Motivational Monday – In Honor of my Spartan Race this Sunday…




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The Times They Are a-Changing

Goals Update!

Goal 1: (Skip!)  Though I should start to seriously think about a timeframe for my first marathon.

Goal 2: Start a running streak: In progress, the Duel, I expect to hear from Rosa any day now that she’s throwing in the towel.  I’ve had to take a hard look at my time management, to get the mile in.  During today’s mile I thought about all the opportunities in a typical weekday I have to get a mile(s) in.
Here’s what I came up with:
1.  A mile pushing my daughter in the morning before taking her to school
2.  Take her on foot to school (2 miles each way, really considering making it a daily thing)
3.  Drive her to school then go for  a run (showering at home or near the office)
4.  Take a walk during the day at work (Really easy.  I should do this regardless, I have a stressful job.)
5. Pick up her up from school on foot
6.  Pick her up from school (driving)  and take her for a walk/run
7.  Wait till everyone is asleep and go at 10pm (sketchy)

There is no reason not to get in a 15 min walk/run everyday.  Twice this week I’ve done option 7…  ugh – bad time management and prioritization.

Goal 3: Thought about buying a bike this week, even looked into prices – Progress!!!!!

Skipping Goals 4-7 (I can’t…)

At this point I realize that getting to my goals starts with my habits.  Case in point, running is becoming a habit.  It’s got me thinking of other daily/weekly habits I would love to have.  Painting, reading, cleaning, creating new Etsy items….

If I could just carve out the time and stick with it, my habits would  slowly translate into me accomplishing my goals.  Also I realize most of my goals are long term, there are not a lot of intermediate goals to keep me motivated.   Working on this idea…

Goal 8: Reading is FUNdamental.  At the start of August, I picked up 3 books, all of which I had an interest in reading.  I can be very thorough when it comes to starting something I’m going to spend a lot of time doing.  I hate to waste time.  I read about 50 or so pages into each to get a feel for what they were about.  The books were: Born to Run, The Outliners and The Causal Vacancy.   I found I was in the mood for fiction, so The Casual Vacancy was what I stayed on.  So far I have gotten about half way through  the book and I can’t say enough about the character development.  It’s really well written, I often find myself lost in the thoughts of the characters I’m reading about.  If I were to think of a downside it’s that there seems like nothing is happening. The first part is pretty much the  folks in a town’s reaction to a man’s death…  We’ll see if it picks up, I hope soon, I’m starting to lose interest.

Goal 9: … (Seriously need to start looking at some more intermediate goals.)

Goal 10: I started a painting…. started… as in one session.  I didn’t like what I was painting, so I stopped.  Another thought I had, I have tons of sketch books lying around, every time someone buys me a gift it’s a sketch book, I was an art major.   What it I just started with daily sketching?

In all, I’m moving in the right direction, exciting!


NO Rest Day for YOU!

I’ve been running!  Oh yeah, running ’round, gettin’ it.

An update on the DUEL:

Monday – First day, eased into it.  Was cold only went about 2 miles.

Tuesday – Flood wall western half walk.  This run was supposed to be about 3 miles.  I wanted to revisit the route from the Black Girls Run to get pictures.  I ended up getting lost and added on a mile.  Total: 4 miles in an hour


Western Half of the Flood Wall! New route!


So its illegal to go on train tracks (didn’t know that)


How I got off the train tracks.

Wednesday – Spur of the moment, I decided I would pick my daughter up from school on foot.  It’s exactly 2 miles from my front door.  (I know I should have been doing this)
Like I said spur of the moment, meaning I had to push the jeep empty the first 2 miles to the school.  When I got to the school a teacher commented, “At least you didn’t have a doll baby in it, that was the only thing that could have been worst than running down the busiest road in the City at 5pm.” I didn’t mention the school is on Main Street as in the main street in downtown Richmond, yeah.  Poor planning.

Thursday – I had an early meeting and a late meeting.  I took a break during the day to walk a mile.  I forgot to turn off my Garmin when I got back to the office so the time was off.

Friday – I went out planning on doing 2 miles, mostly because I was leaving out at 8pm.  I ended up doing 4 on the slave trail (yes trail at night).  I’ll post more about that route later.  I did this run with just the Garmin, no music, phone, keys, water, fanny pack…  Not on purpose but because I thought I was going for a quick stroll and just wanted to get it over with.  But as I started heading out I felt good.  The first mile was the fastest I’ve done since 2007, 11:36.  So I kept going.

Saturday – Torrential down pour that morning, early afternoon.  I just knew I would only be able to maybe get a mile in.  Well, it cleared up and I set out to do 4 miles.  I ended up doing 6… I found a new trail on Belles Island and there was a band playing on the opposite shore ( all this exploring bumped up the miles).  I did this run with only the Garmin as well, there’s something to this running with less.  It was the fasted 6 miles I’ve done since 2007.

I need to look into this running without music, phone, keys, water, fanny pack…. thing.

I’ll keep you posted, literally…

MAD Streak Day#1 and the Flood Wall Park Route

Just to clarify, MAD Streak – Mile A Day Streak.

Last night, I was determined to set myself up for success this morning.  I set out our clothes and running gear.  I set the alarm 30 minutes early to be sure I didn’t snooze through ( I have a bit of a snooze problem).  My mission to run ( with the little one) from 7-8 am.

At 7:18 we were walking out the door, (staying positive – I’m only going to focus on that fact that we made it out the house at all!)

Today was the start of the streak and I made it.  With a 7:18 start I needed to determine a short route.  We had great temperatures and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t break a sweat  It was low for the summer, with no humidity.  What was not so great was the amount of phlegm I had (sorry!).  It got so bad and  I just didn’t have it in me to run the entire time.

To make time matters worst,  I stopped often and for several minutes at a time, to safely make it through busy intersections.  Regardless we were on our way and I knew just the place to go.

Today’s Route: The Flood Wall Park, less than a mile from home.  It sports some spectacular views of the City.

In total we covered 2 miles in 41 mins ( I should have paused time for intersections and pictures, I promise there was running).

Enjoy the photos!


Coming up on the park


The ramp to the top of the Flood Wall


View from the top of the Flood Wall


It’s wonderful up there


Diversity Park just below the ramp

A little bit of information about Richmond’s Flood Wall:

It is one of the largest flood-protection systems in the nation and it opened miles of the James River to public access, with river walks, trails and scenic overlooks. The total length of the Floodwall is 3.2 miles of concrete, steel, earth and rock, with 1.2 miles on the north shore of the James River and two miles on the south bank.

Motivational Monday – How Bad Do You Want To Be Successful

I am constantly scouring the “internets” for motivation.  Monday tends to be a very hard day for me to do anything.  So to change my mentality I will post my motivational findings here, every Monday.

The first and the message that means the most to me (I’ve referred back to it for years), is this:




I challenge you to a duel!

Every weekend, particularly on Sunday, I plan to sit down and organize my upcoming week.  And like clockwork, I do not.  This weekend, I started.  Yes, I know exciting! I opened up one of the many Moleskine journals I have lying around (mess-ups from Etsy orders) and wrote down some things on my mind.  One of the things, most heavy, on my mind was my running schedule.  To my knowledge there are 4 kinds of runs, all of which the elite athletes incorporate: easy runs, tempo runs, interval training and long runs.  Since learning this information I have wanted to incorporate all of these types into my weekly running.  Since learning this information I have barely got 2 kinds of runs in (the only one that consistently makes it is the easy run, of course).

Prior to my first half (this past June) I ran about 6 days a week, all easy runs (and without fail a long run on the weekend 11+ miles). Practically injury free! Since the race I’ve been barely hung on to 3 runs a week.  I want to get back the feeling I had doing regular runs, thus the inspiration for this blog.  I want to get back to a happier time when it took no effort to lace up.

Thinking about planning, thinking about a running schedule, thinking about my goals… I put in a text to Rosa.  It was as follows:

“I challenge you to a duel!”

My duel, a running streak (Goal #2).

After some back and forth about what defines a running streak. (ugh, my original text lost a lot of luster).  I ended up having to actually call her, to explain.  She was hesitant.  We are both 30 something friends, who met some years ago through our significant others who are brothers.  Our children are young (and cousins) and it can be difficult to get out there alone to run.  I suggested we change the challenge from a running streak to a mile a day streak (as it’s more kid friendly).  Whoever lasts the longest would WIN!  Her response,” You can read my thoughts about it later.”  I laughed a lot (because I know she was serious, we’re both really into this blogging thing).  I ended the conversation with, “It starts tomorrow!” and hung up.

Just so you know, I have a bit of ESP, so if there are bets going, just know –

I will be the victor! 

Black Girls RUN! in Richmond


Black Girls RUN! is a movement sweeping the nation.  Learn more about them HERE!  Through some research Rosa found a local group here in Richmond.  I contacted them a few months ago but had not yet joined them on a run.  Well, today was the day! The Richmond chapter was having, a large group, one year anniversary run with the start was only a few miles from my house.  I was familiar with the area but definitely learned a few things along the way.


The whole group before we started the run.

The idea was to take the group through the trails around Belle’s Island, here in Richmond.  It started with good intentions but the different levels in the large group made it hard to keep track of everyone.  There were only 2 people who really knew the whole route.    I lead a group, yes on my first day, one way that met up with the other group.  I know the run organizer felt really stressed about losing people, but in the end everyone seemed to have made it back and most were surprised they went as far as they did.  All and all, I really enjoyed myself.  I ended up sticking with a group towards the back (second to last group) and we strolled our way in.  When the run started it took way too long for my Garmin 210 Forerunner to find a signal, also in the beginning, I was running back and forth to make sure everyone stayed on track, so I have no idea how long I was out or how far I went.  One of the girls I finished with said she had done 3.4 miles so I’m guessing I was around 4…

It was great to discover a new routes in my area.  I regret not taking pictures of the trails.  I am new to the group and didn’t think I would know anyone so I didnt want to show up with a camera.  But next time I will.

To Do:  Run all the 7 or 8 routes in my area and take pictures with google maps routes and post them.

My dear child: “Why we stopped”, Me: “Because Mommy is dying.”

I haven’t been feeling well the last few days, but I told myself I was going to be consistent with running.  I’m not so much about the distance as I am about just staying committed.  My weekday runs are around 4 miles as I typically only have about an hour to run.

I don’t always feel like running.  I talk myself into it by saying I won’t push hard but every time I get out there the legs just take over and I run harder and faster, sometimes making really fast times.  I always feel better after running.  Accomplished, even.

The title of today’s post comes from one of the many conversations I have with my 2 year old.  This is what happens… I get a good stride, the wind is flowing through her hair and then I run out of breathe and we stop/slow down.  She is sure to point it out…

City View

A little more about me…

I have a daughter who will be 3 in August.  If I skip a morning run (they’re all meant to be morning runs), I will have to make it up with an evening run pushing The Jeep (our nickname and the stroller brand).  Dad works overnight so that leaves me as the primary caregiver in the evenings.  If I want to get in a run I have to bring her.

She looks comfortable, doesn't she.

She looks comfortable, doesn’t she?


Out for a stroll

Though the morning runs give more flexibility with the type of work out, location and time… it’s really great taking my daughter.   We have conversations and get explore the historic neighborhood we live in together.  She often gets out and runs along with me (sometimes really fast).  The only downside is I can’t go as far as I would have if I were alone.  She gets in and out very often.  I don’t mind though,  she really enjoys going “for a walk”.  One day I will build to the point where I do 2 runs a day. One in the morning for “training” and one in the evening for mommy/daughter time.

This evening we took a route along the Flood Wall.  In total we covered 2.6 miles (in 40mins) she probably ran about .75 miles off and on.

After the run I am very sore.  It’s similar to my recovery after long runs (11+ miles).  I think it might be the illness.  I thought with running while sick I could sweat out the illness.  We will see in the morning.

Ugh, summer colds.

Me: “I’m going to blog about this!” Rosa: “It’s therapeutic.”

Rosa and I started blogs at the same time  We both want to document our separate and COMPLETELY opposite journeys.  She is 100lbs lighter than me, ran cross country, wants to get faster and…. gain weight (ugh).  On occasion we meet up in the real world and train together.  Our latest of which was interval training…

We both have been following serval blogs for quite some time, one of the most influential is 50 after 40.  Reading his blog we had an epiphany: To run faster you have to train faster.  I’m paraphrasing a bit but if you train at a 10min pace with a 8min goal in mind how will you ever show up on race day and pull off that miracle.   Here is the blog post for more accuracy.

May and June this year, I ran a CONSISTENT 17min pace average (yes, I have a long way to go).  After one session of interval training I was running  4 miles with an average 14min pace.  There is some about running fast that really stretches your legs.  My body really adapted to the form.   Prior interval training my “run” was mostly a shuffle.  Let me tell you, it feels really good to run fast!  What’s horrible and I mean horrible is running out of breath.  Horrible…  Horrible.  (Thus the , “I’m going to blog about this” comment because I was suffering!)

Regardless of the breathing setbacks…  I need to add a weekly interval workout

Stats from the training:

5 – 400 meter intervals

1 – 2:17 mins
2 – 2:10 mins
3 – 2:18 mins
4 – 2:25 mins
5 – 2:20ish mins ( I was timing Rosa’s 8:59 1600 meter interval and had to manually count)

Legs: Fine, barley felt them.

Lungs: No words, literally, because I couldn’t speak.

Note to self: Your VO2 Max stinks.