I love my Flipbelt!

I bought one of my wish list items a little while ago and I have to say it has become my favorite and one of my most essential parts of my running gear. It is a flipbelt.FlipBelt_Carbon-300x200It is really comfortable to wear and it holds things very securely and you don’t even realize it is there while your running. I don’t put much in mine yet. I usually only put my phone in the very front since I listen to music while I run and then my car keys in the side on the left. I will eventually start adding packets of GU or whatever energy gel I end up using when I get to my much longer runs in my training. It really keeps things handy and you don’t have any bulkiness under your shirt that looks odd. IMG_4087

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I am wearing my flipbelt in both of these photos and you can’t tell. I am never bothered by it during a run and just forget that it is even there! I highly recommend getting one or at least put it on a wish list as a gift idea for yourself in the future.

Do you use a flipbelt? Do you love it? Let me know what you think of it.

I run 4….

My daughter is a special needs adult and she has a rare syndrome called Aicardi Syndrome. She is dependent on my husband and myself for total care. She has taught us to appreciate the small things in life and not to take them for granted. A fellow Aicardi parent posted on Facebook one day about their daughter being paired with a runner through an group called I run 4 Michael. It is a group that matches runners with special needs children or adults who become their buddy. They dedicate their runs, walks, swims, gym workouts or whatever kind of exercise to their buddy. The buddy becomes a source of inspiration to the runner to keep up with their exercise program. I submitted my application to have my daughter matched with a running buddy. We were matched with a runner very quickly since there is an abundance of runners waiting to be matched. The list of runners is about 3,500 long. Our runner, who is named Cristie, is a perfect match for us. She lives in Chicago and we were matched with her about a month before a trip we had planned to the Chicago area for a Aicardi Syndrome Family Conference. We had the opportunity to meet Cristie and her daughter while we were at the conference. It was an awesome experience!Cristie Nicole

Many of the runners will send their medals from races or sometimes get an extra one for their buddy so that they can share in their runner’s achievement as well. It is not a requirement of the group but many runners will do this for their buddy. Cristie had participated in a half ironman event the weekend before and brought Nicole a t-shirt and an extra medal from the event along with a pair of My Soxy Feet socks and bracelet.

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More than anything we have enjoyed getting to know Cristie and her family through this wonderful organization. It has been such a treat!

Here is another picture of Nicole with some medals that Cristie sent her. These medals are from the Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy Challenge.IMG_3801

I have also become a runner in the IR4: Siblings, The Unsung Heroes group. I have been matched with most adorable little girl named Aeryn who is an amazing big sister to her brother Cyrus who is special needs. It has been such a joy to be on the other side of this group as a runner and getting to know Aeryn through her lovely mom Liz. It has been a great match!

So, who do you run 4? I run for my daughter Nicole, my buddy Aeryn, and for all those who can’t run.

An Awesome and Fun Run!

Last night I headed out for a 4 mile run that is part of my training plan for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May of this year. This would be my first run to include fartleks. Incase you don’t know what a fartlek is let me educate you. First of all it has nothing to do with gas emitted from the body. It is actually a Swedish word that means “speed play”. So, essentially it is where you do a series of short sprints and then slower running in between for a portion of your run. My plan was to do the speed play starting at one and half miles into my run and over the course of a mile. The last mile and a half would be a slower cool down run.

I got to my usual running spot later than I hoped and knowing it takes me a little under an hour to do four miles I hoped that I still had enough daylight to complete my run. I quickly got myself put together and locked my car and I was off and running so to speak.

The first mile and half went well with really no ankle pain so that was a good start. Then it came time to begin the fartleks. I picked a street sign to start at and then ran to the next street sign. Next time I used a crack on the street and ran to another big crack. All of these were relatively short distances but still long enough to get up to almost a full speed sprint and maintain it for a bit and then slow back down. I have to say that I loved the sprints! They were so much fun! Even though they were challenging, especially the last couple, they felt awesome. I felt like I was flying!

After my awesome and fun run.

After my awesome and fun run.

The next mile and half I actually ran faster than my first and felt really strong. I was so surprised that even with the sprints and the overall quicker pace that my ankle didn’t give me any problems at all! I think it liked the sprints.

My 4 mile route.

My 4 mile route.

I finished just in time to catch a picture of the amazing Arizona sunset. I may be a bit biased but I think Arizona sunsets are the best!

Gorgeous Arizona sunset.

Gorgeous Arizona sunset.

Training continues…

Since the beginning of 2015 I have so far logged 79 miles of running. I have become much more dedicated to my training. I used to let the weather dictate whether or not I would run on a particular day. No more of that for me. I decided that come wind, rain, snow, sleet, or just plain cold, or hot that I will run. I will draw the line at a torrential down pour of rain though, which we don’t have often where I live so that is reasonable I think. I have run sideways on windy days. I have run while it flurried or snowed. I have run in sleet. I have run when it was just cold. So, that excuse of the weather not being just right has been eliminated! IMG_4138

Thanks in large part to my amazing husband I have also been able to stay on track with my scheduled running days. He has been great about making sure I can get my run in for the day which has been so nice. I also asked a friend (who has been a tri-athelet for 10 plus years) to come up with a training plan for me up until the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May.  She came up with an amazing plan which has worked really well for me so far. I knew that left to my own devices that I would have gone way overboard on the training so I am thankful for her plan. I will continue to follow it diligently up until the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

Sedona Marathon Event 10K

On January 31, 2015 I ran the 10K that was part of the Sedona Marathon. I have to say that the scenery was amazing! The weather was perfect despite the scatted showers that seemed to be all around except for where I ran. It was cloudy and cool so you couldn’t ask for much better.IMG_4219

 

The course was much tougher than I expected or was prepared for to be sure. I haven’t done much hill training so far and as a result my ankle paid the price for it! I have been dealing with a bit of tendonitis in my left ankle that I am seeing a PT for to try to get under control. Anyway since the start/finish line was set on a hill and we started down hill I headed out way too fast of course. I realized when my first mile pace was so quick that I had better slow down. I settled into what seemed a good pace and enjoyed the scenery on the out and back 10K course. There were some long gradual hills and then a steep hill down to the turn around. By the time I started back up the hill at the turn around my ankle was having a fit! Between the turn around and the finish line I stopped three times to stretch my ankle. It seemed to help and little and then I was good for a little while. I saw an event photographer and thought no way is he taking my picture while I am walking. Here is the shot he took of me.

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Not a bad picture considering I was a hurting puppy at this point. I am happy to say that even though I did more walking than I wanted and with the ankle issues and the hills I finished with a time 1:32:03 which was just lightly over my goal of 1:30:00. I am pretty proud of myself since I managed to finish strong and overall had a good time. Plus I was able to finish with a smile!

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My husband and daughter were at the finish line waiting for me which was great since I originally planned on going to this run by myself since my husband always works on Saturdays. A volunteer gave my daughter a medal while I was out on the run which I thought was really sweet. Here we are with our medals and the three of us together.

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I would recommend adding the Sedona Marathon Event to your running bucket list if you have one.  It was a great run with great volunteers and the scenery is truly spectacular!

 

Jingle Bell Run

On December 20, 2014 I did a Jingle Bell Run in Phoenix. It was less than 10 minutes from my Mom’s house so I decided that was too good to pass up. The run itself was nice but I wasn’t overly impressed with the event. They said each participant would receive jingle bells to tie to your shoe laces or pin to your bib. Well, the jungle bells were smaller than some pills I take! They were ridiculously tiny! So, they hardly made any noise at all. I was looking forward to the sound of a BUNCH of jingle bells along the way. It was very quiet for a jingle bell run! Also I was a bit disappointed in the shirts. The shirt was grey. Really, grey? For a Christmas theme run? I know they want the color to be unisex but last time I checked red and green or even white is pretty unisex! Also, there is no event date anywhere on the shirt. So, needless to say I was rather disappointed in the shirt. The bibs were also about as generic as they come too! Oh well. Like I said the run was nice and my mom got a couple nice shots of me and the event photographers got a couple nice ones too. So, I guess it was good even though it lacked a lot of jingle!

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Trail Run

I am not much of a trail runner at this point. I mostly run along roads in neighborhoods near where I live. I don’t particularly like running in my neighborhood because there are a lot of dogs, many of which are not nice looking and not always on a leash when out. So, for peace of mind I run other places. Speaking of peace of mind, isn’t running great at clearing your thoughts and giving you a moment of peace away from the hustle and bustle of life.

This is part of the trail I ran yesterday. Mostly dirt roads but they were lined with ponderosa pines. It was a nice break from the norm for me and since it was rather windy yesterday the trees helped, a little, to shield the wind.

imageI hope to start running a little more on trails in the future since there is a trail half marathon I would like to do in Colorado called the Golden Leaf Half Marathon. Of course I need to complete the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in May first and I hope that afterwards I will become hooked on half marathons.

Where is your favorite or usual place to run? Trails? Roads? Along the beach? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Three years later

I jumped onto WordPress for the first time in a little over a month to find I had a “trophy” from WordPress for my 3 year anniversary. Really three years has passed since I decided to begin this journey of skinny slug to fit fox?! Am I fit fox, no not even close. Am I skinny slug still? Well, let’s put it this way, I am at least a little more fit slug! Okay, I am being hard on myself to some degree but it isn’t far from the truth. I can honestly say that I am not where I had hoped to be three years into this journey.

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At the beginning I had visions of a medal rack on my wall full of bling from a bunch of half marathons. I still have yet to complete a half marathon! However, I am happy to report that I am at least registed for a half marathon at this point in time. It is the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May 2015. So, that is a step in the right direction, right?!

 

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As mentioned in my last post I did have my 4th wrist surgery in 3 1/2 years. My goal was to start running by or on November 15,2014 at the latest, one month after my surgery. I am happy to say that I did start back to running on that date. It is rather motivating to get out the door to go run when you know you have a half marathon (that you payed big bucks for) looming on the horizon.

Speaking of motivation. I am the type that has to have a deadline or event in the future to motivate me. For me that is signing up for running events. I have only participated in a handful or so, but I absolutely love the energy and excitement of them! It is just exhilarating for me! There something about being surrounded by a group of fellow runners and knowing that this is what you have been training for each time you head out your front door for all those training runs. To use an analogy it is like going to weeks or months of dance practice and then finally the day of the big recital arrives! I plan on signing up for frequent races to help keep me motivated along the way.

Now that I can officially say that I am training for a half marathon I hope to find that not only does my running consistency improve but also my blogging consistency. Someone has to chronicle this journey of skinny slug to fit fox, so it might as well be me.

On again off again…

So, I will be the first to admit that I haven’t been too consistent with this running thing! First of all I will say that I really do enjoy it when I get out there and do it. My schedule and life make it hard to be consistent but hey isn’t that true for EVERYONE!! I have been running with a bit more regularity these past few weeks which has been nice. However, next week I am having my 4th wrist surgery within 3 1/2 years and I will most like not be running for about a month. Once I do start running again which I hope to be around mid November it will be time get serious since I am signed up to run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in May 2015. This will be my first half marathon and hope to run some more afterwards. Here is a screen shot of my last run which I am pretty proud of since it wasn’t a flat route. image

Happy Running!!

Virtual Runs

I live in a fairly small city (around 75,000) and because of our weather we don’t really have very many organized running events during the year. Most of our events occur between April and October. Since I live about 2 1/2 hours away from Phoenix, it isn’t really convenient for me to drive down there for many running events. Since most begin in the early morning hours (to avoid the heat) I really don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to get ready and then drive 2-3 hours to the event and spending the night down there before gets rather expensive.

So, here is another option for those that live in areas with limited organized running events, and they are virtual runs. What is a virtual run you ask? It is a running event that you sign up for online and then usually you have a given time frame to run the distance you have chosen. Once you have completed your run you, there is sometimes a place for you to post your results/time and maybe a picture of yourself wearing a bib that you print out from the website for the virtual run. Many of these virtual runs include a finishers medal and who doesn’t love the incentive of some extra bling to add to your collection!!

I have participated in a few virtual runs and have always been impressed with the bling I have received. I have been searching for more virtual runs lately and have come across a few sites that offer multiple virtual runs. Here is a list of sites I have found recently that you might be interested in checking out. Please let me know about any other sites you have found offering virtual runs that you have used with success.

This first one has many different virtual runs and goal programs that you can sign up for either for free (without a medal) or for a fee that will get you a medal. I signed up for the January Goal program and received my January medal just about a week ago and was VERY impressed with the quality of the medal. It even has a personalized plate on the back with my name and my goal amount on it that I had stated. The site is called US Road Running. 

This next one I have NOT done a virtual run through as of yet. However, they look like a good site and have lots of virtual runs available. It is certainly worth checking out. It is called Full Medal Runs.

Lastly, is Fit Fab and Lean. I just came across this one a few nights ago and it looks like it offers so really nice medals for their runs. It does seem to be more expensive on average for their events though. I have not done a virtual run through this site yet either.

I would love to hear about your experiences with virtual runs and what you think about them. Also please feel free to share a link to other sites you have found that offer virtual runs.

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