Saturday, October 9, 2010

Race Report

Despite a bout with strep throat, I did run my half marathon last weekend. By Friday, I was feeling pretty good and on race-day I felt great. We left home at 5:00 in the morning to drive to Orlando. We had to check in at the Wide World of Sports complex, and got to spend some time exploring the booths filled with running gear for sale.

The race started at 10:00 p.m. with fire works at the starting line. We ran from the Wide World of Sports down to Animal Kingdom. There were bands and Disney characters along the roadside cheering us on. It was definitely entertaining. We were off at a decent pace and I was feeling pretty good as we entered the Animal Kingdom. Again, we saw characters and plenty of Disney "cast-members" in the park.

Shortly after we exited the park, at around mile 5, I started to feel a little funny. It was like a toy whose batteries were running low. We stopped and walked a minute while I ate a little bit of a power bar. From there, I went downhill. I continued running, but I was cold and clammy. By the time we ran into the Hollywood Studios, I was looking as bad as I felt. I had to take a walk break at least once or twice for each mile. My throat didn't hurt, my body didn't hurt, I didn't feel sick to my stomach. I just felt like a car running on fumes. I couldn't always run in a straight line. At one point, a cast-member asked me if I needed help. Thankfully, my friend stuck with me the entire race, so I felt confident pushing on.

By mile 10, I knew there was no way I was even going to come close to meeting my time goal. My running buddy and I had seen the same two women dressed as Minnie Mouse along the entire race course, and she told me that even if she had to drag me across the finish line, we were not going to get beat by those mice! That motivated me. I still couldn't run more than a few minutes at a time without feeling faint, but we kept the mice in our sights. When we finally entered Epcot, the finish line was less than a half mile away. I managed to find some reserve of energy and I think I ran the whole time we were in Epcot. I definitely started sprinting when I saw the finish line.

My official time was 2:20:53, the same as my friend. I was so glad to see the photos from the finish showing us crossing the line together. If it had not been for her, I probably would have dropped out around mile 7. And yes, we did pass the mice during our final surge.

This has been an amazing journey. I will say that the training and preparation meant more to me than the race itself. I have come out of this experience a stronger, more balanced person. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be running a half-marathon, I would have laughed.

Had I been able to run healthy, I would have considered this goal finished. But I want to know what I can do under optimal conditions. I am planning on trying a half marathon again in December. When I finish that (hopefully healthy and able to run the whole way), then I'll put the "13.1" sticker on my car.

Also coming up on the agenda: a full marathon in February! I am registered and start training in a few weeks. Details to come...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not a happy camper

My race is this coming Saturday night. I had been looking forward to a rather busy week getting ready for the trip, celebrating my 10-year anniversary, getting in some QT with the kidlets, and working. Lo and behold, I woke up yesterday morning (Tuesday) with a slightly sore throat. It wasn't that bad. I took my daughter to school and decided to put off my 5-mile run until the evening. By the time I picked my daughter up from school in the afternoon, I was running a fever and my throat was really hurting. We drove straight to a walk-in clinic where I was diagnosed with strep throat. WHAT?????? This can't be happening.

My doctor sympathized with me. She said that plenty of fluids, rest and antibiotics should have me race-ready by Saturday. I certainly hope so. Today hasn't been a good day, but hopefully the meds will kick in soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I have a week and a half until my race, and lots of thoughts swirling in my head. I am not nervous about the race, but I find myself thinking about it (okay, obsessing) all the time.

Progress: What a great run yesterday! I ran 13 miles solo. I have been running with a friend for all of my long runs for the past couple of months, and I was beginning to doubt that I had the willpower to do it alone. Also, I had gone 4 days without running, and I was starting to worry that I was going to have trouble slogging through a long run. Yesterday took care of those doubts. I started running at 5:15. It was pitch-black outside, even with a nearly full moon. That was a little scary, so I changed up my route to stay in open areas with more street lights (areas I have been avoiding during the scorching sunlight). At mile 5, I stopped in a gas station to use the restroom and buy a water & power bar. When I emerged, the sun was coming up and I felt comfortable turning on my music. It was like starting a new run. More and more runners began showing up on the path, and it began to feel like the party was starting. I'm happy with the pace I maintained, finishing in 2:08. My race goal was 2:10, and I beat that without race-day adrenaline or outside motivation. It was so empowering!

Now onto the girly stuff: I have been obsessing on what to wear for my race. I have spent HOURS online looking up running clothes, but the cute stuff is just so expensive, and I have a hard time justifying a big purchase in this economy. I've been hoping that something I like will go on sale. Unfortunately, I have learned that when stuff goes on sale, the selection is size XXS or XL. There's a running store about 30 minutes away that had some beautiful stuff a few months ago, but they, too, have little to choose from in my size right now. I went to the Nike outlet on Sunday and thought I'd found something acceptable: hot pink shorts with a gray & hot pink sports bra. However, when I wore them on the above run, I learned two important things: (1) when you sweat in shorts that are anything other than black, it looks like you wet your pants, and (2) when you sweat in a light gray top, it becomes see-through. Back to square one. I may have to break the bank on this one.

Fuel: I have obsessed over what to eat & drink when running. Here's what I have found: I adore Smart Water. It has the electrolytes my body needs, and it is readily available and icy cold at any convenience store I may pass while training. Refreshment at its finest. Food has been tougher. I've tried Gu, Sports Beans, Power Bars, FRX, Fig Newtons, fruit chews, etc. The Power Bars have given me the best results (energy without stomach upset) but they taste a little like chocolate-flavored cardboard.

Next obsession (drum roll, please): The New Orleans Mardi Gras Rock n Roll Marathon! 26.2 miles of fun on February 13, 2011!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Paint It Black

This week marks a new milestone in my running career -- I have my first official runner's malady: The Black Toenail. After my 11-miler a couple weeks ago and my 12-miler this past Sunday, the second toe on my left foot felt a little numb. Numbness turned into mild discomfort, which turned into tenderness. When I removed the nail polish from that toenail, the toenail was a lovely shade of light purple and there was a distinct blister forming beneath.

According to running coach Jeff Galloway: "Almost everyone who runs gets a black toenail. Getting your first one is a sign that you've moved your training into a higher level." He said that the movement of running, of swinging the foot forward, forces blood into the toe region. The increased blood flow results in pressure in the area below the toenail. A couple broken capillaries will discolor the accumulated fluid, giving the toenail that tell-tale purply-black color. If the pressure is too great, the toenail will start to separate from what he calls the "toenail in training". Eventually, this toenail will fall off.

Fortunately, mine isn't very uncomfortable anymore. I've been able to drain the excess fluid without having to (eeek) drill a hole in my toenail and without much pain. Unfortunately, the darn thing is going to come off at some time, which will keep me far away from the pedicure chair out of sheer embarassment for awhile.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What makes a good run?

I have now completed 3 double-digit runs, the most recent being an 11-mile trek on Sunday with my running partner. It was tough at times (the last mile was uphill with no shade and seemingly neverending), but overall it was a good run.

While we were stretching out our tired legs, we agreed that the 11-mile run had been easier than our previous runs that week. My previous run was supposed to be 8 miles, but I quit at 3.5 miles and ended up coming back to run another 5 an hour later. The same thing happened to me yesterday on a scheduled 6.5 mile run. At 3.5 miles, I just didn't feel like running anymore and there was a storm rolling in, so I cut it short. Unlike last week, though, I didn't ever get out and finish the last 3 miles. I can't explain what happened on either of those runs. I just didn't feel like finishing, and I was running a "figure-8" route that took me past my car at 3.5 miles, so it was easy to quit.

I have grown to enjoy my short 2-mile runs. It is easy to get out the door and hit the pavement, knowing I'll be done in 20 minutes or less and still have a good workout. I don't have to prepare for those runs in any way. I anticipate my long runs all week, and I prepare. I hydrate, I watch what I eat, I plan out my route, I load my I-Pod with good tunes, and if I am lucky I have company. Those runs are an accomplishment, especially since I've been increasing my mileage.

So my goal for the next few weeks is to make my mid-length runs an Event. First, I have to stop running that figure-8 route so it's not easy to stop mid-run. Next, I need to focus on hydration the day before the run. It's a subtle thing, but a hydrated body is a happier body. Maybe a good audio book. Definitely a reward for myself when I complete that next medium run, like a chai latte or a new running tank.

I've got about 5 weeks until the race, and mediocre runs aside, I feel ready. I could get out and run 13.1 tomorrow, so I feel like the next month is just going to make me stronger. I'm even contemplating a full marathon in February...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weeks 8 & 9: Some highs and lows

The past two weeks have been hectic. I've been doing some contract work for another attorney, which has involved a lot of driving to meetings, usually early morning. I guess it's a preview of what life would be like if I had a regular job instead of being self-employed. Fitting in an early morning run has been challenging.

Week 8 was an eventful running week. I didn't get my first run in until Wednesday, a 6-mile run that I desperately wanted to cut short for some reason. I pushed through it, which felt really good. One of the things that makes running so rewarding is that there are always challenges to overcome, but they can be wrapped up in a comparatively short time. My next run was on Saturday, a 3.1 mile race to benefit the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. It was a brutally hot race, and I pushed myself too hard in the first half. I had to stop and walk twice, but I was able to sprint the last stretch. My time wasn't my best, and I was really disappointed for a little while. Then I got to watch my 8-year-old neighbor run in the one-mile kid's run. She has been inspired by watching her mom fall in love with running, and this was her first race. She placed second overall out of the girls, which turned my mood around. At the awards ceremony, another treat was that her mom (my running partner) ended up placing third in our age division, so they got to take home two medals. My final run was supposed to be a 9.5 mile run, which I scheduled for the day after the race (probably not the best idea). I miscalculated my route and ended up running a little over 10 miles. Strangely, it was an easier run than the short race the day before. I was slow but steady, and I planned out my hydration stops very well. After that run, I came home and took an ice bath. It actually felt great. My first double-digit run was a much-needed accomplishment.

Week 9 was another recovery week. After the race and 10-miler, I was ready for a break. My quads were sore for days after that weekend. But by the middle of the week, I was desperate for a challenge. The four-mile jogs fit into my unusually busy schedule, but they weren't long enough for me to really get lost in the motion. I can't wait for my 11-mile run at the end of week 10.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 7: "S" is for Speedy! "S" is also for Silence.

My daughter is going to a summer Pre-K program this summer. Every day their homework is to think of words that start with the letter of the day. Tuesday was "S" Day. Tuesday was also my 2-mile run. Instead of running a slow 2 miles like my training program recommended, I decided to run the first mile as a speed test and the second mile as a cool-down. When I got home and woke my daughter, I felt inspired. Here is what I told her on the way to school (with emphasis on the letter "S"):

I was Sleeping Soundly when my alarm clock Startled me. I Slipped out the door, drove to my Selected route, and Started to run. I was Supposed to run Slowly, but instead I Sprinted Some of the way. I was Speedy. I felt Superb. When I finished, I was Sweaty and a little Stinky. I Stretched, Showered (with lots of Sudsy Soap and Shampoo) and Sipped water. I put on a clean Shirt, Shorts, Socks and Shoes, woke my Sweet girl, packed a Sack lunch, and Set off to School. Such a Super Start to my day! (That would be 31 S words, in case you weren't counting).

Today was a 7-mile run. I have been listening to the audio book "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" on my iPod for long runs. I'm almost done with the book (apparently Oscar's brief and wondrous life will soon come to an end?) and I was looking forward to story time. At 0.2 miles in, the sound cut out. I thought maybe my iPod battery was dead. Instead, it was the earbuds. I've been fiddling with those darn things for months. I only wear the right earbud for safety reasons (must be able to hear traffic) so I cut off the left. The cord was tied in at least three knots because it was too long. All that adjustment left the cord a little frayed. When it finally gave out today, I ditched it and kept going.

I ran for over an hour with no audio book and no music. To keep my mind occupied, I played the game that we play every morning on the way to Pre-K. I chose a letter, and thought of as many words as possible that start with that letter. Without a kid, I didn't have to censor myself ("C is for Crackhead") and I didn't have to explain obscure words ("A is for Anomaly"). It actually kept me entertained the whole way, although I am definitely planning on replacing those earbuds before my next run.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 6: Getting back in the grind & loving it

I just finished my 2nd run of week #6. After 3 short runs during my recovery week last week, I am back to my usual schedule of short/medium/long. I had a nice 2-mile run on Wednesday, nice but nothing noteworthy. Today was a 6-mile run. FINALLY! I haven't run more than 4 miles in one go since the 4th of July! Recovery week was nice, but I missed my longer routes.
It was fun to plan this one out, while still maintaining a little flexibility. This run was long enough that I had to eat a little breakfast first (a bagel with cashew butter), bring hydration, and think about my route. I parked my car at 6:00 and headed west, running a 2.5 mile loop which brought me back to my car where a cold water bottle was waiting for me. I carried the water bottle for the rest of my run, heading east and detouring through some nice, hilly neighborhoods. Around mile 5, I stopped at a beach access to refill my water bottle. I got home and actually had time to stretch out and log my run before anyone else woke up. Heaven! You mothers know what I mean.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 5: Recovery Week #1

I am really scared of running injuries. I get nervous if my knees ache after a long run, and recently had some discomfort in the arch of my right foot that made me paranoid about plantar fasciitis. I've been pretty rigid in following my training plan, because one sure-fire way to get a running injury is to increase mileage too fast. My training plan also has built-in recovery weeks to give the body a chance to take a break & heal. After three weeks of increasing mileage, there is one week of short runs. Week #5 was a recovery week. I ran 3 miles on Tuesday, 4 miles on Thursday, and 3 miles on Sunday. Each run felt good. I can tell that my body is getting stronger and my endurance is improving. I also noticed that my natural comfortable pace is getting a little faster. While speed isn't necessarily my focus for this race, it's nice to know that it is improving.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 4: Whew.

Week 4 consisted of a 2.5-mile run, a 5-mile tempo run, and a 7-mile run. Week 4 was also the week that I moved my law practice out of an off-site office and into my home. I bought and put together (mostly on my own) a desk, hutch and chair in the loft space that I had cleaned out and painted the week before. I packed 8-10 boxes of files and office supplies, loaded them into my car, and carried them upstairs to my home office. Things are mostly in place now, but I am still catching up on sleep. On a fun note, we had family in town during week 4 and we were able to spend some quality time with them. And the week ended with the 4th of July, always a big week at the beach, although not as busy this year thanks to BP's blunder in the Gulf.

Due to all the extra stuff going on my life last week plus a ton of rain, I went three days in a row with no running and I could really feel a difference in my level of tolerance. I was one cranky mama. I ran Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I was starting to worry that I was going to have to skip a workout, and that was a precedent I didn't want to set.

Waking up early and going for a long run on July 4th was a great way to start the day! I picked up my neighbor at 6 a.m. and we ran 7 scenic miles together. We were amazed at how cool it felt that 79 degrees, it was the mildest weather we've had in a long time. We got home just in time to wipe off the sweat with some baby wipes, load up the kids, and go to a community parade. We followed that with a HUGE breakfast out. If I just burned 700 calories, I am more than entitled to eat an entire western omelette!

Week 5 will be a recovery week on my training schedule (i.e., all easy short runs). I feel like I'll be recovering from more than the running.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 3: 2 good runs, 1 downright weird run & 1 bonus

Run #7: Redemption 2 miles. I ran the same 2-mile route that gave me such a hard time last week. It's still not an easy route. There are some hills and very little shade. But it was so much easier after a good night's sleep and better hydration. Instead of my usual music, I listened to an audio book. It was an interesting change of pace, but difficult to stay focused. I guess I zone out more than I realized. This was one of the good runs.

Bonus Workout: I've been coming down with a cold, and didn't feel up to running 5 miles on Wednesday morning, but I did feel the need to do something active. So I loaded up my jogging stroller and my baby boy, & headed to my usual running path. We took a leisurely run/walk, about 2.5 miles. I hadn't planned on doing any running at all, but we bumped into my neighbor/running buddy as she was finishing a 5-mile run, and I got inspired by her post-run glow & had to try at least a couple bursts of running. Let me just say: HAT'S OFF to people who run with jogging strollers all the time. That's a really tough workout. My arms were sore the next day!

Run #8: Stop & "Go": This was the afore-mentioned "downright weird" run. On a positive note, I was thrilled to get a sensor holder in the mail for my Nike Plus, so I could start using my beloved Nike-Plus pedometer with my new non-Nike shoes. [Insert Nike-Plus plug here: ] I decided to calibrate the sensor to be sure I was getting an accurate reading, so I ran one mile using the mile markers on the running path as guideposts. That was part one of my 5-mile workout. I stopped, set my Ipod/Nike Plus for a 4 mile speed interval workout, and started up Part 2. It was super hot, so I ducked into a neighborhood, hoping for some shade. As I turned into the neighborhood, I realized that I really had to Go (not talking about running here). I couldn't believe my luck when I came around a corner and saw a brand new community pool with bathrooms. Of course, they were locked. On to Plan B: this neighborhood backed up to the woods where I go trail running. I paused my workout and gingerly stepped into the dusty, dirty woods in my beautiful shiny new shoes. At least I was able to find some relief there. However, restarting my speed workout after taking a jaunt through the woods was tough. I gave it a try, but about 3/4 of the way through, I stopped. Part 3 of the run: I ditched the speed intervals and just jogged easily for mile 5.
I've been dreading the whole bathroom while running issue, but haven't had to deal with it until this workout. This wasn't even a long run by any stretch of imagination. When I get up to 9-10 mile runs, bathroom stops may be par for the course. I hope the next time nature calls, I will be close to the beach access that has a public restroom. Probably need to plan routes that bring me by there mid-way.
This 3-part run probably took me well over an hour from start to finish, with all the starts and stops. Good thing I didn't have any morning appointments.

Run #9: All smiles. There was nothing particularly special about this 6-mile run. It was hot as usual, there were times I struggled, but overall it was enjoyable. Good tunes, easy pace, great scenery. I finished at a beach access, where I took off my shoes and hosed down my legs with cold water while admiring the still-beautiful Gulf of Mexico. The long runs are my favorite. When I got home, the house was so quiet! My daughter had spent the night with her Nana and great-aunts. My husband and son were still asleep. I took advantage of the opportunity to do a short workout video. Running has been great at slimming me down, but my jeans are getting a little too baggy in the rear. I dug out a great old VHS workout tape that uses ballet moves to really tone & lift the tush. It definitely worked some neglected muscles -- ouch!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Days 4, 5 & 6

Each run had its own set of challenges this week! Where to start...

Run #4: Respect the short distances

I remember the first time I ran 2 miles without walking. It was Week 5, Day 3 of the "Couch to 5K" training program & the first workout in the program that did not include any walking. I was so proud to tell my friends & family about it! I felt like a real runner.

Flash forward 4 or 5 months: My long runs are up to 6 or 7 miles, and my weekly short & easy run is 2 or sometimes 3 miles. I started looking at those 2 mile runs as child's play, preludes to my much more rewarding long runs. I stopped taking the short runs seriously & stopped preparing myself properly.

Case in point: On Tuesday I was scheduled to run 2 miles. On Monday night, I went out to dinner with friends and had a couple of Adult Beverages. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning (yes, 4:30), WENT TO MY OFFICE to make a project to send to my daughter's first day of Pre-K, and intended to go running before taking my daughter to school at 7:30 a.m. "It's just a 2-mile run, no big deal". But as I sat in my office, I wasn't sure if I felt up to running, not even 2 miles. Wine will do that.

I didn't make it out on the road until around 8:30, much later than I ever want to go running in this heat. But hey, "it was ONLY 2 miles". I can honestly say that was one of the most challenging runs I have had in a long time. I desperately wanted to stop and walk before I even got to the halfway point. Sweat pouring out of me, my body complaining from Monday night's festivities, the sun pounding down relentlessly.

Later I looked at my training schedule. For a 13.1 mile goal, there are a surprising number of 2-milers in my program. Next time, I will prepare for the two-mile run just as seriously as I would for a long run. And I will try to remember the pride I had the first time I tackled that distance. Two miles is still farther than I could run six months ago.

Run #5: Time Crunch

Thursday's run was 5 miles. I woke up at 4:45, leisurely had a bagel & coffee, and drove off to one of my favorite routes -- Grayton Beach to Seaside and back. This was a speed training run. I ran "fartleks" (what a funny word) which are little bursts of fast running with slower running in between. To keep it fun, I don't plan on a certain number of speed intervals, a certain pace or a certain distance. I'll just pick out landmarks as I go -- run hard to the next stop sign or intersection, then run slowly until I feel like running fast again. This really was a fun run. It was like being a kid and just going for broke.

This time my challenge was time. I knew that 5 miles would take me a little over 45 minutes. But I did not plan for the time it would take me to warm up before I ran or cool down afterward. I also didn't account for the driving time. So I got home at 6:50, a sweaty stinky mess. My daughter was still asleep and she had to be at pre-K at 7:30. Thankfully, she was a good sport when I woke her and hurried her through her morning routine while I took a world-record speed shower. We arrived at school at 7:29. She had eaten her breakfast in the car. My hair was soaking wet. Lesson learned: I need to get up & at 'em EVEN EARLIER on school days. This is going to be more challenging than I thought.

Run #6: Restoring Sanity

My daughter's old preschool has a monthly "Kids Night Out". Friday night I dropped both kids off for 3 whole hours of Me Time, which I chose to spend painting my new home office while blaring the Sirius Radio's Jam Band station. The effect on my pysche was actually pretty similar to running: the mindless repetition of painting while occasionally checking in to make sure I was staying "in the lines" gave my brain a nice break.

My sense of calm started to erode shortly after I arrived at the church to pick up the kids. Apparently, my 13-month-old son did not have much fun at Kids Night Out. He had screamed himself to sleep about a half hour before I got there. So, as a mother, I felt guilty that I was home mindlessly enjoying my painting while my son was having a screaming fit just 5 minutes away. Guilt magnified later in the evening when my daughter couldn't find me at an outdoor movie, and she enlisted an elderly lady and a security guard to help her find her lost mommy. I had been walking around the perimeter of the lawn, trying to keep an eye on where she was playing with an army of other children, find a sandwich, and quiet my crying baby. By the time they found me, they had bought her a glow-ring necklace and a snow-cone. Sigh. I guess I am out of the running for Mom of the Year.

I think the temporary reprieve of Kids Night Out made the evening's stress (and humiliation if we want to be quite honest) even more pronounced. I texted my husband at work: "I need a nice long run in the morning". Six miles never felt so good. Coming home to the usual morning chaos, I kind of wish I was still out there right now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 3: The Road Less Traveled

I heart trail running. If I could, I would escape to the woods for every run. However, I need to prepare my joints for actual race conditions, and my half-marathon is going to be run on pavement. So my little trail outings are a special treat.
This morning, I hit the trail at 6:15. When I run in the woods, I don't focus on speed. I just enjoy the sights and smells of the pine trees, palmettos and tupelos. I watch the trail ahead for obstacles, usually tree roots or patches of soft sand. There's a little voice in the back of my head that is scared of running into snakes, but I think I get out there early enough that the snakes are still sleeping in their hidey-holes.
Five miles went by, and I wished I could just keep running. You know it's been a good trail run when your feet are this filthy.

Day 2: Hot & Hilly

Friday's run was just that. First, the hot: When I got in my car at 6:10 in the morning, it was already 83 degrees. I started running at 6:25 and by 7:00, I was drenched. Next, the hilly: Yes, there are hills in Florida! I had to run a strange circuitous route to get a good hill workout, but I found some big'uns.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 1: I Fought the Snooze Button, and the Snooze Button Won

My weekly training schedule roughly follows this format:

1. A short "easy" run on Monday or Tuesday
2. A medium-length run on Wednesday or Thursday where I try some hills or push my speed
3. A long run on Saturday or Sunday, in which I gradually increase my distance

I had planned on starting Monday, but after three days in a row at the beach, the snooze button easily won out at 5:30 on Monday morning. After attending a parade Monday night, the snooze button beat me again on Tuesday. So last night, I wore my running clothes to bed & left my shoes & socks sitting by the front door. I rolled out of bed around 5:30 and felt inspired. One small victory.

I was supposed to run 3 miles today, but I didn't plan out my route ahead of time and ended up running 4.4 miles. I knew I was going further than 3 miles, but after getting a late start this week, I suppose I was trying to compensate.

It was a good run: comfortable pace, not too hot out, and some lovely views of the beach and coastal dune lakes. Run #2 will be on Friday. If the snooze button doesn't stage a comeback.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


For the first 36-plus years of my life, I never really got into fitness. I always wished I had that drive, but there were SO many other things I'd rather be doing.... like getting a root canal. Sure, I'd love to be a size smaller, but not so much that I would be willing to spend a precious hour in the gym three times a week covered in sweat.

Then came 2009, which brought a beautiful baby boy & an unforeseen end to the job that I'd held for the previous 6 years. I wasn't in a position to relocate out of town for a new job and the local job market for real estate attorneys wasn't exactly thriving. So I opened my own law practice. I have learned that being self-employed is wonderfully flexible, but frighteningly unstable.

On New Years Eve, someone suggested that I enter a local 5K race. I would have a little more than two months to train and figured, why not? I NEEDED to accomplish something, anything, at that point. I downloaded the "Couch to 5K" training program, bought a new pair of Nikes, and got started. Then an amazing thing happened: I got hooked. I loved waking up on the mornings that I was scheduled to run. I spent countless hours on my "off days" planning the next run. I became a Running Junkie.

As a mother of two small children, I cherish running as my time to be alone, with nobody asking anything of me other than myself. As an attorney, I cherish running as my time to clear my head and stop stressing about my clients' well-being for a little while. The fact that I've dropped two sizes without changing my diet is an appreciated side effect.

After that first 5K on March 7, I immediately started planning for the next challenge. I ran a 10K on May 1 and I signed up to run the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on October 2. My official training for the half marathon starts on June 7. Thanks for sharing this journey with me!