Wednesday, December 30, 2009

KB Swings/Squats/Pushpress/Burpees

anyone for a few FLYING burpees?
100 calf-raises
2:00 (accumulated) L-sit holds
50 toes to fingers
50 double unders
25 situps

One Round for Time--
100 kettlebell swings (1 pood)
75 jumping squats
50 pushpress (65#)
5 burpees

Needy Child=>Piecemeal Workout

50 KB swings, 1 pood
50 double unders
50 jumping squats
30 push-ups
50 OH walking lunge, 25#plate
(25 bilateral weight-carry/12 right-hand carry/13 left-hand carry)
5 burpees
10 knees to elbows

I threw together what I could while the babe didn't need me...

Turned out to be a good workout after all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Run.

30 static pullups
30 jumping squats
2 x 30 sec. L-sit holds
30 knees to elbows
2:00 front plank
1:00 side plank (each side)

5K snow-run

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not That I Feel Obligated to Race Again...

...BUT now I really should meet the director to offer him my personal thanks for his kindness, humor (and sympathy):
Remember the "HALF TURNAROUND" sign that was UPSed to me a couple of weeks ago? Well, I received a follow-up email from the marathon director.

I am glad it finally got to you, it took a while for me to track it down at the warehouse. You definitely earned it. I hope you come back next year so I can meet you. (I will be at our Expo booth in Little Rock and OKC as well if you are going to either of those races.)

Your story is one of my all time favorites from our race.


Chris Lieberman

Executive Director

Tulsa Route 66 Marathon, Inc.

(What a nice guy.) Seems he's covered his bases; he'll be at three upcoming registration expos. Which gives me the option of running the Little Rock Marathon (which a friend invited me to run with her), the OKC Memorial Marathon, or the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon. (And I have a second-cousin who thinks my next challenge should be the Marine Corps Marathon, to be held in her town of Washington D.C..)

Hmm... Now to decide...

Friday, December 25, 2009


50 pushups
50 jumping squats
50 weighted lunges, 30# overhead
50 mountain climbers
50 dumbbell (kettlebell) swings, 35#
1:00 jump rope
1.75 mile bike ride
800 m run

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Jump Up Cindy"

50 steps weighted (25#) lunge

60 mountain climbers

5 L-sit holds, 30 secs.

10 knees to elbows, 7 sets

WOD: self-modified workout
"Jump up Cindy"

AMRAP* 20 minutes

5 pullups

10 pushups
15 JUMPING squats
20 situps

*as many rounds as possible

front plank 2:00

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lunges, Squats...and "Sucking in the Gut"

Last night was void of any REAL workout, but as I waited for our seamstress to arrive for the bridesmaid dress-fitting, I warmed up with a few squats and lunges...

After that was over, I found this: (THIS is obsession, folks.)

Whether you’re an Oscar nominee or a new mom with an upcoming high school reunion, these tricks will get you into that va-va-voom dress without splitting the seams.

You Will Need

  • An anti-bloat mini-diet
  • A colonic irrigation
  • A lymphatic-drainage massage
  • A slenderizing body wrap
  • Body-slimming undergarments

Check with your doctor before embarking on any quick weight-loss technique. Losing too much weight too fast can be dangerous.


Step 1: Get rid of the bloat

Get rid of the bloat. Four days before the big event, stop eating foods that encourage your body to retain water, like salt, white bread, and pasta, and foods that cause gas, like broccoli and cauliflower. And stay away from coffee, tea, alcohol, and carbonated beverages, which also can cause bloating by irritating your gastrointestinal tract.

Don’t chew gum—it makes you swallow air, which then gets trapped in your tummy, causing it to swell.


Step 2: Get cleaned out

On the morning of your event, get a colonic irrigation. Some people are as much as seven pounds lighter afterward.

Some stars book themselves into a spa before the Oscars for a week of juice fasting and daily colonics.


Step 3: Drain your face

Go for a facial—but not just any kind. Have one that includes a lymphatic-drainage massage, which will draw fluid and trace toxins out of your face, and puffiness along with it.


Step 4: Wrap it up

Have a body wrap. The secret of many A-list stars, it can make you a whole size smaller—for your special night, anyway—by ridding your body of water weight and tightening the skin.


Step 5: Pack it in

Add some insurance by wearing one of the many body-slimming undergarments on the market. That way, even if you abuse the canapes, you’ll still be safe!

Some slimming undergarments are made of a fabric that, with repeated wearing, supposedly reduces cellulite!


Monday, December 21, 2009

LEGS do this!

30 pull-ups
30 push-ups
50 steps,overhead walking lunge (25#)
60 mountain climbers
1x20 single leg thrusts, each side

20 back squats, 85#
100 steps walking lunge
20 back squats, 85#
50 box jumps, 24" box
50 box STEPS, 24" box (25/leg)
50 deep calf raises
50 sit-ups

2:00 front plank

Another Day, Another Run.

Another 5K run...on another warm December day.Maybe next time I'll try running in stilettos. Looks flashy!
(Only in Europe...Berlin, to be exact.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

KB swings/Thrusters/Pull-ups

2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
50 Sit-ups
50 Squats
20 Push-ups
2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)

3x30 Kettlebell Swings (1 pood)
3x20 Barbell Thrusters (55#)
4x5 Dead-hang pull-ups (mixed grip)
2:00 front plank


My friend, Laura, posted this pistol (one-legged squat) demonstration on her website... This is EXTREME!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Williams Route 66 Marathon...Consolation Prize

Following the marathon, I received this email:
I really enjoyed reading your blog about the Route 66 Marathon. I am
sorry that happened but I love the ending! I am proud of you. I thought
you might like this photo. Also, please confirm your mailing address. I
have something else I want to send you.


Chris Lieberman
Executive Director

The Route 66 Marathon - November 20, 2010
The Route 66 Quarter Marathon - August 7, 2010

to which I replied:
Hi, Chris.

Yes. That is where I got "turned around", literally. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the Route 66 Marathon. I pushed myself beyond my imaginable limits. It was a test of my discipline, determination, and perseverance. I was inspired and motivated throughout; the marathon volunteers (from hydration stations to police officers) were VERY supportive. Being my second marathon, I was VERY pleased with the overall experience.

My mailing address is:

Thank you,

and finally:
Christy, your post definitely portrayed that. I loved the post and your story even though I am sure it must have been a horrible feeling once you realized what you had done. It all ended in something you should be very proud of. That is why I am sending you a little something to remember it by.


Chris Lieberman

Executive Director


(the ORIGINAL which the memorable mistake occurred...and a half-marathon finisher medal)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


50 steps, walking lunge (25# plate overhead)

AMRAP 20 mins*
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats
20 sit-ups

planks (front)
(side) L 1:00 R 1:00
single-leg thrusts 20/side
deep calf-raises 100/side

*as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Legs. Legs. Legs.

"Imagine having flawless-looking legs in an instant."
I'm not buying it; I think I'll stick to exercise.

Since my legs were the only usable portion of my body yesterday, I developed my workout specifically for leg-work. And WORK they did...

20 Back Squats, 85#
100 steps walking lunge
20 Back Squats, 85#
100 Box Jumps, 24" box
20 Back Squats, 85#
100 deep calf raises (on stairs)
100 steps walking lunge

Here's what my legs felt like after I finished:
Gotta LOVE that JELLO-feeling!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WANTED: Strength

Although my motivation to work out has waned since the marathon, I HAVE found it.

Now, where did I put my STRENGTH?
(I think I left it back...somewhere...before marathon-training.)

Angie Get Your Run (self-modified WOD)
100 Pull-ups
400 m run
100 Push-ups
800 m run
100 sit-ups
400 m run
100 squats (40 OHS, 45#/60 regular air squat)

My time was so pathetic in the pull-ups (my hands have lost their callousness and the cold bar leaves me wanting more grip) that I NEVER started the clock. My push-ups were WEAK, due to the prior day's WOD and cooldown planks. (My shoulders are the epitome of pain right now.) The runs were actually the nicest part of this workout; 34-degree weather FORCES the speed to increase dramatically!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Easing into Winter...SORE TODAY.

2x20 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
3x20 Romanian Deadlifts, 115#
3x20 Front Squats (65#-75-75)
3x5 Dead-hang pull-ups
3x20 Push Press, 75#
50 situps
planks (2:00 front/1:00 each side)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weighting for Winter?

Is it the cold that causes folks to become less motivated this time of year?

Whatever it is, I'm feeling it.


Isn't that cute little bridesmaid's dress (the one I'll be wearing in two months) motivation enough? Two months is JUST ENOUGH TIME to gain a size. And I CANNOT afford to GAIN a size right now.

See you at the gym!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Back into the Swing...

4x10 Single Leg Thrusters (2 sets/leg)
50 Sit-ups
30 Squats
30 Push-ups

Workout: 3x30 Kettlebell Swings (1.5pood-1.5pood-1.5 [12reps]/1 pood [18reps])
3x20 Barbell Thrusters (65#-65-65)
4x5 Dead-hang pull-ups

2:00 front plank
1:00 side plank (each side)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good Ole Mr. Marathon

After the Tulsa marathon, I received an invitation and a question from a friend: "The Little Rock marathon is in March :) You should come!! What training guide did you use to prepare for the marathon? There are so many different opinions out there on the best way to train."

So in regards to the INVITATION... I'm giving it a few weeks to decide, BUT--

After two days, the soreness has faded...but the exhilaration is still alive. It's pulsing through my veins. As we headed east this week, driving through Little Rock, I remembered the invitation I received from my friend to run the Little Rock Marathon in March. Feasible. "I'd still be in shape and good to run...with minimal commitment beforehand." As we drove through Memphis, I noticed the St. Jude Children's Hospital and remembered the St. Jude Marathon in early 2010. "Memphis would be a nice place to run...with the riverside road winding along the THAT would be a nice marathon."

What?!? I can't be serious.

I now realize, that with minimal commitment, I can prepare for the 26.2 miles and actually ENJOY every mile of the race. By "minimal" commitment I mean: continuing my daily family Crossfit-style workouts...and getting a long run in on the weekends.

And in answering her question about what marathon-training regimen I follow, I have to admit, I've never trained in the traditional manner that most runners train. Maybe because I don't fancy myself as a runner. Maybe it's because I always just set out "to finish" the marathon, rather than race. Or maybe it's because I found a more personally appealing alternative that fits MY lifestyle and exercise interests...

Our Crossfit OKC owner/certified trainer, along with my husband, ran the 2008 OKC Memorial Marathon, with marginal running beforehand. My husband continued his Crossfit training throughout the week, incorporating running into his regimen usually only on Sundays. They both were very satisfied with the level of endurance they built almost solely with Crossfit, and they were equally satisfied with their 26.2 mile run.

THIS is the pattern I followed--continuing with Crossfit and peppering 5K runs throughout my weekly workouts...and running longer runs on Sundays. My training for the November marathon never took me more than ten miles (I poorly managed my schedule); my training runs for the OKC marathon peaked at 16 miles (on a treadmill--YUCK!).

Crossfit serves in my ability to gain strength. Yes, that means gaining some muscle. Granted, I am HEAVIER than most long-distance runners and may run faster if I were thin. But, I deem the muscle more important in the long-run, especially as it is the primary support-structure giving my joints a slight break and placing them where they belong: as secondary back-up support. The last thing I need is to become acquainted with Arthur Itis at a young (or even old) age. Building muscle will not only support my joints, but as a woman, will guard against the common danger of osteoporosis.

(An aside: I know a particular Crossfitter and long-distance runner who drops ten pounds before a race. This is more dedication than I care to muster; I do not take the marathon-thing that seriously. I can face the fact that I'm not the long-and-lean distance runner; my body wasn't built for speed. And I'm okay with that.)

Building mental stamina is my primary goal in training for a marathon. I see this as an effective goal and an essential one, in my novice opinion. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated. But staying motivated and developing the proper mindset will be a necessary tool to both enduring and finishing the race. Crossing the finish line happy and in one piece is the (easily attainable and desired) goal.

For building mental stamina, I have found that running longer distances (anything above five miles) has helped. But most effective were the Crossfit WODs I chose to do beforehand. I chose the longer metabolic WODs--anything that would take me at least 15-20 minutes, forcing me to work at FULL-CAPACITY (i.e. Filthy Fifty). I also found it effective to warm up with the wind-sucking "Fran" and immediately after, setting off for a 5K+ run. Building mental stamina is very individual. But the important thing for me to find was the point where I thought I couldn't go anymore...and then realizing I COULD (safely) push past it. This enabled me to find that feeling of comfortable, yet challenging exertion. Knowing one's body is essential in any run, but more specifically long runs. Knowing when to stop before I collapse is the key to safe and enjoyable running. No "milestone" or accomplishment is worth sacrificing safety.

With that said, I'm thinking Mr. Marathon and I may rendezvous again. I know I said that we were over... But I'm encouraged now. I accomplished more than I set out to accomplish. (Meaning: I ran 30 miles instead of 26.2 AND I finished 30 miles in the time I hoped to finish 26.2 miles.)

What can I say? I like closure.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Mark off the Bucket List

By: Gail Lugo

There were many reasons for me deciding to train to run the Route 66 Half Marathon. I needed a motivation to get into shape, I wanted to lose a few pounds, an excuse to buy a new pair of running shoes, and a work colleague is always enthusiastically talking about her exciting running and cycling expeditions and making me jealous...

But the main reason was that this challenge has been unmarked on my “bucket list” for many years. I’m not sure when exactly I decided that I wanted to complete a half marathon, but I’m pretty sure I was still a teenager. I do not consider myself an athlete by any means. I was always last in every kind of race at school and have very poor coordination. Therein lies the beauty of the half-marathon. Almost anyone can complete it IF you put in the training. I was not crossing the starting line dancing through confetti because I wanted to race. I just wanted to finish the race, have fun and feel good at the end.

The weather conditions for the race were perfect. Cool but not cold and almost no wind. I started out at the 10mile per hour pace group and plodded along with a friend taking it easy. During my training I realized that the first 2 miles for me are always the most uncomfortable and race day was no different. I was feeling sluggish but happy to enjoy the scenery and the crowds and take it easy looking around for a bathroom stop since I realized I probably should have gone one more time before crossing the starting line. I tried to strike up conversation but it seemed like everyone was so busy listening to their iPods that they had trouble hearing me, or perhaps that was a deliberate response. Back home when I used to run 10km races (also just for the fun of it) people were a lot more open to chattering and running at the same time. I guess the reason is that there are more running clubs and so it’s a more social activity. Perhaps the lack of conversation was beneficial to my race.

Since everyone else was so concentrated on their pace I was naturally inclined to do the same – shut up and run. (Or perhaps I was so concentrated on holding out for the next port-a-potty stop.) Either way, the first down hill after the two-mile mark was the time that I started stretching my legs out, dropping my arms and increasing the pace. It felt good. I didn’t want to stop at the first two water-stops. I wasn’t sure how much more my bladder could hold so I just kept on moving. At this point it seemed like I was passing everyone except for two ladies who seemed to be just one step ahead of me. I tried to keep them in sight as we passed the 4:15 full-marathon pace group. I stopped for a few steps to get water and a Gatorade. When we hit a couple of hills at about eight or nine miles, the two ladies I was following started walking. But I couldn’t stop.

I then found a row of port-a-potties without a line outside of them!!! What a relief. And from there I only had three miles left. I picked up the pace a little more knowing that no matter how tired or how sore my knees started feeling that it would all soon be over. If I was only going to do this once, I may as well give it everything I have. The most discouraging part was that even though it felt like I was sprinting at this point and passing all the half marathoners I came across, the marathon runners whizzed by me like I was standing still. Like I said, fortunately running is a race against yourself, or at least it is for me. I kept the pace up and crossed the finish line right as the clock turned to 2:05:00 (chip time 2:02:25). That is probably the best time I could ever hope for.(I can’t remember ever completing a 10km or 15km at that pace.)

I scanned the crowd to find my husband, but apparently I wasn’t the only one expecting that the clock would be further along when I crossed the finish line. The feeling of euphoria at that time is hard to explain. But I was also a little sad. It meant that all the training was done and the challenge was over. Someone asked me what was to next? That’s the tough part. I might have to get that old bucket list out again and see what else I have listed to do. Or perhaps I need to add an item to the list: Full Marathon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tulsa Route 66 Marathon: the good, the bad, and the ugly: PART ONE

my THIRTY-mile race

Conditions couldn't have been better for yesterday's race. Granted, it was 43 degrees at the start, but most anyone knows that any amount of physical activity soon helps your body forget the chill. I began with my two training buddies at the 10:00:00 per mile pace group. As my tradition goes, I crossed the starting line, started my stopwatch, wished them a fun race, and departed, weaving my way ahead to an optimum pace group for ME.

The course was rather hilly in the beginning. I didn't anticipate it, nor did I care for it, but I used it to my advantage. I gain much ground on hills, increasing intensity upward to maintain my pace, and then using the hill downward to really propel me forward. I noticed that many people tried to stop the momentum (like pulling the reins on a horse) created by the descent. Not only do I imagine this is NOT good on their knees, but why not use the hill as a natural propellant?

I was a machine. My legs were moving through the pain or discomfort. I was being thrust forward by sheer competition.

I made my way into a group...of MEN...and realized I was one woman in the midst of men. It was this way for many miles. Granted, I KNOW there were women ahead of me, but just like in the Midnight Streak, if no woman passed me, I was satisfied to maintain my pace. It was at that moment that I realized I wasn't just RUNNING the marathon, I was actually RACING, pushing my limits. I pushed forward hard and found a pace runner from Elite Feet. These guys carried balloons indicating the pace they were setting. I was excited to see that I had made it to the 3:40:00 pace group (this means, by staying with this pace group, I could finish the race, with a pace of 8:36 minutes/mile, in 3 hours and 40 minutes). I was ecstatic--that would have been 58 minutes faster than my April 2009 marathon time! I was at a comfortable pace, and I saw it feasible to maintain this pace for the duration of the race.

I pushed ahead of them a bit after a few miles. I did this as a proactive measure; in the instance I had to STOP (i.e. for a port-a-potty break), they wouldn't get ahead of me. THIS IS WHERE I MADE MY MISTAKE. At this point in the race, we rejoined the half-marathoners. Once again, the group was HUGE. I lost my orientation, apparently, as the pace group was my familiar group of runners. I saw a sign: "15 miles, Halfway Turnaround", and I assumed this was the full marathon turnaround. I, being in a space, alone, with no other runners immediately around me, decided to turn at the turnaround. Being unfamiliar with the course, I didn't realize my mistake.

I kept running hard, maintaining, of course, the pace I had set for myself. I didn't bother to look behind me to see if the pace group was there. And apparently I didn't bother to notice ahead of me to see the group that had continued straight, before the turnaround. Imagine my surprise when I saw the finish line ahead...and crossed...and heard my name announced as finishing! I immediately became watch kept ticking as I stood there , looking for MORE FULL MARATHON BIBS to come by way, trying to determine what happened. I found a volunteer and asked what I could have done I could have separated from the FULL marathoners. He wasn't much help and got another volunteer, who then asked an official what could be done. "Nothing really. I'm sorry." They apologized profusely (for MY mistake) and told me how disappointing that must be.

Yes, it was. I considered giving up...not finishing. What was the use? I don't even know WHERE I lost the full marathon group. Where would I go back to? Would I even be able to catch up?

It was a risk I was willing to take. "I HAVE to finish", I explained. "Is there any way I can just run back? Just to see if I can find the full marathoners?" With a look of surprise and disbelief, the official said, "well, I guess...GOOD LUCK!"

Just as I began running, tracking backward, I passed my training buddy, coming in for the finish. I yelled out to her, and gave her a "five" as I passed. She looked so excited coming in...and a bit confused as I passed... be continued...

Tulsa Route 66 Marathon: the good, the bad, and the ugly: PART TWO

my THIRTY-mile race
Can you conceive, in your mind, what it would be like to see your FULL marathon training buddy, coming at you as you were just FINISHING the half marathon? I didn't even consider it, but after the race, she told me that she had mixed emotions at that point. She was SO excited to finish...and excited to see me...but then she didn't understand WHY she was seeing me...had I already completed the FULL? In essence, I took the exhilaration she was feeling and twisted it into a semblance of confusion... Sorry, Tarah!
I backtracked...praying along the way that I wouldn't have to give up finishing the full marathon. I was so thankful to see the red bibs as I entered onto Riverside again. I immediately made eye contact with a man. He was so accommodating; he removed his headphones and began talking to me. I told him what happened...and he told me where I made my mistake. He was very encouraging, and he gave me a bit of an edge to push forward again.

By that time, the first time since the beginning of the race, I felt tight. The minutes that had been wasted in STANDING at the finish line, talking to volunteers and determining my next course of action, had served to stiffen me. I'm good while running, but once I stop, my muscles seize.

I felt despair...discouragement...hopelessness...(sad, right?). All over a silly race. I can't explain the type of discipline and emotion...over the body and mind...that is committed during those 26.2 miles. The satisfaction in watching the mile-markers pass and meeting a goal (or even setting a new one mid-race) is hard to describe. By running with the 3:40:00 pace group and considering the prospect of completing the race with a sub-four hour time... I had entered a new realm. I didn't realize I could push myself that hard...pushing past discomfort to meet a goal.

I then met the 4:15:00 pace group. Ironically, this was my original goal time. Granted, if I could finish with them, my goal would have been attained. (But in my mind, I considered what I could have done, and that bothered me a bit.) I had backtracked over 2.5 rank had gone from 179th to a matter of 35 minutes...and I had lost, in backtracking and speaking with race officials, 35 minutes.

At that moment, I determined to stay with the 4:15:00 pace group. And I did. When I saw the 26-mile marker, I felt the tears forming in my eyes. For this mark meant I had almost completed THIRTY miles...

As I rounded the first corner, this route was all-too-familiar: I had been here before...I had finished once already. Upon rounding the second corner, I saw my family. My eyes connected with my husband's eyes; I saw the sweet faces of my two boys. I waved, smiled, and pushed...through pain, discomfort, and disappointment. I sprinted to the finish, passing the girl in the fuchsia shirt that had gained on me at mile 26...and I then heard my named finishing. I had finished nearly 30 miles in 4:16:10, putting my pace at 8:31/mile.

As I finished, I saw the first volunteer I had spoken with. His eyebrows raised and he was shocked as he asked if I had finished the full. He hugged me and called out to the second volunteer. She congratulated me for finding the full-marathoners and finishing with them. After receiving my medal, my children made their way to me. Their hugs were warming...and somehow, as kids always do, my oldest managed to say the perfect words:

"I'm glad you finished, Mom."

And at the end of 30 miles, SO WAS I.


These guys WERE something to see. The babies were so relaxed as their dads pushed them at high-speed. It provided a neat element to the race, and was pretty motivational to witness!

TULSA, OK --The winner of The Williams Route 66 Marathon broke the Guinness World record for running with a stroller on Sunday morning.

The first and second place winners were the two dueling for the record. Zac Freudenburg won the Route 66 Marathon and broke the Guinness World Record for running a marathon while pushing a stroller with a time of 2:32:10.

The second place finisher of the marathon is Michael Wardian, who also was pushing a stroller with a time of 2:34:37.

Elite marathon runners Michael Wardian and Zac Freudenburg and their children 11-month-old Grant Wardian and 10 1⁄2 month old Liam Freudenburg finished in the top two at the Route 66 Marathon.

The current Guinness World Record was set by Wardian and his older son Pierce at the 2007 Frederick Marathon in Virginia.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Race Results

bib number: 1590
age: 30
gender: F
location: Edmond, OK
overall place: 507 out of 1222 (I ranked 507 at the finish of MY 30 miles--4:16:10, 23 minutes faster than the April 2009 marathon. I gained SOME ground, but couldn't recover my dramatic loss of time. Bummer.)
division place: 28 out of 70
gender place: 142 out of 468
time: 4:16:10
pace: 9:47
10k: 45:55 rank 162
15k: 1:14:59 rank 157
half: 1:44:51 rank 179
27k: 2:43:27 rank 610 (THIS is after it all fell apart. My rank plummeted.)
32k: 3:12:5 rank 577

Route 66 Marathon...Part ONE.

The race was a long one...THIRTY (30) miles for ME... Yes, it was only supposed to be 26.2. Yes, it's highly likely I was the ONLY ONE to accidentally run 30 miles today.

Just don't ask. I'll explain later...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marathon Countdown...Nearing Completion

Marathon-running is an ultimate striving to master the mind and the body. To bring into subjection our thoughts and our discipline to accomplish a goal.

Whether it be 13.1 or 26.2 miles, may we that run tomorrow do so diligently...that we may patiently finish the race set before us... The prize comes in the finish.

To the Williams Route 66 we come!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exercise=Less Anxiety

November 18, 2009, 12:01 am

Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious

A neurons in the brain.
Joubert/Photo Researchers, Inc A neuron in the brain.

Researchers at Princeton University recently made a remarkable discovery about the brains of rats that exercise. Some of their neurons respond differently to stress than the neurons of slothful rats. Scientists have known for some time that exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells (neurons) but not how, precisely, these neurons might be functionally different from other brain cells.

In the experiment, preliminary results of which were presented last month at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, scientists allowed one group of rats to run. Another set of rodents was not allowed to exercise. Then all of the rats swam in cold water, which they don’t like to do. Afterward, the scientists examined the animals’ brains. They found that the stress of the swimming activated neurons in all of the ’ brains. (The researchers could tell which neurons were activated because the cells expressed specific genes in response to the stress.) But the youngest brain cells in the running rats, the cells that the scientists assumed were created by running, were less likely to express the genes. They generally remained quiet. The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

For years, both in popular imagination and in scientific circles, it has been a given that exercise enhances mood. But how exercise, a physiological activity, might directly affect mood and anxiety — psychological states — was unclear. Now, thanks in no small part to improved research techniques and a growing understanding of the biochemistry and the genetics of thought itself, scientists are beginning to tease out how exercise remodels the brain, making it more resistant to stress. In work undertaken at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for instance, scientists have examined the role of serotonin, a neurotransmitter often considered to be the “happy” brain chemical. That simplistic view of serotonin has been undermined by other researchers, and the University of Colorado work further dilutes the idea. In those experiments, rats taught to feel helpless and anxious, by being exposed to a laboratory stressor, showed increased serotonin activity in their brains. But rats that had run for several weeks before being stressed showed less serotonin activity and were less anxious and helpless despite the stress.

Other researchers have looked at how exercise alters the activity of dopamine, another neurotransmitter in the brain, while still others have concentrated on the antioxidant powers of moderate exercise. Anxiety in rodents and people has been linked with excessive oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death, including in the brain. Moderate exercise, though, appears to dampen the effects of oxidative stress. In an experiment reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, rats whose oxidative-stress levels had been artificially increased with injections of certain chemicals were extremely anxious when faced with unfamiliar terrain during laboratory testing. But rats that had exercised, even if they had received the oxidizing chemical, were relatively nonchalant under stress. When placed in the unfamiliar space, they didn’t run for dark corners and hide, like the unexercised rats. They insouciantly explored.

“It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion. “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.”

The stress-reducing changes wrought by exercise on the brain don’t happen overnight, however, as virtually every researcher agrees. In the University of Colorado experiments, for instance, rats that ran for only three weeks did not show much reduction in stress-induced anxiety, but those that ran for at least six weeks did. “Something happened between three and six weeks,” says Benjamin Greenwood, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, who helped conduct the experiments. Dr. Greenwood added that it was “not clear how that translates” into an exercise prescription for humans. We may require more weeks of working out, or maybe less. And no one has yet studied how intense the exercise needs to be. But the lesson, Dr. Greenwood says, is “don’t quit.” Keep running or cycling or swimming. (Animal experiments have focused exclusively on aerobic, endurance-type activities.) You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will begin, Dr. Greenwood says. And eventually, he says, they become “profound.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

All good things must come to an end.

The romance is over.

I say this NOW, before the adrenaline-packed, sweat-filled, pain-free (ha!), I-love-running-and-won't-stop-for-26.2-miles, Tulsa Route 66 Marathon 2009 raceday.

This day will occur in three days. Believe me, I am counting down the days.

I am a little excited. I've done this before. I know that feeling of adrenaline pumping through your veins, and the endorphin-high you experience for the first couple hours after the run...and the peaceful rest you experience after the high is over. I know the sense of accomplishment felt for a few days after its over. But then something happens: I feel the need to do it again. You know, to do beat my time by fifteen minutes (okay, I'd settle for five).

Oddly enough, I am already anticipating the end of this race. (Yes, I want it to be over. Like, now.) This is highly unusual for me. I've always greatly and most fondly anticipated marathon day...and the run itself...and then the NEXT big run to follow. Not this year. I've come to a new season in life, or so it seems. I'm a little bit tired of training. It seems I have a reputation for being "hard-core". (What's happening to me?) I'm finally experiencing a little bit of burnout. I desire to stay fit...but for once in four years, I don't care about hitting that next PR. Maintaining is good enough for me...for now. I've thought it through, and I have my reasons for NEVER wanting to run another marathon...

Reason #1 I will not (at least I say this now) run another marathon:
I do not think they are good for your body...long-term. Running, by nature, is high-impact...especially road-running. Many aches, pains, and injuries are experienced by seasoned runners. These include "runner's knee", shin splints, pulled muscles (hamstring comes to mind), twisted ankles, tendon problems, stress fractures, etc. Apparently stress fractures are fairly common in runners that train at a high volume or intensity. Repetitive stress on the same tissues without enough time for recovery or running with improper form can lead to many of these issues.

Reason #2 I will not run another marathon:
Priorities. My family, especially my husband, has always been super-supportive and encouraging of my fitness endeavors. In fact, my husband PREFERS that I set lofty goals, rather than NOT EXERCISE AT ALL.

My goal of remaining in a constant state of fitness
is driven by the fact that 1) I am a mom and a wife. I live not only for myself, but my health affects my family and 2) I have had a cesarean-section (C-section). Upon releasing me from the hospital, the doctor told me that the likelihood of my having a successful "natural" birth from here on out was imperative to my level of fitness. Yes, I had an amazing all-natural homebirth with my second...and in the instance I am called to go through labor again (after being pregnant, of course), I MUST be in shape so I can avoid any and all possibility of having to experience the joyful C-section again.

I digress...

Yes, my family. My kids are growing at a rapidity I NEVER anticipated. (They grow MUCH faster than I run.) I leave for training runs, I miss two hours of their growth. Yes, I am exaggerating, but the commitment involved in training for these runs can be excessive...and a definite diversion from certain priorities. I'm ready to channel the time, the discipline, and the effort into something else.

Fitness is a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle naturally embraced by our family. The desire to be fit is not driven by vanity (but to say that vanity plays no part in it, I'm sure to say would be fibbing). The example my husband and I set for our boys, coupled with the desire we instill in them to be fit and live an active lifestyle, will hopefully build a firm foundation for their building strong temples. All things fitness will still peak my interest. I will still enjoy the exercise that will help me maintain a level of fitness to aid in longevity and quality of life.

But as for me and Mr. Marathon...our love-affair is over. I think I've got 5K's number...

(I say it now...I'll get back with you after the two of us meet up on Sunday. Especially with a weather forecast like this: Sunday's forecast calls for near perfect conditions for the fourth running of the Williams Route 66 Marathon. The temperature will be in the mid 40's at the start with light winds and partly sunny skies. The afternoon high will be in the low 60's. Ah, perfect.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


It's bound to happen when I allow my husband to create my workouts. He's a master at effectiveness...

2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
3x20 Romanian Deadlifts, 110#
3x20 Front Squats (65#-75-75)
3x5 Dead-hang pull-ups
3x10 Push Press, 753
2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
50 situps
1:00 planks (front/side/side)

2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
50 Sit-ups
15 Squats
20 Push-ups
2x10 Single Leg Thrusters (1 set/leg)
Workout: 3x30 Kettlebell Swings (1.5pood-1.5pood/1 pood)
3x20 Barbell Thrusters (45#-55-55)
4x5 Dead-hang pull-ups
2:00 front plank
1:00 side plank (each side)

20 miles of running so far this week, combined with the two workouts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If the shoe fits...

10-mile training run last night...

I have been training recently in my new Puma running flats. I decided, last night, to wear my old Mizuno Waves to determine what shoe I will be using for the race. These shoes have accumulated some miles, yet, I've never been convinced I truly like them.

Last night served to convince me I'm just not that into the Mizuno Wave least for running purposes. After having trained for a mere month in the Puma L.I.F.T., I've grown to like them, and after last night, I've determined THEY will be my marathon shoe for Tulsa. These shoes don't determine my running stance by pushing me forward, and they are thin and lightweight.

Last night's 10-mile run was productive. I will rest up for a 16-miler on Sunday, and then my "training"will be done. I look forward to that pre-race relaxation and rest week. There will be PLENTY of time for pre-race stretching!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

T-minus 14 days...

Marathon training run this evening: approximately 11 miles. (forgot to start the watch--no time recorded...)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

10 K run

Had a nice evening training run with three others: 57 minutes
(The one-hour playlist I compiled pre-run energized my to find two or three more HOURS of songs.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Running with Music

I was into a good run yesterday. So good, in fact, that I began dancing performing agility and POSE running drills on a wooded trail (I assumed to be hidden and quiet). As I'm well into my (running) groove, I heard a voice from behind:

"I just want you to know I'm behind you. Don't want to scare you."


Now being caught
dancing performing agility and POSE running drills is embarrassing when caught by a friend, but being caught by a friend/minister in your church even more humiliating. Well, so much for "hidden" wooded trails. I guess others use those to.

The song that I was listening to was the instigator of my unusual running style. What was the correlation between my increased energy and this silly song?

Recently, I have been running to the beat of Mendelssohn's "Elijah", and I've found some portions of my run to be a bit depressing and downright slow. But in the spirit of preparation, I consider running with "Elijah" productive, as I can rehearse my high soprano part (yeah, right) while running in preparation for the upcoming Tulsa marathon. Yesterday I removed the slower, more sobering pieces from "Elijah" and added a new album that I'm loving by Plumb. It's called "Blink". Her voice is mesmerizing; the lyrics are all written by her to her three children and are all very uplifting. But after running with these tracks yesterday, I realized that albeit inspiring, "Blink" is not a running album. I began reflecting on my own thankfulness for my children and began slightly weeping while running. The weeping led to a brief scare of hyperventilation. Counterproductive, really.

Running music should pump up your running with energy, intensity and, in my opinion, fun and/or inspiration. If you've managed to find the right music for YOU, you can attest to the difference the right music can make. I think I found the perfect running song for ME, for now. Indeed, it is only ONE SONG. This will ultimately cause a problem if I repeat this song for 26.2 miles. But at this point in the game, I found such results with it yesterday that I'd be willing to listen to it for four hours. While running to "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead (never heard of them, except for this song), I gained more ground than I had in any of the previous miles I had run prior with Mendelssohn or Plumb.
(What is YOUR running song? Let me know!)

This peaked my curiosity, and I looked into getting some running playlists for the Tulsa 26.2 run. I found that there are legitimate playlists designed with BEATS PER MINUTE according to your running pace. (I didn't realize it was so scientific.) Unlike any other music, running music is supposedly produced for maximum motivational impact. You get high energy, non-stop songs at the perfect pace for optimum running results. Theoretically, the beat sets your pace.

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE what beat per minute (BPM) is right for you???


WHERE DO I GET BPM MUSIC??? Google it. I found two sites, amongst many, that peaked my interest (okay, they were the first two I opened):

and in the spirit of my FUN run:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Is stretching THAT important?

I am probably one of the world's most inflexible people.

Stretching is an aspect of fitness that I've often intentionally ignored neglected. And this is because I loathe stretching...or at least, I CURRENTLY loathe stretching. I am working toward a greater love and appreciation for it, all thanks to my loving and (embarrassingly) more flexible husband.

I am a MOVER. Stopping to stretch, holding a (sometimes uncomfortable) position for any amount of time serves to mildly frustrate me. For me, it not only takes physical discipline to stretch, but it takes more mental discipline to STRETCH than to, say, run 26.2 miles.

I believe, after heavily incorporating weight training into my fitness regime for four years, I have actually REDUCED my flexibility. I know this would not have been the case had I MAINTAINED my flexibility from the beginning. I have never experienced injury in training. (That was my justification for NOT stretching. "I've never injured myself due to lack of inflexibility.") My husband only attributes this to the fact that I am "strong". Stretching takes discipline and is a commitment, if one plans to maintain or increase her flexibility. (I speak from experience.)

In preparation for the upcoming Tulsa marathon, I have been spurred inspired (my husband is good at this) to incorporate stretching into my training, with both running and weight training. Here are three articles I found useful:
So here's to stretching, learning to love it, and seeking to go from this:

to this:
If Van Damme can do it, why can't I?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Mid-day training run: 30 minutes, unknown distance


buy-in: court-length bear crawl, 3 lengths


5 rounds for time

25 squats

160m run

15 pushups

as rx’d 9:14

cash-out: handstand progressions, pull-up


Monday, October 26, 2009

Deadlift/Push-Ups; Front Squat/K2E

20 dead-hang chin-ups
15 butterfly pull-ups
100 m overhead walking lunge, 35# plate

WOD #1
10 RFT:
85# Deadlift, 15 reps
push-ups, 15 reps

5-minute rest...

WOD #2
75# front squat, 15 reps
Knees to elbows, 15 reps

Cool-down: STRETCHING...and meditating on how INFLEXIBLE I am...
More on that...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stronger Core=Faster Running

My friend, Laura, posted this tidbit on her fitness site ( Interesting and useful...

From Shape magazine, July 2009:

"Researchers at Barry University found that runners who did a core workout every other day for six weeks shaved 30 more seconds off their 5k time than athletes who stuck to a running-only routine. 'Strong core muscles prevent you from over-rotating your trunk and swinging your arms out too far--two things that slow you down,' says Kimi Sato, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. 'They also improve your posture, which helps you run more efficiently."

1-Hour Run

1 hour run...uncharted course...distance unknown.

Three things I learned tonight:
1) running in the rain isn't so bad,
2) running on an uncharted, untimed course is actually enjoyable,
3) running with a friend is MUCH better than running alone. Hands-down.

And for a little comic-relief:
Buns of steel may cause intimidation and HORROR to some. Forgo gluteal-isolation workouts if you are a considerate person.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Filthy Fifty

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions (I substituted DB deadlifts @ 70#)
50 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

I completed the work, at full capacity, without getting a time. The boys managed to swipe my stop-watch and bring it back...STOPPED at 16:18.

I found this workout easier than the last time I did it (probably nearly two years ago). I loathe wall ball shots, and despite only using 10 pounds, they griped me and really slowed me down.

Overall, challenging, and pleasingly taxing...

Tulsa Marathon...To Run or Not to Run.

The Tulsa Marathon is 32 days away. Remove the commanded weekly day of rest, and that leaves 28 days left to train. Remove AT LEAST one day in the midst of the week to recover, and that leaves, um, about 24 days.

This being considered, there have been a few who have thought, at this juncture, it would be fun to run a half-marathon on-the-fly... I will do nothing to discourage those who seek advice from me. Marathon-running, whether doing the half at 13 miles or the full at 26 miles, it is a very rewarding accomplishment. The half marathon is an ideal way to determine whether you enjoy going the long distance and prepares you for the physical and mental challenge of a marathon, if that be in your future. What are some things to consider before committing to the big run?

Why are you running? My goal in my first (and only) half-marathon was to finish. This race was going to be the determining factor in whether I would one day attempt the full. Yes, I paced myself and wanted a good time, but finishing strong was my goal. This race served to "hook" me, and I am now preparing for full marathon #2. While finishing was my goal for my first MARATHON, my goal this year is BEATING MY TIME from my April '09 marathon. It should prove interesting: different race, different course, different season...

Many sources will highly encourage one to begin training at least 12 weeks before the race-day. For those of you not having registered or fully committed yet, training for the Tulsa Half-Marathon 12 weeks prior is now impossible. So, before you begin half marathon training, it may be ideal to be able to run for
at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running. Combinations of run/walks are great to use during pre-training. They ease your body into the exercise and minimizes the chance of experiencing a running injury. Speaking of injury: Use your non-running days to rest and recover. Ice down any soreness, particularly in knees or shins (most common). Taking necessary precautions to avoid and maintain soreness will minimize your chances of injury and make running more enjoyable.

From what I have read, it is encouraged to try a nine to ten mile run about three weeks before the race (which puts you at this Sunday). Not having kept record of my half-marathon training, I am not completely sure of my longest run. I do believe that it was close to ten miles. I would encourage you to attempt at least a six and a half mile run (half of your race distance) before registering.
( )(the current cost, through 11/15 is $60 for the half) Distance running involves endurance, and pacing yourself is critical. Maintain pace to save everything you have left for the finish. As tapering, in training, is encouraged in the final weeks before the half marathon, your long run should occur relatively soon (maybe by next weekend). This will help your body recover from half marathon training and be strong and injury-free on the big day.

Building mental stamina is an effective goal and an essential one, in my novice opinion. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated. But staying motivated and developing the proper mindset will be a necessary tool to both enduring and finishing the race. Crossing the finish line happy and in one piece is the (easily attainable and desired) goal.

For building mental stamina, I have found that running longer distances (anything above five miles) has helped. But most effective were the Crossfit WODs I chose to do before-hand. I chose the longer metabolic WODs--anything that would take me at least 15-20 minutes, working at FULL-CAPACITY (i.e. Filthy Fifty). I also found it effective to warm up with the wind-sucking "Fran" and immediately after, setting off for a 5K+ run. Building mental stamina is very individual. But the important thing to find is the point where you think you can't go anymore...and then realizing you CAN (safely) push past it. This enables one to know their feeling of comfortable, yet challenging exertion. Knowing one's body is essential in any run, but more specifically long runs. Knowing when to stop before you collapse is the key to safe and enjoyable running. No "milestone" or accomplishment is worth sacrificing safety. Keep your body in mind. Use wisdom and listen to it during training and races.

These are just a few bits of advice that come to mind when some have asked me about running the half marathon at this point in the game. I will work to write more (pre-race nutritional tips, race-day nutrition for race and recovery, etc.) about the impending marathon as the big day approaches.

Be wise: there are marathons scattered throughout the year, most notably the OKC Memorial Marathon in April of 2010. If you are not ready for this one, wait it out and train for 2010!

Thanks, Tarah, for the article linked below; it almost scared ME out of running. :o)