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Women Rock MN

As I’ve been getting ready for the Women Rock MN race this Saturday, lots of things are going through my mind.  Even though this will be my 4th half marathon, I am very nervous.  I’m nervous about how my hip will hold up during the race.  As I’ve said before, I don’t care about my finish time.  I simply want to be part of the event, FINISH, and have my hip hold up well.

Another thing that is going through my mind is the “Beneficiary” of the Women Rock MN event.  Many people who register and run in races rarely take the time to find out where the money goes or to whom it benefits.  Team Ortho, the event organization, first of all has a mission to help make better the lives of orthopedic patients.  They also are concerned and promote education and support research for good muscular, joint, and skeletal health as well as encourage healthy lifestyles.  Who couldn’t love that mission?!  As I said in previous blogs, I have been in several Team Ortho events and love them.  They are so well organized and very fun!  It helps that my cousins have volunteered for Team Ortho for many, many years, as well as cousins who work for Team Ortho.  I have some family members that struggle with arthritis, juvenile arthritis AND…in the recent months I now have seen my own orthopedic doctor for my own issues including mild hip arthritis, it becomes an even more personal cause.

The Women Rock MN race will benefit and support osteoporosis research and will donate money to the Excelen Center for Bone and Joint Research and Education research project on osteoporosis health.  What a great cause!

Completely separate from that, there are two people I’m thinking about for this race.  First of all, my cousin Colleen Corkery.  I was in 6th grade when she passed away.  I remember that my mom came into my room one August morning and told me that Colleen had been in a car accident and did not survive.  She was 20 years old.   The things I remember about Colleen…she was so pretty.  She had dark brown hair and these beautiful eyes.  Her smile lit up a room and her eyes just sparkled.  I remember one time when my cousins came to visit.  I am the youngest of all the cousins.  My siblings and the rest of my cousins are the same ages, but not me and I was never left out.  The time they came to visit I remember all of us girls sitting in our family room watching TV and my sisters and cousins were also reading magazines.  Colleen decided that she was going to pamper me.  She got a pail, filled it with hot water (not too hot) and put my feet in it to soak while she brushed my hair.  I was in heaven!  I think of Colleen often, but this week, on Tuesday, August 28th, it was the 29th anniversary of her death.  I’m running a half marathon four days after that anniversary, and the cousins I mentioned earlier that work and volunteer for Team Ortho….they are Colleen’s siblings.  This struck me as very special and I will be thinking of Colleen during my race.  I will have to share a picture of her at a later date, but she was beautiful…inside and out.

The second person I will be thinking of is my childhood friend Chris Donn.  Our parents were (and still are) dear friends.  My older siblings and Chris’s older siblings grew up together as well.  In fact, both of our sisters were in the Hawkeye Marching Band at the same time.  My parents and me, and Chris’s parents and Chris would travel down to Iowa City every Saturday to watch the marching band and the football game and see our sisters.   We also traveled together to the bowl games to follow the team and band which were such fun trips.  Many times my parents would to go their house to play cards and Chris and I would play in the basement or watch TV.  Chris was older than me and soon he entered high school and went off to college at the University of Iowa.  When I went to college there too, Chris looked after me.  He would call and see how I was doing.  He would come to my dorm to check in on me.  He would take me out to eat or have me over to their apartment to hang out and watch football.  He graduated and got married…same for me.  We kept in touch once in a while about running etc., but it wasn’t very often.  Certainly not like when we were kids.

That call came in 2007.  I had a call while I was at work from my mom saying there had been an accident involving Chris Donn.  My heart was pounding.  Chris had gone out for a run and was struck by a car.  He died later that night.  He was 37 and left a wife and two children.  I think of him every time I run…especially outside.  I think of him during every event because since he was a runner too, I’m sure he would be doing the same thing I’m doing…getting out there and enjoying races.  His sister Linda, the one who was in marching band with my sister, is a runner as well and she ran her first marathon in his memory.

Two pictures of Chris and me.  The one on the left is of Chris holding me when I was a baby.  That’s how far we go back.  The picture on the right is at one of the many Iowa Hawkeye football games our families went to.  Chris in on the right in the baseball cap, next to his mom.  I’m sort of in the middle, top row next to my mom, my sister Jackie and my grandpa Chet.  The two in the band uniforms are our sisters.  My sister Jenny is on the left and Chris’s sister Linda is on the right.

Even though I’m nervous about my hip, it’s nothing compared to the pain these families have gone through losing two loved ones.  I still get emotional when I think of loved ones that are no longer with us.  I’m not sure why at this time Colleen and Chris have been so on my mind….more so than any other time.  Maybe it’s because they are with me.  Maybe it’s because they know how nervous I am for this one and both of them being so on my mind means it’s their way of comforting me.  I don’t know, but I am comforted…and I miss them.

So while I am going to go and enjoy the event, I am also going to think of Colleen and Chris while I’m running and how much they both touched my life and the lives of everybody they knew.  It is tragic that these two wonderful people were taken from their families way too soon, but I am so blessed to have had them in my life.  And suddenly, my hip and everything else seems to pale and isn’t as important of a problem as before.

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SSC Update

First…thank you to all of you who have written about the SSC.  I hope that your personal SSC’s are going well!

So here is SSC update number one for me.

Some of my SSC’s have been great and others not so great.  First to start off with my secret.  I didn’t do well on this one, which is why it’s the most difficult for me.  However, I was only “off” on this one two times, which isn’t that bad for me.  The other SSC that I didn’t do well on was pop.  And when I say having pop, I mean at my workplace because that’s where I snack too.  If I have a pop at home or out to eat, I don’t have a problem snacking at all.  It’s at work.  Well…the first day back to work I broke down and had not one, but TWO cans of pop.  BUT…in my defense…there were snacks in the lounge and I walked right past the snacks and did not grab one.  So while I had the pop at work, I did avoid the snacks.  It was especially difficult as one of the snacks was a chocolate thing with peanut butter inside.  Wow…I can’t believe I didn’t have one…..or seven.

One highlight of my week was that even though I did have pop at work, and I did “fall down” two days on my real secret challenge, I was able to fit into a dress that I haven’t fit into in a long time.  YAY!  So I just need to keep plugging away at modifying some habits.

Onto to running and hips news.  My hip is doing better.  As some of you know, I’ve been bike riding in place of a lot of the running on my training plan.  I have fallen in love with bike riding and I can tell it’s helped me.  I have put bike riding in place of some of the runs on the plan and then stuck to the long runs.  So far, it seems to be going well.

The Women Rock MN event is quickly approaching.  I’m planning on running the half, but I’m planning on going VERY SLOWLY.  And I don’t care about that.  Right now, my pace for my hip is super slow and I am confident at that slow pace because my hip feels good and I know it will hold up at that pace.  I don’t care if I come in one minute before the time deadline.  As long as I can do it and finish I will be happy.  But here is a funny thing about my “new slow pace”.  This past weekend I had 8 miles on my schedule for the long run.  I was actually terribly nervous to get out and run.  I wanted to run outside as the race is getting closer, but the reason I was nervous is because my physical therapist told me to run on the treadmill in case my hip started hurting.  That way, I’m not miles away from home and have to figure out how to get back home.  I wanted to be outside on the long run because I really can’t to the Women Rock MN half on a treadmill!  I was so afraid that my hip would hurt, I would need to stop, and I would be too far away from home to walk back.  Yes…I can certainly call my husband and/or my son and either could pick me up as they always know where I am.  But, I was still nervous about having hip pain this close to the race.

So I went out and started at this new slow pace, knowing that if I stuck to that, my hip should be fine.  It was sore at first, but as I got going and warmed up, my hip felt fine.  I finished the 8 miles…outside…hills and all…and even finished 6 minutes FASTER than the last time I ran 8 miles in May.  HUH????  Really??? I wish I had written more notes to myself on the 8 miler in May to see if I was tired…needed walk breaks…or what the deal was.  Or…maybe the bike riding is helping more than I realize.  Or…I could have just gotten lucky.  There were times on that run that I truly forgot that I was running.  Which is ALWAYS a wonderful feeling.  Whatever the case was, I was very happy about that.

My plan after the Women Rock MN are to take a long break from running and totally focus on healing and other forms of exercise.  I think I’ll only run once a week….maybe.  **DISCLAIMER**  I do reserve the right to change my plan…depending how how my hip feels.  But for now, that’s what I would like to do.

Thus ends the first SSC update.  I wish all of you who are joining me in an SSC the best of luck with this next week.  Again, please feel free to email me with your SSC ups and downs and thank you to those of you who have emailed me!   I’m going to end with a great quote.  Whatever it is that challenges you, whatever habit you want to change or at least get better at, remember to give  yourself a break and be proud of the things you have accomplished.  It says “RUN” in the background, but the “RUN” can be whatever you want it to be.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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Back to Reality

Well…I’m back.  We went on a 9 day vacation and it was wonderful.

Even though my husband and I ran on vacation, and we hiked, and we walked….we ate like crazy.  My SSC (Secret Self Challenge) went right out the window.  To my surprise, I actually LOST .4 pounds.  After all that great eating and drinking, it’s back to reality now.

I’m going to give away some of my SSC, but not all of it.  And remember…I’m choosing things that are difficult for ME.  What might be difficult for me to modify and change might not be difficult for you, and vice versa.  I’m choosing some of the foods and habits that I know I need work on.    Here are some of the specifics:

Start date:  Monday, August 13.  End date:  Friday, September, 21 (my birthday!)

Habits to Modify:

1.  Keep to my daily calorie goal as I can.  No more than 200 calories over if  I go over.  I am leaving room here because I want to be able to “live” too in case we go out to dinner or something like that.

2.  No pop during my day, which for me means during my school day.  Reach for a water instead.  I have a habit of running to the pop machine in the afternoon and at lunch which causes me to snack.

3.  When I get home from school, HEALTHY snack while making supper.  NO CHIPS.

4.  Eat more fruit.  This is BIG for me.  I really don’t like many fruits at all.  I’m going to try to incorporate them as snacks instead of chips.

5.  SSC:  this one I’m still going to keep secret.  If you know me personally, please don’t ask me when you see me.  I want to do this one privately until the end.  I will tell what it is at the end date.

So there it is.   I’m going to weigh in every Wednesday and I will update my blog on Wednesdays too.

If you do your own SSC,  you can email me at runnergal022@yahoo.com and join me with your own challenges!   (Remember, I’m not an expert on any of this and I’m not pretending to be.)

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SSC

What does the title mean?  What is SSC?  I will explain momentarily.

Quick updates:  Biking is going great.  I love getting out there on the trail and other places and getting in miles.  Running has been up and down.  Last week was great.  This week has been good and then bad as well.  I’ve said this before that I don’t understand how my hip pain, soreness, tightness seems to come and go.  One week is super, the next is full of struggles.  

Okay…so getting closer to SSC.  If you have been following my blog for any length of time, then you know a few things about me.  I don’t pretend to know it all, because I don’t.  Not even close.  I share my struggles, my sadness, my frustrations as well as my happiness, my excitement, my triumphs.  That’s what life is all about…not everything goes well and is perfect.  We all have times of struggle.  I think it’s important in MY journey and writing to include it all.  How else am I going to learn from my mistakes and/or struggles?

I have had many emails from people who read my blog that tell me of their own struggles with running.  And in all those emails, those people have thanked me for writing about the tough times, because like me, the know that running and more importantly life, aren’t always perfect.  I feel very happy that there are people out there who find something to relate to in my blog.

One thing that I really struggle with is eating.  And this is not easy to admit, but given the spirit in which I write my blog, it must be said.  I love to eat food.  I love to eat BAD foods.  A couple of years ago, a co-worker came back to school after summer break and she was half her size.  I asked her what she did and she said that she started Weight Watchers just as school was getting out for the summer.  She added that she realized that she still ate the way she did in high school.  And that’s bad? I was thinking.  

Anyway, I don’t use Weight Watchers, but I have been using MyFitnessPal.com for a long time, I think a couple of years now.  It’s a website that allows you to plug in your current weight, goal weight, track your eating (calories in), and your exercise (calories out).  I don’t always log on and count everything every single day, but I’m going to try to make a better effort.  The last two weeks I’ve been religious about logging in.  I don’t have a problem getting in the exercise.  But it does help me really look at what I’m eating, how MUCH I’m eating, and makes me think twice.  Even then I don’t always choose correctly, but I’m making myself more aware.

SSC……here we are.  I decided to give myself a challenge.  For right now, I’m not going to say exactly what the challenge is.  I will reveal it on down the road, but I’m just not ready yet.  Why?  I don’t really know to be honest.  I’m in the middle….I want to say it in my blog because that makes me feel like it’s real and I’ve declared a challenge for myself, but I’m not “there” yet to say exactly what it is.  Maybe some of you think that’s “stupid”…but that’s the way it is.  I will write about it later and fill in all the details.

So SSC means “Secret Self Challenge”.  I’m taking something that is difficult for me, and this is in my diet and eating, and trying to modify and change.  I’ve actually already started it, and I’m not sure of the “ending” date.  It sort of feels like Lent!  As I said, I’m choosing something that will be difficult for me.  And again, I will explain fully in another blog, but for now, this is all you get.

Do you have goals and/or things you maybe want to change but don’t want to really tell anybody about it?  Write it down.  It makes it more real.  That’s the main reason I’m writing about my SSC in my blog.  It’s out there and it gives me an extra push.  Maybe decide the same for yourself….do your own SSC.  If you want to share it with me, you can email me at:  runnergal022@yahoo.com.  I won’t share your story, but maybe it will help you get started by just writing it down.  *There is a zero in front of the 22 in the email address, but not in the blog.*

As far as my running, I will do as I always do, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 And I’m going to work hard at my SSC.  If you start one, best of luck and let me know how you are doing!

 

 

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SSC

What does the title mean?  What is SSC?  I will explain momentarily.

Quick updates:  Biking is going great.  I love getting out there on the trail and other places and getting in miles.  Running has been up and down.  Last week was great.  This week has been good and then bad as well.  I’ve said this before that I don’t understand how my hip pain, soreness, tightness seems to come and go.  One week is super, the next is full of struggles.  

Okay…so getting closer to SSC.  If you have been following my blog for any length of time, then you know a few things about me.  I don’t pretend to know it all, because I don’t.  Not even close.  I share my struggles, my sadness, my frustrations as well as my happiness, my excitement, my triumphs.  That’s what life is all about…not everything goes well and is perfect.  We all have times of struggle.  I think it’s important in MY journey and writing to include it all.  How else am I going to learn from my mistakes and/or struggles?

I have had many emails from people who read my blog that tell me of their own struggles with running.  And in all those emails, those people have thanked me for writing about the tough times, because like me, the know that running and more importantly life, aren’t always perfect.  I feel very happy that there are people out there who find something to relate to in my blog.

One thing that I really struggle with is eating.  And this is not easy to admit, but given the spirit in which I write my blog, it must be said.  I love to eat food.  I love to eat BAD foods.  A couple of years ago, a co-worker came back to school after summer break and she was half her size.  I asked her what she did and she said that she started Weight Watchers just as school was getting out for the summer.  She added that she realized that she still ate the way she did in high school.  And that’s bad? I was thinking.  

Anyway, I don’t use Weight Watchers, but I have been using MyFitnessPal.com for a long time, I think a couple of years now.  It’s a website that allows you to plug in your current weight, goal weight, track your eating (calories in), and your exercise (calories out).  I don’t always log on and count everything every single day, but I’m going to try to make a better effort.  The last two weeks I’ve been religious about logging in.  I don’t have a problem getting in the exercise.  But it does help me really look at what I’m eating, how MUCH I’m eating, and makes me think twice.  Even then I don’t always choose correctly, but I’m making myself more aware.

SSC……here we are.  I decided to give myself a challenge.  For right now, I’m not going to say exactly what the challenge is.  I will reveal it on down the road, but I’m just not ready yet.  Why?  I don’t really know to be honest.  I’m in the middle….I want to say it in my blog because that makes me feel like it’s real and I’ve declared a challenge for myself, but I’m not “there” yet to say exactly what it is.  Maybe some of you think that’s “stupid”…but that’s the way it is.  I will write about it later and fill in all the details.

So SSC means “Secret Self Challenge”.  I’m taking something that is difficult for me, and this is in my diet and eating, and trying to modify and change.  I’ve actually already started it, and I’m not sure of the “ending” date.  It sort of feels like Lent!  As I said, I’m choosing something that will be difficult for me.  And again, I will explain fully in another blog, but for now, this is all you get.

Do you have goals and/or things you maybe want to change but don’t want to really tell anybody about it?  Write it down.  It makes it more real.  That’s the main reason I’m writing about my SSC in my blog.  It’s out there and it gives me an extra push.  Maybe decide the same for yourself….do your own SSC.  If you want to share it with me, you can email me at:  runnergal022@yahoo.com.  I won’t share your story, but maybe it will help you get started by just writing it down.  *There is a zero in front of the 22 in the email address, but not in the blog.*

As far as my running, I will do as I always do, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 And I’m going to work hard at my SSC.  If you start one, best of luck and let me know how you are doing!

 

 

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