Monday, November 30, 2009

as requested ...

So, you really want to see what I used to look like? Well, here it is.

Me, 10 years ago, pre-children at my highest weight and largest size ... 220 lbs and a size 16.

And now (pre-marathon photo), after three children, hovering around 150 and a size 2.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself ...

O Skinny Jeans ...

So, I'm not really a festive person. I can't stand Christmas music. My decorations are minimal at best. If I didn't have children, I'm not sure that I would even put up a tree. I'm not a scrooge, but I just don't get what all the fuss is about. I would rather look at other people's decorating efforts than bother with my own.

But, there is one thing I LOVE about the holiday season (other than the food) and that is watching my children take it all in. They love it. And their smiles make me hate it all a little less. J is trying to get me to "get into it all." I'm trying.

So, here is my first feeble attempt to combine Christmas music and something I am thankful for ... my skinny jeans (which I purchased on Black Friday - would you look at that? I'm covering Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one shot).

O Skinny Jeans (sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree)

O Skinny Jeans
O Skinny Jeans
How lovely are your stitches

O Skinny Jeans
O Skinny Jeans
How lovely are your stitches

Your denim hugs my A Star Star
The one I got by running far

O Skinny Jeans
O Skinny Jeans
How lovely are your stitches

The size 16 that I once knew
Has now been melted to a 2

O Skinny Jeans
O Skinny Jeans
How lovely are your stitches


Thursday, November 26, 2009

awesome giveaway ...

Have you checked out Mel's latest giveaway? It's awesome. Too bad for everyone else that I am going to win it! But you should at least look at it anyway.

All you have to do is click HERE

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

dinnertime discussions ...

Did you ever have a day when something your child said made you laugh? or cry? or feel loved? Today was that day in my house. During dinner, Dizzle said two things that I want to remember. Mainly, so that I can remind her of them when she is older.

First, is on the subject of death. It's her current obsession. She wants to know why things die. When they are going to die. And CONSTANTLY tells me she doesn't want to die EVER! Anyway, she was going on about about dying and asked me if I was going to die. I responded with the very neutral, "Yes, Dizzle. Everyone dies someday. Hopefully, that day won't come until I am very, very old." She then told me, "I will miss you when you die. How about we die together so that we can play together when we are dead?" I instantly got choked up on the sweetness of that statement. Then I laughed, because really, it was kind of funny in a morbid kind of way.

Dizzle's second hot topic today was bedtime. While we were eating dinner, she asked me what we were going to do after we finished. I said, "Nothing. We are going to go to bed." Dizzle looked at me and said, "OK, but I want to stay up for ten minutes."(Mind you, it was 5:30). I said, "OK" Then she tried to negotiate 11 minutes. Then 20. I said, "Yes, Dizzle you can stay up for 20 minutes, but you have to go to bed right after that." She smiled and screamed,"Really?!?! WE CAN STAY UP FOR 20 MINUTES!" She was so excited and I couldn't stop laughing because she had just given herself a bedtime that was an hour and ten minutes earlier than usual.

Oh to be four ...

Thankful ...

Tomorrow afternoon, the family and I will load up our car and head to Rhode Island (yes, that is a VERY.LONG.DRIVE) for a Blanchet family reunion of sorts. While most of the B Clan live in New England, there are a few of us who have flown the coup. This year, however, all of us out-of-towners, have decided to travel back for Thanksgiving. I'm super excited about this. I love watching my girls play with their cousins and since that only happens about once a year, I eat up every second of it.

Our trip does have a downside though. Over the past few years, it has become a tradition to run our local Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning. Our travel plans had me missing the race (my busted foot doesn't help either). And unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) this year, no one else registered in time. So instead, all my running buddies are staging their own Turkey Trot - with awards and everything. It sounds like a blast and I am super bummed to miss it.

But even though there are some things getting me down right now (my busted foot, our LONG drive, not running), there are lots of things "filling my pie":

I am thankful for my loving husband and three beautiful daughters. They are my world and I would be lost without them.

I am thankful to have good health, a positive outlook and stability. There is something to be said for not rocking the boat.

I am thankful that my foot injury is minor. It could be so much worse. Only six more days until bye-bye boot!

I am thankful that my children don't really get what time it is and that if it's dark I can put them to bed. Even if it's only 6 p.m.

I am thankful to have such amazing friends. It's great to know that you have people you can count on no matter what.

I am thankful that I can run. Eating is so much more fun when you don't have to feel guilty about pigging out!

I am thankful for EVERYONE who has touched my life. Both good and bad. Every interaction has helped shape the person I am and that is something I will never take for granted.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

funk ...

OK, so it's day four of this whole cast thing and I am already in a funk. It is a total pain. I can't really drive and when I do I have to take the boot on and off every time I get in and out of the car. I haven't found the best way to shower, so although my hair is clean, I'm pretty sure I am starting to stink. And it itches. Totally itches. I'm pretty sure I would never make it through a serious injury. Not with this running addiction anyway.

When I was 12, I broke my pelvis, dislocated my hip and ripped my hamstring all at the same time. I was in an immobilizer for three months. I was home-schooled. My doctors didn't know if I would play sports again. I did (obviously) but it took seven months to get back and even then, my parents thought I was going to hurt myself every time I stepped onto the field (or court). Somehow I got through that. I look back now and I don't know how. Wait, I do. I replaced exercise with eating and gained 70 pounds. Not exactly the best plan. I'm not really sure how I would approach that situation now, but I really hope I wouldn't self-soothe with food. But I never want to be tested. This foot injury (which should be much better when I get this cast off on December 1) is enough of a test for me. Running withdrawal is not fun.

On a much happier note, the foot itself is starting to feel better (much less pain than earlier this week) and I am ready (mentally) to get back out there. I know that this is the exact reason I asked for the cast. So that I would HAVE TO take it easy. So that I wouldn't do more damage. But I'm not 100 percent sure that I will make it the whole two weeks. I might cut the cast off myself and jog around the block. Things might get serious around here and I'm probably going to need some backup.

Monday, November 16, 2009

post break up ...

Apparently, my ex, Mr. Marathon, is mad at me. He didn't take the break up too well. Things got ugly and I left with a busted up foot in a cast (two weeks - no running).

He was just so upset that I wanted to leave his 26 miles of agony for his much more pleasant brother, Mr. Half. He couldn't understand how I could find fulfillment in a mere 13.1 miles. There was yelling and crying (all on my end, by the way). He begged and pleaded and offered discounted race fees. But it wasn't enough. It will never be enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My very last marathon .... EVER!

So, yesterday was race day. "The Race." The one that I have been waiting to run for an entire year. I had two goals going into the race: first - finish the race feeling positive about the experience AND second - finish in 4:30.

Well, I didn't quite hit 4:30 (more on that in a minute) BUT I totally had the best experience EVER!

The day started like this:

I had a ton of stuff to prep. The weather was iffy. Not really warm, not really cold, slightly humid, kind of raining. It could have been worse, but it could have been better.

After I got dressed and organized, I headed downstairs for breakfast. Water, a peanut butter and jelly bagel and a chocolate pumpkin muffin - so yummy.

At 6:45, G picked me up and we headed down to the race. It was odd. I was too relaxed. Like I was completely unaware of the fact that I was going to be running 26 miles. We arrived (parking at Club Velvet - Richmond's premier Gentleman's Club), and walked up to the start where we met Jackie P. and Fay (she rocked the half).

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity (really only 30 minutes) and after a potty break where there was no toilet paper, we moved to the starting corral with the 4:30 pacer. G and I got the ultimate complement moments later when Sarah (in the blue shirt below) asked us if we went to school in Richmond. We laughed and informed her that, "No, we lived her with our husbands and three children, each." Her jaw dropped. It was classic and totally made my day!

The first few miles were a blur. We joked (probably out of nervousness) and talked to the other runners in the pace group. We were having fun. Just like I had hoped. Things turned for me around mile six. My ankle was starting to act up, so I tried to slow the pace. G noticed. I told her to run her race, not thinking that I might not be able to keep up.

At mile seven, we saw Rach and S and picked up Em. Totally a spirit booster. The next six miles were the worst for me. I was getting mentally defeated. It was so early in the race, my foot was killing me and I knew I was in trouble. I decided that I needed to take it easy and just finish. It was at that point I started walking the first two tenths of every mile. Sure, it slowed me down, but it gave my foot enough recovery to run the next eight tenths and to make it through the whole race. Em kept me going, as did some friends that I saw around mile 11.

The second party zone was around mile 13. I dropped off Em and saw S who told me that G was about 4 minutes ahead of me (she was really 8). I knew that there was no way I was going to catch her and that the next 13 miles were tough by myself. But do you know what kept me going through the pain and doubt? MY PINK SOCKS! Everyone I passed yelled for them and all those comments kept me moving and pushed me further.

I saw more familiar faces around mile 16.5. Dizzle's BFF and her mom were waiting with water and powerade. Just seeing them was enough to boost me. I ran into another friend just after mile 17, she ran with me shortly and cheered me up!

The next few miles were easier. I had gotten into a groove. I was talking to other competitors (and was asked again if I were a student - I must have looked really young yesterday). I just had fun. I yelled back to everyone who yelled for me and my socks. I was good until about mile 24.5. I finally hit the wall. I just wanted to sit down. I knew I was close, but I swore my legs wouldn't be able to carry me. Somehow, I kept moving. Then at mile 25.7 I saw V come around the corner. She had run the last six with G and came back to run me in. And THANK GOD! She pushed me until the homestretch, cheering for me with every step. She didn't get how huge that was. It was beyond awesome.

As I came down the final hill with about a tenth left, I spotted my hubby and kids off to the side. I instantly became choked up and ran over to them. Time was so unimportant at that point. I just wanted to share this with them. After I visited the girls, I picked it up and finished the race and it was AMAZING! (Not amazing enough to make me do it again though!)

Once I finished, I found G and the emotions overflowed. I was so proud of us (she finished in 4:55 and I crossed in 5:09). We posed for some post-race pictures (looking fabulous, if I do say so myself). And went home to recover.
This morning I woke up and I can barely walk. My ankle/foot is purple. I'm really thinking that the marathon and I don't mix ... I'm going to have to break up with him. I think in the future I'm just going to date his younger brother, the Half.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

26.2 miles of thanks ...

It's official! Training for the marathon is over. The next time I run, it will be on race day. It all went by so fast, but at the same time, it feels like it took forever to get here.

It was on race day last year that I registered for the Richmond Marathon. I was 28 weeks pregnant, had just finished the 8K and knew that if I didn't commit in that very instant, I might not commit at all.

So, there it was. 365 days away. 26.2 miles that would one day help to define me. Part of me wished that I could race right then. And part of me wished that maybe they would just call off the event all together. But they didn't call it off, and here I am three days away feeling really ready for what's ahead. G and I were told this week to "run 20 and race 6.2." I think it's a great plan. And as I sit here writing my race dedication post, I keep that thought in mind. So, here it goes ...

Mile 1: This mile is dedicated to my Dad. In some crazy way, I hold him responsible for my running obsession. I often think back to why I began to run, and every time I do, I am left with the same answer. To be as healthy as I can, so I am there to see my children grow. My dad's early passing pushes me to do everything in my power to ensure that I have decades left on this planet. And for that, Dad, I thank you. I know you will watch over me every step of the way.

Mile 2: This mile is dedicated to my loving husband. Without his support, love and willingness to stay with the kids while I logged endless miles, I would never have been able to do this. And although he thinks I'm crazy for doing a second marathon after swore up and down that I never would, he backed me up 100%. Thank you for that J, but seriously, this really is my last marathon. Make sure I don't change my mind!

Mile 3: This mile is dedicated to my Mom. She has always been my number one supporter. I truly believe that she believes I could win this race if I wanted to (trust me, that could NEVER happen). She is my cheerleader, always screaming for me whether I am on a three mile training run or crossing the finish line of the biggest race in my life.

Mile 4: This mile is dedicated to Dizzle, my future runner. She has the longest attention span of anyone I know. If you give her a task, she will work on it until it's perfect. I hope that I can be just as focused during the race. I know if I am there is no way I'll fail. Plus, she truly understands that looking good when you run is just as important and running well. And trust me, if nothing else, I am going to look good.

Mile 5: This mile is dedicated to Doodle. She is by far the most stubborn (or is that driven) person I know. I want to channel her drive in those moments that I can't go on (hopefully, I can do it minus the temper tantrum), because I know her strength will get me through.

Mile 6: This mile is dedicated to Dilly. She is a large part of why I am racing in the first place. Running through her pregnancy and then those early sleepless months, showed me I can do anything. She made me a mom of three and her addition to our family has pushed me to prove how much I can handle on a daily basis. This marathon is just another test. A test I will pass. And the thought of her cherub face will help me smile when I want to cry.

Mile 7: This mile is dedicated to Angie Pants. She always supports me, even if she can't understand why I would want to run even one mile, let alone 26. I owe her for all the babysitting she provided, so that I could run without my children. I'm not sure she understands how huge that was for me and my sanity.

Mile 8: This mile is dedicated to Beans. Like Angie Pants, she can't understand why I am doing this, but she has never questioned it either. I know that even if I had to crawl across that finish line, she would be cheering for me (and waiting with a cupcake). And I am thankful for that.

Mile 9: This mile is dedicated to my Garmin. Yes, I am dedicating a mile to my watch. It has been my training partner through good runs and bad. And oddly, I am lost without it. It has a way of pushing me and keeping me in line all at the same time. And I wouldn't race without it.

Mile 10: This mile is dedicated to my Running Skirts. Sure, I might have a mild obsession, but there has never been a better piece of running clothing designed. It highlights my a** in all the right places and I NEVER race without one.

Mile 11: This mile is dedicated to my sneakers - Gel Cumulus 10. Talk about an awesome shoe. With them I have logged hundreds of miles and thankfully stayed injury free (OK, don't mention the ankle - that's a mileage thing, not a shoe thing). Here's to them staying strong and getting me through the next 26.2.

Mile 12: This mile is dedicated to all those cupcakes I have eaten. Or maybe it should be dedicated to the women who own the shop where I get all those cupcakes. Either way, those delicious things have been my reward for nearly every long run. In some ways, they have made all of this training worth it, because really, is there anything better than eating something so decadent without guilt?

Mile 13: This mile is dedicated to Tall Mom on the Run. Yes, I know it may seem strange that I am dedicating a mile to someone I've never met in person, but in some ways she has shaped my marathon experience. Her marathon recap gave me the outline for how I wanted to prepare for this race and for what I expected to get out of it. Not to mention, it really helped me convince G that running with the 4:30 pace team is the best place for us. Add to that, the fact that her giveaway is why I am sporting my sweet necklace and you can see that I need to thank her.

Mile 14: This mile is dedicated to Fay. Not only has she joined us on nearly every long run of this training, but has become one of my best friends. She always manages to make me smile and I LOVE running with her. I just wish G and I had been able to convince her to join us.

Mile 15: This mile is dedicated to Rachel. She has supported me through this training and will be screaming for me at every Party Zone on race day. I owe her huge. And one day, when she rocks out an Ironman, I hope I can do the same for her.

Mile 16: This mile is dedicated to McNelis. If she hadn't run her marathon last fall (and let me tag along for so much of that training) I might not be running this weekend. Seeing her accomplish such an amazing feat, made me SUPER jealous that I didn't get to do it too. So thank you for inadvertently pushing me to do this (that goes for you too, Rachel).

Mile 17: This mile is dedicated to Emily, the only Kenyan I know. She helped me get through some seriously hot summer runs. And she always pushes me to run faster (even if it is only to keep up with her). She was a huge part of my last marathon and I can't wait for her to join me for a few miles on this one.

Mile 18: This mile is dedicated to Jack (or is that Jackie P.) An honorary skirt in my book, he brought a new energy to those super long training runs. He never failed to provide humor and that was HUGE. I hope we get the chance to run with him on race day, (even if only for a mile).

Mile 19: This mile is dedicated to the rest of the Run Like A Mother team. I have missed running with you all these past few months and can't wait for you to come back. Thanks for supporting me from the sidelines.

Mile 20: This mile is dedicated to G. She was 100% with me this entire training. We've run over 600 miles in the past 24 weeks (most of them together). We've seen each other at our worst and our best and if this training didn't make us best friends then nothing ever will. I am honored to be such a big part of her marathon experience and am forever thankful that she is such a big part of mine.

The last 6.2 miles are dedicated to me. They are my miles to prove to myself that I am stronger than anything the marathon can throw at me. The first 2o miles I run with others in mind. The last 6.2 are for me to race for me and me alone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

where are my capris?

On Sunday, I got a day off from child rearing while I attended a workshop. That meant that for the very first time, J had the girls all day. From 7:30-4:30. That's like a good 5 hours longer than he had ever had them before.

I tried to prepare him. Gave him a quick rundown before I left and as I walked out the door, I threw the girls' outfits for the day on the playroom floor. I knew the girls would be OK. I was a little afraid that J might panic (he didn't).

Feeling good about leaving them all day, I went to my training and didn't even think about them again until it was time to nurse Dilly. So, around 1:30 I called J and told him to come over with the girls sometime soon. When he arrived 40 minutes later, I took one look at them and I knew something was off, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was. I checked them all one by one. J was normal. Dilly was as cute as ever. Doodle had some CRAZY hair working, but she was fine. Dizzle also had that messed up hair, but there was something else. I just looked at her and thought, "Capris? I'm almost positive I didn't leave her capris to wear. Wait, Dizzle doesn't even own capris. (Dizzle lifts her shirt) Huh, those pants aren't even zipped or buttoned. OMG, she is wearing DILLY'S PANTS!!"

So there she was. My 45 pound, 43 inch tall, four year old wearing a nine month old's pants. It was hysterical. And what was even better was that J had no clue. And now I understand why he usually leaves them in their pajamas ...

Monday, November 9, 2009

quick update ...

So after a torturous week off, I finally ran. G and I went out for our last marathon training long run, eight miles in the pitch black. We looked like total fools, her with a headlight and blinkers, me with Halloween glow sticks. But at least we could be seen. And we made it back unharmed.

Overall, the run was great. It felt so easy after taking the week off. And my toes were JUST FINE! And to think, I was so close to cutting them off. My ankle flared up a little, but at this point, I just expect that.

And with that, I am 100% ready for Saturday. We chose our race outfits (navy/orange skirts, safety cone orange tanks - we will be impossible to miss). And I'm itching to race. Oddly, I am not even a little bit spooked. Which is actually creeping me out. I just feel like I should be more nervous. And I probably will be ... at 7:59 on Saturday morning.

Friday, November 6, 2009

progress ...

Do you want to hear the most exciting news? Well ...


I know not that exciting, but really, it's a huge improvement. I even worked out this morning (no running, but I did do some jumping jacks and shuffles). And I had NO PAIN!

On Sunday, in the pitch black of night, I am going to attempt 8 miles. Our last long run before the marathon. Hopefully, all goes well (not only with the run, but the taping of my toes) and I am able to rock it out on Saturday!!

So everyone, keep those fingers crossed ...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

could I just cut the toe off?

So, here I am. Three days out from my ever-so-graceful slide down the stairs and I am recovering quite well. My arm is fine and I have regained pretty much full range of motion of my toes. Yippee! But I still haven't been able to wear shoes. Boo! I attempted to put on my sneakers this morning, but once I tried to walk I was far more uncomfortable than I had been barefoot or with "the boot" that G gave to me. So needless to say, I'm not running.

I have decided that I am doing the marathon NO MATTER WHAT! I know for a fact that my foot is NOT broken and even if I am uncomfortable, I'll survive. I mean, come on, a marathon is uncomfortable anyway. What's a little more pain? Or maybe (since I still can't wear shoes) I'll run barefoot. I know it can be done. I saw that guy in Runner's World. Or maybe I could just cut the toe off? That could work too ...

Monday, November 2, 2009

fairytale ...

Once upon a time, I was 174 miles from reaching my 1,000 mile goal.

Once upon a time, I was 13 days away from running a marathon.

Once upon a time, my dear sweet innocent child left a toy on the stairs.

Once upon a time, I found said toy by slipping on it, tumbling down the stairs and busting up my foot (not broken, but not exactly usable either).

Once upon a time was yesterday.

How will this fairytale end?