Friday, February 26, 2010

Mickey Says Relax!

And that's exactly what I plan to do as soon as we get going Saturday morning!  Although, no relaxing yet and I'm quickly posting this at almost midnight Thursday night with one more day of packing, cleaning, entertaining, etc. before we leave.  My in-laws have been visiting with us all week so I've had no time to be on the computer although I've been reading everyone's blog posts on my Crackberry.  (Still haven't figured out how to post comments with that thing. It just won't let me!)  Anyhow, you guys have been writing your little hearts out this week. I'm lovin' it!

Just wanted to quickly thank AJH, Heidi and Katye for some fun awards!  Heidi sent me this fantastic Sunshine Award that gave me warm fuzzies all over. Thanks Heidi!  Wish you were running Red Rock with me! :(
AJH nominated me for this Gorgeous Blogger Award.  Too adorable for words. Love it! Thanks AJH!  You rock as much as age groups! ;)
To accept the Gorgeous Blogger Award, I need to list 6 things about myself.  So, here goes. 
  1. Seems all my favorite posts are the ones that include lists.  LOVE the "random-things-about-me" posts! Probably because of all the weird things that people admit. Makes me feel normal. 
  2. It's so strange to be in my thirties. (I'm 32.)  I don't really think about it too much but occasionally I get a glance of a new wrinkle or a gray hair (I've got one total...and it's in my eyebrow of all places!) and it kinda freaks me out.  I guess I don't really have a grasp on it yet.  Just hoping to age gracefully.
  3. I just bought 4 shirts yesterday.  Got them all home. Tried them on again.  And took them all back to the store today.  Not really sure why I bought them in the first place.
  4. I am SO jealous of all of you who buy multiple pairs of running shoes!  I really need a new pair and have been putting it off because I haven't wanted to spend the money.  It just hurts my soul a little to cough up $100 for a pair of shoes. But I will.  And soon.
  5. I worked at Old Navy in Orlando one summer and I dressed up as the Old Navy dog for a celebrity all-star soccer game at Disney Wide World of Sports. Woof!
  6. My mailbox is falling apart and needs new screws. Has for the past 4 years. One of these days...
So, there you go! Thanks again, AJH. That was fun!

And last but not least, Katye nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award.  To accept, I must give you these scraps of honesty.  10 Bests.

1) Best Meal Ever: There's no way to chose.  I've had lots of fab meals in my years.  Although, I have eaten at the Melting Pot a couple of times and that place never disappoints.  Fondue for two!
2) Best Sleep Ever: Any sleep I ever got when my boys were babies.  Oh man, I don't miss the sleep deprivation.
3) Best Cup of Coffee: I don't drink coffee.  Although, I sometimes wish they'd make a coffee scented candle because it smells SO good!
4) Best Romantic Moment: When Thai Guy proposed.  He is not really the romantic type but he surprised me at work (Gold's Gym) and proposed in front of everyone. Such a sweet memory!
5) Best Childhood Memory Moment: Any family vacation. My parents took us to Disney World nearly every summer from the time I was a baby.  Those were great times.
6) Best Moment of Your Life:  Marrying Thai Guy.  Best moment. Ever. Well, and the moments my boys were born.  Now those are amazing moments! Meeting the little guys after carrying them for 9 months.  Thrilling.
7) Best Moment of Revenge: Hmmm, nothing comes to mind.  Just have never been big on revenge, I guess.
8) Best Thing That Someone Has Done for You:  Loved me unconditionally.
9) Best Thing You Have Ever Done for Someone Else: Loved them unconditionally.
10) Best Life Changing Moment: I want to say finishing my first marathon but I really think that the best life changing moment was actually finishing my first 5k.  It was that moment that gave me some faith in myself, in being able to achieve my goals.  It was that moment that made me want to be a lifelong runner.

Thanks Katye! Love your energy girl! Wish I had just a smidgen of it. You are amazing! :)

I'll be MIA for the next week but I'll be back with a Red Rock Canyon recap soon!  I also have some really exciting running related news that I can't wait to share!

Nite all!  Better go put this young'un to bed.  Ha ha! I'm such a nerd.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A new friend!

When I joined Tall Mom's 1000+++ miles for 2010 club, I was thrilled to see a blogger that lived close by listed on the challenge spreadsheet.  Candice only lives about 15 minutes away so I knew I'd have to set up a running "date" with her.  (Totally reminds me of ESH's post about running partners HERE. Go read it. It's hilarious.)  I decided fairly last minute to run a 10k with a local running club this morning (which I've never done before) and asked Candice if she wanted to run, too.  After all, this gal was considering running with a gun, for goodness sakes!  I told her there's safety in numbers and all she really needed was a running buddy.  I was so thrilled when she said she'd be there. Yay! My first bloggy meet-up!

Funny thing- I had such a hard time going to sleep last night because I was anxious about meeting her.  Would I recognize her?  Would she like me?  Would our paces be similar?  Would she bring said gun anyhow?  Ok, I wasn't really worried about the gun but I was nervous!  Even with all the silly thoughts, I drifted off into a deep sleep and woke up bright and early this morning feeling ready to run. 

Thai Guy had decided last minute that he wanted to come, too.  My in-laws are in town and we really love having them around to watch the kiddos.  (We've paid sitters WAY too many times to go on runs together.)  Anyway, Thai Guy and I proceeded to the local running store to meet up with Candice and the other runners.  She must have arrived right after we did because she walked in the store only a moment later and I knew her right away. (Phew!) Tall Mom calls her Runner Barbie and it's well-suited to her. She's slender, blonde and a total running babe. (I can say that, right?)

I was quickly struck by her friendly and sweet demeanor as we made some small talk while waiting for our run to begin.  I introduced her to the hubby and was super impressed when she called him Thai Guy. She does read my blog!  After a few minutes, we got our very confusing instructions (and maps) and headed on our way.  The miles went by really quickly as we talked...and talked...and talked some more.  I have to admit I did a lot of the talking.  Not because she didn't want to mind you, but because I just was spouting things out like a crazy person.  I was nervous!  And I wanted her to like me.  Anyhow, hopefully I was even the slightest bit charming and funny and not too, well, annoying. (There's a thin line, folks and I never know which side I'm on!)  I had such a great time meeting her and really look forward to having a new buddy to run with.  She's a peach!  Here's a pic of us after the run.  See?  Such a Barbie!  Thanks for the fun run, Candice!
After our morning run, Thai Guy and I stopped by the grocery store to get some chicken for his mom's famous Thai curry.  While there, I snagged this yummy trail mix for breakfast.  I love yogurt almonds!
So, all in all, great morning!  I tried running a little more on the treadmill tonight but only cranked out a mile before I felt like collapsing. I'm just tired!  I'll get back to it on Monday.

Just one more week 'til Disneyland!!!  Two weeks 'til the Red Rock Half!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A lazy streak.

"Ultimately, the best runners are the ones who are willing to work very hard but who have a little bit of a lazy streak in them."

Benji Durden, Coach 

I love that this quote validated my very lazy decision to skip my tempo run last week.  I had been feeling a bit guilty about it but no more. My laziness will make me the best runner I can be!  Thanks Coach!  Seriously though, I have definitely got a lazy streak in me lately!  Seems that I'm proving that with every day and every run that goes by without a simple bleep on the bloggy world radar.  Sheer laziness!  Well, I have been crazy busy with life in general, too. You know the usual suspects- running the kids here to there, cleaning the house in preparation of a visit from the in-laws (they come tomorrow!) and trying to squeeze in my runs in the absence of any real downtime.  Exhausting.  So, here's a little of my training thus far this week-

Tuesday- long run- 12 miles- 9:28 pace

I dropped Little Red off at preschool and headed out to blaze new (to me) trails.  My favorite local trail is closed due to the construction of a bridge (until Fall 2011 no less) so I'm looking for a new route for my long runs.  I ran about 6 miles around some neighborhoods north of here and started to get some IT band pain (dang road camber!) so I decided to head home a finish up on the treadmill.  Once I got home, I had done about 8.3 miles.  I jumped on the treadmill and ran the final 3.7 and rewarded myself with some slow, PAINFUL stretches on the foam roller.  Hurts so bad but gotta love the magic in that roller. I wouldn't be running without it!

All in all, a good run but not a good route.  My IT band hated it.  I need to keep looking...

Today's run- 3x1600 intervals- 8:27 pace

Let me preface this by saying I never run in the early mornings.  Like never ever.  Well, maybe 7 or 8 am once in a blue moon but never 5:30-6:30 in the morning.  I'm just not a morning person.  That's why it's worth noting that today I ran at the morning!  Crazy.  You see at about 6:20 I awoke from this terrible nightmare (and of course, I don't remember even a bit of it now) and did not want to go back to sleep so I decided to go ahead and try to get in as much as my run before having to get the boys out of bed and ready for school.  I was dressed and on the treadmmill by 6:27.  My training plan called for a 20 min warm-up with 4x1600s at an 8:17 pace.  I knew I wouldn't have all that much time so I got in about a 5 min warm up and 3x1600s instead of 4.  And then a 5 min cool down.  So, a run that would've normally got me 7 or so miles ended up being 4.2.  I'll take it!

The best part if having my run done before the boys got up?  While Little Red was at preschool, I went shopping.  For 3 blissful hours!!!  Maybe early morning runs aren't such a bad thing after all.

My plans for this weekend include a 10k training "race" with the local running club + a couple extra warm up and cool down miles.  I've never met with this running club so I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My journey.

Inspired by all the posts I've been reading about those bloggers out there who are on their own journeys to a healthy body, I thought I'd share my own journey.

From about age 10 on, I was a chubby kid, as proven in my recently shared photo from 1990 here.  In high school, I thinned out a bit but was never really thin, just average.  Here's me circa 1996.  Pretty sure Sonic Youth would've revoked my fan club membership for this photo. So uncool, Alicia.
I had been on the tennis team in high school but was not really very athletic.  It was fun but mostly just a social outlet for me.  I really knew nothing about exercise until I went to college. Once in college, I joined a gym and quickly became a gym rat and started shaping up.  This was great but I became too obsessed and quickly developed an unhealthy relationship with food.  I just didn't get it.  I was starving myself and ended up in the hospital twice because of what the diet pills I was taking did to my heart.  Crazy. Again, so uncool, Alicia.  Here's a pic of me at, oh, about 21.  (Barbara Streisand and I were just kickin' it at the wax museum in Vegas.)  Probably about 125 lbs. Totally appropriate weight but killing myself to stay there.  I didn't know how or what to eat and I was spending sometimes 5 hours at the gym a day.  Did I mention that I worked at Gold's Gym back then, too.  That gym was my whole life in those days.
I soon met my sweet husband and we were married about a year later.  I felt healthy and happy but I still hadn't gotten a grasp on appropriate nutrition. About 140 here on our wedding day (Aug. 2000.)
Right after we were married I started gaining weight.  I got a full-time job, stopped exercising and soon (within 2 months of our wedding) had my drug-addicted baby sister living with us as we tried getting her help.  I was super stressed and I ATE! Within a few months, I had gained about 15 lbs and was at about 155 lbs.  Here I am at about 155.  Firstborn was 2 here. He's now almost 8.  So, about 6 years ago.  I stayed at this weight (minus when I was pregnant) for about the first 5 years of our marriage.  I wanted to lose weight and tried several times unsuccessfully.  I just seemed to always end up back at 155.
After Little Red was born (in Aug. 2005), I was hoping that some of the weight I had gained while pregnant would just melt off but 3-4 months after he was born, I still weighed 180 lbs.  Way too much for my 5'5" frame.  I remember the day this picture (with my Mom) was taken. You wouldn't guess it but I had a girdle on under that sweater, trying to suck it all in.  I felt so defeated.
I was SO unhappy. I was taking care of a newborn, suffering from postpartum depression and my oldest had just been diagnosed with autism, which brought along a whole new set of struggles. My life felt really out of control.  And I was in a downward spiral. I had seen the doctor and he had given me a prescription for an anti-depressant.  I wasn't sure about getting it filled so I talked to Thai Guy about it.  He suggested that I exhaust all my other options before deciding to rely on a pill to make me happy.   I have to admit, I was disappointed at first.  I was looking for a quick fix but he was looking out for my best interest.  I'm so thankful that he gave me that gentle push I needed to take control of my life again.  I read Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Solution and began making small, healthy changes in my eating habits. We then bought a treadmill and I began run/walking while my baby napped everyday.  Within 6 months, I lost 50 lbs and had run my first 5k. I was finally feeling like myself again.  I was smaller than the day we got married! And that felt good! I began making time for me everyday and I was becoming the mommy and wife that I wanted to be.  It was like a revelation!  That was 4 years ago and I have been able to keep my weight between 127-135 lbs since.  Right now, I'm at 132.  This pic is from my half-marathon finish in Sept. (Also, 132 here.)
I always have a goal to eat better or tone up or lose a little here or there.  My journey is not over. It continues everyday and I just feel so blessed that I've had the strength to make it to where I am now.  I would have never believed it if you had told 25 year old Alicia that I would be a marathoner at 32.  I'm so thankful for my body and that I have an opportunity to treat it the way it deserves to be treated.  I am healthy and strong and couldn't be happier with the direction I've chosen for my life. Life is good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thank you, Tricia!

I can't believe I won! Tricia from Endurance Isn't Only Physical has named me winner of this awesome Nathan hydration belt and I couldn't be more stoked about it. 

If you haven't been over to Tricia's blog (who hasn't?), you definitely should!  She is an amazing mom who has lost 122 pounds (!) and continues to support her new healthier lifestyle by eating well and running.  She has a contagious positive attitude and seems to never let anything get the best of her.  What a great example to me of perseverance and optimism.  Thanks Tricia- for the belt and your shining example!

I leave you with a pic of my view of my 4 yr old from the treadmill this morning.  He has a habit of getting in my bed in the middle of the night.  (I have to admit, I kind of love it.)  But I still had to run first thing so I hopped on the treadmill thinking he'd wake up pretty quickly.  My treadmill is not quiet. In fact, lately, it's been quite loud.  (In desperate need of a tune-up, I think.)  Imagine my surprise when he slept through the first 5 miles!  Somebody was tired! 
Oh, and by the way, that is my Hello Kitty pillow. And, yes,  I am a child trapped in a woman's body. What can I say?

I should really be in bed right now...

...but it's been almost a whole week since I've posted anything on here.  Since I always love reading lists in others blogs, here's a top five of my past week.
  1. Back from "vacation" and feverishly planning the next, which is Disneyland at the end of February/beginning of March, with a stop in Vegas on the way back for the Red Rock Canyon Half.
  2. Finally getting around to really planning out my race schedule for the next few months. You can see it in my sidebar.  Four half-marathons and the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay over the next 5 months.  Probably some 5 and 10k races sprinkled in there for good measure (and PRs, hopefully.) I'm also planning on volunteering at the Lake Chase Relay in May just for fun. I've never actually volunteered at a race and it's definitely time for me to give back a little. I'm looking forward to it. :)
  3. Had my yearly physical today.  I'm in good shape overall but will be anxiously awaiting my cholesterol test results.  I had my first high cholesterol reading when I was just 11!  And ever since, it has bordered on high unless I'm paying extra careful attention to my food choices.  I haven't been great lately but let's just hope I've been good enough. *crossing fingers*
  4. Thai Guy has been feverishly training for his first amateur MMA fight.  That means he's been hitting the gym twice a day most days and leaving me with little options when it comes to my runs.  I've been squeezing them in but usually on the dying treadmill, while my 4 yr old hangs out in my room watching cartoons.  I really need to get outside again, like, soon.
  5. I've run 74.9 miles since Jan. 1st (and that's with a whole week off post-marathon!)  I'm well on my way to 1000+ miles for 2010!
Can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to in the last week but first- I must sleep! Until tomorrow!