My favorite running pic!

My favorite running pic!
The Buffalo Creek Half

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A little of everything

So this is going to be a mixed bag.  I'm exhausted today.  I actually fell asleep for a little while at about 7:30 or so...pretty pathetic, right?  My husband and I went out last night to a reverse raffle and we were big LOSERS, but we had a great time with our friends!  Didn't fall asleep until about 1 and was up at 6:30ish to get ready for 8 am mass.  Then today I went to the open house our school was holding and then for 3 hours of bowling with the cub scouts.  Fun, yes!  Tiring, yes!  That could explain my exhaustion.

On a good note, I went for my long run yesterday with Joanne at a group run my favorite running store, Up-N-Running, was holding.  It was a nice morning to run.  About 32 or so, cloudy, not too windy.  We wanted to run between 6 and 7 miles and we did.  We came in at 6.2 miles in 1:11.  I was happy with that because I don't really worry about time on long runs.  It's all about building endurance.  What I was really happy with is that this is only the 2nd time I've gone on this group run.  The first time, the hills kicked my butt!  I was actually kind of dreading going this time because of how many hills there were.  But I felt MUCH better this time!  I think because I was mentally prepared for them.  I still didn't make it up that last, very long, hill, but I came closer.  Next time, I'll conquer that hill.  It will not win!  But until then, I'm satisfied.

On another note, I'm hungry.  I'm trying not to think about it because I know if I go and eat something, I'm not going to be satisfied with something healthy.  But I'll try to choose healthy over non-healthy.  I'll try...if I eat anything at all.  I'll let you know what I chose to do tomorrow.  Until then...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stress...what to do?

Yep...I'm stressed.  I, along with my dear friend Kathy, are the chairpeople for a huge fundraiser at school and we're a little bit behind.  Especially in ticket sales.  And...I also co-chair fish fries during Lent for our church.  That will be here before you know it.   So I have tasks/assignments/responsibilities for both.  On top of day to day stuff.  So I'm a little stressed!

I think everyone does something different when they are stressed.  I typically eat.  Chocolate, preferably!  I am going to write an entire blog sometime soon on my love for chocolate.  It makes me feel good.  No does!  If I can't have chocolate, then it has to be some other kind of sweet treat.  You can say I have a sweet tooth.  I love sweets...cookies, cake, candy, especially chocolate!  So when I am stressed, I usually eat something sweet and feel better.  Not such a great thing to do for my body, I know. instead of eating chocolate, I rode the bike for 30 minutes.  10 miles later, I felt much better.  Hmmm...I might be onto something here.  Maybe I will try exercising instead of eating when I am stressed.  I'm not sure if that is totally going to work though, because I am still thinking about that chocolate.  But instead, I am going to try to think about all of the good I just did by riding the bike. 

What do you do when you are stressed?  I also tend to get a little snippy.  My family takes the brunt of that.  Unfortunately for them!  Chocolate, however, seems to keep my snippy comments at bay.  Yes...I love that chocolate, but today, I love the bike!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Next time...I'm getting those hills

So I went out for my run today.  Wanted to do somewhere between 3 and 4 miles and decided on my usual 3.2 which I use when I am looking for that distance.  This 3.2 is a somewhat hilly course.  Not all of it, but it does have several hills that can kick you in the butt!  The worst of the hills is at the very end.   I dread that hill...actually it's 2 in a row.  One shorter one, then it flattens out for about 10-20 strides or so and onto the longer, steeper one.  I start thinking about those hills when I hit the halfway point and turn around to come back home.  I hate that I do that to myself, but I do!

So I tried not to think about it too much. (Of course, I did think about it but I certainly tried not too!)  I was having a pretty good run, I felt good and really thought I could do it this time.  That is what I thought at the beginning of the first hill as it flattened out, I was getting tired, sore and those negative thoughts started getting going in my mind.  Made it about 1/2 way up the second hill and I stopped and walked for about 20 steps or so and then started the run again.  Ughhh!  Those stupid negative thoughts kill me every time.  Next time, I will not have it!  I will make it up both of the hills.  I will!  Those hills will not get the best of me anymore.

All in all, it was a good run today.  Not too bad...35:46.  It worked out the 11 min/miles.  I'm happy with that!  I have another run tomorrow and then a long one with the group on Saturday.  I will probably try to take on the double hill on Monday.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Climb

Yesterday, we were on the bus on the way home from the March for Life and I sat back and turned on my ipod.  A song came on and reminded me of how far I have come in such a short time (as far as running, that is!).  The lyrics really have a way of hitting home for me.  What is that song?  The Climb by Miley Cyrus.

Now, I'm not a Miley Cyrus fan, but this song really does something to me, from the very beginning of it. "I can almost see it, that dream I'm dreaming, but there's a voice inside my head, saying you'll never reach it".  How true that was for me!  When I started running, it was so hard (heck, some days it's still hard!).  That dream of running a 5K seemed so far away to me.  And there would always be the voice saying, it's too hard, I'm too tired, it hurts, you'll never make it.  Sometimes when I run, that voice still talks negatively to me.  But it happens less now.  And when it does happen, I know better.  I know to talk myself out of it. 

"Ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb".  It is about the climb.  The climb gets me emotional.  What a journey!  I might not be fast, I might not medal in these races, but I climbed and conquered it!  I was able to run several 5Ks and a 10K.  And to be climbing the mountain to get to the top of my first 1/2 wonderful that will be!

There WILL always be another mountain and I'm gonna want to make it move.  As long as I appreciate the climb and all I've done to get there and conquer it, then that will be what matters.  Someone once told me, if running was easy, the streets would be full of people.  How true!  It's not easy.  It's hard.  Especially for those that don't have that natural athletic ability.  But the climb is what makes us stronger and fight harder.  It makes us sweat more, go for more and cry more.  So I'll keep on moving, keep on climbing and for sure, I'll keep the faith.  It's the climb!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally, a feel good workout!

As you might have picked up from some of my recent posts, my confidence in my running was wavering.  I really needed a distance run that I could feel good about.  Today, I did that!  FINALLY!

After doing a bunch of housework, laundry and grocery shopping, I made the decision to go to my inlaws (a big thank you to them for allowing me to use their treadmill whenever I need to) and run on the treadmill.  I told myself 6...I need to get to 6 miles.  So I got situated, got the extra mile podcast going on the ipod and I began.  I felt great!  I actually couldn't believe how good I felt today while running.  It had been a long time since I felt that good.  I wanted to take it slow and just worry about the distance, not the time.  12:00/mile is where I wanted to be and I came in just under that.  I ran 6 in 1:11:15.  It really was a good run.  So happy! :)

This was my first time working out to a podcast.  I really enjoyed it.  I found the time went by really quickly because I was listening to the interview with Jeff Galloway, the advice and everything else.  I think I'm going to download the next one for my next long run.  I ran longer than the podcast, but it was a good 45 minutes long.  My music kicked in after that!  This run was just what I needed. was a good day!  Tomorrow will be even better though because my little guy turns 5!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Really? That's a jog?

So I follow Courtney Crozier from Biggest Loser 11 on twitter.  I really have always liked her (because she was always so bubbly and positive on the show) and continue to be inspired by her.  But something struck me as crazy today.  She posted on her blog Brett's (BL former trainer) treadmill workout that she uses.  This is what it said :

Warm up in any way you usually do (I walk at a 12 incline at 3.0 for 5 minutes)
-5 sets of jogging intervals! 2 minutes on, 1 minute off
2 minutes on run at a fast jog/slow run (I run at a 7.5-8.0)
… 1 minute of walking at a very slow pace (2.0-2.5)
Do that 5 times for a total of 15 minutes
-6 sets of sprint intervals! 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off
30 seconds at a full out sprint (I do these at a 10.0-11.0 depending on the day)
30 seconds walking at a very slow pace (2.0-2.5)
Do that 6 times for a total of 6 minutes
-Jog a half mile at your own pace (I usually do it at a 6.5)
Cool down! Walk it out at your own pace.

Let me just make mention of a couple of things.  First, my inlaws treadmill doesn't even go up to a 12!  Second, fast jog/slow run to her is 7.5/8.0.  Are you kidding me?  A fast jog, slow run to me is somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5.  Then full sprint is 10-11?  REALLY???  I have never even been up that high.  I don't think my legs could move that fast!  LOL!  Does the treadmill go up that high?  My sprint is usually a 7.0 -8.0.  I once did a 9 for 30 seconds.  Then at the end it says "jog (note the word jog) a 1/2 mile at your own pace", she does at 6.5.  That is certainly not a jog to me, it's an all out run, bordering on hard run.  This just blew my mind!  Ughhhh...I'm slower than I thought!

If you have any comments on this, let me know.  I do really like Courtney and following her.  She does go on to say in her blog to remember that these are her speeds and we don't need to use them.  And that you can walk if you need to, but I can honestly say that blog did not do anything good for my confidence.  No way!  Good workout, yes!  Unrealistic speeds, yes!  That's all I have to say about that!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not just 1 half, but 2!

Well, today I did something that might just be crazy.  I registered for a second half marathon.  What's crazy about that?  I haven't even run my first one yet.  HA!  Do you believe that?

Some friends of mine convinced me to register for a half marathon to be held on March 31st.  I had mentioned it in my blog this week, but hadn't committed until today.  I had already registered for the Pittsburgh half which is on May 6th.  The Pittsburgh half was going to be my first.  Well, I just cut my training time by 5 weeks.  I better get my butt in gear I tell you!

There is no turning back once you register.  That is, unless you just want to throw money away.  Which I can't imagine anyone would want to do.  Registering for a race gives you the drive to go out there and get it, especially on those days you just don't want to.  It commits you to train.  Because you don't want to go out there and not be ready.  At least I don't!

There are 2 really good things about this race I just registered for.  Your registration fee includes a pair of Asics shorts and socks!  Woo-hoo!  How cool is that?  The other good thing is that my friends that helped me decide to do it, will also be running. They are all faster than me.  Why is that good?  Well, because I'll have my own cheering section at the end of my very first half!  And what can be better than that...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

3 more miles down...not so fast (of course) I decided to run tonight on my inlaws treadmill.  I didn't have to as I ran 4 miles yesterday, but I thought I better get my butt in gear if I am going to not die on this 1/2 marathon.  So I went over a little before 7pm.  I had hoped to get in 5, but only did 3.  Yep...I stopped.  So mad at myself, but I didn't have it in me tonight.  I ran about a 12 min. mile.  That stinks, believe me, I know.

I'm struggling this week with my confidence.  Don't know why, I just am.  It's having an affect on my time and its even made me shorten my runs.  I have to get over it...I have to!  Like I need to get over it this week.  I think what I need is a long run so that I can believe in myself once again.  A good long run.

But at least I did 3, right?  And at night too!  I am typically a morning run.  That's when I have my energy.  But I don't want to make excuses, just trying to be proud of myself for making the effort to get the run in.  Until tomorrow...

Monday, January 16, 2012

My not so fast run, but it's all good!

So, I had been off a couple of days (ok...more than a couple).  But it really all wasn't my fault.  A family emergency needed dealt with.  But, I'm back to the running.  After all, I have a 1/2 marathon coming up before I know it.  I am registered for the Pittsburgh 1/2 on May 6th.  But a couple of friends of mine have convinced me to register for one on March 31st.  Yep - 2 of them!  Can you believe it?  But that means I cannot slack off...AT ALL!

Decided on a 4 mile run.  It's about 4 miles, probably a little more.  It had 4 very nice hills.  When I say very nice, I do not mean nice to look at.  I mean not so nice to run.  You get my drift, right?  I felt pretty good during the majority of the run until the last 2 hills.  They are truly back to back and at the last 1/2 mile of the run.  They do not make me happy!  So my time was 44:41.  I know, not so fast! (Now do you get why I titled my blog what I did?)

Don't get me's all good!  After all, I got out there.  I ran what I could.  Did I overly push myself like I would do if I was racing?  NO.  Not that it would make that much of a difference.  A little, but not that much.  However, I noticed something today.  I've lost a little bit of confidence in my running ability.  Not sure why or how it happened, but I feel it.  I feel like it's not quite good enough.  Gotta work through this.  Fast or not fast, I have 2 1/2 marathons coming up and I need to be confident.  I'll reflect on it a little tonight and maybe revisit it tomorrow.  Until's all good!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting beyond the thighs

I looked in the mirror this morning and thought to myself  "I look pretty good for 40".  I wouldn't say I'm skinny and I'm definitely not fat, I'd say I'm just right except for 1 thighs!

Gosh, if I could just have nice looking thighs.  I've struggled with that my whole life and I've struggled with weight issues a good part of it.  Not that I was ever obese (with the exception of elementary school...I think I would've been classified as obese then), but I would say I was overweight.  I was truly "skinny" 2 times in my life.  Once right out of college.  That was only because any money I made went straight to rent, utilities, car and insurance.  Sometimes I just didn't have much to eat because I didn't have any money to buy food.  My husband will attest to this.  He was still in college when I had my first apartment (I'm a little older than him).  He'd come over to visit and he says he'd look in my refrigerator and think "oh my gosh".  Why?  Because there wasn't much there.  I'd live on yogurt, bagels, pasta and some microwave meals.  That's about it.  I dropped down to 116.  I'm about 5'5.

The second time was after my second child, Brady, was born.  Not sure why, but I dropped weight really fast.  Again, I fell to about 119 or so.  Unreal and I knew it wouldn't last.  And it didn't!

One day, when I was at that 116 right out of college, I was at my dad's house.  My grandma was there and we were outside getting some sun on the deck.  She looked at me and said "well, you've lost the weight, now you have to work on those thighs".  Yep...I'll never forget it.  It replays in my head all of the time.  So, my thighs will never be what I want them to be.

I've been running for one year now.  A year ago, I weighed between 151 and 152.  My highest ever except when I was pregnant.  I was down and didn't know what else to do.  I complained about it every day to my husband.  That's when I started running and I dropped about 20 pounds.  Currently, I weight around 133.  I did get down to 130 and I often fluctuate between 130 and 135.  I'm happy with that.  Yep, I'm ok with it.  My thighs might still bug me, but the overall picture is good.  I worked hard to get back here and I'm going to be proud of it! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

No snowy road running for me!

So today I was supposed to run 6 miles with my friend, Joanne.  We run with a group from a local running store on Saturdays in our training for the Pittsburgh half marathon.  But it snowed yesterday and last night and when I woke up this morning, I looked outside and thought, "there is no way I am going to run on this today and risk hurting myself!"  Soooo...I sent Joanne a message (as of yesterday she said she was still going) and told her I was out.  Then I went back to bed.  I felt a little guilty, I have to admit!

Soon after I got a message from Joanne saying her hubby came in from getting the newspaper and said the roads were snow covered so she was not running either.  Phew!  She said she was secretly hoping I'd have the same reaction she did when she got out of bed.  Glad I didn't let her down.

Now that's not to say that I get off without running.  I have to run!  When you have already registered for an event, you can't let up.  So, I will have to go to my inlaws to run on their treadmill (by the way, I HATE running on the treadmill).  But I'm glad they have one because I do not have a membership to the gym.  I would like a membership, but don't have one YET!  Hopefully I will convince my hubby sometime this year.  Until then, I'll call up my inlaws and ask them if I can use their workout facility.  They have yet to say no. 

6 miles, here I come!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I love food!

So I have been eating too much lately.  Not necessarily bad foods, but too much.  I seem to get hungry every couple of hours and, well, I love food!

I'm part Italian.  I grew up with an Italian grandma who had food out every time anyone visited.  She'd tell me on the phone to come over and we would have some coffee "and."   What followed "and" was whatever she had in the house.  Cookies, candy, cake, bread...that's what you had with your coffee.  And then she'd offer you some leftovers of some kind.  Are you hungry? she'd ask.  How about some cavatelli?  How about some chicken and sausage?  How about some soup?  I think my grandma believed everyone was hungry all of the time and that the key to happiness was through your belly.  You know what?  I loved it!  I loved going to her house to sit and have a cup of coffee (with grounds in it of course!) and something to eat.  I loved catching up with her that way.  Because it made her happy.

Food makes me happy.  Coffee makes me happy.  I have tried over the past year to eat better...and I do.  I really do.  But that doesn't mean I don't have a piece of chocolate (have a mentioned I LOVE CHOCOLATE!) or a cookie.  I do.  But I also eat healthier.  I am not a health nut.  I applaud those who are.  I'd love to learn from them.  I don't think I could go through life without sweets.  I definitely have a sweet tooth.

Getting back to eating too much, I have been doing that lately and I need to be better.  So I'll check in here every now and then and let you know how I am doing.  I am going to try to drink more water to curb the growling of my stomach.  I am also going to try to do a chore every time I think I am hungry (unless it is meal time).  What do you think of that?  I hope it works, but my love for food might win out.  We'll see!  If you have any suggestions, let me know.  I'd love to hear from you! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The meaning to the title

So, when I decided I was going to write a blog, my daughter's first question was what are you going to call it?  I thought about this for quite a while and came up with the current title, "Not So Fast Momma!"  Do you want to know why?  (Even if you don't, I'm going to tell you!)

That title came to me for 2 reasons.  The first is that I am a newbie runner.  Yes, I have been running for about a year now...BUT I am NOT fast!  So there you have it...I am a not so fast momma.  I enjoy runnning.  It gives me time to unwind, unstress and for once in my life, it allows me to do something for me.  We, as moms, are so used to doing everything for everyone else (our husband,  kids, church, school, family, friends, etc) we never seem to take time for us.  I do now.  And I feel great about it.  Even when I go out for an hour to 2 hour run, I don't feel guilty.  I used to, but I don't anymore because I deserve it!

Anyway, getting back to the not so fast part.  I typically run a 10-11 min mile.  Yep...there you have it!  I am not fast.  I have run a 9:05 mile, but that is only when I am running a VERY short distance.  I'm just slow!  I have to accept it.  That's all there is to it.  When I ran my first 10k in November 2011, I finished in 1:04:37.  That was about a 10:25/mile pace.  I was thrilled with that!

Second reason for the title:  I need to slow down in life sometimes.  Although I don't work outside of the house (I'm a stay at home mom), I am constantly volunteering.  Whether at the school, church, scouts, etc.  You name it, I do it!  And I have a hard time saying "no".  But I'm learning.  And one of my goals this year is to slow down.  To not feel obligated to do everything.  That it's ok to say no.  There are plenty of other people to do it, right?

So there you have it.  I hope to share my running accomplishments and struggles (especially as I train for my first 1/2 marathon) and my attempt to slow down.  Hopefully, we can help each other!  Let the day and the blog BEGIN!