June recap and Winners!

June Recap: June has come and gone, which means it’s time for another monthly goal recap to check in on my 2012 goals.

Running Related

  • June stats: 15 runs- 118.5 miles; 6 miles on the arc trainer; 9 spin classes- 134 miles, plus one outdoor 14 mile ride; swimming- 3400m; weights 2-3x/week
  • Record breaking: No new prs- too hot to race here right now!
  • New Cross Training Challenge: Finally went to the HIIT class (High Intensity Interval Training)- I loved it, but after all the jumping, my shin was a little unhappy

  • Running Buddy: I went from zero to 4, plus I started linking up with a local running group that meets two blocks from our house.  I have my long run buddy May, my interval-loving-triathlete buddy Liz, my BQ-aiming buddy MC, and another local mom
  • Meet bloggers:  I went for a run with a local blogger, and had coffee with Holly this month to soak up her triathlon advice!

Personal and Family Balance

  • Computer balance: Sticking to my plan so far of early am, naptime and/or pm computer time rather than getting off and on all.day.long.  But I could definitely work on getting to bed earlier…
  • Reading: Devoured Runner’s World’s Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training; I think that was it for this month.
  • Date Nights:  Had a baseball date night, where I was part of a pre-game ceremony with all the age group winners from the Astros 10k

I also started a Fitness Bucket list, which motivated me to sign up for my first sprint triathlon on July 15… two weeks to go.

I cut my running back this week to fit in extra time in the pool and on the bike.  On Saturday, I met my triathlete friend and running buddy Liz at the pool for the Master’s swim, and we followed it up with a short run with hill repeats.  It rained all weekend, so I missed my planned outdoor ride on Sunday and did an 80 minute spin class instead.

Time to wrap up the giveaway!

Winners!   This is my favorite part of hosting giveaways… I love using random.org to see what numbers will pop up.  So the two lucky winners are….

#222     Ali


#159     Kristin

Congrats, ladies! I was also thrilled to see that both women are training for their first full marathon!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the RW Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training!  It’s an excellent resource.  If you didn’t win a copy and are considering purchasing it, I would definitely recommend it.  Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions about it that I didn’t cover in the review.

Do you track your goals monthly?  What was one of your June highlights?

Virtual 5k Recap and my first Bucket List item

This week was the start of Toni’s Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k and 10k. I signed up for both- I ran my 5k on Tuesday and plan to use part of my long run on Saturday for the 10k.

I’ve been struggling to maintain a decent pace in the Texas heat, so I decided to run two miles to the gym as a warm up, complete my 5k on the treadmill, and jog back home.  I almost wished I was outside- trying to run a “race” when you’re going nowhere is tough! But it’s done…

Nice, sweaty picture for you.  Next time I’ll wipe it off first! I tried to “cool down” on my jog home, but long after showering at home, my face was still red.  Thanks for the motivation to push myself, Toni!

Onto my fitness bucket list item… if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen me spill my news yesterday.  Thanks to some consistent, gentle nudging from Holly and Corey, I finally registered for my first triathlon!

The triathlon is July 15… just three weeks to “train”- (aka: learn how to survive the swim.) It’s a sprint distance- 500 meter swim, 16 mile bike, and 3.25 mile run.  Sounds doable, right?!

I’m super excited, but equally terrified… my last swim was in March, and I’ve never done an open water swim before.  The bike should be okay, although I rarely ride outdoors, I think I can manage.  And thank goodness the run is last.  I’ll be so relieved to get to that part!

I have no time goals as I have no idea what to expect- I just want to enjoy the experience and cross it off my bucket list. Stop by Jill’s for more Fitness Friday posts!

Is anyone else doing the virtual run this week?

Any advice for a first time triathlete? Training schedule tips?

Purposeful running- Angela’s story

Happy Father’s day!! Hope you’re all making a big deal out of the dads in your life.  The dad in our house requested a wings and baseball night last evening… easy enough! But we’ll do our best to make today extra special, too.

Today, my friend Angela is sharing her running story.  She’s a fellow toddler mama (twins!), health and fitness blogger, and kitchen experimenter. As we’ve gotten to know each other, we continue to find things we have in common.  There have been many days when we’ve been on the same wavelength, posting similar bean brownies or toddler stories!  Check out her blog at Happy Fit Mama!

Hi everyone! I’m Angela from Happy Fit Mama. First of all, I want to give a big THANK YOU to Laura for giving me the opportunity to share my running story.

Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed movement. I dabbled in running throughout in my teens and early 20s just for the calorie burn. I was more of a gym rat hitting the cardio machines, classes and the weight room. In the back of my mind, I always secretly had a goal of running a half marathon or a marathon. One day, in the summer of 2007, I decided it was time to go after that goal. What was I waiting for? That year I did my first half marathon. I didn’t know anything about pace, tempo or Fartlek’s. I just ran! As I was running that race, I knew I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one.

Life had a different course for me to follow. In 2008, my husband, Ron and I decided to try for our first baby. We were beyond thrilled when we found out we were pregnant. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I miscarried. I had gone running that same morning. Even though my doctor reassured me the miscarriage was not from running and I knew it, I stopped running on that day. I associated the two events together. I didn’t want to have anything to do with my running shoes.

In June 2010, we finally became parents. Not just to one baby but twins! While I was pregnant with the twins a friend of mine was as well. We made a plan to run a local half marathon in November as a way to get back into shape post baby. She was unable to do it but as soon as I was cleared to run at 6 weeks postpartum, I laced up my sneakers. That first run in more than 2 years and after delivering twins was NOT pretty. But the more I ran, the more I remembered the love I had for training. Even though I wanted to spend every single moment with my kids, I forced myself to take time to run. In November, I crossed the finish line of my second half marathon, 4 ½ months after my twins were born. When I saw Ron and the kids, I burst into tears sobbing. I was overwhelmed with emotion. My time was actually slower than 2007 but I felt such a sense of accomplishment for sticking to my intention.

Since 2010, I’ve run two more half marathons. I finally decided that 2012 is THE year – it’s full marathon time! I’ll be racing my first on September 30. Eeeek! Over the past year I have truly fell back in love with running.


People ask, “Why do you run?” “Why not?” Our bodies were meant to be in motion. I have also learned that running is my “ME” time. An early morning run at 5 a.m. can get my day started in a positive note. An evening run after work can help me sort out the problems and stress that builds as the day goes on. Even if I’m pushing my double BOB stroller up a mammoth hill, it is still “ME” time.  Running makes me a better person, friend, wife, and mother. That’ my purpose for running!

Fitness Bucket list

I love lists.  And I love goals. Apparently, this is pretty typical for a first-born child.  So when Fitfluential Ambassadors were encouraged to create a “fitness bucket” list, I was excited to get right to work…

Here’s a glimpse of what I came up with:

In the next 1-2 years:

In the next 3-5 years:

  • Master the Side Crow pose and increase my flexibility in yoga
  • Compete in a duathlon
  • Get RRCA certification to coach runners

5 years and beyond:

  • Race a 70.3
  • Coach an elementary-school running club for kids (and get tips from Michelle!)
  • Run an international marathon (Greece, China, Rome, Paris, I can’t decide)
  • Continue running for fun as long as possible, into my 80’s maybe?!

You can see my complete Bucket list on Pinterest.  I just got my account set up, so if you’re on there, let me know and I’d love to follow you!

I’d love to know…

Have you written out long-term fitness goals?

What would be on your ” fitness bucket list?”


Running on Empty review, giveaway + a streak

I mentioned in the May recap that I read Running on Empty this month.  I couldn’t put it down! Marshall Ulrich tells his story of becoming an endurance athlete (including ultra-running and ascending the Seven Summits), and documents his final personal challenge: a 52 day run across America.

He writes with a touching humility and openness about his personal struggles and shortcomings, which brings a human face to his otherwise “super-human” achievements.

Marshall began running after the tragic loss of his wife to cancer soon after their daughter was born.  As he grieved, he pushed himself farther and faster, away from the pain while embracing a new pain.  I love the quote he shared from James Thurber, “All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”

His drive, determination and pain tolerance set him apart as he pushed his body to it’s limit in the run across the country. Most days, he was running from 7 or 8am until 1 or 2am, adding sleep deprivation to his many challenges.  Despite thinking him extreme and crazy at times, I am inspired by what the human body is capable of!

Through all sorts of obstacles and injuries, Marshall completes his journey from California to New York, running an average of 60 miles per day! You can read more about this book on his website.

Although I can’t relate to such an extreme physical journey, I appreciate the analogies within his story for life’s challenges: finding our way, persevering in trials, having the determination to keep going when everything else is telling you to give up.  His mantra for life and running: Keep going, no matter what, one foot in front of the other, millions of times.

A week after finishing this book, Runner’s World posted a streaking challenge in which participants would run at least one mile per day from Memorial day to the Fourth of July. I’ve never run more than 4-5 days a week, but with no strict training plan or races on the calendar, I decided to sign up!

It doesn’t begin to compare to the 60+ miles a day that Marshall ran! But it’s an appropriate challenge for me, and I’m playing it conservatively, with only one easy mile on my usual spinning or rest days.  I’m one week in, and so far, so good.

Would you like to read Running on Empty? You can win a copy for yourself!

To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me why this book appeals to you, or let me know if you’re participating in the RW streak

For additional entries:

  • Leave a separate comment for each, letting me know if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook
  • Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment telling me you did!

The giveaway will run through Sunday, June 10th at midnight and the winner will be drawn through random.org and announced on Monday, June 11th.  I was provided with a book but was not compensated for this review.  The opinions are my own.

May recap

Happy June 1st! It’s time to revisit my 2012 goal post for another monthly recap.  Here’s May!

Running Related

  • May stats: 16 runs- total 122.25 miles; 9 spin classes- total 213 miles;  and weights 2-3x/week
  • May races: Sprint 4 Life 5k;  Astros 10k
  • Cross Training Challenge: I tried a few free, new-to-me yoga resources
  • Running Buddy: New buddy! No running picture of us yet, but we met up for our first 10 mile run together last weekend!

Personal and Family Balance

  • Evening quiet time:  Thanks to Terzah’s sleep challenge, I’ve been working hard at getting to bed a little earlier this month
  • Computer balance: I think I’ve found a good rhythm, with L’s naps and evening time for myself
  • Reading: Running related- read Running on Empty, which I’ll share more about soon.  Otherwise, I read several yard sale books when I was sick: A Thousand Acres; Good Grief; and Sundays at Tiffanys
  • Date Nights:  We finally made it to the local outdoor theater, and saw a medley of Motown hits, called “Dancin’ in the Street!”

Running-wise, I’ve finally added back my fourth day, which is where my legs are happiest.  I kept 3 days/week for months afraid of re-injury, and halfway attempting the Run Less, Run Faster plan.  But with no marathon on the calendar, I’m not strictly following any particular plan, and I like having a family recovery run Sunday morning.

Spinning-wise, I’m gearing up to complete a video tape of myself teaching RPM this weekend, which I have to submit as the final portion of my certification (although I already began teaching.)  I rounded up a few willing volunteers for Saturday afternoon. Local friends, if you want to come, let me know!

Last side note… I finally joined Instagram.  If you’re on there, you can find me at @mommyrunfast.  Check out other Fitness Friday posts here!

What were your highlights from May?

About that “I” word…

Do you remember the 2012 goals post I wrote back in December? In the final paragraphs, I casually added that I hoped this would be either a year of another marathon or a baby. I feel like it’s time to elaborate on that.

First of all, I’m not pregnant. I’ve hinted before that we had some trouble getting pregnant, and a few weeks ago, I was moved by Sarah’s post and Jen’s post regarding National Infertility week.  The theme of the week? Don’t ignore infertility.

That struck me hard, because it captured exactly how I felt when we were trying to get pregnant with L- it drove me crazy that no one was talking about it, and I made it a point to share with my family and friends because I needed their support.  In the process, I came across many similar stories and was greatly encouraged by other moms who had also struggled, and had built their family in one way or another.

Those two posts helped me to realize that I have been ignoring it this time around.  No, I’m not “infertile” in the absolute sense that I cannot have children.  We feel incredibly blessed to have our spunky 2 year old! But I have experienced infertility in the sense of its emotional toll: fear, uncertainty, depression, impatience, frustration… the list goes on. And now it’s been about a year that we’ve been ready for another child.

While the second time around has been made a tiny bit easier by the distraction of caring for L, as time goes on, I’m finding some of those same emotions resurfacing.

The good news is, we can’t NOT have kids.  I trust that we will get pregnant again.  My diagnosis has always been vague (polycystic-like ovaries but not necessarily PCOS) and what helped us get pregnant was also unclear, although months of acupuncture and herbs finally seemed to do the trick.

This time around, my cycles have been textbook material and we’ve heard it can be easier the second time around, so we haven’t been nearly as proactive with seeking treatment.  But I finally decided it’s time to try something, and started acupuncture two weeks ago with herbs and tea brewed from these intriguing herbs:

In terms of running, my activity level did not interfere with our first pregnancy (I even ran a 10 mile race when pregnant before I knew it) and I’ve been encouraged to continue what I’m doing, but I also believe this is not the time to train for a marathon.  Hopefully next year.  :)

So, this is where I’m at right now, and why my races are last minute month-to-month, and why I can’t plan very far into the future.  As a person of faith, I have confidence that God will guide us, and whether it’s natural childbirth or through adoption, we feel called to love and raise another child. I do feel hopeful that acupuncture will help, although I know it can take many months, so I’m settling in for the ride and doing my best to embrace the unknown.

Last minute 5k- Sprint 4 Life race report

After my 5k a few weeks ago, I was planning to back off racing that distance until we had some better weather.  But I got a lot of encouragement to do a few more, even if they’re just for fun, and use it as speed work. So at the last minute this week, I came across another 5k near our house and signed up.

My goals:

  • Stay positive and have fun!
  • Hold back just a little in the first mile
  • Maintain a steady pace
  • Break 21 minutes

I knew it was going to be hot and humid again, but since it’s been consistently warm the last two weeks, I was hoping my body would be more prepared.  I stepped outside and was pleasantly surprised to find a bit of a breeze masking the 72 degrees and 99% humidity.  I jogged almost 2 miles to the start line, barely breaking a sweat and feeling encouraged.  What a difference from the last 5k, where I was already struggling to breathe in the warm up jog!

As we lined up, I tried guessing who would be a good pacer.  I’m always amazed at how difficult it is to gauge this!  All body types and sizes were lined up behind the 6 minute pacer, and I could only pinpoint one all-muscle girl who looked like she would fly!

As we took off, I purposely held myself back to find a comfortable pace, a lesson I learned after sprinting out in the last 5k and feeling zapped 1/2 way through.  I gradually increased my pace and found a group of similarly paced runners as we thinned out.  Success! Mile one beeped at 6:34.  This was really close to the time of my first mile last time, but I felt so much fresher and stronger.

Another perk to this race- there were 2,000 runners (as opposed to 200+ in the last one) so there were a lot more people (and spectators) to distract me and keep it interesting. I focused on two or three women ahead of me, and tried to catch them one by one.  That solid muscle girl was no where to be seen.  Having people in sight really helped me push myself to hold the pace.  Mile two was a few seconds slower, but still where I wanted it, 6:42.

As we started the last mile, I found myself using spinning cues and positive coaching messages (“keep your upper body relaxed, feel the rhythm, push hard-you’ve got this!”) They are so engrained in me right now! I knew I could hit my sub-21 goal if I held the pace.  Mile three was actually my fasted mile at 6:32.

The course was nice and flat until the final tenth mile, when we went up and over a bridge and down to the finish line.  There were finally lots of people cheering and I used their energy to sprint the remaining stretch at 6:17 pace.

Final chip time- 20:46 (6:40 average pace)

That’s 23 seconds faster than the race two weeks ago.  I’ll take it! It made such a difference to go in with less pressure on myself.  I was even thinking of ignoring my Garmin and running on feel, but I did check it at each mile and probably at least twice between miles.  My cheering squad:

I heard L and daddy at the finish, and was informed I was the second overall woman (behind Muscle-girl who ran a 6:05 pace!), and first in my age group.  So we hung around for the awards (a medal) and then they headed home on the bike and I finished my (not very) long run day with another 5 miles, for a total of 10.  I still felt strong and finished the last 3 miles at 7:46, 7:42 and 7:32.

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to keep trying! This was only my 3rd 5k (ever), so I definitely feel like I’m learning a lot from each one, and I’m starting to understand the joy of racing this distance!


April recap

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

I’m a little tired today, but 18 hours of training and 90+ spinning miles later, I am officially approved to teach spin! It was a powerful experience– I was really impressed with our trainer and I soaked up a lot of new information from him, both related to RPM spinning and coaching technique.  It was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating.  The last step is to videotape myself teaching one class in its entirety and sending it in for a final critique.

I’m on the far left… sweaty, but still smiling!

April Recap: I feel like I just wrote the March recap, but it’s time to revisit my 2012 goal post and review another month. Here’s April!

Running Related

  • April stats: 16 runs- total 100.25 miles; 11 spin classes- total 227 miles (plus training, so 317 total spinning miles); elliptical- 4 miles; 10 walking miles and weights 2x/week

  • Cross Training Challenge: New yoga downloads, I’ll share more later this week
  • Running Buddy: Yes! I met a potential buddy at the 5k

Personal and Family Balance

  • Evening quiet time: Yes, but I’m staying up too late to fit it all in, I think I’m going to join Terzah’s sleep challenge
  • Computer balance: Still managing to avoid the computer most of the time when my daughter is awake!
  • Reading: Finally read and loved “Run Like a Mother“; got half way through a potty training book… fun things ahead :)
  • Date Nights:  We took advantage of family visits and got out twice- once for dinner and some shopping; and then went to Rice for our track date

April turned out to be an eventful month! We had two extended weekends with family visiting, and I spent one entire weekend getting certified as a spinning instructor.  In between, I managed to squeeze in two shorter races and nail a new pr for each!

I would love to add in a few more short races in the next month or two. Unfortunately, local races really quiet down around here as it heats up. I may do another 5k in May, and am considering a triathalon in June, but the rest of the summer is still up in the air.

Last thing: I finally set up a Facebook page for Mommy, Run Fast, and would love if you would stop by and give me a thumbs up! Let me know if you have a page- I would love to follow you back!

What’s next for you? Any races coming up in May?

Sprint for spring 5k report

Happy Monday!  I’m excited to be tracking runners in Boston later this morning… I hope everyone runs smart in the heat!

On Saturday, I ran my second 5k.  Even though I’ve been running for years, I intentionally avoided the 5k distance until just this past November! Honestly, it just sounded painful.

But one of my goals for this year was to experiment with some of the shorter distances, and I’m actually enjoying it  (although it’s true that racing a 5k is tough!)

So, the race report.

The good: a new pr and a possible new running buddy!

The bad: 70 degrees and humid when I woke up.  Blech! And missing my goal time by only 9 seconds.  :(

The race: This was a small local race held through the local YMCA.  There were only a couple hundred people signed up. I jogged to the start of the race as my warm up (about 2 miles from our house) and was feeling hot and slow.

It was already over 70 degrees and muggy, which made me feel especially sluggish. I was watching for L and daddy, and they showed up about 10 minutes before the start.  Seeing them gave me a little boost of energy.

The race started at 7:30am and I pushed myself to start fast and find a good pace.  I looked down about 100 yards in and saw my pace in the 5:30 range, oops!

It took me another 100 yards to slow down enough to find a comfortable pace.  My first mile beeped at 6:39.

I was feeling better than I expected to, but as the race thinned out, it was really hard to hold onto a good pace with no one around to push me.  The heat made it difficult to get good deep breaths, and I found myself coughing a lot to get extra air.  I’m not sure why that helped, but it did.  Mile two was a little slower, at 6:47.

I could feel myself tiring out, and every time I glanced at my watch, I saw the pace slipping away and had to work to bring it back.  I knew the fast start was doing me in, but I hung on.  There were very few spectators, and the sun was beating down hard at this point.  That third mile is always killer! Mile 3: 6:53.

We rounded the last corner, and I finally heard people cheering.  What a difference it makes to have a little encouragement! I did my best to finish strong, with the last tenth mile at a 6:11 pace.

My goal was to break 21 minutes, but I saw the clock switch to 21 as I approached. It was disappointing, but I was just glad to be done!

Final chip time: 21:09 (6:49 pace)

Afterward, I started chatting with the woman who finished right behind me, and learned she had also moved here this past summer.  We had a lot in common and later I found myself thinking she would make a great running buddy, but I didn’t see her around.

We stayed for the 1k kids run (check out the video in yesterday’s post!) L didn’t last for long, so daddy ended up carrying her for most of it, and then she ran across the finish line at the end. She was so proud of her medal!

I also hung around to get my age group award- unfortunately, no massage this time:

Daddy and L headed off to the farmer’s market, and I ran home on a connecting trail to add another 6 miles on.  Guess who was also running home on the trail- my potential running buddy! So we stopped this time and exchanged numbers.  Yay!

All in all, it was a good run. I’m a little bummed about my time.  Part of me wants to sign up for another one soon and break 21 minutes, but it’s only going to get warmer around here.  So I think I’ll hold off on humid 5ks for a few months.  I can’t be unhappy with a new pr, right?!

Did you ever have a race that was both exciting and disappointing?

Any ugly trophies or race mementos on your shelf?