Thursday, May 29, 2008

Now That Blogger Fixed it's Photo Bug.....

I can show you my new friends in Fredericksburg! Meet three of the fantastic members of Fredericksburg SeeMommyRun! From left to right, me (yikes on the posture!), Jamie, Laura and Stephanie. Thanks again ladies!
And one last mom sent me this one of me and my 8-year-old, Carter. This was the first time I saw the kids after the race. It was so fantastic to have my boys their and for them to see mommy do something other than laundry! All of us running moms are setting a fantastic example for our kids!



not racing.

baby steps to a marathon? I can only hope.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wii Fit

Has anyone tried the new Wii Fit? I got one this weekend. The first step, after entering your height and birth date, is to get on the board and have your weight measured giving the Wii your BMI. After that, you take a "balance test". It somehow puts all these things together and gives you your "Mii Age". After plugging in my height, and standing on the board for the various measurements and tests, I got my results: I am underweight, 55 years old (my actual age is only 38), off balance and 'much weaker' than I should be. Ah yes. That's the way to start my morning off right! I wonder if the folks over at Wii know about my medal??

Monday, May 26, 2008

Burke Lake Bingo

So, here's one activity we've used while running with the kids in the stroller. Grab a crayon and print out a copy for each kid. Just click on the above picture or paste into your web browser.

You can't change this PDF, but I just use Microsoft Word clip art to make different versions depending on the season or what types of things you see along your run. Have fun!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Desperate run

I've been feeling so crummy since I cut back my runs/workouts to just 2-3 times a week, so I decided, come hell or high water, I HAD to go for a run this morning. I had 1 hour between dropping my son off on his last (sniff) day of preschool and getting back for his party. Unfortunately, the sun was up and it felt like I was running on it!

I literally ran from shade to shade, zig zagging down the street and then finally settled on running along the main traffic vein because the cars zooming by created a breeze. That's desperate. After an ice-cold shower and lots of water, I feel great! I'm sick.

Here are some crazy statistics from my run this morning:
Miami weather: 95 degrees F
Humidity: 68%
Run time: 55 minutes
Body Temperature POST-run: 101 Degrees F
Water weight lost: 2.5 lbs

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


If you're going to make a goal, then, by-golly, make it a good one! And in that spirit I hereby announce my goal of running my first half-marathon in the fall of 2009 in one of my best friend's hometown of Udine, Italy. Take a look real quick. I'll wait. Are you back? No, I don't speak Italian either but I've asked my friend to translate the page for me. Of course, our common language is German...but, no matter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have to confess.....I haven't been blogging much because I haven't been running much......and I too am suppose to be running my 1st 1/2 marathon in less than two weeks. I have a plethera of excuses.......husband works in another state M-F, Four kids, Moving to said other state in a month, trying to get house rented, hurt my knee "again".....blah, blah, blah.........

Part of me wonders if I should just bail and try for one in the fall or if I should just go do it and if I gotta walk some, I gotta walk some.

I am so proud of you other first timers who diligently did your training......jealous too!!!! ashamed................

Fredericksburg SeeMommyRun Rocks!!

On Sunday I ran in the Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I've been training and stressing for this, my first half marathon, and have been filled with excitement and anticipation since November. Then on Sunday, it finally happened. Setting a goal is one thing, actually accomplishing it is something else. One year ago, I couldn't run one mile without stopping to walk at least 3 times. One year ago! Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles. Every single one of them. The last time I felt like this, I had a new baby in my arms. OK, maybe that's a bit much...that baby thing was a lot more work, but you know what I'm saying.

Thank you all for your well wishes and good advice that you gave me before the race, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. When I was younger, I was involved in sports and various clubs but it wasn't until I discovered running that I found a community as friendly and supportive as this. When I found SeeMommyRun, I was thrilled - finally, women in the same place as me, with the same goals and time constraints but still managing to do what they love!

Having said all that, I have to tell you about a member of SeeMommyRun, as well as a member of the Astavita running team, who helped me achieve one of my biggest goals ever. Jamie lives in Fredericksburg and saw my post where I was looking for advice (yeah, I might have been freaking out) about the race. Not only did she give me some great advice but when it became obvious to Jamie (which I'm guessing was pretty quick) that I was a little more nervous then might be normal, she put out a hand.

To try and make a long story short, I was driving from D.C. down to Fredericksburg the day before the race. I had no idea where my hotel was in relation to the starting line; I had no idea what running a half marathon was like; I had no idea what 5,000 people in one place looked like; I didn't even know that "baggage drop off" meant "give them the bag they gave you when you got your shirt and random stuff instead of bringing your own big black bag that you can't write your name on you silly rookie". In other words, Jamie saved me. She saved me from myself. I was already nervous beyond belief. All of the things about a big race that most people already know about and have experienced were exactly the things that were potentially putting me over the edge - it wasn't the 13.1 that had me shaking, it was the logistics of getting there and finding my way through. Jamie read my post and held out her hand. In a simple leap of faith, in what she probably thinks was no big deal, she helped me more than she knows. This thing we have...this connection called corny as it sounds, builds bonds that touch us each in different ways. What Jamie did for me was huge. I hope she knows that and I hope that some day, I can do that for a new runner.

When we got to the race yesterday morning, Jamie introduced me to her fellow SeeMommyRun, Fredericksburg, friends and they all couldn't have been nicer. Thank you Jamie, Emily, Laura and Stephanie for accepting me into their club for the day (I'm still trying to post a photo, but blogger is giving me a hard time. I do have it posted over on my running blog though if you want to take a peek.)! And to you, are what they call 'good people'. Thank you. The memories of my first half marathon will always include you.

Oh, and for the record, yes, I had an incredible time! I loved it, every minute of it. Except for maybe the last 3.5 miles...those hills were not fun! But, I set a goal of 2 hours and I finished in 1:54:48...I'd call that a success!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Training Plan

This week I crafted a marathon training plan for my husband. Though we are hardly elite runners, like the couples highlighted in a recent Runner's World article (read it here), our dual participation does give me the opportunity to try out my skills as personal trainer, nutritionist, and coach in addition to the more traditional responsibilities of a wife and mom (chef, chauffer, maid, cruise director, etc.).

I'm a big fan of cross training to prevent boredom and injury. I also encourage running with the jogging stroller to increase strength, but strangely enough, he doesn't seem to prefer that to running alone.

So if you are considering a summer or fall race, my general plan looks something like this:
Sun: off Mon: short run Tues: medium run Wed: XT Thurs: medium run Fri: XT Sat: long run

The actual distances will depend on your experience and the distance of your event: maybe only 12 miles/week for a 5K and up to 40 miles/week or more for a marathon. Your days will depend on your own schedule, but I rarely run two days in a row. You may also choose to include speed work. If you do run with your kids, they can be great coaches too, but I'll save those thoughts for another day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mommy still running

Hi Everyone:

I'm headed to Houston TX-- a great running town. Rocky retires from the Army and we become civilians - yahoo!!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunday is Fast Approaching

On Sunday, I will be running in my first half marathon. The first thing most people ask (well, after you get past the first thing non-runners ask which is always, "Why?") is "Are you excited!?" and I always say, "Yes! Super excited!!" which is mostly true. But I'm also very nervous. Probably more nervous than is healthy. Why? Well, the obvious reason is that this is my first half marathon...13.1 miles brings a certain level of fear. The other is that I just have no idea what to expect in a race this big. I'm the kind of person who loves to know what is going on, I'm a planner. I make spreadsheets of all things that need to be packed whenever we go on vacation. Before parties, I set out platters and dip bowls as a kind of staging know, to make sure I've got enough, etc. I was the kid who drove my mother nuts with questions like, "Where are we going?", "What is it going to be like?", "What are we going to do once we get there?" and so on, and so on (OK, now I'm starting to sound down right anal!). So, the fact that I'm running in this big thing in a place I'm unfamiliar with (Fredericksburg, VA), running it alone and will need to get myself there without 'Team Renae' - my husband, boys, mother and step-father will all be there but no way am I going to drag them to the starting line at the crack of dawn. So, like a kid going to kindergarten for the very first time, I'm feeling a bit vulnerable.

Here is where all my fellow Mommy runners come into play! Help me pack! Help me focus! What did you learn after your first big race? I've got my bottle of Advil packed, a choice of two outfits (this past week has been more like late fall than spring in VA!) and I even painted my toenails hot pink. I know, no one is going to see my toes but something about that hot pink makes me feel fast! And spunky. Gotta have spunky!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Children of Heaven

This may not seem like a Mother's Day post. It may not seem like a running post. But it is indeed both.

"Children of Heaven" is a movie my mother repeatedly recommended to me. For years. I didn't resist -- I just never got around to it. She wanted me to watch it for the running. I just watched it -- for Mother's Day. It was amazing.

Two Iranian children -- a boy, around nine years old, and his younger sister, maybe seven -- come from a very poor family. The film opens with the sister's shoes being repaired -- very worn pink mary-janes. The brother loses the shoes on the way home. So the two share his very worn white sneakers and never tell their parents. They could not afford a new pair. The boy's solution to the lost shoes: He enters a road race for school boys -- a 4K -- for which the third place prize is a pair of sneakers, which he promises to trade in for a girl's pair. The road race takes up a scant 5-10 minutes of film time.

The film is visually stunning and captures the nuances well -- like a good novel would: showing, not telling. The race was perfectly captured: quiet, with only some panting and soft music (no "Chariots of Fire" loudness -- though that has its place). The hills! The scrum of runners! The course markings! The race officials! The finish line! My body reacted as if I were running a race. I felt my adrenaline surge, my focus hone in on the runners and the road (though small on the screen). Such an odd feeling, especially since I was lying down with my 11-month-old. The context was completely off.

I loved the movie. Please rent it. Even if you don't often watch foreign films.

But why does this have anything, really, to do with Mother's Day? Well, my mother died last July. This is my first Mother's Day without her. I am her only child. We were very close. I have been reading and gathering books she gave me in one place. The time had come to watch the movie she always wanted me to see. Thank you, Mum. Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Southern Hospitality

I waited a couple weeks to write about my trip to Nashville's Country Music 1/2 Marathon because I couldn't think about it until now without my stomach churning.

Now while writing about a town as kind and hospitable as Nashville, that sure sounds like a nasty thing to say, until I explain something: From the Thursday before the Big Run until the Monday after the Big Run my stomach was a' turnin.' It started with waves of nausea and then tsunamis of nausea and by Saturday morning (race day) it became all too clear that I had the stomach flu. But there I was, in my $7 disposable rain coat and lucky Pearl Izumi Shines standing in what I imagined to be the population of most towns in Tennessee: 30, 000 people. Even before the time my wave began, my Lamaze breathing and sweating had secured me ample personal space in which to start the journey of 13.1 miles.

Here is the amazing part: there was so much energy and excitement in the air, I made it through the first mile. Then the music really kicked in and I completed the second mile without consciously focusing on keeping my water down. By the third mile, my right leg started cramping because I hadn't exactly stockpiled carbs the last few days...but it was alright because they handed out these little tiny tambourines so people could play along with the music. I grabbed one and tapped it on my side on every step I took up that huge hill*. It became my mantra: "zzring, zzring, zzring, zzring." By then, I noticed - truly noticed - the crowds of people standing in their yards cheering and waving signs.
"Sarah - You Can Eat Fries After the Run"
"My Mom is Faster Than Your Mom"
"This Sign is For You: You're Doing Great!"*

People along the side seemed honest-to-goodness into the whole thing. There were costumes (God Bless Elvis and his too tight white pants at mile 10 or so) and heavy set ladies in rubber gloves handing out Lube on a wooden stick (the thought of that made me chuckle at least a half mile); Mr. Howell's long lost brother was drinking champagne on his lawn and there were girls with the cardboard sign that read "Where does a crazy runner train? -- On a Psycho Path."*
I saw Gretchen Wilson standing by a stage and heard the country version of Rocky's theme song while running up another brutal mountain hill.**

I could name a thousand other things that I witnessed on that run. But my point is that despite being weak, the town and the course made me want to keep going. Despite throwing up at mile 8 (special thanks to the redhead who let me cut in line to use the port-a-let), I chugged along to experience what was around the next corner (how huge was that dog? Anyone else see it?!?!?!). But when I could see the Finish line in the distance from the bridge, I was in so much pain I started to walk and weep. A spectator started walking with me and said "Come on, you've come so far, OF COURSE you can finish. You made it to the starting line, didn't you? THAT was the hard part. You can do this." It was enough to help me get there. And although I missed the goal time I trained for, I actually finished in the same time as my January race thanks to a beautiful course, the best organized race I've ever been in, and the downright warmest Southern Hospitality known to woman.

*I train in Florida, were we count jumping onto a curb as going "uphill."
**Okay, maybe these weren't word for word, but I was delirious! I only remember the sentiment!

Chocolate shake and fries...

You know you're fit when everywhere you go people start commenting out loud about how they 'should' take the stairs instead of the elevator...when the people around you unconsciously straighten their shoulders...when you can fit (even barely) into the Cruel Girl jeans you bought three years ago hoping to someday be able to wear them.

In the exact same way you were were so certain that a mistake must have been made at the factory and the size 14 stretch jeans you're about to pop out of are really size 4s.

You know you're fit when you touch your thigh and it's solid muscle and it's time to get new shirts because your shoulders are so broad.

You know you're fit when the pain of working out sounds far more appetizing than a chocolate shake and fries. Ickkkkkk! :P

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Feed the Machine

So, when I take the kids running in the jogging stroller, I always remember to pack them a snack for the ride, but I rarely pay enough attention to what I am going to eat before a run. Well, we went jogging the other morning not too long after doing the 28-week glucose test and that was a good run! I think that the very yummy orange drink is equivalent to at least 3 or 4 Gu packs.

One would think that it would not be hard to remember which pre-run foods worked well, but I find that I often forget. That I've eaten cold pizza before running more than once proves that. I think that it is time to actually write a list of "Go Foods" and hang it on the fridge. PB: good; oatmeal: good; yogurt: bad; Cheerios: useless.

What do you eat before morning runs?