Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  When I have a few minutes to sit down I'm often too tired to look at my computer.  If I do then I don't seem to be able to organize my any of my thoughts at all.  

December is such a crazy month for my family, and especially now that two out of three of my little ones are in school.  And they aren't just in school; one is half day kinder while the other is full day 1st grade.  Our days are so choppy as a result of this that I never feel like I have a solid block of time to accomplish anything completely.  It's not just that their schedules are wacky, but it seems that school is now made up of nothing but projects, fund raisers, programs and parties.  At least from November through December.  ;) 

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  The kids are now on break and that means a full day of going NO WHERE!  Not only that, but Christmas is almost here and that means being able to breathe again!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas!  It's just that there are so many things to do during the month of December that I don't have a lot of time to do things like catch up on other people's blogs or even update my own blog.  Honestly, I couldn't even stick to the running schedule (mainly because my running partner came down with strep and it threw us off once again. :( )   

But this morning I realized that the madness will be coming to an end in just one short week and we will be on to a new, better, more organized year!  So with that being said, I have promised myself I will resume my running and stick to it, begin editing my NaNo novel, catch up on everyone's blogs and get back to updating mine regularly!  

Until then, Merry Christmas to all of you and here's to a great New Year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I'm finally back to running!  It's amazing how out of shape you get after just a short time.  Five months ago I was running 16 miles at a time.  This morning I was feeling tired after just a 5k.  Now granted, I am always tired when I run in the morning since I haven't had the entire day to store up energy.  Also, I'm sure I could have continued to run further once my muscles were completely warm (it was frigid this morning,) but all the same I wasn't any where close to where I was five months ago.

So what happened?  Five months ago we went up to Northern California to watch my brother-in-law compete in his first ever full IronMan Triathlon.  It was AMAZING and extremely inspiring, but also extremely tiring.  We followed him around on razor scooters, by car and on foot for his 13 1/2 hour day with back packs full of supplies and nutrients and cameras to document the entire journey.  

Now, I'm not suggesting at all that his triathlon was the reason for my slacking off on the running.  It was just that we were so tired when we got back, and then the kids went back to school the week after we got back  and after that colds ensued.  I did continue to run here and there, but nothing like I was before the triathlon.

After a while coordinating running schedules became challenging, and my drive began to dwindle.  Then when my sister encouraged me to join her writing group and participate in NaNoWriMo I sort of put running on the back burner all together, mainly because writing seemed to suck the energy right out of me.  Not only that, but every time I had a spare minute I was anxious to get back to my novel.  By the way, did I mention that I actually finished NaNo an entire week early with roughly 52,000 words?!  YAY ME!!!!  Anyway, I digress!  After months of not running I  finally stopped making excuses and drug myself out of bed at 5 AM this morning, and I have been feeling amazing all day!  It's amazing what those endorphins can do for you.  I was even in a much better mood today!  

So what does this all mean?  Hopefully, I will continue to run two to four days a week in an effort to condition myself for a full marathon before the weather turns to warm.  Originally I was shooting for Surf City Huntington Beach, but I doubt I will be ready for 26.2 miles by February 7th.  Instead, I will shoot for the Ragnar Relay from April 15-16 (If you haven't heard of this, check it out - it was the funnest race I have ever done!)  And hopefully a full marathon as well, maybe the OC Marathon in May, (although the two may be way too close together!)

When I'm not running I will be working feverishly to edit my NaNo novel so I can take advantage of the free proof copy offered by CreateSpace, YAY!  And who knows, perhaps I will begin another novel as well, although there is the whole energy depletion from writing issue to consider! So now that you all know my plan of action for the next several months, what type of goals are you all trying to set and stick to?  Are any of you writers runners as well, and if so how do you juggle writing and running?  Also, for all those who competed in NaNo, how did you do?  Did you finish your novels?  Are you still working on them?  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Very First Blogging Award!!!

I'm so excited! Quinn over at seeing, dreaming…writing has given me my very first blogging award, the Honest Scrap Award. Thank you, Quinn! This award requires that you share ten things about yourself before passing it along, so here it goes.

  1. I'm deathly afraid of fire. I'm not really sure why, but I have always attributed to my mom stopping to check out a huge fire as it engulfed three houses. I'm not sure how old I was, but I don't think older than eight. Back then it was okay to leave kids in the car, so she and my older sister got out to see what they could, leaving me and my little sister to watch alone in horror. Okay, so it was only horrifying to me but whatever. I've been afraid of fire ever since.
  2. I love Mexican food. I could probably eat Mexican food close to every day, if my family would let me.
  3. I once dated a younger man. Okay, so he was only two years younger, but still. This was my "be young and irresponsible" stage. I just couldn't say no, he was so pretty, and so damn fun.
  4. The younger man phase also brought about a piercing stage. I didn't pierce too much, just my tongue and belly…but for me that was a lot!
  5. I am a USC graduate. I graduated from the Marshall School of Business in 1997. Fight on, Trojans!
  6. When I was at USC I had joined the Young Republicans. After dragging my most liberal friend to one of the meetings I realized I wasn't really as right-winged as they were. Instead I fit in somewhere in the middle. Needless to say, we never went back!
  7. I love to ride dirt bikes. My sister Patty over at Simplicity in Volumes got me into it when we moved out to the Inland Empire five years ago. Riding season is upon us and I can hardly wait to get back out there!
  8. I love to cook. I don't really have enough time to be a creative cook anymore with three kids, but I still enjoy it.
  9. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, twice. It was the most amazing experience. Free falling out of an airplane was the only time in my life that I have ever felt truly at peace – absolutely amazing!
  10. The only things I miss about growing up in Utah are the four seasons. It just doesn't feel right to be in shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas morning. Of course, as soon as Christmas is over I don't want to have anything to do with the snow and cold unless I'm skiing in it.
So there are the ten things about me, probably not the most interesting things about me, but my brain has become mush since embarking on the NaNo journey. After November, I promise to be a more interesting blogger!

Now it is time to pass on this award. Quinn wasn't exactly sure what the award was supposed to be for so he passed it on to those he felt were honest in their postings, so I will do the same:
  1. Patricia at Simplicity in Volumes
  2. Misha at My First Book
  3. L'Aussie at L Aussie Writing
Even though I've been slacking since November 1st, I really do enjoy your blogs. Thank you for your honesty!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our 16 Hour Writing Day

On Saturday my sister, Patricia over at Simplicity in Volumes, hosted a 16 hour writing day for our writing group consisting of her, myself, my BFF, Jen and our good friend Darci. We arrived at my sister's house at 6:30 in the morning for a delicious breakfast from Panera Bread complete with soufflé's, bagels, fresh fruit and warm pastries all provided by my wonderful brother-in-law, James.

After we filled our body with fuel for the brain we began our marathon of writing promptly at 7 AM. Did I mention this was all being streamed over the internet on my sister's blog? It didn't take long for me to realize that I am NOT very focused in the early morning. It wasn't just that the girls were so much fun, I really could not transfer the images in my head to words on the paper (or keyboard.) Every time I got stuck I would look for my creativity by laughing with the girls or rubbing the zucchini genie (I'll get to this in a moment) or pulling a prompt from the "Block Box" which was a box filled with writing prompts to assist us along if we were feeling stuck.

By lunch time I had written less than 1000 words, but I had already laughed more in those few hours than I think I have in a long time. I'm talking tears to the eyes kind of laughter. Two more girls from or regional NaNo group joined us at this time, and after refueling with tasty sandwiches, chips and dip, and an assortment of salads we were back to the grind.

I'll take this time to explain the zucchini genie. My sister and her husband had removed all of the summer vegetables from their garden to plant their winter veggies, leaving a lone zucchini. Since all of their winter vegetables are too small to produce veggies, they sometimes forget to check the garden, which has led to the growth of zucchini of unusual size. The zucchini in question was figured to weigh approximately ten pounds.

After refueling with lunch, we all had a burst of energy and managed to pump out some words while having fun. It turns out that this zucchini was very versatile. We were able to tone our arms, play hot potato, rub it for inspiration, and a few R-rated things we won't talk about (wink, wink). Even with all this fun everyone seemed to hit a brick wall around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The words stopped flowing and everyone looked like they might find a corner to pass out in. That's when James came to the rescue once again with Jamba Juice's with energy boosters for everyone. Woo Hoo! This seemed to do the trick for a while.

Throughout the rest of the day we played, laughed, and wrote. James provided one last, delicious meal from Wood Ranch and then we dwindled down to just three of us, Patty, me and Jen. It wasn't until after dinner that I finally found my creativity and began to really write. We were all determined to put in a decent word count before night's end so we wrote and wrote, and played some more, then wrote and wrote. In the end, we had all put in more than 4ooo words, some of us with over 6000 for the day (great job Jen!) It was an unbelievable experience!

The next day I felt exhausted and could barely write three hundred words, but it was worth every minute of it. Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with fun, crazy friends to push you along with your creativity. Even though we didn't attain the exact word counts we wanted, we all came away feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of this 30-day journey. Thank you to Patty for leading us, hosting this and being a great mentor. Thanks to James for feeding us and entertaining us endlessly. Also, thanks to Quinn at seeing, dreaming…writing for chatting with us when we started and again at the end to see us to the finish line. You definitely kept us from giving up. And thanks to everyone else who checked in on us on the livestream to give us encouragement. Last, but not least thanks to all you girls in the writing group for making it an amazing day, I truly haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


NaNoWriMo is finally here and I am so excited to be participating.  I began writing at midnight on November 1st, pumping out my first 256 words.  By eight in the morning I was already feeling behind.  Some of my writing group had stayed up later and got their word count beyond 700, even 1000 words.  By noon, I just wanted to start writing.  This is easier said than done since I have a 2 year old, 5 year old and 6 year old who all need my attention in the middle of the day. 

Finally, at two o'clock, my nephew came over and the kids happily played outside together until my 6 year old got home from school at three o'clock.  I managed to get out another 400 or so words, which made me feel better until I could escape everyone and really put my mind to it. 

After dinner, I headed upstairs and locked myself away for the rest of the night (with a short break to read to the kids and tuck them in for the night) and ended my day with 2,135 words.  Not bad for a first day!  Now if only I can keep it up.

Today has already started out  much slower.  Kids are cranky and I have a miserable head cold slowing my thought process.  Later today I have to take my daughter to the doctor which is an hour away (we live in the middle of nowhere and I've refused to give up my Orange County doctors.) Somewhere in that mix I also need to find time to review the propositions and head to the poles to vote!!!!  And if all that isn't enough, at the end of my day I need to finish up some work that I do on the side so that it isn't looming and impeding my writing!  Phew...I'm tired just thinking about it all!

I am, however, determined not to fall behind!  I will find a way to squeeze in a little writing here and there today, and stay up later than I should to get in at least the minimum words for the day!  So here's to another productive day, wish me luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


When I was eight years old, my family moved to the small town of Ely, Nevada when my dad was transferred with his job.  We had rented this odd little house that as an eight year old seemed enormous.  It was a two level house with all of the bedrooms upstairs and the main living and eating downstairs.  A long steep stairway connected the two levels, with my parent’s room to the left of the stairs and mine to the right.  Down the hall was my little sister’s room.  

Whoever owned this home was obviously frightened by something, as every door leading to the outside had at least three locks; the regular lock on the handle, a bolt lock and a chain lock.  All of these extra locks only added to the ridiculous amount of keys my mom stored on her keychain, making it unmistakable that she was around every time she took those keys out.

One night, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by the sound of someone fussing with the locks on one of the doors downstairs.  I immediately sat up in bed.  I remember looking at the clock and it saying 2:00.  My blankets were pushed down off of my legs.  These details were important to me because I distinctly remember thinking to myself “am I dreaming?”  

As I assessed whether I was awake or not, I continued to hear noise downstairs.  After the locks, I heard my mom’s key chain rattling, then cupboards slamming.  I remained still in my bed, trying to be as quiet as possible as fear took over.  Soon I began to hear heavy footsteps walking slowly up the staircase.  I remember counting each footstep as it neared the top, “one, two, three…”when I got to six I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.  I jumped out of bed as quiet as I could and bolted for my sister’s room, careful to slip through the doorway without anyone having the chance to see me from the stairs.  As soon as I left my room, the sound disappeared.  I sat in my sister’s bed as she slept soundly, barely able to move, listening until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. 

To this day, I have no idea whether I was awake or asleep but it seemed so real.  From time to time I’ve had other paranormal type of experiences but nothing quite like that one, and all of my experiences have been centered on hearing things.  I’ve never actually seen a ghost to my knowledge.   

As I moved into my teen years I stopped hearing things altogether, and didn’t begin hearing things again until my husband and I moved into our home here in Corona.  There was an entire year where my husband was kicked out of bed by me to check out a noise downstairs that distinctly sounded like someone in our home.  Sometimes I would hear windows opening, or cupboards slamming, or just movement.   There was definitely something dark about that house for me.   I never felt comfortable living there.  I couldn’t go downstairs alone at night because I always felt a presence.  

We moved from that house almost a year ago, into one across the street.  Although this house doesn’t have the feel of a dark presence, I have definitely had some interesting experiences since we moved in.  There is a place near the staircase (what is it with me and stairs?) where on occasion it will feel several degrees colder than any other location of the house.  I would think it was the air conditioning, but the vent isn’t near and it happens even when the air conditioning isn’t running.  

The most noteworthy event, however, was a couple of months ago.  I had woken up to my husband kissing me goodbye as he headed out to work.  All of the kids were sleeping sound, with my two-year-old asleep next to me in our bed.  I decided to take advantage of the quiet and hop in the shower.  As I was washing the shampoo out of my hair someone knocked on the shower door.  My eyes were closed so thinking my two-year-old had woken, I said “hellloooo?” in a tone meant for my son.  I hurried and finished up when he didn’t respond, and got out of the shower.  I looked in the room and he was sound asleep still sleeping just the way I left him.  I got dressed and walked into my older son’s room and then my daughter’s, but both were still sleeping soundly in their beds.   I don’t know what it was, but it was a distinct knock on the glass shower door.  

While I definitely believe in ghosts, I still question what it is I’ve actually experienced.  Is it in my head, or is there actually something following me around?  I’m always trying to make sense of things, but I have yet to come up with a good explanation for what I have experienced.  So is it in my head, or is it real?  

So what about you?  Do you have a good ghost story that you want to share?  Maybe it wasn’t something that happened to you, but someone you know.  We’d love to hear your stories as well.  Just head over to Patty’s at Simplicity in Volumes or Quinn’s at seeing, dreaming….writing and sign up for their BOO-FEST to share your creepy ghost tale as well, or just enjoy reading everyone else’s by clicking on their blog link.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dogwood's Fourth Annual Haunted House

Over the weekend, my sister and her husband, with the help of at least twelve families, put on the fourth annual Dogwood Court Haunted House.  It started the year after we moved out her when my sister and brother-in-law came to my husband and I and said that they wanted to build a haunted house in the middle of their cul-de-sac, and asked if we were in.  Ever since, it's been an event we all look forward to each year, especially the kids!

The first three years were great, but the majority of it was built by my sister, her husband, my husband and myself, which was exhausting.  Of course, I can't forget to mention the mounds of conflict that built up each year, coming to a head last year when we debated whether or not we should even go forward with the haunted house (of course we did, and it was awesome.) 

This year, however, was by far the best year yet!  Every year it gets a little bigger and a little scarier, but this year everyone out did themselves.  We started at 10 AM on Friday and finished after 8 PM putting up the frame, wrapping it with paper and starting on the decorating on the inside.  On Saturday we picked up where we left off at 9 AM to add the props and finish up the decorating.  This didn't conclude until 3 PM.  This gave us all just enough time to head home, put on our costumes and get back to begin the haunting. 

When we all met back up at 6 PM people were already showing up.  We let the families of the construction crew be the first to experience the haunt.  From then on we had a a steady flow of people that didn't stop until after 9 PM.  We estimated that all in all there were around 150 people, not a bad turn out at all! 

I think the best part of it all was the team work that went into building this year's haunted house.  Even though we were all working our butt's off, we laughed and joked and genuinely had a great time!  The team work exhibited reminded me so much of the Ragnar Relay Race I ran last year with a team of 12 people (which, if you are a runner, I highly recommend participating in but I digress.)  When everyone works toward a common goal that they are all so heavily vested in, it makes the end result that much more satisfying! 

Now that the haunted house is done, I'm looking forward to participating in BOO-FEST ON OCTOBER 28TH put on by Patty at Simplicity in Volumes and Quinn at seeing, dreaming...writing.  If you haven't signed up for this, don't miss it.  Go HERE to sign up and share your favorite ghost story! 

After BOO-FEST, I am eager for the kick off of NaNoWriMo.  I still can not believe that I have agreed to participate in this crazy contest, but honestly I can't wait to start pumping out those 50,000 words in 30 days.  Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the November 1st kick off. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What a Day!

It's 12:15 in the morning, and already my birthday is off to an amazing start, despite some detours along the way.  Okay, the detours started yesterday, but yesterday was the start to all my celebrating!  The day started off relatively uneventful.  Got the kids up for school, made their lunches, rushed them out of the house to cash Grandma's check for the jog-a-thon, dropped them off at school and came home to get the house cleaned and laundry finished (so I wouldn't have to think about it on my actual birthday, of course.) 

It all took a detour when I misheard my sister when she asked me to pick up her son from kindergarten.  I didn't hear her say that "they" had errands to run and I assumed (you know what they say about that) that someone was home when I dropped him off.   I then went on a ten minute drive with my daughter (also in kinder) and my two year old son to trick him into falling asleep.

Long story short, no one was home in his house or mine (I live around the corner,) and he was extremely scared.  I can't imagine how scared he felt, but thankfully my sister got home shortly after I dropped him off, and I followed not too long after.  However, this does not change the fact that my awesome little man of a nephew was scared out of his mind, my sister was scared and frustrated, and I felt HORRIBLE!   Thankfully, this conflict had a happy ending, and I for one, learned a valuable lesson!  To my sister and nephew...I'm still so, so, sorry!

Despite this horrific event, the rest of the day/night was amazing.  My sister and her husband made the best birthday dinner EVER!  And my BFF threw me the best cocktail party.  Great people, great stories, great times!  The only down sides?  Not obtaining my writing goal for the day, and eating and drinking too much great food and tasty beverages!  Now I'm going to have to kick my running up a notch and write twice as much tomorrow in between soccer games and the neighborhood Halloween party.  Looking forward to every minute of it all, thanks everyone involved in making my prebirthday amazing and awesome!

All in all, great start to a great birthday!  Thank everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2010

From Runner to Writer

When I started this blog I was focused primarily on running.  Shortly after my brother-in-law completed his first full Iron Man Triathlon, my sister told me about a writing contest coming up in November called NaNoWriMo.  It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to pump out a 50,000 page book in just 30 days.  The best part is the only thing that matters is output, you're supposed to write as much as you can from November 1st to November 30th without editing.  In other words, quantity not quality here!

Although I am still running and trying to get back into training for my first full marathon (Surf City 2010), I couldn't pass up this challenge.  After all, I am always up for a good challenge.  I don't really consider myself a writer; sure I've written in journals all of my life and did plenty of business writing while I worked in Corporate America, but I never really tried to write creatively.  This was something my extremely talented little sister did, not me!  (Be sure to check out her blog  it's totally worth it!)  As it turns out, I really enjoy writing.  I may not have the greatest stories, but it allows me to escape into a world of my creation, where anything can happen at anytime, and I control it...for the most part! ;)

Now with that being said, Middle Distance Runners has transformed into a blog that encompasses my running challenges, my writing challenges, and any other challenge that come my way.  Now I'm a Middle Distance Runner who would like to share all of my life's little challenges and stories.  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After the Mud Run

Running is second nature to me these days.  I run often, and I almost always have one long run (greater than 10 miles) per week.  The area that I live in is very hilly and consists of both trail and pavement running.  This being said, the Mud Run was not terribly difficult for me.  The 1.8 mile climb uphill was challenging, but not difficult...and mostly challenging due to the sun beating down on us with absolutely no air movement!  After the race I felt good.  My muscles weren't sore and I didn't have that nauseous, I pushed myself too hard, feeling.

So imagine my surprise when Monday morning rolled around and I was so stiff in my ankles and calves that I could hardly stand up out of bed. Turns out that very long hill, the mud pits, slippery hills and army crawls really did wear my body out.  I think the biggest problem is that I hadn't spent quality time, okay...any time, stretching after the race.  We walked around a lot and drank tons of fluid, but stretching somehow escaped us.  This is amplified by the fact that we then got into the car and drove for over an hour and half back home.  So I am paying now for allowing my excitement to deter me from stretching properly after a challenging race. Even with the extreme discomfort I am feeling in my left calf, ankle and foot...the race was worth it!  Check out the video of this year's mud run, and don't forget to stretch after your runs!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Camp Pendleton Mud Run

Yesterday I ran the Camp Pendleton Mud Run with my sister, brother-in-law, and good friend Jen for the second year.  If you have never participated in a mud run, especially the Camp Pendleton Mud Run, I highly recommend it!   The run is a challenging 10K run with water crossings, 5 ft wall climbs with mud on both sides, a slippery hill, tunnel crawl and a low sand crawl.  There are marines all along the route spraying you down, helping you out, and encouraging you to keep going. ;)

While there may be some tickets available for next weekends race on June 12th, the tickets usually sell out within hours of registration opening which begins January 1st each year.  Last year we competed as a 5 person team which was a BLAST.  We dressed up in construction hats and wore black shorts and shirts.  Our team was named M.U.D. (Muscles Under Development).  When you run as a team you must all stay together and cross the finish line together.

This year we ran as individuals which was equally fun, but I think I enjoyed the comradery of the team more.  Last year I was running just to run with the team, no expectations on my finish time or anything.  This year, since I was running alone, I kind of pushed my self to see what I could do.  Surprisingly, I finished in nearly the same time, even though I felt I ran better this year.  The difference I believe was the amount of people running as individuals and the hold up in the beginning and through the first few obstacles as so many people took off together.  Either way, it was a ton of fun and I can't wait for next years race!

Today, each of us are sore and tired in our individual ways.  Regardless of what type of race you do, it's always important to drink plenty of fluids, stretch well, and get some food into you after the race.  Getting the right fluid and food into you is key, however.  This article on provides great advice on post race recovery:  After the Race -

Aside from recovery, if you are interested in participating in the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run, there is still space available for next Saturday's race (June 12, 2010.)  Follow this link for information and registration:  Camp Pendleton Mud Run - June 12, 2010.  If you can't make this one, I highly recommend keeping it in mind for next year.  Registration is always January 1st.  Hope to see you all out there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Club

Although I began running to lose weight, it quickly became more.  I crave running.  If a week goes by that I'm not able to get in at least 15 miles, I get restless and cranky, and no one really wants to be around me.  Running relieves my stress, but it's become more than just a stress release, it's become a way for me to help others.

When I first started out, my brother-in-law spent a lot of time running with me and helping me to become a better runner.   He is an unbelievable athlete (who, by the way, will be running his first full Ironman in July,) but he never seemed to care that I was slow and couldn't run the same distances as him.  He was just happy that I was getting out and trying hard.  He pushed me just hard enough for me to improve, but never so hard that I didn't hunger for the next run.  His never ending motivation and patience with me has been extremely inspirational.

Back in January, as I was training for my first half marathon, I was running with a couple of other gals in the neighborhood.  It was at this time that I realized that I really enjoyed helping these girls improve through the knowledge I have picked up along the way.  It is such an amazing feeling to watch someone progress partly because of your support.  So I decided to start a running club - Middle Distance Runners!  Middle Distance because while we are not the fastest, we are definitely not the slowest and we give it everything we have!

Since January the group has grown to 11 runners, and we continue to grow.  Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM we meet and run for 3 to 5 miles.  For new runners to the group we run a shorter distance until they are ready to run longer distances.  It is so inspiring to watch these gals improve with each run, and to see them enjoying it so much!  The best part is that it has become such a great social outlet.  We get together and talk about everything and nothing.  We laugh and joke and generally forget about the days stresses for the hour to hour and a half that we run together.  And as new people join we make new friends. (By the way, I would love for the group to have more men...we are not just a running group for gals!)

Ultimately, running fulfills many things in my relieves my stress, provides me with an awesome social outlet, keeps me fit and healthy, last, but certainly not least, it allows me to help other people progress in the same way that my brother-in-law helped me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kids Running Club

After my half marathon in February, my kids started asking to run with me all of the time.  I started taking them around the block once or twice a couple of days a week.   When the Corona Panthers Track Club announced their upcoming 5K and 1K fun run my sister and I decided to sign up the oldest of our kids.  So, on May 8th, 2010 my 6 year old son, 7 year old niece, brother-in-law, and I ran the Dos Lagos 1K.  The kids did great and had a great time. It was this race that got my son thinking.

For the next several days he wrote up notes on starting a track club.  He listed who he wanted to be a part of it, the day they would run together, that water and Propel would be given out, etc.  He spent quality time on these details.   Then my good friend made a comment on Facebook about the monsters we have created with all of our running.  This started the ball rolling.  Finally, we all agreed we should get the kids together to run.  My sister suggested the park every Wednesday and everyone agreed.

Last Wednesday we had 12 kids running lap after lap around the park in our community.  The kids ranged in age from 7 to 2, and each of them was so excited to be running.  It was at that point in time that I realized that I am not only running for me, but for them.  If I show them now that I enjoy living healthy and being active, they will also want to be healthy and active in their lives.  The best part is they don't do it to lose weight or look better in a pair of jeans.  They do it because they think it is fun and they want to follow in our footsteps.  This reason alone is the #1 reason I continue to run!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In the beginning...

When I first started running it was ONLY to lose the weight from having my 3rd child.  I wasn't a runner, didn't like running, and generally wasn't good at running.  My first time out I went with my husband, (who is 6' 2" compared to my 5' 1" stature)  and I thought I was going to die after only less than a mile.  Even though he was running slower for me, his long strides made it difficult for me to keep up and I tired quickly.

Despite the difficulty of my first run I was determined to lose the baby weight, so I agreed to go the next evening.  My husband says to me "this is what we are going to do...we are going to run a 5k tonight."  Naturally I replied with "are you out of your mind?!  I nearly died on last nights run!"   What he said next was advice that changed my entire outlook on running and has transformed me into the avid runner I am today.  He told me to shorten my stride and when I began to feel fatigued shorten it further, almost to the point that I would practically be bouncing in place.  So I tried it, and it worked!  I ran the entire 5k with minimal effort and felt great!

Don't get me wrong, I was definitely tired after the run but I felt good...and more importantly, I did it!  We would run almost every evening after putting the kids to bed, (this wouldn't have been possible without the support of my wonderful mother, however!)  and over time began to increase my mileage.  Soon after I started running I received an email from a local running group that supports young runners.  They were sponsoring a 5k at the local promenade shops.  My husband, sister, brother-in-law, and myself decided to sign-up.  This marked the beginning of my addiction to running and racing.

That first race was exactly a year ago.  Today I have completed four races; including a half marathon and a 12 person 200 mile relay race.  I started a running club called The Middle Distance Runners, and am currently training for my first marathon.  I won't claim to be an expert on running, but I hope that the knowledge I have picked up over the last year and a half will help those of you who want to start running, regardless of your reasons, to get started.  I appreciate any comments or feedback and encourage any and all discussions.  Running has been such a positive force in my life that I want to be able to share that with everyone.