Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week Three (9/16 - 9/22)

While this post is delayed by nearly a week, I hardly feel anyone is waiting on the edge of their seats!  That's okay, I'm mostly keeping track of this for Tom and myself to look back on, because I know it's going to go by very quickly! And I'm sure there will come a time where I could use the inspiration from my past. :) Anyways- better late than never, and there were some pretty extraordinary run experiences coming out of this week, so here goes!

Sunday-- Rest!
Weigh in: 1 lb up from start of training
^This is a problem for me. Haha.. I really want to lose a few pounds during this training, and I realize, while cardio is an awesome way to lose weight, marathon training is not. You tend to compensate for all the strain you're putting on your body. Many runners admit that they run so that they can eat whatever they darn well please. You figure a little over 100 calories/ mile.. That really adds up quickly. It becomes really easy to justify the junk food.

So, in an attempt to run across that finish line a little bit lighter, I've made the decision to give a vegan diet a chance. It's something that I've toyed around with for awhile anyway. I've already given up the meat, so it won't be like starving myself cold turkey. Cholesterol has been a concern for me as well the past few years, so this should really help.

I didn't really choose a good week to go vegan, however. Sunday-Tuesday I did just fine, but I should have known I'd be expected to indulge in a variety of deliciously unhealthy meals this week...


Nothing spectacular about this one. 3 miles on the Wekiva Trail starting off at the San Sebastian Trailhead. I had been enduring a slight headache all day, so I set Pandora to Misty Edwards radio, thinking that would kind of set the tone for a quiet, laid back sort of run. Eh.. not so much. It just dragged. And the headache persevered. A couple other things made it frustrating- Jackson wasn't feeling it. He didn't want to be in the jogger, and that makes things stressful for everyone. Secondly, Tom and I had a difference of about a quarter of a mile on our Runkeeper app. We try to stick together, so when one of ends before the other and we have no idea whose was most accurate, it just gets annoying. We think the difference may be in the fact that I wear mine on my arm and Tom sets his in the jogger..perhaps?

I will say that it was nice to run this trail at sunset. This is one of our usual Saturday morning spots, so it was cool to be there during a different time of day.


Another sunrise run at Lake Baldwin Park. You know, I really started this run with a lot of apprehension. If Jackson couldn't take our 3 mile run last night, how would he handle this 5 miler.. I was dreading it, to be honest. Well, it turned out to be fantastic! He did have a few fussy moments, but nothing escalating.

I was still feeling anxious and down when we finished our first loop around the lake (2.5 miles). That's when I decided to take the headphones off and plug into the jogger speakers, and I prayed, "God, please just let me enjoy this run. And help Jackson to enjoy it too." I really didn't want to be out at sunrise, at a beautiful lake with my son and just feel discouraged. Our favorite station right now is David Crowder Band. Well, one of his songs, "How He Loves," started playing around mile 3, and out of the blue, this woman comes running up behind me, "You look GREAT!" As we ran, she started encouraging me about how great it is that I'm running with my son and how she did the same with her kids, teenagers now, and how they appreciate the fact that she did that with them. Wow! And during that same mile I was also encouraged to see a couple from the Orlando Runner's Club walking the loop with their dog.

I was just overwhelmed with joy and amazement. When you're out there struggling on a run and you get that little extra push- It really means the world. I actually had to ask God, "Please, not too much of that!" because this promptly answered pray brought me to tears, and that's no condition to be running in either. ;)

Jack and I followed our new tradition of breakfast at the Fleet Peeples Dog Park.  He's a pretty popular kid in there, with his pancakes and banana..  Hehe.. Time for some pictures. :)
The bandana! It disappeared sometime after this run..hmm..

"Whatcha got in there, kid??"-- Pooka, the Saint Bernard.

This is Rocky. He stayed by us the entire time. He was very surprised when I read his name off of his *pink* collar.

Rocky's brother, a little more insistent than Rocky.

Wednesday- 6am with the ORC

Tom joined us this time, since he had to take us to the airport shortly after. It was nice to enjoy the morning together. We met up with our runner's club at Einstein Bros Bagels and did our 3 miles in the dark. Even though I felt like I was dragging, my pace was really picking up! Though, still, I'm not a morning runner. And I felt the need to apologize to a couple members of the group for not being very talkative. I had to explain that I'm not much of a talker when I'm running. They probably wonder why I joined a runner's group..haha. Oh well. I'm already finding that I'm more comfortable on longer runs than I am on these short ones. These I just try to get them done with. 
Post-run, and post-bagels & coffee, clearly. ;)

Thursday- Rest!

Friday- Long Run

I was grateful for the timing of this 'long run' being only 6 miles this week. (Last week it was 9). Reason being, is that Jack and I were in Michigan with family and I don't know if I was up to pushing the jogger for a real 'long' run.  Stony Creek Metropark made a PERFECT spot for us to do our run- a 6 mile loop around the lake. Beautiful! One thing that I will always miss about Michigan is all of these fantastic metroparks.. Just take a look. :)

(This color is not enhanced.)

There are TWO of these blessed signs during the last mile. I grew to love them. ;)

It was so neat seeing Jackson in some jeans and a jacket. No need for them here in FL.

I love my running buddy.

Saturday- Cross Training

This was to be a jam packed day in Saginaw for my sister's first bodybuilding/ bikini competition at Northern Michigan Natural Bodybuilding & Physique Championships, so I thought it would be best to get our hour long walk done in the morning. We took a sunrise walk around Heather's neighborhood and listened to some more David Crowder Band. Jackson stayed awake for about half of the walk, singing along to the music. It was pretty chilly out there, so he was bundled up in jeans, socks and a hoodie over his long sleeved shirt, and of course his favorite blanket. There was something special about walking towards the sunrise, with worship music playing and listening to your baby sing along, arms outstretched. Nothing quite like it. :)

Good luck, Wickersham.

The sleepy boy awakes!

Heh? What?

 After all, we did end up doing this workout *twice* this day. There was really no need to do the early morning walk, because in between Pre-judging and the 7pm show, we blew some time walking around a nearby mall for 1.5 hrs +, in a futile attempt to get him to take a nap. Sigh..oh well. :)

I'm SURE she was daring him to stay awake!!

Off we go- Jackson in his jogger, and Chloe in her Princess pink car!

And this is how it ended. Yep. All that walking for nothin'.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week Two

Week Two- Down 1.5 lbs from start.
Sunday - Rest

We began our week by attending the Orlando Runner's Club annual picnic at Wekiva Island.  What started as an unusually rainy morning, turned out to be a beautifully cool afternoon.  Joining the ORC just in time for this event made for a great way to get to know some fellow runners before meeting up for a group run. It was so great to be in the midst of people who all enjoy running as much as we do, and to be inspired by those who have been running further and longer than we have.  Some of these folks will actually be running in the Savannah race with us in November!  The ORC also mans an aid station at the Disney Marathon, around mile 24.

Next time we're at Wekiva Island, we'll bring our swimming gear!


The very next day, we met up with the ORC for their bi-monthly 3 (or 5) mile run.  They gather together at 7pm at the Mellow Mushroom, pass out maps to the newcomers (us) and then head out.  Tom and I usually walk a few minutes before starting our run, so jumping into a run was a little strange for us, but hey, I guess you finish up faster! The group splits up into two different routes, the 5-milers go one way, and us 3-milers go another, all ending where we started. What better place to finish a run than an amazing pizza place?  Wow- that was good stuff! Bonus- we, ORC members get a discount! Run, pizza, and great conversation with some new friends. A terrific end to Monday. :)
This kid ate an entire slice of veggie pizza. You'd think he put in some miles, too..


Ah, this was my favorite run this week!  We headed over to Uptown Altamonte's Cranes Roost for our 5 miler.  Since it's about a one-mile loop around the lake, and knowing Jackson was pretty sleepy already, we decided to split up for this one. Tom could finish up sooner with the jogger, giving Jack a chance to run around afterwards.  Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to running a loop five times, but since the sun was already setting, it's one of our well-lit options.  I really love running here. The time flies by because you see so many people- walkers, runners, dancers, lunge-ers, stair runners, etc etc etc..  Besides the fact that you're running around a beautiful lake at sunset, and listening to my favorite podcast-- The Extra Mile, you're also encouraged by that one runner who you keep intersecting paths with, who's running the opposite way.  Just something about knowing they've been going at it for as long as you have, you kinda start keeping a lookout for them as a landmark and wanna give them a knowing "One more mile! Good job!"

I caught up with Tom and Jack after completing my run, and we had a BLAST watching the choreographed fountain show. They set it to a variety of songs, but my favorite was the "Hoedown" (ie, the "Beef. It's what's for dinner" commercial song!).  We danced away to that one. For the others, we just chilled on the short wall around the fountain, eating some gummy bears.  :)


Every Wednesday, the ORC meets up at 6am at the Einstein Bagels nearby.  So being a glutton for punishment, and for the reward of a bagel and coffee, I got myself and the baby up and out of the door in time for this one.  I'm not gonna lie, that was not my most comfortable run. 1- I'm an evening runner. 2- Pushing a jogger for 3 miles, when I just ran 5 miles the night before.. eh.. But you know what? I kept it under 11 minutes/ mile, which is really great for me under those circumstances. That just shows you how running with company really does encourage you to pick up the pace without even realizing it.  Something cool I became aware of later on- Tom actually saw us out there on his way to work! So yeah, he was the man hollering at us from his car. :) Thanks for the support, babe!

After our run, Jackson and I enjoyed breakfast with our runner friends. Einstein has an amazing line of seasonal 'pumpkin' items! I indulged in the iced pumpkin latte...mmm!  Paired it with a green chile bagel, of which Jackson decided he preferred over his Cheerios..hmmph! :P We also met another Wednesday morning regular, a beautiful Ibizan named Dimer. Such a unique, sweet dog! Jack noticed her right away, and she came to meet him nose-to-nose in his jogger.

Tom did his run later on, while Jack and I hung out at the park. :)
We try to let the little guy have plenty of time on his feet as well. :D

Thursday- Rest!


Time for another long run!  This wasn't as intimidating as last Friday, since 'If we can do 8, then 9 is only one more!" So we started out at Loch Haven Park, very close by to where Tom works. We knew there were trails that ran along here, in and out of numerous parks, so plenty enough ground to cover the distance we needed.  I tried a new Pandora station this time around- Andy Mineo, who I had recently heard on a local radio station and thought, "Wow- this would be great running music." ..And it was. I was surprised, refreshed, and encouraged by the quality and variety of Christian rap out there! It's not like a lot of the cookie-cutter stuff you hear on the typical 'safe for the whole family' stations. One song in particular stood out- "Just Like You," by Lecrae. Something about this style is just *perfect* for an intense workout, and like I said- powerful lyrics, no sugar coating here.

There were a couple things about this run that kept it from being 'ideal.' First, running with a 13 month old is a learning process.  Whatever it was- gas, boredom, over-tiredness, I don't know, but Jackson didn't handle this one too well. He was good for about 7 miles, but those last two miles were a struggle. We're still trying to figure out the best way to handle this.

The other thing was, somehow when we paused to take care of Jackson, the Runkeeper app somehow spazzed and recorded a 4:30 mph minute for me.. So somehow my mileage was screwed up slightly, but didn't realize till after the fact when I was going through my run details on the app.  I just hit "stop" when it said I'd finished 9 miles. Tom still had about a mile to go somehow. It couldn't have been too far off though, since my average was pretty close to what it normally is.

Saturday- Cross Training

Like last week, we headed to the beach for our one hour walk.  This time we checked out a new one though- the Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville.  Wow- so much more secluded and wild! You have to drive quite a-ways through the wilderness till you get to the beach behind the dunes. We walked as far along the beach one direction until we reached restricted NASA territory and had to turn around. It was really tempting to explore, given the fact that nobody was around and that fence wasn't in any shape to keep us out..haha! ..but we didn't. We're parents now. ;-)


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week One

Sundays = Rest Days

I decided I would also make them weigh-in days, and as I'll spare the numbers, I'm gonna go ahead and post a weekly photo to keep track of some weight loss progress (hopeful!)


For our 3 miles, we took it to the Seminole Wekiva Trail on a hot (91F) afternoon.  Some neat discoveries were made, including these:
Some research proved them to be "Beautyberries."  Pretty cool, right? Apparently squirrels love them. We also spotted a large gopher tortoise which was, believe it or not, moving too quickly for us to get a picture.

Before our first official training run. :)

And after! 


Today I was prepared to hop out of bed when Tom got up at 5am, down a cup of coffee, jump into my running clothes, and whisk my sleeping child off to Lake Baldwin! When it was all said and done, we started our 5 mile pace run at about 6:45 am, just as the sun was starting to sneak up.
Do you see the plane up there? Jackson LOVES watching the airplanes here.


We did it- 5 miles!!  Then Jackson enjoyed a whole wheat banana pancake on the shore in the beautiful Fleet Peeples Dog Park.  It was a beautiful run in the low 70's.  I didn't average my goal of 10 min/ mi, but ran about 11:29, which I was happy with since I was pushing the jogger.  We saw SO many other runners and cyclists out. It's a nice 2.5 mile loop. I did find it tricky deciding if I should greet every person I saw, knowing that many of them I probably had already previously greeted on our first time around..hehe. :-x Oh well, when you pass these two, you're gonna get a friendly "Good morning!" maybe even twice.


We knew the clouds were moving in, but we had to do it. 1- because it's in the plan, 2- because I couldn't justify eating some Publix Premium Chocolate Cookie Quarry frozen yogurt if I didn't run first. :-o  So we went for it. Tom had his radar going and changed plans to try and avoid the rain and we started here:
That's right. A cemetery at sunset.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough trail in there to cover our needed 3 miles, so we took it to the streets. Unfortunately also, just shy of a mile into our run, the rain hit us, and it hit us hard.  We practically swam our way back to the car. We did finish our run, and I actually enjoyed the change of scenery- running alongside a semi-busy road, at night time, in the pouring rain.  We've never run in rain this heavy. Seriously could have used a pair of goggles!
Drenched on the outside, now to hydrate the insides!
Thursdays = Rest Days

Fridays: Long Runs

Here we go. We knew it would come- our first long run.  We decided to change our training plan from Novice 1 to Novice 2, which meant a difference of 2 miles today.  8 miles- is this crazy? It had been a lonnng time since I ran this distance, but hey, mind over matter, right?  That's what running's all about!  So, no questions asked, we just did it.  
Ready, Set, Run!

We had to dodge these locust things for about our second half-mile stretch.. Yeah, I could have done without seeing them, too. :P
Whoops, better turn around!

Some highlights from this run- 1. WATER! I'm glad we brought plenty.  That's what's nice about pushing a jogger around, plenty of storage space for things like bottled water, books and toys to entertain Jackson if he gets bored, etc. 2. GUMMY BEARS! Yeah, that's right. I gobbled up three of those bad boys while running through an intersection with about 2 miles left to go and boy were they a pick-me-up! Wow, they tasted so good.  Mile 7 was a real goofy one for me. I don't know what happened, but I was so giddy. Maybe it just took me that long to realize, "Hey, I GOT this!!" I love that point in a long run when you can just joke around with your running buddies and not feel like you're jeopardizing your run. :) 

Afterwards, in our sweat-drenched clothes, we hit up our favorite local pizza joint- Julia's, where we knew it was not likely to be too crowded, and it wouldn't be too cold since they don't usually have an AC on. Nothing like rewarding an hour and a half + cardio workout with a good meal and great company!

Saturdays = Cross Train Days

Usually, this will mean an hour of walking for us, just cause it works out best. We have other options like swimming or doing some gym machines, but honestly, I can't swim for an hour, and I certainly don't want to be stuck on a cardio machine inside the gym for an hour of my Saturday.

This afternoon we headed out to New Smyrna Beach.  Wow- what a gorgeous day it was!  We started by packing Jack up in the jogger and walking briskly down the beach for a half hour, turning around for the half hour back, completing over 3 miles-- then it was time to swim! 

Jackson could not wait to get out and explore. The beach is one of his favorite things, along with cars and airplanes. Today he had a bonus- an airplane flying close to the beach with a "Thank you for marrying me" banner.  We assumed it had something to do with the wedding we passed! Congrats, April & Rich, whoever you are, and best wishes for your future!