Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas -Happy Running in the New Year

Howdy Running Mommies! Hope all your dishes are dried and put away and you all got a run in over the holidays. I am thinking about a 1/2 marathon. Last time I ran 15 miles was 3.5 years ago and now that I'm creeping up to age 50 I might just try and qualify for Boston my hometown. Sad that the marathons I've run have all been other places, but I'm not fast enough to run in my own town. This is my oldest girl-- about to start a track season!! Gave up soccer for running. How can I keep a smile off my face?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Boston Bound

When registration opened the morning of the 18th for the Boston Marathon, I fed into the hype. I sat there coffee in hand and waited for those precious minutes to tick away before registration opened. I started the process the moment the clock turned. All in all it took me about 10 minutes and about 5 failed tries before my registration went through.

At the time it seemed like a great idea and here's why:

I qualified this past March. With an 18 month window for your qualifying time, this meant that I had to run Boston in 2011 or try to re-qualify again if I wanted to run in 2012.

I love marathons. I hope that I am able to run a marathon a year for most years of my life. That being said I don't know how I will continue to fit in the training while the kids are this little. It's a huge sacrifice. The sacrifice is not just my own. My friends and family have been instrumental in helping me train for marathons now that I have kids. Without help from others I would never have been able to train. That being said I wanted to be able to run Boston one more time just in case I never make it back there [fingers crossed I will]

My mom recently moved to Boston[and qualified to run the race as well]. Two of my friends live in Boston. They both happen to be twins, though not twins to each other. Between the three of them, I will have a place to stay, someone to run with and people to cheer me on. What more can I ask for?

I really, really, really wanted to run B & A Marathon again this spring. Being that Colton was born on the 9th I didn't and don't have enough time to train for that race. Boston gives me over a month more to train and hopefully get in some sort of shape. Though I am being realistic and am in no way shape or form trying to PR at this race.

Two of my other best friends qualified and will be running Boston as well. They are twins, to each other. This means I won't be running all my long runs alone, in the cold. I am very thankful for this one. I have no problem running 20 miles, but would always rather run it with company. I know this will help motivate me, which is something I definately feel that I will need as a mom of a newborn.

It's Boston. I don't think this needs any explanation.

What I didn't think about. Sleepless nights, the cold temperatures and just generally how I was going to train in the winter with a newborn......

This Saturday will mark the 4 month mark till Boston. This weekend will be spent coming up with my training plan.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dean's Secret

I've talked about my idol before - Dean Karnazes. Okay. He's not really my idol per se. I don't aspire to run 135 miles in 120 degree heat (badwater), nor do I plan on tackling 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, nor does the idea of a 48-hour (nonstop) treadmill run in the middle of Times Square remotely appeal to me. BUT I do admire his endurance. And that is something I'd like to have more of. Wouldn't everyone?

So what's his secret? I'll tell you what it's not. STRETCHING. Yep. Karno does not stretch. Straight from the horse's mouth. Well, Im scribbling that one off my list.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bike Stroller

So, you might say that the mourning period has passed for the loss of my double stroller. Moving on to greener pastures, I have bought my first bike trailer! A fairly consistent road biker for many years, I am learning to mountain bike. Child #3 is coming along for the ride! At just 2 years old, she is a veteran of the jogging stroller and we will, of course, continue with that as well, but we are adding more variety. I have ridden with my other kids in a bike seat that mounts between the handlebars and the rider, but none of my current bikes can accommodate the seat.

Many of the considerations are the same for choosing a bike trailer as a jogging stroller. The wheel diameter choices are 16" or 20". You can choose a double or a single. There is, of course, a range of prices from over $900 (Chariot) to under $100 (inStep). All come with a wind screen which is important for protecting against flying debris from your back tire. Burleys are a great choice, especially for bumpier trails, but I went with the cheapest one: InStep. For occasional use and a small child (under 40 lbs), it seems like a great starter trailer. I could even buy a second one and still spend less than the next brand up.

The 16" tires won't roll quite as smoothly as the 20" ones, but they will be compatible with the tires and inner tubes I already have for my jogging stroller. Once this train is rolling forward, not much is going to stop if anyhow.

The bike trailers also fold up much smaller than strollers so my garage likes this too.

Your Life Story

We all have trails and tribulations. Some of us keep them to ourselves while other shout them from the rooftops. Some of us use what has happened to us to empower and push us farther while others use it as an excuse for mediocrity.

If you don't consider yourself a runner, if you don't work out, if you are overweight and out of shape. TODAY is the day to make a change.

If you run but have decided that for one reason or another you will always be slow, you will never be able to run more than a 5K, you will always finish in the last half at a race. TODAY is the day to make a change.

I am an avid reader. I love books. I love getting books. I love giving books. I love libraries and Barnes and Nobles. I am in the middle of way too many books right now. One of them is the Power.

Here are some excerpts from that book. I hope they motivate you to make the changes you want to make in your life. To stop making excuses and to get going, literally. Anyone can be a runner. The difference between a runner and a non runner is that a runner makes it happen. I was an overweight, unhappy, nonathletic girl. I made a change I made the life I wanted happen. You can too.

Your beliefs, true or untrue, form your world. What you imagine and feel to be true creates your life.

Imagine and feel whatever you want and those will be the pictures you receive back in life. Give love as much as you can and feel as good as you can, and the force of love will surround you with people, circumstances, and events that you love. You can be whatever you want. You can do whatever you want. You can have whatever you want.

Let go of the things you don't love about your childhood, and keep the things you love. Let go of the things you don't love about your adolescent and adult years, and keep the good things. Just keep the things you love about your whole life. All the negative things of the past are done, finished; you are not the same person as you were then, so why keep putting them in your story if they make you feel bad? you don't have to dig negative things out of you from the past. Just don't put them in your story anymore.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Saran Wrap Your Feet

What? This was the strangest thing I had ever heard. But let me tell you, it works. Saran Wrap really does prevent moisture (and in turn, cold) from getting to your feet. I read this on a blog sometime last year, and I had forgotten about it until now.

How to do it? Put your socks on, wrap feet up in saran wrap, fold over and slip on your shoes. Now go trot through some puddles or wet slush. Doesn't matter. You're feet will stay DRY.

What runners will do to get in a (comfortable) run ;)

A Gift

I'm not getting any sleep. I'd like to say it's Colton, but it's not. Ok. Occasionally it's Colton, but for the most part it's Miles.

Colton turned 4 weeks on Tuesday. I know this is very soon to a. expect sleep, b. be running. BUT I want both.

This past Saturday I met up with my local running club for the first time since Colton was born. I was greeted with lots of smiling faces, congrats, and you-look-greats. I felt like it was my birthday or I had won the lottery or something. I just felt happy.

It was cold and windy, but I didn't care. I was running. I was running with friends. 6.6 miles later I was even more happy than I was before. MR PIC and I ran together the whole time and I couldn't help get excited for Boston training. Am I looking forward to the 20 mile runs in the cold? No. I am however looking forward to spending 3 uninterrupted-by-children hours with friends, doing something I love, something that will help my pre-baby body return, and something that makes me a better person, mom and wife. I'm looking forward to all the conversations that are to come. To the ups and downs on the road - figuratively and literally.

Mile 1 - 9:14
Mile 2 - 8:56
Mile 3 - 8:49
Mile 4 - 8:45
Mile 5 - 8:23
Mile 6 - 8:24

Monday my husband and I discussed a training/running schedule.

He goes to work VERY early. This means I would literally have to be running at 4 am - not getting up then - running then. This will not work. Partially because I am afraid to run alone in the cold and dark at that hour, but also because as mentioned above, our kids do not sleep. This means hubby would be getting up at 4am and it's ridiculous to think that he should have to wake up that early for me to get in a run.

I'm going to run when he gets home from work. Yes there will be days when he will be late, and I will not get to go. Knowing however that it's a standing date with me and the roads every afternoon/early evening, makes it easier to stay motivated throughout the day.

Last winter the treadmill was my saviour. I know it will again come in handy this winter too, however there is a new person to add to the training/running equation. Colton. With Miles not napping and Colton napping sporadically - I just can't count on my treadmill runs like I did last winter. I will need my husband this year for running, more than my treadmill.

I know this time is fleeting. I know this is the last time I will have a newborn.

I'm being realistic.

Monday I ran 5 lovely, cold and windy miles outside. Lovely because I got to run. Lovely because I maintained a very even pace inspite of the sub-freezing temperature and wind.

Mile 1 - 9:03
Mile 2 - 9:08
Mile 3 - 9:04
Mile 4 - 9:00
Mile 5 - 9:00

Tuesday I went for my first 2nd day in a row run. Three miles that were again windy, cold and hard. I'm not complaining. I got to run.

Mile 1 - 9:10
Mile 2 - 9:10
Mile 3 - 8:37

When you find yourself lacking motivation this winter. Tell yourself that you get to run.

You are lucky enough to be presented with the opportunity to run.

We all have different reasons for running. We have different reasons for why we may not be able to run as often or as far as we like. We should be appreciative however of the times we can or do go. Running is a gift.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Coupon for breakfast yummies!

Check out this offer from ATTUNE complete with a printable coupon for their delicious and nutritious Uncle Sam breakfast cereal:

Get Your Group or Team Sponsored

Don't forget to check out this SMR e-offer from Salonpas - pain relief patches:

GIFT GUIDE for fitness peeps

Just wanted to share this GIFT GUIDE with those of you who don't receive the seeMOMMYrun e-newsletter. Some really cool stuff!

Marathon Mommy Changes Name

Just a quick update - Marathon Mommy has changed it's name to MomMeRuns.

New name, new address, same old blog. Continue to follow me at

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Arm Warmers: Yay or Nay?

I prefer outdoor running over treadmill, but with temperatures getting into the 30s now, I'm wondering more about arm warmers. I know the experts advice: Dress in layers!! But until it gets into the teens, it's just not gonna happen for me. I get too warm, too quickly and it's a big distraction.

So back to the question about the arm warmers. I see a lot of the elite athletes wearing them, and always wondered if they keep you comfortable without the bulky distraction and extra warmth of the layers. Has anyone ever used them and are they worth it??

Monday, December 06, 2010

Water Not Best For Hydration (huh?)

When you're working out, isn't it best to drink water to hydrate? Not so, according to sports and fitness expert Matt Fitzgerald. He says sports drinks are better due to the sodium and electrolyte. In fact, he has replaced some of the old beliefs about hydration and replaced them with his "New Rules." For more of an explanation, check out his article:
New Rules of Hydration

Old: Drink ahead of your thirst.
New: Drink according to your thirst.

Old: Aim to completely prevent dehydration.
New: Aim to slow dehydration.

Old: Use either a sports drink or water for hydration.
New: Use a sports drink instead of water.

Old: Protein exacerbates dehydration.
New: Protein enhances hydration.

Old: Caffeine exacerbates dehydration.
New: Caffeine does not affect dehydration.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Calluses Are a GOOD Thing!

I've heard people complain about calluses, and how hard it is to get rid of the stubborn things. But don't be so quick to rub it away! Your body is forming a protective barrier from outside elements, desensitizing it to constant pressure and friction. So maybe you should be grateful those calluses are there, making your feet less sensitive to something that may cause you irritation while you run.

Bottom Line: Thank you callus, for helping me tolerate more pain in order to keep doing what I love to do ;)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is Your Dog a Born Runner?

So this chart is taken directly from an article on

My dog is a small 9 pounder, so it doesn't surprise me that she didn't make the cut! Although she's more than okay with that.

In fact, it doesn't look like any small dogs were chosen as great runners. I guess even their fast, little strides just cant keep up with the easy long stride of a big dog.

Anyhow, see if your dog made the list!

Long, Steady Runs
(More Than 10 Miles)
German shorthaired pointers
Jack Russell terriers
A medium build, well-muscled hind quarters, not too heavy
Brisk Shorter Runs
(Less Than 10-K)
Pit bulls
English setters
Golden and Labrador retrievers
A muscular and lean build, and a mind for sprinting rather than slogging
Going Fast
(7-Minute Miles or Faster)
German shorthaired pointers
A medium-size, lean build, and a mental aptitude for running
Long, Slow Runs
Labrador retrievers
Standard poodles
A bigger body that can handle the distance—if you go slow
Running in the Heat
Rhodesian ridgebacks
Airedale terriers
Fox terriers
A long nose, a short, sleek coat, and a svelte body
Running in the Cold
German shepherds
Swiss mountain dogs
Siberian huskies
A thick coat and a stockier body type
Running on Trails with Obstacles
German shorthaired pointers
Border collies
Belgian sheepdogs
Sure-footed and quick to react (such as herding and hunting dogs)
Most Obedient on Heavily Used Trails
Golden and Labrador retrievers
Standard poodles
Border collies
Nonaggressive, people-oriented, and obedient; has a calm personality

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What to Eat Before A Run??

After a huge thanksgiving feast, it's hard to think about fueling up before a run! But it's interesting to note the different foods for different goals.

Goal: Build Muscle
Food Type: Carb + Protein to build lean muscle mass
Best Foods:
**Hummus with cucumber and tomatoe slices on whole wheat
**Oatmeal with fruit and low-fat chicken sausage
**Baked sweet potato topped with low fat cottage cheese

Goal: Burn Fat
Food Type: Low Calorie High Carb (to give extra energy to blast fat)
Best Foods:
**Unsweetened cereal with skim milk and fruit
**Toast with light spread of almond butter and preserves
**Low fat yogurt fruit parfait

Goal: Easy on Tummy (sensitive stomach)
Food Type: Low Fiber, Low Fat
Best Foods:
**Low Fat Yogurt
**Whole Wheat English muffin

Remember to give yourself an hour after you eat, prior to running ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can This Fragrance Improve Runs?

Yes the headline says it all. Could a fragrance help keep you motivated to endure those long, grueling workouts? Surprisingly, many reviewers of this fragrance say YES.

The fragrance is called Moves, by Adidas.

They say the motivation may come from the uplifting scents of citrus and floral. We say thumbs up!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Watch for FREE Kellogs FiberPlus in your Mailbox

This past week seeMOMMYrun mailed 10,000 coupons for FREE Kellogs FiberPlus bars with antioxidants. Any members who have given us your physical mailing address will receive one. So watch your mailbox for a white envelope with the coupon inside. Just a little THANK YOU from KELLOGS to our wonderful members for your participation!

Enjoy the yummy treats!

Friday, November 05, 2010

speedwork actually works, really

I run only four days a week and cover around 30 miles in those runs. If I run more often than that, I get injured, though I can increase my overall mileage without injury (and I feel compelled to write that I exercise every day because I am compulsive; the other three days of the week are for spinning, plyometrics, kickboxing, and strength training). Until recently, I incorporated one speed session a week…at most...when inspired.

This summer and fall, I decided to follow an “advanced” training program (which I modified for my four-day a week routine) in order to prepare in a more focused manner than usual for the Wilson Bridge Half-Marathon and the Army 10-Miler. So I had to up my speedwork to twice a week.

I don’t go to a track. (I do have a funky track near my house. “Funky” because you have to run, I think, 3 1/3 times around to cover a mile, which is simply confusing for speedwork.) My schedule incorporates one tempo run, one interval/fartlek run, one “regular old” run, and one distance run.

My speed sessions are definitely challenging, but not hard to incorporate every week, and they relieve any possible running boredom. This must be good for the brain as well as the body, since doing routines in new ways creates new neural pathways.

Without changing my diet, I have lost five pounds and my race pace of (just barely) sub-eights has become “comfortable” again—and I can even push into that less comfortable realm of 7:20s-7:30s for a mile or so at the end of even a long race.

I did nothing fancy, and I feel great.

(This may be my first “perky” post ever. I apologize.) 

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Running Stroller to High School Cross County

Hi there running Mommies! This is a time of new beginnings. My 3 year old started preschool so I have 3 mornings a week all to myself. First time in 16 years. I almost always get a good run in. The biggest news is my oldest started high school and to keep in shape for soccer I signed her up for summer cross country training with her high school team. She moaned and groaned and was so annoyed with me. She goes to a huge 5A school and all the sports are highly competitive here in Texas so I wanted her to have speed and endurance. As it turns out-- she has running genes!!! She loves it. She's thinking of not even trying out for soccer now and turning all her attention to running. We bought spikes-- who knew they had such a thing for cross country, but I had a field day in Fleet Street ooing and ahhing over all the cool running gear. This is a girl who flat out told me she hated running after doing track last year. She has her own mind, her own everything and I get to watch!!! She is no longer waiting at the finish line for me-- I'm there waiting for her with the camera..... Oh delight!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Running - 35 Weeks Pregnant

This past Saturday marked the 35 week mark in this pregnancy. 35 days till my official due date. The date is subjective and I don't take much stock in it, but nevertheless it gives me a concrete date to count from.

My due date is like knowing that Marine Corps Marathon is on 10/31/10 only it could randomly change at a moments notice and come sooner or later.

At this point in the pregnancy sleep has become invaluable. At about the time that my daughter started attending full day school, my son decided to stop napping. This means NO breaks during the day.

Heartburn and feeling uncomfortable stops me from getting a full nights sleep most nights. I don't set the alarm on the weekends. If I wake up in time to run, then great. If I don't, well then I don't.

I'm a self proclaimed morning runner - if I don't wake up and get it done, chances are I won't get it done at all. Sunday morning Miles woke up screaming for me. I decided - I'm up - I'm running.

I debated back and forth about whether or not I should go meet up with my running club to run or just go alone.

Would I be the slowest person there? Would I have anyone to run with? What if I was running alone - will I wish I had just started from my own house rather than driving to Starbucks? What if I can't keep up with the others I am running with and have to embarrassingly admit that they should just leave me? Why is that embarrassing - I'm 35 weeks pregnant?!

All these thoughts played out in my head - till I yelled STOP - silently. I would go - I would face my fears - because admittedly I know they are silly, though very real.

I was happy to see another pregnant runner, who has over the course of the past couple of months become someone I would consider a friend. Miles spent running give you plenty of time to get to know someone. Coincidentally she has a son named Miles as well. BEST.NAME.EVER.

Before we took off, another friend who I have gotten to know through running over the course of this summer, arrived. Hooray - I had people I could run with, or at least attempt to keep up with for a mile or two.

I started chirping. I talked the whole first mile and paid for it in the second. Half way through the second mile I decided to give myself an out. Guys I'm going to have to walk when we hit mile 3. I was giving them an OUT too - in case I was dragging them down.

Much to my surprise my body started to feel better. I got over the first three miles. Those miles are always the hardest for me, pregnant or not. I did not need to walk. I ran and ran and ran and got happier with every step. I can do this. I am strong. I am a woman. Hear me roar.

5 miles later I was elated. I knew inside though that I could not give myself the credit for this run. I would have stopped at a mile had I been alone. It was running friends who helped me achieve something I did not know was possible for my body. 5 miles running, not wunning at 35 weeks - I'll take it!

Mile 1 - 10:12
Mile 2 - 10:43
Mile 3 - 10:53
Mile 4 - 10:51
Mile 5 - 10:13

How do your mommy friends help you achieve things you did not know were possible?

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Current Giveaway: Free GU

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Costume Run - Burke Lake

Burke Lake Park and South Run Recreation Center team up again to host the…
4th Annual Halloween 1-Mile Fun Run
(*Must be in costume to participate*)

When: Saturday October 30, 2010
Check-in begins at 8:15 am
Race begins at 9:15 am SHARP!
Where: Burke Lake Park - Shelter A (near the large playground)
Cost: $10 per child 12 and under
Parents are encouraged to accompany young children for no additional

Refreshments, face painting, and arts and crafts will
be available following the race. Everybody wins a
goody bag!

Other outdoor family fun:
Enjoy the Ghost Train Ride* (10am-5:15pm) provided by Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, spooky music, the parade of costumes, a playground, arts and crafts and face painting. *Ghost Train Ride: $4.50/person; pay this fee at Burke Lake upon riding the train

Reservations required. For more information and registration contact South Run Recreation Center 703.866.0566. (Laurie Strickland- Event Director)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Double Time: Road to San Antonio

My father was a military man..well, boy.  He lied about being 18 so he could run away from his drunk father and join the Coast Guard.   He craved order, fair discipline, and rituals like unloading the dishwasher the moment it finished its cycle.

My mother was...well, the opposite.  She was an untamed, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, wild-child who would rebel just for the sake of rebelling.

Clearly, it didn't end well.  But before their impromptu marriage fell apart, they managed to raise a daughter who sees no point in making the bed every morning, but who tries to do it because that's what you're supposed to do.

Which is exactly why, when I could not find a running group that fit my schedule, I made my own.  You see, I need the discipline of a group.  I find comfort in knowing that every Friday at 9am I must be ready to help my group tackle the next incremental step on our training schedule - a schedule that I devised.   I need the ritual of dropping my 5 year old off at Kindergarten, and zooming down to our meeting spot 20 minutes before the others arrive in order to sap the last bit of baby's on the stairs.  I love working on group communication e-mails that offer weekly tips and remind me to practice what I preach.   I crave the high that comes from looking down at my watch and reading that we've already done twice the miles than I realized because they melted away in conversation.

Otherwise, there's an awfully strong chance I would say To Hell With It and get stuck at 6 miles.   Without others counting on me, I don't push myself as hard as I should; my log book doesn't have as many miles in it (if I'm writing in it at all).  Of course, I WANT to run farther and faster, but I can't help but getting distracted by the rest of my life, including that ridiculous voice that says Go on, check Facebook one more time, maybe something fantastic popped up.  Or Oh, run tomorrow, today let's drag the kids around a new part of town on a whim despite their protests.

So, for 8 weeks now, 10-15 of us have been on the Road to San Antonio.  We're training for the November 14th Rock & Roll Half Marathon that tours the art district, several missions and of course, the Alamo.  We started at 5 miles and have worked our way up to 10 so far.  Each week, our gang varies slightly according to their schedules, but we have a strong 6 person core group on which the others depend.   They all expect me and the baby to be there, ready to talk their ears off (or as I like to think of it, distract them through the miles).  And they all apologize profusely if they've missed a run, promising to make it up the next day.

I guess we get along so well because we have a common bond.  We all make our beds...unless, of course, no one is looking.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Athem Great Pumpkin Kids Dash 2010

Saturday morning the alarm crowed. Literally crowed. The rooster on my phone seems more fitting these days to wake up to than a loud alarm bleeping.

The alarm meant it was finally time for Chloe and Miles to run the "kids race" they had been looking forward to.

I get giddy on race day. Whether I'm running or not - just being at a race brings it on. My husband calls it chirping. My mood is happy. I don't stop talking. Talking about everything and nothing all it once.

I felt giddy despite being a bit more stressed. After all, it is much harder getting two kids out the door early on a Saturday morning for a race than it is getting just myself ready.

That morning I felt I was giving my children a gift. My first race was in 2000 at the age of 18. Chloe's first race was 10 years later at the age of 4. I'm giving my children the gift of a head start on being healthy and athletic. They may never be runners. They might not even like sports. I am giving them a no-pressure option of learning early so they can decide for themselves.

Chloe is convinced that her and her best friend Ava won the race. In a sense they did. They won their own race. They ran their little hearts out for 100 meters and finished proud and confident. That is what winning is all about. Not being the best, but being their best.

In reality they really were among the first girls to cross the line. My competitive nature made sure that my friend Meredith and I were at the very front of the starting line with Ava, Chloe, Miles and Sophie. We didn't want any strollers, parents or kids who were out for a jog getting in our way. They wanted to race and we wanted them to.

Miles and Sophie are also convinced they won the kids 2's division. Miles the boys and Sophie the girls. There can be so many winners on race day. Male, Female, Age Groups, First Time Racers, PR's -- The list goes on.

Next time you race, think of these four children. They won. We didn't lie to them. They won. For winning is not always about crossing the line first but about your attitude about your performance.

When I need a race attitude adjustment or just a reminder of what winning is really about - I think back to Marine Corps 2008 when I qualified for Boston for the first time with a 24 minute marathon PR. On the way home I turned and said to my husband "I feel like a champion" -- I did and do to this day feel like a champion, even if I am just a champion in my own mind.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

34 Weeks Pregnant - Still Wunning

Wun: A wun is defined as any attempt at a run that despite all your best intentions turns into a run/walk. wun's commonly occur during pregnancy.

Monday morning I headed out in the dark for a solo run. I love running early in the morning before the sun rises. I find peace in the quietness and darkness surrounding me. My goal was to run 2 miles with out stopping for a break. Goal completed.

Mile 1, 10:52, seemed relatively easy compared to my wun's on the treadmill.

Mile 2, 11:34, was a struggle. I had no music, no one to distract me, so I was forced to be alone with my own thoughts.

Mile 3, 18:52, was a walk - no running - no wunning - a walk.

Here were my thoughts:
1. I am proud that at 34 weeks I can still run a mile. When my body gives me more I will be grateful.

2. The last time I ran 10 miles when I was pregnant with Miles was when I was about 7 weeks along at the Army Ten Miler 2007. The last time I ran 10 miles(running not wunning) this time around was when I was 26 weeks pregnant. I am no longer running to try to have a quick recovery back to my training and racing. I am running to be fit for myself and for this baby.

3. I know my fitness will come back. 6 months and 2 days after having Miles I ran a 24 minute marathon PR and qualified for Boston. Some of the worlds fastest women, put forth their best performances in the years immediately after having children.

4. So what if I have gained 30+ lbs?! I'm proud that I am a runner who once-upon-a-time in-the-not-so- distant past did consider herself small and that I DID NOT and DO NOT have an eating disorder. It truly makes me sad when I see women happy about only gaining a couple of pounds while pregnant. Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. Miles was 8.18 lbs when he was born! I'm excited to see how big this baby is going to be. My guess is bigger than his older brother.

5. I miss my friends. I miss training with them. I'm only 28 so I'm hoping that leaves a good 70 or so more years for me to run with them. I need to have patience.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oops I Did It Again*

I broke another Dreamer Design Double jogging stroller. While it is still unfortunate that they went out of business (can't redeem the lifetime warranty on the frame) it is not so unexpected. Apparently not the highest quality product? In their defense, I've run this stroller into the ground. At the time of death, there was about 80 pounds of child running 30 miles/week on mixed roads and trails. It was on its second set of tires, but the stroller was only used for a year and a half. More importantly - NO ONE ever sat on the foot rest this time around and the welding still came apart at the same spot next to the front wheel. This is a big vote for strollers with a solid frame or, like our Kelty, bolted together at the joints.

I was really hoping to squeak the rest of October out of this stroller since I still have several weeks until my fall marathon, but alas. My husband and I brainstormed the possible options for holding the stroller together (duct tape, drill and bolt a metal tube, etc.). While I hate the waste from an environmental point of view, fixing the welding isn't practical. We would have to remove the already torn fabric (i.e. flammable parts) which is riveted to the frame and then re-attach it afterwards. Plus, do you happen to have the ability to weld in your garage? Not unheard of, but also not common. We do not.

So, like tearing off a band-aid. It is done. My double-stroller days are over. Sniff. Sniff. No, really. Most people are like, "Oh! Are you so happy..." I actually start to cry a little when I think about it. If you've been in a position with multiple small children, you'll know what I mean: that stroller was like my life-line for 5 years. That red stroller gave me freedom to get out of the house and to work out and get/stay in shape and even just to walk to the store or the park.

Now it is just me and Francesca cruising in the ol' purple single jogger while the older kids are at school. We've even gone to the gym (agast!) when it was pouring know, like a normal person...

* Thanks Brittany Spears

Friday, October 08, 2010

Running - 34 Weeks Pregnant Minus A Day

Tomorrow will mark 34 weeks. I'd be lying if I said I didn't already feel like it's the end. It's not. I have 6 full weeks left till I am 40 weeks pregnant.

So soon, yet so very far away.

I want to meet my new little man. I want him to stop kicking me so hard at night so I can sleep. I want to be able to have a run where I don't feel like the earth is shaking with my every step.

Chicago is this weekend, and though I certainly do NOT miss that race, I am missing all the marathon hype that goes on during October. It's marathon season - the time of the year when I am usually at my fittest - this time I'm 30+ lbs over that fittest point.

In the end I know my reward is greater than any marathon medal hanging around my neck. Though I still find myself wishing that in 3 weeks some nice marine was saying congrats ma'am.

I ran/walked for 30 minutes today on my treadmill. It really looks like he's getting a bit dusty. I think he misses me too. He's thinking why is this girl not running for 3 hours at a time anymore? Why is her running speed the speed she used to walk?

When they say you will do anything for your kids, it's true. There are only 3 people in this world that I would gain this much weight for, be this uncomfortable for, sacrifice my running for, and deal with my semi-out-of-control-emotions for. Two I have met, and one I'm just patiently, or not so patiently waiting to meet.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Run Like A Mother

I'm excited to share my latest news!

Run Like A Mother picked me to be their Follow This Mother last week.

When I read my answers to their questions online I cried. It was one of those moments when you realize something about yourself. Who I am can be summed up into four words - I am a runner.

CLICK HERE to read the post.

When did you first decide you were *officially* a runner?

Monday, September 20, 2010

It makes for a story

An inaugural run is the unknown. The course is unknown. Race organizers, as excellent as they are, might miss something, misjudge something. Whatever the unknown brings, good or bad, it makes for a story.

The course of the inaugural Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, which was held yesterday, was known for the first 8 miles or so, since it covered the same course as the George Washington Parkway Classic 10-mile race.
I knew I’d start downhill and then face hills from miles 2-5. I knew miles 5-8 would be flat. Then I had to trust the course and elevation maps for clues as to how I might feel, the experience I might have. But maps can’t reveal the nitty gritty.

I assumed the first half of the Wilson Bridge would be uphill. Race organizers even dubbed this portion “The Rude Awakening” after “The Awakening” statue that had moved from Hains Point in DC to the National Harbor complex in Oxen Hill, MD, where the race finished. We all ran past a sign announcing “The Rude Awakening” at the entrance to the footpath on the bridge. But that hill was almost nothing, a gradual uphill that was easy to stay strong on – even though there was no shade, and the late summer morning was heating up.

Here is the trick, which I anticipated pre-race, but the rational expectation didn’t much lessen its impact: When we came over the bridge and hit the 10-mile mark, we could see National Harbor and the finish line in the distance, but it was still 3.1 miles away. We were still required to wrap up and around the National Harbor complex. No matter what I know rationally, the sight of the finish line affects me. And my subconscious brain has far too much influence on my body. Sometimes I have to fight to stay in charge. But I sped up, almost without noticing, enough that I felt ill and dizzy for a moment around mile 11. I think I’d run a 7:15 mile (slow to some, fast for me). So I slowed down. Then I felt as if I were crawling. But I fought to stay in control.

Then I was faced with a steep hill going up and curving to the right. I couldn’t see the end of it. I decided to walk for a moment. A very sweaty man (sweat was dripping off of his soaked shorts), considerably older than I, maybe in his 50s, shuffled by me and said, “Come on, just jog up it.” I replied, sounding much more cheery than I felt, “I’ll make it!” I did know I would make it, but I just needed a moment. But I listened to the wise runner, and I jogged. I passed him on the hill, thanking him as I went past.

From there, I knew the course was all downhill or flat. I let myself fly down the hill – leaning in to take advantage of gravity. A fantastic cooling breeze kicked up off the water.

But then I faced the last rude awakening, almost a mile on gravel, a bleak, under-construction stretch. These were grey, chunky stones, deep and loose enough that we were kicking them up, leaving distinct footprints. I felt forced into running on my toes, which I find uncomfortable and tiring. I kept going at a quick pace and just hoped that portion would be over soon and that I wouldn’t fall. Of course, I made it through. I was elated to see the cement sidewalk going along the harbor. I feared a turn to the right was going to be an uphill to the finish, but a quick left averted that and led to another left, where the finish was. The finish line snuck up on me a bit, but I was happy to see it. 

The Awakening statue looked much smaller at the harbor than it used to at the tip of Hains Point. But there was my husband and my two boys, aged 6 and 3. I ran to the side and lifted the 3-year-old up and over the fence. He reached for me, until he realized I was sweaty and scrambled to be handed back to his father. I pulled the 6-year-old up and over, and he, too, wanted to go back. He doesn't care if I'm sweaty, but the statue of the buried giant was more of an attraction. At this point, race volunteers reprimanded me, telling me to keep moving. I didn’t argue, and I got moving, assuming I could find my way back. I’ve done the find-the-family-in-a-packed-finish-area thing many times before.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Getting Chicked"

According to Runner's World Magazine, "Getting Chicked" is trail-running lingo for
"Being outrun by a woman. This can only happen to men. It's best when it happens to macho men. It's even better when the woman is wearing a skirt. Tough trail women wear skirts. And look hot. And beat men."

I will one-up that. I like to pass men while wearing a skirt, looking hot, AND pushing my stroller! It happens! Often!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

31 Weeks Pregnant and Still Running

6 Miles running/walking this morning, all while pushing my 4 year old daughter in the single stroller.

31 weeks today!

Mile 1 - 10:07
Mile 2 - 10:14
Mile 3 - 12:50
Mile 4 - 10:15
Mile 5 - 12:54
Mile 6 - 11:53

Life is still getting in the way of running, hence why I was unable to run alone this morning. I'm praying that my husband will heal soon, so he can handle the kids alone.

I'm still hoping that my body will give me one more 10 mile run before this baby is born. I think I could have done it today had I been alone. I felt amazing. I'll be grateful for 6 today though. Thankful I only had to push one child instead of two.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

half-marathon respect

How do you approach half-marathon training?

I am a distance woman, so running 13.1 miles is not a huge stretch in a pinch. I usually run at least a 10-mile long run every other week when I’m not “in training.” But, this past spring, I realized that I was disrespecting the distance. Between the National Half Marathon at the end of March and the Zooma Annapolis at the beginning of June, I was smacked down. I finished the National Half Marathon, but I had to take walk breaks after mile 9. I still finished in less than 1:50, but those were a brutal last 4 miles; I felt like I was finishing a tough full marathon. The Zooma Annapolis race offered two distances, a half marathon and a 10K. At race start, it was already 80 degrees, very humid and sunny, but still. About a half mile past the 10K turnaround point, I stopped, turned, and chose to finish the 10K course instead.

I didn’t start either race too fast. I think I was simply cocky. I hope I have learned the proper lesson.

I decided to treat the half as I would a full marathon. So, for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon on Sunday, I have actually been following a training plan (Hal Higdon’s, if you must know, but I think the plan matters less than the following of one; they all seem similar).

I still may not sleep the night before (which may be the true culprit of my recent harsher race experiences), but I hope I have paid the proper respect to the distance.

Friday, August 13, 2010

4 Mile Pregnant Double Stroller Run

Last week I emailed my local running group, asking if anyone wanted to meet up for a run later in the morning. It's not that I don't want to run at 5:30 am, I do - I would, but for our family 5:30 doesn't work. I was pleased when another mommy runner emailed back and said she could meet up for a stroller run at a 10:00 - 10:30 pace. Wooo Hooo.

If you knew me in high school you would probably have described me as either shy or stuck up. I wasn't stuck up, far from it, but sometimes my shyness was interpreted as me being *too good* Over the years I have worked hard to come out of my shell and have forced myself into many an uncomfortable situation. This helped me to learn to have confidence when meeting new people, speaking in small groups and then later speaking in front of large groups. It's a journey that I can't believe I was capable of making, but I have. [I will admit, at times it still feels like a never ending journey]

After I had agreed to meet up - I had anxiety - would this mom like me? Would I be able to keep up in the running stroller for 3 - 4 miles. Goodness knows that some days a 2 mile run/walk is hard enough. I let my fears get the best of me and came up with excuses of why I should just email her and let her know I couldn't run.

I set the alarm this morning and hurried around the house. A run with two kids is not an easy feat. Yes the running itself is work, but the prep beforehand is equally hard.

Is everyone dressed appropriately? Do they need sunscreen? Hats? Do we have enough snacks? Water that won't spill? Lollipops in case they get whinny? Shoes that won't fall off[we have lost a croc before and had to retrace our entire run to try and locate it]? Will the snacks/lollipops keep them occupied or should I bring some toys and books? Do I have water? Where is my cell phone[always a good idea to bring along when you go on a run with kids]? Did I bodyglide[the body moves in strange motions when trying to push 100 lbs up a hill - I don't want to chafe]? The list goes on. It took 50 minutes to get out of the house this morning, a number I was actually impressed with.

The whole time I was getting ready, I kept checking my phone. It was overcast out and I was wondering if she would call to cancel....was I hoping she would? I don't know. I will admit that the shy girl from high school/college was rearing her ugly head and was making me nervous. Why?!? She didn't call, so we headed to the meeting point.

Fast forward to the end. I ran 4 miles total, we chatted the whole time, she was lovely, her daughter was adorable, and I found myself really, really happy that I had taken a chance and met a new person to run.

And who knows maybe she will even want to meet me again?[though I know I did chat her head off - I think it's a reflex reaction to being nervous?!]

Ummmmmmmmmmm and can you believe I ran 4 miles pushing two kids while 25+ weeks pregnant? I certainly can't. On Monday with Miss Becca I pushed the kids for 2 miles before having to start walking. I was really really proud of myself for just that!

Here's to praying that tomorrow's run is just as cool and that my body cooperates as it did today :)

Mile 1 - 10:05
Mile 2 - 10:02
Mile 3 - 9:49
Mile 4 - 10:17

Are you pregnant now? Still running? Tell us your due date!!