Friday, October 4, 2013


A lot of things are changing this time of year, and generally in my life these days.  Of course, the most visible and noticeable to runners right now is the season change:  The shift from long hot days where runs in humidity feel like you are travelling through a thick fog, to the fall which cools and provides wonderful running temperatures, but gives hints of foreboding winter weather yet to come.

Many people are changing their training routines as they finish their fall goal races, transitioning from peak weeks to maintenance over the winter, or starting a new training program for the winter and beyond.  As mentioned before, my half marathon training is starting on Tuesday, and it has really snuck up on me.  I am unquestionably nervous, but am not 100% sure why.  I have ran half marathons before (race reports here and sort of here ), but really didn't enjoy the process of racing either of them.  I know this time will be different (and think it is actually funny I predicted my next half would be the Disney Princess two years ago!) as I am running for fun, I am running with friends at my pace, and I am in a better mental state.  I have also started running 10's and 1's, which has changed my style of running, and group running with the Running Room, which has given me a wider support net of fellow runners with similar goals.

Change has also happened with respect to my mental focus with running.  I was all negative, all the time for such a long period of time.  While you do have to sometimes "embrace the suck" as my friend says, you can't do it all the time, or else running becomes painful, rather than fun.  Somewhere in the past year, I have embraced the idea of running my own races, doing the best that I can on the day, and not stressing if every race isn't a PB.  I have PB'ed while feeling happy, something I had never done before.  I have enjoyed teaching others how to improve their times, and actually, have considered taking on the challenge of being a teacher for a learn to run clinic, because it is so fun to help people bring the joy of running into their lives.

Finally, there has been change in my general life and those around me.  I am now 4 years married, working full time, own a house, and am so far away from where I was when I started running.  My friends are now actively trying to get pregnant, and it is an interesting thing to get used to, the idea that we are all grown ups now.  This change is the hardest personally to adjust to, generally since a) I am firmly on the fence about having my own children, and I like to say my feet are on the No side of that fence.  This is probably because b) I have been a parent to my stepdaughter for the past 9 years, and have helped raise her from 4 years old to being a teenager.  Even though I am of the age where a lot of people do decide to have children, I feel like I am 40, and wondering why I would want to make babies when we have already went through the childhood stages once.  It is like I feel we are moving towards the empty nest and being the old married couple, and having a baby seems like a regression at this point.  Hardest thing of all is, try to find someone, ANYONE, who thinks like that, who is in my shoes.  It is pretty hard.  My friends all have kids, have adopted kids because they couldn't have kids, want kids, or are too young to be thinking about kids yet. 

Generally, I say embrace the change.  If you don't, you usually end up stagnant in your life, and missing some pretty awesome opportunities.  I am trying to embrace the change in running, even if it scares me a little.  I am NOT looking forward to running in -40 degree weather in February, but I guess the pleasure of taking a week's vacation in Florida in the winter comes at a cost.  Changes in life are a bit harder to embrace, but I am trying to be open to opportunities, and adult enough to recognize that I am in control of my life's path, and that whatever I chose, it will be ok in the long run.  If I decide to have children or not, life will go on. 

What changes are you facing in your life? 
What ones are you embracing, and what ones are challenging you?

Editor's Note:  Maybe the world is trying to show me I have someone who understands.  Within seconds of posting this, my friend shared this link on Facebook:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Running Judgment

So today, I admit, I am fired up.  I have had two things blog related that have popped up this week, and combined with my new attitude towards running (less focus on time, more focus on enjoying it), they have got me going. 

Let's just admit it, there are a lot of runners out there that are judgmental.  Whether it is judging the outfit the person next to you is wearing, or judging the distance you can run, or the biggest one, the time you can run in, some runners can be pretty mean. 

I have been following a blog for the longest time, with an awesome woman behind the wheel on it, Amanda.  She and I have many similarities: we both are step moms, we both struggle with weight issues, we both have Boston Terriers (well, mine is a cross, but still), and we both would, at some level define ourselves as slow runners.  Amanda posted this great blog post yesterday:

In summary, someone at the Wall Street Journal decided to print an article about how pathetic young runners are, how slow they are, how they aren't taking running seriously.  How we are turning races into "parades."

I read this after I had reviewed my stats for my blog out of curiosity, and found someone had found my blog this month by searching "big girl running" - ouch.  It hit a real spot with me.

I have so many problems with the judgment that the Wall Street Journal, and others have of slow runners, of runners who are starting out, of runners who are doing this for fun.  It's our LIFE.  Leave us alone!!!!   As Amanda pointed out, some people are running despite great odds.  For her, it is 5 knee surgeries.  For people I ran with this weekend (at the Army Run 5k), it was this kind of obstacle:

Statistically, there are more women running these days than any other time in history.  Women cannot run at the same speed as men.  This does NOT mean we are lazy or unmotivated.  People tend to have less time to train, and don't put in the same 70+ hour weeks that some men used to do to train for races in the 1970's.  This does not mean that races these days are turning into parades.

What the shift in our generation does mean is more people are getting out there and running.  Running is no longer owned by the elites.  It is becoming about the masses.  There is nothing wrong with having races available to people to start running in a society where obesity is an epidemic. 

The article points to our generation embracing mediocrity, but they seem to be equating mediocrity with being average.  Since when is average not ok?  Not everyone is the star basketball player, or the best academically, or able to earn a million dollars.  Why isn't ok to be good at some things, and average on others? 

My opinion is that I am average, in many ways. 

I am average with my weight.  I don't think I am a "big girl running".  I wear a size 8 - since when is that big? 

I am an average runner.  I am working towards the elusive goal of a 5k in 30 minutes, or a 10k in an hour.  I'm close, but not there yet. 

I am a mediocre blogger - I drop off too easily, and I am trying to fix that.

Everyone is running their own race.  It is cliche but true.  We all have our own demons we are facing, and if doing a race through mud, or through coloured powder, or with a tiara and tutu stopping for pictures on the way makes you happy, do it.  Your goal doesn't have to be about time, and you don't have to come first.  Finishing any race is an accomplishment, and it means you are focusing on you and your health.  I will never judge you for that.

Have you judged another runner?  I admit, I have.  Usually related to race outfits or pictures. 

Have you been judged?

What do you think of the Wall Street Journal article?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Getting back to business

Back early this year, January to be exact, I thought I was going to pick up the blog again.  Well, 9 months later, I guess it is about time.

I think it is a perfect time to do so, since my prespective with running has changed so much since then.  In March of this year, I signed up for a Running Room clinic.  I have had a negative mindset with running for quite some time, focusing too much on times, and not enough on consistency and just being happy.  I signed up for the clinic thinking that I could at least find one running partner who was at my pace, and could try out the method of 10's and 1's to get faster. 

I definitely got more than that out of it:  I had a great instructor who pushed everyone, and who never left any runner behind.  I tried the 10 and 1 method, and was able to knock a whole 6 minutes of my previous PB for a 10k race.  I gained several running friends.  But most of all, I began to love running in a way I never had before.  I didn't dread having a running schedule, I embraced it.  It became routine, and the distances were no big thing.  When there is someone else who is waiting for you to run with (and when you have paid to get your butt in gear) it is easy to find motivation and avoid saying "I'll do it tomorrow." 

So fast forward to May Race Weekend, I rocked it.  Since then, I have kept my distances up, aside from the past two weeks, and have came up with a running plan for the next year or so. 

Given that it is my 30th birthday this year, I wanted to do some things that were out of my comfort level, that cost more than I would normally spend on myself, that put me first.  So out of the blue, I have decided to do this:

Registration Confirmation for:
Dear Pamela,
Congratulations! You are now registered for 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Please check the event's official website for updates:

This is for the 2014 Glass Slipper Challenge on Saturday, February 22, 2014 and Sunday, February 23, 2014.

So in a little over 150 days, I am going to run a 10k on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday.  In costume.  With three of my best girlfriends.  It is daunting, but so much fun.

Training starts October 8th.  I am not sure if I am mentally ready yet, I haven't ran a half marathon in over two years, so it is a big challenge.  I wasn't happy during my first two half marathons, but really, how can you be miserable when running in a tutu through the happiest place on earth?

What is the best race you have ever done?  How can I start to prepare mentally for the journey ahead?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

All it takes is one great run....

It's been a long time for me since all the pieces fell into place, since I have had that one great run. 

You know, the run where you are able to get into the zone, block out all the negatives and negativity inside yourself, and just feel perfect running, like you could continue for ages.  Were your legs feel as light as air, where your lungs are so expansive that you never need to stop to take a breather. 

My run today was that run.  I am a weather wuss (to be fair, it was -21 celcius here today!!) and decided to get my butt to the gym for a run.  I have set a goal for myself this year to get to the gym 3x a week, or at least get running 3x a week.  For the first few weeks of this year, I have been consistently failing at that goal. With being in Florida for Christmas, and getting back to work, I just haven't been getting it done.  Come March, I will be forcing myself to do it, as I have signed up for my first Running Room clinic (more to come on that, and my annual running goals).

But for now, I am on my own.  So I got to the gym, and decided to do a long slow run.  For me, long was going to aim for about 4 miles right now.  Pathetic, I know.  I started up, at a pace of 11 minutes a mile, and felt fantastic.  Normally, I am huffing and puffing within minutes, thinking of reasons to stop.  But today, it was awesome.  Not even the idiot running beside me with their treadmill going at 9 miles an hour, with a 10% incline, who was running by lifting most of his body weight with his arms, leaning on the treadmill the whole time, not even he could get me off my game.

I ran a wonderful 5 miles.  Way longer than anything I had done recently, and it felt amazing.  I could have went longer, but with sleeping late, I had other things I had to get done. 

I'm so happy to have that run under my belt, because I was starting to worry that I had completely lost my game.  I just realized, I was pushing way too hard, way too fast. I'm looking forward to investing the time and taking the effort to reach my goals this year...... which will be posted soon! 

When was the last time you had a "perfect" run?  Have you managed to have one on the dreadmill?

P.S - check out Running Diva Mom's Nuun giveaway here -

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong

I tried to do another post to celebrate my 100th blog entry, but as I was drafting it, I realized that I can't delay my thoughts on the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah one bit.  I need to say my peace, and find out the opinions of runners regarding Lance Armstrong wanting to be able to compete again in the future. 

I admit, I wasn't following this scandal as much as some people who are very interested in the cycling world; I was one of the people who knew of Lance from his achievements, the 7 tour wins, the cancer fight, dating Cheryl Crow, creating Livestrong.  I thought of him as an amazing man, someone who had persevered and done amazing things in his life, and had actively taken the time to pay it forward through an amazing organization for cancer research. 

When the ASADA report came out, I didn't read it, but I wasn't sure what to think. It seemed, based on what had went on for years, that people were out to get him.  At this point, the historical testing of his urine samples hadn't happened, and so I kept thinking that all the facts weren't known, and that I wasn't prepared to judge one way or another.

I watched both interviews last night and today.  Wow.  I am torn regarding the interview, whether he was sincere, whether he truly admitted that his life was a lie, that he was a bully, a jerk.  I thought he admitted some things frankly and candidly, but it certainly was not a no holds barred interview, he didn't admit how it was done, he avoided topics, and keep walking a fine line between accepting responsibility for his actions and blaming the "doping culture."

I don't think the interview was enough, or was done for altruistic reasons or for the public's benefit.  This was clearly for him, and what he could do to earn money, get sympathy, rebuild his reputation, or get the ban lifted.  However, I do believe there is a doping culture, and that at some level, because he was so popular and got caught, he is becoming a scapegoat, someone that is being punished more than others who had similar "crimes against sport."

I was especially struck by the conversation when it turned to his ban, and how this affected his ability to run. He got a lifetime ban, from anything sanctioned, which means many, many running races, he can never participate in.  Lance Armstrong says he hopes to have that ban lifted, to run in the Chicago Marathon when he is 50.  Online, there has been talk of his Boston marathon time of 2:50:58 from the 2008 race, where he came in 497th place, that it would be vacated, as if it didn't happen.

As a runner, I understand how this would be hard to accept.  Races are part of what we do, what we enjoy, why we run. To run without a goal race, without something to work toward, would be very hard to accept. I have a hard enough time having motivation when I do have a race, I can't imagine having to accept to race against my own time on my own made up courses or a treadmill.

That being said, it is a consequence of his own stupid actions.  He needs to understand that his actions have consequences.    Cycling is his love, and he should never get the chance to race again.  Period.   That will be punishment for the rest of his life.  But running?  He is never going to place in a big race like Boston or Chicago.  Should he be allowed to join a group of people to work out together, to enjoy a hobby that will never earn him money, that will never get him prize money?   What happens if he gets better at running without doping?  Do we ban him then?

What about triathalons?  Apparently, he was having quite a good year in 2012 before he was banned, and could have had a shot at Kona:

If I had to say my peace on the running issue, I would lean towards letting him run a 10k, letting him join Team Diabetes or another charitable running program to make some amends.  Him running probably won't make any negative impact in anyone's life.  But ban him from triathalons, from the bike, because that is where he should be punished.  Let him compete in running, but don't let him win.  That will hurt him just as much, if not more than not letting him participate at all.

What do you think of the running ban that comes along with Lance Armstrong's ASADA punishment?  As a runner, do you think he should be banned from races?  Why?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back and Ambitious!!!


I've came back after a very long year (nope, no baby to announce, just work and life and the ups and downs that come with it) with a new sense of renewal and dedication.

When I left the blog last year, I realized that I had the wrong focus, that I had become a person who was too obsessed with "competing" with the fast bloggers, the bloggers who ran Boston, the runners who are generally freaking amazing.  I LOVE these bloggers, but it took me a heck of a long time to figure out, I'm not them.  I'm not even close.

After I got back from my whirlwind Europe trip, which was awesome, my friendship with my best friend, the person whose wedding I attended last November, went off the rails.  Reasons will not be discussed, but it is sad to see one of your longest friendships fall off over something so insignificant.  Things were rocky, then bad, then we just stopped speaking.  And I'm ok with it.

I've moved forward with life and work, finding great people in my life to "fill the void" so to speak, and expect a pretty big improvement at work very soon.  More to come on that in the near future.

With respect to running, the past year has been all about running for me.  I did the Resolution Run last December, and it was a great race.  I made good time for me (somewhere around 33 minutes) but didn't really care.  Maybe that was due to the Irish coffee I drank before the race.... ;)  But it renewed my sense of being a runner, and that I could define what that meant.

Since then, I have ran in the following races: a short (5k), small prediction race in March, the Spartan Race, the Perth Kilt Race, a Race called Rattle Me Bones, and the Franktown 10k.  Most of these races went very well.  The 10k didn't, mostly because I undertrained, and once again focused on time expectations without putting the effort in.

In December, I turned 29.  Eek!!! Most women certainly know, you hit a certain age and really have to evaluate where you are and what you want to do.  I decided I am at a good place overall - great job, family, own my own home, decent-ish debt load, etc.  Even with my contentment, I decided I haven't been spending enough time (or money really) on me and what I want to do.  I am the person who hands over the remote to my husband, who gives my step-daughter my shoes when she forgets hers at her mothers, who lets my friends have the last slice.  So this year, I have given myself a 30 under 30 (really a 30 before 31) list of things to do, and have started crossing them off. 

There are several fitness related ones, including doing the May Race Weekend 10k again and beating my sucky PR for that race of 1:09:45.  I actually went and signed up for a running room clinic so that I can meet new running friends who are at my pace.  It excites me and makes me internally freak out all at the same time. 

I am also planning to do the Spartan Trifecta, which you can read about here because I'm crazy, and frankly, there needs to be more women's names on that list. 

Finally, I have a few other goals that I will share that are not running related - cooking a meal I am terrified of, eating something scary and awesome, zip lining for the first time in my life, losing some weight, reading some of the great classic books, etc. 

I hope to make this new version of Running from the Law interesting to you, so if anyone comes back and reads this post, please, please tell me what you want to see.  Me making an idiot of myself? Less running more life, or vice versa?  Informative posts about things like research and gear??? More/less pictures?  Let me know.

K, I'm out for now, but will check in soon with pictures of my newest running gear, and details of the trip I went on over Christmas. Later!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Foto & Follow up Friday

I'm Alive!!!!

Yes, I know, it has been too long for me to be away. I somehow forgot to tell you all that I was going to be away for a while! My husband and I went to a wedding for a good friend in England, and decided to make a tour of France and Germany at the same time! So there was a lot of packing, travelling, eating, relaxing, and some stressing when our travel agent messed up our flight home. Since we've got back, I have been working overtime to get back on track. Why does it always seem like you have to spend two weeks catching up from a 2 week vacation?

So to make up for my absence, here are some photos for your enjoyment! More to come!!!