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! :)