Saturday, November 7, 2009

Catching Up - Weeks 8 and 9 in Review . . . Jessica

I know, I know . . . I have been horribly bad about updating the blog.  While I am keeping up with walking, I feel like I am barely keeping up with the rest of my life.  I seriously think I may have a mild case of depression over the whole about to be homeless situation, and I am really stressed out about an upcoming wedding I am in (it's on the 21st and I haven't bought a dress yet).  Life never slows down it seems, but I do need to be better about posting here on the blog.

So week 8 - wow, um, we've been doing this for two months?  That is INSANE.  I am crazy proud of us.  And I am seeing total differences in my body and my stamina.

Week 9 - note of caution: don't try to do four miles with two babies in a double stroller.  We are lucky we got in just under two miles Sunday in the time it would usually take us to do at least 5.  We had to stop to feed James, so Maddie got to hang out on the playground with Liz.  She is quite the little daredevil and will go down the big slide by herself!  I will say, thought, that I am really proud of myself for walking on Saturday, we did over four miles on Halloween in between a four hour training I had to go to in the morning, and pumpkin carving and costume prep for our fun Halloween adventure that evening.  I was exhausted from staying up half the night before sewing a Mike Wazowski costume for James.  I am proud of myself for even remaining upright through the walk!  So glad I did it though because I am sure it pepped me up enough to manage to put the rest of Halloween together!

I am very sorry for falling behind on posts, I will attempt to be better from here on out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 8...Liz

Ok, first things first - I am relieved to say that no unconscious men were found laying anywhere on/around our walking path this week... so yay for that!  Now let's see...the last entry had Jess and I walking on a nearby trail and enjoying some nice scenery and a soft walking path.  I didn't think anything of our walk as it was done without any difficulty.  What I didn't realize at the time is how much my body (and most importantly my legs) had become used to the routine of our walks.  So much so that even the small change from pavement to trails made a huge impact!  Over the two to three days following our trail walk my legs felt stiff and heavy and though they did not hurt, it was certainly uncomfortable to feel my muscles contract & release with every step that I took...(um, could I please just stop for a second and acknowledge the fact that I'm writing about my muscles?...that's right, I have muscles!!!  Insert high pitched squeak here...!)  Anyway, this made Wednesday's walk challenging and by the time I felt really warmed up the walk was already over!

Due to various reasons & scheduling conflicts, Jess and I did not walk together on Thursday and Saturday.  Thursday was no problem, I got out there and just did it...but by Saturday I was physically exhausted from a long week and a long Friday night trip to Disneyland.  By Saturday afternoon, I had my self convinced that walking on Saturday was just not meant to be...and boy did I have excuses!  I too many things to do, I was too tired and darn it, I deserved a day off from walking...right?!  So by now you see where this is going...and yes, I admit that I ended up sitting on my couch, turning on the TV on and veggin' for a while.  I tried to relax, really I did...but I just couldn't ignore that nagging guilty feeling that kept telling me the truth of the matter was that I was just being lazy.  It nagged and nagged until I realized I wouldn't be able to relax until I got my bottom up from the couch and walked the required distance.  Sigh.  Then I had an epiphany:  I must be truly dedidated as only true dedication made me get up from my couch.  So there you have moment of weakness.

Anyway, overall, the week was good and I'm still reveling on the fact that as of yesterday we have completed month 2!  So in summary, my thoughts as we wrap up the second month are that...

  • I'm still excited about this
  • I'm enjoying all the exercise
  • I love my muscles...and boy oh boy, do I have some now!  
  • Training has gone so fast!  Too fast!
  • I'm starting to think beyond March 2010...this may possibly turn into a lifestyle change!
Finally, before I go, I need to acknowledge my silent partner in all of this as he reads the blog too - my baby, my Danny.  All this training has required adjustments and some sacrifices and it really wouldn't be possible if Danny was not such a great, flexible kid.  He's been there on the hot days, on the cold and most recently walked the six mile distance with us with no complaints.  So thank you love,  I'm doing this as much for you as I'm doing it for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 7...Liz

Welcome back to another episode of "As the World Turns...Marathon Edition."  In this episode, our heroines find a random man sleeping/passed out on the sidewalk holding a pink stuffed bunny as they drive to their walking destination. Once again, they spring into action and call emergency services to report what they found.  What else will they find on their path to fitness?  Tune in next week for more exciting adventures on "As the World Turns..."

Hahaha...Ok, having a little fun there with this week's update, but it's all true!  Though by the latest incident of what I'm referring to as the "pink bunny" incident, I'm starting to wonder if we haven't crossed over to the Twilight Zone.  I mean, what are the chances?!  Two passed out men in two weeks?  This time around when I called emergency services the man was much more helpful and when he asked me for a description, I left out the pink bunny part because I was afraid he would not take me seriously.

Anyway, things are still crazy busy and I must admit to having a meltdown mid week partly because I felt so overwhelmed.  Listen, I'm used to being busy and generally I have energy to spare.  Friends have fondly compared me to the energizer bunny and such so that tells you something...but trying to fit in training is intense.  This week was specially challenging in many different ways, partly because I had to travel to Sacramento for work making my already busy schedule even busier.  Then there was the weather which can't make up its mind about what to be.  First there was the rain...which threw a wrench into our walking plans.  We managed to walk for a while which was great and we even enjoyed the soft misty feel of the light sprinkle of rain as we walked.  However, it had rained much harder before and the ground was wet and becoming slippery so when I slipped and almost fell, we decided to call it a day.  Then Mr. Sun decided to make an appearance in full force the next few days and with it brought low 90s temperatures!  Needless to say though, obstacles were overcome and we continued with our week.  On Saturday Jess and I had to adjust to walking individually because of conflicting schedules and surprisingly that went well.  I actually shaved quite a bit of our time and I think it was partly because I was rocking out with my iPod and there was no chatter so I focused on the walk.  When I mentioned this to Jess we decided to try walking together soon with our iPods and keep the conversation light so we can focus on our time.

Now, as I'd mentioned last week, we went on a trail on Sunday and walked.  I have to admit that I was quite nervous about it since the last time I tried walking on a non paved surface my recently fractured ankle did not like it.  However, I'm glad to report that the walk on the trail was a great success.  Sure, the terrain was uneven but it was easier somehow...Jess and I think it was because the ground is much softer so that even when we had to go up slight inclines it was easy which in turn meant we walked faster!  The walk was also great because of the beautiful setting, we enjoyed being out there...being one with nature!  Well, that is until a squirrel jumped out and scared the stuffing out Jess...oh and when we got caught in a spider web or two!  Or when something dropped on my head and I was sure it was a giant spider on my head but it turned out to be a leaf.  Yeah, those moments... not so fun...but we can now laugh at the silliness of it all.  :)  Ah... good times.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week Seven . . . Jessica

Those of you keeping score may have noticed that I completely missed a week of blogging.  My life feels out of control busy at the moment, and there are the slight complications of having no full time income, having to move out of our house to goodness knows where, and a 17 month old who is popping 6 teeth out at once to add to all the fun.  

So, week six was just as Liz described, including passed-out-guy on the sidewalk.  Fun times to be had by all . . . and get this!  Today, our last day of week seven we had to report yet another passed-out-guy on the sidewalk - this one holding a pink stuffed bunny.  Seriously.  I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

This week was really busy as well, and walking times got moved around, but as Liz mentioned last week we are getting better about adjusting to the schedule changes.  We walked Tuesday night in the rain - we are so committed (it actually felt really nice and kept us cool), Wednesday Liz was traveling for work, Thursday there was football, so we walked Friday, Saturday (independently), and Sunday.  The exciting thing was Sunday we walked at the El Dorado Nature Center Trails and it was awesome!  I have yet to upload the pictures from my phone, but I did take a few and will post them eventually.  It was great getting some experience walking on trails as the Catalina Marathon will be about 80% on trails and 20% on pavement.  

Saturday, my family went to a birthday party and to a harvest festival.  We took lots of pictures.  It's amazing how looking at snapshots of oneself can completely destroy all the warm fuzzy feelings one gets over finally seeing muscles in one's calves.  But I will get over it . . . eventually.

Monday, October 12, 2009

week 6...Liz

The more we walk, the more I think a more appropriate name for our blog would have been "As the World Turns," you know after that daily soap opera.  It seems that every time we walk, we witness some type of dramatic event unfolding.  For example, in the time we've been walking we've seen...
  • 2 3-car accidents on the corner of our park.
  • 1 arrest
  • Teen agers sneaking into skimpier clothing at the park
  • What we suspect may be an illicit love affair (actually more than one... seems to be a hot spot...)
  • A married man dropping off what we suspect was a "lady of the night" at the freeway entrance...
  • An unconscious man right around the corner of a liquor store (I called emergency services & they came, sirens blaring...)
You'd think we live in the ghetto with all this activity right?  In reality, this is all happening in Cerritos, a really nice and generally safe neighborhood.  Makes you think about what may be happening in the not so nice areas huh?  What's more important though is that all of this makes you think.  We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don't notice what's happening around us and walking gives us the opportunity to take it all in.  At least for me, it also helps me put it all in perspective.

Anyway, back to walking...this week was...interesting!  We started the week walking with 3 walking buddies under the age of 12, Alyssia, Ash & Danny.  It was a light hearted walk, full of Twilight talk, silly songs (the "gummy bear song" was a hit and it included a silly dance which you know I had to shake my "groove thang" to Jessica's amusement or horror, still not sure...hehehe) and lots and lots of laughter.  It was a nice start to the week and the rest went well, except for Friday where I could not get fully going and after a small facilities break lagged behind Jessica for the rest of the walk.  Sunday we had to great creative as our walk was cut short by Danny and his need to use the facilities which happened to be closed.  So we headed over to Target to use their facilities and then finished the rest of our walk around the neighborhood.

Our walking schedule has been modified to fit our various commitments through out the week..and for the next few weeks there are many.  I can only speak for me but I think I'm handling the variances to the schedule much better.  The key for me has really been mental preparation so as long as I can wrap my mind around it, I'm fine.  Now, as I finish this entry, the thought that we've been doing this now for a month and a half just struck me!  We're heading for the two month mark!!!...and Jess and I discussed trying out hills next, my ankle feels much better so I'm looking forward to trying those out and giving my muscles a good work out!  Speaking of muscles... can I just say how great it is to have my leg muscles back?!  To see the definition of them is such a kick!  (Pardon the pun...)  Love it!!  Until next time... :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Catalina Fun Fact #3 . . . Jessica

The Island of Romance!!!

Feast your eyes and ears on this awesome youtube slideshow of the band The Four Preps and the their hit song 26 Miles (Santa Catalina).

This song hit #2 on the Billboard charts in 1958 and can currently be heard playing at Disney's California Adventure. I totally grew up on this song and am always sad when people look at me blankly when I quote or sing it.

But then, people look at me blankly rather often . . .

Week Five . . . Jessica

Well, Liz summed it all up with the term discombobulated. I felt that way all week! We didn't walk on Thursday and I literally felt all day like my skin didn't fit right . . . very, very antsy. Then for awhile it felt like I was just off a day, I kept thinking Friday was Thursday, and Sunday was Saturday, and everything just felt off. However, I think in a way it's good to know that we are in such a rut (*cough* *cough*, um, strict schedule) because it means that we have made a HABIT of walking! And that when we don't walk on our usual days our bodies and brains feel that something is missing!

This is a good thing, as Martha would say . . .

. . . Everyone just savor it for a moment . . .

(savoring, savoring)

Ok! On to other things. I totally lied about the schedule last week, alright, maybe not lied per se, but was mistaken in my posting. We did not bump up to six miles on Saturday, but instead bumped up one of the weekday walking days to four miles! Isn't that awesome!?! And we felt danged good after we walked it. Our weekend walk was still five miles, and we walked from Liz's apartment, to the park, around ye old track twice and back to the apartment! It was so crisp and fall-like outside and I really appreciated having a goal and not just going around the track 2.5 times.

On a sour note: I have a confession. I am out of vitamins and have not gotten anymore! So, apparently I didn't make that into a healthy habit quite yet.

On the other hand, I am on week two of drinking coke zero at home - and only having real coke on special occasions such as being out at a movie with Liz or at the fair. So yay for me and my coke zero habit!

I believe that this week we are going to focus on shaving a minute or two off our miles, so wish us luck!

Week 5...Liz

Discombobulated - adjective
1.  discombobulated, disconcerted, having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion.

Yep, I'm not kidding, discombobulated is an actual word in the dictionary and the perfect adjective to describe week 5. I guess it all started last Monday when I took some time to update Bob (my blackberry if you're just joining) with the latest updates to my schedule as a result of Danny's football schedule. I noticed that his first game was that Thursday and it conflicted with both walking and back to school night. Ok, no problem, rescheduled walking Thursday for Friday night. Then I noticed his second game was on Saturday morning and it conflicted with walking again. Talked to Jess about it and since she wanted to attend the LA county fair anyway, we rescheduled our Saturday walk for Sunday. Ok, that wasn't so bad right? Then I looked at the rest of the schedule and AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Our carefully planned schedule had just gone up in smoke!!!

I managed to take a deep breath and talk my self down from my panicked state and finished my scheduling and rescheduling and managed to continue the week with our new schedule. The week was busy but it went fine for the most part... except for the fact that I felt...discombobulated. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was off and it wasn't until Sunday's therapy session (as Jess and I affectionately call our walking sessions) that Jess and figured out what it was. Mentally, we adjusted to the change in schedule just fine, but the same could not be said physically. Walking at specific times and days has become a habit for our bodies and well, we think our bodies missed the routine of it all. For example, the first rescheduled walking day was Thursday and I remember feeling restless at the end of the day and not sleeping as well that night though at the time I didn't make that connection. The on Saturday...well there are no words to describe my state of restlessness; I just didn't know what to do with my self. As it is, I'm self described energetic...Saturday, I was bouncing off the walls with no where to go! Now looking back, I realize how much not walking on Saturday morning affected the day. Now with awareness in hand I can prepare mentally & physically for the changes in routine to come and figure out some type of physical outlet to channel all that excess energy. I already feel more prepared for the week to come!

Before I sign off for the week I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of our supporters, both who follow the blog publicly (listed on the blog) and those that do not (because you don't have Google accounts.) I didn't realize how many people are reading our blog! I've gotten so much nice feedback and encouragement from all of you. Your support is a huge part of why I'm still going strong and starting week 6. Thank you all!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 4 - A month!

Week four, and therefore our first month of walking is in the history books! No way! I am so thrilled to reach this milestone! Today I actually had someone at church (you know who you are cause you read this blog even if you don't follow it publicly, and yes, I mean you Chuck), tell me that I look like I'm loosing a lot of weight! SCORE!

I got my new glasses this week so I found walking this week even easier than the last two weeks as I wasn't having to constantly readjust my broken frames . . . when they would slip to the side the whole world would go off-kilter and I'd feel a bit out to sea. So now that I can see well, and not worry about my glasses falling of my face, I feel a lot more comfortable!

Reflecting on the last month I will admit that it is hard for me to leave my babies when I go out walking sometimes, and hard to be prepared with things like making sure James is provided with enough pumped bottles . . . but it is becoming easier. Overall, I am incredibly proud of myself and Liz. I am already excited about the changes I see and feel in my body and in my endurance. I am totally excited to continue in our adventure, and I love referring to Liz and myself as athletes!

So - Happy One Month of Walking to my best athlete pal - Liz!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week 4...Liz

So...the big news this week is that w eek 4 of our training is officially done! Yes, that's right, as in 1 month of training has been completed, can you believe it??? Woo hoo...doing my happy dance!! If you haven't guessed it, I'm very happy about getting one month of training under our belts. I'm so glad that we are doing this!

Our fourth week went great, walking during the week (up to 3 miles) is easy at this point. Jess and I were tempted to walk more but decided against it and follow the program and focus on our distance walking on Saturdays. This Saturday we kicked it up to 5 miles and since my sister left for DC today, Danny joined us for our Saturday walk. That was interesting...he only asked if we were almost done about 5 times and he almost took out 2 bikers because he was on his scooter and kept weaving in/out of the two lanes of bike/roller traffic. :) After a few "Daniel's!!!" he was fine and the rest of the walk went just fine. Walking in Long Beach is great for our distance training because it's so distracting; there is always something or someone to look at. So all in all, the only bump on the road (and it was a small one) this week was the weather, which was very muggy so it didn't make for the greatest of walking conditions!

In summary, my thoughts as we wrap up the first month are that...

  •  I'm still very excited about this adventure!
  • Looking back at it, the month seems to have gone so fast.
  • Overall, training has gone really well.
  • I love how I feel after each walk.
  • I love, love, love the muscles I'm rediscovering and that are resurfacing!!!
  • I'm glad Jess and I are doing this together.
  • I can't wait for more!
Enough said! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week three down and cruising into four . . . Jessica

So, I've been kind of procrastinating about writing up my thoughts for this week, and here we are on Monday already ready to start week four tomorrow. First, let's just pause for a moment and savor that . . . week FOUR, oh my word, we've been doing this now for almost a month! That is amazing!

Week three was a bit hard for a few reasons. As you can see by Liz's post she suddenly got much busier with the advent of the new school year and several other factors. This means that our walking needs to be done at a certain time every day . . . I have a much less busy schedule than she does (don't get me wrong, I am busy running around after two little people, but I don't have as many commitments to be certain places at certain times), so it makes more sense to work around her schedule. The time of day that we walk is honestly kind of a hard time for me. It's right around the time that I need to be getting dinner ready, and I come home in time to give my daughter a bath and get her ready for bed. As we start walking longer distances my husband and kids may have to start having dinner without me so my daughter can still keep the same bedtime. This makes me a little sad, but I know that what I am doing will help me be a much healthier and energetic mom for my kids. Another difficulty this week was just learning how to schedule, or not schedule my time throughout the day so I can be ready to go walking at the appointed time. Can I just say, for the record, how long it takes to get two kids ready to go, out the door, into the car, and into a stroller? It's amazing! I have come to the conclusion that on days we walk, I just can't really go anywhere (at least anywhere I plan to be at more than about 20 minutes) with the kids after 1:30 p.m. One would think that there is plenty of time between 1:30 and 4:30 to get things done - but there really isn't!

In spite of some difficulties this week, we did have some great walks, including a four mile on the strand at Long Beach. We've decided this will be the location of our Saturday long walks, and as they get longer, we will just head south down the coast. It's kind of cool because we are already seeing some of the same runners training from week to week.

As a last little note for the week - I am trying to do something each week that contributes to my overall health and this week it was remembering to take my prenatal vitamin every day. I am a nursing mom so this is something I am supposed to be doing, but I am horrible about remembering. I am glad to report that I only forgot once this past week, and have already taken it the first two days of this week.

I am really looking forward to this week. Because we had some extra weeks we repeated the first week of training three times. This week we move onto week two, which basically is the same during the week, 3, 2, 3, but on Saturday we bump up to 5 miles. Progress! Yes!!

Catalina Fun Fact #2 . . . Jessica

Smugglers a'plenty!

This is an excerpt from the history of Catalina on

[Starting in the early 1800s] Yankee and English merchant ships soon began to appear as well, having sailed all the way around The Horn of South America laden with manufactured goods. They knew that the government of New Spain did not keep the California outposts well supplied and that the Friars and townspeople would often trade leather and tallow and even otter pelts for manufactured items although it was against the law.

When New Spain revolted from its mother country and became Mexico in 1820, California became a province in the new country. The Mexican government allowed trade with foreigners but levied a tariff on all goods imported into the country. (As there was no property or income tax at the time, this was their primary means of raising revenue for running the government.) However, the Mexican government still did not have enough ships to patrol the California coast.

Smugglers would put part of their cargoes ashore at Santa Catalina and then appear at the customs port to pay duty on the remaining cargo. They would then receive permission to trade up and down the coast--which they did, coming back to Catalina to replenish their stock with undeclared goods. Several smugglers blatantly set up warehouses on the Island and were admonished and fined by the Mexican authorities. The trade was still leather and tallow (and otter skins while the supply lasted) for manufactured goods. The leather and tallow was taken back to the East Coast or England to be turned into manufactured goods and perhaps journey around The Horn again.

Catalina even has a Pirate Festival! This year it is on October 3 - Buccaneer's Day at Two Harbors. Cool!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week 3...Liz

Whew...week 3 has come to a close and I for one, couldn't be happier! As predicted last week, this week was fraught with challenges...and then some. Now let's see, where did I leave off...Oh yes! School started and Danny and I have returned to our school routine and all that comes with it. This was complicated some with the fact that I had training most of the week for work off site and my usual 5 minute commute home turned into almost half an hour. This of course was unforeseen (I was not familiar with the traffic patterns of that area) and as a result, I did not plan accordingly and I was late for every single commitment that I had this week. Now, I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say I was rushed, stressed out and completely exhausted!

Now I wish I could say that my tardiness was the only problem this week, but after much thought, I realized that the main problem right now is me. I do too much, or try to anyway!  The best example I can give you to illustrate this is that I'm on a first name basis with my Blackberry. I'm not kidding! I've named it Bob because he's my friend and constant companion and without him, my life would fall apart. He keeps my overscheduled life in order and tells me when and where I need to be. Without him, I feel like something is missing and it creates a sense of panic. Yes, I realize this may not be healthy...

Anyway, with my realization I had to dig deep and figure out why I do this and with it came enlightenment and it surprised me because I thought I'd let it go a long time ago. My truth is that I still have guilt issues over the fact that I am a single parent. I don’t want Danny to pay for the choices I've made in my life that led to this. I don't want Danny to miss out on something because I'm too busy doing the single parent thing. So I schedule everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen. There I said it... who knew this adventure would turn into therapy! :)  Seriously though, I'm not used to being so open about stuff like this... but that was part of the committment to this blog and this adventure!  To tell it like it is... so here it is.

So at this point you might be wondering what this has to do with training for the marathon. Well, if I'm going to do this I can't with things as they is taking a really big bite out of the week. I have to find a better balance and really focus on what's important. So I went back to Bob and looked at my schedule and really thought about what matters most and with that I made some choices. I've cut out a few things during the week that will free up a bit of time and not deny Danny any opportunities while allowing me to fit in training in a little bit better and give me a little bit of a cushion to better fit those unexpected things.  We can pick up on those activities next spring after the marathon and we still have the weekends...because let's face it, I just can't stay in and sit still.  I can still pack in tons of fun an activities, just maybe not so many during the week.  :)  In addition, I am working on shifting my perspective on the whole single parenting thing...however, this is a new revelation so I need to ponder that a bit and put my thoughts in order regarding that. 

With all of this, I still finished the week on a positive note. I can't do anything about what was but I can certainly do something about what will be. I also need to focus on the biggest accomplishment of the week: That with everything that happened I still got out there and finished the training commitments for the week. So yay for me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 2..Liz

I'm happy to report that the successful completion of our second week of training has come and gone so before I go any further, I must shout out my celebratory WOO HOO!  Yes, that's right, 2 weeks down and 26 weeks to go and still going strong.  I'm specially proud of my self this week for moving forward in spite of a very sore ankle.  That in itself says a lot about how determined I am to do this marathon.  It would have been very easy for me to say ouch it hurts too much and give up.  Instead, after the trail fiasco on Tuesday, where I re-injured my ankle due to the uneven walking surface, Jess and I went back to the nice flat walking surface at Cerritos Regional Park on Wednesday.  I felt the difference immediately and I was able to complete the desired mileage for the yay! 

Needless to say, the rest of the week went with out a hitch.  I'm pretty comfortable walking up to 4 miles with out any problems.  However, I'm not sure that I would go as far as to say that walking the 4 miles is easy yet!  In retrospect, I'm glad that we started our training program 4 weeks early. See, if we follow the actual training program we would training for 24 weeks, but instead of waiting we decided to start 4 weeks early and use the additional weeks to ease into things and "warm-up" for the actual training, bringing our total training time to 28 weeks.

So now the preparation begins for week 3, where the real challenge begins for me.  These last two weeks have been easy because I was still on my summer schedule.  I would work all day and had the afternoons free (and I use the term free loosely because how free are the afternoons of a parent?)  However, school has now started and the real fun begins.  Our regular routine of homework, fall sports, dinner, reading, shower etc begins and somewhere in between all of these things, I'm supposed to fit in training...!  Oh and all this needs to happen between the hours of 5:00-9:00p.m.  Sigh.  Well, no one said this would be easy!  So it begins, the madness that will be my life for the next 26 weeks...but hey, enough of that!  I am and will always be a cup half full kind of girl so as they say:  where there is a will, there's a way and all that.  I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catalina Fun Fact #1 . . . Jessica

So, maybe I am dork, but I am totally excited to be doing a marathon on Catalina! To keep me motivated I am going to post fun facts about Catalina here on our blog.

Catalina Fun Fact #1

Santa Catalina Island is part of the Channel Islands of California archipelago. The other Channel Islands (there are are 8) are Anacapa and San Nicolas in Ventura County, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara County, and San Clemente is in Los Angeles County along with our favorite (and the only one with a significant permanent civilian settlement), Santa Catalina in Los Angeles County. So even though we are going 26 miles out to sea for our marathon we will be in the same county!

Here is an awesome map for your viewing pleasure!

Next week . . . PIRATES!

Week two in the history books . . . Jessica

Well, Liz and I have completed week two of our 28 week marathon walking training plan! It's a big deal to me that we decided to start walking, and to start training for a marathon, and it will be a huge accomplishment when we actually cross that finish line, but actually being in the midst of working toward that goal is just as big of an accomplishment! These last two weeks, and the next 26, are the "hard" part - the part where there is no one cheering you on to the finish line, the part where you don't have the excitement and adrenaline of race day. In training you only have your own motivation - and luckily for Liz and I, we have each other's motivation to draw on when our own is obscured by sweat, or tiredness, or an aching ankle. The motivation can vary from day to day, it can be an old picture when I was my "ideal" size, the pride of being able to say "I did it," or a sexy pair of jeans in an equally sexy size. Liz and I were joking about putting each other's goals on our backs, so when one of us starts getting tired or frustrated, the other can walk in front as a motivator. I actually think this would be a brilliant idea for our longer walks and the actual marathon.

So, we walked another 12 miles this week, it broke down as 2, 3, 3, and 4. 3 miles is starting to feel really comfortable and 2 miles almost like cheating - although I do love being done that fast on those days! Saturday was a 4 mile day and we went down and walked at the beach in Long Beach. We ran smack dab into all of the women walking the Revlon Walk for the Cure marathon and half marathon and it was really, really inspiring!

I've been doing a lot of reading as well about the technical aspects of walking, and I'm trying to incorporate them so that I am walking correctly! I am looking forward to adding on mileage, so that I really feel like a distance walker. I know it will tough, but exciting at the same time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Today was the first day of our second week of training and it was interesting to say the least. Since the actual marathon will be mostly on a trail full of hills, I got what turned out to be a not so brilliant idea to introduce both trails and hills to our training right away. My thought process was that it was important we get used to the conditions that we would be experiencing during the event and the sooner the better! Sounds innocent enough right?

What I didn't factor in was how much pressure walking on a trail and on small hills would put on my ankle. The same ankle that is still recuperating from a hairline fracture! Needless to say, what should have been an easy 3 mile walk, turned into a very painful 2 mile one. I realized I was in trouble when the throbbing on my ankle stopped and numbness settled I limped the rest of the way in.

While I was proud of my self for walking as much as I did, I have to admit there was also some disappointment mixed in. Did I just quit? Could I have continued? Then my partner in this stepped in and Jess put it into perspective for me. Stopping doesn't mean that I quit, it just means that my ankle is still healing and it was too soon to add trails and hills. What's important is that I get back out there tomorrow (granted, it will be on a nice even paved surface) and continue. So thanks Jess, this is a reminder of why we're doing this together and why I'm sure we'll succeed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week 1...Liz

I am happy to report that our first official week of our marathon training is done! Woo hoo! I've decided that the best way for me to tackle this is to celebrate small accomplishments on a weekly basis instead of focusing on accomplishing the ultimate result which is still 27 weeks away. This way, I will feel like I'm accomplishing more even though it's all part of the same goal.

The weekly goal was to walk 12 miles for the week and darn it - we did just that! Can you believe it? You know the funny thing is that it really wasn't so bad. If I was to use one word to describe my first week, it would be surprising.

  • Surprising because day one (3 miles) was easy...we actually walked more than we needed to by accident, oops!

  • Surprising because on day two (2 miles) there was virtually no discomfort from the previous days walk and it was a breeze.

  • Surprising because day three (3 miles) was rough (lack of sleep and food affected my readiness for my walk, totally my fault...) and I still got out there and finished the walk.

  • Surprising because I missed walking on Friday (an official rest day).

  • Surprising because I have all this extra energy!

  • Surprising because on day four (4 miles) I actually got up early to walk (hey 6:30am. is early for me!). I was not cranky (not a morning person at all) and instead was hyper AND the walk was pretty easy!

Weird huh? Needless to say, though this week was full of good stuff, a few things to consider/remember for the coming weeks:

  • Can't forget to eat my snack prior to walking or my energy level drops dramatically.

  • Need to get more sleep... my usual midnight+ bedtime is not going to cut it. Today is the exception because we were at the fair all day and I'm way too wired to sleep.

  • Always carry band aids on our walks!

  • Don't stop walking for any reason! (well for now anyway...) We made a small stop and it was enough to make it very difficult to pick up the pace again and my feet hurt after.

Time to focus on week two now, mentally preparing my self for each step has been key to the success so far. Still excited and very much proud of us...yay!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week one, over and out! . . . Jessica

Today we completed our first week of training! We walked this whole week at Cerritos Regional Park - here was our schedule:

Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 2 miles
Thursday - 3 miles
Friday - cross training day, some other form of aerobic activity
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - easy walking

Monday will be a rest day, and then we start again on Tuesday!

That is twelve whole miles this week!

So far the only aches/pains/injuries I have to show for our marathon training are a small sore on my left heel from my new running shoes, and a lovely blister on my right foot that is already settling down into a callous.

Honestly, the first two days were not that hard, but I will admit that the three miles on Thursday was just a killer! There were probably several reasons for this: I didn't get much sleep the night before as the little people were up most of the night, also we started a bit later than usual which didn't help psychologically, although walking with the sun setting is slightly cooler. The biggest reason Thursday was so hard is most likely the fact that I was pushing my almost 17 month old around in a stroller as we walked. It wasn't even the larger stroller that has a really high handle, but the little pink fold up stroller with handles that are just a bit too short to be comfortable for me to push around. For some unknown reason, I repeated this mistake Saturday morning. It's harder on me, but she really loves strollering through the park. However, if she comes with me again (hopefully I will just be strong and say no when she gazes forlornly out the screen door when I leave) I will definitely make an effort to bring the larger stroller.

Saturday (even with a little person in the stroller) seemed much easier than Thursday, and it was a whole mile more! We got up early to go walking, but we still managed to get full sun and I, for one, got really hot and sweaty and red in the face! Also, another lesson learned today, don't stop walking! We paused at the end to give someone directions to the nearest gas station and it was hard starting back up!

All in all, I think our first week went great! I am noticing almost every time we walk that my stamina is increasing, and that it's getting easier. I am both excited and scared about next week, we will be walking up to five miles in one go next Saturday! In the upcoming weeks we will also be walking on some hills and some dirt trails to start getting our bodies ready for Catalina which will have lots of hills and 80% of the marathon will be on trails! Wow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day One . . . Jessica

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Today Liz and I met at Cerritos Regional Park for our first day of walking. We completed two circuits around the park to get in our three miles. I am so proud of us! We started our training even though the humidity was through the roof and it was ridiculously hot. We did our three miles in under an hour, and we weren't desperately out of breath when we were done, so yay for us!

It's only the first day, but I am proud of us for starting, I am proud of us for making it through the first day, and I am proud of us for committing to a goal!

An amazing first day...Liz

It's difficult to explain the feelings that are going through me right now so I will focus on the tremendous sense of accomplishment that I feel right now. Listen, I realize it's the first day of a very long training program and that we have a long way to go. I'm not fooling my self into thinking this will be easy by any means. However, all of this doesn't matter right now because today all that matters is that we took the biggest step of all and actually got out there, humidity and all! So yay to us and to our first day and may our legs not ache was a very good starting day and we have our first 3 miles under our belt! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

The night before it begins..Liz

On the eve before our first official Catalina Marathon training day, two thoughts are percolating in my head, in no particular order of importance.

#1 Why are we doing this again? The main reason is for our health, we both have kids and this adventure will reap tremendous health benefits that our kiddos will enjoy. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the idea of fitting into a nice pair of jeans is too appealing to ignore!

#2 Are we crazy? Short answer yes, but so what? If I think about it, this is very typical of me so it really shouldn't be a surprise. I'm impulsive and it's not the first time that I just dive into things! Sometimes you have to be a little crazy in life and just do things. I've spent enough time in my life just talking about doing things... it's time for a little action!

So tomorrow is the first day and I want to remember how I feel right now: excited, hopeful and energetic..I can't wait!

The beginning of our adventure

Hi! Welcome to Walking Away With Ourselves! The purpose of this blog is to document our journey as we train to walk the Catalina Marathon in March of 2010. . . let's get the five w's (and how!) out of the way, shall we?

Who - Liz and Jessica. We are friends that live in sunny southern california. We are both moms, Liz to a 9 year old boy, and Jessica to a 16 month old girl and a 2 month old son.

What - The Catalina Marathon! Walking 26.2 miles in 8 hours!

When - March 13, 2010

Where - On trails over the gorgeous island of Santa Catalina located 26 miles off the coast of Southern California:

(Avalon Harbor)
Breathtaking, huh?

Why - There are so many reasons! One of the most important ones is because we both want to be more healthy. Picking the goal of walking a marathon makes us committed to training, deciding to do it together makes us accountable to each other, and choosing to blog about our training makes us accountable to our families and anyone else who decides to read our blog. We are both so excited about committing to this goal, it's a really big deal for us to walk a marathon as neither of us has any experience in this sort of thing. We will be so proud of ourselves when we cross that finish line!

How - We found a great website: that has awesome training schedules. We are using the one for beginning walkers, it has 24 weeks of training, and we have 28 weeks before the Catalina Marathon, so Liz is putting together an extended calendar for us. We basically have 4 days of walking (Saturdays are distance days!) and one day of cross training a week.

As we begin training both Liz and I will be posting about our journey, we hope that you will follow us through this exciting adventure!

- Jessica