Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November stats

I feel like I was just writing October's stats. We spent the majority of November sick. After 3 weeks I gave up and went to the doc (yesterday) for meds for a sinus infection. I only took a weekend off when I was sick and the girls were both sick and the idea of running long just wasn't appealing.

I did pretty good sticking to my routine this month but it's getting harder. It's getting cold out there and the toddler does not like to bundle up for stroller runs (and it's hard to buckle him up wearing a coat anyway). I think I'll be doing more treadmill runs soon. My long runs are not quite long yet, but I ran more often this month. Last November was 32.8 miles.


Mileage: 54 miles
Runs: 14
Races: 1 (Celebrate Women 5K)
Cross training: 8
Bike: 12.5 miles

I did really well with the cross training this month. In addition to the Jessica Smith videos, I've been adding some bike miles. I bought a bike trainer to use with my road bike but it didn't work out the way I hoped. My bike is a smaller sized mountain bike. The back tire was being shaved by the trainer and when I looked into getting a replacement tire I realized that I couldn't get a trainer tire for it and to get just a regular mountain bike tire would have been too much work and money. Adding it all up didn't make sense. So I sent the trainer back and bought a semi-recumbent bike instead. I should have done that right away but I swear when I first started looking all I saw were bikes for thousands of dollars. My research failed me. I'm not heading for a triathlon or giving up running. Biking is great cross training for running and an indoor bike is something I can do during the winter. I'm hoping to do the bike twice a week, run 4 times a week and throw in some videos when I can. 

The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

I did just start Jessica Smith's Quick Fit Holiday Challenge which means videos almost every day for the month. I generally don't do challenges because I have a hard time fitting them into my running schedule but I like the word "Quick" in this one. All of the daily workouts are 20 mins or less. I should be able to get that done on top of whatever running and biking I am doing. I'm expecting to have a really strong winter of exercise so I can have a really strong half marathon time next fall. When a good friend says she's running her first post-baby half and asks you to do it with her there's only one response. So I signed up for the Wineglass Half Marathon in October. A destination half with friends and wine. Awesome. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

October's stats

That month went by pretty fast.

I was determined to not let this October be a repeat of last October when my 2 weeks off after the half-marathon turned into more. I intended on only taking a week off so that's what I did. I've been fine too, no aches, no soreness, no need for extended recovery. I started back relatively slow but now I'm kicking it back into "high gear" with a planned 4 run week. Two stroller runs, one speedwork, one long. I hope I can keep this up!


Mileage: 43.4 miles
Runs: 9
Races: 1 (Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon)
Cross training: 4

Last October was 24.1 miles, so I'm okay with 43.4. I've started to get some Jessica Smith workouts back into my rotation too. I'm hoping that if I stick with it all it will make the winter slightly less horrible.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon wrap up

As I expected, I didn't PR at Sunday's half-marathon. But that's okay, because sometimes races are about more than just the numbers.

We got to the race around 8 and had some trouble parking so by the time I got the bathrooms the line was huge for both the inside park bathrooms and the portapotties. I had gone to the bathroom 5 or 6 times before I left the house so I thought I'd be okay. No. I'm going to have to get there earlier next year.

Me, Tracy & Kathleen before the race

I met up with a few friends running the half and we started out together but I was determined not to try to keep up with anybody this year. I was going to just run and be happy doing it. It was somewhat difficult at first to think of Fallon and run happy. If I thought about the details too much, the exact opposite would occur and well, running and crying are not a good mix. So I switched gears and thought about how strong she was and how much good she has done. I ran most of the race "alone" but ran into (no pun intended) a couple of fellow Strong Running Mamas who very nicely took pictures.

I'm not the guy in purple.

The entire time I was running I was peeing. I was prepared for it but it was somewhat distracting. I think next year instead of using the hydration vest I will run with a catheter and a pee-bag. 

When I hit mile 11 my toes hurt, my arms kind of hurt, my legs didn't really want to move anymore. I really wanted to just be done but I had so much further to go. Even further than I thought because my beloved Bia added a half-mile for me. I don't think I could have really added a half-mile from zigzagging, so I don't know what was up with that. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. And then I thought about how hard Fallon fought for her 11 days and surely couldn't I fight for a couple more miles? I was determined not to let her down. I had to finish so I could donate to her cause. She came through for me and pushed me on. 

Pushing on
When I got into the home stretch I could see my family waiting. I will be honest, I had a hard time not crying. But I was determined to run happy, so run happy was what I did. 

High fives!
When I saw the finish line I let it all go and ran as fast as I could and finished really really strong. My official final time was 2:23:11, 8 minutes slower than last year. I was actually pretty pleased I came in before 2:30. Last year I ran hard with friends and did 2:15. This year I ran "easy" by myself and was only 8 minutes behind. Most of the time I ran with a smile on my face, thanking volunteers and laughing at signs ("Run faster, we all just farted."). When I wanted to quit, I didn't. Sure, it would have been great if my easy running led to a 2:00 finish, but that wasn't going to happen. I had a good run and on top of it all, I was able to make a nice donation to Fallon's fund.

I'm taking this week off from running so that I can try to catch up with all the things I've neglected. I don't want to take much longer off though. I know how a week turns into 4. I want to take advantage of stroller running weather for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to get back out there. Part of me wants to just take a nice break but a larger part of me wants to do a reverse taper and get back up to 10 miles in a couple of weeks and stay there. I'm not sure if the winter will cooperate with me, but I'd like to get as many miles in this winter as I can. I need to get these legs nice and ready for when I do PR at next year's half marathon. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

A special half marathon goal

On Sunday I will run my second half-marathon (or thirteener as some like to say). I've been training for it for 16 weeks now and I think I'm ready. I've been thinking a lot about my goals and time and running and what's important. Last year I did it in 2:15:02 which was exactly my A goal. It would be great if I can do it faster this year, it would be good if I can make it close to that. But honestly, I only have one goal in mind.

I'm going to run each mile with little Fallon Jade Rilling on my mind and in my heart. A year ago today she was born and I remember talking about her as I was running last year's race. Worrying because she wasn't doing well. I had no way of knowing she would live such a short life. Just 11 days. She was born with a very rare--but rare doesn't mean impossible--disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. There was nothing they could do, no way to prevent it (that we know of), no way to cure. More research is needed to help parents from having to experience this horror. The Rillings have raised an amazing amount of money on their own but until there's a cure, it's not enough. 

If you'd like to donate to her birthday fund: http://www.gofundme.com/Fallon-Jade-Rilling . If you'd rather donate directly, you can do so here: http://www.acd-association.com .

I've already donated to her birthday fund but I feel like I have to do more. If I had my butt in gear earlier I would have set up some kind of fundraising thing, but my butt is rarely in gear these days. So, whatever my average pace is for this half-marathon, I will multiply it by 13.1 and donate that as well.

If you can't spare any extra money right now, please honor Fallon by being grateful and satisfied with your lives. If I could pack up some peace and joy and send it to the Rillings I would. If you're the praying sort, perhaps you could send some their way?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's stats

September is always so crazy with back to school and soccer and crap. I ran more this month than last month but not quite as much as I did in July (or September of last year). Considering how insane our soccer schedule has been and how incapable of getting up before 8:00 I am, I'm okay with September's miles. 


Mileage: 69.8
Runs: 12
Crosstraining: Laundry?

Yes. 69.8! Had I known while I was on the treadmill yesterday that I was so close to 70 I would have added .2, but alas I had set out to run 40 minutes and that is what I did. I briefly considered hopping back on but I had just run intervals and I was done with it. 

I am in week 13 of my training plan. For some reason I decided to do 4 runs a week instead of the 3 I did last year… or I should say I decided to plan 4 runs a week. Unless I get up before the sun I can't do 4 a week. Particularly if I wind up doing my long run on Friday because of weekend insanity. I am greatly looking forward to our weekends calming down. Although basketball will start up in December it's only one kid and Vader won't have to mow the lawn, so our weekends should be somewhat easier. 

I am in taper mode and only have to run 6 this weekend… but we'll have two soccer games, two soccer picture times (in a different location) and other stuff to do. My preschool playdates start up this week as well, so I've got plenty to keep me busy. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

About those 12 miles

I ran 11 miles on Sunday but because of soccer and birthday parties and our crazy lives, I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my long run on the weekend. So I asked my MIL to watch LightRunner and just 5 days after running 11 miles, I ran 12 for the first time in a year

Now, I have gotten to the point where I am thinking that I will never run another half marathon and I'm tired of long runs and why am I doing this? I'm doing most of my runs alone so there's no girl power sisterhood feeling like last year. Jen is nursing a baby, Sara is doing the marathon instead, Tracy has gotten pretty speedy and will probably finish a good 10-15 minutes before me. So the motivation is a little low. And after running 11 miles just FIVE DAYS AGO I was pretty nervous about this run. I knew when I was doing the 11 that I would have to do 12 pretty soon after so I tried to be smart and ran pretty slow. Which wasn't hard because I had to pee the whole time until I finally found an unlocked portapotty in front of a house being built and it was the best pee EVER. I planned on doing today's 12 pretty slow too because the last thing I need is another injury. 

I had a plan to cut the 12 miles into thirds. For the first 4 miles I would run really slow, even walking when I didn't have to, just to make sure that I was really warming up and not starting too fast. I did this no problem. Then I wanted to run the next 4 miles at my race pace (10:00) and then slow down a bit for the last 4 and hopefully wind up with an 11:30 average pace (I just read that your long run should be 30-90 seconds slower than your goal pace so I was shooting for 90 secs.). But when I hit mile 4 there was a bit of a problem. My left foot--the supposed good one--started cramping up for no stinking reason but even more than that I had to pee again!! Argh with the pee!! So I spent the next couple of miles focusing on not peeing and not focusing on running faster. Such is life. I finally found a spot to pee in the woods and it was lovely. I decided to just try to make sure my second half was faster than my first since my overall plan got messed up. 

I did it.

My average for the first 4 miles was 12 which was right where I wanted it to be.

1: 11:04
2: 12:25
3: 11:53
4: 12:49

My next 4 was not 10 minute miles but they were faster with an 11:23 average time.

5: 11:46
6: 11:29
7: 11:01
8: 11:17

My last 4 miles were my fastest with an average of 10:43. I kind of wish I had reversed mile 11 and 12 for true negative splits, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 

9: 11:17
10: 10:37
11: 10:27
12: 10:31

My overall pace was 11:22. I am stoked. I still feel like this will be my last half marathon, but I am really happy that I did what I sent out to do. These 12 miles were FASTER than the 11 I just did and yet I feel so much better than I did after those 11 miles. If I could just turn off my bladder everything would be so much easier. 

My Beloved Bia knows me so well.
The back.
One of the reasons my bladder is fuller is that I went ahead and bought myself a Nathan hydration vest so I don't have to use the belt anymore. The belt was getting too irritating and just not working out for me. I looked at both the CamelBak and the Nathan vests and decided on the Nathan Women's Intensity Race vest. The reviews were pretty good. I liked that the bladder is removable and easy to clean. It can hold 70 ounces which is more than I need but I like the option. I need to drink so much more than most people because of the whole kidney stone thing so I really can't get away with just a handheld. The first time I ran with it I forgot to suck the air out so it sloshed the whole time, but it wasn't as annoying as I thought. Today I sucked it out and there was no sloshing. It's comfortable and so much easier than the belt. I tend to drink less if I have to grab a bottle out of a belt, but I don't run anywhere that I could easily refill a handheld. The pockets are so much easier to use too. There's a big pocket in the back that can hold my keys and tissues and spare money and whatever. My favorite though is the pockets on the front. There's a bottle pocket on one side and then a zippered pocket for your phone on the other. Because I have an otter box on my phone and I don't need an extra bottle, I put my phone in the bottle side. It fits perfectly and is in easy reach. I put my honey stingers in the zippered pocket and my pepper spray in the outer one on that side. It's the perfect setup. I think I might wear this for all my runs regardless of distance! It was reasonably priced and I haven't had any problems with it. No chafing anywhere, no unusual shoulder pain. I've only used it twice so I don't want to jump the gun, but if you're looking into a hydration vest I would recommend looking into this one.  
The front

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All the feels

This weekend a few of my closest friends are doing another Ragnar Relay--Reach the Beach in NH. I'm not doing it with them. I have a perfectly good reason but it's still making me sad and grumpy… I can't believe I feel this way but I wish I was doing it with them! I want to be not sleeping in the van and running in the dark and simultaneously feeling like I will both never poop again and have diarrhea. But alas I can't because this weekend is Skywalker's birthday party. His TENTH birthday party. As in 10.


Ten is big. 1 is big and 5 is big, but 10 is the first amount of years that has its own special name. On Wednesday next week he will have been alive for a whole DECADE. Which means I have been a mother for a decade. I've been changing diapers for a decade (really wish I was done with that one).

Ten years ago I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I had no idea what the future would bring. I had no idea what kind of mom I would be. And then SkyWalker came along and it was ok. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago (harder to believe there have been 3 more babies since him). He was so tiny when he was born--just 5 pounds when we brought him home--and now he is nearly as tall as me. I'm thinking he'll be just as tall if not taller by the end of the school year. He is so smart and reads so much and he is such a good big brother to LightRunner. LightRunner loves him so so much. He's not quite as nice to his sisters as he used to be but they're kind of a pain in the ass sometimes.

So I am feeling all emotional that my first baby is going to be 10 in less than a week… and then today one of my closest friends who also cannot do Reach the Beach (for a very good reason) had her third baby girl. We have been waiting and waiting for this little lady to arrive and now she is finally here. Even my kids are excited. My girls love her older girls and we all love her and now there's a new little baby for us to fawn over and love. I can't wait to meet her. The only thing better than having your own baby is when someone you love has one.

I am feeling ALL THE FEELS.

Monday, September 8, 2014

August stats & back to school

As I suspected my August stats weren't quite as high as July. There were no more stroller runs and it was hard to motivate myself to use the treadmill when the sun was shining and the kids had things to do. I knew it was our last month of summer fun so I let running take a bit of a back seat. We had some traveling to do and at the end of the month we went to Great Escape for the first time. We actually stayed for 3 days. I did my long (10 mile) run before we went and then spent the weekend walking the park. It was the perfect end to our summer--quite literally since we got back the day Chewie had her bus safety day at school. The next day the big kids went back and the day after that Chewie started kindergarten. This is our first full week of school and I'm anticipating being able to get some stroller runs done as well as some Jessica Smith videos now that I only have one child at home. One child who naps. I hope the weather holds out as long as it can so I can keep up with the stroller runs.

It is quiet without the kids and I miss them, especially Chewie since I am used to her being around, but they all seem to be happy with school this year. Chewie is doing great and got on the bus with a huge smile on her face. It makes it somewhat easier to let her go. I am glad I have LightRunner to keep me company and entertain me. He repeats EVERYTHING I say and has such a great sense of humor. I think he will fill the void okay.

Next weekend is SkyWalker's 10th birthday party so I'll be doing my long (12 miles) run on Friday, which is less than a week after doing my last long run (Sunday, 11 miles). I have reached the point when I am looking forward to tapering and kind of wondering if I want to do this again. It's hard to fit in with soccer schedules and school requirements and life. It's much easier to squeeze in a 6 mile run than a 12.



Mileage: 56.7
Runs: 11
Races: 1
Crosstraining: Swimming, biking, vacuuming

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EveryMove App

EveryMove on my phone

I've been meaning to write a post about a new app I downloaded for a while now. I was reading a lot of posts about EveryMove through the SweatPink community, including local runner Darlene's recent blog post, and I was curious. I'm a sucker for stats and logging things and I'm also pretty cheap. With EveryMove you earn points for activities that you do--from house cleaning to playing with kidto running--and those points earn you discounts off various things you can buy or charities you can raise money for. So far I've gotten really nice socks, a beach bag that I LOVE and would not have bought otherwise, a discount on EnergyBits, and donated money to cancer research. I downloaded the app on my phone, but I also use it through its web interface on my iPad and computer.

I love that all of your activities count not just the traditional exercise. Biking in the driveway, swimming  in my pool, vacuuming the floors all get points. Not as much as a long run, but it still counts. It's a good reminder that you can stay active throughout the day without formal exercise. If you have a device that measures your activity and you sync it to EveryMove you get extra points. My beloved Bia watch isn't included yet, but MapMyRun is. So I run with my beloved Bia, it automatically uploads to MayMyRun which then automatically syncs to EveryMove. I've suggested they add Bia so I can eliminate the middle man, but it's working for now.

I also synced my Moves App from my phone but I stopped using it after just a couple of days. It registered a stroller run as biking and my biking as walking and it ate up too much of my battery life. I'm not interested in getting another tracker… my beloved Bia (yes, that's what I call it) tracks my running and biking (and swimming too!) and I really don't need to know how many steps I take food shopping. When Apple releases their new phone and tracker I might be singing a different tune… but for now I'm just manually adding my non-run activities. I would love a sleep tracker though because I can't remember the last time I slept a whole night even though my kids do all the time.

In addition to earning points and discounts, you can also have friends on EveryMove and see their activities as well. You can give points to them and they can give points to you and there's a leaderboard so you can have friendly competition to see who is the most active. It's a great way to motivate yourself to move. If you're on EveryMove, be my friend! I'm pretty generous with the points.

I was not compensated in any way for this post. I downloaded the free app on my own and these are my honest opinions. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Clove Run

It's a good thing I'm not stressing out about races anymore since I didn't do nearly as well as I have in the past. I started out just a wee bit too fast for me, totally unsurprising because the race was pretty small this year, and I hoped I could keep it up, but I didn't. I tried to surge a couple of times but I kinda just didn't have it in me. My right heel has been bothering me a bit so it may have been that, but really I think I just petered out. We finished in 28:56.

Side by side

I kinda don't care.

The entire time I ran Vader was by my side. We finished at exactly the same time, but because of age groups and gender differences he wound up with a 2nd place medal! I ran the 1 mile with the Princess before the 5K and that was fun… and long. My mother was there to watch us, as well as my MIL who always volunteers for the race so it was a real family affair.

 Finishing the 1 mile.

We finished in time to get back home so I could cheer my friends on. A couple we saw as we were driving, but we pulled in the driveway just as Sara was coming so I hopped out and was able to give her a high-five. When I was confident my friends had passed I got back in the car and drove back to the start so I could watch them cross the finish line. I am so used to taking pictures on my iPhone though that I screwed up with my camera and instead of hitting the picture I button I turned the damn thing off. So I have very few pictures. But I saw them cross in real life, so that's good. All but Mr. Speedy himself who finished the 10 mile race in 1:03 (I think) and took home 3rd place!

Me, Sara & Melissa.
Sara & Melissa had just finished 6 miles before running the 10! 

Afterwards we took advantage of my mother visiting and Vader and I went out to dinner and a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D) to celebrate our anniversary a day early. I also decided to check out a new-to-me store at the mall--Track & Trail--and was able to score not one but TWO new pairs of running shoes. My Merrell Dash Gloves are still in good shape but the bottom of them (Vibram soles) are starting to look worn in places. The treads are smoothed over. Since I have nearly 1000 miles on them I thought I could use a new pair. Minimals are great because you don't have to replace them every 300-400 miles, but you can't wear them forever either. I got an updated Dash Gloves pair that I couldn't find online and I also splurged and got the Bare Access Arc 3 for my long runs. It's still minimal with a 0 heel drop but it has a slight bit more cushioning that I hope will be good for my long runs. I kind of forgot that last year when I was training for the half I had to wear the ankle brace which meant I had to wear my thicker Mizunos. So maybe my feet just need a tiny bit more cushioning for those long runs and that's why my heel is starting to irritate me. Let's hope, because I am not prepared for the alternative (I'm not even thinking the PF word!).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Clove Run race goals… or lack thereof

Well, as I feared August has not been going well in the running department. I have failed to get up even once… and then the day gets past me and before I know it it's bedtime and I'm wiped. I've spent a good part of this week doing major straightening up/reorganizing of the kids' rooms and our playroom. I feel good that it's done, but scared that it will be undone in the 3 weeks left before school. It was supposed to be a light running week anyway because I've got a race on Saturday.

I'm running the Clove Run 5K again. The last time I ran the 5K I got my PR. Last year I ran the 10 mile but there's just something about the 5K that brings me back. I love running in my community. So I'm back with the 5K but this time I won't be running alone.

I'm starting with the 1 mile fun race with the Princess again. SkyWalker decided he just didn't want to do it and I decided I wasn't going to push him.

I'll be doing the 5K with Vader with certain guidelines. He cannot pass me. But I don't have to wait for him (ha!). He's so much faster but he's concerned about his old man knees. So while he's got the speed, I've got the endurance. We might match each other. In any event, we're starting together and finishing together. I would like to run faster than my last race, I would love to run faster than my overall PR. But honestly and truly, I am not pressuring myself about time. I want to enjoy running our first race together. I'm planning on coming back home after so I can cheer the 10 milers and then going back to the finish so I can cheer them there. It's going to be a race against time to do all of it for sure!

I've been doing my speed work at the track and prior to the last couple of weeks I've been running pretty consistently, so I think I'll do ok. I may have not run at all this week but I am prepared:

Runner Girl Jamberry Nails. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July stats

July was the best. It wasn't my highest mileage ever, but all but 2 runs were outside and that is just awesome. My long runs are getting longer and now the difficulty will be getting my mid week runs longer with no camp to rely on. I think I'm going to have to get up early… sigh.



Mileage: 75.1
Runs: 16 
Cross training: 2, but lots of swimming, biking and playing with the kids. 

For comparison's sake, last July was 56.1. Hopefully August won't take a nose dive. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The All in One Post

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity and not much blogging. I have around 3 or 4 in my head but they never make it here. 


Running has been so so nice. My last treadmill run was on July 3. Every single run since then has been outside. Either someone has been home to watch the kids or I've only had LightRunner so we do a stroller run. Once a week I take them all to the high school track and they have a picnic snack while I do speedwork. I paid a kid to watch them and make sure they don't choke but I'm not sure I even really need to. I have done no official cross training, no routines, but I have done a lot of swimming and biking in the driveway and those stroller runs are not easy. I think they definitely count as strength training too! The only downside is that I don't run with my friends anymore and I definitely miss that… but getting up at 4:30 when I can just do a stroller run later is just too hard… 


Camp has been so so nice. The kids love it. They see their friends, they've gone on great field trips, they have time away from me and each other. Sometimes the rest of the day can be a bit grouchy but not often. Usually they play with each other pretty well since they haven't been bugging each other all day long. I thought I would be so productive while they were at camp… but it hasn't turned out that way. I did go through the papers on the floor of my office, but for the most part I have been running, reading and enjoying the silence during nap time. I don't regret one single thing. I've seen friends, played one-on-one with LightRunner, and gotten a taste of what next school year will bring. 


LightRunner is now 2 and while he is embracing it wholeheartedly, he is still my happy funny little guy. He wants to be independent but he can't be and that frustrates him. Luckily he is more willing to let his older siblings help him than me. SkyWalker buckles him the car, puts on his shoes, gets him out of the crib when he's home, and today he got him dressed. When I let them watch TV LightRunner sits on SkyWalker's lap and snuggles up. Joy. SkyWalker has been so helpful and I will be sad when he goes back to school. He's gotten so old and mature, but he has recently discovered his love of trains and cars again and has no problem getting down and playing with LightRunner. He is a natural big brother. The Princess is still a bit crazy and we butt heads quite a bit but when she's good, she's really good. She takes care of Chewie and LightRunner. LightRunner loves her and is constantly calling for her and looking for her. Chewie is doing great at camp and I have no worries about her going to kindergarten. She's going to get on that bus with a huge smile on her face ready to conquer the world. 

I'm not quite sure how August will go. The idea of the treadmill makes me cry… but so does the idea of getting up in the wee hours of the morning. But I want to do lots of fun things with them before summer is over so I'm going to have to figure something out. 

Monday, July 7, 2014


I turned 39 on Sunday. My last year in my 30's. I am totally fine with it. 

We celebrated on Saturday by going to a local lake and watching Vader fish for far too long and then finally we were able to swim. We brought a little grill and had hamburgers and hot dogs and lots of unhealthy potato chips and cheese doodles. I soaked up the sun and it was awesome (on the beach. Dealing with a bored cranky toddler watching Daddy fish was less fun.) We went home and quickly showered and then went back out for dinner. We wanted to go to the same Tiki Bar place we went to last year but it was closed, so we went to another favorite of ours instead. I had my birthday cheesecake but the restaurant didn't have ice cream for the kids. Vader suggested we stop and get ice cream someplace else and when we all stopped gaping in surprise we agreed. It was a late night but it was worth it. 

I started out Sunday with a long slow hot run. Well, actually I started out Sunday taking care of breakfast for everyone since Vader was already outside mowing. Then I went on a long slow hot run. I've been running down to the park so I can go to the bathroom and see the river and break up the monotony a little bit. I did 7.8 because it was 3.9 x 2 and I didn't feel like running 39 miles (or just 3.9). I didn't care about time or pace or anything, I just ran (and walked up my monster hill).  

The girls and I had a birthday party to go to at a local minor league baseball game in the late afternoon, so I got to have pizza and cake on my birthday. Even better, I got to see some of my closest friends. Win-win for me! 

Melissa, Sara, Jen & me. Tracy is off vacationing somewhere. The nerve. 
I know a lot of people get upset at turning 40, but I say "bring it." I wouldn't go back to being a teenager or in my 20s for anything in the world. I am in better shape, more active, healthier, my family is complete, I have awesome friends, I don't have a job getting in the way of my life. I'm going to make 39 my best year ever… until I hit 40.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June: lasts, kids, & stats

June is always such a crazy busy month. Field trips, field day, flag day, last parties, early dismissals, birthdays. This one was no exception. Chewie turned 5 in the beginning of the month and we celebrated by getting her ears pierced and having lunch at Dave & Busters and swimming in our new pool and Mommy not running. Oh well. The girls will be having a joint birthday pool party next week to continue the fun. We also went to another 30th birthday party just to make me feel even older. 

Chewie graduated from preschool and had her last gymnastics class (I don't do it once they're in school). I'm not planning on putting LightRunner in gymnastics, partly to save some money next year, but also because if I'm going to put him in anything it will be basketball. He truly loves it and I think he could do really well. I don't think there are any programs for 2 year olds though. Chewie also had her last speech session and that was actually a bit sadder than her preschool graduation. She doesn't need any services over the summer and when she is in kindergarten she will have what SkyWalker did--speech correction once a week. The speech teacher there thinks she probably won't need it for long but after a summer of nothing and with kindergarten so demanding these days, I wanted to make sure someone was keeping an eye on her at school. She is doing SO much better and I would hate for her to lose her progress because they have kindergarteners doing advanced calculus now. 

LightRunner will be two in 18 days and is less and less baby-like and more big-boy like every day. It is bittersweet. I eagerly look forward to not changing diapers (10 years is a long time) but he is my last. He plays with cars all the time and says "weeerrrr" and we could probably get rid of all the baby toys we have. He repeats nearly everything we say and calls me "Mama" and sometimes makes me want to have another one. But I don't want to jump the shark. I'd rather end on a high note. He is definitely embracing two and likes to make things difficult sometimes but knows when to use his dimples. I had to stop giving him big boy cups--not because he couldn't drink out of them but because he is a thrower. He intentionally throws his cups of milk across the room and I couldn't stand it anymore. So we're back to sippy cups until he can control himself. 

SkyWalker is at basketball camp and will soon be taller than me. He survived 4th grade and pulled it together at the end. His grades in each subject in his last report card went up (except social studies which stayed at 98). He got above 90 in everything and really worked much harder than in the middle of the year. I hope this means 5th grade won't be so tumultuous. 

The Princess had an awesome report card and once again got S+ in Art. She's a hard worker in everything and likes to teach Chewie things. She's slightly less batshit crazy, although yesterday she told me sometimes she gets angry for no reason and then she just has to stretch it out. Oookay. I need to get her running longer distances. 

They are all going to camp for the next 4 weeks. It was hard for me to fill out the paperwork and actually do it this year, but I am telling myself that it's not babysitting, it's an opportunity for them to all have fun without each other and without me and to do new things. It'll be good for Chewie to make friends with kids going to kindergarten. It'll be good for me to have some time to get boring stuff done (filling/trashing all the paperwork on my office floor!) and to do some stroller runs and have some one on one time with LightRunner. I can't send them everyday because I am odd, but I'm planning on sending them 3 times a week. I wish I could be one of those moms that just says "See ya" and ships her kids off here and there, but I'm not. Even if they drive me crazy, I'll take that crazy over anything else in the world. 

I've probably gone over my break time and I still have 3 book reviews to write. 


Miles: 43.8
Runs: 9
Races: 0
Cross training days: 6 (not including swimming!)

Not my best mileage month, but not my worst. Last June was 28.4 miles!! I've got my half-marathon training plan on the fridge so I should start seeing that mileage go back up. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sweat Pink

Those of you who actually visit this blog instead of reading it in your reader of choice may have noticed a new badge in my right sidebar. I am now a Sweat Pink ambassador! I never in a million years thought I would ever run willingly and actually enter races and care about it, but here I am. If I can help someone else realize that she too can do it, well, that would be pretty awesome.

I also added a link to Bia but they don't have pretty badges yet. I think I'll break them down and make them make me an ambassador one of these days. I recommend it everywhere I go!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

May stats

I started May with a race and ended it with one! It was actually a pretty light running month because I did have so many races. I like to take a couple of days off before and after a race. And I took some extra time off after Ragnar. 


Mileage: 46.9
Runs: 7
Races: 3 (I'm counting the 3 Ragnar legs as one race) Spring Runoff, Ragnar, Freihofer's
Cross training Days: 3. I know I know. 

I'm hoping June will have a little more consistency and cross training. There are always so many school obligations though so I'm not beating myself up. I've started on the right foot by getting up wicked early (4:30) on Wednesday to get in a short run for National Running Day with some of my best running friends. And then spending 3 hours at Field Day because that's what Running Mamas do. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 Freihofer's Run for Women recap

We've had a run-filled week. Last Thursday the kids and I completed the first Wildcats Marathon at our local high school. SkyWalker ran with his friends so I'm not really sure how he did except that he was way in front of us. The Princess refused to be more than 2 inches away from me at all times and spent most of her 1.2 miles whining and complaining that she couldn't do it and we were even walking too fast. At the last minute I decided to let Chewie run because she wanted to. She started out so fast I had to run to catch up to her but by the end she petered out and this happened:
Chewie on my back, The Princess beside me pretending she wasn't whining the whole time.
Whining aside, it was a great program and I look forward to doing it again next year. 

Just a couple of days later I ran in my 4th Freihofer's race. I didn't post any goals or anything ahead of time because I didn't really have any. I just wanted to run as well as I could and not pee myself. The kids decided they wanted to go this year so we skipped their soccer games and went as a family. Unfortunately we couldn't all go up as a family--they wouldn't let non runners past a certain point on the road we were walking, so Vader and the kids had to take the long way around. I met up with my friends but I really wanted to see my family before I started. I lined up with the yellow group again (3rd group from the front) and got a text from Vader that he made it to the viewing area and would try to at least get a starting picture. The race started and I got stuck behind a bunch of people but I was okay because I was intentionally running slower and looking for him. I spotted him on the side and he was able to grab a quick picture:

I was just happy to see him.
After I saw him I knew it was time to speed up a bit and try to reclaim some lost ground. Once I got into the park things opened up a bit and I was happy to see that my first mile was in 9:12. I had thought for sure I had lost too much in the beginning. I ran pretty well and every time I wanted to slow down I just sped up instead. I truly wasn't aiming for any particular time, I just wanted to run well. I did my second mile in 9:05 and was just happy that I hadn't peed myself yet. I was getting a bit hot and tired but after doing Ragnar 3 miles is a piece of cake, so I just pushed myself on. My last mile was 8:30 and the last bit was 7:11. I was thrilled that I had negative splits and was able to kick it in the end. I crossed the line at 28:16 and was happy that it wasn't 28:30. But then I remembered 28:16 was my gun time and I was not right at the start line when the gun went off. My net time was 27:59 with a 9:01 pace. It was a definite post-baby PR and just 1 second away from my course best. 807/3611 total 68/389 division. 

I felt like I ran well and I didn't pee myself (although the Tena pads did come to the rescue when I had to walk a bit to get to the bathroom after the race). I tried to just be grateful that I was able to race at all and that my family was there and to just enjoy it all. Getting back to 27, even with a 59 behind it, was just an added bonus. 

I'm taking a break from races for now, even though there are a bunch I want to do, so that Vader can get some work done on the weekends and we can go to soccer games and not split ourselves. I'm planning to do the Clove Run in August but I haven't seen any registration info for it yet which is a bit troubling. I was hoping to get Vader to race it with me so I really hope they're still doing it. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

There's totally enough time

Awhile back I was running on the treadmill and listening to the Another Mother Runner podcast.  The guest that day was Jill Farmer, author of "There's Not Enough Time… and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves." The basic gist I got from her was that her philosophy was less about how to do things faster  to save time and more about changing the whole IDEA of time. And since I am a big proponent on changing one's perspective and definitions of things in order to make life saner/happier/better, this book sounded right up my alley. I checked my library and they didn't own it, so I went to Amazon and on a whim I bought the e-book right before I left for Ragnar. I read most of it in the van and then finished it back home. I was right, it was totally up my alley.

I'm not going to do a real book review here because I do book reviews over here and I'm not interested in being even remotely professional on this blog.

The biggest things I got from the book is that we like to make ourselves be busier than we are so that we can have excuses for not doing things, and so that we feel "important." I think the latter is the biggest culprit for those of us who take care of our kids all day and don't work anywhere else (yes, I still hate the SAHM label and avoid using it). If I can appear to be as crazy busy and frazzled as working moms than surely I must be doing something of value. You get the idea. I am guilty of putting so many things on my to do list that it's impossible to get it all done and then I wonder why I can't get it all done and knowing I can't get it all done I avoid starting anything and waste more time on Facebook and twitter because why start if you can't finish? (Sidenote: SkyWalker's favorite argument for not wanting to start his school projects is "I can't finish it in one day!" Apple. Tree). Farmer has some good tips for distinguishing what really belongs on your to do list, your calendar, and a 2 minute list. If you need to call the dentist it doesn't need to be on your to do list. It takes 2 minutes. She recommends your to do list be no more than 5 items and one way of whittling it down is to get all those 2 minute tasks off it. Redoing my to do list has been a major help. I printed up a new Monday-Sunday page with a separate section for 2 minute tasks and Bigger Projects. Every day I have dishes and laundry to do and put that under the appropriate day. I don't REALLY have to put dishes there because I know I have to do it, but I like crossing it off. Things like grocery shopping, particular cleaning, planting the garden are all on the to do list. Calling people, responding to birthday invitations, mailing things, are 2 minute tasks. On my Bigger Projects list I had things like clean off my craft table, pack up the baby toys, pull the girls too small clothes. Things that would take a while but I didn't know which day I would be able to get to them. Appointments and exercise go on the calendar.

I have gotten ALL of my bigger projects done this week. Sure, I have more, but all of the ones I listed, ones that have been in my mind and just not done and bugging me for months are ALL DONE. I've been planning on calling the dentist for MONTHS and just never got around to it. But seeing it on the 2 minute list and knowing it would be done in 2 minutes was good motivation. BOOM. Productivity.

Of course I haven't been running or exercising much this week so the true test will be when I ramp that up again.

The other big thing I got from the book was more philosophical. If you think there's not enough time, you will sabotage yourself. You'll be stressed and frazzled and make mistakes. I have taken wrong turns and missed my road so many times when I'm late for something. Or you're rushing and drop things and then have to stop and clean that up. Now, if you've given yourself 5 minutes to get to preschool and it takes 20, well, no, there's not enough time to get there in time. But if you chill out and just think hey, I've got plenty of time to get it done, you'll relax, make fewer mistakes and you'll be 15 minutes late instead of 25. Simply changing HOW you think can change how you react and that can indeed save you time.

Also, it's okay to take breaks--lots of them--and do whatever you want to do. Breaks are good. You don't have to be busy busy every second of the day. I always think that if I sit to read a book when there are dishes in the sink that I lose my credibility… but taking breaks even before all your work is done can help you get motivated to finish up.

I am a big believer in self fulfilling prophecies. If you think this day is going to suck, it will. If you think the universe is out to get you, it is. Thing negative, get negative. Think positive, get positive. This book takes that idea and applies it to time and productivity. If you're one of those people who think you can't get it all done (whatever it is) or that there just isn't enough time, you should read it. There are plenty of tips in there I haven't even mentioned.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bia sport watch review

UPDATE 3/20/2015: It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that Bia is "ceasing its operations." As of April 3, we can no longer use the Bia as it exists now. If all you want is a GPS distance/time tracker, you're fine. But if you want mile splits, elevation, SOS and all of things we've come to love about Bia, you'll have to get a different watch. 

Watch, Go Stick, charger & cool packaging
I've been meaning to post a review of my Bia for a while but I thought it would be a good idea to wait until after Ragnar and see how it performed then. Before I get to the review, a little history:

I buy almost everything after reading tons of reviews and getting input and doing research. 80% of the internet research I do is product reviews. I bought my first sports watch, the Garmin Forerunner 305 based on reviews of friends. 

Over a year ago I heard about a kickstarter campaign for a new sports watch and I was intrigued. The watch would have a really cool piece that no others have had-- an SOS alert or "panic button." For a paranoid runner like me who often runs alone down country roads and thinks every white unmarked van is going to kidnap me, this panic button idea was awesome. I checked out the kickstarter and a bunch of other people must have thought it was awesome too because they were fully funded pretty quickly. I didn't add my 2 cents because I didn't really have it to add. 

A little while later I heard they were looking for product testers and in a rare move I actually applied. I didn't get picked, but I was given the opportunity to buy the watch at a cheaper price than what the retail price would be. I decided I believed in the watch so much and the company behind it, that I would go ahead and buy it without reviews, without the product even completed! It was a total leap of faith for me. It took a bit longer than we all thought to get the watch ready, but Bia was very honest and forthcoming and communicated everything to us early adopters. 

The watch is shipped in a cool cylinder with a little drawstring bag to keep it safe. There are two components-- the watch that you wear on your wrist and the Go Stick that you clip anywhere. It should be on the same side of your body as the watch so it can communicate better. The Go Stick is what communicates with the GPS and has a "cell phone" chip in it which enables it to: immediately upload your run as soon as you hit stop & send the SOS text message alert. I haven't had the Go Stick fall off me yet and it picks up the satellite about 3 days faster than my Garmin. The Go Stick is the only thing that needs to be charged. There's a USB cable included that you can hook up to your computer or a wall outlet or a portable charger in a van down by the river. Right now the battery last roughly 6 hours, but they are rolling out an update this week with a 17 hour battery life! I'm not sure how long the battery lasts on stand by. 

The watch fits nicely and is shaped so differently than any other watch I've worn. I've had no problems with the fit. Once I think some of the velcro strap attached itself to something I was wearing and the watch was yanked a bit, but once I realigned the velcro better it didn't happen again. 

There's one button and only one button on the watch. It's large and easy to press. You can choose between run, swim or bike. There are some options listed that aren't available yet. But because of the handy dandy cell phone chip, this watch updates itself! You don't have to go run out and buy a new one when they add a new feature. Already since I got it I have had it update to include mile splits. Unless they change a hardware feature, there shouldn't be a reason to need a new watch for a while. Which is AWESOME. The directions on the watch are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. When your run is done it also gives you a little compliment ("Badassery") or motivation ("Just one more?") or instructions ("Breathe," "Go Shower"). 

The one button is on the left.
I used my Bia during the Ragnar and had no problems. I brought a portable charger with me just in case and charged it but I don't think I really needed to. I was concerned about my night time run because there's no backlight on the watch, but if it's dark enough for me to need a backlight I probably have my headlamp on, which was the case at Ragnar and I had no problem seeing the watch with the headlamp. Once I got in the car and there was no light I couldn't see the screen but I didn't really need to. It was so convenient having my runs automatically uploaded when I was sitting in the van. I brought my Garmin as a backup but never used it.

I love the look of the watch, I love the feel, I love the SOS (it sends a text message to phone numbers you input. In a later update it will also notify emergency services. The text includes a map of your location!). I love the instant uploading. I use Running Ahead as my log so I still have to input it there, but I can download the raw data and upload it there if I don't want to do it manually. Right now it will automatically send info to its own Bia site, Strava, and Map My Run. I love so many things about this watch and I am so glad I took the risk and pre-ordered it.

There are some things I would improve (and some of these may be addressed in future updates):

1. It's impossible to see the lights on the Go Stick when you're in sunlight. I wasn't sure if it was awake the first time and had to go in the garage to check. Minor quibble.
2. The only way to know if it needs to be charged is to start a run. While you're running you can see a battery indicator, but I would like to be able to look at it (either the watch or the Go Stick) the night before and know whether or not I should plug it in.
3. There's no auto-pause (yet) so when I stop and pee I have to manually press the button. You then have the option to continue your run or stop it and save. But if you get distracted and don't save your run right away the only option is to continue. Hopefully auto-pause will fix that.
4. It would be nice to hear a louder beep at each mile. If there's any sound I haven't heard it yet.

It seems to be pretty accurate with the mileage and pace. I used it at the same time as my Garmin and the only difference was because of the auto-pause of the Garmin. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as the Garmin does--right now it doesn't do intervals. But they are adding features as we speak. They are very responsive to feedback, whether it be through email, Facebook or twitter, and they take customer suggestions very seriously. The company was created by women and run by women and that's an added bonus. You get the sense that they really want to offer a great product and they are willing to take the time to make it right. The bottom line really seems to be customer satisfaction and not just money.

I'm holding on to my Garmin for now but my kids are using it more than me. But I don't see myself giving up the Bia any time in the foreseeable future.

**If you want to buy one, you can here: http://bia-sport.com
edited to include link on 5/22

I bought the Bia with my own money (okay, birthday money) and was not compensated in any way for this review. This is my honest, unsolicited review.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Ragnar Cape Cod

It seems like just yesterday and forever since I wrote about going to Ragnar. My sense of time is all screwy now.

Our van. Van captain Rachel, me, Cindy, Sara, Jen, our driver Jenny, Allison

We started our adventure on Thursday night driving out to MA, near the starting point of the race. We got to the hotel relatively "late" and prepared for the next day. Our Van 1s were starting at 9 am but the Van 2s (mine) weren't starting until later so we could eat breakfast and "relax" before we headed out at 11. We took over for Van 1 at Exchange 6. They made good time so I wound up doing my first leg about 15 minutes early. It was supposed to be 3.6 but they cut it to 3.2, without actually telling us. I had been shooting for 10 minute miles for all 3 runs, but I got a little excited and my average pace for the first leg wound up being 9:19. I probably would have gone faster had I known it was 3.2 and not 3.6 so it's probably good I didn't know. I still had 2 more legs and no sleep to get to.

After finishing my first leg.
Note who's on my shirt.
My name is on the back too!

I passed the slap bracelet to Sara who had to run 12.8 miles for her first leg. Yup. Pretty much a half marathon which is why she got an extra medal for doing it! She totally rocked it. She's only been running for about a year and has come so amazingly far. The very best part was that I was able to give her the special medal.

Me and Sara

One of our runners has a house out there (her mom rents it out) so we were lucky enough to be invited to stay there after our first legs were over. We only had a couple of hours and tired as I was I couldn't sleep for long. Sara insists I slept something, so I must have bypassed the REM stage and gone straight to passed out. We got up at midnight and headed out again. That was when I thought "never again." My next leg was supposed to start at 3:30 but running at night sucks so got delayed a bit. I started out at 4:00 am. At first I was okay but then I started having a strange pain in my stomach/abdomen area. I knew I wasn't dehydrated since I had been drinking tons of water and monitoring my pee color at every stop. I attributed it to not having defecated in a couple of days but it wasn't quite right. I kept going and finished 5.6 with a 10:21 pace. I immediately went to the bathroom and produced nothing but pee. As I was sitting in the van I felt the oddest pinching sensation um, in my urethra. Then I felt so much pressure I thought I was one of those high school girls who didn't know she was pregnant and was going to deliver a baby in the van. It finally dawned on me that I was probably passing a kidney stone! As soon as the pain peaked, it kind of went away. I think I fell asleep in the van for 15 minutes or so.

Our van finished our second legs sometime in the morning and we headed to a local school gym to sleep on the floor. The other runners were WICKED LOUD so we didn't really do much sleeping. But I got as much rest as I could. We still had one more leg to go and for me it was going to be my longest distance. I hoped it would be easier than my night time run since I would, hopefully, not be passing another kidney stone. 

I was wrong. About it being easier, not passing any more stones. My 7.3 miles were nothing but rolling hills the entire way. We started out going up a big ol' hill and I thought okay, that's over. But no, oh no. Every time I thought there couldn't possibly be another hill, there it was! My van had said they would stop around mile 5 to see if I needed water or anything. I was happy to see them before mile 5, not because I needed water but because I was going to use it as an excuse to stop. I saw my van and snagged some shot bloks because I had forgotten my own. Then a little ways after I saw the other van 2, which was so nice because they didn't have to stop for me and they just did just because. Then I saw one of our van 1s and was shocked because they TOTALLY didn't have to stop for me, but they had passed me on the highway and decided to find a spot to pull over to cheer for me. I might have seen them first actually, it all kind of blends together. I know that immediately after passing them I wanted to just cry. I had been wanting to cry the entire run actually because of the damn hills, but this time I wanted to cry because I was just so touched that they stopped to cheer and see if I needed anything. If it hadn't been for all of them, all 3 vans, cheering along the way I don't know if I could have made it. I wanted to give up so many times but I kept saying (out loud) "just keep going." It would have been a hard run anyway because I am not good with hills, but on no sleep and junk food and probable kidney stone passing and my 3rd run in less than 24 hours, it was the hardest run I have ever had. I let myself walk a couple of times while I was eating the shot bloks and then when I was close to the end there was another damn hill. I made a deal that I could walk up the hill but only if I was going to fly down the other side. So that's what I did. I flew. I ran as fast as I possibly could once I passed that hill and then it was done. I wound up with a 10:22 average pace and I am wicked psyched about that. It was a hard run and I just kept going when I wanted to quit and I was only 20 seconds over my anticipated pace. 

Sara, Jen, me, Melissa & Tracy.
I couldn't have done this without them (and wouldn't have wanted to!)

I passed the bracelet to Sara who finished up her 3 miles & change and then Jen did her last 4.5. She too had rolling hills and her last mile was on sand. Loose beach sand. Which would be hard for anybody but is especially hard when you're 5 months pregnant! She could have switched legs and done a shorter distance but she wanted to finish her run. She did so amazing and was so strong and inspirational! I nominated her for the Ragnar moms contest but sadly they didn't pick her. Doesn't matter though, she will always be the strongest Bad Ass Mom to me! I can't even imagine doing all of that--running, no sleep, confined to a van for hours--pregnant. It was hard on all of us, but she didn't complain any more than we did. She was a total rock star and I am so honored I was on her team. 

24 Bad Ass Moms

We all crossed the finish line together in our Wonder Woman shirts (I had NOTHING to do with that) 32 hours and 40 minutes after we started. The big question everyone is asking is will I do it again? I said this was a bucket list, one time only deal. They're getting a team together for Reach the Beach in September but I can't do another one in just 4 months without getting divorced. Vader said once a year would be okay. During my 4 am run I would have said no way in hell, but just like childbirth, the end result was worth all the pain and discomfort and constipation. I think I could probably be talked into another one… 

The coveted Ragnar medal

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The next adventure

So, just FYI, if Lauren Fleshman shares your blog post with her followers you get 400 hits in one day instead of in 6 months.

You might think I'd take it easy this week after racing a 5K last week. Wrong. On Friday morning 27 women and I will take part in the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay. I have never met some of them. Others are some of my closest friends. We will run a total of 200 miles from Hull to Provincetown, sleeping in vans along the way.

It is quite possibly the craziest thing I have ever, or will ever, do.

I am runner 9 (which also means 21 and 33). My legs are 3.6, 5.6 and 7.3. Nothing crazy, except I wish the longest was first and not last. My first leg should be about 5 pm on Friday, my second at 3:30 Saturday wicked early morning, and my last at 1 pm Saturday afternoon. All things considered, it's really not that bad.

I am worried about:

  • My contacts. Do I sleep with them in because I may not be able to get them out & back in comfortably in the van? 
  • Sleep. I likes my sleep! I won't sleep much in the van to begin with because I don't do well sleeping in cars. And because my second leg is at 3:30 in the morning. 
  • Bathrooms. Did I mention the van part? I'm supposed to drink a ton of water all day. I need to pee every hour or so. 
  • Getting lost. I wasn't worried about the actual running until I read something today suggesting that runners know their leg maps because sometimes signs can get knocked down or stolen. I don't have a good sense of direction at all. Especially at 3:30 in the morning. I'm hoping that my running partner is better than me! (Yeah, we all have partners. No way would I run by myself at 3:30 in the morning.)
  • Eating. 
  • Doing something wrong that causes a safety violation--my headlamp going out, whatever--or losing the baton to pass to the next runner. 

I know that once I am there I will be fine. I know that once it is over it will be great. I know that I am so  so grateful to be doing this with such awesome wonderful friends. Who will hopefully still be friends after a couple of days in the van with no showers.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Worked hard = win

I didn't do it. I didn't break my PR. Didn't come close. 

And I'm okay with that (now).

But let's rewind to the day of the race--the race I have been pinning all of my PR dreams on. Vader took the kids to soccer (where the Princess got a goal & Chewie did fantastic at her very first game) & I got a ride with two good friends who were also running the 5K. We got there with plenty of time, but parking and having to bring our swag back to the car took up a good chunk of it. We peed & got to the start with just 5 minutes to spare.

Before the race: Melissa, Sara, me & Elisa. 

I started out okay & did my first mile right on target but then I just slowed down. I thought about Lauren Fleshman telling me to go get it:

and I sped up. But it just wasn't quite enough to get the time I wanted. I finished in 28:06, no where near the 26:30 I had been hoping for. But faster than the 28:30 I have been getting. I was disappointed with my time but tried not to beat myself up about it too much. For whatever reason, I just don't have it in me right now and the more I think about it & analyze it the more stressed out I will be and this is supposed to be a stress-reliever not a stress-inducer. After the race we stuck around for the awards ceremony because we were pretty sure that my speedy friends had placed. And sure enough, they had. They both finished in 23:26 which is just amazing and one got the trophy for 3rd female finisher and the other got a gold medal for first in her age group. I'm not quite sure why we didn't leave right then, but we didn't, so when they announced the next age group awards (mine) and the 3rd place winner had a slower time than me, I looked at Sara and she looked at me, and we wondered if I would get second. But they didn't call my name for second. They called it for first and I got the gold medal for the 34-39 age group. I've looked at the race results and there are only 3 people in that age group. Ha! But, when I change it to 30-39 there are 6 people and I am second (with Sara first), ahead of a couple of young 31 year olds! Ha ha! It kind of took the sting out of not getting the overall PR. I was 36th out of 109 finishers and 1st in my age group. That's not bad. Ironically the last time I was 1st in my age group was when I set my PR, nearly three years ago. 

Darlene, Sara, me, Elisa & Melissa with her big-ass trophy.

I told my new pal Lauren Fleshman (okay, we're not pals, but how cool would that be?) that I didn't break my overall PR and had disappointed her. She unknowingly gave me the best advice ever with her response. She said I didn't let her down and that "worked hard=win." I have been obsessing over numbers and paces and competing with someone 3 years younger, with fewer kids, no awareness of kidney stones (maybe no stones at all!), no hydration issues. I will try to get as close as I can to that 26:30, but from now I am going to leave the past behind and just be the best runner I can be TODAY. I am going to stop stressing over times and paces and just do the best I can and remember that this is supposed to be fun. When I set my last PR I wasn't expecting it, I wasn't trying to, all I was doing was trying to do the best I could. As long as I work hard, I win. It doesn't matter what the time on my watch says.