Friday, December 19, 2014

The streak is over

Yesterday would have been 140 days in a row of running 1 or more miles.  I didn't get to my run in the morning. I was finishing up Christmas shopping online.  It was "warmer" and It would have been a nice day for a long run.

I went about my day of work and running kids.  At some time in the morning, we got some rain that froze turning the ground into a skate park!.  After getting home, I changed into my running clothes.   And was on my way to go get kids from chess.  That's when it happened:  I slipped on the icy driveway.  I landed in my right knee, and smacked my forehead on the pavement.  I thought "Oh crap, I cracked my skull open.  I am going to need stitches..."

Then a minute later I tried to get up.  That's when I realized I couldn't bend my left hand!  Thankfully my husband was home to help me.  We went to the ER, got an X-ray and it was confirmed, I broke my wrist!  

We will call the orthopedic today to find out now what.  I will keep you all posted.


Off & Running, 
AnnMarie  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh how quickly things change...

It has been a whirlwind of a month for us.  We have gotten some snow in our area, then rain and a bit more snow.  Last weekend, November 22, was the opening day of gun deer hunting season in Wisconsin.  When I was a kid, I remember hunting season was only for a few days, now it is a full week.  I remember my mom helping my dad get his stuff ready, he would always have a bottle of blackberry brandy "To keep him warm".  I never understood how a cold beverage would warm you up, but he took it every year.

As time went on and we moved from town to the country to the farm, he stopped that.  I will have to ask him about it.  My next memories of hunting are from when I was a bit older and we were on the farm.  My uncle, a cousin or two and some of their friends would come and spend the weekend at our house.  They would be up late and out the door at sunrise.  Over time the "hunting party" got bigger and some of those relatives and their friends build a building on the back of the farm property.  This "shack" or cabin (depending on who talks to you and has actually spent time there!) has become the sleeping place.  And it has grown and evolved as people find used parts for it! 

On Sunday, November 23 our lives and the lives of the people in our hunting party changed.  I was sitting in church at 9:00 and my phone started vibrating (Good thing I remembered to turn it off!)  It was my sistier in law, I texted I was at church, she replied, take a call!  That can't be good right?!?!  I got up and thank God I was at church.  Jesus held me in his arms as I recieved the news that my dad had fallen out of his tree stand.  He didn't have feeling in his legs from the knees down.  He fell on his shoulders and had not lost conscienceness.  WHAT?!?!

I was in contact with my sister the nurse most of the day, but it was very sensored until about 8:30pm.  Here is what I know for sure:  He fell about 10 feet out of tree.  His tree stand was old and rotten, it let loose or the branch broke (little fuzzy on that detail).  He damaged one vertebrea - T12.  There is still today, a lot of swelling in that area.  When the EMT's arrived last Sunday, he could not feel from his knees down, and when I visited on Monday that changed.  He had surgery on T12, fused it to another healthy vertebrae.

My kids with my dad at the hospital last night.


Fast forward to today, the day after Thanksgiving.  He has been at UW Madison Hospital and recieving the best of care.  I have Facebook messaged friends and family who in return have lifted my family in prayer.  He still has no feeling from the waist down.  A couple of my friends, who have had family members with this same injury have given me hope.  What I pray is that in the next week or so the feeling returns and we walk him out of this hospital.  He will be moved to rehab sometime today.  He has been getting physical therapy and a lot of drugs!  Yesterday I thought he looked drugged in the morning when I saw him.  Last night he was chipper and not so drugged. 

Many have asked what can they do to help?  Please pray for him and mom and all of us.  It is hard to see an active man not be able to get up and walk over to you.  Especially someone as strong as my dad.  I am very thankful that he is still with us! 

I have been running still and finished 3.1 on the dreadmill this morning.  Run really is my drug and it helps me clear my head.  Monday, after the bad nights rest, I was supposed to meet my cousin for an early morning run.  It was a perfect morning too:  A whopping 42 degrees outside at 5:15am!  I ran a 5 miler before the temps dropped and the snow moved in.  It was somewhere between mile 3 and 4 that my head cleared and I started to get my mom thoughts flowing.  I don't know that I have ever consciously observed that in myself before.  It was interesting and just proved to me that I need longer runs more often.  Which stinks since the snow is starting to stay and the roads are getting icy.  I don't know if I can MAKE myself do 5 miles or more on the treadmill.  Then there is the drive to get to the treadmill at the club...  Oh to have such delemas!

Praying you all had a fun Thanksgiving.  I am

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weather reports

As I stated in a previous post, I have been taking photos of the weather channel reports on my phone.  Thought I would share them today!

October 28, 2014 at 4:31am!


October 29, 2014.  Note the "feels like" 37!  Bbbbrrrrrrrr!


October 30, 2014


November 1, 2014


November 2, 2014


November 4, 2014


Needless to say I have not packed away my summer running stuff.  Just wondering what my running friends wear in the winter weather?  Also wondering where you run when the temps drop?  I want to be outside but I am not sure what I haveto wear that is suitable for winter running.  We will see I guess.

Off n Running.
AnnMarie


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall back time!

We turned another page on the calendar, yesterday.  And turned back the clocks too.  I am still asking myself where did this year go?  I have also been thankful for all the great memories I have been able to make and for the ones ahead of us.

With the time change and the calendar flipping, that brings the weather changing too.  I have been tracking the crazy Wisconsin weather on my phone.  Every morning for the past month or so, I have been meeting my cousin, who lives 3 blocks down the street.  We meet before the sun is up, and some mornings have been 60+ degrees!  Crazy!!!  Then the next day is 30-something, is this just a Wisconsin thing, like I think it is, or has it been this way everywhere?

This morning, I waited until the sun was up - after 6:30.  I saw a beautiful sunrise and our first heavy frost. 

Temperature this morning, I am trying to snap the "feels like" part too!
Hard to see it well in this picture, but in the ditch you sort of see the frost!  

Beautiful sunrise!

Welcomed November with a 5 miler before taking Ball Boy to his first  Spartan Race!  Here are some photos of him:



Fun morning!  Followed by a fun afternoon with the AMTA-WI Board of Directors Retreat!  

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Today is Trick or Treating in our village.  I have been busy running my 1 or more miles a day AND gathering stuff for costumes!

Yesterday, was another race in my Strider Series.  The Lakefront Discovery Run 15K.  According to the results I covered the hilly course in 1:21.05.  Not bad for no real training plan.  In two weeks from  today I will be recovering from my Disney Races.  I am so excited!!!!

Here are photos from Trick or Treating:

My friend, Deanna, called me one day to tell me about the new ruffle yarn.  I made this scarf and the Mickey Hands for Dancing Princess!

This is the first time in a VERY long time we had a decent costume for Ball Boy!

And I made this Olaf hat for SwimChick.

Off N Running,
AnnMarie

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

101 in 1001?!?!

I have not been blogging much.  I miss it.  Sharing my adventures in life with family and friends, I really enjoy it.  I got to thinking about how I started this 101 things to do in a 1001 days.  Who knew that time would go so fast?  I only got to cross off about 5 things on that list, but I did SOOO many more than were on the list.  Just kind of goes to show you how much we change over time.

I have a section on Shaklee on that original list.  I love my Shaklee, just ask anyone who has heard me talk about it.  LOL!  My kids know the value of the products too.  To me Shaklee products are a necessity to our life.  The cleaners are good for us as well as the environment.  The meal replacement shakes are great on my long work days. The supplements have helped us ward off sickness, fight the winter blues, etc…  I just have not made the time nor the commitment to really jump in with both feet and make this business work.

I have a section on exercise.  After following a training plan and doing all the half marathons that I have, I am not sure I want to make the time to train for a full one anymore.  I would still like to do the local Lakefront Marathon and the Flying Pig, too.  Just maybe not in the next 1001 days.  :)  Hot yoga still looks amazing, but I need to do yoga more than once a week or less before I get into the hot studio!

My kids have started making their own lunch.  I never did set a nice table for the time I wanted, or did the manner class…  Priorities change over time.  And time just doesn't stop, does it!

Since making this list, I have gotten a lot more massage clients.  I have seen my kids try stuff and decide that was all they needed.  I have finished 6 half marathons, I think.  I have taken some different classes for my well being and my families.

This month I am taking a personal training class.  My major in college was Exercise Management.  I know it was 20+ years ago, but the basics have not changed.  Equipment, yes, that has changed, but the fundamentals are still there.  Now to decide which Personal Training Certification I would like to study for and take that test.

Off n Running, decisions, decisions…

AnnMarie

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm streaking....

So HAPPY OCTOBER!!!!!

I am happy to report that I ran 1 mile or more every day in August and September.  Woo hoo, that makes 61 day in a row.  I even ran when I went to my convention for massage, in Denver.


I found this HUGE REI store on my first day on Denver.  This store had 3 levels.  I would LOVE to know the history of the building.  I did go in for a potty break and a drink of water.  There are trails on both sides of this little river, some paved and some not.  Looked like some mountain bike trails made by bikers, too.

This is Six Flags.  It's up the trail from REI.  Right downtown!!!!!  I logged 2.5 miles running this day, probably close to that much walking around and exploring too!

Day three I was in a rush, so I found the hotel fitness room and did another 2 miles on a treadmill.

I ran past the capital building one morning.  I did not cross the street and stand exactly 1 mile above sea level on the steps.  But I did get this photo:


Another day I was fortunate to be introduced to some other running massage therapists.  

We logged 3 miles exactly on our little early morning tour.  Here is the group:

And some stuff we saw:


So,  I have been keeping my promise to myself and am going to continue in October.  The weather turned chilly a few days ago and seems to be rainy.  A sure sign of fall here.  Which means I need to find a buddy and bundle up!

October is also my Unprocessed Challenge. I was hoping to have made the time to be a bit more prepared this year.  I had oral surgery yesterday, and am on a smoothie diet for two weeks, what a fun way to start October Unprocessed!!!! 

Off to get me some smoothie ingredients!
AnnMarie

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

And their off...


Chess Master found a new shirt at Kohl's yesterday.  You can't see it well here but the chicken is talking to a box of nuggets.  He is saying "Bro, is that you?"

Of course PeeWee needed something new to wear too!  Never mind the bins full of clothes from cousins and big sis.  She picked out this top.  And we needed new shoes, she loved these.  

Swim chick is so tall!  Her bus came at the scheduled time of 7:24, and I am not sure but she might have gotten a new bus driver.  


So, now I wait for the the other two to get on the bus.  Planning out the day into mind.  Need to write it down...
Pray with my Prayer Partner.
Make all my doctor appointments.
Take a leisurely 5 mile run.
Look up stuff to do in Denver. (I leave in two weeks from today for the AMTA National convention!)
Clean up rummage sale mess.
Craigslist stuff
Find the top of my desk

That seems like a good start!

Off n running,
AnnMarie

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day?!?! WHAT?!?! NNNOOOOO…..

From Wikipedia…
Thirty days hath September is a traditional English mnemonic rhyme, of which many variants are commonly used in English-speaking countries to remember the lengths of the months in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Here is one version of the rhyme attributed to Mother Goose:
Thirty days have September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31,
Except February alone,
And that has 28 days clear,
And 29 in a leap year.
Thirty days have September,
April, June, and November
All the rest have 31,
Except for February.
Other sources list the Mother Goose version differently:
Thirty days have September,
April, June, and November;
February has 28 alone,
All the rest have 31;
Except leap year, that's the time,
When February's days are 29.[1]


Where did the summer go?  I cannot believe today is the first day of September.  There were so many things we were going to do and now school starts tomorrow.  With that means a new swim season, a new soccer season and Dancing Princess would like to try Gymnastics.  (I may have to change her name here.  LOL!)

Last month, I quietly decided that I need to stop pretending to be training for a run and just get out the door already.  I put myself up to the challenge of running one or more miles every day for the month.  And I DID IT!!!!!  WOO HOO!!!!  31 days in a row I logged at least one mile, usually a little bit more.    I also did a few races in that month too.  Yesterday, I ran a 5k for a church festival.  It was a small field and I placed 3rd over all!  What the?????  It was my 10th race for 2014.

So, today is our last day of summer vacation.  My oldest two are not very excited to start a new school year.  My youngest, cannot wait to get back into it.  We got to meet their teachers last week.  My oldest, will be an 8th grader and is in a couple of High School classes.  I am officially worried about that!  One is Spanish, they started 7th grade in the freshman book.  That's cool.  So this year they will finish that book and she can take Sophomore Spanish as a freshman next year.  When she got her schedule we both saw Algebra 1 on it.  We still are not sure if that is a mistake, but the teacher seemed pretty nice.  He is a HUGE Brewer Baseball fan.  The floor in his classroom is laid out as the field.  That's kind of comforting too!  LOL!  We will see in October where she is and how it is going.

The other two kids will be fine.  My son, is starting in a new self driven program.  I pray that he gets his work done and we don't have too many fights about it this year.  I know it will be good for him and he will do well.

OK, getting back on topic...

As for me, tomorrow they all get on the bus and then what?  I hope to get into a running routine.  I really want to get back into the gym and meet up with a trainer a couple of times a week.  Maybe I will get back into that treadmill class I loved last summer?!?!  I really need to get into a yoga studio about 3 times a week to get these tight hips loosened up.

September Goals:  Last month was run at least 1 mile a day.  I am going to continue that streak.  I have been complaining about my diet for forever, so I am going to cut out dairy this month.  Dairy makes my mucus membranes go bonkers!  In 2001, I read a book written by Marilu Henner called TOTAL HEALTH MAKEOVER.  I had seen her on the Today show promoting a different book.  I got this one from the library and read it cover to cover.  When I got to the chapter about Dairy I had an AH HA! moment.  She talked about the "dairy sludge".  And how as humans cows milk is not properly digested.  It is also produced to bulk up baby cows.  I had a couple of flashbacks reading this chapter.

FLASHBACK #1:  I was in kindergarden when I had to have my tonsils taken out and tubes put in my ears.  This book said that kids drinking cow milk tend to get more ear infections!  AH!

FLASHBACK #2:  Drinking cows milk tends to get the mucus in your body to build up and go crazy! As a kid, we moved to a new town, new school.  My classmates used to sing song "AnnMarie Frances Ihm, oh great ball of Slime!"  I always felt like my nose was running.  I have a very nasally voice, that I notice when I am not on dairy, isn't as nasally!  FLASHBACK #2.0: As a senior in High School, we did a class night where they jokingly predicted where we would be in 10 years.  They predicted that I would be the new Wendy Whiner on Saturday Night Live!

FLASHBACK #3:  In college, I ran on the track and Cross Country teams.  I used to spit for distance.  You know the big loogies you really got to work up to get out of your throat.  I had team mates ask me to teach them how to spit!  Seriously, I really did!  How embarrassing.  I was also always doing a Farmer's blow on a run, year round, I always had a runny nose.  This I know now is from the dairy.

So, I stopped eating Dairy back in 2001.  Replaced it with some nasty alternatives or just didn't eat it at all.  Then of course over time, it crept back into my diet.  I have been pretty flemmy on runs this year.  I can't take it anymore.  So, bye bye dairy.  Was at the Co-Op last night stocking up with some yummier alternatives.  So here we go, Welcome September!

Off N Running,
AnnMarie


Monday, August 25, 2014

Strider Half


This is the starting line, about 5 minutes before the air horn started the race!  Race time was 8:00am.  You can sort of see the fog in the trees in the distance.  And everyone looks sweaty before the race!

I started to hydrate on Thursday afternoon and continued until race time.  Our summer has been pretty cool as far as Wisconsin summers go.  So to complain about the humidity on race day?!?!  I think it was allowed.  (Then again I am going to enjoy the heat as much as I can after the freezing cold winter we have had.)

I have not been following any training plans this summer.  This is my 4th HALF marathon of the year.  As you may recall, I started the year with an injury.  (I thought it was my piriformis, turns out it was/is a hamstring thing!)  Any way, with all my crazy challenges this year, I have not followed a plan.  I have not seen much of a trainer or taken classes at the club I work at.  So, I go into these races with the goal of only crossing the finish line.  And so far this year, that is what I have done.

This is how I started my Saturday race!  I just need to finish.   As the air horn blasted, I pushed start on my Strava app and tucked it into my race belt.  And we were off.  Just me and about 1000 other men and women.  I put on my headphones and FUN. was running along with me.  After about mile 5, I decided that was enough music and tucked the headphones away.  Then I took in the race down the path, it was nice.  I wished for a breeze and a dry shirt!   

We hit the turn around and it occurred to me that I had not heard my app update me on my race time.  I have been enjoying the app, I like to listen for my splits.  I am not very good at even splits and tend to just run.  She keeps me charging forward!  

I crossed the finish line and took my phone out, only to see that it didn't record my run!  AAAAHHHH!!!!!  Seriously, I don't know what happened but it didn't record.  I had been using the app to track my month and now it will look like I missed a day of running.  

Thankfully there is a results tent and I could get my official time and stuff:  1:56.15, 6th in my age group.  Not to bad for not following a plan!
Sweaty selfie at the end of the race.

This was my 9th race for the year.  So I have 5 more to complete my 14 in 2014.  This was my 4th race in the Badgerland Strider Challenge too.  

I saw my friend, Sara there and met the dude who wears pink ALL THE TIME!!!!  I have seen him in many of my Challenge races and wondered what his deal was.  Sara asked him about it and he told us he just likes the color pink.  He also said he gets asked a lot about that and that he really likes girls too!  Poor guy.  He is funny and friendly, so if you are in the Milwaukee area and at a race, you will find him, I promise!  

It was a great day for a run with my friends, I hope to see them all again soon.  Until my next post...


Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Ice Bucket Challenge

So, one day last week, my phone notified me that I had an Instagram message.  When I took the time to go to Instagram, I saw that I was nominated by SwimChicks friend for this Ice Bucket thing.  WHAT?!?!?!  There on the page was the friend with her mom, talking about ALS and fundraising.  My first thought was, "Are you crazy?"  But SwimChick was up for the challenge.

Here is what I found out:  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. (From the ALS website)

Someone started this Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS.  Read about the challenge here.  It is my understanding, that if you are challenged, you have 24 hours to accept and post your video OR/AND donate to the cause.  I have not seen my nominees post their videos, so I guess ALS will be getting some nice donations from those 4 individuals!

I have seen a lot of my friends on Facebook posting their videos.  The buckets range in size and I have seen ice in some but not all.  It is all in great fun and to raise awareness.  Thanks for the challenge ladies.

Here are our videos:

We did it!  We challenged our friends and are waiting to see their videos!

I can't find ChessMaster's video.  :(. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you can see it there!

Off n Running,
AnnMarie


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Race 7 for the year!

I was once again asked by neighbor to run in their company race - ROOTS & WINGS.  She asked me two weeks ago about it and which race would we like to do.  I said the 10k!  She said, "Really, that's 6 miles."  Yup it is.  She signed us up for the 5k.

Today was the race.  What a beautiful morning.  Because of construction the race course changed from last year, I thought this year was much flatter.  And was just as fun as last year.

Not sure of my official time but my Strava recorded 24:40.  I am pleased.

Now I need to figure out what other races I can add to my calendar to hit my goal of 14 in 2014!

Off n running,
AnnMarie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Race update

So many factors play into running, don't they?  When I posted my plan in April, I had every intention to do every race I posted!  I don't remember why I didn't run THE CUPCAKE RUN for Mother's Day, but I didn't do that one.


Then I got a call that the next Family-to-Family class hosted by NAMI was going to start in May and be held on Wednesday nights!  I will explain what that is when I am at a computer.  (I am in the car now on my way home from "up North".  Posting this from my phone.)   So, I chose not to run the Super Run in June.  This means I need to register for the only Strider Race left in order to get my jacket!!!!!

I did do the Hartfest Half June 15 at 1:00 in the afternoon.  It was a great course.  Multi terrain: paved bike trail, streets, crushed rock/dirt, and a university track!  With the crazy weather we have had here in WI I don't want to complain about the heat, but it was a bit warm for a half marathon.  They did an awesome job with this race.  I might just do it again next year.  

This is my selfie after the race.  I am still figuring out this hamstring-glute issue and getting motivation to get my butt out the door, at this point I had not run/trained much.  I finished in 2:03, unofficially.  (Updated July 20, 2014:  Official time is here!  2:06.18)  I was totally motivated by my friends who had run the Summerfest Rock n Sole Half that morning.  

With the calendar refusing to stop flipping pages, I got a burst of motivation (still not sure what brought it on!)  I ran 3 miles every day this past week.  Thursday I was lazy and didn't squeeze in a run, but race two in the Strider Challenge was on Friday July 4!  I still can't believe how excited I was driving to the race that morning!  

I ran the Firecracker Four.  This was another fun course. We started at a park and wound through neighborhoods on a paved course.  Then we rounded the last corner and hit a soccer field to finish.  That was kind of awesome actually, because the course was lined with spectators cheering like crazy.  Talk about motivation to look good and finish!!!!  My unofficial time for that race is 23:39 for 4 miles.  Cool, my Strava app says I averaged 8:27/mile!  What a fun way to celebrate Indepenence Day!  (The race results are here.  I ran the 4 mile course in 33:41.  It says I placed 7th in my age group.  WOO HOO!!!!)

Then I drove home, packed up with the family and headed for the Northwoods.  

Yesterday, July 5, 2014 was the Run for the Paws.  It was their 5 year anniversary.  My sister is the race director and this year the race benifitted both the Forest County Humane Society and the Crandon High School Cross Country Team!  Awesome.   I helped at the registration table before hand.  Left my post long enough to use the Port-O-Potty and line up!  This too is a fun loop course.  There is a section where you go "off roading" and run past the Humane Society building.  This is a much smaller race than the huge ones in the Milwaukee area.  Most of my family comes and helps out and runs including kids!

I finished this race, unofficially in 25:40.  Strava says 8:16/mile!  Not too shabby if I do brag a bit myself!  I guess I earn bragging rights, I won my age group!  (Results:  Officially 25:30!)


My sister with two of her cutie pies running the race too.


Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another one in the books

Note: original draft date was 6/16/14!

So, it has been AGES since I made time to blog...

If you recall, I took a couple challenges on this year.  One with the local running club, where I signed up for 8 races.  I completed race number 2 over the weekend.



I did get to watch my friends run the Summerfest Rock N Sole races.  These signs were placed all over the course last year.  I took a few photos as a spectator!

So true!  Proud of all those who finished what they started. 

Thankful I didn't need to do this!


On Saturday June 14, 2014 was the inaugural Hartfest Half Marathon.  It was at 1:00pm!  It got hot and I got to work on my runners tan!  

I have been trying to fix my hamstring injury.  Found an awesome Physical Therapy place and have been trying to do my exercises daily.  (I forgot how to do some of them!). Because of the injury, I did not train for this half as I would/should have!  All in all I survived another half, and will do another one.

Results: 2:06, not bad, if I do say so myself!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Race Calendar for 2014

I know it is already April, and I should have put this up a couple of months ago, but here it is as of today!

I have been slowly getting my act together here and will be adding some races yet.  I did officailly sign up for the Badgerland Strider Challenge AND 14 in 2014 challenge over at Jill's site.  I will mark my races and let you know how I am doing here as well.  SO here it is…

January 19, Tinkerbell Half in California^

April 5, South Shore Half* in Milwaukee, WI

May 10, Cupcake Run 5K in Bayside, WI

June 11, Super Run 5K* in Milwaukee, WI
June 14, Hartfest Half* in Wauwautosa, WI

July 4, Firecracker 4* in Hales Corners
July 5, Run 4 the Paws in Crandon, WI  Sign up here!
July 27, Cudahy Classic 10 Mile* 

August 16 ?Madison Mini?  Thinking about joining two friends here.  Not sure yet if I will run this or not.
August 23, Strider Half Marathon* in Milwaukee, WI

September 6, Tosa-fest 5K* in Wauwautosa, WI

October 25, Lakefront Discovery Run 15K* on Milwaukee, WI

November 9, Jingle Jungle 5k with RunDisney in Florida
November 9, Wine & Dine Half wiht RunDisney in Florida^


*  These are the races in the Badgerland Strider Challenge
^  These are the races in the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge


Monday, April 7, 2014

South Shore Half Marathon

Me with my neighbor, best mother runner, Paula just before the run started.

So back in January, I had time to read through my running club newsletter.  I had seen in the past that they host a challenge and they are doing it again this year.  The challenge is to complete 8 of 9 races they host starting in January and ending in November.  (They host and sponsor many races, there are 9 specific races to choose from for this challenge!). I got out my calendar and there was only a conflict with the November race!!!!  I was in!!!!!

So Saturday April 5, was the first of the races/runs in this challenge.  It was tough but I had my Best Running Friend with me every step of the way.  

*Side note: I started physical therapy on my hip/leg last week.  If you didn't know, I pulled something in my butt last summer.  I vowed, in February, to get it figured out and found a place...FINALLY!  So I am doing my exercises and the therapist adjusted something in my right hip, that I probably messed up on Saturday!

I have always said that you learn something at every race.  This time I relearned that I really need to follow a training plan!  Paula was kind enough to stay with me for the entire race, we crossed the finish together- IT WAS AWESOME!  Then we had to crawl up a hill and hobble back to our car!  We are both sore still today.  Lesson learned by both of us.

For not training and being injured, I am proud to say we finished in 2 hours and 11 minutes. And I have my first run of the challenge completed!  Woo hoo!!!!!! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ahhhh massage...

* Note:  I started writing this article on March 8, 2014!!!

This weekend  is the AMTA-WI (American Massage Therapy Association) Spring Education conference in Milwaukee.  I am the secretary for the Chapter.  A year ago, I decided to fill a vacant seat and am up for re-election this year.  I did this "job" a couple of years back for something like 5 years.  It is a pretty simple job really.  In return for taking the minutes at every meeting, I get to go to some fun places.  This Spring the conference is in Milwaukee, so I didn't have to travel far.  In the fall, the conference is in Eau Claire, my college town!!!!

Today is March 21, the second day of Spring.  I am cleaning up the house and my blog today!  I did get re-elected to the Board that weekend.  I am excited to go to Eau Claire in August and cannot WAIT to run the streets again there!  I am also going to take some facial massage classes.  Not sure what is more exciting to me the classes or getting to run over my old stomping grounds.  LOL!

I was going to write about the benifits of massage for runners.  I will tell you that it really does help in the recovery after hard work outs.  Many professional athletes as well as Olymipans get massages at least once every other week if not every week.  If you want to read some articles on the benifits of massage check out the AMTA website here!

On this website you will find all kinds of AWESOME information.  Including information on the National convention this fall in Denver, CO.  As a board member, we need to submit a letter of intent to the rest of the board.  I have been thinking about my letter and am going to submit one in the next week.  I would LOVE to see Dr. Oz and check out Denver!

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New motivation found...

Seems my posts from my iphone have not made it to the actual site.  Hhhhmmmm… I will have to look into that!

I have been a busy beaver here in my little corner of the world.  The weekend of March 5, I was at the AMTA-WI Chapter Spring Conference.  I was elected as the chapter secretary for another 2 years.  Kind of exciting really.  I will blog about that another time.  Today I want to tell you of some awesome blogs I have found in the past few weeks!

First, I am not sure if I have linked up with Another Mother Runner here.  So I am going to plug them again.  I know I mentioned that I got to meet Sarah and Dimity in January at the Tinkerbell Half.  These two are awesome.  They are moms just like me trying to stay healthy and fit for their families.  Every Wednesday they offer a giveaway.  They have been following a mother runner on her marathon training every Friday.  Once a week they offer a Follow that Mother post and highlight a mother runner blogger.  I think this is how I found Jill.  Maybe I found her on Instagram or Pinterest…  At any rate, I am now getting her emails in my inbox.

Yesterday, I was reading over a challenge Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness put forth.  March 20 is the first official day of Spring on the calendar.  Jill is hosting a virtual race to welcome Spring.  As I was reading about this challenge, I saw she is also hosting a 14 races in 2014 challenge.  If you know me at all I am up for a good challenge!  I have not taken the time to read through all of her race plans, but started to think about mine.  I think this is TOTALLY do-able for me.  I already have one race in this year and signed up for 8 more with Badgerland Striders.  Plus my friend, D and I signed up for the Disney Wine & Dine Half in November.  I am also going to do the Jungle Jingle 5K that weekend.  (It's all about the awesome medals!!!!!)  SO if I am counting right, that is 11 races right there.  Lets not forget the Run 4 the Paws in July, the my sister is the race director for and that I hope to make this year!  If I sign up for Jill's virtual race that would make 13!

That's it, I am signing up for both the 14 in 2014 and Jill's virtual race this weekend.  I will keep you posted.

Off N Running to yoga this morning,
AnnMarie

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Day 6 of 45...

Whew, what a week!  I am on the bike again today.  I am thinking about the past few weeks and realized that I have not been updating everyone on my successes and pitfalls very consistently.

I started my 45 day challenge on February 10.  I was doing well, I guess, until last weekend when I got a flu bug or something.  So, I restarted my challenge on Monday February 24 with a 45 minute ride on my beautiful Felt bike.  I shared my tragic flu story with my Monday night client.  We decided to do an 8:00am yoga class on Tuesday.  She announced at yoga, that she was going to join me on my challenge and that was day one for her!  Cool I have someone to be accountably to, awesome!!!!  

When I went home to tell my husband, he replied, "You're doing a challenge?"  Seriously, I don't think he listens and HEARs me when I talk! Anyway, today is day 6 for me.  My butt bones are not too sure what to think about sitting on that seat, but my legs are loving it!

I have not added more yoga as I wanted to.  I have not gotten to a chiropractor or figured out what is bothering my butt.  I did roll it out on the ball and that seemed to help.  So I'm going to add rolling daily to my list.

*NOTE:  Written on March 1, and posted March 2, so today is day 7 of 45.  Off to yoga at the gym…

Off N Running,
AnnMarie

What to do on the bike for 45 minutes?

So, that's a great question.  It is much harder to read on your bike when it is not a recombant stationary bike, that's for sure.  It is harder to blog here too.  Today I am sacrificing my time to get a post in because I haven't in a few days.


This is a pile of books that I gathered up from my shelves.  Once apon a time, I belonged to a couple of sites for bloggers who read and posted their review on their blog.  Some of these books are from that time.  Some I bought for guidance and wisdom for myself, some were gifts... 

I follow some bloggers that post their list of reading material and it got me thinking about my time on my bike and trying to make the minutes pass faster.  Over the course of this challenge I have used my time to listen to some podcasts, check my mail, blog and read.  

Yesterday, it sank in that Lent starts on Wednesday.  As a Catholic, we observe in three ways: fasting, prayer and alms giving.  I think I am going to focus on getting the sugar out of my diet over lent, I am also going to tackle this pile of books, or at least the POWER OF A PRAYING  MOTHER one.  And this weekend I am going to talk to my children about who we can give to and how.  

I think that is a good plan, don't you.  Of course I will still be figuring out my training plan for all the races ahead this year, too!  

*NOTE:  I wrote this on March 1, 2014.  Editied and posted on March 2, 2014.  

Planning on a yoga class today for my exercise.  I also sat down and scheduled time with my trainer again, I have not worked out with her since maybe Christmas time!?!!?  SO, I booked all of the Mondays in March and what she had available in April, that's a start and gets me to my next race.  I am planning, weather and children illness permitting to attend the Hard Core Class on Tuesday mornings and the 7-week Interval Treadmill class on Thursday mornings at the gym.  Now to get the running legs back and add more yoga classes…  Currently I am committed to a 6am Wednesday yoga session, I would like to add at least 2 more times a week to that schedule.  Fingers crossed that it happens by April!!!  Happy Sunday to you all.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Monday, February 24, 2014

45 day challenge RESTART...

I was doing so well too!  Over the weekend, I get sick.  :(  I threw up and everything.  Light-headed, achey, and just plain yucky feeling all over.  Needless to say that won over my challenge.  I was really mad about it all too, as I was doing so well.  For those just joining me, read about my challenge to myself here.

Yesterday, I sat down with my calendar and my training plans and looked at the year ahead.  Or at least to my first race this Spring.  I am not sure if I told you all that I signed up for a running challenge with the Badgerland Striders Running Club in Milwaukee, but I took the plunge.  The challenge…  Run 8 of 9 races that the Striders host, starting with a half marathon on April 5!  (South Shore Half Marathon)  I looked at my calendar and the only race that I cannot commit too is the last one in November.  (If I am re-elected to the massage Board that I am currently on, we have something planned that day already.  AND if the Spartan Race is the same weekend as last year, that is the same weekend...)  When I cross all 8 finish lines, I will earn a Strider jacket!  AWESOME!!!!!  Plus I get all the race swag before that.  I see I am going to get some gloves in April.  I have been told they are pretty loud colored, that makes them even cooler!!!!  If you want to join me in the Super Strider Challenge, go here and sign up.  We can attend the banquet/party together.

Today, is day one of the challenge re-start.  I biked for 45 minutes and hope to start adding some strength stuff this week.  I really need to get into a yoga routine too.  Baby steps, and I will have the perfect work out plan.  As it is I have about 6 weeks, I think to get ready for this first half marathon.  I still have yet to see a doctor or chiropractor about my butt issue.  So that is on the adgenda for this week too.  One day at a time I guess.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie


Friday, February 21, 2014

My training partner...

My beautiful bike, a birthday/mother's day gift one year.
                                   

We got the bike trainer back!  

So, my DH, I love him but…  A couple of years back, he had this contraption called a bike trainer.  OK, for those who know me, I am a farm girl.  I didn't have a good place to learn to ride a bike except for the grass and gravel roads!  I didn't know the difference in bikes until I graduated from college and some of my track and cross country team mates started something called cross training and triathlons.  What the heck is all that about?  I just ran.  

Fast forward back to this contraption my DH bought/inherited from someone, I can't even remember the story correctly.  Anyway, he got this thing, set it up one winter in the basement and used it maybe two times.  (Honestly, he had good intentions.)   He complained that it was crooked and clicked and was too loud and…  You get the point, I hope.  It collected dust in the corner.  Then two winters ago, he insisted that he would use a trainer all winter, if it worked correctly, to be prepared for riding into work all summer.  (In my head I thought YEAH RIGHT!!!)  So off to the bike store he went and came home with my new training buddy!  

Last winter, after I finished the Tyranena Half Barrel race.  I rested a few weeks, then my body started to morph back to flabby.  He had set up the trainer and used it a couple of days/weeks.  I asked him if I could use it and one morning before he went off to work he hooked my bike up to it.  Isn't she pretty!!!!  I used it quite a bit in February and March of last year to get back into sweating again.  Then the snow melted and I met with D to encourage her to start running and the next thing I knew the trainer was back in storage.  I completed 3 half marathons last summer and it was AWESOME!!!!

Here we are in this weird fridged winter in WI and I do not have the right winter gear to be out in the elements.  Summer clothes are sooooo much easier to come by, anyway, I am getting off topic.  And my DH lends the trainer out!  YOU DID WHAT?  I thought!  That is my training buddy, how dare you do that without talking to me and getting approval!!!!  OK calm down AnnMarie, I can go to the club and use their bikes and elliptical trainers for rehab.  That was ok for awhile, but the 10 minutes to the club and 10 minutes back cuts into my training and sleeping time.  SO, we had to ask for our trainer back.  

I set her up on Tuesday.  Today, Friday is my 3rd day of using her!  She is going to get a few good 45 minute rides in this next month as I get this leg/butt thing figured out.  Welcome back training buddy.  See you again tomorrow.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day, workout check in

It is 5:50am, I left the house before anyone else was up, so as of this time I have not gotten any Valentines.   I am getting in my 45 minutes of exercise though.  :)

I did make cards and treats for my husband and children.  If they have not been devoured by the time I get home, I'll take a photo.

Want to update you on my 45 challenge...  I have biked a couple of days, did yoga a couple and had to do Wii Fit U another.  We own a bike trainer and my husband loaned it out.  I want it back!!!!!!   I could just as easily bike on time trainer in my basement as come to the club and waste 20 minutes driving.

Cutting my bike today short so I can go home and make pancakes for my family!

Will update as i go,,,

Off n running
AnnMarie 

Monday, February 10, 2014

45-minute challenge starts today!



Yesterday was a fun filled 45th birthday.  I decided I have to beat the winter blues and get my body healed.  Staying inside is not fun!  So I set a goal, I small about those, and I do not want to disappoint my kids or myself.  

The challenge:  Do at least 45 minutes of exercise a day for the next 45 days, plus.  I picked 45 because it is my new sassy age.   Last summer, during a run, I did something to one of my butt muscles and it is still bothersome.  During this 45 day health kick in the pants, I WILL be searching out doctors and other healthcare providers to figure out what I did and how to fix the problem.

The challenge:  Clean up my diet!  I truly believe I have a Candida overgrowth in my system.  I currently have toe fungus  (eeewwww), and crave sugar ALL THE TIME.  The past two or three
 days, I have woken up with a yeasty smell on my hands.  Gross!!!!!  

So here we go....  I chose the bike today because it does not agrivate my butt too much! And I can blog and read while on the stationary bike too.  Almost at 40 minutes in and read my devotion, worked up a good sweat and finished this posting.  Not a bad start to my day.

Off N Running,
AnnMarie 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

Today is my birthday.  I was born on February 9, 1969 to Marilynn J Ihm and Francis W Ihm.  We lived in a small village.  Dad worked for a meat packing company.  Mom stayed home mostly, and worked part time at the church (I think!)  I am their first born.  As I hit this milestone date, and think of the past and the future, I wonder what they think of my turning 45?!?!

I mean really, in May my oldest will be 13 and I think, "When did that happen?  How can she be so big already?!?!"  Do my parents think that way too?  I pray that they look at that number and see how much I have grown and still need to learn, as I do when my babies have birthdays.  I also pray they are pleased with how I have turned out and how I am doing as a mom and parent myself.

I am not sure how I will celebrate the day…  I would LOVE to do a yoga class and soak in a hot bath.  We will see as the day moves forward.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Anniversary


Today, February 6, 2014 is the 20 year anniversary of my graduation from massage school!

Holy moly!!!!!!  That seems like a very long time.  I am not going to tell you about how I came to get to massage school, but I think I want to recap my journey from graduation to today.


Some know that I was still at UW-Eau Claire when I finished massage school.  I got hired in April, after a failed internship, where I also tried to set up a massage practice.  During my time with the university, I dabbled with my massage practice at two different salon/spas in Eau Claire.  One of the places was an Aveda salon, and sent me to learn about their spa services.  That was cool.  

The first chance I got, I took my test to become a Nationally certified massage therapist.
I was the only massage therapist for almost 3 years at the University.  I really loved working there.  I worked on students, faculty and staff.  I knew the Athletic Trainer, who promoted me to the athletes and coaches.  Thanks for that Jeff!

During my short time as a therapist in Eau Claire, I applied for a class in Florida on Sports Massage.  It was an extensive application, because part of class included setting up a clinic where we worked on the British Olympic athletes.  They came to Florida a few weeks before heading to Atlanta to compete in the summer games.  That was SOOOOO AWESOME!

My official ID Badge from class in FL.

In 1997, I moved to the Madison area.  I lived there for about a year and a half.  During my short stop, I sort of drug my feet at getting a massage practice started, because I knew that I was not going to be there long.  I did work a few months at a salon/spa there.  My schedule was tight and I couldn't give much availability.  It was very short lived.  Also, during this time I attended my first AMTA WI Chapter meeting and class.

After my engagement in February of 1998, I started looking for a massage job in the Milwaukee Area.  I told my future husband that I would really like to stay home with kids and do massage somewhere.  That would be my ideal.  I found two job postings in the paper, one at the Jewish Community Center and one at a YWCA.  They both hired me!

I started both jobs in September of 1998.  I LOVED going to the JCC.  All the folks there were so helpful and friendly.  There were a couple of other therapists at that location and we all shared one massage room.  Even those other therapists were friendly.  The YWCA was just the opposite. One massage room and two therapists. I was replacing a therapist who was starting her own business and her sister or was it a cousin, made me feel as though I was there to steal all the clients!  That was crazy.  And I vowed to NEVER make a therapist feel like that ever!  I didn't stay there for very long.

In 1998, the state of Wisconsin started better regulations.  This was the year we had to become registered with the state. So, I have been state certified/ registered/ and licensed since 1999.


The JCC was a great place to work and I was with them for 9 years.  They started a remodel project in 2004 (I think!). And it was to include a spa area.  I was excited to see the changes.  Then I got pregnant with my last baby.  That summer I found out about a new club opening in my neighborhood.  I was lured in by the FREE day care offer. 

In 2005, I applied to be on the AMTA-WI Board of Directors.  I was elected to be the secretary that spring conference.  I was the secretary until 2009, I think it was.  I stepped down because of the baby and the kids getting into school stuff.

For my next adventure, I applied to the Wisonsin Athletic Club and interviewed in September 2006.  The next day my doc put me on Maternity leave!  I re-interviewed in February 2007. Next month I celebrated 7 years there!

I really enjoy working for the WAC at this time in my life.  The pay is not as good as I had at the JCC, but I get free day care and membership.  I also have the opportunity to pursue my interest in personal training and yoga, with help from them.

Wow, 20 years...I have met a lot of great clients and therapists.  Thank you all. Here's to another 20, God willing!

Off N Running,
AnnMarie


Happy Mail


A few weeks ago, my prayer partner sent me a forwarded message from this artist.  I saw at the bottom of the email, this blogger has an app called INSTANT PEP TALK.  I signed up, because it is a free app and who couldn't use an instant pep talk once in awhile!  :)

I really am enjoying these posters she creates.  I do not know a lot about this blogger/artist but THANK YOU!  I especially liked this poster.  It has been about a year now since my best friend and I had a lunch date that changed a lot in both if our lives.

A long story short, she cut off all ties and has moved on.  We were Girl Scout leaders together for 8 years.  I am still not sure exactly what I did wrong, but I too am moving forward.  It has been a year of changes and I am leaning on God more as I move forward.

This is not the first and I am sure not the last time I upset a friend.  Or one of us gets too busy, moves out of town, ...  This summer will be the 18th year anniversary of my meeting my husband.  He is the cousin of my then best friend.  Man, did I mess that relationship up at the time, over a boy even!!!!!!  I am not sure that I ever prayed on the situation and we have since moved past that weekend.  She was my personal attendant and witness at our wedding and a few years later I stood up in hers.  She lives in Northern WI, and I see her when we go visit family, so I am greatful for that and her friendship.  (She recently FaceBook messaged me about a 5k/half marathon in Eau Claire this summer.  I might help create another mother runner!). ;)

Anyway, if you get a chance you should check out the Instant Pep Talk app.  I know it is available for Apple devices, it is on the family iPad too.  You can set a timer so you get a reminder about it daily.  

Enjoy it for yourself and let me know in the comments here if you found a poster that speaks to you.  And if you have been enjoying my posts, please feel fee to follow me here!

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tinkerbell half Marathon...


What a fun run…  If you have NEVER done a Disney race, you have got to save up for it and go.  Their expo is HUGE!!!  I didn't even get to see all the booths, because we wanted to meet my friend and tour LA.  As you saw in Friday's post, I went with money to spend and intentions of purchasing fun stuff.  I will blog about those items another time, for now  ON WITH THE SHOW….

The race was scheduled for 5:00am start time.  As with most big races I have attended this past year, the start line was by corrals.  The letter on your bib number is where you are slotted to start.  Do you see my letter?!?!?  How in the world did I get slotted for corral A?  I saw that if you plan on running a 2:30 or less time you got into corral A.  That's pretty cool, all my halves have been less than 2 hours.

I started with D in her corral.  Even she was shocked to see that she was slotted for corral C.  Pretty cool for her first half.  When you register for these events, they ask what you believe you will finish in. And they ask for proof of faster times.  So, I put on my registeration the Summerfest Rock N Sole time, and that I would be running in the Madison Mini and Brewer Mini later in the year.  We couldn't remember if D's only proof of time was ther Summerfest Rock N Sole 5K, or if she told them of her 10k time as well.  No matter, we waited our turn in corral C.  It was AMAZING!!!  So many people dressed up as characters.  We saw all sorts of fairies, Captain Hooks, Smee's, even some of the villains were there.

Many people can't believe they start the races so early in the morning.  Sometimes they have to start that early because of the heat of the day.  I think Disney does it to show off the lighting in the parks.  It is sooooooo cool.  Keeps you hyped up for the whole race, that's for sure.

 
At the starting line.  (Sorry its blurry!?!?!)
There were lines to meet characters:
The Incredibles



Now entering Magic Kingdom...

Me: Turn around, I will get you with the castle.
D:  What?  Are you crazy?
Me:  Yup!!!!  LOL.
(Her daughter made "Shwings" for her shoes.  They are cool!)


I HAD to stop and get a photo of the race namesake.

It's a Small World all lit up.  Oh, look a runner dressed as Tink in my photo too!

It was a fun race day.  We crossed the line together at 3:09.  D only walked at the water stations and even tried her first Clif Shot.  Told me she does not want to try something called GU. The name alone grosses her out.  LOL!

The finish line proof.  She did it.  I am sooooo proud of all she has learned in the past year and how far she has come.  Keep up the awesome work and keep sharing your amazing success story with everyone!!!!!

A close up of the medal.  Tink spins in the middle.  And this baby is HUMUNGOUS!!!

Now to save up for our Coast To Coast adventure in November!  Visit runDisney to learn more about this challenge and all the fun races they have to offer.  

Off n Running,
AnnMarie