Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The quiz results confirmed that I am best suited for the middle distance. I also realized, however, that training with the stroller best supports that distance (8-13 mile races). While I have strapped a child into the stroller to do 20-mile training runs, I was also just a little lucky that her temperament was suited to that sort of thing and I don't know if I have it in me to push the double jogger for 20 miles. On the other side of things, it is nearly impossible to keep the same posture and biomechanics one would need for sprinting when you are pushing a stroller. So watch out 10-milers! Here I (we) come!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
You can now follow seeMOMMYrun on (http://twitter.com/seemommyrun )! If you have no clue what I'm talking about - go see for yourself.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Do you remember the days when everyone DIDN"T have a dishwasher or you, as the kid in the family, WERE the dishwasher?
Do you remember standing at the sink with your mom or grandma washing all the dishes after dinner? The smell of those vintage detergents....the conversations...the re-dues after you missed a spot?
I forgot alot of this in my busy grown up life where I put everything except the pots and pans in the machine that cleans them for me.
I keep liquid dishsoap for those pots and pans. Recently I bought a new bottle of Palmolive...because it was the cheapest one that week on the shelves. I didn't think much about it until the first time I used it.....flooding back came memories of my late grandmother. She was my favorite family member the whole time I was growing up and she only used Palmolive....I think it had to do with the whole "hand softening" thing... http://www.truveo.com/Palmolive-Softens-Hands-While-You-Do-the-Dishes/id/2138972249 Anyways the smell the texture it all transported me back to my childhood and I suddenly "missed" doing dishes.
A few weeks after that my oldest son came home from college for Thanksgiving. After dinner I asked him to help me wash the pots and pans from dinner.....of course we used Polmolive. This chore became a great time of the holiday. He washed, I dried, we talked, I made him "re-due" some and we ended up washing ALL the dishes rather than just the pots and pans. It was a great mom/son one on one moment. Now, I don't think he would outwardly tell anyone he enjoyed washing dishes with his mom but I can tell he did. Give it a try, you might be suprised!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
When I got home, my son, who had had a minor cough, now had a heavy cough and a runny nose. So off to our respective doctor's we went. Luckily, all he needed was cough syrup. Mommy, on the other hand, needed a full ten days of antibiotics.
And this three days before hosting Thanksgiving. Three days before guests and cooking and, and, and...
I got through it. Don't we always? I mean, really, don't we always just put on a show and save the day.
But my muscles ache. Not from illness, but from lack of exercise and I feel guilty and am not looking forward to the sore muscles once I have resumed my crazy, whacked out, completely obsessed fitness routine. Well, maybe the sadist/masochist in me is looking forward to it just a wee little bit.
Mommies, if you are sick, REST. We make our kids and husbands do it. Pull some of that Mommy Power on yourself. I did. And come Monday, that road is all mine.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Yesterday, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon, my third marathon, but my first in six years (first since getting married and having kids, though I have done plenty of halves and other distances). I was very well trained and my Plan A was a 3:50 finish. I even had my PaceTat (I love these). At the start, I found the 3:50 pace group. I focused on staying with them and missed the first few mile markers. At about 5 miles, I realized that they were running 8:20s-8:30s, far faster than the intended 8:45s. (Do I misunderstand what pace groups are supposed to do?)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So, now that we are revisiting cold weather, I'm finding that this dependence on the stroller has adjusted my tolerances. In an earlier blog about cold weather running, I think that I defined my minimum temperature for taking a baby in the stroller to be about 40 deg F. This year, with this baby, we are redrawing that line at 30 deg F. Poor baby #3...*
*Don't worry, this baby is well-protected by the cold with a snowsuit and blankets and wind/rain shield. She sleeps like, well, a baby :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I think there is a Mommy Running group near me. I'm going back to the web site and sign up now. My almost 2 year old would like it and weather is no excuse here. Funny thing is I'm not 200lbs. Surely I thought I'd be 200lbs plus if I were not frantically running around. I'm happier running though and do not have my fallback of living among an athletic community to inspire me. It has to come from inside me. Ok, here goes, time for me to sign up!!! I'm going to find a turkey trot too.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yes, my back has been hurting, but I am fortunate enough to be able to feel it. Unlike a young paraplegic I recently was fortunate enough to care for.
Yes, I am sad my hubby is in a war zone ~~ but I am lucky enough to be able to be married and to a great guy who dedicates a large portion of his life for the protection of others. Many never find "the right one"
Yes, my oldest is going a bit crazy~~ But I am so grateful that he has the physical capability to do stupid college things. He could be in a wheelchair or worse.
Yes, my other 3 boys can be overwhelming some days~~ But how lucky I am to have them and watch them grow, although too quickly. So many want but can't have children.
Yes, I run slow, no matter how much I run, I just won't ever be fast~~ But at least I have legs that CAN run at all. I got back out there today for my first post sprain walk/run and now I am loving my sore muscles because I have the ability to make them sore and the ability to feel it.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, we all have so much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Well, a lot can be gained from running races even if you are not particularly close to the top.
5. Many races are beautiful courses that are not accessible under normal conditions.
4. Particularly for longer distances, the support is nice so you don't have to carry water, etc.
3. It is a goal to aim for that can really help motivate you to get out the door to train.
2. Improves your speed.
1. The whole family gains enthusiasm for running.
My husband and I run in a lot of races so we signed the kids up for a local Halloween Costume Fun Run. When they've done it themselves, they can start to better understand the need for Mommy to practice before her big race. Plus, we hope that they stay interested in running as they get older. It is good for their health and it is an activity that the whole family can do together, even as the kids outgrow the stroller. Now we'll see how that works out...
Addendum: The very next day, the kids were sprinting back and forth in the driveway (in the rain) while chanting, "The marathon, the marathon!"
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Man - What a run! Yesterday, oh around 3pm, I decided to sign up for the Keller Williams Run For the Water 10 Miler happening 7am today (Sunday). You see, I'm running San Antonio's Rock & Roll Half Marathon next weekend and I needed to get one last 8-10 mile run in...only I knew I was going to be HIGHLY unmotivated to run on this morning if I went out on my own. I haven't convinced anyone to join my See Mommy Run long run group yet, so normally I'm covering milage all by myself. I'm tired of my thoughts. I don't find myself witty.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The purpose of the book is to illustrate the ways that running and motherhood transform each other. The book looks at the connections that mother-runners draw between these two aspects of their lives, in terms of their day-to-day experience, identities, and sense of community.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Now, how to train (and shed those extra pounds). Well, there are the seemommyrun groups...there is a FREE charity training group (and you don't have to fund a charity)...there's Hal Higdon online...So I tried to do all of that. And then the ear infections hit. And the fevers. Sick kids put a damper on the best laid plans.
I ended up getting about 3 days a week in. I took days off of work for those long runs, but still only made it up to 16 miles before getting a nasty case of strep myself...which lasted for 3 weeks, right up to the week before the marathon. Great!
2 days before race day, I mapped out a course to cheat. I really did! I went out for a run, made it about 10 minutes with my beaten up lungs, and mapped out a course to cut out a few miles.
Then race day came. I hoped for a good running day. I woke up at 4:45 and arrived at the Pentagon IN THE DARK. It was dark! And cold!!!! So we waited. I used the Brooks VIP restroom (which really wasn't all that, but it WAS warm). I moved with my sister in law to the 4:15 pace group, thinking at least I wouldn't be at the back of the pack. I'd have a head start! My sister in law WHO IS 29 and childless finished in 4:16. I won't state my time.
Now the good stuff:
- I didn't cheat! You can't cheat on race day! You lose all bragging rights and it can't truly count as a completion. I couldn't live with myself.
- The weather was the best weather ever.
- I kept a fairly decent pace throughout the first 16 miles, which is as far as I had trained.
- I finished. The bus didn't meet me at the bridge!
- It's not even a week later and I am fully recovered.
This race is reminiscent of my first marathon, especially time-wise. I am calling it a re-building year. I needed the goal of a marathon to get my body back in shape post-baby, and now I am preparing for the next one: Philly in 2009.
I enjoyed myself, and I proved to my son that I could get out there and do it. Honestly, I think that is what got me through. This was Harry's 4th marathon he's been to in 4 years. He gets to experience that there is such a thing, and all different types of people can complete it. I bought him a book about Miles, the MCM mascot which explains the marathon, and he couldn't have been prouder about his experiences when he took it to school the next day to share it with the class.
A father and daughter team were running near me for a few miles. their shirts read "Father" and "Daughter." I thought that was so great. My own father has spina biffida. He walks with a limp, but he won't be running any marathons, so it's not something we can do together, but Harry and I are BOTH looking forward to our first marathon together. I can't wait!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Well, let me tell you. Being over 30 happens. Gray hair happens. Pregnancy does a funny thing to your hips and breasts and it takes quite a bit of effort to make the whole thing look voluptuous and, well, effortless. The one thing I wasn't ready for was the face slide, the droopy lids, the stern mouth. (or, as my daughter says, Don't look at me like that! Trust me, honey, if I could wipe this look off my face, I would...)
Yesterday at the library The Yoga Face literally jumped off the shelf at me. I tried it last night and already today I looked at myself in the mirror and winked! It's amazing.
Make sure you do it where nobody can watch you though. I'd hate for your Yoga Face workout to become an Internet viral sensation!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
(That is 2 adults, 3 kids and 2 strollers.)
When we had just one stroller, whoever was faster at the moment, depending on who was training for what or whether I was pregnant or not, would push it to slow him/me down. This is the conundrum that my husband and I have encountered when trying to run together.
There are four possible scenarios:
1. If the woman is pushing the stroller and the husband is struggling to keep up, he's a wimp.
2. If the woman is pushing the stroller and the husband is clearly faster, he's a jerk.
3. If the man is pushing the stroller and he is clearly slower, he's a control freak.
4. If the man is pushing the stroller and he is clearly faster, he's a show-off.
What's a guy to do? ;)
So now that we both have to push a stroller if we want to run together, I'm glad that I can keep up (i.e. save face) for the shorter distances, at least, despite the 2-month-old baby!
Both times, my blood pressure went way up (it is usually low), either when labor began or in the day or two before my due date. The midwives did not think “preeclampsia,” though they monitored for that. They, and I, knew it was anxiety. My mind over body powers are enhanced by anxiety. I swear that the anxiety prevented regular, productive contractions during my second labor, which was induced. The monitors did not help. When I was un-hooked from them, my contractions improved (if “improved” can possibly be the right word here). In the end, the painful pitocin was necessary (but quick!).
Unfortunately, I am feeling the same way about the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23. I have not run a marathon in six and a half years. I have started three and finished two marathons in my lifetime. The first was the best experience and time: New York City in 1999. The second, New York in 2000, I did not finish (calves turned to stone at mile 19). I ran the third, the National Marathon in DC in 2002, with a pace group; the pace leader was focused on catching us up to the clock (isn’t that what the chip is for?), that we ran each mile 20-30 seconds faster than advertised, and I had to slow way down and even walk some after mile 20.
I want to get it right this time. But my anxiety may psych me out. I know I am a strong, determined runner. And I’m even kind of fast. I followed my training schedule and am well-trained. (Though I do feel a little beaten down by the training, but that is why we taper for three or more weeks, right?) People do this all the time and even have fun – which is what I want. (And I’ve not heard anyone call childbirth “fun.”) So I need to calm the heck down, right?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
After a mile or so warm-up run to the "track*," and a few shuffles here and there to prepare the rest of the muscles, Coach announced we'd be running Yasso 800's: Select your marathon goal time and run approximately a half mile using that number. Say you want to run a 5 hour marathon: run your 800 in 5 minutes. 4 1/2 hour marathon goal? 4:30 minute 800.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was a good run.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
So, "Why torture yourself?" one might ask. I think that they are learning a good lesson. Walking is good exercise. It is better for the environment than driving. It is a nice opportunity to talk about our day. We can watch as the leaves start to change colors. It is a routine that they can expect everyday. I think that it is even good for their self esteem to see that they can accomplish this - because sometimes they find it difficult...or so they say.
It is also good exercise for me since sometimes I do have pity and give piggy-back rides. My 2 1/2-year old coined it a "Mama sandwich" with the baby on the front and the toddler on the back! I continue to have the highest respect for Sherpas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherpa).
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
It's a runner thing, right?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
First point, they do make triple joggers. I have a couple friends, God bless them, who actually run with three kids across. Wow. These strollers are expensive, however, but very useful when all three kids are too young for school. You will not fit through doorways with this stroller!
Second point, when I chose the witty name "runningfor3" I did not actually know I was pregnant with my third child yet so I was counting myself. Sort of like the time my husband and I purchased a brand new lightweight tent for all those long backpacking trips we were going to do. Then I figured out I was pregnant about ten days later. Sure, that tent has gotten a lot of use...
Third point: If I have all three kids with me, I can't actually run, but I can walk with the infant in a carrier while the other two ride in the stroller. Transporting 90+ pounds of children plus equipment is not really enjoyable though you will feel the burn AND possibly earn your honorary Sherpa status.
Solution: Divide and conquer. I run while Turkey #1 is in school. Sometimes on weekends, I take the baby or the baby and another so Daddy doesn't have to deal with all three at the same time. I have friends that have taken their kids to do track work. Park them right in the middle and then you can seem them all the time as you run in circles.
PS. There is also the stroller playdate. If you can find a friend that has an older child in school and he/she can push one of your kids while you push the other two. That could be fun for all.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is really a confession: I haven't been giving everything my all. I've been lazy. But I'm giving it a push-ungh-you know, the kind of push you give when you are determined to pass the runner in front of you, the kind of push you give when you are determined to cross the finish line at full speed. The book I'm writing, the padding around my waist and belly, I'm sick of not getting it done.
I'm rocking some jeans I couldn't get into two months ago (because of the vegan thing, because I'm adding time and mileage to my runs) and the book is becoming something more beautiful than I could have imagined (because I'm allowing it to evolve rather than forcing it to become what I think it should be).
My new mantra: Trust the process.
Tell me about your everyday 'ungh's.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Imagine! I sometimes meet some resistance from my 2-year-old when we are loading up the stroller for a run. I offer, "Spencer, do you want the big streets or little streets?" He answers, "Big streets!" Do you want to bring Goldfish or Cheerios? OK, we're off.
Now, the most likely pitfall is that your child will change his or her mind. Don't show a minute's hesitation. Be firm. No changing.
What other choices do your kids like to make for themselves?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Did I mention she gave birth to her daughter in January 2008?
A race like that is pretty time consuming. But she has some great posts describing how she squeezes sessions in.
"...if I need to do a run longer than 30min, I do the first part outside and once I get home I put her down for a nap and then hop on the treadmill with the baby monitor."
"I start my ride during her first nap of the day. Once she wakes up, she starts her own session in the Jumperoo which sits next to me in the garage while I bike. Her Jumperoo tolerance has decreased from 40min to 20min so most of my rides are only about an hour long. I did go longer today though and got 1hr 27min. My trick was to haul the Pack 'n Play out to the garage so she played in that for about 20 mins. It helps that I have playlists on YouTube of all her favorite kid music such as Laurie Berkner and the theme to WonderPets."
Anyhow, I dig this Iron
Saturday, September 13, 2008
1. Heartbreak Hill, Boston Marathon (Boston, MA)
2. Hayes Street Hill, Bay to Breakers 12K (San Francisco, CA)
3. Queensboro Bridge, NYC Marathon (New York, NY)
4. Doomsday Hill, Lilac Bloomsday 12K (Spokane, WA)
5. Mt. Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington Road Race (Gorham, NH)
6. Cardiac Hill, Peachtree 10K (Atlanta, GA)
7. Hospital Hill, Hospital Hill Half-Marathon (Kansas City, MO)
8. Gallows Lane, Litchfield Hills Road Race (Litchfield, CT)
9. Diamond Head Avenue, Honolulu Marathon (Honolulu, HI)
10. Hurricane Point, Big Sur Internat'l Marathon (Big Sur, CA)
Whoa! Have you been to Mt. Washington? That is not even on the same scale as these other hills! I understand that there is a big mental component to "daunting" beyond simple elevation gain or percent grade, but only #5? Really? Admittedly, I've never had to run up Heartbreak Hill at mile 20, but my CAR could barely DRIVE up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. (Side note: NH's Presidential Range is where I got engaged.) So that is almost 8 miles, rising 4,650 feet. Mt. Washington averages 12% grade vs only 4.5% for Heartbreak Hill (less than 90 foot elevation gain over 0.37 miles).
I've run over Diamond Head Ave (#9) many times both with and without my jogging stroller too and that it ranks a measly 4 places after Mt. Washington also baffles me. It just isn't that hard. In the marathon, it is dark the first time you go over, so that barely counts. Perhaps that I have run over it so many times with Maddie in the stroller, makes the races over it that much easier. At least I was by myself!
So run big hills with your jogging stroller! It will be much easier when you are racing later and not pushing those extra pounds on wheels! But who will hold your water?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
You probably don't have tons of time for pleasure reading, but if you can squeeze a page in while on the elliptical machine at the gym or one chapter at a time after the kids go to bed, I highly recommend these books I've read recently:
The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Ultimate Fitness by Gina Kolata
Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox
Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich
Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-night Runner by Dean Karnazes
None of the are how-to books. There are no training plans or diets. Just stories about athletes. I'm sure there are many others that I just can't think of at the moment.
What books you would recommend to inspire one's inner athlete?
Also, we have become vegetarians and are on our way to being vegans. Our original reasons were for health, but we now find ourselves settling quite nicely into this wonderful and inspiring lifestyle. Last night I made the most delicious portobello burgers ever. The daughter was not excited in the beginning. She definitely played the part of victim with relish (no pun intended--get it, I'll have a victim with relish--okay, not funny. I've been pushing my brain to put together a plot all day and this fatigue of thought is the result) I'd really like to blog about the whole vegetarian thing and I will as soon as I get this darn book that I've been working on finished. In November I'll have been working on it for four years. It's funny the route a book takes to get written. I am such a slow writer.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
- Hot (or at least warm - 80+ F) most of the year
- Enough cool coffee shops/bakeries around that the staff don't say: "Wow - I've never seen anyone fill up their frequent user card in 3 days before!"
- Townies who will say hello when you look them in the eyes
- Bike lanes ...and riders of all shapes & sizes who actually use them
- Drivers who allow pedestrians to cross at crosswalks and elsewhere
- Band fliers stapled to light posts (honestly, that's a real standard for me)
- Festivals, Festivals, Festivals
- Creeks or rivers without a single alligator
- Police aren't summoned when there is a guy on the main drag in drag.
- Restaurants and other businesses in old houses (I'm a sucker for it).
- Really creative graffiti.
- And of course, lots of runners.
You know you're a slow runner if:
* Your shih tzu is waiting for you at the next water station.
* The dust from your grandma's walker has already settled.
* Your 8GB iPod starts repeating the same songs.
* You started at 5 o'clock and the bats have already flown.
Unfortunately, their prose is more entertaining than accurate, for I ended up huffing and puffing a mile behind them, trying to signal "I'm okay! I'll catch up!" in between hills. But that's fine. It's good for me to try harder and check out the scenery. Besides, without the distraction of a group, I was able to people watch and read from the flier whose playing at Stubb's tonight.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
My first inclination was to throw caution to the wind and jog anyway. I've done this recovery thing 2 times before and I ran up until just couple weeks before delivery so I was feeling a little cocky until I got the rebuke. My wonderfully level-headed midwife had a very compelling argument about internal organs and connective tissues. So, since there is no strength training I know about for internal organs of the abdominal region, that seemed like advice I should heed.
Plan B: Low-impact cardio and strength training to prevent injury when I can eventually resume running. While it is obvious that my abdominal muscles are weaker post-pregnancy, my hips have been also stretched and my quads have been rested, so everything needs to get a little stronger. This is especially important since when I do start running, as I will be just a little heavier than at my athletic peak ;)
It is still probably unwise for one to begin a brand new sport at this point, but I resumed Step aerobics to target leg strength and low impact cardio. I also resumed moderate weights for upper body and core conditioning. All core exercises are approached with caution at this point since the goal is basically just to get the two side of my abs back together and to support my back.
Finally, I've been walking, of course. I'm happy to report that I'm faster than I was three weeks ago when the man with the cane passed right by me. This is also good practice for the baby to work up to running in the jogging stroller.
So, perhaps this is old-hat to me, but there is some consolation in remembering that it is new for little Francesca, so for her sake, we'll take it slow.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wait. I don't really know how to get my point across for this post. I'm incapacitated because my running community lost another and I'm no longer living close enough to my friends to cry with them. Carlos was hit by a car...while with a group of 20+, who were actually just one subgroup of over 600 runners in the marathon training program. He was crossing the street in the wee early morning, the last in his group, when a car plowed through. My friend heard the driver say that there were all these people in the road and he didn't know where to go so he had to hit someone. It was the shock talking - perhaps the car rolling three times - but my god, he realized he had to hit someone?
That group OWNS the street on Saturday mornings. Each weekend at 6 am, they are out there, 600 hundred of them, running and talking and socializing. Like a sea of salmon swimming against the flow of traffic, thinking about races and gu and politics and family or about nothing but the steps they are taking. The power of numbers deludes you into believing you are invincible.
But the problem is drivers think they are invincible, too. They are able to text or talk on their phones, they can yell at the talk radio, they can turn right from the left lane, they can roll through stop signs or like witnesses to the crash believe about the driver, they can drive themselves home from the bar.
So be safe out there. Keep your head up and one earbud out. Don't assume they see you or think they can stop in time. Change your mantra to: Run Safe.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I have probably mentioned before that my mother died on July 11, 2007, from ovarian cancer. She had moved back to Sydney when I was 19 and in college. I went out often. She came back often. She was fabulous (not to idealize -- she also could annoy me more than anyone else).
This trip was the first I could make to sort and clear out her apartment in Redfern, a suburb in the city. "Suburb" means a neighborhood -- it is a proper part of Sydney, not outside of it.) I am her only child, so I was pretty much on my own, though I cannot slight the help of my uncle and my step brother (whose father died 10 months before my mother did -- this is turning in to a bummer of a post, anyway...).
I was there for a mere two weeks, with my younger son, Az, who is now 14 months old. I left husband and 4-year old Iz at home. (Iz needs action, structure, not sorting and packing.) No way I was going to get everything done. I was non-stop (well, except for stopping every 30-60 minutes to feed, entertain, comfort Az or get him to sleep -- as non-stop as a mom can be). I sorted boxes in the two-car garage underneath the building. I sorted the office of a writer (my mother was an excellent one -- look her up, Glenda Adams) -- including the notes, the novel in progress, the copies of books, the reference books. It was incredible. And I could not throw out her writing. No way.
What does all of this have to do with running? Well. Since I started running, my mother encouraged me to run the Sun Herald City to Surf in Sydney. And I did twice while she was alive. And she would be at the Lamrock Cafe when I finished, waiting for me with a flat white coffee.
The race covers 14 kilometers, or 8.7 miles, from the center of the city to famous Bondi Beach. I have now run it three times, in 2000, 2003 and 2008 (just a week and a half ago). My best time, go figure, was the most recent. Five years older, two kids later, sleep deprived because Az was waking up at least three times a night. I finished 6,000 and something out of 70,000 registered runners. (Yes, 70,000 -- it is a crazy-huge race. This may explain the few moments of rude behavior I experienced -- deliberate elbowing, running into, etc.)
The race is gorgeous. Especially once it gets to the water. The course is very, very hilly along the southern shore of Sydney Harbour. Heartbreak hill is a kilometer long, curving, winding up a headland. That may not sound long, but that is only the longest hill, not the lone hill. Volunteers handed out heart-shaped sponges soaked in cold water. Ahhhh.
Did I mention it is winter there? And winter is mild. Maybe 60 degrees at the height of the day. So the hill could have been worse, especially in August in the Washington, DC, region.
The race finishes at Bondi. We hit the northern end of the beach at the 13 kilometer mark -- still a kilometer to go. Sounds like nothing -- but six-tenths of a mile is not insignificant when you feel ready to sprint to the finish. Still, I felt great. But that beach is darn long.
My step brother's girlfriend was at the Lamrock Cafe waiting for me. (My uncle had Az, but we met up with them nearby.)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Photos of Olympic Moms
Now add to that list yesterday's winner - by a lot! - of the women's marathon, Constantina Tomescu. In addition to having a kid, at 38, she was the oldest competitor to ever win this event.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I suppose that occasionally washing off the mud, lubricating moving parts and rotating the tires wouldn't hurt...
* Customer service at Dreamer Design has been VERY helpful with ordering replacement parts.
We made it to Texas and 80 houses later we bought a foreclosure and will close hopefully next week. At first running trails were very important. Later pools, bedrooms for visiting elderly family, and walking distance schools won out. In the end we were picking up a friend for a play-date who was visiting from KY and saw a foreclosure next door. I peeked in the window and quite honestly the hardwood floors had me at hello. It needs work, but it has the pool, strange floor plan, etc.. but I'll have to run on the street to get to sidewalks, hmmmm. Will this work? I did find a very cool park with running trails in the shade that will entail getting the running stroller in the car.
I've injured my left knee too-- never had this much time off from running in 20 years. I almost thought about becoming a walker and saving the knees (Runner's World insists running does not cause knee problems and I believe them).
Well, I'm off to find some running Moms in Houston who do not think I'm too geriatric to run with. We're civilians now- Army over civilian life lets go!
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I'll start with a recap of my AM today....
I awoke bright and early to get in a run while also running an errand to the local ACE hardware to pick up picture hangers ( I Love to multi-task....it makes me feel so smug! HA, HA day, I got two things done!!!). However, instead of donning my running shoes right away, I got on the computer and had some coffee......over 2 hours later, I headed out....in Eastern NC, in Aug, after 9:45....
More than half way through the 6 mile round trip, I found myself really hot and obviously it was affecting my normally "good" judgement......I found myself running on the roadside, trying to get closer to the traffic for the incredibly great feeling breeze the vehicles created as they drove past............I really need to go out earlier!!!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I guess I'm pretending like I'm still being paid to lead corporate team building events. I've been writing cryptic crosswords, scrambling sentences, compiling photo puzzles and holding onto a big fat grin. So far, around 40 people from our running community have RSVP'd. If you're in the Miami area this Thursday night and want to come out, send me a note. It outta be a fun night!
Monday, August 04, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Anyway, here are my thoughts on jogging strollers:
1. Terrain: Do you primarily jog on smooth roads or bumpy trails? Knobby tires will only require more energy to push so you don't need them if you aren't on bumpy roads that require greater traction and resistance to flats. Furthermore, though suspension sounds great, unless you are actually running on very bumpy terrain, it will just make more work for you to push through the suspension in order to make turns. Your kids can take it.
2. Storage: No problem here if you just roll it into the garage, but if you have to fold and/or carry the stroller at all, consider weight, ease of collapse and folded dimensions. Stick with 16" wheels rather than 20" which will take up much more space.
3. Cost: You could easily spend over $500 on a double stroller, but consider if you really need that. If you anticipate that your stroller will get relatively light use, there is no need to buy the most expensive on the market.
4. Wheels: The swivel front wheel makes turning easier if you primarily walk, but it is inferior to the fixed front wheel for running. Though you can usually lock the swivel wheel into place, the chances of it tracking crooked are greater than a fixed wheel and these strollers are often heavier.
5. Uses: Is this stroller exclusively for exercise or does it also go on errands and such? Lots of storage space and pockets plus a slimmer width for doorways are both helpful if this stroller is going to the grocery store.
6. Separate sun shades: If you have 2 kids, you'll want to be able to adjust seat backs and sun shades separately.
7. Accommodating an infant seat: Personally, I consider this totally unnecessary. How fast do you really think you are going?
8. Where to buy: www.joggingstroller.com has a huge selection and fantastic customer service.
Some brands to consider:
Baby Jogger Performance strollers are ideal for high mileage road runners.
The cost of a BOB stroller is not necessary unless you actually run on trails - which I do without a BOB anyway.
Dreamer Design and Kelty are good compromise options.
In Step is a good low cost alternative, but may not hold up well to heavy use.
Would YOU want to be the kid in the bottom seat of a Phil and Ted stroller?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Have you ever had a co-worker that just rubbed you wrong in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY??? I mean really...... I don't like to use the word "hate", but I really get that feeling when I am around her. Well, I should say, I haven't seen or worked with her in over 5 years..............
What should I do?? I almost turned the job down, but is is a good stepping stone to better instructor positions in the future...
Please help and tell me how you'd all handle such a mess!!
Well, could you?
Having run in sub-zero temperatures, I suspect that the suits needed to keep warm initially would at some point become excruciatingly uncomfortable and the focus of the run would become a concentration on temperature, with everything else forgotten.
Which might actually make the run bearable.
I'm all about allowing my mind to escape. Otherwise I might find myself weighted down by that daily marathon we all run.
How tough are you?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I was a much younger woman then, just beginning to appreciate the beautiful gift of exteme patience being taught to me moment by infuriating moment.
Airline rules were different then, too. I won't write now of my first international flight post 9/11. Just know that I cried once we got past security and into the sequestered area of Frankfurt's airport reserved for airlines of American origin.
A significant change in flying, one that I'm sure would have sent my cup of patience overflowing is the need for child restraints.
I wish you great peace of mind if you are going to be traveling with a young one.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But now I have done something that scares me a bit: I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23. Hm. I have not run a marathon in six years -- not since getting married and having kids. I run a lot, and I have a good strong base. I am as fast as I was when I ran my first marathon in 1999. But marathons are scary. From personal experience, I know anything can happen after about 18 miles. No matter how well-trained one is.
I ran one fabulous marathon, my first, in NYC. I did not finish my second in NYC. Then I finished, but had a truly miserable time after about 19 miles, the Washington DC Marathon (the one in March of 2002 that had only one official running; the race organizer went bankrupt the next year). Half marathons are fun -- and tough -- but not out of control. I love half marathons.
So I am scared. But I am going to do it. I think. I hope. What training plans do people swear by? I have a strong base now -- I can cover 12 miles "easily", and I even completed 15 a week ago. Week one of an 18-week plan starts on August 4 -- when I will be away in Sydney, Australia, (alone with my 13-month-old) sorting and clearing my mother's apartment. So I can't get crazy-serious until I return, on August 13.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Last week, upon realizing I had a Sprint Triathlon in 5 days, with nary a training plan in site, I flipped out and completed a Brick Workout to end all Brick Workouts. (Okay, exaggerated a bit, but in my mind, I was in the Olympic Trials.)
In keeping with the idea of a "tri," I hopped on my bike and sprinted the 3 miles to my gym, swam for 30 minutes straight, headed to the treadmill for 3 miles, then sprinted home on my bike.
I was exhausted...and couldn't walk the next day. So...back to tapering. And by tapering, I mean not exercising at all. No amount of training could help me just a few days before an event...if anything, it would just fatigue my muscles, so I changed my attitude about this race.
You see, I'm moving out-of-state in 3 weeks. My good friend and running buddy talked me into this race as a "last hoorah." This would probably be my last chance to see the people I've confessed more to than my husband and all those folks who I feel like I know because we see each other on the trail or at races. I began to accept that I wouldn't break any of my records, so I might as well just enjoy the ocean view while I have it. It was a "Farewell to Miami Party" and I was going to try to have fun.
And amazing things happened.
- I slept great the night before. (Traditionally, before races, my mind competes against my body: nightmares about oversleeping, getting lost on the race route or not being able to find the starting line.)
- I didn't want to vomit at the starting line. When the gun went off, I jumped in and actually swam freestyle (normally, my heart pounds SO hard in fear that I can't breathe, so I do the backstroke).
- I started passing other women on their mountain bikes and even some road bikes.
- On the run, I didn't feel like taking walk breaks. Instead I chit chatted with runners around me.
- I didn't long for the end of the race to come.
I think I have found my perfect training plan!
(sorry -i'm having font/size issues!)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Anyways, if anyone has any pointers on beach running, I'd love to hear them. In my new community most of the other runners are in their 50s and 60s which makes me the youngster.....gotta LOVE that....maybe that is why my motivation hasn't withered away!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It may not be clear if you're stopping by the blog for the first time, but there are over a dozen contributors to the See Mommy Run blog. You might say that it should be called See Mommies Blog. If you look down at the very bottom of each post, you'll see the author's name. Also, a list of us all can be found just to the left.
Just a small explanation for those who wondered if schizophrenia was at play here.
Oh, Pacific Northwest, how I love you so!
You bike, you run, you walk, you kayak, you hike, you have public transportation!
Anyhow, I only slipped one delicious run in, but my training took a different twist. I had to carry my 43" inch tall, 45 lb 3 year old (yes...he measures as a 5 year old) around A LOT. I mean for many, many, many hours....day after day after day after day, etc. My arms & shoulders are still sore, but definitely stronger. Not the workout I'd recommend, but hey, just making lemonade.
Unfortunately, it was after several weeks of...well...casually exercise (to be generous), that I have recalled that I am registered for a sprint Triathlon this weekend. In 5 days, to be more precise.
Oh, God, I'm home...and have to
So my training will effectively be backward: taper, taper, taper, panic & brick workouts 5 days in a row.
If I don't write by next Monday, send help.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
How steep is the hill vs how heavy is your stroller? The first hill we go down at the start of our regular route is so steep that I actually walk backwards down it with the jogging stroller.
Generally, however, downhill is a great opportunity to cut a little time and to practice faster turnover (i.e. how quickly you put one foot in front of the other). This is just one of the reasons why jogging strollers have a hand brake and a runaway strap.
Even if it makes your arm get sweaty - ALWAYS USE YOUR RUNAWAY STRAP!
To use your hand brake effectively, you need to lean INTO it. As you squeeze the lever with your left hand, consider using only the palm of your right hand to push rather than gripping the handle which could inadvertently apply a downward force. This keeps the front wheel in contact with the ground (the only way the brake will work) plus it will put less pressure on your knees and keep your form better. You will maintain much more control than either trying to pull the stroller back or simply trying to run as fast as the stroller rolls.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
THE ESCAPE ROUTE
The Escape Route: Escaping from Prison Hill is a daunting task….much like a real prison break. But before you are sent to “prison” you must do the crime! The first part of this course is a “crime”. For the first 3/4 mile you will find yourself on a fairly flat, dirt/gravel road that circles the interior of the Silver Saddle Ranch. As you complete this section of the race you get a little sloppy in your work and the authorities begin chase. Life gets a bit tougher here as you begin your initial ascent onto Prison Hill. You begin this section with a climb via single-track onto Prison Hill in an effort to thwart the authorities. For approximately the next 4-1/2 miles you are faced with a series of “small ups and downs” that will begin to test whether or not you even considered training for this event. Finally, you complete this section of the course (by thwarting the local authorities) and begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor…or so you think. You will now begin a descent along the western face of Prison Hill, approximately 1 mile. Once here, you continue to “live it up” along the mostly flat terrain for the next 2 miles, thinking that you will never get caught.
Ha!! You fell right into the arms of the authorities. Someone is going to prison. If you are doing this event solo, it is you. If you are part of a relay team then your partner is going to prison. The next 1/2 mile is a series of short, fast, rolling hills that bring you to “Prison”…a 1 mile ascent on the south slope of Prison Hill with 800 feet of altitude gain. Once at the top you realize that you just can’t stand it anymore and you begin your “ESCAPE”. You begin with a spectacular descent down the south-eastern slope towards the Carson River, thinking that by dousing yourself in the river you will lose the dogs that are following your scent. For approximately 1-1/2 miles you try to evade your followers but it doesn’t work. They’re hot on your trail. You make a dash across the Mexican Dam and run a flat course back towards the Start/Finish thinking that you’d be lost in a crowd. It begins to work…for 1-mile that is. Just when you think you’ve eluded the authorities you’re faced with one last challenge. You begin a 1/4 mile ascent on a single-track that actually takes you away from the finish. You can’t believe it. You ask yourself if it can get any worse. Actually, no! With just over a mile to go it’s mostly flat with a final 1/4 mile into the chute. You’re finally done! You’ve ESCAPED!
I chose this race because my father lives in Carson City and I thought this would make for a nice trip.
If anyone has any training tips, feel free to throw them at me! Right now I'm working on running to the tune of Free Bird--easy pace and then speed it up all the way through the guitar solo.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
People often equate pregnancy and/or labor with running a marathon (including Natalie Morales of The Today Show in the Aug 08 Runner's World). How much one buys into that probably depends on whether you've ever run a marathon, but one thing that is for certain is that both require MOTIVATION to stay positive!
During my second pregnancy, my two-year-old daughter came over to me in bed one morning, looks at me and says, "Are you mean mom or nice mom today?" That was a wake-up call! I guess I was pretty grumpy. So now I'm on my third and I am in an entirely different state of mind.
How does one stay motivated while running or otherwise? Can you see “the light at the end of the tunnel”? Sometimes seeing that n-1 mile marker or even the finish line is what you need. Of course, in pregnancy, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is actually the headlights of an on-coming train!
So working out helps me stay positive about the tail end of pregnancy. I stay motivated to work out because I know how much easier it will be to recover post-baby. I stay motivated to push that HEAVY jogging stroller because it is making me so much stronger and faster whenever I have the chance to run stroller-free. And I stay motivated to race because I am just so darn competitive. The faster you run, the faster you’re done!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I just have to take a moment here to mourn a lost athlete. Although I barely knew her, she inspired me greatly.
When I tell the story of my first-ever triathlon last Summer - of how I started in the "leftover" wave filled with first-timers, Athenas, mountain bikes and age 40+ women - it often turns into a comic display. I explain that since each athlete's age is marked on her calf, I knew that the woman next to me in the corral was 64. Babette introduced herself when she could see how nervous I was and told me that I would be just fine. She gave me some tips on how I should be warming up and then took her place at the waterline.
From there, the story painstakingly details how Babette clobbers me at each stage and how she is in fresh clothes by the time I cross the finish line. Babette is the reason I signed up for the next Key Biscayne triathlon a month later. She is the reason I vowed to go to spin class twice a week and why I bought fins to train better in the pool. And after she trampled me effortlessly again, she was the reason I signed up for the third and final race of the Trilogy.
But although it was disappointing to be bested by someone over twice my age, Babette's poise merited utter respect. She contested atrophy with each climb into a new age category. She was at once motivating and formidable; youthful and seasoned. She loved the sport for the sake of the challenge and for the community that builds itself around it. Babette makes you remember that "Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Babette Kulka died last Wednesday, training in the choppy ocean waters of Hollywood, Florida.