Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mommy running taking a hit this week

Howdy Running Moms out there all over. I'm going for a run today and Tuesday and then will be sidelined for a surgery that will make me no longer able to have children, (it's ok I have 4 great children and I'm 45). Aside from the usual surgery concerns I'm worried about getting back to running. I was running within days of each of the last 3 pregnancies/births and keep hearing that I'm going to have to really wait to run this time. I feel foolish to make a big deal of this at pre-op tomorrow, but I do not want to be down and out for long. Only running Mommies will truly understand my paradox. Pray for me if you think of it and I'll wistfully be thinking of you all running in the next weeks. Run Moms run!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mr. Motivation

Yesterday morning my son woke me up - dashed were my hopes of getting in a run before my daughter's ballet class. After class, picking my mom up at the airport, heading to Whole Foods and the craft store[have I mentioned I love *crafts*?] - I was exhausted. I kept telling myself that I would run on the treadmill as soon as my son went down for a nap. I didn't want to take Monday as a rest day - after all it is the first day of the week and what am I? A wimp? Nap time came and I choose to do art projects with Chloe. We had a grand old time making stuff out of this nifty little art kit she got for her birthday. I knew somehow I had misplaced my motivation and needed to find it.

I wrote my husband an email and asked if I could run outside once he got home from work. After a week straight of treadmill runs I figured my body could use a [real] run outdoors. Hubby came home and I still was not able to locate mr. motivation[yes my motivation is a man] Nicely my husband informed me that he didn't run the errands he had planned on running so I could run. OK. If I wasn't able to find my motivation I certainly found my guilt and got dressed quickly.

I had intended on running mile repeats at the track - so I did a nice warm up of 2 miles[I'm trying to be better about actually warming up].

mile 1 - 8:21
mile 2 - 8:21

"excuse me" yes "do you know the code to the track" ummm I do but I can't remember it "well you gotsa go" *me stunned* OK. So I left the track...normally something like this would irritate me, anger me, frustrate me - but I'm trying to roll with the punches these days. Instead of thinking arg - this lady - ruined my workout - I felt hmmm maybe I was supposed to do a tempo today. So I headed out for a 4 mile tempo

mile 3 - 7:20
mile 4 - 7:10
mile 5 - 7:11
mile 6 - 7:14

mental note to self - figure out what my tempo pace is supposed to be

mile 7 - 8:50

I run past the track on my way home and notice that the other doors were wide open. Seriously that woman kicked me out because she needed to lock the gate but left three other gates open?! People amaze me.

mile 8 - 8:27

8 miles good effort in the dark[yes I wore reflective - not to worry]. The Christmas lights were amazing. I found myself humming holiday tunes. Hooray for my new found roll with the punches attitude - I hope it lasts. Turned what normally would have been a frustrated run into a great one.

I was so excited about the new lights I saw, that I packed up the kids after dinner and drove all around town looking at them. Christmas music blaring - we were all dancing up a storm in the car. Life felt great.

Happy Holidays ~ Run Happy

Friday, December 11, 2009

SMR December Goodies

In case you missed the December seeMOMMYrun e-newsletter, you really should check it out! Free workouts, shopping discounts just for YOU, and more!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fallen Trees

After a weekend of modest, but wet snowfall, there were 4 trees down on our run yesterday. So, how do you get a double stroller that weighs in around 100 pounds over a tree? Well, it depends...

Level 1 crossings: Less than ~12"
Just pop that front wheel up and over like a curb. Depending on your wheel diameter, you may need to use the bottom of the stroller frame like a see saw to get the front wheel down on the other side.

Level 2: ~12-18"
Turn around and pull the back wheels over first. (And, yes, I do work out.)

Level 3: ~18-30"
Take the kid(s) out. Get them to the other side and then lift the empty stroller over.

Level 4: Over 30"
Find a way to go around it or change the plan to an "out and back" run.

There are other complicating factors such as branches or multiple trunks. You, of course, need to use your own good judgment depending on your strength, experience, and the weight of your children.

Finally, if you keep lots of random stuff in the under carriage basket as I do, you'll want to check that you haven't lost anything after the big tipping. Good luck.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Running Before Racing

I use to run the day before a race. I sort of felt the need to *shake* out my legs. It might have helped me mentally but I realize now it probably wasn't the best idea if I wanted to perform at my peak.

I now understand the importance of having full glycogen stores on race day. It's crucial in a race of the marathon distance, but can also come into play in races of shorter distances. Even a short easy run of three or four miles the day before a race can deplete your glycogen stores.

I've now run four races since discontinuing running the day before, Marine Corps Marathon, GCF Half Marathon, Veterans Day 10K and the Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K. All of these races were not only PR's for me, but huge PR's. I can't attribute my total success to the lack of running, but I do truly think it has helped. Getting those runs in the day before didn't improve my fitness at all so they were essentially junk miles.

It's important in any training program to cut out these junk miles. Focus on the purpose of the run at hand and on the quality. Quantity does have it's place, but it shouldn't be in run in place of quality in order to achieve a certain weekly mileage.

As runners we each know ourselves best[or think we do anyways]. When I first became a runner I felt that I needed to hit a certain weekly mileage. I knew compared to the other runners around me that I was not fast. I felt the only way to make up for my insecurities was to attempt to run as many miles as everyone else was. This way I could fit in and say oh I ran 40 miles this week too or 50 or whatever the number of the week was. I would often go out and run something as silly as 2 miles in an attempt to hit the number. Sometimes doing two a days when there was no reason for me to do so. These miles were junk miles. They had no purpose and were actually doing more harm then good. I was sluggish on the days that mattered - on the days where I really needed to put in a quality workout. For me this has meant quitting counting. I know how many miles I need to run each day but I don't sit down each day and calculate how many I have ran this week or need to run. In the future when I no longer feel competitive over my own personal mileage then I will probably return to counting again. But for right now I recognize that for myself that mileage counting is not a healthy addiction.

What are your addictions? Do they help you or hurt you?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Who I Am

Being a mommy has changed my life. It *saved* my life - made me better - made me healthier - made me whole. There wasn't anything particularly wrong about my life pre-kids - but it wasn't amazing. I had friends. I had fun. I ran[sometimes].

I didn't really know myself though. Becoming a mommy made me realize what was important to me. In realizing this, I decided that the only way I could be a good mommy to them, was if I was a good person to myself. I needed to start treating myself and my body with the respect it deserved. I needed to be happy for all that I could do and had accomplished instead of focusing on what I didn't have or hadn't done.

Having kids made me appreciate every run I went on. I no longer had to run - I was privileged enough to get to run. I realized how important *me time* was. I realized that I felt the best during and after a run. I realized that I wasn't just a girl who ran - I was a runner girl.

In essence having kids made me find myself.

I would get up at 4:50(and still do at times) and head out the door in the dark for my runs. I found out who I was on these runs. What I was made of.

There isn't a day in my life that I'm not a mom. There isn't a day in my life that I don't think about running. Being a mom is my life - it's who I am. Being a runner is my life - it's who I am.

Go to to enter my Why You Run Contest. Contest ends 12/1

The weather out there is frightening....

Ok, so the weather in Houston is not frightenting, but it is that time of year when I feel my running is most threatened. All of the busy stuff going on, all of the food and goodies that once consumed make you feel a run could be worthless. This is also the time of year family and friends are less understanding about why you have to leave to get a run in (except my running husband who completely gets it). On Thanksgiving Day I had a spare 25 minutes in between taking the turkey out and finishing up and just ran out the door as fast as I could to just move before that dinner. I ran into my husband pushing a running a stroller, my 13 and 11 year olds running, my 6 year old on a bike, and the two year old gleeful to be out. I love my running family. I will persist this season despite the distractions. Run Mommy Run!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

running makes mice smarter

So, mice who are forced to run on a treadmill at a faster pace than they would choose are smarter. Does this mean when I force myself to run faster than a steady pace, say, do sprint repeats or tempo runs, I become smarter? Or do I need some outside influence forcing me?

Phys Ed: What Sort of Exercise Can Make You Smarter?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MomsWhoSave Gift Idea #1 - Personalized Photo "Skins" for Cell Phones, Laptops, and More!

I know some of you love holiday shopping, but I don't! Is that surprising? I love finding a good deal--obviously, but the hard part for me is coming up with gift ideas year after year for the same people. It's especially difficult finding something for those people who already seem to have everything. And, of course, I need to stay within my budget.

This year, I'd like to share some of the things I've found that are reasonably-priced, and are hopefully new and different enough th
at the person you're buying for won't already have them. I'll post a new gift idea as often as I can between now and Christmas.

Here's something I have seen before, but not nearly as highly personalized as these from Snapfish. I'm talking about "skins," or coverings for your laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, and other devices.

You can upload your favorite photos and emb
ellish them as much or as little as you'd like to make them just right for whoever you're giving them to (or for yourself).

Check out these examples:

These are available for a long list of electronic devices in nearly every brand name you can think of--plus they're on sale for 20% off. Make sure to enter the coupon code PHOTOSKINS20 on the site when you check out. (This offer is good through November 20th.)

In fact, if you want to order holiday photo cards, photo books, calendars, photo jewelry, mugs, mousepads, or any photo gifts (even just prints), the entire site is an extra 20% off when you click here, and use the Snapfish coupon given.

Want more great deals? Click to visit MomsWhoSave's main deals site, and join us on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marathon Stroller Record

I was just reading this article on two(male) marathoners that are trying to break the stroller marathon record. I'm not sure how I feel about it....what about you? I personally know that my kids might unbuckle themselves and try to kill me if I ran for that long with them in the stroller. (And I've been pushing them since they were born) Wonder how these kids feel?

Makes me curious to know if there is a stroller record that involves moms rather than just dads??

If you just can't read enough about running - check out my personal running blog at :0) Become a fan while you are at it?!?!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Tuesday night I got the rare treat of being able to run when my husband got home from work. It was an easy run and so I decided to really attempt to take it easy. I got lost in thought. This happens quite often as I pretty much never run with an ipod. I am forced to be alone with my own thoughts. I thought about all that I have accomplished this year and started to feel some regrets. I wondered if maybe I would be faster if I had ran cross country or track in high school. I started wishing I had drank less beer in college, partied a little less and ran a little more. I went down this track for about 5 minutes when literally out of no where a little voice said to me "are you kidding me?!?!" At that moment years of regrets went out of my head.

Maybe if I ran cross country or track in high school I'd be burned out from running and wouldn't even be a runner right now. Maybe if I ran more in college I would have gotten injured and again not be running now. There are a million and one things that happen in your life that you can either look at as regrets or you can take the moment to realize that every decision helped you to get to where you are today. If you are proud of where you are, then why live with any regrets? I am exactly where I am and am accomplishing the things I am because I didn't run in high school(other than randoms runs with friends) and because I did choose drinking and hanging out in college rather than focusing on a sport(though I did run cross country my senior year). If I had always ran these times, if I had never gained 35lbs after high school, I wouldn't appreciate the way I feel/look/run now. I'm a better person now. A work always in progress. From this day forward whether a decision is the *right one* or the *wrong one* I will be living with no regrets.

Check out my personal blog at :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

#5 at 5

So, it was now a couple weeks ago, but I finished my 5th marathon (the Marine Corp Marathon) 5 weeks after the whole appendicitis fiasco. In retrospect, I do remember the doctor saying something about how my stamina wouldn't be what it used to be for a while. that is what she meant! The short story is that I lasted 3 hours. Unfortunately, I only covered about 21 miles in that 3 hours and the last 5.2 miles were a combination of walking, jogging and hobbling. Lucky for me (?) my husband was pretty much ready to throw in the towel at that point too. At least it was a lovely day and it fit our definition of a date!

Unlike the last time I failed to make my "goal" time at the Marine Corp marathon, I don't feel bad about this one. I stayed hydrated and well fueled. I really don't think I started out too fast. I just think that my body had 3 hours in it - at whatever pace I saw fit. Besides, I did achieve my down-graded goal for this round of marathon training: I didn't die. (I realize that sounds overly dramatic, but I'm actually being completely serious.)

I also need to thank my two youngest kids for putting up with this marathon training nonsense! They've spent countless hours sitting in the jogging stroller with minimal complaining. I couldn't train like I do if they weren't so great! Don't forget to thank your kids for tolerating your idea of fun :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One of the many gifts that running has given me is a greater understanding of the world and more compassion for those around me. Today is the first Veterans Day that I have truly took the moment to understand and comprehend what has been sacrificed for us...for me.

Thank you veterans. Thank you for giving me the freedom to run down my street when I so choose, the freedom to run races in whatever I choose, the freedom to believe in what I want, the freedom to blog about whatever I think - whatever I feel, the freedom to have as many children as I want, the freedom to vote, the freedom to marry who I choose, the freedom to go where I want to go and to be what I want to be. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day Freebies and Deals from

Here's a round-up of discounts being offered to veterans and military personnel for Veteran's Day. Please doublecheck these offers, as not all locations may be participating. You'll note the days for these offers vary too.

Applebee's is offering a free entree to active duty military personnel and veterans on Veteran's Day (Wednesday, November 11th).

Also, on Wednesday, Krispie Kreme is offering free doughnuts, and Outback Steakhouse is offering a free blooming onion and beverage.

Home Depot and Lowe's are both offering 10% discounts--also on Wedneday.

McCormick and Schmick is offering a free entree to veterans, but this discount will be on Sunday.

Golden Corral is offering a free buffet meal, including beverage and dessert to veterans and current military personnel on Monday, November 16th.

Family Christian Stores is offering this printable coupon for an extra 33% off any one item, including sale items on Wednesday, November 11th.
(There are a few restrictions, so read the fine print.)

Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard Members, and Military Retirees are invited to spend the day free of charge at Wet'n'Wild Hawaii. Plus family members and friends get in for $19.99 with prize giveaways throughout the day. Click for more information.

Eli's Cheesecake in Chicago is offering both active-duty soldiers and veterans free slices of cheesecake and coffee this week at the Eli's Cheesecake Cafe.

Several historic sites in Virginia are offering free admission for vets and current military in honor of Veteran's Day. Click here for more details, but sites include Colonial Williamsburg, the estates of George Washington and James Madison, among others.

Carolina Tire & Service Center in the Charlotte, NC area will change your car's oil for free if you're a vet or currently in the military. (You need to bring in a current or expired ID.)

ALL national parks' visitors can enjoy free admission on November 11th! Click for details.

Florida state parks will not charge a fee on Veteran's Day either. You may want to check with your state to see if they will also be free on Wednesday.

Finally, lots of stores will hold special sales. For example, Sears will have a one-day sale online Wednesday, and I've heard there will be free shipping to military addresses.

Do you know of more freebies for Veteran's Day? Leave comment below.

To see more deals and online coupons, visit MomsWhoSave's main deals page, and for grocery coupons and freebies, click here.

You can also follow MomsWhoSave on twitter and Facebook for even more savings!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Training Smarter Every New Year

There truly are many joys in getting older. The body, however, might sometimes disagree. A new little ache, a nagging pain...all signals that you need to change your way of thinking. No more logging miles to just log miles. There comes a time when you must train smarter, not harder. And you know is actually a lot of fun.

These days instead of squeezing in a run whenever, wherever, and for however long or fast I feel that day, I plan ahead and stay focused. No more racing every weekend just for the heck of it. No more going out for a 20-mile run on a random Sunday without building up the miles carefully and progressively. No more 5 or 6 days of running in a single week.

You know what? We could all learn from the "aging" athlete. Not that being 40 is old! But you will be surprised how the amazing human body can start becoming your personal coach! Screaming at you to take a day off. Letting you know exactly how much is too much.

What can we learn?
  1. That all those junk miles really do us no good.
  2. That smart training can make us stronger, faster, injury-free.
  3. That running 3 or 4 days per week helps our bodies heal and our muscles repair themselves.
  4. That learning good form will increase our natural ability to run well and remain injury-free.
  5. That dedicating each weekly run to either endurance, speedwork, terrain, or even an easy run helps us perform better.
  6. That actually warming up (instead of just thinking about it) makes our run easiser.
  7. That stretching is actually enjoyable and important for preparing our bodies for its next great performance.
  8. That cross-training keeps things fun, challenging, and interesting!
  9. That rest days aren't for wimps!!!

Once we come to the realization that the hundreds of race bibs in a box in the closet really won't make cool artwork, maybe can take a deep breath and focus on just one, two or three big races with a big personal goal.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's Not Doily Lacing Day....

It's racing day....well not yet, but almost....

Tomorrow I'll be running a new 1/2 marathon in DC with none other than the one and only Snez(my mom). I never really understood how cool it was running races with my mom until I became one. I hope that when I'm in my 40's - I look great and am still kicking butt in races with Miss Chloe Raine running up ahead of me. Honestly my mom rocks. Up until last year her marathon PR 3:38 killed my 3:59!! And she set that PR in her 40's :0) I hope this means that many more PR's are in my future.

My new favorite pre-race tune I hum in my head is actually from the children's show the Backyardigans. It's a catchy little tune - I'll share the lyrics....

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not nervous pacing day.
Today's the day we race.

I'm ready to race a long, long race.
This race goes almost every place.
It's fast, it's long,
It's vast, it's far,
It starts out right here where we are.

But when the finish line's unfurled,
We will have raced around the world.
When we finish this long, long race
I hope, I hope I'll take first place.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not sausage casing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not picture-tracing day,
Today's the day we race!

We'll run somewhere that's not right here,
And while we do the crowd will cheer.
Through the forest over the snows,
Across the ocean and then who knows?

Whoever is the first around,
will get to make that victory sound,
Dunt-da-daa! is what they'll say
at the end of racing day.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not puppy chasing day,
Today's the day we race!

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not doily lacing day,
Today's the day we race!

A long, long, long, long way we've come,
To get back where we started from.
We raced real hard but now it's time,
To break that tape and cross that line.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not self-effacing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

I don't have any goals tomorrow except to have fun! I mean of course deep down inside I secretly would love to do well but I'm realistic and certainly know it's not the best idea to race a 1/2 two weeks after running a marathon. Sooo that being said we will just have to see tomorrow what the day brings.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Still Got It.

Part of running is fitness - part is mental. Sometimes the mental can take over and make you question the fitness. Sometimes I feel the need to push myself a little on a run just to make my mind remember that *indeed girl - you still got it*

Sunday - I ran 5 in rain before 6 am - 9:19, 9:19, 9:07, 8:18, 8:21. I had wanted to run 10, but was too cold, soaked and discouraged. I called it a day at 5 miles. Then on Monday I ran with Charlie's mommy and felt like we were really running fast - 9:07, 9:10, 9:02, 9:27, 9:14. Don't get me wrong - I don't think that any of those miles were slow per se but I felt like I was running a 7 min pace when I was really running over 9. I know that some of you will say - hello Dorothy - you just ran a marathon - and I know this. I just don't like the inevitable slow down/ recovery period after a marathon and so my mind goes a little crazy.

And so today arrived and I hadn't run in two days. Reason #1 - laziness. Not so much laziness of not wanting to run but because it takes a whole lot to get out the door. I must get dressed, get my hydration ready, get the kids up, dressed, fed breakfast, then get drinks/snacks/lollipops ready for them, make sure we have the correct blankets they like, let the dogs out/get them water and food, then try to head out the door. All that before even taking a step to run and I'm exhausted. Reason #2 - OLD MAN WINTER IS COMING. And I don't like him. I feel bad taking the kids out on especially cold mornings because even though I bundle them up - I feel like it's still just too cold/windy. This morning I was dying to run so I just was going to suck it up and head out the door. Luckily Charlie's mommy offered to watch the kids and I did not hesitate for a moment to take her up on the offer.

Anyone who has kids and whose husband works crazy hours(or is a single parent) knows that it's super hard to run/work out in the winter if you don't either a. have a treadmill or b. a gym membership. Since we moved we ditched the gym membership and we don't have a treadmill(though I have been pleading my case to my husband to get us one). So when someone offers help of the running kind I'm always ESPECIALLY grateful.

I decided to run a 3 mile tempo, which then turned into 4 mile tempo, which then turned into a total of 8 miles. 7:37, 7:33, 7:15, 7:05, 7:56, 7:39, 7:41, 7:15 - 8 miles in exactly 1 hour, average 7:30 pace. I still did the 4 miles tempo but then slowed a bit a mile 5 to recover a little but still push myself. Yes this is less than two weeks after a hard effort at Marine Corps, but my mind has started doubting my capabilities and is wondering if I will loose all my gains from this summer, over the winter. I pushed myself sooner than I know I should but now I feel like *I still got it*.

My mind needed this run. I left Charlies mommy's house feeling refreshed and better than I have felt all week. I'm so thankful for friends who run - they truly understand the need to *get out there and pound the pavement*

Mommies - how do you make your winter running work? Any tips or suggestions are welcomed!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


November is National Novel Writing Month. Hm. So I signed up. Day 3. I've got 1800 words that look nothing like a novel. I don't care; I will try to write more words than I would write without the structure of NaNoWriMo. They may turn into a novel. Who knows?

First, I'm going out for a run.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Racing for the Cure with my 13 year old

Greetings from sunny and 70 Houston, TX! A few weeks ago my 13 year old daughter and lots of her friends got up at 2:30AM and headed to downtown Houston to set up for the Komen Race for the Cure. It was eerie being on the streets at 4AM but it was the most remarkable thing I've ever seen. I've lost count of all the races I've benefited from someone else's early morning rise and dedication.
At 4AM there were hundreds of folks out setting up. Our group made the balloon arches for the start and finish and some of the ladies did the arch for the Breast Cancer Survivors. It was just amazing. By 6:30AM there was a race start/finish and everything ready to go. The girls worked their fingers to the bone. Those with the craft-friendly fingers went to town. (I do not have those fingers). I took pictures and was happy to be there and to see it all happening. Then at 7AM most of those Moms/Daughters left. They got in their cars and went for neat breakfasts and female bonding time. My poor daughter and her friend knew better. They had come with me. I had put safety pins on their shirts and as soon as the work was done we changed into run gear and walked the area. There were thousands of people-- mostly women milling about. There were as many people as there were in Staten Island getting ready for the NY Marathon when I ran it a while back. I watched the girls. The friend's Mom is a breast cancer survivor. This 13 year old girl already knows the terror of breast cancer. Her Mom was home with the flu, but this girl was determined to run for her Mom. We got to the line and started the race. I loved every minute of it. I was weepy looking at the head scarves and dark pink shirts of the survivors. We had our yellow volunteer shirts on and stuck out as not belonging in the race. This morning I will never forget. I will never forget pacing them and then realizing I did not need to move them along. They are 13, but they are touched by a horrible disease and were running strong. I'm in awe of the future.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where oh where is Dorothy?

I'm here but surprisingly don't have much to say about running. Why you may ask? Well it seems that after Freedom's Run something was ignited inside of me. I was frustrated/happy/angry/sad/elated and found that all my energy was best focused on Marine Corps in order to feel normal again so I blogged and blogged. With that being said I ran *the time of my life* at MCM this past Sunday and am just plain happy.

I knew in the first couple of miles that my ultimate goal of 3:25ish was not going to be run that day. My legs were tired - tired from Ragnar Relay - tired from Freedom's Run - tired from sitting in class for two days straight - tired. I did however still feel that I had some sort of fitness left even though I completely was coming to grips with the fact that I probably peaked at Freedom's Run or even Ragnar Relay. Instead of getting angry or upset, I felt a sense of peace. I felt like I was having fun. Fun you may ask? How can I describe running a marathon as fun. Well it was just that. All twelve of my marathons - whether or not I had a good time - whether or not I hit the wall - were some of the happiest days of my life. So yes even though I was tired, I was having fun. This marathon literally went by faster than any of my other marathons and here is why.

I did not start out too fast - in fact I started out wayyyy slower than my goal of 8 min pace - 8:43 in part to the fact that it was more crammed than any MCM I have run before. This unknowingly helped me to never really hit the wall. Sure I slowed down - but it wasn't from hitting the wall - it was from my legs telling me "Dorothy you have asked us for allot and we are trying to give you allot but girlfriend for the LOVE will you please stop asking us to race back to back marathons?!?!" The time also flew because I was looking forward to seeing my husband at mile 10, mile 15, and mile 21. Each time he handed me a full water bottle and I handed him my empty one, I just couldn't wait till I was at 21 when he would run me into the finish. It went by fast because I realized that since the April of 2008 - I have had a baby(Miles), lost the baby weight, nursed my son for 15 months, took care of two kids and kept our townhouse clean while trying to sell it, sold our townhouse and packed it up, moved to a house and unpacked, ran 6 marathons, pr'ed at 3, qualified and ran the Boston Marathon, re-qualified three times for Boston, ran Ragnar Relay(Team Saucony Rocks) and came in 2nd overall with a team average of just over 7 minute pace for all 197 miles, and ran and pr'ed at every race distance in 2009. WOW. I just ran and kept thinking about how proud of myself I was. How amazed at all this girl had accomplished. How I would have never guessed that I would have made it to this point in my life! Who knew that a girl who used to run 11 minute miles would one day run a 3:31 marathon?!? Certainly not me!

I guess the peace from the race is spilling over and I just haven't had that much to say. That and I've been busy recovering, working on my coaching test, and tomorrow I have to sit in another class ALL day long so I can become CPR and first aid certified.

So there you have it. That is where I have been :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What happened to the newsletter?

Many of you are wondering what happened to the seeMOMMYrun e-newsletter. And I am getting quite a few emails asking why members are only receiving a handful of "AD" emails lately. No time like the present to address this issue.

As moms, we know how busy life can get. Right? Well, my life is no different from any of the fabulous, busy moms who use this site. Busy, busy, busy.

I WOULD LOVE TO FIND SOMEONE TO HELP WRITE ARTICLES FOR THE NEWSLETTER. Email me at if you are willing to help find a couple of interesting articles and email them to me for the newsletter. This would be a huge help and take a bit of the burden off my aching shoulders.

The 2 or 3 "ad emails" that you have received over the past couple of months are from sponsors (aka. people who pay to help keep the site afloat). Without them seeMOMMYrun would either have to become a membership-fee-based site or would simply go away. So it is very important that seeMOMMYrun has a few sponsors to help out!

For those not interested in receiving sponsor emails, you can login and "Change Your Options" to no longer receive emails. Simple!

For those who lovingly accept sponsor emails, I salute you. Hopefully, I bring you some great deals and fun products that make your life a little easier.

I hope to send out the next e-newsletter in early November. It's about time, right?????

Thanks for your support,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gotta Walk Before I Run

Gotta Walk Before I Run.

Turns out, this isn't just a metaphor. Nine days post-partum: My birth went well, no damage to my plumbing, I've been up and moving, well...since giving birth. I delivered at a free standing birth center and was sent home just 6 hours after my boy's arrival - and I was happy to be back in my own bed.

My mother came into town 2 days later. Now, my mother means well, but at 69 years old, her body isn't what it used to be. In fact, she's a wreck. Plagued by manic-depression, she gave up living years ago. Long story short, she can't stand for more 10 minutes, she shakes to much to write, and gets lost going to her mailbox. Frankly, she needs to live in an assisted-living facility, but refuses. What makes it tragic is that she'd rather have a hundred ailments listed on her gravestone than try to take care of herself. This week, I took care of two "infants."

I made her dinner while trying to teach my 2 day old to breastfeed. I helped her buckle her seatbelt after I hooked in my 3 day old into his carseat in order to pick up my 4 1/2 year old from preschool. I unsuccessfully tried to get her to shower while re-diapering my 5 day old.

I'm thankful my birth went well enough that I could keep my family going AND care for my mother. But I'm exhausted. I'm tired and sore and angry that I couldn't take it easy during my son's first week of life. I'm upset that she invited herself into my home for 8 days knowing full well that she couldn't help walk our dog, drive my son to school, help with meals or even clear her own dishes. I'm furious that she came with a runny nose and loud cough - and now my 4 1/2 year old and I have it.

I want to run. I want to strap on my running shoes and refuel with each step. I want to erase my bitterness by sweating it out but I can't. I should have been healing, but I've been up and moving non-stop. After driving my mom to the airport, I'm just now realizing how sore I am. I know I have to walk before I run, but I didn't think walking would be such a challenge. I know it's only been 9 days since a major event - giving birth - but a 20 minute walk shouldn't have been so hard. Maybe I'm just aching because I've lost my mother.

Marine Corps Marathon Finishers Videos

Today I feel like I ran a marathon. It always takes two days for the soreness to really kick in for me. Yesterday I was a tad sore but it was similar to what I would have felt after a hard 10K. This morning I'm walking around feeling 30 years older. I have heard from numerous different people that taking a bath in epsom salt helps to relieve soreness after racing. I then saw on Ryan Hall's blog that he takes them - I figured if it's good enough for him then it must be good enough for me! So I gave it a try this morning. I don't know if my soreness is improved or if it's a mental thing but I certainly feel better after a warm bath.

If you haven't checked out your finish video then click here. I think it's so cool watching yourself moments before you cross the line.

How is everyone else feeling today????

Monday, October 26, 2009

MCM and my number break down

WOW - What a whirlwind weekend!!!!! Friday and Saturday were spent sitting in a class room in Arlington for my Road Runners Club of America Running Coach Certification Class. The class was great and I was happy to have some familiar faces in the class. I learned a ton of stuff that I can't wait to apply to my own training and also share with all of you.

Marine Corps 2009 was the 7th year I headed down to DC for the race. As always it was amazing and I can't say enough how much I love this race. I have so many thoughts right now but after being in class for two days, running 26.2 miles and then getting woken up by Miles at 5am this morning - I'm exhausted. So I'll just share my number break down tonight and hopefully blog more tomorrow about my experiences!

MCM 2009
3:31:21 - My fastest marathon to date
182 Overall Female - out of 8,280
1341 Overall - out of 20,936 finishers
67th in my division

MCM 2008
3:36:41 - My fastest marathon at the time
239 Overall Female - out of 7,150
1637 Overall - out of 18,279 finishers
71st in my division

My age grade from last year was a 62.5% - this year I'm up to a 64.1%. 60% is considered a Local Class Athlete. 70% is considered a Regional Class Athlete. I'm improving and that's all I can ask for!!!

I'm so beyond proud of myself for all I have accomplished. Yesterday I ran faster than I ever dreamed possible.

I can think of no better thing than finishing the fastest marathon of my life with my husband by my side cheering me and pushing me on. Without him I would not have achieved half of what I have.

**Congrats to Rebecca S, Kate R, Jessica H, Jenn Z, Zoya, Lauren P, Lisa R, and all the other wonderful women who rocked it yesterday!!! WE ARE STRONG MOMMIES!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Fun Run

If you live in the Fairfax County, Virginia area, come meet me and my family at the

3rd Annual Costume Halloween Run at Burke Lake!
(A Fairfax County Park Authority event.)
*Must be in costume to participate.*

Date: Sat. Oct 31, 2009
Place: Burke Lake Park - Shelter A
Race start times:
Group A - 9:00 am 13 and older
Group B - 9:15 am children ages 12 & under (plus their parents if running as chaperones)
Distance: Group A will walk or run around Burke Lake (4.5 miles)
Group B will run to the dam and back (approx 0.75 miles)
Cost: $10 children 12 and under; $15 ages 13 and older

Goody bags, refreshments and a raffle following the race in Shelter A.
Shelter A is next to the big playground with the rainbow twisty slides.

Haines Point: Marine Corps Marathon

I've been talking alot lately on my personal blog about Marine Corps Marathon(I'm running this Sunday). I've been getting alot of questions about the race and I think some of them may be beneficial for any of you mommies running on Sunday. So here is a bit of a cut and paste job from my other blog - hope you enjoy :) Run Happy Mommies!!

Haines Point(East Potomac Park) - These two words used to evoke fear among Marine Corps Marathon runners. This, the loneliest stretch of the race, came at about 20 miles. Not only were you already starting to possibly feel defeated or hit the wall but then you were hit with this windy, lonely, peninsula that is surrounded by the chilly waters of DC. Because it is a peninsula it is very hard for spectators to get too - so don't count on seeing anyone during this part of the course. I've never run it when it wasn't windy out there. So like I've said before if you like wearing hats, wear one so you can tuck your head down a little and avoid getting any junk in your eyes. Also depending on what time of day you hit this point it can be extra sunny as the trees do not cover the whole road. Try to stick to the sides of the road where there is the most shade and remember to put sunscreen all over, even though you will hardly think you need it before you start.

Good news though. YOU are stronger than this part of the race. ANNNNND no longer is this part of the race at around 20 miles. Last year they changed the course and so runners will hit this-not-so-fun little stretch at about 12-14 miles. So like I said YOU are stronger than this lonely little stretch. Be sure to have your race day mantras ready to tell yourself(in your head of course) through this bit and you will be good to go!

Next question to address is the corral system and going out too fast. I've been asked how you could start out too fast with so many people at the start slowing you down. Yes - there are a zillion and one runners out there. However it's really up to each individual to place themselves in the correct corral, meaning that some people who are slower than you will start in your corral and some people who are faster than you will start in your corral. So really there is no way of knowing if the person next to you is going too fast or too slow. You will also have TONS of adrenaline flowing through your body. There isn't a Marine Corps start that has not reduced me to tears. Tears of joy, of excitement, of pride in this wonderful country we call the US of A. So it's easy when the gun goes off to let your emotions get the best of you and take off like the wind. You will feel great, it won't feel fast, you will think WOW I am kicking butt right now....but it's too fast and you will pay for it later. Better to start out too slow than to go too fast. Also don't waste energy weaving around people. Trust me - it's very aggravating at the start and tons of energy can be wasted passing's part of the reason why I keep trying smaller unknown races. Just keep telling yourself though that you are running your own race and let these people do all the weaving - you will be passing them in the late stages of the race when you feel great and they don't. Run the pace you planned to start out at(everyone in my opinion should come up with a reasonable game plan before the race). For me this pace is going to be around 8 minutes - much slower than I started out at Freedom's Run....hopefully this will help me not give up in the later miles like I did there. PATIENCE is very very important when it comes to the marathon distance, it's like no other race, which is part of it's lure.

As for me - I went on my last easy run before MCM this morning - pushing the babies of course. Then I sat them in the grass to watch me run strides on my street. I may do some more strides early Saturday morning if I have time. I'm taking a Road Runners Club of American Running Coaching Class that meets all day Friday and all day Saturday - so I will be MIA. This means that I had to head to the store today to stock up on food for Sunday and my own food for the next two days. They will be providing food for us, but like I've said before - this is not the time to try new things. I bought four, yes four bags of brown rice - remember that we need to store up as much glycogen in our muscles as possible right now. Bananas for potassium, apples for fiber, water - to force me to drink the enter huge bottle each day - chocolate z bars, peanut butter puffins and sugar free red bull for before the race, and a magazine to take my mind off all this marathon stuff!

If you have any more questions let me know today!! Otherwise I'll be back Sunday afternoon!! Off to go do laundry and pack my bag for Sunday :)

Good LUCK all MCM'ers

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the better marathon

Not the “perfect” marathon, I am hoping to run a better marathon. I am running the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. It will be my fifth marathon, or my fourth (depending on how you count, since I didn’t finish my second marathon).

I have never finished strong. I think it comes down to a simple problem: I start too fast. I have indeed finished three of the four marathons I have run. But, in two of those, I was reduced to frequent walking breaks for the last 6-8 miles.

In the past, I have been concerned about speed, though my time goals have been realistic while also being challenging. I can finish a 10K in 48 minutes, a half marathon in 1:45. That should mean I can finish a marathon in 3:45 or even less. I did that, once, for my first marathon, my best marathon. New York City. I was 28 years old. I had been running for a mere 1 ½ years. (I am no high school track or cross and field runner. In high school I was smoking and taking soccer juggling to fulfill my physical education requirement. My dad ran, but I had no interest.)

During that first marathon, I did slow down a bit for the last four miles, but I didn’t have to walk (I tried, but when I walked, I felt I would never start running again – so I kept plodding and finished in 3:43).

For my second marathon, I had a time goal – to qualify for Boston. Don’t know why. I don’t really care about running Boston – but it was a goal. Problem was I did not do any speedwork. So, while I covered the proper distances, I started too fast and my legs literally seized up around mile 19. A terrible disappointment. Maybe I could have walked it out, but the time goal loomed so large in my mind, and I knew I would never make it.

After that, I didn’t care about Boston. But I still cared about speed. I trained with a group for the 2002 National Marathon in Washington DC. (The one that went bankrupt the next year, canceling the 2nd annual race. It has been revived under new management with a new course.) I was convinced by my training and the coaches that I was capable of a 3:50 finish. So that’s the pace group I ran with. But the pacer had us going too fast, running 8:20s for the first five miles. I can do that, easy, for five miles, but that is not my marathon pace. I knew I was in trouble by mile 16. I had dropped off the pace group with two friends who were also suffering a little – but less than I was. I took walk breaks and wanted to stop by mile 19 (again – I know, the wall). But my training friend pushed me, talked me into continuing. Eventually, she ran ahead. I finished in 4:15.

I ran no marathons for six years, during which I had two kids and kept running and racing 10Ks, 10 milers and half marathons. In 2008, with my two kids aged 4 and 1, I looked to the Philadelphia Marathon. I was talking running with a new friend in my town, a friend I made because I saw her running in the early AM as I do and we both had 4-year-old sons who became good friends in school. I mentioned Philly, and she said, “Sign up; I’ll do it, too.” That little push did it.

Again, I thought 3:50. I am now dedicated to doing speedwork on a regular basis. My race times for other distances hold steady and strong. But, once again, I started too fast (trying to catch up to the 3:50 pace group, with their bouncing balloons). I knew I was in trouble by mile 10. That’s bad. I walked at each water station, then every mile. At mile 23, the 4-hour pace group balloons bobbed past, and I pulled myself together and suffered for the last 3.2. I finished in 3:59.

So, how to fix the blow outs? I think I just need to have some self-control and trust in the beginning – and avoid pace groups. My time goal is now 4:00. That I can probably do “comfortably.” And maybe I’ll even surprise myself and finish strong.

I want to run a better marathon. Five days to go.

I'm getting an Ironman tattoo!

About a year after my first was born, I ran a marathon despite stopping training the last 6 weeks due to shin splints. I ran with the mantra "I survived a 7 hour labor, I know I can run for at least 7 hours if I have to." My time was 6 hours 45 minutes.

Well, my friends, on Sunday around 2pm, little Graham joined us after 21 hours of natural labor. He is beautiful and healthy and was well worth the challenge. I look forward to sharing tales about our upcoming adventures. Thanks for the encouragement this entire pregnancy.

I will be posting my birth story on my blog in the next few days.

An Introduction!

Hi Mommies!!

My name is Dorothy and I live in good old Northern Virginia. I'm a mom of two wonderful little children, Chloe Raine - 3, and Miles Lincoln, 17 months. I love to run and all things running. I'm currently in tapering mode for marathon #12 - Marine Corps.

I'm excited to be a new contributor to the RunMommyRun blog and look forward to getting to know you all!

Run Happy ~ Dorothy

Monday, October 19, 2009

Racing with a Stroller

I have found that East Coast races pretty uniformly prohibit the use of jogging strollers. When we moved back here from Hawaii, we were so disappointed since we ran with our jogging stroller in half-marathons and 30K races out there. Just to make sure, I checked the Marine Corp Marathon and 10K race, and they don't allow strollers either:

The race organizers generally cite the liability as the reason why, but I'm not sure who they are worried about - the kids in the strollers or the other racers. While it is certainly easier to run a race without the stroller, sometimes the hassle of finding a sitter makes it look highly desirable.

If it softens the blow at all, though it was fun to run with the stroller in relatively LONG and SMALL races with the stroller, I also brought my stroller for a Race for the Cure 5K and it was a disaster! Shorter races with big fields - and the MCM 10K definitely falls in this category - never spread out enough so that you can comfortably run with the stroller anyway. Either you have to hang out in the back of the pack or CONSTANTLY call out "Passing on your left" and maneuver past other runners. It was not fun.

I got a little jealous when I read about the man who ran some awesome time with his jogging stroller in a marathon because,
1. He practiced with his stroller like two times before the race and I have to push this stroller nearly every time I jog.
2. He probably got special permission to run with the stroller in the race because of the good publicity, but whenever I've asked race organizers, I just get, "No."
3. If I hadn't had a baby every two and a half years, I'd be pretty darn fast too!

Good luck finding a sitter!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thoughts at 40 weeks 6 days (a.k.a. Why I'm Carbo-Loading)

My due date has come and gone by a week.

I can't help feeling like I've signed up for an Ironman competition without knowing when it will be...I could be mid-meal or in the grocery store or watching Jon Stewart and the Race Director will suddenly shout "And GO!!!" and I'll have to roll into a 3, (or 5, or 8, or 10, or 15, or 40?) hour event. I'll have to find my team, grab my gear (probably in the middle of the night) and start this race without mile markers or warming up; without proper foresight to be well-rested or even fed. (Not to mention my photos will totally look like I'm an amateur competing on the Kona Course.) The anticipation is killing me!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thoughts at 39 Weeks and 6 Days Pregnant

These last 9 months or so have developed a new pattern in our household: I'm usually awoken in the morning by my 4 1/2 year old climbing into bed with me at 7:15, when he rearranges my pillows and blankets so he can lay down and pretend to sleep for 10 minutes; then he gets really close to my face and whispers "I'm ready for my breakfast now."

He's a natural snooze button: the initial wake up, then 10 minutes until his announcement, then he gets up to get his bowl and fill it with cereal giving me about 10 more minutes before I waddle over to pour the milk.

The other morning, I woke up long before anyone else and enjoyed the stillness and solitude of dawn, like I used to on my early morning runs...only minus the run. My boy kept up his ritual, but whispering to his dad instead when he realized I was missing. Soon enough, he stumbled upon me in the living room, saying sweetly "When I saw you weren't in bed, I thought you were out running."

It was such a lovely reminder that my old routine wouldn't be traumatic to reinstate once the baby is born. I'll adapt to our changing family yet be able to keep the frame of who I am. And it gave me hope that, no, the strains of pregnancy aren't forever - I will become strong and invigorated soon enough. And my family will help me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Go Daddy!

Passing other runners out pushing jogging strollers is pretty rare around here. Certainly there are more on popular paths than in the woods behind my house where I usually run, but nevertheless, I've recently observed something I found surprising. There are a lot of dads out there pushing strollers!

Now that we are out every* Saturday morning doing the training-for-a-fall-marathon thing, I've noticed that very nearly every jogging stroller we see is pushed by a man! Sometimes Mom is running alongside too, but not always. I feel that I've short-changed all the dads out there pushing along, but I wonder if the stroller manufacturers have too.

My husband and I have had the good fortune to run together more often recently and again the question arises of who should push the stroller? We are both about the same speed so the solution is not obvious. We are both a little competitive, but it is no longer just about "being the man" or that sort of thing. I think that we both really appreciate the benefits that can come from pushing all that extra weight around. Once you've already resigned yourself to a run of some distance, you might as well get the most out of it, right? You wouldn't want to carry all that extra weight on your person because of the possible damage to your joints, but pushing your little kiddies up those big hills can really pay off!

The beauty of a double stroller is that it is SO wide that on the really big hills, we can both fit behind the handlebar to push together.

But I wonder
1. Who pushes the stroller in your house?
2. If or when Dad pushes, is the stroller built to accommodate the typically larger frame of men?

I feel like the handlebar on many brands would be uncomfortably low and that the wheel base is perhaps too far back (relative to the handlebar) such that a runner with really long legs might accidentally kick the rear axle with long strides. Are those problems for anyone out there? Should we march on the stroller companies to fix this?

*Except, of course, the Sat. after I had surgery to remove my appendix. I'm always making excuses...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Signing off

Andrea, I was just going to post a little story about how much I have enjoyed blogging for seeMOMMYrun and about how I'm in such wonderful shape because I form what I will write while I exercise. And then I was going to sign off and invite somebody else to become a blogger for your site so that she might also experience the personal transformation that takes place.

Then I realized that I should probably talk to you about it first, to let you know before the rest of the world. While a blogger for your site, I can honestly say I became a different, improved, healthier person. The process of blogging about one's efforts to be a mother as well as somebody else is transformative.

I am still going to post that little story I mentioned above, I might just post the body of this email. I can't wait to follow the experiences of the next blogger(s).

So, thanks! I hope we are able to meet each other in person some day.

S. Kimzey Daniels

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Following the Garden Path

So, this fun story does not directly involve the jogging stroller. My husband and I now hire a sitter to stay with the kids every Sat. morning so we get to work out together (in lieu of "date night"). Anyway, she's like my enabler for doing silly things. Like running 18 miles.

Running 18 miles is not necessarily bad. We are training for the Marine Corp Marathon and I had completed that distance the weekend before with no ill effects. Part of training, however, is also working out a good plan for eating and drinking. Take note: eating half a Power Bar and drinking about 1/4 cup of water over the course of 18 miles is NOT a viable plan.

So, as one might expect, I felt bad afterwards. I pushed it to the end (mental stupidity - oops, I mean mental toughness). Really bad. Like crap with a capital "C". OK, so I figure I am dehydrated. I rehydrate. The next day I still feel terrible. Well, I probably drank too much water = hyponatremia. So I eat some salty pretzels and drink some sports drink. But now we are going on day 3. I still feel terrible, I've barely eaten in 3 days, and I've had one episode of violent shivering. I'm tough, but not dumb, so I go to the doctor. I'm getting worried that I'm going to have a heart attack from messed up electrolytes. Oh yeah, and this nagging pain in my lower right abdomen, but that is the least of my worries, because I've hurt myself there at least three times before.

So, I felt a little old when my daughter's teacher was younger than me, but I felt even older when the doctor was younger than me! Anyway, I think that I ran my big mouth and inadvertently bullied said young doctor into agreeing with me that it could not possibly be my appendix because of the on-set of symptoms, etc.

To make a long story only slightly shorter, by Tuesday afternoon I realize that I need to go to the hospital. Something was not right. I had a high fever at this point and I could barely get off the couch. Several hours and a CT scan later, I have appendicitis! In the nurse's words, "It needs to come out right now."

So, I'm OK now. Apparently after a Laproscopic Appendectomy, you can start running just 7 days afterwards. All that is holding me back now are the side effects of the cold-turkey weaning of baby that went along with this fun adventure. At least it gets my mind off my belly...

Moral of the Story: Don't blame yourself if you have a bad run, you might have a serious illness!

fall running

Hello Running Moms everywhere: Finally temps below 90 degrees and for the first time in 14 years I'm off for a run by myself on a weekday morning. Feels strange. I must stop myself for spending the entire time volunteering at school. It was easy to give up lawyering and stay home with my kids, but giving my running life a back seat made me a little grouchy. No more double running strollers though I still run with a single most days. Hats off to running Moms everywhere!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Keepin' Austin Weird (5K)

Oh Blog - What a relationship we have! I think of you often, but never write.

Well, a quick update. I'm 36 weeks pregnant with my 2nd boy and once considered myself a runner - enough so to put a sticker on my car that says "Runner Girl." I love me a good long run. Only, I now define "run" as waddle-waddle-pee break-waddle-waddle-stop. I've gone from 25 miles a week to...uh...well, 2.5 on a good week.

Today, however, my 4 1/2 year old and I trekked out into the pouring rain to get WEIRD! The Keep Austin Weird 5k promised to be "the slowest 5k you'll ever run" and it delivered! I'm a month from giving birth...I felt that qualified as "weird" to see out on the trail.

We started in the back - my boy wanting to run rather than sit in the jogger - and we pretty much stayed there. He splashed through the puddles and I walked slow enough to make sure he didn't follow the rushing water down the street drains. After a mile, he was done and I could start to run. He crawled back into the jogger and we set off of doing 2:1s. While I was far from hitting a PR, we covered the last 2 miles in 27 minutes - nothing fancy, but hey, I'm HUGE and pushing a 48 lb boy in the rain.

Since this was Keep Austin Weird, after all, we switched places the last .1 mile: I sat in the jogging stroller and HE pushed me! I should have thought of that 3 miles ago!!! Overall, it took the two of us (well, 3 of us, technically) 50 minutes to do the 5k and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Now off to take a long, long nap!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Good for Your Health?

A friend of mine recently agreed to get in the pool with me and tell me what I was doing wrong with my stroke. The short answer is, well, everything, but that was not the most interesting part of the whole experience. Kerby observed that when I breathe, I could take a fluid breath on my left, but struggled a bit more and lifted my head higher on the right. I replied, "Right! That's from all the biking. You always look over your left shoulder for passing traffic, but rarely over your right. Look at this! I can actually turn my head much further over my left shoulder than my right."

We talked about extending your stroke straight out ahead of you. This time my right arm was doing a good job of staying straight, but my left arm was going too wide. I shared, "Well, that's from running for years with a jogging stroller that pulls to the side. I didn't even realize that it made me crooked until recently. My right elbow always stays down by my side, but my left elbow sticks out at 90 degrees when I'm pushing the stroller."

So much for all this exercise "improving" my body!

Finally, we talked about extending each arm stroke all the way behind you to give you the maximum pull as well as the maximum window to take a breath. Well, I don't even know if my arms go back that far. That one maybe is from pushing the stroller, or maybe from lifting at the gym, but my money's on my bad posture when nursing the baby. But we already knew that no matter how much you love them, your kids are sure to screw up your body one way or another :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

So our routine swung back into place this morning with the noticeable change that my daughter is much more grown up than she was at the same time last year.
We had breakfast first because she likes to talk at breakfast and if we wait to eat until after she's showered, we'll never be on time.
She did her teen thing, with the eyeliner and the fancy doo. I did my mom thing and laced up my running shoes. Ace climbed into his jogger, Susanne hopped on her bike and after sneaking past our dog, who loses her mind when she discovers she's not going with us, we were off.
It was a beautiful morning. No humidity. A soft breeze. Perfect.
Susanne split apart from us at about .5 mile (with shouts of, 'I love you!' and 'Have a great day!') Then we crossed back across to the playground. He was so happy to be back in his routine.
All said, the trip took nearly 90 minutes and I'd actually only ran for 20 of them. What a great morning!
Of course, tomorrow will be chaotic and I'll wonder why I even try, right?

This morning was definitely one for the memory books.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Brain Building Bootcamp for Kids

This is too cool.

Brain Building Games/Activities for you and your children. This week is coins and counting!

Now I'll have to go back to find out the workouts prior to this one! Love it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Get Ready for School With EXERCISE

I have been reading a ton of information about getting kids ready for school. In my case, I am extremely anxious about my oldest starting kindergarten in a few weeks. I go through bouts of anxiety, sadness, worry, and every other emotion. I mean...that's my baby! She's going to school!

At any rate, while reading tons of info on school readiness I came across some helpful info for any moms out there who have kids who act out when they get to school - or those who have ADHD - or those who have sensory disorders - or any sort of behavioral issues that they do not demonstrate at home. It seems the best way to calm kids down so that they pay attention at school is EXERCISE!!! Yep, 10 minutes of physical activity first thing in the morning BEFORE they get to school.

HERE IS WHAT I READ (from Kirk Martin from "Celebrate Calm"):

There is one thing that every child needs before school and in many ways, it is more important than a good breakfast: EXERCISE. I always get pushback from parents on this recommendation, but I cannot tell you how many skeptical parents have written to say, "This works." Exercise before school. This is exactly why we need to re-order our lives so we have more time. We need to carve out an extra 10 minutes each morning to get some kind of exercise, preferably outside in the fresh air. Riding a bike/scooter, jumping on the trampoline or playing catch with Dad are great ways to stimulate the brain, work off anxiety and meet sensory needs. Walk the dog. Stop at a playground or get to school early to play for a few minutes. You will never, ever regret taking this time-it will reduce behavioral issues and improve attention.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moms Who Rock

edit: link corrected

! Pt. II

This week: Mama Sweat (a.k.a. Kara).

In her own words
This blog isn't about weight loss or acquiring the perfect body, it's about the absurdities we moms face when we're trying to be mom, wife, employee (or employer), daughter, sister, friend, and the many other roles we take on; while making fitness fit into our lives. As a former endurance athlete, I'm trying to stay in shape while I raise my three young daughters and infant son. Finding the time and the means to exercise isn't just about me, though. I also want to be a good role model and help my children grow up active and healthy.
I found this blog when searching for ways to cope with pregnancy without giving up running. I instantly fell in love with the following post after the first bulletin point:

Everything I Know About Coping with Pregnancy I Learned from Being a Triathlete

1. Ice is nice. After finishing my third marathon (Big Sur--a must run) I saw kiddie pools filled with ice water available for the runners. Because marathoners' brains are a bit addled after 26.2 miles, sitting in a pool of ice water seemed heavenly. And it was. Even better was the next morning, when I had enough spring in my step to walk the hilly streets of San Francisco. From then on an ice bath became my ritual after any run longer than 18 miles. Fast forward many years later, about midway through my first pregnancy--heavy with twins--it occurred to me one night that I felt like I had run 18 miles. And then I realized that an ice bath might make my aching legs feel better. Getting in the tub of as-cold-as-I could make-it-water wasn't quite as easy that time, but once there, and especially after, the benefits were worth the initial discomfort. So much so that I took an ice-cold bath almost every night until I had those babies. I've never had swollen cankles or circulation problems in my pregnancies. Am I lucky or is it my affinity for a polar plunge?

She had me at Ice Bath.
It goes on to cover eating, resting and preparation in terms I can understand (you know, using words like "workout" "training partner" and "modify").

So, thanks Kara, for the advice. You are definitely a Mom Who Rocks!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stroller Reviews

I realized the other day that I've been running long enough with a jogging stroller that neither of the models that I own and use are available anymore. The Kelty Joyrider has been replaced by the Speedster and Dreamer Design is simply out of business. Furthermore, while I've found success running with both of my strollers, neither is ideal for shopping, traveling, etc.

There is a new website that is off to a fabulous start at providing comprehensive reviews of a wide variety of stroller types. The majority of reviews are for casual use strollers at this time, but they are just getting off the ground! You can't purchase strollers from this site, but I think that is better since you know you are getting an honest opinion from someone who actually uses the stroller being reviewed, rather than from someone who is trying to sell it to you. After reading many of the reviews posted to date, I can say that I generally agree with their Pros and Cons for each stroller that I am familiar with. I've added some comments where I felt it to be useful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It is better in the morning

Hi All:
A confession. I put on running clothes no matter what when I wake up because I am not not not going to miss a run/workout. Sometimes it is 6pm and I'm still in the clothes and unable to admit the window has passed and I'm not getting to work out. When I show up at my children's practices still in the workout clothes I rarely take that time to work out. Not sure why.

Last Sunday my husband and I ran at 7AM before church. I felt great that whole day and showered and street clothes on. I like that feeling better.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Opportunity, Not Liability

Think of your jogging stroller as an opportunity, rather than a liability. Use your stroller as a training tool! Pushing your stroller provides a great chance to improve your strength and endurance faster than running alone. In fact, my husband and I have found success using both strollers even when there are only two (out of three) kids with us. Rather that one person pushing both kids, we split them up, with one child in each stroller to keep us better matched in pace.

Sure, it is easier to run without the stroller, but if I'm going to bother getting out there, I can't say that I mind the benefits that come with pushing the stroller:
1. have a place to put my water.
2. exercising the upper body.
3. burning more calories.
4. impressing the other walkers and joggers that we pass.

So, embrace your stroller! Keep in mind, however, that you will enjoy running with your stroller more if it is a good fit for you! I am happy to give advice and answer questions about choosing the right stroller for you. Please contact me ( if you have questions about buying a new stroller or about issues with your current stroller. Happy running (or jogging or slogging or walking)!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Moms Who Rock

In exploring the wide world of the internet, I've stumbled upon some amazing tales: Not just blogs by women who run half-marathons mid-way through pregnancy or enter triathlons just weeks after giving birth; I mean, women who constantly explore their roles as mothers and athletes, who wrestle with balancing healthy bodies & healthy body images. Frankly, there are a lot of moms who rock out there who are pretty inspiring. This is why I'd like to introduce a weekly feature highlighting some of these women: Moms Who Rock.

This week's Mom Who Rocks:

This dreamcrossed twilight tracks the adventures of one woman who doesn't lose her identity as a Runner throughout the many weeks of pregnancy. She's at 35 weeks now and still logs at least 20 miles weekly (including a 10 mile run). This new mother-to-be deals honestly with her fears of loss-of-identity, struggles with body image and the logistics of actually exercising with an ever growing belly.

Baby Boot Camp

Well, if the guy I mentioned in the post below had issues with me, one mother with one jogger, then I'm not sure how he would have handled the group of mothers I joined this last Thursday for Baby Boot Camp.

Blogger is just not working with me today. I had a few more pictures I wanted to post. Hopefully I'll have more luck next week, when is not as busy as I'm sure they are the day after the 4th of July.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Newsflash! Socially Inept Recluse Ventures Out

Awhile back, I confessed that I haven't raced since high school. I have another terrible confession. I am a recluse. I prefer complete and silent solitude. I run alone. I cook alone. I read alone. I lift weights alone. I write alone. (There are a few things I don't do alone and for those things I have had the great fortune of marrying my {roll your eyes now} soulmate.)

For my son's sake, I do make the occasional effort to go where other people will be. This morning it was to the park. There were LOTS of people running and exercising. I nodded my head pleasantly to them as my boy pointed out the numerous ducks. We were venturing down a slope when I became aware of movement behind me. A man was riding his bike and actually had to veer off the walkway into the grass. He informed me, in passing, that I was on the wrong side of the path. That I should stay on the right.

I was taken aback. And my bright and shiny morning was on the verge of being destroyed.

Please help me. Is there a right or wrong side to walk on in a city park? The path is not marked and it is not posted anywhere. I am not afraid to tell people smoking is not allowed in a public park but, then again, I am able to point to the city ordinance which states the law.

Also, I came across a group of mommies with their joggers. A very energetic and extremely fit (her shoulders absolutely dwarfed mine!) young mother informed me that she leads a Baby Boot Camp. She invited me to join the group for a free first class on Thursday and you know what? I'm going to do it! This recluse is stepping out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Turn on a Dime: How to Turn a Fixed Wheel Stroller

Part 2
Obviously, the stronger you are, the easier it will be, but I've defined 4 key areas that you can work on to make it easier to control your stroller*. Likewise, running with your stroller can strengthen your upper body as well as your legs!

1. Abdominal Muscles. You can't underestimate the importance of a strong core - for anything! This is not just about getting your tummy back into shape after baby #x. Your abdominal muscles support your back and whole torso. In addition to classic crunches and/or sit ups - to borrow from Yoga - plank and side plank are great moves to practice. Plus, it is harder for the kids to climb on top of me when I am not laying on my back!

Plank begins on your hands and feet as though you are at the top of a push up. You could also go down to elbows/feet or hands/knees to make it easier as you begin. Trying to keep your body as straight as possible as you hold this position. Take a break and repeat. Side plank is when you rotate onto just one hand or elbow and the outside of one knee or foot.
2. Deltoid Muscles (Shoulders). Let's start with exercises that don't require any equipment - except maybe for a small child if you happen to have one lying about. These are the muscles that surround your shoulders: front, back and side. You can do push ups. You can lift your child up to chin-level, keeping your elbows high ("upright row"). You can lift your child over your head ("shoulder press"). Side raises and front raises hit the right area too, but you might find that any child old enough to be handled in this manner to be too heavy.

3. Pectorals (Chest). Push ups can help here too. The traditional exercise is a chest press while lying on your back. You can try using your kid for this one too, though results may vary.

4. Triceps. These are the muscles that extend your arms. Dips off the end of a chair or bench are great. Tricep push ups keep your hands and elbows in close such that your arms brush your sides as you move up and down. If too difficult, you can do these standing upright and leaning on a wall. Tricep extensions keep your upper arms/elbows still right next to your ears while you move a weight up and down.

* I am not a personal trainer, these are just exercises that work for me.
Also, all pictures are borrowed from other websites. Please click on a picture to go to the website from which the graphic came. Thanks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Evening's Spectacle

This evening's spectacle, down a quiet little neighborhood street:

My 4-year-old boy riding a WAY-TOO-BIG bike recovered from a dumpster whose training wheels screeched like fingernails down a chalkboard; all the while he was growling screaming out car engine sounds and pretending to get blown-out tires.

Next to him: me and my 23 week pregnant belly slogging* along soaked in sweat, chanting "Go Lightning McQueen Go!" or "Peet Stop"** in a really bad Italian accent or "Bring on the confetti!"***

Talk about a circus!

*runningfor3's fabulous term for slow jogging
** Guido anyone?
***Chick...and yes, thanks for asking: We HAVE seen the movie Cars 1084 times.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer morning date runs

Hello Running Ladies!
It is 95 degrees-- hotter as the day goes on. My new summer morning routine is to run at 5:30 AM with my husband. Serves two great purposes. I get a workout in early and out of running clothes before 5pm and a date with my husband. It does not get better than that. The first morning was kind of funny. I told him the evening before I'd be joining him. When he got up at 5AM I waited for him to shave and come get me. He never came and got me. I rushed downstairs, grabbed the dog and went running after him. About 3 miles later I ran into him coming back and he had the happiest look he'd had in a long time seeing me out there looking for him. He thought I'd changed my mind about coming and needed to sleep (I'd been nursing for the past two years and sleep was not plentiful). The dog loves it too. Great stuff.

One more funny thing-- I just saw my 2 year old up on tiptoes and there for all the world to see were two little calf muscles bulging like her parents. The whole family has muscular legs-- very funny to see so early.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Turn on a Dime: How to Turn a Fixed Wheel Stroller

Part I
There are two basic ways to make a fixed-wheel jogging stroller turn where you want to go. Both will feel quite different from turning a swivel-wheel stroller. With a swivel front wheel, one pushes into the front wheel(s) so that it will grip and ground and turn. With the fixed-wheel alternative, you will either
1. lift the front wheel and pivot on the back wheels or
2. torque the stroller to turn without lifting any wheels off the ground.

If you need to make a big turn, such as turning a corner, you will need to push down on the handlebar to lift the front wheel off the ground and pivot on the back wheels. The easiest way to do this is to bring your body in close to the handlebar to take advantage of your core strength and possibly even the weight of your upper body. For big turns or with heavy kids, you may find it helpful to lean with your outside forearm on the handlebar to push it down. Make sure that your kids are leaning all the way back into their seats as well.

For smaller or more gradual turns, it is not always necessary to turn with the front wheel off the ground. I can best describe this option by comparing it to turning a boat by heeling in the opposite direction; heel right to turn left and vice versa. Of course, if you are unfamiliar with sailing, that is not particularly helpful :) This option is more of a lateral push that will torque the front wheel in the direction you want to go. This is ideal if you are making gradual turns along a curvy path or around obstructions that you can see well in advance. Note: This technique will be much more effective when you are running that if you are trying to walk.

If you find this very difficult, there are a few key muscle groups that can help. That's Part II.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"Race" Update

Hello All!

Crumbs here - Back from The Land of Fatigue and Heaving (a.k.a First Trimester) and happily gliding along through Celebration and Energy (well, relatively speaking!).  I'm 22 weeks along in my 2nd pregnancy and have a renewed love of running quickly-paced waddling.

I've never been fast, but My Oh My, just 2 months ago it took me 45 minutes to force myself to go 2.5 miles.  The agony!  All because of this weird addiction that seemed like it was going to promise me relief in my rough months of sickness.  Really - food was intolerable. Advil unadvised. And a Mojito with a floater? Highly frowned upon by the masses.  I knew I was allowed to run, though.  And when I run, I get a Runner's High!  Sweet - Hook Me Up. Only, I couldn't really make it through the first mile so easily without getting dizzy and feeling like a 7 year old was taking drum lessons in my head.  I guess only being able to force down 500 calories a day meant there wasn't much in the bank for added exercise.  This, it seemed, was going to be a very, very long 40 weeks.  Weekly milage went from 25 to...well, 3 (or 10, if you count running to the toilet).

Fast forward to this week.  

I had slowly reintroduced myself to running over the last 8 weeks - first with the treadmill and then out on the street - week by week adding a little more.  I even completed a 5 miler in just 1 minute/per mile slower than pre-pregnancy.  HOPE!  HOPE, I tell you!  

So I signed up for a 5k in my old stomping grounds of South Miami.  (I'm back in town for a little while and what better to meet up with old friends than at a race?!  It's a fun way to let folks know about the little one, too!)  Anyway - I knew I wasn't going to set any records but I couldn't believe that I finished a cool 2 minutes slower than I did last year - right around old running buddies.  Just 2 months ago I had lost hope of ever having my runner's high again.  But there it was:  Baby and Me waddling through at a relaxed pace, waving to familiar faces, enjoying the course, passing the finish line with a smile and energy to spare!

Each day I get bigger. 
I know every run won't be that smooth. 
BUT it's so comforting to know that, even when I hit rough patches (be it morning sickness or injury or burnout), I'll eventually get my groove back.

Happy Running All!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Q&A Dreamer Design

Q: I need some stroller help! I just bought a new Dreamer Design Ditto Deluxe, 2007 model. It's the model with one-hand fold. Is anything on it likely to break? Anything I should know? I am worried since I can't get parts. If I need new wheels, can ANY bike store wheel work, or does it have to be a certain kind (no longer made)? Also, will this stroller turn? It's a fixed wheel, and I jog, but slowly. Actually I am walking now since baby #3 is due in 2 months.

A: I have the 2005 and 2006 Dreamer Design Ditto models, but not 2007 so I can't speak to the folding mechanism, specifically. I have a Kelty single stroller which has one-hand folding and the only problem I've had with that is that the handlebar padding getting a little torn and as it has aged, you have to make sure that it clicks into the locked position with the build-up of dirt, etc.

You probably will need to replace the tires every 1000-2000 miles, but your 16" stroller tires are just the same as a 16" children's bike, so they are easily found at a bicycle shop like Performance Bike or your local shop. Likewise, the innertubes (in case you get a flat) are easily found at a bike shop. With light-to-regular jogging on paved roads, I would not expect you to have a problem with the wheels or spokes themselves. I had to replace one of my wheels for becoming untrued (bent), but a bike mechanic can fix this if it is not too bad plus I take this stroller off-road and stuff so I'm sure that contributed to the problem. I did recently discover, however, that though they appear to be the same, the front tires from different brands are not necessarily interchangeable because of the quick release.

I have also replaced the brake cable and calipers (the parts that squeeze the wheel to make it stop) after about 2000 miles. They just got worn out and gunked up since I don't do a good job of cleaning off dirt, etc. after runs. When DD was in business, you could order the whole thing, but now you'll just have to get the parts at a bike shop. Just the same as a bicycle as well except that the cable is really long.

What IS likely to break on your Dreamer Design is the fabric. With each year, it seems like it becomes flimsier. Just check to make sure that all the nylon straps which support the seats are going around the frame so that the fabric is not supporting all the weight of the child.

This stroller turns GREAT! That is actually the #1 reason that I stuck with Dreamer Design despite the cons (such as going out of business). Because the back wheels are relatively far forward as compared to other strollers I've tried, it turns much easier than other fixed wheel strollers. You'll find it much easier to turn when you aren't pregnant anymore too. Though it can be annoying when you are walking, you would want to lock a swivel wheel into the fixed position for jogging anyway.

Two important cautions:
1. Also because of the back wheels being relatively forward, it is easy to tip over backwards if one of your kids stands up in his seat or if the stroller rolls backwards and hits a bump or even if you lean too hard on the handle while running uphill. Keep the kids buckled just in case.
2. You may experience this with 3 kids - the footrest looks like a really appealing seat for whichever kid doesn't get a real seat, but it will break the frame if you let the kid sit there because it is only welded together.

Good luck with #3...Third's a charm! I love having three.