Avoiding injury

What do you do to avoid injury? Stretch? Know you should stretch, but don't, hoping the thinking about stretching will help?

Me? I don't stretch. I was doing yoga after my runs, but I haven't even been doing that as my sleep has been eating into my stretch time.

What sparked this conversation? Well, Wednesday, I started out on my run and literally a quarter mile in, and bam! ankle roll on the inverted curb. Caught myself and bam! tweaked knee. So, I limped home. Defeated.

I got back out there this morning, since both ankle and knee had been feeling fine within a few hours of baling on the run. I took it slow, just in case and wouldn't you know, right at the 1 mile mark, my knee started an ache thing. Sigh. Knee, don't you know I have a half marathon in 50 days? Clearly not.

I found this article on Runner's World. I pretty much think strength training is the way to go. A lot of those exercises don't need extra equipment and seem pretty easy. I'll definitely be looking into those after the long weekend. Problem is, where do I add those into my day?!

As a recap, Tuesday, I ran 3 recovery miles after my 9 miler Monday. My time was 32:53 with splits of 10:40, 10:48, 11:17 average of 10:56 per mile.

Wednesday was a pretend run.

This morning, 3 miles in 32:45 with splits of 10:32, 11:09, 11:02. Let's just say 99% humidity = death warmed over. My knee slowed me down some, but I think mostly it was the humidity. Even though I have been running all summer, this humidity has been pretty much nonexistent, so these are conditions I am not familiar with. I guess I've had it easy.

Tomorrow, I'm going to work on speed. And I think I'm going to try this workout I saw on Another Mother Runner, with warm up of 5 minutes because I don't really want to make 21 entries in runkeeper. I'm lazy like that.

<found here>

In other news:

Yesterday, Lydia and I went to the grocery store while the big kids were at school. I'll save you the boring details. But let me just say I missed my veggies. I ate a whole avocado by myself between lunch yesterday and lunch today. I wanted more for dinner, but refrained from going and buying another one. I didn't want to overdo it. (PS: a month ago, I didn't like avocado. Now I can't live without it.)

<whole wheat tortilla, supremely spicy hummus by Sabra, spinach, turkey, queso blanco, red pepper, avocado, and grape tomatoes. Yum>
Today, I started spending some time at the kids schools, helping out their teachers do things I know they would have to do on their own time. Time away from their families. I enjoyed the time at both schools, but especially Madison's school, where I had a nice chat with the building guidance counselor as I worked through copying and cutting and sorting for Miss M. The best part though? Lydia running to me when I got to grandmas to pick her up. Yes, baby girl, I missed you too.

Oh, and I must tell you about dinner. I started Our Best Bites Slow Cooker Kalua Pork with their Pineapple Mint Pico de Galloo on corn tortillas. Very Hawaiian, I guess. I wouldn't know. I've never been. Can we remind my hubby that my birthday is next month?! Wouldn't a Hawaii trip make a great 30th birthday surprise? Yes, I think so too.

And a picture to make you giggle:

<Lydia. Throwing a fit. Because I wouldn't let her destroy play with Noah's name tag. True story.>



After school pic and 9 miles! Woot!

As promised, this is smiley Noah getting off the bus:

This morning, I ran 9 miles. Around the neighborhood. It took 3 times. Most. Boring. Run. Ever. I'll never do that again. Except today I was glad I did because at mile 5.69, I had an urgent need of a potty break- and I just so happened to be running right past the house. Crisis averted.

Anyway, yesterday's goal pace was probably a little far reached after the little I ran last week, but I tried, and since it is my training, I can change the rules any time, including mid run :) 9 miles total in 1:37:49: 9:59, 9:50, 10:17, 11:09, 10:57, 11:44 (insert potty break here), 10:55, 11:30, 11:24; average 10:52 per mile. If you remember, I ran 8 miles 2 weeks ago (here) in 1:35:10, so today's run being only 2 minutes and 39 seconds longer (with a potty break) made me feel pretty good. I'm sore, so I know I pushed it. It hurts real good!

Miss Madison had school today, Noah had one last day of summer vacation so Chad took him to the pool. Lydia and I tagged along for a little while- but I took her home early for a nap.

<Lydia loved riding in the wagon- this was her first time>
<she loved watching Noah, but did not like to be in the water. Over all, not bad for her first time>
<Noah loves the pool!>

We're sitting here watching the end of the Restaurant: Impossible that was filmed close to us. Then it's bed time, running starts early.



Another first day and run recap of sorts

Friday, Noah started his school career. Kindergarten is scary stuff: away from what you know all day, not to mention with a bunch of people you don't know. They are just babies after all. But this guy was tough!

And so excited to be at school!

<love this cheese face>

When I left him, he was still smiling. So no tears! Better than I could have imagined :)

He got off the bus with Madison with more smiles (which I captured, but my iPad sd converter is in Lydia's room, and she's sleeping, and you dare not enter when she's sleeping, maybe I'll post one tomorrow).

He likes his teacher. Probably (right now) because she's friends with Philip, and Philip is about as cool as one can get to a 5 year old.

It should be a good year for both the kids. Madison is motivated to start the year on the right foot- we'll see how long the organization lasts! Maybe Mrs. S will leave an impression :)

We are looking forward to a great year for both of them. It will be really neat to look back and see how far they have come.


This week, running has been hard. I think a combo of the race on Sunday, the kids starting school meaning a new schedule for me. But this week, I will work hard on getting my runs in, and enjoying them.

Sunday, I ran the Little Miami 10k, in 61:17, average of 9:53 per mile.

Monday was rest day.

Tuesday, the kids and I did C25k week 3, day 3.

Wednesday, I ran 3 miles in 29:45, 9:54 per mile

Thursday, the kids and I did C25k week 4, day 1.

Friday morning, I ran 2.71 miles in 30:03, I walked a lot of that last .71mi. I just wasn't feeling it, so I cut it short. First 2 miles were at 9:59 and 10:08.

This morning, I ran 3 miles in 31:06: 10:10, 9:46, and 11:07; average of 10:21 per mile. My breathing was off today. Like I was breathing like I have never run before. It was crazy.

This week, I am resuming my half marathon training with 9 miles tomorrow morning- my goal is the first 6 miles at 10:00 pace, and slow to 11:00 pace for the last 3. A recovery 3 miles Tuesday morning at 10:30 pace. Wednesday morning 3 miles at 10:00 pace. Thursday morning 3 miles at 9:40 pace. Friday speed work: 1 mile at 8:30, 8x400 at 1:45 each with 2 minute recovery walks in between. Saturday morning 3 miles at 10:00 pace.

It looks like a good plan, but I have trouble sticking with my goal pace. Any tips? I'd love a Garmin right about now :)



4th grade here we come!

I'll start with today's exciting news!

Miss Madison started 4th grade this morning. Just look at her :)

<can't miss those NEON runners, can ya?!>

She went to bed last night with butterflies in her belly, and tears of missing me and Lydia while she was at school.

Thankfully, she woke up super excited, dressed and ready.

<goofing off in the rain waiting on the bus>

She came home all smiles and excited to talk about every detail of her day.

<getting off the bus in the pouring rain, smiling while squinting>
<the rain squint, it's a good look>

We all missed her, but we somehow made it through. I have a feeling Little Lydia is going to have a hard time tomorrow when they both are gone.

<the kindergartener>

This little guy is a ball of nerves, so hopefully tomorrow morning goes smoothly. I'm expecting tears times 3.

This girl means business. And I know a brother and a sister she'll be excited to see after they get off the bus. Couldn't you just eat those cheeks?


First Annual Back to School Family Dinner

I can't help but share this cute picture of these girls from this morning, check out the concentration! I love it!

<sewing lesson #1>

I got the idea for the Back to School Family Dinner here. I didn't go ALL out like she did, but I think it still turned out.

We had spaghetti, garlic bread and salad, because its something everyone likes.

Close up of the big signs:

<free printable found here>

<scripture of the school year, just made it in my word processor>

The framed scripture will sit on the mantle, and we will be working on committing it to memory.

<kids place setting, free place card template found here>

The smaller printed scripture will be kept in their possession, I think in the front of their agendas if they have a see through pocket in the front like they had last year (or I could be imagining it. . .), or I'll tape it to the inside flap of their agenda.

<7-up free printable found here>

Yes, we did let them drink their 7-up for dinner.

We talked about the importance of remembering who we are. What's expected at school, as well as at home. I think it went pretty well.

<Miss Lydia enjoyed the spaghetti dinner too :)>

<Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for dessert>

After dinner, we did C25k week 3, day 3. I hope my knee is up for a slow short run in the morning. I'm getting out there even if I have to walk the whole time.

It's the last day of summer break for Madison and meet the teacher's tomorrow night. It should be eventful. I'm choking back the tears as I type.



Fun: McKinney Style

Today was the last Monday before school starts, translation: since Chad works Saturday's, it was his last day off before the kids are in school.

We went bowling:

<Noah watching his very calculated roll, he actually ended up with a strike on this roll>

<Madison getting ready to take her turn>

<Lydia cheering on the sibs>

<check out those scores!! Noah rocked it!>

<Lydia clearly had fun>

We ate in. I made baked sweet and sour chicken with fried rice made with leftover brown rice from salmon Saturday.

We went for our last Kolor Kone of the summer. Visit their website, our family is featured and then Miss Lydia a few pictures down. Seriously, you need to go there. But call me so we have an excuse to go too. Best. Waffle. Cones. Ever. For real.

<these kids take ice cream seriously, ok, so does their mom!>

I'm looking forward to running a few easy miles in the morning, burn off some ice cream. . . And then another busy day with my kiddies. Stay tuned :)



Race Day!

I felt bad about dragging Chad and the kids out of bed at the crack of dawn, but just a little. I caught a glimpse of them as I was starting. And then again about a mile in, after we went around town as we were getting onto the bike trail. But the best part: they were inches from the finish line cheering me on!

The weather was perfect this morning, 60 degrees and sunny. All in all, it was a good race. I didn't finish in an hour, but it will give me something to work towards next time for sure. My official chip time was 1:01:17, average of 9:53 per mile.

I hit it hard coming out of the gate, which was my plan, and then lightened up after mile 3, but lightened up just a little too much, and then I couldn't recover the time lost. My mile splits were: 9:09, 9:21, 8:58, 10:14, 10:52, 10:18; .2 in 2:25 (I think. . .haha- it sure felt a lot faster than that!).

I came in 141 out of 276 for all 10k runners, 77 out of 186 women, and 11 out of 20 women ages 25-29. Finishing at (or under) an hour would have put me in the top 50 women. Yeah. I checked. I'm pathetic.

A big morning, followed by an uplifting worship, a quiet lunch with my little family, maybe a little nap, an equally uplifting worship this evening, and then an end of summer hot dog with our church family. A great day.

I'm skipping my half marathon training run tomorrow, since technically I had a long run today, but I will resume my scheduled 9 miles next Monday.

It's also back to school week! Madison starts 4th grade Thursday and Noah's kindergarten phase in day is Friday. These kids are growing up. It makes this momma sad. I guess, at least I still have Lydia with me. Sadness aside, I look forward to the growth of all of them this year, it will be a big year for all 3. We have a big last week planned: we saw Planes last night, tomorrow we're going bowling, Tuesday we have sewing lessons and then lunch with friends and then our first annual back to school family dinner. Be ready for pictures galore this week!



New glasses and getting ready for back to school

Yesterday, I had a rest day, a little. I mean, I didn't run, the big kids were invited to go field tripping with friends, so we met them at Chad's office to pick up Madison's new specs:

I should have gotten a picture inside...her transitions had already turned. But I'm not about to wake her up! But would you just look at those straight teeth behind those braces, I mean wow!

I decided I should get some stuff ready for back to school.

After Lydia and I grocery shopped, I did some baking and griddling while she napped: 1 short of 3 dozen pancakes (as seen on Painting Sunny), 2 dozen Blueberry Banana Whole Wheat Muffins (as seen on Hungry Runner Girl, love her!), and a dozen muffins and a loaf of Low Fat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (as seen on SkinnyTaste). They are all now in my freezer ready to be popped in the toaster or micro for a yummy homemade school day breakfast. Score one for momma! Now to plan a variety of nutritious yet simple packable lunches, any ideas?

This morning, I started with 3 miles in 28:29: 9:28, 9:19, 9:43; 9:30 per mile average. Yeah, a far cry from the 10:30 per mile average pace I had planned for this morning. Two things happened: 1- Chad "challenged" me to finish my 10k Sunday in under 60 minutes, so part of that is a good handle on the first 3 miles, which the adrenaline from what is supposed to be a 700+ runner race between the 10k and half marathon, should get me a pretty good first half time. 2- IT WAS FREEZING this morning, 49 degrees, so it's possible I was trying to stay warm!

We had a great day at the zoo with my mom.

Hello, random mom who stood there for 400 minutes.

Chad grilled us some yummy burgers. And he made fun of me. For having more veggies than meat in mine: I had a pile of baby spinach and banana peppers and he grilled me up some red bell pepper. So yummy.

Tonight was week 3, day 2 of C25k with the kiddos. Madison is really getting into it. She begs every night to run. I'm looking forward to an early morning run with her in the not too distant future.



Week Recap and Race Week (kinda)

This morning, as I rounded the corner home, I have never been so happy to see home. For real.

I logged 8 miles on the half marathon schedule- only 5 weeks to go. I ran around town since Chad had to work today, so I had some hills to deal with instead of a flat straight course meant for foot traffic. Check this out:

8 miles in 1:35:10: 11:42, 11:57, 11:56, 12:06, 11:36, 12:11, 11:42, 11:57; average of 11:53 per mile.

Ironic tidbit: this is the 3rd week in a row I have struggled with mile 6. Not sure how to overcome that obstacle... Although, I think for this week, mile 6 was full of waiting on traffic so I could cross the street and then crossing the street again.

I also did C25k week 3, day 1 with the kids- 1.88mi in 30:18.


Long weekend, and running buddies

We'll start with Friday: rest day! I finished getting ready for our short trip to visit friends in Michigan.

Saturday, I started with a little speed work: 1 mile in 9:02, 2 minute walk, 1/2 mile in 4:38, 2 minute walk, 1/2 mile in 4:58. That last half mile was a struggle.

I made last minute pesto so my basil wouldn't go bad. And banana muffins or we'd have come home to rotten bananas. . .

<banana muffins>
As soon as Chad got home from work, we headed out for MI. We went straight to services at the local church of Christ congregation to hear a guest speaker who had been there all week. McKinney feat: we made the trip without stopping! With 3 kids, that's saying something!

Sunday morning before services, I ran with one of my oldest friends. 2.92 miles in 30:15 around his "neighborhood", a very conversational pace (he's the most talking guy I know, at 7am was no different!): 10:25, 10:21, 10:20; average 10:22 per mile. I know I slowed him down a lot, but it was nice to chat and run.

We had two very uplifting services and a potluck in between with great food, great association and great singing. It was great to see those I haven't seen for years. And of course it was great see our kids make great friends with kids of our old friends.

<just look at these cuties!>

Today, we had a relaxing morning listening to our kids laugh and play. We had fantastic straight from the farm burgers on homemade buns. I mean WOW!

Since we were away today, I have an extra early 8 mile run in the morning. 10k race early Sunday morning, kinda looking forward to it!

Do you prefer to run alone or with a buddy?

When is your next race?

What day do you do long runs?



One foot in front of the other

Today, my legs were heavy. I kept telling myself, "one foot in front of the other, one step at a time". I got up and ran 4 miles in 43:37: 10:39, 10:23, 11:14, 11:14; 10:54 average. AND THEN, since Chad didn't have any patients this morning, I got the kids out for C25k week 2, day 3. Talk about really heavy legs. One foot in front of the other...

Then caramel latté a la Chad (doesn't it look yummy?!) and fluffy pancakes.

And just look at this cutie girl holding court with the Cars.

I needed some basil, so we headed to a local farmers market to check out the selection.

<beautiful basil>

I made pesto with said basil until I ran out of Parmasean cheese and still had basil left. Yeah it was a lot of basil. Guess I'm getting more Parmasean cheese tomorrow.

Dinner with said pesto.



What is it about food shows...

that make you want to eat? We're sitting here watching an old DVR'd episode of Chopped and all I can think about is what snack I'm going to eat! Of course its not helping that the mystery baskets are full of leftovers. Maybe we should watch something else...

This morning I ran 3 miles in 30:33: 10:06, 9:59, 10:35; average pace 10:11.

Today's run was hard, mentally. For one, I still had tired legs from my long run on Monday. For two, I must have still been sleeping because I messed up my route at the beginning of my run, and didn't realize it until I was rounding the corner home and but still had a half mile to go to finish my miles. Yeah, brutal. Third, starting into mile 3, I had to stop because I was having a coughing fit. Oh and fourth, Little Miss did not have a good night, probably had a small thing to do with the cat nap she caught at like 6pm. As I was finally rounding the corner home, I heard my mom voice talking to myself the same way I talked to the kids last night, trying to get them motivated to finish the last 90 second run. "Come on guys, last run, let's make it count!" and "almost done guys!" Looking forward to tomorrow's run being better.

After a caramel latté a la Chad (have I mentioned I love this man?), and getting him off to work, the kids rode their bikes, and I walked Lydia in the stroller around the neighborhood.

<My little cross trainers!>

The walk got me thinking about cross training and how at 9 and 5, these kids have got the concept without any effort. I pretty much don't cross train. I don't ride a bike. I can't swim. So what's left? What do you do?


A Beautiful Day in My Neighborhood :)

We spent about 90% of our day outside. I mean it's early August and 75 degrees in the middle of the day, come on, it's a no brainer. Last year, I'm sure it was 40 million degrees, but I was pregnant, so it could have been just me...

We got a few extra minutes with the hubby this morning, since his day started later than usual. That was nice. So was the caramel latté he made me, just sayin'! Love that man.

We hit the library for story time and book picking. I got sad realizing that the next 2 Tuesday's were going to be Noah's last story times. Ever.

After a drive thru lunch, we took an unexpected trip down to the zoo (which, we typically do most Tuesday's, but I was still sore from Monday, so I nixed the trip, but once I got around, I was fine). Oh, and a happy hour slush on the way home!

We finished getting the big kids too small clothes cleaned out and ready for the upcoming school year, maybe a trip to goodwill is in our near future (aka tomorrow?).

Long boring story short, we played at the park- where Lydia tried to sleep in the swing, but was unsuccessful. We ate chicken tacos.

We ran.

Two big kids, and one sore momma completed week 2, day 2. Not without a short pause to doctor a skinned knee. I love the accomplished grins from those 2, as they recount the nights run. Chad walks Lydia in the stroller opposite us, so we cross paths- we love seeing that sweet girl yelling for "bubba" with arms and legs flailing as we round the corner. Love her.

We almost ate an entire family sized box of Lucky Charms today. That's what happens when Kroger has ginormous boxes of Lucky Charms for $2.49, and I have a coupon...

Happy Birthday, Papa!

<photo by: Sarah Baker, Happy Daisy Photography>



Yay! 7 miles. . .and more

What a day.

I started with my half marathon training run of 7 miles at the bike trail in 1:20:26; 11:07, 11:25, 11:23, 11:41, 11:43, 12:13, 10:59; average pace 11:29. Pretty slow, I know, but I logged the miles without having a coughing fit, I call that a success.

This morning, for the first time, I refueled mid run. And let me tell you, it made a difference for the last half. I used Gatorade G1 Prime Chews, the fruit punch flavor. I took them out of the plastic package before I left and then didn't have to worry about that during my run. I also packed a fruit snack out of the kids stash, just in case :)

Photo from <http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/2012/06/04/gatorade-energy-chews-giveaway/>

We groceried, we lunched, Chad built a wall, I *may* have napped, the kids played sidewalk chalk...

And named their mural "Our Big Rainbow".

After dinner, we took a family walk around the development. 1.8 miles, Chad wore flip flops, I laughed at him.

Lydia walked...

Rest day tomorrow, in running only!



Week Recap

A few weeks ago, my most favorite blogger, Hungry Runner Girl, started doing a weekly recap of her runs, and I pretty much love it. Plus, her sweet girl is almost exactly the same age as Lydia. Bonus.

Monday: long run at the bike trail 6 miles in 1:05:14, 10:21, 10:39, 10:40, 10:58, 11:23, 11:16; 10:50 average pace.

Tuesday: Couch to 5k, week 2, day 1 with the kids 1.96 miles in 31:12, yep speedy. But no complaining :)

Wednesday: 3 miles in 29:35, 10:02, 9:48, 9:48; 9:52 average pace

Thursday: rest, sore calf after Wednesday. I was really feeling sorry for myself when I saw this big ole goose egg:


Friday: not my smartest Runkeeper programing ever, I intended on 1 mile, then 2 minutes walking and .25 mile run 4 times- instead of 2 minutes I programmed 2 miles, so I had do all the math in my head and take screen shots. While running. Yep I'm awesome. . .speed work: 2.04 miles, mile 1 in 8:50, walk .25, run .26 in 1:53, walk .27, run .26 in 1:57.

Saturday: rest

I'm fighting a stinking summer cold, so I took this morning and with the hopes to sleep off some of the sinus headache.

I hope I feel up to 7 miles bright and early tomorrow morning.

In other news, Lydia is THIS close to walking. Makes this mama so sad.

Oh, and grilled cheese using olive oil? Brilliant, try it! I must confess, this grilled cheese is only about 5% cheese, 5% ham, and 90% veggies. So yummy!