Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I LOVE Christmas time!  Every year when it comes around, I am soooooo excited for the snow to fall, the baking to be done, the family to see, and the gifts to give.  It's such a wonderful time of year...and I love to soak up every minute of it.  This year is no exception, and the Christmas season is of to a fantastic start.  Today was such a wonderful day I think I could burst with happiness.  I got to do some fun crafting for the Black and Blue Ball with the ORG Hospitality Committee...I got to eat my favorite lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup...I got to bake Christmas cookies with my dear friend snowed like 5 inches (the first real snow of the season)...I got my AMAZING shoes for the Black and Blue Ball in the mail...and I got to spend time with my incredible husband.  Life couldn't be better than it is right at this moment.

Of all the things I am thankful for in my life, I think the thing that I am most thankful for is this contentment and peace I have.  I am so happy with where I'm at.  Some days I am not always happy with everything...I wish I didn't have the stress of bills and budgeting... I wish I got more sleep...I wish I didn't have to go through sorrow and loss.  My life isn't perfect, there's no question about that.  But even in the moments of imperfection, I am OK with whatever happens.  I am so grateful that I have been blessed with more than I need...that I have people in my life to take care of me when I can't...that I have at least one thing that brings a smile to my face each and every day.  I don't deserve all of this, but I am so incredibly thankful I am blessed with all that is in my life. 

Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope you enjoy these next three weeks in anticipation of Christmas day as much as I's going to be WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Derby-versary: lessons learned in a year

Second game-Red v. Black scrimmage year ago I started roller derby boot camp.  Yup-exactly one year ago.

I think about that first day of boot equipment was all still new.  I remember Bruiseberry Muffin had to adjust my toe stops because they were ALL the way I knew that wasn't natural?  Derby lesson #1-toe stops
need to be in a bit so they don't drag on the floor and mess up your skating.  Thanks to Bruise for making the adjustment and not judging me for my ignorance. 

I was missing some of my gear, so I had to borrow elbow pads and wrist guards.  For some reason, my 'rookie package' didn't get all the parts and pieces.  I went to the gear box and borrowed some equipment.  Ima Firestarter handed me wrist guards and said that I get to wear "Ima's stinky gear" as though it was a badge of honor.  I was too star stuck to realize that her old gear really was stinky.  Derby lesson #2-gear stink NEVER goes away.  How did I combat this?  Not washing my gear for a solid 10 months...only to wash it once and then decide to buy new pads (well...wrists and knees at least...I'm still sporting the original pad funk in the elbow region)

We started boot camp with SOOOOO many new people.  I think there were over 60 of us.  I don't remember half of their names, mostly because a lot of them ended up dropping out for one reason or another.  Injuries plagued commitments got others...and still some fell victim to the immense commitment of derby.  Either way, a large percentage of our boot camp class dropped off.  Derby lesson #3-Derby has a HIGH turnover.  It makes me sad, but I totally understand how now everyone can be a skater.  Derby takes a toll on your body and eats up all your free time.  Thankfully, the league needs more than just skaters and has room for everyone.

The first round of testing went AWESOME!  I was super stoked at how that went...I went home and posted my results on the refrigerator.  I was mostly surprised I managed to test well given the fact that AnnA Maniac was my evaluator.  If I thought I was star struck when Ima lent me her old pads...I was BEYOND star struck when THE ONE AND ONLY AnnA Maniac was evaluating MY skating abilities after 6 weeks of boot camp.  I almost peed my pants...not going to lie.  Derby lesson #4-one CAN learn minimum skating skills in a manner of 6 weeks. Just keep skating...just keep skating...just keep skating skating.

The second round of testing was less than stellar.  I did not pass...barely...but no pass nonetheless.  I really wanted to cry when I read those results.  I didn't understand what I did wrong.  I thought I had it down...I thought I did it right...I thought I knew what I was doing.  That's not how I tested though.  Derby lesson #5-derby leads to heartbreak.  Derby has been a HUMBLING experience for me.  I did not like this first humbling...but I keep fighting and working and developing to become better each and every practice.  I may not always succeed, but that doesn't mean I stop.

Once I passed the second round of testing (on the second try) I was admitted into the league.  I didn't really know what that meant at the time...and I don't really think I can say what it means now...but I do know I'm a part of something.  I'm a part of a group of strong and amazing women that are working together to better themselves, the sport of roller derby, and the Omaha community.  I found out this summer I am more a part of this group than I realized.  When Selah died in May, I had league members I had barely talked to (again...STAR STRUCK) reach out to me and offer their sympathies.  When I had my miscarriage in June, even more league members I had barely talked to reached out to me and offered sympathies.  Derby lesson #6-league members are supportive of other league members even if they are wallflowers (like meeeeeeeee!).

First Game! 
As the season progressed, I got more and more involved in the league.  It was great to begin building relationships and seeing the 'sisterhood' described in our league bylaws.  I didn't have sisters growing up...and I'm willing to bet the league 'sisterhood' is not the same as biological 'sisterhood'.  However, I am willing to bet that biological sisters experience some of the same drama that is experienced in the 'sisterhood' of roller derby.  Feelings get hurt and conflict happens-especially since not all personalities mix well.  Derby lesson #7-a league comprised mostly of and run by women is bound to experience some form of drama sooner or later.  The good news is derby lesson #8 is that the Omaha Roller Girls are willing to talk about differences and ways to better the league AS A LEAGUE instead of getting angry or frustrated and self-imploding.  That's one of the reasons why I am proud to say I am an Omaha Roller Girl. 
As I prepare to embark on year #2, I know there will be more lessons.  I'm not sure what is in the coming year, but I'm excited to see what lies ahead. 

So thank you Omaha Roller Girls for welcoming me into your club. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turning of the season and helping others

I always forget how much I love fall season.  It's so nice to have a break from the HOT and HUMID weather.  Stepping outside when it's crisp, sunny, and cool outside just makes me happy.  Plus...that means winter and the first snow is on its way.  I am one of those weird people that really enjoys snow and cold...I know I know...I'm crazy.

While a lot of people dislike the winter months because of the dreary atmosphere, bad roads and even worse drivers, or inevitable illnesses, others dislike them because of the cold and lack of protection they have from the elements.  This has never bothered me.  I grew up in South Dakota...which really had mild winters in comparison.  Much of my family is from further north, so I got a taste of cold Minnesota winters as well.  Because my parents are from the great white north, I learned how to 'survive' the winter.  I learned that winter gear is essential and one must dress for the cold if one is to avoid being miserable.  Sadly, not everyone living in northern climates are accustomed to cold winters and are not equipped to survive the winters let alone enjoy them. 

Surprisingly, Omaha has a fairly large refugee population.  A large number of refugees from several countries resettle in Omaha.  One of the largest groups in Omaha now are people from Burma.  Burma is experiencing a terrible civil war.  There are many people groups within Burma who want their independence and the right to form their own states.  This desire is being resisted by the existing government through an incredible amount of violence.  Various people groups are resorting to life in refugee camps in Thailand for some semblance of safety and holding their family together...though this does not always happen.  When a family is able to flee Burma and take refuge in another location, such as Omaha, they take the opportunity seeking jobs, education for their children, and above all: safety.  They come with everything they have, which isn't much.  The clothes they have are certainly not enough to protect them from the cold winters in Omaha. 

This fall, I am helping others at my church with a way to help these people meet a very real and very tangible need.  Crocheting and knitting have been a hobby in my family for many many generations.  I learned when I was in college and have learned some very simple patterns for blankets, scarves, and hats.  A few ladys at my church also crochet and knit.  One of them had the brilliant idea of setting a goal of crocheting and/or knitting 150 hats and scarves for the refugees from Burma by October 1 to help them prepare for the winter months.  Refugees new to Omaha have NEVER seen snow in their could they know what they need to stay warm?  There is NO WAY any one individual could knit or crochet that many hats and scarves in a month, so we're working together as a community to achieve this goal.  Since she's set this goal, I've started to trade my lay around and do nothing time for lay around and crochet time.  My progress is slow since I don't have a ton of extra time between derby and work, but I'm finding the time I can to make just one more hat or one more scarf for one more person.  I've finished one adult hat, one baby hat, and one child's hat.  I'm starting another adult hat now.  I'm hoping to get a few hats done so I can move on to more time consuming scarves. 

I tell you all this to offer you a chance to help as well.  Bust our that hook or those needles and make one or more.  Any contribution you can make will meet a need for one person.  Feel free to send me an e-mail (imv dot 0707 at gmail dot com) and I can let you know where to send them so we can reach our goal of 150.  Don't know how to crochet?  Share this blog with your friends and family that do to see if they want to make a hat or four. 

Thanks for your help.  I'll post some pictures of final products here closer to October 1.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New "puppy"

A couple of weeks ago we decided to adopt a new puppy.  We felt like Church was little lonely since Selah died, so we wanted to get another dog.  We did some looking around on line and at the local humane society.  We ended up finding Bishop at the shelter in Council Bluffs.  All we knew about Bishop when we adopted him is that he's a Rottweiler mix and he was about 5-6 months old.  He was super playful and really sweet when we visited him the day we decided to adopt. 

When we brought him home, we saw just how sweet he is.  Bishop just loves attention.  When ever we pet him, he just melts into the big puddle of puppy at our feet.  He's pretty great...and we like him a I guess we'll keep him =)

 Taking a break from trying to play with Church.  She likes him much better when he leaves her alone, but she has tried to play with him a couple of times at the dog park.

 Sweet 'little' puppy.  He was about 60 pounds when we adopted him.  Not sure how much he's grown...or how much more he's going to grow...

 Bishop found the mud puddle at the dog park. 

He even dunked his head in.  He heard mud baths were good for the skin...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It's official, I am a Warrior Dash survivor!  Frankly I'm just thankful that I did in fact SURVIVE that race...lemme 'splain...

The Warrior Dash is an adventure 5k that is described as the 'craziest frickin day of your life'.  As you run the 5k you have 12 obstacles to complete such as climbing over walls, balance beams, trekking through streams, jumping fire, and crawling through mud.  All in all...a crazy and AWESOME race.  HOWEVER, there was a 13th obstacle this year...100+ degree heat index.  Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of running on my part.  Ian and I trained to run this race, but decided to save our health and walk instead.  We completed it and felt good afterwards.  Hot...sweaty...drained...and a little sun burned, but we weren't among the 90 people taken to the hospital for heat related conditions.  We ran at 1:00 pm...the stopped letting people run by the time we finished a little after was that hot.

All that being said, I'm still so proud that Ian and I did that race.  Sure our time is nothing to brag about, but it was a goal Ian and I set.  We trained for it together and completed the race together.  It was pretty cool to do that with him.  The most amazing thing is we're both talking about what we're going to do differently next year.  First thing: earlier in the summer.  Second thing: further north.  We may even go commando if that's an option for next year.  (And if we did the go commando race, Ian would be so grateful that I wouldn't be singing this song up until race day)

We did have a great time.  We drove down with some friends from derby and met up with some other ORG gals when we got there.  It was definitely an encouragement to have some friendly faces along the way.  ORG REPRESENT!

 Ian and I after the race.  We had about half of the mud washed off at this point.  The rest was dried and crusty.
My warrior wound!  My leg met the ground on the first obstacle.  Make me feel pretty bad ass to know I finished the race with this on my leg for 90% of it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking forward

I have really struggled with finding the words to post recently.  I wouldn't say I've had writer's block-it's more that putting things into words makes them a reality for me...and sometimes I would rather avoid reality than face it. 

A few months ago I was writing this blog about running.  Training for a race was a great experience-but come early May, the race was done.  I knew I would keep running a little bit, but there wasn't that much more for me to write about.  I wasn't sure what my blog would become, but the answer befell me in an incredible way. 

In the middle of May, Ian and I found out we were pregnant.  We were both SUPER excited that we were going to become parents.  We had been hoping to start a family for a little over a year, but hadn't gotten pregnant.  We were always of the mind set though that when it was our time to have a baby, we would be able to.  We were just surprised and disappointed when it took so long for it to happen.  When the pregnancy test finally showed a positive reading, it was one of those moments that felt too good to be true. 

We didn't tell people about our pregnancy right away.  I did start writing some blogs to be posted when we were ready to make the 'big announcement' about how I had been feeling, what the doctor was saying, etc.  I had been feeling incredible and chalked it up to being one of the lucky few women who didn't experience all the negative side effects of pregnancy.  I was still nervous though about the chance of miscarriage so we kept our news to ourselves until we went to the doctor. 

We had our first OB appointment when I was nine weeks along.  We went through a whole lot of information and an exam.  She said everything was looking good and she had no reason to be concerned at that point.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I was so glad there was nothing she saw to be concerned about.  We decided to tell our family and some of our close friends.  We didn't want to tell everyone until after we heard the heart beat.  Though the more people we told, the more excited I let myself become and the more real it felt...we were going to have a baby.

I soon learned how quickly things could change.  We went to the doctor at 11 weeks to hear the heartbeat.  After a few minutes of search, the doctor said she couldn't hear anything.  She got an ultrasound machine and she looked for the baby.  She said it looked like the baby had stopped developing at 7 or 8 weeks.  We were both speechless...we didn't know what to do or say.  This little life was gone before we had a chance to learn much of anything about it. 

Words could not express the sense of defeat I felt at that point.  I had resisted the temptation to become outwardly excited about having a baby until something 'felt' real about it.  It had begun to feel real a few weeks before, and then all of a sudden reality came crashing down.  I felt as though I had been punched in the gut.  We had waited what felt like forever to get pregnant and then it was gone in a matter of weeks. 

In the weeks following, I have had a roller coaster of emotions.  I felt physical pain when my body was trying to naturally miscarry.  I felt numb when I went in for surgery to ensure all tissue was removed to prevent an infection.  I felt kicked down repeated when I heard about other women getting pregnant and having babies.   I felt an overwhelming sense of support from my friends and family...some of whom have been through this same experience.  I felt a sense of loss when I think about the fact our little baby is gone...he or she died in the earliest stages of life.  I felt discouraged that when we had FINALLY been able to get pregnant, we lost the baby.  I felt angry that we were going through this.  I felt awful when I was unable to be happy for those around us experiencing baby related joy.  Each day brought a new series of emotions...many of which caught me completely off guard. 

It's still heartbreaking to think about and I don't want to admit that it's real.  Though it wouldn't solve anything or make me feel better, I really wish it was all just a dream.  I wish Ian and I didn't have to go through this...but we did and we are.  I still have feelings to process-hence the post.  I need to admit this experience happened instead of living as though it was just a bad dream.  Living in denial won't change will just mask the feelings of hurt and loss I have felt.  I need to admit I am angry.  I need to admit I want to understand why, though I know I never will.  I need to admit I'm scared shit less this will become a repeat experience.  I need to admit that though others around me have experienced these same feelings, I still feel as though I'm all alone. 

I know this is not going to be a chapter in my life that will define who I am.  I know I will be able to process these emotions and this loss and I won't let it consume me.  I do need to let this chapter write itself out completely...I keep trying to put the final period in it and I can't do that yet.  I just need to let each day bring whatever it's going to bring, and look forward to the day when I can look back and see the beauty that resulted from this loss.

Monday, May 9, 2011's only been a week???

I feel like it has been so much longer than a week since the run...though a lot has happened.  I am still amazed though how good I felt after the run.  My knees are a little angry with me...but I don't know if that's from the run or derby or all the training or a combination of factors.  I'm whipping my knees into shape though.  Here's a picture of me and my friend whom I 'ran' into (no pun intended) during the race.  We ran together for the bulk of the race which made it far less boring.  So glad to have seen you Emmy Lou!

The week before the run, one of our dogs got sick.  She got progressively worse throughout the week so I took her back to the vet on Saturday (after being there on Thursday).  The vet wanted to keep her over the weekend to try and get a fever down and figure out what was wrong with her.  I had been so stressed out with her because she was having seizures and I didn't know what to do.  It was such a relief that she was going to be in 'puppy hospital' while I went down to Lincoln and ran. 

When we got back to Omaha, she was doing pretty much the same.  She was having some seizures and was partially paralyzed.  After talking with the vet the day after the run, we decided to put her down as she was not going to make a recovery.  We're not sure what happened...something neurologically related is all we know.  It was so sad to put her down because she was such a fun loving puppy.  She had turned two about two weeks before we had to put her down.  She was too young, but had we not made the decision we did, then she would have been in our home a very sad and lonely dog compared to the rambunctious pup she was the week before. 

After that, I had to go out of town for work for a night, and then back to the regular practice schedule of derby, then a busy weekend with birthday celebrations and derby stuff, and now we're back to today.  PLUS, last week I decided to run TWO 5K races this summer.  I'm going to run one in Lenexa, Kansas with my brother on the 4th of July.  It will be his first race.  I'm excited to run with him and have a reason to keep running each week.  Then at the end of July, I'm going to run the Warrior Dash with my husband.  This race is an adventure 5K that includes running the 3.1 miles PLUS doing all sorts of crazy obstacles.  We got inspired by a friend of ours and my cousin who is running an adventure 5K in June in Minnesota.  It looks like it will be a blast.  This will also be Ian's first race.  I was honestly very surprised when he said he wanted to run this one, but he said it looked like fun.  I guess that's the adventurous and crazy side of him coming out.  I'm just glad we're going to have a race to train for together.  I'm not sure how my fear of the dark will reconcile with the 'blackout' obstacle...but we'll see when we get there.  At least that's at the beginning of the race so it will be done and over with soon.

I have no doubt this week is going to fly by again.  Ian and I are going to start our training program.  We're going to use the Couch to 5K plan to get us both ready for the 5K in July.  Once again, I'm anticipating my running training will be modified because of my derby practice schedule...but running will be there nonetheless. 

And now I'm off to bed.  Sleep is a beautiful thing...I'm thinking I may try to get more of it here in the near future.  =)

Monday, May 2, 2011


I finished the race in 2:27:04!  I feel so great about that time!  It was a little humbling to cross the finish line at the same time as a marathoner (who only started about 20-30 minutes before me), but I'm totally OK with that!  I felt very comfortable during the entire 13.1 miles and finished strong.  Plus, my legs aren't hurting today.  My left knee is a little mad at me...and my hips get a little stiff if I sit for too long, but I really can't complain too much.  I never felt like I was going to get sick or collapse or anything.

Now I'm looking forward to potentially running a 5k with my brother this summer.  Guess I've been bit by the running bug...we'll see how long this infection lasts =)

Monday, April 18, 2011

T minus 13 days

Less than two weeks until race day!  I'm getting excited.  Mostly I'm excited to have some of my own time back...but I'm also excited to run and see how I do. 

Yesterday I had a huge victory.  I ran a full 10 miles...only stopping to pee once.  It felt good to know I can run that long.  My legs are a little sore today, despite stretching well, sitting in a cold water bath, and taking some Advil last night...but I'm OK with my level of soreness.  I haven't pushed myself to run a full distance for quite a while.  I've opted to run/walk during most of my training.  I still haven't decided if I want to run the full race or run/walk, but either way...I'm goign to finish and I know I can run the whole thing if I decided I want to run the full 13.1.  That in and of itself feels great. 

I cannot express how grateful I am for the support I've had from so many different people.  I've had a great amount of support from the group of gals I've been running with at cousins who are also training for a mom...a co worker in's great!  I've gotten lots of support and some very helpful tips as well as I embark on this journey of becomming a runner.  There's still a lot to learn about running and keeping myself healthy while doing so, but it's been a great journey so far.  I'm looking forward to what's around the next bend after May 1st.

Friday, March 25, 2011


So, reality is that I'm scared of a lot of things.  I'm not always brave and strong and sometimes I just want to break down and cry because I'm scared.  Last night was one of those moments.

I've been working my arse off since October of last year playing roller derby.  It has been so much fun and such a challenge...I love every minute of it.  I can't get enough of it.  When I completed boot camp, I was going to take a night off of practice semi-regularly so I could spend some time with my husband...that hasn't happened.  The only nights I've taken off are nights when I have something else to do.  I'm addicted to this sport.  I've been working so hard to reach the point where I get to play in a real bout in a real arena against a real team in front of real people.  I found out yesterday April 2nd will be my b-day (bout day).  I am so excited for April 2nd...but last night at our scrimmage practice I was flooded with fear after fear as 7:00 on April 2nd approaches with each minute that ticks off the clock.

I am afraid of falling on my face in front of 3000+ people when doing something simple like skating my introduction laps...I am afraid of letting my team down and being the "weakest link" and causing them to loose a game...I'm afraid of not being good enough...I'm afraid of making major mistakes that land me in the penalty box and a hole in my team's line up...I'm afraid of sitting on the bench more than playing and disappointing the people who came out to support me...I'm afraid of hurting myself majorly in my first bout ever and not being able to play roller derby again.  I'm afraid of so many things...but now it's time to get over them.

Who cares if I fall down?  I'm going to fall when I'm playing and hitting and getting pushed's GOING to happen...accept it. 

If I think I'm going to be the weakest link, then I am.  All I can do, and all my team can ask me to do, is go out there and skate my best...take criticism and direction as it comes...and work with my team.  I'm the only skater on this roster who has NEVER skated in a bout before.  This is going to be a major learning experience for me.  I have to get over worrying that I'm going to be the worst member on my team.  They would not have asked me to play if they didn't think I was capable and ready to play.  There are several girls on the team who aren't getting to play this game that have more experience...but how can I get experience unless my coaches let me play?  I'm trying to change my mentality from "ranking" myself against my fellow skaters to absorbing all I can in the next week and at the bout to learn from their strengths.

News flash...everyone lands in the penalty box at one point or another.  It's another thing that is GOING to happen.  I obviously won't try to end up in the penalty box...I'm going to try to skate clean...but a penalty will happen during the game.

There is a real possibility I will be a bench warmer for this game.  I am after all, the ONLY skater who has NEVER skated in a bout before.  But...bench warming isn't all bad.  From there I can cheer on my teammates...I can watch the jams and see how my team is working...what they are doing well and what they are struggling with and how I can help them when I do go in to play.  I have to remember derby, like all other challenges in life, are taken one step at a time.  Passing my minimum skills test was baby step one (though that was a BIG baby step)...getting placed on the team roster is baby step two...being on the team roster and having the opportunity to play is baby step three...having a lot of play time in a game is baby step four...getting to be a killer player other players talk about is baby step five...etc.  There are so many micro steps in between each baby step...but everything is a series of baby steps.  I'm just getting ready to take my next step on April 2.  I can't get discouraged by taking baby steps.  I'm not the most patient person in the world so this is going to be difficult. steps.

I cannot skate like I am scared of getting hurt.  Derby hurts and there is a high risk of injury.  BUT...this is why I have been building muscle...learning how to skate and how to fall.  These will help me prevent injuries. plus side to being a bench warmer...less time in which to hurt myself =)

While I have so many fears...I have an equal amount of excitement for this coming bout.  I feel like all my hard work and time and derby talk will be validated the moment I put on that uniform and gear up for that game.  It's going to be so rewarding to skate with my team mates and help them in any way I can skate to a victory.  My team is going to bring it on April 2...are you ready?  I am!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

6 weeks to go

It's six weeks to race day.  It's becoming a little more real.  I'm excited for the race to be over.  I've really liked running, and I'm thinking I might keep up with the running once I've completed the half marathon...just not to the same extent as I've been running now.  I'll probably only run once or twice a week on top of derby...that will be enough for me. 

With six weeks left to go I feel like I'm in a pretty good position.  My runs start getting longer this week....7 miles which I believe will be difficult, but not impossible.  It was nice to be able to run 3 miles with "ease" today.  I pushed myself a little bit, so it wasn't all easy, but I was able to do it and didn't feel like quitting at any point during the run.  That felt really good.  I ran 4 miles outside this last week and that was difficult.  I'm glad the weather is starting to warm up so I can run more outside.  I need to be doing that.  I was surprised when I ran the 4 miles outside how much more difficult it is to run outside.  I don't have the treadmill to help me set my pace and the incline is not steady.  But...I've still got 6 weeks to get my body used to running outside.

Thankfully my knees have been cooperating with me.  They hurt every now and then, but a little bit of ice and rest and they really do feel better.  I'm so grateful for that.  I was very nervous about what my knees would be doing about now...but they are hanging in there.

My goal for the next week is to get comfortable running and setting my own pace outside.  And getting some songs together for a play list to listen to during my race.  Any suggestions you have would be awesome.  I haven't looked through my library too much yet...but that is certainly on my to do list between now and May 1.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Waiting for the sunshine

I learned something about running this last gets very boring when you have to run inside.  Running for 5 miles on a treadmill or on an indoor track gets really old really fast.  Thankfully, when you run with company it's not as bad.  At least then you have someone to talk to.  Forecast for this weekend is looking pretty good for running outside though...woohoo!

I struggled this last week with one day's run.  It was very discouraging to me to have to quit before I finished my distance, but my body couldn't take it any more.  I was doing my hard run of the week.  I discovered if I walk for a quarter mile, jog a quarter mile, then run hard for a quarter mile, I'm pushing myself really hard without killing myself.  I did that two weeks ago and got through 3.75 miles no problem.  Last week I tried the same thing and couldn't finish.  I don't know what it was, but my body just felt off and I couldn't do more than 2.8something miles.  Part of it might have been that I was running at least an hour later in the day than I was used to..without eating anything extra.  I was also running on a different treadmill and I'm pretty sure I hadn't been drinking as much water that week.  But...whatever the reason, my body would not let me finish.  Frustrating for sure.

Thankfully my friend and I had already made plans to run the next day.  I got up and ran 5 miles with her.  That felt so good for me to know that I can do it.  Having an off day was a little discouraging, but I had to get up and try again the next day because I had made a commitment with my friend.  She keeps telling me that I'm encouraging her in the running, but I don't think she realizes how much of an encouragement she is to me.  As I've alluded to in previous posts...I struggle with self-discipline.  It's very easy for me to become a quitter just because I don't want to work that hard.  She (and the other women in my group) are encouraging me to not be a quitter.  They are giving me a reason to keep running.  The best part about it is I'm starting to like running and seeing HUGE benefits from it (namely in roller endurance is awesome because of all this extra endurance training!).

So...thank you ladies...thank you Micki for not letting me get lazy.  Let's hope Saturday is 40s and sunny like they forecast so we can conquer our 6 miles outside.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Biggest Challenge Yet

I think the biggest challenge I'm going to face in training for and running this half marathon is my self discipline...or lack there of.  I have always struggled with the ability to set a goal or a limit for myself, completely independent others, and stick to it.  I don't know why, because I am an independent person completely capable of doing things on my own, but self discipline has always been difficult for me.  Whether it's eating, keeping up on dishes or laundry, limiting the time I just sit around and do nothing, or whatever...I really struggle with setting a limit for myself and sticking with it.

Taking on this challenge is helping me develop some level of self discipline.  I am proud to say I have stuck with the training program.  I had one little hiccup when I got back to Nebraska...and then three hours later drove to Kansas City for a very full family weekend.  Now to keep it going...partially to keep building my endurance and ability to run the entire 13.1 miles and partially to see if I can develop some more self discipline in other areas of my life.  I want to be able to set limits for myself and stick to them.  I want to be able to get up when my alarm goes off so I can do something for me (read, run, get to work early, whatever) instead of hitting snooze until I absolutely have to get up or else I'll be late for something I have to do.  I want to be able to eat one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Heart from Valentine's day and be satisfied instead of eating half the bag at one time.  Maybe I'll get there, maybe I won't (especially with the Reese's).  But I want to see if I can improve my habits a little bit between now and May 1.

On a different note...three different people came up to me this week and made some comment about me looking like I had lost weight.  While I'm not doing this half marathon to loose weight, if I loose some in the process woohoo...and maybe having more complements about how I look will give me some motivation to stick with the training and derby...and maybe only eat one Reese's =)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Week of Running

On Monday I had to travel to Orlando for work.  I'll be in Orlando until February 11th.  That's right...three weeks in Orlando.  It's been nice so far, but it's still a long time to be away from home.  One of the benefits though is I have started my running training since I don't have as much to do and I have access to treadmills in the hotel to help me learn distances and the pace I am comfortable running.  It's been a difficult week to stay motivated to run...and the first three mile run I had to do was not fun...but I think it will be good.  I learned a couple of things about the training experience though in this first week.

1.  I am so thankful for the program set up for me.  The program that has been set up for the group of gals I'll be running with is:
Monday-cross training
Tuesday-longer easy run
Wednesday-shorter easy run
Thursday-strenth and core
Friday-hard run
Sunday-long run

If I didn't have this program set up, I don't think I would have any clue of how best to go about training.  This is a great jumping off point since I am a new runner.

2. Keep thinking positive thoughts.  I was running today (odd since it was supposed to be my rest day) while in a competitive scavenger hunt with a gal in my large training group who used to train people for marathons and half marathons.  We were talking a little bit about running and she kept correcting some of my verbage.  I said "I'm not a runner" when I was talking about having to run on treadmills to guage my distance and speed.  She corrected me and said "you're a new runner".  I also said I have bad knees...she said I have delicate knees.  Her basic point was that I need to think positive and phrase things positively if I want to do this and be successful.  Saying "I'm not a runner" doesn't make my brain think that I am a runner and capable of running this half marathon. 

3. Hard runs don't necessarily mean fast.  On my Friday hard run, I didn't do very well.  I didn't push myself super hard 1. because I was tired and 2. because pushed myself too hard immediately after the warm up.  Since I pushed too hard in the beginning part of the work out...getting through mile 3 was very difficult.  I reviewed my training materials and it gave me a few ideas for how to have a hard run without just running faster (e.g. inclines, run-jog-run-jog intervals, etc).  Now I'm looking forward to Friday's run to try something different and see how it pushes me.

4...I'm going to be my own worst enemy.  Not just because I phrase things in more negative thoughts, but I also have a tendency to give up.  When I reach a point where I think I did a good job, I'm ready to quit...even if I didn't run the full distance.  For my first run this week, I was supposed to run 3 miles.  I did it...but that last mile was a mental fight.  I kept thinking that I didn't need to complete the three miles after 2 because 2 was pretty good.  But I pushed through and saw that my mind can win that battle.  In a couple of weeks I'll have to run four miles...then five...then six...then seven...etc.  It might be a battle each time, but I think it will get easier and I will prevail...all the way to 13.1 miles. 

This is already proving to be a challenge and a good experience...and the training has just started.  The next couple of weeks will be good to get me into the habit of following the plan so when I get back to Omaha I am on the right track already.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Going for a lil' run...

...if by little I mean 13.1 miles.  I've decided to run the Lincoln half marathon in May.  This is going to be an incredible challenge for me, but I'm excited for it and terrified all at the same time.  Especially since I HATE to run.  So why am I signing myself up for this? goes a little something like this.

I'm a big believer in setting goals and working to achieve them. I've never been much of a person to consider my physical fitness let alone enjoy running.  The only time I'm really physically active is when I'm involved in a sport or some other physical thing.  I did cheer leading in high school and my first year of college, but that was really the extent of my physical activity.  Now, I've picked up roller derby.  While derby is incredible for getting me into shape, I'm not pushing myself outside of derby.  I go to the practice 2-4 times a week (depending on the week) and leave it at that.  I don't go to the gym...I don't do much working out at home...and I enjoy eating junk (I write this as I stare down the mug the moments ago contained vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce)  I don't do much to get myself fit and maintain my fitness if I don't have a goal to work towards or a commitment to fulfill.  While derby is in my life now, I know it won't be forever.  Face it...if I mess up my knees or something, I'll be out for a time or forever depending on the severity.  Derby has helped me to experience how GREAT I feel when I'm active and working out.  I have more energy and I feel better.  I want that to continue even if I have to take a leave of absence from derby or if I have to "retire" at some point down the road.

Enter the half marathon.  The idea of running a long race first was put into my mind by my cousin.  She came up with the crazy idea that I be the runner in a team triathlon in June is Des Moines.  If only she knew how I felt about running.  But then I started thinking that 10K wouldn't be so bad.  If there's something I can set my mind to and then work to achieve it...I will hopefully be able to build some self discipline and make sure I have the knowledge to get and keep myself into a physically fit condition without relying on a sport or activity.  Here's hoping. 

So I've got the idea of a 10K in my mind, and then a friend from church says that there's a small group forming for women to train for the Lincoln half marathon.  The church I go to is BIG on small groups.  The whole purpose behind small groups is to get a group of people together, build relationships that turn into a community, and go through life together experiencing all we were meant to experience and living a life that is full of adventure and passion.  I've really enjoyed the small groups I've been a part of.  I've met some amazing people and really formed some great friendships that were begun in a small group setting. Anyway...this spring one of the women's small groups is intended to help women train for the Lincoln  half marathon.  So...I signed up.  I'm going to go through this journey with 10-12 other women, and I am soooooooo glad I won't be doing this alone.  I know there are going to be days when I don't want to get up and run.  There are going to be nights when I just want to veg ice a the laundry...anything but run.  That's not going to be an option in a few weeks.  I'll have to run whether I feel like it or not.  But I won't be going through this alone.  I'll have other women around me who don't want to get up either...who would rather eat ice cream...who would rather do anything but run.  I'm excited for how this is going to challenge me and how the other women in the group are going to help me out.  I'm sure at times I'll want to quit...but I can't do that if I'm letting a team down.  I'm committed now...I have to pull through.  I can't wait to see how I feel about this all after the race in May.

I'll post more about the training and how I'm doing once we get started.  Until then...I'm going to eat some more ice cream =)