100/100/3

I was exploring other blogs out there and stumbled across a girl who started a New Year’s challenge for herself to paddleboard 100 miles in 100 days.  A mile a day doesn’t sounds like much, but when you take into account the fact that it’s an activity that you can’t do on a daily basis, it’s weather reliant, and not actually all that close to the house it puts it into perspective a bit.

I liked the idea so much I decided to challenge myself to do the same.

I just started bicycling a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it would be fun to bike 100 miles in that time too.  That’s something I can just go outside and do, as long as it isn’t lightening.  Fun!

Then I decided to sign up for the Dare Greatly Trail half marathons.   It’s 3 halves starting in December.  I mean, ya I’ve never run more than 4 miles and I haven’t run at all in a year, but what the heck, right?

I even made this great banner photo thing for my post.

Paddle_Bike_Run

Then I announced my super great plans to the boyfriend, aka partner in crime.  (AKA person I’m volunteering to do this with me.) And he used his stupid logic on me.  How many weeks in 100 days? About 14. So that’s less than 7.5 miles a trip.  Easy, right?  We usually paddle about 3 miles, what’s the difference?  Unless, of course, we skip a weekend which is a given considering 5 kids between us. Plus jobs that easily take 50 hours a week. Plus his other job and out frequent non-paddling adventures.  Hmmm, maybe not quite as easy as I thought.

The bike part really should be easy though, we tend to ride the trails near the house about twice a week so that part should be easy peasy. Heck I’ll ride around the block until I hit 100 miles if I have to.

The running, well that’s not a given and not something I’m great at being consistent about. But we have 7 months until the first half, so it’s probably doable. Right? Sure.

So the question is whether or not I should give it a go.  No point trying something you know for a fact you can’t do, but then how do you know if you don’t give it a try?

Any opinions? Are there 3 things that you enjoy doing so much that it would be fun to challenge yourself to do them a lot more than you currently are?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easing Back In

I’ve finally started feeling better (yay!) and ready to get back to running.  Only a mile at a time, but tonight will make it three times a week so I’m pretty happy with that.  I switched back to running outside which is HOT but also fun. I’m really surprised that after running on the treadmill for a couple of months and then not running at all for over a month running barefoot is just as comfortable as it was before.  I don’t know why but I thought my feet would get un-used to it.

Before I started running again I started doing yoga again.  It’s amazing how hard everything is the first time after doing very little but sitting or laying around for too long. But I found two yoga practices that are perfect for when you don’t have the energy to go all out but you want to do SOMETHING.  And the cool thing is after you do something you naturally want to do something else.  A body in motion and all.

This yoga practice is from Yoga Journal.  It’s nice and mellow but still leaves you feeling great when you’re done.

Here’s one for digestion.  It’s also gentle and relaxing.

My colitis isn’t completely back in remission but it’s close enough that I feel confident that if I keep up the meds and the aloe juice and keep down the stress and the bad attitude it’ll be gone in no time.   All in all it’s been a great week.

What do you do to keep your energy up when you aren’t feeling it or to ease back into working out when you’ve been off the wagon for a while?  If you know of any other great, mellow yoga practices I’d love to hear about them!

 

 

 

10K Update 4 AKA Summer Time…

About that 10K goal.  Ya, I still have it.  But how do you take anything too seriously when it’s summer time and you are living in Tampa? If you know don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.

 

Ya, huge Sublime fan here.

Summer is always a little bittersweet if you ask me.  The possibilities are endless, except for that whole gotta feed the kids 9-5 thing.  My 9-5 is as a technical analyst. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, I actually have to think 8-10 hours a day.  Nerd that I am I enjoy it, but when I’m done I’m done, and this is what’s left.  🙂

Anyways, back to my 10K goal.   I have been following the plan minus the cross training. I do yoga after every run, sometimes quite a bit, but that’s a much cross training as I’ve done since starting the 10K plan.  Until this week, when summer time hit.

First, I started the Kinetic Revolution 30 Day Challenge which, as all things do that look super easy at first, kicked my butt by the second week and reminded me that people who do not cross train are weaker than people who do. So ya, my legs are a wee bit more tired than they should be.

Then, to celebrate and make official summer I went paddleboarding AND kayaking.  I paddleboarded out, switched with my boyfriend and kayaked back in.  Best of both worlds!  You want some excellent cross training, try anything with a paddle.

Then, to also celebrate and make summer official I went for an hour swim.  It was both hella fun and hella exhausting.

And then I realized.  I have the choice of continuing to try to up my distance running each week, jumping into all kinds of other crazy exhausting but fun other summer activities, or trying to do it all.  I choose a lazy combination of all of the above.  I’m going to stick to running 4 miles on the weekend for a while and swim, paddle, hike, and other summer stuff my heart out.  I still intend to gradually add distance to my ‘long runs’, but not every week until I get used to all the extra stuff I’ve been doing.

I had my eye on a cool sounding 10K in July, but it specifically said it was NOT for run/walkers. That’s intimidating since it would be my first 10K and I’ve never done a 5K that wasn’t a mud run or fun run. Plus some people said that it was not only extremely hot in spite of being a night run, it was extremely dark in some parts which would make me nervous running by myself barefoot or not.

I’m thinking I will let summer be summer, gradually continue with my plan but repeat weeks as much as I want for a while, and look for a 10K when it starts to cool off a wee bit, maybe in September. I feel pretty good about this since paddleboarding and swimming are WAY more exhausting than running so they can only help my running in the long run (no pun intended).

So, what is my current goal? Paddle a lot, run 3 days a week consistently (hopefully including trails but not ticks, a whole ‘nother post)  listen to a while lot of Sublime, Weezer, Slipknot and such, appreciate the local bars, wineries and breweries, visit some aquariums and generally live like a tourist because I DO live in vacation land after all.

These guys agree with me, I’m pretty sure.

Birds

I’ll leave you with an entirely inappropriate but yet completely my favorite Sublime song because it’s summer and so I can.

 

How about you, do you change your plans for summertime even if you are an adult who doesn’t get the benefit of being off for the summer? You should!

I am. After all, I wouldn’t even be kinda zennish if I didn’t.

 

10K Update 3 – My Biggest Running Nerd Moment to Date

My last update I fessed up and said I had skipped a week’s running and was therefore going to do a ‘do-over’ week.  This week I didn’t do much better and started to plan on re-doing the week again, but with more running.  Then I decided forget that, time to move on, excuses are starting to stack up around here again…

Sunday night out of nowhere motivation hit and I decided that I would just run my 4 miles and move on to the next week.  Never mind that I hadn’t run hardly at all in two weeks and I’ve never run that far without taking walk breaks. That’s all good and determined and all that other good stuff.  It’s how I got it done that made this my nerdiest run ever.

First, I dropped the air conditioning 4 degrees.  I made myself an ice cold water with Endurolytes Fizz in it, which I had never tried before because seriously, it’s not like I”m running all that far. (It was grapefruit and delicious)  I put Spirit of the Marathon on Netflix and proceeded to run my miles while watching it.

Heck ya it worked!  Between the motivating movie and the fact that I wasn’t dying of the heat I not only ran the miles but could have ran more.  I think that it was the iced drink more than the air conditioner that helped with the heat, I don’t usually drink anything at all when I am running but I have of course run in the cold.

So cha-ching, on to the next week and I’m only 1 week behind from my original plan.

Do you ever use any jedi-mind tricks on yourself to get things done?  Whatever works, right? Right??

Running With the Children of the Corn

The other day I decided to go for a run.  My oldest was home and said he’d go with me, so of course the next thing I knew the younger 2 decided they wanted to run as well.  Well, this is going to be fun!

First try we all walked barefoot to the end of the driveway, realized it was oh-my-god Florida cold and all ran back in to get on some shoes.

Second try….  we all started jogging together at about the same speed.  It didn’t take long for the older two to start jetting ahead, skipping, jumping, boxing, and going in circles and the youngest to start lagging behind.  After a bit I told the older two to go back and get their brother since they weren’t running anyways, they were doing everything else.  Let the fun begin!

The rest of the run went something like this:

Want to box?  Hey! Mom, he/she hit me! You knocked me down!  (they all sprint past me like a pack of dogs hunting)  I bet you can’t do a back flip!  No back flips on cement!!! (me obviously)  I bet I can punch harder than you! ( my daughter, go figure) All of this is punctuated with frequent I’m getting tired, running is boring, I want a drink, blah blah blah.

So we get to the corner of our block and I tell the younger 2 they can head home.  But mom, we love running! We don’t want to go home!  Really????

Just one more way a parent can learn to completely zone out the circus created around them while still magically hearing the parts you have to in order to avoid a trip to the emergency room.  Seriously, who would think it’s a good idea to learn to flip in the middle of an asphalt road??

Do you ever run or do other exercise with your kids? Is it as much of an adventure as my family’s outings tend to be or is it just me and mine?

I’m not even going to tell you about how amazingly relaxing it is to do yoga with them.  (Is there a sarcasm font?)

Checking in

Happy Tuesday!  First things first, the winner of The Color Run entry is Sadie B!  Sadie please email me at KindaZennish@gmail.com and I will give you your entry code.

Second things second, we’re more than half way through January, have you been working on any New Year’s resolutions or monthly goals?  I usually don’t set any goals for the whole year but you know this year I decided to try to run 500 miles by the end of the year.

I keep turning it around in my head trying to figure out a plan. Hmm…

  •  250 miles per half year
  • 125 miles per quarter
  • 41.666 a month
  • 9.6153 a week
  • 1.369 a day

The further I break it down the easier it sounds. Heck. it’s only about .057 miles per hour this year!  Ya.  I haven’t actually run 9 miles a week, as a matter of fact I got off to a very slow start on the running front. But I’m already picking up the miles a bit and I figure if I can keep steadily increasing my mileage I shouldn’t have a problem catching 500 at the end of the year.

Granted right now I am only at 15 but, you know, I wanted plenty of room to improve.  🙂

2014-RunThisYear

How are you doing with your running goals?  Are you going to running this year?

Miles for Christmas

This year I haven’t set any particular goals or resolutions yet.  I’ve had two things circling round in my mind – I think I’ll set a goal of running 500 miles this year and it would really alleviate the whole single mom stressing over the holidays thing if I started putting away money for the holidays now.

As luck would have it I somehow came across a blog post on Just call me B! giving me the perfect way to tie these two goals together.  Pay myself a dollar for every mile that I run.  500 miles in a year equates to about $10 a week, not an amount I’ll miss but an amount that will be very helpful come Christmas!  As I’m not the most crafty person in  the world I’ll spare you a picture of my empty but clean pasta jar with the lid glued on.  I mean miles for money jar.  Whatever.

Anyways, I have not just one but 2 motivators to run my 500 miles this year because I also signed up for Run This Year 2014.  It’s a running community committed to run 2,014 miles, or 2,014 Kilometers in 2014.  When I first read about it I thought interesting, but ya, NO.  I can’t run 2,014 miles in a year – I’m lucky to hit 3 miles on my long runs!  But they also have a third choice, Get Your Own Goal.  Perfect!

Run This Year 2014
500 miles here I come, and I have both a group of equally determined runners AND a promise of a Christmas actually pre-paid to motivate me to get there.  Win and win.

Do you track your miles run, miles biked, pounds lifted or something similar per year?  What’s your goal for 2014?

Frustrated

About a week and a half ago I decided to take a week or two off running because I was having a problem with the bottom of my feet hurting.  I figured it was partly because my shoes I wear all the time are crazy uncomfortable even though they’re almost flat sandals, and partly because when I ran with my kids for their Couch to 5K I was jumping and fooling around instead of thinking about my running – not my brightest but not my dumbest moment ever.

Unfortunately although it has got better it hasn’t totally gone away, and I’ve found that just going hiking with the dogs made it worse, it isn’t just the running. Great.  So what to do?  Once again I got used to running 3 miles and then got derailed. Not by much and not for long but still. There are people who start running and then do a marathon that year, so why am I still not even running a 10K? I’m not motivated enough, not dedicated enough, most of the time I think I just don’t care enough to push through things to do better.  Except that if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be so frustrated about the whole thing.

This is the first year that I’ve run with any kind of consistency but I’m still not anywhere near where I want to be.  I don’t have grand plans for a marathon or even a half but I would like to at least work my way up to a 10K and I would like to somehow learn to push myself at least a little instead of backing off as soon as something looks like it might be getting hard.

Tonight I wasn’t feeling good physically OR mentally but I felt like going for a short run.  I didn’t want to run barefoot because I didn’t feel up to paying attention to what I was doing – where I was stepping, how my form was, or anything else. So for the first time this year I put on my old running shoes, put in both earphones to blast some metal and went out for a very short, very not paying attention to anything run.  Good thing I didn’t run across any snakes because I wouldn’t have seen it until it bit me. Not something I would make a habit of but it was kind of nice. Of course I started off way to fast and immediately tired myself out, but whatever. It was one of those nights.

You know the funny thing?  My boyfriend got me a book on barefoot running for Christmas that I’ve been reading. And as a result on my first shoe-ed run of the year I figured out a major piece of my barefoot running form that I’ve been doing wrong. The book mentioned the fact that part of running lightly is not picking your feet up higher than you need to – therefore coming down lighter on your feet. I already knew that but it seems I hadn’t thought about it in a while.  I realized that while I’ve been concentrating on cadence, bending my knees and lifting my feet I’ve been over exaggerating that lift and almost been running like I was doing a high knee exercise.  Not really to that extent, but I’ve definitely gotten in the habit of picking my feet up much higher than I used to while concentrating on the other parts of my form. Somehow or another ignoring my running form made me realize a major piece that I’ve been doing wrong.  Kind of funny really.

Anyways I still don’t know exactly what to think about my running.  I feel like I need a goal or some kind of plan but I don’t know what I want to do.  Run further? Just run stronger? Run more often? Definitely more often but that doesn’t sounds like a very exciting goal.

Do you have any running goals for 2014? How did you decide what you want to do?

 

 

Wrapping Up 2013 and Smiling About It

I have never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. I fully support resolutions made by anyone else, I just rarely make them myself.  It’s kind of like most of my sisters clothes. They look great, I really like them.  Um, no I don’t want to wear them, I meant they look great on YOU.

But I would like to improve a lot of things this year.  What to do?

First I went and signed up for the #Just1Thing Challenge Kat at Katrina Elle is hosting.  To be honest I’m not certain if you’re supposed to pick one thing to work on weekly, monthly, or  maybe even daily mini challenge but whatever way it goes I’m in.  What’s 1 thing?  Easy-peasy.

Next thing is to decide what I’d like to improve, but first I wanted to think of the things I did in 2013 that I’m most happy about.  I didn’t realize what a good year I’d had until I started thinking about it, I highly recommend you do the same!

1) New job

I got a new job that allows me to drive about 40 minutes each way instead of an hour and a half.  You can imaging the difference all that extra time makes!  My kids have been on their own for weeknight dinners for years, now we can actually eat together like a family. Definitely my biggest win this year!

2) Still running

I’ve been running off and on for a couple of years, but this is the first year that I’ve actually run steady the entire year, no month or two taken off.  I still don’t always run 3 days a week but I do know now that I won’t be quitting running any time soon.

3) No more hip pain

This is also huge for me.  My hips used to hurt almost all the time, and after a long car ride I could sometimes barely get out of the car. Talk about feeling old!  It also had a lot to do with the inconsistent running – running made it worse.  I started running barefoot and it made all of the difference in the world. Now days the only time my hips ever hurt is when a bout of ulcerative colitis is coming on and then all my joints hurt so whatever.

4) Started Barefoot running

I already mentioned why I got started but running barefoot and becoming a part of the online community has done a lot towards improving my running form (not perfected but much improved).  It’s also just a lot of fun I’m really happy I started and stuck with it in spite of some critics. I even did a barefoot mud run in December!

Climbing

5) Living without regret (still working on this one)

I’ve never had much of a problem with telling people close to me when they were pissing me off.  But when it comes to telling them anything that sounds remotely like I care it was never an appropriate time.  Letting people know you care feels kind of like an open invitation for them to know they can hurt you.  Jaded much? I know, and it’s dumb.  Now is the right time.  I changed my thinking to what if something happened to me and I never told people how important they are to me?  Now I make a point of telling my kids how great they are at every opportunity, bragging about their successes in front of them to other people, and telling the other people in my life how I feel about them – even if it’s not because they pissed me off.  (I still tell them that too)

6) Pointing out the positive

Last one, promise.  It bothers me that most people will complain when something is wrong but we are much less likely to speak up when something is right.  I started making a point this year of pointing out the good. So if it’s true I’ll go up and tell the person singing at the bar that they have an incredible voice, tell the waitress what a great job she’s doing or to be sure and tell the cook the food was wonderful, or stop a stranger to tell them they look great in that shirt.  Corny?  Yep. But it never fails to get a smile from both of us.

Oh yeah, plus I started a (now overgrown) garden, have been blogging more constantly, and Mia and the rats joined us! I can think of a lot of little things but I’ll spare you.

DSCN0169

So now it’s time to look forward to 2014.  I have no idea yet what my goals will be or how the year will go but looking back I’m feeling pretty positive.

What great things did you do in 2013?

Not Just Standing Around – Mountain Pose

I love yoga because I love the way I feel after practicing.  Kind of like I love barefoot running because I love the way it makes me feel.

Running in general really, but who’s being specific?

I started getting really interested in both somewhere around the same time but as completely separate things.  But somehow these days the two have merged.  Usually the only time I do yoga anymore is after a run, but it could be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Yoga is just the perfect after run stretch and cool down.  The down side being I rarely do an intense yoga session anymore because who wants to put THAT much effort into it after all that running?  Hmmm, maybe I should start doing at least one just yoga session a week now that I think about it.

Anyways, one negative thing about my first year running barefoot is sometimes my feet hurt the next day.  Also, and this could be a good or a bad depending on your view, I notice unbalances in my body more. I often literally feel like I am not standing evenly on my feet the day after a run, I balance more on the inside of my feet. Being the oddball that I am I think it’s kind of cool that I even notice that. But still, it’s a kind of uncomfortable feeling. I’ve found that a couple of yoga poses can fix that right up.  The main one?  Mountain pose.

Now as you may or may not have read on my disclaimer page (probably not but whatever) I am not an expert on yoga or anything else so HERE is a link to The Yoga Journal’s official and professional and all that‘s explanation to how to properly do the pose.

Now for my not official nor professional nor all that take.  If you clicked the link you would see that in step one they say to ‘rock back and forth and side to side’.  This is KEY in my humble opinion.  My main goal (running related, not yoga related) is for my feet and then the rest of my stance to feel completely balanced.  This is significantly easier in theory than in reality.  Just like everything else, I know.    The thing is to do this rocking back and forth after each check in with the rest of your body.  As in – Balanced? Good.  Firmed your thighs and lifted your knees?  Good. Now get balanced again. Tucked your tailbone?  Oh good, now rock back and forth and get balanced again.  And so on.

I find that doing mountain pose (every morning at my desk at work then occasionally throughout the day just because) is a great way to just kind of get centered both physically and mentally. Who doesn’t need that during a busy work day full of meetings, customers, and whatnot?

Because

1) I’m too lazy to take a picture of me doing mountain pose

2) I couldn’t find a good picture of anyone else doing mountain pose

and

3) I miss Camelback Mountain (and all mountains, Florida is flat as flat can be)

here is a lovely picture of Camelback Mountain.  See how stable it looks? THAT isn’t falling over, push as you will.  Be the mountain!  🙂

English: Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona.

Are you a runner or a do you practice yoga?  If so do you find the two go together (you know, like peas and carrots)?