Race Recap

Whoa! Has it really been MONTHS since I made a post on here? Sheesh, I'm sorry. Well you might be wondering how the Las Vegas Half Marathon went. It went awesome.

The training definitley paid off. I stuck to my training plan, for the most part. Of course I had to work around the kids' schedule and run when I could. Mostly, I would run in the morning on Monday's and Wednesday's after dropping Nathan off at school. I would put Ryan in the jogger and do 2 - 4 miles. Then on the weekend I'd do my long run, usually 6 - 10 miles.

I had to mentally train myself for this, too. It was a total mind game. As soon as my body started feeling weak, I literally had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other. Never quit. Oh man, I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, I wanted to DIE. But the following week I ran 8 and only wanted to pass out. A couple of weeks later I ran 10 miles and I actually felt pretty good.

So on December 4th we flew to Las Vegas. It was a Friday, which meant there were two whole days before the race that I would be let loose to some of the most amazing restaurants ever. I managed to contain myself and refrained from dessert and alcohol for two days. But, man was I planning on letting loose after the run! Went to bed early on Saturday night.

The morning of the race could not have gone better if I tried. I woke up at 4:30 am feeling suprisingly rested. I felt calm, not nervous. I started getting dressed, nibbled on a banana and a granola bar. Almost time to head downstairs where about 27,000 other runners would be getting ready to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. It was freezing. Literally. When we stepped outside I could feel my lungs freezing. It was 32 degrees at 6:00 am. I was too pumped to be cold.

At about 6:30 am the first runners crossed the start line. It was probably about 25 minutes before I even got there, remember, 27 THOUSAND runners. The sun was just coming up and Las Vegas looked so peaceful. Finally, my turn to cross the start line. Off I went.

Gosh, all that training paid off. I felt great. No shin splints, no side cramps. The commeraderie was inspiring. I went seven miles straight before I started to walk. Man, my knees were killing me. From that point I would run about a mile, then walk for a few minutes, run a mile, walk a few minutes. At mile 11 I wanted to die, but I could see the Mandalay Bay in the distance. That was were the finish line was waiting for me.

Mile 13, only .1 more miles to go. I crossed the finish line. I did it. Me, who couldn't run 2 laps around the track on my first day of training. I hate to toot my horn, but I was extremely proud of myself. I am proof that you can do anything to put your mind to.

I'm super proud of my husband, too. He did his second full marathon that day. I could not and would not have done this race if it wasn't for him.

We spent two more days in Vegas after the race and enjoyed the way Vegas was meant to be enjoyed!


Wake Up Call.

Only a little over 5 weeks until race day. Last weekend I ran 8 miles for the first time in my life. It hurt. Overall I'd say that the training is going well. And then...

Today I ran a short three miles, cause this weekend I'm going to attempt 10 (it hurts just thinking about it). While I was beginning mile two I came across about 5 other runners. I was ahead of them. I could hear their footsteps behind me so I picked it up a little. The first runner passed me. No big deal, she was going pretty fast. Then the second passed me. I can't run any faster than this, I'll DIE. Two more passed me. Finally, I stopped trying to run any faster. The fifth runner passed me. Dang.

You know what it felt like? My first day on my college swim team. Here I am, fresh off the high school swim team, all confident. I've trained by butt off for four years to get here. But once I get in the water I'm pratically choking on the wake of these upper classmen. It's a whole other league.

Ya, I've only been running for what, 8 weeks or so? But up until this point I have felt pretty confident in my training. Being passed up by all those runners today made me realize that I just need to train harder. I don't want to finish the half marathon in record time, I just want to finish. But I want to finish strong.

Time to kick it up a notch!


I Run Like A Girl!

I've been meaning to keep better track of my training, but frankly, between the kids, the business, the training and LIFE I haven't had much time. Sooo...

I'm tweeting about it instead. Follow me www.twitter.com/iRunLikaGrl . I'll still blog when I can, but as you can see my last post was back in August.

Update: I ran 6 miles yesterday. YES! I'm getting closer to 13.1 every week.


Suck It Up.

Ok, this might be TMI but, I started my period yesterday and have cramps from H E double hockey sticks! A perfect reason for not doing my run today. I even told myself, "OK, this is your off day". But then I was thinking, what if race day falls on a day like today. I can't make it my off day, I'm just going to have to suck it up. So.... that is what I did. I put on my shoes and dragged my hormonal @$$ to the gym and ran 2 miles. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but I did it. You know what? I actually feel better now than I did before the run.

Note to self: Starting my period... not a good enough reason to skip a workout. Dang.

Today's Workout: 3 miles on treadmill; .25 mile warm-up, 2 mile run, .75 cool-down.



You know, I read somewhere that someone who is training for a marathon (or half marathon, in my case) should make carbs about 65% of their daily diet??? Ya. Running burns carbs. Carbs are fuel for the body. Therefore I must eat carbs to fuel my body for running. Yes! So you know what I had for lunch today? This...

Now, I know, I know, not all carbs are created equal. I should probably be sticking to whole grain breads and pastas. But, this was all I had in the house today. So there.


Eating Healthy.

One thing I've got going for me are my eating habits. I always cook healthy dishes for my family and try to eat as healthy as I can when we eat out. OK, scratch that. In-N-Out once a week is not exactly a healthy choice for lunch, but c'mon, it's In-N-Out and we can't totally deny ourselves. Maybe once a week is a little excessive, but anyway...

I made this dish last week from one of my fave cookbooks, The All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, and it turned out really good. It was nice because I happend to have all the ingredients on hand. So I'd say this is a really good, go-to, healthy meal...


1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds), skinned
Cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
24 pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
8 lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add chicken; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3 Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, juice, and broth, stiring with a whisk until smooth. Sprinkly flour mixture over chicken, tossing to coat. TOp chicken with olives and lemon. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 180 degrees.

Yield: 4 servings

Easy, right? I served it with brown rice and it was de-lish. And each serving only has 287 calories! Not bad. Try it, you'll like it. Enjoy!


A Little Motivation, Please?

Okay, the original excitement of starting this new healthy lifestyle has started to wain. Don't worry, I'm still at it but it's so exhausting! I guess it's supposed to be, but still. I'm still using the bike as much as I can to get around, i.e. outings with kids, post office, etc... I'm still going to the gym here and there. But the motivation is lacking.

I'm not sure what I really need to get pumped about working out. Maybe a work out partner? I'd love to be able to go running or go to the gym with my husband, but the two kids make that pretty much impossible. It'd be fun to go to the gym with some of my mom friends, but it's so hard to coordinate with nap schedules, when the husbands going to be home, family time, etc... So for now, I'm at it alone. I definitely have the emotional support from my husband, friends and family. I just wish I could take them all to the gym with me!

On another note... I upped the distance on my running today. For the last couple weeks I've been doing one mile, max. Today I did one and a quarter. It felt good, too. I felt like I could have kept going. Not sure why I didn't. September 27th is when I will be starting my actual training schedule. So from now until then I need to get myself up to running three miles at a time. I will also start to integrate running outside on the street. This is much harder for me. No help from the treadmill out there.

Today's Workout: 1.25 miles on the treadmill.


Got Twenty Minutes?

Sure, you do. We all do. It's just a matter of how we spend it. Some of my favorite things to do with a spare twenty minutes... catch up on all my favorite blogs, work on some new designs for my shop, play a game of duck duck goose with the boys, take a little cat nap. Some of my not so favorite things to do with a spare twenty minutes... "gargle my heart", feel like I'm going to die, do enough crunches that I feel like my abs are going to explode.

What the heck is she talking about, you're thinking. The 30 Day Shred, that's what. You know Jillian Michaels from TV's The Biggest Loser, right? She's the one who is making me do these not so favorite things for my precious twenty minutes of spare time. But I bought this DVD for that reason alone. You can get this amazing, hard core work out done in such a small amount of time. Just when you feel like you're going to die, it's over, you're done.

I originally bought it a couple of months before I went to Maui last year. My plan was to do it everyday for 30 days and I'd be ripped and ready for my bikini. Ya, I did it for about 5 days before I started coming up with excuses why I didn't have the time to do it today.

I don't know if I'll ever do it for 30 straight days, but I do like to do it on days I don't do some major physical activity outside of the house. It is set up into three different levels, the first being a easier than the second and so on. She incorporates strength training (so you'll need a couple of little hand weights), cardio and abs in each level. And since it is only twenty minutes, each and every second she has you working HARD.

I think it is awesome because it's challenging, I break a sweat, and I can do all in a short amount of time. I usually do it when the kids are napping. In fact, I just did it about an hour ago.

Try it. You'll hate it! But you'll be glad you did it.

Today's Workout: 30 Day Shred, Level 2


Say No To Horsepower. {Sometimes}

Just like any other Tuesday the boys had their gymnastics class and I had to make a post office run to ship out an order. The weather here on the Central Coast is finally starting to feel like summer. It was all the more reason for me to ditch the Mom Van today and load the kids up in the bike trailer. Just so you know, though, I put up a pretty good argument in my head about whether or not I'd do it... Haul almost 100 pounds worth of kids? 180 horsepower? Hmmm... Tough decision. Then the Healthy Jen said to the Lazy Jen, "Are your legs broken?" Ok, then.

I knew for sure I'd bike to gymnastics because it's only a few blocks away. I stowed my packages in the back of the trailer Just In Case I thought I could make it all the way to the post office. Really, it's not that far either, maybe 5 or so miles round trip.

I decided to go ahead and take the ride all the way to the post office. The weather was amazing today and the boys love to ride in that thing. So glad I did it.

As far as marathon training goes... I've only run one mile this week so far. I've mostly been doing cardio on the bike or on the elliptical trainer at the gym. Over the next few weeks I'm going to slowly get myself up to running for at least thirty minutes at a time. I found a 10-week half marathon training schedule that I'm going to start in a couple of months.

Today's Workout: Rode the bike (while hauling two boys) to run errands instead of car.


Gotta Start Somewhere.

OK, so yesterday was my first day at the gym in 3 years. That's right THREE! I only have about 4 months to train for the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon, so I'd better get a move on it. I am not on a specific training schedule as of yet, but just trying to get my heart pumping for now.

I'm starting from scratch. My goal yesterday was to run 1 mile on the treadmill. I did it, one mile, 10 min 50 seconds. I'm feeling the effects of it today. I guess after three years of little to no vigorous exercising that's to be expected.

Today's Workout: Three mile{ish} morning walk with neighbor, while pushing very heavy stoller. Thirty minutes on the elliptical trainer, ten minute walk on treadmill.


Day One.

I am so not a runner. Never have been. The very thought of running makes my shins hurt and my sides ache. So, why in the world would I commit to running a half marathon? Why?


I'm 32, I have my health. I have perfectly functioning arms and legs. My heart is in excellent, working condition. And I want them to stay that way. Why wouldn't I take advantage of the fact that I am physically able to keep myself healthy? No more excuses. No more wasting time. I can do this. I CAN do this.

Other reasons for this lifestyle change:

1. To set an example for my two boys. My husband, Mike, already works out on a daily basis. I want the boys to see BOTH of their parents eating well and exercising and taking care of their bodies.

2. To inspire others who might be in a rut. It's hard to find the motivation to just get up and do it. Especially when the only time you have for yourself is limited. If I can do this, you can do this.

3. I bought a new pair of $115 running shoes, so I gotta get my money's worth.

So, as I begin to train for this half marathon, I am going begin this journal. Hopefully to inspire, but also, to keep myself on track.

Here I go...

Today's Workout: Bike ride while hauling kids in bike trailer, two laps jogging around track {ouch}, about a mile walk with family after dinner.