Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do One Thing a Day and Don't Feel Guilty About It

I posted this picture on Facebook this morning with the caption "My view while finishing my library book". I got some teasing remarks from my working friends which I knew I would and to be honest, I feel quite guilty most of the time about my cushy life. Anyway, that post was 4 hours ago and to my credit, I would normally be teaching a yoga class on Thursday mornings but classes got canceled due to  ice and snow so I figured I earned a lazy day. I did wake up later than normal, about 7:30 since I was up during the night watching and listening to the storm, couldn't go back to bed, then got up at 5:30 to check the school closings and when I saw that Edmond schools were closed I went back to bed and turned off my alarm. Jim also was sleeping in as he had no cases to get up early for today.

Needless to say, I have not touched that book yet today. I've cooked and cleaned breakfast, unloaded and disinfected the dishwashers, done two loads of laundry, cleaned cat hair off two sofas, mopped the laundry room floor, run on treadmill for 20 minutes, done my morning yoga stretches, made banana bread, showered and cleaned up, sent a few emails and FB messages and sat down and talked to Rox for a few before she left for work. And yet I still feel guilty! Kind of.

I worked two jobs while PG with first baby and then worked full time for about 5 years. No further comments necessary on that, everyone knows how damn hard it is to work full time and raise babies, especially with a husband who had a very stressful job, traveled a bit so basically I did it all.  I was finally able to quit my paying job when Rox born and Jared was 4. Thank God for Fitness Centers with nurseries, Church and Mother's Day out! These years were spent volunteering at all church activities and utilizing the Church nursery and the Gym nursery. I remember my mother telling me she joined a bowling league when I was little just to get away from me for a couple of hours a week to use the free nursery if you joined a league, and Mom hated bowling!

These years flew by and as the kids entered elementary school I of course, did my PTA, and homeroom mother duties. Then as the kids settled into Junior High, I found myself working concession stands, attending more PTA meetings, school board meetings, soccer matches, xc races, ballet recitals, football games, field trips, concerts, plays and carting the kids to various activities, helping with homework, etc. Again, I do realize how blessed I was as most women are doing this while holding down a full time job. I get it, I really do and I am very grateful Jim works as hard as he does to afford me to stay home all these years.

I did start teaching Yoga when Sam was a baby and for awhile I was teaching a LOT of classes. Then when Sam started running and entered Middle School, I was hired to be the Coach of his school Track and XC team and I did this for 6 years and LOVED it! I gave up most of my yoga classes, especially the evening classes and spent two hours every afternoon, plus all day Saturdays coaching. I really think I was good with young women especially and could have continued to do this for a long time but my contract was not renewed when Sam graduated. At first I was really upset. Mom had recently passed away and I was in a huge funk for several months. Then I remembered what Mom said when she retired from teaching. "I do one thing a day and don't feel guilty". I used to joke with her about it but now that I'm kind of "retired"myself I see what she means. Of course, I never worked as hard as my mom did, she worked full time when I started Jr high and quit at age 55. She also ran and did road races and was an avid reader, something I've picked up again now that I've got more time :)

So, Mom, I haven't figured out what my "one thing to do today" is, if it means leaving the house then I guess it will be going to yoga this evening when Jim gets home from work. For now, I'm finally going to finish that library book.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

A young girl racing against the boys....

This is me at age 11 running my first 880 yard run. I am the only girl in the race and you see I am leading the pack. That boy did end up beating me in the final sprint to the finish, but it was still a huge win for me! My time was 2:32 and it was quickly decided that this was to be my new distance to race, moving up from the 440. I ended up being named East Coast Champ in my age group for AAU and ran a 2:28. I continued to race this distance through high school and it still remains my favorite distance.

As I've said before, my parents putting me on a track team at age 9 was the best thing they ever did for me. Mom drove me to and from 2 hour practices every day after school and we traveled across several states and cities almost every weekend year round! We both loved it! Dad came to meets when he could.

I know the discipline instilled in me has carried into my adult years. Although I suffered weight gain and eating disorders in my early 20's, I never left my running and it has made me the person I am today. I still love to compete although I have mellowed so much in the past 10 years.

This month I've been doing a Run Every Day Challenge, as January, was Yoga for 30 in 35 days Challenge. The yoga challenge was easier than this one has been. I stopped running daily several years ago after wear and tear on my feet but I picked a short month to do this challenge and also 1 mile is my minimum and I've done that twice so far this month!

The Run Challenge is going great, the first week I had 38 miles and this past week, 35. I've used my treadmill some for the shorter runs and like I said, twice I've only logged 1 mile, one day when I had a severe migraine and the other was the day before my 16 mile long run this past weekend. My 16 miler went great, my body is feeling good, no aches and pains and I think it's due to the SLOW pace. In the past when I ran my marathons I wanted to beat a certain time, or for sure under 4 hours, this time is all about having fun and just enjoying the journey! I averaged an 11 min pace Saturday and that was with a few walk breaks, so when I'm running, it's usually 9:30-10 pace. I know I can go faster but I am going to be smart and just see how my body handles the milage after all these years of laying off.

I had a bone density test last week and I scored EXCELLENT. Tester said my femurs were the brightest (which is good) she had seen of the test subjects so far and for my age I scored very high! So, I guess 42 years of pounding the pavement hasn't weakened my bones any, in fact, it's made them stronger!

Challenge continues!

Monday, February 11, 2013

This was a very happy day for me as it marked a turning point in my running. I ran a Marathon Relay with my friends Adi and Maurice and was also running with my friend Sally who was running her 2nd half marathon at Tulsa Rt. 66. Adi, Sally and I started out together with the plan for Sally to run the 13.1 and Adi and I would run to Maurice at the 15 mile mark and he would finish. Sally ran off and left us about mile 6 as she wanted to run a bit faster and I  knew I'd have to run conservatively to make it to 15. Long runs have been a challenge for me in the past couple of years, I don't know why. A couple of times, running alone, I experienced panic and fear. I went to the doctor and everything checked out but I still couldn't get over this fear of running alone and it got worse last year after my mother died suddenly. I lost my competitive edge and just couldn't push my body like I used to.

The Oklahoma City Landrunners group training runs and good friend Adi, have helped immensely. Our training runs sometimes have 500 people so you are never alone!

Anyway, this day, in Tulsa, after we passed the chip to Maurice at mile 15, we decided to keep on running. We ran 20 miles that day! I was so excited and happy to have pushed passed this mental barrier that I am inspired to try and run the OKC Memorial Marathon this year on April 28th. My daughter, Roxanne has signed up as well! I don't care what time we finish! I just want to enjoy distance running again and get that negative chatter out of my head! Thanks to my dear friends and wonderful daughter who are helping me!

January was my yoga challenge, so February is my RUN challenge! I'm going to run every day! I picked a short month because as I've aged my body/feet has not liked running every day, I have had Plantar Faciatis 3 times so I've got to run smart! I chose 1 mile as my minimum and treadmill miles are okay! It's going great! I logged 38 miles last week, more weekly miles I've done in years!

Protein bars

My first try at homemade protein bars were a success! Here's the recipe!

2 cups peanut butter or almond butter (I used almond)
1 3/4 raw honey
2 1/4 protein powder (I used Deluxe Chocolate from Sams)
3 cups regular oatmeal
1 T cinnamon
1/4 c. walnuts (recipe called for slivered almonds but you could use anything, or dried fruit, etc.)
9x13 pan

This actually made 1 full 9x13 pan and half of another one.

Instructions: microwave almond butter and honey to soften, this was about 45 seconds, mix well. In another bowl, mix all other ingredients and then add mixtures together. This will be messy but use your hands! I lined one pan with wax paper but it wasn't really necessary. Press into pans, place in fridge to firm, it took mine about an hour, I took it out, plopped it onto my cutting board and cut into smaller pieces then put into snack size baggies. I will store in fridge, they are so good!

Protein Bars - also pictured is my pizza dough.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Frigid 5 mile race pushing our wheelchair rider, DJ!

This is a picture of me with DJ who got to experience "Oh What a Ride" of Oklahoma City Landruners! Fellow board member and runner, Matthew McBee, did most of the pushing on this tough, very hilly 5 mile course in Edmond on a cold, February day! I love being able to share running like this, races are meant to be experienced by everyone!

30 day yoga challenge!

I have been practicing yoga for 17 years and teaching for 15 but 2013 began with a 30 day yoga challenge at Soul Yoga, Oklahoma City. At first I was reluctant, I mean, I teach a little, and also try to practice on my own at home even though we all know how that usually ends up. While in downdog instead of feeling bliss all I can see are dustbunnies on the floor, so I usually cut my home practice short and move on to something "productive". Getting to the studio was the key! We had 35 days to get in the 30 classes, and I was on track to hit it in 30 when a migraine put me out for two days, but no matter!  We did it! I never dreaded going to the studio, I craved it! My practice has gotten stronger and my body feels better than ever even as I increase my running miles as I train for my first marathon in 16 years! Bring on the next challenge!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another middle of the night hot flash and wide awake, so what better time begin my blog, right? I've been talking about starting a blog for almost a year, after my mother died 11 months ago and just this week actually set it up. Thinking of the name of my blog took some time too and it came to me the other night in another fit of insomnia. Jenniferuns is 51 begins to define who I am as obviously, that is my age, for now, at least and yes, I am a runner-have been since age 9, when I was plucked off the playground in Temple Hills, Maryland and my parents signed me up for the Cavellettes Track Club, of Pringe Georges County Maryland. It's probably the best thing my parents ever did for me.

So, will my blog be about my running? Yes, of course, but it will be more than that as well. I'm also a wife of 30 years, mother of 3 grown children, yogini, sister, daughter to a father I have never been close to, former bulimic, avid reader, music lover, wanna be gardener and cook, just to name a few!

It's now 5:38 am, I've been up for an hour, coffee in hand, will put on my compression tights in a few and meet a friend for a 14 mile run this morning and another friend this afternoon to hit some garage sales! It's Friday!