True Confession Thursday: Louse-y Week

Let’s have a little talk about honesty.  Yes, honesty.

When a mom says, “I kinda lost it with my kids a bit this afternoon.” [this happened the other day]

Kinda lost it roughly translates to – I locked myself in my bathroom after totally coming unglued.  I want to know why we aren’t really honest with one another?

Because my car NEVER looks like this....

Because my car NEVER looks like this….

In the spirit of honesty, life hasn’t been a lot of sunshine and rainbows coming out my…well you know where.

There are seasons when parenting is awesome and fun and so deeply fulfilling I can hardly believe that I get the opportunity to do it.  And then you realize your wine glass is empty and someone realizes they forgot to do a project due TOMORROW at 8am.

But seriously, despite the normal ups and downs we’ve had a few things going on with the boys (one in particular) and it’s been challenging to say the least.  The emotional, physical and even spiritual energy suck that has happened has meant a total revamp on life & what I spend time doing.

This all peaked last week when things got pretty louse-y.  It was slightly irritating and really bugged me, but one of the I realized one of the boys didn’t get the “Share hugs, not bugs” memo, the latter part of my entire week meant cleaning, treating lice.  Yes, I too joined the ranks of egg head joining in the infectious fun.

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Lice be gone…

I’m not going to nit pick or anything, but cleaning took up all of the spare time we had, so running was off the grid.  Once we were properly deloused and officially lice free, we opted to enjoy a little staycation which included a SURPRISE 10k.

Enter Grunion Run 10k.

A surprise race….shockingly soggy….and a second place sweep.

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I don’t look wet but I’m actually soaked.

I’ll spare you details on the pretty standard race other than it was rainy, I ran 45:05 and came in 2nd overall finish for women.  But it was quite the learning experience, which can pretty much be summed up by the spirit of Jock Jams.

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Bringing happiness and the running man to my house since 1995.

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble:  Let’s face it, sometimes you walk into a race with your game face prepped and ready to roll.  You do everything right – sleep, diet, training and the race just doesn’t pan out.  Other times you can push through the mile 2 dry heaving (hey, so maybe wine tasting, free champagne at the hotel and a heavy dinner aren’t a great idea the night before a race) and feel great after.  For me, I never know which it’s going to be, so I just always have to be ready to rumble.

It Takes Two (hundred):  While DJ EZ Rock thought it took two to make a thing go right, I found it’s actually 200 for me.  The last few weeks my runs have focused on my cadence [not familiar with this concept, read here].  During this race and  I finally found a number that just felt oh so right: 200.  I’ve typically been running around 170ish thus aggravating my back and jacking everything up the last few years.  But as I’ve slowly increased my cadence I have worked on a shorter stride with a strong mid-foot strike feels oh so right in all the right places and hanging in my happy place around 200.

Whoomp! There It is:  While big, highly organized races are fun and there’s a huge buzz about them, there is something amazing about small, local races.  I love watching the families participate, showing up 15 minutes before the race starts.  Turnout was low because it was raining (note: California breeds weather weenies).

Gonna Make You Sweat:  Nah, not much to say about this other than the fact that it’s STILL my favorite running song decades later when I need a little extra oomph in the middle of a long run or race.

What’s your favorite Jock Jam?

What tune gets your feet shuffling when you run?

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Just Around the River Bend!

Last week I got 20 miles in…slowly making my way back to normal and by slow, I mean REALLY slow miles.

Meh.

Instead of focusing on the long, slow recovery I’m going to focus on the exciting things around the corner.

This Saturday I have one of my most favorite races EVER:  the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon.  

Source

Photo from last year’s race…

I wrote about it a lot…(I seriously loved it so much) here, here, and here.  The trail, the views, the people, the super organized race…it’s all super amazing and I’m super excited Kiera (the race director) is giving me a chance to run it again.

I do know that this year’s race will not be the same as last year’s – I’m not in the same shape as I was and am still recovering from an injury.  This is not the race to lay it all out on the course.  This is a fabulously fun race with amazing people and I am excited to just finish (someone do me a favor and remind me of this on Saturday morning, okay?).

If you’re itching to get some miles in this weekend on the trail, registration is still open at the moment.  Sign up here.

On December 14, the boys and I are heading to Irvine to run the Rengade Race Series Troutman Sanders Santa Run.  Not only are there prizes for running fast, but there are also finisher’s medals (kid’s are thrilled) and costume prizes.  It’s a super family friendly race, and….prepare yourself…I’m actually working to put together costumes with the boys.  I NEVER run in costumes (or if we’re honest even dress up for Halloween), so this is a big deal in the casa.

I was looking up costumes for Vanilla and we found this gem and I almost died:

leglamp1Fear not, I doubt I will be as creative, but we are all working on something!

If you are interested in joining the crew and I for the Santa Run,be sure to register here and use the code SHEILAREP

What is the best running costume you’ve ever seen?

Any ideas for the costume contest?
I had one idea, but I was told it was lame sauce.

Get in Shape Girl

10 Miles
Switching it Up Strides

Yesterday I finally hit a double digit day.  This hasn’t happened since, um…May.  And yes, in the back of my mind I was thinking about this:

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Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who insisted on having a plastic chin up bar installed in the bathroom doorway of my childhood home….anyone, Bueller?

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand – I’ve let myself “running go”.

Could I run a half marathon right now?  Um….no, not without
A-wanting to die
B-get injured
C-hate myself.

So in Sheila-land I’m kind of out of running shape since I like to be able to at least go and do a half marathon at any point in time, it’s kind of the baseline for me.

I could make a list a mile long as to how I got here, but let’s sum it up – young, busy kids, work, the ice cream truck, and a few major life changes including a move and a trip back home to see the fam..

Summer lovin'

Summer lovin’

Where Am I Going?
To be honest, I don’t know…Right now I’m locked into one like a clingy teenage girl and the other I’m flirting with like it’s Friday night and I want a free drink.

-One certainty is visiting my friend Kevin at RauschPT to get a Run Right Assessment.  I know my form’s gotten out of whack and I’m tired of it and the aches and pains it brings.  It’s time to get rid of the janky right leg once and for all.

Janks be gone...

Janks be gone…

-The more noble but exhausting option I have is to really do something I’ve talked about for years – work on getting my half marathon time down…..like by 4 minutes.

To be honest I have REALLY mixed feelings on this.  I love running, I love competition and I love challenging myself (that’s a whole lotta love), but I’m also sorta in this place where I’m wanting to be sure I don’t take the fun and joy out of the sport I love by setting a really hard goal for myself.  Oh yeah, plus the thought of actually working on a goal right now sounds exhausting.  So I’ll just go all Bachelorette on this one and stew on whether or not to give this idea my final rose, and that will probably take a few more weeks, but it’s out there.

Did you remember Get in Shape Girl?

What goals are you working on these days?

Firecracker 5k Race Review

Part of my tour de Midwest included a pitstop in Tulsa OK.  Turns out (brace yourself, it’s a  shocker), there’s a 5k in town on 4th of July.  So I opted to hit the streets and run in the Firecracker 5k.

Upon my arrival to Oklahoma the night before the race, I walked into a restaurant and found this game laying out.  No offense to anyone in Oklahoma (I was raised out in the sticks in Illinois) but it just kinda felt like someone was sending a message….

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The next morning I hit the Tulsa Firecracker 5k,  I grabbed by bib about 45 minutes before the race and headed out to do a quick 1.5 mile warmup…which didn’t take long since it was fairly warm already.

IMG_4035As we lined up in the starting line, I heard a really interesting announcement – strollers would take off first.  To be honest, I was kind of surprised – why send them onto the course 5 minutes before the running crowd?  It seemed a little dangerous, but I went with it, and prepared to do my best “Frogger” moves in order to avoid the strollers about 10 minutes later.

While a group of 4 of us were running the race, I got up to the front, fully prepared to finish in time to snap pics at the finish line for 2 of the runners who were doing their first 5k.

Let’s talk for a minute about expectations – I’m out of running shape.  I’m going to address this later this week, but I wanted to put that out there.  I know I’m out of “race shape” and was also dealing with some monster GI issues since half my family had gotten sick two nights before after eating some tainted veggies at dinner.

After going out of the gate with a knowingly unrealistic, but still present hope of a PR and what was way too freaking fast, I slowed down my initial 6:20ish pace and then slowly faded into the 7-minute mile oblivion.  Mostly because my stomach hated me and was threatening to stage a very public and embarrassing revolt mid-race.  Plus the fatigue of travel, and the “it’s cool to you Tulsa, but hot and humid to my SoCal arse” all culminated in a spectacular blowout, and not like the good kind like the firecrackers I’d see later that night.

When all was said and done I ran a 21:06, placed 2nd in my age group and won a Mason jar. #thanksoklahoma

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I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the darn thing so I just did this….

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You mean it’s a Mason jar and not a personal Nuun drinking glass?

My overall thoughts on the race

Pros:   It was uber organized and easy to get around.  Registration was a breeze and everything started right on time.  Post-race there was a breakfast served, live band and beer (which I couldn’t even look at without my stomach churning).  The awards ceremony was uber cute as well as most of the people there seemed to know each other and they were excited to announce a few winners from exotic locales like California and Los Angeles (apparently they are different).

Cons:  There was virtually no crowd support.  I stood at the finish line for about 15 minutes and was the only person yelling and cheering much of that time.  #muchobummer  Come on Tulsa, it’s your time to scream.  There were also no mile markers, which annoyed me since I was running with a regular old stopwatch and couldn’t get my bearings.

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Cruising to the finish line…I was SCREAMING like a banchee at this point….

On Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names

In other news my friend Heather ran this 5k as her first run.  A few months back she was visiting Cali and we went for a run together and she was killing it on our run.   Despite her protests and anxiety over the race, this little filly killed it.

Running on little sleep and half a banana or something crazy like that, this chica nailed a 24:44 or something crazy fast like that.  I was uber proud of her.

She also placed second in the Athena division which is majorly awesome, so we now have matching Mason jars, which is basically what every friend should aspire to have.

Heather showing she's got what it takes...

Heather showing she’s got what it takes…

At the end of the day we celebrated like rockstars and I traded my Nuun for some of this.  Sorry Nuun, I love ya’ll to death, but you aint’ got nothin’ on the Dom.

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So when all was said and done the race wasn’t a total loss, but more of a reminder that I really, truly and madly hate 5k’s and that I’m woefully out of race shape.

What’s your favorite race distance?

Do you remember your 1st 5k? 

Clarified Expectations

Yoga
Stretchy Strides

About a year ago, Chocolate and I had the following conversation:

Not even kidding, he walked up to me at school, dropped his glasses like this and says, “Heeeeyyyy ladies….” and walked away.

On The Way To School
Chocolate:  Mom, guess what?
Me:  No idea.  Spill it.
Chocolate:  I have 4 girlfriends.
Me:  [Leerily] Ohhhh really.
Chocolate:  Yep.  [He lists their names]
Me:  You know that you are far too young to have girlfriends, but if you do, you have to ask them first, you can’t just assume.

At the end of the day I picked him up and he sluggishly plopped into his seat.  “Mom,” he lamented, “I only have 2 girlfriends”.

Ahhh, behold the power of expectations.

It’s funny, I went into Sunday’s race with ZERO expectations.  My long hair don’t care attitude let me do something I don’t do very well – relax.  Since I have a slight  the innate and incessant tendency to be totally Type A – I usually go into every race with some sort of goal, a fixed mindset and put it all out there.

Even my bib was relaxed. I picked the name my niece and nephew call me. People probably thought I had the literacy of a kindergartner.

This time was different.  I still felt like throwing up when we pulled up to Long Beach, but I pinned on that bib number not really knowing what would/could happen.  What happened was super fabulous.

#RunChat  Around mile 4 I noticed I was pretty step by step with a guy and he was shooting to run a 1:45 so I decided to stick it out with him.  For about 4 miles we talked about goals, races, etc. until he realized his slump was more of a tank and he told me to take off, so I did.

I caught up with this lady for about a mile or so.

And then at mile 12 I stumbled upon a guy who was starting to walk.  I came up beside him and said, “You didn’t make it this far to walk, let’s go.  You’re going to beat me.”  We ran side by side until about 1/4 mile out.  I told him when we hit the last turn he had to run and sprint it out.  Sprint he did and we finished a few seconds apart (he won).

Course Support (Better than a good sports bra)  I was that obnoxious runner yelling at the crowd support.  I cheered super creative things like, “Yay course support!”.  And when people were standing Starbucks in hand around looking uber bored waiting for someone I would just yell “Yay coffee!” as I ran by.  Usually they laughed, perked up and then remembered it could be worse- they could be running – and started cheering other runners.

Julie & Heather had the bestest hostess table set up with quite the runner friendly spread!

Source I totally stole this from Heather, but she and Julie were out there hostessing with the mostessing. They were fab and I loved seeing them out there!

Skippy Jones  You know how the announcer at larger races stands reading everyone’s name?  Well when he got to mine I decided to start fist pumping and might have even done some awkward hop-skip thing.  So he kept egging me on, I bit and had the most super fun finish ever.  Take that awful finish pictures from last year!

Why?  Because I was having the most fun I’ve ever had racing…and probably a fabulous runner’s high.

Given I haven’t run more than 4 consecutive sub-8 minute miles in over 6 months, I’m surprised I didn’t wake up wanting to cut off my legs.  Monday morning I woke up a little tight, but did not feel post-race crappiness, and I honestly think it’s because I dove in sans expectations and just let my body relax and do it’s thing instead of fighting against itself.

This is a huge lesson for my Type A self.  Time to let go a bit.  That is, until I set my next goal, right?!

Tell me about one of your recent life “ah ha” moments (fitness or not).
Have you ever made a scene at the finish line?
What’s the best course support you’ve ever seen?