Monday, January 30, 2012

Running for Sherry Arnold

Earlier this month, a lady in Montana (Sherry Arnold) went out for her normal morning run but never returned. Days later she was reported dead. She was abducted nearly one mile from her house by two men traveling through town. You can read the full report here.

I am a reader of her cousins blog Shut Up and Run and initially this was how I found out about this tragic incident. I will admit it disturbed me quite a bit and has definitely changed the way in which I run. It couldn't have come at a worse time in my training schedule (right in the beginning) but at the same time perhaps it was for my own safety because I am a much more aware runner than I used to be.

I now tell my husband the exact route I plan to run, how long it will take, and if I decide to run longer or another route I send him a text to let him know my change of plans. I no longer run with headphones on, something that I will admit is taking some getting used to. I make sure to always run with my phone which has a GPS tracking app allowing my husband to see exactly where I am. I run with pepper spray -- at first I questioned if I should or if it would just be used against me in the event of an attack. But after much thought I decided it would make me feel a little safer (plus it could come in useful against dogs chasing me too). And now I run with much more awareness of my surroundings. 

Unfortunately, bad things happen to innocent people all the time but that doesn't mean we have to live in fear. Instead, we have to protect ourselves as best as possible and be aware of the potential threats. I hope Sherry gave a good fight, without knowing her I'd assume she did.
A virtual run for Sherry Arnold has been scheduled for Saturday February 11th at 10:00am PST. The idea behind a virtual run is that fellow runners all run at the same time in whatever city, state, country, they live in. We will all run to remember and honor Sherry. I think it's a great way to feel connected to others. Although, we may not run together and we may not know one another, we all share the same passion and as SUAR said this incident rocked the running community. We are all changed because of this, in one way or another. So let's show some support and run for Sherry on 2/11/2012...I know I will.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to a New Year - A New and Improved You

Happy New Year!

Call them resolutions, call them goals, call them whatever you want...most of us make them, and most of us break them!

This year I am calling them goals instead of resolutions (which to me imply a big or significant change). I try to stay fit and healthy year round but let's face it, the holiday season is a tough time to stay motivated and I fell off the fitness wagon a bit. The change in my daily schedule this past year caused a big shift in time management and the last few months of the year found me slacking on my fitness goals. But I am ready (and excited) to get back on track!

2012 will be an exciting year where I am going to do more of the things I love (running) and less of the things I don't love (worrying).

So without further ado, here are my 2012 goals:

1) Be Faster, Better, Stronger
    Exercise more! This time last year I had the same goal and I rocked it hard up until about July when my schedule became extremely busy. Since then I have struggled to maintain a consistent workout routine. I want to get back to where I was mid 2011.

2) Lose Fat -- Build Muscle
    I would like to replace about 5 lbs of fat with muscle! As most people, I put on a few extra pounds during the holiday season and I am ready to shed and shred.

3) Race
    This will be the year when I start road racing. I only have one race under my belt so far but that one was enough to get me pumped and excited to do more. I already have a 10K (possibly 2), and a 15K on the schedule, and am contemplating a half marathon and several 5K's.

4)  Juice More and Be Consistent
     Juicing is great for you! I want to juice at least once a day EVERY day. I even have plans to do a 3 day juice fast to jump start my clean eating pattern again and to remove toxins from the past month of eating entirely way too much refined sugar!

5) Eat Healthy
    This goes along with the previous goal. I strive to eat clean and healthy most of the time but I will be the first to admit the past few months I have not been eating the way I normally do. My goal is to eat less processed foods and more foods that ARE ingredients, not HAVE ingredients.

6) Improve Mental Health
    Lol. Where do I begin?! Ok what I really mean with this title is I want to change some of the ways I think or behave. I worry way too much about things. I am complusive, anal, moody, and easily irritated. I want to be a little more laid back, a little more go with the flow, have a  "life's too short" frame of mind and as cliche as it sounds "stop and smell the flowers." Honestly, this will probably be the hardest goal because afterall it's part of who I am, it requires a real change. My other goals aren't changes necessarily, they are mostly about improving or maintaining things I have already changed. So this should be interesting.

7) Learn How To Cook
    I can bake but when it comes to cooking I'm not that great. The desire isn't really there plus I hate cooking meat due to a constant concern of undercooking it and getting salmonella or e-coli. This is where healthy meatless meals come into play. I will still let my husband handle most of the meals, especially those with meat, but I will learn how to make more meatless dishes that I can cook to help relieve the dinner dilemma from my husband and so I always have healthy meal ideas for the weekends when he's not here to prepare them. Regardless of the fact that I don't enjoy cooking, my husband truly is a good cook so why mess too much with a good thing!

8) Learn How To Sew
    I'm not talking elaborate sewing (although I'd love to -- that will likely be a goal for another year). I mean patching, sewing holes, loose seams, etc. I feel slightly inadequate having to ask my husband to fix a seam on my shirt or sew a button back on my son's clothes, etc. I'm a mom I should be able to do these things. Lol.

9) Be More Patient
   This mostly implies to my role as a mother. Being a mom requires an awful lot of patience and it's something I could certainly strive to have more of. When my son asks for the third handful of crackers, I need to have more patience and explain to him dinner is almost ready rather than throw his snack cup in the sink and say "you're not getting any more crackers!" Or when he is determined to dress himself, I want to have the patience to let him and not refuse him the opportunity because it's simply easier for me to dress him...afterall I know which shoe goes on which foot! He is learning and growing at a tremendous rate and it's time for me to sit back and have the patience to watch him and take it all in.
10) Be Happy and Healthy
    Bottom line! What more can I say? That is everyone's goal right?

Here's to a fantastic 2012. Cheers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Girls on the Run 5K

Today was so much fun! I ran the Girls on the Run 5K as a running buddy for a 6th grade girl named Araya (like A Ray Of Sunshine!). The 5K was the final phase of their 12 week training program and I was happy to be a part of it.

I arrived a little before 8:00am, located the Middle School team I was running for, found my girl, and took her over to the Goody hair station where she had pink stripes sprayed in her hair. We also got stickers and tattoos! It was fun and GIRLY!

The race started promptly at 9:00am. We were off and running. Dodging and passing people. I was curious to see how well Araya would run and how many times she would want to take walking breaks. But this girl rocked! I was so happy I was partnered up with her. She was one determined girl and wanted to RUN. We only took 2 quick 30 second walk breaks (one of which was a water break).

We kept up a comfortable 9.50 pace and finished in 30:28. We took 124th/125th place overall (out of 786). And I took 19th in my age group (out of 102).

The run felt great, 3.1 miles felt easy but during the run I kept reminding myself "you have to run this distance 3 times for the 15K." Yikes...I have some trainin' to do! Mentally and physically.

I got several compliments from strangers about my shirt.

A group of women from a local bootcamp class stopped me to comment on how cute my shirt was. I couldn't help but notice their fun shirts with different slogans such as "Our warmup is your workout," and "Suck it up Princess." Apparently part of their bootcamp class was running a 5K, how fun! I love bootcamp classes maybe I ought to look into their program.