Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 10, Here we Go!

Somehow, we've made it past the halfway mark of marathon training!

Time flies, doesn't it?

This week our plan calls for 4 miles, 8 miles, 4 miles, and then 17 miles.

I have to say, I have enjoyed every minute of training for this marathon.  My friends and I ran about 11 miles on Saturday and it was truly a piece of cake.  The weather was perfect: cool and not as humid as it has been lately.  We had a great group run, I think there were five of us in total.  When we have that many runners, we usually feel comfortable with changing up the run a bit.  So, we headed down a country road that I would not run on by myself early in the morning.  It was just gorgeous.  I love to watch the sun come up over the Blue Ridge with my dear friends.  The conditions (mainly, the weather) have been so difficult to train through, so this weekend's run was delightful.  I wasn't falling over due to exhaustion by the middle of the day and I didn't feel like eating one of the kids because I was so hungry. And, I wasn't sore in the least bit, nor were my feet.

This coming week calls for a pretty tough long run, but I know it will be great!  : ) I truly love this time of year: fall marathon training.  There's nothing better.  I love it and enjoy the challenge that each week brings!

More soon!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Scary Stuff

This week we had an attempted abduction of a female runner in our area.  At 7:15 in the morning.  The sun is up at that hour.  You should feel safe running outside when it is light.  The attempted abduction DID take place in a very desolate area of our county.  (Very, very, very desolate... Like farms are a good mile or half mile off the "main" gravel road.)


My friends and I have been stalked by this creepy old man for about a year.  The stalking got increasingly worse.  He would wait for us on random side streets.  Side streets that people don't just drive down for the heck of it.  So, we called the police and we haven't seen him for about nine months.  And, now he's back.  Intermittently enough that we can't really call again.

It gets better, though...

This morning the girls and I met around 5 am to get our 12 miles in before the weekend.  And, of course, we're all a bit jittery because of this week's attempted abduction.  There was a car that went ZOOMING past us, again, and again?  This happened at the beginning of the run. And, sure enough 45 minutes later he found us in a random, quiet, almost elderly neighborhood.  He looked for us ...   in town.  And, he passed us three times in that neighborhood. All of this was ON PURPOSE.

This morning's situation was scarier, though, than the van thing.  Mainly because he was much younger, he seemed angry, almost violent with his crazy fast driving, and he could easily hurt us if he wanted to.  I'm thankful that there were three of us, and that I wasn't running on my own.

It is disturbing.  I've been in touch with the police, we got a portion of the license plate number.  But, it's still scary.  Be careful out there...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The drugs are helping...


Tomorrow I'm going to try to get in six, or more.  I was very, very lazy this morning....

Gosh, I hope this doesn't carry over to beach week...

This laziness!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Looks like I need the drugs.

The long run was not a good one yesterday.  : (

My leg is back to hurting, badly.  I tried to nap in the early afternoon and it just throbbed and throbbed.  Anytime I'm in the car, I jack up the heated seats to relieve the burning pain in my rear-end.

I have no idea why it's happening again- at nearly the exact same time as last year!  (To the WEEK almost...)  Our runs have been fast.  I've always read that long runs should be a good minute or two slower than race (marathon) pace.  I don't think I've been sticking to that, per-say.  They've been pretty fast long runs and short runs, if you ask me.

So.  What do I do?  It's not so bad that I need to go back to the doctor.  Nor, is it bad enough for me to have to take some time off.  I just don't want it to get to that point.  I really don't.  So, I refilled a prescription from last year to help with inflammation.  And, I've got to slow it down some.  And, maybe look into more strengthening and stretching exercises, too.

This is baffling.  I had ZERO issues when training for the March marathon.  I don't understand why this injury has decided to re-surface again....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Long Run Saturday

Today we got in 11 miles.  11 long, hot, hot, HOT miles.

We got started at 5:15.  It was in the 80's when we started.  The thick air, though, was worse than the heat.

My right leg/butt/back is starting to burn again, so thankfully the girls didn't mind slowing the pace a little bit.  I think that speed might exacerbate the pain, but I really have no idea.  It wasn't around in the middle of the winter, I do know that.

We all ran with our belts and drank every sip of water and gatorade on our run. It was that hot and that draining.  Thankfully, we were able to re-fill our bottles over at the park before heading home.  This run has sucked the life out of me, and it's only 9 am.  I sorta forgot that training for a fall marathon can be a little bit uncomfortable in the early weeks....

Next week we're moving up to 12.  No problem.  Can't wait.  Because even though these runs suck the life out of me and force me to nap and drink a Coke, they also make me feel so alive and so healthy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Finally!  I got my butt up and out the door this morning.  I've been so, so tired all week.  It must be from the pool.  We've stayed everyday after lessons.  There's definitely NO sitting when we head to the pool for the afternoon.

Honestly, this was a cruddy run for me.  That's to be expected, though, when you take FOUR days in a ROW off.  The heat was tough to push through, but it's in the books.  Tomorrow will be easier.  I'd really like to run on the treadmill sometime soon because I think it helps my pace when I get outside.

The rest of the week should go something like this:

Friday: 3 miles
Saturday:  11 miles
Sunday:  3 miles

I think Sunday will be a treadmill day...

I'm hopeful that things are back on track now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Really Annoyed.

Last week was a FANTASTIC week of running!  Just fantastic!  Maybe thirty miles, or so, which is a lot for me.

And you know what?

This week is a completely different story.

I have missed getting up at the crack of dawn ALL week, which annoys the HECK out of me.  It also means that I haven't run since Saturday.  (Uggh!)  My mom would say, "Good for you, Kate, you need to REST.  All that running isn't good for your body, anyway."  (Naturally, I'd totally roll my eyes at this comment.)  Maybe today I'll be able to squeeze in just thirty minutes on the treadmill. Maybe?!

 If I don't, I think I'll just go crazy.

 Really, I think I might!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 3 Long Run

This week's long run was supposed to be about six miles.

Foolishly, I ran nine.

Where is this crazy desire to run, and run, and run coming from?  I know I'm going to burn out before the marathon if I refuse to adhere to the program.  Once September hits, I know I'll be struggling with exhaustion.  That ALWAYS happens when I train for Marine Corps.

Anyway... The long run.

I met up with two running friends.  We ran in a different location, just to change things up a bit.  The park is off limits right now because of a bear sighting.  And, the stalker van is back.  We were stalked for about a year by a van, not kidding.  He would sit on street corners to wait for us, and pass us multiple times throughout a run.  (Scary? Creepy?) He left us alone after a few calls to the cops.  It's been months since we've seen him, but now he's back.  Every run. It makes me angry to think about it, much less blog it.

We did an out and back course yesterday, kind of  later in the morning than usual.  And, it was fantastically HOT.  By the end of the run, the sun was really beating down on those asphalt roads.  Thankfully, I brought a little bit of water that was luke warm (yuck) and some of those sport beans.  I felt pretty strong towards the end, even on the hills, because of the fuel.

My breathing felt great, so did my legs.  I was really happy with the pace, I think it was eight something. Maybe this is the year that I can get myself to Boston.  Or, I'd really be happy just to break 3:50 this time around.  The new shoes are totally working for me, too!  The support, cushion, and weight are great.  I did end up with a toenail blister, so I'm down to nine "good" nails.  'Tis the season, I suppose!

More running this week... can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Whole Neighborhood is Running!

When we moved here there wasn't a runner in site.  I remember feeling so sad that my running friends lived so far away.  It was devastating, actually.  Running with friends has become a huge, huge part of my life; and has been since the fall of 2001.  We were here about a year when I met a sweet, sweet lady around the corner who also happened to be a runner.  She ran in the afternoons, though, and I'm kind of shy when it comes to making new friends. Eventually, though, we got together one morning and we've been running in the mornings ever since.  I don't know what I would have done for the past three years without her friendship and company on these morning runs.

It seems that over the past few months runners have been coming out of the woodwork around here, which is so much fun!  My neighbor down the street has picked up running, and just this morning two other gals have joined our morning runs, too!  It's wonderful!!  There's also another lady in our neighborhood who is training for a half marathon in October.  Even if we all don't get out together, it is great to see familiar faces on our morning runs.

This morning I got in over three miles- that silly "plan" is so hard to stick to!! I know I'll regret bumping up the mileage too much before marathon training really gets underway, though.  We got in about five and a half miles, and our pace was VERY quick for the last two and a half miles.  (Like very, very quick, I kind of felt like I was running in a race, actually!)

Today is a big day because I am going to check out the double jogging strollers AND I'm canceling my gym membership.  I'm really sad about canceling the membership, but I just don't have the time to drive 50 minutes (total: there and back) a couple times a week.  It has been a burden to worry about how often I'm not going and how much money I spend on it every month.  I'm going to miss it, and the people, but it's not worth that monthly fee.  Plus, running is going so well (injury wise) that I really don't want to do much else!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 3 of the Novice 2 Program

So, I'm going to go with the Novice 2 Program this time around.  I'm worried about being too tired with the Intermediate Program, so I'm going to bump it up just a little bit.

Here's what this week looks like:

Mon: Rest
Tuesday:  3
Wednesday: 5
Thursday: 3
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6
Sunday: Cross Train

Not bad at all; I always enjoy the beginning weeks of a marathon program!

In other exciting running news, I think I've located a double jogger for a really, really, really great price.  (Like FREE, or close to it...)  We'll have to see how things play out later in the week.

Now, I'm off to enjoy my day of "rest," yeah.  Right.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It was time.

Finally:  I bought a new pair of running shoes!

After running yesterday morning in a pair of  shoes for runners who need a "neutral" fit, I thought that my legs were going to fall off.  Honestly, my lower legs and ankles were so, so achy!  I think they must have worked overtime in an attempt to compensate for my pronating issues.  I think I've mentioned before that those shoes are perfect for walking around, but they're way too small for any sort of long distance running. Of course, my big toe nails are now bruised.  Fabulous.  I ran a marathon in March without any toe nail bruising issues. One seven mile run with shoes that are too small, and now I might lose the nails.  Go figure.

Michael went with me to the downtown running store to check out the inventory and the different styles.  I love Brooks and I'm afraid of Asics.  (I wore Asics during all of those injuries last spring/summer/fall.)  The guys at the store were great,  very knowledgeable about the different shoes and what would be best in terms of weight, support, and cushion.  I won't go through each shoe I tried out, that would be very, very boring. (Kinda like this post....)  The guys ended up pushing me to the Saucony Progrid Stabil CS.  Size 9.5.  (Big, big feet...)

I tried em out on the treadmill today and they feel heavenly.  I'm not sure why I waited so long to buy a new pair. (I bought the last pair in December- it's amazing that I'm NOT injured!)  My right leg still hurts around the calf/ankle, but it could very well be related to yesterday's escapades.  It's so important to run in shoes that are meant for your body.  Or, at least when you're over 30 years old.

Have you checked out Daily Mile yet?  I love, love, love that site!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Coolest Thing...

This week I decided to give "Daily Mile" a try.  It's this facebook-esque kind of site that helps you track your workouts, you can build yourself a little workout community.  It doesn't have to be a running thing, either. If you use videos or p90x or cycle or swim... you can track all of it!  Even though I am painfully aware of how much exercise I have gotten in a day or a week, this helps motivation even more.  You can somehow share it on facebook, too, which is kind of fun if you're into that sort of thing.  I'm not on facebook anymore, but I do like having it on the blog(s) because it's motivating to remind myself of my last run.

Check it out!  You also don't have to be "friends" with other people.  I'm not doing it to connect with people in the area, I just like the idea of having a place to track my workouts, pace, and mileage.  It'll come in handy once marathon training really gets underway.  Which, I think it should be underway... haven't even thought about looking at a calendar.  (I don't ever want summer to end....)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Marathoning Dilemmas!

This marathon coming up will be marathon number SEVEN! When in the heck did I run six others?!  And, when did I become so addicted to running this far?  It's crazy, just plain crazy.  There's nothing like that marathon high, though, and it's the thought of that feeling that makes me feel so excited about Marine Corps.  This will be my fourth Marine Corps; once you run five of 'em you don't have to enter the lottery anymore. Really, though, that's not such a big deal anymore.  The race has increased the entrant field dramatically since my first one in 2001. It used to be a BIG deal to get into the race, I remember sitting in a computer lab my senior year of college hitting "refresh" over and over and over again.

The dilemmas that I am facing this time around are:  which program to use AND which shoes to wear while training.  In the past I have used Hal Higdon's Novice I program over and over and over.  The last marathon was actually the first marathon that I have followed a different training program.  My last marathon was my worst performance, from what I can remember.  So, obviously, I'm not going to use that program again, simply because I don't just want to finish. I want to have a really, really great experience, which means a faster time!  Translate:  3:51 or faster, preferably 3:40.  This link will take you to  Hal Higdon's Intermediate Program.  If you compare the two programs, the intermediate has two 20 milers, and one less day of rest/cross training.  It's definitely a step up, but my mileage is good right now and I don't think it is out of reach.  I can make myself get up incredibly early, so family time is not invaded upon too much.  I really think this is the one I want to try this go around.  Really, my problem is speed.  I don't work on that training piece AT ALL.

And, the other dilemma, the shoe thing:  I'm completely aware of the fact that there are places that analyze your running and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  However!  I barely have time to shower everyday, much less to drive far, far, far from home (with two kids) to run a few steps for someone to tell me which pair of shoes I need.  (It's the traveling with two kids part that makes the adventure difficult and LONG.) Maybe it's worth it, though?  Currently, I am running in the Brooks Ariel.  It actually took me at least a month to adjust to the motion control/support because it really does alter the pattern of each step.  The one thing that I really, really don't like about this shoe is that it is SO heavy!  (As in: really, really, really heavy.)  This morning I tried out a FREE pair of shoes from my brother, who used to work in a running store.  Again, they are Brooks.  In fact, it's the Glycerin model, which is an expensive shoe.  They felt great this morning because of the light weight!  However, there is virtually no motion control/support, which I think I need.  I love running in Brooks!  Didn't lose a single toenail with the last marathon, and I've been injury free since switching back to Brooks in November.  What I really need to do is either research this issue further or deal with the fact that I'm going to spend a day driving my kids to the ends of the Earth just so someone can watch me run for two minutes.  (Personally, I vote for research...)

Marathon training will start soon... Stay tuned for that AND a 5k race report!  I'm all signed up for Sunday's event in the park!  Yay!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Slowly Getting Back!

Last week was the first time that I have run consistently in about three weeks.  It has been forever, or at least that's what my body is saying!  Between strep throat and a high fever, the last week of school, and a vacation in a place hotter than Hades, running has been put on the back burner for some time.

Thanks to my running friends, I've been able to get myself out of bed in the mornings and out the door.  Last Friday was my first attempt at running, and it was rough.  I asked my girlfriend if we could walk- twice!  Acck!  She willingly obliged, and I was able to finish up the short run.  On Saturday, I ran with a couple neighborhood friends and I managed to get through the run just fine.  We ran at a slower pace, which helped my lungs cope with the heat.  That run was about 40 minutes, or so.  On Sunday I met up with another girlfriend and we got in a good hour of running.  The loop that we like to do is the hilliest run ever, but I love her company and our pace.

We'll see what this week brings.  I'd like to get myself in shape enough to run this Fourth of July 5k.  I don't want to do it if my time is going to stink, though.  I'm vain like that...  We'll see how the rest of the week goes.  It'd probably be a good idea to hop on the treadmill tonight while Real Housewives of NJ is on, and whip out a "fast" 3 miler.  Like I said, it's a good "idea"... totally not committing, though!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Favorite

One of the best moments of my day is a walk with my dog at dusk.  I would like to incorporate more walking into my exercise routine, which is easier to do during the summer/late spring months.  It's a great way to exercise other leg muscles, and for me, I can always tell a difference in the gluteal muscles.  (That's ALWAYS a good thing, right? For me it is, anyway...)  So, here's another summer goal:  a walk with Duncan at least three/four times a week.  Last night we did a mile together and tonight we got in about a half mile.  It's almost as satisfying as running, and I do notice a huge difference in my breathing and overall tension the nights that we walk together.  

I feel guilty that I don't walk him as much as I used to, that was pre-kids, of course! I was a crazy, crazy exercise girl before Michael and Nicholas came along... I don't miss it, though. (For the record.)  

Monday, May 31, 2010


so much for the "running all weekend!" mantra.  been a little lazy....

maybe this week will be better?  i sure hope so!!

i'm considering a silly little race on saturday.  it sounds like fun, we'll have to see about the weather, though.  it's kind of like a triathlon, except it's so NOT a triathlon.

speaking of which, i want to do one this summer!  stay tuned on THAT goal...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Long weekends...

mean LOTS and LOTS of running!  I love, love, love long weekends!

This morning I ran about 10.5 miles at a leisurely pace with a dear friend.  After our sweltering run, I headed over to the gym for weights and ab work.  I was actually SORE for once on Thursday/Friday from lifting weights.  It was a great feeling because I felt like I actually did something kind of strenuous.  I rarely feel sore from running anymore, unless I've run over twenty miles or have run in a race.

This morning's run was just beautiful and was so relaxing.  Tomorrow is going to be just as fun. It'll be a shorter one, maybe an easy six or seven with the Saturday morning crew.  I don't have a plan set for Monday, there are lots of options and no time limit.  (The no time limit piece of my favorite part of running on the weekends.)

I've just gotta find a race for June to get myself motivated to pick up the pace...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A running first!

Saturday morning was CRAZY.  Nicholas got up around 5am and refused to go back to sleep.  Duncan was barking his head off in the crate. (SO, so, so annoying.)  And, of course, Michael got up somewhere around 5:50.  He was completely dressed and ready for breakfast by 6am.  Don't weekends mean anything to these kids???

I was supposed to meet a couple running friends at six for a longish run.  I had to explain all of the activity going on in my house because it seemed incredibly unfair to leave Josh with the boys who were clearly ready to play at six am.  (Josh was somehow sound asleep during all of this!)  

You know what the running girls said?  They told me to get Michael his breakfast and to load up Nicholas in the jogging stroller.  They were willing to run with a nineteen month old.  I was taken aback by their understanding, thoughtfulness, and kindness.  In fact, I really feel like I hardly pushed Nicholas.  (They even took turns pushing the little rascal.)  

Nicholas handled the run beautifully.  He didn't make a peep throughout the whole run, and we ran EIGHT miles with that kiddo!  It was such a beautiful morning.  I'm so blessed to have such dear friends.   

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The one thing that interferes with my running:

SLEEP!  (Or, my lack of it, which then leads to various reasons why I miss morning runs.)  I was supposed to get in a long run with my girlfriends this morning, but I fell asleep on the couch before the plans were finalized.  Talk about annoying!  I probably should have picked up the phone instead of waiting for emails to go back and forth.  Oh well.  Sleeping until 7am and going down for the night by 9pm was so luxurious and so necessary, apparently.  

The exercise routine went well this week.  I did not swim, as I had planned, but I did use the eliptical machine for 30 minutes in addition to running in the morning.  So, I finally made it back to the gym this week.  I'm trying so hard to get over there, so that I justify the monthly fee to my husband (and, more importantly, myself!).  Three times in one week and two days of running is very good, considering that I haven't been to the gym since MARCH.  

This week is full of after school meetings, I have three.  (That's A LOT!)  So, I will be lucky to get to the gym twice.  I still have my eye on the classes, but it's not going to happen this week.  And, since I missed the long run this morning, I'm shooting for tomorrow.  This morning light is just splendid, and I can't wait to get out on the streets on a quiet, sleepy Sunday morning.  If I get in an hour and a half, I'll be incredibly happy.  It's been a wonderful week of running and exercising, I just need a goal to work towards now...  

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Sore Belly!

Yowsers!  My belly's sore!  I've done virtually NO abdominal exercises all winter long. I should have, but at the end of the day I have no desire to lay down and do sit ups.  So, this week I've really made an effort to get back into the routine of sit ups/ ab roller/ bicycle kicks every night.  I have a silly little routine that I do, but I think it will eventually pay off.  (I hope so, anyway...)  If you don't have an ab roller, you should look into purchasing one!  I've had mine since college (senior year) and I absolutely LOVE that thing!  It works your arms and your abs.  I can tell a difference after using that thing for a week.  (Seriously!)

 I didn't make it to the exercise class this morning.  We haven't slept through the night in over a week now, and I just really have a hard time waking at two with Nicholas and then knowing that I have to be up by four.  (It's all a mind game.)  However, I did go to the gym twice this week in the afternoon and managed to get in an elliptical workout and weights. The elliptical is a HARD workout for me and it's definitely not as much fun as running outside!  It's good to work different muscles, though, right?  (I hope...)

So, tomorrow's plan includes a run and swimming in the afternoon.  Swimming is going to be tough, too.  I haven't been in the pool since MARCH.  It feels good to be back in the swing of things, and getting back to a normal workout routine.  I can't wait for a long run this weekend, too!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Goal Down

FINALLY made it back to the gym this afternoon!  It sure didn't feel like much, but I know I'm going to be hurting tomorrow.  My legs/butt are already burning, which is  a good thing.  I am excited about trying out this new exercise class on Thursday.  I could use a little toning!  So, tomorrow's running and more ab work.  Thursday is exercise class day and then Friday is (hopefully) a swim/run day!  I'm determined to get back into swimming suit shape by June 15!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Food really helps.

Over the past two weeks, since tax season is over, I have realized that food (?) really helps my running.  From about the beginning of March until the middle of April, I eat like a bird.  The kids eat kid food at 5pm and Josh usually scrounges something up in the office, which means I hardly eat in the evenings.  (A spoonful of mac and cheese here and there, and a bag of popcorn with my nightly show, that's my dinner during tax season.)

Now that taxes are in, sort of, I am back to cooking dinner for our family. And, I've noticed that because I am eating dinner, I have so much more energy on my runs. Thank goodness!  I felt like I was running in quick sand in the weeks following that terrible stomach virus.  So, I am back on track now and am running as much as I can.  (Yay!)  This week my goal is to get back to the gym, in some capacity.  I really want to try this toning class on Thursday morning with some of the running girls.  That's one goal for this week, and the other goal is yoga on Wednesday.  I'm going to do what I can, hopefully meetings at school don't magically appear and hopefully Josh's work load will slow a little by Wednesday so he can help me with the boys.

I'm also looking for a race or two to run in the next few months!  It's been so long, the marathon really doesn't count...   I'm ready to push myself so that I can see where I'm at, it's hard to tell when it's so early in the morning.  I'm still wiping the sleep out of my eyes, without any concern for speed.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Time

Okay!  The marathon was weeks ago, tax season is over, the kids are hopefully done with being sick for awhile;  it's time to get back on track with running!  This week I hope to run at least two or three days and get in a good LONG run on Friday morning.  I'd love to do an easy ten, maybe even twelve miles.  I'm starting to feel blah because I've been finished with marathon training for quite some time.  It's time to dust off the shoes and crank up the alarm clock because I'm really ready to get back out there!  Wish me luck... Day one of this running rejuvenation week will commence tomorrow.  I also have every intention of getting to the gym at least one day this week.  Again, luck and positive thoughts are necessary.  It's so easy to fall back into a sedentary lifestyle, isn't it???  Oh... and the stomach needs some toning...must work on that, as well!  : )

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weak as a Kitten

I was so, so sick last week:  fever, sore throat, stomach flu, cough.  It was a nightmare, not just because I was sick but also because the babies were sick, as well.  Sunday I got out for the first time in at least a week and a half.  And, let me note that I find it very hard to believe that I ran a marathon less than a month ago.  My legs felt like COMPLETE lead.  My lungs were so weak, as well.  And, my overall energy level was completely depleted.  I walked a lot on that three mile run.  I finished it, though, and was completely hungry for more!  So, I took off Monday and got out again today.  I felt just as weak during this morning's run, but I did it without walking.  I really wanted to try this half marathon this weekend, but there's no way I'm even going to try.  I'm just way too tired right now.  I do know that with persistence, it will all come back soon.  The more rest I get and the more I hit the streets, the better off I'll be in a week (or, two!).  There's no rush, and I'm truly enjoying the lull in training at the moment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

First Run Back

You know that you are addicted to marathoning when you begin planning the next marathon before you are even finished the one that you are running.  The next marathon for me will be Marine Corps!  Wa-Hoo!  The best part?  It's already paid for since I had to defer last September.  Truth be told, I'd run another marathon next week if I could!

Plans for the spring include a half the weekend of April 17/18, interval training, a 10k in May, and then maybe a half in May, as well.  Since Josh will be joining us on the weekends again, the plans may change somewhat.  I do plan on working the intervals into my training at least once a week.  I have a friend from work who has given me some instruction on how to go about getting faster.  So, I'm going to give it a shot. I've reached this plateau with my running, and I find it be ANNOYING.  Racing a little bit more and training faster and harder should help.  I'm determined to get to Boston one these days, even if that means changing my diet of junk food and shaving an inch or two off my rear-end.  (I do love my junk food, though...)

This morning's run went really well. Ran for about an hour with the girls!  That's much more than I've ever done before the week after a marathon.  I also took this one a lot easier than others in the past, so maybe that helped with the recovery?  My legs felt great, no soreness at all.   I felt more well rested than I have in ages, which was another bonus.  I couldn't help but to think about the temperature of this morning's run, it was EXACTLY what I would have predicted for a March marathon around here!  (Cool, breezy, cloudy.)  It's time to just let it go, right?  Uggh.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"second loser", random

This was quite random, but I spent yesterday afternoon (alongside my family) with the man who placed second in the National Marathon.  Yes, that is quite random, isn't it?  And, yes! How COOL was that?!?! He is friends with my brother, Daniel.  They work together at a running store in Providence, and so they rode down here for the marathon.  

 When my grandparents walked into the room yesterday, they immediately bombarded him with questions, "How'd you do yesterday?!?!  Did you win?!!?"  

His reply?  "Well.  I was the second loser, I guess."  

It was an incredible to talk about running with a true elite runner, who has raced in the Olympic Trials. He is also the record holder for the National Marathon, last year he had a winning time of 2:19.  That's insane.  I have trouble even wrapping my mind around how fast he runs.   

More about the marathon soon...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


done with the training, ready for the big day!  i've already started to pack my bag, and thanks (?) to this warm weather, it's kinda easy to plan the race day outfit.  though, i am still a little iffy about the top/short combination.  still feeling anxious about the weather, but i think i have enough experience to work around the heat.  i've already backed off of setting a strict goal time.  it sounds like the perfect kind of day to run, but when it's 26.2 miles, things change a bit.  i'm thinking that i have got to drink, drink, drink, and take the first half very easy.  then, if i have enough gas at the end, i can go for negative splits, which is the best way to run a marathon, anyway!  i'm ready.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

this is it!

one more short run, and i will  be done with training for marathon #6.  hard to believe.  i'm still in shock that i made it through the training and that i stuck with it.  this whole idea of training for a marathon in march started out as a dream, really.  it was my way of getting over having to back out of marine corps back in september.  it was also a way of re-gaining the faith that i had lost in myself.  august, september, and october were extremely challenging months, and when it looked like i was going to lose running, too; i virtually fell apart.  so, really?  i am shocked that i've followed through with this crazy dream of mine.

training for a marathon through tax season seemed virtually impossible, as well.  many told me that i was nuts to even consider adding one more thing to the plate during tax season.  looking back, holding on to the hope of running a marathon has been my biggest motivator to get through tax season, to stay positive, and to take a smidgeon of time for myself.  the past few weeks, when tax season really gets tough, have not been easy.  but, josh has been incredibly supportive and somehow i've made it through the program (minus a few runs here and there).  it's remarkable to me how supportive josh is about the marathon.  he, obviously, will not be present for the marathon. however, not ONCE has he complained about a long run that i just have to get in or for me adding to the craziness that tax season brings to this house.  i think he gets that running is a part of who i am and that i desperately need just forty minutes a day to re-group and restore my energy.

it is going to be a fabulous adventure.  i can't wait to get out on that course!  one thing that causes a bit of concern is the weather: it is supposed to be about 66 ℉ on Saturday.  that's a high temperature, particularly when you've been training in 15-20-30 degree temps over the past three months.  i'm trying to think of the beautiful, sunny day as a REWARD for pushing through running in blizzards and sleet and wind chills below zero.  as long as i drink, drink, drink; i should make it through okay.

more coming soon on this marathoning adventure. (i'm already a little sad that training will be over tomorrow. that's how great this program is!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

that's never happened before.

Yesterday morning, I decided to knock out the last long run before the marathon.  My goal was to get in about ten miles, or so.  Naturally, I overslept because this has been an exhausting week.  My clothes were not laid out the night before, so I was in a scramble, trying to gather things up to get out the door as quickly as possible.  I couldn't find any of my running hats, and since the rain was coming down in buckets, I desperately needed SOMETHING.  So, I just grabbed a ball cap and left.
Generally, just getting out the door is the biggest running challenge I face.  If I can get started with a run, I always finish what I planned and will usually (if time allows) add on to my goal time.  I can't recall a time when I started a run, and completely quit a quarter of the way into the run.  Yesterday was a first, unfortunately.

I knew within the first half mile, that things were going to be off.  I truly felt like I was running in quick sand.  My legs were heavy and I didn't have one ounce of energy.  It was a struggle to get through the first mile.  And, while I was out, I kept noticing everyone's trash cans. Friday's are trash/recycle days around here.  Our trash was not taken out the night before.  The lunches were not packed the night before.  All three of those factors:  the exhaustion, the trash, and the lunches, completely interfered with the run.  I couldn't let go of the stuff I needed to get done at home.

Around 25 minutes into the run, I decided that I was done.  I couldn't run another step; I was just way too tired.  Usually, I can always talk myself into a few more minutes.  Not yesterday.  I threw in the towel at 28 minutes and called it a day.  I must have just been too tired to go another step because when I got home, I was still exhausted.  Normally, getting outside for a run is an instant alarm clock for my body.  Not yesterday.  So, I slowly got the lunches ready for the day and hopped in the shower.  I didn't even take out the trash or recycling, Josh took care of that.

I think the days of sleepless nights and not eating dinner are starting to catch up with me.  I've got to get back on track this week, if I want to finish that marathon next weekend.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A kink in the training

I haven't felt well for over a week now.  (Shoot!)  I got through the 20 miler last weekend, even though I felt weak.  I could tell, though, that something was off.  I've been beyond tired and have been dealing with this sore throat for over a week.  I feel like I hardly ran this week, maybe I got in two days of running and a day of swimming.  I even missed the long run yesterday and then decided to sleep in today.  The long run for this week is a ten miler.  Since it doesn't take too long, I may try to knock it out tomorrow before school.  Or, I may stay home sick and scratch the run AND work. This stinks!  At least I'll be strong and healthy for the big day, which is now less than two weeks away!  Wowsers.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

20 miler is IN THE BOOKS.

no doubt about it, the last few miles of a 20 miler HURT.

no doubt about it, a soda tastes so incredibly GOOD after a 20 miler.  who cares about the calories when you've just run 20 miles, right?

i took a bath as soon as I got home, which is very weird for me.  i don't like baths, they kinda make me feel dirty.  sitting in your own dirt and sweat just seems gross.  i've heard that it's a great to help your legs recover and i positively just wanted to sit down. the bath was heavenly!  i got out and my legs felt 100% better, although my toes are pretty tender.

because i don't run with a garmin and don't map out my runs prior to getting out there, i generally just go by time.  i figured that i was at least running a ten minute pace, so i needed to get in at least 3 hours and 20 minutes of running.  i decided yesterday to be on the safe side and run for 3 and a half hours.  when i got home i felt doubtful about the mileage.  so i used map my run, an awesome little website, and came up with my total mileage.  it's a rough estimate, but i think it's pretty legit.  it turns out that i ran 22 miles today!  wa-hoo. no wonder i felt like i was ready to throw in the towel by the time i finished.  four (.2) miles more and i would have run a marathon.  awesome!

so.  i think i'm ready!  i am so grateful for this healthy body that has been given to me.  the next few weeks are going to be delightful, now that it's time to taper.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Big day tomorrow.

this is it!  the toughest part of marathon training:  the 20 miler!  i don't have a course mapped out, i am just going to run for three and a half hours.  that oughta do it, i think.  honestly, i'm not dreading it at all.  in fact, i can't wait!  i love the way i feel after a ridiculously long run, it's indescribable.  i haven't been feeling well this week, so i decided to "sleep in" today and swim instead.  the swim went really well, i'm fairly certain that i did at least a mile.  i even threw in a little butterfly this morning!  i'll be sure to write about tomorrow's run.  i'm all set with lots of gu and gatorade, and even fresh legs.  it's hard to believe that marathon training is coming to an end.  i just hope i have prepared myself enough...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The 18 miler.

A little bit more about the eighteen miler:

I'm still in shock that I ran so much of it by myself and that I had the gumption to get out there and get it done.  It seemed so daunting on Thursday night, that I tossed and turned all night long.  My mind couldn't let go of the time that I needed to get up so that it would all work out.  I think back to my former self, prior to Michael and Nicholas, and I can honestly say that there is no way I would followed through with the plan.  I would have come up with a bunch of excuses and made it a difficult, complex plan.  I guess that's what motherhood does to you.  You either suck it up and come up with an organized, well thought out plan; or you do nothing.

I ran the first eight miles by myself and then a friend jumped in for a little over an hour.  Her company really helped the second hour of running go by quickly.  We did our usual chit-chatting and enjoyed catching up from the week's events.  As we were finishing up our leg together, we were actually chased by A PIT BULL.  How crazy is that?  Thankfully, we were on a main road.  We truly had a guardian angel with us because as soon as the dog got closer, a car came upon the situation and chased the dog off by blowing his horn.  He then blocked the road so that the dog would not come after us again.  I had my can of mace, but still!  Very, very scary.

The last half an hour was a little tough.  I felt tired for maybe the last fifteen minutes and I could tell that my body was starting to slow down quite a bit.  Those moments always make me question the marathon.  I couldn't help but think-  there's still 8.2 miles to go in a marathon.  I do know that the 20 miler will help those feelings of exhaustion AND the energy in a marathon is enough to carry you through many tough miles.

This week things are a bit easier.  The long run is only eight miles- piece of cake by now, right?  And, there's an extra rest day built in somewhere, even though rest days really drive me crazy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Check it off the list!

18 miles.  DONE. Wa-Hoo!

It was a great eighteen.  The first two hours flew by somehow, and the last hour felt a little long.  (Don't know why that is...)  I couldn't be happier, though.  My body is holding up really well, and my mind is even stronger.  The leg/back/foot/heel issues have yet to resurface, thank goodness.  I'm so grateful to be out there, logging these really long miles again.

I'll write more later.  So happy that I did it and finished it before eight am!  It's incredible that there's only one really long run left.  This training plan is whizzing by.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a run!

For the first time since last Friday morning, I got outside for a run with a really good friend.  We ran for about 55 minutes, which I was so happy about.  The run was slick, but WoW!, was it ever gorgeous.  Not only are the trees still covered in snow, but we also were able to watch the sun come up over the mountains.  School was cancelled for today, so there was no rush to get home, showered, and dressed for the day.  This morning was one of those mornings that I absolutely cherish: it was breathtaking, peaceful, and rejuvenating.  I didn't want it to end, especially once that beautiful sun began to rise over our mountains.  Lots of people think I am crazy for running in the cold and so early in the mornings.  I think they're the ones who are crazy, though.  Who wouldn't want to watch the sun rise, catch up with a sweet friend, and fill your lungs with fresh air-  ALL at once, no less!

Honestly, I can't wait to get out there and run 18 miles sometime this week.  The schedule is WIDE open now, I can't decide which day would be best!!  Tomorrow's probably out, though, due to the weather.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A done deal.

Registered last night for the March marathon, and now I'm pretty sure that I am going to puke.  Why I even feel the need, I have no idea.  I've done well with the training up to this point, I feel relatively strong, and I'm truly not too tired from it all.  There are still two mega runs left:  18 sometime this weekend and then 20 miles two weeks later.  Yiiiikes.  I can do it, though.  And, the best part is, I'm having fun while running.  These long runs make me so tired, but they are so incredibly exhilarating.  So, two tough weeks ahead, and then all the others are status quo in my mind.  Stay tuned!  Exciting times, right?  Signing up is often the most difficult step, isn't it?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Times are changing

This morning I put the baby down for a short morning nap.  Then, I made a few peanut butter crackers and put them into a ziplock bag for Michael B.  We rounded up his Lego's from my closet, and his Lego boat; we then headed for the basement.  Michael and I made a nice little play area for his Lego's.  And guess what???

While Michael played with his Lego's, I ran a little over six miles on the treadmill.  It was fabulous.  It was liberating, too.  He stayed in the same spot and was completely content to build away.  He munched on his snack a little and even took a bathroom break.  Meanwhile, I didn't have to break stride once because he was so self sufficient.  I never thought this day would come.  He's so easy right now, it's a very weird feeling.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time that Michael has actually watched me run on treadmill.  He was extremely curious and really wanted to try running, too.  And, being the runner-holic that I am, he was given the opportunity.  It was hysterical.  The speed was too slow, so his gait was a little awkward.  When we finished our "work out", he proudly announced to his Dad that he just ran six miles.  (SO not true... but I let it slide, just this time.)

It was a great run.  I can tell that the longer runs have helped my fitness level because I'm not the least bit sore or achy from that run.  Marathon training is the best!  Actually, this plan that I'm following is the best!  Must go shower NOW before the children wake!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nine Down, Eighteen Coming Up!

Alrighty!  Finished a great nine mile run this morning with some sweet, sweet girlfriends.  I didn't feel too strong on this run, though.  My legs were tired and I just felt tired all over.  I didn't get much sleep last night, which may have been the culprit and I didn't eat very last evening, either.  The run was fantastic, though. You could feel the snow in the air, even though the temperatures were not bad at all.

My goal was to run ten or eleven, even though that was a bit more than "the plan."  I thought that Josh would be waiting on me to get home, so that he could get to work.  Which meant that I felt obligated to finish up.  It was frustrating to see that he was still sound asleep when I walked in the door.  Really, it's fine.  Nine miles is great, and there's probably a good reason behind the plan calling for eight.  (Maybe because marathoners get a little tired at this point?)

Next week is a LONG long run-  eighteen miles!  Yippeee!  : ) I am looking forward to challenging myself AND eating whatever the heck I want!  (That is why I run-- so I can EAT, EAT, EAT!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another week checked off- - almost.

I'm very happy to report on another great week of running/exercising! The long run of the week is supposed to be about eight miles, but I think I might "splurge" and run a few extra. (As long as I finish in time for Josh to get to work on time. The weather is noooot looking good for running this week, so I want to get in as many miles as I can. I am comforted by the fact, though, that we've got a great treadmill in the basement. Although I'd rather run outside, I'm so thankful to have another option. With every finished week, I get a little bit more nervous about the marathon.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's a Coping Mechanism

The other morning a girlfriend and I had just started a fourteen mile run together and I was telling her about a friend who was on the starting line for the Arizona marathon at that moment. My friend has been working her tail off to qualify for Boston 2011. I'm completely envious. I'd love to be able to focus on qualifying for Boston at this time in my life. However, my girlfriend is in a completely different place in life. She isn't married, yet and doesn't have any babies, yet. And that, changes everything. Or, does it?

Because of work, beacause of tax season, because of being a mom to two beautiful boys, I just can't give any more to running than what I'm doing right now. (Which, really? Isn't to shabby-- I'm training for a marathon, right?) It's frustrating, though, because I have so many running friends who can BALANCE IT ALL- including a BQ time! Right now, though, running is a coping mechanism for me.

I do feel a sense of accomplishment after each long run; yesterday's run was sixteen miles. But, really? Running is a huge stress reliever. It gives me the opportunity to re-focus my mind and heart on issues that are troubling. It also gives me the opportunity to plan every single second when we walk in the door from a school day without Josh. If I wasn't running, I'd probably be sleeping- and, at this point, that wouldn't help my productivy much at home right now.

All that jibberish aside- marathon training is going GREAT! My friend and I ran sixteen miles together yesterday. The kicker is, I'm not EVEN sore. Not even my feet?! The human body is incredible, isn't it? I am completely in love with this plan, and I think it is really keeping me from feeling too tired and run down. Stay tuned... Hopefully another update coming this week. : )

Saturday, January 9, 2010

one step closer!

Finished another long run in this FREEZING cold weather! It looks like I'm one step closer to registration. (Guess I should check to make sure it's still open, then!) The run went so well today. Our group met for a crazy fast six and a half mile run and then another friend and I slowed things down a little for the remainder of the run. The plan called for six miles, but I decided to do nine because I missed a long run over the holidays. It probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but it brings me comfort to know that I didn't go for the easy way out. I truly had no idea how fast we were running or about the mileage, so I figured that I at least needed to run for an hour and a half. And, since I slowed down for the last few miles, I decided to get in an hour and forty minutes. It was heavenly! Truthfully, I don't mind the cold. There's really no alternative in my mind to running in the cold. Sure, we have a treadmill, but I'm not disciplined enough to run nine miles on that machine. There's always the gym, right? But! It's just not the same as watching an amazing sunrise or spending time with my girlfriends.

So! I'm still feeling good! And this goal is really helping me get through these winter months. I'd like to say that I don't care about the marathon time, but that's a lie. I do. Though, I will be pretty estactic to cross that finish line in March. I think I can...It's slowly becoming a reality! Yay!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Still Holding On!

The weather is really brutal today- we have yet another wind advisory. Yuck!  I felt like this morning's run was a breaking point for the marathon training.  If I did it, I am still in the game.  If I bagged it and cut it short, it would be time to hang up the dream of a spring marathon.  Somehow or another, I ran at least twelve miles in this blustery, cold weather.  It was not a fast run, by any stretch.  I did it, though, which was half of the battle.  A girlfriend and I started out together and got in three miles, or so, before we were joined by another friend.  (The key to training for a marathon is accountability, which is where running friends come in VERY handy.) My initial partner peeled off around forty/fifty minutes, and then my other girlfriend and I ran for another hour, or so.  I ran her back to her car and then headed home, but before I could hang up my shoes, I had to get in a few solo miles by myself.  (Another key to marathoning:  If you're running the marathon solo, some of your miles should be solo-- especially the last few of a long run.  It provides preparation for those lonely, tough miles at the end.) 

As soon as I walked in the door, I was BAM!!!! back in Mommy/Wife mode.  Before I could even think about showering, I was whipping up a delicious breakfast for my hungry, half-way grumpy family.  And while I'm a teensy bit tired, (waking up at 4:30 will do that to you) I am experiencing that amazing runner's high that will last until I go to bed this evening.  (Third key to marathon training:  the long distance high!)

Right now I am a teensy bit worried about my heel.  It's hurting!  And these new shoes are not working for me, which is so annoying!  I feel like I'm running with weights on my feet by the end of a run. It's so aggravating to even contemplate the idea of buying a new pair of shoes so soon after Christmas.  I might have to, though.

SO! Provided the marathon doesn't close within the next two weeks, it looks like I'm going to sign up.  My plan is to run nine miles next Saturday and then fourteen the Saturday after that- if both runs go well and I don't have any back/leg issues, I'm in!  I just don't want to lose the money again, so I'm trying to hold off on registration until I am absolutely sure I have the time and energy for marathon number six.