Saturday, October 30, 2010

is running selfish?

I've heard people say before that mothers who run are being selfish. That they are putting their own needs and desires ahead of their families. And for this their families suffer.

I've never been able to understand this viewpoint. I didn't grow up thinking that women were supposed to be self-sacrificing. That they aren't supposed to have interests outside of the home. I never thought that it would be impossible to find a balance between family life and personal interests. And I have never EVER thought that going on a run was even slightly selfish.

In fact, recent days have showed me that I am a MUCH BETTER mother and wife when I run. Honestly, I am flat out MEAN on my rest days. So much so, that I am considering running at least 1-2 miles EVERY day to keep me sane and to keep my family from hating me.

Take yesterday for example. It was a scheduled rest day for me. The morning was going well. I dropped off the older girls at school and then Dilly and I were "supposed" to run errands. But, life got in the way, which meant that very little got done. And with every minute that passed, I became more and more stressed. By the time I picked up everyone from school, I was having a hard time keeping my cool.

The afternoon didn't get any better. The girls weren't listening and I still wasn't getting anything accomplished. I started screaming. Over EVERYTHING. It was bad. At one point, I stepped back and thought, "What the heck is going on? They aren't being that bad. Why am I freaking out?"

And that's when I realized what was different from a "normal" day ...


And EVERYONE ELSE was paying for it.

So, the next time someone tries to tell me that I am being selfish or that my children are suffering because I make running a priority, I am going to ask them to spend a rest day with me. That way they can see how UNSELFISH my running habit really is ...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flashback Friday ...

Yesterday, Dizzle and I were looking at some old pictures when we stumbled upon this gem ...

Yeah. That's me. Circa December 2002. I was 20 years old and about 195 lbs.

When Dizzle saw this picture, the first thing she said was, "Mom. That's you before you cut your hair." My thought was, "Yes. It's also when I had apparently swallowed a cow." But before those words came out of my mouth, I had a second thought.

Compare this picture (from September 2010) to the one above.

The first thing I notice is that I am much thinner now. But, not Dizzle. She didn't notice my size at all. What she saw was her mom - just with different hair. She wasn't critical of me in the least. So why was I?

Without even realizing it, she reminded me that I need to accept my body for what it is (good or bad). And that I need to love it for what it can do (make babies, rock a running skirt, run a marathon) and forgive it for what it can not (fit into a size 0).

Wow. Wonder if Dizzle realizes how smart she is? Probably.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

1. Last night, I met with Dizzle's teacher for a parent-teacher conference. Going in, I was confident that she was academically thriving. All of her graded papers have had "100%" written across the top. Plus, I have spoken to Dizzle before, so I kind of know what she knows and what she doesn't.

The part I was worried about was her behavior. Now, don't get me wrong, she's a very well behaved child, simply because she is a RULE FOLLOWER. With that said, she is also a BIG TALKER. Like a "doesn't stop to take a breath" talker.

I deal with it at home by telling her to "shut it" or simply ignoring the constant stream of vocabulary vomit. But, that's not going to happen at school. School tends to be a place when excessive talking isn't tolerated. And I already knew she was talking straight through lunch, since she comes home with a nearly full lunch box on most days. I just didn't know if it was rolling over into the classroom.

So, how do you think the conference went?

Yup. I was dead on. She is killing it academically, already exceeding the end of the year assessment standards. (Yes, I'm bragging. Deal with it.) And apparently, she DOES NOT SHUT UP in class. And it's not just chatting to her neighbor. She's also big on interrupting her teacher. So much so that she got a time-out for it today. And the kicker is, she's 100% aware of what she is doing. Kind of sounds to me like someone thriving on being the center of attention. Wonder who she could have gotten that trait from?

2. After the parent-teacher conference, I jumped on the treadmill for a tempo run. I wanted to get a feel for my goal race pace, so I planned on a mile warm-up followed by four miles at race pace followed by a one mile cool-down.

Things started off well. I ran the first mile in 10:00. Then I picked it up to goal race pace (8:00). But after the first mile at that pace, I was feeling strong, so I decided to push it a little. Mile 3 clocked in at 7:53. Mile 4 was 7:47 and Mile 5 was a 7:41. When I hit the 8K mark, the clock read 41:11, an unofficial PR (even with the 10:00 first mile).

Did I mention how I am going to kill the 8K next month?

3. Speaking of the 8K, I know that G, J and I aren't the only ones running the races of the Richmond Marathon. And with that in mind, I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in meeting up for dinner the night before the race.

G and I have discussed a place (Italian, located in the suburbs of Richmond), but I want to get an idea of how many people there would be before we commit/announce. So, if you are running Richmond and want to meet up, shoot me an email at to let me know. And be sure to include how many people will be with you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dilly, the escape artist ...

Do you see this face?

Yup. An absolute cherub. Able of no wrong-doing. Perhaps the sweetest and most adorable creature you've ever seen.

But, something lies beneath the surface. An urge. A desire to be, no, do something more. And that something is launch herself out of her crib.

Yes, you read that right. My perfectly behaved 21 month old has crossed over to the dark side. She's a CRIB JUMPER.

And she did nothing to hide it.

On Monday night, J and I were putting her to bed. We placed her in her crib, kissed her goodnight and got ready to leave. But, before we could walk away, her leg was up and over the rail and she had shifted her body weight out of the crib. And with that I told her to say goodbye to her crib. She'd never sleep in that thing again. And my world as we know it was instantly changed.

There's nothing to hold her back now. Her room is suddenly a danger zone. Her naps might not last the week. And who gets to deal with the backlash? Right. Me.

She doesn't look so cute anymore, does she?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

patience is something I lack ...

The other day I got a message from another runner that said, "Keep waiting to see you post that you are running the Richmond full after your stomach bug race last week."

Huh? Did you all think that I was considering it? Am I really that predictable? (G seems to think so.)

Here's the thing. I kind of lack patience. And I don't like to let an opportunity pass me by. Take for instance, my marriage, family and all that jazz.

If J had asked me to marry him as we were boarding the plane home from England (where we met), I would have said yes. I knew it was right. I was trusting my gut and my gut rarely fails me. Instead, J waited a whole 10 months to ask and we were married just after we had been together for two years (again, I would have done it sooner if I thought the parents would have approved.)

Then there is that matter of having children. J and I managed to wait a whole two months after our wedding to jump on that bandwagon. Dizzle was born a month before our first anniversary and she was subsequently followed by two more children, each 22 months apart.

Need more proof? Well, let's see. I graduated from an Ivy League college in three years, primarily due the the fact that I was over it. I was done with accruing debt in the form of school loans and I wanted to start my "real life."

Oh, and then there's was that time that I ran my first 5K and followed it immediately by my first marathon. Right. That was a smart idea. Totally just skipped over the distances in between, because really, "Why wait until tomorrow for what you can do today?"

So, you get it. I don't like to wait. I don't like to see others doing the things I know I am capable of while I sit on the sidelines. I am not one to let opportunity to pass me by. It's just who I am.

So, of course, I played around with the idea of getting Marathon Redemption at Richmond. I mean, who wouldn't? My training partner is running. I've run the course tons of times before. I wouldn't have to travel for it. I'm already trained. It was almost a no-brainer. But, it's not like I emailed the race director to find out what it would take to switch from the 8K to the marathon, or anything (OK, maybe I did). But, after some contemplation and some advice from a good friend, I decided NOT to switch. And here's why ...

1. I have been looking forward to this 8K for an entire year. It is my favorite race distance (and my favorite 8K course).

2. My 8K PR is old and this course is notoriously fast. I have a much larger base that the last time I ran this distance and I am ready to crush my previous times.

3. By running the 8K, I get to be course support for J (who's running the half) and G (who's running the full). Since the 8K, starts at 7 a.m., I should be finished within 10 minutes of J starting his race at 7:30. So, once I cool down, I can run back on the course find him and run him to the finish (which I am super pumped for). Then, once I have dropped off J, I can run the course backwards again to find G, who starts the marathon at 8 a.m., and run her in as well. It's a perfect plan.

4. I am hosting Katye and Erin. And a completely exhausted post-marathon runner doesn't always make for the best host.

5. I am already registered for another marathon, SunTrust National Marathon, where I WILL get Marathon Redemption.

Now, all I need is a little strength to stick to my guns ...

Monday, October 25, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 46-50 ...

When I had my 1,000 mile giveaway, a requirement for entry was to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them in a series of posts. Here are questions 46-50 ...

julie asked, "What is your favorite running quote?"

I'm not really sure it's a running quote, but I have always loved this one.

"Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you.” ~ Aaron Douglas Trimble

Sounds like the perfect run to me ...

Anne asked, "How do you think you would deal with injury? The kind where you can't run for a while, maybe a long while?"

I've touched upon this before. And I'm not quite sure how I would handle it. I'm almost positive it would drive me CRAZY! I really fear injury. And not just because it sucks. But because I am scared about what it would do to me both mentally and physically.

You see, when I was 12, I broke my pelvis and dislocated my hip playing soccer. I was stuck in bed for three month (only allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and wash up - which I couldn't do alone). During that time, I ate to feel better. And I gained a ton of weight. Almost 50 pounds. The day of the pelvis break, I weighed 125 pounds. The day I went back to school (I had to be homeschooled while I healed), I weighed 170 pounds and hadn't grown an inch. And honestly, I am scared that if I ever had another long-term injury, it would happen again.

Running Diva Mom asked, "What time do you go to bed, knowing that you have been having to get up early every day for your runs? Do you ever have trouble getting to sleep?"

I usually start to fall asleep on the sofa between 9 and 9:30 p.m. And although I know I should go get in bed when I start to doze, I generally don't make it upstairs for about another hour (I tend to feel like I don't have enough energy to climb the stairs).

But, once I make my way to bed, I am usually out cold in a few minutes. My day is tiring and I like my sleep. The combination of those factors usually guarantees that I'm not hit with insomnia.

(Note: Although I go to bed by 10 most nights, I would go to bed by 8 if it was a perfect world.)

Cathleen asked, "Where is your favorite place to run in Richmond?"

Hands down. Belle Isle. The trails are flat and the views are scenic. I absolutely love it.

jamie.louise asked, "What do you drink/eat/ingest during a run?"

It depends on the run and the season.

During the Summer, I carry water with me on any run of four miles or more. In the Spring and Fall, it's on runs of over six miles. And in the Winter, it's on runs of 10 or more. I tend to drink during a run based on thirst and temperature is usually the number one factor that determines how thirsty I am.

As for food, I am loyal to Chocolate Outrage GU. During training runs, I take one every 6-8 miles and during races of 10 miles or over, I take one every 4-5 miles. And it MOSTLY works for me.

With that said, I would really like to hear all of your fueling strategies for the half distance and over. I know I need to start replacing sodium, but haven't found an effective method. So what are your thoughts?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

degrees of separation ...

The other day, I saw a criticism of a parenting style on a social media website. The individual who made the judgments was called out and she defended her actions by saying that the person she was critical of was outside of her social circle. I took that to mean that, "it's OK to ridicule someone as long as they never find out." Maybe that's not what she was saying, but that's how I took it.

(Note: I am not saying that I have never said something negative about another person. I have. I just haven't ever broadcasted it so blatantly.)

Anyway, I responded to the situation by saying, "You never know who knows who." And I'm right. I am constantly amazed to see that I have many mutual Facebook friends with people who I didn't think had ever crossed paths. The world is small and the longer you are in it, the smaller it gets.

My run this morning proved that. G was running her last 22 miler before the Richmond Marathon. I decided to join her for the first 10 miles. The plan was simple. Park at the start and run to mile 10 where I would pick up 3L's car (she was joining G for the last 12) and drive it back to the finish. Easy peasy.

Except it wasn't. When I got to the car. It was locked. And I could see the keys on the floor. Crap! The group had already left, so there would be no catching up to them. So, I ran back to the SAG and bumped into a woman that I recognized from Dizzle and Doodle's race yesterday. I told her what had happened and she mentioned that her friend was running another mile and a half and driving back. AWESOME! It was agreed that we'd run a little further and her friend, T, would drive us back.

During the ride back to the start/finish, we talked about our marathon training, injuries, kids, pretty much a runner's "getting to know you" session. Then with about a half mile left, I mentioned that I would like to volunteer as a coach for the training team one year when I am not marathon training (adding that I am actually a certified coach).

At which point, T turned to me and said, "Oh, do you have a website?" My buddy, K, jumped in and said, "Yes. And she makes the cutest headbands too." Then, T looked at me and said, "Oh my God. You're TMB. I was on your website the other day. You're like famous." I snickered and said, "Yes, that's me. And look, now you get to tell everyone that you drove me back to my car when I was stranded."

It was funny. And weird. It's not the first time someone has recognized me from my blog or dailymile or my website. But, I'm not really used to it. And it ALWAYS makes me realize that even though I think I "know" my readers (at least my commenters), there are actually a lot more people out there that "know" me (and subsequently, my family) from all of this.

Fortunately, for me, I am a "tell it like it is" kind of person. The TMB you get here is the same one you'd get if you met me face-to-face. I'm honest and frank and I try my best to think before I speak. Because, you NEVER know who knows who ...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tiger Trot Kid's Run Recap ...

It's official. My kids are runners. This morning Dizzle ran her first race - The Tiger Trot One Miler. And Doodle was so jealous (crying and screaming - typical Doodle), that she became a last minute entrant in the Tiger Trot Half Miler.

It was perfect. We looked fantastic.

We had a blast.
The girls ran every step.
They were fast (at least for 3 and 5 year olds).
Smiles were all around.

The only negative was that it was COLD. Like Arctic cold, at least it felt that way. (OK, it was 37 degrees - which is only cold if you live in the South). Seriously, look at the girls pre-race ...

Dilly was bundled up too ...

Other than the bone-chilling temperatures, the race was a success. Dizzle (age 5) finished her mile in 12:08 (16 seconds faster than she's ever run a mile before).

And Doodle (age 3) ran a half mile in 6:34.

And since it was their race, I figured they should write the recap. Except that they don't quite have a way with words like their mother. So, instead, I debriefed them on the race. Here's what they said ...

Did you have fun?
Dizzle: "Yes! It was super fun!"
Doodle: "Yes."

What was the best part?
Dizzle: "Getting to the finish line."
Doodle: "Winning." (apparently she missed the fact that tons of people were ahead of her)

What was the worst part?
Dizzle: "When we started to slow down."
Doodle: "When my fingers got really cold."

Would you do it again? (not that they really have a choice)
Dizzle: "Yes! But, next time, can it be in the Summer?"
Doodle: "Yes! But, it has to be longer for the next race." (I think I have an endurance junkie on my hands.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

one mile style ...

As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow is Dizzle's first race - a one mile run. And she's ready. Sure, she's got the endurance, but most importantly, she's got the outfit (and so do I). Have a look ...

Watch out 5-9 year old age group, Dizzle's coming for you ...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Banana Blossom Press Winner ...

OK, I totally flaked this morning and forgot to choose a winner for my Banana Blossom Press giveaway. You know, the one with the super cute tees.

So, here it goes.

There were 193 entries and thanks to, the winner is #87 ...

Meredith @ Therapeutic Runnings of A Mom

Congrats! Please email me your contact info, shirt choice and size and I'll make sure you get your prize!

Three Things Thursday ...

1. Recovery - Everyone in this house is on the mend. Dizzle and Dilly are pretty much back to normal. But, J isn't feeling too hot and Doodle spiked a 103 degree fever last night. Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on last night. Personally, I am feeling significantly better than when I drafted my letter to the Marathon Fairy. Much of the pressure in my face has dissipated and I am not feeling nearly as weak. I even made it out for a five mile run at a 9:53 pace this morning. It was harder that it probably should have been, but I did just run a marathon, you know.

2. Weight - I mentioned yesterday that I gained eight pounds. I wanted to blame it on the Marathon Fairy, but if we are being honest here. I got trapped in that whole "I run 50 miles a week, I can eat whatever I want" mentality. Unfortunately, that's not true.

I became rather lazy in my food journaling (which keeps me in line). I was kind of guessing calorie counts and not adding in all of the handfuls of this or bites of that. So, I decided to change my food journal format. I usually add my calories up during the day ending with a number somewhere between 2,200 and 2,800 (Note: that was without all those "extras" I was leaving out).

Now, I decided to start with my total number of calories and subtract everything that I eat from that total. And when I get to zero, I have to stop eating. And this is working for me. There is something about know that you only have X number of calories left that will stop you from unnecessary snacking. It also made me realize how much mindless snacking I do. Trust me, it's not pretty.

3. Upcoming Races - Several people have asked what's next for me now that the marathon is over. Well, right now my primary focus is this race HERE. It's a 1 mile Kid's Run on Saturday. It's Dizzle's first race and I am her pacer. I am so excited for her. And for the coordinated outfits we are going to wear.

Aside from that race, I am currently REGISTERED for the HCA 8K (part of the Richmond Marathon) on 11/13 and the National Marathon in D.C. on 3/26. Oh, and I am 95% sure of my 2011 race calendar, but that's hush hush for now ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a plea ...

Dear Marathon Fairy,

I have been told by others that you show up at the end of a marathon and ease the load for the runner. That you babysit children and clean up the house. That you would let me rest and recover without interruption. But I am starting to wonder if you are ever going to show up.

I mean, isn't it enough that I pushed myself through 26.2 miles while my digestive tract exploded? Can't I get a little help around here? In your absence, recovery has been slow and I am blaming it on you. Also, I am blaming the following issues on your failure to arrive ...

The fact that I now appear to have a sinus infection. My whole face hurts. It hurts to chew. And let's just say, when I blow my nose, well, it's not clear. Oh, and did I mention that every time I cough, I feel like I am being stabbed just to the left of my belly button. What's up with that?

Or, what about the fact that everyone in my household is sick. I sent three kids to bed with fevers last night. They are whiny and cranky and just a pain to be around. And who gets to tend to their every need? Right. Me. Not the Marathon Fairy who failed to show up. And did you get them memo that J is sick too. Plus, he has Poison Ivy. Add to that the fact that men are notoriously wimpy when it comes to illness and you can see I have my hands full.

I ran yesterday. And it went OK. But, if we are being honest here, I AM WEAK. I am no longer sore, but I feel like my muscles don't have the power to get me up the stairs. And thanks to you, Marathon Fairy, I have to go up and down the stairs a lot.

I have no energy. I fell asleep at 2 p.m. yesterday while my kids played. And last night, I couldn't make it to the end of Biggest Loser. Thanks for making me miss all my favorite shows.

I gained 8 pounds. Sure, it's probably my own fault for eating too much food during the past month or two, but maybe if you had shown up, I could have been taking a nap instead of shoveling food down my throat.

I am sure there is more that I can hold your absence accountable for. But, I don't have the time or energy to list every one of your shortcomings here. I just want you to know that at this point, I think you suck. And you will not be getting a letter of reference from me.

Yours in running,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Indianapolis Marathon Recap ...

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: 10/16/10
Temperature: 43 degrees at the start, 65 degrees at finish
Official Time: 4:49:38, 17 minute PR


Before arriving to the start line on Saturday, I knew very little about the course I was about to set foot on. I had heard that it was mostly flat with a couple of small hills and the website told me this ...

"The Indianapolis Marathon and Half Marathon courses start with a loop through historic Fort Benjamin Harrison along the tree-lined Fort Parade Grounds. The course then heads North for a loop through Fort Harrison State Park. The Half Marathon then returns to the finish line while the Marathon continues through the State Park to Fall Creek Parkway. This begins a beautiful, flat, tree-lined, creek side, out and back stretch along Fall Creek Corridor Park before returning to the finish line via the State Park."

But that description didn't do the course justice.
From mile one to mile 26, the route was absolutely beautiful. We wound our way through Fort Harrison surrounded by majestic trees at the peak of their fall colors. At one point during the first few miles, runners are tunnelled in by trees of red, orange and yellow and are protected entirely from the sun. It was peaceful and quiet, even as 5,000 runners bounded through. Later, as we ran through the barren walnut trees, I couldn't help but be taken by the beautiful starkness of it all. It was almost enough to make me forget about the climbs that filled the first half of the race.

After mile 13, the course lost it's rolling hills (which I was quite happy about) and it flattened onto a beautiful out and back path that weaved through the trees. I don't believe that there could be a more picturesque fall scene. It's a shame that I was to uncomfortable to really appreciate it all ...


Bathroom Issues: I woke up at 6 a.m. for this race and by 6:15, I knew I was in trouble. My stomach was not happy. I made my first of seven "pit stops" and prayed for the best. But, by the time we arrived at the start, I had to make "pit stop" number two and it wasn't pretty. Once I got to the corral, I thought everything was all good. My stomach felt OK and I was ready to go. Then we were off. Unfortunately, by mile three, I was already searching for the next port-o-john. It took almost as much effort not to have a "skirtastrophe" as it did to run. So, just after mile six, we stopped and I went.

Three minutes later, we were back on the course, trying to make up time. We did pretty good but at mile 12, I was racing to the port-o-john again (think Dumb and Dumber). This cycle repeated itself for the remainder of the race. And every time I "pit stopped" and watched my time creep up as I sat there, it got harder and harder to recover. (I spent so much time in the bathroom that the port-o-johns started appearing in my race photos. See?)
I began to lose my drive and every ounce of water in my body. I couldn't hydrate fast enough to replace all the liquids leaving my body. My fingers turned to sausages and my legs started to cramp. It kind of sucked.

(Note: On a somewhat positive note, it appears that my colon cleanse was caused by a stomach bug and not nerves or runner's trots. How do I know? Dizzle presented with the same symptoms less than 24 hours later.)

Course Support: While the course was beautiful and there were ample water stops (only one GU stop though - bummer), the course was QUIET. There were few spectators aside from the start/finish area and around the water stops. I swear that at points, I could have fallen to the side of the road and no one would have noticed (and I thought about it). I really would have appreciated a cheer or two when I didn't want to go on.

Chafing: I almost never have chub-rub, thanks to a lot of Body Glide. But, I went to the bathroom so many times that by mile 16, I was feeling the burn.


My outfit: Yellow NikeFit Shirt, Orange Running Skirt, White Under Armour Hat and Pink/Orange/Yellow Striped Socks.

I was beyond comfortable and I totally matched the race. I mean, look at how the bib number just blends into the skirt. I couldn't have planned that better if I had tried.

My running partner: J's cousin Kim (who's training for NYC Marathon) was running the half as a training run. She offered to stick with me until the half and the full courses split at mile 13. We had a blast and she really distracted me during those early miles. Here we are before heading to the race.

And this is us at mile 4 (thanks to Judi @ Twelve Fit Feet. Her "fan club" took this shot as I ran by).

My race plan: It was my intention to run the first three miles around a 10 minute pace. When I hit mile 3, my watch read 30:30. After that I just wanted to run comfortably, hopefully somewhere between a 9:30 and 10:00. And I did that, except that my tummy literally exploded at mile 6 and from then on I lost some serious time in the bathroom.

My husband: J met me at mile 24 (when I felt like I was done). He cheered me on (which I really needed), ran with me and snapped some photos of me in action.

If I wasn't so exhausted, I would have kissed him. Have I mentioned how much I love him?

The last two-tenths: By the time I hit mile 26, I knew I had a PR (even if it wasn't as large as I had hoped). At that point, I saw my girls and J's cousins on the course, cheering me on. I grabbed the kids and told them to run to the finish with me. It was the highlight of my race.

My perspective: Even as the race was dragging on and my dreams had been crushed by a port-o-john, I stayed positive. Positive that I wanted to do the whole thing over again. Soon. (Yes, I am crazy.)

The Finish: Who wouldn't love the finish of a marathon? Crossing that line was amazing. Doing it with my girls was even better. And grabbing a 17 minute PR was icing on the cake. And the bling didn't suck either ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Indianapolis Marathon - Done ...

The 2010 Indianapolis Marathon is in the books (recap tomorrow) ...

And I accomplished all three of my goals:

I followed my race plan!

I remained injury-free for the ENTIRE training cycle!

I got new PR!

I finished in 4:49:38 - EXACTLY a 17 minute PR ...

which means that Hayley (who left me nothing to link to) had the closest guess of my finish time at 4:48:08. Congrats Hayley! Email me with your contact info and I will send you your prize!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 41-45

When I had my 1,000 mile giveaway, a requirement for entry was to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them in a series of posts. Here are questions 41-45 ...

trifitmom asked, "What bridge are you running over in your photo header?"

It is the Nickel Bridge in Richmond, VA. It has one of the most beautiful views of the James River.

dr. jen asked, "Any desire to do a triathlon or other type of non-road race (e.g., mud run, adventure race with kayaking/biking/etc)?"

I am always up for an adventure, but my true love is running.

With that said, I have done some non-road races before. In 2009, I ran a 5K Mud Run. It was a blast and totally something I would be interested in doing again. And I have done three sprint triathlons, but have yet to train for a single one. They are a lot of fun and I have performed well in them. (I finished 3rd in my division in the most recent one despite not swimming or riding my bike for over two years prior). Part of me wonders how well I could perform if I trained properly for them, but I have a hard time finding the motivation to do so. Swimming and biking just aren't my things.

S Club Mama asked, "When I run, it seems the jostling makes my bowels active. I haven't had to go on the side of the road (at least not #2) yet, but does that happen to you? Or is my body the only weird one?"

I have been fortunate enough to have a bladder of steel and a strong stomach. Even when I was running at 9 months pregnant, I didn't have any issues. But, you are not alone. Pretty much every runner I have ever met has faced these issues and I have seen quite a few race photos with #2 dripping down the runner's leg. Not pretty.

the dawn asked, "I'm curious what has brought you back to full marathon racing? I know that you enjoy and prefer the half marathon races, so just interested to know why add a marathon and 40k?"

I do prefer shorter races. I am much speedier over shorter distances and the training is much less taxing. But, there is something about the marathon that has such a hold on me. It's about proving you can cover the distance and the pride that comes with it.

During my first two marathon training cycles, I ended up injured. I was in pain from mile 1 to mile 26.2. My finish times did not represent what I am capable of. Honestly, I thought that my body wasn't built for the distance and that I should just focus on shorter races.

But, then I upped my weekly mileage. I was running more miles in a week that I ever had in marathon training and I wasn't injured. My body could handle it. And all I could think was, "What could I do if I made it to the start line injury-free?" I needed to know. So, I switched from the Indianapolis half to the full and committed to the training. In the process, I grew to love the heavier mileage at a slower pace. I started to think not only of this marathon, but others down the line. And ultras after that. Sure, I still love the shorter distances, but its become about proving to myself that I can push myself both hard and long. To pick up the pace and cover the distance. I want to prove to myself that I can endure. And the marathon allows me to do that.

daysrun asked, "If you could sit down to dinner with three people (living or not), who would they be and why?"

OK, so I am going to take some liberty with this question and change it to FIVE people, because I can't pick just three.

If I could have dinner with any FIVE people, it would be with my husband, my three girls and my dad. And here is why.

My dad passed away when I was 20, one month before I met Jeremy. And if I could have ANYTHING, it would be for my dad to have the chance to meet him and my girls. It kills me that they never got the opportunity to meet each other. To share memories. I hurts me just to think about that. And I don't think that will ever change.

Friday, October 15, 2010

2010 Indianapolis Marathon Training Recap ...

This time tomorrow I will be toeing the line at the 2010 Indianapolis Marathon. Getting to this point was a journey in and of itself, one that started back on June 7th. Since then ...

I have run a total of 758.99 miles
(9.99 miles more than what my schedule called for),

at an average pace of 10:05 mile,
for a total of approximately 127 hours and 40 minutes,

which is 5 day, 8 hours and 40 minutes of running,
just to get one of these ...


19 weeks of training. 5 runs per week. 3 new PRs.
0 injuries. 1000s of laughs.

26.2 - YOU ARE MINE.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday, Marathon Edition ...

1. We (J, the girls, and I) are leaving for the marathon today. Indianapolis is just shy of 11 hours from here, so we have one heck of a road trip ahead of us. The plan is to drive to Kentucky tonight and finish the rest of our journey in the morning. Hopefully, that keeps us from going INSANE in the car (both from the girl's screaming/fighting/whatever and the replay of DVDs we have seen a MILLION times). It's going to be a preview of the mental test of the marathon. Only, I won't be able to escape. Oh, and it's raining right now. Like huge a** thunderstorms. And we have to drive over little mountain roads. Fun.

2. Goals. Everyone keeps asking me what my goal time is for this race. But, honestly, my BIG goal for this race is not my time. What I really want to do is FOLLOW THE RACE PLAN. I almost always have a plan going into a race and I almost NEVER follow it. I need to follow the plan. I need to know I can follow the plan, so that next time (yes, I said next time) I can go for the UBER-GOAL.

That's not to say that I don't have a time I would like to hit. I do. It's anything faster than 5:06:38, my current PR. And I know that if I follow my race plan, I am going to kill that time. By a lot.

And speaking of my finish time. If you have a guess on it, you could win a prize. Head over to THIS post and see what I am talking about.

3. G and I were talking the other day about how you are either a marathon person or you're not. Some runners never have the desire to run 26.2 and others race the distance once and can be done with it. Then, there are the rest of us. We go back to the distance over and over (even if we swear we never will again). There is something that draws us in (for me, it's the bragging rights).

After my first two marathon training cycles, I swore I was never going to look at another marathon registration form again. I was done. My body couldn't handle it. Peace out.

But what I know now is that I wasn't properly trained for the event. I built my mileage too fast. I ran too fast during training. And I ended up injured. This time, things were different. My mileage base was larger than it had ever been BEFORE I registered for the race (even compared to other marathon training cycles). I knew that my body could handle it. And that what I needed to tackle was the mental challenge of the race. And I think I am well prepared for that. So much so, that I have already registered for the next one (National Marathon - 3/26/11, if you're interested). And a 50K is on the calendar for the end of 2011.

Seriously, who have I become?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Banana Blossom Press Giveaway ...

Remember my You Go Girl! Half Marathon recap? The one where I mentioned that I picked up really cute tees for my girls at the expo? And that you should go check them out for yourself?

I hope you went and looked. But if you didn't, here's your chance to see my cuties model them for you ...
I got one too, but I'm not nearly as cute as my girls.

And I know you want one. They are available at Banana Blossom Press.

If you don't know about Banana Blossom Press, here's a little info about this Seattle, WA based greeting card company:

"We've designed a line of greeting cards that are unique, uncomplicated and feature a clean, minimalist design. We help connect with wellness in mind and capture the inner thoughts of everyday athletes. The message on each card will resonate with anyone who has a love/hate relationship with exercise and fitness, for the people who have been physically active for years and can’t imagine a life without it, as well as those who are new to sports and exercise.

They are perfect for the people in your yoga class, boot camp group or spinning class, for your spouse who runs and you don't, for your child who had a great year in their cross country team at school, for your friend who is training for a triathlon and for your mother who is going to walk a half-marathon after seeing you run a marathon."

The cards are fanastic (Mel, Jill and I had our fair share of laughs while looking at them during the expo), but I am over the top in love with the shirts. And I want to share this love with you.

So, thanks to Banana Blossom Press, one lucky reader will win the shirt of their choice. Here's how to enter (separate comments please!)

1. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment to let me know.
2. Visit Banana Blossom Press HERE and leave me a comment to know what shirt you would choose.
3. "Like" Banana Blossom Press on Facebook HERE and leave me a comment to let me know.
4. Make a purchase at Banana Blossom Press and leave me a comment to let me know what you bought. (5 entries)
5. Repost this giveaway and leave me a comment to let me know.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, October 20. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, October 21.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 36-40

When I had my 1,000 mile giveaway, a requirement for entry was to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them in a series of posts. Here are questions 36-40 ...

Roggia asked, "How long did you wait to start running again after having your baby?"

Three weeks to the day. My OB/GYN and I had a bit of a debate about it when I was about 12 hours postpartum. She knew I wasn't going to wait six weeks, as most doctors recommend. So, she asked for four weeks. I told her I would give her two. She didn't like that at all but, I wasn't taking a month off. So, after each stating our arguments, we agreed on three weeks - as long as I did NOTHING in those three weeks. And I really didn't do anything in those three weeks. Well, except move to a new house. But, that doesn't count. Right?

ann asked, "What's your power song?"

Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band. Always has been, always will be. My dad used to sing it to me when I was little and hearing it now reminds me of him. And that's all I need to get my second wind ...

H Love asked, "What would you do if you couldn't run?"

Cry. A lot.

Honestly, I would probably go back to playing soccer or throwing the discus. I played soccer for 13 years and threw the discus and shot put for 9 (I was a Division I athlete in the throws). I loved both of those sports so much and really miss competing in them.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) asked, "What is your favorite pre-race, night before meal?"

As bad as this is going to sound, I usually eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with skim milk. I love it and I know that it is not going to bother my stomach. But, I probably should get a more nutritious meal in me before a race.

Kellie asked, "What's your favorite post-race indulgence?"

Cupcakes. Or a Chipotle burrito. Kind of depends on what kind of mood I am in.

Monday, October 11, 2010

19.1 miles ...

19.1 miles is how far I have run since Friday. 19.1 miles that were not mine. 19.1 miles where I was not concerned about my time, but rather that my running partner was getting all that they could out of the run.

On Friday, I was joined by my partner-in-crime, Dizzle. We ran one mile together. One mile without anyone else tagging along (and slowing us down). I let Dizzle set the pace and she whined about it the ENTIRE time. From the first few steps in, she complained that she had to pee. That she couldn't hold it for one second more. But she did. And the two of us finished that mile in 12:24. 1:18 faster than she had ever covered the distance before.

On Saturday, J and I headed out for the last long run of my training cycle - 12 miles. His parents watched the girls and we got some much deserved alone time. I picked the route and he picked the pace. At mile 11, his hip hurt too much to run. So, we walked. I told him to be proactive in treating it and to think about his form when he runs. At mile 11.4, we started running again. J thought about his form. And for the first time ever, he pulled away from me. His stride was just too long to keep up with. And as we finished, he was running an 8:18 with me two steps behind. Apparently, J has been hiding some serious speed in his legs. That half marathon PR at Richmond is so his.

Then on Sunday, G ran her second 20 miler of this training cycle. I had a few miles left for the week, so I joined her at mile 14.5. She had gone out too fast on a rather hilly route. Probably more mentally tired than physically, I got to be her cheerleader for the last six miles. When she wanted to stop, I told her she couldn't - she needed to drive me back to my car. When she started to beat herself up, I told her she was wrong and tried to crack a joke. I was there for her, like she has been there for me.

This weekend I ran to support others. Next weekend, I run for me. Five days and nine miles is all that stands between me and the start line ...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 31-35

When I had my 1,000 mile giveaway, a requirement for entry was to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them in a series of posts. Here are questions 31-35 ...

Casey asked, "What was the worst run you've ever had?"

Easy. The first 20 miler of my training cycle for the 2009 Richmond Marathon. It was a freakishly hot October day. G and I headed out early, but apparently not early enough. After the first eight miles, we passed my house and commented that the first part of the run was less than easy, but we ventured on.

When we got to mile 12, we pit-stopped at Dizzle's BFF's house because we had run out of water and needed a break. That stop should have helped, but it didn't. We walked/ran the remainder of the miles. Both G and I joked (OK, maybe we were being serious) that we could just lay down in the grass and wait for a ride or die, whichever came first. It was SO BAD. And a major ego crusher. Something I don't ever want to repeat.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama asked, "You said that you hit 1000 miles for the first time ever. What do you think changed in you that caused the desire to elevate your running to the level it is now?"

My perspective. During my first two years of running, I did enough to get by. To be able to finish the distances that I was racing. Nothing above and beyond. I was following whatever plan seemed to best fit my schedule without really understanding the science behind running.

And that is fine. Some people will be super successful with that method. I just wasn't getting the results I wanted. My times were getting better, but I knew I was capable of more (especially in the longer distances). I was just unsure of how to get there. Figuring it out changed my perspective on running and pushed me to elevate my running to the next level (and I'm still not training as much/as hard as I want to).

So, you probably want to know what I "figured out", right? It was when I learned about the importance of mileage base. A bigger base leads to increased endurance. And what do you need to hold your speed over a distance? Endurance. I wanted endurance so, I needed to build my base. It's that simple.

Lindsey asked, "You've mentioned before that you used to be overweight. Do you have any advice for folks (like me) trying to lose weight?"

I want to start by saying that I am not a dietitian. But I did lose 70 pounds, on my own, through diet and exercise. My methods might not work for you. I can only tell you what worked for me.

I feel the key to my weight loss was keeping a food journal and counting calories. During my initial weight loss, I averaged 1,600-1,800 calories per day and worked out for about 30 minutes to an hour, five days a week.

But, remember that calorie counting will only work if you count correctly and make adjustments. I think that many people who lose weight forget to adjust their calorie intake once they have started to drop weight and thus, plateau. Keep in mind that for every 10 pounds you lose, your body burns about 130 calories LESS per day.

~Andrea~ asked, "What do you think about ice baths? Do you do them?"

I think they are fantastic and wonderful. But, I've only taken one once. I just don't make the time to. Kind of like stretching.

Holly asked, "What's your #1 tip regarding getting back into shape post pregnancy?"

Honestly, it's my #1 tip for working out in general - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

Your body will give you signs of what it needs and what it can handle. As long as you don't ignore those signs, you will be fine. Every woman is different and every pregnancy (even for the same woman) is different. After my first, I could barely walk a block six weeks after delivery. After my second, I returned to working out (not running) when she was eight days old. And with Dilly, I ran eight miles two days before delivery and raced my first post-baby 5K 23 days after her birth.

But as different as my postpartum periods were, one thing was consistent - The more active and in shape I was in DURING my pregnancy, the easier it was to get back into shape AFTER my pregnancy.

Don't believe me? I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans 12 months after I had Dizzle (I didn't work out during that pregnancy). And I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans 2 DAYS after I had Dilly (I ran during my entire pregnancy).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

look what arrived ...

There's no turning back now. One week until race day. And do you see that bib number? - 1191. I'm thinking it's pretty awesome. Do you see it? OK, I'll explain.

This is marathon #3. And there are three 1's in my number. And when you add those three 1's, you get three. And 9 is a multiple of three. In fact, it's three 3's. Just like the three 1's. It's all tied together.

Obviously, the stars are aligning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

can you guess my finish time?

As you all know, marathon #3 is just eight days away. And as you also know, this will be the first time that I run a marathon injury-free AND full of potential.

So, since I don't have a good sense of how long it will take me to finish, I (with the help of Shelly) thought it would be fun to have contest to see who can best predict my marathon finish time. Fun, right?

Here's the scoop. I am going to give you a bunch of statistics about my training, past performances, etc. Then you use that information to make your best guess on my finish time, down to the second. And the person who is closest (either over or under) will walk away with this ...

(Note: if somehow there is a tie, those names will go into a hat and a winner will be randomly selected.)

Current Marathon PR: 5:06:38 (injured)

Current Half Marathon PR: 1:58:02

Current 5K PR: 24:09

Average mileage for the past 16 weeks: 42.9 miles per week

Long runs - 20+ miles: 3

(20 @ 10:41 pace, 22 @ 10:11 pace, 24.8 @ 10:44 pace)

So, are you in? Good. Once you have determined my finish time, become a follower (if you already aren't) and leave me a comment with your answer.

Entries will be selected until Friday, October 15th (the day before the race) and the winner will be announced some time in the day or two after the race. Probably.

Jessica's Gifts Winner ...

Thanks to everyone who entered my Jessica's Gifts Giveaway. There were 258 entries and selected number 257 as the winner ...

Congrats Beth @ SwimBikeRunDC!

Email me with your contact info and I will get your necklace out to you right away.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

and it's out ...

The night before I left for Seattle, Dizzle realized that she had a loose tooth. She was so excited. All I kept hearing was, "I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE MY FIRST LOOSE TOOTH!" Over and over again.

But that excitement was nothing compared to what is going on right now. Because at 5:30 p.m., Dizzle lost her FIRST tooth.
She is so proud. And incredibly adorable, if I do say so myself ...

(Note: We do realize that the gap between her front teeth is nearly as large as the gap made my the missing tooth. We think of it as "room to grow.")

Three Things Thursday, the Dizzle edition ...

1. Dizzle is really into this whole running thing. On Tuesday, I took her out again to run the mile loop from our house. And about 3/4 of the way in, I realized how much like me she really is - that's when she hit her "wall." (3/4 of the way through is where I want to quit too). But, I told her that she was fine and that she just had to tell herself that she could do it.

So, that's exactly what she did. For the last three tenths of the mile, she repeated over and over, "I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT!" It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. And she finished the mile with a new PR, by 51 seconds.

I instantly gave her a high five and told her how proud I was of her. Then, I immediately followed the cheers with a dose of reality, telling her that if she hadn't wasted so much energy chanting that she could run even faster. Only I would do that ....

2. Since Dizzle is turning into a running machine, I have signed her up for her first race. She is going to run the Richmond Times-Dispatch 1 Mile Kids Run, the Friday of the Richmond Marathon. She is super excited for two reasons. First, I get to run with her and she is all about one-on-one time (plus I can pace her to a killer time). And second, she gets a medal. And if you know anything about Dizzle, you know she's all about the bling ...

3. In addition to her running, Dizzle is also spending a lot of time at school. And she is loving it. She is also loving her prospects for future relationships and marriage. A few days ago, Dizzle, Doodle and I had this conversation ...

Dizzle: "Doodle, you should marry Thomas when you grow up."
Dizzle: "Well, when I grow up, I am going to marry James."
Me: "Really? Who's James? Why do you want to marry him?"
Dizzle: "He's in my class. And I like him."
Me: "Oh. Well, is he nice?"
Dizzle: "Yes, he is. Doodle, you should really marry Thomas."
Doodle: "I DON'T WANT TO!"
Dizzle: "Well, I am going to marry James. Or Andrew. Or James. Or Andrew. Mom, how do you choose?"
Me: "Dizzle, I think that you should wait a LONG time before you get married. I was really old before I knew I wanted to marry your daddy. You should probably make up your mind later.
Dizzle: "OK. But, I am going to marry James or Andrew. Doodle? You should marry Thomas."

Sometimes, I wonder why I say anything at all ...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

progression ...

I am a new runner. Sure, I didn't start running yesterday, but my first race was only three years and one week ago. I have kids older than that. And although I have a high mileage base, I am by no means a seasoned runner, you need a lot more experience for that. And I want that experience. I know I can do and be so much more. I think I have barely tapped my potential. There is speed trapped in my legs and strength trapped in my psyche. And it is going to escape. It's kind of been sneaking out all along. I just failed to notice the progression.

As I approach my marathon (only 10 days from now), I honestly have no idea of what to expect. I have never made it to the start line of a marathon uninjured. I do not know what's in me. In so many ways, this race is really my FIRST marathon. The other two were just training runs where I pushed through the pain (and walked miles upon miles) to just finish the distance. I have never raced a marathon. And it's kind of freaking me out.

Which got me thinking. There was a time when I had never raced a 5K. And that was scary too. But, I did it. So, I am hoping by looking at how far I have come will help me gain the confidence to KILL this marathon. So, here it goes ...

On 9/29/07, I ran my first 5K in 31:00.
On 5/29/10, I ran my current 5K PR of 24:09.
That's a difference of 6:51 or 2:13/mi.

On 8/31/08, I ran my first half marathon in 2:37:59.
On 9/26/10, I ran my current half marathon PR of 1:58:02.
That's a difference of 39:57 or 3:03/mi.

The progression is HUGE. And I made it happen. It wasn't luck. It was training. And I am trained for this marathon. I know this. Now, I just have to BELIEVE it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back Pocket Sports Discount Code ...

Remember last month when I posted my review (and giveaway) of the Marilyn Top by Back Pocket Sports? Yes? No? Maybe? Well, here's a refresher. This AWESOME top kept me comfortable and cool during a 25 mile training run during this training cycle. It stayed in place and held all of my gear (in the three back pockets) for the entire run. Plus, it's wicked cute ...
All of the Back Pocket Sports tanks have just as much flair and function. And they just released a new style, the Natalie Top, which comes in several fun colors and patterns (note: it's also 2" longer than the older style). Here's a rear view of the top ...

Fun, right? And since only one of you was lucky enough to win one of these great tops, Monique at Back Pocket Sports wants to offer you 20% off your next purchase. All you have to do is visit their website HERE, place your order and enter the code RB1010 at checkout. Easy peasy. The coupon is valid until 10/12/10, so get to shopping!

Monday, October 4, 2010

how I cut my run short and but still ran all my miles ...

Yesterday morning, G and I set out on a 16 miler. And right from the start, I just wasn't feeling it. I was just tired. Not tired of running, just sleepy tired. Like "if I was to close my eyes right now I would be asleep in three minutes," kind of tired. I'm not really sure what the deal is. Maybe I pushed it a little to hard after last week's race and PR. Maybe I just really need to go to bed earlier. Maybe the 300+ miles I have run since the middle of August are catching up with me. I'm not really sure.

Either way, G and I decided to cut the run a little short (I know, pick your jaws up off the floor). We finished up with 14 and I was OK with that, with only 14 days left before the marathon, a little extra taper wasn't going to hurt. Yup, I was OK with it. For like five hours.

So, like any sane person, I asked the girls if they wanted to go on a run. They quickly accepted and we headed out. (Have I mentioned how much I love my kids?)

I told them that we were going to run the whole time. And that we'd go nice and slow so that they could finish. Here they are in action.

Would you look at Dizzle's form? Perfect forefoot strike. At what age do you think Newton Running would be interested in sponsoring her? Probably soon ...

Anyway, we made it about .3 when Doodle decided she was too tired to go on. So, we turned around and headed home. But we kept running.
Doodle headed inside at about .66 and got some water, but I could tell that Dizzle could finish the mile, despite having just screamed at me, "MY ENTIRE BODY HURTS."

Then 14:33 after we started, Dizzle and I finished that mile. Without walking. And Doodle must have felt like she missed out on something, because as soon as she finished her water, she asked to run again. So, like a good mother, I agreed and the two of us ran/walked another mile in 15:30.

Have I mentioned that my kids are hardcore?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 26-30

When I had my 1,000 mile giveaway, a requirement for entry was to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them in a series of posts. Here are questions 26-30 ...

Meggan asked, "Who inspires you the most?"

That's a hard one. I admire a lot of traits in a lot of different people. But, as a runner, I am probably most inspired by Amy Palmiero-Winters. She is a single-leg amputee, who has run a 3:04 marathon (the fastest time ever for a below-knee amputee - FEMALE or MALE). And earlier this year, she became the first amputee to finish the Western States 100. She is seriously hardcore and has proven that the only limitations we have are the ones we set for ourselves. How could you not be inspired by that?

Karen asked, "Did your kids already have the nicknames you use for them on the blog, or did you create the nicknames for the blog? Do you use those nicknames in real life?"

What if I told you that they aren't nicknames? That my daughters are really named Dizzle, Doodle and Dilly? Right. You'd probably know I was lying. Their nicknames were established before the blog (except for Dilly, who came along after the blog).

Dizzle originated from a modified version of "Hey Diddle Diddle" that J used to sing to her. It went, "K Dizzle Dizzle ..." For a while, she was K Dizzle, but at some point we stopped saying the K.

Doodle started as Mac-a-doodle. Eventually, we dropped the beginning of it and the Doodle part stuck.

And Dilly, like her sisters got her nickname when we shortened the name that we used for her when I was pregnant - Piccadilly.

And yes, we do use those nicknames in real life, but not nearly as much as we did when they were younger.

Laurie asked, "Do you ever lose blogging motivation? It seems that you always have such great things to write about and never miss a day. How do you do it?"

Well, thank you. I'm glad to hear that you like what I am writing.

Honestly, I haven't really hit a point where I have lost my motivation for blogging. I truly enjoy documenting and sharing the experiences of our lives. As for topics and such, I think my writing ability is benefited by the content of my blog. This is not solely a running blog or a mommy blog or any one thing. It's a daily record of me and my family as seen through my eyes. And because of this, I have never felt limited in what I could or couldn't write about. Plus, I just really have a lot to say, which doesn't hurt either.

suzy@countdownto26.2 asked, "How important is strength training when training for a 1/2 or full marathon? I can never find time/energy to do it!"

It depends on who you ask. Strength training is going to be beneficial to any runner. But, not strength training isn't going to keep you from crossing that finish line.

When it comes down to it, a runner needs to run to be successful. So, if you had to make the choice between fitting in strength training or your run, I would say that you should choose the run. But, if you can fit in both activities, you will definitely see an improvement in your running.

Erin G asked, "What's your fav pre-race meal?"

Easy peasy - Mud Pie. OK, I am kidding about that. Before the vast majority of my races, I eat a chocolate chip Clif Bar and drink a little water.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

like mother, like daughter ...

When I was younger and still under my parent's control, I swore to myself that there were things I just wouldn't do as a parent. I'd never say "Because I said so" or be the uptight parent with all the rules. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I do/am both of those things. And I could probably list another hundred things in regards to my parenting, that I have had to eat my words about.

But more than anything else, I remember thinking as a child that I would never grow up to be like my mother. (I feel like everyone says this at some point). What I didn't realize at the time is that what I should have wanted was to be EXACTLY like my mother. She was great at what she did. And while I don't agree with EVERY parenting decision that she made, her foundation was strong. She always looked out for our best interests (even if we couldn't see it) and she helped us amplify our strengths. She was strict with a hint of flexibility and she knew how to trust her gut.

But, the best example of her parenting skills is the fact that she managed to raise three well-adjusted, intelligent and successful daughters (not to toot my own horn or anything). And that says a lot.

And because of this, when I see her parenting style/tactics coming out in my own approach to my children, I am proud. I know that I am doing the best that I can for my daughters. I am giving them stability and structure and a firm grasp of what's right and wrong. And I know that even if they don't appreciate it now (or 20 years from now), one day they will have their own children and will be grateful for the example I have set.

Unfortunately, I will not only pass on my strengths, but my weaknesses too (like my sarcastic tone and smart a** nature). And that became very apparent earlier this week when I lost my cell phone.

We were running late for soccer and I was quickly packing up. Before I headed for the door, I checked my bag for my wallet, keys and phone. But the phone wasn't there and I refused to leave without it. I looked *everywhere* and was calling it from our home phone, but was unable to find it. The girls were helping, but the longer it went missing, the more frustrated I became. And before I knew it, all four of us were crying.

It was sad. And pathetic. Not giving up hope, Dizzle told me to call again. And amazingly, the phone rang. We all ran to the kitchen and located the sound. And there it was. My cell phone in a random pocket OF MY BAG. The bag where I ALWAYS put it. Hmph!

And that's when Dizzle said (with eye roll), "Mom! It was in your bag the whole time. Don't ya think that should have been the first place you looked?"

Um, yeah Dizzle. I should have. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. And for showing me how much I am rubbing off on you ...

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Rewind ...

Wow! September flew by. School started again, I hit my peak training mileage for the marathon, I visited Seattle and KILLED my half marathon PR. It was a pretty sweet month. Here is my September 2010 in review ...

Miles Planned/Miles Ran: 176/178.43 (I averaged 8.9 miles per run, bringing me to 1300.8 miles on the year!)

Rest Days Planned/Rest Days Taken: 9/10 (I know you are shocked that I actually took an extra rest day. I was too.)

Highest Mileage Week: 9/13-9/19: 53.05 miles (an all-time record)

Long Runs Planned/Long Runs Completed: 4/4

Donuts Burned: 125.16 (my favorite statistic on Dailymile)

Current Book: I read the last book in the Twilight trilogy, Breaking Dawn, while I sat in the airport last weekend. Can you say fantastic? Yeah. Too bad the movies NEVER match up to the books.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Cupcakes. Did you see the East vs. West cupcake battle from last weekend?
It was ugly. Deliciously ugly. But, the really bad thing is that I am only NINE (9) cupcakes away from my self-imposed yearly quota of 50 cupcakes. That really sucks.

Current Colors: Turquoise and Charcoal Gray

Current Drink: Diet Dr. Pepper, thanks to the fact that J bought a case last week.

Current Song: Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

Current Triumph: I'm still riding high from my sub-2 hour half marathon last weekend. Thanks again Tall Mom!

Current Goal: Remain injury-free through this training cycle and demolish my marathon PR. Only 15 days to go!

Current Blessing: Pretty much everything. Life is pretty sweet right now. And I don't take that for granted.

Current Excitement: Did you miss the part where I told you that MARATHON #3 IS ONLY 15 DAYS AWAY? Or the part where I mentioned how I AM GOING TO KILL MY CURRENT MARATHON PR? OK, good.