Wanted: A Good Mantra

I feel like I need a mantra. I was entering data for my RoadID today and at the bottom there’s a space for a mantra. Uh…I got nothin’. And I couldn’t even think of one I wanted to steal.

The only thing I’ve ever had that came close to a mantra was way back in high school when I used to chant, “Rush, rush…rush, rush…rush, rush…” while running my butt off in the 100-degree weather.

And, yes, it’s from the Paula Abdul song.

Here’s the video in case you tried to block it out aren’t old enough to remember this song…and, OMG, did NOT realize Keanu Reeves was in the video (we didn’t have MTV).

As you can see, I need a new much better mantra. Help!

PS: I’m sorta tempted to you “THANK YOU, ROB THOMAS!” from the video below because it makes me laugh.

A Fellow RUNNER Needs Our Help!

First of all, WELCOME new virtual running buddies! I love connecting with other runners, and I look forward to hearing from you and visiting you in bloggyland (if you are also a blogger, of course).

In the past couple of months, I’ve started highlighting runners who are raising money as part of their training. Last week, I got an e-mail from Jen S., a mom, who also described herself as “not even very athletic” and “not a runner at all,” and then tells me she started running last summer and is training for her first half (on May 7) with Team In Training!

Jen, you ARE a runner! Everyone, if you manage get yourself out of the door and run, jog, shuffle, sprint a few steps, whatever; you ARE a runner. Sometimes, just getting outside (or on the treadmill) for a run is the hardest part, so if you make it that far, then you are a runner and should think of yourself as one!

Here’s Jen’s story and, at the bottom of the page, a way for you to earn bonus entries into my giveaway. Thanks for reading!

***

“I remember the night my mom came over to tell us (the) horrible news,” writes Jen S. about her mother, an oncology nurse, who was shielding her daughters from the tests she had been undergoing for a couple of weeks. “We were totally blind-sided with her diagnosis; we didn’t even know she had been feeling sick.”

The tests Jen’s mother had been receiving confirmed that she had Stage 3, Grade 3 Follicular Lymphoma. It was November 2010. Jen, a 35-year-old mother of two young children, writes that the news of her mom’s diagnosis put her in a fog so dense, she couldn’t think straight. “I was driving to work the next morning, crying, when I heard the commercial on the radio for TNT (Team In Training). I had no clue what it was, but heard the words ‘raise money,’ and ‘Lymphoma.’”

From L-R: Jen and her children, her mother, Jen’s sister and her children.

At work, Jen immediately pulled up the Team In Training Web site. “I read what it was about, and was pretty sure I couldn’t run a half marathon,” she writes. She’d just started running over the summer and, at the most, had run a 5K. But that didn’t stop her. When she saw there was to be an informational meeting that night right by her house, she felt it was fate. “I needed to make this sacrifice for my mom. If her body had to go through chemo, then mine could run a half marathon.

Jen shared the devastating news about her mom that day with her best friend. “Not only was she my shoulder to cry on,” writes Jen, “but she jumped right in with the plan to go to the TNT informational meeting that night.”

At the meeting, Jen was still in shock. She felt helpless. “I thought and hoped if I signed up that TNT would give me a sense of purpose, and a way to support my mom and everyone else that has and will have to battle Leukemia and Lymphoma.”

Jen will run her first half marathon, the CAP City Half, on Saturday, May 7, in honor of her mother, who began her treatment just about the same time Jen began her training, and in memory of her grandfather, who lost his battle with Lymphoma five years ago. Jen’s mother’s scan was clean earlier this month and she is now officially in remission!

Jen will wear this during her first half on May 7.

Even though Jen’s mother is recovering, her body is “…weak, and has been devastated by cancer and chemo. I run because my mom and others like her cannot…” writes Jen. “I run because I can!”

***

Jen is asking MvM readers and their friends for help reaching her fund-raising goal of $3,000. She also will be running the Nike Women’s Half in October as a part of her fundraising. As of publication of this post, Jen is at 11 percent of her goal. She needs our help! Can you skip your latte this morning? Can you make your lunch at home one day instead of eating out?

Everyone who donates (any amount) through Jen’s TNT link, HERE, now through May 7, will earn you an extra entry in my RunLove Compression Socks giveaway. Please send me an e-mail if you donate and I will make sure to count your bonus entry.

Are you running to raise money? I would love to feature you on Mom vs. Marathon. Please send me an e-mail: kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com.

Three Things Thursday: Dreams, Heat and Socks

1. I woke up Saturday morning a little late (7:30ish), let the dogs out, tidied up the kitchen and got T Junior some breakfast. Normal morning. Later, while getting ready for the Jelly Bean Virtual 5K, I was surprised that I didn’t have welts all over my legs. And then I was like, Oh yeah, that was a dream.

The dream: I was running the Mercer Island Half (which I did run last year), and I was in some random community center locker room freaking out about the welts all over my legs. My mom was there, I think. She was telling me that whatever it was, I got it from Bennie (my dog that I own now, who does not have welts). I was wearing a running skirt and you could see bumps all over my legs. I missed the start of the race and had to run down countless flights of stairs outside to get to it. Then I woke up.

Anyway, you had to be there.

2. After the heat and stupidity of the Jelly Bean Virtual 5K was all over on Saturday, I realized that I actually did pretty good. I mean, I felt awful and still managed a 9:27 pace for 5 miles. Just to clarify: I wasn’t unhappy about my time or pace, just about how dumb I was on things I know (like bringing water, running in the morning, etc.).

3. I like me some compression socks! I was hot, though, which makes me a little nervous for June 25, but hopefully I’ll be used to the warmer weather by then.

Speaking of…did you enter my giveaway HERE to win some RunLove Compression Socks from RunningSkirts?

RunLove Compression Socks Giveaway from RunningSkirts

After my first long run, a 16-miler, in my Haute Pink RunLove compression socks, I could barely believe it.

No blisters!

I’d been running in socks that were too thick for nearly two years! Now, they are all I want to wear. In fact, I really need to get another pair. Gee, I wish I could enter this giveaway!

That’s right RunningSkirts.com is giving one of you lovely ladies (or guys – I won’t judge) a pair of RunLove socks in the color of your choice.

There are lots of ways to enter! (Please leave separate comments for each entry.)

1. Be a Virtual Running Buddy (aka “follower”) of Mom vs. Marathon or become one and let me know by commenting below.

2. Visit RunningSkirts, then come back and tell me in a comment what color socks you would choose and why.

3. “Like” Mom vs. Marathon on Facebook HERE then leave me a comment.

4. “Like” RunningSkirts on Facebook HERE. While you’re there, I wouldn’t hate it if you mentioned Mom vs. Marathon (@momvsmarathon) sent you, then come back and leave me a comment to let me know.

5. Spread the word! Share this giveaway on your blog, Twitter, your Facebook page, e-mail your friends, tell someone, hire a skywriter, start a chain letter…whatever! Then leave me a comment to let me know how you shared. One comment per … er … share. (If you share by Twitter, please include @momvsmarathon and @running_skirts in the Tweet. Thanks!)

6. Put Mom vs. Marathon on your blogroll. You won’t regret it! Leave me a comment to let me know I’m there!

Thank you for entering! You have until the night before my first 20-miler to enter (Saturday, May 7th). The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. PST 5/7/11. I will announce the winner Monday, May 9th.

Freaking Pool Hair

Don’t be fooled by the smile. I am
very annoyed by my freaking pool hair.

I have pool hair.

It’s just one of the cons on my list of hating the pool. Yes, the list is back. Man, I really love to swim and be in the water, but I seriously dislike the public pool. This morning, I paid $6 to swim for half an hour. All because I couldn’t lie and say that I was from the city in which the pool sits. I live in the city right next to it, so I must pay more. Why? It’s a high school pool and all the kids from my city go to it, so don’t I pay the same taxes for it? I think it’s only 50 cents more for me, but whatever! It’s still expensive.

Anyway…pool hair. I need to dry my hair for it to look somewhat presentable. If I don’t, one side looks like grown-out perm and the other side looks like a sheepdog. I included a photo in case you don’t believe me.

I can’t dry my hair at the pool. No outlets. So unless I want to stand under a hand dryer and hit the button 123 times (just a rough estimate), I have to go to work with wet hair. Now it’s all frizzy and disgusting looking, and it is reminding me how badly I need a haircut.

I was actually feeling really good about the pool this morning, too, even though when my alarm went off at 4:45, I decided I wasn’t going to go. But I hit snooze just in case. Around 5 I thought, “Well, my bag is already packed. Might as well go.” It just seemed like it would be really defeating to unpack my bag in the bathroom. You know?

So I went. And I got there on time! (My running buddies know what a challenge that is for me.) In fact, I was the first person in the pool. The surface was glass-like and I got to dive in and break it, and I loved it. It didn’t take long for the other lanes to fill up. I was swimming in my own lane, though, and it was all good.

Then, during my interval set, I stopped at the end of the lane to look at what came next on my little Ziploc-bagged notepaper, and I felt it. Movement on my forhead. Then air. I reached up and touched the split rubber cap.

Sonuva.

Of course. It would not be a day at the pool without something going awry. I finished my set then did another 500-yard cooldown sucking wet bangs into my mouth every freaking breath. So annoying!

So, anyway, this is a long way to tell you all that I may be done with lap swim at the pool. For realz this time. No, seriously.

You know what else sucks about swimming before work? Goggle marks. Putting wet feet in socks. No coffee. But mostly, pool hair.

That is all.

ActiveWrap Review

If we weren’t blog-buddies last year, you may not remember THIS. Or THIS. Or THIS.

THAT is why I’m paranoid. It is hard to explain in words how badly I want to run a marathon. I need to. It’s like, without it, something will always be missing. I’m totally one of those girls on America’s Next Top Model, who says (while “smizing,” btw), “Nobody wants this as much as I do.”

NOBODY!

I will not get hurt. I cannot. Which is why I recently took a week off. And why I’ve been using the ActiveWrap Knee/Leg Heat Ice Wrap, a product I was sent to test and review. And a product that I don’t know how I lived without.

Chillaxin’ with my shin all nice and icy thanks to ActiveWrap.

Here’s what ActiveWrap says about the Knee/Leg Wrap:

“The ActiveWrap knee system includes 2 large reusable heat and ice packs, and a durable active medical plush compress support. Complete with generous 3-inch wide plush compression straps that can be spiraled around the support to provide focused compression and fastening. Designed for injury specific adjustability and freedom of movement. Full one year warranty. Washable and built to last. Patented design allows the soft hot/cold packs to be adjusted and positioned anywhere throughout the wrap for targeted relief. Use support without thermal inserts to provide support and retain therapeutic warmth to the knee. One product provides heat, cold and mild-moderate support for the knee.”

I love that…

  • …you can make the wrap really tight to get the benefits of compression and icing.
  • …the Velcro is super-strong and holds the wrap tight.
  • …the packs stay cold for a very, very long time.
  • …the freeze packs are thin and don’t take up too much space in our already-full freezer.
  • …the freeze packs don’t turn into bricks – they are soft and mold to you.
  • …the freeze packs only need a couple hours in the freezer (read: it’s OK if you forget to put them in overnight).
  • …you can ice after a shorter run (read: you don’t need to submerge your entire self in a full ice bath).
  • …I can now eat my peas.

I have not used the heat yet because I haven’t had a need for it. I know my running buddy, Zoë (of Run, Zoë, Run), uses it to warm up baby Goober’s crib before putting her to bed. Genius! Hey, maybe I’ll do that with my bed since it’s the end of April and it’s expected to snow on Thursday.

Get $5 off of any ActiveWrap product by using the code blog5 from now until 5/30/2011!

A big thank you to ActiveWrap for giving me the opportunity to try out this product. If you have any more questions about my experience, please feel free to ask here or e-mail me at kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com. To learn more about ActiveWrap, go HERE, and follow them on Facebook HERE and/or on Twitter HERE..

I received ActiveWrap to review for free. I truly like the product and the above post reflects my honest feelings about it.

(My Big, Fat Stupid) Jelly Bean Virtual 5K Recap

Stoopid: When I get the “sillies” on a long run.
Stupid: What I did Saturday.

So it’s Easter weekend. The weather was going to be completely different between Saturday and Sunday. Saturday: clear skies, sun and temps in the 60’s. Sunday: rain and temps in the 50’s. We have been starving for some sun here in the Pacific Northwest, so the thought of running in a skirt and tank top was highly appealing. That and I was curious. How would the warmth affect me? Stupid? Yes.

But first: Here are some of the stupid mistakes I made before even stepping out the front door to run. The first one I made Saturday was not running early in the morning when it was cool outside. I so wanted to soak up the sunshine that I slept in, opting to run during T Junior’s mid-day nap instead.

The second mistake I made was eating a big salad with lettuce, shredded chicken, red onion, tomatoes and almond slices covered in ranch dressing less than an hour before I went running.

The third mistake is one I’ve been making a lot: not drinking enough water. I have got to get this one fixed. I have not been good about water consumption.

Finally, I have decided to pretty much wear compression socks on all runs from here on out because I am paranoid. I recently bought some CEPs and Saturday would be the first run in them. They worked well with my “Fierce Bunny” outfit for the Jelly Bean Virtual 5K hosted by the lovely Jess from Run with Jess. (I did not run in the ears.)

Annie totally photo-bombed me. 

Okay, you are caught up on the pre-race stupidity. Now, for the run:

I had six miles on the schedule. My plan was to run the first two as a “warm up.” Stupid move on the run #1: not bringing water. As I stepped out the front door into warmth(!), I debated…Should I bring water? Hmmmm. Nah, it’s only six miles.


Stupid move #2: When I realized I was thirsty by the first quarter-mile, I should’ve returned home and picked up some water.

For the first two miles, I really tried to keep myself from running too hard. I felt okay despite being thirsty and hot. Yes, hot. I know it was only 65 degrees, but I don’t think it’s been over 55 since October. It wasn’t too hard to stay between a 9:30 and 10:00 pace. I ran in and out of cul-de-sacs in my neighborhood. I was sort of dreading the 5K. (Mile 1: 9:39, Mile 2: 9:16)

Stupid move on the run #3: I hadn’t planned where I would run the 5K portion of my run. I wanted to run the route I did for the last virtual 5K, but I ran out of room on my 2-mile warm up and just ended up running the last half-mile of that on the 5K “course.”

Jelly Bean Virtual 5K
I still felt okay as I stepped it up for the first mile of the 5K. I was hot, constantly felt like I had to spit and would’ve paid 100 bucks for a tube of Chapstick. I kept wishing for some shade, but couldn’t find any. Our neighborhood and most of the neighborhoods next to us are fairly new, and so are the trees.

I made it up the other side of U-Go Hill and thought I would like to maybe stop running. I wanted to walk. I don’t usually feel this way. I hoped for shade on the other monster hill on this run. (Mile 3/Mile 1 of 5K: 8:37)

I was so hot. So thirsty. I was cursing myself for not bringing water. My stomach was not happy with me. My spankies kept crawling up and I kept adjusting them not caring who saw. I was dreading the hill I knew was coming. It’s not like I could avoid it. Our neighborhood is higher than the adjoining neighborhoods and so, no matter what, I have to climb back up to my neighborhood at some point.

I started up the hill (that did not have any shade, by the way) pretending like I was going to kill it. By the top, I was shuffling. I tried, willed my legs to move faster, but they wouldn’t. And once I got off of the hill, they still wouldn’t move any faster. There’s an intersection at the top and I hoped I’d have to stop, but of course, when I actually want to stop, it was immediately my turn to go. (Mile 4/Mile 2 of 5K: 9:08)

I had another mile to go and I wanted to stop. Just finish the 5K, then you can walk. I kept looking at my Garmin and seeing a pace in the high-9’s, which was disappointing. I’d wanted to test my speed, but the weather and all my stupidity had thrown that plan out the window. I ran past Dairy Queen and the smell of fast-food hamburgers made my stomach turn. Still no shade. Occasionally, I had to run into a strong wind and I welcomed it for the cooling factor, but it sure made it hard to move my legs.

I ran past the fire station and turned down the road that goes into my neighborhood. A straightaway! Usually, I can kick it in here, but even when I felt like I was going fast, I’d look at my watch and see that I wasn’t going quite as fast as I thought.

After the straightaway, I entered my neighborhood again. I had to run past my house. I wanted to stop. My stomach took a turn for the worse and I thought of Beth (from SUAR) and Mile 17 of that funny marathon video. (I also kept thinking about the Rob Thomas part of that video, “It’s a hot one…” and “Thank you, Rob Thomas!”) Ugh. On the backside of the neighborhood, I finally reached Mile 3 of the 5K, Mile 5 of my 6-miler: 9:32.

I walked my .1. Then I ran a little. Then I walked. Just one more mile! But as I turned back toward the front of the neighborhood, I really took stock of how I felt: soooo thirsty and extremely hot. I touched my arm. No sweat. I felt dry and a little woozy. I knew that was not good. I walked and as I got near my house, I decided to call it good. I finally did something smart!

I ended with 5.3 miles and knew I needed to be smarter as the weather warms up. Of course, it was back to rain and temps in the 50’s on Sunday.

I learned a lot on Saturday. It was a good wake-up call, and next time I won’t be so darn stupid!