True Confession Thursday: ‘Cause I Win!

4 miles
The literal 30 minute run
Speedy, Rain Dodging, Between Meetings, Lunchtime, Gotta Get it In Strides

If you’ve been around this neck of the woods long enough, you know I am incredibly mature and refined in my movie selection choices which is precisely why I quote Adam Sandler on a regular basis.  You also know that I like winning:  running events (okay so I like TRYING to win those, never getting the big #1), winning raffles (once again, never win, but A for effort), even a quick race up the stairs.  I’ll take a win any way I can.

And since I live in a house full of boys under the age of 8, this Adam Sandler clip (slightly doctored) is pretty much an example of what ‘winning’ looks like in my life.

With my little babes around, I feel like I’m always losing.  This was especially true when I stumbled across this one evening this week.

Yep- No Girls Allowed.  Then one of my kids got smart and made a new one:

“No girls allowed excipt the cleaning lady”

Guess a boy likes his clean sheets.

It felt like three little boys simultaneously having an “I Win!” moment right in my face.  And I loved the challenge.

A little while later, three hungry amigos came traipsing to the kitchen for snacks only to find this little gem I drew.

‘Cause you know what?????

I WON!

Dear Drivers Letter

5 Miles
Serious Strides

In the last month, I’ve had more close calls with cars than I am comfortable with (read about one here).  And I had another one recently which really got me thinking [we all know how dangerous this is]…and I decided to write a letter to drivers.

Dear Drivers,

I get it.  You’re busy.  

I get it.  It’s a road.  

I get that your mind is racing – filled with to do lists, places to be and wondering if you forgot your lunch.

I get that the coffee you just grabbed from Starbucks is hot and that you need to add another pack of Truvia to make it “just right”.

I even get that you think that said roads are mostly made for cars.  But what I don’t get is how you can continually ignore the people around you when you drive.

In fact, 90% of the time –  I’m you.  I’m behind the wheel dealing with the same distractions and temptations. I get that your phone pings, bings and even sings, beckoning and begging you to pick it up.  Like a 2 year old kid with their face nose to nose with yours, your phone implores you to “Pay attention to me!”.

Truth be told, I don’t even like running on roads.  But because people can’t keep their hands off of others and be nice, I have to stay off the trails during certain times when I’m running alone.

And despite my neon clothes, flashing lights, street smarts and best efforts, you still don’t see me.

So if common sense won’t prevail, let me remind you of some things.

I’m not just a runner.

I am Sheila.  Sure I’m a runner, but I’m so much more.  Please look beyond my laces and neon clothing I don so you can’t miss me.  I’m a mom.  In fact, if you hit me, there are 3 little boys who need their mom to make them dinner later today.  I’m a volunteer.  I’m a part of a spiritual community.  I’m an employee.  I’m a sister.  I’m an aunt.  I’m a teacher.  I’m a daughter.  I’m a cousin.  I’m a friend.  I’m a girlfriend.  I’m a colleague.  I’m a student.  

I have hours and hours of time and training put in to reach a goal, so please, don’t take me out at my knees.  You have hobbies too, right?  I promise to not come knock down that puzzle you worked really hard on when it’s almost done.  I won’t spill my coffee on your laptop taking away all of your hard work.  I won’t burn the dinner you made for your kids.

Just promise me this – next time you see a runner or biker on the street – remember they’re more than a 3 second delay in your busy day.  Promise me you’ll slow down before you make a turn.  You’ll look both left and RIGHT before making that right hand turn.  You’ll make sure no bikers or runners are in the bike lane before swerving into it.  And for the love of the land – please put down your cell phone down and let the latte sit until you get to your destination.  The runners, bikers and sidewalk rats in your life will thank you.

Signed,
Somewhat Speedy Sheila

How Do You Run So Long?

Sunday – 7 miles

On Sunday I had a first…I set out for a run and at 7 miles I was 2 miles from home with super tight calves knowing pushing it would be silly.  It was time to call in the Weenie Wagon.

Sadness.

While it wasn’t exactly a long run, it got me thinking to the conversation I tend to have with my family on a regular basis “How do you run so long?”.  Honestly, compared to a lot of runners, a 2 hour run is nothing, but for a lot of my family and friends they just can’t wrap their minds around this.

Let me preface what I’m about to say by reminding you that I think I have the raddest kids in the world and love being their mom more than ANYTHING…

It’s impossible to not want to eat these little butt heads up every, single, day…

BUT…..

People, let me tell you about my post-run Sunday afternoon.  Within an 8-hour window the following happened.

  • Kids broke a doorhandle
  • A soccer ball kicked into the garage which jacked up the garage door opener
  • Fixed said garage door and doorhandle
  • Plucked a corn kernel out of a child’s ear
  • Dished out at least 4 timeouts
  • Dug my car keys out of the garbage can thank you Vanilla…
  • Cooked 2 meals
  • Reffed about 3,528 fights between my kids.

And crazily enough, this was with someone helping me….So for you non-runners, there is no need to ask how I run so long, instead, you instead you should probably ask, “Why don’t you run longer?”

What’s your favorite distance to run?
I like 11-16 milers

What is the most random thing you did this weekend?
Nothing from my weekend beats pulling a popcorn kernel out of a child’s ear in the random category.  Well, maybe the conversation after the “procedure” in which I explained that it is not ever funny to put random objects in any hole in your body to make people laugh.  That’s some advice you can take to the bank ;)

The Turkey Trot – Minus the Trot

Family Football Fun
9 Miles
Super Slow Strides

Not sure how your turkey day rounded out…but mine was a big feast of football, cooking, more football and hives.

Let me recap – my big Turkey Day run - cancelled.

My family wanted me on fresh legs for the Schofurkey Bowl – my family’s Thanksgiving tradition – a 2-hour football game.  I don’t have a pic, but this is last year’s Christmas game…add about 8 more 20-something males and you have the idea.

A family that Eye Blacks together, stays together.

Let me just say that the event starts with a climb over a 10-foot chain link fence to get to the field and usually ends with muscle soreness for several days.  My family is a little uber competitive and I think only 3 pairs of shorts were ripped, as well as half a dozen egos.

On one play I ended up scratching up my legs from a little meeting with the grass, which slowly turned to hives, which eventually turned into a full blown allergy attack to end my Thanksgiving.  Since my fam shuddered in fear every time I walked into the room, I opted to pop two Benadryl and call it a day around 9pm.

Since I was hopped up on Benny and working in the kitchen most of the evening, I didn’t get any pics from the festivities, but luckily my family Instagrammed the chaos.

Luckily the next morning I needed to shake off the antihistamines and was able to crank out 9 miles on some still very stiff legs – recovery from the Griffith Park Half Marathon & 10K is definitely taking a bit longer than I anticipated.  Any time I went faster than 9 minute miles, my calves tightened up like my kids’ mouths around brussel sprouts.  So slow and steady I went and got my post-Turkey day miles in.

How was your Turkey Day?
Did you get any good workouts in?
Do you have a family tradition?

Happy Thanksgiving

After a few days of uber soreness from my races  I’m finally ready to tie up the laces and get my recovery runs going starting today…

As far as some holiday everyone keeps talking about tomorrow….

Thank you #runger for keeping me hungry all week!

My plans:
-Wednesday Evening Cooking & Wining:  Pre-T-Day cooking and wine with the fam
-Thursday Morning Run
-Thursday Morning Football
-Eat, Cook, Eat, Repeat
-Football

Lest you think that this holiday is all about getting in a good workout and eating, read up on the history of Thanksgiving here.  It’s pretty cool stuff – not the pilgrims and Native Americans we always associate with it.

The boys and I did a little “thankfulness” project yesterday.  We’ll have each family member write something in on the leaves tomorrow before dinner.

What are you thankful for this year?
Too much to count!  Family & friends mostly….I couldn’t get through the days without my little community of peeps.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
I have to admit I love, love, love wining and cooking with the family for any holiday.  It always comes with lots of laughs and good snacking!

Griffith Park Half Marathon Race Review

I promised a race review for the Griffith Park Half Marathon – so here it is.  Disclaimer:  The race director did provide me an entry for the race, but I am writing my honest opinions about the event.

The Course: 
This race is no joke.  If you are not a trail runner, you’ll probably curse the day you were born around mile 7.  If you don’t run hills, you will probably hate your life 300 feet in.  This bad boy has an incline of about 5,100 feet and a very brutal 5,000 foot decline.  It’s not for the weak of heart.  This is the hardest half course I have ever run.  Even the declines were hard, slippery, and I had to borderline walk at spots on the downhill.

The Course

Pre-Race
Can I just give Keira Henninger the hugest shout out for putting together one of the most organized race I’ve seen with less than 1,000 people?  Parking was easy, bathrooms were quick to find and Keira sent out great tips before the race to make things totally seamless.

Race Day Pickup

I opted for race day pickup and had to wait for all of 2 minutes to get my bib despite it being only 45 minutes before the start.

There were a few bathrooms, bagels, muffins, juice, tons of coffee (which then meant lines to the bathroom, but they were reasonable) all waiting for runners.

It was raining as we started to get ready, but most runners were huddled under tents, or didn’t care at all since, let’s face it, trail runners are a *little* more laid back than street runners.

As with any trail race, the bag check in was high quality.  I knew it was rainy so I brought a garbage bag to put my stuff in….

The starting line was the finish line and the race got started right on time.  (And yes, it was a chip timed race)

Course Support:
There were aid stations scattered across the course.  They weren’t overabundant nor too sparse – always seemed to pop up just when I was thinking I really needed a drink of water.  They had energy gels, oranges, electrolytes, water, etc.  Once again, thank you trail racing culture for the excessive food at aid stations.  I love you.

Give the race was through Griffith Park, there was a strict no littering policy.  I think Keira, the race director threatened to lock you up in the LA Zoo if you littered or something.  There were lots of hikers who either looked at you like you were crazy, or cheered you on….oftentimes a mixture of both which was nice.  Plus, the actual race organizers had a slug of people out there keeping you on path, cheering you on and responding to snarky comments tired runners like me yelled their way.

The Views:
The views of the course were amazing.  At the beginning of the race it was so foggy I could only see the guy in the neon orange shirt when he was less than 100 feet in front of me, but the fog slowly lifted (and the rain dissipated which was nice).  You got great views of the city, Hollywood sign, etc.

I’d like to blame my photographic moments on my shift from 2nd to 3rd place, but sadly it was my innate desire to walk when my legs wouldn’t move uphill fast enough.

The Swag:
Everyone got a super cute tote bag and t-shirt of which I did not take a picture of. #fail   Finishers got a totally blinged out medal and those in the top 10 ended up with a fabulous mug.  As I crossed the finish line I got a medal, lots of cheers saying, “Third place female” and then was promptly informed my mug had broken and that I had to wait a few weeks for it to come.  I just remembered that good things come to those who wait.

After the race was over there was a huge array of food:  sandwiches, pasta, kale salad, orzo salad, etc.  I tried to eat, but my stomach was a little whacked out from the mountains…not because the food wasn’t good.  I hardly ever turn down a free lunch.

The Peeps:
I had a great time getting to know new people.  As I mentioned previously, I got to meet Shawn and Reuben who literally kept me not only entertained and encouraged for several brutal miles, but provided some fabulous post-race conversation after.

Overall, I was completely and totally impressed by the race.  Despite the weather that was beyond anyone’s control, the race went off smoothly, showcased the awesomeness of the running community and provided every whim and need of the runners participating.  I’ll give it a #winning

Update:  I found this picture online so you can see the fog.

Source – Geoff Turner – Mile 8 – so happy to see a downhill I’m smiling

Have you ever run a trail race?
What is your favorite “off the beaten path” race you’ve ever done?

Griffith Park Trail 10k & Hollywood Rock Star Challenge

6.2 miles
Sore, Sorer, Sorest Strides

On Sunday I partook in the 2nd half of the Griffith Park Trail Series Rock Star Challenge by completing the Griffith Park Trail 10k.  You can complete the half marathon and/or 10k, but to be a true Hollywood Rock Star, you do both races with about 20 or so hours in between, no big deal.

I can think of some other things that result in the same amount of pain like – hanging by my toenails, sticking thumbtacks in my abdomen or walking on fire.  I’m mostly kidding.  Yes I’m so stinking sore – as sore as finishing a marathon – but it was also worth every minute.

The Summary (read here if you are intimidated by words):
I ran fast.  My legs felt like lead.  I questioned my sanity in doing back to back races like this.  I finished 5th woman overall and 1st woman who did both races.

They gave mugs to the top 10 overall finishers.

The Overview 
I’ve got a race recap of the half marathon coming up on Tuesday or Wednesday, but let me just say I can echo most of the same information – well run, started exactly on time, great food, great swag, great course support.  #winning

Pre-Race:  
I got there a bit early since I couldn’t sleep.  I tried to vlog, maybe some day I’ll show it, but mostly you’d just run in fear.

You know you’re early when they are setting up the finish line.

I got there about an hour before race time, grabbed my bib, went to my car and was generally crabby since I had slept about 2-3 interrupted hours.  #sociallyawkwardrunner

The Race:
The first thing I asked Keira (the race director) when I saw her was how hilly – she said one major hill and then mostly rolling hills.   I think our definitions of “rolling” are a little different, but not too much.  Right at the midway point there was a decent incline that was brutal, but the rest was mostly doable.

I saw a few really fast looking runners at the start line who said they were going to go about 6 minute miles.  I told them we could meet up and run sometime…like never.  Okay I didn’t say it, but did throw up a little thinking about running a 10k at a 6 minute/mile pace on muddy trails with big hills.

I went from 3rd place to 4th, then 5th and watched a woman pass me near the end at 6th place.  About 150 yards from the finish line I decided I wanted 5th and literally sprinted past her at the end.  Don’t worry I literally apologized as I passed her.  It’s rude to not apologize for passing, right?

Start/Finish Line

Post Race:
In the end I got my overall 5th place finish, I didn’t wear a watch or anything so I have no idea how fast I ran.  One guy pointed out that since I was the top female finisher who completed both races I was the ultimate Chick Hollywood Rock Star.

UPDATE:  Turns out I was the first person to complete both races.  Wahoo.

Me and my bling. The yellow medal was for finishing both races.

There was also some serious grub…egg and cheese sandwiches, Naked Juice stuff, etc.  I honestly could hardly walk and felt so sick to my stomach I really didn’t care too much.  My favorite was the volunteer who walked around with a giant box of powdered donuts asking runners if they wanted a post-race carbo load.  I was just happy to be done with the weekend of racing and started to waddle back to my car after eating a few bites of my sandwich.

But the weekend wouldn’t be replete without a picture with the race director Keira, who has built these races from the ground up and done an amazing job.  The races went so smoothly and literally foresaw any runner’s need.  I am so beyond impressed with this race series.

Keira and I

For a day that started with my legs feeling like bricks and ended with them hardly moving, the weekend was a massive racing success.  Apparently I’m not the snail I thought I was, and I learned a valuable lesson about really digging deep even when I don’t think I have it in me…even if I have to walk up hills from time to time.

I’m a Liar: Griffith Park Half Marathon Results

13ish miles 
Somebody Kill Me Strides

Let me first start off by saying that this is just my experience with the Griffith Park Half marathon and I’ll be posting a full recap/review of the race tomorrow.

First of all 8:30 race starts in the winter are brilliant because I could wake up at 6 and have PLENTY of time to get ready.  I even had time to craft a cute little poem for ya’ll before I got going.  (Yes I said ya’ll, this must be post race delirium)

Since my calf was being rough last week, Dr. Scott recommended either putting on a handful of pre-race miles or using a heat wrap.  I chose the heat wrap. #lazybum

Don’t worry, I took it off before the race….rocking the argyle ProCompressions

I got to the race start and really thought this was going to be a training run since I’m not competitive at all (riiiiight).  The plan – 10 good miles, play the last 3.  This was all fun and games except that a mile in I realized I was woman #2.  So I lied.  This ended up so not being a training run but more of a race.

Random Facts About the Race:

Placing:  1:54:50 or somewhere around there and a 3rd place woman overall finish.  Fun times.

Photo Finish: I may or may not have done a switch leap across the finish line.  I’m not even kidding.

Pedestrian:  I was more pedestrian and less runner for about 3/4 of a mile throughout the race when I literally could not run.  I walked.  It was in bursts, it was always at brutal places uphill and everyone else was doing it so there.

Party:  Somewhere along the way I met Shawn and Rueben who pretty much kept me together at the end of the race and then we spent time afterward talking faith, tattoos, and PR’s – you know, typically runner stuff.  I seriously *heart* the running community.

My mile 8-13 BFF’s. They are rock stars!  I on the other hand am way more awkward than rock star.

Potty Mouth:  Uh, pretty sure the climbing of 3 different mountains or whatever caused me to utter pretty much every word not allowed on TV a few times.  Sorry fellow runners, I was a little cranky.

Photos:  I’ll show more pics later, but even as I ran in 2nd place I stopped to take a few photos along the way.

Sneak preview of pics from the course. Note, I run up those switch backs a few minutes later. #notfun

Panties:  Apparently I’m running with the big girls now since most of the women who finished around me typically run 1:32-1:35 half paces.  Honestly, if I hadn’t spent 5,100 some odd feet going uphill and this was a flat course (what if’s right?!), I think this level of effort would have nabbed me a pretty li’l PR.

To summarize the race best…I’ll always remember the Griffith Park Half Marathon as the day I learned that hills are no joke and….

The day I kicked ass in argyle & pigtails.

Twas the Night Before Race Day

My non-running friends never understand why I want to go to bed at 4:30pm the day before a race and then complain about how little sleep I actually got.

‘Cause let’s face it, we’ve all been there before!  

Have you seen my sleepz? I can’t seem to find it…

‘Twas the night before race day, and I’m lying in bed
With all that could go wrong, running through my head.
My mind wouldn’t stop, Did I forget a shoe?
Where is my sports bra?  Will I be able to poo?

While other slumber easily, into restful sleep,
I lie awake wistfully hoping they won’t make a peep.
If they wake me up, I’ll curse and I’ll holler!
For this here said race cost me a pretty dollar.

I check my alarm for the fifty-eighth time,
As my thoughts drift back to the nasty 9th mile climb.
Did I train hard enough?  Did I run enough miles?
What crazies partake in running lifestyles?

Will it be windy?  Will it be cold? Will it be hot? Will it rain?
Will there be traffic?  Can I park?  I’m going insane!
What if trained for months and months at the wrong pace?
Is there a free beer tent at the end of the race?

And I know my race pics will look like crap,
But then I’ll finish and can just take a nap.
To make up for sleep I lost here tonight.
So happy race day to all and to all a good post-race night!

True Confession Thursday: How To NOT Be Mom of The Year

Unintentional Rest Day
So What Strides

If there was ever any doubt that my Mom of the Year application should just get lost in the mail, today provided ample evidence that fate would reject my application before the committee would.

As soon as he woke up Chocolate was complaining about his knee.  He has a habit of sleeping funny and waking up with sore joints because of the ridiculous angle he sleeps in (imagine a backwards C with arms and legs splayed for from every side of the bed).

Evidence as to why I’m not an artist or graphic designer

As he headed out of the car at school I realized he had a big ol’ bump on his leg….and the leg was all warm.  Yep, one marble sized abscess with heat to go please.  I felt badly for making him “walk it off” all morning.

Apparently the ability to ignore your kids when they’re in serious pain is genetic since my mother did this to me when I broke my arm….and then again when I broke my ankle….

Mom and I doing yoga this summer….apparently we’ve made amends since then

No seriously Mom, I’m pretty sure the damage was only semi-permanent.

My bid for Mom of the Year took another turn for the worse when we hit up Target to pick up Chocolate’s antibiotics.  I was so worried about getting change out for the 3 kids to put into the charity box in front of the store that I failed to notice only two kids were standing next to me.

#FAIL

After a brief panic and scan inside the store I found the day glow haired friend casually reading a magazine at the checkout like he unquestioningly knew I’d be back.

Luckily kids are pretty resilient and a little ice cream makes the memories fade away fast.

What #fails have you had this week?
When was the last time your schedule ate up your workout time entirely?