Monday, February 28, 2011

16 Miles the Hard Way...

Last week was week 7 of the marathon training.  I also officially registered for the full at the Memorial.

I was feeling pretty good, and a little nervous, about the 16 miles we had planned to run Saturday morning.  I got up, dropped water off at an added water stop and was running late getting to the Y.  Needless to say I just felt off my game from the start.  I had to hurry and get myself bundled up to get out there and it took about a mile or so for me to just relax into the run.

There were only three of us out there this weekend for the full, me, Abby, and Rochelle, and our plan was to walk a minute every two miles.  We had our first bathroom stop for Abby at about 4 miles (really you should not let a man plan running routes for women, because we only passed one bathroom the whole time and that was about mile 9), and our first water stop was at about mile 5.  It was cold and there was a pretty dense fog that didn't seem to burn off all morning.  I had to call Josh to bring me my waterproof jacket because by mile 5 my fleece was soaking wet from the moisture in the air.

There were hills too.  Big hills, big I-can't-see-over-the-next-one type of hills, and at the half way point I completely started to break down.  My hamstrings, my shins, my quads, the tops of my feet, my knees, my back, everything started to hurt at mile 8.  Everything except my toes, which is strange because my toes used to give me the most trouble.  Guess I figured that part out.

I am no pro when it comes to running, but I know you will just have bad days.  Days that make you want to burn your running shoes and never speak of it again kinds of days.  (I had a day like this at the Route 66 Half, when I suffered from hip pain for the second half of the race.)  I have been feeling so good lately I was unprepared for a day like this.

I did finish the run, even though I had to walk quite a bit after mile 15, and it was not pretty.  My legs are still pretty sore today, and Abby got me out to run 3 really windy and cold miles this morning, and my legs do still work, even if they do still hurt.  I plan on doing some more stretching tonight, and maybe breaking out the knee brace for my right knee for my run on Wednesday morning.

In my humble opinion running is about 90% mental, it's the ability to hit the wall and run right through it that is the hardest part.  Until Saturday I thought I was in a pretty great place mentally when it came to my running, but after 8 miles of that little voice in your head screaming at me that I am crazy the mental side of it all took a pretty big hit.  I am hoping for not a big jump in miles this weekend and no hills to help restore my running sanity.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blueberry Muffins...

It has been a few days since I baked anything and I was in the mood last night.  After working from home all day because Carson wasn't feeling well yesterday morning I had been noticing a lack of baked goods in my house.

I do realize that Carson no longer looks like the Cheetos cheese fingers little girl in the picture, but I can dream can't I?

We had white trim in our old house, and I was forever finding Cheetos cheese smudges in very low places in almost every room in our house.  Carson was very sticky as a child, things seemed to stick to her, but they managed to come off on our walls.

She didn't sleep well Wednesday night and I think was more exhausted than anything yesterday morning, but when those big tears started falling, I couldn't bring myself to make her go to school.  I probably should have.

I did get to spend the day working on my laptop, without any interruptions that are involved with being in the office, and I did manage to clean out the DVR a bit.  It had been bursting at the seams.

So after dropping Camy off at swim practice, I ran to Academy to stock up on supplies for tomorrow morning's 16 mile run.  (What have I gotten myself in to?)

I stocked up on Jelly Belly Sport Beans and some Organic Energy Chews and I searched for a water bottle with a handle on it, but could not find one.  I am still undecided on if I need one or not.  16 miles seems pretty far without constant hydration, but constant hydration means bathroom breaks, and I am not sure of the bathroom stops on our route.

Anyway, I got home and decided to whip up some blueberry muffins.  I almost opted for banana, because of the bananas that have been glaring at me from the counter, but instead I decided to make blueberry muffins a little healthier.  Instead of an egg I added a banana, and I am very happy with the results.

I even used olive oil instead of regular oil, and plain almond milk instead of regular milk.  I love how they turned out and can't wait to substitute bananas in other baked goods.

Better For You Blueberry Muffins
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook


  • 1-3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1    banana, mashed
  • 3/4  cup  almond milk
  • 1/4  cup  olive oil
  • 3/4  cup frozen blueberries
  • 1  recipe  Streusel Topping (optional for plain and sweet variations)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
2. In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. If desired, sprinkle Streusel Topping over muffin batter in cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.
4. Makes 12 muffins
Streusel Topping: In a small bowl stir together 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here We Go...

Last Saturday, I got to enjoy a nice short run.  The week before we did 13 miles in 2:05, so the 5K last weekend was a nice break.  I guess we are jumping right back into it this coming Saturday.

Looking at the map of this weekend's route really makes me want to throw up.  16.3 miles seems like a really long distance to run.  I realize the stupidity in that statement, because it IS a really long way to run.

Being mentally tough as a runner is more than half the battle in my opinion, and I try to be as mentally tough as I need to be.  One of the best thing about having a group of people to run with is that their support helps to make up for any shortfalls I might have in my mental toughness.

Maybe I need to do some deep breathing to help calm the butterflies in my stomach, because it is only Wednesday, and if it is stressing me out this much already, I am going to be a mess by Saturday.

I know that each week from here on out will be longer and longer, so maybe after this weekend my nerves will calm down.  Physically, I believe I can do it, but there is always that little voice in my head telling me that I am crazy.  I need to start ignoring that little voice.

So I'm gonna see about getting a hand held water bottle, and some Jelly Belly Sport Beans to carry with me, and I'm going to make sure that my ipod is loaded with good running music, that my Garmin is fully charged and just get out there.  I am thinking that Friday night will be spaghetti night at the Craig house for the next couple of months.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thanks to THIS lovely lady for the idea that came from someone else.

ABC's of ME!!
(A) Age: 36

(B) Bed Size: King, seriously, I would never go back to a Queen!

(C) Chore You Hate: dishes period.  I love to cook and bake, but I would pay someone to come do the clean up for me if I could.

(D) Dogs? Boston Terrier, Lucy, she was 14 when we had to put her down last year, Boston Terrier, Rocky, he's 3 and he's the sweetest most sensitive dog with the lowest self esteem you've ever met, French Bulldog, Penny, we call her Penny the Pig Dog, and she would be a vegetarian if she could, she loves her veggies.

(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: A good workout.

(F) Favorite Color: Pink, definitely

(G) Gold or Silver? Silver

(H) Height: 5'8.5''

(I) Instruments You Play: Saxophone in junior high.

(J) Job Title: Contracts Administrator, this translates into a job where some days I don't even know what I do.

(K) Kids:  Camy and Carson 10-year-old twin girls.

(L) Live: Norman, OK.  Boomer Sooner!

(M) Mom's Name: Diana

(N) Nicknames: Beck, Becks, mom

(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? 1. 27 weeks pregnant, 5 days for a fever and contractions 2. C-Section

(P) Pet Peeve: Diets, and people thinking that eliminating carbs (or sugar, or whatever) from their diet is going to help them loose weight.  Diets don't work.

(Q) Quote from a Movie: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

(R) Right or Left Handed? Right

(S) Siblings: Older sister, Jen, twin sister, Karen, little brother Billy.  (These siblings have made it possible for me to have 12 nieces and nephews!)

(T) Time You Wake Up?  5 on week days to usually get in a workout before the rest of the family is up, and usually by 7 at the latest on the weekends.

(U) Underwear: yes

(V) Vegetable You Dislike: green beans.  I LOVE green vegetables, broccoli, peas, spinach, but I hate green beans.

(W) What Makes You Run Late: I work hard to be on time but sometimes life just gets in the way.

(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: both ankles (fell down the stairs at work once, sprained both), both knees (have had lateral releases on both R in 2006, L in 2010), had a chest x-ray when I was pregnant and in the hospital for a fever and contractions.

(Y) Yummy Food You Make: I love to bake.  Cookies and cupcakes.  I also love to cook.

(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: I love the monkeys.

If you do this on your blog, leave me comment and let me know- I want to know that ABC's of YOU!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heart for Haiti 5K...

I ran my first 5K race in 133 days yesterday.  My last 5K was the Race for the Cure in October and I had a PR of 26:18.  I had been tasked, by Tommy, to take 30 seconds off my training pace for the Marathon.  While I don't believe I am running a 9 minute pace for the marathon, I was shooting for an 8:30 pace.

I set my Garmin to beep at me if I dropped below my set pace and just gave it everything, and I didn't leave anything out there.  I finished in 24:36, a time I NEVER thought I would see as a runner.  It was a small race, but even so I won my age group and was the 4th overall woman in the race.  So now I don't ever need to run another 5k again, right?

This is our picture of irony.

Christie, Stacy, Kim, Holly, me, Jesica, Bob, Jeanne and Cherri
Kim, me and Jesica

Stacy and I before the race.

Getting ready to run!

I sure look silly when I run.
Here's me during the race.  I don't know why I look like such a dork when I run.  I don't feel like a dork when I run, but I just don't seem to photograph well in action.  I think I look like I am walking instead of running, and what's up with the thumbs?
 Stacy, Bob and I with our post race snack.  The dorkiness seemed to remain after I finished running.

Holly, Cherri, Jeanne, me and Kim.
The beauty of the small race is that five of us from our running group at the Y won our age groups!  My first medal for placing in a race.  It wasn't a very nice medal though.  Maybe one day I will win a trophy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Holy Cow!

So I had planned to meet some running friends this morning for a short 3 mile run outside.  Yesterday the prospect of the temps being in the 50s seemed very exciting.  With all the record breaking freezing temps and snow of the last two weeks here in Oklahoma, 50s seemed like heaven.

You can imagine my surprise this morning when I got up and checked the temp on my iPhone and it said 61 degrees!  61 degrees?  That's almost bathing suit weather in comparison to what we have been suffering through for the last few weeks.

I do still live in Oklahoma so it was pretty windy out, but in my running capris and my long sleeve shirt I actually got a little hot.  The winds were pretty strong, but I'll take a little wind over temps that are 30 and below.  It's so nice to have run outside twice already this week.

Now I get to take it easy and rest up for the race on Saturday.  I seem to get knots in my stomach whenever I think about it.  It's only 3.1 miles, and I did 13 last Saturday.  Tommy have tasked with running it at about a 8:30 pace, which is kinda freaking me out.  I remember not too long ago when 3.1 miles wasn't something I could run continuously.  My how things have changed!

Happy Thursday, and if you can get out there with this beautiful weather today, I would highly recommend it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frosting for the Cause

So I stumbled across a new blog the other day.  Turns out it's a blog after my own heart!  From the blog,  the info about the project is:

Beginning January 1, 2011 a total of 365 sugar cookie & cupcake bakers/decorators and bloggers from across Canada and the United States will take turns doing a guest post here at Frosting for the Cause. Once a day, every day for a year you will be treated to a new and talented blogger who will showcase their home-made, hand-decorated cookies or cupcakes together with their recipes. Almost everyone, everywhere, has been touched by cancer in one form or another. The guest bakers will also share in a very personal manner with readers of Frosting for the Cause, about a woman in their life who had to face this terrible disease head-on.

So I volunteered to submit a guest post.  I have already registered for the Rock N Roll half marathon in Dallas next month, and committed to raising at least $1,000 for Komen for the Cure, so this is just one more think that I can do.

In fact, I am getting closer and closer to my goal of $1,300 for the half marathon.  My newest fundraising strategy, rather than just asking people for money, is to bake for my donors.  For each donation of at least $25 I have been baking cookies, either chocolate chip or sugar cookies.  This seems to be working out quite well for me so far.  I am currently at $670 raised, so I'll keep pushing my baked goods on people in return for donations.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Race this Weekend...

So I ended up not running the Sooner State Games trail run last weekend.  After all the snow, and having to run inside the weekend before, my body was really wanting to run outside, but it also needed to get some serious miles in.  The fact that I don't like mud, was also a factor, and from what I hear I made a good choice for me.  I hear the trails were muddy and wet.  So maybe I'll give it a try next year, or later this year when all the ticks have died out!

Had a great training run on Saturday, we did EXACTLY 13 miles, and which is .1 short of an official half, but I was ready to be done and my Garmin said 13 so I stopped.  We finished in 2:05, which is over 11 minutes faster than the Route 66 half in November.  Not sure where that speed came from, I keep saying that I am trying to keep up with Abby, but she claims I was setting the pace.  After about 11 miles I had to consciously think about my form, I could feel my body wanting to break down, but I stuck with it and it was a great run.  Makes me very excited for the Rock N Roll next month.

My legs did feel like they had been run over by a truck though, and when Kendra and I ran a short three outside (Yeah!) on Monday morning, I was surprised that my legs would even move after doing nothing all day Sunday.

So now, Kim has me signed up for the Heart for Haiti 5K in Norman this Saturday.  Our training was only supposed to be a short 4 miles, so why not run a race.  But then I started to think about it and it's been three months since the half, and a full 133 days since my last 5K.  Holy smokes!  133 days since the RFTC?  I ran my fastest 5K ever then, and I am wondering if I should call it a day and not run another 5K so I can say that the 26:19 is my best.  Can I run faster than that?  I have no idea.  Can I run slower than that?  You betcha!  I guess we'll see what happens.  After the unseasonable highs we get to have this week after the all time lowest temps in Oklahoma we had last week it should be a great morning for a race.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So Sick of Snow...

Okay, seriously, we live in Oklahoma.  I don't know what sort of alternate universe we have stumbled into in the last two weeks, but enough already.  Snow that lasts for days, and sub zero temps are really starting to get on my nerves.

My daughters have only gone to school three out of the last 9 school days, they are going to be in school well into June if this doesn't end.  We had record low temps in the state this morning, measured in NEGATIVE numbers.  By Tuesday it's going to be close to 70 degrees outside.  Really?  That would be about a 100 degrees warmer than it was in some parts of the state this morning.  Snow days that turn into sick days, that's what I am predicting.

Something you might not know about me is that I am really not much for the outdoors.  As a kid, I preferred to stay inside and read to going outside and getting dirty.  That being said, as I officially became a runner last year, I discovered that I love running outside.  I can't believe I used to actually enjoy running on the treadmill.  What the hell was I thinking?

I finally got to the point where I believed that I would not die running outside when it's about 35 degrees out, and mother nature give me snow, ice, and temps in the single digits.  Although, next week's temps are going to seriously feel like summertime.

I am hoping that I will only have to suffer through one more Saturday of treadmill/track/treadmill running.  I didn't get my full 10 miles in last week because I opted for some cross training, which means that I pretty much have to run 11 miles on Saturday or I will feel very behind on my marathon training.

This is Oklahoma, and they say if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute.  I wish this wintry mess would be gone in just a minute.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day, Day Three...

The scene outside our front window still looks like a winter wonderland.  Today is day three of sub-freezing temps here in Oklahoma.  Today is also the third snow day for the kiddos, funny how if the temps don't get above freezing everything stays frozen.

Tuesday, my office was actually closed, which has never happened in the 13+ years that I have worked there.  It was nice to have a real snow day.  I got to do some baking.

Homemade cinnamon rolls.  I got this recipe off of the Pioneer Woman's website.  I got the dough going on Monday evening, so it only took about an hour to have them all baked up on Tuesday morning.  It was my second attempt at this recipe, and they were well worth the work, and a million times better than anything you get from a can.

Carson even had one, and though she claims to not like cinnamon, she claimed they were better than the ones that come out of the can.  From her, that is high praise.

My free day of baking meant that I had to make cookies.  Last week, Carson was making her lunch and she got the last sugar cookie and looked at me and said "Mom, you need to bake some more cookies."  That's when it hit me, I have created a couple of monsters.  Ha!  I love that they love my homemade cookies.

I went with the chocolate crackle cookies that was reference on a blog that I follow.  The recipe is on Martha Stewart's website.  I did change it up a bit, using melted semi-sweet chocolate, and I added some mini chocolate chips to the batter, because more chocolate = better, right?

They turned out super chocolaty and they actually fit the theme of snow with their powdered sugar coating.  Yum.

The baking didn't end there.  I also baked a loaf of white bread.  I aspire to bake my own bread.  I have gotten pretty good at dinner rolls, and I just love the look of homemade dough after it has risen.  I must say the honey white bread turned out great.  I might try a second loaf today.  I do like knowing exactly what is in it, and it only has three tablespoons of honey and no sugar in it so that's a plus.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch yesterday and they were great with leftover potato soup I made on Tuesday.

No baking on Wednesday, as I had to log in and get some work done, and I'll have to get some work done from here today if I can get into my computer.  But I might be able to fit something in.

So for now, it's a winter wonderland outside, Josh should almost be to work now, and the girls are asleep in Carson's room.  She happens to have the warmest room in the house, I swear the temperature is about 15 degrees warmer than anywhere else in the house.  We set up the air mattress and Camy has been sleeping in there because her room can get pretty chilly.

Thankfully, the Norman Y will be open again today.  I've gotta get a workout in this afternoon, all this baking, cooking and sitting around is starting to catch up with me.