Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rocky Crew - Tracey

Let me introduce yet another fearless Crew Member: Tracey . Tracey comes to us from Kansas. She began running exactly 2 years ago. If you read her blog you will see that she made some huge life changes around the time she started running. It sounds like she like many of us running moms used running to take control of our lives and our health. She has now in just two years of running completed a marathon, I think that is amazing. She has also spent time doing some night runs with the Trail Nerds up there in Kansas and said it was a blast. I can't wait to meet her in person. She is super inspirational and I am sure will keep us going through the night. Yay, Tracey. Thank you so much. Check out her blog if you have time, she has some good posts.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Rocky Crew - Cathy

I wanted to introduce the crew for Rocky. I figured rather than one long post I will introduce them one or two at a time. When I decided to do this race, I asked all of my Running Mom friends if any of them could come and pace me for the race. I was shocked to find out that not only one volunteered but a handful said they would come. We now have a solid group of 4 ladies, all moms, all runners, all strong women. Once we had a group they decided that the captain would be Cathy. So it seems fitting to introduce our Captain first. Here she is:
This is Cathy.  Our fearless leader.  She is from California and has run for just about 3yrs now.  She has 5 girls.  Yes, I said 5 girls.  Her husband Jack is also running Rocky but, he is running the 50 mile race.  He has a 100 mile race in March and I think this is sort of a warm up for him.  Cathy has been training hard for this.  Right now the plan is to have her run the last 17 miles with me.  In HS she swam and later on in her 20's she was a bodybuilder.  If you know her you have to get her to show you pictures.  They are amazing.  No wonder her arms make all of the Moms in our group green with envy.  I am sure you will hear me talk about Cathy again, in March I am traveling to Modesto to run her first marathon with her.  I feel a sense of calm about the race knowing Cathy will be running things, she is so dang organized and awesome.  Stay tuned I will introduce the entire crew this week.  Only 6 more days til Rocky and a week from this time I will be running in Huntsville, TX.  Super excited. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Power of Positve Words

So I was thinking the otherday about what and who inspires me. There are pleanty of people who have really impacted me along the way and I soon became lost in a sea of names and faces. One thing that I could sort out was that I really like a good positive saying. The first I remember of these positive messages was my HS Cross Country Team. I really loved that team. We were a tight knit crew and a few of the members even came back when they were on breaks from college to coach us. One was Todd Maycomber (I will talk about him in another post when I get to people who really inspired me and my running) the other guy I remember was Mike Najar. I just pulled out this little photo box I have that is stuffed full of positive notes I have recieved over the years. The box is full of letters and notes and sayings that make me smile. And in this box were 5 notes that Mike had made for our Cross Country Team. I think he did it before each race. He would find an inspirational message, type it up and make copies for the whole team. It really mattered to me that he did this. It wasn't just the messages it was also the gesture.

When I went to college I wasn't a good enough runner to make a team, no I didn't try but trust me I wasn't. I think sometimes it is good to be able to evaluate yourself honestly and this is one of those examples. So instead I joined the crew team. The crew team was my saving grace and the friends I made there have pulled me through more than just college. They are life long friends and people whom still to this day I look up to. During my first year of rowing we had secret buddies and we would make inspirational gifts for our secret buddy. I still have a bunch of those in my little box. A few even have hand done paintings on one side and awesome words of encouragement on the other. Somehow the power of a positive message stays with you forever. It can become a mantra. It can move you forward when all you want to do is stop. It can lift you up. Well I think I could go on and on but the whole point of this post was to list some of my favorite quotes and ask you to do the same.

Favorite Quotes:
1. If it is to be it is up to me ~ W. Johnsen
2. If you take your eyes off the goal all you will see are obstacles ~ unknown
3. Do not pretend that people become great by doing great things. They do great things because they are great. ~GB Shaw
4. The mind is the limit. We know that it is not the body. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. ~ Schwarzennegger
5. Run when you can, Walk when you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up. ~ D. Karnazes
6.It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog ~unknown
7. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amoung the stars. ~Les Brown (I think but saw it with someone elses name as well)
8. Be the Architect of your future ~unknown (there are a ton of versions of this one out there)
9. You miss 100% of the shots you never take. ~Gretsky

Ok please send me your favorites.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What a Pain in the Back

As some of you know in the late summer I herniated a disc in my back or rather a herniated disc in my back flared up. I most likely actually got the tear a few years back when I was lifting a washer/dryer unit and the guy I was lifting with apparently couldn't hold his side up and let it drop, no warning just dropped it, well that hurt. It really hurt. This is a note ladies, don't date guys that are weaker than you, you can get injured, ok you can date them but don't get them to help you carry a wash/dryer combo unit (those suckers are heavy). Ok so back to the back. Mostly tore the disc then. But I guess these things don't heal and will flare up from time to time and so even though my back was hurting this summer I decided to run anyway. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb (please repeat as many times as you feel necessary). Well .5 miles into my run, I can actually show you exactly where it happened; I took a step and BAM! No more standing upright. I had to walk home stuck at a 45 degree angle (I guess that is better than 90). After a month of therapy I was back up and running and training for my ultra. I thought I was in the clear and then on Sunday. Chloe was done eating so I picked her up out of her highchair and POP! I knew instantly something was not right but didn't seem as bad as last time. I got into the Doc today and after the initial evaluation he thought it was not so bad and then I started therapy, after the second station I couldn't even stand, I had to drag my body to the table for muscle stem. I was crawling/hobbling to the table and in tears it hurt so badly. Ok so now I am home, I can walk and I am thinking: What the HECK! All of this training and I might not be able to run for a few weeks. I am doing the race, I just don't care, I am doing it but, let’s face it there is a small chance 100 mile with a messed up back might hurt a smidge. I am bitter, frustrated, ok I am PISSED OFF! Why is my back giving me trouble now? Oh the Doc answered that last one for me he said it probably happened because of all the training. Ughhhhh. Did I say I was frustrated? I just want to run dang it. So I am ranting. Ok done now. I am going to run this race, it is fine, and it just isn't going quite as planned. I have two weeks to get this under control. I can do this.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foam Rolling

Do you ever really need to work out a tough knot?  You know the one that has been there for weeks and is only getting bigger and tighter.  Well if you do I highly recommend a Foam Roller + Toddler combo.  Knot Not kidding around here (the puns there are cracking me up).  Ok seriously in the mornings when I use my Foam Roller, Chloe loves to jump on my legs and get a ride.  The extra weight is awesome.  She can really work out a calf muscle.  Even if you don't have a toddler around I do totally recommend a Foam Roller, they rock.  You can really work out tired muscles.  I really like it for my IT band and my calves.  So just a short post to show how my morning started off :).  Come on you have to admit that is one cute kid.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Diabetes is a "Big Fat Turd"

What you haven't heard that quote?  Could be because those are the words of my 6yr old nephew.  He was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was just 3 1/2 yrs old. The other day after he had to have a set change he told my sister that Diabetes was a turd in fact it was a "big fat turd."  Not sure anyone could have said it better.  For the past three years he has endured set changes for his insulin pump every other day (needle that is placed in your gluteus maximus muscle) and finger pricks about 15-17 times a day.  The kid is tough.  He loves to play hockey, in fact this picture isn't really of him flipping off Diabetes it is him showing a hockey wound, someone (I will not name who and you can't make me) skated over his finger and since he has Diabetes the wound took weeks and weeks to heal. 

So what is the point of me telling you about Joe?  Well I had a heck of an idea while running today.  That is where I do my best thinking and I am sure most of you do too.  I have been trying to figure out how I can make money for a charity (JDRF) with my running.  The other day my running buddy Anna told me I needed to Affiliate with companies so that I earned money when people read my blog and then bought items I was talking about.  Now you know where I am going with this.  Yippeee.  Ok so here it is: any and all money this site makes by affiliating or anything else I can think of will go to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund).  I do not quite have the hang of Affiliating and am not sure about using AdSense, so if anyone has ideas, lay them on me, I am all ears.  I am so excited about the chance to earn even a dime for this cause. 

Type I Diabetes is not the same as Type II, it isn't controlled by diet it is an autoimmune problem where basically the kids Pancreas stop working all together.  They have to wear pumps that give them a controlled constant flow of insulin and they have to constantly check their blood sugar to make sure it is in a normal range.  Can you imagine trying to keep a young active boys blood sugar in a normal range manually.  This takes a ton of work.   With Type I Diabetes comes all sorts of other issues for the kids, like blindness, kidney issues, problems with wounds healing, etc... A cure for this disease would really change a lot of kids lives.  85% of the money that is given to JDRF goes directly to research.  I would love to see a cure in Joe's lifetime and so for now this is the charity (my sister is also looking into some cutting edge scientists that are working on this, if they seem viable I would also like to donate to them) I am choosing to give any money this site earns to. 

Ok so I am not asking for money.  I am asking you to check my site and if I have a banner or button for a company (only have NorthFace so far) please use that link to buy the item you were already going to buy that way I get a kick back and that kick back goes to JDRF. I promise 100% of what I am able to make will go to charity.  Also if you have ideas on how I can make more please please let me know.  I would love to be able to donate a substantial sum to JDRF.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Running with Drunk Drivers

As most of you know I live in an area where there aren't many trails to be found and I am usually in a rush to get my miles in therefore I am forced to run on the sidwalks and paved trails around here.  I would say that on average on a 20-30 mile run I come close to getting hit by a car twice every run.  I titled this "Running with Drunk Divers" but, these folks aren't drunk worse they are texting and talking on cell phones.  The absolute most dangerous drivers are the teens that are texting.  I was once running down a street pushing Chloe and a Black SUV started vearing right at us, I began waving franticallly, no response, finally I shoved the jogger with all my mommy might right over a curb and dashed out of the way myself only to see a cute teenybopper texting away never noticing she almost hit a mom and child.  Car and Driver did an test where they had two men, drive, then drive while texting and then finally drive while intoxicated.  It showed the the men either reacted the same while texting as impaired or slightly worse.  This data scares me and it should.  I run with these people everyday and everyday they come so dang close to hitting me.  Intersections are the worst because people no longer look both ways before making a right turn on red, they just go, and if they are texting they really don't pay attention.  I do my best to gauge if the person can see me, if they are texting and I can, I go behind their car, but dang it if still somehow I can't get away from these texters.  Yesterday I was crossing an intersection, the light was red and the walking sign was illuminated for me, I thought I was good to go and then as I began to cross a car started approaching the cross walk, he wasn't even in teh far right lane, he was in the middle lane and apparently still planned to make a right on red, from teh middle.  As he got closer I waved, closer, I hurried up and waved, closer, I did my dance to avoid having my leg smashed, that was when he finally looked up from his phone to see that he was about to hit someone.  Doug (my husband) says after each of my tales, why didn't you yell, why didn't you hit the car, why didn't you... I guess I have slow reaction time, I never think of these things at the time.  Dang I wish I did.  That guy deserved a nice smack on the hood of his car, but didn't think of it, just scooted out of his way.  Not actually sure what the point of this post is except to point out the obvious how dangerous it is to text and drive and how scared I am that one day I will get hit by someone that is so engrossed in coversation or text that they don't see me. 

TX Weather

You know you live in Texas when your laundry looks like this (see picture right) and you are headed out on a run dressed like this (see picture below).  Somehow to get through last week I needed every pair of tights I own (all three pairs), the warm ones for temps in the 20's the other two for weather in the 30's or 40's and a few running skirts, WHAT? Yep, somehow I had to wear everything from tights to a skirt.  Now I am not complaining because here I am typing this post wearing shorts and a tshirt.  I am just saying this is some nutty weather.  Oh and yes for those of you with eagle eyes those bright green things are a pair of Recovery Socks, dang I love them.  I think I might just love running gear in general. 
This is my first week of tapering and I love it.  My plan is to do my back to backs but, they will be in the 10-12 mile range instead of around 30.  I am getting pretty excited about this race.
 I was reading Jamie Donaldson's Blog yesterday (she won Badwater last year, making her my hero) and she somehow ran like 164 miles for a training week and followed it with some amazing 7mm pace in a 38 mile race the following week.  I would love to know what her legs are made of, :).  That is just so dang impressive.  When I read about these super amazing athletes I always am inspired to push myself just a little more. 
Oh and on that note, sort of.  Last week I posted about my friend asking me about: What made me think I could run 100 miles, and I was saying it was because of training and who I was.  I was thinking about the post later on and I left out my Mom, I mentioned my siblings and my Dad but, I didn't say that I grew up with a Mom who would dive into any task.  In fact one thing that I remember from childhood is that once we were landscaping the backyard and we needed some postholes dug, you know my grandmother (maternal) flew out and ran a post hole digger with my Dad.  Now if that doesn't make you think women can do anything men can do I don't know what would.  So I guess I am saying that growing up I had parents that showed me by example that you can do anything you set your mind to and you can see that reflected in me and my siblings. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What Makes You Think You Can Do That?

So I was over at a friends house the other day helping her out with a project (we are building her a pantry) and we were talking about plans for an upcoming weekend and I said I couldn't make whatever because I had my big race.  She said something like "so you are going to run 100 miles, through the night" and I said "yep" and then she said "what makes you think you can do that?"   Uhhhhh, WHAT! I am not sure what I said but, it was something about training and what not. Needless to say this has stuck with me for a few days.  You know I don't think I have any friends who have actually questioned if I could do this.  Some might have questioned why I would want to but, not a one has questioned IF I could do it.  Why do I think I can do this?  What makes me think that after training up to only 90 miles a week that I can run 100 miles in 1 day.  Well for starters I am me, I am a Tosta, I don't see obstacles I see goals.  I work hard at almost everything I do and I don't believe there is anything I can't do if I put my mind to it.  I was thinking about how my siblings and I were raised and how we all are super hard workers and we all see goals and not obstacles.  We are a bunch of CAN DO'ers.  I don't think we are super smart, we are smart but not crazy intelligent, we are all just average intellligence and super hard workers and we see the glass as half full.  We are a group of go getters.  My brother for instance has some Junior College credits but for the most part no upper education and yet the guy has built a huge construction company from the ground up and at the same time become a police officer and for a while there a member of SWAT.  He is totally amazing.  And while he isn't an insane runner, I guarantee if you asked him if he could run 100 miles in a month from now he would say "ok."  And he would do it.  The guy can do anything he puts his mind to.  My sister is the same way, she is honestly the best Mom I have ever seen in action, it is amazing.  My Dad used to quote I think Norman Peele, he would say "Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will land amoung the stars." I love that.  He was a firm believer in the power of positive thinking.  He was also a super hard worker, as was his Dad.  I know I am rambling now but the point is: I come from a long line of hard workers who didn't see obstacles they focused on goals.  So to answer my dear friends question of: What makes you think you can do that?  It is because of who I am and how I was raised.  And I am quite proud of that.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Pavement Ate My Shoe

The other day I went to grab my E's (my shoes that are labeled E) because it was their turn to run. Since they were a bit messy with dried mud all over them I had to carry them to the door and that is when upon turning them over I noticed what you see in the picture to the left here.  They have been destroyed.  I took them out for their run and when I got back I looked up their mileage.  They supposedly only have 390 miles on them.  Is it possible I have such bad form that in only 390 miles I can do this to a pair of shoes?  Clearly I am a heal striker but apparently I also don't lift up my leg.  Oh my.  I hate to take the blame for the destruction seen here so I think I will blame it on the pavement.  It couldn't possibly be that on the second or third day of running double digit mileage that as my legs get tired I just shuffle.  No way.  I would never shuffle :).  It has to be the pavement.  I think the only solution here is to resort to trail running only.  Oh wouldn't that be nice.  Think I have to move for that to happen.  I guess it is time to start looking into yet another pair of shoes.  sigh!

Friday, January 15, 2010

80 < 100, 80 miles < 100 miles and 80 miles in 3 days < 100 miles in 24hrs

All of you math people get where I am going with this.  I was pretty psyched to hit 80 miles in 3 days this week and then I read a comment that said it was great and I thought: is it?  I mean I am excited about a distance that is insanely shorter than what I plan to do in just three weeks now.  I want to run 100 miles all in one day.  That is a ton more than 80 miles spread out over 3 days.  I guess that doesn't make my accomplishment any less but lets just say it does give me a few prerace jitters.  I know in my heart of hearts that I can do this, I can run 100 miles but, dang somehow it seems so much bigger than anything I have ever done before.  Maybe that is attration.  Doing something that is so much bigger than anything I have ever tried to do?  Maybe it is for the runners high I will be on for like a week after?  Maybe it is for the challenge?  Maybe it is for the cool belt buckle (don't really think that is it)?  Maybe it is just because I love to run? Anyway not sure but, sort of think it is funny in an not ha ha way that I was psyched to run a distance over 3 days that doesn't even equal the distance I want to run in 1 day.  Now it is time for the tapering to begin. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

G's and Food

The G's arrived yesterday (new running shoes).  I know, what sort of nutcase names/labels their shoes but, you can see below there is a method to my madness.  This morning I took them out and broke them in Tara style, yep figured anything under 20 miles wouldn't do :).  Their first run was a nice 21.2 miles.  Yay! They felt great.  Just love the first run in a new pair of shoes.  Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I can report that I hit 80 miles in 3 days.  This is the last week of hard core training before Rocky and I am really trying to put a hurt on my legs, so far I can report I am doing a good job.  I am finding that my toe socks keep the blisters (and missing skin area) from last week from rubbing each other so that is definately tolerable.  I also think I have figured out my race nutrition issues.  I am going to use Chews:

Then after 2hrs I am going to add in some Ensure.

And then for fun I will mix in some GF Pretzels and I think Peanut Butter with them but not sure on that yet.

Ok, so that is what I am bringing with me and then from the aid stations I will pick up potatoes chips, m&m's, flat coke and bananas.  That should round up my food intake for the race.  Please keep your fingers crossed that I don't get a wonky stomach.  Everything I read says to expect some puking during the 100 miles but dang I really don't want to throw up so home this plan works.  200 calories an hour.  Pleanty of water and fingers crossed. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Since I know no one wants to see a picture of my messed up toes I am inserting a picture of my sweet Chloe drinking water out of my running water bottle. I guess if a toddler can use it so can any grown person while running. Hey maybe that should be the new selling point for this bottle. Not much to post after my long runs this week. I have one toe that is missing skin on the side that rubs with the next toe so it is annoying. Not sure what I am going to do about that on my long run on Tuesday, think I can just gut it up on my 10 milers today and tomorrow but not sure about 20-30 miles. My runs have been off since Wednesday, Doug had surgery on his knee and that kept me chained to the house on Thursday and Friday Chloe decided not to nap and well today Dylan decided to nap while Chloe was napping so, should get to run once I get Chloe down tonight. Last night I tried to run but dang if my hamstring didn't feel funky and there is no way I am risking an injury at this point in the game. I know I am rambling sorry. Super cool thing happened twice this week: I influenced someone to run further than they had previously thought of doing. The first is my running buddy Bethany, she has now decided to give an ultra a go, yippee, I am so excited about that. She wrote an awesome post about it on her blog. As you will see if you go there, she is a really good writer. The second person is a teacher of Chloe's who hadn't been working out last year when I met her and we got to talking about running one day and well today she told me she did 10 miles last week and thought of me and was so proud. She was bubbling when she told me and dang if that didn't really make me feel good. She also lost 45 lbs in the process. So now I am beginning to think I need to find a way to reach out and encourage others to run and get healthy. I will keep thinking on this and see what I come up with. Have an awesome weekend. Happy Running All!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Duct Tape - Is it really good for anything/everything?

So this week I got it into my head that I wanted to do more miles than my training plan called for and then, on top of that I decided to hit some trails yesterday. Those trails were frozen solid and apparently every mountain bike rider in Carrollton had hit those trails while they were muddy. You know where I am going with this. The trails frozen into peaks and dang were they tough to navigate. My feet took a beating. I finished up my 20+ miles and got in another 7+ last night but by this morning my blisters hurt. If I were even partially sane this might have made me skip my 30 mile run today but alas it only made me think: Yippee perfect opportunity to try out duct tape on the toes. So I popped the few blisters I could. For some reason the ones under big callouses were too hard to get to. Any who, I popped the ones I could and then put some goop on the blisters and duct taped the toes. Now I think this would have worked great but, somehow with the goop on the duct tape didn't stick well so, next time going to use bigger pieces and make sure duct tape is overlapping duct tape on the top of the toe. Right now my toes don't feel so hot but ehhhhh who cares, got 58 miles in the last 48hrs so I am happy as a clam. Going to take tomorrow off. Happy Running all. I am actually beginning to like this cold weather running.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What Up "G"

If you have read my other posts you know I have a crazy way to track my shoes. Since I never change up the brand and so far haven't changed models I label them with permanent marker. The other day I began tracking my miles on a website called the DailyMile (supposedly there is a widget or something I can put on my blog from that site but after 30 min of trying to make it work I gave up) and as I was entering my shoes and their miles I realized I have two pairs nearing 400 miles and one that is well over 600 so it is time for...G. I was going to live on the edge and get the Wave Rider 13's, the updated version of my old trusty Wave Rider 12's but then I read some comments that made me think better of it. So I went in search of places still selling the 12's and thank goodness found a few and found a good deal. I know eventually I will have to move onto the 13 or another shoe all together but, think I should put that off until after Rocky. For now I am happy to know the G's are on their way. Oh and in case you are wondering yes, this means I am on my 7th pair of running shoes in just under 2yrs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Babysitter = 30min Run

Today was the end of my rest week and well I only had $4 in my wallet so that meant I could do a 30 minute run. What, you don't decide your run based on what you have in your wallet? I think it is the way to go. I pay our babysitter $8/hr and well I only use her for running. I know it is sad. Someone had posted on another site that you know you’re a runner when you hire a babysitter so you can run. Hey, I resemble that remark. Guess that means I am a runner. I don't think I have had the babysitter come over for anything but running for over a year. Oh my, has it been that long since Doug and I went out on a date sans Chloe. Oh no, promise to rectify that ASAP. Sorry Doug.

So as I headed out the door today I suddenly got it in my head to run a 5K and hey why not? So I picked up the pace hoping that somehow I could break that darn 21 minute mark that seems to elude me. But, dang if that hill at the end isn't always there. Hummmmm just occurred to me maybe I should change to a route without a monster hill at the end. So long story short: finished in 21:29, so close and yet so far. Think I can run a bit faster but you know what: Running fast hurts much better to run for hours on end. I can't wait for next week and my nice 30 milers :). Oh yes, I am quite aware that I am sick in the head. But, at least one of you out there is shaking your head in agreement. 30 miles nice and easy sounds a ton better than 3.1 miles as fast as you can go, right?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: Day 1

Oh don't fret I am not going to post each day, just lacked any creativity for a title today. The year has officially begun and it began for me with an awesome brunch at a neighbor’s house where I got to gorge myself on tons of gluten free food followed by a spectacular run. Why was the run so spectacular you ask? Because this is my short week, the week where miles don't matter, nested in between sets of 3 long weeks I have this one week where I get to run short and fast everyday and I love it. Today I ran 5.3 miles in 39 minutes and while I know that isn't super fast for most of you for me it felt like heaven. Most of my training runs are 20+ miles and my pace is therefore somewhere between 9:30 and 11 minute miles. You can imagine how great it feels to hit the street with only a water bottle, no nutrition, and just run fast without worrying if I will bonk later. Ahhhh love it. Alas, at the end of these weeks I am always tired of running fast and want to get back to my favorite type of running: Long and Slow. I think I just like to break it up a bit.

Yesterday I registered for the Lone Ranger 24, that is right, after posting that I wanted to run a 24hr race this year I decided to bite the bullet and register so, if you are in Phili on the July 17th weekend and have nothing better to do at 2am please come run a few miles with me. I would love the company.

So the year has begun with a bang and Rocky is only 35 days away. I am so dang excited.