Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful to be a Happy Runner again!

I ran a 10K Trail Race a few weekends ago, and you know what….it felt pretty great! Now, that’s not to say it was easy, because it’s not an easy race, but it is one of my favorites, and I was doing it with some of my favorite people. Seriously if you are local to the Tacoma area check out Evergreen Trail Runs  specifically the Dash Point March & Sep races. One of my favorite courses ever!

Barbie arms! Thanks for the pic Michelle!

For a while now (like the last few years…yikes) running has been stressful between dealing with lingering car accident issues, and dealing with a knee injury/surgery from HS. I was starting to feel like running was going to be over for me. The car accident stuff is what it is and I can deal with it, but my knee that’s another story, and the two issues combined…forget about it. The constant pain was really starting to get to me, and it was keeping me from running the way I’d like.

Michelle, Ella, Elya and Me…thanks again for the pic Michelle.

Enter a visit to an Ortho Surgeon…who after an x-ray and exam recommend PT. Now, I will admit I had a cruddy attitude about PT. It’s not what I wanted to do, I really just wanted an MRI to assure I wasn’t doing damage, but turns out Ortho Surgeons are pretty smart, and sending me to PT was exactly what I needed. I have learned so much about how my knee and body are (or aren’t) working, what to change to make every day, non-running, life knee-pain free, and what to do while running to limit the wear, tear, and pain in my knee. I still don’t love the time or money commitment to PT, but every visit I’m so happy with how things are going, and the things I’m learning to assure I’m treating my knee (and body) the best I can to keep everything functioning for years to come.

And finished! Felt good!

My first visit to PT I was asked what my goal was and my #1 goal was/is to be able to run pain free, and sign up for any race I want to without having to consider if my knee can handle it or not. And, I’m getting there! Most runs are pain free now, and if the knee does start to hurt it’s because I’ve gotten lazy and let the form/muscle control go. A quick re-focus and reactivation of certain muscles and the pain is instantly gone! It feels so good to run and not be worried the entire time.

Sisters who run together…have a really good time!

Even though running is going so much better I’m still sticking to trail running only. Long term I just feel like it’s a better option for my body, plus I’d much rather run through the trees than past cars on the road. Trail runner at heart over here!

 

Run, Run…just not too far!

It always feels good to get the longest run of the training cycle done! Michelle and I got in our 12 miler over the weekend, and I’m so glad to have it done and out of the way. Plus, I know I can do 13.1 if I can do 12…even though I was barely hanging in there at the end of 12.

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I felt lucky to finish this training run, my knees were hurting so bad my the end I could hardly stand it.

This whole training cycle has been really hard for me. Mostly mentally….I’m just not into it. In the past I’ve always been excited about my runs, but this time around I’m frustrated with the time it takes to do the training, I’ve looked for (and found) excuses to skip training runs, and then had a legit knee injury contribute to missing runs.

I’m just not feeling it any more. It feels more like a burden than a joy, and if running isn’t something I can enjoy then it’s time to change things.

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Dirty trail socks! I spent a lot of time with my legs up the wall and ice on my knees after this run was done. I really hope it’s not this bad race day.

After this next half I’m going to hang up the half distance and move to 10K’s or less. I just feel like my knees are hurting in a bad way, not a “normal” you just ran 12 miles way, and some things are still bothering me from the car accident…things that I don’t expect to go away. And, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to myself with my running. I spent several years that I will cherish forever running with Sky in the stroller, qualified for Half Fanatics, traveled for some amazing destination races, beat the PR I wanted, and have hung with two running partners that are 5 and 7 years younger than me. Not bad for someone who’s tag line was “I’ll never be a runner!” I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments!

The idea of 40 – 60 min training runs vs. 2.5 hour training runs, and then feel out of it the rest of the day seems pretty great as well. Bonus, Mark likes the idea of traveling for 10K’s much better than traveling for half marathons, because I’m pretty out of it for a few days after a half…but a 10K, I’m good to go after 6 miles. Family trips planned around races…YES!

Such a sense of relief to have a plan for after the Sep half…the whole situation has been on my mind for weeks. I’m still looking forward to running a trail half, but I’m really looking forward to moving on in my running life and making changes that will allow me to continue running, and more importantly continue enjoying it!

Run In The Sun & Other Weekend Fun

We had one of those unheard of warm, sunny winter days in the PNW yesterday. I am so thankful our morning run plan didn’t work out and we rescheduled for the afternoon. The weather just kept getting nicer, and nicer and by the time 2pm rolled around I was giddy!

Love my new run vest…thank you Dad! I could have skipped it since it was so warm, but I’m glad I finally got to test it out.

Instead of a chilly, dark run we enjoyed the sun and the view. I don’t know if it was the sun, the fact we didn’t talk much, or that we just feel better running in the afternoon, but that’s the quickest pace we’ve had on that particular route in a very long time. Best part is I feel pretty good. I have doubled my stretching, foam rolling, and trigger pointing before and after runs in an effort to maintain the progress I’m making since the accident…man it takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it!
Something about this view just makes running easier.

The perfect way to end a fun weekend full of friends, food & wine! I finally started feeling a little bit excited about the training schedule that starts in a few weeks. I’ve been pretty worried about not being ready for it etc. But, I think yesterday’s run is just what I needed to remind myself how enjoyable running can be and how good it makes me feel. I know most of our runs will not be in warm sunny weather the next few months, but I’m still looking forward to it. 
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Sky had her first official sleep over, in her room, this weekend. The Beckham girls have slept over before, but we have never put them all in Sky’s room for bed time. I wasn’t sure how well that would work, but after a few minutes of giggles and voices all 3 were out and even slept in the next morning! 
One of the things I appreciate the most about the girls is there is very little squabbling. I know siblings have moments, but those two do great with us, and they handle Sky really well. Grace can get Sky to do anything, and they both deal with the whims of a 3 year old perfectly. 
It worked out that they had back to back open houses at their house Fri night and Sat afternoon, because the girls stayed with us overnight, and all day Sat through dinner. Sky was thrilled to have them to play with, which allowed me to get all the laundry and dishes done.   
We didn’t think it was possible to get another dog that likes to cuddle as much as Bishop, but Silas has him beat. He is the most cuddly dog I’ve ever seen, it’s totally his happy place, and Sky and Grace’s as well. 

 
I finally got to use my new pasta pot and sauce that I received for Christmas! It also came with a good bottle of Chianti that I was more than happy to share with everyone. I had been waiting until we had friends over to open the sauce because…well that’s a lot of pasta sauce for just the three of us. I still ended up freezing a lot of it but it’s nice to have a bunch of spaghetti sauce ready to heat up for quick easy dinners. I must find more of that sauce because it was good, and I LOVE my new pot! It has as steaming basket as well, so now all I want to do is steam veggies and make huge pots of soup. 
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Sky is the best little Steelers fan ever. She doesn’t care that the season has been done for weeks now, ok she doesn’t actually know that or understand that part of the game yet, regardless she’s all about her Steelers gear. Almost every day she picks something Steelers to wear for the day, and sometimes it’s Mark’s hat. Side note – she does this all on her own…I don’t pick out her Steelers outfits as often as she does. 
Her hands are blurry because she was clapping along to her Steelers chant.

She insisted on wearing it to school. Normally it’s a no go because I don’t want hats getting lost or left, but she was insistent and in order to assure she had a good day as school, and didn’t show up upset for her teachers to deal with I let her wear it. Most adorable Steelers fan ever!
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Hawks or Patriots in the SB?
There is no good answer here so I’ll just say Go Steelers! 🙂 
 


I’m Going to Miss Our Tree!

It’s always a little sad when Christmas is over because I love the reason for the season. The kindness and goodwill, time with family and friends, and even though it’s a busy time it’s also time to slow down and focus on things other than the daily grind. It’s a nice break from “real” life. 

It also goes along with the end of the NFL regular season, which is sad. I love playoffs and the SB and all that, but the end of regular season means I’m at loose ends Sunday and Monday nights, and once playoffs are over I’ll have to be productive on Sunday’s again as well. :-/ 
Even though I love Christmas once it’s done, it’s done. Dec 26th all the decoration came down, the house got put back to normal, and the tree came down between games on Sunday. Technically the tree is still up, but it’s naked, and sad, and I want it to go completely away now. I’m that way with life in general, once something is done, I’m over it and moving on. No looking back, bring on whatever is next.
We enjoyed the outdoor tree more than I thought we would. I was a little sad about not having our inside one this year, but once the courtyard tree went up it was the best thing ever!
 Enjoying the last Egg Nog latte of the year.
 Spiked Hot Chocolate!

 The thing I’ll miss the most is snuggling with Sky looking at the lights. Silas enjoyed it as well.

Now it’s time to look to New Years Eve and the New Year. I actually have no idea what we are doing this year for NYE, if anything. In years past we hosted a PJ NYE Party. But, now that we host Christmas dinner/gift exchange that’s too much large party planning too close together, so we haven’t been doing the NYE party. Last year we stayed home just the 3 of us, and were in bed long before midnight. May sound lame, but it’s actually really nice not to be overly tired/hung over when the tot gets up at the the same early hour no matter what. 
I suppose I had better nail down my resolutions. I don’t usually make NY Resolutions, but this year there are a few changes/things I want to work on that are ready to happen now, so this year there are resolutions. Just general ideas right now, but I’m listing them out and making them specific to ensure success! 
Resolution #1 is to find a new background for photos…the tree was pretty perfect!
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A few random pics from the last several days……………

Sunday morning run. The good news is that while I have constant accident related pain, the last few runs have not made it worse, and things seem to be holding steady. I’m slowly upping the number of runs per week and will start adding a mile or two every other run to see what happens. Keeping an easy pace seems to be helping.

Sadly Sky ended up with a pretty nasty little cold. We made it through Christmas day, but she was overdone by the time we left the parents house. We had an opportunity to have some family photos done a few days later and were keeping our fingers crossed Sky would feel up to it. Thankfully she held it together through the morning photo session and lunch after (yes we bribed her with lunch out and cake if she listened and cooperated for the photos). Judge if you must, but it worked and we got some great photos! She was done though, crashed on the way home, slept for hours and was cranky as all get out the rest of the day. It was totally worth it…can’t wait to see the proofs!

If you like Chipotle flavor you need to try this sauce! Super easy…I sauteed up a batch of fajita veggies and steak using only salt and pepper then added this sauce to let is simmer a bit, heated up some corn tortillas and added guacamole and it was really good! It has now become a pantry staple for us!

Sky is all about tea parties, so this tea set has proven to be one of her favorite gifts of the season! It’s tea party time all the time around here! 🙂

My favorite kind of Christmas morning sparkle!

We may have added another tradition to our Christmas…Sushi for Christmas Eve dinner! It was totally spur of the moment, totally yummy, and totally a nice treat to not have to cook dinner that evening. It was also the perfect break from the “normal” food of the season. After that we found pretty lights to look at, and even found a house that does a free display set to music. We tuned in and listened for a bit and then headed home to watch Christmas Movies.

They ran and played in the yard and tired each other out…my idea of a perfect afternoon at home = all three of them tired and resting in peace. 
Mommy, mommy, Silas is sitting with me…hurry take our picture! They have been cuddling watching cartoons together all morning. 

Post Vaca Running Fail

I’m not sure my legs appreciated my first run after vaca being a fast one.  Or maybe it had more to do with the fact I still feel motion sick from flying.  I don’t know, and I don’t know when the world will stop spinning, and I won’t have waves of dizziness and nausea wash over me, but I’m ready for that to be done!  It’s getting better day by day, but still having not fun moments of dizziness and sickness. 

Anyway, last nights group run was speedy as usual, and Michelle and I pushed the pace, and pushed up the hills, and I couldn’t finish.  I had to walk the last .3 because I was so dizzy and felt like I was going to vomit.  I probably could have finished, but I was over done, thirsty, tired, hungry and sick all at the same time.  Since I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, and was already close to finishing last there wasn’t much point in pushing when I felt so cruddy.

 Pilates legs.

I had done my pilates leg workout that morning too, so maybe they were a bit tired.  It doesn’t really matter I guess…I just need to work at getting back to it.  Thankfully today’s stroller run felt a lot better than lasts nights group run. 

Is it possible to still be recovering from the heat/humidity as well?  I don’t know how long it takes to get back to normal, but I felt really overheated and dehydrated last night as well, which is pretty much how I felt the whole time in Houston. 
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In random news and pics…

After today’s Pilates workout…our check-in was to post a selfie after we finished.
My current manicure!  I’m loving mixing up the Jamberry wraps and having fun, festive nails.  Gotta do it while I can because who knows what future job I may have that has a dress code against this kinda thing.  
Yesterday was so nice that Sky ran around without a shirt all day long.  I love being able to hang out and eat outside in the sun, and that Bishop is ever vigilant in his lookout duties.  
Lastly I have a very exciting post planned for Friday!!!  It’s not very often I get to post about breaking news on the local music scene, but Friday I have exciting news to share about a pretty awesome local band!  Get ready to hear your summer soundtrack for the first time Friday!
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What is your #1 favorite music group/performer?  
Aerosmith forever and always!
Do you listen to music while running?
Yes, but I’m cutting back so it feels like more of a boost on race day.
 
Anyone else have soundtracks for summer?   
I have specific CD’s that I only enjoy listening to during the summer. 

5 Miles Did Me In

Good news!!!!  Apparently her arm is all better!  Mark’s ability to pop her elbow back in seemed to have done the trick!  I planned on getting her into the Ortho regardless, but after 2 hours of trying to get through on the phone I was told by the hospital operator that the main line to the office was down and they would not transfer me to a back line (nurses line), so I gave up. 

I opted for play time at Frog n Kiwi instead and figured if she was hurting after I would try and get through again.  At this point I’m in favor of skipping the Dr. visit/cast and seeing how her arm does.  If it pops out again I’ll admit I was wrong and we will go in, but I really just don’t want to go through the whole cast thing again if we don’t absolutely have to.

Proud Mommy moment…another parent came up and told me that Sky was playing so nicely with the other kids, and really good at taking turns.  Yes!!!! 

Sky’s arm may be pain free today but my legs sure aren’t.  Yesterdays run did me in.  I was so worn out and felt run down the whole rest of the day, and my legs were sore and tired.  They felt like they didn’t want to hold me up at all.  I’m still sore today, but not as bad thanks to foam rolling!  It’s mildly concerning since it wasn’t a super fast pace nor was it a long run.  5 miles is usually no big thing for me, so not sure what the deal is.  I hope I’m not getting sick, but that would totally explain it.  I’m resting today, skipping run group tonight, and will get back at it Wednesday with the stroller group.

I’m probably one of the few runners that skips runs/takes rest days as easily as I do.  I’m motivated, but I guess I’m not overly motivated.  I have a pretty good grasp on don’t want to vs shouldn’t, and I think today is a shouldn’t run day.  Never mind that I don’t really want to run in the dark, in the wind, and in the rain, but if this was strictly a I don’t want to thing I would make myself do it.

How do you get yourself out the door for a run/exercise when you don’t feel like it? 
I try to continually have a race on the books so I have something to train for and motivate me. 

Run/Football/Pack/Clean the House Sunday

So much to do to get ready for all the Christmas fun that I won’t be sitting on the couch watching football all day.  It’s ok though, the games will still be one and I will be watching my FF championship game closely, I simply must win this year!

Before all that though I had to get a run in.  My favorite loop was calling my name, so I laced up and headed out for a quick little 3.85 mile run.  Had to get a last run in before hitting up the east side of the state.  My track record for running over there is bad.  As in doesn’t even exist.  I don’t plan on changing that this visit either.  Not going to lie…it didn’t feel good.  In fact I think an old injury has come back and I’m not happy about it.  The arch of my left foot hurt from start to finish.  My knee and hip hurt too, but after a mid-run walking break (I just couldn’t do the hill…was trying not to vomit by that point) those calmed down and I was able to finish the run with just the arch pain, and tummy trouble.  Too many treats, and too much wine!
Still glad I got out there, and now I can focus on stopping the arch issue before it gets any worse!

 Unless their trail shoes, then they should be dirty.  Shower time for me and my Energy Boost’s!

While I’m sad our unexpected trip to San Fran was cancelled (I won’t get to see my favorite people and Sky and I will miss lunch with Liz) it does free me up to take this week off from running, and focus solely on family time.  Realistically I knew running in San Fran wasn’t going to happen, and two weeks of no running just doesn’t work for me at all…which meant some hilly, windy, painfully cold air runs this week.  I’m kind of glad I can take a break and focus on celebrating time with loved ones and relaxing instead!  Plus, there is something about my Aunt and Uncles house that just makes you want to put on pj’s and snuggle all day while watching classic Christmas movies.  

We had an early Christmas Celebration with friends Friday night.  I didn’t take very many pictures…we were too busy eating and drinking.  Ok, mostly drinking the yummy cocktail Michelle made!  Which is why I didn’t get a run in yesterday!

  

Sky and Abi watching Polar Express

She takes gift opening very seriously! 
Using Pictionary cards makes for a challenging night of charades!

Yesterday after re-hydrating with NUUN (the upside of being a runner is always having hydration on hand) I took Sky to the park for some play time.  Pretty much the only time we go to the playground at Ft. St. is when it rains.  We like having the playground to ourselves.  The reality is it’s usually so overcrowded that it’s way to easy for Sky to get lost in the crowd and give me a panic attack!   
“I balancing!”

She spent a lot of time in this playhouse…out of the rain. 
Once we got home it was time for her first cooking lesson!  She is loving the kiddo sized utensils she got from Bob and Michelle!  She is all about “Look Mommy I Cooking” so it’s exciting for her to have her own utensils and do her own “cooking”.  She chopped up her own lunch and snacks for today with Daddy’s help.
  
I don’t mind that it’s going to be a busy Sunday, with Football as the background noise.  It will make getting all the laundry and packing done so much more enjoyable!  Plus, I love coming home from trips to a clean house.  It’s no fun unpacking in an already messy house!   
It will be limited posting next week…focusing more on enjoying family time than posting. 
Merry Christmas and safe travels to all!