Sunday, June 30, 2013

July, here I come! Week 6 of training...

Okay, week 5 was...AWESOME!!!

Monday: 5 miles at 5:30am

Tuesday:1000m x 5 = 5k + 1 mile of recovery laps and 2 laps for warm up = 4.5 miles AND 15 minutes of leg/butt strength work

Wednesday: 4 miles in the morning + 15 minutes of legs/butt and arms

Thursday: Kettlebells. Got killed! My legs were sooooo tired from my own leg work at home...I dreaded every squat or lunge we did. And I have NEVER enjoyed walking push-ups with weights or planks so much in my life! Anything to get off my legs.

Friday: Total rest. My legs were tired.

Saturday: 10 miles...only a few were truly flat. A couple of very painful hills...ran with a good friend which helped make the time fly :) After the run I sat in my mom's pool...nice and cold. Definitely helped recovered.

Sunday: She rested...again :)

And man has it been hot around here! Never have I actually wanted to get up earlier to run to avoid the heat. Running sure does make you want and do strange things...wishing you got up earlier to run...WHAT! Cant't believe I think like this must be the heat getting to me.

Great. Week. Exhausted. But ready for week 6.

On a different note, our little BabyT was reunited with her dad and siblings...this is the hardest part of being a foster parent. More on this another day. For now, I just pray that she is safe and happy. I hope she never has to experience the trauma of being separated from her family again. I pray that her parents can pull through, pull it together, and give their children a life they deserve.

Training plan for this week...similar to last week:
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 3-4 miles speedwork
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday (4th of July): 10k race (maybe). If no race, then another 4-6 miles on my own. WOW. How is it that I want to race on my day off? Running has turned me into a completely irrational person.
Friday: ??? not sure yet...maybe laps at the pool.
Saturday: 9-11 miles
Sunday: rest

Can't believe its already JULY! Where did the year go?

Anyone else racing on the 4th?

Oh yeah, and we went to the movies today...YEAH!!! Yes, it is a big deal for us. We took our girl to see Monsters University! Super cute. Good for grown-ups too :) Pin It

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 4...What HAPPENED? And onto week 5

Well, last week was a royal training wreck! Total mileage...a whole 9 miles! Yup, that's it. 9 miles.

Work was busy. I was swamped with work all Monday and Tuesday and just planned on making up my miles later in the week...but lucky me I got sick. But Wednesday at 3am I was waking up from unbearable nausea and by 7am I knew I was not going to make it to work that morning. Food poisoning, a "bug", stress, whatever it was it knocked me out. So Wednesday and Thursday I spent trying to get better. Friday, I was feeling pretty good. So Saturday I FINALLY went on a run with a dear friend...

My legs felt so heavy. Luckily this lovely gal was very patient with me as I dragged myself around for 9 miles (and she just ran a 2:04 half marathon last weekend!!). Running with this lady makes time go by fast. 

I also tried out my new shorts....loved them. 

Do you like my invisible shorts?

So here we are, week 5 of 9. Half way point. I am over what happend last week. There is nothing that can be done about it. It is what it is. We all get knocked time to get back up FAST. 

Here is this week's plan...which is always subject to change in my life...
Monday: 5 miles...CHECK! Got those babies done this morning  at 5:30am with my running buddy. 
Tuesday: 3-4 miles speed work
Wed: 4 miles in the AM + strength and stretch after work
Thursday: kettlebell class
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: Rest/walk/family time...

Any struggles last week? How did you deal with them?

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Training Week 4

Week 4?!?! Already?!?!?

Last week recap:
Monday I walked 3 miles with the family.
Tuesday I did 3.5 at the track.
Wednesday: 4 miles in the morning.
Thursday: 6 on the treadmill
Friday: nada
Saturday: 6.5 mile trail run with the amigos and hubby on the bike.

Sunday: Celebrated my husband on Father's Day!

This week:
Monday (today): 5 miles with a hill somewhere
Tuesday: 4 miles at track
Wednesday: A little strength and stretch
Thursday: must go to kettlebells...but I am anticipating not making it since I am giving a training at work the next morning and will most likely be at work late.
Friday: 3-4 miles, most likely on a trail + laps at the pool (?)
Saturday: 9 miles
Sunday: Rest

Main focus this week: EAT! SLEEP! Stay away from carbs!

Any specific goals out there for this week? 

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

What fatherhood looks like


A loaded it should be. 

It is a word that carries so much meaning, responsibility, weight. 

Some men carry it well...others surpass our expectations...I am married to a man that has given fatherhood a whole new meaning to me and my family.

My husband has always loved others unconditionally. Especially the kiddos in his life. I see the love he has for little K and his nieces and nephews. It is really special. He is there for all of them in a heart beat. Now, having been foster parents to two little girls (both toddlers), he has shown true selflessness. These little girls may never remember him again. They may never remember the man that spent ALL day with them while they lived with us. Working with them. Playing with them. Feeding them. Cleaning them, Loving them as his own.

To love a child that will only be with you a moment is something so special. It is painful to give your heart to a person (no matter the age) knowing that you will most likely never see them again. However, my husband doesn't let that stop him. He loves these kiddos from the moment they set foot in our little home and never stops loving them.

These kiddos come from difficult lives. As foster parents, they don't tell us much about the child's background, other than what is really pertinent to the child's health and wellbeing. So we often don't know too much about what their home life was really like. All we know is that we may only have a short period of time with this kiddos and need to make the most of it. My husband could very well be the father that these little girls have never had, and may never have again after they are unified with their families. 

Among the thousands of things he does all day, the time my husband spends with these girls (and our little K of course) he is giving them a father figure that is loving....being a gentleman always...yes, even if they are only 2 years old!...allowing them to feel the love and tenderness a father should have toward his daughter...a feeling of safety in his arms as he holds them.

My husband is not perfect. He is human. He is a human with the love of God living in him. And you can see the love of God in full force when you see him with all the little ladies in his life.

In watching him in this father role, my husband has shown me and reversed so many ideas of what I remember fatherhood when I was little. 

It isn't about making executive decisions all the is about listening and seeing the needs of your family and taking their voices to heart and mind always.

It isn't only about disciplining. It is about being engaged in raising children daily and knowing them well enough to guide them in the right direction through different avenues...sometimes discipline, but more often through praise and affection.

It isn't about making sure to carve out quality time with your is about spending 99% of your free time with your family...there is no need to "carve" it just IS.

It is about being the ultimate [human/flesh] example of infinite, selfless, unconditional, boundless love.

Father looks like this...

To my husband, who I love so much...may God continue to give you the gift of fathering the children that come into our lives in such a beautiful way. Thank you for being a wonderful father to all the kiddos that come into our home. We love you!!!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

6 @ 6

Talk about kicking this slump in the butt...

Today (Thursday) we didn't make it to kettlebell class on time, which is terrible because I actually enjoy the torture of the class.

Now, I have not been shy about the fact that I don't like the gym. I really don't like to workout at the gym...I get bored very easily. But I had to do something....I needed to get our money's worth for the childcare we paid for.

So of course, I head right over to my default...the dreadmill. I started with a half mile walk, praying that some motivation would kick in FAST! After feeling warmed up, I sped the treadmill up to 5.0, 5.5, wow feeling fairly easy...6.0. I stayed at 6.0. How long could I stay at this speed? Usually 6.0 is fairly speedy for me. I normally do 6.0 for half a mile in between slower miles.

Could I do 3 miles at 6.0? 4 miles? 6 miles? Yeah, why not!?! 6 at 6...sounds good to me.

And it was on! Once I put my mind to it, I knew I would to do. Whether it took me an hour or all day...I would do.


Okay, know to many runners out there, 6.0 isn't that fast. According to the treadmill, it was only a 10 minute mile. But I swear that felt a lot faster. Each one of my miles during my 8 mile run on Saturday was under 10 minutes...these 6 miles felt a lot faster than that!

But anyway, the point is that I did it! I have NEVER...
1. Run more than 5 miles on a treadmill...cuz I hate it.
2. Run more than 1 mile at one time at 6.0...usually it is a little "burst" at 6.0 followed by a mile or two at 5.5.

This is how I felt after my big achievement.

Ahh! I did it!

I am still surprised. When I reached 3 miles, I was like, "okay, half way there." Then I got to 4 miles and I was a little surprised that I was still going, and didn't feel like stopping. Then, as I watched the little red line make its way around the little track on the treadmill screening, I was literally saying to myself out loud,  "OH MY GOSH! You actually did it!"

I just ran my little heart out!

I totally showed myself today that I really can do this running thing. That I really can get better. Someday be a strong runner. A fast runner.

So I give myself a thumbs up...I would give myself 2 thumbs up, but I'm holding my phone :) 

Recognizing and celebrating my accomplishments...this is definitely one of them.

~~~   ~~~   ~~~   

How is going for you? 
Any milestones? 
How do you over come a "running slump"?

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Training: Week 3 Slump

Let's start with a recap of last week:

Monday: 4 miserable miles...wore the wrong clothes, so I was baking the entire time.
Tuesday: 3.75 miles
Wed: 1 mile for National Running Day
Thursday: nothing...played hookie from kettlebell class
Friday: 3 miles, trails
Saturday: 8 miles

Total mileage: 19.75...rounding to 20 :)

This week:

So far the week has been eh....

Monday I should have done 5 miles but instead I went for a 3 mile walk with the family.

Here they come! We threw in a long hill for some
EXTRA fun :) Hubby pushing the jogger.

Typical Vanessa pic...not paying attention.
But don't look at me, look at the beautiful view I
call home!

It was a lot of fun...but man, I was exhausted! Walking sure done take a lot of work!My props to walkers out there, especially my mom who can run over most people she walks so fast...and she is little too! She definitely walks faster than I do!

So 3 miles on Monday.

Tuesday (today): I barely made it to the track for some "speed" work...but I wasn't very speedy. Just felt tired. No motivation. But I was able to reach 3.5 miles including warm-up and cool-down.

I feel like this week I am being tested. Can I keep up the training? The initial motivation you have at the very beginning starts to fade away and it begins to shape itself into routine...and this is where it gets tricky!

Something you can keep up.

Easier said than done...well, for me at least. I won't pretend like this is easy. I won't pretend that trying to run 5 days a week + strength workouts, working MORE than full time (I swear some days I work for minimum to love being salaried!), being a "mommy" of sorts, trying to pull my weight at home, keeping up with my reading and writing, AND not neglecting my family all in one week is isn't. And I am only training for a half marathon! But I am going to do it!

And isn't funny how life "suddenly" gets crazy busy when you are just getting comfortable with a training schedule? Today, I had to "escape" from work at 5:45 to get a run in. Didn't go by any offices...didn't "check-out" with any co-workers...I just quietly packed up my stuff and snuck out :) If not, they could have kept me there another hour easily.

Confessional moment...when things get busy and life sucks me in, I am a terrible eater...meaning I don't eat. Not good, I know. I skip meals all together. I snack on whatever I can get my hands on...and by that I mean a hand-full of pretzels I get from a co-workers office :) Thank God for those pretzels!

Here is a perfect example from just last week...

My husband knows me all too well.

I think this a big reason for my "slumpy" feeling these last couple days...not fueling my body well.

So, I am going to flip the rest of the week. The rest of the week will be awesome!

1. Better eating (well, eating PERIOD really!) and
2. Focusing on enjoying my runs...each run is a gift.

Since I didn't run much on Monday, I need to "make up" a bit of those I will add a couple miles to the rest of the week...

Wednesday (tomorrow in like 30 minutes!): 4 in the AM + 30 minutes of strength in the PM. Wednesday is suppose to be my rest day, but I don't need more rest!

Thursday: Kettlebells + a couple miles on the dreadmill on an incline.

Friday: long run, 9 miles

Saturday: Perhaps a trail run/walk with some amigos and hubs + laps at the pool perhaps.

Sunday: Rest. Rinse off the week. And Repeat.

This should get me to at least 20 miles this week.

How's your week going? 

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

back at 8.

Today (Saturday, June 8) I had a great run!!! But REALLY great run.

Not too fast, not too slow...just wonderful.

It was my first 8 mile run since my last half marathon in December. What was I feeling in anticipation for this run? Nerves, doubt, anxiety. Although 8 miles isn't a lot compared to what the majority of longer-distance runners run, for me and my beginner experience, I know that 8 miles is enough time for hurt, exhaustion, aches to creep in and make those miles miserable.

One very special difference to this run (and the obvious reason it was so great) was that this good-looking guy followed me around...

I didn't take any walking breaks to impress him :)

It was lots of fun having my hubby ride as I ran. He has taken quite a long break from running, trying to heal some major plantar fasciitis, but he joined me on 3 miles of trails jogging yesterday and his foot held up pretty well. But this morning he assisted me. Cutest waterboy I could ever ask for! But beyond having some eye candy the whole 8 miles, it was so comforting having him there. He would ride ahead of me, then ride back, talk a bit, look for dolphins, and repeat. I was totally blessed having him with me and am certain him being there with me helped me have such as great run.

I have learned that each run we go on is unique and shouldn't be compared too much to other runs. Yes, we always want to improve on time. We run the same loop regularly to see if we have gotten faster, stronger, better. But even running the on the same path, at the same time of day, in the same weather conditions, still does not set you up for an identical run. I have run these 8 miles many times before. Usually its a good run, a few times I have been miserable, but today was just right. Can't tell you what it was (other than having hubby with me!), but it was just great from start to finish. A new day, a new run. 

I did experience my usual sluggishness and achy knees the first 4 miles...but I already know this will happen. I am prepared at the beginning of the run to expect painful aches in both my knees and just an overall sluggish body. I just keep going. Ignore the little voice reminding me how much my knee hurts and how much I would rather cut the run short and get home sooner. When I first started running, this little voice was hard to overcome. Now, it is easier to ignore. 

I usually try to "get lost" in my surrounding. I don't run with music...(I actually find running with music to be very distracting, in a bad way) I tend to look around a lot. On this route, I see a lot of ocean. I look for dolphins. They remind my of my little K. She loves dolphins. One of her many career aspirations is to be a "dolphin trainer/doctor/lover". So I search for dolphins...and I always find one! I think of my little K and say a prayer for her.

After mile 4, I am LOVING my run!

I feel like I could go forever. Runner's high, I love you! But this is where I tend to always get off track. I start run too hard and before I know it, I am feeling like this...

Today, when I was at the half way point, I remembered this picture and told myself that TODAY I was going to feel strong right to the end...and I did.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Had to take a pic with this cutie!

Miles 5, 6, 7 and 8 were each faster than the mile before. All 8 miles were under 10 minutes, which is good for me, especially considering this is my first longer run in 6 months, post-injury. I ran my little heart out until my watch marked 8 miles. DONE!!! Feeling awesome!.

So happy to be back at 8 and feeling great!

Yesterday's 3 miles of hills were tough...this is definitely something I need to focus on. Hills!!!

Tomorrow, I'm talking off from training. Need to hit the office for a few hours to get a head start on the week...this way I don't miss any training during week 3! 

Happy Sunday to you.

Oh, and we met this guy too. Corporate world employee turned surfing goatman...he was totally awesome!

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Growing up to be "that" kind of woman...

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be so many different things.

A doctor, a teacher, a dancer, pianist (I played the piano for a short time), a lawyer (people said I would be a good lawyer because I could talk for days)...I am sure there are many more my mom could tell you that I have already forgotten.

But today I remember my childhood aspirations because today my little K completed the 2nd grade and in a couple short months will be a 3rd grader. Daily she tells us all the different things she wants to be when she grows up...some make me laugh others blow me away. This girl is ready to do it all! She is ready to fight crime and give people a beautiful smile at the same time! And with each day that she shares more and more, I can't believe how fast she is growing in front of my very eyes. And while I want her to reach her dreams of being a teacher, a dentist, a police officer, and whatever she decides to do tomorrow, what I really want for her is to have is a deep love in her heart. I want her to have God's love so deeply embedded in her that she can't contain it. I want her to know the peace He will give her when she reaches hard times in her life. I want her to know that no matter the heart-breaks, disappointments or worries that this world can bring, that she will always be loved. I want her to be strong in her faith and grow up to be a woman that knows she can achieve anything because she has God on her side. I want her to experience the deep satisfaction on He can give us.

I want all of this for me too. I want to grow up to be this woman too. So badly.

...and during my runs too!

I love this saying. I love the intensity, the power, the intimidation it carries. I want to be a fierce woman for God. I need to be. I need to live this each day for myself, for my little K (and all my future foster baby girls) and for my husband. It gives me so much confidence knowing my husband is strong in his faith and in his walk. Knowing that every day he is intentionally "taking" God with him everywhere. He deserves to feel the same about his wife. 

Goals for this moment in my life:
  • Be real. By this, I don't mean to imply I am a "fake" person...not at all. I think one of my good qualities is that I am a genuine person...sometime a bit too genuine. But to be real I mean to be me, just me. Not worker-me. Not planner-me. Not problem-solver-me. Just me. Raw. As if there was no work, or planning, or problem-solving to be done. Who would I be?...that's the me I need to be more often...she has come out a few times these last few weeks and I like seeing her. I think my family likes her too. 
  • Be vulnerable. With my husband and kids. Allow them to impact me. To shake my world. With God's word. For it to bury itself deep inside me in a soft and tender spot so I never forget that its there. 
  • Enjoy the path I'm on. I need to look around more while I walk this path. I need to stop looking ahead to the end of the road and start looking to my right and left and see those who are walking with me and see the path we are on. Sometimes smooth. Sometimes bumpy. Windy. Uphill. Downhill. Walking a dry desert or a lush garden. I need to look around. 
  • Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Praise. Praise. Praise. Praise. Praise. Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice.  Love some more. 
  • Read. Read my Bible. Read the 10 books sitting on top, on the side, inside my nightstand. Just read.
  • Cut myself some slack every once and a while. 
  • Show unconditional and endless love and support to everyone around me. EVERYONE!
  • Allow myself to experience God. All those things I want for my little K, I need to allow time for myself to feel, live, breathe all of that daily.

Today was suppose to be a kettlebell day. But instead I spent it with my monkeys. I will make up for it tomorrow...promise :) I just decided to cut myself a little slack today.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I run for my life.

There are so many reasons to run...

for fitness,
for health,
for happiness,
for stress relief,
for my family,
for the "runner's high",
for a break,
for my future,
to feel good (and hopefully look good too...just being honest!),
to feel confident,
to feel strong,
to NOT feel guilty when grub!,
to compete,
to feel in control,
to let go,
to see all the abilities this body has,
to feel God's strength inside me,
to know that I can...just that I CAN,
to endure and press forward.

I run so that I can feel that unique feeling running gives you. Exhaustion, but empowerment. A sense of feeling lost and a clear focus in one simultaneous moment. A racing heart, but at quiet mind.

I run for my life. 

I hope that you will  "run" for your life too...whether it is actually running, or walking, jumping, playing, dancing, goofing around, lifting weights, swimming, whatever...just "run" for your life...
you only get one to run for.

Happy National Running Day!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week 2 Planning

Week 2 is here, so here's the plan...


Monday: 4-5 miles with a hill or two in there.
Tuesday: Speedwork (around 3 miles total)
Wednesday: Stretch, a bit of strength, but more of a "rest" day
Thursday: Kettlebells @ the gym + a couple miles on the dreadmill
Friday: 4 miles (hills or trails)
Saturday: 7 miles
Sunday: laps

Total mileage: 20-21 miles

This last week I was only suppose to run 15 miles, but I ran 20...skipped kettlebells to go running. It was one of those days at work where 4:30 came around and all I was thinking was, "Today I am definitely going to leave RIGHT AT 5pm! I NEED TO RUN!!!"

This is how happy I was to be home by 5:30pm
and ready to go running...for real! Yes, that is a
PINK top...and I actually love it!

I am definitely going to try to stick to my plan. Stopping at 3 miles is hard...this is just when I start to get my runner's high and then the adrenaline pushes me to 5 or 6 miles. Don't you just love that runner's high? It gets you all excited, makes you feel like you are on top of the world and could go forever. But then, around the last mile or so, your legs suddenly remind you that you should have contained that runner's high just a bit more :) HA.


But when you have a view like this, can you blame me for wanting to run forever?

I will be doing a 10k on the 4th of July as my "check-point" for my half marathon at the end of July. My first (and only, so far) 10k time was 54:40, 8:48/mile. For others, its an okay time. For me, I was so blow away that I finished in under an hour. Hopefully we can repeat (and improve!) history :)


We have this rule we try to stick to in our as much as you can from the refrigerator and pantry before grocery shopping. This week we have reached that point. We have lots of left-overs from the last week...roasted chicken, roasted potatoes with bell peppers, beans, frozen fish and frozen chicken breasts...pantry still has some bow-tie pasta, tuna. Time to clean out the left-overs.

  • Roasted chicken has become chicken soup.
  • The potatoes will probably be used for breakfast with some scrambled egg whites and some it off with some asiago cheese, please!
  • The fish will probably be cooked for dinner at some point with a side of quinoa or brown rice. 
  • The frozen chicken breast will probably end up in the crock-pot and ready to use in a mixture of things (salad, sandwich, burrito, etc).
  • And the pasta will be mixed with the tuna for an easy and quick meal. 

Did I miss anything? We have oatmeal for breakfast (our breakfast go-to) and the eggs. Green salad. Snacks for K's lunch...did I mention this is her last week of 2nd grade?!?! Here comes summer break followed too soon by the 3RD GRADE!!!

This will probably get us through the week. Then, GROCERY SHOPPING!!! YAY! Grocery shopping is like Christmas shopping for me. I make my list, check it twice (sound familiar!)...and I'm always "nice" so I always leave a few bucks from the budget for some "goodies"...maybe my favorite Trader Joe's macadamia cookies, a bit of chocolate, or maybe some more of these...


Here is to a great week...

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