Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Half Marathon Training 10 Weeks to go

This is my first half marathon, so there have been a range of emotions leading up to it including:
  • "Wow this is going to be awesome!" - Excitement
  • "All this training is going to make me look fabulous in time for our cruise" - Pride
  • "What was I thinking!?! There is no way I can do this!" - Crash and burn
  • "I can do this, I can do this" - Talking to ones self while running  (aka looking crazy)
  • "Can I get a refund for the entry fee?" - Denial
  • "Lets do this!!" - Energetic (Current state of mind) 
 The weeks are slipping away and my panic is growing. "Will I be ready in time? Can I do this? Will I survive?"
When we are out driving to the grocery store I find myself checking how many miles that was, then comparing it to how long it would take me to run that. My brain has been switched to 'running' mode! When I see the signs for 'Next Town 13 miles' I automatically think "That is a half marathon length! Its yet its so far in the car! It's even farther on foot!! AHHHH!"

I find myself sacrificing my long runs on the weekends to much, those things are HARD to get in! My midweek runs no problem, the off days of cross training, got it! But those horrid long runs keep escaping me! What to do?

When all else fails I Google it. Should be a shirt.. I think it is already. Anyways, my problem for not getting my long runs in is not just me. It was nice to find other moms in the same boat. That is when I came across a wonderful website Another Mother Runner.
It was a wealth of information and that pat on the back I needed to tell me "You are not alone". I even bought the 2nd book they have published "Train Like A Mother" 
As I read it I was laughing thinking they must live with me and see what I have to deal with all to get a run in!  It is full of pep talk and yet empathy of what being a running mom is all about. If you need some encouragement to get out there and run, get this book! I highly recommend it. (they didn't even pay me to say that :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

My First Real Pair of Running Shoes

                                                      Track Shack apparently extracts shoes from rainbows

The best piece of equipment in any runner's mind is their SHOES! It is the difference between "Ouch!" and "Ahhhh". If your feet are hurting when you run or you are getting shin splints it can almost always be traced back to your shoes. I was in denial of that for way too long...

My first 'real' pair of running shoes came from Track Shack, a fantastic running store in Orlando that has been there since before I was born. When I first walked in the store I was a true beginner (aka: my first 5k was a month away). The feeling I got walking into that store was that of walking into a fancy-schmancy Apple Store while having one of those cobwebbed 'flip' phones in hand. I had a strong desire to test out shoes on myself - but I didn't want to look like a slack-jawed newbie doing it. But that was the beauty of Track Shack, they made me feel right at home and took all the guess work out of it! 

It's interesting when you first get your 'run/walk' analyzed. They watch for how your feet and ankles work - are they turning in? Out? Neutral? Any issues? Pain?   I was new at this and the shoes I had were so old and worn that I had no idea what even moderately good shoes felt like. After they decided I was a neutral runner they grabbed boxes of shoes for me to try. My eyes first go to the price tag.... habit of a cheapskate... "Don't look!" I tell myself .. "Those cost more than the last grocery trip!"  Okay, okay just try them on - it doesn't mean you have to buy them. (Right....)

Once you lace a pair on, they have you run around the neighborhood. (Those neighbors must get used to all the runners.) I tried on one pair, and ran... "Yeah nice, okay, what is next?"  Another pair "Oh wow nice! Supportive and springy!" Lets do another pair just to compare. Then it happened.... I fell in love... Brooks Defyance (5 at the time). Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes and then were pretty sure you heard angels sing? That was what happened to me. I ran around the block in those things as happy as can be! They were amazing! I don't know why exactly but they just felt right. They matched me to a tee! It was the most amazing feeling of soft clouds attached to my feet with the feeling of not even hitting the ground at all as I glided along. I was hooked!!!!

                                                                 Obsession... by Vegan Runner Mommy

I came back into the store with a smile of satisfaction and pure joy! They had to come home with me! I sat down and told the shoe helper sales person I wanted them. He said, "Try on this one other pair just to compare." So I did. It was not the same, I felt like I was running with someone else's shoes. These were not MY shoes! I didn't even finish the block, I turned right around and knew what I wanted. Brooks Defyance!

Back into the store I went, prepared to walk out with MY shoes. But then came the hard part.... $110!!! Really?!!!? I have a family to feed! Bills to pay! Are you for real?  I took a deep gulp and asked the worker if there were any on sale. Quite simply, "No." After a pow wow with the hubby and feeling like I was stealing food at the table, my wonderful husband tells me to go for it! "They are going to last you a long time, it's taking care of your body and doing what you love. I say go for it!" Did he just give me the okay to spend a ton of money?

So we got them and since then I treat them like gold. My most expensive pair of high heels was 65% off and I spent $42 for them. Yes I'm CHEAP.... so these shoes were over double that and I was not going to forget it! But running in them was so so SO worth it! They are/were fantastic shoes! I would never go back or try other shoes now. Brooks has to keep making the Defyance line... if not I'm not sure what my feet would think.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How I managed to get a free Phil and Ted's stroller

Free!? you ask? not entirely but pretty close to it! How?? I'm not sure if you are familiar with the stroller brand Phil and Ted's but they are the top when it comes to jogging/everyday strollers. I've been in search of the Phil and Ted's Explorer since I first laid eyes on it.... so beautiful, so sturdy and the kicker.... it is a tandem jogging stroller!! There is NO other stroller on the market like it! Why would I want to push around the huge monstrosity that I see at Disney or the malls where mom's can hardly fit through the doors? So wide it looks like it can mow a field in 20min. No, not for me thanks!

Then comes the downside, they aren't cheap. The one I wanted sells for $600 new on Amazon. Right...I said $600... I coughed up a hairball when I saw the price too. No way in my right mind would I buy something that expensive for my kids to ride in!! There had to be a better way.... Craigslist, Ebay, etc... I was a searching fiend for a deal on this stroller! But my heart was set on not spending over $300 for one... I figured 1/2 price was better than full price.

I love how a newborn can fit nicely and get shade all at the same time
So with that price firmly in mind I set out on my quest. Only to come to the horrible conclusion everyone else was willing to pay more! Woe is me!! So here I sat with no hope at, all when suddenly!! I got a reply to my Craigslist wanted add! (I posted an add on my local Craig's list that I wanted a Phil and Ted's stroller) No it wasn't the Explorer model I wanted, but the Sport instead (an older version of the Explorer, no longer made). Now you are probably thinking "Don't get so picky! Beggars can't be choosers". But if I'm paying that much I want the one I WANT! (enough of the rant...). This lady was willing to sell hers to me for $150, cheap!!! I bought it, brought it home, cleaned it and tada! an easy profit! So I put it on Ebay with the staring price of $150, I figured I can at least break even. I then hunted for the real one I wanted....

Miracles happen when people poorly list the new in the box Phil and Ted's Explorer as "Phil & Ted Ex200". I watched and watched as the days went by. Suddenly the heart pounding moment came when the auction was to be up. I had my hidden bid ready to be placed and right before it ended BAM! I WON!! Spending less than the $300 I wanted to spend (with shipping $270)! Brand new in the box baby! Dance party! Now to wait its beautiful arrival... In the meantime I posted my old stroller (just a normal 3 wheel stroller from Babies R Us) from our first child on Craig's List and the Phil and Ted's Sport on Ebay. In 2 days the old stroller sold for the amount I was asking ($80). Then it got better when the Phil and Ted's Sport price started at $150 and went up, UP! UP! Sold to the highest bidder for $377! Talk about making your money back! And they picked it up too so no shipping hassle for me :) In doing all the math I figured with what I made in buying and reselling strollers, plus buying the brand new one I made about $40 profit. So there you are... the story of my FREE Phil and Ted's Stroller.