Saturday, January 30, 2010

snow again ...

I know I've mentioned it before, but I really do not like the snow or cold weather or wind. Personally, I would be up for 90 degree days all of the time. That was part of the appeal of Virginia. It was far milder than dreary Erie. But somehow, it has snowed for the third time in 10 months. Like huge snow. Close to a foot and it's still going.

And since I am such a wimp and didn't want to run in the snow alone, I completed my long run, inside, where it was a balmy 72 degrees. 10 miles of watching the snow fall while sporting a tank top. It was heaven.

Speaking of heaven, that's where I'll be for the Disney Princess Half (right? Isn't Disney like heaven on earth?). A bunch of bloggy friends have mentioned that they are going to be running as well (let me know if anyone wants to meet up). One of those friends, Katye is holding a Bondiband fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you are interested in finding out more, click HERE.

Friday, January 29, 2010

run like a princess ...

Things have been busy around here celebrating Dilly's birthday and everything, so this will be short and sweet.

This morning we had Dilly's "Over the Rainbow" first birthday party. For two hours, my house was full of children ages five months to five years. It was loud to say the least. But, everyone seemed to have fun. And really, isn't that what birthdays are all about? Well, that and cake?

And speaking of birthdays, I got an early birthday present today from J. As of this morning, I am officially registered in the 2010 Disney Princess Half Marathon!! I am so excited! We are surprising the girls with a trip to Disney for their birthdays/this year's family vacation, and J happened to schedule it for the same weekend as the race. And since we were going to be there anyway, well you get the point. Sweet, right?

And since my dates with Mr. Wave Elixir 4 went so well on Wednesday and Thursday, we might just make our public debut at that race. Because, really, every princess needs her glass (or lightweight, running on clouds) slipper ...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

firsts and lasts ...

Dilly - One Day Old

Dilly - One Year Old
Dear Dilly,

It's amazing, but somehow I blinked and my last baby is suddenly one. You'd think that after going through the first year with each of your sisters, I would have known exactly what to expect during yours. But, I'd be lying if I said that I did. Sure, some things were easier, some things less confusing, but almost nothing was what I expected. Which, if we are being honest, is exactly what I should have expected.

From day one, you were your own person. When people would ask me who you looked like, or who you reminded me of, I always answered, "I'm not sure. I guess she's most like Dilly." And that's still true. Sure, you share traits with each of your sisters, but you inject so much of your own personality in that you really don't resemble either.

There are a million things about you that make you the Dilly that I love. These are just a few of my favorites.

I love that you are the EASIEST child ever. You can ask anyone. You never cry. OK, maybe you cry, but it's usually only when you hurt yourself. Like last week when you fell down, bashed your head and instantly looked like you were growing a horn. (No worries, you're fine.)

I love that you know how to play me. That when you want your way, you'll look up at me with those big brown eyes, in a way that is eerily similar to Puss-N-Boots from Shrek.

I love that you act so much older than you are. You have an immense amount of confidence. And truly believe that you can do anything you put your mind to, even if that means climbing the banister (seriously, I have caught you climbing the banister. You can't even walk yet. Give me a break.)

I love that you do everything on your own time. Prime example, drinking from a cup. You would rather dehydrate yourself than drink on my schedule. So, I weaned you. And you held your ground. Refusing to drink anything. I said, "Have it your way." And you did.

I love that you love kisses. There is nothing better than slobbery baby kisses and you are happy to serve them up to anyone who is interested.

I love that you admire your sisters. Sure, they might not always be the best examples, but I could sit for hours watching you watch them with such love. I hope that you feel the same way for the rest of your life.

I love that I can always calm you down or make you laugh by singing, "I Got A Feeling," by the Black Eyed Peas. It's your favorite and to watch you dance to it, is the best.

I love that you let me parent you the way I have. That you quickly adapted to everything I have thrown at you. In a way, I have never seen you as a baby. I've tried to treat you like I treat your older sisters. And I think it has worked. We've found our groove. You've helped me become a more confident and a more relaxed parent. And I thank you for that.

Dilly, watching you transition in your first year from a newborn to a toddler has been bittersweet for me. Most of your firsts were also my lasts. The first time you took a bath was the last time I would ever give a first bath. The first time you "cried it out" was the last time I would ever Ferberize a child. Your first meal, your first smile, your first attempts of everything are all my last experiences of babyhood. It makes me want to smile and cry, all at the same time.

I am excited for all that is in store for us. I can't wait to see how you will continue to grow and blossom. How you will mesh with your sisters. How you will grow up. But for now, I will relish in the fact that today my baby is one. No longer a baby, but not quite a big kid. Happy Birthday Dilly! I love you more than you will ever know.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

my new kicks ...

Remember what was happening with my old shoes?

Well, I'm hoping that these little beauties change all that ...

Nice to meet you Wave Elixir 4. I think we have a date with the treadmill tonight ...


Every single day, I am shocked by the things that come out of the mouth's of my children. This morning, Doodle hit me with this one ...

Me (looking at Doodle's runny nose): "Doodle, where did you get all those boogers from?"

Doodle: "Well, I ate the cheese and then they came in my nose."

Me: "Wait. So the cheese put the boogers in there."

Doodle: "Yes. I ate the cheese and it turned into boogers."

Hmmm. That's interesting. I'm pretty sure the dairy industry is unaware of this association ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

i have my running partner back!!!

I have had a void in my life. A void that could only be filled by one person. My running partner, G.

We have been running together a few times a week for almost two years. If one of us can't make a long run, the other one reschedules so that we won't have to run alone. We coordinate our race outfits. We are in this together. Well, at least that was the case until the marathon. Because, like me, G suffered an injury. Her injury, however, was more severe and she has been banned from running since the end of November.

But SHE'S FINALLY BACK!! So, after doing a happy dance this morning, I joined G for a short CORE run (as prescribed by her doc). I knew we were going to have to run according to her terms. And I was cool with that. It was going to be a bonus run for me, so I had no problem taking it easy and to be honest, I really just wanted to run with her.

We met at her place (me, with stroller in tow). The plan was for 3 miles with core work mixed in. We ran for about half a mile, stopping on the side of the road for G to stretch. I took pictures just in case a certain Witch Doctor ever needs proof that she is following doctor's orders.

After she was done, we started running again. Then around a mile, we stopped for two minutes of planks and more stretching.
Planks always stink, but they are WAY HARDER when you are stopping in the middle of a run and when you have to rest your hands on the street. Ouch! We repeated this process for the rest of the run and G made it 2.25 miles before the knee called it quits! This is huge progress. And surprisingly, I really liked this core run thing. I may just have to add it into my normal routine.
Isn't having a running buddy the best?

Monday, January 25, 2010

a day of smiles ...

Today has been a good day.

No, wait. Today has been an EXCELLENT day. It started with an email from someone I have never met. She wrote to me (and G) to tell us that reading our blogs has helped her on her journey to become a runner. We inspired her. Wow. That made my day and completely amazed me. Isn't it crazy how you can affect someone without even realizing it?

Then (still smiling from the email) I found out that I won the giveaway on Saundra's blog, Fitness for Foodies. The prize was a Nike gift card, which means new running gear for me!Seriously, could this day get any better?

Yes. Yes, it can ... because my new running shoes have been shipped (so excited to try them), I ran an awesome three miler this afternoon (25:56, in case you were wondering) and I am secret shopping one of my favorite restaurants tonight!

OK, I'll stop bragging before you want to kick me in the face ...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

determination ...

"I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never give up, no matter what else happened," - Wilma Rudolph

After writing about pushing my ginormous triple stroller on my runs, I got a comment that read, "The things you do to get your runs in are amazing." It really got me thinking. I think the things I do to get my runs in are just the things that NEED to be done to get my runs in. Nothing amazing (although, I do LOVE complements). For me, they have become commonplace. Running is not a choice. It is a crucial part of my life. 5 runs a week, sometimes more, NEVER EVER less. Missing a run is not an option.

Now, I know that skipping a workout or cutting a run short isn't the end of the world. It's not going to make a lick of difference on race day, just like finishing every last mile on my training plan isn't going to get me a BQ. But I have made a commitment to myself. A commitment to be the best me every single day. On every single run. So, if that means pushing a 140+ pound stroller, exchanging sleeping in for early morning long runs or logging 22 miles on the treadmill, well then that's what has to get done.

It's just about determination. The determination to always strive to be better than you were yesterday. The determination to show your children that you can get pure joy out of something, even if you NEVER walk away as the champion. The determination to prove everyone who has ever doubted you wrong, even if that means proving yourself wrong as well. And although, it may not be the reason I started running, it is without a doubt this determination that keeps me running.

I may never run a five minute mile. Or log 70 miles a week. I'm not going to win a race or even beat all of my friends. But none of that matters. Running is my passion. A passion I want to share with others. It is more than just a hobby. It is a force that has forever changed my life. Running has allowed me to be the best mom and wife and me that I can possibly be. It's not a chore. Or a job (because I am WAY TOO SLOW for that). Or even a requirement. It is just the simple act of placing one foot in front of the other. A simple act that helps define me ...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

was it 2, 4 or 8?

This morning, I packed up my three children (who weigh in at 103 pounds) and loaded them in my very heavy triple stroller (another 38 pounds) for a short run. We went two miles. My arms hurt more than my legs. I can not imagine having to do that on a daily basis.

But then I thought about it. That stroller weighed in at 141 pounds. That's only 9 pounds less than I weigh. So, shouldn't I get to double count those miles? Or even better, quadruple those miles? I mean, I was solely responsible for moving four people two miles. Makes sense, right?

Friday, January 22, 2010

heaven in washington?

Tonight at dinner, Dizzle told me that she wishes that dinosaurs lived with us. I told her that it wasn't possible for that to happen because dinosaurs are extinct. Simple enough, right? Well, she didn't know what extinct meant, which opened up a whole other can of worms.

Dizzle: "What does extinct mean?"

Me: "Well, extinct means that there are no more left of something and that there can never be anymore. Scientists believe that a meteor hit the earth a very long time ago. This caused a climate change that the dinosaurs couldn't adapt to. It was either too hot or too cold for them and they all died."

Dizzle: "OK, but where did they all go?"

Me: "Um, I don't know. Maybe heaven."

Dizzle: "Or Washington."

Me: "Why Washington?"

Dizzle: "Because that's where everyone goes when they die."

And I was left speechless. And laughing. But mostly speechless ...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

true love ...

So, yesterday, my feisty four-year-old once again proved that she is a teenager trapped in a child's body. We were sitting at the breakfast table and unhappy with the meal I had provided, she turned to me and said, "If you love me, you will give me what I want!"

I laughed and replied, "Well, I guess I don't love you enough then, because you are getting what you have." Then she hit me with the "eye roll." Isn't four a little young for so much attitude? Seriously, what I am going to do when all three of them are teenagers?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

why did no one else come with us?

Let me just start this post by acknowledging that I have not had a real "no kids, no responsibilities" vacation since my honeymoon ... five and a half years ago. Keeping this in mind, I realize that I probably would have had a fantastic time at the Holiday Inn around the corner. But fortunately, I somehow convinced J that he would be fine with the kids for four days so that I could leave the country. (Honestly, I'm not quite sure how I managed that one.)

So, early (like 4 a.m. early) on Friday, I woke up to do some last minute prep before heading to the airport. I double checked that I had all my race gear, my passport and my cash (the only things I really cared about). Then I peeked in on my kids before heading out to pick up G.
Once we got to the airport, things went smoothly. Well, except for that $150 change fee that the airline wanted me to pay for a change that I never made. Long story short, they fixed it (although, the same thing happened on the way back.) And once we were at our gate, we relaxed. Here we are waiting to board our plane.
We connected through Philadelphia and it was evident upon arrival that EVERYONE on the plane was a runner. It's funny how easy it is to spot a non-runner in a sea of runners. While waiting for our flight to Bermuda, G and I saw the best shirt ever. It said, "Nobody trains to be runner up." I love it. And if anyone is generous and wants to buy it for me, I wear a small and it's made by Nike. (I also saw someone wearing those Vibram shoes for barefoot running. They are crazy looking!)

On the plane, we had a blast talking to other runners. It was amazing to hear about where else they had ran, what they had heard about the course and why they wanted to complete the "Bermuda Triangle Challenge." I got off that flight completely energized.

G's mom, MJ, picked us up from the airport and our tour of Bermuda started immediately. We started with lunch at Swizzle Inn, where I had the best $17 hamburger EVER!

After lunch, we visited the Crystal Cave.

It was amazing to see and was highlighted by the over-the-top tour guide, Ron. He had us laughing from beginning to end. After we climbed the 84 steps back to the surface (84 steps that they warned you not to climb if you had a heart condition), we checked in at the Grotto Bay.

It was beautiful and scenic. Look at the view from our room.

Amazing, right? This was pretty much the point that G and I started asking ourselves, "Why did no one else come with us?" Seriously. We extended the invitation. Where was everyone?

Once we got settled, we headed to the Race Expo. It was only an hour into the expo when we got there, but they had already run out of shirts smaller than a men's large. Talk about a bummer. The shirt is way cute and I would have worn it all the time. But it's pretty much a dress on me. I passed it on to J. Other than the shirts, the race bags had some pretty good stuff in it.
We ended our day with dinner at Cafe Gio. The food was delicious. And probably the best value we saw. $30 for an appetizer, entree and dessert. Thanks to that meal alone, I probably consumed 5000 calories that day.

Saturday was really relaxed. We ate our meals on MJ's boat (we tried a boat trip, but turned around after rough seas), played Parcheesi, and toured the island. It was fun and so relaxing and quiet. I love my kids, but it was SO NICE to be able to go out and not worry that someone was running off or throwing a tantrum. Anyway, here are some of my favorite pictures from our island tour.
Sunday was race day. It was awesome. And if you haven't read about it already, you can check it out HERE.

On Monday, we packed up our bags, checked out of the hotel and headed into Hamilton to pick up gifts for the kids and to eat lunch. It rained (the only time while we were there) and G and I joked that Bermuda was crying that we were leaving. It was.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

parcheesi strategy ...

The night before the Bermuda Half Marathon, we played Parcheesi. I was having a slow start, but eventually picked up speed. I laughed about it and told G that I was going to use the "Parcheesi Strategy" during the race. Start out slow and finish strong. It worked. Mostly.

2010 Bermuda Half Marathon Race Schedule

5:30 a.m.: Wake up.

5:35-6:00 a.m.: Get dressed in your super cute race outfit. Mentally prepare yourself for all the attention you will get for being part of the best looking duo on the course.

6:00-6:25 a.m.: Eat your breakfast of two bananas and peanut butter while you wait for an overpriced taxi cab to drive you to the race. Chat it up with other runners. Get a feel for the course. Start to understand that the race might be hillier than you thought.

6:25-6:55 a.m.: Drive to the race. Do your best not to vomit in the back seat of the cab (evil motion sickness).

6:55 a.m.: Arrive at the start. Look around. Begin to believe that you might not be in the right location as there are no other runners and not even the beginning of a start line. Start to question if the race is going to be able to begin on time.

7:00 a.m.: Sneeze. Twice. On the second sneeze, seize up your upper back, losing the ability to turn your head.

7:15 a.m.: Watch as race officials begin to construct the start and finish areas. Laugh at the pathetic nature of it all.

7:15-7:30 a.m.: Wait. Wait. And wait some more. (This is us waiting.)

7:30-7:45 a.m.: Head inside to drop off your bag at the "unsecured" bag check. Pray that no one really wants to steal your sweatshirt. Wait in line for the bathroom, then get out of the line as the smell is so overwhelming that you'd rather pee your pants than vomit.

7:50 a.m.: Get interviewed by the Bermuda Sports Network for no other reason than having the most kick a** outfit. (Note the awesome outfits)

7:55 a.m.: Run into Runner's World's Bart Yasso who will proceed to tap your shoulder and say, "Great socks."

7:55:15 a.m.: Snap a picture of Bart as he walks away. (He's in the red and white shirt. We should have chased after him.)

8:00 a.m.: Start running, 100% shocked that they actually managed to set up the race in 45 minutes.

8:00-10:14 a.m.: Run the hilliest and most beautiful half marathon course you have ever seen. Start conservatively and maintain your pace. Take it all in. Laugh as you get passed by Bart at mile 10. Meet your best bud at mile 12. Finish strong and be proud. (This is me at mile 12, thanks to my awesome photographer, G.)

10:15 a.m.: Drink some water as you contemplate the fact that you just PR'd by 3 minutes and 24 seconds on a very challenging course. Start feeling dizzy.

10:20 a.m.: Get interviewed for a second time by the Bermuda Sports Network.

10:25 a.m.: Stand still as your best bud finds you some food so that you don't collapse.
10:30 a.m.: Eat that food and make your way back home.

10:45 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Do your best to recover. Hot Tub. Shower. Nap. Rehydrate. Eat. Go on a boat and get horrendous motion sickness. Go to bed at 7 p.m.

As you can see, I had a really full day. It was beyond fun. The entire trip was (more on that in my vacation report tomorrow). The course was very challenging. But I did stick to my "Parcheesi Strategy" and walked away with a PR. G and I got so much press. Two TV interviews. Everyone with a camera took our picture. Seriously, did I mention it was totally awesome? So who's in for next year?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

i'm leaving on a jet plane ...

After a year of waiting, it's finally here. Tomorrow morning at 7:39 am, G and I will be on our way to the Bermuda Half Marathon. I am so excited. Excited to run. Excited to get a vacation. Excited to have a break from the craziness that is having children. I'm just excited. But also very busy. So much to do, so little time.

My real reason for this post is to thanks Sami at Eat Breathe Run 13.1 for tagging me with the Beautiful Blogger Award!
It's my first award! Sweet, right? Anyway, to accept this award I have to divulge seven facts about myself and then pass it along to seven others. So here we go!

1. I have a weird obsession with threatening crazy violence. I always tell people that "I am going to cut them." or "I swear if you don't stop that I am going to kick you in the face." I have never done either of these things. But, in the past week, I have realized that these "threats" are my substitution for cussing (which I never do). It is now my goal to find a better way to channel my anger.

2. I work as a fitness director and I love it. But, I love running more. Because of this, I am getting certified as a running coach this spring and will be shifting my focus there.

3. I started dating my husband exactly one month after my father passed away. Because of this, I truly believe that my dad sent J to me.

4. This weekend will be the first time I have ever left all three of my children overnight. It's a huge step for me.

5. I have an Ivy League degree that I have NEVER used. It cost over a $120,000 and I will be paying for it until two months before Dizzle enters college. But I don't regret it for a second, I had a great college experience and I met J on a trip funded by that university.

6. I can fold my tongue in half. I can also tie a cherry stem with it and instead of just rolling it, I can make it look like it has three separate rolls. I know. Freaky.

7. I want nothing more than to be a good example for my children. I know that if I am, they will grow to be their very best.

Good list, right?

And now I pass this onto:

Alicia @ Alicia Runs
RunHapi13 @ BitsNPiecesOfMe
Kerrie T @ mom vs. marathon

Now I'm leaving on a jet plane ... be back on Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

how to clean your house without lifting a finger ...

Is your house a mess? Do you want it clean, but don't have the time to pick up or the money to pay someone to do it? Then I have the perfect solution for you!

First, find two small children (preferably your own) who's sole goal in life is to "be more special" than the other.

Second, tell one of them that they get the "special honor" of emptying the dishwasher. This is sure to get the other one to ask for her "special honor."

Third, hand the second child a basket of laundry and "guide" her through folding as you sit on the sofa and drink a cup of coffee.

Fourth, give the first child another opportunity to one up the second child. Perhaps, vacuuming?

Repeat this scenario until your entire house is clean. Oh, and don't forget to thank your little helpers. (Thanks Dizzle and Doodle! The house looks fabulous!)

Finally, relish in the fact that you have a clean house, you didn't have to do a thing and no one asked for an "allowance." Because, let's be honest. After you've used this method once, it's probably never going to work again ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

new sports bra ...

I am a creature of habit. I love schedules and structure. "Consistency is key" should be my motto. This is clearly evident in my running gear. I am beyond loyal to the brands I love (, Nike, Moving Comfort, Asics). I usually find what works and stick with it. But, I am also always looking for a good deal. So, when I stumbled across this little gem (fittingly named, Women's Running Sports Bra) this morning, I knew I had to try it out.

It was on the clearance rack at Old Navy for $5.99. And since I had a gift card, I bought two figuring that if the bra was crappy at least I didn't waste my hard earned cash on it.

So, how did it work? It was FANTASTIC! Now, I will admit that I am not the most well-endowed woman on the planet (OK, fine. I'm tiny). But for what I do have, it was very supportive. Plus, the moisture-wicking fabric kept me cool in the 75 degree room where my treadmill is located. For less than six dollars, it couldn't be beat. Maybe I should try new things more often ...

commitment issues ...

I'm not quite sure why, but I can't seem to find a blog layout I am in love with. Maybe I don't know what I want. Maybe I stare at it too much and the look starts to irritate me (like the last one did). Whatever the reason, I have commitment issues.

I'm testing this look out. It might stay. It might not. I'm kind of torn.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

one week ...

By this time next week, I will be done running the Bermuda Half Marathon. G and I were supposed to run this race as our "PU" (personal underachievement), but her injury still has her sidelined. So, instead she will start the race with me, then walk the course in reverse and run me in.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this race. I'm kind of like, "whatever." Usually, this is a good thing. The last time I felt "whatever" about a race was last year's Carytown 10K. I had run a 5K two days prior and I "thought" my legs were shot. I went out slower than usual, was strong through the finish and missed my 10K PR by a mere 17 seconds. It was the best I ever felt during/after a race. I'm really hoping that I feel the same way on Sunday.

Only 4 days and a few hours until we leave!!

(p.s. - I really hate how this whole taper thing is putting a damper on my quest to reach 1,000. After two failed attempts, I am beyond determined to hit it this year. I wanted to head out on a second long run this weekend (I know, crazy). I didn't. My head won out. Something about having "fresh legs" on race day...)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the end of an era ...

It's over. Done. Complete. History.

For the first time since August of 2004 (yes, that's right. nearly 5 1/2 years), I can officially say, "My body is my own!" I am no longer growing or feeding another human being. And I.NEVER.WILL.EVER.AGAIN.

It's surprisingly liberating and not nearly as sad as I thought it might be. I am excited to move on to the next stage of our lives. To watch our children grow into their own people. I am excited to not have to alter my food/beverage consumption based on the needs of another. I am excited to run. To the point of exhaustion. And not have to worry about the impact it might have on one of my offspring. And although it's the end of an era, I somehow feel more complete by having made it through, sleepless nights and all.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

that pesky extra bone ...

So, if you've been keeping up with things around here, you probably know that I have extra bones in my feet. And you also probably know that one of those extra bones was the root of my ankle problem after the marathon. Thankfully, my friend Mr. Cortisone has taken care of my ankle pain, but that pesky extra bone is still causing me issues.

When I run (and occasionally when I walk) it feels like my bone is being pounded against. I have been wearing extra padding over the spot, but if it is not sitting exactly where it should be, it still hurts. I can't run when it hurts. It is AGONIZING pain. So, I do some adjustment and usually can fix it. I've mentioned to my running partners that the bone is wearing through my shoes. I'm not sure they really get what I am talking about. So I took a picture.

Here is the inside of my shoe (bad ankle):

And here is the same spot on the other shoe:
Crazy, right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

now I get it ...

This past fall, during marathon training, G and I were completing mid-week eight milers. I thought they were agony. I hated the thought of getting up early to run them (so not an early morning runner) and squeezing an eight miler in while taking care of three little ones is not an easy task. But somehow, I logged the miles, rather begrudgingly.

G, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy these runs. She even said to me, "Once this training is over, I think I am going to keep doing these mid-week long runs." I looked at her like she was crazy. I just couldn't understand why anyone would want to or could manage doing that. Until yesterday.

You see, yesterday was the first day of preschool for Doodle (she and Dizzle are now in the same class). Which meant it was the first day that I only had one child to watch. For four hours. It was bliss. My house was quiet. I wasn't stressed.

Taking advantage of my lighter load, I put Dilly down for a nap and jumped on the treadmill. My plan had been to run three. But while I was running (and decompressing) I wanted to go further. So I did. And in that moment, I understood what G was talking about. I could picture a day where I had no kids to watch (or just one to push in the stroller). I could picture a long mid-week run with ease. It was magical. And I can't wait for it to happen ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

correction ...

Totally realize now that my last post makes it sound like I was going to run 17.5 on the treadmill this morning. I'm not that crazy! To clarify, I ran four (was planning on three). So, now I have run 18.5 miles in the first 5 days of 2010. Make sense?

so cold outside ...

I know it's winter. And I know it's supposed to be cold. But really?

I moved to Virginia in hopes for mild winters. Last January, I spent a weekend in Williamsburg and wore shorts. On Sunday, when I ran my long run, I wore four layers. It was FREEZING. The thermometer on my table said it was 18.2 degrees when I left my house at 7:30 a.m. And then there was the wind. Oh, the wind. 20 mph in your face. By the end of my run, I had lost feeling in my chin and it was impeding my speech. At that point, I decided to cut my 10 miler down to an 8 miler. The two miles weren't worth the pain.

It's still cold today. I am going to drop my two oldest off at preschool, (it's Doodle's first day!!) put Dilly down for a nap and jump on the treadmill. Hopefully, by 10 am, I have completed 17.5 of my 1000 miles in 2010!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

once again, my outfit was the highlight

Remember when I ran that marathon in November in my totally cute running skirt and pink striped socks? Remember how EVERYONE on the course cheered for me (or my outfit)? Well, it seems that my outfit has once again brought attention to my running (and my running team's for that matter.) This is what I wore for yesterday's 10K.

All my teammates wore the same (minus the socks). We were so eye-catching that we got interviewed by the Richmond Times Dispatch. You can read the article HERE. But the real kicker is that my picture ended up on the front page of the Metro section. I haven't seen it yet, but people have been saying it's good. God, I hope so. A lot of people read that paper ...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day 10K

Last year, I ran a New Year's Day 10K. I was 35 weeks pregnant. I ran slow. I only beat 37 people. Somehow, I finished 5th overall in the Athena division.

Today, I ran that race again. I am 48 weeks postpartum. I ran less slow. I beat 151 people. Somehow, I finished 5th overall in the Athena division.

Funny, huh?

I had remembered that the route was hilly. In fact, the website says, and I quote, "This course is challenging." Big red flag, right?

I was nervous going in. I wanted to run fast, but I also didn't want to die on the hills. I couldn't quite remember if I thought the course was hard last year because I was HUGELY pregnant or if it was actually just really hard. Upon arrival, G and I spotted our buddy D, who is MUCH faster than me. I figured if I stuck with her, I'd be good. She was cool with that.

But there were a few things I forgot to take into account. First, it was like I totally forgot that I am only three weeks out from an injury and have done all but two runs on a treadmill. Second, I was oblivious to the fact that I have not run a single hill in weeks, maybe months, maybe years - I guess it all really depends on what you classify as a hill. Third, it seemed to have skipped my mind that I ALWAYS GO OUT TOO FAST AND THEN CRASH AND BURN. Can you see where this is going?

Anyway, I went out with D. I didn't look at my watch. It didn't really feel like we were running fast. It was probably because of all the hills. But I was wrong. Mile one split: 8:05 ... Hello, Tonia! Wake up! That's faster than your 5K pace! (I would like to note however, that while all that treadmill running has not helped with my hill running, it definitely built my speed - 8:05 is wicked fast for me.)

The second mile wasn't bad either. My legs were definitely burning, but I was still keeping up with D. At the two mile mark, my overall pace was 8:33. I had definitely slowed down, but was still on track to PR (can I just note that my PR is on a PANCAKE FLAT course?). But then, somewhere before mile three (and giant hill 25) I started to feel like I couldn't lift my legs. They were 100% dead.

At the 5K mark, my overall pace had dropped to 9:10. I hurt. But soon after, Jackie P. caught up to me. We ran together for about half a mile. Until the water stop. I slowed to drink. And couldn't really start again. He went on and I fell back. About 30 seconds later, Ed (who would go on to win the 65-69 age group) caught up with me. We ran the next mile together. He asked me if I was a student (seriously? why does that keep happening?) I told him thanks for the complement, but I was married with three kids and that I ran this race last year four weeks before my youngest was born. He laughed and said, "I would have guessed you were 18. Well, I guess running today must seem much easier." I told him,"It sure doesn't feel that way."

We stayed together until I spotted G just after mile five. She (and her injured knee) ran along with me for a minute. She gave me the boost I needed and I trekked on to the finish. That last mile hurt. I crossed the line in 59:13 - not as fast as I had hoped, but oddly, I am OK with that. It was a good race. I was shown again that I should stop going out too fast. And that I really need to be throwing some incline into my treadmill workouts. Simple enough, right?