Category Archives: Health

Muddy Trails 10K 2013, The Woodlands, TX.

Happy five years of Muddy Trailing it! This was my first race (2008) I ever participated in (5K) and I can honestly say one of the more challenging races. Mike has been doing the 10K while I do the 5K (2009, 2010, 2012). This year I decided I was going to do the 10K because I had yet to do an actual 10K race. I have done plenty of 5Ks, a 5 miler, a 10 miler, a couple of 1/2 marathons, and a marathon relay but no 10K!

I decided this year that I didn’t want to carry my phone/camera with me so I only have a shot of Mike and I at the end of the race. Sorry guys! Last year they had an issue with the shuttles that were supposedly fixed this year, however we saw a lot of people walking again and the line for the shuttle was long so Mike and I walked from the parking area to the race site (1.5 miles). We got there just as the kids were finishing their fun run and the 5K race was going to start. Thankfully, I had time to cool off a little bit in the shade before starting the run.

At 4:05 they put us all in the corrals so we’d be ready to go at 4:15. However, someone in the 5K group took a wrong turn, which means a lot of lemmings took it too, so we were postponed until about 4:30 so the 5Kers could clear out. Finally, the buzzer sounded and we were off. I had two ladies behind me from the beginning and passed a woman on the first loop. Since it had been raining this week the dust wasn’t as bad as it typically is; However, the ground was quite soft in some areas. The last time I had run was about a week before the race and boy could I feel it.

I felt like I was running the race on my own for most of the time since I couldn’t see anyone in front of me nor the people behind me. I would see the other racers when we were on an out and back portion because they were coming back while I was still going out! I ran into two of my running buddies from my group this last fall. That was pretty cool! I was hoping I would NOT see Mike here because if I did that meant I had a looonnnng way to go still. Mike is about twice as fast as I am. I also happened to see the woman I passed at the beginning of the race. I know she didn’t pass me again, so apparently she decided to take a short cut. Oh well, her loss.

My legs were so heavy on this run and the sand/roots were not my friend. I almost face planted a couple of times but thankfully I recovered and no one was there to see it! No witnesses means it didn’t happen…except I’ve already told y’all! Usually Mike comes back to find me and finish the race with me when he’s done but I was getting close to the end and had yet to see him.

I finally got to the paved portion which meant a little over a quarter mile and I was finished! There was Mike, walking toward me. He had apparently gone back to find me but the woman at the aid station said there were only 2 people left in the race and my bib number wasn’t one of them. Not sure who he talked to or when, but I was still there…pushing along!

As I came up on the finish line a lot of the people eating crawfish were cheering me on, which was nice but at the same time I have this voice in the back of my head saying “awww…let’s cheer on the slow poke, she definitely needs it”. Donna and Patty (my running buddies) were there to high five me on my way in too. All in all, for being tired and ready to stop I was actually in a pretty good mood at the end! It took me 1:41: 52, which was a 16:26 minute mile but that’s ok. I was doing a lot of ups and downs on the trail. Just for comparison, I finished my marathon relay portion in 1:28 (6.25 miles) which was roughly the same distance but was flat!

I plopped down on the grass for a little bit just to catch my breath then decided it was time to go. We couldn’t find where the shuttle was picking people up from and I really didn’t want to stop for too long otherwise I’d get stiff so Mike and I walked back to our car (another 1.5 miles!). By the end of the day I’d gone 9 miles!

MT10K

We went to Panera Bread where I treated myself with a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, and a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie! I don’t know if I’ll do this race again next year since my friend Amy wants me to do the Hero run and I don’t know if it will be the same day again…but we’ll see!

One thing that stands out to me, this is my 5th year of races! That is awesome! I would NEVER have thought I’d run races let alone doing them consistently for 5 years. I feel like a badass!

Needs Improvement

This week I’m taking an online workship by Franklin Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I just read/listened to the book so it’s been quite interesting to see the examples in the workshop offering more insight. One of the habits, Sharpening the Saw, is all about improving yourself (your circle of influence) in four key areas: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul.

Body: This is basically making sure you get plenty of sleep, exercise, and healthy food.

Mind: Yep, anything having to do with improving your mental capacity, such as reading, writing, thinking, and discussing.

Heart: Making consistent deposits in people’s emotional bank account. In other words, doing something the other person deems as positive (you may not necessarily get it) as a way to improve your relationship.

Soul: Regardless of whether you’re a religious person, this about improving your spiritual side. Reading spiritual literature, meditating, and praying.

They had a questionnaire to fill out to see how you stack up right now (prior to including the 7 habits in your life). I found it quite interesting!

Key Areas

I wasn’t all that surprised by my Soul score (sounds like a song!) because I knew I had work to do here. What I was surprised by was my Body and Heart scores. I workout 4-5 times a week, but my food is not as good as it should be. I’m also guessing that my Heart score is low because I can tend to get negative. Again, these are things I’ve constantly been struggling with!

Right now I’m reading Erin McHugh’s One Good Deed, which is a book about her choice to do one good deed a day for a year. The subtitle says it all: 365 days of trying to be just a little bit better. In December, I challenged myself to do one random act of kindness a day. I truly enjoyed doing most of these but was starting to run out of ideas. I think Erin is on to something…it should be just about trying to be a better person each day. It doesn’t have to be random, although it will usually work out that way, or anonymous. From what I’ve learned in Stephen Covey’s book and by using the outlook that Erin used in her’s, I think I’m finally figuring out how to turn myself in to the person I want to be. I’m not saying I’ll do one good deed a day for a year, but really…why shouldn’t I strive to? How difficult can it be to just be a little bit nicer and more compassionate?! I think it may be a struggle at first since I typically have “dark storm clouds” following me as my husband says but it’s a struggle I’m ready to take if it means replacing the dark clouds with sunshine and blue birds (a little over the top, huh? Yeah, I agree…but you get my point!).

So, with that in mind…it’s off to finish my workshop and figure out some goals for the day!

One Little Word, Again!

It’s a new year and that means I need a new word. Last year I chose “Revivify” as my watchword.

to restore to life; give new life to; revive; reanimate. This rut I’m in needs to be filled in and a new path taken.

I didn’t have a huge overhaul this past year, but I do believe I lived up to my word. I’ve done several races in the past couple of years, but I was getting bored with it and about ready to stop all together when a friend suggested we try an obstacle race. This is wayyyy outside of my comfort zone, so I said yes! What better way to get out of my rut than to try new things to challenge myself!

In fact, I did several races that were a little different for me. First was the 5K Foam Fest, then the Color Me Rad 5K, and last I signed up for a Zombie run (that’s actually this June). Unfortunately, exercise was about the only thing in my life that I changed. I started doing my own weight workouts and I joined a running group. I completed the Muddy Trails 5K even though I said I wasn’t going to do it again. Then, I completed two new races: Run Thru the Woods 5 Miler at Thanksgiving and the Texas 1/2 Marathon on New Year’s Day! I was going to do the 10 for Texas with Mike, but it was right after my throat surgery and I had to give my admission to someone else.

On the health front, I joined MyFitnessPal and met some wonderful people. One of which was the impetus for me trying the different races than I was used to! Hi Amy! I also joined Move More, Eat Well and learned a bit about health and digital scrapbooking. Again, I met some lovely people in this group!

I do feel that I’ve grown spiritually in the past year as well. I’m also more open to trying new things/adventures than I would have been any other time! This year I did my best to try and view things from other people’s perspectives and give back where I could.

All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year (despite having lost two beloved uncles and a scare with my Grandma). Now, however, I’m back to needing a word for 2013 and I’m having a hard time figuring out what it should be. I have some big changes coming up this year that could throw me off my game. With that in mind, I believe I want 2013 to be my year of balance. 2010 was my year of “Transformation“, 2011 I was “Shine“ing, and in 2012 I wanted revivification. See a pattern here?!

I need to balance being healthy with enjoying life. It’s not all or nothing. If I eat poorly at one meal, one day, one week, or even one month I’m not going to give up but I’m going to slowly steer this ship back in the right direction and keep on chugging on. Time at work needs to be balanced more fully with quality time with Mike and my family. Yes, “Balance” will do nicely!

Stack of Stones

Texas 1/2 Marathon, Kingwood 2013

This year I decided to do the 1/2 marathon again on New Year’s Day. What a great way to start the new year! Unfortunately, this year it was a bit rainy. However, it did make for almost optimal running with the cooler temps and no glaring sun!

Last year was the year of the pig. This year was the year of the rat. Nice, right?! They did have a cute inflatable rat in a trap though. It looks all shimmery but that’s just because it was raining.

half1

My running coach, Liz, was there to cheer us on this year! I also met Sandra and Ruth (Sandra in middle) who will be part of our 4 man Marathon relay in March! That was a pleasant surprise.

Kingwood-Tammy-Sandra-and-Ruth

We all gathered around the starting line trying to stay warm as we waiting for the sun to rise. The park is closed from dusk to dawn, so we had to wait for the dawn to move in!

half2

half3

At 8 AM, it was officially start time for the Marathon. I had originally signed Mike and I up for the 1/2 Marathon, but Mike decided he was going to run the full. Yep…not training…just jump in with both feet! Doesn’t he look excited?!

half4

 

They counted down the seconds then the Marathon group took off. We 1/2 Marathoners were left to wait 15 minutes to give the first group a chance to spread out some.

half5

 

This year I had completed all of my training and came through without any injuries, so I was feeling pretty good! When 8:15 AM hit, I was off like lightening! So fast, I’m nothing but a blur!

Kingwood-Tammy-starting

Ok, so I wasn’t that fast but I was going faster than I should have been that early in the race. My adrenaline always gets the best of me. I tried to slow it down a bit but I was already starting to get some shin splints. Thankfully they were gone by mile 3. Normally they have signs posted on the trees with everyone’s name, but since it was raining they didn’t have them this time. However, it was still a nice run.

half6

 

The loop goes along the greenbelt trails behind and among houses then wraps around Lake Houston. This is one of my favorite parts because you can always see ducks and other birds hanging around.

half7

There’s a man-made lake that we also run around after the turn around and on our way back to the start. That’s a nice little loop as well. For the 1/2 marathon we get to go around it twice! This is where Liz was waiting to cheer us on. More cowbell please! This photo was after the first loop. I was a bit more fresh that time than the second.

Kingwood-Tammy-at-the-pond

 

I passed Mike several times, as I did many other runners. Since the Marathon people go around the loop 4 times you’ll see them going and coming! I was passed by the two lead Marathoners before I finished my first loop. They were hauling. I believe first place finished in 3:10:00.

When I made the first turnaround, I decided I was going to run until I just HAD to walk. It was too hard to do intervals with all the stopping and starting. Once I stopped running it was very hard to get going again. So, I ended up running (albeit slowly) the last 10 miles of the race! I was hurting toward the end. Mike passed me the last time and made the comment that he was hurting at that point too. Unfortunately, he was just heading out for his last loop while I was about a mile and a half from the finish!

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 3:14:43 which put me at a sub 15 pace (14:52) and was a PR (205 out of 259)!! I was about 9 minutes faster than the year before. I was hurt last year though, so it makes me wonder a bit if I hadn’t been hurt what I could have done. *shrug*

The race photos were kinda funny this year. I looked way too happy (first loop…again!):

Tammy Texas Marathon2

 

Tammy Texas Marathon

 

And Mike looked just flat out bored!

mike texas marathon

 

Liz, Sandra, and Ruth were at the finish line. It was nice to have people cheering me on at the finish line! I grabbed a slice of pizza, a couple of chocolate chip cookies (Hey, I earned it!), and some water while Liz and I waited for Mike to finish. He had a goal of finishing in 4 hours or less. His official time was 4:02:43 (9:16/M; 51 out of 248). That is outstanding for someone who didn’t run any further than 10 miles leading up to this! You could tell he was hurting though as he crossed over.

half8

mike texas marathon2

 

I was, and am, very proud of him. We grabbed our medals and headed home. He was so cold afterward he was shaking and just couldn’t get warm. We had the heat up full blast in the car and when we got home I bundled him up in flannel pants, a blanket, and my space heater! This is one reason why we train people!! You have to get your body used to the distances. Mike swore he’d never do another marathon but a few days later he was already calculating how to beat this year’s time!

Even though I said I wasn’t going to, that this 1/2 was going to be my last long run, I signed Mike and I up for the FULL Marathon next year! Afterall, what better year to do my marathon than the Year of the Elephant!

 

 

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness

In November I decided that I wanted to bring back the holiday spirit to Christmas time and help others out in the process. My main goal was to bring a smile to someone else’s day in some small fashion. I put forward a challenge to my friends and family, but mainly I challenged myself to do one random act of kindness (RAOK) a day for the month of December. Some people participated and some cheered me on. I have to say, this gave me a whole different perspective on how I go about my days. After a month, I’m finding myself looking for opportunities to do something for someone. Before, I would just hurry about my day so I could go home and veg out. I rarely put thought into how a complete stranger’s day may be going. Now, I look forward to possibly brightening their day just a tad! I repeated some of the RAOKs because I’m not that creative!
 
This is the challenge I put forth:
 
My Friends and Family, I have been doing a lot of thought lately about the holidays and the fact that everything is so commercialized that we often lose sight of what’s important in the rush to get “that toy”. I have a challenge I’ll be starting on December 1. I would love for any, or all!, of you to join me. I am going to do at least 1 random act of kindness each day in December. #1) It’s in giving that you truly receive gifts and blessings. #2) By putting other’s first, even if for a moment, we stop long enough to understand that we’re all in this together and need a helping hand from time to time. If you participate, I’d love for you to post on my profile what your RAOK was so I can live vicariously! If you choose not to participate, that’s ok too. As I said, this is a challenge I’m putting forth for myself but would love to see others join me! Love to you all.
 
RAOK #1: Letting the person behind me go before me when checking out.
 
RAOK #2: Handed the waiter a card with some money in it to give to a person/family he felt deserved it.
 
RAOK #3: dropped a dollar on the floor of Office Depot with a note. I was told I shouldn’t spy on my
RAOK, but I had to see what happened! Several people passed it up but one of the workers at the store found it!
 
WP_20121203_001
 
RAOK #4: Eating all of the peppermint bark in the office kitchen so the others didn’t eat mindless calories!
ok ok… My actual RAOK! Gave stamps to the Postal worker to give to the next person in line.
 
WP_20121204_001
 
RAOK #5: Tipping 50% at lunch today.
 
RAOK #6: Taped a dollar to the coke machine at work.
 
RAOK #7: Gave Mr. Newspaper a gift certificate for dinner. He’s the guy always selling newspapers at 242 and 45.
 
RAOK #8: Left a dollar in the bathroom stall on a small shelf. In hind sight that probably wasn’t the best idea.
 
RAOK #9: Donated a $5 B&N gift card to Methodist Children’s Hospital.
 
RAOK #10: Took a stray shopping cart into the store.
 
RAOK #11: Let a couple of people ahead of me in the car. Anyone that knows my driving knows I usually speed up and let them go behind! 😀
 
RAOK #12: Gave a friend some foreign currency and a fifty cent piece for his son who insisted they had to have one in the couch cushions!
 
RAOK #13 and #14: I’m running out of ideas, so I’m repeating some. Moved the cart from the parking lot to the store and allowed people to go in front of me in line.
 
RAOK #15: I made a plate of food and took it up to a fellow employee.
 
RAOK #16: I said good morning and smiled (as best as i could!) at everybody I passed during my 11 mile run!
 
RAOK #17: Keeping a smile and positive attitude when the girl at Walgreens told me they lost my prescription. They finally found it 20 minutes later.
 
RAOK #18: Picked up trash littered on the ground.
RAOK #19: Instead of remoting onto two co-workers’ computers I walked to their buildings and provided face to face service. One woman I had to go to her office, the other two were to provide a more personal experience! 😀
 
RAOK #20: put a dollar on a random car. The owner of the first car showed up as I was about to put the dollar on there. That’s ok, this person looks like they need the smile more!
 
raok19
 
RAOK #21: Tipped the waiter, Cidney, 55%.
 
RAOK #22: After taking my Mother-in-law to a couple of doctors appointments today I offered to take her anywhere else she wanted go instead of hurrying home like I wanted to.
 
RAOK #23: Left a tip for the hotel housekeeper even though we were only staying one night.
 
RAOK #24: Left some money…page 301!
 
WP_20121223_001
 
RAOK #25: Left a dollar in the cup holder at the movie theater (the Hobbit).
 
RAOK #26: Maybe not so random but I helped Mom with all the dishes, cleaning, and even gave her my seat!
 
RAOK #27: Paid for the car behind me at Starbucks.
 
RAOK #28: Donated money to the local heritage museum.
 
RAOK #29: Left money in the “take a penny” jar (more than a penny!).
 
RAOK #30 and #31: took a stray cart back to the store, picked up litter, and donated money to Big Brothers and Sisters.