Monday, December 21, 2009

4 Runs Richer

Over the past week something extraordinary has happened. Ok, not really that extraordinary but pretty cool....on everyone of my runs (outside) I have found money.

Being an observant runner is what makes running outside so much fun - whether counting bunnies, cicadas, cigarette trash, etc....I do make a point of keeping my eyes peeled. And on my really lucky days I find monetary treasures, change of any sort. It may only a few pennys over a month long period but it's a big deal when I stop to pick it up.

This week was different - it must be my lucky week because, with the help of a Chanti & Robert, I have made $0.38 (1 quarter, 1 dime, & 3 pennies). So all this change has got me to thinking, and Robert, how does it get there? Do people throw it out their car windows? I would understand if I found it at the drive through of a bank or local food establishment but this is just money laying around at random locations. Who knows???

Now I know, I won't be supporting my running habit with this, but over time I may be able to buy myself a bottle of G2 at the local 7/11.

More things to ponder - Run on!

For Those Techie Hobby-ists

This week I have finally set up my iPhone with a couple of new apps that I hope will help me keep up with the handful of hobbies I fill my life with - one being blogging. Thought I would pass on some tips that some of you may benefit from and not have to figure out for your self with endless trial and error.....

1. First off - where to blog? I have looked at quite a few blogging sites and have created my own websites with some complicated and not so complicated programs like Dreamweaver, NVU, and iWeb and I keep coming back to Blogger. It seems to be the easiest to use (and pretty easy to customize) and serves me well for the little blogging that I do. I love all the Google Applications and Blogger is another great one. If you don't use or haven't looked into Google Calendar, Reader, Docs, Gmail, and Wave I highly suggest you start. They are all great tools that can help streamline your life. Maybe I will tell more about how I use those at a later date.

2. Now - become a mobile blogger! What I have found is that it is a bit difficult to blog everything I want when I want and remember that I want to so I went in search of an iPhone app(s) (cause I always have my phone with me) that could help streamline this process. Since I use Blogger I found a free app called BlogPressLite that let me set up account to both of my Blogger blogs.

With my phone, I can easily add blog posts from anywhere at any time and not need my laptop. And I can add photos directly from my phone that I take right then or have taken in the past. Wonder if I had the new 3Gs if I could add video??? When I add the photos it automatically uploads it to my Picasa web album for me (which is another great Google tool used for photo editing and storing photos online). One downfall....I haven't figured out how add links (the other thing I do the most in my posts). Maybe someone can tell me how to do that.

Hope this helps someone - I know I am loving it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sew Aprons - Check

I am so excited....the aprons I put together to go with the cookbook I made for family and friends are finally finished. They turned out so cute and I can't wait to make one for myself (after Christmas of course). I ended up making 5 (didn't have to make one for mom cause I found a really cute one at Kohl's with cupcakes on it) and I even have them all wrapped up.

Having this all done means I only have 1 baby present to buy, a few more sugar cookies to decorate, and make 2 cheesecake's and I will be finished. With a baby coming next year I am thinking that I am going to have to be a bit more planned and possibly cut out a few of the crafts until I get it all figured out.

Holiday Treats

Hoping to finish off my Holiday baking (except for 2 cheesecakes that I will bake on Monday) sometime tonight. I have split up all the treats and am short on Peppermint Bark and have to ice all the sugar cookies. I do have a friend coming over tonight and I hope she is up for some decorating. I found the cutest little Chinese take-out boxes at Michael's (the craft store) that I am putting all the snacks for neighbors in and have some left over tins from Wal-Mart that a few other treats will go in.

For those of you that don't know it, packaging is important. I usually pick up my containers right after Christmas during sales and this year I am hoping that Target still has some of their tins available. I will also be hitting Michael's again for more take-out boxes. They are the perfect size for small amounts of treats.

Run Through The Lights (Jingle Bell Run)

So last night the CRC (Carthage Running Club), Brooke, Chanti, and Robert, was in attendance at the 2nd Annual SWAT "Run Through the Lights" in Carthage, MO. ***Chanti brought us bells for our shoes so we made it a "Jingle Bell Run" as well ;)

We made a 5.5 mile loop from the Y, to Chi Dong Dong Chong (sp is wrong) where they have a drive through Christmas light display, to down-town and then back to the Y. There were about 10-15 of us total and only one bike this year :( Michael, Brady, and Debbie dropped out). The weather was nice and the company even better. The only thing missing was Brady standing on Chanti's porch yelling "Go CRC" as we ran by.

I was pretty proud of myself...first half I tried to keep up a good pace (letting Chanti lead us) and stayed with the pack but knew the second half was going to be a bit slower so asked my loyal friend if we could slow down and enjoyed the run home. Had to keep telling myself "this isn't a race it's a run" because for some reason I feel like I need to keep up. Oh well, maybe that will keep me on the road for as long as possible in my new "race".

A note on "running for two" - Again, a couple people said .... "You aren't even showing" until I turned to the side and then they said "oh yeah, a little". Come on people you have seen me in a bikini or at least shorts and a tank top....MY STOMACH IS NOT NORMALLY THIS BIG!!!! Yes, this pregnancy has proven something - I have body issues, maybe it is vanity, who knows, but I am getting over it or getting used to it. I'm going to get lots bigger before it's all over.

Happy Holiday's to you all,
Run On - Brooke

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Pregnancy Countdown Ticker

Just another fun widget to keep track of things. Run On - B

26.2 Journey's on Hold

Guess maybe I should have posted this a while back but it just never the Journey's to 26.2 are put on hold for a little while since I am now PREGNANT. I can't believe it finally happened. Michael and I have been trying for close to 2 years (which I know is not long at all) but it seemed like forever and it has finally worked.

So here are the stats - I am 18 weeks along today. The due date is May 18th. We will find out later today (hopefully) if it is a boy or a girl. And YES, I am still RUNNING (not fast, but still moving). Since we found out I have been able to continue running but did have to take a 3 week break (some minor issues) and am logging about 20 miles a week. I try to run 2 four milers and 2 six milers each week. My legs still feel good but my lungs are feeling the hormones of pregnancy (who knew). But the worst part is my bladder. Not sure how long I will be able to put up with having to stop all the time to pee but I will hold out as long as I can.

Hopefully I will continue posting about my running and pregnancy for a while. I really want to be one of those women that can run well through the whole thing, but who knows. It's all about the baby now and we will see what she/he is going to "allow" ;-)

Get your free online pregnancy calendar from

Run on,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Crafts

Why do I do this to myself? Another Christmas and I have taken on another set of crafty gifts to make.

The biggest and most time consuming would have to be the cookbook. I started it in August after learning how to do digital scrapbooking with Photoshop and finished it up at the end of October. Then I had to wait until Shutterfly decided they wanted to put their photo books on sale and ordered a couple books to see how they turned out. Little did I realize that the cover would be messed up. With part of the title and credits cut out I had to do some creative tweaking along with a little trial and error to get the cover to line up as it is supposed to. If you are making photo books with your own pages I would suggest going with one of their layouts for the cover. But I can't complain, they are completed and wrapped and I ended up getting free shipping on all of it and paid half price for 9 out of the 11 books. Figured out it really pays to plan ahead with that kind of project.

To accompany the cook books, some relatives will be getting an apron. I got the idea from one of the teachers I work with and decided I could "throw together" some quick aprons. I have gotten as far as cutting out the pattern (not the fabric) and selecting all the fabric and thread but was so tired yesterday (thank you little baby Higgins) that I couldn't seem to pull myself off the couch to start cutting and sewing. Hopefully I can begin tonight and plan to get one done a night. Fingers crossed.

Another photo project I am working on would be a calendar for my Aunt Diane. I gave her one a year or so ago and she loved it so much she requested another. Biggest problem being that I haven't seen that side of the family for more than a year and only one relative was willing to send me some pictures. Still hoping to get a few more from my mom but we will see. It may turn out to be a set of pictures from past years and not just the past year. FYI - Snapfish is running a buy one calendar get the second for free until the 17th of Dec. I better get moving.

And finally, I made 23 handmade cards and included a great picture of Michael and I for those friends that we no longer buy presents for. I usually like to have a Christmas letter but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe next week but it may turn into a New Year's letter.

So that brings me to my todo list. I still need to make 2 Cheesecakes for the Hicklin's and Oexman's. Cook and decorate my sugar cookies. Package up the food gifts for neighbors and Chet and Charlie (peppermint bark, pralined pecans, pretzel turtles, pecan balls, and sugar cookies). And finish sewing 5 aprons.

Here's to a handmade Christmas. Not sure it will be possible next year with a little one so hope they all enjoy it this year. Hoping you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes Runs Suck

Today was not my day....for running. Beautiful weather, all the time in the world; what more could I ask for???? Well maybe I could have asked for my body to hold up. All I wanted was an easy 4 miler. Little did I know that my stomach would start aching, arm/chest would start throbbing, my head would start pounding and that I would get all shaky and about pass out. I even had to stop and walk for a minute or two to get my bearings back. Good thing I had my phone with me in case of emergency... but I was so out of it but there was no way I would be able to call an ambulance for myself. To top it all off, the gnats were out in full force. I bet I ate at least 10 of them, sucked 3 up my nose, and caught at least that many in my eyelashes. Let's chalk this one up to bad luck and hope for a better showing tomorrow.

Run On - Brooke

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Hilton 10K

Usually I would only pay to run if I were getting at least a t-shirt out of the deal but this past weekends running at The Hilton was slated to cost $10.

Little did I know when I woke up and saw the rain that I would have needed to take my wallet with me to the work out center. As I approached the desk the attendant ask me for my room number and also asked how many days I would like to "pay" for....$10 for one day or $15 for two days.

I think the look I my face must have said it all but I still asked "It costs to run??? I usually only pay to run in races." After some friendly banter the attendant told me not to worry about it and that to think of my next entry fee being partially sponsored by The Hilton.

During my 6 miler that day it got me to thinking, why does everything at a nice hotel cost extra; if I were staying at a Holiday Inn Express I could have run for days on end, had breakfast, parked, swam, had happy hour complimentary cocktails and snacks and not paid a penny more.

The funny thing is that people say running is a simple sport that doesn't cost much at all but we all know that is not true. While yes, running is cheaper than golf, snow skiing, and many others; it is not without costs and Saturday it was $10 more than expected ;-)

Run on - Brooke

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hobby Collector-ology Q&A's

Found this list of questions on my favorite Twilight/Scrapbooker blog "Scrapping with the IkeaGoddess" and thought it might be a fun post.


What is your salad dressing of choice?
Newman's Own Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
PF Changs or The Red Onion (Joplin)

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Pizza or Guacamole

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Loaded Chicago Style w/sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions (but also love roasted garlic, artichokes, eggplant, and goat cheese)

What do you like to put on your toast?
butter and strawberry jelly


How many televisions are in your house?
too many - 5

What color is your cellphone?
black/silver (iPhone that I can't live without)

Do you have an iPod?
iPod and Shuffle and iPhone - you can never have too many Apple products


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?

What is the last heavy item you lifted?

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Yes and no...yes if it is someday soon but no cause I should be living every day like it's my last

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
No idea???? Kinda like it (Brooke Alison Roberts-Higgins)

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000?
Don't think I could handle it but would try if it wasn't one of those kinds that kill people


Summer Summer Summer

Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day

Day of the week?
Saturday's in the summer are at the lake and all other Saturday's are long run days with my friends ;-)

July or August – a summer month when the lake gets to be perfect


Missing someone?
nope - have seen everyone recently

tired but VERY happy

What are you listening to?
Muse all the time - or a Stephanie Meyer playlist

Current worry?
None that I should really be focusing on - I have no control


First place you went this morning
to check my email before running

What’s the last movie you saw?
The Soloist - makes you think about homeless people and why they are there and can stay that way


How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

Last time you had a run-in with the cops
February - pulled over for speeding and ended up with a ticket for expired tags. I had no idea.

Last person you talked to?
Grandma & Pa Roberts

Last person you hugged?


Do you always answer your phone?
No....but most of the time.

It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
Right now...someone who is going to owe me $0.30 since I am out of texts this month.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
They are already hazel but I would really like green/blue hazel

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic
Diet Cherry Limeade

Do you own a digital camera?
Yes, but need a new one cause it has horrible zoom and scratches all over it.

Have you ever had a pet fish?
Yes, had fish in elementary school and even when I taught 3rd grade.

Favorite Christmas song(s)
Silent Night - sang a verse solo in my 2nd grade music program.

What’s on your wish list for your birthday
Just had my birthday and asked for money for a new Mtn. Bike. Think I might be saving for a while. Have my eyes on a full-suspension bike for racing.

Can you do push ups?
Yes; used to do 40 a night but have been on the wagon for too long.

Can you do a split?
Nope...never have been able to

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Both....never know what's around the next corner.

Do you have any saved texts?
No...should I?

Have you ever been in a car accident?
A couple...Michael put us in a couple of ditches in college and I rolled my car on a dirt road but no major injuries.

Do you have an accent?
Not really...sometimes a little "country" but depends on if I am hanging out with my dad or note

What is the last movie to make you cry?
They all make me cry...even started crying last night when I heard the "Goose is Dead" song in Top Gun last night while I was making my dinner and Michael was watching it in the other room.

Plans tonight?
Training Session, Scrapbook Freebie Searching & Blogging

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Not really...there is always something good going on.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Butterfinger Crisp Bar, Starbuck's decaf-skinny-caramel latte, sunflower seeds - we traveled all day in the car ;(

Have you ever been given roses?
Yes, Michael used to sell flowers wholesale so I got them A LOT

Met someone who changed your life?
Can't pinpoint one person besides Michael of course. He takes me as I am flaws and all - besides, how would I ever choose just one

How will you bring in the New Year?
Who knows; we never plan that until about a week out.

What song represents you?
too many to choose from - will have to think about this a bit more

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Yes, would love to go back to a simpler time before technology

Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
Belly button ring and would love a tattoo but how would I ever choose one thing to be on my body for the rest of my life???

Does anyone love you?
I should hope.

Would you be a pirate?
Can't - get sea-sick.

What songs do you sing in the shower?’
It varies, at the moment I find myself singing

Ever had someone sing to you?
never (unless you count Rock Band - but that would be so cool

Do you like to cuddle?

Have you held hands with anyone today?
No, just got home from work at 8pm and am blogging now ;( maybe I should be sitting by Mikey holding his hand instead of this???

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Don & Jackie at their wedding

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
from college and sooner.

Do you like pulpy orange juice?
Pulp free is the only way

What is something your friends make fun of you for?
Being a control freak but someone has to be in charge or nothing would get done.

Well that was lots of fun...took some time but fun ;-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trail Running = Poison Ivy

Thought I had made it through a year without getting poison ivy. Since the two adventure races were out this year and I have stayed off the trails in Joplin I thought for sure that I had escaped the horrible itch and lovely scars of poison ivy. I was wrong....

Memorial day weekend my new Arkansas running friend Jen and I decided to skip the roads and head out to the trails at Hobb's State Park. We had two perfect days of trail running with great conversation and weather. I kept us on the trail, didn't touch anything (except spider webs), and was very careful not to injure myself but still, a day later the tell-tale bumps that itch like you can't imagine were back. What was the worst was that not only did I get it on my calves but I also spread it up my thighs when I stopped at the porta-john before showering off. Note to self - no trail running without ivy block. It may not keep me from getting it again but maybe and that is all I need to justify another trail run on another day.

Run on - Brooke

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christmas Is Right Around the Corner

I think I can talk about it here since none of my family reads this blog (at least not yet).

Last night I got a chance to work on one of my Christmas projects. My husband was out of town so I had the computer to myself and endless (5) hours of me time...

Last year or the year before I started giving "homemade" gifts. This years present came from a spark of an idea from Snapfish or Shutterfly or one of those sites....we (which really means I) will be making a cookbook. I thought it would really be fun to make aprons too but this is taking so much time that aprons aren't going to happen. At first I was just going to upload the recipe and a picture but once I learned about Photoshop and all the DS free stuff online the wheels really started turning.

Little did I know this was going to be so took me 5 hours to make my 20 8X8 recipe pages in Photoshop and they only have a title, recipe, picture frame, and picture. I still have to add paper and embellishments and it would be neat if I could include my own pictures. There is still some time so maybe it will happen.

Here is a little peak into the cookbook....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Knew?

My sister is crazy. She calls me in my "off season" when I have only been running 4's and 6's at a nice comfortable pace and asks if I plan on running with them when I come visit that weekend. Well of course I can't turn her down, but do ask how many miles. She says "oh, just nine" In which I say "WHAT? I haven't run that far in 2 months!" She points out, "Oh, it's not that much further than 6." which is true but their pace is my biggest concern. They run FAST; Well at least faster than me. But I can't say no cause we don't ever get to run together. It's true sister time and I can't pass that up so of course I agree.

She says we have to start at the ungodly hour of 5:50am and we will be meeting her friend that is new to running. Secretly I am thinking she might be a little slower and keep my fingers crossed but wishes are dashed when my sister tells me that her friend has been working on speed and distance with a half marathon coming soon.

So we started out a few minutes late which required us to run faster "just until we meet up with her friend." Well that was a joke, once we met up with her friend the pace just kept up. It turned out that it wasn't so bad since we all took turns telling stories and the time really flew. Before we knew it we were well past eight miles and sister's friend had to peel off to meet up with some others to run a 5K and we had to head home.

In the end we ran 10 miles at a 9 min. mile pace which is awesome for me and despite all of my concerns and complaints it really was a great run. The park trails are flat, with a nice 60 degree temp, and no wind (miracle). I felt great and it was time with my sister that really mattered.

Run On! - Brooke

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Just found another addition for my newest blog....check out the Shelfari book shelf. How cool, now I can add all the books I am reading and want to read. Course when am I going to have time with all the other stuff I am doing. What a dilemma.

On Hiatus....

Last race.....July 4, 2009 Carthage Red, White, and Boom run

Taking some time off of long runs and missing it terribly but got to try a bit longer. Running only 4-6milers four times a week for a grand total of around 20 miles a week. Getting tired of people asking when the next race is or talking about races in front of me. Was reading an interview with an Ultra Runner and it got me to thinking about trying that. Also been looking at Adventure Racing websites and new bikes. Feel like an alcoholic window shopping a liqueur store. Really itching to do something..... We'll see how long I can hold off ;-)

Run On! - Brooke

Scrapbooking a Step Further

Digital Scrapbooking (DS) seems to be my newest hobby. Funny how I finally started scrapbooking last Christmas when my mom gave me a scrapbooking kit over 3 years ago. Figured I could at least use that Birthday present so I gave it a try. It turned out that I really liked it and created a vacation album and made a few small gifts including a chipboard book for Mom and Charlie with pictures of all their grandkids.

Transitioning into DS seemed to be a natural progression when we got our new Mac and Photoshop. Had some friends over and they brought an "expert" with them and we had a little "Introduction to Photoshop and Scrapbooking" class. It seems that DS is even easier to waste time with. There are so many great sites and blogs out there offering ideas, products, and tutorial but the best is all the freebies. I have found free templates, kits, embellishments and more and spent tons of time downloading them and organizing them. Now, to get a project finished.

Here are a few of my favorite DS blogs:
Scrapping with iKEA Goddess - scrapbooker who compiles weekly freebies
Taylor Made Designs - great design ideas, freebies, tutorials, products
Three Paper Peonies - beautiful designs, tutorials, products, including freebies and challenges

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Blog....Really

After looking through so many great blogs I am inspired to start another one. My original blog is all about running and my journey through miles with my running friends but there is so much more to me. So much more that I want to share or remember and think about. Michael would ask me "Do you have time for this?" And the answer is of course..... "NO!" But I never will and should that stop me? I guess that means I am really doing it....blogging again!

Monday, July 6, 2009

2009 Boom Run - Michael Runs Again

Yes, you heard it....Michael made his come-back! With some encouragement from our friends, The Hicklin's, they all decided that they would all run this year's Carthage Boom Run 5K again after a little hiatus. I was so proud of all of them. Myself, Tralaine, and Andy also ran again but missed having the Oexman's and Chanti (they did have better plans so I understood).

We had a fun time (well some of us) and everyone finished; which is what really matters. Tralaine and I placed 1st and 2nd in our age division (I'm sure you know who took first and who took second). We were immortalized in The Carthage Press. I even stuck with Tralaine and Andy for 2 miles this year and had my second best 5K PR (24:50).

Run On! - Brooke

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Joplin's 1st Half-Marathon

On June 13th, Debbie, Chanti, and myself (along with quite a few fellow runners) ran the first ever Joplin Boomtown 1/2 Marathon. It was a nice day with lots of sun and many hills but we finished. The course was well supported (except for the college kids manning the intersections that looked like they would rather be sleeping). There were plenty of water stops with many volunteers and porta-potties at mile 8ish. Unfortunately the spectators left a little to be desired; it was as if they didn't know they were there to cheer for everyone not just the one racer they knew. At one point Chanti and I had to ask them to cheer us on to help get us up the hill. I am going to mark it up to inexperience ;-)

Chanti and I stuck together and finished in 1 hour 59 minutes. One of these days we are going to both be "on" and get a great PR but we were both very happy with our sub 2. Debbie ran a steady pace (cussing the hills as she went) and found herself at one point running and talking with the legendary Bart Yasso who was a guest speaker at the pre-race banquet and started the race on Saturday morning. Check out the full race results, they are pretty good. Looking forward to an even better Boomtown Half-Marathon next year...come and join us!

Run On! - Brooke

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another Race Missed - OGAR

I hate injuries....since I was injured and didn't have time to prepare for the OGAR our team decided it would be best to sit it out this year. Think this would have been my 8th year to race and was a sad year to miss being the 10th Anniversary. And of course they had good shirts!

The Dirty Nelly's (Chanti, Don, John, Jonas) raced and came in 37th in 10 hours and 29 minutes. The race was a full orienteering course with 20+ checkpoints. They biked a total of 21 miles, completed a trekking section had more than 9 way points alone and ran 6 miles. Due to weather the course was altered and the race coordinators cut out the paddling section. Congrats.....

Looking forward to the 11th Annual Ozark Greenways Adventure Race in 2010. Hope to see you there.

Run On! - Brooke

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Dice in OKC

Well, I had recovered from the hamstring injury enough that I planned to run the half-marathon in OKC with Debbie, Robert, and Scott (and cheer on Don and Chanti when they finished the full) only to find when we arrived at the Runner's Expo that the half-marathon was closed. Fortunately Robert and Scott had pre-registered so they were in but :( Debbie and I had waited until the day before the race to make sure we were healthy (injury free) enough to run and didn't get the chance. For a few short seconds I thought about pirating the race but couldn't imagine not starting the race at the start and not crossing the finish line after so many miles.

So my fate was decided for me and all I could do was show up race day to support my friends. Both Scott and Robert ran the half and Chanti and Don ran the full marathon. Chanti had taken her bike to town so I rode the course with her from mile 9 on and give what help I could.

What a day it was for the racers; the 6am temp was a warm 70 degrees and the wind steadily picked up to more than 30mph. For Scott's first half, he finished thinking he just might run another which is a success in my book. Robert had a strong finish for his first OKC showing. Chanti and Don had tough days with the wind in their faces for a good portion of the race. No PR's but finishing was the big accomplishment.

I do owe a shout out to Don's brother for hosting the after-race BBQ...racers and spectators enjoyed burgers, dogs, and more before heading home.

No racing on this day but good times anyway ;-) Maybe next year. Can't wait for the next race.

Run On! - Brooke

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Off the "Road to Recovery" and Back on the "Road"

After 2 full weeks off with NO running what-so-ever, I am back to doing a small bit. It feels like forever since I last ran and is sooo good to be back on the road. It had started to get depressing watching all of the beautiful spring weather go unused and hearing about all the great runs my friends were having. Was even missing out on some social obligations ;-).

Yesterday started with a short/slow mile jog and mile walk and that was OK. Then today was the real test - 3 miles, which sounds so short since the least I usually ever do is 4 miles. But I can deal with it...I'm healing right, and all seemed to be good. No pain or discomfort but still waiting for some odd pain in the front of my knee to go away now....oh well, running is painful right ;-) Made sure to stretch before and after and iced it well.

Looks like a day off tomorrow, try for 5 on Tuesday, and then maybe 6-8 on Thursday to see if I can hold up for longer miles (possibly do the 1/2 in OKC on Sunday). Still really wish it was the full :'( Was supposed to be my 5th and Chanti and I planned to run it together. Feeling like I let her down a bit but she understand; she's been there herself for tons longer. It will sure be sad not crossing the finish line with her but she will ROCK IT I am sure. Can't wait to cheer her in.

Run on...(again)! - Brooke

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What Do You Do When You Can't Run?

It is as simple as that....what do non-runners do? Geez, I am going on 4 weeks with only 3 runs and am going absolutely CRAZY. I feel like a lazy, fat, slob and have filled my minutes with sleeping late, watching TV, playing Rock Band, eating and FaceBooking. Wow, what a waste of time and training thrown down the tube.

So this week is going to have to change. Need to work of some energy and calories. Must go to the Y at least and lift some weights. I have to get back into some sort of routine. Robert says that maybe I can even try running Friday a couple of miles.

Now I know the OKC Marathon is out but there is still a chance that I can maybe run the Half. Either way we will still go and support all of our friends that are running. Little conflicted though.... OGAR in 5 weeks and I still haven't gotten on my bike. If I try the half and hurt myself then the adventure race is for sure out but if I don't get on my bike soon and run my body is not going to be ready and I am really going to hold back my team. What to do? What to do?

Run on....guess without me:'( - Brooke

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Injury SUCKS

....I am injured and haven't been able to run for almost 3 weeks. Figured out what it is (tendon attached to hamstring and calf bone) and am getting some PT for it but think it has canned my hopes to run OKC in a few weeks. I may make it for the half but if I was a betting person I would say not for the full.

Why couldn't this happen in the first few weeks of training? Why do I get to week 12 and then have problems? Why me?

It kills me that I don't really know what I did to cause the injury but guess it really doesn't matter. The funniest thing is that my dad and grandma are wondering if I am going to smarten up and just quite this running it is a phase I am going through (something like puberty).

Well, you'll hear it first if things get better. Hoping for the best. Keep your fingers crossed for me and....... Run On! - Brooke

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dogs - hate them or love them

There are some dogs that I lLOVE, like Spot, who ran miles and miles with me, and some that I HATE, like the 4 big dogs that tried to eat Chanti and I last Saturday.

Wasn't it bad enough that we had to run in the cold and snow....I guess not because the 4 dogs on County Road 100 didn't seem to care that we were just trying to get in our 20 and deal with the weather. When I first heard them start to bark I thought maybe we would be ok, maybe they were in the garage or a fence. Then I heard Chanti say "Oh Shit" and looked to see 4 large dogs charging our way.

I know you are supposed to act like the alpha but man is it scary when you see all those teeth and hear the growls and barks. We did our best, I made myself as big as I could and charged back and we yelled until we were blue in the face. Don't know if they just got board or if we made our point but we escaped another run in with dogs and came out bite free.

One thing we are in the world those people could just sit in their house and listen to all that and not come out to see what was going on. All I know is that I am going to look into buying some pepper spray before our run on Saturday (Run With the Wind 25K) since it is on that same course.

Run on...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cold, Cold Go Away...Come Back Next Year

Two weekends in a row I have had to run with windchill's in the teens. This is getting ridiculous; Mother Nature here in the Mid-West obviously needs some Prozac to tame her bi-polar tendencies.

Last Saturday it was cloudy, cold, and windy with a route that had the wind at my back, face, and both sides with the windchill somewhere around 16 degrees. I ran with Don's running group in KC which is awesome since you have instant friends to talk to, they have pace groups that fit everyones needs with pacers, and they have water stops every 2 miles. I got to know my new running friend Jenn a bit better and even found a girl named Jennifer that is interested in Adventure Racing. It's fun to meet crazy people that also like to go out and run 18 miles on a Saturday morning and don't see anything wrong with that.

This Saturday brought cloudy, cold, windy, and snowy conditions and a lovely windchill of somewhere between 12-14 degrees. This all wouldn't be so bad if the weather would be like that during the week, but no, this past Wednesday, Chanti and I were running in a tank top and shorts at 5pm. The weeks seem to bring above average temps and the weekends are COLD.

Today we logged 20 miles on a mildly hilly course that she picked out specifically for the wind to be at our backs (and it was). Don't know if we could have made it having to go face into the wind so I guess I owe her BIG....Thanks friend. Also have to thank our sag vehicle for the water stop and picking us up. Do have one major complaint; who ever owns the 4 large dogs that attacked us on CR 90. Seriously, couldn't you do something about them.

Next week, we are running the Run With the Wind Race from Sarcoxie to Carthage (or the opposite, depending on the wind). Today's run was a good preview since part of our route was on the same roads.
FYI...also picked up my new shoes this week in Springfield, MO at a new running store that will do a running analysis for you for free if you are buying shoes. They ask a bunch of questions about running habits and injuries, they video tape you running barefoot, and then watch it in slow motion. After they tell you what kind of runner you are and what should might work best for you. Of course the Asics Gel Nimbus 10 is the shoe for me and they agreed. Did try a Sacouny that was very comfy but can't switch up shoes mid stream.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 Weeks to Go

Followed up my recovery week last week with a good dose of longer runs. Ended up running 10 by myself last Sat. and then took 2 days off. Work was crazy on Monday do didn't have time to fit anything in. Debbie is back to running after nursing an injury for 2 months so put in a few miles with her and Spot on Tuesday (5). Then Chanti, Spot, and I put in 8 miles on Wednesday at a pretty good pace. Not sure but think somewhere between 9's and 9:30's. Thursday was another run with Debbie and Spot (6 miles). Thursday was awesome weather; got to wear t-shirt and shorts ;-)

And for our long run (16 miles) Chanti and I circled town a couple of times. Made a stop at the Y, at Chanti's, our house, and last stop at Chanti's.

Used my iPhone as GPS with Fitnio app and the distance was .87 off from Chanti's Garmin. Sure the Garmin was correct. This was spots last run before going home and she stayed with us for 8 miles.

Legs feel pretty good for 35 total miles. They ached pretty bad late yesterday after the 16 but that is to be expected. Feet are holding up well...only 2 blisters under caluses.

This week's goals:
  • Goal 1 - Really want to try to get mid-week long run in at race pace but going to have to pay attention to my pace a bit better.
  • Goal 2 - Running 18 with Don's running group on Sat. before the Pub Crawl. Hoping to stick it out with the 9:30's. We will see if I can stick with them. Hoping they stop at every water stop for a breather.
  • Goal 3 - Eat better....more protein and veggies
  • Goal 4 - Stretch often especially before and after runs
  • Goal 5 - Not to fall asleep before 10pm on Sat. night
Hoping for sunny days and warmer weather but who knows with the mid-west weather.

Run on...

"I Kinda Want a Dog"

"I Kinda Want a Dog": My words exactly to Michael after spending the week with my dad's dog, Spot. So you're probably wondering how wanting a dog has anything to do with it is.....

For my last 5 runs I was never alone. Each day Spot was at my side (the left side that is) listening to me and keeping me going. Every run was so much fun all because I had a new running partner, Spot the dog. Don't get me wrong...I would never give up Chanti or Debbie! But man it was a fun week.

For years, every time I have passed someone running with (or even walking) a dog, I would secretly wish I had one of my own; not so they could pull me and do part of the work, but more so I would have a constant companion (hate being alone). I have even tried; Teeny, my mom's Chihuahua, will run a block or so with me but she doesn't actually run, it is more of a stop and go and stop and go to sniff and pee on everything along the route. And really, Teeny is a Chihuahua, how far could should really run before her tiny little heart gave out. But I finally found a dog that would run and could run for a long time....Spot!

The question to I go back to the way it was because really, getting a dog is not probably the best thing for me to do. With all the traveling Michael and I do that poor dog would have to stay with someone else, or by itself, or go to a kennel and I just can't do that. So I guess I will have to dog-sit more often or find a neighborhood dog to borrow. The "Griswald's" across the street do have a yellow lab that does look a little interested ;-)

Spots Running Log:
Sat. 4.5 miles
Tues. 5 miles
Wed. 8 miles
Thurs. 6 miles
Sat. 8 miles

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Forgot to announce....

This just in....well 4 weeks ago just in. The next marathon on my calendar is officially the 9th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 26 which is 81 days, 9 hours, 7 minutes, and 45 seconds from now. I am 4 weeks in and my long runs are already up to 15 miles as of last Saturday. My legs are feeling pretty good but I am very happy this week is our first off week. The weather has been holding pretty well and we have only had to do one 13 mile long run on the treadmill. My hope it that it was the last.

My biggest apologize again; I have not been keeping up with my running blogging and really need to make it a bit more of a priority so it starts today...I promise to blog about running and my Journey to 26.2 at least once a week.

What makes a good run?

Today as I was running on a beautiful sunny, very cold, and windy day, freezing my ass off but still having a pretty good run....I started to question "what really makes a good run?"

It seems to me that many people judge their best runs by: how fast they run, how good their legs feel, how good their lungs feel, how well they pace themselves, how many miles they run, how many people they pass, or how high or low they kept their heart rate.

But for me it is quite different. Some days it is as easy as keeping a good pace while still being able to talk non-stop, other days it is all about the distance I can cover, on some warm weather days its about seeing lots of bunnies, and I have even had fun on a run counting cigarette butts in the gutter...but today my criteria for success was getting waves from over half the people I passed on the road (in cars and on foot).

Well maybe they didn't really wave but they acknowledge my existence with all sorts of gestures that I wish to call waves. As I progressed it really became an experiment into determining what really counts as a wave and which were the best? Here are my top 10 favorite gestures of friendliness from today's awesome run:

10. The hand on the wheel, I can at least wave a finger wave
9. The passing honk - this is the audible wave from those that did not wave quick enough but want to let you know they noticed.
8. The head nod - maybe known as the headwave now
7. The one hand up wave
6. The passenger wave
5. The sideways peace sign wave that I imagine tells me to "Keep it up!"
4. The elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist wave or at least hand shaking back and forth wave.
3. The wave and smile from someone you know that says "Hey Brooke, how are you? Doing great" wave
2. The driver and passenger wave with smile

and my #1 favorite gestures of friendliness from today's awesome run

1. The stranger free hand wave and being able to read their lips as they say "Hi"

Here is what I learned about the non-wavers: many were on the phone, smoking, or driving on a busier road, and the really annoying non-wavers either try to ignore you are just rude!!!