Monday, April 29, 2013

Race Weekend - Expo

While the Nike Women's Marathon expo"tique" opened on Thursday, but I couldn't break away from work and kids sports until late Saturday afternoon. This was a mistake. Nothing could be done, but I feel like I missed out a little bit and I really should have gone with a friend/MRTT buddy.

I headed to Georgetown at 3pm on Saturday. It was a beautiful day and the world was out and about. I decided to drive down, but didn't make the decision to drive into Georgetown until when I got to Rosslyn. I should have parked there and then walked across the bridge. I pressed on however, and spent 30 minutes on M street regretting it. That was the worst of it. Or so I thought, until Io saw this.

Super crazy line. To be fair, the line moved along nicely, but was a bit shocking when you first tried to find the end. It was Disneyland long. Signs and all.

Once we entered the tent, there where tons of folks ready to assign bibs and give us our bags.

You then were supposed to head to the expo, which seemed to be a tent of 3-4 vendors. Nike, Bare Essentials, Luna and maybe 1 other. It was so crowded, it was hard to say. They had these 3 pin pads where you were supposed to enter the code you received at bib distribution and see if you won anything.

It was a fun idea. They had some nice walls and lots of places to take pictures. But none of the regular vendors that we in DC have become accustomed to. I can see where they wouldn't want direct competitors there, but there was no running supplies there at all. (that I saw)

I didn't make it to the Nike store where the runners name wall was located and apparently some race merchandise. I did manage to stop off at Hershey's to sneak a little pre-dinner ice cream before heading home. :) All in all, it was well run, if sparse and they were VERY lucky it wasn't raining. Folks were already not happy, and that would have charged up the negativity skyhigh.

I can't wait to tell you about the race! (Hint - the weather continued to grace us with pitch perfect temps!)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nature is Deadly

So I am a little wacked out this week. I am looking forward to the race, the weather looks great, the girls from Moms Run This Town are excited and life is good.

Well except for one thing.

I feel like crap.

My allergies are here.

Nature is kicking my butt.

Not me, but I feel like this

I don't always have allergic reactions to spring, but here I am sniffling, aching head and generally lethargic. Not happy, that is for sure.

Things have been very busy at work and tonight was the first night since Sunday that we were all home for dinner at the same time.

I don't think I can go pick up my packet until Saturday afternoon, and that makes me nervous. No real reason, but I haven't been to Georgetown in years and it is not exactly the easiest place to get to.

News just broke that Shalane Flanagan is running the race. I don't know much about her, but she seems very down to earth. I won't be anywhere close to her, but still fun to know.

My goals? I would like to finish sub 3 hours. Having a good showing equal to Woodrow Wilson and much faster then Disney would be great for me. Did I mention the weather is supposed to be great? Can't wait!

I just need to hydrate, sleep, eat and hydrate.

See you on the flip side.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Month Flies By, But Some Moments You Must Grab

Today was uneventful.

That isn't true.

I got up and went to bootcamp. Circuit day. Ouch, enough said.

I am pretty sure I fell back to sleep when I got home.

Work - It was great. A project I have been working on for the last several months is finally coming together. We have a long way to go, but seeing parts of the application working was so gratifying and exciting!

Got some items off my to do list and then went to
 - pick up honey stinger chews for the race on Sunday
- get the car inspected (best part, other then passing? Being able to sit outside!)
- pedicure. Finally. I am embarrassed to tell you how much I needed it. Weather is supposed to be even warmer tomorrow, so this was a true emergency.

Came home to dinner in the oven and GREAT report cards for both kids.

Best part of the day. Hanging with my girl.

Boy was at scouts so she and I had lots of time before bedtime. I sometimes dread this, because it turns into a tug of war between what she wants to do and what I am too tired to do. We ended up just goofing off. So fun to hear the joy in her laugh and just giggle like girls. We tickled and read and wrestled and did hair....Who cares about anything else?

My cup is full. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kids Schedules!

Spring sports have begun and I am struggling a little bit. My family eats dinner together about 3 times a week, which is a significant decrease from our usual 7 days. Not only that, but my ability to get vegetables into said family is greatly reduced. This is not a new problem, but seems especially acute considering I now have two kids with sports schedules. This is also my busy time at work, so less planning time to fight the family challenges.

Is this where I am supposed to insert some great tips?

1. I am trying to get sleep. With work deadlines, keeping my training up and someone or all of us being out every night, sleep is important. No reading books ( I stay up too late).
2. I walk or do something during practices. I am on the bleachers watching during games, but at practice, I have time to get moving. To be honest, this typically happens during soccer practice. One is better then None. :)
3. Plan ahead. Leftovers in the frig give the hungry athletes something to eat other then snack bar concessions. Larger meals on Sundays, mean the Monday dinner at 8:40 pm resembles something of a balanced meal.
4. Make picnics. This has mainly applied to baseball games and swim meets, but I pack a picnic dinner for myself and my daughter. This allows me to bring fruit salad, apple slices, and other good for us sides that keep the concession stand at bay.
5. Other treats need to wait. No pizza on Friday night just because, when that is the first night out of five that we are actually home to cook. Last Friday, I cooked up some chicken breasts for sandwiches, which we enjoyed on the porch while gathering with neighbors. Easy and healthy.
6. Do what it takes to keep your sanity, while making the best choices possible.

What have you done to keep the balance in life when it gets hectic?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Taper Time

I am running the Nike Women's Half in DC next weekend. It is the first running of this race. Nike runs a marathon in San Francisco each year. So far I have mixed feelings about this race. The registration was a mess. It was a lottery, so MANY months ago we entered into the lottery and gave our ccard. This is pretty standard stuff, so no big deal. When the day of announcements came the  facebook page started to light up. Some folks posting that they got emails, others were checking their credit card statements for charges. And so it went for HOURS. I am somewhat of a scatterbrain, so I had no idea what ccard I had used weeks before. I never did get an email, but eventually there was a listing posted to the website with all the names of the registered runners. I was on it, so had to assume I was good. Frankly, I had registered for this race on a whim, with no one else. I was happier with the Cherry Blossom experience and I didn't even get in that race!

Anyways I am running. I would say my training has been sporadic at best. I ran a few long runs as the weather warmed up. So more outside running, which I think prepares me better for races.  But as you know, I have had a few weird knee issues and bouts with non-motivated weeks.

I ran twice today. The first 3 miles were for the local VisionWalk. I took my kids to the walk with me. I was meeting a few other DGs and a few of us were planning to run the route. My running partners in crime weren't able to make it, but I knew my kids would fill in - if I could keep up with them.

Stretching is very important!
Ready for some fun
We were at a local outdoor shopping mall. One of the many town centers that have cropped up over the years in the area. The last race my son and I ran together was at this same place, so I was pretty sure we would be following the 5k route. We were off. Another DG mom offered to come with us and helped me keep close to the kids. We were off and ran the first mile in 11 minutes! I knew we wouldn't be able to keep up that pace, and indeed I was right. We slowed to closer to 15 minute miles for the last two. I was very proud of my daughter for sticking with it and finishing the run/walk. She was so cute crossing the finish line with everyone cheering. I very well could be in trouble with this one! My son loves it when I talk about how he is such a good coach. He was prompting us to "run to the corner" or to that light. So great! The last quarter mile or so I let him go ahead. 

We ended with some bounce house fun and yummy sandwiches. 

Once home I took care of lunch and then headed out to my local trail for 4 more miles. I felt like I was back in business, running 11:30-13:15 miles. Great place for me to be a week out from my race! 

Last week I exercised all 5 days during the week. I am not sure I will do the same this week, as I should be tapering, but I do want to get to Boot camp at least twice. 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Together Tuesday

This morning started out with my alarm going and my motivation getting me out of bed. Its funny sometimes I just do what is right, other times I have to talk myself into getting up and still others I know no amount of self-talk is getting me moving. Today I was up and at 'em. Headed over to GMU for bootcamp and was pleasantly surprised at how warm it felt. I was not pleasant when I was the only one there for warm up. Soon others started coming and all was good again. I am scared to do a workout with Edye by myself! Not really, as I have before, but I know it would be HARD to have her focused on me for an hour!

Today we broke up class into 2 parts. First was strength and then we did intervals. I did ok with most everything, except the push ups. (must practice - really) She estimated we went 2 miles for the 30/30 intervals. I think it was closer to 1.5, but what do I know. What I do know was I kept with it and felt good at the end.

I typically wear semi dressy clothes to work, but today I had on my Woodrow Wilson half shirt on. No one else at work was wearing a race shirt, but lots of my friends on FB were. It was a small thing to do, but made me feel better. Lots of folks were also running for Boston.  2.62 miles, silent miles or some other amount of time or mileage. I didn't end up running again today for various reasons, but will think of Boston when I run tomorrow. I am feeling much better this week, more energized (even though my eyes are about to shut on me right now) and back in the business of getting healthy.

Tomorrow is another day and I plan to carry on with my momentum.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Praying for Boston and everywhere else

As I sit here watching the coverage of the race (finally, I won't watch it when the kids are around) I am just as horrified, if not more so, since the news was broken at work today. I think about the runners who worked so hard to be there. So hard that their families would never think of missing them cross the finish line. That one person's goals put whole families, new couples, children at risk. I won't try to recap the news here. The facts as we know them are changing rapidly. I think about those that were impacted and those that might be reconsidering a goal race such as London next week or MCM in the future. I wonder about the runners who deferred from last year due to the heat and if they feel like this race is cursed for them.

Boston is a goal race, a big goal race. It has its own language. To BQ is to Boston Qualify. It is one of the few races in the nation where you have to meet a time target in order to run. Races advertise themselves a flat and fast for BQ. All of that was shattered today.

I heard about 17,000 people had already crossed the finish line. How do they feel about their accomplishment? Is it all overshadowed by the victory. Will the winners always be connected to this tragedy? Will they be more determined to come back and conquer this course and show that runners will not be defeated by such senseless violence. As you can see, I haven't been able to formulate any real thoughts around this. Just more questions.

The racing community is spreading the word to wear race shirts tomorrow in support of the runners, the marathon and Boston.

So this is how I am ending the day.

I began it at boot camp. Today was our first day outside. There was a light rain. It didn't bother me except for when were laying on our mats doing crunches. I am not sure how the weather will impact our schedule, but hopefully the rain will start after 7 am on most days. I feel like it is a major victory that I made it this morning. Tomorrow I am going to try again!

darkest before the dawn?

I wish I had a great Sunday run to share with you, but I don't. In fact I haven't run in a week. 2 weeks out from my half marathon and I am not running. Not good. Its not just running, its everything. But as they say, you just have to start. So tomorrow I start over. Begin at the beginning by getting up and going to boot camp. Its our first day outside, so really hope the forecasted rain showers wait until 7:30 or so.

While I didn't work out at all, I did have a good weekend. My husband was away at a conference, so I watched what I wanted to (Hope Springs and a French Film, the Intolerables) and generally enjoyed my friends and neighbors. Friday the neighbors all gathered for drinks and relaxation on our neighbors porch. It was so much fun to enjoy the weather and catch up with everyone. Saturday night we went out with another family whose husband/dad was out of town and hit up a restaurant to celebrate one of the kids birthdays.

Tomorrow is Boston. Do you know anyone running the marathon?

Here's to a new week!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

48.6 Miles?!

Run Disney opened up the registration for the 2014 Marathon Weekend at Disney World.

273 days ahead of the race! While I very much enjoyed the Princess Half in February, I am not sure even I can plan that far ahead!

This year they are offering a new challenge. In years past marathoners could do the marathon and half in one weekend. For 2014 here is the lineup for the aptly named Dopey.

"Run 48.6 miles of fun in the Dopey Challenge!

Are you ready for the ultimate endurance challenge? Then take part in four days of fun for a total of 48.6 miles in the all-new Dopey Challenge! Participants will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, and if you complete all four races within the pacing requirements you will be awarded the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge medal and the brand new Dopey Challenge finisher medal for a total of six pieces of "bling.""

And what does all this bling cost you? A cool $495.  

And what is even more crazy? By the end of the day it is 76% full! 

Now please take what I say with a grain of salt, because I know there are many folks that run 50 miles or even more in a day. One has to consider the perspective of these comments. It would take me almost over 12 hours to run these races. 

Clearly there are many folks who are excited about this prospect, just as there have been for for the Goofy (composed of the marathon and half marathon) before it. 

As with everything else, Disney has marketing gold. 

Are you running with Disney? Thinking about a destination race? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello Burke Lake

Saturday was sports day. Opening day for Little League, first soccer game and then baseball game. It was COLD with a game start time of 7 pm. Everyone had great games! I even managed to get the family to help me do some yard work and we are making progress shaking off the winter debris from the yard. We topped off the afternoon with cake to celebrate the birthday party of a young neighbor. Oh how I wish I had more self control.

Sunday was my long run day. I was slated to do 11 miles and didn't have any plans to run with anyone. I needed the motivation, but turns out I am just as bad at scheduling rundates for myself as I am playdates for my kids! I was all motivated to get up early and get going, but the reality of needing sleep was to great.

I got up about 9 and threw on my clothes. It was supposed to be warmer on Sunday, so I dressed in a skirt, short sleeved shirt and a light jacket. I grabbed my phone and shuffle. I was hoping to listen to the Another Mother Runner podcast, which usually published on Saturday night and then move over to my shuffle. Well I had updated my phone a few days ago and couldn't figure out how to get the newest podcast. I didn't want to waste time figuring it out, so off I went.

I drove down to Burke Lake park, where the trail around the park is just under 5 miles. I knew I would have to do some out and back to make up the last mile, but it was worth it for the scenery and the company. Burke Lake always has busy trails of runners, families and bikers. On a Sunday some of the other trails I use can be a little more deserted, and I wanted to be safe and this fit the bill.

I headed out on the trail about 9:30 knowing I had hours before me. This is why I think I may not do a marathon. It isn't the event itself, but the training before hand. I could be out for 4 hours or more to complete a marathon training run! Back to my half marathon training. 11 miles means a little more then 2.5 hours. I started with a run/walk to get myself started. I wanted to warm up slowly and give myself some room to get going. Mentally this run started out hard, so I was trying to ease into it.

who can argue with this beauty?
I eventually got my rhythm and continued to work my way around the lake. I entertained myself with various thoughts, one being to smile at folks I pass. SBS from Another Mother Runner had talked about acknowledging others and smiling during runs. I did my best to greet walkers and runners alike. Some I got responses from, some not. On this trail you inevitably see folks more then once, so I found those that I greeted the first time were more likely to greet me the 2nd or 3rd time around. 

At the end of the first lap I came upon the cutest little girl being carried by her dad. She was looking back over her dad's shoulder, and as I approached I waved and was rewarded with the sweetest smile and wave. That carried me for quite awhile until I managed to trip over a root. My body surged forward almost into a lady walking.(she had no idea what almost hit her). I heard the audible gasp of another girl running in the opposite direction. I managed to pull myself back up with about 12 inches to go before the ground and I connected. After that I focused a little more on the ground then the smiling. 

I also spent quite a bit of time passing and being passed by a couple. They were doing a run walk and he was clearly the one in charge of the clock. At one point I passed and said "me again." she gave me a look of death or desperation, not sure which! I thought about what advice I would give her if I passed again. I think I would have told her to run her own run and not worry about his pace. It was clearly making her miserable and I have had more success slowing down and gaining stamina to run longer. Sometimes the run then slow to walk can be jolting, better to run through. 

Any rate, I finished in about 2:43 with a good attitude and hungry. I have continued to eat ever since. So much for the weight loss I saw over the weekend! Finally some progress! Hopefully I haven't strayed too far as I am typically hungry after my long runs and it does wear off by Tuesday. 

Later in the afternoon we went on a hike with the kids. It was so fun to explore a new area with them. We only went about a mile, but a steep elevation change the whole way. 

We were treated to some great views and even found a river of sorts. Rock skipping and talking to some floating kayakers was a nice break to the hike.

 I wore my compression socks during the hike and it was a good idea I think. I could really feel my legs aching and I think it helped a little bit. I also foam rolled. I have had a few knee twinges, but so far have pretty much ignored them. A great patient, right?

We topped off the weekend with a good dinner and some frozen yogurt! Yea! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Giving Back

Sorry I didn't post today, too tired, but we will get to that.

Friday I had a great day! I skipped out of work after a late morning conference call and headed into DC. I was slated to work at the Cherry Blossom Race Expo.

All Ready to go.

I drove to Pentagon City Mall and took the metro downtown and the trip went really fast. We were assigned to start our shift an hour before the expo opened. 

Even the Metro is ready for the blossoms
There was the expected hang around time as folks gathered and we figured out what was going on. I had a chance to quickly walk through the expo itself. It was held in the Building Museum grand atrium. There seemed to be a lot of space and quite a few stores and races represented. I browsed a little bit, but having just done the outlets, I didn't feel like I should spend any more. Pretty soon there were folks heading to the table to pick up their shirts. 

The shirts were a great blue this year. In fact some of the folks that upgraded to tech shirts wished they hadn't. Pretty soon we had a great rhythm going and we had a steady stream of business.  Many of the folks there between 1 and 4 were those that work downtown and wanted to get their packets before heading home for the day. We helped many people who were picking up packets for multiple friends or co-workers. Some had 20 or more! 

All in all it was very fun to volunteer and I would definitely do it again. In exchange for my time I have a guaranteed entry into the 2014 race. Guess I will have to continue running. 

Late last week, I had a bib offered to me, but decided against running. I want to focus on Nike and making sure that I get to that race in the best shape possible. 

One last thing I did before I headed home on Friday was to donate my first pair of running shoes! It felt a little incredible that I was at a point to do that. 

The boys headed off to baseball practice and my daughter and I had a girls night. Complete with dessert!

Hope you had a great weekend as well. Tomorrow - my long run. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

One Foot In Front of the Other

I took Monday as a rest day, Tuesday was bootcamp and today I needed to run. Due to soccer and baseball starting we have moved gymnastics to Wednesday. My hubby likes to take my daughter, so I had plenty of time to run tonight. It is freezing out, so even though it is light later, I took to the treadmill.

the treadmill, without the tutu tonight
As I think I have mentioned I haven't laid out a training plan for this race, which is unusual for me. It has been more a factor of time then anything else. So I have been taking my cues from the training plan Nike is posting weekly for the Half. Tonight I was on for 5 miles. I had the time, got home and changed. I posted to facebook for some motivation and soon had commented from around the country (and my neighborhood) to get moving. It took me longer then in the past to get going. I started out with 5 minutes or so, then after the first mile and a half was able to lengthen my intervals to 10 minutes. It took me about 1.5 hours to run the 5 miles with a total run time of 1:06. So got my first April run in the bank.

How do you get moving after a long day at work or do you always workout in the morning?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Check in

Sorry no post today. We still have guests in town so I have been focused on them.


Run 62.5 miles (1/12th of my goal of 750 for the year) - Done
Kid's Shower fix and garbage disposal (see how I grouped those plumbing issues - genius I tell you) - Done
Summer Vacation Planned -  Done!


Disney Half - Done

62.5 Miles - Done (68 this month, not bad for 28 days)

Kitchen Fixes - Done

Taxes - Done, but not filed (still)

Summer Camps - Done.


1 minute plank - Done, but I have been slacking off. Need to get back to regular planks to keep up my abilities.

62.5 - Done - just barely. When I did my run on Saturday, I realized I was 2 miles short of my goal for the month. Not going to let that happen this early in the year! I know I am going to have low mileage months, hello August, so I have to keep after this.

Shower fixes - Done!

Weekend Trip - Nope. Lots of planning, but not this yet.


Nike Half - I am still training for this event and things are going ok. I am feeling better after Saturday. :)

62.5 - keeping after it. With training runs for the half I hope to reach this again. 

Siding/Gutters - First contractor is coming on Thursday. 

With all that said and done, what I really need to do is get this candy OUT OF THE HOUSE. I need to cut down on my sugar and really focus on my eating. No weight gain, but no weight loss either. 

How are you doing with your goals for the year? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back in Action

So I may have mentioned that I haven't really laid out a training plan for the Nike Half Marathon. They have been posting a weekly training plan and I have a pretty good idea of what I need to get done. Last weekend was a done deal with the 17.75 race. Then I had that horrible run of 2.5 miles, which was cut into 2. Then on Wednesday I didn't run as planned, but took time to get the house cleaned up before my MIL arrived.

I wanted to run on Saturday since I wasn't sure what the Easter festivities would bring us. The day was warm and my son had a baseball practice. So I decided to leave the house an hour before practice started and ran to the field. Then there is a great trail from the field that I ran for about 4 miles and then back. The trail was full of bikers, runners and folks walking with strollers.

The start of my run was more difficult as there are quite a few steep hills. I walked uphill and ran downhill. I was feeling stiff, but my knee wasn't hurting, so I kept plugging along. I was thinking the family would pass me on the road, but I ended up getting to the field and on the trail before them. Yea! 5k done and at least 8 more miles to go. I headed off on the trail which is nice and flat and a combination of gravel and pavement. I ran and ran and ran. No walking!! I just kept plugging along at my slow but steady pace. I was getting a little faster in my splits and feeling good.
I stopped at mile 5 and tried some Honey Stinger chews. They tasted like fruit snacks and were yummy. At this point the trail was pretty empty and I just kept moving.

Empty except for these guys. 

 I changed from my iphone to my shuffle to get some different music and my kissmyblackass podcasts came on. She had a long run of a half hour going and I just kept running. At mile 7 I turned around and headed back to the field. I was faster then the strollers and slower then everyone else. :) At about mile 9 the week 2 of the coach to 5k came on. Run for 90 seconds, walk for 1:00. I did the 5 minute warm up walking and then got right back into it. I ran the first interval and then decided to run the walk section, and so on. I was feeling like I was just floating along.

I came back to the field for a short stretch and this happy face.

The best part was kicking this run - just shy of 10.5 wearing my Finishing = Winning shirt. Indeed!

What an awesome way to spend a (finally!) warm day!