Monday, May 31, 2010

I couldn't take the guilt ...

I NEEDED to run. The guilt was too much. It was hot when I left.

And I was hot when I got back. This is what 4 miles looks like when it's 86 degrees out and you have a total tank top FAIL (yes, I still wore the socks) ...

I may have looked a mess, but I don't regret the run ...

runner's guilt ...

I'm not sure if it's the same for everyone else, but some days I get serious runner's guilt. I see other people hitting the pavement and a little part of me twinges, because I should be out there too (I've even been know to feel that way on days when I have already run.)

It's even worse on days like today when J is home. I feel this incessant need to go on a run. I feel like if I don't, I am wasting the opportunity. Especially, considering that the majority of the time, I am fighting to get my runs in. But, my legs are dead. After racing on Saturday and a rather challenging eight miles in the heat yesterday (and don't forget about P90X), my legs are shot. I know I should take the day off. I know that it's OK to "waste the opportunity." But I just don't think I can do it. I can hear my Newtons calling my name. They want to get out there too. I mean, seriously, what's a few miles between friends?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Sampler ...

The first half of Memorial Day weekend has been rather exciting around here. We kicked the weekend off on Friday with a day at Busch Gardens. It was pretty much the perfect day to go. The temperature was ideal and the crowds were small. We even ran into KT, Em and their boys while we were there. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day. (Note the girls wearing their Laken and Lila skirts I won over at Running Diva Mom)

Yesterday was the Autism 5k. Like I mentioned in my recap, I ran 24:08, a 1:08 PR. But even better than that, I found out yesterday afternoon that I finished second in my age group and was the 11th female overall. By far my best finish ever. I'm basically feeling pretty awesome right now.

Adding to that awesomeness is the fact that after the 5K yesterday, I booked a plane ticket to Seattle in September for a race/baby shower/bloggy meetup with Tall Mom, Zoe, Jill and Kerrie. I am beyond excited, not only is Washington one of the places I have always wanted to visit, but I FINALLY get to meet some of my favorite West Coast bloggers. CAN'T WAIT!

And on a completely random note, I think I found my new favorite socks. I wore them this morning on a hellishly hot eight miler with G. It's kind of hard to tell, but they are baby blue and lime. Aren't they cute?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Autism 5K recap ...

I heart 5Ks. I don't often race in them (since they don't seem to fit well into a half or marathon training schedule), but really, I heart them.

This morning was the Autism 5K. My first non-virtual 5K in a year. In fact, the last time I ran one was the 2009 Autism 5K. Last year, when I ran, I remember gunning it and just praying that I had enough in me to make it to the finish. I did and I finished the 3.15 miles (yup, this course is long) in 25:19. I was so excited.

Fast forward to today. I really wanted to go sub 25. I had accomplished this on my treadmill (but that is pace controlled). I needed to do it on my own. So, I arrived nice and early and met up with G, SpeeDee (who paced G's oldest), and V.
Oh, and a special thanks to Teamarcia, who hooked me up with the sweet socks I am sporting.

After a quick warm-up jog, G, V and I headed to the start line. And after MANY announcements to stay tight through the start as to not trip on the curb, we were off. I had decided I was going to shoot for sub eight minute splits and try to stay consistent. I heard my watch beep at mile one at 7:40. WOW! I was shocked and I was still feeling really good. It was also at that point that my Garmin started beeping every two seconds. The lap counter was full and it was asking me to clear it. Not really possible while running. So I ran the next two miles "blind." I just tried to keep up with the people around me. At the two mile mark, I was amazed by how quickly the first miles had gone by. Apparently, the faster you run the shorter the course feels. Crazy concept, right?

I really started feeling drained with about seven-tenths of the course left. But I knew I was super close to the finish. And when I came around the final corner and could see that the race clock was still under 24 minutes, I kicked with all I had. When I crossed the line, my Garmin read 24:08 for 3.15 miles (7:39 pace). A 1:08 PR! (official results are not up yet) Can I tell you how pumped I am? And can I also mention how annoyed I am that the race was long? I was so under 24 for 3.1 miles. But it's all good. I'll show that course next year.

And because I know you love them, here are some post - race pictures ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

what do you want to do on summer vacation?

Summer vacation. Three months of endless possibilities. I know what I want to do during my summer vacation. The list looks a little something like this:
  • run
  • swim
  • bike
  • go to Busch Gardens
  • take a kid-free vacation (totally happening in less than a month!)
  • visit my mom and J's parents
  • relax

I had hoped that the girls would have wish lists that matched up with mine. But when I asked them yesterday what they hoped to do this summer, here's what they told me ...

Dilly (age 1):

  • dada
  • mama
  • nana
  • nose
  • muah
  • shoe
  • AHHHHHHH! (I think that's code for get me out of here!)

Dizzle (age 5):

  • go to the beach
  • go to Grandma and Grandpa's
  • go to Mimi's
  • go to Great-Grandma's
  • play with you and Dilly (but apparently not Doodle)

Doodle (age 3):

  • go to the slushie place (Sonic)
  • go to Target
  • go to the playground
  • go to the Singing Dog Store (Tom Leonard's - a grocery store)
  • go to the shirt store (I have no clue about this one)
  • go to the slushy place. When we gonna go? It's summer vacation already. Let's go.

Obviously, my children have their priorities in line. Dilly wants to say the six words that she knows and to scream. Dizzle wants to spend time with her family. And Doodle wants to drink slushies and spend Daddy's money. You know, on second glance, their lists don't look half bad ...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the last day of preschool. And since my children attend a co-op, I am required to work in the classroom a few days a month. Today is one of those days. And tomorrow starts Summer vacation. Which makes it official. Bye-bye, eight hours of freedom. I'll see you in September. Now onto Three Things Thursday ...

1. Dizzle and Doodle have dance class on Wednesday nights. Yesterday, they received their costumes for the recital. And I'm just going to say it. They are BEYOND cute. Here's Dizzle dancing/posing in it (imagine it without the black tights and leotard underneath)...

When I saw it, I really was impressed. Dance costumes have come a long way in the 23 years since I danced in my first recital. (Dizzle and I are about the same age in these pictures.)

Seriously. What was my dance studio thinking? Was our recital circus-themed?

2. Speaking of dance class, I am fortunate enough to not have to stay for the class. So, I take advantage of this hour and squeeze in a run with Dilly in the stroller. But apparently, someone forgot to send me the memo that I shouldn't wear all black to run in because it was going to be 84 degrees at 5:30 last night. It was CRAZY hot. I was drenched. A total mess ...

3. In other news on the running front, I am racing a 5K this weekend. It will be my first non-virtual 5K in 53 weeks. I ran this course last May and set my current PR at the distance (25:19). I'm hoping to crush that. I've run over a minute faster in virtual races and in workouts, but I want a sub-25 on my permanent record.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

preschool, I will miss you ...

Yesterday, on the way to the girl's school trip, Doodle said to Dizzle, "I don't want you to graduate from preschool."

I got choked up. It was so cute. Well, at least until Dizzle replied. She turned to Doodle, rolled her eyes and said in her snarky tone, "Oh. I am definitely graduating."


Speaking of preschool, tomorrow is the last day of the year and I am genuinely sad. For no other reason than I get SO.MUCH.DONE during those four hours. I run. I catch up on all my errands. I run. I clean up my house. I run. Wait, did I mention I run?

Over the past few weeks, G and I have built up our mid-week long run to 9 miles. It's a glorious 9 miles that I spend chatting with one of my very best friends without the interruption of our children (Dilly, although there, is surprisingly quiet and well behaved). From 9:30 until 11, we put one foot in front of the other. And unless we can figure out a way to bring along our six children that wouldn't kill us (i.e. pushing a triple stroller) or drive us crazy, our mid-morning runs are OVER until September.

Which means that we will be running SUPER EARLY. And if you didn't know, I'm not a fan of early. But, we have no choice. Knowing this, we tested this new run time this morning. I met G at 5:45 a.m., in a location central to both of our houses, for eight miles. It hurt to get out of bed. With less than six hours of sleep, I wasn't really ready to run. But I did it. And I survived. In fact, it really wasn't that bad once I got moving. And I was quite energized afterwards. Well, at least until 2 p.m., when I hit a wall. I needed a nap hardcore. But, my kids don't nap. Which means, neither do I. I'm thinking I'm going to be tired a lot this summer. So, when does school start again?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

how they rocked their socks ...

I didn't have time to post this earlier,
but this is how everyone rocked their socks ...







MCM Mama






Barefoot AngieB







Rock Your Socks Official Race Results ...

As you are well aware, this weekend was the Rock Your Socks Half Marathon and 10K. There were 40 participants (including myself) who got me their results by the 5 p.m. deadline. So without further ado, the results ...

Half Marathon:
1. Tonia - 2:04:34 (will not count in the overall standings)
2. Ginny - 2:06:23 (PR)
3. Stacie - 2:12:22 (treadmill PR)
4. Barefoot AngieB - 2:13
5. Alinda - 2:18:06
6. Jen - 2:18:52
7. Kitzzy - 2:33:41
8. Michelle - 2:40
9. Katye - 3:05 (paced fellow blogger Erin in her first half)
10. Tracy - 2:09:56 (12 miles)

1. Megan - 42:44
2. Wendy - 47:00
3. Teamarcia - 48:26
4. Shelly - 48:34
5. Brandy (no blog) - 49:26
6. Cynthia O'H - 50:00
7. Laurie - 50:28 (PR)
8. Angela - 54:38 (PR)
9. Kim - k2323 (no blog) - 57:25 (PR)
10. Tricia - 57:40 (PR)
11. Rene - 57:58
12. Candice - 58:20
13. Jessica - 58:39
14. MCM Mama - 59:45
15. ajh - 1:00:10
16. S Club Mama's Hubby - 1:04 (while pushing a double stroller)
17. Sara (no blog) - 1:04:05
18. Sarah - 1:06:12
19. Kelly - 1:08:00
20. Karen - 1:09:23 (PR)
21. Tortuga_Runner - 1:09:33 (PR)
22. Catey - 1:10:22 (6 months pregnant)
23. Kim - 1:13:58
24. Dallas - 1:16:21
25. S Club Mama - 1:17:08
26. Courtney - 1:32:00
27. Jane - 1:50:00 (first 10K)
28. Carly - 1:03:53 (5.53 miles)
29. Suzy - 33:03 (5K - first run back after surgery)
30. EricaH -DNF (still Rocked Her Socks)

Thanks to everyone who "Rocked Their Socks," I had a blast hosting and I hope you all enjoyed racing. And now for the prizes:

Each of the following people will win a tube of Nuun and two Gu:

WINNER - 10K: Megan

And the winner of a Bondi Band for BEST USE OF SOCKS is: Shelly, who not only rocked knee highs but turned her socks into a running skirt! Take a look ...

For all the winners, please email me your contact info and I will mail you your prizes ASAP!

Monday, May 24, 2010

awards galore ...

Last week, I was tapped with the Versatile Blogger Award by Molly. And Courtney. And Marlene. And Mrs. D. And Tall Mom. And Stacie. And Katye. Apparently, I'm pretty popular. But, you knew that already didn't you?

Anyway, to accept this award, I must divulge seven facts about myself. So, here it goes ...

1. I just got the save the date for my 10 year high school reunion this week. It's November 27th and I am really psyched about it. I'm 99.9999999% sure that not a single person I grew up with would have ever expected me to turn out the way I did. I'd like to go back and show them they had me pegged wrong. I also really want to see who I was wrong (or right) about.

2. Speaking of school, I had horrible attendance. I was home schooled twice, once in 7th grade and once in 9th, due to a broken pelvis and mono, respectively. Each time, I missed three months of school. Things didn't get much better when I returned. I was a classic overachiever and didn't really need to sit in class to learn the material, so I didn't want to sit in class and be bored. Because of that, I missed 72 days (almost all excused) of my senior year. I still got straight A's. And my parents were cool with the whole situation.

3. In high school, weight training was a large part of my daily routine as a shot putter. At one point, I could bench press 200 pounds. I was strong. And big. I could probably have lifted more than most of the guys at my school, which probably contributed to the way I was perceived back then.

4. Another thing that probably messed with people's perception of me was that I HATE being late. For anything. In high school, I was never late to a single class. I darted through the halls like a woman on a mission. I was so focused that I was often told I looked mean. (I'm so not.) Now, I generally arrive 10-15 early for everything. I always give myself a cushion. If I don't get somewhere early, something MAJOR has probably happened.

5. Now that I think about it, my appearance also contributed to the way I was perceived. I NEVER cared about how I looked. I wore soccer shorts, a tee shirt and sandals pretty much everyday. I was a mess. But I just wasn't concerned about putting effort into my style. I thought as I matured that this aspect of my personality had changed, but I was wrong. I recently realized that my soccer shorts and tee shirts have been replaced with running skirts or shorts and race tees. I guess you can't really escape who you are.

6. I am highly allergic to poison ivy. I don't even need to touch it. I just need to be in the general area to break out in a rash. One time in the fifth grade, I had such a bad reaction that my eyes were swollen shut and my fingers were covered and swollen so badly that I couldn't really touch anything. I ended up needing a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation. It was horrible.

7. In the last month, I have stopped eating fried foods. I thought it would be really hard to do, but I am finding it much easier than expected. But I know that at some point, I am really going to want french fries and my will power will be tested ...

OK, so I am supposed to tag 15 more people, but I really don't have time for it right now. So, if you have the word RUN in your blog title, consider yourself tagged ...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Get off the Effin' Road ...

Yup, you heard that right. "Get off the effin' road." That's what was yelled at me and my cheetah-wearing girlfriends as we approached mile 6.5 in our half marathon yesterday. Apparently, a pick-up driving road hog did not like that we were running on the OPPOSITE side of the street. Shocking then, funny now.

Obscenities aside, our first ever cheetahlicious half marathon and 10K was fantastic. KT mapped out the course from her house. We were to run a 6.9 mile loop then return to KT's to pick up the rest of the group for the 10K portion of the race. Here's a picture of me and G before the start. Yes, I know you are in awe of how we "rock our socks" ...
Just after 7 a.m., we were off. I had decided ahead of time that I wasn't really going to "race." I wanted to run comfortably and hopefully finish right around a 2:10. Most of the first 6.9 miles was run as a group. We would spread out then come back together. With a 10K remaining, we were averaging 9:45 per mile.

Once we picked up the rest of the group, the course became an out and back. Here's our whole clan (minus myself) running down the killer hill we would revisit at mile 12.9.

Shortly after this picture, the group kind of broke up. I tried my best to hang with Em and Kate (our resident Kenyans), but their slow is still faster than my fast. By mile 9, I was running alone between two groups. Then at the turnaround (around mile 10), I decided to pick up the pace. I was feeling really good and knew it was only about three miles back. I could see Em and Kate off in the distance and just tried to keep them in my sights. With a mile (and the killer hill) left, I booked it for the finish, crossing the line in 2:04:34. A mere 58 seconds slower than the MAC Half that I ran with Katye two weeks ago. The time were nearly identical, but the races were like night and day. In that race with Katye, I thought I was going to die after mile 10, but yesterday, I could have gone one for hours. At the MAC Half, mile 13 was my worst. Yesterday, it was my best. I definitely picked up some lessons for future races. And just for comparison, here are my paces and heart races for the two races.

Rock Your Socks Half vs. MAC Half

mile 1: 9:37 - 143 vs. 9:13 - 147
mile 2: 9:33 - 151 vs. 9:03 - 161
mile 3: 9:40 - 158 vs. 9:00 - 167
mile 4: 9:53 - 160 vs. 8:52 - 171
mile 5: 9:42 - 160 vs. 8:52 - 175
mile 6: 9:56 - 159 vs. 8:56 - 177
mile 7: 9:55 - 160 vs. 8:48 - 180
mile 8: 9:43 - 160 vs. 9:04 - 182
mile 9: 9:18 - 164 vs. 9:12 - 183
mile 10: 9:17 - 166 vs. 9:26 - 183
mile 11: 9:15 - 168 vs. 9:45 - 183
mile 12: 9:08 - 172 vs. 10:36 - 181
mile 13: 8:41 - 175 vs. 11:48 - 176
mile 13.1: 0:51 - 177 vs. 1:00 - 180

FINISH: 2:04:34 vs. 2:03:36

Interesting ...
And don't forget to email me your race recap link, finish time and pictures by Monday at 5 p.m. to be including in the official results!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

my teammates ...

These are my teammates ...
We've run together since the beginning.
We embarrass cheetahs everywhere.
We PR.
We hit the wall.
We laugh.
We cry.
We share (sometimes too much).
We are moms.
We are runners.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fast Five For Friday ...

Lots to do. Little time. Here we go.

1. As noted yesterday, Dizzle turned five. Her party is today and this year she has requested a cupcake decorating party. Super. It's easy. It's fun. And I don't have to make a cake. Except that I did have to make six, yes that's right, six dozen cupcakes. Do you even know what that looks like? Well, now you do ...

2. Apparently, turning five has made Dizzle into an adult overnight. Yesterday, when Doodle was having one of her crying fits, I overheard Dizzle saying the following, in a very condescending tone I might add.

"Why are you crying? No one wants to hear your crying? Are you a baby? Are you hurt? Are you bleeding? No? So, why don't you stop and save us the trouble?"

Um, yeah. Pretty sure I know where she got that one from.

3. For the second week in a row, I on pace to log 40+ miles. That's more then I ever did during marathon training. And honestly, it wasn't that hard to get in. Yet a few months ago, managing 20 miles was nearly impossible. Go figure.

4. Speaking of mileage, I ended up with broken feet after both of my marathons. I thought it was because my body couldn't handle the mileage. My recent running escapades have proven that not to be true. My feet are just fine. In fact, they are better than fine. And part of that may be due to the sweet flip-flops I was sent by Orthaheel. (Please ignore the busted up runner's toes on my right foot).
These shoes are super comfy and supportive (although, I would have preferred a pink pair - but that's just my style). I have been wearing them pretty much every second I am not running. I love them and how my feet feel at the end of the day (which is NOT ACHY). Here are some of the shoe's attributes as listed on their website:
  • Convenient, pain-free "natural healing" solution to many of the common aches and pains associated with poor lower limb alignment.

  • Orthaheel technology is clinically proven to reduce excess pronation, a contributing factor to "flat feet."

  • Podiatrist-designed, biomechanical Tri-planar Motion Control footbed with a deep heel cup helps stabilize, support and realign the feet back to their natural position.

  • Lightweight, flexible medium-density EVA midsole absorbs shock, reducing stress on feet, ankles and knees.

If you are interested in learning more, you can check out the Orthaheel website HERE.

5. This is the LAST reminder about my Rock Your Socks Half Marathon and 10k. So, if you "registered" remember to run your race anytime between now and Sunday. When you are done, email me your race time, pictures and a link to your recap at Be sure to get me your info before Monday, May 24 at 5 p.m. EST to be included in the official race results and prize drawings. If you have any questions, email me! Good luck!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a snapshot at five ...

Dizzle at one week old

Dizzle at five years old

Dear Dizzle,

Five years ago today, I became a mother. And in that instant, you changed my world in a way that I could never have imagined. I thank you for that. You have taught me lessons in parenting and a multitude of things about myself. I love you endlessly for everything you are and everything you will be. And today, on your fifth birthday, I want to give you a glimpse of who you are at this very moment.

1. You love all things girly. This is a shock to me. I'm so not that way. And although you can get dirty with the best of them, you much prefer to it while wearing a dress.

2. You are extremely strong-willed. This is less of a shock to me. You want what you want and will do most anything to make it happen. I love this about you. And I hate this about you. We often butt heads because neither of us want to give in.

3. You love being active. And are always looking for a competition. Whether it is dance, soccer, running or just goofing around in the yard, you are constantly on the move and are always ready to race.

4. You have erratic eating habits. Some days you are a bottomless pit. And other days, you eat nothing. Even if I make you exactly what you ask for. You love pizza, mac and cheese and fruit. You hate all things green. I pray that this changes.

5. You have an incredibly long attention span. If you find an activity you like, you are easily occupied for hours. You love to draw and paint and just be creative. You are passionate about it. And I love it.

6. You think you can outsmart me. But you can't. Your sneaky behaviors and pestering of your sisters does not go unnoticed. I am keeping tally. It will all come back to bite you one day. Consider yourself warned.

7. You love being my "twin." I know this won't last forever. One day, you will think I am uncool and will want nothing to do with me. So, I eat this up while I can.

8. You are drama, drama, drama. The littlest thing is like the end of the world to you. You think that whining will get you your way. I hope that you learn quickly that this is never going to fly. You might as well cut the drama now and save us all the trouble.

9. You are a daredevil. You will ride the biggest roller coasters and try almost anything. I love your sense of adventure.

10. At the same time, you are the biggest wimp. You freak out over bugs and water in your face. You cry if you think you are going to miss out on something. Dizzle, suck it up. You can handle more than you think.

11. You are crazy intelligent. Maybe a little bit too intelligent. It's getting hard to "sneak" things past you. And I don't like it.

12. You are beautiful both inside and out. You have more love than you know what to do with. I hope you stay that way forever.

13. You are just plain silly. Everything is a joke with you. You are constantly acting like a goofball. And when we add your sisters to the mix, things are just crazy.

14. You NEVER stop talking. Ever. Some days, I just want to put earplugs in.

15. You are loyal and caring and loving. You are a true friend and someone I am lucky to have in my life. I love you more that I will ever be able to express. And I am so proud to be your mom.

Happy 5th Birthday Dizzle!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

mean kids ...

Most days I love to be around my children. They are happy. And pleasant. And kind. On those days, temper tantrums don't exist. My voice doesn't rise above a conversational volume. And I don't stress eat. I love those days.

But sometimes, my children challenge me. Heck. They are just plain mean. All of their anger and frustration get taken out on me. And by the end of the day, I've had enough. Yesterday was one of those days.

In the last 24 hours, I have ...

... been slapped.

... been bitten.

... been told, "I don't want to see you. Get Daddy!" (on more than one occasion).

... been unable to get my three-year old out of her locked bedroom (yes, she really locked herself in because she was mad at me).

... said, "I love you," only to be told, "I love Daddy."

... been flat out ignored.

... been peed on.

... been asked, "When I turn five, am I going to look OLD like you?"

Basically, it was an AWESOME day. And like any mature adult, I felt the need to dish back a little to my children. So, when I was given the opportunity to join in on Dizzle's soccer practice last night, I took it. And unlike the other parents, who "let their children win," I played Alpha Dog and put my children in their places. I showed them who's the boss and left it all on the field. (I even accidentally whacked Doodle in the head). I know, real grown up of me.

Sweaty Bands Winner ...

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Sweaty Bands Giveaway. There were 250 entries and thanks to, the winner is #130 ...

Congrats! Send me an email with your contact information and I will get your Sweaty Bands out to you right away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

it started as a choice ...

Being an athlete is hard. It's hard to find a way to fit it all in. It's hard to stay motivated when things don't go according to plan. It's hard to sacrifice to get what you want. Being an athlete, whether you just made the transition from couch potato or if you've been winning your age group for years, takes dedication. And drive. And structure. Plain and simple, it takes hard work.

I honestly believe that everyone can be an athlete. It's just easier not to be. It's easy to put it off until tomorrow. It's easy to eat what's most convenient, even it's not the best fuel for your body. It's easy to quit. To keep yourself from pushing past your limits. It's easy not to try.

But where does that get you? Probably not a place you want to be. It's easy to spiral downward and lose yourself. But if you don't make yourself a priority, no one else will.

You can be active. And healthy. And everything that you want to be. How do I know? Because I did it. And I continue to do it everyday. I changed my eating. I started exercising. I lost the weight (a whopping 70 pounds). I began running. I made myself a priority. I learned that to be the best mother and wife that I can be, I had to be the best me I could be.

Getting healthy started as a choice. It evolved into a lifestyle. It wasn't easy. Nothing worth anything ever is. But it's something I will never regret.

Monday, May 17, 2010

J, the half marathoner ...

As you know, J became a half marathoner yesterday. It was amazing and I am so very proud of him. His official finishing time was 2:57:10. And like I said, I was by his side every step of the way (we even held hands across the finish line). Here's how it went down ...

J and I woke up at 4:30. We got out of bed, gathered our things and got dressed in our coordinated lime, white and black outfits. This is us right before walking out the door (I did get a shot of J smiling, but I think this is funnier) ...
We hopped in the car and drove the hour to Fredericksburg. Well, kind of. We had to stop. Mother Nature was not J's friend yesterday. In fact, she would torture him for the first four miles of the race. NOT.FUN. Anyway, once we arrived, we met up with JBR (our friend and another first time half marathoner). After yet another bathroom break, we rushed over to the start corral.

And before we knew it, we were off. The first four miles of the race were good (other than that whole Mother Nature thing). We were holding a comfortable pace for J and JBR. Every once in a while, I would speed up and act as race photographer. Here they are at mile 3.

And here I am. I took this while running. And JBR snuck in the shot too.

At mile 4, J had to stop and end the fight with Mother Nature. He ran into a church and JBR continued on without us. (JBR finished in 2:39:25.) After six minutes, J returned and we ventured on. Despite the added time, we were still holding a decent pace. But somewhere around 6 or 7 miles, J's hip and knee started acting up. His hip kept him from running at all in the last two weeks. We hoped the time off would help it, but the constant downhills of the first 10 miles of the course took a pounding on it. And he was in pain (even though he smiled every time I busted out the camera).
At mile 10, the uphill climb began. And the next two miles were basically straight up. We gained over 300 feet of elevation in those two miles. J started to feel it. And we took some walk breaks. I did my best to "push" him on. I knew that he really wanted to break three hours and if we could hold our pace we could. We alternated walk/run for the remainder of the course. As we entered the finish chute, we knew we were going to go sub-three. J asked to hold my hand as we finished. And we crossed the line together. It was awesome.

J was tired and sore. And I was convinced that he would never want to do another half again. But you know what? I was wrong. He's caught the bug. He's talking to JBR about doing it again. He even told me this morning that he might just do Richmond in November. How sweet is that?

As for me, the race was awesome. Here's why:

1. It was really nice to run without pressure.
2. I got to take it easy (my average heart rate was 130 compared to last week's half where it was 180).
3. I was able to support J 100%, which I loved.
4. The race helped me set a new weekly mileage PR. I finished the week with 41.89 miles.
5. I also broke 500 miles for the year during the race. I am currently at 511.16 miles.
6. And I became eligible for Half Fanatic status. Sweet!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

running with love ...

This is the man I love.
Today, he runs his first half marathon.
He will push himself further than he ever has before.
And I will be right by his side.
I couldn't be prouder.
I love you J.