Thursday, December 8, 2011

Running in 2011!

2011 was a great year for me!  I set PRs in the 10 mile and 1/2 marathon distances (see sidebar @ right) and ran a marathon.  I pulled my annual miles from the Nike+ dashboard (LOVE IT).  I think it tells quite the story!

I'm back to running 3-4 times a week and tracking performance again in December.  I couldn't be happier.  While I did enjoy my time off from strenuous exercise post marathon, I am not enjoying the few pounds I put on.

My 2012 goal is finish a 5K with 26-something on the clock!!

(P.S. the 10:28 average time is deceiving since there are so many long slow runs averaged in.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Shopping!

Eternal Memory Candles are the perfect gift for anyone who has lost a loved one. The holidays are such a tough time of year for those grieving. Help ease their pain by lighting a candle in celebration and remembrance.

Buy online at Eternal Memory Candle.  Available Candles include:  Mom, Dad, Husband & Wife.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marathon recap!

I am still in disbelief that I ran a marathon!  My right hamstring confirms I did with each painful step...but, I am still shocked that I did it.

First...a few facts for the runners and non-runners alike:

  1. A marathon is 26.2 miles.  All marathons are 26.2 miles.  No, New York City and Boston are not longer than the rest (yes, I was actually asked this).
  2. About 1% of Americans have attempted a marathon.  Only .5% have successfully completed one.  About .13% of the world's population can boast completing a marathon.
  3. Winning finish times are typically just over 2 hours for men (there are all kinds of debates because apparently if the course is more down hill or has strong tail winds the finish times don't actually count) as record breaking
 So...back to Sunday.  It was cold.  About 30-32 degrees at the start.  The East Coast was hit by a massive, freak Nor'easter on Saturday.  Some areas reported nearly 2 feet of snow.  DC got snow and sleet, but no significant accumulations on Saturday.  It did make packet pickup cold and force us to stay inside the hotel for dinner...but really that was the only implication.

Anyway, back to Sunday morning.  I got to my corral about 7:40 am (race start at 8).  My feet were frozen solid.  I had two throw away shirts on which both came off pretty early (by miles 1 and 3).  The biggest piece of advice I got was not to go out too fast.  Let me tell you...with the crowds that was just not possible.  My 5k time was a pathetic 34 minutes. worries about going too fast coming from me.  

The first few miles, though crowded, were pretty uneventful.  Up the hill at mile 2, no big deal!  On that first hill is where I had my first moment of realization of just what I was partaking in.  I passed a pack of Marines running in formation with 50-lb packs on their back.  They ran until someone said walk.  They would walk until all were ready to run again.  They were so inspirational and motivational.  I teared up so many times....especially when you saw the groups pushing other Marines in the wheel chair part of the race. 

Back to running...up the hill at mile 8, again, the hill was no big deal.  I guess all that hilly training paid off for me.  The gloves came off somewhere around mile 8.  I continued my shot block every other mile strategy (on the even miles). I felt strong and the miles just kept ticking away. 

Before I knew it I was at the halfway mark.  Time was flying, I was enjoying myself and just taking it all in.  I remember my halfway time of about 2:21 which was 10 minutes slower than my half marathon PR set in September.  I was fine with that knowing I still had 13.1 to go. 

The crowds and the Marines were fabulous.  They really kept you going.  I made it past the Gauntlet at mile 17 and then headed to "beat the bridge" at mile 20.  Sailed past there pretty easily and that's when the thoughts of "get this damn race over" started creeping in.  My hubby was jumping on with me at 21 so I just focused on getting to him.  I finally found him at 21.5.  That was a huge spirit lifter for me.  He started telling me about all the texts I was getting from friends and what was going on with our kids (i.e. they are fine, I talked to them, etc.). 

I ran a pretty pathetic pace for the last 5 miles.  I was hurting and ready for it to end.  I did perk up somewhere around mile 24 at one particular sign.  My favorite sign of the whole day...(and trust me, there were some really good ones)

"You have NO CHOICE but to F***ING FINISH". 

That sign really made me smile and just keep going.  I needed to get it done! Running up the hill at mile 26 was incredible.  I was amazed at how many people walked the hill.  I was not about to walk the finish of my marathon! 

My finish time was 5:06:33.  I ran the whole thing (only walked through water stops).  I am so incredibly proud of myself!  And, I know my Dad is, too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm a Marathoner!

Full recap coming soon...but, in the interim, a little before and after pics:

Finish time:  5:06:33

Friday, October 28, 2011

2 days till MCM!

So ready to run this race! Weather looks perfect (30s at start, 50s at finish). I'll be wearing lots of peel-able layers! 

Good luck to all runner friends who are also running it!  Semper Fi and Oorah!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And, that's a wrap!

I ran a 13K (8 miles) today. It was the last of a 3-part race series I signed up for. Being that my marathon is next weekend, I decided not to race today...but to pace a friend who wanted to come in under 1:30.  It was going to be 8 nice easy miles to wrap up my training for MCM.  I felt so strong today!  I easily could have went much more.  I barely broke a sweat!

What a treat today was...perfect running weather.  I helped my friend finish strong and come in at 1:29 and change.  I was stunned when I found out I took second in my age group for the race series.  A perfect day, indeed.

And on that high note, I'll say I'm done.  No more running until the start line on 10/30.  Semper Fi!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm still here...

Just really, really busy.  I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say I'm working my butt off, trying to stay healthy, and carting children everywhere. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

20 miles...DONE!

My last LONG training run of the marathon plan has been completed! 20 MILES! WOO HOO!  I am amazed at how quickly I recovered.  I actually went out shopping on Saturday night.  Sunday I just had some mild tenderness in the knees.  Today, I will work out (bike, arms, abs).

I sure hope the crowds and marines will get me through the last 6.  The arches of my feet hurt more than anything else.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday...a day of rest!

Yesterday, I ran a 15 miler...a step back week according to my training calendar.  I'm still wondering when "only 15 miles" became part of my vocabulary.  The good news is I seem to be handling these runs much better.  Recovery is pretty quick...It's only the first few hours post run where I feel like crap.

I come home and immediately eat.  Then I shower.  Then my wonderful husband spends time rubbing out my legs (mostly hammies and calves).  By the end of his massage, I feel like I'm becoming a real person again.  Then, I typically eat again.  Last night I woke up at 1:09 and was famished.  Apparently, I didn't eat enough after those miles yesterday.

I is Sunday.  Historially, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.  I think I will take that literally today.  No exercise.  Sit back, relax and watch some football.  Dinner is already cooking (I LOVE crock pots)!   All soccer cancelled due to rain.  I think it's a sign...relax and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

19 miles more long run to go!

This weekend I did the first of my two 20 milers. I only made it 19 miles...but I think that was good enough! It was so stinking humid that I'm sure that accounts for something!

After the run, I hopped in an ice bath!  Delightful...

I don't know if I enjoyed my greek yogurt with granola, raisins, and banana or the ice bath more.  They were both wonderful after those hard miles.  Thanks to Keri @ Blue Eyed Runner for inspiring me to try an ice bath!

I recovered really quick after those 19 miles and actually did a 5 miler today.  Quite a difference in recovery times from the 1/2 marathon where it took me till Thursday to run again. 

My training plan calls for 15 miles on Saturday and the forecast is a high of 64.  15 miles will seem like a walk in the park compared to 19 in high humidity!!  After this weekend, I have one more 20 miler and then the taper begins.  So exciting!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I'm still smiling from the 1/2 marathon this weekend. Recovery was slow...I just got back out today for my first run and only did a measly 3 miles.

I'm still slightly troubled by the left hamstring and right knee. Hoping to survive my 20 miler in tact this weekend!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A new PR!

2:12:17...A new PR for me! WOO HOO!

More details coming soon...but some pics to start...That me with my hands in the air (white shirt, black capris) at mile 12.9 or so...

Me and my hubby!
I love how my Dad made this picture...Thanks, Dad for instilling the qualities of determination and perseverance...they certainly helped today.  Know you are proud!
 Brett Michaels Rockin' at the post race party!

Off for a long hot shower!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

13.1 in memory of my Dad...

In 13 hours (check out the irony of the timing), I will be running 13.1 miles in memory and honor of my Dad.  In case you've forgotten why I run or what he looked like, let me remind you with some of my favorite pics of him.  The first one is on the front of the shirt I'll be wearing tomorrow.  The second one is from the winter (he always grew a beard in the winter).

Monday (9/19) would have been his 68th birthday. We'll be sending our balloons to heaven as we do every year.

Love you and miss you dad...please give the courage and strength to get through these miles tomorrow.  Wish you could be there to high 5 me at the finish...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


After my 18-miler on Sunday, I noticed some pain on the back of my left knee.  The pain started spreading up the hamstrings to the glutes and hip.  I took Monday off and rested.  Yesterday (Tuesday), I rode the bike, did arms, and abs, and then tried to do my walking lunges.  The walking lunges were left hip completely caved.  I immediately called my PT and he got me in yesterday afternoon.

After much testing, he determined I pulled my left hammie.  His recovery plan includes rest, ultrasound, electronic stim, taping, and stretching.  No running.  I go back for more treatments on Thursday and Friday.  He took such good care of me...I felt like a professional athlete!  HA HA! 

This is not where I wanted to be just before my half marathon on Sunday...but with any luck, the hammie will heal and I will be ready for the start on Sunday morning.  Overall, I hope this is just a blip in my full marathon training schedule.  I still have two more 20 milers left to run before the full on 10/30.

Once I complete my full marathon, I am done with the long runs.  It's just too hard on my body!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

18 miles this morning

I ran 18 miles this morning. I unplugged for miles 9 through 11 in honor and memory of those who lost their lives 10 years ago today. We will never forget...

I thank all our service men and women for keeping America safe and free and all our firemen, policemen, and EMTs for their courage and bravery.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bib 10635!

Did I tell you I'm running a marathon? I think I may have mentioned it once or twice around here.

Bib numbers were announced yesterday...Mine is 10635.

WOO HOO...3 more long training runs...that's it...three to go...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School!

Yesterday was the first day back to school for the kiddos!  Both were happy with their teachers and the numerous friends in their class.  I was happy to push them out the door and get my quiet house back!  Of course, the quiet only lasted till 4 when they busted back in, hit the pantry for a snack, and deposited all the paper work on the island for me to fill out.  So much MOM homework on Day 1!!

It rained all day yesterday and looks to be another rainy day again today.  I guess it goes with my mood...dreary!  Here's hoping for some sunshine so I can get back to running.

You might already know this...but I've got a marathon I'm training for.   HA HA! 

Seems like these big runs become your life!  Your schedule revolves around your long runs, you meal plan around your runs (pasta on friday nights to carb load for Saturday AM), you even do laundry around your run schedule.  You must wear your best, most comfortable shorts on the long runs to minimize chafing...shorter runs I can wear the crappier shorts because, after all, I'm only going 5 miles.

See...I can't even write one post without it coming back to running.  This was supposed to be about the first day of school. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Only 12.5 today...

A step back week in my training plan...only a 1/2 marathon run for the weekend! HA HA! I totally love how my mindset has changed as to what is a long run!  18 on the plan for next weekend.

It's a light weekend for us with no major plans. Off to hit the grocery store, lowe's, and the wine store. I want to try the skinny girl margarita stuff. Anyone tried it yet? Low calorie and low kind of drink.  House projects this afternoon!

Happy long weekend to all!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm an overachiever...I did 18 miles this morning!

WOO HOO! 18 miles done! I was worried about my training plan calling for 17 this week after how crappy my 15 miler was!

Turns out that I did great on 18 miles! Yes, I was tired. Yes, my legs hurt. But, I made it!

Lessons learned:
1. Overestimate water consumption. I needed more than one bottle per 6 mile loop.
2. Overestimate Shot Blocks...I tried to ration them. I should've taken more than I needed.
3. Have food waiting in car for post run. I was famished until I get home.

Since I finished running, I have been eating non-stop!  I've had a greek yogurt, 2 small sticky buns, a salad topped with steak, corn on the cob, and a slice and 1/2 of pizza.  OMG...that's a lot of food!

And now, I relax and ride out this hurricane by staying indoors, eating some more, and plenty of wine.  The worst is supposed to be from 4am-8am.  I really hope we don't lose power.

Friday, August 26, 2011

17 miles tomorrow AM before Irene hits. Wish me luck!

Not only on running 17 miles but on the impending hurricane heading our way. It's been a rough week for us on the east coast...first an earthquake and now a hurricane.   Philadelphia is in her direct line....

We are not used to this crap.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene is messing with my training!

I HAD planned to do my long run on Sunday this week. The Hurricane apparently has other ideas for what I will be doing on Sunday.  So, the long run moves to Saturday.  17  I will blog about it when done and let you know how it felt.

A bizarre thing happened to me on my 5.5 mile run last night.  My hands and feet burned.  They felt like they were on fire.  The only rationale I have is that I was chopping jalapenos before going out for the run.  I washed my hands thoroughly with soap.  Could that really be the culprit?

Friday, August 19, 2011

15 miles...what was I thinking?

With 10 weeks to go to my Marathon, the distances are starting to become real. I ran a 15 mile training run this morning. I'm starting to have serious doubts about my ability to run 26.2.

I feel like I've been hit by a truck. There is NO WAY I could have done 11 more miles.  Granted, I did this run on very little sleep and I had just raced a 5K on Wednesday...

17 miles next weekend. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Close...but no cigar!

My PR in a 5K is 28:05. That was my goal for last night. Ideally, I wanted anything with a 27 in front!  I missed my goal by about 5 or 6 seconds and finished at 28:10 (or 11)...need to wait for official results.  I was disappointed to say the least. 

Having said that, I'm trying to keep it in perspective.  My next 5K will be late fall early winter.  On the course I set my PR last year.  Last night it was 80 degrees.  I'm much faster in the cold.  Also, the race was at 7 pm last night.  I prefer to run in the AM and do much better on fresh legs. 

So, I guess all in all to be only 5 seconds slower in 80 degrees in the evening wasn't too shabby.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5K tomorrow night

Been MIA lately...busy last week. I had a lot going on with work and then a wedding this weekend. I did get a 14 miler in on Saturday before we left.

Tomorrow night is a 5K. I would love a PR...but I just don't know if I can do it. Evening running is not my thing. I do best first thing in the AM. Plus, I am much faster in cold weather than the heat of summer.

We'll is a flat course. Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cleared from PT!

I had a great Physical Therapy session this morning. Each time we tried a new or challenging exercise, he would ask me about my knee pain. What knee pain? I could even do the clock game today!!

I ran 5 w/o tape this morning. I'm feeling strong! Now I hope I can just stay in this shape/conditioning until Oct. 30.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Family reunited!

The last week was both good and bad....

The good: reconnecting with hubby...dinners out, movies, good conversations, minimal messes, kids becoming less mommy/daddy reliant

The bad:  missing my kids something fierce; ALR getting into a bees nest and being stung 11 times on day 1 of camp.

"Reunited and it feels so good!"  I can't stop hugging them. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday did that happen?

DH and I have been enjoying our kid free week so far. Sunday night was dinner with neighbors. Monday night was burgers and movies...last night was a quiet night in with yummy leftovers another neighbor dropped off (she didn't want me to have to cook). Not sure what we are doing tonight...but tomorrow is dinner our with more neighbors.

Hmmmm...what does this make me realize....time flies and we have great neighbors!

Our little sweetheart was stung 11 times at camp on Monday while picking blueberries. Her friend was stung 13 times. The camp nurse did a wonderful job. I still had multiple calls with CHOP (due to bee sting allergy being in on family) and camp...but everything has worked out OK. She and her friend rejoined their troop's activities on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Half Marathon Morning!

What a way to start the weekend...I ran 13 miles this morning. Not an official half marathon...just a training run. The temperature wasn't too bad (upper 70s at 6 am), but the humidity was high.  My friend said the dewpoint was 94 which is ridiculous!  She ran the first 6 with me.  Then I met up with some other friends and finished the last 7 with a guy named Matt.  I had only run with him once it was great getting to know someone new.  It really takes your mind off running.

This week my plan called for:

Tues:  6X800s
Thurs:  7 miles
Saturday: 13 miles.

I actually did 4 miles on Tues, 7 miles on Thursday and 13 miles today.  I'm still a little gun shy on the speed work given my knee.  The knee felt great all day I guess I need to get back to the speedwork plan. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Looking ahead to next week makes me smile...a step back week with only a 10 mile run on the weekend.  SWEET!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

7 miles in the upper 60s!

Runs don't get much better than this. A friend of mine came over and we started out at 6:15 to get 7 miles in.  The weather was perfect....overcast and highs in the upper 60s.  The cool breeze was delightful. 

My friend is a bit slower than I could really chat it up while we ran 12 minute miles.  It was nice not to stress about time and just enjoy the beauty of the run.  She finished strong.  I had her sprint the last 1/4 mile and she got down to an 8:30 pace. 

What a great way to kick off my Thursday.  It is a busy day today....but my neighbors will surely be in my thoughts and prayers.  Today is the funeral for his Dad.  Never easy to lose a parent...I surely know that all too well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Drama Queen strikes again....

My daughter (the drama queen) is currently in her latest show...Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. She's in the light blue t-shirt and tan shorts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

11 miles at 70 degrees!

A gorgeous run this morning....The heat finally broke and allowed me to get my long run in.

The best part was I had no knee pain! It certainly wasn't fast...but I'm not focused on time right now. Just running pain free!

Heat wave #6 of the season starts again on Wednesday. Great (said with heavy sarcasm).