Monday, December 31, 2012

Re-Veducating Myself

It occurred to me when talking with my husband, that I really don't know how to commit to something whole heartily.  Admittedly I was the kid in high school that could sort of half-ass things and still make good grades.  I could do just enough to play sports and not be the worst on the team.  DH is the complete opposite of me.

If there is anyone I could look up to, it would be him.  In high school he was a multi-sport athlete, and really excellent at all three, his dedication was obvious, although even he is the first to admit it didn't always help him in the classroom.  So needless to say, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum.  One of us could semi-study, the other could conquer the field.

But what he did take away from all those athletic activities and holding down a job was dedication, commitment and 'stick to itness,' which are traits that, frankly I've never had.  And have been a B**TC* to figure out as an adult.  I'm getting better at it where school is concerned, but my health and my running....I can 'get by' with just the bare minimum, so I never feel strongly about putting out more.

Until I saw this movie called "Vegducated."  I had tried once before to do the whole vegetarian thing, but I was still eating chicken and then I just totally fell off the wagon.  Mostly because I did not learn how to actually cook anything that was vegetarian and I was replacing it with fast food that might just have chicken in it.

This has been an eye-opening year for me, mostly because I've come to learn a great deal about myself.  I've had to learn that commitment is not the same as perfection, we can be committed to doing better everyday without expecting ourselves to be perfect 100% of the time.

I really really love animals, and watching Veducated has shown me how horrific the conditions are for not just factory farms, but family farms too, who now have to use the same practices in order to keep up with corporate backed farms.  It hurts my heart that I've spent almost 29 years of my life contributing to something so cruel.  Pigs for instance, have the intelligence of a 3 or 4 year old...we wouldn't do these things to a toddler, why is this acceptable for other creatures? Paul McCartney said something to the effect that if all slaughterhouses were made of glass, everyone would be a vegetarian.  I think he is right.  What upsets me more is the fact that I allowed myself to be ignorant, that so many of us enable the ignorance. 

Even if you don't love animals as much as me, you can't ignore the fact that the meat industry causes more pollution than the transportation industry, both in emissions and what it does to drinking water and destruction of the forests!!!

Now, don't get me wrong, I get it.  Hubby came from a meat and potatoes family and they cook everything with meat in it, shoot the green beans had ham in them (what happened to just eating green beans??) At the holiday party at work, I think I was the only person who supplied food that was not a starch.  So, I understand that food tends to be an integral part of traditions within families and it is sacrosanct...but even if we all tried, once a week, twice a week, part-time to eat whole foods that grow out of the earth, to put a variety of colorful foods on our plate, to not eat meat, we would save lives and contribute to preserving a better future.  I personally believe that I will be moving to a vegan or plant based lifestyle.  I can't fathom the idea of another little moomoo ending up on my plate.  Even if you won't join me totally, I hope you will consider going meat free once or twice a week.

Some would say that 'I alone can't make a difference, so why even bother.'  Giving up meat for one year saves almost 100 lives, so yes, that difference is made to that cow or chicken.  Others say that "they'll just kill it for someone else who still eats meat."  Guess what, positive meaningful change does not happen overnight, it is slow and takes time to gestate...people were probably afraid of Henry Fords new fangled contraption, or thought that the Wright Brothers were just a couple of insane guys out to kill themselves...look at how these individuals set the ball in motion.

If we as a community take charge of our food source, eventually the market will have to change, maybe not soon, maybe not in my lifetime...but that doesn't mean I'm not going to put my best "hoof" forward.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

RnRBunny Did WHAT!

I registered for a 50 mile race.  Yes, you did in fact read that correctly.  I registered for a 50 mile race.  Originally I thought I might have another commitment in May, but that fell through and so I bumped up my goal of the 50 miler to May. 

Back in 2006 I ran my first marathon, the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio.  It took me 6 hours to finish, mostly because I really had not trained well for the race, but I finished nonetheless.  Immediately after that race I discovered that people participated in these races called Ultra's.  And that there were even distances of 100+ miles.

That was quite awhile ago, and I have completed one 50k in 2011.  But, I've never quite been in a place where I felt like I was capable of running that kind of distance, and who knows maybe I still can't.

I did sign up last year, but as I've mentioned before my year kind of fell apart, but I decided I would make 2013 my year.  So I signed up for the 50's For Yo Momma race in May.

Honestly, I'm really nervous.  But in keeping with my goals (the one about dreaming big, but working even harder) I thought that I should just go for it!

All of this is in preparation for my big goal of completing the 100 miler.  I don't have one officially picked out yet.  Mostly because the idea of registering for a 100 miler scares me shitless (apologies for the language).  I have just never been the model student when it comes to training, and I am trying to change that.

God bless my hubby.  I told him last night that I registered and the first thing out of his mouth was, need a buddy to run with?  I can help you train...

That's why I married him :)

I hope 2013 brings lots of fun races and good times.  I know it will be hard work, but it'll be good for me.

And I side note, I changed the title of my blog a little bit.  It's now called Running My Cottontail Off :)  I still like to think of myself as the RnRBunny...but I thought the blog could use a little more catchy title.  Hope you will continue to follow me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Where does the time go?  Mom always said I was the kid that looked ahead-that I was impatient with the present and in too much of a hurry for the future.  When it was winter, I wanted spring, spring summer.  Well, it's a few weeks early yet, but Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!!

What I have gotten much wiser about over the years is understanding the importance of the past, without letting it dictate everything you do in the future.  2012 was a sucky year for me, both in terms of races, general running, and in other aspects of life.  I've been thinking quite a bit about what I could do differently so I (hopefully) don't repeat that same performance this year.  I'd really like to meet the goals I set for myself.

1) You are what you eat- no are.  It is incredibly important to pay attention to the kinds of things you are eating so you can stay healthy and run.  I was sick with some kind of nasty cold on and off the whole year.  So, DH hid the scale from me and instead I am just paying attention to the kinds of foods I am eating.

2) Dream Big, Work Even Harder- it is important to have big dreams, but that means very little if you don't intend to work hard for those dreams.  This is something I am constantly striving to be better at.

3) Don't let a bad run, or several, make you give up- For most of us, running is painful.  Perhaps we are all masochists, but running is not easy most of the time.  If you have to, leave the watch at home and remember that consistency matters.

4) Do a 5k for fun- for no other reason than just to be out there with your fellow runner and walker folk.  It is rejuvenating to see everyone.

5) Volunteer for a race- the last couple of years I have raised money or volunteer directed a race and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

These are my 5 lessons learned and my 5 goals to keep in mind for 2013.  What are your goals?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Eat Like A Bunny"- the Diet for Life!

You know what is so strange?  I am more careful about what my rabbits eat then what I eat.  You know that old saying:
Part of my mission at becoming a better runner also has to do with eating better and losing a little bit of weight in the process.  Which as anyone knows who has tried to change their diet...this can SUCK ROYALLY.  Last night was no exception, got home prepared to go run-what did I do instead?  Ordered a pizza...sigh.

I think one of the hardest parts of any lifestyle change is breaking the old habits.  For me this is mostly due to emotional eating.  Not because I am down specifically, but because I come home worn out and don't want to have to THINK anymore :)  But the truth of the matter is, on those night I could just make peanut butter and jelly and that would be better than other alternatives.  Not just to my waistline, but to my wallet as well.

I obviously can't change last night but I can remind myself of the importance of eating like a bunny.  Where does this phrase come from?  DH told me that if I wanted to be able to train harder and smarter then I would need to start eating like a bunny.

Ok...maybe not exactly like this bunny but she is modeling the lettuce leaf pretty well! 

Bunnies are designed to eat lots of greens.  Do you remember Thumper and how he always got in trouble for only eating flower tops in "Bambi?"  Well, that's because greens are like bunny super food.  They keep their digestive tract happy.  It just so happens that greens happen to be good for people too!

While Bugs Bunny was a great cartoon, one thing it didn't do well was promote or help people understand what rabbits even eat.  Carrots are like our version of cakes and cupcakes-or what Cookie Monster calls a "Sometimes Food."  Same thing with apples, banana's, and any other fruit-bunnies may have small quantities, but too much can not only make them fat, but it can make them sick too!

So, keeping all this in mind I wanted to remind myself today to eat like a bunny.  No, I am not just going to have salads all day, but I am going to start limiting the numbers of sweets and junk food that I consume because it's not doing me any favors.

I even joined a group called "Cookie Free December" that some of my friends started.  I am not sure if I will make it through the whole month without eating a single cookie, but I am sure as heck going to try.  Every year I repeat the same mistake, bake cookies, work cookies, Santa cookies, then the New Year hits and my stomach is a hot mess because I've consumed nothing but sugar for a month and a half!

So, just remember "NOT THE GUM DROP BUTTONS!"

When in doubt think HAY! This bunny is like the food plate for humans, mostly veggies and fruits (fruits for hoomans ONLY) with just a smidge of the carbs (of the bread and pasta variety) and protein.

Remember those Bunny 500's?  When rabbits are happy they can use your room like a race track and zoom around at high speeds.  Think, if you eat like a bunny you can run like a bunny, and hopefully lose a little of that padding in the middle!

I am only going to meet my running goals if I start putting better fuel into the system.  Trust me, I really want to run those 500's!

Happy Thursday folks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Motivation= Registering for a 50k

Since I am trying out the new me, before the New Year....I decided to locate a 50k training schedule to get my tush in gear!  I found one that I think will be handy dandy and it's nice because the higher mileage is on the weekend when I can get up early and still have plenty of time to work on my dissertation.  It also still gives me some time to work out or cross train during the week...

I found this awesome race series that is being put on at Alum Creek near Columbus Ohio.  It's a series of two races and you can pick from multiple distances.  The first is on January 20th and I opted for the 20k and then the monster is on February 17th which is the 50k.  I am totally stoked because I have a schedule that is doable, and a plan to keep active through the worst months in Ohio.  AND....I totally made it fit around writing a dissertation!

There are only 250 spots open for this race so if you find yourself interested register at Premier Sports and as mentioned there are a variety of distances that you can run. 

Did I mention that this is my FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR....I confess that I hate to run in the cold, but I just totally dig the holiday lights.  I started a tradition of running on Christmas Eve around my neighborhood to enjoy the lights.  One year I went out absurdly late but it was unbelievably peaceful.  A run plus hot chocolate is the way to go!

I started thinking about 2013 as I mentioned in a previous post and am slowly readjusting and defining my goals.  Never a good time like the present-I say why wait until the New Year.  What are your plans?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dream Big

Happy Monday friends.  This was an appropriate pic today and one that I really needed to see.  So often I put things off with the idea that things (or I) will be better, stronger, healthier..etc at some future date.  The problem is that date never arrives and I've sadly missed out on doing something exciting with my life.

I have this friend in my running group named Mandy whom I just really admire.  I admire her because she is one tough lady with what I like to call 'lady b@lls'.  I first ran with her almost a year ago because she needed someone to pace her for her last run before her half marathon.  I think she finished somewhere in a little over 2:30 minutes.  A year later this chick has made an attempt at mountain climbing (she's going back I believe to take that motha on again!), finished several half marathons, other races and a MARATHON.

She inspires me because she just puts her nose to the grindstone and doesn't let anything stop her, not her post baby weight (which she has shed most of!), not yucky trainers, nothing gets in the way of this gal doing her thing.  And it reminded me last night after reading her blog that I've got to stop a) feeling sorry for myself and b) stop delaying my dreams because I am too scared or worried to pursue them. 

Most of you know that I am a recovering scale-a-holic.  I have room to improve, weight to lose, muscle to put on..but mostly I just have a life that I need to live.  If tomorrow was it, I would be pissed at myself if I hadn't made every attempt I could at chasing down my dreams.

The biggest dream of mine...a 100 miler.  Ever since I saw that people did those I've wanted to run one.  I'm thinking 2013 might be my year.

What about you?  What is your biggest dream?

Oh, and check out Mandy's No Standing Still

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hug a Runner...for that matter hug your family too!

Today is hug a runner day!  So on my blog I am handing out hugs to all the runners in my life, hoping I can remember all, or most of them :)

Michelle H

If I forgot someone I SORRY and HUGS TO YOU!!

Make sure you hug whoever you run with...get 'em when they are sweaty or their paws are dirty!

On that note I just had to say that I conquered the little man on my shoulder who tells me to be lazy.  Yesterday I was so tired when I got home from work I really did not want to go for a run!  I promised myself  that if I got out there I only needed to do 2 miles...well 2 turned into 3!  One of the hardest things for me has always been consistency.  Many of my running buddies are champs when it comes to training.  They just seem to know how to STICK TO IT!  They run multiple races a year, complete ultra's and ironman, I just bail out when it comes to the consistency of training week after week.

So, my goal is to run the mileage that I set out for myself this week.  I'm trying not to look ahead too much, just get through this week and see how it goes. 

In the spirit of stick to itness...get out there and move!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Somebody's got a case of the Monday's

This morning I was hating on the day just because it's a Monday.  It reminded me that I really don't want to go to my 9-5'er and that I would much rather be at home and able to work on my dissertation full time.  But I can't, so there you have it.

Riddle me this....why is it so freakin easy to put on weight and yet miserably difficult to take it off??? I've finally come to terms with the fact that I need to lose  few extra pounds that I put on after the Columbus 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So, what is the regiment?  Lots of exercise, lifting, cardio, my kinect fitness game and of course running.  Also, I've started saying 'no' to thing like cake and extra sweets.  Yesterday we celebrated my mom's birthday....I love chocolate cake but decided it would be in my best interest to say no.  I know in theory we can occasionally have something sweet, but until I learn how to do occasional I think I'm just going to say no.  There is always something getting celebrated, at work, at home, and it's not helping my weight loss efforts AT ALL.

So, to throw this out there because if it is in cyberland I feel obligated to do something about it (wasn't there a psychology study where they put a drawing of a pair of eyes next to a candy dish and people took less??)

My starting weight is 138
My goal weight is 120.

Gosh, I have a very long ways to go.  First things first would be to make it under 130.  Eat like a bunny my DH says...bunnies eat lots of greens and fruit (or their sweets are a limited treat).

So, I'm learning to 'eat like a bunny.'

I'm really excited to start back with the running group next month...and drum roll!  I actually applied to be an 'official' Cleveland Marathon blogger.  I really hope I get chosen as I think it will really help me out with my running, not to mention I really like the thought of meeting new people along the way.

Since it's Monday and a three day week- Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chi-Town and Other Bunny News

Hi folks!  First off I would like to say that our veterans are amazing people.  My dad was in the military and I know many of you have loved ones who serve/d as well.  Kudos and hugs to you!

This weekend RnRBunny was in Chi-Town for some deep dish pizza...JUST KIDDING!  Sometimes I forget that my alter ego is working on her dissertation too, so what brought me to the windy city was a conference called the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education...that's geek for Philosophy of Education.

I got to present a paper for the (5th?) year in a row.  I really enjoy this group because many different ideas are appreciated and accepted with this organization.  Plus this was a chance to work on a portion of my dissertation...

No worries, we did have some deep dish which was quite fantastic!  But the rest of the trip was really spent at the conference.

I was registered for the Buckeye Classic 10k on Sunday but did not make it out.  We got back into C-Bus a little after 10pm and I just did not have the juice the next morning after all the travel of the last couple of days.

I did however, register for my first marathon of 2013!  It is right before my birthday and called the Circular Logic Marathon!!! This race is held in West Lafayette Indiana, and what was totally nifty was that you can choose your own race bib number and name on the bib...OK, so most places let you do that, but the race number has a fun meaning for me (more on that later!)

I might be adjusting my 2013 goals a little bit because I have seen multiple opportunities to run a race in drivable states...towards my quest for all 50 and DC...more on that to come.

Otherwise I hope training is going well for everyone and keep on keepin on!

For the record, I did lift when I got home from Chi-Town so I wasn't totally lazy :)  Today marks the start of training so I will keep you posted on that.!

Funny Bunny of the Week:
When you leave town for a couple of days your pets think you have left them!  The look of happiness and excitement my rabbits gave me warmed my heart :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's next for this bunny??

I tell you what!  Coming up with a game plan is something that I am TERRIBLE at.  I think I get it in my head as to what I want to do and then I change my mind.  I am rather ridiculous when it comes to trying to make plans...and following through with them.

Since this year was such a bust I thought I would write out a game plan for the rest of this year and into 2013.  I will put tentative where I am not 100%.

Buckeye Classic 10k
Beat Michigan 5k
Holiday Run (tentative)

Last Chance for Boston Half Marathon
Earth Day Challenge Half Marathon
Cap City Half Marathon (with DH?)
Cleveland Full Marathon

2013 Tentative:
Sunburst Marathon
Emerald City Half Marathon
Air Force Marathon
Columbus Marathon

Some of these I am not sure if I am going to do a half or full so I am leaving the option open and going with the flow.  Cleveland has this great contest where you can be an official blogger of their marathon and I would really like to apply for it.  Thought it could be fun and motivating to meet new people and share the experience.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

10 Reasons why the scale was the worst invention EVER!

I've been doing a ton of thinking lately.  Mostly because I've started to run more regularly and when I run I think.

Today's run made me think that this year has been an entire waste.  Well, sort of.  I did have a wonderful time doing a half marathon with my DH, one of the best experiences ever and I ran my 12th half marathon!  But otherwise this year was a bust and let me tell you why.

Because I cared waaaay too much about what the damned bathroom scale said every morning, every evening and after every workout.  Yes, I was weighing in that much.  The logical side of my brain said this is ABSURD, a weight loss or weight gain is not a true reflection-at least not in one day.  I let it get in my head, let it define me and how I was living my life.  It is a monster that honestly took on a life of it's own!  I stopped wearing cute clothes, stopped feeling sexy, I even missed runs because I hated how I looked in my running clothes.

I was enjoying the sunshine today even though my legs were screaming after my 7 miler yesterday and I was thinking about life, politics, social issues, and a little self-reflection.

What the heck have I been wasting my time on?  An inanimate object that puts out a number...seriously?  I've all but stopped running and loving life because of that.  I've stopped  taking care of myself because of that...ordering junk food and not exercising because of that!!!

What a loser!!! No seriously, that is the most losery thing I could let myself do.  So, I came up with my top 10 reasons for why the scale is, quite likely, getting trashed.

1) It says absolutely nothing about who I am as a person.  It  bears no reflection upon my personality, good deeds, etc.

2) It wasn't making me a better fact I was letting it hold me back from doing one of the things I most love.

3) I wasn't paying attention to what I was eating.  When the scale gave me feedback I didn't like I used it as a license to eat whatever because 'who cares.'

4) Worrying about that stupid thing gave me a low self-esteem which in turn halted any progress I was making on my schooling etc.

5) If I lived on the moon it would give me a totally different number.

6) I could be super duper skinny and still be super duper out of shape.  I'd rather be able to do a pull up and bench press then be skinny and wimpy.

7) Jeans.  Pretty clothing. I stopped wearing them.

8) I should be finishing my school-so that I can then start volunteering more again.  My weight shouldn't impact my desire to help the causes I love.

9) I don't need the scale to tell me what/ how to live my life.  I know what I need to be doing.

10) It was a waste of time.  A HUGE FREAKING WASTE OF TIME! And I got absolutely nothing in return for it.

I know who I am as a person, I'm constantly trying to educate myself to become more informed on a variety of issues, I want to improve my overall fitness and health.  I want to live a long healthy life with DH where we are 80 and still running half marathons together. Mostly I just want to do the best I can with the time given to make a positive impact on the world around me.  I am really not sure how/ why I let that thing take on a life of its own, but it did.  Instead of worrying about the how and the why I am going to move forward.

So....I am out of my slump, I am going to embrace life and live it to the fullest.

Without the bathroom scale.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

RnRBunny gets a face lift!

So...I kind of fell off the map...from about mmmm, mid-March until today.  I've been in a funk, when it comes to my schooling and my running.  I signed up for MIT (Marathoner In Training) and did not attend one summer training session.  My marathon and half marathon plans fell through.

I put on weight, got behind in my work, and well, overall just kind of felt sorry for myself.

In other words I was LAME!  I had no real reason to be mopey, but I was.  I think part of it has to do with the year of right after the other, and not just colds, sinus infections and strep.  Honestly it was demoralizing.  I would start to get on a roll with my training and then WHAM!  Sick again.  I tried Vitamin C, probiotics, blah blah blah..nothing seemed to work.

What all this did was just make me mentally unfocused.  I couldn't work on my dissertation and I couldn't seem to dedicate myself to any of my training plans.  Quite honestly it sucked.

What did I do about this?  First I forced myself one day to sit and write and I knocked out 15 pages..a messy 15 pages but it was typed nonetheless!  I also took a week off from running-I didn't think about running, I didn't run, maybe walked some, but just did not concern myself with exercise.  I realized that part of my funk has all been mental attitude.  A week isn't all that long, but it was long enough to make me realize that I just needed to step away from it for awhile.  To get my head back in the game. of my lunch walk this afternoon..... I AM BACK!

I have a plan, I have goals and I am going to try my absolute hardest TO MEET MY GOALS!

Goal 1: Finish my dissertation and aim for a May 5 2013 graduation!
Goal 2: Sign-up for and start my first 100 mile race at the Not Yo Momma's 100 miler September 28-29 of 2013!

I've talked about doing an ultra since 2006 when I finished my first marathon....that was 6 years ago.  Time to put up or shut up I say!.  I've also always said I wanted to earn my doctorate...again, time to put up or shut up!

This blog will focus on these two goals for the next year.  Don't worry, the bunnies will still be involved as they are an ever present joy that fills my heart.  Each time I blog I will offer my bunny wisdom/antic of the day along with describing my journey towards my two goals!

So, how does one start their journey towards 100 miles and a dissertation? One foot/one word at a time.  Today I will run 2-3 miles and work for 2-3 hours on my dissertation reading and writing.  With running my first goal is a 5k at the end of this month, it's a small race on a flat course.  I just want to get in the habit of running again.  For my dissertation I am going to focus on the paper that I am presenting in Chicago next month.  The purpose of this is that my paper should be a chapter out of my dissertation.

Each move I make I will do with confidence and purpose!  Onwards my friends!  And feel free to ask me how both are going...I need some accountability!

RabBIT antic of the day:
When I turned on the light in the bunny room, it looked like they had had a party without know college style where you see red solo cups everywhere and the floor is sticky and there are people lying on couches.  Well, replace all that with bunnies...hay was everywhere, they were bleary eyed and sprawled all over the floor.!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Run Your Buns Off 5k!!!

I started running about 10 years ago.  I laced up my sneakers because I had just started college and was deathly afraid of the Freshie 15....which I put on anyways.

But once I got into running it became more than just about running.  As I mentioned previously, it was around the same time that my love of rabbits began.  Since then, it has been my dream to help an organization put together a race to benefit the rescue of abandoned House Rabbits.

Enter the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue.  This past January I saw the meeting minutes and noticed that they were contemplating putting together a 5k run to help make THEIR dream of a rabbit rescue shelter possible.

I think the stars collided at that moment.  Now I can call myself the Race Director for the Run Your Buns Off 5k and Little Hopper Fun Run which will be taking place on September 23, 2012 here in C-Bus.

I am so excited about this event and about sharing my love of running and bunnies with all my friends, running buddies, and family members.  I am hoping that people of all abilities will attend this event as the fees go to this wonderful organization and of course to our little furry friends.

One thing I have learned through my participation is that I have wonderful running friends and wonderful rabbit friends.  My life is more complete with them around.

Please consider visiting and signing up for this event.  If you can't attend consider sponsoring a runner, or the race directly.  Feel free to email me at if you have questions about how to do so.

If there is one thing I can say that I love about myself and my friends and family, it's our passion to help other people, other animals, important causes.  We care as much about our next PR as we do about being supportive of one another.

Oh!! If you can make it out...don't forget your tail and ears.!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Long Time No See! Cap City Half Marathon Race Report

I don't know why it has been so long, but it has!  Two months since I wrote a new blog post.  I can't decide if so much has happened, or if nothing really at all has happened.
Right after I last posted we adopted another Bunny Bun- his name is Thurman- he's a major sweet heart but not so keen on being petted.  He loves his nose kissees though!

Right after that I also ran my 12th half marathon, which I confess I was pretty excited about.  It was the Cap City Half Marathon here in Columbus Ohio.  The day was fairly cool- but there was high humidity.  At about 97% , which if you have not trained in it- it was overwhelming.  I felt miserable after the first 3 miles.  It was one of those crazy days...I knew a bunch of people who had personal bests, and for me it was close to a worst.  But, I finished...which is part of the excitement in my book.

As far as half marathons go, this race has some great things, like the medal, shirt and expo was well organized.  But the course wasn't impressive and neither were the water stations.  I wish they would have had them on both sides so that the flow of runner traffic went more smoothly.  Many of the stops could not keep up with the number of runners and I felt for the volunteers who looked overwhelmed.

Overall though I would say give this one a go- big beautiful medal, nice post race party and champagne and the race director is really nice and awesome.

As usual, I wore the bunny ears and tail and DH took this of me post race.  I need to get a shirt that has more info about the bunnies on it, but I do get asked about the there you have it :)

Whats next?  I am not entirely sure.  I am registered for the Air Force Marathon in Dayton Ohio.  It is a race that is very near and dear to me as it is where I finished my first marathon ever.  It's well organized and I am staying close to the base so I should be able to walk to the start this year rather than having to worry about the parking situation.  Tail and ears?  I don't know yet, hoping to maybe meet a time goal, but it is becoming a signature of mine so I guess we will see.

Hope everyone is doing well and more soon!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A little padding in the middle

Since I crossed the Columbus Marathon finish line I have gracefully put on 10+ pounds and it is uncomfortable.  I am not sure how or why I let myself do this.  I've known its been there for the last 5 months and occasionally I think I need to do something about this....but I've been lazy about actually taking an action steps.

So.  In order to get my running game back on and to 'eat like my bunnies,' I will promise to get down to my Columbus Marathon weight with the big goal of getting down to my wedding weight.   All of these things are feesible with a MUCH improved diet and exercise. 

I figure I will challenge myself week by week, logging in and sharing how its going.  The big thing I need to improve upon is cutting out all the junk food and snacks.  If I thought I could get away with it, pizza and icecream would be my diet entirely.

I think what bugs me most are the people who continually tell your, or say "Hey, your run alot, you should be able to eat whaterver you want."

Guess what it doesn't work like that and I have the extra 10 to prove it.

So here goes:

Goal 1: 126
Final Goal 123

How did I work towards this goal today??
-Ran 3 miles in 31:44
-drank more water
-intend to lift after work and take the dog for a walk
-stay within my calorie range.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Make Mine Chocolate

I confess that 6, 7 years ago, I knew nothing about rabbits.  Well, at least the people I knew who had rabbits kept them in their backyard in a hutch.....

Randomly my husband and I decided to visit Capital Area Humane Society to meet the animals and he took me into the rabbit room.  I had no clue what to expect, but when I came around the corner there was this bunny, tan, kinda chubby, with the sweetest face who put his nose right up to the cage.  I took him out not knowing what to expect.  And DH and I put him down in the "get to know you room.'  Having just been neutered he was WIRED and I was a little bit shocked.  I thought bunnies were supposed to be soft cuddly things that you could snuggle with.  But this bunny acted like he was on crack.

But...I fell in love.  I knew I had to have this little critter as a part of my family.  My family thought I was crazy and my hubby was a little shocked, but I was taken with the little guy.

Over the next week Hoosier was put on hold twice and I left for vacation.  Each time I learned he was on hold a little part of me got bummed out.  I was also having trouble convincing my parents that adopting a rabbit was a good idea.

Yet, in the middle of my vacation I got a call from (now) DH.  "Shannie, I adopted Hoosier!!!"

I WAS ECSTATIC!  I also was going to have to keep him a secret.  My parents weren't keen on it and my college had a strict no pets policy.

But Hoosier and I were fast friends and there were many a times I smuggled his little furry body in and out of my dorm room.  My friends who knew about him thought it was hilarious and marveled at my ability to hide him.  Don't get me wrong, I know why they had a no pet policy in place and it was for very good reasons! But I was not an average gal, and he was not the average bun.  His cuteness won everyone over, including my parents.  Especially when they saw he could be litter trained and LOVED apple pie(he was a freak for apple!).

Hoosier recently left me and I admit that most days I still feel this dull ache at his loss.  Over the years he and I had grown so close it was heartbreaking to have to let him go.  In his old age he developed arthritis, but never willing to back down he would sit at the foot of the couch and stare at me until I picked him up and set him in my lap.  When I'd come home he was always ready to greet me.  One thing is for certain, no matter how sick Hoosier got he always maintained a sunny disposition.  I think that is what made letting go so hard for me.  Sometimes I am not sure if its the choices I had to make, or my fear of forgetting him that saddens me more.

But, one thing that will never change is how much he taught me about the love and bond between people and their companion animals.  Pets seems like such a..well, the term is paternalistic and for many of us these animals are more than just a pet...they are our COMPANIONS.  Our best friends.

Each year at Easter, bunnies will be bought for children, as part of their Easter basket.  Many will then be abandoned as families lose interest, or realize that a rabbit isn't quite the kind of pet that they thought they were.  In a culture or society of instant gratification we don't often think about the long term consequences of our actions.  Buying a bunny for Easter is 'fun' its a part of the 'holiday' a way to 'celebrate' with a real-live bunny!!!

In honor of Hoosier Bun Bun and all the other critters out there........please fill your Easter basket with chocolate this year rather than a live bunny.  If you are contemplating a bunny please do your research, I have linked several organizations to my blog.  Rabbits are not starter pets and require very specific care and love.  You also need a vet that is familiar with rabbit care and health.  In the end please adopt.  There are so many pets in the world that need a good home....yours could be just the one they need.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Xenia Half Marathon and Other News

On Sunday March 25th I ran the ORRRC Half Marathon in Xenia Ohio.  Finish time was 2:21:34 just a few from another personal best!!!  I got up early around 4:45 a.m because I was meeting several friends for this years race.  Several of us were doing the half and a couple were doing the full marathon.  Xenia is a small little town near Dayton Ohio, infamous for its F5 tornado in the 1970's.

This race was (for me) more of a checkpoint.  I wanted to see where I was at and what kind of shape I am in.  I am doing the Cap City Half Marathon in May and would like to go for a personal best, so this was a race to jump off from. 

Needless to say I was floored with my time!!!  The weather was perfect, a little foggy, cloudy and cooler.  My only complaint was that once you got going you could really feel the humidity.  The course itself is admittedly a little bland, but I enjoy small town races.  Calling it pancake flat is a little bit of a lie.  There are some small rollers in the first 5 miles and a gradual incline on the bike path.  When you turn around to come back into town that portion is really flat.

There were a little over 1,000 people which is much larger than what I thought.  Packet pick-up was well organized and for an early bird fee of $25 I would highly recommend checking this race out.  The post race snacks were awesome, a variety of drinks (coke, pepsi, water, gaterade, etc) and the food was AWESOME!! They had soups and a bunch of homemade cookies.  YUM!

Overall, I thought this was a well organized race from start to finish.  I was appreciative of the volunteers who always had a smile on their face.  It was well supported for it's size.  Highly recommended half marathon, full marathon might get lonely. 

The following picture was taken by Leslie:

This experience was helpful because before the race I was floundering a little bit when it came to my goals.  Now I am clear.   I want to PR (or at least train to PR) in a half- marathon and then build on that training to PR in a full marathon.  I am DETERMINED to accomplish this.  What I like about a half  is that the distance is manageable.  You can train for it and still have a life (or write a dissertation).  It is a challenge, and a rather refreshing one right now!

In order to do this I have picked out two more races before Cap City in May.  The Westerville Bunny Hop 5k, and the Greenswell Glacier Ridge 10k.  I intend to race both to get a sense of time and speed.  I know this seems strange but at least at this PR attempt I am mostly going to be doing more mileage.  What I generally lack is discipline to run the miles, especially during the week.  The resources I found suggest that a mileage build-up is key.  The next time I want to PR speedwork will be in order, especially when I think about my fall marathon. 

Overall, I am really excited to have some specific, very focused goals. Of course I know things can happen, race day weather, illness, injury..but at least this will be something to look forward to! 

Now..where are those jet packs :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running, Running and More Running

I confess that I have a tough time making up my mind about what I want to train for.  I get super excited about races but don't always take the most realistic approach when thinking about whether or not I actually have time to train for one.

So, needless to say I am really really proud of myself for making the decision to pick something and STICK WITH IT!  I plan on running a few 5k's and 10k's and then I am doing two (maybe 3) half marathons. 
ORRRC Half Marathon
Earth Day Challenge (maybe) Half
Cap City Half

My goal is to stay in shape through the spring by gradually working up to racing the Cap City Half.  I want to enter summer training with a really solid base of 15-25 miles per week

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Honor of "The post I hate to write"

There is a lovely young woman in my running group (Marathoner in Training) who has a blog I follow called Words to Run By.  In a recent blog post she shared about her struggle with self-confidence and her battle with weight loss.

Her words gave me the courage to share my own struggles.  Looking at me you see regular girl-but I know EXACTLY how Sara feels.  I remember 5th and 6th grade like it was yesterday.  All my little friends were tiny sticks and I was starting to hit puberty.  Gosh, I think I ate everything in sight and would try and eat two lunches if I could!  Of course, as luck would have it-my height has stayed pretty much the same, but I remember going to the doctor and being in 'the triple digits.'  It seems so silly now but I think what was more upsetting was the impact it's had on my mind set!  Suddenly I was aware of differences (physically) between myself and others.  Those differences made me second guess myself and question my own worth.

Most recently I have gained a little weight (THERE I SAID IT)  A life of full-time job, plus ABD (doctoral candidate) plus any other work, plus the assumption that somehow I can eat all the same things as my husband.  All the running in the world is not going to keep the weight off if I keep eating fast food, junk food and sitting like a desk jockey all day!.

I know this and I am working on it, but it all came to a head last weekend.  I was signed up for Last Chance for Boston Half marathon and was really dreading it.  The added weight has slowed me down some and I feel awkward.   So...I haven't really been running as much lately. Plus I am self-concious in my running gear.  When I woke up that morning I had a HUGE panic attack!!!

I felt sick, I was nervous....all I could  think of was- NO WAY! I am NOT going out there, in public.  So- I laid down and fell back asleep.  Later that morning when I woke up, my husband and I were going to go to breakfast, he voices his concerns.  The look on his face made me burst into tears.  Poor DH was horrified.

Was it a little irrational?  Probably, but gosh I just felt so-low.  And I didn't want to run, I didn't want to go out- NOTHING!

DH and I started lifting weights again and slowly it's helping me get my confidence back.  It's something else for me to track- how much can I bench press this week?  Plus, I get looks of admiration because other than a couple of fitness diva's I'm usually one of the only chics who regularly hits the free weights.  The gents have been giving me space in the weight room :)

It's also helping me a bunch when it comes to building my confidence.  Do I have a little extra padding to lose?  Yes, I do-but the body is an amazing thing and it will do what you ask of it if you treat it right.

So, slowly I am trying to re-train my brain.  I am trying to look at the big picture of life.  Change is slow, but slow change is permanent change.

So, yes Sara- I know how you feel.  It's a battle everyday.  Some days just plain suck.  Other times I feel on top of the world.  I try to remind myself that this is it.  This is the body I was born with, no I really didn't choose it, but I admire it for all the things it's done for me.  Other days I hate it!!!  In a society where conformity is valued and diveristy is demonized it's easy to fall prey to self-loathing.  Don't forget that you are a powerhouse, and the fact that you WANT it and you WORK everyday to do better...well, my friend, the battle is half won :)

See you on the trails!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Running?

A couple of weeks ago my husband asked me why I felt obligated to run marathons. It was such a strange question and honestly I was a tad annoyed because...well...why didn't he just read my mind and 'get it?'
Well...even if he did read my mind I'm fairly certain there wasn't much to get. Honestly I don't know why I run anymore. It started in college as a way to keep the weight off, but somewhere along the way it was no longer about that and I was still running.

But I can't think of a reason why other than that going for a run has become the equivalent of eating, breathing or sleeping-it's just a natural part of my day (or every other day as the case may be). So...I really don't have an explanation other than an annoying one of 'just becuase.'

Sometimes I think we overthink things....sometimes we run just to when you watch a dog run it's sheer joy. It's enjoying the movement, the process, feeling the lead fall out of your legs. It's feeling your lungs expand and take in the fresh air and exhaling out all the negative gross stuff you've had to endure during the day.

Running is about the challenge, because you really never know what race day is going to bring. Sometimes shit happens and the race falls apart. It's about how you come back after it all shakes out that spells who you are as a runner (I've DNF'ed 3 times at the Columbus Marathon by the way).

Most days running hurts-sometimes the hurt is physical and other days it's a mental agony of forcing yourself to just move your feet for a few moments longer. What keeps a person coming back is the feeling of accomplishment. Even on the worst days I come back and am proud I chose to do battle that day!

The easy days are blis- as runners there are moments you run and you feel like a gazelle, your form, your breathing...all of it is just so easy. We live and run for those days too.

I joke that I am the raccoon of the family, because I also run for the bling or the medal that may be at the end of some races. I love that shiny piece for something I see when I cross the finish line. I make no apologies for this either :)

So running and rabbits you ask??? started with the Columbus Marathon and as I continue to blog hopfully more will be made clear.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why Rabbits?

Why on earth would anyone want to adopt a pet rabbit?  What makes them so special?  They aren't the best pet for kids, they generally don't like to be picked up-and let's face it, until you've had one.........they seem to be a strange choice for a pet!!!

Here are my top 10 reasons for having a Bun as my best friend:

1) They dance!  It's called a binky or a popcorn depending on your buns style.
2) They race!  Bunny 500's are amazing feets (pun intended) and as exciting to watch as the Indy 500!
3) They helped me learn to eat better: all those greens reminded me I need to eat mine too!
4) Trust: when you have gained your rabbits trust its amazing what you see in them.
5) They purr-well, their teeth grind and make a purring noise when they are happy with you.
6) They can box!  Especially when they don't wanna be messed with they can be little champs!
7) They use a litter box-my girl is so lady like, better than my cat was!
8) Multiple rabbits form the coolest friendships.
9) Each one has a unique personality and when you get to know them, they are happy to share it.
10) Why not have a rabbit???

Comedian Amy Sedaris has an excellent video that she made for the House Rabbit Society on the joys and responsibilities of having a pet bun. (Again, this video is courtesy The House Rabbit Society)

Like any pet you bring into your home, be ready to treat them with respect and kindness.  Animals need food, shelter, vet check ups and most importantly your love.  If you aren't prepared to care for the animal for 8+ years you might want to rethink bringing them home.  Most people do not realize that well cared for buns can live for 10 or more years.  They can bring you so much joy, but be prepared to care for them.

Tomorrow will be a post about running-but for now-gotta HOP to it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Running, Rabbits, and a tad about me!

So it begins!  My name is Shannon and I love buns!

No no no!  Not those kind of buns :)  These kind of buns...
It all started with a rabbit named Hoosier (the tan one on the right).  Somehow my DH decided it was a good idea to go check out the bunnies at the local humane society (ADOPT!). 

It was love at first sight!  I had never had a rabbit before and knew nothing about rabbits at all, but he WON me over.

Around the same time I had begun running and recently had just finished my first half marathon.

Running and Rabbits became a part of who I am and along the way the two have collided- I adopted another bun (Mandi on the left), ran 5 marathons, one ultra and many half's and 5k's. 

This past October I 'won' the 18 mile marker and had it dedicated to a local organization the Columbus House Rabbit Society.  In the process I raise $600 + for the organization which helps foster and educate people about owning and living with a house rabbit. 

Since that race I have concluded that these two passions go together-at least some of the time- and I want to use my races as an opportunity to remind people that rabbits are the third most abandoned animal, they aren't wild bunnies, hutches aren't the best place for them, they can be litterbox trained...and most importantly.......when they trust you-the love they show is better than what any cat or dog can show you (and I have had both cats and dogs for pets).

I guess that's why they say that once a rabbit owner-always a bunny owner.

So-what's next?  Well..that's what this blog is all about!  Feel free, whether rabbit friend, runner follow along.