Days 127-131 – Getting back on the running wagon

11 05 2010

My Botanic Garden Mother's Day Purchases

In the many days since my last post I have hit a wall. Not a bad wall entirely, because it came with a fabulous Cinco de Mayo block party with friends Saturday, Mother’s Day festivities with my family Sunday (Zach’s card says he loves me because I “give him cokes.” That’s supposed to be “cookies.” He had never had a Coke until Saturday night at the party when I wasn’t paying attention.), and the new flowers in this photo — my annual Mother’s Day present to myself from the Denver Botanic Gardens Spring sale Friday.

Exercise-wise I am still in a bit of a funk. Ran 7 miles Saturday (before the party) that felt similar to pulling the wagon uphill with Zach in it at the Gardens’ sale. I stretched on other days and went for a bike ride with Anna Sunday, but yesterday I gave in. No run. No stretch. Busy shuttling to ballet and just decided to take a for-real rest day on Day 130. We have cold, windy weather — even a chance of snow for tomorrow — that is not helping my cause.

The dread of the race has one bright side though – totally making me forget that on Sunday I also turn 40. The whole reason for doing this now seems like an afterthought…making it still a perfect plan that is now only FIVE days away.


Days 116-119 – April Shower Brings May Power?

29 04 2010

This is a marathon week of work deadlines and kids’ performances, projects and sports pictures and practices… I managed to up my IT quotient with a new (i.e., manufactured in this decade) PC monitor, new-and-improved email hosting provider for my business AND helped my daughter with a Microsoft Photo Story program that didn’t run on my Vista operating system (also made by Microsoft — h-e-l-l-o!!).

A quick exercise recap:

Monday — 2 mile recovery run prior to Anna’s late night theater performance
Tuesday — late night Classical Stretch “to open and stretch your hips” after spending the day on the kindergarten zoo field trip keeping up with my group of four little boys in purple dinosaur hats. Didn’t lose a single one of them!
Wednesday — 5 Day Pilates DVD: “P.M. Pilates” is seriously the name to relax your muscles before bed, which sounded perfect at 10:30 p.m. Was a bit short, but better than nothing
Today — a 10-mile run planned, but right now there are SNOW flurries outside my window. I managed to run in weather like this in the winter. But that was WINTER and I wasn’t going 10 miles… Maybe by this afternoon it will just be rain. Is that better?

Here is my favorite quote of the week — from “A Life of Discovery,” a biography my daughter brought home for her next school project. She chose Eleanor Roosevelt because her real name is Anna — who knew? I haved learned so much from the third grade this year.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence
by every experience in which you really
stop to look fear in the face….
You must do the thing you think
you cannot do.”

17 days ’til my half marathon, a 10-mile in the rain, intimidating technology, a swirling schedule — I can conquer these things I think I cannot do…thanks Eleanor!

Days 111-112 – Happy 40th Birthday Earth Day

22 04 2010

I didn’t realize that just weeks before I was born in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated. How are you celebrating?

This New York Times article: On 40th Anniversary, Earth Day is Big Business talks about the irony in the commercialism Earth Day now inspires. Like the banner ad I saw: “Celebrate Earth Day with Sun Chips!”

I don’t remember knowing about the holiday in its (and my) early years — even though I grew up with quite “earthy” parents. So at least now — probably because of the marketing campaigns jumping on its band wagon — my kids know about it — and how it relates to recycling, planting trees and turning off the lights (but the last one scares them).

If Anna wasn’t dressed in a Colonial Times costume today and it wasn’t raining, we would walk to school in celebration. If Zach didn’t have a kindergarten concert tonight, we might have a “garden dinner” instead of fast pizza. And if I didn’t work from home, I swear I would bike to my office!

I do plan to run 8 miles (on legs still sore from yesterday’s Exhale Core Fusion DVD), transplant dozens of daylillies from my neighbors overflowing beds and spend time working on a project for my solar client.

As luck would have it, Earth Day and I are both Taurus — an Earth sign. says of Earth element people (also Capricorns and Virgos):

“Those with Earth signs often seem to inhabit their physical bodies which can be described in new-age terms as ‘grounded.’ Whatever their ground is — whether it is a high-rise office building or rural cottage — they’re sending out feelers through the senses. One expression of Earth sign qualities, and I’m envisioning a hippie chick here, might be someone who is easy-going and languid, aware of the local flora and fauna, often have leaves in their hair or dirt on their hands. They’re intimately attuned to the dance of nature, and love to spend time outdoors…Earth signs are here to shape, manifest, cultivate and revel in Earthly delights. Their gift to others is bringing form to ideas, making them a balancing partner for an idle dreamer with potential. They tend their own garden, and inspire others to make the most of theirs.”

As we both get older together, I hope Earth Day and I can influence my children to be the planet’s best inhabitants. Surely if I just plant enough daylillies and buy Sun Chips they will get the message!

Days 90-92 – 9,712 feet

2 04 2010

I traded my running shoes for skis this Spring Break week and counting a few hours of snowy runs as daily exercise. When the kids are skiing with us, it’s stop-and-go fun, so I treasure my one-hour-at-a-time turns when I sneak out for speedier solo runs.

We’ve been coming to Copper Mountain (elevation 9,212 feet) for nearly a decade, so I could ski this mountain with my eyes closed. I can strategically get to the very top — 12,000+ feet — just as the lifts close at 4 p.m. Then — me and the few die-hard snowboarders who were probably out there since 8 a.m. have the slope nearly to ourselves.

Nonstop from top to bottom has my quads feeling the burn by the end and looking forward to the hot tub and cocktails waiting at the condo. It’s not quite the same mental escape as running. I am very conscious of my form and the changing terrain under my skis the whole time — not to mention dodging the flailing skiers who threaten to take me out near the crowded bottom of the slope. I don’t like to fall, so I’m totally cautious even when I’m flying at top speed.

Like Chi Running — I try to let gravity do the work with muscles just keeping balance and rhythm. It’s a constant learning curve to ski with the most efficiency possible to conserve your legs for more runs — ski runs that is.

Anna — who has skied for four years now — is rocking the blue slopes. I told her she was skiing like Lindsey Vonn and she said, “No Mom. Lindsey broke her finger at the Olympics. I’m skiing like Julia Mancuso!” Either way, she’s got Scott’s ski-all-day-long spirit.

Zach, on the other hand, is happy to ski with us for about an hour and then is all about hot cocoa, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the fireplace. I’m good for that too — along with the games of Crazy Eights and Go Fish we have logged together. All too soon, he will be one of those snowboarders who blows right past me and takes off to find his own trail. So for now, bring on more marshmallows…

Day 89 – Fishing for miles

30 03 2010

Summer weather graced Colorado today for a Spring Break fishing derby at the neighborhood lake. My kids got free poles, learned to cast like Bass Pros and played with friends and worms for hours. All making up for the fact that no one caught a single fish all day! They didn’t stock the pond, where the few fish at the bottom hadn’t heard the weather was warm enough to come up for air.

I managed a late afternoon 8.4 mile run, remembering what it’s like to run in heat. A strong wind blew in for the last half, but I’ll take a warm wind any day over some of the icy gusts of the past few winter months.

With March ending, I took note of my cumulative mileage on the Buckeye Outdoors Training Log site. I am excited to be at exactly 185 miles for the year. One of the participants in the 750 mile challenge noted that was the number needed to be on pace for the annual goal. Didn’t know this when I was running today, so that worked out quite well. I love when numbers accidently work out evenly. And ahhh – just 565 more miles to go this year (what was I thinking??).

I had planned to run 9 today — knowing a ski trip the rest of the week will cut into my mileage. But after 7 miles, my blood sugar was down to 60, and I took a five-minute break for a glucose tablet recharge. I went back out for one park loop with my daughter on her scooter and the dog — ears flying in the wind! A motivating way to finish a long run, with Lottie leading the pack and Anna chatting through the finish. I stopped looking at my watch and worrying about 9 miles and just enjoyed the end of an almost-summer day!

Day 29 – Fitting fit in

29 01 2010

There are days like today when all busy moms know the best laid plans have to go awry to accommodate your family and work. Scott’s day trip to Wyoming was cancelled, but not in time for me to make it to Pilates class. The pediatrician could fit my daughter into one small window during her lunch if I could hurry and get there. And Zach was really hoping I could make it back in time for his 100th day of kindergarten party in the afternoon.

So after a morning of homework with Zach (learning to spell Wednesday!), a quick trip into the city to see the doctor (en route to which we saw THREE coyotes frolicking by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in broad daylight!), counting 100 Fruit Loops with 5-year-olds, rushing home so I could walk back to school to walk the kids home in the sunshine, responding to a dozen work emails and pulling my hair out refereeing two over-tired kids after school (whew)…I tried desperately to squeeze in the FIRM DVD (no pun intended there).

Does it still count if you pause it 6 or 7 times? An hour-long cardio fusion workout turned into 85 minutes by the time I stopped to get Zach dressed for karate class, answered the door, yelled at my children and dog several times and got things boiling for dinner…

I never, ever, ever would have worked out today under normal circumstances. That is why this 365 day plan is seriously working to make me fit it in – no matter what. I’m sure there are extenuating circumstances when I would opt out for a day, but “it just didn’t fit in today” does not seem like a good one.

29 days equals enough momentum to not want to stop for silly reasons…I’m making allowances, however, for briefly pausing the DVD player!

Day 13 – Fitter than a 5th grader

13 01 2010

Mr. Linville, the P.E. teacher at my kids’ school, hosted a challenge tonight to let parents test their fitness level with the assessment program he uses for grades 3-5. (Check out FitnessGram at:

Good news: I am as fit as a 17-year-old girl. I’m pretty sure I’m more fit than I was in 5th grade too. While our children counted for us, we had to do 20 meter laps across the gym paced by a recorded tape with music and bells to signal that you should turn around.

At 40 laps I was feeling today’s earlier 4.3-mile run – at least that was a good excuse for stopping. Then 40 curls/modified sit-ups and 20 push-ups followed to safely earn my certificate!

It was fun to see what the kids do each quarter for this progress report. Anna is proudly in the “healthy zone” for 3rd graders. The teacher gave a great slide presentation about rising obesity rates in the U.S. over the past several decades. (See Day 12’s nasty soda link for related info…) He’s doing his part to teach kids (and now their parents) about being active and eating right. With limited recess and P.E. time,  lunches — not to mention the nasty sodas — today’s kids need more Mr. Linvilles and parents on their side.

I hope that my own kids see Scott and I exercising as a regular way of life. (Yet another good reason for this project of mine…) My own parents ate healthy foods and my dad loved being active when he had time, but they certainly didn’t incorporate regular exercise into their days.

We are lucky to live in Colorado where the sun almost always shines and so many people are into fitness and health. (We are almost always near or at the bottom of those obesity charts.) There are so many runners, races and health-conscious people here, that you are inspired by friends and neighbors.

On a national level, it’s frightening, but we can at least control what happens in our own homes and be role models for our fitter-than-a-fifth-grader kids.