously, I got so comfortable running on the treadmill because I had no other choice. J's job has him traveling a lot. We don't have any family nearby. And pushing a triple stroller while running is nearly impossible. I need to get my runs in and so I am left with the treadmill. I figure I'd rather run in place, than not run at all.

I think that I am helped by the fact that I have a positive attitude about running on the treadmill, too. Just like when you run on the road or trail, if you have negative thoughts while you run, it is going to be painful. I try to look at running on the treadmill as an opportunity, not a punishment. Plus, I don't just run one pace for the whole run. I like to do progression runs, intervals, tempo runs, hill work, whatever. And yes, I do watch TV when I run. Usually with the volume off and the captions on. My iPod only comes out during speedwork.

Tortuga_Runner asked: "How did you and your husband make arrangements so you could fit in your runs?" and Anne asked: "Does your running (the time that it requires) ever cause tension at home?"

Like I have said a million times before, J is super supportive of my running. My training and the time that it takes has never been an issue with us. He knows that I work 24/7 raising our daughters and he understands that I need some me time (plus I think I am pretty good about balancing being a wife, a mother and a runner).

Because I don't have a full-time job, I can be flexible with when I run. So, most of my runs are done when J is working or traveling (not taking away from our time together). I squeeze my runs in during nap time or while the girls are at dance classes or preschool. When J travels or works late, I run on the treadmill once the girls are in bed.

The only exception to this is my long run. I almost always do that run with my friends, leaving J with the girls for a few hours. I usually try to leave before they are awake, so that I don't miss too much family time. But, it's nice for J to spend some time alone with the girls. He doesn't see them much during the week, so when I do my long runs they get to catch up.

deannahensley asked: "What is more important to you, speed or distance?

Definitely speed. Perhaps I shouldn't care so much, but I don't run just to be able to say I ran. I run to be faster than others. I'm kind of competitive like that.

Jill asked: "What's the one running accessory you would go back to get if you forgot it?"

Without a doubt, my sunglasses. I almost never run without them. They block the wind, sun and rain from my eyes. Plus, they ALWAYS make for a better race photo.

Badgergirl asked: "Do you run with or without music? If you do, what are some of your favorite tunes to run to?"

I almost NEVER train with music, but I almost ALWAYS race with music. Weird, huh?

As for my playlist, here are some songs from my current rotation ...

All the Right Moves - OneRepublic
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Misery Business - Paramore
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
Fireflies - Owl City
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Crushcrushcrush - Paramore
Naturally - Selena Gomez
See You Again - Miley Cyrus


Erica said...

right about now you are lining up to run Cherry blossom!!! your a wonderful mother runner and a great inspiration! Good luck and have a great time today can't wait to hear all about it!

Anabela (Bela) Neves said...

OH Maui, yes I would love to run that one just to go to Maui again. It is truly teh most beautiful place on earth in my opinion. Good luck today!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

You had a great morning for your race. I am sure you put in a great show!

I love that you and J are so supportive of each other. Sometimes its hard when both people are not so "into" running.

Destination races would be fun! Hubbs has friends in Germany and wants to go over on vaca. If we go, figuring out a race would add to my enjoyment for sure.

ihaverun said...

I could copy and paste most of what you wrote here on my own blog. As I read your answers, I couldn't believe how much we have in common when it comes to being running mothers!!

MCM Mama said...

Great to learn more about you! I agree that traveling to race is so much fun. I hear you on wanting to focus on speed. I miss running fast and can't wait to get my speed back after this marathon.

Momma Twitch said...

Maui would be AWESOME! I need to think like you when it comes to the treadmill, it would really help. :) Good luck on your race today! I bet you did awesome!

Kerrie said...

I am jealous of your treadmill. To me, that is the solution to all my problems...

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

thanks for sharing! If need be, I could definitely get in a zone and run on a treadmill on a regular basis. I have been known to do a full marathon while training for a marathon, on the treadmill to get my legs to "know" the pace I want to run. It works beautifully.
Great music list!

Hannah said...

I love you so much for your answer with regard to treadmill running. There are so many things worse than treadmill running. While it isn't my favorite as of now, I sure am thankful for having that option. :)

P.S. We can be best buddies because you will ALWAYS be faster than me. Always. YAY!

Anonymous said...

love the question answer session! I think you have a great balance of wife/mommy/runner!

Unknown said...

This was a fun post...ooops, I thought your race was this weekend. I guess I was wrong?! Well, good luck next weekend!

Liz Elindel said...

Thanks for the post! It reminded me that we all have to start somewhere, and so maybe that place that I'm at isn't a bad place to be after all. Loved your playlist - Paramore is the BEST. :)
Check out my blog sometime - you might enjoy it!
Cheers! L finch

ajh said...

I have enjoyed the answers to these questions. Are you done with answering so many in this post? I hope there are more!

Anonymous said...

Love the Q/A.

"We are built to run." -- So true and said so simply.

akjenniekt said...

I really like your Q&A! It is nice to see someone else's perspective on running. I can especially relate to your "just starting out" question since I am there now :). I also like what you said about the treadmill- I have a bit of a negative attitude towards it but I like hearing the positives :). Thanks so much for sharing!

Michelle said...

Great answers!

Love Paramore!

Nicole Joy said...

I totally feel you on the *small fortune* at Disney. It's just impossible to do it right and do it cheap, especially when you're coming with a family. I look forward to your next FL run though so we can meet! :)

Unknown said...

Love that you and hubby have great time management and support each other - that is sooo important!