Saturday, December 31, 2005

Stone age or sunrise? You be the judge!

Okay my friends, here goes! One of my resolutions is to share more of my art projects with others. I am such an overachiever, I am doing this on Dec. 31st! I call this one "Running At Sunrise on Brown's Road". Hopefully no bad guys are reading this blog and decide to stalk me on this beautiful rural road. But if they do, I am ready with my mace!

Now back to my painting.I really like how I captured the orange with the blue sky and I also meant for the forground to be shades of black, because that is what the ground really looks like when you are running at sunrise on a crisp winter morning. But I realized the trees do not really look like that. The oak tree needs more thin branches branching out and the pine branches grow more up not out like I showed them. I can fix the oak tree's branches, but oh well on the pine tree. My husband doesn't like the blackness of the ground. My older son loves this painting, he even published it on his music blog. I was so touched! Although I had a fleeting thought that maybe he liked so much because his dad didn't, you know how the son-stepdad relationship can be.

I have realized my blog has hardly mentioned running or chocolate lately. Well, I have been running about 20-25 miles per week, but my right hip flexor is sore so I am not going overboard. I am stretching a lot and working out the lactic acid build up. With regards to chocolate, I have been basically mainlining the junk since Christmas. Being home all week stealing the kids' candy from their stockings has been fun, but I am definitely ready for the routine and regularity work brings to my life. Ask me if I still feel that way on Thursday of next week!! Above is a photo of my running club before our Christmas breakfast celebration. We have just finished our Sat. morning run and the photographer's wife was slaving away making us some awesome french toast and bacon while we were running. I couldn't figure how to make the photo be down here at the bottom. I am the one dressed like Mrs. Claus. It was soooo totally great! Tomorrow we are meeting to run at 8:00am to celebrate the new year. I am not sure what to wear! I'll try to remember my camera!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 Resolutions

Well it's that time of year again. The 'do-over' of adulthood - New Year's Resolutins. I have decided I am going write all of my resolutions in a positive word. I hope that will help me keep them.
1. Keep perspective about my fitness performance. Run when I feel healthy, walk when something hurts and feel happy with my race times - no matter what they are. I have concluded that my running obsession must be something that fuels me in a nurturing positive way. I can not allow it to bring stress to my life. My job and family already bring enough stress in my life. My fitness program must alleviate, not add, to that stress. I would like to get out and run/walk 4-5 times a week, with a weekly mile total between 20-35 miles. I plan to run a race/month, focusing on the ten mile races. I have had the most fun and success running the ten milers in the past and have decided it would be rewarding to train for them. I also plan to run one marathon this year. I plan to practice yoga at least fifteen minutes a day five days per week and attend one class per week.
2. Nuture myself and others. I believe that in order provide nuturing care to my family, I first have to nuture myself. I plan to schedule regular massages and other female care; ie manicures or cool hairdos! Then I want to make sure I take care of my marriage and children. Give my husband a loving card weekly, do something out of the ordinary for my kids; ie let them have ice cream before dinner or send them an email to say hello. I have to think of more creative ways to stay close with my kids. They are approaching teenagehood and I want to keep the relationship strong. Also in this resolution, I am including eating healthy. I really want to look at the food pyramid and actually try to eat what they reccommend. That will mean cutting down on the candy, but I know I will feel better if I do.
3. Spend at least one hour a week on my art. This seems so sad that I have to make a resolution about my creative expression, but if I don't plan for it, I will not do it nearly enough. I also want to put my art "out there" for others to see. I have been so shy about my art, I am sick of being so shy. I love what I make and it is selfish of me to keep to myself. I want to show people my view of the world. Actually, I was inspired to paint a picture of the sunrise I saw while running the other day with my two girlfriends. I showed the painting to my husband and he said he didn't like it, it looked like the stone age! But that is okay, that is what he saw and I have to start appreciating the feedback from others and realizing that it can help me to become even more accomplished. I plan on giving the painting to my girlfriends. We'll see if I actually have the gutts to give it to them.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Five Random Facts About Beth

1. I am left-handed and think it is really cool to be so!

2. I delivered all three of my boys totally naturally - no pain belief at all. It wasn't even that hard. My first labor was regular eight hours of hard work, but for number two, the time was cut down by half. My third baby was one of those movie delivieries, he was delivered twenty-one minutes after I arrived at the hospital. The weird thing about that delivery was the labor pains after he was delivered were flippin' awful. My midwife friend said it was my uterus trying to get to its original size, I decided the pain was worth it then!

3. I am an artist, but I often think my artwork looks like a ten year old made it! I have decided that is okay with me!

4. When I was little, I loved when my babysitter read me poetry while we drank tea at her kitchen table.

5. I am afraid of chickens, roosters, and geese, but not ducks. My parents divorced when I was four years old and my father lived on a farm afterward. I basically lived on a farm for half the time and those awful poultry birds always scared the bejesus out of me!!! My fear has sorta turned to hate now!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

I am recovered from my ailments and love running again. I think I am rejuvenated around running because I have found some very supportive running friends. We meet every Sat. and Sun. morning at 6:30am to run between 6-10 miles. My new running friends are much faster than I am, but they include me and never make me feel like I am a burden. I keep up with them as long as possible (usually till the first big hill, I suck on the hills) and thereafter they just keep doubling back at our turns. They keep me motivated to keep running and they also keep me safe. I am sure many of you have already read about the jogger that was killed while running in the rural area of Woodstock, CT. I enjoy running solo, but for right now I prefer running with a group.

I am also excited about running with some runners that are better than I am because I know I will improve while running with them. About three years ago, I joined another bunch of runners that were better than me and I improved a lot. I ran my fastest marathon after training with them. I am planning on training for a spring marathon. I met with my Boston relatives yesterday to celebrate xmas and I have put them on the job of helping me obtain a Boston "scrub" number from a firefighter or police officer. I know its not the appropriate running way to run Boston, but I don't really care!!! My step-dad qualified last week in a marathon in South Carolina, so hot damn, I want to run the Boston Marathon with him or shall I say way behind him!!

Tonight my friend Deb and I are running a Christmas Lights run in our town. We are meeting at the middle school at 6:30 and plan on running through the streets to see all the neighborhood light displays. Our town running club held a similar run last week at our local soup kitchen. All the members meet at the soup kitchen with our donations and then we ran about three miles together looking at the more award-winning displays. Then we had our club meeting and ate pizza. Tonight we are going to run a little longer distance and check out just the regular joe-smoe decorations. Gotta love the Christmas season!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sick as a dog :(

I have been sick now for a whole week and it totally SUCKS!! First it started out as a flu type thing with chills that actually kinda hurt and a fever. Then after forcing myself to truck my kiddos around to basketball games and puppet ministry shows, I was really really sick. After about two days of taking it easy, I now only have a nasty cold. My lungs are so full of gunk, I can hardly move. I'll be in the middle of a read-aloud at school and just have to stop reading altogether from the fact I might keel over forwards from hacking. You should see those little sweet very terrified faces when I am coughing so hard that I can't talk or tie their shoes. I have run a little though and I plan on running tomorrow morning.

To end, I have another appreciation for running in the frigid cold and ice, I HAVE to run slowly so I don't fall. It is such a great excuse for doggin' it!! I was having a ball on Tuesday morning when I realized there was no way I could possibly go any faster without breaking my neck!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thoughts and Ponderings

I have been doing a lot of reflection lately. I am not sure why, maybe with the year end approaching or the change of season or pms, who knows. One interesting reflection I had was about the co-ed softball team season that just ended. I played softball in high school and co-ed in college. That was 18 years ago. Yeah, I was a little nervous starting out on this team. They say it is supposed to be relaxed and fun, but I could tell this team wanted to win. All my insecurities rushed to my brain, oh my god I am going to strike out in slow pitch (which I did in the first game, but that was the only time, the walk back to the bench was longer than any marathon!!) or oh shit they're going to throw the ball to me or oh my god, did he just tell me to slide!!! I sucked it up and made every game. I was definitely the only girly-woman on the team, well there was one other girly-woman, but I was way girlier. By girly-woman, I mean when I made a mistake, I said sorry and giggled nervously instead of spitting. So I often felt very intimated. BUT the thing was after the end of the season as I looked back, I felt totally different about the whole team experience. I started the season feeling like I really did not belong on the team, by the end I realized I was almost as good as any of those players and better than some!! It is amazing what our brains do to us.

Running can also be a mind-f***, as we all know. Right now I am not running my best and it sucks. I just have to figure out how to enjoy the actual motion of running and let go of the competetiveness for a while. There are so many other benefits of running; staying in shape, being able to eat more food, friendship, being outside, the list goes on and on.

I have found one chocolate item I will be able to resist. I ordered a Dunkin' Donuts coffee with a shot of chocolate flavor for the heck of it. Auggghhhh, it was a cross between gasoline and watered down chocolate syrup. It was pretty disgusting, did I still drink the whole thing, yes, of course. Another chocolate thing I baked this week also turned out to be kind of weird. I baked cookies with these new chips that are half chocolate/half caramel. They tasted okay, but I think I'll stick with my basic old fashioned chocolate chip cookie for my Christmas baskets.

I'll leave you with another positive of running; jokes that your running partners share while you are running up a gigantic hill in 19' frigid early morning weather. Keep in mind that my friend told this joke to me while I was the only female running that morning. I was running with three viril men that cold, cold morning. We were discussing stupid things we've done while running marathons that have effected our health and finishing time. The joke goes like this:

"God gave men two main organs with only enough blood to go to one at a time."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Feelin' Groovy

I ran in the Parker Holt 5K today in Manchester, CT. I was so freaked out about how awful I felt during last weekend's race, that I got the net and signed up for one this weekend. I felt MUCH better this weekend and my time showed it. I am still not running as fast as I would like, but I just wanted to feel competetive today and I did. It was a very cool course, it was a big snakey course around a small community college campus. It also included "great path", a paved nature path.

The race was in a town about 25 miles away from my own town, therefore I did not know anyone. I think that helped me to bring my race-running back to myself. I did not know if the women ahead of me were indeed my age or not. I just ran the race I wanted to run. I was about 40 secs. slower than my goal, but there was an amazing head wind for a lot of the run that really slowed me down on the last mile. Last weekend, I knew that the Running Chicks would beat me and it was sort of mentally defeating. They are running very well right now, hopefully I can do some speed work this winter and be in better shape for the spring race season.

One thing that might help is if I stop stealing all my three children's Halloween candy. I am so sugared out my stomach hurts almost all the time! I know I am supposed to be running for chocolate, but there is a limit. I just love those little candy bars. I eat about 8 everyday. Then I usually have a bowl of ice cream after dinner with a small bag of M&Ms, of course. Yes, a new diet would probably help my speed.

Another happy thing for me is that I bought myself a new MP3 player. I jinxed myself when I wrote my confession about using one while running. The flippin thing broke the next day or so. I have been running solo ever since and it sucks. I impulse-bought a rave mp at BJs and was pleasantly surprised when it rang up $20 cheaper than the shelf price. YEAH! So I'll be running with the Dixie Chicks and Bonnie Raitt tomorrow. I want to download some Gretchen Wilson too, but my computer-wiz son is on a school trip to Washington, DC so I'll have to figure it out on my own. Thank you, CJ, for sending my some helpful tips about sprucing up my blog. I have yet to try the advice, but hope to very soon!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Help me, I am blogger-challenged!!

Hello everyone! I need some technical assistance with my blog. I want to know how to link other sites in my blog entry. I tried the "insert link" icon, but I want to just show the blogger's name, not the whole text. Also, I want to add a list of blogs I visit often on the side of my blog. I don't know how to do that either. I think you must use the same method to list my personal bests as well. So if any of you kind bloggers would tell me how to complete these tasks, I would be ever appreciative!

Onto today's race, oh my goodness, I felt HORRIBLE! I just could not run fast. I tried, believe me!, but my body just said NO! My time was 25:48 for a very fast course. I have run worse races, but I have never felt so bad. It is a very flat course with not a whole lot to look at. It is also an out and back so you know how much you have left to complete. I usually like all of these features in a race!! Well another factor for me was the start time. I usually run at 5:30am so even the 8:00 starts are an adjustment for me. This race started at 1:00pm. I had not paid attention to my food intake and I drank too much coffee before the start and not enough water. Well, you are never to old to learn from your mistakes and I will try to fit in a little more speed work to my running schedule. I guess any type of speed work would be helpful!

My next race is a 5K named the Santa's Run in Glastonbury, CT on Dec. 4th. I like these types of races because there is no pressure to place and all the option of having fun. There are about 1200 participants and there is a costume competetion. I plan on trying place in the costume competetion, not the running race!! We received our team running singlets today for our local running club. I have to figure out a way to work my new shirt into my costume! It's hard to believe it is almost Christmas! Yikes!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Running on Empty

I had a great race last week in Mystic. It was cloudy and about 40 degrees with a little bit of wind. I usually tend to overdress, but my very successful marathon-running friend always tells me to take off some of my clothes - very platonically!! So today I braved the elements and took his advice. I ran in only shorts and a t-shirt, I was a little cold at first, but the other nine miles were much more pleasant for me. I realized how nuts I get when my long sleeves get all sticky sweaty on my arms.

Jon over at provided photographs of his marathon, critisizing virtually everything about his form. Well, I thought he looked pretty good actually, but was I ever glad to have a friend in need when I got my pictures back from this race. I felt totally awesome, refreshed and felt at the end I could have run even faster even though I achieved a personal best (1:25:45 for ten miles). BUT my photos tell another story! Oh my goodness, I look like I am running the 25th mile of my worst marathon. My form is awful, I look exhausted, YUCK! I guess I kinda like the finish line photo. The photographers were stationed on uphills, so that might explain the funny facial expressions or the over-exaggerated forward posture. You can see for yourself, if you want a good laugh at Then press Mystic Places Marathon. Then put in my bib number 1679. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to link you! Even my arm swing is so obviously bad. Aughhhhhh! I really feel like I suck sometimes.

Anyway on to the next race. This Sunday I will run a 5K in my hometown hopefully the running chick won't be there!! Just kidding, Dianna, I love getting beat by you! Report to follow the race!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

October 16, 2005 To MP3 or Not To MP3?

I have been dealing with a dilemma for awhile now. I must confess to my fellow running enthusiasts. I have been running with a musical device. There I said it, I mean wrote it. Last summer, I bought a middle of the road MP3 player after having music envy of my son's expensive IPOD. (he received the IPOD from my parents as a gift, I couldn't afford to get a 12 year kid a 300.00 toy) I flippin' love running with my MP3 player. I must confess to feeling overwhelming guilt while I use it though. All I can hear in my brain is all those disclaimers about the dangers of running under distraction. I swear I make sure I can hear cars and dogs, but I have been getting spooked by all the boogie man noises that happen at 5:30 in the morning now that it is pitch black.

My favorite music to listen to is the Dixie Chicks Live album. I love the cheering in the background, I imagine it's for me while I am finishing the Boston Marathon. I also love listening to Bonnie Raitt Road Tested. I have a variety of softer stuff from the 50s for when I am tired and just want to veg out and jog. It also has a radio option if I want to hear the news. So now it's out, my dirty little secret. I hope you all can forgive me and still read my blog.

I getting psyched for the Mystic Ten Miler. I haven't raced since August 5th. I am chopping at the bit to get back in there. I hope to finish the race under 90 minutes. I have been able to do that the past two years. I should be able to do again this year. Usually it is rainy and windy for this race, hopefully we got the rain out of the way this past week. Today was the first dry day in nine days!!! I was so depressed from the rain, I could never live in Seattle or London. I hope it is a nicer day this year for the race, so we can play a little on the beach after the race. Well, have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2005

October 10, 2005 Getting Your Groove On

I am now training for the Mystic Marathon Ten Mile Race which will be held on October 23, 2005. I am recovering nicely from whatever was going on with my right leg, the pain travels from behind my knee up to the outer hip and sometimes the front hip flexor. But whatever injury it is; rest, stretching and taking a break from racing has helped a lot.

Since I haven't put in a ten miler in about a month, I was nervous to go out and run a tempo long run to get ready for this next race. But once I got out there this morning, I felt flippin' sweet! I don't know if it was because this morning it finally stopped pouring rain, so mentally I was just happy to be outside without be drenched or what. This weekend I unfortunately had to miss the Hartford Half Marathon due to a totally cool wedding in Boston, but I did get in six miler before the wedding in the typhoon conditions. The whole run I was thanking my lucky stars I had to go the wedding rather than running a half marathon in that mess.

But running in the rain is one thing, it's actually kinda fun. Let me tell you about being a soccer mom though. Sitting in the pouring rain watching your kids play soccer gets old pretty fast and of course our town hosts this huge tournament this weekend with hundreds of teams. The whole town is taken over by minivans and on a rainy Columbus day weekend every restaurant and store is filled with dirty, I mean dirty, little soccer players. When you are a kid, the dirtier you get, the better you must have played.

But let's get back to my totally sweet run this morning. I slept like crap because I am either getting a cold or suffering from my allergies, either way I can't sleep because I can't breathe. So it was easy to wake up and run at 5:00 because I wasn't sleeping anyway. I chose to run alone today because I wanted to push myself and really get the pace I want to run the race integrated in my body and groove. It was so easy and effortless and felt so good I swore I was never going to run with a partner ever again. That idea won't last long because I save myself millions of dollars every year in therapy bills due to running with my friends and venting about well, of course, my husband mostly. (We do talk about other things though!) Eight miles flew, I mean flew by. My body was just a machine, running its most comfortable "fast" pace with no pain anywhere. I was soooo happy.
Let's just leave it at that.

Friday, September 30, 2005

October 1, 2005 Me at the 2005 Boston Marathon!

This is me at the 2005 Boston Marathon. Don't I look great for uh, watching my friends run the marathon? I actually am technologically challenged at times and I think I uploaded myself with mini Groucho twice. I am not sure!! I know it is a lot of work shopping and eating yummy, bad for you food while my friends are out running 26.2 miles. I can't help it that I"ll absolutely never ever qualify and have to make such sacrifices as eating just made, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates.

Actually my family is from Boston and I have entertained the idea of obtaining a "scrub" bib number from one of my relatives that either is a Boston "firafighta" or "police offisa" or "docta". I really want to run the Boston Marathon for my Mass. marathon. I could raise the donation money in order to run it too. I am waiting for any of my close running partners to finally qualify so I could run part of it with them. The person I watched in 2005 I love very much, but he finished in 3 hours 6 minutes so ever running any part of the marathon with him is definitely out of the question!! I am really hoping Dianna qualifies so I can try to run part of it with the Running Chicks!

This week has been uneventful. I only ran twice and practiced yoga twice. I plan on running about nine miles on Saturday and about six on Sunday to get some mileage in. I hope everyone has a fun weekend. Bye for now!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

September 24, 2005 Run Less, Lose Weight?

There is a mystery among us. Since I have been taking a slight break from the longer runs and mega miles, I have been enjoying some relaxing three mile runs with no pressure for speed or performance. I just bask in the warm, end-of-the-summer weather and blab with my post partum running partner. We are a perfert match right now. She's too tired to be competitive and my right leg is too stiff, therefore we enjoy eachother's company and wake up run (we run at 5:30am!). So anyway, I am running about ten to fifteen miles less per week now for about three weeks and I am losing weight!?! Can one of you smartypants runners please explain this to me?

I have my own theory actually. I believe that when I am packing in the miles, like reaching the forty mile/week mark, my body goes into starvation mode and holds on to all my fat. So when I back off and become more balanced between running, weight training and yoga, it is actually more healthy for my overall health and wellness. I could be just nuts, but tell me what you think.

Thank you all my RBF friends for the ammunition for my next codependent fight I have with my beer pong playing, peter pan complex, dork husband! By the way almost no one knew what beer pong is, I shall enlighten you, I know your life might not be complete without this knowledge. Beer pong is a drinking game played on a ping-pong table. You set up cups of beer in a triangle shape and you and a partner try to bounce a disgusting, grass covered pingpong ball into the other teams' beer triangle. If you make it, they drink it. The whole thing is pretty gross. But the grossest alcoholic thing my peter pan husband has exposed me to is the ice luge. How about that one? Anyone know what that is? Well talk about germs and freaky ways to drink. Okay, an ice luge is a huge block of ice sitting on the back of some hick's truck. The said hick carves a trail into the ice block, then a stupid drunk squats at the bottom of the luge while another hick pours some type of hard liquor down the path. All I can think of is all the germs at the end of the luge where everyone has their lips wide open catching the poison.

Hope you all are enjoying the autumn weather, praying for those in Texas. I hope Rita weakens before it hits land. See you soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

September 18, 2005

My life is full right now, I don't even know what I am doing from day to day sometimes. Listen to this:
Saturday (my day off mind you)
Wake up 5:00am go food shopping at the 24-hour Stop and Shop (thank god a reasonable store stays open twenty-four hours too, I hate shopping at Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart for the whole evil empire thing and because without fail every time I walk in there for about ten dollars worth of merchandise, I spend $5o, even when I am not with my three begging kids! BUT anyway) Went shopping, couldn't buy anything frozen because I had to leave the groceries in my car while I ran with my "adoptive" father an easy nine miler at 6:00.

6:00-7:30Ran with "dad" a nice, easy, very scenic nine mile run past a bunch of farms in rural CT. He is running for first selectman in our town so I got to hear all the juicy campaign gossip. You would not believe what bizarre things happen in local politics, I can only imagine what happens at the state and federal level! YUCK!

7:30 Stopped to stretch a very tight right hip, yet confirming all the RBFs diagnosis for my knee injury the last couple of weeks. Hip felt better after stretching and coffee!

8:00 Quick shower and breakfast bar. Tried to pick up my house, not much progress made.

9:00-11:00 Coached micro soccer team. Oh my goodness, some "bright" , too competetive soccer hitler suggested we make our micro players, six and seven year olds, play seven player on seven player to get them "Ready" (my ass) for the "next level so we can win some more games when blah, blah, blah". It was chaos. Imagine fourteen players all trying to kick the ball in one big clump. They did learn a little about positioning, but some kids never even touched the ball once, well frankly they were probably saying, " no way, I getting into that mess!" Luckily, reason prevailed and next week we are back to playing three players against three players. It was hot and frustrating, but in the end I think everyone did have fun. We will all have more fun next week though!

11:30 Arrived home to eat lunch and clean the house, remember didn't get much done before. Well at 11:47, we lost power - no vacuuming, no water to wash my disgusting kitchen floor, no water or power to wash 14 or so loads of laundry, no nothing.

12:00-2:00 Sat around looking at eachother, wondering what to do next. Yelled at kids for opening the refrigerator door, obssessed about when the hell I would get those 14 loads of laundry done, obsessed about the porto-potty smell that was attacking my bathrooms, kept flipping light switches because I would forget. It is amazing how much we need electricity.

2:00-9:00 Attended jack and jill party. Fun, good food and was hot enough to swim in the nice pool that was still open. Had to drag very plastered husband home after too many games of beer pong. How old do you have to be in order to be considered pathetic that your wife has to lug you home from beer pong? This is the question!!?? Obviously, my husband and I don't agree on what age one must stay away from the beer pong table. Help me out here my running buddies, tell me what you think.

9:00-9:30 Put my very tired, sweet children to bed. Just hoping my husband was passed out, I mean asleep upstairs, so I can read my book in peace!

9:30-10:00 Whew, he's snoring. Read a couple chapters of Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. Excellent book, highly reccommend any of his books.

Now listen to what's in store for today:
6:30 missed my running buddies, not sure what to do. I guess I'll run later today.

6:45 went downstairs to do one of those 14 loads of laundry from yesterday to find I flippin' left the washer door open. Now I have 14 1/2 loads to do!! Started blogging to get away from it all.

7:50 finished my post

Left to do:
14 loads of laundry
all the housekeeping
church from 9:30-11:30
softball game at 12:15 (my first game in like ten years, so I am little nervous)
son's soccer game at 3:00, I 'll try to run an easy three while my son's team warms up
5:00 come home and crash!!!!

See you soon, remember I want your feedback about beer pong age appropriateness!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sept. 11, 2005 On The Mend

Well, I have listened to all the good advice from my RBF friends and stayed off my knee for awhile. I am happy to say my knee is pretty much better. I continue to stretch and make sure I listen to the tweaks and twinges a little closer. I have decided to let go of my marathon training until I feel completely healed. It is funny, I feel a lot better, but my knee feels tentative and weak at times. I believe that if I continued to run long miles I would regret it. Today I ran seven easy miles and I felt good but not perfect. Why do you think trail running bothers my joints more, I thought trail running was supposed to be easier on your knees?

Another seasonal obsession I have is collecting little critters for my class to observe for a short period. We always let them go before they die as long as they don't escape before we get a chance to let them go. I am sad to report I found a very dried up frog in my bookshelf this August that escaped last May. YUCK! Currently, I am searching high and low (mostly low) for a monarch butterfly caterpillar to have my students watch it metamorph(sp?grammar?). My running partners know that at any moment I may dart off into some hopfully friendly farmer's field furiously searching the underbody of the milkweed plants!! I have not been able to locate any yet. There are caterpillar dealers that sell these little green guys, but it so much more fun when you can find them "in the wild"!!

Well, time to go pick apples, a New England must-do in the autumn. Have to run a few extra miles to work off the apple pie. Yes, I do enjoy other treats beside chocolate. Not anywhere near as much though! Chocolate rules, of course!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sept. 4, 2005 The Therapy of Running

I have been thinking about what wonderful therapeutic benefits runnning offers. While reading fellow blogs, I also observe how therapeutic running can be for others as well. I am amazed at how angry I can be about something (usually at my husband, of course) at the beginning of a run and with every pounding of my sole (ha, ha) the madness slowly melts away. If I am running with a group or partner, I can usually come up with a plan as well.

My last long run illustrated the therapy of running perfectly. My partner was rightfully angry at his daughter for a really dumb move on her part. At the beginning of the nine mile run, he was never talking to her again. She was "out of the family forever". By the end of our run, he said maybe he would speak to her in maybe two years or so!! I loved it!! One of the principles I use in my work with my social and emotional challenged students is to teach them that their madness goes away - a concept that has not been taught to them yet. I love the way running helps the "madness go away"!!

I find that partner or group running is far more therapeutic for me than if I am running alone. While running alone, I can find myself obsessing over some issue and returning home even more angry. The plans made on my lone runs can be really stupid ones! Unfortunately for my husband, he has to put up with whatever stupid plan I made!!

Thank you to all of the RBF members who gave me some great advice on my knee pain. I think you were all accurate, because now my whole leg is tender!! I have continued to rest and stretch. That is my new mantra. Oh I still practice yoga everyday too, of course! Well, I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Can't wait to read about the RBF's experience in New Haven.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

August 31, 2005 OUCH! My knee hurts!

On one of my long runs, my knee started feeling twingy (made up running word?!?). I was running downhill after about twelve miles and boy, I just did not like how my right knee felt. It was still tender afterwards, but I did not really think about it. Then I noticed it was feeling weak, but being the running addict that I am, I continued to run on it. Then I did a few more uneventful long runs, a trail run and a hilly race. I think the trail run sorta tweaked it and the race did me in!! Even my injured twelve-year-old son beat me in the race!! He is a good runner, but come on, I am still taller and I thought I was healthier. Maybe he is healing!! So now my knee hurts when I am going downstairs and I have taken a break from running for three days. I have to say the break has helped it feel a lot better, but I am scared to continue marathon training. Has anyone experienced the downhill knee pain before and what has helped you to heal?

I have started school, I am a teacher, so my blogging time will be limited unless I blog during my lunch hour like everyone else in the world. Yet anyone who teaches young children knows your lunch hour is more like a five minute pee break and maybe you can catch your breath. Occasionnally, I might have the extra ten minutes of time to enjoy a reese's peanutbutter cup or a bag of m&m's (my drug of choice) while my assistant teacher puff on her cigs. But I do enjoy reading and communicating with other obsessed runners, so I plan on posting at least once per week.

All for now!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

August 20, 2005 PUMPED!!

I just returned majorly pumped up from completing a seventeen miler!! I haven't run more than thirteen miles in two years. Last night, I carbo-loaded with some veggie pizza and some-mores with double marshmellows and double chocolate , of course. We had a fun campfire with my children and one of my best buddies currently on a postpartum hiatus from running, Dena (a kickass runner when she isn't nursing a newborn!!). The night was fun and the full moon sky was cloudy but beautiful anyway. Everyone was in bed by 9:30, giving me plenty of sleep.

I awoke at 5:00am to eat a peanutbutter sandwich and water. Lubed up the likely-to-chafe areas, put a band-aid in the spot where I blistered at the Johnny Kelly race and headed out. I started out tired and a little nervous, but by mile two I had found my groove. At mile seven, I stopped at my "adoptive" parents' house to re-hydrate and of course, go to the bathroom!! Then I continued on to the more picturesque part of the route. It was pretty, but I was struggling by about mile ten. I used mind over matter and got through some tough miles. Then at about mile thirteen, I said "to hell with this slow shit" and I kicked it in and ran the next four miles with ease. I am amazed at how sometimes you have to run a little faster during your long runs to actually feel better. I felt so invigorated at the finish, I walked a while to regroup and did some sun salutations, a yoga breathing/stretching pose. I was so happy. :)

I have a little secret that has helped my running incredibly and it is called YOGA! I LOVE YOGA!! I have been practicing yoga for only a month, but it has improved my running experiences tenfold. I highly reccommend it to any human, but especially us runners who take joy from beating up their bodies!! Rock on!!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

August 18, 2005 Entertaining another marathon?!?

Yes, I am actually thinking of running the Clarence deMar marathon in New Hampshire. I felt so good after the Johnny Kelly 12-miler that I thought well maybe I have another marathon in me. My last marathon was the Vermont City Marathon in 2003 and it was great. The next year I hurt my hip skiing and had to lay off the long runs. I decided the half-marathon and ten-milers were the longest races for me. They were actually quite effortless and fun. Plus, I got to the food and post-race party before all the marathoners!! I didn't have to worry about bruised up feet, intense chafing and extreme fatigue with the shorter distances. Yet in the back of my mind, I had this nagging going on.

I had set a goal for myself way back in 2001 at the time of my first marathon, Hartford. That goal was to run a marathon in every New England state. I have New Hampshire and Mass. to go. I am, of course, saving Boston for my last marathon. I will never qualify time-wise, but I planned on raising the donation for entry when my body felt ready. To tell the truth, my body has recovered from all injuries, it is the mental preparedness I felt I lacked to push and complete another marathon. So, I decided I would sign up for the deMar marathon if I could run a 15 mile long run on the past very hot, very very humid Saturday morning successfully. And I DID it!!! So on with my training!! This weekend I plan to log a 17 miler and I just hope it is not as humid as last week.

I had a similar experience as Dianna, the running chick, regarding sweat. I was running down Main St. towards my end of my run at about 8:00am and was receiving many peculiar looks from morning risers getting their papers or coffee. Let's just say, I looked like I needed a convenient potty break. I was searching for any sprinklers or pool to jump in. On Saturday, I have to plan my long run to end at a swimming hole. There is nothing like jumping in to a cool refreshing pond or lake after working your body that hard. It makes for an interesting ride home though - very, very soggy shorts!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Back for more August 7, 2005

Johnny Kelly update:
I don't know what math I was doing when I thought I could run 12 miles in 95 minutes! I did have a really good time(experience) running the John Kelly though. As far as my actual running time, I improved my last year's time by one minute. It was very hot and lots of traffic, I don't remember the traffic being so bad in years past. I ran with a great friend for the first nine miles, then had a great kick for the last three. Upon finishing, I took a freezing cold dip in the Connecticut Sound and I felt awesome. I think the cold salt water helped with the few spots of chafing. I developed a blister too, which really sucked. I am sore today, but after an easy five miles today, I feel okay.

Another great feature of this race is the party. They provide clams on the half-shell and clam chowder for post-race food. They also provide soda, which I hardly every drink, but it tastes really good after running that far in the sweltering heat.

August 5, 2005 My first blog entry!!

Hello everyone,
I have finally joined the world of blogging. I have been obsessed with running for about four years now. I usually run so that I can eat whatever I want, but have been known to want to run to improve my race times. Speaking of races, I will race in the Johnny Kelly Road Race in New London, CT tomorrow. It is the last free race in CT (I think). It is a very flat 12-miler that starts and ends at Ocean Beach Park. I hope to finish is less than 95 minutes, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. My favorite part of this race is jumping in the ocean upon finishing. There is nothing like it. Well, my first blog entry is going to be a short one. But I hope I have more time to fool around with it later.